Dodongo artwork from Ocarina of Time
Tower of Flames
Cave of Ordeals
The Legend of Zelda Manual Comment
Dodongos are reptilian monsters usually found in caves and volcanic environments. Throughout the series, it has resembled both a Triceratops or rhinoceros-like creature in early Zelda games, as well as bipedal, monstrous lizards in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, and gecko-like creatures in Twilight Princess. Physically, these creatures have very tough hides, ribbed with green or sometimes yellow scales that serve as strong armor that protects them from any attack. In the same vein, Dodongos also have very large mouths in proportion to their bodies. These grand cavities enable them to suck in air to blow streams of flames, which is their primary form of attack. However this also makes their mouths the species' primary vulnerable site. A Bomb can be thrown down their gaping mouths, which will explode from within, heavily damaging the creature. For this reason, Dodongos are widely known for their weakness to Bombs. The best opportunity to throw the explosives is when these enemies suck in air in preparation for their fiery attacks, which will also inhale the thrown Bomb. Some Dodongos however will merely be damaged just from being near a Bomb's explosion, as is the case in The Legend of Zelda. In Twilight Princess, an Arrow may also be shot into the gaping mouth of a Dodongo to inflict it internal damage as well.
Another, although less common, vulnerable site is the tip of its tail. However, Dodongos can also harm Link with their tails by sweeping them around in a full turn. If the sweeping tail manages to make contact with Link, it will knock the hero off his feet, damaging him. While these enemies are often hard to defeat, they are quite slow moving creatures, and are easily avoided or confounded into showing their weak spots.
The sizes of Dodongo range greatly between games and regions. In Majora's Mask, two sizes of Dodongo are known to exist in Termina: the smaller variants in the North-East area of Termina Field, and the much larger sizes to the North-West section of the field. These Dodongos reward Link with large quantities of Rupees upon defeat; the big Dodongo yields a Purple Rupee when destroyed, and a Red Rupee for a regular Dodongo. There are also two large Dodongos found in a Secret Grotto near the entrance to Ikana Canyon, which defeating them earns Link 100 Rupees and a Piece of Heart from a chest nearby.
Despite the dangers they pose, the scales of a Dodongo are also a valuable resource. Gorons use them to make their heat-resistant Goron Tunics, one of which Link can purchase in Ocarina of Time. The stomach linings of Dodongos are also used to make Bomb Bags as well.
Dodongos have commonly appeared as a boss, appearing in several titles to date as such, the most prevalent being Ocarina of Time, where the massive King Dodongo makes an appearance at the end of the Dodongo's Cavern. Dodongos first appeared as bosses in The Legend of Zelda, sometimes appearing in pairs or as a mini-boss, and have also appeared as bosses in Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages and in Four Swords Adventures. Unlike the common Dodongo, more than one Bomb must be used to vanquish these foes, and rightly so, as they are not only bigger, but stronger than their commonplace counterparts. Exclusively in Oracle of Seasons, Link must equip the Power Bracelets to hoist the boss into Floor Spikes after assaulting it with a Bomb, as the explosive will merely stun it.
The Baby Dodongo is the infant version of the Dodongo, which appears as a serpentine, almost larva-like creature that slithers on the ground. They are found in Dodongo's Cavern in Ocarina of Time. These enemies will burrow up from underground, moving quickly and directly attacking Link in small groups whenever he is in close proximity. They can also jump up above Link and attempt to ram him, which can be blocked with the Hylian Shield. They are otherwise weak enemies, and can be easily defeated with just the Sword. Once defeated, it will explode. The resulting explosion is capable of harming Link but can be used strategically against soft or rock walls in the place of Bombs.
- Main article: Dimitri
Not all Dodongos are hostile creatures. In Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, there is a benevolent Dodongo by the name of Dimitri, who co-operates with and helps Link in Holodrum and Labrynna. Dimitri is a River Dodongo, he can swim across deep water and up waterfalls to help Link gain access to previously outlying areas. Due to the type of Dodongo Dimitri is, he does not breath fire like his wild counterpart but he still has the large mouth, which he uses to eat Link's foes. In order to reach him, the Strange Flute (which will later be identified as Dimitri's Flute) is needed, especially to summon him at will in both games.
The name Dodongo could be derived from "Dodon", Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of an explosion.
- "Even just now, the victory condition changed to "Defeat King Dodongo"." — Hyrule Warriors Direct, YouTube, published August 4, 2014.
- "A giant rhinoceros. It hasn't got so much attack power, but it bounces off attacks with its thick hide." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 37)
- "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE." — Old Man (The Legend of Zelda)
- "The problem is those things have skin as hard as rock. Even with my strength, it's a waste to hit them. I can't even make a dent! But then it came to me! They may be tough on the outside but weak on the INSIDE! So right when they open their mouths to breathe fire, gulp! And then... BLAMMO! What a great idea! ...But then I dropped my bombs in the lava!" — Goron (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Fashioned from a sporty blend of Dodongo hide and Bomb Flower fibers, the Goron Tunic allowed Link to survive the intense heat generated within Death Mountain Crater." — The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Zelda.com (jsp).
- "You found a Bomb Bag! This bomb-holding bag is made from a Dodongo's stomach!" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Zelda! Behind you! [...] A dodongo!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7 [To the First Power])
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ドドンゴ (Dodongo)||ベビードドンゴ (Bebī Dodongo)|
|ChineseSI||多东哥 (Duōdōnggē)||多东哥宝宝 (Duōdōnggē Bǎobao)|
|FrenchCA||Dodongo (OoT3D)||Bébé Dodongo (OoT3D)|
|Korean||도동고 (Dodongo)||베이비 도동고 (Beibi Dodongo)|
|SpanishLA||Dodongo (TLoZ | OoT3D)||Minidodongo (OoT3D)|