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Deku redirects here. For the term in general, see Community:Glossary§Deku.

Deku Scrubs are a recurring tribe in The Legend of Zelda series.[1] They are small forest creatures as well as enemies that inhabit Hyrule, Termina, and several other countries.

They are plant-based creatures that have skin seemingly made of wood and hair and "clothing" made of leaves and flowers,[2] and spit Deku Nuts at their enemies when threatened. They usually appear in a small, flower-like tuft of foliage which they hide within when threatened. They often appear as enemies, but despite their antagonistic nature they tend to be friendly, at least when they believe it to be to their own benefit. It is rumored that a Deku Scrub's disposition can change drastically depending on the type of tree they are born from.[3]


As enemies, Deku Scrubs tend to hide in grassy or flower shrubs, and pop out when provoked to spit a Deku Nut at their foes. When approached they will quickly retreat into their shrubs where they cannot be touched. In Majora's Mask, they sometimes hide in Deku Flowers instead, which can be used after their defeat. While they cannot be harmed by direct combat, they are susceptible to long-range weapons, but can also be defeated by using a Shield to deflect their Deku Nuts back at them. When harmed, the Deku Scrub will be quick to surrender. This same strategy is also applied to the other variations of the Deku Scrub, including Business Scrubs and Mad Scrubs, which will jump out of their shrubs when first harmed.

Dekus can deal with water, but if they happen to venture in deep areas they will hop on the water to survive drowning. Like plants, too much water can hurt them. Luckily, Dekus are usually light enough to stand on Lily Pads, granting safer travel over the swampy waters that the Dekus of Termina call home. In Deku form, Link is able to skip across water, but cannot swim. Dekus are also highly flammable, and rightly so, as they are wood-based creatures.

Some Deku Scrubs in Majora's Mask also have propellers on their heads which allows for flight.

Business Scrub[]

Main article: Business Scrub

Business Scrubs are Dekus that have taken to selling certain items, but they will only offer these items once Link defeats them. In Ocarina of Time, Business Scrubs appear within the Lost Woods but are also common in many caves and secret holes in the rest of Hyrule. While most of their deals are extortionate, some of them will offer important items such as a Piece of Heart or even the ability to carry more Deku Sticks or Deku Nuts.

Mad Scrub[]

Main article: Mad Scrub

Mad Scrubs are a stronger and far more aggressive variation to the regular Deku Scrub. In Ocarina of Time, they appear in the Sacred Forest Meadow when Link is young, and also in Kokiri Forest as an adult. In Majora's Mask, they appear in the Deku Palace and Woodfall. Unlike regular Dekus, they attack in bursts, and will make no attempt to bargain with Link and can be destroyed in battle.

Totem Deku[]

Main article: Totem Deku

Totem Dekus are a variation that appear exclusively in Tri Force Heroes. They are similar to ordinary Deku Scrubs, but commonly have segmented bodies that make them appear much taller, leaving their vulnerable heads out of reach. The Links can reach and attack them by forming a Totem.


Ocarina of Time[]

Navi's Comment
Navi says:

Deku Scrub
It will hide in the grass if you get close to it. Bounce the nuts it spits back at it!

Deku Scrubs first appeared in Ocarina of Time, where they primarily appear as enemies Inside the Deku Tree where they are subordinate to Gohma.[4] Here Link learns of his ability to deflect their nuts back at them with his shield for the first time. Unlike other enemies, once struck they will not be destroyed, and will run around in a panic. When Link approaches, they will plead for mercy and offer him some advice to progress through the dungeon.

A group of three Deku Scrubs appear prior to Gohma's room, guarding the doorway. Unlike previous Deku Scrubs, these enemies will become stunned when hit, and will not give up unless Link defeats them in the correct order, a secret revealed by Deku Scrub defeated previously in the dungeon. This can be remembered using the phrase "twenty-three is number one".[5] When Link beats them, they reveal to Link the strategy to use in order to defeat Gohma. In the Master Quest version of the game, the Deku Scrub that reveals the correct order is replaced by a Mad Scrub, and the order to defeat the three Deku Scrubs is changed to 3 1 2. Link can only discover this new order by trial and error.

Deku Scrubs also appear in the Lost Woods, most notably in the Forest Stage. Here, a group of Deku Scrubs will judge the face of any visitor who stands on the stage, and reward them depending on what they think of it. This reward varies from Rupees, nothing at all, or a hail of Deku Nuts. If Link visits with the correct Mask, he will meet a large Deku Scrub who will offer him a greater reward. According to him, the Skull Mask looks like the Deku's sacred forest totem.[6]

One normal Deku Scrub also appears in the Lost Woods making his home in the top of a tree from which hangs a small drum-like target. If Link hits the center of the target three times in a succession, he will be granted a larger Bullet Bag.[7]

Majora's Mask[]

File:MM Deku Royal Family Artwork
The Deku Royal Family and its attendants
Tatl's Comment
Tatl says:

What's with that Deku Scrub? It's just sleeping here like a lazy fool! What a pain!

Majora's Mask explores a different side of this species, in which there is a functioning society composed entirely of Deku Scrubs, known as the Deku Kingdom. They are situated in the Southern Swamp of Termina under monarchical rule.[8] The Deku Royal Family is composed of a King and a Princess, who are served by guards, yes-men, and a butler, whose son had died mysteriously prior to the game. The Kings are bound to guard the Woodfall Temple deep in the Swamp.[9] The Deku of the swamp are also hinted to have a sophisticated education system. However, they are also wary of strangers, and if other Dekus try to enter without permission, they usually become enraged.[10]

The Skull Kid also turns Link into a Deku Scrub at the beginning of the game. When Link was healed, he received the Deku Mask.[11] Link in his Deku form perform a Deku Flower Jump and glide using spinning flowers, other Deku Scrubs within the game such as Business Scrubs and the Deku Butler can perform similar actions. He is also able to perform spinning attacks, shoot Bubbles, hop across water, but it is unclear if other Dekus share these abilities.

There is a mini-game specifically made for Deku Scrubs located in North Clock Town, the Deku Scrub Playground.[12] Deku Link can play this mini-game and eventually earn a Piece of Heart.

Oracle of Seasons[]

Deku Scrub OOS

In Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, Deku Scrubs are scattered throughout Labrynna and Holodrum's lands and caves. Most of them are non-violent Business Scrubs that trade freely with Link. Some sell staples such as Mystical Seeds and Bombs, though most Business Scrubs sell Shields. The largest population of Deku Scrubs appears in a forest in western Labrynna in the past, appropriately named Deku Forest.

Of the two games, Oracle of Seasons is the only one to feature hostile Deku Scrubs. These Scrubs behave similarly to the ones in Ocarina of Time; they shoot seeds at Link from afar and hide themselves when he approaches. Deflecting their seeds back at them with the shield will cause them to surrender, at which point they will offer Link helpful advice.[13][14][15][16] Two such Scrubs appear on Mt. Cucco, one of which has a sign next to it that forbids the use of shields and deflecting seeds, comically revealing its weakness.[17]

There are also three friendly Deku Scrubs who have roles in sidequests. One of them is located in the Lost Woods and plays a role in the Trading Quest. After playing the Phonograph for it, it will tell Link how to find his "Secret Spot," where the final reward for the Trading Quest, a greater Sword, is located.[18] In a Linked Game of Oracle of Ages, a friendly Deku Scrub appears in Deku Forest. He can be heard singing a "secret" (the Deku Secret) called "Love the Seed," which is apparently quite popular among Dekus.[19][20] Link tells the secret to another singing Deku that appears in a cave west of Sunken City in Holodrum,[21] who also loves the secret song but cannot remember the last half.[20] As thanks, the Deku increases the size of Link's Seed Satchel.[22]

The Deku Scrubs of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages are unique in that they appear to be individualistic creatures, given that most of them remain distanced from one another and they are never seen to interact. In fact, the singing Deku Scrubs are the only ones that refer to others of their own kind. The supposedly popular Deku song, "Love the Seed," is the only indication that these Deku Scrubs share any form of culture. Only the friendly Dekus that are not Business Scrubs demonstrate musical inclination, however.

Four Swords Adventures[]

Four Swords Adventures features a group of Deku Scrubs living in the Lost Woods stage. They are similar in appearance to the Dekus of Majora's Mask. These Deku Scrubs were awoken from their slumber by Ganon transforming the forest into the Lost Woods.[23] They look forward to the expansion of the Lost Woods to cover all the forests of Hyrule, at which point they can travel freely.[24] If someone gets lost in these woods, they are said to transform into a Deku Scrub.[25] Despite being tied to the woods, they are able to travel beyond the forest using underground passageways,[26] and later appear in Frozen Hyrule where they have taken to a new game they call Terrorpin Hockey.[27] Despite working for Ganon, none of these Dekus will attack the four Links, and will speak freely with them, assuming they are not a threat.

The Minish Cap[]

The Deku Scrubs of The Minish Cap are all Business Scrubs. They spit seeds as well, but mean no harm by it; they merely have a natural tendency to spit seeds when they speak.[28]

Tri Force Heroes[]

In Tri Force Heroes, Deku Scrubs appear on top of a Totem containing one, two, or three scrubs. The Links must use the totem formation to defeat any that are beyond their reach. However, the Deku Scrubs will burrow back into the ground if approached, so the Links must use a ranged weapon (such as the Bow) to defeat them.

Other Appearances[]

Cadence of Hyrule[]

Deku Scrubs appear as both enemies and allies in Cadence of Hyrule, where they are hidden throughout Kingdom of Hyrule. While they are stationary enemies, their attack pattern is based on the beat of the music, appearing from their hiding spots only when the heroes are within their line of sight for a total of three beats. Once exposed, they will fire a projectile at them on the second beat before returning underground on the fourth beat. Like their previous incarnations, their projectiles can be reflected back at them either with the Shield, Nayru's Love, or Torch of Reflection. However, their projectiles can also be used to deal damage to other monsters and enemies that walk within their line of fire, including other Deku Scrubs.

Upon defeat, all enemy Deku Scrubs will drop a Deku Seed, which can be given to Tingle. Giving him 10 Deku Seeds will have him cut the hero's Stamina in half in order to grant them more magic power, while giving him 20 Deku Seeds will add the friendly Deku Scrub Yves to the team. There are a total of 21 to 22 Deku Scrubs within Kingdom of Hyrule, with 12 randomly scattered across the open landscape and 8 hidden in a cave behind a cracked wall within the ReDead and Poe section of the Lost Woods. The final Deku Scrubs appear within Link's and Zelda's starting areas, which are Link's House and the room outside Zelda's bedroom in Hyrule Castle respectively, though the latter only appears if Cadence had woken up Zelda before Link.

Yves is the only Deku Scrub that is friendly to the heroes, greeting them as soon they arrive to Tingle's Hut within the Lost Woods. He dreams of becoming an adventurer when he grows up, but believes that he can't become one due to a lack of arms.[29] Despite this, he joins in on their quest once at least 20 Deku Seeds are given to Tingle. But being a young Deku Scrub with no arms, he can't use any weapons and only possesses one Heart, making him vulnerable to damage. However, he can avoid attacks by burrowing underground or attacking enemies from afar with his Deku Spit ability, allowing him to fire projectiles at the cost of Stamina.

Despite being of the same race, other Deku Scrubs will still fire their projectiles at Yves just like they would with any other hero.


  • Deku Scrubs have an unusual way of speaking that often involves making the noise "pi" after sentences. This was removed from the translations of most games, but was left intact in some instances, such as in Four Swords Adventures.
  • The hint for defeating the Deku Scrub triplets guarding the boss room Inside the Deku Tree in Japanese is 「ニイさんイチバン」 (niisan ichiban),[30] which is actually a play on words: "niisan ichiban" could either read "Two three number one" or "Older brother first."
  • Initially during development, Deku Scrubs started out as a character named "Hobbit" ホビット (Ho bitto), inspired from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.[31]


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in other regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
JapanJapaneseデクナッツ (Deku Nattsu) (OoT)[32]Deku Nut
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.



  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 50 (MM | FSA), 169 (TMC), 174 (OoT | OoS), 210 (TFH)
  2. "It is susceptible to fire, since it originates from plants." (Majora's Mask manual, pg. 25)
  3. "Though they are more hostile than not, they have been know to trade with Hylians. It is said that the disposition of a Deku Scrub differs greatly based on the type of tree they are born from." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 50)
  4. "How did you know our secret?! How irritating! It's so annoying that I'm going to reveal the secret of Queen Gohma to you! In order to administer the coup de grace to Queen Gohma, strike with your sword while she's stunned. Oh, Queenie... Sorry about that!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
  5. "Please forgive me, master! I'll never do it again! If you spare me, I'll teach you something cool. You will never beat my brothers up ahead unless you punish them in the proper order.The order is... 2 3 1 Twenty-three is number one! Do you think I'm a traitor?" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
  6. "All of the young Deku Scrub brothers agree...you look exactly like our sacred forest totem! As an offering from us, please accept these Deku Sticks. We will also enhance your carrying skills! Abracadabra! Alakazaaaam!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
  7. "Cool! You're great! You scored three perfect bull's-eyes! I have to give a neat present to such a wonderful person! Please take it!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
  8. "This is the palace of the Deku Kingdom. Only those on official business may enter!" — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
  9. "In Termina, Deku Kings reign and are bound to guard a temple deep in the swamp." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 50)
  10. "Wait! Wait! Hang on! This is my private property. Don't try using it when I'm not around!" — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
  11. "Fear not, for the magic has been sealed inside the mask. When you wear it, you will transform into the shape you just were. When you remove it, you will return to normal." — Happy Mask Salesman (Majora's Mask)
  12. "Ehhhh, I'm sorry... Only Deku Scrubs can play here." — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
  13. "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! If you are lost in the woods, travel west, then south, east and north, taking each step in a warmer season." — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  14. "I surrender! In return, here's a tip! On the summit of the mountain in the east are Spring Bananas! Many people will want them!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  15. "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! Even if you have a key, you still need a keyhole! Foolish brother! The keyhole is on the summit!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  16. "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! Even if you have a keyhole, you still need a key. Moronic brother! The key is in the valley in the west." — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  17. "No shields!!! No deflecting seeds allowed!" — Sign (Oracle of Seasons)
  18. "Dee! What a tune! I love it! I'll teach you the way to my Secret Spot! If temperatures rise as you go far to the west, you'll find it!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  19. "Love, love the seed! This secret is all the rage among Deku Scrubs now! Want to hear the rest?" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Ages)
  20. 20.0 20.1 "I can't remember the last half of "Love the Seed," the hit secret among us Deku Scrubs. "Love, love the seed!" What's the next part? Do you know it?" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  21. "The Deku Scrub west of Sunken City in Holodrum loves this secret! I do, too! You should pay him a visit!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Ages)
  22. "Yes! Yes! That's it! It touches me everytime I hear it! In return, I'll make it so you can carry more seeds! Come back with your Seed Satchel full with all five kinds of seeds!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
  23. "Thanks to Ganon, we were awakened from our slumber!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  24. "Soon, Lord Ganon's power will change all of Hyrule's forests into Lost Woods! Once that happens, we'll be able to travel freely!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  25. "The Lost Woods is our birthplace! If you wander lost here for too long, you too can become a Deku Scrub!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  26. "Make sure that all who enter the forest remain here! Lord Ganon's orders! But we're trying to build an underground road that will let us go anywhere... Anyway, we've hidden every single shovel we could find! If there are no holes, no one will ever find our road. We're absolutely brilliant!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  27. "Oopipi.... I've done it! I've created a gentlemen's game for Deku Scrubs. I call it... Terrorpin Hockey! The rules are simple. You send Terrorpins spinning and then cut them! Cutting them when they're not spinning is lame. But when they are, it's cool! Oopipi! It's so fun! Don't you see how fun it is?" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  28. "Unfortunately, we scrubs have a tendency to spit nuts when we speak! Everyone got scared and ran away, and no one would buy anything! This is a terrible place to do business! I'm going back to my cave!" — Business Scrub (The Minish Cap)
  29. "I've always wanted to be a hero like you... but I can't even hold a sword. Oh, well... A scrub can dream..." — Yves (Cadence of Hyrule)
  30. "三つ子デクナッツは、決まった順にやっつけないと復活しちゃうッピ。その順番は… 2 3 1 「ニイさんイチバン」だッピ!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
  31. "-宮本さんのお気に入りのキャラは? 宮本いまは:「デクナッツ」ですね。実 ようしよ は「ホビット」っていうキャラが仕様書 にあって、で、そい が話をしたりモノ" (64 Dream, MyCom, January 1999, pg. 93) (archive)
  32. Nintendo Official Guidebook—The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Shogakukan) pg. 144