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"You got a Red Rupee! That's worth 20 Rupees! What a pleasant surprise!"
— In-game description from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Rupees (ルピー Rupī?) are the main units of currency in the Legend of Zelda series and are obtained primarily by defeating enemies, by cutting tall grass or bushes, or from Treasure Chests. They are most often used to purchase items from shops of any sort, but are also used for admission to certain mini-games.

Variations

Yellow Rupee (The Wind Waker)

Rupees are otherwise identical gems of various colors, each color marking a specific denomination. The association between colors and values varies somewhat from game to game, but the standard has Green Rupees being worth one Rupee, Blue Rupees worth five, Red Rupees worth 20, and Purple Rupees worth 50. Other less common colors include yellow (worth 10 in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess), orange, silver, and gold (worth 100, 200, and 300, respectively, but different entries in the series switch which color corresponds to which amount). In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Silver Rupees found in certain dungeons that are used to open doors are worth only five Rupees. In some games, Big Green Rupees are worth 100 and Big Red Rupees are worth 200. In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Black Rupees (known as Rupoors) actually have negative value and will cause Link to lose Rupees. In Phantom Hourglass, a Big Rupoor causes Link to lose 50 Rupees, while a standard Rupoor causes Link to lose 10.

Carrying Rupees

Red Rupee (The Minish Cap)

In the original game, The Legend of Zelda, players were limited to carrying 255 Rupees, the maximum value an unsigned 8-bit value can hold. The maximum number of Rupees was increased in later games. In some games, the maximum number of Rupees starts lower, but can be increased if Link acquires a larger Wallet for his Rupees.

Game Initial Rupee Capacity First Upgrade Second Upgrade Third Upgrade Fourth Upgrade
The Legend of Zelda 255
A Link to the Past 999
Link's Awakening 999
Ocarina of Time 99 200 500
Majora's Mask 99 200 500
Oracle of Ages 999
Oracle of Seasons 999
Four Swords 99,999 -
The Wind Waker 200 1,000 5,000
The Minish Cap 100 300 500 999
Twilight Princess 300 600 1,000
Phantom Hourglass 9,999
Spirit Tracks 9,999
Skyward Sword 300 600 1,000 5,000 9,000
The Wind Waker HD 500 1,000 5,000
A Link Between Worlds 9,999
Tri Force Heroes 99,999
Twilight Princess HD 500 1,000 2,000 9,999
Breath of the Wild 999,999

While not regarded as canon, BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets featured a maximum of 99,999 Rupees, far more than most canon Zelda games at the time, though strict time limits made this nearly impossible to attain at the time of the original release.

Silver Rupee (Ocarina of Time)

In Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, due to the high prices of certain items, Link can hold a maximum of 9,999 Rupees throughout the whole game.

In Skyward Sword, Link is capable of buying three additional small wallets which are able to hold 300 more Rupees from the previous wallet. Link can purchase these additional wallets from Beedle pushing his final Rupee limit to 9,900.

There are no wallet upgrades in Breath of the Wild, considering how large the capacity already is.

Uses

Although Rupees are used most often to buy items in shops, occasionally they have other uses. In the original Legend of Zelda, one Rupee is used up every time Link fires from his Bow. In A Link to the Past, if a set amount of Rupees is thrown into a certain ‎Fairy Fountain, a fairy will appear and increase Link's carrying capacity for bombs or arrows, at the player's choice. In Ocarina of Time, collecting all the Silver Rupees in a particular dungeon room unlocks the locked doors. In the magic-absent Twilight Princess, Rupees are used to fuel the Magic Armor.

Rupees are important in every Zelda game within the series, but are central to the gameplay in the multiplayer The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. As such, this game adds Black Rupees (appearing in later games as Rupoors), which causes Link's Rupees to scatter across the ground, and Rupee Shards, which, when collected, can add up to a Rupee of great value.

In Skyward Sword, the Mogma Mr. Tubert reveals that Rupees are produced by Rupee Ore when it is struck. This ore can be found inside the Thrill Digger area.

In Breath of the Wild, Rupees are much less common and are usually obtained by selling items such as ore from Ore Deposits, Materials, Armor, Elixirs, and Food Dishes created via Cooking.

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Link's Crossbow Training

Link's Crossbow Training Rupee Orange Rupee (Render)

Collecting Rupees increases Link's score and by breaking pots, skulls, and other destructible objects, an Orange Rupee will be released. These Rupees are worth 1,000 points initially, but their value will decrease the longer they are on-screen and thus must be shot at quickly to gain the highest amount of points.

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Rupees are integral to the plot of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, as the main plot revolves around Tingle collecting enough Rupees to construct the Tower and thus gain entry into Rupeeland. Rupees are involved in almost all of the game's interactions, to the point where Tingle's health and Rupees are one and the same, and even starting a conversation with someone requires a payment of Rupees.

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors Rupees Blue Rupee (Standard Rupee)

Rupees appear as currency in Hyrule Warriors. Like the canon series, Rupees appear by cutting grass, are dropped by defeated enemies, or are obtained by breaking pots. Rupees appear as Green, Blue, and Red. Unlike past games, Rupees are collected automatically as soon as they appear. Additionally, Rupees can be acquired by selling off extra weapons.

Hyrule Warriors Parasol 8-Bit Rupee (8-bit Parasol)

In the Majora's Mask DLC, special Rupee Competitions appear as Scenarios on the Termina Adventure Map. The goal of Rupee Competitions is to collect more Rupees than the Enemy. During these scenarios, Rupee Fairies can be collected to temporarily increase the amount of Rupees dropped by enemies.

The 8-Bit Rupee also appears as Agitha's 8-bit Parasol weapon in the Twilight Princess DLC.

Hyrule Warriors Rupees Gold Rupee (Rare Rupee)

There is also a Apothecary mixture called Rupee Festival that increases the amount of Rupees dropped for one battle, while the "Rupee+" weapon skill that can increase the amount of Rupees earned in battle. When the mixture is in effect, it causes Silver and Gold Rupees to drop to signify the increase.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

Rupees return as the game's currency and play much the same role as in Hyrule Warriors. In addition to the Rupee Festival mixture and "Rupee+" weapon skill, there is also a Rental Skill for Companion Fairies that increases the amount of Rupees found. Rupee Competitions also return in Adventure Mode.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

A Green Rupee is featured as a sticker. Its sticker gives a +5 bonus to spinning attacks, and can be applied to anyone.

Mario Kart 8

Rupees take the place of Coins on Hyrule Circuit, a track available via DLC Pack 1.

Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2

In Bayonetta 2 and the Wii U version of Bayonetta, the titular character can equip the Hero of Hyrule costume set. This will change Halos, the standard currency of the game into Rupees. The Rupee pick up sound from the A Link to the Past will also play when picking them up. This change is purely aesthetic.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

Differences in denominations

Game Green Blue Yellow Red Purple Orange Silver Gold Big (Green) Big (Blue) Big (Red) Big (Gold) Rupoor Rupee Shard Black
The Legend of Zelda 5 1
A Link to the Past 1 5 20
Link's Awakening 5 1 30
Ocarina of Time 1 5 20 50 200 5 - 200
Majora's Mask 1 5 20 50 200 100 - - 200
Oracle of Ages 1 10 5 100 200
Oracle of Seasons 1 10 1, 5, 20 5 100 200
Four Swords 1 5 20 50 100 200 - Makes a Gold Rupee worth 500 when 4 are collected Removes up to 80 Rupees
The Wind Waker 1 5 10 20 50 100 200
The Minish Cap 1 5 20 50 100 200
Twilight Princess 1 5 10 20 50 100 200
Phantom Hourglass 1 5 20 100 200 300 -10 or -50 -
Spirit Tracks 1 5 20 100 200 300
Skyward Sword 1 5 20 100 300 -10
A Link Between Worlds 1 5 20 50 100 300 -
Triforce Heroes 1 5 20 50 100 300 -
Breath of the Wild 1 5 20 50 100 300 -

Note: Due to the monochrome graphics of the Game Boy, the original version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening features Rupees that are identical in appearance, regardless of their value. However, confusion is usually avoided by the fact that all Rupees found "lying around" are worth one Rupee, and larger denominations appear only in chests – in which case the player is directly told how much they are worth anyway. In the original version of the game, the Rupees were in black and white, but in the DX version they are all blue, with the exception of the red ones in the Trendy Game and green ones in the Color Dungeon.

Also note: A bonus room in both Snake's Remains and Ancient Ruins in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is filled with dark Green Rupees and Yellow Rupees respectively. Unlike the normal Green Rupees, these Rupees cycle through different shadings and have a random value of 1, 5, 10, or 20 Rupees and the Yellow Rupees all equal to approximately 100 in total.

Etymology

Although later games have been more consistent, the manual for the original Legend of Zelda referred to the gems as rubies, while the scrolling screen in the game itself called them rupies (singular rupy). Thus, the origin of this word is likely a misinterpretation of the word ruby rather than an intentional reference to the Indian currency, the rupee. In Breath of the Wild, however, rubies are depicted as rare gemstones that have no relation to Rupees (other than the fact they can be sold for and/or purchased with Rupees). The gemstone miner Brokka occasionally hums to herself "Rupees over rubies", which may be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old misinterpretation.

This is supported by the similarity between the び (bi) and ぴ (pi) characters in Japanese. In the Japanese versions, Rupee are named ルピー, Rupī. The spellings Rupees and rupies are often used interchangeably, although the former prevails in all recent games.

While in the Spanish versions, Rupees are similarly named Rupias, in the French versions, they are named Rubis, the French word for ruby.

Gallery

See also