The Deku are a recurring race in the Legend of Zelda series. They are a race of humanoid plant-like beings that often co-exist with other races. The term Deku is also frequently used to denote certain plants or plant based items, including the Great Deku Tree, the Deku Tree Sprout, Deku Babas, Deku Nuts, Deku Sticks, Deku Seeds, Deku Flowers, and Deku Shields.
There are three main types of Deku: Deku Scrubs are the most common type of Scrub, identified by their green leaves. They are not typically aggressive and may sometimes be engaged in conversation. The term "Deku Scrub" is sometimes used to refer to all types of Deku as opposed to this one type specifically. Mad Scrubs have red leaves and move more quickly than Deku Scrubs. They tend to be the most aggressive variety of Deku, and are not seen speaking at any point. Business Scrubs usually have arms, speak, and offer to sell items when defeated. In some cases they may not attack at all and offer their merchandise up front.
Deku appear in all three variations: Deku Scrubs, Mad Scrubs, and Business Scrubs. They are found Inside the Deku Tree, in the Lost Woods, in Hidden Holes, and in Kokiri Forest when Link is an adult. Deku and Business Scrubs will attack Link when he approaches, and speak to him when defeated. Deku Scrubs will offer advice, and Business Scrubs will try to get out of trouble with Link by offering to sell him items such as Deku Sticks or Deku Nuts, or even even upgrades to the number of Deku Nuts or Deku Sticks he can carry. The price of items is usually higher than at shops, but Business Scrubs can be found in more remote locations. The only evidence of unified Deku civilization is the Forest Stage, found in the Lost Woods.
In the beginning of Majora's Mask, Link is trapped in the form of a Deku Scrub by the evil power of Majora's Mask. With help from the Happy Mask Salesman, he converts the curse into a mask that allows him to change to and from his Deku form at will, gaining nearly all of the features and abilities of a Deku Scrub.
Deku in Majora's Mask have a unified society that interacts peacefully with other species. They conduct business with the other races of Termina, and even have an elementary school that takes field trips to the the office of the Mayor of Clock Town. The majority of the Deku race live south of Clock Town in the region of Woodfall. Humans do not seem to find it unusual to see a Deku Scrub in Clock Town, however, implying that some Deku live elsewhere. Deku have a monarchistic government ruled by the Deku Royal Family, who reside in Deku Palace, which is off limits to outsiders and even most Deku Scrubs. They also have a Deku Butler and Deku Palace Guards. Deku are often seen inside Deku Flowers, which enable them to fly using plant based, propeller like items. They also seem to use them for storage or to live in.
Business Scrubs do not attack Link as in other games, and can be found in Clock Town, Termina Field, the Southern Swamp, Goron Village, Zora Hall, and Ikana Canyon. Certain Business Scrubs will be willing to trade Title Deeds with Link in exchange for another Title Deed. Trading away every Title Deed in sequence will eventually allow Link to obtain five Pieces of Heart, one for each Title Deed that he trades. Mad Scrubs act as guards in Deku Palace and at Woodfall, the site of Woodfall Temple.
When Link enters the region of Woodfall, the Deku Princess has disappeared without a trace. The Deku King has become enraged and imprisoned a monkey that she was seen with, believing him to have captured her. Link attempts to free the monkey but is unable to. The monkey instead teaches Link the "Sonata of Awakening", so that he can access Woodfall Temple and rescue the Princess. After Link saves the Princess, she finds out about her father's incompetence. When the two return to the palace, the Princess scolds her father for being so rash, and orders the guards to free the monkey. The Princess and the monkey thank Link for all the help he has given them, and the Deku Butler rewards him with the Mask of Scents.
Deku Scrubs can be found in the overworld and various caves throughout Labrynna and Holodrum. Most are peaceful, and will talk to Link or sell him items. A few attack Link, only giving him advice once they are defeated.
In Oracle of Seasons, one Deku Scrub plays the final role in the quest for the Noble Sword. If Link plays his Phonograph for it, it will tell him how to navigate the Lost Woods. Another, singing Deku Scrub can be found in Natzu and will fill Link's Seed Satchel for him.
Deku Scrubs live in the Lost Woods. They worship Ganon at the Temple of Darkness. However, they do not attack Link and are more focused on following the orders they were assigned. One mentions that Ganon woke them from their slumber and that anyone who gets lost in the woods will become a Deku Scrub. This is similar to the story of how Skull Kids from Ocarina of Time originate. The Deku Scrubs like the darkness that Ganon has heralded, and say that his power will turn all of Hyrule's forests into Lost Woods, allowing them to move freely. They have also begun construction of an underground road so that they can travel anywhere without fear of light. To hide their efforts, they keep all their shovels under tight security, and Link must find one to proceed. One Deku Scrub also claims to have imprisoned a Great Fairy so that anyone who finds the shovel will not be able to upgrade it.
Business Scrubs can be found throughout Hyrule, most commonly in caves. They will attack Link and offer to sell him items once defeated. In a few cases, Business Scrubs sell items that are needed to progress in the game, such as the Grip Ring and a bottle. In the beginning of the game, Link encounters a Business Scrub in North Hyrule Field while on the way to Hyrule Castle with Princess Zelda. This Business Scrub says that he has a tendency to spit nuts when he talks, and that he did not intend to attack Link.
- Deku comes from the Japanese word (木偶), meaning "wooden puppet" or "wooden doll". It can also be slang for a stupid person.
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Six Maidens · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Phantom Ganon · Helmaroc King · Stone Arrghus · Jalhalla · Dagtail · Frostare · Big Dodongo · Vaati · Ganon|
| Whereabouts of the Wind · Eastern Hyrule · Death Mountain · Near the Fields · The Dark World · The Desert of Doubt · Frozen Hyrule · Realm of the Heavens|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Bombos Medallion · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Rod · Four Sword · Lantern · Magic Hammer · Quake Medallion · Shield · Slingshot|
|Blue Bracelet · Carrot · Force Gem · Force Fairy · Heart · Heart Container · Moon Pearl · Pegasus Boots · Power Bracelet · Roc's Feather · Shovel · Small Key|
|Knight Mark · Letter · Magic Book · Royal Jewels · Vaati Barrier|
|Gerudo · Goron · Hylian · Zuna|
| Ezlo · King Daltus · Link · Princess Zelda · Smith · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Big Green ChuChu · Gleerok · Mazaal · Big Octorok · Gyorg Pair · Vaati Reborn · Vaati Transfigured · Vaati's Wrath|
| Castor Wilds · Cloud Tops · Eastern Hills · Hyrule Town · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Minish Woods · Mount Crenel · Mt. Crenel's Base · North Hyrule Field · Royal Valley · South Hyrule Field · Trilby Highlands · Veil Falls · Western Wood · Wind Ruins|
|Deepwood Shrine · Cave of Flames · Fortress of Winds · Temple of Droplets · Royal Crypt · Palace of Winds · Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Smith's Sword · White Sword · Four Sword · Small Shield · Mirror Shield · Bombs · Boomerang · Bow · Cane of Pacci · Gust Jar|
|Bottle · Flame Lantern · Flippers · Grip Ring · Mole Mitts · Ocarina of Wind · Power Bracelets · Roc's Cape|
|Elements · Kinstones · Tiger Scrolls|
|Deku · Fairy · Goron · Human · Hylian · Minish · Wind Tribe|
| Link · Princess Styla · King Tuft · Madam Couture|
—Full list of characters
|Arrghus · Blizzagia · Margoma · Moldorm|
| Hytopia · Woodlands · Riverside · Volcano · Ice Cavern · Fortress|
—Full list of locations
|Gripshot · Bomb · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Glove · Gust Jar · Hammer · Water Rod|