- "During Ganondorf's dark reign, many evil beings walked the earth, but none were as horrible as the ReDead. These skeletal creatures froze people who strayed too close, then they sucked the life from the unfortunate victims."
- — Nintendo Power Player's Guide description
ReDeads (リーデッド Rīdeddo?) are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They are highly emaciated, undead humanoid creatures, closely resembling zombies. They are found in dark and distant locations such as Hidden Holes and dungeons. ReDeads are capable of completely halting the movement of their prey with their gaze when they come close; concurrently, they emit blood-curdling screams to terrify their unfortunate victim. They will then close in on their stunned victim, and in most games will attach to them to drain their life energy. ReDeads are considered to be among the most frightening enemies of the Legend of Zelda series.
ReDeads are most commonly found in dark, seemingly desolate areas such as Hidden Holes and graves. They take on the appearances of emaciated corpses wearing a wooden mask. They latch onto Link and bite his head, a possible allusion to the belief that zombies eat brains. Their piercing screams will stun Link where he stands, even if he is in midair at the time. Inside the Royal Family's Tomb, Link must bypass several ReDeads in order to reach the tomb door on which the "Sun's Song" is engraved. When this song is played while in the vicinity of ReDeads, they are stunned for a period of time, allowing Link to avoid them rather than fight them. If a ReDead has not yet noticed Link, he can also safely bypass or even touch one by walking slowly instead of running at regular speed. As long as Link does not increase speed or draw a weapon that can be used against it, the ReDead will remain still. Interestingly, if a ReDead is defeated while other ReDeads remain in an area, they will approach it and crouch down beside it; their purpose for doing so is uncertain.
The ReDeads that appear in Hyrule Castle Town when Link is an adult do not freeze Link on sight, although they still let out their piercing shriek. This is due to the camera movement, which remains in a static position while in the marketplace. ReDeads are most abundant within the Shadow Temple; in Master Quest, even more so. Furthermore, ReDeads are also found in the Forest Temple, the Bottom of the Well. In Ganon's Castle, they are found in the Spirit Barrier Section, as well as on the bridge that leads from the outer castle to the central tower (only while the tower is collapsing).
In Ocarina of Time 3D, ReDeads have had their appearances revamped to look exactly as their concept art, with visible teeth and correct coloration. In addition to their new look, ReDeads and Gibdos now do at least two hearts worth of damage before they can be shaken off.
|“Its gaze will paralyze you. If it bites you, tap any button to escape!”|
ReDeads are identical to their Ocarina of Time counterparts with a few additional characteristics. They are found within the Ancient Castle of Ikana and Stone Tower. If a Gibdo is set on fire, a ReDead will be revealed to be underneath its bandaging when it is burned away. Thus ReDeads can also be appear Beneath the Well and in Ikana Canyon, should Link set fire to one of the Gibdo found there. ReDeads are susceptible to Sunlight, being defeated instantly if a beam of Sunlight is reflected on them using the Mirror Shield. Upon defeat, they drop large quantities of Rupees. ReDeads can not latch onto or damage Link while he is in his Goron or Deku form, possibly due to his size or an inability to drain the life from his rock and wood based bodies. Zora Link can also dislodge them instantly by activating his bio-electric shield. ReDeads are immune to Deku Link's bubbles, Deku Nuts, Zora Link's boomerangs, regular arrows, and Ice Arrows, and take half damage from Fire Arrows.
If Link wears the Captain's Hat, Garo's Mask or Gibdo Mask when in the presence of ReDeads, they will start to dance, and will not attack Link even if he attacks them, making it possible to defeat them without a challenge. A Gossip Stone states that these ReDeads were once members of the Ikana Royal Family's Castle Dancing Troupe. Gibdos that have had their wrappings burned away will not dance however, and continue to behave like normal Gibdos, though the ones outside the Music Box House will no longer speak. One of the dances the ReDeads perform is the Hopak, more commonly known outside Russia as Cossack dancing.
In Majora's Mask 3D, they appear in their updated design from Ocarina of Time 3D.
|“It's nothing really to be afraid of! It's not unusual to find something in its stomach that might be of use.”|
ReDeads are teal-skinned, voodoo-esque zombie creatures with recessed eyes and elongated, hoop-bearing earlobes. Like their predecessors, they scream and paralyze Link on sight. Unlike their predecessors, however, their shriek is louder and more dramatic. When they catch sight of Link, their jaws and arms stretch downward while their eyes bulge and turn red, creating a terrifying visage. If they are close enough to Link, they will latch onto him and bite him repeatedly. ReDeads will bring fallen ReDeads back to life if they are lured toward one of them. They are found in the Earth Temple, the Ghost Ship, Ganon's Tower, the Savage Labyrinth on Outset Island and the basement maze in the Cabana on the Private Oasis.
ReDeads no longer have the ability to stun Link if he is in mid-air at the time, such as when Link is parrying. Instead, Link's move should follow through, knocking the zombie off balance and giving Link a chance to go after it with a series of sword slashes to defeat it before it can retaliate. This is best done by performing a Jump Attack with the Skull Hammer, as it has longer range and connects much more frequently than a sword would. It should still be attacked with a sword after it is hit by the hammer. Link can also toss bombs at the ReDeads, though it takes three to defeat them. If there is a nearby shaft of Sunlight, Link (or Medli, when in the Earth Temple) can reflect Sunlight onto a ReDead using the Mirror Shield (or, in Medli's case, her harp) in order to paralyze it. However, the ReDead will be stunned only for as long as Sunlight is continually reflected onto it. Link can also use the Hookshot to approach them from behind before they can see him, possibly killing them before they are able to scream.
Interestingly, if Link shoots an arrow or throws his boomerang at a distant ReDead, it will turn to stare at Link, but it will not scream. Also, Link can L-target ReDeads from a distance and hit them with the Grappling Hook to snatch large amounts of Rupees.
For unknown reasons, ReDeads do not attack Medli, or even notice her.
ReDeads resemble thinly wrapped mummies, wearing a type of heavily decayed light armor and wielding large swords, as opposed to the dessicated corpse appearance of those found in earlier installments. This makes them more similar to Gibdos, and, in the original Japanese version, they are indeed referred to as Gibdos instead. These monsters retain their predecessors' ability to paralyze their victims by screeching. They are found in the Arbiter's Grounds and the Cave of Ordeals.
Instead of attaching themselves to a stunned Link and slowly draining his health, ReDeads will shriek at Link to stun him if he walk too close to them, and while he is stunned, they prepare a powerful attack with their gigantic swords. ReDeads take a long time to swing their swords, but Link will usually be stunned long enough for the swing to connect anyway. It is possible to dodge their attack if the button that allows Link to sidestep while L-targeting is pressed rapidly. If successful, Link will be able to roll out of the way just as the paralysis ends, providing an excellent opportunity to perform a Back Slice.
ReDeads can be defeated instantly with one hit from a Jump Strike or Mortal Draw. A safe way to defeat them is to carefully place a bomb or fire two Bomb Arrows, which allows Link to defeat them without entering their stun range. A more cost-efficient way to defeat ReDeads Link is to hit them with the Ball and Chain twice; once as Link throws it forward and again as he pulls it back. It is also possible to dispatch them by using Wolf Link's Jump Attack. By doing this, he can latch onto them and get multiple bites before jumping off. Doing this twice will lead to the ReDead's defeat. Wolf Link's agility proves quite useful as well, as it allows him escape from the ReDead's paralyzing grasp unharmed.
In Tri Force Heroes, ReDeads appear in the Lone Labyrinth and Grim Temple of The Ruins. They appear and behave slightly differently from their past incarnations, as their clay-like bodies are partially melted to the ground, which somewhat resembles Dead Hand, but become fully bodied when stunned. They also wear bright, blue masks. They are able to dissolve their bodies into a puddle to quickly move around the area. When one of the Links draws near, they emit a piercing scream, which travels in a shock wave radius. Any of the Links caught in this shock wave will become petrified to the ReDead's scream. The monster will then approach the nearest Link and proceed to grab and repeatedly bite him, which will drain the Links' shared health. The other Links can come to their teammate's rescue by attacking the ReDead, which will free the trapped Link.
Under most circumstances, ReDeads can only be attacked once they are stunned by an item, such as the Gust Jar or the Gripshot. This allows the Links to attack them during this brief period. They can also be attacked from afar with the Fire Gloves.
ReDead Knights appear in Underground Target Practice near the end of the course. A massive horde of them comes through a door when the player has seconds left to shoot. Strangely, they will use their paralyzing shriek even though it has no effect since it is target practice.
ReDeads known as ReDead Knights appear as enemy units . They resemble their Twilight Princess incarnations but have a charred appearance and seem to be on fire (possibly a reference to Majora's Mask), to differ from regular Gibdos. Gibdos appear identical to the ReDeads of Twilight Princess, likely because ReDeads are referred to as Gibdos in the Japanese version of Twilight Princess. Interestingly, while using Link's Great Fairy moveset or playing as Ganon in Ganon's Fury Boss DLC Challenge Mode, they will be immune to being paralyzed by their scream.
Dark ReDead Knights
Dark ReDead Knights are a Dark shadowy variant of ReDeads. They have the same attacks, weaknesses, and material drops as ReDeads.
ReDeads appear as enemies, and are found in the Underground Maze during Adventure Mode, or as enemies found randomly inside barrels or crates in Melee Mode (though the latter is a rare occurrence). They are quite durable, and require multiple attacks before being defeated, and are rather rubber-like when struck. They let out the same shriek as in Zelda games, but it doesn't stun players like in the games. The ReDead Trophy states that ReDeads are not reanimated corpses as is commonly believed, but rather beings created entirely by magic; however, the veracity of this information is doubtful, as Trophy information is often contradictory to known facts, and are not considered to be canonical. However, there is a possibility it could be true as Ocarina of Time's ReDeads have faces resembling haniwa dolls, which are made of clay and were buried with the deceased in ancient Japan.
A ReDead from Ocarina of Time is featured as a sticker. Its sticker gives a +5 bonus to weapon attacks and can be applied to any character.
ReDeads appear as enemies in the Smash Run, their behavior being very similar to the ReDeads in Super Smash Bros. Melee, however features them in their in-game redesign from Ocarina of Time 3D. However, rather than latching onto the player, they will just swipe at them to deal damage. They can also unleash a sound wave that puts fighters in a dazed state (which represents its paralyzing scream/glare). A ReDead also appears as a trophy in both the 3DS & Wii U versions, however it once again claimed that ReDead are not zombified beings but clay monsters fashioned in the shape of humans.
Though many theories exist about ReDeads being reanimated Hylians, this is claimed to be false in the Smash Bros. trophy, which says that the Hylians were able to flee to safety, with the ReDeads just being clay monsters shaped into humans and magically animated. However it should be noted that the Super Smash Bros. series is non-canon and Trophy information not always reliable (as it is possible that their nature as reanimated zombies was toned down for Super Smash Bros.). Further debunking this is a Gossip Stone in Majora's Mask which says that the ReDeads are the reanimated corpses of the deceased Ikana Castle Dancing Troupe, which is backed up by their dancing. If ReDeads are truly made of clay, it is likely that they are based somewhat after Japanese haniwa dolls, as haniwa dolls are made of clay, buried with the dead and have three holes that represent eyes and their mouths.
The differences in appearance and habits between the different incarnations of ReDeads may suggest changes in burial customs over the passing of time. ReDeads found in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask are sometimes encountered underneath graves, and appear to be wearing carved Spooky Masks over their faces. ReDeads found in The Wind Waker are decidedly teal-colored. Since these corpses were all buried below sea level, it is possible they were punished for evil doings, and forced to haunt Hyrule forever. In Twilight Princess, ReDead Knights went through a process of mummification making them similar to Gibdos.
Relationship with Gibdos
There is a strong connection between ReDeads and Gibdos. In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, they possess the same method of attack (paralyzing and draining the life from Link) and in Majora's Mask a Gibdo's Bandages can be burned off with Fire Arrows to reveal a ReDead underneath. In Twilight Princess, ReDead Knights are called Gibdos in the Japanese version (explaining why they appear as mummies in Twilight Princess). In the Hyrule Warriors series, ReDead Knights are a variant of Gibdos which appear to be on fire (possibly a reference Gibdos turning into ReDeads when exposed to fire in Majora's Mask).
As a result, it is implied that some ReDeads like the ones in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask were originally Gibdos whose wrappings were burned off after being exposed to fire. However, it is also possible that some ReDeads such as the ones in Hyrule Castle Town were never Gibdos and instead the reanimated corpses of people killed during the fire that destroyed Hyrule Castle Town (unless they were Gibdos serving Ganondorf that had their wrappings burned off in the fire) or the ReDeads buried in the Earth Temple in The Wind Waker.
The "Re" is a reference to their undead status, and "dead" is a reference to their zombie-like state. Therefore, ReDead means "Twice dead".
| 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|