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Rupee

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Rupee
Rupees (A Link to the Past)

Artwork of Rupees from A Link to the Past
First appearance The Legend of Zelda (1987)
Appearances The Legend of Zelda
A Link to Past
Link's Awakening
Ocarina of Time
Majora's Mask
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords
The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap
Twilight Princess
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
Skyward Sword
A Link Between Worlds
Use Unit of currency
"You got a Green Rupee! That's worth 1 Rupee! Better collect lots of them!"
— In-game description from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Rupees (ルピー Rupī?) are the main unit 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, 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 5 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 an average 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.

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
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords 99,999 -
The Wind Waker 200 1000 5000
The Minish Cap 100 300 500 999
Twilight Princess 300 600 1000
Phantom Hourglass 9999
Spirit Tracks 9999
Skyward Sword 300 600 1000 5000 9000
A Link Between Worlds 9999

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

The Legend of Zelda featured a hidden area with an apparently Hylian-sympathetic Moblin who will give Link a random number of Rupees. (His cryptic warning declared, "It's a secret to everybody.") In the same game is a man who operates the so-called Money Making Game, in which Link can choose one of three Rupees. He will then randomly either lose or win Rupees. Later titles featured mini-games where Rupees could be lost or won, often based on proficiency with an item.

Silver Rupee (Ocarina of Time)

In Twilight Princess, once Link finds a Rupee of value greater than the Green (which is worth 1), a short cutscene is shown to inform of its worth. But if the game is restarted, (saved or unsaved) it will once again show the cutscene if Link finds a Rupee other than Green. After a non-Green Rupee is found, the cutscene will not trigger for Rupees of that color until the game is restarted. This is different from other titles that show the cutscene once if at all. Another interesting thing to note is if Link finds a Rupee that "will not fit in his wallet", he will not obtain it. If Link opens a chest containing Rupees, and it turns out that the Rupee will not fit in his wallet (such as finding 50 Rupees when his wallet contains 951), he will put it back and leave it there until it fits. This holds true only for Rupees found in chests, not for those found in the field or those being dropped by enemies. The Rupees that do not fit in his wallet pertain only to those higher than 10 Rupees, though.

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.

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 shoots 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. In Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, Tingle has to gather hundreds of Rupees and throw them in a pool to gain access to Rupeeland. He also has to shoot them at the final boss, Uncle Rupee in order to beat him.

In Majora's Mask, Rupees are one of the items that cannot be taken back in time with Link; however, there is a bank at which Rupees can be deposited, and the player retains their bank balance throughout the game.

Rupees are important in every Zelda game, but are central to the gameplay in the multiplayer The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. As such, this game adds Black Rupees (Black Rupees appeared again in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass with the name 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 but are useless until then.

The only titles to feature monetary systems other than Rupees are The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, where the Subrosians would accept only Ore Chunks as currency, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, where the players collect and use Force Gems rather than Rupees. Rupees are also absent in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which had no currency system.

In Spirit Tracks, there is an item known as an Ancient Gold Piece, which is a gold coin with a Triforce symbol and Hylian writing inscribed on it. The in-game description states that holding it brings back memories of the "old days", which could mean that these coins could have been used as currency in the early times of New Hyrule until Rupees were rediscovered and reintroduced as the land's main currency.

In Twilight Princess, after obtaining the Magic Armor at the Malo Mart in Castle Town, Link can only effectively use the armor with Rupees. Instead of losing life, he loses Rupees if he is hit by an enemy. If he runs out of Rupees the armor will become dormant and will impede his progress as though he is wearing the Iron Boots.

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.

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.

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.

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

Differences in denominations

Game Green Blue Yellow Red Purple Orange Silver Big (Green) Big (Blue) Big (Red) Big (Gold)
The Legend of Zelda 5 - 1
A Link to the Past 1 5 20
Ocarina of Time 1 5 20 50 200 5 200
Majora's Mask 1 5 20 50 200 100 200 200
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
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
Spirit Tracks 1 5 20 100 200 300
Skyward Sword 1 5 20 100 - - 300
A Link Between Worlds 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 Rupees. This is supported by the similarity between the び (bi) and ぴ (pi) characters in Japanese. The spellings Rupees and rupies are often used interchangeably, although the former prevails in all recent games.

See also

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