- "Draw it close to you and watch its movement carefully! Attack it when it drops its guard!"
- — Navi
Wolfos (ウルフォス Urufosu?) are recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series. They are a race of wolf-like monsters that frequently appear in forested areas. Wolfos sport shaggy brown fur coats and glowing, pale, yellow eyes. They can also be identified by the loud howling sounds they let out as they attack. They are very adept at blocking and dodging Link's sword attacks.
Wolfos attack by circling Link at a distance, then charging in to attack with the claws on their front feet. They are very agile, backflipping over some attacks, but they can also block attacks by hiding their head behind their forelegs. To take down a Wolfos, Link must either block or avoid its attack, and hit it before it recovers. Striking a Wolfos on its tail requires accurate timing, but defeats a Wolfos in one hit if successful.
Wolfos are most often found in remote forested areas, such as the Sacred Forest Meadow or the Forest Temple, though they can occasionally be found in hidden caverns and other dungeons. They guard themselves with their claws, making it so the best time to strike them is when they are about to, or right after they attack, similar to Stalfos.
|“Lure it close to you and watch its movement carefully! Attack it when it drops its guard!”|
Wolfos share the same appearance and attack patterns as in Ocarina of Time. They are found on the path between Termina Field and the Woodfall during night. They can also be found in the Snowhead region of Termina after Link defeats Goht and returns spring to Snowhead, at which point they appear where White Wolfos appear during the winter. Wolfos also appear as targets in the Swamp Shooting Gallery.
|“Lure it in and watch its movements. It doesn't like its tail to be touched...”|
Wolfos are mentioned in the in-game description of Linkle's Crossbows moveset. It states that the Crossbows where originally used to protect Cuccos from Wolfos, indicating that they prey on livestock just like real world wolves.
It is possible that many Wolfos are tamed guard dogs in Ocarina of Time. This seems likely because they can often be found guarding the entrances to important areas such as the Sacred Forest Meadow and the Forest Temple. Also, one of their close relatives, the White Wolfos, can be found guarding the Iron Boots in the Ice Cavern.
Relationship to Wolves
It is unclear as to whether Wolves and Wolfos are related or different species. A possibility is that Wolfos may be either a monster species of wolf, or wolves transformed into monsters by dark magic. Another possibility is that Wolfos may be spectral or demonic wolves. The White Wolfos in Twilight Princess have a ghostly appearance and may actually be the spirits of "Cold-Footed Wolves" similar to how Keatons are said to be the ghost of Foxes. Thus Wolfos may be the ghosts of other wolf subspecies such as Maraudo Wolves. This may be a reference to the japanese yōkai Ōkami, the powerful wolf spirit that either takes a person's life or protects it. Another possibility is they are simply wolf-like species of monster unrelated to wolves beyond similarities in appearance and behavior (such as howling, pack hunting, and habit of circling prey).
As the Lost Woods is said to turn adult Hylians who remain in the woods to long into Stalfos, it is possible that Wolfos encountered in the Lost Woods may be Hylians transformed into monstrous Wolves or that Wolfos are Hylians suffering from a form of lycanthropy which turns them into a Wolf/Hylian hybrid explaining their ability to stand on two legs. Wolfos may also share some connection with Link's wolf form and possibly is a corrupted version of it that effects normal Hylians who lack Link's heroic status which may offer Link a form of divine protection.