- This article refers to the Zora princess that serves as the Sage of Water in Ocarina of Time. For the town of the same name seen in The Adventure of Link, see Ruto Town.
|Don’t tell my father!|
|— Princess Ruto|
Princess Ruto's adult appearance
|Title(s)|| Princess of the Zoras|
Sage of Water
|Game(s)||Ocarina of Time|
|Era||Era of the Hero of Time|
|Family||King Zora (father)|
|Voice Actor(s)||Jun Mizusawa|
|Counterpart(s)||Lulu (Majora's Mask)|
Ruto, Princess of the Zoras, is a female Zora introduced in Ocarina of Time. She is the daughter and only child of King Zora, the ruler of the Sea Zora population residing in Hyrule, and serves as the attendant of Lord Jabu-Jabu, the Zoras’ patron deity, in the sense of preparing his meals. As a child, Ruto appears to be a tomboy and is shown to be very strong-willed and stubborn even in the face of danger, a trait she would temper and yet benefit from in her adult years when danger once again threatened her people. Though she initially shows a selfish streak in her youth, she grows to become much more benevolent in her adult years, especially after she is awakened to the knowledge that she is the Sage of Water that guards the Water Temple beneath Lake Hylia.
It is implied that Ruto’s mother passed away some time before the events of Ocarina of Time, though she did give Ruto the Zora’s Sapphire at some point in her youth while telling her that the stone serves as the so-called “Zora’s Engagement Ring” by tradition, and thus instructing her to give it only to the man that would one day become her husband.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, Ruto is first mentioned when Link comes to Zora's Domain in search of the Zora's Sapphire. When Link arrives, Zora's Domain has been thrown into a state of disarray with the sudden disappearance of Ruto, the Princess of the Zoras. After learning of Ruto's disappearance and earning the Silver Scale from the Zora diving game, Link makes use of the object to investigate Ruto's disappearance, as her father does not seem to be able to give any attention to Link's quest for the stone while his daughter remains missing. Taking the shortcut leading from Zora's Domain to Lake Hylia, Link discovers a bottle with a note inside it at the bottom of the lake. The note is signed with Ruto's name and reveals she has been swallowed by the Zoras' patron deity, Lord Jabu-Jabu, and requires rescue. Showing the letter to King Zora, the Zora ruler commands Link to rescue his daughter and allows him access to see Jabu-Jabu. It is later revealed that Ruto accidentally dropped the Zora's Sapphire inside Jabu-Jabu and lost it. Instead of getting help, Ruto chose to go deeper within Jabu-Jabu hoping to find the stone on her own.
Link finds Ruto fairly quickly upon his entry into Jabu-Jabu's belly. The feisty Zora princess denies knowledge of the letter Link had found in Lake Hylia and initially tries to deny any need of assistance, telling Link she could care less about her father's worry and ordering him to leave her. Link continues to pursue Ruto however, attempting to get her to either come with him or to accept his help in recovering what she had lost. Eventually Ruto reconsiders her opposition to the idea and accepts Link's assistance, deciding to have him carry her around Jabu-Jabu's interior while they search for the stone together. In this manner, the duo begins to search Jabu-Jabu's belly for the lost stone, with Link carrying Ruto while also using her to weigh down switches and at times kill enemies by throwing her at them. Eventually, the two finally locate the stone, resting upon a raised platform deep within Jabu-Jabu's belly. Link tosses Ruto up onto the platform, where she recovers it, though this causes the platform to rise into the chamber above them with Ruto still on it. The platform descends again carrying a Big Octo, which Link is forced to battle. After defeating the beast, Link jumps onto the platform and rises into the chamber above, but finds no trace of Ruto.
Eventually Link is forced to battle against Barinade and, once he defeats it, Ruto is shown waiting for him. The visibly shaken Zora princess scolds Link for the time it took him to rescue her, but the two are soon transported outside via the portal. Once outside Jabu-Jabu's belly, Ruto's demeanor toward Link changes entirely, with the Zora princess having grown quite fond of him and asking him what reward he would ask for rescuing her and helping her recover the Spiritual Stone. Link requests the Zora's Sapphire, and Ruto happily hands it over to him, calling it her most "precious possession" and revealing that the stone effectively acts as the "Zora's Engagement Ring", meaning that she now considers the two of them engaged to be married. Despite this, Link is unaware of his engagement to Ruto, only knowing that he had finally obtained the three Spiritual Stones.
Seven years after Link is placed into suspended animation by the Master Sword, evil returns to Zora's Domain when Ganondorf uses the power granted to him by the Triforce of Power and causes the entire area and its inhabitants to be frozen under a thick layer of ice. This fate also befalls Ruto initially, but she is rescued from beneath the cursed ice by Sheik. She then goes to the Water Temple in the hope of finding a way to save her people from being eternally frozen. This is where she and Link meet again for the first time in seven years. Though Ruto is happy to see him, she is aware that this is not a time to talk about love. Ruto asks Link to assist her in saving the Zoras by destroying the monster at the heart of the temple and informs him on the workings of the Water Temple. After this, Ruto leads Link into one of the temple's upper chambers but mysteriously vanishes. Link does not see her again until he defeats the Giant Aquatic Ameoba Morpha, the monster responsible for the sad state of both Zora's Domain and the nearly-dry Lake Hylia. Inside the Temple of Light, Link learns that Ruto is the new Sage of Water that guards the Water Temple. She tells Link that she still loves him, but their engagement must be put on indefinite hold due to her duty a Sage, and he must continue his search for Princess Zelda. Right before he returns to Hyrule, Ruto gives him the Water Medallion, and asks him to thank Sheik for saving her if he sees him again.
Ruto appears within the Water Room inside Ganon's Castle after Link dispels the Water Barrier protecting the castle, where she urges Link onward to rescue the captive seventh Sage and Leader of the Sages, Princess Zelda. After Link defeats Ganondorf both in his Gerudo form and in the form of the Dark Beast Ganon, Ruto combines her power with that of the other Sages to cast Ganondorf back into the tainted Sacred Realm and to create a powerful seal that would imprison him there. She is last seen alongside several of the other Sages atop Death Mountain, overlooking a jubilant Hyrule now freed of Ganondorf's tyranny.
While only appearing in a single game in the series, there have been multiple references to Ruto made in several subsequent games following the release of Ocarina of Time.
The Wind Waker
While Ruto does not physically appear in The Wind Waker, one of the stained glass windows in Hyrule Castle's basement, where the Master Sword now rests, depicts her as the Sage of Water. Curiously, the symbol in her window appears numerous times amongst the Rito tribe and is the symbol of the Zoras. This, combined with the fact that Laruto, another Zora sage with a very similar name, is Medli's ancestor, has led some to believe that Laruto is a relative or descendant of Ruto and that the Rito are perhaps the evolved forms of the Zoras, their tribe's new name perhaps being a reference to the famous Zora princess herself.
In the Phantom Hourglass, one of the available treasure items is titled the "Ruto Crown". In an obvious reference to Ruto herself, the description states: "Some say this regal crown was worn by a princess of Zora".
Like Phantom Hourglass, the Ruto Crown reappears in Spirit Tracks as one of the ancient treasures available to be discovered and traded around the re-established land of Hyrule, marking another reference to Ruto despite the long period of time that has passed following the end of her lifespan and the many events that have occurred in the meantime.
- In Ocarina of Time 3D, Princess Ruto's in-game model was changed slightly to include fins that appear like a "bra". None of the other Zora were redesigned in this way since they do not exhibit the feminine form, although the exact reason for this apparent censorship is unclear.
- Ruto's model is used again in Majora's Mask for the character Lulu. The model is slightly altered though: while Ruto did not wear any clothing, Lulu wears a dress; Lulu's upper set of eyes are slanted while Ruto's is not. Lulu also has ankle-fins, where as Ruto has hip-fins instead.
- Interestingly enough, if Link throws Ruto into water, she will disappear even though she is a Zora and thus can swim.
- Ruto, like several other characters from Ocarina of Time, inspired a town featured in The Adventure of Link of the same name (though, from an out-of-universe perspective, the Town was created first).
- Ruto's name may originate from kobaruto, the Japanese word for cobalt, a blue type of metal.
- In an interview with Eiji Aonuma, the interviewer alleged that the King Zora in Twilight Princess is the same as the one in Ocarina of Time, which was not explicitly denied. If canon, this would make Ruto and Prince Ralis siblings or half-siblings.
Princess Ruto as an adult in Ocarina of Time 3D
- "You? Who are you?! I am Ruto, Princess of the Zoras. What?! Are you saying my father asked you to come her to save me? I'd never ask anyone to do such a thing! "Letter in a Bottle?" I have no idea what you're talking about! My father is worried about me? I don't care! Anyway, I can't go home right now. And you...Get out of here! Understand?!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "Link... I would have expected no less from the man I chose to be my husband. Zora's Domain and its people will eventually return to their original state. As a reward...I grant my eternal love to you. Well, that's what I want to say, but I don't think I can offer that now. I have to guard the Water Temple as the Sage of Water...And you...You're searching for the princess, Zelda? Hah! You can't hide anything from me! Princess Zelda...She's alive. I can sense it...so don't be discouraged. I can tell that nothing will stop you in your quest for justice and peace...You must take this Medallion...Take it respectfully!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "Zora's Fountain is the source of the river. Lord Jabu-Jabu lives in the fountain. Lord Jabu-Jabu is the patron deity of the Zoras. Princess Ruto is in charge of preparing his meals, morning and night." — Zora (Ocarina of Time)
- "We Zoras all respect the great King Zora! He has the dignity of a king. Oh yeah, he does. The grand King Zora has a Princess named Ruto. She's an only child. She's also a wild tomboy, and it seems like she's always causing the King a lot of trouble!" — Zora (Ocarina of Time)
- "They say that Ruto, the Zora Princess who is known for her selfish nature, likes a certain boy..." — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "My mother gave it to me and said I should give it only to the man who will be my husband. You might call it the Zora's Engagement Ring!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "You mean the Spiritual Stone of Water, Zora's Sapphire, don't you? My mother gave it to me and said I should give it only to the man who will be my husband. You might call it the Zora's Engagement Ring! All right! I'll give you my most precious possession: Zora's Sapphire! Don't tell my father..." — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "Oh, my dear, sweet Princess Ruto... Where has she gone? I'm so worried..." — King Zora (Ocarina of Time)
- "...Huh? It looks like there is something already inside this bottle. It's a letter: "Help me. I'm waiting for you inside Lord Jabu-Jabu's belly.—Ruto PS: Don't tell my father!"" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Ho, this letter! It's from Princess Ruto!! Hmmm... Let's see... She's inside Lord Jabu-Jabu? That's not possible! Our guardian god, Lord Jabu-Jabu, would never eat my dear Princess Ruto! But since that stranger, Ganondorf, came here, Lord Jabu-Jabu has been a little green around the gills... The evidence seems clear. Of course, you'll go find Ruto. You can pass through here to the altar of Lord Jabu-Jabu. I'll keep this letter. You keep the bottle it was in. Take it respectfully! Please find my dear Princess Ruto immediately... Zora!" — King Zora (Ocarina of Time)
- "You found Princess Ruto! Now King Zora will give you the Spiritual Stone of Water... Well, maybe. Huh?" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Are you still hanging around here? I told you to go away! I'm OK. I've been going inside Lord Jabu-Jabu's belly since I was little, but... Lord Jabu-Jabu is very strange today... There are electrified jellyfish and strange holes around... On top of that, my precious stone was... but... That's none of your business! Anyway... You! Go home now! Understand?!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "You're that worried about me? Then I will give you the honor of carrying me! However...I won't leave until I find the thing I'm looking for. You'd better believe me!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "You...You're late! What took you so long? You're useless! I was just lonely, that's all... Just a little!!" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "Oh, hi Link! You're all Princess Ruto will talk about lately!" — Zora (Ocarina of Time)
- "You! You looked cool...cooler than I thought you would, anyway... Just a little! Well, anyway, you saved me, so I guess I'll reward you. What do you wish? Just tell me..." — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "Her most precious possession? You don't know what she's talking about, but you've finally collected all three Spiritual Stones!! Go back to see Princess Zelda!" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "We meet again, Link... If you came here to meet the Zoras, you wasted your time... This is all there is... With one exception, the Zoras are all now sealed under this thick ice sheet... I managed to rescue the Zora princess from under the ice, but... she left to head for the Water Temple... This ice is created by an evil curse... The monster in the Water Temple is the source of the curse. Unless you shut off the source, this ice will never melt.... If you have courage enough to confront the danger and save the Zoras, I will teach you the melody that leads to the temple. Time passes, people move.... Like a river's flow, it never ends... A childish mind will turn to noble ambition... Young love will become deep affection... The clear water's surface reflects growth... Now listen to the Serenade of Water to reflect upon yourself.... Link... I'll see you again..." — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
- "Oh...you... If I'm right... Link?! You're Link, aren't you? It's me, your fiancée, Ruto! Princess of the Zoras! I never forgot the vows we made to each other seven years ago! You're a terrible man to have kept me waiting for these seven long years... But now is not the time to talk about love... I'm sure you've already seen it! Zora's Domain—totally frozen! A young man named Sheik saved me from under the ice... But my father and the other Zoras have not... yet... I want to save them all! I want to save Zora's Domain! You! You have to help me! This is a request from me, the woman who is going to be your wife! Link, you have to help me destroy the evil monster in the Temple, OK?! Inside the Water Temple, there are three places where you can change the water level. I'll lead the way. Follow me, quickly!!" — Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- "You received the Water Medallion! Ruto awakens as a Sage and adds her power to yours!" — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "If you see Sheik, please give him my thanks, OK?" — Princess Ruto (Ocarina of Time)
- Nintendo Dream: Eiji Aonuma Interview 1: "There’s a reference to King Zora (the king of the Zora race in Ocarina of Time; his official name is Do Bon, the third), and there are some pictures of the man from the fishing pond (the owner of a fishing business near Lake Hylia in Ocarina of Time)."
|Names in Other Regions|
|English||Sage of Water, Princess Ruto|
|Japanese||水の賢者、ルト姫 (Mizu no Kenja, Ruto-Hime)||Sage of Water, Princess Ruto|
|Spanish||Princesa Ruto, Sabia del agua|
|French||Sage de l'Eau, Princesse Ruto|
|French||Princesse Ruto, Sage de l'eau|
|German||Weise des Wassers,Prinzessin Ruto||Sage of Water, Princess Ruto|