The focus of GameXplain’s latest entry to their “Know Your Enemy” video series, which explores the origins and development of various enemies from video games, is the Moblin—an enemy that appears throughout the Zelda series in either a bulldog- or pig- type form. With a design inspired by goblins, GameXplain mentions their Japanese name “Moriburin” is a combination of the Japanese words “mori” and “goburin”, which mean “forest” and “goblin” respectively. This is also why they mainly appear in wooded areas in the original Legend of Zelda game.
When the name was localized for the English version of The Legend of Zelda, the translators made the mistake of mixing up the “L’s” and “R’s” of the Japanese language, which resulted in the name “Molblin”. The mistake was corrected at the release of A Link to the Past, and the English name Moblin has been used ever since. Also in A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds, Moblins only appear in the Dark Word and Lorule, respectively. Their abundance in the Dark World suggests their direct link to Ganon rather than just being random monsters throughout Hyrule.
As time progressed, Moblins appearances in games slowly diminished. For example, they weren’t included in Majora’s Mask at all. However, with the release of The Wind Waker, Moblins quickly gained popularity again and present themselves as Ganon’s main soldier. We even see a love story develop between Moe, a guard Moblin of The Forsaken Fortress, and Maggie, the innocently abducted child of Windfall Island. A reference to their relationship can be found in The Minish Cap by visiting the Royal Hyrule Library and looking at the list of weekly top titles. Here you will find a book entitled “Married to the Moblin.” It cannot be read, however.
To learn more be sure to watch the entire video!