- "We Zoras all serve the great King Zora."
- — Zora
King Zora is the title given throughout the Legend of Zelda series to the ruler of all of the Zora. They are all large, rotund male Zora, differing from the sleek, thin appearance of Zoras in general.
The Zora who gives Link a pair of Flippers in A Link to the Past is stated to be the Zora King in BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets. Whether or not he is truly the King Zora is unknown as he is never referred to such in A Link to the Past. It is also unknown if River Zoras and Sea Zoras have different government systems.
King Zora XVI is the lord of Zora's Domain and the father of Princess Ruto. Speaking to him with a certain item in a bottle is necessary to gain access to two dungeons in the game. To get Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly, Link must show him a message written by Princess Ruto. To get into the Water Temple as Adult Link without drowning, Link must thaw King Zora from a prison of Red Ice using Blue Fire, after which King Zora will reward him with the Zora Tunic, this can be avoided by buying the item for an expensive price at the shop in Zora's Domain. It is believed that Toto from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is his Terminan counterpart.
King Zora, ruler of the seas, is on his deathbed after Veran managed to turn the Fairy Queen into a monster and polluted the water. However, Link gives him a Magic Potion to heal him and eventually restores the water. King Zora gives him permission to enter Jabu-Jabu's Belly and retrieve the Essences of Time located there.
In this game, the Zora have a Queen, named Queen Rutela, who was executed during the events of Zant's invasion of Hyrule. She was married to the King of the Zora, who died before the events of the game. His grave is located behind Kakariko Graveyard, where the treasured Zora Armor is being kept. It is not known if the King of the Zora of whom is spoken in this game is the same as the one in Ocarina of Time, but it is likely one of his descendants. After Prince Ralis, son of the king and queen, returns to Zora's Domain from Kakariko Village, he assumes the position of ruler of the Zora.
In Breath of the Wild, King Dorephan is the current ruler of the Zora. He is the father of Prince Sidon and the Princess Mipha who was the Zora Champion. He is thus the first King Zora in the series to have more than one child. As Mipha was his first born child and heir apparent, Mipha was originally the next in line for the throne, though tragically she was killed in the Vah Ruta corrupted by Calamity Ganon during the Great Calamity one hundred years prior, leaving his youngest child Prince Sidon as the heir to the throne.
As Zora are shown to have longer lifespans than Hylians, King Dorephan has ruled over the Zora for over one hundred years, and was king before Great Calamity. After his one hundred years sleep in the Shrine of Resurrection, Link meets again King Dorephan who still reigns over the Zora, making him the longest known reigning King Zora. This indicates the lifespan of the Zora can exceed more than one century as King Dorephan and Prince Sidon are alive after Mipha's death. As Link had first visited Zora's Domain as a four year old Hylian swordsman prodigy and befriended many Zora children including Mipha who eventually feel in love with the Hylian, King Dorephan considers Link an old family friend who as a teenager aided the Zora in the past with dealing with a Lynel from Ploymus Mountain that terrorized them before the Great Calamity. However like most people King Dorephan assumed Link and Princess Zelda had perished along with Mipha and the other Champions, though was pleased to learn of their survival and quickly sought Link's aid in combating Vah Ruta giving him the Zora Armor Mipha had made for Link in accordance with Zora tradition of Princesses creating armor for their future husbands as Mipha intended to marry Link after Calamity Ganon was defeated. King Dorephan understood the significance of the armor and gave it to Link as it was originally intended for him and allowed Sidon to explain Mipha's true feelings to Dorephan's advisor and Mipha's former teacher Muzu. Like his son and the younger generation of Zora adults, King Dorephan remained loyal to Hyrule and did not blame the Hylians or Link for his daughter's death as Dorephan had permitted Mipha to become a Champion with his blessing though later regretted it following her death. However King Dorephan recognized that Ganon was a threat to all of Hyrule and noted before the Great Calamity the Zora must act to defend it following the example of the Zora Sage Princess Ruto who fought alongside the Hero of Time. Dorephan saw similarities between Mipha and Ruto, believing Mipha was fated to play a similar role before the Great Calamity. After Vah Ruta and Mipha's spirit is freed following Link's defeat of her murderer Waterblight Ganon, King Dorephan rewards Link with Mipha's Lightscale Trident which can be reforged by its creator Dento if it breaks. Following Dark Beast Ganon's defeat, Princess Zelda and Link visit Zora's Domain to meet with Dorephan as she would likely require his support in proving she is the Princess Zelda from a century prior, thus the legitimate heir of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Presumably he and Sidon also began working with Link, Zelda, and their allies both new and old in rebuilding the kingdom of Hyrule.
The Zora Stone Monuments written by King Dorephan mention the Zora Kings who preceded him and their role in Zora history, such as the East Reservoir Lake construction built to stop the flooding of Hyrule ten thousands years prior and monitored by each subsequent Kings, or the story of the invasion of Zora's Domain by an army lead by a Lizalfos general and how the King Zora was saved by the "Miracle of the White Scale" which lead to the tradition of Zora Princesses crafting armor for their future husbands. On the one hundredth anniversary of Dorephan's reign, King Dorephan was forced to defend his people from a Guardian that had wandered into Lanayru Great Spring through Upland Zorana. Though his kingdom's knights fought bravely their weapons had no effect causing King Dorephan to bravely confront the Guardian alone which he managed to lift using his supernatural strength and threw into a ravine destroying it. He earned a scar on his head during the battle which came to be viewed among the Zora as a well earned badge of honor. This makes King Dorephan one of the few individuals capable of besting a Guardian in single combat.
King Zora XVI is featured as a sticker. His sticker gives a +33 bonus to electric resistance.
Though he doesn't physically appear in the game King Zora XVI's throne room appears in the Lake Hylia stage and in Temple of Souls stage busts of his face appear on the temple's north fountain.