- "Once upon a time, long ago, the Koroks took on human forms, but when they came to live on the sea, they took these shapes. Now they fear people... but to me, they will ever be my cherished little children."
- — Great Deku Tree
The Koroks, also known as the Forest Spirits, are a race from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Their home is the Forest Haven, and they evolved from the Kokiri species.
Most of the Koroks spend most of their lives far away from Forest Haven, planting the seeds of the Great Deku Tree; they only return to Forest Haven once a year for the Korok Ceremony, held when the Great Deku Tree bears seeds so they can take off again. The only Koroks that don't leave are Makar, who plays his little leaf violin at the ceremony and will become the Sage of Wind and Hollo, who studies potion-making and uses Boko Baba Seeds to concoct his brews. In addition, many of the Koroks are named after types of trees.
Koroks have small bodies that are about the size of a young human child. These bodies appear to be made of wood, and their faces are marked by what are either leaf-like structures or masks of varying colors, shapes, and sizes. Due to their light frame, they can easily fly with the assistance of a special sprout on the tops of their heads that is used like a helicopter's dorsal propeller, though they are only capable of flying for a short period of time.
The Koroks were once the human-shaped Kokiri, but when Hyrule was transformed into the Great Sea, they took on a more plant-like appearance. The Great Deku Tree says in the game, "Once upon a time, long ago, the Koroks took on human forms, but when they came to live on the sea, they took these shapes." Fado, the Sage of Wind and a Kokiri, is closely connected to Makar, his replacement as sage. Interestingly, the Kokiri never grow up, and the Great Deku Tree refers to the Koroks as "my cherished little children". The Koroks also have an optimistic, perhaps childlike disposition, a trait they share with the Kokiri. Similarly to the Kokiri, Koroks do not take lightly to outsiders, and in many cases are afraid of them.
The Koroks are first encountered by Link in Forest Haven, hiding in the branches of the Great Deku Tree. After Link defeats the ChuChu attacking the Great Deku Tree he is introduced to the Koroks who come out of hiding. Aware that Ganondorf has returned, the Great Deku Tree agrees to give Link Farore's Pearl after the Korok Ceremony, however he is informed that Korok Makar had ended up in the Forbidden Woods and asks Link to travel their and rescue him. After the Deku Tree gives Link the Deku Leaf, the Koroks help by teaching him how to fly with it and direct him to an area where he can jump off to fly to the Forbidden Woods. Link reaches the Forbidden Woods which he is informed used to be home to the Koroks' but was now overrun by monsters. Link manages to rescue Makar, who had been swallowed by the plant monster Kalle Demos. After rescuing Makar, Link is given Farore's Pearl following the Koroks ceremony. Most of the Koroks leave to plant the seeds to grow Forest Trees on various islands across the Great Sea while Makar and Hollo remain behind in Forest Haven with the Great Deku Tree. During his travels, Link learns that the Forest Trees planted by the Koroks are withering and require Forest Water to grow healthy. After meeting the ghost of the Kokiri Wind Sage, Fado, Link travels to Forest Haven and awakens Makar as the current Sage of Winds by conducting him to play the Wind God's Aria. Link and Makar then travel to the Wind Temple in order to restore the power to repel evil to the Master Sword. Link defeats Molgera and the power to repel evil is restored to the Master Sword.
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Though Koroks do not appear, they are referenced in the Wind and Earth Temples stage which features Korok Trees (the trees grown by Makar in The Wind Waker) and by the Korok Mask, a Fairy Clothing option for Companion Fairies.
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