- This article is about the recurring race. For the character from A Link to the Past, see Zora. For the recurring enemies in the Legend of Zelda series, see River Zora.
- "The Zoras come from Zora's Domain in northeast Hyrule. An aquatic race, they are longtime allies of Hyrule's Royal Family. I heard that only the Royal Family of Hyrule can enter Zora's Domain..."
- — Kaepora Gaebora
The Zora (ゾーラ Zōra?), sometimes referred to as "Sea Zora" to differentiate them from their hostile River Zora counterparts, are a recurring race in the Legend of Zelda series. Zoras are aquatic, blue-skinned humanoid creatures that exist in Hyrule, Labrynna and Termina. They are incredibly skilled natural swimmers. The appearance of Zoras can vary greatly; some are large and round, like King Zora XVI, while others are slender and small, such as Prince Ralis.
Zoras are divided into two known major subspecies: the River Zoras, and the Sea Zoras. River Zoras are known as the hostile enemy race that pop out of the water and fire energy balls at Link; whereas the peaceful Zoras are the Sea Zoras. The two differ physically. Despite their names, both types of Zora are known to inhabit both the ocean/sea and bodies of fresh water. In the Adult Link Timeline, the Zora evolved into Rito.
Interestingly, a symbol identical to the Mark of Nayru is sometimes associated with the Zora race.
While still generally humanoid, the Zoras resemble various marine creatures in their body structure. Most of them wear no clothes, but certain members of their species do wear clothing, or, as shown by the Zora guards in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a helmet that completely encases their head. They are generally covered in silver scales, which give them a pale blue sheen from a distance, and have dark blue spots on their extremities. Where humans sometimes have long hair, average Zoras have rear-hanging caudal extensions of their heads shaped like the tails of dolphins, perhaps as a cephalic form of dorsal fin. These tails undulate periodically, which gives a Zora's head the unique semblance of a fish. In Twilight Princess, the dorsal-like fins are much smaller. Zoras have two large ulnar fins located distally on their forearms, and some have smaller fins at their ankles. They are sometimes depicted as having webbed feet and hands. They lack ears in the traditional sense, but do have pronounced noses. In previous games in the series, Zoras had no visible gills, yet could breathe underwater, but in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Zoras had gills on their ribs, analogous to the placement of lungs on a human. Also in Twilight Princess, all the Zoras shown have green eyes. As with many races, Zoras who are important to the storyline are physically distinct from the general members of their species.
It seems that male Zoras in a dominant position in their society tend to be much larger and rounder, as demonstrated by King Zora XVI from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Toto from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and the King Zora from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. The kings are the obvious leaders of their race, and Toto is a well respected manager. Prince Ralis, the young Zora royal in Twilight Princess, is an aberration from this tendency, although this may be because he is still a child.
The gender of common Zoras is not well defined in the video games, as their physical appearance is not wholly conclusive on the matter. Princess Ruto and Lulu are known females, and have distinctly rounder, or feminine body features. The two also have visible ears and wide heads, similar to those of Hammerhead Sharks, with extra eyes on the sides. Like many people in Hyrule and Termina however, these two characters are nearly identical in appearance, meaning their consistent physical features are a result of their equivalency to one another, and may not be an indicator that all other female Zora would share such an appearance.
Queen Rutela is also female. Her appearance is different from that of Ruto and Lulu, as she lacks their wide head and extra eyes. Her head and face are much more humanoid (her overall appearance seems to be based off that of mermaids), and she has what appear to be coral-like growths which give her the impression of having hair. She seems to have a distinct red coloration/aura, although she appears as a ghost and thus her coloration in life is not truly known. In Twilight Princess, a Zora referred to as "she" helps with the river boat-rental on Zora's River. This female Zora appears to have a slightly pinkish tint to her, perhaps to help clarify her gender. It is also notable that many of the Zoras encountered in Twilight Princess can be seen within a body of water, and their bodies emanate colorful glow, possibly a form of bioluminescence, that the Zoras on land do not show; this may also be the case with the female Zora that helps run the Zora's River boat rental. Laruto, the former Earth Sage in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, who is also female, isn't as physically distinct as Ruto, Lulu, or Rutela. Many of generic Zoras in Twilight Princess had female voice acting, though it was indistinct.
Certain other features of the Zora anatomy are revealed when the player can inhabit the body of the Zora Mikau in Majora's Mask. When Link assumes his streamlined Zora form he can swim with great ease and agility, using his forearm fins to perform barrel rolls or to jump out of the water. Moreover, these fins are specialized for Link's fighting needs. They can grow larger to serve as sharp-edged weapons similar to swords, and even be projected as twin boomerangs; they retract again when not in use. Link's right fin also grows to become his shield when defending. Additionally, Zoras who possess magical power have the ability to create electric fields around their bodies as a defense mechanism when swimming, much like electric eels. This ability has only been seen and used in Majora's Mask. All Zoras are powerful swimmers, and one in Twilight Princess is seen swimming up a waterfall.
It is also revealed in Majora's Mask that Zoras lay eggs to reproduce. Zora eggs need to be kept in cold, clean water in order to develop healthily, and every egg from the same clutch must be kept together in order for them to hatch. Newborn Zoras are tadpole-like with a circular body and a long, skinny tail ending in a fluke.
Additional information about the Zora is revealed through the condition of Prince Ralis in Twilight Princess. While en route to speak with Princess Zelda at Hyrule Castle, the young Ralis was waylaid by warriors of Zant. As a result, Ralis was kept away from the water for too long and fell ill. It would thus seem that there is a limit to the amount of time a Zora can safely spend away from the water without risking serious harm. The Zoras outside Lake Hylia when it is drained also seem worried about the lake eventually drying up, another hint at the Zoras' waterbound condition.
Zora government is monarchical, as illustrated by King Zora XVI, the sole ruler of the Zoras in Ocarina of Time; another King Zora in Oracle of Ages; and Queen Rutela, the deceased ruler of the Zoras in Twilight Princess. Queen Rutela mentions that her husband, King Zora, died some time ago. The Zora Royal Family is responsible for maintaining order among their people, overseeing care of their patron deity, Lord Jabu-Jabu, seen in Ocarina of Time and Oracle of Ages, and assuring that the waters upon which he and all creatures rely are clean and pure. No Zora government is shown in Majora's Mask, leaving it a mystery how, if at all, the Zora in Termina are governed.
Zoras take a drastic turn from the ones in the earlier games, in which they were called 'River Zora' or 'Zora's Spawn', depending upon the game. In those games, they were more monstrous, and breathed magic fire, while in the 3D games, they are blue and scaled, with a more gentle look, and a decidedly more amiable disposition. Zoras primarily reside in the Zora's Domain, while some may appear in Lake Hylia. They can exist both in and out of water, but they are best adapted to life in the water. There are two Zora scales obtainable in Ocarina of Time; the Silver Scale, from the Zoras in Zora's Domain as a reward for winning the diving minigame, and the Golden Scale, a reward for catching a nine pound fish at the Fishing Pond.
Seven years in the future in this game, the Zoras, with the recent exception of Princess Ruto, are trapped within a sheet of ice in the Ice Cavern, although King Zora XVI and the local shopkeeper can be saved with Blue Fire. They are an extremely proud race, and allow no outsiders to enter their domain unless they have some connection with Hyrule's Royal Family.
The Zoras remain, for the most part, exactly the same as the Zoras in Ocarina of Time, except they reside in Termina. The only unique Zoras are the members of The Indigo-Go's and their manager. Most Zoras are found in the Zora Hall, located in the Great Bay. Link is also able to transform into a Zora via the Zora Mask. Interestingly, the Terminan Zoras appear to have no monarchy and apparently, no government at all, although it's possible that they have one located somewhere else in Great Bay as the only Zora building shown is Zora Hall.
In both The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, River Zoras appear as enemies, acting exactly as past Zoras. However, there are also Zoras that are similar to the ones in Ocarina of Time in Oracle of Ages. In that game, the more gentle Zoras make a distinction between them and the monstrous Zoras, claiming that they are "river Zoras" as opposed to noble "sea Zoras".
In Oracle of Ages, Zoras live in an underwater city, which Link can access after he has acquired the Mermaid Suit. In Present time, King Zora has perished, and Lord Jabu-Jabu is a large fish, but without King Zora's consent, Link cannot enter Jabu-Jabu's Belly. In the Past, the king is gravely ill, and requires a Potion in order to survive. Link can get one from Syrup, Maple or a Gasha Nut, and once the king is given it, he gets better. Link asks King Zora to allow him entrance into Jabu-Jabu to get an Essence of Time, but Jabu-Jabu is too small. However Link can go into the future, and gain access to the mature Jabu-Jabu. Zoras only appear in Oracle of Seasons through a linked game, and will give Link an item. There is also an old Zora who lives far away from the Zora City. He will give Link the Broken Sword in exchange for a Sea Ukulele. Despite being from a very aquatic and fish-like race, he has a beard and moustache.
Zoras are supposedly extinct in The Wind Waker. However, according to Zelda director Eiji Aonuma, the Rito are evolutionary descendants of Zoras. This can be seen in the game by the fact that Medli is the descendant of an ancient Sage, Laruto, who is a Zora. Ritos are bird people, who gain their wings through acquiring a scale from Valoo. Another detail to support this is the Zora emblem on Medli's dress. The only actual Zora in the game is Laruto, who appears only as a ghost.
The Zoras once again reside in Zora's Domain. The Domain was raided by Shadow Beasts under Zant, and Queen Rutela was killed to show their power. The Domain then became frozen, blocking water from flowing down the river. Once Link and Midna arrive, they must warp a flaming boulder from Death Mountain into the center of the Domain in order to get the water to flow again and unfreeze the area. Also, the race has warriors that carry spears and wear fish-shaped helmets.
The prince of the Zoras, Prince Ralis, fled to Hyrule Castle Town in order to escape capture by the Beasts, and as a result of staying away from water too long, became ill. Ilia and Telma attempt to nurse him to health, but, unsuccessful, bring him to Renado in Kakariko Village with the help of Link. The spirit of Queen Rutela in response grants Link the Zora Armor so he can swim and breathe underwater.
Later on, Link can find Zoras near Death Mountain, mostly in the hot springs. Interestingly, most of the Zora's encountered in Twilight Princess have feminine sounding vocal effects.
As in The Wind Waker, there are no Zoras, or Rito for that matter. However, there are Zora scales and crowns in the game that Link can buy and sell. The crowns are known as Ruto Crowns and Zora Scale, two of many Treasures that Link can sell to the Treasure Teller for a varying price of Rupees. Both are said to have been worn by a princess of the Zora. This is strange, as all crowns that Link find are described in the same way.
The Ruto Crown reappears, but the Zora Scale does not.
Zoras appear in much the same fashion as in A Link to the Past, as River Zoras that serve as both enemies and characters. They are ruled by their queen, Oren, who has had her Smooth Gem stolen by the Shady Guy. Once Link returns it, she rewards him with the Zora's Flippers, allowing him to swim in deep water. However, she warns Link that some Zoras may remain hostile toward him, due to their territorial nature. Later in the game, Oren is turned into a painting by Yuga as a part of his plot to revive Ganon. Link later rescues her and awakens her as a sage in Lorule's Swamp Palace.
Zora in Breath of the Wild are very similar to the Zora from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, though they have a slightly more shark-like appearance. They have their own kingdom, the Zora's Domain, which is ruled by the King Dorephan. Zora's Domain is said to have been founded by the Zora at least ten thousand years ago according to the Zora Stone Monument. In the past, Zora's Domain was plagued by occasional flooding which caused damage to both Zora's Domain and areas downriver from it, forcing the unnamed King Zora of that period to seek the aid of the King of Hyrule, and together they decided to construct the East Reservoir Lake to prevent further flooding and the Zora promised to watch the Reservoir's water level, a promise kept by each subsequent King Zora for over 10,000 years. As a result, the East Reservoir Lake came to signify the Zora's bond with the Hylians and Kingdom of Hyrule. At some point, the Sheikah gave the Zora the Divine Beast Vah Ruta which was piloted by an unnamed Zora Champion during the battle against Calamity Ganon that lead to his defeat 10,000 years prior to the events of Breath of the Wild. Additionally, despite existing ancient times even before Vah Ruta or the Great Calamity, the legend of the Sage Princess Ruto is remembered by the Zora and the Divine Beast Vah Ruta is revealed to have been named "Ruta" in her honor. In another Zora Stone Monument, tells the tale of another unnamed King Zora who was forced to lead an army of Zora Knights against a group of monsters lead by a Lizalfos general. Knowing her husband's lack of skill at the art of war, his queen secretly sewn one of her white scales (scales unique to female Zora) into his armor, hoping her love would protect him. When the King and his army engaged the Lizalfos General and its army, the King was almost killed by the Lizalfos General, though fortunately just as the Lizalfos was about to deliver a deathblow to the King, an errant sunbeam hit the scale sewn into his armor, blinding the general, giving the King the opportunity to rally his army and defeat the general, resulting in a great victory for the Zora. This event became known historically as the "Miracle of the White Scale" and lead to the traditional custom of Zora Princesses crafting Zora Armor for their future husbands.
Before the Great Calamity, their royal family was comprised of the King, his daughter the Zora Champion Princess Mipha, and his youngest child, Prince Sidon. Link is revealed to have been close friend and ally to the Zora Royal Family and was close to Mipha. It is implied by a worn Zora Stone Monument that as a Knight of Hyrule, Link came to the aid of Zora's Domain when it was attacked by a Lynel from Ploymus Mountain and managed to drive off the beast, somehow obtaining the Zora Helm in the process which was later enshrined at Toto Lake in honor of Link's heroism. Mipha was famous for her innate healing ability Mipha's Grace and the skill with which she wielded the Lightscale Trident which was created for Mipha by the blacksmith Dento. After the Royal Family of Hyrule learned of a prophecy foretelling the imminent return of Calamity Ganon, Princess Mipha was selected by Princess Zelda and Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule to be the Zora Champion who would pilot Vah Ruta which Mipha had bonded with, causing King Dorephan to note the similarities between Princess Ruto and his daughter, which caused him to believe her selection was the work of fate. Many of the young Zora at that time are implied to have looked up to Link who often played with the Big Bad Bazz Brigade a group of children lead by Bazz who idolized Link. Bazz himself is even revealed to have learned swordsmanship from Link. Bazz himself is the son of Sargent Seggin of the Zora Knights, a legendary Zora Knight known as the Demon Sargent and mentor of Princess Mipha whom Seggin viewed as a surrogate daughter. Seggin is known for his strong resistance to electricity which is normally fatal to Zora, as he is the only Zora capable of touching and using Shock Arrows, though even his legendary shock resistance has its limits.
As she was killed during the Great Calamity, most of the Zora Council of Elders began to resent Hylians, blaming them for Mipha's death, while the younger adult who are at least 100 years old and Zora born after the Calamity do not hold Link responsible for Mipha's death and do not share the elder's prejudice towards Hylians. In their grief the Zora attempted to send the Lightscale Trident down Zora's River in the hope Mipha's spirit would find peace, but miraculously the trident glowed and Mipha's spirit spoke to them saying "The Lightscale Trident and I are one... Abandon your grief and know joy once again. Do not cry...just remember." In accordance to Mipha's wishes the Zora venerated the Lightscale Trident and created the Champion Festival to honor and remember Mipha on the anniversary of her death. The Ceremonial Trident a replica of the Lightscale Trident was created to be used for ceremonial purposes while the Lightscale Trident was kept by King Dorephan along with the Zora Armor crafted by Mipha, which she had secretly made for Link, a fact which only King Dorephan and Prince Sidon where aware of. Additionally a statue of Mipha wielding the Lightscale Trident was placed in the town square of Zora's Domain as a memorial to the late Princess. Bazz and his fellow Bazz Brigade members Rivan and Gaddison went on to grow up and become Zora Knights, with Bazz becoming a Zora Knight Captain who guards the throne room of Zora's Domain not unlike his mentor Link who was a Royal Knight Captain of Princess Zelda's personal guard. Seggin eventually retired from the military by the time Link awakens, though like the other elders holds Link responsible and refuses to accept help from Hylians. During the Age of Burning Fields 100 years after he had ascended to the throne, King Dorephan defended Zora's Domain from a Guardian Stalker which had strayed from Upland Zorana into Zora's Domain, after his soldiers weapons proved ineffective against the corrupted ancient machine. Without concern for his own safety and using his supernatural strength, King Dorephan grabbed the Guardian and threw it down ravine destroying the Guardian, receiving only a scar on his forehead, which became seen as a badge of honor among the Zora which was well earned and makes him one of the few people known to be capable of defeating a Guardian including Link, Robbie, and Princess Zelda (after awakening her powers). Additionally, some time during the Age of Burning Fields, Prince Sidon heard of a giant Octorok in Hateno Bay that was plaguing the fisherman of Lurelin Village. Wielding his Silverscale Spear Sidon confronted the beast which is said to have been the size of a mountain. Sidon skillfully dodged a rock spit by the beast, but the beast managed to suck him in and swallow him. Just as it seemed the Sidon would meet the same fate as other would-be heroes that had attempted to slay the beast, the beast began to twist in pain, as Prince Sidon used has spear to stab the Octorok's stomach with his trident repeatedly, causing the beast to cough him up and scrambled to escape only to be slain by the prince who's heroics would be pasted down among the fisherman of Hateno Bay as the tale of "The Prince Who Slew the Fell Octorok". At some point King Dorephan commissioned Jiahto the Zora stone mason to record the History of the Zora as told by King Dorephan himself on the Zora Stone Monuments, which were placed all over Lanayru Great Spring region around Zora's Domain.
Eventually, when the Divine Beast Vah Ruta which had become dormant after Zelda sealed herself and Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle, began producing an uncontrollable rainstorm that threatened to flood the East Reservoir Lake, causing Prince Sidon to set out to recruit a Hylian to help him take the Divine Beast down after an attack by Sidon and the retired Demon Sargent Seggin failed to stop the beast. At first he tried to recruit the Goron Reagah before he realized the Goron would be too heavy for him to carry, causing Sidon to settle on finding a Hylian. When Link meets him, he then goes to speak with the king or can be found in the throne room of Zora's Domain if Link does not encounter him before reaching Zora's Domain. Seggin himself can be found training himself by touching a Shock Arrow and remains determined to stop Vah Ruta without Link's help, though this is implied to be due to his sense of honor and desire to bring peace to Mipha's soul by stopping Vah Ruta. When Link meets with his father, Sidon is surprised to learn his father and Muzu already know Link, as he was apparently too young to remember Link himself though is pleased to learn Link is the Hylian Champion, one of his sister's comrades. King Dorephan is happy to learn of Link's survival, treating him like an old friend and ally, demonstrating how close the Hylian Champion was to the Zora Royal Family. King Dorephan is shocked to learn of Link's amnesia, but does his best to explain the situation and requests his aid in stopping Vah Ruta, which threats to flood Zora's Domain with torrential rain produced from storm clouds it blows from its snot. King Zora explains that it is his family's duty to protect East Reservoir Lake and prevent it from over flooding a promise which has been kept for ten thousand years.
The king's advisor, Muzu, is initially rude and hateful toward Link like Seggin and most of the Council of Elders. Muzu is not pleased by King Dorephan's decision to seek Link's aid as he holds the Hylians responsible for failing to prevent the Great Calamity which lead to Mipha's death. He is also incensed when King Dorephan gives Link the Zora Armor and runs off, failing to notice it fits Link perfectly. King Dorephan apologizes for Muzu's behavior though points out that Mipha was beloved and her death hit everyone who loved her hard. King Dorephan reveals that thanks to Princess Zelda's research they know that the rain clouds produced by Vah Ruta can be stopped by activating its water pumps which can be activated by attacking four orbs with Shock Arrows. However Dorephan explains that even Shock resistant Zora like Seggin can only use Shock Arrows briefly and Seggin was unable to endure firing enough Shock Arrows to activate the orbs, thus explaining Sidon's desire to seek out a Hylian. Knowing that Link possesses the ability to calm the Divine Beasts due to his status as the Hylian Champion and fully aware of Link's formidable fighting abilities, King Dorephan is confident is more than capable of handling the task. Like his son, King Dorephan is shown to retain a positive opinion of Hylians due in part to his family's close association with Link and friendship with the Royal Family of Hyrule whom he remains loyal to even after it fell during the Great Calamity. He also remains a stanch opponent to Calamity Ganon and his forces, having managed to lead his people during turbulent times, proving himself to be great leader and military commander who is willing to put his own life on the line to protect his Kingdom and people, not unlike his daughter, his predecessors, and Hylian counterparts in the Royal Family of Hyrule. Like his father and sister, Prince Sidon is shown to be courageous and eager to defend his people and other races, though he can at times come across as blunt and somewhat pompous to those who do not know him personally. While Sidon respects the Council of Elders, he is wise enough to realize the foolishness of not working together with the Hylians as the corrupted Vah Ruta poses a threat to both their people, as the flooding would likely effect areas downstream from Zora's Domain. This has caused many of the elders to be angry at Sidon for his wiliness to swallow his pride and seek the aid of Hylians. However many of the younger Zora, especially many of Sidon's female admirers.
After Muzu runs off, Sidon tries to convince him to help. Once Muzu is told that Mipha had been in love with Link as proven by the Zora Armor which Sidon points out was made by Mipha to fit him perfectly, he softens toward him slightly and is begrudgingly willing to help him out of feelings of loyalty towards Mipha whom he realized would want him to aid Link and Sidon in stopping Vah Ruta. While speaking to Muzu and Sidon, Link recovers his memories of Mipha and remembers the time he and Mipha rode on top of Vah Ruta when she spoke to him about the impending battle with Ganon and their potential future, during which time Mipha's feelings for him are evident. Muzu advises Link to collect Shock Arrows on Ploymus Mountain though warns him to beware of the Lynel living there (it is unclear if this Lynel is the same one who Link drove off one hundred years earlier or a descendant of it). After obtaining the Shock Arrows he needs, Link meets Prince Sidon at the lake reservoir and riding on his back as he swims through the lake, attacks Vah Ruta which attacks the pair with ice blocks Link can break with the Cryonis Rune like he can with blocks create by Cryonis. As the battle carries on the Divine Beasts will attack with spiked balls of ice which can also be broken with Cryonis but are partially submerged making hitting them more difficult. After activating all the water pumps, Link can enter Vah Ruta where he encounters Mipha's killer Waterblight Ganon the phantom scourge of Ganon corrupting Vah Ruta. Ultimately, Link avenges Mipha by slaying the beast, which frees both Vah Ruta and Mipha's spirit who rewards Link with the power of Mipha's Grace. After defeating Waterblight Ganon and freeing Vah Ruta, Link is viewed as a hero to all of the Zora and the elders are no longer hostile towards Link and Hylians. King Dorephan thanks Link by giving him the Lightscale Trident which can be reforged by Dento if it breaks. The Lightscale Trident is the strongest of the Zora made Spears. Link can also find the Ceremonial Trident in the waters under Zora's Domain, which he learns was apparently dropped by the Elder Trello. Link is unable to return it to Trello allowing him to keep it. Though weaker than the Lightscale Trident it can be reforged by Dento as well.
Following Link's defeat of Calamity Ganon, the now free Princess Zelda and Link pay a visit to Zora's Domain to visit King Dorephan and Prince Sidon, presumably to pay their respects and seek their aid in rebuilding the Kingdom of Hyrule in the wake of Ganon's defeat, indicating that the Zora and Hylians will continue to work together for the benefit of all of Hyrule.
Interestingly it seems that they have naturally long lifespans, as many of both the younger and older looking Zora remember Link from one hundred years ago, one Zora child refers to Link as being a "kid" compared to them (though this child does not realize Link himself is over 100 years old, but looks much younger than he really is due to his aging being halted during his one hundred year Slumber of Restoration), and one stone tablet also notes that King Dorephan had ruled for "only" one century when the tablet was created. It is implied by Finley that some of the Zora children in Zora's Domain may not be as young as they appear as Finley states she is at that awkward Zora age where despite being a young woman she has yet to have her growth spurt during which time it is implied that Zora reach full maturity. Most of the older Zora who where adults during the Great Calamity are shown to have aged to the point they are elderly, while 100 year old Zora are shown to still be in their prime, though most of them are implied to have been children during the Great Calamity. Zora less than 100 years old like Dunma shown to be old enough to reach full maturity, indicating that Zora reach maturity at some point before reaching 100 years though it is never explained at which age Zora fully mature. It is unknown if this aging applies to Zora from past games, though it is possible that Young Ruto was a lot older than her child form in Ocarina of Time suggests and reached maturity sometime during the seven years the Hero of Time slept in the Temple of Time, which would explain why she was Lord Jabu-Jabu's attendant in her young despite her child-like appearance. Note Zora's having longer lifespans may be a reference to their fish-like appearance as certain species of fish are known to have long life spans.
Mipha is a nod Hero of Time and Princess Ruto being engaged in Ocarina of Time, as like Ruto, Mipha is implied to have viewed Link as a potential husband, as Mipha is said to have created the Zora Armor especially for him as it fits him perfectly and follows Zora Royal Family tradition of Zora Princesses crafting armor for their future husbands. Link's recovered memory of Mipha implies that she may have planned to ask Link to marry her after they dealt with Calamity Ganon, though this ultimately never occurred due to the Great Calamity and Mipha's tragic death, thus making Mipha's death all the more tragic. It is implied that the two where quite close, though it is unknown if Link shared the same romantic feelings for Mipha. However Mipha is not the only female Zora to have been smitten with Link in Breath of the Wild as Kodah reveals she too once had feelings for Link who she affectionately refers to by the nickname "Linny" and even wanted him to choose between her and Princess Mipha, though after Link was thought to have perished during the Great Calamity, Kodah moved on and ended up marrying Kayden another Zora whom she is happily married too, and now considers views platonically as an old friend and along with her former rival Mipha considers both Link and Mipha to be heroes who held back the Great Calamity. Interestingly, like her mother Finley ends up falling for a person she has been sending letters to from the Bank of Wishes and receiving replies from, who Link discovers to be a Hylian Sasan. This shows that female Zora can be attracted to Hylians and implies that romance between Hylians and Zora does occasionally occur, though it is unknown how such relationship work out nor how they are viewed by others and it is unclear if reproduction between Zora and Hylians is possible (though Mipha was the crown Princess her potential marriage to Link would not have been too much of an issue as she had a younger brother and both her brother and father are implied to be accepting of her feelings for Link) or not as no relationships are shown to move beyond courting and engagement.
Like the Knights of Hyrule, the Zora have their own knights who defend Zora's Domain. Zora tend to favor spears and tridents over swords and shields, though Zora made swords and Zora made Silver Shield also exist. Zora weaponry is generally very ornate and artistic though are forged of very durable and rust-proof metal. The Zora Sword is a straight single handed sword while the Silver Longsword is a curved two-handed sword which is popular among Hylians for its unique design. The Silver Shield is adorn with intricate ornamentation and it is said that true masters of it can redirect attacks as a rock redirects rushing water. The Silver Bow is favored by the Zora for bowfishing, though doesn't have a lot of firepower, as it is made of special metal that prioritizes its durability. The Zora Spear is the standard issue Zora spear, while only the most skilled Zora fighters wield the stronger Silverscale Spear which features a unique beautiful fish-tail design which belies its impressive strength, as the spearhead can pierce even the toughest of scales. The Ceremonial Trident is identical to the Lightscale Trident in terms of appearance, though is inferior to it in terms of strength and durability, though is still stronger than the Silverscale Spear. Ironically all Zora weapons, bow, and shield are metallic and attract lightning during thunderstorms, which is odd considering how dangerous electricity is to Zora and their tendency to sink in water, though presumably their lack of buoyancy is so they can be used in underwater combat and their sinking would not be an issue for the Zora due to their ability to breath underwater as well as their natural talent for swimming and diving.
It is implied that the Zora in Breath of the Wild are capable of living in both fresh and salt water as Prince Sidon is known to have fought an Octorok in Hateno Bay which is located in the Necluda Sea. However they are implied to prefer fresh clean waters of Lanayru Great Spring region. At least one Zora can be encountered in Lake Hylia, though due to distance between Lanayru Great Spring and Lake Hylia it does not seem to hold the same cultural significance as it did in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. Interestingly, no Zora vai are shown visiting Gerudo Town, which is open to "vai" (women) of all races, though it is implied that the desert conditions would be too extreme and uninviting for the Zora due to the dryness of the desert and extreme climate shifts of hot desert sun during the day and cold desert nights, any one of which could be potentially lethal to the Zora who are implied to require water to survive.
According to Zelda director Eiji Aonuma, the Rito are the evolved form of the Zora. This half-bird, half-human race makes multiple references to the Zora, which further confirms this evolution. The most convincing is the fact that Medli shares the bloodline of the Zora Earth Sage Laruto, just like how Makar is a Korok, a descendant of the Kokiri like Fado. Also, the symbol of the Zora's Sapphire, which is used as the Zora's royal family symbol, can be seen in multiple places on the Ritos' home of Dragon Roost Isle. It is also on the clothes worn by some Ritos. Also, in their general physiology, Zoras and Ritos have many similarities. For example, the Rito have wings that hang down at their elbows, and the Zoras have fins at the same place.
It is unknown why this change would have occurred, since the Zoras in Oracle of Ages have been shown to be able to live in the sea off the coast of the island of Labrynna. However, unlike the Great Sea, the Zoras seemed to be living in a controlled environment without interruption from other sea dwellers. As seen in Majora's Mask, the Zora have trouble living in water that is murky or not at optimal temperature, thus suggesting that the change in water conditions might have forced them to evolve. Also, as the Great Sea is quoted as being mainly devoid of fish to catch, it is possible that the Zoras' main food source dried up, forcing them to become land creatures. As the Great Sea is filled with numerous monsters and other dangerous marine life forms, the Zora might have been forced to evolve in order to avoid being eaten or, at least, constantly attacked. This would explain why they now had to fly over the water, rather than swim through it. A small rumor states that the goddesses did not want anyone to find Hyrule hidden beneath the Great Sea, and as Zoras would have found the land quite quickly, the goddesses evolved the Zora on their own. However, because of the appearance of Fishmen, who are also sentient beings that live in water, this appears to be untrue.
Princess Ruto appears as a playable character. Additionally she has a Dark shadowy Doppelgänger called Dark Ruto that appears as an enemy in Adventure Mode. Fountains in the shape of King Zora XVI appear in the Temple of Souls stage. Princess Ruto also has recolors of her Standard Outfit based on Lulu, Queen Rutela, and Laruto.
A Zora from Ocarina of Time is featured as a sticker. The sticker gives a +31 bonus to launch power and can be applied to any character.
- "A race of merfolk who protect Zora's Fountain, they are led by King Zora. They worship a giant fish, Jabu-Jabu, and it is the job of the strong-willed Princess Ruto to tend to him. Unlike some rather hostile Zora in Link's past, these Zora are quite friendly and helpful."
- — Trophy Description
Zora from Ocarina of Time 3D appears as a trophy in the 3DS version of the game.
The name "Zora" may originate from the fish called the remora. It could also have been inspired by Zora Neale Hurston, an early 20th-century American writer, given the inspiration for "Zelda" is Zelda Fitzgerald.
Zora or Zorya is a Slavic name meaning Beautiful Aurora, Dawn, or Morning Star.