Note: This page refers to the race that first appeared in Ocarina of Time. For information on the antagonistic creatures of the same name, go to River Zora.
The Zora are a species found in The Legend of Zelda series of games, first appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. They are intelligent and friendly aquatic creatures. They have a humanoid appearance though are dramatically different from Hylians. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, there is a Zora Mask. Zora have fins on their arms, and have big webbed feet, among other features contrary to that found on Hylians. They're capable of swimming in Hyrule's many bodies of water at great speeds, and are unarguably the most notable residents of the seas in the series.
Zora's inhabit cities underwater in most games, and Link usually needs to find the Zora Armor to get to said city.
Ever since their first appearance in Ocarina of Time, they have been a paramount species in the franchise, later having major parts in the games including Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, and many others.
The Zora's biology is humanoid in some ways, but they differ from Humans and Hylians greatly. The aquatic structure is obvious, as they spend most of their lives at the bottom of Lake Hylia in most games. They have large fish-like fins connected to their arms, which they swim with, and where most Humans and Hylians have hair, Zoras have a tail similar to that of a dolphin. The average Zora usually doesn't wear clothes, but some Zoras, such as the King always does. Zoras have webbed feet for swimming quickly through the water.
A Zora can swim extraordinarily well. They can not only swim at fast speeds through still water, and swim up running rivers, but in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess they are even shown to swim up waterfalls. It is unknown exactly how they swim up waterfalls, even with all of their fins and webbed feet. Zoras also love to dive, and they will do it from extreme heights.
It is revealed in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask that female Zoras lay eggs. The eggs need to be incubated in cold, clean water, and all the eggs need to be together or they will not hatch. They look a lot like tadpoles when they hatch, as they have circular bodies with long, stream like tails.
Their armor is too strong to be defeated by the sword, and a Fire Spell is needed to kill them. They are still extremely tough, taking three sword attacks before they are dead.
Zoras appear as simple enemies, similar to those in the first game.Zora Shopkeeper.
The Zoras in this game are almost exactly like the ones in Ocarina of Time, except that they live in Termina. They also wear clothes, unlike the ones in the last game. It is shown that Zoras lay eggs, they go through a tadpole-like stage.
The Zoras in Twilight Princess are a lot like the ones in Ocarina of Time, and again reside in Zora's Domain. Their domain was invaded and frozen by the Shadow Beasts, and Queen Rutela was killed. Once Link and Midna warp the flaming rock to the domain, it melts and is inhabitable again. Prince Ralis fled to Hyrule Castle Town to escape the Shadow Beasts, and got ill because of the lack of water.
According to Eiji Aonuma, the Rito from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker are evolutionary descendants of the Zoras. This half bird, half Hylian race makes multiple references to the Zoras, confirming this fact.
Super Smash Bros. series
A Zora trophy appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. The design of the trophy was based on the species' design from Twilight Princess.
"An aquatic creature. Most of a Zora's life is spent in the water but the creatures also can live on land for limited time periods. In Twilight Princess, King Zora is already dead and succeeded by Prince Ralis. Clothing made by the late King Zora allows non-Zoras to breathe underwater."