The Legend of Blah Blah: The Zoras
04 Mar 2010 — by hinoseijin
Our first task is to classify the Zoras. While they are humanoid, a body shape seen in mammals, they can live in or out of water, an amphibious trait. Canon, however, describes them as a fish-like people. Given that Zoras display far more fish traits that mammalian or amphibian traits, the best thing to do is put them in the Class Osteichthyes, or the bony fishes, and then continue the classification first as amphibian and then as humanoid.
The next and more troubling bit to clarify is the body figure of Princess Ruto and Lulu, from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask respectively. They are shown with breasts, which I can only assume is meant to mark them as female, as the shape of their heads is more than enough to differentiate them from the Zoras who play lesser roles in the story. However, fish have no need for mammary glands, and I would think the same would be true even if the fish is humanoid; they are still fish and would undoubtedly have no reason to evolve mammary glands. As a secondary sexual characteristics, they would surely be rather unnecessary as Zoras would evolve differing characteristics to use. They certainly can’t be meant to attract human partners, as mammals and fishes can’t produce offspring; the genetics is all wrong. I, at least, will be ignoring the breasts as a mere gameplay factor to mark certain Zora characters as female.
As I have established the Zoras as fish, it makes sense to have their reproductive cycle take after other fish as well. And for the majority of fish, they develop the eggs inside the mother’s body, where they then release them into the surrounding water to await fertilization. The males then swim along to release their gametes into the water, where they fertilize the eggs. Once the eggs hatched, the young are in a larval form, where they carry a large yolk sac that they feed from. As they start metamorphosing into their adult forms, they feed on zooplankton prey. And the question now becomes do Zoras care for their young? Lulu is certainly seen to be worried about her clutch of eggs in Majora’s Mask, but it must be pointed out that some species of fish will guard their eggs until they hatch, at which point most of them will then leave and let the young fend for themselves. Here, I guess it’s up to the author to decide if s/he wants to make their Zoras seem as human as possible; it’s also important to take this into consideration as it would help mold Zoran culture.
To finish off this month’s The Legend of Blah Blah, let’s move away from the squicky aspects of the Zora race and discuss the difference between River and Sea Zoras. Canonically speaking, the River Zoras are those ugly little critters who pop up out of the water to shoot fireballs at you (a rather paradoxical ability that I can only assume involves flammable oil that can still ignite when wet), while the Sea Zoras are the Zoras we have seen in Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Oracle of Ages. Of course, Ocarina of Time throws the canon into question, as the Zoras are a long way away from the ocean. Unless Zora’s Domain is saltwater, making the river that flows from it as well as
And with that, I am done for March. Join me in April to further discuss Hyrulean biology, but this time it will involve the Dekus.