Ah, the mighty Zora tribe. The strong amphibious people of the water, these creatures have become one of the most popular additions to the Legend of Zelda franchise. Most fans are likely to know that the Zoras in the Adult timeline of the Hyrule legend (depicted in the Hyrule Historia), and more specifically Wind Waker, evolved into bird people known as the Rito. Starting when I was little, it was my pet peeve that fish people would become bird people just when they seemed like they could become the reigning species. However, an interesting thought came to me, and this blog post is about that thought, and why I no longer have said pet peeve.
So, as I previously stated, the Zora people supposedly evolved into the tribe of bird people known as the Rito at some point between Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker. Now, it’s often assumed that there is about a hundred year period between each game, and so they certainly had enough time to evolve between games. However, the major question is:
Why Would They Evolve in the First Place?
In order to understand the rest of this post, I think I need to explain why it is that Wind Waker could have been one of the best games for the Zora to exist.
In the beginning of Wind Waker, a story is told. This story says that after defeating Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time, Link left on a long journey. During this journey, a great evil (Ganondorf ) awakened once more and terrorized the people of Hyrule. People waited for Link to come back and vanquish him, but he never came. Finally, out of desperation, the people prayed to the three golden goddesses for aid. The goddesses responded by gather the people of Hyrule in the mountain tops, then flooding the rest of the world. The mountain tops became islands, the people adapted to their new way of life, and Ganondorf lay frozen in time in the Hyrule below.
So, in this new world of water, it would make sense that our favorite fish people would be practically invincible in this world, wouldn’t it? But oddly enough, with the coming of water, the Zora took to the skies as birds after years of evolution, but why? My answer; water.
The Zora may be the people of the water, but the world must remember that there are two kinds of water in the world, salt water and fresh water. In Ocarina of Time, Zora’s Domain exists along a river, which means that since all rivers are fresh water, the Zora are fresh water beings. Now, oceans of any kind are salt water, and putting fresh water beings in salt water is not a recipe for success. In fact, it can lead to tragic health problems and death. With no aquatic sanctuary for them to return to, the Zora developed a new way of life above the water, and eventually above the land. This fact could explain why the Zora took to the skies.
However, a problem yet remains with this theory. Though the back story of Wind Waker says that the golden goddesses flooded most of Hyrule, it neglected to say how it was flooded. Perhaps they simply raised the water level of the oceans, or perhaps they flooded it with rain. Flooding it with rain would poke holes in this theory, since rain water is fresh. Until Nintendo tells us whether or not the water in their ocean is fresh or salt, I’m afraid this will simply remain a theory. However, both the Zora and the Rito are amazing beings, and to see them survive even in the changes of their world is amazing.
What do you believe? Do you think that the Zora evolved due to the water difference, or do you think something else was at play? Let me know in the comments below!