Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Legend of Zelda: Races

Go To

The Triforce Wielders: Link, Princess Zelda, Ganon/Ganondorf
Other Recurring: Goddesses and Allies, Villains and Enemies, Races
Main Series: The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle games, Four Swords, The Wind Waker, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds, Tri Force Heroes, Breath of the Wild
Spin-Offs: Philips CD-i Games, Hyrule Warriors, Cadence of Hyrule, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Races and species that have been featured in several games.

    open/close all folders 

Main races

    The Hylians

A tribe of pointy-eared humans responsible for the founding of Hyrule. In some games, all ordinary humans are Hylians, while in others round-eared humans are more common. Link and Zelda are always incarnated as Hylians.

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In some games, certain Hylians don't believe in their existence of magic despite the strangeness of their world. After clearing the Shadow Temple, a red-clothed man laughs at the claims of a blue-clothed man for telling him he saw Link teleport.
  • The Chosen People: They are the chosen people of Hylia. Their pointy ears are said to allow them to listen to the Goddess.
  • Divine Right of Kings: Hylians are the dominant race of Hyrule due to being the chosen people of the Goddess Hylia.
  • Dying Race: In a few games, such as The Wind Waker and A Link to the Past, the Hylians are largely dying out, with Link and Zelda being among the last of them.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The guidebook to A Link to the Past refers to the Hylians as "Hylia".
  • Elemental Nation: Light tends to be their element when each friendly race is associated with one. But besides Link and Zelda, it's rare to see any Hylians practicing magic.
  • Our Elves Are Different: They look like elves, and in some games they're considered a Dying Race, but they're mostly just ordinary humans who happen to have Pointy Ears; non-Hylian humans with rounded ears also exist in the series. Generally, Hylians are the primary or only kind seen in Hyrule, while round-eared humans are dominant outside of it. In early games, Hylians are considered more magical and closer to the gods due to their ears being rumored to let them hear said gods. In later games where the distinction has waned (or been entirely forgotten like in The Wind Waker), they're just normal people that happen to have pointy ears.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Primarily Medieval European Fantasy, though there are hints of East Asian culture sometimes since the games come from Japan.
  • Humans Are Average: Hylians are notably a lot more mundane than the other races, even compared to the other "fantastical" human races like the Sheikah and the Gerudo. That being said, they have the most diverse cultures because they are so numerous. In games where the diffrence between human and Hylians are actually noted beyond "Hylians have long ears", the Hylians tend to be more magical, though only slightly, and there have also been regular humans that can perform magic, such as Maple and Syrup.
  • Humans Are Special: Although they are noticeably a lot more average than the other races on this page, they are in fact the chosen people of the Goddess Hylia.
  • Informed Ability: Their ability to hear the gods.
  • Our Humans Are Different: Most games treat Hylians as a Human Subspecies. They're known for their long, elfish ears and their ability to "hear the gods" better than round-eared humans. Other than those differences, however, they're usually interchangable with non-Hylian, round-eared humans. There aren't any physical or social differences and they interbreed just fine.
  • Pointy Ears: Although other races have them too, this has come to be the Hylians' defining trait.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Hylians were considered special due to their pointy ears and magical ability, but the former trait is shared by the Sheikah, and by Breath of the Wild, the Gerudo as well, and every race has a rare few people that can perform magic, leaving the Hylians identical to normal humans in every way except their ears.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Compared to the slightly longer-lived Sheikah and the Long-Lived Zora, Hylians age the same and have the same life expectancy as regular humans; a little under a century, give or take.

    The Kokiri/Koroks
The Kokiri
The Koroks

The Kokiri are the children of the forest who are under the protection of the Great Deku Tree. They resemble Hylian children, but never age. They eventually became the Koroks, an adorably quirky race of Plant People. They're associated with the Goddess Farore.

  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Drastically inverted. In their first appearance, they looked like Hylian children so Link could blend in. In all future appearances, they've essentially been living hunks of wood. Word of God is that they are indeed the same race, despite the rename.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most of the Koroks are a little strange and a little air-headed.
  • Creepy Child: The Kokiri are normally the exact opposite of this, but at the end of the day, they are still The Fair Folk, and in some cases they can get very creepy indeed — such as the way one of them nonchalantly explains how the Lost Woods transforms any human who enters it into a Stalfos.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Forest race went through two iterations before settling on the Koroks. Starting with the Kokiri who were human children in Ocarina, to a Monster Town of Deku Scrubs in Majora's Mask, before finally setting on the wood and leaf Koroks in Wind Waker.
  • Elemental Nation: Primarily the Forest race, which sometimes has associations with Wind and Water as well.
  • The Fair Folk: The mischievous and childlike Koroks are very magical and have difficulties understanding humans. Even in their original, more humanoid form as the Kokiri, they were very different from "grown-ups".
  • Human All Along: The Encylopedia claims that the Kokiri are descended from Hylians who cut themselves off from their more civilized brethren and became affected by the Great Deku Tree's magic.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Kokiri and Korok villages are normally hidden deep in the woods, forbidden to most travelers.
  • Hobbits: Perpetually short fae-esque forest dwellers that live in peace secluded from the rest of the world.
  • Long-Lived: Closely linked to the fact that they are Not Allowed to Grow Up. In The Wind Waker, the Wind Sage Fado prayed to maintain the Master Sword's power for centuries before he was killed by Ganondorf's forces not long before the start of the story. And in Breath of the Wild, the Koroks still personally remember "Mr. Hero" from before the start of his Slumber of Resurrection a century before.
  • The Lost Woods: Their villages are normally located within deep, ancient, magical forests, including the trope namer itself.
  • Nature Spirit: The Koroks are referred to as forest sprites.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: The Kokiri are eternally children, and never become adults. The 'Encylopedia'' claims this to be a result of the Great Deku Tree's magic, stating that a Kokiri will indeed age if they venture too far away from Kokiri Forest.
  • Plant People: The Koroks look like miniature living trees, with leaves for faces.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The Minish from The Minish Cap are another race of small, childlike elves closely associated with The Lost Woods and the color green who try to avoid being seen by the big inhabitants of Hyrule. The name by which Hyruleans know them, "Picori", sounds a bit like "Kokiri". Vaati, the Big Bad of that game who was once a Minish, even physically resembles an Evil Counterpart version of Link, who was raised among the Kokiri in Ocarina of Time.
    • The Kikwis from Skyward Sword are a somewhat similar race of Plant People who don't like to be seen by "normal" folk.
  • Verbal Tic: In the Japanese version of Ocarina of Time, Saria mentions that saying "jora" at the end of sentences is this to the Kokiri. Saria finds it embarrassing that she slipped back into the "Kokiri dialect".

    The Gorons

A race who appear to be living boulders. They eat rocks and are usually found around volcanoes and mountains. They're usually associated with the Goddess Din. They're notable for being one of the most commonly appearing races, having shown up in every game since they were introduced in Ocarina of Time except for Four Swords and Tri Force Heroes.

  • Big Fun: Big, rotund, boulder-like folk who are culturally predisposed to be boisterous and friendly with everyone.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In a bit of a Stealth Pun, they are named after the Japanese onomatopoeia for rolling rocks.
  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: Gorons have short and stubby legs that, while very strong, don't allow them to run very fast. So to get places, they curl up and roll. They can pick up speed even uphill and on soft surfaces, and the fastest ones can match a horse in speed.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: They eat rocks.
  • Elemental Nation: The resident Fire nation when Elemental Powers or motifs come into play.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Most of the time they are naked, though the Gorons in Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild wear loincloths at the very least. Link's Goron form in Majora's Mask also adds a loincloth, though neither the Goron from whom the form is derived nor any of the others wear clothes in that game.
  • Hidden Depths: They're most commonly portrayed as simpleminded folk who value physical prowess above all, but there are also plenty of Gorons who tackle more intellectual pursuits. The Gorons in The Wind Waker are portrayed as intrepid merchants, two Goron elders are shown in Twilight Princess using their knowledge of markets to help Malo expand his business, and the three Gorons in Skyward Sword are expert archaeologists who help Link figure out the history and significance of various artifacts and ruins.
  • Long-Lived: As seen in Oracle of Seasons and The Wind Waker, Gorons can live for hundreds of years.
  • One-Gender Race: They all appear to be male, with generic Gorons often having beards and all significant Goron characters being men. This may be a deliberate contrast to the Gerudo, who, with one exception, are all female, and debuted alongside the Gorons. In Breath of the Wild, Gorons are actually allowed free access to Gerudo Town, something which they themselves find confusing, prodding at the issue.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Gorons are basically the setting's own equivalent of classic, Tolkienesque dwarves, the only difference (ironically enough) being that they're big, strong rock-people instead of short, gruff humans. Nevertheless, they are simple-minded, stout, mountain-based mining community not different from the usual depictions of dwarves.
  • Recurring Element: The most prominent Goron character in a particular installment will usually have a name starting with "Dar-" (Darunia in Ocarina of Time, Darmani in Majora's Mask, Darbus in Twilight Princess, and Daruk in Breath of the Wild).
  • Riddle for the Ages: Are Gorons actually a One-Gender Race, or do we only happen to ever see the males? Relatedly, how do they reproduce? As mentioned above, the two Gorons allowed into Gerudo Town don't know why they were let in, and unlike the Gerudo they've never been portrayed in or seeking romantic relationships with non-Gorons, but they've nevertheless been portrayed with children and descendants.
  • Silicon-Based Life: They are large portly rock-like people.
  • Stout Strength: Their natural build is on the hefty side, but also very muscular. In Twilight Princess, Link is strong, but can only wrangle and hold his ground against Gorons with the Iron Boots to brace him.
  • Sumo Wrestling: In Twilight Princess, there's a strong sumo motif running through the Eldin arc with the Gorons, with Link needing to learn sumo at Ordon Village to reach and win a sumo match to enter the mines, where a miniboss also incorporates sumo mechanics. Fitting, since Gorons already have the shape for it.
  • Super Strength: Naturally, Gorons are much stronger than human races.
  • Super Toughness: They are also much more resilient to damage.
  • Verbal Tic: They commonly tack "-goro" onto the ends of their sentences or words; this is less prominent in most localizations.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The most clothing they wear is a loincloth and/or necklace, resulting in this trope.

    The Zoras

A race of fish people, related to the enemy Zoras. They're associated with the Goddess Nayru.

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: The Zoras in Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild are shown sporting earrings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, sashes, etc., but are otherwise unclothed.
  • Adipose Rex: The Zora King tends to be significantly larger and heavier than his subjects.
  • Alien Hair: They've got head appendages resembling the body of a fish, with the tail and pectoral fin portions positioned to resemble long hair and sideburns respectively.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: They're much more human-like in appearance than their River Zora predecessors. This was reversed slightly in Breath of the Wild, where they are more shark-like.
  • Clothing Appendage: Only very rarely will Zora be portrayed with actual clothes, but even the unclothed ones will have clothing-like fins, usually hip fins resembling skirts.
  • Decomposite Character: It initially seemed that the enemy Zora from the first four games and the friendly one in and after Ocarina of Time were a single species that underwent some drastic moral turn, but Oracle of Ages established that the evil River Zoras and the friendly Sea Zoras are actually two separate races.
  • Elemental Nation: Appropriately as fish people, theirs is the water element.
  • Fish People: The Zoras are humanoid beings perfectly adapted for life in the water.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Prominent Zora women such as Ruto, Lulu, Rutela, and Mipha are designed to be much more humanlike than their own male family members who tend to be an Adipose Rex that is much less humanlike then the other male Zora as well.
  • Interspecies Romance: This is more commonly portrayed with them than with any other race. Ruto made a one-sided Childhood Marriage Promise to Link in Ocarina of Time, Beth develops a crush on Prince Ralis in Twilight Princess, and in Breath of the Wild not only do Mipha and Kodah love Link, he can also act as a Romantic Wingman between Kodah's daughter and a Hylian guy.
  • Large and in Charge: Done more consistently with them than most other races. Aside from the Adipose Rex element mentioned above, other royal characters such as Queen Rutela and Prince Sidon are also noticeably taller and bulkier than other Zora. While Prince Ralis and Princess Mipha are shorter than other Zora, that's mainly because they aren't fully grown.
  • Long-Lived:
    • This is first shown in Oracle of Ages, where King Zora from that game's past (400 years ago) is still around in the present.
    • Laruto from The Wind Waker spent centuries praying in the Earth Temple before being killed by Ganondorf not long before the start of the main plot.
    • In Breath of the Wild, Zora elders can live for at least 200 years, and they are shown to have much slower aging, possibly explaining their lifespan. While Ruto aged at the same rate as Link in Ocarina of Time, Mipha notes that Link grew up faster than she did, watching him grow from a little boy to a young man while she remained mostly the same. We also see in the DLC that Prince Sidon (Mipha's younger brother) was a toddler before the Great Calamity... which was 100 years before Link meets an adult Sidon on his adventure.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Outside of Oracle of Ages and Majora's Mask, the "River Zoras" and "Sea Zoras" become this. The former is the only game where the two types appear together. The "Sea-Zora" debuted in Ocarina of Time and in every 3D game but one, live exclusively in fresh water explicitly connected to Zora's River, while they live in sea water in Majora's Mask and Oracle of Ages and do not appear in any other 2D game. River Zoras appear exclusively in 2D games as enemies, largely in fresh water sources, though their main area of appearance in Link's Awakening, Martha's Bay, is likely sea water based on the name.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Judging by Ruto and the Zora females seen in other games, this is typical of the race. The male Zoras themselves have visible pecs.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The Zora — beginning from their Ocarina of Time designs and so on — are basically an aquatic version of classic high fantasy elves; an elegant, graceful, and beautiful society with a much longer lifespan than Hylians. They sometimes have a rivalry with the Gorons.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They have traits of mermaids as well as Fish People. They have legs with flippers, sea-resistant skin, and can breathe underwater. They have the tail of the aquatic animal they're based on instead of hair. They are able to live on land, but can dehydrate quickly.
  • Recurring Element:
    • Ruto was introduced in Ocarina of Time as the first Zora character with a proper name, and subsequent games typically have at least one character with a name derived from hers, whether that be Laruto in The Wind Waker, Rutela from Twilight Princess, or Divine Beast Vah Ruta and Laruta from Breath of the Wild (with Vah Ruta in particular being explicitly named after Ruto in-universe). Similarly, starting with Laruto, it has been common to take the prefix "La-" and add it to another preexisting name, such as Lanayru (the home province of the Zora and the name of several of their guardian spirits, with "La-" added to the name of the Goddess Nayru) and the aforementioned Laruta.
    • A Link to the Past started a trend of the ruler of the Zora giving Link a clothing item that enhances his swimming abilities. The giving process in Twilight Princess is unusual in that it was buried with King Zora and unlocked by Queen Rutela's ghost. Said item is also especially important in Breath of the Wild, where beyond letting Link swim up waterfalls, it was also intended as Mipha's marriage proposal to him before she died.
  • Shark Man: Princess Ruto has a vague resemblance to a hammerhead shark, while almost all the Zora in Breath of the Wild are shark-like, especially the hammerhead-like Sidon, who has a mouth filled with pointy teeth.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Parella from Skyward Sword are similar to the Zora in that both are intelligent aquatic races native to their games' watery regions. At one point the Parella were supposed to closely resemble the Zora, but they were instead given a look that was a mix between a seahorse and a jellyfish.

    The Gerudo

An all-female desert people. It is said one male is born to their species every hundred years; this is where Ganon's most recognizable human form, Ganondorf, comes from.

  • Amazon Brigade: The entire race is female, and they're all badasses.
  • Bedlah Babe: Their default outfit, as shown in the picture to the right.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Their usual appearance, though there are some light-skinned individuals in Breath of the Wild, likely reflecting the diversity of skin tones in real desert cultures along with the greater diversity introduced for the other races.
  • Desert Bandits: They sometimes work as thieves.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Twinrova sisters were the only elderly Gerudo depicted in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, and they have the expected white hair. Breath of the Wild, in contrast, depicts the elderly Gerudo as retaining their red and pink hair colors.
  • Elemental Nation: The least consistent between games, anything from Spirit to Sand, and since Skyward Sword, the desert region has also been associated with Electricity.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: They have a vaguely Middle Eastern culture (being desert-dwellers). Despite that, their most recognizable theme has a Spanish guitar feel, more similar to the American Southwest. In Breath of the Wild, they also have many individuals with South Asian-sounding names.
  • Fiery Redhead: They're universally redheaded, and they're a tribe of fierce Desert Bandits with some elements of Proud Warrior Race.
  • Lady Land: Not only are all Gerudo female, they also don't allow men into their cities unless under special circumstances.
  • One-Gender Race: The Gerudo are all women and reproduce by marrying Hylian men. That said, male Gerudo do exist but are very rare; Ocarina of Time states that only one is born every century, with the current one being that game's incarnation of Ganon. However, the Creating a Champion artbook states that by the time of Breath of the Wild, a male has not been born to the Gerudo for countless millennia.
  • The One Guy: It's said that Gerudo men are only born once every century. Both Ocarina of Time and Four Swords Adventures portray each generation's man as incarnations of Ganondorf.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Ganon was characterized in A Link to the Past as originally being a human thief. In Ocarina of Time, his entire tribe is revealed to be a bunch of Desert Bandits.
  • Sinister Schnoz: They were introduced as Ganondorf's home tribe and as universally having big, pointy noses. This was gradually dropped, however, with them keeping the schnozes but dropping the whole "sinister" bit.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Most of the Gerudo women tower over Link.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask they're a race of warrior thieves feared by the other peoples of the land because of their ferocity and tendency to kidnap people. In Four Swords Adventures, in contrast, they're considerably friendlier with non-Gerudo, if a bit standoffish due to Ganondorf's recent actions. By the time of Breath of the Wild, they're no meaner than any other race and live honestly, with the motherly Urbosa and Wise Beyond Her Years Riju in particular being two of the nicest characters in the game.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": In Skyward Sword, the earliest game chronologically (and set before the first appearance of the Gerudo tribe), there is an insect located in the Lanayru Desert called the "Gerudo Dragonfly." Coupled with the Gerudo emblem resembling a dragonfly's head, it's implied the tribe is named after the insect.

    The Sheikah

The shadow people, sworn to protect the Hylians and the incarnations of Link and Zelda in each generation. A rogue sect called the Yiga Clan formed sometime before Breath of the Wild.

  • Ambiguously Human: Unlike the Hylians and Gerudo, the Sheikah have never been explicitly referred to as human, but as they are nearly indistinguishable from Hylians and capable of interbreeding with them, they most likely are.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite their elemental affiliation and sinister-looking appearances, the Sheikah are mostly, with the exception of the villainous Yiga Clan, heroic defenders of Hyrule.
  • Dying Race: In most games, there are only a handful of them left, and typically the only one who appears is a version of Impa. They are thriving again by the time of Breath of the Wild.
  • Elemental Nation: Associated with the Darkness element in contrast to the Hylians' Light.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In Breath of the Wild, their culture draws heavily from feudal Japanese architecture, clothing and weaponry.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Kakariko Village, their hometown, is usually portrayed as an isolated, hidden or formerly hidden settlement tucked away in the mountains.
  • Long-Lived: First hinted at in Skyward Sword where Impa meditates in front of Zelda's chamber in the Sealed Temple for thousands of years, it became a common trait by Breath of the Wild, where the three Sheikah elders you interact with are around 130.
  • Magitek: First implied in Skyward Sword, where the Timeshift Stones and other tech in the Lanayru Desert have their eye emblem. By the time of Breath of the Wild, they eventually develop futuristic technology like giant mechs and digital tablets.
  • Mystical White Hair: Nearly all Sheikah have white hair, appropriate for their status as mysterious, Long-Lived keepers of secrets. Other hair colors are seen, but are extremely rare.
  • Ninja: Impa and Sheik would use Deku Nuts to Ninja Vanish in Ocarina, leading to Sheik having a ninja-inspired moveset in Super Smash Bros. Later, this made its way back into the main games, and by Breath of the Wild, both the Sheikah and the Yiga have embraced it.
  • People of Hair Color: The Sheikah are physically indistinguishable from Hylians except for two traits: white hair and red eyes.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Their cultural and physiological attributes are originally derived from what little was known about Impa in the earliest games. They're devoted to protecting the royal family and guiding Link because Impa did that as Zelda's maid in the NES game manuals, and they have white hair because she was elderly, a trait which continued as her portrayal varied to include younger versions. Furthermore, the plot point of Skyward Sword where Impa sat in front of the sleeping Zelda for millennia was extended in Breath of the Wild to all Sheikah being Long-Lived.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All Sheikah have red eyes, appropriate for their status as Ninja. Except for in Breath of the Wild, where only Purah has red eyes.
  • Servant Race: They have been devoted to serving and protecting the Royal Family of Hyrule since its inception, to the point that they can be considered a Planet of Hats with "protect the Royal Family" as their hat.
  • Third Eye: The eye emblem shown in the above image is frequently found on their clothes and architecture, and Sheikah characters in Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild often sport it as a forehead tattoo.
  • Tribe of Priests: Their devotion to the Goddess Hylia and tendency to meditate and pray to help out the protagonists make them one of the more religious races in the franchise.
  • The Undead: Commonly associated with them. The temple they maintain in Ocarina of Time is full of undead enemies, and the Sheikah Shrine Monks in Breath of the Wild have spent millennia self-mummifying themselves sokushinbutsu style. This is implied to be closely related to the fact that even the more mundane Sheikah characters are Long-Lived.

    The Rito

A race of bird people. In The Wind Waker they are implied to have descended from the Zoras, but Breath of the Wild later shows the two races co-existing.

  • Adults Are More Anthropomorphic: Inverted. The young Rito look more like their Wind Waker counterparts, while the adults are now full-fledged Bird People.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted. Wind Waker's Rito were human with bird wings and beaks. The Rito in Breath of the Wild fully resemble humanoid birds.
  • Archer Archetype: Breath of the Wild establishes the bow as their weapon of choice.
  • Bird People: Humanoids with bird-like features. Even more so in Breath of the Wild, where they are more bird-like and can resemble a variety of different birds.
  • Canon Immigrant: Eiji Aonuma says that he based the Rito on the Watarara race that was depicted in a bonus story of the Ocarina of Time manga.
  • Decomposite Character: The Wind Waker portrays them as what the Zora eventually evolved into, but in Breath of the Wild the two races are completely separate and coexist in the same world.
  • Elemental Nation: Wind, though they also have some association with Mountain/Earth and the Zelda universe's overall association of mountains with Fire.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: They have some obvious Native American influences in Breath of the Wild.
  • Feather Fingers: In Breath of the Wild, they tend to use their primary feathers like prehensile human digits.
  • Flight: Not surprisingly, this is a racial trait of the bird-like Rito tribe.
  • Mouthy Bird: In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the bird people known as the Rito look almost identical to humans except for beaks over their nose, with human mouths underneath. By contrast, the Rito in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are far more bird-like, with almost no human characteristics and true beaked mouths.


Human are both a species that Hylians, Gerudo, and presumably Sheikah belong to and the race of ordinary round-eared humans that occasionally appear in the series. They most commonly appear in lands outside of Hyrule, but it's not uncommon for them to appear in Hyrule as well.

  • Humans Are Average: Humans are physically identical to Hylians in every way except their ears. They can also learn magic, as shown by Maple and her grandmother Syrup. The only difference is that Hylians can supposedly hear the voices of the gods.
  • Humans Are Not the Dominant Species: Round-eared humans play a generally marginal role in the setting. Most notable events in the series center around the pointy-eared Hylians, Sheikah, and (later in the series) Gerudo, as well as the more clearly non-human races, while humans rarely produce notable individuals from their ranks. They're also relatively uncommon, and mostly inhabit territories on the edge of Hyrule and the known world.

Other races

    The Blins 
Common goblin-like mooks that appear in most games as either the Big Bad's minions or as petty thieves. See their file in Villains and Enemies for more information.


Evil beings who have frequently unleashed their wrath upon Hyrule, whether directly or by means of the lesser monsters they create. Some villains such as Ganon and Vaati are mortals who became demons upon gaining powerful magic, others such as Demise and Malladus were demons to begin with, and most of the other villains of the series are implied to be demons. The Blin race mentioned above is implied to be a type of demon as well, albeit weaker ones who serve the stronger demons as soldiers.

  • Beneath the Earth: The earliest known batch of demons, those from the backstory of Skyward Sword, are said to have emerged from underground as they sought to obtain the Triforce, and many subsequent demons appear in a similar manner.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The most physiologically diverse of all depicted races, as no two major demon characters in the series are ever depicted with many meaningful physical similarities.
  • The Corrupter: Villains such as Ganon and Majora's Mask have demonstrated the ability to turn good people to evil, sometimes to the point of turning those people into demons and monsters themselves. Even completely non-malicious demons like Batreaux are depicted as unwillingly emitting an evil aura capable of making friendly creatures such as Remlits aggressive.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The most powerful demons, such as Ganon, Demise, and Malladus, are often given the title "Demon King". With his stated abilities and role as the initial origin of all monsters, Demise in particular is essentially a God of Evil.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Many of the more powerful demons, such as Calamity Ganon, Majora's Mask, and Bellum, are so consumed by their evil powers that they have become little more than mindless incarnations of hatred and malice consumed by a desire to destroy everything and possessing gruesomely inhuman forms.
  • Monster Progenitor: Demise is the source of all monsters in general and Ganon in particular, and Ganon and the other demons are able to create monsters themselves.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Batreaux is a demon who wants to become a human so he can interact with the inhabitants of Skyloft without scaring them or producing monsters with his evil aura.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Nearly every major demon character is locked away by the forces of good at some point in the story.

    The Deku

Small wooden beings who can shoot nuts out of their mouths. They are sometimes depicted as enemies and are usually comedic relief characters found early in games.

  • Bullet Seed: They can shoot Deku Nuts out their mouths.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: They have generally been this since Majora's Mask.
  • Heli-Critter: Business Scrubs can use their head leaves like propellers to fly, and can presumably launch from Deku Flowers like Link does in Deku form.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Business Scrubs, entrepreneurially-minded Deku who make their ways into various dungeons and wilderness areas in search of profit, and sell items such as bombs, arrows and Deku Nuts that need to be replenished as they are used.
  • The Lost Woods: Similar to the Koroks, the Deku live in deep forests by preference.
  • Plant People: They are wooden beings with shrubs growing out of their heads.
  • Wild Card: Unlike most other races, they have no definite morality, switching between allies and enemies, sometimes even in the same game.


Magical beings of good who live in underground fountains. There are two types of fairies, the small normal ones and the larger and more humanoid "Great Fairies".

  • Auto-Revive: In most games in which they can be captured, fairies will automatically revive Link should he ever fall in battle.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The Great Fairies usually fill this role, enhancing the effectiveness or carrying capacity of Link's items or blessing him with magic spells and other abilities.
  • Fairy Companion: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Phantom Hourglass each give Link a fairy guide to accompany him and provide exposition. In Ocarina of Time, each of the Kokiri also has his or her own fairy to guide them.
  • Fairy in a Bottle: Starting with A Link to the Past, Link can capture a fairy in an empty bottle and use it as a healing item. The need for a bottle was ditched in Breath of the Wild, where they can be held in Link's inventory all on their own.
  • Fairy Sexy: The Great Fairies have a tendency to be somewhat risqué in their design, particularly in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, and Breath of the Wild.
  • The One Guy: There have only been two confirmed male fairies in the series: Tatl's brother Tael in Majora's Mask and Leaf, the Spirit of Power in Phantom Hourglass.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Their exact roles and attributes vary from game to game. Some act as Fairy Companions or Guardian Entities, while others exist only to heal Link's wounds when needed. They also tend to appear as tiny Winged Humanoids in the older games, whereas the newer ones give them a Spark Fairy look; however, the powerful Great Fairies consistently appear as giant-sized women.
  • Spark Fairy: In 3D games, such as Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princes and Breath of the Wild, common fairies resemble small balls of light with insect wings.
  • Supreme Chef: In Breath of the Wild, Link can increase the potency of a dish by enlisting one or more fairies to help him cook it.
  • Winged Humanoid: When they're not just balls of light, fairies tend to resemble humanoid women with insect wings.

Powerful reptilian creatures that appear in many games, whether as dangerous monsters or benevolent protectors.
  • Breath Weapon: Almost all dragons fought in the games can breathe fire; those that don't usually have more exotic breath weapons, such as frigid breath.
  • Dragons Are Divine: The dragons in the more recent 3D games are often semi-divine beings and the protectors of entire lands and peoples in a manner similar to Chinese long or Indian naga. Valoo in The Wind Waker, for instance, is the patron deity of the Rito who share his island, while Faron, Eldin and Lanayru from Skyward Sword were charged by the goddess Hylia to watch over the lands that later adopted their names and the dragons in Breath of the Wild are described as spirits in the form of dragons who serve as attendants to the Springs of Courage, Wisdom and Power.
  • Elemental Powers: Dragons often have a close connection to and control over one of the setting's elements, such as fire or lightning.
  • Flight: Almost all dragons can fly, regardless of whether they have wings or not.
  • Humanshifting: General Onox and Volga are dragons who can transform into humanoid forms.
  • Long-Lived: Dragons are generally portrayed as extremely long-lived, if not truly ageless. The guardian dragons in Skyward Sword have by the time of the game lived for thousands of years since being appointed to their roles by Hylia, while, in The Wind Waker, Valoo has been alive so long that language drift has left the version of Hylian he speaks incomprehensible to the people of the Great Sea.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Even from each other. They're always very powerful, most are serpentine (although some have stouter bodies like those of modern western dragons), and they're usually either incredibly dangerous monsters or wise guardians of the land. In most other aspects they vary a lot — they may have six limbs, four, or two, some have humanoid heads, and they may be associated with any of the setting's elements. Generally speaking, dragons in the later 3D titles tend to take after east and south Asian traditions, while the ones in top-down games and the earlier 3D titles tend to resemble the European kind more.


Chicken-like birds found throughout the games. Provoke them at your own risk.

  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": They're almost identical to chickens. A character in Breath of the Wild, however, reveals that ordinary chickens also exist in the Zelda universe, with the key difference being that chickens are flightless and Cuccos are not.
  • Karmic Transformation: The only explanation for what happens if you attack them in Twilight Princess. Rather than flaring up in revenge, the Cucco actually comes under your control for several seconds, before the game returns to Link's perspective.
  • Killer Rabbit: Sure, they may look like chickens, but once you anger them they become invincible.
  • Kill It with Fire: In the few games where they can be killed, it usually requires fire in some form. In Link's Awakening, sprinkling Magic Powder on them or blasting them with the Magic Rod causes them to burst into flames before exploding. In Breath of the Wild, with enough determination, they can be carried all the way hottest parts of the Eldin region and thrown into lava.
  • Not Quite Flight: In the 3D games, it's possible for Link to glide a certain distance by having a Cucco carry him through the air.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: In the games in which they appear, Cucco chicks are about as cute as they sound.
  • Running Gag: The "Cucco Revenge Squad". 90% of times Cuccos are mentioned, it's in reference to the fact that if you attack a Cucco too many times, they summon a flock of invincible Cuccos that can and will kill you unless you run away. It's taken Up to Eleven in Hyrule Warriors, where Lana and Linkle can actually summon Cuccos to act as a weapon.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In The Wind Waker, they are replaced by the Pigs that inhabit Outset and Windfall Island, presumably as the inclusion of the Deku Leaf makes the gliding abilities of Cuccos redundant. Pigs will still attack Link when provoked, but otherwise they've been repurposed for digging up treasure.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In every game besides Twilight Princess, relentlessly attacking a Cucco will cause it to summon an entire flock of them to retaliate, and they will keep coming after you until you die or leave the area, or (in the later games) once a short time has passed.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: