In the beginnings of the Zelda series, the Zoras were just glorified fish. There weren’t pretty, or attracted to sword wielding Hylan heroes. They were just annoying foes who spat fireballs at anything that walked past. While some Zelda players have always had no trouble dispatching them, I’ve always dreaded there arrival. There were many a time when I would walk by a Zora in LttP and get my arse fried by one of their fireballs. By 1998 around the time I started OoT my harsh feelings for the Zora race where still unsettled, and I hoped, with the onset of 3D graphics, that I would be able to conquer my foes without much difficulty. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the Zoras would be playing a good guy role in the game. I just couldn’t believe it!
Here was a foe with whom I’d wrestled with for many years, hating every conflict between us, and then I get some princess Zora getting all snug with Link. I was heartily disappointed, and it was one of my few problems with OoT. Recently I replayed OoT for about the sixth time and remembered my Zora problem, and so I began to ponder. What was the explanation for the Zora’s apparent change of heart?
When Miyamoto and his crew set out to make The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, they were creating a game the likes of which had never been see before. It was a fantasy roleplaying game that led you on a gargantuan quest in a world unheard of, and not to mention the small fact that it was designed in the third dimension. One of the many problems that arose from this new style was, the world couldn’t just be a horde of angry monsters attacking you every waking second. If they had created the game that way, it would have fallen flat on its face. So, with the new need for allies and supporting characters, Miyamoto turned to the Gorons and Zoras.
Now I don’t recall the Goron’s making any kind of appearance in any previous Zelda title (correct me if I’m wrong), unless you can call the darknut similar to a Goron. Anyway, with the design team already creating a whole new race of beings that had particular personalities, Miyamoto was still missing a crucial piece of the game. A water bound race to support Link when he entered the three parts of the game that require water area exploration and battle. Who was better than a proud race of glorified fish that had already made a startling appearance in almost all the previous titles? So, Miyamoto’s crew set about transforming the Zora’s from the proud and hotheaded race that they were, into an allied friend of the Hylan king. This transformation completely changed the Zora’s personalities, and for the worse I think. While they play a crucial role in OoT, MM, abd TP, the Zora’s have always been, in my mind, an enemy to be despised and hated.
This change of heart may have been necessary, but I find that the enemy they replaced the Zora with was just sad. You guys know who I’m talking about, the Octo. Even the Big Octo was never a problem for me, always very easy to defeat. This ultimately made the mistake of changing the Zora’s alliance even worse, they replaced it was a wussy enemy. So, sadly, the Zora secured itself an existence in cahoots with the king of Hyrule. Now, let’s explore the explanation of how the Zora’s underwent this change in the timeline theory, as if all this was reality. My Timeline is different then ZU’s, and in a later issue I’ll explain it.
When playing LttP you’ll always have to visit the Zora’s Falls (domain), and the king of the Zora’s himself will charge you a hefty 500 rupees to take the flippers off his hands. This guy I believe is the original king of the Zora race. He ruled the Zoras with an evil hand and added Agahnim in his quest for domination by telling his servants to attack you on sight. This ultimately put the Zoras not only at odds with you, but at odd’s with the king of Hyrule, resulting in a feud that wouldn’t lift as long as that king of the Zoras lived. Thankfully, sometime between LttP and OoT, the evil king of the Zoras died, and was replaced by the kindly king that Link meets in OoT.
Now we reach the end of our tale of the Zoras. Obviously, under their new king, the Zoras forged a bond between themselves and the Hylan people. This is ultimately why the Zora’s domain is the source of water for the Castle Town, it insures that the Hylan people will stay true to their word in trusting their Zora allies. The Zora’s have then logically assumed an allegiance with the king that shall be broken no time soon.