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The Zonai are a prehistoric civilization whose existence was first indicated by ruins and an Armor Set in Breath of the Wild.[1] They appear fully in Tears of the Kingdom, where they are said to have been descendants of the gods who came from the sky.


Magical Abilities[]

The Zonai are an ancient tribe who came from the heavens and are said to have descended from the gods.[2] From those gods, the Zonai were given the Secret Stones which could amplify an individual's magical abilities which are elements such as Water, Wind, Electricity, Fire, Time, Spirit, Light and Darkness.[3] When the Zonai first descended to the surface long before Hyrule's founding, the ancient Hylians mistook them as actual gods.[4]

After coming to the surface, the Zonai lived in the Faron Region. They were strong magic wielders and are thought to have worshiped a water dragon.[5] Their stone artwork represents the Triforce through the perspective of a prehistoric tribe; they use dragons to represent courage, owls to represent wisdom, and boars to represent power.[6] They constructed several ancient ruins made of stone. Their name comes from their largest ruin site: the Zonai Ruins. Etched into the stonework associated with this tribe is a spiral symbol, which is considered to be the tribe's crest.[5] However, their real crest is what seems to be a rectangle that shrinks at the bottom.

Physical Appearance[]

The same Faron Region where the Zonai Ruins are located were home to a barbarian tribe, whose untamed ways are known by the the fierce power enchanted within their Barbarian Armor Set.[7][8][9] This tribe is not explicitly identified as the Zonai however, and the Barbarian Set does not match the style of other Zonai clothing.

As seen in Tears of the Kingdom, the Zonai have an animalistic appearance vaguely reminiscent of camelids with remarkably long ears. They are covered in dark grey fur and have white manes of hair. They have three eyes, but tend to keep the third one closed, making the eyelash resemble a jewel on their forehead. They also have sharp, triangular teeth and are much taller than Hylians, with their tall bodies making up for their shorter legs. From what is seen of them throughout the game, they go barefoot, possibly due to different standards of their time. Contrary to their original representation, they are revealed to have been a highly advanced civilization that inhabited islands floating in the sky.


Very little is known about this tribe's history, but what is known can be gleaned from the remains of their civilization left behind all across Hyrule Kingdom.[10] Their established stronghold, the Zonai Ruins, extends through Damel Forest to the Spring of Courage,[11][5] which rests in northeastern Faron.[5]

Ancient Hero's Aspect

The Ancient Hero's Aspect.

The Zonai leader, Rauru, wed a Hylian named Sonia and together the two of them founded the Kingdom of Hyrule depicted in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom as its first king and queen. It is possible that Hyrule may have been destroyed once before their founding.[12] During this time period most of the Zonai were already gone, with only Rauru and his sister Mineru remaining.[13] However the Zonai bloodline did not technically go extinct, as the descendants of Rauru and Sonia live on as the otherwise Hylian Royal Family of Hyrule, including Princess Zelda.[14]

When Rauru sealed Ganondorf underground shortly after founding his kingdom, his people constructed Hyrule Castle above the site to keep the Demon King sealed, with the castle remaining intact for ages, until it was damaged for the first time during the Great Calamity 100 years prior to the Era of the Wilds.[15][16]

Ten thousand years before the events of Breath of the Wild, the hero who wielded the Master Sword and fought alongside the princess to defeat Calamity Ganon is possibly a Zonai.[17][18] Calamity Ganon was a later incarnation of the Ganondorf who was a contemporary of Rauru and Mineru,[19] who were the last two Zonai of their time, meaning that if he is a Zonai, the ancient hero would necessarily have to be one of Rauru or Mineru's descendants, and as such also have non-Zonai ancestry. The Ancient Hero's Aspect, which transforms Link's appearance into that of the ancient hero, resembles some of the Zonai traits seen in Rauru and Mineru, such as a snout, claws, and (ambiguous) third eye, but also differs in having a shorter stature, tail, digitigrade feet, different facial structure, and smaller pointy ears more similar to that of Hylians, yet also a fiery red hair and green skin not normally seen in Hylians but found in male Gerudo like Ganondorf.

Breath of the Wild[]

The Zonai appear to have vanished a long time ago.[5] Many of their relics are tied to the Ancient Shrines,[5] and their powerful Barbarian Set is gifted by the Monks found in Ancient Shrines at the heart of three massive mazes: the North Lomei Labyrinth, the South Lomei Labyrinth, and the Lomei Labyrinth Island. The mazes themselves appear to be related to the tribe, but their exact relationship remains unknown.[20]

Tears of the Kingdom[]

The Zonai were an ancient race with highly advanced technology. Their ruins and constructs have been rediscovered all over Hyrule, from the sky islands above to the darkest Depths below. The Zonai's technology was a powerful force for good, but it was also capable of great harm, as now all combat constructs see any and all people as a potential Threat. On the flip side Steward Constructs thankfully are capable of recognizing Link, most likely thanks to his arm being Zonai, and otherwise won’t attack intruders.

After the Upheaval, Zelda was sent back in time to the founding of Hyrule. There, she learned that the King Rauru was one of the last two surviving Zonai of his time, the other being his elder sister, Mineru. Ganondorf when falsely swearing fealty also alluded to how Rauru and Mineru were the last of the Zonai while subtly hinting that he intended to ensure that the Zonai would be rendered completely extinct.


  • According to Senior Lead Artist, Makoto Yonezu, the name "Zonai" is an anagram of the Japanese word  (mystery, puzzle).[21]
  • The many stone and metal Blocks arranged in odd patterns by the Korok across Hyrule Kingdom bear the Zonai tribe's spiral mark.
  • The Zonai have many similarities to the Oocca: both are technologically advanced tribes who live in the sky, are close to the gods, participated in Hyrule's founding, and have ancient ties to the Royal Family.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in other regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


See Also[]


  1. Creating a Champion, Dark Horse, pg. 343
  2. "Long ago, my people, known as the Zonai, came from the heavens to the surface of the world. It was said they were the descendants of gods..." — Mineru (Tears of the Kingdom)
  3. "They bore treasures from these same gods--secret stones, capable of amplifying the abilities of those who possessed them." — Mineru (Tears of the Kingdom)
  4. "When your Zonai ancestors first descended upon these lands long, long ago, they must have seemed to be gods." — Ganondorf (Tears of the Kingdom)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 413
  6. "The ruins are primarily animal themed, but with the history of the Triforce from an ancient perspective in mind. The designs are symbolic—using dragons (courage), owls (wisdom), and boars (power)." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse, pg. 342)
  7. "Armor once favored by an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region. The war paint bolsters your fighting spirit and raises your attack power.." — Inventory (Breath of the Wild)
  8. "These leg wraps were favored by a warlike tribe from the Faron region long ago. They're adorned with traditional markings that bolster your fighting spirit to raise your attack power." — Inventory (Breath of the Wild)
  9. "A helmet once worn by the warriors of an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region. Wearing it draws out your inner animal, increasing your strength and battle prowess." — Inventory (Breath of the Wild)
  10. "Ruins with similar patterns to the Zonai Ruins is scattered widely across Hyrule." (Nintendo Magazine, Winter 2021, pg. 16)
  11. "Ruins in the Faron Woods thought to be home to a mysterious ancient tribe. The Spring of Courage is found within." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 359)
  12. "あくまで可能性として話すとすれば、ハイラル建国の話があってもその前に一度滅んだ歴史がある可能性もあります。[If I'm just talking about this as a possibility, even if there is a story about the founding of Hyrule, there is a possibility that there is a history where Hyrule was destroyed once before that.]" — Hidemaro Fujibayashi, An interview with the developer of "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" that can still be talked about. A marvelous sequel completed through "play priority", Famitsu.
  13. "It is unfortunate that the noble Zonai no longer grace this world with their presence. All except you and your sister, that is." — Ganondorf (Tears of the Kingdom)
  14. "It is said that my ancestors--the first of Hyrule's royal family... were born from a union with gods who had descended from the heavens. These murals tell a similar story, and if they are accurate, then the gods mentioned were the Zonai..." — Princess Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  15. "He was imprisoned beneath Hyrule Castle for ages, but the magic holding him weakened when the castle was damaged during the calamity a century ago, and his power has steadily been growing since. Now he has revived as a threat beyond the knowledge of any." — Character Profiles (Tears of the Kingdom)
  16. "Deep beneath this land, our mighty first ruler imprisoned the Demon King. To ensure the king's magic would hold, we erected a castle here to protect this sacred site. Without the castle in place, the site may be disturbed, allowing the Demon King's hatred and rage to be revived. The preservation of this castle is therfore tied to the prosperity of the kingdom." — Gloom's Approach (Tears of the Kingdom)
  17. "This item is said to contain the spirit of a hero who once saved Hyrule. That hero's aura will envelop the wearer." — Ancient Hero's Aspect (Tears of the Kingdom)
  18. "Ah. I see that you are wearing the attire of the ancient hero. How amusing. You almost look like that figure depicted on the screen..." — Impa (Tears of the Kingdom)
  19. "The Calamity was the Demon King of ancient times, brought back to existence in the form of hatred manifest. [...] Shown here are the royal princess with the power to seal away evil...and a warrior chosen by the legendary sword." — Impa (Tears of the Kingdom)
  20. "These giant mazes were built long, long ago. They appear to have some similarities to the Zonai Ruins in Faron, but whether or not there is a connection between them is unknown. Regardless, both were constructed in areas that are inaccessible to the average person." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse, pg. 342)
  21. "And, yes, their name is a pun. "Zonai" is a take on nazo, a word meaning "mystery" in Japanese. [laughs]" (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse, pg. 342)