Video Games

Who are the Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom?

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Tears of the Kingdom Zonai

During the opening of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it’s revealed that the Zonai will be a prominent part of the game. Since the Zelda series tends to repeat elements, you may find yourself wondering if the Zonai have appeared in other Zelda games, and if so, which games?

The Zonai are in Tears of the Kingdom, but Have The Zonai Appeared in Previous Zelda Games?

The Zonai have been referenced in one previous Zelda game — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — although no living members of the species are shown. In that game, there’s an area in the Faron Woods called the Zonai Ruins. The ruins themselves feature carvings of boar, dragons, and owls, symbolizing power, courage, and wisdom from the Triforce.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Tears of the Kingdom Zonai

According to Creating a Champion, an official book about Breath of the Wild, the Zonai were a warlike tribe that once lived in the Faron region. They are thought to have worshiped a water dragon, due to there being many carvings of such a being.

The Zonai are also thought to have some connection to three mazes found around Hyrule; Lomei Labyrinth Island, South Lomei Labyrinth, and North Lomei Labyrinth. These labyrinths feature elaborate construction reminiscent of the Zonai, but it’s unknown whether the Zonai built them. Inside these labyrinths you can find the Barbarian armor set, which the description says is “Armor once favored by an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region.”

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Tears of the Kingdom Zonai

Finally, their name is a pun, according to Creating a Champion. The name Zonai was based on the word “nazo,” which means mystery in Japanese.

Other than these scant details, the Zonai are largely a mystery in Breath of the Wild, and never appeared before that game. 

In Tears of the Kingdom, we learn a lot more about the Zonai, including that they have advanced technology, and that their society was largely based in the sky. The Zonai are a core part of the game, and you can expect to learn a lot more about them over the course of the game.

Stay tuned to The Escapist for more information on all things The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

About the author

Elise Avery
Elise Avery is a freelance video editor and writer who has written for The Escapist for the last year and a half. She has written for PCGamesN and regularly reviews games for The Escapist's YouTube channel. Her writing focuses on indie games and game design, as well as coverage of Nintendo titles.