Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda has never failed to surprise players by populating Hyrule (and beyond) with never-before-seen creatures and cultures. While they may not have as much of a presence as the major races such as Zoras, Gorons, or Gurudos, these minor races have each lent their unique magic to Link throughout his many adventures.
Many of The Legend of Zelda’s smaller players have only made one or two appearances, but each helped to shape the feel of their respective games and push the boundaries on Hyrule’s true depth. From dimension-shifting sprites to ancient machine pirates, the land of Hyrule is bursting with civilizations seemingly hidden just underfoot.12 Minish
The Minish, also known as Picori, are creatures the size of a Hylian’s thumb. They live in towns, forests, and mountain caves and are only visible to children. Some Minish are powerful magic users who are able to craft artifacts of great (and often dangerous) magic, such as the sage, Ezlo, who created the powerful Mage’s Cap but was betrayed by his assistant Vaati and turned into a half-bird, half-green hat.
Technically, the Minish are not native to Hyrule, but they appear there once every 100 years. Otherwise, it is said that they reside in a parallel dimension. They have their own language, which cannot be understood by Hyrulian natives, and according to The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, they like to leave gifts for their bigger counterparts to find.11 Ancient Robots
Although fantasy fans might expect robots to appear later in a fantasy story’s history, strangely, they appear well before its founding. In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, they are the creation of a thunder dragon, Lanayru, and their purpose, before they rusted over and before their mining site turned into a desert, was to infinitely mine for resources.
Although they are defunct, they can be revived with timeshift stones. Some of these robots live out their days as servants, while a select few go about as dread pirates. Living machines are, of course, found elsewhere in the series. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s divine beasts are just one example.10 Demons
Although not inherently evil, a demon’s presence alone tends to warp and twist the natures of everything around them. The most notable demon is Demise from Skyward Sword, whose eternal hatred managed to manifest physically as Ganon eras after his death.
Demons have been seen throughout the series from its inception. In A Link To The Past, they took control of the Dark World. Ganon allied with demons on many occasions in an attempt to gain the Triforce. As well as being able to possess them, demons are able to transform into mortals. Interestingly, many mortals have transformed into demons: Ganondorf, the Minish Vaati, and many Twili to name a few.9 Anouki
The Anouki are an isolationist tribe first seen in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Although they have helped Link numerous times, they prefer a life of individualism to large gatherings. They can be identified by the reindeer horns growing from their heads and warm fluffy clothes.
They are known for their hospitality, gentle nature, and truthfulness. Their mortal enemies, the Yook, who live on the other side of the Anouki’s island, are the opposite: fearful, brutal, and dishonest.8 Oocca
Besides being potent, living nightmare fuel, little is known about the Oocca. The Oocca have human-like heads on the bodies of birds and live in the sky, far above the fields and lakes of Hyrule. They are said to be close to the Goddess, perhaps because they live so high up in the clouds.
They live in a technologically advanced city, but sadly (or perhaps mercifully), by the time of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, there are only two Oocca left in existence. It’s entirely possible that there are other Oocca out there somewhere, down below their clockwork city in the sky.7 Mogma
Long snouts and powerful digging claws characterize this race of treasure-loving mole people. While greed often overcomes their rational thinking, they always honor their debts, even to strangers.
They first appeared in Skyward Sword, at the start of the Zelda timeline, but statues of their likeness can be found right at the start of The Legend of Zelda:Tears of the Kingdom that help guide Link through the depths. During that era, they made their home in the Eldin Volcano, known for its rich deposits of precious stones.6 Paralla
This seahorse and jellyfish fusion race was one of the five tribes to stand against Demise during the Ancient Battle. They prefer to move in groups and are fantastic swimmers, despite their strange appearance.
Despite their speed advantage and stamina, they rarely leave their cave dwellings in Lake Floria, where their water dragon patron, Faron, resides. Like jellyfish, the Paralla are soft and can compress their bodies down to fit between tight gaps.5 Deku Scrubs
This bulbous group of plant-based beings first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a mischievous group of seed spitters. While they seemed like a rag-tag bunch in Hyrule, disconnected from the Great Deku Tree in the Lost Woods, in Termina, as depicted in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the Scrubs have their own large settlement in the swamp and are ruled over by a large-crowned monarch.
Deku scrubs aren’t just fixed to the ground. Thanks to Deku flowers, they are able to launch themselves in the air and hover above for a short time. While they can be bothersome, they are usually defeated by deflecting their projectiles back to them with a shield, after which they tend to be quite helpful and will offer advice or items.4 Subrosians
As their name might suggest, the Subrosians live below the surface under Holodrum, seen in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. They typically cloak their bodies in robes, usually green, and given that they live so deep underground, enjoy taking hot lava baths or volcano showers. Subrosians are particularly secretive folk made up of people with odd hobbies, such as “sign collecting” or treasure burying.
Some Subrosians have an upside-down view of the manners used on the surface; disrespect is seen as worthy of favor, whereas offering a respectful phrase might offend some members of the group. Subrosians have a colorful culture, as they enjoy dancing, music, and collecting “mysterious” artifacts from far-above lands.3 Kikwi
These cute woodland critters blur the line between plant and animal. What looks like fluffy tails are actually plant buds. They can grow a leaf out of it to camouflage themselves, which they do more frequently than not when faced with danger.
Despite their cautious nature, they still aided the goddess in her fight against the Demon King thousands of years before Skyward Sword’s story took place. Some fans have theorized that the Kikwi share some familial connection with the Kokiri or Koroks of the Lost Woods. However, since they age and the children of the Great Deku Tree do not, this is unlikely.2 Tokay
A reptilian species of strong swimmers with sticky, cat-like paws, the Tokay make their home on Crescent Island off the coast of Labrynna. When Link’s raft crash-lands on its shores, the Tokay “borrow” his equipment until he finds a way to trade it back from them.
Despite their penchants for thievery, the Tokay are good-natured, if not a little dim. They rely on bartering as a means of trade, often using seeds instead of rupees. They worship the statue in the middle of their island, which they call the “Guardian.”1 Fairies
Wards of the nature goddess Farore, fairies can appear big or small. The smaller fairies tend to appear with wings in glowing orbs of light. They help Link in his quest by healing him or guiding him (such as Navi in Ocarina of Time or Tatl in Majora’s Mask).
The larger fairies, Great Fairies, live in fairy fountains and are usually able to bestow great magic. They often watch over their smaller family members. Disturbingly, in Breath of the Wild, Link can use small fairies as ingredients in health-restoring meals.