Quite a few Pokemon are based off from the kitsune, tricky foxes from old Japanese legends. Some stories depict them as being clever and others say that they possess magical abilities that grow more powerful with age. Though most hold one thing in common; the kitsune are able to mask their appearance and change into different forms. Zorua and its evolved its evolved form, Zoroark, are interpretations of that legend.
Zorua is small and appears to be based off from a fox cub. According to its pokedex entries, Zorua masks its true identity with its illusions to protect itself from potential foes. Apparently, they often take on the appearance of a silent child. In the movie Zoroark: The Master of Illusions, a Zorua was depicted as being a bit mischievous and having trouble hiding its tail when creating illusions – a problem that young, inexperienced kitsune often face in the legends. The Tricky Fox Pokemon often laughs at those it tricks with its illusions, and enjoys snickering once it’s been reverted back to its usual form. In even the tightest of situations, it will chuckle at its adversary. Zorua’s ability, Illusion, also references the fact that it is based off from those tricky foxes from myth. It’s said that Zorua’s name comes from the words ‘zorro’, which means “fox” in Spanish, and ‘rua’, which is Irish for “red” (though refers to hair) so it most-likely references the red tufts of fur that it has.
Once Zorua reaches level 30, it evolves into Zoroark. Zoroark is much larger than Zorua and walks around in its hind legs like a person would. Zoroark are very protective of their homes so they create illusions of different landscapes to hide their territory and often live in groups to ensure that protection. According to the movie Zoroark: The Master of Illusions, Zoroark keep their Zorua cubs in their hair-like fur for their young’s protection as well as a convenience when traveling from place to place. Zoroark are supposed to be very loyal to others, some often risk their own safety just to protect those that they care about. Zoroark and its pre-evolved form, Zorua, are the only two non-legendary Pokemon to be exclusive to an event. You can’t receive them in the game without transferring a Celebi (for Zorua), Raikou, Entei, or Suicune (for Zoroark). Like Zorua, Zoroark’s design is based off from kitsune legends. Zoroark’s name most-likely comes from the words ‘zorro’ and the English word ‘dark’.
Zorua and Zoroark are two different interpretations of the kitsune legends from Asian folklore. Because they can create deceiving illusions to protect themselves, they’re both Dark-type Pokemon. Though while their illusions are considered ‘playing tricks’, most create false images to protect themselves from harm.