Both it and Zorua were the first Generation V Pokémon to be revealed to the public on February 10, 2010. Zoroark initially debuted as a silhouette before being revealed in full.
Zoroark is a bipedal, gray-brown, fox-like Pokémon with crimson and black accents. It has a pointed snout and ears with red insides. It also has some red rimming its eyes and mouth. It has a large, red, voluminous mane with black tips, which somewhat resembles a ponytail, as a teal bangle down its length separates a mass of the mane from the lower portion. It has a black ruff on its upper body, pointed at the shoulders from which its arms extend. Its upper arms are thin, whereas its lower arms, while still slim, are bulkier. The arms have spiky extensions of fur at the elbows, and it has red claws on its hands and feet. Zoroark's eyes are red-rimmed with light blue irises.
Zoroark can create illusions that are indistinguishable from reality, deluding many people simultaneously. It can even create illusory landscapes in the forests where it dwells, to hide its territory and protect its den. However, Zoroark is incapable of physically changing itself into another form; it is merely capable of casting illusions. When a Zoroark takes the form of a human, it is capable of human speech. It can make convincing illusions of attacks, and these illusions are extremely realistic, enough to fool even cameras and make one believe they're being physically affected, though the illusion does not have any direct physical effect.
Zoroark lives in groups, where unity is strong. It is extremely protective of those it cares about and will go to any lengths to keep them safe, including risking its own life, and it can hold grudges on those who harm its loved ones. Zoroark will hide its Zorua young in its mane to protect them and carry them around. There are stories that say Zoroark punishes those who attempt to catch it by trapping them in an illusion.
Zoroark appears as a Poké Ball summon. In the 3DS version of the game, it is unlocked after clearing 10-Man Smash. Upon release, it uses Fury Swipes to send fighters into the air, slash them repeatedly, and smash them back down. This move is very similar to Greninja's Final Smash.
Zoroark in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.
NA: This Dark-type Pokémon will protect its home and anyone it cherishes by creating illusions to fluster opponents. When it uses Fury Swipes, it will vanish from view and then suddenly appear next to its targets, launching them upward. It will then finish them off by sending them crashing back down.
PAL: This Dark-type Pokémon is a powerful illusionist, and uses its power to confuse any that would threaten its home and loved ones. When it uses its Fury Swipes attack, it vanishes, then reappears next to an opponent and sends them flying into the air. It then slashes at them furiously before slamming them into the ground.
Zoroark was first revealed by Junichi Masuda as a silhouette in the February 7, 2010 edition of Pokémon Sunday. Its full image was later revealed in the March 2010 issue of CoroCoro, alongside its pre-evolution, Zorua.
Though evolving from Zorua at level 30, pre-release information from CoroCoro suggested it would evolve from Zorua by a method different from known evolution methods. What this method might have been if it was true is unknown.
Zoroark and its pre-evolution Zorua are the only non-Mythical Pokémon to have been event-exclusive for a time (prior to the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2).
Zoroark is likely based on kitsune of Japanese folklore, a shape-shifting mythical fox that would trick unsuspecting travelers for fun. Its facial markings draw from Kabuki and Noh theatre makeup. It also resembles a werewolf, due to the fact that it is an anthropomorphic canid, like most werewolves.
Zoroark may be a combination of zorro (Spanish for fox) and dark, 悪 aku (evil), or arch- (prefix for "top" or "chief").