Guys, girls, it doesn't matter. I just like people for who they are. Bonus points if they're hot.
— Zig[1]

Zig, a main character in The Freshman, The Sophomore, The Junior, and The Senior series, was a barista and student at Hartfeld. He becomes one of your character's love interests in Book 3. He graduated in The Senior, Chapter 15. He is first seen in The Freshman, Book 3, Chapter 3.


Zig has wavy, brown hair, tan skin, and brown eyes. In The Freshman, he wears a white T-shirt and a silver chain tucked in his shirt. He has a tattoo of an owl on his left upper arm.

In The Sophomore, he wears a light gray shirt, a black leather jacket, and a dog tag necklace. In The Junior, his dog tag necklace is tucked in his shirt of his look from The Sophomore.

In The Junior, you have a chance to give him a makeover. You can choose a new makeover, his look from The Freshman, or stay with his current outfit. In his new makeover, his hair a bit longer and even more wavy. He wears black jeans, a black shirt, and a denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up.


Simply put, Zig is a tough guy with a soft heart. Initially, during the first few chapters he appears in in The Freshman, Book 3, he comes across as aggressive, socially isolated, and simply not given a break by the world. However, he slowly opens up with encouragement from Your Character and her friends, to the point he becomes comfortable discussing his family and his sexuality with them.

Speaking of family, Zig is fiercely protective of his family. Considering he has four sisters and was raised solely by his mother, Zig has grown up surrounded by strong female role models and has great respect for the women in his life. In fact, he defended his sister Marie when her abusive ex-boyfriend marched into their old home and tried to assault her, leading to Zig beating him to a pulp and receiving a community service order for doing so. This displays just how far Zig is willing to go to protect the people he loves.

From about the time of The Sophomore, Book 1, Zig has shown signs of becoming mellowed as he is accepted into Hartfeld University via the Second Chance Scholarship, which was accepted by Dean Stafford after a proposal by Student Body President Chris Powell with the help of Zig and Your Character. Despite this, Zig does often show signs of frustration about how he is treated by those who know of his background, but he does his best to improve on his temper.


The Freshman

Book 3

  • Chapter 3: New Kid on the Block
  • Chapter 4: Budgetary Concerns
  • Chapter 5: Bad Reputation
  • Chapter 6: A Kappa Birthday
  • Chapter 7: Rebel With a Cause
  • Chapter 8: Misadventures in Babysitting (Determinant)
  • Chapter 9: Until We Meet Again (Determinant)
  • Chapter 10: Caught in the Middle
  • Chapter 11: Rock 'Roll' Hartfeld
  • Chapter 12: Flirting With Disaster
  • Chapter 14: Karma Chameleon
  • Chapter 15: Take a Chance on Me
  • Chapter 16: Never Gonna Give You Up
  • Chapter 17: Don't You (Forget About Me)

Book 4

  • Chapter 1: Rockin' Down the Highway
  • Chapter 2: (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
  • Chapter 3: Summer Wine
  • Chapter 4: Can't Buy Me Love
  • Chapter 5: Born to be Wild
  • Chapter 6: Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Chapter 7: Bad Moon Rising
  • Chapter 8: Stand By Me

The Sophomore

Book 1

  • Chapter 1: Semi-Charmed Life
  • Chapter 2: Carry Me Home
  • Chapter 3: Run-Around
  • Chapter 4: Bills, Bills, Bills (Determinant)
  • Chapter 5: Party Up
  • Chapter 6: Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Chapter 7: Livin' La Vida Loca
  • Chapter 10: Animal Instincs
  • Chapter 11: Sabotage (Determinant)
  • Chapter 12: Get What You Give
  • Chapter 13: You Oughta Know
  • Chapter 14: Unbreak My Heart
  • Chapter 16: Baby One More Time
  • Chapter 17: It's The End of the World as We Know It

Book 2

  • Chapter 1: Hanging by a Moment (Offscreen)
  • Chapter 2: Everything Will be Alright
  • Chapter 3: Independent Woman (Offscreen)
  • Chapter 5: Take a Bow
  • Chapter 6: Daddy Wasn't There
  • Chapter 8: Family Affairs
  • Chapter 9: Bye Bye Bye
  • Chapter 10: Get the Party Started
  • Chapter 11: Beautiful Day
  • Chapter 12: Just Dance
  • Chapter 13: U Got it Bad
  • Chapter 14: Graduation (Friends Forever)
  • Chapter 15: Not Ready to Make Nice

Hartfeld Horror Story

  • Chapter 1: Stranger Than FanFiction
  • Chapter 2: I Know What You Did Last Quarter

The Junior

Book 1

  • Chapter 1: Live While We're Young
  • Chapter 3: Shake it Off (Determinant)
  • Chapter 4: We Can't Stop
  • Chapter 5: Somebody That I Used to Know (Determinant)
  • Chapter 6: Problem
  • Chapter 7: We Are Young
  • Chapter 8: Bad Blood
  • Chapter 11: Sorry (Determinant)
  • Chapter 12: Rolling in the Deep
  • Chapter 13: Look What You Made Me Do

The Senior

The Senior

  • Chapter 1: Don't Stop Me Now (Determinant)
  • Chapter 2: Year of the Cat
  • Chapter 3: Atomic Punk
  • Chapter 4: Mr. Blue Sky
  • Chapter 5: The Jungle Line
  • Chapter 6: We Are The Champions (Determinant)
  • Chapter 7: Hooked on a Feeling (Determinant)
  • Chapter 8: Video Killed the Radio Star
  • Chapter 10: Imagine (Determinant)
  • Chapter 11: Go Your Own Way (Determinant)
  • Chapter 12: Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Determinant)
  • Chapter 13: London Calling (Determinant)
  • Chapter 14: Come And Get Your Love
  • Chapter 15: Changes


Zig's compass

Your Character

Zig frequently flirts with Your Character and often compliments your appearance. If you improve your relationship with Zig or return his flirtations, you can choose to become his girlfriend in Book 3, Chapter 17, if your character is single. He also stands up to Sebastian Delacroix for you. After that Zig and your character have been dating almost a year and they love each other and she continues to be there for him.

In The Sophomore, Book 2, Chapter 12, if his confidence is high enough, he will give you a gift that contains a compass from his boy scout days to thank you for being supportive. There is also a picture of him as a boy scout when he was nine or ten years old.

In Chapter 15 of The Sophomore, Book 2, if you are dating him, he will ask you if you want to move in together.

If he is your love interest, he will propose to you in The Senior, Chapter 15.


Chris and Zig have a lot in common, having both grown up without a dad, being the oldest sibling and having a criminal record. They both seemed to get along well at Madison's party.

Linda Ortega

Linda is Zig's mom, They both seem to have a positive relationship.


Marie, Sophie, Lucy and Mila are Zig's sisters. Marie is the oldest Ortega sibling. Sophie, Lucy and Mila are the youngest siblings.


Other Looks



  • Zig has three little sisters. The exact number is not revealed in The Freshman unless he babysits Rico with Your Character.
    • The names of Zig's younger sisters are stated in The Sophomore, Book 2, Chapter 12. The names are Sophie (18 years old), Lucy (16 years old), and Mila (15 years old). The oldest sister's name is Marie.
  • Zig mentions that he grew up in a military family in The Freshman, Book 3.
  • He is afraid of fish.
  • Zig is shown on the covers of The Freshman, Book 4, The Sophomore, Book 1, and The Sophomore: Hartfeld Horror Story.
  • It is revealed in The Freshman, Book 4, Chapter 4, that Zig is bisexual, thus making him the fourth explicitly LGBT character in the series (after Zack, Kaitlyn, and Brandon) and the second LGBT love interest (after Kaitlyn). 
    • In The Sophomore, Book 2, Zig's bisexuality has been cleared further in the plot when he gives advice to Manny, telling him of his own struggles as he came to the realization that he is bisexual.
  • He is one of the first characters (that's also a love interest) in the Choices universe to be canonically bisexual and not playersexual.
  • He first mentions that he was a boy scout in The Freshman, Book 4, Chapter 6.
  • In Chapter 9 of The Sophomore, Book 1, we learn that Zig's last name is Ortega, thereby confirming Zig to be a Hispanic character.
  • The name Zigmund is of German origin and means "protective" or "victory".
    • The surname Ortega is of Spanish origin and means "dweller at the sign of the grouse" or "nettle".
  • If you romanced Zig in The Sophomore, Book 1, he will tell the MC he wants her to meet his family. He talks about his younger sister's passion for art. He also mentions buying her a set of paintbrushes for her birthday.
  • In Helen Twombly's story in Hartfeld Horror Story, he is renamed Zag ("Chad" also calls him "Zagster") and is portrayed as a cynic. You can play as him for one choice in Chapter 2.
  • He has worked as a lifeguard in the past. He mentions in The Freshman, Book 3, that his first job was in a dive bar when he was seventeen.
  • In Chapter 15 of The Sophomore, Book 2, if you are dating him, he will be the one to get in the car with Tyler and Abbie.
  • On April 29, 2018, it was confirmed through an Instagram live session at the Bay Area Book Festival that several of the PB writers attended that it was Chelsa (one of the aforementioned writers) who created Zig.
  • In The Junior, Book 1Chapter 4, you have the chance to give him a makeover.
    • Since this new makeover, it appears that the writers have been inspired by the character of Tony portrayed by Christian Navarro from the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.
  • If you help him investigate why his grades have suddenly dropped in The Junior, Book 1, Chapter 8, Your Character will mention that his favorite show is called Real Investigator and features a main character by the name of Jefferson Truthgood.
  • In a sneak peek for Chapter 1 of The Senior, it is revealed that he took a bunch of classes over the summer. Which means he will be able to graduate alongside Your Character at the end of school year.[2]
  • In The Senior, Chapter 15, he receives a Bachelor degree in Science and graduates with a major in Mathematics.
  • If you help him work on choreography in Chapter 6 of The Sophomore, Book 2, he can reveal a variety of personal information.
    • If you have him dance like he's afraid, he talks about Bruce Jenkins, a boy who bullied him in first grade until Zig stood up to him.
    • If you have him dance like he's proud, he talks about telling his family about his scholarship.
  • He shares the same surname as Esme Ortega from the Open Heart series.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.