Ganon

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This article is about the character that appears throughout the series. For game-specific boss information and strategies, see Ganon (Disambiguation).
Spoiler Alert! This article describes a subject that is sensitive to plot development.
Ganon
Ganon (OoT).jpg
Ganon as seen in Ocarina of Time
Ganondorf (OoT).jpg
Artwork of Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time

Title

Prince of Darkness
King of Evil
Evil Incarnation of Darkness
King of Darkness
Demon King
Dark Beast
Dark Lord

Race

Gender

Male

Games

Location

Related

Twinrova (Surrogate Mothers)

"These toys are too much for you! I command you to return them to me![1][2]"

— Ganondorf, in Ocarina of Time

Ganon, also known as Ganondorf, is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda series. He has been present or at least referred to in each of the first five games in the series, and has subsequently been in three more after. Throughout the series, Ganon has had several deaths, both confirmed, like in The Legend of Zelda, and unconfirmed, as in Twilight Princess. Ganon possesses the Triforce of Power, which contains the essence of the Goddess, Din. This divine power makes Ganon unimaginably strong and grants him boundless power, making him the largest threat to Hyrule in all its history. As stated in the prophecy of Hyrule, the only one capable of defeating Ganon is the Hero chosen by the Goddesses.

Contents

Backstory

Throughout the games, Ganon's intentions haven't changed. Taking the Triforce of Power or earning it and spreading darkness over Hyrule, and he often kidnaps Zelda in the process. Only his appearance has changed. He is a blue pig-monster in The Legend of Zelda, while in Ocarina of Time, he's the King of the Gerudo and has a power to turn into a giant, green monster. Ganondorf is the human/gerudo version while Ganon is the abomination, beast or demon version of Ganondorf. In Ocarina of Time, he was the only Gerudo men born in that current century, automatically making him their king.

Name Issue

The Prince of Darkness has three "n"s in his name in the original The Legend of Zelda, making his name G-A-N-N-O-N. However, in all other games he is known as G-A-N-O-N (two "n"s). Newer fans have used the single "n" form as the canon one, but older fans who first played The Legend of Zelda back in the day still spell it "Gannon".

Characteristics

Ganondorf has gone from a cold, heartless individual to a sad individual and back again. In older games he seems to be bent only on controlling Hyrule, but in The Wind Waker, players saw a different side of Ganondorf Dragmire, where he was yearning for Hyrule back. Mostly, though, he seems only bent on evil things.

In-Game Appearances

The Legend of Zelda

Ganon.png

In The Legend of Zelda, Ganondorf was only in his pig form, Ganon. The intro of the game tells of how Ganon stole the Triforce of Power, and was rumored to be after the Triforce of Wisdom too. Before he could steal that one too, Zelda broke the Triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces and hide them inside underground labyrinths (dungeons). She then sent Impa, her nursemaid, searching for a hero to collect all eight pieces and destroy Ganon. Impa comes across Link, and asks him to take this quest. This begins the game.

Once Link has obtained all eight pieces, he can travel to Death Mountain and confront Ganon. This battle is quite difficult, as for the most part Ganon will be invisible, while shooting fireballs at Link. The best way to attack is to randomly use sword slashes in all directions. Once Ganon has been hit, he will be visible for a moment, and then disappear again. Once Ganon has been hit three times with the Magical Sword, he will turn a brownish color, which shows he is vulnerable. This is Link's opportunity to finish him off with a shot from the Bow using a Silver Arrow. This will kill Ganon, leaving behind his ashes and the Triforce of Power. Link can now proceed into the door directly above and save Princess Zelda.

The Adventure of Link

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Ganon does not appear in The Adventure of Link, still dead after his defeat at the hands of Link in The Legend of Zelda. Despite his physical absence, many of his minions remain and his corrupting influence over Hyrule is still very potent.[3] Should his followers succeed in defeating Link and sprinkle his blood over the ashes of their master, Ganon will be revived.[4] Ganon's menacing silhouette only appears if Link perishes, and presumably completes his conquest and destruction of Hyrule.

A Link to the Past

Ganon-ALTTP-Sprite.png
Prior to the start of the game's events, Ganondorf Dragmire enters the Sacred Realm, obtaining the Triforce. Desiring its full benefits for himself, he murders his accomplices. Upon touching the Triforce, he is transformed into a boar-like demon dubbed Ganon. The Sacred Realm also assumes the guise of the Dark World. Endeavoring to preserve the balance of peace, the Knights of Hyrule and the Seven Wise Men lock Ganon in the Dark World.

Some years later, the demon is able to leave the Dark World disguised as the wizard Agahnim. In a clever twist of fate, Agahnim wins over the trust of the King of Hyrule and assumes the reigns of power himself. He seals the Seven Maidens in the Dark World but one eludes him, Zelda, whom Link rescues from the Sanctuary. During Link's quest to obtain the Master Sword, however, Zelda is left unguarded and is captured by Agahnim and subsequently sealed in the Dark World.

After defeating Agahnim in the Dark World, a bat arises from the defeated wizard's body and flies to the Pyramid of Power. It is revealed that the bat is indeed Ganon and Link must face the boar-like demon in a final battle. Link's Master Sword and Silver Arrows triumph over Ganon's complete Triforce and Trident of Power.

Link's Awakening

Nightmare takes Ganon's form and appears as one of the The Shadow Nightmares forms in Link's Awakening.

He can summon bats like in A Link to the Past and must be dashed into numerous times to defeat.

Ocarina of Time

Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time 3D

Ocarina of Time is the first game in which Ganon's human form appears. Named Ganondorf, his image is shown to the right. He came from the Gerudo supposedly swearing allegiance to the King of Hyrule. Of course he had other intentions. Ganon stormed Hyrule Castle forcing Princess Zelda to flee. He then tried to take the Triforce for himself, but it split into three pieces leaving him with only the Triforce of Power, with which he could take over Hyrule but not completely fulfill his evil intentions. At the end of the game Link confronts Ganondorf defeating him, then defeating Ganon (Ganondorf's pig form). He was then banished to the Evil Realm.

Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Ganon-Oracle.png

After completing his adventures in both Labrynna and Holodrum, Link finds out that the cause of Veran and Onox's mischief was the result of a bigger plan devised by the witches Koume and Kotake; a plan to resurrect the evil king Ganon. The actions of Veran and Onox caused the Flame of Sorrow and the Flame of Destruction to be lit. In an attempt to light the third and final flame for their ritual, Twinrova kidnaps Princess Zelda herself to be used as a sacrifice. Although Link is able to defeat Twinrova and save Zelda from the ritual, he cannot stop the resurrection of Ganon, as Twinrova ends up sacrificing their own body as a vessel for the evil king.

The resulting incarnation of Ganon lacks much intelligent thought, though he does show knowledge of who he is. Still, Ganon proves to be the toughest obstacle that Link will have to overcome if he is to restore peace to the world and take his destined place in history as the Legendary Hero.

Through a linked game, the player can go to a secret altar where they will fight Ganon. For the battle, Ganon will constantly be disappearing and reappearing. Sometimes he will appear and slash at you with his trident. He also has several variations on an orb attack: sometimes he will shoot three larger orbs, one large orb, or many smaller orbs. All his attacks including his trident slash can be avoided by jumping with the Roc's cape. Sometimes he also charges up for a jump which will stun you for a moment. Again, you can avoid this by jumping before he lands. To fight him, you must charge up a spin attack when he isn't on the screen. When he appears, move next to him and hit him with the spin attack. When he begins to become low on health, he will change the room briefly to a strange blue room and back again. When the blue room is in effect, controls are reversed (if you press left, you will go right, etc) so you have to be careful. After many spin attacks, Ganon will be defeated and you will have beaten the game.

The Wind Waker

Ganondorf-Artwork-The-Wind-Waker.png
Ganondorf
Ganondorf Figurine (TWW).png

Base of Operations: Ganon's Castle
Effective Weapons: Light Arrows, Master Sword
The possessor of the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf controls many fell beasts. It is useless for Link to try to face him alone. He must look for an ally who can aid him in battle.

As mentioned above in his characteristics, Ganon had a slightly different personality in The Wind Waker. He first appears near the beginning of the game where he ordered the Helmaroc King to throw Link into the Great Sea. He is not truly seen, as his face is not visible to the camera. However, the King of Red Lions reveals to Link very soon after that that man was Ganondorf. He then appears again near the middle of the game, where Link thinks he can kill Ganondorf with the Master Sword, only to be nearly killed himself if it weren't for Valoo. He doesn't appear in person again until the end of the game when Link and him have a sword duel in drowning Hyrule, ending with him being turned to stone.

Four Swords Adventures

In Four Swords Adventures Ganon is originally a desert nomad named Ganondorf. Prior to the events of the game, Ganon breaks the taboo of the Gerudo and explores the Desert Pyramid, eventually stealing the Trident and the Dark Mirror. He uses the Trident's power to transform into Ganon, along with using the power of the Dark Mirror to create Shadow Link. Ganon uses Vaati to distract Link while he slowly gains power from the Shrine Maidens captured by Shadow Link. At the end of the game Ganon appears as the final boss fought beneath the Tower of the Winds. He is defeated when shot with a ball of light and a Light Arrow, allowing the Maidens to imprison him within the Four Sword.

Twilight Princess

Ganondorf being banished to the Twilight Realm

Ganondorf makes his most recent appearance in the GCN/Wii title, Twilight Princess.

Sages' Story

Ganondorf is first spoken of about halfway through the game, once Link has completed the Arbiter's Grounds and entered the Mirror Chamber. After finding only a quarter of the Mirror of Twilight, the Ancient Sages tell Link of how the mirror was broken, which was dark power. Power that only he possesses.[5] They are of course referring to Ganondorf. They continue to tell Link Ganon's backstory, which includes Ganon being the leader of a band of thieves who tried to control the Sacred Realm, the location that the Goddesses left the world.[6] However, the Sages explain that he was blind of any danger, and thus was he brought to justice.[7] A cutscene is showed of the Sages executing Ganon, right in the Mirror Chamber. However, Ganon survived because of the Triforce of Power, which he possesses.[8] Fearing Ganon will leave the Mirror Chamber and repeat his previous offenses, the Sages use the Mirror of Twilight to banish Ganondorf to the Twilight Realm. The Ancient Sages continue by suggesting that his power has been passed on to Zant,[9] which Midna responds to with a snide comment on how it's much too late to be figuring out where Zant got his powers.[10] The Sages conclude their speech by telling Link he should be able to collect the fragments of the Mirror of Twilight.[11] Ganondorf is not spoken of again until much later.

Zant's Story

Once Link has gathered all the Mirror Shards, entered the Palace of Twilight, and confronted Zant, he will again hear more of how Zant got his powers. Zant will start his explanation by telling Link and Midna about how he was tired of living in this world, where there was not the faintest bloom of desire.[12][13] He continues by saying that he believed he would be the next to rule the Twili people, but was denied.[14][15] Zant continues by telling them how he found Ganon, who he refers to as "god".[16] There is then a scene showing Zant on the outdoor area of the Palace of Twilight, smacking the ground in frustration. A large ball appears above Zant's head, and proceeds towards him. It encompasses Zant, and Ganon will be shown, telling Zant that he will store his power in Zant, making whatever Zant desires something Ganon desires too.[17][18] Zant ends his speech by saying that Ganon had only one wish,[19] to merge light and shadow, to make darkness.[20]

After Link has defeated Zant, Zant will reveal to Link and Midna that his god, Ganon, has already descended and been reborn in the World of Light.[21] He continues by showing good faith in Ganon, saying that as long as Ganon survives, he will resurrect Zant without cease.[21] This mini-scene shows how much Zant really praises Ganon, which can be interpreted as Ganon playing Zant so he can be revived in Hyrule, or as a true relationship that has mutual feelings.

Outside of the Throne Room

Confrontation

Ganon is finally confronted by Link at the very end of Twilight Princess, where he is physically seen for the first time. This confrontation happens at the highest tower of Hyrule Castle, in the Throne Room. Ganon can be found sitting on the throne, with Princess Zelda levitating above him, in the middle of the Triforce statue. He arrogantly introduces himself by welcoming Link and Midna to his castle.[22] After a dramatic scene of Ganon standing up, Ganon begins his speech by making fun of Midna's people, saying it was very pathetic that they defied the gods with petty magic only to be cast aside.[23] He continues by saying the anguish felt by the Twili people acted as his nourishment, as their hatred bled across the void and awakened him.[24][25] He explains why, in his opinion, Midna's people didn't succeed; it was because they lacked true power.[26] The kind of power those chosen by the gods wield.[27] He continues by saying that someone with the type of power would make a suitable king, while at the same time holding up his right hand, which has the marking of the Triforce of Power.[28] After Midna vows to deny Ganon what he desires,[29] Ganon redirects their attention to Zelda, who he refers to as their little friend.[30] He uses Twilight-magic to possess Zelda, and this begins the epic four-phase battle that concludes Twilight Princess.

After Link completes the four and final phase of the battle by stabbing Ganon in the middle of his chest with the Master Sword, Ganon states his final words. He says to Link to not think that this is the end.[31] He explains that the history of light and shadow will be written in blood.[32] The scenes continues by showing the Triforce of Power leave Ganon, at which point Zant will appear, in more of an image rather then physically. He leans his head to the right, with a crack. This seemingly ends Ganon, as his eyes roll to the back of his head, and he seizes movement, yet still standing. This is the end of Ganon in Twilight Princess, but it is unconfirmed if he died or not.

Phantom Hourglass

Although Ganondorf does not make an appearance, he is mentioned in the prologue, which is a summary of The Wind Waker's events.

Skyward Sword

Ganon is not mentioned directly in this game, but is implied of his coming by Demise right before his death. Demise states that hatred for the Gods and Goddesses like his is so strong that it can never be vanquished for good, and a reincarnation of himself will be born into the world again someday.

Non-Canon Appearances

This section describes a subject that is or may be outside the core Zelda canon.

Battle Quest

In The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Ganon serves as the final boss in the main quest, located within the 9th level, Raid on Ganon's Castle. Ganon later appears in the 12th level, which is also the 3rd secret level, Death Mountain Path. In this level, Ganon takes a more armored visual look and can withstand more damage. Also, Ganon makes two appearance in the 15th and final level of Battle Quest, Ganon's Last Stand.

Monita-Nintendo-Land.png

This evil lord supposedly possesses the Triforce. Just when you expect him to attack from afar...SURPRISE! He's right beside you. Which isn't nice at all.

Super Smash Bros.

Ganondorf also appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is a secret character in both games. In order to unlock him in Super Smash Bros Melee, the player will have to clear Match Event #29. There are three ways to unlock Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros Brawl:

  • Play 200 matches in Brawl, and then beat Ganondorf in a fight
  • Get Ganondorf to join the party in The Subspace Emissary
  • Beat Classic mode on Normal difficulty with Zelda or on Hard difficulty with Link, and then beat Ganondorf in a fight.

CD-I

In the Philips CD-i games, Ganon takes on a different design from the canon Nintendo games and animated series. He is more demonic in appearance and in the first two games only requires a single hit to defeat.

In Link: The Faces of Evil, Ganon takes over the island of Koridai prompting the inhabitants to Hyrule, where they ask Link to save them. Over the course of the adventure Ganon kidnaps Princess Zelda while Link is away. Ganon is eventually defeated by Link and imprisoned in the Book of Koridai.

In Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Ganon has taken over the far away land of Gamelon. He sent his servant Duke Onkled the cousin of King Harkinian to convince both the King and Link to travel to Gamelon to aid in defeating Ganon. They were both captured which prompted Zelda to travel there herself to rescue them and save the land of Gamelon from Ganon and his servants. In the end Zelda used the magic lantern to expose Ganon to the light weakening him and then Wand of Gamelon on Ganon to bind him in chains and reseal him into the Book of Koridai.

In Zelda's Adventure, Ganon has kidnapped Link and stolen the seven celestial signs taking over the kingdom of Tolemac. Zelda goes on a quest to collect the signs and rescue Link. In this game Ganon bears no resemblance to any previous design and appears as a large demon with bull horns and wearing a dark cape with a red interior but still wields a trident as seen from other games. He teleports around the room firing several magical balls of energy downward. After several hits he transforms into a small dark whirlwind and flies apart.

Hyrule Warriors

Ganon appears in the Nintendo Wii U game Hyrule Warriors. Ganondorf is the main antagonist of the game, manipulating Cia to try and revive himself. He is also playable after Cia is defeated in Valley of Seers. Ganon appears in his Twilight Princess beast form.

Ganon's appearance in the animated series

Animated Series

Ganon made an appearance as the main antagonist of the 1989 Zelda Animated series from DIC Entertainment voiced by Len Carlson. In this series he was loosely based on his design from the original Legend of Zelda as an anthropomorphized boar in a purple robe. His portrayal is much more comical than any of the game appearances. He is often quick to anger and yells at the bumbling of his minions or waves his fist after losing to the heroes.

His lair is the subterranean Underworld where he keeps the Triforce of Power, the source of his seemingly unlimited magic. In each episode he plots to steal the Triforce of Wisdom so he can rule the world. Normally he does this through the minions he summons and sends to the overworld only to be defeated time and time again by the efforts of Link and Zelda. He summons all of his monsters and minions from a large glass device in his throne room called the Evil Jar. From this he sends them to the overworld to defeat Link, kidnap Princess Zelda or ultimately steal the Triforce of Wisdom. When the minions, or on rare occasion himself, are zapped by Link they always reappear back in the Evil Jar.

Trivia

  • Ganon's last name is Dragmire, according to the manual of A Link to the Past.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, Ganon's name was spelled G-A-N-N-O-N. In every game since, it has been changed to G-A-N-O-N, only using two "N"s.

Gallery

References

  1. "These toys are too much for you!" — Ganondorf, Ocarina of Time.
  2. "I command you to return them to me!" — Ganondorf, Ocarina of Time.
  3. "The power that vile heart of Ganon had left behind was causing chaos and disorder in Hyrule. What's more, even after the fall of Ganon, some of his underlings remained, waiting for Ganon's return." — The Adventure of Link Game Manual, pg. 3-4
  4. "The key to Ganon's return was the blood of Link - the valiant lad who overthrew the King of Evil. Ganon would be revived by sacrificing Link and sprinkling his blood on the ashes of Ganon." — The Adventure of Link Game Manual, pg. 4
  5. "That magic is a dark power that only he possesses..." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  6. "He was the leader of a band of thieves who invaded Hyrule in the hopes of establishing dominion over the Sacred Realm." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  7. "In all of his fury and might, he was blind to any danger, and thus was he exposed, subdued, and brought to justice." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  8. "By some divine prank, he, too, had been blessed with the chosen power of the gods." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  9. "Perhaps that evil power has been passed on to Zant..." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  10. "You're just now figuring out where Zant got his power? It's far too late..." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  11. "You who have been sent by the goddesses... You should be able to gather the three pieces..." — Ancient Sages, Twilight Princess.
  12. "In the shadows we regressed, so much so that we soon knew neither anger nor hatred...nor even the faintest bloom of desire." — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  13. "I had served and endured in that depraved household for far too long, my impudent princess." — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  14. "And why, you ask? Because I believed I would be the next to rule our people! THAT is why!" — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  15. "But would they acknowledge me as their king? No! And as such, I was denied the magic powers befitting our ruler." — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  16. "It was then, in the thrall of hatred and despair, that I turned my eyes to the heavens...and found a god." — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  17. "I shall house my power in you..." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  18. "If there is anything you desire, then I shall desire it, too." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  19. "My god had only one wish..." — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  20. "To merge shadow and light...and make darkness!" — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  21. 21.1 21.2 "Already he has descended and been reborn in this world... As long as my master, Ganon, survives, he will resurrect me without cease!" — Zant, Twilight Princess.
  22. "Welcome to my castle." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  23. "Your people have long amused me, Midna. To defy the gods with such petty magic, only to be cast aside... How very pathetic." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  24. "Pathetic as they were, though, they served me well. Their anguish was my nourishment." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  25. "Their hatred bled across the void and awakened me. I drew deep of it and grew strong again." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  26. "Your people had some skill, to be sure...but they lacked true power." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  27. "The kind of absolute power that those chosen by the gods wield." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  28. "He who wields such power would make a suitable king for this world, don't you think?" — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  29. "I will risk everything to deny you!" — Midna, Twilight Princess.
  30. "Yes, try to deny me... You and your little friend..." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  31. "Do not think this ends here..." — Ganon, Twilight Princess.
  32. "The history of light and shadow will be written in blood!" — Ganon, Twilight Princess.