From his inception, Ganondorf has stood as the iconic villain of the Zelda franchise. Memorable as he may be, many fans appear to be in favor of new and diverse villains. Vaati, the Skull Kid, and even Ghirahim are loved by fans near and far. So why does Ganondorf still await us in the final dungeon of so many games?

Throughout the series Ganondorf has become synonymous with The Legend of Zelda, but his duty seemed to be only the final boss who awaited your arrival patiently while only really showing up in cutscenes prior. In a movie he would be a fine villain, but in the format of a video game a good villain is one who impacts your game. An enemy is not made more interesting by cutscenes telling you it is interesting. What makes it interesting is the way that you interact with it, as that is the nature of the format.

Twilight Princess, however, introduces us to Zant. I remember thinking that this was just a disguised Ganondorf, and in retrospect he almost is, but there’s development here. Here we have a new villain with a new backstory who actually affects your gameplay, showing up at major triumphs to undo all your hard work. This villain isn’t just going to sit in a castle waiting for you to arrive and destroy him; he is there to make your day exceptionally bleak.

He has strong motivation, provides a clear moral lesson, and is a legitimate threat and yet he gets thrown out, only to be replaced by the boss we’ve seen time and time again? Any way you look at it, that’s bad writing. Or was it necessary to characterize Ganondorf as an all-consuming evil that no other force could resist succumbing to? Here we have the conflict: was it as simple as bad writing, or was Nintendo trying to appease fans by bringing back the classic antagonist?

Which character do you like better? Were you satisfied with the with the final boss of Twilight Princess? Tell us below, and join the Daily Debate!

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