Demise, wielding his sword
|Weakness(es)||Lightning, Master Sword|
|Voice Actor(s)||Takashi Nagasako|
Demise is one of two primary antagonists featured in Skyward Sword, and serves as the final boss. Long ago, he and his horde of demons broke through a fissure in the earth and sought out the Triforce. However, he was defeated and sealed away by the goddess Hylia and after the events of Skyward Sword, finally by Link through use of the Master Sword, in both past and present. Demise carries a cocky, overbearing temperament, and will stop at nothing to prove his power to any who defy him, even to Link, a non-magical mortal. Fi describes Demise as "the source of all monsters", and states that he "has conquered time itself". Demise has a strong resemblance to Ganondorf; large stature, fiery red hair, dark skin; even his facial features are similar, and in the cutscene before the final battle with him, a variation of Ganon's leitmotif plays. Upon his defeat, Demise makes a claim that his hatred will not end, but will be reborn in the coming ages. The form of this evil is thought to be Ganon. Hyrule Historia specifically mentions that his flaming red hair is to signify a connection to Ganondorf.
When the gods of old departed from the world, they trusted their ultimate power, the Triforce in the hands of Her Grace to protect it. However, Demise, wanting to make the world his own, gathered an army of monsters and together launched an attack against the people of the surface, murdering them and causing misfortunes all just to get their hands on the power guarded by Hylia.
To prevent the great power from falling into the hands of Demise, Hylia and the five tribes who lived on the surface joined forces and sealed away Demise, restoring peace to the land. Due to the seal placed upon him, he assumes the monstrous form as The Imprisoned for the majority of the plot.
Ghirahim, who is actually Demise's sword, pursues Zelda to steal her soul and thus resurrect his Master, Demise. Meanwhile, Demise attempts to break free of his seal by his own means in the form of The Imprisoned, but he is consistently repelled and re-sealed beneath the Sealed Grounds through the efforts of Link and Groose. At last, when Link obtains the Triforce, he manages to defeat Demise permanently by driving the Statue of the Goddess from Skyloft into the Sealed Grounds as The Imprisoned awakens for the fourth time. However, Ghirahim kidnaps Zelda and takes her to the past through the Gate of Time in the Sealed Temple, where he begins a ritual to revive his master.
While Link manages to defeat Ghirahim, he is too late to stop the resurrection of Demise. The Imprisoned begins to absorb Zelda's soul and eventually transforms into the Demon King himself. Ghirahim welcomes back his master, but Demise pulls a dark sword out of Ghirahim and seals his entity within the weapon. Demise continues to absorb the soul of Zelda to gain unstoppable power; he is impressed with Link's determination to protect the goddess and invites him to do battle. To Demise's shock, Link manages to defeat him, but in his dying throes, he warns Link that it was not over, and that an incarnation of his hatred would be reborn as a being to pursue domination of the world, as well as those with the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero, in a cycle without end. With that, Demise is sealed away within the Master Sword, where his remains begin to decay.
After Link enters the chosen battlefield through the portal in the past, Demise praises him for his courage, but then tells him him that when he falls, he shall rule over everything in the world. With that, the battle begins.
Striking Demise through his guard can be difficult, as he will attempt to block every attack Link makes. Additionally, Link's Skyward Strike is unavailable as the power of the Goddess is negated by Demise's personal battlefield. Link can quickly Shield Attack when Demise attacks with his sword, then follow up with a vertical attack or Spin Attack. Eventually, Demise will be thrown backwards, seemingly defeated, but he will rise up and summon a storm. Demise can then draw the lightning from the storm to charge his sword with electricity. Link will now be damaged if he strikes the sword and Demise will cause twice as much damage as before. To defeat Demise, Link must chose his attacks wisely. Demise is now able to perform his own variation on a Skyward Strike, after which he is forced to recharge his sword by pointing it skyward. It is possible to defeat Demise by attacking him before he can recharge his blade, but it is easier to mimic Demise and point the Master Sword to the sky. This will charge the Master Sword with electricity from lightning bolts, allowing Link to attack with a Skyward Strike and paralyze Demise, making him vulnerable to attack.
After doing this a few times, he will fall back again, allowing Link to finish him with a lightning charged Fatal Blow. Demise is swift however, and he will usually dodge the attack at first, and sometimes the second. If Link is quick enough to land the second attack, or attempts to land the third, the battle ends.
- Demise will stare at the Bug Net if it is brought out. This is the latest in a long line of seemingly-useless "catching" items having an effect in an important fight: deflecting Agahnim's attacks with the Bug Net in A Link to the Past; volleying Ganondorf's attacks back at him with an Empty Bottle in Ocarina of Time; and distracting Ganondorf in a similar way with the Fishing Rod in Twilight Princess. As with Agahnim's attacks, Demise's Skyward Strike can be reflected by the Bug Net.
- Demise is known as the Demon King, a title he shares with Malladus and is one of Ganon's many titles. Although it is translated differently in different games, in the Japanese games Ganon's title is commonly Dai Maō, meaning Great Demon King. In the Japanese version of Skyward Sword, Demise is also known as Tyrannical Being and the Being of the End.
- Despite the fact that Demise has a title, the boss fight does not label it; only his name. This is similar to Ganon in the final battle of Ocarina of Time.
- Despite other characters referring to Demise specifically as male, Fi instead refers to Demise as "it". When analyzing him, however, Fi refers to Demise as "he" and "him" again.
- Demise bears a curious glowing, X-shaped scar on his forehead. This may be the result of the Sealing Spike. Anatomically, the mark's position on Demise's true form is difficult to compare to his form as The Imprisoned, as his head morphs a great deal during this transformation. However, it can be argued that the scar, once hidden by The Imprisoned's numerous "quills", was revealed once his forehead reformed. Curiously, this area of the brow is often occupied by the signature jewel which adorns his successor, Ganondorf. In Twilight Princess, one of Dark Beast Ganon's weak spots is his forehead, which glows in a similar manner. Also in Twilight Princess, a similar "glowing scar" is visible on Ganondorf's chest, where he was penetrated by the Sword of the Sages.
- In the Japanese text the effect of Demise's Curse on the series as whole is better explained. Demise said that not only will his hatred be reborn, (in the form of Ganon), but the entire Demon Tribe, his army, will be reborn to the end of all times. The curse will also effect not just Link and Zelda, but the entire Hylian race as well since they also possess the blood of the Goddess, and the Spirit of the Hero flowing in their veins. Finally the curse will go under an "evolution", meaning that new elements possibly like Vaati and other demons will be included as well.
- The sky-like area in which Demise is fought bears much resemblance to areas seen during the endings of many other Zelda games, indicating a possible connection between one or all of them:
- The location where Link and Zelda meet after Ganon is defeated in Ocarina of Time, where she uses the Ocarina of Time to return him to his childhood years.
- During the final battle in Twilight Princess, the area in which the Light Spirits give Zelda the Light Arrows and she asks Link for his help.
- The location of the duet Link and Zelda perform alongside the Lokomo in order to weaken Malladus in Spirit Tracks.
Concept art of Demise from Hyrule Historia
The Resurrection of Demise
The Battle with Demise
- "The only question left is how long you will remain standing before I take your life. Try to keep it interesting for me, would you?" — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "When I last walked this world, they did little more than scream and cling to their goddess, mewling and praying... Counting on her to protect them." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "How amusing to think those cowards begot someone like you." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "You can spend what little time your world has left cowering and crying, as befits your kind." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "To give him some resemblance to Ganondorf, we didn't just make his hair red, we set it on fire." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 17)
- "Handed down by the gods of old, this power gave its holder the means to make any desire a reality. Such was the might of the ultimate power that the old ones placed it in the care of the goddess." — Introduction (Skyward Sword)
- "One dark, fateful day, the earth cracked wide and malevolent forces rushed forth from the fissure. They mounted a brutal assault upon the surface people, driving the land into deep despair... They burnt forests to ash, choked the land's sweet springs, and murdered without hesitation. They did all this in their lust to take the ultimate power protected by Her Grace, the goddess." — Introduction (Skyward Sword)
- "In his thirst to make the world his own, Demise readied a massive army of monsters for war. He sought to take the Triforce for himself by force." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- "With the humans safe, the goddess joined forces with the land dwellers and fought the evil forces, sealing them away. At last, peace was restored to the surface." — Introduction (Skyward Sword)
- "Stripped of his true physical form by the seal that binds him, he takes the shape of an abomination. But even in his hideous state, he's more than capable of devouring this land if we allow him to do what he desires." — Zelda (Skyward Sword)
- "My master may have perished in this age, but in the past he lives yet! I'm taking the girl back through that gate to help me revive the demon king!" — Ghirahim (Skyward Sword)
- "Welcome back to us, Master." — Ghirahim (Skyward Sword)
- "Hmm... So you and that other human would stand before obliteration to aid the goddess, would you? How curious... The humans I've known are weak things. Hardly more than insects, shivering under rocks and ready to flee at the mere glimpse of me." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "You grow more fascinating by the second, human. I never imagined I'd meet one of your kind who wished to stand against me in battle. Very well, then. I shall prepare a place for us where we will not be bothered by distractions. If you still have the courage to face me, seek me there." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "Though this is not the end. My hate... never perishes. It is born anew in a cycle with no end! I will rise again. Those like you... Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero... They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind, dooming them to wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness for all time!" — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "The last remnants of Demise are decaying slowly within the sword." — Impa (Skyward Sword)
- "Ah, so you've decided to meet your end in battle after all. It pleases me greatly to see such misplaced valor, human." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "Take a moment to appreciate your surroundings, for where we stand shall serve as your tomb for eternity." — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "And when you do fall, know that your world and everything in it is mine to dominate... Mine to subjugate... Mine to rule!" — Demise (Skyward Sword)
- "This eternal being has conquered time itself. It is the source of all monsters." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||終焉の者 (Shuuen no Mono)||Person of Demise|
|Spanish||Heraldo de la Muerte||Harbinger of Death|
|Spanish||El Heraldo||The Harbinger|
|French||Avatar du Néant||Avatar of Nothingness|
|German||Der Todbringer||The Deathbringer|
|Italian||Mortipher||From the Latin word 'Mortifer', meaning 'death'|
|Korean||종언자 (Jongeonja)||The Person of Demise|