Ganon (pronounced /ˈɡæn.ən/ GAN-ən), also known as Ganondorf (pronounced /ˈɡæn.ənˌdɔɹf/ GAN-ən-DAWRF), is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda series. He has been present since the first game, The Legend of Zelda, and has been present or referred to in most.
Introduced in The Legend of Zelda simply as a monstrous Prince of Darkness, Ganon's character has seen much development throughout the series, from being a simple monster to a powerful warlock with deeper motives to his actions. As the manifestation of the Demon King Demise's hatred for the Goddess and her Chosen Hero—or, according to Hyrule Historia, the reincarnation of Demise himself—Ganon is destined to eternally reincarnate to pursue world domination. In most cases though, he makes a return after being resurrected or breaking a seal. Four Swords Adventures is a notable exception, featuring a reincarnated Ganondorf. The original Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time appears in the rest of the games, making him stand out from other villains as the same character from game-to-game.
Ganon is the possessor of the Triforce of Power, imbued with the essence of the Goddess Din. This divine relic makes Ganon unimaginably strong and grants him boundless mystical power, making him a grave threat to the land of Hyrule and the world. Additionally, Ganon is the source of darkness. As stated in prophecy, the only one capable of defeating Ganon is the Hero who is chosen by the Goddesses.
- 1 Backstory
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Names
- 4 Unified Timeline
- 5 Downfall Timeline
- 6 Child Timeline
- 7 Adult Timeline
- 8 Unknown Timeline
- 9 Strategy
- 10 Other Appearances
- 11 Ganon's Swords
- 12 Trivia
- 13 Etymology
- 14 Gallery
- 15 See Also
- 16 References
Ganon is first given a back story in A Link to the Past. It was revealed that Ganon had not always been the boar-like demon introduced in The Legend of Zelda. He was revealed to once have been a human by the name of Ganondorf and leader of a group of thieves. With the help of his followers, he became the first to enter the Sacred Realm in ages. He claimed the Triforce, turning the Sacred Realm into the Dark World and himself into a vastly powerful being. However, he was trapped within the Sacred Realm by the combined efforts of the Knights of Hyrule and the Sages. In Ocarina of Time, it is explained that Ganondorf was born a Gerudo, one of the human races of the realm of Hyrule. The Gerudo twin witches Koume and Kotake were his surrogate mothers. The Gerudo are a race of mostly female warriors and thieves, to whom only one male is born every century. Because of this, the male is by birthright the King of the Gerudo.
Ganondorf uses his position, the trust of the King of Hyrule, as well as a great deal of cunning, manipulation, and mystical power, to gain entrance to the Sacred Realm, the abode of the Triforce. However, he does not obtain the full Triforce but is left with only the Triforce of Power, which he uses to great effect in his conquest of Hyrule. In The Wind Waker, Ganondorf's character is given greater depth and a clearer motive for his villainy. He states that his desire to conquer Hyrule stems from the arduous life he and his people were subjected to living in the harsh Gerudo Desert, a wasteland plagued by sandstorms and an unstable climate, which he compares to the verdant landscape of Hyrule Field, and the amenable life lived by the Hylians.
He is reborn in Four Swords Adventures, where although he is still a Gerudo, he is not the king. He begins his transformation into the King of Darkness by violating the Gerudo taboo on the Pyramid and seeking out the Trident.
In Skyward Sword, Ganon is revealed to be the reincarnation of Demise, carrying his eternal hatred for the goddess and her hero. Thus, he is destined to eternally reincarnate, becoming the source of various conflicts in the history of Hyrule, which involve those with the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero.
Ganondorf is an extremely powerful Gerudo warlock who opposes Link and Zelda within the series; as such, he is a villain of pure evil, and is a cruel and ruthless warlord whose goal is to usurp the Kingdom of Hyrule. Ganon's only ambition in life is to obtain the Triforce and dominate the world using the abilities imbued by them. He has many characteristics of a person with megalomania. Despite his undeniable lust for power, Ganon is a mastermind; he is an adept tactician and a master of manipulation and deceit. It is not unusual for Ganon to manipulate the events of a story behind the scenes (as he did in A Link to the Past, Four Swords Adventures, and Twilight Princess), only to be revealed as the orchestrator in a plot twist. Ganon usually presents himself with the facade of a cynical, yet calm and civil man, although he is known to very quickly become enraged, ensuing in a murderous rampage. Ganon has no sense of morality or honor. In his conquest of the Sacred Realm, once he reached the Temple of Light, he single-handedly killed all of his followers who had aided him in his expedition, so that he could claim the Triforce uncontested. He is also culturally inclined, playing the organ with great skill, as seen in Ocarina of Time where he plays his own theme throughout Link's attack on his tower. Ganon also possesses an arrogant sense of entitlement; he believes himself to be the only one worthy of ruling the kingdom. His pride is also shown when fighting enemies: Despite being more than capable of defeating most enemies in combat, Ganon instead relies on his minions to defeat them. Apparently, he chooses to fight only opponents he deems worthy, such as Link.
Ganon is also an extremely destructive being. Conquest and destruction seem to be one and the same to him, and examples of his rule have shown him willingly turning his dominion into a wicked place of terror and chaos.
Even before gaining the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf was arguably one of the most powerful men in the entire land of Hyrule, due to his political position as the King of the Gerudo.
Ganondorf was also an immensely powerful sorcerer with vast mystical resources. Additionally, Ganondorf has proven himself to be a very talented swordsman, as seen in the final battles between Ganondorf and Link in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. He is also very physically strong, helped further by his extremely impressive height.
Once Ganondorf gained the Triforce of Power, his abilities—both physical and mystical—were augmented by the essence of the Goddess Din to god-like proportions, his power unrivaled by any mortal. Ganondorf became utterly unstoppable, conquering Hyrule with ease. As seen in the events of Twilight Princess, the Triforce of Power also grants Ganondorf invulnerability; using its power, he is capable of enduring mortal wounds (such as having his chest pierced by a sword during his attempted execution). As seen in Twilight Princess, the Triforce of Power grants Ganondorf many more powers such as size manipulation and terrain alteration—while Ganondorf is not personally shown using many of them, he temporarily gifts the Usurper King Zant with some of these powers. Ganondorf also has an unnaturally long lifespan, having lived through ages of Hyrulean chronology.
Since the release of the original game, Ganon has had several different names. During the development of The Legend of Zelda, he was referred to as 牛魔王 八戒 (Gyūmaō Hakkai), which is said to be derived from the Journey to the West characters Chohakkai and Gyūmaō. Before the game's release, the name was changed to ガノン (Ganon), an accurate katakana representation of different roman spellings. Both the Japanese and English language versions of The Legend of Zelda spell the character's name as "Gannon". The game's English manual instead opted for the spelling "Ganon". This disparity gave rise to the notion that "Gannon" was a misspelling introduced during the translation of the first installment's in-game text, inspiring the site and phrase Gannon-Banned. The misspelling theory is conflicted by the Japanese versions of The Adventure of Link and A Link to the Past, whose in-game texts kept the spelling of "Gannon". Ever since the English release of The Adventure of Link, official Nintendo translations have consistently used the spelling "Ganon". The first instance of the "Ganon" spelling being used by the Japanese developers is in the source code of Ocarina of Time. With the Japanese release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, the games finally adopted the official English spelling for the Japanese audience. Although the etymology of Link's name is commonly known, the original inspiration behind the name Ganon has yet to be revealed by the developers.
When A Link to the Past was released, Ganon's human form Ganondorf was introduced. However, because Nintendo of America decided to give their own twist to the story in the translation, "Ganondorf" ended up with a surname: Ganondorf Dragmire. This name has only been used in the Western manuals of A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Similarly, "Ganon" was given the name Mandrag Ganon, which supposedly means "Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves." These names do not appear in later games or re-releases of A Link to the Past. Hyrule Historia established that Ganondorf refers to the human form, while Ganon is a nickname and also the name given to him when he transforms into a boar-like beast. There have been several cases in more recent games, in which characters such as the King of Red Lions or Zant, refer to the form more commonly known as Ganondorf simply as Ganon. In Breath of the Wild, Ganon is called the Calamity Ganon by the Old Man, referring to the Calamity Ganon using neuter pronouns.
Although Ganondorf is not in Skyward Sword, his origins are revealed. He is the reincarnation of Demise, and is thus destined to eternally reincarnate to pursue world domination, as well as those with the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero.
Ocarina of Time
During the events of Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf is striving to conquer the lands of Hyrule and obtain the Triforce. In order to access the Triforce within the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf sought the three Spiritual Stones from the Kokiri, Gorons, and Zoras. When they refused to hand them over, he placed a death-curse upon the Great Deku Tree and Lord Jabu-Jabu, and blocked off Dodongo's Cavern with a gigantic boulder. At the same time, he pledged false allegiance to the King of Hyrule to gain his trust.
Princess Zelda, however, senses the evil within Ganondorf and asks for Link's aid to prevent Ganondorf from obtaining the Triforce. Ganondorf eventually betrays the King and assaults Hyrule Castle while Link gathers the three Spiritual Stones. The young hero returns in time to see Zelda and Impa flee, who are being pursued by Ganondorf on his horse. When Ganondorf demands Link tell him in which direction the two had fled, Link refuses and is attacked by the King of the Gerudo, who proclaims he will soon rule the world. When Link, shortly thereafter, opens the entrance to the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf follows him and seizes the opportunity to obtain the Triforce, with partial success. As he touched the Triforce, however, it split into three pieces, leaving Ganondorf with only the Triforce of Power.
During the seven years Link was asleep, Ganondorf conquered the Kingdom of Hyrule, transforming the feudal-style Hyrule Castle into Ganon's Castle, a tiered near-cylindrical skyscraper resting on a floating island that hovered above a large lake of lava. He had the Castle Town totally decimated, left in ruins, and populated by the ReDead, causing many Hylians to flee to Kakariko Village.
As Hyrule's new king, Ganondorf gained even more knowledge regarding the Triforce. Because his heart was not in balance, he was only bestowed one third of the element: the Triforce of Power. With all the luxury and power of the subdued kingdom at his disposal, the Evil King is able to wait for the moment when the two remaining Triforce keepers, Link and Zelda, would reveal themselves. Eventually, he finds them in the Temple of Time where he kidnaps Princess Zelda, who had evaded his pursuit for seven years, and challenges Link to come rescue her. The three Triforce possessors meet again in Ganon's Tower, where the final battle ensues. When Link reaches the top of the Tower, he finds Zelda confined in a pink crystalline enclosure floating above it. Ganondorf taunts the young hero and engages him in battle, where Link is able to defeat the tyrant with the aid of the Light Arrows and the Master Sword. Using the last of his power, Ganondorf tries to make his castle collapse, but Link and Zelda manage to escape safely. However, the revived and enraged Ganondorf uses the essence of the Triforce of Power to transform into a bestial monstrosity called Ganon. Despite his behemoth height and clever tactics, Link manages to defeat him using the Master Sword and assistance from the power of the Seven Sages. Ganon is then sealed into the void of the Evil Realm where he cannot harm Hyrule or lay his hands on the remaining pieces of the Triforce. As he is sealed in the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf claims that when he breaks the seal, he will kill Link's descendants.
The Downfall Timeline is the timeline in which Link, the Hero of Time, despite his best efforts, was defeated by Ganondorf in the final battle. Ganondorf obtained the full Triforce, but was sealed within the Dark World by Princess Zelda and the other awakened sages, taking the Triforce with him.
A Link to the Past
A Link to the Past gives an altered version of the events of Ocarina of Time. When Ganondorf discovered the lost knowledge of how to enter the Sacred Realm where the Triforce lay, he killed his minions in order to be the only one able to claim the Triforce. When he laid his hands upon it, the Sacred Realm changed into the Dark World and he was transformed into a boar-like demon, Ganon. Ganon waged war against Hyrule, and in a fierce battle the Knights of Hyrule engaged Ganon while the Sages sealed the entrance to the Dark World, casting Ganon into it.
Many years later, Ganon uses the wizard Agahnim to break free from the Dark World. Agahnim manages to win the trust of the King of Hyrule and eventually takes control of Hyrule himself. He attempts to break the seal on Ganon by sending the Maidens, descendants of the Seven Sages, into the Dark World. However, he is temporarily stopped when Link helps the final maiden, Princess Zelda, to escape. While Link is trying to acquire the Master Sword to defeat Agahnim, the wizard finds Princess Zelda and sends her to the Dark World. This breaks the seal and allows Ganon's influence to spread across the Light World as well. After suffering a defeat by Link, Agahnim uses his powers to transport Link into the Dark World.
After rescuing all of the Maidens from their imprisonment in the Dark World, Link faces Agahnim again in the Dark World, where the young hero successfully destroys him. After the battle with Agahnim, a shadow of Ganon rises from his body, turns into a bat, and flies to the Pyramid of Power. There, Link faces the King of Thieves and even though Ganon wielded the might of the united Triforce and the Trident, Link manages to destroy him with the Master Sword and the Silver Arrows.
Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
In the linked ending of the Oracle subseries of Zelda games, it is revealed that the events of the two games were started by Twinrova in an attempt to resurrect Ganon via the Dark Rites. The ritual required that three flames were lit: the Flame of Destruction, the Flame of Sorrow, and the Flame of Despair. The Flame of Destruction is lit when Onox throws the seasons of Holodrum into chaos, while the Flame of Sorrow is lit when Veran caused great misfortune to the people of Labrynna by using the powers of Nayru the oracle. With two flames lit, the Twinrova sisters capture Princess Zelda, causing the despair of the people to light the third flame, the Flame of Despair. Twinrova intended to sacrifice Zelda for Ganon's rebirth, but Link managed to slay them before the ritual finished, and thus the Twinrova sisters were forced to sacrifice themselves to awaken Ganon. Because of this, the ritual was incomplete and Ganon became a mindless beast, although he did demonstrate limited thought just as he was defeated by Link.
Ganon did not appear in Link's Awakening but during the final battle, the final boss takes on a form known as the Shadow of Ganon. During the final battle, the Shadow Nightmares take on the form of various monsters from Link's past. One of these is the form of Agahnim, Ganon's alter ego, while the fourth is of Ganon himself. While not the true Ganon, this is a memory of Link's battle with Ganon in A Link to the Past, and as such attacks in a similar manner, using his trident and attacking with Blazing Bats. Unlike the real Ganon, the Silver Arrows are not needed for Link to defeat it, but he will have to use Spin Attacks or the Pegasus Boots to cause damage. Unlike the other Shadows up to this point, once defeated, the Shadow of Ganon will make the cry normally used for when a boss has been completely destroyed. Despite this, the battle will continue as the shadows take on another form.
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A Link Between Worlds
Ganon appears to Link in a nightmare, ominously hinting that he would soon return. Later, after capturing each of the Seven Sages in portraits, the evil wizard Yuga uses their power in order to resurrect Ganon from the darkness where he was sealed after his previous defeat. After resurrecting him, Yuga joins with Ganon, taking on a form which combines attributes of both of the evil sorcerers. However, before Yuga Ganon can destroy Link, he is stopped by Hilda, who sends Link on a quest to reawaken the Seven Sages and gain the Triforce of Courage.
Once the Triforce of Courage is obtained, Impa reveals that Ganon is returning and that Link must stop him, she then tells him that he must head to Lorule Castle and confront the Demon King to stop him once and for all.
When Link returns and discovers that Hilda has lied to him, she summons Yuga Ganon to fight Link and obtain the Triforce of Courage from him, but Yuga Ganon is defeated. Hilda asks him for the Triforce of Power, but he reveals his plan to use the Triforce to become a god, and turns her into a painting. He then bolsters his power by taking the Triforce of Wisdom from Hilda, but in the end, he is destroyed by Link.
The Legend of Zelda
Despite Yuga Ganon's apparent destruction at the hands of Link in A Link Between Worlds, Ganon returns to life some time prior to The Legend of Zelda. He leads an invasion on the small kingdom of Lesser Hyrule and manages to obtain the Triforce of Power. Before he can obtain the Triforce of Wisdom, Princess Zelda is able to break it into eight pieces and scatters it throughout Hyrule, then sends her attendant Impa away to search for help. Ganon captures Zelda and holds her hostage in his lair, deep in Death Mountain under Spectacle Rock, and sends his minions after Impa. Link, having outwitted his underlings and learned of the perils that the land was under, takes up a sword and goes alone to assemble the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Using it, he enters Death Mountain and shines it upon the King of Evil's hiding place. Ganon fights ruthlessly with his seemingly invincible Technique of Darkness, but Link is able to vanquish him with his blade and by using the Silver Arrows to deliver the final blow, reducing Ganon to ashes and revealing the Triforce of Power.
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The Adventure of Link
Many years prior to both The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, an offshoot/follower of Ganon only known as the "Magician" attempted to gain the location of the Triforce of Courage by manipulating the Prince of Hyrule, the Magician dies casting a spell on Princess Zelda to make her fall asleep for eternity in revenge for her not revealing the Triforce of Courage's location.
Years later, in The Adventure of Link, The evil power left behind by the vile heart of Ganon was causing chaos and ruin in Hyrule. Ganon's army makes an attempt to revive him by spilling Link's blood onto Ganon's ashes, but this method ultimately fails.
In the ending scenario where Link is killed during his journey, Ganon's minions are able to collect his blood and pour it onto Ganon's ashes - reviving him. As such, Ganon only physically appears on the "Game Over"-screen.
The Child Timeline is the timeline that follows Link after being sent back to his original time following the defeat of Ganondorf by the Hero of Time in the final battle. He warns Princess Zelda and the current King of Hyrule of the tragic future that awaited the kingdom involving Ganondorf if nothing was to be done.
Prior to the events of Twilight Princess, Ganondorf's true intentions were exposed, and he was captured, put on trial, and sentenced to execution by the Sages. While they managed to severely wound him by impaling him with a light sword, the Triforce of Power activated at that moment and thus they could not kill him. Using the power granted by his Triforce piece, he manages to free himself from his chains, and kills the Sage of Water as well. Knowing no better solution, the Sages open the gate to the Twilight Realm and send Ganondorf through it. There, he influences Zant, who had been denied the throne of the Twilight Realm, to seize control and access Hyrule again. Ganondorf grants Zant a fraction of his power in return for the opportunity to escape the Twilight Realm.
After Link defeats Zant, Ganondorf and the young hero meet atop Hyrule Castle, where he is found sitting on Princess Zelda's throne as Zelda's body lies in a niche in the same room. During the final battle, Ganondorf possesses Zelda by turning into Twilight. Using Zelda as a puppet, he attacks Link relentlessly, until Link forces his spirit out of Zelda's body. Ganondorf then takes his bestial form, Ganon, becoming an immensely powerful boar. Taking advantage of Ganon's blind rage, Link outwits him, and defeats Ganon by striking the wound left by the Sages with the Master Sword.
Ganondorf then takes on the form of an immense veil of fire in the shape of his disembodied head. Midna valiantly resolves to fight Ganondorf using the Twilight magic housed within the Fused Shadow, teleporting Link and Zelda to the safety of Hyrule Field. Midna, transforming into an enormous Twilit arachnoid, attacks Ganondorf, with the ensuing battle destroying the castle. However, Midna was no match for Ganondorf, and was promptly defeated by the Gerudo King. Ganondorf emerges from the ruins of Hyrule Castle on horseback, triumphantly holding aloft the Fused Shadow fragment that Midna wore, and after crushing it in his hand, he charges towards Link and Zelda.
Zelda entreats the Light Spirits of the realm to lend her their power in the form of the Arrows of Light. Mounting Epona, Link and Zelda pursue, assailing Ganondorf with a hail of arrows. Ganondorf is momentarily staggered, falling from his steed, but he recovers surprisingly quickly and confines himself and Link in a makeshift arena where the two engage in a sword duel.
After besting him in a sword to sword struggle, Link plunges the Master Sword into Ganondorf's open wound. He does not die immediately, but only when the Triforce of Power fades completely from his hand, he succumbs. Ganondorf sees a vision of Zant's neck breaking, then Ganondorf's eyes gloss over and he dies.
Four Swords Adventures
Hundreds of years later, in Four Swords Adventures, Ganon is reincarnated following his death in Twilight Princess. In this game, Ganondorf is referred to as a desert nomad, recently expelled from the Gerudo Tribe by breaking their taboo and exploring the Desert Pyramid as part of his plan to usurp the powers of others and coat Hyrule in darkness. He steals the Trident from the Pyramid and the Dark Mirror - which he uses to summon Shadow Link and his kin - from the forest. He uses him to trick Link into releasing Vaati's essence from the Four Sword. Ganondorf heads to Hyrule Castle, where he fully resurrects Vaati, taking control of him, he uses Vaati to transform the Royal Jewels into the gateway to the Dark World, he then utilized the power of the Trident to hunt down and defeat the knights of Hyrule and transform them into demons. Thanks to these events, demons began escaping into Hyrule from the Dark World, and while the controlled Vaati distracts Link and imprisons the Shrine Maidens, Ganon absorbs the power of the Maidens.At the end of the game, Ganon appears as the final boss as a twist ending, fought in the Dark World underneath the Tower of Winds, where he is defeated after Link fires a Light Arrow into Zelda's ball of light that pierces him. He is then sealed away in the Four Sword.
The Adult Timeline is the timeline that follows the events after Link is being sent back to his original time, following Ganondorf's defeat at the hands of the Hero of Time in the final battle. Ganondorf is sealed within the Sacred Realm by the Seven Sages but, with Link sent back in time, the world is left without a Hero.
The Wind Waker
Long before the events in The Wind Waker, Ganon managed to escape from his seal and wreak havoc in Hyrule once more. Climbing from the Earth in his beast form Ganon, he attacked the Kingdom of Hyrule and easily took control of it. No hero appeared this time and the gods were forced to flood Hyrule in order to stop Ganon.
However, Ganon breaks free, rising up from his ocean prison, and subsequently begins to rebuild his army. Still wanting to obtain the Triforce, he sends one of his minions, the Helmaroc King, on a search for "young girls with pointy ears" hoping to find Princess Zelda, the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom. Among the girls kidnapped is Link's sister, Aryll, and thus Link sets off on his adventure to rescue her. Link finds Ganondorf's hideout, the Forsaken Fortress, where Ganondorf had Link thrown far away into the ocean after being caught by the Helmaroc King. Later, it is revealed that Ganondorf has limited magic strength, for his powers were sealed away by the gods with the aid of the Master Sword. However, without this knowledge, Link himself takes the Master Sword, and thus removes the only barrier restraining Ganondorf's power.
Soon afterwards atop the Forsaken Fortress, Ganondorf reveals that the Master Sword is dull; its power to banish evil gone. Link and the pirate captain, Tetra, narrowly escape safely with the help of the Sky Spirit Valoo and the Rito before Ganondorf can seize Tetra, who he finds is actually Princess Zelda and the keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom. After this, Zelda is hidden inside the underwater castle in Hyrule and Link begins his quest to reawaken the Master Sword, whose power had vanished since Ganondorf had murdered the Sages in charge of keeping the power within the sacred blade. Once Link achieves his goals of finding the Triforce of Courage and restoring the Master Sword to its former glory, Ganondorf locates their haven and consequently captures Zelda, whom he takes to his underwater tower. Link finds Zelda unharmed, lying in a bed, sleeping, with Ganondorf watching over her and her dreams. However, before Link has any chance to approach, Ganondorf unleashes a bewitched, giant puppet, which Link defeats. Ganondorf finally reappears to challenge Link, and with Zelda in his arm, he rises to the rooftop of the tower.
Soon after Link reaches the rooftop, Ganondorf speaks to him about his reasons for desperately searching for the Triforce pieces, revealing a little of his origins from the harsh Gerudo Desert and his desire to take over the green landscapes of Hyrule. When he declares that he already has in his possession the Triforce of Wisdom, Ganondorf suddenly rushes against Link and delivers swift, hard blows that leave Link half-conscious and the Master Sword out of reach. Ganondorf, using his Triforce of Power, summons the two missing Triforce pieces from Link and Zelda and reforms the Triforce. Nevertheless, right before Ganondorf is able to touch the Triforce and make his wish come true of conquering Hyrule, King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, the last King of Hyrule, appears to touch the Triforce first and makes the wish of washing away the ancient land of Hyrule. The Triforce disappears and water starts pouring through the protective barrier into the land of Hyrule as Ganondorf laughs scornfully. Link wakes up at that point and Zelda approaches him holding the Master Sword for Link to engage Ganondorf in a last battle. Ultimately with Zelda's aid, Ganondorf is defeated when Link deals the final blow by plunging the Master Sword straight into Ganondorf's forehead, turning him into stone and killing him. His body remains atop the tower under the Great Sea with the Master Sword in his head, and the ocean finally drowns Hyrule under the Great Sea.
Ganon is not encountered or fought in Phantom Hourglass due to his defeat in Hyrule (now beneath the Great Sea) at the end of The Wind Waker, but Link's duel with an "evil king" is mentioned in the intro.
Breath of the Wild
Ganon reappears in Breath of the Wild, known as the Calamity Ganon. 100 years prior to Link's awakening from a deep sleep, the Calamity Ganon rose up and laid waste to Hyrule. Unable to be defeated, it was sealed within Hyrule Castle, while the ruined kingdom was ravaged by nature over time. The Calamity Ganon continued to grow in power while trapped, waiting to break free to destroy the world.
It can be seen swarming around Hyrule Castle, contained within by a barrier of stone pillars projecting a purple and red mist. Unlike Ganon's other appearances, the Calamity Ganon is referred to with third-person singular personal pronouns in dialogue. Curiously, the Monks refer to Ganon, instead of the Calamity Ganon, when introducing themselves to Link.
- Main article: Ganon/Strategy
- Main article: Ganon/Other Appearances
Ganon is also featured in other media, including comics based on the games, animated shows, and the Super Smash Bros. series. Although his appearance varies from the main series, Ganon is still the wielder of the Triforce of Power who seeks to rule Hyrule by using the power of the sacred relic, fighting against Princess Zelda and Link to reach his goal.
- See also: Sword of the Sages
Although they go unnamed throughout The Legend of Zelda series, Ganon has several Swords that he often uses. They are inscribed with various pictures or writings depending on the game. Ganon wields a Sword for the first time in Ocarina of Time. In the final battle, he wields two large golden blades against Link. Ganondorf is first seen wielding a Sword in The Wind Waker during the final battle, which is what he uses as his offensive strategy. Later on, in Twilight Princess, Ganondorf wields the Sword of the Sages, a weapon that the Sages tried to use against him in an attempt to kill him. The Sword of the Sages serves as Ganondorf's weapon in the final battle against Link.
Non-canon appearances of a Sword-wielding Ganondorf include several of Ganondorf's victory poses in the Super Smash Bros. series and the SpaceWorld 2000 demo, which included a Sword fight between Link and Ganondorf. This Sword was much bulkier than the swords he uses in the main series, and had a rounded tip. Ganondorf also uses a Sword in his battle with Link in the Ocarina of Time manga. This sword is capable of having Ganondorf's evil magic channeled through it. He also wields two Swords in Hyrule Warriors, the Swords of Despair. They can be upgraded to the Swords of Darkness and Swords of Demise.
- In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf has rounded ears, while in Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker they are pointed.
- In Ocarina of Time, Ganon plays his own theme on a pipe organ. In Twilight Princess, a similar effect occurs when Link progresses through Hyrule Castle, as the background music shifts from the Hyrule Castle theme to Ganon's theme. This makes Ganondorf one of a handful of characters to generate their own theme music; others being Midna, Ghirahim and Yuga, all of whom hum their themes.
- Early artwork for the Oracle series shows a design for Ganondorf, implying he was originally planned to appear in the games.
- According to Hyrule Historia, Ganondorf is 230 cm tall (7'6'') in Ocarina of Time. His 1/4 scale model from First 4 Figures, who used in game data to faithfully recreate his appearance in Twilight Princess, stands at 23 inches tall, which indicates that he stands at 7'6" in that game as well.
|Names in Other Regions|
闇の魔王ガノン (ALttP, FSA)
大魔王ガノンドロフ (OoT, TP)
|Spanish||Ganon (OoT3D)||Gran Rey Malvado: Ganondorf (OoT3D)|
Seigneur du Mal Ganon
Créature Maléfique Ganon (TP)
Evil Lord Ganon
Evil Creature Ganon (TP)
|French||Ganon (OoT3D)||Ganondorf: Seigneur du Malin (OoT3D)|
Signore dell'Oscurità Ganon
Frammento di Cuore Ganondorf
Principe del Crepuscolo Ganondorf
Re delle Tenebre Ganondorf
|Korean|| 가논 (Ganon)
마수 가논 (Masu Ganon) (TP)
| 가논돌프 (Ganondolpeu)|
대마왕 가논돌프 (Daemawang Ganondolpeu) (OoT3D, TP)
|Chinese||加儂 (Jiānóng)||加儂多夫 (Jiānóngduōfū)|
|盖侬 (Gàinóng)||盖侬多夫 (Gàinóngduōfū)|
- The Legend of Zelda (NES) Manual
- "Everything's going swell lately! And we have Ganon, King of Darkness, to thank! Huh? Vaati? What's that? No, Vaati's old news. Ganon's the King of Darkness! Forget Vaati!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Those creatures from Ganon / Are pretty bad" — The Legend of Zelda US rap commercial, YouTube, retrieved October 14, 2014.
- "Ganondorf" — Announcer (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
- "My country lay within a vast desert. When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing... Death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose." — Ganon (The Wind Waker)
- "Extraordinary. You stand as a paragon of your kind, human. You fight like no human or demon I have ever known. 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)
- "This game talks about the birth of the Master Sword, and it touches on why Ganondorf showed up. If you play it, I think you'll get some understanding on that. It connects to Ocarina, so if you play Ocarina of Time 3D and move on to this game, I think you'll catch on to a lot of things." —Eiji Aonuma (Eiji Aonuma interview)
- "However, the destruction of Demise was not the end of the battle. It was the beginning of a curse: a never ending cycle of the reincarnation of the Demon King, whose hatred for those with the blood of the Goddess and the Spirit of the Hero is everlasting" (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 76)
- "A cyclical tale arose from an ancient battle..." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 91)
- "Four Swords Adventures: The Reincarnation of Ganondorf" (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 69)
- "Ganon: The source of darkness, awaiting his return to power." — Official Site - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS family of systems., Zelda.com, retrieved November 16, 2015.
- "Ganon's wish was to conquer the world. That wish changed the Golden Land to the Dark World." — N/A (A Link to the Past)
- "Twinrova Koume: Ganondorf's surrogate mother. Sorceress of Flame. She seems vulnerable to low temperature." — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Twinrova Kotake: Ganondorf's surrogate mother. Sorceress of Ice. She seems vulnerable to high temperature." — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Only one man is born every hundred years...Even though our laws say that lone male Gerudo must become King of the Gerudo, I'll never bow to such an evil man!" — Nabooru (Ocarina of Time)
- "The pyramid is sacred to our people. To have a criminal such as him enter... His presence stains its holy ground." — Gerudo (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Once every 100 years, a special child is born unto my people. That child is destined to be the mighty guardian of the Gerudo and the desert. But this child, its heart grew twisted with every passing year. The child became a man who hungered for power at any price." — Gerudo elder (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Ganon...This beast was once of the Gerudo...Once human. He was called Ganondorf! King of Darkness, ancient demon reborn. The wielder of the trident!!" — Princess Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- 社長が訊く『ゼルダの伝説 大地の汽笛』 番外篇1 昭和６０年に書かれた文書, Nintendo.co.jp, retrieved December 27, 2015.
- Iwata Asks: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Bonus Stage 1: Ancient Documents from 1985, Nintendo.com, retrieved December 27, 2015.
- "MANY YEARS AGO PRINCE DARKNESS "GANNON" STOLE ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH POWER. PRINCESS ZELDA HAD ONE OF THE TRIFORCE WITH WISDOM. SHE DIVIDED IT INTO 8 UNITS TO HIDE IT FROM "GANNON" BEFORE SHE WAS CAPTURED. GO FIND THE "8" UNITS "LINK" TO SAVE HER." — N/A (The Legend of Zelda)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link/Regional Differences
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past#Regional Differences
- Proto:The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest/Console Output Strings
- "The person who rediscovered the Golden Land was Ganondorf the evil thief." — Maiden in Water Gate Dungeon
- "You are the only one who can destroy Ganondorf, the thief-no, Ganon, the evil King Of Darkness!" — Maiden in Water Gate Dungeon
- "The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5-6)
- "Though "Ganon" is also a nickname for Ganondorf, here it refers to the beastlike form adopted by the thief following his transformation. The Demon King resembles a giant boar." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 90)
- "A design sketch depicting Ganondorf’s phantom. Ganondorf never appears in the Oracle series, however. Only his beast form, Ganon, is seen." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 169)
- "Ganon: No trace remains of the human known as Ganondorf." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 121)
- "I assume that you caught full sight of that atrocity swarming around the castle. That...is the Calamity Ganon. It brought ruin and corruption upon the kingdom of Hyrule 100 years ago. It appeared suddenly...destroying everything in its path. Leaving countless innocents in its wake. Over the last century, the kindgom's purest symbol, Hyrule Castle, has been able to contain that evil. But just barely. There it festers, building its strength for the moment it will unleash its blight upon the land once again. It would appear that moment is fast approaching..." — Old Man (Breath of the Wild)
- "They say that Ganondorf is not satisfied with ruling only the Gerudo and aims to conquer all of Hyrule!" — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "All this trouble must have been caused by that Gerudo thief, Ganondorf! He said, "Give me the Spiritual Stone! Only then will I open the cave for you!" — Darunia (Ocarina of Time)
- "That is Ganondorf, the leader of the Gerudos. They hail from the desert far to the west. Though he swears allegiance to my father, I am sure he is not sincere." — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "We must not let Ganondorf get the Triforce! I will protect the Ocarina of Time with all my power! He shall not have it!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "On that day seven years ago, Ganondorf suddenly attacked... and Hyrule Castle surrendered after a short time." — Impa (Ocarina of Time)
- "You must have seen the white horse gallop past just now... Which way did it go?! Answer me!! Pathetic little fool! Do you realize who you are dealing with?! I am Ganondorf! And soon, I will rule the world!" — Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)
- "As I thought, you held the keys to the Door of Time! You have led me to the gates of the Sacred Realm...Yes, I owe it all to you, kid!" — Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)
- "What Ganondorf is after must be nothing less than the Triforce of the Sacred Realm. He must have come to Hyrule to obtain it!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "Though you opened the Door of Time in the name of peace... Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, used it to enter this forbidden Sacred Realm!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
- "He obtained the Triforce from the Temple of Light, and with its power, he became the King of Evil..." — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
- "The Triforce separated into three parts. Only the Triforce of Power remained in Ganondorf's hand." — Impa (Ocarina of Time)
- "Since Ganondorf came, people in the Castle Town have gone, places have been ruined, and monsters are wandering everywhere." — Malon (Ocarina of Time)
- "Princess Zelda...you foolish traitor! I commend you for avoiding my pursuit for seven long years." — Ganon (Ocarina of Time)
- "If you want to rescue Zelda, come to my castle!" — Ganon (Ocarina of Time)
- "We have to save Princess Zelda from her imprisonment in Ganon's Castle!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "These toys are too much for you! I command you to return them to me!" — Ganon (Ocarina of Time)
- "Link, listen to me! This tower will collapse soon! With his last breath, Ganondorf is trying to crush us in the ruins of the tower! We need to hurry and escape!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "Use the Master Sword! Destroy Ganon with the sacred sword!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "Ancient Creators of Hyrule! Now, open the sealed door and send the Evil Incarnation of Darkness into the void of the Evil Realm!!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time)
- "Someday...When this seal is broken....That is when I will exterminate your descendants!!" — Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)
- "...The Triforce will grant the wishes of whoever touches it, as long as that person lives... That is why it was hidden in the Golden Land. Only a select few knew of its location, but at some point that knowledge was lost... The person who rediscovered the Golden Land was Ganondorf the evil thief." — Maiden in Swamp Palace (A Link to the Past)
- "In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in a lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5)
- "Ganon's wish was to conquer the world. That wish changed the Golden Land to the Dark World." — Essence of the Triforce (A Link to the Past)
- "Indeed, the King of Evil Ganon, the one who has threatened Hyrule so, was born at this time." (A Link to the Past (JP version) manual, pg. 7)
- "The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously many a brave soul was lost that day, However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden land." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
- "I never imagined a boy like you could give me so much trouble. It's unbelievable that you defeated my alter ego, Agahnim the Dark Wizard, twice!" — Ganon (A Link to the Past)
- "Agahnim has seized control of the castle and is now trying to open the seven wise men's seal." — Princess Zelda (A Link to the Past)
- "Pestilence and drought, uncontrollable even by magic, ravaged the land. [...] He offered rewards for anyone who could find the source of these troubles. In answer to these summons a stranger named Agahnim came and quelled the disasters with a previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the king gave him a new position as chief advisor and heir to the Seven Wise Men." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
- "Of late, rumors have traveled their whispering path with alarming frequency. Rumors saying Agahnim now rules the country with his magic..." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 7)
- "A mysterious wizard known as Agahnim came to Hyrule to release the seal. He eliminated the good King of Hyrule... Through evil magic, he began to make descendants of the seven wise men vanish, one after another." — Introduction (A Link to the Past)
- "Onox has fallen, but the damage he has done to this land burns on in the Flame of Destruction!" — Twinrova (Oracle of Seasons)
- "Behold, Veran! The troubles you caused have filled the land with cries of sorrow! It has given birth to the Flame of Sorrow, which burns brightly!" — Twinrova (Oracle of Ages)
- "Thanks to Veran and Onox, the Flames of Sorrow and Destruction already flicker! And when we captured Zelda, the foolish humans gave us despair! Oh, Flames of Despair, Destruction and Sorrow, burn with the power of our evil deeds!" — Twinrova (Oracle series)
- "Hoh hoh! Ganon's return was but a step away! Link! It is not over! Our rites have failed, but by sacrificing this body, Ganon will return!" — Oracle Series
- "Since they could not sacrifice me in their final rite, the powers of darkness could only revive a mindless, raging Ganon." — Princess Zelda (Oracle series)
- "Gwoh hoh hoh! I am Ganon... The Evil King..." — Ganon (Oracle series)
- "I will use the Sages to reach the one who shall help me attain true beauty. I mean, of course... GANON!" — Yuga (A Link Between Worlds)
- "I knew Yuga planned to slip into your world to abduct Zelda and the Sages. I...I couldn't stop him. Now he has used them to summon the Demon King and siphon his power. Yuga's appetite will soon consume our worlds. Hyrule and Lorule—the beast's for the talking." — Princess Hilda (A Link Between Worlds)
- "Yet as Hyrule is facing the same threat as in the legend of old, you have so much more to endure." — Impa (A Link Between Worlds)
- "You have claimed the power of the gods Link. With it you can stop the return of the Demon King-and thwart his evil ambitions. Now hero, you must take your battle to Lorule Castle, there awaits the Demon King." — Impa (A Link Between Worlds)
- "His name is...Ganondorf. He was the leader of a band of thieves who invaded Hyrule in the hopes of establishing dominion over the Sacred Realm. He was known as a demon thief, an evil-magic wielder renowned for his ruthlessness... But he was blind... In all of his fury and might, he was blind to any danger, and thus was he exposed, subdued, and brought to justice." — Sages (Twilight Princess)
- "Yet...By some divine prank, he, too, had been blessed with the chosen power of the gods." — Sages (Twilight Princess)
- "I shall house my power in you...If there is anything you desire, then I shall desire it, too." — Ganon (Twilight Princess)
- "My god had only one wish...To merge shadow and light...and make darkness!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
- "Spirits of the light! Wielders of the great power that shines far and wide upon the lands of our world...In my hour of need, grant me the light to banish evil!" — Princess Zelda (Twilight Princess)
- "Once, long ago, this land of Hyrule was turned into a world of shadows by Ganon, who sought to obtain the power of the gods for his own evil ends." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "My power alone could not stop the fiend, and our only choice was to leave the fate of the kingdom in the hands of the gods..." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "When the gods heard our pleas, they chose to seal away not only Ganon, but Hyrule itself..." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "Our fair kingdom was soon buried beneath the waves, forgotten at the bottom of the ocean." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "The events which we have long feared seem to have been set into motion. Yes. It seems Ganon has returned. There can be no other explanation." — Jabun (The Wind Waker)
- "After his defeat at the hands of the Hero of Time, Ganondorf was sealed away...but not for all time. He was revived, and he returned to Hyrule in a red wrath." — Laruto (The Wind Waker)
- "I knew there was a reason the monsters had begun to congregate in the regions around my wood. Now I understand it. He has returned... Ganon has returned..." — Great Deku Tree (The Wind Waker)
- "He is the very same Ganon... The emperor of the dark realm the ancient legends speak of..." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "Ganon will be searching frantically for this child in an attempt to get the power of the gods that she possesses. He will not rest until he has found her." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "My name is Ganondorf... And I am the master of Forsaken Fortress." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "You see, it is also a sort of key... a most wretched little key that has kept the seal on me and my magic intact!" — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "By withdrawing the blade, you have broken that seal..." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "You cannot defeat me with a blade that does not sparkle with the power to repel evil! What you hold is useless." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "Its power is gone, and its edges are dull!" — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "And yet...unfortunately, due to Ganondorf's evil designs, the Master Sword you hold has lost this power." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- "You cannot defeat Ganon until the power to repel evil has been returned to the Master Sword." — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- "My Triforce of Power is resonating! Ha! At long last, I have found you... Princess Zelda!" — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "You must protect Zelda. She cannot be permitted to fall into the hands of Ganon." — Jabun (The Wind Waker)
- "So, despite our efforts, the princess has fallen into Ganon's hands..." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "Beyond the bridge on the far side of the castle stands Ganon's Tower. I am certain Zelda is being held there." — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "I can see this girl's dreams... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans as far as the eye can see." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "This is a gigantic marionette created by Ganon himself. It transforms into three different shapes, but all are vulnerable to rays of light." — N/A (The Wind Waker)
- "When power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods would have no choice but to come down..." — Ganondorf (The Wind Waker)
- "Gods of the Triforce! Hear that which I desire! Hope! I desire hope for these children! Give them a future! Wash away this ancient land of Hyrule! Let a ray of hope shine on the future of the world!!!" — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "Ganondorf! May you drown with Hyrule!!!" — King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule (The Wind Waker)
- "It is none other than the Master Sword...The blade of evil's bane. It is the only sword that can banish Ganon from the world above!" — King of Red Lions (The Wind Waker)
- "There was no blood, and he turned to stone, and died." —Nate Bihldorff (Nintendo World Report - The Treehouse Interview)
- "Just then, a huge, ominous king appeared! He carried Princess Zelda away...The evil king sought the sacred power passed down to Hyrulean princesses. He schemed to take the power and use it himself. The boy chased after him, determined to save the princess... The boy crossed seas and climbed mountains. The journey was perilous. He slayed evil monsters and used their power to become a true hero. After long and hard adventuring, he defeated the evil king. And beautiful Princess Zelda was rescued at last." — Niko (Phantom Hourglass)
- "I am a humble monk, blessed with the sight of the Goddess Hylia and dedicated to helping those who seek to defeat Ganon." — Monk (Breath of the Wild)
- Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 148
- Ganondorf's First 4 Figures Exclusive Figure