Zant

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Zant
Zant.png
TitleUsurper King
Race/SpeciesTwili
Game(s)Twilight Princess
Other MediaHyrule Warriors
Super Smash Bros. BrawlTriforce piece.png
Dungeon(s)Palace of Twilight
Weakness(es)All Dungeon acquired weapons, except Spinner, Hero's Bow and Dominion Rod
Theme Music
File:Battle Against Zant.ogg Triforce piece.png

Zant (pronounced /ˈzænt/ zant),[1] the Usurper King, is one of two main antagonists in Twilight Princess. He is the self-proclaimed King of Twilight,[2] although Midna claims he's the King of Shadows.[3] He is a member of the Twili who usurps the throne of the Twilight Realm from Midna before the events of Twilight Princess. He regularly appears wearing a helmet that conceals his face, but removes it before his battle with Link. He is a powerful sorcerer and minion of Ganondorf.

Contents

Characteristics

Physical Appearance

Zant is a tall, slender being dressed in black, baggy clothing decorated with turquoise Twilight symbols on the sleeves. The sleeves of his robe are long, with eight tassles on each sleeve hanging to the floor. For most of the game, Zant dons a metallic helmet designed to resemble a chameleon's head. On the back of each layer of the helmet is a facial decoration. The mouth guard of the helmet is designed to resemble a chameleon's tongue. The front of Zant's shoulder guards are decorated with serpents. Zant's yellow shoes are designed to resemble crocodile or dragon heads.

Upon removing his helmet, Zant's actual face is revealed to have pale-blue skin with purple lips and the Twilight Emblem engraved on his forehead. Zant's eyes are orange and he is shown to have red hair, though most of it is obscured by the balaclava he wears that covers most of his head and neck save for his face.

Personality

For most of the game, Zant presents himself with a mask of calmness and control, always maintaining an upright posture and speaking in a cold, sinister voice. Zant also shows himself to be a cunning and brilliant tactician, having nearly conquered all of Hyrule save for Ordon Province, which was only thwarted because Link was there when a Shadow Beast attempted to steal Ordona's light. Zant also possesses an extreme amount of arrogance and entitlement. Whereas most Twili were content with life in the Twilight Realm, Zant held a megalomaniac belief that they had the right to rule the World of Light. He constantly refers to himself as the King of Twilight and shows full confidence in his ablilites. Two notable examples of this are when he curses Midna and turns her into an imp rather than simply killing her, and cursing Link to remain in wolf form permanently instead of killing him.

Zant has also shown himself to be incredibly ruthless in achieving his goals, committing countless atrocities with no sense of compassion or morality- he turned his own people into Shadow Beasts against their will, ordered the execution of Queen Rutela in front of the Zoras for resisting his rule, forced Zelda to surrender under the threat of harming her people, and nearly killed Midna by exposing her to light- all with no remorse.

Upon his final confrontation with Link and Midna, it is revealed that Zant's earlier persona was a facade and that underneath is a raving lunatic. Zant reveals himself to be very insane, often going on bizarre tangents, hopping up and down, and throwing a tantrum in a manner similar to that of a child. Zant also shows a near fanatical devotion to Ganondorf, blindly following the Demon King's every command and foolishly believing that Ganondorf would revive him without cease though it was clear that Ganondorf was merely using him to escape the Twilight Realm.

Abilities

What powers Zant possessed prior to meeting Ganondorf, if any, are unknown. Upon meeting Ganon, however, Zant gains access to a vast array of magicial abilities. Unlike most Twili, Zant is capable of existing in the World of Light without the need to hide in the shadow of another and can travel between the World of Light and the Twilight Realm at will without the use of the Mirror of Twilight. Zant holds power over Twilight and can corrupt areas of the World of Light with it. Zant can also create objects out of Twilight matter, shown when he creates a Shadow Scimitar to bring Stallord to life, also showcasing skill in necromancy. Zant, like Midna, is capable of summoning Twilight Portals.

Zant also possesses powerful telekinetic abilities, able to defeat the Light Spirit Lanaryu and humiliate Midna and Link all without waving his arms. Zant can also summon Shadow Beasts, control sentient hands from a remote location, and create holograms of himself to combat enemies. Zant's powers seem vast enough to manipulate reality, conjuring giant floating versions of his helmet throughout the Palace of Twilight, altering his size at will, and duplicating previous boss arenas.

In battle, Zant mainly levitates in mid-air and can teleport to avoid attacks. His primary form of attack comes in the form of dark energy blasts which he fires rapidly. Zant also possesses superhuman strength as shown during the second round of the fight where he repeatedly pounds the platform in an attempt to throw Link into the lava pool. Zant is also an expert swimmer and can swim through water and air with ease. During the final round of the fight, Zant wields twin blades. Zant mainly attacks by maniacally flailing and slashing his swords about, often employing them in a deadly high-speed spin attack. Zant can also combine his sword skills with his teleportation ability, making him a very unpredictable opponent in battle. Lastly, Zant showcases an astonishing level of flexibility, able to bend and contort his body in various poses.

Biography

Zant is a member of the Twili race, and is the self-proclaimed ruler of the Twilight which engulfs much of Hyrule during Twilight Princess. He is portrayed as the main antagonist for the majority of the game and possesses powers beyond Link's comprehension. There are multiple ways of defeating Zant, the first suspected way being the use of the Fused Shadows. When Zant steals these away from Midna and returns her to the World of Light, the only option left to reach and defeat Zant is to find the Mirror of Twilight which will grant access into the Twilight Realm.

Presumably, Zant was to be the next in line for the throne,[4] but was skipped over and his position was filled by Midna instead. This led him to lose trust in the Royal Family of the Twilight Realm, which, added onto the fact that he hated that the Twili were trapped in the Twilight Realm like "insects in a cage," made him seek his own path.[4] In throes of rage and despair, he looked towards the heavens for an answer.[4]

Ganon, who was cast into the Twilight Realm by the Sages, appeared to him in a fiery manifestation of his face. Posing as a god, Ganon offers to impart Zant with his power (which is, in truth, a fraction of the power of the Goddess, Din), as a means of fulfilling his own desire to return to the World of Light.[5][6] Using his newfound power, Zant overthrew Midna and turned her into an imp, depriving her of the magic powers she was granted as leader of the Twili.[7][8] He changed the rest of the Twili into Shadow Beasts soon afterwards and proclaimed himself as the "Twilight King," with the ultimate goal of spreading Twilight across Hyrule to make way for the Twili to return to the world that he believed rightfully belonged to them.[2] Zant invaded Hyrule Castle and gave Princess Zelda the choice of surrendering or facing the annihilation of Hyrule's inhabitants.[9] Zelda, dropping her sword as a symbol of submission, yielded to Zant's demands.

Soon after, Zant engulfed most of Hyrule in Twilight,[10] a process that was soon reversed by Link. He confronts Link and Midna after they finish collecting the Fused Shadow fragments. Zant takes the three Fused Shadow pieces from Midna, scolding her for her betrayal,[11] and tries to convince Midna to give him the power she retained as the Twilight Princess and grant her mercy.[2] When Midna refuses, Zant exposes her to the full light of Lanayru,[12] which almost kills her, and places a Shadow Crystal in Wolf Link's forehead, keeping him in a permanent Wolf state. The duo escaped Zant with the help of Lanayru, yet their paths crossed again at Arbiter's Grounds. He is surprised to see Link alive yet believes that it will be the last time they meet.[13] Zant then places a Shadow Scimitar through Stallord's skull before departing, which reanimates the giant fossil. After defeating Stallord, Link and Midna discover that Zant had attempted to destroy the Mirror of Twilight, but lacking the true power to do so, he could only shatter it into four shards and scatter the pieces across Hyrule.

Zant, shown seated upon the throne within the Palace of Twilight

When Link and Midna meet Zant in the Twilight Realm, he undergoes a change in behavior that drastically contrasts the character that he displayed before. The reasons to this change are often debated by Twilight Princess fans. The predominately embraced theory is that the character change symbolizes Zant's revealed immaturity when it comes to ruling the Twili, as is displayed by his childish tantrums and fits. There is a likely possibility Zant was driven to insanity by his anger, despair, and desperation after losing the position as ruler of the Twili to Midna. This is shown by his jumping around, whirling about in a blur of motion, and his reedy shrieks of insane fury. The cutscene showing Ganon appearing to him as a god shows Zant beating his fists on the ground and crying in a comical, infantile fashion.

After Zant is defeated, he proclaims that he will be resurrected infinitely by his god, who is in reality the Demon King Ganondorf, and that the curse placed on Midna cannot be removed while Ganon is still alive.[14] Midna, hearing this taunting speech, destroys him with a mere fraction of the power of the Fused Shadow. However, later in the game it is implied that Ganondorf probably would never have revived Zant because he believed the entire Twili race to be foolish, and that they had already served their purpose in restoring his power.

At the end of the game, a vision of Zant is shown abruptly breaking his own neck, and this directly proceeds to Ganondorf's apparent death. There has been no concrete evidence to what actually happened given that it is not known how or if Zant will appear in future games. Based on what is shown, it is believed that either Zant's spirit killed Ganondorf or the vision was symbolic of Ganondorf losing the power he gained from the Twilight Realm, which would have been the last known source that could have kept him alive.[citation needed]

Boss Strategy

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Forest Temple

Zant is the main boss in the Palace of Twilight. The battle takes place is six different arenas resembling places Link has already fought against a boss or mini-boss. The attacks Zant uses will depend on the area, as well as Link's strategy based on his previous battles. During the first phase of the battle, the area will resemble the boss room in the Forest Temple, where Link defeated Diababa. Zant will float around the room, above the poisoned water, and fire a barriage of magical attacks at Link before teleporting to a new spot and repeating the process. His attacks can be blocked with the shield. During his brief moments of visibility, Link can use the Gale Boomerang to knock him out of the air, causing him to hop across the surface of the water and onto dry land. After taking sufficient damage, Zant will alter the appearance of the room, leading to the next phase of the battle.

Goron Mines

Zant's second phase takes place in the arena where Link fought Dangoro in the Goron Mines. He will cause the magnetic plate to pitch violently to and fro by jumping furiously up and down, before attacking him with the same magical projectiles used in his first phase. Link can use the Iron Boots, although not required, to offset the platform's movement and either block or evade Zant's attack. Due to his frantic jumps, Zant will be momentarily out of breath, leaving him vulnerable to attacks. After a few hits, he will once again switch to a new arena.

Lakebed Temple

In Zant's third phase, he will recreate Morpheel's chamber in the Lakebed Temple. He will first summon a massive replica of his helmet from the sand before appearing inside its mouth, shooting projectiles at Link. In order to attack him, it is necessary for Link to equip his Zora Armor and Iron Boots; getting close enough, he can use the Clawshot to pull Zant out of the helmet and attack him. After he first sustains damage, Zant then creates four helmets and the center ground on which Link stands will cave in. The four helmets will hover around Link, with the mouth piece closed; Zant will attack from only one helmet at random. Therefore Link must position himself accordingly in order to pull him out once more with the clawshot the moment he reveales himself, thus bringing the third phase to an end.

Forest Temple

The battle's fourth phase will take place again inside the Forest Temple, this time in the room where the mini-boss, Ook, was battled. Similar to the baboon, Zant will rapidly hop between the various pillars, teleporting frequently and occasionally stopping to attack Link from above. Once he stops, it is possible to attack him by rolling twice in the pillar atop which Zant is standing (rolling into it once will only cause Zant to momentarily loose his balance). Doing so will cause him to fall, rendering him vulnerable to sword attacks.

Snowpeak Ruins

The fifth portion of the battle is fought in the bedroom of the Snowpeak Ruins where Blizzeta was defeated. Zant will grow to a monumental size and attack Link by slamming down onto the ground and stomping around the room. His reflection as he is about to land can be seen in the floor; therefore, as he crashes down, he can be struck on his foot by the use of the Ball and Chain, which causes Zant to shrink rapidly and hop around the room, grasping his foot in pain. Link can then rapidly catch up to him and strike him with the sword before he has shrunk down to only a fraction of the size of Link. Afterwards, he will grow back in size and repeat his attack. Repeating this strategy once more brings an end to the fifth phase of the fight.

In front of Hyrule Castle

The sixth and final phase of the battle takes place on Hyrule Field, in full view of Hyrule Castle still encased in the golden barrier. Here, the battle will be confined inside a wall twilight, similar to that when battling Shadow Beasts. In this phase, Zant will perform various attacks with two cleaver-like swords: he will slash at link with erratic movements, or otherwise spin rapidly towards him. This spinning attack can be blocked with the shield until he has grown tired, pausing to take a breath. The moment Link strikes him, he will vanish and teleport away from him, readily appearing in order to attack once more. After sustaining much damage, Zant will finally succumb and fall to the ground in a rage, defeated. The arena will then vanish into the throne room of the Palace of Twilight.

Non-canon Appearances

Non-Canon Information hide

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Zant appears as a Trophy and Sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Trophy Information

Game Image Description How to Unlock
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Zant Trophy.png The self-proclaimed king of twilight. Zant is the ringleader scheming to cover Hyrule in twilight. Zant long served under the royal family of the Twilight Realm. Ganondorf grants great power to Zant in exchange for his allegiance, and Zant makes it his ultimate goal to become the supreme leader of both light and dark. Random

Sticker Information

Name Image Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary Usable by
Zant Zant Sticker.png Twilight Princess [Weapon] - Attack +7 This sticker is usable by Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Toon Link

Hyrule Warriors



Zant appears in Hyrule Warriors as an antagonist, serving as the boss of the Palace of Twilight and also as a playable character. He attacks with manic strikes of his dual scimitars and also wields magic powers, many of which originate from his boss battle in Twilight Princess. These include summoning giant versions of his helmet (similar to his Morpheel phase), throwing down totem poles (similar to his Ook phase), generating balls of Twilight energy, and controlling a Zant's Hand. His Focus Skill is growing to an immense size (similar to his Blizzeta phase) to stomp and crush his enemies. Zant forms an alliance with Cia and is tasked with guarding the Gate of Souls within the palace, and he summons the dragon Argorok to stall Link and his followers upon their arrival. Zant is defeated at the end of the level.

Zant and Ghirahim are later summoned by Ganondorf to aid him in his quest to obtain the Triforce, following the defeat of Cia. Zant and Ghirahim are left in charge of commanding Ganondorf's forces within the Gerudo Desert, but they are defeated once again.

Miscellaneous

Concept Art of Zant

Like Agahnim in A Link to the Past, Zant appears to be the primary antagonist of the game until the plot takes an unexpected turn, revealing Ganondorf to be the Final Boss. Zant also bears resemblance to Onox and Veran; if one observes his clothes, they will notice that he has the same symbol Onox bore on his armor. Given that Twilight Princess is full of references and close similarities to Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, it is likely that this is not purely by coincidence. However, Onox's armor very closely resembles that of an Iron Knuckle, which were essentially villains that worked for Ganondorf, and the fact that Zant, too, was seen in relation to Ganondorf as nothing but an "underling."

Of course, a resemblance of clothing is not the only thing that reveals itself when analyzing Zant. His combat techniques, when facing him head-on, are similar to the techniques used by the several forms of Majora's Mask, Ganon/Phantom Ganon, and the Garo Master. The sounds that Zant makes and his jerky, random fighting style are reminiscent of Majora's second form. He teleports from one place to another, and uses consistent energy strikes, just as Ganon and Phantom Ganon do. His dual swords and fighting style is similar to that of the Garo Master.

Trivia

Zant without his helmet or armor
  • Zant keeps his hands hidden for most of the game under his sleeves. He only reveals them once when he reanimates Stallord, where they can be seen vaguely under the darkness, and they appear dark gray; discolored from the normal Twilight colors of black and white. It is also noticeable in this scene that his arms are abnormally long, to the point that proper measuring would place his arms as extending below his knees, the same length as his sleeves, suggesting that his sleeves are not too long for his physique as suggested during the game.
  • During the boss fight, the arena Zant switches to directly corresponds to the key item used in the fight. For instance, Link uses the Gale Boomerang for the Forest Temple Boss room, the Iron Boots in the Goron Mines mini-boss room, the Clawshot in the Lakebed Temple boss room, and the Ball and Chain in the Snowpeak Ruins boss room. These were all used in the same manner in the original fights; the only rooms not requiring a special item is the Forest Temple mini-boss room (albeit the technique required here is exactly the same as the original battle with Ook), as well as the final Hyrule Castle area.
  • During the boss fight, the music changes slightly to match the arenas Zant warps to. The music includes fragments of the themes from the original boss battles of the respective arenas.
  • Zant is the first major villain to yield a Heart Container.
  • Zant's role in Twilight Princess is very reminiscent to several other villains in the Zelda universe, including Onox, Veran, and, most closely, Agahnim. Likewise to the aforementioned characters, the symbol on the front of his garments resembles the Gerudo symbol.
  • Zant has the highest number of phases in Twilight Princess, having a total of six. All other bosses have two, except Fyrus, who only has one phase, and Ganondorf, who has four phases. However, the battles with Ganondorf are labeled as separate bosses, so some may not count them as phases.

Gallery

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References

  1. "Additionally, even the boss character Zant from Twilight Princess is playable in this game."Hyrule Warriors Direct, YouTube, published August 4, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "How dare you?! Are you implying that my power is...our old magic? Now THAT is a joke! This power is granted to me by my god! It is the magic of the King of Twilight, and you WILL respect it! My Midna... Did you forget? That beast is one of the light dwellers who oppressed our people. No matter how much you may desire otherwise, you will never be more than a shadow in their world. You cannot consort with their kind! But if we can make their world ours, Midna...light and darkness will meet at last. Our tribe will take back their realm...and sweet darkness will blot out this harsh light! And that, Midna, is why... I need you. Not just for me, but for all of our people... Lend me your power." — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  3. "Now, don't resent me for all I've put you through. I NEED this thing! Besides, we have to do something about Zant, the one who thinks he is the king of shadows..." — Midna (Twilight Princess)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "You speak of magic? Still your tongue for a moment, whelp, and I will tell you of both magic and the oppression of ages...The people of our tribe...a tribe that mastered the arts of magic...were locked away in this world like insects in a cage. In the shadows we regressed, so much so that we soon knew neither anger nor hatred...nor even the faintest bloom of desire. And all of it was the fault of a useless, do-nothing royal family that had resigned itself to this miserable half-existence! I had served and endured in that depraved household for far too long, my impudent princess. And why, you ask? Because I believed I would be the next to rule our people! THAT is why! But would they acknowledge me as their king? No! And as such, I was denied the magic powers befitting our ruler. 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)
  5. "I shall house my power in you... If there is anything you desire, then I shall desire it, too." — Ganondorf (Twilight Princess)
  6. "My god had only one wish... To merge shadow and light...and make darkness!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  7. "Midna: Princess of the Twilight Realm. A curse placed upon her by Zant causes her to physically transform and lose her magical abilities. In the Light World, she appears as a shadow." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 114)
  8. "But would they acknowledge me as their king? No! And as such, I was denied the magic powers befitting our ruler." — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  9. "It is time for you to choose: surrender or die. Oh yes, a question for all the land and people of Hyrule... Life? Or death?!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  10. "Twilight covered Hyrule like a shroud, and without light, the people became as spirits." — Princess Zelda (Twilight Princess)
  11. "Did you honestly mean to take an ancient and withered power like this and turn it against me? You are a foolish traitor, Midna. Why do you defy your king?" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  12. "So be it... I will return you to the light world you covet!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  13. "You still live... How astonishing. No wonder some call you "hero". But this is truly a bittersweet reunion... Truly! For I fear this is the last time I will see you alive!" — Zant (Twilight Princess)
  14. "Midna... Foolish Twilight Princess... The curse on you cannot be broken... It was placed on you by the magic of my god! The power you held as leader of the Twili will never return! 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)


Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name Meaning
Japanese Japan 僭王ザント (Senō Zanto) Usurper King: Zant
Spanish Spain Zant, Tirano de las Sombras Zant, Shadow Tyrant
French France Xanto, usurpateur Xant, Usurper
German Germany Usurpator Zanto Usurper Zanto
Italian Italy Zant, l'usurpatore Zant, the Usurper
Korean South Korea 참왕 젠트 (Chamwang Zenteu) Usurper King: Zant

Bosses in The Legend of Zelda series

The Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of LinkA Link to the PastLink's AwakeningOcarina of TimeMajora's MaskOracle of AgesOracle of SeasonsFour SwordsThe Wind WakerFour Swords AdventuresThe Minish CapTwilight PrincessPhantom HourglassSpirit TracksSkyward SwordA Link Between Worlds