|“||Hatred and malice incarnate.||„|
|~ Calamity Ganon's banner.|
|“||I assume you caught sight of that atrocity enshrouding the castle. That... is Calamity Ganon. One hundred years ago, that vile entity brought the kingdom of Hyrule to ruin. It appeared suddenly and destroyed everything in its path. So many innocent lives were lost in its wake. For a century, the very symbol of our kingdom, Hyrule Castle, has managed 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...||„|
|~ King Rhoam to Link on Calamity Ganon.|
Calamity Ganon, also known as just Ganon, is the main antagonist of the 2017 action-adventure video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and likely its upcoming sequel, as well as its prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
He is a monstrous dark entity, who is a reincarnation of Ganondorf. He is a primal evil that has ravaged Hyrule throughout history, going as far back as ten thousand years. Due to a prophecy stating his return, the people of Hyrule prepared to stop him by creating the Guardians as well as the Divine Beasts, while Princess Zelda tried to awaken her sealing powers as Link protected her.
Calamity Ganon took over Hyrule Castle and brought terror to the land for one hundred years, trapping Princess Zelda inside the castle and taking control over the Divine Beasts and the Guardians. During these years, Ganon remained in the castle and try reincarnate back to his former Gerudo self. Link would eventually reawaken after one hundred years with little memory of his past and defeat Ganon.
While Ganon was always was depicted as demonic and frightening, while he is the Calamity Ganon, he is portrayed as a titanic mass of black and purple dark Malice, constantly swirling and distorting, shaping itself as a boar's head with glowing yellow eyes, gigantic tusks and an expansible mouth. This seems to be a premature form of his Dark Beast appearance, which is that of a gigantic purple boar with glowing eyes and a flaming mane.
When he tried to manifest into a physical body, the Calamity Ganon looks like a deformed spider-like abomination. His flesh is made out of malice, but he's also partially made of Sheikah gear and has their weapons attached to his limbs. He has a humanoid skull with glowing orange eyes and a long beard and mane of wild, red hair, remnants of the monster's existence as Ganondorf.
In an alternate timeline where the events of the Great Calamity were altered, Ganon created himself a different body by absorbing its Harbinger and Astor's body. This form, was a lot more humanoid than his spider-like form and relied less on Sheikah technology. It also had boar-like feet, hinting at Ganon's regular form in the series.
In his Dark Beast form, he appears as a giant boar-like monsters composed entirely of malice.
As Ganondorf, his body is that of a Gerudo man with long red hair. It is simply a corpse which has almost completely rotted away. He still wears some Gerudo armor and accessories.
Calamity Ganon differs from his other incarnations quite a lot. He appears as a seemingly mindless monster who only wants to cause destruction and suffering. Ganon is actually referred to as an "it", for, without a proper incarnation, he is but a manifestation of absolute evil and hatred, a barely sentient entity. There is nothing left of his intelligent and cunning side, Ganondorf, which implies this Ganon became completely insane. Despite this the Calamity is still immensely powerful, as his Blights, mere shards of his being, were strong enough to kill the Champions.
He also seems to have maintained some degree of cunning, as he managed to possess the very tools used to defeat him ages ago, suggesting that he was aware of the fact that the people of Hyrule would try to repeat history.
The Calamity first appeared ten thousand years ago, where it attempted to destroy the land of Hyrule. But together with all the Sheikah technology, the princess and her knight were able to defeat it and seal it away under Hyrule Castle. There it was trapped for a very long time. Presumably that what they trapped there, was Ganondorf's corpse.
However, one hundred years ago it started leaking Malice, a viral life form that is basically Evil in physical form, which started to spread in the land. The royal family noticed and prepared for the new reincarnation and trained special Champions of each race to pilot the huge Divine Beasts, four gigantic, animal-shaped, magic-powered warships. Together with an army of powerful, mechanical Guardians, built by the Sheikah for his inevitable return, they should have been able to defeat the Calamity once again. But Zelda wasn't sufficiently prepared and hadn't awakened her sacred powers. So when Ganon emerged, they weren't fully prepared yet. His essence resurfaced and he caught the Champions off guard.
He used his Malice to take control of all the Guardians and used them to destroy the entirety of Castle Town and taking over the castle, slaughtering everyone present, including the king. The Champions were also subsequently killed and he took over their Divine Beasts and implanted a Blight Ganon in each of them. These machines were used to unleash even more destruction and also caused terror for the near settlements. His arrival also surfaced the Yiga Clan. They were Sheikah who betrayed their tribe and started to worship Ganon. Link and Zelda were running away and fighting their way through Guardians who were destroying everything in their path. But Link got fatally injured and Zelda was in tears. She blamed herself for everything, since she didn't get a hold of her divine powers. But through all the suffering around her, she finally found the strength to awaken her power.
She sent Link to the Resurrection Shrine and went to face Ganon alone. He, after destroying many towns and killing countless people by spreading his army of Guardians and monsters, planned to materialize fully. But Zelda stopped him and managed to bind Ganon to Hyrule Castle. She keeps him confined, but has to use all her strength to do so. Zelda endured fighting with Ganon for one hundred years, giving it her all to seal him, while he tried relentlessly to break free of her binds.
The whole thing was a cataclysmic event, so that even one hundred years later, most of the kingdom is still reduced to ruins overcome by wilderness, and civilization has heavily regressed, safe for a few settlements. Calamity Ganon is sealed but the Blights are still controlling the Divine Beasts to lay waste on the land, weakening the seal that is about to break anytime soon. Despite being sealed, he still spread his Malice over the entire country, corrupting the land and spawning many monsters. He covered numerous structures, where it festered and destroyed them along with the nature around it. Hyrule Castle is covered in the most Malice, as this is where it stemmed from. Every now and then, a Blood moon appears. At this time, Ganon's powers momentarily increase and he is able to revive all the monsters who were previously killed (excluding Blight Ganon and Master Kohga).
Breath of the Wild
Link awakens again having lost all his memories. Zelda calls out to him and tells him of Calamity Ganon. He is hovering around Hyrule Castle, where he is still confined, clouding it in a dark mist of Malice. He stays there, while Link journeys around the land. He doesn't interfere directly, but always reminds Link of what he must do. In general, he causes a dark presence, that lurks in every corner of the land. Link frees the Divine Beasts and the spirits of the Champions by defeating Ganon's Blights. He then makes his way to the castle and after battling many more monsters, the Hero of Hyrule finally reaches the throne room.
There Ganon lurks within a giant cocoon, that resembles a human heart, attempting to regain his physical form. But Link interrupted him and since Zelda was at the end of her strength, he broke free and regenerated prematurely, leading to him looking monstrous and messy as he was still not complete. The Divine Beasts, whose pilots were rescued, then fired their cannons in his direction, severely weakening him already. Ganon was full of hatred and anger and attacked Link with all weapons he had in his possession. He crawled on the walls and uses many elemental attacks, that the Blights have used. When he is weakened even further, he created a force field around his body that would protect him, but Link bypasses it by reflecting Ganon's laser back at him.
So Calamity Ganon was ultimately defeated. He let out a monstrous roar as his body violently disintegrates and his spirit summoned all the Malice in the kingdom to him and manifested into his true Dark Beast form. Zelda said that the Calamity Ganon had given up on reincarnation and assumed his pure enraged form. He stood in the middle of Hyrule Field and shot giant beams of dark light at Link. Zelda aided the famous Hero of Time and opened up weak points where Link could shoot arrows of light. As Link did so, the Calamity Ganon lost more of his power. Eventually, his core was revealed and Link shot one final arrow into the giant pulsating eyeball. Zelda emerged from within him and she used all her power to seal him again, bringing the land back to peace.
Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity
After the second Great Calamity, a small Guardian called Terrako was sent through a time warp one hundred years in the past to change the outcome of the disaster. Calamity Ganon sent some of his Malice after it to stop it. The Malice infected the Terrako of the past, becoming the Harbinger Ganon. It was found by Astor who used it to prevent the future from changing. The Harbinger Ganon attempts multiple efforts to stop Link and Zelda, such as possessing other Guardians and leading an army of monsters to Rito Village, causing them to attack Link when they mistook Terrako for the Harbinger.
Ultimately, the Harbinger Ganon infected Hyrule Castle and issued a second Great Calamity, with the help of Astor harvesting the souls of the Yiga Clan. However, the future Guardians arrived to protect the Guardians from the Blight Ganons, preventing the Divine Beasts from falling into Ganon's hands. With support from the races of Hyrule, Zelda and allies raided the Malice infected Hyrule Castle to confront Astor and the Harbinger Ganon. After both are overwhelmed, Astor commands the Calamity to destroy them. The Harbinger instead absorbs Astor into it to create a new physical form for Calamity Ganon, that of a giant humanoid. Despite the heroes' efforts to defeat the beast, Ganon still had enough power to resist Zelda's sealing effort. Its body was so resistant it was also able to shrug off anything the Heroes threw at it. But right before it was able to end Link and Zelda, Terrako jumped in the way and exploded, weakening Ganon enough for Zelda to complete the ritual and seal him away.
Breath of the Wild 2
In the trailer, Zelda and Link find the corpse of Ganondorf deep underground, with Malice still leaking out of his body. The power of Malice seems to grow and manifest once again as Ganondorf's eyes glow up, indicating he might come to life again. In the second trailer for the game that was shown during Nintendo’s E3 2021 presentation, Ganondorf is seen in one scene in the beginning of the trailer, where he is shown to be leaning himself backwards. It’s also in this shot where his body (excluding his legs and feet) can be seen more clearly.
Super Smash Bros.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Calamity Ganon appears as a legendary-rank primary attack spirit with only one support slot and no effect. His spirit battle is against a giant Ganondorf on the Great Plateau Tower with Zelda as an ally. The player takes sudden damage after a while and loses automatically if Zelda is KO'd.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
- The English version states that Ganon assumed his Dark Beast form because he gave up on reincarnation and simply wanted to manifest and cause destruction. In the Japanese version, however, the exact opposite was stated, in that Ganon assumed this form specifically because he refused to give up on reincarnating himself. In the unlockable post-credits ending scene however, Zelda says that Ganon is "gone for now", contradicting her English phrase.
- According to the titles of the missions regarding the battles with Calamity Ganon, as well as dialog spoken by the characters, in Breath of the Wild, Zelda destroys him after he has ended his reincarnation cycle by immediately resurrecting from his first death in the game as Dark Beast Ganon, while in Age of Calamity, Zelda merely seals him away with standard sealing magic, in which he hasn't assumed his Dark Beast form. Given that Zelda's power can destroy enemies in Age of Calamity as in Breath of the Wild, it could be that the specific intent in both versions of a hundred years ago was to seal him while he was still capable of reincarnating in order to prevent him from doing so again, as in Age of Calamity, Zelda implies Ganon will stay sealed forever; while in Breath of the Wild, after attempts to seal him failed and Zelda was in no position to do so, destroying him was the next best thing, as he would be removed, if only for hundreds or thousands of years before reincarnation, and ending his reincarnation cycle made it possible to destroy him without fear of revival (though this may still happen through his mummified corpse in the sequel).