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Villain Overview
Both of you, faithless fools who would dare to take up arms against the king of light and shadow... So you choose! And so you shall feel my wrath!
~ Ganondorf possessing Zelda.
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...
~ The Ancient Sage about Ganondorf.
Ganon... this beast was once of the Gerudo... Once human. He was called Ganondorf! King of Darkness, ancient demon reborn.
~ Zelda about Ganon.

Ganondorf Dragmire, simply known by his first name Ganondorf or as Ganon (in his beast form), is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda. He was primarily ruler of the Gerudo, reincarnation and successor of Demise, holder of the Triforce of Power and archenemy of Link and Princess Zelda.

In all timelines, he was the leader of the Gerudo tribe and known as the Prince of Thieves before eventually coming into possession of the Triforce of Power, one of three pieces of the Triforce able to grant the user's wishes. Ganondorf constantly tried to steal the Triforce pieces of Wisdom and Courage which Zelda and Link held to obtain the power of the Golden Goddesses and as such was locked in conflict with them.

It turned out he was actually the spirit of Demise, a demon who was seemingly defeated and sealed away along with similar forces by the princess of Hyrule who had the bloodline of the goddesses whose power he tried to steal and her appointed knight with the soul of a hero who wielded a blade meant to repel evil. Before vanishing Demise cursed himself and his foes with eternal reincarnation so that he could come back to haunt them and their descendants again and again.

In the English dubbed version, he was voiced by the late Len Carlson in the TV series and Captain N: The Game Master and Mark Berry in Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. In the Japanese versions, he was voiced by the late Seizō Katō in BS Zelda no Densetsu, Takashi Nagasako from 1998 to 2003, Hironori Miyata in 2006, 2008 and 2014 and Taiten Kusunoki in 2014.

Alter-Egos

As mentioned above he was Demise's reincarnation though Ganondorf created copies of himself. The first to appear was Agahnim who only existed in the "Decline" timeline. The second was Phantom Ganon in the "Unified" timeline causing a second Phantom Ganon to appear in the "Child" and "Adult" timelines and a third to appear in the former timeline. Ganon's resentments and evil thoughts also manifested as a Shadow Link in the "Split" and "Decline" timelines. Yuga Ganon was a result of his Lorulean counterpart Yuga reviving and fusing with him to conquer both Lorule and Hyrule. In the "Adult" timeline Puppet Ganon was also created. After all timelines supposedly connect he is reincarnated once more as Calamity Ganon.

Other Appearances

Hyrule Warriors

Ganondorf (Hyrule Warriors)

Ganondorf in Hyrule Warriors.

Long ago, Ganondorf attempted to take over Hyrule but a past Link fought and defeated him; Link broke Ganondorf's spirit into four pieces, sending three into the depths of time and space and the fourth at the entrance to the temple containing the Master Sword.

Eventually, Triforce guardian Cia's infatuation with Link caused her to grow corrupted and allowed Ganondorf to have her as the figurehead leader of the Dark Forces.

In the end, he was revived through three of his spirit fragments. Now working separately from Cia, he attacked Link and Zelda at the Temple of Souls, but Link defeated Ganondorf, destroying him. However, Ganondorf was revived through his fourth and final spirit fragment, resurrecting Zant and Ghirahim (who had been destroyed and imprisoned in a Portal of Souls, respectively). The evil trio took control of Gerudo Desert and Ganondorf took the Triforce pieces from Link, Zelda, and Lana.

Believing the battle to be won he disappeared. This gave Link and his allies the opportunity to defeat Ghirahim and Zant, destroying them once and for all. Then they attacked Ganon's Castle, which he had turned Hyrule Castle into. Once defeated again, Ganondorf transformed into Ganon. Link defeated Ganondorf, then he, Zelda, and Lana used the Triforce to destroy him. What remained of his darkness was either sealed or destroyed when Link and Zelda returned the Master Sword.

Cadence of Hyrule

In The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer crossover he appeared as the main antagonist.

Ancient Stone Tablets

The BS exclusive Ancient Stone Tablets is a sequel to A Link to the Past taking place six years after. After his defeat by Link in the previous game, Ganondorf's spirit survived and managed to call the Hero of Light to Hyrule, planning to steal his power. Finally after being resurrected as Ganon the two battle, with the Hero of Light defeating the demon king.

The Legend of Zelda Comics

Ganondorf zelda comics

Ganondorf in the comic book series.

In the comic series, Ganondorf was resurrected after the events of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link while appearing in both his Ganondorf and Ganon forms.

Ganondorf's primary goal on the series is to reunite the Triforce in order to become supreme ruler of the Light World, including Hyrule. Also, despite previous defeats he managed to regain his forces and even gathered new generals such as the Shadow and Thunderbird. He is also semi-successful as he manages to capture both Link and Zelda multiple times.

Zelda CD-I

Main article: Ganon (CD-i)

In the Zelda CD-I games, Ganon served as the main antagonist.

Manga

Main article: Ganondorf (Manga)

Powers and Abilities

Even without the Triforce, Ganondorf possesses enough skills to fight both Link and Zelda at the same time using twin blades or a single larger one. He also possessed magic, superhuman strength and control over monsters. Just before gaining the full Triforce he fought and killed all he did not trust at the same time and single-handedly defeated them. Several of these abilities were gifted to Ganondorf due to him formerly being Demise and retaining these powers from his past life.

With the Triforce of Power, he becomes godlike, invincible to all but the most powerful sacred weapons: the only things which can destroy his body being the Master Sword and Silver Arrows. Ganondorf is immortal and possesses the ability to fly, teleport, possess others, empower other beings, utilize powerful magic, create powerful monsters, and also possess superhuman traits: such as enhanced reflexes and unlimited strength. All of the powers utilized by Zant are through Ganondorf's power, meaning that Ganon also possesses the ability to rapid fire small blasts, grow to giant size and shrink to a miniature state, breathe underwater and create constructs.

Even when in danger Ganondorf could tap into his true demonic powers adding it to the power he already has and with the Triforce of Power becoming Ganon.

While possessing Zelda he utilized the Triforce of Wisdom to create massive energy triangles to damage enemies and while controlling Vaati was also able to utilize wind magic.

Other Zelda Games

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest

Ganondorf appears as Ganon as the final boss of The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest attraction from Nintendo Land.

Crossovers

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Ganondorf (Super Smash Bros Melee)

Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros Melee.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ganondorf appears as a playable character; unlocked through successfully completing event mode #29 (Triforce Gathering) or, alternatively, playing 600 versus mode matches. His design is based on his appearance in the Space World 2000 Demo with a moveset almost identical to that of Captain Falcon, the prime difference being that Ganondorf lacks Captain Falcon's speed but makes up for it by dealing greater damage to his opponents. His moves also differ in that they utilize dark magic in place of fire.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Ganondorf SSB

Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Ganondorf returns in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with an upgraded design based on his appearance in Twilight Princess.

In the game's adventure mode, Ganondorf has been resurrected by Master Hand (though with only his warlock powers and no Triforce of Power) and serves as one of the secondary antagonists alongside Bowser commanding the Subspace Army whose goal is to bring the world into Subspace for their leader, Master Hand. However, Ganondorf's true intention is to betray Master Hand and seize his power for himself.

Modea17 080410c-l

Ganondorf and Bowser on top of the Gunship.

He leads a team of several villains such as Ridley, Porky, Petey Piranha, and Wario, in addition to Bowser, who acts as his second in command, he is also given command over the Subspace army and its commanders: Galleom and Duon. After commanding the R.O.B Squad to set off Subspace Bombs, Ganondorf orders them to betray the Ancient Minister, their former master who in return joins the heroes in his true form - R.O.B. Soon after Ganondorf and Bowser emerge from Subspace in a Massive Subspace Gunship, and engage in battle with the heroes, however, they fail and abandon the exploding ship and head back to Subspace.

Afterwards the two travel to Master Hand; however, Ganondorf betrays Bowser and turns him into a trophy with a Dark Cannon. Master Hand himself is seen to be controlled by Tabuu, the embodiment of Subspace. Ganondorf, surprised at this revelation leaps to attack the dark being only to be turned into a trophy himself due to his lack of the Triforce of Power. When Bowser is revived by King Dedede he furiously attacks Ganondorf's trophy in an act of vengeance. Link and Zelda come across the trophy and revive him, forming a temporary alliance as all characters prepare for the final battle against Tabuu. After the fighters are returned to normal all of them, including Ganondorf battle Tabuu, eventually defeating him and returning the world from subspace.

While presumably non-canon these events would take place a short while after Twilight Princess in the "Child" timeline.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

Ganondorf (Super Smash Bros 4)

Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros 4.

Ganondorf returns as a playable character in the video game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. He retains his physical appearance in Twilight Princess, which includes the hole on his chest, as well as maintaining moveset from Brawl. He even has a palette swap that resembles Yuga's colour scheme. He is an unlockable character on the 3DS but is available from the start on the Wii U.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Ganondorf returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an unlockable character. His physical appearance this time is based on his Ocarina of Time look, who also transforms into the Ocarina of Time version of Ganon as his Final Smash. Unlike the last game where he uses it in a custom move, Ganondorf now utilizes his sword based on the Melee artwork as part of his smash attacks, making him a much more unique fighter.

Ganon also appears as a fightable boss in his Ocarina of Time design. He is able to be fought at the end of Link, Zelda, Toon Link and Young Link's Classic Mode campaigns. Ganon takes next to no damage if the player attacks him from the front. Instead, they must attack Ganon's glowing tail which serves as a weak point.

Ganondorf also appears in the game as four Spirits. As Ganon and a Neutral Primary he can be obtained after defeating him in "World of Light" with the ability to increase the fighter's weight. Ganondorf from Twilight Princess appears as an Attack type Primary, with his Spirit Battle being a Stamina battle against Ganondorf whose attack power increases when at high damage. At level 99, he can be enhanced to become Beast Ganon with the ability to damage opponents by running into them. Calamity Ganon appears as an Attack type Primary, with its Spirit Battle being a Stamina battle against a giant Ganondorf with Zelda as the player's ally. The player takes sudden damage after a little while and will automatically lose if Zelda is defeated.

In Other Media

The Legend of Zelda (TV series)

Ganondorf as Ganon is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda TV series.

Captain N: The Game Master

Ganondorf appears again as Ganon in Captain N: The Game Master which takes place after the TV series. He is a major antagonist, more so than Mother Brain at one point.

The Legend of Zelda April Fools

Ganon april fools attack

Ganon in the "April Fools" trailer.

Ganondorf appears as the main antagonist in an April Fools joke by Nintendo and IGN to trick people into thinking there was a The Legend of Zelda movie in which he was portrayed by Gregory Lee Kenyon. He fights Link with a flaming sword in the climax and has many minions such as Armogohma and King Dodongo.

The Legend of Zelda pre-rendered 3D movie

Ganondorf

Ganondorf in the pre-rendered 3D film.

Ganondorf would've appeared as the main antagonist of the cancelled movie. In the only revealed scene he sent his Shadow Knights to kidnap Zelda. After Link reveals himself and defeats three of them Ganondorf himself appears preparing for a showdown.

Trivia

  • Ganon in Four Swords Adventures is the only main antagonist in the Zelda series to not die as he ends up sealed inside the Four Sword while other incarnations in all timelines, Demise, Majora, Bellum, Malladus, Zant and Vaati did not survive their final battles; Ghirahim's final fate is a subject of much debate among fans, however.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U marks the first time Ganondorf is available from the start. However, in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. 3DS his status is unlockable.
  • Although Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate depicted him with a sword Ganondorf was never actually seen wielding one at any point in Ocarina of Time with the exception of the dual swords he wields as Ganon. The sword that he used was based on the blade he used in the Space World 2000 Demo.
    • Also, the only time he used a sword before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was where he performed the Warlock Blade custom Standard Special attack from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
  • Ganondorf made guest appearances on the Internet show DEATH BATTLE fighting against Bowser and winning and then against Dracula but losing.

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