- NOTE: This Synopsis ONLY includes canon events and in the main universe, for non-canon information, please go back to Ganondorf's main page. This is also organized into the latest "official Zelda timeline"; this may change completely in the future as the timeline given is merely meant as an example, and there have been official timelines before it.
The story of the demonic warlord Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda fantasy videogame franchise.
The Unified Timeline refers to events before the split in Ocarina of Time and thus occurs in every timeline, the split happens in the final battle with Ganon.
- See: Demise
|“||You fight like no man 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!||„|
Ganondorf's past self, Demise appears in this game.
After Hylia's servant, Impa, escaped with Zelda into the past, and a Gate of Time was revealed in the Sealed Grounds, the seal on Demise broke and he escaped under his Imprisoned form. However, the Chosen Hero of the Goddess, Link, defeated him, driving the Seal Spike into his skull and resealing him below the Sealed Grounds.
Demise later escaped again but was again defeated and sealed up by Link, with help from a fellow child of the sky, Groose, and his catapult. This happened a third time as well. As Demise was about to escape a fourth time, Link made a wish with the Triforce, causing the Statue of the Goddess to fall and crush Demise, obliterating him.
However, Ghirahim traveled to the past with Zelda and, by means of a ritual, gave her soul to Demise, who was able to return to power. Demise transformed Ghirahim back into a sword and remarked Link, who is facing him without fear. Favorably impressed, Demise told him that if he wished to fight him, he should enter his own dimension away from any distractions, otherwise, he could just wait for Demise to destroy the entire world.
Link entered the dimension and fought Demise. Eventually, Link defeated Demise by stabbing him with a Killing Blow using the Master Sword. Before disintegrating into black smoke, Demise praised Link's valor but cast a curse so that his hatred would be reincarnated to torment Link and Zelda's descendants forever. What remained of Demise's consciousness was absorbed into the Master Sword, to decay over time until there was nothing left
Between Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time
Several hundred years after Demise's consciousness had been absorbed into the Master Sword, he finally decayed into nonexistence, allowing him to be reborn as Ganondorf.
Ocarina of Time
|“||These toys are too much for you! I command you to return them to me!||„|
By the time of the events of Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf was 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 cursed the Great Deku Tree and Lord Jabu-Jabu and blocked off Dodongo's Cavern. At the same time, he pledged false allegiance to the King of Hyrule.
Princess Zelda sensed the evil within Ganondorf and, along with Link, strove to prevent Ganondorf from obtaining the Triforce. Ganondorf betrayed and assaulted Hyrule Castle while Link gathered the three Spiritual Stones. He only came in time to see Zelda and Impa flee, pursued by Ganondorf. Ganondorf demanded Link to tell him where the two had fled too, but Link did not tell him. When Link shortly after opened the gate to the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf followed him and seized the opportunity to obtain the Triforce, with partial success. As he touched the Triforce, it split, leaving Ganondorf with only the Triforce of Power.
During the time that Link was asleep, Ganondorf conquered Hyrule while waiting for the moment he would find the other owners of the other two Triforce pieces. Eventually, he found them in the Temple of Time, where he kidnapped Zelda and challenged Link to come to save her. The three met again in Ganon's Tower, where the final battle ensued. Link reaches the top of the Tower to discover Ganondorf playing the organ (the sound of which can be heard throughout the Tower) and engages and bests him in battle. Link had to turn back the yellow bolts of light that he casted at him to bind the Evil King. After that, he fired a Light Arrow to stun him, and Link delivered the coup de grace with his Master Sword. Whenever he recovered, Link repeated this strategy and if he tried to accumulate dark energy for a devastating attack, a Light Arrow could be shot beforehand. After a couple of times, he fell, defeated and tried to bury Link and Zelda by crumbling the tower; fortunately, they managed to get out in time. Enraged, Ganondorf managed to pull together all his strength and unleashed the essence of the Triforce of Power to transform into a bestial form, Ganon. Despite this, Link managed to defeat him by striking its tail with the aid of the Megaton Hammer and the Biggoron Sword until he was weak enough to cast down his fire barrier so Link could recover his Master Sword. Using the Master Sword and some techniques like countering its blades' slashes with slashes of his own, firing a light arrow to its face and rolling between his legs, he managed to hack away at his tail some more times to weaken the Evil Beast. Link, with the help of the Master Sword, Navi, Zelda, and the power of the other Six Sages; dealt the final blow and Ganondorf was sealed into the Sacred Realm, where he could not harm Hyrule or lay his hands on the remaining pieces of the Triforce.
This is the timeline where Link was sent back to the past and was able to warn the Royal Family of Ganondorf's treachery, leading to the events of Twilight Princess backstory.
Majora's MaskGanondorf briefly appears in a flashback in the Majora's Mask manga. The flashback showcases part of Ganondorf's battle with Link.
|“||Do not think this ends here... The history of light and shadow will be written in blood!||„|
|~ Ganondorf after being defeated.|
Prior to the events of Twilight Princess, Ganondorf was captured, put on trial, and sentenced to execution by the Sages. While they managed to severely wound him, they could not kill him. It was revealed that he possessed the Triforce of Power, and with it, he managed to free himself from his chains, and well as kill the Sage of Water. Knowing no better solution, the Sages opened the gate to the Twilight Realm and sent Ganondorf through it. There he influenced Zant, who had been denied the throne of the Twilight Realm, to seize control and access Hyrule again. Ganondorf granted Zant a fraction of his power, in return for the opportunity to escape the Twilight Realm.
Before being killed by Midna, Zant said that Ganondorf will endlessly resurrect him. Link faced Ganondorf in Hyrule Castle and possessed Zelda's body, but Link defeated him and Midna drove him out. Ganondorf transformed into Ganon. Unlike his previous transformation into Ganon, this Ganon was on four legs and his weak spot was the scar on his chest. Link transformed into a wolf, in a sacred beast vs. evil beast battle, and Link won. Ganondorf transformed into a beast of flame, and Midna transformed and fought him, but he defeated her and engaged Link in horseback battle. Link knocked him off the horse, and Link and Ganondorf had their final battle, in which Link knocked Ganondorf down and stabbed him in his execution wound. The Triforce of Power left him, thus rendering him mortal, and he has a vision of Zant snapping his neck before dying.
Four Swords Adventures
Ganondorf is again reincarnated as a member of the Gerudo tribe and begins his plan to usurp the powers of others so that he can once again cover Hyrule in Darkness.
Ganondorf begins his plan by violating the Gerudo law and heading to the Pyramid, inside he finds the Trident of Power, a demonic weapon of great power, now with the mighty Trident Ganon was the King of Darkness once again. Ganondorf then headed to the forests where the Deku began to worship him, he collected the Dark Mirror and released the Shadow Links from it.
He then began the next phase of his plan, sending the Shadow Links to trick Hyrule's Hero Link into releasing Vaati's essence from his seal. Once Vaati's essence was released, Ganondorf revived Vaati and took control of him, he used Vaati to corrupt the Royal Jewels and turn them into Dark Crystals. Once this was done, Ganondorf fought and defeated the Knights of Hyrule - transforming them into demons. Ganondorf then opened up the Dark World and unleashed an army of demons. He sent Vaati to the Palace of Winds and sealed it away, fooling the Heroes into believing that Vaati was the one behind the events, Ganondorf lurked in the Dark World below the Palace of Winds, where he absorbed the Maidens power.
The Links eventually defeated all of Ganon's minions and made their way to the top of the Palace of Winds, Vaati - under the control of Ganondorf - fought them but was defeated. The heroes descended to the bottom of the tower, where they found what was left of Vaati's darkness. Ganondorf absorbed the power, adding it to the other power he had stolen, and transformed into Ganon, engaging the heroes. Ganon was defeated and sealed inside the Four Sword.
His Shadow Link minions are manifestations of the resentment and evil thoughts of his previous incarnation and are thus a part of him.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf was sealed after ruling Hyrule and then being defeated by Link, he eventually escaped, leading to the backstory of The Wind Waker.
The Wind Waker
|“||Gods! Hear that which I desire! Expose this land to the rays of the sun once more! Let them burn forth! GIVE HYRULE TO ME!!!||„|
However, he managed to free himself and rebuilt his army. Still wanting to obtain the Triforce, he sent 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 this sets Link 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 removed 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. Once Link achieves his goals of finding the Triforce of Courage and restoring the Master Sword, 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 transforms into a 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 reached 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, 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 the last battle. Now that he no longer has the Triforce of Power, he is no longer immortal. 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. He 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.
Ganondorf does not make an appearance in the game but is mentioned in the game's prologue detailing the events of The Wind Waker.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf killed Link in his final battle with him, leading to the Imprisoning War described in the backstory to A Link to the Past.
A Link to The Past
- See: Agahnim
Ganondorf appears in the backstory of A Link To The Past (manga only), showing how he stole the Triforce and became Ganon. He also appears in the non-canon comic, which features the first ever design of Ganondorf. Although the manga is non-canon, it should be noted that it bore a strong resemblance to Ganondorf's appearance in Ocarina of Time.
Oracle of Ages/Seasons
Ganondorf appears again as Agunima (a copy), who was left to guard the Dancing Dragon Dungeon.
He was also to appear in the Linked games as a boss before transforming into Ganon but was cut. In the final game, he appears in his Ganon form after he is resurrected by Twinrova.
A Link Between Worlds
|“||Gah! I bore of this fight. Once I have released Ganon, lowly creatures like you won't be worth my time.||„|
Ganondorf appears in his Ganon form in Lorule where he is resurrected by Yuga. Ganondorf's Lorule counterpart, Yuga, is one of the games main antagonists alongside Ganon himself, late in the game, Ganon and Yuga fuse into Yuga Ganon.
The Legend of Zelda
Ganondorf appears as Ganon: who had stolen the Triforce of Power attacked Hyrule in an attempt to steal the Triforce of Wisdom. He made his base of operations in Death Mountain under Spectacle Rock. Princess Zelda split the Triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces. His humanoid form also appears in-game under the aliases 'Agahnim' during the time of disasters in Hyrule, he joins the king and stops them all, only to take control of Hyrule after the king drops his guard transforming the land into the Dark World, he also manages to take control of Hyrule by stating that Link is behind these events, at the end of the game, Link defeats Agahnim, who then transforms into Ganon, and to prevent Ganon from laying his hands on it. Link assembled them and fought and defeated Ganon, using the Silver Arrows to defeat him.
The Adventure of Link
|“|| GAME OVER|
RETURN OF GANON
|~ The game-over screen's message in The Adventure of Link.|
One of the more notable events in the comics is when Link steals the Triforce of Power from Ganondorf, causing most of his minions to abandon him, and his power to weaken to what they were at the end of the Child portion of Ocarina of Time.
Breath of the Wild
|“||That...is Calamity Ganon. One hundred years ago, that vile entity brought the kingdom of Hyrule to ruin.||„|
|~ Zelda on Calamity Ganon.|
Ganon is referred to as Calamity Ganon in this game, set ten thousand years after his last defeat. A century before the start of the game, Ganon was planned to reincarnate, so King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule unearthed four gigantic, animal-shaped, magic-powered warships called the Divine Beasts, and an army of very powerful magic powered, mechanical Guardians, built by the Sheikah Tribe for his eventual return. He chose five Champions to lead them against Ganon when the time would come, but alas, Princess Zelda could not awake her divine powers.
The Demon King's essence resurfaced and turned the weapons meant to fight him against Hyrule, taking control of the Guardians and spawning four nightmarish beings that killed the Champions and possessed the Divine Beasts. They unleashed untold destruction upon the entire kingdom and killed countless people, including King Rhoam and Link themselves, who were overwhelmed by Guardians. Traumatized, Zelda awoke her power at last and sent Link to the Resurrection Shrine so that he could be revived. Ganon swallowed her, but she managed to survive and to seal it within Hyrule Castle.
While Ganon was always was depicted as demonic and frightening, he is there portrayed as a titanic mass of black and purple dark energy, constantly swirling and distorting, shaping itself as a boar's head with glowing yellow eyes, gigantic tusks and an expansible mouth. Calamity Ganon is referred to as an "it", for, without a proper incarnation, it is but a manifestation of absolute evil and hatred, a barely sentient cosmic entity without anything left of the cunning Dark Lord he once was.
The cataclysm was such that when the story begins, most of the kingdom is still reduced to ruins overcome by wilderness, and civilization has heavily regressed, though some settlements remain. Even the Master Sword is rusted. Calamity Ganon is sealed but the Blights it spawned are still controlling the Divine Beasts to lay waste on the land, weakening the seal that is about to break anytime soon. As such, its Dark Power is leaking, corrupting the land, swarming monsters all around and reviving them every few days during the night of the Blood Moon. Its evil energy (called "Malice") has spread all over, spawning monsters made of the same black and purple darkness as it is and corrupting everything that comes across.
Link awakens from a slumber, with no memories of his life before. Guided by the ghost of King Rhoam posing as an Old Man and equipped with a Sheikah Slate, setting out to defeat Calamity Ganon. Link must collect Magic Runes and a Paraglider he will need to explore wherever he wants, but he will need to satiate hunger and tiredness and protect himself from cold and heat.
He has to collect clothing, weapons, shields, food and materials, mostly from settlements and defeated enemies, to make potions and mixtures that can boost him, and explore the entire kingdom. He can also summon Wolf Link from Twilight Princess to assist him. He must win challenges of all sorts inside the many shrines guarded by Sheikah Priests, to gain improvement from the Old Man and the Goddess Hylia herself.
Link must destroy the Blight Ganons to free the Divine Beasts and the Champion's ghosts. Each Champion he sets free grants him a spell of either Protection, Healing, Wind or Lightning. He must also find the Master Sword. Link can do all of this in the order he wants, and can even skip some sections. Nothing prevents him from running to Hyrule Castle right from the start, but going to places for which he is not yet prepared is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. When reaching the Castle Throne Room where Calamity Ganon is sealed, Link will have to fight each of the Blight Ganons he did not defeat before facing the Demon King at last.
Each freed Divine Beasts, will fire a tremendous energy beam and reduce Calamity Ganon’s health bar from 1/8 to 1/2, greatly simplifying the battle. Still unable to incarnate, it manifests itself as a nightmarish, spider-like demon made of solid Malice and Sheikah tech, with a humanoid skull and a long beard and mane of wild, red hair, remnants of its existence as Ganondorf.
Calamity Ganon is a considerably powerful and pretty challenging boss. It strikes at close range with his Ancient Weapons and crawls on the walls to attack at distance. It swipes Fireblight's Fire Sword to cause a big flaming trail along the ground (or six smaller ones) and hurls a Fire Orb causing a devastating explosion (shoot it with Ice Arrows). It unleashes Waterblight's blue freezing shockwave, hurls many Ice Blocks (use the Ice Rune to destroy them), or throws its Ice Spear. It unleashes Thunderblight's Conduction Pillars to blast Link with lightning. It conjures two of Windblight's Hurricanes that move erratically or hurls Gale Shots (spheres of whirling wind). It also fires six Blue Energy Shots or a highly damaging Laser that can destroy Link's shield but can be deflected back with a well-timed Shield Bash. Links needs much health and boosts to face it without major troubles. Trying to telegraph its attacks and counterattack, or to knock it out with powerful arrows to the heads and spells and pummel it until it rises are the best tactics.
With only half of its health left (reduced or not), it unleashes a glowing red defensive force-field, becoming much faster and more dangerous. It attacks relentlessly and jumps from the wall to crush Link. Link cannot attack it when it crawls on the wall and only the Thunder spell or the Flurry Rush counterattacks will work.
When destroyed, Calamity Ganon breaks the cycle of reincarnation to gather all its Dark Power and transforms into an absolutely titanic boar demon made of solid Malice with a double mane of purple flame known as Dark Beast Ganon, and Zelda grants Link the Bow of Light to slay it.
Dark Beast Ganon is as gigantic and impressive as it is easy to defeat. Link battles it on horseback in the Fields of Hyrule (unless no horse was tamed). It stomps the ground with its hooves and breathes a devastating energy beam that runs along the ground and knocks Link from his horse. Never stay in front of it and fire Light Arrows on the glowing weak points that Zelda reveals on its sides, and and it will turn out just fine. When wounded enough, Ganon's core (a giant yellow eye) appears on its forehead. Link must attack from the front and dodge Ganon's dangerous beam, using the rising current it causes with the Paraglider to reach the eye and land the finishing blow.
After Link destroys Ganon, its disembodied essence attempts to flee but Zelda appears and uses her divine power to either seal or destroy him for good (it is never specified, as both have been said over the course of the game). The ghosts of the King and the Champions bid a last silent farewell to Link and Zelda over the Hyrule Castle, before departing to the afterlife satisfied, while Link and Zelda depart to start restoring Hyrule to its former glory... or even better. However, Zelda notes that while Ganon can no longer be reborn, it might resurface one day.
In the Japanese version, however, it was mentioned that Ganon assumed this form specifically because he refused to give up on reincarnating himself.