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|“||My god had only one wish... to merge shadow and light, and make darkness!||„|
|~ Zant's most famous quote.|
Zant, also known as the Usurper King, is the central antagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
He is the self-proclaimed King of Twilight, although Midna claims he is the King of Shadows. He is a scourge and enemy of Twili who usurps the throne of the Twilight Realm from Midna before the events of Twilight Princess. He is an extremely powerful sorcerer, Ganondorf's subordinate in the Light World and Midna's archenemy.
He was voiced by Junji Kitajima in Twilight Princess and Masashi Tamaki in the Hyrule Warriors series.
This biography of Zant is 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.
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.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
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 central antagonist throughout 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.
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 Triforce of Power), as a means of fulfilling his own desire to return to the World of Light. Using his newfound power, Zant overthrew Midna and turned her into an imp. 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. Zant invaded Hyrule Castle, and after leading a pack of Shadow Beasts that easily overwhelmed the Hyrule soldiers, he gave Princess Zelda the choice of surrendering or facing the annihilation of Hyrule's inhabitants. Seeing she had no better choice, Zelda dropping her sword as a symbol of submission and yielded to Zant's demands.
Soon after, Zant engulfed most of Hyrule in Twilight, 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, and tries to convince Midna to give him the power she retained as the Twilight Princess. When Midna refuses, Zant exposes her to the full light of Lanayru, 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. Zant then places a Twilight Sword 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.
When Link and Midna meet Zant in the Palace of Twilight in the Twilight Realm, he undergoes a change in behavior that drastically contrasts the character that he displayed before. The reasons for this change are often debated by Twilight Princess fans. The predominantly 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.
After Zant is defeated, he proclaims that he will be resurrected infinitely by his god, who is really just Ganondorf, and that the curse placed on Midna cannot be removed while Ganon is still alive. 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, which directly precedes Ganondorf's apparent death. There has been no evidence of 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.
Zant is one of the most diverse bosses in the game, with the ability to emulate previous battles and change assault tactics.
Forest Zant will first recreate the Forest Temple boss arena and float above the poisonous water while firing an array of dark energy balls. Block these with Link's shield and use his Gale Boomerang to knock him down before he warps away. When struck with the Gale Boomerang, Zant will skip across the venomous pool and land on the ground to regain his composure. Use this brief moment as an opportunity to attack him with Link's sword before he recovers. Repeat this a few times and he will change the arena.
Zant changes the environment to that of the mini-boss arena seen in the Goron Mines, and will jump up and down repeatedly along the borders of the magnetic platform in an attempt to make Link slide off the edge, laughing maniacally as he does so. Avoid falling into the lava by using the Iron Boots when necessary (although, with good handling, the boots may not be needed at all). Eventually, he will stop and attempt to attack Link again with a flurry of energy blasts. The attack will leave him exhausted, so remove the Iron Boots and quickly attack him before he catches his breath. Repeat this a few times and he will change the arena again.
Next, Zant recreates the Lakebed Temple boss arena. Be sure to equip Link with the Zora Armor so that he can breathe underwater, and his Iron Boots to sink to the lakebed below. At first, a giant helmet in likeness to Zant's will emerge from the sand, open up, and he will attack Link with energy balls from within; a familiar tactic. Use Link's Clawshot to draw him close and then, after equipping the Iron Boots, attack him with Link's sword. The helmet will disappear, and then another four will rise around Link. Only one, upon opening, will reveal Zant inside, and he will attack Link with more blasts. After he is done, he will wait a few seconds before he closes the helmet. At this point quickly use the Clawshot to pull him out and attack him. He will teleport back into the helmet and Link will have to figure out which one he is in and then repeat the process until he changes the arena again.
Next Zant emulates the mini-boss arena in the Forest Temple. He will leap from totem pole to totem pole, occasionally stopping to attack Link with his common method of firing energy balls. Avoid the blasts and roll into the pole he is standing on twice to knock him down (and, rather humorously, get his helmet stuck in the ground), and then attack him. Repeat this a few times and the arena will change once again.
Zant will change the field to that of the Snowpeak Ruins and grow to a gargantuan size. In this giant state, Zant will hover above the arena and Link will need to avoid him when he drops down to avoid being crushed; by using the reflection off the ice on the floor, Link can determine when he will fall. With the Ball and Chain, Link must strike him on one of his feet as he stomps around to make him shrink down into a size that Link can attack, but he will need to chase Zant around (which is quite tricky on the ice) because he will attempt to evade Link while hopping across the arena gripping his foot. Repeat this a few times to go to the last arena.
The final arena lies just outside of Hyrule Castle, and Zant will wield two swords from underneath his sleeves. With his two swords, he will simply start attacking Link in a maniacal fashion, that of which Link can either evade, attack him with a Back Slice, or attack him directly. Occasionally, Zant will appear with his own version of the Hurricane Spin and will be left dazed for a few seconds when he wears himself out. This is the best opportunity to attack. Also, if Link hits Zant with a spin attack while he is performing this move, it will cause him to stop and catch his breath. After many sword strikes, Zant will be finally defeated.
Unlike other bosses, he is not directly killed by Link. He is weakened by him and, panting, angers Midna by saying that she cannot be restored to her original self. She stabs him with her "hair", of which causes him to inflate and explode.
Zant serves as one of the main characters and a playable warrior in Hyrule Warriors. He acts as the main antagonist of the Twilight Princess era, the deuteragonist (alongside Ghirahim) of Ganondorf's March, one of the secondary antagonists (alongside Ghirahim) of Grand Finale and a supporting protagonist in the DLC pack Cia's Story.
He joins forces with the Black Witch Cia after she summons him from from the Twilight Princess era via the Gate of Souls. Although disinterested in the witch's cause at first due to being busy with his own goals after being bested by her in combat he reluctantly agrees to help her and in return she allows him to continue with his plans for usurping the Twilight throne so long as he still protects the gate of souls. Zant is put in charge of the Twilight Realm and tasked with protecting the Gate of Souls from Midna as well as Lana and her many allies. Zant summons hordes of enemies, including the ferocious dragon Argorok, to kill the heroes but this ultimately fails, which forces Zant to battle the heroes personally where he is ultimately bested and trapped in the Gate of Souls.
Sometime following Cia's death at the Valley of Seers, Zant is freed by Ganondorf and employed to serve him in his quest to reclaim the Triforce (along with Ghirahim) with Zant serving as the trio's strategist. Together the three manage to obtain all pieces of the Triforce allowing Ganondorf to reign supreme over Hyrule while Zant and Ghirahim head back to rule over Gerudo Desert. The two command Ganondorf's troops and engage in battle with the heroes once more but they are both defeated once again.
While Zant was only unlockable in Adventure Mode in the original Wii U release, he was made available from the start in the 3DS and Nintendo Switch re-releases.
Super Smash Bros. series
Zant appears as a trophy in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He also appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which can be equipped to increase weapon attacks for Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Toon Link.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Zant appears as a primary attack-type spirit. His spirit battle is a timed brawl against Robin on the Bridge of Eldin who can summon an Abra to teleport the player across the stage and temporally become giant.
Zant has a great lust for power. This is why he was initially denied the position of king in the Twilight Realm, as well as why he accepted Ganondorf's offer in exchange to return him to the light. During his reign, Zant was for the most part calm, collected and somewhat polite. However, when cornered, he reveals himself to be very immature and psychotic. This is seen when he makes very strange and erratic movements like jumping on the floor and speaking with a strange high voice. A flashback reveals it was his true self from the beginning, such as when he slammed his head against the floor for being denied the throne.
Another aspect of this character is his extreme arrogance, exemplified when he curses Midna instead of just killing her, and later, when he sics Stallord on Link and leaves without waiting to see if the creature is victorious. He harbors a strong hatred for the light-worlders because his ancestors were exiled to the Twilight a long time ago. Ironically, however, much of the reason he managed to usurp royalty and almost take over the light world was because of a light-worlder, which made him somewhat hypocritical, and was confirmed when he called Midna a traitor despite being the one who usurped the throne from Midna. Zant was also delusional, claiming he did all this for himself instead of the good of Midna’s people, believing that he and the Twili have been oppressed and banished from what he considers their kingdom and aspired to take it back. However, the truth is he only did this to satiate his hunger for power and get revenge against the light-worlders and the twilight realm for sealing his ancestors in the Twilight since he believed they, or more specifically he, deserved more than that. He also held a grudge toward his own people because they denied him the power to rule. There's also the fact that he forcefully turned many of them, who were otherwise peaceful individuals, into mindless Shadow Beasts to serve him, which further cements that he only truly cares about himself and had little-to-no concern for their wellbeing.
Zant is a a very tall and slender humanoid with abnormally long limbs most obviously noticeable in his arms which go down to his knees. He is always seen wearing a regal, long, black, oversized robe decorated in aqua Twilight symbols which appear to glow in the dark, the robe also has eight red and aqua tassels running down at the end of each sleeve. He also wears a silver metallic shoulder guard with a red gem in the middle. He also wears frilled black trousers and golden shoes in the shape of crocodiles. He dons a metal helmet resembling a chameleon's face that is capable of retracting itself into his shoulder guard. The tongue of the helmet acts as the mouthpiece, which is also able to retract itself into the helmet at Zant's will.
Zant keeps his hands hidden under his sleeves, only showing them when he reanimates Stallord. They appear to be dark grey and discolored with his veins showing prominently, providing a stark contrast compared to the regular black and white colors of Twili.
When his helmet is removed, Zant reveals his face which appears to be very gaunt with pale blueish skin and purple lips and glowing orange eyes with no pupils. He also appears to wear charcoal eyeshadow with black eyeliner and has the Twilight Emblem engraved on his forehead running down to the tip of his nose. He has a very small Glasgow grin of sorts along his lips which forms an X shape across his mouth making it difficult to tell whether or not he's happy or upset at only a glance. He also has red hair, although much of it is obscured by the dark yellow balaclava he wears around his head and neck.
Zant also wields two turquoise twin scimitars with maroon accents resembling Twilight symbols as his primary melee weapons.
- Zant is the first major The Legend of Zelda antagonist to yield a Heart Container, with the second being Ghirahim, and the third being Yuga.
- Zant's Glasgow grin was given to him as a way to add to his sinister qualities, according to Hyrule Historia it is supposed to give off the effect of being unsure as to whether or not he's smiling or crying.
- Zant and Midna appear to be more human-looking than many of the other Twili although this is somewhat less clear with Zant given some of the odd proportions his body has which are obscured by his clothes.
- Zant's breakdown was apparently a rather late addition into the story of Twilight Princess, although it has since been rectified and made into his most defining trait, with later media depicting him such as the manga adaptation of Twilight Princess and Hyrule Warriors both showing Zant's insanity and childish nature blatantly from the start, sometimes even coinciding with his attempts at keeping up a calm and foreboding façade.