Mandrag Ganon in early English versions, Ganondorf, Great Demon King
The Legend of Zelda franchise
Demonic alter-ego of Ganondorf; Reincarnation of Demise
Powers / Skills
Exceptional strength and skill with weapons (mostly his trident, sometimes with twin sabres); God-like Dark Powers and mastery of magic; Absolute control over demons, monsters and everything evil; many attack spells
Take over Hyrule and cover it with darkness, Gain the Triforce and use it to surpass the Golden Goddesses, Destroy Link and Zelda
Type of Villain
Ganon (called Mandrag Ganon in early English versions) is the central and most recurring villain in the Legend of Zelda series. He is the reincarnation of Demise and the mightier form of Ganondorf. Ganon is the King of Evil of the Zelda universe, who rules over the Dark World and seeks the Triforce to gain the power of the Golden Goddesses to claim the world as his own. He is locked in permanent conflict with the primary protagonists Link and Princess Zelda throughout history.
This biography of Ganon 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 their have been official timelines before it.
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.
Ocarina of TimeAfter his apparent death and the collapse of his tower, Ganondorf reappears and transforms into Ganon, who knocks the Master Sword from Link's hand and sends it flying away, leading to the final battle of the game. He resembles a huge dark-green humanoïd boar with glowing eyes, who retains several features of Ganondorf, such as the long ginger hair, the Gerudo clothes and the colour green.
It attacks Link with two huge sabres that deal serious amounts of damage; but its fighting stile his brutish, erratic and as such rather easy to telegraph. Its weak point is its tail, so Link has to attack it with and by any means avaliable. The malevolent beast can be stunned with a Light Arrow to the face, but Link can also roll through its legs or intercept his slashes with slashes of his own until it tires.
During the first phase, Link must use the Megaton Hammer, the Deku Nuts, the Hookshot or the Biggoron Sword, if he has it, to attack its tail. After 10 hits, it faints and the fire around the disappears, allowing Link to recover the Master Sword.
The next phase is the same as before, except Ganon is faster, and Link must absolutely use the Master Sword to defeat it (he takes an infinite amount of hits from any other weapon). Once defeated, he is sealed in the Sacred Realm by Zelda and the Sages, under his human aspect.
This is the timeline weher 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.
Twilight PrincessGanon is actually fought in this form before being fought as Ganondorf, during the second stage of the final battle. Contrasting with his previous depictions, Ganon is now on four legs instead of two. He resembles a huge, lion-like, dark-green boar, with oversized tusks, big muscular humanoïd arms, and a ginger mane; who retains Ganondorf's golden crown and glowing wound on the chest. (He also appears under this aspect in Super Smash Bros Brawl for Ganondorf's Smash attack.)
Ganon warps through several portals and charges at Link. Link must first shoot him in the head with an arrow and stun him, then attack his wound with his sword. But after two attacks Ganon will dodge the arrows. To defeat Ganon, Link must turn into his wolf form and have Midna grab Ganon as he charges at him (similar to catching goats in Ordon) and throw him aside. He can then be bitten by Link, though turning back into a human and striking his wound with the sword deals greater damage.
After being defeated, he transforms into a gigantic, flaming head and Midna uses the Fused Shadows to battle him. After defeating her and destroying Hyrule Castle, he resumes his human form and engages the next stage of the final battle.
Four Swords Adventures
Hyrule Historia reveals that the primary antagonist of this game is in fact the reincarnation of the Ganondorf who died at the end of Twilight Princess, while he usually always survives or gets resurrected. Ganondorf was once again born in the Gerudo tribe and meant to be their king, but knowing the past and noticing his evil, the Gerudos distrusted him. He later ventured into Gerudo Desert and against the tribe's law entered the Cursed Pyramid, where he found a demonic Trident which granted him unlimited Dark Power and turned him into Ganon the King of Evil.
This Trident, named by fans the Trident of Power is stated to be the opposite of the Master Sword, and is very likely a remnant of Ganon's previous life. There are fan speculations stating that the Trident of Power is the sword of Demise transformed, but this has yet to be confirmed or infirmed. Ganon creates the Dark Mirror and spawns the Shadow Links from it, freeing the demon sorcerer Vaati, whom he manipulates and uses as a smokescreen to prepare his own rise to power.Ganon appears after Vaati's defeat and prepares to get rid of the Four Links, starting the final battle. Ganon fights in his usual way, teleporting repeatedly and using various powerful attack spells: first a circle of green energy blasts; then four to six bolts of yellow lightning; then he no longer teleports but instead warps into the room surrounded by an orange aura, and hurls his blue fire-infused trident, in a boomerang-like way.
As usual, the Four Links must strike him continuously with their swords, until Princess Zelda reappears. Zelda will create a huge ball of holy light that the Four Links must use to land the finishing blow. Beware as the Links might fall into holes into the lower floor, where they would have to fight several Stalfos before being able to climb back into the room.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf was selaed after ruling Hyrule and then being defeated by Link, he eventually escaped, leading to the backstory of The Wind Waker.
The Wind WakerGanon appears in the prequel, which depicts the events of Ocarina of Time and Ganon's takeover of Hyrule and later sealing. A stained glass window in Hyrule also depicts Ganon.
A Version of Ganon later appears just before the final battle with Ganondorf, after talking with Link, Ganondorf transforms into Puppet Ganon. Puppet Ganon takes on three forms: Puppet, Spider, and Moldorm. After being defeated, Ganondorf retreats to the top of the tower to wish on the Triforce.
It is unknonw of this version of Ganon is an actual form of Ganon or merely a puppet crafted by him, as in the cutscene prior to the Puppet Ganon battle, Ganondorf transforms into Puppet Ganon, but the Puppet Ganon trophy states that it is a puppet created by Ganondorf in his image.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf killed Link in his final battle with him, leading to the Imprisoning War described in A Link to the Past's backstory.
A Link to the PastGanondorf is mentioned in this game but he only appears under the shape of Ganon, given that the Dark World reveals its denizen's true nature. Millennia ago, he took control of the Triforce, turning the Golden Realm into a demonic Dark World under his rule. He was defeated by Holy Knights and imprisoned in the Dark World, which was sealed by the Seven Sages. Ganon is here resembles a muscular dark-blue humanoïd boar, clad in rich red and brown garnment, with a golden skull-shaped locket, a red cloak and a trident. (He retains the same aspect in the Oracles series and in Four Swords Adventures, except that he has hooves instead of clawed feets.)
Ganon is revealed to be the driving force behind the sorcerer Agahnim's actions; intending to open an access from the Dark World to Hyrule, in order to take it over. When Agahnim is defeated for good, Ganon emerges from his corpse, hinting that he possessed the evil sorcerer all along, and flees to the Pyramid where the final battle takes place. Some sources state that Agahnim is merely a projection used by Ganon to incarnate himself outside his prison, which he then disguised.Ganon begins the final battle by trowing his trident in a boomerang-like way and later, by conjuring a circle of fireballs which turns into several flaming bats. The second attack being very dangerous, it is highly advised to use the Cloak of the Cane of Byrna as a protection. Link must strike him repeatedly with the fairy-powered Master Sword while avoiding direct contact which is deadly for his life points.
Then, Ganon will teleport repeatedly and conjure a whirling flaming bat. When struck by the sword, he stomps the ground with all his weight and makes the floor crumble.
Ganon ultimately uses his secret "Technique of Darkness." He extinguishes the two flames which lights the room, turns invisible and quickly alternates teleporting and conjuring a powerful flaming bat in a very quick pattern. Link must uses his Lantern or his Fire Staff to light the two flames again, which stops Ganon for a little while. Link then must shoot a Silver Arrow to paralyze Ganon, before striking him with the sword; then to repeat the operation until the King of Evil is defeated.
Oracle of Ages/SeasonsIn the real ending of Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, the sorceress Twinrova fail to sacrifice Princess Zelda and end up sacrificing themselves, as the final part of their plan to bring Ganon back to life. However, they are not the required sacrifice, so it only resurrects Ganon's body, with little of his mentality intact. Even deprived of most of his mind and reduced to a killing machine, the King of Evil remains a formidable foe, with unmatched strength and magical power.
He teleports repeatedly and try to strike Link with a swipe of his Trident; to smash the ground with all his might and cause a tremor (Link can only avoid this by jumping with the Feather), to fire a huge explosive energy ball, three huge energy balls, or four huge energy balls which divides themselves into three smaller but faster ones. Ganon can also turn the room into a blue void where Link's commands are reversed. Link must dodge as many attacks as he can and must repeatedly strike Ganon with his sword. Preferably with a Cyclone attack.
After defeating Ganon, he begins to show some signs of his mind returning before being destroyed.
The true Ganon does not appear in the game, but he still appears as one of the final bosses as one of the Nightmares that Link fights - taking up two phases Agahnim's Shadow, and Shadow of Ganon. In these forms the Nightmare takes on a shadow form of Agahnim/Ganon and uses their attack styles.
Ancient Stone Tablets
Despite his bodies destruction, Ganondorf's rage allowed him to remain conscious and his soul returned to the Dark World. When Ganondorf is ressurected, he takes on the form of Ganon once again and fights the Hero of Light in an attempt to take their power to fully revive himself, though he is far weaker than in A Link to the Past as he only has the Triforce of Wisdom, he still manages to fight evenly with the hero until he is heavily damaged by the Hero's Silver Arrows.
Pre-A Link Between WorldsSometime after hsi last attack on Hyrule, Ganon returned once more with the Triforce of Power, he kidnapped Zelda and impriosned her but was eventually defeated by Link with the help of the descendants of the Seven Sages - together they imprisoned Ganon in darkness where he awaited his return to power.
A Link Between WorldsAfter his defeat the resentment and evil thoughts of Ganon travelled through time and space, manifesting through the Dark Mirror as the Shadow Links. After turning each of the Seven Sages' descendants into portraits Yuga brings Ganon back from the dark realm where he was sealed using their power and then merges with him, taking on a form that is named Yuga Ganon by fans.
However, just as he is about to strike down Link, YuGanon is restrained by Princess Hilda's magic, and she sends Link to collect the Sages in order to gain the Triforce of Courage, which will help him to defeat YuGanon.When Link arrives back at Lorule Castle, Hilda then reveals herself as the one behind the plot to reveal the Triforce, taking Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom and then releasing YuGanon and ordering him to take the Triforce of Courage from Link. Yuga Ganon fights Link and is defeated, and Hilda commands him to give her the Triforce of Power, but Yuga Ganon reveals his true plan, to take the full Triforce and become a god. Yuga Ganon then transforms Hilda into a painting and absorbs her, gaining the Triforces of Power and Wisdom, he then battles Link again, but even with their newfound power, he is defeated, releasing Hilda and the Triforces of Power and Wisdom.
YuGanon's destruction also completely destroyed Yuga, and sent Ganon to the Dark World, leading to his eventual ressurection and return in The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda
Ganon serves as the primary antagonist and the final boss. He resembles a humanoïd, blue-green boar, wearing a red cape with a skull-shaped fastener.Ganon appears before the beginning of the game and invades the kingdom of Hyrule with his armies after he has been ressurected from his past defeat in A Link Between Worlds, escaping from the Dark World and seizing the Triforce of Power once more. When Princess Zelda breaks the Triforce of Wisdom and scatters its fragments all over the kingdom, he abducts her and has his mightiest monsters guard the Triforce Fragments within dungeons. He then sends monsters after Zelda's nurse Impa, who was tasked by the princess to find someone able to stand against Ganon.
Impa is eventually saved by the game's primary protagonist Link, who sets out to restore the Triforce of Wisdom and use its power to defeat the King of Evil. He storms all the dungeons and finally enters Ganon's subterranean lair in Death Mountain, destroying him and saving the princess.During the final battle, Ganon turns invisible and teleports all around the room, hurling fireballs at Link who must strike him several times with the Magic Sword and finish him off with a Silver Arrow when he stops moving and becomes red.
Adventure of Link
After Ganon's defeat, the evil power left behind by the vile heart of Ganon began causing chaos and ruin in Hyrule. His armies of monsters still plague the land of Hyrule and try to kill Link and gather his blood, so as to spill the hero's blood on their fallen king's ashes to resurrect him.
When Link is killed, the Game Over screen announces that Ganon is now back from the dead, his ominous figure is shown and his evil laugh is heard.
The Legend of Zelda (comic series)
In the Zelda comic series (which is usually considered Non-Canon), Ganon is ressurected after the events of The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link. Ganondorf appears primarily in his regular Ganondorf form, but also makes some appearances in his Ganon form.
Non Canon/Alternate Universe
Hyrule WarriorsGanon serves as the the final boss in this game inspired from the Dynasty Warriors franchise. He looks pretty much the same as he did in Twilight Princess, albeit with shades of his most common aspect and a much more demonic vibe.
He resembles a gigantic lion-like boar with huge, muscular humanoid arms, two pairs of tusks of different size, and two enormous horns on his shoulders, (in fact two demonic beak-like mouths full of sharp teeth). He retains the ginger hair, now looking like a mane, the gold bracers, and the jewel on his forehead, now purplish blue and glowing, that he had in his human form and hides a demonic eye on his left forearm.
After Ganondorf corrupted Cia and used her to return on Hyrule, he manipulated the events to gain the complete Triforce and take over Hyrule, turning the land into a twisted and demonic place. When defeated by the protagonists he turns into Ganon and engage the final battle. (He also serves as the final boss of the Adventure Mode, when Cia summons him.)
The battle can prove very hard, for Ganon is immensely fast and powerful, and uses tremendous attacks. Link and his allies must first fend off hordes of monsters to reach him. He attacks by levitating in the air to breathe a continuous stream of fire, by swinging his firsts around, by opening his horn-mouths to fire dangerous barrages of spikes, by hurling a fiery sphere, and by causing an explosion of lightning.
The heroes must use the hookshot to grab his tail when he levitates and attack it; use bombs when he charges a fiery sphere; shot arrows into the eye on his arm when he charges an explosion of lightning; and use the gale boomerang to destroy his horn-mouths. When one of his body parts is destroyed, he loses the ability to attack with it.
The second stage of the battle is even more challenging. Ganon starts charging around, rising sky-high to drop on his enemies, emiting flashes of purple light from the jewel on his forehead to blast the ground and send rocks flying, conjuring bolts of red lightning from the sky and hurling devastating blasts of red lightning. The protagonists must avoid his attacks until Zelda grants him the Light Arrows. When the jewel on Ganon's forehead glows purple, Link and his troops must fire Light Arrows at it to stun him, before pummeling him and ending in a strike on his forehead. The process must be repeated until the Demon King is defeated for good.
Ganon has taken on many forms throughout the series. Ganon's primary appearance is that of a giant blue boar creature who wears crimson robes, and armor adorned with spikes and skulls. He takes this form in The Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons, Four Swords Adventures, and A Link Between Worlds.However in several appearances Ganon's appearance has changed. In Ocarina of Time, Ganon appears as a massive green boar with the orange hair of his human form, he also retains some of Ganondorf's clothing and has two massive horns resembling that of a ram.
In Twilight Princess, Ganon appears as a Dark Beast and is quadrupedal instead of bipedal. He resembles a cross between a boar, a wolf, and a lion. He has a massive dark body with a huge glowing scar down his body and a massive red haired mane.
After merging with Yuga and becoming YuGanon he appears as Ganon's body with grey skin, Yuga's hair, shoes, and part of his ripped robe. His eyes are also a blank white colour.
- A Link to the Past - Ganon Battle
- Faces of Evil - Ganon Battle
- Wand of Gamelon - Ganon Battle
- Ocarina of Time - Ganon Battle
- Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons - Ganon Battle
- The Wind Waker - Puppet Ganon Battle
- Four Swords Adventures - King of Darkness Ganon Battle
- Twilight Princess - Dark Beast Ganon Battle
- Battle Quest - Ganon Battle
- A Link Between Worlds - YuGanon Battle
- A Link Between Worlds - YuGanon (+ Hilda) Battle
Other Zelda Games
The Legend of Zelda: Battle QuestGanon appears in The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest game included in Nintendo Land. Ganon has once again returned to Hyrule and begun a plan to take it over, Ganon is also noted to possess the full Triforce.
In the first encounter with Ganon, he appears at the top of his castle and creates spiked balls to throw at the hero, teleports, spins his Trident to block the hero, and slashes the hero with his dark sword. After his defeat Ganon will return later for his last stand, his damage and health increase but he is eventualy defeated by the hero.
If canon, The game would likely take place in either the Child or Decline Timelines. In the child timleine it would take place after Four Swords Adventures. In the Decline Timeline if would take place before/after The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ganon appears as the final smash of Ganondorf in the game. Ganondorf will transform, stomp the opponent into the ground, and the surround himself with the dark energy and speed across the screen.
Hyrule: Total WarKing Ganon appears in the non-official game Hyrule Total War, as the ruler of the Moblins, and one of the separate versions of Ganon to appear in the this game. He looks like a mix between his usual Blue Boar aspect and his Devil-like apperance in Ocarina of Time. He also wields his trident of power.
His parents murdered and his homeland scorched by Hyruelan Knights during his childhood, Ganon made it his lifelong goal to return the favour. Despising everything about the Hylians, Ganon will not rest until he slaughters every single one of them and defiles their holy relics. A massive creature in his own right, while his size certainly is something to be terrified of the true feature of Ganon that all fear is his cunning and intelligence. While not exactly a scholar, Ganon's skill in commanding, organising, and strategy nearly lead him to topple the Kingdom of Hyrule once and for all.