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|“||Ganon... this beast was once of the Gerudo... Once human. He was called Ganondorf! King of Darkness; ancient demon reborn.||„|
|~ Zelda, about the second Ganon in Four Sword Adventures|
Ganon (called Mandrag Ganon in early English versions) is the mightier form of Ganondorf; with whom he interchangeably appears as the primary antagonist of the Legend of Zelda video-game series. As the reincarnation of Demise, 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 and claim the world as his own. He is locked in permanent conflict with the primary protagonists Link and Princess Zelda throughout history.
Ganon is pretty much the same as Ganondorf, and Demise before him, being cruel, ruthless, vicious, greedy, powerful, power-hungry, manipulative, overconfident, and condescending, who would stop at nothing to turn the world into a dark and twisted place under his rule. However, he is much more violent, destructive, and unhinged. In the games in which both Ganondorf and Ganon are fought during the climax, Ganondorf's fighting style focuses more on skills and tactics, while Ganon is about brute strength and destructive attacks. (When only Ganon is fought, he usually mixes powerful attacks and tactics, such as his "Technique of Darkness" in A Link to the Past.)
While there are occurrences in which Ganon is reduced to a mindless and violent demon, (in the Oracle games and according to Hyrule Historia in The Legend of Zelda as well), he most often retains Ganondorf high intelligence and knack for using both heroes and villains to stage his return. And while his second incarnation from Four Swords Adventure is extremely arrogant and dismisses the heroes as weaklings even in defeat; he usually acknowledges Link's and Zelda's merits and develops a grudging respect for them, such as in A Link to the Past.
Powers and Abilities
Ganon is frighteningly powerful. He has divine control over evil and all monsters and demons will pledge obedience to him. He also has complete dominion over the Dark World, which twists and corrupts everything in it, and can send people there to transform them into monsters at his command. But even without the Dark World, he can twist and corrupt his surroundings at will.
Ganon can teleport, transform, summon monsters, spawn immensely powerful demonic beings, create evil artifacts, resurrect and empower his followers, create projections of himself, or warp dimension to reverse his foe’s sense of direction, among many impressive feats of magic. He controls the elements, with a strong affinity for fire attacks, and can unleash demonic energy. Finally, he has unfathomable strength and skill with weapons, causing tremors with a jump or a ground punch, in addition to an exceptional agility despite his massive size.
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: First the creation of the world by the three Golden Goddesses Din, Farore and Nayru, who then created the Triforce, then the war between the Primal God of Evil Demise and the Goddess Hylia, who reincarnated into a human girl named Zelda; then Demise's destruction and his curse on Link and Zelda defining the conflict; and finally the ascension of Ganondorf as Demise’ successor. The timeline was split in three following Link, Zelda and Ganondorf’s first battle.
Ocarina of TimeAfter Link defeats Ganondorf, who appears to die in the collapse of his tower, Link and Zelda escape to safety; but Ganondorf reappears and transforms into Ganon, who knocks the Master Sword from Link's hand and surrounds them with a fire barrier, leading to the final battle. 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.
Ganon attacks Link with two huge sabres that deal huge damage; but his fighting stile is brutish, erratic and as such easy to telegraph. His weak point is his tail, so Link has to attack it with any weapon available. The Demon King can be stunned with a Light Arrow to the face, but Link can also roll through his legs or intercept his slashes with slashes of his own until he tires.
After 10 hits, Ganon faints and the fire around the arena 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 him (he takes an infinite amount of hits from any other weapon).
Once Ganon is taken down, Zelda paralyses him with her powers, enabling Link to land the finishing blow. Zelda and the other Seven Sages seal him in the Sacred Realm, corrupted into the Dark World by Ganondorf’s evil, under his human aspect. Zelda then sends Link back in time, for him to relive the seven years he spent sealed.
This is the timeline in which Link was sent back to the past and was able to warn the Royal Family of Ganondorf's treachery. Ganondorf was executed by the Seven Sages, but even with his reign undone, he still had the Triforce of Power, which enabled him to survive, forcing the Sages to banish him into the Twilight Realm, in which an ancient race of mages had been exiled in the dawn of times, leading to the events of Twilight Princess.
Twilight PrincessGanon is actually fought 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 dark-green boar, with oversized tusks, big muscular humanoid 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 and Super Smash Bros. 4 for Ganondorf's Final Smash attack.)
Ganon warps through several portals and charges at Link. Link must locate the portal from which he will appear to retaliate. 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. Link must turn into his wolf form and have his ally Midna grab Ganon as he charges at him (similar to catching goats in his village of Ordon) and throw him aside. Link can then bite his wound under his wolf form, though turning back into a human and striking with the sword deals greater damage.
After being defeated, he transforms into a gigantic head made of dark energy, 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. However, he was sealed away in the Dark World. 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 fights like he does in every 2D game, teleporting repeatedly and using various powerful attack spells: first four to six bolts of yellow lightning that send the Four Links into the Dark World (if that happens, the Links have to fight six progressively stronger Stalfos monsters); then he hurls his blue fire-infused trident, in a boomerang-like way. As usual, the Four Links must strike him continuously with their swords.
After Ganon is weakened enough, Princess Zelda reappears and Ganon stops teleporting, instead warping through the room protected by an orange aura and dealing damage at contact, while hurling a circle of green energy balls that must be deflected back at him with a sword strike. Zelda will create a sphere of holy light and the four Links must battle the King of Evil until she is finished. She sends her sphere whirling round Ganon, and the Four Links must use the Advanced Bow she gave them to strike it when it gravitates between them and Ganon to seal the King of Evil.
Zelda and the Seven Maiden, descendants of the Seven Sages, seal Ganon within the Four Sword, before sealing the Four Sword itself in an energy field, ending Ganon’s threat once and for all.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf was banished into the Dark World after being defeated by Link. Link having been sent away in another time, he could not be reincarnated to stop Ganondorf, when he escaped centuries later, forcing the Goddess to flood the world and let the people live in islands, while the kingdom of Hyrule and Ganon were frozen in a stasis, leading to the backstory of The Wind Waker.
The Wind WakerA Version of Ganon later appears just before the final battle with Ganondorf. After talking with Link, Ganondorf makes it look like that he transforms into Ganon, while he is just manipulating a gigantic puppet in Ganon’s likeness from the roof.
Puppet Ganon takes on three forms: Puppet, Spider, and Worm. The Puppet strikes with its arms and Link must cut the ropes holding its limbs with his boomerang. Ganondorf lifts the Spider to the roof and drops it on Link, who must use its reflection in water to avoid it. The Worm runs all over the room, bouncing on walls and moving really fast and unpredictably. For each form, Link must fire three Light Arrows into the blue orb at the tip of its tail.
Ganondorf later steals the Triforce, but before he can wish to make Hyrule resurface and conquer it, the King appears to wish for a future. As Hyrule is flooding, and enraged Ganondorf attacks Link and Princess Zelda, who combine their strength to face him and manage to kill him once and for all.
This is the timeline where Ganondorf killed Link in their battle, taking his and Zelda's fragments to complete the Triforce and turn into Ganon. Zelda and the Sages were able to banish him into the Dark World at great cost before he could use the Triforce to take over the world. During the following years, Ganon used the prospect of the Triforce's power to lure many corrupt people into the Dark World, where they were transformed into monsters.
He lauched his armies in a full-scale attack on Hyrule, causing untold disasters and destroying all in his path, but the Sages led the Armies of Hyrule and the powerful Knights of Hyrule into a desperate war. The knights were all killed, but they managed to keep his forces at bay and to bid enough time for the Seven Sages to seal all accesses to the Dark World. Yet, Ganon spent the following millennia biding his time, leading to the backstory of A Link to the Past.
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. Ganon resembles a muscular dark-blue humanoid boar, clad in rich red and brown garment, 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 feet.)
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 and take it over. When Agahnim is defeated for good, Ganon emerges from his corpse, hinting that he possessed the evil sorcerer all along, and shape-shifts as a bat to flee to the Pyramid, where the final battle takes place. Some sources state that Agahnim is a projection of Ganon of some sort, incarnated as a sorcerer. Ganon refers to Agahnim as his "alter ego".GanGanon begins the final battle by throwing his trident in a boomerang-like way and later, when wounded enough, 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 very damaging direct contact.
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, until the entire room is isolated by a chasm near the wall. Link must not fall into the chasm, otherwise, he would have to restart the battle from scratch.
Ganon ultimately uses his "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 use 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 Demon King is destroyed.
Oracle of Ages/SeasonsIn Oracle of Ages, Link must battle Veran the Sorceress of Shadows, while in Oracle of Seasons, he must battle Onox, the General of Darkness. In the real ending, it is revealed that both villains were working for the twin witches Twinrova, Ganondorf's surrogate mothers, who seek to perform a ritual and resurrect Ganon.
The witches abduct Princess Zelda to sacrifice her, but Link defeats them, and they end up sacrificing themselves. 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.Ganon 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, until the battle is over.
When defeated, Ganon shows 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 (non canon)
Despite his body's 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.
A Link Between WorldsSometime after his last attack on Hyrule, Ganon returned once more with the Triforce of Power, he kidnapped Zelda and imprisoned 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. Whether this is a retelling of the events of A Link to the Past or another attack remains unclear though.
After 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, an evil wizard from Hyrule's sister world Lorule, uses their powers to resurrect Ganon, before merging with him, taking on a form named Yuga Ganon by fans. Oddly enough, Yuga remains in control and takes Ganon's unfathomable Dark Powers and Triforce of Power as his own, with Ganon's influence only manifesting through Yuga’s newfound enjoyment for destruction.
Yuga Ganon overwhelms Link with a shockwave of reddish black dark energy. Just as he is about to strike down Link, Yuga Ganon is restrained by Princess Hilda's magic, and she sends Link to collect the Sages in order to gain the Triforce of Courage, and become powerful enough to face Yuga Ganon.When Link arrives back at Lorule Castle, Hilda then reveals herself as the one behind the plot to steal Hyrule’s Triforce, as a desperate attempt to save her dying kingdom. She takes Princess Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom and releases Yuga Ganon, ordering him to take the Triforce of Courage from Link. When Yuga Ganon is defeated, 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. He transforms Hilda into a painting and gains the Triforce of Wisdom, and battles Link again, but even with his newfound power, he is defeated, releasing the princesses and the Triforces.
Yuga Ganon's destruction also completely destroyed Yuga, and sent Ganon to the Dark World. Overcome by remorse and sadness, Hilda returns Link and Zelda to Hyrule, where they promptly wish to their Triforce to restore the Triforce of Lorule, saving both worlds.
The Legend of Zelda
In the first game of the series, the Demon King resembles a humanoid, blue-green boar, wearing a red cape with a skull-shaped fastener. Ganon returns once again from the Dark World and invades the kingdom of Hyrule with his armies 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 the Demon King. 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 Ganon.
During the course of the game, Link storms all the dungeons and finally enters Ganon's subterranean lair in Death Mountain, destroying him and saving the princess.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.
Once Ganon is destroyed, Link must put out the magical fires holding Zelda captive by striking them with the Magic Sword.
Adventure of Link
Even after Ganon's death, his now leaderless armies still plague the land of Hyrule, causing chaos and ruin all over. They roam the country and search for Link, so as to resurrect their fallen king by spilling Link’s blood over his ashes.
As Link is searching the Triforce of Courage to lift an ancient curse that trapped an ancestor of Princess Zelda in a never-ending slumber, fighting many monsters on his path. Should Link get killed, the Game Over screen announces that Ganon is now back from the dead, ready to restart his reign of terror without opposition. 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.
Breath of the Wild (Yet unknown timeline)In the upcoming game, Ganon is referred to as “the Calamity Ganon”. It is said that he laid waste on Hyrule a hundred years ago, before being sealed inside the Royal Castle. The disaster was such that most of the kingdom was reduced to ruins overcome by wilderness, and civilisation heavily regressed, though some settlements and small towns remain. Even the Master Sword is rusted.
Ganon’s demonic power is leaking from the seal and corrupting most of the land, spreading monsters all around. Ganon’s evil presence surrounds the castle, and he is about to break free anytime soon. As such, Link awakes from a slumber, with no memories of his life before. It is hinted that he was put to sleep during the cataclysm, but all the details are left to learn.
Ganon can be seen floating around the castle. While he always was depicted as demonic and frightening, he is there depicted as manifestation of pure evil: a titanic mass of dark energy, looking like black and purple clouds constantly swirling, shaping themselves as a boar’s head with glowing yellow eyes and gigantic tusks. Whether he lost his body in the cataclysm or this is merely a manifestation of his essence has yet to be explained though.
Non Canon/Alternate Universe
Hyrule WarriorsGanon serves as the final boss in this game inspired from the Dynasty Warriors franchise. He is very similar to his aspect from Twilight Princess, albeit with a much more demonic vibe. He resembles a gigantic lion-like boar with huge, muscular humanoid arms, a large mane, two pairs of tusks of different size, glowing yellow eyes, and enormous horns on his shoulders, (in fact two 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 engages the final battle. (He also serves as the final boss of the Adventure Mode, when Cia summons him.)
The final 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 is charging his fiery sphere; shot arrows into the eye on his arm when he is charging an explosion of lightning; and use the gale boomerang to destroy his horn-mouths. When one of his body parts is destroyed, he can no longer 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, emitting 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 heroes must avoid his attacks until Zelda grants them the Light Arrows. When the jewel on Ganon's forehead glows purple, the heroes and their troops must fire Light Arrows at it to stun him, before pummelling him, ending in a strike on his forehead. The process must be repeated until the Demon King is defeated for good.
Hyrule Warriors DLC
Ganon is playable in this extension, in a mode called "Ganon's Fury". Ganon is huge, towering over all bosses (save from the Imprisoned) and does not need to knock them out to harm them, being able to pummel them through sheer might and to send dozens of enemies flying with one blow. In spite of his immense power, he is rather slow and loses health quickly. (Otherwise, he would have been completely invincible, ruining the challenge.)
Ganon can charge, strike with his claws, infuse his fist with dark energy to cause a blast by striking the ground, and hurl four blasts of red lightning. When he kills a boss, he gains his special attack: King Dodongo's fiery sphere, Gohma's explosion of lightning, Manhandla's barrages of spikes and Argorok's flaming breath. By striking a boss with the special attack it is weak against, Ganon can knock them out and deliver a devastating blow with his trident.
Many bosses will appear and try to attack Ganon in a group, which can prove bothersome. Ganon must target the boss called the Lord of the Horde, and if possible isolate it from the other bosses. He gains the special attack by slaying the Lord of the Horde and not the normal bosses. Sometimes, the Great Fairy will appear and heal all the bosses repeatedly, making her the primary target.
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.