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Yuga (Zelda)

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I don't have time to coddle would-be heroes. But since you insist...I will oblige.
~ Yuga

Yuga is the primary antagonist in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. He is the counterpart to Ganondorf in Hyrule's sister world Lorule. He pretends to work for Princess Hilda until the end of the game, where he fuses with Ganon and betrays her, intending to take over the universe.

History

Yuga worked as a high-ranking advisor to Princess Hilda for many years, alongside Ravio, Link's counterpart in Lorule. As Hilda was struggling to prevent the destruction of her dying kingdom, she eventually discovered that Lorule needs a Triforce to sustain itself. Indeed, in the beginning of time, the Loruleans destroyed their own Triforce to stop the wars for its control that almost destroyed their world.

Yuga eventually ventured into the Lorulean Sacred Realm and discovered the existence of Hyrule, the Hylian's Triforce pieces, and the story of Ganon. Hilda and Yuga then decided to steal the Triforce of Hyrule in order to bring Lorule back to glory (though Yuga wanted it for more selfish reasons). However, Ravio disapproved of their plan and left, hoping to find someone brave enough to stop their ambition. Yuga then heads to Hyrule and sets into motion the conflicts between both worlds.

A Link Between Worlds

Yuga is first seen in the Sanctuary, where he abducts the Priest's daughter Seres by turning her into a painting, after effortlessly defeating the Captain of the Guard. He is confronted by Link but he avoids his strikes by turning into a wall painting, leaving him to knock himself out on the wall, and departs.

Link and Yuga meet again in the Eastern Palace, where he turns Sage Sahasrahla's disciple Osfala into a painting and abducts him. He reveals that he is after the descendants of the Seven Sages who sealed Ganon into the Dark World. (In this timeline, Ganon killed Link during the final battle of Ocarina of Time, forcing the Seven Sages to banish him themselves.) Yuga plans to use them in order to revive Ganon, who was sealed prior to the game.

Link battles Yuga and emerges victorious, but the revengeful wizard turns him into a painting and leaves him here. However, Link gained a magic bracelet from Ravio that enables him to turn back to normal and to become a painting at will.

Yuga then casts a spell that makes impossible to enter or exit Hyrule Castle, keeping Princess Zelda at his mercy, and sets out to abduct all the descendants of the Seven Sages. With them all in his power, he returns to the castle and turns Zelda into a painting, only to be confronted once again by Link, who gained the Master Sword and used it to enter the castle. Link defeats the soldier-monsters that Yuga conjured from paintings to stall him, and defeats him once again.

YuGanon

Yuga Ganon

Furious, Yuga retreats to Lorule and proceeds to resurrect Ganon through the Seven Sages' descendants' power and merges with him, becoming Yuga Ganon. Yuga Ganon scatters the paintings of the descendants all over Lorule, within dungeons guarded by powerful monsters, and attacks Link who followed him. Yuga Ganon overwhelms Link with a shockwave of reddish black dark energy. Just as Yuga Ganon is about to strike down Link, Princess Hilda appears and restrains him with her magic. She then sends Link to collect the Sages in order to gain the Triforce of Courage, and become powerful enough to face Yuga Ganon.

However, it is revealed when Link returns to Lorule Castle with the Triforce of Courage that Princess Hilda manipulated him to gain the Triforce for herself. She takes the Triforce of Wisdom from Zelda's painting and calls forth Yuga Ganon to take the final Triforce from Link.

After Link defeats Yuga Ganon, Hilda demands him to hand over the Triforce of Power but the demon wizard reveals his plan to seize the Triforce for himself to remake all worlds in his image. He then proceeds to turn Hilda into a painting, which he absorbs to steal the Triforce of Wisdom.

Yuganon2

YuGanon, with the Triforce of Wisdom

Now having two pieces of the Triforce (and a new look), he sets his sights on Link's last piece to claim his "place among the gods". Still, Yuga Ganon is finally destroyed by Link, sending Ganon's soul back to the Dark World.

Ravio then barges in and convinces Hilda that they cannot doom Hyrule even with Lorule at stake, for this destructive conflict is exactly what Hilda’s ancestors wanted to prevent by destroying their Triforce. 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.

Personality

Yuga is extremely conceited, self-absorbed, and scornful. He despises almost everything and everyone beside himself, regarding them as inferior and ugly. He considers himself perfect and never hesitates to trample everything he does not like, considering turning people into paintings an improvement. The only one he seems to respect is Princess Hilda and still, he regards her as a tool. He acts in a regal and dignified way, which is contrasted by the spiteful insults he directs towards everyone he talks to, including those who bested him in battle.

More than everything, Yuga is treacherous and power-hungry. He only obeys Hilda because it serves his own agenda and betrays her as soon as he no longer needs it. His narcissism and disgust for the world are such that he wants to become a god and remake everything in his own image. He is also quite cowardly, as he always flees when defeated, while stating to be “bored” instead of admitting defeat.

While Yuga betrays Hilda after merging with Ganon, and while his ultimate goal is very similar to that of Ganon himself, the game keeps referring to him as Yuga, making it quite clear that he remains in complete control. Indeed, he keeps calling Link "worm" and keeps raving about beauty and ugliness after merging, and Ganon's influence only shows in his newfound liking for destruction. Moreover, reading Ravio's journal in Hero Mode confirms that Yuga always intended to betray Hilda and remake the worlds in his image.

Powers and Abilities

Yuga is a highly powerful wizard, whose power comes from a staff that emits rainbow coloured paint-like energy, making it look like a paintbrush. His signature ability is to turn people, himself included, into two-dimensional paintings. However, anyone turned into a painting becomes unable to move, while this allows him to merge with the walls and "live" in there just like in the real world.

He is also able to create paintings on the wall around him, bring paintings into existence, materializing the things drawn and animate life-like portraits, to teleport, to raise impenetrable barriers, to travel between dimensions, to create replicas of himself, to make things levitate, to call forth servants and to cast a wide variety of attack spells.

After merging with Ganon, Yuga gains Ganon's incredible strength, fighting skills and Dark Power, increasing his might dramatically. Yuga's staff turns into Ganon's iconic trident and he gains even more dangerous attack spells. His power increases even more after stealing the Triforce of Wisdom, but fortunately this is still not enough to defeat Link.

Boss Battles

Eastern Palace

The first battle against Yuga is pretty easy. The wizard is fought in a room with a large chasm in its centre. He conjures a lightning blast from the wall before him, summons two soldier-monsters, and turns into a painting to escape as soon as Link gets too close. (Destroying the soldiers provides health or items.)

Link must keep away from the chasm and fire at Yuga with his bow to stun him, so as to slash him with his sword or keep firing arrows until he awakes. The more Link wounds him, the faster Yuga becomes, and he will start to cast two lightning spells at once.

Hyrule Castle

Yuga can pose quite the challenge here, so it is best to be prepared. Like Agahnim, he creates two doubles of himself to fight, and the three of them alternate between their normal aspect and their painting transformation to confuse him. Yuga and his doubles attack at the same time, by conjuring his lightning blast, by making fiery blasts erupt from the walls in succession and by summoning soldier-monsters. (Link can exit the lightning blast’s area of effect before it is cast, or hide behind one of the two pillars. Once again, destroying the soldiers provides health or items.)

Link must track down the real wizard (the one with the glowing staff) in and out the paintings. Striking Yuga stuns him and leaves him open to attacks. Striking a double turns it into a soldier-monster that must be dealt with and prompts Yuga to attack, but he will restore both doubles upon emerging back from the wall. The more Link wounds him, the faster Yuga becomes, and the bigger his spells' range gets, making them harder to dodge.)

Hyrule Warriors

Yuga (Hyrule Warriors Legends)
Yuga is a playable character in Hyrule Warriors Legends, the extension of the popular cross-over of The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. However, he plays no part in the game's storyline and is here as an appeal to fans. He fights with a painting frame, which he levitates with his signature his paintbrush-staff, imbued with the Lightning Element. In spite of his unusual weapon, he is very fast and powerful, and can prove deadly when used right.

He attacks by swinging his painting frame to strike diagonally, or to make it whirl around him in a boomerang-like fashion, and can conjure up to three painting frames as projectiles that cause blasts of energy. He can conjure a rune that paralyses the enemies trapped in to strike them with thunderbolts, conjure up to four fire blasts around him from the ground at once, and conjure Yuga Ganon's trident from paintings to blast his foes with devastating lightning attacks.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

While Yuga himself doesn't appear at all in any capacity of the game, Ganondorf has a palette swap that resembles Yuga's color scheme. Music associated with Yuga-Ganon's Battle (Hyrule Castle), is also present in the Wii U version of the game.

Trivia

  • Similar to Jack & Jill from Puss in Boots, Yuga pretends to work for his superior Princess Hilda before he betrays her near the end and tries to rule instead of her. This is also similar to Jack and Jill's plans to kill their boss Humpty Alexander Dumpty and steal the Golden Goose from him to become the richest people in history.

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