Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorofu) is the main antagonist in the The Legend of Zelda video game series. His first appearance was as the beast known as Ganon (ガノン) in the original The Legend of Zelda game. The name "Ganondorf" was first mentioned in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with the villain making his first appearance as Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Since then, the name "Ganondorf" has been used to refer to his human form while "Ganon" is used for his monster form. (Though, at times the names have been used interchangeably) In either case, he has been Link's arch-enemy since day one.
Ganondorf was originally introduced in the original The Legend of Zelda game as Ganon. Here, he was established as a power hungry monster who had kidnapped Princess Zelda for her piece of the Triforce, but was destroyed by Link at the end of the game. Since then, collecting the Triforce and conquering Hyrule has usually been Ganon's main goal in the series. He has appeared or been mentioned in nearly every Zelda game, with some exceptions: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
Ganon's appearance has changed over the course of the series. In his first appearance, he appears as a monster who's facial features are like that of a pig's and with turquoise skin (though it will change to red at one point, which is the cue to hit him with the Silver Arrow), while in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, he has blue skin and turns silver when weak to the aforementioned Silver Arrows. In Ocarina of Time, Ganon's skin is dark green and he has yellow eyes (and so far, this is the only game to depict Ganon with a tail). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, in a departure from previous games, features a quadrupedal Ganon for the first time, and appears as more of a boar than a pig. This may be to make Ganon similar to Link's "wolf" form.)
In his first appearance as Ganondorf in [[The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time[[, it is revealed that he is the only male in the Gerudo Tribe, born every 100 years. All Gerudos are identified by their noticably darker skin (which may be due to living in the desert) and red hair. He is seen wearing armor in both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, while in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker he appears to be wearing sorcerer's robes.
Ganon is the primary villain in most of the Zelda games, with his schemes usually involving kidnapping Princess Zelda, conquering the land of Hyrule, or obtaining the Triforce (Sometimes all three). Therefore, he has never been a playable character in any Zelda game.
Unlike most of Nintendo's other famous villains, such as Bowser, Ganondorf is a cunning, intelligent, and extremely powerful character. And in Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf accomplishes something that Bowser (and many other villains) struggle with--he conquered the world. Thus, Link had to build up his strength so he could take Hyrule back from Ganondorf, who had ruled for 7 years by that point.
Whether he appears as Ganondorf or as Ganon (A Link to the Past's game manual gives him the name Ganondorf Dragmire which is a name which hasn't appeared before or since), Hyrule knows that it will be facing an incredible evil that only Link and Zelda can stop.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
As a playable character
- Main article: Ganondorf (SSBM)
Ganondorf's Neutral B move is the Warlock Punch which is similar to the Falcon Punch, except that it is takes more time to execute, but is considerably more powerful. His Side B move is the Gerudo Dragon, which launches enemies up into the air. His Up B move is the Dark Dive while his Down B move is Wizard's Foot.
Ganondorf is considered a clone of Captain Falcon due to their similar moves, though he does have a few differences. Ganondorf is slower, but more powerful than Captain Falcon. The only exception his Forward aerial, which is weaker then Captain Falcon's knee.
Ganondorf does not specifically appear in the game's single-player Adventure mode. He is featured in only three Event Matches:
- Event 29: Triforce Gathering: As Link and teamed with Zelda, the player faces Ganondorf on the Great Temple stage. Beat this, then fight Ganondorf again to unlock him.
- Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Ganondorf is the final opponent you must fight in this series of staged battles. Your character battles him on the Final Destination stage, and your character has 2 stock while Ganondorf has 1. With a timer of four minutes, you must defeat him and the other five characters one-by-one with the overall time and life you have: Dr. Mario, Falco, Pichu, Young Link, and Roy.
- Event 51: The Showdown: The final Event Match pits your character against a team of Giga Bowser, Mewtwo, and Ganondorf on the Final Destination stage (friendly fire turned off), with all four characters having 3 stock each and unlimited time. Seemingly overwhelming odds indeed.
By tradition, Ganondorf as a playable character is featured on his personal 3 trophies. His normal trophy is acquired by beating the Classic mode with Ganondorf on any difficulty, and his Smash Red and Smash Blue trophies are acquired the same way by beating the Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively.
His normal Classic-mode trophy reads as follows:
- Said to be the sole man born to the Gerudo tribe in a hundred years, Ganondorf aspired to conquer the world. He plundered a piece of the sacred Triforce from the Temple of Time when Link pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal. With the Triforce of Power in Ganondorf's possession, Hyrule was plunged into darkness until Link and Zelda defeated the fiend. (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, 11/98)
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ganondorf reappears in SSBB as a secret playable character, and uses his Twilight Princess appearance. His moves remain similar to their Melee set, but have undergone large aesthetic changes, and undergoes a small increase in speed, minus his running, which is quite a bit slower. Also, his side special move in Brawl slightly differs from its Melee incarnation, choking the opponent, then throwing them downward.
Ganon also appears as Ganondorf's Final Smash. Once the Smash Ball is retrieved and activated by the player, Ganondorf immediately transforms into the Twilight Princess rendition of Beast Ganon and charges straightforward in the direction Ganondorf was facing before the Final Smash was activated.
A man who wants to use the power of the Triforce to conquer the world. In Twilight Princess, he gives strength to the Twilight King, Zant, and tries to change the land into a world of darkness. He possesses Zelda, transforms into a magical beast, and attacks Link. In the end, however, Link deals him a finishing blow and defeats him.
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
Ganondorf (Wind Waker)
The king of evil. Ganondorf aims to collect the Triforce pieces and rule the world. Already in possession of the Triforce of Power, he secures Zelda and her Triforce of Wisdom, thus luring Link to his castle. However, he is ultimately defeated by Zelda's Light Arrows and Link's Master Sword.
- Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (2003)
- Many fans notice that Ganondorf has his sword in SSB games, but never uses it to fight.
- Ganondorf and Sheik are the only characters in the Super Smash Bros. series that do not have a playable appearance in any other video game.