Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorofu) returns in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His design is based upon his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (although he isn't as tall as he was in Twilight Princess). He retains his hand-to-hand combat style, and does not use his sword outside of taunts. The Smash Bros. Dojo states that Ganondorf is the heaviest human character in the game, but Snake is heavier than him. Ganondorf is the only semi-clone to be based off of a character from another series.
Despite several of his moves being the strongest of their kind in the game (in terms of damage and knockback), Ganondorf is currently last on the tier list due to his very sluggish moves, terrible out of shield options along with a horrible spot dodge, very limited approach options, predictable recovery, poor mobility, all resulting in terrible matchups, particularly those with a good projectile (everyone is a disadvantage for him, even to the closest ranking Captain Falcon which is a disadvantage of 40:60. Though he has nearly neutral matchups against a few characters, with a slight disadvantage); and horrible tournament results.
To unlock Ganondorf, the player must either -
- Clear Classic Mode on Hard with Zelda or Link
- Play 200 brawls
- Have Ganondorf join your party in the Subspace Emissary by collecting the Link and Zelda trophies in the Subspace world.
Note: With the exception of the third option, Ganondorf has to be fought in a 1v1 fight at Final Destination to unlock him.
Ganondorf is a heavy, fast falling, very slow character (the slowest to be exact) with slightly above average range (excluding some moves, which have very low range [grab, FTilt]), very strong attacks, including more than one of the strongest attacks in the game. His attacks, whether in the sweetspot or the sourspot, are still very powerful (which actually results in a problem for him, since this doesn't allow him 'combos'). Almost all of his moves have above average knockback and can KO as well, although some have low priority (this case is severe, as the moves with low priority are mostly used to approach, but some of Ganondorf's moves' priority is not bad). His leg attacks have enough priority to clank with swords and even cut through them (most of the time). His side special grants him Super armor (only helpful in team battles or FFAS) while he is holding the opponent and it leaves opponents vulnerable for a bit of time if used on the ground, leaving them open for another quick attack being a true set up like down tilt (on most characters), his jab (some that can avoid the down tilt but not the jab) or several characters getting hit by dash attack and side tilt for kills, and even up air on platforms. He can also use it for tech-chases to predict the opponent, for example regrabbing with it or getting a down aerial or down angled forward smash, the damage side special does is fairly low though. In the air, Ganondorf's side special can cause a Ganoncide, which is one of the worst in the game because, even when it's impossible to escape from it or control the trajectory, landing it is very hard work. Ganondorf is arguably the character least affected by Smash DI, because he has the lowest number of multi-hitting moves, effectively rendering escape and punishment of his attacks ineffective: only the down smash is affected in such a way, not even the neutral aerial is affected, but this isn't all good news, having low multi-hit moves is bad since it becomes alot easier for the opponents to shield said move. Ganondorf's dash attack provides him with a quick speed boost, and the move is a hard hitter as well and can also KO. Ganondorf's aerials are also very strong; all have high knockback, and his down aerial is an extremely strong, reliable spike (able to KO even at 0%), Ganondorf`s advanced Super-Jump glitch is not useful at all, but, if done right, he travels higher in the air, useful for an aerial Reverse Warlock Punch, his most powerful move.
However, Ganondorf's extremely high power and heavy weight are counter-balanced with many factors. Ganondorf is a tall target (though most heavyweights have this problem). His horizontal standing grab range is the shortest in the game (though his pivot grab has good range, but slower start-up). Because of his poor grab range and slow moves, his out of shield options are the worst in the game, Ganon can't even take the sky out of shield due to jump lag (7 frames). To cripple even more his defense, he has a below average spot dodge. Ganondorf has very bad air speed, and very small second jump. He lacks a projectile and he is easy to camp for those who have a projectile. Ganondorf's overall ground attack speed is the slowest in the game along with Ike (but Ganondorf aerial attacks are only laggy if he lands while attacking; Ganondorf's fastest ground attack is his grab which has 7 frames start-up). Some attacks have low priority as aforementioned, mainly those which are required for him to play 'good'. His recovery is predictable and does not travel much horizontal distance and most characters can hit him out of his up special grab at certain percents (Falco, for example, can dair spike him out of his up special grab), it might be the worst in the game because of this. Many of Ganondorf's attacks have no low hitboxes, which means it can be hard to hit smaller characters with many of his attacks. He, like Captain Falcon and Wolf, has a very fast falling speed and a heavy weight that can backfire by being very vulnerable to chain grabs. Ganondorf's mobility is very poor. This means that characters with a good projectile can easily break his approach and force him to jump and still get very little distance, so it's suggested to all Ganondorf mains to learn to powershield every projectile aimed on him.
Ganondorf is a unique character. His extreme power means that a single blow from him can turn the tide of a match with opponents in the danger zone as low as 30% (his earliest killer, Warlock Punch, essentially guarantees kills at damages as low as 13% or 14% when reversed), but landing that blow is usually difficult. Opponents need to relentlessly pummel him with attacks and keep him from executing his big finishers, or they may see themselves down a stock.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
Ganondorf has had a good deal of changes from Melee to Brawl, beginning with a general design change to his Twilight Princess incarnation and a new voice actor. The animations of his attacks are largely different as well. Ganondorf's moves and attributes also underwent a lot of changes, the result of which is that while he was Middle tier in Melee, he is currently the lowest in the Brawl tier list.
He has now the 2nd slowest dash speed, and his dodge rolls are slower (though still not below average). In general, his attacks are slower and with lower priority but with generally greater power and reach: his neutral jab, forward tilt, and downwards tilt are noticeable. Volcano Kick, his upwards tilt, has a vacuum effect but has lessened killing power and purely vertical knockback if hit from far. His upwards smash is now a single, vertical kick with less lag at the end. His Warlock Punch, now fired from his left hand, was made faster and can be reversed during the start-up frames for more damage and knockback. Gerudo Dragon was replaced with Flame Choke, his new side special. Dark Dive is weaker during the grab (11% compared to 17% and can even get hit out of it due it's poor hitstun), but can now grab edgeguarders and hit enemies with an uppercut at the end. Wizard's Foot no longer enables a midair jump if one was used already making his horizontal recovery much worse, the aerial Wizard's Foot must hit during the initial frames to spike and the grounded version has much lower knockback, but the non-spike hitbox of aerial Wizard's Foot has very high upwards knockback. His side smash can be angled up or down, and it has more diagonal knockback than vertical knockback. His down smash is slower, hooking opponents into the second kick better. His dash attack has better range and is much stronger, while 2nd kick of neutral aerial is weaker. Finally, his down aerial auto-cancels during short hops, making it easier to abuse.
- Neutral attack - Quick palm strike. Moderate knockback, deals more damage if the tip of the attack connects. Has IASA frames. 7%, 9% if tipped.
- Dash attack - Shoulder tackle. Ganondorf gains a quick speed boost during the move. Like King Dedede's, this can KO at high percentages. The 2nd strongest dash attack. Some characters can be dash attacked after a grounded Flame Choke. 15%.
- Strong Side - Ganondorf leans back a little and thrusts one leg straight forward. Surprisingly the same range as his jab, but slightly slower start up, good low angle horizontal knockback, so it's a semi-spike, so also good for KOing characters with poor horizontal recovery, fairly quick. Often referred to as the "Sparta" Kick due to this attack resembling a kick from a famous scene from the movie 300. Ganondorf makes a similar kick in the final battle of Twilight Princess. 12%-13%.
- Strong Up - Volcano Kick, Ganondorf lifts his leg for a very long time before smashing it down in an explosion. Has vacuum properties, and has huge damage and knockback if it connects. Does less damage and with only vertical knockback if it connects from far. His slowest start up attack (81 frames of start-up lag, almost 1.5 seconds), yet not one of his longer end lag attacks. 27%, 19% if hit from far.
- Strong Down - Ganondorf kneels on one leg and sweeps the other leg forward. Great range and sets up for aerials, decent priority in the end. Lowest knockback out of all of his tilts. 12%. It also stuns weak enemies in the SSE before destroying them.
- Side Smash - Elbow thrust. Very high knockback and even uncharged can KO as low as 70% and the speed is very fast for being so powerful. Even though farther hitboxes do exacly the same damage, they have slightly less knockback. Can be angled up or down. This is somewhat unique from other Side Smashes that can be angled as the damage does not increase when angled upward and does not decrease when angled downward. Using it by turn around forward smash greatly increases the range of it. It has a disjointed hitbox with about the same range as the elbow making it having a huge range. 24%-35%
- Up Smash - Ganondorf does a high kick, lifting his leg to about thirty degrees from vertical quickly. Has lots of IASA frames. 19%-26% damage if hit with leg, 22%-30% damage if hit with foot.
- Down Smash - Ganondorf sweeps his leg forward, then backwards. The knockback from the first kick usually makes the second kick connect as well. First hit comes out fairly fast (at least in comparison to Ganondorf's other moves) but second hit is somewhat laggy. Nearly useless move in general because the 1st hit can be Smash DIed out of the 2nd hit and it's weak compared to his other moves. 19%-26%.
- Ledge Attack - Backhands the edgeguarding opponent. If the opponent is a distance away, the attack knocks them away. If the opponent is standing close to Ganondorf, the attack will throw the opponent off the ledge. 10%.
- 100% Ledge Attack - Ducks slightly and delivers a kick across the ground. Comes out fast, and Ganon keeps low. 10%.
- Trip attack - Does a rising, spinning kick. Reach of the attack extends across the entire height of his legs, and the attack is incredibly fast. 6%.
- Floor attack - Flips upward, kicking with his feet, similar to his up-aerial.
- Neutral Aerial - Double kick.The first hit will hit hard but weak compared to his other aerials and the second hit deals a weaker attack that lacks KO potential. First hit deals 11% while the second does 7%.
- Forward Aerial - Swings his hand forward in an overhead arc downwards. High knockback. Slower, longer range, high land lag and slightly weaker than the knee, and has somewhat of a sweetspot, which is the fist (doing 17% damage), whereas if it connects with his arm, it does 15%, though this only affects damage, and the attack is still powerful wherever it hits.
- Back Aerial - Backhand. One of Ganondorf's fastest aerials, good knockback. Can be ground canceled. 16%.
- Up Aerial - Overhead Flip Kick. The hitbox travels in a large arc, hitting opponents above and behind as well. Fast and good for edge guarding. Very strong at the start and semi-spike at the end. Hit in last few frames is great at gimping recoveries that either lacks horizontally, vertically or lacks both. Ganondorf's fastest attack. 13%.
- Down Aerial - Thunder Stomp. Ganondorf kicks his legs downward. Will always spike if it hits, even if not sweetspotted. 23% damage. If connected with body instead of his leg, the attack will do 17%. The strongest spike in the game (before his Wizard's Foot and then Ness's down aerial), often KOing even at 0%. This spike is so powerful, grounded opponents will be launched upwards, getting Star KOed at high enough damages (most characters lower than 100%). Can be auto-canceled after short hops making it a great approach move.
Grabs & Throws
- Range - High vertical range but one of the shortest horizontal grab ranges except the pivot grab which has good range.
- Pummel - Knees opponent.A very slow pummel. 2%.
- Forward Throw - Punches his opponent forward. 13%.
- Back Throw - Throws opponent backward and kicks them. 10%.
- Up Throw - Throws opponent upward and jabs his/her back. 7%.
- Down Throw - Throws his opponent violently on the ground. 7%.
Up: Floats in the air, curls into a ball, spins, opens up from his curled position and poses, all while laughing maniacally. (same as in melee)
Down: Takes his sword out, dark energy pulses from the tip, looks at it, then puts it away. It is possible to hack such that Ganondorf is permanently holding an invisible Beam Sword, using his sword as the visible weapon.
Side: Punches his hands together, and dark energy appears.
In competitive play
Role in the Subspace EmissaryGanondorf first appears in a control room on the Island of Ancients giving Bowser the coordinates to find King Dedede, who stole Wario's trophies. Later in the same control room Master Hand gives him the orders to destroy the Isle of the Ancients. He then appears in the island base as a hologram and orders the R.O.B. Squad to activate all of the Subspace Bombs they had. When the Ancient Minister gets in their path, Ganondorf presses an overide button that forces the R.O.B.s to ignore the Minister. When the Ancient Minister continues to intervene, Ganondorf presses the override button again and the R.O.B.S attack the Ancient Minister, setting him aflame. The heroes attempt to stop the R.O.B.s, so Ganondorf sends a flock of Auroros to distract them. Suddenly, the burning Ancient Minister fires beams from his eyes, destroying the Auroros, and reveals that he, himself, is a R.O.B. who was disguised, and proceeds to help the others fight the advancing Subspace troops. After the Isle of the Ancients is engulfed in Subspace, Ganondorf appears on the Subspace Gunship as it's commander along with Bowser, but he retreats into Subspace with Bowser when the Gunship is destroyed by Kirby and his Dragoon. Ganondorf decides it is the time to usurp the Master Hand so he takes out the last remaining Dark Cannon and aims it at Bowser, his own right-hand and the most loyal of Master Hand's henchmen. After shooting Bowser, Ganondorf kicks the Bowser trophy out of the way and goes up to the edge of a ledge. When Ganondorf presents himself to Master Hand preparing to betray him for complete control of the Subspace Army, he sees that Master Hand was literally a puppet of Tabuu, the supreme leader of the Subspace Army. Ganondorf tries to attack him, but is defeated and turned into a trophy. As he was falling however, he bumped into Master Hand, freeing him from Tabuu's control. Master Hand then attempts to attack Tabuu, but is defeated with little effort. When Kirby finds Ganondorf's trophy the resurrected Bowser appears and brutally attacks his trophy as an act of revenge before tossing it aside. He is revived by Link and Zelda (with a bit of a headache from the abuse treatment) and after Link and Zelda walk away he clenches his fist in anger he then helps the heroes defeat Tabuu.
These stickers can only be used by Ganondorf or by a select few including him:
- Boomerang: [Weapon] Attack +4
- Bowser (Mario Power Tennis): [Darkness] Attack +21
- Colin: [Specials: Direct] Attack +4
- Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule: [Electric] Attack +31
- Darknut: [Slash] Attack +13
- Epona & Link: [Arm, Leg] Attack +9
- Fierce Deity Link: [Slash] Attack +21
- Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time): [Darkness] Attack +29
- Ganondorf (Wind Waker): [Darkness] Attack +33
- Happy Mask Salesman: [Leg] Attack +9
- Hylian Shield (Twilight Princess): Slash Resistance +10
- Lantern: [Flame] Resistance +7
- Legend of Outset: [Arm] Attack +26
- Linebeck: [Throwing] Attack +20
- Link (Link to the Past): [Electric] Resistance +31
- Link (Twilight Princess): [Slash] Resistance +27
- Link (Wind Waker): [Flame] Attack +31
- Link with Goron Mask: [Slash] Attack +17
- Link's Grandma: [Arm, Leg] Attack +2
- Lon Lon Milk: Launch Power +18
- Midna & Wolf Link: [Leg] Attack +26
- Moblin: [Slash] Attack +15
- Octorok: [Leg] Attack +4
- Petey Piranha (Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour!): [Darkness] Attack +47
- Phantom Ganon: [Darkness] Attack +40
- Piece of Heart: Heart Container Effect +50
- Revolver Ocelot: [Darkness] Attack +17
- Ridley (Metroid): [Darkness] Attack +30
- Salvatore: [Electric] Attack +9
- Shadow Beast: [Darkness] Attack +28
- Sheik: [Body, Spin] Attack +17
- Skull Kid (Ocarina of Time): [Darkness] Attack +7
- Space Pirate: [Darkness] Attack +13
- Tingle (Wind Waker): [Flame] Resistance +24
- Young Zelda (Minish Cap): [Battering] Resistance +16
- Zelda (Ocarina of Time): [Flame] Resistance +18
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.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Prncess (Wii)
- Ganondorf is the only playable villain who is never fought in the Subspace Emissary, excluding his Dark clone in The Great Maze.
- Ganondorf holds the world record for Home-Run Contest (9336.5 feet, or 2845.8 meters).
- Ganondorf's side-tilt and side special are two of his only moves to actually originate from a Legend of Zelda game, though, these origins seem to be coincidental.
- Though Ganondorf can be the first character unlocked by playing Classic Mode as Link/Zelda on hard, he is one of the last characters to be unlocked when playing the Subspace Emissary.
- Ganondorf is the only character to have three ways to Grab. His Upwards Special, Side Special and Standard Grabs mean he has the highest number of grab moves in the game.
- Ganondorf is one of the few characters who carries a holstered weapon but never uses it to fight, the others being Captain Falcon, Sheik, and Snake.
- Ganondorf side tilt attack has been subjected to an existing popular Internet meme relating to the movie "300." Many YouTube videos often recreate the famous movie scene where King Leonidas (represented by Ganondorf) kicks the Persian messenger (represented by a random character) in the bottomless pit (often uses stages created from Stage Builder or the destroyed Bridge of Eldin). While Ganondorf's side tilt looks remarkably similar to how King Leonidas kicks the messenger, they are not mutually the same thing and not interchangeable. Many have find this ironic since King Leonidas is portrayed as the main protagonist in the movie while Ganondorf is portrayed as the main antagonist and the final boss of the Legend of Zelda series.