Ganondorf is the main antagonist of The Legend of Zelda series and is Link's arch-nemesis. His schemes usually involving kidnapping Princess Zelda, conquering the land of Hyrule, and/or obtaining the Triforce. Unlike Link and Zelda, who have descendants and successors, Ganondorf is the same individual in all but one of the games that he appears in, whether in his Gerudo form or his demonic Ganon form, and even across the series' multiple timelines. He is a rare male Gerudo who was born many years ago from the evil of Demise, who was defeated by the descendants of the goddess Hylia and her chosen hero; as a result, he is endlessly resurrected as long as there are individuals who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero.
In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Ganondorf, in this game, is a reincarnation born centuries after the previous Ganondorf's death in Twilight Princess. Calamity Ganon is another reincarnation of Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In that game, all three timelines of the Zelda franchise supposedly unify again. The Calamity Ganon took over Hyrule Castle and brought terror to the land for 100 years, trapping the princess inside the castle.
Ganondorf's true form and name is known as Ganon who is a large boar-like creature. Ganondorf is the wielder of the Triforce of Power which allows him to access his Ganon form and is the source of his many dark magic skills. Unlike most of Nintendo's other famous villains, such as some depictions of Bowser, Ganondorf is cunning, ruthless, and boasts the strength of a god. This was most evident in Ocarina of Time, where he successfully conquered Hyrule, thus forcing Link to build up his strength so he could take Hyrule back from Ganondorf and end his seven-year-long reign. Whether he appears as Ganondorf/Ganon, Hyrule knows that it will be facing an incredible evil that only Link and Zelda can stop.
Super Smash Bros. series
Ganondorf is one of the many playable characters in Super Smash Bros..
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Ganondorf debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He can be unlocked after completing Triforce Gathering or by playing 600 VS. matches. According to the official Melee website, Ganondorf wasn't planned to be included as a playable character. However, the convenience of him having a body build very similar to Captain Falcon's allowed him to be easily cloned from Captain Falcon, leading to his inclusion as one of the last-minute clones to pad out the roster. His design is based on his appearance from the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo, which is in turn based on his appearance from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in his "past self."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ganondorf used his Twilight Princess design. He has a new side special, Flame Choke, that involves choking the opponent, then throwing them downward. Some of his attacks have changed from his Melee set and have undergone large aesthetic changes to resemble various hand-to-hand moves he has used in the Zelda franchise, while his other attacks are similar to their Melee counterparts.
Beast 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. In beast form, he stomps his front legs on the ground, immobilizing any foes in his wake, pounding them down into the earth, making them unable to perform any actions. The beast then charges straightforward into the direction he was last facing when the Final Smash was activated.
Ganondorf is the secondary antagonist of the Subspace Emissary due to him being responsible for the destruction of the Isle Of The Ancients and being the servant of Master Hand.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Ganondorf reappears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, being an unlockable character in the 3DS version, but a starter in the Wii U version. He reuses his Twilight Princess appearance, but with his glowing chest wound from that game clearly visible and a more tattered cape. His moveset appears to be similar to its Brawl incarnation, but has been buffed to make him a better character. In Smash 4, His moveset is similar to its Brawl incarnation, though he now has a set of special custom moves that are completely different from Captain Falcon's.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ganondorf's design uses the Ocarina of Time design based on his "future" self. He gained many notable mobility buffs across the board and capable of using a sword in his Smash attacks. His forward smash now involves him swinging his sword which covers more distance and is more powerful the longer it is charged. Like each of his previous appearances in the series (except for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U), he is an unlockable character. His Final Smash is based on his Ocarina of Time incarnation and also appears as a boss in Classic Mode and Adventure Mode: World of Light.
Ganon is fought in the center of the Sacred Land sub-map. He is fought in an arena resembling the ruins of Ganon's Castle in Ocarina of Time, with Ganondorf standing amid the ruins before transforming into the Demon King. Like Ocarina of Time, he can only be damaged by attacking his tail: if the tail is hit hard enough, Ganon will be stunned and allow the player to deal further damage, with his head becoming another weakness. Along with standard sword slashes and a charge attack similar to the Final Smash, Ganon uses several new attacks:
- Ganon performs a large swing upward. After the attack, he briefly faces away, allowing the player to attack him from the front.
- Ganon unleashes a spin attack.
- Ganon shoots a disc of lightning from his swords, a reference to Demise from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. At lower health, he will fire two discs.
- Ganon breathes a ball of fire that follows the player, similar to a move Calamity Ganon performs in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- Ganon unleashes a beam of malice from his mouth, similar to an attack used by Dark Beast Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- Ganon can leap in the air and perform a ground pound attack.
When defeated, Ganon will wildly flail his swords and roar, similar to his defeat animation in Ocarina of Time, before exploding. The Fighters that are assigned to fight Ganon in Classic Mode are Link, Young Link, Toon Link and Princess Zelda.
- Both Ganondorf and Bowser are the first playable villains in Super Smash Bros.
- Ganondorf is the only clone to not be from the same universe as the character his moveset is based on. Ganondorf is a clone of Captain Falcon.
- Ganondorf is first playable villain in Smash to be a clone character and an unlockable character.
- Ganondorf and Ike are the only characters in the Super Smash Bros. franchise to revert back to an earlier design used for their debut appearance in a later installment.
- According to Sakurai from a Famitsu column, as of January 2019, Ganondorf was the most used fighter in Elite Smash.