- "The source of the darkness that has appeared time and again throughout Hyrule's history. It's been called many names, from "Great King of Evil" to "Calamity." Hibernating within a cocoon, it attempted to regenerate a physical form after Link awoke but was forced to confront him in an incomplete state."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Calamity Ganon is the main antagonist and penultimate boss in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He is the last Scourge, found at Hyrule Castle. He is an incomplete form that Ganon assumed when he was interrupted while trying to reincarnate himself.
Calamity Ganon first emerged in the distant past, but was defeated by an army of mechanical Guardians and four massive mechanical constructs called the Divine Beasts, that the Ancient Sheikah tribe developed with their unique technology.
Ten thousand years later, a prophecy of Calamity Ganon's return drove King Rhoam of Hyrule to create an archaeology team to recover the Divine Beasts and Guardian army in preparation. They were successful in not only recovering these relics of the Sheikah's Ancient technology, but were also able to reactivate and use them.
The King selected the hero chosen by the Master Sword, a young recruit of the royal army named Link. Link was appointed as the personal knight of his daughter, Princess Zelda. King Rhoam decided to create a group of warriors and protectors, the Champions among whom Zelda would be the Commander assisted by her knight, the Hylian Champion. King Rhoam additionally requested each race of Hyrule choose a Champion who would individually pilot one of the Divine Beasts. The final key to defeating Calamity Ganon was the Divine Power of the royal family's bloodline, and the recent death of Hyrule's Queen saw this immense duty fall to her only surviving daughter, Princess Zelda. As she was now sole bearer of their birthright, the King charged Zelda to focus on mastering her control over the Divine Power to the exclusion of all else, and duly appointed Link as her personal knight and bodyguard to ensure she stayed safe.
However, all of this preparation proved to be in vain, as Calamity Ganon was prepared for Hyrule's attempt to repeat history; he sent four wraith-like incarnations of himself, Waterblight, Windblight, Fireblight and Thunderblight Ganon, to corrupt the Divine Beasts and slay their Champions, while using his own dark power to take control of the Guardians and use them against the people of Hyrule. With the heroes' defenses crumbling, and even Link overwhelmed by the renewed assault, Zelda was able to use her Divine Power to seal Calamity Ganon within Hyrule Castle. This catastrophic event was called the Great Calamity.
Over the next century, Ganon bode his time within his prison, draining Zelda's divine power in an attempt to gain the strength to break free from the waning seal. His growing power allowed his Malice to spread throughout Hyrule, and following Link's resuscitation he entered a cocoon of Malice to regain physical form. Ganon's reincarnation was still incomplete by the time Link confronted him in the depths of the corrupted castle. After a fierce battle, Calamity Ganon was struck down, disintegrating into eerie smoke; however, he soon reformed as the even more monstrous Dark Beast Ganon. Following his defeat as Dark Beast Ganon, he returns to his spectral Calamity form before being sealed away by Zelda.
Calamity Ganon first appears as a boar-shaped spectre made of Malice, possessing an enormous mouth, tusks, and glowing yellow eyes. In his partially-regenerated form, he is a spider-like abomination resembling the Blights he sent to corrupt the Divine Beasts, being composed primarily of solidified Malice augmented with the Ancient Sheikah technology. His upper body is roughly humanoid, with wild red hair and a skull-like head vaguely reminiscent of Ganondorf's visage. His lower body is a bloated mass of Malice half-plated in armor resembling the body of a Guardian Stalker, complete with two of its four-clawed limbs protruding from the back.
Calamity Ganon has several arms all over his body; most are almost emaciated looking, save for a massive right arm that ends in a glowing orange blade similar to Fireblight Ganon's weapon. One of his left arms carries a blue spear similar to Waterblight Ganon, while another ends in a slightly smaller version of Windblight Ganon's beam cannon. He also has three mechanical limbs on his back, each with different energy blades; the left has a shear-like pincer, the middle has a hand with energy claws for digits, and the right has a small sword resembling the one used by Thunderblight Ganon.
The Calamity Ganon, at least during the climactic battle against Link, was shown to be somewhat savage and almost mindless, which is heavily implied to be the result of him not being able to fully reincarnate before Link's arrival. Nonetheless, it is implied that he did retain at least some of his original self, Ganondorf's cunning while in this state, as it was mentioned that he had plotted to take over the Guardian automata and use them against Hyrule, thus allowing him to nearly seize victory one hundred years prior. His corruption of them was so great that not even the chief Guardian researcher and expert Robbie could figure out how to free them of it, forcing him to develop anti-Calamity weapons and armor to combat them instead. Even when Zelda sealed both herself and Ganon in Hyrule Castle, it is implied that Ganon took advantage of the situation by siphoning Zelda's divine power (as she is referred to as the Goddess-blood Princess and her magic is implied to be divine in nature).
He also retains Ganondorf's knowledge and ability to create artificial phantoms which he uses to create the four Scourges of the Divine Beasts which are referred to as "phantoms" of Calamity Ganon implying they are a type of Phantom Ganon. Ganon uses his scourges to corrupt and control the Divine Beasts, by killing their pilots and imprisoning their spirits. He is also shown to be cunning enough to equip himself and his scourges with high tech ancient weaponry and uses his power to augment his troops. He also seems to value the Yiga Clan's loyalty as he revives slain Yiga Blademasters and Yiga Footsoldiers after they are slain by Link like he does with monsters and Guardians. However he does not revive Master Kohga after he is defeated by Link, though this is presumably due to the Yiga Clan Leader's laziness and failure to protect the Thunder Helm and/or the fact that his death made the Yiga Clan more aggressive due to their desire to avenge their fallen leader, something which Ganon would be sure to take advantage of given his cunning and malice.
Calamity Ganon is shown to be capable of possessing the Guardians as well as existing in a purple cloud-like state, which resembles a boar's head. In addition, he is capable of creating phantom scourges of his own power to corrupt the Divine Beasts, and by extension, kill the Champions tasked with powering them. Calamity Ganon can also corrupt Guardians which gave him a massive army with which to lay waste to Hyrule and ultimately overpower Link during the Great Calamity forcing Zelda and the Sheikah to place him in the Slumber of Restoration to save the hero's life (had they not done so it is likely that Link would have died from his injuries). It should be noted that this corruption is a double-edged sword as the Master Sword's true power shines in the presence of Ganon's power emanating from any corrupted Guardians making the Blade of Evil's Bane stronger turning it into an effective weapon for combatting Corrupted Guardians. Calamity Ganon was apparently unable to corrupt the Guardian Scouts inside Shrines either due to being unaware of them and/or being unable to penetrate the security of the Shrines, or due the Sheikah Monks being able to protect and/or modified them to prevent them from being corrupted. Despite being sealed by Zelda in Hyrule Castle, Ganon continues to be a powerful force, which only speaks to his power, though it is implied that his hold over the Divine Beasts may have weakened as they became dormant during the one hundred years Link slept only becoming active at some point around the time Link awoken from his slumber, however it is possible that Ganon was simply conserving his power and focusing on siphoning Zelda's divine power to break free of his seal and reactivated the Divine Beasts when Link awoke to keep him busy while Calamity Ganon was busy trying to reincarnate himself. It should be noted that Calamity Ganon was so powerful that the Sheikah created the Shrine of Resurrection to heal warriors injured fighting him 10,000 years prior, which when it was discovered by her research team made Zelda worry just how powerful he was to warrant such measures, which ended up saving Link's life after he was injured during the Great Calamity. Ganon was so powerful that the ancient Sheikah resorted to created the Guardians and Divine Beasts to aid the Princess of Hyrule and Hero Chosen by the Master Sword in defeating him, instead of relying on the Princesses sealing powers, the Master Sword and the hero chosen to wield it as had been done several times in the past against Ganon and his original Gerudo form Ganondorf. This suggests that Calamity Ganon's power is even greater than the original Ganon or Ganondorf, or that Ganon's power has increased over time.
When at the peak of his power during the Blood Moon cycles, he can even revive fallen monsters. He also possesses the ability to reanimate dead Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos, Hinox, and Horses into Stalkoblin, Stalmoblin, Stalizalfos, Stalnox, and Stalhorse respectively, though the undead he creates can only maintain their bone structure at night. Additionally, he is capable of producing Malice a hazardous substance created by water tainted by Calamity Ganon's power, though Malice also seems to be an extension of Ganon himself and his phantoms. His malice can corrupt Bokoblin, Moblin, and Lizalfos skulls turning them into mindless Cursed Bokoblin, Cursed Moblin, and Cursed Lizalfos which are spawned from mouths made of malice. However Glowing Eyeballs connected to these pools are very weak and can be killed, removing any Malice they are connected to. However while these enemies are physically weak, Ganon is able to enhance Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos, and Lynels into "Silver" variants by influencing them with his fiendish magic making them the strongest of all of their archetypes (though Master Mode from "The Master Trials" DLC features even stronger "Gold" variants). Silver monster variants he creates are incredibly resilient and intelligent often wielding high tier weapons and appear once Link has killed a lot of lesser enemies, showing that Calamity Ganon uses his power on them to make his minions more dangerous in response to Link having proven himself capable of handling lesser variants. In addition to reviving monsters after his power reaches its peak during a Blood Moon, Calamity Ganon can also revive the souls of non-monsters such as Yiga Blademasters and Yiga Footsoldiers slain by Link, though he does not revive Master Kohga, presumably as punishment due to the Yiga Clan leader's inability to defend the Thunder Helm from Link and/or because Kohga's death made the Yiga Clan more aggressive in their attempts to kill Link due to their desire for revenge. Calamity Ganon can also apparently reconstruct defeated Guardians as they are resurrected each Blood Moon along with slain monsters and Yiga Clan.
As a result, he can also use several of their abilities, as demonstrated during his battle with Link at Hyrule Castle. Due to his resurrection being incomplete, Calamity Ganon was forced to resort to a cocoon of malice and ancient technology armaments to defend himself. Ganon's use of weapons made of ancient technology again shows his cunning side and what little sentience he retains. He also was powerful enough to survive being hit by the beams of the Divine Beasts, although at the cost of it injuring him to the extent of sapping 50% of his power. When transforming into Dark Beast Ganon by ceasing his attempt at reincarnation (or in the japanese version because he "refused" to give up on reincarnating himself), he is stated to be capable of destruction that surpasses even the calamity he had been responsible for a century prior. However as Dark Beast Ganon is completely bestial and driven entirely by hatred and malice, Ganon loses any sentience he possessed as Calamity Ganon, making Dark Beast Ganon little more than a "berserker state" he takes in a desperate attempt to kill Link. As Calamity Ganon's incomplete form has a skull and even humanoid hands made of malice not unlike Ganondorf's, it is implied that Calamity Ganon may have been trying to reincarnate into his original Gerudo form before he was interrupted by Link appearance in Hyrule Castle. However its also possible that this resemblance is simply due to Calamity Ganon's form being incomplete and Ganon being forced manifest a monstrous misshapen humanoid skeletal form not unlike his original form.
If any of the Divine Beasts were liberated before Link confronted Calamity Ganon, the fight will start with a cutscene where the spirits of the Champions that Link freed command their Divine Beasts to attack, blasting Ganon with a rain of energy beams. Each Champion's attack depletes one-eighth of Calamity Ganon's health; if all four were freed prior to the battle, he loses half of his health before the fight even begins.
In addition to the above, if Link found the Master Sword prior to going to Hyrule Castle, a short cutscene shows him drawing it and igniting the blade with divine power before the battle with Calamity Ganon begins.
Most of Calamity Ganon's attacks are more elaborate versions of the moves used by his Blights. He can use the Waterblight's energy shockwave and spear throw, the Fireblight's burning blade swipes (horizontal or vertical) and charged fireball, the Thunderblight's lightning spikes, and the Windblight's tornado and laser blasts. He can also fire powerful laser beams,similar to Guardian Stalker's one, slash and stab at Link with his back appendages, and crawl on the wall to keep himself out of reach.
After being reduced to half of his starting health (i.e. the health he had after the Divine Beasts' attack), Calamity Ganon will glow orange, rendering him immune to damage. The only way to hurt him at this point is to make the aura disappear, either by performing a Perfect Dodge, knocking Ganon down by reflecting his projectiles (spear, laser beam, fireball, and bullets) back at him, or using Urbosa's Fury. His aura also disappears for a brief moment after he attacks, so well-timed arrows or other attacks can hit him even without a Perfect Dodge.
As with all of the Scourges, Calamity Ganon takes extra damage from "Guardian" or "Ancient" weaponry, as well as Ganon's traditional weakness, the Master Sword.