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Ganon

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This article contains information about the recurring antagonist of the Legend of Zelda series. For this character's alternate form, see Ganondorf.
Ganon
Ganon (Oracle of Ages & Oracle of Seasons)
Artwork of Ganon from Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
First appearance The Legend of Zelda (1987)
Appears in The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
A Link to the Past
Link's Awakening
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
The Wind Waker
Four Swords Adventures
Twilight Princess
A Link Between Worlds
Title(s) King of Darkness
King of Evil
Prince of Darkness
Sex Male
Homeland Hyrule
Alternate form(s) Spoiler: Yuga-Ganon
Alternate form of Ganondorf
Spoiler: Agahnim (alter-ego)
"Ganon... this beast was once of the Gerudo... Once human. He was called Ganondorf! King of Darkness, ancient demon reborn."
Princess Zelda

Ganon (ガノン Ganon?, Hylian GHylian AHylian NHylian OHylian N) is the alternate form of Ganondorf, the King of Evil, and the primary antagonist of the Legend of Zelda series. Though Ganon always resembles a boar, his exact form and the method he uses to assume it varies between appearances. The possessor of the Triforce of Power, he has astonishing magical and physical powers, including what seems to be near-immortality. Ganon tends to be portrayed as the personification of evil, as opposed to Link, who personifies benevolence.

Appearances

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The Legend of Zelda

Main article: Gannon
Gannon

Gannon, the Prince of Darkness, invades Hyrule with his evil army, seizes the Triforce of Power, and attempts to gather the scattered pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. He imprisons Princess Zelda and keeps her in his lair at Death Mountain, but is killed and reduced to ashes by Link when the hero strikes him with a Silver Arrow.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Game Over (The Adventure of Link)

Ganon on the Game Over screen in Zelda II.

Ganon is dead after Link's last encounter with him. His minions aim to resurrect him by killing Link and mixing his blood with their master's ashes. If Link dies, his blood is used to resurrect Ganon. In non-Japanese versions of the game, Ganon appears as a shadow on the Game Over screen.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Ganon (A Link to the Past)

Ganondorf Dragmire, the Prince of Thieves, was one of many adventurers who traveled from the Light World to the Sacred Realm to claim the Triforce. Obtaining the power of the Triforce, he made a wish to control the Sacred Realm, transforming the realm into the Dark World and himself into a pig/boar-form, both of which reflected his corrupt, wicked heart and his greedy nature.

Styling himself as Ganon, King of Evil, he sought to conquer the Light World as well. Ganon attacked Hyrule with his monstrous armies, but was defeated by the Knights of Hyrule and sealed in the Dark World by the Seven Wise Men. Years later, the wizard Agahnim betrayed the King of Hyrule after having earned his trust, and took over the country. Ganon would later describe Agahnim as his alter ego, and is eventually seen rising from Agahnim's body after the wizard's eventual defeat. Now in control of the kingdom, Agahnim seeks to break the seal on the Sacred Realm to allow Ganon to escape it. Link confronts Agahnim in Hyrule Castle and defeats him, but Agahnim manages to retreat to the Dark World while trapping Link there as well.

In the Dark World, Link storms Ganon's Tower and defeats Agahnim once again. Link subsequently battles Ganon in the Pyramid, defeating the Evil King with a Silver Arrow. With Ganon's ultimate defeat, the Dark World returns to its former beauty as the Sacred Realm, and Link claims the Triforce, using it to wish all of Ganon's evil deeds undone.

According to the Hyrule Historia, this Ganon is the one revived by Koume and Kotake at the end of the Oracle subseries. Likewise, the same book stated that the Ganon in this game was the result of a timeline where Ganondorf defeated Link in their final battle in Ocarina of Time. It is also stated that after his defeat, his resentment and evil thoughts of Link travelled through time and space, manifesting into the Shadow Links in A Link Between Worlds.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Nightmare (Ganon)

Ganon himself does not actually appear in Link's Awakening, but he is briefly mentioned in the instruction booklet concerning the backstory of the game. It states that Ganon had been defeated, but the people of Hyrule worried that other evils may materialize themselves from his ashes. Also, the final Nightmare takes on a Ganon form whose attack pattern and appearance is similar to the Ganon fought in A Link to the Past.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Ganon (Ocarina of Time)

Ganon first appears in his human form, Ganondorf. He is a Gerudo male known as 'The King of Thieves'. Unbeknownst to the King of Hyrule, Ganondorf is trying to obtain the Triforce; Princess Zelda suspected his plan, thanks to a vision she had in a dream, and decides to try and thwart him with the help of Link.

At the end of Link's quest, he faces Ganondorf and defeats him. Ganondorf causes his own castle to collapse on Link and Princess Zelda. The two manage to escape the castle seconds before it finally collapses, and then hear a noise in the ruins. When Link investigates the sounds, Ganondorf appears, showing the Triforce of Power's glow and transforming into Ganon for the final battle.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Ganon (Oracle of Ages and Seasons)

Ganon is deceased during most of the events of these games. Koume and Kotake plot to revive him using the Flames of the Dark Rites, which they light by causing havoc in Labrynna and Holodrum, and capturing Princess Zelda. By sacrificing Zelda, the ritual would be complete and Ganon would be revived. However, Link arrives before the ritual is complete and defeats the two witches. They are then forced to sacrifice themselves instead of Zelda, resurrecting Ganon, but only as a mindless, raging beast.

According to the Hyrule Historia, the circumstances behind Ganon's death prior to the events of the game were from Link and Ganon's final battle in A Link to the Past.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Wind Waker Prologue (Part 2)

Ganon depicted in the prologue of The Wind Waker

Ganon briefly appears in the prologue of the game, revealing he had escaped from the Dark World and conquered Hyrule. A hero never rose to vanquish him, so the gods destroyed Ganon's gains by flooding the land and turning it into the Great Sea, using the Master Sword as a seal on his magic. Powerless, Ganon returns to his Ganondorf form and quietly escapes into the Light World.

Ganon itself does not appear in the main game; however, Ganondorf takes on the form of Puppet Ganon, a giant, wooden, puppet-like version of Ganon. He is held onto the ceiling by ropes and takes on the form of a boar, spider, and Moldorm. Like Ganon from Ocarina of Time, his tail is a weak spot.

Another depiction of the Ganon form can be seen on the stained glass windows in the Hyrule Castle basement where Link finds the Master Sword. The center window shows the Seven Sages sealing Ganon away at the end of the climactic battle in Ocarina of Time.

Even though Ganondorf does not appear in the game in his Ganon form, Ganondorf is often referred to by the name "Ganon".

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Ganon (Four Swords Adventures)

Ganondorf is not apparently the enemy at first; however, when Link arrives at the Lost Woods, he finds that the Deku there have become his loyal followers, revealing his presence to Link. More is revealed about Ganon in the next area, the Desert of Doubt. Ganondorf was a member of the Gerudo tribe there, but had been shunned by his people after he broke their laws and traveled to the sacred Pyramid in his quest for power. He took the Trident from the Pyramid and was transformed into Ganon by the weapon's evil magic.

After Link defeats Vaati in the Palace of Winds, the Tower of Winds starts to crumble, and Link and Zelda travel down the tower back to Hyrule. However, Ganon had secretly witnessed the battle, and was disgusted at Vaati's lack of power at the hands of the Four Sword. In addition, he also was enraged at the four Links for stopping him from absorbing more power, and felt that his trident will defeat them, with or without the Four Sword, before his shadowy mass leaves the crumbling palace. They are stopped by Ganon, who was also causing the collapse of the tower of winds. After sealing a weakening Zelda away, Ganon reveals himself and faces Link in battle. After Ganon is defeated, he is sealed within the Four Sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Ganon (Twilight Princess)

Having been defeated by Link while possessing Princess Zelda, Ganondorf appears to be defeated, and Zelda's soul is returned to her body. After a brief reunion, Ganondorf suddenly transforms into his beast form; Ganon. He erects a magical barrier to prevent Zelda from intervening and attacks Link, who utilizes his own beast form to defeat Ganon. Ganon appears more reckless in this appearance, quickly destroying most of the Throne Room where the battle is fought. His most prominent ability in this appearance is his use of Twilight Portals. Shortly after this defeat, Ganon's body is immolated with green flames, until the same flames also take the form of Ganondorf's spirit. Midna then teleports Link and Princess Zelda out of the castle in an act of self-sacrifice in order to attempt to take down Ganondorf with the Fused Shadow.

An interesting point is that while other games that feature Ganon have him serve as the final boss, in this game Ganon serves as an intermediate boss instead, with Ganondorf serving as the final boss. This is also the first time Ganon is depicted as a quadruped rather than a biped.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Main article: Demise

Although Ganon himself does not appear in the game, he is briefly hinted at: After Demise is vanquished by Link, Demise states that his hatred will reincarnate itself and attack in a cycle of no end, hinting that Ganon, and by extension, Ganondorf, is the reincarnation and personification of Demise's hatred.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Main article: Yuga (boss)
Ganon Artwork (A Link Between Worlds)

Ganon appears in Link's dreams early in the game. He is later revived by Yuga in Lorule via the portraits of the Seven Sages, and proceeded to join with Ganon, as both Yuga and Princess Hilda needed his Triforce of Power to restore Lorule from collapse. As he is about to strike down Link, Hilda appears and restrains him, Hilda then sends Link on a quest to gain the Triforce of Courage.

Yuga-Ganon later fights Link after Hilda orders Yuga-Ganon to retrieve the Triforce of Courage from him, though he secretly plans on taking it for himself in order to become a godly being. After being defeated by Link once, Yuga-Ganon absorbs the Triforce of Wisdom from Hilda. Despite this, Yuga and Ganon are defeated and destroyed.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage

Ganon was set to appear in the unreleased game Mystical Seed of Courage. In the game he would kidnap Princess Zelda and split the Triforce of Power into eight parts. It is also possible he would be responsible for sending the Rod of Seasons along with its hiding place in Hyrule Castle to another dimension.

The Legend of Zelda animated series

Ganon (The Legend of Zelda animated series)

Ganon from the animated series

Ganon is the main villain of the series. He is depicted as a powerful magical pig-being who holds the Triforce of Power. Ganon constantly plots to steal the Triforce of Wisdom from Hyrule, but his attempts are always thwarted by Link and Princess Zelda. Ganon's lair lies outside of Hyrule, inside of which is the Evil Jar, a magic jar used to transport enemies back to his lair just before they are killed; this also applies to Ganon, who is saved by the jar a number of times himself. Ganon is shown to be infatuated with Princess Zelda, saying he wants to make her his queen, and at one point attempting to brainwash her into marrying him, before being thwarted by Link.

Molblin's Magic Spear

Ganon appears as an antagonist in this book. In Death Mountain, he uses a crystal ball to watch Link as the hero makes his way through Hyrule.

The Crystal Trap

Ganon appears as the main antagonist of this book. He first confronts Link and Zelda in Midoro Palace where he uses a magic scroll to encase the Triforce pieces in magic crystals. Link is also trapped because of this spell because the Triforce of Courage is in his heart. Ganon spares Zelda giving her twenty four hours to free Link. Due to the nature of the book several endings include Ganon killing Zelda and successfully obtaining the Triforce of Wisdom.

The Shadow Prince

Ganon again appears as the main antagonist in this book. Under the guise of Charles of Moria he infiltrates the North Castle in an attempt to steal the Triforce of Wisdom. Due to the nature of the book several endings include Ganon killing Link and successfully obtaining the Triforce of Wisdom. The book portrays Ganon's true form as a hooded skeleton.

The Legend of Zelda comics

Ganon is the antagonist of the Legend of Zelda comics by Valiant.

Link: The Faces of Evil

Ganon WoG
Ganon is the main antagonist of this game. He takes over the far-off island of Koridai and kidnaps Princess Zelda when Link leaves Hyrule. During his travels Link discovers a mystical object known as the Book of Koridai which seemingly has the power to imprison Ganon. Link finally reaches Ganon, who attempts to recruit Link with the promise of great power and the threat of murder, but Link turns down his offer by imprisoning him in the Book of Koridai.

Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon

Ganon once again serves as the main antagonist of this game. He allies himself with Duke Onkled, the cousin of King Harkinian. He then imprisons both King Harkinian and Link when they investigate the land of Gamelon, leaving Princess Zelda and Impa as the only people able to stop him. Zelda eventually defeats him using the Wand of Gamelon and the Magic Lantern.

Zelda's Adventure

Ganon
In this game Ganon kidnaps Link, and unleashed his rule over the land of Tolemac. Princess Zelda sets out to save the young adventurer, and learns from the astronomer Gaspra that she must first collect the seven celestial signs before she can conquer the dark king and bring Tolemac to an Age of Lightness.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Ganon in his Twilight Princess appearance is playable as the final smash of Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He stamps the ground, burying and stunning, all in line and lunges at the players in front of him for a large amount of damage.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.

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