Demon King, Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ Ganondorofu?, ) is a playable character and the main antagonist in Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends. He is the Gerudo King of Thieves turned immortal Demon King who managed to steal Triforce of Power from the Sacred Realm, who for centuries has fought against the various incarnations of the Spirit of the Hero and Princesses of Hyrule to obtain the complete Triforce and conquer the land of Hyrule, which due to his immortality lead to a near endless cycle of conflicts of him being sealed away only for him to escape to plague Hyrule once more. However eventually, one incarnation of the hero managed to split the Spirit of Evil's soul into four fragments, three of which where sealed in different Eras of Hyrule's history, while the forth and final fragment was sealed in a Temple built on sacred ground and kept under seal by the power of the Legendary Hero's sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane, which was protected from the forces of evil by the Spirits of countless Hyrulean Soldiers and a mystical evil repelling barrier. Though sealed away with his soul fragmented, the Demon King's spirit would eventually raise once more to plunge the kingdom in conflict and darkness, resulting in a War Across the Ages.
Background & History
Ganondorf was original the single male born among the predominantly female Gerudo tribe every one hundred years, who by law was destined to become King of his tribe of desert dwelling thieves. While much of Ganondorf's early life is unknown, it is known that he was raised by his surrogate mother's the twin Gerudo witches Koume and Kotake and eventually become a powerful sorcerer and thief known as the Gerudo King of Thieves, who the Gerudo worshiped as a living god. However, due to the harshness of living in the desert, Ganondorf would come to covet the lush and fertile lands of Hyrule. Eventually he learned of the existence of the legendary Triforce, a divine artifact left behind by the Golden Goddesses after the creation of the world capable of granting the desire of whoever possessed it. Through his research into the Triforce, Ganondorf discovered that it was hidden within the Sacred Realm that was protected by the Temple of Time, a Temple constructed by the Ancient Sages bar access to the Sacred Realm and the Triforce it contained. In order to open the Door of Time within the Temple of Time, Ganondorf required the three Spiritual Stones held by the Kokiri tribe of the Forest, the Gorons of Death Mountain, and the Zora of Zora's Domain, as well as the Ocarina of Time, an heirloom of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Driven by greed and a lust power, Ganondorf planned to steal the Triforce for himself and conquer the land he had long coveted.
Era of the Hero of Time
Claiming the desert Spirit Temple as his base, Ganondorf secretly began his quest to obtain the Spiritual Stones and Ocarina of Time, all the while feigning loyalty to the King of Hyrule. Via his magic abilities, Ganondorf cursed the Great Deku Tree, guardian tree spirit of Kokiri Forest and Lord Jabu-Jabu patron deity of the Zora tribe as part of his plan to steal the Spiritual Stones of Forest and Water. He also journeyed to Death Mountain, reviving the ancient dinosaur King Dodongo and the fire-breathing Dodongos that once inhabited Dodongo's Cave, before sealing off the cavern's entrance, demanding Goron Patriarch, Darunia hand over the Spiritual Stone of Fire. Under the effects of Ganondorf's curse, Lord Jabu-Jabu became ill under its influence swallowed Zora Princess Ruto who held the Spiritual Stone of Water in her possession.
Using his political position as King of the Gerudo tribe, by pledging his and his tribe's allegiance to the King of Hyrule, in order to gain access to Hyrule Castle as part of his plan to obtain the Ocarina of Time. While he managed to deceive the King of Hyrule, the King's daughter Princess Zelda foresaw Ganondorf's evil intentions and became determined to prevent him from acquiring the Ocarina of Time.
The Great Deku Tree well aware of the curse Ganondorf had placed on him along with his plans, called forth Navi the Fairy who he instructed to seek out a lone Kokiri boy named Link, the only member of his tribe who did not possess a guardian fairy of his own and bring him to the Great Deku Tree. Aware the boy had been recently plagued by visions of his future, the Great Deku Tree explained that the dreams where the result of the evil invading the land of Hyrule, before the tree spirit explained that he to had fallen victim to it and requested Link venture inside him to destroy the source of the curse, Queen Gohma. With the aid his new fairy guardian Navi, Link successfully defeated Queen Gohma, however he learned that it was a test, as the Great Deku Tree informed him that the curse Ganondorf had placed on him was a death curse and that he was doomed regardless. Giving the boy the Spiritual Stone of the Forest that Ganondorf sought, the dying tree entrusted Link with a mission to leave the forest and seek out the Princess of Hyrule and put a stop Ganondorf's evil plans. Eventually the boy managed to reach Hyrule Castle and managed to find Zelda inside the Castle's Garden. At about the same time, Ganondorf was having an audience with the King of Hyrule in his throne room, allowing Link to catch a glimpse of the man who had brought darkness to Hyrule through a window in the garden. However Ganondorf also noticed Link and Zelda peeking through the window as well. Princess Zelda informed Link of the Spiritual Stones and Ocarina of Time that where necessary to opening the Door of Time and her plan to obtain the Spiritual Stones and use the Ocarina of Time to access the Sacred Realm and obtain the Triforce before Ganondorf could to thwart his plans and protect the Triforce. Link journeyed to Death Mountain and Zora's Domain and obtained the Spiritual Stones of Fire and Water held by Darunia and Princess Ruto, defeating King Dodongo and Barinade in the process. However while Link was acquiring the stones, Ganondorf launched an attack on Hyrule Castle in order to claim the Ocarina of Time from Zelda. Fortunately, the Royal Family's faithful Sheikah bodyguard, Impa managed to protect Princess Zelda and the pair escaped Hyrule Castle on horseback. However, Ganondorf chased after them on his black Gerudo Stallion. During a storm, Link arrived at the drawbridge leading to Hyrule Castle Town and watched as Princess Zelda and Impa fled on their horse, during which time he saw Zelda throw something into the nearby moat as they fled. Ganondorf arrived on his horse moments later, demanding Link tell him where they fled to. However the boy courageously drew his sword, refusing to tell Ganondorf anything and preparing to fight the evil Gerudo. Atop his steed, Ganondorf complemented the boy on his courage before using his magic to knock the would be hero aside and continued to chase after Zelda. After Ganondorf left, Link inspected the moat and found that Zelda had thrown the Ocarina of Time as she fled and received telepathic vision instructing him on how to open the Door of Time. Entering the Temple, Link played the Song of Time he had learned in the vision, opening the Door of Time. Beyond the door he and Navi found the legendary blade, the Master Sword inside the Pedestal of Time. Link pulled the sword from its pedestal, which proved him to be the reborn Hero of Legend, the Hero of Time, however as he was too young to wield the sword he became sealed within the temple until he was old enough to wield it. Meanwhile, Ganondorf who had been secretly observing Link, entered the Temple of Time and revealed that he had been aware of Link and Zelda's attempts to deny him the Triforce, while mocking him for his failure as he had unknowingly removed the fail barrier that prevented him from accessing the Sacred Realm and Triforce within, the Master Sword. Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm and attempted to claim the Triforce, however he was unaware one must have a heart balanced with Power, Wisdom, and Courage in order to claim the complete Triforce. As a result, Ganondorf only managed to claim the piece of the Triforce he represented most, the Triforce of Power, while the other piece the Triforce of Courage & Triforce of Wisdom ended going to those chosen by destiny, the Link the Hero of Time & Zelda the Princess of Hyrule. Despite his failure to claim all three pieces, using power granted to him by the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf managed to conquer the land of Hyrule and became King of Evil while Link slept within the Temple of Time. Seven years after he had removed the Master Sword, the now adult Hero of Time awoke inside the Temple of Light within the Sacred Realm and was informed of all that had transpired by the Sage of Light Rauru who tasked Link with awakening the other five Sages. Wielding the legendary Master Sword and aided by a mysterious Sheikah survivor named Sheik, Link managed to awaken each sage: Saria by defeating Phantom Ganon, Darunia by defeating Volvagia, Ruto by defeating Morpha, Impa by defeating Bongo Bongo, and even Ganondorf's own kinswoman, Nabooru by killing Ganondorf's surrogate mother's Koume & Kotake. Link returned to the Temple of Time, where Sheik explained a Sheikah Legend that told of how one's heart must be balanced in order to claim the complete Triforce and explained what had happened when Ganondorf had tried to claim the Triforce, before revealing her true identity as Princess Zelda, the leader of the Seven Sages and bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom. However Ganondorf who had allowed Link to wonder around in the hope it would lure out Zelda, used his magic to capture the Princess and transported her to his Castle. Aided by the power of the remaining Six Sages, the Hero of Time infiltrated Ganon's Castle and upon reaching the top of his tower, the Triforce marks on the backs of Ganondorf, Zelda, and Link's hands glowed as Ganondorf and the Hero of Time confronted each other in an epic battle. However Ganondorf was eventually defeated by the Hero, though in his death throws Ganondorf attempted to take Zelda and Link with him by causing his tower to collapse upon them, though Zelda and Link managed to escape. However through the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf was revived and transformed into the mighty Demon King, Ganon leading to another epic showdown between himself and the Hero of Time. However the Hero of Time managed to weaken Ganon with the Blade of Evil's Bane, allowing the Seven Sages to imprison and seal him within the Sacred Realm. Reverting back to his human as he was being sealed, Ganondorf cursed Link and Zelda before declaring he would one day return to take revenge on their descendants, beginning the repeated cycle of conflicts to come.
Origin of the War Across the Ages
Over the centuries of conflict over the Triforce, a powerful sorceress known as the Guardian of Time watched over the balance of Triforce, observing the countless battles over it, never interfering. However as she repeatedly observed the soul of the legendary hero as it was reborn into various incarnations of the Hero over the centuries, she fell in love with the hero, despite being aware his destiny was tied to that of the Princess of Hyrule. Even with his soul fragmented and under seal, the Spirit of Evil saw an opportunity to use the guardian's feelings for the Hero to corrupt her. Driving the light from the guardian's soul, he corrupted the guardian and twisted her love for the Hero into a desire to possesses the Legendary Hero's soul allowing him to manipulate her into freeing the fragments of his soul. His actions resulted in the Guardian of Time becoming split into two beings: The Light driven from the Guardian's Soul became the White Sorceress, Lana and the Black Sorceress, Cia who Ganondorf lent his Triforce of Power and manipulated into opening the Gate of Souls, summoning monsters to create the Dark Forces as part of his plan free himself.
War Across the Ages
Through Cia, Ganondorf manipulated her and her army into invading the land of Hyrule, in order to draw out the reborn spirit of the Hero, bearer of the Triforce of Courage and capture the current Princess of Hyrule, Zelda who held Triforce of Wisdom. Eventually Cia manages to steal the other Triforce pieces from Link and disguised Zelda, allowing Ganondorf to use its power to bend time and space, opening gateways to the three eras that contained the fragments of his soul.
Return of the Demon King
After the Hyrulean Forces and their allies from different ages managed to close the Gate of Souls and each era, Ganondorf uses the three fragments of his soul to restore his physical body. Having no further use for her as his puppet, Ganondorf reveals himself to Cia and attempts to claim the Triforce for himself and free the remaining fragment himself. However he underestimates his former pawn and is caught off guard when she sends the Triforce of Courage and Wisdom back to their chosen bearers, while retaining Ganondorf's Triforce of Power for herself allowing her to temporarily seal the Demon King. Cia and the Dark Forces to would continue to plague Hyrule without Ganondorf's influence.
A War of Spirit
Meanwhile after regaining their respective pieces of the Triforce, Zelda has Link remove the Master Sword from its sacred pedestal within the Temple of the Sacred Sword, which she believes is necessary to defeat Cia, despite Hyrulean General, Impa's warnings of the dangers of breaking the seal on the remaining fragment of the Demon King's soul.
Though partially weakened due to lacking the final piece of his soul, Ganondorf continues to hound Cia to reclaim the Triforce of Power and even openly engages in battle with the Hyrulean Forces during the battle at the Temple of Souls, however he is defeated by the power of the Master Sword.
Undeterred Ganondorf attack Cia and her forces again in the Valley of Seers, but defeated by the Cia and the surprise intervention of Lana. However her obsession had caused her to become corrupted by completely by darkness, Cia refuse to end her mad quest to possess everything she desired.
Eventually Cia would be defeated by the Hyrulean Forces and their allies, before dying in Lana's arms due her over using her dark magic. Lana claims Ganondorf's Triforce of Power and together with Link and Zelda they use the Triforce to repair the damage to time and space, while allies from across the ages return to their respective Eras.
However despite their victory, eventually Impa's fears come to pass as Link neglects to return the Master Sword back to its pedestal following Cia's defeat, allowing the barrier containing the final fragment of his soul to break, completely restoring the Demon King, who returns to the desert of his birth in order to build his army in order to reclaim the Triforce of Power currently held by Lana along with the other two pieces of the Triforce possessed by Link and Zelda. Reviving Usurper King Zant and Demon Lord Ghirahim to serve as his generals, Ganondorf leads them to attack a group monsters that live within Gerudo Desert in order to convince them to serve him, by killing the powerful monsters that leading them, forcing their remaining troops into submission.
March of the Demon King
With his forces, Ganondorf marches to the Valley of Seers to reclaim the Triforce of Power from Lana. Lana does her best to try and trap Ganondorf's generals but fails. Soon General Impa arrives and distracts Ganondorf with doppelgangers of herself in order to allow Lana time to escape, however having used doppelgangers of himself in the past, Ganondorf is able to find the real Impa and defeat her, before returning his attention back to Lana. During his battle with the White Sorceress, he discovers that Lana possesses Cia's power to split herself into completely identical copies of herself, forcing Ganondorf to defeat both of them in order to obtain the Triforce of Power from her. With the Triforce of Power once again in hand, Ganondorf and his army set a course for Hyrule Field to claim the other two pieces.
Battle of the Triforce
Ganondorf and his army invade Hyrule Field, where they are confronted by the Hyrulean Forces. Ganondorf and his two generals lead their forces in battle against Impa, Link, and Zelda. After an epic battle between the Demon King and his two fated nemeses, Ganondorf manages to defeat both Link and Zelda, allowing him finally achieve his life's goal of obtaining the complete Triforce. Confident that he had finally achieved victory over the Hyrulean Forces, Ganondorf disappears from the battlefield and uses the Triforce to summon countless legions of monsters to serve him.
Liberation of the Triforce
However Link, Zelda, Impa, and Lana managed to survive their battles with Ganondorf and rallied the remaining Hyrulean Forces to attack Ganondorf's generals in Gerudo Desert. Lana used her power to summon their allies from across the ages join the battle against Ganondorf's Forces and together they managed to defeat both Ghirahim and Zant, bolstering the morale of the Hyrulean Forces. Meanwhile, Impa discovered that Ganondorf had taken control of Hyrule Castle and had transformed it and surrounding Hyrule Field into Ganon's Tower where he began to prepare use it as part of a dark ritual that would increase his power. Seeing it as their last chance to defeat him, the Hyrulean Forces and their allies assaulted the tower leading to a battle that would determine the fate of Hyrule. After an epic battle, the Hyrulean Forces managed to reclaim Hyrule Castle causing Ganondorf to lose the power he gained during the ritual, allowing the Hero and his allies to defeat the Demon King. However like in his previous battle with the Hero of Time, Ganondorf used the Triforce to resurrect himself into his true form, the Dark Beast Ganon. However the remain Hyrulean Forces and their allies managed to pooled their remaining strength, empowering the sacred Light Arrows with their remaining power allowing them to weaken and eventually defeat Ganon. Heavily injured, Ganon fell before Link, Lana, and Zelda who reclaimed their respect Triforce pieces from him and used the Triforce to restore the seal upon his evil soul. Following Ganon's defeat, their allies from across time waved goodbye a final time, before Lana informed Link and Zelda they had one final task to complete.
Following Lana's instructions, Link and Zelda returned to the Temple of the Sacred Sword to return the Master Sword to its Sacred Pedestal, there by completely restoring the seal on the Demon King's Soul. However in one final act of defiance, Ganondorf's soul attempted to prevent Link from putting the sword back into its pedestal. Unfortunately for Ganondorf, the Princess was able to assist the hero in pushing the sword back into place and together they managed to restore the seal completely. With peace once again restored, Link and Zelda left the Temple to aid in the rebuilding of the Kingdom of Hyrule.
- "A ruler requires power to accomplish anything. You'd be wise to remember that!"
- — Ganondorf
Originally, Ganondorf was a skilled thief and a powerful evil sorcerer. Even before claiming the Triforce of Power, he was capable of inflicting powerful curses on deities such as the Great Deku Tree & Lord Jabu-Jabu, as well as reviving long deceased monsters such as King Dodongo. Through his power he was able to bring legions of monsters under his command. He also shown to be a skilled manipulator able to deceive both his fellow Gerudo and even the King of Hyrule into believing he was a respectable King. He is also shown to be clever enough to manipulate even his enemies, as notably seen with the Hero of Time and Princess Zelda on at least two separate occasions. Even after revealing his true colors during his attack on Hyrule Castle, he was able to avoid capture by the Hyrulean Forces and allowed the young Hero of Time into opening the way to the Sacred Realm, fully aware of Zelda and Link plan to thwart his plan, leading them both to unknowingly allow Ganondorf to steal the Triforce of Power as a result of their attempt to claim the Triforce before he could, leading to the Hero of Time to be unintentionally sealed for seven years following his removal of the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time, removing the final barrier that could have prevented Ganondorf from reaching the Sacred Realm.
Upon gaining the Triforce of Power, it granted him the power to conquer Hyrule during the Hero of Time's seven year sleep, transforming him into the mighty King of Evil. Using his newfound power Ganondorf created a Phantom of himself and even revived the ancient Goron eating dragon, Volvagia. His power was great enough to capture Princess Zelda after she revealed herself to Link, despite Zelda's abilities and wisdom, as well as her possession of the Triforce of Wisdom and status as leader of the Seven Sages. Through the Triforce of Power he become practically immortal and allowed him to transform into the mighty Ganon, which forced the Hero of Time and Seven Sages to seal him within the Sacred Realm to stop his reign of evil. However due to his immortality he would continue to live on throughout the ages, gaining centuries worth of knowledge and experience though his constant battles with the various incarnations of the Hero and Princesses of Hyrule.
In addition to his magic abilities, Ganondorf is a skilled swordsman who wields his dual Great Swords in battle. He is also capable of wielding Tridents in both his human and Ganon forms. He shown to have at least some skill in horseback riding. He is also known to be physically strong, though it is unknown if this is due to his natural physical strength and/or enhanced via his magic. Even in his human form, Ganondorf is capable of summoning a shadowy avatar of his Ganon form or transform his arm into a shadow of Ganon's clawed hands.
Even having his soul fragmented and spread across time and space, could not deter Ganondorf from reviving himself via his corruption of the Guardian of Time and manipulation of Cia and the Dark Forces. Even losing the Triforce of Power that he had given to Cia to aid his resurrection did not stop him from not only reclaiming it following the release of his Soul Fragments, but finally manage to achieve his goal of obtaining the complete Triforce. However, due to his overconfidence he underestimated the resolve of the Hyrulean Forces and their allies, which eventually lead to his defeat by the combined might of Hyrulean Forces and their allies.
Movesets & Weapons
Each of Ganondorf's movesets (save for his Ganon form) has 3 Levels. In Hyrule Warriors, there is an 8-bit version of his Great Swords (his Trident lacks a 8-bit weapon due to it being a DLC weapon tied to the release of Hyrule Warriors Legends). In Hyrule Warriors Legends, his 8-bit weapon is removed and replaced with his Level 4 weapons which are stronger versions of Level 3 weapons (since it was introduced in Legends, the Trident automatically has a Level 4). The Great Swords is his default moveset. His default Trident can be unlocked on the Great Sea Adventure Map. Both of his Level 3 (and Level 4) weapons are references to Demise. His Level 2 Trident is based on the Trident wielded by Yuga-Ganon (which itself is a reference to Ganon's weapon from A Link to the Past) in A Link Between Worlds.
- Level 1 - Swords of Despair
- Level 2 - Swords of Darkness
- Level 3 - Swords of Demise
- Level 4 - Swords of Demise +
- 8-bit - 8-Bit Magical Keys
- Level 1 - Thief's Trident
- Level 2 - King of Evil Trident
- Level 3 - Trident of Demise
- Level 4 - Trident of Demise +
Dark Beast Ganon
Through his possession of the Triforce, Ganondorf gains a stronger version of his Ganon form. In this form he is able to wield a giant version of his King of Evil Trident and the power of various bosses such as King Dodongo, Gohma, Manhandla, and Argorok. This form is playable in the DLC Challenge Mode Ganon's Fury in Hyrule Warriors. Due to the absence of Challenge Mode in Hyrule Warriors Legends, his Ganon form is unplayable in the 3DS revision, though he does return as a Giant Boss in both the main story and Adventure Mode.
Dark Ganondorf (ダークガノンドロフ Dāku Ganondorofu?, ) is a Dark shadowy doppelgänger of Ganondorf. Unlike Dark Link, Dark Ganondorf has no role in the main story and appears as an enemy in Adventure Mode. He uses the same moveset and drops the same Materials as Ganondorf.
Dark Ganon (ダークガノン Dāku Ganon?, ) is a Dark shadowy doppelgänger of Ganon. Like Dark Ganondorf, he has no role in the main story and appears as a Giant Boss in Adventure and Challenge Mode. He has the same weaknesses, attacks, and Materials as Ganon.
Ganondorf's Hyrule Warriors design and moveset combine elements of three characters from Koei's other works: Musashi Miyamoto and Nobunaga Oda from Samurai Warriors, and Lu Bu from Dynasty Warriors. Additionally his standard design also takes cues from Demise from Skyward Sword, such as his long hair.
Shortly after the initial reveal of Ganondorf's design, fans started a meme associating him with various hair care products such as Dove. In response to the meme, Nintendo of Europe posted a faux ad on Twitter claiming Ganondorf uses a special hair spray called Hyrule HairCare.