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. His vocals are supplied by Taiten Kusunoki.
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. Ganondorf successfully managed to access the Sacred Realm but due to his unbalanced heart he was unable to acquire the complete Triforce, instead gaining only the Triforce of Power. Nevertheless, using that power he was able to become a menace to Hyrule for countless centuries and eventually became known as the Demon King.
Fragments of the Spirit of Evil
However each time he was thwarted by an incarnation of the legendary hero and Princess of Hyrule, yet would eventually return to plague Hyrule once more. Eventually, one incarnation of the hero was able to defeat him and split the Demon King's soul into four Spirit Fragments. To put an end to the cycle of conflict over the Triforce, three of his soul fragments where sealed across time and space, while the fourth and final fragment was placed under seal by the Master Sword in a temple built on sacred ground, which eventually became known as the Temple of the Sacred Sword. With his soul fragmented and held under seal, it seemed to the people of Hyrule that the Demon King had finally been defeated for good.
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.
While invading the Era of Skyloft, the Demon Lord Ghirahim, upon being defeated, sensed a similar energy to that of his master Demise (implied to be that of Ganondorf's essence), which left him in disbelief due to the fact that he had already summoned The Imprisoned beforehand, as well as joining Cia solely for this reason.
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 seemingly 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. He also implies when fighting one of Impa's duplicates to get to Lana that, even prior to regaining the Triforce of Power, he was capable of creating duplicates of himself.
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.