|First appearance||The Wind Waker (2003)|
|Weapon(s)||Balls of energy|
Phantom Ganon is a mini-boss from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. He is a specter resembling the evil king Ganondorf, and Link duels with him twice: once in the Forsaken Fortress, and a second time in Ganon's Tower. Interestingly, the inscription on Phantom Ganon's Sword says "Zubora Gabora." This Phantom Ganon is likely different from the one in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as in that game Ganondorf said he banished the previous one to the Gap Between Dimensions.
After withdrawing the Master Sword from its pedestal, Link travels back to the Forsaken Fortress to confront Ganondorf. Upon arrival, however, his path is blocked by Phantom Ganon. After a battle of Dead Man's Volley, Link defeats him and a Treasure Chest containing the Skull Hammer appears.
Later, after restoring the Triforce of Courage, Link traverses to the submerged Ganon's Tower, where he is again confronted by Phantom Ganon. This time, however, Link must fight him several times in a large maze with many doors. After each defeat, Phantom Ganon drops his sword. By going through the door that the hilt of the sword points at, Link is eventually rewarded with the Light Arrows. After traveling to the next room, Link is confronted a final time and defeats him solely with the use of his new Light Arrows.
The first battle consists of a game of Dead Man's Volley. His energy balls can be deflected onto him with the Master Sword, and curiously, an empty bottle. After dealing enough damage, Phantom Ganon is destroyed, leaving behind the Treasure Chest containing the Skull Hammer. His path no longer being blocked, Link is able to explore the rest of the Forsaken Fortress.
In the second duel in the Illusionary Room, it is revealed that Phantom Ganon will regenerate every time after being bested. In this duel, Phantom Ganon's fighting style is very reminiscent of that of Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time. He also has the ability to replicate himself, surround Link, and swing five swords at him. The real one always appears behind Link. Though each one only takes one sword strike to defeat, Link must defeat Phantom Ganon many times before ultimately defeating him with the Light Arrow; the last Phantom Ganon cannot be defeated by any other means. Link then takes the beast's sword and uses it to smash open the door to the next room.
TheoryHylian Language is seen on his sword. If translated it says "Zubora and Gabora", the smithies from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. It is possible that Phantom Ganon was a beast from Termina, where he stole the sword from the smithies and fled to Hyrule. He could have been caught breaking Hyrulean law and was banished, in the same place that Ganondorf was imprisoned. Ganondorf could have then adopted the monster and named it "Phantom Ganon" after himself.