Ganondorf (known as Ganon in his beast form) is the central antagonist of the The Legend of Zelda series, and archenemy of Link and Zelda. Originally a leader of the Gerudo, a race of desert brigands, he acquired the Triforce of Power in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Since then, he has become the king of darkness and used his powers to obtain domination over Hyrule through a variety of means, particularly by obtaining the other two pieces of the Triforce.
Primarily through the Super Smash Bros. series, Ganondorf has crossed over with the Super Mario series in Nintendo Land, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. In the former, he appears as a major boss. In the Super Smash Bros. series, Ganondorf is an unlockable playable character except for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, in which he is a default character. In Super Smash Bros. Melee his design is based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, while in later games he is based on his The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess design.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ganondorf appeared as an unlockable playable character, unlocked by either clearing Event Match 29: Triforce Gathering or by playing 600 Melee matches, and then defeating him in a one-on-one stock match; the player is forced to play as Link when facing him. Like Link and Zelda, in this title, Ganondorf's appearance is based on his design from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Like fellow secret characters Jigglypuff and Pichu, Ganondorf makes a cameo appearance in the title's introduction. His hand can be seen, along with Link's and Zelda's, one of the three Triforce pieces glowing on each of their hands.
His special and standard moves are similar to Captain Falcon's, making him a clone and the only one in Super Smash Bros. Melee to share moves with a character from another series. Compared to Falcon, Ganondorf is slower, stronger, and heavier, meaning he is less mobile, but makes up for that with immense strength and extra weight, making him harder to KO horizontally (though Falcon's significantly faster fall speed makes him harder to KO vertically). His neutral special move is the Warlock Punch, his side special is the Gerudo Dragon, his up special is the Dark Dive, and his down special is the Wizard's Foot. Ganondorf possesses the strongest meteor smash move (his down aerial attack), and his up strong attack, despite being slow in execution, is stronger than most smash attacks.
Though his official artwork portrays him with a sword, Ganondorf only uses the sword in a victory pose when he wins a match in one of the Melee modes. He was voiced by Takashi Nagasako, who would later voice Donkey Kong in the Super Mario and Donkey Kong series.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ganondorf again appears as an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He can be unlocked by clearing Classic Mode with Link or Zelda on hard difficulty, playing 200 Brawl matches, or having Ganondorf join the party in the Subspace Emissary. His appearance in this game is based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Ganondorf, along with Falco, is the only clone characters from Super Smash Bros. Melee to return as playable characters in this game. Ganondorf is still a hard-hitting character in this game, but he's much more sluggish in movement. Also, some of his attacks are weaker than they were in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In addition, some of his moves have been altered to make them more original. His side special move has been replaced with the Flame Choke, in which Ganondorf charges forward, grabs the opponent and chokes them, slamming them into the ground. His Final Smash, Beast Ganon, involves him transforming into his Ganon form from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and charging at enemies.
The Subspace Emissary
In the Subspace Emissary storyline, Ganondorf is the true commander of the Subspace Army, though Bowser believes he is. He is working for Master Hand to bring the world into Subspace, though he plots to betray him and seize his power. He gathers several other villains such as Wario, Ridley, and Porky. Bowser acts as his second in command, while Ganondorf works behind the scenes. Wario, however, chooses to act independently (until he was turned into a trophy and sucked into Subspace). When many of the heroes infiltrate The Subspace Bomb Factory on the Isle of Ancients, he reveals himself to them and commands the R.O.B.s to set off multiple Subspace Bombs. He even commands them to attack the Ancient Minister, who then reveals himself to be the leader of the R.O.B.s and assists the fighters. The island is absorbed into Subspace, shortly after the heroes escape. Ganondorf emerges from Subspace with Bowser on a massive Subspace Gunship and fires at the Battleship Halberd, destroying it.
However, soon after that explosion, some of the game's heroes emerge from the explosion riding in ships belonging to Captain Olimar, Samus, Captain Falcon, and Fox McCloud, all in their own ships. They all shoot at the Subspace Gunship; however, the gunship is too powerful for them to destroy. Ganondorf attempts to destroy all the ships; however, Kirby then arrives, riding on Dragoon. He flies straight through the gunship's cannon, causing it to explode. The rest of the heroes keep firing at the Subspace Gunship, causing it to burst into flames, several parts exploding as well. However, shortly before the gunship is completely destroyed, Bowser and Ganondorf retreat into subspace.
Afterward, the two travel to Master Hand. However, Ganondorf then betrays Bowser, using the only remaining Dark Cannon to reduce him to a trophy. Master Hand himself is seen to be controlled by Tabuu, the embodiment of Subspace. Ganondorf, surprised at this revelation, leaps to attack him, only to be turned into a trophy himself. When Bowser is revived by King Dedede, he furiously attacks Ganondorf's trophy in vengeance. Link and Zelda come across the trophy and revive him, forming a temporary alliance as all the characters prepare for the final battle against Tabuu. After every fighter is returned to normal, all of them, including Ganondorf, battle Tabuu, eventually defeating him. After Tabuu is destroyed, the world is returned from subspace.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Ganondorf returns as an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and as a default character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In the Nintendo 3DS versions, players can unlock him by completing Classic Mode with Link or Zelda on 5.0 intensity or higher or by playing 80 Smash matches, and they must defeat him in the subsequent match, taking place in Gerudo Valley, to unlock him.
Ganondorf's appearance remains the same as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and he reuses his voice set, although he has minor details added to his design, such as the large, glowing wound he receives in that game and the more torn cape. Additionally, Ganondorf's facial expressions are different.
Ganondorf remains a slow, but powerful character, and his moveset, aside from his options for alternate custom special moves, continues to closely resemble Captain Falcon's moveset. In terms of his equipment options, Ganondorf can utilize the Magic Stone, Cape, and Shin Guards equipment.
Profiles and statistics
Super Smash Bros. Melee Trophies
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The demon thief Ganondorf has returned! He’s the largest and bulkiest of all human-type characters.
His movement, his attack capability—everything feels weighted. Ganondorf’s attacks land with heavy thunks, which gives him a very unique feel.
Solid Snake codec conversation
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Red indicates exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS version.
Name in other languages