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Ganondorf (known as Ganon in his beast form) is the main antagonist of the The Legend of Zelda series, and archenemy of Link and Princess Zelda; although he has appeared since the beginning of the series in his beast form, it was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that properly introduced him as Ganondorf. Originally the King of the Gerudo, a race of desert brigands, he acquired the Triforce of Power in 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 "past" appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, while in the next three games he is based on his The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess design. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, however, uses his "future" design from Ocarina of Time.
Super Smash Bros. series
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. Like Link and Zelda, Ganondorf's appearance is based on his design from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, though he uses his "past" design instead of his "future" design. Ganondorf was not initially planned to appear in the game, but was later included since his body build was similar to that of Captain Falcon's. 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.
Ganondorf's moveset is mostly copied from Captain Falcon's, the only character in Super Smash Bros. Melee to share moves with a character from another series. Compared to Falcon, Ganondorf is slower, stronger, larger, and heavier, meaning he is less mobile and attacks more slowly, but makes up for that with his greater attacking power and weight, making him harder to KO horizontally (though Falcon's faster fall speed makes him harder to KO vertically), and his added size, while making him easier to hit, also gives his attacks greater range. His standard 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 also 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. Ganondorf's attacks also deal dark damage, as opposed to the fire of Captain Falcon's 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 is voiced by Takashi Nagasako, his voice actor in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, using voice clips taken from Ocarina of Time; Nagasako would later voice Donkey Kong in the Mario and Donkey Kong franchises.
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, which can be done by finding Link and Zelda during the stage "Subspace (Part II)"; using the former two methods, he must be defeated on Final Destination afterward to be unlocked. His appearance in this game is based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. He is also voiced by his voice actor from Twilight Princess, Hironori Miyata, though he uses voice clips from said game.
Ganondorf, along with Falco, is the only clone character 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 or completely changed to make him a more unique character. 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.
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, but the gunship is too powerful for them to destroy. Ganondorf attempts to destroy all the ships, but before he can do so, Kirby 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 version, 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. Despite the aesthetic changes, Ganondorf retains the general traits and moveset he has in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In terms of his equipment options, Ganondorf can utilize the Magic Stone, Cape, and Shin Guards equipment. Ganondorf's power is further increased, giving him a better damage output; his dashing speed is also increased, though his air speed is slower.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ganondorf has been confirmed to be an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In this game, his design is based off of his "future" design from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, albeit with white eyes instead of glowing yellow. He also uses the sword seen in his artwork and victory pose in Super Smash Bros. Melee in all of his smash attacks. Ganondorf's jump height and dashing speed are better, while some of his attacks are faster and stronger. Also, his Final Smash has been altered, with Ganon taking his appearance from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Warlock Punch is Ganondorf's standard special move. The move is similar to Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, with Ganondorf charging up dark energy and unleashing it as a punch. Compared to the Falcon Punch, the Warlock Punch is more powerful, dealing more damage and knockback, but takes longer to execute. Also, like the Falcon Punch, the move is more powerful when used in the air.
Starting with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ganondorf can turn around while charging the attack, which deals increased damage, but is also slower than the normal Warlock Punch. In addition, in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Ganondorf is given "super armor" while using the Warlock Punch, meaning that attacking him during execution will not interrupt the move, though the armor is only given when the move is used on the ground.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, this move receives two custom variants:
The first is Warlock Blade, in which Ganondorf pulls out a sword and stabs opponents, with the tip of the sword dealing the most damage; the move is faster to execute and has more horizontal range, but deals less damage and knockback overall, and has less vertical range. The tip of the blade can also break shields if it connects.
The second is Warlock Thrust, in which Ganondorf delivers an explosive punch that deals more damage the closer the opponent is to Ganondorf. The move is faster to execute than both the standard Warlock Punch and the Warlock Blade, but it deals a lot less damage and knockback, and lacks the super armor property that the standard Warlock Punch offers. Warlock Thrust is often considered to be one of the worst custom special moves in the game, as it doesn't offer any advantages, and is made redundant by Ganondorf's other attacks; almost all of Ganondorf's normal attacks can strike faster, "and" KO earlier than Warlock Thrust.
Gerudo Dragon is Ganondorf's side special move only appearing in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Similar to Captain Falcon's Raptor Boost, Ganondorf charges forward and deals an uppercut to any opponents in his path, dealing more power and knockback, though it is slower. The move is capable of deflecting projectiles, but does not have the Raptor Boost's meteor smash property when used in the air.
Flame Choke is Ganondorf's side special move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, replacing Gerudo Dragon from Super Smash Bros. Melee. Although it retains some properties from the Gerudo Dragon, and by extension Captain Falcon's Raptor Boost, the move instead has Ganondorf charging forward, grabbing any nearby opponents, choking them with dark energy, and slamming them to the ground. The aerial version of the move does leave Ganondorf helpless when it ends, however. Likewise, Ganondorf enters a helpless state if he falls off a ledge while using the move. The attack's knockback is set, regardless of damage, so it's not able to KO anyone by itself, but Ganondorf can potentially make suicide KOs while using it.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, this move has "super armor", meaning that Ganondorf cannot be interrupted when using it, but the armor he has mid-grab is removed in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. When used in the air, Ganondorf grabs the opponent, leaps up, and slams them to the ground; the player can also slightly alter the move's path while in the air.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, this move has two unlockable custom variations:
The first is Flame Wave, in which Ganondorf grabs any opponents in his path, and launches them into the air after grabbing them; the launched opponents can also damage others. The attack deals high damage and knockback, but its range is much shorter than that of the standard Flame Choke. If used in the air, the move operates in the same way as Flame Choke, with the exception of it dealing more damage, and having higher KO potential than the grounded version.
The second variant is Flame Chain, which no longer has the grab, but instead deals multiple hits as Ganondorf charges forward; it has a longer range, and can pass through shields, but it deals less hits when used in the air. The move also stops at ledges, which avoids putting Ganondorf at a helpless state.
Dark Dive is Ganondorf's up special move. When used, Ganondorf leaps up into the air, similar to Captain Falcon's Falcon Dive. If the move hits an opponent, he grabs them and deals multiple hits with electric damage, which can also damage other opponents, before knocking them away with an explosion, and like the Falcon Dive, the player can use the move again after an opponent is hit. Although the Dark Dive does not have as much jump height as the Falcon Dive, it is more powerful in that its knockback is stronger.
Starting with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the end of the move instead, has Ganondorf attacking with a punch that does not grab, but instead, deals darkness damage; the move can also now grab opponents on a ledge. Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros. Brawl also makes Dark Dive less powerful in that the knockback that it delivers to grabbed opponents is much weaker than in Super Smash Bros. Melee; this consequently, makes Dark Dive weaker than Falcon Dive.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, the Dark Dive has two unlockable custom variations:
The first of these is Dark Fists, in which instead of grabbing opponents, Ganondorf attacks with two punches, with the first punch knocking the opponent into the air at a set distance, and the second knocking them away in midair. The second punch also deals more damage and knockback than the standard Dark Dive, making it much more effective as an attack. The move does take longer to start up, and is not able to be used in rapid succession, but it gives Ganondorf super armor during execution.
The second custom variant is Dark Vault, which gives more jump height than the Dark Fists, but can only grab opponents at the beginning or end of the attack; the grab and explosion are also weaker, dealing much less damage, and the explosion deals less knockback as well. The move also offers less horizontal distance, and it lacks the uppercut that Ganondorf can perform with his standard Dark Dive.
Wizard's Foot is Ganondorf's down special move, and is similar to Captain Falcon's Falcon Kick. When used, Ganondorf slides across the ground, kicking any opponents in his path. Opponents who are damaged by the attack get sent flying forward at a sideways angle. Although the move is more powerful, Ganondorf slows down when it hits. When it is used in the air, Ganondorf kicks down diagonally, instead of straight forward. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the aerial move has a meteor smash effect throughout, though in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, this is limited only to the start of the move. In addition, Ganondorf creates a small shockwave when he lands, which can knock opponents into the air.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, the Wizard's Foot has two custom variants that can be unlocked:
The first is Wizard's Dropkick (Wizard's Drop Kick in the PAL version), which causes Ganondorf to leap into the air and perform the midair kick. This kick gives Ganondorf much more horizontal distance, especially when used in the air, but it deals less damage, and does not have a meteor effect. In addition, when used on the ground, it does not create a shockwave. Because the aerial version of Wizard's Dropkick offers better horizontal distance than the standard Wizard's Foot, it can be used to help Ganondorf's recovery.
The second custom variant is Wizard's Assault, which travels faster, and travels through foes. However, it takes longer to execute, deals less damage, and damaged opponents are sent flying behind Ganondorf, instead of forward. In addition, when used in the air, the kick sends Ganondorf straight down, making it ineffective for recovery purposes.
Beast Ganon is Ganondorf's Final Smash, based on his beast form from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Upon transforming, Beast Ganon roars and stomps the ground, stunning any nearby opponents, then charges across the stage, dealing massive damage and knockback. Opponents caught in the transformation itself are buried. This Final Smash can stun even airborne fighters, but fighters who are behind or are far away from Beast Ganon can avoid his attack. At the end of the Final Smash, Ganondorf returns to where he initiated the attack.
Demon King Ganon
Demon King Ganon is Ganondorf's new Final Smash for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he takes on his final form of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It functions the same as Beast Ganon, though instead of stomping on the ground, Ganon slashes opponents in front of him with his two giant swords.
Super Mario Maker
Ganondorf appears as an unlockable Costume Mario costume in Super Mario Maker. The costume is unlocked either randomly upon completion of 100 Mario Challenge on Easy difficulty or higher, or by scanning a Ganondorf amiibo.
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 the Trophy or description is exclusive to the 3DS version.
Names in other languages