Zelda 30th Anniversary | Top 5 Ganon Battles

By Az Elias 27.02.2016 2

The main antagonist of the series and holder of the Triforce of Power, Ganon has come to know many different designs and forms throughout the history of The Legend of Zelda. Appearing as a boar-like beast in the original NES title, he was given a more human identity as one of the Gerudo in Ocarina of Time, named Ganondorf, and has appeared this way in a number of later entries, often transforming into his huge demonic Ganon shape in the latter stages of the games. As a number of other variations of the King of Thieves have come to exist, each posing Link very different challenges in battle, Ganon always presents memorable, exciting and anxious fights that often are the difference between peace and chaos reigning supreme in the land. We pick the best battles that Ganon has given us over the years.

Ganon - Twilight Princess

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If Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker let loose memorable Ganondorf moments, Twilight Princess followed with an equally impressive Ganon set-piece. Again, Link needs to climb the tower, brave the traps and draw in the courage to take on the power-bent overlord. This time round, it's divided up into a triple threat; the first being a shocking battle against Puppet Zelda, where Ganondorf decides he doesn't want to get his hands dirty and possesses the princess for his own naughty intentions.

After rescuing Zelda, Ganondorf jumps into the fray in his boar form, and it's beast versus beast, as Wolf Link shows strength by being able to push back the menacing monster. In what looks like a total mismatch, Wolf Link's agility combined with Midna's might is able to put up a more than equal fight against Ganon, as the evil creature warps in and out of the arena, charging at speed each time it reappears. Through sheer force of will and enough wolfy attacks to the underbelly of the beast, the duo is able to overpower Ganon.

Following the battle, Midna takes lead action, holding back Ganon so that both Link and Zelda can make it to safety. When it looks like peace has finally returned to Hyrule, Ganondorf proves that he's the master of survival once again and retreats to his more human-like form, battling Link on horseback and in a final one-on-one fight to the death. It's a lengthy battle to end all battles, and both the beast and horseback portions are certainly memorable Zelda moments.
- Jorge

Phantom Ganon - Ocarina of Time

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Ganondorf may be an evil, power-driven villain, but, at times, he is just a little too lazy to do the job himself. Instead, his army of loyal monsters and boss creatures wander about and try to stop Link from saving the day. One of the most intriguing of Ganondorf's employees has to be his mysterious puppet; a doppelganger that serves as the boss of the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time. After having explored the themes of paintings and trying to outsmart the temple's eerie ghostly guardians, it climaxes with a battle against a tough horse-mounted warrior.

In the boss room are six identical paintings along the walls, each depicting a spooky road that leads up to the castle. Not quite the ideal art exhibition, but it was free to enter. Phantom Ganon decides to be a tricky bugger by hiding inside two of the paintings at the same time, but only one is real. It's down to Link to spot the fake and pummel the trickster with an arrow. It all culminates in a tennis match, where the ball is an evil dollop of energy.
- Jorge

Ganon - A Link to the Past

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Following the defeat of his alter ego, Agahnim, at Ganon's Tower, Ganon rises from the body of the Dark Wizard, and flees to the Pyramid of Power at the centre of the Dark World in bat form (a shape that's not since been seen in the series). Smashing through the Pyramid from above, Link must brace himself for his toughest foe in the game. In a small square room with nowhere to hide, it is an out and out battle to the death for the young hero and the true boar-like form of Ganon.

It is this battle that introduces Ganon's iconic weapon, the trident, which has seen many an appearance since A Link to the Past. Spinning and throwing it around, and summoning fiery bats that swirl to protect the beast and swoop towards Link, the hero needs to stay on the move in order to find an opportunity to strike with his sword. Ganon uses every trick in the book, and will teleport and pound the ground to break the outer tiles on the floor; if Link falls below, the battle must be restarted. The foe will also turn out the torches in the room to render himself invisible, so magic power needs to be maintained to relight them and lay slashes when he appears. As in the first battle with the great King of Evil in The Legend of Zelda, Silver Arrows must be used in order to lay Ganon to rest. After four accurate hits, Link's long journey is over and he is able to lay his hands on the Triforce, bringing peace to Hyrule once more.
- Az

Ganondorf - The Wind Waker

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After a surprisingly philosophical conversation in which an almost regretful Ganondorf takes a rare opportunity to wax poetic, he summons the Triforce atop Hyrule Castle at the bottom of the sea, hoping to make Hyrule his. The King of Hyrule beats him to his wish, and asks only for hope for Link and Zelda, and the ocean begins to pour through the barrier protecting the kingdom. Enraged, Ganondorf draws his dual blades and attacks.

For the first time in series history, the titular Princess Zelda helps Link fight Ganondorf. As he attacks with his swords, Zelda will fire Light Arrows to stun him, letting Link get in close for the attack. This is not the Link vs. Ganondorf battle so many wanted after the infamous Space World 2000 video, but it is a gorgeous fight in its own right; the water pouring in and collecting at their feet, Ganondorf's cape and tassels blowing in the wind, the rays of light from Zelda's arrows, the fluid movements of the characters involved. Ganondorf catches on to our heroes' scheme, but Zelda evolves a new strategy, and Link's trust in her is put to the test as she fires her arrows directly at him to be reflected by his shield at their ancient foe, letting Link deal the final blow and putting Ganondorf in his place once and for all.
- David

Ganon - Ocarina of Time

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It all started when a young hero glanced through an open window in Hyrule Castle. Through the dust-stained glass he saw the flame-haired leader of a band of trained assassins, Ganondorf, pretend to pledge alliance to the land. The two exchange glances and the tale of good versus evil unfolds, spanning time itself. As a youngster, Link showed his bravery as he attempted to deflect Ganondorf from capturing the princess, but ends up being brought down by a single harmless energy ball.

Flash forward to the climactic battle at the end of Ocarina of Time and Link is a completely different warrior - trained, stronger and with courage on his side. It does take a fair bit of effort to even reach that point, including a challenging ascent of Ganondorf's trap-filled castle. Link interrupts his organ practice, and with the Princess tucked away, it's down to an intense battle of sword versus magic. Ganondorf sends energy balls towards Link, and with pinpoint accuracy, our hero sends these hurtling back. After a few tense exchanges and jabs with the Master Sword, the King of Thieves spews blood and decides to destroy the castle in his wake. A marching escape follows, as Link and Zelda scuttle out, past tricky skeleton and zombie battles, but Ganondorf isn't quite done yet…

As Link slowly approaches the rubble of the castle, a wounded and crazed Ganondorf bursts from the ground and morphs into the demonic Ganon, with two rather big blades in hand. Waving them around in a fit of rage, the precious Master Sword is knocked from Link's hand, landing outside of the enclosed area Ganon creates with fire. A thunderstorm erupts in the dark sky, and the stage is set for one of the most nerve-racking, but monumental, battles in Zelda history. The epic soundtrack is the epitome of a battle to end all battles - one that decides the fate of all of Hyrule, the people in it, and the Hero of Time.

Link needs to harness as much speed as possible to bring down the power-hungry beast, and with the sacred blade gone from his hand, he must rely on other weapons for the first part of the battle, stunning him with Light Arrows or rolling through his legs and smacking his tail with the Megaton Hammer or Biggoron Sword. After wearing Ganon down, Link takes his to grab the Master Sword while the barriers are down, and returns to finish the job. With Ganon now moving faster, Link has a more difficult final phase of the fight, but is able to put the beast to the sword at last. Princess Zelda summons the other six sages and together they seal Ganondorf away… for a while. It's a tricky, intense and adrenaline-filled battle that culminates in a sweet payoff, as good overcomes evil.
- Jorge

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Comments

I think OoT Ganon and WW Ganondorf will always be what I consider "the best," whilst LttP Ganon obviously holds a lot of memories as being solid as hell. OoT Ganon really had that truly epic final battle feel to it. WW did too, but OoT stands out more for me.

I remember struggling with TP Ganon and TP Ganondorf horseback. TP Ganon I didn't realise for ages that you had to let him charge at you and then use A to block him and flip him over. I was constantly running around, trying to figure out how to hurt him. Then the horseback fight I had bad memories of. Found it really hard to get hits on him, and kept getting knocked down by those phantoms he summoned. Bad experience damaged TP's final battles for me.

( Edited 13.07.2017 18:22 by Guest )

I always thought Ocarina of Time was the best Ganon/Ganondorf fight. I really liked how it was setup, with the falling castle and then being able fighting both forms of Ganon. The music was awesome, too. It was also my first experience of sword tennis and it's such a fun way to fight him. I'm glad they kept that in other Zelda's.

Wind Waker would be my other favourite. Puppet Ganon's were very cool and the final battle is one of my most memorable final bosses in any Zelda.

( Edited 13.07.2017 18:22 by Guest )

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