Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Death Battle Analysis: Ganondorf

In case you were wondering

I made up the names for a few of Ganondorf’s techniques and weapons myself, so don’t be surprised if you see some terminology you don’t recognize.

I’ll be compositing all incarnations, alternate versions and reincarnations of Ganondorf into one character (similar to how Link was analyzed in his Death Battle). The sole exception will be Demise, who I feel is too different in terms of biology and weaponry to easily composite with most mainline versions of Ganondorf.

I’m not going to include any info about Agahnim, since the Zelda continuity is unclear about if that was a disguise for Ganondorf, him possessing somebody or him splitting his soul into two bodies.

There's actually three link to the past comic/manga adaptions. The most obscure is the one by Atura cavgiva is you're curious


Height: 7’6’’
Age:200 F#$billion years old

Born as the only male child of the Gerudo tribe, an all-female race situated in the dessert, Ganondorf had long coveted the land of the more prosperous neighboring kingdom of Hyrule during his childhood. After growing to be an adult and being given leadership over the Gerudo (due to a unique custom/prophecy stating that the one living male member of the tribe would automatically be instated tuler), he decided to use his newfound power to attempt to take over the kingdom of Hyrule by force, as well as seize an all-powerful wish granted meguffin known as the Triforce that was hidden within it. Luckily for Ganondorf his coup of the kingdom went off without a hitch, although he was only partially successful at obtaining the triforce, having only gained one section of the relic known as the triforce of power.
What happened after this event is well ….a bit complicated due to the clusterfuck that is the Zelda timeline. You see Zelda splits into 3 different timelines at the end of the ocarina of time (where Ganondorf origin story occurred) and Ganondorf’s ultimate fate is different in all 3. In the “Adult timeline” the hero of time Link defeated Ganondorf and had him sealed away for a few millennium by some powerful sages. In the “child timeline” Link went back in time and prevented Ganondorf from taking over Hyrule in the first place, after which he was sealed away for a few millennium by some powerful sages. In the “downfall timeline” Ganondorf defeated link…..and then was sealed away during a subsequent war with the remaining rebels of Hyrule and some powerful sages.

…..ok so his fates not that different between the timelines (the same thing kinda happens in each really).

Anyway regardless of timeline Ganondorf either escapes his prison, get resurrected somehow by his followers or reincarnated, allowing him to threaten the kingdom of Hyrule again and again over the span of thousands of years. He occasionally even takes on the form of a larger more demonic beast like form called Ganon during his appearances. His recurrence throughout history seems inevitable and with recent revelations in the last Zelda console game that he’s a reincarnation of an ancient demon king known as Demise, it possible that he may never truly banish from the Zelda world.

In terms of personality Ganodorf is cold, calculating and power hungry, often being willing to sacrifice or manipulate anybody to succeed in his goals. He also tends to be prone to sarcasm and dry humor in some appearances, though he can be more stoic in others. That all being said he does seem to have some hidden good sides as his desire to take over Hyrule is implied to have stemmed from a desire for his people to live somewhere less harsh and he’ll occasionally show mercy to his underlings or children if it doesn’t hinder his plans.


Sword of the sages
Ganondorf’s primary weapon is the sword of the sages (also sometimes referred to as the warlock blade) a light/holy magic infused longsword blade forged by the ancients’ sages of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the original intent of Killing Ganondorf. It was stolen from them by Ganondorf after a failed execution and remained under his possession to use against his foes as a form of irony. While clearly intended to be a two handed blade Ganondorf is strong enough to swing the sword with one. Due to its origins as a light/holy weapon it can be presumed to be extra effective against beings of evil origin or darkness elementality, although this does not mean it is ineffective against non-evil beings as Ganondorf wielded it effectively against Link during the final battle of Twilight Princess. Due to being wielded one handed by Ganondorf his other arm could conceivably be freed up for other separate attacks.

Great Swords/Swords of demise

Two dual broadswords that Ganondorf used as his most advance weapon in the game Hyrule Warriors. The swords themselves are GIAGANTIC and have a length around the same size as Ganondorth’s own body. They also have a darkness elemental attribute, which in Hyrule warriors gradually increases the amount of damage they deal during consecutive hits on an opponent. Due to their size, length and weight they hit with a tremendous amount of force, although said weight makes Ganondorth slightly less mobile when using them. Ganondorth also has a special attack he can use with them where he will concentrate a mass of dark energy at the tips of one of the blades and then smash the blade down on the ground to cause an explosion that can take out nearby enemies. He can also use the swords to create a multitude of hovering dark sword beams , which can then be propelled outward towards his opponents as a projectile attack.

Dual Katanas

A pair of dual katana blades Ganondorf used during his fight against Link at the end of the Wind Waker. They lack any kind of elemental attribute but their smaller size and weight allow for them to be swung easier and maneuvered quicker for blocking actions than the rest of Ganondorf’s blades. The shorter length also allows Ganondorf to maneuver them behind his back allowing him to block attacks from behind. Because of this these weapons are more ideal for defense than offense.

Dark trident

A magic trident that Ganodrorf stole from an ancient pyramid built by the desert dwelling Zuna tribe in Zelda: 4 Sword Adventures. The trident is said to be filled with the spirit of an ancient evil and grants its owner vast magical power, as well as the ability to send opponents to the dark world (an enemy infested dimensional limbo) with a lighting like blast of energy. Besides being swung as a melee weapon, it can be thrown around a battlefield like a boomerang and will leave behind a trail of blue fire over any area it travels. It can also send up to 5 giant green balls of magic energy towards an opponent as a projectile attack.

It should also be noted that Ganondorf has also occasionally used less powerful tridents in some games whose attacks could probably be applied to the dark trident. For example In oracle games he could summon 4 balls of magic energy, which could explode in a scatter mine like fashion to fling a multitude of smaller dark energy balls across the battle field.

Additionally Ganondorf normally fights with the dark trident (or often most tridents really) while in his beast Ganon form. though he was recently given a trident as a weapon in hyrule warriors legends, which had various electrical properties to it. His ganon form in that game also seems to be capable of conjuring one out of thin air.

Giant dual swords

Two giant dual swords that Ganondorth uses in his Ganon form in Ocarina Of Time. They allow for a more traditional fighting style as Ganon than the dark trident, but do not have any of its more beneficial abilities and skills.

Giant gauntlets

Two gauntlets that Ganondorf wears on his wrist in his Ganon form in Hyrule Warriors. One gauntlet allows him to charge a ball of fire energy in his hands that he can shot towards an opponent as a projectile attack. The second allows him to create a spear of blue magic energy that expands to make a small explosion when it impacts a solid object. Both gauntlets can be destroyed with enough physical force.

Hyrule warrior’s weapons

While not generally a standard part of Ganondorf’s arsenal, Ganondorf is capable of using (and in fact did use on several occasions) several of Link’s classic weapons in Hyrule Warriors. These weapons include bombs, arrows, boomerangs, a hammer and the hookshot. He can also gain access to powered up versions of these weapons in Hyrule Warriors on the field, thought they only remained in a powered up state for a short period of time.


Gerudo armor

The amount of armor Ganondorf wears varies from incarnation to incarnation, but most commonly he’ll be seen wearing a full body set of some kind of metallic armor, along with a pair of gauntlets and grieves. Given his heritage it is fairly likely that this armor was created for him by the Gerudo tribe.


Triforce of power

One of the 3 pieces of the triforce, a divine sacred relic which was left behind by the Zelda goddess Nayru, Din and Farore after their creation of the Zelda universe. On its own the triforce of power grants its user a myriad of mystical enhancements including increased physical strength, magical prowess, eternal life (as evident from Ganondorth long livability in most incarnations), and near invulnerability.

When combined with the other pieces(the triforce of courage and wisdom respectively) it can grant 1 high level reality warping wish.

Magic cape

Surprisingly the cape that Ganondorf wears on his back in some incarnations isn’t just for decoration.  It actually acts as an important defensive tool during his boss battle in Ocarina Of Time and can deflect magic blasts that Link has redirected back at him with the master sword. It can also block some projectile attacks like the various magic arrows Link is known to use in his games.


Hyrule warriors introduced a brand new customization feature to the Zelda series called “badges”, where a player could equip various magical upgrade items that improve a fighter’s offensive, defensive or supportive abilities.  Some notable effects of badges Ganondorf can equip include reduced damage from elemental attacks like fire, water, lightning, light and darkness. Reduced or prevention of knockback from attacks and increased attack power against guarding opponents.

Special abilities


Ganondorf has had the ability to levitate or fly in some of his appearances in the Zelda series, albeit not very quickly(like 1 digit to low double digit MPHs). Because of this the ability is more useful for getting a vantage point above opponents or for getting out of the range of ground laden opponents/attacks than evasion.

Light energy ball

Ganondorf can create a large golden ball of magic energy to send towards opponents as a projectile attack in Ocarina Of Time. He can also charge and enlarge this energy over his head for a few seconds and release it in the form of several smaller balls of magic energy that can home in on an opponent. In the Ocarina manga he could also channel this magic energy directly into his swords to harm opponents who touched or parried them with their own blades.

Dark energy ball

Ganondorf can create a larger giant ball of dark magic energy in Hyrule Warriors, which he lifts over his head and then slams down in front of himself to hit enemies as an attack. He can also elbow strike it to make it explode into smaller black balls of energy that spread out in a fan pattern to hit further away opponents.

Phantom rider summoning

Ganondorf can magically summon ghostly horse riders wielding spears to charge into and attack his opponents during his boss battle in Twilight Princess. They don’t stay on the field for more than a few seconds at a time but Ganondorf can summon up to 5 at once to cover a wide area. They can be destroyed prematurely with a physical strike.

Waves of Darkness

Ganodrorf is able to emit paralyzing waves of dark energy from his body that can immobilize and prevent minor enemies from approaching him in Ocarina(he uses it before his boss fight to immobilize and prevent Navi from getting close to him, which throws off the aiming mechanics in that game which are mainly connected to her).Stronger opponents such as Link seem to be immune to this ability however.

Focus spirit

A super mode that various characters can enter in Hyrule Warriors. The mode only lasts temporarily, but it results in a giant boost in speed, attack, and defense power. Ganondorf can also use a few special attacks not available in his normal move set while in this state and gains a dark aura while it’s active.

Dark impact

Ganondorf has his own character specific gimmick in Hyrule Warriors where attacking/defeating enemies fills a meter that powers a special attack called Dark impact. Basically during the attack Ganondorf will fly into the air, charge an abundant amount of dark magic energy in his hands and then rapidly crash back down to the ground making a small crater and a shockwave that damages nearby enemies.  He can use it at any point of a battle, but the strength of the attack is correlated to how full the meter is, potentially reaching to over a dozen feet on all sides of him at full strength. Ganondorf also uses a similar attack to this as one of his specials while in focus spirit mode.

Dark Skyward strike

In Hyrule Warriors Ganondorf appears to have taken some cues from Link and Demise in skyward sword and has learned to perform his own variant of the skyward strike as one of his special attack combos. During the attack Ganondorf will raise one of his swords skyward after which it will get struck by a bolt of lightning. Two parallel streams of lighting will then appear in front of his position, before he himself releases the electricity in his blade as a final electric steam down the middle.

Ganon shade

Ganondorf can summon a large astral projection of his beast self Ganon for some normal and focus spirit special attacks in Hyrule Warriors. These attacks typically involve a large shadowy Ganon punching and ripping apart large groups of enemies with his massive arms/claws. Ganondorf can also summon a shadow like version of Ganon’s arm over his own to perform powerful slashing attacks.


Ganondorf was briefly able to possess the body of Zelda and used it against Link when he first confronted him at Hyrule castle in Twilight Princess. Given Zelda’s body was in a comatose state at the time of possession it’s unclear if he could perform the same feat again with somebody conscious however. Regardless though people Ganondorf possess seem to gain a boost in physical and magical abilities, as Zelda displayed a lot of abilities when possess that she did not have in her default form. This included flight, enhanced physical strength and the ability to create a large explosive panels of energy shaped as triforce piece on the ground.

Crystal imprisonment

Ganondorf can imprison others in in large diamond like containers called crystals. In Ocarina specifically he does this to entrap and teleport Zelda to his lair when she reveals her identity as Sheik to Link.

Warlock punch

A powerful punching attack infuses with dark magic inspired by the iconic falcon punch used by captain falcon in the smash bros series. It has an incredibly high startup time, making it difficult to hit with, but is one of the most powerful singular attacks in the smash bros series. Not only is it capable of OH KOing many characters at low percentages, but it can also be difficult to make Ganondorf flinch when using the attack as well. Ganondorf can also quickly turn around while performing this move to enhance its power with backwards momentum. This move is known as the reverse warlock punch among fans.

As of smash 4 Ganondorf has gained two variants of the move called warlock blade and warlock thrust. Warlock blade is similar to the warlock punch, but is performed with Ganondorf’s sword of the sages instead of his fists, giving Ganondorf an added amount of range. Warlock thrust is a weaker version of warlock punch with a shortened start up time to improve hit rates.

Gerudo dragon/flame choke

A Horizontal dashing attack infused with dark energy. Originally in smash bros melee Ganondorf would perform an uppercutting attack at the end of the dash, but in more recent entries of the series Ganondorf grabs his opponent at the end of the dash, blasts them with a pulse of dark energy and then throws them down to the ground. When used in the air Ganondorf will grab his opponent and pile drive them into the ground from the air. This attack is difficult to break out of once started and can easily grab opponents who attempt to block it.

Ganondorf has two new variations of the attack as of smash 4, which are flame wave and flame chain. The flame wave attack works the same way as the flame choke, but causes opponents to bounce off the ground and into the air with tremendous force at the end of the attack. Flame chain simply punches and pushes an opponent several feet to the side horizontally without any grabbing actions.

Dark dive

An electricity infused attack were Ganondorf will dash upwards into the air to grab/hug a nearby opponent before electrifying them and sending them away with a powerful blast of energy.

Ganondorf has two variants of this move as of smash 4, which are dark fists and dark vault. During dark fist Ganondorf will charge upwards towards an opponent and hit them twice with two darkness infused uppercut attacks instead of latching onto them. Dark vault works exactly like the standard dark dive attack, but travels higher into the air and deals slightly less damage.

Wizard’s foot

A powerful dark magic infused kicking attack that sends Ganondorf several feet horizontally along the ground. If used in the air Ganondorf will do a powerful downward diagonal kick towards the ground. Enemies hit with the attack in the air will be spiked downwards.

As of smash 4 Ganondorf has two new variations of the attack, wizards dropkick and wizards assault. Wizards dropkick is similar to wizard’s foot but deals less damage, is angled down slightly narrower in the air and is typically initiated from a jump/hop. Wizard’s assault travels farther than Wizards foot and strikes nearly straight downwards when used in the air.

Misc Magical abilities

Over the course of the Zelda series Ganondorf has shown himself to be capable of casting various unexplained curses and magic spells.  For example many incarnations of him seem to be capable of either summoning or creating various monsters/demons to aide him in his wrongdoings. Many games also show him to be capable of breaking out of magical seals and prisons if given enough time.
He cast a Death Curse of sorts on the Deku tree, magically froze over the majority of the Zora’s domain, revived an ancient dragon named Volga and somehow tore down the foundation of his castle magically in Ocarina Of Time.

In the Wind Waker he somehow cast a curse that caused an eternal night to fall across the entire great sea, which persisted until Link himself lifted it. In Twilight Princess he showed he has the power to give some of his power to his underlings to amplify their innate magical abilities of, specifically Zant. He’s also constructed large magical barriers over the entirety of Hyrule castle in that game, as well as a smaller barriers to entrap Link in the final fighting area in that game.

He’s taken on the form of a large disembodied spirit head, broken himself into hundreds of tiny twilight particles to avoid attacks, and performed some minor telekinetic acts in Twilight Princess as well. Finally he had some limited transmutation powers in Twilight Princess, as his power is what turned Midna into an imp in that game.

Addionally some mangas like four swords show ganon has the ability to produce electric bolts of energy from his palm, convert weapons with dark power 

He can transfuse physical weapons with magic power in the ocarina manga, causing his enemies to get shocked if they parry him.

It's implied that various powers used by Zant in twilight princess were gifted to him though Ganondorf. Most majorly including the ability to curse Midna into her imp form(said curse was lifted only after ganondorf died for example).



A powerful demon form that Ganondorf has assumed in various games in the Zelda series. Its appearance has varied from game to game, but it most commonly looks like the bipedal giant boar humanoid pictured above.
Ganondorf often does not have the ability to assume this form at the outset of a Zelda storyline and typically gains the transformation after absorbing the power of some kinda powerful magical artifact (like the triforce or the dark trident). After gaining it however he can normally assume the form again at will, as well as transform back into his more human form if he desires (Though some games seem to portray a transformation into Ganon as a permanent alteration that can’t be undone).

Anyway due to his larger size in this form he gains a sizable boost in physical strength, endurance and stamina. He also gains a multitude of new abilities only usable in this form. For example he can teleport short distances, become invisible, shoot fireballs from his mouth or breathe fire in the flamethrower-ish manner in various games. He can create twili portals (which are um portals between two areas of space people can travel through in Twilight Princess) and shoot small bullet like projectiles out of tusks located on his shoulders in Hyrule Warriors. He can charge a sphere of dark energy in his hands and release it at his opponents as a projectile attack in the oracles games.

He can summon a ring of fireballs to surround himself in a Link To The Past, which he can then expand outward to hit nearby opponents. He can also turn those fireballs into large fire bats that he can send towards opponents in a straight or spiraling pattern as a projectile attack. Said bats also leave behind a trail of fire wherever they go limiting enemy movement.

Finally he can use a special attack called the secrete technique of darkness in a link to the past, where he will suck the light out of an enclosed space to limit enemy sight (Creating more sources of light artificially can counter this ability however). He's done this in the atura link to the past manga as well

Fighting style

Ganondorth’s fighting style has varied widely across the series, but in most incarnations he tends to focus more on power and savagery than speed and precision. This generally allows him to easily break through the guards of his opponents and put them down quickly when an opening presents itself. He’s also fairly heavy and somewhat of a slow runner often being weighed down by his armor and weapons. While this gives him the benefit of tanking the impacts of attacks better than most others it can also result in speedy opponents easily being able to outrun or keep their distance from him.

Finally in a surprising turn of events Ganondorf seems to follow some sort of code of honor when fighting, as he’ll often allow “worthy opponents” to get back up when knocked down during a duel rather than taking advantage of their defenselessness.


As known among Zelda fans despite being near immortal due to the triforce of power, Ganondorf can be stunned, hurt or defeated with high level holy/light based magic and weapons. This typically comes in the form of the master sword, silver/light arrows and Zelda’s light based magic within the series itself.
Besides that Individual incarnations of Ganondorf have also often had more specific weakness in either their human or Ganon form due to past injuries or biology. For example in Twilight Princess 

Ganondorth received a deep everlasting scar in his chest after his failed execution by the sages. This scar acted as a weak point for all his forms during his boss fights in that game. His Ganon forms in Twilight Princess and Hyrule warriors also have giant gems on their foreheads that stun him when shot or attacked. Finally his Ganon form in Ocarina could be stunned by hitting its tail.

Granted however given how most of these weaknesses are incarnation specific and how Death Battle tends to composite characters, it is very unlikely many of them would actually come into play in an actual fight.



A single punch in his human form in Ocarina was powerful enough to make entire sections of the floor he and Link were fighting on in his castle collapse.

He can easily beat down hundreds of monsters and opponents 20x his size in Hyrule Warriors.
Some of his attacks in Hyrule Warriors are powerful enough to leave small craters in the ground behind.

For what it’s worth he hits REALLY hard in smash. He can easily break through most guards and often KOs at low percentages.

In his Ganon form in twilight princess he could dash right through large stone pillars like they were made of cardboard.

Easily made a smalls crator with a single trident swip in his ganon form in the atura link to the past manga.


During a desperation attack from Midna in Twilight Princess she tapped into the full power of the fused shadow (an all-powerful magic McGuffin she and Link had reconstructed earlier) and attempted to one shot Ganondorf by using its power to transform into a monster. The attack COMPLETELY obliterated Hyrule castle (where the fight had been taking place), but Ganondorf tanked the blast without a scratch .

In the Wind Waker Link attempted to strike down Ganondorf with a master sword that had recently lost its ability to repel evil. Ganondorf was completely unfazed.

Ganondorf was also unfazed when the sky deity valoo(basically a giant dragon god) set one of his hideouts on fire with him still In it In the Wind Waker.

After getting brutally beat down by the master sword and some light arrows, Ganondorf has his entire castle collapsed on him in Ocarina. Despite this he managed to keep up the fight anyway by using the triforce of power to become Ganon.

He infamously survived being impaled with the sword of the sage’s blade during his failed execution in Twilight Princess, albeit with a very large scar left behind.

Survived a deep sword swing from the master sword in the link to the past comics. Albeit this paralyzed him allowing link to finish him off with a silver arrow.

Generally speaking no weapons are effective against Ganondorf/Ganon in the Zelda series except for the master sword, and light/silver arrows. 


Ganondorf can easily react to and dodge arrow fire from Zelda in the Wind Waker, even when she tries to hit him from behind. He can also quickly and easily react to and parry/block most of Link’s sword blows in those games as well. This is worth mention since Death Battle itself ranked Links reactions time to be quite fast due to the nature of the Z-targeting system in the Zelda games.

As mentioned before he can fly at least to the low double digit mph speeds. He’s also shown the ability to jump at least 2-3 stories in the air during some boss fights as well.

He can construct various barriers and could presumably limit the movement of opponents with them.
Teleportation naturally makes him very mobile while in his Ganon form.


Ganondorf’s tribe the Gerudo is shown to be well versed in archery, swordplay and thievery in the Ocarina. Because of this it can likely be presumed that Ganondorf himself was probably formally trained and skilled in these abilities as well since he was the tribes leader.

Ganondorf is often the longest lived Zelda character. Almost all his incarnations across the 3 main Zelda timeline are future versions of his original self in the Ocarina, with each having lived hundreds or thousands of years on their own.

Ganondorf tends to be among the more intelligent Nintendo villains, and often manipulates Link/Zelda or others to do his bidding before making a move himself. Some examples include tricking Link into opening the pathway to the triforce in Ocarina, manipulating Zant into attacking Hyrule in Twilight Princess, forcibly reuniting his piece of the triforce with Links/Zelda’s in Wind Waker and manipulating Cia into attacking Hyrule so he could take over when they were weakened in Hyrule Warriors.
Technically speaking Ganondorf has successfully taken over Hyrule and defeated Link/Zelda through sheer physical force on a few occasions. In the downfall timeline of Zelda he actually won his fight against Link in Ocarina, which lead on to the imprisoning war described in a link to the past. He also took over Hyrule unopposed in the adult timeline and was only stopped when the gods of Hyrule themselves intervened and sealed the entire country beneath an ocean. He also takes over Hyrule castle in Hyrule warriors by more or less rushing in with his army and beating the crap out of all that nations greatest heroes(Link, Zelda, Impa, Lana) personally.

Given that he’s the reincarnation of an ancient world destroying demon he naturally has an affinity for dark magic and sorcery.


  • Nearly immortal. 
  • Fairly smart for a Nintendo villain
  • Fairly good swordmanship skills and can fight both offensively or defensively if needed.
  • Can protect against and deflect magic or projectiles with his cape.
  • Ironically has the perfect weapon to use for taking down evil opponents or those weak to holy magic.
  • Flight and teleportation allow for speedy battlefield travel.
  • Has multiple ways to imprison opponents or control their movement across a battlefield.
  • Fairly strong physically and has plenty of projectile attacks at his disposal to give him range.
  • Weaker enemies can’t even approach him due to his waves of darkness ability.
  • Despite looking nothing specifically states Ganondorf is truly immortal due to the triforce, so he could presumably be struck down with enough physical force.
  • Lacks speed and can be easily outmaneuvered because of it.

Potential opponents


So for those of you who follow the ODBFB, we’ve actually done a prediction blog for this match once before (in fact it was actually the first time I worked with the team WAAAY back before I became an actual official member). While in hindsight I think I may agree with Lousy that Dracula would probably win (especially now with some of the upgrades he’s gotten to his abilities in recent games) I still think the two characters have enough duality that a fight between the two would be pretty interesting (This duality being that they’re evil overlords reborn over and over again over millennia).

This one is a bit more of a stretch but hey Link and Cloud had a rivalry that was settled in Death Battle. Why not see what each hero’s respective villain can do when pitted against each other?

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