Just before the day one of Tears of the Kingdom, here is the obstacle to peace in the world of Zelda: we discover Ganon and the human form Ganondorf
The “road” to which the name of the project alludes, Road to Zelda: Tears of the Kingdomhas come to an end today, dedicating the last appointment before day one to the historic antagonist Ganondorfhuman form of Calamity Ganon. In reality, it is not quite that simple to get to grips with evil, given the complicated history of Hyrule and its division into three different branches. Among the many peoples of the saga, that of Gerudo is the birthplace of the villain who has stood between the princess after whom the series is named and the hero Link for eons. Contrary to the previous two installments of the column, however, we will avoid reviewing the entire timeline.
The reason is simple: in some chapters (read: not always), the scoundrel appears only with his swine-like form and shorter name. Other times we see his transformation. Still others… no, stay human. Or rather, humanoid: his malignant ambition far exceeds that of ordinary mortals. Suffice it to say that, in the Zeldian canon, the actual birth of the character takes place in Ocarina of Time (game to which Super Smash Bros. Ultimate owes its incarnation of the cruel thief). During the events of Four Swords and The Minish Cap it is not yet present… but can the same really be said of Skyward Sword?
Mortipher, genesis of absolute evil – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
We have already alluded to Mortipher over our previous dates, and for good reason: when Zelda was still “just” the mortal incarnation of the goddess Hylia (Skyward Sword), the first signs of the evil destined to relive in Ganondorf and Ganon were all present in the antagonist. This ancient evil has risen from beneath the earth, the same one that has filled the surface of Hyrule with his demons. He represents (va) the antithesis to the creation of the goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore, and in his hand the world would have been doomed to nothing but destruction. The goddess Hylia imprisoned him, only to be reborn as the mortal Zelda when the seal was broken.
Faihcompanion of the first Link destined to become the Master Sword, is a creation of the goddess, as well as its equivalent Ghiraim which dwells in the sword of Mortipher. The latter fails with the use of the Triforce, but on his deathbed he inflicts the curse on the heroes: the Cycle of Hate. Mortipher’s soul is locked away in the Master Sword, doomed to eternal agony. However, evil has found new reincarnations, such as Vaati, Mallard and others. However, Ganondorf is a special case: his thirst for power has increased the dose, allowing him to return whenever Link and Zelda do the same.
The king of the Gerudo people – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
Speaking of the ethnic groups of Hyrule, we focused on a detail of the people Gerudo. Due to the rarity with which males are born, it would be natural to assume that the desert gynoecium is a matriarchy. In reality, every hundred years the Y chromosome peeks out, destined for the newborn in question to automatically attain leadership. Because of this, Ganondorf has been indoctrinated into kingship since he was a child. With maturity, and with a nice push from the twin guardians You, Kotakethe patriarch’s ambition has grown to the point of wanting to expand the borders of the Gerudo Valley far beyond their desert.
Killing and robbing the weakest: this, combined with his mastery of black magic, earned him the title of King of Thieves. In the aftermath of the Hyrule Civil War, the monarchy brought all the peoples of the earth together under its rule in the name of peace. As head of the Gerudos, Ganondorf had to swear allegiance to the crown. And so he did, but only to aim undisturbed at the Triforce (Ocarina of Time). His chance has come by following Link to the Sacred Land, a separate realm where the all-powerful relic is kept. Becoming more toward power alone, only the related Triforce fragment passed to him, relegating the other two to Link and Zelda.
The Final Clash of the Unified Timeline – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (Part 6: Evil King Ganondorf and the Demon Ganon)
The seven years of sleep in which Link ended up drawing the Master Sword allowed Ganondorf to put Hyrule on fire. Where the prosperous Hyrule Castle once stood is now only the imposing (and gloomy) Ganon Castle. Within the stronghold, only the theme song associated with the character echoes: since Ocarina of Time retroactively established the title in which the antagonist makes his canonical debut, the developers decided to emphasize Ganondorf’s self-centeredness by making it him himself playing his leitmotif, on the organ. This is the same tune heard years earlier in A Link to the Past.
The clash between Link and his nemesis (above) ended with the defeat of the latter: the Supreme Sword, living up to its alternative name of “scourge of evil”, was able to respond to all magical attacks of the king of thieves. The resulting collapse of the fortress, however, was not enough: the rubble that should have buried Ganondorf gave way, allowing him to draw on all the power of the Triforce in a desperate attempt to win. Leaving behind his humanity or presumed such, the new creature has also set aside the various epithets with which the bosses presented themselves up to that point (below). Just just a word to describe it…
Timeline of the ruined world – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
Let’s briefly review the other “porcine” incarnations of the character in the timeline of the defeated hero. With the help of the sorcerer Agahnim and a narrowly foiled sacrifice of virgins (including Zelda’s descendant), Ganon plots his return from the Dark World (A Link to the Past). The essays tell of a time when she enjoyed a human aspect (the backstory was fleshed out years later with Ocarina of Time). After his defeat, the Duerova (another name for Koume and Kotake, used when they are united in a younger body) try to bring him back to life.
Unfortunately for Ganon, the ritual was only half successful (Oracle of Seasons e Oracle of Ages). Lacking a proper mind, he is consumed with rage (below). Years later another sorcerer, the androgynous Yuga, manages to summon him after having locked up the descendants of the Seven Sages in as many paintings (A Link Between Worlds). Curiously, it is Yuga who takes possession of Ganon’s body and not vice versa. The latest incarnation of this timeline is, in the real world, the first: commanding an army of demons, this Ganon scours a completely ransacked Hyrule in search of the Triforce of Wisdom (The Legend of Zelda, NES). By cheating
Timelines of the triumph of good – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
In the timeline where the hero wins and returns to his time, Ganondorf is exposed as a traitor and, therefore, is exiled to the Twilight Realm. Unfortunately for Hyrule, it is there that the king of thieves finds someone intent on worshiping him as a deity: the local ruler, i.e. Zant (Twilight Princess). Using this puppet king to his advantage, Ganondorf returns to Hyrule and, having obtained the Triforce, maneuvers Zelda like a puppet and then transforms back into the dark beast. Link fatally stabs him with the Master Sword, but only dies when a vision of Zant snaps his neck in front of him (below).
When Link’s descendant wields the Four Sword one last time, Vaati isn’t the only obstacle he must overcome to restore peace to the world (Four Swords Adventures). Ganondorf has broken a law of his own people by stealing a powerful Trident, with which he has managed to regain his fearsome swine form. Finally, as regards the timeline of the adult hero, after the universal flood Ganondorf awakens from the divine seal and searches for Zelda. This version of the character is unique in not using the Triforce of Power to transform into the beast Ganon (The Wind Waker).
Skills, weaknesses and ambitions – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
Demon King Ganon’s powers are truly fearsome. Equally, however, the ruler of darkness is particularly vulnerable to luce and to the arrows that use it (below; “light” is to be understood as an element, as described in the Kingdom Hearts glossary). Following the final showdown in Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf was exiled. Despite the multiple magical seals placed upon his extradimensional prison, his will has always been able to overcome both them and, due to Mortipher’s cyclical curse eons ago, death itself. All to go back to haunting Link and Zelda.
Its purpose is always the same: gain the power of the Triforce and, with it, conquer the world. Ganondorf lives this as a mission, although whoever benefits from it has changed over time. Naturally the king of the Gerudo people intended to create a better world for his subjects, but the transformation into Ganon has slowly replaced his followers with the various demons for which the saga is known. Conquer the world at their side, thanks to blind allegiance to his cause on their part. Overshadowed by darkness, the evil king can only dream of a world at his feet… or not?
The recalcitrant lone sea dog – Zelda: Road to Tears of the Kingdom (part 6: the evil king Ganondorf and the demon Ganon)
We haven’t talked much about The Wind Waker’s Ganondorf, but it’s certainly not because of his more understated appearance. Naturally his two long swords (which bear the names of Kotake and Koume on the blade, for the curious) and samurai clothing immediately catch the eye, but this version of the character is also the most melancholy. His last monologue, before Link pierced his forehead with the Supreme Sword turning him into a statue, suggests that it is not only power that interests him. The defeat freed him from his personal curse: the desire for the Triforce, which opens up more questions about the skeletons in the closet of the royal family of Hyrule.
“My country was in a vast desert. […] As the sun rose, a hot wind pounded my land, making it incandescent. And when the moon shone in the dark of night, a cold wind blew over our houses. Wherever it came from, the wind always brought the same thing: death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought more than just misery and ruin. I longed for that wind, I guess.”
The calamity with a rediscovered human face
And that brings us back to the world of the last two games. There’s little to say about Calamity Ganon: an almost insane sea of pure darkness, which Zelda has held her own for a hundred years (Breath…