Zelda Ganon Fights Ranked: An Ancient Evil Defeated Again and Again - VRGyani News and Media

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Zelda Ganon Fights Ranked: An Ancient Evil Defeated Again and Again

While The Legend of Zelda features many fantastic recurring enemies, no villain is so iconic as Ganondorf, the Gerudo thief who uses the Triforce of Power to become a pig-like hulk named Ganon. The Legend of Zelda franchise already has 18 titles in the main series, and Ganon (or Ganondorf) is the final boss of 10 different games, reigning supreme as Link’s biggest menace. So, since we’ve already ranked the best boss on The Legend of Zelda, why not go back in time and explore every Ganon battle featured in the franchise?

Before jumping into the list, we need to set some ground rules. First, we consider both Ganon and Ganondorf fights on this ranking; even if the pig form is not always present in these duels, the human form is just another side of the same coin. Also, we are not counting Phantom Ganon battles, only the real thing. Without further ado, let’s save Princess Zelda from the clutches of an evil pig!

RELATED:‌ How 'Ocarina of Time' Defined 'The Legend of Zelda' Franchise for Two Decades

9. Breath of the Wild

While Calamity Ganon is a more complex battle than half the entries on this list, the final boss of Breath of the Wild is utterly disappointing. There’s a lot Breath of the Wild gets right in terms of exploration, but temples and boss battles are usually too simple to challenge fans and all too similar to be remembered. Unfortunately, the same can be said of Calamity Ganon, another giant blob of dark energy that fights just like every other Ganon Blight the player already fought and defeated. The second phase of the duel is also a cinematic mess, more concerned with presentation than gameplay. That’s because, while the idea of fighting a giant Ganon might be great on paper, in practice is just not fun to ride around the boss while no real fight is taking place. For those reasons, Calamity Ganon represents an unsatisfactory ending to a fantastic game.

8. The Legend of Zelda

The very first Ganon fight is limited by the technology of its time. The final boss of the first The Legend of Zelda can be a vicious enemy, but the game moves so fast that you take down Ganon in just a couple of seconds—or he’ll take you down. There’s just not enough time to savor the battle. Even so, this was Nintendo’s first experiment with a huge adventure game that was almost open-world. And that’s on the NES, in 1986! It was also a bold choice to give Ganon the power of invisibility, as the player is forced to use the boss attacks to learn his position. This Ganon battle didn’t age well, but its many good ideas would become staples of the franchise.

A Link to the Past’s Ganon battle is a direct evolution from The Legend of Zelda’s final boss, improving on it in every possible aspect. With two separated phases, this Ganon battle becomes a considerable challenge. Also, once Ganon gains the ability to become invisible, the player needs to light up torches in the room to make the monster vulnerable. While including a puzzle element is very welcomed, this battle forces the player to manage the Magic Bar carefully. Should Ganon defeat Link, it might be boring to the player to go out in the world and refill your resources before trying the battle again; an environmental tool to defeat Ganon even without magic would be a massive improvement to this fight.

6. Oracle of Ages / Oracle of Seasons

Both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons have their own story, with their big baddie begging to be taken down. However, once the player finishes any of the two games, they receive a password that allows them to start a Linked Game in the opposite title—completing Oracle of Seasons gives you the code to Oracle of Ages and vice versa. The Linked Game reveals the true story, in which each big baddie was actually sent by Twinrova, two witches determined to resurrect Ganon. The final boss of the Linked Game is Ganon himself, in all his invisible and teleporting glory. While the fight doesn’t add much to what was already established in A Link to the Past, reaching Ganon as a secret boss is a super exciting discovery.

5. Four Swords Adventures

What can be even more fun than fighting an immortal pig monster? Well, doing it with friends, of course! Four Sword Adventures is an underrated entry on the franchise that the fans often forget, but it would be great to get a Switch remake sooner than later. While it’s possible to play Four Sword Adventures alone—switching control from a single Link to four simultaneous heroes with the press of a button—the game shines the most when four players join forces to take down some of the franchises’ best recurring bosses. The Ganon fight on Four Sword Adventures is also a simple evolution of A Link to the Past’s one, but it’s exciting to face such an epic foe with sisters and brothers in arms, making this Ganon fight the most exciting of the classic 2D The Legend of Zelda games.

RELATED:‌ By Making a Mature ‘Zelda’ Game, ‘Twilight Princess’ Sucked the Fun Out of the Franchise

The most exciting tool in A Link Between Worlds is the bracelet that allows Link to merge with walls, exploring 2D corners of Lorule. First, the art direction of A Link Between Worlds portrays this transformation by giving Link awkward animations, making the player feel like he’s indeed controlling a painting. Second, gameplay-wise, the wall-merging gives the player perfect dodge and hide tools, mechanics that are brilliantly used to update A Link to the Past’s bosses. It’s no surprise, then, that Yuga Ganon also demands the player to use wall-merging to win the battle. Even so, the result is exhilarating, especially when Link makes an arrow fly through the walls of a circular room to hit Yuga Ganon in the back. It’s beautiful, unique, and one of the most creative Ganon battles ever.

3. Twilight Princess

The closer we get to the top of this list, the harder it becomes to do justice to each Ganon battle. Any order of this list’s top three Ganon battles could be easily justified: They are all complex and challenging multi-phased combats against a skilled adversary. Unfortunately, the only way to make any kind of ranking is to nitpick a lot. So, let’s nitpick!

While the final phase of Twilight Princess’ Ganon Battle might be the ultimate sword fighting against Ganondorf, not every battle phase is so great. For instance, when the boss turns into Ganon, the player needs to stand their ground, grab the creature’s horns, and throw the pig monster on the floor. The issue is that this movement is present for only a short moment on the first hour of the game. It doesn’t feel rewarding to defeat a boss like this since this fight phase ignores everything the player learned during the entire adventure. The horseback section is also a little bit stiff, and while the game did a fantastic job with horseback combat for the time, the mechanic didn’t age too well.

2. Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time is another solid contender for the perfect Ganon battle from the entire The Legend of Zelda franchise. The duel against Ganondorf at the top of the castle tests everything the player learned from Phantom Ganon’s fight while amping up the difficulty. The organ-heavy soundtrack is also another key element to making this battle memorable. Once the castle is destroyed, Ganondorf transforms into Ganon, and Link must fight his immortal enemy in the middle of ruins while lightning bolts scar the dark skies.

Everything about these two phases of the battle is perfect. Unfortunately, Link must escape Hyrule Castle with Zelda between the two phases of the fight, which is not exactly fun. There’s a clock pishing you forward, and while you have more than enough time to escape the castle, it can be frustrating not being able to run faster, as Zelda is not capable of matching Link’s speed.

1. The Wind Waker

The first phase of The Wind Waker’s final boss pitches Link against Puppet Ganon, a mass of dark energy that can transform into different monsters. Instead of fighting a man who becomes a beast, in The Wind Waker, the player takes the opposite path by first slaying a giant creature before challenging the Gerudo swordfighter. And what a final challenge it is!

Ganondorf’s battle at the end of Wind Waker is cinematic as no other. The final confrontation between the villain, Link, and Zelda happens at the top of a submerged Hyrule Castle, while the waters of the sea rain down around the arena, promising to engulf everything they touch. To make this fight even more unique, Zelda is also an active part of this fight, shooting lightning arrows against Ganondorf while Link tries to take the villain down with the Master Sword. It’s challenging, epic, and should forever be remembered as the best Ganondorf duel in The Legend of Zelda franchise.

KEEP‌ ‌READING:‌ Everything You Love About 'Breath of the Wild' First Arrived in 'Skyward Sword'



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