There are many different villains in the Zelda series; they’re crazy, sane, insane, and emotional; they can do just about anything. They’re different and alike, and they all seem to have one goal: getting in Link’s way. Yep, that’s just about it with their goal; destroy Hyrule/Termina or just plain capture Zelda—it always impedes Link’s mission. Let’s get into a little detail on what exactly these villains are all about, though.
Ganondorf: He is by far the most known villain in the series, and probably the most overused in fans’ eyes. Getting past how much he’s been used, however, let’s get into detail about what this pig-demon is all about.
Depicted as the embodiment of evil, could Ganon be more than this? He shows a great deal of emotion and hatred towards the Hylian people and what they did to his own in the past during the WW. He even goes into detail about how hard their life was and that he just wanted to make it better, even if that meant acquiring the Triforce. We can assume this meant Ganon had at least a semblance of good in his character, even if that was eventually corrupted in his mission during OoT.
He killed the Deku Tree, froze the Zora’s, and almost destroyed the Goron race. He did these things for one reason, though: helping his people… provided that anything he said in WW can be believed, that is. Where though did it go wrong?
Ganon was raised by Koume and Kotake—known as Twinrova, when together—so we can assume they played a part in his sudden change of heart during OoT. He seemed to have completely abandoned his goal for saving his people (this is inferring on what we know from WW, by the way) and went for full on revenge—completely destroying the Hyrule Kingdom and attempting to take the Triforce for a second time. Of course he fails, but this sudden change of heart is surprising, since he shows quite a bit of humanity in the ending of WW.
Of course we’ll never know what his true intentions were, but it’s nice to know he did have a bit of good in him in the beginning. I think his true intentions were actually to save his people; the good in him combined with the hardships he faced caused him to act. This made him act out and try to conquer Hyrule to benefit his people; his methods weren’t right in the Hylians’ eyes, though, and they didn’t support him. Then after he breaks free from the seal of the Sages, he is enraged at this and actually tries to destroy Hyrule since he can’t help his people besides avenging them. Until at long last he’s killed. This is most likely false, or even fanfiction, but it’s cool to think that Ganondorf was an actual person with feelings other than some evil incarnate like he is often portrayed.
Ganon is also bashed for his sudden appearance as the one controlling everything that happened in TP—a game widely scrutinized by Zelda fans—and they accused Nintendo of ruining one of the best villains the series may have seen. What exactly was going through Ganon’s head during this time, though? I feel that many people tend to ignore the evil behind his actions, and just look upon the fact that Zant was no more.
Well, let us look then. Ganon was imprisoned near the end of OoT for some “outrageous action.” We will never know what action took place here, but Ganon was scheduled for execution. During the execution however, he broke free and killed a Sage before being banished to the Twilight Realm. Once he was banished he set the events in motion that would cause TP to transpire. He had the ability to think ahead and almost caused Hyrule to be swallowed up. He did almost nothing during this time, either; instead he used Zant the entire course of the game. Zant was oblivious to this and thought that Ganon was a caring master, but he was wrong.
Looking at the outrageous act, though… what exactly was it? Was it something concerned with his attack on Hyrule or what he did to the other people in Hyrule? I, honestly, have no clue. Since they did capture him, though, I assume it’ll have something to do with the opening of the Sacred Realm. Think about it; without Link, Ganondorf would have no way of obtaining all three Sacred Stones… which means no Sacred Realm or Triforce. With no other options, Ganondorf would either be forced to open the Door of Time by force or to attack Hyrule, one. Each of those possibilities is outrageous, yet without the Triforce, Ganondorf would fail, ultimately leading to his capture. So could the act just be some weird thing he did to the Zoras, Deku, or Gorons? Could it be opening the Door of Time by force? Possibly even an attempt to kill the King of Hyrule after they’d been informed of what he does in the future?
Either way, Ganondorf is a cruel, evil being in the Zelda series; always attempting to destroy Hyrule and always coming very close to doing so; he caused it to sink; he almost made it part of the Dark Realm; he turned it into a wasteland- all these things go unnoticed, and people tend to think he’s a pushover because the game developers didn’t make him overly difficult.
Despite this evil side however, he shows a more human side to him near the ending of WW, and he even goes into detail about his people’s plight and why he needed to help them. Even though he was corrupt, deep down inside he still felt some sense of sadness for his people; unfortunately though his anger was much greater than the sadness he held deep in his heart.
Zant: A lot of people accuse Zant with being a puppet after being showed to actually be a puppet. Despite this, Zant had some evil deeds of his own. After all, he turned the Twili in monsters; destroyed the light spirits, plunging Hyrule into darkness (or Twilight); cursed Midna and Link; and even went so far as to shatter the Mirror of Twilight. He did have some evil in him, despite what many may think; Ganondorf merely manipulated to bring out the much more evil side over his otherwise passive and helpless nature.
Zant was a peaceful being, but he was tormented; he wasn’t able to become king of the Twili. He wasn’t able to get the acknowledgement he felt he deserved, so he went for help. Ganon, who I assume had just been banished, appeared in his time of need, offering Zant the kind of help he needed and wanted. Ganon granted him power, but turned Zant into a puppet despite this. Zant felt he was superior to everyone now, and went out to take the Hyrule kingdom with his newfound abilities.
It worked, too, until Link stepped in. Zant was sure he could beat Link with his abilities, sure that no one stood a chance against him. He might have actually been able to win if he would have faced off against Link in the first place, but he forced his master Ganondorf to step in. Once he did Link was cut off from Hyrule Castle and forced to go after Zant in an attempt to get into Hyrule Castle and beat him.
Zant fought Link—and he fought hard—but lost, eventually turning into the madman we knew he was and being destroyed by the girl he cursed. Zant was power-hungry though passive, yet when the opportunity presented itself, he was corrupted by his lust for power. He was eventually turned into the being he was by Ganondorf and became mad: not mad in an angry sense but mad in the insane sense. He took over Hyrule and failed, displeasing his master. He lost his protection and was killed for it. His true intentions? I think they were to gain power… nothing else. Zant felt weak, didn’t have control over the people he felt he deserved to own, and had virtually nothing to distinguish him. Thus, he thought the thing that he felt could make everything better- power.
We may never know his true intentions; what we do know is that he was indeed a puppet, a very powerful puppet.
Agahnim: Truly a strange villain: I’m not even sure he’s completely evil. He’s similar to Zant in the way he was a puppet, but the way he actually did things is much stranger. During a dark time in Hyrule when strange events are happening, Agahnim (his state of mind unknown) stops them, and as such he becomes the king’s royal advisor. During his time as advisor however, Agahnim was possessed by Ganon and pretty much forced to do his bidding, though it is unknown whether or not this was Agahnim’s goal all along. Possessed by Ganon, Agahnim betrays the King of Hyrule and takes over Hyrule’s military, killing the king and imprisoning Princess Zelda. He even felt it would be nice to send away the Pendants of Virtue so that Link wouldn’t be able to spoil his plans. (He still did, of course) Agahnim, none the wiser of Link secretly entering Hyrule Castle, continued his routine of… whatever it is he did before Link got there.
Once Zelda was rescued and hidden away, Agahnim became enraged. He said that Link had kidnapped Princess Zelda before going to the Dark World and, in consequence, set all of Hyrule after him. He figured this would be enough to dispose of Link. However, Link eventually thwarted his plans and killed him, afterwards chasing Ganon who’d fled from Agahnim’s body by that point.
Why did Agahnim turn on the king and become possessed, though? He didn’t show any signs of evil, so what would be the point of doing so? I think that Ganon forced it upon him; why would an already powerful sorcerer give up his power? So, unable to do anything to turn Agahnim to Ganon’s side, Ganon simply possessed him. We don’t exactly know much on this man’s backstory or personality because he wasn’t in control during the course of the game; it was Ganon using him (much like he used Zant). We can’t exactly infer anything on this man’s actions except for the assumption that he was influenced.
Where did he get his powers? I think he got them naturally; if Agahnim was raised in a family of wizards, it could explain his skill in the art of magic. Where did his family go if this were the cause, though? I… have no idea; this is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever thought of. Why did he do what he did? I think he did what he did because of the influence Ganon had on him; Agahnim had no willpower at all as Ganon’s servant. Who was causing the strange events? I think it was originally Ganon (as Agahnim) causing the events; it’s possible that Ganon possessed him before the events of the game took place. Using his sorcery, Ganon caused everything that led up to Hyrule’s (near) demise. These are only my thoughts, though; everything I said could be completely different from what the truth is… will we ever really know, though? It all ties into this question: What’s Agahnim actually like? This question is probably the most important of all as it holds the answer to everything he’s ever done. Unfortunately, we won’t know the answers to these questions any time soon. We just know that he accomplished some pretty evil things under Ganon.
Dark Link: We can assume he’s as courageous and good-hearted as Link, just because he’s his shadow, no? Well, that would be the exact opposite of what this being is since he impeded Link in both AoL and OoT; in fact, he’s one of the most consistently difficult boss fights in the series. What exactly is Dark Link, though? A piece of Link’s mind or a monster that came from Ganon? I think that he is indeed a piece of Link’s mind; as a completely good being, where would Link’s evil go? Assuming that he had none, of course, it was probably taken from him somehow and used to create Dark Link; Ganon most likely played a part in this though. Who would have a better incentive than him to create something like Dark Link from Link’s evil to combat his enemy- Link?
We know absolutely nothing about what this thing is, where he came from, or why he does what he does- absolutely nothing. We might even assume he has something to do with the Interlopers, as they were shown in the form of Dark Link’s!
It’s actually thought that Dark Mirror in FSA could be the origin of all Dark Links, even; we’ll never know because it’s unlikely that Nintendo will ever tell us. It doesn’t help that he’s silent, one of the only things he and Link actually have in common. Another theory is that Dark Link was created to balance Link’s good spirit or even keep Link alive; we still won’t know if this is correct or not in the near future.
What we do know is that he’s obviously evil as shown in the dark aura that surrounds him and the glowing red eyes that he has. Will we ever know what he truly is? Maybe; the mystery surrounding him is probably what makes him one of the cooler villains, however.
Bellum: A very strange creature indeed; Bellum is the final boss of PH and the one who actually sucked everyone into the World of the Ocean King. What exactly is known of his intentions? Absolutely nothing; we just know that he was incredibly evil and liked to suck people’s life force away (as shown with Tetra). He used a Ghost Ship to take people to the land he resided in, but it’s unknown whether or not there actually was a land. When Link and Tetra come back from the World of the Ocean King, the crew members claim they’d been gone for ten minutes… when this is definitely wrong.
This raises a few questions about whether Bellum was even a real thing, or if it was just a figment of people’s imaginations or fears. I think it was a bit of both; Bellum fed on Life Force, but could it have been more? I think he actually fed on the fear of people he found in their Life Force, and this made him stronger. The fears made him real, whether or not he began that way; that’s what I think. Could it be true, though? Sure, but it might not be; another thought is that the WotOK was a dream-land of sorts that Bellum had gained access to and corrupted; this is a good theory, too, because it ties in with what I thought before; it could actually be used as a reason as to why he came to reside in that particular realm in the first place. Bellum wanted Life Force to live, so he simply took it- sucking in other people in the process. Link eventually beat him and freed everyone from his spell, but we don’t actually know if he was beaten in the sense that he was killed. If he was just a figment of people’s imagination or only resided in a dream-like world he could easily come back if the laws of said world were different.
Bellum was pure evil, though; that’s about all that really matters about him.
Vaati: Vaati was a power-hungry sorcerer who wanted ultimate power; there was absolutely no good in him in the beginning; he even transformed his mentor into a hat! Vaati continued searching for something known as the Light Force (which would grant him his power) and impersonated a king, captured Zelda, manipulated Link, and broke from the same seal twice. Despite breaking the seal twice, he was defeated both times, clearly not the smartest villain in later installments to the series.
Vaati’s major goal was power and not really taking over Hyrule. He came close to doing it, too, but allowing Link and Ezlo to reforge the Four Sword was probably his greatest mistake as he was sealed into it. Vaati showed no real signs of being insane throughout the course of the games he was in, but he did show a lot of initiative and cunning when it came to getting what he wanted. Despite this, we don’t know much about his background other than that he was mentored by Ezlo, he was part of the Minish, and he wanted power. Why did he want the power? What fueled his desire? I think his desire was fueled by the fact that he was so good at what he did; if he was already that good at something, why not try to be better? This thought eventually corrupted him and he focused everything on gaining his powerIt was clear he would stop at nothing.
While he got the power he wanted, it was at a much greater cost than he’d bargained for.
Malladus: A demon who ruled New Hyrule… how interesting… especially since he did absolutely nothing to actually take over the land; it’s assumed he owned it from the start. A rebellion broke out and he fought fiercely but was thwarted; he was sealed into the Spirit Tracks that spanned the length of New Hyrule. He was completely evil, cunning, and even managed to escape what seemed to be an unbreakable seal (seems to happen a lot, though).
With the help of two of his followers, Malladus controlled Hyrule from behind the scenes. He eventually captured Zelda’s body and even destroyed most of the Spirit Tracks, causing his seal to be greatly weakened. He was unable to be beaten by the spirits of the land again, so it was up to Link to do it as usual.
Despite the fact that he was beaten, what exactly is Malladus? I think Malladus was an embodiment of evil, something natural that just… appeared. His appearance in the series is quite like Bellum’s, though; no one’s entirely sure how he came to be. Who knows? He might actually be like Dark Link, something created out of another’s evil. Like so many other Zelda villains, a lot about him is unknown other than the fact that he was a powerful Demon King, of course. Who could have rebelled against him? I assume it was the Lokomo as they were there from the start; were they plentiful in the past, though? Did they come from another land? …Was it one of them that created Malladus? I think Malladus may have been created by a particular Lokomo; a powerful one, too. Why did they rebel against him? Well, he was evil; they had reason to rebel against him. It’s not known what he actually did to them though. I think it was just his evil rubbing off on things, causing New Hyrule to be much like OoT’s Hyrule during Ganondorf’s reign. All of these things are unknown at the moment (since there hasn’t been a game on it yet), but I assume they’ll be revealed in the near future. How exactly did Malladus come to control New Hyrule? Did he inherit it? Did someone give it to him? Did he take it by force? These things will likely remain a mystery to us, but they do imply that he is indeed evil if people had to rebel against him.
Why is he evil? If he was evil surely the people of New Hyrule (Lokomos?) would have rebelled against him sooner, but they didn’t. Is it possible that, like Ganon, he actually was good in the beginning? We may not find this out for a couple years, but it is an interesting development if he were actually good. Since we cannot actually prove this however, we’ll just go with him being evil all his existence for now. Still, you have to always think of these words: What if he was different?
Could the entire reason he was evil be based on something some other villain did? Was he perhaps just another puppet? Or maybe he is just the most cunning villain of them all.
Skull Kid/Majora: A lonely boy in need of a friend? A diabolical mask that loves chaos? Both? This is truly one of the more interesting villains in the series and probably the most heart-wrenching.
All alone the Skull Kid wandered with his fairies, just looking for a friend. He didn’t have a friend, though, and the fairies were his only companions. Filled with despair, he started to play pranks on people, even going as far as stealing their things. In the middle of this, he steals something he didn’t bargain for; Majora. He puts the mask on and all of his feelings are washed away; he’s not even the same being anymore. He’s just a puppet; a host for a much stronger being.
Majora turned him completely evil, and his pranks got worse as a result. He eventually stole from Link, plunging him into Termina and an adventure that would make him save the world from the moon. The Skull Kid’s fairies sensed something wrong with him at the time but did nothing to help. They just served him, or Majora, as he was at that point.
The Skull Kid was turned this way by loneliness and the need for a friend, but why did Majora turn out the way it had? Was it because the tribe of people who had created it made it evil? Was a demon fused with the mask? What exactly caused the mask to be the way it was? I think it was the people who created him; I think that they put some… demon into the mask, and that became Majora. Why else would a mask be alive? We don’t know for sure, but the mask was probably one of the reasons for the tribe’s demise. It was even powerful enough to destroy an entire world by crashing the moon; it was evil enough to possess a boy who had almost no reason to continue living. So why did the mask do what it did? I think it did what it did just for the sake of doing it; it was trapped for hundreds of years… I’d be pretty angry, too. Did the Skull Kid have any control of his actions? I don’t think so; he appeared to be completely different from what he was before. The mask most likely twisted everything about him and possibly even destroyed his mind.
We may never know what exactly caused the mask to behave the way it did. What we do know, however, is that the Skull Kid may have finally found happiness by the end of his story.
Twinrova: Twinrova; the evil mother(mothers?) of Ganondorf? Lovely, no? Well, she might think so; if he gets power, so does she. I think that most of her support for Ganondorf and her trying to revive him stems not from her mothering him but the potential power he can give her. They try to make Ganondorf their puppet, but she becomes the puppet themselves; not a very good plan when you think about it. They seem to have a twisted view on things, doing, like most Zelda villains, anything they can in order to get whatever it is they want. Whether that be harming two countries and trying to sacrifice people or just plain using their adopted son; they don’t care.
Twinrova is actually the fused form of two witches Koume and Kotake. They were the parents of Ganondorf as he was growing up, and given their twisted nature probably caused him to do the things that he did. They show not much care for him throughout the series, but it’s obvious that they do have an interest in his power when you look on the things that they do to help him. It really is strange that these mothers aren’t so motherly, huh?
They seem to have no regard for others besides themselves and are actually pretty cruel to most people. Besides that, they have a substantial amount of power available to them; they are witches, after all. Not much is really known about them beyond their connections to Ganondorf, but it is pretty obvious that their evil. I think we can all agree that makes them a substantial villain in the series, too.
So, now that you know a bit more about each villain in the Zelda series, what’s your opinion on each of them? Who’s the best? Who has the most motivation for what they do? Most importantly: Who’s the most evil?