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?

  • Darasvi

    1st! Majora will always be the greatest foe. He's terribly creepy and I love the final battle with him. At full power, he's creepier than Ganondorf by far.

    • A_LINK_IN_TIME

      Welcome back form a long hiatus!

  • TheMaverickk

    On the topic of Ganon/Ganondorf:

    I am not entirely sure that we can say that Ganondorf had good intentions at one point in time. That's all conjuncture. All he says is that "he coveted those winds"…. he envied the life of those who lived in Hyrule, because his people suffered from the wind in the desert.

    This scene shows a human side to Ganondorf, but it doesn't show some "good" intention in him. There is no where in here that suggests that he was trying to obtain power in order to help his people and in actuality it seems more like his actions came out of jealousy.

    Since in OoT it doesn't sound as though his actions fit with the attitudes of all the Gerudo… and for whatever reason they weren't waging war on Hyrule alongside him. Instead Ganondorf enlisted evil creatures and beings to be his soldiers. Even once he has captured Hyrule Castle, and controls most of the lands un-opposed, the Gerudo don't live with him but are still centered in the desert.

    I think he personally felt that he and he alone deserved the life that he saw the Hylians enjoying. Since his words never suggest that he did what he did for anyone other then himself.

    This characteristic is fitting even in Twilight Princess. Lending Zant his power wasn't something he did out of pity or compassion. He gave Zant power… but he didn't do it for Zant's gain, but his own personal gain.

  • Lancer can say the names however he wants. It's his LP, so back off his case.

  • Merq

    I don't know if Bellum is necessarily evil. He feels to me more like he's just a creature trying to survive. Got to eat to live, his food is life force. He's really just eating. Aren't we all? Of course he has to be defeated, it's kill or be killed, but still. I just don't see him as pure evil.

    • TheMaverickk

      True say… Bellum is more like a parasite of the ocean.

      Probably the most ambiguous of all the Zelda villains…. yet it's still clear that the creature is quite devious. Creating the Ghost Ship as a means of luring people who were looking for treasure in order to steal their life force….

      If more of Bellums intentions were known (like the goal of total ocean control or something who knows) then maybe we could say that the create was definitively evil. Regardless his actions were not god for anyone.

  • ITSASECRETTOEVERYBOD

    Skull Kid acts like he has some resemblance to his former self. It seems more likely to me that Majora's Mask was the little voice in his head that gave him great power, allowed him to do better pranks. But since the mask was also the voice in his head, it allowed Skull Kid to pull of more cruel pranks without feeling bad about it. The mask didn't possess Skull Kid, the mask just toyed with the most overt of his thoughts and emotions, like multiplying anger and shrinking guilt to nearly nothing, telling him that the Terminians deserved it.

    • TheMaverickk

      Agreed…. this was the other point I wanted to mention about Majora/Skull Kid as a villain.

      There seems to be a slow transition from Day 1 to Day 3 in Skull Kids character. When you find him through the telescope in the earlier days he is being cheeky and dancing around on the top of the tower.

      The pranks and troubles he causes initially aren't menacing, but the actions of a bratty child just trying to get the attention of his friends. Poisoning a little water here, causing blizzards there, turning Kafei into a child, Despite their effects being lethal to some they were not intended specifically to kill.

      By the 3rd day though Skull Kid has changed, he doesn't even talk to Link when he is confronted by him, his focus is on one thing… and that is the total destruction of Termina. There is a gradual change of demeanor in the villain as the evil of the mask manifests itself with no need for a host.

  • SilverArcher

    Dark Link is not one guy. There are many Dark Links completely different, like the normal Links.
    They are just spells that create a clone of Link to test him. There is no more backstory.

  • Blue Blue

    You forget that Zant was not the puppet, but rather, utilized Ganon's power to amplify his own in return for control of two kingdoms. I would think that Ganon was a puppet in this case, especially because Zant took Ganon's life in the end.

    If you need proof of that, watch the final battle between Ganon and Link in TP. You'll see that Ganon was the puppet, if not one and the same with Zant, when Zant snaps his own neck to end Ganon's life.

    • TheMaverickk

      Zant was a puppet… maybe he didn't see himself as a puppet but he clearly was. Ganondorf lent him his power… it even says through cut scenes that Zant considered Ganondorf to be a god to him.

      Zant also didn't kill Ganondorf at the end of the game. That scene is more metaphorical… not to mention it's not that clear cut the technicality that has occurred here. Ganondorf still hold the Triforce of Power… it's possible that he was simply incapacitated by his wounds. Or perhaps the Triforce of Power ultimately left him as he was dying, thus leading to his death.

      It's even possible that Ganondorf didn't have a physical body without Zant, and that they shared a physical connection, and that is why Ganondorf shared some abilities with the Twili (the teleportation and body possession). It's just interesting to note that several things occur in Ganondorfs death scene in TP… the first is the Triforce crest disappearing from his hand, the second is the ethereal Zant twisting his neck, and Ganondorf frozen on the battlefield.

      It may be that even if Zant had been a puppet, he had one last double cross revenge on Ganondorf who had used im… as he may have been the deciding factor of whether he lived or not.

  • PiBox

    About Ganon(dorf) having a good, humane side in him:

    It's hard to not mention that it doesn't matter why he does it but how he does it. Even if he might have had some sort of good intentions behind his actions it's no excuse for destruction these actions might have caused.

    Ganondorf is extremely greedy, cunning character. It might be that he just wants the Triforce and the power that comes with it or he wants to revenge. But he still abandoned the Gerudo, leaving Nabooru in charge. (They seemed a bit displeased with the way Ganondorf handled things, if I recall correctly)

    Zant was a mindless puppet, I think he was pretty weak character. He wanted something he had never had, but, in the traditional (Zelda-)villain style, his method of trying to achieve anything is morally wrong. He becomes a puppet, he wouldn't be capable to do anything major on his own. I think the ending symbolizes more how Ganondorf's power over Zant ends when he turns out to be weak (loses to Link) and how that's the end of his loyalty (neck crack).

    • A_LINK_IN_TIME

      You've quickly established yourself as one of my favorite posters.

  • Dark Link is quite the opposite of Link, in my sight. I interpret him as evil, tricky, mischievious, and caring nothing for what happens to others. He enjoys playing with his foes before he lands the final blow. Altogether, I wish he'd be the main villain in a 3D game, because I view him as one whose potential sinisterness has been untapped and needs to flow free.

  • Supportedcoffe

    Wonder if majora will be told about in skyward sword

  • Sanguiluna

    I'm not inclined to believe Ganon's "motive" in WW, just because a man truly fighting to give his people a better life would NOT build a grandiose castle all for himself and abandon them in the same harsh desert that he claimed he was trying to free them from.

    And I think it's very telling that Nabooru–the Gerudo leader who actually had the respect and loyalty of the entire tribe–has nothing but hate for Ganondorf, even before he had conquered Hyrule. That tells me that he was already an evil man not very popular with his own race, even before he laid a finger on the Triforce.

    • TheMaverickk

      Agreed…. she is the first to distinguish difference between his actions, and the traditional life styles of the Gerudo.

      They may have been thieves, but they weren't murderous or power hungry.

    • UltimaHedgie

      The only reason Ganondorf maintained power within the Gerudo is that, based on the actions of their tribe, he was forced to be their king. For a long time they themselves likely believed that he truly wished to benefit the whole tribe, although some may have despised him, Nabooru being the primary one.

  • Blank

    Why the heck does vaati get like three paragraphs and the friggin malladus gets more? And personally I dont think that Vaati was always evil. When he was a minish I really dont think he started out evil.

    • Solsetur

      Because I haven't played much of the FSS, but I beaten ST. 😛

      • TheMaverickk

        No offense but when you write an article it's really good to take the time to play a game…. replay it even if you have to. If you don't have the time to replay it you can always look up scenes from games on YouTube and look through Text Dumps for games.

        Even as a last resort you can always dig into the Zelda Wiki as well since most of the details of those scenes and texts have been put into most of the pages on the Wiki. I'm sure you have used some of these as means of writing the article, but I'm just re-affirming the importance of giving each character the proper care and thought that they deserve.

  • Vaatitmagesaprentice

    I apologize for the outburst of anger. We Vaati fans like Vaati to be on top.

  • There are plenty of evil bastards listed here, so I think picking a top villain is nearly impossible. Twinrova is delusional and twisted, but I don't feel she deserves to be on this list. I mean sure she's a whack-job, but imprisoning Nabooroo isn't nearly as evil as Bongo-Bongo burning an entire village down. Or as Volvagia consuming Gorons. Or was that King Dodongo? You get my point.

    Ganon is without argument entirely evil because he has his wits about him & still pursues total dominion over all life with a brutal hand. So in many ways, I feel he is the most dangerous. But is someone that has a moral compass simply ignoring it more evil than psychotic demons who destroy just because it's in their nature? In this way I feel you could argue that Majora is the most dangerous. She has no sanity & this is heavily reflected in much of the music in MM. Especially in her own theme. & before anyone replies telling me Majora is a he, read Hylian Dan's break down of MM. I agree with him that for several reasons, it'd make more sense for Majora to be a female demon. Even anatomically, the name Majora pertains to females.

    Why is dark link in this list? Seriously? I agree, he's just a spell-crafted clone holding no backstory. Vaati however is also extremely evil. Oy. See? Too hard to decide who's the most evil. Let's just say that Nintendo has done an extraordinary job w crafting villains and leave it at that.

    • UltimaHedgie

      Twinrova is actually a recurring villain, though. They appear in both Ocarina of Time and the Oracle games, perhaps more. Bongo Bong, Volvagia, King Dodongo? They're bosses with very little backstory or plot role. Twinrova is a major antagonist, though, and spans multiple games, hence why she is listed.

      Dark Link is listed because, again, he's one of the few major recurring villains. The likelihood of Dark Link playing any larger role than an evil doppleganger of Link is slim, but there's still a chance that Nintendo may opt to give him a bigger role…

      • Mind you, I wasn't commenting on what significance they have story-wise, but on actual levels of evil deeds. I'm unsure of what Twinrova does in the Oracle games so I can't comment on that but as for MM & OOT, she/they're pretty small-time.

        But it's all opinion of course.

  • David

    These characters ought to be improved. They are flat!

    • TheMaverickk

      Which shows how little you probably pay attention to the games.

      Just because these villains may not have numerous cut scenes or long soliloquies of dialogue, doesn't mean they are flat. Obviously actions and intent in their roles speak various levels of ambition and complexity.

      If you have to have these things spelled out for you though you are better off watch a movie. Skull Kid is an incredibly complex villain, especially coupling in the fact that it's a villain which is really two entities.

      Vaati was seeking perfection, any means to become so…. the wishing hat, the light force… all these things he felt would make him a perfect being. The desire to surpass his mentor, and to surpass his race, and the others around him. Essentially he was pursuing the power to be a god.

      Although there are common threads and themes explored between these villains, that doesn't make them flat or any less engaging or curious.

      • David

        WHO GIVES A SHIT?

        • Hero of Music, shut the eff up and get off ZU.

          • sagyig

            …What?

  • Rakshael

    Aghanim was a human manifestation / shadow of Ganon in the Light World, because Ganon couldn't enter the Light World in his normal body. A wizard as powerful as Aghanim wouldn't have been subject to possession. It's the same with Link. His will and power would have been far too strong.

  • Lex

    One thing concerning Aghanim… remember the eye symbol on his robe (and in Hyrule Castle where he is hidden)? In my opinion, it somehow resembles the symbol of the Sheikah… food for thoughts

    • TheMaverickk

      Singular eyes are actually a very common theme among Zelda games, and doesn't necessarily mean that it's a sheikah link. How many statues and enemies have a single eye…. beamos, armos (depending on the title), tektikes, ghoma, … there are lots in the world of Hyrule.

      Additionally many characters who are not sheikah seem to hold and carry the eye symbol…. Zelda where's a sheikah robe in Twilight Princess, Veran also has the sheikah symbol on her clothing, Midna has the single eye etched into her fused shadow piece.

      Whether they are connected or not who knows, but it's hard to just claim that every eye is a symbol of the sheikah.

    • Solsetur

      I think it would be interesting if he was somehow related to the Sheikah, or even some race introduced in SS. It would definitely improve on his backstory quite a bit, at least.

      As far as the Sheikah thing goes, as much as I'd like it to be true, I think TheMaverrik had pretty much summed up why there's a good chance it isn't true.

      • gward

        preeeeeeetty sure agahnim is an alter-ego of ganon…as it explains int he actual game…

  • Sharon

    You forgot the nightmare from Link’s Awakening. It’s not a very important villain but it’s more of a villain than Dark Link. Also, if Dark Link and Aghanim are being included, so should General Onox and Sorceress Veran, even if they were just henchmen.

    • Solsetur

      I actually would have included them, but I- honestly- had nothing to write about them. If I could have been able to write 3/4 paragraph's about them, I would have.

      I actually tried to right about the Nightmare, but that turned out horribly. =P

  • rookie

    Dark link is a really great villain. I agree with what is stated here; dark link is a manifestation of link's evil into a….really creepy form. Dark link also taps into human sycology as well; what could be more terrifying than that which represents pure fear and evil inside one's self? Yeah, he's a great villian and I had a hell of a time fighting him in oot. Great article, besides a couple grammatical errors. ; )

  • Haulau

    Agreeing with Sharon- if Bellum and Aghanim are included, why not Onox and Veran from the Oracle games?
    On another note, Twinrova has a big amount of bearing on the plot of those two games- using Veran and Onox for their own gain, and eventually reviving Ganon- shouldn’t information on this be included too? Just a suggestion.
    In another instance, I disagree with the claim that Vaati was always power hungry as a Minish. The game says something about him being influenced by humans, so he was likely good before gradually degrading into the villain we know. Then again, it’s only an opinion, take it or leave it. Good article though.

    • Solsetur

      I'm glad you liked the article.

      As I said earlier, I would have written on those villains but I could not. Everything I wrote was horrible, or I couldn't think of anything at all. ._. (Probably has something to do with not finishing Oracle of Age or Seasons.)

      I actually thought I HAD put some information on Twinrova about the Oracles… I guess I was mistaken. I'll be sure to take the Oracles and LA into greater consideration next time I write an article, though. Just as soon as I finish them.

  • A_LINK_IN_TIME

    I love Ganondorf as an epic final villain. Let him appear in Zelda Wii U.

    Also, that picture reminded me of how epic Stalfos appear in the original Nintendo 64 instruction booklet for Ocarina of Time.

  • veeronic

    aghanim was the first phantom ganon, he wasn't some random wizard, he was an agent he created in order to free himself from the dark world.

  • TheLoZtprocks

    maybe malladus was formed by majora and/or he was the moon that was crashing. because it did say "I will consume everything" like malladus tryed 2 do

  • Redwood

    What? No Onyx or Veran? Bellum, but no Nightmare? Oh well.
    Maybe Ganondorf had helped the King out sometime before OoT in hopes of getting land in Hyrule, but was turned down. He then snaps and becomes evil, wanting to conquer Hyrule by using the Triforce.
    Twinrova, wanting to be good mothers, help him out in his quest and later cause hell in two lands to try and revive their beloved son.
    Majora, being a tribal hexing mask, slowly become sentient and corrupted before it is finally sealed away.
    Shadow Link…numerous. OoT, the evil in Link exorcized out of him so he could wield the Master Sword, and so it later tries to reunite with him. AoL, the final test for the hero, a shadowy copy of himself to fight. Not necessarily evil, just the most challenging trial ever to face. FSA, an evil tribe sealed inside a mirror that forces them to do the bidding of the wielder of the mirror, and they also take the form of the wielder's nemisis. TP…probably to show that the complete Triforce may even be able to corrupt Link. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, afterall. ST…maybe just for fun.

  • Redwood

    Agahnim, in game he is referred to by Ganon as an "alter-ego", and in the Japanese version as part of his "split soul", so either a weak copy of Ganon sent to do his bidding in the Light World, or a normal man corrupted by Ganon. He probably was also the cause for the evil plauging Hyrule as part of his plan.
    Vaati and Zant, really the same as what you said.
    Bellum, king of the Phantoms, nemesis of the Ocean King. Probably got a hold of the Ocean King and began to drain his Life Force. Maybe when Link and Tetra got onto the Ghost Ship, the Ocean King devised an entire world similar to Koholint Island and the Wind Fish. The Ocean King brought Link to Mercay Island and helped him begin his journey. Bellum is finally destroyed at the end, setting the Ocean King free.
    Malladus, a Demon King. Always evil, took the land as it was young. The Lokomos fought against him when Link and Tetra and all arrived.
    the Nightmare, a nightmare, I guess. Completely evil.
    Onyx and Veran, somehow related to the Gerudo, and possibly the Tribes of Darkness. Summoned by Twinrova to help them revive Ganon.

    • Redwood

      Sorry for posting two different things. It was too long to have in one comment.

  • Does any one else see Ganon and Ganondorf as not being interchangeable? I've always thought of them as separate entities, with Ganon being the physical manifestation of evil in Ganondorf when he obtains the Triforce of power, almost like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of thing.

    • Lex

      Yeah, I also do seperate those two… if he is in his human form, I say Ganondorf, when in pig form it's Ganon for me. Imo, it is very well shown during the final fight of OoT… there, it is even distinguished between Ganondorf and Ganon, only after making excessive use of the Triforce of power, he changes into his pig form, resulting in getting a new name (namely… Ganon).

    • Solsetur

      I do think of them as different entities as well, but not entirely different beings. My main reason for this is that they seem to be "fused" in a way. Probably by the ToP, but this is reason enough for me.

      I have a hard time getting their names right, though.

      • I used to think they were completely separate when I was trying to come up with my own timeline theory; I thought that Ganon was a monster, who obtained the Triforce and was then defeated, and once Ganondorf obtained it, he inherited part of Ganon's soul, in a way. But then I realised Ganondorf was mentioned in LttP and FSA, so that ruined my whole theory.
        I still see them as being separate characters though, just because the games seem to either have Ganondorf or Ganon as the main villain throughout the story. At least from OoT, WW and TP, it seems like Ganondorf only uses his transformation into Ganon as a tool to try and defeat Link, I get the feeling that he doesn't have complete control over Ganon, like a split-personality.
        It's completely far-fetched, but eh. =)

        • Solsetur

          Not completely, if you think about the way he fights when in that form he could not have complete control over the entity known as Ganon.

          Except for LoZ and ALttP, of course.

    • TheMaverickk

      They aren't separate entities at all. Ganondorf is simply the name used for his more human form, and Ganon a term seemingly tied to his beast pig form. It's pretty clear through various titles that he can seemingly change between the forms as needed through the power of the Triforce.

      In Twilight Princess he switches to a Beast form shortly after his exorcism from Zelda, completely by choice, not because he was desperate. Since after being defeated in Beast form he decides to switch his strategy again and revert to his Ganondorf form and fight on horse back and with sword.

      In Wind Waker, he willingly uses his beast form to test Link at his arrival (even if it takes on a puppet appearance). After which he takes on his Ganondorf form for the final battle.

      As far as I can tell there's really only one instance where Ganondorf takes on his Ganon form out of desperation and in an almost different state of mind. This would be in Ocarina of Time where it is likely that he took on the form for the very first time, and as a last ditch attempt to completely destroy Link and Zelda.

      As for later Zelda titles (timeline wise Link to the Past, the original LoZ tend to be put towards the end) it seems that his Ganon form has become him prominent form. This is possibly the result of ages of being revived, causing him to lose his original Gerudo body. Who knows though maybe that mystery will be explained in further Zelda titles.

      • gward

        Actually he turns into his beast form in TP because he loses control, not so much by choice.

  • Also, Dark Link (or at least, the first Dark Link, in Zelda II) was created by the prince of Hyrule as the last guardian in order to protect the Triforce of courage from evil, so he does have a bit of backstory. The prince says only 'a young man of character and who has been brought up correctly' can open the door and access the crystals which are they keys to getting the Triforce, so maybe that's why Dark Link looks the way he does.

    • Solsetur

      Really? I actually never knew that; it's interesting to find out that the prince of Hyrule created Dark Link.

      What if that being that we know as Dark Link wasn't even Dark Link? It might just be some sort of doppleganger that changes shape to fight the foe it meets. That would be pretty cool, imo.

      • http://www.kasuto.net/zelda2.php?main=zelda2/z2gr
        Pages 8-11 explain it.

        But yeah, I think so. At least in Zelda II and OoT, Dark Link does seem like just a spell that creates a doppelgänger of Link in order to challenge or test him. This makes sense in terms of Dark Link being the mid-boss of the Water Temple, it fits in with the idea of that temple being confusing/puzzle-like.

    • Nathan Mueller

      Interesting…I wish I had noticed this before I posted my question below. Why is dark link evil then? Why does he show up later (or earlier – depending on your view of the Zelda timeline)?

      • Well, I guess on how you interoperate it. TBH, I believe they're all different Dark Links. The trend seems to be that they are created by a magic spell. I don't see the Zelda II Dark Link as being evil, as the prince of Hyrule put him there for a good reason, and that the prince was not evil himself (same for the Dark Link in ST, he's there more as a test). Assuming the OoT Dark Link was created by Ganondorf, I would say he's evil. Same goes for the Dark Links created by Veran, and those in FSA.

  • Linskyes

    So many grammatical errors… So many rhetorical questions…

  • Ha, back in August I did a whole character study on Vaati. Here's a segment from my concluding paragraphs that presents my view on him:

    "He is an evil bastard. And in a way, and I know this sounds extremely bold of me to say, perhaps even more dangerous than Ganondorf. I say this only because of something I read a while ago. It actually pertained to The Venture Bros. (which is an awesome show – you should watch it if you haven't already), specifically Dr. Venture's self-proclaimed Arch-Nemesis, The Monarch. The Monarch was a villain who had built himself from the ground up – he wasn't a dastardly master-mind, just a normal Joe who had once been a henchman and worked up to the villain role. Because he had to fight and toil for that recognition, he is considered extremely dangerous.

    In a sense, Vaati is like that. Because even though most of his power came from Ezlo's magical cap, the fact is he had worked for that. He wasn't like Ganondorf, who was born into power – into a tribe as their king, a tribe already familiar with war; raised by witches who turned him into the evil and deluded warlock he grew up to be and later became holder of the Triforce of Power. Vaati became the villain he is by himself – he started small (figuratively and literally) and became a source of evil so feared and so powerful, for two Zelda generations he was on par with Ganon in the sense he could only be sealed. Not defeated or killed, but sealed. And he had no help – he did not have armies following his beck and call at first, nor was he ever in possession of any Triforce piece; he gained everything that he was through his own power.

    And that is damned frightening."

    And that's my bit (a piece of it anyways, you wanna see the whole thing visit the DA, kay). I actually thought of doing a character study on Ganondorf too, but 25 years worth of villain has intimidated me, and I'm not sure I'd be able to pull it off. D:

    Overall, I'd have to say in my opinion, both Vaats and Ganon are tied for Zelda's most villainous villain.

  • ddd

    c

  • DarkHero0808

    I think vaati or dark link are the best villains because they were always shrouded in mystery, and they were a sort of 'anti-links'.

  • Nathan Mueller

    I have trouble answering some of the questions in this article (especially since I haven't played all of the handheld games). I tend to like the villains who are treated like actual human beings. Malladus and Bellum were kind of lame in my opinion. I want motives and a little backstory – not just "its a demonic monster". I also have always enjoyed Twinrova in OoT – they add a little humor to the game (they seem to really enjoy being evil, and the bickering after their defeat makes me laugh every time). My personal favorite is probably Skullkid/Majora – he was the only villain for whom I actually felt empathy.

    Question: I'm trying to understand those of you who are fans of Dark Link. Was he explained at some point in the series, and I just missed it? He's a fun fight, but I can't get into him as a character because he is never developed in any way.

    • Solsetur

      I think he was mainly developed in one of the Four Sword games, but I'm not entirely sure. I do understand what you mean about feeling more for villain's who had more of a story; I feel exactly the same way.

      I'm a fan of Dark Link, and one of the reasons I like him is the mystery surrounding him. It's not that we don't know who is, it's that we don't know what he is. He's clearly the shadow of Link, but could he be more than that? That's probably one of my favorite aspects of him; the fact that he's the opposite of our hero, but we know virtually nothing about how he came to be.

  • Austin

    I cant really decide on a better villian but the ones that are most recognizable to me is Dark Link, Ganondorf, and Majora

  • Spork

    OK, so, about Zant being a puppet. What was the deal with Zant's little head nod-like-thing at the end of the game after you've run a sword through Ganon. Ganon's sitting there dying, then we see Zant, who tilts his head, and that's when all the life goes out of Ganon. Just what the heck was that about?

  • Pinkdesi101

    I think Majora is the most evil villan in Zelda games. He did everything he did, not because of any reason to in his backstory, not because it was hard-wired in his brain, but because he wanted to. He did it just for the sake of doing it. No reason at all. And he ended up hurting Skull Kid, just a random innocent kid, in the process.

  • Toshirone

    ganon fights are always interesting. never really hard but always interesting. i think that anyone who knows the story would see Ganon involved in EVERY stories plot in some way. ive only played OoT WW and TP( just beat it yesterday.)but he seems to be a major player.

  • Patrick

    what about Delth from Link's Awakening

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  • Trevor

    Funny, I didn't see Veran or Onix in the list…

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  • Dami Fatale

    I feel bad, someone took their time to write this article, and nobody replied to this.

    I think that Twinrova is the most interesting of the villains of which you have mentioned. I truly believe she tried to be the real master, but failed to do so.

    Majora on the other hand is the most relatable, because most people on earth can relate to the way that the Skullkid feels.