Ganondorf, the Great King of Evil
Since the beginning of time, humanity has told tales of heroes and villains. Stories of courage, wisdom, and power; of good against evil; of virtue and evil. These fables are the lifeblood of gaming, and of all the myths that have adorned our medium, few are as prominent as the Legend of Zelda. LoZ is one of the most beloved and influential game series to date. It is one of Nintendo's flagship franchises, telling of a young warrior named Link and his unending quest against the forces of darkness.
As the main villain of one of Nintendo's most important games, Ganondorf seems like a shoe in for the Smash Bros roster. There is a pretty noticeable lack of villains in SSB, after all. There's really no reason why Ganondorf can't join Bowser to bring some much needed--
Wait. What do you mean?
What do you mean, "what do you I mean?"
Isn't Ganondorf already in Smash Bros.?"
Well, yes and no. Ganondorf is technically in the game. There is a character named Ganondorf who is modeled after Ganondorf, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. In Smash, Ganondorf is a slow brawler, primarily using hand-to-hand tactics like grabs, punches, and takedowns. While the G-man is a pretty intimidating dude, his pro-wrestling like repertoire in Smash is far cry from his portrayal in the Zelda series. Ganondorf's real combat assets are his sword skills and black magic. In SSB, he's basically a slower, clumsier version of Captain Falcon.
This is a point of contention among fans. Many, myself included, feel that such an important character from such an iconic series should get a little more respect. On top of that, if he had to be a clone, why Captain Falcon of all people? Wouldn't another sword character be more appropriate, like Ike or Marth?
I should note that I don't hate the man in his current form, I just wish he would get more of his own unique moves. In Brawl, G-dorf was one of (if not THE) worst character in the game. Smash 4 has seen a lot of deserved improvements. Granted, I won't be maining him anytime soon, but I no longer throw a fit if he pops up when I pick random. Still, I can't help feel that Ganondorf needs a little retooling to make him more in line with his home series.
Who is Ganondorf?
Ganondorf is the main villain from the Legend of Zelda series. He is the bearer of the Triforce of Power, a warlord whose desire to take over the land of Hyrule never ebbs. Most Zelda games involve Link having to compile some kind of things and rescue the princess so that they can defeat Ganondorf and stop him from plunging the world into darkness. One interesting tidbit of trivia is that it isn't known whether Ganondorf is one character or many. You see, the Zelda games are spread out across many generations. The Links and Zeldas are actually reincarnations, born into an unending cycle of warring against Ganondorf before bringing peace. On the other hand, many believe that Ganondorf is actually the same character, surviving from game to game for the new Link and Zelda to fight again and again. I'm not sure if this is canon or not, but it's a very strong fan theory.
If you're not sure, why not just Google it?
Because where's the fun in that? Anyway, the exact history of Ganondorf across the entire series is a little hard to pin down, due to LoZ's infamous nonlinearity and the fact that I haven't played all (or even most) of the main games. From what I understand, Ganondorf is the reincarnation of Demise, the antagonist of Skyward Sword. After Demise is defeated, he places a curse on Link and Zelda, which is the catalyst for their endless war against his new form, Ganondorf. Don't quote me on that, though. I haven't played Skyward Sword.
Again, if you don't know for sure, why don't you Google it?
Why don't you shut up?
Ganondorf was born to the Gerudo, a race of humanoid thieves. Legend has it that one male is born to the race every hundred years. This male then becomes their king.
So wait, if the entire race is female, how do they reproduce in the first place?
That's a good question. Maybe they kidnap males from other races, force them to mate, then kill them. Like drones in an ant colony.
If that were the case, wouldn't every identifying feature of the race be bred out within the first few generations? Besides, its the father who passes on the necessary chromosome to decide the sex of the baby, so if that were the case, then it the whole "no males" thing wouldn't exist.
Hmm. Maybe they reproduce asexually? With spores or something?
I thought that was just fungi and amoebas and stuff?
Well, there are some reptiles that reproduce asexually. Some sharks have been shown to do it as well.
How do you know that?
The 1998 Godzilla movie. Also, I Googled it.
Aha! So you are Googling things!
ANYWAY! Ganondorf was born to a race of thieves. He used his wiles to manipulate both Link and the ruling royalty, tricking them into granting him access to an ancient power called the Triforce. With this, he conquered the kingdom of Hyrule. His dark reign was brought to an end by Link, whose time travelling adventure saved Hyrule but created alternate dimensions that are far too complex to detail here.
From then on, Ganondorf would try repeatedly to take over the various incarnations of the world, always being defeated by a Link and a Zelda. In the sole case where he wasn't, Ganondorf was imprisoned in a parallel universe, a "dark" version of Hyrule. After being locked away for centuries, the world's power would mutate Ganondorf into a blue pig-like monster named Ganon. Even this dark prison would not be enough to hold him. Ganon's black magic allowed him to escape and yet again declare war on Hyrule, forcing a new Link and Zelda to step forward and continue the never ending cycle of war.
Due to the series tendency to move backward in time rather than forward, the character was originally seen in the blue pig "Ganon" form. This was the antagonist of the original game. The third game in the series, A Link to the Past, retconned Ganon as originally being a human named Ganondorf, though this form would not appear in person until the fifth game, Ocarina of Time. Since then, the -dorf version of the character has become more prominent. Personally, I prefer Ganon for nostalgia reasons, and because I think he looks cool. -dorf, however, has long since become the dominant version and remains as the primary antagonist of the LoZ series.
There have been a few other villains in The Legend of Zelda. Most of them, however, end up having some kind of connection with Ganondorf anyway. The few that don't are one-off characters relegated to only one major appearance, usually in a side game. To my knowledge, the only exception to this is Vaati, a wizard from the Minish Cap and Four Swords games.
How should Ganondorf work in Smash?
Despite what I said in the introduction, I don't think that Ganondorf should be a sword fighter. That may seem a little counterintuitive, seeing as how swords are a common method of attack for the man in LoZ. However, I think that Smash suffers from an overabundance of sword users already. Every Fire Emblem character is sword based. Even the magic-weilding Robin has a sword. Link, Shulk, and Meta Knight all have heavy sword use as well. Pit uses a sword for some attacks. Kirby uses a scimitar in one of this specials, and a claymore in his latest Final Smash. There are a few sword-like items, and a whole slew of assist trophies that use swords. If there is anything that Super Smash Bros. does not need, it's more fricken swords.
I'm not opposed to Ganondorf retaining his hand-to-hand fighting for basic attacks. If it is necessary to give him a weapon, a better option would be a staff, such as Ganon's trident from A Link to the Past. The sword, if present, could be limitted to a handful of attacks such as smashes. If he used the trident, perhaps one of his tilts or smashes could involve throwing it a short distance as he does in some games.
Ganondorf's specials deserve to be retooled. As they stand, they mostly owe themselves to Captain Falcon's brawler style. Boss fights in LoZ reveal Ganondorf has a much wider array of moves to draw inspiration from. In my research, I've gone on YouTube and watched most of the major Ganon and -dorf fights throughout the series. Among them all, I've noticed two recurring themes.
The first is a projectile. Ganon/-dorf uses some form of energy ball in almost every game. Usually its some kind of dark matter, which would make it appear similar to Lucario or Mewtwo's energy balls in Smash, though occasionally it is fire or lightning based. There are some variations to his projectiles which would make it more unique from the charged energy balls that other characters use. In many of the games, such as OOT, Ganondorf is shown to launch multiple projectiles at once. In ALttP, Ganon's fireball leaves a trail of flames on the ground behind it. Perhaps my favorate variation comes from the hidden boss in the Oracle games, in which Ganon shoots a larger ball that bursts into several smaller ones. Any number of these variations could be given to Ganondorf in Smash to make his projectile more unique from other characters'.
Another recurring theme in Ganon/-dorf boss fights is what the Zelda Wiki calls "Dead Man's Volley." This is the infamous tennis set up, which an enemy (usually a boss, which is either Ganon/-dorf or a closely related underling) shoots something at the player, who then has to hit it back. The boss will then parry it back at Link, who has to reflect it again. This continues until somebody misses and takes damage. This type of boss fight has been featured in every Zelda game since ALttP on SNES. Since it's such a staple of the series, giving Ganondorf some kind of reflection move is a no brainer. The SSB wiki has a whole list of characters who can reflect projectiles, including but not limitted to Fox, Falco, Mario, Ness, Palutena, Mega Man, and R.O.B. Of all the characters to have that ability, Ganondorf seems like the most obvioius, though his Captain Falcon moveset prevents that.
Those are the two most apparent revisions to his moveset. There are a couple other abilities that the Big G has shown that could make it into Smash as well. In the beginning of the boss fight in OOT, and occasionally throughout, Ganondorf will powerup some energy into his fist and slam into the ground, creating a shockwave. There are a number of characters who have moves with similar effects in Smash. This move could be used as any combination of down moves for Ganondorf, or even an Up Special if it's preceeded by flying up in the air (in OOT, Ganondorf levitates through most of the fight.)
One of Ganon's coolest abilities is the fire bats in ALttP. In the final boss of that game, Ganon summons fireballs that circle aroudn him defensively. One by one, they transform into bats and fly at Link. Batman from Injustice has a similar move with mechanical bats. In Smash, this could work like a variation on Mega Man's down special, the Leaf Shield.
Finally, I think Ganondorf's sword spin from Wind Waker should make an appearance, perhaps as a tilt or smash attack. I know that I said "no swords" above, but seeing as how the entire final battle in WW is a sword duel, that game would end up getting the shaft. It think it would be fair to throw in Ganondorf's double sword spin to keep it fair.
I would love to see the traditional blue pig Ganon form in the game in some form or another. I'm not sure if I would want him as full fledged character, though. Even though I prefer Ganon to -dorf, the -dorf version is far more well known nowadays, and it deserves its spot. The alternate outfit system could work. However, even with Ganondorf being as beastly as he is, they would have to put pig-Ganon on a heck of a diet to put him in without affecting the hitbox. One way to add Ganon to the game might be as a long term transformation to replace the one-and-done version in -dorf's Final Smash, though if you ask me, the transformation thing is a little overdone anyway.
So I don't know how blue pig Ganon would fit into the game, but I'd love to see it happen somehow.
What are the chances of this actually happening?
Not only is it possible, I don't even think it's unlikely. Obviously we don't have to worry about Ganondorf getting on the roster, since he's already there. As far as being retooled, it would be new but not unthinkable. A lot of characters go through changes between games. Mostly stat tweeks, and a move here and there. I don't think anybody has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, though.
The biggest opposition would be fans of the game who don't want to see their favorite character get altered. Seeing that Ganondorf was one of the worst characters in Brawl, and that many fans aren't too keen on his status as a Captain Falcon clone, I don't think that would be a problem unless Ganondorf starts topping tier lists for SSB4. Whether or not Ganondorf could ever be altered is just a matter of if the game designers had the desire to do so.
As far was the likelihood of my ideas being manifest, I don't think it's out of the question to see something similar. My dream moves literally came straight from the boss fights themselves. It doesn't get much more genuine than that. I highly doubt my ideas to be completely accurate, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were in the ballpark.
That's it for today. I rather enjoyed taking an in-depth look at an existing character rather than geeking out over a new one. This might be something to do again in the near future. I also liked revisiting past Zelda games, and looking into some new ones. It gave me a new appreciation for the character and his series, and even makes me want to look into some the LoZ games that I haven't played yet.
Thank you for reading. I hope you'll join me next time for another issue of Challenger Approaching. Who do you think it will be?
Goku! Do Goku! It has to be Goku!
Ugh, not this crap again...
The Top 5 Taylor Swift Songs that Should be Covered by Rob Zombie
Taylor Swift. Rob Zombie. Two titanic titans that have rocked the eardrums of music fans like no others. Rob Zombie has rocked the masses with his horror metal tunes like Dragula and Super Best and stuff. On the other end of the spectrum, Taylor Swift has sang her way into America’s heart with her unforgettable hits like “I love you” and “Now I hate you” and “I love you but now I hate you but now I love you again” and stuff like that. These two seem like a perfect match, and I can only wonder why neither has ever taken the steps to combining their talents before. They would go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or peanut butter and chocolate. Or peanut butter and something else that goes good with peanut butter. So that’s why I made a list of the top five Taylor Swift songs that Rob Zombie should totally seriously cover.
Oh, and for everybody out there who thinks that this is stupid, and that Taylor Swift shouldn’t sink so low as to associate herself with Rob Zombie, or vice versa, I only have one thing to say to you:
Do you prefer your toilet paper over, or under? Give me at least twenty individual reasons why to support your answer.
HA! Now while those people are busy doing that, the rest of us can read the list!:
THE TOP TEN TAYLOR SWIFT SINGS THAT SHOULD BE COVERED BY ROB ZOMBIE
2.) The one that’s like “in a Monday on a café I watched it begin again.” Or something like that. I don’t know the title but it’s that one.
This one seems like a no brainer. Back in the eighties, when hair metal was cool and before Nirvana came along and ruined music, there was a pattern. All of the new bands would release some rockin’ single with guitars and shredding and stuff, and they would go on the MTV wearing leather to show how tough they were. Then, for their second hit single, they released a really slow croony number to show that while they might be tough on the outside, they’re really sensitive on the inside and it makes me cry. This was very common, done by like a bazillion bands. Why? Because it made the record companies money and made sure the band members got more something something? NO! They did it because it was cool and stuff.
Rob Zombie is a legendary rock/metal/hip-hop artist who has had like, a bajillion hits. However, in all that musical goodness, he still has one major blunder in his career. If you look at his library, he has no soft heartfelt love ballads. This is a major problem. It leaves a gaping hole in his work like a pit in the middle of something where there should be no pit. Like a cherry. I hate pits in my cherries.
Bizzarely, Mr. Zombie chose not to do that. It was pretty silly. So that’s why he needs to cover this song. Because Rob Zombie needs a nice heartfelt song about, you know, like feelings and stuff. Which is why this song would be perfect.
Whew! It’s been a long time coming. I can’t believe how long it took. With such a huge library of music, it was nearly impossible to come up with only fifteen songs that Rob Zombie should cover of Taylor Swift’s. We did it though. We’re almost done. Before we get to number one, let’s take a look back and recap how we got this far:
2.) We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together
Okay! And now for the number one song, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, it’s number one!
Okay here we go for number one:
1.) Sparks Fly from Speak Now
Come on, don’t say you didn’t see this one coming. It’s absolutely positively resolutely gynecology perfect. With the beat and everything it would be exactly the type of thing that Rob Zombie should do. And so are the lyrics. And especially the guitar part. What Rob Zombie will have to do is get that one guitar player back from White Zombie to do the lead guitar. Here let me explain.
Sparks Fly has that one guitar part. It’s like, doo doodoo dooDOO do, doodoo dooDOO do, doodoo dooDOO doo, doo, doo, doodlydoo doo. Then we have more human than human, which is like: wyoonyoonyoont, wyoonyoonyoont, WYOONYOONYOONT, WYOONYOONYOONT!, a bunch of times then wyoooOOoOoOoOoOoOo WYEOWNt!. Imagine his interpretation of Sparks Fly. It would something: dwyoo wyeunyewnt dyeunt DYEW deew, dew-neyoo dewnt NEUW neuw, deew neewu newnt nyeew dewn dewn dewn dyeewnyooonewntnyunewn. Yeah. It would frickin rock.
So that’s it, thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed. If you want, leave a comment and tell me which Rob Zombie song you think Taylor Swift should cover. Join me next time when we mash up the Boston Pops Orchestra with the London Philharmonic!