Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: What’s the Difference Between Calamity Ganon and Ganondorf?

Earlier this month, Nintendo surprised fans when it revealed that Ganondorf will appear in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The villain is looking much closer to his incarnation from Ocarina of Time, and much less like Calamity Ganon, the threat from Breath of the Wild. Naturally, this has led to many questions among fans, and the disjointed nature of the Zelda timeline makes it all a bit confusing. Of course, Nintendo has also kept details about Tears of the Kingdom‘s story under wraps, so it’s hard to say exactly how things will play out in the game!

Who is Ganondorf?

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is canonically the first game in the Zelda saga. When Link defeats the villain Demise, a curse is placed on his and Princess Zelda’s bloodlines. This curse is implied to be the cycle of death and rebirth that would soon surround the villain Ganon, who has returned countless times to plague new descendants of Link and Zelda.

Ocarina of Time marks the first appearance of Ganondorf in Zelda continuity. In the game, Ganondorf is the king of the Gerudo, and the only Gerudo male born in 100 years. In the villain’s final battle with Link at the end of the game, he uses the Triforce of Power to transform into Ganon, a monstrous, pig-like foe. Ganondorf’s humanoid appearance returned in The Wind Waker and again in Twilight Princess, two games that are direct follow-ups to Ocarina of Time, but take place in different timelines. Outside of the Super Smash Bros. series, Twilight Princess marks the last time the Ganondorf form has been seen in a game.

What is Calamity Ganon?

While Ganondorf is a cold, calculating foe, Calamity Ganon has often been compared to a force of pure evil. In Breath of the Wild, it’s established that Ganon has given up on the endless cycle of death and resurrection. His humanity lost, Calamity Ganon is his “pure, enraged form.” Link successfully destroys Calamity Ganon at the end of the game, but trailers for Tears of the Kingdom seem to show Calamity Ganon’s energy resurrecting the body of Ganondorf. It remains to be seen how things will play out now, but clearly Link is going to have his hands full when the game launches on May 12th!

Are you looking forward to Ganondorf’s return in Tears of the Kingdom? What are you hoping to see from the game? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!