Smash Speculation: Ganon

Smash Bros is a fighting game that pits many of Nintendo’s beloved heroes against each other in brutal combat. But why is it all about heroes? To date, there is one villain character confirmed for the new games. Two if you consider Dedede a villain (he’s not). Three if you assume that Ganondorf will be making a return. What I’m saying here is: Smash needs more bad guys!



Who better than the original villain of the Zelda series, the evil wizard Ganon? Nintendo has sort of brushed this piggly form off to the side to give his human form, Ganondorf, the spotlight. I don’t like this trend. While they’re essentially the same baddie, I find Ganon to be the more interesting and threatening version. Ganondorf is just a regular old power-hungry sociopath. When Ganondorf claimed the Triforce for himself, it reflected his evil nature and twisted his physical form into the blue pig version that you see above.

Ganon carries a massive trident, but he’s always been more keen on ranged combat. His original incarnation fought by teleporting around the room (while also being invisible) and chucking fireballs at Link. When he got his trident in A Link to the Past, he still only fought by throwing it and warping around his chamber. When that proved to be an unsuccessful tactic, he ditched the trident and went back to magical attacks. This isn’t to say that Ganon wouldn’t use the weapon for close-range combat. No, he’s got to have some physical skills to stay in the game, but I think that his slow speed and preference for magic attacks would make him weaker in the physical department.

So what about smashes? Forward smash is the easy one: Ganon throws his trident out slightly in front of him (think Falco’s reflector in Brawl) and it spins around for a second. Down smash could be a low trident swipe at both sides, or maybe Ganon plunges the trident into the ground and it creates a small lightning field on the ground around him. Up smash is the one where I’m stuck. I like the idea of having Ganon send out a flaming keese though.

Neutral special is the most interesting one here. Ganon fires off a ball of magic straight ahead, though potentially it can be curved like Link’s arrows or Zelda’s fireball. The magic ball can be reflected by a sword or similar attack. Ganon can then strike the returning ball to reflect it again, and this cycle will repeat until it flies away or hits someone. Each reflect would increase the magic ball’s power, and it would have an electrical effect upon hitting a target. This attack is taken from A Link to the Past, where it is Agahnim’s signature move, and the only way to defeat him. Agahnim, if you weren’t aware, is Ganon’s Light World alter ego.

Ganon’s side special would also be pried from Agahnim’s repertoire: a simple lightning bolt. Or maybe multiple bolts fanning out at a shallow angle. I can’t think of any especially interesting mechanics for this move, maybe it could cause a small amount of damage through shields, but not be able to break them? Anyway, it’s not a super long-distance attack, only going maybe three or four body lengths away from Ganon, but it’ll get the job done.

Down special is a difficult one to peg, but at first, I like an earthquake move. Say it’s based on the Quake Medallion for A Link to the Past. Ganon thrusts his trident into the ground (again) and creates a quake effect in a decent radius around him. Obviously it doesn’t affect fighters in the air, and if Ganon himself is airborne, he’ll throw the trident straight down and create the same effect, only the weapon itself would now be able to cause damage if it hits someone. If you don’t like that, maybe he gets a warping move where he vanishes, shows up a few lengths away, and then attacks in the opposite direction. Or maybe he warps directly behind the nearest fighter to attack.

Up special I had to think about for a while, but I like the idea of drawing a little from Ganon’s appearance in Four Swords Adventures, and giving him a tornado attack. In that game, he does manipulate Vaati the wind mage, so why not have a wind-based attack. He also uses a jump move while twirling his trident above his head, so just mash that all up together and you’ve got a special attack. Basically what I’m thinking here is Ganon conjures up a tornado around him and then floats up through it with the twirling trident. The tornado will suck up any fighters who get too close, and if they get hit by the trident, they’ll go flying away.

Ganon’s final smash is, as usual, where I’m getting stuck. We could just go with the obvious callback, where Ganon becomes invisible and teleports around the stage launching fireballs at the other fighters. We could go a little more creative and have him summon up a bunch of monsters to attack. We could have him do a line-of-sight attack like Zelda and Link, invoking his Triforce of Power to stun an opponent while he lobs magic attacks at them, and finishes with a big hit (perhaps he throws the trident at them and a bolt of lightning strikes it?).

I definitely need to workshop this one a little more before it’s a good idea, but I think there’s a solid base there. I honestly believe in my heart that Ganon has a good chance of joining the roster. For the longest time he was the second-most iconic villain in Nintendo’s stable, supplanted only by his less interesting human form. All the kids are clamoring for Ridley, but there’s another Nintendo monster that I’d much rather see.

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