The ever-changing sizes of Ganon and Link

Last year we revealed the hilariously inconsistent sizes of Mario and Bowser, two of gaming’s most recognizable characters. Makes sense then to give Nintendo’s “serious” hero/villain duo a hard time too, eh? Witness pointy-eared Link change from squat child to lean teen, and the villainous Ganon transform from monster to human and back again.

Back in the day, making it all the way through Death Mountain was such a daunting task that even Ganon’s original sky-blue sprite was intimidating. It’s sort of hard to tell exactly what he is (pig-wizard, it turns out), but that didn’t stop our seven-year-old hearts from beating out of control at the very sight of Ganon and his trendy skull belt buckle.

The manual’s official art made it look like Ganon was a towering warlock, bested only by shoving the Triforce directly into his body. Exciting!

Above: The manual’s epic (though incorrect) art 

Naturally, that’s not what the game looked like at all. Ganon is large, but nowhere near that size. And Link, well, he looks like Link. Everyone knows Link.

But everyone might not know that when Ganon dies, he erupts into a pile of gore. Maybe they’re bloody ashes, who knows. Either way it was such a violent end that Ganon actually stayed dead for the sequel.

Thin as it is, the plot does make it clear that Link successfully killed Ganon in the first game (though Ganon’s minions are attempting to resurrect him by some gobbledygook no one remembers). Link is now a slender teenager, and the game’s final battle is against Link’s own shadow.

Some still assert that Shadow Link is actually Ganon, but all the asserting in the world won’t make it true. Ganon’s only appearance in Zelda II is that Game Over image up there, with no contextual placement of Link to determine size. This is obviously very important, so we’d best move on.

The 16-bit Link/Ganon duo is more or less the same as the NES, so we get a stubby Link hobbling around another pig wizard. Both are a bit more detailed, with Ganon brandishing a trident (Of Doom, probably) and Link, uh, still being short. Based on this new (non) information, we can guess this is the accepted ratio for the early ‘90s.

Basically they’re still on target, with Ganon a bit larger and rounder than Link. We have more definition thanks to newer technology, but so far no drastic size variations.

It’s a secret to everybody – Ganon isn’t in the black and white Link’s Awakening, nor is he in the 1998 Game Boy Color remake. Instead, Link’s last challenge is a battle against a series of nightmares, one of which is a very clear reference to the familiar porcine spellcaster. The sizes appear on track, even if this isn’t technically Ganon in the first place.

Whoa! With six years to stew about his defeat in A Link to the Past, Ganon swells in size to this monstrous demon brandishing two oversized swords. Keep in mind that Link is now an adult and still barely comes up to Ganon’s knees.


Even reeling over in pain, Ganon’s new form is immensely larger than anything we’d seen yet. However, you only see this Ganon at the end of Ocarina, as his smaller, “human” form takes center stage.

Ocarina marks the first appearance of Ganondorf, who from here on out acts as Ganon’s “main form,” and only becomes the hideous “Ganon” after losing control of his evil powers. Despite becoming human, Ganondorf still stands tall over adult Link.

Fun fact! Nintendo censored Ganon’s bloody Ocarina death for the Virtual Console release, replacing red blood with green.


Above: We promise this is Link stabbing Ganon

Next page – Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Smash Bros!

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  • n00b - July 17, 2009 5:06 a.m.

    Doesn’t stop him from embedding a sword in Ganondorf’s head though. LOL
  • noobeater - June 25, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    well twilight princess has to be my favourite zelda took a flawless oot and made it better i still have original oot and others but i got rid of wii ages ago coz it was mostly shit i want one to play twilight princess again...i fully completed twilight princess in 30 hrs....admit thats pretty quick =D
  • soragod4 - June 25, 2009 3:27 a.m.

    i have played like all of these and i just bought orcarina from the wii shop so this fit my mood pretty well also the new games thing at the bottom of the page should be changed i mean seiriously those things aren't new re captcha: mrs snazzier
  • CARLINNIT - June 24, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    No CD-i games? Everybody knows they were the best games.
  • TheWebSwinger - June 24, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    @slickmcwilly: according to the TDar podcast, Majora's Mask is the only Zelda game the writer of this article never finished. There's probably a reason for that.
  • gopikmin - June 24, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    I bet ganon/ganondorf will be in spirit tracks. Spirit tracks takes place 100 years after phatom houglass. !00 years is certainly enough time for Ganon to be revived
  • buminyaface - June 24, 2009 7:18 p.m.

    ganondorfs shnozz is massive on the first page!
  • SlightlyBetterName - June 24, 2009 6:39 p.m.

    Brett wrote an article on Zelda? Not possible...
  • MechGyver - June 24, 2009 10 a.m.

    Why Do Girls Have Boobs?
  • Conman93 - June 24, 2009 9:55 a.m.

    I agree with FrozenImplosion a cel shaded Zelda for wii would be awesome Or maybe even a windwaker remake for with more dungeons and less triforce chart searching
  • Mavarious - June 24, 2009 7:09 a.m.

    wife arm beats girl sword any day
  • somerandomchap - June 24, 2009 6:54 a.m.

    Yay my favourite game, and favourite editor. Nice article Brelston
  • ELpork - June 23, 2009 11:32 p.m.

    As a change of pace, Gannon will be the size of a pea in the next game.... as well as link not really... having a... sword...
  • richtaur - June 23, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    Hey! It's the Mario VS Bowser sizes again! Awesome.
  • slickmcwilly - June 23, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    not even a mention of majora's mask? even if it doesn't have ganon, it should have been noted or something
  • FrozenImplosion - June 23, 2009 10:14 p.m.

    I loved windwaker link and windwaker ganondorf. They should make a Wii title in the windwaker style!
  • erreip199 - June 23, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    u guys forgot to mention the wind waker ganon, he isnt the last form but in fact thie first few ones of ganondorf
  • Nin10DOH - June 23, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    hmm..the Ganon from Wind Waker is pretty huge. It looks like he could eat Link. Good article though
  • MechGyver - June 23, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    from WIKI: "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or, to give their scientific name Tortiesa Adolicious Ninjitsua Mutalia are the four results of a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong by ?!Linux!? during his attendance at Helsinki University, in his attempt to create an affectionate mate. Instead of creating a singular human XX-chromosome female, to defend him from on-campus brutes as well as to make love to him, ?!Linux!? experiment spawned four YY-chromosome pizza-addicted humanoid turtles who have a fond likeness of Californian surfer slang." Be amazed with the truth behind the legend!
  • ChrisAntistaSmellsLikePizza - June 23, 2009 7:49 p.m.