Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorofu) returns from Super Smash Bros. Melee in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a playable character. His design is based upon his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (although slightly shorter compared to Link). He retains his Melee incarnation's hand-to-hand combat style (not using his sword outside of taunts), remaining the only character to be based on a character from another series, but is no longer a straight clone of Captain Falcon.
Ganondorf holds the distinction of being the last character on the tier list, at the F level and at 38th place (a significant drop from his position on the Melee tier list, 12/26) and being the lowest-ranked veteran and unlockable. Ganondorf certainly has a few strengths, including his trademark extreme power throughout his moveset, high endurance, a strong edge guarding ability with access to the most powerful meteor smash and a great semi-spike in his up aerial, and surprisingly strong combo ability, with great combo starters in his autocancelled down aerials and Flame Choke, that can potentially deal extreme damage. These strengths are nullified however by a slew of crippling flaws. Ganondorf is the slowest character in Brawl, with the slowest attacks overall and the worst mobility, and has one of the worst recoveries (considered by some to be the worst) with both poor distance gained and being easy to edge guard (exacerbated by his primary recovery move Dark Dive being punishable when landed, effectively stopping him from fulfilling his full endurance potential). Most of his attacks have poor reach for a character of his size or hold poorly placed hitboxes, putting him at a serious disadvantage against characters with disjointed hitboxes (like Marth), while the loss of L-cancelling greatly cripples the utilisation of his powerful aerials. In addition, he possesses a slow grab that has the worst grabbing reach in Brawl (which combine with his slow attacks to leave Ganondorf with terrible out of shield options), is hindered by a heavy weight that makes him vulnerable to chain grabs and combos, even going so far as to make him a victim of infinites and zero-to-death combos (most notoriously from the Ice Climbers and King Dedede), suffers from shield stabbing (like Donkey Kong, his shield is unusally small for someone of his size), and lacks any sort of projectile, which combine with his terrible movement speed and large size to make him capable of being outcamped by every character. As a result of these attributes, Ganondorf has the 2nd lowest tier drop (Jigglypuff having the lowest), terrible tournament results, and the dubious distinctions of not only being the only character in the entire Smash series to have absolutely no advantageous or even matchups (in addition to being hard countered by 22 characters, the most out of any character in-game), but of being the only character to have ever been in his own tier at the bottom of the tier list. He also has the highest amount of near unwinnable matchups of any character in the game, with a total of five. Despite being last on the American tier list, Ganondorf is ranked 31st on Japanese tier list, while Jigglypuff places last.
 How to Unlock
To unlock Ganondorf, the player must either -
Note: With the exception of the third option, Ganondorf has to be fought in a 1v1 fight at Final Destination to unlock him.
Ganondorf is a heavy, fast falling, very slow character (the slowest to be exact) with slightly above average range (excluding his grab and up smash, which have very low horizontal range), very strong attacks, including more than one of the strongest attacks in the game. His attacks, whether in the sweetspot or the sourspot, are still very powerful (which actually results in a problem for him, since this doesn't allow him combos at medium damage percentages or higher). Almost all of his moves have above average knockback and can KO as well. His side special grants him launch resistance (only helpful in team battles or FFAS) while he is holding the opponent and it leaves opponents vulnerable for a bit of time if used on the ground, leaving them open for another quick attack being a true set up like down tilt (on most characters), his jab (some that can avoid the down tilt but not the jab) or several characters getting hit by dash attack and side tilt for KOs, and even his up aerial on platforms. He can also use it for tech-chases to predict the opponent, for example regrabbing with it or getting a down aerial or down angled forward smash, the damage side special does is fairly low though. In the air, Ganondorf's side special can cause a Ganoncide, although it is situational because even when it's impossible to escape from it or control the trajectory, landing it is very hard work. Ganondorf's moves are arguably the least affected by Smash DI, because he has the lowest number of multi-hitting moves (his down smash and his neutral aerial are his only moves considered to be a multi-hitting move; however, his neutral aerial's second hit will almost never connect at higher percentages), effectively rendering escape and punishment of his attacks ineffective, although his attacks are a lot easier to shield or dodge. Ganondorf's dash attack provides him with a quick speed boost, and the move is a hard hitter as well and can also KO, but it is easily punished if shielded. Ganondorf's aerials are also very strong; all have high knockback, and his down aerial is an extremely strong, reliable spike (sometimes can KO even at 0%, depending from how far they are from the bottom and how good their recovery is), Ganondorf`s advanced superjump glitch is very situational, but, if done right, he travels higher in the air, useful for an aerial reverse Warlock Punch, his most powerful move. This technique is called the Flight of Ganon.
However, Ganondorf's extremely high power and heavy weight are counter-balanced with many factors. Ganondorf is a tall target, the tallest in the game (though most heavyweights have this problem). His horizontal standing grab range is the shortest in the game (though his pivot grab has good range, but slower start-up). Because of his poor grab range and slow moves, his out of shield options are one of the worst in the game (though his grab is the shortest in the game, it can sometimes still shield grab depending on the range of the opponent's attack and the shieldstun of it), forcing him to rely on powershielding, and because of how much he relies on his shield that hasn't the size of characters like Snake without being able to punish the opponent, it makes him easy to shield-stab with multi-hit moves. Ganondorf can't even take the sky out of shield due to jump lag (7 frames). Ganondorf has very bad air speed, and a very small second jump (though it auto-sweetspots ledges, allowing him to plank). He lacks a projectile and he is easy to camp for those who have a projectile. Ganondorf's overall ground attack speed is among the slowest in the game along with Ike (but 3 of Ganondorf's aerial attacks are only laggy if he lands while attacking; Ganondorf's fastest ground attack is his short-ranged grab which has 7 frames start-up).
His staling ratio is one of the highest in the game. Many of his moves like his Dash Attack, Down Tilt and his Down Aerial lose a lot of their KO power and damage input very quickly, the KO factor having an even bigger impact. This will give him trouble KOing if he can't land a fresh move. This can be remedied by using moves that don't have the KO power of his other moves like his jab, neutral aerial, and three of his throws (they hit two times) even though it is somewhat predictable and the grab range is short. Although his weight and good momentum canceling allows him to live very long, his slow, predictable and easily gimped recovery does not travel far horizontally. In addition to that, his main recovery move can be hit out of from above by certain characters where he lacks hitboxes (e.g. Falco, at around 90% damage, can spike Ganondorf out of his up special with his down aerial). It can poorly stage spike edgehoggers, but Dark Dive is easily teched. Because of these reasons, Ganondorf's up special is one of the worst in the game and should only be used offensively if the opponent is at a low percent or is one of the few who can't punish Ganon's up special. Although his damage input and KO power allows to compensate his poor recovery somewhat, it is still a major problem, especially in teams where his partner has to be good at preventing gimps. He, like Captain Falcon and Wolf, has a very fast falling speed and a heavy weight that can backfire by being very vulnerable to chain grabs. Ganondorf's mobility is very poor. This means that characters with a good projectile can easily break his approach and force him to jump and still get very little distance, so it's suggested to all Ganondorf mains to learn to perfect shield every projectile aimed on him. Also, certain characters can avoid much of his moveset by crouching (jab, f-tilt, non-down angled forward smash, down smash, auto-canceled short hop down aerial, Warlock Punch, grounded Wizard's Foot and even standing grab and dash grab).
Ganondorf is a unique character. His extreme power means that a single blow from him can turn the tide of a match with opponents in the danger zone as low as 30% (his earliest KOing move, Warlock Punch, essentially guarantees KOs at damages as low as 13% or 14% when reversed), but landing that blow is usually difficult. Opponents need to relentlessly pummel him with attacks and keep him from executing his big finishers, or they may see themselves down a stock.
He can rack up damage extremely quickly, with combos like short hop auto-canceled down aerial (thunderstorming) three times with an up smash at the end (this can do more than 60% to an opponent caught off-guard). Thanks to his Flame Choke, which puts the opponent in a very bad position, he can tech-chase into very powerful moves in terms of both damage and knockback like his forward smash, which KOs at fairly low percentages, or even into another Flame Choke. So as said before, he can find it very difficult to land a move, but once he does, with proper prediction he can become a lethal character.
Ganondorf has been severely nerfed from Melee to Brawl, despite having some good buffs, some of his nerfs leaves him with some terrible attributes, overwhelming the buffs. Ganondorf has had a good deal of changes from Melee to Brawl, beginning with a general design change to his Twilight Princess incarnation and a new voice actor. The animations of his attacks are largely different as well. Ganondorf's moves and attributes also underwent a lot of changes, the result of which is that while he was Middle tier in Melee, he is currently the lowest in the Brawl tier list.
He now has the 2nd slowest dash speed, his dodge rolls are slower (though still very fast for his weight class), has shorter grab range (now the shortest in the game) and lower jumping height, but has a faster spot dodge (thanks to its new IASA), now average instead of being one of the worst in the game. In general, his attacks are slower but with generally greater reach: his neutral jab and down tilt are noticeable. Although, more of his KOing moves were weakened than strengthened, often on a higher scale. Volcano Kick, his up tilt, has a vacuum effect, has 81 frames start-up instead of 88, has an incredibly long disjointed range and completely cancels knockback if knocked close to it (can act like a spike on aerial characters, for example being great for punishing Snake's C4 jump) but has slightly less KOing power and purely vertical knockback if hit from afar. His up smash is now a single, vertical kick with less lag at the end but it's damage potential was significantly reduced. His Warlock Punch, now fired from his left hand, was made faster and can be reversed during the start-up frames for more damage and knockback. Gerudo Dragon was replaced with Flame Choke, his new side special, but it has lower range and power (it can no longer KO since the move has set knockback). Dark Dive is weaker during the grab (11% compared to 17% and Ganondorf can even get punished from grabbing the opponent when he/she has around 50% damage or higher due its poor hitstun) and can no longer KO outside of stage spiking, but can now grab edgehoggers and hit enemies with an uppercut at the end.
Wizard's Foot no longer enables a midair jump if one was used already making his horizontal recovery much worse, the aerial Wizard's Foot must hit during the initial frames to spike and the grounded version has much lower knockback, but the non-spike hitbox of aerial Wizard's Foot has very high upwards knockback. His side smash can be angled up or down, has more horizontal knockback than vertical knockback, and is stronger. His down smash is slower, hooking opponents into the second kick better, but the second kick has significantly less knockback. His dash attack has better range and is much stronger, while 2nd kick of neutral aerial is much weaker. His forward aerial's start-up is slower by three frames, it has a sourspot and has 10 frames longer landing lag than his non-L-canceled one had in Melee, now having 1 frame more landing lag than his down aerial and because of a programming error, it has now no IASA at all and no auto cancel frames either. His back aerial no longer has the 5 frame duration it had in Melee and is slightly weaker. Finally, another buff is his down aerial auto-cancels during short hops, making it easier to abuse, but it doesn't prevent him from being severely nerfed.
 Ground Attacks
 Special Moves
Gan On Dorf! (deep male voices)
 Wii Remote choice
A sound clip of Ganondorf shouting from Melee is heard.
 In competitive play
 Notable players
 Tier placement and history
Ganondorf initially wasn't seen as the worst character, being ranked above Link and Captain Falcon on the first tier list, and was still ranked above Captain Falcon on the second tier list. From the third tier list on however, Ganondorf has been consistently ranked the worst character, and on the fifth tier list, was considered to be so much worse than everyone else he was ranked in his own tier at the absolute bottom. Despite his reputation as the worst character, he has a dedicated playerbase that has achieved better tournament success than most other bottom/low tier characters (however minor it is). A player named Fonz even once won a legitimate tournament using Ganondorf (except for one match), an accomplishment players of most other low/bottom tier characters have not been able to achieve. As such, with Ganondorf's better tournament success compared to most other low/bottom characters, there has been some dispute on if Ganondorf is actually the worst character in Brawl, with Zelda and Jigglypuff frequently being cited as even worse. Interestingly, the Japanese don't consider Ganondorf the worst character, and actually have him listed above five other characters on their tier list. Despite this, the BBR still considered Ganondorf the worst character in their most recent tier list.
 In Event Matches
 Role in The Subspace Emissary
Ganondorf plays the role of the second main antagonist (under Tabuu) in the Subspace Emissary. Ganondorf first appears in a control room on the Isle of the Ancients, giving Bowser the coordinates to find King Dedede, who had stolen Wario's trophies.
Later, in the same control room, he receives orders from Master Hand to destroy the Isle of the Ancients. Appearing in their island base as a hologram, he consequently orders the R.O.B. Squad to activate all of the Subspace Bombs on the Isle. When the Ancient Minister objects, Ganondorf presses an override button that forces the R.O.B.s to ignore the Minister and continue. When he continues to intervene, Ganondorf goes further and forces the R.O.B.s to attack the Ancient Minister, setting him aflame; while sending a flock of Auroros to distract an approaching group of heroes. Suddenly, the burning Ancient Minister fires beams from his eyes, destroying the Auroros and shedding the remnants of his robes to show that he himself is a R.O.B., and proceeds to help the others fight the advancing Subspace troops.
After the Isle of the Ancients is engulfed in Subspace, Ganondorf appears on the Subspace Gunship as its co-commander, with Bowser, but they are forced to retreat into Subspace when the Gunship is destroyed by Kirby and his Dragoon. Ganondorf then decides it is time to betray Master Hand, so he takes out the last remaining Dark Cannon and fires it at Bowser, his own co-captain and the most loyal of Master Hand's henchmen. Kicking the Bowser trophy out of the way, Ganondorf proceeds to present himself to Master Hand. However, as he prepares to betray Master Hand for complete control of the Subspace Army, he sees that Master Hand was literally a puppet of Tabuu, the supreme ruler of Subspace. Ganondorf tries to attack him, but is defeated and turned into a trophy. As he falls, however, he bumps into the chains of light which puppeteer Master Hand, freeing him from Tabuu's control. Master Hand then attempts to attack Tabuu, but is defeated with ease.
Later, after the main group of heroes had been defeated by Tabuu and rescued by Luigi, Ness and King Dedede, Kirby finds Ganondorf's trophy - leading the resurrected Bowser to appear and brutally attack the trophy as an act of revenge before tossing it aside. If Link and Zelda were rescued, a cutscene will show Ganondorf being revived by them (with a headache from his trophification and Bowser's retaliation) and after the Hyrulian heroes walk away he clenches his fist in anger and helps the heroes defeat Tabuu.
 Cameo Appearances
Ganondorf appears frequently during Subspace Emissary.
 Playable Appearances
 Exclusive Stickers
These stickers can only be used by Ganondorf or by a select few including him:
 Trophy description
A man who wants to use the power of the Triforce to conquer the world. In Twilight Princess, he gives strength to the Twilight King, Zant, and tries to change the land into a world of darkness. He possesses Zelda, transforms into a magical beast, and attacks Link. In the end, however, Link deals him a finishing blow and defeats him.