- This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Ganondorf. Also, for information about the character of whom Ganondorf is a clone, see Captain Falcon (SSBM).
||Since he's slow and can't jump very high, Ganondorf relies mainly on his immense physical strength to overwhelm his enemies.
(Ganondorf's trophy description)
Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorofu) is in his original human form as he appears in the more recent installments of the series. His design is based off his appearance from the SpaceWorld demo. Ganondorf is a clone of Captain Falcon. As such, he fights in a style similar to Captain Falcon, except in a slower but more powerful manner.
Currently, Ganondorf ranks 10th in the C tier on the Tier List. This is due to his extreme power, good reach, good chain throwing ability, surprising speed in some areas, having what is considered one of the best aerial games, great edgeguard game, and having strong matchups overall. However, he has some major flaws, such as his slow ground game, susceptibility to combos and chain throws, being so easily bogged down by fast attacks and projectiles, and being arguably the most vulnerable character to edgeguarding, considering his predictable recovery. Another major problem facing Ganondorf is having poor matchups against the top tier characters. While he has some great strengths, his major flaws, especially the matchup problem against the top tiers, keeps him from being in the higher tiers.
How to Unlock
Overall, Ganondorf sacrifices speed and range for power. He is often considered the most powerful character in the game, with Bowser running-up in terms of strength. His Up smash is the strongest in the game if fully charged and if both hits connect, but has long start-up lag. His up throw and down throw are excellent launchers as well as effective chain throws. His standard special, Warlock Punch, is one of the slowest moves in the game, but can KO at low percentages. His down aerial is the strongest aerial attack and meteor smash in the game: it is nearly impossible to recover at even low percentages, and can even Star KO opponents that are on the ground under 100%.
However, Ganondorf's powerful attacks are counterbalanced by being slow. Although most of Ganondorf's aerial attacks have long periods of landing lag as well, L-canceling greatly helps this problem.
Ganondorf's mobility and approach is crippled by Ganondorf's short, relatively slow wavedash and long ending lag in his aerial attacks. He also lacks a projectile and a way of dealing with projectiles against him. However, Ganondorf has high-range attacks, can moonwalk and has great platform-dashing game. He also has one of the fastest and farthest rolls in the game due to being a clone of Captain Falcon.
Ganondorf has a long, extendable, horizontal recovery, thanks to his down special, Wizard's Foot, which is one of only two specials to allow the character to regain their midair jump (the other is Falcon Kick, but this is considered inferior to Wizard's Foot because Falcon Kick travels much farther downwards). However, he is one of the most easily edgeguarded and edge-hogged characters because of his large size and that his up special, Dark Dive, can't attack people hanging on the edge.
While being prone to edge-hoggers, Ganondorf, in turn, is one of the best edge-guarders, with more aerial edge-guarding options than any other character in the game; all of his aerials deal high damage and knockback, and Wizard's Foot is a spike (which means it can't be meteor canceled). In particular, his reversed up-aerial (perform it while facing away from the edge) is one of the best edge-guarding moves in the game due to its long duration, range (330 degree bicycle kick), and semi-spiking knockback (this makes it difficult to tech). His down aerial is also difficult to meteor-cancel, regardless of damage percentage.
Ganondorf is vulnerable to combos and chain grabs due to being large, falling quickly, and being heavy (although his heavy weight also makes him harder to KO).
- Neutral attack- A quick jab that will do 7% damage. Has actual KO potential at higher %s. Since he jabs directly in front of him, some smaller characters can easily duck under it. Ganondorf's fastest attack, it is often use in combos with his other attacks, especially his down aerial.
- Dash attack- A shoulder tackle, does 14% damage. It's fast, and though its upward knockback is not extremely high, it is a strong dash attack and combos very well into a bair/uair at 40-60% damage.
- Down tilt- A quick breakdance kick. An impressive 12% damage when fresh. Sets up aerial combos or his up special. Good reach, but is rather slow when compared to other down tilts. Can KO at very high percentages.
- Up tilt- Lifts his leg up and then brings his leg down violently. Slowest move in the game (72 frames), though very powerful, can even OHKO if hits by the edge due to its extremely high base knockback. It can also KO opponents at low percentage. 27% damage. Is by far the most powerful tilt in the game, it can KO even earlier than the Warlock Punch.
- Forward tilt- Quick kick in front, 13% damage. It has far reach for a tilt, but is on the slow side. High knockback for a tilt, it is capable of KOing at high percentages. Can be tilted further to a higher, stronger kick or a low, ground-touching quick kick perfect for edgeguarding.
- Forward smash- Thrusts his elbow forward with impressive vertical knockback. Almost no horizontal knockback at all, which makes it hard to DI out of. 22% uncharged, 30% fully. It is very powerful and since Ganondorf moves while performing it, it has great reach. It is the second most powerful f-smash in the game, only being exceeded by Bowser's f-smash. Even though it is powerful and far reaching, it has fairly slow start-up and significant ending lag.
- Down smash- Kicks leg in front and back of him. Can chain together, can be DI'd out of second hit. 8% then 13% uncharged, 11% then 17% fully charged. Total 21% uncharged, 28% fully charged. Is one of, if not the most powerful down smash in the game, capable of star KOing lighter/floatier characters under 100%. It is rather fast, especially for how powerful it is. Due to Ganondorf's long legs, it is one of the farthest reaching down smashes in the game. If the opponent avoids the second kick after being hit by the first kick when near the ledge, its powerful base knockback can set up an early edgeguard opportunity.
- Up smash- Kicks both his legs upwards. The first hit can lead into the second, though is DI-able and unlikely. 22% then 17% uncharged, 30% then 22% fully charged. Total 39% uncharged, 53% fully charged. It is the fourth most powerful uncharged up smash in the game (only exceeded by Pikachu's, Fox's, and Sheik's). When fully charged, it is the most powerful and damaging up smash in the game. Even though it is extremely powerful and surprisingly fast, its lack of horizontal reach limits its effectiveness as a reliable killer.
- Ledge attack- Gets up and thrusts knee, 10% damage. Can knock opponents off the edge if they are close, potentially setting up an edgeguard.
- 100% ledge attack- Slowly gets up and punches in front of him, does 8% damage.
- Floor attack- Does a round kick that can hit twice. 6% then 5%.
- Neutral aerial- Very fast one-two kick. 12% then 10%. Total 22%. Both kicks have high knockback, but it is very difficult to land both kicks at very low percentages and it is impossible to land both kicks at percentages higher than 25% (unless another opponent is grabbed by another character or the opponent is under the effect of a Super Mushroom). It's possible to land a second kick without the first kick landed, but it requires correct timing.
- Forward aerial- "Skull Crusher". Ganondorf reaches forwards and brings his fist down rather quickly with impressive knockback and damage, though slightly weaker than The Knee doing 17%. It has higher base knockback than the knee, but less knockback scaling, which makes it proportional to his back aerial at higher percentages. Unlike the knee, it always strikes with the same force. It is also just as fast as the knee with much more range, but it has more landing lag.
- Back aerial- Punches behind him, with high power doing 16%. It is fast, powerful, and good for edgeguarding. It has less base knockback than his forward aerial, but has more knockback scalling, making its power proportional to his fair, knockback wise. Has the exact amount of frames as Captain Falcon's back aerial, but hits with the same power throughout the entirety of the attack.
- Down aerial- Stomps with electric effect, doing 22% if fresh. Extremely powerful meteor smash. It is by far the most powerful meteor in the game, along with Young Link's dair if it sweetspots, and it is overall the most powerful aerial in the game. It has a massive hitbox (it covers Ganondorf's entire body), and it is surprisingly easy to recover from (this is due to its low aerial ending lag). It is capable of setting up combos at low percentages and used against grounded opponents, it is a great finisher at high percentages (KOs everyone but Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, Falco, and Bowser under 100%).
- Total time: 44 frames
- Hits on frames 16-20
- IASA frame 38
- Landing before frame 3 or after frame 36 of this attack causes the move to auto cancel
- Lag when landing: 35 frames
- Lag when landing (l-canceled): 17 frames
- Up aerial- Spinning kick. Knockback direction depends on which angle the foe was hit on. 13% sweetspotted, about 7% sourspotted. If Ganondorf is facing away from the opponent and the attack hits with the sourspot at the tip of his foot, the opponent will be semi-spiked, with low damage but extremely high hitstun.
- Pummel- Knees foe. does 2-3% damage per pummel.
- Forward throw- Punches foe in front. Two hitboxes, does 5% then another 4%, adding up to 9%. It's only use is to set up edgeguarding situations at high percentages.
- Back throw- Takes foe and bring them behind him, and kicks. 5% then 4%, adds up to 9%. Can set up edgeguards at high percentages.
- Up throw- Knocks his foe above him. 3% then 4%, adds up to 7%. Excellent set up for juggles and can be an effective chainthrow at low percentages and fastfallers at mid percentages.
- Down throw- Takes foe and violently bashes them to the floor. A one-hit 7% damage, another better suited to set up juggling. Can also chain throw a variety of characters at low percentages and can chain throw fastfallers up to high percentages.
Differences between Captain Falcon
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ganondorf is a "clone" of Captain Falcon, but with much slower running speed, lower jumping height, and much greater overall power (this is despite Captain Falcon being arguably the third most powerful character in the game). Also, many of Ganondorf's attacks have darkness or electrical effects as opposed to Captain Falcon's fire effects. Ganondorf is considered a slower but tougher and harder-hitting character with more reach. He is much heavier, has a longer horizontal recovery, and his attacks have much higher knockback. Ganondorf also has a completely different fair than Captain Falcon. On the flipside, he's a big, slow target and is easily combo'd and bogged down by fast attacks. Ganondorf lives longer horizontally than Captain Falcon due to being heavier and having a better recovery, but because Captain Falcon's falling speed is much faster (even if Ganondorf's falling speed is top 6), Captain Falcon lives longer vertically (longest in the game). It is notable that Ganondorf is the only "clone" that is of a different universe from the original character.
Similar to fellow unlockable character Roy, Ganondorf does not appear as an opponent in the game's Classic Mode, though he can appear as an ally in the team battles and Giant battles.
Upon being unlocked, Adventure Mode makes no concessions to Ganondorf whatsoever.
In All-Star Mode, Ganondorf and his allies are fought on Brinstar Depths. Unusually, the normal music plays in this stage.
Ganondorf is featured in the following event matches:
- Event 29: Triforce Gathering: As Link and teamed with Zelda, the player faces Ganondorf on the Temple stage. If the player has not yet unlocked Ganondorf upon completing this event, they will have an opportunity to fight him 1 on 1 after the match, where defeating him in this match will unlock Ganondorf.
- Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Ganondorf is the final opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. The player's character battles him on the Final Destination stage, and their character has 2 stock while Ganondorf has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other five characters one-by-one with the overall time and life the player has: Dr. Mario, Falco, Pichu, Young Link, and Roy.
- Event 51: The Showdown: The final event match pits the player's character against a team of Giga Bowser, Mewtwo, and Ganondorf on the Final Destination stage (friendly fire turned off), with all four characters having 3 stock each and unlimited time.
In addition to the normal trophy about Ganondorf as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Ganondorf on any difficulty:
- Ganondorf (Trophy #64)
- Said to be the sole man born to the Gerudo tribe in a hundred years, Ganondorf aspired to conquer the world. He plundered a piece of the sacred Triforce from the Temple of Time when Link pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal. With the Triforce of Power in Ganondorf's possession, Hyrule was plunged into darkness until Link and Zelda defeated the fiend.
- Ganondorf (Smash Red) (Trophy #65)
- Since he's slow and can't jump very high, Ganondorf relies mainly on his immense physical strength to overwhelm his enemies. His great weight also makes him a difficult foe to send offscreen. Ganondorf's Warlock Punch is slow but absurdly powerful, and when he strikes with his Gerudo Dragon, enemies rise skyward enveloped in dark flames.
- Ganondorf (Smash Blue) (Trophy #66)
- Ganondorf's slow speed works against him in single combat, but in melees, his crazy power lets him earn his keep with innumerable KOs. Ganondorf can't strike quickly, but each blow he lands adds up. Ganondorf is at his quickest when he uses the Wizard's Foot, and his Dark Dive blasts foes in a burst of dark energy.
Ganondorf's changeable clothing in SSBM
- Despite being a rather poor jumper, he has the highest ledge jump in the game, jumping even higher than Falco and his counterpart, Captain Falcon.
- In Classic Mode, Ganondorf can only appear as a partner for the player in the team and giant battles. He never appears as an opponent in Classic Mode. Despite this, he has his own pose for the "Now Loading" screen on the disc.
- Ganondorf is tied with the Ice Climbers for the world record in the Home-Run Contest (the Ice Climbers have to utilize the freeze glitch in order to do this). Ganondorf is also the only character that can break the max distance in the Home-Run Contest without the use of a glitch or Action Replay.
- The sword that Ganondorf wields in his official art and his silhouette in the "Challenger approaching!" can be applied to his model with an Action Replay device. However, he does not attack with it unless he holds another battering item, such as the beam sword.
- The debug menu lists Ganondorf's name as GANON.