Ganondorf (SSBM)

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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).
Ganondorf
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Ganondorf
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Tier E (14) (North America)
E (14) (Europe)
#default:
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, Ganondorf) appears as an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros Melee. He is in his original Gerudo form as he appears in the more recent installments of the series. His design is based on his appearance from the SpaceWorld demo, which is itself based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Instead of using magic or swords like in The Legend of Zelda series, Ganondorf is a clone of Captain Falcon, and as such, he fights in a brawler style similar to Captain Falcon, but in a slower, more powerful manner.

Ganondorf currently ranks 14th in the E tier on the Melee tier list's mid-low tier. Ganondorf boasts extreme power, good reach, decent chaingrabbing ability, and very useful aerials, including the strongest meteor smash in the game in his down aerial. He also has several effective edgeguarding options including the aforementioned down aerial, both the strong and weak hitboxes of his up aerial, and his back aerial. Nonetheless, Ganondorf has extreme flaws to counteract these great strengths as well. He has a bad neutral game due to his poor dash dance and lack of non-committal approaching moves, forcing Ganondorf players to rely more on reads and baits, and the punishes that come with them. However, Ganondorf is also very susceptible to punishes himself, as he is easily comboed and chaingrabbed due to his size and weight, and is very easily edgeguarded due to his very predictable (albeit long) recovery; however, the latter would be among the worst should the aerial Wizard's Foot be absent during the process. He is also vulnerable to projectiles and has few ways to deal with characters that outrange him or have very fast attacks. Because of this, while Ganondorf has good matchups against other mid-tier and low-tier characters, including two nearly unloseable ones against Pichu and Kirby, he struggles against the top tier characters (especially Fox and Sheik).

How to unlock[edit]

To unlock Ganondorf, players must complete Event 29: Triforce Gathering or play 600 VS. matches. Upon completing this, Ganondorf is fought on Final Destination, with the track "Great Bay" playing.

Attributes[edit]

As a slower, larger clone of Captain Falcon, Ganondorf sacrifices speed for power and range. He is often considered to be the most powerful character in the game, along with Bowser (Though Ganondorf has a greater amount of KO options than Bowser, with 16 as opposed to Bowser's 12). This is counteracted by his poor mobility, as he has the 4th slowest dashing speed, the 3rd slowest air speed (tied with Kirby), and a rather short and slow wavedash. However, his mobility is not all bad, as he can Moonwalk, has a great platform-dashing game, and, resulting from being a clone of Captain Falcon, has one of the fastest and farthest rolls.

One of Ganondorf's greatest strengths is his extreme power and damage output. His up smash, though laggy, is the strongest in the game if fully charged and both hits connect. His neutral special, Warlock Punch, and his notorious up tilt are two of the slowest moves in the game (the latter is the slowest), but can KO as low as 30%. His down aerial is both the strongest aerial attack and meteor smash in the game; it is notoriously difficult to meteor cancel regardless of damage percentage and is nearly impossible to recover from, even at low percentages, and can reliably star KO some grounded characters under 100%. Ganondorf's powerful attacks are counterbalanced by their slowness, but although most of his aerial attacks have long periods of landing lag, Ganondorf is perhaps the character that benefits the most from L-canceling, as it allows him to effectively combo other characters.

Despite Ganondorf's extreme power, he does not suffer from poor combo ability due to the knockback in his attacks like Bowser, as he manages to retain some of the excellent combo ability from his clone. His aerials flow very well into each other, and when L-canceled, he can chase his opponents and land a follow-up despite his poor air speed. Due to his benefit from L-canceling, a low short hop, and decent falling speed, Ganondorf has a good SHFFL. The core of Ganondorf's combos lie in his grab game; despite a rather poor grab range, his throws have immense versatility, and his up and down throws are excellent launchers, as well as effective chain-grabs. His forward and back throws can also set up edgeguards.

Ganondorf's greatest strength, however, is his superb edge-guarding game. Despite his poor air speed, he is one of the best edge-guarders, with more aerial guarding options than any other character in the game; all of his aerials deal high damage and knockback and are guaranteed to knock people off the stage, his down air as aforementioned is an extremely powerful meteor smash, and Wizard's Foot is a non-recoverable spike. In particular, his sourspotted reversed up aerial (performed while facing away from the edge) is one of the best gimping moves in the game because of its long duration, range (330° bicycle kick), semi-spiking knockback (hard to tech out of) at a 20° (rear hitbox) or 0° (rear bottom hitbox) trajectory with gravity following suit, extremely high hitstun, and cannot be DI'd due to its low knockback.

Ganondorf's major weakness is his poor approach and neutral game. He is highly susceptible to combos and chain-grabs due to being large, heavy, and falling quickly, although these attributes also make him harder to KO. His mobility and approach are ultimately crippled by his short, relatively slow wavedash and poor dashing and air speeds, and he lacks a projectile and a way of dealing with projectiles against him. He also has a very poor dash-dance, as it is among the shortest in the game and does not improve his dash in any way. He also has no moves that allow him to approach noncommittally. As a result, Ganondorf is dependent on punishing opponents through reads and baits.

Ganondorf is also regarded as one of the most easily edge-guarded and edge-hogged characters in the game. On paper, he has a long, extendable horizontal recovery, thanks to his down special, Wizard's Foot, which is one of the only two specials that allow the character to regain their midair jump (the other being Falcon Kick, but is considered inferior to Wizard's Foot because of how much farther downward it travels and Captain Falcon's higher falling speed). However, Ganondorf has terrible air speed, which prevents him from efficiently moving off-stage, and his jumps fail to give enough height. His up special, Dark Dive, is also unable to attack opponents hanging from an edge. As a result, simply grabbing the edge if Ganondorf is unable to get back on stage without edge grabbing will send him to his doom.

Overall, Ganondorf is a powerhouse; with some of the strongest moves in the game, he can easily KO the entire Melee cast at significantly lower percentages than most other characters can achieve. All that's holding him back are his low speed, few approaching options and recovery, so players must be patient and wait for their opportunity to land their powerful moves while being careful not to get thrown off-stage.

PAL Differences[edit]

The PAL version of Melee nerfed two of Ganondorf's aerials, with his his forward aerial no longer being a reliable KO move (although it can combo into itself better), and his down aerial dealing less knockback and damage (while still remaining the strongest meteor smash in the game.)

  • Bug fix Ganondorf can no longer perform the Bunnyhood double jab glitch.
  • Nerf Forward aerial has decreased base knockback (60 → 40).
  • Nerf Down aerial deals 1% less damage (22% → 21%) with decreased base knockback (50 → 40).

Differences from Captain Falcon[edit]

Ganondorf is lower ranked than Captain Falcon due to his slower mobility and a weaker combo game, giving Ganondorf a weaker approach game and difficulty in competing with faster characters like Fox or Sheik. However, Ganondorf boasts extreme power (exemplified by his outstanding edge-guarding game) and greater reach, has no sourspots on his attacks (sans forward tilt), and still retains a few of Captain Falcon's good combo starters, potentially giving him greater damage output and the ability to KO earlier than his counterpart. Despite being designed as a "slower" Captain Falcon, almost all of Ganondorf's moves have the exact same frame data in terms of start-up and ending lag, although all his aerials do have much higher landing lag. A few of Ganondorf's moves also have different knockback angles, usually toward vertically rather than horizontally. Finally, Ganondorf has more electric effects in addition to darkness on his attacks, but only one move (up tilt) using flame.

Attributes[edit]

  • Change Ganondorf is physically larger and taller than Captain Falcon, giving his attacks more reach. However, this increased size also increases his hurtbox, thus making him easier to hit.
  • Change Ganondorf is heavier than Captain Falcon (104 → 109), granting him better horizontal endurance but makes him easier to combo.
  • Buff Ganondorf's ledge jump is higher than Captain Falcon's, being the highest in the game.
  • Buff Ganondorf's rolls cover more distance than Captain Falcon's.
  • Buff Ganondorf's wavedash is longer than Captain Falcon's.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's walk speed (0.85 → 0.73), dash speed (2.3 → 1.35), air speed (1.12 → 0.78), and jump and midair jump height are all lower than Captain Falcon's.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's jumpsquat is slower (4 → 6) than Captain Falcon's, slowing his ability to be airborne and perform aerials and wavedashes.
  • Nerf Ganondorf cannot wall jump.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's falling speed is much slower than Falcon's (2.9 → 2), making his vertical endurance worse despite being heavier. Given the fact that Ganondorf would still be as easy to combo as Falcon due to other factors in spite of this, including his weight and stature, as well as his recovery still being worse due to a lower double jump and significantly lower air speed, it does not provide any benefit whatsoever.
  • Change Ganondorf's moves are generally slower but more powerful than Captain Falcon's.
  • Change Captain Falcon's attacks that deal flame damage, such as forward smash, Falcon Punch, Raptor Boost, and Falcon Kick, are replaced by darkness for Ganondorf's counterparts.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack is a single attack instead of a combo, possessing higher base knockback than the Gentleman (20 → 30), while still being a useful combo starter. It also deals 7%/8% damage, being more damaging than the first two hits and the infinite of Captain Falcon's jab alone. Notably when sweetspotted, it is the strongest jab in the game.
  • Nerf Neutral attack deals 1% less damage than Captain Falcon's Gentleman, and is thus less damaging than Captain Falcon's jab if all its hits connect.
  • Change Neutral attack is a palm strike instead of a punch, and has an electric effect.
  • Buff Forward tilt is significantly more powerful, dealing more damage (11% → 13%) and base knockback (10 → 20), being the third strongest in the game.
  • Nerf Forward tilt is less damaging if the opponent is up close to Ganondorf, dealing 1% less on the knee and 2% on the body.
  • Buff Up tilt deals 14% more damage (13% → 27%) with drastically higher base knockback (50 → 110), able to KO from center under 25% and at 0% near ledges and is thus the strongest up tilt in the game.
  • Nerf Up tilt has drastically more start-up (17 frames → 81) and ending lag (38 frames → 115), making it impossible to land in almost any circumstance outside of punishment or edge-guarding.
  • Change Up tilt has a wind effect while the leg is lifted up and an explosive effect that deals flame damage when the leg strikes the ground.
  • Buff Down tilt has significantly higher power (25 base/75 growth → 30 base/100 growth), being the fourth most powerful down tilt in Melee, while still being a useful combo starter at lower percentages.
  • Nerf Down tilt's duration is 2 frames shorter (10-15 → 10-13).
  • Buff Dash attack deals more damage (10%/7% → 14%/10%) and knockback (22 base/90 growth → 40 base/80 growth), while still being a useful combo starter.
  • Buff Forward smash has much higher knockback (24 base/100 growth → 40 base/80, 83, and 85 growth), damage (up: 21% → 24%, forward: 20% → 22%, down: 19% → 20%), and range.
  • Nerf Forward smash has 2 frames more start-up (18 frames → 20).
  • Buff Up smash's both hits deal more damage (hit 1: 8%/14% → 22%, hit 2: 13%/12% → 19%, total: 21%/26% → 41%) and knockback (base 30/growth 128 → 50 base/40 (hit 1), 80 (hit 2) growth), being the most damaging up smash in the game if both hits connect.
  • Nerf Up smash is less useful as a combo move and does not link as reliably above very low percentages.
  • Buff Down smash's two hits can naturally combo into each other, dealing more damage than Captain Falcon's if both hits connect (18%/16% → 22%/20%), and also deals more knockback (30 and 20 base/100 growth → 60 base/110 growth).
  • Nerf Down smash's individual kicks deals less damage (hit 1: 18% → 8%, hit 2: 16% → 14%/12%), resulting it being weaker than Captain Falcon's if it only hits once. It also has slightly more ending lag (IASA 45 → 47).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral aerial's individual kicks deals more damage (hit 1: 5%/6% → 12%, hit 2: 7% → 12%, total: 12%/13% → 22.92% due to staleness). It also has increased base knockback on both hits (hit 1: 0 → 30, hit 2: 40 → 50), with the first hit having KO power on its own.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's two hits do not link reliably, thus dealing slightly less damage than Captain Falcon's two hits if it hits once. It also has significantly more landing lag (15 frames → 25).
  • Buff Forward aerial is an arcing downward punch. It has no sourspot and much longer range than Captain Falcon's Knee Smash. It also has 1 frame less ending lag (36 frames → 35).
  • Nerf Forward aerial is weaker than a clean Knee Smash (24 base/100 growth → 60 base/80 growth), does not semi-spike (32° → 366º), and deals 1% less damage (18% → 17%). It also has more landing lag (19 frames → 25).
  • Change Forward aerial lacks the electric effect.
  • Buff Back aerial deals 2% more damage (14% → 16%) with increased base knockback (20 → 30) and range, and has no sourspot.
  • Nerf Back aerial has significantly more landing lag (18 frames → 25).
  • Buff Up aerial has more range and base knockback (10/8/6 → 35/30/20, KO`ing about 25% earlier than Captain Falcon's up aerial), and its late hitboxes that semi-spike have higher hitstun, making it more effective at edge-guarding than Captain Falcon's.
  • Nerf Up aerial is a less effective move for combos thanks to its increased power. It also has significantly more landing lag (15 frames → 25).
  • Buff Down aerial deals 6% more damage (16% → 22%) with higher base knockback (40 → 50), being the strongest meteor smash in Melee, able to KO grounded opponents under 100%.
  • Nerf Down aerial has significantly more landing lag (24 frames → 35) and the top hitbox lacks the ability to nipple spike, meaning it is always meteor cancellable regardless of which hitbox is landed. It also has transcendent priority, meaning that it cannot cancel out projectiles.
  • Change Down aerial has an electric effect.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Down throw launches opponents at a different angle (65°→ 100°), making it more reliable for combos and chain-grabs.

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff Warlock Punch is much more powerful than the Falcon Punch, dealing 7% more damage (23%/25%/27% → 30%/32%/34%) and able to KO virtually any character under 30% damage on tournament legal stages.
  • Nerf Warlock Punch has more start-up lag and less active frames than the Falcon Punch (52-56 frames → 70-72), and Ganondorf is unable to perform an equivalent to Captain Falcon's Sacred Combo due to his lower air speed, the diagonal knockback angle of his forward aerial, and Warlock Punch's obscene start-up.
  • Change Warlock Punch has significantly different aesthetics from the Falcon Punch; even discounting the darkness effect, it lacks the falcon-shaped fiery aura and falcon screech during the punch.
  • Buff Gerudo Dragon deals 10% damage on the ground (7% → 17%) and 9% more in the air (7% → 16%) than Raptor Boost.
  • Nerf Gerudo Dragon's increased knockback (ground: 78 base/80 growth → 60 base/69 growth, air: 60 base/70 growth → 50 base/65 growth) makes it harder to combo into other attacks compared to Raptor Boost, while still being unable to KO at realistic percentages (especially the aerial version). It also covers less distance and the aerial version cannot meteor smash (270° → 70°).
  • Change When Ganondorf falls after whiffing Gerudo Dragon, the screen shakes more than when Captain Falcon whiffs Raptor Boost.
  • Buff Dark Dive travels slightly more vertically than Falcon Dive due to Ganondorf's taller stature. Its grab deals four weak electric hits, which can hit opponents who attempt to intercept Ganondorf. While the total damage is the same, the throw deals 3% more damage than Falcon Dive (12% → 15%), giving it more knockback which can KO reliably under 150%.
  • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot has higher knockback than Falcon Kick (50 base/70, 60, and 50 growth → 60 base/85 growth). It also lasts 2 frames longer (14-32 → 14-34) and lacks weak late hitboxes.
  • Buff Aerial Wizard's Foot is a powerful spike instead of dealing horizontal knockback like Falcon Kick (366 → 290°), making it deadly off-stage, and the landing hitbox deals 3% more damage (9% → 12%). It is also safer to use to restore Ganondorf's midair jump thanks to his lower falling speed compared to Captain Falcon.
  • Nerf Both Grounded and Aerial Wizard's Foot have slightly more ending lag (IASA grounded: ? → 67, air: ? → 41). Aerial Wizard's Foot also deals 1% less damage (15% → 14%).

Moveset[edit]

For a gallery of Ganondorf's hitboxes, see here.

Ganondorf's aerial attacks
Ganondorf performing his forward aerial after a wall tech on Captain Falcon. The move's base knockback is high enough to gimp characters with subpar recovery at any percentage.
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   7% (hand), 8% (body) A quick palm strike that shocks enemies on contact. Has actual KO potential at higher damages, but since he jabs directly in front of him, some smaller characters can easily duck under it. It hits on frame 3, making it Ganondorf's fastest attack. It is often used in combos with his other attacks, especially his down aerial.
Forward tilt   12-14% Kicks his foot out forward. Has great speed and range for a powerful tilt (3rd most powerful forward tilt in the game), but is short in duration (3 frames). This attack is often used to space away opponents due to its speed, range, and power. This is often considered, if not one of, the best forward tilt in Melee. This move is even more deadly when used in edgeguarding situations, especially when angled downwards. Also, it`s even better at KO`ing when angled upwards (under 150%, like mostly all of his other moves).
11-13%
10-12%
Up tilt   27% Lifts up and charges his leg, then brings it down in a violent explosion. It has extremely long start-up, being the slowest move in the game with a total of 81 frames. Though it is very powerful; can OHKO from its extremely high base knockback if landed by an edge. It is by far the most powerful tilt in the game, and can KO even earlier than the Warlock Punch, but its small hitbox and long start-up makes it very difficult to land outside of punishment.
Down tilt   12% Does a quick low sweep kick. 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. Fourth most powerful down tilt in the game.
Dash attack   14% (clean), 10% (late) A quick shoulder tackle. Despite its upward knockback not being extremely high, it is a strong dash attack that combos very well into a back aerial/up aerial at 40-60% damage. This is the most powerful dash attack in the game.
Forward smash   24% Lunges forward while thrusting out his elbow. Impressive vertical knockback combined with almost no horizontal knockback, making it difficult to DI out of. It has fairly slow start-up and significant ending lag, but is very powerful, and because Ganondorf moves ahead while performing it, it has great reach. Angled upwards, it is the second most powerful forward smash in the game, only being exceeded by Bowser.
22%
20%
Up smash   22% (hit 1), 19% (hit 2) Kicks both his legs upward. The first hit can lead into the second, though it is unlikely at high percentages and can be DI'd out of. It is the second most powerful (uncharged) up smash in the game (second to Pikachu's), and when fully charged, is the most powerful and damaging up smash, as well as the most powerful smash attack overall. However, even though it is extremely powerful and surprisingly fast, its lack of horizontal reach limits its effectiveness as a reliable KO move. Regardless, even when uncharged, it can KO under 100% (even on characters with excellent vertical endurance, such as Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, and Falco).
Down smash   8% (hit 1), 14% (hit 2 leg), 12% (hit 2 foot) Swings his leg in front and back of him. Can chain together, but the second hit can be easily DI'd out of. It's 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, and, due to Ganondorf's long legs, is one of the farthest-reaching down smashes. If near an edge, even if an opponent avoids the second kick, the base knockback of the first kick can set up an early edgeguard opportunity.
Neutral aerial   12% (hits 1-2) Two quick mid-air kicks. Both kicks have high knockback (especially the second kick, capable of KOing under 130%), and can deal very high damage when landed in succession, but it is extremely difficult to land the two kicks even at very low percentages, and impossible to land at percentages higher than 25% (under standard conditions). It's possible to land the second kick without the first one, but requires correct timing. With both kicks, it is the second strongest neutral aerial in the game (exceeded by Mr. Game & Watch's).
Forward aerial   17% Ganondorf brings his fist down in an arc rather quickly, with impressive knockback and damage, though slightly weaker than Captain Falcon's Knee Smash. Unlike the Knee Smash, however, it always strikes with the same force, and is also just as fast as the Knee with much more reach, though it has more landing lag. This is the fifth most powerful f-aerial in the game (Zelda, Dr. Mario, Captain Falcon, and Yoshi respectively surpass him in this regard).
Back aerial   16% Punches behind him with high power. It is fast, very powerful, good for edgeguarding, and has great range. It has less base knockback than his forward aerial, but has more knockback scaling, making its power proportional to his forward aerial, knockback-wise. Has the exact amount of frames as Captain Falcon's back aerial, but unlike his, it hits with the same power throughout the entirety of the attack. This is the second most powerful back aerial in the game (second to Zelda).
Up aerial   13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (mid), 8%/6% (late) Does a bicycle kick, covering a large arc above him. Knockback direction depends on which angle the foe was hit in. 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. This is the sixth most powerful up aerial in the game (Bowser, Fox, Kirby, Peach, and Zelda respectively surpasses him in this regard).
Down aerial   22% (NTSC), 21% (PAL) Stomps both his feet downwards, with an electric effect. An extremely powerful meteor smash, and an excellent SHFFL option, with a massive hitbox that covers Ganondorf's entire body. It is the most powerful meteor smash in the game and is overall the most powerful aerial in the game. It is capable of setting up combos at low percentages when used against grounded opponents, and serves as a great finisher on grounded opponents at high percentages. This attack has transcendent priority.

In the PAL version of the game, this move deals slightly less damage with a small decrease to knockback, but still remains a very powerful meteor smash.

Grab
Pummel   3% Knees the opponent.
Forward throw   5% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Punches foe in front. Its only use is setting up edgeguarding situations at high percentages.
Back throw   5% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Brings foe behind him and kicks. Can set up edgeguards at high percentages.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Knocks his foe above him. Excellent set up for juggles, and can be an effective chain-grab against fast fallers until high percentages.
Down throw   7% Takes foe and slams them into the floor. Another throw well-suited for juggling. Can also chain-grab characters with average falling speeds until around 90%, and fast-fallers to about 130%. Can combo into jab then down aerial on Space animals around 50%.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and flips while kicking.
Floor attack (back)   6% Stands on both hands and does a spinning double kick.
Edge attack (fast)   10% Picks himself up and kicks forward. Can knock opponents off the edge if they are close, potentially setting up an edge-guard.
Edge attack (slow)   8% Slowly gets up and punches in front of him.
Neutral special Warlock Punch 34% (close), 32% (mid), 30% (far) Winds up darkness in his fist then releases it all in one powerful punch. Like the Falcon Punch, Ganondorf announces the move with a loud yell, lacking any surprise advantage. It has very high knockback, able to KO at low percentages and can even KO light characters under 10%. Except on utterly defenseless or paralyzed opponents, this attack is very hard to use in combat because it is very slow and predictable, making it extremely difficult to land in competitive play.
Side special Gerudo Dragon 17% (Ground), 16% (Air) Lunges forward, uppercuting any opponents who come in his path. Unlike Raptor Boost, this move does not meteor smash opponents when used in the air. Instead, it will launch them diagonally upwards. The move causes helplessness if used in the air. In the middle percentages, the attack sets the opponent up for many juggling combos, but due to it being easily punished if used under the wrong circumstances, it is not often the optimal move to use.
Up special Dark Dive 1% (hits 1-4), 15% (release), 6% (breakout) Quickly leaps upward. If he connects with an opponent, they will be trapped in a flurry of electricity. Also, if the move connects, Ganondorf will not go into a helpless state. This move can grab the ledge even if Ganondorf is facing the opposite direction.
Down special Wizard's Foot 15% (ground), 14% (air), 12% (landing) On the ground, Ganondorf rushes forward with his leg extended, dealing damage and relatively high knockback. In the air, he plummets to the ground at a sharp angle, during which the move can spike opponents. This move has the odd property of rewarding Ganondorf's second jump back.

Taunt[edit]

  • Hovers in mid-air and spins before laughing menacingly.
Ganondorf-Taunt-SSBM.gif

Idle pose[edit]

  • Brings his hands together, then swings his right hand over his head.
Ganondorf Idle Pose Melee.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Ganondorf Cheer NTSC Melee.ogg
Ganondorf Cheer JP Melee.ogg
Description Gaaa-non-doorff...! Gan-non! *claps three times*
Pitch Deep male Male

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated portion of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Pumps a victorious fist and crouches.
  • With his back facing the camera, Ganondorf turns to face the camera, and holds up his fist, the back of the fist facing the viewer
  • Spins his sword upward while laughing evilly before thrusting it into the ground.
Ganondorf-Victory1-SSBM.gif Ganondorf-Victory2-SSBM.gif Ganondorf-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
GanondorfHeadSSBM.png -2 -1 ±0 -2 -1 ±0 +2 -1 ±0 +1 +1 +2 +1 Mirror match +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 +2 +3 +2 +3 +1

According to the matchup chart, Ganondorf's matchup spread holds the 8th highest weightest rank. Ganondorf has mostly positive matchups. He is countered by two characters, soft countered by three and has three even matchups. He soft counters eight characters, counters seven, and hard counters two. Notably, he counters the Ice Climbers, despite them being in a higher tier placement than him. Ganondorf is one of the most easily edgeguarded characters in the game, making him struggle against characters with strong air and edgeguarding games such as Jigglypuff. His large size and high weight also make him susceptible to characters who can chaingrab him easily, such as Sheik. Overall though, Ganondorf has a rather strong matchup spread for a character of his tier and can beat many of the characters.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Ganondorf professionals (SSBM)

Active[edit]

  • USA Bizzarro Flame (#98) - Ganondorf main from NorCal famous for his use of moonwalking as well as utilizing the less common up-tilt and Warlock Punch.
  • USA Eddie - Chicago-based Ganondorf who showed impressive results with his placings at all four Major League Gaming events in 2006.
  • USA Eikelmann - Former Orlando competitor now ranked 2nd in Denver; known for being the only active Ganondorf to defeat Armada's Peach.
  • Canada Kage (#44) - Ganondorf main from Montreal widely regarded as the best Ganondorf player in Melee.
  • USA Linguini - Ganondorf main from Florida who is known for his knowledge and skill in the Fox and Falco match-ups.
  • Japan Loki
  • USA Mr. Brandandorf
  • Canada n0ne
  • USA RockCrock
  • USA Spider Sense

Inactive[edit]

  • USA Renth - Florida Ganondorf main who was regarded as being one of the top in the world for his movement and punish game.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Ganondorf is currently ranked 14th on the tier list. Historically, Ganondorf has been considered a high or mid-high tiered character, having fluctuated between 8th and 12th for the first eleven tier lists. Although Ganondorf's slow speed and poor recovery was acknowledged, his great power helped him maintain his ground with the rest of the cast. However as the metagame progressed along with the rise of Pikachu, Luigi and Yoshi, Ganondorf's tier placement started to falter. This is reflected in the most recent tier list where he is ranked 14th, the lowest he has ever placed.

In single-player[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

Ganondorf's unused intro image.

Like Roy, Ganondorf does not appear as an opponent in the game's Classic Mode, though he can appear as an ally in Team and Giant battles.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

Upon being unlocked, Adventure Mode makes no concessions to Ganondorf whatsoever.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Ganondorf and his allies are fought on Brinstar Depths. Unusually, the music remains unchanged.

In Event Matches[edit]

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 the opportunity to do so after defeating him one-on-one.
  • Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Ganondorf is the final opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. The player battles him on Final Destination, and their character has two stocks, while Ganondorf has one. 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 is given: Dr. Mario, Falco, Pichu, Young Link, and Roy.
  • Event 51: The Showdown: The final event match pits the player against a team of Giga Bowser, Mewtwo, and Ganondorf on the Final Destination stage, without friendly fire, and all four characters having three stocks apiece and unlimited time.

Ending images[edit]

Trophy descriptions[edit]

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 as Ganondorf, respectively, 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.
  • Game: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
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.
  • Up & B: Dark Dive
  • Down & B: Wizard's Foot

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ganondorf Palette (SSBM).png
GanondorfHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadRedSSBM.png GanondorfHeadBlueSSBM.png GanondorfHeadGreenSSBM.png GanondorfHeadPurpleSSBM.png

Trivia[edit]

Ganondorf's scrapped second Jab from version 1.0 of Melee, which is visible and usable by mods.
  • Despite being a rather poor jumper, Ganondorf has the highest ledge jump in the game, jumping higher than his more agile counterpart, Captain Falcon, and even Falco (who has the highest normal jumps, and the second highest ledge jump).
  • Ganondorf's AI is infamous for its extreme level of dominance when fighting other CPUs, where it been observed that a level 9 CPU Ganondorf will win the majority of the time against every other level 9 CPU, even against level 9 Luigi (who is normally considered the best CPU character against human players). As such, when AI tournaments are held, where players choose a CPU character to represent them, there are usually limitations on choosing Ganondorf, such as charging a higher fee to pick him.[1]
  • Ganondorf is tied with the Ice Climbers for the world record in the Home-Run Contest. 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 Ice Climbers have to utilize the freeze glitch to break the max distance).
  • When Ganondorf's trophies are viewed under the "night"/"dark" background in the Trophy Gallery, his eyes glow. He is the only character whose trophy holds this trait.
  • Ganondorf's hand is briefly seen during Link's montage in the introduction to Melee, making him one of the five hidden characters, along with Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Young Link, and Pichu, to have some kind of involvement with the intro.
  • Most of Ganondorf's voice clips were imported from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; for example, his victory pose and taunt both use a sped up version of his laugh from that game. One voice clip involving Ganon saying "Ooya!" was imported, but nowhere is it used in the game.
    • This "Ooya!" clip would later find itself used in Brawl, as it is the sound that plays when Ganondorf is selected with the Wii Remote, despite him having a new voice actor.
  • Ganondorf is the only clone whose original character (Captain Falcon) is from a different series.
    • Sakurai did not plan to include Ganondorf as a playable character in Melee, only including him later in development because his body had a very similar build to Captain Falcon's, allowing him to be easily added on as a last minute clone of Captain Falcon.
  • In the 1.0 version of Melee, if Ganondorf had a Bunny Hood equipped, he would perform a second jab during his neutral attack, an apparent leftover from Captain Falcon's moveset. This second jab had no hitboxes however, and was removed in the subsequent versions of Melee.

References[edit]


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