Nintendo

Ocarina Of Time Artists Discuss Ganondorf’s Design

The original Zelda games all featured the hideous Ganon as their villian, but Ocarina of Time delved into his origins. The decision to feature a humanoid Ganon in the prequel meant a new character had to be designed. According to Ocarina of Time’s artists, this was required lots of trial and error. In an interview in the Zelda Art and Artefacts book, Yusuke Nakano and Satoru Takizawa talked about designing Ganondorf. Takizawa mentions how important it was to focus on more than brute strength, the character’s clever eyes showing his intelligence. Check out their full conversation below.

Ganon is basically a pig, but the humanoid Ganondorf made his first appearance in Ocarina of Time. What was your inspiration when you started designing him?

Takizawa: Well, I started by thinking to myself, “What kind of guy is worth defeating?”

So he couldn’t just be incredibly strong?

Takizawa: Right. The enemies you feel the best about defeating are the ones that outclass you in every way, from abilities to experience. He also had to be an appealing character, even though he was the enemy. After a lot of trial and error, I slowly completed his model. Then Nakano-san took that and improved upon it. Come to think of it, of all the illustrations that came from Nakano-san, I had very few comments on this one.

Nakano: Hardly any, in fact. However…

Takizawa: Yeah, I did have one request that I felt strongly about. He initially looked like a brute who had nothing but raw strength. I wanted him to have clever eyes so you knew he was a man of high caliber.

Nakano: Right: At that time, I had been at the company for three years, and Nakano-san was three years my senior. I might have been out of line making such a request, but it was the one point I wasn’t willing to back down on. I remember it well, and how tenacious he was about it too. [laughs] The first illustration I did for Ganondorf had these wide-open eyes. Not exactly an intelligent look, but more like he might have been a little mad. In the end we arrived at a design that made him look not only more intelligent but also, at the same time, like the epitome of an evil ruler.

Takizawa: He is the final boss, after all! And another thing: the first model I created for Ganondorf had him looking a lot thinner, and his head almost looked bird-like. One of the backstories for Ganondorf referred to him as the “Gerudo King of Thieves,” so I imagined him to be lean and not well muscled. I wanted him to move gracefully, like a whip. But when I saw the finished illustration for Ganondorf, it was quite different from him I imagined him to be…

Nakano: Emphasizing muscles more than necessary is just my style. [laughs]

Takizawa: I guess so! [laughs] Then again, it did become the basis of the Ganondorf in The Wind Waker and the Ganondorf in Twilight Princess. The design you came up with became the foundation for his design in several other titles, so I think it was a good thing.

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32 comments

  1. Do the names match all the comments correctly? It says that Nakano said “Right: At that time, I had been at the company for three years, and Nakano-san was three years my senior.”

    Liked by 5 people

      1. ||Yes but the basis of his form is just like they described which is also fitting considering he is Ganondorf’s counterpart in Lorule…||

        Liked by 1 person

  2. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

    I use to think OoT Ganondorf was the best, and most badass, looking Ganondorf; TP Ganondorf could have changed that thinking but that Princess Leia style hair ruined it for me. But then I saw his design in Hyrule Warriors! @.@ Too bad that game isn’t canon because that is the Ganondorf I want to see in a main Zelda game some day!

    Like

    1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

      HW version isn’t too similar. In fact, it looks more like a cross of TP Ganondorf & Demise. The circlet in his hair looks much more menacing & masculine than his TP incarnation. That & it looks more like a crown a king would wear while the TP version looks more like a prince/princeling’s circlet. Maybe if TP Ganondorf wasn’t so bland colored, I would probably have more of a fondness for that design. :/

      Twilight Princess
      http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/zelda/images/1/14/Ganondorf_(Super_Smash_Bros._Brawl).png/revision/latest?cb=20090611211526

      Hyrule Warriors
      http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/dynastywarriors/images/9/95/Ganondorf_-_HW.png/revision/latest?cb=20140809043018

      Like

      1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

        Damn it! I guess I used the wrong links since the pictures didn’t post in full & instead ended up as direct links. :/ That or Ganondorf really doesn’t like the internet because of all the links. (I’ll see myself out now. D: )

        Like

      2. The first hyper link didnt work, and my comment about them being too similar was in reference to his body type. I dont think Ganondorf should be such a tank of a character. It would be better if he was the same size or just slightly larger than Link, highlighting how close in stature they are. Almost like if it werent for the triforce of Power Link and Ganondorf would be equals. It was cool seeing Toon link face a much larger ganondorf in WW, but I think it would be equally cool to see Ganondorf BECOME Ganon, and change from someone who was only slightly more powerful than Link, to a monster who could easily wipe the floor with him.

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