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Phantom Ganon is a boss you’ll find in several different games within the Legend of Zelda franchise. This boss is a servant to the evil Ganondorf and does what it’s told without question. If you haven’t yet fought Phantom Ganon, it is well-known for using a technique called the Dead Man’s Volley.
Even though Phantom Ganon might seem intimidating at first, once you learn how he attacks, you’ll have no problem countering his moves and defeating him.
Key Details Up Front
You’ll encounter Phantom Ganon in some of the most popular Legend of Zelda games. While his appearance may differ, he often uses the same attacks, which can be easily countered if you know what to expect.
Ocarina of Time
In Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Phantom Ganon looks almost exactly like the Ganondorf you’ve encountered previously in the game. The most significant difference is that where his head should be is a skull with protruding horns. His eyes glow menacingly at Link and his weapon of choice is a trident, which Ganondorf rarely uses.
As you enter the boss room in the Forest Temple and draw out Phantom Ganon, he looks exactly like Ganondorf. However, as soon as he removes a mask, you see his true identity. In Ocarina of Time, Phantom Ganon rides a horse for the first half of the battle.
Four Swords Adventures and The Wind Waker
In these two games, Phantom Ganon is significantly different in appearance than in Ocarina of Time. In both Four Swords Adventures and The Wind Waker, he is black with a tattered cape, a helmet with horns, and is quite imposing. Additionally, his black color is offset by blue, wind-like patterns.
His right foot and left forearm are skeletal in appearance and his voice is deeper and more pronounced than the actual Ganondorf. It echos all around, sending those who would oppose him scurrying for safety.
Depending on which game you’re playing, Phantom Ganon has the ability to phase in and out of certain places, teleporting, or creating duplicates of himself. In Ocarina of Time, he can phase into and out of paintings throughout his lair.
Phantom Ganon also has spells that he’ll direct at his enemies. However, if timed right, they can be sent back toward him. In Ocarina of Time, he can ride on horseback and levitate, which means you have to keep an eye on him while he’s above you.
Of course, keep in mind that Phantom Ganon is weaker than the actual Ganondorf, something he’ll remind you of once you defeat his minion.
As a phantom, he is virtually unkillable. For example, after his defeat, Ganondorf still banishes him to the Gap Between Dimensions and seals him there. This is more due to Ganondorf’s anger at his servant failing to complete its task than it is to Link successfully destroying it.
Additionally, when playing, Wind Waker, even though you beat Phantom Ganon, he’ll still find a way to teleport, continuing to laugh and taunt Link as he does so. Even with the Master Sword at his disposal, Link is unable to completely destroy Phantom Ganon. It isn’t until Link receives that Light Arrows that he’s finally able to eliminate this monstrosity for keeps.
Ocarina of Time
Link encounters Phantom Ganon in Ocarina of Time in the Forest Temple. This temple is the first of five Link must navigate if he is to save Hyrule from the real Ganondorf.
The Phantom Ganon battle begins in a room full of paintings all the way around. While Phantom Ganon is initially disguised as the evil Ganondorf, he soon reveals himself, perhaps as a way to confuse and disorient Link before the battle begins.
Once Link defeats Phantom Ganon, his voice will echo around the room, suggesting that perhaps he’s not entirely beaten. Ganondorf then shares with Link that the entity he just defeated is merely a phantom and that the battle with the real version won’t be so easy.
With that said, he’ll call Phantom Ganon a “worthless creation” and banish it to the previously mentioned Gap Between Dimensions.
The Wind Waker
Not only does Phantom Ganon look different in Wind Waker, but he also uses a different weapon. Instead of the Trident that the Phantom Ganon from Ocarina of Time uses, this Phantom Ganon prefers a large sword.
Link will encounter Phantom Ganon twice in Wind Waker. Once while he’s in the Forsaken Fortress and then again as he makes his way through Ganon’s Tower.
The Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, Link fights Phantom Ganon much earlier than in other games. The first time he has to battle this boss is in the Whereabouts fo the Wind. This boss is near the very top of Hyrule Castle, which is among the first stages you’ll play through in the game.
Link must take on Phantom Ganon again later in the game, this time as he makes his way through the Temple of Darkness. This is on the fifth level of the Dark World. In all, the way Link encounters Phantom Ganon in Four Swords is much like the way he must deal with him in The Wind Waker.
Battling Phantom Ganon
Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. How, exactly, do you defeat Phantom Ganon? Let’s find out.
Ocarina of Time
When the battle begins, Phantom Ganon is floating on his horse holding a trident. He’ll ride in and out of the paintings that surround the room. Often, he will duplicate himself and make it look as though he is emerging from two paintings at one. But don’t be fooled. He’ll only come out of one, which is the one you want to shoot with your bow.
If you don’t hit the true Phantom Ganon quick enough, he’ll release a blast of lightning that will explode throughout the ground. If you’re not standing in the right stop, you’ll get hit. Every time you take damage from this type of attack, you’ll lose two hearts.
After you hit him three times, Phantom Ganon will send his horse back into the paintings and float in the air above you. This is where the battle gets interesting. He’ll use his trident to create magic balls that he’ll hurl at Link.
Your first instinct is probably to dodge these bolts, but what you need to do is send them back at Phantom Ganon with the Master Sword.
Time your hits just right and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a game of Dead Man’s Volley. This is where you hit the magic back and forth until one of you misses. If you miss, you’ll lose a heart. If Phantom Ganon misses, he’ll fall to the ground in a helpless heap. Run up to him and begin hitting him with your sword.
Or, if you prefer not to get too close, you can also pull out your Fairy Bow and hit him as many times as you can before he gets back up and starts floating around again. Repeat the same pattern. Send the bolt back at him until it stuns him, then do as much damage as possible.
Once you’ve hit him enough times, Phantom Ganon will flail about before he dangles in mid-air. He’ll disintegrate into a ball of blue fire, at which point Ganondorf will taunt you and mock you, letting you know battling the real version won’t be so easy.
Then, Ganondorf will express repulsion at Phantom Ganon’s inability to dispense of Link and banish him to the Gap Between Dimensions.
Link encounters Phantom Ganon first in the Forsaken Fortress. This battle is similar to the second half of the Ocarina of Time battle. Phantom Ganon creates an energy ball and hurls it toward Link. The ball can be sent back via the Master Sword or by using an empty bottle of all things.
When Link has hit Phantom Ganon enough times, he’ll disappear…for now. Once he’s gone, Link will receive the Skull Hammer and the path forward is opened. Link can now explore the remainder of the fortress.
This battle takes a little more time than the previous one. With this duel, Link and Phantom Ganon once again engage in Dead Man’s Volley. However, after being struck by Link once, Phantom Ganon disappears and his sword hilt will point in the direction of the room in which he’ll regenerate.
In some rooms, he’ll create multiple versions of himself, swinging several weapons at once. However, the real Phantom Ganon is always directly behind Link. Eventually, Link will finally get the best of Phantom Ganon and move on through Ganon’s Tower.
Four Swords Adventure
When you encounter Phantom Ganon for the first time in Four Swords, he’ll use two attacks against Link. The First attack he’ll use is a slash attack with his sword. Next, he’ll use one you’re familiar with, Dead Man’s Volley. However, this time the energy ball will be a color that matches one of the Links.
If more than one player is playing Four Swords, the ball will move between the corresponding number of Links before it finally hits Phantom Ganon. Every time Link wins the volley, Phantom Ganon falls stunned, which gives Link the opportunity to hit him. Once Link hits him enough times, Phantom Ganon will disappear and open up the passageway to the next area.
Temple of Darkness
This version of Phantom Ganon is similar to the first encounter. However, this time, there are four Phantom Ganons, all of which will shoot energy balls at Link. The clones will shoot white energy balls, while the real one will shoot a colored one. The goal is to strike the correct ball back at the real Phantom Ganon.
If there is more than one player, then every person who controls a Link will fight one on one with one of the clones. The way to attack is to swipe at the colored ball that matches the Link you’re controlling using sword strikes. When the clones are hit, they simply disappear, which makes the first portion of this boss fight fairly straightforward.
When Phantom Ganon is stunned move forward and start slashing at him. Repeat the process enough times and you’ll defeat Phantom Ganon. Once he’s disposed of, Link will rescue the Dark Maiden and find that the Dark Mirror has gone missing.
If you’re interested in learning more about Phantom Ganon and his role in the various Legend of Zelda games, these frequently asked questions might be helpful.
Question: What is Phantom Ganon?
Answer: Phantom Ganon is one of the incarnations of the evil wizard, Ganondorf. He appears as an enemy in numerous Zelda games, with his first appearance being in Ocarina of Time for the N64.
Question: Does Phantom Ganon Have Anything to do with Avatar or Forsaken Fortress?
Answer: Phantom Ganon repeatedly appears as a boss in the Legend of Zelda series. He first appears as a major antagonist in Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. In Four Swords Adventures, he is fought two times and has to be defeated three times before he has been vanquished completely.
Question: What does Phantom Ganon Look Like?
Answer: Phantom Ganon has gray skin and glowing orange eyes. He wears a robe and hood that both cover his face entirely. He wields a trident-shaped staff, which he can wield as either a melee weapon or shoot energy balls from its tip.
Question: What is Phantom Ganon’s History?
Answer: Phantom Ganon was created by the evil sorcerer, Ganondorf. He appears in numerous Legend of Zelda games and is often fought as a boss. In most cases, he displays an ability to multiply himself.
Show No Fear
Even though Phantom Ganon can appear intimidating, once you learn how he attacks, you’ll have no trouble defeating him. He appears in various Legend of Zelda games in different forms, but he’s the same guy. Phantom Ganon likes to use Dead Man’s Volley to take Link out, but it’s easy to use it against him. Just send that ball of energy right back at him!
Before you know it, you’ll have the timing down. Then you can send that monstrosity of a boss back to where he came from. Sure, Link may never truly defeat Phantom Ganon, but at least he can get rid of him for the time being.
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