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The most common main antagonist of most Legend of Zelda games is Ganondorf, who more often than not transforms into Ganon. However, there is a secondary evil-doer that spans several Legend of Zelda games: Vaati. He is the primary villain in Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.
But there’s more to Vaati than just a guy desperate to get his hands on the Light Force. Read our Vaati guide below to learn who he is, where he came from, and how he came to be a powerful mage.
Key Details Up Front
Vaati began life as a Minish child and served as a student of Ezlo, a well-known and respected sage of the Minish people. Unfortunately, Vaati allowed the power of being a sage to corrupt him and soon became obsessed with its capabilities. He betrayed Ezlo and cursed him, eventually turning himself into a formidable mage.
It’s tough to describe Vaati as he takes on various forms throughout the Legend of Zelda series, specifically in Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap. Here is a brief description of the forms Vaati will take:
Born a Minish, Vaati was once a respected member of his minuscule society. The Minish are known for their heroics in saving Hyrule, yet their folklore has since faded from the memories of Hyrulians. Vaati becomes obsessed with the race of men and the evil they are capable of. As a result of his obsession, Vaati thirsts for the power they wield.
While his lust is somewhat satisfied upon creating the Mage’s Cap under the tutelage of his master, Ezlo, Vaati continues down the path of destruction. With his cap, which grants the wishes of anyone wearing it, Vaati turns himself into a mighty sorcerer. Unfortunately, this power is still not enough to satiate Vaati’s lust as he attempts to possess the Light Force, an unlimited source of power.
Even though Vaati was born Minish, he eventually turns himself into a human, becoming a powerful sorcerer. However, it’s likely that this transformation is a result of his Mage Cap, and has little to do with the power within him.
After he has drained most of the Light Force from Princess Zelda (there’s still a little left), Vaati transforms into a stronger form to defeat Link. With the power of the Light Force, he is a more powerful mage. However, he’s not quite strong enough to take down Link.
When Link defeats Vaati in his reborn body, it is shattered and he discards his human form. He then turns into a massive, shadow being.
After Link beats Vaati for the second time, it takes him time to regroup. However, when he does, he is a creature that Vaati describes as “the embodiment of the purest evil.”
Legend of Zelda Appearances
Vaati appears in several Legend of Zelda games. Here’s an overview of his role in each.
Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
In Four Swords, Vaati is a powerful mage that abducts maidens and takes them to his palace, which resides in the sky. Vaati encounters a hero who carries the mythic Four Sword, who uses his powers to seal Vaati away within the Four Sword Sanctuary.
Over time, the seal of the Four Sword Sanctuary weakens, which allows Vaati to escape. Vaati returns to his old ways, immediately abducting Princess Zelda and returning to his palace, where he intends to marry her. The four Links return with the power of the Four Sword and confront the villain. After a long and difficult battle, Link is able to return Vaati to the Four Sword Sanctuary and reseal it.
Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Vaati returns in Four Swords Adventures when Ganondorf fools Link into pulling the Four Sword out of its pedestal. Link’s actions result in Vaati’s release. Ganondorf curses the Royal Jewel, which allows Vaati to spread darkness across Hyrule and return to power once again.
Throughout his quest to restore peace to Hyrule, Link discovers that he must defeat both Vaati and Ganondorf, who have stolen the Dark Mirror and the Trident. Link saves Princess Zelda and the Shrine Maidens, and in doing so, defeats Shadow Link and restores good to his name.
During the final encounter, the four Links are able to destroy Vaati for good while sealing Ganon away with the help of the Four Sword. With the two villains defeated, peace is restored to the land of Hyrule and Link returns the Four Sword to its pedestal in the shrine.
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Minish Cap explores the history of Vaati, showing who he once was. As a young man in the Minish Realm, Vaati served as an apprentice to Ezlo, a well-respected sage. During his time as an apprentice, Vaati is exposed to human men and begins to obsess over their evil deeds and actions. Over time, he desires the same power for himself.
Vaati educated himself on the history of the Light Force and the Picori Blade, a pair of gifts the Minish bestowed upon the Humans. Legend told him that the Hero of Men used these gifts to rid Hyrule of the evil plaguing the land. With this information, Vaati goes to Hyrule to find the Light Force, which is reported to be a source of limitless power.
Ezlo, knowing that the portal that connects the Minish Realm to Hyrule will soon open, has created the Mage Cap and intends to give it to the Humans. This powerful cap grants the desires of the person who wears it. Without Ezlo’s consent, Vaati wears the cap, turning himself into a sorcerer.
Vaati shows off his newfound power by cursing his master and turning him into a living cap. As he leaves the Minish World, Vaati explains that he intends to enter the Human World, obtain the Light Force, and rule with ultimate power and authority.
Vaati in Hyrule
During his studies, Vaati discovered that the Picori Blade is instrumental in sealing the Bound Chest. Vaati believes the blade holds the Light Force, which he intends to touch. However, in his attempt to obtain the Bound Chest, he unintentionally breaks the blade and releases evil monsters into Hyrule.
Throughout his attempt to obtain the Picori Blade, Princess Zelda is protected by mystical power. Vaati, concerned that she will interfere with his plans, turns her into a statue. He is surprised to discover that the chest contained nothing but monsters and continues his efforts in finding the Light Force.
To help him in his quest for the Light Force, Vaati takes on the form of King Daltus and enlists the help of the Vassals. With their support, he discovers that if the Picori Blade is rebuilt and given the power of the Four Elements, it will reveal how to find the Light Force.
As Link and Ezlo are already on a quest to find the Four Elements, Vaati follows their progress from afar. After finding the Four Elements, the pair find a hidden room located in the Elemental Sanctuary. This room has a stained glass window that depicts Princess Zelda as the holder of the Light Force. Vaati reveals himself to the two, knocks them out, and leaves the sanctuary to find Princess Zelda.
Unfortunately, when Link and Ezlo reach Zelda, Vaati has already removed most of the Light Force from her body. He turns himself into Vaati Reborn – a tall and powerful sorcerer. Link quickly dispatches this version of Vaati using the power of the Four Sword. However, Vaati isn’t done yet.
Next, he’ll turn himself into a black, one-eyed orb referred to as Vaati Transfigured. He fares no better against Link in this form as the Hero of Hyrule defeats him once again despite Vaati’s disdain that he is being bested by a boy.
After defeating Vaati for the second time and rescuing Zelda, she and Link are forced to escape Dark Hyrule Castle as it begins to cave in on itself. Vaati eludes the crumbling castle as well and transforms for a third time into Vaati’s Wrath, an even more powerful orb he describes as “the embodiment of the purest evil.”
With his power, Vaati warps himself and Link to another dimension for the final showdown. To Vaati’s disbelief, he is once again defeated by Link, even though he wields some of the Light Force. Upon his demise, Princess Zelda uses the Mage Cap to restore peace and order to Hyrule.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Vaati:
Question: What is Vaati’s Ultimate Goal?
Vaati’s ultimate goal is to obtain the Light Force and rule with ultimate power and authority.
Question: What are Vaati’s Different Forms?
Vaati has five known forms: Minish, Human, Vaati Reborn, Vaati Transfigured, and Vaati’s Wrath.
Question: What is the Light Force?
The Light Force is a mystical power that is said to be the key to ultimate power and authority. Vaati believes that if he can obtain it, he will be able to rule over all.
Question: What is the Picori Blade?
The Picori Blade is a sacred sword that is said to be instrumental in sealing the Bound Chest. Vaati believes that the blade holds the Light Force and sets out to obtain it.
Question: What is the Bound Chest?
The Bound Chest is a chest that is said to contain the Light Force. Vaati breaks open the chest in his attempts to obtain the Light Force, but finds only monsters inside.
Question: What are the Four Elements?
The Four Elements are fire, water, earth, and wind. They are said to have the power to rebuild the Picori Blade and reveal the location of the Light Force. Link and Ezlo set out to find them in order to stop Vaati’s reign of terror.
Question: What is the Elemental Sanctuary?
The Elemental Sanctuary is a hidden room located in the Elemental Sanctuary. It contains a stained glass window that depicts Princess Zelda as the holder of the Light Force. Vaati uses this room to ambush Link and Ezlo and take them prisoner.
Question: What is Dark Hyrule Castle?
Dark Hyrule Castle is Vaati’s base of operations. It is here that he keeps Princess Zelda captive and drains the Light Force from her body. The castle begins to collapse after Link defeats Vaati for the second time.
Question: What is the Mage Cap?
The Mage Cap is a magical hat that Princess Zelda uses to restore peace and order to Hyrule. It is said to have the power to seal away evil.
Down the Wrong Path
Vaati is a clear picture of how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He allowed his desires and lust for control to turn into obession. As a result, Vaati becomes a powerful sorcerer with ambitions of ruling over all.
He will stop at nothing to obtain the Light Force and will even go so far as to kidnap Princess Zelda in order to get it. Link is able to defeat him time and time again, but Vaati always manages to come back stronger. In the end, it is the power of the Four Elements and the Mage Cap that are able to finally stop him.