Demon King Demise, the source of all monsters
|Habitat(s)||Various (Dark World, Underworld)|
|Special Characteristic(s)||Radiating an aura of evil that attracts monsters and radically changes the behavior of animals|
Demons are a recurring race of monstrous beings that are usually of evil alignment in The Legend of Zelda series. Although not all demons are evil, they still exude a dark aura that attracts monsters and radically changes the behavior of Animals. Demons appear many times in different Legend of Zelda games. They desire to have control over the world and thus constitute a significant threat to Hyrule and its people.
The terms "demon" and "monster" are sometimes used interchangeably, but generally demons are born from the source of evil while monsters are creatures corrupted by dark magic. Demons command and create evil, while monsters do its bidding.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Demon Kings
- 4 Notable Demons
- 5 Other Appearances
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
During the Era of the Goddess Hylia, the Demon race emerged from the earth, desiring the Triforce, originating from their leader Demise. Demise desired to rule the world with the enormous power that the Triforce would grant. Hylia protected the Triforce and took the surviving people to the sky, hiding the Triforce there as well. Hylia and the remaining tribes on the surface fought against Demise and managed to seal him away; however, the goddess knew the seal would not last, so she decided to extinguish Demise with the power of the Triforce. However, gods cannot use the power of the Triforce, so she abandoned her status as god to be reborn as a human.
When Hylia was eventually reincarnated as a human girl named Zelda, Demise's servant Ghirahim made himself the Demon Lord and set his plans to revive the Demon King in motion. Ghirahim sent demon hordes on the surface to locate Hylia's mortal incarnation. Eventually Ghirahim succeeded in reviving Demise; however, Link defeated Demise and the demon race disappeared from the earth.
The Minish Cap
During the Force Era, demons returned and almost covered the world in darkness. However, the Hero of Men used the Light Force and the Picori Blade to seal all the demons in a treasure chest, restoring peace. Years later, seeking the Light Force, Vaati opened the treasure chest, accidentally unleashing the demons upon Hyrule once more.
Ocarina of Time
In the Era of the Hero of Time, Ganondorf successfully infiltrated the Sacred Realm and took the Triforce of Power. As the Sacred Realm reflects the heart of the one who takes the Triforce, it became a dark world infested by demons.
A Link to the Past
In the Era of Light and Dark, Agahnim used his powers to send people to the Dark World. Anyone sent there became a demon, except Link, who possessed the qualities of a hero and instead became a pink bunny (until he found the Moon Pearl, which allowed him to remain in human form in the Dark World).
Oracle of Ages
The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
Although Link managed to defeat him, his followers remained in the area planning to resurrect their master by sacrificing Link and sprinkling his blood over the ashes of the Demon King.
In the Twilight Era, Zant was given magical powers by Ganondorf, which he used to transform the Twili, the inhabitants of the Twilight Realm, into demons. He used this army of demons to attack Hyrule.
Four Swords Adventures
In the Shadow Era, a reincarnation of Ganondorf used the Dark Mirror to create demonic copies of Link, known as Shadow Links. If this mirror is used by an evil person, it reflects their heart and creates demons. This new Ganondorf used the power of the Trident to turn the Knights of Hyrule into demons. With the knights now demons and the Royal Jewels turned into gates to the Dark World, demons returned to Hyrule again.
The Wind Waker
Anyone Agahnim sent to the Dark World became a demon, except Link, who possessed the qualities of a hero and instead became a pink bunny (until he found the Moon Pearl, which allowed him to remain in human form in the Dark World).
Demons have demonstrated the ability to possess other creatures. Both Ganon and Malladus have possessed Zelda; both have also demonstrated the ability to exist as a disembodied spirit. Bellum also possessed Linebeck; turning him into a giant Phantom.
Demise, who had existed eternally, was the origin of evil and the source of all monsters. The Hyrule Historia references other demon kings that existed prior to Skyward Sword, meaning that there were more alongside Demise, prior to being wiped out during the ancient wars.[note 1]
Demise, Ganon, and Malladus have all held the title of demon king. Demon kings are generally depicted as requiring specialized weapons such as Silver Arrows to kill. Rather than getting killed, demon kings can be merely imprisoned. Due to the inability to permanently eliminate the demon king (due to the existence of resurrection) the title is seemingly retained after death.
- Main article: Demise
- Main article: Ganon
Ganon is a former Gerudo who turned into the demon king upon claiming the Triforce of Power in Ocarina of Time. Four Swords Adventures features another incarnation of Ganondorf who became a demon king after obtaining a powerful Trident from the Pyramid. Ganondorf is confirmed to be a manifestation of Demise's hatred.
- Main article: Shadow Link
- Main article: Malladus
- Main article: Demon Train
The Demon Train is a form of Malladus in Spirit Tracks, during a phase of the final battle with him.
- Main article: Chancellor Cole
Chancellor Cole is a demonic servant to Malladus who posed as a human to gain influence in the court of New Hyrule.
- Main article: Skeldritch
Skeldritch is an ancient skeletal Demon that resides in the Sand Temple.
- Main article: Ghirahim
Ghirahim is a Sword Spirit and demon lord who is posing as a human.
- Main article: Majora's Mask (Object)
Majora's Wrath, the final form of the being that inhabits Majora's Mask, is a Demon.
- Main article: Bellum
Bellum is a squid-like phantom Demon that attempts to drain Life Force.
- Main article: Vaati
- Main article: Batreaux
- Main article: Vire
A Vire is a Demon composed of multiple Keese.
- Japanese nouns can generally be used to refer to both singular and plural subjects, so it is possible that the original author was referring only to a single demon king in a single ancient war, namely, Demise in the Ancient Battle. Or as Encyclopedia notes, Demise's various appearances change from era to era.
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 98 (Series)
- "There's no denying that when I was a demon, I must have radiated a fiendish power into my surroundings. Now that I'm human, it seems that most-unpleasant aura has completely faded from this place, like an odious aroma in the wind! And goodness me, I couldn't be more elated! Now everyone can finally live in peace, and it's all thanks to you." — Batreaux (Skyward Sword)
- "This eternal being has conquered time itself. It is the source of all monsters." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- "The origin of evil that threatens the world. Legends say that Demise's appearance changes depending on the era and those who bear witness to him." (Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 99)
- "During the era of the goddess Hylia, many demons arose in pursuit of the Triforce. The leader, Demise, the Demon King, tried to take over the world with his evil powers." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 71)
- "After a battle against the demonic forces, Hylia gathered the humans who had survived, along with the Triforce, onto a plot of land and sent it into the sky. She positioned a heavy barrier of clouds between the island in the sky and the land below to protect the humans and the Triforce." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 71)
- "The goddess and the remaining tribes on the Surface battled for their lives against Demise. They were victorious, and they sealed him away." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 71)
- "The land was saved, but the seal that kept the Demon King imprisoned was weak. In an attempt to destroy Demise, the goddess Hylia tried to use the power of the Triforce." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 71)
- "However, a goddess cannot wield its power. Thus, the goddess Hylia decided to renounce her divinity and be reborn as a human." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 71)
- "Around the same time, Demise sent his follower Ghirahim to the Surface, where Ghirahim gave himself the title of lord. Through secret plotting and scheming, he unleashed demon hordes on the land in an attempt to find the goddess and resurrect the Demon King Demise." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 73)
- "After arriving in the past, Ghirahim performed the ritual to resurrect the Demon King Demise. Link followed, battling and defeating Ghirahim, but he was too late. Demise was reawakened! After an intense battle, Link defeated the demon. Upon his termination, the Demon King’s hatred was absorbed and sealed in the Master Sword. The demons on the Surface no longer terrorized its inhabitants." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 76)
- "A long, long time ago... when the world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow... The tiny Picori appeared from the sky, bringing the hero of men a sword and a golden light." — N/A (The Minish Cap)
- "Using the sword, the Hero of Men sealed the evil beings away in the Bound Chest and brought peace to the world once again." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 78)
- "Vaati believed the Light Force was in the Bound Chest. He broke the Picori Blade to unseal the chest and found that it did not contain the Light Force at all. The evil that had been sealed inside poured forth from the chest." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 79)
- "The Sacred Realm is a mirror that reflects the hearts of those who set foot in it. An evil heart will turn the realm into a living hell. A pure heart will transform it into paradise. Using the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf became the Demon King. The Sacred Realm was distorted into a nightmarish world where demons ran amuck." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 87)
- "Those who stepped on the Magical Warp Tiles that served as entrances would be lost to the Dark World, transformed into demons. Link, who possessed the qualities of the Hero, did not become a demon, but was instead turned into an animal (in this case, a pink bunny). He managed to obtain the Moon Pearl, which prevented him from being transformed while in the Dark World, and the Magic Mirror, which allowed him to return to the Light World." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 95)
- "Next, Link alighted in the unfamiliar land of Labrynna. He came to the aid of Impa, who was surrounded by demons. Impa had other troubles, however, finding herself unable to move a boulder with the crest of the royal family on it." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 99)
- "The mysterious owl that appeared before Link informed him that the only way to escape the island was to awaken the Wind Fish. As he collected the Instruments of the Sirens, Link uncovered a shocking truth. The world in which he had found himself existed within the Wind Fish's dream, and waking the Wind Fish would cause the island to disappear in a stream of bubbles. The demons had attacked Link in order to preserve themselves and the existence of their island home." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 103)
- "The Demon King has been defeated countless times by heroes in the past. He is thought to have been resurrected after many years." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 106)
- "There came a day when the demon army led by the Demon King Ganon invaded Hyrule and stole away the Triforce of Power." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 106)
- "Ganon's Resurrection: It is said that Ganon can be resurrected by sacrificing Link, the one who defeated him, and sprinkling the Hero's blood over his ashes." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 107)
- "Ganondorf was sent to the Twilight Realm. There, the Demon King granted the ambitious Zant magical powers and began plotting to unite the Light World and the Twilight Realm into a single realm known as the Dark World. Zant's influence steadily increased. Clouds of darkness covered the Twilight Realm, and the Twili began transforming into demons." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 114)
- "The peace that had reigned in the Light World for hundreds of years was broken by Zant's army of Shadow Beasts." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 114)
- "The Dark Mirror: A mirror that reflects the evil heart of its bearer, spawning demons." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 119)
- "Ganondorf then utilized the power of the Trident to defeat the Knights of Hyrule one by one as they rushed to the rescue, transforming them into demons. He then placed a curse on the Royal Jewels they held." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 120)
- "The now demonic Knights of Hyrule and their Royal Jewels were scattered across the kingdom by Shadow Link and his kin. The Tower of Winds also disappeared from sight. With the Royal Jewels transformed into gateways to the Dark World, demons began appearing in the land of Hyrule once again." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 120)
- "The resurrected Ganondorf's base of operations. It is crawling with large numbers of demons." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 124)
- "All the Gratitude Crystals that you collected helped him turn from a demon into a human." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- "Using the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf became the Demon King." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 87)
- "The sorcerer Vaati took this form after draining the power of the light force from Princess Zelda. The evil beams from his eyes are devastating." — Figurine (The Minish Cap)
- "Not all residents of the Surface are friendly. Some are the subordinates of the demon kings from ancient wars. Since the demise of the demon kings, their numbers have multiplied, and now they are destroying the Surface." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 59)
- "The twin witches known as Twinrova were plotting ways to perform the ceremony that would resurrect the Demon King. For the resurrection ceremony to occur, it was necessary to light the Flame of Destruction, the Flame of Sorrow, and the Flame of Despair, derived from the chaos, sorrow, and hopelessness of humanity. They would also need to offer up a sacred sacrifice." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 98)
- "Several hundred years after Ganondorf's defeat, relations between Gerudo Village and Hyrule had become friendly once more, and peace had been restored to the land. However, one day a new Ganondorf was born into the world." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 119)
- "A cyclical tale arose from an ancient battle..." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 91)
- "This game talks about the birth of the Master Sword, and it touches on why Ganondorf showed up. If you play it, I think you'll get some understanding on that. It connects to Ocarina, so if you play Ocarina of Time 3D and move on to this game, I think you'll catch on to a lot of things." —Eiji Aonuma (Eiji Aonuma interview)
- "Shadow Link: Demons identical to Link that are born of the Dark Mirror and possess the power of darkness. The resentment and evil thoughts of the defeated Ganondorf travel across time and space, emerging as shadows in the shape of the Hero." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 119)