No matter the year, decade, or era, one thing remains constant: Link has to fight Ganondorf at the end of a Zelda game. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is no different. This time, the final fight comes at the culmination of the “Destroy Ganondorf” quest.
However, fighting Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom is uniquely difficult thanks to the new gloom mechanic, which messes with your max health and ability to heal. In other words, if you go in unprepared, you’re highly likely to get hopes and dreams of saving Zelda savagely crushed.
This guide covers everything you need to know to prepare for the fight plus walks through the actual fight with Demon King Ganondorf and the final phase against the Demon Dragon. Vive la Hyrule!
How to prepare for the Ganondorf final boss battle
This is the final stretch of the game, and is suitably challenging as a result. While you could technically bomb it here ASAP after landing in Hyrule, doing so would make life super difficult. Instead, if you’ve spent time building Link back up to his former glory, there are a few things you can (and should) do to make your life as easy as possible.
1. Get all five Sages on your team
For starters, make sure you visit the four temples — the Wind Temple, Fire Temple, Water Temple, and Lightning Temple — and get the four Sages on your team. This will unlock the fifth sage, who you should also add to your roster.
Be aware that if you choose to skip this, you do so at your own peril — for two reasons. First, anyone you add to your team will join you in the final battle, and there’s no reason to not opt for that assistance. Second, each temple is guarded by a boss.
Any bosses you don’t take care of before heading down to the final fight will come and make an appearance. This is not the time for five additional boss fights without being able to run away to heal. Do your homework get all five Sages on your team.
2. Get the Master Sword
Why would you not want the Sword that Seals the Darkness? If you haven’t found the Master Sword yet, go and find the Master Sword.
3. Get a decent other weapon
The Master Sword is incredible and has the unique ability to heal itself every 10 minutes. However, it is far from unbreakable — and it will likely break in the first stage of the fight when you’re facing down a whole horde of nasties.
Get as many decent weapons as your inventory can hold. Make sure one of them is fused to something that produces fire or lightning (yep, here there be Gibdos), because your Sage of Lightning will be running around doing her own thing. The materials you get for beating a Gleeok are particularly useful when Fused to a weapon.
If you prefer to use ranged attacks, make sure you have plenty of fire fruit and shock fruit instead.
4. Get a decent set of armor
Tears of the Kingdom has no shortage of armor sets to choose from. For the final fight, defense is the best offense — especially when said defense actively increases your offense, as with sets like the Wind Armor and Hero Armor.
Both sets have the Attack Up set bonus, and both get up to a maximum of 60 defense. You’ll be fighting in a lot of gloom, so the fewer hearts’ worth of damage you take, the less blight you’ll have to contend with.
Plus, of course, there’s the moral victory that comes with beating the game in Link’s classic green tunic.
5. Prepare a lot of meals — Sundelions are key
Speaking of, health management is going to be tricky here, especially given that damage taken will lock out hearts, thanks to that nasty blight.
First and foremost, pack a bunch of sunny meals. Each sundelion you cook with restores three hearts. That’s 15 hearts if you cook with five sundelions!
Obviously cook with as many as you think you will need — if you have a maximum of nine hearts, only cook with two at a time. If you have more than a dozen, prepare a few that restore nine, 12, and 15 hearts.
While you’re at it, cook a bunch of stuff that restores a lot of hearts, and ideally gives temporary (yellow) hearts too. If you really want to min-max this, do your meal prep to the spooky vibes of a Blood Moon.
6. Make sure you have a Travel Medallion
This is really just a backstop, just in case you realize you messed up and need to bail, but don’t want to lose your progress en route to Ganondorf.
It’s a fair trek getting to the chamber where the final fight happens, and if you realize you’re suddenly out of arrows, food, or any other crucial resources, a Travel Medallion offers a chance to “save” your progress. You can then turn tail to do whatever you need to do, and then teleport back.
While you might think you’re fine now, you never know — you might find yourself woefully unprepared during the battle, and realize you need a few more heart containers. It never hurts to be overprepared!
How to beat Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom
At long, long last, we are here and ready to throw down against Demon King Ganondorf.
Again, we must respect the video game rule of threes: Much like the rest of this guide, there are several stages you must get through in order to defeat Ganon once and for all.
A cutscene will follow and, if you have it, you’ll will automatically equip the Master Sword.
Final boss fight stage one: Demon King Ganondorf
This stage sees you fight against Ganon in his human form, mano a mano. (Linko a demo’?)
His attacks all deal gloom damage, meaning you really want to dodge. (The Depths Armor helps, if you have it upgraded and unlocked its gloom attack resist set bonus.) It’s important to note that your health hasn’t recovered from the earlier fight, and it won’t restore after this stage either. Remember those sunny meals you made? This is where they become worth their weight in rupees.
As mentioned, follow the same attack pattern you’d use against Phantom Ganon: He’ll swipe with his sword if you’re close or charge at you if you’re far away. Headshots are important, as are Flurry Rush counters.
However, unlike the phantoms, he can switch weapons on the fly at any point of the battle. Pay attention to what he’s holding — if it’s a spear, expect him to charge and jab at you; if it’s a club, expect him to swing it down on you.
Additionally, he can dodge and counter you, getting his own bullet-time effect. If this happens, get ready to dodge his counter-attack, as you can get an easy Flurry Rush out of this.
Keep calm, time your dodges right, and you will eventually wear down his health bar.
Final boss fight stage two: Demon King Ganondorf (again)
The second stage of your fight against Demon King Ganondorf is broken into two smaller phases.
Ganon, it seems, has transformed into the sass-quatch. After a super villainous evil monologue, he will grow a comically overcompensatory health bar and quip about how he’s going to take more than just your arm this time.
And you know what, this isn’t even his final form…
Memes and references aside, Ganon is now much bigger, stronger, and more aggressive — thanks in no small part to the phantom copies he recruits to turn the tables. Turns out Ganon should have read more Discworld, because there’s no way he’s winning with those odds.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry too much about them, as your Sage friends will come help out with the battle, joining in stages to help engage the phantom menaces (sorry, not sorry). This leaves you free to take on the big bad.
One thing to watch out for is Ganon’s new attack, featuring a large two-handed sword. Keep an eye out for an updraft: If you see this, open your paraglider to avoid huge Gloom damage. Once his attack is over, smack him with an aerial attack and get back to slapping him about with the Master Sword.
Get him to half-health and he will absorb his phantom buddies and blow your allies away. He then gives you more sass. Man thinks he’s Morpheus...
Just to keep you on your toes, he adds a couple of new attacks: Gloom arrows that you can simply run around and — more terrifyingly — orbs that permanently remove hearts. Avoid those like the plague they are.
On top of this, he’s picked up speed. Keep doing what you’ve been doing: Watch out for his clearly telegraphed attacks, block, dodge, and smack him down with some well-timed Flurry Rushes.
Final boss fight stage three: Demon Dragon
Right, Ganon is clearly using cheat codes here because health bars mean nothing. A cutscene ensues and you find yourself riding the Light Dragon into battle against Ganon (the Demon Dragon).
Any hearts you’ve lost to the heart-stealing orbs will have been returned to you, and any blighted gloom hearts will have been restored. Eat a quick meal if you’re low on health, but don’t worry too much if you’re low on restoratives: Of the three sections, you will most likely find this the easiest.
Yes, it’s the big “Marvel Act 3 Sky Battle” section.
The plan here is simple: Hit the little glowing clusters of Lovecraftian horror on his back.
There are two ways to go about this: ranged attacks (shoot arrows as you’re falling so you can make use of the bullet time mechanic) or melee attacks (jump on the Demon Dragon’s back and whale on his eyeballs). Don’t worry about falling to the ground — the Light Dragon’s got you.
Ranged attacks are basically useless unless you have a Zoanite bow that can shoot nice and far. Instead, we’re going to go for the melee strategy. Jump off the Light Dragon and aim for one of the three glowing spots on the Demon Dragon’s back. Be aware that the Demon Dragon will shoot orbs at you as you attack him. These are easy enough to dodge, but equip some Glide Armor if need be.
Land on his back and attack the weird eyeball thing. Once it has been destroyed, jump off — if the dragon throws you off, you’ll take a couple of hits as it zooms away. If you don’t wiggle the controller, you will see a really amusing pained look on Link’s face that stays frozen in place until you do.
The plan is to repeat this until all four of the eyepits are destroyed. After the third one, however, the Demon Dragon will start shooting at you from his mouth.
Once you’ve destroyed the four eyeball things, the Demon Dragon will summon his signature Blood Moon.
This illuminates the Secret Stone in its head. You need to jump off the Light Dragon and aim for the Demon Dragon’s head, similar to when you recovered the Master Sword except this time we’re going to attack the Secret Stone.
It will continue to shoot gloom balls at you, so just keep dodging them like you have so far. Land on his head, hit the Secret Stone with the Master Sword a few times, and the job’s a good’un.
Congratulations, you have gone and brought peace to Hyrule. Enjoy the cutscene. You’ve earned it.