TOTK Sets Up An Incredible Final Battle, But Never Delivers


  • The final boss battle in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is impressive, but it does not live up to expectations set by the game.
  • Throughout TOTK, there are hints that Ganondorf will return to full power and lead another assault against Hyrule.
  • Fans speculate that this many have been Nintendo’s original intention, but were limited by the Switch’s hardware.



Although the final boss battle in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is incredible – arguably even better than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s ending – the game occasionally hints that there’s going to be a monumentally significant battle for Hyrule. However, this battle, disappointingly, does not manifest. Though this would be dissatisfying in isolation, it is made even more so by the Memories that show Ganondorf commanding an assault on Hyrule.

[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.]

The battle against Demon King Ganondorf and his draconified form, Demon Dragon, is outstanding, but it seems as though players were promised a different final contest, one with a heightened sense of significance for the citizens of Hyrule. With the memory sequences and a number of lines of key dialogue, TOTK players are made to expect the ultimate final showdown against Ganondorf for the safety and future of Hyrule. Ultimately, Tears of the Kingdom makes an effort to set up an absolutely perfect final boss battle, only to disappoint at the final hurdle by not delivering on the potentially outstanding ending hinted at throughout the duration of the game.

Related:Zelda: TOTK Overcompensates For BOTW’s Final Boss In The Best Way

Coming at the culmination of the “Destroy Ganondorf” quest, the final boss battle in Tears of the Kingdom pits Link against his notorious archenemy, Ganondorf. The battle comes in two stages, the first against Demon King Ganondorf, and the final phase against his draconified form, Demon Dragon. Being quite difficult, these two manifestations of Ganondorf are a true menace, and they can’t be defeated easily. TOTK‘s epic final confrontation is arguably one of the best boss battles in any The Legend of Zelda game; it even overcompensates for BOTW’s lackluster final boss battle against Calamity Ganon.

Just like the battle against Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom‘s final boss can be challenged to complete the “Destroy Ganon” quest almost immediately after leaving the tutorial area.

Incredibly powerful, blessed with a huge HP bar, and armed with a seemingly endless supply of gloom, Demon King Ganondorf is a nightmare to face, even if Link uses resources and all of his Sage Abilities. After successfully defeating Demon King Ganondorf twice, he will transform into his final form, the Demon Dragon. Defeating Ganondorf’s Demon Dragon form will bring peace to the land of Hyrule, at least for now, and though TOTK‘s final boss battle is exceptional, it could, and possibly even should, have been better, which the game itself seems to continuously hint at.

Tears Of The Kingdom Hints At A Finale That Doesn’t Happen

Link and Zelda looking at each other in a grass field. Link is kneeling and Zelda is sitting on the ground.

While the final battle of Tears of the Kingdom is fantastic, the game frequently hints at a battle of larger scope that never manifests. Though, as with many games, the most significant moments are not overtly spelled out to the player, instead simply hinted at, the sheer quantity of hints that led many players to anticipate a significantly different conclusion to Tear of the Kingdom makes the actual ending quite bewildering. Throughout the game, many TOTK Memories seem to foreshadow a final showdown in the form of a big battle for Hyrule, but this, disappointingly, never manifests.

Beyond the red herring memories that show Ganondorf assaulting Hyrule, the dialogue soon before the final battle further suggests a showdown that is never delivered. The Goron Sage, Yunobo, at one point remarks that he doesn’t expect the Demon King to simply wait to be discovered, he thinks the final boss is going to go on the attack, and as a result, Yunobo informs Link that he is preparing Goron City for the possibility of a devastating attack. Though one interpretation could be that these hints are intentional misleads, it has led to some interesting fan conjecture regarding TOTK‘s final battle.

Tears Of The Kingdom Was Set Up To Have An Incredible Conclusion

Tears of the Kingdom Ganondorf Laughing

Reddit user IrishSpectreN7 postulates that it seems as though the developers’ intention, at some point during development, was for the final battle to feature Ganondorf, at full strength, launching another assault on Hyrule. IrishSpectreN7 goes on to theorize that the final battle the game eventually received was a result of hardware constraints, noting that the larger skirmishes on the surface would cause a great deal of console slowdown, and as a result, it makes sense that TOTK‘s realized final showdown against Ganondorf was set in the Depths and may have been drastically reduced.

As many fans speculate in the thread, Tears of the Kingdom‘s final battle could have been so much more. Even if IrishSpectreN7 is correct in their hypothesis, there is no way to predict exactly how it could have manifested; however, the thought of fighting in Hyrule Field with the assistance of the Sages and the citizens of Hyrule is a tantalizing prospect. While many of the comments on the original post theorize a range of superior endings to the one fans were presented with, it is undeniable that Tears of the Kingdom‘s already excellent conclusion could have been even better if what was hinted at in-game actually materialized.

Source: Reddit/IrishSpectreN7

  • Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Poster

    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

    The Legend of Zelda

    Nintendo Switch


    Nintendo EPD




    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the anticipated follow-up to Breath of the Wild, released in 2017. A rare occurrence in Zelda titles, Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel instead of loosely connected. In Tears of the Kingdom, Link will take to the skies and learn about a mysterious kingdom in the clouds. Additionally, he will discover the secrets of the dark ones that dwell below and above the earth. The sequel is being built on the same engine as the original, with unique physics tools again being utilized. However, little about the plot and gameplay is known.

    How Long To Beat:
    35-50 hours

    The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild


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