Complete Monster/Legend of Zelda
"It is time for you to choose: surrender or die. Oh yes, a question for all the land and people of Hyrule... Life? Or death?!" —Zant's ultimatum to Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Among the many evils that have plagued the land of Hyrule over the years, there are those select few who are so depraved and monstrous that even the Great Demon King of Evil himself pales in comparison.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask gives us Majora, a demonic entity sealed within the titular mask whose main goal is to wipe out all life on Termina by causing it's moon to crash into the surface. In order to carry out its plans, Majora took advantage of a troubled young prankster known as the Skull Kid and uses him as its vessel to carry out its heinous deeds. Not satisfied with merely setting the moon on a collision course with the earth and sealing away the four giants that are the only beings capable of stopping it, Majora threw Termina's four regions into chaos by polluting and poisoning the water of the Great Bay and Woodfall, freezing over Snowhead by creating a permanent blizzard, and opening the Stone Tower's doors which caused undead monsters, that are aware but unable to pass on to spill out into the Ikana region. Majora was also responsible for several other crimes around Termina such as tearing the five Great Fairies apart into 15 Stray Fairies, turning Kafei into a child only a moth before his wedding day with Anju, and telling the Gerudo Pirates about the Zora Eggs resulting in them stealing Lulu's eggs and beating her friend, Mikau, to near death when he goes to take them back. The creepiest part about Majora however is that it has the mentality of a psychopathic deranged child, and even admits that it did all these horrible things simply because it was FUN. Majora later tries to end the world by abandoning the Skull Kid and giving new indestructible power to the moon, all while raving about how he will consume everything, only to be stopped by Link. Majora committing atrocities For the Evulz and it's belief that troubled humans are only tools that can be used to fulfill it's omnicidal plans and thrown away like garbage when their use has been served make this wicked mask spirit quite possibly the nastiest villain Link has ever fought.
- In Hyrule Warriors, Majora makes a return appearance as the Big Bad of the Rewards Map challenge The Giants Gather, which is a re-enactment of Majora's Mask. While it has been considerably toned down from it's home game, it still fits the bill with it's desire to destroy the world for fun still very much intact. In fact, Majora's plan here is to once again obliterate the world by sending the moon crashing down, this time while possessing Lana (whom takes the role of Skull Kid). Even when it's plans are thwarted when Young Link gathers the four giant Bokoblins, and brings Lana back to her senses, Majora summons to King Dodongos to destroy Young Link in one final act of spite.
- Ganondorf himself qualifies in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. After seven years of his rule, the previously lively Hyrule Castle Town lies in ruins, and is inhabited solely by zombies. (And some of Ganondorf's minions, if you count his castle as part of the town.) And while the rest of his villainy happened off-screen, you still see the effects of it all over the world. Kokiri Forest has been turned into a breeding ground for all sorts of dangerous monsters, Goron City is almost completely empty due to Ganondorf locking them up in the Fire Temple to be fed to a dragon so they could serve as an example to those who won't follow his orders, Zora's Domain has become completely frozen over, the people of Gerudo Valley are now oppressed and Nabooru brainwashed against her will into serving Ganondorf's will, Bongo Bongo had also been released from it's imprisonment in the well to cause a fire in Kakariko village, and even Lon Lon Ranch has become the Evil King's property, with Ingo raising horses that he can sacrifice to Ganondorf and living in fear of what might happen if he displeases him. Hell, even before the timeskip he does quite a few awful things: cursing and killing the Deku Tree, murdering the composer brothers, starving the Gorons for refusing to hand over their Sacred Stone by sealing off Dodongos Cave, poisoning Lord Jabu Jabu to infect it with parasitic creatures in order to lure in Princess Ruto, and ultimately attacking the royal family and people of Hyrule Castle (you can even find and talk to a soldier who dies from having fought him). In the game's later follow-up, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, it is revealed that Ganondorf once had noble intentions that led him to stealing the Triforce: he was jealous of Hyrule's prosperity and wanted to help his people find a better life outside of the hellish desert wasteland of Gerudo Valley. And while he does reflect on his deeds and even develops a few noble traits in that game, it doesn't change the fact that in this game he was consumed and motivated purely by a lust for godlike power and was more than willing to hurt his own people after acquiring said power.
- One could also make a case for him in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess due to it taking place in an alternate timeline where Link and Zelda got him arrested by the king of Hyrule before he could steal the Triforce and turn Hyrule into a living hell, which means that the good points about his character that surfaced in Wind Waker never show up here. In this game it's revealed that he is the one in charge of Zant, and he engineered his rise to power and reign of terror. He granted him the power he used to overthrow the Twilight Realm's ruler Midna, as well as convert the Realm's inhabitants into mindless monsters before setting out to conquer Hyrule once more. While Zant took a more active role by committing the atrocities listed in his entry below, the fact that Zant was severely mentally ill, weak hearted, and following the will of Ganondorf whom he viewed as his god gives him at least some semblance of an excuse. And all of his heinous deeds are ultimately tied back to Ganondorf, who never got over his lust for power back in Ocarina of Time.
- The manga version of Ganondorf is far worse than either of his game counterparts. Unlike the original, he has no Freudian Excuse, nor is he Made of Evil either. Ganondorf here is presented as a selfish, greedy king with no care for any of his own subjects or anyone else but himself. In the Ocarina of Time manga adaptation, he still attacks Link when he's a child, he still poisons the Great Deku Tree, and worse is explicitly the one who killed Zelda's father the king. Ganondorf's behavior towards his own minions is expanded upon and made more horrifying as well. He brainwashed his entire Gerudo tribe, using Twinrova to do so. His own monsters sometimes serve him unwillingly: Gohma was a harmless spider that he mutated painfully into the monster that killed the Deku Tree. Worse, Volvagia was a benevolent, sentient dragon and Link's friend - Ganondorf turned him into a mindless beast that Link was forced to euthanize. And once Volvagia lost against Link, Ganondorf restored his memories purely to mock him as he died in despair! This comes up again later when Link is crossing the Haunted Wasteland, where Ganondorf implicitly conjures up a spectre in the form of Volvagia's disembodied head, still suffering grievous pain, in a spiteful attempt to lure Link away from the safe path through the desert. And just like in the original N64 game, Ganondorf regrets none of this before the time of his final defeat.
- Speaking of Zant the Usurper King, he veered into this trope's territory himself, mental instability or not. He was once an embittered, hateful servant to the Twilight Realm's royal family who was never content with having to live his life sealed off from the outside Realm of Light, a world he believed was rightfully the Twili's to dominate and rule. Furious that he was passed over for the crown due to his power-hungry nature, Zant soon found Ganondorf, who had been banished to the Twilight Realm, and came to view him as a god whom he fanatically devoted himself to. Having been granted godlike power from him, Zant transformed the realm's inhabitants into dangerous, mindless monsters while he also transformed its rightful ruler Midna into an imp-like creature and set out to leave the world that he hated so much by conquering the Realm of Light. Leading a violent campaign against Hyrule, Zant forces its ruler Princess Zelda to surrender on threat of him slaughtering its inhabitants outright, and imprisons her while gradually transforming the kingdom into a Twilight hell. When Queen Rutela of the Zoras fought back against his forces, Zant personally executed her to show what would happen to those who defy him, and froze over Zora's Domain entirely in order to kill its inhabitants. As for the rest of the kingdom, his evil is felt everywhere, with Shadow Beasts attacking and transforming people into more of the foul beasts and the kingdom's citizens fearing for their lives against this new threat. When Link and Midna gathered all of the pieces of the Fused Shadow, Zant appeared to steal them, trapped Link in an almost permanent wolf state with a crystal of Ganon's malice, and offered Midna a chance to join him in his reign. When Midna refused, he exposed her to pure light, which would have killed her if not for the Light Spirit getting her and Link to safety, and even then Midna was left mortally wounded, and would have died a slow, agonizing death had Princess Zelda not sacrificed her own powers to save her. And when Link and Midna finally confront him in his throne room for their final battle, Zant reveals that under his cold and ruthless mask he's truly a Psychopathic Manchild whose motives can basically be described as a spoiled child overreacting in a negative way over being told "no".
- Veran, the self-proclaimed Sorceress of Shadows hailing from Oracle of Ages is a downright nasty, mean-spirited woman who goes to horrific lengths to spread sorrow through the land of Labrynna. After possessing Nayru, the Oracle of Ages herself, she goes back in time in order to screw up the kingdom's history by acting as the treacherous advisor to Queen Ambi and slowly corrupts the good-hearted queen through her influence. Veran's machinations lead to the men of Lynna Village being enslaved and forced to construct an enormous tower through back-breaking labor, which results in an enormous symbol of oppression hanging over the village's denizens. She also sends a few monsters to kill the sentient Maku Tree while she's a defenseless sprout, breaks the Tuni Nut which causes Symmetry Village to be wiped out by a volcanic eruption if things don't change in the past, turns a group of friendly monkeys and a child into stone, and poisons the ocean which leads to the death of the Zora King in the present day. And when she's confronted at the Queen's palace, she gleefully attempts to use Nayru as a human shield during her fight with Link, and when defeated and exorcised from the Oracle's body, she merely possesses Ambi instead and sends the creation of her Black Tower into full swing. While it's revealed that she was merely a flunky of Twinrova's and working to resurrect Ganon by spreading misery through the land, the creative and horrible ways Veran spreads that suffering seal her status as one of the biggest scumbags in the series.
- Ghirahim of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the flamboyant and narcissistic second-in-command to the Demon King Demise and carries out most of the evil in the game as The Heavy. While he starts off smug and not threatened by Link in the slightest, even appearing to make sexual advances towards him at points, he grows angrier and more hateful as the game goes on and begins to show the depraved psychopath he truly is underneath by delivering all sorts of nasty threats to Link such as threatening to beat him within an inch of his life, burning him alive, and most disturbingly torturing him until he deafens himself with his own screams. And once he's captured Zelda, he not only puts her through a lot of physical pain in ritual meant for summoning his master, but he also slows Link down by sending a horde of Bokoblins and Moblins after him, knowing full well that they'd have no chance against him but would stall for enough time. He also makes it clear that they should fear his wrath if they fail, showing his bloodlust isn't limited to just the good guys. And since his plot to resurrect Demise was a success, he can be viewed as the catalyst for almost every game in the series thanks to Demise's evil lingering as a curse that follows Link and Zelda's descendants through the ages. While he began life as the personification of a dark sword, Ghirahim has clearly developed an agency of his own that he uses for being selfish, depraved, and flat out pure evil. Hell, not even Demise comes off as that evil, and he's the God of Evil who wants to Kill All Humans! His voice and mannerisms coupled with his sadism makes him reminiscent of Frieza, which only earns him more points in this trope.
- In a similar vein to Ghirahim, the insufferably vain and arrogant Yuga from A Link Between Worlds also qualifies. It's quite obvious that Yuga's a nasty piece of work due to the fact that his favorite method of dealing with his enemies is turning them into completely immobile paintings on walls, leaving them to either be stuck where they are forever or to be essentially killed by being scrubbed away. Said method is what he used to kidnap the descendants of the Seven Sages (one of which is only a child, no less) as well as Princess Zelda, all the while sadistically taunting them by calling them his "masterpieces" as he put it. He's also a huge Dirty Coward who flees as soon as he's defeated by Link in his first two battles, claiming to be bored with the fight, and at the game's midway point he uses the power of the Sages to resurrect Ganon once again, just so he can absorb his Triforce of Power to assume the form pictured above before trying to kill Link, and would have succeeded if not for Princess Hilda's intervention. But what really puts him in this position would be when he's revealed to be working for Hilda, the ruler of Lorule and is complicit in her plan to destroy Hyrule. But while Hilda commits quite a few evil deeds such as having Hyrule's sages kidnapped in order to revive Ganon so she could obtain his Triforce of Power, stealing Zelda's Triforce of Wisdom, and attempting to kill Link for his Triforce of Courage, she's ultimately trying to steal Hyrule's Triforce so she can keep her world from falling apart. Unlike Hilda though, Yuga has no altruistic reasons for what he's doing and is taking advantage of the distraught Hilda so he can obtain the Triforce for himself. Caring not about the fate of Hyrule or Lorule, Yuga wishes to destroy both worlds and instead recreate them in his image, and betrays Hilda when she needs his help against Link by imprisoning her in a painting as well. He then proceeds to absorb Hilda's painting to get her stolen Triforce of Wisdom, and even tries to cause Lorule's destruction himself at the end with only Link and his Triforce of Courage standing in his way. When you get right down to it, he's arguably even worse than Ganon and ends up as a villain who, for once, hijacks HIM to be the Final Boss rather than the other way around.