Friendo: I just started replaying Wind Waker, it is so good.
Me: That game is the best, right? Ganondorf’s speech at the end destroys me.
Friendo: But he’s evil, like, he totally wants to murder those two kids.
Me: No way dude. I’m pretty sure he wants them to kill him.
Friendo: What are you even talking about.
Me: Okay, so listen. He could absolutely wipe them out if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. Remember on Greatfish Isle, where Ganondorf destroys the entire island to get Nayru’s Pearl? If he can blow up a huge landmass in the process of defeating a demigod and then have enough power left over to create an unending storm stretching across the whole Great Sea just to express his frustration that Jabun escaped, then he can probably snap his fingers and one-hit kill Link. You could argue that Ganondorf no longer has the Triforce of Power during the final battle, but during the Greatfish Isle incident his magic is sealed by the Master Sword, so either way he’s plenty dangerous. Yet he never makes a legit attempt to hurt the kid.
Friendo: Okay but -
Me: When Link walks in on Ganondorf in his bedroom, he’s speaking gently to a sleeping Tetra, and then when he looks up and sees Link he tells him to wait and not be so hasty. Link insists on fighting him anyway, though, so he uses adorable magical puppets to enact a famously easy final boss sequence. It’s like Ganondorf is playing with Link to entertain him, just like he was telling stories to Tetra so she could fall asleep. A nerd like this is not in the business of murdering children, and it’s only when Daphnes dooms Hyrule to an eternal watery demise that Ganondorf draws his swords.
Me: At this point Ganondorf has lost everything he ever lived and fought for, and all the historical memories of the people in the world he once knew and loved are gone forever. It’s unclear whether this was his fault, but he certainly seems to feel as though it were, and his last chance to redeem himself has been stolen from his grasp in the moment just before he claimed it. There’s no hope left for him, only guilt and despair, and so he finally turns to the two children who were sent to kill him, challenging them to deliver him from his misery.
Friendo: Not gonna lie, that’s super dark.
Me: Wind Waker is a dark game bro.
Friendo: No, I mean, it’s super dark that you for real sat down and devoted actual thought to this.
Me: …well when you put it like that I suppose you’re right.