Evil Spirit from Beyond Phantom Ganon is the final boss of the Forest Temple in the N64 game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He is the first boss you fight as adult Link, who must defeat him to break the evil influence over the Forest Temple and awaken the Sage of the Forest. He rides a horse for the first part of the battle but dismounts for the second, and wields a large magic staff to shoot magic at you. To defeat him, you will need the Fairy Bow and at least ten arrows, so stock up before you enter the battle. You will also need the Master Sword and a sense of rhythm.

The arena is a hexagonal platform with railings around the side fencing you in. Arranged on the walls are six identical paintings of a darkened path into the distance. At the start of the encounter, Phantom Ganon will leap into one of these and appear to run up the path in the picture. He can move through the pictures on his horse at will. At the six corners of the arena you will find small Triforce symbols on the ground. These are important, as I'll explain later.

Phantom Ganon's attack pattern

For the first part of the match he will be on horseback. You'll hear a galloping noise and not one but two Phantom Ganons will be racing towards you from two randomly-selected pictures. As they reach the front of the picture, one of the riders will turn his horse away and run back into the picture: this is not the real Phantom Ganon but a decoy. The second rider will enter a large purple warp at the front of the picture. The horse will gallop in the warp, momentarily stationary, then leap all the way across the arena into the picture at the other side. At the exact midpoint of the jump, Phantom Ganon will use his magic staff to send a beam of energy down to the centre of the arena which will then zap outwards in six directions. Catch any of this energy and you'll suffer.

For the second part of the battle, which begins after you've damaged him a bit (see later), Ganon will get rid of his horse and begin to levitate above and around the arena holding his staff. Periodically, he spins this, then aims a fireball right at you. The fireball will damage you if you let it hit you, but it is relatively slow-moving, so it's easy to dodge, and it will disperse if it hits your shield.

How to beat Phantom Ganon

Firstly you need to move to a safe position. When Phantom Ganon fires his beam of energy down from his horse, it spreads out in six directions - which are always towards the six small Triforce symbols on the perimeter of the arena. So basically, if you stand at the edge of the arena, but not a Triforce symbol, you can stay there for eternity and you will never get hurt. Very useful!

Now you need to attack Phantom Ganon, and the way to do this is to use the major item you picked up during this Temple, the Fairy Bow. Pull this out and fit an arrow to the string without firing it. Wait until the two Phantoms come towards you. If possible, keep both of them on your screen, but if not, simply pick one and stay with it. Since you have your back against the wall at this point, it's possible that one Phantom will come from directly behind you. As soon as one Ganon turns away, immediately focus your attention on the one in the purple warp. Now, while the horse is briefly stationary, is the time to shoot. You can also shoot Phantom Ganon at any time while he jumps over you, but the timing on this is near-impossible, so it's far easier to shoot him while he's in the warp. Shoot one arrow, hit him, and he will turn and gallop back into the picture. Repeat.

Note: if you are only able to keep one Ganon in your sights, and it turns out to be the wrong one, and you can't reach the other one to aim in time, don't waste your arrow. Simply keep it held until the next pass - you'll run out of ammo if you're not careful, and no additional arrows are available during the boss battle.

For the second part of the battle, Z-target Phantom Ganon and circle around him, keeping as great a distance as possible. None of your weapons can damage him as he is at the moment, but the fireballs that he uses can. When he hurls his fireball at you, you have to slash your sword a fraction of a second before it hits you, in order to bounce it back in his face. Getting the timing right here is pretty tricky, but you can usually pick it up fairly quickly (i.e. before you die). Now, although the first time you rebound the fireball is likely to score a direct hit, after you've done this a few times, Phantom Ganon becomes disturbingly adept at bouncing them back at you. When this happens (and you need to stay alert for this) you have to slash again, and keep up the volley with Ganon until he slips. (Or until you slip, in which case you'll take some damage.) Once you get the "rhythm", tennis becomes easier.

After Phantom Ganon has been hit with his own fireball, you have merely stunned him. Run in and do the most powerful sword attack you can - that's Z-target and press A, a jumping attack is twice as powerful as a normal one. Repeatedly. Ganon will regain his strength in a short while and continue to attack, so stand back and Z-target him again, repeating this tennis-then-attack pattern to wear him down until his spectacular demise.

This was the fourth boss from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Previous boss: Barinade.
Next boss: Volvagia.

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