Agahnim is a character from the The Legend of Zelda series. Agahnim is a powerful and evil magic-user, appearing primarily in A Link to the Past (known as The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods in Japan) as the central antagonist. He serves as Ganon's alter ego in the Light World and drives the plot, but he has made other appearances.

According to the English version of the game, Agahnim is a wizard. This was changed from the Japanese version where Agahnim is a priest, because at the time Nintendo of America had a policy of removing or altering any potentially offensive religious references in English-language versions of games for their systems, hence the change of the game title from Triforce of the Gods to A Link to the Past.

Agahnim's status as Ganon's second self (as opposed to an existing person whom he controls) is subject to some controversy, but there is ample evidence in A Link to the Past that they are the same being. In particular, immediately after Link defeats Agahnim in the Dark World, Ganon's spirit rises from Agahnim's body, assumes the form of a bat, flies away, and crashes through the roof of the Pyramid of Darkness, where he waits in the room below for Link to confront him. Later in the game, before his final confrontation with Link, Ganon refers to Agahnim as "my alter-ego." Still, there is some debate, since the term "alter-ego" can also mean "an intimate friend or constant companion".[1]

Role in A Link to the Past

The game manual describes the story behind Agahnim's rise to power. When the lands were in chaos, the people prayed for redemption. Agahnim appeared, as if in answer to their cries, quelled the strange storm, and drove back all the evils that had threatened Hyrule.

Out of gratitude, the king gave him splendid gifts and appointed him his chief advisor, and ostensibly he was helping the land and doing great things for the people. But this was all a trick of Agahnim's doing — his true purpose was to take over Hyrule. He cast a shadow over the minds of the soldiers and made them do his bidding. The king "vanished" (during the game's opening, a crowned skeleton is shown sitting on the throne, so it can be assumed the king was killed.) Next, he sought to seal away seven young girls, descendants of the seven ancient wise men. These wise men had long ago created a seal binding the evil Ganon in a parallel dimension called the Dark World. By sealing away the girls, Agahnim sought to break this seal so that the Dark World could be opened and Ganon could once more venture forth.

Agahnim had Princess Zelda put in jail. She sent a telepathic message to Link's home, probably hoping that since Link's uncle was outside of the castle he would not have been overpowered as his fellow soldiers were. After hearing the message, Link's uncle then went to save her, giving Link strict instructions to stay in bed until he returned.

But Link had also heard the message. He followed, and found his way into the castle through the sewers, where he came across his dying uncle who gave him his sword and shield. He saved Zelda and brought her to the Sanctuary, where the Sage hid her.

After proving his worth as a hero by collecting the three pendants, Link was able to draw the Master Sword from the pedestal where it slept.

At that very moment Agahnim's possessed soldiers found and captured Zelda in the Sanctuary, killing the Sage. Link used the Master Sword to enter Agahnim's lair, but once he reached him, it was too late, and Agahnim sent Zelda into the Dark World before his very eyes. Link then fought the wizard, and once Agahnim fell, Link was banished to the Dark World. Link had to retrieve the seven Crystals containing the seven Maidens, and use them to break the seal on Ganon's Tower. Once he broke the seal on the Tower and reached the highest room, he fought an even more powerful Agahnim, and once he defeated him once and for all, Ganon, in bat form, escaped from Agahnim's corpse and flew into the Pyramid of Power.

In battle

Agahnim is invulnerable to all of Link's weapons. He has three main attacks:

  • He can create a white ball of power and hurl it at Link. When Sahasrahla contacts Link immediately after he acquires the Master Sword, he says: "With this shining sword, I believe you can deflect the wizard's evil powers." Indeed, the sword can bounce these balls of power back at Agahnim, and this is the only way to injure him (although, curiously, the bug-catching net can also deflect them). The attack used in the final battle with Ganondorf near the end of Ocarina of Time, Link's Awakening, and Twilight Princess, as well as Phantom Ganon in The Wind Waker and Four Swords Adventures and Ocarina of Time, and the defense used against it, is strikingly similar.
  • He can create a blue ball of power that, if struck with the Master Sword, splits into pieces that can injure Link. This keeps Link guessing about whether to deflect or avoid the wizard's attacks.
  • He can move to the top of the screen and then shoot lightning across a large portion of the screen, injuring Link severely if he stands in the affected area. There is no counter to this attack except to avoid it. The player can predict this attack if Agahnim moves to the top of the screen and does not turn to aim at Link.

During the final battle, Agahnim creates two "ghost" copies of himself, appearing slightly translucent, which cannot be injured but attack Link in the same manner as Agahnim himself. Link must guess which is the real Agahnim while avoiding shots from three directions. This can, however, be used against him, as the player can, if skilled enough, reflect up to three shots back at the real one. Agahnim does not use the lightning attack in the final battle. This battle mechanism also appeared in Majora's Mask, where the Wizrobe, a miniboss appearing in three dungeons, would do the same thing in his second attack stage, as well as in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, where, in both cases, there is an opponent which is a special Poe in the fourth dungeon.

Other appearances

Agahnim reappears as one of the shadow bosses near the end of Link's Awakening, as a mere black outline or silhouette, but he acts the same as his old self. This is often believed to be proof that this is the same Link as featured in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Many of the elements of this game are featured in A Link to the Past, such as Moldorm, the Flute/Ocarina, Nightmare's transformation into Moldorm and Nightmare's transformation into Ganon's Shadow.

Someone that looks a lot like Agahnim (and possibly is him) appears in Oracle of Seasons as a mini-boss. It is not made clear if this incarnation of Agahnim is Agahnim himself, or the spirit of Agahnim, or merely someone mimicking the Ganon's Tower equivalent. He looks and acts significantly different from his original self.

His scepter also makes an appearance in the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, as a purchasable item which increases the power of each spellcasting hero's highest level spell.

In Soul Calibur II GameCube version, which features Link (though is not canon to the Zelda series), it is revealed in Link's story that a piece of the evil Soul Edge crossed into Hyrule from another dimension, and seduced a wizard with its evil. While not explicitly said to be Agahnim, there are definite similarities in the stories.

In the Nintendo Power comic Agahnim is a separate entity from Ganon. A wizard desiring power, he agreed to serve Ganon and help bring his forces into the Light World in return for further power. He is Link's main antagonist for the majority of the comic, with Ganon only appearing "in the flesh" near the end.

In a non-canon manga based upon the game, it is revealed that Agahnim was a friend of Link's father. Agahnim took to magic and learned how to break the Seal of the Sages, being recruited to Ganon's services. When confronted by his friend, Agahnim killed him and his wife. But after being defeated by Link, Ganon killed Agahnim as he outlived his usefulness. The games, however, make it apparent that Agahnim was a vessel for Ganon.

In the Animated Series of the Legend of Zelda, Ganon dressed up in a disguise very similar to Agahnim to enter the "Amateur Magicians Contest" (The Triforce of Power reacts by saying "But you're no amateur, you're a Pro!"). He proves his power by making a bird, and turning it into a keese to check if anyone guards the Triforce. He then turns a lizard into a dragon to distract Link and Zelda while he stole the Triforce.