The N64 title was a breakthrough for Ganon. Before Ocarina, his lineage could be traced back to the Nintendo breed of pantomime villains. Like Bowser and Donkey Kong, Ganon was once a brawny brute who had few motives other than standing in front of a captured princess.
Ocarina gave the angry pig a more intricate and ambiguous back-story. It revealed that Ganondorf, his human form, was born into a reclusive tribe of female thieves called the Gerudo; a clan that was toughened from birth by virtue of living in the extreme weather conditions of a barren desert.
The Gerudo held a collective belief that every 100 years a single man would be born into the tribe and become their leader. Much like how Link is predestined at birth to become a hero, Ganondorf entered the world of Zelda under a prophecy that he would command a feared band of thieves.
Later in his life, a physically imposing Ganondorf (said to be 7ft 6in tall) had ambitions to take control of Hyrule; a sun-kissed haven in comparison to the barren conditions of his home land.
"My country lay beneath a vast desert. When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind always carried the same thing... death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering or ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose."
- Ganondorf in Wind Waker
Ganondorf sought to command Hyrule by earning the trust of its king before betraying him. Yet his seizure of the fabled Triforce had granted him immeasurable, unforeseeable power and, with it, a god complex.
His defeat in Ocarina, signalled by a clap of thunder, triggered an unforgettable moment in the series where Ganondorf transforms (or regresses) into his beast-like form, Ganon, before a dramatic second battle with Link atop the rubble of his castle.
The conclusion to the fight had formed the concept that, while Link is a legend born in every generation, Ganondorf is essentially an immortal who would inevitably return to face him.