Vaati. Vaati, Vaati, Vaati. Or Gufuu if you want to use his Japanese name. I prefer Vaati, though. Whatever the case, since his first appearance in Four Swords, Vaati's been a fan favorite because he introduced something new to the Zelda franchise. That being a new villain which is a lovely change of pace given the repetitiveness of Ganondorf.
I never played Four Swords until just recently. I wasn't lucky enough in my youth to have three other friends with GBA port for A Link to the Past to play with; I never even had one other friend with the GBA aLttP. In fact, I wasn't even familiar with Vaati until I heard about the Minish Cap. And even then, I didn't go out and buy the game I read the manga first, then I got the game. Regardless, since seeing him in the manga, I became enchanted with the wind mage. Partly because he was good looking (yes, I'm shallow like that), and partly because (as I said before) he was something new.
So, after seeing a couple of other people doing it, offering their opinions and tying together canon, fanon, and manga in ways they consider appropriate, I've decided to do my own. I won't stop at Vaati, however. Still, I'm most familiar with this ol' fellow, having been his fangirl for about five years now. Yup. Five years Been a bit, eh?
Manga, Canon, and Fanon (and timelines too)
In the Zelda universe, the timelines are fucked up. I'm not joking. We have three split timelines here, one of them branching off from a "what if" scenario. Nonetheless, we do have a timeline to follow, which is good to know. It makes more sense of things. For those unawares, chronologically, Minish Cap is after Skyward Sword, and Four Swords is possibly a generation or two (perhaps maybe even a century or two) apart from Minish Cap. Here's where we get to the confusing part. Four Swords Adventures takes place in the Adult Timeline. Look up Hyrule Historia's timeline page for details (it's the middle timeline). It is the last game in that timeline.
Now before we begin, let's move briefly to something important
Manga vs. Canon
As most people already know, the manga is not canon. The manga is around for poos and giggles, giving you a different take on the stories presented from the games. Despite that, people tend to forget that the manga influences people's perception of canon.
For example, Vaati's age. The Minish Cap game utilizes sprites for animation. As such, nearly everyone is the same size. Child sprites may be smaller, but they're still pretty similar in size to the adult sprites. So when Vaati appears, it's rather difficult to put an age on him. In game, the closest approximation we can get for an age to him is in Carlov's figurines. Minish Vaati is described as a "young Minish." But no exact age is given. So when you take that simple phrase and then look at the manga, where Vaati is quite similar in age to Link (who's probably around 12, at the oldest), most people will assume that Vaati is a child.
For one, Vaati is not a child. Look at Vaati's dialogue in MC and tell me twelve year olds speak like that? He speaks much too eloquently for a child, yet displays the brash and impatient behavior of a teenager. It's safer to assume he's somewhere around 15 or 16. After all, that still constitutes as "young." Plus we never take into consideration what Minish 'young' is either. Take for example JRR Tolkein and his books featuring hobbits. Hobbits aren't considered adults until they're 50 years old - or 35, I forget which one exactly, but the point is, it's not what we would typically consider young. Especially since age 111 is considered extremely old for a hobbit as witnessed by the remarks on Bilbo Baggins's age in Fellowship of the Ring -, despite the fact they're not considered adults until later than we would typically expect. So if the Minish also have a different aging system, we have no idea what can be considered young to them. To top it off, Hyrule Historia refers to Vaati as a man, not a child.
So if you're reading this and you truly want to understand my opinions and thoughts on this character get the manga out of your head, because it does not apply here.
With that out of the way, let's move onto
Minish Cap, despite being the last of the games Vaati appears in, is the second Zelda game in the series. The Triforce plays little part in these games, due to SS Link and Zelda keeping the Triforce a secret. Instead, the Light Force exists in its place. Whether the Triforce and the Light Force are the same thing is unclear, but probably not. Whatever the case, it's where Vaati's story begins. So allow me a quick summary MC.
Vaati, a young Minish, steals his master's magical cap and transforms himself into a sorcerer of, then, unparalleled power. Seeking the Light Force, he transforms his master, the Minish Sage Ezlo, into a cap and goes off to effectively ruin the Picori Festival by unleashing monsters unto the populace and turning Zelda to stone. Ezlo, having only the power to change his size, finds Link, and the two embark on a quest to stop Vaati from achieving his goal of godhood. While they do so, Vaati impersonates the king and has the soldiers on a search for the Light Force. Eventually, Link and Ezlo manage to get a hold of the Four Sword, which reveals Zelda holds the Light Force. Vaati promptly reveals himself, goes to drain Zelda of the Light Force, gets interrupted, transforms into several different monsters to fight Link and Ezlo, only to be defeated and sealed within the Four Sword.
Well, that wasn't exactly quick but it gets all the important points across. MC is Vaati's origin game. We find out where he came from. For one, we find out he wasn't always the big eyeball bat monster from FS and FSA. In fact, he wasn't even Hylian, but a Minish. In order to become something like Hylian, he had to wish for it using a magical artifact constructed by a sage. Then he goes off on an evil parade and yadda, yadda.
Now let's get into his other two games, Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures.
In Four Swords, Zelda and Link head to the Four Sword Sanctuary because Zelda fears for the status of the seal on the sword. Unfortunately, right after a brief expositional conversation about the Four Sword, Vaati, in demon form, manages to break out. After a bit of monologue-ing, he remarks that Zelda is "a lovely catch," and he whisks her away intent on making her his bride. Link gets a hold of the Four Sword, does the rescuing bit, and Zelda is rescued before she's forced into marriage. Vaati is sealed, yet again, and thus we have the opening for Four Swords Adventures.
In FSA, we are greeted with an intro giving us a basic back story on Vaati and the shenanigans he'd get up to, as well as an intro to the Four Sword (no doubt placed for those, like me, who were unable to play FS when it had first come out). In the game, weird goings on in Hyrule are being attributed to Vaati's weakening seal. Zelda, along with the maidens and Link, arrive at Hyrule Castle to repair the seal. Shadow Link comes and ruins everything, though, kidnapping the maidens as well as Zelda, prompting Link to pull the Four Sword and release Vaati, who then goes off to do his villain thing. But Vaati wasn't the true villain of FSA. Ganon was, and Ganon ended up using Vaati and Shadow Link for his own ends. This game ended Vaati, effectively killing him (in the adult timeline) and having Ganon sealed within the Four Sword instead.
Well, that's Vaati's game history. That is canon. And you know what? We still don't know diddly-squat about the guy! Even with MC, his origin game, we are left with so many questions. What was his past before MC? Was his relationship with Ezlo truly strained? How did he become enchanted with darkness in the hearts of men? And when the heck did the guy become interested in kidnapping girls, like the intro to FSA hints? The fact is, we don't know. We really don't.
And here is where canon ends, and fanon (sorta) begins!
Fanon: Theories and Ideas
This is where I'll attempt to fill in these terrible gaps with my own guesses, theories and suppositions. I've gotten these ideas from all over the place as well as having five years and way too much time on my hands. w-
First off what makes a womanizing, evil sorcerer with an aim for godhood? Modern science could give you a helluva lot of answers. But I was always a C+ in science. But I've been told I got a knack for picking at brains by several professionals so it's time to pick at a certain villain's brain by looking at his actions.
So let's take this one question at a time. We'll tackle a favorite of mine. Which is:
When did Vaati become interested in kidnapping girls?
Fandom seems to believe that Vaati is a horrible womanizer. I used to agree with this, but further thought on the subject has me redefining the line of womanizing vs. power dynamic.
Whatever the case, there are several answers for this one. First off, look back at old fairytales your parents told you when you were kids. What did evil wizards do? They kidnapped girls. Usually princesses, and usually with the intent of marrying them. I imagine when Nintendo first created Vaati in FS that was their basic premise, given that he did kidnap Zelda. And Nintendo hasn't exactly known for their epic character development in the Zelda series until just recently. I imagine they were simply looking for a new villain to insert into a game that could be utilized for multiplayer action. I have no doubts that they must've been honestly surprised with Vaati's positive reception from the Zelda audience. So when they made FSA, they stuck with that same premise; he kidnapped pretty girls in the prologue anyways. He didn't really have much to do with the kidnapping of the maidens in that game in fact, he barely did anything in the game.
In MC, Vaati took people completely by surprise by not kidnapping the princess. In fact, he turned her to stone and left her alone for the most part up until the end of the game. The perceived womanizing tendencies he displayed in FS and FSA are non-existent. And since MC is his origin game, you'd think he might show some sign of it. But nope, he doesn't show it at all. At least not in the form we typically expect.
What sets FSA apart from FS and MC, however, is that it's hinted that Vaati was released before the game began and sometime after FS ended. This means that there was a possible window of opportunity for him to take a real interest in the opposite sex if that was the case. If you look at the official timeline, too, there is plenty of time in between FS and FSA for this to occur. But then that leaves the question of FS, as he called Zelda a "lovely catch"; as he speaks, he also seems to have a thing for noble maidens. From the sounds of that, it seemed like he'd gone around the block a few times. Quite possible
But like I presented earlier, in the games, what do they really tell us about Vaati? Pretty much nothing. For example, in MC, we see very little of Vaati during the game, save for the beginning, the end, and just a teensy bit in the middle. That's it. Who's to say in his search for the Light Force, he didn't get distracted? Especially if he really was teenaged; and especially, especially if he had a whole new anatomy to fiddle around with? From what we've seen of the Minish, I think it's rather safe to believe their physiology is much different than a Hylian's. And aside from that, when he was in Hyrule Castle, masquerading as the king you can't honestly tell me he spent all day and night hanging around a statue of a princess or playing cards with a jittery Minister Potho. He was pretending to be a king; and do you know what kings do with the hired tail, regardless of marital status and in a medieval setting, no less?
I'm not saying this did happen, nor am I saying all kings are horny bastards who sleep with their staff. But if you think about it like that, the idea of Vaati being a womanizer isn't so far-fetched if that's where it began. It's not like he didn't have the time for it since the soldiers were looking for the Light Force for him (albeit unknowingly).
To further add to this, it may not necessarily be that Vaati liked the sex so much as he liked how powerful it made him felt. Because honestly, and I don't mean to offend, Vaati comes across to me as kind of... well, rapist-y. Vaati is obsessed with power. Rapists don't rape because the they like sex, they rape because it makes them feel powerful. To them it's a form of domination and control over their victim. If he was impersonating a king and "playing around" with the maids, he would feel powerful because he was the king and they were the help - they can't exactly say no. As for the maidens, these are young women who are supposed to be incredibly beautiful and powerful. If he did the diddly with any one of them, he has the satisfaction of knowing he dominated them. Example, in FS, he admires "noble ladies;" Zelda's high status had him interested, because if he took her as a wife, then he essentially gets the luxury of knowing he's married to such a classy lady, as well as gets the benefit of dominating her in bed (I highly doubt he would allow any sexual partner to be tops over him). So he may not have been a womanizer or lecher so much as he just may have really gotten off the power kick he perceived himself to have by either seducing or planning to rape these ladies.
There are also a few other theories going around. One that I've heard of, but never seen, is that perhaps he'd once been in love and kidnapping ladies was his way to try and find it again. Honestly, that kind of ruins my personal interpretation of him and makes me sick to my stomach with the cheesiness of it. But some people like that, I suppose. Personally, it just sounds like some deluded fangirl's bad fanfic. My personal perception of him aside, that still doesn't seem to fit the character we are presented with. Unless he's a lovesick puppy who takes things to an unhealthy extreme, but I happen to think he doesn't brood nearly enough to fit that mold.
A theory that I find quite interesting is the repressed sexual tension thing. When you're a teenager trapped in a sword (something the fandom has established is quite possibly a worse fate than death) for who knows how long, all that rage has to manifest somehow. So yes, definitely a more plausible theory than the whole "he was in love" shtick. It isn't far-fetched to think that once he was released from the sword that he may have acted on impulses that only years, possibly centuries, of imprisonment could instill in him. Heck, he may not have even known why he did what he did. Whatever the case, repressed sexual tension is actually a very reasonable explanation for his lady-snatching ways.
So the truth of the matter is, when thinking about Vaati and his penchant for kidnapping girls, there is no real answer. In this case, a person has to give their best guess.
Well, actually, I guess I lied before. There is an answer to why he kidnapped girls: Nintendo thought it probably just seemed like a good idea at the time.
Truly evil or simply misunderstood?
This is a question that many have asked and they have mostly been by fangirls who just love the sympathetic villain route. Again, like the above question, this one really has no answer. They didn't tell us what happened exactly between Vaati and Ezlo, nor did they really get much into his past beyond the fact that he stole Ezlo's wishing cap. Even Byrne of Spirit Tracks had a deeper back-story than Vaati, despite the fact the same elements were present in their back-stories. Perhaps a bad childhood contributed to the actions that would later lead to his downfall? We just don't know.
Personally, I don't like to think so. Mostly because I have a thing for truly messed up villains. Whatever the case, Minish Cap is the game that can answer this question best since it's where he began.
Vaati had an inferiority complex or otherwise some severe self-esteem or self-loathing issues. At the very least, he hated the limitations he had as a Minish the race that everyone could literally step on. Why else would he strive for perfection in the form of godhood if he wasn't insecure about something? Perhaps it was because as an apprentice to famed Minish sage, Ezlo, he had felt he could never live up to what the sage had done. It's very difficult to cast your own shadow when the one you're following casts a giant shadow of their own.
Whether Vaati was competent practitioner or not as a Minish is irrelevant just for that reason. Because whether he was good at it or not, he himself felt he was nothing. And when whatever situation occurred when he first witnessed the cruelty of man, it certainly made him think that as a Minish, he really could achieve nothing. And when thoughts like that fester in a mind for so long, gradually envy and greed will set in. And despite the possibility of having a low self-esteem, he managed to get gutsy enough to fool Ezlo into thinking absolutely nothing was wrong. Of course, this is assuming Ezlo was an attentive teacher.
It should be noted that the opposite can be just as true. Perhaps Vaati, from the very beginning thought he was better than everyone else - even Ezlo. He could have been striving to simply be the best to the point of obsession, and when he witnessed the cruelty of man, came to the conclusion that would allow him to reach his goals quicker.
Upon stealing the wishing cap and turning into the world's then strongest sorcerer, Vaati's inferiority complex then turns into a superiority complex. Because he had so much power then, he felt he was completely unstoppable. But despite already having that much power behind his metaphysical punch, he wanted more. And he had always planned for more. He was a man obsessed, and the arrogance that stemmed from his newly acquired power would prove to be his downfall.
It's also here that I should point out that he takes on even more teenaged tendencies. Aside from his boundless self-confidence (which most teens seem to have with their "I know what I'm doing, I don't need your advice" attitudes), he has displayed a very great amount of impatience. If he'd taken a closer look at Zelda in MC, he'd have seen that the 'special power' within the Hylian royal family's ladies was actually the Light Force he sought. And then he went and impersonated a king because he wasn't finding the Light Force by himself fast enough. Not to mention he continued to dismiss Zelda's power. The statue was right next to him, he could've gotten that closer look if he so cared to do it.
So when it comes down to it, Vaati was an impatient teenager with a swelled ego during MC.
When you think of it like that, it certainly sounds like he is actually a misunderstood villain
But let's look at his actions taking place immediately after he puts on that magical cap.
- He turns Ezlo into a hat, stripping the sage of most of his magic
- He accidentally unleashes monsters upon Hyrule
- Then he goes and turns Zelda into a statue
- He pits moblins against Link and Ezlo
- He impersonates the king and imprisons the real king (and also turns him to stone)
- He transforms Hyrule Castle into a dungeon, then turns everyone else into stone
- Does what is essentially a sacrificial ceremony to drain the Light Force out of Zelda
- Transforms twice in an attempt to defeat Link
- Becomes so driven by hatred he transforms a third time, this time into a demon, and tries to kill Link yet again
If we cut out the last two, yeah, he sounds pretty misunderstood I guess. But even without the last two, I think he still sounds pretty evil. I'll go through each point one by one.
- He turns Ezlo into a hat, stripping the sage of most of his magic. Arrogance drove this one. Pure and simple arrogance. Certainly proof that good ol' Vaats never read the Evil Overlord List. He left Ezlo alive, albeit weakened, because he wanted Ezlo to see that he could and would carry out his plan of stealing the Light Force. Of course, there's also the lesser chance that he just wasn't willing to directly hurt a man who was like his father-figure.
- He accidentally unleashes monsters upon Hyrule. You know, this really was an accident. When he released the Picori Sword, he really did think the Light Force was inside the chest. He never expected monsters. At the same time, he definitely doesn't seem to care that he did just release a horde of monsters. He's more annoyed by the fact that the Light Force isn't there more than that he just unleashed monsters that eat people's faces for sustenance - or just for fun.
- Then he goes and turns Zelda into a statue. Nobody expected the villain not to kidnap Zelda. And he didn't. He turned her to stone because he didn't want her magic to get in his way. He could've just as easily killed her, but he didn't. Maybe it was because she was a child, or maybe because he really was truly uncomfortable with the idea of killing someone, or maybe he just figured killing was beneath him. Actually, the whole turning the princess into stone thing was actually probably a huge act of arrogance to flaunt his power - a message meant to send fear to all who would get in his way. Whatever the case, he didn't really show any hesitation regarding turning her into a rock. Perhaps he should've. If he wasn't so damned impatient, maybe he would've seen that the mysterious magic in her was, in fact, the Light Force.
- He pits moblins against Link and Ezlo. While Vaati may give off the impression of perhaps not feeling entirely comfortable with killing, it's at this point if did, he obviously doesn't seem to mind the idea of killing people indirectly now. Either that or he still doesn't want to get his own hands dirty. Whatever the case, he displays great arrogance by not taking the two as a serious threat. Again, this seems more like his arrogance flawing his better judgment.
- He impersonates the king and imprisons the real king (and also turns him to stone). Again does he show off his impatience. He impersonates the king without even taking the time to observe the man and get his mannerisms down, all because he wants the Light Force as soon as possible. In fact, he's got most of the staff terrified and wondering what the hell is wrong with him [the king].
- He transforms Hyrule Castle into a dungeon, then turns everyone else into stone. Again, he's proving he'd a) rather not kill or b) killing really isn't worth it or c) "im in ur castle, turning ur ppl 2 stone. Lololol troll pwer ftw!11!one!!1" Whatever the case, arrogance got the best of him yet again. He truly thought Link and Ezlo wouldn't make it past the dungeon he'd set up.
- Does what is essentially a sacrificial ceremony to drain the Light Force out of Zelda. Remember earlier I said he may not have been comfortable with killing? Yeah, I take that back. He was willing to drain all of Zelda's life force to get the Light Force In other words, he was killing her, a child, and didn't seem at all distressed by what he was doing in order to get what he wanted. So I think most of his reluctance to kill, if any, mostly stemmed from the fact that he was an arrogant ass who thought he really didn't need to because no one was a significant threat. Ah yes, one of the classic blunders aside from don't get involved in a land war in Asia and never try and match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line. Corny Princess Bride line aside, the whole turning everyone into statues thing seems like he is sending the message of "fear me" to the masses rather than just feeling bad about ending lives. Threat display, if you will.
- Transforms twice in an attempt to defeat Link; Becomes so driven by hatred he transforms a third time, this time into a demon, and tries to kill Link yet again. These two are together because he's obviously attempted to wipe Link and Ezlo off the face of the planet. He tries to destroy them with every last fiber of his being. Eventually, he becomes so obsessed with ending them, he turns into a demon that is described as an 'it.' He became the embodiment of such hatred that to call him a 'he' would indicate he still had a shred of humanity within him.
So what does this mean? Honestly, I don't think he's misunderstood at all. He seems like an evil jackass to me, especially in his Wrath form. Well, he's probably actually amoral, it's just his actions themselves are evil. He seems to understand that he knows what he's doing is wrong, he just doesn't care. Perhaps he had started off misunderstood, and I simply read too much into his actions but it's clear that by the end of the game, he is a true villain. And in FS and FSA, any mental deterioration he suffered from being trapped within the Four Sword probably didn't improve his already disturbed nature.
Perhaps he finally snapped in FSA. It's the only game in which he doesn't speak a word. Or perhaps he'd been in Ganon's control soon after he escaped the Four Sword, and therefore unable to speak due to that. Most likely the latter, as I can't imagine Vaati ever working under or for Ganon willingly or knowingly. He seemed far too arrogant to even consider working for someone else, even if it was a more powerful entity. There was the off chance that he wasn't under Ganon's control, going about his business without knowing he was helping the Gerudo. But I imagine he'd at least say something. If there's one thing Vaati has shown he has, it's the villainous need to monologue. So FSA and his exact role shall forever remain a mystery until the developers tell us. But I doubt it since they probably didn't think that through. But for the most part, fanon seems to believe that Vaati had been working under Ganon... and most of the time, not at all willingly. And as far as I'm aware, Hyrule Historia hasn't really said anything definitive to prove or disprove it.
He was mocked for being different, and so turned against the world because of that. It's not his fault. (The response to this is rage induced. Please excuse my unprofessional response)
Okay, first of all... WHERE? WHERE IN ANY GAME OR IN ANY PAGE OF THE MANGA DOES IT EVER SAY THIS? It doesn't. It is NEVER referenced. Not even in the non-canon manga. And it honestly kind of pisses me off that this purely fandom made idea seems to be so readily accepted as canon. I've noticed that the Minish tend to have this uber peaceful society of love and kindness towards everyone - I think if anything, a difference would be embraced and not ostracized so long as the difference didn't make them look like a cat. Does Minish Vaati look like a cat? I think not.
And you know what, even if he was... it is his fault. It's totally his fault! You know that saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me?" Yeah, it sounds like BS, but it really isn't. When I was younger, my feelings would get hurt and I'd cry when people made fun of me. Now, you can say anything to my face and I will laugh at you and brush it off because I don't care. Granted, not caring does take years of practice, but when I was younger I took these things really seriously. I panicked, I cried, but I never had an absolute shit fit where I wanted vengeance on the world.
And you know what... this... this does not fit Vaati. It doesn't fit him at all. He was alone, he turned against the world? He was alone because he wanted to be. He didn't turn against the world, that would imply he wanted to gain power to commit genocide or destroy things. He didn't turn into Hitler! With the power of a god he could do that yeah, but he could have done it at any time after the Wishing Cap. I know he doesn't think things through all of the time, but to just overlook that would be utterly and completely stupid.
Goals and Motivations
This is an interesting one, mostly because a lot of this relies on fanon. Because really, the only concrete thing that we know Vaati desires above all else is power. It was his goal in MC and it was his reasoning for wanting to marry Zelda in Four Swords. It was power. This is his motivation.
Of course, it’s never explicitly stated what he wants in the long-term, and for the most part, people assume it’s the whole “conquer and rule Hyrule” scheme.
I don’t think so.
Let’s remember Minish Cap and how he impersonates the king… Technically, Vaati’s already conquered and ruled Hyrule then. If that was his long-term goal, he didn’t need to bother with the Light Force at all. He’d already won and gotten what he wanted. Heck, he probably could have revealed himself and he still would’ve won at that point. While it’s true Vaati kind of only half-plans because of his arrogance, he’s also the type that doesn’t seem to like to do more work than he has to. If he’d already had Hyrule in the palm of his hand, he would have kept it. So really…
Vaati has no desire whatsoever to conquer and rule Hyrule.
I can say this with confidence. Because he’s the Sorcerer of Winds. Think about the nature of wind. It’s freedom. To take on the responsibility of managing a whole kingdom is shackling and grounding work. Laws, population control, foreign affairs… It’s miserable work – it involves thinking about the greater good for masses of people you don’t know but are responsible for caring for. And Vaati is a self-serving, arrogant asshole who doesn't give a damn about people. At the same time, it’s safe to assume that while he’s an impatient sod, he is intelligent enough to know what he really wants. And it’s certainly not running a country.
Vaati is all about the freedom to do what he wants, when he wants. Which isn’t to say he isn’t interested in Hyrule – as far as he’s concerned, it’s already his, just in a different way. He can ruin the Hyrule on whim if wanted to – wind can bring famine and drought, after all. His form of ownership over Hyrule is the fact that everyone pisses their pants at the thought of upsetting him because he can destroy them so easily. And for a man so obsessed with power and causing fear in the masses, this is the exact kind of control he wishes to exert – not through politics or law but simply by being a damned force of nature.
Oh hey there, Miss Maiden, Vaati kidnapped you? Too bad, girly, you have to deal with your impending rape because if not Vaati will flood the village. Sir, you looked at Vaati wrong? Too bad man, we’d love to save you from degrading torture or turning into a statue, but if we do Vaati’ll probably turn the rest of into statues too.
Vaati is a wind mage. He is a representation of his element. Wind is freedom and whimsy. To do whatever the frig he wants without repercussion… That is Vaati’s long-term goal.
Vaati, so far as I see him, is a villain. He is an amoral bastard who commits evil deeds. And in a way, and I know this sounds extremely bold of me to say, perhaps even more dangerous than Ganondorf. I say this only because of something I read a while ago. It actually pertained to The Venture Bros. (which is an awesome show - you should watch it if you haven't already), specifically Dr. Venture's self-proclaimed Arch-Nemesis, The Monarch. The Monarch was a villain who had built himself from the ground up he wasn't a dastardly master-mind, just a normal Joe who had once been a henchman and worked up to the villain role. Because he had to fight and toil for that recognition, he is considered extremely dangerous.
In a sense, Vaati is like that. Because even though most of his power came from Ezlo's magical cap, the fact is he had worked for that. He wasn't like Ganondorf, who was born into a tribe as a king, a tribe already familiar with war; raised by witches who turned him into the evil warlock he grew up to be and later holder of the Triforce of Power, as well as vessel for Demise's hatred. Vaati became the villain he is by himself he started small (figuratively and literally) and became a source of evil so feared and so powerful, for two Zelda generations he was on par with Ganon in the sense he could only be sealed. Not defeated or killed, but sealed. And he had no help he did not have armies following his beck and call at first, nor was he ever in possession of any Triforce piece or possessed by the spirit of a demon's hate; he gained everything that he was through his own power.
And that is damned frightening.
Alas, Nintendo killed this interesting villain off, apparently deciding Ganon would be their only villain for a while yet. It's a shame; even if I wasn't a fangirl of the Vaats, I would've loved to see more of him in a different title. Perhaps a handheld, since Ganon doesn't seem to be making any more appearances there. But he had his beginning and his end. But there's still some shred of hope. With three different timelines, two of which he hasn't been killed in, he may just come back... but chances are low. Whatever happens, though, it's here that I'll end this examination of the character of Vaati, Zelda's second most recurring villain.