Zant is a fictional character from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise and the primary antagonist for the majority of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Zant, a Twili, gained mysterious power and usurped the Twilight Crown, becoming the ruler of the Twilight Realm. Using his powers, he invaded Hyrule and plagued it with matter called Twilight.
Zant is considered one of the more bizarre characters in the Legend of Zelda series. While being a master tactician and having the power of Ganon's magic at his command, when confronted with a difficult situation, his cold demeanor breaks apart and he turns into a raving, almost berserk force of destruction. Despite this, Zant proves to be a formidable foe. Zant wears a tall, metal helm that vaguely resembles a gecko or fish-head, which can be retracted when necessary to reveal his face.
Zant was a candidate to become the next Twilight King. However, he was passed over due to his lust for power and violent nature, and Midna, a female Twili, became the Twilight Princess instead. Angered, Zant was sent into a crazed depression. However, during his torment, he was approached by the spirit of Ganondorf, sealed in the Twilight Realm after surviving his execution. He posed as a god to Zant, granting him powers, immortality, and a chance to take the Twilit Crown. Zant masked his face behind a monstrous metallic mask, a symbol of his ascension to power. Zant was, however, unaware that Ganondorf was just using him to escape imprisonment in the Twilight Realm.
Zant, with his newly found powers, placed a curse on Midna, which transformed her into an imp. With Midna out of the way, he usurped the throne and proclaimed himself the new King. Under the rule of Zant, the light of the Sols were sealed away, leaving the land susceptible to darkness. Zant crafted the Twili a new race known as Shadow Beasts, dark beings bent to his will. In conjunction with the remaining monsters of Ganondorf's army, Zant opened a portal to Hyrule and began a conquest of the land. After a series of successful campaigns, Zant's army attacked Hyrule Castle. The Hylian Knights defending the Throne Room were defeated in the ensuing battle, and Princess Zelda was forced to abdicate the throne to Zant to save the lives of her people. He covered the provinces of Hyrule in Twilight, turning the inhabitants into spirits.
While the Hyrulean people live without knowledge of these events, a young boy named Link is thrust into this conflict from his ordinary life in Ordon Village and becomes the one hero destined to defeat Zant and bring Light back to Hyrule. He teams up with Midna, unknowing of her past with Zant. The two evade Zant multiple times, both lifting the Twilight from the provinces of Hyrule, as well as retrieving the mighty Fused Shadows. However, after they retrieve the third and final Fused Shadow, Zant appears and transforms Link into his wolf form, while exposing Midna to the Light of Lanayru, the Light Spirit. Arrogantly sure of his victory, Zant leaves Midna to die, taking the Fused Shadow's pieces with him. However, Link manages to travel to Hyrule Castle and restore Midna with the help of Princess Zelda.
After breaking the curse on Link with the Master Sword, they travel to the Arbiter's Grounds in western Hyrule to find the Mirror of Twilight, a portal to the Twilight Realm. However, they find that the mirror has been broken by Zant. However, as he was not the true Twilight King, the mirror was not completely shattered, and he sent the pieces to three dungeons in the realm of Hyrule. Link and Midna also learn of Zant's past from the Ancient Sages living there. They eventually gather the mirror shards and travel into the Twilight Realm. Restoring the Sols and infusing the Master Sword with the light from the powerful magical items, they break into the Palace of Twilight and confront Zant. After a fierce battle, Zant, with his dying breath, tells them that his god, Ganondorf, will revive him as long as Ganondorf draws breath. He tries to destroy them both in one last, psychotic effort, but Midna is overcome by the power of the Fused Shadow and uses her hair, which splits into three giant spears, to impale Zant, causing him to explode.
Link and Midna confront Ganondorf in Hyrule Castle. After he unsuccessfully tries to defeat them with the possessed body of Princess Zelda, Link and Ganondorf duel, one on one. After Ganondorf's ultimate defeat, Zant is shown snapping his own neck - with the defeat of Ganondorf, Zant also dies one final death. It may be that, since Ganondorf's Triforce of Power left him after the battle, the fact that he had put his power in Zant was all that kept him alive, as he still had some power somewhere other than the Triforce's. However, since Zant snapped his own neck after the final battle, the power was lost and Ganondorf died.
For the most part in the game, Zant is calm, cool and aloof. He's apparently a master tactician, conquering all of Hyrule in the blink of an eye. He stands up straight, and has a cold, sinister voice. But when confronted with the face of defeat, his behavior becomes unpredictable and somewhat psychotic. This most likely means his calm persona was just a front but it might also indicate that he has a split personality disorder. His voice also changes to a much higher pitch.
In combat, he fluctuates between these two voices quickly, as well as the mannerisms involved with each. When on an insane tangent he can be seen constantly screeching and hopping up and down in battle as well as twisting his body, bending over backwards, hitting his head against the floor, spinning around on one foot like a top and displaying an overall erratic and awkward movement as if he were insane, as well as doing things such as summoning large versions of his helmet, which he will come out of from the mouthpiece. Whenever Zant appears, a strange chime will accompany him, and during his fight, six different music tracks play, one for each stage of his fight. Each of the six stages of the fight are based on most every dungeon that Link had conquered up to the battle against Zant himself.
Zant possesses a wide array of magical abilities from the start of the game, no doubt thanks to Ganondorf. These include the creation of Shadow Beasts, teleportation, and telekinesis. Zant's power appears to be vast, as he displays the ability to defeat one of the sacred Light Spirits and humiliate Midna without even raising his arms. He can also corrupt areas of the Light World with Twilight.
In battle, Zant can float and even swim freely through the air or water. He can also manipulate the room he currently stands in, including creating giant versions of his own helmet and making himself change in size. He also seems to possess superhuman strength, as he was able to tilt the arena with jumps when impersonating Dangoro's fight, a feat that looked as if it strained even the huge Goron himself. His primary attack comes in the form of various energy balls he fires, which Link can deflect with his sword. Later in the battle, Zant utilizes two cleaver-like blades with which he flails and hacks, including a high-speed spinning attack. Another skill is his dumbfounding level of flexibility.