Malice is the black and magenta enemy substance found in Breath of the Wild and trailers for Tears of the Kingdom suggest that Malice could be much more aggresive this time round, as we see the substance attacking Link. Today I want to have a closer look at Malice, it’s role in the Zelda series to date, plus this violent new turn it could be about to take in the Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.
Before we get into it today, let me know in the comments what you think the role of Malice will be in Tears of the Kingdom. Do you think it’s going to be more prominent that in Breath of the Wild, and do you think we’re going to see more enemy variants based on Malice?
We got our first look at Tears of the Kingdom way back in 2019, and in that trailer we see Malice pouring from the corpse under Hyrule Castle. We also see Malice rushing through the underground caves where Link and Zelda were exploring only moments ago. Taken on it’s own, this is fairly shocking, however there’s one small detail the next trailer in 2021 that has been overlooked by many Legend of Zelda fans, and that’s the Malice actively attacking Link, attaching to his arm. It happens in a flash, it’s only on screen for a second, but you can see the anguish and panic in Link’s face. He’s scared, as the Malice is trying desperately to envelope him completely, and you can see Link is trying desperately to pull away his arm from this substance of evil.
Link may have been shocked because Malice is taking a more active role, it’s hunting it’s prey, or perhaps being commanded by a higher power. Before we have a look ahead to Tears of the Kingdom, lets have a look back at Breath of the Wild and the role Malice played there.
Malice in Breath of the Wild
Malice is dark substance, similar to tar or a dark lava we know here in the real-world. If Link touches Malice, then he gets damaged, and there’s no way to avoid this damage. Eyeballs can form in the Malice, and these are particularly present in the Divine Beasts. Link can destroy the eyeballs and it’ll help remove the Malice from the surrounding area. These eyes can only be killed when they are open though, you have to shoot an arrow in there when they are looking at you, otherwise they can be closed and are immune to damage.
Malice is generally idle, in Breath of the Wild it doesn’t try to attack you and it tends to block off paths for Link, or protect areas the enemies don’t want you to get to. There is also an audio cue when Malice is in the area, you’ll hear a croaking sound, letting you know the evil substance is nearby. Cursed heads of Stalkoblins, Stalizalfos and Stalmoblins can appear from the Malice, and they can respawn infinitely until the Malice is cleared.
As well as create enemies for thin air, it also has the ability to affect creatures, even ones as powerful as the mythical dragons. Naydra, the Ice Dragon, gets possessed by Malice, before Link manages to set it free from it’s clutches during Breath of the Wild. There isn’t any avidence that Farosh or Dinraal have been affected by Malice though.
Malice in Tears of the Kingdom
We don’t have much to go on at the moment, but there is evidence to suggest Malice is getting more aggressive in Tears of the Kingdom, and it could pose much more of a threat compared to Malice in Breath of the Wild. At the end of Breath of the Wild, Link and Zelda teamed up to take care of Calamity Ganon, and even though we believe Calamity Ganon is gone, the Malice still appears to be prevelent in Hyrule.
In the first trailer back in 2019 we see Malice surging upwards from Hyrule Castle, hoisting the whole castle into the sky, subsequently errupting like a volcano of Malice, not only sending the castle into the sky, but releasing Malice onto Hyrule like a gieser. If we killed Calamity Ganon, and he was the source of the Malice, then where is all this new Malice coming from? Is Ganondorf’s corpse being used to create the Malice under Hyrule Castle, like some kind of tool or instrument of destruction? Or has Ganondorf woken up himself?
Malice appears to have taken on it’s own personality, or is being instructed by something or someone to destroy everything that gets in it’s way. As well as attacking Link, which we have mentioned previously, we also see Malice flooding under Hyrule castle and it appears to envelope a rat, and I am assuming from there it simoply consumes the rat, killing everything that gets in it’s way.
Link’s arm looks worse for wear after his attack from the Malice. We see Link later in the trailers with a new arm, once that doesn’t look like it belongs to him. Perhaps his arm has been so severly damaged by Malice the only way to save it was by using magic and inheriting the glowing green arm that was holding the corpse in place.
Link’s arm isn’t the only thing that looks like it’s been damaged by Malice, the Master Sword is also looking broken, and it could be Malice is the cause of this too. In the delay trailer we saw in 2022, Link holds the broken or melted Master Sword up to a glowing orb on a platform in the sky. Link could be in the middle of a quest here to repair the Master Sword, but what damaged the Master Sword like that in the first place. This is one of, if not these most powerful weapon in Hyrule, and it looks like it’s been dipped in acid, distorted and melted beyond recognition. Link certainly isn’t going to be defeating Ganon or any other bad guys with the Master Sword looking like that, and it’s highly likely a severe attack by Malice is the cause.
Malice could be used in new and dangerous ways in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. It’s highly likely it’s going to be used as an environmental tool to keep Link away from certain areas, much like it was used in Breath of the Wild. But I think we could see Malice being used as a much more aggressive tool, fighting back against Link. There could be clues in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, where we saw Malice infused enemies. Enemies could be levelled up, infused with Malice, and even tougher to beat, with the great Evil power in Tears of the Kingdom creating an army of Malice drones.
As well as infecting enemies and boosting their attacking potential, Malice could take on forms in it’s own right and attack Link. We’ve already seen Malice attack Link in the trailer, reaching up and grabbing his arm, potentially injuring him to the point where his arm required magic to be healed. Malice could move like lava and then form into shapes, similar to The Sandman from Spider-man and attack Link in different shapes and forms. I’d love to fight against a shape shifting form of Malice that could take on different shapes and sizes, either like the Sandman, or the T1000 from Terminator 2, able to form new shapes and weapons purely from Malice.
Let me know in the comments what you think about the prospect of Malice being bigger, badder and more of a threat in Tears of the Kingdom.
That’s it for now for the role of Malice in the sequel to Breath of the Wild. For more Legend of Zelda content like this check out more on Triforce Times on youtube and subscribe today.