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Ignitus should have warned you... you are alone here, young dragon. You have always been alone. Still, here you are... trying so desperately to save this miserable world... refusing to accept the true role of the purple dragon. I'm sure you've been told that I was the first of our kind... but I assure you, there have been many. It has been the duty of our predecessors to resurrect the Destroyer and the Golems of the deep... to bring about the Great Cleansing. This is the true nature of our kind. Your destiny is to destroy the world.
~ Malefor to Spyro.

Malefor, also known as the Dark Master, is the arch-villain of The Legend of Spyro video game trilogy. He directs the plot of A New Beginning and The Eternal Night from afar, taking center-stage in Dawn of the Dragon. He is an unfathomably powerful Purple Dragon and who became the king of evil and was imprisoned in his hellish realm. Malefor very nearly destroys the word after being set free, only to be defeated for good by the heroes Spyro and Cynder. Malefor is presented as an evil counterpart of some sort to Spyro, and he is without a doubt the worst villain in the entire Spyro multiverse.

He was voiced by Mark Hamill, who also played the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender, among many other roles.

He also has a counterpart in the second Spyro reboot Skylanders and another in its Netflix cartoon adaptation.

Personality

It is strongly hinted that in his youth, Malefor was similar to Spyro, kind, brave and eager to learn. Alas, contrary to him he was prideful and overzealous. His limitless potential and belief in his greatness lead him to think of himself superior and infallible, and so he fell.

Malefor is a villain of pure malevolence, devoid of redeeming quality nor the slightest comedic element. He is horribly cruel, merciless, sadistic, violent, tyrannical and power-hungry. He is very collected, imperturbable and courteous, albeit scornful and taunting, but his refined facade only highlights his imposing and menacing presence.

He is also overconfident, selfish, self-righteous and self-confident, dismissing others’ beliefs as irrelevant; a fatal flaw that led to his downfall. He is willing to use anything he can to fulfil his goal, and remorselessly destroys everything in his way or everyone useless to him, except if he can find a later use for them. He also enjoys killing other creatures for pleasure and revels in their torment.

Malefor is immensely intelligent, perspicacious, cunning and manipulative. He devises multi-layered plans, leads people where he wants them without knowing, and adapts to circumstances. He is a perfect orator who can subtly instil doubt in the most determined minds to bend and break them, as seen before the final battle.

In his twisted point of view, he does not regard himself evil but as messiah of some sort, destined to purify the world. He states that destroying the world is the duty of every Purple Dragon and he tells Spyro that each one of them before him pursued the same goal. (A lie with little doubt as he was stated to be the first Purple Dragon.) He heavily dislikes the value of bonds, underestimating them and viewing them as weapons to weaken his opponents.

Powers and Abilities

As expected of the King of Evil, Malefor is incredibly powerful. As a Purple Dragon, he can control virtually any element through his breath, including the elemental furies, to the point of perfection. He masters Fire, Electricity, Ice, Earth, Wind and the Purple Dragons' signature Aether: the mightiest element encompassing cosmic power, purest energy, spirit and life-force. While Purple Dragons normally master the healing and shielding Light Aether, Malefor masters the corruptive and destructive Dark Aether. He has total control over it, retaining sentience and independence while dragons corrupted by it become either mindless or slaves to evil.

It is hinted that he can control other elements like Shadow, Fear and Poison: evil-based elements spawning from Dark Aether which Cynder mastered when she was under his control, and likely Time itself. He can unsurprisingly fly and displays extreme physical strength, being able to fight on air or on the ground, in melee or at any distance.

Malefor also wields extraordinary powers, likely stemming from the reality-warping Aether, enabling him to create, transform and manipulate things as he pleases. This is shown he makes his fortress levitate, when he turns his Ape monsters into undeads, and when he creates magic collars binding Spyro and Cynder together. He can witness far away events and communicate with anyone in the world, and is apparently able to influence dreams as well. Worse, he claims to be eternal and immortal, and he does resist everything thrown at him and must be sealed.

He has complete control over darkness and everything evil, being able to control all malevolent beings and raise the smallest drop of malevolence in someone's soul, to the point of twisting them into dark versions of themselves. He can corrupt and transform the monsters under his command, such as Cynder, vastly increasing their power.

Backstory

Malefor was the first of the legendary Purple Dragon kind, born once in every ten generations with the power to control all elements and the destiny to shape an era. (Though he claims that there were many before him.) Wanting to guide him to the great destiny ahead of him, the Dragon Elders taught him all their secrets, but he was never satisfied, and his eagerness and pride soon went to the young dragon’s head. Soon, Malefor would stop at nothing in his efforts to become all-powerful.

Fearing his ambition and growing malevolence, the Dragon Elders banished Malefor but it was too late, he had already fallen beyond redemption. Lusting for revenge, Malefor built his power-base in the mountains and raised an army of Ape Monsters. Malefor mastered the Dark Aether element to such an extent that he became the embodiment of Evil of the Legend of Spyro universe and the monarch of Hell, gaining the title of the Dark Master. Forsaking the calling of the Purple Dragons, he made his new goal, which he grew to regard as his destiny, to destroy the world; perhaps intending to build a new one following his own ideals and rule with an iron fist.

Malefor warred against the dragons during many years, slaughtering thousands and causing many disasters to fulfil his twisted "quest", causing people to fear dragons. His evil might tore open his base of operations, the Mountain of Malefor, turning it into the Well of Souls: a chasm to the Underworld where every malevolent dead soul is sent, submitted to his influence.

Malefor stole the Spirit Gems, the source of the dragons' life-force and used them against the dragons, but he was ultimately defeated. He was imprisoned in the Well of Souls and his essence was sealed deep in the space-like Convexity Dimension at the centre of worlds. However, his armies escaped and went into hiding. They could still communicate with him somehow, and waited for an opportunity to set him free again.

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

Malefor never appears in person during the first game of the trilogy, being only mentioned several times under his title "the Dark Master". A statue of him prior to his corruption can be found within the Dragon Temple, but at that point is not revealed that the statue is him. Gaul the Ape King, Cynder and his servants are following his orders and he most likely devised Cynder's plan of action himself.

Years before the start of the story, Gaul and his Ape army attacked the Dragon Temple during the Year of the Dragon under Malefor's orders. They crushed every dragon egg to prevent the birth of the Purple Dragon (born only once every twelve years) wielding the power to defeat the Dark Master. Yet, the Fire Guardian Ignitus sent the purple egg safely away, where it was found and raised by a family of Dragonflies.

With a dragon being needed to release Malefor, Gaul stole an dragon egg, hatched it and named the baby dragon Cynder, exposing her to Malefor's dark influence and forcing upon her an unnatural and painful growth. She matured to an adult size and became more powerful than most dragons, including the four Elemental Guardians.

In the game, Cynder leads Malefor's armies in a war against the Dragon Realms, defeating the Dragon armies and forcing them underground. She sends her minions to distract the Elemental Guardians, so as to capture them and harness their powers into magic crystals. This being done, Cynder goes to the Convexity Dimension and inserts the magic crystals into the Altar Portal which holds Malefor captive to destroy it. Fortunately, Spyro and his adoptive brother Sparx catch up to Cynder in time and manage to defeat her, reverting her to her normal state and age. As the portal is about to implode, Spyro succeeds in rescuing Cynder but Malefor's essence is set free and returns to the Mountain of Malefor, calling Spyro in his nightmares.

The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night

Malefor plays a larger role in The Eternal Night but once again never appears in person; instead devising Gaul's plan of action. The Ape King gathers his armies in the Well of Souls and prepares the Dark Master's return during the Night of Eternal Darkness: a lunar eclipse plunging the entire world in shadows, during which all of the malevolent souls imprisoned in the Well of Souls are free to roam the mountain.

Along the way, Gaul raided the Pirate Arena ship in which Spyro and Cynder were held captive after leaving the Temple for different reasons, and recaptures Cynder. Gaul brings her to the Well of Souls and decides to leave her fate in Malefor's hands: taking her back under his services for being a "faithful servant" or perish.

The Chronicler, an ancient dragon of immense wisdom, calls Spyro and tells him about Malefor's past and explains that the eclipse allows Malefor to become powerful enough to regain his physical form. Against The Chronicler's better judgment, who urges him not to move before the eclipse has passed, Spyro leaves his sanctuary to rescue Cynder, unaware that that's what Malefor wanted, and in doing so confronts Gaul in the Well of Souls.

However, when the Night of Eternal Darkness begins, Spyro gets trapped in the beam of Dark Aether caused by the lunar eclipse, getting corrupted and turned into a powerful dark dragon. Dark Spyro kills Gaul in cold blood and returns into the demonic beam, serving as the key to open the Well of Souls and to set Malefor free. It is now revealed that Malefor wanted Spyro at the Well of Souls during the Night of Eternal Darkness because he needed a Purple Dragon to free him, and because the eclipse would corrupt him. By having Spyro and Cynder by his side, Malefor would remove them as a threat and would gain two powerful servants.

Fortunately, Cynder has resisted Malefor's corruption and manages to turn Spyro back to normal, mirroring the end of the last game. As the Mountain collapses, Spyro uses his Time Powers to encase himself, Cynder and Sparx in a crystal to save their lives. Alas, Malefor finally returns, free to rule the world without interruption.

The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon

Malefor did not lose time after being freed. During his strike on the Realms, he turned all his Ape servants into living skeletons, as he rightfully deemed them too greedy and not faithful enough, and afterwards created an army of monsters known as the Grublins. He invaded the Dragon City of Warfang and suspended its city temple above the land to serve as his own flying fortress and a symbol of his domiance.[1] He then covered the entire world in darkness, spreading plague and misery all around.

Three years have passed when Grublins release Spyro, Cynder and Sparx from their slumber, putting snake-shaped collars on Spyro and Cynder to bind them; before taking them to be sacrifice to a gigantic and powerful Golem of the Deep. They cannot defeat the ancient creature but are rescued by Sparx and Hunter of Avalar, who guide them to Warfang.

They lead the city's defense, defeating Malefor's armies and destroying the Golem who tracked them down. Later this night, Malefor contacts the heroes through a dark crystal, gloating that the attack was just meant to keep them busy while he released the legendary Destroyer, going as far as presenting their victory as a twisted "congratulation". The monster has begun to travel around the world, leaving behind a fiery trail called the Ring of Annihilation. Once the Destroyer completes its circle, the world's apocalypse will begin.

The heroes travel through the underground ruins of Ancient Warfang and try to stop the Destroyer by causing a flood, but to no avail. Next, they manage to shatter the Destroyer's Crystal Core but Malefor merely reactivates it. Their only hope is to defeat Malefor before the Destroyer completes its circle, but Ignitus sacrifices his life to allow them to go through the Ring of Fire and reach Malefor's fortress. In his grief, Spyro gets corrupted again, as the Dark Aether left a lasting effect on him. Fortunately Cynder manages to bring Spyro back to his senses.

Spyro and Cynder enter Malefor's temple beyond the Floating Islands, where the Dark Master greets them and proceeds to break their confidence with but a few sentences. He uses Cynder's doubts to turn her evil again and makes her attack Spyro. He then states to a crushed Spyro that the destiny of Purple Dragons, including him, is to bring about the “great cleansing”, but the young dragon rejects his views. As the Dark Master revels in the situation, Spyro refuses to fight Cynder and manages to turn her back to normal. Enraged, Malefor declares that she will share Spyro's fate.

Spyro and Cynder engage a tremendous battle against Malefor, but they are too late as the Destroyer has just completed his journey and the world starts breaking apart. Nevertheless, they continue to fight Malefor, and their battle drags them to the centre of the world. There, the evil dragon declares that he is eternal and engages Spyro and Cynder in a duel of Aether Breath, but they managed to knock him down.

However Malefor recovers, proving his claims of immortality. Before he continue his attack, dragon spirits appear and surround Malefor before sealing him away for good into the core of the world. Spyro then uses his power of Light Aether to stop the destruction of the world and restore it, ending the Dark Master's malice once and for all.

Battle against Malefor

Boss Battle (PS2 and Wii)

Graaah! So be it! You’ve made your choice, so you shall suffer the same fate. PREPARE TO DIE!
~ Malefor to Cynder and Spyro.
First Stage: Malefor is a formidable enemy with highly powerful attacks, but he is slow so take advantage of it. Spyro and Cynder must stay behind him, watch his movements and keep attacking him at close range, mostly with magic-infused Melee Attacks, which deals heavy damage and creates gems that refill magic and life-points.

Malefor attacks by firing Fire Bombs, (huge fireballs) or Dark Aether Bombs, (huge balls of purple fire tracking down their target that must be dodged several times), by breathing a continuous stream of purple Dark Aether Fire, by performing a Dark Aether Comet Dash (he surrounds himself with purple electricity and charges at high speed) and by delivering vicious claw swipes and bites, which he can infuse with magic. Dodge as much as can be and use Spyro's power of Earth as a protection. Characters can be switched whenever their life runs low. When Malefor's life is depleted he plunges into a cloud and reappears to deliver a tremendous bite attack. Quickly press the button onscreen to finish him off. If that fails, Spyro and Cynder will have to wait until his next attack.

Second Stage: At this point in the battle, the Destroyer will reach its destination and the apocalypse will begin. The battle goes on in the ruins of the temple, which is a much shorter arena where flying is way harder. This can be a severe hindrance, as Spyro and Cynder need to fly continuously. The battle is very similar to the first stage, but Malefor now regularly moves from one place to another. The Dark Master now breathes short streams of Dark Aether fire, his Dark Aether Bombs are harder to dodge, and he stomps the ground with a double claw swipe. He also uses the dangerous Ice Shard Bomb: a huge stream of Ice dividing itself into a flurry of homing ice balls. His ice breath causes an instant Game Over and the ice balls are hard to dodge.

Near the end of the fight, Malefor will surround himself with a Aether Sphere which deals huge damage, so Spyro and Cinder must stay away and wait for the Sphere to vanish before attacking again. They must unleash their Fury Attacks without hesitation whenever possible. Once again, when Malefor's life is depleted he must be finished off when he charges and strikes with his claws, by pressing the button onscreen. Twice this time.

Third Stage: The crumbling temple falls into the volcano as the world continues to break apart, separating the arena into many platforms. Malefor surrounds himself with a huge spherical Dark Aether Shield and uses the same attacks. Only Fury Attacks can harm him, keep attacking to refill your fury bar. This time, striking Malefor does not release gems to recover life and magic, so caution is advised. Striking him with an Aether Attack will raise life-points.

When Malefor's life is depleted, Cynder will breath a huge, continuous stream of Light Aether Fire on Malefor. The button onscreen must be mashed until control switches to Spyro, then, pushed again to strike Malefor. The Dark Master dives into the planet core while trying to crush Spyro and Cynder against the walls of the earth's core. The last button mash ends the battle.

Boss Battle (Nintendo DS)

First Stage: The battle begins as a 2D fight that takes place on a bridge. Malefor mostly uses melee attacks with his fangs, his claws, and his tail. Spyro or Cynder must dodge with a jump and use Melee Attacks and elemental breaths until he starts using his wings as a shield. They must wait a little while until he starts attacking again.

After some time, Malefor will start flying behind a huge purple crystal that they must attack as much as can be while dodging the streams of Fire or Ice that Malefor breathes from above. When a part of the crystal breaks, they must run back to avoid Malefor when he lands and repeats the operation until the crystal is broken.

Malefor DS

Malefor Battle on DS.

Second Stage: The battle is now an aerial 3D sequence, as the world is breaking down and Malefor has become even more demonic and powerful. He surrounds himself with purple, floating purple Shards, which he hurls at Spyro and Cynder. They must destroy them to gain access to the purple gem on his chest, his weak point.

Cynder is the best choice here, as she can take down more shards with her Wind breath. As the battle progresses, Malefor will start breathing a huge fireball, then huge fireballs and iceballs in rapid succession. Also, when all the Purple Shards start flying towards them, they must destroy the ones right before them and rush into the gap created.

Quotes

You cannot defeat me! I am eternal!
~ Malefor facing Spyro and Cynder in battle.
At long last, my guests have arrived. Please come in. Such determination to get here. It seems we share other qualities besides that of our color.
~ Malefor meeting Spyro and Cynder.
Of course you don't. But you have fulfilled your destiny nonetheless. In my time, I was stopped, prevented from completing my quest. But you, you have carried on the flame. Be it through your own will or not. And soon, the world will be destroyed, you along with it.
~ Malefor to Spyro.
Citizens of Warfang...congratulations. You shall be the first to witness the resurrection of the Destroyer and the end of the world.
~ Malefor summoning the Destroyer.

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • Malefor was voiced by Mark Hamill, whose voice was edited to sound more distorted, villainous, and sinister.
  • Malefor's name may be derived from that of the Demon Prince Valefar from the Christian demonology.
  • His name might also be composed of the Latin "malum" (evil or malice) and the Greek "foreo" (carrying in the first person of singular). As such, Malefor might mean "The Source of Evil" or "The One who carries Evil".
  • Spyro and Cynder did not truly defeat Malefor; it was only the intervention of the dragon spirits that ensured Malefor's defeat by trapping him in the world's crystal core. His ultimate fate is uncertain; after the dragon spirits pull him into the core, rays of light shine from the core as it falls apart, leaving the open possibility that he was destroyed inside the core. The scene also gives the impression he may have been dragged into Hell.
  • In essence, Malefor represents a dark version of Spyro's future. Both were said to be very similar in their younger ages, and Spyro was at times accused that he will end up becoming just like Malefor, something that Spyro himself came to fear. Malefor himself agreed that they are equals beyond their color.
  • The Sorcerer's dragon form would later be an inspiration for Malefor's character design.
  • It is implied throughout the trilogy that Malefor was apparently good in his youth before becoming the Dark Master. However, it was never explained in the series exactly what caused Malefor's descent into the darkness. The lead concept artist of the first two installments of the series, Jared Pullen, stated that in an intended story draft for the trilogy, Malefor was set to be "corrupted by something much more powerful and strayed away from his true destiny".
    • It is unknown exactly what Malefor was corrupted by, but the corruption was permanent, as he has chosen to be far beyond redemption.

References

  1. "The first rough on the parts suspended above the volcanoes of Dragon City. Made in the first days when I worked on "SPYRO". Dragon city is devastated on the surface, but Spyro discovers the remains of the city above the clouds.", translated

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