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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 main antagonist of The Legend of Spyro video game trilogy. He is the unseen Bigger Bad of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, the overarching antagonist in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night and the main antagonist of The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. He is an unfathomably powerful Purple Dragon and Ruler of Evil who was imprisoned in his hellish realm. Malefor is set free at the end of the second game and very nearly destroys the world, only to be defeated for good by Spyro and Cynder. Malefor is presented as an evil counterpart of some sort to Spyro, and he is without a doubt the evilest 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, Colonel Muska in Castle in the Sky, Py-Ro in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, the Skeleton King in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!, Maximus in the Fantastic Four animated series, the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Kavaxas in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stickybeard in Codename: Kids Next Door, Flint in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Niju in Balto II: Wolf Quest, Solomon Grundy in the DC Animated Universe, Trickster in The Flash, Dictatious Maximus Galadrigal in Trollhunters, ShiverJack in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Undergrowth in the Danny Phantom series, Agent Goodman in Recess: School's Out, Popsicles in the 2016 reiteration of The Powerpuff Girls, and Alvin the Treacherous in the How to Train Your Dragon series.
Malefor is a villain of pure malevolence, totally devoid of redeeming quality nor the slightest comedic element. He is horribly cruel, merciless, sadistic, violent, tyrannical, and power-hungry. He acts in a very collected, imperturbable, and courteous way, albeit scornful and taunting, but his refined façade 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 that he can to fulfill his goal, and remorselessly destroys everything in his way or everyone useless to him, except if he can find them a later use. He also enjoys killing other creatures for pleasure and revels in their torment.
Malefor is also shown to be immensely intelligent, perspicacious, cunning, and manipulative. He is also a skilled orator who can instill doubt in the most determined minds and use it for his own gain, as with Spyro and Cynder before the final battle. In his twisted point of view, he does not regard himself as evil but as a 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 probable lie 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.
Through various hints over the trilogy, it is suggested that before his descent into darkness, Malefor was apparently much like Spyro, as he was kind, courageous, and eager to learn. He was strongly revered by the elders and they had high hopes of him, as they built a large statue of him at the Dragon Temple.
Powers and Abilities
As expected of a fallen dragon imbued with the power of Dark Aether, Malefor is incredibly powerful. As a Purple Dragon, he can control virtually any element through his breath. He can control Fire, Electricity, Ice, Earth, Wind, the Purple Dragon signature element of Aether (a sort of quintessence element manifesting as a purple energy), including the elemental furies, which he all masters to the point of perfection; (his best elements being apparently Convexity, Fire, and Ice).
It is hinted that he can control other elements, most likely Shadow, Fear, and Poison: evil-based elements that Cynder mastered when under his control, and perhaps even Time itself. He is unsurprisingly able to fly and has extreme physical strength, being able to fight on air or on the ground, in melee or at any distance.
Malefor also wields extraordinary powers, enabling him to create, transform and manipulate things as he pleases. This is demonstrated when 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. 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.
Malefor was the first of the Purple Dragon race (though he claims that there have been many before him). Seeing that his mastery of the elements did not stop to only one, the Dragon Elders taught him all of their secrets, but he was never satisfied and would stop at nothing to become all-powerful and omnipotent. Fearing his malevolence, ambition, and limitless potential, the Dragon Elders banished Malefor but it was too late, he had already fallen beyond redemption. Malefor established himself in the mountains and raised an army of Apes.
Malefor then embraced the power of Dark Aether, the dark side of the Purple Dragon's power, and gained full control over it, gaining the title as "the Dark Master". His ultimate goal, which he grew to regard as his destiny, is to destroy the world; perhaps intending to build a new one following his own ideals and rule with an iron fist.
Malefor waged war against the Dragon kind for several years, slaughtering countless people to fulfill his "quest". His evil tore open his own 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 within the Convexity Dimension. However, his armies survived 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 other 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 away, where it was found and raised by a family of Dragonflies.
With a dragon being needed to release Malefor, Gaul stole an egg, hatched it and named the baby dragon Cynder, exposing her to Malefor's dark influence and forcing an unnatural and painful growth. She matured to adult size in a few years 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. Gaul 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 attacks 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 offers to welcome her back into his service or be the first to perish by his hand; but she refuses and remains imprisoned.
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 to remain 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 demonic energy 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. He turned all his Ape servants into living skeletons, as he rightfully deemed them too greedy and not faithful enough, and created an army of monsters known as the Grublins. He invaded the Dragon Temple and turned it into his own flying fortress, forcing the Elemental Guardians to flee to the Dragon City of Warfang. He then covered the entire world in darkness, spreading plague and misery all around, causing the world denizens to fear dragons.
Three years have passed when Grublins wake Spyro, Cynder and Sparx from their slumber, putting snake-shaped collars on Spyro and Cynder to bind them; before taking them for sacrifice against a gigantic and powerful Golem of the Deep. They cannot defeat the ancient creature but are rescued by Sparx and the Hunter of Avalar, who bring 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 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. Spyro and Cynder realize that their only hope is to defeat Malefor himself, but Ignitus sacrifices his life to allow them to escape. In his grief, Spyro gets once again corrupted by Malefor's influence, which left a lasting effect on him. Fortunately, Cynder manages to bring Spyro back to his senses.
Spyro and Cynder enter the Dragon Temple, 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 Convexity Breath, but they managed to knock him down.
Malefor recovers, proving his claims of immortality, but the Dragon Elders’ spirits appear before he can resume the fight and seal him away for good into the core of the world. Spyro then uses his power 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.|
Malefor attacks by firing Fire Bombs, (huge fireballs) or Convexity Bombs, (huge balls of purple fire tracking down their target that must be dodged several times), by breathing a continuous stream of purple Convexity Fire, by performing a Convexity 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 Convexity fire, his Convexity 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 Convexity 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: A meteor falls into the volcano and the world starts breaking apart, separating the arena into many platforms. Malefor surrounds himself with a huge spherical Convexity 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 a Fury Attack will raise life-points.
When Malefor's life is depleted, he breathes a huge, continuous stream of Convexity Fire on Cynder. 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 crushing Spyro and Cynder against the cliff. 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.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 Convexity 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 Convexity Shards start flying towards them, they must destroy the ones right before them and rush into the gap created.
- 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 did not truly defeat Malefor; he and Cynder just knocked him to the crystal where the spirits trapped him in, and Malefor was also almost unscratched after their final attack against him. 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.
- It is worth noting that those Spirits were purple colored, suggesting that Malefor's claims about him not being the first Purple Dragon were true.
- 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.