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Malefor (The Legend of Spyro)

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This article is about the character in The Legend of Spyro series. You may be looking for the character from the Skylanders series.
"It seems we share other qualities besides that of our color."
—Malefor

Malefor, also known as the Dark Master, is the main antagonist of The Legend of Spyro series as well as the primary antagonist in The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. He is Spyro and Cynder's archenemy, and the true villain of the series.

Personality

It was said he was the first purple dragon ever born. Malefor is, in many ways, the exact opposite of Spyro. As his name dictates and represents, he is completely malevolent; the unbalanced embodiment of evil after having gained full command over the dark side of Aether[1], a powerful element of the Purple Dragon that draws in the essence of the very universe itself. Despite being calm and courteous, Malefor is also cunning, highly intelligent and manipulative, being able to devise twisted plans. While Spyro does good and wishes to protect the world he lives in, Malefor seeks the destruction of it, and will use all he can to finish what he started.

Judging from his ruthless and purely sadistic nature, Malefor is, no doubt, a murderer as he killed millions of creatures in his "quest to fulfill the destiny of the purple dragon." He is willing to use anything he can to complete his goal, and destroy everything in his way or anyone useless to him in cold blood unless they can be of use to him again later on. Malefor is also a skilled orator, able to strike doubt in the resolute and courageous minds and use it to his advantage. With this powerful skill, he is very experienced at using his enemy's faults against them; a prime example is his use of Cynder's past deeds and the fact he used her to free himself to make her doubt herself long enough for him to take control of her.

He seems to personify Lust, one of the Seven Deadly Sins, as his intense desire for power is what lead him to his corruption. Because of his deeply tainted state, Malefor possesses a fatalistic philosophy; believing that it is his fate and destiny as a destroyer; a Purple Dragon fated to purify the world by destroying it so a new one would be created.[1] Therefore he most likely does not perceive himself as evil, more so as an anti-hero; using questionable means to accomplish a "noble" goal. But like many villains, he undervalues the power of friendship and ultimately love when he tries to use Cynder to kill Spyro for his nonacceptance of the alleged truth and nature of the purple dragon race, only for her to break his bind over her when Spyro tells her that she has left him with nothing left to fight for, somewhat revealing a trace of his love for her.

Despite his current malevolent nature, it was implied that during his youth Malefor was a rather caring and courageous individual. Chief Prowlus mentioned that when he was young, Malefor's personality was rather similar to Spyro's, displaying great kindness and an eagerness to develop his abilities. Based on the ruins below Warfang, the ancestors had very high hopes for Malefor and had built the whole area as a training ground for him, as well as a statue of him which was placed at the Dragon Temple.

Abilities

Malefor is unfathomably powerful. Being a rare purple dragon like Spyro, he can control many abilities others cannot, but to a greater extent, such as the element of Fire, Ice, Electricity, Earth, Wind, Aether, and perhaps even Time itself. It is hinted that he can also control other dark elements, as he was shown using the Fear ability during his final battle against Spyro and Cynder, and most likely wields Shadow and Poison as well, the powers that Cynder was granted with when she was exposed to Malefor's darkness. Since he is over 100 years old, Malefor's elemental abilities are far more developed than Spyro's, as shown by his use of Aether abilities in place of Spyro's fire abilities, and on a much larger and more powerful scale that Spyro has displayed thus far. He has also demonstrated the ability to project forcefields that protects him from all attacks except for Aether Breath (which is similar to the heat forcefields Ignitus used), which appears to be an incredibly useful ability.

Living up to his self-proclaimed title after choosing evil, Malefor has full mastery over the darkness that corrupted him. After embracing the sinister influence of Dark Aether, he possessed enough willpower to not let the Aetherial darkness consume his mind.[1] With Dark Aether at his disposal, he wields powerful dark magic that enables him to corrupt anything or anyone as he pleases. This is demonstrated when he transforms the Dragon Temple into a Fortress of his likeness and makes it levitate, turns the Apes into undead ghouls, creating artificial creatures like the Grublins, and crafted an energy chain that his minions shackle Spyro and Cynder together. His notable power is having absolute control over everything evil and every malevolent being, also transforming others into a dark version of their former selves that greatly increases their power and corrupting them into being in complete servitude to Malefor. Examples of this are the two times he corrupted Cynder, the first after she was born (giving her enough power to defeat all of the Guardians in single combat) and the second near the end of Dawn of the Dragon (though this form's power is unknown as Spyro refused to fight back).

Like all dragons, Malefor possesses the ability to fly, and holds extreme physical strength. He also reveals that he is eternal, thus he is undefeatable and immortal.

Story

History

MonTale18

The Elders teaching Malefor how to master the elements.

Born in ancient times, Malefor was the first purple dragon, and a talented one at that. He first mastered Fire, despite not being a fire dragon, and harnessed the powers of Ice, Wind, Earth, Electricity, and many other elements none thought existed. Thus, Malefor was the first dragon to be able to use more than one element, which other Dragons were restricted to only one. Believing him to be the dragon to usher them into a new age, the Dragon Elders willingly taught him how to master these elements. However, as time went by, Malefor became arrogant and over-confident and his power and knowledge grew far beyond what was expected, as did his lust for power. Fearing his lack of restraint, the Elders banished him to exile.

Filled with hatred for his own kind, Malefor abandoned his true calling and embraced the darkness of the Aether element, the signature raw ability of the Purple Dragon. The dark power corrupted his physical appearance and altered his voice, but Malefor was able to gain full command over Dark Aether and not let it consume his consciousness.[1] He took on the title as "the Dark Master" and recruited an army of Apes, teaching them how to artificially harness the power of the gems, which are the Dragons' lifeforce. It wasn't long before he sought more and greater power, waging a war against the Dragon race. His actions sent the world spiraling into chaos, ruining the peaceful reputation of the Dragons in the process. With his army established and growing by the day, Malefor built a great fortress upon a mountain, and there he resided, staring out upon the lands. His sheer malice so great, that it split the earth and created a pit of despair, called the Mountain of Malefor, also known as the Well of Souls, by the evil-hearted. 

Eventually, Malefor was defeated by the Ancestors and confined within the Well of Souls. While his spirit was imprisoned in the Mountain of Malefor, his essence was trapped in Convexity. He sought to escape the mountain he had created, and while Malefor manipulated a plan to do so, his army was still able to carry out his orders.

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

Centuries later, Malefor was able to catch wind of the promised prophecies linking to the birth of the next Purple Dragon. This caused him to feel threatened of another dragon with powers equal to his own that is capable of stopping him. During the Year of the Dragon, he sent his Ape army to the Dragon Temple under the command of his servant, Gaul, the Ape King, to destroy all of the dragon eggs to prevent the next Purple Dragon from being born.

Evil Cynder

Gaul finishes corrupting Cynder using Malefor's poisonous powers so she can serve the Dark Master.

Under another order however, Gaul captured a dragon egg, as Malefor needed a dragon born on the Year of the Dragon to open the gateway in Convexity that served as his prison. Gaul stole Cynder's egg so she would serve Malefor and bring him back, while the Apes smashed all the other dragon eggs, unaware that the Fire Guardian, Ignitus, had rescued the purple dragon's egg. The Ape King used Malefor's dark powers to corrupt and influence Cynder, transforming her into a large, evil dragoness with greater strength and agility at an unnaturally fast rate. Cynder and Gaul then set out to bring Malefor back. Cynder embarked on a mission to open the Convexity portal which imprisoned her master's soul, while her Ape army scattered and left the land in ruins. Her ultimate plan was to capture each of the Dragon Guardians during a battle which may have been a ruse for her to snatch all the Guardians while they were distracted to fend off their enemies, and drain their energies into crystals which she would use to release Malefor from his prison.

Spyro, the newly born Purple Dragon, and his adoptive brother, Sparx the Dragonfly, traveled across the land and rescued each of the four remaining Dragon Guardians after Cynder drained their energies into crystals. She then journeyed to Convexity and placed the last one into the portal containing her master, providing Malefor a means of escape. Before Malefor could break free, Spyro used his full power and defeated Cynder, freeing her from the villain's thrall and returning her to her true form; a dragon the same age and size as Spyro. As the portal opened, the effects of Spyro and Cynder's battle caused it to become unstable and it began to implode, drawing everything within the Convexity. Spyro saved Cynder, and he and Sparx escaped the collapsing Convexity dimension as the essence of Malefor emerged. However, Malefor's essence got caught in the collapse, and his soul entered the Well of Souls, still trapped. As his spirit awakened, an evil energy, possibly his returning essence, appeared at the peak of the Mountain of Malefor, a symbol of his presence within the dark mountain.

After they returned to the Dragon Temple, Spyro and Cynder both watched the sky, wondering if the Dark Master would soon return. While resting off the weakness from the battle, Spyro dreamt of the battle between him and Cynder and how he saved her, hearing Malefor's voice in his head, calling his name.

The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night

Gaul and his Ape army traveled to the Well of Souls after Malefor's essence had been freed, calling to all the evil in the Realms, and established up their base there. Gaul planned to resurrect their master on the Night of Eternal Darkness and release him from the Well of Souls to satisfy the Apes' lust for power and exact their revenge on the Dragon race. To lure Spyro into his unaware stage, Gaul captured Cynder, who left the Dragon Temple when she still blamed herself for what happened when she was under Malefor's control.

As Gaul held Cynder captive, he informed her that Malefor would either take her back due to her "loyalty" as his servant or kill her. Though, she refused any notion of becoming the Dark Master's slave again and remained imprisoned by Gaul in the Mountain. Spyro, who had developed romantic feelings for Cynder, and Sparx set out to rescue her and eventually made it to the Well of Souls, where Spyro confronted and fought against Gaul. During the Celestial Moons' eclipse, Spyro fell into the Well of Soul's beam of energy; its dark power allowed the influence of Dark Aether to take control of Spyro's mind. Having lost control over this sinister power, Spyro killed Gaul in his fury and was about to turn on Sparx and Cynder. Fortunately, Cynder saved Spyro by knocking him out of the beam generated by the Lunar Alignment, freeing him from the effects of Dark Aether. However the battle caused the Mountain to collapse all around them, trapping the three. To save them, Spyro used his Dragon Time ability to encase him, Sparx and Cynder in crystal. After the eclipse, Malefor finally escaped from the Well of Souls and proceeded to plague the world, with the only other purple dragon frozen and unable to do anything to stop him.

The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon

After being resurrected, Malefor immediately began shrouding the world in darkness. During that time, he attacked the Dragon Temple and reclaimed it, suspending the temple above the land as a symbol of his power. It was also said that Malefor cursed the Apes sometime during his dark reign, turning them into shadows as his way of repaying them for their disloyalty, as the Apes only served Malefor to seek his power for their own goals. Presumably afterwards, Malefor created a new army consisting of artificial, earthy creatures called Grublins as replacements for the Apes, and awakened a Golem to lay waste to the world.

Malefor glimpse

A glimpse of Malefor is seen through the dark crystal in which he announces the arrival of the Destroyer to the Warfang inhabitants.

After three years of being trapped in the time crystal, Spyro, Sparx, and Cynder finally awakened to stop Malefor from destroying the world. However, both Spyro and Cynder were tethered together with green chains placed on them by a troop of Grublins as they were intended to be sacrificed to the Golem under Malefor's orders. They managed to reach Warfang when it was under siege by Malefor's army, and defeated the Golem during the struggle. But later that night, Malefor made an ominous announcement to the inhabitants that since they survived the siege, they would be the first to witness the resurrection of the Destroyer, a mountain-sized golem used to destroy the world to usher in a new one.

Spyro and Cynder attempted to stop the Destroyer, but when they destroyed its crystal core to defeat it, Malefor restored the Destroyer through his powers, continuing its mission. Realizing that the only way to stop the Destroyer was to defeat Malefor, Spyro and Cynder set off to confront the Dark Master. After going on a long journey, Spyro and Cynder both made it to Malefor's Lair where they confronted the villainous dragon and find him waiting for them. He taunted Spyro by saying that they have more in common than just their color. Spyro denied this, saying that he is nothing like Malefor, who then proceeded to free the young dragons of the chain that tethered them together as his way of "thanking" Cynder for his services and make them feel more comfortable. 

Malefor then claimed that his influence over Cynder had not been completely diminished and that she had led Spyro to the Well of Souls to trick him into freeing the evil dragon. Cynder both denied Malefor's words, but grew unsure and said that she doesn't know anymore, to which Malefor replied by taking control over her again and renewing her dark side. While Malefor attacked Spyro through Cynder repeatedly, he assured Spyro that there have been many Purple Dragons before him and that the true nature of their kind has been to resurrect the Destroyer and the Golems of the Deep during that age in order to bring about the "Great Cleansing", destroying the world. Despite having been stopped from completing his goal back in his time, Malefor revealed that Spyro had nonetheless fulfilled his 'destiny', and that the world would be destroyed along with the young dragon.

Malefor Spyro Cynder

Malefor begins using Cynder's faults against her for supposedly freeing him from the start by tricking Spyro.

Spyro denied Malefor's statements and continued to be struck by Cynder as Malefor laughed maniacally. Cynder angrily asked why Spyro wouldn't fight back, and Spyro sadly responded that it was because she had left him nothing to fight for. This realization broke Malefor's hold on Cynder, and she lovingly told Spyro that there was always something. Enraged by this turn of events, Malefor tethered Cynder back to Spyro with the same energy chain, binding them together in order to kill them both before engaging the two dragons in battle. After a long battle against Malefor, Spyro and Cynder followed after him to continue their fight in the skies above the temple. However, the Destroyer managed to enter the maw of the Earth, intiating the world's destruction as it began to break apart. Spyro and Cynder continued their battle against Malefor as they are descending into the core of the world.

Despite their efforts, Malefor proclaimed that he was eternal, unable to be destroyed. After a final energy blast against Spyro and Cynder, Malefor was knocked to the Earth's crystal core, but recovered from the blow unscathed, ready to attack again. Suddenly, several dragon spirits who appeared to be "The Ancients", the Dragons who trained Malefor, emerged from the crystal core, surrounding the evil dragon. As the egregious Malefor looked upon the spirits in shock and fear, he was dragged and sealed away forever into the crystal core by the spirits. Upon his defeat, the green chain that shackled Spyro and Cynder together disappeared along with the Dark Master's magic. Spyro then used his powers to reconstruct the world, slowly putting it back together and ending Malefor's malice for good.

The Legend of Spyro 3D

According to the plot of the cancelled Spyro Movie, the Dark Master sent his forces to hunt down Spyro's egg. He had also enslaved Cynder by using a red crystal that was around her neck, turning her into a powerful black dragoness.

Relationships

Spyro

While Spyro saw Malefor as an enemy who must be stopped, Malefor instead saw Spyro as a useful tool to achieve his goals rather than an enemy. As they were both purple dragons, he initially saw Spyro as a threat and sought to prevent the young dragon from being born. When that plan failed, Malefor used Spyro to free him from the Well of Souls and showed no intentions to try and kill Spyro until realizing that he wouldn't join his cause. When the two met face-to-face, Malefor easily exploited Spyro's fear of becoming a second Malefor by stating that Spyro had followed the Purple Dragon's alleged destiny of destroying the world by releasing Malefor from the Well of Souls, even if unknowingly. Through the trilogy many characters stated that Malefor and Spyro are very similar besides just their color, something that Malefor himself agreed to.

The main difference between the two Purple Dragons was that Malefor was consumed by greed when realizing that his power was unlimited which lead to him becoming evil and fought only to fulfill his predetermined "destiny". Spyro, on the other hand, doesn't seek to rule over anything and fights for friendship and love while wanting to create his own path instead of letting others decide it for him.

Unlike Malefor, Spyro was raised away from the shower of praise that the Elder Dragons had lavished upon Malefor, which had fed his ego and sense of self-importance, allowing Spyro to grow up humble and kind. Spyro's different upbringing, far from the constant praises of the dragons, allowed him to connect with others, not isolated and consumed by promises of destiny. Spyro's love for his teachers, friends, and especially for Cynder is what kept him from going over the edge. Malefor had no such relationships to ground him, thus ensuring his downward spiral.

Cynder

Shortly after her birth, Malefor corrupted Cynder into his devoted servant and weapon against Dragonkind. Even after Cynder was released from his control, Malefor continued to use her to fuel his goals without her realizing it. He used her as a bait to bring Spyro to the Well of Souls so that Spyro could free him, and before their final battle, he corrupted Cynder again in an effort to break Spyro's will to fight. According to Gaul, Malefor would openly welcome Cynder back when he was revived, or destroy her. When Spyro and Cynder faced Malefor, he removed the snake chain as a "thanks" for how much Cynder had helped his cause. Upon realizing that Cynder's feelings for Spyro are stronger than his corruption, Malefor angrily tethered her back to Spyro with the snake chain to kill her along with Spyro.

Dragonkind

Though only displayed through flashbacks and hints over the series, it is said that during his youth, Malefor was revered by Dragonkind. He in turn was eager to be trained by the elders. Over time, as Malefor became stronger than what anyone imagined, he was consumed by lust for power. The Dragons began to fear Malefor, and exiled him from the realms. Ever since, Malefor has developed an intense hatred towards Dragonkind, waging a war against them for decades after siding with the Apes. He was even willing to kill an entire generation by destroying all the eggs in the Temple to prevent Spyro's birth despite only having to smash one specific egg (ironically, it was one of the two eggs that weren't smashed or stolen).

Apes

When Malefor was exiled from the Realms, he formed an army of apes and taught them how to use the Gem's power, giving them promises of power and revenge. However, the apes mainly served him out of greed, with no real loyalty motivating them. When he fully returned, Malefor repaid the Apes for their services by turning them into ghostlike monsters, after which, his own Grublins replace them as his minions.

Gallery

International Voice actors

  • Danish = Dick Kaysø
  • Finnish = Rauno Ahonen
  • Norwegian = Per Frisch
  • Swedish = Johan Hedenberg
  • Dutch = Fred Meijer
  • French = Pierre Hatet
  • German = Bodo Wolf
  • Italian = Claudio Moneta
  • Spanish = José Padilla
  • Russian = Andrei Tashkov

Notes

  • The Legend of Spyro series was also released in Russia, but it may be possible that Anderi Tashkov may be the Russian voice actor for Malefor, since he did the original 1990 Russian dubs for Star Wars episodes IV-VI as the Russian dubbing voice for Luke Skywalker, since Mark Hamill originally played as him.
  • His Japanese name is translated in Korean as in: 마레후루. (Malehulu).
  • In the Finnish version of The Legend of Spyro trilogy, Malefor's name is known as: Ärhämä.
  • Malefor's name translates to Russian as: "Мальфор"

Trivia

  • Malefor's voice actor, Mark Hamill, is perhaps most famous for his role as Luke Skywalker in George Lucas's original and sequel Star Wars trilogies; as well as the voice of the Joker in various Batman media, including Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and most recently in the Batman: Arkham video game series.
  • As shown in the Exclusive talent trailer , Mark Hamill's voiceover for Malefor was originally much more clearer than the distorted version of his voice in the final version of Dawn of the Dragon.
  • In the intended draft of the story, Malefor's corruption was caused by something dark and powerful.[2]
  • Malefor's The Eternal Night design bore a scar on his left eye as evident in his flashback image and the statue of himself in a shrine within the Well of Souls. The scar is absent in his redesign for Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Malefor was originally intended to be one of the two dragons who can perhaps be Spyro's father, the other being Ignitus. The concept was to re-occur across the three games, but it was never panned out. Jared Pullen confirmed that Malefor was intended to taunt Spyro and cloud his mind with the lie that he was his father.[2]
  • Malefor's appearance in the games is actually his "Dark" form, which resulted from him embracing his Dark Aether. Unlike Dark Spyro, Malefor remains conscious and is in full control of his actions. His Dark form is what alters his voice.[1]
    • In addition, Jared Pullen stated that it is possible for Malefor to be "stripped" of his dark form and be returned to normal.[1]
    • Malefor's voice was so altered that it was hard for some fans to understand what he said in the game, and instead they had to rely on the game's optional subtitles.
  • Malefor may be a variation of the name "Valefar", a Christian demon and Duke of Hell.
  • His name might be composed from the Latin noun malum (-i,neutrum) - evil; and Greek foreo - i carry; meaning ˝The carrier of evil˝, or maybe ˝The source of evil˝.
  • The Dark Master (or DM) is usually a name given to the main villain in an RPG.
  • Malefor may be more clever than he appears. As parts of his plans turned out to be part of a ruse to trick Spyro in releasing the evil dragon, it may be that the rest from the start all were. It may be that Malefor pretended to send his Apes to kill Spyro, but since the young purple dragon would be the key to free Malefor, this action of assassination was probably itself a ruse to scare his enemies, and that maybe along with Cynder, who would be used to bring Malefor back with all his powers, Spyro's egg would also be stolen as well so he could be corrupted and used to free Malefor after Cynder completed her stage. And despite Ignitus' interference in saving Spyro from that fate, the young dragon's part would still be played, as he would be lured to the Mountain of Malefor to save Cynder, and unwittingly free Malefor. He also kept an additional Dark Crystal to control the Destroyer just in case.
    • Additionally like many villains, he underestimated his enemies which was his fatal mistake that caused his demise. He tried to make Cynder betray the people she loves, and it seems Malefor was aiming to confuse Spyro and Cynder before their final battle. Both of these plans failed, which then led to having to fight the the two Dragons by himself and losing.
  • In the movie Dragons: Destiny of Fire, there is a dragon called Vildrok that is very similar to Malefor: both want to destroy the world, both are evil dragons and the main antagonists. However, Malefor is despised and far times more evil, bloodthirsty, malevolent, cruel and ruthless than Vildrok.
  • The massive statue in the Dragon Temple training room and the dragon statue in the large shrine near the top of the Well of Souls are both of Malefor. Two more massive statues of Malefor also appear outside the temple of each of the elemental dreamscapes Spyro is taken to to regain his elemental breaths in The Eternal Night.
  • Malefor is the only dragon in The Legend of Spyro series who has reptilian pupils. His eyes are also yellow unlike all other known dragons, who have white eyes. This is the result of his corruption under Dark Aether, but he retained full control over his actions and didn't let the dark power consume him.
  • In the DS version of The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor is purple and white instead of being purple, yellow and red, and does not have a fully drawn appearance in any cutscene.
  • Worth noting is that Spyro and Cynder didn't actually defeat Malefor themselves since he recovered from their combined Aether attack unscathed. It was only the intervention of the ancestors that allowed Malefor to be beaten in time to save the world.
  • In most concept art of Malefor, his eyes are depicted as completely yellow with no pupils, which show off his full corruption under Dark Aether. However, when you face him in the game, he has snakelike pupils, making his face seem more gentle and sinister, revealing that he has not let the Dark Aether element fully control him.
  • Malefor is presumably the most evil and darkest villain in the Spyro series.
  • His personalities and actions are similar to Lucifer from Dante's Inferno; both have been imprisoned, sought to kill the main protagonist and mention that the hero had freed them..
  • Like the other concept art of the dragon characters made for Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor's right wing is missing.
  • Malefor's fearsome appearance is coupled with a large pair of crown-like horns.

References

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