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This article is about the essence in general. For the specific obstacle made of Malice, see Pool of Malice.

Malice is a recurring substance in The Legend of Zelda series.[1][name references needed] It is the actualized manifestation of Ganon's hatred, and the very essence of Calamity Ganon.[2][3]


Breath of the Wild

Calamity Ganon's spectral form made of Malice surrounding Hyrule Castle.

Malice is the very essence of Calamity Ganon's being. After Ganon was continually sealed and reincarnated, he lost any semblance of reason and became Calamity Ganon, an incarnation of pure hatred and grudge against Hyrule, its royal bloodline, and the chosen hero.[1][2][3] Malice manifests as a flowing pink and purple energy,[4] including Ganon's spectral form which envelops Hyrule Castle.[5][6] However, Malice is able to materialize physically in various ways.

Malice takes physical form by tainting that with which it comes in contact, most commonly seen as Pools of Malice, sludgy pools of water that ooze across surfaces and damage Link if he touches it.[7] These concentrations sometimes include spikes, Glowing Eyeballs which will dissipate the Malice when destroyed,[8] and mouths which spawn Cursed Bokoblins, Cursed Moblins, and Cursed Lizalfos. The Malice is responsible for bringing these to "life".[9] Malice is also responsible for reviving slain Enemies under the Blood Moon.[10]

Malice is also able to take corporeal form by possessing and/or combining with living things or automata. Upon returning at the beginning of the Great Calamity, Ganon sent his Malice to possess the Guardians, Giant Columns, and Divine Beasts, corrupting them to cause destruction. In doing so, the Malice may be acting as a substitute for Ancient Energy.[11] Furthermore, the concentrated masses of Malice which were sent to the Divine Beasts combined with ancient Sheikah weaponry and the Divine Beasts' respective elemental powers, creating the Phantom Ganons.[12] Calamity Ganon also created a cocoon within Hyrule Castle's Sanctum, forming his own corporeal body with ancient technology. Once Link defeats this form, its Malice reforms as Dark Beast Ganon, his "original" form.[13]

The dragon spirit Naydra is also possessed by Malice, covering it in the sludge and Glowing Eyeballs,[14] although this seems to blight and incapacitate the creature more than take control of it. If Link reaches the Spring of Wisdom at the top of Mount Lanayru, the Goddess Statue will instruct him to free Naydra by destroying the Glowing Eyeballs, after which it returns to normal.

Malice can be opposed with sacred Light.The Master Sword, as the Sword that Seals the Darkness, can repel Malice and grows stronger in its presence.[15] Upon awakening her sealing power, Zelda's golden energy also dissipated all Malice from the surrounding Guardians. The same energy is used in the sealing of Dark Beast Ganon.

Tears of the Kingdom

Main article: Gloom
A promotional image from the Winter 2021 issue of the Nintendo Magazine featuring Gloom attacking Link

Although Malice does not appear directly, a similar substance called Gloom appears and is closely associated with Ganondorf. The relationship between Gloom and Malice is currently unknown.

The only possible mention of Malice exists in the Japanese version, when Impa explains the relationship between Calamity Ganon and the Demon King Ganondorf after Link has visited all the Dragon's Tears. In English, she states that "The Calamity was the Demon King of ancient times, brought back to existence in the form of hatred manifest," whereas in Japanese the term for Malice, 怨念 (on'nen), is directly used for what the English localization simply translated as "hatred".[16]

Other Appearances

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

When Terrako is awakened by Zelda's sealing power during the Great Calamity, it is spotted by a Guardian Stalker. Terrako creates a time portal to escape, but several bursts of Malice exit the Guardian Stalker and pursue Terrako into the past. After it arrives, four tendrils of Malice instantly head towards Hyrule Castle and possess Terrako's past self, creating Harbinger Ganon. Being aware of the future and Terrako's mission to prevent the Calamity, the fragment of Ganon within the Harbinger attempts to destroy Terrako at the Coliseum when it searches for Zelda, but is defeated. At some point, Malice is also sent to the Lost Woods to prevent Link from obtaining the Master Sword, creating Pools of Malice.

Eventually, the future fragments of Ganon within the Harbinger ally with Astor and the Yiga Clan. Astor is able to use Malice based attacks and create the Hollows, and later the Blight Ganons. After the Calamity arrives, Malice-infused versions of Enemies are also seen. However, ultimately it is revealed that Astor was but a pawn, and the Malice exits Harbinger Ganon to swallow up Astor, using him to create a humanoid body made of Malice for Calamity Ganon.

Certain, more powerful forms of enemies appear that are infused with Malice, including the Malice Guardian, Malice Moblin, Malice Lynel, Malice Hinox, Malice Frost Talus, and Malice Igneo Talus.


Although "Malice" is the translation used for the substance in the English localization, the Japanese term 怨念 (on'nen) can be (and is, particularly in Creating a Champion) variously translated as "malice," "hatred," or "grudge" depending on the context. Notably, the internal name for Malice is "Grudge." This word does not carry as strong a connotation in English, but it does add the context that Ganon carries not just general malice, but particularly a "grudge" against Hylia and Hyrule's royal family as part of Demise's curse and his continual defeat.

ZW Nomenclature Asset.png Names in Other Regions ZW Nomenclature Asset 2.png
怨念(おんねん) (On'nen) (BotW)[17] 
The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Haat (BotW)Hatred
The Federal Republic of Germany
  • Hass (BotW)
  • Zorn (HWAoC)
  • Eiswächter (HWAoC)[18]
  • Hatred
  • Rage
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.




  1. 1.0 1.1 "To know Calamity Ganon's true form, one must know the story from an age long past. The demon king was born into this kingdom, but his transformation into Malice created the horror you see now." — King Rhoam (Breath of the Wild)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Ganon, having long lost his reason, becomes Calamity Ganon, a pure incarnation of hatred and malice for the royal family of Hyrule and the chosen hero." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 363)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "His hatred of the hero and the princess is legendary. He revived again and again, only to be sealed many times over. Eventually, the Demon King Ganon became hatred and malice incarnate, holding a deep grudge against Hyrule itself." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 401)
  4. "That energy covering Ganon's body is called Malice. None of your attacks will get through as he now is..." — Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
  5. "お主も 見たであろうあの城を包み込む 禍々しい怨念の塊を…" (You must have seen the ominous mass of Malice which envelops the castle...) — King Rhoam (Breath of the Wild, Japanese localization) (In English, this line is "I assume you caught sight of that atrocity surrounding the castle.")
  6. "Calamity Ganon's corporeal form is sealed inside, but its evil is so strong that it has manifested a spirit body formed of coalesced malice and hatred that writhes around the castle. Though it has no physical presence, this awful sight reveals just how potent Ganon's evil really is." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 75)
  7. "Pools of Malice
    Poisonous bogs formed by water that was sullied during the Great Calamity. Coming into contact with one will hurt you.
    " — Tips and Tricks (Breath of the Wild)
  8. "Glowing eyeballs are a recurring feature in dungeons and wherever large pockets of Malice goo appear, such as in Hyrule Castle." (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild—The Complete Official Guide, Piggyback Interactive Limited, pg. 310)
  9. "The Malice has given these Moblin skulls a pitiful life after death." — Hyrule Compendium (Breath of the Wild)
  10. "Ganon's Malice grants these monsters new life under the red glow of the Blood Moon." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 406)
  11. "However, those corrupted by Calamity Ganon glow pink, which perhaps indicates that Malice has flooded their systems in place of ancient energy." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 404)
  12. "Four precisely aimed globs of concentrated Malice were launced at the Divine Beasts, corrupting them and turning into phantom versions of Calamity Ganon." (Creating a Champion, Dark Horse Books, pg. 383)
  13. "After Ganon was defeated by Link, the remaining Malice pulled itself together to form this bestial creature. [...] This form is considered to be Ganon's original, although in this state, his awareness has been consumed entirely by Malice, and all he knows is a desire to rampage and destroy." — Hyrule Compendium (Breath of the Wild)
  14. "This servant of the Goddess has looked over the spirits of this land for ages, unknown to the world of man. However, the dreaded Malice unleashed by Calamity Ganon has possessed its body and reduced it to this state." — Hylia (Breath of the Wild)
  15. "When used against Calamity Ganon or those tainted by his Malice, it will become suffused with holy light..." — Great Deku Tree (Breath of the Wild)
  16. "厄災とは 太古の昔に 生まれし魔王が怨念と化して復活した姿" (The Calamity was the Demon King born in ancient times, who transformed and resurrected in a form of Malice [or 'a deep hatred/grudge'].) — Impa (Tears of the Kingdom, Japanese localization)
  17. "青き精霊ネルドラを 怨念から解放し (Aoki seirei Nerudora o On'nen kara kaihō shi)" — Hylia (Breath of the Wild)
  18. "Eiswächter" — Game Screen (Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, German localization)
  19. Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 113
  20. "Some suspect it can fire cannonballs of pure malice." — Shipyard (Phantom Hourglass)
  21. "You got an Evil Crystal! This solid chunk of pure, crystallized monster malice is extremely rare!" — N/A (Skyward Sword)
  22. "While he appears to be incredible marvel of ancient art, inside he brims with dark energy which brings him to life." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 45)
  23. "The cursed energy supply Ghirahim provided to this contraption has given it power far beyond its conventional limits." — Fi (Skyward Sword)