Trailers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom show Link and Hyrule plagued by a sinister-looking sludge. Those familiar with the series will recognize that it is Malice, a substance that Calamity Ganon uses to corrupt and poison in Breath of the Wild. It seems that Link will have to face Ganon’s Malice once again, though he may have a few new tools to help him on his quest to save Hyrule.


Breath of the Wild has been lauded for its innovative take on the open-world genre, and anticipation is high for its sequel. Tears of the Kingdom appears to be following much of the same formula, but there have been plenty of new gameplay elements thrown in, especially as it will be incorporating the skies above. Already fans have been puzzling over what the title could mean for the upcoming game.

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What Is Malice?

Hyrule is a kingdom that is usually peaceful, but there is always someone or something that has to ruin things. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the party pooper comes in the form of Calamity Ganon, a dark and powerful being. The Hyruleans knew that Calamity Ganon would return years before it did, and they tried to prepare by excavating the Guardians and the four Divine Beasts to aid Link and Zelda.

Unfortunately, when Calamity Ganon returns, it corrupts the Divine Beasts and the Guardians using its Malice. Instead of guarding Hyrule, they fall under Calamity Ganon’s control and wreak havoc, and Link is left wounded, forcing him to recuperate in the Shrine of Resurrection for many years. After awakening from his long slumber, Link discovers that Hyrule is teeming with danger. Calamity Ganon lurks over Hyrule Castle, and while Zelda keeps the dark force at bay, it will take Link to defeat it and protect the kingdom.

Malice is a purplish-black sludge that can be found throughout Hyrule, and if Link comes into contact with it, he will incur damage. It can stick over entire buildings, eventually growing eyeballs and spiky structures that look menacing. In certain locations, it can also birth monsters like Cursed Bokoblins and Cursed Lizalfos. Generally, it is a good idea for Link to avoid Malice, as he cannot fight it, though he can reduce its quantity if he pops its eyeballs. The substance ensures that Ganon’s sinister presence is felt throughout the kingdom.

Malice in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Breath of the Wild will be followed by Tears of the Kingdom, which is scheduled to release next year. Link is not done dealing with Malice just yet, as the first teaser gamers got a glimpse of during E3 2021 shows a puddle of the sinister stuff forming tendrils and grabbing his arm. The latest trailer shows the dark substance coming out of Death Mountain, which suggests that the location will have to be purified. It appears that Malice will play a big role in the upcoming game, as there is enough of it to cause Hyrule Castle to ascend to the heavens. As trailers suggest, Link may find that the Malice sludge is far less passive in Tears of the Kingdom, and it may actively seek him out and try to harm him.

Link’s journey in Breath of the Wild was exhilarating, but it was also one filled with somber moments of loneliness. Judging by the sequel’s title, he may be looking at yet another melancholy adventure as he attempts to save Hyrule. Perhaps this time the Malice can be defeated once and for all.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is scheduled to release on May 12, 2023, on Nintendo Switch.

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