Favorite Zelda Moments: The Final Battle With Malladus

Axle the BeastFebruary 16th, 2013 by Axle the Beast

A lot of people dislike the DS games for various reasons, sometimes disliking both, and other times disliking one while having some fondness for the other. Me, I’ve always enjoyed the DS Zelda games, and I find them to be equal in different ways. Some of Spirit Tracks’ strengths for me are cinematic presentation and soundtrack, and they’re part of why the final battle with Malladus at the end of the game is one of my favorite final battles of any Zelda game.

It helps that Malladus is discussed fairly often, but never really shown… and he never speaks until the end. When he does appear, it’s only in Zelda’s body. His alleged “true form” is later shown in the form of a ridiculous cartoony skull, so it’s all rather disappointing. His final form though, while not his true form (he’s possessing Chancellor Cole), is a perfect form for the final boss, and helps give the game a climactic end.

Admittedly… he’s basically just a copy of Ganon… but even if that’s true, he’s a really cool one and in my opinion the presentation here even beats some of the final Ganon fights from other games. It was amazing, hearing him speak for the very first time, only to say something like:

“This vessel…is…rejecting my spirit. I’m…slipping from it… I can’t hold on for long… But the world will crumble in the time I have left!”

And to this music, no less. This entire part of the game has great music, including the actual battle theme for Malladus’ final form, but for me, none of them beat this tune. This simple, under 30-second theme, gives me chills every time I hear it. There’s a lot of cool fights leading up to the very final battle, but none of them have presentation like this.

So how about you? Did you like the final battle with Malladus? Did it do the game justice and/or manage to trump the finales of any other Zelda games? Or do you think it was underwhelming? Tell me in the comments!

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  • Phantom_Roxas

    This final battle is one of the main reasons this is my favorite Toon game. I recognize that The Wind Waker is a better game, but I love this game more. While this game was difficult due to the controls, the very end of the battle is by far the crowning moment of awesome for this game. It’s one of the few, if only times where Zelda personally helps deliver the final blow, and the whole sequence with the Spirit Flute is just fantastic.

    • Midnafan

      While i definitely agree this ending sequence was the crowning achievement of the game, i don’t feel it was the cherry on top as you propose. I don’t think the game was absolutely terrible, i mean i loved some of the ideas it had, especially for bosses and weapons (like the fire boss, and i really like the Whirlwind and the whip because they had such interesting uses) but none of it was particularly difficult (except for that damn whip race game! >:() i just feel that what made up the bulk of the game, being the train and the Spirit Tower, were what made it not the greatest of experiences, Not that it’s not enjoyable, it’s just not great.

  • Tehlul

    Love the desperation you feel when you clash your sword with the gem on his head.
    Epic.

    • Midnafan

      by desperation do mean getting carpal tunnel rubbing the stylus for five minutes waiting for Zelda to get to you? yeah there’s definitely a sense of desperateness there (seriously no sarcasm :)), and an aching wrist afterwards. -,_,-

  • Mseevers95

    anyone noticed how almost every Zelda villain is ginger?

    • MiniJen

      Whoa… you’re right! Ganondorf, Malladus, Zant, Veran, Demise, even Majora with its “tentacles”. I think the only non-ginger Zelda villains are Ghirahim, Bellum, Vaati, Onox and Twinrova… huh… I wonder if Nintendo does that on purpose…?

      • http://twitter.com/Mellathor David Rampa

        well ghirahim was only a slave to the real evil king, who was pretty much ganondorf in a ugly skin, but he had ginger burning hair xD

      • Midnafan

        well both Ghirahim and Vaati had white hair instead. maybe a secondary theme?

      • rjhewgyrfu (aka ruifgyqforug)

        I wonder what would be Bellum’s hair colour…. :P

      • Mseevers95

        And all the non gingers are usually a servant of a ginger, except Vaati

    • Midnafan

      that’s funny. and i suppose there are three possible reasons for that: 1 gingers have no souls (kidding. i don’t even watch that show) 2: red is the color of Power, and since Ganon has Power, maybe it translate to most of the villians and 3: having taken art, red goes well with black, so maybe associating the two colors with evil simply looked good? it might also have to do with how no one in Japan has red hair unless they tried to die their hair blonde. :/

    • http://axlethebeast.com/ Axle the Beast

      Gingers don’t have souls!

    • itsameluigi1290

      Oh no…

      IT’S ALL RON WEASLEY’S FAULT!

  • ShadowBeast

    Thank you! I was introduced to Zelda with Phantom Hourglass (yeah, I know got into it late.) and I have a huge soft spot for all of the DS games. Those two games are rarely mentioned, and if they are, it’s usually not good. I’m really glad you enjoyed them! :P

    • Midnafan

      My first game was PH too! PH will always have a place in my heart, even though when i replayed it i thought it was extremely stupid (still love Linebeck though) and while ST had cool ideas and some epic scenes (and one extremely difficult minigame -_-) it overall wasn’t that great. i think the trains is probably the biggest factor in ruining it, just the idea that its there. and the bunnies. don’t get me wrong, i love bunnies, i have 10, but who’s idea was it to replace fishing with BUNNIES?! :/

      • IgosDuIkana

        I disliked both of the DS games a lot, although st was much better… ST was my second game after I had played ALTTP so you could see why I was disappointed. If not for the internet I would have dropped the series there, but I was assured of good things, so I played the rest of the series…. every game…. 100% and multiple times with the exception of FSA and PH… I can say now with my knowledge that Spirit Tracks was not THAT bad

        • Midnafan

          I always look back and agree it wasn’t THAT bad. I guess another way of saying to is that while ST could be the worst Zelda game, Zelda is so amazing anyways ST is still great. :)

      • JeredenDonnar

        The idea of a villain being so powerful that he had to be contained Within the Very Earth, the only chains able to hold him in taking up so much space that they (the lokomos) re-purposed them for train tracks (which tech. the people got from Linebeck’s ship?); that’s an incredibly original idea! The bunnies suck, though. Absolutely.

        • Midnafan

          Maybe its the train puns then. Lokomos? really? come on. original? yes. extremely cheesy? too much so. I didn’t really like the train because it was talked about in game as some mystical object, and considering such things had been swords, mirrors, hourglasses etc. the train’c cartoon look simply didn’t fit the description. not to mention the Demon Train. don’t get me wrong, that thing was freakin’ scary, but after looking at that face long enough, you can’t help but kind of start laughing at how goofy that concept actually is. i guess overall ST is a coin with one side being epic the other being goofy. as Zelda said in TP, they’re two sides of the same coin and one can’t exist without the other. whether you liked the game or not depends on which side the ST coin landed on when you flipped it while playing. that a good enough metaphor for ya? :P

  • Midnafan

    This was probably the only epic and/or difficult part of the game for me. The part of the battle where you had to protect Zelda was ridiculously frustrating the first time around, and Zelda took WAY too freaking long to charge. I have to say, while most of ST wasn’t that great having taken the worst of PH, adding trains and turning it into a game, the end definitely made up for it. What’s hilarious, is, to me personally, Tauberpa’s abridged ST on YouTube, actually had a better ending than the game did XP i also really liked how Zelda runs over and helps Link deliver the final blow. Killed my hand waiting for her to get her butt over there, but the scene was worth it. In hindsight, the end of ST was way better than the end of PH, which was epic to me the first time around and then extremely stupid 5 years later. :/ Nothin’ beats SS though. Period.

    • Hero-of-the-Sky

      I have huge nostalgia for this game, and everyone seems intent on ruining it. I see very few flaws with it, and I don’t understand why it gets bashed all the time. (You’re right about SS, though.)

      • Midnafan

        just curious, what do you mean by nostalgia? and i don’t think its so much people think it had flaws, just some too cheesy ideas for most people’s tastes or the reuse of ideas people didn’t really like in the first place.

  • HachiNuu

    “… His final form though, while not his true form (he’s possessing Chancellor Cole…”

    Chancellor Cole makes everything 100x cooler than it was before.

  • orome the huntsmen

    I absolutly LOVE spirit tracks’s final battle. it just feels so epic but personal and emotional at the same time. the duet before the final battle always make me shiver, and the fact you fight it WITH Zelda is awesome.

    oh and THAT MUSIC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk_xjIFlfZA

    • Someone

      That theme is SO AWESOME
      If there is one thing that the latest Nintendo games get right, then it’s final battle music.
      I got a lot of examples right now.

  • Nikki

    I love both the DS games! I did enjoy the final battle with Malladus, even though it took me several tries to defeat him. I need to go back and replay them again.

  • sombody you dont know

    I havent played spirt tracks

  • Roth

    For me, Malladus was a bit too recycled in origin, so I didn’t have a big investment in seeing the final events of the game; that said, the characters surrounding him made it rather epic, especially Byrne. But then he possesses Cole, and, while coming out as a Ganon clone, has the possibility to be something awesome… yet settles for a banal minigame-fight consisting of spitting fireballs in a predetermined sequence for Link to defend Zelda from, starting the whole pattern over if she’s hit.

    So, despite massive potential, Malladus fell short in the story/character department and absolutely flat in the gameplay department. In the end, I think he was the most disappointing villain to defeat. Zelda’s personality throughout the game left the emotional “Together!” element at the end feeling stale, to boot. I may get flack for saying this, but It’s like Nintendo tried too hard.

  • Narisha

    The final battle was ok gameplay wise. What really made it an epic ending were all the cutscenes before, in between and after the battle. The duett with Link and his flute, Zelda and all the Lokomos was a brilliant idea. And Byrne giving his life for the princess was kind of unexpected on my first playthrough and I was really sad as he was gone, because I just started to like him as a character.

  • WarioSuperstar

    For some odd reason that line Malladus said differs slightly in the European version. He now says this:
    “This vessel isn’t right. My spirit…is slipping from it… I can’t hold on for long… But I will destroy the world in the time I have left!”

  • A Link to the present

    I think hitting Malladus in the rupee was awesome (better than Bellums hitting in the eye tactic). When Malladus dies the seen is epic. TP Ganondorf get stabbed in the heart, Bellum turns into sand. Malladus blows up after screaming. If you hate ST. Shame. On. You. Oh and Byrne MUST return

  • A Link to the present

    Malladus battle themes plus the one taht axle mentioned is … EPIC.

  • HyruleHistory10

    I actually really love this battle and game. I was Talking to a co worker about the epic final bosses that i have fought in Zelda and i named this one number one with Oot coming in second. I love the music and i thought having to fight to stab him in the head rather than just having it happen was a great touch.

  • JeredenDonnar

    I love ST so much more than PH. I find the “Train tracks are giant chains binding an ancient evil within the earth” idea to be fantastic. It also opens up a technological frontier, especially as your other article says the Toon games are about new lands and such. Were the bunnies a good idea? NO. Were the sidequests a tad repetitive? yes (but still quaint). Do I love the Anoukis? YES; they’ve got the most personality out of any zelda race. Chancellor Cole was tough for me to take seriously (the “mystical rats” thing? what?) but Byrne was cool. I’m still confused with the demon train, did it make its own tracks as it went? How was that explosion sequence possible and what exactly hapened there? Fraaz: Master of Icy Fire was the best boss I’ve fought in a while; Whip was actually useful; Tower of Spirits was not near as repetitive as Temple of the ocean king (i liked the sequencing of the levels); Instrument was important but not overbearing (and quite helpful); Final Malladus fight was awesome! I loved it! It is one of my favorite fights in the series. I still find the meteors to be a challenge occasionally (though the endless repeats got a bit aggravating, in truth) and I think Skull-Malladus is stupid!!! Cole Malladus is amazing, though; say what you will, I definetly se a strain of demise’s curse with that one. This is my 4th favorite zelda game.

  • BlackRaven6695

    The way you deal the finishing blow is the best!

  • gertrude davis

    axle is a little girly boy

  • Hero-of-the-Sky

    I LOVED this battle so much… Spirit Tracks was my first Zelda game, it initiated me into this epic fandom, and even now, when I’ve completed OoT, SS and TP, Malladus still stands as the second most memorable boss, and the foremost emotionally impacting. The eerie, ominous music gave me such a sense of finality and doom. I’d never even heard of Ganon when I played this; for me, the battle was fresh and carried every bit of horror the designers could have hoped for… I’m only fourteen, and played Spirit Tracks as an eleven year-old who knew nothing of the Hylian Legacy, so when I fought this battle, my emotions were on overdrive; this game was like nothing I’d ever played before, the characters were SO REAL, the Tower of Spirits was SO HARD and Malladus was SO DISTURBING! I was shivering with excitement. I’m glad you gave me an opportunity to talk about this, Axle.

  • claudia maurice

    axle is a little girly boy

  • Moon Rain

    I have to say that I like PH very much, but maybe it’s just because it was my first Zelda game I ever played… I don’t know which I like better, but I liked PH’s Link more (not that there was much difference between them) because he’s a bit naughtier…

    PS Sorry for my bad English I’m from The Netherlands and I’m 12 years old but I learned a bit English from Zelda and a lot other games ^_^

  • Wolfy

    For me, this being my first Zelda game, the final boss and especially the final blow was amazing. It was a first-timer. The duet and then the boss battle music was really great, the cutscenes leading to and finishing the end of the game were really amazing.

  • itsameluigi1290

    Me: I still don’t have this game…

    Hey Axle, mind giving me some money so I can buy it–

    Axle: No.

    Me: Awwww ;-;

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