is a download-only 3D action game developed and published by Alvion (in Japan Only, in other countries it was published by Sony) for the PlayStation 3
and the Play Station Vita
. The main goal of the game is to defeat a dangerous group of creatures known as the Malicious
The game’s objective is pretty simple, you choose a player character – either male (Valeria) or female (Erica), there’s no difference – then you’re transported directly to a boss fight. Yes, you read that right; there’s no level progression in Malicious. You jump headfirst into a series of epic Boss Battles
. Your main weapon is a shapeshifting cloth called the Mantle of Cinders
; this unique weapon can take many forms and stances for attack and defense. In the beginning, its forms are limited to close-ranged strikes and long-ranged projectiles, but as you defeat the Bosses, more abilities are added to the mantle.
Outside the game, there’s a feature reserved for its storyline — minimalism within the gameplay
, depth in the side material
. The main campaign itself is almost devoid of any sort of storytelling; you are given little reason to partake on these Boss Battles other than a short explanation which basically boils down into “kill them because they’re evil"
. For those seeking for a story, there’s a session in the Title Screen called Background Story
; this menu is a short digital novel narrating in great detail the events leading to the battles you find in the main campaign.
The game was released in October 2010 in Japan, February 2012 in Europe and Australia, and July 2012 in the United States, and is available to download from PlayStation
Store. Because of the game's critical success, an enhanced port
of the game was announced for the Play Station Vita
, called Malicious Rebirth
Malicious contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The game does have a serviceable backstory, which is presented as a short in-game novel available for the player, if you are up to read it; the game manual itself is also in-game.
- Archnemesis Dad: King Eldrake, Valeria and Erica's father, is the main villain of the backstory novel and basically the one responsible for much of the suffering seen in the story, causing the death of his own children and the following path of rage and insanity of their mother Queen Ashlelei.
- Arsenal Attire: The Mantle of Cinders, though a scarf in appearance, is the formidible weapon of the Spirit Vessals (Valeria and Erica), that turns into four varying weapons that which to slay the baddies of the land with.
- Back from the Dead: Valeria and Erica, Queen Ashlelei's children, were brought back to life as Spirit Vessels by the Prophets to fight against their own mother, who turned insane as the Mad Queen.
- A semi-rouge Prophet made one more Spirit Vessel in the shape of Queen Ashlelei to try to destroy what he saw as a corrupted Spirit Vessel.
- Badass Adorable: If you pick Erica, the trope is in full effect.
- Badass Cape: Obviously.
- Boss Rush: Since there is no real level progression, the whole game is essentially this.
- Clothing Damage: Not only do your clothes get damaged, so does your body.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Malice Mode in Rebirth. If you can get the time to charge it up, it's more powerful than the third Aura stage and won't sap your Aura constantly. However, taking damage in that state saps Aura, and if your Aura hits 0, it's instant death.
- Driven to Suicide: In the backstory, Erica stabbed herself in front of her tyrant father King Eldrake, hoping he would feel pain after destroying her family and kingdom; it was to no avail, as he didn't feel any remorse. Valeria, after being mortally wounded by one of Eldrake's soldiers, also took the dagger upon himself, but his reason was to willingly become the power source of Queen Ashlelei's sword.
- Evil Matriarch: Following King Eldrake's death in the backstory, Queen Ashlelei follows suit in becoming corrupted, turning into a villain herself as the Mad Queen.
- Face-Heel Turn: Queen Ashlelei prior to the main campaign, seen in the short in-game novel; Ashlelei went from a benevolent and strong Queen to an enraged war-hungry Mad Queen due a series of traumatic events.
- Gender-Blender Name: Valeria, the male protagonist.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: the Mad Queen, a fitting name for the present Queen Ashlelei. She wages wars constantly, expanding the Kingdom of Santville and the corruption within.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Long after reigning as the sole ruler of Santville and earning the Mad Queen monicker, Ashlelei became corrupted and absent from her sense of justice, fighting the Malicious was futile, all was in vain, and in turn she choose to wage wars constantly to have any purpose in life.
- The High Queen: In the good days, Queen Ashlelei was adored and respected by all, her own peers in Santville and neighboring countries alike; they all loved her and Ashlelei was deserving of this worship.
- Identity Amnesia: Valeria and Erica do not seem to know of their past lives; the Prophets brought them back as Spirit Vessels to fight against the Mad Queen. Unknown to both siblings, they are fighting against their own mother.
- Lady of War: Queen Ashlelei in the good old days and as the Mad Queen; she was always known for being a beast in the battlefield. Despite having the looks of a slender goddess, she could best entire armies by herself.
- Locked into Strangeness: Valeria and Erica did not have blue hair in their previous lives. An illustration of the siblings visiting their imprisoned mother on the in-game novel shows that Valeria was black-haired and Erica was blonde. The Royal Robe equipment shows what they looked like before their deaths.
- Mirror Match: The True Final Boss of Rebirth is initially set up as this.
- Offing the Offspring: When Valeria and Erica plotted the rebellion against his tyranny, Eldrake had no second thoughts against killing them, nevermind that they're his children. Valeria was mortally wounded by one of Eldrake's soldiers, and Erica was tempted into suicide.
- One-Woman Wail: Some tracks sport this, to amazing effect.
- Power Copying: As the Slayer bosses all have parts of the power the Prophets gave them, it's only natural that the Vessel takes them back upon their defeat.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Both in yhe backstory and the main campaign:
- The Mad Queen's Mask and Sword were made of the sacrifice of her own children. Following their deaths by the hands of their own father, the Prophets crafted weapons for the Queen to overthrow the King; Valeria is part of the sword, Ashlelei's strength to attack, Erica is part of the mask, Ashlelei's resilience to defend.
- The playable characters, Spirit Vessels Valeria and Erica, are also made after the original siblings who died in the conflict bewtween Queen Ashlelei and King Eldrake.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: The Spirit Vessels can do this, along with other moves, when they get the Enhanced Fists.
- Rebel Prince/Rebellious Princess: Valeria and Erica, but not for the petty reasons typically associated with these tropes; their father King Eldrake was indeed a tyrant who was leading their country to ruin, so they plotted a rebellion.
- Scenery Porn
- SNK Boss: The Mad Queen herself. Up until then, the bosses have been challenging, but never once felt unfair, and could be beaten in any order. The Mad Queen has ridiculous speed, and by being the only human-sized boss, she has incredible mobility on the battlefield to match. If she hits you, it's pretty much a guaranteed lost limb, and she soaks damage like a sponge. If you even want to stand a chance against her, you're gonna need the best offense and defense abilities, and mad skills.
- Soulless Shell: The protagonists Valeria and Erica, Spirit Vessels created by the Prophets after the image of the Mad Queen's long dead children. The Vessels do not know of their past lives, nor do they know of the Mad Queen's real identity.
- Took a Level in Badass: Valeria and Erica as Spirit Vessels, Erica even more so as in her previous life she had no combat skills whatsoever.
- This Is a Drill
- Was Once a Man: The towering monsters fought as bosses in the main campaign, the Guardians loyal to the Mad Queen. They were once humans who also received aid from the Prophets, but these powers corrupted their bodies as time went by; these boosts were only meant to be a temporary aid, as they slowly corrupts their users.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Both protagonists, Valeria and Erica.