Zelda Tears of the Kingdom: How to beat the Malice Hand Monster - and what follows

There’s quite a strong variety of new enemy types in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, but one of the most outright threatening and challenging are the Malice Hands - terrifying Demon Hand appendages that appear from the ground and sap your health with ease.

Though they’re most at home in the depths, the Malice Hand Monsters are found right across Hyrule - spawning in caves, ruins, and even within the walls of Hyrule Castle, guarding the coveted treasure that is the Hylian Shield. You’ll also have to defeat some of these to cleanse Korok Forest and the Lost Woods

If you’re unprepared for them, they can be brutal - but we’re here with some tips on how to survive throwing hands with these monstrous hands.

How to defeat the Malice Hand Monsters in TOTK

Known by a few names - Gloom Spawn, Malice Hands, Red Hands, Gloom Hands, Hand Monsters - you’ll all know what we’re talking about anyway. They come in a gang of five - and once they spot Link, they’ll make a bee-line for him.

The Malice Hands are one of the nastiest enemies in Tears of the Kingdom - but here's some tips on beating them.

The Gloom Spawn hand monsters are deadly in large part because of the Malice that surrounds them at all times - meaning standing near them to fight them will gradually sap away your health. They can grab you and wreck you fast, too.

However, there are steps you can take to beat them in an efficient manner. Here’s some of our top tips for beating the Malice Hands:

If you want to get down and attack head-on, you'll need resistance to Gloom, a deadly new element in TOTK.

Resist the Darkness

If you want to take the Malice Hands head-on, you’ll need some help in the form of resistance to the Gloom that sits at their feet. You can resist Gloom with the Tunic of the Depths armor set, which lowers how quickly you’ll have your health sapped by standing in the Malice to hit the hands.

Additionally, don’t forget to have food and prepared meals that’ll help you to deal with the Gloom build-up. Cook meals with Sundelions in order to create dishes that can restore cracked hearts back to normal, and if you’ve defeated any hands before, you can use the Dark Clump items they drop to cook meals that give you a temporary Gloom Resistance buff.

Take the High Ground

The Malice Hands can’t clamber up surfaces - so if you can get to a raised ledge or similar, you’ll be able to engage the hands in ranged combat. 

Many of the arenas where Gloom Spawn appear have high ground built-in, likely a deliberate design choice by Nintendo. Even if not, however, there are steps you can take. If there’s nearby floating platforms, you can use a Zonai device to push it out of the hands’ range - and then attack.

When shooting from a distance, you’ll want to aim directly for the eyes on the palms of the hands. Each hand has a fairly significant amount of health for an enemy you have to fight five-deep, so you’ll want to use powerful bows and fuse materials to your arrows to deal with them.

Your best option for the gloom hand monsters is to rain fire on them from above.

Scorch the Earth with AOE Attacks

Another option regardless of if you’re up close or from a distance is to go wild with Area-of-Effect attacks - though these will require you to have some distance between you and the Malace Hand enemies. 

Bomb Flowers are a cheap, cost-effective way to take Malice Hands down - from a good bow, you should be able to mop up the hands within five or six bombs. Chu Chu Jelly is a great way to hit all five hands at once, too - shot from an arrow, they’ll deal wide damage and also have an elemental impact, too.

Shake it Off - and act fast

If you get grabbed, it’s important to note that you should rock your analog sticks wildly in order to escape the grip of the Malice Hands. If you just sit there, they’ll sap all your health and kill you - which isn’t the aim, naturally.

You’ll also want to make sure you move fast - as each of the Gloom Spawn hand monsters can respawn if you don’t take all five out quickly enough. You should move quickly, but also spread your attacks around between them so they all reach low health together, so you can quickly take all of them out.

Once the Demon Hand enemies are dispelled, Phantom Ganon appears.

Life after the Gloom Hand Monster

Once the hand monster is defeated… Well, the battle isn’t over. Once all five hands are defeated, a Phantom Ganon will spawn.

While seeing that boss-style health bar is a bit frightening, we’d say that Phantom Ganon is actually a little easier to deal with than the Gloom Hands, since you can block his close-up attacks with a shield and if you keep up the pressure, you can avoid the Gloom effect. Phantom Ganon also has malice at his feet - but when you hit him, it recedes. So if you pile on the pressure, you can stop it from getting to you.

The exact parameters of each Phantom Ganon fight will vary depending on which variant spawns. There are different versions with different weapons and move sets. The battle is largely the same, however - and don’t forget, if you have the Master Sword, it deals additional damage against Ganondorf’s servants like this.

Once Phantom Ganon is defeated, you’ve killed the Gloom Hands and their master. Your reward will be some rare weapons and materials.