- "Malek’s missing shield. I hated to restore his dignity, but I would need to return this to his monument before I could progress."
Malek's Shield was an artifact used by Kain in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. It was the second quest-related item encountered by Kain and could be found in the Sarafan Stronghold in the chapter Pursue Moebius
- "Malek, the great Sarafan warrior. I had met him before. His sword and shield seemed to have gone astray."
When Kain returned to the Sarafan Stronghold in the early chapters of Legacy of Kain: Defiance he passed a statue of Malek in the cloister courtyard. Passing through again in the chapter Pursue Moebius Kain noted that the statue was missing a sword and a shield - further evidenced by a nearby mural depicting Malek with both, and two Sealed Doors bearing images of a sword and a shield respectively.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
As Kain moved through the stronghold he used the Falcon Insignia to open the way to the upper levels of the chapter house and Sanctuary area, finding his way to the relic room on the second level balcony. In this chamber he found another empty- handed statue of Malek, but by moving a nearby block and triggering a floor-pad mechanism, the statue revolved revealing an identical statue holding Malek's Shield.[DEF][DEF-C3]
The shield itself was a relatively plain arifact, consisting of a simple brown kite shield which was peaked at the top and bore a golden trim along its outer edges and subtle symmetrical white markings across the centre of the shield. It was likely intended for decorative rather than functional purposes.[DEF][DEF-C3]
Returning the shield to Malek's statue in the cloister dispelled the barriers protecting the 'Shield Mural' door, allowing Kain to ascend to the upper levels of the 'cloister' courtyard and the 'main battlements' area, where he found another statue of Malek holding Malek's Sword.[DEF][DEF-C3]
- Malek's Shield is explicitly named as such in the inventory and its name is reiterated objectives and in the official guide.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3] It is also referred to in objectives and dialogue as "Malek's missing shield" and simply "the shield" or "his shield" in reference to Malek.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3] Game files list the item as "shold_artifact_three".[DEF]
- Like all the quest items seen in Defiance, Malek's Shield is never seen being carried. The item disappears once taken from its original position and can only be seen in the inventory screen. It reappears on screen when placed in it's final position.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- Like the Falcon Insignia and Malek's Sword, the appearance of Malek's Shield is foreshadowed in Chapter 1:Infiltrate the Stronghold of Defiance, when Kain passes Malek's Statue (and it's accompanying murals) in the 'cloister' courtyard. Unlike the Falcon Insignia, Kain does not comment on the statue or the related quest items until Chapter 3:Pursue Moebius.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- In addition to the hints from dialogue a mural of Malek is positioned behind the statue and between the two Sealed Doors which hints at the solution to unlock the doors - showing him armed with both sword and shield. The doors themselves themselves also feature designs reminiscent of a sword and shield.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- The Sealed Doors that open when Kain places Malek's sword and shield at his statue initially appear to be protected by a yellow variant of the earlier Blessed Barriers - these cannot be dispelled by the Balance Reaver enhancement and only when Kain returns Malek's sword and shield to his statue are the barriers dispelled.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- Bonus materials and the Prima official guide depict early concept art of Malek's statue showing it in various states of being armed with the shield and sword. The artwork perhaps suggests that the statue was originally to be positioned on a circular plinth against a wall - as it appears in the relic room. The order of the items added to the statue also suggests that early designs may have had the sword gained first whereas in the final game the shield is the first to be gained - this is supported by game files which list the shield as "shold_artifact_three" and the sword as "shold_artifact_two". The artwork itself seems to have been adapted to create the 'solution' mural between the doors - notably however there are differences, with the actual statue holding the shield at a different angle and the sword being held upward rather than downward as depicted in the mural, although the initial sword statue also holds the sword downward.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- Several fans have noted that the appearance of Malek's statue is slightly inconsistent with other depictions of him in the series, as to date Malek has only been depicted using a pike as a weapon - Although it is likely that Malek's role as Conflict Guardian may have provided him with a certain level of weapon expertise.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C4][BO1-C6][BO1-C7][SR2][SR2-C9] It is similarly unclear whether the nomenclature implies that Malek had ownership of the item at any time.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]
- Malek's Shield is one of several items encountered in the series that are related to Sarafan leader Malek. As well as Malek's Shield, the quest item Malek's Sword could be gained in Defiance and returned to the same statue.[DEF][DEF-C3] Initially upon his first appearance in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Malek's soul was bound to his armor, effectively making him a wraith[BO1][BO1-C1] - this armor would continue to represent Malek until his death[BO1][BO1-C7] and would continue to be seen in Malek's (living) appearance in Soul Reaver 2[SR2][SR2-C9] - replicas of it were also seen in Defiance.[DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3] Malek's Helmet was seen in Blood Omen where it acted as Malek's Pillar token and was taken by Kain upon his defeat[BO1][BO1-C7] - it was also seen in Soul Reaver 2 with Malek's reappearance there and replicas were seen in Defiance[SR2][SR2-C9][DEF][DEF-C1][DEF-C3]. Finally Malek's trademark Pike could be seen in Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 2, and even stolen using tricks in the latter.[BO1][BO1-C1][BO1-C4][BO1-C6][BO1-C7][SR2][SR2-C9]