Malice means "hatred", and in the original Shadow Hearts. It is specifically referred to the hatred of monsters that Yuri defeated, which would bring him closer to death. In later games it became a mystical force of its own, a bright red light that caused anger and granted weird powers to those infused with it. Johnny Garland gains the ability to channel malice through various knives he owns to create a glowing red sword of malice.
Within Shadow Hearts malice was just generally the anger of the monsters Yuri slayed. And that malice would accumlate into his Talisman can change from blue, to green, to yellow, and finally red which the Gates of Death would open in the graveyard and Fox Face would be free to haunt Yuri till he went to the Four Masks and faced a creature they choose to clear the malice from his talisman. But as the game goes on Alice then takes on the burden of The Four Mask Curse and as malice accumlates in the talisman and turns red the masks will come after Alice instead. The old woman in Zhaoyang Village mentions of using the malice of the towns people to create the fence for Yamaraja: Earth's shrine.
Shadow Hearts: CovenantEdit
Malice is first mentioned while Nicholai and Karin were within Apoina Tower searching for the Holy Mistletoe . Nicholai was stating that many countless soul died here, which were usually heretics and other political prisoners. And with so many deaths Malice began to increase to the point where you could actually feel the hatred and anger within. It is then also shown again with Yuri is sleeping and accidently releases the Malice within the Graveyard which creates Arachne, due to the curse of the Holy Mistletoe. And while our heroes return back to Apoina Tower to stop Nicholai, Nicholai reveals that Apoina Tower is not only used to store the Holy Mistletoe but stores all the Malice of the countless souls who have died there. He soon then releases that Malice to increase the violence and destruction of World War I. Shadow Hearts: Covenant Director's Cut there is a new location called the Sea of Woods that has been plagued with the Malice released at Apiona Tower.
Shadow Hearts: From The New WorldEdit
The light of malice in From New The New World seems to be more of a mystical quality than the vengeance of monsters being slayed. After Nicolai Conard broke the seal on malice 10 years before the game, it has been flowing in the world ever since, corrupting and driving people to madness. The red light's power is also used in ways of magic, channeling it into a weapon or opening windows to summon monsters, and healing and resurrecting the dead. But its power comes with a price. If one doesn't learn to control and maintain its power they will be driven to instinct and eventually mutate into creatures of malice. Only death will bring them to peace then. Also, three ancient ruins hold pure malice that are used to summon The Gate: a portal from the world of malice that will fill the earth with pure malice which will make the earth turn into exactly like the world of malice and making humans transform into hideous monsters. The power of malice is also revealed to be used in a ritual of the Emigre Manuscript to resurrect the body.