Maleficent is a major antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series. She is an evil fairy who made her first appearance in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. She seeks to gain control over all the worlds and spread darkness throughout them. She is introduced in Kingdom Hearts as the leader of a band of villains from multiple worlds who seek to conquer Kingdom Hearts and thus rule all worlds. To this end, they assist the Heartless in capturing the seven Princesses of Heart and devouring the hearts of the worlds. However, Sora and his allies manage to thwart her plans by defeating her cohorts and eventually the witch herself. Other games in the Kingdom Hearts series depict her initial rise to power and her later attempts to regain it, and while other Disney Villains rarely have any significance outside of their original worlds, Maleficent's influence almost always extends throughout the worlds.
 Before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Maleficent was already known and feared throughout Enchanted Dominion as a sorceress that was not to be angered. Despite not being invited to the celebration of princess Aurora's birth, she attended anyway and gave the infant princess a special "gift": on her sixteenth birthday, Aurora would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. However, Merryweather altered this curse so that, instead of dying, Aurora would simply fall into a deep sleep until kissed by her true love. Together, the three good fairies raised the princess in the woods, out of the reach of Maleficent and her lackeys.
Sixteen years later, Maleficent discovered Aurora living under the assumed name Briar Rose and arranged for her curse to take effect. She also imprisoned Prince Phillip in her dungeon to prevent him from breaking the curse.
At some point, Maleficent met Master Xehanort, who revealed to her the existence of other worlds and the seven Princesses of Heart, whose hearts could be used to conquer all worlds. He also told her of certain wielders of the Keyblade that she would encounter. After this meeting, Maleficent's ambitions would grow to domination over all worlds.
 Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Terra arrives in the Enchanted Dominion, searching for Master Xehanort, and he encounters Maleficent at the bridge leading to the castle gate. She claims not to know of Xehanort, but she tells Terra of a man she saw leaving the castle, speaking of "imprisoning the light". Terra enters the castle and finds Aurora asleep in her room, where Maleficent appears to him again and tells him of the seven hearts of pure light that grant the power to rule all worlds. She offers to tell Terra about Xehanort if he steals Aurora's heart for her, and when he refuses, she uses the darkness inside him to put him into a trance. She then uses the Keyblade wielder to take the princess's heart anyways. When Terra comes to his senses, Maleficent states that the Keyblade is necessary to retrieve the remaining hearts and asks Terra to join her. He turns her down, and she tells him that he cannot suppress his darkness by force before leaving him to deal with a mysterious Unversed.
Ventus later arrives at Maleficent's fortress with the three good fairies to retrieve Aurora's heart. After successfully freeing her heart, they find Maleficent in her throne room, furious. She tells Ventus that Terra was the one who stole Aurora's heart, and despite having been warned by Xehanort not to harm Ventus, she battles against him. Ventus defeats Maleficent with the help of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, but she restates that Terra willingly took Aurora's heart. Aqua arrives in time to hear this, and she reassures Ventus before he takes off in search of Terra. Maleficent drops Aqua into the dungeon when she refuses to join her, but Aqua escapes the fortress along with Prince Phillip and the fairies. Maleficent confronts them when they reach the bridge to the castle, surrounding the castle with thorns before claiming that Terra willingly embraced the darkness and assuming her dragon form. After a fierce battle, Prince Phillip throws his enchanted sword at Maleficent; the blade pierces the evil fairy's heart, and she falls in defeat. Returning to her normal form, Maleficent is confronted by Aqua, who tells her that it was the power of true love that led to her downfall. The sorceress departs, but not before telling the Keyblade Master that she will not be defeated by something as insignificant as love and as long as there is light, there will be darkness.
 Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts
Over the next several years, the Heartless appear in the Realm of Light, and Maleficent decides to use her dark powers to command the creatures. She captures Aurora and causes her own world to fall into darkess, making the abandoned Hollow Bastion her new base. She manages to gather most of the pages of Ansem's Report, which she and her allies would use to better understand the nature of the Heartless.
With Pete's assistance, Maleficent recruits Hades, Jafar, Ursula, Oogie Boogie, and Captain Hook to her cause, and they use the Heartless to further their own ambitions while searching for their worlds' Keyholes and the Princesses of Heart. In the meantime, Maleficent dispatches Pete to assemble an army of powerful Heartless for her.
 Kingdom Hearts
Later, Maleficent and her allies witness Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeating the Guard Armor via the witch's magic, and they discuss the young Keyblade wielder. They continue to monitor the protagonists' progress even as they continue to pursue their own ambitions. As her allies implement their own schemes in their respective worlds, Maleficent occassionally comes to advise or observe them, as well as make sure they continue to search for the Keyholes and the Princesses. When the villains observe Sora sealing the Deep Jungle Keyhole, Maleficent assures them that it will take the boy ages to find the rest and notes that he is unaware of their plan regarding the Princesses of Heart.
Maleficent begins coaxing Riku to assist her, and she grants him the ability to travel between worlds. When Riku encounters Sora in Traverse Town and sees him with Donald and Goofy, Maleficent convinces him that Sora has forgotten about him and Kairi. In exchange for assisting him as he searches for Kairi, Riku agrees to help the evil fairy gather the Princesses of Heart.
In Agrabah, Maleficent checks on Jafar's progress towards finding the Keyhole and capturing Jasmine. She reminds him of the importance of the Princesses and warns him against being careless with the darkness. Maleficent appears again in the Lamp Chamber after Jafar uses Genie's powers to reveal the Keyhole, and she learns that Sora has continued to interfere. Sora and company arrive on the scene, and Sora realizes who she is before she disappears. She returns to Hollow Bastion and has Riku capture Jasmine and take her there as well. She tells Hades that Jafar was overcome by his hatred and warns again against letting the darkness overpower oneself. To honor her deal with Riku, she sends him to sail with Captain Hook to find Kairi.
While Riku is trying to torment Sora inside Monstro, Maleficent comes to check on him. She warns Riku to beware the darkness in his heart, as the Heartless prey upon it, but he tells her to mind her own business as she steps into a corridor of darkness. Maleficent meets Riku later on Captain Hook's ship, where Kairi's comatose body is resting, and she tells the boy that the power and wisdom of Kingdom Hearts will let him recover Kairi's heart once they gather the seven Princesses. She then gives him the power to control the Heartless.
After Riku takes Kairi to Hollow Bastion via a corridor of darkness, straining himself in the process, Maleficent tells him that relying too much on darkness puts his heart at risk. She also tells him about the Beast, who had been able to reach the deserted castle from his home world by sheer force of will. She amplifies Riku's dark powers, allowing him to enter Dark Mode.
As Sora and the Beast enter Hollow Bastion, Maleficent uses the power of the gathered Princesses of Heart to reveal the Final Keyhole in the Grand Hall. She is joined soon after by Riku, who is now possessed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and armed with the Keyblade of heart. Maleficent realizes with shock that the Keyhole and Keyblade are both incomplete, due to the absence of Kairi's heart. She leaves to take care of Sora's group herself, but she is defeated, and she retreats to the Chapel's tower with the protagonists in pursuit. The possessed Riku arrives, and he impales her with his Keyblade, unlocking the darkness in her heart. Overwhelmed by the dark power, Maleficent transforms into a dragon and attacks Sora again, only to be destroyed.
 Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
A memory-based illusion of Maleficent appears to Riku in the twelfth basement of Castle Oblivion, in a projection of Hollow Bastion. Although she is aware that she is only a figment of Riku's memory, she taunts him, reminding him of how he used to embrace darkness and telling him that the only people he will find from his memory are the ones with the same darkness. When Riku declares that he will take out each person of darkness he encounters, she fights him in her dragon form, only to lose. Zexion is able to smell this Maleficent's presence, and he informs Vexen and Lexaeus. Vexen remarks that the real Maleficent cannot return from the Realm of Darkness on her own.
When Sora enters the memory-based Hollow Bastion, he finds that Maleficent has kidnapped Belle and is trying to trap the Beast in an effort to steal Belle's heart. Belle sacrifices herself to save the Beast, and Maleficent disappears with her heart. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and the Beast pursue her. When they catch up with the evil fairy, she tells them that her magic requires hearts of utmost beauty, and that the love in Belle and the Beast's hearts makes them ideal. However, the group defeats her in her dragon form, freeing Belle's heart.
 Kingdom Hearts II
Maleficent regroups with Pete at Villain's Vale, where she learns that her former allies are off dealing with their own matters. Maleficent has Pete bring her up to speed on what has transpired since her defeat, including the actions of Organization XIII and Sora. She is disgusted by Pete's chain of failures, however, and she breaks ties with him. When Pete somehow summons a door to the past, however, she decides to give him another chance and has him interfere with the Cornerstone of Light so that she can take over Disney Castle. With the power of the Cornerstone weakened, Maleficent begins sending her dark influence into the castle, allowing the Heartless to invade and filling the Hall of the Cornerstone with thorns. When Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive with Queen Minnie, Maleficent projects her image before them and taunts them. Even though Sora and company successfully stop Pete and save the Cornerstone, Maleficent has Pete return to searching for new allies and powerful Heartless to place under their control.
Maleficent later appears in Halloween Town, where she recruits Lock, Shock, and Barrel for her plan to destroy Christmas Town. After spying on Sora, Jack, and the others at Santa Claus's house, she decides to resurrect Oogie Boogie in order to exact her revenge upon Sora, and she grants the three pranksters use of the Prison Keeper while Oogie recovers. Although Maleficent has the villainous bag of bugs kidnap Santa so that he can destroy Christmas Town while she turns Santa into a Heartless, Oogie's faulty memory and uncooperative attitude drive Maleficent to leave him to his own devices.
At some point, Maleficent hires the Gullwings as spies to keep tabs on the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee's activities. They continue working for her until they discover she retreated from a battle.
During the the Heartless invasion of Hollow Bastion, Maleficent tries to fight the Nobody forces with her own Heartless, but they are easily outmatched, and she sets them on Sora, Donald, and Goofy instead. Later, when Saïx reveals the Organization's goal to be obtaining Kingdom Hearts, she appears and stakes her own claim on Kingdom Hearts. She has her Heartless attack Saïx, only for them to be readily defeated by Dusks. Maleficent attempts to hold off the Nobodies herself to let Sora and the others escape, demanding that they find a way to defeat the Organization for good. She is forced to retreat, but she opens a corridor of darkness underneath the protagonists, dropping them into the Realm of Darkness.
Maleficent and Pete inflitrate the Castle That Never Was while the Organization is dealing with Sora and the others, and Maleficent decides to take the castle for herself, despite Pete's misgivings. Later, as Sora and company are heading towards the final fight with Xemnas, Maleficent and Pete hold off an immense wave of Heartless to buy them time, although Maleficent points out that she will take the castle for her own afterwards.
 Kingdom Hearts coded
Maleficent and Pete survive the destruction of the Castle that Never Was, and Maleficent returns to plotting her conquest of the worlds. She sends Pete to Disney Castle to spy on King Mickey, and when Data-Riku transports Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket into the datascape, Pete gets pulled in as well, appearing in a hub between the data worlds. He calls Maleficent, who uses her magic to enter as well. Despite her unfamiliarity with the concept of computers and computer data, she and Pete decide to conquer the data worlds, immersing them in darkness, and then use the link to the castle to overrun it with Heartless. She tasks Pete with interfering with the data worlds, and he cuts the link to the real world, trapping Mickey and the others.
After Data-Sora corners Pete in the digital version of Agrabah, Maleficent appears before him. Although she cannot differentiate between him and his real-world counterpart, she destroys his digital Keyblade, recognizing it as a fake. When Data-Riku tries to attack her, the evil fairy subdues him and takes him along, saying he will be "useful". She and Pete corrupt Riku with Bug Blox, forcing him to fight Sora in the data Hollow Bastion. After Sora debugs Riku's data from within, Maleficent attempts to trap him by closing the connection to the outside. Sora escapes, however, and he defeats Maleficent in her dragon form. She disappears, vowing to conquer all worlds.
When the datascape begins to collapse, Jiminy remembers that Maleficent and Pete are still inside and are in danger of being deleted. Data-Sora goes after them, and he finds them in battle against the source of the bugs, Sora's Heartless. The Heartless's attack casts them into a rift in the data, but they are rescued by Data-Riku, who escorts them from the datascape.
When Data-Sora uses the Hollow Bastion World Card in the data version of Castle Oblivion, he encounters an illusion of Pete who summons a likewise-illusory Maleficent once he is defeated. She transports them to a room where Data-Sora must traverse a gauntlet of Bug Blox across bottomless gaps. They taunt Sora and disappear after he reaches them on the far side of the room.
 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
While Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are overseeing Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery exam with Yen Sid, Maleficent and Pete invade Disney Castle and take Minnie hostage. Maleficent has her raven deliver a letter and Minnie's crown to Mickey at the Mysterious Tower, and he returns to the castle with Donald and Goofy to stop her. Yen Sid surmises that Maleficent's actions are prompted by the growing darkness throughout the worlds and considers it a sign of Master Xehanort's impending return.
At Disney Castle, Maleficent reveals to Mickey how Xehanort once told her of other worlds and the seven hearts of pure light that would enable her to rule them. However, due to the complexity of the worlds, Maleficent decides to take a different approach, using the worlds' data. When Mickey refuses to yield, she attempts to attack him with her magic. However, the magical flames are blocked by one of Lea's Chakrams, while the other surprises Pete and allows Minnie to escape. Maleficent and Pete retreat through a corridor of darkness, with the former vowing to return for the data.
After Master Xehanort's revival in The World That Never Was, the elderly Keyblade Master reveals that he had manipulated Maleficent to gather the seven hearts of pure light as part of his plan to recreate the χ-blade.
 Other appearances
Maleficent appears in the non-canonical Kingdom Hearts V CAST. She is yet again a villain and serves as the main antagonist, her lair being the game's final level and featuring the toughest Heartless in the game.
Fair and green-skinned, Maleficent's shining, yellow eyes are heavily shadowed with violet make-up, and her lips are painted red. Her head is topped with a black-horned headdress. Maleficent wears a long, tattered black robe with a purple trim and maroon edges which flare out. She carries a staff with a glowing green orb at the tip, through which she casts her spells. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Maleficent wears a golden ring with a circular black stone in it. This was in her original design in Sleeping Beauty, but was absent in Kingdom Hearts. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, it appears once again.
Maleficent is a scheming, manipulative, and cunning sorceress who seems utterly determined to take over the dominion of Kingdom Hearts. She is mostly seen in a cool, calculated manner, easily manipulating Riku into helping her aims, whilst she pretends to care about helping him find Kairi. In Kingdom Hearts II, she is determined to avenge her previous defeat at Sora's hand. She doesn't tolerate failure, as shown when she berates Pete for his attempt to take over Kingdom Hearts without her, saying to him "Mark my words, there'll be no place for you when our time comes. Useless imbecile!"
Despite this, she seems to tolerate the incompetent Pete as her helper. She is not without scruples, however, and has aided Sora on some occasions, yet, for her own evil reasons, saying to him at one point "Do not misunderstand me, I shall have revenge on you yet": indeed, by the time of Kingdom Hearts coded, she appears to have reverted to her evil nature and is once again attempting to destroy Sora, albeit a digital version of him. However, after she is rescued by Data-Riku, she stops her attempts to eliminate him (at least for the time being), telling Sora that they are "now even". In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, even though she does not encounter Sora, Maleficent again appears with malicious intentions and tries to take over the datascape. However, she is foiled by Mickey and Lea.
Another important aspect of Maleficent's character is her superiority complex, which, while shared by many Disney Villains, she takes to the extreme. This is readily apparent in nearly every instance in Kingdom Hearts II whenever the subject of Nobodies and Organization XIII is brought up and when facing them personally. Maleficent's narcissism extends to any Heartless she commands, despite the all-too-obvious difference in power and capabilities of Nobodies in general over the Heartless.
However, her superiority complex is not entirely unfounded as she is easily one of the most powerful characters in the series, her magic rivaled only by Master Xehanort's. Thus, her views of the Organization as insignificant could be, to her, quite true. Ironically, the Organization seems to view her the same way that she views them: as a relatively insignificant threat, shown when Saïx calmly summons some Nobodies to destroy Maleficent's Heartless and smugly calls her a fool. In contrast to Pete, she possesses extreme and completely legitimate confidence, while her minion is a coward and doubts their chances of success.
Maleficent made her film debut in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Appearing unexpectedly at Princess Aurora's birth ceremony, she was greatly angered upon not receiving an invitation to the occasion. Hiding this behind a calm demeanor, she then proceeds to give the infant a "gift" in the form of a curse, saying that she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday and die. King Stefan attempting to seize her at that moment, she escapes through her mastery over dark magic. Fearful for his daughter's life despite the fact that Merryweather's gift for the child will cause Aurora not to die but sleep should she prick her finger, King Stefan then issues a decree that all spinning wheels in the kingdom are to be burned. In a last attempt to delay Maleficent's curse and prevent Aurora from pricking her finger, the Three Good Fairies decide to take her into the woods to live and be raised as a peasant in an abandoned cottage once belonging to a woodcutter until after the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. The fairies succeed in keeping the girl's location and identity a secret, and an enraged Maleficent sends her loyal raven Diablo to search for the girl, after her Goon minions fail her.
Diablo discovers Aurora's whereabouts, and Maleficent then lures the girl to a spinning wheel upon her return to King Stefan's castle. Aurora pricks her finger, and then Maleficent departs for the old woodcutter's cottage, aiming to capture the princess's betrothed, Prince Phillip, who intends to meet the peasant girl that was Aurora there. Capturing the prince, Maleficent then places him in her dungeon, intending to keep him there for 100 years. However, Prince Phillip escapes Maleficent's clutches with the help of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, while the witch attempts to stop him from reaching Aurora's sleeping form and King Stefan's castle with a forest of thorns. As Phillip cuts through them, a desperate Maleficent appears before him. Transforming into a mighty dragon, she then engages the prince in a climatic battle. In the end, Maleficent is stabbed in the heart by the Sword of Truth, with Prince Phillip going on to awaken and marry Aurora.
Although she is the most powerful of the Disney Villains, Maleficent prefers using sorcery or employing minions to fighting directly. However, her great rage and lust for power allows her to take on the form of a monstrous dragon when necessary. However, if she is dealt enough damage, Maleficent will revert to her original form.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Maleficent becomes a Dimension Link for Terra. While using her abilities, Terra can use powerful dark magic attacks. Maleficent's finishing attacks allow Terra to summon powerful lightning and fire magic to devastate his enemies.