When a seraph or a malak is exposed to malevolence due to lacking a pure vessel, they turn into a drake (ドラゴンパピー doragonpapii?, "dragon puppy"), which, if exposed constantly to malevolence, may evolve into a fully-fledged dragon. Drakes are invisible to humans lacking enough resonance, manifesting for them as a raging tornado for example, but a dragon is visible to anyone regardless of their spiritual aptitude. Drakes and dragons alike appear as four-legged, winged lizards able to use magic artes. A dragon's sighting is considered to be an ill omen. The Silver Flame is unable to purify dragons, requiring them to be killed to stop their rampage. In Tales of Zestiria the X, where malevolence is instead absorbed by the Shepherd for purification, no Shepherd is able to purify a dragon. This rule holds true until Sorey, who proves that there simply was no Shepherd capable of purifying a dragon, and he proceeds to do so with the help of his Squires, Rose and Alisha Diphda, though the effort almost kills them.
According to the malak Zui Fuu, who resides in The Heavenly Steppes, the existence of dragons is the result of a curse that was imposed upon humans and malakhim, seraphim who left the heavenly realm to live side by side with humans, by the seraphim who remained in the heavenly realm to ensure that coexistence would never happen.
Tales of Zestiria
In Tales of Zestiria, legend has it that a dragon lives on Rayfalke Spiritcrest. In reality, Eizen, Edna's elder brother, lives there as a dragon who kills anyone who comes to the mountain. During the second battle at Glaivend Basin, the surge of malevolence causes the local seraph to turn into a mighty dragon, Tiamat. Sorey, Rose, and the accompanying seraphim fight him, and during the fight, the countries of Hyland and Rolance join forces with the Woodsmen, a militia of men, and aid the Shepherd and his group in the battle with the dragon. During the final battle of the game, Heldalf armatizes with Maotelus, assuming a form of a lion-dragon hybrid that is ultimately severed with the help of Siegfried (ジークフリート Jiikufuriito?) and Sorey's four seraph companions.
Tales of Berseria
In Tales of Berseria, Innominat is depicted in a children's book as an eight-headed serpent, a creature similar to a dragon. The shrine in which he lies dormant also appears to host it, both facts hinting that Innominat's true form is an eight-headed serpent. During her escape from Titania, Velvet Crowe fights with a drake that Oscar Dragonia created with the help of one of his malakhim and devours the creature, using its power to blind Oscar in his left eye.
Zaveid's lover, Theodora, turned into a dragon after they took orphans under their care and were affected by the malevolence they generated due to their horrible experiences. Silva is turned into the Hellkite dragon under Innominant's malevolence, and when defeated, his bones proceed to infect Hexen Isle and twist the earthpulse in the area. Hexen Isle is also the location of the Abbey's ultimate plans, where dragons are caged there to endlessly generate malevolence, thus providing Innominant with the food to remain active and continuously suppress humanity's free will.
When Velvet seals Innominat, Laphicet assumes the form of a great white dragon, known as "Dragon of Light", and assumes the name "Maotelus", which was given to him by Eleanor Hume when she first made a pact with him. Eight-hundred years later, Eizen fights with that time's Lord of Calamity and saves the world from destruction by devouring him and turning into a dragon. He later comes to Rayfalke Spiritcrest, where he lives from that moment onward.