Li'l Malbuddy is a cartoon character popular in Insomnia who stars in a television show. His main appearance is in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, where Nyx Ulric watches the cartoon, but Li'l Malbuddy also appeared in the Justice Monsters Five mobile game, in a restaurant dish in Final Fantasy XV: Assassin's Festival (Semur Skewers), and on tins of canned food in the Kingsglaive Base Camp in Insomnia in the Windows and Royal Editions of the game. Crowe Altius, a member of the Kingsglaive, has a smartphone charm in his likeness, and Yamachang, a restaurateur who cooks Galahdian cuisine, wears a shirt with a Li'l Malbuddy print.
Li'l Malbuddy is associated with Galahd, as Galahd natives in Kingsglaive sport its merchandise, and its logo appeared in a Galahdian dish in Assassin's Festival. It is unknown if malboros are native to Galahd, but the bestiary in Final Fantasy XV posits malboros are native to Niflheim and have migrated to northern Lucis.
Though Li'l Malbuddy appears to be popular in Insomnia and Galahd, it doesn't feature in Final Fantasy XV beyond the cameos mentioned above; the mascot for Crow's Nest, Kenny Crow, seems to be the more popular cartoon character/mascot in the Lucian outlands.
Known as "Malboro-kun" in Japanese, the anglicized name is known through the Justice Monsters Five game and The Art & Design of Final Fantasy XV book. Li'l Malbuddy is tiny, fitting on the palm of an adult's hand. He has a big head collared by green leaves. His head sprouts vines or "tentacles", upon which the Malbuddy runs on the ground. A large pink-lipped mouth with fangs takes up most of the Malbuddy's face, but humorously, his cartoon eyes peek from inside.
Malboros are recurring Final Fantasy monsters and commonly appear as large, green, tentacled plants with an anemone-like head and large mouths. In most games, malboros are larger than humans, but Li'l Malbuddy is a miniature, and is thus perhaps a child of the species. Malboros are known among the more difficult enemies in the series, but the Malbuddy is cute, friendly, and easily frightened, frequently depicted running away from danger.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV "Fan Appreciation Special Movie"
At the end of 2016, Square Enix released the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV "Fan Appreciation Movie" that features Li'l Malbuddy fleeing from Ultros, when Yamachang appears and makes short work of the octopus. Yamachang is known for his dish "Malbo Smul," and this short film appears to show how he procures his meat.
Behind the scenes
Taito has produced Final Fantasy XV plushies as official merchandise, Li'l Malbuddy included.
-kun (くん) is a Japanese honorific suffix used mainly for younger boys, including babies and toddlers. The suffix is used to refer to someone younger than the speaker. In work or school setting it is also be applied to women.