Created By: superfroggy on August 29, 2009
Nuked

Black Black Heart

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
I was looking at the Elemental Powers page, and I noticed that, while An Ice Person, etc. get their own page, Darkness seemingly does not, even though it pops up frequently, and gets bonus points for completely disregarding physics (as I understand it).

Want to prove just how Darker and Edgier your villain is? Want to show just how diametrically opposed he is to the forces of good?

Simple! Give him control over the very opposite of the shiny, benevolent light, and the goodness and morality "inherently" associated with it, that the protagonists fight to protect!

This is a character that can control or otherwise manipulate the powers of Darkness.

This "Darkness" can come in 4 forms. In no particular order:
  1. Death, hate, anger, fear, disease, negativity, etc. and other general nastiness associated with these. Expect people who use these to be pretty unpleasant.
  2. Directly manipulating darkness itself. It should be noted that this completely bastardizes the laws of physics. Darkness is simply absence of light, and is no more capable of causing harm then a dark room. Additionally, the "creation" of darkness would involve the destruction of light, violating thermodynamics. One could say that those using these powers draw their power directly from the Rule of Cool, and heaven help them if they aren't enough of a Badass to do so. Fortunately, they often are. Can be explained as the darkness being a form of Applied Phlebotinum, possibly taking the form of a solid, in which case it has a strange tendancy to take the form of tentacles.
  3. Things or forces associated with the dark and/or night. Again, expect people using these to be evil, or at the very least, creepy. Or maybe even ninjas!
  4. Evil, or possibly even demonic in nature. Unless coming from a diminutive Deadpan Snarker, get out your Infinity+1 Sword or run like hell. Use of these powers often requires/precipitates a fall to the Dark Side. May taste like Hellfire.

People using the (often-forbidden) powers of darkness tend to be brooding, secretive, mildy-to-severely sociopathic, either a) emo or b) psychotic/homicidal, and, if not the enemy legion as a whole, then the Big Bad or at least The Dragon.

If the character is a protagonist, the forecast is for an Anti-Hero with a 50% chance of whiny self-loathing. May have or even be a Superpowered Evil Side, but even if not, never, EVER piss them off. Of course, both villains and (anti)heroes may disregard the preceding completely in favor of being a Badass. Villains who take this option have an odd tendancy to become a Cultured Badass.

Any females wielding the power of darkness maywill have clothes that are slightlybrain-bendingly Stripperific.

If Dark Is Not Evil, however, all bets are off.

May be combined with its opposite for a Yin-Yang Bomb. A subtrope of Elemental Powers. Not to be confused with Black Magic, though the two may overlap to some small extent. See also Living Shadow.

Examples:
  • Shadow from Tales of Symphonia.
    • A female example from this game is PornPronyma. And, predictably enough, she dresses like a demonic hooker.
    • Emil and Tenebrae in Dawn of the New World.
  • Magus in Chrono Trigger.
  • The Shaman and Druid classes in Fire Emblem.
    • Canas seems to subvert the typical personality attributes by being a genuinely good guy.
  • Ansem/Riku in Kingdom Hearts. Also, the Heartless.
  • Shademan, Darkman, and EraseKillerman in Mega Man Battle Network.
  • Gannondorf in The Legend of Zelda.
  • Good ol' Dracula and Death in Castlevania. Dracula uses #4, Death uses #1.
    • Not to mention various other monsters in the series, who between them make liberal use of all four varieties.
Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • August 28, 2009
    Bisected8
    In regards to number 2, you could argue that the light is being moved away (i.e. rather than controlling the light directly like someone with light based powers they're repelling it). Or they're simply hiding it through other means (forcing the air to absorb light, essentially making it opaque for example).
  • August 28, 2009
    superfroggy
    I almost wrote that, but the implications made my head spin. If they can move light, wouldn't a laser be a lot more useful? "Oh, Hai, Imma develop your photos for you ^_^". I'm being too harsh, I know. I liek darkness.
  • August 28, 2009
    Elle
    You've got something good here but need to be carefull that it doesn't overlap with Black Magic and should at least put in a disambiguation.
  • August 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In Marvel Comics, Darkforce users can do number two, although they aren't all evil.
  • August 28, 2009
    Bisected8
    Well, as I said, rather than moving the light and having direct control, they're moving what's around the light; they're changing the way the world interacts with it (the colour of a given object is basically just how photons interact with a given atom or molecule's outer shell). Think of it as heating a glass to boil water away rather than pouring it.

    Or maybe fictional (hey, they might be real...) umbrakinetics are just emo light magic types...
  • August 28, 2009
    highcastle
    A non-evil example would be Arithon from The Wars of Light and Shadow. He's called the Master of Shadow for a reason, having power of the darkness and anything related to it, while his half-brother is the Lord of Light.
  • August 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Shikamaru, who controls his shadow and can use it to control or strangle opponents, as well as amplify its reach with other shadows.
  • August 28, 2009
    Masami Phoenix
    It's probably worth noting that form 2 comes in two common forms. Energy-based attacks (generally in the form of a beam cannon, that functions much like lasers do in fiction, only it's dark instead of light) or physical manipulation, generally in the form of tentacles.

    Shadow Kahn from the Double Dragons cartoon used the Dark Fire. His attacks were a combination of #1 and #2 (darkness based attacks that are fueled by death, fear, hate, etc) and he could create/imbue minions which darkness as well. Although it rarely comes up, Bowser can cast Shadow Magic, most notably, taking the form of a shadow and zipping/teleporting around the room.
  • August 28, 2009
    Prfnoff
    Count Bleck in Super Paper Mario, who has the Chaos Heart.
  • August 28, 2009
    TB Tabby
    DC Comics villain The Shade falls under Type 2.
  • August 28, 2009
    Gammon
    Probably needs a better title, or at least try to avoid a ptitle.

    Something like Dark Is Edgier? Dark Is Death? Just plain Black Heart? Whatever works.
  • August 28, 2009
    random surfer
    Averted in the comic Darkness. He manipulates the dark, but broadly speaking he's a good guy.
  • August 28, 2009
    superfroggy
    Black Heart's a Marvel guy. And you should have seen my other ideas =/ "Black Hole In My Heart" anyone? =p Actually, going with the above post's suggestion and changing it a bit, I think Dark Is Edgy sums up the article nicely, and is (IMO) rather witty without looking too much like Darker and Edgier. I'll maybe work in Bisected's explanation earlier. And not whine quite so much about how it brokes meh phyzicks.
  • August 28, 2009
    LarryD
    Takane Goodman in Mahou Sensei Negima, #2 Darkness (Shadow) as a form of Green Lantern Ring. Prone to getting stripped, as the series has stripping disarm attacks; and when she tried to counter that by making her clothing out of Shadow, she ran up against Asuna and her magic cancel power.

    Takane usually uses her power to create golems for attack and defense, the other shadow user who has appeared used his power more like a Green Lantern, forming blades, etc.

    Takane is definitely a good guy, if a little over serious.
  • August 28, 2009
    superfroggy
    Okay, this isn't adding anything, but I lol'd at that last one. Stripperiffic Chew Toy, anyone? XD
  • August 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
  • August 28, 2009
    superfroggy
    Sweet, four more good examples and I'm launching this sucker =D
  • August 28, 2009
    Wraith_Magus
    Rumia of Touhou was made to play with this notion. Her power, the power of darkness, is meant to sound like the dark and powerful abilities of other characters on this page, but she is actually one of the weakest of all youkai in Gensokyo. Her darkness only blinds anyone within her field - which includes herself, and she is known for crashing headlong into trees. It is fortunate she is so weak, since she is a man-eater. The ribbon in her hair is supposed to be an amulet keeping her powers in check, however, so Wild Mass Guessing holds that she would be the unstoppable "EX-Rumia" if that amulet were removed.
  • August 28, 2009
    superfroggy
    Uh, does Touhou go under Video Games, Manga, or Fan Works? I'm not sure exactly what the hell Touhou is supposed to be, and after reading the article all I can say for sure is "Um, okay, it definitely started as a video game..."
  • August 28, 2009
    Gammon
    In Legend Of Dragoon Rose is the Dark-elemental dragoon, and the black monster.
  • August 28, 2009
    Warlock
    One of the future power sources planned for Dungeons And Dragons 4th Edition is Shadow, which is the dark half of arcane magic. (This is mirrored with the Forgotton Realms own Shadow Weave in lore.) Assassins, necromancers, and shadowcasters have been rumored for this power source.
  • August 29, 2009
    Nomic
    Mentioned in the backstory of Warhammer40000 universe, but sadly not playable on the tabletop, are the Umbra, a strange race of aliens that look like completely black spheres. They have the power to manipulate any shadows in the vicinity, turning them into huge toothy tentacles that tear people to pieces. And they can do this to any shadow. Even the ones in you'r pupils.
  • August 29, 2009
    superfroggy
    Excellent! 24 examples, and in a very short time! I'm gonna launch this soon, after I think of a good title. I'm thinking either this or Dark And Edgy/Dark Is Edgy. Any suggestions are welcome, though =)
  • August 29, 2009
    Idler 2.0
    See also Living Shadow.
  • August 29, 2009
    Desertopa
    Shadowmancy in Cat Legend seems to be a mixture of 2 and 3, with some additional, potentially creepy elements such as entering others' dreams. The most prominent user, Mercutious Nymndemise, is an unusual case, since despite initially being set up as an antagonist he's actually a pretty decent guy.
  • August 29, 2009
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • The Shadow Queen, a Type 2 villainess in the Champions adventure The Great Supervillain Contest. She had Darkness powers, including the ability to solidify, project and merge with shadows.
    • Dungeons And Dragons has a number of Type 2 monsters that create and/or use darkness and shadows as weapons, such as the shade, shadow dragon and shadow mastiff. The shadow demon was a type 3/4 monster: it was more effective in darkness/shadow but couldn't create or manipulate it.
  • August 29, 2009
    superfroggy
    Okay, here goes... Falcon LAWNCH!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=yt04tl9glmg5vahp5n0ml71n