A flash game from [[http://www.nobstudio.com/ Nob Studio]], ''Book of Mages: The Dark Times'' is the sequel to [[BookOfMagesTheChaoticPeriod Book of Mages: The Chaotic Period]]. Like its predecessor, The Dark Times casts the player in the role of a gifted young mage from one of six clans, each specializing in a different form of [[PlayingWithFire Fire]] or [[MakingASplash Water]] magic. The mage clans are bound together in a loosely-organized and rather turbulent society under the rule of the Great Mage, who won his position by being [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority the strongest mage of all]]. However, the current Great Mage is an evil man, and he has created an organization known as the [[StateSec Black Robes]] who go around murdering any mage who speaks against him. In response to this tyranny, several leading mages from the Great Sea and Burning Hill clans formed [[LaResistance the White Robes]] to resist the Great Mage and protect mages from the Black Robes' tyranny.

A major subplot in the game revolves around the Book of Mages: a book that serves as a pecking order and ranks the strongest hundred mages in the world. As might be expected, this is [[SeriousBusiness seen as a big deal by most mages]], and many spend their lives challenging each other to duels so that they can move up in the ranks.

!!Book of Mages: The Dark Times provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Witchthorn is a thief, a murderer and a CardCarryingVillain, but he doesn't hold grudges; he respects you if you defeat him and spare his life, and he [[ArsonMurderAndAdmiration is particularly impressed]] if you decide to [[spoiler: kill both Windsailor and Witchthorn to steal the Great Sea Orb from their bodies]].
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Averted. While certain clans are iconically associated with the White or Black Robes, there are heroes and villains in all clans, and the main difference is in magic style, not morality. That said, you won't find any major good guys in Poison Water unless your PC is one.
* AnIcePerson: Ice Land magic, obviously.
* TheArchmage: The Great Mage, or anyone who reaches the top of the Book of Mages. At the start of the game, these are the same person, but you can usurp either or both spots. [[spoiler: The Great Mage is actually not the most powerful mage in the world by a long shot.]]
** [[spoiler: The [[BonusBoss Mysterious Hermit]] really is the strongest mage in the world, being one of the Six who created the Book of Mages.]]
** [[spoiler: In the Legendary ending, you defeat the new Great Mage in a duel, but do not take the title, instead choosing to live apart from mage society as a hermit.]]
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: When the Great Mage dies, the new Great Mage is traditionally chosen by a series of challenges until there's only one mage left standing. [[spoiler: This rule goes completely to hell in the ending, as the White Robes and Black Robes each elect their own candidate without a proper election. This causes several powerful neutral mages to get involved and try to force the Robes to hold a fair election.]]
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: Shiverhorror, Clan Leader of Ice Land, is number two on the Book of Mages, [[spoiler: and is in fact far more powerful than Great Mage Battlebeard]]. He also wants nothing to do with any of the malarkey that the Robes are getting up to (and unlike most mages, is strong enough to make that position stick), [[spoiler: until the two Robe factions try to break the rules regarding the Great Mage election. Then he and the other neutral mages get involved, including two more who are in the top five and possibly including the PC. This is not good news for either Robe faction]].
* BeamSpam: The standard mage attack is up to twenty fireballs or water-balls. Chaos Desert gets the prize here, though; they can fire up to ''thirty'' shots when they're on the attack.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The Black Robes are pure evil, but the White Robes do some questionable things and aren't averse to bribery and cheating to get their way, and the neutral mages' group are strict adherents to HonorBeforeReason and only care that a Great Mage is chosen by a proper election, regardless of whether he's good or evil. A Black Robe PC will be evil by dint of being a Black Robe, but a White Robe PC can be [[LightIsNotGood almost as evil, if he so chooses]].
* BloodMagic: The specialty of the Dark Wood clan. Chaos Desert also has a blood-spell to remove status effects.
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler: The Mysterious Hermit.]]
* ButThouMust: The game is usually pretty good about averting this, but [[spoiler: if you side with Battlebeard during the Black Robe internal dispute, you ''cannot'' let him retire; the game forces you to betray and kill him.]]
* CastFromHitPoints: Most Dark Wood special magic. Also, Chaos Desert's Remove Effects ability.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Played with. You can [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] most mages in the Great Sea War without actually fighting them if your mage rank is high enough, but if you're strong enough to do that, you're strong enough to hammer them in a fight anyway.
* CuttingOffTheBranches: The canonical ending for ''The Chaotic Period'' is that Wilson, the protagonist of the first game, lost the Great Mage election and the evil head of Chaos Fire/Chaos Desert Clan became Great Mage.
* DarkHorseVictory: A Neutral victory is this, since the Neutrals weren't even a faction until [[spoiler: both Robe factions held separate elections in defiance of the rules]].
* DeflectorShields: Defensive bolts, and Burning Hill's Mana Shield spell.
* ElementalPowers: The [[PlayingWithFire Fire]] and [[MakingASplash Water]] superclans each use their respective element to make "fireballs," with each clan's specific style determining the exact form. (This is purely cosmetic, though; all the clans' basic magic is functionally identical, and the actual differences between the clans are in their advanced magic.)
* EveryoneIsASuper: Non-mages are not mentioned at all.
* EvilPaysBetter: Back and forth, but this is broadly true. The evil path usually gets you more and better items than the good path, though being nice to good mages can earn you a lot of extra magical training.
* ExplosiveLeash: The Potion of Great Power contains a deadly poison that can be activated at will by whoever holds the proper spell. A major plotline revolves around finding the mage who has created an antidote.
* FaceHeelTurn: You can make one if you join the White Robes and later turn your robe. [[spoiler: If you don't, Flamier does.]]
* FullCircleRevolution: [[spoiler: If the White Robes win under an evil leader, the epilogue mentions that people saw no difference between them and the Black Robes that they replaced.]]
* GreekChorus: The gossipmongers in the bar, who you can overhear kibitzing about you in the bar. Also a source of some of the game's FunnyMoments.
* GreenThumb: The Dark Wood clan's fireballs are implied by the graphics to contain plant matter.
* HeroicNeutral: Your role in the Neutral storyline; you occasionally have to fight off Black Robe mages trying to make you join them.
** NeutralNoLonger: A neutral mage can decide to stand against the Black Robes' campaign of murder, even if they don't support the White Robes' rebellion.
** HiredGuns: ...or, they can work for the Black Robes in their murder campaign. (Or they can fight for neither or both sides.)
* HopelessBossFight: You're not supposed to beat the assassin who comes for you shortly before the Young Mage Competition. If you somehow pull it off (usually by cheating), [[TheBattleDidntCount he'll call for more assassins, who will beat you down without a fight]]. Don't worry, you're not dead afterward.
* HundredPercentCompletion: Unlocking all titles (a task that requires several games) awards you with the ability to automatically win or lose any battle you choose in subsequent playthroughs, to make it easier to explore any remaining paths not traveled.
* KamehameHadoken: Combined Bolt attacks, which combine all of your attacking and defending bolts into a single massive strike. The particular specialty of Burning Hill and Great Sea clans, but anyone can learn the skill.
* KarmaMeter
* KlingonPromotion: Possible in the Black Robes, so long as you have cleansed yourself of the Potion of Great Power.
* LaResistance: The White Robes.
* MagicalSociety: The Clans function as training organizations, and mage society itself is loosely organized through the institution of the Great Mage.
* [[spoiler: TheManBehindTheMan]]: [[spoiler: Corpsedusk is controlling Battlebeard through the Potion of Great Power.]]
* MultipleEndings
* MutantDraftBoard: The Black Robes have a rather aggressive recruitment policy. The main neutral mages are only neutral because they're all in the top ten and stronger than any mage the Black Robes could send to recruit them.
* MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours: The point of the Book of Mages is to determine whose kung fu is strongest. Constant meditation in the Mana Cave and challenges against rival mages are needed to build up one's magical strength to become the baddest mage around.
* PassingTheTorch: [[spoiler: The White Robe leaders do not seek election to the post of White Mage, but instead put forward the names of the Talented Mages of the younger generation to lead.]]
* PoisonousPerson: The attacks of the Poison Water Clan...are poisonous.
* PunchClockVillain: Darkskin of the Dark Wood clan.
* TheResenter: Flamier thinks he's the best choice for White Mage, and he isn't happy when nobody agrees with him. [[spoiler: This triggers his FaceHeelTurn.]]
* {{Retcon}}: The names of the clans in ''The Dark Times'' are different from those in ''The Chaotic Period''; they're based on the location of the clan, instead of being variants on "Fire" and "Water."
* RetiredMonster: [[spoiler: Battlebeard ''wants'' to become one, being an old man who's tired of being the Great Mage. Corpsedusk isn't interested in letting him retire, however.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: [[spoiler: The Black Robes hold a Great Mage election but don't invite non-Black Robes.]]
** AppealToForce:
*** [[spoiler: It's a rigged contest; Corpsedusk has control over [[ExplosiveLeash the poison in all the Black Mages' bodies]], and uses it to force the Black Robes to lose the election to him.]]
*** [[spoiler: It's possible to avert the election entirely by going with Battlebeard's plan, which ironically plays out in a similar fashion as a proper election. Instead of a formal series of challenges, [[BlastOut everyone just brawls it out]] until you're the last candidate left alive and with control of the poison.]]
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: [[spoiler: The White Robes elect their White Mage by a democratic vote instead of through challenges, because they don't want to see another Great Mage like Battlebeard.]]
** ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot: [[spoiler: If you lose this election, which is very difficult to do, you're allowed to fight it out with Soundinghorn anyway, and if you win, he'll accept you as leader. Flamier does ''not'' challenge you if you win, he just runs off and joins the Black Robes.]]
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler: If you deliver the antidote to Darkskin, he and several other mages abandon the Black Robes.]]
* StoneWall: Great Sea mages, who can create more defensive bolts than any other clan. They can subvert this, however, by using [[KamehameHadoken Combined Bolt]] to turn their "purely defensive" shields into an offensive strike.
* StandardStatusEffects: Each clan, except for Chaos Desert, has a status effect they can attach to their bolts (Chaos Desert doesn't have a status effect, but can drain enemy Special points). Poison Water poisons, Great Sea causes a Mana Leak, Ice Land freezes (reducing defense), Dark Wood curses (reducing attack), and Burning Hill causes the Burnt status effect, increasing the damage of later bolts.
* SwampsAreEvil: The Poison Water Clan, which is broadly speaking the darkest of the clans and has no important heroic characters to its name, live in a swamp.
* TheLostWoods: The Dark Wood Clan live here.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler: You can be this to the Black Robes if you choose, assuming you've freed yourself of the poison.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: All of the mages who participate in the Young Mage Contest are significantly stronger if you fight them ''after'' the Young Mage Contest, but special mention goes to Silverkin, who has become the fifth-strongest mage in the world by the second time you see him.
* TortureTechnician: The assassin who tries to kill you before the Young Mage Tournament is an expert in torture. If you give up your vendetta against him, he'll teach you all about the vulnerabilities of the human body (in game terms, you'll get more skill points).
* TournamentArc: Two examples: the Young Mage Contest and the Great Mage election. The first is a tournament held every five years to showcase up-and-coming talent and win honor for the clans. [[spoiler: The second is subverted; no proper election is held, though the Black Robes hold their own tournament ''if'' you don't prevent it, and instead a war breaks out.]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: The War of the Robes has little to nothing to do with the Book of Mages; the first is the main storyline, while the latter is essentially a sidequest, though being Number 1 allows you to [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] most mages during the Great Sea War [[ZeroEffortBoss instead of actually fighting them]].
* UnequalRites: Part of the history, when the six clans fought over whose magic style was the best. The first Great Mage ended this, and when the Book of Mages was created and conflicts between mages started up again, it was on an individual rather than clan basis.
* TheWarSequence: The Great Sea War between the White Robes and Black Robes. Assuming you've joined either side, you win it by both outnumbering the other side and having more total levels.