Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Those few who have seen Darkrai in the flesh describe it as a horrifying creature that seems to have come straight from the darkest reaches of humankind’s imagination. It is vaguely humanoid (and around 2 meters tall), but its pitch-black, hourglass-shaped body almost seems to be made from a short, tattered robe. Its arms are long, and tipped with three clawlike fingers, and it also has three spikes on its forearms. Strange “streamers” trail from its shoulders like smoke. Instead of a neck, it has a “collar” that resembles a red-toothed maw; inside it is the Pokémon’s head, which has a white plume that resembles hair, and an icy blue eye on one side that strikes fear into whatever it gazes at. It also has two retractable legs, which can increase its height dramatically, and it can also retract its head when threatened.
Lore and History
Darkrai was always feared as the bringer of nightmares. Every once in a while, especially on nights of the new moon, someone in the Sinnoh region is afflicted with terrible nightmares, full of their worst fears imaginable, with the one constant feature being a specter of Darkrai, always watching. These nightmares sometimes last for months, and have been recorded as lasting for the entire lives of particularly unfortunate individuals afflicted by them, sometimes to the point where they have committed suicide rather than sleeping through them another night. (See “Hazards”)
However, Darkrai itself seems nonaggressive, almost timid; almost all sightings of it involve it noticing humans or other Pokémon in its vicinity and then hastily floating away, as if it wants to avoid other beings at all costs. It was then proposed that Darkrai afflicts others with horrible dreams without meaning it. While it’s still heavily debated whether this is the case, most lean towards this interpretation, since Darkrai has also been seen protecting individuals on rare occasions (See “Known Sightings”). For now, though, Darkrai is still feared by the general public; in fact, some of the earliest evidence of its existence was the remarkably similar “bogeymon” legends told to misbehaving children around the globe. These legends were not originally attributed to Darkrai, however; only recently has the connection between the vague “dark figure that stalks the dreams of man” and the legendary Dark-type been made.
In Unova, several stone tablets were recently unearthed near the Dragonspiral Tower, and, when translated, they were revealed to be fragments of a legend that may have been told among the local people long before the construction of Icirrus City. Despite being found in Unova, the legend mentions a tyrannical king transformed into a horrible monster that created nightmares, and so while few other details are known, more investigations are ongoing.
While Newmoon Island, Darkrai’s apparent home, has been restricted due to the dangerous nature of the Pokémon’s abilities, sightings of this legendary still occur in one of three ways.
The first is the result of foolish Trainers or other individuals who go to Newmoon Island because they either don’t believe Darkrai exists or they think they can catch it. Said individuals are almost always found lying near the coast the next morning, or mysteriously appear at the Canalave City docks, often haggard, terrified, and in a state of near mental collapse
. The exception to this comes from a testimony from a Sinnohan trainer. The trainer claimed to have encountered Darkrai with no ill effects, and indeed, was called to the island by Darkrai itself while sleeping in a certain hotel in Canalave City. The validity of this claim is in suspect, however, as the hotel described by the trainer had been long abandoned and there was no evidence in anyone had entered, or exited, the building in years.
The second type of encounter, however, is more benign. Occasionally, Darkrai will make excursions to the mainland, but when it encounters a human, it will retreat quickly, and those who meet it this way report that it seems as shocked and horrified at seeing them as they are of it. Before it spots other creatures however, it’s often observed circling objects it find interesting, usually electronic or mechanical devices.
The third, rarest type of Darkrai sighting is the one that clashes the most with its malevolent reputation. On rare occasions, people attacked by wild Pokémon such as Luxray, Ursaring, or other dangerous Pokémon living in Sinnoh (especially the region near Canalave City) are saved by Darkrai, whose appearance alone usually scares the attackers off. One woman reported that Darkrai saved her by fighting off several human thugs and their Pokémon. These acts of apparent heroism, while rare, were the turning points for scientists on the fence about the “defense mechanism” hypothesis regarding Darkrai’s ability.
Darkrai is one of the only Pokémon whose “strain” trait may be more dangerous than the Pokémon’s actual attacks, or even the Pokémon itself. While not a Psychic-type, it constantly produces an extremely powerful gestalt mental field. While it is not powerful enough to affect most organisms while awake (though psycho-sensitives and Ghost types have been known to experience discomfort and physical pain respectively), the same cannot be said for sleeping targets. The ability, dubbed “Bad Dreams”, causes abnormal brain activity and increased adrenaline production, causing victims to suffer from horrific nightmares. These go far and above mere dreams, however, as victims experience extreme mental and physical exhaustion when they wake up. While useful as a defense mechanism, the drawback is that this field is so powerful that it cannot be “turned off”, which is probably why Darkrai spends almost all of its time on Newmoon Island –its distance from civilization and closeness to the home of its counterpart Cresselia, whose particular psychic frequency seems to dampen Darkrai’s mental field, helps reduce the damage done by its power.
However, Darkrai’s abilities in combat are not to be underestimated. At a moment’s notice, Darkrai can weaponize its mental field, increasing its power by hundred fold. Most commonly this takes the form of an omni-directional burst of blackish-purple energy accompanied by an eerie sound. While most other Dark-types can use this “Dark Pulse” technique, Darkrai’s is by far the most powerful ever recorded. This can take a far more devastating form where Darkrai fires a psychic shockwave that forces all targets in an area to fall asleep. This technique, dubbed “Dark Void”, has been described by eyewitnesses as “purging light from everything, replacing it with an all-consuming blackness”. In addition, Darkrai seems to be able to use a varety of other attacks, such as producing psychically ignited flames, heat leeching attacks, and streams of arcing electricity. It’s also been observed to be able to manipulate its mental frequency to use more conventional Psychic attacks and even mimic Aura-based attacks.
Darkrai’s signature power affects every living creature, causing them horrific psychological trauma (primarily) in the form of its nightmares. These effects are most readily felt around its home of Newmoon Island. Near Newmoon Island, human psychics grow uneasy, Psychic Pokémon become frightened and easily agitated, and Ghost Pokémon feel actual physical pain as well as mental assaults. Most who try to explore the island in-depth, whether authorized or not, return gibbering and insane
, and are usually institutionalized. As a result, the entire island has been declared a psychohazard zone, with ships ordered to sail as far away from it as possible.
However, when Darkrai’s power gets particularly out of control, it “leaks” out to affect Sinnoh residents, particularly those in Canalave City. For years there, people have come down with the “The Sleepy Sickness
,” as it is known (though it is more rarely referred to as the “Touch of the Nightmare Crafter”), where they enter a coma-like state and report being trapped in horrible nightmares upon waking up. Fortunately, most cases only last 5 days to a week, with the victim waking up on their own or with the help of Psychic-type therapy. However, some cases last for several weeks, and on rare occasions they either are afflicted with nightmares whenever they sleep for the rest of their lives, or they never wake up in the first place.
The only guaranteed cure for “The Sleepy Sickness” is a rare feather known as a Lunar Wing, said to be shed from Darkrai’s counterpart Cresselia. However, Lunar Wings are extremely rare, and as a result only one person has ever said to have been cured using one, and reports of the incident are still being investigated.
Darkrai seems to have a strange combination of rivalry and protection in the form of Cresselia. They have opposite effects on other beings, and Cresselia has been seen attacking Darkrai, but Fullmoon Island and Newmoon Island are relatively close to one another, suggesting that Darkrai wants Cresselia around to minimize its negative impact on people and other Pokémon.
Before reports of Darkrai’s lack of malevolence, it was viewed as the ultimate “thing that goes bump in the night
.” Parents told their children that it would “get” them if they misbehaved, and it was the star of a series of slasher films
where it took revenge on the inhabitants of a town by preying on their teenage children in their dreams.
However, after Darkrai’s timidity and even heroism became more generally known, it started to become more sympathetic, and it’s often received roles as a superhero-like figure in comics and film.
Written by Umbramatic
. Feel free to PM us on the forums if you have any suggestions. If neither of us responds... consult the thread