"From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment."Darkness is associated with evil, ugliness, scary monsters, and super creeps. This is the reason for the naming of The Dark Side and why Evil Counterpart characters and certain Underground Monkeys often have 'dark' in front of their names. Like all Colour-Coded for Your Convenience/Good Colors, Evil Colors examples, this is common, but not universal, and will vary from culture to culture. The logic behind the trope is as follows: most humans fear the dark, at least to some degree; our sight is the sense we depend on the most, and we cannot see well in darkness, therefore a lack of light makes us feel very vulnerable to danger.note Furthermore, the fact that it's so hard to see in darkness (well, for humans, anyways) has caused some of us to associate darkness with deception. Evil is associated with deception as well, so, from Star Wars to cowboy movies, a lot of bad guys wear black hats. If you want to be even more obvious about it, give the bad guy a name that has something to do with darkness. If a character has darkness-based powers, see Casting a Shadow. Stories where Dark Is Evil and Light is Not Good are commonplace to show that the light can be just as foul as darkness. Why Evil Is Not Well-Lit, and why having the sun vanish is a bad sign. See also Light is Good, Bad Powers, Bad People, and Obviously Evil. A Super Trope to Evil Wears Black. Black is the favorite color of the Card-Carrying Villain, as it is associated with the color of death in the western world. Vampires, witches and necromancers are also traditionally seen in black garb. Dark is Not Evil is the inversion and the good counterpart of this trope. Another one is The Sacred Darkness, where Dark may or may not be evil, but is just as important as Light.
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball Z
- Most of Frieza's abilities either have references to darkness or are dark colored.
- Turles, Goku's Evil Counterpart, is a straight example. He wears all black and has much darker skin than Goku to match the armor.
- Evil Buu. Its color is dark gray, and has soulless white eyes within black sclera which originated the Black Eyes of Crazy trope.
- Black Goku, Goku's Evil Twin, is probably the best example, heavily associated with the color black. His outfit is black, his ki blasts have Ki Attacks and Battle Aura are black, and he can assume a Living Shadow form.
- The Godhand from Berserk are the Big Bads of the series. All of them are Black Angels (or Demons).
- The white-haired and morally ambiguous Griffith turned into the black-winged demon Femto when he gave himself completely to evil. Although he appears in his old human body as Griffith, with various connections with the light, Femto is his true form underneath this mask.
- The Beast of Darkness, the entity that constantly pressures Guts towards acts of inhuman butchery, is a monstrous hound made out of black shadows that lives in the darkest part of Guts subconscious.
- The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist all wear black and have dark hair.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Devil Gundam was renamed "Dark Gundam" in an edited English dub.
- In Hellsing Alucard the vampire has darkness powers. He's also COUNT DRACULA himself.
- Koichi Shido wears black, complete with Scary Shiny Glasses and pale white skin.
- Sebastian isn't called the kuro shitsujinote for nothing!
- Howl's night-black bird-monster form from Howl's Moving Castle is said to be wrecking his soul, even when he does have a good reason to fight.
- From Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, while the Book of Darkness herself is a textbook case of Dark is Not Evil, the Darkness of the Book of Darkness is an Omnicidal Maniac Eldritch Abomination.
- Ditto with the Ruler of Darkness, Hayate's completely Evil Twin that was formed from the remnants of the Darkness of the Book of Darkness during the climax of the Battle of Aces video game.
- Mai-Otome: the main antagonists use dark-themed GEMs. Nina Wang has an Ultimate Black Diamond, which is said to be representative of her "extreme and mostly selfish" bonds with Sergay and Arika, which is the opposite of the selfless bond between Master and Otome exemplified by the original Pure White Diamond. Tomoe and the rest of the Valkyries use Cursed Obsidians of the Darkness, and Schwartz, named after the German word for black, is evil.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Johan Trinity pilots The Dark Based Eins Gundam.
- Onegai My Melody: the Big Bad is simply called "The Spirit of Dark Power", and anyone possessed by it will say the word "dark" as a Verbal Tic.
- One Piece: both men who have Dark-related Devil's Fruit powers, Blackbeard (Darkness ala Black Hole) and Gecko Moria (Shadows) are, indeed, not pleasant people.
- The Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon Clan in Sailor Moon.
- Saint Seiya has The Black Saints.
- Hades and his Specters.
- Unlike Villain Protagonist Light Yagami, Misa Amane from Death Note fits this trope. So do most of the Shinigami, especially Ryuk.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Darkness/Nightshroud twists these tropes for all they're worth. Since dark in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe is stated to be a form of raw potential that is molded by human hearts, Darkness/Nightshroud is implied to be created from The Sacred Darkness specifically because humanity thinks that Dark Is Evil.
- A cursebite that Orochimaru leaves on Sasuke during the Chunin exams is black, and the expanded marks when he wakes up are also black.
- The Akatsuki members, for that matter, wear black garbs.
- Black Zetsu is a pitch-black shadow thing responsible for all of the suffering throughout ninja history.
- Bleach: Yhwach is the only Quincy that covers up his white uniform with a jet black cloak. It makes him look like he's permanently enclosed in shadow. It's strongly implied that the reason the Quincies war with the Shinigami is his doing rather than it being a natural thing for the two sides to do.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Space Patrol Luluco with the Blackholians, a race with black holes for heads (quite literally as dark as you can get) that set the entire series in motion so they could break Luluco's heart For the Evulz.
- In each season of Pretty Cure, the Big Bad always has a darkness motif that puts Ansem, Seeker of Darkness! to shame; to the point that the first Big Bad was often put in Fansubs and even the short-lived English dub as the Dark King. note . Though that does not rule out some Dark is Not Evil allies (mostly those through Heel–Face Turn), like Cure Passion and Cure Beat.
- As depicted in The Last Supper, Judas, the traitor Jesus is alluding to, is framed in shadow to distinguish him from the just apostles in the light.
- It's easy to find where Judas is in the Sistine Chapel's version of the Last Supper, you just need to pick out the apostle with the black beard, dark clothes, and shadow-framed face.
- Darkseid (pronounced "dark side") in The DCU.
- In the Strontium Dog "Max Bubba" story, Bubba's Vikings all wear black armor. The (somewhat) more good Vikings that side with Johnny have rather paler armor and weapons.
- Among the various differently colored forces in Green Lantern, there are several who tend to favor evil methods, such the Sinestro Corps, the Red Lantern Corps, and Agent Orange. However, the worst by far is the Black Lantern Corps, an army of Zombie Mooks who can all regenerate From a Single Cell. Their ultimate goal is The End of the World as We Know It, with "the world" in this case being every living thing in the universe. They are so evil that every other color, good and bad, teamed-up to stop them.
- Marvel has Dormammu and Umar, rulers of the Dark Dimension. It's been implied that the Dark Dimension is something of a Fisher Kingdom, however, and millennia of Dormammu's rule has made it into the nasty place it is today.
- Despite the name, the Dark Dimension is a colorful Acid-Trip Dimension.
- Amatsu-Mikaboshi's true form is a mass of infinite darkness, specifically the Primordial Chaos kind that preceeded all of reality, and is an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Black Mamba.
- Blackheart, the "son" of Marvel devil-figure Mephisto. He's a monstrous jet-black abomination spawned from the collected evil of a Wretched Hive.
- Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges are undead lawmen from an Alternate Dimension who are obsessed with destroying all life. When they took over Mega City One during the "Necropolis" arc, their allies the Sisters of Death blacked out all sunlight in the city to make it as cold and dark as their black hearts.
- From Astro City, Aubrey Jason was already evil to begin with, but later acquires dark energy powers to become Lord Sovereign.
- In The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Menace", the Gray Smurfs wear darker clothes to show that they are Evil Twin versions of the original Smurfs.
- Thunderstorm, one of the most competent villains in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series' largely-harmless Rogues Gallery, wears a black lab coat and has jet-black hair. It's even lampshaded:
Socrates: Wow, this guy is obsessed with black.
- Ironically, the negative figment of Socrates (faced inside his mind) also fits this trope.
- The Shadows from Ojamajo Doremi Rise Of The Shadows are dark in nature and come from a realm hidden in the darkness. They are portrayed as evil and self-serving.
- Darkheart from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction The Return Of Chaos. This one should be a no-brainer, as she is Obviously Evil from her introduction.
- Parodied in Total Pokemon Redux with Gengar's Mega Evolution. When he transforms, he becomes something like a hammy Saturday morning cartoon villain.
Films — Animated
- Some Disney Animated Canon villains have this:
- Fantasia: Pictured above is Chernabog. Appropriately enough, his name means "Black God".
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Queen Grimhilde initially has only a black cape, then she wears a black cloak in her old hag disguise. One of her potion's ingredient is also the black of night.
- Sleeping Beauty: Maleficent, who wears a black wardrobe and turns into a black dragon for her One-Winged Angel.
- The bear from The Fox and the Hound has black fur.
- The Horned King from The Black Cauldron.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Professor Ratigan has a black suit, which contrasts with Basil's brighter outfit.
- Aladdin: Jafar is dressed in black and red, the latter of which is another typically evil color.
- Scar from The Lion King. He has black Mane, and dark fur.
- Hades from Hercules.
- The Hunch Back Of Notre Dame: Frollo is an odd case, wearing all black, but otherwise representing Light is Not Good.
- Mother Gothel of Tangled dark hair, dark grey eyes, deep red dress and a black cloak (which is even more noticeable in contrast to Rapunzel, with her blonde locks, bright green eyes and bright purple dress). She's even shown blocking out the tower's natural light sources and snuffing out candles Rapunzel had lit during her Villain Song.
- Likewise, some of Don Bluth's villains (at least those that don't go extravagant): Jenner is the only ostensibly black furred rat and wears purple clothes (though strangely other characters embody Dark is Not Evil), Sharptooth is of a very dark green/bluish hue and spends most of the movie in poorly lit conditions, the owls from Rock-A-Doodle want to snuff out the Sun, Gnorga wears black and purple and has evil purple magic, Rasputin blatantly claims to use dark magic, et cetera. Even the Drej, beings made of pure light, have a very dark blue colour.
- The Boggans in Epic.
- Xibalba from The Book of Life, who represents the negative side of the afterlife. Plus, he's the Big Bad.
- Played with in the (very Mind Screw) movie adaptation of Under the Skin. The aliens (who kidnap humans and remove their insides, leaving only the skins) are throughly associated with darkness: the room to which the men are lured is black, the liquid that traps and processes them is a black oil, most of their illumination comes from red lights, and their real forms are black skinned humanoids with yellow eyes. However, it's also subverted, as not only does the protagonist seem to develop a conscience, but she also only reveals her real form at the very end, well past her ostensible Heel–Face Turn.
- The Dark Side in Star Wars. Darth Vader wears a dark costume in the original trilogy and Darth Sideous wears a cloak so his face is in shadow. Word of God is that Luke wears a light costume and it gets progressively darker as he goes from innocence to accepting the dark side as something that exists and overcoming it as opposed to avoiding or destroying it. In the prequels, Anakin favors darker clothing than the rest of the Jedi Order, even before his turn to the Dark Side.
- Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West. He always wearing dark and black clothes, and that is perfectly adjusted to his extreme evilness.
- Nosferatu has a pale villain, but he wears a dark coat and needs darkness to survive. It's from this film that all modern legends of vampires and daylight not going together stem. In the original novel, Dracula was able to walk around in human form in the daylight.
- The Cowboy Western genre tradition of having the bad guys wear the black hat was not as common as later writers would think. However, some certainly held to it, such as Once Upon a Time in the West and Shane, and you'd probably never imagine Lee Van Cleef without one.
- In Erik the Viking, Halfdan the Black got his nickname from being evil.
- Deconstructed in Spike Lee's biopic of Malcolm X. In the prison library scene, Charles Dutton's character gives a monologue about the implicit association of darkness with evil and lightness with good in the English language, which has a profound effect on the man who would later name himself X.
- Deconstructed in Unbreakable. Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson) lectures a buyer in his comic art gallery on the appearance of a supervillain as opposed to a superhero, including the Dark is Evil trope. After The Reveal where Elijah turns out to be a mass murderer, the implication is that Elijah convinced himself he was a supervillain because of how he resembled this and other Villain Tropes.
- The Dark Knight Trilogy: Surely, a group called the League of Shadows will do nothing but good deeds, right? Right...?
- Judge Doom, the Big Bad from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, is dressed in black: black cape, black suit, black hat, and black cane.
- Darkness, a US-Spanish coproduction from 2002, plays this trope straight, if you couldn't guess from the title straight away.
- From Legend (1985), the demonic villain Darkness is a personification of the concept and wants to extinguish all life so he can subsist in the dead icebound world.
- In "How to Murder your Wife", Jack Lemmon's Italian bride stays up late watching American movies on TV and keeps asking "Which are the good guys, the white hats or the black hats?" I think that whatever she knows or doesn't know about America, that's one concept she would certainly have learned in Italy.
- In Rise of the Guardians, Pitch Black is the main villain (he's also known as the Boogeyman and the Nightmare King. He is the living essence of fear, and has dark grey skin, black hair, and black nightmare sand.
- Star Trek Into Darkness:
- The bad guys' starship, the Vengeance, has a jet black hull.
- The villainous Harrison dresses in black clothing.
- In Man of Steel, all of Zod's technology is a metallic black.
- The Up Top Transworld employees in Upside Down tend to wear darker colors. Subverted by Bob Boruchowitz.
- The eponymous character of Maleficent initially plays the trope straight, but simultaneously fluctuates between it and Dark is Not Evil. She ultimately pulls a Heel–Face Turn and goes with the latter.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: The black background of the "Destroy" poster◊ (which promotes the villains) signifies this.
- Enforced in many movies because all those CGI monsters need to look real. It's easier to cheat realistic CGI in a dark scene where you're not able to scrutinize every single pixel of the creature.
- Dark Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter.
- Dark Creatures or "Demons" (as explained in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) consists of any creature that can use magic and mainly uses said magic for malicious intent. Dementors are the most promenent members in the books.
- The Dark Lord Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
- And before him was his own master, Morgoth (which means "The Dark Enemy of the World"). Some of Tolkien's unpublished writings imply that dark is associated with evil because Morgoth's ultimate goal is to tear down the world until it is reduced to the original primordial void.
- Averted with Tolkien's Dark Elves, the Moriquendi. While "Dark Elf" has come to mean evil in nearly every subsequent High Fantasy, the Moriquendi are simply Elves that never went to Aman and never saw the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. They're just as good, if not better, than any other group of Elves and are even represented by one of the most popular Elves ever, Legolas.
- In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novel Blood Pact, the presence of the blood wolf causes the street lights to go out as it races by.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Big Bad is called the Dark One (there are also other names, but Dark One is the most common one) and the evil side, i.e. everyone and everything associated with the Dark One is referred to as Shadow. Human servants of the Shadow are called Darkfriends, one name for the creatures that command the universe's Orc-equivalents is Shadowmen, and...yeah, maybe you get the point by now.
- Peter Pays Tribute has the Gray God, god of revenge.
- The Dark Faery court from Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series. Although, this is possibly a subversion - they are more cruel than evil and need to be to survive. They are essencially emotional parasites, but Irial truly loved Niall and Leslie (although he was very cruel to them, using Leslie as an emotional conduit and stripping her of emotion and free wiil and allowing his servants and guards to both phsically and sexually abuse Niall), and although Gabriel comes into the 'abusing Niall' category, although only physical, he was NOT one of the fey who raped Niall - this is a common misunderstanding - and can be incredibly kind to his halfling children. Niall himself comes more under Dark is Not Evil, although the injustices of the past push him more and more towards the moral grey area Iri and Gabe occupy.
- Prevalent in Madeleine L'Engle books, starting with A Wrinkle in Time, where the Black Thing covers the world of Camazotz and threatens the planet Earth. In later books, the Echthroi (repeatedly refered to as "the powers of darkness") also gain an association with a horrible sound and a disgusting smell.
- The Old Kingdom series is an example of both Dark Is Evil and Dark is Not Evil, as necromancers and the Sealed Evil in a Can that they represent are the main antagonists, but then again, the protagonists also use Free Magic (which tends to be pretty nasty) to fight it.
- In The Rape of the Lock, Umbriel (whose name means "Shadowy") goes to the Underworld (the pit of Ill-Humor) to bring up a bag of temper tantrums to create even more chaos.
- Both averted and played straight in Thud!! Discworld Dwarfs, spending so much time underground, have a whole mythology around spirits of darkness, some of which are evil and some of which aren't - the Big Bad of the story is the Summoning Dark.
- The court that comes out during the dark of the moon in Wildwood Dancing.
- Mr. Hood and his "family" in The Thief of Always, though they don't seem dark at first...
- The Big Bad in the Gone series is sometimes called "The Darkness".
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Phoenix on the Sword", the high priest, having deduced the story of a demon is not All Just a Dream, says, "Mitra guard us against the powers of darkness!"
- In Warrior Cats, when villains die, they go to a forest of pure darkness. And when they fight the Clans, there is a prophecy that describes the Dark Forest/Place of No Stars as "the darkness that lasts forever".
- Also, most of the main villains have been dark brown tabby toms, for some reason. Even Thistleclaw, a gray and white cat, accidetally got described as dark brown a couple times. Once fans pointed this out, villains began to have different pelt colors: Sol and Mapleshade are torties and Dark Forest cat Snowtuft is white.
- Also seen with the characters' names: Darkstripe is evil, Darktail is evil, Blackstar starts out as evil, and Blackclaw isn't a particularly nice cat and tends to support Hawkfrost. ShadowClan cats have the worst record for having evil cats, and Secrets of the Clans made their founder Shadow the aggressive and unpleasant one of the original four leaders, though Warriors Dawn Of The Clans makes it more complicated.
- Averted in Diana Henstell's NEW MORNING DRAGON, where the Devil insists on wearing white suits at all times.
- In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, the vampires. Their influence on their prey is even called the dark.
- In John Milton's Paradise Lost, the continual imagery for Satan and other demons.
No light, but rather darkness visible
- In The Quest of the Unaligned, Darkness is one of the two "supra-elements", surrounding and infusing the four elemental magics. The dark aspect of each mage's power tempts him or her to abuse it, and must be mastered with training and meditation. On top of that, it is possible to become a hoshek, a mage aligned with Darkness itself. This grants access to all four elements, but With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
- An Ember In The Ashes: Is it any coincidence that the Nightbringer is the greatest threat to the Scholar nation?
- Umbra Domini (Latin for "The Shadow of the Lord"), a right-wing reactionary Catholic group whose members are the main antagonists in The Genesis Code
- In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, downplayed. Still shadow powers belong to evil characters.
- Played with in Shattered Twilight; in the backstory (before the Shattering), the god of night was a benevolent and powerful ally in holding evil at bay. In the current age, however, his total disappearance during or after the Shattering has made night incredibly dangerous.
- The setting also has a strong association between darkness and demons, which are portrayed as writhing, moving darkness.
- The Maelshadow from The Bad Unicorn Trilogy, and most of the characters who work for it. Even the place where the Maelshadow is from, a world called the Shadrus, is this.
- Some of Rhianna's minions in Last Mage are black otherworldly things, others are shadows, and her own black dresses are described lovingly.
- The First-Born in John Carterof Mars, who can only be described as drow ON MARS, are a dark-skinned race of pirates and raiders that regularly enslave outsiders and also practice cannibalism. Interestingly, their archenemies are the White Martians (who represent Light is Not Good) and both factions are introduced as antagonists but once John Carter dethrones the First-Born's mad tyrant, they become friendlier.
- The villain of Shaman Blues has all the walls in her house painted black, and no windows to shine light into. And that's not to mention all this dried blood from the sacrifices.
- In Wings of Fire, even the nocturnal and darkness-associated [NightWings] think that Dark is Evil, meaning that when Arctic complains about Foeslayer's name for her son (Darkstalker) being Names to Run Away from Really Fast, she responds that it shows him as a hero fighting the darkness. The NightWings themselves can vary.
- Cthulhu Mythos: Among the many avatars of the evil god Nyarlathotep are the Black Man and the Black Pharaoh. No, not someone with an African appearance. His skin is described as literally looking pitch black, like the light was sucked out of it.
- Played straight in Doctor Who, where there are the White Guardian and the Black Guardian. The White Guardian is the epitome of good and dresses in white clothing, the Black Guardian is the epitome of evil and dresses in black clothing.
- Glee, obviously, makes use of this, although with an interesting variation; every single male character who is an asshole wears black. The only exceptions are the jock bullies, who wear typical jock attire, and the occasional Anti-Hero. The (usually) unambiguously heroic Kurt Hummel does wear dark purple, but he does so less and less, so the Dark is Not Evil factor probably decreased.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the outfits of many vamps take on this trope. Also, The Bringers, servants of the First Evil, all wear black robes.
- On Lexx, His Divine Shadow might as well wear a placard around his (black-clad) neck announcing that he is an Evil Overlord. Between the title, the black robe, and the decor of his planet-sized Evil Tower of Ominousness, it's pretty obvious.
- Lost: an extremely blatant example—Jacob wears white and the Man in Black/smoke monster wears black.
- In a TV movie on the making of the Vietnam Memorial in DC, people kept objecting to it because it's black and therefore bad and makes their sacrifice seem bad. A black army officer stands up and reminds him of his years of service and that if anyone makes another comment on how "black is bad" they are going to take it outside.
- In Babylon 5, the Psi Cops wear all-black uniforms, the Nightwatch wear black armbands, and the Shadows' ships are blacker than the darkest night. Londo's costume also subtly darkens as he becomes more involved with the forces of chaos.
- Morgana Pendragon in Merlin (2008) started dressing like Bellatrix Lestrange in season four. In season five she strays from the Bellatrix look, but continues to wear black from head to toe.
- Agravaine wears black.
- Uther Pendragon is usually dressed in dark clothing as well.
- In Wizards of Waverly Place, this is played straight.
- Game of Thrones:
- House Bolton members dress themselves in black and grey armor, in contrast to their book counterparts who dress in pink and red. Their sigil is a red flayed man in a black background.
- Tywin Lannister favours black leather even though his family colours are red and gold. His daughter, Cersei, adopts his style of dress when she, an already unpleasant person, descends over the Moral Event Horizon and into complete irredeemable evil and kills hundreds of people in the burning of the Sept of Baelor.
- Drogon has black-and-red scales and is the most aggressive and blood-thirsty of the three dragons.
- Daredevil: Wilson Fisk primarily wears all-black suits for the first part of season 1. He later starts wearing an even fancier gray suit after he begins a relationship with Vanessa, who is often wearing a white dress to contrast Fisk. Likewise, Fisk is fond of a painting of a white background which he says embodies his loneliness.
- In Zoroastrianism, the demon Ahriman is often associated with darkness.
- The Bible
- Hell is described as the "outer darkness" in Matthew 8:12. However, this is largely both a mixture of mistranslations and Sadly Mythtaken. The words used for "hell" in the NT, "Gehenna" and "Sheol" ("Hades" in greek) refer to a neutral, non evil underworld where all souls will wait until the end of all things foretold in the apocalypses of Daniel and John, in the case of sheol. Gehenna is just a dump where garbage and dead bodies are burned. The closest description to a wicked punishing "hell" the Bible gives is a river of fire and sulfur which hades/sheol will be thrown into, along with all those judged unworthy to leave it and live in the world to come.
- Inverted, of all things, with Satan/Lucifer, aka the Morning Star. As well as by (the false idol?) Moloch, which is appropriately identified as a solar deity.
- The drow ("dark elves") in Dungeons & Dragons, except Drizzt.
- Dark Elves and Dark Eldar from Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 respectively.
- The Black Legion of traitor Space Marines belonged to the Primarch Horus, and was the first to follow him in his fall.
- The Ebon Dragon in Exalted. A fifty-mile-long dragon made of the shadows of everything, he's also the inventor and embodiment of the concept of being a treacherous, sadistic, needlessly cruel scheming asshole. In his case, Dark is so evil that it even predates the codified concept of Evil (which in Exalted is best described as 'acting like the Ebon Dragon'). Before becoming the Ebon Dragon, he existed as an entity referred to as the Dragon's Shadow.
- Inverted in the beliefs of the Zykhee from VOR The Maelstrom - being evolved from a nocturnal species, their culture believes that Dark Is Good and Light Is Evil.
- Vampire: The Masquerade gives us the Lasombra, the clan that leads the Sabbat and has the unique Discipline of Obtenebration. Not only is the darkness most often wielded by wicked people, but it's implied to be wicked itself - the clan's founder, a right bastard himself, is said to have merged with the Abyss that powers Obtenebration, and things can occasionally be called out of it that serve as twisted mirrors of a vampire's sense of morality.
- The Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.
- BIONICLE plays this straight, but also subverts it: every character in the Matoran Universe has an inner balance of light and shadow. Those characters that tap into their dark side or are drained of their inner light turn evil as a result, gaining shadow-based powers and becoming darker in their coloration. At the same time, thanks to Color-Coded Elements, some element-based good guys also sport dark colors and a handful are almost completely black.
- Nintendo loves this trope.
- A few examples from the Super Mario Bros. series: dark enemies in Paper Mario are more evil and powerful, Bowser's Super Mario Bros. 3 castle is located in Dark Land, Super Mario Sunshine's Shadow Mario is evil, etc., etc..
- Kirby Final Bosses Dark Matter, Dark Mind, and Dark Nebula. Other antagonists Nightmare and Necrodeus are also associated with darkness, particularly the latter.
- Metroid Prime 2 and Dark Samus. The universe where Dark Samus came from is crawling with evil, nasty races, as well.
- A subversion. Dark Samus actually has nothing to do with the dark world or darkness, and didn't come from Dark Aether. The reality may be worse, however.
- Dark Link is an evil counterpart of Link in The Legend of Zelda. Ganondorf also spells this trope to full effect in both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess.
- The shadow in Twilight Princess turns Link into his wolf form, which has to be combated by the holiness of the Master Sword when Link gets cursed by Zant
- Dark, the English name of one of the 18 elements in the series, was localized directly from "Evil", as the type is known in Japanese (hence why many Dark moves involve doing immoral things like stealing or lying or having "bad thoughts"). It's frequently subverted, though, as Dark-types are shown to be capable of being good natured, contrary to what their Pokédex entries may imply* . They do, however, often require more effort to max out their happiness then some other species of Pokemon. note
- Dark-type Pokémon are commonly used by evil teams, and are often a Big Bad's trump card (such as Ghetsis's Hydreigon and Lysandre's Mega Gyarados).
- In the Japanese version of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, the first Big Bad is known as Darkness Dialga. The US version instead translated it as Primal Dialga. The Bad Future is also distinctly associated with darkness.
- Then there's the Big Bad, Darkrai, who is the polar opposite of his main series counterpart.
- Giygas from EarthBound' is a swirling skull looking creature made out of red lines and the background behind It is black.
- Kid Icarus generally follows this trope, perhaps Anviliciously.
- While it can be that Dark is Not Evil in later games, the Dark Magic in Fire Emblem Jugdral and the people who use it, the Lopt Sect, are very evil, although in Thracia 776, you can recruit an ex-clergyman.
- The Dark Elves are the evil guys in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal, though there is an additional distinction between Darkness and Chaos and The Man Behind the Man is of the Light is Not Good variety.
- Opoona follows this quite heavily, to the point that most people can't even enter true darkness without serious damage to their mind and body. Justified in that it's actually The Corruption, created by the ultimate Big Bad of the setting, though not the game itself.
- All of the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils of Diablo are this. They are all full of evil and that is just a topping.
- In the Jak and Daxter series, Jak is an Anti-Hero with a Superpowered Evil Side, but that's the extent of any Dark is Not Evil overtones. The world's magical Psycho Serum is black and purple DARK Eco, Precursors corrupted by it become DARK Makers, Metal Heads live off of it, and the first game's Big Bads turned into Omnicidal Maniacs after being exposed to it for too long. Out of the five people who underwent the Dark Warrior Program, only Jak got out alive... because he's special. Both Jak and Daxter's dark alter-egos are Ax-Crazy.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- The titular character along with the Umbra Witches, avert this, but the demons they work with play it straight. In fact, every witch makes a pact with a demon in order to gain power, but when the witch dies Inferno claims their soul
- The Angels of the franchise are just as bad as the demons. So in hindsight, BOTH light AND dark are evil! Though the Lumen Sages have been on good terms with the Angels and at least one of them is good
- In Alan Wake, the darkness is the main antagonist.
- The Fatal Frame series almost always involve some failed ritual releasing an evil, corrupting presence known simply as the "Malice" or the "Dark".
- While Ragna from BlazBlue follows the opposite of this trope, the Black Beast responsible for the Crapsack World and the source of Ragna's power embodies it. In Jubei's own words, it was "evil, the likes of which the world has never seen".
- In the sequel, it is revealed that Hazama / Terumi Yuuki is this as well by virtue of his nice, black suit. Mu-12, who calls people by expository titles, refer to Hazama as "The True Evil", indicating that he is even worse than the Black Beast itself. (Those who have played the story up until that point probably gloss over this as a Late-Arrival Spoiler, though, because they've already seen what Hazama is capable of first hand.) It's pretty noticeable when Terumi re-assumes his true form after taking back the Susanoo unit in the fourth game, and it's literally pitch black in every area with the only alternate colors being his green highlights.
- In Minecraft, enemies spawn in any dark areas (whereas non-enemy animals spawn on grass in the light).
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Shadow the Hedgehog. Subverted in that he's more of an Anti-Hero (most of the time).
- Played straight with Mephilies the Dark.
- In Warriors of Might and Magic, you can't learn Dark spells, and the few swords imbued with the dark element aren't really strong. Furthermore, Skeletons, Ghouls, Undeads, Wraiths, and Demons have the Dark Element with them.
- The RPG series notes that Dark magic isn't evil as such - it is how you use it that is important - but it includes spells whose casting can be called evil no matter the circumstances (sacrificing a hireling for a temporary advantage!) and is associated with the Path of Dark, a religion/philosophy that nigh-universally seems to attract cruel people that want to do bad deeds.
- The Half-Life 2 Game Mod Black Snow takes things to extremes: light, warm areas keep out the thing that's chasing you around the research center. It turns out that the thing is a predatory strain of fungus that can thrive in any environment but well-lit ones.
- The first Fable has this in spades, with dark clothing giving you evil points and bright clothing giving you good points and evil characters morphing to have darker features. The sequels ease up on it, but it's still present.
- The Darkspawn of Dragon Age. The Taint that created them originated from the corrupted Golden City in the Fade, now known as the Black City. Subverted slightly in Awakening with the appearance of intelligent Darkspawn, but even then, the more antagonistic faction of the awakened Darkspawn wear black armor.
- The Final Fantasy series uses this along with its sister trope.
- Final Fantasy II has the Emperor of Hell, though the emperor of Heaven isn't any better.
- Final Fantasy III gives us the Cloud of Darkness, but it's actually a subversion. Part of the game's backstory is how there was a flood of overwhelming light 1,000 years ago, requiring four Warriors of the Dark to save it.
- Golbez is a Black Knight who serves as the main antagonist in IV. Not really. He's Brainwashed and Crazy and under the control of the true Big Bad, who plays this trope straight.
- This deserves further clarification—the original IV equates dark-elemental abilities with The Dark Side, even having the dark-elemental protagonist's "Spirit" score drop as he levels up and becomes more hardened. As part of the plotline, he's eventually required to give up his powers and Level Drain with light-elemental abilities. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years goes a more balanced route—having been unable to completely purge his dark side, the hero is ultimately forced to accept and control it. Dissidia: Final Fantasy takes this all the way to Dark is Not Evil.
- Exdeath has The Power of the Void.
- In Final Fantasy VI, God!Kefka qualifies. Though depicted as an angel, he has purple skin, and underneath the angel wings are a pair of demonic wings.
- Sephiroth. He wears black and has a black wing.
- While there is talk about maintaining the Balance between Light and Dark in Final Fantasy XIV, the actions taken by the Ascians who worship the god of Darkness Zodiark have caused so much bloodshed and sorrow throughout history that it's hard to see them as anything but evil.
- League of Legends: Morgana is a fallen angel, in contrast with her sister, Kayle.
- Katarina wears black. She makes no secret of the fact that she's a villain, and enjoys it.
- Nocturne. He'd give Pokémon Mystery Dungeon's Darkrai a serious run for his money.
- Viegar may or may not be a Harmless Villain, but he certainly fits the bill, due to use of Darkness spells and the wearing of Purple and Black.
- Malzahar, like Exdeath of Final Fantasy V, uses a variation of the Void.
- While Swain doens't wear any dark colors, he does turn into a Demonic Crow.
- And Zed. Controls shadow minions, has an Evil Laugh, wields two double bladed serrated wrist blades and is dedicated to destroying the order preserving balance on Ionia.
- Zig-Zagged in Dark Souls. The Darkwraiths of Kaathe act as the polar opposite of the helpful Warriors of Sunlight, but the Darkmoon Covenant opposes the wraiths as well. Likewise, the looming apocalypse to be prevented is the Age Of Dark though if Kaathe is believed, it will actually be a Golden Age for human kind, and is being postponed by the dying (former) Lord Of Sunlight. The Abyss and it's connection to humanity/Humanity is generally unclear, though typically inconceivably horrific. The "Artorias of the Abyss" Downloadable Content reveals just how bad things get if humans lose control of their inner darkness aka humanity. As in, Humans Are Cthulhu bad.
- Dark Souls II doesn't make things any less ambiguous. While the Children of the Dark spawned from the fragments of Manus' soul are horrific abominations that are anathema to all life, players can now wield the power of darkness themselves in the form of Hexes. The Gravewarden Fenito Agadyne claims that humans once lived in peace in the dark, until the gods forced them to live in the light.
- The Hel element in Boktai is always evil. Period. While it can be used for good, it's implied to be much weaker (since it is the power of hatred), and there is the constant chance that it will corrupt its user for good which only gets higher each and every time it's used.
Sabata: The dark gives me power... but it hurts me... eats away at my soul...
- Fallout 3
- The Enclave. Unlike the Brotherhood of Steel, who are in grey power armor, most of theirs are black.
- Zigzagged with the Brotherhood outcasts. While they left the Brotherhood of Steel to form their own group, and painted their armor black and red, they are more on the gray scale.
- The Talon Mercs that hunt down the player should he/she have good karma as well, they have black clothing.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The daedra and their lords, but the worst are either Molag Bal or Muheres Dagon.
- Alduin in Skyrim is a black dragon.
- A running theme of the Phantasy Star quadrilogy: dark is evil and is likely responsible for humanoid races doing irrational things. In Phantasy Star IV, a Guest-Star Party Member who uses wide arrays of dark magic (in a setting where no good guy is capable of doing so) turns out to be more than he seems.
- The Wizard in Tsioque is actually pitch black and evil, his only features appearing being his eyes and his mouth when he speaks.
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse introduces to the series the concept of Dark Magic, the source of power of the Pirate Master, a Humanoid Abomination who was the Scourge of Sequin Land before the genies sealed him in the past. In addition to being inherent to the Pirate Master, Dark Magic could also be created from Light Magic if the latter was used for evil.
- The Fire Emblem series uses this often alongside Light is Good, especially in the earlier games in the series. Dark mages/sorcerers/shamans often serve as the the series' villains, especially so in Fire Emblem Jugdral, where there's an entire cult of evil dark mages, from which the game's Big Bad hails from, bent on resurrecting their dark god in order to bring an era of suffering upon the continent. And in combat, dark mages most often take extra damage from light magic being used against them, and deal less damage to light magic users in return.
- Agent 47 from the Hitman series is defined by his signature black suit and red tie. Of course it can be changed via disguise, but it's that suit which makes him most iconic. Indeed he's a very dark character, who can kill effortlessly and get away with it without batting an eye.
- The Beast Legion: the villain Dragos and his Shadow Nexus embody darkness.
- Bird Boy: the villain stole all the light in the world.
- The Imprint Chronicles main villain dresses in an all-black tuxedo. The scene gets considerably darker when he appears, and his name is Mr. Black.
- In Impure Blood, the Mooks wear black armor. (And are killing people and have already destroyed one town.)
- In Monster Lands, one of the villains is Exris. He's a black, shadowy creature in a dark purple robe.
- It's still up in the air where Sinfest falls in regards to this—devils aren't always evil, but the capital-D devil definitely is, and his influence is highly corruptive. (Then again, Light is Not Good is in effect as well—the most moral characters are the ones who seek some form of balance.)
- In The Adventures of Shan Shan, the monster, except for its Glowing Eyes of Doom, is pitch black.
- In Soul Symphony, the villain Tom Mustaine is always seen wearing a black shirt, black wristbands, and sunglasses. But that may just be because he's a Metalhead.
- In The Red Star, Marcus's instincts cry out the something is wrong with the Psychopomp who appears to him. What we see is that he is dark and the being who appears to appears to dispute for his soul is bright.
- In Alice and the Nightmare, the man-eating, Always Chaotic Evil Nightmares are pitch black.
- The Slender Man wears a pitch-black suit, is nigh-invisible in the dark (and most of the time, the day too) has black Combat Tentacles and about as much expression as The Question. It surprises no one at all that he's evil.
- In Kakos Industries, they play this trope as satirically as possible. They regularly hold a Darkest Universe Festival in which they use collective Evil thoughts to lure someone into commiting an atrocious act and apparently everything is made out of a material called Dark Mega.
Corin Deeth The III:They say there's no use crying over spilled ink because everything you own is black anyway.
- The main villain from Samurai Jack, Aku, is essentially a giant shadow demon, and things under his control are often artistically depicted as being wrangled by black veins. There's another element to his darkness as well, with robot enemies having black thick oil instead of blood, and his effect on the corrupting effect on the world is a pollution of it in some cases.
- Aku takes it to the logical extreme in that he is essentially dark and evil itself incarnate. This actually serves as a weakness for him: He's completely incapable of doing anything remotely good, to the point that it makes him predictable and bites him in the behind when doing good would have benefited him more yet he couldn't help but be evil.
- Both subverted and played straight with Raven from Teen Titans. She's not evil, but she is part demon, and that's the side of the family her powers come from. This means she has to maintain incredibly strict self-control, especially while using said powers, lest she lose control of them or, worse, unleash her Super-Powered Evil Side.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is the first clue Jet (synonym for "black") is not such a good guy.
- In Allegro Non Troppo 1, all the animals are brightly colored and cartoony, except for those jerk-face apes with red eyes and black sclera who wreck the planet as they become human but remain vicious animals on the inside. Averted in the beginning with the black proto-blob, unless evolving out of human trash counts as evil.
- Nightmare Moon from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic played this very straight, being a jet black Mad God who usurped Princess Celestia and plunged the world into eternal night. While her true self, Princess Luna, isn't evil, Word of God confirms that the rest of Equestria is still afraid of her partly because of her actions as Nightmare Moon and partly because they still believe in this trope. King Sombra takes this trope even further. He is described as having a "heart as black as night" and was able to subjugate an entire empire on his own with dark magic. Even then, the comics show that he actually Used to Be a Sweet Child, but his constant treatment by the other Crystal Ponies and his discovery of being an Eldritch Abomination eventually made him snap and invoke Then Let Me Be Evil.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show episode featuring Chthon (a grey, wrinkled, vaguely demonic man with claws, pointy teeth, and glowing eyes)...
Iron Man: So, what's your prognosis, Doctor?
[Doctor Strange sizes up Chthon, who is cackling and rubbing his hands]
Doctor Strange: He's evil...?
- In ThunderCats (2011), Big Bad Sorcerous Overlord Mumm-Ra is usually a grey, red-eyed, withered little Humanoid Abomination in Shapeshifter Default Form, but his personal tank and the weaponry and armor he possesses in One-Winged Angel form are deep black and chased with Tron Lines.
- Ben 10 has Kevin Levin, who wears dark colored clothing, however after his Heel–Face Turn as a teenager in black, this trope is more like Dark is Not Evil.
- In Winx Club, practically every major villain is a dark magic practitioner.
- The Trix have darker color schemes and use dark magic frequently. It's even Darcy's specialty. They wish to take over the Magic Dimension by using the powerful Dragon Flame.
- Lord Darkar's body is pure black, and he's encased in dark red armor. He wants to take over the Magic Dimension with the power of the Realix, and is willing to hurt anyone is his way.
- The Wizards of the Black Circle, in addition to having black in their group name, all wear black or dark grey clothes. They wish to take over Earth and imprison all the Earth fairies.