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Videogame: The Darkness
Embrace the Darkness
Once The Darkness gets ahold of you, you start to lose control. You start to wonder what the fuck you're doin'. Time slips away from you. And then, all of a sudden, it's like you're sittin' in a theater, watchin' a movie of your own life. And you're up there on the big screen. Big as life, you're a fuckin' movie star. And you're killin' all the bad guys, tearing them limb from limb. And you feel good. You look good. Fuck, you are good. And then you realize something. Everyone else in the theater: they're screamin', 'cuz they're watchin' a horror movie. And you're not the hero...

You're the monster...
Jackie Estacado, The Darkness II

A 2007 game based on the comic series. The Darkness features Jackie Estacado, nephew of don Paulie Franchetti, and hitman for the Franchetti Crime Family. However as soon as his 21st birthday comes, he inherits the evil known as the Darkness, which grants him abilities beyond his wildest blood-spattered dreams. Among these is the power to summon Darklings, little gremlin bastards that act somewhat as his multiple tiny alter-egos that are mostly interested in spouting off politically incorrect commentary and humor, but can disembowel an enemy at a moment's notice if Jackie commands it. Before Jackie first manifests the Darkness, Uncle Paulie betrays him and marks him for death, leading Jackie into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.

A sequel was released in February 2012, taking place two years after the first game. Jackie is now the head of the Franchetti Crime Family, and has managed to suppress the Darkness. However, when a mysterious group known as The Brotherhood attacks him looking for the Darkness, he must unleash it once again.

For tropes exclusive to the original, see here.


The first game contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Jenny has one for Jackie- "Ratface," apparently one she started using when they were much younger.
  • Alternate Continuity: While the first game was mostly based on the first story arc it changes some things like Jacky being in a realtionship with Jenny Romano whereas the comics he considered her a sister (at least at the beginning of the comic). Frankie Franchetti also didn't try to assassinate Jacky and kill Jenny until much later after Jacky gained his powers.
    • The sequel also changes The Brotherhood Of Darkness into a group that was once noble turned evil while the comic always portrayed them as assholes. Jenny also became the The Angelus, which never happened.
  • All There in the Manual: The origin story for Anthony Estacado is explained in a special comic book issue published at the same time as the game. Reading it sheds a lot of light on the nature of the Darkness and Anthony's character that is otherwise left completely unexplained in the game. Fortunately, the book is viewable in-game as an unlockable extra.
  • Art Shift: The first game used a more-realistic art style; the sequel is cel shaded.
  • Back from the Dead: Jackie. Twice.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: By carrying out his vengeance, Jackie sacrifices his soul to the Darkness. Exactly what this entails, however, isn't quite clear. You are not given the option to spare Paulie.
    • This also happens in the sequel. Jackie frees Jenny from the Darkness, but she reveals that she's the new host of the Angelus, the Arch-Nemesis of the Darkness, and traps Jackie's soul in Hell.
  • Bittersweet Ending: About a hair's breadth away from a Downer Ending. Jackie finally surrenders himself to the Darkness during an eclipse in order to take out Paulie and his army of mooks. Jackie's personality is consumed entirely by the Darkness, but he's given a few moments to see Jenny one last time before he goes. It's implied by the "light in the darkness" lines that it may not be completely over for him, either... hopefully.
    • However, according to the sequel's intro, Jackie has managed to suppress The Darkness in-between games.
    • The ending to the sequel mirrors the original; a horrible entity is taken down, another entity is free to do whatever the hell it plans on doing, and Jackie is screwed. At least the Angelus is a much better Eldritch Abomination compared to The Darkness. Maybe.
  • Bland-Name Product: The game has "The Green Olive Grove" restaurant.
  • The Blank: The undead German soldiers.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Berserker Darkling: I want to kill someone.
    Gunner Darkling: I am unfamiliar with the concept. [Attacks a mook.] Maybe not, I guess.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The Darklings are psychopathic Cloudcuckoolanders.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: More than anything, one gets the impression that the Darkness simply does not understand how people work — physically or mentally — beyond their capacity for receiving and causing suffering.
    The Darkness: "Jackie, I fixed your broken head ball."
    • Hell, the Darkness expected him to be pleased after it forced him to watch Jenny be murdered because this would "make him stronger" and it seemed utterly bewildered when he chose instead to kill himself.
  • Border Patrol: By all means, head directly into the subway tunnels. See what happens.
    • The Darkness mocks you when you do this, saying something along the lines of "this is not a very good idea..."
  • Boring Yet Practical: The pistols have pin-point accuracy even when fired as fast as possible, and you're tripping over spares for most of the game. Zoom in, aim for the head, and you can take out a bunch of enemies while saving energy you would have otherwise used on a black hole.
    • The first Darkness power, Creeping Dark, can move further with each level, and the NPCs are notoriously incapable of hitting it. Furthermore, after making a kill, you can eat the heart of your victim to refill Darkness energy to full. This combination makes it possible to clear entire rooms without entering them through most of the game.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: All four of the darklings in the game have their idiosyncrasies, but the Berserker darkling is particularly unhinged. Even better, it's voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz.
    "I LIKE PENGUINS!"
    "LET'S GO SHOPPING!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The game itself is M-rated. Do you expect anything?
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: At one point in the game, Shrote captures Jackie and tortures him by taking a power drill to his face. In the sequel, Jackie gets crucified by the Brotherhood. Both times, he gets better.
  • Convenient Eclipse
  • Cross-Melting Aura: In the first game, a solar eclipse supercharges Jackie's powers to the point where light bulbs (which would previously need to be shot or smashed) start exploding just by his very presence.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Uncle Paulie shows shades of this, but Shrote easily takes the cake, as it takes him all of two seconds to figure out that the Darkness is vulnerable to light.note  From then on, he sets up ambushes using floodlights and knocks Jackie out with flashbangs. Bonus points for making sure Jackie had multiple lights shining on him while he was interrogating him and stops his Mooks from indulging in Just Between You and Me. Paulie, on the other hand, just straps some floodlights to the front of his secret hideout and calls it good. Shrote also berates his henchman for accidentally revealing some of their plans to Jackie. Said henchman points out that Jackie is going to die anyway. Shrote doesn't care. It's not clear if he knows Jackie already died and came back, is being cautious in case he escapes, is wearing a wire, or just figures (correctly) the Darkness might be able to bring Jackie back to life.
    • The sequel features even better genre savvy enemies, known as The Brotherhood, a cabal of insane darkness-addicted apocalyptic zealots who were corrupted by The Darkness (too well, as they are the enemies of everyone not controlled by them, even The Angelus and The Darkness). They already know that The Darkness is vulnerable to light AND has an assorted array of violent attacks connected to their already violent sharpshooting host, so they prepare REALLY well and are a difficulty spike to the entirety of BOTH games: they feature mooks whose primary weapon is a giant searchlight (like Alan Wake), replaced their stockpile of grenades with flashbangs (never hurts them but DEFINITELY hurts Jackie), use darkness-infused melee weapons that deal massive damage (and since Jackie doesn't carry light-based weapons due to The Darkness...), wear darkness-infused armor that prevents instant headshots and/or prevents The Darkness' signature slash-grab-and-execute (which most genre savvy players have been using as a game breaker), and have lieutenants that can use darkness magic to even the odds with darkness grenades and take multiple bullets to the head. They also set up fluorescent searchlights (cannot be moved, but cannot be directly shot at to disable) and ambush Jackie at key points. Luckily, they're also insane, so they make a LOT of key mistakes.
  • Defiant to the End: While being tortured by Shrote, most of Jackie's dialogue options involve flinging insults at the nearby cops. True, Jackie actually intended to die on this particular mission, but it's pretty impressive considering that Jackie is managing to speak with a hole drilled through his face.
    Keep lickin' Eddie's ass, ya cunts. Polish that sweet butt crack.
  • Dirty Cop: Tons of 'em. Jackie has disdain for said cops as well as for the mobsters who partner with them, since it dirties both of them.
  • Downer Ending: Both games end very, very badly for Jackie.
  • Easter Egg: Unlockable concept art and full issues of the comic.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Of a kind: In the last stage of the game, Jackie mounts a one-man offensive against Uncle Paulie's island fortress. The attack begins at daylight, which would seem to be a stupid move on his part... except that an eclipse is due, and as it progresses, Jackie's power spikes. Lightbulbs start shattering by his mere presence.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jackie and the old-school mobsters really hate partnering with dirty cops, drug money, and other bottom-of-the-barrel underworld stuff.
    • The old-school mobsters are particularly disgusted when Paulie bombs an orphanage, while at the same time you can overhear Paulie's minions laughing about it.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Sometimes. The Darkness sometimes speaks in a low, gravelly tone, but sometimes uses a high, menacing hiss. One thing's for sure, it always sounds incredibly disturbing.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Johnny lampshades this in the Vendettas trailer. Jackie might have the moral high ground, but that's damning with praise considering some of the stuff he does and the company he keeps.
    Johnny: Evil is evil. Face it, we're not talking about soda pop here. There's no 'sugar free' option.
  • Fantastic Noir: The tone, atmosphere, and plot (especially the Private Eye Monologues) of the game resembles a mix of film noir and lovecraft lite
    • The second game strays more to the lovecraft lite direction, especially with the introduction of The Brotherhood and The Angelus.
  • First-Person Ghost: Averted, Estacado's lower body is fully visible.
  • First-Person Shooter
  • First-Person Smartass: Jackie's monologues.
  • Forced to Watch: The Darkness holds Jackie helpless while Paulie shoots Jenny in the head.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": One of the collectible phone numbers.
    Operator: "If someone is currently stabbing you, press 4."
  • Good Hurts Evil: Good irritates evil. The Darkness refuses to manifest itself around the subway stations full of normal people, and if you try, it'll complain that it finds the people too boring to attack; the Darkness is attracted to darkness, and even the metaphorical darkness of the heart is preferable to it. When meeting Jenny for the first time:
    The Darkness: "She reeks of innocence!"
  • Good Old Ways: Jackie receives aid from the old guard of the Mafia.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Guns Akimbo: Your first weapon is a pair of pistols.
  • Have a Nice Death: Depending on when and where you die in the game, you're treated to a series of warped, distorted images of the next location in the game while the Darkness hisses something cryptic, usually about how it's not going to let you die.
  • Hell Is War: The Otherworld in the first game is a nightmarish, unending version of World War I that Anthony Estacado is stuck in.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Jackie has shades of this. Although he is a brutal and remorseless killer, he does openly disparage some of the actions of his mafia family, and when his girlfriend Jenny gets killed, that's when he begins his real Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted in the first game; areas without light can go completely pitch-black (but using your powers lets you see in the dark.) Played straight in the more stylized sequel; "dark" areas are so well-lit it's sometimes hard to figure out where the lights are at a glance.
  • Humans Are Bastards: It is implied that the Darkness wasn't originally evil, but having to deal with human hosts for millennia (what with their wars, and greed and sickness) has driven it insane. Though this is learned in the Darkness' own realm, so it could be just another Mind Screw on its part...
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Jackie does not reload his pistols or SMGs. He drops them and pulls out new ones. This is shown when you notice different types of pistols in his hands, or when one of your SMGs suddenly has a silencer. This trope is played straight when you realize that each "clip" in your arsenal is actually a different gun, and you can hold more than 2 dozen pistols and SMGs in your coat.
    • Then again, it's most likely justified here, as Jackie may well be keeping the Darkness under his coat, providing him with an actual pocket dimension to store said guns.
    • Averted in the sequel. Jackie is limited to two one-handed firearms, which can be dual wielded, and a single two-handed firearm.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: You can recharge by letting the Darkness rip out and feed upon the hearts of your enemies.
  • Kill the Cutie: Jenny.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Light. Very dim lighting doesn't affect you too much, but standing under or near any strong light source will quickly drain your powers and leave you vulnerable. The bad guys eventually realize this and start setting traps for you with floodlights, and flashbangs are extremely effective at disabling Jackie. This is an upgraded weakness from the comics, where Jackie was only vulnerable to daylight.
  • Large Ham: The Darkness itself, dear God. Fittingly, the second game has it literally Chewing the Scenery on occasion (figuratively...all the time). The (cockney?) British Darkling as well, though not quite as much.
  • Mad Bomber: The Kamikaze Darkling.
  • Magical Realism: The only supernatural phenomenon seen in the game is the Darkness itself (and, by association, the Darklings and the Darkness world). Apart from that, the characters and world are pretty realistic (albeit somewhat stylized).
  • Mercy Kill: Once you obtain the Darkness Guns, you'll be able to kill the Allied soldiers in Chapter 2 & 4 permanently. Since all of them are horribly disfigured and in constant pain, you'll feel little remorse for doing so.
  • Money to Burn: One of your missions to sabotage Uncle Paulie is to find out where he's stashing a large amount of his cash and burn it.
  • Morality Pet: Jenny. Then Paulie offs her. A very, VERY bad move on Paulie's part.
  • Multi-Take Cut: Done in the loading screens. Nicky has a series of monologues while he's sitting or standing under a spotlight. He talks directly ahead but the camera will constantly change angles.
  • Nerf: The Darkness' creations crumble in any strong light, not just sunlight, in order to make the entirely nocturnal game a challenge for the player.
  • New York City Cops: Far more competent than the mobster mooks, due to being led by the calculating Captain Shrote, who very quickly figures out Jackie's weakness and how to exploit it.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Jackie never sports his costume from the comic series. Many other supernatural elements are also cut. This has the effect of making the supernatural elements actually more impressive when they do show up.
    • The second game introduces a a skill tree system including the comic book "Darkness Armor" as an upgrade.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted. Despite being an first-person shooter (where this is common), Jackie does not reload his pistols, but picks up new ones from his coat. As well, assault rifles accurately lose all unused bullets in the clip being discarded for a new one. Ammo is categorized by "Bullets in gun"/"Total clips/guns", and if you reload early, you have full bullets in gun, and lose 1 clip. Somehow, though, you realize the same rule applies to shotguns...
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The undead soldiers in the hell inside the Darkness's mind. The Hun are typical monstrosities, but the Brits are fully aware, stuck fighting the same war for centuries while unable to die. Most disturbing is one of the first soldiers you meet, who's endlessly trying to commit suicide by shooting himself in the mouth over and over in between reciting poetry. There's even a little sign that indicates that he's in a designated spot for it.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The game more or less takes what works about the Darkness comics and runs with it. One change they made is making Jackie weak to any light, not just sunlight, which arguably improved the experience as a whole (allowing savvy villains to pose a threat to Jackie as long as they have floodlights or flashbangs). Jackie also doesn't have his Top Cow-ian "Darkness Armor," just a black trench coat with lots of darkness-tendrils popping out of it while using his powers (though the sequel adds the "Darkness Armor" as an option upgrade.)
  • Reality Ensues: Uncle Paulie is the final boss of the first game. Considering he's an out-of-shape fat guy going up against a heavily-armed hitman whose girlfriend he killed possessed by a spirit of primordial darkness that's just been supercharged by the recent eclipse, he goes down with one hit.
  • Reconstruction: Of the Nineties Anti-Hero, just like the original comic. See the trope page for more, in both the Comic Book and Videogame sections.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the finale chapter, Paulie and his Mooks (And the player, for that matter) get to see first-hand what a fully-powered-up Jackie is capable of doing.
  • Show Within a Show: Jenny and Jackie can watch To Kill a Mockingbird in its entirety, as well as several full-length TV shows that are now public domain.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Jackie's Darkness powers don't manifest until after the first level in the original game.
  • Self-Deprecation: One can overhear a casual conversation between NPCs about the alleged sexual openness of Swedes, involving, among other things, having sex with a moose. The game's developer, Starbreeze Studios, is Swedish.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the game, the Kamikaze Darkling's attack is to run up to the target, pull the detonator off his back, push the plunger and explode.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Jenny. She's barely a character, and pretty much is Jackie's primary angst source in the story.
    • Ironically, she's far better developed in the sequel, where she spends the entire game dead.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: By all means, run toward the tentacle-spouting glowy-eyed superpowered hit man. Never mind that he can kill you five different ways without even needing to raise a pistol.
    • The game subverts this to some degree in that the Mooks generally will still try to shoot you, but the dialogue that goes along with most scenarios consists of panicky yelling about what you are and how to get rid of you (or get away from you). In one scripted scene, dozens of them are screaming in terror and trying to run away while Jackie in fully-powered Darkness mode hunts them down and brutally eviscerates them.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: The Black Hole power.
  • Taking You with Me: When he's captured and tortured by Shrote, Jackie manages activate the bomb he had put in the suitcase.
  • The Blank: The undead German soldiers you fight in the Otherworld.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Strange version. Jackie has several flashbacks of himself and little Jenny in the orphanage, but at least once, Jenny seems to be aware that they're being watched...
  • They Were Holding You Back
  • Throw Away Guns: Jackie's method of "reloading" pistols and SMGs, all of which he keeps in his coat.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Jenny
  • Torture Technician: Shrote proves his credentials in this field when he manages to capture Jackie.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The game lets you use a couple of types of automatic weapons, but all firearms are useless compared to the One-Hit Kill properties of the Darkness powers (particularly the whip and the black hole). Guns are mostly a fallback for when there's too much light for you to use your Darkness powers.
    • The Darkness II places greater emphasis on gunplay, complementing it with The Darkness' mostly melee-based powers. For example, the Black Hole is now effectively an enemy drop grenade, instead of an AOE spell, so to speak.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: On the other hand, the game lets you retrieve an elderly woman's wedding ring off the subway tracks, deliver a long-lost memento to a widow, and watch a movie with your girlfriend.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: But you can also go around being a dog-kicking asshole slaughtering civilians, and the only thing that changes peoples reaction to you is whether or not you're in Darkness mode... which is to say, random people in the subway will always be nice to you even if you've killed most of New York City in incredibly brutal ways, as long as you don't have Combat Tentacles sprouting from your back and shoulders. Which may, in fact, be accurate.
  • Weirdness Censor: For a good portion of the game, no one in the cutscenes actually acknowledges that Jackie has a demonic entity on him, and he doesn't mention it in them either. The first time it's explicitly mentioned is by Shrote, which just happens to be in the cutscene where Jenny is murdered. He also seems to recognize Jackie's weakness to light. Weird how he managed to find his two biggest vulnerabilities at the same time, huh?
  • What Could Have Been: The Angelus was originally planned to make an appearance in the first game, but was cut from the final release. It is frequently mentioned in the sequel and is revealed to be Jenny in the ending.
  • World War I: Whenever Jackie commits suicide on Holy Ground, he goes here - or at least to a hellish domain inspired by it, with immortal British soldiers condemned to die over and over again and German zombies who are little more than snarling beasts in uniform. One of the Brits suggests that none of them are actually real.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: In the hell that Jackie finds himself, the Brits have been fighting World War I for centuries.
    • Somehow inverted at the same time, as Jackie's segments there take minutes-hours of gameplay when days pass in the real world.

The sequel contains examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Not that the first game was lacking in action, but the second game is not nearly as subtle as the first.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Darkling calls Jackie "Monkey".
  • Ambiguously Gay: Enzo from the second game remarks on one character "Keeping his strong arm on the pump", comments on Jimmy the Grape's "grapes", and admires Fat Tony's "Salami" and says he'd be very attractive if he lost weight.
    • "Adolph" in the Asylum comments on how much he admires the sight of sweaty young men digging ditches.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Armored Brotherhood agents and especially shielded ones can take more punishment than ones with no armor, though sufficient upgrades can decrease its efficiency greatly.
  • Art Shift: The first game used a more-realistic art style; the sequel uses Cel Shading for a more comic-like look.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Lampshaded in a conversation between Butcher Joyce and another mobster, who both agree that "that fuckin' thing of his" was what made Jackie the Don
  • Back from the Dead: Jackie, for the third time in the series. And the fourth. And the fifth.
  • Badass Bookworm: J.P. Dummond.
  • Been There, Shaped History: According to the relic descriptions, the Darkness has performed a number of historical feats, including killing Moses, as well as murdering Buddha and trapping his soul in a torture prison for eternity.
  • Benevolent Boss: The second game shows Jackie to be this to the Franchetti crime family, taking the time to talk to his hitmen and getting to know them. He even offers his condolences when a hitman loses someone. It's a notable contrast to the complete self-serving monster his predecessor was.
  • Big "NO!": Jackie belts one out at the end of The Stinger, when he realizes he is trapped in Hell and Jenny is now a host of the Angelus.
  • But You Were There, and You, and You: The Asylum of the second game is populated and staffed by twisted reflections of people Jackie knew in the real world: Tony, Dolpho, Swifty and even Johnny Powell appear as patients; Vinnie, Chief, Frank, Eddie, and Mr Peevish are orderlies; Jenny is one of the nurses; Jimmy the Grape and Brother Victor are doctors. Also, the Darkling makes a surprise appearance as a human janitor, the only key to his true identity being his hunchback and Cockney accent.
  • Call Back: The first level of the sequel has you briefly revisit the Canal St. subway station from the first game. While down there you can spot things like the hobo's TV in the shopping cart (which you could previously watch cartoons and music videos on), and George Hadel's harmonica, seat, and radio in the same spot as in the last game.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Brotherhood's attempts at getting Jackie to surrender the Darkness involve a lot of this: the first time , they crucify him and then force him to watch as one of his friends is executed. The second time, they shove him into an iron maiden; once they succeed in extracting the Darkness, they light a fire under the iron maiden and try to cook Jackie alive.
  • Cool Old Lady: Aunt Sarah is Jackie's beloved aunt, who gives good advice and, oh yes, has spent most of her life involved with the mob. This leads to things like her casually saying that a restaurant has lost her patronage for being unable to prevent a bombing, and talking about feeding someone their liver. She was probably not being literal.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Angelus. It appears to have chosen Jenny as its host well before Jackie manifested the Darkness. Jenny's death in the first game and Jackie's subsequent drive to save her from the Darkness in the second game lead Jackie to unwillingly condemn himself to Hell. It doesn't even bother to fight him. Jackie, for his part, wasn't planning to fight her anyway, because he's kinda savvy himself.
    • Victor counts too. In literally every appearance until the end, he outmaneuvers Jackie and quite cheerfully spams light ambushes. He effortlessly captures Jackie twice and actually succeeds in taking the Darkness from him. And he plans ambushes along escape paths even after he thinks Jackie is caught.
  • Demoted to Extra: Butcher Joyce barely gets screen time and only optional dialogue, whereas he had a mission devoted to him in the original game.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Jackie kills himself with the Siphon in direct defiance of the Darkness. He does it again to free Jenny's soul from the Darkness's grasp.
  • Downer Ending: Doubles as a Bittersweet Ending: Jackie manages to free himself from The Darkness and rescue Jenny's soul from hell, complete with touching reunion. . . and then The Angelus - which had been kept there by The Darkness as well - shows up in the after-credits epilogue, co-opting Jenny and returning to Earth to enact some seriously righteous smiting while essentially condemning The Darkness and its host to their fate. Jackie doesn't even lift a finger to counter her, and winds up stuck in hell for the time being, once again separated from Jenny. . .
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Well, the boss fights aren't especially hard, but the fact that you can't heal your health in many of them (due to there not being any Mooks around and therefore no hearts to eat) does create a significant amount of challenge, especially if you've been going through the game by chaining executions together to constantly heal.
  • Elite Mooks: The Brotherhood has a number of special units, including guys armed with floodlights, armored guys with energy whips that can disarm you of your weapons, knights in riot armor equipped with bulletproof shields, and Superpowered Mooks with enhanced armor and health who can Flash Step all over the place using Darkness power.
  • Evil Cripple: Victor, leader of The Brotherhood. Despite the fact that he walks with leg-braces, he can simply Flash Step with the power of The Darkness.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As in the original.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Halfway through the second game, Jackie catches up with Mr Bragg, the Brotherhood thug who led the attack on the mansion, murdered Aunt Sarah in cold blood, and gatecrashed her funeral. After defeating him in battle and letting the Darkling smack him about for a little while, Jackie uses the Darkness to slice open his torso and tears out his heart with his bare hand.
  • Eye Scream: The second game opens with Jackie going to a restaurant and meeting a pair of identical twins- one of whom is shot in the back of the head by an assassin who'd been aiming for Jackie; the bullet exits quite graphically through her eye.
    • The Darkling likes to finish off opponents by jumping up and gouging their eyes out with his thumbs.
  • Fastball Special: In The Darkness 2, Jackie can lift the Darkling and fling him at enemies. The Darkling is not amused.
  • First-Person Ghost: Played straight, as opposed to the first game.
  • First-Person Shooter
  • First-Person Smartass: In spite of all that's happened to him, Jackie still has his wiseass streak.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Brotherhood
  • Five-Man Band: In the sequel, Jackie gathers up one of these, who are playable in their own Cooperative campaign.
  • Genre Savvy: Jackie realizes that the Brotherhood leading him to Hellgate Amusement Park is a trap, but still has to go because it's the only way to get what he wants.
  • Glamour Failure: The Darkness does a good job making the Asylum's mundane explanations of Jackie's fantastic experiences seem plausible, but it doesn't seem to understand that H.P. Lovecraft is a poor choice for relaxing television theatre.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Brother Victor is Covered with Scars across his face that look necrotic and ghoulish. "Doctor Vick" on the other hand has burn scarring on the left side of his face, but they are well treated and healed as best they can.
  • Gun Kata: There is actually an upgrade Jackie can be explicitly named this, though it focuses only on the offensive side of it. Taking it allows Jackie's to auto-target enemies while Gun Channeling if he wields Guns Akimbo. Each gun can even independently auto-target a different enemy, allowing Jackie to walk right into a room and take out each mook with a few well placed shots in rapid succession without actually focusing his vision on any one enemy.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Happens to an enemy Mook in the second game when Jackie lets the darkness out again. It's also possible to do it in gameplay with the demon arm both horizontally and vertically.
  • Have a Nice Death: Depending on when and where you die in the game, you're treated to a series of warped, distorted images of the next location in the game while the Darkness hisses something cryptic, usually about how it's not going to let you die.
  • Healing Factor: During the introduction, Jackie's leg is badly mangled when a car crashes through the window in front of him; when he finally releases the Darkness, the player is treated to the sight of the bloodied leg regenerating. Furthermore, after being crucified by the Brotherhood and barely managing to escape, Jackie clearly sees the holes in his palms sealing shut.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted even in gameplay now. Jackie and the Vendettas characters talk in and out of gameplay with people around them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the climax of the second game, the Darkling exposes himself to sunlight while helping Jackie escape from the Asylum- the one place where his immortality doesn't work.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Inugami, in his lust for revenge and desire to fulfill Kusinagi's bloodthirst has made him even more Ax-Crazy than most of the brotherhood he kills.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Darkness is once again voiced by Mike Patton, and let's just say this isn't the first time Rick Pasqualone voiced a mafioso whose name started with "V"
  • Hollywood Darkness: Played straight in the sequel; "dark" areas are so well-lit it's sometimes hard to figure out where the lights are at a glance.
  • Hypocrite: If you kill Eddie for the Sadistic Choice, his last words are to call you a son of a bitch. Kill the other guy, and he'll spend the rest of the game telling you that you should've picked him.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: You can heal by letting the Darkness rip out and feed upon the hearts of your enemies.
  • Impaled Palm: Jackie, in both palms, when he is captured and crucified by the Brotherhood.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the sequel, Jackie can grab poles with his tentacles and spear mooks with them. There's even an achievement for getting two enemies at once with it: 2 Guys 1 Pole.
  • Instant Armor: The sequel allows Jackie to purchase a talent which gives him "Dark Armor", extending growths of the Darkness across his body when he is out of direct light. This drastically increases his damage resistance.
  • Ironic Echo: If you kill Frank in the Sadistic Choice, his last words are "This is not your fault,"- the same last words as Jenny. Brother Victor lampshades this.
  • King Mook: Most of the bosses in the Vendetta co-op mode are versions of regular enemies with lots more health.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Light again. The Brotherhood has been fighting the Darkness for centuries, and have gotten good at exploiting this: at one point, they booby trap a chokepoint with at least a dozen floodlights, incapacitating Jackie and allowing him to be captured.
    • The collectible Relics show that there are actually a surprising number of artifacts capable of harming and defeating the Darkness (or at least the Darkness Host), despite him being a walking Humanoid Abomination Physical God.
  • Large Ham: The Darkness itself, dear God. Fittingly, the second game has it literally Chewing the Scenery on occasion (figuratively...all the time). The (cockney?) British Darkling as well, though not quite as much.
    • The Vendettas characters definitely qualify, with lines such as: "This pain tastes... sweet", "THE HOUND FEELS NO PAIN!!" and "YOU MEN AND YOUR LITTLE TOYS!!", among others.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Sure the game has perpetual conflict between two Eldritch Abominations with humanity caught in between, but first, you control one of the said Eldritch Abominations, and second, they can be weakened and defeated
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Finding yourself something to use as a shield, be it a torn off car door, a street sign, or an actual combat shield, is useful in gameplay for a few extra hits. Then again, there's also the fact that Throwing Your Shield Always Works if you get a good hit.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: What happens to people who die by Gun Channeling or Black Hole.
  • Mad Bomber: Dolpho. In the co-op campaign, he always provides the explosives needed for the missions. For good measure, there's a good chance he's legitimately insane, given that he spends his free time taking potshots at pigeons, and Jackie won't allow him out of the house.
  • Magical Realism: Dropped in the sequel by the introduction of numerous characters using magic or magical artifacts, the Siphon being the most obvious example. The game also introduces the Angelus, the Darkness' light counterpart.
  • Man on Fire: One of the special kills you can get from throwing a propane tank at enemies in the second game is called BBQ. You also see a few running around as Jackie is escaping from the Brothel.
  • Mean Brit: The Darkling that accompanies Jackie through almost the entire second game. It has a British accent, speaks with British idioms, and wears a tattered shirt with the Union Jack on it. Why it has a cat-skin for a hat is unknown...
    • He's quite mean to Jackie's enemies ("rip out their throats and piss on their corpses" kind of mean) but is actually one of Jackie's few friends.
  • Mr. Exposition: Johnny Powell in the sequel, an occultist who helped Jackie suppress The Darkness and is fairly knowledgeable about it and subjects relating to it. He's also more than a little unhinged.
  • Multinational Team: The characters of the Multiplayer mode in the sequel consist of a Violent Glaswegian, a Japanese swordsman, a Mossad agent and a Cajun Witch Doctor.
  • Multiple Endings: In the second game. The last time Jackie visits the asylum, he can either choose to stay with Jenny or jump off a ledge. Either one is still a Downer Ending, but the former is more of an And I Must Scream moment, because it means that Jackie has become the puppet of The Darkness. The latter turns the whole game into a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: In the sequel, Jackie's family are foul-mouthed and amoral, but don't do anything too evil on-screen. Even Jackie's pretty amiable, so long as you aren't at the business end of his guns or demon arms
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the second game, by freeing Jenny's soul from the Darkness, the Angelus has possessed her and leaves Jackie behind in Hell.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Johnny Powell seems truly fascinated by some of the relics that Jackie brings back to the penthouse, calling the soul-destroying Abysmal Maw "dark magic at it's sexiest," referring to the Dark Man statue as "this sexy guy," and upon seeing the Sister of Light, he remarks that Jackie always brings him the nicest things. That said, he does get a little bit agitated around some of the more visceral artifacts, and sounds quite disgusted when he reveals that the Reliquary of the Blessed Blood is supposed to contain Jesus' foreskin but in reality, it contains the foreskin of a guy named Miles from South Hammingtonshire.
  • Off with His Head!: The Daisy Pop Hitman execution.
  • No-Gear Level: After Jackie loses The Darkness, he has to fall back to his mundane weaponry until he can steal some of his power back from Mr Peevish
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Much more so than the original game. There are a few corners to poke around it for Relics, but it is mostly just shooting and mutilating your way forward.
  • Nostalgia Level: A small example. As mentioned above, the first level of the sequel has you revisit the Canal St. subway station from the first game. It's noticeably bigger than it was in the first game, though, meaning it must have gotten some major renovations over the course of the past two years.
  • One Bullet Clips: Played straight, as opposed to the first game.
  • Open Secret: In the sequel, the fact that Jackie is a Humanoid Abomination is known by most of his crew, though they usually dance around the issue by calling it "his thing" or similar in front of the boss.
  • Orifice Invasion: The Throat Plunge Power Execution and Assecution Demonic Execution.
  • Pedophile Priest: Lampshaded but averted, in one of the between level cutscenes Jackie begins to tell a story about a priest that would visit the orphanage called Father Alanso then says "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinkin' and it ain't that kind a story".
  • Pinned to the Wall: You can pick up poles and throw them to pin enemies to walls. There is an achievement for doing that to two guys at once.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Instead of threatening and assaulting Jackie, the Darkness could have easily just straight out told him "Hey, Jenny's possessed by the Angelus, and if you free her it will most likely leave you stuck here in Hell, return to the Earth, and force Jenny to murder thousands of people, including most of your mob buddies". Then again, given how many Blatant Lies it'd fed Jackie over the course of the game, he wouldn't have any reason to believe it.
  • Posthumous Character: Jenny Romano is expanded on far more than she was in the original game. A major goal of Jackie in the game is to save her soul from the Darkness' torment in hell, not to revive her.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Averted. The game is pretty good when it comes to showing realistic head wounds.
  • Sadistic Choice: Between Frank and Eddie. Take too long deciding, and the game automatically kills Eddie (although you do get an achievement for refusing to take part in the Sadistic Choice, and Frank tells you that you did the right thing in refusing to play Victor's sick game).
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Most Brotherhood soldiers wear Darkness armor that covers their face and only their face. It makes them look scary and does protect against headshots, but does absolutely nothing to prevent them from being shot anywhere else in the body. About the only thing it's good for is giving you a lower kill score by making it harder to get headshots.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Jimmy the Grape states that Jackie reminds him of a guy named Vito who he knew back in the 50's who was really good at stealing cars, a pretty clear reference to Mafia II, another game published by 2K games.
    • The achievement in the Vendettas campaign for killing a guy named Luigi is called "Burned Down The Mansion."
  • Show Within a Show: Just like the TVs in the first game. The Asylum in the sequel plays a shadow theater of a story by H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Sequel Hook: The Angelus has taken control of Jenny and set itself up as the main antagonist of the third game, Jackie's stuck in hell but most likely won't stay there.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The sequel has a short on-rails shooting sequence -before Jackie unleashes the Darkness again.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Played straight by melee enemies. Brotherhood cultists, using supernatural armor and axe-like weapons coupled with a religious fervor make sense. But the mafioso with the baseball bats?
  • Take a Third Option: Jackie is forced to choose between giving the Darkness to the Brotherhood and giving them absolute power, or giving the Siphon to the Darkness in exchange for Jenny. He instead chooses to kill himself with the Siphon to go to Hell and rescue Jenny by force.
  • Those Two Guys: Frank and Eddie. And you have to decide which of them dies.
  • The Unfettered: Shoshanna of the Vendetta campaigns reeks of this, primarily, specifically of types 3, 4, and 5. She is consistently the most focused of the group, wields a weapon, wields a family heirloom weapons that no one has wielded past the age of 30, and is unflinching in fighting the Brotherhood with her darkness powers.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The second game awards experience for each enemy you kill, with more violent and gruesome deaths award you with more points.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Jimmy, dear Christ Jimmy.
  • Virgin Power: Implied to be averted, in contrast to the comic version. In various points during the second game, Jackie references conversations he had with his own father, who, if judging by the rules established in the comic, would not be alive to converse with. Jackie is still a Celibate Hero, however.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each Vendettas character has his or her own specialized Darkness relic.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Each asylum segment takes only a few minutes, but varying amounts of time pass in the real world while he's there. He's once there for four days.


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alternative title(s): The Darkness II
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