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Black Cloak

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Concept art of a Dementor for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
"A great darkness surrounds your adversary, preventing me from seeing clearly.... I can only make out the shape of a black cloak."
Oracle, King's Quest VI

One of the oldest required dress codes by the Forces of Darkness. A Black Cloak villain sometimes even refers to himself as "Evil" or "Dark." The higher-up Black Cloaks may be supernatural beings patterned after The Grim Reaper. Lesser Black Cloaks are often cultists of some kind belonging to a Secret Circle of Secrets or Religion of Evil.

The black cloak may have sleeves (making it technically a robe). A hood that conceals the face is often a required matching accessory.

Often Black Cloaks will wander around in public. Nobody ever seems to question the people who are obviously concealing their identities. As with Stormtrooper armor, it's very easy for good guys to steal the uniform and walk around undetected in enemy territory, at least for a little while. Wearing a black cloak also signifies if a hero is dallying with The Dark Side, or is an Anti-Hero.

This is sometimes paired with a Malevolent Mask for extra creepiness.

Can overlap with Ominous Opera Cape.

A Sub-Trope of Evil Wears Black. See Good Colors, Evil Colors. Contrast Villain in a White Suit.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Guts is known as the Black Swordsman because of his cloak in the early volumes of Berserk.
  • The new evil organization in Boruto, Kara, wears black cloaks.
  • Used in Claymore whenever the characters need to go undercover.
  • The protagonist's disguise in Code Geass involves a helmet that completely hides the face and a black cloak. Though it remains a mystery if he really is a good person, or is just wanting power for himself. As of the series finale, he is officially a good guy - one might even call him "Christlike..." For obvious reasons.
    • In Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion, the manga series that's most faithful to the anime, Lelouch actually does wear a black cloak before having Zero's costume made.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, England wears a black cloak whenever he tries to put a curse on someone.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Link is shown to have worn a hooded black cloak, although he's a wanderer who accidentally sent his town to the Twilight Realm rather than anything malign. He's stopped wearing it in the present day.
  • In Macross, there's Exedore/Exsedol's redesigned form in Do You Remember Love? and Macross 7: his entire body below the neck is shown as a black cloak with retractable tendril-like arms, but he's a fairly nice guy who serves as The Spock instead of being a villain.
  • Naruto:
    • The Akatsuki have painted very stylish red clouds on their Black Cloaks, which, in a minor subversion, don't come with hoods (though they do have conical straw hats).
    • And for the Akatsuki members who have died, when "Kabuchimaru" revives them with Edo Tensei, he so very thoughtfully provides them all with hooded black cloaks, playing the trope dead on.
    • There's a recent couple of panels in the manga in which Sasuke and Tobi are just sitting around in a tea house with no disguise other than a black robe. Seriously.
  • In fitting with mage theme, Negima! Magister Negi Magi gave us the definitely final boss by the title of "Mage of the Beginning" who wore one of these to emphasize his mysteriousness.
  • Nekozawa from Ouran High School Host Club wears one of these partially to be mysterious, and because he is extremely photosensitive. He even wears a black wig over his normally blonde hair. Oddly for this trope he's not evil.
  • The so-called-by-the-heroes "Black Cloaks" from the second story arc of the Japanese Peter Pan animated series.
  • Lord Ashram from Record of Lodoss War.
  • Wiseman aka Death Phantom, Big Bad of the second season of Sailor Moon is a skeleton in a black cloak.
  • Shinigami from Soul Eater seems as if he's wearing one of these, though it's hard to tell if it's clothing or his actual body. When wearing his black robes and skull mask, Death the Kid looks like a miniature of his father (the first time it looked like it was until the perspective changed).
  • Almost all of the Dark Signers in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds don black clocks. Those that do are typically shown hooded before they officially reveal themselves to the protagonists, ditching the hood for all subsequent appearances thereafter.
    • The Rare Hunters in Yu-Gi-Oh! wear these.
    • Aki also briefly wore one on-screen twice before officially joining the heroes.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Pokemon fanfiction Ancienverse, Reeree, Serena's antagonistic and evil twin, wears one.
  • Satan Girl from Hellsister Trilogy, a murderous Supergirl's doppelganger, wears a flowing black cloak with a likewise black hood.
  • In The New Adventures of Invader Zim, members of the secret society of gamers whom Gaz encounters in Episode 18 all wear hooded black cloaks. Their leader the Grandmaster of Gaming spices things up a bit by having gold trim on his.
    • In Episode 19, Norlock suggests Zim wear one of these, along with a red ceramic mask, as a disguise when he starts building his rebellion against the Empire, in order to create a mystique that'll gain the attention of his potential followers.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The members of the Questioning Order wear these as part of their usual outfit, along with a blank white mask.
  • In Pokémon Master, those who earn the title of Master owing to wield an elemental power wear colored robes. Ash Ketchum, the Shadow Master, wears an ebony-black hooded cloak. He isn't evil, but he's not nice and his powers are scary, and most of his world's people believe the Shadow element is Forbidden because it's evil anyway.

    Films — Animation 
  • Yokai from Big Hero 6 wears a long black trench coat with a sort of suit underneath covering his head.
  • The LEGO Movie: Wyldstyle looks like she's wearing one of these whenever she has her hood up.
  • Like in the books, the ringwraiths of the '77 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings wear the "robe" variant. Once they fall for the old "pillows under the sheets" trick in Bree, they throw them away for Animated Armor to show that they mean business now

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Those damn Ephors from 300.
  • Aleta: Vampire Mistress: Aleta wears a black cloak in the party at the beginning of the movie.
  • In the film version of Angels In America, Prior wears a sort of modernized cloak (almost a hoodie, but not quite) in each scene after he takes the book (except the one post-Time Skip.) It's quite an attention-grabber when compared to the normal people he walks past. (The play creates a similar effect with a black coat and a scarf that's draped like a hood.)
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, the Red Skull is seen wearing a grim reaper-esque cloak for his new role as the keeper of the Soul Infinity Stone.
  • Cryptz: One of the vampires staffing the strip club wears a black cloak.
  • Cthulhu (2007). The protagonist sees a line of cloaked and hooded figures coming across the bridge towards him, and is so freaked out he steals a boat to avoid them.
  • Dark August: Thanks to the curse that has been placed on him, Sal suffers from seizure-like fits in which he sees a mysterious figure that takes the form of a tall man in a dark cloak that hides his face.
  • Appropriately worn by Death in Death Takes a Holiday.
  • Elves (2017): The mysterious figure that partakes in the deaths of the movie wears a black cloak.
  • The Gingerweed Man: The villain of the movie wears a large black cloak with a hood that completely conceals his identity.
  • In the Harry Potter films, the Dementors are almost intangible (to avoid looking too much like Nazgûl), while the Death Eaters are basically the wizard KKK with their robes the opposite colour.
  • Hot Fuzz where the Neighbourhood Watch wear black hooded cloaks when committing their murders, but also when holding their meetings which, along with Ominous Latin Chanting, is done for no other purpose than to spoof this trope.
  • Mostly inverted in The Matrix where the good guys were identified by their distinctive black leather trenchcoats. On the bad guys' side, The Twins in particular not only wore white trenchcoats but were themselves albino.
    • And it fits within the setting considering the main characters are computer hackers and other varieties of Internet geeks, who of course are going to give their avatars cool outfits with long flowing black cloaks.
  • Mortuary (1983): Mr. Andrews and the women he holds seances with all wear black cloaks when doing so. The killer wears one as well.
  • In The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen, the Hooded Riders wear black robes and hoods that make them resemble The Klan.
  • The killers from Scream films wear black cloaks along with the signature Scream-masks.
  • In Sky Bandits, the evil captain of the German airship wears a black leather trench coat. He is the only character to do so.
  • Star Wars:
    • In his progression from innocent farmboy to Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker started in a white outfit (A New Hope), underwent most of his training in a grey flight suit (The Empire Strikes Back) and wore a black jumpsuit under the traditional brown robe when he proclaimed himself a full Jedi Knight (Return of the Jedi). Also, at the end of RotJ, note that he comes to the celebration at the end with the front of his tunic partly unzipped... resulting in a patch of gray, surrounded by the dark. (The comics and novels that take place afterward state that he had stained himself with the Dark Side quite a bit by then, but they were primarily written after the fact and may be considered a Retcon.)
    • Almost all the Sith wear black cloaks, including Darth Maul, Vader and Palpatine. Dooku wears a brown cape, but he does wear black clothing, fitting for a fallen Jedi.
      • The Emperor/Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious, who shows up this way in the original trilogy, the prequels, and the Animated Adaptation, Star Wars: Clone Wars. Anakin, his protege, originally omits the cloak from his personalized leather Jedi attire, but as he gets darker, he starts donning it as well. He upgrades to the signature black cape and life-support system of Darth Vader after losing to Obi-Wan.
    • Lucas has explained this phenomenon in interviews. In Star Wars, warm colors and Earth tones symbolize "humanity" (in the inclusive sense) while pure black and pure white both symbolize impersonality. Hence the Empire is entirely black-and-white to signify that it is coldly institutional. Luke wears black to signify that he has become more reserved and withdrawn from daily tumult with his Force training. (However, in the prequels, the Jedi wear earth tones but are some of the most impersonal characters in the series.)
      • The explanation was made years before the prequels came out. In fact, it has been revealed that originally the Jedi were all supposed to wear black in the prequels, but this plan was ditched because they didn't want the viewers to be confused who's who, and wanted to make Obi-Wan and the rest of the Jedi immediately recognisable as such. Since the original trilogy had established brown cloaks for the Jedi by accident, they had to stick by that to retain the iconic style they had unconsciously created.
      • Occam's Razor explanation: brown cloaks don't show the dirt.
  • In The Trip (1967), Paul alternately pursues and is pursued by two beings in black hooded cloaks riding dark horses. At the end of his trip, they corner him on a beach and pull back their hoods, revealing themselves as Sally and Glenn.
  • In Zack Snyder's Justice League, Darkseid's majordomo DeSaad appropriately wears a black cloak with a hood.

  • The Baroque Cycle: Famous people traveling incognito wear black sashes, anyone who recognizes them is supposed to ignore them while they are wearing the sashes.
  • The Belgariad: Hooded black robes and steel masks are the standard uniform for Grolim priests in Torak's Religion of Evil, which practices Black Magic and large-scale Human Sacrifice.
  • The Black Magician Trilogy: Initially, black robes are the privilege of the High Lord in the Allied Lands' Wizarding School. After High Lord Akkarin's exposure as a Black Magic user followed by an Outside-Context Problem-level band of foreign black magicians invading when they learned the Guild's protector was gone, the Guild recognised that hostile black magicians were way above the Godzilla Threshold and allowed their surviving black magician member, Sonea, to teach the art to another, gave them both black robes, and made the High Lord wear white robes instead.
  • The Book of the New Sun: Torturers - including the protagonist Severian - wear hooded cloaks of Fuligin, "the color that is darker than black". This makes Severian almost invisible in the dark, but attracts unwelcome attention in his home city, so that he has to cover up the cloak. The resultant visit to a costume shop kicks of several major plot threads.
  • Chanur Novels: The Always Chaotic Evil kif all wear hooded black robes. Being completely color blind they used to wear robes whose color was just determined by whatever color fabric was cheapest, until a mahendo'sat merchant, as a practical joke, sold some kif fabric with patterns made from violently clashing garish colors, causing those kif to lose face when laughed at by non-color blind species. The thing is, in kif society losing face can be deadly, so to avoid such a thing in the future all kif decided to wear black, since they can tell the difference between black and non-black.
  • A Christmas Carol: The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is a rare example of a good (though still scary) guy being a Black Cloak.
  • The Cthulhu Casebooks: Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils: Holmes observes a suspected Cthulhu cultist entering a costume shop and later comments to Watson that occult crimes can be detected through mundane methods, like the fact you have to get your black robes somewhere. The shop owner thinks his customer is producing a play about Benedictine monks.
  • The Darksword Trilogy: The Duuk-tsarith, also known as Warlocks, are the enforcers of the local Corrupt Church, wear all-black robes that obscure their faces, and say very little. Most are unnerved by their very presence.
  • The Death Gate Cycle: Several characters and organizations wear them - the Kir Monks, Sinistrad, the necromancers of Abarrach, and sometimes Lord Xar. Not all these characters are evil, but all have some connection to death or darkness (such as the Kir, a True Neutral religion of creepy but largely harmless death-worshippers).
  • Discworld:
    • In Going Postal, an experienced con man is annoyed that his underling thinks hurrying through city streets in a voluminous black cloak avoids attention.
      The Igor: Allow me to take your highly notithable hooded black cloak thur.
    • The Auditors, cosmic enemies of The Evils of Free Will, physically manifest as gray hooded robes... with nothing inside them.
    • Parodied (of course) in Guards! Guards! by the Mysterious Ancient Brotherhood of... something, complete with passwords, magic rituals, and much debate between members of the circle.
  • Don Quixote: Subverted when the eponymous ingenuous hidalgo mistakes a group of Benedictine friars for evil wizards.
  • Dracula: In his journal entry for 12 May, Jonathan Harker sees the count climbing face down the wall of the castle like a lizard, "his cloak spreading out around him like great wings." Its color isn't specified by Harker; black is likely given Dracula's sartorial choices elsewhere in the novel. Lampshaded in "Love at First Bite."
  • Dragonlance: The followers of Nuitari, the God of Black Magic, wear hooded black robes... Raistlin among them.
  • The Dresden Files: The Necromancers Cowl and Kumori use black robes to conceal their identities, and magically deflect the Muggle attention it could bring. This doesn't stop Harry from mocking their fashion sense at every chance:
    "Touche, oh dark master of evil bathrobes."
    "I told these guys yesterday I didn't want to buy a ring."
    "Bring it, Darth Bathrobe!"
  • Fairy Oak: They are the traditional clothes of the Magicals, who wear them in important occasions, if they are related to magic. It becomes the uniform of the Enemy's army for this same reason.
  • Harry Potter: Both played straight and inverted. As in real life, black is as much of color of functionality as identification, and not restrained by moral alignment.
    • Hogwarts students wear black robes and cloaks as their school uniform.
    • Snape always wears one, even at balls and parties.
    • The Dementor's black cloak is all we ever actually see of them; when Harry asks Lupin what's under the hood, he's told that no-one knows for sure, because the only time they lower their hoods is when they suck out someone's soul through their mouth. When they try to Kiss Harry, he sees an Eyeless Face with a toothless, sucking mouth.
    • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a creature known as the Lethifold is described as resembling a fluttering black cloak. Found only in tropical climates, Lethifolds are extremely dangerous, as they can easily suffocate and then consume their victims before said victims - who are usually sleeping - even realize what’s happening. The only defense that works against Lethifolds is the Patronus Charm.
    • Voldemort and his Death Eaters typically dress in black, though this is as much about practicality as anything, given that they conduct most of their activity at night or in the shadows (both literally and metaphorically).
  • Journey to Chaos: There is a band of rogues that call themselves the Black Cloaks, and use codenames like "Dark Staff" and "Dark Axe". Their purpose in A Mage's Power is to kidnap Ataidar's princess for their mysterious boss.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle:
  • The Locked Tomb: Members of the Ninth House wear hooded black robes and skull face paint, adding veils or sunglasses when they travel to more sunlit planets. The main characters grew up in this environment, then learned that the Ninth House is considered cultish and creepy even by the standards of an Empire that's entirely built on Necromancy and an undead God-Emperor.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Ringwraiths, or Nazgûl, are one of the most iconic examples. Tolkien also justifies it, since the Wraiths are without bodily form in the real world, existing only in the spirit world. They wear the cloaks to "give their emptiness shape". They can also wear armor, turning into Animated Armor, as the Witch King demonstrates in the siege of Minas Tirith, but that is hardly practical when you're travelling incognito. The reason they're black is just that Sauron has an aesthetic.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen: The Crippled God usually covers himself in dark-coloured rags, rather than an actual cloak, but the look is very similar. He mainly uses the rags to hide his malformed body, but still forgoes a proper cloak since he made imperfection and sickness his motto.
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: The Empire's Steel Inquisitors wear them as their official uniform within the Corrupt Church's hierarchy. Unusually, they normally keep their hoods down, so their victims can see their faces- particularly, the giant Spikes of Villainy pounded through their eyes.
  • Nightfall (Series): Prince Vladimir, the Big Bad Magnificent Bastard, often wears one.
  • Ollie's Odyssey: Zozo took to wearing one of these after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: Most of the attendees of the Dread Empire's court wear the flashiest, most spectacular clothes they can imagine, with jewelry and hairstyles to match... except for Black Knight Amadeus and his apprentice Catherine, who wear unadorned plate armor with black cloaks, and so stand out "like crows in a flock of birds of paradise."
    • Later on, Cat takes to sewing a strip of the banner of each enemy she defeats to the hem of her cloak, and also binds the soul of her most hated enemy to it, which gets the cloak nicknamed "the Mantle of Woe."
  • The Quest of the Unaligned: Gaithim wears one of these, marking him as a hoshek, or mage of Darkness.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: Comes at this trope from both sides. To the Kingdom of Isles, the black-robed Tsurani magicians were the most horrible monsters, maintaining the portals that made the war possible and occasionally bringing their unheard-of power directly to the battlefield with terrifying results. On the other side, the magicians were hardly evil and considered themselves loyal citizens, selflessly serving their empire (which itself isn't The Empire after all). And the black robes weren't meant to be ominous - it's just their uniform.
  • Shannara: Many villains in this series. The Warlock Lord and his Skull Bearer lieutenants from The Sword of Shannara, their successors the Mord Wraiths from The Wishsong of Shannara, and the powerful demon called the Reaper from The Elfstones of Shannara are the most traditional examples. In The Heritage of Shannara, the Seekers (an organization that is actually a front for the Shadowen) usually wear these as part of their uniform, but their leader Rimmer Dall actually usually keeps his hood down and face visible, in contrary to most examples. In The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, the Ilse Witch and her mentor the Morgawr wear hooded grey cloaks that convey the same general look.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Inverted with the Night's Watch. Instead of being evil, they guard Westeros from threats.
  • Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town: Saint John wears one at the ritual on the roof of the warehouse to start "The Day Of The Serpent".
  • The Supervillainy Saga: The protagonist has a Sith-robe like artifact called the Reaper's Cloak. It is sentient, provides superpowers related to firing ice, fire, and turning insubstantial, and also provides a modest layer of protection. It also lets him see ghosts.
  • Sword of Truth: Richard acquires one of these. Slightly subverted as it's magic camouflage.
  • Twig: Students at the Academy of Evil start out with white lab coats. As they rise in rank and provide more and more scientific advancements to The Empire that the Academy works for, they're issued new uniforms, until the highest ranking scientists are wearing black lab coats.
  • Valhalla: The Geki always appear as black cloaks, and as of Book 1 may in fact not have anything inside.
  • The Wheel of Time: The shadow-walking Humanoid Abomination Myrddraal wear black cloaks that don't move in the wind. The countries near Mordor tend to outlaw hooded cloaks and other face-concealing clothing because of this: they want to double-check that everyone is human.
  • The Witch Watch: As Gilbert notes, 'Why don't cults ever wear yellow robes? It would catch people off guard'

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel / Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Typical villains in various episodes.
  • Babylon 5: Inverted - the Rangers wear black cloaks, but they're good.
  • Big Wolf on Campus: The protagonist falls for the trope when he sees a Black Cloak attacking an old man. As it turned out, it was just death doing his job, which he had to pay up for.
  • The Day of the Triffids: Although the Man Eating Plants are hardly trying to conceal their identity, the 2009 remake clearly draws on the creepiness of this trope by giving the Triffids purple cowl-like hoods which they unfurl cobra-like before striking.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Game of Thrones universe:
    • Game of Thrones:
      • Completely inverted with the Night's Watch, who are mockingly called "crows" by the Free Folk due to their attire. The men of the Watch wear black as a sign of renunciation, eschewing all loyalties to family name and political factions in favor of protecting the realm as a whole. Joining up is colloquially referred to as "taking the black".
      • While actual Night's Watch members can span the whole moral spectrum, their black clothing and role as protectors does put them firmly on the side of righteousness. This is in sharp contrast with the aptly named White Walkers, beings of snow and ice who seek to conquer everything in their path and bring endless night to the world.
      • Most of Daenerys' outfits in Season 7 (and some in Season 8) are black cloak-like dresses with Shoulders of Doom.
    • House of the Dragon:
      • When Daemon Targaryen returns to the Vale to murder his Unwanted Spouse Rhea Royce, he wears a black cloak.
      • The criminals sent by Larys Strong to murder his father Lyonel and brother Harwin wear black cloaks as they execute that task (by burning the castle).
  • Highlander: One episode of the series had Duncan being attacked in his dreams by a Black Cloak. He went to a mystic who specialized in this, who gave a lot of psychobabble about the darkness within, and told Duncan not to fight it and try to understand it. It turned out that the mystic was the Black Cloak, and it was a scheme to get Duncan to drop his guard.
  • Lexx: His Divine Shadow.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: This is lampshaded in an interview with Charlie Vickers. He was asked from where Sauron got his random black cloak and he answered half-jokingly that maybe he stole it from a village or killed someone for it.
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Ghouls.
  • Stargate SG-1: Anubis. To amplify the effect, he has no face either, just a black, oily void. It turns out that his physical body is just a shell used to contain his essence, as he's actually Half- Ascended.


    Music Videos 
  • The cult members in Linkin Park's music video "One Step Closer" dress like this. Partially subverted, since curious onlookers do notice a Black Cloaked individual's strange garb and decide to follow him to his hiding place.
  • Mystery Skulls's "Paralyzed" centers around some kind of shadowy basketball cult, with every player dressed in shapeless black cloaks.

  • In The Gamer's Alliance, both the Totenkopfs and the clerics of the dark god Mardük wear black cloaks, and neither faction is nice.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Nomine: The Archangel Dominic is well known for wearing a black cloak that conceals all and even blocks perceptive supernatural powers directed at him. Whether he's a Knight Templar, a genuine good guy with a really hard job (he's the Archangel of Judgment, responsible for keeping the angelic host free of corruption) or secretly outright evil is up to the individual GM.
  • Magic: The Gathering is chock full of these. Warlocks and wraiths are no strangers to dramatic cowls, and Magic's specters are literally nothing but black cloaks.

    Video Games 
  • In Artix Entertainment games there is always the Mysterious Stranger, a being who leads the shadowsycthe organization(s) and desires to bring DOOOOOOOOM upon the world.
  • Assassin's Creed has a few characters in long black garb.
    • Rodrigo Borgia in Assassin's Creed II, for most of the story, sports a cloak with a hood covering his head. His face is not entirely concealed, but it gives his eyes a sinister glow at times that make him look like a male version of Kasumi Goto. He stops using it after he becomes Pope Alexander VI.
    • Ezio can also do this if you dye his clothes black in one of the shops. Altair's Armor is also a black coat of sorts.
    • Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jacob and Evie Frye's Assassin Robes are black by default.
  • The Cabal Fanatics in the Blood series wear hooded black robes. The somewhat more common Cultists wear brown robes instead.
  • Tyrael from Diablo is a brown cloak, and oddly enough, he's one of the good guys.
    • Although the brown-cloaked figure seen in the cinematics is actually Baal pretending to be Tyrael. And he's definitely not one of the good guys.
    • And there's the Dark Wanderer, dressed similarly in almost black, although he doesn't much bother to hide his face with the hood. Maybe because it's not his, anyway.
  • Malthael, in contrast to the other angels of the Diablo universe, wears a very sinister-looking black hooded cloak. He was originally the head of the Angiris Coucil as Wisdom, but the Sin War Trilogy and Reaper of Souls, the expansion to the third game, make a case for his portfolio actually being Death instead of Wisdom.
  • Members of the Black Hand in the Dark Brotherhood in the video game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion wear black cloaks and hoods, as do necromancers. Oddly, even brand new Black Hand robes appear to have significant green staining. Then again, since your former handler's corpse is dangling naked from the ceiling when they hand them to you, the robes may not exactly be "new."
  • The royal vampire armor in the Dawnguard DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim includes one of these.
  • The Black Robes of Novaya Russia in Empire Earth are this with eastern crosses and laser guns.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, when monsters are shown on the overworld it is as a blue/black cloaked figure.
  • The Sephiroth clones from Final Fantasy VII, though they're more innocent victims forced to take after their namesake, only doing evil when directly manipulated by him.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the Ascians, who combine this with face-concealing masks and nonexistent shadows for maximally obvious evil.
  • Tyro can get one as a cosmetic option in Final Fantasy Record Keeper as part of a Kingdom Hearts Crossover.
  • A few of the Fire Emblem games have a Big Bad wearing a purple cloak.
    • Also, all dark magic users, even good ones, wear cloaks of this kind, though of varying and often nondark colors (normal enemy shamans wear red, for instance).
  • The Seekers from Gothic 2. Xardas the necromancer also wears black robes, but he's on your side.
  • The Haunted Mansion features a ghost powered by terror incarnate that wears one.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • This is the uniform of Organization XIII, though they tend to pull down their hoods and show their faces unless they're being intentionally mysterious. Said coats have darkness-resistant properties, and while Organization XIII mostly just wears them for the effect, characters such as Riku and Mickey wear them to protect their hearts from being worn away by the darkness.
    • The first appearance of the coat was in the first installment, where it was used both in the game's secret ending and a secret boss battle which originally appeared only in the Japan-exclusive version. In both cases, the coat's purpose was to obscure characters who lacked a finalized design, and at the time its appearances were non-canonical. This would change as the cloak became a staple of the series's aesthetic.
    • Oddly and ironically enough, Roxas is explicitly told that Organization members should keep a low profile, and make attempts to not be noticed. Odder still is that the kids of Twilight Town don't seem to find anything suspicious or off about a teenage boy their age wearing a black cloak, or that two people in black cloaks (one an adult, and the other the aforementioned boy) are interrogating them.
    • Of course, from every game after II, every character that's meant to have a mysterious, unknown identity has worn these cloaks, so as to keep a vibe of confusion around the entire series, whether it makes sense for them or not, such as Data Riku and Young Xehanort.
    • Kingdom Hearts χ reveals that the cloak was first worn by the Master of Masters, the original Keyblade Master. He may have even been the one to invent the design.
  • The Black Cloak Society from King's Quest.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Darth Revan sports one of these, as well as a face-concealing mask, hakama-pants, and complex armor. Darth Nihilus's costume is all in black and also includes a hooded cloak; Traya as well. Most other Sith in those games aren't quite so concealed - Dark Jedi mooks have hoods and cloth covering their noses and mouths, but no capes.
    • Of course, the real reason for Darth Revan's mask was that he/she's your player character and you're not supposed to find out about that just because of a few visions.
  • Princess Zelda wears a black cloak with a cowl in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In this case, it's a cloak of mourning for her fallen kingdom.
  • The old and very evil sorcerer Alister Dalimar is never seen without wearing a black cloak throughout the Mystery Case Files series. His equally evil son also wears one when appearing as an evil spirit in Return to Ravenhearst.
  • In Nightmare Realm, an eerie, fiery-eyed, taloned entity in tattered black robes abducts a little girl from her home.
  • Pocky & Rocky has the villain Black Mantle.
  • Los Illuminados of Resident Evil 4.
  • Purge in Space Channel 5 Part 2 wears a Black Cloak, although he ditches it later.
  • Sumireko Usami from Touhou Project normally wears a high-collared black cloak with a red interior inscribed with runes.
  • In Toonstruck, you need a black cloak to enter Seedy's bowling alley in the Malevolands.
  • The Shadowlords from Ultima V.
  • The Cult of the Damned, as well as Putress, from World of Warcraft. In fact, most cultists in the game, including the Twilight's Hammer and mortals serving the Burning Legion. Best to say that anyone rocking the Black Cloak look in the game is not the sort of person you invite over for tea, even if they're technically on your side.
    • Putress' attire is actually the warlock tier 8 armour set. Warlock armour often goes for this look.
  • Worlds Apart: A black-robed figure with holes for eyes stands over you when you awaken on the beach, and later blocks your entry into the shelter on the hill. It's a creation of your mind, designed to protect you from painful memories.
  • The Ethereals of X-COM: UFO Defense take them in orange. The image under their autopsy research entry is the only time we see their faces. Subversion: Without the cloaks, they don't look very badass.
  • Although it's white, not black, Albedo's cloak (complete with wings used for gliding!) from Xenosaga has pretty much the same effect as a black cloak.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied multiple times in Adventurers!. In one case, a character has both this and is sitting in complete obscuring darkness; when asked why, she states that she really needs to get around to replacing some lightbulbs.
  • Aldran, the protagonist of anti-HEROES always has a black cloak on and the hood completely obscures his face.
  • Beyond the Canopy: The Baron wears one, as does his right-hand man, Shambles.
  • Cursed Princess Club: The members of the eponymous club wear black cloaks whenever they need to sneak around somewhere, especially in places like the Striped Kingdom or the Bippity Bop gala where they're likely to be recognized.
  • In Dear Children, the figures in the graveyard and the figure in Cail's dream both appear to be wearing some kind of black cloak, in addition to their masks.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Noah wears this along with a hood to conceal his identity as the one fans refer to as the "The Child Left Behind."
  • Used and justified in Girl Genius. The protagonists use this disguise against guards on the lookout for Agatha. The guards recognize it as suspicious immediately, and arrest them. Too bad the heroes expected it, and had dressed up Zeetha in the cloak instead, just to check if Agatha could sneak in with such a disguise.
  • A long, black, face-concealing cloak is worn by one of the protagonists of Negative One, Adele, to hide the fact that she is not human.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Minister Malack, a Lizard Folk cleric of Nergal, wears one. Given the presence of Star Wars references in the arc in which he features, his outfit might be a Shout-Out to the typical Sith-wear.
    • And/or another traditional dark-cloak wearing creature...
  • In Plume, Azeel has taken to make this his dress code after he Came Back Wrong, so it takes a while for Corrick to recognize who he really is.
  • In Tales to Behold, Jenny Nowhere wears one when operating under the alias of Evil Cloak.

    Web Original 
  • In The Chronicles of Taras: Red Dementia, Ghost, a five-foot-three-inch high Albino girl, wears this kind of clothing to protect her from the sub-freezing temperature of the black desert and the bright sunlight.
  • The aptly-named Cloakar from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes.
  • Parodied in Psychronicles with the introduction of the main characters. It was mainly Rina's idea due to them belonging to a shady agency of supernatural specialists.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The supervillainess Hekate's "Master", so horrific that even she is scared of him.
    • Jinn when going around on Campus as Shroud has one (and being a autonomous telekinetic construct possessing

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • A skeleton from Adventure Time wears a black cloak.
  • Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender wears one from time to time.
  • The evil Wizard named No Heart from the Care Bears children's cartoon was a Black Cloak.
  • Skeletor is depicted this way, especially in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002).
    • In the newer version he spends half of the first episode just in a black cloak with his face hidden in the shadows, presumably for dramatic effect, even though everyone watching knows exactly who he is and approximately what he's going to look like.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, worn by the mysterious Hooded Chicken.
  • Dr. Destiny's mental avatar in Justice League wears a black cloak. In his cameo in JLU, he's physically wearing one.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Luna Eclipsed", Princess Luna arrives wearing one. It dissolves into living bats when she wants to take it off.
  • The Hooded Claw from The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
  • Samurai Jack: Aku worshippers in the Bad Future, such as the alien girl in the pilot episode and the Daughters of Aku, usually don black cloaks to emulate his appearance. Aku himself doesn't "wear" a cloak—he is the cloak.
  • Raven from Teen Titans (2003) is technically heroic, but as a half-demon destined to destroy the world, she qualifies as "dark".
    • Perhaps ironically, when she is corrupted by a dragon trapped in an ancient tome, she switches to a white cloak.
      • She also wears white when she's gone reclusive and insane in a Bad Future. Light Is Not Good much?
      • But to counterbalance these, she also wears white after she takes down Trigon and restores all the petrified people to life.
      • She also wears white when she unites the disparate parts of herself to take down Trigon within her own mind. White symbolizes her having attained "full power" or something like that. There's probably a psychological aspect to it, Raven being psychic/magical and all.
      • Also white is the color of light before refracted by the atmosphere and divided into color.
  • The Chairman, the Big Bad from the first season of The Ghost and Molly McGee, always wears a black cloak. After his death, its the only thing that remains from him, and when used by Scratch, it gives him The Chairman's appearance.
  • Scavenger's first appearance in Transformers: Armada has him wearing a cloak that hides most of his body. Why does a robot have a cloak?
  • Who Killed Who?: The killer wears a black cloak and a black mask covering his head.
  • Jack Spicer in Xiaolin Showdown wears one of these.

    Real Life 
  • Most outfits that conceal your identity will probably make you stick out like a sore thumb. It might be possible to accomplish with a hat and pair of sunglasses, but you would still look pretty shady.
  • Truth in Television for the full habit of most Catholic priests, especially those in the religious orders of the Benedictines, the Redemptorists, and the Congregation of Holy Cross (to name a few). The Dominicans are called "the Black Friars" for this reason.
  • French footballer Nicolas Anelka thought it was a good idea to wear a black cloak after he was expelled for shaming reasons. Well, maybe it kept him from being recognized by other passengers, but he looked really silly when hordes of journalists filmed and interviewed him. Real life subversion?
  • Ivan the Terrible's secret police, the Oprichniki, were easily recognizable for wearing black, hooded, monks' robes.


Video Example(s):


The Wolf

The Wolf first appears to Puss in a bar, reveals that he wants him dead, and disarms him of his sword just as he starts to say his famous "Fear me... if you dare!" Catchphrase. What follows next is Puss being on the receiving end of a nasty Curb-Stomp Battle as the Wolf toys with him and becomes the first opponent to actually strike fear into Puss's heart by nicking his forehead and making him bleed. While this scene doesn't reveal his true identity as Death, it does let both Puss and the viewers know that the Wolf is actually an opponent that should be taken seriously as a threat.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / EstablishingCharacterMoment

Media sources: