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"I have seen the night torn into thin darkling strips and woven into shapes too bleak for dreams."

A form of Elemental Powers dealing with shadow and darkness.

Whereas darkness as an element is frequently portrayed as acting nigh-identically to its polar opposite, Light, with characters "projecting" darkness as one would light, shadow element is usually focused on creating things— typically corrupted or imperfect copies of something else, or intangible illusions. Characters are also sometimes able to use shadows to teleport. Either form is often used in systems that allow the combining of abilites to create "dark" versions of other powers by combining Casting a Shadow with other Elemental Powers or other power sets.

Shadow powers frequently act as the inverse of Hard Light — shadow-beings or creations of pure darkness will be able to affect the world as if they are solid objects. If a shadow being is the Living Shadow animated from an existing being, the victim probably Casts No Shadow unless it is returned. Some portrayals of elemental shadow or darkness paint it as a sort of life-devouring ectoplasmic goo.


Given the prevalence of Dark Is Evil, darkness as an element is often used by Villains in a clear-cut case of Bad Powers, Bad People. Even when Dark Is Not Evil, darkness-based powers are almost always relegated to Anti-Heroes and other morally grey individuals. It wouldn't do to have the white side of Black-and-White Morality use darkness-based powers, after all. Either way, darkness-based powers are frequently associated with negative emotions — fear, hatred, anger, pain, etc. As probably the most Primal Fear in the human psyche, don't expect darkness to be pleasant, even when it's not actively malevolent (unless it's The Sacred Darkness). Evil darkness-users will often play this up, luxuriating in their evilness, whereas others will usually become The Stoic (suppressing their negative emotions by suppressing all their emotions) or just have a lot of Angst to deal with.


If these guys are heroes, then they will often be a Byronic Hero, but it is not impossible for a person with this trope to be a Perky Goth.

Characters using darkness-based powers are sometimes Weakened by the Light, which may be shown by having Casting a Shadow opposed by Light 'em Up or Holy Hand Grenade in Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors. When the two are compared, that's Light/Darkness Juxtaposition. When they're combined, however, the result is a Yin-Yang Bomb. See also Unholy Nuke. These powers usually Kill the Lights.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Ah! My Goddess manga featured a demon with power over "true darkness", which she used to make the surrounding area pitch black and cancel out all light sources (including flashlights and light magic).
  • Yami from Black Clover uses Dark Magic, covering his blade in darkness to launch black crescent-shaped blasts or suck magical attacks into a black hole. Because Dark Magic is infamously slow to cast, he uses it more as a supplement for his swordsmanship.
  • Bleach has Kyoraku's zanpakuto, Katen Kyokotsu. One of its 'games' is to attack through shadows — between Kyoraku's own shadow and whatever he wants to hit. The target must be casting a shadow, however. In this case, the shadow manipulation itself is less creepy than the inspiration for it — 'children's games' where the loser dies.
  • Momose from Bloody Cross has the ability to control shadows. She can summon beasts made of shadows, shoot shadow spikes, and use it for stealth (hiding in people's shadows) and for some form of teleportation (disappearing into a swirl of shadows on the ground).
  • Code:Breaker: The Prince's power is this.
  • In Digimon Frontier, darkness is just one more element and not inherently evil. The original Legendary Warriors — the warrior of Darkness included — were all good guys, and the new one, like every bad guy in the first half of the series, was corrupted by Cherubimon but eventually got better, joining the team as the Sixth Ranger. More of his attacks than not have "Dark" or "Shadow" or some other darkness-related word in the name and involve black energy.
  • Celty from Durarara!! is a Dullahan capable of manipulating shadows and giving them physical form. The uses of this ability range from creating weaponry (usually a scythe or dagger) and restraining instantaneously dressing herself and letting her type faster. It's also interesting to note that the shadows she manipulates aren't restricted by the presence or absence of the sun, meaning she can manifest a weapon at noon just as easily as she can at midnight. Also, her shadow is always drawn darker than all others, even when she's not manipulating it.
  • Kageyama, Jose, Simon, and Zero from Fairy Tail are all users of this type of magic, the first one weaker than the other three.
    • Well, Kageyama uses Shadow magic while the other three uses Darkness magic.
    • Mirajane, after she using her Take Over, she uses Darkness magic as well.
    • Jellal can use Darkness Magic, but it's not his primary magic.
    • Rogue, the Shadow Dragon Slayer can use this as his power.
    • As can Gajeel, when he absorbs part of Rogue's power to gain Iron Shadow Dragon Mode.
  • Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist slices, dices, and eats with his extensible shadows. He's powerless in complete darkness, though. Shadows cannot exist without light.
  • In Hell Girl, throwing blobs of shadow is one of the relatively few known powers to go with Ai Enma's job as the titular Hell Girl.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Alessi from Stardust Crusaders has the Stand, Sethan, which takes the form of Alessi's shadow. Anyone who touches it will get de-aged, with how far back they go based on how long they touch it.
    • Polpo from Vento Aureo has the Stand, Black Sabbath, which can exist and move through shadows, and is weakened by sunlight.
  • Hayate Yagami of Lyrical Nanoha, the Queen of the Night Sky who has Diabolic Emission, a Sphere of Destruction that envelopes the land in pure darkness, as her signature spell. Oh, and she's the cheerfully optimistic Big Good of the series. The Book of Darkness, the one she inherited her powers from, seems to fits the personality type a bit better. However, it is not a pure example either. It used to be called "Book of the Night Sky" before it was corrupted.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Takane Goodman, #2 Darkness (Shadow) as a form of Green Lantern Ring. Prone to getting stripped, as the series has stripping disarm attacks; and when she tried to counter that by making her clothing out of Shadow, she ran up against Asuna and her magic cancel power. She usually uses her power to create golems for attack and defense, the other shadow user who has appeared used his power more like a Green Lantern, forming blades, etc. She is definitely one of the good guys, if a little over serious.
    • The Magic World Arc introduces Kagetarou, who acts like an antagonist at first but turns out to be a buddy of Rakan's. There's also Fate Averruncus' accomplice, Dynamis, who can summons swarms of Invincible Minor Minions and a humongous Eldritch Abomination, is stated to be almost as powerful as Fate himself, and tried to kill Nodoka and came damn close to succeeding, wiping out two of her friends who tried to protect her the first time, and only being driven off the second time by Setsuna (who hacked his right hand off at the forearm) and Kaede.
      • His personality and temperament are much less extreme than originally suggested, however. He's actually fairly reasonable.
      • Negi's Magia Erebea may count as well, since, basically, it is still black magic, he just prefers lightning powers over darkness. Even Rakan notes that Negi's Affinity lies in the dark side.
      • There's also Kotaro Inugami, who has at his disposal the ability to summon vast swarms of autonomous spirit wolves made of darkness/shadow.
    • In Negima's sequel, UQ Holder! Yue Ayase is shown to be using shadow magic.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Fumikage Tokoyami has a Quirk called Dark Shadow, a birdlike Living Shadow which he can manipulate as he pleases... mostly. It becomes weak under bright light, and he sometimes loses control if it gets too dark. Despite having an evil-looking shadow creature with a mind of its own as his superpower, he's an entirely heroic character.
    • Another Quirk introduced much later, Black Whip, allows its user to create and control tendrils of dark energy; it's not just great for attacking and restraining, but is also useful for mobility. It belonged to a previous user of One for All, and now Izuku Midoriya has inherited it through One for All.
  • Kushana of Mythical Beast Investigator calls himself the King of Darkness (despite being shaped like a rabbit in a top hat and pledging his loyalty to an all-loving, pacifistic, pre-teen conservationist) — he has the ability to control shadows as if they were physical objects like restraints or lashes. He can also travel through shadows and store objects or captured creatures inside shadows.
  • The Nara clan of Naruto have the ability to control their shadows and can "solidify" them in order to use them to control or strangle opponents. Their reach can also be amplified by extending to other shadows (specifically, the length is not "used up" going through another shadow).
  • One Piece:
    • Blackbeard has the literal "Darkness" power. Oddly, he mainly uses it to nullify his opponent's abilities at a touch and crush them with gravity; the chain seeming to go "dark->black->black hole->super gravity and power absorption/nullification" or possibly the other way around. This is fairly typical of the superpower logic in One Piece.
    • Gecko Moria has power over shadows; mostly, he steals them from people and uses them to reanimate corpses into zombies, although he can absorb them himself to become more powerful or just use his own shadow to attack directly as well.
  • Pokémon: in the Sinnoh League, we have Tobias, whose signature Pokemon is the legendary Darkrai. Possibly lampshaded as an Actor Allusion in the dub.
  • Pumpkin Doryu, from Rave Master
  • In Saint Beast, Luca has shadow as his Elemental Power, standing in contrast to The Hero's power of light.
  • The Demon Clan from The Seven Deadly Sins can manipulate a shadow-like substance around their body.
  • Varete of Witch Hunter show just how powerful shadows can be, with her power to control shadows. She can block swords with the shadows up her sleeve and level entire towns using the shadows cast from a tree. She is almost impossible to hit with attacks, as she can use even the shadows between her hair and her head to attack and defend, with an almost limitless amount of mana to allow her to fight for extremely long times.
  • Onimaru's last Dragon in Yaiba was Dark, the demon of Darkness. He could engulf people in his shadows and send other creatures into another dimesion forever.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yugi Muto's ace card is Dark Magician. He's often accompanied by his apprentice, Dark Magician Girl. Both are Dark-attribute Spellcasters, though they both demonstrate that Dark Is Not Evil.
    Yugi: Dark Magician, attack with Dark Magic!
  • From Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Hiei's Dragon of the Darkness Flame could be considered a mixture between fire and shadow. He's a Deadpan Snarker though, so it's O.K.
    • Asato Kido uses a direct manipulation of his shadow, allowing him to paralyze Yusuke with it during their fight. He also has enough control to use it to write Dr. Kamiya's name in his own blood after being attacked in the hospital.
  • Zatch Bell! has Brago, Sherry's Mamodo. His spells are based both on dark energy and gravity manipulation, and from the very beginning was noted to be towards the top of the pecking order.

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel Comics, Darkforce users can use this, although they aren't all evil.
  • The DCU:
    • All shadow wielders, by and large, draw their powers from an alternate dimension known as the Shadowland (or Dark Zone). Much like their Marvel counterparts, they range the gamut from hero to villain. Most interestingly, the shadows created by the Shade, were at one point analyzed by a police scientist. He went insane the moment he looked at the sample in the microscope.
    • Phantom Lady on the other hand uses science! Well, a Dark Light gun from a mysterious European scientist.
    • Shadow Lass/Umbra, member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. She can cast dark-fields preventing all light from reaching an area from outside. These can either be complete, effectively rendering useless all light sources within the area, or hollow to allow the interior to be lit. She can also solidify these fields, to use as a more direct weapon. She has the power to create darkness 100 times darker than a moonless night. Her black shadows are impenetrable by light.
    • Malice Vundabar, the youngest member of the Female Furies, could summon a shadow monster called Chessure.
    • Nightshade of Suicide Squad. Her mother is from the Land of Nightshades, whose denizens can transform into and manipulate shadows. These abilities were made more powerful and versatile during her time with Shadowpact. It is not known if the Land of Nightshades is in any way related to the Shadowlands
  • Lord Sovereign from Astro City can control and weld the mysterious dark energies that empower him.
  • Jackie in The Darkness manipulates the dark, but broadly speaking, he's a good guy. For a mob hitman. Well, he's better than the wielder of the light powers, anyway.
  • The Shadow Crown in Locke & Key allows the wearer to summon an army of shadow-creatures to do their bidding. Dodge also uses it to transform himself into a house-sized wolf-creature.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction project Project Dark Jade, Jade usually gains a a variation of this in stories where she once again becomes a Shadowkhan (refer to the Western Animation entry below):
  • The title character of The Shadow Khan.
  • In The Three Kings: Hunt Rebecca Hawkins can do this.
  • In the Frozen fic Sorry About The Mess, Anna gains Shadow magic midway through the story in contrast to Elsa's Ice magic.
  • Elementals of Harmony:
    • Done literally, when Luna uses a spell to turn her shadow into a localized version of the heat death of the universe to destroy the honesty elemental. Comes complete with a creepy Magical Incantation:
      The world is a mote of dust circling a tiny spark, floating in an unfathomably vast ocean of nothingness. Light, life, chaos, all of these are lies. Lies of such minuscule consequence that the universe allows them to seem true. But one day, its patience will run out. The spark will gutter. The mote will freeze. All will be as it truly is: Dark, silent, unchanging. For eternity.
    • Also presented in card form as "Litany of the Void".
  • In Pokémon Master, Ash possesses the ability to manipulate and shape shadows, as well as seeing through darkness. Pikachu's attacks are always black-colored.
  • Xander in Walking in the Shadows is a variation in that though he is a cleric/paladin, he has magic that is cast on a person's shadow to effect them. One such example is runes he carves onto someone's shadow to effect their physical appearance. Xander used said runes on himself so he doesn't have to shave.
  • Harry in Shadow Magic has the power to manipulate darkness and shadow, which he uses to take over Slytherin house and become a dark lord.
  • Cat-Ra: Adora gets a magic headband giving her control over shadows, making her a match for even a full-powered She-Ra. This proves to be an issue for Double Trouble, who can duplicate the appearance of the shadows but not their abilities.

  • Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog. At least part of it is thanks to his Friends, though his own shade could actually be his own.
  • Pitch in Rise of the Guardians. Notably, his powers are actually constructs of black sand, so they're more physical than most examples here. Beyond that, he is seen slipping into shadows (especially in his lair) and even creating multiple shadows to act as decoys.
  • Chernabog in Fantasia uses shadows of his hands to summon his minions.
  • Thanatos Dubaer in the Disney Channel film adaptation of Twitches controls an amorphous force appropriately named the Darkness. In the sequel, T*Witches Too, he returns as an animated shade,clinging to what was left of his life in the Shadowlands.

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • In some versions of the Matter of Britain, King Arthur's dagger, Carnwennan, has the magical power to shroud its wielder in shadow, which he used to slice the Very Black Witch in half.
  • Erebus and Nyx are the primordial deities of darkness and night respectively in Classical Mythology.
  • Kek is the primordial darkness in Egyptian Mythology.
  • Nótt is the primordial night in Norse Mythology and the grandmother of Thor.

  • A non-evil example would be Arithon from Wars of Light and Shadow. He's called the Master of Shadow for a reason, having power of the darkness and anything related to it, while his half-brother is the Lord of Light.
  • Ethereal of Three of Heart, One of Blood is able to manipulate shadows to the point where she can create sentient beings with them, albeit fueled by her own personality in a sense. She also averts the Stripperific clothing rule by wearing large, conservative dresses.
  • The Dresden Files has Nicodemus Archleone, leader of the Knights of the Blackened Denarius, a human collaborating with a Fallen Angel. There are 30 Fallen (one for each coin of the Judas Price), and each of the Fallen has their own tastes and powers, sometimes influenced by their hosts. In Nicodemus' case, his Fallen, Anduriel, manifests as his shadow, which moves independently of him. Aside from being intensely creepy, this also means that it can function as a pair of wings for him, conceal things, and attack directly. However, its most dangerous ability isn't revealed until Nicodemus' third appearance, in Skin Game, where it's revealed that Anduriel was Lucifer's spymaster. He can hear anything in range of someone's shadow, and sometimes even look out and see what's nearby. The only limits on this are that Anduriel has to know to focus on an individual shadow, and that sufficiently powerfully warded locations/locations which are explicitly being shielded by an exceptionally powerful being such as Mab are immune. Even with those limits, it's kind of terrifying.
  • The Dark court in Wicked Lovely. They are emotional parasites and, at the height of their power, can manipulate shadows and form strange 'shadow creatures', which follow their leader of the time, although they serve little purpose. One subspecies, the gancanagh, are addictive to mortals and the embodiment of Death by Sex. They also like tattoos, although this half-applies to all the fey in Melissa Marr's work. It's Author Appeal, as Marr herself has several tattoos.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Dark One manifests an avatar with the power to create black fire, a "sphere of black light", and generalized darkness in rooms. This may be analogous to its other unique ability, to block access to the One Power: it can destroy physical light as it can magical Light.
    • Myrddraal are terrifying, though that just may be because of their Eyeless Faces, extraordinary combat abilities, and love of rape. They possess the ability to teleport through shadows.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
  • Thanatos DuBaer in Twitches is a practitioner of dark magic.
  • In The Black Company, the Shadowmasters are aptly named. Ironically, one is afraid of what the dark hidesnote . Make of that what you will.
  • Sir Sam Vimes of Discworld is infected with the Summoning Dark, a "quasidemonic force of pure vengeance" in Thud!, but manages to break its power over him before it can force him to overstep the boundaries of the law and lose his essential Vimesness. In the next book, Snuff, it's revealed that a part of the Summoning Dark merged with the Guarding Dark, Vimes' own Superpowered Evil Side, and he can call on its power when seeking "vengeance", i.e., trying to solve a murder outside the boundaries of existing law. He uses this connection to see in pitch blackness, communicate with subterranean races, and become a witness to distant events taking place in darkness.
  • The villain of Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor is a Force-user who has a different view of the Force than that of Jedi or Sith; he believes that the Force is the Dark, which is basically destruction and entropy; he induces visions of the Dark - of being alive in the eons after all the stars burn out - to cause despair that he can then use. On a metaphorical mind-battly level, his ultimate technique is to become a black hole, which makes sense in story.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Plague of Darkness from The Bible, made particularly notable by commentaries stating that not only was this particular darkness a distinct physical thing that would swallow up any light that the Egyptians tried to produce, but that, during the last three days of the plague, it became so "thick" that it froze the Egyptians in place until it dissipated.
  • This is one of Nico's powers in Percy Jackson and the Olympians due to being a son of Hades. He's capable of shadow traveling (opening portals in the shadows) and covering himself in them to stay hidden. His father is even capable of creating barriers of shadows.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen has a whole mythology built around the relationship between Dark and Light, with Shadow being their unwanted child and a separate element. It comes complete with it's own Realm (Kurald Emulahn), people (the Tiste Edur, or Children of Shadow), deity (Father Shadow), and Warrens (Paths of Magic) accessible to humans: Meanas, the Path of Shadow and Illusion, and Rashan, the Path of Darkness. While Meanas is descended from Kurald Emurlahn, the Elder Warren of Shadow, and Rashan from Kurald Galain, the Elder Warren of Darkness, the human Cult of Rashan is also known as the Cult of Shadow and teaches something called the "Shadow Dance", an all but forgotten magical assassination technique.
  • All Necromancers in Skulduggery Pleasant.
  • Melisandre of Asshai in A Song of Ice and Fire is a "shadowbinder", and can create shadow copies of people to perform assassinations, enabling her to kill King Stannis' treacherous brother Renly before he can kill Stannis and Ser Cortnay Penrose. Her shadow powers are a subset of her fire-based magic, because "there can be no shadows without light" and vice-versa.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: This is Calador's awakening. Ironic since he works for an organization called "The Order of the Light" that fights shadow monsters.
  • In The Shadow Speaker, Ejii is a Shadow Speaker and has the ability to listen to the shadows.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle has in the Faerie realm a power of shadows, one of whose uses is to weave into a Shaed, a super-cloak made of shadows that can be re-sized at will, among other powers.
  • In Iron Council, Judah Low creates a golem out of shadow, capable of choking people on its "flesh."
  • The Shadowlord in Smoke and Shadows, a Sorcerous Overlord from an Alternate Universe has used shadow magic to conquer much of his world, and tries to do so with the protagonist's Earth as well.
  • In Dark Heart, Myrren Kahliana and other followers of the dark god Vraxor can conjure blasts of darkfire, an icy-cold black flame that consumes whatever it touches like acid. Myrren also demonstrates the ability to create a cloak of shadow that makes her invisible in darkness.
  • A Mage's Power: Eric the Classical Antihero finds in himself an affinity for darkness. He learns the Dark Veil faster than any other spell.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Phantom's powers. She also has access to a nightmarish land of shadows, the Gloom.
  • The aptly-named Shadow Man of The Witchlands can manipulate shadows to engulf people in total darkness, as well as use it to kill, either by freezing people to death or piercing them with tendrils of shadow.
  • Dr. Shade, the dark but not evil vigilante from the Diogenes Club series, has shadow-related powers including the ability to cloak an area in darkness, and reach out with tentacles of darkness to touch the minds of those around him. His son Jamie is, at first, only able to raise a light gloom, which he puts to good effect providing special effects for his punk band.
  • Grue from Worm generates and manipulates darkness that blocks hearing, touch, microwaves, radio frequencies and radiation in addition to dampening certain superpowers. After his second trigger event, it can even copy other people's powers.
  • The Dark, an old and powerful supervillain from Brennus can create solid Living Shadows to serve him.
  • In The Man with the Terrible Eyes, the shadow monsters run on something called the Void that gives them powers over darkness. The Man has the same powers.
  • Cradle Series: Shadow madra is a bit rare, but a useful choice for a Path. The Akura clan, which rules over a significant portion of the world, uses various shadow Paths almost exclusively. Akura Mercy mentions that shadow madra is "a bit weird," but ultimately pretty compatible with other techniques and abilities. Her aunt Charity has a Path that combines shadow madra with dream madra.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural introduces Amara, also known as "The Darkness", the older sister of God. She occasionally uses dark constructs to fight, even using shadowy wisps to kill Him (no, I didn't stutter)!
  • Heroes Reborn gives us Phoebe Frady. She could originally animate shadows (most notably her own), darken a room (even unintentionally damaging light bulbs when angry), and concentrate darkness into a ball of black energy. All complete with her eyes glowing purple. After an...interesting interview, she becomes ''The Shadow'', powerful enough to bind her enemies, send shadowy tendrils down their throats to apparently mutilate their internal organs, and even shut off other superpowers by causing a solar eclipse...somehow. This time when her eyes glow, it's not quite as appealing. Because umbrakinesis rarely ever appears in live-action media, she gives us pretty much the most versatile example thus far (at least in the West). A shame you're too busy feeling bad for her situation to care...
  • Ultra Series:
    • Gatanozoa, Big Bad of Ultraman Tiga, could create a fog of killing darkness that could engulf the entire world in mere days. This is carried on into Ultraman Orb, where it appears as Maaga-Tanozoa, the King Demon Beast of Shadow.
    • Empera, Big Bad of Ultraman Mebius, sought to cover the entire universe in darkness, displaying the ability to fire beams of powerful shadow energy, as well as cover light sources like the Sun with solid darkness.


  • Sebastian Smith from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues is able to control his shadow thanks to the superpower bestowed upon him by his symbiote Fesxis. He can manipulate the shadow for various effects, such as to grapple opponents, set up a barrier, or create weapons.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Shadow Queen, a villainess in the Champions adventure The Great Supervillain Contest. She had Darkness powers, including the ability to solidify, project, and merge with shadows.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a number of monsters that create and/or use darkness and shadows as weapons, such as the shade, shadow dragon, and shadow mastiff. The shadow demon was more effective in darkness/shadow but couldn't create or manipulate it.
    • Less dignified is the Skiurid, basically an evil squirrel from the Plane of Shadow that hunts by creating a strength-draining field of darkness around living creatures and collecting the resulting nugget of congealed shadow-stuff like an acorn.
    • The Shadowdancer Prestige Class (also available in Neverwinter Nights) is a tricksy melee combatant who can use shadows to teleport around the combat area. Again, Dark Is Not Evil, though it does synchronize well with the Thief class.
    • One of the power sources for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition is Shadow, which is the dark half of arcane magic. (This is mirrored with the Forgotten Realms own Shadow Weave in lore.) So far, Assassin is the only class released that makes use of this power source.
    • Now, however, any class can technically pull in power from it with certain feats; some classes may pick up shadow powers and/or have their own variant of the class that almost exclusively pulls from it; and there are a few races that have ties to shadow.
    • The 3.5 book Tome of Magic introduced the Shadowcasters, which were just like they sound, an entire class based on the use of shadow magic. In this case Dark Is Evil, but not to the point that it can't be used by decent people (good shadowcasters are described as exceedingly rare thanks to the ties to dark powers and the need to view the world through a skewed, alien perspective, but this is a fluff observation, not a mechanical limitation). They're different from Wizards mechanically in that their spells, called mysteries, follow strict paths of progression, and Shadowcasters' mastery of them will eventually allow them to use them as supernatural abilities rather than prepared spells. They can still be hard to differentiate from more mainstream spellcasters, but when in doubt, watch the caster's shadow - a Shadowcaster's won't match his or her gestures.
    • "Shadow" spells are a type of semi-real illusion. Some of these mimic other spells. The mimicry version are higher level, and act less real. If someone successfully disbelieves they only suffer how real the illusion is, other wise they suffer the full effects.
      • Min Maxer's note  [1] note  have found a way to make it MORE real than 100%. Thus if these min-maxing methods are used, someone is being attacked by the spell, or something the spell created, and victim succeeds on his saving throw to disbelieve, he is in even more danger than the regular un-mimiced 100% regular version of the spell. Sadly the guide fails in taking the final step of the process, mentioning how to make the saving throw as easy as possible for your opponent and ways to force your opponent to choose to attempt the saving throw.
      • For other game breaking wackyness you can mimic the spell miracle by compiling several loopholes into one glorious combo note . Even though it says you need the arcane disciple (luck) feat for this, you could, in theory, say that any wizard/sorcerer with that feat would let you use the trick. But that is really stretching your luck.
    • In the Eberron D&D setting, the Mark of Shadow is a dragonmark which, among other things, grants its bearer the power to generate darkness (least Mark), call up semi-real illusory creatures (lesser Mark), or teleport between shadows (greater Mark). The two elvish Houses that are inheritors of the Mark do a lot of spy work, and at least one of them is very much into assassination also.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, this lies within Black's purview. It has the "negative emotion", "physical darkness", "night", and "evil" variants all represented. Red also gets in on the action with Vicious Shadows, Shadowstorm and Shifting Shadow.
  • Pathfinder, has many of the same forms of shadow and darkness related magic found in D&D 3.5e, and adds some of its own, such as the shadow bloodline for sorcerers, the shadow patron for witches, and the chaokineticist. Most of these come with the Required Secondary Power of being able to see in the dark (or being able to see better in the dark if the character is of a race that can naturally see in the dark) so characters don't hinder themselves with darkness.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer
      • The minor chaos god named Obscuras (see more here) has powers that were mainly based on shadow, and who could grant to his followers the ability of seeing without requiring light. Some people can still obtain powers based on shadow without worshipping him, however.
      • Ulgu, the Lore of Shadows, is the Wind of Magic that allows the caster to manipulate shadows and darkness. The spells of Ulgu involve using shadows for concealment and illusion, as well as transportation.
    • In Mordheim, the Shadow Weavers of the High Elf Shadow Warrior warbands use a unique form of shadow magic. The spells of this strange blend of magic allow the Shadow Weaver to manipulate threads of shadow so that they hide his allies, strike at the foe or congeal into a solid shell to protect from enemy attacks.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The background material mentions the Umbra, a strange race of aliens that look like completely black spheres. They have the power to manipulate any shadows in the vicinity, turning them into huge toothy tentacles that tear people to pieces. And they can do this to any shadow. Even the ones in your pupils.
      • The Dark Eldar have "darklight" weapons that use some kind of energy that resembles tangible darkness mined from other dimensions
  • The Darklings from Changeling: The Lost have a buy-in with the Contracts of Darkness. They don't involve shadow manipulation, however, as much as they play on some of the stereotypical qualities of darkness (creepy, unnerving, etc.).
  • The Lasombra clan of vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade had the ability to control and create shadows as their signature power. When handled correctly, this made them more disturbing than their initially more monstrous allies from clan Tzimisce. Usually, it just ends up being an excuse for the use of tentacles for naughty purposes.
    • The Khaibit bloodline from the successor game Vampire: The Requiem gets a toned-down version of Obtenebration, complete with the power to interact with ghosts and spirits, teleport through shadows, and turn into a shadow yourself. Between this and their fluff (which paints them as worshippers of Set who work to keep back even darker monsters), they are quite popular in play.
    • Mage: The Awakening has this in the Death Arcana, and practioners are neither worse nor better than any other mage. The issue over how shadows are merely the absence of light is justified by that explanation simply being part of the Lie, and that darkness is a meta-physical representation of death.
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has the sphere of magic of Darkness, most of whose spells mirror the ones of the sphere of magic of Light allowing for stuff as manipulating the former to make solid objects and of course shadow manipulation.

  • In BIONICLE, the Makuta were all about this, though characters belonging to other species sometimes had shadow-based powers as well. Also, if one tapped into their inner dark side or had their inner light drained, they automatically gained shadow powers.

    Video Games 
  • Rumia of Touhou was made to play with this notion. Her power, the power of darkness, is meant to sound like the dark and powerful abilities of other characters on this page, but she is actually one of the weakest of all youkai in Gensokyo. Her darkness only blinds anyone within her field - which includes herself - and she is known for crashing headlong into trees. It is fortunate she is so weak, since she is a man-eater. The ribbon in her hair is supposed to be an amulet keeping her powers in check, however, so Wild Mass Guessing holds that she would be the unstoppable "EX-Rumia" if that amulet was removed.
  • Count Bleck in Super Paper Mario, who has the Chaos Heart. Doubles as Power of the Void.
    • Although it rarely comes up, Bowser can cast Shadow Magic - most notably, taking the form of a shadow and zipping/teleporting around the room.
    • The Shadow Queen in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, who has the ability to cast shadow lightning bolts, as well as a powerful wave of darkness.
  • Shadow from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia.
    • A female example from Symphonia is Pronyma. And, predictably enough, she dresses like a demonic hooker.
    • Emil and Tenebrae in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.
    • Also, Rita from Tales of Vesperia can use darkness spells such as Violent Pain, Negative Gate, and Spread Zero.
    • Elise from Tales of Xillia is an odd case, as she's one of the game's two primary healers, yet all of her offensive magic is dark element, as opposed to light (Which practically all of the other healers in the series use).
  • Two types in Pokémon utilize this Trope, although the one you'd think that would utilize it is not among them:
    • Ghost-type Pokemon follow the "Shadow Element" form and several Ghost-type attacks, such as Shadow Punch, utilize "Hard Dark".
    • Shadow Attacksnote  are Anti-Light versions of otherwise normal attacks. This is due to its nature as The Corruption.
    • Although some Dark-Type attacks, such as Dark Pulse and Night Daze, also utilize "Hard Dark", the type itself is more based in trickery than Anti-Light. On the other hand, Holy Hand Grenadesnote  are Super Effective against Dark types but are ineffective against Ghost Types and don't have a different impact on Corrupted Pokemon than other attacks do. The effectiveness is better expressed by the Japanese name for the Dark type: "Evil or Scum".
  • The Shadow Element in Chrono Trigger.
    • Magus' exclusive spell line (starting with Shadow Bomb)
    • While Robo can't use magic for the simple fact that he's a robot, his Beam Spin attack counts as Shadow-elemental.
    • Combining any two elements (Light/Lightning, Fire and Water/Ice) also results in a Shadow-element attack. The most powerful magical triple techs, such as Delta Storm and Delta Force, fall under this as well.
  • In Dishonored 2, the Promoted to Playable Empress Emily Kaldwin gains the ability known as "Shadow Walk," which contrary to its name is not an example of Shadow Walker, but rather transforms her into a shadowy form to sneak around stealthily along the ground or through mouseholes.
  • The Lady from Little Nightmares has the ability to blend in amongst shadows, disappear and reappear in a puff of black smoke, cast entire rooms into complete darkness, and turn shadows into malevolent faux children able to suck the life from any living thing they come in contact with. She's also implied to be able to suck the souls out of anyone via a dark mist.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The Shaman/Druid and Dark Mage/Sorcerer classes, whose arcane sorcery resemble shadows leaping from the ground or flames of dark energy.
    • Despite the fact that dark magic is usually used by villains, this series is big on Dark Is Not Evil portrayals as well:
      • Canas from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the current trope image, seems to have been deliberately designed to subvert the typical personality attributes by being a genuinely good person who studies elder magic out of passion to the "dark" arts rather than wishing harm to others.
      • Despite being the villain, Lyon and his royal mages (including Knoll) from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones practiced dark magic in order to help Grado citizens and show that the magic feared by many can have good uses.
      • Pelleas from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn gained enhanced magical abilities by allowing his soul to be possessed by spirits, but only wants to be a good ruler worthy of his people.
      • Fire Emblem Awakening is a bit more black and white, at least on the surface; not only is the Big Bad a powerful Sorcerer, but of the two playable Dark Mages, Tharja is a Yandere with a marked cruel streak and Henry is a rather unhinged Stepford Smiler. That said, both Tharja and Henry are capable of genuine kindness (the latter in particular is quite sweet to his friends), even if Tharja's heart is hidden under multiple layers of genuine cruelty.
      • In Fire Emblem Fates, all of the playable Dark Mages are genuinely good people, although one is The Atoner (for reasons stated below).
    • The series as a whole associates dark magic as being extraordinarily powerful, which is what makes it so dangerous. Dark magic is depicted as being able to allow people to communicate with the dead, absorb life energy, negate attacks entirely, or just outright Fantastic Nuke people. Because it's so powerful, it seems that those with weak hearts become corrupted by it (something that's actually a major plot point in The Blazing Blade). The side-effects of failing to control the darkness range from becoming an Empty Shell to a full-on Face–Heel Turn. On the other hand, those with strong wills are capable of maintaining their sense of self - but it takes a great deal of self-control.
  • Darkness and the powers derived from it are central to the universe of Kingdom Hearts. The Big Bad Xehanort and his various incarnations mostly utilize darkness as their magic of choice (except for Xemnas). The Heartless are Made of Darkness and thus of course use it in many of their attacks. But though many villains utilize it, the heroes agree that Dark Is Not Always Evil; past deuteragonist Terra and present deuteragonist Riku have the ability to use dark attacks like Dark Firaga, Dark Aura and Dark Volley, to name a few. Riku, in fact, is the only Keyblade wielder thus far who has managed to completely tame the darkness (since Xehanort is, after all, evil).
  • ShadeMan, DarkMan, and KillerMan in Mega Man Battle Network.
  • Dark Necrobat/Dark Dizzy from Mega Man X5 and Dark Mantis from X8. The former uses darkness to stop time, the latter's a ninja who incorporates dark energy into his attacks. Naturally, both of them are weak to light-elemental attacks.
  • The Legend of Zelda.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: In the final phase of the fight against Ganon, he uses a "secret technique of darkness" to make himself invisible and darken the room.
    • Starting in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Shadow has been associated with Impa and the Sheikah, a secretive Ninja tribe dedicated to protecting the royalty of Hyrule and whose home, Kakariko Village, has a Shadow Temple that once functioned as both a crypt and a torture chamber.
    • Midna, a Deadpan Snarker from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
    • Darkness is featured as one of the main weapon elements in Hyrule Warriors, which features the effect of raising a warrior's power when focusing attacks a single enemy. It's the to-go element for most of the playable villains such as Ganondorf, Girahim, Zant, Cia and Wizzro, but also used by the hero Midna in both of her forms, Young Link with his Fierce Deity Mask, and even Princess Zelda can wield darkness with her Dominion Rod weapon. Furthermore, many of the Level 4+ weapons feature darkness as their secondary element, including Link's Darkmagic Sword or Darunia's Darkfire Hammer.
  • Darkness is an effect of some attacks in Super Smash Bros.. They're mainly Ganondorf's speciality, but Mewtwo and Giga Bowser can use them as well. (And White Pikmin, though that's considered to be poison.) Dharkon, the Embodiment of Chaos and Darkness, naturally has darkness-themed powers.
  • Good ol' Dracula and Death in Castlevania. Dracula uses #4, Death uses #1.
    • Not to mention various other monsters in the series, who, between themselves, make liberal use of all four varieties.
  • In Final Fantasy, Gravity-elemental spells usually manifest as spells of darkness, appearing as orbs and/or vortexes of shadowy energy. The Gravity summon Diabolos is also a Big Red Devil that is sometimes fought in a dark, shadowy alternate dimension. Otherwise the Dark-elemental abilities you're likely to see frequently are Shadow Flare and the Dark Knight's Dark Wave/Darkside attack. The Ivalice titles like Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance work Dark into the standard Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors set-up.
  • The "Bane" element in Ogre Battle.
  • In Legend of Dragoon, Rose is the Dark-elemental dragoon and the black monster.
  • Tir and Ted, the known holders of the Soul Eater Rune in Suikoden, as well as the people who possess its child runes, the aptly named Darkness Runes. While heroes, they tend to be broody types, since the Soul Eater is guaranteed to bring tragedy to one's life.
    • As well as the "Rune of Punishment" in Suikoden IV and it's child rune, the "Condemnation Rune", in Suikoden V.
  • Marlowe in Visions & Voices specializes in Necrotic spells.
  • Jackie Estacado from the video game adaptation of the aforementioned The Darkness. Despite being a nice guy (erm, insofar as an enforcer for the Mafia can be considered "nice"; he's pretty cuddly compared to his boss), his powers include his ability to form a shield of darkness and somehow breathe in darkness to replenish his health, his ability to summon Darklings, his use of Combat Tentacles of darkness, and even imploding a small piece of darkness to create a freaking black hole! To top it off, light - any light - will weaken his powers, but a solar eclipse will supercharge them.
  • Death/darkness spells from the Shin Megami Tensei series, which are One-Hit Kill attacks.
    • Special notice goes to Alice, a Little Miss Badass who has the strongest version of these spells possible.
    • The Eiha line of spells in Persona 5 inflict Dark damage, whereas Mudo spells are the aforementioned instant-kill type.
  • City of Heroes has 'Darkness' as a stock elemental damage type and a very common powerset. Its flavour text mainly involves 'drawing power from the Netherworld' and draining souls and such, but it's equally available and used by heroes as well as villains. In game mechanics, Dark sets actually tend to be along the lines of Combo Platter Powers, but are very powerful when used right.
  • Dark Jak in Jak II: Renegade is capable of funneling Dark Eco through his body as a result of two years worth of experiments that pumped it directly into him. The Dark Eco takes the form of lightning, and all of his powers are somewhat electricity based with a purple hue.
  • The elemental affinity of the main protagonist of BlazBlue, Ragna the Bloodedge, is darkness. This is also the case for Hazama (and Yuuki Terumi by extension), as most of his non-chain snake attacks seem to be surrounded with dark energy. Beyond this, there are also Kagura Mutsuki, who can generate shadowy fire and electricity, and Hibiki Kohaku, who can extend his shadow, create clones from shadow, and vanish into a fog of shadowy ravens.
  • In Arcana Heart, both Lieselotte Achenbach's and Yoriko Yasuzumi's default arcana's, Gier and Dieu Mort, deal with Darkness element powers.
  • Shade from Secret of Mana.
  • The "Sorcery" and "Necromancy" schools of magic in Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song deal with spells of this nature and is mostly used by monsters and evil sorcerers who attack your party. However, it can be also be used by a character who temporarily joins your party, though it turns out said character is a minion of the Big Bad.
  • The god Charnel in Sacrifice gives your wizard access to dark magic if you choose to follow him.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Dark Beam, which is a shot of dark energy (which, when charged, freezes things).
  • Some of Exit Fate's dark-elemental characters play this trope straight, while others subvert it. They fit the character requirements, but only some of them are evil. The playable Dark-elemental characters include: among others, a Necromancer, a mercenary, a goth, a skeleton, a Mad Scientist, reclusive or enigmatic mages, a vampire, a gangster, a Ninja, a Knight In Sour Armor Atoner, and a...something. The dark status effects are poison and chaos.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest VIII, Angelo, despite being otherwise very much The Paladin, can learn the Whack series of One-Hit Kill spells. Instant death spells usually fall under the domain of priests and clerics in the series.
    • The "Zam" family of spells was introduced in Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker and eventually made its way to the main series in IX. It manifests in the form of dark lightning and appears to be a counterpart to the "Zap" family of spells usually only learnable by the main heroes of the series.
    • This is one of the first abilities learned by the Sage class in Dragon Quest IX. The other class of magic they learn is from the Bang element..
  • World of Warcraft has shadow priests, warlocks, and death knights (also An Ice Person). However, Dark Is Not Evil. Pay Evil unto Evil is also very much in play for death knights and somewhat for warlocks.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Guy. During his Bushin Musou Renge, a shroud of darkness blinds his foes while he pummels them into oblivion. Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu, on other hand, while visually similar, doesn't count as he is actually dragging his opponent into hell.
    • Oni, Akuma's Superpowered Evil Side, plays this trope straight. His Hadokens, especially his Meido Gohado, are clearly composed from dark energy, and his Ultra Combos turn the screen black and white with evil energy.
    • Likewise, Evil Ryu, whose Hadokens are also composed of dark energy.
    • Juri Han, whose Ki Manipulation is granted by her Feng Shui Engine, is composed of some dark, purple energy.
    • Bison's Psycho Power is pure negative energy that only works when one purges themselves of all goodness... And Bison has done just that.
    • Street Fighter V has Necalli, whose fighting style incorporates some strange form of dark energy. Fittingly, he is titled, "The Soul Consuming Darkness".
  • Wizard 101:
    • Interestingly, the Death School, while summoning up the undead and draining life from foes, is actually fueled by the casters heroics and courage. In other words, in order to cast Death spells, you need to be willing to face great danger without fear. So basically, yeah, you beat your enemies down with the fact that you have the courage to stand up to them; a trait thought of as good and heroic is the basis for summoning the Grimm Reaper to rip out souls and feed them to you. This is situational irony, that is 'results or reality being quite different from expectations.'
    • Shadow magic is said to be the magic of reforming reality. Naturally, the only way to fight someone with a skill that powerful, is to learn it yourself.
  • In Trickster Online, Dragons can either obtain the Dark or Light Pact, but not both, upon the Job Change from Shaman to Magician. This can be further upgraded to Dark Lord for more Dark-based magic. Also, takes a dip into Gravity Master with the Gravity Crush spell, which causes massive damage to up to 6 targets around the caster, but takes 3 seconds to cast and guzzles a ton of MP.
  • Fall from Heaven has Shadow Magic, combining elements of 2 and 3.
  • Many characters in Sengoku Basara, including Demon King Nobunaga himself, his sister Oichi, and his Ax-Crazy Blood Knight retainer Mitsuhide Akechi. Others include Hanbe Takenaka, Yoshitsugu Otani, Mitsunari Ishida...and Sasuke Sarutobi. Gameplay-wise, it drains health from enemies, so most dark elementals tend towards Glass Cannon territory.
  • Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat can create a Living Shadow copy of himself.
  • Shadow Hearts has almost every character possessing an Element. Yuri Hyuuga has the Dark Element in his default form. While he's uncouth and rude, he means well.
  • In Find Mii, Miis or wandering heroes in black clothes can use their magic to darken rooms.
  • In the Real-Time Strategy Universe at War, the Masari has the ability to switch between Light and Dark at will. Dark is mainly focused on defensive capabilities, granting units weak but rapid firing weapons, faster movement speed and Dark Matter armour. The Matter Controller also charges up and fires Matterstorm, a concentrated surge of Dark Matter that immobilizes enemies caught in the storm while buffing up your own units who are exposed to it (specifically increased firepower and rapid DMA regeneration). Pursuing the Dark Matter branch further improves your army's defensive capabilities in Dark mode at the cost of losing considerable firepower. Dark seems to represent nobility and calmness, as evident by the Dark Matter branch heroine Queen Altea, the benevolent leader of the remaining Masari on Atlantea who does not use violent means but instead uses her healing powers and strong magical spells to guide and protect her troops in battle.
  • The titular character of Aragami makes great use of sciakinesis, allowing the player to teleport to other shadows, become invisible in the shade, and create dragons out of shadows.
  • Oswald from Odin Sphere is able to harness the power of the Belderiver he wields to transform into a vicious shadow creature with greatly enhanced speed and power, at the cost of having his POW meter rapidly eaten away at as long as he's in that form (and in story terms, being slowly weakened until his soul is destroyed and he's turned into a ghostly Revenant if he uses it too much.) He's also constantly stalked by Halja because of his power, who are always waiting for him to let his guard down so they can kill him and drag him off to the Netherworld.
  • The Denpa Men has Dark-type Denpa Men in the second game onwards. In keeping with the Denpa Men being Color-Coded for Your Convenience, they're purple (since black was already taken by the Non-Elemental Denpa Men). They're the rarest of the nine regular Denpa Man types. They have high resistance to both Dark- and Light-type attacks (where most Denpa Men are only resistant to their own type), but are slightly weak to all the other elements. Dark-type attacks aren't super effective against anything, but only Dark-type enemies have any resistance to them.
  • Boktai has Hell-type magic to go along with Sol and Luna, and naturally it's aligned with The Immortals and their undead servants. The only subversions are Sabata who still uses it after his Heel–Face Turn, Django when he gains the ability to become a vampire, and Red Durathor who uses Sol-based attacks because she is a plant-type Immortal (and naturally, you have to face her as a vampire).
  • Dark Souls has Abyss Sorcery, introduced in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC. It draws directly on the power of the Dark Soul and fires magic blasts of perfect blackness that deal physical damage as well as magic damage, unique among the game's magic attacks. You can learn some of the basic spells yourself, though Manus, its creator, uses several far more powerful spells that cannot be learned.
  • Abyss Sorcery returns in Dark Souls II though they are called Hexes now. Instead of dealing physical+magic damage, they deal Dark elemental damage. Hexes require a hefty investment in Faith and Intelligence, and certain Hexes can only be cast with sorcery catalysts or chimes. The more powerful Hexes also consume souls when cast. Despite these drawbacks, Hexes are for the most part the most powerful spells in the game.
  • Brett from LiEat has the ability to manipulate shadows, pulling them out of the ground as jagged dark shapes and using them to hold swords and attack. He can also use shadows as a Hammerspace and use them to teleport.
  • The skiakineticist class in Telepath Tactics. Interestingly, this is the only one of the Elemental Powers to have a metaphysical component, as the description for Shadow Blast mentions corrupting the target with negative emotions. In the campaign, the Ebon Riders use these as their psy fighters of choice, and Climax Boss Archos uses shadow powers himself.
  • Infernal Demons and the Umbra Witches in the Bayonetta franchise.
  • Oda Nobunaga as portrayed in the Samurai Warriors is constantly brimming with dark, vorpal energy. Not only does he outright shoot dark orbs of shadow and emit damaging shockwaves, but his special moves often involve passing a hand over his blade while imbuing it with a dark energy, making it do more damage and even unlocking further attacks.
  • Dragon's Dogma has a Mystic Knight class which has a few elemental skills revolving around imbuing your shield or weapon, including a few dark-related spells: Abyssal (Riposte/Trance) temporarily enchant your shield and weapon, respectively; Demonswrath converts blocked damage into dark, shadowy bolts to be cast at enemies; Abyssal Anguish sets an aura around your weapon which adds extra hits and range to each melee attack.
  • Mephiles the Dark, the Big Bad of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), is a being of pure shadow that is able to take physical form by merging with someone's shadow (in this case, Shadow's). He can also spawn creatures of his dark essence, cast a pool of darkness, and fire spheres of dark energy.
  • In Sonny, the Psychological (or Shadow Strain, depending on the version) uses dark-element psionics to act as a Gradual Grinder and layer debuffs on the enemy. Their basic attack, Shadow Bolt, is an Armor-Piercing Attack, which makes it Boring, but Practical in that, despite being the weakest base attack of the non-physical strains, it always hits for full damage. And it can be fired every turn.
  • Most of Ruh Kaan's abilities in Battlerite have a shadow theme. Highlights include the long-ranged, high damage Shadowbolt, the enemy-pulling Claw of the Wicked, and the Ultimate Shadow Beast, where Ruh Kaan makes himself a giant body of shadows that enhances his attacks.
  • Being one of the elemental Blade types in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the player can resonate with Dark-type blades, just like with any other. The most prominent examples include Azami (a ruthless marionette/cyborg-like woman with a Magic Eye and a huge gun), Perceval (a former assassin with a desire to punish evildoers with his katana and a no-kill policy), Kasandra (a sweet girl who seems to be unaware of the misfortune that seems to follow her around, and wields a gigantic hammer) and Vale (a spear-wielding teenager with an appreciation for the occult).
  • The Logomancer: From the description for Malebaldur's shadow: "Malebaldur's more esoteric spells allow him to draw strength from his own shadow."
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Shadow Peashooter, who is a Shadow Plant and actually uses dark-based abilities such as shadowy peas, slowing beams of darkness, using a black-hole like power to drag zombies into the ground, and even nuke zombies with a powerful darkness-based attack. Despite this, it's still one of the plants.
  • In Crystalline Shadow is the fifth elemental magic after the classical four, focussing on concealment and emotional manipulation (in addition to direct attacks, which all elements in the setting can do). It was once a perfectly acceptable field of magical study but a cult called VOID tried to use Shadow magic to Take Over the World. By the time of the game, a few decades after VOID was defeated, Shadow magic has been made illegal.
  • Shadow is one of the four elements in the Telepath RPG universe that psy users can use, there is also the shadowlings race who have this as their main elements and dark spriggats who use shadow as a Breath Weapon.

  • Astral Aves: Mages become capable of casting a shadow into another dimension and fighting other beings' shadows/lights.
  • Project 0: Ciro and Kareem can turn themselves into shadows as a stealth mode.
  • Shadowmancy in Cat Legend seems to be a mixture of 2 and 3, with some additional, potentially creepy elements such as entering others' dreams. The most prominent user, Mercutious Nymndemise, is an unusual case, since, despite initially being set up as an antagonist, he's actually a pretty decent guy.
  • Rose Lalonde of Homestuck may not be evil, but she's definitely The Unfettered and uses pretty damn powerful dark magic, as well as having a black outfit and a black Battle Aura to boot.
  • The main character in The Burned can manipulate shadows, despite being a good guy. He primarily attacks with shadow needles, which are hard to detect when it's dark out.
  • There's Shadow Dancer - as explained in the Dungeons and Dragons section above - in The Order of the Stick. The snag is that he's in a stick-figure comic where there are no shadows.
  • Tsillah of Wapsi Square has some interesting shadow manipulation powers. While the full extent of her abilities is yet to be shown, she can construct clothing out of shadows.
  • In Roommates both the Erlkönig and Jareth were shown to have power over the shadows. They can summon shadow beasts, catch things and people with tangible shadows, make a cool entrance by invoking Emerging from the Shadows etc.. Also while the Erlkönig does almost all his magic through this element (even the not directly darkness related things like teleporting), Jareth seems to avoid it when he can... except when his dark side takes over that is.
  • Curio from morphE is a Moros mage who specializes in casting shadows. His first spell during the opening chapter was coating the room with wisps of darkness.
  • Scarecrows appear to be strong at darkness magics in The Sanity Circus. Posey can turn into a shadow to travel quickly and even Wall Crawl, and even when stabbed by Luther she still manages to engulf and (seemingly) kill him and walk away.
  • Artemis of White Dark Life has the title of "Endless Shadow Armed Demon Lady" for this explicit trope. Not only can she form limbs from her shadow to strike at enemies and drain their life energy, but she also uses her shadow as a storage room for anything or anyone she feels the need to take. Naturally her main weakness is bright flashes of light.
  • Champions of Faraus: Leilusa, a Godess of shadow, and one of the main characters, can use shadow magic, although due to magical restrictions of some kind, she is usually stuck as a sort of magical Mission Control to the others, unable to help them with her shadow magic directly.
  • Elliot Baek, one of the antagonists in the webcomic Zero Game, is an uncommon example. As the wielder of the SSS-rank ability "Shadow", he is able to control Exactly What It Says on the Tin in various ways, such as creating shadow shields and most commonly summoning towering entities made of shadow to do his bidding. The subversion comes from the fact that most wielders of such powers have them overlap with darkness in general and are as such Weakened by the Light and associated with the night, Elliot controls specifically shadows, which means that his ability ironically only works during the day. At night, when there is no light to cast a shadow, Elliot's ability is - in the words of his brother Alex - "essentially 'Nothing'." Later subverted as it turns out he carries items to create lights at night, bypassing this weakness.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Copycat is able to disappear into, appear from, and travel between shadows. He also caught a fleeing mouse form Kalliv with a shadowy hand.

    Web Original 
  • There seem to be a number of these in the Whateley Universe right now. Nacht is a Deadpan Snarker with a Supervillain mother, but she seems (so far) to be neutral. Sabbath is definitely in it for the crime. Blacklight may be a villain in training. They don't all have the same weaknesses, and Canon has it that some of them got the powers from a magical source, so rules of physics need not apply.
  • The Questport Chronicles: The Master of Darkness, who is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Blackfriars of the Omega Universe can teleport via a combination of angles and dark shadows.
  • Mortasheen's Jabbersnatch uses a low-level version of this, being able to absorb all light in its vicinity to turn itself into a solid black Sillouette. It uses this power to be a highly effective boogeyman.
  • Shane DeSoto from Super Powereds possesses the ability to summon blades of shadow. As a very kind-hearted person, he actually has difficulty using these, since these blades are more suited to killing his opponents than anything else ; he's had to train hard in order to inflict non-fatal damage.
  • Dreamscape: Keela can utilize many different dark powers with her scythe.
    • Keedran has dark magic (such as soul-stealing) in addition to holy magic.
    • Aseir has darkness powers, like sending out waves of dark energy.
    • Like Keela, Kaila can use her pitchfork for various darkness attacks.
    • The Master of the Dammed, being the one who gave Keela and Kaila their powers, naturally has them himself. It only makes sense, considering where he resides. The Shadow Hands are the most notable ability of his.
  • Brian (aka: the super-villain “Grue”) from the webserial Worm has powers based around flooding an area with a thick “mist” of total darkness that results in sensory deprivation and messes with some other powers. Considering how many of his normal allies have ways around the ensuing sensory deprivation, he often acts in concert with his more directly offensive teammates to prevent enemies from properly retaliating.

    Western Animation 
  • Shadow Khan from the Double Dragon cartoon used the Black Flame. His attacks were a combination of #1 and #2 (darkness based attacks that are fueled by death, fear, hate, etc) and he could create/imbue minions which darkness as well.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Shadow manipulation is one of Enid's many skills she acquired in her ninja training.
  • Raven of Teen Titans. Her powers take the form of darkness and her inherent demonic nature is Chaotic Evil, but she manages to be one of the good guys anyway through sheer Heroic Willpower (just don't make her angry...).
    Raven: Remember me?
    Dr. Light: (pales) I'd like to go to jail now, please.
  • In his introductory episode, Ebon from Static Shock refers to himself as a "Master of Shadows and Darkness". Not to mention his general appearance...
    • A minor character named Nightingale could create and control shadow, though the show insisted on calling it dark matter, for whatever reason.
  • Makes an appearance in the third season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, where oddly enough it is not only the episode's villain who is shown using it, but also Celestia and Twilight, made all the more conspicuous by the fact that Luna does not partake. Despite being linked to fear and despair, there doesn't seem to be any moral problems with casting it, at least at inanimate objects.
  • In ¡Mucha Lucha!: The Return of El Malefico, El Malefico has a lot of Darkness based powers.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures there are the Shadowkhan, demonic ninjas that travel through shadows, but have no will of their own, only acting when summoned. In season 4, it is revealed that there are 9 tribes of these shadowy warriors, with vastly different forms, each deadly in their own way, and each serving a different Oni general, and when the masks the generals are sealed in are all brought together, the generals would be able to summon enough of the warriors to make the world dark forever, and destroy ALL good magic. Luckily, the Chans stop it.
  • Shadow in Xiaolin Chronicles has the ability to merge into the shadows.
  • Shadow in the first episode of Angel Wars.
  • Erebus, the Big Bad of the My Little Pony 'n Friends story "Bright Lights", uses shadows stolen from other creatures to power up his own power. When he uses his power he grows weaker until he gets more shadows. When he loses his shadows, he's reduced to an easily capturable puff of smoke.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dark Is Edgy



As befits the Goddess of Darkness, she attacks mainly with petrifying beams or blasts of concentrated darkness.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CastingAShadow

Media sources:

Main / CastingAShadow