"I am pure evil. My followers and I are born from the dark magic of the Black Pearl. I am the living embodiment of terror and destruction. You don't stand a chance against my forces of desolation. I shall crush and consume you!"
—Darm, Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter
WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND.
- Original Duology (Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - Omen and Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter) & Prequel (Ys: Origin):
- The Demon King Darm is the ultimate evil behind several of the franchise's villains, and indirectly has a hand in most of the others. When just a human by the name of Cain Fact in Origin, he made a deal with the Darkling leader Dalles to grant him access to the kingdom of Ys, leading to Dalles's forces slaughtering and burning much of the kingdom and its innocent residents. His ultimate plan being to use the Black Pearl to become a God of Evil and the lord of demonkind, Cain was an abusive beast to his children as well, pushing them to their limits in training to give himself a good image and later having them both be subjected to demonic essence experiments to test and see if his bloodline could survive the potentially fatal essence increase. After failing to destroy the rest of the Ys kingdom to grant the Black Pearl its full power, Cain fused with the Pearl, becoming Darm, and, though sealed away for centuries, Darm later returns in Ys II. Darm uses Dalles as his henchman to have dozens of innocents sacrificed to him to enable his eventual escape, at which point Darm plans to enslave all of humankind, killing much of it in the process to solidify his rule. Whether as a human or as the self-proclaimed Demon King, Darm was pure evil, gladly willing to sacrifice the lives of his friends, family, and even his own race if it meant granting him the power he believed he deserved.
- The aforementioned Dalles, leader of the Darklings and later chief servant of Darm, is a power-hungry sorcerer with a streak of evil which rivals the Demon King himself. In Origins, Dalles invades the fertile lands of Ys in pursuit of the Black Pearl, leading his forces on a crusade of death and destruction throughout the entire kingdom before the Twin Goddesses Feena and Reah lift the Black Pearl and the kingdom up out of Dalles's reach. Constructing a massive tower dubbed the Tower of Darm to reach Ys, Dalles is contracted by the treacherous Cain Fact to infect both of his sons with demonic essence to test their ability—which Dalles proceeds to do with glee, making Toal Fact into his servant and nearly causing Hugo Fact to slaughter his own friends and brother. In Hugo's (non-canon) route, Dalles makes a point of making Hugo suffer by slowly petrifying and shattering his Love Interest Epona—one of Dalles's own servants—in front of his eyes. Dalles ultimately resolves to steal the power of the Black Pearl and send the entire kingdom of Ys crashing down into oblivion to become a perfect being before Cain finally kills the sorcerer himself. Upon his resurrection in Ys II, Dalles now works to free Darm from his seal and plunge the land into an era of terror under the Demon King's cruel hand, sacrificing countless innocents to appease him and spitefully petrifying several innocent people Adol Christin rescues, cruelly mocking Adol about his failure to protect them. Callous, self-serving, and a master of tossing people aside once he's tired of exploiting and using them, Dalles is a perfect representation of the dark ambition that defines the Clan of Darkness.
- Ys III: Wanderers of Ys
- In the original game (later remade as Ys: The Oath in Felghana), Galbalan/Demanicus is a cruel, powerful demon with a tyrannical god complex. Once holding cruel reign over the entire world and brutally slaughtering any hint of resistance, Galbalan was sealed away into four statues by the legendary hero Genos. Striving to break free, annihilate the world, and rule over the ashes, Galbalan's name is spoken in dread by the ancestors of his reign in Felgana before he is eventually broken out by his servant Garland. Galbalan kidnaps Adol's friend Elena with the intent to slaughter her as a sacrifice to regain his full power, and once confronted by Elena's brother Chester, Galbalan cheerfully decides to murder both Elena and Chester within arms reach of each other purely to amuse himself.
- Lord Garland himself, although a mere pawn of Galbalan's influence in the canon remake Oath, is possessed of complete agency in the original game and manages to become just as bad as his dark master. The last remaining follower of Galbalan, Garland manipulates the corrupt Lord McGaya into becoming a oppressive and brutal tyrant to the town of Redmont, spurring him into leading a full-out massacre on Genos Island for the purpose of eliminating Genos's descendants. Garland takes a significant portion of Redmont's people hostage with threats to murder them all if Adol doesn't turn in one of the statues sealing Galbalan and eventually leaves McGaya, Ballacetine Castle, and Redmont to be torn apart by the incoming wave of monsters summoned by Galbalan upon his resurrection. A madman truly worthy of being the malevolent demon's chief servant, Garland's only wish was the see the entire world devastated and enslaved by his dark master.
- Ys IV: Mask of the Sun: In this non-canon version of Ys IV, Garuda is presented as a manipulative sadist lusting after the Golden Temple. Having used his silver tongue and dark magic to corrupt Lord Eldeel into evil, Garuda uses his position at Eldeel's side to perform horrific demonic transmutations on dozens of innocents, turning them into his demon slaves filled with pain and rage. After ordering Leeza, Eldeel's former servant and love, to be killed in front of him, Garuda reveals his plans to take control of the Golden Temple with Eldeel as a puppet ruler, then use the temple's magic and weapons to annihilate countless people until he is propped up as the god of Ys.
- Ys IV: Dawn of Ys:
- In this alternate non-canon version of Ys IV, Garuda, a mysterious member of the Clan of Darkness, is the true mastermind behind every misfortune in the game. Tempting the Winged One Eldeel into becoming corrupted by the power of the Black Pearl, Garuda uses Eldeel as his figurehead as he works towards finding the Golden City and the treasures within. Along the way, Garuda has countless innocents painfully transmuted into monsters by his subordinate and takes Adol's friend Leeza hostage for a trade—before attempting, for no other reason than his amusement to brutally kill Leeza anyways after Adol gives Garuda what he wants. At the game's end, Garuda backstabs and murders Eldeel and reveals his true goal; to summon the first leader of the Clan of Darkness, Arem, and plunge the entire world into the flames of Hell to burn for all eternity.
- Arem, the Lord of Slaughter, is a mad tyrant who once plagued the lands of Celceta with destruction and darkness as he lived up to his sobriquet by butchering countless people and laying waste to the kingdom. Though sealed away for centuries, Arem returns by way of his Dragon, the aforementioned Garuda, who commits numerous atrocities to free Arem. Once released, Arem proclaims his plans to turn the world of Ys into a living Hell where he will torture and burn every last man, woman, and child for all eternity, and, even when beaten, Arem tries to drag Adol down into Hell with him after absorbing the souls of his own followers.
- Ys: Memories of Celceta: In the third and canon version of Ys IV, Gruda is a sociopathic Darwinist obsessed with "testing" humanity for its right to exist. Having fallen into evil during his youthful days, Gruda betrayed his entire village to join the cruel Romun Empire, using his position to gather forces to his side. Once arriving in Celceta, Gruda has his Co-Dragons Bami and Gadis attack several villages to test his latest magical masks, using them to take control of the bodies of several innocents to use as his forces, with the controlled people fully aware of their surroundings as they are controlled. Manipulating the naive Leeza into attacking his former village to save her master, Eldeel, Gruda betrays and tries to murder the girl, before doing the same to his supposed master Eldeel himself, revealing his plans to bring about the apocalypse using the Akashic Records, then sit back and watch as humans either die out, or only the "strong" manage to survive the coming onslaught. Defined by his obsessive and ruthless nature, Gruda cared for nothing but satisfying his own curiosity as to whether humans deserve the gift of life.
- Dalles/Dares is a sociopathic sorcerer who serves first Dark Fact, then Lord Darm, in his quest for power and cruelty. While serving Dark Fact, Dalles organizes the raiding of several villages by their monsters, and personally turns Sarah to stone while having his apprentice murder several villagers. As The Dragon to Darm, Dalles works to free his master from his imprisonment by forcing several villages to regular choose one of their own to sacrifice to Dalles's forces, men, women, and children alike, and, when confronted in the end by Adol Christin, Dalles gleefully turns dozens of villagers to stone solely to spite the boy. Dalles's ultimate goal is to release Darm then sit back and watch as he leads the total annihilation of the modern world.