- “All shall fear and obey me! I am THE DARKNESS!”
- —The Darkness
The Darkness is the overarching antagonist of the Skylanders series, debuting in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. It is the ultimate force behind most evil in the series, being depicted as a large mass of dark, ominous storm clouds or as a swirling clump of darkness. The Darkness later returns in Skylanders: SuperChargers as the true main antagonist.
Between being released and first defeated by the Core of Light, The Darkness appeared to have a destructive and violent personality, and it is unknown if it used to have the same quirks as when its form was restored. In Spyro's Adventure, The Darkness was merely a force of evil and had no defining features or personality. Its only goal appeared to serve Kaos and cause mayhem to Skylands.
In SuperChargers, The Darkness is manipulative, and as its power grew, it began to develop an actual personality and form. It has a deep and somewhat sultry voice, first appearing to only want to satisfy Kaos' desire for power and as long as The Sky Eater fed The Darkness more magic. In the end, however, The Darkness proved to be more evil and ruthless than Kaos was: as while it did want the subjugation of the Skylands, The Darkness was even more megalomaniacal and perfectly satisfied with destroying an entire world to command the universe, and relied on blackmail and aggression to keep Kaos' loyalty. Despite its cruel behavior, it still appears to have a slight sense of humor when taunting Kaos about his mother, and was willing to face the Skylander in a duel without resorting to cheating to prove its superiority.
Despite being an evil force, The Darkness and its sinister magic can be controlled by other creatures having malicious purposes and bestow its power on others, like Kaos. Spyro is the only known Skylander so far to use The Darkness and combine its power with his own to become Dark Spyro, eventually being able to control his power and using the dark magic to fight evil, though others can indirectly use its power after having come in contact with Petrified Darkness or Dark Traptanium.
In the Trap Team 3DS version of Midnight Museum, The Darkness can damage creatures that come in contact with it, and produce Shadow Chompies to attack those attempting to traverse with lights through it.
In SuperChargers, before it was first damaged by the Core of Light, the only device capable of destroying it, the Darkness' power was said to be beyond comprehension, such as being able to "shatter mountains and entire islands with casual disdain" and immortality, having lived for millennia and still living for many more. In addition, it was able to summon spiky vines, create Creeping Dark, fire large laser beams from its mouth, and use dark tentacles created from its own body that burned its targets. Being fed enough Magic in the present day, it wasn't at full power but seems to have some form of telekinesis to interact with control panels near it and immobilize its foes. It can also create objects for its subjects, such as when it created an enormous though brittle, runic sword for Kaos while he was facing the Skylanders; and also illusions, seen when it projected itself and pictures of the rest of the universe into mirrors.
Using The Sky Eater's energy and structure, The Darkness' powers increased greatly, transforming it into a giant humanoid form as well, giving it the ability to alter the interiors of a Rift, summon laser-shooting crystals and create Shadow Guardians. As that form exploded when it was thrown back into its own dimension, one can assume it no longer has these powers.
Centuries ago when the Ancients were eagerly exploring the universe using the Rift Engines, they accidentally created a sinister rift engine that opened a portal to a forbidden world. From this portal emerged The Darkness, who proceeded to wreak havoc and unleash dark forces across Skylands. The Skylanders and Portal Masters of old held back the minions of The Darkness until a solution was made known when the Ancients created the Core of Light, which repelled the Darkness to the dark corners of Skylands.
Despite being driven away, The Darkness was still out there, notably lending its assistance to Dark Portal Masters which it corrupted with dark thoughts, in their evil schemes. It played a role in wiping out Voodood's entire tribe when they marched to battle the evil force, resulting with Voodood being the only survivor. When The Darkness attempted to corrupt the Core of Light, its influence nearly consumed Spyro, and it was Master Eon's timely spells that saved the young dragon from a horrible fate. The Darkness also destroyed Boom Jet's homeland, but the Air Skylander managed to rescue the citizens just in time. Elves who chose to be evil and embraced the effects of The Darkness are called Drow, but they retained their love for nature.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
For generations, the Core of Light repelled The Darkness until Kaos returned from his exile and destroyed the Core, allowing him to use The Darkness for his own gain to take over and rule Skylands as its emperor. After the Core of Light was restored by the new Portal Master and their Skylanders, The Darkness was repelled once more.
In the 3DS version of Spyro's Adventure, The Darkness came to the Radiant Isles and brought with it Hektore, who proceeded to capture the Mystic Seekers and forced them to create the Dark Mirror that shrouded the Radiant Isles from the rest of Skylands. After Hektore was destroyed, The Darkness was driven away.
Skylanders: Trap Team (3DS)
Though not appearing in the main story, The Darkness took over the Midnight Museum, attempting to engulf its relics in "eternal forgottenness". It could only be repelled for small amounts of time with the museum's light spheres, giving just enough time for the Skylanders to retrieve the relics before it engulfed the building.
Rift into Overdrive
It was revealed that a small, remaining portion of The Darkness was collected after being pushed back by the Core of Light. This fragment of darkness was sealed inside a vial behind an elemental door within the Skylanders Academy where no one could gain access to it. However, the Darkness fragment was able to transfer its power to strengthen Kaos, who was locked away in his Traptanium prison after the events of Skylanders: Trap Team. Because of this, Kaos was able to leave his cell for short periods of time without the Skylanders knowing, eventually leaving his prison completely. After planning his escape, Kaos and Glumshanks broke open the elemental door within the school and took away The Darkness fragment to be used for their latest evil plan in ruling Skylands.
The fragment of The Darkness grew into a large power source for Kaos' Sky Eater, consuming the magic of Skylands as the machine ravaged the skies. It eventually became sentient, gaining a voice and seemingly seeks to help Kaos rule not only Skylands, but the entire universe. However, the Darkness grew impatient with Kaos' negligence in taking matters seriously, informing the Portal Master that the Skylanders were making the Core of Light into a weapon against him. Glumshanks soon pointed out that if The Darkness destroys Skylands, there would be nothing left of Skylands for Kaos to rule over. The Darkness easily manipulated Kaos into siding with it on this goal, driving the evil Portal Master to fire a suspicious Glumshanks in the process.
When Skylands was at its knees, with the Core of Light destroyed by the Sky Eater, Kaos displayed hesitation on destroying Skylands, as without it, he would not be able to rule it like he always wanted. The Darkness, having had enough of waiting, forced the evil Portal Master to cooperate by removing the dark powers it had given to Kaos. Not wanting to lose his powers, Kaos begrudgingly initiated the destruction sequence of Skylands, satisfying The Darkness, who returned Kaos' powers to him. After the Skylanders defeated Kaos within The Sky Eater, The Darkness easily subdued the heroes and commanded Kaos to destroy the Dark Rift Engine to forever crush their hopes of saving Skylands. Instead, Kaos turned on the Rift Engine, having had enough of being ordered around. As it was being pulled into the portal from whence it came, The Darkness swore vengeance and it seemed the day was saved once again. Suddenly The Darkness emerged from the dark portal, now using remnants of The Sky Eater as armor in a final assault against the Skylanders. After a lengthy battle, the force behind all evil was defeated.
Secret Agent Secrets
Spyro mentioned that The Darkness was locked away, presumably back to its own dimension after its battle with the Skylanders.
- The Darkness bears many similarities with the Maelstrom of the now retired MMO LEGO Universe.
- Its role in Skylanders: Giants is reduced greatly. Certain enemies who have been enhanced or created by The Darkness, such as Drow, appear, but otherwise, the Darkness isn't mentioned.
- Glumshanks mentioned that The Darkness talks in its sleep.
- It is said that Free Ranger was about to jump into the Darkness until he was stopped by Master Eon.
- Its Skystone reveals it is of the Dark element. However, in the 3DS version of Skylanders: Trap Team, The Darkness attempted to engulf the Midnight Museum's Dark relics in "eternal forgotteness", meaning that it does not encompass the entire Element and seeks to corrupt it as well.
- The official book Skylanders: A Portal Masters' Guide to Skylands contradicts this, stating that all Dark elemental creatures draw power from it and have to resist its destructive temptations, somehow even after its final banishment.
- Though The Darkness' name appears to be a title, it is referred to in games as an actual name, as characters include 'The' when referring to it at all times, even going so far as to call it 'Mister The Darkness' when speaking to it directly.
- The Darkness is very similar to Aku from Samurai Jack, as both are enormous nigh-invulnerable, demonic, horned beings of evil with dark powers with a slight sense of humor.
- The Darkness is also similar to Galactus from Marvel and Unicron from Transformers. All three are gigantic, horned beings willing to destroy worlds with aid from smaller beings (Kaos, Silver Surfer and Megatron/Galvatron respectively).
- He is also similar to Calamity Ganon from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Both are eldritch beings of darkness, have a purple/crimson color scheme, and their final battles involve them merging with technology (The Sky Eater and Shiekah technology respectively).
- The Darkness is also similar to Vaatu from The Legend of Korra. They're both ultimate evil entities of darkness, chaos and corruption. They both want to destroy the force of light, peace and protection which opposes them (Core of Light in Skylanders and Raava in The Legend of Korra). They're both ultimately defeated by the main protagonist(s) (the Skylanders in Skylanders: SuperChargers and Korra in The Legend of Korra). They both can shoot laser blasts of dark energy and turn innocent beings into dark and evil versions of their former selves (Evilized enemies in Skylanders: Swap Force and Dark spirits in The Legend of Korra).
- Being the true final boss in Skylanders: SuperChargers, it is the first villain to serve as the final boss after Kaos.
- The final form of the Darkness seems to resemble Spitfire.
- Concept art also shows The Darkness with a mass of tentacles as "hair" instead of crooked horns, resembling Nightfall's hair.
- The Darkness has no enemy name introduction in its boss battle. However, it is announced, and an unfinished version of it can be found in the UI artist for SuperChargers' website, lacking the "The".
- Though unused in the final game, the Clutch artbook for the game has sketches for The Darkness with regular full-body form without the enhancements from the Sky Eater, with a cape-like shadowy torso, no legs and three arms.