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We shall devour your light, and use it to return this world to the Void!
~ The Cloud of Darkness

The Cloud of Darkness (in Japanese: 暗闇の雲, Kurayami no Kumo, lit. "The Dark Cloud") is one of the most feared and powerful villains in the Final Fantasy series, appearing as the overarching antagonist and final boss of Final Fantasy III. She appears to be a semi-naked, humanoid female with a heart-shaped red marking on its forehead, accompanied by sentient tentacles. Although she is the final boss, she does not appear in the game until the very end. The Cloud of Darkness refers to itself in the plural form; using "We" instead of "I". Dissidia Final Fantasy explains this as its two tentacles having minds of their own, and the humanoid body speaks for all three of them. In the Nintendo DS translation, however, it is more apparent that "We" refers to the idea that the Cloud of Darkness is a collective entity born of darkness.

In the NES version, the Cloud of Darkness' snake-like tentacles were simply for decoration. In the Nintendo DS version the tentacles' numbers were reduced to two and act as enemies. The one to the right of the Cloud of Darkness has abilities such as Haste and Esuna, and is only weak to magic while the one to the left uses Lightning whenever possible and is vulnerable to attacks.

She was voiced by Laura Bailey, who is also known for voicing Lust.

Personality

The Cloud of Darkness's personalty is not really explored in Final Fantasy III, as she is more of a sentient disaster rather than a character, though in Dissidia Final Fantasy it is given more depth. The Cloud of Darkness is very cruel, arrogant, and belittling towards others, as she has no care for human life, though is fascinated by living things' attempt to live in spite of knowing they would eventually die.

In league with Kefka, Kuja and Exdeath, the Cloud of Darkness also desires to destroy everything. It is also implied that Cloud of Darkness thinks the manikins are abominations, and for that reason it aided Laguna in sealing the door to the rift that they came through.

History

Final Fantasy III

Cloud of Darkness

An artwork of the Cloud of Darkness in Final Fantasy III.

In Final Fantasy III, she​ appears as the main antagonist and final boss, though it doesn't appear until that point.

It was created when the wizard Xande stopped time in his quest for immortality and sealed the light of the Water and Earth Crystals, shifting the balance between light and dark in favor of the latter. The imbalance gave birth to the Cloud of Darkness, a manifestation of the excess darkness whose sole purpose was to destroy both the worlds of light and darkness by having the Void consume them. From here, it commanded Xande to carry out its scheme.

It first appeared after the warriors of light defeated Xande. It kills the warriors of light, however, they are brought back to life to defeat it. Though it is too strong, the warriors of dark, who had to save their world from the light, sacrifice themselves so it can be defeated. Very little is known about it, however, it seems it's only desire is to return everything to the Void, thus ceasing existence.

Cloud of Darkness is genderless, even tough it resembles a female. It refers to itself in the plural ("we").

Dissidia: Final Fantasy

In Dissidia, she is a servant of Chaos, and the villain to the Onion Knight. She does not play too much of a role beyond that, but possess the same goal as in the original game, to plunge the world into darkness.

Etymology

The Dark Cloud

The Dark Cloud

In traditional Chinese culture, qì (also chi or ch'i) is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as life energy, lifeforce, or energy flow. The literal translation of "qi" is breath, air, or gas. Not only human beings and animals were believed to have qi, as Zhuangzi indicated that wind is the qi of the Earth. The philosopher Mo Di recorded how some people performed a kind of prognostication by observing the qi (clouds) in the sky. In conclusion, the Cloud of Darkness is the bad energy of the planet, the dark wind, the largest evil life force that can exist on the planet, it is the planet's evil qi.

Trivia

  • The Totema, Famfrit, from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and the Esper, Famfrit, in Final Fantasy XII are loosely based on the Cloud of Darkness.
  • Of the fifteen mainstream numbered Final Fantasy games, Cloud of Darkness, Ultimecia, and Nael van Darnus are the only female villains to be main antagonists. This is debatable, as it has been stated that the Cloud of Darkness is genderless. Despite this, it is referred to as a "her" in Dissidia.
  • A spoof of the final battle of Final Fantasy III appears in the credits roll for DynamiTracer, a Japan-exclusive Squaresoft game for the Super Famicom SatellaView addon. Four characters from the cast substitute for the Warriors of Light while another parodies the Cloud of Darkness.
  • Unlike many Dark Forms, the Cloud of Darkness is not evil because she is an embodiment of darkness, but rather because she was created from the imbalance between light and dark, as her predecessor, Flood of Light, was exactly like her and comprised of light when the balance was shifted in light's favor, and was defeated by four heroic Warriors of the Dark.

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           Final Fantasy logo Villains

Final Fantasy
Garland | Fiends of Chaos | Chaos | Astos

Final Fantasy II
Palamecian Empire
Emperor Mateus | Leon | Borghen | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor

Final Fantasy III
Xande | Djinn | Gigameth | Goldor | Gutsco | Hein | Cloud of Darkness

Final Fantasy IV
Baron Empire
Golbez | Kain Highwind | Baigan | Dr. Lugae | Red Wings | Elemental Archfiends

Others
Zemus | Maenad | The Creator

Final Fantasy V
Exdeath | Gilgamesh | Enkidu | Demons of the Rift | Void | Enuo

Final Fantasy VI
Gestahlian Empire
Emperor Gestahl | Kefka Palazzo | Typhon | Ultros

Cult of Kefka
Kefka Palazzo | Magic Master

Final Fantasy VII
Shinra Inc.
President Shinra | Rufus Shinra | Heidegger | Palmer | Professor Hojo | Professor Hollander | Scarlet
Turks
Elena | Reno | Rude | Tseng Remnants
Kadaj | Loz | Yazoo

Others
Don Corneo | Fuhito | Genesis | Jenova | Omega Weiss | Sephiroth

Final Fantasy VIII
Adel | Fujin | Griever | NORG | President Vinzer Deling | Raijin | Seifer Almasy | Ultimecia

Final Fantasy IX
Alexandrian Empire
Queen Brahne | Thorn and Zorn | Meltigemini | Kuja

Others
Garland | Necron

Final Fantasy X
Yevon
Seymour Guado | Yo Mika | Wen Kinoc | Lady Yunalesca

Leblanc Syndicate
Leblanc | Logos | Ormi

Others
Jecht | Shuyin | Sin | Yu Yevon

Final Fantasy XI
Promathia | Shadow Lord | Shantotto

Final Fantasy XII
Archadian Empire
Vayne Solidor | Doctor Cid | Gabranth | Ba'Gamnan | Bergan | Ghis | Venat

Others
Judge of Wings | Feolthanos

Final Fantasy XIII
Barthandelus | Bhunivelze | Caius Ballad | Jihl Nabaat | Order of Salvation | Orphan | Yaag Rosch

Final Fantasy XIV
Garlean Empire
Varis Zos Galvus | Nael Van Darnus | Gaius Van Baelsar | Zenos Yae Galvus | Livia Sas Junius | Nero Tol Scaeva | Regula Van Hydrus | Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina

Ascians
The Paragons/Unsundered Ones
Lahabrea | Elidibus | Emet-Selch
Individuals
Igeyorhm | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness | Fandaniel

Illuminati
Quickthinx Allthoughts

Others
Heavens' Ward | Lolorito | Nidhogg | Teledji Adeledji | True Brothers of the Faith | Archbishop Thordan VII | Vauthry

Final Fantasy XV
Empire of Nilfheim
Iedolas Aldercapt | Ardyn Izunia | Glauca | Ravus Nox Fleuret | Loqi Tummelt | Caligo Ulldor | Verstael Besithia

Others
Bahamut | Ifrit | Somnus Lucis Caelum

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Chaos
Servants of Chaos (Asmodeus | Beezlebub | Belphegor | Leviathan | Lucifer | Mammon

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
General Hein | Phantoms

Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Earl Tyrant | Fungus | Herba | Oshca | Pist Shaz XI | Solijashy

Final Fantasy Adventure
Dark Lord | Julius | Glaive Empire

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Meteor Parasite | Raem

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Larkeicus

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Dark Lord

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Cu Caspel | Galdes

Final Fantasy Dimensions
Elgo

Four Generals
Asmodai | Baugauven | Styx | Vata

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Dark Lord

Vile Four
Dualhead Hydra | Flamerus Rex | Ice Golem | Pazuzu

Others
Skullrus Rex | Stone Golem | Twinhead Wyvern

Final Fantasy Tactics

The Lucavi
Belias | Cuchulainn | Dycedarg Beoulve | Marquis Elmdor | Vormav Tingel/Hashmal

Others
Algus | Delita Hyral | Gafgarion | Gerrith Barrington | St. Ajora | | Wiegraf Folles

Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Duelhorn
Alys the Ensorceled | Duke Snakeheart | Maquis | The Night Dancer

Khamja
Ewen | Illua

Others
Klesta | Neukhia

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi

Final Fantasy Type-0
Cid Aulstyne | Gala | Gilgamesh Ashur | Nimbus | Qator Bashtar | Qun'mi Tru'e

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