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You've both shown so much promise... Why not join me? (Partner: What?) Why not join me...in ruling a world full of darkness?
~ Darkrai

Darkrai is the main antagonist of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky. Though he mainly appears in the post-game plot, he is revealed to have orchestrated the events of the entire game.

In the first half, the post-game plot centered around himself, Darkrai posed underneath the pseudonym of "Cresselia", adapted her personality and took her appearance, using it to pursue the protagonist and their partner.

Personality

Darkrai is a dangerous and cunning foe, preferring mind games and deception using his nightmare powers to outright battle. He also showed a great deal of planning, even preparing an escape route in the event the group defeated him in the final battle. He appears to be somewhat cowardly and fearful, as Cresselia says he normally flees if he is confronted and when finally confronted for the final showdown, he summons his minions to assist him instead of fighting them alone. He is evil and has dreams of world domination, not caring if he has to destroy every space and time if he must, so long as he gets a dark world to rule in the end. After his memory is erased by Palkia, he is reformed into a virtuous and noble being, due to his scary and villainous personality being erased in the process, giving him a second chance at life.

While posing as Cresselia, Darkrai is rather calm and collected; though it is merely a facade. As Cresselia, he shows a glowing interest for being rid of the darkness and causing pleasant dreams, though he executes this in a manner that is to the dismay of the player and their partner. He is also shown to be quite deceitful and manipulative, as shown by him easily tricking both the player and their partner with by adapting the original Cresselia's kind and heartwarming personality. He also manipulates Cresselia's positive reputation as reason to get Palkia against the party. Upon encountering the duo in Azurill's nightmare, Darkrai exclaims that he "finds their visit to be convenient" and has "longed to meet both of them", before starting his malicious intent. Even still, Darkrai remains disturbingly composed when he tries to kill the duo in both attempts, regarding it as an "opportunity".

Powers and Abilities

Dreams control: Darkrai is able to return and manipulate Pokémon dreams at will.

  • Illusions: Darkrai is capable of creating very realistic illusions to deceive his opponents. Thanks to this ability, it can also take the appearance of other Pokémon like Cresselia.

Flight: Darkrai can levitate at will, like Cresselia.

Time portals: Darkrai can at his will create portals to move in time.

Teleporting: Darkrai can teleport quickly to escape.

High intelligence: Darkrai is extremely intelligent, capable of designing and executing complex plans.

Handling: Darkrai is a highly skilled manipulator, as Cresselia says he is "the type to pull strings in the shadows". He was able to use Palkia to eliminate the players, with the players themselves doubting and ready to die to save the world.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

History

Though Darkrai is normally a well meaning being, in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series of games, mainly Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky, Darkrai serves as the main antagonist and is a force of pure evil. Darkrai is the Pokémon responsible for the initial destruction of Temporal Tower, halting the flow of time and driving Dialga to insanity. He then presumably controlled the world from the shadows, using Primal Dialga as a puppet ruler. When Grovyle, Celebi and the Player planned to go back in time via Celebi's Passage of Time and prevent the collapse of Temporal Tower, thereby preventing the dark world Darkrai had created from existing, Darkrai intervened, attacking Grovyle and the Player as they travelled through time, separating them and transforming the Player into a Pokémon and giving them amnesia. Despite this, the Player, their Partner and Grovyle were successful in their mission to prevent the destruction of time, and Darkrai's dark future is erased. However, Darkrai is not seen until much later in the game.

Darkrai's moveset in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky follows as:

  • Hypnosis (Psychic)
  • Quick Attack (Normal)
  • Nightmare (Ghost)
  • Double Team (Normal)
  • Ominous Wind (Ghost)

The Opportunity

I have been waiting for this opportunity. The opportunity...to make you disappear!
~ Darkrai, as Cresselia.

The Player begins to have dreams involving a Pokémon named Cresselia, who tells them that their continued existence is causing a rift the fabric of space and time, as they originated from a non-existent future. Later, the Player and their Partner are alerted to the fact that Azurill has fallen into a nightmare he cannot wake from. With the help of Drowzee, the pair are sent into Azurill's nightmare and encounter Cresselia where it is revealed that the Partner had been having the same dreams as the Player, as they had been to the erased future. Cresselia attempts to kill them, claiming it is for the greater good, but is interrupted by Drowzee and flees.

Crime Against Space and Time

The spreading darkness engulfs even this place! You must be eliminated as soon as possible... Before we finally pass the point of no return. [...] So are you ready for your end?
~ Darkrai's final speech as Cresselia.

A few days after the Azurill event, the Player and Partner are abducted by Palkia and taken to Spacial Rift, where he attempts to execute them for distorting space and time. They escape from him temporarily, and later encounter him again and defeat him in battle.

Soon after his defeat, Palkia is frozen into a nightmare, and a disembodied voice asks the pair if they would like to travel into Palkia's nightmare. When they do, they encounter not only Palkia, but Cresselia as well, who had been the one to inform him about the distortion caused by the Player and Partner. Cresselia attempts once again to kill the pair, but once again is stopped. Another Cresselia appears, telling the Player, Partner and Palkia that the Cresselia that had contacted them in their dreams was actually Darkrai in disguise, who had been attempting to kill the pair so that they could not interfere with his new plans for a world of darkness. Darkrai, enraged that he had failed yet again to kill the pair, flees, telling them to meet him in Dark Crater if they want to stop him.

Final Confrontation

The Player, Partner, and the real Cresselia comply, traveling to the deepest part of the Dark Crater, where Darkrai attempts to convince the Player and Partner to join him and help him kill Cresselia. The Partner, claiming that they stand no chance against Darkrai anyway, accepts Darkrai's offer, and joins him in attempting to coerce the Player. However, the Player figures out that the Partner hasn't actually betrayed them, and what they're seeing is actually a nightmare created by Darkrai.

Darkrai then proceeds to summon six minions (Aggron, Arbok, Magmortar, Mismagius, Rhyperior, and Magcargo), and the two parties battle, with the Player's group emerging victorious. Despite his loss, Darkrai claims that he has not been defeated, and opens a Dimensional Hole through which to escape, after which he can simply start his plan over at a different time. However, just as Darkrai is about to enter the Dimensional Hole, Palkia appears, and announces that he is there to destroy Darkrai. Darkrai attempts to flee through the Dimensional Hole, but Palkia launches an attack (presumably Hyper Beam) at it, shattering the Dimensional Hole with Darkrai in it. Palkia states that Darkrai is however, not dead, rather, he has reappeared in some distant corner of the world, likely with amnesia, similar to what happened to the Player when Darkrai attacked them during time travel.

After this, Darkrai can be found in a number of dungeons (provided the player has a Secret Slab or Mystery Part in their inventory) and be potentially recruited.

Trivia

  • The Mystery Dungeon incarnation is without a doubt the evilest out of all of Darkrai's incarnations, but if the Poképark version would never have redeemed himself, he would most likely be very close.
  • While he is mostly referred as to as a male, he is also mentioned as being genderless multiple times.

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