Darkness (Japanese translated)
Nightshroud, known in Japan as Darkness, is an evil spirit in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. He has the ability to possess people, and is the one responsible for the Abandoned Dorm incident. He briefly appears as a minor villain in the first season, and later returns as the main antagonist in the fourth season and final foe in the GX series.
Nightshroud's character design was overseen by Kenichi Hara. Nightshroud wears a tight-fitting overcoat with raised shoulders and waistline and gold and green trimmings.
His dark dragon mask, similar to that worn by his signature monster "Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon", is completely black with the exception of blue eye-pieces and a red stone in the center of the forehead. In this incarnation, the bangs closest to his face are positioned in front of the mask.
Immediately before Yusuke's fall, Nightshroud's true form is glimpsed as an immaterial spirit, with a body swathed in black smoke. He has two long, gangly arms ending in claws, and no legs. His head is the same shape as the mask his hosts wear. Following Yusuke's defeat, he appears again before Jaden. This time he takes his true body, which is a cloaked being resembling a Grim Reaper. When his hood is off, it's revealed that he has a pair of horns on the back of his head. His body is practically a skeleton with glowing blue eyes. Nightshroud's chest is revealed even when he wears his robes, and through it is a pair of ribs. He wears grey and red robes with gold trim, and has a dragon-shaped skull, again in the same shape as his mask. In this form he does not use a Duel Disk - instead, he grows five wings, each serving as one Monster Card Zone and one Spell and Trap Card Zone apiece. His cards materialize directly into his hands - his deck is unseen.
Nightshroud is introduced as the first of the Shadow Riders to challenge Jaden (Nightshroud showed a desire to gain the Sacred Beasts, but it wasn't explained why), and the owner of the other half of the Shadow Charm pendant in Jaden's possession. Nightshroud sets a Shadow Game in which the loser would have his soul sealed in a card. When defeated, Nightshroud's soul which represented by the mask is sealed away, and Atticus, who had been the dark personality's vessel, is freed.
During the Genex Tournament, Atticus uses Nightshroud's Deck in hopes of convincing his friend, Zane, that the dark path taken by a duelist is a terrible course. As a result, Nightshroud's influence that lay dormant within his cards is once again able to take control of Atticus, only to be permanently banished following his defeat.
However he makes a subsequent return in the fourth year after Jaden challenges Atticus to a rematch to discover Nightshroud's secrets. Atticus also has nightmares about the day he became Nightshroud's host, which reveal he was not the first or only person to take up Nightshroud's soul. Adding to the mystery, while visiting the arena underneath the Abandoned Dorm, Atticus is attacked by Yusuke Fujiwara, knocking him unconscious in the process. After he recovers, Jaden visits Atticus in the nurse's office and Atticus comes up with the idea of having Jaden duel Nightshoud (despite the obvious dangers) in order to uncover the entity's origins, which he does (Jaden wins again so Atticus stays free from Nightshroud); turns out, Yusuke had learned about the entity before the incident at the Abandoned Dorm, heading to the Dorm's subterranean duel arena in order to perform a ritual to free it and gain its power. However, Atticus, Yusuke's friend, followed him and interrupted the ritual, which fatally injured Yusuke and forced the boy to make Atticus its host in vengeance. Atticus resisted Nightshroud's influence from then on, until he was forced to embrace it and become its host in order to survive the Dorm's events.
Nightshroud later appears to Atticus during the siege at Duel Academy, still in Fujiwara's body, who has completely fallen under Nightshroud's influence and adopted its beliefs. He reveals himself as the mastermind behind the Trueman attacks and thus the main antagonist of the season. Here, too, his true intentions and motivations are revealed. Nightshroud wants all humans to be taken into the World of Darkness where they will ultimately give up on their own lives, because while in the dark world, they would be mentally tortured by visions of failing at their hopes and dreams. They would become a single entity sharing all joy and all suffering. Nightshroud claims his actions are justified in that, with no more individuality, humanity's suffering will finally end.
Nightshroud is then challenged to a three-way duel with Jaden and Jesse Anderson. Though he defeats Jesse, Jaden summons Rainbow Neos to force Nightshroud from Fujiwara's body and destroy it. However, this did nothing to stop Nightshroud, as only part of it was destroyed, and Nightshroud then appeared in its true form. Nightshroud revealed that it created an artificial eclipse over the planet, with its own dark world blocking out the sun, which pulled all humans into the dark world. This left Jaden, Pharaoh the cat, and the immaterial Lyman Banner as the last life on Earth. Nightshroud challenges Jaden to a final duel, it viewing Jaden as "foreign object" that didn't belong in either world because he held a human spirit and a duel spirit (referring to Yubel) that should be removed. Nightshroud reveals its origins, saying that in every person there is insecurity and inner turmoil: hopes and dreams failing before fear and guilt, creating "darkness", and it as well. Nightshroud adds a justification to its actions, saying that it's natural for its world to replace the human world. During the duel Jaden reaches out to the humans trapped in the darkness, and reminding them all of their bonds with each other, they free themselves, after which Jaden defeats Nightshroud. Though beaten, Nightshroud claims that as long there's darkness in humans, it would return, but Jaden counters by boasting that as long as their are bonds between humans, Nightshroud's turn would never come.
In the Japanese version, Darkness uses the word ware (我) to refer to himself and waga (我が) as a possessive pronoun, a very polite and business-like way of doing so. This also speaks to the age of Nightshroud, as this way of speaking is no longer widely used and has not been since Japanese Feudal Times.
In his true form, Nightshroud runs a Darkness Deck, focusing on the Field Spell of his namesake, "Darkness", and a long chain of Trap Cards supported by it, as, by activating his "Zero" and then his "Infinity" cards, every other Trap activates and gives Nightshroud a variety of effects to use. In addition, the monsters in this Deck interfere with aspects of the Duel, as well as let him ignore the negative drawbacks of his Field Spell, with his strongest being "Darkness Neosphere", which has the ability to control nearly the entire field.
|Jaden Yuki and Jesse Anderson||Lose (Jaden), Win (Jesse)|
|Tag Force Deck|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime characters|
Professor Viper (Professor Cobra) - Martin Empire - The Supreme King (The Supreme King, Haou) - Trueman - The Light of Destruction (The Light of Ruin)
Kagemaru - Brron, Mad King of Dark World - Skull Knight (Skull Bishop) - Chaos Sorcerer
Skilled Dark Magician - Skilled White Magician - Guardian Baou
Aster Phoenix (Ed/Edo Phoenix) - Jesse Anderson (Johan Andersen) - Adrian Gecko (Amon Garam) - Axel Brodie (Austin O'Brien)
Jim Crocodile Cook - Yusuke Fujiwara - Duel Academy Staff - Sarina (Mizuchi Saiou)