|“||We shall devour your light, and use it to return this world to the Void!||„|
|~ 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, and the primary antagonist and final boss in Final Fantasy III. It appears to be a semi-naked, humanoid female with a heart-shaped red marking on its forehead, accompanied by sentient tentacles. Although it is the final boss, it 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 3 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.
The Cloud of Darkness's personalty is not really explored in Final Fantasy III, as it is more of a sentient disaster rather than a character, though in Dissidia Final Fantasy it is given more depth. Cruel and belittling towards others, the Cloud of Darkness 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.
FFIIIIn Final Fantasy III, she appears as the main antagonist and final boss, though it doesn't appear until that point. It appeared after the warriors of light defeated the wizard 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, it is a servant of Chaos, and the villain to the Onion Knight. It 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.
EtymologyIn 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.
- 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 first ten Final Fantasy games, Cloud of Darkness and Ultimecia are the only females 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 it 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.