|Cloud of Darkness|
|Rōmaji||Kurayami no Kumo|
|Japanese Name||Cloud of Darkness|
|Original Game||Final Fantasy III|
|EX Mode||Flood of Darkness|
|EX Burst||Ultra Particle Beam|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Masako Ikeda|
|English Voice Actor||Laura Bailey|
|Dissidia Final Fantasy Character|
- “An apparition foretold to appear and send the world back to nothing when the balance between light and darkness is severed. Although appearing as a woman, the true nature of this being remains unknown.”
- —Dissidia 012 Description
- “An existence that wishes for all to return to nothingness. She has transcended the abstract and is the embodiment of fear.”
- —Dissidia Final Fantasy Description
The Cloud of Darkness is a villain fighting for the side of Chaos in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. She is an entity that appears when the balance between light and darkness is disturbed, and tries to pull the world into the Void. She hovers like a cloud, and attacks with the tentacles wrapped around her body. Cloud of Darkness allies with Kefka, Exdeath, and Kuja to destroy everything and return the world to darkness. Her rival is the young Onion Knight whose wish to protect his friends piques her interest.
While the Onion Knight is her rival in the original Dissidia Final Fantasy, her main rival in the Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy storyline is Laguna, despite their shared goal of getting rid of the manikins.
Cloud of Darkness's appearance is based on her Amano artwork, depicting her with pale skin and a red and black cloak attached to her wrists. Black and red coverings adorn her body and two mouthed tentacles extend from her back.
Cloud of Darkness's first alternate outfit, "Dark Robe", recolors her cape blue. In Dissidia Final Fantasy her EX Mode is colored a mixture of light green and dark green with a dull red for the legs. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, her EX Mode in this outfit is changed to a bright orange and yellow form with blue markings along her legs, reflecting her NES sprite while invincible.
Cloud of Darkness's second alternate outfit, "Lucent Robe", has an overall lighter appearance. Her cape is white, and her tentacles are a pale yellow and lack faces. Her body coverings change to black, white and various shades of purple, and she has several loops of beads along her legs. In this outfit her EX Mode colors her body coverings gold and different shades of white, and gives her red markings on her skin.
Her manikin version, Counterfeit Wraith, is green.
At some point prior to the 12th cycle, the Cloud of Darkness aids Sephiroth upon his request as the latter takes interest in her abilities when fighting the Warrior of Light and Lightning. The Cloud of Darkness later ambushes Laguna while he is separated from the others. Their fight ends with Laguna getting a leg cramp after staring at her scantily-clad body. This, and Laguna stating his reasons for helping Cosmos, cause her to develop an interest in him, leading the Cloud of Darkness to reveal where the manikins are coming from.
She reveals this information as it is a potential suicide mission and is curious about the manner of death Laguna would choose for himself. It is also implied she intends for Laguna and the Warriors of Cosmos to succeed in sealing the rift because she finds the manikins to be abominations. She later appears with Kefka, Garland, the Emperor, and Ultimecia to fight Laguna, Vaan, Lightning, Yuna, and Tifa before they seal the rift leading to the manikins' domain. In the aftermath she is ambushed by Kefka, who marks her as a traitor for her indirect part in the manikins' world being sealed off from World B, receiving purification in preparation for the next cycle, though it ultimately is of no consequence to her.
Working with Kefka, the Cloud of Darkness attempted to kill off Terra and the Onion Knight from a distance before Kefka stops her as he desires to regain control over Terra. Though not convinced of Terra's power, the Cloud of Darkness agrees to capture her and release her full power. After Terra loses control of her powers and battles the Onion Knight, the Cloud of Darkness arrives to abduct Terra. She berates the Onion Knight on his blindness to Terra's struggle during their travels and tells him he has only himself to blame for her capture.
The Onion Knight travels to the World of Darkness where the Cloud of Darkness stands over an unconscious Terra, proclaiming the girl too fragile to be of use. The Onion Knight offers to take Terra's place as her servant, only to fool the Cloud of Darkness and strike her with her guard down, proclaiming he will defeat her and protect Terra. The two battle and the Cloud of Darkness is defeated. She fades away, leaving Terra to recover and the Onion Knight to claim his Crystal. The Cloud of Darkness later appears when Kefka realizes he cannot have Terra, cornering the girl and Cloud Strife when the Onion Knight comes to their aid and helps Cloud double team the villain while Terra fights Kefka. The outcome of her battle with Cloud and the Onion Knight is not shown, but the two of them are safe once Terra dispatches Kefka.
After Cosmos is killed, the Cloud of Darkness speaks to Ultimecia, who tells her Shinryu has begun to stir, and reveals Shinryu is responsible for the cycles of war. The Cloud of Darkness is unfazed by the Emperor's plans, along with Ultimecia's time compression scheme, and focuses only on the eternal Void. Later, when the Onion Knight confronts her, Cloud of Darkness asks why he and the other Warriors are still moving on with Cosmos gone and there being nothing for the boy to protect.
After losing, the Cloud of Darkness tells the Onion Knight it is too late, claiming they cannot stop the current of change. He replies he is listening to his heart and will not run away, because the determination of his friends encourages him to move forward. The Cloud of Darkness comments that living creatures are fascinating and she will be waiting in the rifts of the Void as she disappears into the darkness, going back to sleep.
The Cloud of Darkness is the central character of "Cloud of Darkness' Quest 013: The Power of Destruction". After kidnapping Terra, she questions Kefka as to the value of going through the trouble of enslaving her when they have the manikins, but Kefka claims the supply of manikins is growing limited and any power they can use is helpful. After Kefka leaves Terra regains consciousness, still unable to control her power, and the Cloud of Darkness fights her to see Terra's power for herself. The battle leaves Terra unconscious and the Cloud of Darkness wonders if she is fighting for a personal reason instead of for Cosmos, then senses the Onion Knight approaching.
- See also: Cloud of Darkness/Dissidia/Quotes
In battle, Cloud of Darkness's fighting style is Bane of Life, as she uses a wide array of powerful energy beam attacks to drain the opponent's HP, and has the most HP attacks of any character. Her Bravery attacks are limited to attacks of her tentacles, which can attack in one of three ways according to when the circle button is pressed a second time while attacking. Though limited, her Bravery attacks are still formidable. Her HP attacks cover a wide variety of tactical options and can hit across multiple ranges and altitudes. A drawback is that she moves slowly, and her reliance on HP attacks can leave her vulnerable to counterattacks before she can recover her Bravery.
The Cloud of Darkness's EX Mode is Flood of Darkness, where she loses her cape and her skin turns green, identical to her in-game appearance from Final Fantasy III. When in EX Mode, the Cloud of Darkness gains ability "[Null] Particle Beam". This lets her cancel out the lag after she attacks by using an HP attack, allowing her to attack faster in succession and combo her attacks together.
Her EX Burst, Ultra Particle Beam, has her attack with a smaller beam of energy, then summoning a large orb of darkness. The player must hold down to fill a bar to 120%. If successful, the Cloud of Darkness ends with Ultra Particle Beam, where she blasts the opponent with a large beam of energy. Failing to release the button or failing to press at the right time will result in the Cloud of Darkness firing a smaller beam that does less damage.
|Calcite Staff||50||BRV +26|
|BRV Recovery +50%||Trade: 15460 gil, Healing Staff, Thorny Lumber x3, Mana Shard x2|
|Bizarre Staff||92||BRV +38|
|BRV Recovery +75%||Trade: 29570 gil, Calcite Staff, Revival Tree x5, Mana Crystal x3|
|BRV Recovery +100%|
Major Gambler's Spirit Effect.
|Trade: 31920 gil, Bizarre Staff, Roaming Clouds x5, Mana Orb x5|
|Calcite Staff||30||BRV +41|
|BRV Recovery +50%||Trade: 61000 gil, Healing Staff, Scarletite x1, Wraith's Desire x5|
|Bizarre Staff||90||BRV +34|
|BRV Recovery +75%||Trade: 158,000 gil, Calcite Staff, Electrum x1, Wraith's Dream x5|
|BRV Recovery +100%|
Slight Anti-EX Effect.
|Trade: 182,800 gil, Bizarre Staff, Roaming Clouds x1, Wraith's Hopes x5|
- When the Cloud of Darkness uses Aura Ball, she laughs her characteristic laugh from Final Fantasy III.
- In Shade Impulse II-3, when fighting the Cloud of Darkness with a character other than Onion Knight, one of her pre-battle quotes is "We have had an eternity in the Void to prepare. We will flood this world with darkness---and return all to the Void". This is roughly the same as the dialogue in Final Fantasy III. That scene was removed from the Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy version.
- All of Cloud of Darkness's HP Attacks and her EX Burst are variations of her signature attack in Final Fantasy III, "Particle Beam" ("Wave Cannon" in the Japanese version).
- When the Cloud of Darkness charges her EX Burst, she assumes the pose from her original NES battle sprite from Final Fantasy III. She assumes the same pose if Onion Knight uses his EX Burst against her.
- While Cloud of Darkness's attacks "Tentacle of Pain", "Tentacle of Suffering" and "Aura Ball" do not appear in any game version of Final Fantasy III, they appear in the game's 1992 manga adaptation. The manga, like the game, was written by scenario writer Kenji Terada.
- Cloud of Darkness seems to dislike the manikins as they are a foreign presence that upsets the equilibrium of the world. This alludes to her appearing when the equilibrium between light and darkness is destroyed in Final Fantasy III.
- Cloud of Darkness's opening line towards the Warrior of Light in both games might allude to her only being defeated after the Warriors of Darkness sacrificed themselves and the Warriors of Light weren't enough to defeat her alone in Final Fantasy III.
- Cloud of Darkness's opening line towards Cecil in Dissidia Final Fantasy alludes to how she needed both light and dark energies to invoke the Void's power.
- In Final Fantasy III, the Warriors of Darkness explain the Cloud of Darkness is made of both darkness and light, and that it was predominantly made of light when they fought it. The Cloud of Darkness's third costume, "Lucent Robe" (lucent meaning giving off light) may be a reference to this side of its nature.
- When the Cloud of Darkness faces Yuna, she says, "Try and summon us", referring to a line said to Xande in Final Fantasy III.
- The Cloud of Darkness's unique weapons, Bizarre Staff and Calcite Staff, are not available in Final Fantasy III but find their origin as weapons usable by Yuna in Final Fantasy X.
- Several of the combos in her Bravery attacks make use of what appears to be red electricity. This may allude to the tentacles use of the Lightning attack in the 3D remake of Final Fantasy III.
- Tetsuya Nomura has stated that when he joined the company, he saw Yoshitaka Amano's original design of the Cloud of Darkness which was not featured in Final Fantasy III, and decided to use the design in a future game once he got the chance.
- The Cloud of Darkness is one of only three characters in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy to have an outfit modified, the other two being Jecht and Tidus.
- The Cloud of Darkness shares her English voice actress with Serah Farron from the Final Fantasy XIII series and Belle in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. Her English voice actress also voiced characters from other Square Enix projects: Lust of Fullmetal Alchemist and its reboot Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Maka Albern from Soul Eater. She shares her Japanese voice actress with Hydaelyn from Final Fantasy XIV, the Cadetmaster from Final Fantasy Type-0 and Kairi's Grandma from Kingdom Hearts.