|Appears in||Rayman, Rayman (Game Boy Color), Rayman Junior, English with Rayman|
|Location||Mr Dark's Dare, Arcane Forest, Mr Dark's Lair, the Lair of Dark|
|Portrayed by||Chris Bénard (Rayman)|
|Attacks||Summoning Bad Rayman, reversing the player's left–right controls, forcing Rayman to run uncontrollably, stealing Rayman's telescopic fist, creating twin fireballs which must be dodged, creating and controlling pillars of flame, transforming into hybrids of the previous five bosses, summoning a rain of small fireballs, summoning large fireballs, curling into a large or small electrical ball, summoning lightning strikes|
You enter the world of desserts where Mister Dark is hidden, guarded by clowns carrying out amazing stunts... Be careful, Mister Dark is diabolical.—Manual, Rayman
A wicked character, he wants to spread evil all around him by taking over the magical world of Rayman. If he succeeds, he will make the world a dreadful place under a reign of terror and dictatorship.
The archenemy from Rayman 1 returns. A stupedendous super villain, it was Mr Dark who stole the Great Protoon and sent the Electoons scattering from its orbit. This series of events upset the harmonic balance of Rayman's world and a heroic fight followed.—Official site, Rayman Origins
Mr Dark is Rayman's arch-nemesis, and a major character in the Rayman series. A diabolical and mysterious shape-shifting sorcerer, Mr Dark has attempted to disrupt the balance of the Glade of Dreams on several occasions, but is always thwarted by Rayman. His features are hidden beneath a shadowy cloak and hat, beneath which only his glowing yellow eyes can be seen. Mr Dark's first appearance is in the original Rayman game, where he acts as the main antagonist and final boss. He makes similar villainous appearances in the game's handheld adaptation, and in Rayman Junior, an educational spin-off. Although Mr Dark does not make a direct appearance in Rayman Origins, the game makes several references to him, and it is ultimately revealed that his influence inspired the Magician to become a villain.
Role in the games
Mr Dark first appears in the intro sequence of Rayman, where the Magician introduces the game's story. The Glade of Dreams is kept in balance by a mystical orb known as the Great Protoon. One fateful day, the evil Mr Dark appears, stealing the Great Protoon and defeating Betilla the Fairy as she tries to protect it. The Electoons, small pink creatures which gravitate around the Great Protoon, are scattered across the world, and imprisoned in cages by Mr Dark's minions. Rayman sets off to free the Electoons, defeat Mr Dark and recover the Great Protoon.
For the majority of the game, Mr Dark does not appear; he simply stands on a high hilltop, observing Rayman's progress through his binoculars. When Rayman defeats Space Mama, the game's fourth major boss, Mr Dark decides to take action, and kidnaps Betilla the Fairy, who had been granting Rayman powers throughout the game. Mr Dark is next glimpsed when Rayman defeats the next boss, Mr Skops: now it appears that Mr Dark has imprisoned Betilla in a tiny glass sphere through his sorcery. Betilla is seen calling out for help, and asking Rayman to hurry. In order to access the final level, Mr Dark's Dare in the Candy Château, Rayman must smash all cages and free every Electoon in the game.
Before fighting Rayman, Mr Dark casts strange spells on him as he progresses through Candy Château. He makes his first physical in-game appearance at the beginning of the second stage, where he waits for Rayman, then casts a spell before flying away. This spell creates Bad Rayman, an evil duplicate who copies Rayman's every move and causes instant death if he touches him. In the next stage, Mr Dark casts a spell which reverses the player's left–right controls, followed by another spell which makes Rayman run uncontrollably. At the end of the level, Mr Dark magicially steals Rayman's telescopic fist power, leaving him helpless and unable to punch. Following this, Rayman reaches the central chamber of Mr Dark's château. First Mr Dark taunts Rayman by dangling his telescopic fist from a rope and retracting it whenever Rayman makes a move to take it. He then tries to destroy Rayman by trapping him between two moving walls of deadly flame while throwing fire balls at him. When his situation seems desperate, a pair of Electoons rescue Rayman by giving him back his telescopic fist. The final battle then begins: Rayman must battle Mr Dark, who transforms into hybrids of the previous five bosses. These hybrids each have Mr Dark's face as their resistance icon.
The first transformation is a mixture of Mr Stone and Mr Skops. His is compoised of Mr Stone's body, feet and right hand, together with Mr Skops' head and claw. His only attack consists of hurling his claw at Rayman, which he can jump over and punch him in the face. If Rayman attempts to punch him too early, the monster will block his face with his claw. It is possible, with a certain timing and dexterity, to hit him up to three times per turn. After he has suffered eight blows to the face, the monster vanishes.
The second transformation is a pair of identical monsters. Each one appears to be made of Bzzit's body and Space Mama's head and feet (as seen in her first appearance in Eraser Plains), along with her hands and rolling pin, which fires lasers (as seen in her second appearance in Space Mama's Crater. Their only attack is shooting lasers, which Rayman can jump over or duck under. If both of them shoot at the same height, the lasers collide each other, morph into one laser, and fall straight down towards the ground, which can be difficult for Rayman to avoid if he is ducking. When Rayman gets the chance, he can punch either one of the two. It is also possible to trick them into shooting one another. Both monsters share a single resistance bar; it is possible to defeat them both by punching only one. When they have been damaged eight times, the monsters vanish.
The third and final transformation is a mixture of Mr Sax, Space Mama, and Bzzit. He is composed of Space Mama's body, Mr Sax's feet and hands and Bzzit's head. This monster's only attack is jumping about with the use of Mr Sax's feet. At the start of this fight, Rayman is shrunk to the same size he would have been had he touched a Flying Blue Elf. As the monster tries to stomp him, Rayman must use his running ability to avoid getting squashed. Whenever the monster hits the ground, Rayman is bounced up into the air by the impact, giving him a chance punch the monster in Bzzit's face, which is his only weak spot.
Once the third transformation has suffered eight punches, he vanishes, and Rayman is returned to his normal size. It would seem that Mr Dark was defeated by the final punch to the head of the third form, and fled the château once beaten.
The Atari Jaguar version makes it more explicit that these hybrids are transformations of Mr Dark. In this version, the Bzzit/Space Mama hybrids are absent, so the fight consists of only two rounds: the first against the Mr Stone/Mr Skops mixture, and the second against the Bzzit/Mr Sax/Space Mama mixture. The two monsters share a single health bar with Mr Dark's face as its icon: when half of the first monster's health is depleted, he clicks his claw several times, creating a shower of sparks, then walks off the screen, visibly sweating. The final monster then appears, with half of his health already gone. (Rayman is not shrunk in this version, and does not need to be bounced into the air in order to punch his head). Once all of his health has been depleted, it looks straight at the camera, sweats, and flies straight into the air. Electoon icons fly across the screen as Rayman celebrates his victory.
In the Atari Jaguar version, Mr Dark makes one final appearance at the end of the game's credits. He flies across the screen, and the message ‘See you soon’ is displayed, hinting at Mr Dark's impending return. However, Rayman 2: The Great Escape and Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc make only passing references to him, and while his influence plays a significant role in Rayman Origins, he does not actually make an appearance.
Rayman (Game Boy Color)
In the Game Boy Color release of Rayman, Mr Dark has imprisoned the Toons and uses their power for himself, throwing the world into darkness and chaos. Unlike the original, he does not transform himself when he engages in a final boss battle with Rayman. In between each level he can also be seen watching Rayman though a crystal ball.
The final battle starts out with Mr Dark shielding himself from Rayman's fist with three bubble-like balls. Then, he slowly rises up, and when he is off screen, he rains fire upon him from above. After ten to fifteen fire balls are dropped, he descends back down to the stage, while still having the shield around himself, and turns into a ball. While in ball form, he randomly floats around the stage trying to ram Rayman. His objective is to hit him while he is in ball form three times. But as he hits him, he gets smaller and smaller, and becomes harder to hit. After hitting him three times, a heart appears at the top of the stage so he can replenish his health. Mr Dark turns back to normal, and then he floats off screen again.
This time, Mr Dark throws ten meteors at Rayman, two at a time. Then, he does the same routine as before: he comes back down, and turns into a ball. But this time, he will stay in ball form for a shorter period than before, and if Rayman can't manage to hit him three times within the time limit, he will turn back to normal and float back up into the sky to throw meteors at him again. If Rayman does hit him three times, a heart will appear once again, and he will rise back up into the sky to unleash his final attack.
This time, he shoots sixteen bolts of lightning. They are shot at the step he was just above on the stage, and can be easily avoided by using the Helicopter to hover over a lower step for a short time. After the sixteen bolts of lightning are shot, he turns back into his ball form. The time he spends in his ball form is even shorter, so Rayman must punch him three more times very quickly. Mr Dark then reverts to his normal form, burns up, turns into a strange ghostly cloud and vanishes.
Afterwards, Rayman returns to his hammock and falls asleep, but is disturbed by a menacing figure which appears to be Mr Dark. However, it turns out to be four Toons wearing Mr Dark's cloak and hat as a joke, and Rayman laughs.
Mr Dark also appears Rayman Junior, an educational spin-off of Rayman. In this game, he steals the Magic Book of Knowledge from the Magician and destroys a map to his hideout in Candy Château. He casts the same spells on Rayman as he did in the original game, but due to the game's educational nature, he doesn't fight as a boss at all. Once Rayman has solved the riddles on the parchment showing the way to his hideout and been through his spells, Mr Dark doesn't appear any more and Rayman eventually finds the Book of Knowledge.
In a May 2011 interview with Jeux Vidéo, Gabrielle Shrager, the lead writer of Rayman Origins, stated "We will probably see how Mr Dark became what he is". However, plans changed during development, and the Mr Dark storyline was omitted. While Mr Dark makes no physical appearance in the game, his influence plays a major role in the story, and numerous references are made to him by the game and its surrounding media. The second trailer of Rayman Origins shows a brief glimpse of a Teensie with a top hat and a dark cloak, standing on a stone platform, surrounded by Darktoons and Psychlops. It was speculated that this was Mr Dark. Several months later, clearer artwork of the character was released, and the official website indicated that this character was indeed Mr Dark, stating "The archenemy from Rayman 1 returns". However, the same section of the site also claims that Soldiers and piranhas are in the game, which is not correct; the game's final manual contains an updated version of the same information, and makes no mention of Soldiers, piranhas, or Mr Dark. In 'The Reveal', one of the final levels of the game, the heroes discover that the Magician is the one responsible for the evil steampunk empire of the Moody Clouds. The dark character who appeared in the trailer and the site was simply the Magician disguised as Mr Dark, whose true whereabouts remain unknown. A diagram on the wall of the Magician's office explains that he has been collecting the heroes' Lums throughout the game and using them to power his machines. In response to his cover being blown, the Magician rips the golden star off his top hat, showing more clearly his resemblance with the artwork supposedly of Mr Dark. This scene led to much confusion among players, some of whom mistakenly interpreted it to mean that Mr Dark and the Magician were the same character.
An early version of the game's script, found within the files of the game's demo, contains scrapped dialogue which indicates that the Magician was a fan and admirer of Mr Dark, and desired to be as mysterious and evil as him; one of his lines is "I always wanted to be like Mr. Dark: mysterious, dark!...um, dark and mysterious..". The script also reveals that the Magician's real name is Ales Mansay, and that he became embittered and corrupted when he was bullied at magic school for his poor magical abilities. He eventually disguised himself as his hero, Mr Dark, and hid a microphone in the Snoring Tree to start a war between Rayman and the Livid Dead while he himself set to work building an army of mechas (powered by the Lums given to him by the clueless heroes) that he could use to take over the Glade of Dreams and free it from the rule of Polokus, whom he considered to be an ineffectual and useless leader, unable to protect his people from his own nightmares. It is unknown why this material was removed from the game; however, in the final version of the game, there are still several posters in the Magician's headquarters, some with pictures of Mr Dark's silhouette, and one with "♥ Mister D" written on it, demonstrating that the original storyline still holds true. As seen on these posters, Mr Dark looks somewhat different; his hat is shaped more like an inverted triangle, and his arms are long and thin. In January 2012, narrative director Gabrielle Shrager confirmed that the Magician was simply a fan (and usurper) of the real Mr Dark.
Apart from the posters in the Magician's headquarters, the game's only explicit reference to Mr Dark occurs when the player unlocks the ability to play as Rayman's evil doppelgänger, Bad Rayman. If this character pulls on the Bubble Dreamer's beard, he responds by making fun of Bad Rayman's ugliness, and blaming it on Mr Dark, who created him towards the end of the original Rayman.
In other games
Mr Dark is referred to by name in the manual for Rayman 2: The Great Escape, where it is revealed that his defeat at the hands of Rayman is what convinced the inhabitants of the Glade of Dreams that the hero was trustworthy. However, he makes no actual appearance in the game.
Previews of the cancelled 2D version of Rayman 2 mention that the Robo-Pirate invasion took place after Mr Dark fled Rayman's island following the events of the first game. It is not known if Mr Dark was ever planned to have a larger role in this game; other characters from the original, including Betilla the Fairy, were intended to make an appearance.
Mr Dark makes an almost unnoticeably subtle cameo appearance in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. At the end of the 2D Madness minigame, a few photographs from the original game are glimpsed briefly, and between them they show almost all of the game's characters, including Mr Dark. In addition, the design of the game's titular Hoodlum enemies was conceived as a visual mixture between Mr Dark and the Hunters.
- Rayman Junior official site, Mister Dark, http://web.archive.org/web/20020211202327/http://sites.ubisoft.fr/raymanedu/ami/ami2/dark.html
- Jeux Vidéo, Exclusif Rayman Origins, File:Jeux_video_page_47.jpg
- Gabrielle Shrager clarifies the identity of the villain of Rayman Origins, File:Gabrielle Shrager Facebook conversation.jpg