The Darkening (黒化 Kokuka ) is a terminology used in the Corpse Party series. It is what happens when someone loses all hope and succumbs to their negative emotions - hatred, grief, sadness, envy, jealousy, etc. It causes the victims to act on their emotions, and sometimes becomes completely apathetic and may lead them unconsciously killing others. In some cases, the victims' obsession towards something may also cause them to experience the Darkening.
When the victims regain control of their body after a darkening experience, they will not able to recall any memory of their actions that have occurred during their darkening, let alone realize they were experiencing it.
The darkening will also leave their mind and body vulnerable to possession by malignant spirits. Such as the case of the ghosts; a glance into their eyes invokes this instantaneously.
Darkening manifests on people in different ways, the most common being a black mist that surrounds their body. However, it can also manifest in other forms, such as black, tar-like liquid pouring out of the body. If the victim is able to fight their darker emotions, the darkening will leave their body, and the black mist surrounding them will vanish.
In Corpse Party: Blood Drive it is revealed that people with high spiritual capacity can even transform into other beings due to Darkening, with Azusa Takai and Haruyuki Inumaru being perfect examples as such.
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows Edit
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows introduces the darkening as a gameplay mechanic which can be viewed via the Darkening meter (精神汚染度 （Mental pollutionシステム） Seishin Osen Do (Mental pollution shisutemu) , lit. "Mental Pollution System").
Darkening is increased when examining corpses, inspecting certain objects, or during special events. As the Darkening meter fills, the character's vision becomes progressively hazier. Obtaining 100% darkening will either lead to a wrong end in certain episodes, or simply a game over in others.
Corpse Party: Blood Drive Edit
Corpse Party: Blood Drive also uses the Darkening mechanic, although simplified. When your Darkening increases, the screen becomes grainy and harder to see. Unlike the previous game, there is a way to remove the Darkening - by using a statue item. You can also switch characters to briefly escape the Darkening, as the effects are character specific.
These are the names of characters who canonically fell victim to the Darkening (this does not include wrong endings):
- Ayumi Shinozaki - Survived multiple times.
- Azusa Takai - Succumbed to it, survived, current status unknown.
- Haruyuki Inumaru - Turned into Hell Hound, deceased.
- Kazuhiro Murofushi - Succumbed to it, deceased.
- Mitsuharu Ohtaki - Succumbed to it, deceased.
- Naho Saenoki - Succumbed to it, deceased.
- Naomi Nakashima - Survived.
- Ryou Yoshizawa - Succumbed to it as a spirit.
- Sayaka Ooue - Succumbed to it, deceased. (Only in Corpse Party (PC))
- Tokiko Tsuji - Succumbed to it as a spirit.
- Yoshie Shinozaki - Succumbed to it as a spirit.
- Yuji Sanuki - Succumbed to it, deceased.
- Yuki Kanno - Succumbed to it as a spirit.
- Yuuya Kizami - Shown signs to begin succumbing, died through other means.
Naomi Nakashima Edit
During the events of Corpse Party, Naomi's weak psychical state causes the Darkening to temporarily take over her and have Naomi hang her best friend, Seiko Shinohara, in the third stall of the second floor girls' restroom. She also set Seiko's shoes neatly on the ground, as though it were a suicide. When the Darkening lets go of Naomi for a brief period, it throws her into a spiral of grief, sadness, and depression.
The Darkening takes hold of Naomi again in Chapter 4, which leads her to attempt suicide without her knowledge. She then experiences another Darkening when she learns that she is the one who murdered Seiko under the influence of the Darkening, but Seiko's spirit saves her from succumbing to her darker emotions by sending her the unsent text message repeatedly, indicating she has forgiven Naomi, which gives courage for Naomi to fight her negative emotions and the Darkening.
The same events are shown in Tortured Souls, but we see that the Darkening left Naomi's body fully, now able to cope with Seiko's death.
Ayumi Shinozaki Edit
The anxiety and fear of losing her life helped the Darkening to take possession of Ayumi's body more than once.
In the second chapter of Corpse Party, after meeting the first of the children spirits, Ayumi becomes possessed, and once more after having seen the group of corpses located on the way to the hall. At this point, she will run away from Yoshiki Kishinuma, and as he finds her in a corner of the entranceway, she will start saying nonsense about a birthday party for her daughter and then screaming about something disgusting happening to her (these are most likely Yoshie Shinozaki's final memories). After that, however Ayumi regains consciousness, but doesn't remember any of what she said.
Later in the same chapter, while looking at one of the mirrors in the boys' lavatory, Ayumi temporarily wears a creepy smile behind Yoshiki, but she soon regains control of her body, only to lose it again as she hears in the girls' lavatories Naomi yelling out Seiko's name. Ayumi will start saying nonsense again, telling that now someone will have to do whatever she wants. This reveals that the spirit who took possession of her body is Sachiko Shinozaki, confirmed by the fact that the only thing Ayumi remembers (as she is calmed by Yoshiki) is a pain in the throat and her impossibility to move or yell for help, a feeling experienced by Sachiko herself.
In the fourth chapter, as Ayumi is left alone near the poolside, she will attempt to drown herself, but has no recollection of doing so. She states that Yoshiki called out to her, so she ran to his aid, only to find herself suddenly in the pool.
In the fifth chapter, if Yoshiki decides to not return to the school with Ayumi, she will still go back to the school alone. Without Yoshiki to keep an eye on her, Ayumi will begin to feel jealous about the relationship between Naomi and Satoshi Mochida, leading her to burn Naomi's paper doll scrap, and subsequently kill her, in order to escape just with Satoshi. However, it is unknwon if these actions are caused by the Darkening or by pure jealousy.
Ayumi also gives in to the Darkening in many wrong ends, even killing her friends in the process.
Satoshi Mochida Edit
Canonically, Satoshi doesn't fall to the darkening, and so its effects can only be seen in wrong ends.
In Wrong End 2 ★4 of Chapter 5 in Corpse Party, Satoshi finds a photo which shows the corpse of his beloved sister. This enrages him, and he starts chasing Sachiko. Naomi follows him, but she falls behind. Satoshi eventually reaches the abandoned bomb shelter, where he finds Yuka's lifeless body. Satoshi can't stand the sight and he succumbs to the Darkening.
Yoshiki Kishinuma Edit
Canonically, Yoshiki doesn't fall to the darkening, and so its effects can only be seen in wrong ends.
In Corpse Party Wrong End 2 ★4 of Chapter 5 , Yoshiki decides to not come back to school with Ayumi. In the end it is shown that he came back in hope of protecting Ayumi, but succumbs to the Darkening near the incinerator and dies.
The Children Spirits Edit
Sakutaro Morishige Edit
In Corpse Party, Sakutaro loses his mind after realizing that the corpse that he found the most beautiful belongs to Mayu Suzumoto, his closest friend. He then loses his mind and decides to jump out of a window.
In Book of Shadows, Sakutaro can succumb to Darkening in many ways.
In Wrong End 5 ★5, Sakutaro's Darkening cause him to become more psychotic to the point of torturing a person together with Sachiko.
In Wrong End 4 ★4, Sakutaro sees Ayumi's corpse inside a hole, causing him to become more sadistic and then fall under the influence of the Darkening.
In Tortured Souls, the death of his friend causes him to become a lot more violent, going after Yuka, trying to kill her.
Sayaka Ooue Edit
After Yoshikazu Yanagihori bludgeons her to death in Book of Shadows, her name tag in BloodCovered says she succumbed to the Darkening while searching for her friend. In addition, she is seen hallucinating while meeting up with Naho in the Book of Shadows manga.
Haruyuki Inumaru Edit
In CHAPTER 02 『 Respective Desires 』 of Blood Drive, once Haruyuki sees Sayaka Ooue's corpse, he falls into despair and then fury, pointing the blame towards Aiko Niwa. However, due to Haruyuki's high spiritual power, he not only succumbs to the Darkening, but is transformed into a Hell Hound. He then proceeds to chase Aiko throughout the school.
Azusa Takai Edit
It is revealed that Azusa fell victim to the Darkening at some point, although she would still remain alive. In Blood Drive, CHAPTER 05『 Breakdown 』, she is shown to work with the Anatomical Model to try and kill Yoshiki, referencing Yuuya Kizami meeting Azusa at the end of the extra chapter in 2U. It is unknown what happened to her after the events of Blood Drive.