|“||It chips away at a person's core -- sanity, reason, even identity -- eventually destroying him. Nothing that made him who he is is left behind. Once it gripped your heart, you'll quickly succumb to despair and loneliness. The essence of what makes you human is literally eaten away, as if by worms. When this happens, the body begins to necrotize and the soul becomes as black as spent ash. We've come to regard this process as 'darkening.' And whosoever succumbs to the darkening becomes an inseparable part of the school itself. In rare instances, one may be able to avoid the full act of darkening, instead fated to be seared unbearably by intense, violent thoughts and emotions. But most of the time, his soul will be rooted here, and he will be cursed to wander these halls for eternity with no hope of passing or exorcism.||”|
|“||Gradually consumes one's sanity, turns the body into dark mist and ultimately kills. Its effect can differ, however, when a person with high spiritual affinity falls prey.||”|
—Encyclopedia Obscura, Corpse Party: Blood Drive
The Darkening (黒化 Kokuka ) is a terminology used in the Corpse Party series. It is the process in which a victim succumbs to negative emotions, such as 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 be able to recall the events that occurred during their darkening, let alone realize they were experiencing it.
The darkening will also leave their mind and body vulnerable to possession by malign spirits. Such is 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 veils their body. However, it can also manifest in other forms, such as black, tar-like liquid pouring out of the body (Introduced in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows). If the victim is able to ward off these negative 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):
Major Characters Edit
- Azusa Takai - Succumbed to it, status unknown
- Ayumi Shinozaki - Showed signs of it, survived
- Haruyuki Inumaru - Turned into Hell Hound, deceased
- Naho Saenoki - Succumbed to it, deceased
- Naomi Nakashima - Survived
- Sayaka Ooue - Succumbed to it, deceased
- Yoshie Shinozaki - Succumbed to it as a spirit
Nametag Characters Edit
- Kazuhiro Murofushi - Succumbed to it, deceased
- Mitsuharu Ohtaki - Succumbed to it, deceased
- Yuji Sanuki - Succumbed to it, deceased
Naomi Nakashima Edit
During the events of Corpse Party (PC, PSP, iOS, 3DS), Naomi's weak psychical state causes the Darkening to temporarily possess her, leading to the death of Seiko Shinohara by hanging 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. However, Seiko's spirit saves Naomi from succumbing to her emotions by sending her a series of text messages, indicating she has forgiven Naomi, which leads her to help the others find their way out of Heavenly Host.
The same events are shown in Corpse Party: Tortured Souls, but we see that the darkening left Naomi's body fully, now able to cope with Seiko's death.
Ayumi Shinozaki Edit
During her time in Heavenly Host, Ayumi is prone to being possessed, possibly due to her high sensitivity to spirits, but it should not be confused with the influence of the darkening.
In Chapter 5 of Corpse Party, Yuki Kanno mentioned that Ayumi already showed signs of the darkening and it began to take hold of her.
If Yoshiki decides not to return to Heavenly Host with Ayumi, she will opt to go back on her own. 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 hide Naomi's paper doll scrap in order to escape with just Satoshi. However, it is unclear if these actions are fueled by the darkening or simply out of jealousy.
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.
Sakutaro Morishige Edit
In Corpse Party: 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.
Sayaka Ooue Edit
Sayaka's name tag in Corpse Party revealed that she succumbed to the darkening while searching for her friend, that is before she was discovered by Yoshikazu Yanagihori who bludgeoned her to death in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. In addition, she is seen hallucinating while meeting up with Naho in Corpse Party: Book of Shadows manga.
Haruyuki Inumaru Edit
In CHAPTER 02 『 Respective Desires 』 of Corpse Party: Blood Drive, once Haruyuki sees Sayaka'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. In Corpse Party: 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 Wrong End of Corpse Party -THE ANTHOLOGY- Sachiko no Ren'ai Yūgi ♥ Hysteric Birthday 2U extra chapter. It is unclear what becomes of her after Corpse Party: Blood Drive.