- Voice actor: Bill Rogers (both English and Japanese), Scott Williams (Telepathy; English), Kōji Ishizaka (Telepathy; Japanese)
Darkrai is a black, shadow-like creature. It has a small head with a white fog-like ghostly substance billowing from its head covering one of its bright blue eyes, and also has a red spiky growth around its neck. It has skinny arms and long black tatters hanging from its shoulders. It also has black, claw-like hands. It has the slight appearance of an hourglass figure and appears to be wearing an old, ripped cloak. It normally doesn't have any sort of legs, but it is able to extend stilt-like appendages in their place. In self-defense, Darkrai also appears capable of retracting its head and white "plume" into the pit atop its torso fringed by the aforementioned red growth. Its height is 4'11" and its weight is 111.3 lbs.
Darkrai is known for its ability to put people and Pokémon in endless nightmares only stopped if close to a lunar wing from Cresselia. It can become a shadow and escape danger or contact of humans, but it is still capable to take damage by special attacks (e.g.: Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Water Pulse, etc.) in this state. It is also capable of little human speech. In The Rise of Darkrai, it was shown its power was little of that of Dialga and Palkia.
This Pokémon "inhabits" people's dreams and causes them to have unending terrible nightmares. In Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, it is stated that the only way a person can wake from one of these nightmares is to be exposed to the Lunar Wing of Cresselia. Contrary to popular belief, this "unleashing of nightmares" is in fact a defense mechanism, rather than something of malicious intent. Also, in the Anime at least, these nightmares are not never ending, as most victims are able to wake up normally, though it appears if Dark Void is used they cannot until the attack wears off.
In the 10th movie, Darkrai tried to protect Alamos Town from being destroyed by Dialga and Palkia and sacrificed itself in the process, although by the end of the movie it was revived. Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, however, portrays a Darkrai with a much more evil character, who wants a world enshrouded in darkness, going to the edge of almost destroying time and space to accomplish that. However, after it is recruited, it shows surprising loyalty, even going as far as to say that it will never leave anyone, no matter the danger. This is mainly due to the fact that Darkrai lost its memory when it was attacked by Palkia while trying to escape through a dimensional hole. It is worth noting that this Darkrai's personality after being attacked by Palkia is similar to the original Darkrai, who was very loyal to those it cared about.
As seen in its first appearance in an episode, Darkrai do not only cause nightmares, they are also attracted to them. They also go around objects they are attracted to several times, as seen in the mentioned episode and Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
Whilst Darkrai isn't nesting in the realm of human dreams, it lingers around a lost island called Newmoon Island, which can only be reached by using a Member Card in Canalave City at the Harbor Inn above the Pokémon Center.
After the battle with Darkrai on Newmoon Island in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum saga, the following speech is this:
"...A voice called out from somewhere...
???: DARKRAI... Your power is strong. Though you don't will it, you make people and Pokémon around you see terrible nightmares... That is why you came here... Newmoon Island... There is no one but you here... There is none that can be drawn into your nightmare... If anyone were to fall into a nightmare, the Fullmoon Island is close by... ... ..."
This reveals that Darkrai chooses to inhabit Newmoon Island due to its immense, uncontrollable power, as well as because of the island's closeness to Fullmoon Island, the home of Cresselia, who is capable of healing those inflicted by Darkrai's nightmares. Though it is never revealed whose voice this was, it is possible that it was the effect of Cresselia's psychic powers. It also is speculated to be the voice of Arceus. The fact that Darkrai chooses to protect others from its power is similar to Lugia and how it resides at the bottom of the sea in deep slumber in order to not cause unintended damage.
- Main article: Pokémon food
Darkrai possibly feeds off dreams, characterized by its association with never-ending nightmares and the ability to learn the move Dream Eater.
Darkrai starred in The Rise of Darkrai as the hero of the movie, taking the task of holding off the fighting between Dialga and Palkia until Ash and Dawn could put the Oración disk in the Space-Time Tower music player to calm the fighting between Palkia and Dialga. It reappeared in a cameo in the end credits of Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
Darkrai made its anime debut in Sleepless In Pre-Battle!. Unlike the Darkrai in the film, this Darkrai was causing nightmares, much like in the games. According to Officer Jenny, it comes at a certain time every year. In the episode, however, it came earlier due to it being lured by Team Rocket Gang's machine that was causing nightmares. Cresselia is normally in the same place as Darkrai to stop it giving nightmares but due to Darkrai's early coming, the people in Canalave City had nightmares for several days. One night, it was concealing itself when Cresselia used its abilities to reveal it from the darkness. The two then battled and Darkrai hid itself once more in the shadows.
In League Unleashed!, a mysterious Trainer in the Lily of the Valley Conference was shown to have a Darkrai. In the following episode, Conway revealed that the Trainer, Tobias, had easily defeated all eight Gyms of Sinnoh using only Darkrai. In the Sinnoh League semi-finals, this Darkrai easily defeated Ash's Heracross, Torkoal, and Gible. However, it was defeated by Ash's Sceptile in The Semi-Final Frontier!.
Darkrai, Pitch-Black Pokémon. Legend has it that on a moonless night, Darkrai will lure people and Pokémon to sleep and unleash nightmares upon them, causing them to be in a state of fear, panic, or shock.