Everything Pokémon GO Players Need To Know About Darkrai

Part of the fun of the main series Pokémon games is the lore of the Mythical Pokémon, which Pokémon GO recreates with short descriptions in their Pokédex entries. Looking into the roles these Pokémon play in other games, and even the anime, can enrich the experience of raiding these creatures in Niantic's mobile game. In honor of tonight's Darkrai Raid Hour, let's take a deep dive into this Pitch Black Pokémon's lore.

Darkrai artwork in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic & The Pokémon Company International
Darkrai artwork in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic & The Pokémon Company International

Dex entry number 491, Darkrai is a pure Dark-type species from the Sinnoh Region, introduced into the world of Pokémon with Generation Four. This Mythical Pokémon, like most Mythicals and Legendaries, has no gender. Referred to as the "Pitch Black Pokémon," this is what Darkrai's Dex entry says:

It can lull people to sleep and make them dream. It is active during the nights of the new moon.

In the original game series, Darkrai is an event Pokémon not obtainable through normal gameplay. It can be found on Newmoon Island with a "Member Card." This makes it the opposite of Cresselia, found on Fullmoon Island. Darkrai and Cresselia are linked in this way, existing as opposites in the Pokémon universe, with the former spreading nightmares while the latter spreads good dreams. Together, fans have come up with the term "the Lunar Duo" to refer to this pair of opposites.

For fans of the anime, Cresselia appears in the film The Rise of Darkrai as well as a cameo in Arceus and the Jewel of Life. It is featured prominently in the main series episodes Sleepless in Pre-Battle!, League Unleashed!, Pikachu What's This Key?, and Dream and Little Dream From Me!

Other Pokédex entries offer new information about Darkrai:

  • Pearl: Folklore has it that on moonless nights, this Pokémon will make people see horrific nightmares.
  • Black/White: To protect itself, it afflicts those around it with nightmares. However, it means no harm.
  • X: It chases people and Pokémon from its territory by causing them to experience deep, nightmarish slumbers.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.