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Dharkon looks very similar to Galeem, but his core is a green-blue eyeball which turns red when his health is low and he is surrounded by black-and-red vines which can transform to help him attack his opponents.
Role in World of Light
Dharkon makes his first appearance following the defeat of Galeem at the hands of the fighters. Sensing the defeat of his counterpart, Dharkon strikes, seizing control of Galeem’s remaining puppet fighters, as well as a massive army of Crazy Hands comparable to Galeem’s own Master Hands. Galeem makes a hasty getaway, knowing he is no match for Dharkon in his current state. Dharkon retreats into a haphazardly formed dimension known as the Dark Realm, to gather forces in preparation of Galeem’s return, rather than pursuing the wayward lord of light. The fighters chase Dharkon into the Dark Realm, choosing the greater of two evils over the weak Galeem. Dharkon and his newly commanded dark Spirits and captive fighters to halt the fighters, but ultimately fails, despite enlisting the help of the empowered Marx, Dracula, and Ganon, in addition to several Crazy Hand clones. With the defeat of his bosses, Dharkon is forced to make a reappearance, and faces the fighters. Although he is much more aggressive in battle than Galeem, he is soon defeated. Enraged, he retreats into the final realm--the Final Battle. Sensing an opportunity, Galeem returns from hiding to chase down the weakened Dharkon, with the fighters in hot pursuit. With their dwindling forces put to work, the fighters rapidly decimate the light and dark spirits, destroying two Master and Crazy Hand clones and freeing the original Master Hand and Crazy Hand. The Hands determine a common enemy, and form a rift in reality between Galeem and Dharkon. The way the story ends is determined based on the player’s choice from this point.
If the player fights and defeats Galeem, Dharkon’s power greatly surpasses Galeem’s, resulting in darkness spreading across the realm of the final battle. Dharkon kills Galeem’s Master Hand clones, and impales Galeem repeatedly with chains, leaving the lord of light at Dharkon’s mercy. Meanwhile, Mario and the rest of the fighters are overtaken by darkness, and lifelessly dropping to the ground as the screen turns into static, then black. Then, Dharkon’s darkness spreads across the world making it uninhabitable. Later, Dharkon's eye is shown in the destroyed world, now remaining completely dark forever.
If the player fighters and defeats Dharkon, Galeem’s power greatly surpasses Dharkon’s, resulting in light spreading across the realm of the final battle, Galeem kills Dharkon’s Crazy Hand clones, and shoots Dharkon repeatedly, grating him before causing him to disintegrate. Galeem proceeds to turn his attention to the assembled fighters. Without giving them a chance to react, Galeem sends out a wave of light, preventing all the fighters from escaping and consuming the universe once more.
Choosing the Middle Path
If the player follows Master Hand and Crazy Hand to the rift they formed, Master Hand enters the rift, fights and defeats fifty puppet fighters constructed entirely from Galeem and Dharkon‘s power, and allows the fighters to continue onward, drained from fighting off the onslaught of Galeem and Dharkon‘s forces. Three members of the fighters make it through, and manage to climb up into orbit, attempting to reach Final Destination where Galeem and Dharkon are battling. Upon meeting there, the two lords deploy their bosses, in an attempt to defeat each other and the three fighters in one fell swoop. To their surprise, the fighters defeat all six bosses with minimal injuries, and finally take the fight to them. Galeem, Dharkon, and the fighters begin brawling in a three-way matchup for the fate of the universe. Despite being gods and clearly having a power advantage over the fighters, Galeem and Dharkon are both defeated at the hands of the fighters, and fall from orbit, crashing into the ocean that once held the Isle of the Ancients, and restoring the balance of the world. Without Galeem and Dharkon, the Spirits are freed, returning to their home dimension. The fighters are left in the ruins of the World of Light, ready to rebuild.
Dharkon can only be damaged if he is struck in the eye, which turns red when he enters his second phase. He has the following attacks:
- Crushing Shade: If Galeem is stunned, Dharkon can transform his tentacles into a hammer and use it attack Galeem's core, damaging the Lord Of Light. The player will also be damaged by Dharkon if they stand in front of him, near the Lord Of Light's core.
- Spark Serpent: One of Dharkon's tentacles snakes around the arena coated in dark energy, attempting to damage the player, as his eye trails close behind. During Dharkon's second phase (when his health falls below half), the tentacle's length increases.
- Necrotic Photonic Wave: Dharkon covers two sides of the screen with dark energy. These waves have a small, ever-shifting gap of safety between their area of effect. The fighter takes darkness damage rapidly upon touching the waves. This attack is only present during the second phase of his second fight. Dharkon will always use this attack as soon as his second phase starts. If Galeem is present, they each will contribute one wave to the attack (Dharkon covers the bottom, while Galeem covers the top.). If Galeem is stunned, only the bottom is covered.
- Shadow Eruption: Dharkon creates several beams of darkness that erupt from the ground. These will appear close to the character's current location on top of Final Destination's main platform and erupt after a few seconds. Their appearance is telegraphed by Dharkon's eye flashing purple.
- Shadow Shape: Dharkon produces dark puppet fighters to support him. These characters self destruct after a period of time and their explosion can damage the player. This attack is only present is only present during his second phase. Two puppet fighters are spawned in his first fight and three are spawned in his second fight. Only puppet fighters of characters that could be unlocked while being controlled by Dharkon will spawn (such as Young Link or Bayonetta. Dharkon's false characters will attack Galeem's false characters, and vice versa. When fought alone, Dharkon will continue to attack while the clones are on screen. In the fight against, Galeem and Dharkon, however, both bosses will disappear until most of the clones have exploded.
- Tangled Rush: Dharkon can send his tentacles through portals; the tentacles damage anyone in their way. Dharkon's eye will hover in the middle of the level. Dharkon will use this attack more times during his second phase.
- Tentacle Drill: Dharkon can use three to five of his tentacles to attack the player one after another. Dharkon's eye is exposed when the last tentacle strikes. Less tentacles appear during his first phase and when fighting Galeem.
- Thorn Spray: Dharkon can shoot a barrage of small energy bullets from one corner of the screen. When Galeem is present Dharkon will attack from the top left only. Their damage increases the closer the player is to Dharkon's corner. During his second phase, Dharkon's energy barrage will be finished off with a massive blast of dark energy. The blast and bullets are actually disjointed hitboxes and therefore unreflectable.
- Temporal Rift: Dharkon performs a slash with his tentacles, creating a large red line across the screen. The resultant line can cause characters it touches to slow down. During his second phase, Dharkon will create two lines in an X shape, but their effect is the same otherwise.
- X Bomb: Dharkon can create three to six small objects that explode in X-shaped beams of darkness similar to X Bombs. These can be destroyed before their detonation. Three bombs will be created during his first phase and six will be created during his second phase. During his second fight, these bombs go off at different times, whereas in his first fight they all go off at once.
- Thorn Wheel: Dharkon turns into a giant circle, with two saw-blade like objects rotating around his body. Dharkon will start at one end of the screen and slowly move to the other. The player can not pass through the giant circle, limiting the space where the player can move. This only appears in a latter portion of the climbing section in the final battle against Galeem and Dharkon. The player has to attack Dharkon's core in order to make Dharkon move back. If the player fails to deal enough damage, Dharkon will retreat automatically eventually.
- On very easy, the saw blade objects do not fly in by his side.
- Tentacle Drill 2: Dharkon's tentacles appear at one end of the screen, and travel to the other side, destroying any platforms in their way. This only appears in the climbing section in the final battle against Galeem and Dharkon. The Tentacle Drills only appear on Easy and harder.
- Dharkon's English name is a corruption of the word "darken".
- In Japan, Dharkon's name is Darz.
- Dharkon also earned his name from the Latin Archōn (Gen. Archontis), which means "ruler".
- Dharkon's eye actually follows your location, making him the only boss to track their opponent in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Due to his single eye and tentacles, Dharkon appears to have taken his design from classic Lovecraftian horrors such as Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, and the Shuma-Gorath from the Marvel comics.
- Dharkon's tentacles appear similar to the Rage Blaster due to their colour.
- Dharkon makes a cameo appearance at the beginning of the reveal trailer for the Hero, which is depicted as taking place during the events of World of Light.