Tribe of Darkness

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Concept artwork of Count Bleck with his cape remaining closed, from Super Paper Mario
Count Bleck, the last surviving member of the Tribe of Darkness
Nolrem, a descendant of the Tribe of Darkness

The Tribe of Darkness is a group of powerful beings who broke off from the rest of the Tribe of Ancients around 1,500 years before the events of Super Paper Mario. The tribe is known for being a secretive bunch that kept to themselves and forbade marriage outside the clan for fear of diluting their powers. They were also accused of stealing the prophetic Dark Prognosticus from the Ancients, with some suspecting they intended to use the book to enhance their dark magic; however other stories explain that they did it to prevent the book's power from being misused[1]. Nolrem is a descendant of the tribe, and Count Bleck is the last surviving member of the tribe itself, having destroyed the rest of the tribe after his father seemingly killed the girl he had fallen in love with. In addition, it is hinted that Nastasia was originally a bat that was transformed into a member of the same species as Bleck, whom she had fallen for, which would make her a member of the Tribe of Darkness as well[2].


Three thousand years before the events of Super Paper Mario, an Ancient magician used knowledge gleaned from the Dark Prognosticus to create "thinking tools" known as Pixls to work around his people's physical limitations[3][4]. This allowed the Ancients to build a vast civilization, however a thousand years after the Pixls were created, a huge Pixl appeared and used her powers of mind control to turn the rest of the Pixls against the Ancients, devastating them and sparking the decline of their civilization[5][6]. A group of warriors, assisted by the other 12 original Pixls, defeated the so-called "Pixl Queen"[7], and the single surviving Ancient warrior discovered that she had actually been the first Pixl created. In order to prevent the knowledge contained within the Dark Prognosticus from being misused like that again, and potentially causing more tragedies, the Ancient warrior took the book and went into hiding[8], eventually founding the Tribe of Darkness.

Despite their altruistic origins, the secretive nature of the Tribe of Darkness soon earned them mistrust, with some accusing them of stealing the Dark Prognosticus to use it, rather than hide it[9]. Despite this accusations, the Ancients recognized that the power wielded by the Tribe of Darkness was an important resource[10], and called upon the tribe when they built Flipside. Alone, Flipside was unstable, for light cannot exist without darkness, and so the Tribe of Darkness created Flopside, a dark, mirror image of Flipside, thus stabilizing the realm. Nolrem, a descendant of the Tribe of Darkness, could still be found residing in Flopside centuries after its creation, during the events of Super Paper Mario.

Some time after this point, the Tribe disappeared from the Ancient's watch entirely, instead going to live in a castle in a forest, far from any outside contact[11]. Their xenophobia is said to be based on pride at one point by Carson, although they were also concerned that their magic would become diluted if they married outside of the tribe.[12][13] However, this line of thought eventually led to their downfall, as shortly before the events of Super Paper Mario, one of their own, Count Bleck (then known as Lord Blumiere) fell in love with a human descendant of the Ancients. Then, when his disapproving father banished the girl from their world, Bleck opened the Dark Prognosticus and used its power to destroy the rest of the Tribe of Darkness and spark the events of Super Paper Mario.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ヤミの一族
Yami no Ichizoku
Tribe of Darkness
French Tribu des Ténèbres Tribe of Darkness
German Dunklen Klan Darkness Clan
Italian Tribù dell'Oscurità Tribe of Darkness
Korean 어둠의 일족
Eodum-ui Iljok
Tribe of Darkness
Spanish Tribu Lóbrega Murky Tribe


  1. ^ Garson and Carson's stories often involved the Ancients and can be found on GameFAQs (Retrieved September 24, 2012)
  2. ^ Carson's "Of Bats and Men" story tells the tale of how a man searching for his lost love pauses to save a bat from a trap. The bat falls in love with him and transforms into a member of his species, pledging eternal loyalty to him. It is strongly implied that Bleck is the man, Timpani is his lost love, and the bat is Nastasia.
  3. ^ Garson's "Pixls" story explains that the "Ancients were smart, but not too strong [and] made the Pixls for anything physical they couldn't do on their own.
  4. ^ Carson's "Creation of the Pixls" story reads: "A powerful magician among the Ancients created them about 3,000 years ago [by] by transferring a spirit into a vessel" and his "Pixl Uprising's End" story elaborates that "The master magician had made [the first Pixl] after studying the Dark Prognosticus."
  5. ^ Carson's "The Pixl Uprising" story explains that 2,000 years before the events of Super Paper Mario, a huge Pixl calling herself the Pixl Queen appeared and commanded the other Pixls to rebel against the Ancients that had become dependent on them and causing great devastation
  6. ^ Carson's "Pixl Uprising's End" explains that "the power and influence of the Ancients began an irreversible decline" after the events of the Pixl Uprising, due to them limiting the powers of Pixls for fear of another rebellion.
  7. ^ Carson's "More Pixl Uprising" story details the downfall of the Pixl Queen
  8. ^ Carson's "Pixl Uprising's End" reads "The vanquisher of the Pixl Queen was confronted with an awful truth. It turned out that the Pixl Queen was actually the very first Pixl ever created. The master magician had made her after studying the Dark Prognosticus. So when the last surviving apprentice took the Dark Prognosticus from the queen... He decided to disappear with the book so that this sort of catastrophe wouldn't repeat."
  9. ^ In his "Final Tribe of Darkness" story, Carson explains that "they stole the Dark Prognosticus from the Ancients and hid it [...] Some say they did it to use the book's power to enhance their dark magic... Some say they hid it from others who would use it for evil...
  10. ^ Carson's "More Tribe of Darkness" story states that "Their power was considered an important resource by all of the Ancients."
  11. ^ Carson's "Tribe of Darkness" states that "no one even knows where they went to live, they were so secretive. There are rumors of a secret castle deep in a forest..."
  12. ^ Carson's "Tribe of Darkness" reads: "Long, long ago, they broke off from the Tribe of Ancients to live alone. They avoided mixing with other people out of pride...
  13. ^ Carson's "More Tribe of Darkness" story explains that they "started as a group within the Ancients who had more magic power. Fearing their power would be diluted, they forbade marriage outside the group."