The Dark Signers were a group of Duelists resurrected and in the service of the Earthbound Immortals, who served as the evil counterparts to the Signers and were the primary antagonists for the second arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.
When a person died, he or she was given a chance to live by becoming a Dark Signer at the time of their death. If they displayed a great will to live or a reason for revenge, an Earthbound Immortal may spare them (provided they agree willingly, whether or not they remember doing so after being brought back), turning them into the Dark Signers in the process. As the Dark Signers, those individuals were given a great power and a great lust for revenge. All of the Dark Signers, with the exception of Roman and Rex, held some form of grudge against (or connection to, in the case of Devack and Carly) a Signer, which would provide another answer to why the Earthbound Immortals chose them. Due to this phenomenon being derived from the Netherworld itself, there was no way to revert the transformation or revert the Dark Signers to their former selves, and they were also said to be no longer of the living world. If they turned over a new leaf in a Duel, the Earthbound Immortal would take over them and continue the match (however, Akiza noted that their control can potentially be broken if the Earthbound Immortal is destroyed without getting rid of the person's Life Points).
Because this distinctive group of individuals have already died once, it is seen that once they have been defeated in their own Shadow Duel or Shadow Turbo Duel for that matter, their departure from this world would be completely different. Instead of simply dying like a normal human being, they instead would wither until they became dust, when they would be sent into the Netherworld.
Dark Signers were capable of using a distinctive type of monsters, known as Dark Synchro Monsters, which were black-lined and had grey-colored cards. Their signature card are the "Earthbound Immortals", and they also utilized Field Spell cards, in order to maintain the effects of these powerful beasts in a Duel. There were only five Dark Signers at any given time, each one possessed by a different geoglyph. In the anime present altered timeline, a total of seven awakened, due to the fall of others. Devack was 'succeeded' by Greiger, and Rex was revived after his Duel with Roman.
Dark Signers are shown to have a red or purple Criminal mark-esque patterns on their face and black sclerae. The only exception is Kalin, whose original Criminal mark became his dark mark; even after his revival, the Criminal mark did not vanish.
|Identity||Dark Signer||Cause of Death||Mark||Deck||Earthbound Immortal|
|Greiger||Hanging||Killer Whale||Reactor||Chacu Challhua|
|Kalin Kessler||Starvation||Giant||Infernity||Ccapac Apu|
|Roman Goodwin||Zero Reverse||Spider||Spider||Uru|
|Carly Carmine||Defenestration||Hummingbird||Fortune Lady||Aslla piscu|
|Misty Tredwell||Car accident||Lizard||Reptilianne||Ccarayhua|
|Rex Goodwin||Defeat by a Dark Signer (Roman)||Condor||Inca||Wiraqocha Rasca|
The Earthbound Immortals were evil entities that were sealed in the Nazca Lines by the Crimson Dragon and the Five Dragons. Each one bore a dark mark on to five individuals who are known as the Dark Signers.
The Dark Signers served as gatekeepers to the door to the Netherworld. This door resided within the first Ener-D Reactor, located in Satellite. The Dark Signers plotted to open this gate to release the Earthbound Immortals. Knowing this, Rex Goodwin built the utopia New Domino City away from Satellite and restricted the access between the two cities so that only those left in the Satellite would be harmed when this time came.
Rex's older brother, Roman Goodwin, was placed in charge of the first Ener-D Reactor, developed by Doctor Fudo prior to the Zero Reverse Incident. The same incident which released the sealed Immortals from their 5,000 year imprisonment. Presumably killed by the accident, Roman was reawakened as a Dark Signer.
At a certain point, Misty Tredwell was transformed while suffering in the hospital after her car accident. After being spared, she was told by Ccarayhua to kill the servant of the Crimson Dragon, "Black Rose Dragon". Her hatred for the Black Rose Duelist for allegedly killing her brother, easily put Misty on this task.
After the Crimson Dragon appeared during the Fortune Cup, the Dark Signers began preaching in Satellite that the Crimson Dragon was evil and encouraged the people to stand with them for the sake of the Satellite.
Using brainwashed victims, they began targeting the Signers, including Yusei Fudo and Jack Atlas, who were made to Duel Dick Pitt and Trudge respectively. Jack, however, Dueled with Carly's assistance. In both cases, the Signers emerged victorious.
Kalin targeted Yusei in Satellite and faced him in a Shadow Turbo Duel. He Summoned his Earthbound Immortal, "Ccapac Apu", which absorbed the souls of many residents. Yusei was unable to finish the Duel due to an injury caused by his Duel Runner failing.
Carly was thrown off the Arcadia Movement building by Sayer, but was spared from death by Earthbound Immortal Aslla piscu. Misty sensed this and proceeded to the Arcadia Movement in order to face the Black Rose, Akiza Izinski. Carly faced Sayer in a rematch. Both Dark Signers Summoned their Earthbound Immortals, absorbing the souls of bystanders. Meanwhile, Devack was able to free Greiger from a police wagon due to the guards' souls having been absorbed. Carly defeated Sayer with "Aslla piscu", which caused the building to fall apart and Sayer fell, past the inside balconies. Misty and Akiza's Duel was interrupted and postponed due to the collapsing building.
The Signers learned from Rex about the nature of the Dark Signers Dueling powers. Yusei, determined to save Kalin, questioned Rex about returning them to normal. Rex reluctantly tells them that the change cannot be reverted as they were no longer of this world.
After Roman's Shadow Duel against Yusei concluded, the rest of the Dark Signers showed themselves to their rivals, the Signers, as their final battle was about to begin. Each Signer was to travel to one of the four control units for the Original Ener-D Reactor, where their corresponding rival was awaiting. However, as Luna and Leo were taken by Trudge to the controller where Devack was, she was instead transported back to the Minus World in order to free Ancient Fairy Dragon. This caused Leo to Duel Devack in her place, trying to fulfill his promise of protecting her. After Devack summoned his Cusillu, Luna returned from the Spirit World and took Leo's place. Once Devack sacrificed Ancient Fairy Dragon, in order to activate Cusillu's effect, Luna used Respect Synchron to summon Ancient Fairy Dragon to her side of the field thus releasing her and using her and Power Tool Dragon to destroy Cusillu and defeat Devack.
Despite Devack's defeat and the apparent destruction of Cusillu, the Dark Signers had a contingency plan. Greiger soon became his replacement, using a sixth Earthbound Immortal, Chacu Challhua. Later Greiger Dueled against Crow, whom had managed to escape the fog. Later during the Duel, as the new Dark Signer summons his correspondent God, he ultimately finds out the truth about his village: the ones responsible for the destruction of it are actually the same individuals he now works for. Discovering this, Greiger lost his will to continue the Duel, but suddenly a dark and evil voice known only as an "Envoy of the Underworld" intervened. The entity possessed him in order to force the Duel to continue. In the end, the possessed Greiger was defeated by Crow in the Shadow Turbo Duel, during which Chacu Challhua was destroyed as well.
With his detours settled, Yusei finally reached the Giant's control unit, and Kalin. Their Duel was intense as Yusei tried to save him while Kalin just wanted revenge. As more of the Enforcers' past was revealed, including Kalin's final moments before becoming a Dark Signer, he Summoned Ccapac Apu and tried to destroy Yusei with it. However, as he manages to fend off from the Earthbound Immortal's assault, the Nazca God itself begins to trash the ground where the Duel is taking place. As Kalin started experiencing difficulties with this, Yusei tried to save him by summoning "Majestic Star Dragon" and took down Ccapac Apu. Kalin made peace with him before he withered into dust.
After the battle, Roman spoke to Yusei through Trudge as he challenged him. Therefore he, along with Crow, Luna, Leo and Trudge went to the Original Ener-D Reactor. As they met with Roman inside, he detonated the Ener-D Reactor, thus releasing the negative energy inside. As it filled the room, the two of them, who are above it, finally began their rematch. During the Duel, he revealed to him some unfortunate events which occurred between the Dark Signer and Professor Fudo. Roman also revealed his identity as the Fifth Signer. After Yusei finally managed to defeat Uru, and thereby Roman, Roman detonated his left arm as he disappeared, and blew up the bridge and sent Yusei falling into the depths of the Ener-D Reactor. But Yusei was able to escape the netherworld by his father Dr. Fudo and return to his friends.
Meanwhile Jack, who has finally reached the Hummingbird tower, was surprised by Carly, who appeared riding her own Duel Runner before engaging in a Shadow Turbo Duel. Carly depleted most of his Life Points, and through the card Enlightenment, showed Jack a vision of the future where he lost the Duel and became a Dark Signer, reigning as King over a dead world. Jack, who was at first caught up in the vision, dropped Carly's glasses and realized that they were still in the present. He was able to turn Carly back briefly into herself, before the "Envoy of the Underworld" possessed her and forced the Duel to continue. Carly summoned Aslla piscu, however Jack turned the Duel around by summoning "Majestic Red Dragon". However, as he attempted to end the Duel in a tie and theoretically destroy them both, Carly informed Jack that he had another destiny as King and broke free of the control of the Envoy of the Netherworld, destroyed Aslla piscu and took damage herself because of it. She lost the Duel and vanished in Jack's arms.
Finally, Misty who was guarding the last Control Tower was waiting for Akiza while mourning for her dead brother, Toby. Eventually Akiza and Mina arrived where the Lizard Tower was situated, in an old and abandoned carnival. Thus Akiza found Misty, and was guided by her into a House of Mirrors where they finally commenced their rematch. As it began, Misty recounted the events that lead up to Toby’s death that undoubtedly involved Akiza, through the use of her Sad Story Spells and Bad End Trap. Because of this, Akiza who was tormented by the truth, lost the will to continue the Duel. However, Sayer appeared to save her from landing on a large shard of broken glass, but then deviously awakened her powers as the Black Rose once again and controlling her.
However, while Misty in the end summoned her powerful "Dragon Queen of Tragic Endings", Akiza on the other hand not only unleashed her Black Rose Dragon, but also ultimately shattered every mirror in the vicinity and finally confronted her opponent face to face. Akiza and Misty's Duel continued while Misty managed to gain the upper hand by summoning Ccarayhua. While she does that, Yusei tricks Sayer in revealing the truth behind her brother's death. Upon hearing this, she commanded her monster to devour him and avenged her brother's death, and at the same time; freed Akiza from Sayer's control. Before she could surrender, the Envoy of the Underworld took control and was about to finish Akiza off with a direct attack. But Akiza pulled through by blocking the attack and summoning Black Rose Dragon again to destroy everything on the field. Misty tried to counter by inflicting damage through a card effect. But Akiza countered the damage and dealt it back to her ending the Duel with Misty feeling at peace. She vanished leaving her locket, containing Toby’s and her picture in it.
Later, right after Akiza’s Duel against Misty concludes, before the Signers were able to seal the last Tower, the King of the Netherworld appeared from the Original Ener-D Reactor, and was moving toward New Domino City. At that time Rex who had acquired the powers of a Signer with Roman's arm, revealed to be the last of the Dark Signers. As the dark mark of the Condor appeared on his back, it revealed his Dark Signer nature and gave him supernatural powers, he declared that a Shadow Turbo Duel would be held within the Condor geoglyph as a ritual to welcome the King of the Netherworld.
Therefore, Rex faced off against Yusei, Jack, and Crow in one final Shadow Turbo Duel. The Duel raged fiercely upon them and Rex. Though both Jack and Crow were unable to continue due to Wiraqocha Rasca's deadly effect, Yusei managed to win with their help.
After the King of the Netherworld was finally destroyed by the combined power of Yusei, Majestic Star Dragon, and the Crimson Dragon, all of the other Dark Signers were returned to life, leaving only the Goodwin brothers to pass on to the afterlife.
As for the former Dark Signers, it's unknown if the others do or don't have recollection of ever being one, judging by Carly's statement and Kalin's current state. (Although it appears that Kalin and Greiger are the only ones with any recollection of their crimes as Dark Signers).
Order of reappearance:
- Misty Tredwell: It is shown that she and Akiza become close friends, and are now pen pals. She reappeared in many advertisements in Season 2, but hasn't made a physical appearance since.
- Carly Carmine: She appeared by throwing off her old man disguise a short while after Akiza mentions Misty. She continued to be friends with everyone, normally helping Jack out of any tight spots. It is unknown if Carly was still friends with Misty.
- Kalin Kessler: He went on a trip and ended up in Crash Town. His "new life" didn't seem to be as successful as the others; he wore a ragged black cape, is physically exhausted, and has lost all emotion, joining a large group of Duelists that Dueled against "Malcolm´s" group, with lifelong slavery as the loser's penalty (Even then, he is still admired by the kids of the town.). He Dueled Yusei one more time, so that he can leave the world of Dueling behind him. It is revealed, that he kept his Dark Signer memories, and wanted to die for those actions. However, after a series of events, Kalin's will to live changed, making sure that the town and its inhabitants live peacefully from now on.
- Greiger: He returned to his hometown, where he reunited with Annie and Max. Since then, his family moved to Nazca where they build a shrine to pacify the Earthbound Immortals and spent the rest of the series tending to it. He also kept his memories as a Dark Signer, and wanted to repent for that crime.
In an information file that Z-one reads in Episode 149, in the "original" timeline before he and Iliaster caused the Zero Reverse to split the cities, there were only five Earthbound Immortals that fought the Signers - Uru, Ccapac Apu, Cusillu, Aslla Piscu, and Ccarayhua. This would seem to suggest that Rex and Greiger did not originally become Dark Signers, and that it was Z-one's interference with the timeline that caused them to become such.
Roman had the ability to brainwash other people, by having a black spider latch onto a victim. The victim believed themselves to be a Dark Signer, gained the spider dark mark and did the bidding of the real Dark Signers. While brainwashed, the victim's Duels became Shadow Duels and their Deck was changed to one more fitting to a Dark Signer. In the English version the brainwashed person was known as a Shadow Drone, while in the Japanese they referred to themselves as actual Dark Signers.
The spell was lifted when the victim lost a Duel. At this point the spider was ejected from their body and erupted into a powder. The victim's Deck was then restored to normal and they had no memory of what happened while they were brainwashed.
People who became real Dark Signers were believed to be brainwashed. Their motives were fueled by revenge. While some accepted it to be their own free will, it appeared that when their hatred motives are no longer pursued, then the Dark Signer will become possessed by their corresponding Earthbound Immortal. This happened in Greiger, Carly and Misty's Duels, forcing them to continue against their will.
When a Dark Signer engaged in a Duel, the arena was surrounded by a force field of dark fire, taking the shape of the Dark Signer's respected geoglyph and became a Shadow Duel (However it has been proven that they can choose whether or not to make the geoglyph appear. This is evidenced by Misty in Episode 60, when Duels Akiza but the flames do not appear until she makes them manifest. When a brainwashed Dark Signer servant engaged in a Duel, the arena was instead surrounded by a purple, circular glow.
During a Shadow Duel, players suffered real damage when attacked by monsters. The blasts from the attacks can be fatal and often caused damage to the surroundings. Also, according to Sayer during his Duel with Carly Carmine in Episode 39, the effects from a Shadow Duel are more powerful and deadlier than that of Psychic Dueling.
Dark Synchro Summoning
The Dark Synchro and Dark Tuner monsters were exclusive to the Dark Signers and Shadow Drones. Dark Synchro Monsters were Synchro Summoned by sending to the Graveyard 1 Dark Tuner monster and 1 non-Dark Tuner monster. The non-Dark Tuner monster's Level minus the Dark Tuner monster's Level must be equal to the Dark Synchro Monster's Level, which is negative. Most of the Dark Signers used the following chant: "When dark overlaps with dark, the doors of the underworld will open. To a world without light!" In the dub, the chant is: "When the shadows are devoured by even Darker shadows, the curtain pulls back and reveals, a world without light!"
- They are never shown eating or drinking, further enforcing their undead status. However, this doesn't impede their ability to function. Though Misty was shown having tea when Carly was saved by Aslla Piscu.
- Becoming a Dark Signers heals whatever killed them, like internal damage (Carly and Misty), a broken neck (Greiger) and starvation (Kalin). It's implied even being reduced to ashes/vaporized (or at least a badly damaged corpse) can be healed by the Immortals' power given Roman was at the epicenter of Zero Reverse.
- Misty has shown the ability to hide her Dark Signer form and live her life as normal. This could be because she was in a hospital, and her "recovery" could be seen as natural.
- Upon being fully corrupted as a Dark Signer, Carly planned to turn Jack into one. In a vision of this future, Jack's mark of the Crimson Dragon was replaced by her Aslla piscu mark, suggesting the power of an Immortal can be shared if a Dark Signer had a strong bond with someone.
- In this future, it's implied Jack and Carly were the only Dark Signers left as Jack ruled as the Dark King without opposition.
- Carly and Misty were the only Dark Signers that didn't possess a Dark Tuner Monster and a Dark Synchro Monster.
- Carly is the only Dark Signer to invoke a Shadow Duel for both a Ground Duel and Turbo Duel.