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I've always asked myself this question when playing FE8. In most Fire Emblems, it's always at least portrayed as evil and vile -- its usually relegated to villains, people usually "succumb" to it, etc. The most egregious example of this is FE7 -- Canas is constantly worried about losing himself to dark magic (although, oddly enough, both his son and his mother practice it as well despite the dangers of it), Nergal's whole plotline is based on him being a gigantic dick immensely powerful dark druid who lost himself to his magic, and 19xx takes it even further by having the boss state that one can only truly master dark magic by emptying their soul so the void can consume them, and then implies that Nergal has forgotten about his children in his pursuit to become strong enough to save them through dark magic. The only thing I never really got in FE7 is that they also imply Athos is almost as powerful with dark magic (at least, in-game), but yet he shows no signs of this deterioration mentioned by Canas or in 19xx. FE8, however, makes it more controversial. While, on its face, dark magic again appears evil (Lyon is a necromancer, and acts as one of the final bosses of the game), it's not quite as straightforward once you look into it. First, it is explained by Knoll that dark magic is "ancient", and has a long stigma of being evil, which he seems to take offense to. It would then be feasible to say that a demon sealed in ancient times would've been sealed through the use of these dark and ancient magics, into a container known as the dark stone. Now, what happens next is never explained, but considering the stigma, I would theorize that the use of dark magic became strongly discouraged afterwards in an attempt to keep somebody from ever undoing the sealing spell, which then caused the dark magics to be shunned and reviled over the course of centuries. Knoll also explains that dark is the antithesis of light because light represents faith while dark embodies knowledge -- which makes sense, considering light magic is all about healing and impulsively jumping in to a situation, while dark magic is all about prediction, weighing the logic of each course of action, and acting cautiously. The only problem is that Knoll constantly feels remorse for his research in his support conversations, but yet at the same time defends dark magic from both Lute and Natasha. I think he feels terrible that he messed around with forces that he knew little about because of his own greed for knowledge and his desire to impress Lyon and achieve Lyon's dream of helping Grado. He is directly responsible for the release of the Demon King because he sought to use the power contained within the dark stone instead of releasing its true purpose. Yet, at the same time, dark magics will ultimately save uncountable citizens of Grado because it predicts the cataclysm which will engulf the region years in advance, and Knoll resolves to pair up with Natasha and use their unique talents for the greater good. Ultimately, FE: Awakening tried to tie up all of the lore from (at least) the NES, SNES, and GBA Fire Emblems together in one story, although I'm confused as to whether Magvel and Tellius are included in this as well (especially considering FE10 said that Tellius was the only continent not consumed by the flood inadvertently caused by Yune's sorrow). If they are all in one world, then dark magic is either universally evil or it's not, but the conflicting lore on the topic is making this difficult. Any thoughts?