City of Heroes Wiki
This article is about the contact, The Dark Watcher. For the game developer, see The Dark Watcher (Developer).


The Dark Watcher
Mysterious Man in Black
Zone Rikti War Zone
Coordinates (282, -1175, -2113)
Level Range 45-50
Introduced by Gaussian
Enemy groups V badge ArachnosBadge Arachnos

Badge villain nemesis Nemesis
Badge villain rikti Rikti

The Dark Watcher is a City of Heroes and City of Villains contact located in the Vanguard Compound neighborhood of Rikti War Zone at coordinates (282, -1175, -2113). His level range is 45-50.


New Contacts[]

Contact Introduced By[]


Mysterious Man in Black

Many rumors swirl around the Dark Watcher. Some claim that he's a federal agent who learned too much and went renegade. Others say he's an immortal being who walks the treacherous path between worlds under his own power. Still others say that he is not a human being at all. Whatever the truth, he has appeared time and again to help the heroes of Earth fend off enemies ranging from the Rikti to the Rularuu. Normally, he disappears after his job is done, but for reasons unknown he has stayed with Vanguard since the group's inception, acting as Lady Grey's loyal advisor.

Initial Contact[]

I really respect and appreciate the effort you've put into this.

I'm the Watcher. You're Character. I know what you can do. You know I'll help you do it. Let's get started.

Below Level Requirement[]


The Dark Watcher sells all Enhancements at 200% of their base cost.

Story Arc[]

The Horror of War[]

Souvenir: A book titled 'The Truth'

Many people died over the contents of this book. The well-written volume lays out in comprehensive detail the terrible truth of the Rikti War and its origins as the merciless machinations of none other than Nemesis, the so-called 'Prussian Prince of Automatons'. The author chose not to use her name with good reason. Of the many people named in the book who were instrumental in uncovering the truth, you're one of the few who are still alive. Whenever you hold it, you recall the adventure you remember as:

The Horror of War

It all began with an important mission from The Dark Watcher. A general of the Nemesis Army wished to defect and claimed to have important information. You went to the agreed meeting spot to find General Sherman of the Nemesis Army about to be executed for treason by his former comrades. The allegations General Sherman shared with you were more explosive than you could have imagined: he claimed that the Rikti War had been started on purpose by Nemesis! And what's more, he knew where you could find the proof: the Nemesis Army's Shadow Shard base!

The portals at Vanguard's disposal aren't powerful enough to reach the Shadow Shard, and even if they were modified, Longbow could block the transmission using Portal Corp's more powerful equipment. So instead of fighting against Longbow, the Dark Watcher suggested you try to talk them into helping. But when you arrived at their hidden base in the War Zone, they were being over-run by the Nemesis Army! You joined up with Captian W.M Dietrich to link up with Lt. Sefu Tendaji and clear out the attackers. But triumph turned to tragedy when you found Lt. Tendaji's body, slain by the Nemesis Army. Captain Dietrich's mask of icy cool shattered when she saw the body of her friend, then reformed into a righteous anger. She promised all the support you needed to get to the Shadow Shard, as long as you brought retribution down on Nemesis and the Nemesis Army.

The portal in the Vanguard base was ready in record time, and you found yourself hurled into the strange reality known as the Shadow Shard. While there, you did more than just get the proof you were looking for, you found working Imposter Automatons of the Freedom Phalanx that had been used in the attacks on the Rikti! With all the evidence you needed now in your possession, it was time to get the truth out about the real origin of the Rikti War.

The truth spread quickly. Vanguard and Freedom Corps both used all of their power and media savvy to tell the truth to every corner of the globe. The Nemesis Army began to strike back, desperate to keep the truth hidden. One of the most hotly contested battlegrounds was the Rogue Isles, where the brave reporters of WSPDR were under attack by Nemesis forces trying to shut them down. You went in to help them so that even the people of the Rogue Isles could know the truth.

The truth had powerful effects. There were reports of massive in-fighting and purges among the Rikti Restructuralists, and the group-mind near-suicidal depression among Vanguard's Traditionalist allies was only fought back with help from Earth's psychics. One of the most important effects was the desertion of General Bu'Dekka, a high-ranking war leader fresh from the Rikti Homeworld. With support from Captain W.M. Dietrich and Longbow, you helped Bu'Dekka and her troops escape the wrath of Hro'Dtohz. During the battle, General Bu'Dekka revealed a terrible threat: Hro'Dtohz was determined to keep the truth from reaching the Rikti Homeworld, and was planning to destroy the Earth in order to keep the truth buried!

In order to get the troops he would need, Hro'Dtohz would have to radically widen the conduit between Earth and the Rikti Homeworld, endangering both planets to keep the truth of the war hidden. There was only one place he could do that: the Portal Cavern beneath the Rikti Saucer. Joined by some old friends along the way, you descended into the depths once more to confront Hro'Dtohz, destroy the portal stabilizers, or both. Yet there was another twist to play out, as Nemesis attacked during the battle! His plans in ruins, Nemesis had a terrifying back-up strategy: to implant a copy of his consciousness into the Rikti mental network, taking them over entirely! As the Nemesis Army and the Rikti Military fought, you battled to complete one of your objectives to deny victory to all of your foes!

In the end, you carried the day. Hro'Dtohz is still out there, as is Nemesis, but neither of them accomplished their goals. At least one world now knows the true role of Nemesis in instigating the Rikti War, and maybe one day both will know the truth. For now, it is enough that, though the battles will continue, Earth will survive. And this day, it owes that survival to you.

Bring in Nemesis Defector[]

The Horror of War
Part: One


Let's cut to the chase, Character. This is big. An officer of the Nemesis Army has contacted us. He says he wants to defect. He also said that he wanted to talk to you specifically. Knowing Nemesis, this could be a trap, but it's too good an opportunity to pass up. I want you to bring the defector in.

The defector's name is Captain Sherman. He wants out, and that's very interesting. The Nemesis Army rarely has any defectors, so it's almost too unlikely to be a trap. In either case, I doubt they'll be willing to let him go easily. Get Sherman to safety, then we may be able to find out more.

Mission Objective(s)

There have been few defections from the Nemesis Army. Or at least, very few successful ones.

  • Bring in Nemesis Defector
    • Lead Capt. Sherman out

You have rescued the Nemesis Defector.


Sherman's trial

Nemesis Army Soldier:

The crime is treason against the Nemesis Army, and slander against the good name of Lord Nemesis himself!

Captain Sherman:

Good name?
You have no idea how ridiculous you sound.

Nemesis Army Soldier:

Vile cur!
You'd dare besmirch the name of a loyal automaton of the Nemesis Army?

Captain Sherman:

If you knew even half of what I've learned...

Fake Nemesis:

And that is why you must be silenced.
The Sentence is death! To be carried out immediately!


Badge villain nemesis Nemesis

Notable NPCs

  • Captain Sherman (Nemesis Traitor, Defector)
  • Fake Nemesis x3 (Boss) (One guarding Captain Sherman)

V archetypeicon stalker Ambush! The Nemesis Army shall suffer no betrayers!

After freeing Captain Sherman there will be two Fake Nemesis blocking the way out.

V archetypeicon stalker Ambush! Kill the traitor!

After freeing Captain Sherman you will be ambushed by five waves of Nemesis Troops. Be warned that these troops seem to target Captain Sherman rather than the player!

Icon clue generic
(Mission Failure) 'It was... Nemesis!'
With his dying breath, Captain Sherman tried to tell you the explosive information that had caused his defection.

'Nemesis... It was all him. The war, the lies... The truth is at the Shadow Shard base. Take the coordinates. Learn the truth. The whole war, started by Nemesis! The Rikti were his dupes... It was... Nemesis!
I was Nemesis...

As the life left him, he handed you a bloodied piece of parchment with a set of dimensional coordinates and one word: 'Proof!'

Icon clue generic
(Mission Successful) It was all staged
After you rescued him, Captain Sherman told you the explosive information that had caused his defection:

"I used to believe in the Nemesis Army, in Lord Nemesis, in the whole great vision. And then I found out the truth. I was supervising some shipments at our main Shadow Shard base when a crate broke open. Inside it was a perfect automaton replica of your Mr. Manticore.
Perplexed, I searched through the shipment and found automaton copies of every member of your Freedom Phalanx. I kept digging, and then I found out why they had been built.

The Rikti think that your people attacked them first, but it was all staged by Lo... *ahem*, by Nemesis! He sent those robot duplicates against their world several times to rile them up, then tricked your heroes into following him right into the hornet's nest. As far as I've been able to discern, his plan was to use one world against the other, then ride in to save the day, the great hero who saved the Earth from the Aliens. But the Rikti fought too hard, their new general was too good, and Lord Nemesis could never admit that he made a mistake. Uncountable dead, all for one madman's hubris! And I was part of it!
Oh, what a fool I was!"

Debriefing (Mission Failed)

Captain Sherman's fate was unfortunate, but his last words confirmed a suspicion I've had. The first time I visited the Rikti Homeworld, they were a peaceful people. When I learned about the invasion I couldn't believe until I saw it myself. Any people can be manipulated, and Nemesis is a master of it. In retrospect, it's obvious, but we still need to convince others, and find the proof.

Debriefing (Mission Successful)

Captain Sherman has confirmed a suspicion I've had. The first time I visited the Rikti Homeworld, they were a peaceful people. When I learned about the invasion I couldn't believe until I saw it myself. Any people can be manipulated, and Nemesis is a master of it. In retrospect, it's obvious, but we still need to convince others, and find the proof.

Meet with Longbow[]

The Horror of War
Part: Two


Before we can act on Captain Sherman's information, we need a clear corridor. I've re-opened talks with Longbow. We need their help to boost our portal's signal if we're going to investigate that Nemesis Army base in the Shadow Shard. They're willing to meet with one of us to hear what we have to say, and I'd like you to be the one to talk to them.

I know you probably don't have a great relationship with Captain Dietrich, but at least she knows you're one of our best. Lt. Sefu Tendaji should be there, too. He's been friendly to us in the past. He might be able to help win her over to our side.

Mission Objective(s)

This isn't the kind of reception you expected! The base in under attack from the Nemesis Army!

  • Meet with Longbow
    • Find Lt. Tendaji
    • Find Capt. Dietrich
    • Defeat Nemesis Army

You have done all that you can here.


Badge villain nemesis Nemesis

Notable NPCs

Icon clue generic
The Sword Gets Things Done
When you found the remains of Lt. Sefu Tendaji, Captain Wilhelmina Dietrich's iron-hard shell cracked.

'Sefu? This... This is impossible! He was my right hand, my, my... He was my best friend. He can't be dead. He can't be!

He was such a good man, always hopeful, always upbeat. He'd always chide me for being so stern. He saw the best in people. I needed that. I needed...
His wife thought we were having an affair, you know. We weren't, he never would have done something like that. But to the Nemesis Army, he was just...
If Vanguard needs our help to investigate this base in the Shadow Shard, you will have it. I'll get it done. That's what his name meant: 'Sefu Tendaji', 'The Sword Gets Things Done'. And when you reach that base, I want you to find that information, and I want you to show every one of those steampunk fanatics what that means.'

As the body fades away through the city's teleportation network, a grim determination sets itself on Captain Dietrich's face. The Nemesis Army has no idea of the retribution they are about to receive.


I'm sorry to hear about Lt. Tendaji, but we have to concentrate on what we can do right now. Captain Dietrich was true to her word and Portal Corp has sent over scientists and technicians. Our base portal will be ready for you soon. Then we'll get the proof we need.

Investigate Nemesis Base[]

The Horror of War
Part: Three


Those Portal Coporation technicians work fast. The portal is ready to send you into the Shadow Shard. It's time to learn if Captain Sherman was telling the truth. I recommend bringing some allies along. This one could get difficult.

There may be more than one way to find the information you're looking for, so keep your eyes open. All you will need is one solid piece of proof or evidence, but get more if you can find it. Of course, with all that the Nemesis Army has done recently, you may want to take your time. That's fine. Just don't imperil the mission.

Mission Objective(s)

The strange energies of the Shadow Shard are going to cause some problems. You'll have to make your was back here to escape once you're done.

  • Investigate Nemesis Base
    • Search the Safe
    • 2 Collect automaton remains
    • Find Mission Exit

You have the evidence you need to prove Nemesis' involvement in the Rikti War.


Badge villain nemesis Nemesis

Notable NPCs

Icon clue generic
Imposter's remains.
These are the remains of the Nemesis-built Manticore Imposter Automaton. It shows signs of wear, but is still a convincing copy. This would have fooled the Rikti easily, convincing them that they were under attack by aliens from another world. An attack so severe that they'd have to retaliate with overwhelming force. Though parts of its memory core are missing, deep inside are the details of its attacks, physical evidence that Nemesis started the Rikti war as part of his mad schemes.
Icon clue generic
The Nemesis Plan
These triplicated documents are written on heavy parchment by a bold, mechanical hand. Though they're written in code, in an odd oversight, the dozens of draftsman-like drawings scattered through them tell the whole story. From the drawings, you can see it all laid out: plans for dimensional exploration that lead Nemesis to find the Rikti homeworld, the first schematics of the Freedom Phalanx automatons, and force deployments for using the imposters to attack the Rikti homeworld in a wave of terror. Even his projections for the points the Rikti would-be counter-attack, and Nemesis Army rallying points. This is a comprehensive plan that lays out the suffering of two worlds in precise text and line drawings. It may be the single most monstrous thing you've ever seen, and that's even before it's been fully decoded.


I wouldn't have hoped for this much, but I'll take it. We'll talk to our Traditionalist allies and get all the corroborating evidence. And then we're going to get the truth out.

Spread the news in the Rogue Isles[]

The Horror of War
Part: Four


We're getting the truth about the Rikti War out any way possible. Incandescent is using every resource of the Herald Division and Dietrich has taken it to the Longbow brass. They're disseminating it all over the city and the country through Freedom Corps. The Nemesis Army is attempting to suppress the information, by any means necessary. One place where they may succeed is in the Rogue Isles. It's tough enough to get any information out through the layers of Arachnos control, but now there's a wave of Nemesis attacks on news agencies and reporters. The people of the Rogue Isles deserve to know the truth and I want you to help make sure they learn it.

You're going to the WSPDR building. The Nemesis Army has cut the main power, but WSPDR has set up 4 back-up generators. You've got to make sure that at least 1 generator survives. We have a few people on the scene to help you, but Arachnos has mobilized against what they see as a Nemesis Army invasion, so it's going to get difficult. Your objectives are to protect at least 1 generator, rescue Amanda Vines, WSPDR's star reporter, and take out the leader of the Arachnos forces. That should give WSPDR enough time and power to transmit.

It might be a good idea to have allies along on this one. Just my advice.

Mission Objective(s)

The brave reporters of WSPDR are desperately trying to stay on the air despite being caught between the Nemesis Army and Arachnos.

  • Get the News Out!
    • Rescue Amanda Vines
    • 4 Generators
    • Defeat Silver Mantis

(If Successful) WSPDR is broadcasting the truth to the Rogue Isles!

(If Failed) You were unable to protect the generators. WSPDR has gone off the air.


V badge ArachnosBadge Arachnos
Badge villain nemesis Nemesis

Notable NPCs

Debriefing (Mission Failed)

It's unfortunate that the Nemesis Army was able to suppress WSPDR's transmission, but there are many in the Rogue Isles who know the truth. We'll have to rely on the underground and word-of-mouth to get it out to the average citizen, but you can be sure the elites of Arachnos will know. It's a start, at least.

Debriefing (Mission Successful)

I hate to feel like I'm helping Recluse, but it's important that as many people know the truth about Nemesis' involvement in starting the Rikti War as possible. You did excellent work under difficult conditions. But it's not over yet.

Retrieve the General's intel and assist in her defection[]

The Horror of War
Part: Five


We knew that this news would have an impact on the Rikti, but we didn't realize how much of an impact. Our allies in the Traditionalist faction are nearly suicidal. We have psychics riding their mental network trying to keep them calm. We're getting reports of violent purges among the Restructurists, however. A lot of them were humans who bought the Rikti story that they were attacked first. But the most surprising news has come out of the Rikti from their homeworld military. One of their generals has decided that she can no longer pursue this war, and has contacted us about sanctuary for her and her troops. The Rikti military won't take a desertion like this well. We're going to need someone of your prowess to make sure this happens.

The General is named Bu'Dekka. She's fresh from the Rikti homeworld, and high up in their chain of command. If she and her troops are willing to give up the fight because they found out the truth about the war, it tells us a lot about the state of things both here and on the Rikti homeworld. Your goal is to meet up with General Bu'Dekka and attempt to aid in her defection.

She carries with her crucial information regarding the Rikti homeworld. We need that information. I dare say it is more important than the General herself. The Rikti will surely send troops after her in an attempt to stop her. Good luck.

Mission Objective(s)

Bu'Dekka and her troops have made it to Point Du Hoc on their own, but now they'll need your help.

  • Get the General's intelligence
    • Find General Bu'Dekka
    • Survive pursuit waves

You have defeated all of General Bu'Dekka's pursuers.

Globalchat General Bu'Dekka:
Imperative Order: Remove Yourself/Obstruction.
Current Location: Troop Rally Point.

Homeworld Chief Soldier:

Statement Falsity: Apparent. True Objective: Defection.
If Return (Bu'Dekka, Troops) Status: Negative,
Then; Hro'Dtohz Authorization Granted: Execution.

General Bu'Dekka:

Hro'Dtohz Mental Status: Insane, Anti-RiktiThought!
Earth War Initiation: Mistake! Continued Aggression: Monstrous!

Homeworld Chief Soldier:

Warfare Morality: Irrelevant. Decision Ownership: Hro'Dtohz.
Choice Remainder: None. Options Remaining: Submit: Lord of Lineage of War; Die.


Badge villain rikti Rikti

Notable NPCs

Icon clue generic
'In the Ashes of your World'
As you fought beside her, General Bu'Dekka of the Rikti Homeworld told you some vital information.

'Patience: Requested. Engaging: Mark III Translator:

Ah! The Mark 3 really is much better than the old Mark 2! I can actually understand your barbarous, yet childishly endearing causality statements. Maybe if we'd worked on these before we built the giant fleet of death ships, things would have been different! But that's Hro'Dtohz for you. He's a military genius, but he thinks everything is a military problem. It made him a very boring date.

Anyway, Hro'Dtohz has heard the truth about this war, but he refuses to accept it. If the homeworld learns the truth, it would turn him from a war hero into a war criminal, and he'd have to face all that he's done. So he's planning on one last massive push. They're going to stabilize the conduit and expand it. Hro'Dtohz plans to bring enough troops across to wipe out everything on this Earth. Then the truth can lie forgotten in the ashes of your world.'


Bu'Dekka and her troops are being debriefed and cared for in a hidden location. The information they brought is vitally important, and coincides with energy readings we've been getting from the cavern beneath the Rikti ship. We believe that Hro'Dtohz is about to open and expand the conduit between our world and the Rikti Homeworld to bring through vast numbers of troops. And we're going to have to stop him.

Stop Hro'Dtohz and save the world[]

The Horror of War
Part: Final


It's time to save the world, Character. Hro'Dtohz is going to bring over the entire Rikti military from the Homeworld and he has to be stopped. Portal Corp thinks they can jam him for a while, but we need someone who'd been in that portal chamber beneath the ship to lead the strike. I'm putting this in your hands. I'd recommend a team, but if you want to go alone, I'll trust your judgment. The fate of the world is in your hands.

We'll be launching a major assault once you're inside, but that's just a distraction to help you get in. Once you're in the main cavern, there are two things you're going to need to do:

Defeat Hro'Dtohz himself. Tis will cause him to medi-vac back to the Homeworld and from what Bu'Dekka tells us he'll be busy just trying to keep the rest of the Rikti from discovering the truth about the War to come back and bother us.

Disrupt the Homeworld portal itself, that will make a massive transit too dangerous, also ending the threat for now. If another major threat were to appear, it could throw the Rikti into confusion, causing them to lock the Homeworld down for a time.

Mission Objective(s)

It's been a long time since you were here last. Now it's time to finish what you started.

  • Save the World
    • Defeat Hro'Dtohz
    • 4 generators to destroy
    • Thwart War Architect

Hro'Dtohz's plans are in ruins and the threat is averted.

Globalchat Nemesis:
I'm afraid that I cannot allow you to win, Character!
Not when I'm on the cusp of a victory you can barely even conceive!
With my role revealed, it's time to activate my secondary plan.
You see, I'm going to upload a copy of my superior intellect into the Rikti's mental network.
Soon I shall be distributed across 2 billion minds.
An immortal will with innumerable legions for a body!
You may now applaud my audacity...
But I cannot let you stop me!


Badge villain nemesis Nemesis
Badge villain rikti Rikti

Notable NPCs


The series of events that occured in that cavern have set off a firestorm among the Rikti. The eventual end-point may be a long way off, but already we're hearing rumors that Hro'Dtohz is fighting to suppress the truth both on the Homeworld and among his troops on Earth. He's weakened, his life-line to the Homeworld is unstable, and his confidence has taken a beating. But from what we know, he still has enough political clout, troops, and supplies to carry on fighting for some time. If he decides to do so, the Vanguard will be here to fight him and his army. We've been given another chance to protect our world, and it's all because of you. Thank you, Character.

Oh, and one more thing: any time you're ready, you can talk to Lady Grey. I hear she may have a Task Force for you.

See Also[]

Character History[]

Dark Watcher Comic

The Dark Watcher as drawn by Jon Landry

The Dark Watcher was a famous hero from the Golden age. He was one of the co-founders of The Freedom Phalanx which was founded on July 4, 1932. He has an awesome control of teleportation and even a limited ability to project force fields. He is frequently regarded as costumed in dark clothing.

Web of Arachnos[]

Devon Wilcox was 14 when he was contacted by the Tibetan monks at the Order of the Four Winds. He naturally had the ability, at that age, to turn himself and those touching him invisible at will, project force fields around himself, and teleport himself and others to destinations of his choosing. It is possible he is of Mutation origin, but that is never elaborated, as he has always had these abilities. At the age of fourteen, he is contacted by Pa Soong, and travels to Tibet for a year to train with the monks, where he gains the power to manifest the fears of his enemies before them by intoning the phrase "Om Mani Padme Hung." On returning from Tibet, he is the first costumed hero to join Statesman as The Dark Watcher. He helps defeat the army of Nemesis on "Brass Monday" with the rest of the Freedom Phalanx by teleporting the enemy robots into a huge steel wall. His original costume was a long coat, a duster hat, a ski mask, and goggles.

The Freedom Phalanx[]

According to the City of Heroes novel The Freedom Phalanx, The Dark Watcher vanished in 1954. (p. 108)

Top Cow Comic[]

Issue #19: The Dark Watcher tells Lady Grey that he spent decades lost in nightmarish dimensions full of magic and monsters. He reveals to the Freedom Phalanx that he has returned and warns them that a war is coming and tells them to step aside when the time comes.