Neutral
Event. Weakness

Spell.

Cost: 2.

Place 1 doom on the current agenda. This effect may cause the current agenda to advance.

Forced - If Dark Memory is in your hand at the end of your turn, reveal it and take 2 horror.

No... not again!
Falk
Core Set #13.
Dark Memory
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • You must either play this card (spend an action and pay 2 resources to place 1 doom on the agenda) and place it into the discard pile, or take 2 horror at the end of each turn while it's still in your hand.

  • You cannot choose to discard a Weakness card from your hand, neither for exceeding the max number of cards in hand, nor for card effects that make you 'choose and discard'. You can, however, discard it at random, or if an effect makes you discard your whole hand.

  • If you have Dark Memory in your hand when you draw Amnesia, you must choose and discard all other cards, and keep Dark Memory.
Last updated
Reviews

Another signature Weakness that involves making choices. Looking at the two elements, the effect and the discard condition, we get:

The effect: This is, more or less, an Ancient Evils that costs Agnes an action and 2 resources for the dubious privilege of losing a turn and maybe advancing the Agenda. The second effect, where, if you don't play it, Agnes takes 2 Horror each turn, might seem like a way to get some damage in, but the 2:1 Horror to Damage ratio isn't in Agnes's favor, even with Horror soaks like Peter Sylvestre in her card pool. You can probably take it on the chin for a round or two, waiting for (or avoiding) the Witching Hour, but it's definitely troublesome, and, in rare cases, can cost you the game. The impact is a little dependent on whether you are in a scenario with a couple of long Agendas or a number of shorter ones, but it's never good.

The discard condition: Covered above, you take an action and spend 2 resources. Being a Spell, costs can be eased by Uncage the Soul, Shining Trapezohedron, and/or Robes of Endless Night (with the level 2 version saving you the possibility of taking an Attack of Opportunity for your pains), but that is almost always scant comfort.

All in all, this is average signature weakness, perhaps above average if you really hate Ancient Evils.

Depending on team size, this costs you 6 - 15 actions. You call that average? — Adny · 1
Umm what? This is one of the WORST weaknesses in the game. It's literally 4 actions (because doom takes away effectively 3), and while the second two cards you mentioned can help, Uncage the Soul is an action so that'd be adding to the cost for a total of 5 actions. Fortunately Agnes moves fairly quickly once she can leverage her stats. And tanking 2 horror every round is brutal, I've done it. It's is an absolutely miserable pill to swallow every time this thing shows up. But we do it because the waitress is a goddess among men with her killer stats and abilities. — LaRoix · 1434
Uncage the Soul is an action that plays a card as its effect (the playing of which doesn't then cost an action). So still 4 (counting doom as 3), shouldn't be 5. — Yenreb · 9
The doom only costs you those actions, though, if it leads to dooming out from the agenda (or forcing you to resign to avoid dooming out the agenda, where you otherwise wouldn't have needed to resign). In some scenarios the doom will not be what kills you, and the cost is just the resources and action to play. Which is still not nothing! — Yenreb · 9
Agnes can play fortune or fate in right moment to mitigate the loss of a turn — Django · 3423
So this and Carolyn’s book weakness still take the cake for worst weaknesses in the game for me. I’ve heard people talk about playing around or combating this weakness with different cards, but it’s all still a cost. Even Fortune or Fate is still netting you neutral doom instead of -1, and for 2 XP. That’s the same cost as Skids’ weakness, and you’re purposely electing that route. Anyways, paying 2 resources and an action to play ancient evils is terrible. — StyxTBeuford · 12419
And again, it’s not really about how you feel about ancient evils. Very few weakness in the game cost roughly 3 actions (the card, playing the card, and 2 resources) at minimum, and then take away another 3 from you at minimum. This is a horrific card even when you play around it. — StyxTBeuford · 12419
Playing Fortune or Fate to mitigate the loss of a turn is like "mitigating" Hospital Debts by not paying for it...except you still spent 4/6 resources and a card. — suika · 7552
Oops, posted this as the same time as Styx, making the exact same point. — suika · 7552
What could be worse than being forced to pay for Ancient Evils? — CaiusDrewart · 2349
A card I like for mitigating this is Peter Sylvester II. Agnes wanted to play this card anyway, and the horror soak Peter provides is so strong that if you draw Dark Memory in the mid-to-late game, you can often get away with just not playing it and dumping as much horror on Peter as possible (obviously you'll soon start having to take some yourself, as well). I've done this many times. If you draw it in the early scenario, you'll likely be forced to play it because the horror will eventually become overwhelming even with Peter II in play. — CaiusDrewart · 2349

A review of a Weakness? Yep. Inasmuch as Weaknesses go, I "like" Dark Memory. It is unique among investigator Weaknesses (so far) in that it can actually have beneficial effects in addition to its harmful ones. [Possibly Baron Samedi and Smite the Wicked could be considered to have positive side-effects, but not quite as tangible as Dark Memory.] One of the features I like most about Arkham Horror LCG is that magic is frequently a double-edged sword. Positive effects often have negative blowback--as with Ward of Protection, Shrivelling, Blinding Light, Forbidden Knowledge, etc.--and negative effects can occasionally have a positive side-effect, as with Agnes Baker's innate effects.

Dark Memory falls into the latter category. While its negative effects--spend an action to play it, pay 2 resources, and gain 1 doom token OR keep it in your hand (taking up space toward your hand maximum) and take 2 horror at the end of each turn--are bad, both can have a silver lining for Agnes. In the first case, as a Spell, when played, Agnes can draw a card with Heirloom of Hyperborea. While this doesn't mitigate its ill effects, at least it's something positive, and Dark Memory is discarded. In the second case, Agnes can take one of those two horror on herself to deal 1 damage to an enemy at her location. Since her horror-for-damage effect is limited to once per phase and this horror is taken in the Upkeep Phase, this enables her to potentially deal damage with her effect in all 4 Phases. Yes, that's a lot of horror for Agnes to take; but, then, she's probably prepared for it with assets that soak horror, and healing from Fearless and/or Clarity of Mind.

All in all, if an investigator is going to have a weakness, it's nice if that weakness can also provide some kind of benefit as well. All the more reason Agnes Baker is one of my favorite investigators.

Herumen · 1527
The horror from Dark Memory is taken in Investigation phase. — Yury1975 · 1
@Yury1975: Indeed, you are correct. Dark Memory's horror is dealt at the end of the Investigator's turn, not the end of the round, as I had mistaken. Agnes can still take horror & inflict damage with her effect in all phases, though, since Ward of Protection will usually be played in the Mythos Phase and Forbidden Knowledge can be played in the action window of any phase, including the Upkeep Phase. Thanks for pointing that out! — Herumen · 1527
I am quite sure that if you choose to put a horror on an asset (item or ally), you cannot use Agnes's ability. — ramiz · 1
@ramiz: Yep, but since Agnes is likely to take more than 1 horror in some phases, horror-soaking assets can be used for any horror after the first, since her effect is limited to once per phase. — Herumen · 1527
Question: If this cars is the only Spell Arcane Initiate finds, are you inclined to take it??? — matt88 · 2185
@matt88 - Yes. Per the rules reference: When resolving a search effect, a player is obligated to find the object of the search should one or more eligible options be found within the searched area. — cb42 · 26
Okay let's all stop pretending like this isn't the absolute worst, deadliest weakness in the core set. It's a complete dealbreaker for me when it comes to playing Agnes. If you are playing a two player game it will take at least 7 actions, plus you need to pay 2 res to play it, plus it takes up a card slot until you play it. If your partner has Leo then in total the two of you are losing 8 actions (full round is 7 plus 1 for playing it). Scary card. — Andronikus · 1
After reading this review, I would probably say that drawing Dark Memory is about as positive of an affect as drawing Offer of Power — Zinjanthropus · 160
or maybe more like drawing Offer of Power over and over every turn in addition to whatever other encounters you're drawing — Zinjanthropus · 160

This card would be perfect if it did not cause the agenda to advance. You would have to take 2 horrors every turn untill the agenda is about to advance and then play this card to avoid the extra doom. Playing this weakness also costs one action and 2 resources. If you play Agnes solo this is okay weakness, but it is absolutely brutal on 4 player games, making Agnes unplayable.

Averu · 2
You're right that this is one of the worst weaknesses ever printed, and I agree that your suggested alternative would be more in line with the other weaknesses in the game. I would not agree, however, that this makes Agnes unplayable in high-count games. She's still a popular pick in my group. 1 Doom is bad but not the end of the world, and if you draw it late-scenario (even mid-scenario if you have Peter II out), you can realistically just tank this. — CaiusDrewart · 2349
I agree with CaiusDrewart: Agnes has a very bad weakness, a sig card, that only committs to skill tests and a meh Elder Sign effect, but she is still a reliable power house. Her ability, 5 willpower and Survivor off class gives her so much to shine, that her disadvantages seem to be somewhat to balance this out. — Susumu · 120
Also a team with Agnes might be at a doom disadvantage against a team with another mystic. But although it is my favourite class, I would not say, that a 4 player team without mystic, and therefore without a chance to cancel AE with WoP is unplayable. — Susumu · 120
Definitely not unplayable. But I do really feel it if I attempt a 3-4 player party without a Mystic. It's just so nice that their Wards of Protection can shut down Ancient Evils -> encounter deck reshuffle -> Ancient Evils nonsense. And, of course, no Mystic means no Delves, which is sad for everybody. So while you certainly can get by regardless, my multiplayer groups rarely leave home without one. — CaiusDrewart · 2349
Gotta disagree with your first post there @CaiusDrewart; sometimes 1 doom IS the end of the world. :3 Of course in that case, you just don't play it, unless you're feeling salty. I definitely agree that Agnes is playable at any player count, despite her punishing weakness. — SGPrometheus · 493
Haha that's a fair point! I say that this weakness is not the end of the world, but now that I think about it, the last time someone played Agnes in my group, Dark Memory very nearly torpedoed the finale of TCU... — CaiusDrewart · 2349
Yes, on second thought, I have to agree. I have a 3 to 4 player group, who plays on standard, and the only campaign I lost at that count was TFA blind run (mostly) without a Mystic. Akachi succumbed to the Doom of Etzli, because our vengence was to high and replaced with Calvin, then Mateo made a cameo in last scenario, after Leo payed the obol to Caron, because 5 XP seemed better then 0 XP for the final. — Susumu · 120
So in total, a big group without Mystic is on a severe disadvantage hence AE, and the advantage with Agnes is slighly below other Mystics, because she comes with her own AE, which she might or might not be able to dodge. But she can cancel the regular AE like any other mystic, and is in general powerful enough to make up for that disadvantage. It can happen, that her weakness is campaign-loosing, but that is not unique either. Think about any character, who is overzealous. Even Nate's Tommy Maloy, while in general a below par signature weakness, might arive at a time, when the boxer can't dance around a mindless dancer, ultimately loosing the campaign because of that. So it's always a question of circumstances. — Susumu · 120