This warrior's magicked blade seeks out the weakness of its target.Description from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.
The Warmage (魔剣士, Makenshi?, lit. Magic Swordsman), also known as Dark Knight or Knight of Darkness, is a recurring job in the series. First introduced in Final Fantasy III as a unique melee job able to cast weaker White Magics, later installments would have the job altered to become an alternate variant of the recurring Dark Knight job, giving it the ability to perform the Darkness ability and absorption magics.
While it is considered separate from the Dark Knight job in Japanese, certain installments such as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions and Final Fantasy Dimensions have acknowledged the Warmage's connection to recurring Dark Knight job.
The Dark Knight is a job class obtained from the Water Crystal. They are trained to harness the negative energies that flow throughout the world. The dark blades they wield are effective against monsters that divide and multiply.
The Dark Knight's gameplay is drastically different depending on the version played. In the original Famicom release, the Dark Knight can cast White Magic similar to the recurring Paladin job. The 3D remake revamps the job's gameplay to match the Dark Knight job from Final Fantasy IV, allowing the user to sacrifice a portion of their HP to attack all enemies with the Souleater command. In the Pixel Remaster, the Dark Knight instead gains the Bladeblitz command to simply attack all enemies.
The Warmage is an enemy job class available to viera units. Many of their skills derive from the Mystic Knight job, such as Fire Sword, Blizzard Sword, and Lightning Sword. Their appearance is based on the Fencer class in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
However, due to Knight being used as the Japanese name for the Paladin job in Final Fantasy XIV, Brynden's job title in Japanese is instead Magic Swordsman (魔剣士, Makenshi?), being named after the Dark Knight job in Final Fantasy III, likely a reference to the job acting similarly to the recurring Knight and Paladin in the original Famicom versions of the title.
The Dark Knight appeared as a character card.
The Warmage makes a cameo appearance as a Record Sphere category for specific characters, often increasing the character's physical attack power and Darkness ability damage potency or usable ranks.
Duane's job class is Warmage. His skillsets include the Darkside ability, along with several Break-type and Black Magic abilities. His Limit Bursts focus on dealing heavy physical dark-elemental damage attacks, while also absorbing the enemy's HP.
Duane once again appears as a Warmage, with the job's name being translated as Dark Knight of Remorse (悔恨の魔剣士, Kaikon no Makenshi?, lit. Magic Swordsman of Remorse). The job's abilities focus on dealing dark-elemental damage and inflicting several different debuffing effects to enemies.
The Dark Knight job appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as Ice-, Earth-, and Lightning-elemental Backup and Forward cards. The cards depict Arc, Luneth, Ingus, and Refia from Final Fantasy III.
The Dark Knight from Final Fantasy III appears on Triple Triad cards in the version available via the Final Fantasy Portal App.
Allusions to the job in the series
Though there is no job system, Cloud Strife was listed as a "Magic Swordsman (魔剣士, Makenshi?)/Berserker" during development. Although that did not make it to the finished product, Cloud bears some traits of the Warmage such as using swords in combat and being elite both physically and magically.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
The Hellblade exclusively appears as a job in Bravely Default II, with the Asterisk holder being Adam Holograd. Being a fusion of the series' recurring Spell Fencer and Dark Knight jobs, the Hellblade's Diabolism skillet focuses on sacrificing heavy portions of HP and MP to attack enemies with elemental imbued swords.
European history, dark knights, also known as black knights, were a minority group of knights who refused to serve lords or kings. Instead they either looted and raided, hunted bounties, or lived off the charity from the more humble folk, in much the same manner as a Japanese ronin. As they had no master, and thus no squire, they would paint their armor a signature black color to prevent rust and damage. Dark knights were considered by many a necessary evil, as they would protect villages and lesser people from invaders and bandits, but would also cause problems in the regions they dwelt in to sustain themselves. In some legends, black knights were reputed to be nigh-invincible in combat.In