Dark matter is defined as hypothetical matter that is undetectable by its emitted radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. It has been used in a variety of fictional elements, including computer and video games and books. In such cases, dark matter is usually attributed extraordinary physical or magical properties. Such descriptions are often inconsistent with the known properties of dark matter proposed in physics and cosmology. For example in computer games, it is often used as material for making weapons and items.

Compare to exotic matter.

Examples of dark matter in computer and video games[]

  • In several games produced by Squaresoft, including Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X, dark matter exists as a powerful magical element, enabling certain kinds of major attacks. For example, in Final Fantasy VIII, it's an item that allows Quistis to learn the powerful Blue magic spell Shockwave Pulsar which can break the 9999 damage barrier, in Final Fantasy IX it is used to allow Garnet to summon Odin and in Final Fantasy X, the Dark Matter item causes a powerful multi-target explosion when used.
  • In Quake 4, the most powerful weapon is called the Dark Matter Gun. The gun contains a small dark ball surrounded by three rotating rings. When the gun shoots, it hurls a huge dark ball that emits rays of energy and absorbs any being close enough to it. After each shot, the ball inside the gun disappears; the rings are initially aligned with the barrel, then gradually start moving again, building up a new ball.
  • In many of the Kirby videogames, Dark Matter is an evil entity from space that possesses characters, such as King Dedede, to do its bidding.
  • In the video game, Metroid Prime 2, Samus Aran's "Dark Beam" fires blasts of Dark Matter. The gun's special attack, correspondingly, creates black holes.
  • In the online game, OGame, Dark matter is used to hire merchants and commanders. It must be purchased with real-world money.
  • In Shining Soul 2 and Golden Sun: The Lost Age, dark matter is used in forging very powerful but cursed equipment.
  • In the video game Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, Dark Matter is used as a component in some of the more powerful weapons in the game.
  • Dark matter is briefly mentioned in the description of a debris field in the Kepler and Galileo systems of Freelancer, a space combat game. Despite the use of dark matter in context in this last case, there is little similarity between the dark matter of Freelancer and anything we know about dark matter in real life.
  • In the Video game Series Jak & Daxter, from the second to the last game, Dark Eco, something that is analogous to Dark Matter, is a central element, whereby the main character is forced to undergo treatments with it and by absorbing it, can transform into "Dark Jak".
  • In Universe at War: Earth Assault the Masari use Dark Matter as a weapon. Dark Matter is also used as shielding for the Masari in the form of Dark Matter armour.
  • In the game Super Mario Galaxy, there is dark matter in the level: Bowser's Dark Matter Plant, in which Bowser states that he plans to use the dark matter to help create a galactic empire. If Mario goes into contact with this dark matter, he disintegrates and his health drops instantly down to zero.
  • In the Nintendo DS game, Draglade, Dark Matter is a substance that can control living being's minds. For example, an animal can "absorb" Dark Matter and become "evil". In addition, Dark Matter can also be used to create Dark Matter Glades. People using them tend to lose control and become insane.
  • In Turok: Evolution there are Dark Matter Cubes that can be used as weapons. In one form, they disintegrate whatever touches the explosion. In its second form, it sucks everything in its radius in.
  • In Mass Effect Biotics are powers accessed by the characters using implants that enhance natural abilities to manipulate dark energy.
  • In the Dark•Matter campaign setting for Alternity and d20 Modern dark matter influences the power and frequency of paranormal phenomena and psionic abilities in humans.
  • In the game series Boktai, dark matter is the substance that allows immortals and vampires to regenerate from any injury over time and must be purified from them in order to permanently destroy them.

Examples of dark matter in film and television[]

  • In the popular comedy cartoon series Futurama, dark matter is a black substance used as fuel in the show's starships. Examples include the very dense spheres of fuel excreted by Leela's pet Nibbler (and others of his race, the so-called "Nibblonians"). Professor Farnsworth stated that "each pound of [dark matter] weighs more than 10,000 pounds". A single one of Nibbler's droppings has been described by Philip Fry as weighing "as much as a thousand suns". In the episode "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", the liquid form of dark matter can cause an increase of reproductive rate of penguins and even causes males to lay eggs. After the events of the film Bender's Game, dark matter is rendered completely useless.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "In Theory", the Enterprise encounters a dark matter nebula. The dark matter temporarily disrupts the matter or energy fields with which it comes in contact.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rocks and Shoals", Sisko and his crew attempt to hide from Jem'Hadar in a dark-matter nebula, but crash land their stolen Dominion ship into a planet before they reach the nebula.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "One Small Step", the crew encounter a Dark Matter asteroid while observing a gravimetric spatial anomaly.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Good Shepherd", Janeway and an away team encounter a type of Dark Matter lifeform.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "First Flight" two members of the crew go looking for a dark matter nebula in a shuttlepod.
  • In the animated television series Exosquad, dark matter was a material found naturally on the planet Chaos. The Pirate Clans and the Exofleet used it to cloak their spaceships; however, continued exposure causes humans to become violent and short tempered.
  • A 1995 episode of The Outer Limits, Dark Matters, revolves around the problems caused by a planetoid-sized chunk of dark matter.
  • In the Earth: Final Conflict episode "Dark Matter", the substance collides with the energy-based Taelon Mothership, paralysing the ship and all the Taelons aboard in a slow-motion freeze frame mimicking stasis. The dark matter is expelled by Liam Kincaid, using his Shaqarava.
  • Dark matter has a significant role in the 2006 movie Dark Storm, starring Stephen Baldwin. The movie involves a weapon that is damaged and releases a cloud of dark matter in orbit of the Earth, which creates powerful and destructive storms that can destroy cities.
  • In a 1995 episode of The X-Files, Soft Light, Dr. Chester Ray Banton is exposed to dark matter. This causes his shadow to break down every molecule of whatever comes in contact with it, converting it into a black and blue puddle of pure energy.

Examples of dark matter in novels[]

  • In the Star Wars novel Force Heretic: Reunion, the party in search of Zonama Sekot have trouble jumping from hyperspace into Zonama Sekot's star system because it is nearly totally surrounded by dark matter.
  • Dark matter plays a central role in the His Dark Materials trilogy by the British author Philip Pullman, introduced by the name of Dust. Dust, or dark matter, was actually a form of consciousness that kept multiple worlds linked together and, effectively, alive.
  • Dark Matter is the title of a science fiction novel by Garfield Reeves-Stevens involving mystery, horror, and physics.
  • Dark Matters is a three-part Star Trek novel by Christie Golden, with a plot involving "corrupted" dark matter threatening the entire universe.
  • In Stephen Baxter's "Ring", dark matter causes the sun to leave the main sequence (becoming a red giant) within only a few million years. It is currently believed that the sun will not leave the main sequence for another 5 billion years.
  • In Ghost Legion, the fourth and last book from the Star of the Guardians series, Margaret Weis describes life forms made of dark matter. Among other powers, these life forms can fly in space and alter gravity.
  • In the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, dark matter increases the expansion of the universe, effectively helping the Lone Power.
  • In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, it is mentioned that scientists spent a huge amount of time and money looking for dark matter, before realizing it was the white pellets that all the equipment was packed in.
  • In the fourth book of Larry Niven's Ringworld series, Ringworld's Children, it is revealed that the Hyperdrive used in the Known Space stories actually allows ships to travel through a dark matter universe, and this dark matter tends to cluster around gravity wells, indirectly causing the gravity singularity problem with hyperdrive.
  • In D.J. MacHale's Pendragon series, it is revealed in book nine that dark matter is what makes up the flumes and created the universe.
  • Dark matter plays a side role in the Heechee series by Frederik Pohl. It is proposed that an alien race artificially created a large amount of dark matter in order to perpetuate the eventual collapse of the universe.

Examples of dark matter in other forms of fiction[]

  • In the Japanese animation D.Gray-Man, Dark Matter is the substance from which demons ('Akuma') are created.
  • The webcomic Schlock Mercenary involves several battles with dark matter entities, who have been plotting to destroy the galaxy for several hundred thousand years.
  • In the Alternity campaign setting Star*Drive, dark matter decay is used to fuel most modern starships as part of a "mass reactor." This reactor, in conjunction with a stardrive, makes FTL travel possible.
  • In a text adventure game, Alien Adoption Agency, Dark Matter was at one point the most powerful non-GM weapon and armor, costing 1 million credits each.
  • In the comic series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen the character of Golliwog is composed of dark matter.