Created By: Korodzik on June 19, 2013 Last Edited By: Korodzik on July 3, 2013
Troped

Living Polyhedron

Creatures that look like perfect, geometric shapes.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Some creatures have a very simple shape: just a polygon or a polyhedron, such as a cube or a cone, mathematically perfect and featureless except possibly for small legs, eyes, etc.

As perfect geometric shapes can be unnerving, such a being often feels truly alien. Their perfect shape often implies that they're cold, mechanical and emotionless. That said, sometimes their appearance is simply a result of the artists being lazy.

Sometimes they may be Silicon-Based Life. Not to be mistaken with a Companion Cube (though some polyhedron-shaped Companion Cubes might be treated as if they were Living Polyhedrons).

Indexes: Bizarre Alien Biology, Fantastic Sapient Species Tropes, Geometry Tropes, Otherness Tropes
Anime & Manga

Film

Literature
  • All inhabitants of Flatland are two-dimensional polygons. There's also a Sphere, which claims to inhabit a Sphereland with other 3D shapes.
  • The Rationals and Parentals from The Gods Themselves are ellipsoids and parallelepipeds, respectively.
  • All of the characters in Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece are represented as two- dimensional shapes.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the incorporeal David Bowman is led by the Monolith intelligence down through the atmosphere of Jupiter, where he sees various polyhedric kite-like creatures which feed on hydrocarbon precipitation in the atmosphere, and each other. The Monolith intelligence (with Bowman's input) assessed that these primitive nonsentients were worth sacrificing in detonating Jupiter as a second sun to help uplift the more advanced life on Europa. (Note: this was not shown in the film.)
  • Flatland inspired the book and cartoon The Dot And The Line, which stars both a dot and a line (and a squiggle).

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Modrons from Planescape, who look like polyhedral robots. The higher in rank one is, the more sides it has. As Modrons are inhabitants of the lawful neutral plane of Mechanus, their appearance fits their mechanistic, impassive nature.
    • The Gelatinous Cube, a large Blob Monster shaped like a cube. Apparently, it's a life form specifically adapted for living in a typical D&D dungeon corridor.

Video Games
  • There are many, many newbie amateur video games which feature a square or a triangle as the protagonist (and sometimes explicitly have a title along the lines of Triangle Adventures, etc.), since such heroes are very easy to draw and animate (if they're indeed animated at all).
  • The Supervision game Dancing Block is set in "GB (Geometric block) Kingdom in another end of the universe", and has a Mr. Dancing Block as the protagonist.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • In Rubik, the Amazing Cube Rubik is a living (?) Rubik's Cube with feet sticking out the bottom and a face on one side of the cube.
  • In-Universe: In an episode of Arthur Sue Ellen writes a graphic novel about a country of triangles and a country of circles which have a conflict with each other.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • June 19, 2013
    Melkior
    Films:
  • June 19, 2013
    Omeganian
    The Rationals and Parentals from The Gods Themselves are ellipsoids and parallelepipeds, respectively.
  • June 19, 2013
    Chabal2
    Does Porygon count?
  • June 19, 2013
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    All of the characters in Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece are represented as two- dimensional shapes.
  • June 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Anime and Manga:
  • June 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Film
  • June 19, 2013
    DRCEQ
    ^^ Aww, I was going to add the Ramiel example... :p

    I'll add a little more detail then.

    Thanks to computer technology, the creators were able to exploit and show off Ramiel's design much better in Rebuild Of Evangelion. For a being that almost has a non-Euclidean design, it still has hundreds of gallons of liquid blood packed inside it's core.
  • June 19, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    In Flatland there's also a Sphere, which claims to inhabit a Sphereland with other 3D shapes. I can't remember whether he says they're all spheres, if there are polyhedrons, or if he doesn't specify.
  • June 19, 2013
    DracMonster
    NOOOO! I came in here to add Ramiel! You blew it up, you blew it all up... (Now I'm wondering how many Eva fans are going to dogpile on this one.)
  • June 19, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Don't worry; I've only read the manga and I had to look his (its?) name up.
  • June 19, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Literature

    In Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the incorporeal David Bowman is led by the Monolith intelligence down through the atmosphere of Jupiter, where he sees various polyhedric kite-like creatures which feed on hydrocarbon precipitation in the atmosphere, and each other. The Monolith intelligence (with Bowman's input) assessed that these primitive nonsentients were worth sacrificing in detonating Jupiter as a second sun to help uplift the more advanced life on Europa.

    (Note: this was not shown in the film.)
  • June 19, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    The link in the Evangelion example just goes back to the trope page. I assume it's really supposed to be a screencap or YouTube link?

    Also, Flatland inspired the book and cartoon The Dot And The Line, which stars both a dot and a line (and a squiggle).
  • June 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Whoops, my bad. I meant to link to the page image, not the whole page. Here.
  • June 19, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Rubik The Amazing Cube Rubick is a living(?) Rubik's Cube with feet sticking out the bottom and a face on one side of the cube.
  • June 20, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Universe: In an episode of Arthur Sue Ellen writes a graphic novel about a country of triangles and a country of circles which have a conflict with each other.
  • June 21, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
  • June 21, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Some of these Ramiel pics would make for a good page picture. (They need to be scaled down first of course.)
  • June 23, 2013
    Korodzik
    ^ I don't think the "living" part is clear enough. You cannot tell that it's anything else than a big floating object.
  • June 30, 2013
    m8e
    Unity in Stargate SG 1 and "Crystal of M 3 X-387" in Stargate Atlantis?
  • July 2, 2013
    Korodzik
    ^ From what I can see in the Stargate wiki they don't really look like entire polyhedrons, just crystalline clusters.
  • July 3, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Star Trek The Original Series episode "By Any Other Name" some Redshirts get all the moisture sucked out of their bodies and turn into polyhedrons. The polyhedrons could somehow be reconstituted and are thus still alive (in some sense), but the bad guy breaks one, "killing" it.
  • July 3, 2013
    Prfnoff
    • The Phantom Tollbooth has the Dodecahedron, a living geometrical solid with a Nice Hat. He only likes to use one of his twelve faces at a time.
      "My angles are many.
      My sides are not few.
      I'm the Dodecahedron.
      Who are you?"
  • July 3, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Would this count?

    Video Games
    • Pokemon: Porygon is an artificial pokemon which was created with a pink and blue, polyhedron-style body. It's odd shape is evidently because it was a pokemon created out of "programming code".
  • July 3, 2013
    AgProv
    Living geometric shapes crop up in one of HP Lovecraft's stories, I think where a human has to make a pilgrimage to the Cold Waste beyond the stars to where the Old Ones dwell. On the way he meets many bizarre and eldritch life-forms, polyhedra included.

    Pinwheeling four-sided sentient triangles also crop up in Terry Pratchett's Discworld/Thelight Fantastic, but these are explicable as part of a trainee Shaman's communion with the Sacred Mushrooms.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=wn9n3y985a1lzve8ih67blkj