Always Night


"I think nighttime is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction."
Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

Many works are set at night - sometimes to the point where it is actually never daytime (except maybe at the end, where the sun rises just as all is finally well). The night can be caused by a magical curse, geological reasons, time has inconveniently stopped while it was dark out, or just because.

Settings likely to be used in this environment are Big Boo's Haunt, Empathic Environment, Hell Hotel, Haunted Castle, Haunted House, Halloweentown, and Mordor. See also Dramatic Thunder, Evil Is Not Well Lit, Grave Clouds, and Weird Moon, where the moon stays the same phase. Contrast the setting of Always Night with the goal of a villain; The Night That Never Ends.


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  • Tegami Bachi The Earth's natural sun has long since expired, and so a small man-made sun was created. The capital "Akatsuki" enjoys simulated daylight. The middle-class region, "Yuusari", is in a state of perpetual twilight. In the impoverished region "Yodaka", the artificial sun is no brighter than a full moon.
  • In its full three series, Gregory Horror Show, it is never day. In the video game, you could go outside at 3:00 PM and it would look the same as night, and in the sub-series The Bloody Karte, which featured some periods of twilight.
  • Ergo Proxy the Post-Apocalyptic wasteland outside the dome cities is constantly covered by a thick layer of clouds, creating an artificial nighttime.

    Comic Books 
  • In Invincible, the Batman Expy Darkwing operates in "Midnight City" which takes the dark look of Gotham to the extreme - due to a spell, it's always midnight in that particular city.
  • In Legion of Super Heroes, Kathoon is a planet whose sun is perpetually eclipsed. Kathoon resident Lydda Jath was given superhuman strength by her scientist father, only to learn once she left her homeworld that her strength fades when exposed to light.
  • Alan Moore's Green Lantern story "In Blackest Night" was set largely in the Obsidian Deeps, a region of space with absolutely no light at all; the intelligent species that evolved there had no visual organs, nor any words in their language to describe the concepts of "light" and "color". Which made choosing Rot Lop Fan to become a Green Lantern problematic. It was resolved when Rot Lop Fan chooses instead to associate the ring's power with a SOUND he associates with good and an object that can produce it— instead of a Green Lantern, he calls himself the F-Sharp Bell.

    Films — Animated 
  • In the movie adaptation of Coraline, the Otherworld is affected by an eternal night.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dark City, where every single scene until late in the film takes place during the dead of night. It is eventually revealed that this isn't just our perspective: It actually is always night in the city, yet nobody had noticed! Except for John Murdoch. That is why he's so dangerous to the Strangers.
  • In Aliens, the planet where the bulk of the action takes place has little to no sunlight.
  • In both TRON films it is always night inside the computer world. There is no such thing as "day".

  • William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land. In the far future, the Sun has gone out and the only light is from residual vulcanism. The Last Redoubt of humanity is surrounded by terrible monsters waiting for its protective power source to fail.
  • John C. Wright's Awake In The Night Land is set in the same universe as The Night Land, where the Sun has burnt out and the only light is from residual vulcanism.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Jack of Shadows, the world does not turn on its axis and is divided into a fantasy Nightside and a high-tech Dayside; this ends when Jack breaks the compact and the machine at the heart of the Nightside world, causing morning to come and releasing Lucifer.
  • Simon R Green's Nightside series takes place in a (presumably) fictional part of London where it's always night (hence the name).
  • Isaac Asimov's short story (and later novel) Nightfall is about the inverse. The whole premise of the story is a planet that has 6 suns, so nobody on the planet has ever seen total darkness. Except for every so many millennia, when most of the suns are on the other side of the planet, and the smallest sun is eclipsed by the only moon, and mass riots ensue, leading to civilization's destruction. Not because of the darkness, but because of all the stars!
  • In Cormac Mc Carthy's The Road, the huge amounts of ash in the air (presumably from nuclear winter) make even noonday fairly dim. Mc Carthy mentions multiple times that the boy has never actually seen the sun. This is exacerbated by the time of year the story takes place in, mentioning that the man thinks it's November toward the start of the book.
  • Inverted in The Resaurant At The End Of The Universe. Ursa Beta Minor, by an inexplicable and somewhat suspicious freak of topography consists almost entirely of subtropical coastline. By an equally suspicious freak of temporal relastatics, it is always Saturday afternoon just before the beach bars close.
  • In Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead, it's noted that even day on Necropolis isn't bright or sunny. Enough light is blocked that little of it reaches the streets, and on the walkways it "seemed like midnight at noon".
  • In Discworld book Thud!, it's established that it always night (and raining) in the city of Sam Vimes' consciousness, when the Summoning Dark attempts to make him its champion. It even has its own Watchman.
  • In The Iron Tower, by Dennis L. Mc Kiernan, the Dimmendark blots out the sun (creating endless night and endless winter) so that all of the evil creatures banished (and destroyed) by the sun can further the Big Bad's plan to conquer the world.

     Live Action TV 
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Nightmares" has a cemetery suddenly appearing near Sunnydale High. It is night there, even if it is day everywhere else.
  • During the Neverland story-arch in season three of Once Upon a Time, during the entire time the main characters are on the island the sun never once rises. It is implied that this is Peter Pan's will, as flashbacks show that the island used to have daytime.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dont Rest Your Head, the Sun never rises on the Mad City; you can still get sunlight if you get back to the City Slumbering.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. One of the alternate worlds accessible from Lolth's Web was the Nightworld of Vlad Tolenkov, a land of perpetual night. Its heat and plant life were sustained by ancient magic, with undead roaming the land.
    • Lunia, the first layer of Mount Celestia, which is a pristine beach by a freshwater sea of holy water under a sky filled with bright stars.
    • Karasuthra, the third layer of the Beastlands.
  • The plane Shadowmoor in Magic: The Gathering, while its foil Lorwyn is always noon. Granted, they're actually the same world, just on different sides of a reeeeeealllly long day-night cycle, but the change also warps the inhabitants' personalities and the environment, so they've been counted as separate areas.
  • Referenced a few times in Warhammer 40,000, especially where Chaos magic is prevalent and especially on some worlds in the Eye of Terror. Out in the physical universe there is/was Nostramo, a world caught in eternal darkness. The people there evolved to not have irises, only pupils, and it was so demoralizing to the populace that the major source of population control wasn't disease, war or neglect, but SUICIDE. That is, until it was subject to Exterminatus.
  • According to the sourcebook of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game (at least, the pre-World of Warcraft one), the lands of the night elves are said to be in a perpetual night.


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    Video Games 
  • TERA There are 12 gods in TERA. Karas, the de facto leader and patron of the elves mourned his wife's death so much he cast the Earth into perpetual twilight. Subverted when Balder, another god, Tore out his eyes and hurled them into the sky where they became the twin suns that govern the Earth's light today.
  • The Super Mario Bros. have many levels/stages set at night:
  • Creepy Castle and Frantic Factory in Donkey Kong 64 are played during the night.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has the creepy Mad Monster Mansion and the cheery Freezeezy Peak (it was a level with a Christmas theme) both set entirely at night.
  • Hang Castle/Mystic Mansion in Sonic Heroes are always nighttime.
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day (Yes, "day") has three nighttime stages: Spooky, War, and Heist.
  • Fatal Frame 2's setting has been cursed to relive the night of its destruction over and over.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Tirisfal Glades and Duskwood are always set at nighttime.
    • A couple of the Northrend zones; the sun never seems to rise in Icecrown or the Storm Peaks.
    • Stormwind was an inverted trope: the sun would never set. Eventually the developers patched the glitch causing it, averting the inversion.
  • Midgar from Final Fantasy VII, on two levels. No one in the slums (underneath the city) can see the sun because the plate blocks the entire sky, and in Midgar proper, the pollution from the Mako reactors is so bad it's created a permanent night.
  • Ultimecia's Castle in the Time Compression world at the end of Final Fantasy VIII is in the midst of an eternal night. As is Delling City, apparently.
  • Treno in Final Fantasy IX. It's lampshaded before you travel there for the first time:
    "Nightfall comes early around these parts."
  • Silent Hill games have the Otherside, which is always night and full of vicious monsters.
  • Melee, Scabb and Blood islands in the Monkey Island series. Scabb interestingly always remains night even though you can travel to 2 islands near it and come back as many times as you want, the other 2 are always day time. Lampshaded by Guybrush while in Melee island, when he notes that the clock is always at 10 pm.
  • Exaggerated in Escape from Monkey Island where pleasant tourist trap Jambalaya Island is always in full sunshine, while its islet, the dismal pirate reservation Nuttin Atoll, is always around midnight. The two even share the same overworld map, with one side being brightly lit and the other side dark.
  • Ōkami - Regardless of what time of day it is, you're forced into Night and can't force it to go into the next day during the festival where Orochi reawakens and picks Kushina to be his next victim. Also, by late game, the sky will always show the impending total eclipse regardless of what time of day it is.
  • Upper Heng Sha in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is in perpetual twilight. Although knowing the story, it might as well be more of a Light Is Not Good situation. Panchea as well, though ironically this is when the storyline takes a sharp turn towards Survival Horror.
  • System Shock is set in deep space (where it is never "day").
  • BioShock is set deep underwater, so deep that sunlight can't penetrate to the setting.
  • Due to the paraSOL, Lunar Knights starts out like this. Daybreak starts to spread from the Hunting Mansion and Acuna once Lucian purifies Margrave Rymer.
  • Kingdom Hearts features several worlds always set at night:
  • The Shutokou Battle series of Driving Games always takes place at night, since (illegal) street racing is done mostly at night to avoid heavy traffic and to reduce chances of police encounters. What makes this game "always night" is that the games have in-game clocks that typically correspond to your system's internal clock. The clock is is used for in-game events, but while the in-game clock could say noon, the sky still looks like midnight.
  • The Backyard Sports series has Backyard Baseball, where the playoffs and All-Star Game are always at night.
  • All of the missions in Hitman: Contracts, except one, occur without daylight. The dark atmosphere (and the rain in particular) is meant to reflect the fact that 47's memory is distorted from being shot (all but one of the missions being flashbacks), so even "daytime" missions are overcast/stormy.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker:
    • Whenever you get near the Forsaken Fortress, it suddenly becomes night (until somewhere halfway through the game when the Big Bad ceases to use it as a base of operations).
    • Ganondorf places the world under a curse of perpetual night from the time you arrive on Greatfish Isle until you find Nayru's Pearl. In this instance, it works out in your favor; the pirates are also seeking the pearl, but they've stopped at Windfall Island for the night and claim they'll set off on their adventure when morning comes.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the first time you enter the Arbiter's Grounds compound, the key action will always take place at night, even if you enter during the daytime, in which the day will pass much faster than usual until it is night.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this comes into play with the ruined Hyrule Castle Town and Ganon's Castle in the future, the minute you approach the wrecked drawbridge the sky seems to go all dark and ominous.
  • In Tales of Phantasia, the continent where the town of Arlee is located is always dark due to the effects of Dhaos' castle being nearby.
  • Seiken Densetsu 3: The Moonreading Tower keeps the beast kingdom in perpetual night, so that all of the beastmen are locked into werewolf mode.
  • In Dark Souls, eternal night befalls Anor Londo if you attack Gwynevere. It actually becomes a bit safer.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2005 inverts this by making the scenery always daytime. It starts out at midday, goes to sunset, skips straight to sunrise, and returns to midday.
  • In Arx Fatalis the sun has apparently collapsed and the world is plunged into freezing darkness. All the inhabitants had to move underground in order to survive, and so the entire game is set in caves. Trying to open the door to the surface actually results in a gust of ultra-cold wind instantly freezing your character and anyone around him to death.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the hubristic imperial nation Valua lives under the Yellow Moon, giving it the properties of lightning. On the downside, Valua is constantly dark and stormy.
  • The NES game Nightshade takes place in a hard-boiled setting where it's always night.
  • In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, Walter had used cursed artifacts to force his castle and the immediately surrounding area to be cloaked in eternal night, as Rinaldo explains. The night breaks when Leon defeats Walter and the castle crumbles.
  • Subverted in the indie horror game Ambridge Mansion, you are in a haunted mansion in its own alternate dimension. Everywhere outside of the house is endless blackness, giving the appearance that it is always night, although there is no real day or night there.
  • Champions Online has an entire zone dedicated to an eternal night - Vibora Bay. In a downplayed example, whenever the "Bloodmoon" events occur, it turns to night for the three day or so period, as well.
  • I See You: When the player looks out the windows, all they can see is darkness. In the new version there's rain outside at the beginning of the game, but you still can't see anything else.
  • Holiday Star in the second Hatoful Boyfriend is always set at night, despite time passing. Midnight leads to predawn, which leads to midnight again, then dusk, and midnight again... The new day, and change, never comes.
  • In Disney Princess Enchanted Journey, Cinderella's world is stuck in time just before midnight.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • One half of Eternia, in both He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and its 2002 successor, is shrouded in eternal night. (The second version calls it the Dark Hemisphere and gave an explanation for it in the second season.) Naturally, it's the half where the villains live.
  • With the exception of a single sunrise at the end of one episode, and the last few minutes of the final episode, Beast Machines never had even a single ray of sunlight.
    • That's because the whole series takes place in Cybertron - on which it seems to always be night, in every series except for Transformers Energon.
  • In Arthur, the In-Universe Dark Bunny is set "in a city "where it's, like, always nighttime" — parodying the tendency for Batman media to be set at night.
  • Veggie Tales' "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed" does the same: the mayor of Bumblyburg is unable to use the Larry Signal "because it's daytime. You can't see it in ze daytime." So she calls up Larry on the phone and asks him to forward the message along. (How she came to know that he has such connections is never explained.)
  • Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is set in the gloomy real world and the Blade Runner-like city of Genesis. Conditions only get brighter at the ending with a location shift.

    Real Life 
  • Near the north and south pole in wintertime, the sun can go for days, weeks, or even months without rising due to the Earth's tilt. The 'Arctic Circle' and 'Antarctic Circle' on maps mark where this phenomenon begins to occur.
  • It sure seems like this for many months of the year in Seattle, Portland, and elsewhere in The Other Rainforest. Seriously, it's like living on the set of Blade Runner or some gothic novel.
  • The deep sea: so many miles below light is virtually non-existant. It's always dark deep under water.
  • Caves: the more you crawl inside, the darker it gets.
  • Before the invention of street lighting most of the villages, countrysides and forests were absolutely full of darkness once the evening fell.
  • Outer space counts if you aren't close to a star.
  • An eternal night could be the product of living in the night side of a planet tidally locked to its star.
  • This could be the effect of a nuclear war. Lots of nukes, according to some sources as few as 50, could throw so much debris and dust into the atmosphere that it would block out the sun for years, thus ensuring famines all around the globe.
  • For a more regional version, there's The Great Smoke of London in December 1952. The light-blocker was smoke from fireplaces and factories, with smog from cars and buses, which was not unusual. However, add cold weather, an anti-cyclone over London, and a lack of winds, and Londoners got a smoke denser than usual, with visibility only being a meter, and that was during the day. Out of all mechanized transport, only the London Underground operated anywhere near properly - buses had to have people in front holding torches. Concerts and movies had to be cancelled, because of the smog seeping indoors. Worse, it turned out to be an environmental disaster which took between 4,000 to 12,000 lives.
  • Many scientists believe that if that asteroid hit and did kill the dinosaurs, this would have been why. The impact would have sent massive amounts of dust and chemicals into the air, blocking the sun, sending the world into perpetual night. No sun, no photosynthesis, no plants, even without the impact, it's the end of the world as the dinos knew it.
  • A large enough volcanic eruption would also have a similar effect to the three examples above.