Pyramids. The distinct shape, clean vertices, and inherent coolness have fascinated humanity since the Egyptians. Some sci-fi writers like to stick modern or futuristic-looking pyramids into their works to combine old and new in a distinctive yet recognisable manner. The result is the future pyramid, a building in the style of ancient Egypt but using modern or yet-to-be-invented materials and construction methods. The primary reason for these is that they look impressive. A pyramid is a good shape for a space-frame building, if you've got enough room for a wide building. But how many of the examples use that as justification? Compare Sinister Geometry.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Mega-Tokyo of Bubblegum Crisis. The Genom Tower in particular is more of a cone, but it still has the spirit of this trope.
- Digimon Adventure: A literal Inverted Trope, Etemon's base is an upside-down pyramid, which connects to an underground octahedron (think two pyramids connected at their bases).
- The NERV HQ in Neon Genesis Evangelion is a pyramid. There's also a pit shaped like an inverted pyramid located in front of it.
- A popular feature of Gradosian architecture in Blue Comet SPT Layzner.
- Feature prominently in the Colus/Hagooda War arc in The Five Star Stories as both factions have palaces resembling them, Hagooda's being Egyptian-styled while Colus' is a slightly more abstract combination of a Mayan one, a Japanese pagoda and futuristic arcology concept design.
- In Enki Bilal's La Foire aux Immortels (and the movie Immortal inspired from it), the Egyptian gods live in a pyramid that is also a cool spaceship. And it's going to destroy Paris (New York in the movie) unless they get fuel.
- Microwave Mountain in Rogue Trooper, originally a giant solar power plant, now a Nort stronghold. Shaped like a pyramid, for no real reason.
- Apocalypse of X-Men is fond of pyramid motifs, which makes sense as he was born in Egypt a few thousand years ago.
- Ra's ship in the original Stargate movie. The film showed that Ra already had a pyramid ship when he first came to Earth. This indicates that they already had the Ha'tak design before they forced humans to build pyramids to land on them.
- Tyrell Corporation headquarters from Blade Runner, although it's strictly speaking more of a ziggurat.
- The Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Parallel 59 features a futuristic Uncanny Village where a great deal of the buildings are pyramids. Apart from the protagonist, who's from lightyears and centuries away and is constantly reminded of ancient Egypt, everybody is used to them.
[...]the pyramids rising over the skyline. Like a nice clean Egypt. Mystery. Power.
The girl yawns, it makes me smile. The pyramids are here to reassure, not to inspire. To the Homeplaneters, they're mundane, just the way dwellings are built. None of the resonances or associations they have for me are flitting through her mind, I can tell.
- In Ramsay Campbell's Cthulhu Mythos stories, the Insects from Shaggai build pyramidal temples to Azathoth that can teleport between planets.
- Patrick Tilley's novel Fade-Out. When an alien ship lands on Earth, it starts to grow a gigantic pyramid which eventually shuts down human technology.
- The Great (and Lesser) Redoubts in The Night Land, enormous pyramids (the Great is over seven miles high, slightly taller than Everest) of seemingly indestructible metal that are humanity's last home on an Earth that has become a hostile monster-ridden wasteland.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga novel, Cryoburn, one of the largest cryogenic companies on the planet Kibou-daini is NewEgypt. Their cryo-storage facilities (where they keep the frozen bodies of people who were hoping to be revived, when there's a cure for whatever was killing them) are all in pyramid shaped buildings, and all their corporate branding follows an Egyptian theme. (They've trademarked the entire historical era, to block imitators.)
- The Tyrell Corp. HQ is one of the default building options in OASIS, in Ready Player One. Because of that, copies o it are all over the place. And they all can house the Second Gate.
- Battlestar Galactica:
- Chouriki Sentai Ohranger/Power Rangers Zeo: The massive carrier Zord King Pyramidder / Pyramidas. It shoots lightning, transforms into a huge robot, and combines with the rest of the team's mecha.
- In Choujin Sentai Jetman, the Jetmen's base, the Sky Camp, is a smaller one which houses most of the mecha inside it (the Bird Garuda is perched atop it instead).
- Stargate SG-1 extends this to the Goa'uld as a whole: they may be impersonating a Greek, Babylonian or even Japanese deity but the snake will still use pyramid shaped spaceships, space stations, evil lairs... Except for Anubis (or Ba'al in Stargate Continuum), whose flagship is dome-shaped and can alter its configuration to fire its Wave Motion Gun.
- Sliders had an Alternate Universe where Ancient Egyptian culture survived to the modern day, complete with computerized pyramids guarded by genetically engineered giant scarabs.
- Traveller Classic.
- Necron monoliths in Warhammer 40,000.
- Although pyramids in 40k are mainly associated with Necrons, they also appear in some Eldar artwork (for example the 5th edition rulebook's picture of the inside of a Craftworld has a few pyramidal structures).
- Also Prospero, the now-destroyed homeworld of the Thousand Sons legion of Space Marines, was host to a futuristic Egyptian style of architecture, with many hi-tech pyramid buildings (especially in the world's capital, Tizca). Given the overtly Egyptian stylings of the Thousand Sons themselves, this is not a surprise.
- The Renraku Arcology from Shadowrun, although Depending on the Writer and/or Artist, it can be depicted as a futuristic ziggurat instead.
- The main Protoss building, the Nexus, is a pyramid, as are many of the types of Xel'naga Temple seen throughout the series.
- Arcturus Mengsk's imperial palace, as seen in his inauguration in Starcraft and throughout Heart of the Swarm, is a giant pyramid, which stands out very distinctly against Augustgrad's mostly traditional skyline.
- During Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, NOD was in love with this trope, having their major headquarters within pyramids. By Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Nod largely went back to their original awesome base, but they did deploy their Epic Unit from a pyramid-shape structure.
- Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle has four levels (one of them secret) that take place inside a pyramid. Whether they're new pyramids, or ancient pyramids improved with some modern technology (laser turrets, doors etc.) remains unknown.
- Some Prothean remains in Mass Effect.
- Star Fox 64's planet Katina has a pyramid as its main and only building. Assault changes it to a futuristic tower but keeps some vaguely pyramidesque aspects.
- The Imperial Palace in Starsiege is one of these. Bonus points for being located in what used to be Egypt.
- Mental Institution level of Serious Sam II is a large futuristic pyramid on treads and plenty of weapons and reinforcements.
- In Unreal Tournament 2003, the Anubans (or Nakhti, as they are called later), who are basically space Egyptians, are fond of these. One of the most prominent Futuristic Pyramids can be found in the map CTF-Face3.
- The city of Adrianopolis (and possibly others in the World Union) in Culpa Innata features a gleaming pyramid at the center, which has clubs, restaurants, bars, stores, etc.
- Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards: The final stage set on Rock Star is mostly inside a large space ship shaped like a cube, but it starts out half-buried in the sand like a pyramid.
- The earliest examples are in the 2D shooter Xevious.
- The Tomb of VARN in Might and Magic VI is (at least part of) a long-landed and abandoned spacecraft. It must have been immensely tough, considering it not only survived the long voyage through the void, but also the event that, centuries after the landing, turned the fertile landing zone into a blasted desert. In a minor twist, you have to go deep into the pyramid before any actually futuristic elements are seen (well, visibly futuristic. The jackalheaded guards are probably robots, but they don't look the part).
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has one at the end: Pyramid's base.
- The ship Mizar uses to arrive his home palace in Jet Force Gemini has the shape of a big pyramid.
- The city of Tokyo Millennium uses plenty of pyramids as part of its architecture in Shin Megami Tensei II.
- A very elongated example is the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.
- I. M. Pei's glass pyramid at the Louvre was an attempt to invoke this.
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum started out as a glass pyramid, and then was expanded upon.
- From the point of view of, say, Christopher Wren, the Eiffel Tower would be a good example of this: a tall pointy building made of yet-to-be-discovered materials and construction techniques.
- The Luxor casino in Las Vegas also invokes this trope, with a glass pyramid-shaped main building and general Ancient Egypt theme (although David Foster Wallace preferred to compare it to a "ziggurat from Babylon of yore").
- The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea masterfully combines this with Compensating for Something.
- The Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee. Which Memphis did you expect?
- A leisure centre in Milton Keynes, named with great originality "The Point", evoked this look at night with the aid of neon lighting strips; by day it looked more like a ziggurat made of mirrors. Worse Than It Sounds, unfortunately: behold.◊
- The Walter Pyramid situated at the campus of Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California; essentially the West Coast equivalent of the Pyramid Arena, but smaller and used as a venue for college sports teams.