There's something about hexagons which make them look inherently advanced. This makes sense, since they're stylish yet practical. They slot together like squares, but look more complicated despite being more efficient to build with (a hexagon has a greater area for the length of its sides than a square, hence why bees use hexagonal honeycombs for storage). Not to mention even the name hexagon sounds a little futuristic. The hexagon's efficiency in nature might go some way to explaining the origin of this trope. Much like smooth sleek curves and solid, practical looking blocks, there are plenty of reasons to incorporate hexagons into real world scientific and engineering projects. Most notably dome structures (since they're much easier to produce a curve with than squares), solar panels (which benefit from the aforementioned area-to-edge ratio) and hexagonal floor tiles (which look cooler than boring old rectangles). In addition, many polymers, semiconductors and other advanced materials use carbon, which is naturally inclined to form hexagonal molecules due to the way it bonds, and it is this structure that gives diamond and other carbon compounds their strength.note The Beehive Barrier is a very common subtrope. See also Carbon Nanotubes. Compare Everything Is an iPod in the Future and Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future. Contrast Zeerust (which this trope may well become when Science Marches On). See also: The Aesthetics of Technology.
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Anime & Manga
- A recurring motif in Busou Renkin starting with the kakugane, an alchemic device transformed into a weapon by the human survival instinct, and which is shaped like a hexagon about four inches wide.
- Hexagons are common background elements for promotional materials related to Infinite Stratos, befitting it's near-future setting and focus on technology, when it's not focused on it's female cast members.
- Psyren: Shiner's Hexagonal Transfer System PSI, which carves out hexagonal pieces of pretty much anything and teleports them wherever he wants.
- The basic holographic fields for the Gunpla battle system in Gundam Build Fighters are hexagonal, which carries into the design of the show's title.
- The Neuroi from Strike Witches are mechanical race of aliens which are made out of black and red hexagonal plating, with them existing before year 1939 in Alternate History Earth. Oh, and those red plating is where they shoot out lasers.
- In order to make the costumes in Justice League 3000 look more futuristic than the classic versions, they're covered in tiny hexagons that are visible in the closeups.
Films — Animation
- Chicken Little in Disney's adaptation is hit in the head by a high-tech hexagon that automatically adjusts to its surroundings to make itself invisible. The hexagon turns out to be a panel from the hull of an invisible alien spaceship.
- Aside from being centered on bees, Bee Movie makes a point of showing hexagons as not just a construction artifact, but ostensibly as a high-technology business organization (Honex, the primary employer of the protagonists' hive, is a member of "The Hexagon Group"), owing to the lengths the bees go through to refine their honey.
Films — Live-Action
- In Fantastic Voyage, the shrink ray room had hexagons all over the floor. The ship rose up on one of them once it got small enough, so that it could be shrunk one more time, and then readied for insertion into the guy's body.
- The tactical displays on the Klingon cruiser's bridge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture were hexagon-heavy. Also, towards the end of the movie, the steps leading up to V'Ger's centre are shaped like hexagons. Of course, by Star Trek standards Klingons usually aren't seen as particularly high-tech and advanced. It does make it look more alien than the Enterprise's more human aesthetics.
- TRON: Legacy: Hexagons are sported by a lot of the architecture on the virtual world of the Grid. As well as the mesh worn underneath most of the Programs' costumes. In fact, in the Armory scene, the undermesh is seen forming all over Sam Flynn hexagon by hexagon.
- One of the smaller details of Peter Parker's suit in Spider-Man is a hexagon print on the fabric, arguably starting the trend for this appearing in superhero costumes.
- The ship models and corridor sets of The Liberator in Blake's 7 feature hexagons prominently.
- In Doctor Who, the insides of the TARDIS walls often have a hexagonal pattern on them, and the TARDIS console is hexagonal.
- In the first serial "An Unearthly Child", Susan Foreman is demonstrated to be unearthly by...making an inkblot inside a hexagon.
- In Viper, the titular high-tech supercar had an armored body/shell comprised of hexagonal tiles. Though they were normally blended together in such a way that the seams were invisible, they manifested when the vehicle suffered damage, or transformed to or from its 'less conspicuous' street car mode.
- In Extant every person that reacts to the power or to the infant has several of these appearing under his skin for a moment.
- In Defiance Indogenes, a species of cyborgs, have a faint hexagon pattern on their skin.
- The various Riders in Kamen Rider Kabuto have their armor appear in a hexagonal pattern.
- In The Expanse, main character Amos and many of the Belters have these as motifs in their tattoos.
- Both versions of the album art, as well as much of the creator-approved fanart, for the sci-fi podcast SAYER feature hexagons.
- Star Wars Electronic Galactic Battle is basically Battleship but with the Star Wars license and a hexagonal grid.
- The Link Monsters of Yu-Gi-Oh! have hexagons in their blue borders.
- A lot of the strategic wargames based on playing boards and card counters, which preceded computer games, were based on hexagonal playing spaces rather than squares. This maximised the playing board area and allowed for more versatility of movement for playing pieces - not only forwards, backwards or sideways but also far more clearly laid out "diagonal" movement. Hex grids and movement became a staple of these games and many forms of wargaming utilise this principle - Games Workshop figures, for instance, are routinely based on hexagonal stands.
- BIONICLE: In pretty much all the graphics of 2006, plus a large amount of the graphics from 2007 and 2008, there are hexagons in the background, most likely to give the images a high-tech feel.
- They even changed the shape of the Matoran alphabet characters from circles to hexagons. It does make you wonder, though, why they didn't use hexagons in 2004, when the futuristic city of Metru Nui was the main setting.
- Gogos has a Mega Metropolis series with a hexagonal shaped 'home' for each gogo.
- 'Hex Bugs' are intelligent nanobots about the size of a pen lid or marble. If the name didn't, the logo◊ says it all.
- The Hexagon Shields from Hero Factory.
- ARMA has a notoriously excessive one. Enter CSAT, an Asian political coalition. They use a flag with a hexagon made out of hexagons. Their military facilities are encapsulated in domes made out of hexagons. Their security forces' uniforms are high-tech equipment which use a hexagon camouflage pattern on nearly every piece of the kit. Vehicles? Highly upscaled hexagons. Hexagons on guns? You bet.
- Crysis uses this trope excessively: all Crynet technology is covered with hexagons, be it the Nanosuit or the CELL guns; even the Crynet logo is made of 120° angles.
- In Deus Ex: Human Revolution Adam Jensen has a hexagon imbedded in his forehead with a little logo in it.
- Not even just Adam, but anyone with a neural implant has a subtle or obvious hexagon indentation in their heads.
- While the game's art makes a lot of use of triangles, hexagons do come in close second, being seen on armor and briefly before Adam cloaks himself to become invisible. Not only that, but if you squint at his combat vest, it is made up of miniscule hexagons.
- Some of the bulletproof glass has hexagons and one building is called The Hive. Also, in the lobby outside his office Sarif has a large picture of a topless women from the back with cybernetic arms. Up close, the entire thing is covered in a film of hexagons, giving it a softer look from across the room. When inspected even closer, it becomes apparent that the hexagon grid is digital and scrolls across the image.
- In Fracture, Mariko has a high-tech suit with a hexagonal overlay on parts of it.
- Mass Effect:
- The logo of Cerberus has a hexagonal shape and uses some materials with hexagonal surface patterns.
- Hexagons feature prominently in Andromeda's Remnant architecture as well.
- In "Super Smash Bros. Melee", both Fox and Falco from the Starfox series possess a Reflector move whose animation is a blue hexagon. The developer's intent for the move was to reflect projectiles; however, it's used differently in the current metagame. Fox and Falco possess the same move with similar animations in all other smash titles as well, with the exception of SSB 64—Falco is not in this iteration.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, hexagons are a recurring pattern throughout the story, but it gets really extreme once you enter the final "dungeon". The Big Shell's outer buildings were hexagonal, the shells themselves form a double hexagon, some of the textures on Raiden's stealth suit exude a hexagonal pattern, the skin of arsenal gear itself is covered with a hexagonal pattern. The game case design had a hexagonal pattern on the back of it, so did the original disc. Most official supplemental materials (strategy guides, concept art, making-of materials) had either subtle or blatant hexagonal themes. In fact, since Metal Gear Solid 2, hexagonal design has been a really big thing to them.
- One of the subtle hints that The Phantom Pain was really Metal Gear Solid V was the appearance of hexagonal tiles on the floor of the hospital the protagonist is escaping from.
- In Persona 4, Rise's Persona Himiko is depicted as a woman with a satellite dish as a head, complete with hexagonal patterns.
- Solatorobo: The Futzu Tower, which contains a highly advanced AI, features a lot of hexagons.
- Two of the three Sonic Advance games featured high-tech, futuristic levels, both of which featured hexagons ad nauseum.
- Sonic Adventure 2 uses quite a few as well. A lot the moving platforms in City Escape are hexagonal prisms.
- In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Empire of the Rising Sun's tech.
- Rise of the Reds: The Nano Shock Absorbers that can be installed on various European vehicles have a hexagon-shaped tile pattern.
- StarCraft II presents these on the loading and menu screens. They also appear on some units and maps.
- DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu uses these both as high-tech and as part of the bee motif of the series. They're all over the ship select screen, and each cutscene starts with a bunch of hexagons flying onto the screen and attaching to each other to form a screen. The "Expert Items" in the Xbox 360 port's Arrange B mode are also hexagonal and appear in sets of six arranged in a hexagon.
- DoDonPachi Saidaioujou takes this Up to 11 by putting hexagons everywhere — the golden star medals dropped by defeated enemies are now 6-pointed stars on a hexagonal background, the level results screen has hexagons everywhere, the bee items now appear on hexagonal stands, the Type-B helicopter now has 6 propeller blades connected in the middle by a hexagon, and the list goes on.
- In Halo, a lot of Forerunner tech incorporates hexagon shapes and symbols.
- Covenant tech and textures have also employed extensive use of hexagons; perhaps a result of copying Forerunner tech?
- In addition, the UNSC has gotten in the trend (take note of the visors on MJOLNIR armor worn by Spartan-IV). Perhaps a result of copying Forerunner and Covenant tech?
- In PlanetSide 2, all of the Vanu Sovereignty's equipment is covered in purple armor with hexagon patterns, to show that they are the most advanced faction. Additionally, all three empires can buy hexagonal camouflage (in neon red, blue, or purple) for their guns, armor, and vehicles.
- While surprisingly absent from designs in the actual game, Vector Thrust has these plastered all over the Pause Screen and menu backgrounds. Ground targets are also denoted by a hexagon symbol on your HUD.
- The 2013 edition of SimCity features hexagons in many high-tech structures such as advanced solar energy collectors, and in the "Cities of Tomorrow" expansion, futurized roads are signified by hexagonal surfaces with minor Tron Lines, in a possible prophetic move- see Real Life.
- Fallout: New Vegas has an area in the futuristic Old World Blues DLC called the X-66 Hexcrete Archipelago, consisting of massive hexagonal structures made of concrete. Appropriately, they do nothing in the game other than look cool.
- Pokémon Black and White and their sequels use this frequently, from the healing machines in Pokémon Centers to the map of the game's region itself.
- EVE Online will be changing the ship cloaking effect (viewable only by the player using the cloaking device) from a water-like animated texture to a hexagonal pattern in the upcoming Oceanus update.
- Firefall takes place in a technologically-advanced post-apocalypse - so all your shield abilities have little/big hexagons.
- In Borderlands 2, one of the companies that manufactures the tools and weapons that your character can loots/earn is Maliwan, which prides itself on high-tech, sophisticated wares. All of their rarest goods have a hexagonal pattern over the surface of the item in question.
- All over the place in Civilization: Beyond Earth: the box art is of a person standing in front of a hexagon-shaped door out to space, the various leaders of the game tend to wear clothing with repeating hexagon symbols, and various technologies in the game bear hexagons. Since the game is based on the Civilization V engine, where the game ground itself is divided into hexagon-shaped tiles, the shape has a special significance to the game.
- A hallmark of the Karma Temple and Karma Society technology in Digital Devil Saga.
- In Gundam Extreme Vs., the Final Boss's stage is an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield whose floor is made up of giant metallic hexagonal columns; the boss has the ability to raise and lower the columns, and possesses several attacks that can destroy them outright (they re-form a few second later — naturally — out of smaller metallic hexagons).
- Dariusburst Another Chronicle's Chronicle Mode features hexagonal maps of sectors.
- Very much invoked by Ratchet & Clank, stating with Tools of Destruction thanks to the added detail possible on the PlayStation 3. In particular, Captain Qwark's outfit got a hexagon print, and almost every element of the UI used hexagons.
- Take a guess as to what kind of shapes Super Hexagon uses. It helps that the game uses a synthesized chiptune soundtrack. However, the Hexagon and Hyper Hexagon stage occasionally turn into pentagons and squares.
- Guild Wars 2 features the asura, a race of highly intelligent and technologically advanced miniature beings that often build their labs and cities with hexagonal designs. Even their holographic platforms featured in dungeons and jumping puzzles elsewhere in the world are translucent, blue hexagons.
- In the Mario series:
- Super Mario 3D World has the levels Honeycomb Starway and Honeycomb Skyway, where the ground is formed by floating metallic hexagons that automatically attach to each other, which is made even more high-tech with Tron Lines-like hexagonal sparkles.
- The minigame Mario Matrix in Mario Party 8 is a glowing hexagon clicking game Inside a Computer System.
- ARK: Survival Evolved uses hexagons on all the futuristic technology.
- The Talos Principle: Both the red pressure plates and the purple containment fields are composed of these.
- The futuristic-looking Silver civilization from Skies of Arcadia makes extensive use of hexagons. Their element of choice is also numbered 6.
- RetroBlade: Various structures in the city of Cosmöbius, year 2112, Including the Ozone (a forcefield-like barrier surrounding the entire city) are composed of hexagons.
- In Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Beyond the Farthest Star", the Enterprise crew discovers a highly advanced alien ship in orbit around a dead star. Said ship's interior structure is made up of interlocking hexagons.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures has various hexagonal patterns in relation to the Iron Man suit and other bits of Tony's technology, including part of his heart implant that extends around his chest.
- Miraculous Ladybug: Close-ups on Ladybug and Chat Noir's superheroes costumes show their are composed of a fine mesh of hexagons.
- The Author's bunker, featured in the Gravity Falls episode "Into the Bunker", has a security room full of these. If you step on the wrong one, the walls will start to close in, and the only way to open the doors to the next room is push four of the right ones.
- Max Steel (2013) has Max's various transformations involve a forcefield with lots of hexagons floating around, which then pull back onto his body to create the parts needed for his different modes (speed, flight, etc.).
- In 2012, scientists at IBM's T. J. Watson research center discovered that cylinder shaped molecules known as carbon nanotubes may work as a replacement for the silicon based microchip. The tubes are capable of delivering more power at such a small size without losing any control over the electrical current that flows through them. The tubes themselves are made up of hexagonal pathways, with electrical currents constantly making a path from one end of the tube to the other by going either left or right at each corner of the hexagon.
- Another hexagonal carbon molecule which has potential is graphene. In addition to being extremely strong and flexible, it's an excellent conductor of electricity. Applications include lightweight screens, semi-conductors, efficient room temperature alcohol distillation and so on.
- The James Webb Space Telescope will have a mirror made out of 18 hexagonal segments.
- The Solar Roadways project hopes to pave roads with durable, hexagonal solar panels that glow at night and melt snow, thus creating a road system that is safer to drive on and looks cool while producing vast amounts of energy. However, as explained by Thunderf00t in this YouTube video, the hardness (or lack thereof) of glass, coupled with the inefficiency of farming solar energy, puts the project's practicality into question.
- Modern dome structures often use hexagonal tile construction. See, for example, the Eden Project biomes. Their logo incorporates the hexes◊ for a cool effect, emphasizing their use of modern technology.
- The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine was awarded to Drs. John O'Keefe, Edvard and May-Britt Moser for their discoveries of grid cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. Simply put, they are neurons in the hippocampus that may in fact encode perception of Euclidean space and fire in surprisingly regular hexagonal patterns (technically the vertices of tesselating equilateral triangles).
- R. Buckminster Fuller's concept of "geodesic construction" was based on the concept that modular hexagons create a very strong stable structure, far more so than squares or rectangles. One British bomber in WW2, the Wellington, was based on geodesic principles and proved to be one of the toughest aitrcraft Britain put into the sky.