Living Polyhedron

"My angles are many.
My sides are not few.
I'm the Dodecahedron.
Who are you?"
The Dodecahedron, The Phantom Tollbooth

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, while other times, they're constructed of Hard Light. Not to be mistaken with a Companion Cube (though some polyhedron-shaped Companion Cubes might be treated as if they were alive), or a Random Number God.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II has Leviathan, the God of the Cenobites, that takes the form of a lozenge (◊).
  • Bits (and Bytes) from the TRON universe are softball-sized floating polyhedrals (changing shape when the speak) that are kept as pets by the Programs. Bits can only say "yes" and "no." Bytes have a much larger vocabulary and greater intelligence.

  • 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).
  • The Phantom Tollbooth has the Dodecahedron, a living geometrical solid with a Nice Hat. He only likes to use one face at a time, but each of his twelve faces expresses a different emotion; he finds it odd that Milo can live with only one.
  • In H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Dreams in the Witch House", 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 The Light Fantastic, but these are explicable as part of a trainee Shaman's communion with the Sacred Mushrooms.
  • Pattern in The Stormlight Archive takes the form of a sentient, talkative geometric fractal.
  • The Xipéhuz from the 1888 short story Les Xipéhuz are cone- or cylinder-shaped.

    Live Action TV 
  • 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.

    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.
    • The Immortals ruleset for "regular" D&D includes stats for the jumper, a chronovoric creature shaped like a dodecahedron with long, slender arms on each face

    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.
  • Pokémon: Porygon is an artificial Pokémon which was created with a pink and blue, polyhedron-style body. Its odd shape is evidently because it was created out of "programming code".
  • Polygon Man was a failed Mascot for the PlayStation in North America, meant to symbolize how many polygons the machine could render. Ken Kutaragi hated the design and Poly was quietly retired, but he eventually returned as the Final Boss of Playstation All Stars Battle Royale.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 had the Fighting Polygon Team, a series of monochrome, very low-res clones of all twelve playable characters that attacked in a Zerg Rush towards the end of arcade mode. They were replaced by higher-res mooks in later installments.
  • Thomas Was Alone is an indie platformer where you control an ensemble of variously colored quadrilaterals that represent emerging AI's. While none of them speak directly, the narration ends up giving each a unique personality and voice.
  • Not featured directly in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but in-game adverts for "The Degenatron" talk about "save the green dots with your fantastic flying red square!" and so on, as a parody of the limitations of early 80's videogames.
  • Cubivore: Said cubivores are cube bodies with a very large face and different rectangular prisms i.e. "flaps" that give them shape.
  • The Doom mod The Adventures of Square. It takes place in "Shape Land" and has the protagonist, Square, face off against the evil cult "Circle of Evil" to save Doctor Octagon. According to the author, the protagonist was originally designed as "the most generic children's cartoon character possible".

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Triangle and Robert is set in a world of sapient geometric shapes; Robert is a rhombus, and Triangle is unimaginatively named. It's explicitly stated that they're only geometric shapes because the Cartoonist is incapable of drawing proper people; characters sometimes reminisce about the good old days before the strip started, when nobody was trying to draw them (and they were, implicitly, something other than simple polygons, though what they were is of course never shown, since the Cartoonist is incapable of drawing it).
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has a lengthy story involving an alien Living Ship shaped like a gigantic white cone.

    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.
  • Wander over Yonder has the black cube of Darkness. While he is just a cube and not a shape with large number of sides, even the characters in the show find him strange at first, Particularly Hater and Peepers. The cube is sentient, alive and frequently displays emotion In a way…
  • "The Cubing", a season 2 episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, featured the Wisdom Cube, a sentient and supposedly all-knowing cube from space who may just be the most obnoxious being in existence. In the end, this is revealed to actually be the Dumbassahedratron, a cousin of the real Wisdom Cube, though the genuine article is still incredibly immature.

    Real Life 
  • While viruses are on the borderline of living and non-living matter, several viruses come in the shape of polyhedra. For example, poliovirus is an icosahedron.