"No light, no dark, no up, no down. No life. No time. Without end. My people called it The Void. The Eternals called it The Howling. But some people call it Hell."
talking about the Void, Doctor Who
, "Army Of Ghosts"
The no-plane or non-existence that surrounds and encloses all other planes, usually referred to as the Void
. It's the hole between Alternate Dimensions
, the darkness between realms; it's nothing itself.
Time may not pass in it, or it feels horribly slow. You can almost never leave, and if you can, you won't be the same. You might even suffer permanent psychological trauma
from the experience.
The void itself usually comes in two forms.
- An entirely empty place/plane/reality/whatever, like a White Void Room that's the size of the universe. Or...
- Somewhere(?) that can't even be described as such, since it doesn't exist.
The Hub Level
, the space between levels, is a less ominous Video Game
version of this. If it's used as a form of travel, it may lead to Hyperspace Is a Scary Place
. If it's used as an afterlife, see The Nothing After Death
(which usually coincides with the first type), or Cessation of Existence
(which usually coincides with the second). Anything native to such a place can be reasonably expected to be an Eldritch Abomination
. Obviously a good source for anything using The Power of the Void
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Anime and Manga
- The Kyokai, the sea that separates the world of The Twelve Kingdoms with the rest of the world, is apparently located somewhere between Japan, China And Korea, but nobody who has ever tried to cross from the kingdoms to the world through it has ever came back or arrived to the other side.
- The dimension space (a.k.a. "sea of dimensions") in the Lyrical Nanoha series separates individual dimensional worlds from each other. There is also "imaginary space" but its definition is murky at best and it hasn't been seen since season one.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: It turns out that while the front of the cards reflect the twelve dimensions (and monsters therein), the back reflect the darkness between them. This becomes an important plot point in the final season because in the Yu-Gi-Oh continuity the void is described as a darkness of raw potential that is easily moulded by people's hearts. And since the most common perception of darkness is that Dark Is Evil...
- The "Ghost Zone" (or purgatory) in The DCU is more akin to this than any traditional portrayal of purgatory. (In fact, the only character to recognize it as such is an angel.) It is a stark white void where "things build crooked."
- The Bleed in the Wildstorm comics universe, now adopted into The DCU, is the "space" separating universes and, at one point, multiverses.
- In ElfQuest, some elves like Savah can send their souls out of their bodies to perform psychic searches, and the medium through which they travel is called the void. It's depicted as a dark region in which souls appear as the negative image of their owners. Winnowill deliberately traps Savah there on one such search; later Savah and Suntop commune within the void while their bodies are far apart (and Winnowill tries to gatecrash that party as well).
- There's also a scene where Cutter, wounded and delirious, appears to commune with his dead father Bearclaw in the same way, but it's never made clear if this is real or just a delusion.
- The original Marvel Comics Transformers series has The Void, across which they build the Space Bridge. It's obviously deadly to any Transformer who falls off the Space Bridge.
- Another Transformers comic series has Ramjet lost in the void between dimensions. Things live there. They aren't friendly. Ramjet was not quite the same when he resurfaced after being torturously unmade and remade until they got bored with him and tossed him back. His presence can corrupt the reality around him.
- The Matrix - The demo program that shows/explains to people what the Matrix truly is starts off as a featureless, never-ending room.
- Inception - Limbo is a place in dreams where you can spend decades, and wake up having been dreaming for only a couple of hours.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - The aliens are described as escaping to 'the space between spaces' at the climax of the film.
- The Djinn's home dimension in the Wishmaster series is described as this (although it looks more like Hell in actuality), and he boasts about actually being one of the few beings to have walked the abyss between the planes. The Djinn's goal is to merge it with the human realm, and allow his race to rule the Earth.
- A very odd example is the Wood Between the Worlds in The Chronicles of Narnia. It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a silent, serene, pleasant, even hypnotic wood, and the various worlds are represented by small pools of water.
- In The Magicians, basically the same thing exists between our world and Fillory. Given that Fillory is a Deconstruction of Narnia, this is not surprising.
- The place where the Outer Gods dwell in Cthulhu Mythos, usually referred to as the Outer Void or the Audient Void, is usually considered this (it kinda depends on the story and/or the writer. Occasionally the Outer Gods are depicted as dwelling in the depths of regular old space). At the very least, Yog-Sothoth is always described as existing outside the universe/multiverse.
- Or alternatively, the universe/multiverse exists inside Yog-Sothoth. Or rather, both are true at the same time. There's a reason he's called the "All In One and One In All".
- Todash darkness in The Dark Tower series.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld series features a realm underneath reality where all the half-formed or forgotten ideas are given shape and live, always trying to break through into the real world.
- In The Lives Of Christopher Chant, Christopher can walk to any world by going through a central valley that connects to all of them.
- The In Ovo in Clive Barker's Imajica, which has been created to separate the Fifth Dominion (Earth) from the other four Dominions, and is populated by not quite mindless soul-eating killer ghouls.
- Wheel of Time: Skimming is a form of rapid transportation that uses portals to take shortcuts through an endless dark void. Opening portals when and where you aren't "supposed to" inside this void yields undefined behavior. The Ways are another shortcut dimension example, accessed by anyone via special stone gateways. The Ways used to be bright and cheery but under the effects of The Corruption have decayed into a crumbling, lightless world inhabited by a soul-devouring wind.
- Maar's plan to live forever in the Valdemar novels involves setting up a soul-refuge in the Void, taking advantage of the no-time aspect to preserve himself while he waits for a new body.
- A Void beyond the world certainly exists in Middle-Earth's cosmology, as laid out in The Silmarillion. Whether or not there are other worlds is never established; Word of God on the matter vaguely indicated that there were, but that Tolkien wasn't really interested in exploring that idea further.
- Barbara Hambly's titular Rainbow Abyss.
- This exists in The Riftwar Cycle. Dragons are the only natural beings that can traverse it, though the Dread are actually from there because, as the last book reveals, they are all avatars of the concept of nonbeing.
- The Void in Doctor Who which provides the page quote, which is a place outside of time and space that exists between parallel universes and leaves traces of "void stuff" on whoever passes through it. "Void stuff" becomes visible when viewed through 3D glasses, something only the Doctor would ever think to try.
- In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reginald Barclay thinks he can see something in the nothingness where you go when you're being transported. As a result, he thinks he has transporter psychosis.
- In The Outer Limits episode "The Premonition", a test pilot and his wife simultaneously crash in a jet and a car, then find themselves out of sync with time, with everything outside of their vehicles immovably stuck. At first, time seems to be frozen, but it's actually moving imperceptibly slowly. What happens if the protagonists aren't back in the jet and the car when time resynchronizes? They get trapped in this trope—as a character called the "Limbo Being", who was in the same situation but didn't escape, informs them.
- The Advent Void in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. Being stuck in the Void was originally presented as a Fate Worse Than Death for defeated Riders, though it was later revealed that Riders were sent there upon defeat specifically so they wouldn't be killed and could be brought back. It was just that the only guy with access to get them out of the place had gone missing.
Mythology and Religion
- The Ginnungagap ("yawning abyss") in Norse Mythology, which is the void between Muspellheim and Niflheim at the beginning of the universe.
- The Aether in Magic: The Gathering. It's also known as the Blind Eternities, and used to contain Eldrazi.
- Transitive planes from Dungeons & Dragons.
- Mage: The Awakening has the Abyss, which separates the Fallen World from the magic of the Supernal Realms. It's also full of things which are anathema to existence, who are just waiting for the chance to get out.
- Nobilis has the Lands Beyond Creation. From there arise the Excrucians, who venture into our world, seeking to end it, piece by piece.
- Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine used to have this (being a spin-off of Nobilis), until the newly killed sun boiled the void, making it into the chaos-matter that now covers the majority of the world.
- Exalted has the Well of Udr, a strange location where potential universes crash and grind against each other into nothingness, producing horrible things from beyond reality. It causes madness if you get too close to it without proper protection, and it produced the Great Contagion.
- In BIONICLE, Makuta talked about something called "the Void" in his iconic pre-Boss Fight speech to the Toa... but he was bluffing. However much later a true "Void" did appear in the form of an inter-dimensional space Takanuva got sent into thanks to a malfunctioning Mask of Dimensional Gates.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Lady in Black briefly shows you a vision of universes being created and dying and over again, from a multiversal viewpoint...
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the Expanse is the key of travel between universes, and the White have transformed it into a White Void Room. Destroy them, and the true Expanse will be revealed - a barren plane of red soil, named specifically as the origin of all gods and demons.
- The Void in RuneScape, the emptiness between all other planes of existence, where everything is pure white and portals from it are known to spew out annoying pests that are only stopped by the Void Knights. The Abyss is a slightly different version as it connects all dimensions.
- The Rift/The Void in the Final Fantasy universe. It first appears in Final Fantasy V and it or a very similar dimension have popped up in several games since. Dissidia: Final Fantasy heavily implies the games of the series take place in the same multiverse with The Void acting as the space between worlds via which beings can travel between them, in turn implying it is indeed the same concept in each appearance.
- In Shadow Of Destiny, there is a "place outside of time" where people are free from being erased from time due to paradox. Homunculus hangs out there and "rescues" Eike whenever he dies by dragging him there so he can try and undo his death.
- Xen from Half-Life is referred to as a "border world" by the scientists; it's mostly composed of asteroids floating in a void and is probably not a world unto itself but a place between proper dimensions.
- The Void in League of Legends lore is actually home of a great many Eldritch Abominations dying to break through to the rest of reality. Several of these monsters are playable champions in the game. Two other champions, Malzahar and Kassadin, got their powers by embracing the Void, but while Malzahar works to bring the horrors into the world, Kassadin is trying to stop them.
- In Dungeon Siege 3, the Causeways are described by Odo as passing through "worlds that are forgetting to be". Needless to say it's a strange place and it's mutable nature allows the Legion to travel thousands of miles within minutes and is what allowed the Legion to be such an effective military force.
- In the Warcraft cosmology, this is referred to as "The Twisting Nether." In World of Warcraft's first expansion, you can even fly into it, and there's no reachable endpoint to it. Of course, this is somewhat limited by your fatigue bar.
- The Star Rift seems to fit this purpose in the Myst series.
- The void of Oblivion (though not the planes of Oblivion) serves as this in The Elder Scrolls.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Phantom Ganon is banished by Ganondorf to "the gap between dimensions."
- As a more literal example, in many 3D games, leaving the level boundaries causes you to find a black void which is literally made of nothing (ie: the space where there is no collidable surface) and which is literally the Void Between the Worlds. Also, you sometimes fall into it, which is annoying.
- In Minecraft, anywhere above and below the spaces you can place blocks on the map is called The Void. Normally you can't get to the Void below the map because of "unbreakable" bedrock, but if you manage to find a gap in the bedrock, you'll find that the void is rather plain-looking, and that if you jump into it, you'll die within seconds. And once you go in, there's no way to leave.
- This is implied to be the Dragon Age universe's equivalent of Hell, according to Chantry teaching; souls not called to the Maker's side wander here instead. Whether or not this is true is unclear.
- The entirety of the surreal open world freeware RPG Middens takes place in such a void, called "The Rift".
- While only being part of normal space, Mass Effect often references Dark space, the open space between galaxies where there are no stars or planets or anything for millions of lightyears in any direction. It's also where the Reapers spend their time when not currently annihilating all advanced life in the galaxy.
- Soul Series' Astral Chaos, the realm the Soul Swords originate from, is one of these.
- The Time Eater from Sonic Generations is an Eldritch Abomination that erases timelines and dumps them (perhaps literally) into a white void outside of normal space-time. When the monster is defeated, the timelines return to their proper places while Classic Eggman and Modern Eggman are left stranded in the void.
- Convexity in Legend of Spyro. Designed as a prison for the Dark Master (or perhaps was always there), serves pretty much as a Xen World. Stars and nebulae in the background, floating aliens that double as platforms, disconnected rock structures, and all circling around one central spire of light.
- The Void in Dishonored.
- In Problem Sleuth, After PS dies, he is briefly led to a void where he sees the musicbox, and then is quickly revived by the HD.
- In Homestuck, all universes and incipispheres reside in Paradox Space.
- Although it's more like Paradox Space refers to everything that exists. A better example is The Furthest Ring, which is the space between incipispheres (also a Place Beyond Time). And although it's not a void the "real world" functions as an in-between space for two universes.
- Our Little Adventure has 'The Nethar/Planar Void', which was very briefly shown to be an infinite area of nothingness where Grimalar resides. The pantheon section in the website talks about it a bit more than the comic.
- In Sluggy Freelance, each dimension is surrounded by Timeless Space, which acts as a kind of buffer to keep the dimension from being damaged. Normally, these are not empty, but containing some geography and populated by people who ended up there by magic or time travel accidents, and who desperately fight against their personal time running out, since every object and living being carries an aura of time that slowly dwindles but can be strengthened by grouping up with others. However, a crisis caused by a particular course of events (more or less duplicated in different parallel dimensions because that's what their being parallel means) in the future of the comic's timeline will involve abuse of interdimensional rift technology threatening the stability of the dimension where it's used — and turn the local Timeless Space into a true void of nothing that's in danger of collapsing and taking out the universe with it.
- Possibly the White Space. The Author first sent Mega Man and Proto Man there so he could be able to speak to them normally. It was not mentioned again, until the end of Helmeted Author arc, when the Author sends himself, Fistandantilus, George and Proto Man there. George and Proto Man meet Rick O'Shay and Chick-Bot while Author and Fistandantilus duel. When Fistandantilus is defeated, everyone returns to Mega Man Universe. Later on, when Alternate Mega Man and Bass defeat Bob the second time, Bob vanishes to the White Space and apparently can't come back. He does find a way to entertain himself however... until Dr. Wily brings him back. It's actually possible that Fistandantilus possessed Bob during that time.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, the Void, or the ghost paths, is a dimension located between other planes of reality which is populated by proto-elementals, revenants, some stray ghosts and other eldritch creatures. The Sinlarine ghost whisperers and shamans have a native ability to access it and travel unhindered, but non-Sinlarine often have to use mind-altering substances like magic mushrooms to travel through the Void without going insane. While in the Void, the traveller can see spiritual, glowing representations of people and cities whose physical forms are located in the Land of the Living.
- In Yellow Submarine, the Nowhere in which the Nowhere Man lives probably counts, until The Beatles start singing and it gets all psychedelic.
- Outer Space is kind of like this, although it's technically "made" of spacetime.