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Fanfic / The Dark Below

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Izuku was never quirkless.

Sometimes quirks hide until they are triggered. Izuku tasted death and found it lacking, every flavour bitter and lacking spice. In the moments between death and life, he gazed into the howling abyss and it followed him home. Everything he thought he knew about the world is a lie. There are monsters lurking in the dark below, always waiting and always watching, hidden by the shadows.

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They wait patiently, waiting for one to sit upon a throne of crystal madness and eternal suffering. They have waited for aeons and will wait until the end of eternity.

They wait only for Izuku Midoriya.

The Dark Below is a My Hero Academia Fanfic that features Izuku with a quirk that sends him to an eldrtitch plain each time he dies.

Cue lots of death, angst, and philosophical discussions on the nature of being a hero.


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Tropes that feature are:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Averted. The story is set centuries into the future with an extensive alternate history.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: As a result of Izuku dying multiple and the trauma from having half his face melted by Bakugou during the Battle Trial, Izuku is sent to therapy.
  • Adaptational Badass: Kurogiri Uses his warp gates for decapitation and leads a war all by himself.
  • Adapted Out: Mineta, Hagakure and Kouda. Seeing what Izuku becomes during USJ drives them insane.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. Inko does everything in her power to protect Izuku.
  • Adult Fear: This is a story rampant with immoral people.
    • Inko has to deal with a son being driven insane by his powers and his hallucinations of his dead twin.
    • Aizawa firmly believes Inko is an abusive parent as of chapter 7.
    • Marasu Bakugou has to deal with the possibility of her son going to prison for his actions during the Battle Trial.
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  • Ambiguous Disorder: zigzagged with Izuku. Initially diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, the voice in his head is now a character.
  • The Apprentice: Izuku to All Might.
  • Ascended Extra: Kurogiri is more than just the League's method of transportation. He's also All For One's right hand man.
    • Mikumo Atakani: the original concept for Izuku, here he is Izuku's dead twin brother. He doesn't stay dead.
    • Hisashi, Izuku's absentee father from canon, is a character who is on speaking terms with the Emperor and All For One, as well as a multiverse traveller
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Izuku, firmly. His powers let his control shadows, a classic villain power, but all he wants to do is help anyone and everyone.
  • Breakingthe Fourth Wall: Ojiro and Izuku share this interaction:
    Izuku: “Who knows. Maybe there’s someone writing my story and they suck at being internally consistent with their rules.
    Ojiro: A bad author indeed.
    • The entirety of Shouto and Izuku's journey into the abyss seems to be this and failing to deconstruct story tropes.
  • Call-Back:
    • Inko mentions the anti-quirk riots and Taiwan sinking in chapter 7.
      • Tokoyami later reveals a member of the imperial family committed that crime.
      • Shoto mentions in chapter 16 that his parents were married around the same time and that Endeavour fought to marry Rei.
      • Nezu mentions the sinking of Taiwan led to the purge of Shikoku and the anti-quirk riots
      • It is implied that Hisashi was involved in all of this.
    • Eao makes a prophecy that "Naraka, ally to come, betrayed by your shadow hands". In chapter 28, Izuku betrays Shouto, who wields hellfire. Naraka is the Buddhist concept of hell.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Izuku. Let's see: he can generate shadows, travel to an eldritch dimension, returns to life, and still receives One For All.
    • Tokoyami: He acquires a dragon.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • In his first appearance, Aizawa threatens to expel his students just like he did his class two years ago. During the Sports Festival, Midoriya encounters a security guard multiple times. This guard is revealed to be one of Aizawa's expelled students and planted the explosives in the stadium.
  • Darker and Edgier: The story opens with the main character dying. It doesn't get lighter from there.
    • Nezu operates a hidden facility which he uses to hide UA's problem students, never to see the light of day again.
    • Taiwan was sunk a few years before the start of the story
  • Eldritch Location: The premise of Izuku's quirk.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chapter 16 shows that this is what Izuku becomes when he dies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: All For One's original plan would have set off the explosives in an empty part of the stadium.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Battle Trial leads to a lot of things.
    • Because of his bad reputation after the Battle Trial, Nezu convinces All Might to stay in the school, directly leading to Izuku dying in chapter 16 and becoming an Eldritch Abomination.
    • This leads to Tomura heavily modifying the plan to assault the stadium by making Izuku and Todoroki priority targets.
      • This directly leads to Izuku and Shouto being trapped in the abyss and having to fight their way through.
  • Honor Before Reason: Tokoyami has shades of this.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Midoriya. By the time he fights Shouto, there isn't any doubt that he will win.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Izuku still receives One For All.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nezu has markings of this.
  • Manchild: Shigaraki is this.
  • Medium Awareness: Midoriya is well aware that he's trapped in Shouto's story come chapter 25 and makes mention of common storytelling tropes.
  • My Greatest Failure: Izuku fails to help a girl in chapter 15. This goes on to haunt him.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Izuku. Because of his powers, dying isn't a concern.
  • No Sense of Direction: Izuku because of his powers.
    • Tokoyami shows shades of this during the Sports Festival.
  • Title Drop: The author seems to be a fan of this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mikumo references the song 8-mile and then quotes Infinity War in the same chapter.
    • Many Worm characters are mentioned throughout the story including Scion, the Slaughterhouse Nine, Lung, Bakuda, the Empire 88.
    • Mika from "Yesterday Upon Their Stair" makes an appearance.
    • Dark Souls and Bloodborne are mentioned multiple times. Shouto and Izuku are forced to take part in the Old Hunter's DLC
    • Destiny concepts including Sword Logic and throne Worlds are mentioned multiple times. The guns Hawkmoon and Graviton Lance are reprised as characters. Eao the Ahamkara is a character that grants Izuku a wish
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Izuku sees one early into the story.
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