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Futuristic Pyramid

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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 and Magitek.


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    Anime & 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 Pokémon: The Series, Battle Frontier trainer Brandon travels in a flying pyramid.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Given that the main setting of Cleopatra in Space is the Nile Galaxy which takes a lot of visual clues from ancient Egypt, plenty of these feature in the series, such as Yasiro Academy.
  • Luxor in the Judge Dredd universe is a pyramid-shaped Mega City.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Osira creates multiple pyramid shapes out of energy shields, which she uses to protect herself, fly around in and imprison superheroes.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An early script for Alien had the crew finding the aliens in a H. R. Giger designed "Egg Silo" but this was cut for budget reasons. A few pyramids are seen on the Predator homeworld in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem as a nod to this.
  • Two can be seen in the post-apocalyptic London in the alternate ending to Army of Darkness.
  • Tyrell Corporation headquarters from Blade Runner, although it's strictly speaking more of a ziggurat. It has become the headquarters of Wallace Corporation in Blade Runner 2049.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: The hi-tech corporation Apex Cybernetics' HQ atop Victoria Peak, Hong Kong is shaped like a pyramid.
  • The Council from Kung Pow! Enter the Fist have a fleet of pyramid-shaped spaceships.
  • 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 them on.
  • In X-Men: Apocalypse, En Sabah Nur raises a titanic, intricate stone-and-metal pyramid as his new base of operations by telekinetically disintegrating and recycling the entire city of Cairo.

  • 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 the 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 of it are all over the place. And they all can house the Second Gate.
  • The Four Ministries of Oceania from Nineteen Eighty-Four were set up much like this.
  • In The Fifth Season, the capitol of the Sanze Empire is the Black Star, a colossal obsidian star pyramid where the leadership of Yumenes operates, topped with a geodesic sphere of amber where the figurehead Emperor lives.
  • The Leech Pyramid in the works of Kim Newman is a black glass pyramid in London which is the headquarters of Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Leech. As revealed in the Diogenes Club story "Egyptian Avenue", he aquired it from a different Corrupt Corporate Executive who'd inherited an ancestor's mania for Egyptology.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Some of Gamma Ray's album covers feature flying pyramids... IN SPACE!
  • Incorporated into the background of Asia's Astra album cover, and appearing in the video for the song "Go".

  • An underwater alien pyramid appears on the Barracora playfield.
  • Stargate has Ra's Pyramid, which sits on the playfield and rises up at times to release the Glidecraft inside.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller Classic.
    • Double Adventure 1 "Shadows". The PCs must investigate a pyramid to free their spaceship from a death trap.
    • Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society #13, adventure "Thought Waves". The PCs are trapped inside an underwater alien pyramid that's actually an ancient spacecraft.
  • 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. Similarly, Aztechnology is fond of making all their buildings into ziggurats as part of their Modern Mayincatec Empire schtick.
  • In Over the Edge, Mad architect Jean-Claude D'Aubainne built the Al-Amarja airport building in the shape of a cone ... balanced on its point. It's the first sight immigrants see, so it has to be one of the most intimidating buildings on the island. It's also a total con. The elevators operate in reverse, and the actual building is underground. The pyramid is an empty shell.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • StarCraft:
    • 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: 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.
  • Might and Magic:
    • In 'III, the Pyramids are a network of underground dungeons that are actually high-tech Ancient facilities, defended by robots and keeping the Science Fantasy secrets of Terra from the surface population.
    • The Tomb of VARN in 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.
  • One of the levels in Data East's Atomic Runner Chelnov features in the background a cyborg Sphinx and moving pyramids gliding over the sand dunes.
  • In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, the Cipher Key Lair is a giant pyramid with a black glass exterior that's a factory for turning Pokémon into Shadow Pokémon.
  • Persona 5 has Futaba's Palace, a tomb with Matrix Raining Code on all of the walls and the platforms the player must activate using gems and statues. The Treasure Room is made of Cool Code of Source.


    Western Animation 
  • The first episode of Futurama shows that by the year 3000, at least one of Egypt's pyramids will hover.
  • In the Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy", a children's contest to create a new design for the Springfield power plant sees an entry by Martin in the form of some model of dark pyramid that's actually powering the room they're standing in.
  • The Triceratons of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) ships all resemble angular pryamids.
  • What If…? (2021): In "What If... Ultron Won?", the Watcher at one point fights Ultron through a universe that has such a pyramid.

    Real Life 
  • 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 Memphis Pyramid in Memphis...Tennessee. The southern third or so of Illinois is known as Little Egypt, centered around Cairo (pronounced "KAIR-oh") which sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, an area with rich soil and old Mississippi culture mounds resembling the pyramids of Ancient Egypt so American settlers began naming places here and further south (including the city in Tennessee) after Egyptian locations. Originally built to host basketball games, it fell into disuse before being converted into a Bass Pro Shops in 2015.
  • 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.
  • Ramses: Il risveglio, an attraction in the Italian Gardaland theme park. A shooting ride full of Terminator-esque robot skeletons and ancient Egyptian stuff mixed with cyberpunk decor.
  • The Shimizu TRY-2004 Mega-City is a concept for a two-kilometer tall pyramid Arcology with dozens of skyscrapers suspended in an octahedral grid of trusses. The design relies on carbon-nanotube Unobtainium that hasn't been invented yet, so it remains entirely speculative.
  • The Hanoi Museum is shaped like an inverted pyramid.