A dark one on the non-canonical Enlightened ending of the Metro 2033 game.
|Status||Extinct (standard ending)|
Critically Endangered (Redemption)
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Dmitry A. Glukhovsky|
|Designed by||Dmitry A. Glukhovsky|
The dark ones or blacks (original Russian) are sentient humanoid creatures, supposedly descended from humans who survived the nuclear apocalypse of the world of Metro.
Albeit rarely seen, the dark ones serve as the driving antagonists throughout both iterations of Metro 2033, in which they pose as a new mutant threat aggressively descending from the surface to Artyom's home station of VDNKh (Exhibition, in the video game).
A theory on their creation is one proposed by Khan after learning of the hibernating dark ones inside D6. He believes that the dark ones might have actually been genetically engineered before the war (perhaps as telepathic soldiers immune to radiation). If that is true then the experiment appears to be a failure since dark ones are pacifists and dislike killing. It is even possible that they are in fact angels given physical form (considering the supernatural aspects of the game), or that God 'breathed souls into them' as Artyom suggests in Last Light. And they are here to offer Humanity one, last chance at salvation and redemption.
It is unknown how they reproduce, as stated by a Nazi soldier. They do give live birth, as evidence by the fact that they have a navel, which requires an umbilical cord to form. This suggests that their reproduction is similar to that of a human.
Artyom's observations Edit
"I asked the kid about how he made it. How did he survive the inferno? Now I know. When the missiles rained upon the city of the dark ones he was simply not there. The dark ones... We've been asking ourselves how it happened so that new sentient life emerged almost instantly. Why did we take millions of years of evolution, and all the dark ones needed were a few years? The answer was simple. It was us, people, who had brought them to life. They emerged amongst us. Sukhoi, my stepfather, was right - they were the next step of evolution. Next to ours. We were their fathers, they were our children. We had created so many weapons to destroy ourselves with... and one of those weapons gave birth to them. They are not like us. What kills us makes them stronger. We left them a ravaged, poisoned world. But they learned to live in it. They sustain themselves by absorbing radiation. After being born, they do not enter the world at once -
For sometime they continue to exist in a dream, growing and learning from the ones who came before them. What we destroyed was their home. But the place where their young one slept was underground. Close to the Botanical Gardens. Close to the TV Tower. It was in the bunkers under the TV buildings, which were connected to D6. But when the warheads fell, the entrance tunnels caved in. The dark ones who were almost ready to enter the world got blocked inside. Instead of them, he, the Little One, opened his eyes, awakened by the explosion and the last scream of his mother. Knowing nothing of what had happened. Not ready for anything, knowing nothing of the world. He tried looking for his kin, but could not find them, because the few survivors continued sleeping. Their time to wake up had come and passed. Very soon they could die of hunger, without even opening their eyes once. I don't know how Khan persuaded Miller, but he was the icon of stoicism and did not reach for his weapon when he saw the dark one. And the following events shocked me even more than the plans of the Reds -
There were Dark Ones in D6! Khan had hypothesized that they were created artificially before the war. Created as what? Soldiers immune to radiation and having no need for voice communication? Could be so... But then God probably decided to breathe souls into them..."
While stronger and more durable than a typical human, dark ones are still fairly weak when compared to other mutants, capable of being taken down with five shots from a revolver, although their psychic abilities more than make up for such weakness. They have long, thin arms, ending in large hands with long fingers, as well as equally thin and long legs. The skin color, just like many other mutants, is a dark ash-grey color.
The dark ones are very closely related to humans, likely mutated survivors or descendants of such, and are well adapted to the recently ravaged post-apocalyptic world. Homo novus, as they are referred to, have evolved to be highly resistant to radiation and cold temperatures, and possess extra-sensory perception - which in Last Light, is depicted as a perception of both blood and aggression. The dark ones are not capable of vocal communication, but they are able to communicate telepathically among themselves and with other sentient beings. Their telepathic powers are usually too strong for the average human being, however, and if they try to communicate with them without properly controlling these powers, they will inadvertently destroy the being's mind. Using these powers, they are able to create realistic illusions by manipulating the mind of their target, and are similarly able to induce fear telepathically to scare their enemies away. Dark one share a form of collective consciousness and, in the Metro 2033 video game the Dark Ones are able to telepathically communicate with Artyom without harming his mind severely, even sending him into a dream-like state.
The dark ones state to Artyom in the final chapter of the Metro 2033 novel that they no longer have any ability or understanding as to how to create and use technology and so are approaching mankind on a joint venture, they help mankind survive and in return mankind can again come to the surface and rebuild civilization. One of the questions set by the novel is would humans really be co-species with the dark ones or is that in fact some form of slavery? The question is left unanswered, and the reader is permitted to formulate his/her own opinions about whether co-existence would have worked or not.
Up to 2033 Edit
In both the novel and game, the dark ones began their existence living in a "beehive" on the surface at Botanicheskiy Sad metro station, which is located north of VDNKh station, Artyom's home. They were first revealed to mankind not long after a young Artyom opened the great hermetic door of Botamicheskiy Sad to glimpse the surface, and eventually found the entrance and explored the Metro, VDNKh being the first station and human contact they came across. They were not bloodthirsty beasts as most of the inhabitants of the Metro believed, but sentient beings wanting nothing more but peace with humanity. Unfortunately Metro citizens didn't understand their desire to live in symbiotic society, thus "striking back" before any attempt to create peace was ever made. As the Dark Ones would approach VDNKh in long strides, trying to simply walk into the station, the station guard would fire upon them out of fear, desperation, and a sudden onset of madness. It's revealed in The Gospel According to Artyom, and suggested by the opening scene in Metro Last Light, that the dark ones never intended for the death of humans, yet their very presence and psychic influence drove the humans mad, and they subsequently killed each other.
It is because of the "threat" of the Dark Ones that Hunter first arrives in VDNKh, and it is through him that Artyom begins his journey in the metro, to save his home. Despite this, through the Metro 2033 video game the dark ones continually try to get Artyom to understand their intent. They projected peaceful and nonthreatening images at several points in the game such as visions of children playing happily in a prewar playground or leaves on a tree to show him that they only want peace and understanding. Equally so in the novel, it is somewhat implied that the dark ones were also committed to protecting Artyom throughout his journey by telepathically sending various protectors that would help him when the time came. Though afflicted by a reoccurring set of ever-expanding visions in the novel, it was never enough to make Artyom stop and consider the possibility of peace.
As revealed vaguely in the novel, but more so in the epilogue to the Metro 2033 novel: the Gospel of Artyom, and Metro Last Light, Artyom's past also involved dark ones. Some time after arriving in VDNKh, Artyom along with Eugine and Vitali often went exploring as children. In one adventure they traveled north to the gardens, and opened the hermetic door there to get to the surface - the same door the Dark Ones would one day use to walk down into the Metro from. While exploring, Artyom is attacked by mutants (dogs in most cases, watchmen in Last Light). Moments from imminent slaughter, he is saved by a dark ones. As a child, Artyom's sanity is not effected by the dark one - who on the contrary, empathizes with Artyom. Stating he is alone in the world without his mother, in Last Light, the dark one reassures Artyom that he is not alone - but "the first". Through their brief psychic contact, Artyom is rendered immune to the dark ones - who in turn, accept and "adopt" him to be the chosen - the bridge between the two races. As Artyom ages however, he remembers his journey to the Gardens but forgets his encounter with the dark one - leaving him well equipped to be their demise, when he should have been their savior.
In the end of the novel, after Artyom reaches Ostankino Tower he can see the Dark Ones moving around their 'beehive' much like ants around a nest. Sensing Artyom, the Dark Ones then desperately tried to convince Artyom to trust them, completing his visions and elaborating to them their message of peace, and that he was their adopted chosen one that would unite men with dark ones.
2034 and beyond Edit
Though decimated, the dark ones return in Metro: Last Light in more ways than one, primarily as the baby dark one, the sole survivor of the D6 missile strike. As a target of the rangers, the baby dark one was to be killed by Artyom and Anna, and escaped them, yet only to be captured by Nazis. Psychically afflicting a Nazi with the image of his son, the dark one was sold to a Hansa freak-circus (instead of being sent to a Nazi firing line). As news of the baby dark one spread, it caught the attention of the Red Line general, Korbut. Korbut, originally planning to create an army of domesticated dark ones that would serve the Red Line, and help his take-over of the metro, soon sought out to seize the last Dark One. The plan falls through, when Artyom and Khan rescue the dark one from the apprehended Hansa train. Despite at first being the one assigned to kill the baby, Artyom decides to save it and the two form a partnership. Traveling together, Artyom expresses his regrets over the destruction of the dark ones, just as the dark one learns of what it is to be human. Together, along with Khan, the three of them learn of D6's best-kept secret - a nest of hibernating dark ones. As the battle for D6 begins, the dark one leaves Artyom to save his surviving kin. Dependent on the player's "moral points" acquired in the game, the tide of the battle for D6 is considerably changed by the dark ones. In the standard depressive, "c'est la vie!" ending, the dark ones go unheard from, and D6, and everyone in it, are destroyed - yet in the alternate Redemption ending, the crippled Rangers are saved at the last moment, by the second coming of the dark ones - who proceed to attack, and in turn, annihilate the Red Army, and secure victory for the heroes.
The last yet heard of the Dark Ones, as either transcribed down in history, or directly to Artyom, is that the Metro is not to be their home any more. For reasons, only marginally elaborated upon, the Dark Ones state that they must leave humanity for a time, though vowing to return one day. The last, canonical, shot of the Dark Ones, has the Dark Ones marching off into the sunset of a nuclear spring, with Artyom speaking Khans words that the baby Dark One was an angel sent down from the heavens, an icon of forgiveness, and "the last light of hope in [a] kingdom of darkness".