There are many mutants and odd creatures in the mythos of the Metro franchise but none of them can pique curiosity as highly as the Dark Ones. They’re supposedly the mutated version of the human beings, just as some of the monstrous enemies in the games are mutated animals. The Dark Ones, however, seem more advanced and powerful that even regular human beings consider them as bigger threats than the usual byproduct of nuclear war.
They were most prevalent in the first and second games and were highly involved in the latter. Even so, they remain quite a puzzling species in the Metro lore, much more so in the third game. All three Metro games have so far not answered many of the surrounding mysteries about the Dark Ones. Here’s what we do know.
10 They’re Mostly Absent In Metro Exodus
Whereas the plot in Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light directly deal with the Dark Ones, Metro Exodus is a departure from that mystical facade of the post-apocalyptic world. It’s a little too busy dabbling in the denizens of the surface world who weren’t squeezed into metro stations to survive.
Hence, the Dark Ones are notably absent in that game. Anyone who has played the first two games will notice this right away. The Dark Ones do offer a sense of wonder and their presence lends so much to the Metro lore atmosphere that their absence can drastically change the game’s flavor.
9 A Few Of Them Are Present As Easter Eggs
That isn’t to say the Dark Ones are completely nonexistent or were ignored in Metro Exodus. Several of them are available for viewing as fleeting Easter Eggs that are easily missed if you so much as blink or forget to look around in certain areas.
Seeing one is also a brief affair as they’re somewhat timid creatures and quickly turn invisible or disappear after being spotted. Be on the lookout for them in these areas:
- The roof of the Institute in Novosibirsk.
- Above the broken tunnel after the worm-infested metro station, while Artyom is boating.
- At the Caspian Sea while Artyom is smoking a hookah around the campfire
8 A Dark One Can Appear In The Main Menu
So far there are only a handful of quick Dark Ones appearing in-game but the developers also added another outside the game, specifically in the main menu. If you want to see it, you’ll have to keep the game on the main menu for quite a long time.
The main menu is a train control car; if you wait until the odometer reaches 2033 kilometers, a Dark One will appear and disappear quickly outside the window of the train car. It’s a transient reward for something that takes a lot of patience so it’s up to you if it’s worth it.
7 They Feed On Radiation
Dark Ones come with plenty of advantages that make them more suitable for surface life than most human beings. They’re resistant to cold and have telepathic abilities but the most useful out of all their traits in the post-apocalyptic world would be resistance to radiation.
They don’t just resist it either — they thrive on it and even feast on this human waste product. That’s also likely why humans are threatened by their existence since they appear to be the next step in the evolutionary chain.
6 They Can Easily Kill Humans Through Thought
Not convinced that the Dark Ones could have easily driven the human race to extinction in the Metro mythos? Well, it just so happens that their only form of communication, telepathy, is deadly to human beings if uncontrolled.
A Dark One can effortlessly kill a human being by trying to communicate with it telepathically. If a Dark One can’t restrain its telepathic capabilities (especially if it’s young), and it tries to mentally interface with a human, that can result in a rather nasty and deadly headache for the latter.
5 They’re Pacifists
So how come the Dark Ones aren’t the apex species in the Metro novels or video games? Because for some reason, and despite their immense telepathic powers, they’re not violent and were most likely born as pacifists.
The Dark Ones are merely a species of mutated humans trying to survive in a world ruined by their predecessors. Their goals or aspirations are unknown and they prefer to level human beings alone in order to avoid conflict.
4 It’s Possible That The Dark Ones Are Still Helping Artyom
Still, the Dark Ones, thanks to Metro: Last Light’s plot, have grown fond of one human being, namely Artyom. He is one of the few humans they’ve communicated with successfully so it stands within reason that they’re looking after him.
One evidence of this is how Major Miller claimed he knew where to find Artyom in the opening segments of the game without him knowing how he acquired this information. One probable explanation is that a Dark One keeping tabs on Artyom whispered it to Miller.
3 Artyom Calls Them ‘Angels’
While the rest of the Metro populace in both Metro 2033 and Last Light regard the Dark Ones as monsters, same as other mutants but more dangerous, Artyom has another interpretation for these misunderstood beings.
Artyom sees the Dark Ones as angels or envoys whose god breathed life into himself in order to create the last glimmer of hope in the wasteland. That interpretation isn’t without its merit as the Dark Ones really could have helped humans thrive better in the post-nuclear war world.
2 It’s Not Clear How The Dark Ones Reproduce
It’s easy to see why humans came to fear the Dark Ones, they resemble human beings the most. They have similar limbic structures and are also bipedal. They’re also highly intelligent. The difference is that the Dark Ones seem to have no visible reproductive organs at least in the areas where humans would have.
That’s why it’s unclear to scientists in the Metro how the Dark Ones reproduce. They do have umbilical cords though so it would seem that they do get pregnant and give birth the same way humans do.
1 They Might Have Existed Even Before The War
On haunting theory about the Dark Ones, as suggested by Khan Aitmatov in Metro 2033, is that the Dark Ones might have been genetically engineered even before the nuclear war. It was one of the explanations why Dark Ones existed in D6, which is well sealed off from the surface.
The Dark Ones, for that matter, might have been created as weapons or super soldiers since they tend to have functions that serve military purposes better. However, that would make them failed experiments as they grew to be docile creatures, enough to be called angels.
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