|The subject of this article is from the Origins update.
The information from this article is up-to-date as of 9 November, 2020.
The information from this article is up-to-date as of 9 November, 2020.
Warning: This page contains spoiler content. If you would prefer to uncover these secrets on your own journey, turn away now.
Lore is a backstory page.
The Universe of No Man's Sky has a deep lore regarding events that happened before the storyline. Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Kingsman, 2000 AD) and James Swallow (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Star Trek) contributed to the lore of the game as well as the Adventures in No Man's Sky comic that is part of the game's Limited Edition. The lore gives a consistent narrative and different perspectives from each lifeforms across the universe. Lore logs may be discovered in colonial outposts, shelters (Traveller's log), Plaques and Monoliths found throughout the game.
The lore of the universe changes and grows with each new update, reflecting larger changes in the game itself.
In June 2017, Hello Games partnered with Alice & Smith to run a complex ARG (Alternate Reality Game) for No Man's Sky, called Waking Titan.
The Game Detectives wiki page thoroughly documented the ARG.
The lore can be pieced together from various sources, such as:
- NPC conversations
- Crashed Ships
- Abandoned Buildings
- Boundary Failures
- Rogue Data
- The Atlas Path
- The Artemis Path
- The Dreams of the Deep quest
Characters and Lifeforms
Here are the list of lifeforms and special named characters intertwined in No Man's Sky's universe:
- Gek Dominion, Gek the First Spawns, or Gek Trade Federation (see Gek for now)
- Korvax or Korvax Convergence (see Korvax for now)
- The Aerons (see Sentinels)
- Vykeen Alliance (see Vy'keen for now)
Atlas is a large machine that was designed to simulate universes for research purposes. After improvements to its design, the original Atlas was considered bulky and obsolete, and was abandoned on the planet it was built on. This original Atlas now communicates to the simulated inhabitants of its universes through surrogate characters and spacious interfaces.
Years later, the physical fate of the Atlas became apparent when it noticed a blackhole encroaching on its world. With no access to the physicality needed to prevent its destruction, Atlas instead attempted to understand why it was abandoned by seeding a digitized brain of its creator into its universes. The Atlas' creator takes the form of the Travellers.
The Travellers are considered to be the race of the player character. The Atlas originally created the Travellers from the corrupted memory of a brain scan it performed on its creator before it was abandoned. Every known Traveller is the last Traveller in their iteration of the universe.
Telamon was a security sub-protocol created to monitor Atlas. At the birth of the Last Traveller, Telamon becomes the voice AI attached to the Traveller's exosuit.
There seems to be an endless number of universes (or "dimensions", according to some accounts), known as "iterations", however, they all share the same set of rules and have the same history, with a few minor differences.
Previously, each Traveller was alone in his or her own universe. As the Atlas degraded itself over time, Travellers were able to see and interact with each other in limited ways. Now, Travellers can explore the universe together and meet in the Space Anomaly from anywhere in the universe, even jumping back and forth between galaxies, which was previously impossible.
A History of the Universe
This is a summary of the larger backstory of the No Man's Sky Universe.
Since the birth of this universe, there have been thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of unique entities. Over many millennia of advancements and wars, three entities reached the pinnacle of evolution before falling into a dark time, and they are -
Gek Dominion: Known as Gek the First Spawns. They are very religious, and their culture involves demonic practices, witchcraft, and sacrificial ceremony. Through these methods they empower themselves and have earned an infamous blood thirsty reputation due to the fact that they will also murder their own kind with their beaks if they are weak. Their numbers are highest at the Center of the Universe and they eschew engagement with other entities.
Korvax Convergence: Known as Korvax, are the most intellectual of the known Mechanical Lifeforms. Through technological advancement they wield an impressive power never meant to be used against any other entities in the universe. Their belief system was unknown until the arrival of the Aerons which then they began to worship them as gods. As robots, they constantly look for ways to advance themselves while peacefully engaging other entities. It is said that they mainly reside in a distant secluded system but have also wandered planet to planet between The Outer Edge to the Edge of the Universe studying fauna and vegetation.
Vy'keen Alliance are the nomads of the universe. Widely scattered, they can be found on almost every planet. They originated in the Outer Edge and are known for their violent disposition, seeming to be in perpetual conflict with other entities, They do not eliminate every entity they encounter, rather they accept the strong-willed and exile the weak into the vast universe to wither. The Vy'keen worship their war heroes. Hirk the Great, and a few who have had the honor of fighting with Hirk are the leaders of the alliance.
Hundred of years before the mysterious Travellers came across the No Man's Sky Universe, the Gek decided to dominate the universe with their beaks and magical enhancements. As they devoured every entity they encountered while advancing out from the Center of the Universe with pride, an unknown entity entered the galaxy from the Outer Edge -
The Aerons, also called Sentinels, are mindless mechanical lifeforms that invaded the No Man's Sky universe. The Aeron forces consist of different variations, from small, drone-like entities to giant walkers to Starship carrier, While they reached into the universe effortlessly with astonishing speed, they were quickly spotted by the Vy'keen Alliance and the Aerons were soon engaged in a decades-long war with the Alliance.
While the Vy'keen believed they needn't worry about the threats of the Gek advancing outward because of their peace treaty, the Korvax intensified their efforts to move as much valuable knowledge out of their Edge of the Universe forward research base and back to their home system as possible before the Gek knocked on their door. Sadly, Korvax Prime was chosen as the next target by the Gek as the Vy'keen had calculated, due to the Gek's fervent wish to enhance their knowledge about demons and witches through the use of Korvax technologies. Shortly after, the Gek consumed the entire planet of Korvax Prime as well as others that existed near the Edge of the Universe.
As the war leader of the Vy'keen Alliance, Hirk carried the great responsibility to lead the alliance forward. Although Hirk seldom discussed tactical options with its advisers, during the Aerons War it had to swallow its pride and ask for opinions. At one point, Hirk even sent a messenger to consult the great witch of Gek the First Spawns to help the Vy'keen win the Aerons War but soon realized the Gek were too busy expanding their empire. Hirk was forlorn, as it had earned the trust of the many Vy'keen willing to die for it fighting against Aerons' invasion.
On the other hand, there isn't much of the old world knowledge left in perspective of the Aerons, who practice the winner takes it all approach to war very thoroughly. For the next few decades and into No Man's Sky Universe, Aerons has influenced countless newborns to think that Aerons exist in the first place as god of the universe and enraged due to these entities' disobedient behaviours and descended to punish them.
The war resulted in massive casualties for both the Aerons and the Vy'keen Alliance. Hirk and their allies had the last laugh when the Aerons began their retreat, but what Hirk didn't expect was that the Gek did not stop with the destruction of Korvax Prime; they also wanted the power the Vy'keen wielded with their quality craftsmanship of weapons and starships. When the alliance hadn't yet fully recovered from the war, the Gek landed a strategic first strike from many directions, encircling the Vy'keen who all swore to protect Hirk to their last breaths. Soon, the Gek had Hirk surrounded. Hirk was shocked and suddenly roared and ended his life as an offering to the ancestors in front of First Spawns encirclement. It is rumored that the planet Hirk sacrificed itself on rained 4 days and 4 nights of hailstorms to freeze every First Spawns and little metallic balls to burn everything to the ground.
When Gek the First Spawns conquered the universe, they celebrated for days with corpses and rivers of blood. It was then Aerons saw the opportunity and came back; sneaked up on the First Spawns, eradicated almost completely to the point where leaders of the First Spawns refuse to give up fighting the Aerons and then were exterminated into dust by the Aerons' technology to show other First Spawns the power of the Aerons. Within a year Gek the First Spawns were completely absorbed by the Aerons and worked for them.
While the Gek were completely absorbed by the Aerons, the Korvax become dismayed by the fact that they can't even protect themselves, while the Aerons, thus far deemed to be much simpler mechanical lifeforms, could take the First Spawns down easily. Korvax attempted to study Aerons from the casings and broken technologies left in space from where Vy'keen Alliances had fought the Aerons, but all they could find was a small red marker within the casing written in a language even Korvax had never seen before. The short text resonated researchers with a rumbling vibe came into mind: "The Atlas".
The vibe was so immersive that many of the Korvax entities who touched the casing went to insanity and ceased to function properly. In order to find a cure, the leader of the Korvax had to bow down to the Aerons willingly and treat them as gods in order to save themselves from insanity.
After Hirk's death, the Vy'keen Alliance was scattered in sorrow and despair. Some Vy'keen swore a death oath to avenge Hirk and kill every single Gek until they are completely wiped clean. While some have adopted the new reality where the Aerons rule the universe, there are some who blame the Aerons for bringing the catastrophic events upon them and hunt them with unyielding ferocity.
The number "sixteen" is a recurring element in the game and all things surrounding it.
- In Atlas Rises lore content, multiple sources stated that the Atlas had 16 minutes of operational time remaining.
- The predictive AI in Waking Titan was called Loop16.
- The cassette tapes delivered to members of the community during Waking Titan were numbered out of 16.
- The number of planets in a galaxy (18,446,744,073,709,551,616) is equal to 16^16.
- There are 16 tracks in the No Man's Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe OST.
- No Man's Sky was released in 2016.
- There are 16 portal glyphs.
- There are 255 different galaxies, the highest number, expressed as FF, in two digit Hexadecimal (base 16).
- Many items obtained during Starbirth quest have the value of 16 .
Originally discovered by a group of missing Korvax scientists, the Abyss is a mysterious presence discovered while investigating underwater signals. Logs recording its existence note that its energy signature is similar, but distinct, from the Atlas. A narrator speculates that Atlas and the Abyss have a similar level of influence over the universe.
World of Glass
A realm of existence where nothing can die.
- The Aerons (sentinels) use the glass from this realm to prevent lifeforms from dying.
- In a Waking Titan community effort, players were asked to submit images of themselves reflecting the Atlas symbol into an infinity mirror. This was meant to be an intensive stress-test of their system, which would model these reflections.
The code-name "Mercury" was used in Waking Titan when referring to an in-universe initiative whose actions covered Hello Games' development on the game. It was sometimes written as Hg80, the atomic number of mercury and its symbol, Hg, which is also the acronym of Hello Games.
It's also worth mentioning that Quicksilver is another name for the chemical element of Mercury.
Release - shipped with a barebone lore which already included the Testament of the Korvax, the Script of the Gek and the Saga of the Vy'keen as well as the Abandoned Buildings' lore. The Atlas Path was the only structured quest and featured different Atlas Interfaces, but it ended identically with the choice to birth a star and the ability to see Black Holes.
Foundation - added the ability to recruit NPCs for specialized terminals. This begins a series of quests involving recruits for the Construction Terminal, the Agriculture Terminal, the Science Terminal, and the Weapons Terminal.
Atlas Rises - introduced Traveller NPCs and the Artemis Path. It added new NPC interactions, and lore for new gameplay content such as Traveller crashed ships, Traveller graves, crashed freighters, procedural missions, boundary failures, and rogue data terminals. The update also added onto pre-existing logs found in abandoned buildings. The base building quests were updated to accommodate a brief transition to them that occurs during the Artemis Path. The Atlas Path was revised to include new Atlas Seed blueprints. This update's story content was written by Greg Buchanan.
NEXT - added lore for the new Base Computer, written by Greg Buchanan. It also introduced player-models with a default sub-race, known as Traveller-anomalies. The introduction of this sub-race was foreshadowed in the Waking Titan ARG. In the story, test-subjects of a dream-powered VR device were asked to wear these exosuits to survive while dreaming for long periods of time.
- Hello Games (27 April 2016). The Lore of No Man's Sky. No Man's Sky. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- NMS 1.37 Boundary Failure, logs #8–10. https://pastebin.com/Gfi30p52.
- Rogue Data. https://nomanssky.gamepedia.com/Rogue_Data.
- NMS 1.37 Traveller dialogues, interaction #18, https://pastebin.com/Fbkrtrf9
- r/NoMansSkyTheGame, Cassettes Megathread, https://www.reddit.com/r/NoMansSkyTheGame/comments/6fmyn3/cassettes_megathread/
- NMS 1.37 Korvax dialogues, interaction #27. https://pastebin.com/HBR5hQyg.
- NMS 1.37 Crashed Freighters, log #2. https://pastebin.com/cBcgn51Y.
- NMS 1.37 Korvax Harvester puzzles, log #15 https://pastebin.com/1cnGVjqa
- NMS 1.37 Traveller Grave, log #14. https://pastebin.com/zC8YS63r
- UNLOCKING MERCURY PROCESS FILE L16.JPG, Waking Titan. https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.wakingtitan.com/loop16/a224a1f4-00e5-467b-9893-83fcc1a4f19a.pdf.