Nulls are small slug-like creatures of limited intelligence who drain energy, sometimes from Sprites, to survive. Their bodies are squishy with no skeletal structure, they come in any color imaginable, and all have stripes, usually white. Nulls are one of the many formats found in Cyber Space.
Nulls make squeaking and grunting noises, are rarely quiet, and make loud screeching noises when frightened. They are easily scared and run from things that startle them, however, Nulls cannot be hurt by physical force or weapons fire, they can only be contained.
Although Nulls do not have an identifiable head, one end of their body is the front, as they appear to move it around to look at things.
Individual nulls are of no real threat, but large gatherings and swarms of them are extremely lethal as they can easily overwhelm a city's defenses. It is dangerous for most beings to touch Nulls directly because of their energy-draining nature, though Megabyte has been shown to handle Nibbles without causing himself any visible injury. In a frenzied state, they can corrode any unprotected surface.
Nulls are created by Game Cubes. When the User wins a Game, any Sprites or Binomes caught inside are reduced to the state of a Null. This process is referred to as being "nullified" or "nullification". A Game can nullify any digital being, regardless of their format. (The Tearing)
Hexadecimal has a great deal of control over nulls, possibly due to her origin. Like Megabyte, she also looked upon the null of Welman Matrix as a father-figure. Hexadecimal would occasionally use nulls to attack others, causing the cities' many nulls to swarm in mass numbers, overwhelming entire armies.
All Nulls will avoid Game Cubes regardless of what is holding them in the area. Hexadecimal's power over the nulls is powerful, but it is not enough to keep the little creatures in place when a Cube is dropping on them. This appears to be the only area where she can't maintain control of them. Nulls will dissolve any containment box holding them in a Cube's path so that they may get away. Their running from Game Cubes is possibly due to an instinctual fear of what happened to them when they were nullified.
It is also possible to be nullified by powerful energy surges like explosions, however, this is very rare. When Welman Matrix tested his Gateway Command in the Twin City, it brought in the super virus Gigabyte by accident. The machine overloaded causing the entire system's destruction. The Twin City's sprite population were all transformed into nulls. (What's Love Got To Do With It?)
For the most part, inhabitants of a system regard Nulls as pests or vermin, although it has been shown some keep them as small pets. The only Null known to have a name was Nibbles. (The Quick and the Fed)
On the known Net, no null has ever recompiled back into the Sprite or Binome it used to be. Phong and Dot have tried many times to restore their lost friends and family. Although Mainframe has made great strides in research every attempt so far has failed. Bob came up with a theory that every Game contains a record of its past. It's called a Saved Game. A sprite could possibly be recompiled if it encountered the Game that nullified it and the Game is won. All Nulls avoid Game Cubes though, and so this theory is unproven.
Hexadecimal was attacked and infected by a Web Creature. The nulls sensed her distress, and every null in the city flocked to Lost Angles and swarmed into Hexadecimal's Lair. They completely covered her to protect Mainframe from the creature. The mass formation of nulls was named Nullzilla by Mike the TV. It was estimated that there were over two million nulls making up the monster. Hexadecimal's attempts to break free caused Nullzilla to leave Lost Angles and attack the city. Bob, Dot, Enzo, Frisket, Mike, and AndrAIa used a Giant Robot to dispatch the null monster. (Nullzilla)
During the Viral Wars, Hexadecimal was imprisoned by Megabyte after she was severely injured by a Game Cube when the Hardware exploded. She later escaped her brother's control and began decimating Giedi Prime with a mass horde of nulls, purely for pleasure. Megabyte had already lost the Silicon Tor and sent Hack and Slash with an escort of ABCs to salvage the sector, but they failed. The Nulls crippled the production facilities that manufacture ABCs. They also destroyed several of the ABCs defending Giedi Prime by dissolving some of them. With the plants obliterated, the virals couldn't build anymore ABCs, as a result, Megabyte's fleet was reduced to just 39 carriers.
During the Net War, Hexadecimal used her powers to expel the Guardian Armada from Mainframe. The effort drained her powers and the User activated a viral scan. It began trying to change her into a sprite. Hex summoned a mass of nulls to protect herself from the scan. The null cocoon worked for a while but when a Game Cube landed in the area the nulls fled and Hex was turned into a sprite. (Cross Nodes)
The only power Hexadecimal retained was her control over nulls. She used it to help Dot bring back her father, Welman Matrix. Hex had several nulls form a human-shaped body with the null of Welman/Nibbles as the head. She wasn't able to restore his original Sprite body, but he was able to speak and think again. Dot wanted to embrace her father but he warned not to, as the nulls were still dangerous to touch. (What's Love Got To Do With It?)
Hexadecimal eventually left Mainframe to cure the Net of Daemon's infection. She left a gift of some of her powers in Little Enzo's icon. Once she was gone Welman's new body collapsed and he lost the ability to speak or think, returning to his Nibbles persona. (Sacrifice)
Welman's presence in Mainframe had confirmed something Phong and Dot had long suspected. A null retains the exact code of the Sprite it used to be. Hue Branch and the Tech Boys developed a portable Game Sampler to download codes from a Game Cube. The device could build up a library of Games, then use codes on nulls contained in the lab. However Dot pointed out that her father wasn't nullified by a Game. Phong admitted he was still no closer to restoring the Twin City Sprites. Nevertheless, they brought the device into the Rocky The Rabid Raccoon Game and downloaded its code. The device is to be placed next to a Game Cubes outer wall from inside the Game. Once activated, the device attaches several tubes to the outer wall of the Cube and begins to slowly download the codes for that individual Game. So far, the sampler has only been used once, and it is unknown if it produced any success in the lab. (Life's a Glitch)
When Dot was getting married, Little Enzo wanted Welman/Nibbles to attend. When he opened the nulls cage Nibbles jumped into Little Enzo's hand and the viral power traveled from his icon into Nibbles, permanently giving him back the power of speech and thought. Although this did not recreate his original body, he could finally be with his family again. Phong quickly constructed a robot suit for Welman so he could walk around touch things as a normal person. The suit also corrected Welman's previous speech impediment, restoring his original voice. (Null Bot of the Bride)
Megabyte returned to Mainframe and quickly gained control of the War Room and the Principal Office. Everyone tried to escape, but several binomes in the room were infected by him, including Welman's android body. He was seen holding Little Enzo captive for Megabyte, while the virus made a system-wide announcement. Since nulls are generally immune to viral infection, it is likely that only his android body is infected and under Megabyte's control. (Crouching Binome, Hidden Virus)
Contradiction[edit | edit source]
Although it is stated that Nulls cannot be hurt by physical force, Megabyte did squeeze Nibbles once. The green null flashed purple and screeched in pain. The most logical explanation for this is that nulls cannot be injured by physical force but can still feel pain. (The Quick and the Fed)
References[edit | edit source]
- The name Null has multiple meanings in computer programming.
- Typically Null means a special object reference used to signify that a pointer intentionally does not point to, or refer to, an object.