Super Earth scientists 'spaghettified' in Dark Fluid research incident: Here's why that's good news for Helldivers 2 players

Helldivers 2 Discord header image - four Helldivers celebrating side by side on a large rock
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

There's good news and bad news for Helldivers 2 players, although in this case they're basically the same thing. The bad news is that 12 Super Earth scientists at a Dark Fluid Research Facility were, uh, "spaghettified" after the volatile material suddenly and without warning collapsed into a "micro black hole." The good news is that this unfortunate incident has some players convinced that the arrival of the Illuminate, the so-far-absent third enemy faction in Helldivers 2, is imminent.

We will be talking about leaks and spoilers here, for the record, so stop reading now if you want to avoid such things.

We will begin with the incident:

The spaghettifying Dark Fluid is being weaponized by Super Earth scientists for use in the war against the Terminids, and specifically the Terminid Supercolony on the planet Meridia: The briefing for the latest major order says Helldivers will use the substance to "conduct a targeted strike to permanently end the threat posed by the Supercolony."

The briefing also reveals where Dark Fluid came from, and this is where things get interesting: "Dark Fluid is a form of synthesized exotic matter liberated from the Illuminate following the First Galactic War."

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The technologically advanced Illuminate were one of the three enemy factions, along with the Terminid and Automatons, of the original Helldivers, but they've been notably absent from Helldivers 2. It's widely assumed that their return is not a matter of "if," but "when," as various leaks and rumors have suggested that reports of the Illuminate's annihilation at the hands of Super Earth may have been exaggerated.

Some of those leaks appear to have been spot-on. One, reported in April by The Gamer, showed a planet—believed to be Meridia—exploding. The original leak has since been deleted, but the same leaker also revealed a "Dark Fluid Containment Device" and a "Dark Fluid Research Station'' objective that some players theorized is connected to the creation of a black hole that results in the planet's destruction. That black hole, so the line of thought goes, is what draws the Illuminate back into the fight.

Meridia, as noted, just happens to be the target of the new Helldivers 2 Major Order:

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Another leak, posted to Reddit in March, contains multiple Illuminate references, most notably the presence of "Illuminate energy readings in the area surrounding the singularity created by the Dark Fluid." In fine Super Earth fashion, it also seems that history is being rewritten: Rather than being exterminated by Super Earth's superior military might, text in the leak says humanity "magnanimously allowed the Illuminate to flee the Galaxy. Now they're back. Why? Because they hate peace."

Whether this new spaghetti incident signals the imminent return of the Illuminate remains to be seen, but it sure looks like Helldivers 2 is following that path. Even without all the supporting evidence (or weird coincidences), developer Arrowhead is clearly building up to something. And there's certainly precedent for good news becoming very, very bad news: The great April 1 victory at Malevelon Creek was immediately followed by a massive invasion of Automaton gunships and walkers, and the "Termicide'' gas that was going to lead to final victory over the bugs actually made things a whole lot worse. Deploying a new super-weapon that attracts the attention of another implacable intergalactic foe? Yeah, that fits.

We may not have to wait too long to find out. The current major order appears to be going well: Angel's Venture is under control, Fenrir III is halfway there, and in roughly an hour Turing has gone from 2.8% liberated to 6.6%—there's still a long way to go, but managed democracy appears to be advancing rapidly. Once that's completed, Meridia—and whatever it may bring—awaits.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.