Cocytans are the extraterrestrial species featured in all versions of The Dig. They are a sentient race that evolved on the planet Cocytus.


Many millennia ago, the Cocytans once had an advanced society, far beyond mankind. They were scientists, explorers, and philosophers, delving space, time, and life itself for universal truth. They created the Island and the automated Crystal Starships to bring intelligent life to their planet so that they could establish friendly relations with them. Along the way, their knowledge of our universe began reaching the saturation point, and the Cocytans became obsessed with preserving and extending their knowledge.

They discovered Spacetime Six, a six-dimensional space beyond our four-dimensional one, where the three dimensions of space intersect with the three dimensions of time. Within this higher dimension, thought is reality and the Cocytans would become effectively immortal. One by one, they left Cocytus and all their fantastic technology behind and entered Spacetime Six. Soon, there were no Cocytans left on Cocytus save one preserved in a mausoleum.

In Spacetime Six, the Cocytans could explore and learn for all eternity. However, the six-dimensional nature of that universe made it impossible to sustain the existence of matter. Nothing could be built or created there. Their existence became static, and the Cocytans soon wished to return to their own universe. Unfortunately, the time spent in Spacetime Six robbed them of the ability to return to physical form in this reality.

Role in the StoryEdit

The Cocytans are first seen by the team in the form of ghosts, attempting to communicate through abstract means and trying to guide and/or warn the team. Most of the time, these attempts at communication are not understood until it is already too late, once resulting in the (temporary) death of Ludger Brink, and later his intoxication on the Life Crystals.

For much of the story, the team only knows of the Cocytans through the technology and vast library they left behind on the Island. Ludger attempts to re-create the machine that creates Life Crystals, while Maggie Robbins studies the Cocytan language in the library.

Eventually, Boston Low discovers the Creator's tomb and that one of the Life Crystals can return him to life for a brief time. This does little good, since Boston cannot understand the creature's language, and the Creator dies once more. He returns with Maggie, who translates the Creator's speech. The Creator tells them the story of how they discovered Spacetime Six, and the machine to open a doorway between this space and that one, and how the Cocytans are now trapped in Spacetime Six, unable to return to this reality.

Boston, Maggie, and Ludger manage to fix the Creator's machine and open the Eye, but not before Ludger goes insane and tries to kill them both. After Maggie dies activating the machine, Boston enters the Eye and crosses over into Spacetime Six, looking for the Cocytans. He makes sure to remember his former existence, and manages to lead the Cocytans out of Spacetime Six into this reality. When the Cocytans return, they are masters of themselves again, and one is able to re-enter Spacetime Six in order to travel through time, space, and the dimensions to pull Maggie and Ludger through the fabric of causality, returning them both to life (without the Life Crystals) and also cure Ludger's madness.

With the Cocytans returned to physical form, they went about rebuilding their now-dead world. They also constructed another Crystal Starship to return the three to Earth.

Appearance and PhysiologyEdit

Cocytans are carbon-based, oxygen-breathing life forms, judging by the similarity of their environment to Earth's. Their appearance is bird- or dinosaur-like, with six vestigial wings extending from their shoulders. Cocytans stand between ten and twelve feet in height, and walk with digitigrade locomotion on three-toed feet almost like an elephants. Their bodies are bulky, covered in thin hair. Most Cocytans have a crest of longer fur around their shoulders, and elders have a long, thin beard extending from the middle of the chin.


The true name of this species is never known. The name "Cocytans" comes from the name Ludger Brink gives to their planet: Cocytus. He named the planet after the "river of wailing," one of the five rivers that circles Hades, so-named because the planet was effectively dead.