Theories on the World of Sky: Children of the Light

This article will be discussing spoilers for Sky: Children of the Light. If you haven’t done it yet, go play through the game at least once if you would like to avoid spoilers!

This article is for my own theories, and is in no way meant to be a ‘definitive’ version of Sky’s lore. This article may also be subject to change as I develop my theories more.

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Table of Contents

The Two Versions of Sky’s Opening Cutscene

In essence, the two versions of Sky’s intro cutscene tell a similar story, but each has slightly different wording that may help in piecing together the world of Sky. Also, including these will probably make this article make more sense for outside viewers.

Version 1 (Old)

“With the stars united, our light was infinite.

But darkness came, and the stars fell…

Together, the fallen stars made a new home in the clouds.

If only they had listened…

A long time has passed. Now I call to you.

Wake up, child. Bring our lost stars home.”

Version 2 (Current)

“The spirits of this realm have long awaited your arrival… and your light.

With the stars united, our light was infinite… and together, we lived in harmony.

As spirits, we soon became many… creating our home here in the clouds.

But darkness came and the stars fell… and with their light we faded away.

A long time has passed. Now we call to you. Go forth, child. Return our spirits to the stars.”

The Inhabitants of Sky


As the intro lore snippets imply, Spirits were the main inhabitant of the Sky world before darkness came. Not much ambiguity there, but I wanna think more about the Spirits’ relationship to the player character.

The player character in Sky (referred to as sky kids by some members of the community, and me) is not too unlike the Spirits in terms of characteristics, and I personally think sky kids and Spirits are of the same 'species'. On a surface level, both are bipedal, have white hair, wear masks, and wear capes (implying Spirits had the ability to fly?) The main difference between between Spirits and sky kids is that Spirits are mostly incorporeal in nature, but I do have reason to suspect sky kids are also able to achieve this incorporeal nature, thus making them Spirits.

I’m not sure if you can achieve this elsewhere in the game, but when you venture into the Eye of Eden you are destined to die. When that happens, the sky kid will have lost all of their light and their physical form, now represented by a small blue wisp. This blue wisp is similar to the wisps that sometimes represents Spirits. Death does bring up one big distinction between Spirits and sky kids, and that is that sky kids are able to reassume their physical form after death through rebirth. The Spirits have presumably already died, so what may make them incapable of rebirth...?

Timeline of the Spirits

Isle of Dawn

Going forward, I am building my world theories based on a statement made in an Apple article about Sky: Sky’s seven realms are subtly themed around stages of human life. If the life of man were condensed into a day, their life would begin at dawn. Similarly, the Isle of Dawn would probably be indicative of the Spirit society’s beginnings. There are no threats, and the future ahead is clear and bright.

Daylight Prairie

Spirit society is established and beginning to grow. This is the first area where man-made buildings aside from the bell towers start appearing. The atmosphere here is very bright and promising.

Hidden Forest

The Hidden Forest is the first area that introduces a real threat that puts the player’s light at risk. Its not an active threat, but still a threat nonetheless. In the face of adversity, innovation seems to thrive, which is showcased in the fact that the first bits of light-based machinery can be seen in the Hidden Forest. In the Hidden Forest we are also given more looks into grander structures, such as fortress-like walls and an industrial elder shrine (whatever you call it).

Valley of Triumph

The peak of Spirit society, it’s in the name, isn’t it? With the Spirits seemingly having things figured out at this point, there is a heavy focus on recreation in this realm, with plenty of places to skate around and fly. The man-made structures present have grown much larger in comparison to the Hidden Forest, with one of the bigger structures being a coliseum with colossal statues.

I feel it’s also important to note that I have never seen any forms of darkness in the Valley of Triumph.

Golden Wasteland

Spirit society rapidly declines. This realm is deprived of sunlight and is by far one of the most dangerous realms. The water here is dark, causing sky kids to gradually lose light should they touch it; and this realm is the player’s first introduction to Dark Dragons (called Krill by the community), patrolling dark creatures that pose one of the biggest threats to the player.

The architecture is still large, but is far less decorative than the buildings found in the Valley of Triumph. Any technology that would’ve existed here has probably fallen to ruin, and barricades around several buildings possibly indicate what happened to call this place a wasteland.

A screenshot of the unnamed constellation and an abstract depiction of its elder.
A screenshot of the unnamed constellation and an abstract depiction of its elder.
Vault of Knowledge

Perhaps being aware of the decline Spirit society has taken, the Vault of Knowledge was built in attempts to save what progress they had made. Aside from that, I don’t have much commentary about the Vault of Knowledge other than the fact that, at the end of this realm, there is a cutscene that reveals there’s another constellation and possibly another Ancestor Spirit the players have not seen yet.

Eye of Eden

This area may explain why the Spirits faded away by the time the player enters the scene. This realm is the most hazardous and the only place I’m aware of where the player can truly die. Death is also unavoidable. Almost all hazards except for the rain from the Hidden Forest are brought back alongside the introduction of new hazards.

There’s an ever present wind that limits the players use of flight, and red crystals lining the area will sap light from the player if close-by or touched. The player must also take cover from flying debris while avoiding the Dark Dragons that patrol this area. This all is in preparation for the penultimate goal of traveling through Eden — sacrifice. As the player travels closer to the center of the storm, they can spot statues resembling petrified sky kids, to which the player can sacrifice their own light to save them. In doing this, the player is putting themself on the path to death.

What’s interesting to me about Eden is the spinning red crystal that the player approaches, as well as the floating castle seen once the player begins to be reborn. One of the things I want to try and answer is why that crystal exists. In previous realms with some sort of technology, there’d usually be some sort of apparatus with a crystal embedded into it that, when activated with light, powers nearby technology. Because the big red crystal is similar in shape to the tech crystals, maybe it was once used to power a large machine meant to thrust Spirit society forward. To then explain its destructive nature though, perhaps then the big red crystal came into contact with Darkness, making the crystal to behave in unexpected ways and causing the event that destroyed whatever was in Eden, as well as causing the Spirits to fade. The floating castle I have no explanation for yet.

Sky Kids (and why are they Like That?)

Sky kids get their section because they are obviously the main focus of the game, and their ability to be reborn intrests me greatly (this section was also inspired by a discussion in Sky's official Discord server!) When I ask why sky kids are Like That, I'm mostly referring to their life, what they do in it, and why they do those things. Through multiple playthroughs of the game, a sky kid's life can be summarized as:

  1. Get born
  2. Dilly-dally, collect light and wax
  3. Make friends (optional!)
  4. Go to Eden, sacrifice light, and die in the process

When sky kids get reborn, it has been my personal belief that they are reborn as new entities with fresh minds, but if so, how does a sky kid know to collect light and know to sacrifice themself in Eden? Even though they are reborn as new beings, I believe they still retain faint glimmers of their past lives, which guide them like instinct. The appearance of each life can vary as well, tying in with the game's character customization. Sometimes a sky kid will look and act remarkably similar to a past life of theirs, while other times they'll seem like a completely different person.

If skykids have the potential to be wholly different people when reborn, how might they recognize friends they've made in previous lives? (Because your friend list in the game obviously does not clear each time you die) There's a quote that I really liked from the game Outer Wilds, it reads: "We do not have much connection, you and I. Still, this encounter feels special. I hope you won't mind if I think of you as a friend". Like how the faint memories of their past lives draws them to Winged Light and Eden, sky kids are drawn to their old friends. There will be times when they drift apart, whether it be because they don't recognize each other at the moment or if circumstance isn't just right, but most sky kids will be able to find each other eventually.

Dark Dragons/Krill

Dark dragons hold a kind of unique place in Sky since they're quite unlike anything players are used to seeing ingame. They're of few creatures who seemed to be composed of total darkness, only sharing this place with the shadow monsters seen in the trial of fire. Even then, the shadow monsters could be seen as a 'lesser' version of the dark dragons, given that they have much looser forms and don't seem to have any desire to harm the player.

Also of note is the sound design of the dark dragons. When nearby, dark dragons emit a sound akin to old machinery creaking away, accompanied by other metallic rattling (you can take a listen here). When spotting a player, dark dragons also make a sound akin to sheets of metal sliding against each other (you can listen here, I'm not exactly sure how to describe this sound but the point is that it's kinda metallic and sharp). Based on sound design alone, this could suggest that dark dragons are not naturally occurring.

If we went with the idea that dark dragons are not naturally occurring, this could tie into the information brought up in the season of shattering, where one of the central plot points seems to be the disappearance of light creatures due to being harvested for their light. What I picked up is that initially, (presumably) Spirits used artificial beacons of light to draw creatures towards harvesting facilities, but when that stopped working perhaps the Spirits then created the dark dragons, who could actively hunt and harvest light creatures. This idea then could've turned around and bit the Spirits in the ass, as Spirits, too, are beings of light, and the dark dragons cannot discern between sentient and non-sentient entities.

Season of Shattering (and the lore it brings)

A Season of Shattering memory featuring crabs and dark plants. The picture lacks color and the two subjects are conveyed by silhouette.
A Season of Shattering memory featuring crabs and dark plants.

While gameplay wise the Season of Shattering may be the most lackluster, in terms of lore it is quite juicy. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Season of Shattering, things went like this:

These glimpses by themself are pretty cryptic (the promotional image to the right is quite close to how they appear in-game), but over the course of the SoS (Season of Shattering) TGC have posted short poems about each memory, which can be found on their official Twitter / Discord. To those who don't want to search for the poems, they go as follows:

Jellyfish Memory

“The light that swirled here was not warm
These were no drifting currents
Songs lost to the void
Bewildered in final moments of stillness”

Crab Memory

“Entranced by strange brilliance
And swept into its snare
A familiar glow that hid
Nothingness in its wake”

Manta Memory

“Soft wings flowing to bright beacons
Drawn from the path, trusting until too late
Bound in a merciless harness
Soft wings despairing against stone”

As of the time of writing, the manta memory is the most recent memory shown to the playerbase, and so far all of the poems paint a similar picture. Before I get to that though, I'll bring up something I learned a couple days ago that put the picture into context. I discovered via this Tumblr post that in the concept art of Sky it is suggested that Spirits either killed, transformed, or otherwise harvested mantas for their light. This suggestion is also somewhat backed by the submerged manta cages seen in the Treasure Reef. With that in mind, the thing that seems to be consistent with each of the poems thus far is the aspect of being drawn towards a light, followed by disaster.

From the jellyfish memory, it could be implied that the light that drew each of the creatures to their doom was artificial, possibly manufactured by Spirits — or perhaps it was no light at all that lured the jellyfish into this situation. The mention of currents seem to reflect how jellies move in the game — they don't, but are capable of floating up and down. The Spirits, seeing this, then might've used artificial currents to guide jellies to their 'final moments of stillness', and used an artifical light to keep them 'fresh', so to speak. An alternative way to interpret this is that the jellies were indeed drawn to their final moments via a light, but the 'currents' drew them in before they realized something was off.

A red crab. It's overall coloration is red, with dark particles and giant red crystals on its carapace.
A red crab.

The crabs, when it comes to this story of light farming, are quite interesting to think about since as far as I'm aware, crabs aren't really creatures of light or darkness. If anything, crabs seem to be creatures of flesh, like the fish occassionally seen in ponds. That being said, it surely seems like they can still be affected by either force, as seen with dark crabs and in the poem, being drawn towards a 'strange brilliance'. I'm under the notion that this light was made for the purpose of harvesting creatures of light, so when creatures of... nothing come along, what happens to them? The only thing I can propose with confidence is that, as a result of coming towards this light, the crabs became vessels of darkness, seen not only in dark crabs, but in red crabs, a super-powered variant with familiar red crystals embedded into their carapace.

The poem about mantas is a lot like the jellyfish one, though the changes in wording does provide some extra insights as to what happened to the other creatures, as well as the overall relation between Spirit and animal. Prior to this, Spirits and the creatures of Sky had good relations, or at the very least coexisted with one another. The manta poem also seems to reinforce the idea that the Spirits, when capturing these creatures, stored them for later ("Bound in a merciless harness"). The last line also reveals something about the nature of beings of light in general. When the player heads to Eden, their goal is to give light to what looked to be other petrified skykids, and when the player finally dies, they themself become petrified. The manta poem reveals this behaviour is not exclusive to skykids ("Soft wings despairing against stone"), although it doesn't sit right with me to just say that petrification happens when a being of light dies. This is because prior to SoS, we have seen a manta die before! In the Golden Wasteland, when the game first teaches you about dark dragons, there is a manta floating in the area meant to teach the player to avoid the dark dragon's gaze. Once the dark dragon charges into the manta, all that is left is a puff of flames before traces of the manta disappear completely. A somewhat similar thing happens when a skykid loses all of their light outside of Eden. There is no dramatic scene where the skykid turns to stone — rather, they just disappear.

So how does petrification happen? Red crystals, I'm willing to bet. Now, as to how red crystals actually cause the petrification is anyone's guess. I've taken note of how when you get hit with rocks in Eden, or stand close to red crystals for a long time, that your skykid begins growing crystals on their body. With this, I've taken to theorizing that petrification happens as the red crystals spread to grow on a being of light's body. The crystals begin to overtake the being's body, forcing out all light until all that is left is stone.