"The Darkland as a planet and its relationship with the black hole"
This resource does use a great deal of Finster's inferring skills, however it is based on facts within the game and some skeevy astronomy articles I found on google.
According to what can be inferred from the game itself, cinematics, and resources on the official site, the Darkland is either another planet in the same solar system as Earth, or another world that coexists in the same location as Earth but in an alternative dimension. The official site quotes;
"..above all, the air is warm, the sun shines and the birds chirp."
when describing Space Island on which the Amigos live. Mentioning the Sun by name. The opening cinematic also features Saturn prominently which could imply that it or one of its moons is the location for the Darkland. However rings, planets that it could be orbiting, or moons are never visible in the Darkland's sky. Only ever the sun. So it's not Saturn. No.
Although the true location of the Darkland is open to interpretation we know that it orbits Earth's sun which means that even before we factor in Black Holes and their apparent ability for inter-dimensional travel Earth is already close by.
Secondly, the Darkland has incredibly varied and specialized regions and vegetation. Marshes/swamps, large bodies of water, surface lava, canyons made by presumably centuries of water erosion, mountains, and volcanic formations that show the planet has had quite a lot of tectonic and volcanic activity for quite some time. This means the planet is easily around the same age as Earth. A variation in land mass, life, and rock formation is evident that the Darkland is not some tiny moon with little to no variation in mineral composition.
Space Island as it's own topic is somewhat confusing. It's a floating island... um... yeah. I certainly don't know what would allow an island to float in real life, however I do know of a common fantasy cause which I will explain now. The Darkland likely has a strong magnetic field in certain places, perhaps even caused by the gravitational upheaval from having a black hole at the planet's heart. Magnetic fields caused by the core of the island being of a conductive mineral are generally the cause of floating islands that ARE explained by their source material so this would make sense. As for why it is upside down, I can only assume it is likely due to the black hole's gravity. Again, speculation. The island's magnetic field may even conduct its own gravity orbiting close by the main planet much like a moon which is why the island is "upside down" when seen from off of it, but things manage to stay grounded.
And speaking of having a black hole at the very center of the planet... about that. I really am having difficulty finding information. Not only is the heart of darkness smaller than your typical black hole, but this is also a fictional fantasy world in a video game remember. And since the game features a favorite trope of mine by the name of "Dark is evil" it's likely this black hole is some magical darkness thing likely in the vein of the "Power Island Darkness Physics"
which I honestly need to write out and explain someday. I mean, shadows can be manipulated even by Andy himself
in the Darkland. Something far from normal. However, I did find this article: [x]
that states having a small black hole at the center of a star or planet would generate excess heat.
"And if a black hole gets inside your planet? You get additional heat. This might account for unusual temperatures seen on Saturn and Jupiter, which are hotter than they should be from solar heating alone. A black hole inside the Earth might actually raise temperatures on the surface enough to sustain animal life long after the Sun dies out."
Sustain life even if the sun goes out? Well highly convenient for creatures that die if they come into contact with sunlight to have a black hole keeping the planet healthy around them whilst the black spooky vortex clouds the Master of Darkness puts out make the sky dark everywhere save for Space Island.
Not to mention the black hole may be responsible for the increased volcanic activity. The gravity of the black hole could be having an impact on tectonic activity in the mantle, easily providing a source for the River of Fire. Note that when the black hole consumes the magic rock and when it develops an accretion disc after also ripping apart the Master's castle that the ground around it splits apart, lava everywhere and no longer contained to just a river. The entire area surrounding the black hole becomes molten rock likely because when a black hole has an accretion disc it begins emitting energy as well in the form of gamma radiation and other such nastiness that could vaporize the outer layers of the planet surrounding it. Also my friend said it went quasar. Sorry, as cool as that is the magic rock didn't cause a quasar. Putting that out there now. Quasar blasts are on a single plain out the x axis of a black hole. I'm only saying that the black hole had an accretion disc because that's what it looked like what was happening. It's also a fictional black hole in a video game. I'm just writing this thing up to be overly technical of everything.
However, in the end cinematic we see the Amigos living happily with sunny skies and a rebuilt village. This means that the unstoppable destructive abilities of a black hole mustn't fully apply in the game's universe. Which would likely make physics experts roll their eyes but honestly it's a kids video game leave me alone. Remember the "Power Island Darkness Physics" thing. When 'dark' is an actual malevolent force and not just simply 'the absence of light' things can vary in a fictional world from reality. Whilst a black hole in reality cannot be stopped by strange meteors or consuming too much, we don't know for sure they can transport a kid and his dog safely to another planet either so we will just need to suspend our disbelief now won't we? So if the planet has not been completely destroyed by the black hole, it's likely that physics in this story allow for the black hole to be blocked off, destroyed, or quelled somehow, likely due to the magic rock. I mean, it's maaaagic
And since I've seen some people confused by this before, yes the big black swirly vortex thing is a black hole. The Vicious Servant says it is, and although it's very likely he lies like a sidewalk, the first line of the game is also Andy's teacher explaining that black holes are doors to parallel worlds which makes sense as this is how Andy gets back home to Earth.
In short, I'd like to propose that the Darkland is a planet at least the size and age of Earth. Having a black hole at its center is responsible for the irregular volcanic and magnetic activity, causing both the River of Fire and Space Island. The black hole also allows the lush and highly evolved plant and animal life to exist with next to no light due to the black hole emitting energy. The Master of Darkness seems to have some control over the black hole, but note how in the second last cinematic he freaks out when Andy goes to fling the magic rock into it, likely knowing full well it would send the black hole out of his control, which it does; ripping apart his castle and sucking both him and Andy into it. The black hole we know transports Andy and Whisky back to Earth and then is somehow stopped from destroying any more of the planet presumably by the magic rock. There are some loose ends though, such as what happened to the Master of Darkness and if the black hole was destroyed, what will happen to Space Island. I'd like to think the black hole was not destroyed however, rather was put into some kind of hibernation, still affecting the magnetic fields of the planet. Perhaps the Master and the black hole are connected and with his defeat so is the black hole. If the black hole wasn't destroyed however it's likely the Master of Darkness wasn't either.
So yeah. As someone with experience in fantasy astronomy with my Sirius Chronicles I figured I'd give this a shot. I'm definitely not finished with it and I'll probably rewrite the entire thing a dozen times but I consider this to be how the Darkland works. Bear in mind there's also the chance that this entire thing is all in Andy's imagination
, making my entire work absolutely pointless.