The Null is the source of the central mystery in The Room games. It is unknown exactly what The Null is, but it is said to be 'Everything, and nothing.'
"Null" may be considered a catch-all term to simultaneously refer to an element, a form of matter, a location, and an entity (or type of entity).
The Null is known to have many different uses and properties.
- As an element, it takes many forms and can be changed from one to another.
- In glass and crystal form, the Null can refract light in interesting ways, making it useful as material for lenses and a component in certain mechanisms.
- The Null has the ability to warp time and space around it. Most frequently, those who research it describe finding rooms where there were none, and their surroundings expanding in impossible and labyrinthine ways. In The Room Two and The Room Three, it is primarily used to transport the player across space and time. If harnessed properly, it can take one to a specific place, but in an uncontrolled environment, it warps whatever is around it, transforming its surroundings into a maze. To prevent the worst effects of the Null, it must be contained within, or "fed", complicated mechanisms to occupy it. In The Room and The Room Two, A.S. stores his samples in a number of Talisman puzzle boxes. In The Room: Old Sins, Abigail "feeds" her childhood dollhouse to the Null in order to escape Waldegrave Manor.
- The Null appears to have some gravity-defying properties, as it frequently levitates on its own and can suspend itself in midair, usually while in crystalline form. Artifacts containing Null samples, such as The Craftsman's Null shards, are also seen to levitate and move independently.
- The Null has some amount of power to extend one's lifespan or life function, as mentioned by both A.S. and Professor de Montfaucon.
- It is sometimes implied that the Null, in addition to being an element, is also a life form that preys on those seduced by its mysteries. The sentience and relationship to the Null of this form of life is still in debate.
- There is some integral connection between the Null element and human souls. In The Room Two, A.S. claims in one of his letters that "The soul is the root of the Null." A.S. was originally able to distill a sample of Null by using himself as a catalyst, but as a result felt that this meant the Null was tied to his own soul in some way. The connection was what ultimately drove him to insanity. Later games imply that the Null feeds on human souls and is able to trap and contain them.
- The Null tends to have a warping effect on the mind. Those who research the Null begin to exhibit a fascination for it that drives them to pursue it endlessly, often leading to them becoming lost forever.
The Null takes many forms and has many associated substances throughout the games of the series.
The process of distillation of the Null may produce a Null crystal. Crystals are found in varying colors; typically red, green and blue. They are usually contained within machines or mechanisms. These samples can be harnessed for their energy to serve a number of purposes. However, even a small sample brings with it risks of environmental destabilization if not properly contained. Crystals are suspected of having the ability to harbor souls of those who are preyed upon by the Null.
The first appearance of a Null sample is in the first game. Through journal passages left throughout The Room, we learn of AS's experiments with the Null, and how they led him to distill a crystalline Null sample using his own soul. This sample, he believed, was tied to his soul in some way. At the end of the game, the protagonist finds this sample, which is held in some kind of metal cradle at the center of the orrery. Upon interacting with it, it transports them through a doorway into the epilogue. The sample is used again later to transport them to the first location of The Room Two.
In The Room Two, each level ends with the player finding a Null crystal which transports them to the next room. The exception comes in The Seance, in which AS aids the player by teleporting them directly to the location of The Lab without using a sample.
The first time a Null crystal is seen unbound or uncontained is in The Room: Old Sins, when Collector Hydrus successfully frees Edward Lockwood's sample from the dollhouse. This crystal is large and apparently uncut. It glows with blue light and hovers on its own. More crystals of this kind are seen in the game's final cutscene, when Hydrus delivers the sample to the Temple of the Circle and places it on a central altar.
Null goop is a term that may be used to describe the viscous metallic-black liquid found on numerous occasions across the games. It is shiny and almost granular in texture, and may stretch and change shape in response to certain stimuli. Null goop may be the Null in its raw or unpurified form.
In The Room Two, Chapter Six - The Lab, a pool of Null goop is used part of the puzzle. The player moves sliders around the rim of the pool which change the fluid's shape until it gives up a needed item. The fluid is also found in the altar at the center of the Cog Room.
In The Room Three, the altar at the center of the Grey Holm nexus is filled with Null goop, and often contains components of puzzles and items for the player to solve and use. In the final chapter of the game, the doorway to the Lost ending is entirely obscured by Null goop.
In The Room: Old Sins, Null goop can be seen at the bottom of the retrieval hatch in the Marine Room submarine when using the claw to dredge up the figurehead. The claw of the submarine must descend down into the goop to reach the figurehead. The fountain in the Garden also begins to spout what may be Null goop rather than water as the Null takes over that portion of the dollhouse. Additionally, in the ending cinematic, the headquarters of the Circle are shown to have massive fountains of Null goop surrounding their central altar.
Null Goop contains distinct similarities to ferrofluid, a black liquid that is attracted to magnets. It is likely that ferrofluid is what originally inspired the Null Goop, with the developers even calling Null Goop ferrofluid in their "The Making of The Room Two" page.
The tendrils are a characteristic of the Null that may or may not be made of the element itself. They are very large and have the apparent color and texture of Null goop. The tendrils appear to have some form of intelligence, and chase and attack the player in nearly every game. They are often seen in the blinding white liminal spaces when the player is traveling through portals, and will occasionally reach outside. When a doorway is opened, some tendrils will creep in from the edges and spread along whatever surface is nearby. They are generally accompanied by hissing or slithering sounds as they move.
The tendrils are seen in three of the four endings to The Room Three. In the Imprisoned ending, the player is trapped inside a box by The Craftsman and used to power a portal to the Null Planet. When the doorway opens, several tendrils emerge and appear to threaten The Craftsman. In both the Escape and Release endings, the player emerges in the Grey Holm boathouse and is chased by Null tendrils, one of which knocks them unconscious. When they come to, they are on a rowboat, observing Grey Holm from afar. The two endings differ here: in Escape, the player witnesses the destruction of Grey Holm by tendrils, which then retreat the way they came. In Release, Grey Holm is also destroyed, but the player also witnesses tendrils emerging from the clouds above, suggesting that the Null has made its way into the human world.
In The Room VR: A Dark Matter, tendrils can be seen in the Null room at the Witch's house, creeping along the edges of the different rooms that the Witch summons. The Craftsman is also consumed by Null tendrils at the end of the game.
Null shards are a form of Null apparently specific to The Room Three. They are silver and metallic, shaped like triangular prisms, and engraved with a specific pattern - a triangle encompassed by four rings, one at its center and one on each corner. It is unclear whether the shards were formed "organically" by the Null, or whether they were shaped by The Craftsman or another Null user.
After kidnapping the protagonist and bringing them to Grey Holm, The Craftsman tasks them with solving puzzles to unlock several shards. The shards are placed one at a time on the font in the Grey Holm nexus, where they fit into a triangular divot on the altar. Once placed, the shard will stand up on its own and begin to spin on one of its points. When all the pieces are assembled, they combine to form The Craftsman's Key, which is the controlling factor in the game's final level. The Key is used to power the Null portal on top of Grey Holm, and must be used regardless of the ending you are trying to achieve. When the player superzooms inside The Craftsman's Key, a crystal is seen, posing the question of whether it is the metallic structures themselves or something contained within them that imbue them with their power.
References to the Null shard are also found in posters promoting the magic act of The Great Khan (real name Simon Grayson). The posters, located in the upper level of the Grey Holm library, show Grayson in posession of a hovering Null shard. A letter addressed to Grayson from Margaret Cox in The Room Two reveals that Grayson used the shard for some time as part of his act, and its true nature (or at least a semblance of it) was known only between the two of them. As Maggy and possibly Grayson are imprisoned in Grey Holm by the events of The Room Three, it is implied that The Craftsman disapproved of their meddling with the Null and put an end to it.
The many lenses of the player's eyepiece are said to be crafted from the Null. The lenses are glasslike, and may take on a variety of shades and opacities. When seen through, the lenses allow the player to see through different layers of reality in different ways. Some allow users to transport their consciousness into very small spaces. Others can show writing that was previously invisible. Still others might allow the wearer to see through solid objects and manipulate the contents inside. Multiple lenses used at once can produce a number of these effects.