|“||A mysterious mineral. As technologies develop, more and more countries start to use it as an energy source.||”|
|—Loading screen tip (the second sentence is also used as the last sentence of the description below)|
- A common mineral in Terra, this semi-transparent black crystal contains enormous energy, and is the primary factor of causing Catastrophes. Widely used in the field of Arts, it works as the basic material and catalyst of all kinds of Arts and Arts items. Without Originium, the efficiency of Arts would, without a doubt, drop dramatically.
Appearing as a black, semi-transparent crystalline mineral (although it has been occasionally seen in other colors like blue or gold), Originium can be found at sites of Catastrophes in large quantities, and is believed to play a role in causing them. Unlike other crystalline minerals, Originium grows and metastasizes naturally in the wild, and consumes (primarily organic) matter to accelerate its growth and spread. Originium is also quite unstable, volatilizing into gaseous particles over time, being highly flammable when in a liquid state, and exhibiting highly explosive properties when stimulated enough. However, contrary to what one might believe, Originium is not actually radioactive.
Studies especially those done by Rhine Lab discover that Originium possesses a high energy yield, and as such, became a valuable resource ever since it was discovered in the ancient times. By the time Arknights' takes place, the proliferation of Originium had brought a technological revolution to Terra, with virtually all technology being powered by the substance. Notably, Originium allows the use of various forms of "magic" known as Originium Arts to aid the user in daily life and warfare, can be processed into a variety of forms, each one with differing physical and chemical properties, and used as a component in various composite/hybrid materials.
However, Originium is not without its dangers, since as mentioned above, Originium consumes organic matter and should a living organism is exposed to raw (i.e. unprocessed) Originium particles, it will start to grow within their body (and eventually assimilating with them), which is treated as a "disease" named Oripathy. Many unfortunate Terrans have fallen into Oripathy since the advent of Originium, and these people, often called Infected, were hated by the rest of the Terrans. Furthermore, exposure to Originium particles may cause varying degrees of genetic mutations depending on the organism; an extreme case of this would be "the Forsaken", who was transformed into a primal monstrosity following a severe Originium contamination.
- In the Chinese texts of Arknights' stories, Originium is rendered as "source stone" or "origin stone".
- Originium is surprisingly similar in many ways to Tiberium in Command & Conquer series:
- Both were crystalline substances.
- Both are used as valuable resources.
- Exposure to both are dangerous to organic matter.