Note: This article only pertains to Darren himself. For his most commonly seen form that he takes as a private investigator (most likely), see Snail.
|Prince (later King) Darren Changeling|
|Darren in humanoid form and at his most commonly seen biological age|
|Name||Prince (later King) Darren Changeling|
|Age||Varies due to Time Travel (he ages 1,000 times slower than humans)|
|Occupation|| Time Traveler
Heir to Changeling Space
Ruler of Changeling Space
|Relatives|| King Changeling (father)
Queen Changeling (mother)
|Introduced In||"The Night Shift"|
Darren Changeling was born in Changeling Space to King Changeling and Queen Changeling, who were both in their 34,000s. Like any of his kind, he ages 1,000 times normal than most people. On his 4,452nd birthday, he received a Holocube that he keeps in the pouch that is hung on his belt and nicknamed Interface (the holographic, voice-activated assistant pre-installed on the device that was given a living conscience) Cal based on an abbreviation for calendar that he saw on the list of applications, which he mistook for a list of names to choose for it. A few centuries later, he began school and met his childhood friend, Elli.
In his early 6,000s, Darren deleted the calendar app on the Holocube and downloaded both a time travel app and (later) a space travel app. He later took Elli on as a traveling companion, but she was returned home for her own safety (against Darren's will) by Cal. Darren safely arrived home shortly after and was scolded by his father, who forbade him to interact with a female of his kind (other than his mother) again until he reached adulthood (18,000) for fear of him ever developing romantic feelings and placing others in danger through his young recklessness again.
At 8,000, Darren gained the title of Prince Changeling and was promised the throne when he reached the appropriate age. Upon turning 13,000, Darren was entered as a contestant in the Adolescent Games by his parents. Through his performance in the Games, he was found capable of living on his own and was unwillingly sent to Earth to do so. By traveling into the past, he came across Ooo and decided to stay there. After a long period of time of having nothing to eat and no shelter, he shifted into a beastly form and attacked the Tree Fort, hoping to scare off the inhabitants and consume the food within. He was stopped by his heroic, older self, who used a homing signal from the Holocube with the help of Cal, and ran off. He later got his future self arrested (and, seconds from the incarcerated Darren's point of view but thousands of years from his own, broken out, knowing that he, too, would have to suffer in bondage) so that there would be nobody to stop him from stealing and was encouraged to continue traveling, being told that he would eventually find two people that would show him kindness. Not too long after these events, he saw the error of his ways and was forgiven, even by himself. He later started a business as a private investigator as an alternative to stealing for survival. This would prove easy due to his shape-shifting abilities.
Darren encountered Finn and Jake again on the same day that he first did and was befriended by them simply out of gratitude for rescuing them, but the three actually did grow into close friends, playing video games and going on adventures together. At 16,110, Darren was summoned back to Changeling Space by his mother to see his dying father for the last time. She explained that he was dying not only because the average shapeshifter lifespan lasts about 50,000 years (it is to be noted that the King and Queen summoned their specific version chronologically of their son) but also because the Changeling family has a history of translobe cancer, a cancer that attacks a shapeshifter's translobe, the internal organ that sends genetic transformers to the brain that allow for shape-shifting. After witnessing his father's passing, his mother told him that it was time for him to take the throne. When he reminded her that he had not yet entered adulthood, she sent that Darren back and retrieved a Darren from two years later to take his place.
Darren's adventures with Finn and Jake continued between those two years. At one point, Cal begin a mandatory update to the latest software edition, HolOS 7, amid teleportation, causing Darren to fall through time and space and end up in Neverspace, an empty section of Changeling Space where the dying spend their last moments. While there, he met his dying, 57,281-year-old self who was suffering from translobe cancer. He told himself what age he was and that he held the record for the longest-lived member of the Changeling family and was also one of the oldest in all of Changeling Space. He was also told that the reason the elder was without Cal was due to the fact that he became the family Holocube and was quite a favorite of the grandchildren. When asked if his children were adopted or his own, the elder replied that they were his own and also told him not to worry, but that he will find the right girl one day. This all made Darren very excited. While the younger vainly felt happy that he got to spend his last moments with the coolest version of himself, the elder felt sorrowful at remembering what he witnessed at that age and recalling what he had to do. He used a one-trip transporter that he had obtained from Cal to send his younger self out of Neverspace and back to Ooo before he could see himself die.
Later, Darren had to stay the night at the Tree Fort to allow Cal to recharge from crashing while trying to update his new calendar based on information received from Queen Changeling. In the middle of the night, BMO curiously investigated the hologram sleeping in its bathroom and accidentally downloaded his memories, showing Finn and Jake several videoed clips of Darren and Cal together. After seeing a clip of a 13,000-year-old Darren, afraid and hungry, they found the compassion to build him a shelter and give him food, proving Darren's prophecy to that same version of himself to be true.
During the years of his reign as King Darren Changeling, he married his childhood crush, Elli, after not seeing her for over 14,000 years. The two had children whose children had children as well. He lived out a happy life and continued to occasionally adventure in Ooo, leaving Elli or one of his children to look after the kingdom. At 51,122, after being diagnosed with translobe cancer, he was transported to Ooo by Cal, trapped in the form of (ironically) a crab. However, Finn and Jake, with some help from Princess Bubblegum, were able to change him back into a humanoid form to live out the rest of his days.
After sending his younger self back to Ooo while in Neverspace, he was unexpectedly approached by the Cal's desperate creator who had sold the rights to the Holocube to a bigger company known as Pear, Inc. He offered Darren a second chance in life with his new event-erasing Holocube, to which he declined, stating that even though his life was anything but normal and had its ups and downs, he would never trade it for anything, and his two best friends, Finn and Jake, and his wonderful bride, Elli, made it all worth it. In a final attempt, the creator teleported away and reappeared, now disguised as a dying, old man like Darren. However, Darren called his bluff and the creator angrily suggested that he use the Holocube X (as he called it) on himself, but Darren hastily forbade him to, telling him to travel to Ooo like he did. The man agreed, vanishing just seconds before Darren's passing.
The Changeling family name is traced back to the first King Changeling, the creator of Changeling Space, which is named after him. Numbers were not used to specify individuals but, rather, full names. The last name was kept by all offspring, even the married females, as a sign of royalty and family relation to him. Darren hates the name since it actually means a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy, which was offending to him. He told his daughters to change their names upon marriage and told his sons to tell their daughters the same. However, due to popular vote, the name of Changeling Space was kept in honor of the founder. Darren agreed but only after being assured that the people would address him as King Darren and not King Changeling like his father.
- He was originally going to be a shape-shifting, time-traveling actor who inserted himself into his own time stream so he could fit the role of both hero and villain. This was changed to make his character less "hippie". Also, Cal originally didn't exist and Darren simply noted every one of his selves that he encounters in a notebook. This was changed to explain the ability to time travel.
- He seems to have a very good memory since he can often easily recall things that happened thousands of years ago. Still, he often uses Cal to document encountered versions of himself and to set reminders.
- It is unconfirmed that the waving snail is, in fact, the form Darren takes for private investigation, though in snail form, he looks exactly like him due to the recurring traits of wood-colored skin and dark red accents that appear in all of his forms.
- It is confirmed by ACat that Darren's hair is supposed to be a dark red (like the snail's shell) and not a dark brown as it appears in the picture above.
- When Darren shape-shifts, his clothes blend in with his skin, similar to Marceline's (except for in "Sky Witch").
- Darren's hair seems to get redder as he gets older.
- ACat has explained that the reason Darren is never seen with any stubble as an adult is that shapeshifters don't grow facial hair.
- ACat has a spin-off series titled Adventure Time with Darren & Cal planned that will feature him as the main protagonist. It will start production after "The Tale of Prince Changeling", an upcoming episode.