History Main / OrpheanRescue

25th Aug '15 5:56:06 PM eroock
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orphy_330.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Orpheus in the underworld, rescuing his wife. For a value of "rescue" that includes walking off with a lute.]]-]

A character undergoes a very unusual kidnapping, one where they are taken someplace beyond mortal ken and reckoning. Sometimes it's not the body that's gone but the mind or soul, which can happen if they are lost in {{Cyberspace}} or in a DreamWithinADream. They may have been trapped in a LotusEaterMachine or PsychologicalTormentZone, or had their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent Soul]] taken into the SpiritWorld.

Point is, they're gone in a very real sense from this physical plane, but in a way that doesn't preclude recovery.

Their allies decide to mount an Orphean Rescue Mission. Much like [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Orpheus]] and his trip to the Underworld, the heroes will travel into a strange, otherworldy realm. It may be a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind, a [[TimeTravel different era]], another planet, a [[DownTheRabbitHole rabbit hole]], the SpiritWorld, Purgatory, {{Limbo}}, {{Hell}}, even ''{{Heaven}}'', ([[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence or a reasonable facsimile]]) in an attempt to bring the said character back. Whether or not they will ''succeed'' is another matter.

Compare ToHellAndBack.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* ''Anime/BlackRockShooter'': Mato becomes/fuses with the eponymous Black Rock Shooter and goes to the Otherworld to save Yomi from Dead Master.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** The Soul Society arc sees the gang travel to the Soul Society to rescue Rukia.
** The Arrancar Arc sees the gang travel to Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime.
** In the first film, Ichigo's and the gang have to travel to the Dangai to rescue Senna.
** In the second film, Hitsugaya flees in exile to the human world, accidentally catches up Ichigo in his woes before sneaking back into Soul Society to try and solve the mess by himself, causing Ichigo to travel back to Soul Society to help save Hitsugaya and clear his name.
** In the third film, Ichigo and co. travel back to Soul Society to rescue Rukia in what is an unashamedly obvious rewrite of the Soul Society arc with slightly different villains.
** In the fourth film, Ichigo travels to Hell to rescue Yuzu.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': Early in the series, Kagome doesn't ''enter'' hell, but gets very close to the entrance to save a child's soul who had died.
** Later on in the manga, Sesshoumaru takes the full trip ToHellAndBack in order to save his MoralityPet Rin.
* One of the many, many MANY subplots of AngelSanctuary is about Setsuna trying to get back the soul of his [[BrotherSisterIncest beloved sister]] Sara. Cue travel to the Hades, learning she already left... and we have not even covered 25% of the series.
* In ''Anime/JackAndTheWitch'' the titular boy hero descends into a frigid cave full of growing and shifting ice to rescue the banished witch Allegra, who'd been sent there by the Harpy Queen to freeze to death. The Ice Cave and its subsequent shift into a magical battleground seem to be tied to the Queen's magic, as they fade out once her crystal ball is smashed.
* Happens twice in the same instance in ''Manga/KamisamaKiss'' when Nanami follows Kirihito into the Underworld only to wind up in trouble herself which causes Tomoe to come after her.
* Happens twice in Anime/DennouCoil, where one has the ability to connect to the internet through your mind via AugmentedReality glasses. Both Haruken and Isako get trapped in [[MinusWorld Coil Space]], causing them to fall into a coma. Yasako has a hand in bringing them back both times.
* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' brings us this, with the most unlikely Orpheus of them all...[[spoiler: [[ButtMonkey Shinji Ikari]] goes berserk and red-eyed, utterly stomps the [[TheJuggernaut Tenth Angel]] into the dust and pulls Rei, who got eaten along with her Eva, out of the dead Angel's core. {{Subverted|trope}} in true Evangelion fashion since bringing Rei back involved creating an apocalypse that nearly wiped out the whole world, and Shinji doesn't actually get to be with Rei after Kaworu [[VillainousRescue stops the apocalypse]] by spearing Eva-01 from space.]]
* This trope is {{subverted|trope}} in ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess''. The heroine's childhood companion, Sara, is trapped in a [[PortalPicture painting]]. The characters try various things to extract her, including entering the painting itself ([[GeniusLoci although that was more the painting's idea,]]) [[spoiler:but they never succeed. Sara cannot be saved and does not need saving, [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because it was her destiny]] to fuse with the painting.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. [[spoiler:It's a major plotline of the movie, as the Incubators had tried to force Homura to become a Witch by selectively isolating Homura's Soul Gem from interference, thus forcing all the grief and despair building up to remain within. Madoka mounts a rescue mission by entering Homura's Soul Gem and breaking her out from within; Magical Girls both still alive (Mami, Kyoko) and those whom Goddess Madoka had already taken when their Soul Gems ran out of magic (Sayaka, Nagisa) join her, though the rescue hits a couple of snags en route.]]
* Chapters 6 through 10 of ''Manga/{{Pupipo}}'' feature Wakaba and Po on a mission to bring back their friend Azuma after she is hit by a car.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During Creator/MarkWaid's run, the ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' rescued their fallen teammate Ben Grimm in this manner.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' features at least two cases: The title character going into Hell to release an old love he'd [[DisproportionateRetribution condemned]] [[WomanScorned after she rejected him]], and his son Orpheus's trope-naming trip to retrieve Eurydice.
* A story arc of ''ComicBook/SecretSix'' had them doing this to rescue Scandal's lover Knockout.
* The second ''[[Comicbook/SwampThing Swamp Thing Annual]]'' has the title character, with the assistance of ComicBook/ThePhantomStranger and {{Etrigan}}, journey out-of-body to Hell in order to rescue Abby, whose soul her uncle Anton Arcane had maliciously cast down there.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FanFiction]]

* In [[FanFic/{{Propagation}} Propagation]] Blackgaurd dumps [[spoiler: Taylor, the LA Wards, some of the LA Protectorate, a couple supervillains, and about a square mile of LA]] into another dimension.
* FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi features this in the ''Anime/SailorMoon'' native-verse subplot. At first it's just Usagi, Rei, and Luna, later they are joined by Makoto. Played with somewhat, however, as a way to get Ami home is apparent quite early on from Ami's end, it's simply too dangerous for the Light Gods to send her, as the Dark Gods will immeadiately use that opportunity to attack Ami's world. The overarching plot then revolves on overcomeing this.
* A variation appears in ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersPowerPrimordial''. After a dark curse traps Ember's soul in the Venomous Tarns (the realm of Seghulerak, the demonic goddess of the ophidia, making it heaven for ophidia and hell for anyone else), with her physical body being guarded by her kidnappers, Jetta the Bronze Hearted (a CosmicEntity whom Ember is supposed to sponsor) is the only ally who knows about it, but can't act herself. The solution is to communicate (through a vision) Ember's cousin and BigBrotherMentor to go there in spiritual form, and help muster up the willpower to break the curse on her own. (Not only does it work, but it sets up an important ChekovsGun for when Ember ''physically'' escapes her kidnappers later, and has to confront her ArchEnemy.)
* In ''FanFic/BeingDeadAintEasy'', [[spoiler:when Seto refuses to leave the Soul Room, leaving his body empty, Joey heads in to rescue him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/BlackOrpheus'' is the Orpheus myth set in 20th century Brazil. Orfeo, who refuses to accept that Eurydice is really dead, is led [[{{Hellevator}} down a staircase]] to TheUnderworld, where he hears Eurydice's voice at a native religious ceremony. Before he even has a a chance to find out if he can lead her out, he turns and looks, and she's gone.
* ''{{Inception}}'' had Cobb rescue Fischer and Saito from the deepest subconscious.
** Funnily enough, Limbo's closest to [[spoiler: his deepest unconscious, as he's the only one who's been down there long enough (local time) to build anything.]]
** Mal became [[spoiler: TheMissingno and TheOphelia]] because Dom's attempt to rescue her from Limbo [[GoneHorriblyRight worked much too well.]] [[spoiler: Dom planted the idea that they should kill themselves to get out of Limbo in her mind, but the idea was so firmly implanted that she ended up killing herself in waking life. After that, Dom's subconscious projection of Mal tormented him with memories of the botched Orphean Rescue and played havoc with damn near every one of his dream schemes. Dom eventually conquered her with a complete inversion of the OrpheanRescue--he told Mal's projection that he was done with her and would leave the memories in Limbo.]]
* ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'': Carol Anne is kidnapped by the ghosts and taken to the astral plane where they are trapped.
* The low-budget film ''Tequila Body Shots'' doesn't even hide the fact that the climax will be this: The protagonist's name is Johnny Orpheus. Plus...guess what he uses to bring his love interest back from where she is?
* In ''Film/WhatDreamsMayCome'', the protagonist goes into hell to find his wife's soul who is trapped in her own guilt after committing suicide.
* Averted awesomely in ''Film/{{Hellboy}}''. Hellboy's love interest has just been captured by the ''things'' the villains have been trying to summon. Knowing that they're using her body as a host, Hellboy tells them to let her go--[[{{Badass}} or he'll come in and get her]]. She's immediately released.
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', starts off with Will, Elizabeth and [[spoiler: Barbossa]] planning on going to the afterlife to retrieve [[spoiler: Jack Sparrow]].
* Done by the protagonist in the campy 1992 movie ''Film/HighwayToHell'', after his girlfriend is kidnapped by the devil. (That's right, ''kidnapped''; while still alive. The DealWithTheDevil part is saved for when they try to escape.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'' has Willy Wonka and Charlie go deep down to rescue Grandma Georgina from Minus Land, where she went after having reduced her age to below zero.
* ''OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank'' has this trope, though in this case, Apallonia knows exactly where Fingal's ''mind'' is; it's his ''body'' she's having trouble finding.
* In ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic Briar's Book]]'', Briar follows his teacher into death to convince her to come back.
* ''FullTilt'' by Neil Schusterman involves a boy going to rescue his brother from some kind of hell, appearing as an AmusementParkOfDoom, after he was lured in.
* In ''Literature/AWizardOfEarthsea'', Ged tries to save a dying child, following her soul on the way to the land of the dead; but he doesn't manage to keep her from entering it and being lost.
* There's a medieval narrative poem, ''Sir Orfeo'', loosely inspired by Orpheus, where King Orfeo successfully wins back his wife held captive by TheFairFolk. He plays his harp so beautifully that the king of the fairies promises him any reward he wants.
* ''Literature/TheFriendshipSong'' by Nancy Springer has this with Harper and Rawnie venturing to the underworld to rescue the soul of a rock singer. It's then played with as he has to choose to come back on his own.
* In ''Literature/DeepSecret'', Nick goes to Babylon in order to restore his [[spoiler: half-sister]] Maree after her soul is stripped from her. Babylon isn't the land of the dead ''exactly,'' but it's definitely "outside here or there." On the way back, Nick remembers the legend of Orpheus and refuses to look back even though he can hear Maree behind him, which was a very wise decision.
* In the ''Literature/HeirsOfAlexandria'' series, [[spoiler: Maria]] assumes a Persephone like role to become Queen of the Underworld and use her powers to save everyone. Upset that she was tricked into this, [[spoiler: Benito]] travels to the Underworld to rescue her. Hades agrees to let her go, under one condition: she will follow him back to the land of the living, but he must take it on trust that she's actually there. If he ever looks back to verify her presence, she must return to Hades. Of course, being who he is, he cheats: [[spoiler: he has one of his companions, a knight in mirror-polished armor, walk in front of him so he can see her reflection in the armor.]]
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'', Twoflower is hit by a poisoned blade and his soul is sent to Death's domain. Rincewind is given a potion by the necromancer in a nearby settlement, and his soul also leaves for Death's domain. He finds that Twoflower has been teaching the four horsemen of the apocalypse to play bridge, which has not gone down terribly well. Rincewind then rescues Twoflower and both of their souls manage to get back to their bodies soon.
** Invoked in ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'', where Roland has to descend into "an" underworld to rescue the Summer Lady, because [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality that sort of thing is expected in these situations]].
* TheIronKing is about a sister rescuing her kidnapped brother in Fairyland.
* In the [[Literature/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Star Wars EU]], Jaina Solo at one point tries to enter Tahiri Viela's mind to help Tahiri overcome her Yuuzhan Vong persona.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Mat and company enter the [[EldritchLocation Tower of Ghenjei]] to rescue [[spoiler: Moiraine.]]
* Paul Kidd's third ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' book, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, ends with a trip to Thoth's realm to rescue Enid.
-->'''Enid:''' Just how much trouble have I put you to?
-->'''Escalla:''' None! Nothing we minded! Well, we had to steal the clone spell from this wizard guy in Greyhawk, then make you a new body at Dad's place, then find the river Mnemos, fight a few evil denizens, avoid a few rampaging armies, then find this place and bust in. Simple!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Seamus Zelazny Harper did this a time or two on ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' for the AI of the ship. It included a combo JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind that happened to be {{Cyberspace}}.
* The third season of the UK ''Series/BeingHuman'' included one of these early on. It's not without larger consequences.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The two-parter "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead", where Donna is 'saved' into a virtual computer system world. The Doctor works to get her back and restore the rest of the planet's population, all the while fighting off the Vashta Nerada.
** "Dark Water" sees an attempt to rescue [[spoiler: Danny Pink]] after he passes on to an afterlife that Clara and the Doctor can't quite understand yet.
* Most of the plot of ''TheLostRoom'' is the lead character recovering his daughter from this situation.
* Episode 4 of ''Series/MythQuest'' sees Alex, as Orpheus, go into Hades to rescue Eurydice.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':
** The final episode of Season 4 has Phoebe cast a spell on herself to enter the Wasteland - where demons go when vanquished - when Cole contacts her through a medium. Subverted in that she has no interest in rescuing him, she wants him to let go and stop bothering her.
** The Season 6 opener has them travelling to Valhalla to save Leo, who has been trapped there for a month. This involves stealing Darryl's soul (and then saving him too once Leo emerged).
* Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer and Series/{{Angel}} both involve this trope from time to time.
** Rescues from Hell pop up more than a few times on both shows
** Buffy goes catatonic right before the season 5 finale (requiring a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind by Willow to help her snap out of it)
** When Angel loses his soul (again), he and Faith end up sharing a drugged dream state where they trade barbs while observing Angel's memories from his quest for redemption as she tries to find a way to restore his soul.
** The last season of Angel has a disproportionate number of these as well
*** The attempt to rescue Spike's ghost before he is destroyed
*** The journey to the private little suburban hell with the torture chamber in the basement (an unalterable GroundhogDayLoop that the person ''knows'' ends with hours of torture). Done a couple times, once to rescue someone with important info who was trapped there by the [[BigBad Senior Partners]], then back again later to rescue the guy who had to take his place on the first trip.
* Happens a few times on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', albeit offscreen. Castiel rescues Dean from Hell [[spoiler:and Sam from Lucifer's cage.]] A group of angels rescue Castiel from [[spoiler:Purgatory.]] An onscreen example occurs in Season 8, when Sam rescues [[spoiler:Bobby]] from Hell, only for both of them to be rescued from Purgatory by [[spoiler:Benny]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Myth/ClassicalMythology:
** Orpheus, [[TropeNamer duh]]. When Orpheus's wife died, he entered the underworld and convinced Hades to let her return to the world of the living. However, Hades allowed it on the condition that Orpheus lead his wife back without looking at her until they're on the other side. Unlike the majority of the examples on this page, though, he ultimately failed in his quest. Some versions of the myth state that Orpheus ''was'' out of the underworld when he turned to look at her, but [[ExactWords his wife wasn't.]] Orpheus' response to this was to blaspheme the gods through his songs until they got sick enough of him to [[JerkassGods strike him dead.]]
** Heracles did something similar when he went to the Underworld to abduct Cerberus for his Twelfth Labor. While there, his found his cousin Theseus and Theseus' friend Pirithous, who Hades had bound to a chair as punishment for trying to kidnap Persephone. Hades said he could take Theseus with back with him - if he could. Heracles managed to wrest Theseus free, but he wasn't allowed to do the same for Pirithous. (Pirithous had been the orchestrator of the plan and Theseus was only guilty by association, so Hades was willing to let him go.) As this story and the one with Orpheus seems to show, more-or-less, even attempting a rescue like this in Myth/GreekMythology is impossible unless you have Hades' permission.
** Another ''possible'' example of this Trope regarding Heracles -- depending on the version -- was the story where when he wrestled [[GrimReaper Thanatos]] to rescue the soul of Alcestis, a brave woman who sacrificed herself so her husband could live. Whether this fits the Trope or not is disputed, because some versions say the battle did, indeed happen in the Underworld, while others suggest that Thanatos had not left Earth yet; but since the myth always claims that Thanatos had already taken Alcestis' soul, it is possible. Whatever the case, Heracles was successful this time too.
* Similar to Orpheus is Izanagi, creator-god in Myth/JapaneseMythology. His wife Izanami died giving birth to the fire-god Kagutsuchi and fell to TheUnderworld, The Yomotsu. Izanagi traveled down the cavernous realm of the dead, [[ValuesDissonance only to be repulsed by his wife who is]] [[BodyHorror now an eternally decaying, maggot-ridden corpse]]. He fled the underworld as fast as he can while being chased by the local demons and Izanami throwing lightning at him. Eventually, he made it to the surface, and closed the way to the underworld with a huge boulder.
* Similar to both of the above (this ''is'' an archetypal trope, after all) Ishtar's Descent Into The Underworld is one of the most well-known stories of [[Myth/MesopotamianMythology Babylonian Mythology]]. In it, she [[CaptainObvious descends into]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the underworld]] but [[EnemiesWithDeath angers its queen, Erseshkigal]], and is trapped there. As the goddess of fertility, this is bad for the living [[note]]This also makes it similar to the Greek story of Persephone, but unlike Ishtar, she is not rescued exactly[[/note]], so Ea creates a servant and sends it to retrieve her, commanding Ereshkigal to let her go.
* A female version from India: the princess Savitri followed Yama, the lord of death, when he took her husband Satyavan. Yama was so impressed with her wisdom and courage that he eventually let her take Satyavan back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''{{Champions}}'' Organization Book 1 ''The Circle and M.E.T.E.'': One of the adventure seeds for the Circle is having Oeramm attack the Circle, capture Aureole or a {{PC}} and take them back to his home plane, from which they will have to be rescued.
* You can bring back dead people from TheUnderworld in ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'', but not without paying some (very terrible) price to the Kerberoi.
** While not going to the realm of the dead ''per se'', some [[TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost Changelings]] make it their mission to raid Arcadia to free the humans kidnapped by [[TheFairFolk True Fae]], themselves being victims of True Fae in the past. It's only more admirable when you consider [[RealityIsOutToLunch just what kind of place Arcadia is]], and what [[MindScrew effect it has upon the fragile psyche of the Changelings]].
** Some [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken werewolves]] also make it their mission to eject humans who are trapped in the Spirit World, although it's more having to do with keeping orders in their territories than altruism for the poor humans.
* The Myth/GreekMythology themed ''Theros'' cycle in ''MagicTheGathering'' has the black card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=373532 Rescue from the Underworld]], which involves one of the players creatures leaving play and returning next turn along with one that was in the graveyard. The same block also has [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380483 Reviving Melody]], which depicts a GenderSwapped version of the original tale.
* The supplement to [[TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead Don't Rest Your Head]], Don't Lose Your Mind, has a ''lovely'' example in the example Madness Power titled "O is for Orpheus":
->“You need to understand it wasn’t her fault, alright? You need to understand none of this was her fault, but suicide means something to a Catholic. So I walked down and carried her back. She tried to fight me and run back to it. Can you believe that? She tried to run back to the eating and purging and eating and...”
->...
->“I’m going to walk back when I get my head together a little and try and find the rest of her, but until then...”
->[[spoiler: Like he said, ''she’s got to eat.'']]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is actually Arthur's goal in the second game of the ''Franchise/GhostsNGoblins'' series. (He's still trying to [[SaveThePrincess rescue his beloved Princess Prin-Prin]], but in this one, Lucifer kills her and captures her soul.)
* This seems to be [[spoiler: the entirety]] of ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife''. [[spoiler: The creator (seemingly the player character and the force behind the protagonist) is Heather, who in the real world was Mike's older sister. In the real world, Mike and Heather were in a devastating car crash which put Mike in a coma and killed their parents. Heather's imagination plus ThePowerOfLove sent Mike into the world of ''Drawn to Life''. '''The Next Chapter''' consists of getting everything together so that Mike can wake up again.]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' sets up about six of these in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]''. Interesting because all six are important characters whose growth, contribution to the plot, and tragic downfall took up about the space of a full game each, and each of them went in a completely different way. So it's a bit of a task for TheHero to bring them all back. ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts coded]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance 3D]]'' continue the set up for these rescues, giving the heroes the information and abilities they need to stage them in an upcoming game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} 07: Perfect Cherry Blossom'' has the three main characters going to Hakugyokurou, a realm of ''virtuous'' dead (think Elysium), to take back the Spring essence of Gensokyo which is stolen by the hungry ghost [[BigBad Yuyuko]].
** In ''Touhou 12: Undefined Fantastic Object'', it's the [[strike:bad guys]] followers of Byakuren who seek to liberate her from imprisonment in Pandemonium. [[spoiler: She was imprisoned by her ''[[HumansAreBastards fellow humans]]'' [[FantasticRacism for befriending the youkai]].]] The [[YouBastard player characters]] mistakenly believe they're trying to resurrect a terrible monstrosity.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame 2'': Mio shoots her way ([[FirstPersonSnapshooter with a camera!]]) through a village worth of hordes of vengeful ghosts to save her [[VideoGameCaringPotential little sister Mayu]]. Bonus point for (in Best Ending route) [[ToHellAndBack going down into Abyss]] to retrieve her back. She didn't come out unscathed from the whole ordeal, but at least she's now closer to Mayu than ever.
* Happens in some route in ''VisualNovel/AoiShiro''. [[spoiler: These are the bad ends.]]
%%* {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed in ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} Persona 3: FES]]''. The desire to bring back [[spoiler: the main character]] cause the SEES to splinters and fights each other in GroundhogDayLoop. [[spoiler: Even when they get back to their senses and work together to reach the place where the MC's soul is, the find out that they CAN'T bring him back without undoing his sacrifice.]] Moral of the story: It's better to let go of deceased loved ones.
%% NotADeconstruction, and also awkwardly written.
%%
%%* However, this is basically the entire plot of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' in a nutshell.
%%** And THAT MC's initial persona is Izanagi. Persona loves this trope doesn't it?
%%ZeroContextExample, and a very confusing one at that, what with that context-less second bullet that shouldn't be there. Add proper context and formatting before readding.
* The protagonists of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' perform a series of Orphean rescue missions into the TV World.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'' kicks off with Bayonetta heading off to the Gates of Hell to rescue her friend after her soul is DraggedOffToHell.
* Gwendolyn rescues Oswald from the underworld in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. [[spoiler:Odin rescues her when she has problems leaving again.]]
* Played very straight in a quest on ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'', where you must rescue Mistress Orphne, trapped inside her mind by a spell. Four objects are needed by the party to break the spell--which becomes an shadowy version of the rescued that tries to slay you.
* ''VideoGame/DontLookBack'', [[DontLookBack as the title suggests]], takes Orpheus's original journey and reimagines it as a PlatformGame.
* A second, unrelated game also (confusingly) entitled ''[[VideoGame/DontLookBack2014 Don't Look Back]]'', swaps things up by [[spoiler: having Euridice rescue Orfeo (it's based on the opera rather than the original myth).]]
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' sees the Boss delve into a [[{{Cyberspace}} virtual simulation of Steelport]] to fight his way through the [[IronicHell Ironic Hells]] of their crew, all trapped in [[LotusEaterMachine Lotus-Eater Machines]], to rescue them.
** ''VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell'' sees Johnny Gat and Kinzie go to {{Hell}} to rescue the Boss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3667 seemed]] to be going in this direction after [[HollywoodNerd Criminy]] started digging his way to hell in search of [[ReluctantMonster Fuchsia]], but it led to [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3675 him staying there]].
** [[ToHellAndBack Tangerine's video game pulls her through the screen into Hell]]. She discovers [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4674 she can rescue Lily from it]].
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'', where the ruler of the netherworld realizes to his annoyance that the rescuer isn't there to save a specific person, he's just listing qualities he wants in a girlfriend.
--> Fuck, man - the realm of death is not your dating agency.
* ''Webcomic/ElfBlood'', to restore the status quo. It turns out that the journey is a LOT easier than expected, but the SadisticChoice isn't. And then it turns out that the SadisticChoice was just an educated assumption in the protagonist's mind, but in any case said choice REALLY helped everyone in the story.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}''. Ray sold his soul to the devil in exchange for incredible musical talent (without realizing he was selling his soul ''or'' that he'd gain talent from the deal, he just wanted to buy a piano), and when he later died, he went to hell, which was more surreal and inconvenient than outright torturous. Roast Beef committed suicide by vomiting on an electrical outlet (since he was too depressed to really do anything that would require much physical exertion) in order to travel to hell and find a way to bring Ray back. They eventually discover a Friendly's restaurant in hell that contains a portal back to Earth, with the implication that every Friendly's on Earth also contains a portal to hell.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has something like this for Church following Tex [[spoiler: into the capture unit]] at the end of Season 8 and into Season 9, followed by the rest of the squad trying to save him as well throughout the present timeline of Nine. [[spoiler: Church is eventually saved... after he [[WhamLine comes to peace with Tex's death and erases his memory of her.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', [[spoiler:the main character travels to the Underworld in order to rescue Meg's spirit and reunite it with her body, thus getting his godhood back.]]
** The animated series features Orpheus himself in need of rescue from the Underworld. Depicted as a pop-star, his fans including girls at the school and monsters alike results in him becoming a LivingMacguffin for Hercules (trying to secure a date for the prom by getting Orpheus to play) and Hades (trying to recruit a powerful new minion through an Underworld concert) to clash over on the same day.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' has Robin do this for Raven in the Season Four finale. [[EnemyMine (He had Slade's help.)]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Finn and Jake go to the underworld to rescue the soul of Princess Bubblegum's dead plant, which they accidently killed while taking care of it. Unfortunately they mess up, and Finn ends up having to save Jake's memory as well.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', Manolo thinks he's doing this for Maria when Xibalba sends him to the Land of the Remembered. In reality, he's the one who's been killed.
* In the ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' Halloween episode, Pinky sells his soul to the devil and the Brain has to go to Hades and challenge the devil to a gymnastics competition to get him back.
* In ''Westernanimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', when Korra and Jinora meditate into the spirit world, Jinora's soul is acquired by Unalaq with the aid of Wan Shi Tong to force Korra to open the Northern Spirit Portal. Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi have to go into the Fog of Lost Souls to retrieve her.
[[/folder]]
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to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orphy_330.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Orpheus in the underworld, rescuing his wife. For a value of "rescue" that includes walking off with a lute.]]-]

A character undergoes a very unusual kidnapping, one where they are taken someplace beyond mortal ken and reckoning. Sometimes it's not the body that's gone but the mind or soul, which can happen if they are lost in {{Cyberspace}} or in a DreamWithinADream. They may have been trapped in a LotusEaterMachine or PsychologicalTormentZone, or had their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent Soul]] taken into the SpiritWorld.

Point is, they're gone in a very real sense from this physical plane, but in a way that doesn't preclude recovery.

Their allies decide to mount an Orphean Rescue Mission. Much like [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Orpheus]] and his trip to the Underworld, the heroes will travel into a strange, otherworldy realm. It may be a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind, a [[TimeTravel different era]], another planet, a [[DownTheRabbitHole rabbit hole]], the SpiritWorld, Purgatory, {{Limbo}}, {{Hell}}, even ''{{Heaven}}'', ([[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence or a reasonable facsimile]]) in an attempt to bring the said character back. Whether or not they will ''succeed'' is another matter.

Compare ToHellAndBack.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* ''Anime/BlackRockShooter'': Mato becomes/fuses with the eponymous Black Rock Shooter and goes to the Otherworld to save Yomi from Dead Master.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** The Soul Society arc sees the gang travel to the Soul Society to rescue Rukia.
** The Arrancar Arc sees the gang travel to Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime.
** In the first film, Ichigo's and the gang have to travel to the Dangai to rescue Senna.
** In the second film, Hitsugaya flees in exile to the human world, accidentally catches up Ichigo in his woes before sneaking back into Soul Society to try and solve the mess by himself, causing Ichigo to travel back to Soul Society to help save Hitsugaya and clear his name.
** In the third film, Ichigo and co. travel back to Soul Society to rescue Rukia in what is an unashamedly obvious rewrite of the Soul Society arc with slightly different villains.
** In the fourth film, Ichigo travels to Hell to rescue Yuzu.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': Early in the series, Kagome doesn't ''enter'' hell, but gets very close to the entrance to save a child's soul who had died.
** Later on in the manga, Sesshoumaru takes the full trip ToHellAndBack in order to save his MoralityPet Rin.
* One of the many, many MANY subplots of AngelSanctuary is about Setsuna trying to get back the soul of his [[BrotherSisterIncest beloved sister]] Sara. Cue travel to the Hades, learning she already left... and we have not even covered 25% of the series.
* In ''Anime/JackAndTheWitch'' the titular boy hero descends into a frigid cave full of growing and shifting ice to rescue the banished witch Allegra, who'd been sent there by the Harpy Queen to freeze to death. The Ice Cave and its subsequent shift into a magical battleground seem to be tied to the Queen's magic, as they fade out once her crystal ball is smashed.
* Happens twice in the same instance in ''Manga/KamisamaKiss'' when Nanami follows Kirihito into the Underworld only to wind up in trouble herself which causes Tomoe to come after her.
* Happens twice in Anime/DennouCoil, where one has the ability to connect to the internet through your mind via AugmentedReality glasses. Both Haruken and Isako get trapped in [[MinusWorld Coil Space]], causing them to fall into a coma. Yasako has a hand in bringing them back both times.
* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' brings us this, with the most unlikely Orpheus of them all...[[spoiler: [[ButtMonkey Shinji Ikari]] goes berserk and red-eyed, utterly stomps the [[TheJuggernaut Tenth Angel]] into the dust and pulls Rei, who got eaten along with her Eva, out of the dead Angel's core. {{Subverted|trope}} in true Evangelion fashion since bringing Rei back involved creating an apocalypse that nearly wiped out the whole world, and Shinji doesn't actually get to be with Rei after Kaworu [[VillainousRescue stops the apocalypse]] by spearing Eva-01 from space.]]
* This trope is {{subverted|trope}} in ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess''. The heroine's childhood companion, Sara, is trapped in a [[PortalPicture painting]]. The characters try various things to extract her, including entering the painting itself ([[GeniusLoci although that was more the painting's idea,]]) [[spoiler:but they never succeed. Sara cannot be saved and does not need saving, [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because it was her destiny]] to fuse with the painting.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. [[spoiler:It's a major plotline of the movie, as the Incubators had tried to force Homura to become a Witch by selectively isolating Homura's Soul Gem from interference, thus forcing all the grief and despair building up to remain within. Madoka mounts a rescue mission by entering Homura's Soul Gem and breaking her out from within; Magical Girls both still alive (Mami, Kyoko) and those whom Goddess Madoka had already taken when their Soul Gems ran out of magic (Sayaka, Nagisa) join her, though the rescue hits a couple of snags en route.]]
* Chapters 6 through 10 of ''Manga/{{Pupipo}}'' feature Wakaba and Po on a mission to bring back their friend Azuma after she is hit by a car.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During Creator/MarkWaid's run, the ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' rescued their fallen teammate Ben Grimm in this manner.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' features at least two cases: The title character going into Hell to release an old love he'd [[DisproportionateRetribution condemned]] [[WomanScorned after she rejected him]], and his son Orpheus's trope-naming trip to retrieve Eurydice.
* A story arc of ''ComicBook/SecretSix'' had them doing this to rescue Scandal's lover Knockout.
* The second ''[[Comicbook/SwampThing Swamp Thing Annual]]'' has the title character, with the assistance of ComicBook/ThePhantomStranger and {{Etrigan}}, journey out-of-body to Hell in order to rescue Abby, whose soul her uncle Anton Arcane had maliciously cast down there.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:FanFiction]]

* In [[FanFic/{{Propagation}} Propagation]] Blackgaurd dumps [[spoiler: Taylor, the LA Wards, some of the LA Protectorate, a couple supervillains, and about a square mile of LA]] into another dimension.
* FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi features this in the ''Anime/SailorMoon'' native-verse subplot. At first it's just Usagi, Rei, and Luna, later they are joined by Makoto. Played with somewhat, however, as a way to get Ami home is apparent quite early on from Ami's end, it's simply too dangerous for the Light Gods to send her, as the Dark Gods will immeadiately use that opportunity to attack Ami's world. The overarching plot then revolves on overcomeing this.
* A variation appears in ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersPowerPrimordial''. After a dark curse traps Ember's soul in the Venomous Tarns (the realm of Seghulerak, the demonic goddess of the ophidia, making it heaven for ophidia and hell for anyone else), with her physical body being guarded by her kidnappers, Jetta the Bronze Hearted (a CosmicEntity whom Ember is supposed to sponsor) is the only ally who knows about it, but can't act herself. The solution is to communicate (through a vision) Ember's cousin and BigBrotherMentor to go there in spiritual form, and help muster up the willpower to break the curse on her own. (Not only does it work, but it sets up an important ChekovsGun for when Ember ''physically'' escapes her kidnappers later, and has to confront her ArchEnemy.)
* In ''FanFic/BeingDeadAintEasy'', [[spoiler:when Seto refuses to leave the Soul Room, leaving his body empty, Joey heads in to rescue him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/BlackOrpheus'' is the Orpheus myth set in 20th century Brazil. Orfeo, who refuses to accept that Eurydice is really dead, is led [[{{Hellevator}} down a staircase]] to TheUnderworld, where he hears Eurydice's voice at a native religious ceremony. Before he even has a a chance to find out if he can lead her out, he turns and looks, and she's gone.
* ''{{Inception}}'' had Cobb rescue Fischer and Saito from the deepest subconscious.
** Funnily enough, Limbo's closest to [[spoiler: his deepest unconscious, as he's the only one who's been down there long enough (local time) to build anything.]]
** Mal became [[spoiler: TheMissingno and TheOphelia]] because Dom's attempt to rescue her from Limbo [[GoneHorriblyRight worked much too well.]] [[spoiler: Dom planted the idea that they should kill themselves to get out of Limbo in her mind, but the idea was so firmly implanted that she ended up killing herself in waking life. After that, Dom's subconscious projection of Mal tormented him with memories of the botched Orphean Rescue and played havoc with damn near every one of his dream schemes. Dom eventually conquered her with a complete inversion of the OrpheanRescue--he told Mal's projection that he was done with her and would leave the memories in Limbo.]]
* ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'': Carol Anne is kidnapped by the ghosts and taken to the astral plane where they are trapped.
* The low-budget film ''Tequila Body Shots'' doesn't even hide the fact that the climax will be this: The protagonist's name is Johnny Orpheus. Plus...guess what he uses to bring his love interest back from where she is?
* In ''Film/WhatDreamsMayCome'', the protagonist goes into hell to find his wife's soul who is trapped in her own guilt after committing suicide.
* Averted awesomely in ''Film/{{Hellboy}}''. Hellboy's love interest has just been captured by the ''things'' the villains have been trying to summon. Knowing that they're using her body as a host, Hellboy tells them to let her go--[[{{Badass}} or he'll come in and get her]]. She's immediately released.
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', starts off with Will, Elizabeth and [[spoiler: Barbossa]] planning on going to the afterlife to retrieve [[spoiler: Jack Sparrow]].
* Done by the protagonist in the campy 1992 movie ''Film/HighwayToHell'', after his girlfriend is kidnapped by the devil. (That's right, ''kidnapped''; while still alive. The DealWithTheDevil part is saved for when they try to escape.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'' has Willy Wonka and Charlie go deep down to rescue Grandma Georgina from Minus Land, where she went after having reduced her age to below zero.
* ''OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank'' has this trope, though in this case, Apallonia knows exactly where Fingal's ''mind'' is; it's his ''body'' she's having trouble finding.
* In ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic Briar's Book]]'', Briar follows his teacher into death to convince her to come back.
* ''FullTilt'' by Neil Schusterman involves a boy going to rescue his brother from some kind of hell, appearing as an AmusementParkOfDoom, after he was lured in.
* In ''Literature/AWizardOfEarthsea'', Ged tries to save a dying child, following her soul on the way to the land of the dead; but he doesn't manage to keep her from entering it and being lost.
* There's a medieval narrative poem, ''Sir Orfeo'', loosely inspired by Orpheus, where King Orfeo successfully wins back his wife held captive by TheFairFolk. He plays his harp so beautifully that the king of the fairies promises him any reward he wants.
* ''Literature/TheFriendshipSong'' by Nancy Springer has this with Harper and Rawnie venturing to the underworld to rescue the soul of a rock singer. It's then played with as he has to choose to come back on his own.
* In ''Literature/DeepSecret'', Nick goes to Babylon in order to restore his [[spoiler: half-sister]] Maree after her soul is stripped from her. Babylon isn't the land of the dead ''exactly,'' but it's definitely "outside here or there." On the way back, Nick remembers the legend of Orpheus and refuses to look back even though he can hear Maree behind him, which was a very wise decision.
* In the ''Literature/HeirsOfAlexandria'' series, [[spoiler: Maria]] assumes a Persephone like role to become Queen of the Underworld and use her powers to save everyone. Upset that she was tricked into this, [[spoiler: Benito]] travels to the Underworld to rescue her. Hades agrees to let her go, under one condition: she will follow him back to the land of the living, but he must take it on trust that she's actually there. If he ever looks back to verify her presence, she must return to Hades. Of course, being who he is, he cheats: [[spoiler: he has one of his companions, a knight in mirror-polished armor, walk in front of him so he can see her reflection in the armor.]]
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'', Twoflower is hit by a poisoned blade and his soul is sent to Death's domain. Rincewind is given a potion by the necromancer in a nearby settlement, and his soul also leaves for Death's domain. He finds that Twoflower has been teaching the four horsemen of the apocalypse to play bridge, which has not gone down terribly well. Rincewind then rescues Twoflower and both of their souls manage to get back to their bodies soon.
** Invoked in ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'', where Roland has to descend into "an" underworld to rescue the Summer Lady, because [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality that sort of thing is expected in these situations]].
* TheIronKing is about a sister rescuing her kidnapped brother in Fairyland.
* In the [[Literature/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Star Wars EU]], Jaina Solo at one point tries to enter Tahiri Viela's mind to help Tahiri overcome her Yuuzhan Vong persona.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Mat and company enter the [[EldritchLocation Tower of Ghenjei]] to rescue [[spoiler: Moiraine.]]
* Paul Kidd's third ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' book, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, ends with a trip to Thoth's realm to rescue Enid.
-->'''Enid:''' Just how much trouble have I put you to?
-->'''Escalla:''' None! Nothing we minded! Well, we had to steal the clone spell from this wizard guy in Greyhawk, then make you a new body at Dad's place, then find the river Mnemos, fight a few evil denizens, avoid a few rampaging armies, then find this place and bust in. Simple!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Seamus Zelazny Harper did this a time or two on ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' for the AI of the ship. It included a combo JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind that happened to be {{Cyberspace}}.
* The third season of the UK ''Series/BeingHuman'' included one of these early on. It's not without larger consequences.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The two-parter "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead", where Donna is 'saved' into a virtual computer system world. The Doctor works to get her back and restore the rest of the planet's population, all the while fighting off the Vashta Nerada.
** "Dark Water" sees an attempt to rescue [[spoiler: Danny Pink]] after he passes on to an afterlife that Clara and the Doctor can't quite understand yet.
* Most of the plot of ''TheLostRoom'' is the lead character recovering his daughter from this situation.
* Episode 4 of ''Series/MythQuest'' sees Alex, as Orpheus, go into Hades to rescue Eurydice.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':
** The final episode of Season 4 has Phoebe cast a spell on herself to enter the Wasteland - where demons go when vanquished - when Cole contacts her through a medium. Subverted in that she has no interest in rescuing him, she wants him to let go and stop bothering her.
** The Season 6 opener has them travelling to Valhalla to save Leo, who has been trapped there for a month. This involves stealing Darryl's soul (and then saving him too once Leo emerged).
* Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer and Series/{{Angel}} both involve this trope from time to time.
** Rescues from Hell pop up more than a few times on both shows
** Buffy goes catatonic right before the season 5 finale (requiring a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind by Willow to help her snap out of it)
** When Angel loses his soul (again), he and Faith end up sharing a drugged dream state where they trade barbs while observing Angel's memories from his quest for redemption as she tries to find a way to restore his soul.
** The last season of Angel has a disproportionate number of these as well
*** The attempt to rescue Spike's ghost before he is destroyed
*** The journey to the private little suburban hell with the torture chamber in the basement (an unalterable GroundhogDayLoop that the person ''knows'' ends with hours of torture). Done a couple times, once to rescue someone with important info who was trapped there by the [[BigBad Senior Partners]], then back again later to rescue the guy who had to take his place on the first trip.
* Happens a few times on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', albeit offscreen. Castiel rescues Dean from Hell [[spoiler:and Sam from Lucifer's cage.]] A group of angels rescue Castiel from [[spoiler:Purgatory.]] An onscreen example occurs in Season 8, when Sam rescues [[spoiler:Bobby]] from Hell, only for both of them to be rescued from Purgatory by [[spoiler:Benny]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Myth/ClassicalMythology:
** Orpheus, [[TropeNamer duh]]. When Orpheus's wife died, he entered the underworld and convinced Hades to let her return to the world of the living. However, Hades allowed it on the condition that Orpheus lead his wife back without looking at her until they're on the other side. Unlike the majority of the examples on this page, though, he ultimately failed in his quest. Some versions of the myth state that Orpheus ''was'' out of the underworld when he turned to look at her, but [[ExactWords his wife wasn't.]] Orpheus' response to this was to blaspheme the gods through his songs until they got sick enough of him to [[JerkassGods strike him dead.]]
** Heracles did something similar when he went to the Underworld to abduct Cerberus for his Twelfth Labor. While there, his found his cousin Theseus and Theseus' friend Pirithous, who Hades had bound to a chair as punishment for trying to kidnap Persephone. Hades said he could take Theseus with back with him - if he could. Heracles managed to wrest Theseus free, but he wasn't allowed to do the same for Pirithous. (Pirithous had been the orchestrator of the plan and Theseus was only guilty by association, so Hades was willing to let him go.) As this story and the one with Orpheus seems to show, more-or-less, even attempting a rescue like this in Myth/GreekMythology is impossible unless you have Hades' permission.
** Another ''possible'' example of this Trope regarding Heracles -- depending on the version -- was the story where when he wrestled [[GrimReaper Thanatos]] to rescue the soul of Alcestis, a brave woman who sacrificed herself so her husband could live. Whether this fits the Trope or not is disputed, because some versions say the battle did, indeed happen in the Underworld, while others suggest that Thanatos had not left Earth yet; but since the myth always claims that Thanatos had already taken Alcestis' soul, it is possible. Whatever the case, Heracles was successful this time too.
* Similar to Orpheus is Izanagi, creator-god in Myth/JapaneseMythology. His wife Izanami died giving birth to the fire-god Kagutsuchi and fell to TheUnderworld, The Yomotsu. Izanagi traveled down the cavernous realm of the dead, [[ValuesDissonance only to be repulsed by his wife who is]] [[BodyHorror now an eternally decaying, maggot-ridden corpse]]. He fled the underworld as fast as he can while being chased by the local demons and Izanami throwing lightning at him. Eventually, he made it to the surface, and closed the way to the underworld with a huge boulder.
* Similar to both of the above (this ''is'' an archetypal trope, after all) Ishtar's Descent Into The Underworld is one of the most well-known stories of [[Myth/MesopotamianMythology Babylonian Mythology]]. In it, she [[CaptainObvious descends into]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the underworld]] but [[EnemiesWithDeath angers its queen, Erseshkigal]], and is trapped there. As the goddess of fertility, this is bad for the living [[note]]This also makes it similar to the Greek story of Persephone, but unlike Ishtar, she is not rescued exactly[[/note]], so Ea creates a servant and sends it to retrieve her, commanding Ereshkigal to let her go.
* A female version from India: the princess Savitri followed Yama, the lord of death, when he took her husband Satyavan. Yama was so impressed with her wisdom and courage that he eventually let her take Satyavan back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''{{Champions}}'' Organization Book 1 ''The Circle and M.E.T.E.'': One of the adventure seeds for the Circle is having Oeramm attack the Circle, capture Aureole or a {{PC}} and take them back to his home plane, from which they will have to be rescued.
* You can bring back dead people from TheUnderworld in ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'', but not without paying some (very terrible) price to the Kerberoi.
** While not going to the realm of the dead ''per se'', some [[TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost Changelings]] make it their mission to raid Arcadia to free the humans kidnapped by [[TheFairFolk True Fae]], themselves being victims of True Fae in the past. It's only more admirable when you consider [[RealityIsOutToLunch just what kind of place Arcadia is]], and what [[MindScrew effect it has upon the fragile psyche of the Changelings]].
** Some [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken werewolves]] also make it their mission to eject humans who are trapped in the Spirit World, although it's more having to do with keeping orders in their territories than altruism for the poor humans.
* The Myth/GreekMythology themed ''Theros'' cycle in ''MagicTheGathering'' has the black card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=373532 Rescue from the Underworld]], which involves one of the players creatures leaving play and returning next turn along with one that was in the graveyard. The same block also has [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380483 Reviving Melody]], which depicts a GenderSwapped version of the original tale.
* The supplement to [[TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead Don't Rest Your Head]], Don't Lose Your Mind, has a ''lovely'' example in the example Madness Power titled "O is for Orpheus":
->“You need to understand it wasn’t her fault, alright? You need to understand none of this was her fault, but suicide means something to a Catholic. So I walked down and carried her back. She tried to fight me and run back to it. Can you believe that? She tried to run back to the eating and purging and eating and...”
->...
->“I’m going to walk back when I get my head together a little and try and find the rest of her, but until then...”
->[[spoiler: Like he said, ''she’s got to eat.'']]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is actually Arthur's goal in the second game of the ''Franchise/GhostsNGoblins'' series. (He's still trying to [[SaveThePrincess rescue his beloved Princess Prin-Prin]], but in this one, Lucifer kills her and captures her soul.)
* This seems to be [[spoiler: the entirety]] of ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife''. [[spoiler: The creator (seemingly the player character and the force behind the protagonist) is Heather, who in the real world was Mike's older sister. In the real world, Mike and Heather were in a devastating car crash which put Mike in a coma and killed their parents. Heather's imagination plus ThePowerOfLove sent Mike into the world of ''Drawn to Life''. '''The Next Chapter''' consists of getting everything together so that Mike can wake up again.]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' sets up about six of these in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]''. Interesting because all six are important characters whose growth, contribution to the plot, and tragic downfall took up about the space of a full game each, and each of them went in a completely different way. So it's a bit of a task for TheHero to bring them all back. ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts coded]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance 3D]]'' continue the set up for these rescues, giving the heroes the information and abilities they need to stage them in an upcoming game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} 07: Perfect Cherry Blossom'' has the three main characters going to Hakugyokurou, a realm of ''virtuous'' dead (think Elysium), to take back the Spring essence of Gensokyo which is stolen by the hungry ghost [[BigBad Yuyuko]].
** In ''Touhou 12: Undefined Fantastic Object'', it's the [[strike:bad guys]] followers of Byakuren who seek to liberate her from imprisonment in Pandemonium. [[spoiler: She was imprisoned by her ''[[HumansAreBastards fellow humans]]'' [[FantasticRacism for befriending the youkai]].]] The [[YouBastard player characters]] mistakenly believe they're trying to resurrect a terrible monstrosity.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame 2'': Mio shoots her way ([[FirstPersonSnapshooter with a camera!]]) through a village worth of hordes of vengeful ghosts to save her [[VideoGameCaringPotential little sister Mayu]]. Bonus point for (in Best Ending route) [[ToHellAndBack going down into Abyss]] to retrieve her back. She didn't come out unscathed from the whole ordeal, but at least she's now closer to Mayu than ever.
* Happens in some route in ''VisualNovel/AoiShiro''. [[spoiler: These are the bad ends.]]
%%* {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed in ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} Persona 3: FES]]''. The desire to bring back [[spoiler: the main character]] cause the SEES to splinters and fights each other in GroundhogDayLoop. [[spoiler: Even when they get back to their senses and work together to reach the place where the MC's soul is, the find out that they CAN'T bring him back without undoing his sacrifice.]] Moral of the story: It's better to let go of deceased loved ones.
%% NotADeconstruction, and also awkwardly written.
%%
%%* However, this is basically the entire plot of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' in a nutshell.
%%** And THAT MC's initial persona is Izanagi. Persona loves this trope doesn't it?
%%ZeroContextExample, and a very confusing one at that, what with that context-less second bullet that shouldn't be there. Add proper context and formatting before readding.
* The protagonists of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' perform a series of Orphean rescue missions into the TV World.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'' kicks off with Bayonetta heading off to the Gates of Hell to rescue her friend after her soul is DraggedOffToHell.
* Gwendolyn rescues Oswald from the underworld in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. [[spoiler:Odin rescues her when she has problems leaving again.]]
* Played very straight in a quest on ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'', where you must rescue Mistress Orphne, trapped inside her mind by a spell. Four objects are needed by the party to break the spell--which becomes an shadowy version of the rescued that tries to slay you.
* ''VideoGame/DontLookBack'', [[DontLookBack as the title suggests]], takes Orpheus's original journey and reimagines it as a PlatformGame.
* A second, unrelated game also (confusingly) entitled ''[[VideoGame/DontLookBack2014 Don't Look Back]]'', swaps things up by [[spoiler: having Euridice rescue Orfeo (it's based on the opera rather than the original myth).]]
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' sees the Boss delve into a [[{{Cyberspace}} virtual simulation of Steelport]] to fight his way through the [[IronicHell Ironic Hells]] of their crew, all trapped in [[LotusEaterMachine Lotus-Eater Machines]], to rescue them.
** ''VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell'' sees Johnny Gat and Kinzie go to {{Hell}} to rescue the Boss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3667 seemed]] to be going in this direction after [[HollywoodNerd Criminy]] started digging his way to hell in search of [[ReluctantMonster Fuchsia]], but it led to [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3675 him staying there]].
** [[ToHellAndBack Tangerine's video game pulls her through the screen into Hell]]. She discovers [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4674 she can rescue Lily from it]].
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'', where the ruler of the netherworld realizes to his annoyance that the rescuer isn't there to save a specific person, he's just listing qualities he wants in a girlfriend.
--> Fuck, man - the realm of death is not your dating agency.
* ''Webcomic/ElfBlood'', to restore the status quo. It turns out that the journey is a LOT easier than expected, but the SadisticChoice isn't. And then it turns out that the SadisticChoice was just an educated assumption in the protagonist's mind, but in any case said choice REALLY helped everyone in the story.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}''. Ray sold his soul to the devil in exchange for incredible musical talent (without realizing he was selling his soul ''or'' that he'd gain talent from the deal, he just wanted to buy a piano), and when he later died, he went to hell, which was more surreal and inconvenient than outright torturous. Roast Beef committed suicide by vomiting on an electrical outlet (since he was too depressed to really do anything that would require much physical exertion) in order to travel to hell and find a way to bring Ray back. They eventually discover a Friendly's restaurant in hell that contains a portal back to Earth, with the implication that every Friendly's on Earth also contains a portal to hell.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has something like this for Church following Tex [[spoiler: into the capture unit]] at the end of Season 8 and into Season 9, followed by the rest of the squad trying to save him as well throughout the present timeline of Nine. [[spoiler: Church is eventually saved... after he [[WhamLine comes to peace with Tex's death and erases his memory of her.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', [[spoiler:the main character travels to the Underworld in order to rescue Meg's spirit and reunite it with her body, thus getting his godhood back.]]
** The animated series features Orpheus himself in need of rescue from the Underworld. Depicted as a pop-star, his fans including girls at the school and monsters alike results in him becoming a LivingMacguffin for Hercules (trying to secure a date for the prom by getting Orpheus to play) and Hades (trying to recruit a powerful new minion through an Underworld concert) to clash over on the same day.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' has Robin do this for Raven in the Season Four finale. [[EnemyMine (He had Slade's help.)]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Finn and Jake go to the underworld to rescue the soul of Princess Bubblegum's dead plant, which they accidently killed while taking care of it. Unfortunately they mess up, and Finn ends up having to save Jake's memory as well.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', Manolo thinks he's doing this for Maria when Xibalba sends him to the Land of the Remembered. In reality, he's the one who's been killed.
* In the ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' Halloween episode, Pinky sells his soul to the devil and the Brain has to go to Hades and challenge the devil to a gymnastics competition to get him back.
* In ''Westernanimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', when Korra and Jinora meditate into the spirit world, Jinora's soul is acquired by Unalaq with the aid of Wan Shi Tong to force Korra to open the Northern Spirit Portal. Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi have to go into the Fog of Lost Souls to retrieve her.
[[/folder]]
----
[[redirect:RescuedFromTheUnderworld]]
22nd Aug '15 4:23:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean: At World's End'', starts off with Will, Elizabeth and [[spoiler: Barbossa]] planning on going to the afterlife to retrieve [[spoiler: Jack Sparrow]].

to:

* ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean: At World's End'', ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', starts off with Will, Elizabeth and [[spoiler: Barbossa]] planning on going to the afterlife to retrieve [[spoiler: Jack Sparrow]].
22nd Aug '15 4:22:59 AM Morgenthaler
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* PlayedForLaughs in ''{{Achewood}}''. Ray sold his soul to the devil in exchange for incredible musical talent (without realizing he was selling his soul ''or'' that he'd gain talent from the deal, he just wanted to buy a piano), and when he later died, he went to hell, which was more surreal and inconvenient than outright torturous. Roast Beef committed suicide by vomiting on an electrical outlet (since he was too depressed to really do anything that would require much physical exertion) in order to travel to hell and find a way to bring Ray back. They eventually discover a Friendly's restaurant in hell that contains a portal back to Earth, with the implication that every Friendly's on Earth also contains a portal to hell.

to:

* PlayedForLaughs in ''{{Achewood}}''.''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}''. Ray sold his soul to the devil in exchange for incredible musical talent (without realizing he was selling his soul ''or'' that he'd gain talent from the deal, he just wanted to buy a piano), and when he later died, he went to hell, which was more surreal and inconvenient than outright torturous. Roast Beef committed suicide by vomiting on an electrical outlet (since he was too depressed to really do anything that would require much physical exertion) in order to travel to hell and find a way to bring Ray back. They eventually discover a Friendly's restaurant in hell that contains a portal back to Earth, with the implication that every Friendly's on Earth also contains a portal to hell.
17th Aug '15 6:27:39 AM Pilomotor
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Added DiffLines:

* PlayedForLaughs in ''{{Achewood}}''. Ray sold his soul to the devil in exchange for incredible musical talent (without realizing he was selling his soul ''or'' that he'd gain talent from the deal, he just wanted to buy a piano), and when he later died, he went to hell, which was more surreal and inconvenient than outright torturous. Roast Beef committed suicide by vomiting on an electrical outlet (since he was too depressed to really do anything that would require much physical exertion) in order to travel to hell and find a way to bring Ray back. They eventually discover a Friendly's restaurant in hell that contains a portal back to Earth, with the implication that every Friendly's on Earth also contains a portal to hell.
9th Aug '15 7:03:51 PM Carnildo
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* In the ''HeirsOfAlexandria'' series, [[spoiler: Maria]] assumes a Persephone like role to become Queen of the Underworld and use her powers to save everyone. Upset that she was tricked into this; [[spoiler: Benito]] travels to the Underworld and Hades gives him a very Orphean-task. Return to the living world without looking back. [[spoiler: Benito]] cheats by having one of their companions, a knight; walk in front of him on the way back, so he can [[spoiler: look in the reflection of the knight's armor and thus not have to succumb to temptation.]]

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* In the ''HeirsOfAlexandria'' ''Literature/HeirsOfAlexandria'' series, [[spoiler: Maria]] assumes a Persephone like role to become Queen of the Underworld and use her powers to save everyone. Upset that she was tricked into this; this, [[spoiler: Benito]] travels to the Underworld and to rescue her. Hades gives agrees to let her go, under one condition: she will follow him a very Orphean-task. Return back to the living world without looking back. land of the living, but he must take it on trust that she's actually there. If he ever looks back to verify her presence, she must return to Hades. Of course, being who he is, he cheats: [[spoiler: Benito]] cheats by having he has one of their his companions, a knight; knight in mirror-polished armor, walk in front of him on the way back, so he can [[spoiler: look in the see her reflection of in the knight's armor and thus not have to succumb to temptation.armor.]]
15th Jun '15 7:14:49 PM droid
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Added DiffLines:

* The protagonists of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' perform a series of Orphean rescue missions into the TV World.
9th Jun '15 12:49:33 PM StFan
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* In ''JackAndTheWitch'' the titular boy hero descends into a frigid cave full of growing and shifting ice to rescue the banished witch Allegra, who'd been sent there by the Harpy Queen to freeze to death. The Ice Cave and its subsequent shift into a magical battleground seem to be tied to the Queen's magic, as they fade out once her crystal ball is smashed.

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* In ''JackAndTheWitch'' ''Anime/JackAndTheWitch'' the titular boy hero descends into a frigid cave full of growing and shifting ice to rescue the banished witch Allegra, who'd been sent there by the Harpy Queen to freeze to death. The Ice Cave and its subsequent shift into a magical battleground seem to be tied to the Queen's magic, as they fade out once her crystal ball is smashed.
1st Jun '15 12:41:33 PM nombretomado
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* ''InuYasha'': Early in the series, Kagome doesn't ''enter'' hell, but gets very close to the entrance to save a child's soul who had died.

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* ''InuYasha'': ''Manga/InuYasha'': Early in the series, Kagome doesn't ''enter'' hell, but gets very close to the entrance to save a child's soul who had died.
15th May '15 6:10:55 AM colonelquaritch
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* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' brings us this, with the most unlikely Orpheus of them all...[[spoiler: [[ButtMonkey Shinji Ikari]] goes berserk and red-eyed, utterly stomps the [[TheJuggernaut Tenth Angel]] into the dust and pulls Rei, who got eaten along with her Eva, out of the dead Angel's core. {{Subverted|trope}} in true Evangelion fashion since bringing Rei back involved creating an apocalypse that nearly wiped out the whole world, and Shinji doesn't actually get to be with Rei after Kaworu [[VillainRescue stops the apocalypse]] by spearing Eva-01 from space.]]

to:

* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' brings us this, with the most unlikely Orpheus of them all...[[spoiler: [[ButtMonkey Shinji Ikari]] goes berserk and red-eyed, utterly stomps the [[TheJuggernaut Tenth Angel]] into the dust and pulls Rei, who got eaten along with her Eva, out of the dead Angel's core. {{Subverted|trope}} in true Evangelion fashion since bringing Rei back involved creating an apocalypse that nearly wiped out the whole world, and Shinji doesn't actually get to be with Rei after Kaworu [[VillainRescue [[VillainousRescue stops the apocalypse]] by spearing Eva-01 from space.]]
15th May '15 6:09:10 AM colonelquaritch
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Added DiffLines:

* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' brings us this, with the most unlikely Orpheus of them all...[[spoiler: [[ButtMonkey Shinji Ikari]] goes berserk and red-eyed, utterly stomps the [[TheJuggernaut Tenth Angel]] into the dust and pulls Rei, who got eaten along with her Eva, out of the dead Angel's core. {{Subverted|trope}} in true Evangelion fashion since bringing Rei back involved creating an apocalypse that nearly wiped out the whole world, and Shinji doesn't actually get to be with Rei after Kaworu [[VillainRescue stops the apocalypse]] by spearing Eva-01 from space.]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.OrpheanRescue