Do We Have This, Needs a Better Title, Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples,
and Rolling Updates
A God Guise
is the situation where a character pretends to be God (or any other sufficiently-advanced being). This is almost always done to influence someone else's actions, using the divinity to give the instructions extra weight; after all, who would dare to refuse a directive from the Almighty?
The God Guise can be done in a variety of ways, from enigmatic clues placed with no obvious human means to a full-blown getup with costumes, special effects, and an awe-inspiring voice.
Also see Cargo Cult
and Engineered Heroics
. Contrast with God in Human Form
and A God Am I
- Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars novel The Master Mind of Mars. In the Martian city of Phundahl, the idol of the god Tur has a system of controls that allow the operator inside to control the idol's eyes and speak through its mouth. The protagonists use this to their advantage by pretending to be Tur and giving the Phundahlians instructions.
- Called the "God Gambit" in Larry Niven's Ringworld series. Played very straight in the first book by four characters; continued by one, in later books, and implied to be played elsewhere/ elsewhen by others, as well.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Devil's Due''. A high-tech Con Artist pretends to be Ardra, Ventax II's equivalent of the Devil. She takes advantage of a contract the Ventaxians signed with Ardra a thousand years earlier to turn their planet over to her if she solved their social problems.
- Happens frequently on Stargate SG-1.
- Classic Traveller Double Adventure 6 Divine Intervention. The PCs must get a device into the chambers of Orobid, the High Priest of the Church of Stellar Divinity. The device will appear to be a manifestation of Orobid's deity and give him orders that will benefit the PCs' patron.
- In the episode of The Simpsons where Apu's married, Homer tried to put a stop to the wedding by dressing as Ganesha. No one is fooled (indeed, anyone with a passing familiarity with Hindu mythology would know he got the characterisation all wrong).
- In another episode, Bart plays with his Mr. Microphone by telling Rod and Todd next door (who were listening to the radio) that he's God, and tells Rod to walk through a wall which he will make vanish. So Rod walks into the wall.
- Crosses over with Cargo Cult in the Jonny Quest episode "Pursuit of the Po-Ho", when the tribe takes the Quests' plane to be their Sky God after they hear an amplified voice coming from it and speaking their native tongue.