Zombify the Living YKTTW Discussion

Zombify the Living
Necromancy on the not-yet dead.
(permanent link) added: 2012-11-07 16:59:51 sponsor: Chabal2 edited by: StarSword (last reply: 2013-06-06 20:20:10)

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(Formerly Preemptive Necromancy, Needs a Better Title)

Animating dead bodies and summoning skeletons is a pretty useful power. So how can it be improved? Why, by getting rid of the pesky "dead bodies" limitation! Using necromancy on victims who are still alive is a good way to show just how powerful this guy is.

Some versions of vampirism fall into this category as well: vampires are traditionally considered undead, and some settings have the victim transformed while still alive. Liches may result from the caster doing this to himself.

Compare Animate Dead. Not to be confused with Technically Living Zombie, which is where a zombie-esque creature results from (for instance) infecting a living person with a disease (a zombie that was made by transforming a living human into a humanoid which is, for all intents and purposes, a zombie), while this is a spell or other form of Applied Phlebotinum which kills the target and turns them into an actual zombie in one go. Also not to be confused with Spawn Broodling, which creates a minion from the body's mass, not use the body itself to attack.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Sankarea focuses on this trope, as Rea helps Chihiro finish his zombie potion and then drinks it herself. Soon after, once she gets cornered by her father, she slides off a cliff and then truly dies for the first time.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • Dungeon: The Early Years has the wizards Horus and Alcibiade trapped in a prison. Horus' plan is to cast a Necromancy by Anticipation spell, starve to death, be buried outside the prison, and then rise from the grave (and devouring an entire herd of cows to get back to true life). It works.
  • In The Goon, the Zombie Priest accidentally created his nemesis Buzzard (who's technically a sort of "anti-zombie" who feeds on the dead, but otherwise counts); by using the zombie creating magic on him when he was alive.
  • In Blackest Night, Nekron does this, but only on those who came Back from the Dead (e.g. Superman). Green Lantern and The Flash avoid this by being Just One Second Out of Sync.

  • The German film Night Of The Living Dorks has the protagonists hit with an improperly cast resurrection spell, which upon their death later that night in a car accident resurrects them as zombies. Thankfully, they were still pretty normal and managed to get truly revived before going full zombie.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The undead Son of Kyuss is an animated corpse that has fat green worms crawling in and out of its skull orifices. Once per round a worm will jump onto an opponent in melee combat with the Son and try to infect the victim. If it succeeds, the target will immediately become a Son of Kyuss.
    • One of the nastiest powers of the zombie lord, a monster unique to Ravenloft, is its ability to cause the instant death and re-animation of living opponents.
  • Magic The Gathering card Skeletonize burns away a creature's flesh and (assuming three damage will kill it) leaves behind an undead skeleton under your command.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the World's Monsters. If a creature is touched by a Coachman of Death, it must make a saving throw vs. magic or be turned into a zombie.

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Warcraft:
    • In Warcraft III, Arthas transforms Sylvanas Windrunner into a banshee while she's still alive. This was retconned in the World of Warcraft novel Arthas: The Rise of the Lich King, however.
    • There's also Arthas himself. By the time he returns to Lordaeron from Northrend he's officially considered undead, but there has been no point in the canon showing him actually dying to become as such. He simply picks up Frostmourne, and its influence strips away his humanity.
    • In gameplay the Dark Ranger's Black Arrow transforms those hit by it into giant skeletons on death.
  • In the Heroes of Might and Magic series, the Necropolis faction typically has access to an undead transformer that can convert living troops into undead.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Zombie status makes sufferers vulnerable to Revive Kills Zombie without affecting their allegiance.
    • Final Fantasy XIII and its direct sequels: the mindless monsters Cie'th are considered undead, even though to become one, a human must not so much die as fail a Focus given to them by a Fal'cie. When a Fal'cie feels threatened, however, it can give humans an un-completable "null" Focus, which turns them into Cie'th on the spot, rapidly spawning a veritable zombie army around the Fal'cie.
  • In Eternal Darkness anyone killed by the miniboss of Edward's level instantly becomes a hostile zombie (although apart from the very first victim, you can drive it off and save Edward's servants if you're quick enough).
  • In Clive Barker's Undying, you can use the Revive spell on some living enemies, which makes them Driven to Suicide.
  • The Sims 3 expansion pack Supernatural introduced zombies to the game, where on a full moon, your still living townies will turn into zombies for the night (dancing to a boom box, eating your plants, and attacking other sims), and then transform back into humans the next morning.
  • The Web Game Takeover has you fighting the undead Evil Empire, whose special power instantly converts some of your squads into the undead equivalents under the empire's control. It's easily the best power, which explains why you can't play them.
  • The Episode 2 boss of Wolfenstein 3D is Dr. Schabbs, a Deadly Doctor who flings syringes full of a "corpsokinetic animation serum". If B.J. Blazkowicz loses all of his health to a syringe, his HUD portrait turns an ashen color as he becomes an undead mutant like those fought throughout the level.

  • Richard of Looking for Group demonstrates this ability by forcing his enemies' skeletons to obey him... while they're still inside. More generally, Richard himself seems to have been a case of this, and can apparently change back if he goes too long without senseless slaughter.

Indexes: Magic and Powers, Undead Index

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