Created By: Noimporta on December 12, 2009 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on August 7, 2015
Troped

Cosmic Horror Reveal

A mundane, fantasy, or science fiction setting is unexpectedly revealed to be a CosmicHorrorStory.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
REBOOT.

"Never bring Time Travel, the Cthulu Mythos, or Giant Robots into an established setting, because if you do, all it will ever really BE about from then on, is Time Travel, or the Cthulu Mythos, or Giant Robots. Or Giant Robots traveling through time to fight the Cthulu Mythos."

"Dear Diary:
Well, this summer has been one headlong dive into whirlwind romance for me. Ha! I wish! As You Know, I've spent most of the summer trying to run into Percy Marlborough (sigh!), the handsome young industrialist I met the day I snuck into the country club on a lark.
[...]
OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD. He's not human.
If anyone finds this, I beg you, call the police. Tell them our city is full of insect-lizard creatures that walk invisibly among us and feed on our emotions, an ancient eldritch race that see all our efforts and strivings as the caperings of monkeys."
How NOT to Write a Novel, "'And One Ring to Bind Them,' Said the Old Cowpoke"

The plot seemed to be going has been abruptly overshadowed by the revelation that the setting you thought you were reading about is merely an infinitesimal fraction of an universe that actually teems with overwhelming otherworldly menace.

The threat this reveals is likely to virtually overshadow all the more mundane players you already knew about; at the very least, it substantially alters both the reader's and the characters' understanding of their world. The rebellious factions in The Federation are actually being controlled by an unusual artifact, just shipped back from recent excavations in a fringe system. The Corrupt Corporate Executive and Professional Killer are its cultists. The Evil Overlord you just defeated was the Cosmic Keystone keeping it out.

The plot probably didn't completely Genre Shift into Cosmic Horror Story, but at the very least it just received a very noticeable transfusion - it could almost be seen as the Cosmic Horror Story genre itself invading the more traditional settings we know, parasitising them, and altering their realities to one that suits it better.

This can be either a very cheap or very shocking way for things to get worse.

Subtrope of Outside-Context Villain, and sometimes The Man Behind the Man. Compare Genre Shift, Genre Blending and Going Cosmic. Contrast Giant Space Flea from Nowhere and Diabolus ex Nihilo, wherein the unexpected threat is not necessarily a thing from beyond, and whatever it is is completely unrelated to the extended plot.


Examples:

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy seems to be very fond of this:
    • Final Fantasy I. The Four Fiends are upstaged by by Garland who becomes Chaos
    • Final Fantasy III. Xande's doings bring Cloud Of Darkness around
    • Final Fantasy IX. The final boss is Necron despite Kuja being the main antagonist throughout the game.
  • In Persona 2 Hitler turns out to be Nyarlathotep in disguise.
  • In Mass Effect, you're initially in pursuit of Saren, a secret agent bent on using synthetic organisms to wipe out humanity. Surprise, he's really working for the Reapers, an ancient race of machines who have wiped out all galactic civilizations several times over.
  • In Discworld Noir, the first part of the game seems like a normal mystery story, with a detective, a murder, suspects... The final part, however, involves a plan to release an Eldritch Abomination, and once it's released, finding a way to kill it.
  • The Chzo Mythos does this at the midway point: The first two games were straight slasher horror stories with the single central antagonist, but starting with Trilby's Notes the series' focus shifts to the Cosmic Horror possessing the previous games' antagonist, the titular elemental god of pain. (This is because Yahtzee was making up more story elements as he went along.)
  • Earthbound tells you vaguely about Giygas throughout, but it takes almost the entire game to find out he's an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Not the main plot, but Oracle of Tao has a bounty hunting sidequest that is relatively calm and relaxing, until you get to about the last monster, who turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination. Losing the battle against this last bounty results in a Mind Rape ending. For a Side Quest, this is still pretty heavy... and there are actually a number of these practically immortal destructive beings roaming about.
  • Halo 2 revealed that the answer to many of the driving questions of the setting - why the Haloes were made and where the Neglectful Precursors went - was the Gravemind, aka when a Body Horror Zombie Apocalypse acquires sentience, becomes a Hive Mind, and overruns its local galaxy and begins spreading to others nearby.
    • It was known that the Halo rings were built to kill the flood (or more precisely, their food—which is essentially all life in the galaxy— and starve them out) since Halo 1. The Eldritch Abomination Gravemind however didn't show up until Halo 2, so they were more or less space zombies until the giant iambic-pentameter speaking venus flytrap came onto the scene. And it should be noted that the Flood shifted the focus from a war with Scary Dogmatic Aliens to themselves.
    • The Gravemind turns out to be behind prehistoric galactic mysteries like the disappearance of the Neglectful Precursors, similarly to Mass Effect, though. I mean, the Gravemind is able to corrupt Cortana...the AI. That's a pretty scary thing for an organic being to do without using a computer. But the fact that it is basically, recognisably, definitely a biological organism as we know them rather keeps it out of the Eldritch Abomination category. :P
  • Assassin's Creed is a perfectly normal game about an evil organisation forcing the PC to relive the genetic memories of his ancestors, tied in to an ancient-evil-conspiracy plot. Suddenly, Abusive Precursors arrive and the world's about to be destroyed by some sort of horrible thing.
  • This has happened to Eggman how many times now? That is, the point is that Eggman suddenly finds himself out of his league when his schemes provoke godlike horrors, such as Perfect Chaos, Dark Gaia, and Solaris, and Sonic has to go Super to bail Earth—and Eggman—out of the mess the doctor had caused.

Non-Video Game Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Towards the end of Romeo X Juliet, it becomes clear that the true enemy isn't the murderous Lord Montague, who is slowly descending into cackling, city-burning madness, but rather the death of Escalus, which is what's holding Neo Verona in the sky: the earthquakes that become much more frequent and ruinous towards the series' climax are the result of Escalus slowly perishing.
  • Gonna have to put Digimon Tamers in here, considering how the D-Reaper turned it into this.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: It starts as a typical Magical Girl anime and after a few Wham Episodes, we find out exactly how big a problem is...

Film
  • The Cabin in the Woods would also be a good example for this trope, with the run-off-the-mill horror/slasher story being revealed as a setup to please the Old Gods slumbering below us. They're not cosmic though, they just "ruled the earth before man".
  • The World's End begins as a story of five childhood friends reuniting for a pub crawl in their old hometown. They struggle to come to terms with their problems, their friendships, and their pasts. It's a strong character development piece that gets hijacked about halfway through with the sudden revelation that the townspeople have been replaced by alien robots.

Literature
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. The entire novel is spent with the protagonists struggling to overthrow the Evil Overlord, only to discover that said Evil Overlord is personally holding back a nasty Eldritch Abomination from destroying the world.
  • The first three books of Venus Prime are about a young female detective who solves mysteries in space while trying to discover The Conspiracy that caused her to lose three years' worth of memories. In the fourth book, she pretty much wipes out the conspiracy. And then, suddenly, the Starfish Aliens start to show up, and the rest of the series is about her and her allies trying to prevent one faction of the aliens from attempting to re-write history so that Earth becomes more like their homeworld - which would make it uninhabitable to humans.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • South Park: The episode "Pinewood Derby" begins with Stan competing for the derby and his father Randy cheating to win, which catches the attention of cosmic beings who subject humanity to a morality test.
Community Feedback Replies: 111
  • September 18, 2009
    DalekKanNoladti
    Does Ganon count? If so, this happens in at least half of all Zelda games.
  • September 18, 2009
    Acacia
    Option two should be linked to Evil Is Not A Toy.
  • September 19, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The "Old Gods" have been pretty much confirmed to be the true Big Bads behind everything in Warcraft. These Old Gods include such cosmic horrors as C'thun and Yogg-Saron (guess where they got those names).
  • September 19, 2009
    highcastle
    • In Mass Effect you're initially in pursuit of Saren, a Spectre (read: secret agent) bent on using synthetic organisms to wipe out humanity. Surprise, surprise, he's really working for the Reapers, a seemingly ageless race of machines who have wiped out all galactic civilizations several times over.
  • September 19, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Almost every Final Fantasy pulls this.
  • September 19, 2009
    invinible
    In the first Power Rangers movie, Ivan Ooze did this to Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd.
  • September 19, 2009
    witchdoctor
    @UT 71: Everything? What about the Burning Legion and the Lich King? Surely you can't be suggesting that they are manipulating the Burning Legion and Sargeras the Dark Titan.
  • September 19, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In Persona 2 Hitler turns out to be Nyarlatothep in disguise
  • September 19, 2009
    Ajardoor
    The Wild Mass Guessing pages have a thing for making everything connected to Haruhi Suzumiya and occassionally with the Cthulhu Mythos too.
  • September 19, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Happens in the Sword of Truth series with Darken Rahl being supplanted by the Keeper of the Underworld.
  • September 20, 2009
    GoggleFox
    I think this is basically a supertrope of Hijacked By Ganon, where that one's about "the current Big Bad gets upstaged by the traditional one for the series." In this one, replace series with "life in general," or "fiction in general."
  • September 21, 2009
    kyzzi
    would Zorg (Fifth Element) working for the... forgot the EVIL's name, count as definition 1 since he is selling the stones to the Big Bad for the money and giggles? And the Mangalores, icky frog-moose critters, working for Zorg for weapons for their revenge kick?
  • September 21, 2009
    Ryusui
    Towards the end of Romeo X Juliet, it becomes clear that the true enemy isn't the murderous Lord Montague, who is slowly descending into cackling, city-burning madness, but rather the death of Escalus, which is what's holding Neo Verona in the sky: the earthquakes that become much more frequent and ruinous towards the series' climax are the result of Escalus slowly perishing.
  • September 21, 2009
    Genuine
    Mistborn, by Brian Sanderson probably applies. The entire novel is spent with the protagonists struggling to overthrow the Evil Overlord, only to discover that said Evil Overlord is personally holding back a nasty Eldritch Abomination from destroying the world.
  • September 21, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The infamous final boss of Final Fantasy IX was Necron, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, despite Kuja being the primary villain up to that point.
  • October 9, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door gives us the Shadow Queen, who hijacks the plot from the X-Nauts.
  • October 9, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    I think Hijacked By Ganon specifically covers an old Big Bad upstaging a new one in established series, though.

    Closer to the OP, though: In Fossil Fighters, Planet Eater Guhnash steals the Big Bad spotlight away from the alien King Dynal, who had already stolen the plot away from the BB Bandits. There's quite the villain tier in this game.
  • October 25, 2009
    Kinkajou
    The Final Fantasy IX example is likely a homage to Final Fantasy IV, where Golbez, is actually controlled by the Cosmic Horror Zemus/Zeromus.
  • October 25, 2009
    Pacific
    Very similar to Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, but not limited to one medium. Worth taking into consideration.
  • October 25, 2009
    Nomic
    The C'tan stargods have been retconned to be behind several major event in the history of the Warhammer40000 galaxy. A C'tan gave Abaddon the Despoiler the sword Drach'nyeh (well, showed him where the sword was held. Abaddon did the actual picking up of the blade himself), orchestrated the Gothic war, is the being worshipped as the Machine God on Mars, created the Necrons and fought againt the [[{Precursors}} Old Ones]] during the War in Heavens and thus were the reason behind the creation of Orks and Eldar (both made by the the Old Ones to serve as warrior races). We're still waiting for them to unveil that the Emperor is actually a C'tan...
  • October 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The Chzo Mythos does this at the midway point: The first two games were straight slasher horror stories with the single central antagonist, but starting with Trilby's Notes the series' focus shifts to the Cosmic Horror posessing the previous games' antagonist, the titular elemental god of pain.
  • October 25, 2009
    Ub3rD4n
    JRP Gs do this one all the time. In addition to the Square Enix games, I know at least Phantasy Star 4 did this as well.
  • October 25, 2009
    Giant Space Chinchilla
    IIRC this pops up in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman / Battle Of The Planets / G-Force:Guardians of Space
  • October 25, 2009
    Sunflower
    This has happened to Eggman how many times now?
  • October 25, 2009
    RocketDude
    This sounds a bit like Man Behind The Man. Perhaps this could be a subtrope?
  • December 12, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    Comic Books / Film Tabletop Games
    • In Dungeons And Dragons, there's often an evil deity (Lolth, Asmodeus, etc.) behind the scenes. Subverted, though, in that many of these are formal mortals (or "ordinary" immortals) who managed to get themselves "promoted".
  • December 12, 2009
    Vree
    This IS The Man Behind The Man but, since that one sounds more fit for characters who like to hide in the shadows and take over the last minute, maybe it is worth a split.

    The Amazing Screw On Head also features such a type of enemy.
  • December 12, 2009
    onFyre
    @Sunflower, when Robotnik does it, it's Hijacked By Ganon, because he's the Big Bad specific to Sonic The Hedgehog.

    @Nomin, The Tau are strongly hinted at having been helped by the C'Tan, with Farsight's sword being almost definitely a Phase Blade. Also, the Eldar Harlequins probably worship one of the C'Tan. There was a good Wild Mass Guess on the subject. And the Emperor isn't one, He's the goddamn Batman.
  • April 26, 2010
    Tzetze
    Dunno if this counts, but in Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth, at least briefly, seems like a mad soldier bent on revenge. Then Jenova comes in.
  • April 26, 2010
    Arutema
    • Borderlands: You thought Commandant Steele would be the final boss? Guess again.
  • April 26, 2010
    gman003
    @Tzetze: Actually, Sephiroth himself is this, albeit one that comes in very early. For half of the first disc, the enemy seems to be Shinra. Even afterward, it seems possible that Sephiroth is just a pawn in someone's scheme. This pretty much ends by disc two, though.

    As to Jenova, the current status of the story, as affected by various retcons, is that Sephiroth took control of Jenova, not vice-versa. The original game had it ambiguous, but Advent Children and the rest of the Compilation goes with Sephiroth as being the ultimate Big Bad, not Jenova.
  • April 27, 2010
    EricDVH
    Madness Combat, combined with a bit of a Creator Breakdown.
  • April 27, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Every single Kirby game I can think of bar the first and maybe a few others. The plot gets hijacked by Dark Matter, Nightmare, 02, Dark Nebula, Zero, Dark Mind, maybe Miracle Matter (although not the final boss).

    Mario And Luigi Bowsers Inside Story with Dark Star/Dark Bowser as the true villains.

    Possibly Terrormisu in Wario Master of Disguise, although one of the villains was trying to keep the being sealed away.
  • April 27, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • The Dark One in Quest For Glory IV, which Katrina is trying to awaken.
    • Chaos in Loom, whom Bishop Mandible inadvertantly summons when he tears open the fabric of reality.

    Like the name, by the way.
  • April 28, 2010
    Arivne
    Film
    • Cast A Deadly Spell. Private detective Phillip Lovecraft spends most of the movie fighting against his old partner Harry Bordon, a criminal who wants to acquire the Necronomicon. At the end Lovecraft's employer uses the Necronomicon to summon Cthulhu.
  • March 21, 2011
    NESBoy
    Western Animation
    • This literally happens in the "Coon II" South Park trilogy episodes -- the plot was about Cartman and his friends trying to get Captain Hindsight to join their superhero group, while BP keeps making oil spills. Then Cthulhu shows up and both of the initial plotlines quickly wrap up and fade into the background.
  • March 21, 2011
    X2X
    • The King of Fighters: The first two games introduce us to Arms Dealer Rugal Bernstein, a sinister man who exemplifies the "Blood" in Blood Knight. After seemingly dying in '94, he returns in the following game as Omega Rugal... only to suffer from a Superpower Meltdown and die... for good. Before Rugal's new power consumes his body, Iori Yagami (rival to Kyo Kusanagi) gives a cryptic remark about how only those of the bloodline can properly wield such power. Cue '96, where we meet Chizuru Kagura, a Lady Of War Miko hosting the KOF tournament so that she can enlist fighters to help her deal with a great evil... the man who gouged out Rugal's eye and gave him the power he used in the last tournament. Said man (Leopold Goenitz of the Wildly-Blowing Wind) promptly appears and does battle with Kyo and Iori, all the while proclaiming the advent of Orochi, the series' Sealed Evil In A Can who he's been working to revive. When Goenitz finally goes down, the remaining Heavenly Four Kings of Orochi (the Not So Harmless Power Trio of Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris) take up the reigns in the next tournament. Ultimately, Orochi is resurrected in Chris' body, but the combined efforts of Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru (the descendants of the three clans that sealed away Orochi in the first place) fell the deity and seal him away once more. While the focus of the subsequent sagas vary, Orochi is the overall Big Bad of the series; ensuring that he stays locked away is a number one priority.
  • March 22, 2011
    Acebrock
    Not to be confused with Hijacked By Ganon

    • In The Elder Scrolls IV The Mythic Dawn leader, Mankar Camoran, is trying to summon Mehrunes Dagon to the world of Nirn, under the mistaken assumption that Mundas is another Daedric realm. At the end of the game, Mehrunes appears in the Imperial City and you have to get Martin to the Temple of The One to get rid of him.
  • March 22, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    This method is often employed when pulling a Diabolus Ex Machina.
  • March 22, 2011
    jate88
    Does this need a warning for unmarked spoilers?
  • March 22, 2011
    Clevomon
    Stories do this often in order to allow for Rousseau Was Right.
  • March 22, 2011
    nrjxll
    ^ Not sure I followed that - you mean by having the old Big Bad pull an Enemy Mine when "Cthulhu" shows up?
  • March 22, 2011
    X2X
  • March 23, 2011
    jate88
    • In the Gemma Doyle trilogy everybody in the first two books is making a big deal about Circe only for her to be defeated at the end of the second book. In the final book Gemma and her friends must face a demonic world tree.
  • March 24, 2011
    Takwin
    I don't know if anyone's mentioned this yet, but wouldn't Zalgo's Interface Screw count as this?
  • March 24, 2011
    Taelor
  • March 25, 2011
    jate88
    • In the third season of Yu Yu Hakusho the "A" and "S" class demons are presented as EldritchAbominations compared to the BigBads of season 2 but come season 4 we find out they aren't so bad(or at least aren't any worse than previous season big bads).

    • The first half of Gurren Lagann is spent defeating the Spiral King only to reveal in the second part he was protecting humanity from being wiped out by the eldritch like anti spirals and in the epilogue the earthlings are shown heading out to face the even more eldritch like spiral nemesis.
  • March 26, 2011
    Judoh
    • Happens in Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings and the Lost ocean where Emperor Geldoblame is trying to collect the End Magnus to summon Malpercio a god of destruction. He eventually does but only manages to summon part of Malpercio and it turns him into a giant monster. Kalas however subverts this when he betrays the party for Melodia to summon Malpercio and succeeds at taking his power.
  • April 6, 2011
    jate88
  • September 4, 2011
    Ekuran
    Bump.
  • September 5, 2011
    Bisected8
    Hmm, what's the difference between this and Giant Space Flea From Nowhere?
  • September 5, 2011
    RegShoe
    This sits across Giant Space Flea From Nowhere and The Man Behind The Man. Nothing here makes it need its own page, but I suppose there is nothign to stop it either.
  • December 23, 2011
    Noaqiyeum
    Bump.
  • December 23, 2011
    Desertopa
    If there's no need for a new page, that is reason not to have a new page.

    If the trope is "Man Behind The Man turns out to be a Cosmic Horror," there's some new ground there, but the examples are already stepping outside that into plain Man Behind The Man and Hijacked By Ganon.
  • December 24, 2011
    Noaqiyeum
    If that's the case - I'm not certain it is - it just means not all the examples are actually examples.
  • December 30, 2011
    morenohijazo
    In Discworld Noir, the first part of the game seems like a normal mystery story, with a detective, a murder, suspects... The final part, however, involves a plan to release an Eldritch Abomination, and once it's been indeed released, finding a way to kill it. Check the Genre Shift entry there.
  • December 30, 2011
    Noaqiyeum
    Here's how this trope seems to be different to me from the comparisons so far.
  • December 30, 2011
    Noaqiyeum
    Subtrope of Outside Context Villain. The second form may be related to Captured Super Entity.
  • December 31, 2011
    morenohijazo
    I meant that more information about that Discworld Noir example can be found there.
  • January 1, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    No, I understood that, but I thought there was considerable potential for overlap so as long as I was distinguishing this from other tropes I might as well make one more entry.
  • January 11, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    The Eldrazi from Magic: the Gathering suddenly awaken during the Zendikar storyline, taking precedence over the various squabbles that had been occurring beforehand. Zendikar had acted as a prison-plane for them until their release, and the effects of their imprisonment had strange effects on the world itself (a massive storm called the Roil, seemingly sentient landmasses, giant floating hedron structures), making this a pretty straight example of the trope.
  • January 11, 2012
    Cider
    Why do people keep saying Giant Space Flea From Nowhere outside of video games? We already have that trope, we called it Diabolus Ex Nihilo. This really strikes me as The Man Behind The Man but for Big Ugly Monsters. We already have the man behind the man for monsters called Not Even Human. I really don't think this page is necessary.
  • January 11, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Did you read my commentary on differentiations, scant lines above?

    Also, Not Even Human isn't even "The Man Behind The Man but for Big Ugly Monsters" - it's "The Big Bad you previously thought was human is a Big Ugly Monster", regardless of whether the Big Bad was The Man Behind The Man or not.
  • January 11, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    I could see this being a decent page if it was narrowed to "the Man Behind The Man is some kind of Eldritch Abomination". I don't think any combination of tropes adequately fits that definition.

    The example I'm thinking of is Sailor Moon, where this happens in just about every arc. In the first season Queen Beryl, the traditional Big Bad turns out to be controlled by some demonish thing called Queen Metallia. In R, behind Prince Diamond is the Doom Phantom, another Eldritch Abomination. In S, Doctor Tomoe is the Traditional Bigbad and the one that ends up being behind it is Pharoah 90, a similar monster. Then in Super S it's subverted because its seems like Queen Nehellania is possibly being controlled by Zirconia but Zirconia is actually a manifestation of Nehellania's. In Stars though it's done straight again with Sailor Galaxia turning out to be controlled by Chaos. Takeuchi-sama really likes this trope...
  • January 11, 2012
    Cider
    We don't have the man behind the man for big ugly monsters, or "chthulu" but Not Even Human is when a seemingly more mundane threat turns out to be monstrous. Not Even Human would cover all the secret Chthulu cult twists already...Man Behind The Man already covers "real threat maker" anyway and Diabolis Ex Nihilio covers unexpected villains showing up on the audience.

    Genre Shift Villain is a trope I don't think we have. If the villain say, turns the action adventure show into a horror story or a stern chase story but the examples aren't going that way. Everything seems handled by existing pages already.
  • January 11, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    "Not Even Human is when a seemingly more mundane threat turns out to be monstrous."

    Correct. That is generally not this trope.

    Example: Call Of Cthulhu Dark Corners Of The Earth plausibly involves Not Even Human after the reveal that the Innsmouth denizens are Deep One hybrids, but it is not Hijacked By Cthulhu because the story has been Cosmic Horror the whole time and this comes as no surprise. Mass Effect, on the other hand, becomes Hijacked By Cthulhu by the revelation that enormous monstrosities from the prehistory of the universe are coming to wipe out all organic life, but they were never mistaken for humans.
  • January 12, 2012
    Debatra
    Requesting clarification (preferably from the OP)

    Is this YKTTW "The Man Behind The Man is an Eldritch Abomination" or is it "Eldritch Abomination comes and hijacks the plot"?
  • January 12, 2012
    DrMcNinja
    ^From my point of view this is a mix of both and Giant Space Flea Out Of Nowhere, to result in "the Big Bad is an Eldritch Abomination".

    Snowclone name and mix and match of different tropes don't really make a good trope.
  • January 12, 2012
    CalamityJane
    When I read the trope description, I think mostly of what happens in Homestuck as a consequence of over-convoluted writing. The Big Bad of the 4th act, Jack Noir, gets completely overshadowed by a cosmic threat that eats universes from the Troll Universe (which hadn't been introduced until late in the Third Act) and subsequently hijacked the entire plot to be about things that relate to Lord English. After he is introduced, the story almost never shuts up about him.
  • February 22, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Lord English is a more traditional demon, though, not a Lovecraftian nightmare. Homestuck would qualify because of the Horrorterrors, even though they're relatively benign.

    Since Noimporta seems to have abandoned it, I've weeded out unclear examples from the OP and rewritten the description. Consider this a reboot.
  • February 22, 2012
    Tropeless
    Kirby. I don't feel the need to add more, and it could preferably be added as an example unlike the other one was...
  • February 22, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Nightmarish abominations being the True Final Boss are a staple of the Kirby games, though. It may have been a surprise the first time, but...
  • February 22, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    No love for The Flood from Halo?
  • February 23, 2012
    Arivne
    ^^^ @Tropeless: If you don't add more than just "Kirby", your contribution is a Zero Context Example and will either not be added or will be deleted if added.

    When adding an example, we try not to assume that whoever is reading it is familiar with the work that it comes from.
  • February 24, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    @Tom - How is the Flood an eldritch abomination? Halfway-honest question - I know basically nothing about Halo, but what little I am aware of indicates it isn't.
  • February 24, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Not the main plot, but Oracle Of Tao has a bounty hunting sidequest that is relatively calm and relaxing, until you get to about the last monster, who literally turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination. Losing the battle against this last bounty results in a Mind Rape ending. For a sidequest, this is still pretty heavy, and there are actually a number of these practically unkillable destructive beings roaming about.
  • February 25, 2012
    Grahami
    @Noaqiyeum http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Flood

    They're basically a race of galaxy-devouring parasites led by a massive tentacle-horor.
  • February 25, 2012
    animeg3282
    In Tropico 4, there's a mission in which for no reason you must defeat Chutulu through urban planning.
  • February 25, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Adding Oracle Of Tao.

    Being massive and betentacled does not an eldritch abomination make, popular usage as such aside. -_- I'll add Halo because the Gravemind turns out to be behind prehistoric galactic mysteries like the disappearance of the Neglectful Precursors, similarly to Mass Effect, though.

    animeg: ...I don't think that counts, but it highlights a possible issue with the title - it could be mistaken for something like Everythings Better With Cthulhu, wherein Cthulhu appears because he's cool rather than because the setting is secretly a nihilistic eldritch universe.
  • February 25, 2012
    Egak
    Possible page quote:
    "Never bring Time Travel, the Cthulu Mythos, or Giant Robots into an established setting, because if you do, all it will ever really BE about from then on, is Time Travel, or the Cthulu Mythos, or Giant Robots. Or Giant Robots traveling through time to fight the Cthulu Mythos."
  • February 25, 2012
    Ninjat126
    • Assassin'sCreed is a perfectly normal game about an evil organisation forcing the PC to relive the genetic memories of his ancestors, tied in to an ancient-evil-conspiracy plot. Suddenly, Abusive Precursors arrive and the world's about to be destroyed by some sort of horrible thing.
  • February 25, 2012
    animeg3282
    True that. Maybe we should have a Chutulu thrown in for no reason trope.
  • February 27, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    I mean, the Gravemind is able to corrupt Cortana...the AI. That's a pretty scary thing for an organic being to do without using a computer.
  • February 28, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Yes. But the fact that it is basically, recognisably, definitely a biological organism as we know them rather keeps it out of the Eldritch Abomination category. :P

    Moot point, though. I agreed it qualifies.
  • March 1, 2012
    AllsparkSpinOut
    Gonna have to put Digimon Tamers in here, considering how the D-Reaper turned it into this.
  • March 2, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    Another South Park example: The episode "Pinewood Derby" begins with Stan competing for the derby and his father Randy cheating to win, which catches the attention of cosmic beings who subject humanity to a morality test.

    To onFyre: The original post said "to Eggman," not "by Eggman." That is, the point is that Eggman suddenly finds himself out of his league when his schemes provoke godlike horrors, such as Perfect Chaos, Dark Gaia, and Solaris, and Sonic has to go Super to bail Earth--and Eggman--out of the mess the doctor had caused.
  • October 9, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Considering there's a trope called Hijacking Cthulhu, we may want to give this one another name.
  • October 9, 2012
    Chernoskill
    The Cabin In The Woods would also be a good example for this trope, with the run-off-the-mill horror/slasher story being revealed as a setup to please the Old Gods slumbering below us. They're not cosmic though, they just "ruled the earth before man".
  • October 9, 2012
    Astaroth
    Would Order Of The Stick qualify? The first arc of the story concerns the titular Order on a dungeon crawl to stop an evil lich. Then it turns out that within the lich's old lair, there was a portal to a dimension where an Eldritch Abomination with world-destroying power is imprisoned, and the rest of the story becomes a quest to stop the abomination from being released, while the lich and his minions (and several other evil forces) try to use the abomination for their own purposes.
  • October 9, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Hijacking Cthulhu should probably get a rename, honestly - it already has a page note about not being confused with Hijacked By Ganon, and it uses Cthulhu as a stand-in for being extremely powerful rather specifically for cosmic horror villains (which is a recurring clean-up problem on the Eldritch Abomination page that we don't want to encourage).

    I think The Cabin In The Woods would count, but I'm not sure about Oot S - the 'hijacking' practically occurs in the introduction, doesn't it? If memory serves.
  • October 9, 2012
    undefined
    ^ I agree.
  • October 3, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Me too.
  • October 3, 2013
    MetaFour
    Yeah, TOOTS is less an example of hijacking, and more an example where the chapters without eldritch horror lurking in the background were Early Installment Weirdness.
  • October 3, 2013
    reflaxion
    Not sure where this is going, but maybe this qualifies?

    Film:
    • The Worlds End begins as a story of five childhood friends reuniting for a pub crawl in their old hometown. They struggle to come to terms with their problems, their friendships, and their pasts. It's a strong character development piece that gets hijacked about halfway through with the sudden revelation that the townspeople have been replaced by alien robots.
  • October 3, 2013
    arbiter099
    The Halo example could use a tiny tweak, it was known that the Halo rings were built to kill the flood (or more precisely, their food—which is essentially all life in the galaxy— and starve them out) since Halo 1. The Eldritch Abomination Gravemind however didn't show up until Halo 2, so they were more or less space zombies until the giant iambic-pentameter speaking venus flytrap came onto the scene. And it should be noted that the Flood shifted the focus from a war with Scary Dogmatic Aliens to themselves.
  • October 4, 2013
    DAN004
  • May 12, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    OK… five hats. Think we need to work on some of the examples that the other Tropers wrote and then work into launching this thing.
  • May 12, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    By the way, would the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime fit here? It starts as a typical Magical Girl anime and after a few Wham Episodes, we find out exactly how big a problem is...
  • May 12, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting.
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added a space between *'s and the first word following them.
    • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).
    • Namespaced a Creator name.
    • Blue Linked (sidequest).
  • May 12, 2014
    KarjamP
    Trope name too similar to Hijacking Cthulhu.

    Because of potential problems that may occur because of this, I've tagged "Better Name" on this trope.
  • May 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Cosmic Horror Reveal, again.

    Though is this too close to Going Cosmic?
  • May 13, 2014
    BaffleBlend
    Possible page quote:

    "Dear Diary:
    Well, this summer has been one headlong dive into whirlwind romance for me. Ha! I wish! As You Know, I've spent most of the summer trying to run into Percy Marlborough (sigh!), the handsome young industrialist I met the day I snuck into the country club on a lark.
    [...]
    OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD. He's not human.
    If anyone finds this, I beg you, call the police. Tell them our city is full of insect-lizard creatures that walk invisibly among us and feed on our emotions, an ancient eldritch race that see all our efforts and strivings as the caperings of monkeys."
    How Not To Write A Novel, "'And One Ring to Bind Them,' Said the Old Cowpoke"
  • May 14, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Literature
    • The first three books of Venus Prime are about a young female detective who solves mysteries in space while trying to discover The Conspiracy that caused her to lose three years' worth of memories. In the fourth book, she pretty much wipes out the conspiracy. And then, suddenly, the Starfish Aliens start to show up, and the rest of the series is about her and her allies trying to prevent one faction of the aliens from attempting to re-write history so that Earth becomes more like their homeworld - which would make it uninhabitable to humans.
  • July 21, 2014
    DAN004
    How is this not Going Cosmic?

  • July 21, 2014
    Arivne
    ^ According to its Description, Going Cosmic is about when a work does one of the following:

    (a) "starts delving into deep theological and philosophical issues. Frequently, but not always, this entails the introduction of a monotheistic deity with a strong resemblance to the Judeo-Christian God...explore the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything"

    OR

    (b) "when the Cosmic ideas which were always in the background start shoving their way to the foreground and overshadowing everything else."

    This trope, on the other hand, is about the sudden change of a work to a Cosmic Horror Story from some other genre. Note that the Description of Cosmic Horror Story is massively different from this one.
  • July 21, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ does it have to be Genre Shift though? The description above denied that.
  • July 21, 2014
    KingZeal
    Dead Space: It starts as a stock horror story, with a few mysterious elements that aren't explained in the first two installments, such as the mysterious "Markers" that control minds and mutates dead flesh into zombies. In the third game, the force responsible for the horrible things going on turns out to be an army of sentient moons that essentially absorb dead tissue (thus why their Markers kill things, followed by the dead things killing other things, until enough things are dead for the moons to absorb to create new moons). The moons have been doing this so long that it's speculated in-game that humans are the only sapient species left in space.
  • July 21, 2014
    Quatic
    Sliders was essentially a "what if" history showcase for the first season and a half, until the evil planet-enslaving slider race, the Kromaggs, are introduced. After which the show frequently involves efforts to thwart Kromagg invasions.
  • August 7, 2015
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    bump
  • August 7, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    Should this be included in Spoilered Rotten?

    Also I think the second quote doesn't illustrate the trope that well. The first one is fine.

    • In Dark Souls you play The Chosen Undead, who will either rekindle the first flame and keep light in this world or usher in an age of dark. The latter is later revealed in the DLC to be because Humans Are Cthulhu and can suck the light from the world when corrupted enough.
  • August 7, 2015
    Koveras
    I don't see a reason why video games have their own heading in addition to a medium section, if they are not futher split by genre. IMO they should be put with the rest of the media sections, between Literature and Web Original.
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