Amnesiac Minion
A villian uses missing memories to get someone to work for him.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-05-25 18:37:51 sponsor: MorningStar1337 (last reply: 2013-06-13 21:14:03)

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An Amnesiac Minion is an unusual type of Mook. At best they can remember certain things (like their identity, or at least their name) but can't remember other things without an Info Dump. At worst they remember absolutely nothing. Whatever the case their memories will be their personal MacGuffin.

A villain may use this to his advantage, claiming that he has his memories or a way to restore them. Whether or not the claims are true depends on the villain. Though if the villain is the cause of the amnesia in the first place, having the memories is more likely.

Another scenario is that a more manipulative villain lies to the Amnesiac Minion about their past, and may implant Fake Memories to enforce his claims. A cunning villain can do both.

If the minion in question was a good guy, Face-Heel Turn may ensue as well as Amnesiac Dissonance if/when he gets his memories back.

Such people can be Tragic Villains, since they usually have no choice if they want their memories back.

Compare Quest for Identity (if the minion can't remember who they are), Amnesiac Hero, Fake Memories, Laser-Guided Amnesia, and Criminal Amnesiac. Sometimes the mental counterpart of Working For A Body Upgrade.

Examples:

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[[folder: Anime]]
  • In Spirited Away Yubaba steals part of Chihiro's name, along with her memory of who she is and her parents, to keep Chihiro working in the bathhouse.
  • Words Worth: The Shadow Tribe's prince, Astral, was left amnesiac thanks to Fabris' daugter, Maria, blasting him twenty years into the future with her Mystral Window ability. When Fabris realized this, he capitalized on the situation by convincing Astral that he was Pollux of Light Tribe's army. Thereby, weaponizing him against his homeland.
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[[folder: Film]]
  • The movie Overboard is about a wealthy and spoiled society girl who is fairly bitchy toward a carpenter who is building cabinets on her yacht, stiffing him for the bill after he completed the work. Later she falls overboard and disappears, ending up washing ashore with amnesia and coming across the very same carpenter--who tells her she's his wife. She ends up slaving away as a housewife in his modest home and helping to raise his four unruly sons.
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[[folder: Literature]]
  • In Dan Brown's Inferno, the amnesiac Robert Langdon unwittingly ends up manipulated by the Consortium.
  • The book version of You Only Live Twice ends with James Bond having lost his memory and thinking he's really a Japanese fisherman (his cover). This trope comes into play between books, as at the beginning of The Man with the Golden Gun a baddie tries to use Bond to blow up MI5.
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
  • In the Doctor Who episode Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS the antagonists of the episode have an android, Tricky, who's actually their brother who lost his memory in an accident. They told him he was an android because a) they were jealous Tricky was chosen to be the next captain of their ship, and b) they were bored.
  • In an episode of Legend of the Seeker, Darkhan Rahl captures Richard's sister, who, thanks to some overeager henchman, is knocked on the head an loses her memory. He spins a tale of how he is fighting a losing war against Richard's oppressive tyranny and asks her to steal something from him, that will enable him to defeat the Seeker. Once she meets Richard she finds him to be not at all an Evil Overlord and he is able to help her get her memory back.
  • In the last episode of Medium, Alyson dreams of a future ( in which Joe didn't die in the plane crash) where after Joe's been missing for years, she finds him amnesiac and brain-damaged, being used as a drug "mule" by a Mexican cartel.Seris/
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[[folder: Video Games]]
  • Assassin's Creed II. Utilized in the case of Dante Moro, who survived an assassination attempt. The incident caused severe brain damage, leaving him with a child's mind. Marco Barbarigo, the man who paid for the assassination, exploited Dante's amnesia to not only his marriage, allowing Marco to take his wife as his own, but also to make Dante his elite bodyguard. Unfortunately, he gets killed by Ezio, meaning that he never gets to recover his mind.
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[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
  • Paranoia 1E supplement Acute Paranoia. In the adventure "ReBoot Camp", The Computer (which controls all of Alpha Complex) has suffered a complete loss of memory. A clever Troubleshooter PC can tell it any lies he wants and thereby gain full control over it (and Alpha Complex), if only for a while.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • While it's not quite a villain using him, one episode of Code Lyoko has Ulrich lose his memories and Sissi tell him they're a couple and turn him against his real friends.
  • in Kaijudo there's Saguru AKA Ken Okamoto. The Choten inflicted Laser-Guided Amnesia to use his memory as a bargaining chip. However, he is not on the Choten's side despite this and is a Wild Card of sorts. he get his memory back at the end of season 1
  • In an episode of Spiderman The Animated Series, Spiderman becomes amnesiac, and Doctor Octotpus convinces him that they're partners in crime, using the Daily Bugle's portrayal of Spiderman as a threat as proof of his claims.
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