Created By: Ekuran on July 22, 2011 Last Edited By: Otaku155 on July 28, 2011
Troped

Ultimate Life Form

A perfect (type of) life form.

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Trope

Launching on the 29th.

Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, Up for Grabs.

redirects: Perfect Life Form, Perfect Being, Apex Life Form.

Not all ultimate life forms cross the Bishonen Line, you know.

A character that's described as the purpose of life itself. A being that's at the top of the Evolutionary Levels. They're the perfect life form, but what they are tends to vary. Some works have them be something akin to a god, others state that the most adaptable creature would have this title, and in others still, it's nothing more than a simple yet hardy cockroach. A formerly normal person might even become one, usually trough some form of genetic engineering or enhancement.

A variant has the character be at the top of a specific type of life, instead of being the apex of all life as we know it. For example, a perfect human, dog, tree, machine, predator, etc.

There is an incredibly high chance that their appearance looks human(ish).

Also, while the theory of evolution pretty much disproves the concept in real life, there have been claims that certain species or people do indeed fit the description, so adding examples to that section is perfectly fine.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • From Fullmetal Alchemist, Father's final form had the power of God. Unfortunately for him, the power put too much strain on his body, eventually rendering him vulnerable to counterattacks.
  • Cell from Dragon Ball Z, a bio-engineered creature made from DNA harvested from the greatest fighters in the series up until that point considers himself to be this, and says so in as many words.
  • Tentei (The God of the Heavens) in Twelve Kingdoms; the rulers and officials of kingdoms can err, but this guy certainly can't.
  • Szayel Aporro from Bleach calls himself the ultimate, perfect being because he has a phoenix-like system of death and rebirth, but you can bet Mayuri proved him wrong. Gruesomely, and with a rant about perfection being the enemy of a scientist.
  • Betterman: Kankel is described as the final stage of evolution, so much so he has the nickname of "Best Man". His ridiculously powerful abilities help back this claim up.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Unit 01 in End Of Evangelion becomes this upon becoming berserk while having her S2 engine active.
    • Ireul from the TV series also heavily fits with the adaption part of this trope.
  • L-Gaim: Oldna Poseidal fits this description since he's virtually immortal.
  • The Pillar Men from Jojos Bizarre Adventure are referred to as the ultimate life forms. One of them, Cars, becomes the real ultimate life form when the Red Stone of Asia removes his vulnerability to sunlight and allows him to replicate the abilities of all other life forms.
  • Meryem, the Chimera Ant King, from Hunter × Hunter considers himself to be this, and he's probably right.
  • Sosuke Aizen from Bleach. After he obtains the [[MacGuffin Hogyoku}}, he claims to be the ultimate, if not perfect being.

Comics
  • This was the original intended purpose of the Marvel Comics character Adam Warlock and his Distaff Counterpart Paragon/Her/Kismet/Ayesha.
  • The X-Men villains Vargas and Apocalypse both make claims to be this. Decades earlier, Magneto genetically engineered a being called Alpha the Ultimate Mutant who had a pretty strong claim as well.

Film
  • Leelu in The Fifth Element is considered a "perfect being."
  • In Alien, Ash calls the xenomorph "the perfect life form."
  • One of the many propable origins for Irys in the Gamera films is that it is supposed to be the ultimate evolution of the Gyaos and the perfect lifeform.
  • Orga in Godzilla 2000 tries to become this by absorbing Godzilla's DNA and mutating into a hulking behemoth with Godzilla's regenerative powers (Orga is short for "Organizer G-1", the name of the gene that allows Godzilla to heal so quickly). He would've won too, if he hadn't stupidly tried to eat Godzilla and was obliterated by his nuclear pulse.
  • Andromeda Strain: The titular entity adapts to any situation almost instantly and proves itself to be virtually unstoppable.
  • Evolution: The basic bacteria that create the alien creatures are described as the most powerful life form. Of course, no one takes this seriously until one grows to the size of a city by absorbing vast amounts of napalm.

Literature
  • God, according to The Bible. YMMV as to whether He counts as a life from, though.
    • If not God, then in the religions that believe in him, Jesus was sent to Earth to be the perfect human and set the example for us.
  • The Types (Type-Moon, Type-Mercury, etc.)/Aristoteles in Angel Notes. Each of them is the ultimate life form of their respective home planet or satellite, even if said celestial body doesn't support life (anymore).
  • In the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, the branch of the technocore dubbed the Ultimates are working towards the creation of an Ultimate Intelligence.
  • In The Last Continent, the heroes encounter the God of Evolution, who, despite not understanding what the deal is with sex, believes he has achieved the ultimate life form. It's a cockroach.
  • Nietzsche proposed in his book Also Sprach Zarathustra that humanity needed to evolve into what he termed the Übermensch (Super-man); that humanity was merely a transitional evolutionary phase between apes and this perfect form of man. Those Wacky Nazis picked up on Nietzsche's theme with their idea of an Aryan master race.

Live-Action TV
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold" subverts the "looking human" thing - Paris & Janeway get advanced evolution and end up looking like salamanders. Later subject to Canon Discontinuity though.
  • The objective of the Borg of Star Trek: The Next Generation is to attain "perfection", both by augmenting their own bodies cybernetically and by assimilating the biology and technology of other cultures.

Tabletop Games

Toys
  • The "Chaos Effect" line of Jurassic Park toys had the Ultimasaurus, a genetically altered monster created from Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and Stegosaurus DNA to create the ultimate predator.

Video Games
  • Sonic The Hedgehog's Shadow is the Trope Namer, as he's always been described as the Ultimate Life Form within the setting.
  • Uranus is more or less said to be this in Bloody Roar. And, given what she's capable of, It's doubtful anyone will contest it... and live at any rate.
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon was created to be this.
  • Albert Wesker believes himself to be this as well as having a god complex.
  • Arguably, this is the status of the Ultimate Chimera in MOTHER 3.
  • The main villain in Parasite Eve attempts to create this and succeeds; this creature is the final boss of the game.
  • In Chrono Trigger, it's revealed at the end that Lavos' true purpose is to become such a being by parasitizing entire planets and subverting their own evolution to its own ends.
  • Psaro's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against humanity in Dragon Quest IV leads him to seek the "Secret of Evolution," which allows him to achieve a monstrous One-Winged Angel form with which he intends to exact his revenge against the world. In the PS1 and DS remakes, it's revealed that one of his own henchmen manipulated him so that he could obtain the Secret of Evolution himself.
  • The French version of Final Fantasy X calls the Nemesis Bonus Boss "Supreme Being".
  • Krystalak from Godzilla Unleashed wants to become this by absorbing all of the power the crystals are giving off.
  • Each Big Bad in the House of the Dead series (The Magician, The Emperor, The Wheel Of Fate and The World), was wrongly supposed to be this by it's creator.

Western Animation
  • Super Jail!: Combaticus fits into this trope very easily.

Real Life
  • Cockroaches.
  • The French Revolution replaced God with a "Supreme Being".
  • Tardigrades, also known as "Water Bears", are notorious for being able to survive extreme conditions. To elaborate, they can withstand low temperatures close to absolute zero, high temperatures at 151 degrees celsius, radiation (Even more so than cockroaches), and can even survive for up to ten days in the vacuum of space (Heck, some of them even reproduced while in space).
  • Apparently, jellyfishes of the species Turritopsis nutricula are biologically immortal; although they can die of disease or being eaten, they are able to thwart dying of natural causes by periodically returning to the infant polyp stage. Theoretically, there could be T. nutricula in the oceans that have lived there since the beginnings of life on earth.
Community Feedback Replies: 48
  • July 22, 2011
    MiinU

    Video games

  • July 22, 2011
    MysticKenji
    Shadow claims to be this.
  • July 22, 2011
    fluffything
  • July 22, 2011
    OmarKarindu
    • Arguably this is the status of the Ultimate Chimera in Mother 3.
    • This was the original intended purpose of the Marvel Comics character Adam Warlock and his Distaff Counterpart Paragon/Her/Kismet/Ayesha.
    • The X-Men villains Vargas and Apocalypse both make claims to be this. Decades earlier, Magneto genetically engineered a being called Alpha the Ultimate Mutant who had a pretty strong claim as well.
  • July 22, 2011
    KamenZero
    From Fullmetal Alchemist, Father's final form had the power of God. Unfortunately, the power put too much strain on his body, eventually rendering him vulnerable to counterattacks.
  • July 22, 2011
    fluffything
  • July 23, 2011
    Koveras
    The Types (Type-Moon, Type-Mercury, etc.) in Nasuverse, particularly the Aristoteles in Angel Notes. Each of them is the ultimate life form of their respective home planet or satellite, even if said celestial body doesn't support life (anymore).
  • July 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I sure hope all these examples work. All we've got here is a title and a laconic.

    Personally, I really don't think that "I'll tell you the description and examples later" is a good ykttw. Wait until you have time to fill in the description and examples.

    Real Life: cockaroaches.
  • July 23, 2011
    Shnakepup
    The main villain in Parasite Eve attempts to create this and succeeds; this creature is the final boss of the game.
  • July 23, 2011
    MiinU
    ^^@randomsurfer -- I can't believe I forgot about those; probably because when I think, "ultimate lifeform" I picture some celestial being or one who's biogenetically enhanced to seemingly god-like levels and capabilities (ex. Sephiroth, Uranus, etc.).

    But those damn roaches... won't stay down, won't go away. They're not powerful, they're plentiful... and incredibly, unbearably annoying.

    And yet, those lil' mother******s will probably outlast all of us. That's F'd up. Lol!
  • July 23, 2011
    fluffything
    • Another Real Life example- Tardigrades, also known as "Water Bears", are notorious for being able to survive extreme conditions. To elaborate, they can withstand low tempuratures close to absolute zero, high tempuratures at 151 degrees celsius, radiation (Even more so than cockroaches), and can even survive for up to ten days in the vacuum of space (Heck, some of them even reproduced while in space).
  • July 24, 2011
    Bisected8
    The idea that there is such a thing relies on Evolutionary Levels, of course. Indeed the theory of evolution doesn't allow for one to actually exist.
  • July 24, 2011
    Angewomon
    @ Mystic Kenji and Ekuran-Would Shadow be the Trope Namer?
  • July 24, 2011
    Skycatcher
    Literature

    • God (of course) According to the Bible, God exists completely outside of space and time.

  • July 24, 2011
    Generality
    ^ YMMV. By most accounts, God doesn't count as a life form.
  • July 24, 2011
    fluffything
    • The "Chaos Effect" line of Jurassic Park toys had the Ultimasaurus, a genetically altered monster created from Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and Stegosaurus DNA to create the ultimate predator.
    • Krystalak from Godzilla Unleashed wants to become this by absorbing all of the power the crystals are giving off.
  • July 24, 2011
    Ryusui
    • In Chrono Trigger, it's revealed at the end that Lavos' true purpose is to become such a being by parasitizing entire planets and subverting their own evolution to its own ends.
    • Psaro's Roaring Rampage Of Revenge against humanity in Dragon Quest IV leads him to seek the "Secret of Evolution," which allows him to achieve a monstrous One Winged Angel form with which he intends to exact his revenge against the world. In the PS 1 and DS remakes, it's revealed that one of his own henchmen manipulated him so that he could obtain the Secret of Evolution himself.
  • July 24, 2011
    KamenZero
    If not God, then in the religions that believe in him, Jesus was sent to Earth to be the perfect human and set the example for us.
  • July 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • Star Trek Voyager episode "Threshold" Subverts the "looking human" thing - Paris & Janeway get advanced evolution and end up looking like salamanders. Later subject to Canon Discontinuity though.
  • July 24, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Cell from Dragon Ball Z, a bio-engineered creature made from DNA harvested from the greatest fighters in the series up until that point considers himself to be this, and says so in as many words.

    • Szayel Aporro from Bleach calls himself the ultimate, perfect being because he has a phoenix-like system of death and rebirth, but you can bet Mayuri proved him wrong. Gruesomely, and with a rant about perfection being the enemy of a scientist.
  • July 24, 2011
    GuesssWho
    Absolutely everything in Fragments
  • July 25, 2011
    Speedball
    Oooh, this is a good trope. I was planning on suggesting something like this soon.
  • July 25, 2011
    YapoolSeijin
    Anime And Manga
    • Betterman: Kankel is described as the final stage of evolution, so much so he has the nickname of "Best Man". His ridiculously powerful abilities help back this claim up.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Unit 01 in End of Evangelion becomes this upon becoming berserk while having her S2 engine active.
      • Ireul from the TV series also heavily fits with the adaption part of this trope.
    • L-Gaim: Oldna Poseidal fits this description since he's virtually immortal.

    Film
    • Andromeda Strain: The titular entity adapts to any situation almost instantly and proves itself to be virtually unstoppable.
    • Evolution: The basic bacteria that create the alien creatures are described as the most powerful life form. Of course no one takes this seriously until one grows to the size of a city by absorbing vast amounts of napalm.

    Western Animation
    • Super Jail!: Combaticus fits into this trope very easily.
  • July 25, 2011
    Belfagor
    Each Big Bad in The House Of The Dead (The Magician, The Emperor, The Wheel Of Fate and The World) was wrongly supposed to be this by its creator.
  • The Slivers in Magic The Gathering are often stated to be this. Indeed, the Flavor Text on one Sliver card describes it as "The end of evolution."
  • July 25, 2011
    X2X
    Oh, this is a good trope.

    My only question is why hasn't MysticKenji's suggestion of Shadow the Hedgehog been taken into consideration? He was created to be such, frequently addresses himself as such (he might even be the Trope Namer), and Sonic Adventure 2 did a pretty good job of backing his claims up.
  • July 25, 2011
    Chabal2

  • July 25, 2011
    MiinU
    ^^@X2X -- because it's hard to take a cartoony looking hedgehog (albeit a powerful one) seriously in that role? Plus, the concept of there being, or creating, an "ultimate" lifeform was around long before Shadow's character.

    A few comments up you'll see I described what most tend to think when they envision such a being: usually a deity, or a being whose power and abilities are so far above our own that they can easily pass for one. In extreme cases, they may even appear otherworldly and defy the laws of physics. See: Power Floats for example.

    Shadow is powerful, yes. And he was said to be the ultimate lifeform. But would anyone consider him god-like? I doubt it. And therein lies the problem.
  • July 25, 2011
    LordLaharlsVassal
    True, but if you count Mewtwo then I would think Shadow qualify as well.
  • July 25, 2011
    fluffything
    Um, Godzilla Unleashed is a video game, not a movie. Just, uh, just wanted to point that out.
  • July 25, 2011
    MiinU
    ^@LordLaharlsVassal -- I'm not saying Shadow doesn't count, just that he isn't what immediately springs to mind for this particular trope.
  • July 25, 2011
    MarqFJA
    @MiinU: An Ultimate Life Form need not be god-like, just that it appear to be, for all practical purposes, "perfect".
  • July 25, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    • In the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, the branch of the technocore dubbed the Ultimates are working towards the creation of an Ultimate Intelligence.

    • In The Last Continent, the heroes encounter the God of Evolution, who, despite not understanding what the deal is with sex, believes he has achieved the ultimate life form. It's a cockroach.

  • July 25, 2011
    Ekuran
    ^^Pretty much.
  • July 25, 2011
    c0ry
    @Yapool Seijin - I don't believe that the Andromeda Strain example would fall under this trope. Based on the book, it would fit more in Viva La Evolution than this trope. The description you give of it doesn't sound like it differs from the book's description.
  • July 25, 2011
    JonnyB
    Leelu in The Fifth Element is considered a "perfect being."

    In Alien, Ash calls the xenomorph "the perfect life form."

    The Jurassic Park example above should probably be in a Toys category, not Film.
  • July 26, 2011
    JonnyB
    Apparently, jellyfishes of the species Turritopsis nutricula are biologically immortal; although they can die of disease or being eaten, they are able to thwart dying of natural causes by periodically returning to the infant polyp stage. Theoretically, there could be T. nutricula in the oceans that have lived there since the beginnings of life on earth.
  • July 26, 2011
    JonnyB
    Literature
    • Nietzsche proposed in his book Also Sprach Zarathustra that humanity needed to evolve into what he termed the Ubermensch (Super-man); that humanity was merely a transitional evolutionary phase between apes and this perfect form of man. Those Wacky Nazis picked up on Nietzsche's theme with their idea of an Aryan master race.

    Live Action TV
    • The objective of the Borg of Star Trek The Next Generation is to attain "perfection", both by augmenting their own bodies cybernetically and by assimilating the biology and technology of other cultures.
  • July 26, 2011
    hevendor717
    I think the laconic is really vague.
  • July 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • July 27, 2011
    Earnest
    How about this pic of Experiment Kraj from Magic The Gathering?

    Not all ultimate life forms cross the Bishonen Line, you know.

  • July 27, 2011
    MarqFJA
    ^^^ How about "A (type of) lifeform that is heralded as 'perfect'/'ultimate'."
  • July 27, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    If you could get an image of Shadow facing off against the Prototype Ultimate Life Form, Biolizard, that'd be nice. I think it'd help show how absurd this concept could be, since they're almost nothing alike.
  • July 28, 2011
    Earnest
    ^ Here you go, Shadow and Biolizard.
  • July 28, 2011
    Speedball
    I like Experiment Kraj.
  • July 28, 2011
    silver2195
    • The Pillar Men from Jojos Bizarre Adventure are referred to as the ultimate life form. One of them, Cars, becomes the real ultimate life form when the Red Stone of Asia removes his vulnerability to sunlight and allows him to replicate the abilities of all other life forms.
    • Meryem, the Chimera Ant King, from Hunter X Hunter considers himself to be this, and he's probably right.
  • July 28, 2011
    MarqFJA
    For the Nasuverse example, the Type beings and the Aristotles are one and the same. It's just two names for the same kind of entities.
  • July 28, 2011
    Superdude3
    Sosuke Aizen from bleach later on after he obtains the Hogyoku claims to be the ultimate if not perfect being
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