Power Upgrading Deformation
Power boost at the cost of good looks.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-01-02 18:17:42 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2013-01-29 15:29:15)

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Caption: This fairy's tale just got very point-nant.

A Power-Upgrading Deformation will make a character or creature much stronger but also make them look at the least inhuman and at the worst horrendous. Unlike the Psycho Serum where an ugly appearance is a side effect, for the Power-Upgrading Deformation the newly ugly appearance is the source of the enhancement: like sprouting Combat Tentacles, pincers, supermassive muscles, My Brain Is Big, grotesque Cybernetics, etc. Because of this it would technically still be considered a Magic Enhancement or Super Serum and not Psycho Serum.

If the setting has a Bishonen Line, this drug, technology or spell will take the character to just before the return to prettiness (or if already there, start the cycle over). It's also worth noting that protagonists and main villains may get off easy with cool looking alterations that are way more powerful while Mooks and secondary characters aren't so lucky.

The deformation may be a mix of: permanent (requiring a cure to remove) or temporary (granting a Super Mode), and perfectly stable (no more mutations) or continuously changing (risking falling to The Corruption or Power Degeneration). Because its effects are so nasty taking it tends to be treated as a Godzilla Threshold, with only the direst of situations meriting it. Villains like the Mad Scientist and Evilutionary Biologist will delight in kidnapping victims to use this on... usually paired with a Mind-Control Device of course! [[note]](Can't have a Phlebotinum Rebel, now can we?)[[/note]] On the other hand, some villains may take it themselves, become a One-Winged Angel and proclaim A God Am I! Truly, Evil Makes You Monstrous. Mind the Clipped Wing Angel from overdosing.

Compare Dangerous Forbidden Technique, Evolution Powerup and One-Winged Angel. See also Deadly Upgrade.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film

Tabletop RPG
  • Just about every Chaos mutation in Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K, since these mutations include things like Combat Tentacles, pincers, extra mouths, cancerous growths...
    • In 40K, most augmetics (metal replacement parts, ranging from bionic eyes to replacement arms to Doctor Octopus-style dendrites) are rather crude and ugly (ork versions are even worse). The Adeptus Mechanicus see the replacement of flesh with metal as the ultimate way to better themselves, so naturally they get the worst reactions from normal humans.

Toys
  • In the fifth story line of BIONICLE, the Toa Metru are captured and injected with Hordika venom, which turns them into half-animals. Downplayed in that while greatly increasing their physical strength, it also degrades their elemental abilities to some extent.

Video Games
  • The basis for Splicers in both BioShock games. The use a drug-like genetic modification enabler called ADAM that allows them to use superpowers, but withdrawl disfigures them and drives them insane.
  • This comes up in Deus Ex; some cyborgs dislike the protagonist because they had to sacrifice their ability to look normal (thanks to the fairly obvious nature of their implants) while the protagonist's nanomachine based augments have barely any cosmetic effects (not to mention rendered them obsolete).
  • Bydo-derived Organic Technology from R-Type, under certain circumstances. For example, if the Claw Force is detached from the fighter too long, it temporarily mutates and goes on a rampage.
  • In Digital Devil Saga, everyone infected by the demon virus has access to demon form, which is stronger than human form. Said demon form ranges from looking vaguely humanoid (most of the main characters) to slimes to the worst looking of Shin Megami Tensei demons.

Western Animation
  • Kaijudo has the Choten's evolution drug, which transofrms the series' normally one-form Mons into a new, stronger form.
  • Street Sharks has the gene splicing treatment that turns humans into sharks (and sea animals into monsters).
  • Every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon had the mutagenic ooze which made them more human-like, while also mutating humans into uglier mutants.
  • The splicers in Batman Beyond used genetic engineering to become Half Human Hybrids, which generally while animalistic weren't ugly. When their boss fights Terry, he takes a boat load of them and goes One-Winged Angel... until Terry gives him a second round of drugs which pushes him into Clipped Wing Angel.
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