Created By: Wulf on May 17, 2011 Last Edited By: randomtroper89 on May 4, 2015

Resurrection As Teleportation

An immortal or clone-able character uses their resurrection process to teleport

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Trope
Probably Needs a Better Title.

A Type IV Immortal character has gotten himself into a sticky situation. If they were killed, they could simply resurrect elsewhere and continue what they need to be doing. Sometimes, suicide is out of the question, either because of their own belief, or some outside force has rendered this impossible. A common, more sci-fi variation is the use of in-universe Respawn Points such as cloning machines as impromptu teleporters. This also tends to require that the characters' memories be retained after each death, though it could conceivably be done without that being the case.

Compare this to Twinmaker, that's the case where the story's teleportation technology just works by creating a duplicate and disintegrating the first.

A subtrope of Back from the Dead and My Death Is Just the Beginning. This sort of thing also tends to make death seem more like a minor inconvenience than anything. See also Respawn Point.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Guyver, kinda: Sho gets set up and killed in order to sneak the Guyver inside Cronos. However it turns out he may just be a clone with Sho's memories.

Film
  • Used as a major plot point in Dogma. Because God was in a human body, she was able to be knocked into a coma. Because she was in a coma, she had to be killed to return to Heaven and come back to Earth to stop Bartleby and Loki.
  • This was a plot point in Dragonslayer.

Literature
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium:
    • Resurrection for humans is commonplace, and the moment anyone dies, that fact instantaneously spreads through the whole universe (Our Souls Are Different) and they can be cloned again immediately in the respawn chamber. Made into a plot point many times:
    • The prime motif for the main character to work for the Corrupt Corporate Executive is that if he doesn't, he will eventually die and then resurrect in his own private chamber to be tortured to death infinite amount of times
    • At one point the party is trapped by Silicoids (it's a Master of Orion novelization) - their only way to escape is to kill themselves and respawn, except they can't do that, because the moment they try they'll be reduced to a Brain in a Jar.
    • At another point the party attempts to bypass some sector of space by coming close enough to be under jurisdiction of a respawn point on the other side and then killing themselves so that they will be transported there.
  • Philip Josť Farmer's Riverworld story "The Suicide Express" revolves around this.
  • Childe Cycle: In "Necromancer", Paul Formain gets transported to another star system, and is trapped. In order to get back, he breaks open a window, which results in his death. This causes him to reawaken in a new body back on Earth.

Live-Action TV
  • Battlestar Galactica:
  • Lexx did this with season 3's Big Bad Prince. Nobody on the planets Fire or Water died permanently - they'd just wake up again somewhere else. Prince, however, seemed to have some choice about where and when he'd be resurrected (and in what form), which he used to his advantage on a number of occasions. (Prince showed up again on Earth in season 4, but no longer appeared to have this ability).

Tabletop RPG
  • Chaosium's Nephilim. When a Nephilim's Simulacrum (human host body) dies, it can search out and occupy another human body a considerable distance away.

Video Games
  • Pretty much every Speed Run ever. The Tool Assisted Speedrun archive TAS Videos has an attribute called "Uses death to save time", used by hundreds of speedruns, which is frequently this.
  • This tactic is called "Blood-porting" by MMORPG players. For example, in City of Heroes, where low-level players don't get XP debt when defeated, they'll often allow themselves to be killed as a shortcut out of a dangerous area (like the Hollows, for instance).
  • Planescape: Torment one level is based entirely on abusing your immortality with this. You check the area, get killed, respawn at the entrance, check another area, repeat until you check everything.
  • It's implied that this is how the fast travel works in Borderlands, although that might be a chicken and egg problem (did they use teleportation technology to make New-U stations or New-U stations to make teleporters?).
  • The Coop Robots from Portal 2. When they go Off the Rails, the only way GLaDOS can get them back is to wreck their current body.
  • A fairly common tactic in EVE Online — just don't forget to update your clone first. It can be the only way out if you end up in a system in unknown space with no probes. "Jump clones" can be installed at stations with medical facilities. You can then "teleport" to that station from any other station. The location you "teleport" from is left with your old body, which becomes a new jump clone. If you try to teleport from a station that already has a jump clone, the other clone will be destroyed.
  • Simon the Sorcerer 3D has Simon escaping from a locked room by goading the Barbarian Hero who is also locked in the room into killing him, causing him to respawn on the resurrection tile outside.

Web Comics
  • Something like this happens in the webcomic Star Slip. One of the characters is a clone, who, when he is killed, gets respawned in a cloning bath on their ship (a la the re-imagined Cylons). When the entire crew gets stranded on a planet and their ship hijacked by pirates, their solution to take back the ship is for the clone to die and respawn back on the ship.

Web Video
  • In Mortal Kombat Legacy, after finding himself trapped in an insane asylum and therefore unable to get help to fight Shao Khan, Raiden hatches a plan to have Blue kill him so he can resurrect somewhere else.

Western Animation
  • South Park:
    • In one Easter episode, Jesus and Kyle are temporarily imprisoned by the Catholic Church- Jesus, who cannot self terminate, as suicide is a sin, has Kyle kill him so he can resurrect outside of the cell and free them.
    • There was an episode where Kenny killed himself to respawn on his bed.
  • A variation occurs in Megamind. When Megamind is falling to his doom, he uses his dehydration gun to dehydrate himself. He then manages to land safely in the fountain and rehydrate himself without any harm.

Community Feedback Replies: 46
  • May 17, 2011
    Glucharina
    • Planescape Torment one level is based entirely on abusing your immortality with this. You check the area, get killed, respawn at the entrance, check another area, repeat until you check everything.
  • May 17, 2011
    pure.Wasted
    The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica has this in spades with the Cylons. Those who die "download" their memories into new (but identical) bodies... provided there is a Resurrection Ship nearby to maintain the link. Cue Cylons killing each other, killing themselves, being denied death, and attempting to suicide out when, unbeknownst to them, no Resurrection Ship is nearby... simply as a convenient means of transportation and escape. Also cue main characters dying and waking up immediately in what they realize, to their horror, is a Cylon resurrection tub. And then waking up for real.
  • May 17, 2011
    Aminatep
    See also Respawn Point.

    In Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium, resurrection for humans is commonplace, and the moment anyone dies, that fact instantaneously spreads through the whole universe (Our Souls Are Different) and they can be cloned again immediately in the respawn chamber. Made into a plot point many times:
    • The prime motif for the main character to work for the Corrupt Corporate Executive is that if he doesn't, he will eventually die and then resurrect in his own private chamber to be tortured to death infinite amount of times
    • At one point the party is trapped by Silicoids (it's a Master Of Orion novelization) - their only way to escape is to kill themselves and respawn, except they can't do that, because the moment they try they'll be reduced to a Brain In A Jar.
    • At one point the party attempts to bypass some sector of space by coming close enough to be under jurisdiction of a respawn point on the other side and then killing themselves so that they will be transported there.
  • May 17, 2011
    PaulA
  • May 17, 2011
    JonnyB
    Something like this happens in the webcomic Star Slip. One of the characters is a clone, who, when he is killed, gets respawned in a cloning bath on their ship (a la the re-imagined Cylons). When the entire crew gets stranded on a planet and their ship hijacked by pirates, their solution to take back the ship is for the clone to die and respawn back on the ship.
  • May 17, 2011
    Hadashi
    Guyver, kinda: Sho gets set up and killed in order to sneak the Guyver inside Cronos. However it turns out he may just be a clone with Sho's memories
  • May 17, 2011
    storyyeller
    Pretty much every Speed Run ever.
  • May 17, 2011
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
  • May 17, 2011
    LeeM
    • Lexx did this with season 3's Big Bad Prince. Nobody on the planets Fire or Water died permanently - they'd just wake up again somewhere else. Prince, however, seemed to have some choice about where and when he'd be resurrected (and in what form), which he used to his advantage on a number of occasions. (Prince showed up again on Earth in season 4, but no longer appeared to have this ability).
  • May 18, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    • A variation occurs, I believe, in Megamind. When Megamind is falling to his doom, he uses his dehydration gun to dehydrate himself. He then manages to land safely in the fountain and rehydrate himself without any harm.
  • May 18, 2011
    Bisected8
    It's implied that this is how the fast travel works in Borderlands, although that might be a chicken and egg problem (did they use teleportation technology to make New-U stations or New-U stations to make teleporters?).
  • May 18, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Do the Coop Robots from Portal 2 count? When they go Off The Grid, the only way GLaDOS can get them back is to wreck their current body.
  • May 18, 2011
    JonnyB
    I haven't seen the game yet, but that sounds like it counts.
  • May 18, 2011
    Lightblade
    I've heard this tactic called "Blood-porting" by MMORPG players. Like in City Of Heroes, low-level where players don't get XP debt when defeated, they'll often allow themselves to be killed as a shortcut out of a dangerous area (like the Hollows, for instance).
  • May 18, 2011
    Arutema
    A fairly common tactic in Eve Online. Just don't forget to update your clone first. It can be the only way out if you end up in a system in unknown space with no probes.
  • May 20, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Chaosium's Nephilim. When a Nephilim's Simulacrum (human host body) dies, it can search out and occupy another human body a considerable distance away.
  • May 20, 2011
    HumanaUox
    In System Shock, the main character can perform a DNA upload in a cloning booth. Then, if they die, they are cloned at the booth with the stats they had while they were there last, like a checkpoint.
  • May 20, 2011
    Fearmonger
    More about clones in Eve Online; "Jump clones" can be installed at stations with medical facilities. You can then "teleport" to that station from any other station. The location you "teleport" from is left with your old body, which becomes a new jump clone. If you try to teleport from a station that already has a jump clone, the other clone will be destroyed.
  • May 20, 2011
    tyg13
    Piccolo from ''Dragonball Z' was killed on Earth, but was needed on Namek, so they had him resurrected there.
  • May 20, 2011
    Hadashi
    Isn't it a 'quantum entanglement booth' in System Shock - it's explained as being something closer to teliporting, though that isn't what 'quantum entanglement' really means.
  • May 20, 2011
    JonnyB
    In SS 2 it's called a ""Quantum Bio-Reconstruction Machine." So more of a clone box, not a teleporter.
  • May 20, 2011
    Hadashi
    The Voice in the Cupboard does explain it in terms that make you think teliporter though. Reconstruction isn't specific to cloning.
  • May 20, 2011
    JonnyB
    Shodan/Polito says that it will "rebuild your body from scratch." Which to me sounds like starting over from your DNA sample alone, or in other words, creating a clone.
  • May 20, 2011
    JonnyB
    Although, technically, most theories today about how Star Trek-style teleportation would work are along these same lines. A person's information is beamed to the destination point, a duplicate (clone) is constructed and then the original is vaporized.
  • May 20, 2011
    Gatomon41
    Childe Cycle: In Necromancer, Paul Formain gets transported to another star system, and is trapped. In order to get back, he breaks open a window, which results in his death. This causes him to reawaken in a new body back on Earth.
  • May 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^^That comes up in the Expanded Universe novel Federation. Zephram Cochraine is introduced to the concept of transporters, and he feels sad because they basically kill themselves with the transporters. He's assured that no, the actual particles that make up the being in question are sent through space at much faster than light speeds and reassembled.
  • May 24, 2011
    Dcoetzee
    Elaborating on storyyeller's comment:

  • May 24, 2011
    octopedingenue
    This is a plot point in Kraken by China Mieville.
  • May 25, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Technically, Sharon Agathon pulled this in Battlestar Galactica when she had Helo kill her so she would download into a new body on the Cylon ship, where she could rescue her daughter. And yes, it was as awesome and heart-wrenching as it sounds.
  • May 26, 2011
    Wulf
    Launching as Resurrection As Teleportation Friday or Saturday unless a better name comes along before then.
  • May 26, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^^ Good call, an example of using the Cylon resurrection specifically for the purposes of teleportation.
  • May 26, 2011
    elvisuntot
    i would use "Suicide Express" as name, using river world as the namer
  • May 26, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In THUNDER Agents Noman is a human brain in an android body, and there are multiple bodies available should the particular body he's "in" at the time gets "killed." Note though that he has to transfer his thought-being into another body before the one he's in completely dies, or else he'll die as well.
  • May 27, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ I don't think Noman counts as an example of this -- he can transfer into a new body any time he likes, he doesn't have to die first. (On the contrary, in fact, if it were ever to happen that the body he was currently in died while he was in it, he'd be dead, and he wouldn't wake up in one of his other bodies.)
  • February 26, 2012
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
  • February 27, 2012
    henke37
    • A stock trick for speedruns.
  • February 27, 2012
    morenohijazo
    I think there was a South Park episode where Kenny killed himself to respawn on his bed.
  • March 29, 2013
    Astaroth
    • Simon The Sorcerer 3D has Simon escaping from a locked room by goading the Barbarian Hero who is also locked in the room into killing him, causing him to respawn on the resurrection tile outside.
  • March 29, 2013
    Treblain
    The case where the story's teleportation technology just works by creating a duplicate and disintegrating the first is Twinmaker. The Star Trek fanon and Kraken examples, and maybe the System Shock one, are that trope.
  • April 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
  • March 28, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • March 28, 2015
    dalek955
    • In The Zombie Knight, if no faster alternative is available (and Naked On Arrival is acceptable), a servant can commit suicide and have their reaper respawn them at the destination, taking advantage of the reaper's natural 100+ mph travel speed.
  • March 30, 2015
    randomsurfer
    In the Groundhog Day Loop in Groundhog Day Phil kills himself at least once, but still wakes up at 6:00 am in his bed at the bed-and-breakfast restarting the loop.
  • March 30, 2015
    nielas
    • On Forever Henry escaped the original Bedlam House by committing suicide and then resurrecting in a nearby river.
  • May 4, 2015
    henke37
    • Verge Is all about dying and coming back to life for the purpose of moving around the levels.
  • May 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Re: The Sharon Agethon example from Battlestar Galactica, there's no "technically" about it. That's exactly what she did. Including that word makes it sound like you're trying to shoehorn an example in even though it's perfectly legit.
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