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->''"[I]f what I plan to do for the people makes me a dictator, then it is a dictatorship based on Jefferson's definition of Democracy! A Government of the greatest good for the greatest number of people!!"''
-->-- '''President Judd Hammond''', ''Film/GabrielOverTheWhiteHouse''

It's a CrapsackWorld, and things are only getting worse. There are heroes, but the [[StatusQuoIsGod status quo won't let them cause more than a few ripples of good in a sea of]] BlackAndGrayMorality. Out of this ambiguity comes a savior, someone who brings hope to the [[HoldingOutForAHero downtrodden]] and preaches a utopian vision of peace and prosperity for all. However, [[AntiHero he isn't afraid to fight fire with fire]]. In a world where moral absolutes are impossible to find, he will [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized use underhanded tactics, preemptive strikes, and other acts of Radical Terrorism that puts ISIS to shame in his quest to bring about that perfect world.]]

No, he's not TheAntichrist (well... not ''necessarily'' anyway), but a character with delusions of (or actual feats to back up) being a MessianicArchetype. As a "messiah", the heroic version of this character doesn't hesitate to [[MartyrWithoutACause sacrifice himself for the masses]]; in fact, he would die a thousand times and just as well accept a life of torture [[{{Determinator}} to reach his goal,]] ''but'' he will also not hesitate to grimly murder thousands in kind and torture many more to achieve that end. The thing is, he's graduated from the school of UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans. So while he'll [[PetTheDog hug orphans]], he won't hesitate to ''[[KickTheDog make]]'' them with bizarre doctrinarian attacks on the PowersThatBe. Naturally, he'll also likely be a DarkShepherd, with at least part of his charisma coming from the fact that his followers are terrified of what will happen if they end up on his bad side.

More tragically, he may be a FallenHero (or fallen [[AllLovingHero messiah]]) who has suffered so much that [[JadeColoredGlasses he has revised his belief system from rainbows to car-bombings.]] He'll usually be a KnightTemplar, with enough good acts and intentions to stay from outright villainy, but he stands on very slippery and muddy ground. If the hero upsets his plans enough, or he gets another tragedy or HeroicBSOD, you can bet he'll go JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. After all, anyone who tries to [[VisionaryVillain improve the world]] through active effort is doomed to failure or KarmicDeath, because AmbitionIsEvil. Expect the sympathetic and/or [[TheExtremistWasRight successful]] ones to claim that there is NoPlaceForMeThere.

The '{{villain|s}}ous' version of this character is usually hiding behind a more traditionally [[VillainWithGoodPublicity good messiah image]]. He may secretly be a StrawHypocrite, but just as often, he is terrifyingly fervent in believing his messianic message and getting others to do the same. May or may not be secretly spreading the ReligionOfEvil, but usually assembles a {{Cult}} around himself; may or may not have [[WellIntentionedExtremist good as his ultimate goal]].

Almost ''always'' operates on {{Ubermensch}} or TotalitarianUtilitarian mentality. May or may not be a MagnificentBastard ByronicHero. Contrast with AllLovingHero, TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified. Has nothing to do with the video game ''VideoGame/DarkMessiah''. See also ApocalypseMaiden, TheAntichrist. When put against the AllLovingHero or the MessianicArchetype, that's a DuelingMessiahs dynamic.


%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
%% * [[Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys Our Friend]] here...
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'':
** Griffith is a definite example. He cares for the weak and helpless everywhere, fights tyranny and cruelty, and everyone loves him. However, after getting [[spoiler:imprisoned and tortured within an inch of his life]], he sold his soul to the evil Godhand to become its fifth member Femto, hired demons as enforcers, and ruthlessly killed anyone who opposed his rise to power, [[spoiler:including the Band of the Hawks that he once led, whom he sacrificed in order to become Femto in the first place]]. [[spoiler:And in a later arc, Griffith is called an actual Messiah by the people. He has the CrystalDragonJesus equivalent of the Pope proclaiming him to be the best thing since sliced bread]]. We, the readers, can only cringe in expectation of the devastation that will ensue. And to make it even worse, [[spoiler:since he still possesses at least a significant amount of a Godhand's power even though he was supposedly reborn as a human, and seems to still be backed by the other four demon lords, he actually IS a Crystal Dragon [[TheAntichrist Antichrist]], ''who is currently posing as a Dark Messiah'']]. No matter how bleak things are already, [[FromBadToWorse they WILL get much, MUCH worse]].
** Bishop Mozgus is a purely evil example of this -- a [[MoralSociopathy twisted destroyer of blasphemy]] who took in and nurtured deformed, sick, and dying orphans...to train as his indiscriminately torturing inquisitorial hitmen.
* Aion in ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' seems to fancy himself as one of these--at least, for his fellow Sinners. He preaches that his dream is "freedom" and it's [[WellIntentionedExtremist his goal to achieve it]], at ''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans any]]'' cost. He's willing to (and does) sacrifice his followers and himself if it means his dreams will be realized.
* Lelouch Lamperouge, the main character of ''Anime/CodeGeass'', is a nicer version. He seeks to overthrow of TheEmpire that killed his mother and ''means'' well (most of the time), but even at his best, he's [[ShootTheDog shot a dog or two]] -- some of whom he even unleashed himself. And he's obviously aware of his status, as he ends up [[spoiler:setting himself up as the ultimate tyrant and [[ZeroApprovalGambit concentrating the hatred of the world on him, so that when he's killed, the world can finally unite in peace]].]]
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' has Light Yagami. He intends to annihilate all the evil and worthless people from the world for the good of humanity. [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope This also includes almost anyone who opposes him and tries to stop him, even if they happen to be otherwise upstanding enforcers of the law.]] His [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder tendency to deceive and often betray those around him doesn't help]], and at one point he even changes the emphasis of his message from "[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans and I shall be god of that]] '''''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans perfect world!]]'''''" to "'''''[[AGodAmI And I shall be GOD!]]''''' [[AGodAmI of that perfect world.]]"
* Their boss [[spoiler: Kai]] comes off as this to the cross-eyes group in ''Manga/{{Dorohedoro}}'' to the point they maintain a shrine for him in his absence. While his followers see him as a saviour to the oppressed weak magic users they're not aware of his [[AGodAmI true]] [[GodIsEvil goals]] and identity.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ''
** Broly (in the non-canon movies) is the Legendary Super Saiyan, a unique (and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin legendary]]) Super Saiyan with monstrous power and [[BloodKnight an insatiable thirst for battle and destruction]]. This essentially makes him the Messiah of the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Saiyans]]. The dub goes so far as to title his sequel ''BrolySecondComing''.
** Son Gohan during the Cell Saga turns into this when he turns [[SuperMode Super Saiyan 2]], as the transformation causes more of his Saiyan heritage to become more pronounced, exhibiting ruthlessness and a degree of sadism, but even though the heroes get creeped out by it, he's fighting an OmnicidalManiac that makes it clear if he's not stopped will hunt down and kill everything on Earth, and move on to do the same across the universe.
** The same thing happened to Goku when he first became a Super Saiyan. He becomes filled with anger, hatred, and a desire to torment Frieza for killing his best friend. King Kai outright says that the kind-hearted Goku was gone, that there was only the Super Saiyan. Although, Goku was able to snap himself back.
** [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity Zamasu]], an apprentice [[PhysicalGod Supreme Kai]] and prodigy who stands as the strongest Kai seen. He's strong enough to fight on par with Super Saiyan 2 Goku after he's received training from [[PhysicalGod Whis]], but he suffers from a very bad case of FantasticRacism towards mortals since [[HumansAreFlawed he sees them as fools who have abused the gifts and protection the gods have given them]] and despises the fact [[TheGodsMustBeLazy the gods are not allowed to take direct action to watch over the multiverse]]. [[spoiler:Eventually, he goes full-on KnightTemplar and begins a crusade to rid the multiverse of mortals to create a paradise, which includes [[APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil killing his master]], [[GrandTheftMe stealing Goku's body]] before killing him and his loved ones, corrupting an [[AlternateSelf alternate version of himself]] and giving him [[CompleteImmortality immortality]], and committing mass genocide [[GenocideFromTheInside on his fellow gods]] to keep them from stopping him]].
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': [[TheArchmage The Black Wizard]] [[BigBad Zeref]] genuinely wants to see the world become a better place and even [[spoiler:created an entire country where he rules as a relatively benevolent Emperor, though he himself admits he didn't create [[TheEmpire Albareth]] for the sake of being a ruler]]. His very [[ThenLetMeBeEvil motivation]] for becoming [[spoiler:an OmnicidalManiac]] is "to cleanse the world of its sins", and is perfectly prepared to die to atone for his own [[spoiler:which was why he created [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou E.N.D.]] out of his [[CainAndAbel little brother]] [[TheHero Natsu's]] [[TomatoInTheMirror dead body]]]]. He even has [[spoiler:twelve disciples in the form of the [[PraetorianGuard Spriggan Twelve]]]], as if Mashima was intentionally invoking the trope.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' has Raoh, who [[AfterTheEnd after the nuclear apocalypse that engulfed the world]], took the name Ken-Oh (meaning "King of Fist") and began a campaign of conquest to take over what was left, and instill order in a chaotic age. His name became feared, especially by enemies; and revered by his loyal followers. He is however, like his brothers, Kenshiro and Toki, considered to be a hero of Hokuto Shinken, and had the appellation: "The Conqueror of the Century's End", in contrast to Kenshiro: "The Savior of the Century's End".
** In one arc, it was believed that Toki, the kindest of Kenshiro's older brothers, applying the art of Hokuto Shinken to heal the sick and wounded, to the point he was revered as a savior, had turned evil and instead used his art to abduct and experiment on innocent people. [[spoiler:This turned out to be a subversion, as Toki was being impersonated by a man called Amiba, who after an encounter with Toki that didn't go well, tried to ruin Toki's good name out of spite, while he was imprisoned. The real Toki is every bit the warm-hearted savior he was initially believed to be]].
** Shin is a straight example, in fact [[TokenMotivationalNemesis the very villain that started off the series by giving Kenshiro his infamous seven scars on his chest and stealing his fiancee]]. His men were fanatically devoted to him, and he took the title of "King" as he went out on a brutal conquest of territories, and using the wealth his army looted to build the city "Southern Cross" with a golden pyramid as its stronghold. However, his motivation for doing all of this to earn the love of the object of his affection, Yuria - Kenshiro's fiancee. Raoh is basically [[{{Expy}} Shin]] [[UpToEleven on a grander scale]]. Interestingly, Of the Nanto Roku Sei Ken ("Six Sacred Southern Star Fists"), six masters of the Nanto styles whose destiny and style is shaped by the stars of the South Dipper constellation, Shin's corresponds to "The Star of ''Martyrdom''".
* In the GreyAndGrayMorality world of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', it's really hard to designate any characters as really good or evil. However, Kuze is the country's most dangerous top terrorist, who is fighting for the cause of the Korean and Chinese refugees that have to live in massive internment camps in Japan as third class citizens. In one of his first appearances, he tries to cut off the Prime Minister's head with a katana while she is meditating at a temple, and his ultimate plan is to [[spoiler:build nuclear bombs and hide them in major cities]], forcing the government into cooperating with his plans. To his men, he's not only a great leader, but becomes something like a religious figure. Which really isn't helped much by his white hair and skin and preference for [[BadassLongcoat white longcoats]]. While some of his methods are radical, he {{subvert|edTrope}}s this trope, [[spoiler: turning out to be one of the nicest guys by the end of the season.]]
** His [[spoiler: last words]] are even a paraphrase of Christ's.
* The Claw from ''Manga/GunXSword'', where people he has meet practically worship him like a god and are willing to do anything he asks or to make him happy. This including killing anyone that gets in the way of his dream.
* Franchise/{{Gundam}}:
** Paptimus Scirocco from ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' could certainly qualify. Though he is introduced as a textbook ManipulativeBastard and his motives are shrouded in mystery throughout the series, his MotiveRant in the last episode seems to hint at this.
** Chairman Gilbert Durandal from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny'' as well. He really is out to [[WellIntentionedExtremist save the world]], he just goes way, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans way too far]] in his attempts to do so, while convincing most of the planet that he is their [[MessianicArchetype saviour]].
** [[spoiler: Ribbons Almark]] from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]''. Which is only appropriate, since he's a [[{{Expy}} stand-in]] of Scirocco.
** [[spoiler:Flit Asuno]] becomes this in the second generation of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE Gundam AGE]]'' after [[spoiler:witnessing Yurin's death at the hands of [[EnfantTerrible Desil Galette]]]], which leads him to becoming the savior for the corrupt and genocidal Earth Federal Forces.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has Dio Brando. One of his closest followers proclaims that he "loves him as he loves God" while the other one cuts off his own head when Dio merely asks him for a bit of his blood. The rest of his legions of followers that he doesn't outright brainwash are all insanely devoted to him and all too eager to announce that devotion. Hol Horse is the only exception, being an amoral cowardly mercenary who only serves Dio out of fear and constantly looks for ways to backstab him.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Pain (real name Nagato). Despite his AGodAmI kick, he recognizes his own mortality, but before he dies, he wishes to first deliver the world from its current cycle of self-destruction by destroying the current system completely and replacing it with his, [[UtopiaJustifiestheMeans no matter how many people suffer or die in the process]].
** Tobi [[spoiler:aka Obito Uchiha]] also considered. He thinks he is living in a CrapsackWorld [[VillainHasAPoint (with a fair amount of justification, it must be said)]] and resents how This Is Reality is in effect with regards to heroes, ie. that very often heroes actually fail. As such, he thinks the only place heroes and dreams can truly exist is in a dream world, and he intends to create just that, even if he has to enact an AssimilationPlot to do it. Sets up a deliberate contrast to [[MessianicArchetype Naruto]].
** [[spoiler:Madara Uchiha considers himself to be. He grew up in a warring states period that claimed most of his family, and learning that chakra was originally a gift that the Sage of Six Paths intended to connect humanity but instead ended up escalating wars, he determined that the only to peace was to become the [[PhysicalGod Jinchuuriki the Ten-Tails]] and trap the entire planet in a LotusEaterMachine.]]
** [[spoiler:Finally, Sasuke Uchiha wanted to become one. (Seeing a trend here?) After a long period of wildly changing goals, he, like his predecessors, concludes that there's only one thing to do to stop the endless wars: sever the past. By which he mean kill all the Kage, kill the Tailed Beasts, and kill Naruto.]]
* Former marine "Z" from ''Manga/OnePiece'' used to be an upstanding believer in justice, [[WoobieDestroyerofWorlds but after losing one too many things to pirates]]...
* Makishima Shougo from ''Anime/PsychoPass'' committed a number of terrible murders and terrorism in order to [[spoiler:liberate Japan from an Orwellian BigBrotherIsWatching regime that quantifies and criminalizes emotions]].
** Kamui Kirito in the second season follows this trope even more closely, to the point that he even assembles a {{Cult}}-like following that will do anything to see his plans come true.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has [[spoiler:''the eponymous character'']]. Well, sort of. [[spoiler: In two alternate timelines, she becomes a [[EldritchAbomination wit]][[TheHeartless ch]] that wants to [[AssimilationPlot absorb all of humanity in order to create heaven]]. ''And she has the power to do it in ten days.'' However, she managed to flip all that when she wished to kill every Witch in existence before they're created, including her own, thus becoming the Messiah.]]
** As of the end of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', [[spoiler: its ''Homura'', [[ByronicHero the deuteragonist]], that is playing this trope relatively straight.]]
* Shishio Makoto from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', whose goal is to eliminate the Meiji government, which he views as weak and inferior (and even his enemies don't deny that point), and start a new era in Japan in which everyone must live under his rule, and only the strongest can survive.
* Most of ''Manga/SaintSeiya's'' {{Big Bad}}s have been some flavor of this.
** The Pope / [[spoiler:Gemini Saga]] wanted to protect the world and thought Athena was too weak to do it.
** Poseidon thought humans were destroying the planet and wanted to flood the world to start it over right.
** Hades is the odd one out, he just wants to kill everyone so he can rule over the dead world. His minions however believed him to want to create a land without suffering.
** Hades/Alone from ''Manga/SaintSeiyaTheLostCanvas'' is especially poignant because his reasoning to kill everyone is that, since life is pain, by becoming an OmnicidalManiac and god of the land of the dead he can ensure they spend eternity in a painless {{Heaven}} analogue. However [[spoiler:then the ''real'' Hades retakes control and wants to proceed with plain old mass genocide, no utopia.]]
** Mars in ''Anime/SaintSeiyaOmega'' wants to save the world... specifically, [[spoiler:by saving Mars (the planet).]] However that requires draining the Earth of energy and [[spoiler: using it to make his planet a paradise. He'd move the humans who swear allegiance to him to Mars.]]
* [[MeaningfulName Messiah]] from ''Manga/UndertakerRiddle'' wants to open the door that will join the living world with the afterlife and change their places, meaning all the dead souls of the afterlife will be resurrected but all the livings will die.
* Dartz from ''Anime/YuGiOh'' was trying to destroy the world and rebuild it without the flaws.
* Shinobu Sensui from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', who was one FaceHeelTurn away from being considered an actual Messiah.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* [[spoiler:Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)]] in ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' to some extent. He [[spoiler:causes the deaths of millions]] in order to unify the world and prevent the nuclear Armageddon he believes is otherwise inevitable. The comic itself refuses to either obviously support or condemn his actions.
* Abu Adallah in ''Shooting War'' masterminds [[spoiler: a conspiracy against the US military occupation of Iraq, and dies for his cause. He engineered a nuclear apocalypse in the Middle East and Southeast Asia]].
* ComicBook/RasAlGhul is partially immortal, and his intelligence and {{Magnificent Bastard}}ry can only be matched by Franchise/{{Batman}}. With an army of devout followers to boot. In one alternate history, he completely conquered the world, and killed off all the super powered heroes. Though to be fair, he ''is'' less villainous than usual examples.
* The ''Franchise/{{Batman}} Annual'' story ''Messiah of the Crimson Sun'' features a genocidal villain who intends to DeathRay the world and remake it in his image. [[spoiler:It's Ra's.]]
* Glorious Godfrey of the ''Comicbook/NewGods'', who preaches the word of his master, Comicbook/{{Darkseid}}, all in the name of taking over the universe.
* The High Evolutionary, from Creator/MarvelComics.
* Avengers' foe Korvac during ComicBook/TheKorvacSaga. Despite his claims of wanting to bring order and prosperity to the universe, his eagerness to kill and control others reveals him to be an evil savior-want-to-be.
* ComicBook/{{Magneto}}. He'll do anything to make the world a better place for mutants, even if it means terrorism or all-out war. He has often been nicknamed by his followers as the "Mutant Messiah", and stands in darker contrast to his friend and counterpart, Charles Xavier. DependingOnTheWriter, though, as some of his actions have been very heroic.
* Magneto ''himself'' has recently referred to ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} as this. Though, his many actions ''have'' restored the mutant race that once seemed doomed to dwindle into extinction.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/290000/i-chrysalis I, Chrysalis]]: The Topaz Queens are the chanegling race's [[MessianicArchetype messiah]]. ''The'' changeling Queens and the changeling's equivalent to Celestia and Luna, they represent everything the changeling Queens stand for: deception, ruling by force, and taking whatever they want.
* In ''FanFic/AgesOfShadow'', Boaz was personally trained by his religion's goddess in order to lead his people to greatness. This would sound pretty good, except that it's a ReligionOfEvil, the goddess in question is an [[AxCrazy insane]] FallenHero-turned-EldritchAbomination, and "leading to greatness" means [[TakeOverTheWorld conquering the world]]. [[spoiler: Gets upgraded to TheAntichrist when he's [[BackFromTheDead resurrected]] even more powerful than before, and intends to destroy modern civilization and take over what's left afterwards.]]

* Joseph Balsamo aka [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade Cagliostro]] in the 1949 film ''Black Magic'' staring Creator/OrsonWelles. He uses his talent as a Hypnotist to make himself seem like a UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} type Healer, but is in fact motivated by greed and revenge. He then plans to use his [[DoubleStandardRapeSciFi Mind Controlled]] {{Doppelganger}} of MarieAntoinette he's in love in an EvilPlan to become ruler of the world by starting UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution. At first he doesn't actually believe his divine claims, but then he losses it and goes full on AGodAmI. He's a MagnificentBastard and the plan would have worked [[spoiler: if not for the interference of Anton Mesmer, who first helped him discover his gift]].
* Cain in ''Film/RoboCop2'' is the leader of a drug cult who treats him as a messiah-type figure who will bring the world peace and prosperity through his designer narcotic, "Nuke", despite his tendency to be rather nasty to his critics and betrayers.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/BadBoysII'', when the BigBad has himself painted on a giant mural of his mansion as ''Jesus''.
* In the ''Film/JamesBond'' film ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'', this was suggested with Hugo Drax, given the loyalty of his followers.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Anakin Skywalker. It's played with somewhat as he makes a deal with the 'Devil', Palpatine, essentially acting as an AntiChrist. But in the end, he saves the day, fulfilling the MessianicArchetype role.
* The main villain in ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' leads a group of pirates onto "Dry Land" in a prophet-like manner, and it involved raiding a settlement and killing everyone in it. It is even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d, given that he was referred to as "The Deacon", which means a minister of sort.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'':
** Bruce Wayne has shades of this, being an {{Ubermensch}} MessianicArchetype that has made numerous morally questionable choices.
** Bane in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' is unambiguously this, and a MagnificentBastard {{Ubermensch}} to boot. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that while he ''is'' willing to die for the cause, he doesn't actually care about 'liberating' Gotham at all, and whether he even believes that destroying Gotham will help make the world a better place is ambiguous. He's just devoted to the HiddenVillain, whose plan this was.]]
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
** Loki in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. In ''Film/{{Thor}}'' he's more of AntiVillain, trying to raise Asgard's prominence by destroying their enemies in Jotunheim but by ''The Avengers'' his plan has changed to this.
** In ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', Ultron initially serves as this to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who view him as a force to ensure peace more than the Avengers, who they see as opportunists and killers.
* In ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', the Lord Marshall is worshipped by the Necromongers with almost religious reverance. He is the half-dead post-human who has pilgrimaged to the Underverse and returned a holy GalacticConqueror. His rule is absolute and he is destined to lead his people beyond the 'Threshold' to the alternate realm, although he's not immortal; the post is permanent until the Lord Marshal either dies of old age or [[KlingonPromotion is killed by an aspiring commander]], and a new Lord Marshal succeeds him.
* Immortan Joe in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', with an emphasis on the Messiah part. He's the head icon of a brainwashed cult of War Boys in the post apocalypse who will gladly die for him. Auntie in ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'' can also be considered this, as the villainous leader of a wasteland community, although she's a more sympathetic character who engages in PragmaticVillainy.
* Subverted in ''Film/LordOfIllusions''. Nix presents himself as a dark savior to his cultists and they remain slavishly devoted to his revelations even after his death. When he returns he sacrifices them without a second thought for being unworthy of him and denies being their "shepherd".
* In life, Nahalla in ''Film/TheGhostDance'' was a leader of a violent cult offshoot of [[Myth/NativeAmericanMythology Ghost Dance]] religion, which strove to hurt the white overtakers as much as possible.
* ''Film/{{Noah}}'' gives us [[OmnicidalManiac Noah]] and [[HumansAreBastards Tubal]]-[[ImAHumanitarian Cain]]. For more details, see the trope DuelingMessiahs.
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', [[spoiler: Magneto's younger self prepares to kill Nixon while declaring mutant supremacy in front of a live broadcast.]]
* President Judd Hammond in ''Film/GabrielOverTheWhiteHouse'' has some ideas about how to solve the problems of the 1930s, problems like UsefulNotes/TheGreatDepression and the organized crime epidemic. Ideas like takng dictatorial control of the United States, dissolving Congress, establishing a StateSec "Federal Police", conducting drumhead courts martial, and standing mobsters up against walls for summary execution.
* [[CrazyAwesome Tyler]] [[TheUnfettered Durden]] of ''Film/FightClub'' collected followers from the titular boxing club, promised them BetterLivingThroughEvil, and used them to [[WesternTerrorists reset society to a freer, more primitive state]]. [[spoiler: Besides that, he [[AteHisGun died for his cause]], in the hopes of creating a legend]].
-->'''Narrator''': Where would Jesus be if no one had written the gospels? ...You want to be a legend, Tyler, man, I'll make you a legend. I've been here from the beginning. [[HowWeGotHere I remember everything]].
* ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'': Valentine, the BigBad attempting to enact a genocide, sees himself as a messiah. He encourages his guests by comparing his plan to Noah's Ark. Claiming that [[NoAntagonist neither Noah, God, nor the animals are the villains]], and that like them, they will all bring in a new age.

* Ishmael in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' is a mild example.
* Mina, introduced during the Age of Mortals for ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' is one of these. First, during the War of Souls trilogy, she's (unwittingly) the messiah-like figure for Takhisis, the GodOfEvil (well, Goddess of Evil) for the Dragonlance setting. In the Dark Disciple trilogy, she then becomes this for Chemosh. Culminates in her ascending to the position of a lesser goddess in her own right, the Goddess of Tears, embodiment of sorrow and pain.
* ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'':
** Paul Muad'Dib, curious in that he recognizes the dangers in his [[Literature/DuneMessiah Messiah-ship]], and sought to avoid them, but had the Dark Messiah moniker forced on him by his followers and reluctantly adhered to the mold.
** His son, GodEmperor [[Literature/GodEmperorOfDune Leto II]], saw it as well, but [[Literature/ChildrenOfDune realised that he ''couldn't'' avoid it]]. He knew (hooray for prescience!) how future generations would see him, and was prepared to pay the moral price. Justified, in that failure to follow through would have meant the extinction of humankind. Maybe, following a path generally blinds one to other alternative paths
* Lord Asriel in ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials.'' Though his plans include, in the short term, separating an innocent child from his soul to rip the universe apart (environment be damned) and he is portrayed to have a very haphazard respect for human life, ultimately, he's trying to allow everyone to live in freedom of thought and government, by destroying the angel who claims himself as God. Even the heroes don't ''like'' him that much.
* Referenced by name in Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/WarOfTheDreaming:'' [[FallenHero Azrael]] [[EvilSorcerer de Gray]] intends to be one of these, using [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans treachery and force]] to create a human kingdom. Unfortunately for him, he misses the fact that there's a straight-up Messiah around already.
* Nyarlatothep in Creator/HPLovecraft's work often appears as a messianic figure, gathering large amounts of followers by various demonstrations of power, and seemingly working for the good of mankind. In reality, his goal is no less than TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. May be more of [[TheAntichrist an Anti-Christ]] without the connection to Christianity, though.
* By the third book in KJ Taylor's ''Literature/TheFallenMoon'' trilogy when he embraces his destiny, Arenadd most definitely fits this trope. He doesn't care ''how'' the [[FantasticRacism Southerners]] leave his country, but they will go; letting him kill them [[TheBerserker is just a bonus]].
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'':
** "''Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born once more as he was born before, and shall be born again, time without end. The Dragon shall be Reborn, and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he bind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.''" Initially, the Dark Messiah in question, [[spoiler: Rand Al'Thor]], struggles heavily with the ''unthinkable'' notion of women being harmed. But as the books progress, he becomes increasingly disturbed, and the prophecies' promise of a world-shattering salvation seem to become increasingly more likely. Regardless of what actually happens, the Prophecies have certainly promised a Dark Messiah rather than a Messiah.
** Many of the Dragons seem to be this. Lews Therin Telamon was seen as this because the Dark One made Lews Therin go crazy after saving the world by sealing the Dark One away, but the ensuing insanity amongst the male half of the magical population lead to the Breaking of the World.
** Masema would be a good example, except that he's the (self-proclaimed) "Prophet of the Lord Dragon", not the Dragon himself. He and his ragtag army of [[AxCrazy Ax Crazies]] go around randomly slaughtering whole villages for not serving Rand devoutly enough. Rand keeps telling him to stop, but...
** In the last book [[FourStarBadass Demandred]] sets himself up as one of these [[spoiler: as Bao the Wyld, a propecied figure for the Sharans also called the Dragonslayer. It's unclear if he really ''is'' Bao the Wyld or simply hijacked the prophecy, but the former is indicated to be more likely]].
* [[spoiler: Jagang]] of the latter ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' books can inflict mental torture on those who can use magic and whisper into the minds of those who cant. He's also a rapist and generally terrible human being and the leader of a horde of fellow ones. He even has his own false prophet guy who sets up the religion of evil and has a scheme so they can practically live forever, luckily [[spoiler: they both get killed their followers send to another dimension.]]
* ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'': Anasurimbor Kellhus quickly establishes himself as a messianic figure in order to rally the kingdoms of humanity against the BigBad. The problem is that he's a manipulative sociopath who is so completely devoid of empathy or compassion that he could as easily be a villain as a hero.
* Ras the Destroyer in ''Literature/InvisibleMan'' is almost a deconstruction of this type--he thinks he's going to be the leader of a revolution against white power, but in truth, he's a ridiculous figure who's easily manipulated by the PowersThatBe.
* Agent Ben-Canaan in ''Exodus'' is a little like this. Though he is not vicious as such, he is cunning, and can be ruthless when put to it. On the other hand, he really isn't "dark" enough to quite fit this.
* Melisandre from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is a female example, and is Stannis Baratheon's SinisterMinister. She genuinely believes that Stannis is Azor Ahai come again, and preaches a message of peace and tolerance, uniting in the name of Rh'llor, the Lord of Light. Unfortunately, Melisandre is a KnightTemplar, Stannis Baratheon is [[LawfulNeutral completely unyielding]], and worshipping Rh'llor involves blood magic and burning people alive. Since she's in [[CrapsackWorld Westeros]], however, her faction is [[BlackAndGrayMorality not much worse than most others]].
* ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}: The Final Empire''
** Kelsier is like this right down to dying for the cause in the well-substantiated hope that his death will enrage the masses enough to make them rise against their oppressors.
** [[EvilOverlord The Lord Ruler]] is a Dark Messiah made good. [[spoiler: Turns out, he actually did save the world from an OmnicidalManiac about a thousand years ago, but turned it into a hellish totalitarian theocracy in the process]].
* Immanuel Jeremiah Branch of Creator/MikeResnick's ''The Branch'' is a strange variation of this. He is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament but is completely self-serving and evil.
* ''Literature/TheStand'': Randall Flagg.
* Tyler Durden in ''Literature/FightClub''.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Lord Voldemort is certainly seen this way by his [[{{Cult}} Death Eaters]] in the few glimpses we get of their interaction. Provides an [[NotSoDifferent interesting contrast]] with Harry's more traditional MessianicArchetype. Voldemort even dies and rises again like Jesus and his satanic resurrection ritual is a perversion of the Eucharist involving blood, bones, and flesh.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' gives us [[BlackCloak Cowl]], who, while presented as fairly antagonistic, repeatedly claims to be working for the greater good. Having a [[SecretCircleOfSecrets secret society]] that seems to include members of [[LegionOfDoom every single organization]] in the supernatural world, including a few renegades from the [[FallenAngel Denarians]] and an [[EldritchAbomination Outsider]], doesn't improve his image. On the other hand, the man got a car flipped over on him and he ''tossed it aside,'' and allowed the guy who flipped it over on him to live, so...
* [[ManipulativeBitch Senna]] from ''Literature/{{Everworld}}'' could probably qualify for this trope--not only does she have a serious case of AGodAmI (or rather, "the gods are idiots so I'm taking over"), but she manipulates [[spoiler:a group of gun nuts from the Old World to form a cult around her]] to accomplish her ends.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' (by the same author as ''Everworld'' above), Visser One also [[InvokedTrope invokes]] the MessianicArchetype in order to found The Sharing, which was originally more like a cult than anything. She acquired a special male host to better fit her role as Dark Messiah, and eventually had him killed, knowing that humans would tear down a leader but lionize a martyr.
* Sauron from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', before he became the EvilOverlord he is more known as. He ''started out'' as an angel-like spirit, and turned to evil because he wanted to create harmony and control in Arda. Once he started listening to Morgoth, this turned into the desire to control all forms of life and rule the planet.
* In ''Literature/TimeScout'', UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper.
* Zandramas and Harakan both try to set themselves up as these in ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad The Malloreon]]''.
* In ''Literature/TheGreatTreeOfAvalon,'' a prophecy mentions two figures: a messianic Heir of Merlin, who will save Avalon, and the Child of the Dark Prophecy, who will try to destroy it. However, a lesser-known prophecy implies the latter would be "like a brother" to the Heir of Merlin, and thus might not be as evil as he seems. Sure enough two adopted brothers, Tamwyn and Scree, seem to be the two figures, though it's not clear which is which. Eventually it turns out that [[spoiler:Tamwyn is ''both'']].
* Former Marine captain John Rumford in military thriller ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' is a secular, ideological example. In his early characterization, he is mostly just frustrated and confused; then he takes his first step by immersing himself in Greek philosophy and reactionary literature under the guidance of [[ThePhilosopher Professor Sanft]]. When he joins the Christian Marines militia, and especially once he comes under [[EvilMentor William Kraft's]] influence, everything begins to fall together. Realizing his previously untapped phenomenal charismatic potential, Rumford takes over the tiny group of right-wing veterans and transforms it, over a couple of years, into a secret society that infiltrates the police, government and military and builds up major political clout, including a regular political party. Once a major economic crisis comes along, he is ready to act and lead his men as the vanguard of the revolution to bring in the new reactionary utopia.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Daenerys and Drogo's unborn son, Rhaego, is prophesied to be the "Stallion Who Mounts The World," (in which 'Mounts' doesn't mean 'ride' but 'fuck') the ''khal'' of ''khals'' who will unite the Dothraki and lead them to dominion over the entire world. Whilst the Dothraki naturally see him as TheMessiah, as the Dothraki are seen by every other culture in Essos and Westeros as the most bloodthirsty, brutal, savage and barbaric people in the world -- and not without due reason! -- he more than fits this. This is lampshaded by Mirri Maz Duur, who subtly implies that her real reason for "helping" Khal Drogo was not to punish him for massacring her village, but to try and ScrewDestiny, ensuring Rhaego is stillborn and can never fulfill his destiny.
** Daenerys herself may be either this or TheMessiah, the series hasn't really come clean either way and it may even be a matter of perspective. ''She'' sees herself as the rightful queen returning to reclaim a throne that belongs to her... but, on the other hand, she intends to do so by burning her way across Westeros with three fire-breathing dragons ''and'' after having fulfilled her stillborn son's destiny by unleashing the Dothraki upon Westeros.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** Adam Monroe. Thirty years before the events of the series, he gathered twelve unique individuals to follow him, termed them his 'disciples', and attempted to save the world. Does this story sound just a little bit [[Literature/TheBible familiar]]?
** One of those disciples, Daniel Linderman, also qualifies. A self-proclaimed "humanitarian", his stated goal in life is to "heal the world"...which he plans to start by blowing up most of New York. He also comes with a set of HealingHands that can make the blind see and the lame walk, just in case you missed it otherwise.
** And Volume Five introduced Samuel Sullivan, the leader of a very {{Cult}}-like carnival who is TheAntiChrist: he claims to be gathering together the "specials" of the world in order to lead them to a "promised land" where they can be free of FantasticRacism, but in reality, he wants them because he becomes more and more powerful when he surrounds himself with more "specials", and he's hoping to boost his powers to god-like levels. (Which, incidentally, could easily lead to a Class 6 or possibly even Class X ApocalypseHow.)
* Jordan Collier in ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''. He insists that everyone takes [[PsychoSerum Promicin]] to gain powers, knowing that it has a 50% death rate. When a method is discovered to see whether you'd live or die if injected, he sabotages the attempt because it would "polarize the world between haves and have nots". Despite being at times manipulative and bastardy, he really was chosen by the people in the future to be the messiah, with the alternative implied to be even worse than a 50% death rate.
* Gul Dukat was this for a bit in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', when he lead a cult to the Pah Wraiths. Kai Winn exemplified this trope.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The Ori and their Priors, who use [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve belief]] from billions of worshipers on thousands of planets to fuel their powers. The best example, though, is Adria: The Ori's ObstructiveCodeOfConduct (or rather, the equally powerful Ancients' ObstructiveCodeOfConduct, which they also enforce on their Ori cousins) prevents them from directly attacking the masses (except in their own galaxy, where anything goes), so their knowledge and a considerable amount of power was placed in Vala's asexually-conceived daughter, who [[PlotRelevantAgeUp rapidly grew]] into a beautiful, charismatic, and very deadly adult to lead the attack. [[spoiler: She eventually had to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence to survive poisoning...and, as such, now falls under the ObstructiveCodeOfConduct that bound her bosses. Oops. Worked out well enough for Adria, though, since her bosses died in the interim, meaning that Ascension gave her ''all'' of their previously shared godlike powers.]]
** A more mundane example pops up early in the first season, where the leader of another SG team ends up being revered as a god by the locals and goes on a power trip. He was implied to already be a little mentally unstable before, and the adulation and plight of the local population, coupled with spending a little too much time in the high-UV radiation of the planet's star, pushed him over the edge into thinking he was a god and trying to lead his people to self-destructive salvation.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** The Master intended to bring about his "[[InfernalParadise utopia]]" by opening the Hellmouth, and was certainly treated with reverence by his subordinates.
** Adam was specifically described as the Dark Messiah at one point, planning to bring about a new world order ruled by demon/human hybrids, and was good at inspiring demons to work for him (even Spike said so).
* Much as it has its own good {{Messia|nicArchetype}}h in Locke, ''Series/{{Lost}}'' has Ben, almost perfectly a mirror image of Locke in every way [[spoiler: (and understandably pissed that Jacob apparently chose Locke to replace him).]]
* Jasmine from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' attempts to bring peace to the world...by [[spoiler:employing global-scale mind control to disguise her appearance and make demands regarding worshiping her, eating scores of people along the way]]. The existing world conditions and the effectiveness of the actual heroes fit the bill perfectly.
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'':
** Brother Justin (aka The Usher of Destruction) and [[spoiler:Sofie, the Omega, as revealed in the series finale]].
** Even the series' designated "good" messiahs (Ben Hawkins and [[spoiler: Lucius "Management" Belyakov]]) can qualify as this. The series makes it clear that being designated as an Avatar of Light doesn't [[LightIsNotGood make a person heroic]], and that the Avatars who are destined to do great things for humankind often wind up performing some truly horrific acts along the way. To whit, Ben wound up on a chain gang for [[spoiler: murdering two innocent people]] before the events of the series, and [[spoiler: Belyakov tried to assassinate Henry Scudder during World War I, and he manipulates several characters into killing each other over the course of the series]].
* [[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 Gaius]] [[PrecisionFStrike Fracking]] [[MagnificentBastard Baltar]]. Other people only really see him as this in later seasons. And they are all quickly dismissed as idiots by everyone else.
* "Evil Jesus" from ''Series/{{Misfits}}''.
* ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'': Brajira of The Messiah.
* John from ''Series/TheFades''. He sees himself as a messiah figure for the Fades trapped on Earth and plans to give them all physical forms and relatively normal lives again, but he himself is insane from [[GoMadFromTheIsolation being trapped on Earth unable to interact with anything]], the process of giving the Fades physical forms involves [[ImAHumanitarian eating human flesh]] and his actions are implied to be the cause of the apocalypse Paul dreams about.
* ''Series/TheFollowing'', SerialKiller Joe Carroll. He sets up a cult of like minded people, who practice "[[ReligionOfEvil Carrollism]]", and murder people to the style of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. His followers even compare him to Jesus Christ more than once. Ultimately, it's a {{Deconstruction}} of this idea, as the ''glaring'' problem with it becomes more and more apparent. He's a total sociopath who doesn't care about any of them, and they're all a bunch of total psychos. [[RealityEnsues Things fall apart rather quickly.]]
* Davros in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "Genesis of the Daleks" has used his extensive charisma to gain unquestioned following from his own Kaled people and even many of the enemy Thals, and wants to save them by transforming them into a form better evolved to deal with the coming apocalypse and become the dominant life form in the universe at large. Shame that this is achieved by turning them into tentacled blobs in pepperpot-shaped tanks that murder everything out of racial hatred.
* ''Series/TheLastShip'': [[EvilBrit Sean Ramsey]], the BigBad of Season 2, honestly believes that the [[ThePlague Red Flu]] is God's doing, and that the naturally immune (such as himself and his brother) are the chosen people selected to inherit the Earth after the plague has run its course. He's insane, but is also highly charismatic, capable of influencing large numbers of people to his cause -- by the time he's introduced, he's already effectively conquered Europe, and quickly secures a strong foothold in what's left of America.
* On ''Series/ZNation'', Murphy [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor constantly flirts with this]], due to his status as TheImmune, his evolving [[HalfHumanHybrid zombie-human hybrid]] nature and subsequent psychic powers, and his generally selfish personality. And then comes the end of Season 2, wherein he learns that the "CDC lab" he and the rest of the cast had spent all series trying to get to is just a cover for the rich elite in Zona to get ahold of the zombie cure for themselves. This causes Murphy to snap, and Season 3 sees him fully embrace this role -- he begins recruiting an army of followers with the promise of safety from the zombie plague and freedom from fear and want, transforming all recruits into zombie-human blends that he can mentally dominate.
* On ''Series/ChannelZero: Candle Cove'', [[TheDragon Frances Booth]] clearly views the Creator of Candle Cove [[spoiler: (Eddie Painter)]] as some sort of savior/deity, since they cured her of her epilepsy with their psychic powers, even going so far as to offer up her own son as a HumanSacrifice in the backstory. In the present, she's working to bring about a second coming by [[spoiler: prepping Eddie's brother, Mike, for a GrandTheftMe]].
* ''Series/TwelveMonkeys'': The Army of the 12 Monkeys view their leader, [[BigBad the Witness]], as a prophet who will lead them to paradise, with just the measly cost of [[TimeCrash destroying reality]] in the process.
* Fiona, [=AKA=] The Black Fairy in ''Series/OnceUponATime'' committed herself to averting her son [[spoiler:Rumpelstiltskin's]] fate of dying as the savior by [[spoiler:turning herself into a fairy and creating the Dark Curse]] hoping that it would stop the one who was destined to destroy him. When her dress turns black when she was set to kill Tiger Lily, a crescent-shaped mark appears on her wrist, revealing that ''she'' was the destined darkness who was meant to destroy the savior. After being banished by the Blue Fairy to the Dark realms after severing her son's fate with the shears of destiny, she spent the next many centuries [[spoiler:kidnapping children and turning them into labor for harvesting dark fairy dust]], harvesting their power and preparing for the Final Battle, an event where Light (represented by Emma) and Dark (herself) would battle for the fate of all worlds.

[[folder:Manwha (Korean Comics)]]
* In ''Manhwa/TheBreaker'' ''New Waves'', Chun Woo seems to have embraced this role after he spent the previous series avoiding it. His sheer charisma and prowess is such that the people who survive encounters with him are eager to follow him afterwards.

* The woman described in Edge of Sanity's "Crimson".
* Music/HammerFall's song, "Restless Soul", seems like a great description of this kind of person.
* Music/DoctorSteel wants to makeover this current CrapsackWorld into an Utopian Playland. By force of giant robots, if necessary.
* The unnamed founder of Music/DavidBowie's "Cygnet Committee" definitely qualifies.
* Terrorwheel's "Redeemer" describes such a character, who uses religion to brainwash people to reach mass control.
* Terminal Cheesecake's "Messiah" may be about this, though the lyrics are rather ambiguous.
* Music/{{Disturbed}}'s song, "Deify" describes such a character. So does "The Vengeful One", the trope is even name dropped in it.
* ''[[{{Music/Metallica}} Bow to Leper Messiah!]]'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm71Khu5-Lk]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/KevinSullivan (leader of the Army Of Darkness, hater of political correctness), Wrestling/{{Raven}} (who even had [[Wrestling/JimFullington The Sandman]] "crucified"), Wrestling/JeffHardy (during his time in Immortal), Wrestling/CMPunk (with his [[StraightEdgeEvil Straight Edge Society]]), and a score of others often have such evil {{cult}}-leader type gimmicks.
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker was this for sure in his Wrestling/MinistryOfDarkness.
* Nikki Strychnine, the savior who hates you all unconditionally. He wants to hasten the second coming of the Christ, so he can fight him.
* Bray Wyatt, leader of the cult faction "Wrestling/TheWyattFamily".

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Subverted by the [[GodEmperor Emperor]]. His Dark Messiah status was only established after his death and without his consent. During his life, he spent a significant amount of time fighting the people trying to establish a church around him. Part of the reason of the crapsack state of the world at the moment is because of the Literature/HorusHeresy, which put The Emperor into a coma so he could no longer prevent the church being established. Ironically, it was caused by Chaos showing Horus a vision of the future where the Emperor was a Dark Messiah. The series has gone [[DependingOnTheWriter back and forth]] on whether the Emperor trying to suppress his own worshipers was a good thing... though it's agreed his ''current'' worshipers are only a "necessary evil" because they screwed everything up in the first place.
** The Tau Ethereals went from visionaries uniting their people with great oratory skills and charisma to a caste of Dark Messiahs, being seen as leaders of the Tau's belief system while supposedly secretly controlling the entire race through MindControl pheromones. Essentially, they can be seen as equivalent to Covenant Prophets in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. How did they not piss off the folks that liked the Tau being the only source of pure goodness in the universe? By stating all this through fluff; namely, the [[UnreliableNarrator somewhat self-serving]] logs of Imperial xenobiologists.
** Lorgar, the ''Literature/WordBearers'' Primarch, somewhat ironically fits this mold. He initially thought of himself as the traditional Apostle, with the Emperor as the Messiah, and spread a religion centered around the Emperor. The Emperor (having apparently decided he had turned turned a blind eye to this for too long) punished Lorgar rather abruptly and heavy-handedly...by ordering one of the magnificent cities Lorgar built to be evacuated and destroyed. Having decided to turn to...''other'' deities, Lorgar wrote the book on Chaos worship, ultimately starting the Literature/HorusHeresy. Ironically, the holy book on cult surrounding the Emperor, the Lectitio Divinatus, was penned by Lorgar and laid down the entire framework of what would become the Imperium's state church, down to the way of referring to the Emperor in the Divine tense, years before Lorgar's fall into the worship of Chaos.
** Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka is one of the most dangerous Ork warbosses in the galaxy, and lays a good claim to being the biggest, meanest greenskin in space, as well as leader of the largest warband. He's also the closest thing to a religous leader the Orks have, as the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Waaagh! He claims that the Ork gods Gork and Mork speak to him, and he believes that he is destined to unite the Ork race and lead them on an end-to-end rampage across the galaxy to stamp everything in their path flat. Bearing in mind that if you can get enough Orks to believe something it has a decent chance of becoming true, if he didn't have the favour of his gods before, he probably does now.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', the Everchosen are the chosen champions of the four Chaos Gods who are determined to conquer the Old World for Chaos. The current Everchosen is Archaon. To everybody else the Everchosen is the AntiChrist.
** [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vlad von Carstein]] tried to conquer the Empire to put an end to the infighting and save it from Chaos. Like many other characters in the setting, how benign his intent was is debatable.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', everyone can be this.
** Canonically, the Scarlet Empress and Chejop Kejak are among the purest examples of this trope: both have killed millions and sacrificed small children because they believed that [[IDidWhatIHadToDo it was the only way to keep Creation from annihilation]]. It's an open question whether there was a better way.
** Also, Abyssal Exalted, fitting in with the whole dark-mirror-of-the-Solars theme. Their signature martial art? Dark Messiah Style.
** And then we have the Malefactor Caste of the Infernals, corrupted Zeniths who serve Cecelyne, the Endless Desert, whose entire gimmick is creating societies based around strict, repressive laws. Her Charm suites allow her servants to create holy lands (by inflicting desolation because deserts are her thing), reap Essence from worshippers more effectively, interact with and feign being an entity of the spirit world, and answer the wishes of their worshipers. The best/worst part? It's implied that her core philosophy-- [[TheSocialDarwinist that all laws are ultimately made to assist the strong in dominating the weak]]-- may, in fact, be ''right''. That's not very reassuring.
* Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Christ's side during the crucifixion with TheSpearOfDestiny. He is patron saint of [[CorruptChurch Lancea Sanctum]], one of the covenants from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem''.
* Nicolas Kerensky, of ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' fame, eventually came to believe that violence was an immutable trait in humanity that could not be eliminated, but could be ''harnessed''. To this end, he created [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy The Clans]]; a society based off MightMakesRight, HonorBeforeReason, and [[TheSocialDarwinist eugenics]] in order to isolate the damage caused by warfare to those who actually fought it. To achieve this, he took absolute power, and when one of the Clans had issues with his ways of running things, he wiped them out and eliminated all records of their existence.
* The Empress in ''TabletopGame/StrikeLegion'' deliberately built herself up as one of these, after concluding that fear was not a solid foundation to rule a galactic empire upon. Though a bit of a transparent {{Expy}} of the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} God-Emperor of Man]], she is still an active ruler, not ending up as a DarkLordOnLifeSupport like he did, and when the love of her worshippers is insufficient to keep the peace and her fleets can't control the unruly, she can always use her RealityWarper abilities to [[PersonOfMassDestruction destroy star systems]] to keep them in line.
* Asmodeus, the ruler of Hell and greatest of the Archdevils, plays this role in Golarion, the setting of TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}. To wit, his church and personal involvement staved off destruction through civil war in the powerful nation of Cheliax. As a result, his church is the official religion, his priests and inquisitors hunt down heresy and proscribed faiths, and his faith and the government are intertwined. The society runs on predation, with the government openly allowing, regulating, and even owning the trade in slaves, gladiatorial combat, the flesh trade, and so on. Devils secretly move through the society, pulling whatever string their lords demand. But Asmodeus' involvement did stop the country from falling apart, and Cheliax remains a WickedCultured powerhouse rather than an anarchic nation torn asunder. Even better, Cheliax views Hell as its servant, not the other way around. The Hell Knights view Hell's order as a thing to emulate as they try to undo the chaos of Golarion, and look to Asmodeus' vision of rulership for guidance. Surprisingly, they are LawfulNeutral, not LawfulEvil, despite their terrifying appearance and open admiration for Hell.
* The Devils in the third edition of ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' fell out of AllLovingHero becoming this perspective - angels in this setting have [[LightIsNotGood standards that are far, far too high]] for what is deserving of love. Lucifer and his ilk objected violently, and now show love to every single thing...to the point where they love things like corruption, disease, and filth ''more'', [[AffablyEvil because those things have no one else]].

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''HellNight'' [[spoiler: this happens to be you. The game's original Japanese title also happens to be this very trope.]]
* Kane of the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries'' is the military and religious leader of the [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters terrorist group]]-turned-[[NGOSuperpower superpower]] Brotherhood of Nod. A [[JokerImmunity seemingly immortal]] genius tactician, brilliant inventor (who patented the first [[GreenRocks Tiberium]]-harvesting technologies) and charismatic speaker, who is also ruthless. His followers certainly regard him as a Messiah who will herald the next phase of mankind's evolution. Also fulfilling the MessianicArchetype, he is betrayed by countless Nod Generals who feel he went too far. By ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianTwilight'', he approaches GDI with a proposition for an alliance in order to save humanity from extinction via Tiberium. Everyone expected him to betray them rather quickly. In the end, [[spoiler: he didn't]]. Turns out, [[spoiler: he's actually an ancient, immortal alien imprisoned on Earth since times immemorial. The ''Tiberium Wars'' and the business with the Scrin was in aid of his ultimate goal: escaping via [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Ascension]]]].
* Dr. Wallace Breen from the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' games. He legitimately believes what he is doing is the only way humanity can survive, from surrendering humanity to the Combine all the way to helping the Combine oppress humanity. The worst part? He may be right.
* [[StrawNihilist Seymour Guado]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is a subversion. He believes that Sin, a giant monster that had been on a destructive rampage for centuries, can never be truly destroyed and the planet should accept death as the only escape from the CrapsackWorld of Spira. As such, he believes that putting the entire populace out of their misery will going to save everyone from pain and sorrow. However, [[BelievingTheirOwnLies he isn't quite as messianic as he thinks he is]] - as proven by how he [[spoiler:massacres the entire [[BeastMan Ronso]] settlement]] and {{smug|Snake}}ly {{giggl|ingVillain}}es [[EvilGloating about it in front of the heroes]] for no reason other than [[ForTheEvulz to piss them off]]. By the end of the game, his SanitySlippage has hit rock bottom: with overblown speeches about how [[AGodAmI he has become an immortal]] [[OmnicidalManiac harbinger of doom]] [[spoiler:that will learn how to control Sin from within]].
* To a certain extent, Count Bleck in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' seems to be one of these, as his plan involves destroying all the current worlds so he can create a better world to replace them afterwards. [[spoiler:In reality, he's an OmnicidalManiac and plans to destroy all worlds and then ''kill himself'', leaving nothing behind.]]
* Maugrim in the original ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights''.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'''s Sylvanas Windrunner seems to generally want to help her people and, presumably, the other races too. She seems much more (positively) emotional (though still very cold) than most other undead and is portrayed about as sympathetically as possible for a character bent on the utter destruction of all her enemies so she can raise them into undeath with her. Oh, and while she seems to have [[TheStarscream a bit of a setback due to Varimathras]], most of her really nasty plagues and poisons are still around whenever she feels like killing everyone. The new Silverpine Forest questline shows her to explicitly support [[spoiler:the raising of new Forsaken using Val'kyr.]] This saves the future of the Forsaken race, [[spoiler:since they have no other means of reproduction.]]
* Kain R. Heinlein of ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' strives to build the ruins of Southtown into an independent utopia. His preferred means of doing so is by culling the weak from the strong through combat, and mercilessly killing the weaklings and parasites in his city.
* Jedah Doma from ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}''. His whole spiel was to save the demon world of Makai from falling into irreparable corruption, and despite being impossibly polite and caring to those he's trying to save, he's willing to sacrifice them all [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans in order to force Makai into a demonic version of the Rapture]].
* Noir from ''VideoGame/LaPucelle Tactics'' hands out minor miracles like they were [=M&M's=] on Halloween, will forcibly stop his own demonic servants when they get overtly destructive, and honestly is attempting to create a paradise for himself and others. But he's willing to do some [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans absolutely horrible things in order to get enough dark energy to make it happen]].
* Gill, the BigBad of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''. Such is his influence and charisma that he was actually able to rebuild the Illuminati. [[CainAndAbel His brother, Urien]], is very unhappy with that, and wants to take leadership of the cult himself.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'':
** Takaya, the [[StrawNihilist Nietzsche Wannabe]] who looks a lot like Jesus (with several {{Fan Nickname}}s because of this), becomes this near the end of the game, becoming an internet cult leader after learning of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt and attempting to encourage everyone else to embrace [[spoiler:The Avatar of Death coming to destroy them all.]]
** According to a scene in FES, [[spoiler:Shuji Ikuski saw himself as one of these.]]
* The Jackal from ''VideoGame/FarCry 2''.
* Guildenstern from ''VideoGame/VagrantStory''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain Caesar]], leader of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Caesar's Legion]], from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. At least, to his subordinates he is. The other factions don't seem to think of him as such.
** Similarly, The Master from the first ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' seems to come off as this to many a Super Mutant.
** And of course, every game can be completed with perfect reputation with every [[GrayandGrayMorality mainly good]] faction and every religious group declaring you the Redeemer, but it's extremely hard to get there without gunning down armies of husbands and wives. The Chosen One is the likeliest fit since s/he's the only one who explicitly sets off on a spiritual quest rather than merely being sent to find something.
* ''Franchise/{{Nasuverse}}'':
** Archer (and the rest of the Counter Guardians) from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Making a long story short, they work as the Earth's Immune System: stored in a timeless pocket dimension, the Earth summons them to prevent incidents that would threaten humanity or itself (like, say, [[Webcomic/EightBitTheater drilling for mana]]). They do this by hunting down and killing/destroying ''everyone'' related to the incident, innocence be damned, and then return to their pocket dimension. Archer is practically the patron saint of this because he recognizes it as the most efficient means of saving people, even if he hates it.
** ''VideoGame/FateExtra CCC'': The BigBad of the game, [[spoiler:Kiara Sesshouin]], hopes to help all of humanity reach enlightenment and save their souls... through a magically induced mass orgy, of all things. They're explicitly identified as having a messiah complex early in the story (long before the player ever gets a hint that they're the main threat). Gilgamesh lumps all would-be saviors into this category, calling messiahs the "worst type of human being imaginable".
* ''VideoGame/{{killer7}}'':
** [[spoiler: Emir Parkreiner, aka Garcian Smith]]. The reasons why are... [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory obscure]].
** Andrei Ulmeyda is a straighter example. [[spoiler: He's using a fragment of a powerful document, and turns out to not be that bad a guy - infecting himself with all the diseases in the world to become a living vaccine. However, [[ICannotSelfTerminate he doesn't succeed against the Heaven's Smile virus]], and [[ShootTheDog that's when you're called in]]...]]
** [[spoiler:The two gods, Kun-Lan and Harman, their agents on earth, Emir Parkreiner and Harman Smith, are all dark messiahs. The gods don't generally care what their agents do as long as they achieve their ends, resorting to murder and enslavement. The real problem is that they work for the East and the West, respectively, and are constantly at war with each other. So whoever wins, someone else loses. This is shown in the ending of the game, which lets you decide, ultimately, if the West will be destroyed, or the East.]]
* The [[strike: mystics]] [[AdaptationDisplacement fiends]] in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' treat Magus this way, going as far as building a monument of him to worship in 1000AD. Magus himself [[NotInThisForYourRevolution doesn't seem to care about his messiah role]], as the only reason he joined the fiends to begin with was to build up enough power to challenge Lavos.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The "noble" Prophets are the leaders of a religion whose goal is to activate the Halos in order to achieve godhood. Actually, the Halos just kill all sentient life in the galaxy.
** Meanwhile, the Gravemind seeks to bring together the galaxy in unity and peace... by having his Flood infect everyone.
** Jul 'Mdama leads a Covenant remnant which seeks the ascendancy of the Sangheili... and the annihilation of all humans.
** [[spoiler:Cortana]] of all people becomes one at the end of ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians''. [[spoiler: Having discovered a way to survive past rampancy, she offers the [=AIs=] of the galaxy a chance to serve her for immortality. They rally to her en masse, beginning her plans of galactic domination, which she believes will bring a new age of peace and prosperity to all.]]
* Both Kain and Raziel of the ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series fit to some degree. At first, Raziel is called "pawn and messiah". Then Kain is accused of having "messianic delusions". Then both are represented as messiahs of two competing races. Then it turns out Raziel is both messiahs and Kain is actually a completely different, higher kind of messiah. I've gone cross-eyed.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
-->'''Harbinger:''' Human, you've changed nothing. Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. That which you know as [[spoiler:Reapers]] are your salvation through destruction.
** A [[AntiHero Renegade]] Shepard can fit this trope as well, due to the ruthless nature which he/she exhibits. Subverted with Saren, who at first seems to be one of these, [[spoiler:but it turns out that he was being [[BrainwashedAndCrazy controlled by Sovereign.]]]]
* {{Implied}} in VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic and VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic with Revan. The Republic was getting hammered by the Mandalorians. The Jedi Council talked a good game about being the Republic's defenders, but didn't want to commit to a war because they suspected the Mandalorians were operating on someone else's orders (and were right), and believed the whole thing a trap. Revan didn't much care about what ''may'' have been behind the Mandalorians when Republic worlds were being slaughtered, so Revan left with best friend Malak, they took a bunch of Jedi with them, and they proceeded to fight the Mandalorians by turning their own tactics against them, sometimes abandoning whole worlds to the slaughter so other targets would be too difficult to strike. The second game goes into more detail - Revan used the [[WeHaveReserves Republic's greater numbers]] to an advantage in multiple feints, leading to victory with a ''very'' high body count, and the war was ended with a planet-busting WMD that wiped out hundreds of thousands of both Mandalorians and Republic troops alike. And this is, technically, ''before'' Revan and Malak became Sith.
* ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}'':
** [[BigBad Sofia Lamb]] certainly styles herself as and believes herself to be this (despite her private atheism). Like any [[EvilMatriarch good]] [[AbusiveParents mother]], she expects her daughter to uphold this standard. [[spoiler: By [[AssimilationPlot fusing with all of Rapture]]'s [[TheLifestream collective memories]] and becoming [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the first Utopian.]] [[AssimilationPlot Sans free will, no less.]]]]
** Both [[RebelLeader Daisy Fitzroy]] and [[TheFundamentalist Father Comstock]] from ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite''. Ironically, they both have a personality cult while being ideological opposites. [[spoiler:Comstock also intends to raise Elizabeth as this, breaking her will through a combination of torturous experimentation and time so that she becomes his heir and reenacts his version of the Final Judgment upon the "Sodom below"]].
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'', Saman, the supposed leader of the German branch of the Order, [[spoiler:is revealed to be the leader of the Templars, a terrorist group that seeks to neutralize all biomodification technology, thus eliminating the power that maintains the rival Illuminati.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'':
** [[spoiler: Anders]]. [[spoiler: He spends much of the game pointing out the injustices the mages suffer at the hands of the templars, such as the beatings and rapes as well as the [[MindRape Rite of Tranquility.]] He's the leader of what he calls the Mage Underground and compares himself to Andraste, the world's Christ and Joan of Arc figure. And at the end of the game, he blows up a church full of people to start a war between the mages and the templars, fully expecting to be martyred for his actions.]] Whether Hawke sees him as a messianic figure or not is up to the player to decide, but [[spoiler: Anders]] certainly fancies himself one. Averted in the Rivalry path -- [[spoiler: Anders will admit that there was nothing messianic at all about his act of mass murder. Rather than a messiah, Anders will see himself as just another monstrous Abomination that needs to be put down.]]
** Hawke. Even if you play as MessianicArchetype, Hawke's choices ultimately serve as the catalyst for the Mage-Templar War, as the Champion of Kirkwall becomes a rallying cry for those wanting to be free of Templar oppression. As Varric's framing story can attest, a lot of good people have died in Hawke's name, while far less know who Hawke ''actually was'' as a person.
* ''VideoGame/ArTonelico2'' has [[spoiler:Infel]], a MadScientist bent on hurling the world headlong into [[AssimilationPlot Sublimation]]. Considering the kind of CrapsackWorld she lives in, it makes her almost {{Justified|Trope}}, especially since [[TheHero Croix and co's]] plans seems to be pipe dreams. She nearly succeed too, ''twice''. [[spoiler:Originally, she was a grade-variety messiah. She led the project to create utopia but then things went extremely wrong, culminating in the death of her wife(?), her RoaringRampageOfRevenge RageAgainstTheHeavens, her [[TranslationTrainWreck hostage-taking/murder/whatever]] of the goddess of the world, and general worsening of the world's state, whose dying condition mandated the utopia project to begin with.]] Her wish for Sublimation is fueled by a desperate sense of responsibility.
* ''VideoGame/SepterraCore'' presents Doskias as this. He truly believes that he is the Saviour of Septerra. Too bad he seems to be more the Destroyer of Septerra.
* By ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'', Albert Wesker essentially became this: Gathered several followers and organized what can only be compared to a cult? Check. Has superhuman powers? Check, although he technically had those since post-''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1''. Believes himself to be God at the very least? Check. Seems to think his actions in spreading Uroboros across the planet Earth in a jet bomber is "saving" the planet? Big fat check!
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSavior'', the parallel realities storyline comes to a head when protagonist Garian must [[spoiler: prevent his own EvilCounterpart from becoming this and bringing ruin to the world.]]
* Micaiah in ''VideoGame/FireEmblem: [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'' slides into this territory later in the game. And keep in mind, '''she's the main character.'''
* In the roguelike ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawlStoneSoup'', if you play a Hill Orc character you can choose to worship Beogh, god of the orcs, whose priests fit this trope to a T. Your character is considered a savior by orcs you come across, some of whom will even join you in your quest. Among your other powers you can even walk on water. All of this has led to the Hill Orc Priest's popular fan nickname "Orc Jesus". That said, the Hill Orc Priest is not a benevolent figure, or at least not to non-orcs; Beogh's stated goal is the extermination and/or enslavement of all non-orcs (as well as "heretic orcs" who refuse to serve him), and he's implied to have ''ripped out an angel's tongue'' for not accepting him as the one true god.
* Big Boss/Naked Snake in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' franchise. After being betrayed by his country a lot and finding out that the only place he feels truly alive is where he fights, he manages to gather similar-minded soldiers, all of them with combination of force and charisma ([[AFatherToHisMen and genuine care for them]]) that they all loyally follow his footsteps to make his dreams of a world where soldiers are always needed come true. [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Even he makes male followers attracted to him too.]]
* Raul Menendez in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2''.
--> '''Harper''': How many followers does Cordis Die have right now? What, a billion people?\\
'''Mason''': Try two billion, who'll never believe their leader's a terrorist. They think Menendez is their savior.
* Tlacolotl from ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' recruits followers from souls who have been horrifically cursed for standing up to the free-will-crushing plans of Namm, the KnightTemplar Elder Power of Law, teaching them to harness their curse to become CursedWithAwesome instead. Too bad they tend to [[DealWithTheDevil learn too late]] that Tlacolotl is a tyrant no better (and quite possibly [[BigBad worse]]!) than Namm.
* Artorius from ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria'' is built up as being TheMessiah in-universe, but it's pretty clear from the start that he is more along the lines of a Dark Messiah, having long given up on humanity and being more than willing to [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill sacrifice everybody's emotions in order to "save" them]]. Throughout the game, the player learns of his DarkAndTroubledPast and even [[TheHeavy how he was manipulated by Melchior]]... who could be seen as TheAntichrist by some.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', deranged PhysicalGod [[BigBad Dagoth Ur]] sees himself as this. In the same way as the [[PlayerCharacter Nerevarine]], who is named the Hortator (a great uniter and war-leader to the Dunmer people) and who is prophesied to "destroy the false gods" of the [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Tribunal]], Dagoth Ur believes this to be his destiny. He seeks to destroy the Tribunal, drive the Empire from Morrowind, and use [[HumongousMecha Akulakhan]] powered by the [[CosmicKeystone Heart of Lorkhan]] to eventually [[EldritchAbomination imprint his own twisted mind]] [[RealityWarper on reality]] (the "Dreamer"). However, according to Vivec (one of the Tribunal deities) in his ''36 Lessons'' book series, Dagoth Ur is the "Sharmat", a "false dreamer". Like the Hortator, they both seek to unite and destroy but the Sharmat is seen as false, the terrorist to the theorist. So Sharmat is often equalized to [[SatanicArchetype "The Devil" or "The Dark One"]], a long lasting and specific enemy.
--> '''The 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 11''': ''"There is no true symbolism of the center. The Sharmat will believe there is. He will feel that he can cause years of exuberance from sitting in the sacred, when really no one can leave that state and cause anything more but strife."''

* Redcloak, who serves as both TheDragon and something of an AntiVillain in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', is the High Priest of The Dark One, the god of all goblinoids who preaches a better world for the AlwaysChaoticEvil Goblin race, who, in the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' themed world, are doomed to the fate of being {{Mooks}} for the "[[DesignatedHero heroes]]" to gain XP from. The Dark One's plans is to use a ritual requiring arcane and divine magic to try and control the Snarl, [[EldritchAbomination a monsterous paradoxical entity]] [[ContinuitySnarl born from the different pantheons' attempting to create the world and their subsequent sqaubbles and contradictions]] and basically coerce the Gods to make things better (as for the Snarl's power, it wiped out the ''entire Eastern Pantheon''.) Although Redcloak preaches a better future, he is a ruthless and brutal individual who [[FantasticRacism despises]] humans (particularly paladins, who [[FreudianExcuse killed his family]]) and once bore racism toward hobgoblins, despite his supposed role as his peoples' savior. He does snap out of the latter to try and improve the lot of all goblinoid races. However, it's clear he has done plenty of atrocities for his ambiions
** Lord Xykon and even Redcloak's brother Right-Eye believe Redcloak is full of it and call out his DarkMessiah routine, but for different reasons. For Xykon, it's because he figures Redcloak uses it as an excuse and hide behind his actions instead of being ''truly'' evil (though EvilCannotComprehendGood should be noted since Xykon does stuff ForTheEvulz.) Right-Eye meanwhile calls out Redcloak for the hypocrisy in trying to be their peoples' savior, but working with a psychopath like Xykon (who slaughters their people for the fun), the fact that Redcloak seemed to never grow past being the angry teen he was when put on the Crimson Mantle, and that he doesn't know what the Goblin people want. The real reason Redcloak is so committed to the Plan is because quitting now would mean that the deaths of all the goblins that occurred in the name of the Plan (many of whom were killed by Xykon for fun) [[spoiler: including Right-Eye whom ''Redcloak'' murdered to protect ''Xykon'']] would have been for nothing. Xykon himself lampshades this in a [[BreakThemByTalking speech that successfully cows Redcloak into being his lackey for a long while.]] This contrasts against Righteye, who after a talk with Horace Greenhilt (Roy's father), abandons his quest for vengeance and actually establishes a villahe for humans and goblins to live peacefully while aging normally. It worked for a while... until Xykon showed up and Redcloak chose sides.
** The Dark One himself was this. Starting out as just an above-average goblin with better stats, e rose to become a warlord to unite many hordes and after a peace talk gone wrong left him killed, their faith in him allowed him to reach apthoesis and become a God. He then found the turth about the goblinoid races and went beyond ''pissed.''
* Baron Wulfenbach, from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. Formerly, the AntiHero [[TheLancer Lancer]] to a pair of traditional messianic types; he was a minor noble who was exiled after an attack by [[BigBad The Other]]. When he returned, he found chaos reigning in Europe. So he conquered everything and became a ruthless dictator to maintain order and peace. [[TheExtremistWasRight And it worked]]. Showcased [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040806 here]].
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' has Veled, the 'Messiah of the [[ChurchOfHappyology Endless]]', who has gone on to become Ziligo's head of the military, although she comes off as more NecessarilyEvil because of her precarious political situation. And now, we know that [[spoiler: she intends to [[http://www.lastres0rt.com/2014/07/believe-it-or-not-what-else-is-there-secret-bonus-comic/ destroy]] the Endless]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': After Gamzee [[spoiler: goes [[AxCrazy sober]]]], he starts believing that [[spoiler: he is both of the Mirthful Messiahs worshipped by his {{Juggalo}} religion.]] Which is somewhat true, considering that he's a descendant of [[spoiler: the Grand Highblood.]] As such, it is now his glorious duty to [[spoiler: [[FantasticRacism subjugglate all the lowbloods]] and paint murals with their blood]].
** As it turns out, he isn't [[spoiler: the Mirthful Messiahs, and never believed he was. Said Messiahs do exist however, and he eventually started serving them]].

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', [[WellIntentionedExtremist Glaurung]] is a very charismatic leader of the Crimson Coalition with great oratory skills. However, her plans of creating an utopia are... [[NecessarilyEvil quite]] [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans unorthodox]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Amon from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' fits this trope. He leads the Equalists, an AntimagicalFaction that wishes to rid the world of [[ElementalPowers bending]], claiming that benders oppress the non-benders of the world (and he's not entirely wrong). His status as a Dark Messiah stems from how he claims to have been chosen by the spirits to replace the Avatar as the world's savior, believing that the Avatar has failed to balance the world as promised.
** VillainHasAPoint, heck, ''several'' points [[spoiler: when the rest of the story starts playing out with the next season]] -- even if what he does with them is highly dodgy. Let alone how he goes about doing what he wants to achieve. It's what makes him a scarily effective version of the trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'':
** The Leader and Ultron claim to be "saving the world" by causing destruction and wanting to kill off the human race.
** The Skrulls use this with [[spoiler:Skrull Captain America]] telling humanity to surrender to the Skrulls.