->''My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.''
-->-- The EvilOverlordList, Rule #3

Rarely seen in the same country as the EvilChancellor and rarely a FinalBoss -- though they can be a significant one -- a good, often beloved ruler or other authority figure has been replaced by a doppelganger of some kind with horribly evil intentions. The FakeKing exploits the country's people and resources to further his nefarious agenda. He often isn't very subtle, but you don't get much in the way of disobedience except from the heroes; everyone else just remarks on how the king is acting funny or has changed. The replacement usually happens before the story starts. It could be seen as the lazy way to become a VillainWithGoodPublicity, or for the EvilTwin to star in a TyrantTakesTheHelm story. Many RolePlayingGames use this setup and the inevitable exposure of the usurper and [[RightfulKingReturns restoration of the real king]] as a rather forgettable FetchQuest. (For some reason, the usurper never takes the advice of the EvilOverlordList item quoted above and resorts to [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing the king]] to really complicate the matter.)

While this specific FakeKing plot is arguably a DeadHorseTrope in console [=RPGs=] by now, the general trope of replacing a good authority figure with an evil one through VoluntaryShapeshifting, [[GrandTheftMe possession]], the existence of an EvilTwin, cloning, illusion magic, or some other form of AppliedPhlebotinum is considerably older and potentially more varied. The key points are that the authority figure is known as a real person and that he or she gets replaced by a look-alike who makes things worse -- a villain disguised as the king.

If a hero stands in for the king, it's EmergencyImpersonation. May overlap with ElCidPloy if the original king is actually dead.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''OnePiece'', Mr. 2 Bon Clay impersonates the king to get everyone in Alabasta to fight. Only one kid notices this, and he's too injured by Baroque Works to tell anyone.
* In TheTwelveKingdoms, Princess Joei takes up the role to usurp Youko's rightful place as the sucessor of her sister Joukaku.
* As eventually revealed, Mashiro in ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', who was passed off as the surviving princess after the attack that killed the King and Queen while the real princess [[spoiler:Nina Wang]] was spirited off elsewhere. Subverted given that she's allowed to remain on the throne anyway and the real princess never attempts to take the throne from her even after learning of her true heritage, and it's implied [[spoiler:that she may be a descendant of the ''original'' Queen of Windbloom, since the two look nearly identical]].
* The head of Telomere replaced Princess Mina Tepes in ''Manga/DanceInTheVampireBund'' after a massive attack on the Bund. This was facilitated by her not only looking and [[TheNoseKnows smelling]] like the VampireMonarch in question but being able to compel those blood-bound to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the ''[[ArchiesSonicTheHedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog]]'' comics, during the "Endgame" StoryArc, [[BigBad Dr. Robotnik]] replaced King Max with a robot double as part of his plan to finally defeat the Freedom Fighters.
* In ''TheWarlord'', Deimos used an IdenticalStranger to usurp Travis Morgan's position as Warlord of Skartaris.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:FanFiction]]

* Invoked in Fanfic/PrincessCelestiaHatesTea. Once she lets slip that she actually doesn't like tea, Twilight comes to the conclusion that Princess Celestia must've been replaced by [[{{Doppelganger}} the Changeling Queen]] and repeatedly attempts to blast her with the [[MacGuffin Elements of Harmony]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

* Many adaptations of ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'' involve an inversion of this plot -- an evil king being replaced by his secret good twin.
* ''{{Dave}}'' centers on an inversion of this plot: a bastard President goes into a coma and a look-alike is asked to stand in for him -- a look-alike who makes a much better president.
* The novel and movie ''ThePrisonerOfZenda'', on which ''{{Dave}}'' was based, also uses an inversion, where the hero impersonates his identical cousin the King of {{Ruritania}} while the latter is imprisoned by TheEvilPrince. He is a much better person and leader than the real king, who is dissolute and incompetent, but he ultimately helps restore the real king to the throne. (Although at several points he debates allowing the villains to kill the real king before foiling their schemes -- but mostly because he's in love with the king's fiancee.)
* ''TheGreatRace'' takes time out from the actual race to send up ''ThePrisonerOfZenda''. The villain, Professor Fate, gets to be the one who looks just like the king-to-be.
* ''TheGreatMouseDetective'' has a fake ''queen'' -- and a relatively obvious one at that. MagnificentBastard Ratigan forces a toymaker to create a robotic copy of the actual Mouse Queen, who -- standing in for the real deal -- will abdicate her throne in favor of Ratigan as the new king.
* Later from {{Disney}}, ''MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' saw Captain Pete of the royal guard pulling a similar stunt, substituting one of his own henchmen for Princess Minnie.
* In ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'', the mad scientist Rotwang replaces leader-of-the-people Maria with a robot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* At least two ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' stories involve this, or at least the idea of doing it. Apparently, Vetinari just has that effect on people.
** There might be just one story where an actual Vetinari impersonation is an important plot point (''Discworld/TheTruth''), and one more (''Discworld/MakingMoney'') where it happens as a more minor element. However, attempted coups of one kind or another have been the villain's goal so often in the series that ''Making Money'' [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this trope by having an entire ward of a mental hospital populated by people suffering from [[NapoleonDelusion Vetinari Delusion]].
* Terry Brooks' MagicKingdomOfLandover novel ''The Black Unicorn'' has this exact plot, but puts a fresh take on it by telling the story from the real king's point-of-view.
* Robert E. Howard's ''ConanTheBarbarian'' story "A Witch Shall Be Born" has Queen Taramis of Khauran replaced by her evil twin sister Salome. Salome treats the kingdom's farmers like slaves and excessively taxes city dwellers.
* OlderThanPrint: There is an old Jewish legend about King Solomon capturing Asmodeus the Demon King. Eventually Asmodeus tricks Solomon into letting him out of the cell -- then impersonates Solomon and exiles him.
* ''King Behind The Veil in Dreamlands'' by Creator/HPLovecraft. You really need to read it, but in short: the proper king was decadent and has shown disrespect to gods and went to openly mock them. He returned, wearing veil forever. In reality he has been replaced by a race of beings, who enforced harsh but reasonably fair laws. The exiles from the society are secretly captured and used for their breeding program (which, CthulhuMythos being what it is, involves mosquito men and semi-sentient grubs).
** That's just the role-playing game, and possibly some professional fanfiction. Lovecraft only implied that the King and his priests were inhuman, but never clarified just what they were, and if they had always been that way.
* The FairyTale "[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/327.htm The Blue Parrot]]" features a kind young king named Lino who has his clothes stolen and given to the dwarf Rabot. Rabot turns himself into Lino and starts acting rudely towards the servants and almost marries Lino's beloved Hermosa. Lino is turned into a parrot.
* In L. Jagi Lamplighter's ProsperosDaughter trilogy, the legend of Solomon and Asmodeus is true. Solomon, near the end of it, took advantage of it to go to Hell and do a lot of damage to them, because they all took him for Asmodeus.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's {{Kull}} story "The Shadow Kingdom", the Snakemen do this.
-->''"Kings have reigned as true men in Valusia," the Pict whispered, "and yet, slain in battle, have died serpents—as died he who fell beneath the spear of Lion- fang on the red beaches when we of the isles harried the Seven Empires. And how can this be. Lord Kull?\\
"These kings were born of women and lived as men!\\
"Thus—the true kings died in secret—as you would have died tonight—and priests of the Serpent reigned in their stead, no man knowing."''''
* A usurpation of this sort (carried out by [[VoluntaryShapeshifting the Metamorphs]], no less) drives the plot of ''Literature/LordValentinesCastle.'' (FridgeLogic: The Metamorphs were the original inhabitants of the planet, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything who were cruelly dispossessed by the invading humans and confined to small areas of their original homelands in a tragic story not even vaguely reminiscent of the history of the American Indians]]. Given that they could impersonate any member of the planet's (decidedly hierarchical and not very democratic) government, you have to wonder why it took them ''fourteen thousand years'' to come up with the plot in the first place.)
* OlderThanFeudalism: In the Armenian folktale ''Literature/AraTheHandsome'', after failing to resurrect Ara with her magic the Queen Semiramis finds a look-alike in her harem to take his place, convincing the public that he'd been resurrected so that the war between Armenia and Assyria can end. Although one should note that this version of the tale mainly became popular after Christianity took hold in the 300's CE, before that the story commonly went that the resurrection was successful.
* One of the plots in the [[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers Man in the Iron Mask]]. The king is replaced by his twin Louis.


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''The King's Demons''.
* Sylar, the villain of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', has attempted to TakeOverTheWorld by assuming the identity of the President of the United States. Twice!

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[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting of D&D King Kaius III of Karrnath is being impersonated by his great-grandfather Kaius I, who also happens to be a vampire.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' novel ''Scars'' has the apparently in hiding prince Fabrizio di Rinaldi hiring a bounty hunter to track down an imposter and bring him in. [[spoiler: But then she finds him and figures out that her quarry is the real thing and her client is the imposter and has a last minute change of heart.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]

* Shows up in the ''Adventures'' arc of {{Bionicle}} where Makuta swaps places with Turaga Dume, ruler of Metru Nui in order to perform a crucial part of his EvilPlan.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''BreathOfFireII'' features a variation on this. [[CloudCuckoolander Tapeta]] is the prince of Fort Nageur; unfortunately, he's shiftless, irresponsible and a hopeless romantic, and he's been abroad for quite some time (much of it spent [[BalefulPolymorph transformed into an even]] ''[[BalefulPolymorph bigger]]'' [[BalefulPolymorph frog]]). By the time he comes back as part of Ryu's party, an impostor has taken his place: said impostor claims that Tapeta is impersonating ''him'' and has him arrested.
** And the kicker? The people of Fort Nageur ''knew'' that Tapeta was the real deal; they just ''didn't care'', on the grounds they were probably better off with the phony.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' combines the FakeKing concept with the EvilChancellor to yield the Fake Chancellor. [[spoiler:Twice. And the second time was explicitly out of revenge for the first time.]]
** Also subverted when the king starts acting like a dick. (More of a dick than usual, anyway). People do comment on his strange behavior... but it's the aforementioned [[spoiler:Fake Chancellor]] trying to throw you off the trail.
* The appropriately named False King in DemonsSouls
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' gives us [[spoiler:a fake]] Overlord Zenon. [[spoiler:The real Zenon is reincarnated as Rozalin.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' loves this trope:
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' did it with the king of Samanao, who'd been replaced by a troll in disguise. The headmistress of Zipangu is actually the Orochi.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'' is another example, except that there isn't a Fake King, but a fake ''[[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Dowager]]''. She pretends to be the mother of the current King of Coburg, and takes complete advantage over him, performing acts such as destroying TheHero's DoomedHometown, recruiting monsters as soldiers, and executing anyone who defies her.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'' pulls a reversal with a fake Demon Lord who turns out to be the king, as opposed to the fake king turning out to be a demon.
** ...and then ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' did it with {{God}}. Yes, that God.
** The ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' series loved this trope too! Probably because you can only battle monsters.
** Again this trope turns up twice in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', the first with a moody girl in Bloomingvile [[spoiler: who happens to a doll affected by a Fygg who is replacing the dead girl.]] The second is with a vizier to the king [[spoiler: who turns out to a Sluggernut from WoodCreek area effected by a Fygg.]]
* The first of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'', begins in a prison where the player learns in a dream that the Emperor is an impostor and the real one is trapped in Oblivion, and must chase all over Tamriel for pieces of the Chaos Staff to defeat him.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' had [[spoiler:Astos]] who was pretending to be a king so he could trick you into getting him the crown from the Marsh Cave.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', we have a fake princess. Who eats rats. And demands sex from TheHero.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', of course, is known for this one. [[spoiler:Unlike in many cases, the real king is ''dead.'']]
* ''JadeEmpire'' plays with this Trope a great deal. [[spoiler:Early on, you are lead to believe that Emperor Sun Hai is somehow being controlled by his sinister adviser, [[TheFaceless Death's Hand]]. Once you reach him, though, you learn that Death's Hand is merely a puppet of Sun Hai, who is still very much in control of his own faculties despite being dead, and must defeat the Emperor... just in time for another villain to actually step out of the shadows and assume control of the Empire, pretending that Sun Hai still rules.]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'' is one of the few that actually has the fake king as the final boss. On the other hand, the actual replacement of the king was a plot point for a change, too...
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages]]'' pulls a similar trick -- the sorceress Veran possesses the titular oracle, and goes back in time to manipulate the queen as an advisor (and later possess her, too). It results in a similar situation to the usual Fake King plot.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' has this with the Goron Leader, who has been possessed by a Fused Shadow. Not quite an example as the other Gorons were wise to the change the moment it happened and sealed him in the Goron Mines.
* In ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' and its remakes, the leader of the floating city of Vane, Lemia Ausa, is replaced by [[TheDragon Xenobia]], a servant of the Magic Emperor. The real Lemia is imprisoned in the dungeon with a [[ManInTheIronMask mask that blocks her memories]].
** The sequel, ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' and ''[[VideoGameRemake Eternal Blue Complete]]'' take it up a level with a fake ''Goddess''. [[spoiler: The real Goddess Althena gave up her mortality and died as a human centuries before the game takes place.]]
* In the first ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' game, this is used. In the fifth game, the BigBad takes the same identity, although not with taking over a throne.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' played with this with the leaders of Sei-an City; the game (and [[NinjaButterfly Issun]]) hint that Queen Himiko is behind the Emperor's illness and the city's curse, when in fact [[spoiler:Ninetails, using the appearance of Priestess Rao (who he killed previously), infected the Emperor and caused him to exhale the evil mist that caused the curse.]]
* ''VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness'' takes this up to eleven: Cipher doesn't just replace the mayor of a city, they systematically ''replace the city's entire population''. Fortunately, the player gets tipped off by a message found in the mayor's office, and by the six members of the GoldfishPoopGang disguising themselves as the same person at the same time.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver''[=/=]''Crystal'' and their remakes (''[=HeartGold=]''/''[=SoulSilver=]'') also used this trope with Goldenrod Radio Tower's Director, being replaced by Team Rocket Executive Petrel in an attempt to get the Johto region to practically worship Team Rocket and Giovanni, it failed thanks to the player of course.
* The plot of ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2: The Shadow and the Flame'': once again, the Prince must SaveThePrincess from BigBad Jaffar, who has magically disguised himself as the Prince.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' used it for the king of a ''republic''.
* Yaridovich in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG: Legend of the Seven Stars'' takes this trope to its logical extreme: He replaced ''everyone in Seaside Town'', fooling exactly no one. Then he procedes to send Mario and Co. into a FetchQuest to recover the [[MacGuffin Star Piece]] curently in possession of [[{{Pirate}} Jonathan]] [[ThreateningShark Jones]] in the [[GangplankGalleon Sunken]] [[DownTheDrain Ship]] and then he just waits for the MacGuffinDeliveryService to arrive.
** It tried it again in Nimbus Land, where Valentina tried to pass off her giant raven henchman Dodo as the missing prince Mallow.
* The Demon Lord Odin from ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' was subject to this in Gwendolyn's story. [[spoiler:He was possessed by his "finest" General, Brigan, after Gwendolyn previously killed him to save Velvet.]] There is no direct comment that he had been acting strange, but the fact that Gwendolyn (his own daughter) was attacked by his guards stands as evidence enough.
* ''The7thSaga'' has an ExcusePlot largely involving this trope.
* Not quite a ''king'', but ''[[SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max]]: Abe Lincoln Must Die!'' features a fake President who turns out to be a hypnosis device (a ''literal'' puppet ruler).
* According to Babelfish translations of [[http://homepage2.nifty.com/ofu/gb/montaku/ the one Japanese fansite]] of the Japan only Game Boy Color game [[spoiler:Kakurenbo Battle Monster Tactics]], it's the explanation of [[spoiler:King Klein's evil look]].
* In ''VideoGame/ShiningTheHolyArk'', the King is being possessed by an evil spirit for apparently no reason pertaining to the plot. Bonus points for ?the king is acting strangely? comments from the villagers and for removing the popular and good Sage/Advisor and replacing him with a scary, hated and clearly evil Witch/Advisor.
* In ''VideoGame/EndlessFrontier'', the heroes don't encounter a FakeKing, but learn that a war between Formido Heim and Elfetale was cause by one of these. King Stahl of Formido Heim had discovered technology to travel to [[AnotherDimension different dimensions]], proceed to make use of it. Unforunately, the first world he visted was inhabited by the Einst, one of the {{Big Bad}}s of the VideoGame/SuperRobotWars games. The Einst presumedly killed him and created an EvilKnockoff in its place. Said knockoff returned to the EndlessFrontier and declared war in order to fulfill the Einst's goals. It wasn't until ten years into the war that leaders of the Orchestra Army, Formido Heim's main force, realized the true nature of their "king". The army rebelled and eliminated the fake, and sued for peace, while not telling the world why the war happened.
* Happens in ''RomancingSaGa: Minstrel Song'', and was working fairly well thanks to the leader in question's rampant {{Lawful Stupid}}ness. While others comment on his strange behavior, only his daughter realizes that he's been replaced and recruits the heroes to help her; seems everyone else was just so ''used'' to him being a {{Jerkass}} with MoralMyopia that his declaring war on an ally just because he doesn't like the way she's protecting her [[CosmicKeystone Fatestone]] didn't seem ''too'' out of character...
* Copy-X, ''VideoGame/MegaManZero's'' BigBad KnightTemplar, replacing ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' as the ruler of Neo Arcadia. Notable that he was created for noble purposes (reflected in his creator), and he ''[[ObliviouslyEvil thinks]]'' [[ObliviouslyEvil that he's doing the right thing...]]
* In ''Alundra 2'', the EvilChancellor Baron Diaz imprisons the king and has him replaced with ''a wooden manikin''. Probably the only reason the population falls for this is because the only people other than the nobles in the resistance who actually see the 'king' work for Diaz.
* Teikun Ō from ''AceAttorneyInvestigations 2''. [[spoiler: The real Teikun was assassinated years ago by a hitman and replaced with a fake. The fake and his comrades planned to then kill the hitman, which led to the BigBad of the game killing the fake to repay the hitman for saving his life as a child.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0253.html Parodied]] in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'': Karn meets a chancellor and immediately defenestrates him, on the GenreSavvy assumption that he's been replaced by a monster. It turns out that was the real chancellor; the monster assigned to replace him was out sick.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]

* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', King [[TheChosenOne Marcus]] is kidnapped and the [[LivingShadow Shadow]] impersonates him to lure [[TheLadette Ax]] into a trap. It also happens to Ax, who has become a Sultana, later on when [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Vaetris]] ambushes her and sends her into the VoidBetweenTheWorlds to her apparent demise, after which she shapeshifts into Ax and assumes her identity in order to manipulate the Alliance and Sultan [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Khalid]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' based on ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'', "The Duck in the Iron Mask".

[[/folder]]
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