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[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/child-powered-ship-350_2966.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The heart of the vessel, so to speak.]]

->'''Dr. Orpheus''': It's [[TropeNamer powered by a FORSAKEN CHILD]]!?\\
'''Dr. Venture''': Might be, kind of -- I mean, I didn't use the whole thing!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', [[http://video.adultswim.com/the-venture-bros/unorthodox-parts.html "Eenie, Meenie, Minie... Magic"]]

A piece of AppliedPhlebotinum that doesn't work unless you pay a really ghastly price... or have someone else pay that price for you.

Can have TheDarkSide effect, as in being willing to [[PowerAtAPrice pay the price]] can make you more evil. May be the result of a [[DealWithTheDevil Deal With The]] ([[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Super-Powerful Alien]]) [[DealWithTheDevil Devil]]. See also BlackMagic and UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans.

May be a form of {{Aesoptinum}}. May use HumanResources or a CapturedSuperEntity as the PowerSource. If done on a wide enough scale, it becomes IndustrializedEvil.

Compare ArtifactOfDoom and MayContainEvil. Contrast PsychoSerum, for which the users themselves generally pay the price. See also MainliningTheMonster, HumanSacrifice, and HorrorHunger. This is a type of LivingBattery. HamsterWheelPower plays it for laughs.

[[noreallife]]

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Subverted in ''Manga/InuYasha'', when Inuyasha obtains the red Tetsusaiga, an ability supposedly obtained by killing the guardian of the demon-bat caves. The guardian turns out to be a small half-demon child, Shiori, being forced to put a barrier around the caves. Inuyasha has to save her but won't kill her, at which she willingly gives him the ability by having him break open the crystal ball that created the barrier.
* ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' has the Saint's Cradle, a massively overpowered CoolStarship that can only power-up when commanded by a direct descendant of the Saint Kings of Ancient Belka. The problem? The last Saint King died over a hundred years ago without any heirs, so their bloodline is effectively extinct. So what is a MadScientist to do? Why, [[spoiler:clone the last Kaiser, infuse said clone (despite her being ''a six year old little girl'', the one pictured above) with a [[LostTechnology Lost]] [[{{Magitek}} Logia]], [[ColdBloodedTorture torture]] her until she is under his complete control, then make her activate the Cradle, despite [[PainfulTransformation how utterly]] ''[[PainfulTransformation painful]]'' [[PainfulTransformation the process is for her]].]] The problem with ''that''? [[spoiler:Little Vivio just had to go and get herself adopted by not one, but ''two'' {{Action Mom}}s. Each of whom is a MagicalGirlWarrior PersonOfMassDestruction. And they are ''[[MamaBear not happy about their adoptive daughter's treatment]]''. And just to add to the fun, their good friend is ''another'' magical PersonOfMassDestruction and is in command of a military unit, and other friends of ''them'' are also very powerful {{Action Girl}}s and {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s.]].
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': [[spoiler: Rip out the souls of pubescent magical girls and make them suffer the [[{{Tragedy}} Tragic]] consequences of their [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wishes]] until their souls shatter and they mutate into reality-warping {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, all to [[TotalitarianUtilitarian stave off the heat death of the universe]]]].
** Basically meaning the trope has been taken UpToEleven [[spoiler: as it means ''the universe is literally powered by the souls of dead children.'']]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', as a child, [[spoiler:Asuna Vesperina Theotanasia Entheofushia]] was an ArtificialHuman used to power the magic-cancelling defense system of Ostia while bound in chains. Later she was also used to power the magic-cancelling spell that would have destroyed the whole Magic World. Thanks to everyone's joint effort at containment, ''only'' the whole of Ostia was destroyed. The resulting mental trauma from being used as the power source to destroy a whole country was probably one of the reasons Nagi and party decided to [[spoiler: wipe her memory and send her to Earth, so she could live a normal life as a schoolgirl named Asuna Kagurazaka]].
** This is subverted in the case of Negi himself. Magia Erebea is literally powered by the body and soul of a forsaken child. The subversion lies in the fact that the child in question is also the (voluntary) user of the technique.
* In ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'', the first generation of the Gola Mosca were powered by Dying Will Flames.
** As shown when Tsuna rips the Gola Mosca attacking Hibari and his friends apart and discovers a person inside of it. The situation is made worse for Tsuna since it was ''his grandfather''', the 9th head of the Vongola family inside of it.
* In ''{{Noein}}'', the only thing protecting La'cryma from the encroachment of Shangri-la is a quantum computer powered by the humans embedded within it.
* In ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' [[TheAbridgedSeries Abridged]], Emperor Donkirk became ruler of Zaibach by inventing a machine like this, one that turns blood into oil. As he put it "Cutting out the middle man"
* ''TheRecordOfAFallenVampire'': The Black Swan parasite inhabits teenage girls to kill the Strauss. If they can't, they are themselves killed by the Black Swan, usually in about 5 years. Also, [[spoiler: the Black Swan itself was made from the souls of Stella and her and Strauss' unborn daughter. Really sad.]]
* In the original ''BlueDrop'' manga, the [[HumanAliens Arume]] use their own children as bomb disposal units. They also use synthetic ones, but the "sacrifice" of the Arume children is more "beautiful" in the Arume's way of thinking--even though the synthetic children are [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman full-blown sentient beings in their own right]].
* Most of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' revolves around figuring out what makes the HumanResources work best, since live human beings are ingredients to creating certain powerful artifacts. It is eventually stated that the Amestrian Alchemy [[spoiler:draws its power from human soul-energy provided by [[BigBad Father]]]] but the Xingese Purification Arts and Xerxes Alchemy are clean. As the series progresses it is revealed that Amestrian Alchemy really does derive from the Earth's energies as originally taught, but [[spoiler:Father keeps a buffer that prevents alchemy's full usage and forces them to draw from the human soul-energy in his PhilosophersStone. This conveniently gives him an "off switch" to every Amestrian's alchemy whenever he needs it. The Xingese were feeling this, by the way]]. More to the point, [[spoiler:the human souls power (''and create'') the Philosopher's Stone]].
** This is different in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]], where it's revealed that [[spoiler:alchemy instead draws its power from the souls of humans from a parallel universe-- ours, in fact]].
* ''GalaxyExpress999'' had the upper class using android bodies, powered by tiny energy cells that were made by harvesting humans.
* In the ''GhostInTheShell'' franchise, it is possible to produce [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot hyper-real androids with all the neurological affectations of a living human]] via electronic "[[MindRape Ghost Dubbing]]". This process drains and kills the original after only a few copies are made, and in the ''Ghost In The Shell'' universe, it is a serious crime punishable by life in prison or getting your [[BrainBleach brain wiped]]; plotlines concerning the process appeared in ''Ghost In The Shell: Innocence'', a few ''Stand Alone Complex'' episodes, and the original manga.
* In ''InnocentVenus'', [[spoiler: artificially created children]] provide the neural systems in the mechas so that they are psychically compatible with the pilots. The memories of the trauma inflicted on them remain in the mechas, making it dangerous for pilots to stay psychically linked to their mechas for too long...
* In ''Anime/KurauPhantomMemory'', human beings are deliberately afflicted with Rynax energy in an attempt to turn them into superweapons. Since Rynax energy consists of [[EnergyBeings sentient beings]], this procedure almost always causes a lot of misery for all involved test subjects.
* In ''{{Mai-HiME}}'', the [[{{Mons}} summon monsters]] controlled by the [=HiME=] tied to the life force of their "most important person" (a family member, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.). If that monster is destroyed in combat, the person dies with it and [[EverythingFades fades into the ether]], also robbing the [=HiME=] of her abilities. [[spoiler:This leaves a possibility that the killed character can be brought back to life, but this doesn't come into play until the very end.]]
** Similarly, in ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', the [[VirginPower Otome]] usually can only use their [[PoweredArmor robes]] after linking themselves to the life of a master.
** Also in ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', [[spoiler: the dead body of Arika's Missing Mom Rena Sayers]] is the Predecessor of the Valkyries. [[spoiler: Whether or not she was brought back to life and is merely in a comatose state is open for debate.]]
* One episode of the MiniSeries ''{{MAPS}}'' featured an orbital laser that was powered by the psychic energy released by hundreds of small animals being brutally killed en masse.
* The titular cyborgs from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' are made from the cybernetically modified cloned flesh of the very beings they're used to fight and [[spoiler:the souls of the mothers of the various pilots]]. And they're piloted by forsaken children, themselves, including [[spoiler: a girl who is one of many clones of one of the aforementioned mothers (Rei), alongside that mother's son and the clone girl's sort-of half-brother (Shinji) and the daughter of another woman driven mad by an Eva-related experiment (Asuka)]]
** Meta-example: Several of the crude images flashed up in End of Evangelion were drawn by abused children. Evangelion is itself powered by a forsaken child. It's that kind of show.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** The lore has it that members of the Uchiha clan can only get the [[DeadlyUpgrade Mangekyo Sharingan]] by killing their best friend. Later events show that [[spoiler:they "only" need the tragic death of a loved one, killed by them or not]]. But once you've done that, the fun really begins: using the Mangekyo Sharingan causes blindness and the only way to restore your vision permanently is to take the eyes of [[WordOfGod someone else who also possesses it, preferably a relative]].
*** Kakashi's own Sharingan, which helped make him one of the most powerful shinobi around, was transplanted from his dying best friend Obito, a death Kakashi blames on himself. Kakashi [[spoiler:and Obito/Tobi]] obtained the Mangekyo at the same time [[spoiler:when Kakashi killed the BrainwashedAndCrazy Rin, the partner whom both of them cared for.]]
** Akatsuki member Kakuzu was able to obtain immortality [[spoiler:by stealing his opponents' hearts.]]
** Fellow Akatsuki member Sasori [[spoiler:makes puppets out of people.]] And he's not the only one, either: [[spoiler: it's a technique that was taught to him by his grandmother Chiyo.]]
** Jugo [[spoiler:can replace injured organs and body parts by absorbing those of other people]]. However, he's a nice enough guy that [[spoiler:he restricts this to [[HumanResources people who are already dead]]]] and even then only in emergencies.
** Impure World Resurrection resurrects one dead person as an undying slave of the technique's user, at the cost of a live person used as a medium.
* ''SoukouNoStrain'' has the evil Deague searching for "samples", i.e. the mysterious alien Emilys. What they are samples ''of'' is [[spoiler: the alien race that was dissected -- ''without anaesthetic'' -- to create the first mimics; the two Emilys in the series are the [[LastOfHisKind last living one]] and the last non-scrapped mimic with a still-living alien brain inside]].
* ''SerialExperimentsLain'' features a scientist who tried to tap the psychic energy of hundreds of children, apparently draining them and leaving them in a deep coma.
** There seemed to be a some sort of explosion caused by an overflow of psychic energy, dissolving the children's bodies, trapping them forever in the Wired. The scientist comments how no matter what he does, bringing them back to real world is impossible.
* In ''{{Vandread}}'', the enemy's planet harvest organs to support themselves on a planet so polluted that they had to convert the entire surface into a giant machine. The enemy has gone as far as to manipulate the cultures of human colonies to cater to the harvest. [[spoiler: The home world, Earth, has declared this necessary for continuation of humanity. All human colonies are just "parts" and are expected to fulfill their "purpose".]]
** The bloody war between men and women in the protagonists' home system exists only to prime sexual dimorphism for the reaping.
** A planet of telepaths have had a strong oral tradition until their vocal cords were stolen. They developed their ability to compensate.
* In ''Anime/{{Witchblade}}'' the I-Weapons are corpses that had a cloneblade stuck on them.
* Orbo, the fluid in ''WitchHunterRobin'' that nullifies witchcraft, is later discovered [[spoiler:as being made out of the drained bodily fluids of the witches everyone thought were being humanely imprisoned. Made especially horrifying, as many of the sometimes-innocent witches, including children, had character development earlier in the series.]]
** There was also a witch whose power allowed him to sacrifice people to heal others. However, he only killed crooks, and eventually himself.
* The Millennium Items in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' are revealed to be created with the souls of 99 slaughtered victims.
** In the original Japanese version, [[spoiler:they were created by literally mixing the flesh, blood, and bones of the victims into the gold used to cast them.]]
** Also, the Duel Monsters used in the show are actually the souls of at least several citizens and soldiers from Ancient Egypt during Pharaoh Atem's rule, if not from billions of people in the anime's past.
* ''RomeoXJuliet'' eventually reveals that Neo Verona's prosperity (and continued existence) is contingent on [[spoiler: the willing sacrifice of the daughters of House Capulet, who become integrated with [[WorldTree Escalus]] and bound to it for eternity. This does not sit well with Juliet's boyfriend Romeo, who fights first Juliet (the SoleSurvivor of the Capulet clan) and then Ophelia (the guardian of Escalus itself) to save her from her cruel fate; in the end, however, Romeo dies right after defeating Ophelia, destroying Escalus in the process. Juliet then saves Neo Verona by turning herself ''into a new Escalus''... but with the implication that the cycle of sacrifice that sustained Neo Verona in the past has finally been broken]].
* ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' has the [[SarcasmMode good Dr. Kurata]], who removes the hearts of digimon in order to transform them into his MechaMooks, the Gizmon. It goes further [[spoiler: [[DespotismJustifiesTheMeans when he starts collecting digimon life energy to resurrect the Demon Lord Belphemon.]]]]
* A quite literal (and disturbing, especially for a kids' show) application of this trope occurred in another Digimon series, ''Anime/DigimonTamers''. The BigBad D-Reaper is a mass of otherworldly energy which intends to slowly consume the entire world. Held captive at its core, though, is [[TheWoobie Juri Katou]], a very young girl [[HeroicBSOD who is in deep despair]] over [[DeadSidekick the death of her best friend and Digimon partner]], which was the final and hardest blow to her [[BreakThecutie after several years]] of [[StepfordSmiler quiet and hidden suffering]] started by her mom's demise. ''The D-Reaper is literally powered by Juri's misery.''
* ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' featured, as a minor plot point in its ocean StoryArc, a group of pirates who use special radar systems made from the brains of dolphins. By the end of the arc the systems are destroyed.
** Before this there was [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/x/man-003.htm the MAN-003 Patulia]], a Mobile Armor that required a Newtype (in this case, [[spoiler: an IllBoy artificial newtype named Caris Nautilus]]) to operate its wired beam cannons. Said newtype was rescued before the machine could consume him.
** Let's not forget how another newtype ([[spoiler: an adult GirlInABox named Lucille Lilliant]]) was sought after to force her lend her massive newtype powers to those who found her [[spoiler: and her capsule]]. The Lorelei arc was focused on the Freeden crew finding said newtype first and saving her. [[spoiler: They succeed, and Lucille is able to peacefully pass away after being 15 years in a forced coma.]]
* All of these devices are predated by ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'''s ''[[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/v/angelhalo.htm Angel Halo]]'', a huge Zanscare fortress that contains [[spoiler: a MASSIVE MindRape machine (basically, a whole fortress with psycommus all over), powered by 20.000 "physickers", all Newtypes who have been placed into capsules and put into constant trance to amplify the powers of a single Newtype (Queen Maria, and later her daughter Shakti); with it, the Zanscare Empire can collectively mindrape ''the whole population of Earth'' if they wish so. (Too bad that Shakti doubled as TheMessiah ''and'' the SpannerInTheWorks. Too bad for ''Zanscare'', that is.)]]
* You think that's bad? Try the Devil Gundum from ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', where it was created to operate at it's strongest if a being that has the power to create life is its core. In other words, a woman. [[spoiler:And unfortunately for Rain, she was the only woman around for the BigBad to engage the final phase of his plan.]]
* Come to think of it... ''every'' single Mobile Suit piloted by a Newtype or an Artificial Newtype can be seen as such, to different degrees. '''Double''' if it's an artificial Newtype, as these people are specifically trained and experimented on to acquire PsychicPowers at huge health and mental cost.
* The last use of this trope is seen in ''GundamAGE'', [[spoiler: where a captured [[BarrierMaiden Yurin L'Ciel]] is strapped into the cockpit of a pink mobile suit and used as an amplifier for Desil's powers. It ends as well as expected.]]
* In the non-canon crossover between ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' and ''SpaceRunawayIdeon'', Neo Zeon planned to use ''seven-year-old Princess Mineva Lao Zabi'' and her Newtype powers to reawaken Ideon. All it did was piss off the mecha and force Amuro Ray and Judau Ashta to save her and put it down.
* ''ProjectARMS''. Pretty much literally. Almost every Egrigori experiment uses a child as the test subject. Most prominent are the [[spoiler:Keith clones which were implanted with the first ARMS, many of which turned into monsters as a result]], the Chapel children who were given drugs while in the womb to make them super smart and work as scientists for the group, various mutant and psychic children taken to be soldiers, and Alice who was on the research team and [[spoiler:whose dying body was bonded to an alien lifeform and became a computer controlling the Egrigori]]. There's also the other ARMS teens, who were specially genetically engineered to be soldiers to take down the Egrigori.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** The magic in the parallel worldcomes from the lives of the people from the normal world.
** It is revealed that the daughter of Gray's teacher, Ur [[spoiler: had too much magic energy in her body, which was making her ill, because of her naturally high level of magic energy she was taken away and experimented on (her mother believed her to be dead, while she believed her mother abandon her.) It's not completely clear whether Ultear was just experimented on or if her magical energy was somehow being used to power the facility)]]
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'' has Number 28 and [[spoiler: the vector tank.]] The less said about how they operate, the better you'll sleep at night.
* In ''{{Bokurano}}'', the energy that fuels the HumongousMecha is [[spoiler: the LifeEnergy of the pilot. Meaning, whoever pilots it to save the world ''will'' die immediately after the fight is over.]]
** Moreover, it's theorized (and strongly implied) that [[spoiler: the younger you are, the more LifeEnergy you have. Which is offered as an explanation for why it's preferable for teenagers and little kids to fight and die in huge terrifying mecha battles, even when they join up with the army, and have access to combat-trained volunteers - it certainly explains why Koyemshi is so adamant into having Kana Ushiro, the youngest of the group at age 10, to pilot it.]] The world of Bokurano is such a nice place, isn't it?
* The Reverse Explosion system in ''Anime/ZeroZeroNineOne'', which is powered up [[spoiler:by the PsychicLink between the mutants in the world, many of them just being children. Mylene, the titular 009-1 agent, decides to go rogue to stop it.]]
* An episode of ''Betterman'' reveals that an "unmanned" mech is actually piloted by another character's "dead" baby brother - now effectively a BrainInAJar. Releasing him [[KilledOffForReal really does kill him]].
* A short film called ''[[{{Kakurenbo}} Hide and Seek]]'' had kids being hunted by demons through an [[GhostTown empty city]], and when they were caught, [[spoiler:they were plugged into a generator just like every other group of children to play the game before them, presumably so the lights would lure more children to come and play.]]
** Its also strongly implied that [[spoiler:the last child will have to [[AndIMustScream "seek" the next group of children.]]]]
* ''RahXephon''. The huge mecha style beings attacking the city are in fact [[spoiler: psychically linked to people within the city. Thus when the being is damaged so is the person they're linked to. ]] There is a rather interesting plot twist in that [[spoiler: a young girl who's in love with the protagonist and whom he swore to protect... turns out to be one of those people and he ends up killing her, ''while believing that he's protecting her''. Cue very unterstandable angst when this happens.]]
* [[http://readordie.wikia.com/wiki/File:Rod04_59.jpg Junior]], from [[RODtheTV Read or Die the TV]] appears first as a mysterious, [[DudeLooksLikeALady effeminate]] child antagonist, working as a [[ChildProdigy secret agent]] for the [[BigBad British Library]] towards their heinous goal. He's lived a lonely life, and is automatically drawn to those that show him kindness. However, after his [[spoiler: HeelFaceTurn]] it becomes apparent that Junior [[spoiler: was kidnapped as a baby from his I-jinn mother ([[Anime/ReadOrDie Nancy]]) and had basically been his entire life to become a vessel for The Gentleman. The process involves having all the old man's information DOWNLOADED into his brain. And ... what's supposed to happen to him? Um, you don't want to know.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Aizen nonchalantly reveals that [[spoiler:he fed his Hogyoku with souls of Hollows and Shinigami alike. He implies this is one of the few ways to awaken it/make it evolve. One of his victims was actually a pre-teen [[ActionGirl Rangiku Matsumoto]], who had a good part of her soul stolen to power it up.]] Also [[spoiler: Hollows like to eat human children or ''hollow children'' as much as anything else.]]
* In the ''Battle of the Planets'' episode 'The Space Beetles', the title mechas were powered by kidnapped children. Making the premise even MORE evil than the ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'' episode it was derived from (which simply used children's destructive instincts to direct the mechas).
** But they still retained the children inside them, making them effective hostages.
** The G-Force: Guardians of Space version had the beetles powered by the destructive impulses -and Gallactor was going to turn the four boys into Brains in Jars to make things 'simpler'.
* In the Manga/SailorMoon Super S movie, Queen Badiane wanted to use all of the children on Earth like this, kidnapping them and putting them on stasis to feed off their dreams.
* Taken as literally as possible in ''SwordOfTheStranger''. The antagonists want to sacrifice Kotaro, an orphaned child, to make their emperor immortal. [[spoiler:They don't quite manage to carry out the sacrifice, of course, so we never find out whether it would have worked. [[{{Squick}} They do, however, paint their entire gigantic altar red with chicken blood as part of the ceremony.]]]]
* In the {{Kikaider}} OVA series, an enormous doomsday device requires Dr. Gill's son to power it.
* Played literally in 2004 horror OVA ''{{Anime/Kakurenbo}}''. [[spoiler: Abducted children are used as a power source for the whole city.]]
* In ''MagicKnightRayearth'', many characters, including the heroines of the story, have come to regard [[spoiler: the Pillar system]] as one.
* Yuui and [[spoiler:Fay]] in ''{{Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle}}'', in an [[Literature/TheOnesWhoWalkAwayFromOmelas Omelas]]-esque fashion. Since the people of their country believe that twins inherently bring misfortune to those around them, it's decided that [[spoiler:the two kids should be sent to the Sinners' Valley, a hellish limbo of sorts,]] so this doesn't happen. It doesn't work.
* Pasifica Cassul in ''{{Anime/ScrappedPrincess}}'' may be considered this seeing as she [[spoiler: was basically a nuke for the Church, she was meant to gather energy her whole life, and then die on her 16th birthday, releasing the energy and defeating God in order to set the world straight. ]]
* In Anime/FatePrototype, the preliminary version of FateStayNight (see below), [[spoiler: when Manaka Sajyou rose to the challenge of fulfilling the Grail's ''real'' purpose of raising [[EldritchAbomination The Beast]], she used her powers [[PsychicAssistedSuicide to force a bunch of local girls to throw themselves alive into the Grail itself]] and power it up. She also killed her father to use him as a sacrifice to the Grail, and would have done the same to her younger sister Ayaka if her Servant Saber didn't rebel himself against her orders and stabbed her to death.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''MagicTheGathering'' has a whole ''color'' of this: Black. One common combo is creature removal (i.e., killing creatures), [[MindRape discard spells]], and the Avatar of Woe, a [[{{BFG}} huge creature]] which costs eight mana (two of which have to be black), but only costs the two black mana if there are a total of ten or more creatures in all graveyards.
** It should also be noted that the whole concept of black mana is sacrifice for selfish, personal gain - even to the point of sacrificing bits of yourself. Perfect example - [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=Necropotence&v=card&s=cname Necropotence]].
*** Years before Necropotence was the Ur-example of self-sacrificing cards: [[http://magiccards.info/un/en/22.html Lich.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the last post-Zero Hour volume of DC's ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'', there was a new galaxy-level faster-than-light spaceship drive introduced by the government of the United Planets. The Legion discovered that the drive power sources were living and sentient beings who had been created by the government via the abduction, torture, and genetic splicing of citizens of two of the United Planets' member worlds - and that being used to power the drives put them through agonizing pain and slowly killed them.
* A MarvelComics crossover storyline had the villainous Secret Empire capture {{mutants}} to drain their greater-than-normal psychic energy to power weapons and vehicles to take over the U.S.
** The events are later revisited in the short prose story "Firm Commitments", [[LowerDeckEpisode told from the point of view]] of a scientist who discovers the immense [[NoConservationOfEnergy thermodynamics-breaking]] potential of Mutant neurons, gets involved with events far greater than himself, and has his life ruined as a result.
* DrDoom permanently sealed his position as truly evil rather than arrogant WellIntentionedExtremist when he tracked down his first love, convinced her he had abandoned his technology and evil ways, then [[spoiler:sacrificed her to demons in order to boost his magic powers as a complement to his genius tech]]. [[spoiler: The demons then gave him a cloak made from her flesh, ''which he wore''.]]
** Well it ''would'' have been permanent had not every writer after these events [[CanonDiscontinuity pretended they never happened]].
* During the ''Messiah War'' X-Men storyline, an alternate future version of Kiden Nixon is used by Stryfe to empower a machine that prevents time-travelling.
* In Elseworlds Finest, there is no Superman or Batman, the most powerful superheroes are their Distaff Counterparts, Supergirl and Batgirl. Batgirl is trying to take down Lex Luthor, and elicits a reluctant Supergirls help. They both travel deep underground Metropolis, trying to find the 'clean fuel source' that Lex Luthor discovered for the city years ago. It turns out that [[spoiler:it's her cousin Kal-El..who never got to grow up, but died as an infant in a jar]] But considering that this is Lex Luthor, are we truly surprised he'd stoop so low?
* The power rings of the death worshipping Black Lantern Corps of ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'' don't rely on emotions like the others. Instead they are powered by killing a lot of people. Killing a person and stealing their heart restores 0.01% power to ''every'' ring in the Corps. So it takes about 10,000 hearts to recharge all the rings to maximum power, minus the power used to steal those hearts of course. And when all the rings are charged to 100%, [[spoiler: [[BigBad Nekron]] [[OhCrap appears]].]]
** Speaking of which, it's common knowledge that the rings of Franchise/{{Green Lantern}}s and other similar corps run on emotions, but the ''LightsOut'' arc revealed the dirty little secret that they're finite power sources. Once those emotions dry up, the universe ends - and this isn't the first time it's happened.
* Blue Mountain, home of the Gliders in ''{{Elfquest}}'', featured doors and ornaments that were maintained and controlled by rock shaper elves. Once free-willed elves, these rock shapers were so deeply sunken into meditation or mental numbness that they were oblivious to all but other Gliders' commands to open or close.
* [[spoiler: Frau Totenkinder]] of ''{{Fables}}'' [[spoiler: sacrificed her own child]] in exchange for her considerable magical powers. In order to keep said powers, [[spoiler: she also has to sacrifice one newborn every year]]. In modern times she has ''supposedly'' stopped [[spoiler: killing infants]] and uses [[spoiler: donated blood from newborn Fables]] instead. It's heavily implied that she also maintains her magic by [[spoiler: working at an ''abortion clinic''.]]
** Actually, some of the text from that part implies she [[spoiler: ''owns'' at least one abortion clinic, and generates power from that. And considering that this is NYC, imagine how many she ends up sacrificing and how much extra power that gives her. Here's a hint - In Queens alone there are almost 20,000 a year, and only 10 places to get them.]]
** [[spoiler:As Frau Totenkinder's encounters with Hansel and Gretel (shown in flashbacks) indicate, in a pinch a child of any age will do. Kay's comments also indicates that Totenkinder sacrifices hundreds, possibly thousands, of children, upon which the old witch says she 'invests her money in perfectly legal ways among the Mundy'.]]
* The ''Comicbook/IronMan'' miniseries ''Hypervelocity'' reveals that the AI used for Life Model Decoys and elsewhere in the Marvel Universe -- such as the VirtualGhost backup of Tony Stark who's the series' protagonist -- was based on horrific human experimentation. The bad guys in the series are the {{Virtual Ghost}}s of some of the test subjects.
* Iron Heights, the horrendous supervillain prison for the enemies of TheFlash, is powered by Fallout, a man who was irradiated and accidentally killed his family. He is so irradiated that he needs to be quarantined so that his energy can be safely released. When the Flash first sees him, the process for powering the prison is extremely painful. He later makes the warden change the system so that Fallout is more comfortable.
** This is oddly similar to ''TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain'', where Flash himself is used to power an entire city by essentially running on a giant hamster wheel all day, every day.
* [[DarkEmpire Emperor Palpatine]] did this to maintain his immortality. To be exact, he dreamt of conquering the entire universe and drawing on the Force from every individual for the sole purpose of keeping himself, and possibly [[HeelFaceTurn Darth!Luke]] alive for all eternity. And yes, [[AllThereInTheManual all Sith are obsessed with immortality]].
* In an obvious shoutout to ''Film/TheMatrix'', the American ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog comic features a new creation by Dr. Eggman/Robotnik after [[UnwillingRoboticisation the Roboticizer]] is rendered obsolete: the Egg Grape Chambers. Eggman captures Mobians in them and uses their life force for power. This slowly drains their memory as well. Left too long, they can be killed, or at the very least left with amnesia of varying degrees.
** The use of someone's life force for energy is also the principle behind the energy weapons and rockets built into Bunnie's robotic limbs. One enemy (the Iron Queen), who usurped control of her robotics, tried to use this to kill her via overexertion.
* In the ''Mystique'' comic, there's a mutant who can control all machines and gets plugged into a giant device that requires her power to run. She's a little girl, of course.
* DC Comics. ''Reign In Hell'' miniseries reveals one of the more feared punishments of hell was becoming a building materials.
* ''{{Incorruptible}}''. The Superman analogue goes quite insane after [[spoiler: a living entity spreads itself by turning kids into skeleton zombies. 'Supes' caused this by negligence]]. Oops.
* In Mark Waid's ''ComicBook/{{Empire}}'', Golgoth [[spoiler: has Endymion(essentially this Universe's Superman) hooked up to a machine that drains his blood and turns it into a hyper-addictive drug]]
* ''GiveMeLiberty'' has secret experiments performed with schizophrenic kids. One of them turns out to be a telepath.
* A plot point in ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' had Deathstroke's team breaking up a drug manufacturing ring that created Bliss, a drug literally made from children. It's later revealed that the reason for Roy Harper's behavior while supposedly on heroin (supposedly in that there was no way a man on heroin would be able to fight like he was) was that Deathstroke was secretly spiking his heroin with samples of Bliss.
* ''Checkmate'': In a story arc involving the SuicideSquad, the team is shown invading a power plant in a Southeast Asian dictatorship. A boy emitting solar power is hooked up to a machine siphoning the energy. They break him out, but leave him in the Mirror Dimension, on orders to make sure he is no longer a threat to American interests.
* In the 2008 ''GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' series, the alien Universal Church of Truth powers its technology with "Belief Engines", generators that draw on the faith of its legion of worshippers. At least one of their starships is shown carrying storage banks full of the faithful, kept in stasis and wired directly into the ship's power systems.
* The ComicBook/{{X-Men}} storyline that introduced the Brood established that the Brood's ships are made of the Acanti, huge alien life forms that float around space. The Brood capture them, lobotomize them and turn them into living vessels powered by pain.
* During the "Home Schooling" arc of ''{{Runaways}}'', when an injured Klara Prast accidentally raises a massive forest around their house, Nico and Karolina struggle to convince Victor and Chase to leave it alone, because they're afraid that the forest might be connected to Klara's own lifeforce, and therefore attacking it might cause her even further injury.
* [[OmnicidalManiac Lord Odion]] of StarWarsKnightErrant abducted every child in his domain, so that he could instill despair in their hearts that, [[spoiler: when harnessed by an [[ArtifactOfDoom ancient Sith artifact,]] would drive every living thing in the galaxy, and possibly the entire universe, [[KillEmAll into a murderous frenzy, leaving him the only person in existance.]]]]
* A story in Heavy Metal Magazine depicted a disparate group of beings infiltrating and fighting their way through a high-tech structure, eventually reaching a computer resembling a huge, sleeping human face. They blasted open a dome on the forehead and remove...a baby. The only text is at the end, over panels of the group waliking in a garden-like setting, in the style of an intelligence report on the destruction of the City of Om, caused by the failure of the central computer system known as The Dreamer, due to the removal of the "human component" known as "The Soul of The Dreamer", who is now "enjoying the ecstasy of life."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* ''FanFic/AeonNatumEngel'' has a Patrone system being both using and used by Special Services sorcerers.
* In FanFic/DivineBlood most of Kodachi Kuno's power comes from [[MindRape eating the minds]] [[CloningBlues of her mass produced daughters]] [[FateWorseThanDeath leaving their identities fragmented]] [[AndIMustScream and their souls chained within hers.]]
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6513824/1/Scapegoat Scapegoat]] is a Ah! My Goddess crossover (wouldn't do to spoil the cross) that explores this concept brilliantly.
* In the FanFic/PonyPOVSeries, [[spoiler:Fluttershy, upon learning how cruel the world can be, finds a source of powerful magic and sets out to turn Equestria into a perfect utopia by siphoning out all vices, sadness and wickedness of the world... using herself as container to hold them. She decides to bear all the evils of Equestria upon her back, and suffer eternally herself just so no one else has to ever suffer anymore. [[OneWingedAngel This also ends up]] [[BodyHorror grotesquely deforming her]]. She even refers to herself as the Forsaken Foal of Omelas.]]
* In ''FanFic/RainbowFactory'', rainbows are made out of [[spoiler: foals who fail their flight exam. Specifically, their ribs are broken, and then they are mutilated in what is essentially a giant meat grinder.]]
** The sequel, ''Pegasus Device'', makes it worse by mentioning that the victims must be fully conscious, because the fear and pain is an integral part of the process.
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': [[spoiler: [[WickedWitch Zemblaini]] sacrificed Horizon -- a two-year-old foal -- in order to use the innocence of his Lifeforce to force open the Gates of Tartarus and release [[SealedEvilInACan Nightmare Moon's army]]. Celestia managed to link his remaining Lifeforce with the Echoes, stablizing him and keeping the Gates sealed. However, he's remained trapped there for the twenty years since, awaiting the day the Elements of Harmony are restored and used to undo the damage. And part of his mind is [[AndIMustScream still aware]]...]]
* When you learn that Dante is the doctor in the AU Anime/FullmetalAlchemist fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5998743/1/Asylum Asylum]], you can tell that this trope will be in effect.... [[spoiler:In this universe, Philosopher's Stones can be fueled by alchemic energy, but you can't get enough unless it's pushed through an alchemically potent human, or 'conduit.' If done in excess, this process will eventually turn the conduit into a SoullessShell.]] Of course, Dante doesn't care much.
* [[FanFic/RainboomsAndRoyalty The Dashverse]] story ''Hot Heads, Cold Hearts and Nerves of Steel'' starts with [[EvilOverlord Sombra's]] minions kidnapping every foal in Ponyville and several other towns. Several chapters later, when said minions confront the Mane Six, they reveal that the reason the foals were taken was so Sombra can sacrifice them to empower himself.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4186278/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Soul-Gems Harry Potter and the Soul Gems]]'' a dark wizard used large diamonds containing the souls of children with special abilities to power the traps which protected the tombs he built for his clients.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'', the entire monster society is powered by the screams of children. Later on, we get introduced to the Scream Extractor, which fits this trope even better by sucking out the screams of a single kidnapped child in order to gain more power. Thankfully it never gets put into mass use, [[spoiler: and in the end the monsters find a better power source - popping out of closets and making kids laugh instead of scream.]]
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' Mother Gothel uses Rapunzel's magical hair, which she inherits from a magic flower, to stay young and beautiful. She does this through tricking Rapunzel into believing Gothel is her real mother and manipulating her into staying in a tower her entire life.
* In ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', boys are turned into donkeys and sold to saltmines, or end up working in circuses, on farms, or are made to pull the wagon that brings ''more'' boys to Pleasure Island.
* The Other Mother in ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'' is sustained by [[spoiler: consuming all the life out of a child's soul.]]
* There's a more mundane/clueless example in ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman''; the town of Blithe's Hollow depends on attracting tourists and selling them things [[BasedOnATrueStory based off of a witch-hanging done three hundred years ago]]. The witch [[spoiler: is revealed to have been an eleven-year-old girl who was killed for being weird.]] It's only incidental that her ghost is sticking around, furious and unable to move on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* According to ''Film/{{Warlock}}'', one of the ingredients of a flying potion is the rendered fat of an unbaptised child. While in modern times there are alternatives that are not fatal to the child, the character is from the 17th century, back when there were no alternatives, and kills the child extracting it. The potion is based on a (supposed) actual witches recipe of the era ("fat of unbaptised brat" even gets a mention in Shakespeare). Likewise the nail in the footprint has a real world source.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Daybreakers}}'', most of the remaining 5% of humanity has become this, as the 95% vampire population needs human blood to survive. People are kept in storage, barely alive, and have their blood drained via tubes to feed the vampires.
* ''Film/{{Arcade}}'' features a video arcade named [[MeaningfulName "Dante's Inferno"]], where a new virtual reality arcade game called, boringly enough, "Arcade" is being tested. If you lose, you're trapped inside the game and die. Turns out the game is PoweredByAForsakenChild.
** The boy was abused and, eventually, killed by his mother. The game designers decide it's a good idea to take a few thousand brain cells from the body and use them in the game.
** Apparently, the game is somehow able to transcend virtual reality and enter RealLife. At first, it can only grab people who are in the arcade booth. Then, the game is ported to consoles, and the game is able to do the same thing in people's homes. At the end of the film, it looks like the boy projects himself on the street, meaning the game is becoming more powerful.
* Film/SoylentGreen [[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled IS PEOPLE!!]]]] Also this trope's UrExample.
* In ''Film/TheMatrix'', we're ''all'' [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Forsaken Children]]. [[spoiler:And we're powering the machines.]]
** In ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'' it also becomes FridgeHorror when you realize this is Humanity's fault as well: The Machines originally ran off mostly solar power until some geniuses created the eternal night to try and shut them down for good. The Machines simply got creative and ironically green in their quest for alternate energy sources.
* In ''Film/Thir13enGhosts'' the ghosts of the title are used to power some sort of demonic machine designed to open "the eye of hell".
* ''Film/MinorityReport'' has a pretty literal version: the Precrime department's method of predicting the future involves three psychics, kept in chemically-induced dream state 24-7 and hooked up to a computer, so that the detectives can piece together visions of murders from their recorded dreams. Where does literal come into it? Well, it turns out that the Precogs are actually the abandoned, mutated offspring of drug addicts. Doubly frightening was the knowledge that one of the creators of the Precrime system was willing to kill the mother of one of the Precogs to ensure that they would ''stay'' Forsaken Children.
* The first ''[[Film/XMen1 X-Men]]'' film has the machine that turns ordinary people into mutants powered by Magneto--but using it weakens the power source (likely killing him if he uses it on full power), so he forcibly has the power-stealing mutant Rogue absorb him and uses her to power the machine.
** In [[http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/X-Men.html the original draft]] for the movie, Magneto actually wanted to use ''Wolverine'' instead as a sort-of living antenna to amplify his powers, apparently due to his Adamantium skeleton.
** And in the second movie, Stryker's mind-control serum is derived from chemicals secreted by the brain of his ''own son,'' Jason; though still alive and still capable of using his impressive [[MasterOfIllusion powers of illusion]], Jason's been given a lobotomy to make him more pliable and is confined to a wheelchair- complete with a shunt in the back of his head used for collecting the fluid.
** And in the third movie, the de-mutantizing serum is made from the brain of a child whose mutation is to cancel out other mutants' powers. So the movies kinda run on this trope.
*** Well the kid in the third movie seemed fine with it isolation aside.
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides'', the ritual for the Fountain of Youth. When Jack finds out that [[BalancingDeathsBooks it requires a human sacrifice]], he immediately finds his desire for the fountain "greatly lessened".
* ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'''s Freddy Krueger's Nightmare powers are Fuelled by Children's fear and their [[YourSoulIsMine Souls]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Steel'', by Carrie Vaughn, the villain crafted a sword by quenching it in the blood of his own daughter.
* Actively defied in-universe in the ''Literature/TheShipWho'' series, which features starships that are run by deformed children encased in electronic "shells" since infancy: Only children born with untreatable disabilities whose quality of life would otherwise be very low are chosen for the process, they receive a pretty good salary and if they earn enough money they have the option of buying out their assigned ship and becoming freelance. (Buy-outs are expensive but attainable, especially given how long shellpeople live.) Most of the "shellpersons" we meet are happy enough with this arrangement; it may not be ideal in some ways, but there are worse alternatives.
* In ''Literature/BlackHouse'' by Creator/StephenKing and Peter Straub, the "Big Combination" is a gigantic city-machine powered by the slave labor of abducted children, and their collective screaming can be heard over the roar of the machinery from miles away.
-->From outside comes the clank of the Big Combination and the screams of the children who march, march, march on their bleeding footsies, running it.
* The Wamphyri in the ''{{Necroscope}}'' series use humans to build their warships, chthuluesque warbeasts, homes, plumbing, etc.
* The {{Utopia}} in UrsulaKLeGuin's short story ''Literature/TheOnesWhoWalkAwayFromOmelas'' is [[spoiler: literally powered by a forsaken child]].
* David Mitchell's ''Literature/CloudAtlas'' contains a sinister example.
* DavidDrake has two separate examples in one book, in ''Cross the Stars'':
** A settlement of Kettleman Bubble houses, which are luxury dwellings that can produce anything the people in it ask for, and use anything organic (but non-human) as raw material. The problem arises because Kettleman was a raving racist bigot who had a ''very narrow'' definition of "human" -- it didn't include ''Italians'', for instance...
** The Alayan space drive, which is based on warping the perception of objective reality in a sentient mind, eventually driving the "fuel" mad and useless.
-->" "Any sentient mind will serve the purpose," said the Alayan. "Any mind with a grasp of reality and the ability to change reality through fantasy, if you will. We direct the fantasies so that they become real . . . and the vessel moves in objective reality through the pressure of the subject's mind. Unfortunately, that mind moves as well, in a psychic dimension from which it cannot be retrieved. We could use ourselves as subjects, but we do not do so while we have minds aboard which are not ours. That is the main value for which we trade."
* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/DarknessSeries'', a high fantasy take on World War II, magic is charged from people's [[LifeEnergy lifeforce]]. This leads to several scenes of soldiers charging their magic wands with their recently dead comrades, and eventually to the [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Germany-equivalent nation]] Algarve to round up Kaunians ([[PeopleOfHairColor people with blonde hair who they are highly prejudiced against]]) for mass killings to give its armies a major magical boost at the proper moment. This leads the USSR equivalent to retaliate by killing criminals and [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope eventually]] just lower class citizens for its attacks, while the Japan equivalent uses volunteers from its armed forces.
* In Mike Carey's ''FelixCastor'' series, the Satanist Church of the Americas, under the command of AntonFanke create [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "sacrifice farms"]] in order to have a regular supply of forsaken children for precisely this purpose.
* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/ADeepnessInTheSky'', the Emergents' society is driven by the Focused; people who have had their brains reconfigured to make them obsessed with a certain subject, making them super-competent at that but unable to function in anything else, putting them in a sort of intellectual slavery. [[spoiler: One of the main characters envisions using this to create the kind of orderly interstellar empire that, due to a lack of FasterThanLightTravel, has always fallen in the past, but in the end, realizes the human cost is too much.]]
* In ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'' by Nick Harkaway, the world has been polluted by "Stuff" which responds unpredictably to human thought. Normal life is only possible in the neighborhood of a pipeline that pumps out the counter-agent, called FOX. The main character eventually learns that FOX is [[spoiler:created by exposing stuff to the minds of people who have certain very specific brain injuries, which almost inevitably lead to their rapid death. The brain injuries are specific enough that the corporation running the pipeline has to abduct people and inflict the injuries themselves in order to insure a sufficient supply of FOX.]]
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books have three:
** Using the blood of a unicorn can keep you alive, but you have to kill a unicorn to get it. This also curses you for life, although the specifics of this curse are never explained; [[OurCentaursAreDifferent Firenze]] simply refers to it as a "half-life, a cursed life". Voldemort only uses it as a stop-gap on the way to his true goal.
** The spell that restores Voldemort to full power requires the bones of his dead father, the flesh of a servant (Wormtail's hand) and the blood of an enemy (Harry).
** Using a Horcrux to [[SoulJar store your soul]] requires murdering someone, and splits your own soul apart, leaving the other part in the Horcrux.
* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' we find out in the last book that the Spectres (intangible soul eating wraiths and the series' {{Eldritch Abomination}}s) are actually made by [[spoiler:using the subtle knife. Much to the horror of of Will who has used the knife countless times since he obtained it]].
** A more direct example from ''The Golden Compass'' was [[ExecutiveMeddling cut from the movie]] version: Lord Asriel was required to [[spoiler:kill a child in order to power the AppliedPhlebotinum (as a death by separating a child from their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent daemon]] unleashes energy on par with nuclear fission), and much to Lyra's horror, the boy happened to be one of her friends. She spends the better part of the ''The Amber Spyglass'' going ToHellAndBack to try to make up for it.]]
*** That scene was still filmed and can be see [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi6javLIDqg on YouTube]]. It gives us the chilling line from Lord Asriel, "The life of one child does not matter. Not when freedom is at stake."
* Similarly, in the Creator/DavidBrin novel ''Literature/KilnPeople'' the BigBad's plan depends on [[spoiler: killing millions of people in a nearby city with bio-weapons, then using the released [[LifeEnergy death energy]] to achieve godhood.]]
* This is also '''one''' of the plots of the TheIlluminatusTrilogy, where many of the aging higher members of the Illuminati intend to become ''transcendentally Illuminated'', that is, immortal disembodied spirit-beings, by [[spoiler: using a carefully-honed piece of rock music played by four of the five Illuminati Primi to reanimate a legion of SS stormtroopers sunk at the bottom of Lake Totenkopf in Bavaria by Hitler - also an Illuminatus - as a secret weapon. The old second world war era Nazi zombie superweapon will be used to kill the thousands of people attending a huge concert, so that the energy released by their slaughter can be absorbed by the illuminati]] and used to achieve immortality. They're stopped when [[spoiler: [[DeusSexMachina Sex awakens the goddess Eris]] whose apple of Discord throws the zombie Nazis into disarray, and they are finished off by the porpoise allies of the Discordian leader]]. Yeah, it's an odd book.
** Being the [[TheChessmaster chessmasters]] that they are, the four Illuminati Primi also have two other backup plans to achieve the same thing, should their primary plan fail: [[spoiler: one involves magically inspiring the creation of, then stealing and releasing a powerful biological weapon known as "Anthrax Leprosy Mu"; the other is intended to trigger a nuclear war between the US, USSR, and PRC by creating a three-way Bay of Pigs-style escalation of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar in a small African nation.]]
* In the ''Nightfall'' novels, the HitmanWithAHeart protagonist and other characters in the universe are some form of metahuman (like the {{mutants}} of the ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}''). Sorcerers in this world gain their powers by murdering these mutants and [[PowersAsPrograms stealing their innate power]], and the magic involved results in the slain being [[AndIMustScream trapped in torture for all eternity]]. Thus, sorcerers are by nature evil in this universe, and the villain of the first novel is an EvilChancellor who has become very powerful by killing a number of metahumans.
* ''Literal'' in TamoraPierce's ''[[TortallUniverse Protector of the Small]]'' series. [[spoiler:The killing devices are powered by the souls of murdered children. The devices are killed by opening the head, which is when a small, white, ghostly form comes out and blows away, sometimes asking for its mother or crying. Sometimes the ''killing device itself'' will ask "Mama?"]]
** [[spoiler: It's said that the mage who makes the devices doesn't ''need'' to use the souls of children. He just likes to.]]
* The science fiction novella [[http://www.davidbrin.com/thor1.html ''Thor Meets Captain America'']], by Creator/DavidBrin, is not about {{Superhero}}es. It proposes that the [[{{Ghostapo}} Nazi death camps were an attempt to practice Necromancy on an industrial scale]], and it is set in an alternate world where it worked; the unprecedented amount of deliberately imposed death and suffering has brought the [[NorseMythology Norse gods]] to reality, [[OhCrap on the Nazi side]]. The invasion of Normandy was completely destroyed and a stalemate ensued. Fortunately for the Allies, the invocation was so authentic that Loki the Ever Contrary defected. The most depressing part is that this still makes more sense than the real version.
** This same theme is used in ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Atrocity Archives]]'', by Creator/CharlesStross. In this case, the Holocaust was part of a SummoningRitual to bring an EldritchAbomination to the aid of the Nazis. In true CosmicHorrorStory style, the thing they were trying to bind to their will was just a teeny, weeny, eensy bit more [[UltimateEvil powerful]] than they had suspected. They were stopped, but a modern day cultist opens a portal to a reality where they succeeded. [[EarthShatteringKaboom Hilarity fails to ensue]].
* The ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' novel ''The Truce at Bakura'' involves a race of aliens who steal sentient minds to operate their weapons.
** Oh, it's much worse than that. The entechment souls both powered and controlled the systems they were hooked up to, leading to [[AndIMustScream unbearable misery as your soul was sucked out to power the guns you were forced to fire.]]
* In ''Venus on the Half-Shell'' by Kilgore Trout (Creator/PhilipJoseFarmer, NOT Creator/KurtVonnegut), the interstellar drive works by painfully draining the LifeEnergy from beings in another universe. The faster you went, the louder the wailing you heard coming from the engines. At the end of the novel, [[spoiler: the last being dies, ending interstellar travel permanently.]]
* In Franchise/TheDarkTower's ''Literature/WolvesOfTheCalla'', it's revealed that the bad guys' captive psychics are being fed a substance to boost their powers. That substance is withdrawn from the brains of kidnapped twin children, one from each pair, leaving them mentally slow, unnaturally big and doomed to die young.
* ''{{Dracula}}'' -- and most other vampires since him -- have to drain the blood, or life force depending on variation, of living people just to survive.
* Lightbringer, Azor Ahai's sword from ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', which the smith tempered by plunging it into the heart of his beloved, killing her horribly.
** Most major magic in the Ice and Fire universe seems to have some element of this: a repeated statement is that "only death can pay for life" when performing blood magic. That includes [[spoiler: draining the life force from unborn children, burning people of "a king's blood" alive, and less deadly examples, such as taking the faces off dead people in order to magically assume their identities.]]
* Employees of ''Literature/ThePiloFamilyCircus'' are paid in bags of mysterious powder that, when melted down and drunk, can grant wishes. It's later revealed that every grain of this powder was once part of a human soul, extracted from the Circus' audience.
* Subverted by Creator/AlastairReynolds in the short story ''Weather''. Conjoiner drives include living, thinking human brains as an integral component, to calculate reaction pathways--but Conjoiners consider this a high honor and an enjoyable experience (so long as the drive's working right.) It's something akin to a challenging video game.
* [[EyelessFace Myrddraal]] swords in the ''[[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'' gain their exceptionally lethal properties from an exceptionally unpleasant process. After being quenched in a black river that would be lethal even to the rock golems that make them, they're finished off with a human soul. They are implied to require regular "topping up."
* In the ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' series, the network is [[spoiler: quite literally powered by a forsaken child. And not the whole thing either. Just his brain and its incredibly strong PsychicPowers.]]
* In ''The Black Wind'', a novel by F. Paul Wilson, the titular "Kuroi Kaze" or "Black Wind," a hideous black cloud that kills all living things, is powered by a child's death. Preferably a "mixed heritage" child (i.e. a child of mixed race.)
* In the {{Myst}} novel ''The Book of D'ni'', the beautiful realm of Terahnee is secretly sustained by the ceaseless labors of millions of mind-numbed slaves, kept out of sight in underground warrens. Atrus is horrified to learn his own innocent request that an entertainment device be run at high speed has killed dozens of men and women, worked to death to power an apparatus he'd assumed was engine-powered.
** More precisely, it was another member of his expedition, Marrim, who made the request.
* In the {{Nightside}}, Forsaken Children are fairly standard-issue sources of power for villains. In ''Nightingale's Lament'', for example, John Taylor discovers that [[spoiler: the Nightside's electrical grid is running off energies from a murdered man's spirit, who'd had solar powers in life. As he'd also been a close friend of John's, Taylor sets the spirit free, blacking out most of the Nightside.]] Passing references to ambulances powered by human pain are used simply ''to set the mood of the neighborhood''.
** In the [[BatmanColdOpen opening sequence]] of ''Just Another Judgement Day'', Dr. Frankenstein uses counterparts from another dimension to provide the local party people with eternal youth through an arrangement similar to Dorian Gray's.
* In TimothyZahn's ''Deadman Switch'', a planetary system is discovered that's full of extremely valuable minerals, but there's a field around it that shuts off FTL travel, so there's no practical way to get in. Unless, as it turns out, you have a freshly dead corpse in the navigator's seat. No, this doesn't cause people to write the place off, don't be silly. They just start using convicted criminals.
** It's slightly more disturbing when you realize the other consequences, like the fact that the initial research team only got there because while investigating the "cloud" their navigator had a fatal heart attack, or and once they figured it out, they had to draw straws for who would die so they could make the return trip.
** Nor is that the only time that's happened, when a ship lost the second criminal they were going to kill to get out. It's also implied that the central government is doing all it can to insure a large and continuous supply of death-penalty convicts, even convicting people who don't deserve it.
* In ''Literature/{{Interworld}}'' by NeilGaiman and Michael Reaves, the ships used by HEX and the Binary to move between worlds is powered by the life essence of captured Walkers. At least in the case of HEX, they first boil away all unnecessary parts, such as your body - ''while keeping you magically alive through the entire process''.
* In ''TheSwordOfTruth'' books, in order to get into the world of the dead and back alive, you had to (minus the incantations): [[spoiler: 1) brainwash a young boy into complete loyalty. 2) Kill him by making him drink molten lead. 3) Cook, mash and eat his brain, heart and testicles. 4) use the boy's spirit to travel there and back again - and woe if the boy's spirit doesn't remain loyal all the way through...]]
* In David Farland's ''Literature/TheRunelords'' series, anyone can acquire magical upgrades to their senses, strength, intelligence, speed and so forth with magical "endowments." The catch? Endowments don't ''create'' ability, they just transfer it from one person to another. So you can have the strength of two men, but in order to provide it there's got to be another man lying in a bed somewhere who's too weak to even raise his own arm because all his strength is being funneled to you. To receive an endowment of wit (intelligence) is to literally convert someone else's brain into an extension of yours. Now consider that nobles often have ''dozens'' of endowments...
* In the ''{{Mithgar}}'' books, a mage literally has to give of their own soul to work their magic, causing them to age dramatically (though they can then go into stasis for extended periods to recover lost youth). [[EvilSorcerer Black Mages]], on the other hand, find this process cumbersome and inconvenient, so they power their magic with ''other people's'' souls, generally wrenched from them through acts of tremendous [[ColdBloodedTorture mental and physical cruelty]]. As this process is implied to become somewhat addictive, there's a reason most Black Mages end up insane.
* In ''Literature/AmericanGods'' we encounter one small Midwestern town with none of the problems of young the folk moving away and aging populace and unemployment, crime, and drugs that plague the region. Wanna know what the town's guardian god has to do to keep [[spoiler: Lakeside]] the "one good town in these parts"? Three guesses, and the first two don't count. [[spoiler: Child sacrifice. Somewhat averting the full trope, none of the townspeople actually knew of this, and considered the missing children to be lost and perished in the woods, or 'winter runanways'. Anyone who figured it out had an unfortunate 'accident' before they could tell. ]]
** Not only that, but hundreds of years ago [[spoiler: Hinzelmann, the town's protective deity, was himself a child sacrifice by and for his tribe. He achieved his godhood by being raised in complete darkness, never knowing light or love, till one night when he was six he was taken out, pierced by swords, and his body smoked over a fire. The sacrifice he extracted for his continued protection of the town was one child every winter.]]
* In Simon R. Green's ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' series, the Darkvoid Device turns out to be one of these... powered by [[spoiler: Giles' own son.]]
* In the Literature/VorkosiganSaga by LoisMcMasterBujold, there is House Bharaputra, a clan/business on the disreputable world of Jackson's Whole. They specialise in cloning and genetic engineering, and most notably provide a rejuvenation program for the very rich: clone them, brainwash the clones so they won't fight it, then transplant the brain of the original into the clone.
* In the GemmaDoyle Trilogy, someone without power of her own can get a warped version of it by performing a sacrifice. This is what [[spoiler: Sarah Rees-Toome/Circe and Mary Dowd/Virginia Doyle]] try unsuccessfully to do to [[spoiler: Carolina]], what [[spoiler: Felicity]] almost does to a deer, and what [[spoiler: Pippa]] does to [[spoiler: Wendy's rabbit, Wendy (unsuccessfully), and Sahira/Mrs. Mc Cleethy]]. This is either part of the reason for her corruption or a result of it.
* In the SecretHistories series by Simon R. Green, specifically in ''The Man With the Golden Torc'', Edwin Drood uncovers his family's greatest secret: [[spoiler: each Drood's magical armor was created through the sacrifice of his or her twin sibling as a baby.]]
* In ''Literature/TheLaundrySeries'' by Creator/CharlesStross, many of the Laundry's weapons are made this way. Standard issue Hands of Glory are sourced from political prisoners in China (they tried using chimpanzees for a while, but there was less bang for the buck and animal rights activists got involved). The construction of the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Violin that Kills Monsters]] required the torture and murder of twelve innocent people. (They investigate the feasibility of making more like it, but "Just owning the necessary supplies probably puts you in breach of the Human Tissues Act of 2004, not to mention a raft of other legislation.") The ritual for binding the HumanoidAbomination codenamed TEAPOT calls for the blood of babies.
** It says a lot about the tone of the Laundry's setting that some ''positive'' examples of this exist. Ungern-Sternberg, for instance, constructed something called the "Wall of Pain" from the undead, crucified bodies of war prisoners [[spoiler: in order to create a quantum-observer effect that would prevent [[EldritchAbomination the Sleeper in the Pyramid on the Dead Plateau]] from rising]].
** All of the above are actually the protagonists' tools. What the bad guys get their powers from...
* In the ''Literature/ChantersOfTremaris'' trilogy, the Palacae of Cobwebs, a beautiful and delicate structure that looks like it's, well, made of cobwebs, is the home of the Emperor of Merithuros and his court. Unbeknownst to its inhabitants, the Palace cannot actually stand and must be continually chanted into being, day and night, by five children, all of which have had their legs broken and never set properly so they are unable to escape.
* This is given chillingly realistic form (if you ignore the economics of it) in ''Literature/NeverLetMeGo'', where the characters are [[CloningBlues clones]] kept to provided [[WalkingTransplant transplant organs]], and are so [[ConditionedToAcceptHorror conditioned]] that [[InternalizedCategorism they don't even think to fight the system]].
* In C.S. Friedman's ''Literature/MagisterTrilogy'', magic is harnessed by making use of one's life force. While normal witches wind up prematurely aging and dying while still relatively young because of this, the Magisters themselves figured out a workaround for it. Simply put, they link themselves to the life force of some complete stranger elsewhere in the world. The mere mortals have no idea that they're being used by the Magisters, believing that people who are linked in such a way are suffering from some horrible disease that even a Magister is not able to cure. Needless to say, fledgling Magisters have been hunted down and killed by their teachers in order to keep that little fact a secret.
* Many forms of BlackMagic in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' rely on torture and death to power them, with the Darkhallow in ''Dead Beat'' being perhaps the most extreme. It involves the sorcerer [[spoiler:killing enormous numbers of people (in this case, the entire population of Chicago) with necromantic energy, then consuming all the ghosts in the area to achieve [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence godlike power]].]]
* The heroine in Lynn Flewelling's ''Tamir Trilogy'' is hidden from a King Herod style massacre of the innocents by a GenderBender spell powered by sacrificing her twin brother at birth, an act of necromancy so horrific it has consequences that last for years and eventually causes all of the witting participants to meet untimely and grisly deaths.
* In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', all magic is powered by breath. Each person has one breath, the loss of which saps creativity, harms the immune system, and can lead to mild depression. People can voluntarily give their breath to others, so poor people often sell theirs to the rich. Most magic takes upwards of 20 breaths to accomplish, and some people have more than several hundred. The "gods" of the series, the Returned, each need to consume one breath per week or they die. The donor is often a child since their breaths are considered better than that of the elderly.
* From ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' by the same author, [[BloodMagic Hemalurgy]], one of the three core magic systems, works on this principle. Its use involves trapping a portion of someone's soul in a metal spike and then sticking the spike into someone else, endowing the recipient with superhuman abilities via the stolen life-force (what, exactly, is transferred depends on the kind of metal the spike is made of and where it's placed on the recipient's body). Oh, and so far as we know, it's not possible to do this without it being fatal to the unfortunate "donor".
* In John D. [=MacDonald's=] ''Ballroom of the Skies'', the galactic government deliberately keeps Earth impoverished and war-torn ... because that [[TheSpartanWay toughens Earthpeople spiritually]] to the point that they make good recruits — to '''''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans run]]''''' the galactic government.
* One ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book has a controller who's discovered a way to avoid returning to the pool every three days. He eats his fellow Yeerks, killing lots of human controllers to get them.
* In DevonMonk's Literature/AllieBeckstrom novel ''Magic on the Storm'', Shame finds the nursery the hardest part of the hospital -- all that life that could be drawn upon. Allie is relieved that [[WouldntHurtAChild he assures her he wouldn't]], because she would fight him over it, and she doesn't want to fight him.
* In the [[Creator/MontagueRhodesJames MR James]] story "Lost Hearts", Mr Abney has cut out the hearts of two homeless children he took in, as a ritual to give himself eternal youth. He plans to do the same to his own orphaned nephew to complete the ritual, but the ghosts of the first two children get to him first.
* In Literature/TheActsOfCaine book ''Heroes Die'', [=Ma'elKoth=] spends the life of his devotees when using combat magic. Unlike most, he is aware of the cost; when he gives Berne a smidgen of that power to use, he reminds the man of the human cost, and he uses this fact against [[spoiler: Pallas Ril]].
* Blood Lotus from ''Stormdancer'', first book of ''Literature/TheLotusWar''. [[spoiler: In order to keep fields from being rendered unusable after two or three years, a fertilizer made of mammilian blood must be used. Now that most forms of animal life have been driven extinct, prisoners of war are used.]]
* Animating the dead in TheWitchWatch requires taking the life force of a human. [[spoiler: Magical healing requires it as well]]
* In Chris Bohjalian's ''The Night Strangers,'' the tincture that adds decades to your life requires [[BloodMagic blood]] from a "traumatized" twin child. [[spoiler: It's not supposed to be HumanSacrifice, but the ritual works out that way both times the users try it.]]

* At the climax of Tad Williams's ''Otherland,'' it is revealed that [[spoiler: the simulated world most of the story takes place in is created by the child of one of the main characters, who is a telepath.]]

* The system of magic in Dave Duncan's "A Man of His Word" series (and the follow-on series "A Handful of Men") [[spoiler: is based on "magic words". The words are not used to cast spells, simply knowing them gives magical power, and each word increases that power - up to four]]. The hero, Rap, at the beginning of the series [[spoiler: knows one magic word; his long and complex True Name, of which "Rap" is an extremely shortened form]]. Partway through the series, it is revealed that [[spoiler: the magic words are the True Names of Fairies]], who are tortured to force them to reveal them [[spoiler: after which they die]]. Rap and his companions also accidentally discover that [[spoiler: if someone who actually knows what his own heart's true desire is meets a fairy, the fairy is compelled to reveal its True Name to hjim - and die]].
* Immortality ritual from {{Repairman Jack}} novel ''The Haunted Air'' requires annual [[HumanSacrifice child sacrifice]] to keep up.
* The process of "artificing" in ''Literature/GloryInTheThunder'' involves taking a human soul and giving it an artificial body. For the less scrupulous practitioners, forsaken children are the easiest souls to come by...
* JohnVarley’s ''Red Thunder'' trilogy: Jubal, the ShrinkingViolet genius ManChild is the only one who can [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve clap his hands]] and create otherwise free energy. He gets a GildedCage that is bigger than most, the whole Falklands.

* The 1973 short story ''The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas'' is about a Utopian society where the people are unrealistically happy and peaceful, however in order to maintain this happiness for all people [[spoiler: a single child must be forced to live in extremely harsh and terrible living conditions, never socializing, learning to talk, or see the sunlight his entire life. All the citizens know about this child, but most chose to keep their happy way of life and pretend he doesn't exist]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]

* ''Series/StargateSG1'' had tretonin, a drug that granted the user perfect health-but had a side effect: the drug destroys the immune system, rendering the user dependent on the drug forever. The SG-1 team, after beginning negotiation for some of the drug, learn that the drug is actually created from the offspring of a Goa'uld queen the Pangarans discovered in a stasis jar. Normally this would not be so bad considering the Goa'uld are the series' BigBad, parasites that force their way into humans' brains and take over their bodies while most likely applying eternal mental torture to the host mind. Unfortunately, much later, after the Tok'ra (the rebel faction of the Goa'uld who were allies with Earth) are brought to help analyze the drug, it is discovered the Goa'uld queen is actually the Tokra's long lost queen (and their last hope of reproducing as their number are dwindling and she was the only known Tok'ra queen). Naturally the Tok'ra object to such treatment of their queen.
** Eventually subverted when, later that season, the Tok'ra are able to synthesize tretonin without the need for live symbiotes.
** Because said Tok'ra queen showed them how before dying.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** One episode featured an immortality drug that required killing people to manufacture it. The Vorlons decide [[YouAreNotReady We Are Not Ready]] for immortality and assassinate its war criminal creator before she is able to pass on the formula.
** The Shadows use living beings, suitably [[MindRape adjusted]], as the control units for their spacecraft. They also use people to grow some of their technology, according to one of the canon novels. It's not stated whether this kills the people on whom the stuff is growing or not, but it's not a pleasant process.
** ''Babylon 5'' also contained the alien healing device, which can cure any wound or illness but only by siphoning life energy away from a healthy being (its creators used it as a means of "just" capital punishment, taking their life to insure somebody else got to keep theirs).
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Doublemeat Palace" leads the viewer to believe Buffy has encountered a ''SoylentGreen''-type situation -- only to move on to a more realistically plausible, but equally strange-feeling twist.
** The Season 8 comics have [[spoiler: Buffy's new bonus powers. Subverted, as she soon finds out her power, like all magic, came from the Seed Of Wonder. As she got closer to it, she bacame more powerful.]]
** The First Slayer herself is essentially a forsaken child forcibly infused with demon energy by magicians. Essentially true of all slayers.
* ''{{Cleopatra 2525}}'''s robotic oppressors of humanity were revealed to be slightly less robotic than believed: They're cyborgs, using brains harvested from human children.
* HBO aired ''Cosmic Slop'', three short supernatural stories hosted by George Clinton. One story was about a fleet of aliens arriving to earth and offering to solve all of the world's current problems. In return for all of the people of African descent who do not pass the 'paper bag test'. Did they get their price? In a heartbeat!
** In the sadly-lost Series/DoctorWho story ''The Savages'', the inhabitants of a technologically-advanced city extended their productivity and lifespans by draining "life force" from the people who lived outside the city. While they admittedly tried not to take enough to kill anybody, it was more because they didn't want to lose their supply than for humanitarian reasons.
** In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Revelation of the Daleks", Dalek creator [[MadScientist Davros]] offers to help solve a galactic famine problem. How convenient that he's set up shop on a cemetery planet...
** In "Remembrance of the Daleks", [[spoiler: a young girl is [[MindRape kidnapped and mind-controlled]] to augment the Supreme Dalek's rational and logical battle computer with human imagination and emotion.]]
** Played with in ''Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead'', [[spoiler: the library's computers are run by a terminally-ill child who was inserted into the mainframe to keep her alive and entertained with every book in the universe. Powered-by, but hardly forsaken.]]
** The [[HiveMind Toclafane]] in ''The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords'', who the Master uses as his personal army of {{Happy Fun Ball}}s, can be considered part of this trope. [[spoiler: Martha Jones pries one of them open and discovers, to her horror, that the Toclafane were created from the final remnants of humanity. Instead of traveling to the fabled Utopia, they end up in the reaches of space, gradually turning on each other, cannibalizing their own bodies, and becoming more childlike.]]
** "The Girl in the Fireplace" has a spaceship that uses stolen body parts from its crew to replace its broken parts.
** The Controller in "Bad Wolf", a WetwareCPU wired into the DeadlyGame space station--although she's an adult when we see her, one of the minor characters explains she was "installed" when she was five years old.
*** She's also the only one who knows about the villain and their evil plan, but she can't say anything about it until a coincidental solar flare cuts her off from their control.
** In "The Beast Below", [[spoiler:the Starship UK is propelled by torturing a SpaceWhale. No, really. And in a "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" parallel, every citizen of Starship UK is told just what their megaship relies on for power at age 16 as part of the "elections." They are then given the choice to Forget or Protest; most choose to Forget via LaserGuidedAmnesia, whereas those who Protest end up food for the Whale.]]
*** Also subverted in that [[spoiler: the SpaceWhale purposefully came to help because it heard the crying children of England and wanted to save them. The humans of course has no way of knowing this and thus captured and tortured the whale to propel the ship, not knowing it would've helped of its own free will.]]
** House, from "The Doctor's Wife". By extension, it's servants Aunt and Uncle.
** There's also the hospital on New Earth that has the cure to every known disease...and it finds these cures by experimenting on human {{Expendable Clone}}s.
** Classic Who, Fourth Doctor, "Warriors' Gate": Rorvik's culture has spaceflight dependent on wiring a time-sensitive slave into the navigation systems and hitting that slave with [[ElectricTorture high voltages]].
* In ''Series/{{Fringe}}'': TimeTravel has the unfortunate consequence of [[HumanResources killing everything and everyone within the immediate vicinity of the destination, dependent on the length traveled]]. [[spoiler:Also, it might just have a [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt similar effect]] to [[MadScientist Wal]][[OmnidisciplinaryScientist ter's]] [[OurWormholesAreDifferent little]] [[AlternateUniverse dimension]] [[YourUniverseOrMine jump.]]]]
** "Walternate" was building some sort of DoomsdayDevice to destroy our universe that he intended to be powered by [[spoiler: his own son]]. [[spoiler: In light of his reluctance to experiment on children with [[AppliedPhlebotinum Cortexiphan]]]], you really begin to wonder [[GrayAndGreyMorality which Walter is the bigger monster]].
* In ''Series/{{Torchwood}}: Children of Earth'', [[spoiler:the Four-Five-Six incorporate prepubescent human children into their physiology, keeping them eternally [[AndIMustScream alive, childlike, and fully aware]], because their bodies produce hormones that act as ''euphoric drugs'' on them.]]
-->"''You mean... you're shooting up on'' '''[[spoiler:children]]?'''"
** The way Torchwood fights back [[spoiler:is literally this trope, they re-route the Four-Five-Six's psychic MindRape wave back at them through a forsaken child. Specifically Jack's grandson Stephen who was the only child near when the solution was discovered with minutes left to save the day. Stephen screamed himself to death.]]
*** And it happens just when you think things [[FromBadToWorse can't get any darker]].
* Almost all the cursed artifacts in ''FridayThe13thTheSeries.''
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', the BigBad of the first season, Sylar, is capable of "acquiring" the superpowers of others through an unshown (until the beginning of season 3) procedure that requires killing them and removing their brains.
** Technically he doesn't have to kill them to do it as he learned in volume 3. However the quickest route to it is studying the brain and (Unless the victim has a healing factor) the process of slicing their head open is shown to be fatal.
*** It's implied in a later volume that he knew even before volume 3 he could absorb powers through empathy. He just liked knowing every little thing about the power, and the life of the person who had it meant little to him.
* Sakurai Yuuto, aka Zeronos in ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' has people around him lose their memories of his future self every time he transforms. When that turns out to be insufficient, then he gets his new Zero Form, which is powered by peoples' memories of his current self (this after nearly disappearing completely after his past self is killed by an Imagin). [[spoiler: In the end, the future Sakurai does disappear completely... leaving the current Yuuto with a different, new future to discover.]]
* The first season of ''{{Lexx}}'', also known as "Tales from a Parallel Universe", was made up of four movies. The second movie, "Eating Pattern", revolved around a junkyard planet where bodies could be made into a highly addictive drug called "Pattern". The title LivingShip also eats planets, occasionally including inhabited ones.
** Let alone growing the Lexx in the first place; prisoners from all over human space (most of whom had only committed fairly minor offences) had their major organs cut out by circular saw (to make robotic drones, apparently?) and the rest of their body was shrinkwrapped and fed to the Lexx. All it has to say on the matter was that "The food was good there".
** And even later, ''[[spoiler: the entire population of the League of 20,000 Planets]]'' received the same treatment; becoming food for [[spoiler: the Gigashadow, the body of the last survivor of the Insect Civilization]].
* The ''{{Otherworld}}'' episode "Paradise Lost" had a immortality drug called Kaloma that was created by draining the life force of human beings.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had another ship trapped in the Delta Quadrant - with an enhanced warp drive that burned alien EnergyBeings to get them home.
* In an episode of ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' entitled "The Fair-Haired Child", the plot involves a grieving couple appealing to an otherworldly force to resurrect their dead son. They in turn, have to feed him ten children. The child shows his um...gratitude to them in a similar way.
* The Attic from ''{{Dollhouse}}'' is first introduced as a classic AndIMustScream scenario. What it actually is, however, is much worse: [[spoiler: It's a super-computer with human brains as processors, where each "component" is [[LotusEaterMachine locked into an infinite loop of their worst nightmare]] in order to keep the brain running at adrenaline-inspired top speed.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'', an eminent neurologist is removing pieces of homeless people's brains in order to cure those he considers more worthy who've suffered brain injuries.
** He gets [[LaserGuidedKarma proper justice in the end]] - he falls off the stairs to his death. Since he's an organ donor, his own brain serves to cure one of his victims.
* In one episode of ''{{Sliders}}'', the characters stumble upon a village with its own FountainOfYouth. Which is the excretions of a gigantic mutant worm...whose primary diet is people.
* An episode of ''TheWorstWitch'' has Sybill turning a torch into a magic lamp that will grant any wish. The catch is however that it'll absorb energy from other things to grant each wish. When it runs out of plants to absorb, it starts to drain the girls and the teachers instead.
* In ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'', President Roslin's cancer is cured by [[spoiler: injecting her with the blood of Helo and Sharon's unborn daughter]]. Thankfully, they don't need all of it.
** The source of the treatment is in fact scheduled to be terminated, but the efficacy of the treatment means that she gets a stay of execution. There's no actual risk from the small amount of blood extracted. It's more a case of Powered By An Unharmed Child.
* An episode of ''FirstWave'' had [[TheChosenOne Cade]] stumble upon a Gua-run hospital, where they were helping some people... by giving them parts from other people's bodies. None of this was altruism, of course, but merely just another experiment.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=929sn1qMCcM ORPHAN TEARS]] by Your Favorite Martian
* The {{Vocaloid}} song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyx6LKtSr6s Kagome, Kagome]] heavily implied this.
* There is a (disputed) theory that the final verses of the children's song "London Bridge is Falling Down" relate to pagan use of human sacrifice during construction of important buildings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* In ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' "The Genocide Machine", it is revealed that in the Library of Kar-Charrat [[spoiler: the Chief Librarion Elgin has captured many of a local aquatic life form and placed them in a wetworks facility so they can be used to download data, a process which destroys their minds.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' has this when you ask what the incredibly Dystopian society is eating. Depending on the version, it's everybody who dies, or everybody who dies who wasn't Blue rank or above. Including children. (Or just bland things like algae and synthetic protein, but even then, [[NoOSHACompliance people accidentally falling into food vats]] is disturbingly common.)
* All Arcane (non-BadassNormal) powers in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' work this way. The setting has it as an explicit rule. The soul involved is inevitably your own.
** Except for [[WhiteMagic Blessed and Shaman powers]], which only require adherence to your religion and (in Shamans' case) proper rites. You still do the sacrifice, but it's voluntary and only involves limiting yourself.
** While not known in ''Deadlands: The Weird West'', it is common knowledge in the Wasted West that [[spoiler:ghostrock is made up of souls, which scream and wail as you burn it.]]
* The game ''TabletopGame/FairyMeat'' (a spin-off from the ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable comic) involves characters eating parts of ''each other'' to regain health.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', Urza collapsed Serra's Realm, killing everyone inside, to activate the powerstone core of the skyship ''Weatherlight''.
** Also from ''Magic'', all colors have some sort of ubercard that's cheap to use but has some drawback. Black, however, is the king of this, with a hideous amount of cards that allow one to do quite a lot of awesome things, but cost you creatures, land, life, cards in hand, cards in graveyard (a viable resource for black, so not something to be sneezed at), or something else (one example makes you lose the game if you don't win by the end of your next turn!). A notable early example: [[http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?&id=135271 Lord of the Pit]], an extremely powerful creature for its cost that requires a sacrifice of one creature per turn or it turns on you.
*** Not to forget that black's ways of regaining life generally involve taking it from others, as per the classic [[http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=Drain%20Life Drain Life]] spell...
*** Nuts to all that. The ultimate archetype is [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=184651 Necropotence]] which allows the player to trade life for more magical power and knowledge (i.e. draw cards). This card was so powerful it has been banned or restricted in most formats.
** During the Invasion block, when Urza led a group of planeswalkers into [[{{Mordor}} Phyrexia]] to destroy it, he powered the bombs he planned to use with the soul of the planeswalker he [[BatmanGambit expected to betray them.]]
*** Justified, since [[FaceHeelTurn he was right.]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** A few creatures such as demiliches can trap souls and fuel spells with these.
** In the TabletopGame/DarkSun setting, use of arcane magic, by default, drains life force from the environment around you, killing plants and leaving the soil infertile for years. Widespread use of such magic led to the world of Athas becoming a desert wasteland. Magic users who embrace this are called Defilers; those who learn to use magic without harming the environment are called Preservers. The respective advantages and drawbacks of Defiling vs. Preserving varies from edition to edition. In second edition, Preservers advanced in power more slowly than Defilers. In fourth edition, Defilers can drain life force from their own allies to empower their magic.
** The creation of permanent enchantments in AD&D2 involved the decrease of the Constitution attribute. The TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms (''Volo's Guide to All Things Magical'') has the 'Blood Link' spell, which allows the vitality of another ''sentient creature'' instead of the caster's own to be sacrificed for ''permanency'' (though this could compromise alignment, like most lifeforce-draining effects). Which also explained how drow and Red Wizards got tons of magic trinkets.
*** Vhaerun grants a spell allowing the caster to drain levels (lifeforce) for use as charges for magic items.
*** Continued in later editions, with slight modifications. In Third Edition, permanent magic item creation requires spending XP. Note that XP and levels in this game represent life-force: many vampires and similar creatures literally drain your levels when they feed.
** TabletopGame/{{Mystara}} has a nuclear reactor of some crashed spaceship that became magical power source, with some training allowing its users to try a divine ascension. Those who fail the attempt are sucked inside and become more fuel. Later, its acidentally ascended original operator made a copy free of other (worse) side effects.
** Too many examples in TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} to mention them all; perhaps the nastiest was Azalin's Doomsday Device, powered by the stolen souls of his murdered enemies and the ''collective life forces of every living thing in Il Aluk'', greatest city in the game setting. Also featured in ''Dance of the Dead'', a Ravenloft novel, in the form of an enchanted riverboat powered by captive fey and magical beasts.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' had the Lifejammer helm, a magical device that allowed ships to travel through space by draining the life energy of creatures placed within it. Death Helm is the same with Charm effect, so the victim who failed a saving throw will fight off attemts to pull them out of this.
** The ''Book of Vile Darkness'' supplement features a foe called the Dread Emperor who uses this trope. He wears special golden armor that has four small children attached to it by lengths of chain. When hurt he can drain life from the children to heal himself. Players wishing to take him down (and who wouldn't?) must find a way to deal with this or risk sacrificing four innocent lives in the process.
*** The book also includes the Soul Eater prestige class, which allows the player to gain strength and abilities by bestowing negative levels on their enemies, essentially draining their life force. The player can eventually take their victim's appearance and all of their abilities if they kill someone this way.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe, the Imperium of Man has the [[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Astronomican Astronomican]], a giant psychic beacon essential for warp travel. Originally powered by the Emperor's immense psychic strength, the device is later powered by the souls of ten thousand psykers (daily) trained for the purpose. The Astronomican's extreme psychic energy requirements cause the psykers' deterioration and death in only a few months. A constant stream of sacrificial psykers is therefore required to power the Astronomican.
** Although at least the psykers who power the Astronomican are trained, and see the giving of their lives as their last and greatest duty. A similar process of soul-draining is used to feed the Emperor, and their compliance is... not so neccessary.
** In the CiaphasCain novels, there is [[ShoutOut a mention of]] "tasty, nutritious [[SoylentGreen Soylens Viridians]]."
** It's also implied that the longevity treatments that allow even PunyHumans with enough wealth or ranking to live for a few centuries are made from children. Even sympathetic and otherwise ''heroic'' characters are known to use them, just to show how [[CrapsackWorld fucked up the setting is]].
*** Depends on which type of juvenat treatment it is: they apparently range from synthetic/cybernetic organ replacements and plastic surgery through to (implied) fetal stem-cell therapies. There is one variant noted in the early fluff which involved cloning a person, [[AppliedPhlebotinum applying some phlebotinum]] to cut-and-paste said person's soul into the clone, then spending a couple of decades (re-)teaching it skills and brainwashing it to think it was the original. Sure, it runs afoul of the Continuity Problem, destroys the soul of an innocent and wasted 20 years back in school, but hey, what with the other treatments out there, this body's good for another 2-3 centuries or so...
** Then there was [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Khornate_Knights an infamous incident]] with "Sororita" brand armor paint. Which became a FanonDiscontinuity on account of one sample of IncorruptiblePurePureness using another this way out of fear of being less than incorruptible jumping the line between "{{grimdark}}" and "[[IdiotPlot retarded]]".
* In addition to preying on humans to sustain themselves, the vampires of ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' can perform diablerie - feeding on their elders to improve their generational status.
** Then again, their elders tend to be homicidal maniacs, stark raving crazy or complete monsters. And of course, every vampire's afraid of the day the Antediluvians, the Elders among elder vampires, are going to rise again, eat every last one of their children and generally be bad for the neighborhood. So, killing older vampires is a "sacrifice" that many younglings are willing to make. As soon as possible.
*** Taking it more literally, in order to cast the Dark Thaumaturgical ritual "Sojourn into Hell" (which opens a gate into Hell itself), you must first [[EvenEvilHasStandards make sure nobody is waiting to set you on fire for even considering it]], and then wash an entire wall with children's blood.
** In ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'', materials like these are called Larvae. They constitute any item which invoked an [[KarmaMeter Obligation roll]] to obtain, and offer increases to efficiency. Earlier editions followed up the section on Larvae with the quote from Doctor Orpheus at the top of the page.
** In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', most supernatural items known as Fetishes (no, not [[FetishFuel that kind]]) are powered by a spirit that's permanently bound into the item. While most werewolves prefer to strike a voluntary bargain with a spirit, others may skip the "voluntary" part...
*** Characters in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' with enough skill in the Spirit sphere could do the same thing and were considerably more likely to substitute coercion or brute force for diplomacy.
** Since ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' (''Masquerade'''s reboot) doesn't have the concept of 'generation', it handles eating other vampires differently: if you chow down on someone more powerful, it boosts the power of your blood, expanding your capabilities. Sufficiently potent vampires, however, end up needing to feed on other vampires to survive.
*** Speaking of ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'', there's a TropeCodifier for this trope in the form of the Belial's Brood faction known as the Mercy Seat. They are based on gnosticism and believe that the world is evil. It is possible to leave this evil world and reach a higher realm of existence, but in order to do so, they must basically damn someone to hell in order to rectify a cosmic imbalance. The more innocent the sacrifice was, the better the chances of leaving this world. Allegedly. The fact that there's a bunch of evidence, both in mechanics and fluff, to back their assertions up is another trope.
** In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', it was possible to extract quintessence (the energy that makes reality ''real'') from the life force of a willing creature. Many mages use their own life force. Some use specially reared livestock. A few villains use specially raised ''children''. (A larger number of villains will attempt to use unwilling sacrifices, but this creates enough "resonance" opposed to the intended effect that it cancels out any potential benefit. They either don't notice, or don't care.)
** The ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' {{Sourcebook}} detailing the [[AncientConspiracy Seers of the Throne]] includes their special servitors. The Myrmidons are fairly standard inborn SuperSoldiers (although they are cursed to have to follow ''any'' command given to them in [[CompellingVoice a certain language]]) and the [[HiveMind Hive-Souled]] are ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. The Grigori (a kind of ghost spy which can sense and follow the connections between people and things) and the Hollow Ones (people who can have their [[FakeMemories personalities rewritten]]) on the other hand are created by wrapping a person in a shroud which tears out their mind and reworks it, and exposing someone to an EldritchAbomination which [[BlankSlate eats the part of their soul which lets them have any semblence of individuality]] (and the personalities they can be given are inevitably temporary), respectively. Neither process can be reversed.
*** And, as in ''Ascension'' before it, a mage can gain {{mana}} from sacrifice. Most sacrifice their life force or their physical capabilities (both eventually get restored), but they can also sacrifice other living creatures. Trouble is, to do so they have to kill the victim - and humans give more mana than animals.
** In ''TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion'', the spirits of the dead -- which would include the characters -- can be boiled down and forged into anything from furniture to money. If that weren't bad enough, the unfortunate victims used to make this "soulsteel" remain conscious, and those who carry soulsteel items can occasionally ''[[AFateWorseThanDeath hear them weeping]]''.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the magical material known as Soulsteel is...well, filled with the aware, agonizing souls of the imprisoned dead (not surprisingly, ''Wraith'' was a big influence on ''Exalted's'' Underworld).
** And Starmetal is made out of the bodies of (usually) minor gods, although in this case the gods in question are not conscious (with one non-painful exception).
** Perhaps the most literal case in the setting is the phylactery-womb, the device that the Yozis use as the staging point and storage device for Infernal Exaltations. Her name used to be Liliun once, and she was [[spoiler: a daughter of the Scarlet Empress, traded over as part of mommy's botched deal for immortality]]. Now she's been twisted and violated in a number of senses, left barely lucid and babbling, just so that she can serve as the perfect receptacle for the Infernal shards.
*** Her Dad, however, has never stopped trying to find her, and when he finally does? Well, the Dad happens to be part of The Realm...and he hired one of the Anathema (A Lunar Exalted, which the Immaculate Faith teaches are evil monsters) to get his daughter out of Hell. He was willing to [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming throw his lot in with creatures he THINKS are insanely evil, who he's fought against his entire life...Just to get his little girl back]]. Betcha' the Ebon Dragon didn't see THAT coming!
** There is also the 'Mephitic Engine of Desolation', a necromantic device that prevents prayers from reaching gods and the heavens. It's created by the ritual torture and sacrifice of five children... Suffice to say, the details are unpleasant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'', the Plasmids are marvels of superscience that give powers from generating electricity, to telekinesis, to shooting swarms of angry wasps from your arm, through genetic engineering far ahead of their time -- or our time. But to obtain ADAM, the AppliedPhlebotinum needed to make new plasmids, sea slugs have to be implanted into little girls -- it must be little girls, for reasons that are never explained.
** At some point shortly before the beginning of the game, a plasmid has been developed that will allow someone to destroy the sea slug from within, yielding a considerably lesser amount of usable ADAM but rendering the girl a normal human being again. [[spoiler:In most cases.]]
* In ''BreathOfFireIV'', TheEmpire has a long range "[[FantasticNuke hex cannon]]" that's powered by torturing people to death, and is more effective if the victim has a strong connection of some sort to the affected region. [[spoiler: When Fou-Lou proves virtually unkillable by all other means, his girlfriend Mami is used to power the cannon, with the shot centered directly on him. [[PhysicalGod He survives]], [[LaughingMad but he's not exactly sane afterwards]].]]
* In most versions of ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', dwarves will occasionally enter a "Fell Mood" - leading them to kill a nearby dwarf, process his carcass in the nearest Butcher's Shop, and turn it into an artifact. This being VideoGame/DwarfFortress, nine times out of ten it's something like a dwarf-bone scepter decorated with an image of a dwarf-bone scepter in dwarf leather.
** ... adorned with hanging rings of dwarf bone and menacing with spikes of dwarf bone.
** Also, this being VideoGame/DwarfFortress, the other dwarfs don't freak out when one of their number starts murdering people. It's more a case of "Hey, what a neat scepter!"
*** To the point where tons of engravings, sewn images, et al. will be made to ''celebrate the creation of this fine dwarf bone scepter.'' Again, this being VideoGame/DwarfFortress...
* Heroic spirits in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' agree to fight in the Grail Wars because they believe it will grant them a wish, usually to let them live a second life or fix a past mistake. However, [[spoiler:a defeated Servant is actually drawn into the Grail where it is turned into pure magical energy, and the 'winning' Servant that touches the Grail is ''also'' subject to this. This is what powers the Grail. Only the last remaining Master really gets a wish.]] However, very few of the main characters actually know this while competing, possibly only [[MacguffinGirl Ilya]] and Zouken Matou.
** [[spoiler:All the Servants participating in the holy grail wars, except [[KingArthur Arthuria]], are actually spiritual 'copies' created from the immortal concept of the hero, which exists beyond time and will remain inviolate no matter what happens to the copies. The same hero can therefore potentially participate in any number of Grail Wars, as it's only the copy that's absorbed. It's still pretty ghastly, though; copies or no, they're still sentient beings.]]
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh and Kotomine]] have another (and very literal) use of this trope going straight into horror, no questions asked. [[spoiler:Shirou wasn't the only survivor of the fire ten years ago - all the other orphaned children have been imprisoned in the basement of Kotomine's church for the last ten years, [[AndIMustScream unable to move, deprived of all their senses, being kept alive only by the barest thread and only barely recognizable as human]] so that Gilgamesh may take mana from them.]]
*** Doubly ghastly when you consider that the spoilered part must be the fate of Miyu Edelfelt [[spoiler:Emiya]] in any universe except the one in the spin-off Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'''s Dark Knight Cecil and the Fake King have a few shadows of this. The former's Dark Knight Armor is aparently powered by Cecil's own Spirit (it actually reduces the stat), while the King's ''first mission'' is to destroy a town to gain power.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'''s Job Crystals are a subversion. They ''do'' contain the souls of the Light Warriors who first defeated Enuo, but they willingly grant the heroes their power so they can stop Exdeath.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'''s {{Magitek}} and Magitek Knights come from draining a still-living Esper, and siphoning its power into weaponry and human soldiers such as [[PsychoPrototype Kefka]] and [[HeelFaceTurn Celes]]. The very [[GreenRocks Magicite]] that the player characters can equip and use in order to [[PowersAsPrograms learn magic and enhance their skills]] is actually the crystallized remains of a dead Esper -- to the point that many living Espers [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled deliberately reduce themselves to Magicite]] either to strike back at TheEmpire or to assist the party members, but the latter never show any regret for using the crystals.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'''s World of Ruin is created by 3 statues sacrificing, well, everything.
* VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII has this on a global scale. Mako Energy is powered by the life of the planet, or the latent life force that is currently cycling around waiting to be reborn.
** In a similar vein, and with a similar refusal to stop using the PoweredByAForsakenChild AppliedPhlebotinum, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', [[spoiler:it turns out that Guardian Forces actually carve out a space in their hosts' heads for themselves, destroying memories in the process.]]
*** Additionally, the final Guardian Force, Eden, has an ability called Devour, which enables Eden's host to eat his or her opponent in order to gain various benefits from HP to stat increases - although depending on the opponent, the effect could be negative instead. Either way, the game cheerfully acknowledges the rather {{Squick}}y implications of this: the animation for the ability involves cutting to a [[RelaxOVision screenshot of a serene landscape,]] over which is played the very loud, messy slurping and smacking noises of the target being messily eaten. [[EvilLaugh Bwahahaha.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has Quina the Blue Mage. To learn blue magic spells, s/he has to ''eat'' the enemy. His/her weapon? An oversized fork. Additionally, the fuel everybody uses to power airships, Mist, is made of souls barred from the afterlife, but it's never made quite clear whether they're actually consumed in the process.
* Each summonable creature in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is powered by a different Fayth, [[spoiler:a person willingly [[AndIMustScream entombed in crystal]] specifically for that purpose.]] Look at the lovingly rendered [[spoiler:temple wall decorations incorporating the body of the sacrificed Summoner.]] [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ffx-fayth_Bahamut.jpg They're]] [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Faythanima.jpg really]] [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Magussisters_fayth_ff10.jpg quite]] [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ffx-fayth_shiva.jpg lovely]]. [[spoiler:You don't even notice the protruding parts of the entombed human body unless you look closely!]] Somebody put real care and artistic vision into those, which is morbid beyond belief when looked at in this context.
** The Fayth are on call for the summoners at all times; [[spoiler:whether they're pulled from their slumber every time a summoner needs help, or deprived of rest completely like those on Mt. Gagazet, it sounds like a pretty miserable way to pass the centuries.]]
*** [[spoiler: ''The entire game'' is the Fayths' GambitRoulette to free themselves.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX-2'''s Dresspheres are created from memories of past people, in fact Yuna being overcome by the memory of the Songstress Sphere is a major plot point. Now keep in mind there are about 40 of these dressspheres, most of them created by Shinra 'during' gameplay.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'', [[MegaManning learning blue magic]] involves "absorbing" the "essences" of monsters. [[NeverSayDie Translate the euphemisms yourself.]] Furthermore, it's dangerous to do this, as a blue mage grows gradually less human as they gain more spells. It's implied that any character who actually ''does'' pursue the path of blue magic is amoral and ambitious. [[spoiler:It is revealed that at the end of their life they transform into [[EldritchAbomination soulflayers]]. ]]
** Now consider the fact that likely ninety percent of the Player Characters have unlocked Blue Mage as a job class. Now consider that roughly half of those have likely spent any amount of time leveling it.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', [[spoiler: the fal'Cie [[MeaningfulName Orphan]] powers the entirety of Cocoon, especially the antigravity tech that keeps it from falling onto Pulse]]. Of course, this gets more complicated when you find out that [[spoiler: most of the game has been [[EvilPlan orchestrated]] by Barthandelus (possibly under Orphan's influence, depending on interpretation) just to get you to kill Orphan, destroying Cocoon and killing millions of people in the hope that the Maker will return to the humans and fal'Cie alike, who are seen as having been forsaken by him]].
** Wasn't the entire point that [[spoiler:the Fal'cie of both cocoon and Pulse were working together, pretty much raising the cocoon population for the mass sacrifice, and that the entire plot is them trying to do it again since the chosen pulse L'cie didn't do the job 400 years previous?]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'' and it's [[SwordOfMana remake]] the [[WorldTree Mana Tree]] that sustains the world will grant it's power to the first person who touches it and then die. The only way to save the balance of nature is for a woman of the Mana tribe to become a new tree in it's place, a fate that befell [[spoiler: the heroine's mother and eventually the heroine herself.]]
* This appears pretty often in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic V''. The Necropolis Town has a building that can convert living units into Undead. There's an adventure map building where a Hero can sacrifice units in exchange for experience. The Demon Lord Heroes' "Consume Corpse" ability removes dead creature stacks from the battlefield to replenish mana. The Stronghold faction introduced in ''Tribes of the East'' ''owns'' this trope though. First, there's the "Slave Market" town building that lets you sell units for resources (ironic, given the Orcs' history as oppressed slaves). The Wyvern Upgrade, the Pao-kai, can consume dead creature stacks to heal and ''revive'' their own numbers. Their strongest unit, the Cyclops, can use Goblins (the weakest unit) as food and ''ammunition'', making the poor saps ''literal'' cannon fodder. The Shaman upgrades, the Sky and Earth Daughters, are both able to sacrifice Goblins to replenish their own mana. In fact, this is the only way the Sky Daughter can use her [[ShockAndAwe "Chain Lightning" ability]] since she doesn't start battle with enough mana to use it. Her in-game creature description ends with this little gem: "Because of this, they are greatly feared by their opponents - and by Goblins". Not to mention that the Cyclop's description mentions that the Orcs bought the Cyclops' allegiance by offering them their favorite food: Goblins. Yeah, Goblins are pretty much the Stronghold's {{Buttmonkey}}s.
* In ''{{Neopets}}'', Caption Contest #214 featured [[http://www.neopets.com/games/caption/caption_archive.phtml?place=214 this alarming image]]. Knowing TNT, though, it's probably a joke.
* The manual for the RTS ''{{Earth 2150}}: The Moon Project'' contains several essays to bring the player up to date with the plot. One of the more memorable ones is a request for asylum from a disillusioned soldier formerly of the United Civilized States military forces, describing how the cyborg battalions of the last war disappeared only just prior to the invention of a portable AI module, large enough to store a human brain and a few electronics, that also has a very large warning stating the type of execution awaiting anyone who opens it. In another essay this is alluded to, as well as praising the soldier for anticipating the turn of events and defecting.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'', your armor and weapons are forged with fires fueled by the deaths of your minions, [[WeHaveReserves not that you care.]]
* In ''PlanescapeTorment'', [[spoiler:the Nameless One's immortality is fueled by other people's lives. To be more specific, whenever he gets killed, the force keeping him alive casts about the Planes, steals someone's life force, and forces it onto the Nameless One]]. Naturally, the people this happens to aren't terribly happy about it: [[spoiler:they compose the [[LivingShadow monstrous shadows]] that stalk you through the game]].
* In the ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' expansion ''Mask of the Betrayer'' the player is afflicted with a curse that makes him or her hunger for spirits, and able to choose to increase his or her power by eating said spirits. In addition to being obviously morally questionable, spirit-eating on a regular basis also has the downside of increasing the player's hunger to the point that he or she requires multiple spirits per day just to keep from dying.
* Obsidian is REALLY fond of this one, it seems. In the second ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', the Jedi Masters explicitly state that the Exile is a "Wound in the Force," and not truly connected to it. Due to your connection to the Force being severed and your powers stripped, throughout your whole adventure, you siphon the Force energy from those you kill and ''your own party members'' (most of whom are Force-Sensitive and all of whom are in some sense bound to you) to stay alive, become stronger and use your Force powers.
* In ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'', the main character eventually gains the ability to use a miracle healing fluid called Stroyent... which is created by using a bizarre cyborg monster to process liquefied human bodies. Indications in both this game and predecessor ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' are that the humans are usually alive when they're liquefied -- fortunately, the liquefaction process, although gruesome, does seem to kill them.
** It also shows up in ''VideoGame/EnemyTerritoryQuakeWars'' as a dual health/ammo pickup for the Strogg team, and destroying a processing plant for it is the GDF objective for one stage, but its origins aren't directly addressed in that game.
** Though it is part of the advertising campaign for ''Quake Wars''. In spite of its Soylent origins, the advert that features it is rather hilarious.
** You also see dismembered humans powering certain devices around the Strogg factories, as well as one powering [[spoiler:the Makron]], and they are also ''alive'' and at times trying to escape. Most of them appear to be heavily drugged, a state in which they're probably better off.
* ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilGunSurvivor ResidentEvil: Survivor]]'' reveals that the process used to create Tyrants (one of the toughest enemies in the game) involves [[spoiler: removing the pituitary glands from the brains of teenage boys after first producing a massive quantity of a chemical created by fear. The "improvement" Umbrella comes up with is to perform the surgery without anesthetic.]]
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei: VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga,'' in a rather disturbing version. Your characters (and, by extension, your enemies, who have the same power) get stronger by ''[[ImAHumanitarian eating other people]]''. Which they do. With frequency and sometimes gusto. Other demons, to be more exact. Killing humans actually gives you no Atma and you can't use Hunt skills on them either. It's definitely as per the above as far as the backstory is concerned, though. In the main franchise, there are several examples of farming of a substance needed to soothe demonic hunger, called variably Magatsuhi, Magnetite, or Red Pills, which is just as variably identified [[spoiler:as a distilled, concentrated form of human souls, emotions or neurotransmitters. It's perfectly possible for a single human to generate enough to sustain a small team, but larger operations like the Nightmare System or Reverse Hills require ''massive'' PeopleFarms.]]
* In ''StarControl'', the ships of the sinister Druuge can restore their energy meters faster by tossing members of their crew into the ship's furnace.
** Their entire culture revolves around this. They consist of just one company, the Crimson Corporation, which owns everything. So any Druuge that transgresses is fired, which immediately leads to them being guilty of stealing Corporation resources (such as air), at which point they feed the furnaces. The creators of the game are quite proud of this little bit of nastiness.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 2]]'', a [[ManEatingPlant Cowplant's]] milk can grant the drinker an extra five days of life, at the price of one human life a pop. Sims can roll wants to "drink" their enemies.
** VideoGameCrueltyPotential if there has ever been any. If you want to be especially evil you can feed your entire neighbourhood to the Cowplant, making your own Sim immortal by eating the souls of children, so to speak.
* In the doujin game Sora, Starbreaker has to tie herself to a satellite in order to [[ColonyDrop attack the earth]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarFlight'', it is revealed that [[spoiler:the fuel used to travel in hyperspace is actually the long 'lost' ancients. Even more, the mysterious crystal planet that is the big threat of the series is actually a defense system constructed by the ancients to fight the mysterious and horrible monsters that are kidnapping their people and burning them alive to power their star ships.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' features Exspheres, a form of {{Magitek}} symbiote mass-produced by the villains that empower their wielders with superhuman abilities and can be used to power Magitek devices. [[spoiler:They are eventually revealed to be powered by the soul of a living being that has been killed slowly and painfully in the process of activating the Exsphere for use. What's more, those belonging to a few of the main characters turn out to contain the lives of their loved ones, and two more had "different", experimental ones that were stealing ''their'' lives.]] The heroes must use them anyway, because the villains certainly won't stop doing it.
-->'''Zelos''': This is the grand Tethealla Bridge, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny powered by FIVE THOUSAND EXPHERES.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence'' has a line of giant war mechas called the Gigantess. These happen to be powered by the bodies of captured humans with magical powers like a [[PeopleJars literal battery]].
* The blastia in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' are a widely used technology made partly from the souls of sentient monsters known as Entelexeia.
* A bit of WildMassGuessing by [[TheGhost The Sign Painter]] in ''VideoGame/WorldOfGoo'' posits that the cute little sentient goo are the power source for the entire world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' has a variation on this; the murderous pseudo-undead monsters known as Wels are revealed to be the byproducts of Solaris' human experimentation projects. At first, this causes the [=PCs=] to wonder if it's actually right to kill them... but then, it's further revealed that the reason they're murderous is that the experiments leave them in constant, maddening agony which they lash out with violence to try to relieve, and death is the only true escape left to them.
** Also in ''Xenogears'', the meat made in [[ShoutOut Soylent]] in Solaris is made of Wels.
*** In fact, the entire Soylent System -- a mechanism used to reabsorb mankind and Wels for their raw materials -- is a reference to the actual ''Soylent Green'' movie.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'', the nerve cells of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Realians]] (who are basically "Bio-Androids" or human beings specifically made for certain tasks) are eaten as a drug. Arguably this is Squickier then if they were used for a food source. As least sustenance is a ''need''.
** Cecily and Cathe.
* ''VideoGame/FableII'' features Reaver. First, [[spoiler:his eternal youth and good looks were put in place by sacrificing the entire population of Oakvale, albeit by accident.]] Second, [[spoiler:continuing to have those good looks comes at the price of tricking someone to give up their own youth and beauty.]]
* Try almost every enemy in ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}''. There's a reason the Big Bads are known as the Combine (as in harvest). Combine mooks? Normal people with most people-bits taken out and cyborg alien science put in. The Headcrab zombies? Turns out the 'zombies' underneath the Headcrabs aren't all the way dead (and their screaming is some of the most potent nightmare fuel in the game). This makes the ''Zombine'' (a Combine soldier zombified by a Headcrab) a double-whammy. The Striders? Same thing as the "human" soldiers, but with another alien race. The same goes for their Dropships and Gunships, by the way. And who's in charge of assembling these things? The Stalkers. Humans with their limbs cut off and their vital organs removed, but kept alive and ''utterly'' dependent on obeying their orders. Walking is a privilege they have to earn, as are eyes. Without effort on the viewer's part, they're no longer recognisable as human. Alyx puts it best. "I hope you don't remember who you were."
* In ''GalacticCivilizations'' there is a chance that any particular planet that is being colonized will have something special on it that lets the player choose from three options: Good, Neutral, and Evil. Many of the evil options (and some of the neutral options) are of the Forsaken Child variety. For example, a life form on the planet links people together to create a psychic network that gives a huge improvement to science production on the planet, but the people must permanently enter the life form's pods (signified by a reduction in population). The options are: (Good) Cordon off the area and allow NO ONE to enter.(Neutral) Hook up only the infirm and the elderly. (Evil) Excellent! Hook up a random selection of the population.
* Yuri's household in ''RedAlert 2:Yuri's Revenge'' would make even NOD shiver with unease. He got power from bio-generators (like in ''Matrix'') that could be enhanced by placing additional humans in them. His primary harvesting facility was a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Slave miner]] and the secondary one was a huge [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Grinder]] that processed humans into credits. He used cloning vats to churn out infantry and his super-weapon turned humans into bulky brute mutants. Oh, and all his army was mindcontrolled by him. What a jerk.
** It's not surprising that his spiritual successor in ''RedAlert3'', Yuriko, runs on the same logic. However, she ''is'' the forsaken child. As ''Uprising'' reveals, her PsychicPowers alienated her from everyone in her village, and she was taken by the government at a young age and brainwashed into being a mindless killing machine. Even when she breaks free after the war, she's forced to [[spoiler:kill her own sister, and her revenge leaves her feeling empty inside.]] That's not even mentioning the thousands of {{expendable clone}}s, all of whom apparently felt the same things she did.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'''s Scourge qualifies for horrible often enough, but the creation known as Thaddius fits this trope specifically, being made up of the souls and bodies of women and children slaughtered in conquering Lordaeron.
** The Lich King's sword "Frostmourne" can absorb the souls of those it slays to power up, or to turn the slain into Scourge, controlled by the Lich King.
** Its sister weapon, the player-obtainable axe "Shadowmourne" must absorb the souls of 1000 entities from Icecrown Citadel as part of its manufacturing process before it gains its full power. The visual effect of the buff it grants the wielder is a vortex of the absorbed souls swirling around the player.
** And then, there's [[spoiler:[[RiseOfTheHorde the little draenei boy sacrificed by the Shadow Council to open the Dark Portal]]]].
** One of the older and more notorious WorldOfWarcraft examples was the "Chained Essence of Eranikus" item which created a poison cloud around the player, the downside? The item is powered by the tortured soul of a dragon who [[AndIMustScream begs for mercy]] (and occasionally threatens) everytime the object is used.
* While by no means a required facet of gameplay, ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series allows such behaviour. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', soul gems can be used to eternally trap the souls of defeated monsters, and the resulting soul can then be used to fuel a magical weapon. However, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' lets you take the same concept [[MoralEventHorizon that little bit further]], with the use of "black soul gems", a variant favoured by Necromancers that allows the trapping and fusing of human souls. In fact, human souls create the most powerful enchantments in the game. Not that every magical item could be eternaly fueled by an innocent animal's soul such as elks, foxes or even rabbits is any comfort.
** The Shivering Isles takes this a step further with Dawnfang/Duskfang. To start with, it's a magical weapon and so must be recharged with soul gems. What's worse, it changes damage type with the day/night cycle (fire by day, frost by night), and each time it switches it can become (for the next 12 hours) a stronger version of itself... if the other form was "fed" 12 souls. So in order to keep the blade perpetually in its Superior state, one has to let it claim 24 souls EVERY DAY * and* make sure the enchantment itself is charged with souls. Add that to the rather disconcerting toothy maw of the blade, and one begins to wonder what sane hero would willingly carry this on her person.
*** You find it in the Shivering Isles, also known as the Realm of Madness. [[FridgeBrilliance What did you expect?]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', the Ebony Blade has turned into this as well. In the previous games, it was merely a particularly powerful Ebony Dai-Katana with some nice buffs. In ''Skyrim'', it has a Life-Steal power that can be enhanced... by using it to kill people who love you. (In in-game terms, any NPC you've completed enough quests for to make them 'like' you.) In its base form, it's marginally useful. Fully-boosted - which requires you to murder 10 people who consider you a friend at the very least - it provides a powerful life-steal with infinite charges, making you extremely hard to kill in a melee.
** The Dwemer who are a dwarf/gnome combo even though in game they're elves did SOMETHING to the Snow Elves to turn them into Falmer. Snow Elves as sentient beings would require a very rare black soul gem to put their souls into soul gems but as Falmer much cheaper soul gems work. A lot of Dwemer technology relies on soul gems.
** The Daedric equipment is this by default: each piece of Daedric armor and weapons is Ebony with a Daedra soul infused into it at creation. In ''Skyrim'', the first installment that actually lets you craft Daedric equipment, this manifests in having to spend a Daedra Heart (an alchemical ingredient gained from killing certain Daedra) on each crafted piece.
* In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 3: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Corruption]]'', you awaken after an [[CurbStompBattle unfortunate encounter]] with [[EvilTwin Dark Samus]] to find that your weapons, your suit and your ''body'' now run on [[ToxicPhlebotinum Phazon]].
** Averted in ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' (which takes place after the ''Prime'' trilogy). Samus survives her initial encounter with the X Parasite due to a vaccine derived from a baby Metroid; however, all study by the scientists was carried out either humanely or [[spoiler:posthumously after Mother Brain killed it in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'']].
* ''All'' of ''{{Pathologic}}'''s healers' techniques involve this to some extent.
* In ''LostKingdoms 2'', it is strongly implied that the artificial Runestones [[spoiler: are made from people's souls.]] You only find this out if you go back and check [[spoiler:Sol's body in the Royal Tower, Lower]] [[MultipleEndings without meeting the requirements for the Good ending.]]
* In the third ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' game (''Deadly Shadows''), [[spoiler:the Old Gray Lady has killed an orphan to use her shape as a disguise. Garrett restores the orphan's soul to her body, which destroys the disguise and advances the plot.]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' [[spoiler: combines this with PlayerPunch in the final mission. In order to reproduce, the Reapers have to capture alive billions of sentient beings, liquefy them (which you potentially see done to most of your crew first hand), and inject the genetic material into the mechanical portion of the Reaper. This makes ONE Reaper. There is evidence to suggest that a Reaper cycle happened thirty-seven ''million'' years ago; assuming that this was the first cycle, and that's a big assumption, there are over seven hundred Reapers.]]
** As well as [[spoiler:the Overlord DLC, where David, an autistic man, was hooked up to a VI so that he could communicate with the geth, perhaps control them. His physical body is suspended, naked, in the centre of the machine, wires jammed beneath his skin, into his mouth, and his eyelids pinned back. Arguably even more horrifying is the ''mental'' effect, however - the over-stimulation is obviously near-unbearable even before David enters the machine. When he does, he begins screaming in agony and terror... Those horrible high-pitch distorted screams you heard all mission? That was David ''desperately pleading'' with you: "Quiet! Make it stop!!!"]]
* BioWare also had this trope runnning in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''. [[spoiler:The Emperor has ordered Death's Hand and the Lotus Assassins to hire slavers to raid "insignificant" villages. These villagers are brought to the Lotus Assassin base and killed by some kind of alchemical acid, leaving behind a SoulJar that's used to power the terracotta army they're building]].
** That's just an extension of the worst act. [[spoiler:The Water Dragon's mutilated body is kept as a trophy in the Palace. Its power is siphoned by the Emperor to grant him strength and vitality. The Dragon's blood is water, and so its body was carved open, allowing a flood of water to pour out of the Palace and into the Empire's rivers and lakes.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has the golems, who [[spoiler:were created out of people. Some of them volunteered to have molten rock poured over them and give up their free will. When they began running short on volunteers (and when the dwarf who invented the technology [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone suffered an attack of conscience]]), the king started conscripting his subjects and sent the inventor through the process himself.]]
** Also, a defeated blood mage will offer to magically increase your strength and endurance in return for his life, [[spoiler:all it takes is sacrificing the lives of all the elf slaves you came to free]].
* The trope is the force that drives the plot of all the [[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R]] games. [[spoiler: Defense contractor Armacham Technology Corporation started a project to train psychic commanders to lead mass produced clone soldiers. To get adequate, controllable psychics (the goal was for them to eventually be reliably producible as products), the head researcher believed the commander embryos can't just come from a psychic's DNA but also need to gestate inside a psychic... so... they take Alma, a disturbed, psychic 8 year old girl, put her in an induced coma, lock her away in a machine in "The Vault" underground for years until she's ready for pregnancy, and pump two children out of her, putting her back into a coma each time. Did we mention that the father of those children is ''Alma's father?'' Despite being in a coma she's eventually able to psychically reach out to one of the young commanders and get him to kill some of the researchers in revenge. This convinces the researchers to shut down the power to the facility holding Alma, so naturally she dies a few days later. Turns out when you forsake a psychic child that badly, ''being dead'' doesn't stop her from taking revenge... Alma reaches out to the psychic commander again, jump starting the plot.]]
* The Soul Reaver in the ''LegacyOfKain'' series [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin drains the souls of enemies]] in order to power itself up. However, the whole reason it can do this in the first place is that a maddened, ravenous spirit is trapped inside the blade...[[spoiler: a spirit that just happens to belong to the protagonist of two of the games.]]
* The Angelic Rifle in ''{{Baroque}}'' fires bullets that contain [[spoiler: the Littles, which are living incarnations of pain extracted from the Absolute God and look like winged, misshapen human babies.]]
* The Void Walker skill Breath Of The Dead Child from the now defunct ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' does ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. [[GameplayAndStorySegregation in-game]] it's powered by [[{{Mana}} magic points]], but according to the fluff, the demon infiltrates the paediatric ward of hospitals, harvests the dying breaths of children, and unleashes them later, causing the children's tormented souls to bite and gnash at his foes. Hope you weren't planning to sleep tonight.
* In VideoGame/SuperRobotWars, Jurgen's ODE System which was used to command the Bartolls which required living humans hooked up to cores. The Mironga, a variant merely has the pilot using the system linking them directly while maintaining some will of their own. The ATX and SRX team were shocked to learned about this, the fact that Lamia was used as the main nexus of the core prevented further victims from being used for the ODE System as the newer ones were totally unmanned
* In ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'', [[spoiler:this was the only way to keep the Shadow stalking Daniel at bay - to sacrifice people to it as a way to forestall the EldritchAbomination.]]
* Nearly everything in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' is PoweredByAForsakenChild. The Magitek that the world is so heavily dependent on for its survival relies on seithr, TheCorruption created by the [[EldritchAbomination Black Beast]] that made it necessary in the first place, [[spoiler: and the Beast itself was an attempt to gather the souls needed to create a magical superweapon that went horribly wrong]]. The Nox Nyctores that several characters use in battle [[spoiler: were also created by sacrificing thousands of human lives to create each one.]]
** [[spoiler:On the subject of Nox Nyctores, nasty bastard though he may be, Relius states that it is possible to use fewer souls to make a Nox Nyctores, but the reduction is highly dependent on the quality of the souls used. A focused soul is higher-quality than a scattered soul, and a multilateral soul higher quality than a unilateral one. By that logic, a focused soul, pointing in multiple directions, is of the highest quality possible, and could very well be used to make a Nox or "detonator" on its own. [[FridgeHorror That should explain a lot more about his "obsession" with Makoto...]]]]
* In ''FatalFrame'', the reward for the eight-year-old who wins a game of demon tag is to spend ten years locked in total isolation before being torn apart by ropes, all to keep the HellGate closed. The loser doesn't fare much better, having stakes stabbed into her eyes and becoming "it" for the next game of demon tag.
* In ''VideoGame/ChaosLegion'', [[spoiler:the legions Sieg uses are made by sacrificing wandering human souls, a fact [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadowed]] by a line in its opening cinematic.]]
* The Garland device in ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}'' is powered by four dead children buried beneath it. [[spoiler:To get the best ending, you must face Garland, then defeat the spirits of the children, who have taken a great interest in a cat and insist on bringing it into battle.]]
* ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'' has the Dollmaker power the infernal train with the bodies of insane children, which reaches horror levels when you realise the very deliberate pedophilia subtext in that level.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', the Hyron Project [[spoiler: is a immense quantum computer/security system powered by three women trapped in life support pods, who constantly beg to be allowed to sleep. To increase the creepy factor, it acts like a normal computer system, but ends its official announcements with disturbing messages. These women don't survive for very long and a DLC reveals there is a secret base which kidnaps women, "processes" them and ships them to the Hyron Project. Their experiences throughout this are suffering defined.]]
** And those system generated passwords? Hyron employees keep complaining in internal email how ''creepy'' they sound...
* In the original ''{{Suikoden}}'', the Rune that Governs Life and Death works like this - it's pretty powerful even at the worst of times, but it grows stronger by devouring the souls of people loved by the wielder. Friends, family, 's all good. He doesn't have to kill them directly, but nor does he get to choose - the Rune itself seems to employ some form of [[WindsOfDestinyChange probability manipulation]] to bring about the death of the loved ones so it can grow stronger. On the bright side, it's literally the most fearsomely powerful Rune that has ever appeared in any of the games, so hey, at least you got something OUT of all those tragically dead family-members and close, long-time friends...
* In ''BatenKaitos Origins'', Baelheit's machina is powered by [[spoiler:afterlings, gigantic creatures that are the result of a failed experiment to implant pieces of a dead god into humans]]. It's never made clear if the victims are still aware.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Alundra}}'', it's no coincidence that you gain new items whenever someone dies: [[spoiler:Jess is able to craft new weapons thanks to the spirits of deceased villagers who wants to help Alundra.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', the Mechon are draining the ether (basically the life-blood) from the slumbering god/titan Bionis and converting it into a universal poison for all life-forms that were born from the Bionis. [[spoiler:It turns out they were doing this to stop the Bionis from absorbing said life-forms and using them to refill its life energy, making an even straighter example.]]
* In ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'', the world relies on Sacrifices willingly giving up their souls to keep it from becoming a lifeless desert. The entire plot is kicked off by one intended Sacrifice's attempt to ScrewDestiny not only for his own sake but for the sake of the next chosen Sacrifice [[spoiler:the player character]].
* In the section of ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin: Defender of the Future'' where dolphins turn into jerkasses and take over the world, the three highest members of the ruling class have sequestered themselves off in giant water bubbles high in the sky. The only way up to them is to turn on the Hanging Waters tube system. The only thing that can power the Hanging Waters is the life force of enslaved whales.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Borderlands2}} Borderlands 2]]'', the main plot revolves around stopping the BigBad from activating a LostSuperweapon. It turns out the price of activating that superweapon is [[spoiler:keeping his own daughter locked away. The player(s) [[MercyKill end her suffering]] at her request, but the CorruptCorporateExecutive kidnaps an allied character to activate the superweapon instead--cue Boss Battle]].
* As a result of ContinuityDrift in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 2'', your [[PoweredArmor Nanosuit]] is [[spoiler:alive. And it's slowly preforming a [[ClingyCostume permanent]] FusionDance. After a while, it breaks down most of your vital organs so it can do your breathing, digesting, and subconscious thinking for you. Anyone else wear your Nanosuit before you? It secretly preformed a BrainUploading and might try to [[CompositeCharacter merge their personality with yours]].]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' DLC ''The Pitt'', obtaining a cure for TheVirus requires kidnapping a baby.
* In VideoGame/AthenaAwakeningFromTheOrdinaryLife, it turns out that [[spoiler: the CreepyChild with PsychicPowers whom Athena befriended, Masato Kurihara, is hooked up into the Super Computer that handles the whole Tantauls system... and said super computer is the FinalBoss that Athena must destroy. ''And there's no way to save him'', as destroying the machine will kill him.]]
* The Kushan mothership in both ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' games is so large and complicated that no conventional computer system or crew can manage it. As a result, a system is created that involves permanently surgically implanting a living person into a WetwareCPU so that the various subsystems can be managed directly. The system's creator, Karan S'jet, volunteers herself, partly because she understands it best, and partly because she wouldn't trust anyone else with it.
* ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' has the Dark Coven, whose BlackMagic is fueled by human suffering and sacrifice, usually with ColdBloodedTorture involved.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' features the [[spoiler:"Ultimate Weapon" created by Kalos's king, AZ, three thousand years ago. It sucks life of dozens, maybe hundreds, of Pokémon and can be used as either a device to give eternal life or basically a nuke. AZ used it in the past to revive his beloved Floette, and in the present Team Flare plans on using it to wipe out all people for the sake of the planet.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''[[WebComic/EightBitTheater 8-Bit Theater]]'' features a rather humorous example: Black Mage's [[KamehameHadoken Hadoken]] is [[ThePowerOfLove powered by love]]. No, just sit there and I'll rephrase it. Every time BM launches a Hadoken, he siphons love from the Universe and twists it to highly destructive ends, making it create an explosion that ''consumes'' love (the divorce rate rises, for example). Not that he cares, but Red Mage [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2004/11/27/8-bit-chronicles-3-of-3/ seems to.]]
** The Hadoken was also received by BM after sacrificing several orphans.
*** Of course, he would have sacrificed the orphans anyway. A hobby's a hobby.
*** Oh no, it would've been ''horrible'' if he had done it for no reason. That being his defense when White Mage loses all respect for him after hearing the above.
---> Black Mage: It takes the happiness of others and turns it into pain and explosions. It's win-win.
* ''KevinAndKell'': InAWorld that ''lives'' by the CarnivoreConfusion, [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2008/kk0627.html this]] certainly doesn't seem out of place.
* In ''GeistPanik'', Nob says that human blood acts as a magic grease that all runes and magic use to some extent.
** He also says that orphans' blood works best.
* Heavily implied to be the source of the [[BlackHelicopters Black Rocs]] power in NecessaryMonsters. You can almost hear the heartbeat over the motor...
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Torg's magical sword Chaz is powered by the blood of the innocent. He's only able to make much use of its full power when in a SugarBowl dimension being invaded by sadistic demons, so that there's plenty of such blood being spilled by others.
* In ''LookingForGroup'', [[spoiler:Cale has to kill an innocent child to save the city of Kethenecia]].
** [[spoiler:except it is not a real child, but the [[TheChessmaster Archmage]] in disguise]]
*** One of the themes for that chapter was that "Innocence is the cost of justice." This leads us to believe that [[spoiler:the aforementioned child must be killed to save the city of Kethenecia (the city of justice). After it is revealed that the child is the Archmage, he states that the innocence is not some nameless child, but the innocence of [[TheHero Calenon.]]]]
** Richard's NighInvulnerability [[spoiler:is fueled by the ashes of innocent people he kills.]]
* The [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/14p60/ Ghost-fueled]] [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/25p98/ Robots]] of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja''.
** Also, the AltText for [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/14p35 this]] strip.
* In ''{{Terinu}}'', the title character's entire ''race'' was genetically engineered to serve as living power plants for the Varn Dominion. And they were wired to ''enjoy it''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Unity}}'', a society full of sentient/uplifted animals, you might not want to know where their food comes from.
* In ''WebComic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2817 the Devil promises the spray was laboratory tested on orphans.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Her Imperious Condescension]] (the Troll Empress and the ancestor of Feferi) has a flagship that runs upon the immense psychic powers of The Ψiioniic, the Ancestor of Sollux--causing him ''excruciating agony''. Also, trolls lower on the hemospectrum (like the Ψiioniic) live comparatively short lives, so the long-lived Condesce extended his lifespan with her magic. He's been her Helmsman for '''[[AndIMustScream thousands]]''' of years [[spoiler:— until the [[ApocalypseHow Vast Glub]] happened, rendering the Condesce the only remaining troll in the galaxy (as tyrianbloods are immune to Gl'bgolyb's [[MindRape psychic scream]] and Feferi was in SGRUB's game world).]]
** Vriska at one point theorizes that [[TheGamePlaysYou Sburb]] ''must'' be played only by adolescents.
* In ''{{Spacetrawler}}'', the construction of the eponymous spacetrawlers is implied to involve horrific abuse of Eebs, and when the details are eventually revealed, they're every bit as bad as implied: [[spoiler:an Eeb is trained to telekinetically gather space debris--by injecting them with a drug that causes debilitating pain if they ever stop gathering said debris. Then the Eeb's body is dissolved, while still conscious, and their BrainInAJar is placed in the spacetrawler.]]
* ''{{Narbonic}}'' includes a time machine with the drawback that its use requires all the energy of the universe. Dave Davenport figures out how to use the time machine by having it comsume all the energy of a parallel universe. He assumes they just don't want to live as much as the people in his universe do.
* One of defences ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' got is a [[spoiler:bound ghost]]. Who is [[AxCrazy extremely unhappy]] about the situation for several very understandable reasons. [[{{Unperson}} The records were cleaned]] and those who meet this guardian in person are unlikely to survive, thus most of the current generation are blissfully unaware of this, except a team secretly searching for a way to remove this old shame.
* ''Webcomic/TheGamercat'' opted to [[http://thegamercat.com/2011/12/sacrifice/ interprete this way]] what happens to red fairies in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''. Of course, in case you feel terrible too, there are also healing potions, but... [[http://thegamercat.com/2012/05/potion-puree/ do you know how those are made?]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', when Elan is offered a ''[[HealingFactor ring of regeneration]]'' from the AffablyEvil (but still very evil) Tarquin, this is Elan's assumption.
-->'''Elan:''' Yeah, right, like I would use your crazy evil ring, that you probably, like, tortured somebody to death or something to give it magic.\\
'''Tarquin:''' [[SubvertedTrope Now, that is quite enough, young man. I am frankly offended that you would even suggest that I would do such a thing to]]--[[DoubleSubversion Wait, who do you consider "somebody?"]]\\
'''Elan:''' ''Anybody!''\\
'''Tarquin:''' Fine, fine, I'll keep the ring, then.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The [[spoiler:Ceremony]] in ''{{lonelygirl15}}''.
* In the short miniseries, ''Freako Asylum,'' the two protagonists go to "The Twisted Machine Of Science" to answer their questions on how to handle the situation. In its center is an infant hooked up to the machine. Unusually for this trope, the kid looks positively ''jolly'' and is dancing around in his/her seat.
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara's]] [[spoiler:magic gun]] is powered by the soul of a little girl sacrificed by her parents to their evil god. [[MindScrew That's where it gets... weird]]. To be clear, he only found out when the viewers did, and was as horrified as you'd expect. [[spoiler:He almost shot himself with the gun, but the girl's soul talked him out of it.]]
* This quote, taken from ''LlamasWithHats'': "I should probably mention I filled our luggage with orphan meat." "Wh...what?" "Well, I'm building a meat dragon, and not just ANY meat will do!"
* It turns out in the WhateleyUniverse that uber-powerful mage Fey's best spells are powered by energy from ley lines, and that in some of the battles already fought in earlier stories, she ended up destroying neighboring ''ecosystems''.
* One Wiki/SCPFoundation short story involved "button day"; [[spoiler:entire families voluntarily submit to/are brainwashed into suicide by melting to combat overpopulation.]]
** Actually, let's just say that ''a lot'' of the Wiki/SCPFoundation's activities are this and save ourselves some time.
*** Special mention goes to [[NoodleIncident Procedure]] [[YouDoNotWantToKnow 110-Montauk]].
*** And [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1875 SCP-1875]], a chess computer, of all things, powered by the ([[AndIMustScream still conscious]]) minds of a chess champion's twin daughters. [[spoiler:And they are not happy about their fate]].
*** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1514 SCP-1514]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Finn is kidnapped by goblins to power their device to flip over the Earth's crust.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Doctor Venture's family is trapped one by one inside his latest invention, a simulator known as the "joy can" that grants the user's [[LotusEaterMachine fondest desires]]. One of its vital components was the heart of an orphan. Doctor Orpheus's disgusted response became the new TropeNamer.
** In a different episode, Richard Impossible, patriarch of a ComicBook/FantasticFour expy, averts ReedRichardsIsUseless and [[AndIMustScream uses his brother-in-law's pyrokinesis to power his tower]]. That same brother-in-law [[BlessedWithSuck can feel his own flames]], and Impossible gets [[ArsonMurderAndAdmiration called out/congratulated by one of the series' most effective villains]] for doing the most evil thing he'd ever seen.
* Starscream's clone technology of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' involves the use of protoforms, which can be described as fetal or pre-natal Cybertronians.
* In ''ArgaiTheProphecy'', [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]] [[BigBad Dark]] gains and maintains her immortality by stealing the youth of several maiden throughout time and keeping them in eternal slumber.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' has the Psychocrypt. Literally sucks out LifeEnergy to create Slaverlords through which the Queen can see and hear. In this fashion, she can keep direct control over her armies and [[TheEmpire her crumbling Empire]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen The Queen of the Crowns]] already hunted the Gherkin race to near-extinction in her thirst to create Slaverlords. Then, she discovers [[HumansAreSpecial humans]], who are [[SupernaturallyDeliciousAndNutritious ''ideal'' specimens to create Slaverlords]]. A good deal of the Rangers' job is to keep the Queen from obtaining more humans for the Crypt. The process, as seen in "New Frontier" & "Psychocrypt" is also horrendously painful.
* ''TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'' features a boat powered by angsty children. [[TooDumbToLive The children are also used as cannonballs.]]
* A more mundane and light-hearted example found in ''TheSimpsons'': Homer is forced to turn a gigantic wheel, with a guy with a whip egging him on...in order to operate a rotating table at a party stocked with party food.
--> Ow! D'oh! After lunch, can I whip you?
--> No.
--> Oh, no fair. Ow!

-->(two workers observe the rotating dessert table)
--> Wonder what makes it turn like that?
--> Search me.
* Subverted in ''MightyOrbots'' where Ohno, a robot shaped like a little girl, is the necessary ignition function for the CombiningMecha to operate. However, she doesn't mind at all since she's designed for it and once that function is complete, she disengages to become the Commander's copilot.
* An older version in the TheFairlyOddparents: Fairy World is powered be belief in fairies. It ''would'' be ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve, if not for one little issue: the only belief that apparently matters is ''Crocker's''. A man who does not remember having fairies, but knows they exist and is completely obsessed with them. Fairy World is thus powered by the spazzes of a forsaken former godkid.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* A bit of FridgeHorror for this one but watch the Cap'n Crunch Commercials: To make the transition from live to cartoon via Crunitize they are turned into the cereal, so does that mean the cereal is made of little children who couldn't survive Crunitizeing?
* [[http://www.darwinawards.com/legends/legends2000-05.html One urban legend]] featured on the Website/DarwinAwards told of an accidental case of this: an employee at a power plant looking to lose weight tried to use their coal runner as a treadmill, but tripped and was converted into power for hundreds of homes.
[[/folder]]

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