[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/MarvelUniverse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_celestials_by_zurdom.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Now all it needs is some water[[note]]See that small figure with flaming hands? That's ''Doctor Doom!''[[/note]].]]

->"''Any sufficiently advanced alien is indistinguishable from God.''"
-->-- Paraphrase of '''[[http://www.michaelshermer.com/2002/01/shermers-last-law/ Shermer's Last Law]]'''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

You know the type. Sooner or later one shows up on every SpaceOpera or WagonTrainToTheStars. They're the alien being that can do ''anything'' with the [[HandWave wave]] of a {{h|umanAliens}}and (or [[StarfishAliens tentacle]], or tendril of {{energy|Being}}). Sometimes they're hostile, sometimes they're benevolent, sometimes [[AboveGoodAndEvil above it all]] or just... [[BlueAndOrangeMorality different]], but regardless they can really cramp the style of a young, expanding race looking to make a name for itself on the galactic scene. Usually, though, they tend to just be omnipotent jackasses, looking for a cheap laugh. More often than not, they tend to be [[CantArgueWithElves egotistical and haughty, thinking little of]] [[PunyEarthlings humans and "lesser beings".]] Sometimes you can exploit their sense of honor or fair play, or their desire for solitude, to make them go away. Or maybe you just have to wait for their parents to come and take them home. Unfortunately, you can't always get rid of them -- just ask [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Jean-Luc Picard]] (and don't even get his colleague [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Capt. Janeway]] ''started'').

If you have to use something that's recognizable to the viewer as a machine, you're not Sufficiently Advanced. (See HigherTechSpecies.) If you can just wave your hand and things happen, you probably are (visual machines are allowed for really ''big'' effects, like making galaxies explode or transporting a planet from one side of the galaxy to another). If you ''[[MechanicalLifeforms are]]'' [[MechanicalLifeforms a machine]], there's some wiggle room (and some overlap with DeusEstMachina).

What actually ''separates'' Sufficiently Advanced Aliens from genuine gods can get a little vague, especially with the likes of the [[Series/StargateSG1 Ori]], or for that matter [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]], who ''do'' [[GodGuise claim to be deities]], or, for that matter, [[Anime/TenchiMuyo Juraian royalty]], who don't, but ''are''. Usually, [[NoSuchThingAsSpaceJesus being found in space]] and/or opposing the heroes' lack of belief is considered enough reason to [[VillainByDefault reject their claims]]. One possible distinction between the two is that gods are believed by their followers to actually be above the laws of physics (though there are plenty that aren't), whereas sufficiently advanced aliens have just figured them out enough to manipulate them to their favor (and again, plenty of exceptions there, too).

Sometimes, they'll show up to put HumanityOnTrial. Occasionally, a human or humanoid alien will be [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence assumed into their ranks]]. Often these beings will [[CulturalPosturing claim to be]] "[[EvolutionaryLevels more highly evolved]]" than humans, and that someday, if we're good little corporeals and eat all our vegetables and overcome our [[HumansAreMorons stupidity]] and [[HumansAreBastards bratty ways]], we might grow up to be like [[UltimateLifeForm them]]. Similarly, many sufficiently advanced alien species are also PerfectPacifistPeople.

See also GreatGazoo and EnergyBeings. When ''humans'' are treated like this, it's HumansAreCthulhu or ThankTheMaker. Conversely, if these beings are far enough removed from human understanding, they can be considered {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, in which case they at least have the decency to take on AFormYouAreComfortableWith.

Compare to HigherTechSpecies, when the aliens are more advanced, but not quite SufficientlyAdvanced to count as this. Contrast with GodGuise and AncientAstronauts. See also PhysicalGod, for an approach from the other side of the spectrum, and NoSuchThingAsSpaceJesus, which is how stories of this ilk avoid the theological implications of the trope. Naturally, they are nothing like the InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien.

For when humans try - but fail - to deal with them and their frustratingly condescending attitudes, which can often be deadly, see CantArgueWithElves. When humans ''can'' get the better of these beings, which is difficult, but not impossible, see ScrewYouElves.

Very frequently they are builders/users of SufficientlyAdvancedBambooTechnology.

If you want to go and try to compare these alien heavyweights, then you are JustForFun/AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit.

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



* In a UK advert for Carling beer, a group of astronauts have a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7AM49svaGQ rather amusing encounter]] with one of these chaps. Overlaps with EnergyBeings as well by the looks of it.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The [[{{Precursors}} Golden Tribe]] of ''Anime/HeroicAge''. They were reputed to be able to create planets and predict the future (though whether these tasks required the use of machines or not is never explained), and are treated as gods by the Silver Tribe.
* The enemies of a ''Anime/MazingerZ'' spin-off (''ZMazinger'') were aliens so powerful and so technologically advanced they were mistaken by gods in the past.
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', the giant monsters attacking Tokyo-3 are called Angels and seem ''akin'' to gods, but are actually ([[AllThereInTheManual according to one of the supplementary sources]]) expressions of one of a pair of competing "[[MagicFromTechnology Seeds of Life]]" launched eons ago by unknown {{Precursors}}. [[spoiler:What Shinji does at the end also seems to lean towards religion, although it may be interpreted as just science, putting the right objects in the right place and having the desired reaction.]]
** Aforementioned supplementary sources also imply that the Secret Dead Sea Scrolls everyone based their actions around are actually Lilith's partially-translated '''instruction manual''' [[AncientConspiracy SEELE]] [[CargoCult mistook for a religious text]]. That's right: billions died because of a misunderstanding. PoorCommunicationKills taken to the extreme.
* It turns out that this is the backstory of Kyuubey from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. They came to this planet to gather energy to [[SaveTheWorld save the universe from heat death,]] and it just so happens that Grief Seeds (the remains of the villainous [[EldritchAbomination witches]]) would suffice. Kyuubey is otherwise a MagicalGirl mascot character, and is capable of teleportation, telepathy, some form of InvisibleToNormals[[note]]it's unclear if it's actually tied to magical potential, or if Kyuubey just doesn't want to be seen by them[[/note]], and turning people into {{Magical Girl}}s, among other things. [[spoiler: [[ManBehindTheMan Until]] [[EvilAllAlong their]] [[CuteIsEvil true]] [[KnightTemplar nature]] [[AliensAreBastards is]] [[AdorableAbomination revealed,]] [[TotalitarianUtilitarian that is.]]]]
** That's just the tip of the iceberg. [[spoiler: Kyubey was part of a [[HiveMind Hive-Minded]] race of beings called Incubators. Working together with his kind, they gathered on Earth to create the Isolation Field, an [[DeflectorShield energy field]] that [[NoSell blocked out]] the entire Universe, including the [[CosmicEntity Law of Cycles.]] And according to them, they were powerful enough to manipulate anything they can observe. The end goal of the Incubator plan in [[PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion the Rebellion movie]] was to enslave a sentient law of physics to maximise the production of magical energy, and they both partially succeeded and proved it was possible with the Field.]]
* Nagato Yuki of ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' is a prime example of this. By ''chanting computer code'', she can manipulate matter and space with great precision and scope.
** Yuki also has a superior, the mysterious [[spoiler:Kimidori Emiri]], and two {{Evil Counterpart}}s: [[spoiler:Asakura Ryouko]], a superpowered, ''really, really freaking scary'' UncannyValleyGirl [[spoiler:who tries to kill Kyon without even losing her cool and nice attitude]], and Kuyou Suou, an EmotionlessGirl whose alien race is at war with Yuki's.
** Also includes a bit of a StarfishAliens touch, in that they had to create humans in order to try to understand them (the "alien" characters would be more accurately described as {{artificial human}}s) and are rather interested in the fact that mere matter can apparently have intelligence.
* In ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' the [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Juraian royalty]] are semi-divine Sufficiently Advanced Aliens through the pact struck with [[spoiler:Tsunami]], one of their universe's three {{Physical God}}s (before that they were [[spoiler:and still are]] just SpacePirates). The WordOfGod also has it that their universe has a real, transcendental God who created said PhysicalGod and her two Sisters, and that this God's avatar is [[spoiler:Tenchi]].
* The Anti-Spirals of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. They live "in the space between the tenth and eleventh dimensions", can accurately count the exact number of people living on a given planet instantly, hide the moon in a dimensional pocket, and insert genetic programming into individuals of other races to use them as messengers. Furthermore, they can create virtual spaces in which they control all the laws of physics, even directly modifying the probabilities of events occurring, and they can trap their opponents within these spaces. To say nothing of their cruder abilities: physically tossing entire galaxies as weapons ''and throwing Big Bangs around like KiAttacks''.
* The Earthlings from ''Anime/{{Vandread}}''. They grow humans like crops, have giant, self sustaining battleships, can copy the shape and powers of the Vandreads, and live by replacing their body parts with the body parts of the aforementioned humans. Their EnfanteTerrible leader can communicate telepathically and crush things/people with telekinetic powers.
* In ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', the mysteious "Masterminds" behind the [[HumongousMecha robot]] [[ApocalypseHow battles]] [[spoiler:can erase entire Universes from existence in seconds, and appear to be keeping the entirety of the Multiverse running by wiping out "weak" Universes. The half-kilometre tall robots they build can run off life energy, fire particle beams that can vaporise mountains (and easily [[NoSell deflect]] those beams) and appear capable of [[NighInvulnerable shrugging off all human efforts to damage them]]. These robots can tank airstrikes with nary a scratch on their armour, and the pilots inside only feeling a bit warmer than usual while the surrounding landscape burns at thousands of degrees. Furthermore, they've set things up so that if anyone tries to reverse-engineer their tech, the life force of everything on that planet will just be drained anyway before the inhabitants have any chance to make headway. Notably, the heroes are completely incapable of defying the Masterminds' will, and can't subvert the giant robot battle system in any way.]]
* ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'', after running though a whole gamut of alien types, seems to have this trope as its conclusion.
* ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' takes the ideas about Creator/HPLovecraft (see Literature below) and runs with them, outright stating that the Franchise/CthulhuMythos is based off of stories told to Lovecraft by aliens. By extension, the gods of the Mythos were inspired by members of alien races; the title character, Nyarko, is '''[[AKindOfOne a]]''' Nyarlathotepian, but it's unclear if she's '''the''' Nyarlathotep or if it's just a nickname.
* {{Subverted|trope}} in ''Manga/DragonBall''. First "god" is revealed to be a [[GodJob job title]] that one only need qualify for when the position is open. Then god is revealed to be an alien by other aliens who came to use his stuff. However ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'' reveals that there really is a such a thing as 'godly energy' that is beyond the perception of mortals.
* The entire plot of ''Anime/KadoTheRightAnswer'' is about what happens when a sufficiently advanced alien (an extra-dimensional being called Yaha-kui [=zaShunina=]) touches down in modern-day Japan and wants to communicate with humanity. Both Yaha-kui and his dwelling/spaceship/body part/'translator' KADO is so beyond humanity (and our laws of physics) his sheer presence makes people understandably nervous, even though he appears to be benign.
* The Visitors from ''LightNovel/SukaSuka'' are implied to be this. They are immortal beings of extraterrestrial origin who arrived via starship after a long journey from their homeworld. Nostalgic for their lost home, they shaped the world they found into something similar and created the races that now inhabit it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse and Franchise/DCUniverse have ''tons'' of these. Creator/JackKirby personally created the Celestials and the ComicBook/NewGods and had a hand in creating the Watchers and ComicBook/{{Galactus}}. This trope seems to really have appealed to him.
** Probably the most famous is ComicBook/{{Galactus}}, [[PlanetEater planet-eating]] antagonist of the Comicbook/FantasticFour. He is a humanoid alien from the previous universe, [[AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended to the ranks of the Marvel cosmic hierarchy]]- in a sense, he is this trope, but in another sense he is the actual AnthropomorphicPersonification of an abstract cosmic principle, and more than a little over-qualified.
** The Elders of the Universe are unusual in that their sufficient advancement comes from an individual (i.e., not common to their respective, mostly extinct, races) connection with "the Power Primordial". There does appear to be some inspiration from other examples in ''Star Trek''; Grandmaster's whole shtick resembles the recurring "powerful alien forces the heroes to fight against someone else" Trek plot.
** Runners-up would be the Watchers and the Celestials, who hate each other's guts, interestingly. The Watchers believe it's best not to interfere with the development of other worlds and races (the actions of Uatu, TheWatcher that frequently bends these rules, notwithstanding). The Celestials are all about interfering -- they guide the evolution of planets and destroy those that don't satisfy their standards. It's not a surprise that these two don't get along -- not that it really bothers the Celestials, since the Watchers' actions against them are limited to disapproving stares.
** Jonathan Hickman's ''Avengers'' and ''New Avengers'' series have introduced multiple races of seemingly god-like aliens that inhabit the multiverse. Most of these races in fact inhabit and regularly travel between multiple ''realities'', conquering (or destroying) not just planets but entire ''universes''. The Builders, an advanced race that took all the galactic powers of Earth-616 (the primary setting of Marvel comics) to barely defeat, are laughed off by an inter-dimensional traveler as "only" having influence in several thousand realities. Several more far more dangerous races such as the Black Priests, Ivory Kings, and Map Makers have since been introduced.
** In the ''ComicBook/EarthX'' trilogy (Earth X, Universe X, Paradise X), all the gods are sufficiently advanced aliens (evolution wise), it's a long story.
** ''Comicbook/MsMarvel'' gave this treatment to Hekate, who in Myth/ClassicalMythology was something of a SixthRanger; here, she identified herself as an extradimensional explorer whom ancient humans had mistaken for a goddess.
* ''ComicBook/TheTenSeconders'': The "Gods" who presented themselves as {{superhero}}es to humanity are in fact only the rebellious children of a truly godlike race of aliens who created them for their own experiments. The comic eventually concludes that none of these entities are really gods, just more powerful/advanced ones.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Ultraman Lugeno from ''Ultraman Moedari'' uses telepathic powers to do almost anything. Later on, Ultrawoman Lunaram can as well. The Satunamist can literally do ''anything'' with a mere thought.
* Shag and Varx in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'' are of some “lizardy, birdy” race with technology sufficiently advanced to shuffle people from one dimension to another for an undergraduate class project, to bestow people with considerable power, and to maneuver those people into annoying situations. Jeft, who is a [[TheGreys Grey]], pretends he's a god, but the others are quick to distance themselves from that definition.
* In ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'', Kryptonians were this, with their powers under a yellow sun (though WordOfGod has hinted that the vast majority were 'only' at Asgardian level - which still means that each is a PersonOfMassDestruction / OneManArmy - on the grounds that the planet would not otherwise have survived its 'Age of Wars'), and their literally godlike technology, which made them the only equals of the [[PhysicalGod Asgardians]], despite being mortal.
* The entire universe is implied to have been this way in ''Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm''. The "magic" used by the Sailor Scouts is actually based in ultra-advanced science, as proven by one of the title characters having memorized the power mechanisms of a dead Sailor Scouts. He also uses magic-like "Moon Kingdom science" to make weapons and tools. When not fighting, he teaches Moon Kingdom science to Sailor Mercury.
* In ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]'']] [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]] and its sequel ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', the "Local Cluster Council" and "Federated Cluster Union" are actually [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Sufficiently Advanced Aliens]] pretending to be an OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness. Their mastery of FasterThanLightTravel is shown to be much higher than the heroes' civilizations, and indeed is the only way to do FTL that doesn't cause [[NegativeSpaceWedgie rips in space]]. This becomes important later since said rips are letting in an AlienInvasion, [[spoiler:Flood mixed with Reapers]].

* In ''Film/{{Contact}}'', a central theme is science versus religion. The main character is an atheist who looks down on her lover's blind faith, and in the end [[spoiler:she is the one who has an essentially religious experience with an advanced alien that everyone else can only take on faith.]] Makes you wonder, if there really is a God, is he perhaps just a really advanced alien?
* In Creator/JimHenson's ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'', there are the [[spoiler: the Urskeks]], in a rather interesting case of LiteralSplitPersonality: they split apart into [[spoiler: the Skeksis and the Uru/Mystics]]
* [[spoiler:The Strangers (who even [[RuleOfSymbolism resemble angels]] in their true form!)]] in ''Film/{{Knowing}}'';
* In John Carpenter's ''Film/PrinceOfDarkness'' it is revealed that the [[spoiler:Church]] has hidden the truth for 2,000 years -- [[spoiler:that Jesus was an alien]].
* Jeff Bridges's species in ''Film/{{Starman}}'' might count -- there seems to be nothing his [[AppliedPhlebotinum magic balls]] couldn't do.[[note]]Considering he makes an infertile woman pregnant, [[IncrediblyLamePun he may really have magic]] ''[[IncrediblyLamePun balls]]'', [[IncrediblyLamePun too.]][[/note]]
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
** The Asgardians, as first seen in ''Film/{{Thor}}'', are benevolent MadeOfDiamond humanoids with incredible powers that are effectively {{Magitek}}.
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' introduces Celestials, mentioned in the ComicBook section and pictured above. There is even a cameo of Eson the Searcher [[spoiler: obliterating a failed experiment]].
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' features Ego, an eons-old living planet [[spoiler:revealed to be a Celestial]]. His human form is merely a projection from his true stellar body, which has the power to assimilate and control matter and destroys an entire fleet of starfighters by [[OneManArmy himself]]. When other characters call him a God, he says he is one with a small "g", meaning he is only an immensely powerful being instead of all-powerful.
* The Station aliens from ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'', who are identified by ''God Himself'' as the smartest beings in the universe. In less than an hour, they raid a hardware store, then casually build two [[RobotMe robot duplicates]] who proceed to [[CurbStompBattle utterly demolish]] two other advanced robot killers from the future.
* The aliens from ''Film/AbsolutelyAnything'' are apparently sufficiently advanced to turn ordinary people into omnipotent Gods on a whim.
* The [[WizardsFromOuterSpace Therns]] from ''Film/JohnCarter'' are [[AdaptationalBadass upgraded]] from a race of cannibal mystics with [[AGodAmI godlike delusions]] to somewhere between this trope and HumanoidAbomination. They are [[TheAgeless ageless beings]] that wield [[MagicFromTechnology impressive magic power that is actually derived from their extremely advanced technology]]. They had used their power to manipulate the people of Barsoom for ages and change the course of their history to serve their own ends, and it's implied they have done so to many other worlds in the past.
* ''Film/CloudAtlas'': Meronym and the other Prescients are this, to the Valley folk. Subverted in that the Prescients are in crisis with no place to live.

* Two examples from Creator/IsaacAsimov's short-stories: In one, the human sense of humor is found to be an experiment imposed on us by aliens. Tragically, once a computer technician excelling at telling jokes figures this out, the experiment ends. In another story the ColdWar is an alien experiment. The aliens prevent humans from inventing an energy shield to protect cities, which would make nuclear missiles less of a danger.
* The Great Houses from the ''Literature/FactionParadox'' continuity. They anchored the relationship between cause and effect whilst the universe was still in its infancy, and their home planet acts as a mean time for the entire universe. When they go to war, they use entire cultures as weapons.
* This is the central conflict of ''Literature/{{Contact}}'', both the novel and the [[Film/{{Contact}} movie based on it]], by Creator/CarlSagan. The main character is an atheist and believes in rational explanations for everything, but at the end her journey to the center of the galaxy is revealed to be in every respect a religious experience.
** The book is even more explicit; the journey is to an artificial world where the aliens are researching physical constants looking for messages written into reality itself -- ''[[ThatsNoMoon a church the size of a planet]]''. And once they return, the main character is able to find one of these messages herself (in ''pi''). Thus, Sufficiently Advanced Science is indistinguishable from '''religion'''.
* In Dan Simmons' ''Literature/HyperionCantos'' saga, we have various examples:
** The Shrike. The thing can travel through time, kill all of its enemies in a blink (by freezing time around them) and impale them in a metal tree designed to torture them for centuries.
** The [=TechnoCore=]: They created an exact replica of the Earth. [[spoiler:Later it's revealed that the Earth was actually teleported instead of being swallowed by the black hole in its core.]] Also, they created the Death Rods, the Farcasting system, and a device to give immortality to humans: [[spoiler:the Cruciform parasite.]]
** The "others" [[spoiler:(the ones who actually teleported Earth when the [=TechnoCore=] entities were freaking out in fear)]].
* Creator/ArthurCClarke's novels feature this as a constant theme -- not surprising given that he's the {{trope namer|s}}.
** ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001]]'', ''[[Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact 2010]]'', and their sequels explore this in great detail, starting with the aliens' {{uplift|edAnimal}} of proto-humans in the African savannah, and progressing to the modern era when it's discovered that they've seeded the solar system with [[TheMonolith monoliths]] designed to alert them when humans start to venture into space. They then deliberately capture one (David Bowman) and forcibly [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascend him]] in order to create an intermediary. In ''2010'', they turn Jupiter into a star to protect the evolution of life on Europa, and allow [[spoiler:HAL to join Bowman]]. In ''3001'', the aliens put an [[UnbuiltTrope unusual twist]] on the trope; despite their apparently godlike power, they are still bound by the laws of physics, meaning they cannot break the speed of light. This is actually a violation of canon, since ''2010'' has Bowman describe his awareness of how the c limit ''can'' be broken, but Clarke retconned ''this'' in turn by denying that ''any'' of the other novels was a straightforward sequel to its predecessors.
** In the ''Literature/RendezvousWithRama'' series by Clarke and Gentry Lee, the unseen beings responsible for the construction of Rama and its sister vessels are compared to God by the characters; this point is driven home rather {{anvilicious}}ly in the final novel.
** Also the Overmind of his ''Literature/ChildhoodsEnd''.
** Clarke's Third Law is the template for "Shermer's Last Law" as given in the page quote. It states '''Any sufficiently technology is indistinguishable from magic'''. It has as an immediate corollary, '''Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced'''.
* The idea of the Christian God being a Sufficiently Advanced Alien appears in probably more SF stories than can be easily enumerated, but this verges more upon the territory covered by AncientAstronauts.
* Most of Creator/HPLovecraft's aliens fall into this category: Cthulhu and his ilk do not even have ''hidden'' technology. They just ''are''. In fact, Lovecraftian characters' tendency to consider the aliens gods extends to the fans as well. Ask a general Lovecraft fan, and he will very likely tell you, "Cthulhu is a god."
** Lovecraft did write several stories involving gods like Nodens, Bokrug and ones from established mythology like Hypnos and Bast, who conform better to traditional ideas of godhood, but there's a very good reason for that. Since they're all set in DreamLand, they actually ''are'' [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve traditional ideas of godhood]].
** There are Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth who approach Yahweh in terms of power, even if one is an idiot and the other is locked out of the universe.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' has two, and manages to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] the AllPowerfulBystander aspect of this trope. [[MysteriousBacker The Ellimist]] seems to be good and aids the Animorphs at several points, but often refuses to explain why or help them as much as he could. Eventually he explains that he has an EvilCounterpart, [[EldritchAbomination Crayak]], who [[OmnicidalManiac seeks to destroy all life]] just as the Ellimist wants to protect it. A direct fight between the two would destroy themselves and the universe, so they created a "game" where each tries to fulfill their goal within certain agreed-upon rules. So basically, it's the Cold War with god-aliens.
* Uriel from Clive Barker's ''Literature/{{Weaveworld}}'' is probably one of these, although it's bought into its own hype and thinks it's an angel.
* The title character of Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Azazel" series of short stories is either this, or an actual demon -- and possibly both. The stories can't seem to make up their mind, which fits in with the UnreliableNarrator who may just be making them all up.
* The ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series by Creator/AlanDeanFoster features a vast array of alien species of varying technology levels, but this particular trope belongs solely to the Xunca. Living a billion years ago, they dominated the entire galaxy and regularly converted entire planets into machines for various projects. They fled to AnotherDimension after encountering an [[EldritchAbomination unstoppable galaxy-devouring horror]], but not before leaving behind a superweapon ''built out of'' the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_attractor Great Attractor]], to which the main protagonist, Flinx, is the key. That's galactic-scale engineering for you.
* In ''Design for Great-Day'', Creator/AlanDeanFoster features humanity (or to be more specific, the Solarian Combine), as a super-advanced multi-species who are on the brink of transcending matter itself and becoming Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
* The Gods (or "Ymirian Guards") in ''Nerhûn'' are actually highly advanced aliens from the nearby planet Ymir who used Enôr as an experimental location for genetic modification. It got slightly out of hand, though...
* The eponymous aliens of S. M. Stirling's ''Literature/TheLordsOfCreation'' series alter environments on a planetary scale and create interdimensional gateways with ease.
* The [[AIIsACrapshoot eponymous AI]] of Charles Stross' ''[[Literature/TheEschatonSeries Eschaton]]'' universe has the power to have scooped up a large chunk of humanity and scattered it both across lightyears of space and centuries of time. It's also been known to wipe out entire solar systems that mess with time travel.
** His novella ''Palimpsest'' is about Stasis, an organization that has reterraformed the Earth multiple times, redesigned ''the sun'', moved the entire solar system outside of the Milky Way, is organizing the stars of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies so that when the collision and merger between them happens in a few billion years it proceeds with minimal inconvenience to anyone, and which basically treats time as its bitch.
* The Priest-Kings of ''Literature/{{Gor}}'', who for some reason, kidnap humans from Earth, [[FantasyGunControl remove any type of firearm]], dump them on the eponymous planet and have them create a society that would make the Dark Ages look feminist. Their reasons are unknown, maybe they're just [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential really bored]], [[{{Rule34}} or just that into human porn]].
** It's implied in ''Priest-Kings of Gor'' that they're motivated largely by intense boredom (Misk has to be physically restrained from committing suicide when the opportunity arises) and that they just [[HumansAreSpecial think people are interesting]].
* The Creator/StrugatskyBrothers play with this trope on two different occasions. Their main mythos includes a hypothetical (known only through archeological evidence) race called Stranniki ("Wanderers") who are suspected of messing with human civilization in unclear ways. ''Literature/RoadsidePicnic'' is based on the premise that sufficiently advanced aliens visit Earth, leaving a bunch of (again) confusing artifacts.
* Palmer Eldritch in ''Literature/TheThreeStigmataOfPalmerEldritch''.
* The Leatherfaces in ''[[Creator/StephenKing Under the Dome]]'' are [[spoiler:the children of a sufficiently advanced alien race]]. They exist outside of normal time and space, don't even seem to remember what corporeal bodies ''are'', and [[spoiler:play with humans the same way that human children might "play" with ants using a magnifying glass]]. Although they do use machinery, an invincible box the size of a Tivo set that can [[spoiler:project a five mile high dome capable of stopping a cruise missile]] is definitely pretty advanced.
* The ancient Arisians and Eddorians of the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' universe. The Arisians come closest, having direct mental control over matter to a level that the Eddorians do not.
* In Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' stories, the Outsiders have technology that the other species -- even the Puppeteers, who are at least ten thousand years ahead of humanity -- cannot even begin to ''comprehend'' much less replicate.
* The Jenoine of ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}''. It takes the full attention and utmost efforts of Sethra Lavode, the most powerful sorcerer on the planet [[spoiler:due to being a two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand-year-old vampire]] to kill a single Jenoine scout. They are so powerful that the gods of this world, [[spoiler:who are actually former slaves of the Jenoine who rebelled with magic learned from their masters]], are scared of them.
* In Creator/StanislawLem's ''Literature/TheCyberiad'', a scientist called Klapaucius theorizes that there must exist a civilization that is on the highest possible level of development. He eventually finds it, but he's shocked to see that they do absolutely nothing. This is because they think doing anything when you're perfect is pointless; "You climb to reach the sum­mit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down!"
* Rather common in ''Literature/PerryRhodan''. Perhaps the most iconic type of Sufficiently Advanced Alien in the setting is the "super-intelligence", typically (but not necessarily always -- more exotic origins have been described) the collective disembodied minds of one or more entire precursor species making up one distinct entity that usually claims one or more galaxies (with all their 'lesser' inhabitants) as its personal territory. (And yes, ''our'' galaxy along with a bunch of others is nominally governed by such a being as well; it's the original source of the protagonists' immortality phlebotinum, for one. Thankfully, IT is usually content to remain a bit more obscure and less actively interventionist than a lot of its colleagues.) At least two more EvolutionaryLevels above these are known to exist...
* In Creator/PeterFHamilton's ''Literature/CommonwealthSaga'' and ''Literature/VoidTrilogy'', you get the Silfen, who are elves that can travel between planets by walking the Silfen Paths. Even though humans are pretty sure the paths are actually disguised wormholes, they aren't able to understand how they work, or even to detect the paths. In the ''Void Trilogy'' some of their "magic" was reverse-engineered by Ozzie Fernandez Isaacs to create the gaïafield, which allow humans equipped with gaïamotes to share emotions and dreams. The Firstlifes who built the void could also qualify, as no one understand its purpose or how it works.
* Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Dancers at the End of Time'' are {{reality warp|er}}ing sufficiently advanced ''humans''. They reached godhood one million years before the beginning of the story, which, ironically, caused humanity to fall into decadence by boredom (omnipotence can do that apparently) and by the beginning of the first book, only a few hundreds of them still exist on earth, yet, even diminished as they are, they are still by far the most powerful race in the universe (well, the fact that their technology is so costly in energy that it is dramatically speeding up the heat death of the universe means that there are not that many potential rivals anymore) and are still able to understand their own technology, the problem is that they use it to built [[GreatGazoo pink suns on a whim]] or tinker with the space-time continuum to pass time instead of trying to fix the mess they created. It is even implied that some of them actually [[spoiler:go to [[CanonWelding other universes]] and start insanely destructive wars against gods]] because they have nothing better to do.
* Tuffy in Creator/JohnRingo's ''Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass'' series. Unless, as hinted, [[OurAngelsAreDifferent he's something even stranger]].
* Langhorne and the other founders of ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' are this to the unwitting colonists. Shan-Wei, a founder who resists the idea of setting themselves up as "Archangels" is defeated and becomes the planetary religion's equivalent of Satan.
* The Preservers of Paul J. [=MaCauley=]'s ''Confluence'' series are worshiped as gods by the inhabitants of the title construct, a literal space needle several thousand kilometers long which they built and populated with genegeneered species of their creation. [[spoiler:Subverted in that in the second book it is revealed that they were actually Suficiently Advanced Humans and that the series takes place millions of years in the future]].
* The Precursors of Creator/DavidBrin's ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' series who are directly or indirectly responsible for the existence of all but a tiny fraction of a percentage of intelligent species. That tiny fraction apparently includes us, although there is debate about it that eventually becomes a multi-sided holy war.
* The Spindle aliens in Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Strata}}'' had the technology (which we retroengineered from artifacts of their dead civilization) to create planets from scratch and extend life into the realm of centuries ([[WhoWantsToLiveForever although few humans go beyond the three century mark without directly or indirectly committing suicide]]).
** Subverted with the later discovery that [[spoiler:they never existed, and neither did their precursors, or the ones before that. All ancient aliens were discovered due to everyone who can engineer planets inevitably deciding at some point to put their signature on it somehow, with the human example tending to be things like hiding a boot in a coal seam. It turns out that all the evidence of ancient aliens is itself apparently a metaphorical boot hidden by the creators of the universe]].
* The Souls from ''Literature/TheHost'' especially when it comes to medicine, which is almost ridiculously effective, ridding the body of infection, fever, cancer, whatever, pretty much instantly.
* The Builders who created the title construct of Eric Brown's ''Helix'', a construct which contains ''thousands'' of constructed planets linked together in the titular shape.
* Robert Sheckley's short story "Hunting Problem" is about a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien who is the worst member of his [[ScoutOut scout troop]] and desperately needs to win a merit badge before the upcoming Scouter Jamboree. To this end, he engages in a [[HilarityEnsues hilariously inept]] attempt to obtain a [[spoiler:human]] pelt using "colonial" methods such as shapeshifting and summoning objects out of thin air.
* Practically every alien that the protagonists encounter from the Chinese novel series ''TheAdventuresOfWisely'' is an example of this trope, having evolved to the point that [[SuperiorSpecies every one of them invariably possess abilities]] [[PunyEarthlings that make them demigods by our standards]] - PsychicPowers, [[{{Teleportation}} instanteous travel]], [[{{Immortality}} effectively unlimited lifespans]], [[IntangibleMan the ability to phase through solid matter]], [[SelfDuplication can exist in multiple locations at any given time]], [[NighInvulnerability and are virtually impossible to kill using means available to us]], and this is by no means an exhaustive list; thankfully the protagonists tend to pull through either by virtue of having a friendly SufficientlyAdvancedAlien on their side, or by [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talking them down]] via finding loopholes in their often [[BlueAndOrangeMorality bizarre reasoning and code of ethics]].
* Literature/OrionFirstEncounter: The makers of the Orion. They can rewire people's brain, bend the time/space continuum and make holographic boxing gloves that can interact with whatever they come into contact with.
* ''Literature/TheTaking'' builds up the horrifying monsters and bizarre growths that appear as alien invaders remaking the Earth to be suitable for them. Molly, the protagonist, brushes the impossible sights around her off as the result of alien technology thousands of years ahead of humanity. [[spoiler:The ending reveals it to have been an [[InvertedTrope inversion]]. The invaders were actually demons and the "invasion" and "terraforming" are implied to have been a DespairGambit based on what people expect to see.]]
* "The Last Question" is a short story by Creator/IsaacAsimov, which, at the end, features Cosmic AC, an artificial intelligence that exists outside the known universe, and has absorbed all minds and all data in the universe, and thus can be said to be functionally omniscient. At the end of time, in a dead universe having suffered heat death, it is the only being capable of finally answering the eponymous Last Question: "Can entropy ever be reversed?" However, it has no one it can deliver the answer to. [[spoiler:Thus it uses its answer to create a new universe. "Let there be light."]]
* The Elder Gods in the Literature/TitusCrow series by Creator/BrianLumley are a bunch of Cthulhuoid deities who are all a GoodCounterpart to their more famous brethren. They provided humanity with protections against the Cthulhu Mythos as well as bound their kinsmen. It's implied they assist other races in their development as well.
* In ''Literature/{{Flatland}}'', the Sphere is this from the narrator's perspective, having unusual powers deriving from existing in another dimension, i.e. the third.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* It seems like ''Franchise/StarTrek'' had dozens of these buggers running around the edges of the Federation: The Cytherians; Trelane, the so-called "Squire of Gothos" (who later spin-off novels established as a rogue Q); the Organians; the Q; the Thasians, who reared Charlie "Charlie X" Evans; The Companion; Nagilum; the Caretaker; the Douwd (one of whom wiped out an expansionist empire in a fit of anger); Bajor's "Prophets" (even though they never came out of the wormhole); Apollo and the other Olympians; even Quetzalcoatl (in an episode of the animated series). It's implied that Wesley Crusher [[AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence became one]] when he was PutOnABus, as did Kes from ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.
** ''[[Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier What does God need with a starship?]]''
** The Metrons, from the famous ''TOS'' episode where Kirk fought the Gorn.
** Also the Guardian of Forever (or alternately, the ancient race that created said Guardian).
** Humans can be this to a sufficiently primitive race if first contact is sufficiently bungled as both Picard (in the TNG episode "Who Watches the Watchers?") and Kirk (in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'') discovered.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has Lorien and the First Ones (the Vorlons and the Shadows can be killed, so they're not on this level; and they represent themselves as [[spoiler: angels and demons respectively]] rather than as gods).
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' parodied this trope for everything it was worth in the Sci-Fi era with the Observers, a race of [[BrainInAJar disembodied brains]] carried around in bowls by bodies that they claimed didn't exist. Despite claims that they were possessed of all knowledge in the universe, they are an omnipotent race of morons -- assuming that Tom Servo was one of them because he did well on an IQ test and he started carrying an olive in a dish and pretending it was his brain, and finding chili dogs an incredibly fascinating concept, to name just two instances.
** Pearl also wound up babysitting some bratty SufficientlyAdvanced alien kids in a parody of ''Star Trek'''s Trelane.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'' the Ori fit this: they are immaterial, pretty close to all-knowing, and have near absolute control over natural forces. Their followers point out that there's really a fair argument to be made that the Ori ''are'' gods. To which SG-1 usually retorts that even if their power and knowledge are real, [[AbusivePrecursors their actions]] make them unworthy of devotion.
** In the Franchise/StargateVerse, the Ancients, the "good guy" counterpart to the Ori, are also [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence "ascended"]] human-like beings. Though they have a strict policy of [[NeglectfulPrecursors not interfering in mortal matters]], the Ancients left all sorts of neat tech lying around when they ascended (including the eponymous stargates and [[Series/StargateAtlantis city of Atlantis]]). The Ancients are often said to have re-created human life across the galaxy when they started ascending.
** While the Nox are SpaceElves instead of EnergyBeings, what little we've seen of them seems to paint them in this light.
* In ''Series/StargateUniverse'', when the Destiny comes across a planet that shouldn't be there that looks as if it was built for them, they theorize all-powerful aliens must've built it, especially because of a huge monolith with strange writing. A theory that gains more credence when [[spoiler:a group of people left behind on that planet suddenly and inexplicably show up a galaxy away... after freezing to death.]] Also the "all-powerful aliens" bit is not too outlandish in the Stargate verse, what with the Ascended (it would be well within the power of the Ascended to create a perfectly habitable planet).
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' featured these occasionally, and they ranged from the [[HumanoidAbomination humanoid]] to the [[StarfishAlien utterly]] [[EldritchAbomination otherworldly]]. By far the most extraordinary were the True Ancients, who had power to control minds, open wormholes, and in the case of at least one, "wrap time around his little finger."
** "[[LampshadeHanging Godlike aliens... man, do I hate god-like aliens!]] I'll trade a [[MonsterOfTheWeek critter]] for a godlike alien, any day!"
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'' there are the Eternals, for instance, who dismiss the Time Lords with "Are there Lords of such a small domain?" In the ExpandedUniverse novels, a group of Eternals are the seldom-mentioned [[AncientAstronauts gods of Gallifrey]]. And then it turns out that The Eternals themselves greatly respect creatures known as the Black and White Guardians, who are as far above them as they are above Time Lords.
** The Time Lords themselves also count. Having made technology to travel anywhere in time and space, as well as other goodies like the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Sonic Screwdriver]], and being capable of cheating death.
* In ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978'' the Seraphs are this to the Colonists. Interestingly, the Colonists regard the Seraphs as exactly this - technologically advanced aliens.
** Later, the Colonists take this role to the Terrans, and to Earth.
* Subverted in ''Series/EarthFinalConflict''; the Taelons view themselves as this out of arrogance, but, as EnergyBeings who can't replenish the energy they're made out of and burn, are actually an evolutionary dead end. Their technology appears wondrous, but it, too, dies from lack of sustenance without outside intervention. It's later revealed that the entire Taelon species was created by a cult, who drained core energy out of the rest of the Atavus in order to give a relatively small group thousands of years of potential life. This left the majority of the race (now calling themselves Jaridians) short-lived and extremely pissed off. It's no wonder the Jaridians are so pissed off at the Taelons. Also, the change left the Taelons weak and dying, until a race of EnergyBeings called the Kimera came and fixed their genome (as their way of saying thanks, the Taelons exterminated the Kimera). A branch of the original vampiric Atavus lived on Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago and seemed that way to the primitive humans, until a meteor shower forced them into slumber. Prior to that, their leader Howlyn used the DNA of a dead time-traveling monk to "upgrade" the primitive hominids to the more "modern" man.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "Sightings", Harm [[DiscussedTrope discusses this]] as part of his AgentScully argument:
-->'''Harm''': You expect the spaceships to be lined up along the tarmac?
-->'''Meg''': Very funny.
-->'''Harm''': Seriously. If there was a race advanced enough to travel millions of light-years to Earth, I truly doubt we could catch them, no matter how much we wanted to.
* In ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'', there were the [[{{Precursors}} Celestials]], a race of even ''more'' mysterious beings who used impossibly advanced technology to shape entire star systems, and may very well have been connected to the physical embodiments of the Force itself.
* The Argonds in ''Series/TheAdventureGame'' are more powerful and technologically advanced than the time-and-space travellers from Earth who visit each week, and although polite, they have "a regrettable sense of humour" that inspires them to set a wide variety of lateral thinking and {{Room Escape Game}}s for the Earthlings to solve before they will let them leave again - and even then, they have to cross the grid of the Vortex, which will evaporate them and force them to return to Earth ''on foot'' if they move onto the space it currently occupies.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ComicStrip/MandrakeTheMagician runs into these, far more often than you'd expect a crimefighter whose speciality is stage tricks to do.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* For a more EldritchAbomination style advanced alien, there's the [[spoiler:ETI]] from ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase''.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the mer and kor on the plane of Zendikar each worship a triplet of gods, the legends of which are based on the horrific Eldrazi ({{Eldritch Abomination}}s). The mer gods Cosi and Ula are based on the Eldrazi monstrosities Kozilek and Ulamog.
** Karn the Silver Golem was a sufficiently advanced ''robot'', an assembly of artifacts indistinguishable from an old-style [[PhysicalGod Planeswalker]]. He even created his own world.
* The C'tan of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. They fall somewhere between Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and EnergyBeings, given that they had no physical form and little power to influence the world until their followers gave them bodies.
** The Old Ones were Sufficiently Advanced Aliens long before the C'tan decided to stop ignoring sentient races and start eating them. They seeded worlds with life, created safe realms within the Warp, and created the Eldar (who later ascended to this position themselves) and the Orks.
** Eldar were this during their peak. They would move the stars for the view.
*** Arguably, they still count. Yes, they're [[DyingRace slowly dying out]] as a race and a culture, but they still have some very nice technology left over that can't really by explained by human science. As do the Necrons, the [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters former servants and now jailers]] of the above mentioned C'tan.
*** The Dark Eldar even more so, since they didn't see fit to ditch or lock up their toys, unlike their Craftworld and Exodite cousins. This helps make up for their atrophied psychic powers.
*** The Eldar still use projectile weapons, lasers, spaceships, and so on just like everyone else. Their toys may be a bit more shiny than most, but they're a very long way from being sufficiently advanced. The Necron are closer, since no-one understands how their technology is possible, especially their teleporting and FTL travel, but it's still clearly technology and not really in the sufficiently advanced realm.
** In one instance a necron ship made it dangerously close to Holy Terra itself (close enough as in it could have landed on the planet) and bypassed an imperial blockade specifically designed to stop it. How? Because the blockade expected it to use warp drives to jump across the stars and were ready to intercept it during the jump. It jumped...just that it never entered the warp. This is in stark contrast to the Tau, who also have non-warp based interstellar travel, but can only make tiny "hops". The necron ship was only stopped because what little defenders were left at Terra managed to damage it enough to cause it to phase out (something that's also incomprehensible to the Imperium at large).
* In the 6th Edition of TabletopGame/HeroSystem there are at least three races [[spoiler:the Malvans, the Odrugarans and the Mandaarians]] capable of doing anything from colonizing and terraforming asteroids and planets to shattering planets, pull a moon or planet out of its orbit and “fling” it away from its parent body, transmute one type of matter into another type of matter (thus allowing for the nigh-instantaneous creation of objects from “thin air”), quickly and easily clone any living creature, then copy or transfer memories into the clone, create force-fields that protect against virtually any force (including magic and psionics), cross the Milky Way Galaxy in as little as a day (military starships) or a week (common civilian models), teleport people and objects over interstellar distances (and sometimes further), giving themselves any superpower they desire and cure nearly any disease, heal nearly any injury,and extend lifespans for centuries (or even millennia, or can even live forever). [[spoiler:Luckily they're all peaceful or too lazy from being able to replicate anything they want to be a threat.]]
** This is the weaker version in which [[spoiler: The Malvans]] languished, even though they're still the most advanced species in the universe with the most advanced technology. In one of the alternate universes, however, the event that caused them to become that way never happened the result, [[spoiler: they took over the universe and continue expanding and are beginning to expand into the multiverse, to the point where the BBEG of the series, Istvatha V’han, who conquered billions of universes of the multiverse cannot take that one universe over and monitors it very cautiously]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'', the [[RealityWarper Traveler]] is believed to be one of these, especially as humanity's research into its nature and "Light" led to their glorious technological GoldenAge with incredible wonders of reality-breaking technology. The Guardians, who were humans and transhuman warriors brought back from the dead and infused with the Traveler's Light directly, are akin to space wizards whose abilities blur the line between technology and magic, and whom can do things like defy causality, break through the effects of ontological weaponry that wipe things from existence, and shield them from the effects of multidimensional horrors.
* If the dialogue from the monolith use means anything, this is probably what the player is in ''VideoGame/SimEarth''.
* In ''Videogame/{{MARDEK}}'', every other race, especially the Annunaki. However, they are weak enough that they can be defeated outnumbered and forced into a situation where they are forced to fight out of their element. Moric, the first you fight is a necromancer, and is forced to fight himself, first drained of energy after being interrupted in the middle of casting a massive necromantic spell, and then again in a place where he didn't have any dead to raise. Qualna, the second, had powers mainly based around manipulation, deception, and, if necessary, combat from a great distance away. He never expected to be in a real fight at all.
* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]] and ''their'' own forerunners, [[RecursivePrecursors the Precursors]], fit the bill neatly. A list of the Forerunners' works include:
** The Halo Array: 7 (originally 12) ring habitats that act as fortresses and weapons of a kill-all-life-in-the-Galaxy-bigger-than-a-microbe scale. Had the original 12 been activated all at once, the kill-effect would have gone ''far out into the Local Cluster''. The rings themselves have almost the radius of the ''Earth''.
** The Ark: C&C for the Halo Array, as well as a Halo-factory ''and'' a refuge from the destruction. Positioned 3 galactic diameters out from the Galaxy's core. Scale is... ''considerably'' larger than a Halo. [[http://www.halopedian.com/images/8/8e/ArkScaleComparison.gif Comparison]].
*** The Ark itself comes with its own small star that moves around it.
*** ''Literature/HaloSilentium'' further reveals that Installation 00 was known by the Forerunners as "the ''Lesser'' Ark". The Greater Ark was even more massive, and it was there that the Forerunners made their last stand against the Flood.
** Shield Worlds are essentially hollow or layered ''[[ThatsNoMoon planet-sized artificial structures]]'', comparable to what we might call a "small Dyson Sphere". They were built to serve as both Warrior-Servant bases and refuges from the Flood. One of them, known as either the "Sharpened Shield" or Trevelyan, is actually housed in a PocketDimension, the gateway to which is ''inside'' another Shield World built out of Sentinel robots (i.e small UCAV units). Trevelyan itself has multiple {{Pocket Dimension}}s of its own, to store a big starfleet.
** ''Literature/TheForerunnerSaga'' describes other structures as well. ''Fortress''-Class warships and "The Capital" station, just to name a few. in Fact, the way they're described, it's highly probable that the Covenant capital city-ship/planetoid ''High Charity'' was a Fortress-class knockoff. The Forerunners had ''fleets'' of the things, each one far superior to ''High Charity'' itself.
** Precursors, on the other hand, are regarded by the ''Forerunner'' as Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Their structures are all but indestructible for them, and only a Halo pulse can frag them. Why? Because the Precursors used ''sentience itself'' as a building material. Or, [[TechnoBabble something]]. To be specific, Precursor structures are built using something called "neural physics", which completely baffles the Forerunners; [[spoiler:the Domain, a galaxy-spanning and self-aware information network with zero material components,]] is just one of their many creations. [[spoiler:The Precursors are apparently so advanced that they have long since abandoned a single form for their species: the Flood, the insectoid-arachnid prisoner of Charum Hakkor, and the strange, virulent "dust" found by ancient humanity are ''all'' Precursors. Furthermore, some dialogue in ''Silentium'' suggests that the Precursors are older than the universe itself, and have in fact existed through ''multiple incarnations'' of the universe.]]
* Some theories have the G-Man in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series be one of these. He clearly fits the description as he is able to manipulate reality, stop time and teleport people into bizarre alien realms, all without twitching a muscle. He also appears completely unconcerned by the carnage going on around him.
** At one point in the series, the Vortigaunts are shown to at least have ''some'' kind of power over the G-Man when they manage to successfully hold him off and keep him away from Gordon for some stretch of time. But what exact implications this has on the limits of the G-Man's power is never explained.
* The Val-Fasq in the ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' Gameverse.
* ''VideoGame/MOTHER1'' has Giygas, who is a sufficiently advanced alien -- advanced enough to where the form of his attacks are incomprehensible, even to psychics. The sequel, ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', upgrades Giygas to CosmicHorrorStory status.
** In Mother, he is also [[ContractualBossImmunity completely immune to harm]].
* The Mother of ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', who descended to our planet aeons ago and [[spoiler: begat all mortal life as helpers to aid her in returning to the stars. [[TearJerker She cannot return]]; the human PlayerCharacter has to MercyKill her as the FinalBoss.]]
* The final boss of the first ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'', Meta-God, is explicitly described as an alien so powerful humanity is on the level of ants compared to it. The purpose of TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon is to call it to Earth so that it will lay waste to the planet.
* The Ancients from ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic''; they create worlds for ''fun''.
** Well, ForScience. Rather oddly, the Kreegan manages to be a major threat to the Ancients, to the point that they brought down the overarching Ancient civilization ''throughout a Galactic arm'', while ''simultaneously'' being defeatable by a LostColony fallen deep into barbarism and witchcraft without said colony having to resort to scavenged LostTechnology or some new-found AchillesHeel, if only on the planetary scale (the Kreegan are PlanetLooters, and as far as can be told from the games, act independently from Kreegan forces on other worlds).
* The Cuotl from the game ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'' appear SufficientlyAdvanced, since their alien technology is light years ahead of the steampunk Vinci and the magical Alin.
** Somehow Cuotl are still [[RockBeatsLaser not any stronger]] than the Vinci.
* The [[EldritchAbomination Rea]][[SapientShip pers]] from ''Franchise/MassEffect''. [[spoiler:They built the Mass Relays and the Citadel.]]
** Averted and subverted with every other race. In ''Revelations'', the turians just before the First Contact War described as being on roughly the same technological level as us. Most other races also dance on that line, and then there are some races like the krogan, vorcha, and drell that "hitchhiked" into space for one reason or another. Which is in turn justified because [[spoiler: all advanced space technology is based on the technology of the previous spacefaring civilisations, all of which had a finite time to develop their technology before being harvested by the Reapers. Basicaly, having everything incorporate Mass Effect technology puts everything on an even playing field, at least until the masters of that technology come knocking.]]
** The asari [[spoiler: got a little boost from the Protheans, allowing them to become more or less the alphas of the Galaxy.]]
** From ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'', there's [[spoiler:the Jaardan, the species who created the terraforming network capable of rewriting a biosphere in minutes, controlled from a moon-sized dyson sphere, along with creating an entire species. They were driven off by a sufficiently advanced other, who unleashed the physics-breaking Scourge on them for reasons unknown.]]
* The Xel'Naga from ''VideoGame/StarCraft''. They're all about cosmic cycles, "star-forging", and re-creating themselves out of separate species that they engineer and eventually unite. All was nice and dandy until [[spoiler:an EldritchAbomination did them in by corrupting the Zerg, who TurnedAgainstTheirMasters]], and the Xel'Naga haven't been seen since.
* The Entity from ''VideoGame/NexusTheJupiterIncident'', an ancient AI capable of reshaping reality. The Entity's Creators might also count, since the last Creators have been manipulating primitive humans for centuries until they died. The twist? Their goal was to have humans design an infrastructure that would be compatible with their latest AI Angel, designed to fight the Entity. However, the last Creator died centuries before anyone even thought about creating machines that counted numbers. And yet their plan worked.
* The Wave Existence from ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', an energy being from another dimension that somehow created our own. It believes it is what the inhabitants of this dimension would regard as "God" but doesn't think of itself as such. Probably because it spent billions of years trapped in the Zohar Modifier.
* The player in ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'' can be this, from creating life on barren planets, painting CropCircles to incite wonder and worship from primitives, uplifting civilizations to bringing nuclear from the sky upon hapless tribes.
* [[EldritchAbomination Lavos]] from ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' is a sufficiently ''evolved'' alien; his species has developed a life-cycle that works on an interplanetary scale. As such, he has enough power to make a barren planet fertile, and vice versa, and was once worshiped as a god.
* The Titans from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. They travel across the universe, shaping worlds to fit their idea of order.
** The Naaru as well, as they're essentially angels. That build inter-dimensional spaceships.
** Several members of the Burning Legion are as well, being corrupted creatures from other planets that build mechanical portals, forges, and HumongousMecha.
* Tuatha De Dunaan from ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 3D''.
* [[spoiler:Tezkhra]] and [[spoiler:the Watchers]] in ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'' turn out to be this, as part of a DoingInTheWizard reveal.
* In ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' [[spoiler: the surviving members of the First Civilization ''were'' the basis for the deities of most religions, both due to their technology and the fact that they ruled over humanity before humankind rebelled.]] The Pieces of Eden have effects considered explicitly to be "magic" by those who witness them, though Altair concludes that it is simply sufficiently advanced -- and supremely dangerous -- technology. Among the noted abilities of the Pieces of Eden are mind control and immense amounts of technical knowledge (the Apples); telekinesis and mind control (the Staff); resurrection of the dead (the Ankh); healing severe wounds, disease, and genetic disorders (the Shroud); and telepathy (the Crystal Skulls). Some of the artifacts are capable of temporal distortion (the device responsible for the Philadelphia Event) or outright seeing into the future; [[spoiler: one of the "senses" of the First Civilization was "knowledge" which apparently allowed them to know things that would be impossible to understand otherwise, and this apparently included the ability to see the future]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' series of games, the S'pht'Kr probably qualify, the Jjaro definitely do, and Durandal achieves it by the end of ''Marathon 2''.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' has the Shinkoku Trastrium civilization, which are actually super-powered human cyborgs descended from Genetically altered humans, have a lot in common with this trope, with a UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} and UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} twist.
* ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' has the [[spoiler:Mithrilar, who existed long before any other sentient life and one of whom created the Precursors: Arnor and Dread Lords. One of them is also indirectly responsible for the Altarians being HumanAliens. What happened to them is not known.]] Two different Victory Conditions result in your species becoming Sufficiently Advanced: either by absorbing enough Ascension Crystal energy or by doing so much research that you learn the secrets of the universe and ascend naturally.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame The Dwemer]], though long since disappeared by the time the series takes place, are essentially the fantasy equivalent. They looked down on the other mortal races for their [[{{Naytheist}} superstitious beliefs]] that the [[FlatEarthAtheist Aedra and Daedra were truly gods worth worshiping]]. The tools and technologies they left behind are still used by the more clever denizens of Tamriel to accomplish feats that conventional technologies and magics cannot match, and [[HandWave no particularly detailed explanation]] for how they did it has ever been given. They were known to bend the laws of time/physics [[RagnarokProofing in order to make their creations last for millennia]]. Want to [[DeityOfHumanOrigin tap into the divine powers]] of a [[GodIsDead dead god]]? The Dwemer made tools for that. Want to read an [[TomeOfEldritchLore Elder Scroll]] without all of the nasty side effects? The Dwemer made a machine for that. Want to crush your enemies with a [[RealityWarper Reality Warping]] HumongousMecha? The Dwemer just so happened to leave a complete and functioning one behind.
** The Tribunal are a trio of immortal elves who obtained divinity utilizing the technological artifacts of the Dwemer and are worshiped as deities by the Dunmer (the dark elves of the setting). Unlike other existing pantheons in the series, the Tribunal are [[PhysicalGod beings of flesh and blood]] and wield direct power over their followers.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} The X-Universe]]'': ''Not'' the Ancients who, while aeons ahead of everyone else, still have technology recognizable as technology. Instead, this status is held by the Outsiders, beings who once tried to invade this universe from another, and had the capability to subtly alter universal physical constants (ie, they could rewrite the laws of physics). The only example of their tech seen were some scouting probes... that were each the size of a ''solar system''. The Ancients barely managed to blow up one of said probes, which apparently convinced the Outsiders to stay out of this universe, as they haven't tried anything since.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'': According to Solas in ''Trespasser'', [[spoiler: the Evanuris aka the Elven Pantheon]] are revealed to be the medieval fantasy version of this trope. [[spoiler:Rather than actual "gods", they were merely immortal and phenomenally powerful mages that rose to prominence after an unknown war and established an empire where they were revered as deities themselves. They certainly had the power to back it up, since the two Evanuris members we see onscreen had magical abilities beyond the ken of established lore]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'', you can serve as this to any primitive, pre-spacefaring species you encounter in the galaxy, with options including [[GivingRadioToTheRomans technological enlightenment]] and (if the species has reached the industrial era) [[KillAndReplace infiltration of their governments]] on top of [[AlienInvasion invading the planet]] or simply building an observation post. Amusingly, an event involving an observation post can [[AncientAstronauts result in the creation of a Great Pyramid building]]. You also have the option of starting next to an alien empire more advanced than your own in order to increase the challenge.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Prime Movers in ''ComicBook/{{Buck Godot|Zap Gun for Hire}}'' are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, and are stated to be omnipotent (at least they're very good at bending the laws of physics and geometry).
** Lord Thezmothete is most likely one too. His abilities are never explicitly shown or mentioned, but he is mentioned to be a Class 1 Power (by comparison, an alien with the power to teleport entire planets around was classified as Class 8 and humanity -- collectively, mind -- is a Class 12 Power). He does possess some nifty technology at least, such as a waste disposal unit that creates miniature black holes and in his first appearance was able to make a battle fleet disappear without a trace.
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': The Vargas, who organize the tournament. Also the guys from U19, who rely on technology to fight.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Galatea expresses profound disappointment that Fructose Riboflavin [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20091205.html isn't one of these.]]
--> "There I was, expecting star-treading demigods, and instead I got a belligerent moth in a rugby shirt. It's not the same."
** Actually, his race the Nemesites turn out to be a subversion. They ''have'' the necessary tech to qualify for this trope, but [[SpaceAmish deliberately limit]] themselves to a HigherTechSpecies lifestyle [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20130726.html to avoid decadence.]] However, as a defense ''against'' SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, they have the ability to generate [[TheSingularity Singularity-style]] A.I. beings called "[[Music/IronButterfly Butterflies of Iron]]" -- but they're leery of doing so because the entities are [[AIIsACrapShoot hard to control.]] Of ''course'' [[{{Hubris}} Galatea]] [[DontTouchItYouIdiot activates]] [[BigRedButton one]] [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20141018.html as soon as she hears about it.]]
* ''Webcomic/TroopsOfDoom'' has the Legonians, masters of the nigh-magical, ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve-fueled [[BuiltWithLego Legotech]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheSalvationWar''. The demons and angel are very much insufficiently advanced to deal with modern weaponry. However played straight in that this is what they were when they first showed up in the Bronze Age.
** Inverted for a period of time as well. Once humanity organizes a counterstrike against the demons and absolutely slaughters them, some of the demons begin to believe that humans have figured out how to use impossibly powerful magic and cannot be defeated.
* Some of the most advanced technology in ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm'' is referred to as "clarktech" or "clarketech" in reference to this. Although it's not created by aliens, but by Sufficiently Advanced ''Terragens'' -- the Archai and the higher Transapients.
* Inverted in Literature/LandGames. The humans seem this way towards the indigenous natives. Some even worship Jayle as a goddess.
* The Kankiscree, a species of reptilian aliens in the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', have had a space-faring, technological society for at least 70 million years. By the time the humans encounter them in 1985, their technology is firmly in the grasp of Clark's Law.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NULjA1b9Aq0 This video]] is rather [[DanBrowned interesting in its own right]], but one of the claims it makes is the believe in "stair step evolution." That is, aliens came along and gave humanity little hints to get its evolution back on track. They also apparently built the pyramids and other religious architecture, and planted it along ley lines in an effort to raise the spiritual energy of humanity to high-level consciousness.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', [[spoiler:these are the source of of all [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual parahuman]] powers. In fact, said physics-breaking powers are vastly crippled versions of their own abilities - and the ([[NominalHero ostensible]]) [[BigGood Big Good]] Scion turns out to be the [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith avatar]] of the last one on earth.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' had the Contemelia, a race of aliens from the fifth dimension [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith that we can't even perceive]] who had technology so advanced they were able to create entire ''universes'' ForScience
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' had the Lorwardians, a race of aliens who were not only giant, super strong creatures, but they also possessed an arsenal of power world-destroying weapons. They were so advanced that it only took two of them to unleash an army of {{tripod|Terror}}s and conquer the earth 'in the time it takes to order a pizza. They were only brought down by Drakken's new mutant {{plant p|erson}}owers destroying the army of walkers while Ron used his Mystical Monkey Powers to take down the invaders.
* Sul, the Avatar [[spoiler:Satis]] and Canaletto on ''WesternAnimation/ObanStarRacers''. The Creators, on the other hand, may ''actually'' be gods.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries''
** "Bem" has probably the only instance in the entire franchise of a powerful alien looking after a planet of primitives, who appears to be genuinely wise and benevolent enough that Kirk ''doesn't'' automatically object to the situation on principle. Bonus points because the alien was voiced by Nichelle Nichols (Uhura).
** Also the zookeeping [[StarfishAliens Lactrans]] in "The Eye of the Beholder,'' who aren't exactly godlike, but are still an order of magnitude beyond Federation tech.
*** Ditto for the Vedala in "Jihad," described as the oldest known space-faring race.
* Primus, and by extension his polar opposite Unicron, from ''{{Franchise/Transformers}}''. Primus ''created'' the Transformers, and his physical form is their homeworld, Cybertron. Unicron has altered a number of Transformers to his own liking, goes around [[PlanetEater eating planets]], and transforms into a planet himself. Whether or not they're actually gods is entirely dependent on what [[AlternateContinuity segment of the mythos]] you're in.
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' has the Vok, the mysterious, skull-shaped aliens who police the space-time continuum and may have created the Earth as an elaborate experiment (and then tried to blow it up with a moon-sized DeathRay). According to some WordOfGod (their origins are never explained and the writers never really made up their minds on it) they might actually be hyperevolved humans.
*** Or they might be sentient robo-cancer post-CareBearStare.
** And that's to say nothing of the Transformers themselves? Come on, they're MechanicalLifeForms capable of altering their very bodily structure that occasionally come back from the dead, and many of them have their own special traits or abilities on top of that, which range from the relatively prosaic (such as force fields, holograms, or moving very fast) to those that border on supernatural (Starscream's immortal [[OurSoulsAreDifferent spark]] being one of the most prominent examples). In one episode of [[Franchise/TransformersGenerationOne the G1 cartoon]], they were actually mistaken for gods by an alien race.
*** Members of the First Thirteen, such as Vector Prime and the Fallen, have powers far beyond the abilities of other transformers. Vector Prime, for example, has the ability to manipulate time and space.
* In ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'', Doctor Doom claims Dormammu (a demon in the original Marvel continuity) was an extra-dimensional alien. He goes so far as to claim his abilities and technology made him ''seem'' demonic, explaining why early humans believed him to be from Hell.
* Gemkind in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' definitely fall under this; they're essentially living rocks, able to project a ShapeshifterDefaultForm made of HardLight, can regenerate said forms if wounded enough, can ''[[FusionDance combine]]'' their forms, have access to an interplanetary teleportation network, and live on a geological time scale. Even their millennia-old technology and abilities have yet to be even closely replicated by modern humanity.
* Rick of ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' is a rare example of a sufficiently advanced ''human''; not only does he travel between Universes on a regular basis, but he's also able to create new ones and populate them with sentient life, as shown in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy". He also created a species of roughly equivalent complexity to humans in "Meeseeks and Destroy", and in "Vindicators 3: The Return of World Ender", he claims to be able to "do anything, but only if I feel like it".
-->'''Morty''': ...[Rick]'s more like a demon, or a super fucked-up god.

* Mormonism teaches that God at one time existed in a mortal form similar to that of humans but was eventually "exalted" and now possesses a physical body similar to that of humans, but immortal and invulnerable to injury or disease. In the Book of Abraham, Kolob is described as a star that is "near unto [God]" and that has been set to govern all celestial bodies similar to Earth. (See [[http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr/3.3?lang=eng#2 Abraham 3:3]]) God is the literal father of our spirits and of those on all the other worlds that he created, which are described as being "without number" ([[http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/1.33,35?lang=eng#32 Moses 1:33,35]]). After the second coming of Jesus Christ, everyone who has ever lived or died will be resurrected with perfect, immortal physical bodies similar to God's, but only those who have fulfilled all of the requirements of the Gospel and faithfully endured to the end will obtain "exaltation", entering into the highest degree of Celestial Glory (i.e., the kingdom of God, or "the glory of the sun") and in effect become "gods" themselves, possessing all of God's wisdom and power and becoming able to create their own worlds. ([[http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.50-70?lang=eng#49 D&C 76:50-70]], [[http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.92-96?lang=eng#49 92-96]]) This doctrine, known as "eternal progression", was summarized by former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow as: "As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become."
* The satirical Church Of The Sub Genius refers to Jehovah-1 as "An [[GodIsEvil evil]] Space God from some corporate Sin Galaxy", and has an entire hierarchy of more-or-less omnipotent species of aliens, but also claims to believe in the "[[EldritchAbomination Elder Gods]]", and "possibly the One True God, but He ain't talking".
* [[ChurchOfHappyology That other religion you're thinking of that won't be mentioned here.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Physicist Frank J. Tipler advocates Omega Point theory, in which it is ''necessary'' that Sufficiently Advanced Aliens (or Sufficiently Advanced Humans) are not merely indistinguishable from gods, but become/create (it's complicated) God.
** The idea of "Omega Point" as the point of ultimate human perfection was originally conceived of by French Catholic priest and evolutionary biologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin!
* Creator/ArthurCClarke stated that if we ever find intelligent alien life they would be "apes or angels, but not men." The reasoning being that humans spent the vast majority of their history in the stone age, but since the discovery of agriculture just 10,000 years ago technological advancement has accelerated at an almost exponential rate. So the statistical likelihood of contacting a technological species before they hit TheSingularity is virtually nil.