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"Giygas cannot think rationally anymore. He isn't even aware of what he's doing now. His own mind was destroyed by his incredible power. What an almighty idiot!"
For some, the temptation of god-like power
becomes too great. However, this type of power was not meant for mere mortals to wield
. The prospect of cramming that much power into a mortal vessel destroys the recipient's mind, leaving him an empty shell of a man with unlimited power but the mental faculties of a half-wit child, or worse, a feral animal.
Conversely, some gods or other powerful entities may grow beyond their bounds, steadily losing their sense and reason as their power grows, in the end leaving them nothing more than creatures based solely on instinct, with untold powers behind them. This sort of tale is common in a Cosmic Horror Story
: A monster can be even more frightening if there's no point behind his actions, just mindless aggression, rage, or even simple curiosity.
Compare With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
, Mad God
, and Tortured Monster
. May be a result of Touched by Vorlons
or Phlebotinum Overload
Anime & Manga
- This was said to have happened to AKIRA in the manga series.
- Majin Buu is the one of the most powerful villains in Dragon Ball Z and is an Eldritch Abomination from millions of years ago, but is not the brightest bulb in the closet at first. His Super Buu form is a bit smarter and after absorbing several characters, including their memories and knowledge, is a full-on Genius Bruiser. Then he gets reverted to his Kid Buu form, which can't even speak outside of laughs and grunts.
- In Naruto, the Ten Tails is this, although when the Sage of Six Paths separated it into the nine bijuu, they were all given minds. Late in the series, after Obito becomes the Ten Tails jinchuriki, the sheer power rips his psyche into pieces, to the extent that he can't even recognize his own name. However, thanks to a twisted version of The Power of Love for his lost crush, Rin, he is able to muster up the willpower to overcome this and recover his intelligence. Notably, the same thing doesn't happen to Madara when he becomes the Ten Tails jinchuriki for some reason.
- Berserk: The Godhand don't qualify, being highly intelligent (unfortunately). However, when a would-be usurper (Emperor Ganishka) attempts to transcend Apostle-dom, he instead becomes this trope (also unfortunately).
- In one Doctor Strange arc, Strange destroyed a primordial entity of Chaos by assuming its power—and then killing himself. This led to him briefly becoming an all-powerful transcendent being with no ego or identity. Ironically, it was one of Strange's old enemies who dragged him back into the "illusion" of self.
- In the Preacher comic series, Jesse Custer was the host for Genesis, a potentially all-powerful newborn spirit that had no sense of individual will.
- ANYONE in Marvel Comics that has Intelligence of 1, but the rest of stats in Power Grid maxed out
- Trope Namer Giygas is literally described as this at the end of EarthBound. He achieved ultimate power, but went insane in the process, and what Ness and company ultimately confront is a babbling abomination in a constant state of self-inflicted Mind Rape.
- John DeFoe of the Chzo Mythos was formerly an abused child who became a vengeful, murderous revenant after Chzo infused him with power after his father beat him to death with a possessed wooden idol. He's nigh unkillable, completely mad, and can do nothing but lash out at everything he sees.
- The tie-in short story The Expedition has one character express this opinion about Chzo itself:
“The King is a beast. That’s the most foolish part of it. He has no sentience. His mind is nothing more than that of a fattened pig. He could be the most powerful entity in any universe and his actions are no more calculated than a dog chasing a bone."
- Deathevan, the Big Bad of Breath of Fire II, is strongly implied to be this. He's been propped up as the godhead of the Church of Eva for so long that he believes his own propaganda, appearing before the party as an old man in white robes before giving Ryu reason to attack him in a berserk rage. Once he's wounded, Deathevan's facade falls away, and his monstrous final form is a screaming lunatic that can't even comprehend why Ryu and his friends would fight so vehemently against him.
- In The Legend of Zelda Oracle games, True Final Boss Ganon becomes this due to a resurrection ritual that Link interrupts. Twinrova wanted to sacrifice Zelda, but when Link defeats her she sacrifices herself instead, bringing back all of the guy's power but none of his mind.
- Yu Yevon in Final Fantasy X is little more than a computer program, running on a policy of:
10 PRESERVE Dream Zanarkand
20 SUMMON Sin
30 DESTROY Stuff
40 GOTO 10
- The Big Bad of the 7th Fire Emblem game Nergal, gave into darkness to save his wife from some kidnappers. By the time he gets back, he's forgotten about her and is trying to corrupt his children into opening Dragon's Gate and starting the End of the World as We Know It. Badass Bookworm Canas also studies Dark Magic, and mentions that he must be careful, lest it consume him like his 3 brothers. If you find and complete the bonus chapters, Nergal mentions as he dies that he's forgotten something dear to him.
- In Mass Effect 2, Shepard boards a dead Reaper. The video logs from the researchers that previously investigated the ship bring this trope home:
Researcher: "A god. A real god is a verb. It warps reality just by existing. It doesn't have to think about it, it does it just by existing."..."Even a dead god can dream."
- In The Elder Scrolls The Old Gods Anu and Padomay are basically just primordial forces. Although some myths personify them, like the Khajiit or the Dark Brotherhood, which is confusing.
- In Stupid Snake, a textless webcomic, the title character is a stupid... snake with unlimited powers that randomly drive the plot that the poor main characters endure.
- Though, fortunately to the main characters, the Stupid Snake seems to be somewhat benevolent, and doesn't antagonize them (at least, not purposely).
- In Orion's Arm, such beings are known as "Animin".
- In Worm, Scion, the most powerful parahuman in the world and the first superhero, appears to be this. He doesn't appear to be able to prioritize, so he deals with flooded levies in Switzerland before dealing with the giant monster slaughtering superheroes and killing millions in New Delhi, and nobody can communicate with him to tell him about it. It's revealed that he's actually completely directionless with the exception of orders given by a homeless man in London, and the communication is infrequent enough that errors slip in. Many superheroes and villains refer to him as "the big golden idiot."
- Though is actually because he's a Sufficiently Advanced Alien and doesn't think the way a human would. Though he's still kind of an idiot, as he originally had a partner who did the planning, while Scion was the warrior of the pair.