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Clone by Conversion
Nameless Agent: You!
Smith: Yes, me. [transforms agent into a Smith copy] Me, me, me.
Copy Smith: Me too.

One of the problems with cloning is how slow and inefficient it is; you have all the difficulties of creating life, letting the clone mature, dealing with it diverging from the original, Clone Degeneration and so on. One simple way around this is to start off with some raw materials...namely, another person. This can range from using Functional Magic or Phlebotinum to transform someone physically and mentally or using more mundane means like Magic Plastic Surgery and Brainwashing. Either way, the unfortunate victim becomes the original's Doppelgänger.

Since this basically involves killing the person the clone's "made" from, this trope tends to be the preserve of villains. Indeed since cloning's become possible in Real Life, (and no longer automatically brings to mind a Mad Scientist), this is a good way for a writer to keep the act of cloning someone as ethically questionable. A villain who makes a habit of it might also be The Virus (especially if the clones are able to transform people as well).

Expect all the usual Cloning Blues to be turned Up to Eleven, since the copy has to deal with a Loss of Identity on two levels; both as a copy of someone else and from losing their original identity (if they can even remember it).

Compare and Contrast; Human Shifting (where someone has the ability to transform into another person), We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future (when this is used where a simple disguise would have sufficed), Body Surf, (where there is always only one of the "surfer", barring accidents), The Virus (which transforms the victim into a member of the Virus' type, rather than into a specific individual, although this distinction may be blurred if the Virus has a Hive Mind), Face Stealer (who forcefully transforms themselves into the original rather than the other way around) and Self-Constructed Being (where any material can be used as well as focusing on the being in question).


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • This GE Super Bowl Special commercial uses Agent Smith (see The Matrix below) as a visual metaphor for their medical assistance software's ability to be "everywhere".

    Anime and Manga 
  • Naruto features a method of bringing people back from the dead by turning still-living people into clones of them.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Transformers (UK), when Straxus fails into transferring his mind into Megatron's body, he turns a hapless Decepticon technician into a "Megatron clone" to attempt the transfer again.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons third edition introduces the psionic power "Mind Seed" which, after a week-long incubation, turns the target into a mental duplicate of the psion (though eight levels lower than the psion when s/he infected the target).
    • This power, in turn, is one of the tools the Dreaming Dark uses in Eberron.

    Literature 
  • In Stardoc: Plague of Memory Cherijo's long-dead first love, Kao Torin, is sighted on the Hsktskt homeworld. He turns out to be a genetically altered Hsktskt, created from DNA extracted from Kao's corpse which was buried in space by Jorenian custom.
  • In Beta, clones are created by extracting the soul of the original person (the "First") out of his/her body, then implanting a computer chip with information into said body.

    Live Action Television 
  • Similarly to the Matrix example, The Master in Doctor Who does this to almost the entire human race.

    Music 
  • A willing version of the process is very common in Visual Kei. Whether out of their admiration for other artists or out of wanting in on their success, this happens with some artists who take Follow the Leader to an extreme and become, in effect, clones of other artists' personas and sometimes even scarily close to their actual selves. Some common artists that pick up a lot of this are hide of X Japan - to the point that hide clones and cosplayers are almost their own subculture within visual kei - Kyo of Dir En Grey - who was himself one of Kuroyume's Kiyoharu - and Atsushi Sakurai of Buck Tick.
    • Kisaki and Kaoru are among the many artists who are famous for hide clone attempts, though both have somewhat moved on from that phase.
    • Leoneil of Vaniru is probably the most famous Atsushi Sakurai clone yet - to the point that it is widely rumored the two are father and son.

    Video Games 
  • In Resident Evil 6 Simmons created a clone of Ada Wong (who he was a little obsessed with) by testing out the C-Virus on Carla Radames. When she got her memories back, she was not amused.
  • The cloning pod in Evil Genius works by copying the Evil Genius's appearance onto one of the many disposable mooks in your employ. The purpose of this is to get the mook killed in order to make the World Powers believe your Evil Genius is dead and lower your heat level.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, it is revealed that Organization XIII was designed to gather twelve Nobodies who could be subjected to this trope in order to serve as vessels for Master Xehanort's heart.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife turns out to be this kind of clone of Sephiroth (along with countless others who were implanted with Jenova's cells, but he's the only one who displays the SOLDIER powers Seph had). He is also one, to a lesser degree, of his dead friend Zack, whose personality and memories he partly absorbed after the resident Mad Scientist messed up his head.
  • The King of Fighters utilizes this in K's story. He's still considered a clone of main hero Kyo despite only being injected with Kyo's genes and retaining his own appearance.
  • Halo reveals in The Forerunner Saga that the Didact from the Halo 3 terminals was the result of the Ur-Didact (the one from Halo 4) imprinting his consciousness upon a younger Forerunner. Unusually for this trope, the original personality still maintains some influence (most notably in his much more friendly attitude towards humanity compared with the original), and the act itself is portrayed as a necessary one, with the Didact imprint even promising his host that he'll return control when his mission is over, though by the time that happens, their personalities seem to have become irrecoverably merged.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja King Radical's plan turns out to be to do this on a massive scale (more specifically converting people into the inhabitants of the Radical Lands, where he came from).

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker implants his DNA and consciousness into Tim Drake, causing him to turn into a copy of him many years later.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender , the Gaang are given a creepy guide called Joo Dee. When her veneer breaks, she's taken away and replaced by an eerily similar guide who answers to the same name and insists she's the same person. It's revealed that the city in question has an entire room full of "Joo Dee"s being brainwashed into similar guides. It's never made clear if they're based of someone, but it certainly fits the spirit of the trope.
  • An episode of Ugly Americans featured a plague that was turning New Yorkers into clones of Larry King. Apparently the plague was a rare side effect caused by the original Larry King taking too many medications that interacted in an unexpected way.

    Web Original 


Clone ArmyOur Clones Are IdenticalClone Degeneration
Changeling TaleDoppelgängerCostume Copycat
Charm PersonMind ManipulationCompelling Voice
Brainwashing for the Greater GoodDeath of PersonalityCybernetics Eat Your Soul
Clipboard of AuthorityDisguise TropesCoat, Hat, Mask
Clone ArmySpeculative Fiction TropesClone Degeneration

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