"Not the regular Jesus, but one of the several space ones.
Any fictional religion, such as those found in a Medieval European Fantasy
, which possesses attributes stereotypically associated with Christianity (especially Roman Catholicism
) — such as priestly vestments, nuns and their habits, confessionals, the designs of houses of worship, and crosses — but which centers on a deity other than the Christian God, like an animistic spirit or pagan-flavored god. Often there will be a Yahweh
analog and/or a Satan
analog but not a Jesus one.
In numerous cases, in order to finalize the separation, the deity worshipped is a goddess
. In these cases, she is usually just called "the Goddess." (This may be based off the common use by neo-pagan religions of this term to denote the main female deity.)
In anime, these substitutions are intended for local flavor more than specific evasive metaphors or to avoid the Jesus Taboo
. Western productions typically don't engage in this trope since they have to worry about offending someone; however, they may use Crystal Dragon Jesus as a satire on Christianity, in which case the offense is intended. They may also use it simply to use Middle Ages
tropes without having to deal with Christianity directly. Also if one wants to use a religion that most people get the gist of, but want the setting to take place in a different world that isn't directly Earth (and thus it wouldn't make sense for the real Christianity, or any other of the Earth religions to exist), this trope is useful.
The name itself is a Dead Unicorn Trope
as few writers are willing to literally use a Crystal Dragon, but it does get the idea of random in-universe creatures. Furthermore there's the belief that new-age crystals do everything
and it's convenient for writers who want to make a Christ figure
There are also a few Crystal Dragon Islam religions. They generally share at least a few of these attributes: militant expansionism, coming from the east, and staunch monotheism.
Compare: Anime Catholicism
, Nuns Are Miko
, Hijacked by Jesus
, Faux Symbolism
, Interfaith Smoothie
, King of All Cosmos
, Fantasy Pantheon
. See also You Mean Xmas
and God of Evil
. Not to be confused with Fantasy Counterpart Culture
Christianity; a key element of Crystal Dragon Jesus
is that it keeps the trappings of Christianity but substitutes a markedly different being in the deity's role. Also not to be confused with Church of Saint Genericus
, which is about churches whose denomination is unmentioned to avoid audience alienation/distraction. Is usually the center of a Physical Religion
It's always A Good Name for a Rock Band
Compare with Lowest Cosmic Denominator
wherein the fictional religion is in fact a real world religion with the names changed, instead of merely analogous
to a real world religion.
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Anime & Manga
- Averted in One Piece: God Eneru of Skypeia can hear (literally) everything on the whole (sky) island, and thanks to his power as lightning incarnate, he can smite the people that insult or disobey him, and all of his subjects fear him like an actual god — but then Gan Fall, Skypeia's former ruler, says that the title "god" is simply that: a title for Skypeia's ruler. Turns out Eneru is just out of his gourd.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- The false religion practiced by Father Cornello in incorporates many aspects of Roman Catholicism. This is especially noteworthy because, in later episodes of the 2003 anime version, it is revealed that Christianity itself is a dead religion; the show implies the timelines of the fictional universe and "our" universe split about a millennium in the past, around the time alchemy was discovered.
- The Ishvalan religion seems to qualify as Crystal Dragon Islam. The Ishvalans have a vaguely Middle Eastern feel, and they are monotheists who worship a deity called Ishvalah, which sounds a lot like Allah (as well as Ishvar, the Sanskrit word for "god", so it could be coincidental). Word of God says that they're essentially what would happen if the indigenous Ainu settled in a Middle Eastern environment.
- There is a character, Wolfwood, who certainly dresses the way we'd expect a Protestant pastor to dress, and he does things like listen to confessions. There is a fair amount of analysis of the conflict between pacifist ideals and the obligation he feels to protect the innocent even if he must kill in order to do so. The major departure is the standard ludicrous weapon given to most characters; in Wolfwood's case, a portable pistol armory in the shape of a 7-foot tall cross (which also has a rocket launcher and machine gun built into it), which he jokes is heavy because it's "full of mercy".
- In the anime version, it's revealed that the various Christian/Protestant trappings are more a disguise/mockery than anything else, as Wolfwood is intended to be the next Chapel of the Church of the Gung-ho Guns, implicitly a cult religion created by Knives for the purpose of paying homage to him. Given this is Knives we're talking about, it wouldn't be that out of character.
- The church of Mauser in Scrapped Princess has many of the Christian trappings, with a fair amount of local color.
- In Record of Lodoss War, the archetypal High Fantasy anime, priests and paladins can be seen wearing crosses on their vestments/armor — even if they worship separate gods.
- The loosely-connected spinoff Rune Soldier heavily features the Church of Mylee, which closely resembles a crusader order, except that it's exclusively female. (Male priests of Mylee play an important part in Lodoss War as well, it's possible that there are separate orders for men and women, though there is no rule of celibacy.)
- In Those Who Hunt Elves, the holy symbol of Elvish priests looks an awful lot like a Greek Orthodox cross. There are also at least a few small, rather Christian-esque churches (including stained glass windows!) which may have only a single Roman Catholic-ish-looking priest and/or nun as staff, though the holy symbol seems to be more of a capital X in a circle for these. As of episode 9, there's not a whole lot of theology being discussed, though.
- The Saint Church of Ancient Belka in Lyrical Nanoha even has Jesus and Shroud of Turin analogues. The main character then adopts (Clone) Jesus by the end of the third season.
- The Holy See religious order is a full on Catholic Church approximation, complete with the Pope, bishops, and the Inquisition. It is also strongly hinted at that they actually worship the Godhand instead of the Four Elemental Kings, with shots of branded skeletons and Mozgus' story suggesting that the dungeon-cum-inquisition tower was rebuilt as an homage to Void's rise to the Godhand, and The Pope recognizing Griffith as the "Risen Savior".
- Chapter 83, the so-called "Lost Chapter," was never reprinted at the author's request because it supposedly gave too much of the story away too quickly. If you accept it as canon, you'll see that the symbol used by the Holy See wherever you would normally see a cross or crucifix in Catholicism is actually a stylized representation of the Idea of Evil, also known as the God of the Abyss and the "ungodly god born of man", a powerful creation of mankind's collective unconscious whose sole purpose is to cause pain and suffering so that humanity has someone else to blame for their problems.
- In Slayers, there's a literal dragon-worshiping church with suspiciously cross-like sunburst symbols and temples that tend to look rather Catholic. Their god Ceiphed sacrificed himself to save the world, too, and left behind four elemental dragon gods. Large factions of the church tend to have extremist policies about what's right in saving the world.
- In Haunted Junction, Haruto Hojo is selected to be one of the three members of the Holy Student Council (the others being a Shinto miko and the son of a Buddhist monk) because his father is a Christian priest. The denomination is extremely vague... the priest's vestments are similar to a Jesuit's robes but in all white, he can marry and have a family, has the icons in his church that bear a strong resemblance to the Virgin Mary, and is skilled in the ways of Hermetic Magic with no qualms about teaching his son enough to make a spirit trapping spell. (Note that some rites in the Catholic Church allow priests to marry; just not the Latin rite, which is the largest.)
- In 07-Ghost, the Church is identical to the Roman Catholic church (pre-schisms), right down to its relationship with the secular government, except that in addition to God, they worship seven 'ghosts' that are more like crosses between saints and angels.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena toys with this trope. The series' deity is Dios, a literal prince on a white horse, who occasionally comes down from the heavens to give Utena his strength. The antagonist is Akio ("Morning Star", as in, Satan), who clearly defines himself as Dios' evil counterpart. It turns out they were once the same person who was worshiped as a god in medieval society, but were unable to listen to everyone's prayers and fulfill their duties as a deity. His sister Anthy took the blame and was symbolically crucified as a Jesus-figure, and they feel the pain of her punishment to this day, but are absolving the people of their sins.
- Space Adventure Cobra: The signature character (Cobra himself) goes to church to pray for the life of a badly wounded ally. He delivers a rather half-assed personal talk with God, professes that it's completely out of his character and ends by telling the holy image that he leaves the rest up to him (God), since He is clearly more qualified in the whole causing miracles department. What makes it qualify for this trope in a somewhat hilarious fashion is that the obviously Christian crucifix is mounted upside-down.
- The world of Claymore has a dominate religious order that resembles Catholicism, with priests, nuns, and even an entire holy city called Rabona, which forbids our local Amazon Brigade from entering since they are half demon and all. You know, EVIL. 'Course it doesn't stop the actual full-blooded demons from entering the city...
- The Church in Spice and Wolf is heavily reminiscent of pre-Reformation Catholicism, complete with indulgences.
- The Church of the Light Spirit in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is essentially the flagrantly corrupt and power abusing Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. From their general teachings to their structure and even how they deal with possible threats(claim the threat is a heretic and kill them). They even dress mostly the same.
- The Church in The Familiar of Zero is pretty much the Middle Ages Catholic Church complete with a Pope (residing in Romalia) and Christ-figure (Brimnir).
- The religion in Attack on Titan the religion is mildly Judeo-Christian. The Wallists either believe that God built the mysterious walls that protect them from the Titans or that the Walls themselves are God.
- That ultra-pacifist fish-worship that Lobo preaches in 52.
- Planet Hulk:
- The religion of Sakaar seems very... familiar. Particularly, their legends of Sakaarson and the Worldbreaker present a clear dichotomy resembling that between Christ and Antichrist. They also refer to "the prophet" as one to whom thanks should be given, indicating a figure similar to Muhammad, as well. Later, Axeman Bone would kill children of Shadow descent until he found the true Son of Hulk, Sakaarson, the savior.
- Korg and the Kronans' faith is basically straight up Catholicism with the words changed, down to a Mad Libbed version of the Lord's Prayer; Being stone men, instead of asking their lord to forgive their sins, they ask that He forgive their cracks.
- Joe, a mysterious Tuskagee pilot, in Ghostopolis
- There's also a lot of comparisons between Superman and Jesus Christ. Many authors intentionally try to make Kal-El fit this trope.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog the Echidnas have a holy book known as "The Tomes." Knuckles mother is seen praying in an Aurorium, a place filled with stained glass windows and dedicated to the worship of Aurora. They also have a prophecy foretelling the arrival of "The Avatar" and a "Lost Tribe" wandering the face of the planet in search of a "Promised Land." Knuckles' Great Grandfather acts as a spiritual leader for the tribe and is known as a "Mitre" or prophet. He is also known to commune with powerful incorporeal beings that only he can see.
- The Animorphs Review Blog "Cinnamon Bunzuh!" has a Running Gag where the overtly mystical whale from book #4 is called "Jesus Whale" (he migrated for your sins!) Any Contrived Coincidence in the series is actually his doing, and the blogs' creators eventually decide that all whales are actually Jesuses, and dolphins are their disciples.
- The Arcean Order from the Pokemon fanfic Brave New World is a Saintly Church with a direct line to the Omniversal Celestial Bureaucracy. In addition, Arceus went out the way to invoke this trope by putting "Law Stones" on every inhabited planet.
- In Discworld continuum stories by A.A. Pessimal, such as A Fresh Pair of Eyes, the Order of Octeday Service in the Temple of the Great God Blind Io has a suspicious amount of points in common with the Church of England's Sunday service breviary, Book of Common Prayer.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Jericho plays this trope straight, but does so in a very interesting manner. The religion of the Teutsche—a strange warrior nation that is a sort of Culture Chop Suey between Prussia, Imperial Germany, and the more heroic aspects of Eagleland (Flavor 1)—is something of this. Word of God states that the religion is based off Christianity, but is not it. They share the sign of the cross—which the narrator, Jericho, a Teutscher himself, calls das Kreuzzeichen—wear crosses, and even refer to their deity as “God” (or “Adonai”, an old Hebrew name meaning “Lord”).
- However, the more details the story gives about the religion, the less Christian it seems. Like how they believe that Kain to be a dark hero. Or, for one interesting example:
“... the sixth tenant of the faith is ‘you shall not murder’. It does not say ‘you shall not kill’. I mean, yes, you could interchange those two things sometimes, but to murder and to kill are two different concepts. Murder is wrong. Killing is just a fact of life in this world we live in. The faith makes the distinction quite clearly. The faith teaches that there is no shame in taking somebody’s life for the right reasons.”
- Exceptions that is true in Christianity as well, the distinction is just popularly ignored.
- And their version of the sign of cross is spoken with a different Latin phrase, which translates as “in the name of the Father, and of the Prophet, and of the Machine Spirit.” Or, as it is said in the fic:
“In Nomine Patris, et Prophetae, et Spiritus Machinae.”
- Goddess Reborn Chronicle has this not in God but in Lucifer and Veritas, the latter of which being a Gnostic figure with strong Buddhist trappings, even called The Jade Bodhisattva.
- Star Wars:
- The Force is part this and part Eastern beliefs. The ins and outs of Forceism can be found in detail here; like so many things, it's become more complicated than Lucas could have possibly imagined.
- The prophecy of the Chosen One fits this trope almost perfectly. Of course, what actually happens makes Luke more Christ-like, redeeming his father through his suffering and all. And knowing George Lucas, that's exactly where he was going with all the "hanging" imagery in Empire.
- While the particulars of the "faith" (such as it can be called one) are fairly different, Revanites do bear a certain resemblance to early Christians in their borderline underground faith and a certain redemptive undertone.
- The original Planet of the Apes film franchise twists the usual take in an uncommon way. There is an ape religion centered on a prophet-like figure, The Lawgiver, whose teachings are contained on the Sacred Scrolls, but the deity above him seems to be indistinguishable from the Abrahamaic God (outside of creating all apes equal and "in his own image", of course). Religion is also unified in an organized "church" that is one and the same with the political and judge class, and whose main interest is to keep other apes from learning that humans once dominated the planet. Tim Burton's 2001 version turns this 180 degrees and makes the apes followers of the outright divine Semos, "the giver and origin of all life", with the sacred ruins of Calima identified as the place where Semos started creation.
Live Action TV
- On Caprica, the monotheist religion has distinctly Roman Catholic visual elements, especially in their main temple. They also have a (female) pontiff and what seem to be cardinals. Clarice's V-World meetings with her anonymous Soldiers of the One contact have a noticeable resemblance to Confessional.
- In Smallville, Clark, obviously. He has been crucified or dead for multiple times, and even once said Tess refers to him as some sort of "alien Jesus".
- Stargate SG-1:
- Origin is — like the rest of the villains in it — a dark alien parody of an Earth religion, in this case, the conservative fundamental Christian one (with just a few touches of Mormonism). Not only do they have their own priests and missionaries, they have their own Jesus figure (Adria) and a distinctly King James-styled holy book. The only difference: the religion's "gods" are Sufficiently Advanced Alien Energy Beings with a fire-and-brimstone motif.
- Notably, though, the main characters are quick to bring up the similarities. Mitchell, in particular, often compares the Priors and their preaching to his Bible-thumping grandmother.
- On the other hand, in one episode, they were oddly hesitant to liken Vala's pregnancy to that of Mary's, instead comparing it to the births of King Arthur and Darth Vader.
- This particular case may be at least partly attributed to the Rule of Funny. Everyone expects the cast to point out Jesus (especially with the aforementioned parallels between Origin and fundamentalist Christianity), so it's funnier when Teal'c answers with Darth Vader (a callback to Teal'c having watched Star Wars nine times since coming to Earth) instead. If you watch the rest of the cast's faces, it's clearly unexpected to them, too. As well, Mitchell suggesting King Arthur is probably partly influenced by the fact that the legend of King Arthur got them into the whole Ori mess in the first place, so it would be on his mind. Carter's reaction to Mitchell clearly show she was about to say Jesus herself. This is compounded by the fact that Mitchell has repeatedly mentioned how often he went to church with his grandma as a kid.
Vala: (About her spontaneous pregnancy) Have you ever heard of anything like that? (The rest of the team looks around hesitantly)
Teal'c: Darth Vader.
Vala: Really? How did that turn out?
Mitchell: Well, actually, I was thinking about King Arthur.
- Mind you that Daniel also mentions how the Ancients, the good, shiny, all in white heaven like counterpart to the Ori (and creators of Humanity) changed human outlook from Fire = Good to Fire = Bad. Essentially, the Ancients showed themselves as God/Angels in shiny white armor, and depicted the Ori as the Devil/Demons with fire and brimstone hell.
- The show tended to shy away from making ANY connection to modern religion in the first few seasons. The first "gods" were either ancient Egyptian (Ra, Apophis, Seth, Heru'ur, Hathor), Greek (Chronos) or Norse (Thor). As more system lords were introduced, this rule began to waver, such as with the introduction of a Goa'uld masquerading as Satan - and they even tried to give that one trappings of Egyptian myth (with of course, the completely wrong Goa'uld). Later we even got Yu the Jade Emperor and Amatherasu, but Abrahamic religions remained mostly absent. This is, of course, probably due to the Jesus Taboo.
- The Tenth Doctor of Doctor Who seems to have deliberate Christ parallels, even excluding the very peculiar series 3 finale. In the post-s4 specials, he receives notice of his own death, undergoes a final temptation (and succumbs, which Adelaide Brooke soon corrects him on), has an Agony in the Garden plea after he hears Wilf knock, and then finally — angrily, but lovingly — agrees to sacrifice himself, though it will be prolonged and painful and in the end he will be alone.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- The Bajoran religion would qualify as well. Ben Sisko is the Jesus figure, although, for most of the series, he's uncomfortable with this. They also have demon like figures, the Pah-Wraiths, who were cast out of the Celestial Temple. There's also a council of cardinals, the Vedek Assembly, who elect a pope, the Kai, from among their own number. Unlike Roman Catholicism, however, Bajoran clergy are not required to be celibate.
- The Klingon Jesus was Kahless the Unforgettable, the first Emperor, who was prophesied to return one day (he sort of did).
- The Vulcans, meanwhile, could be said to have Surak, the founder of their philosophy of logic, though they don't attribute any divine attributes to him. He's more of a Crystal Dragon Buddha or Gandhi.
- The Minbari religion from Babylon 5 has Valen, who was a Minbari not born of Minbari that came from nowhere, defeated the darkness, united all the Minbari peoples, brought a thousand years of peace, and is prophesied to return. He (sort of) does in that he was Jeffrey Sinclair until he went a thousand years back in time and became half Minbari.
- Queen's "Mad the Swine" is narrated by a Jesus-like character: "They call me Mad the Swine, I guess I'm Mad the Swine, I've come to save you, save you." It's basically a New Testament expy, but peculiarly worded.
- Judas Priest's Painkiller cycle appears to be about such a character.
- The Church of S'Allumer in Ironclaw, which even has heterodoxies and heresies based on actual doctrinal disputes of historical Catholicism.
- The polytheistic religions of the various Dungeons & Dragons settings usually have a lawful good deity whose religion is a direct parallel of Christianity. In particular, the church of Paladine (an almost literal Crystal Dragon Jesus who takes the form of a platinum dragon) in the Dragonlance setting has many direct parallels to Roman Catholicism, including having formerly wielded an incredible amount of political power, and having had an inquisition-like purge against wizards, non-humans, and worshipers of non-Good deities (or, more accurately, non-Paladine deities). Of course, said inquisition was rather on the extreme side, and lead directly to the "departure" of the Gods in the Cataclysm, where they "dropped a mountain on the city of Istar". The Gods themselves spent quite a bit of time attempting to avoid such things. Also notable is that Paladine is Dragonlance's direct parallel to the ubiquitous dragon deity Bahamut, also a Platinum Dragon Jesus, who also takes Tyr's place in post Spellplague Forgotten Realms.
- Generally speaking, despite each setting having what is described as a pantheon, D&D's religion creates a set of parallel monotheisms (with characters worshiping a single god) rather than a polytheism (with characters directing prayers and devotion to whatever god is important to them while worshiping the entire pantheon).
- Setting-specific religions aside, plenty of early D&D products' artwork depicted clerics or paladins using crosses as holy symbols, or as insignia on their shields. Yes, even in comic strips where the same characters call upon "the gods" for aid in battle.
- D&D in general, especially the earlier editions, practically codified this trope. It's explicitly stated the Cleric class was based on militant medieval Catholic orders, and many of the cleric's spells were based on the miracles of Jesus and the prophets and apostles from the Old and New Testaments, but the gods of the setting materials were always a mish-mash of real-world and fictional polytheist pantheons.
- D&D has also produced an occasional Crystal Dragon Muhammad, as with the Loregiver of Zhakara or Al-Kalim of Ylaruam.
- Eberron's Church of the Silver Flame, which has many paladins in its service and bears similar parallels to Catholicism, including ruling an entire country and leading its own inquisitorial purge against lycanthropes and their shifter cousins back in the day. It's worth noting that Keith Baker, the setting's author, designed Eberron so that clerics of a given god do not have to share that god's alignment, allowing for Knight Templar villains among the ranks of good churches as well as anti heroes among the darker faiths.
- Although the Sovereign Host is farther from Catholicism in organisation than the Church of Silver Flame, it does have enough stylistic similarities to be the source of the page imagenote .
- In fact their symbol, minus the coloring, is an old christian symbol, being described by Clement of Alexandria and other places. It also get bonus points for resembling the Coat of arms of the Church of Norway which actually is a cross holding axes.
- The Triad of Forgotten Realms — Tyr, being the oldest, ruling over the other two, despising evil and injustice, and having the most power at his command, is analogous to the Father. Ilmater, being a selfless and highly merciful god, whose clergy are encouraged to sacrifice themselves to aid those in misfortune, and whose message of hope appeals greatly to the poor and oppressed, is similar to the Son. Torm, with his inspiring courage, his sense of duty and obedience to Tyr, and his conviction in combating or destroying undead and evil forces, is much like the Holy Spirit. And then there are the paladin orders, most prominently Tyr's.
- Note that Tyr is literally an aspect of the Tyr of Norse mythology. In the 4th Edition version Forgotten Realms, the Triad is broken. Tyr leaves the Realms after killing the god Helm in a duel over Tymora(!!) (then is killed in action fending off a demonic invasion), Ilmater leaves the House of the Triad for Brightwater (the home of Sune, Lliira, Sharess, and Waukeen), and Torm steps up to fill Tyr's place (assuming most of his portfolios) in the Pantheon.
- Still, "The Triad" veneration is limited. It appears when they have to present an united front against a threat, e.g. as patrons of hard-pressed folk. Janessar, La Résistance in corrupt Calimshan, venerate them along with Mielikki. In recently shattered Tethyr their main feature is united Knights Kuldar order based in one combined abbey, lots of people venerate them separately. Otherwise, Tyr is by far more important than the two others. Of course, Ilmater became well-known only after joining Tyr in his first years on Toril and they complement each other well ("Tyr, X suffers greatly!"), so remain close allies. Both Lathander and Helm (though he has a setback over Time of Troubles) being about as prominent and all five of their churches frequently band together in any combinations, but Tempus grabs at least as much of the spotlight as any of them effortlessly. Other chaotic and neutral deities are more active than their churches, but most powerful are, probably, the ladies: Mystra (has so much power that she must lend about half to mortal "co-pilots"), Selune (one planetar per temple, functional or not, is a whole celestial army on Prime), Shar (has the Shadow Weave) and Chauntea (main agricultural deity plus joined Earthmother aspect). And another "Triad" bundle-venerated on Faerun is more from Wiccan History.
- The Ravenloft setting features the Church of Ezra, which, despite centering on a female founder, is a faith in many ways very closely mimicking Christianity, the Catholic Church in particular. Apart from a generally very similar hierarchy, its history includes internal schisms, a branch sect mirroring the Anglican Church in the in-world version of England, and possibly very corrupt ties with an in-world version of the historical Borgias. Fanon takes this further, with devoted fan-made documentation describing the Church of Ezra's impact on the "faith of the loa" (an analogue of real world Vodun practices) in the Southern-Gothic themed domain of the setting. Faiths in Ravenloft tend to be more inclined toward actual monotheism than is common in many other fantasy settings where, while gods may rival each other or war outright, it is common that the majority still acknowledge that the others exist.
- Ezra herself is a martyred Distaff Counterpart Crystal Dragon Jesus, albeit a Jesus-figure without a Yahweh rather than vice versa.
- Also, the Ravenloft setting's Church of Hala has been depicted as having chaste nuns living in convents. The Order of the Guardians, though ostensibly non-denominational, also closely resembles a Christian monastic sect, right down to many followers' observing vows of silence.
- Ravenloft very specifically mentions that the gods can't (or won't) interfere directly in Ravenloft. It is
* strongly* inconsistently hinted that any divine powers clerics receive are, in fact, granted by the Dark Powers instead. For outlanders visiting the Domain of Dread, it is recommended that this loss of a close connection be played up to increase divine classes' sense of insecurity. Natives, who have never experienced anything else, expect the gods to be distant or absent.
- Ravenloft actually takes this trope to a new level; at least two of its deities, the Morninglord and the Lawgiver, are basically Crystal Dragon Jesus versions of deities from other settings. The Lawgiver is strongly implied to be Bane, the Faerunian God of Tyranny, whilst the Morninglord could be read as either Pelor (the Oerthian God of the Sun) or Lathandar (the Faerunian God of the Sun), with evidence slightly weighed towards the latter. note
- Monte Cook's "Ptolus" setting has the Church of Lothian, which is quite obviously Catholicism with the serial numbers filed off. The official, if now discredited, dogma that all other gods are false ones and actually demons in disguise, the god being a mortal who became a god after death, said ascension coming as a result of death by crucifixion... the holy symbol of Lothian is basically a Celtic cross (a cross with a circle where the four arms in it) with a depiction of Lothian crucified on top, as is the most common depiction of a Christian cross.
- The World of Greyhawk has St. Cuthbert, whose church is quasi-Catholic, and is named after St. Cuthbert of Lindesfarne, a 7th-century English saint. Maybe this is a case of Crystal Dragon Sainthood, but still...
- The Cuthbert of Lindesfarne and the Cuthbert of Greyhawk are connected via a printed adventure (in Dragon #100) which takes place in real-world London.
- Let's not forget Pelor...
- The worship of the Emperor of Mankind in Warhammer 40K is always depicted as having a distinct Roman Catholic flavor. Not only that, but 40K fluff has it that the Emperor was born in 10,000 BC, and spent pretty much the whole of human civilization guiding humanity from the shadows until he went public round about the year 30,000 AD to lead the crusades to reunite the human space empire. There is a strong implication that he was Jesus. Took him that long to realize that Love and Peace wasn't working. Seeing as he decided on an atheistic stance before he got mauled, maybe he just realized that faith just strengthened Chaos anyway. Also, there is at least some fluff which indicates that, though he saw the value of warfare in defense of humanity, the more over the top racism and xenophobia of the Imperium crept in after his "death".
- It's also hinted that the Emperor of Mankind was Saint George in the Book "Mechanicum".
- In Warhammer Fantasy, the (Holy Roman) Empire's main religion, the Cult of Sigmar, can be described as Roman Catholicism if Jesus was a mix of Charlemagne and Conan the Barbarian. Unlike many other examples of this trope, the Empire tolerates the open worship of the rest of Old World pantheon (basically a combo of various pre-Christian European religions), with most people praying to the appropriate god as needed; the rival Cult of Ulric is also a major political player.
- In 7th Sea, the Vaticine Church, Objectionist, and Ussuran Orthodox Churches stand in for Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Russian Orthodoxy in Theah, a swashbuckling, sorcerous version of medieval Europe. The Vaticine Church also subtly incorporates a few elements of Islam as well. Avalon, the local version of England, even has its version of the Anglican church.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- The Church of Tal held an inquisition against magic and were, perhaps, the single most cohesive political entity in the story arc covered by The Dark. Throw in quotes from The Book of Tal in case this doesn't remind you of anything yet. The brilliant part is that the church's role in Terisiare's history is fairly well justified as the natural consequence of the Brother's War (which left the continent divided amongst independent city states in need of a unifying force and with a healthy distrust of magic and sufficiently advanced technology that got them into this mess).
- Serra is also a Crystal Dragon Jesus, as a planeswalker. Serra is first introduced via Serra Angel. Homelands gives us Serra Inquisitors. But the big point for Serra is Urza's Saga, with cards like Worship, Pariah, and a buttload of angels for Serra. The Urza's Saga editions of plains are all from Serra's Realm, and they feature floating continents. Storyline-wise, Serra's Realm is attacked by Phyrexians (the Expy for hell), leading to Planar Collapse. A year later, the flavor text for Copper-Leaf Angel says "When Serra made angels, people called her a goddess. My angels are superior to hers." (Unless it's late in the game and you've got land to spare, they aren't).
- Avacyn from the Innistrad block is a curious example. Her church is clearly modeled after medieval Christianity, but the dogma is vastly different (for starters, afterlife is a blessed sleep, and both angels and demons are physical beings rather than otherworldly ones), and Avacyn herself is mankind's savior in a more direct sense, since she kills the monsters. In addition, she is essentially a moon goddess, like the Greek Selene. And a goth.
- Vampire: The Requiem has the Lancea Sanctum, which is more Crystal Dragon Abrahamic Faiths. Their core belief is that Longinus, the soldier who stabbed his spear into Christ's side, was made a vampire with the taste of the Savior's blood, and eventually experienced the revelation that vampires were Damned by God's will, meant to harrow humanity into righteousness. The Lancea Sanctum itself is made up of many different creeds, ranging in flavor from Catholic to Protestant to evangelical to Muslim, but their core beliefs are strongly Gnostic.
- The "vampire paganism" of the Circle of the Crone sits somewhere between here and Lowest Cosmic Denominator; there's clearly references to real-world paganism, but it's given a unique spin.
- Winterweir's faith of Kaalon, the God of Death, bears a lot of similarities to Christianity with its focus on charity and resurrection. The Divine Covenant is another example, being essentially all the darker elements of Catholicism and none of the good.
- Mage: The Awakening:
- The Seers of the Throne mostly worship the Exarchs as a pantheon, with certain Ministries acting as cults devoted to a particular Exarch. The exception is Paternoster, who regard the Exarchs as emanations of God (similar to the Holy Trinity) with the Exarch called the Father (who is described in a manner similar to the popular conception of God) as the first amongst them and the one they should approach directly, who was predestined to Ascend and were thus inherently divine from the beginning. Paternoster was founded by a Christian, so their beliefs are essentially a way of reconciling the Exarchs with monotheism. They also keep most of this info secret from the religious figures to stifle innovation — not just for purposes of maintaining the Masquerade, but because they believe mortal worship would cheapen the Exarchs.
- Similarly, some quarters of the Guardians of the Veil (the Pentacle's masquerade maintainers and secret policemen) have their own Crystal Dragon Jesus: the Hieromagus, the one mage who will prove immune to Paradox and lead Awakened society to enlightenment. Until he comes, they'll keep performing all the necessary sins to keep Awakened society functioning, out of the belief that he will absolve them at the reckoning. Needless to say, this belief doesn't get outside the Guardians, because it would make them look even more frightening (and not in a good way) to the rest of the Pentacle Mages.
- The Palladium Role-Playing Game has a number of CDJ's in it's world, with the notable exception of The Pantheon(s) of Light and Dark, which are actually the Gods of Ancient Egypt.
- While there's no particular Crystal Dragon Jesus in Glorantha, they do use the cross as a holy symbol. However, it's the Rune of Death (which 'coincidentally' terrifies the undead), modelled after the Sword of Humakt, the god of death.
- In Anima: Beyond Fantasy, the Church of Abel is this complete with a crucifixion (though this guy didn't come back), and purge (which continues to some extent) against anyone who isn't 100% human. The closer to the setting's present day one gets, the more tenuous the parallel becomes but it doesn't disappear completely.
- In Fading Suns the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun is very similar to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches, in fact the Prophet Zebulon was a priest of those of those faiths, historians aren't sure which.
- In Rocket Age the main Martian faith seems to resemble Hinduism or Buddhism. It has a reincarnation system built along caste lines with an end goal of ascending to heaven to be amongst the Ancients.
- Brütal Legend has Ormagöden, Eternal Fire Beast, Creamator of the Sky and Destroyer of the Ancient World. He appears in the intro as a terrifying monster, but is actually a Big Good. He is a Physical God of Heavy Metal, and, in the lore, Heavy Metal originated from his body, as well as the elements to allow life to flourish: Metal (ores), Noise (music), Blood (water) and Fire (heat and energy).
- Luminous Arc is pretty much one big Church of the Crystal Dragon Jesus, complete with a very cliche (and entirely expected) "twist" (read anything by Lovecraft and you'll understand).
- This is extremely common in video games. Breath of Fire II, Xenogears, and La Pucelle: Tactics are just a few examples.
- In the Silent Hill series, the local religion looks definitely as a mix between Judaism and Christianity, even though the gods are 100% pagan. It apparently began as a merging between local Native American religion and Christianity.
- Churches in the Tales Series.
- Tales of Phantasia has the ubiquitous Church of Martel, though it's really more background fluff than anything (though you do meet Martel herself a couple of times). However, the civilization of Fenrir built a huge cathedral to worship... well, Fenrir, complete with stained glass, a giant organ, and a heavy organ BGM called "Perverse Religion". By the time the game actually rolls around, the entire Fenrir civilization has risen and fallen and the cathedral's been abandoned for years, to the point where the door is heavily iced shut.
- This is given a Shout-Out in the prequel, Tales of Symphonia, with an offhand reference to a legend about Fenrir in the icy regions. Presumably, this later sprouted into a full-fledged religion.
- Tales of Eternia has the Church of Seyfert, with churches dotting the countryside (and willing to let you rest for free) and a massive cathedral, stained glass and all, atop Mt. Farlos. When you get to Celestia, you find out that Seyfert (and Nereid) are real, and that there's more to the story than a simple creation myth.
- Tales of Symphonia, set four millennia before Phantasia, depicted a very different Church of Martel, based almost directly on Roman Catholicism, Pope and all.
- One of Colette's hand gestures when casting spells looks exactly like the sign-of-the-cross. But then, so does Keele's in Tales of Eternia, and he's as close to atheist as you can get when your world is bursting at the seams with nature spirits and you base your entire career on asking them to do things for you.
- Colette has, in the PS2 version, an ability called "Grand Cross" which would cause a large cross to descend upon the enemy. It is included in the sequel.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (which takes place 2 years after Tales of Symphonia), the Church of Martel still exists, but to a lesser extent since the whole Chosen of Regeneration thing doesn't exist anymore (most people went to church to pray for their world to be regenerated).
- Several scenes have the characters saying that they doubt that the church of Martel would last for much longer, which makes its existence 4000 years later surprising (or a case of the writers overlooking that small detail).
- Not exactly... The Church of Martel in Symphonia is a very large part of daily life (because of the Chosen system) and the Tethe'alla branch especially has quite a bit of political power. Phantasia's Church of Martel, as mentioned, is there, but its clearly more of a background "fyi this world has a religion" than an active player in world affairs. So in a sense, the Church of Martel didn't last. It became less and less significant over the millenia. (And even if you don't take into account that Phantasia was made first, its Church of Martel is still very different from Symphonia's.)
- Tales of the Abyss has the Order of Lorelei. Although it doesn't follow a god, but it has a prophecy known as the Score and the robes the Order members have highly resemble those of Catholic priests. The one from Mohs would be the biggest offender. It gets better- the official ordination of a Catholic priest is "presbyter," meaning "elder."
- Tales of Hearts has the Church of Velleia, which worships the "Great Winged Whale", and yes, has a holy city and a cathedral. There's a church in each city and the main character can go into it and confess. It's really not a Path of Inspiration, though. They just have a near-monopoly on the magical weaponry, Soma, and on the curing of The Heartless-induced Despir Sickness. Also, All Myths Are True, and the bishop is the only one who knew what was really going on the entire time and just had some bad ideas on how to go about dealing with it. The Winged Whale in question, however, turns out to be the villains' base.
- The Divine Church in Tears To Tiara 2: God is Watos. Simon is Jesus. The Divine Emperor is pope. They tear down temples to build churches, like early Christianity, have inquisitions, and decide what is and is not a miracle. Interestingly Watos if missing, Simon's an atheist, and Abraxas is actually angry at whoever's upstairs.
- Definitely present in the Golden Sun series. Despite the fact that everyone in the party can summon mythical pagan gods to reduce their enemies to smoldering piles of ashes, they still feel obliged to go to a sanctum staffed by a suspiciously Christian-esque priest and monks to get rid of evil spirits. There's also the "Priest" and "Cleric" classes.
- There are ten of these in Romancing SaGa, the most prominent being Elore (for Humans), Saruin (for Gecklings and certain humans), and Nisa (for Taralians/Terranites). Even Death is a god in addition to being the brother of the Big Bad.
- The Elder Scrolls series features two religions that descend from the same source - the creation of the physical world. The former, which is not only the official religion of the empire, but has been called the religion of Man, is the worship of the divine beings who took part in the creation, the Aedra. They are formulated into a polytheistic faith called the Nine Divines. The cathedrals serving them are notably Gothic and its knights (seen in the expansion) wear Knights Templar-like armor. Previous games gave each god their own knightly order, though that may be a practice of only the Iliac Bay region.
- The other major religion involves the worship of powerful interdimensional creatures called Daedra. Many consider these Daedra "evil" and force the Daedra worshipers into the wilderness where they form cults and erect shrines to their Daedric Lord of choice.
- For bonus points, the deities themselves include Akatosh, the Dragon God of Time, who looks suspiciously similar to Raptor Jesus.
- Skyrim reveals that his firstborn son is Alduin, the dragon whose second coming heralds the end of the world - unless you have anything to say about it. Given that Alduin is simultaneously Akatosh's son and Akatosh's very own Nordic persona/avatar, the Jesus connection is even stronger.
- The various lines of Dragonborn could be Messiah figures as well (certainly the Chosen One), coming at times of crisis to save Tamriel. It's telling that the most hotly debated sideplot of Skyrim is the civil war, which was touched off by the Thalmor effort to outlaw the worship of Tiber Septim ne Talos, the Dragonborn whose descendants ruled the Empire for over 400 years.
- The plot of Morrowind focuses on a trinity religion called the Tribunal. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the Catholic Church - hagiography, apocrypha, an Inquisition, sainthood, and the idea of a "new covenant" supplanting the older Daedric cults of the Dunmer.
- The Nerevarine is another example of this, being the supposed reincarnation of Nerevar, along with numerous prophecies surrounding them.
- The Legend of Zelda, being sort of based on Arthurian legend, has a fictional religion with many parallels to Christianity; the Temple of Time resembles a Christian sanctuary, the young Zelda wears a wimple like a nun or passion bearer and the three goddesses and their Triforce can be seen as a parallel to Christianity's Holy Trinity.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Rauru, the Sage of Light, is dressed similar to a Franciscan monk.
- This was stronger earlier in the series. The "Book of Magic" in The Legend of Zelda is a "Bible" in Japan; Link's shield in the first two games bears a cross; in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Triforce of the Gods in the original Japanese), Sanctuary is a Christian church, the kanji for the priest there are "holy father" (where Agahnim's kanji are "master of rituals"), and the artbook depicts Link in the Sanctuary, kneeling before a crucifix.
- Given the revelation that that she is the human incarnation of The Goddess in Skyward Sword, Zelda may actually be the biggest example of this in the franchise.
- Also, if you stretch it somewhat, the attributes of the Triforce are similar to a biblical principal. The Bible states that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, a spirit of power, and a sound mind." It also says "perfect love casts out fear." So, the Triforce's attributes—courage, power, and wisdom—basically equate to the spirit of love, the spirit of power, and a sound mind respectively.
- In Arc Rise Fantasia, North Noireism contains a patriarch, God(Eesa), and even a Jesus(Child of Eesa).
- In every Harvest Moon game, there's "The Church", with obligatory priest-collar wearing pastor and "confession" as an occasional option. But the deity they worship is, in fact, the Harvest Goddess. The HM games are generally an intentional mash-up of Japanese culture, Western farming culture, and paganism.
- More recent games have revealed that there's a Harvest Lord as well. Also, Harvest Moon: Island/Sun adds a nun character into the mix of the universe's religion. In fact, the nun is coincidentally named after a demon hunter.
- The original SNES game makes references to multiple gods besides the Harvest Goddess. All other games dumb it down to them only worshipping one god, with occasionally the Harvest Lord popping up.
- The world of Spira in Final Fantasy X is pretty much run by the local CDJ: Yevon. Except for the Al Bhed who are seen as heathens. To hammer the religious symbolism further, the Giant Space Whale Big Bad is called Sin. And he is supposedly the punishment for all the bad mankind ever and regularly destroys cities. The Aeons are even made out to be the spirits of past summoners who were faithful to Yevon, and the only way to supposedly combat Sin. However, Yevon and the religion is revealed to be a Corrupt Church and in the climax, instead of using the Final Summoning like all other Senseless Sacrifices before to kill Sin for only one day, you tear Sin's face open with an airship cannon and go through the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon that doubles as an Amazing Technicolor Dungeon inside Sin's spirit. Sin is really fucking huge and bizarre from the inside.
- Final Fantasy XI's nations all have different ways of honoring the same Goddess Altana; however, many of these are at least subtly reminiscent of Christianity, and San d'Oria's church very strongly so.
- ActRaiser is somewhat of an unique example, as you are Crystal Dragon Jesus, with some obfuscating Greco-Roman elements tossed in. As the one true god of the gameworld, who was sealed and forgotten as evil overtook the land, you have to revive humanity and lead them to prosperity while destroying the demons that have conquered the earth. The creators of Actraiser have been quoted saying that it was based off of Judeo-Christian monotheism. In the Original Japanese, the player's character was God and Tanzra was named Satan.
- One of the best-known video game examples may be the Dragon Quest series. They may not use the Crystal Dragon Jesus heavily in the plot, but every game requires players to go to "confession" in a church to save the game. The buildings are also heavily influenced by Christian churches — large cathedral structures in the cities, and small huts with some pews and an altar in the farm villages. Dragon Quest VIII used a Goddess, and VII used a thinly-veiled analogue of the Judeo-Christian God (who was also a Bonus Boss), but the rest of the games were vague about just what the deity in question was.
- In the DS remakes of Dragon Quest IV and V, the thinly veiled Catholic religion's deity is consistently called "the goddess", and many people venerate the Zenith dragon, a so-called dragon-god, along-side of the goddess as her greatest servant. The Zenith dragon lives in a sky castle with a race of winged humans who are referred to as Angels by at least one NPC in DQIV. His newly created cg appearance makes him look like he is made out of crystal or silver.
- Also, according to Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime, the well known Slime enemy from the series worship a slime equivalent of the Goddess.
- In the Warcraft series, the Church of the Holy Light is pretty much a mix between Catholic Christianity (huge cathedrals, monasteries and zealous crusaders), Buddhism (meditation and the lack of deities), and The Force (a holy power binding all living beings together).
- However, it was averted in Warcraft I, where the humans of Stormwind worshipped God and had concepts of Heaven and Hell. It was, however, since retconned into the current "nontheistic" religion of the Light. Elune might also qualify to an extent, since she's described as "the only true god(dess) in Azeroth" and had a "half-deity" son, Cenarius. (Whose father was a demigod stag. Squick.)
- The belief in God in Azeroth hasn't been written out entirely though, despite the Church of the Holy Light Retcon. Many followers of the Light believe that it is a (semi-, at least) sentient being rather than an impersonal force and there have been many references to it interceding on a personal basis. The WC 3 manual also makes reference to the fact that some in Azeroth believe that the universe was created by an all-powerful being. There's enough ambiguity that you can believe either based on the material.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic V, the Holy Griffin Empire worships Elrath, a literal dragon, whose cult is nevertheless a thinly-veiled (or, actually, not veiled at all) stand-in for Christianity, with churches, monks, inquisitors, saints, and angels. Androgynous angels with ridiculously huge swords.
- Might and Magic VI and VII had the Path of Light, complete with robed monks, cathedrals and churches that would not have looked overly out of place in medieval Europe. VIII instead focused on the Path of Light's still-extant predecessor religion, the Church of the Sun, who goes for more colorful and frail-looking architecture.
- Organized religion in Ivalice has all the trappings of Christianity, specifically Catholic ritual, from the Glabados Church of Final Fantasy Tactics to the Kildean religion in Vagrant Story. The latter finds ample representation in the Church of St. Iocus, a Catholic send-off in all but name that wields great political and military power, and whose sacred icon, called the Rood of Iocus, resembles a cross with four arms instead of two; also, the Cult of Mullenkamp, a heretical offshoot of the Kildean church whose adepts display an upside-down version of the Rood, called the Rood Inverse.
- Final Fantasy Tactics is especially blatant about this, to the point where it feels like all they did to Christianity is replace a few names. Start replacing "St. Ajora" with "Jesus" and see how much sense it makes. In the remake, instead of "God", you get "gods".
- Thief has the Hammerites, who worship the "Master Builder", but basically look like medieval Roman Catholicism with Steam Punk trappings and the Heathen-smiting turned Up to Eleven. The Hammerites undergo a schism between the first and second games, and naturally regard their offshoot brethren, the Mechanists, as arch-heretics. This is due to the Mechanists' favor of lots of automation (over only a little bit of automation) and of course, some good ol' fashioned chauvinist outrage (the Mechanists accept female acolytes). Essentially, the Mechanists are more or less a steam punk version of Protestantism; their leader is very similar to Martin Luther or John Calvin, the nobility see them as a way to make themselves richer and throw off the old religious order (much like the German nobles of the Reformation) and the Mechanists themselves are progressive whilst being arch-zealous at the same time, like many Calvinist Sects.
- In Star Ocean Till The End Of Time, a lot of the (first) plot revolves around the conflict between the atheist Airyglyph and the highly-religious Aquaria. Despite having churches and nuns, the Aquarians worship a goddess and all the pastors are female.
- They worship a Sun God (Apris, if memory serves) and three goddesses, actually. And I think there's a male pastor in Peterny's church?
- In Drakengard, the hierarchs are the priests or spiritual leaders of a vaguely-defined religion with a multitude of unnamed gods. They carry staves and have ornamental robes and cast spells, so they resemble D&D clerics. The game's sequel gives them more definition, with the Knights of the Seal as the spiritual side of the organization, dedicated to the seals' continuity and defense.
- In Ace Combat 6, the Emmerians worship a historical figure dubbed the "Golden King", and have a huge golden statue of him bearing his armor. It is quite clear that the Emmerians hold some kind of religious awe over him similar to that of Jesus or even God, but it mainly seems to be there just to differentiate the Emmerians from the apparently secular Estovakians.
- When you take the out-of-game fluff (that is, pages upon pages of news articles, historical texts, blueprints, etc. that is always published on the web and nowhere else) into account, the Golden King seems like a thinly veiled King Arthur expy; it's just that the Emmerians are really, really fond of him. Incidentally, a handful of passing references to Christianity and Christian-derived holidays are made throughout the series.
- Devil May Cry 4 has the island of Fortuna, where the capital has a congregation called the Order of the Sword that worships Sparda. The architecture has a medieval feel, the innocent bystanders and Redshirt Army wear hooded monk-style robes and the leader Sanctus looks very much like a pope. The Order turns out to be a rather corrupt bunch of Knight Templars that want to Wipe The Slate Clean with a demonic invasion and the creation of a false Savior so that they can usher in a new Utopia.
- Though the tenets of the religion in Diablo aren't gone into much (or at all), the architecture and appearance of the various figures makes the similarity rather obvious.
- The novels expand on the tenants of Zakarum a little more, and it's typical Christian stuff such as forsaking evil in your heart, as well as preaching gentleness and forgiveness. More cynically, the church is also said to be very open to donations.
- Fire Emblem games commonly do this, generally draping stories of "past hero" around a Bishop-class character. Usually the head deity/hero of the church will have the title of Saint. They aren't an actual God, just a really cool person. The Elibe games have Saint Elimine. The Sacred Stones has the Theocracy of Rausten. Its founder was the only person strong enough to shake off the Demon King's Mind Control.
- Actually played straight in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn with the Begnion Empire. It is a theocracy whose structure is almost identical to the Catholic Church, with the Apostle serving as a female Pope of sorts and the nobles of the country akin to the College of Bishops. These individuals are more than just leaders; they are respected members of their religion, as they are believed to be chosen by the Goddess herself. They honor Ashera, who is the Order component of the goddess Ashunera. Ashunera, the 'Goddess of Dawn', incidentally caused a world-wide flooding that wiped out almost all civilizations of the world after she lost control of her divine powers. The guilt caused Ashunera to split into Ashera (order) and Yune (chaos). Yune is treated as an evil figure, and even referred to as a 'dark god'. So we have the 'good' goddess, Ashera, and the 'bad' goddess, Yune. God-Satan, anyone?
- Although in the end it turned out Yune was the good one that loved beorc and laguz while Ashera was the evil one that would rather turn all sentient beings on the planet to stone rather than have them violate her idea of Order. After Ashera's asskicking and 1200 years, Ashunera becomes whole once again.
- Then there is Naga from the rest of the series, who is an ACTUAL dragon god. Not a crystal dragon or dragon Jesus, though. That is Tiki's thing, being Naga's daughter and pulling a Heroic Sacrifice by Taking the Bullet from Grima for Lucina in the Bad Future, and then being resurrected as the new Naga in the Future Past DLC of Fire Emblem Awakening.
- The Order in Strife are a bunch of religious zealots who worship a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere and oppose all human reproduction, choosing to instead extend lifespans with cybernetic enhancements. They also rule the world and you have to help La Résistance defeat them.
- In Terranigma, the main character acts as both Crystal Dragon Jesus and Crystal Dragon Moses. With The Elder and Beruga as the Satanic equivalent. It's that kind of game.
- Despite largely being based off Norse Myth, Shadowbane falls under this too. While the All-Father is presumed to be absent, incapacitated, or dead, prayers to saints and archons still work (much to the relief of the prelates and bishops). There's also an even more militant offshoot faith that likes burning heretics a little too much...
- The Siege of Avalon Anthology almost averts this by replacing every single mention of religion with "spirits," but somehow still has crosses in the chapel. And the graveyards. And on monks' robes.
- In Guild Wars: Prophecies, the prophet who makes the titular prophecies is, quite literally, a Crystal Dragon.
- In a strange variant, the Corpus of Warframe are based on ancient merchant guilds, but their manufacturing process is stated to be part typical factory dronemanship, part ancient ritual, as their materials are from an ancient time. They even have temples, which they use to brainwash workers.
- In ZPC, the player takes the role of a Rambo-like Crystal Dragon Jesus. With Psychic Powers.
- Andraste in Dragon Age: Origins can easily be mistaken for a Crystal Dragon Jesus, but is in fact much more of a Crystal Dragon Jesus/Mary/Mohammed/Joan of Arc amalgam. She was chosen by The Maker rather late in life to be his prophetess (Mohammed) for being exceptionally devout and a true believer (Mary, Mohammed, Joan). She then unified the factions of dissenters against the religious establishment and created an army which she led on a highly successful Exalted March (Mohammed, Joan). She was later betrayed by some of her closest generals and advisers (Jesus) and burnt at the stake (Jesus, Joan). However, she was never regarded as a child of the Maker, nor was she ever resurrected.
- The Andrastian Chantry is somewhat a mix of the Byzantine Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church, however. The church is lead by a "Divine" (IE: Pope) who, much like the Pope in real life, takes on a different name upon being beatified. As a departure, only women are allowed in the upper echelons of the order: there are only Revered Mothers (bishops), no male Grand Clerics (cardinals), and no male Divine in the history, except for the schism of the religion in the Tevinter Imperium.
- Amusingly enough, there is an example of a cult worshipping a dragon that they believe is a reincarnation of Andraste.
- There are also the Qunari, whose teachings are a lot closer to a strand of extremist Confucianism. However in the game, they clearly stand in for the expansion of Islam into Southern Europe during the middle ages. Coming over the sea, they settled some parts of Thedas and converted the people to the Qun (Spain, Southern Balkan), which caused the Chantry to call for Exalted Marches to push them back (the crusades), and they regard it as their duty to spread knowledge of the divine law to the infidels, which goes hand in hand with expanding their empire. There are also some aspiring converts in Kirkwall, which causes (local) terrorists to plan attacks with weapons of mass destruction to fight the spread of the heretic techings of the Qunari.
- Played perfectly straight in Ragnarok Online. There is a Knight Templar class (the Crusader), a Priest and Acolyte class, scapulars are acolyte-class armor, Holy Water can be created by the Acolyte class, many of the Priest's protective skills are named after Catholic ceremonies or liturgies, and there's even a Vatican in the city of Rachel. Very strongly Catholic-flavored. However, the Nuns Are Mikos, All Monks Know Kung-Fu, the Pope is a cute little blonde loli, Jesus is completely unmentioned, God is hopelessly conflated with the entire ancient Nordic pantheon of Asr, and finally, underneath the Vatican, God turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination — though the Crusader skill that literally asks God to punch the target in the face STILL WORKS ON IT. To sum up Ragnarok's take on God: God is Jesus is Odin is Thor is Frigga is Azathoth. The whole religious structure is so hilariously disconnected from "real" Christianity once you get past the surface, it's incredible.
- However, there are two different churches. Rune Midgard Kingdom has Church of Odin and Arunafeltz State has Church of Freya, which worship completely different Gods. In general, Church of Odin is treated as the better one of the two.
- Meanwhile, Church of Freya has two different factions. While one is good, the other one is borderline heretic. The heretics do horrible things, including but not limited to: manipulated the Pope for their liking, froze the Pope's twin brother since he was born by threatening Guardian of Ice to do it, worked with Rekenber Corporation to build undestructible cyborg soldiers with Artificial Heart of Ymir planted into them, planned to start a war with the good factions and Rune Midgard Kingdom with those soldiers, killed every single members of Rune Midgard Kingdom royal family, kidnapped King Tristan III and killed him in an abandoned monastery.
- In RuneScape, most humans worship Saradomin, god of order. Saradominist churches and clergy have a Christian appearance to them. Zamorak, god of chaos, is treated as a Satanic figure by Saradominists but enjoys a strong following among certain monsters and some humans.
- The Iron Grip series has Trithinism, worshipped primarily by the Fahrong nation (who even made it their official state religion). Though not much is shown of its theological nature, its history seems to mirror the developments of both Christianity and Islam in several ways. There is also some mention of a concept similar to the belief in reincarnation. Trithinite worshippers are usually portrayed (at least in Expanded Universe fluff) as either Rape, Pillage, and Burn Church Militant fanatics or more humble and peaceful missionaries spreading the faith by word, charity and medical treatment of the needy. Grey and Gray Morality indeed...In addition, some levels of the second game feature Trithinite churches with paintings and small idols of the religion's One God, Sa.
- As noted, Breath of Fire as a series has played with this trope—both with the straight Crystal Dragon Jesus example and a Crystal Dragon Buddha variant.
- The best example is with Breath of Fire II which had the Church of St. Eva. As it turns out, the church ended up being "steeplejacked"—taken over from within—by the Big Bad of the game, literally turning the church of the Crystal Dragon Jesus into a Church Of Evil. The parishioners are none the wiser.
- OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber features the Holy Lotus Empire, a theocracy led by a Pope which dominates its surrounding countries.
- Lotus/Lodis is responsible for nearly everything bad that happens in the series that isn't instead the result of demons. They're major antagonists in both OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber and Tactics Ogre, and a negative political influence in the backstory of the original Ogre Battle. The only game in the series so far where they aren't antagonistic in some way is Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis.
- In Lunar: The Silver Star, Althena's temple clearly satirizes Christianity, with priestly vestments and stained glass, but the religion in general seems to be fairly decentralized, with most towns having only a statue of the Goddess as their sole religious establishment. Lunar: Eternal Blue takes this several steps further, having a Christian-inspired sanctuary in many of the game's towns.
- In Legacy of Kain, the primary human religion is never explored in great detail, but damn if it doesn't look like Catholicism. It is, however, a fairly Corrupt Church and during the time of the original Blood Omen, was a front for a Religion of Evil.
- EVE Online has the Amarrian religion, which is modeled on medieval Catholicism. They didn't even bother to rename God. While this is not known in-game, fluff indicates that it is actually descended from a radical Christian sect.
- The characters of La Pucelle worship at the Church of the Holy Maiden, a religion with very Catholic-style trappings.
- Humans in Disciples worship the Yahweh-like Highfather, who uses angels to carry messages and help humans. There are cathedrals, holy warriors, inquisitors, etc. However, the guy who really created the world and humanity is Bethrezen, an obvious version of The Devil, except the fall was not his fault. He grows mad after 10,000 years in the world's molten core and creates demons to kill everything.
- The dwarves were created by and worship Wotan, whose name itself is an alternate spelling of Odin, complete with an explosive temper. They love runes, although that could be more Gaelic than Norse.
- In the world of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, the people worship a deity known as Clispaeth, who was once the leader of the setting's equivalent of the American Revolution. After he was crucified by the British army, his followers proceeded to wage war for 666 years, ultimately leading to the Cyberpocalypse.
- In the Pokémon world, some religions seem to worship Pokemon, typically powerful Legendaries. The anime has a few Buddhist parallels early on, but the game religions don't really seem to be based off anything. However, there is a church type building in Pokemon Diamond And Pearl, where the people talk in a rather preachy manner too.
- Grandia II effectively has Catholicism in the game, what with Granas (God), Valmar (Satan), a second coming, the Pope, churches and priests.The only thing missing is Jesus.
- In MARDEK, the most prominently featured religion is the Church of YALORT, who is a dragon.
- Sengoku Basara has "Xavism", a religion preached by the missionary Xavi (a stand-in for missionaries in Japan, specifically Francis Xavier), which mostly composes of acting like really Campy Love Freaks and spouting tons of Gratuitous English while chanting Xavi's name as well as other oddities (apparently "Angry Kitten" is a suitable baptismal name). While it is considered a Path of Inspiration, it's also considered a faction of Harmless Villains, though certain characters do occasionally show up as converts.
- Septerra Core. The whole thing with the son of Creator fighting the incarnation of Evil feels like this. Also, the monks from 3rd Shell have Christian habits.
- The Sims Medieval gives us the Church of The Watcher. It is divided into two denominations: the "Peteran" church and the "Jacoban" church (Essentially the equivalents of medieval Protestants and Catholics, respectively).
- An interesting example in that the game player who sits up above everything and watches the story unfold is the Watcher
- Allods Online has Tenses, who was an archmage that sacrificed himself to grant everyone immortality of the soul. The church of Tenses in Kania has trappings very similar to Russian Orthodox Church. There is also Nezeb, who is a Crystal Dragon Lenin.
- The Church of Yahvo, faith of the D'ni from the Myst series, had its own versions of Heaven and Hell (conceived as Ages), divinely-inspired prophets, and its own foretold messiah (the Great King).
- The Anju religion mentioned in Solatorobo is essentially Catholicism WITH BIRDS! To be able to enter their holy forest where all the birds live when they're not guiding souls to the afterlife, you need to obtain a string of rosary beads, and lore says they always have a Bible on hand and worship in churches on Sundays.
- In Civilization V: Gods and Kings expansion pack, you can found religions and choose the beliefs of the religions. It can range from playing this trope straight, with your Shinto religion having a Papacy, making Cathedrals, and believing in a Messiah, or invert by having a Christian state religion where you believe in a Sea God, have Mosques, and think religious idols are holy.
- In Crusader Kings II, sufficiently strong pagan rulers can, under the right circumstances, reform their respective faiths, creating an organized religion with a formal priestly hierarchy and written holy texts. It's implied that these reforms are inspired by contact with and directly patterned after the Christian and Islamic religious bodies. (In this case the religions involved actually did exist but never achieved the same level of organization as Christianity and Islam in the real world.)
- Dishonored has the Abbey of the Everyman. Though it has no stated deity, it has a Satan analogue (the Outsider), a list of commandments for its worshippers to follow (the Seven Strictures), its own form of Inquisition, and burns witches and heretics at the stake.
- The Church of the Divine Trinity (the word 'church' is even used on multiple occasions) in Skullgirls. Resident deities are Venus, Aeon and the Mother, Lamia. However, it's not all it looks on the surface - the Trinity seems to be linked if not outright responsible for the continued existence of the Skull Heart and Skullgirls in the Canopy Kingdom, and the main figurehead of the church and avatar of Lamia is Double - a shapeshifting Eldritch Abomination that disguises itself as a nun and seeks out new candidates for wielding the Skull Heart. Which is Not A Good Thing.
- In Koan Of The Day, a variety of faiths are parodied in the koans.
- Jennifer Diane Reitz is known to have an
antipathy frothing hatred toward the Abrahamic religions, "terrible desert religions", as she puts it. Her strip Pastel Defender Heliotrope has a monolithic Corrupt Church which is keen on the oppression and persecution of virtuous sexual minorities, such as the protagonists, and which worships an entity known as — wait for it — Godan. It is then debunked repeatedly. Come on, man, put some effort into it.
- Blatantly used in Ava's Demon with a God Emperor called TITAN, who claims to have created the entire universe. And yes, his name is spelled with all caps every single time. If his followers are faithful enough, they can go to a physical place called Paradise (which is actually the name of the VIP section of Heaven in The Bible), where they can live forever in his presence. They even have holy scriptures, which start off immediately with a Badass Boast about TITAN.
"HE CREATED THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, AND CRAFTED TIME AND SPACE WITH A KNIFE. LIFE BEGAN IN THE PALMS OF HIS HANDS, AND WHEN YOU LOOK DOWN HIS THROAT YOU CAN SEE THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE."
- Strange Candy features two parodies in its Fantasy-RPG story arc. The first parodies Falun Gong. The other is Hubbomadaster, religious zealots who derive their name from L. Ron Hubbard, Mohamed, and Zoroaster. They "cleanse" people and launch wars on other nations for being infidels. And their king uses words like "misunderestimated".
- Tales of the Questor has two: the Rac Cona Daimh Church of the Sojourner, and the Human Universal Church. The former has a conventional cross and cross-in-a-fish imagery associated with it, as well as conventional pastors and churches, although the stained glass portrays a glowing god and human monk and a stag rather than the traditional Christian version. It's apparently fact for the universe. The latter is treated as being speciest, unpleasant to "heathens", and misguided — to the point where an exorcism involves holy water, the use of a modesty ward like a cross, and a Latin chant that translates to "May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy" — but not intentionally evil or cruel. The Universal Church still has a suspiciously cross-with-a-circle-looking symbol, similar to the Presbyterian cross or High cross but with crystals slapped onto the side, a pastor with priest collars, and a very church-like church.
- Digger, being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, has not only a Crystal Dragon Jesus called the Good Man, it also has an equivalent of Virgin Mary. Three's also an evil version of said Virgin Mary figure. She killed her myth's version of the Good Man, and looking at her face drove one of the characters partially insane.
- Ansem Retort considers Batman to be a god. Word of God assures us that Zombie Superpowered Batman is indeed terrifying.
- Ironically enough, one of the persons that asks you to accept Batman as your lord and savior? Jesus.
Jesus: BATMAN DIED FOR YOUR SINS!
- The Church of Thrasu, the dominant religion in Kivallia in The Challenges of Zona.
- Chess Piece has the Leviathan religion, which may be the closest literal example of this trope.
- Gene Catlow has The Creator Of All Things and its associated religion. The related Fan Fic has The Nameless One and it's associated religion. Word of God says that the two deities are one and the same.
- In Looking for Group, the Sisters and Sons have a roughly similar dogma to real-world Christianity, if you replaced God with a bunny rabbit.
- Homestuck: The Sufferer is pretty much a non-divine Troll Jesus (the jury's still out on whether his name is actually Jegus), and the secrecy and persecution of his followers after his execution is very much like what became of Christianity following Jesus' end. The Sufferer's symbol and that of his followers (that is to say, the Cancer sign) even derives from his method of execution!
- However, instead of growing in power and becoming a dominant religion, The Sufferer's religion remained a small cult, eventually fading away and nearly vanishing from history. It helps that a genocidal totalitarian empress probably made a point of killing anyone even remotely associated with it.
- The Dolorosa and the Disciple can also be seen as Crystal Dragon versions of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene respectively.
- Slightly Damned has Gaia and Syndel, who seem to be that 'verse's equivalents of God and Satan. The similarities stop there, however.
- The Truth of Zod in Open Blue is more or less the Roman Catholic Church under a different name, with a couple of differences, namely, the lack of a Jesus, and the fact that the God they worship is a drunken bastard who likes armwrestling with an expy of Cthulhu.
- Nella's My Little Pony drama parodies this, when the Lunar Polar Bear (which is of course Jesus) saves the day and hits on the whore teacher with a heart of gold.
- Ceiling Cat.
- What we've seen of the worship of Khersis in Tales Of MU is very much like Christianity, except in a world where gods are known to speak to mortals, demons are real, and exorcism works. Considering the one passage from the Khersian holy book that's been referenced parallels the gospels directly and one creation myth says he was born of a great dragon from a crystal egg, he may be a literal "Crystal Dragon Jesus".
- Perhaps a little more literally: Godzilla◊ from this list of Worst Nativity Sets
- Discussed and possibly reconstructed in this Puella Magi Madoka Magica column. The writer argues that Puella's Christian subtext made it more meaningful to him.
- Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender is an interesting case. The concept of an 'Avatar' is one taken from Hinduism and Buddhism, meaning a god who has taken mortal form. However, there are many separate philosophies across the world which seem to hold elements from other Asian, Pagan and Native American belief systems.
- Specifically, the mythology of Aang as the Avatar is lifted directly from The Dalai Lama, down to reincarnation and being chosen at a young age by ancient toys and heirlooms from the previous Avatar's possessions. The creators even named him "Buddha Boy" as a working name before they came up with "Aang."
- In The Legend of Korra, the Avatarverse's cosmology is basically made into a blend of Shinto, Taoism and Zoroastrianism: as with the previous series, nature spirits are abundant, but the two most powerful ones are embodiments of light and darkness that are constantly fighting for control of the world. And the Avatar is the light spirit's fusion with a human soul.
- Robotology from Futurama.
- There's also the Lizard Space Pope, and a literal incarnation of Heaven. Basically, they really like to play with this.
- In Invader Zim, Santa Claus is basically used in this capacity.
- In Moral Orel, this was the obvious purpose of Orel's short lived dog Bartholomew, who was killed because he spread too much joy to the townsfolk.
- Completely intentional, but the Super Adventure Club in the South Park episode, The Return of Chef, is clearly meant to mock and mirror Scientology.
- The various Transformers continuities have various incarnations of the god Primus, who has been portrayed as alternately an extremely powerful but tangible being, an actual god, or a tangible Transformer creator figure whose vehicle mode just happens to be the planet Cybertron. When in his most god-tastic form, Unicron often plays the Devil to his God.
- Word of God suggests that The Fallen is playing this role in the live-action movies.
- And there's the minor detail that Optimus Prime has effectively become some kind of Robot Jesus - sometimes referred to as Optimus Christ. Greatly aided by the fact that his tendency to die and be resurrected shortly thereafter is more or less a running gag at this point.
- The Dreamstone is an allegory of Milton's Paradise Lost, where the Devil rebels against God and is expelled from heaven. As "Lord Highest", the Dream Maker represents God, and the dark lord Zordrak represents "Satan Himself" (or "Nasta Shelfim" as he was known in the pilot episode). Planet Dreamstone resembles a cathedral, the interior of the Dream Maker's castle resembles a church, and the volcanic land of Viltheed resembles hell or Mordor.
Light be with you, Troper.