"POWERRRRRRRR! UNLIMITED POWERRRRRRRR!"
Villains aren't ones to preach self control or restraint. They might understand and even use it to good effect, but in their blackest hearts they want to live it up
and tear up the scenery
... in this trope's case, literally
A villain who is Drunk with Power
on The Dark Side
will show how "Evil Feels Good
", he has become a God
and With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
, releasing waves or bolts
of dark power, or if they're powerful enough cause a deliberate "controlled" Super Power Meltdown
that can become a Sphere of Destruction
The downside to this exercise in expressive megalomania
is that it's equivalent to (and sometimes paired with) becoming a One-Winged Angel
, meaning the villain has completely surrendered to The Corruption
and is too far gone
for the heroes to be able to save
, and thus killing
the villain becomes acceptable.
Contrast This Is Your Brain on Evil
, where the villain's mental processes are equally affected, but not in a fun way. The drug metaphor sometimes breaks down here, as villains will start out experiencing This Is Your Brain on Evil
, then proceed to become Drunk on the Dark Side
when their humanity degrades to the point that they stop fighting it. (With drugs, you normally lead off with the carefree intoxication part, while the soul-crushing addiction part comes later.)
See also Evil Is Hammy
, in which simply being evil is what causes scenery-chewing, rather than being evil and powerful.
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Anime & Manga
- Magical Project S When Misao, normally a shy, timid girl, transforms into her evil magical self, she starts to do everything she couldn't in powerless form — and as Pixy Misa she starts to sing about how powerful she is (she sings in the middle of the street, as everyone assumes a WTF expression) with hilarious results.
- Muska in Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky qualifies at the climactic events of the film when he takes control of Laputa's powers and both kills the general and his soldiers and destroys the army's battleship with an army of robots, gloating, "A superior being such as myself has only one option—burn them!"
- Nene in Blue Dragon does this when he absorbs the main characters' powers.
- Death Note: Light Yagami started out as a kid groomed for success. His dream was to join the police and assist his father, the Chief of Police. He then became the popular guy in high-school because he was smart, studious, and Bishōnen. He was even smart enough to be one of the top scoring high-school students in all of Japan! Then he found a Death Note...
- In Bleach, Tosen goes absolutely insane after he realizes his Resurreccion gives him eyesight. More than he already was, anyway.
- And Aizen has gone off the deep end as well, doing incredibly dickish things for no reason except that he can, and loses it not once, but twice, when Gin succeeds in killing him and when he discovers Ichigo's more powerful than him now. Yes, that's in the correct order.
- Mabashi, in the Bount arc, was so against sucking living souls that he actually had to be force-fed his first. Afterward he goes Ax-Crazy, burning through any sympathy we might have had very quickly.
- Kariya, the Bount leader, attacked his allies in Soul Society and had to be restrained by two of his followers.
- During the Paramount War in One Piece, Blackbeard stole the Tremor-Tremor Fruit from Whitebeard's body and goes off the rails, threatening to destroy the island of Marineford, kill everybody, etc. It takes the arrival of Shanks to sober him, but it's likely a temporary solution for now at that.
- In Record of Lodoss War, the evil magician Wagnard becomes even more megalomaniacal by the final episode, cackling with mad glee as he blasts at Parn and Ashram with his magic from his scepter until Ashram eventually kills him. Even so, he gets to have one last bit of scenery to chew on as he screams, "All Lodoss is doomed! Hahahahaha! Nothing will remain! NOTHING! Hahahahahahaha!"
- Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto initially wants power to surpass his treacherous brother Itachi, but with time, he spirals dangerously out of control. Too much exposure to evil and Mind Rape twisted him into an Ax-Crazy lunatic- learning Itachi pretended to be a villain so his brother would kill him to atone for slaying his clan, but actually still loved him was what made him crack. Now, he's to the point where he wants his whole village wiped out. Unless... his revived brother can convince him otherwise...
- Turns out it just made him more convinced to destroy the village.
- But now, after having spoken with all four Reanimated Hokage brought back by Orochimaru, he's gone to help the Shinobi Alliance in the war, and even expressed a desire to become Hokage himself to stop the ninja system that ruined Itachi's life. What.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard: Aichi Sendou goes from Shrinking Violet, Shy Blue Haired Guy protagonist to a (possibly) mentally unstable kid desperate to be acknowledged as strong once he's hooked on Psyqualia. So much so that he abandons the very card that means the world to him in favour of the clan's Evil Counterpart. He manages to get over it, but once he faces Ren, whose pretty much the same, Psyqualia takes hold again and even develops his own Evil Laugh.
- Superboy Prime, starting with Infinite Crisis and getting steadily worse thereafter.
- The Scarlet Witch at "Avengers Disassembled" and "House of M". As of The Children's Crusade, she's fine again.
- Madelyne Pryor did this when she went Goblyn Queen and tried to sacrifice her own son to usher in a Hell on Earth. Needless to say, though she's died and come back since then, she'll likely Never Live It Down.
- As seen in the page image, Hal Jordan after his temporary Face-Heel Turn and turning into Parallax.
- Happens in Mega Man, when Mega Man starts getting the Robot Masters' powers he starts to get increasingly cocky and arrogant, to the point where he declares himself invincible. This results in Dr. Light having to contain him while he throws what amounts to a super-powered temper tantrum. When he calms down, he's so horrified at his response that he asks Dr. Light to take them away.
- An act of Fridge Brilliance on the writer's part- this explains why Mega Man's acquired powers don't carry over into the next game- he's only borrowing them until Wily's beaten.
- In the original The Transformers comic book series by Marvel, this happens to Starscream after he absorbs power from a mysterious satellite called the Underbase and becomes so strong that he's able to take on the combined might of both the Autobot and Decepticons combined and curbstomp them both. He's only defeated when Optimus Prime tricks him into absorbing the rest of the Underbase's power, which turns out to be far too much for any single Transformer to hold.
- Every time Lex Luthor gains superpowers he quickly lets them go to his head. His term as president came to an end when he went crazy after doping himself with Venom and liquid Kryptonite before going on a rampage in an Apokoliptian battle suit. In 52, he uses his own Exo-gene therapy to copy Superman's power set and spends most of the time reveling in his new powers. After temporarily wielding an Orange power ring in Blackest Night, Luthor spends most of his story in Action Comics trying to replace it with something equally or more powerful.
- Mary Marvel in Countdown to Final Crisis. So much so she goes evil twice.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Most Let's Play videos of Garry's Mod Murder involve this to an extent, although most of these examples are not taken entirely seriously. Many examples below:
- From Hat Films, Ross Hornby will pull out the knife with no warning, shouting EAT SHIT! EAT SHIT! or some amusing variation thereupon at the top of his lungs. His two co-stars do this on occasion, but Ross is by far more noticeable.
- Turpster is considerably better than Ross at hiding that he is the murderer, but upon being discovered he puts on a creepy voice and gives a brilliant Evil Laugh.
- Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane rarely delve into this, but when they opt to, they can be very hammy, funny and terrifying all at once. The former goes on a gangster-style rampage (audio file NSFW with lots of swearing and profanity), complete with a EastEnders impression. The latter learns not to do it after his first attempt at doing so gives him away and gets him killed, but later does it for comedy, at one point going on a hammy rampage which can be heard here (also very NSFW due to constant swearing, and you would be advised to turn your volume down).
- During series 2 of the Yogscast playthrough of Trouble In Terrorist Town, the guys are mostly savvy enough to avert this, but in the final episode, Lewis Brindley embraces this trope. After a small firefight which results in the deaths of Sips and Sjin, Lewis initially tries to deny that he is responsible for their deaths, but upon further probing he hammily confesses, then guns down Ross and Trott, ranting about how he had to kill and boasting as he does so. Sjin puts it down to Demonic Possession.
Lewis: Die, all of you! EAT SHIT! EAT SHIT! I'm possessed!
Sjin: (helplessly laughing) Ross has somehow possessed Lewis!
- Strippin is normally composed enough, albeit slightly boisterous, but during a playthrough of Damned with In The Little Wood, Rythian and Zoey Proasheck, he shows he's Not So Above It All, with Creepy Child impersonations and sadistically toying with the others.
- In Gifts, the Caspro family legend of Blind Caddard ends this way. Although he learned to control his power, in his old age he starts unmaking anything and everything that pisses him off even slightly. He eventually has a Heel Realization and uses a mirror to unmake his own eyes.
- Wizards who succumb to Black Magic in The Dresden Files can end up like this, a prominent example being the teenager executed early in Proven Guilty. There's a reason breaking any of the Laws Of Magic is a big freakin' deal. Dresden has had to deal with this for most of his life ever since he killed his Evil Mentor in self-defense when he was a teenager. Various supernatural beings offering him more power like a bunch of drug-pushers don't help matters any.
- In Galaxy of Fear, the first clone of herself that Tash Arranda meets is gleefully fascinated by the dark side, willing and wanting to kill and demonstrate her power. She has a wicked gleam in her eyes.
- Nicolae Carpathia in the Left Behind books was like this when Satan indwelt him after his "resurrection" to fulfill his role as the Antichrist — so much that, at the battle of Armageddon, Satan temporarily departs to tell Nicolae that he's getting too big for his britches!
- Tends to happen in the Shannara books whenever magic is overused, most obviously in the backstories of the Warlock Lord (who got turned from Well-Intentioned Extremist to power-mad tyrant), the Mord Wraiths (who got turned into near-mindless puppets of the sentient Tome of Eldritch Lore known as the Ildatch) and the Shadowen (who became addicted to magic and fed themselves by leeching it out of both individuals and the Earth as a whole). The Warlock Lord is particularly hammy about it, too ("MORTAL CREATURE, I AM HERE!"), and many Shadowen are as well when dropping their mortal guises; the Mord Wraiths don't really talk, but demonstrate extreme arrogance and obsessive devotion to their beloved book nonetheless.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Dark One provides its greatest servants the True Power, an Evil Counterpart to the One Power that fuels the setting's magic. Using it is described as equal parts agony, ecstasy, and sheer omnipotence; it's also supremely addictive and causes major Sanity Slippage, to the extent that the one person to use it regularly ended up believing that he was the Dark One.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, most of the students at the Sith Academy have this to various degrees. In fact, one way to get inside is to murder one such student, since he's just being a total dick and killing people at random because he cant get over how easy it is. If you turn to the Dark Side, you can force one of the main characters to kill his best friend because she won't swear loyalty to you. Although he'll snap out of it and turn on you if you keep him in your party.
- In SaGa Frontier, Asellus, a half-Mystic, can enhance and develop her Mystic abilities with three specific pieces of equipment. Developing them grants her more powerful skills and enhances her abilities when she uses Mystic Change, but she becomes more tyrannical and power-thirsty at the same time. In the ending where she becomes a full Mystic (which is done by fully developing her powers with all three of the mentioned equipment pieces), she turns out to be an even worse tyrant than Orlouge (the Mystic overlord before her) ever was. On the other extreme, not developing her Mystic powers at all will allow her to become a human again.
- Final Fantasy villains are fond of this trope, coupled with nihilism. To name a couple, Kefka, and Kuja.
"I've tapped into the ultimate power. Observe...! Such magnificent power! You are like insects to me!" -Kefka, Final Fantasy VI
- Kefka is a subversion, as his personality stays exactly the same after gaining ultimate power - which is bad, because he was a gleefully psychotic monster to begin with. Kefka goes from being a gleefully psychotic man to being a gleefully psychotic god.
- Esher in Myst V: End of Ages does this if you make the mistake of giving him the tablet.
- The reason the "canisters" in Geneforge are listed under both Upgrade Artifact and Psycho Serum—not only are they addictive, they're prone to causing egomania, severe anger management problems, Hallucinations, and, occasionally, Body Horror.
- Exposure to Phazon causes this in the Metroid Prime series. In the third installment, Samus gets to experience it herself. It's still better than the alternative, though.
- What makes Phazon even more insidious is that early stages of The Corruption can be shrugged off by expelling excess Phazon by shooting randomly, which is highly likely to cause any and all allies to think you've either gone berserk or already succumbed to this trope.
- In Mega Man Zero 2, as the final boss Elpizo is transforming into his One-Winged Angel form, he lets out a piercing scream, and then yells (in Japanese) "MORE POWER!!!" in a demonically distorted voice.
- In the Demon Path of Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, Revya does this, intoning "More... More power..." during some attacks, complete with a Voice of the Legion.
- In Overlord II, when you drain Queen Fay of her magic, she slowly begins to be corrupted by your dark magic, begging for you to continue and yelling at the Elves and Pixies for trying to save her. By the end she's driven completely insane and becomes a full-on Fallen Hero who joins you.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, Ansem Xehanort and Organization XIII are so Drunk on the Dark Side that sometimes it seems like the darkness is all they ever talk about.
- Space Channel 5: "Ulala! I needed your dance power you see, now we have all the power we need!"
- In World of Warcraft:
- It is a quite common effect of demonic magic, especially for careless users. One boss in Magister's Terrace which, after charging up with a bit of it outright screams "YES! I AM A GOD!". His boss, Kael'thas, gets "unlimited power"-style quotes in both his appearances.
- In a meta vein, whenever any class or skill ends up buffed up significantly, players of that class will go on this trope completely. In one case, Shamans getting the ability to cast Chain Lightning with no pauses made the resulting light-show look just like Palpatine's Force Lightning. Flooding of Youtube with mashups of his quote from the page top with in-game footage promptly followed.
- This is one of the more... legitimate reasons Blood Magic and dealing with spirits is forbidden for mages in Dragon Age.
- Most of the voice acting in the first Baten Kaitos game is very wooden and monotone. However, during Kalas' Face-Heel Turn...
- In Odin Sphere, the spell of Darkova transforms its user into a powerful three headed demon beast. The user is then cursed with a thirst for blood and pain, compelling them to destroy that which they love most.
- Albedo from Xenosaga firing Proto Merkabah at Second Miltia is an example of this.
- Racing Lagoon has Kyoji Nanba, the nicest guy you'll ever meet in the game, ends up looking like a zombie and speaking brokenly after he has taken drug and driven a monster-tuned car. Right after that, he drives straight into a barrier and gets himself killed.
- On something of a meta level, it is not uncommon for players of Garry's Mod Murder to devolve into a psychotic, screaming berserker if they are discovered to be the murderer. This does end up working against them if they are not careful, since a careless murderer may start screaming violent threats and fail to notice that they've left a large group of people alone.
- In Endstone, rocking the Banestone does this.
- In Homestuck Rose Lalonde does this after going Grimdark
- Yeager in Nodwick acted this way when he had won the power of "The Quirkening", going so far as to threaten to kill Nodwick... well, ok, he's normally like that, but this time he meant to use his Reality Warper powers to really screw him over.
- Vaarsuvius in The Order of the Stick, after making a Deal with the Devil. At least initially. Soon after the character starts actually using that power, they feel nothing but frustration as resolutions to some plot threads have been reached without having them use it. And then finally when they try to fight the Big Bad, an Evil Sorceror that technically has less power, but is more than equal and is much more proficient in it's use where it matters, they get stomped and lose all of that power. Though while the end result was far short of what the character imagined, they still managed to achieve a couple important things - and could have done more if not for the power-drunk rampage.
- In Sinfest, Slick notes that the successful treated patients at the Hellness Center are crazy.
- Chloe in Eerie Cuties, when she found a demonic Amplifier Artifact made for mature succubi — which she isn't. She quickly grows powerful and restless, sliding out of control and from an innocent crush to rather crazy to full demoning-out with urges to corrupt pretty quickly, ending with a breakdown and then a bad hangover after the "fun" ends.
- Self-proclaimed Phoenix King Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender acts this way when Sozin's comet comes into close orbit with the planet
- He was a raging sociopath long before the comet, it's just now he had enough firepower to really let it out.
- Being voiced by Mark frakking HAM-mil helps.
- In The Legend of Korra Unalaq really enjoys wielding Vaatu's power as the "Dark Avatar".
- In the Season 2 finale of Justice League Unlimited Lex Luthor becomes this way after merging with Brainiac. He mentions that in that state, he has power, and he likes it. Throughout season 3, he constantly tries to reactivate Brainiac from a small piece of technology-covered rock to regain that feeling.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has this happen with Trixie while wearing the Alicorn Amulet in the season 3 episode "Magic Duel". She was a pretty Large Ham to begin with, and the Amulet not only drastically increased her power but corrupted her mind. In this case, it's reversible because all it takes is removing the Amulet and giving her a bit of time to come off the high.
- In Skeleton Warriors, Baron Dark can turn anyone the least bit corruptible into a Skeleton Warrior with a touch. The Skeleton Warriors really enjoy being unkillable undead monstrosities. So much so that at the end of one episode, two of Dark's henchpeople who had their humanity restored beg him to turn them into Skeleton Warriors again.