It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
"Kojack is pretty much just evil Jack, and evil makes everything better!"
The Evil Knockoff is what happens when the Big Bad
decides that he could finally beat that frustratingly tenacious hero if only he had... his own, personal, mindlessly loyal copy of the hero!
This is based on the theory that there's something about the hero personally that makes them unbeatable. (Big Bads do tend to obsess about this stuff.)
For a character to be an Evil Knockoff
, it must be a copy created at least partly for the purpose of defeating The Hero
in combat, on the principle of fighting fire with fire.
In the least justified cases, the Big Bad produces an obviously mechanical copy
with superficial visual resemblance to The Hero
but little functional similarity; for example, a robot "copy" of a human ninja could rely on hidden machine guns and rocket launchers. This prompts the question of just what talismanic property of the hero's appearance is actually getting copied into "Mecha-Hero." The reason why is some absurd and never clearly articulated theory that "nothing can be as strong as the hero but the hero- or something that kinda looks like him!
In more justified cases, the Big Bad knows strength when he sees it, and so makes sure the copy shares some basic capabilities or power source with the hero, or is an actual clone. If The Hero
mechanical or otherwise manufactured (i.e. an engineered Super Soldier
), the copy will usually be based on that hero's original blueprints or other stolen underlying technology, be reasonably close in appearance and capabilities, and fight in a nearly identical fashion, resulting in a battle of wits and spirit instead of the more usual Aesop
that copies are never as good as the original
Some villains don't stop with just one Evil Knockoff, and Send in the Clones
to produce a small army of Evil Knockoffs. Thanks to Conservation of Ninjutsu
, these clones are usually not quite as good as the original, but make up for that via sheer numbers.
Often a form of Laser-Guided Tykebomb
. Sister Trope
to Evil Twin
(evil identical twin), Evil Counterpart
(evil character with similar abilities and/or history who took another path), and Criminal Doppelgänger
(evil Identical Stranger
). Related to Mirror Boss
and Sixth Ranger Traitor
. Often, whole teams being cloned results in The Psycho Rangers
. If the knockoff turns out to be the manifestation of the hero's inherent evil side, it's an Enemy Without
. Contrast Psycho Prototype
, where the hero is the "Good Knockoff".
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Corpse Corps from Blood+ are clones of the Schiff. Well, clones of Moses, at least. Interesting in that the schiff themselves are vampire "knockoffs" who've become a Phlebotinum Rebel Secret Project Refugee Family.
- Mazinger Z: In an episode Dr. Hell created a robotical doble of Kouji and sent it to the Photon Atomic Power Research Institute to wreak havoc and kill the heroes stealthily.
- The Cloneblades from the Witchblade anime are an odd case, being clones of an artifact instead of a character.
- Casual variant, as both Cloneblades and Excons/iWeapons are fruits of research which began when Dohji Industries and NSWF were allies and ended before they came to blows (i.e. catastrophe), so neither is created specifically for battle with each other or original. Also, Cloneblades are more imitation than copy, never showing any signs of being [semi]sentient/self-willed (unlike Witchblade). NSWF checked whether would-be wielder is physically and mentally ready for Cloneblades, but measured compatibility for Witchblade.
- Guyver has Guyver II, who should have beaten the hero.. and would have had his control metal not been shattered from the outset. In fact, it's so unrealistic that Sho beat him so early that the most recent anime changed it around, making Guyver II the "boss" for the Cronos Japan opening arc. (This was, by the way, done with Yoshiki Takaya's appoval.)
- There's also the female Guyver II from the Guyver: Out of Control OVA. She's the final opponent Sho faced and she pretty well beats the shit out of Sho from nearly start to finish. Only the Control Metal picking then and there to go haywire from extended use saved him from being either killed or enslaved by Kronos.
- Getter Robo Armageddon (The Last Day Of The World) had Dr. Saotome unleash a horde of mass-produced copies of Getter Robo G, from the second season of the original series.
- Not only that, Saotome and two other villains actually pilot a much more powerful Getter G near the end of the series and duel the heroes in a roughly evenly-matched battle.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion:
- The MP-Evas are mass produced copies of the Evas. These copies are superior to the protagonists' units. They have infinite sources of power, flight and copies of the Artifact of Doom. Their opponent is Unit 02 armed with battery power, a combat knife, and a really angry German. Asuka fights formidably and hurts, maims and kills most of them. Unfortunately they get regenerative powers and ultimately she loses.
- However, all these copies are still inferior to Eva-01 the Super Prototype equipped with an even better "infinite" energy source, the Original Lance of Longinus, superior Flight Capability, and a person born to Pilot Eva. Of course, he doesn't even fight at all after having yet ANOTHER Mental Breakdown upon seeing Asuka and Eva-02's remains, so he and the Audience spend the rest of the Movie being Mindraped.
- In Demonbane, Doctor West created a knockoff copy of the titular robot, with all its magic... except Lemuria Impact.
- Towards the end of the first series of Vandread, the Harvesters produced copies of the Vandreads; after the first set of copies were destroyed, the mass-produced later versions didn't seem much of a threat in the Second Stage. The Evil Knockoff of the Cool Ship Nirvana in the Second Stage, however, unexpectedly turned out to be a Transforming Mecha that was in fact stronger than the original. (The copy of it shown at the final battle though was much weaker, though)
- In Gunnm, Tiphares/Zalem eventually creates the AR series, exact copies of Alita/Galley's cybernetic body complete with robotic chips for brains and her Panzer Kunst fighting style. Most of them get killed off, but three of them go on to get their own character development, in an attempt to become individual.
- Barasuishou in Rozen Maiden was specifically created to defeat the real Rozen Maidens by Enju, the jealous apprentice of the maker of the original dolls. He eventually succeeds. Well, sort of.
- One episode of the original Bubblegum Crisis OVA had Boomers dressed up like the Knight Sabers. Very powerful Boomers whose true forms take up at least 50% more volume than their disguises. (Standard fare for Boomers; at least they're consistent.)
- The Dark Bring "Decalogue" from Rave Master is an Evil Knockoff of Haru's Ten Commandment's sword, with ten forms that match the forms of Haru's sword except for the last one.
- Amiba from Fist of the North Star, the second Hokuto Shinken pretender in the story, never actually trained in the style, but instead uses a variation he developed through pressure point experiments, which he dubs the "Amiba-style Hokuto Shinken". Needless to say, Kenshiro was not impressed.
- In Naruto: Shippuden, Team Guy has to defeat copies of themselves in order to break a seal on a cave entrance. They are exact copies of the strengths and techniques of each team member. In true Team Guy style, the copies are defeated because the originals become stronger than they were when they started the fight.
- In the 2001 Cyborg 009, Albert Heinrich/Cyborg 004 faces off against a robotic doppleganger. Having been manufactured after the cyborgs escaped, it's significantly stronger than him, resulting in a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown until he finally does something the robot doesn't expect: save a bird's nest rather than try and avoid its attacks.
- Afro-Droid from Afro Samurai was directly copied from all of Afro's skills, moves, and knowledge, but by virtue of being a robot, was faster and stronger. Afro could only beat him by using moves that surprised himself and Ninja-Ninja, his companion and possible sub-conscience. After the initial defeat, Afro-Droid came back with some new abilities hidden under the skin-like covering of his body: lasers, missiles, machine guns, flight, and an incredibly phallic and lampshaded front-mounted BFG.
- Astro Boy has an inordinately high number of them. The first was an unstable copy created by a one-off enemy known as the Bronze Republic to prevent him from retrieving a spaceship component they stole. Then there's the 1980s version of Atlas (and the 2003 version to a lesser extent, but oddly enough not the original). Honorable mention goes to Astroboy Mk. II, who never actually met the real one & isn't evil so much as a Jerk Ass.
- In Hellsing, all of Milennium's vampires are cheap knockoffs of Alucard. The only members of Milennium who aren't knockoffs, the Captain and Schrodinger, also end up being the only members of Milennium who have ever defeated Alucard.
- Iron Kaiser to Mazinkaiser SKL, being said to be directly based on Mazinkaiser's design and having almost identical set of attacks.
- One of the monsters of the week in GaoGaiGar absorbs a bunch of spare parts and becomes an evil version of the title mecha. The battle ends with dueling Hell and Heavens.
- In FINAL, a Brainwashed and Crazy clone of Mamoru uses a copy of GaoGaiGar to fight Guy in the improved GaoFighGar. Ends similarly to the above, but it's a massive Tear Jerker instead.
- Dragon Ball: In a broad sense: Dr. Gero creats the Androids (actually more like cyborgs) after he observes that armies of Mooks are of very little use against Goku and resolves to create a single fighter of immense personal power rather than mass-produced military machinery. The culmination of his research is Cell, so named because he uses cells stolen from Goku and the other protagonists to mimic their abilities.
- Dragon Ball GT has Hell Fighter 17, the machine mutant clone used to brainwash and fuse with the original Android 17. Trouble is, the scientists that made this happen should've known they couldn't trust each other or the resulting Super Android 17 not to pull a double cross.
- ∀ Gundam has a strange reversal: according to external sources, it was actually the Turn A that was reverse-engineered from the Turn X, in an attempt to copy its technology. The people who created the Turn A were terrified of the Turn X ever being used against them and wanted something that could put up a decent fight against it... making the Turn A a "Good Knockoff" of the Turn X. The two machines are shown to be dead even in combat capabilities, to the point that the series ends with them locked in an eternal stalemate, neither able to overpower the other.
- In Great Mazinger, the Mikene are able to replicate and mass produce Great Mazinger itself and turned them loose on their foe. They usually show up in various Super Robot Wars installments when the original Great storyline is used.
- In Claymore it is revealed that Youma and Claymrores are the Organizations attempts at recreating weapons equal tot he power of the Descendants of Dragons called the Asarakam.
- In the manga version of Mai-Otome, Big Bad Sergay summons villainous clones of the HiME to fight against the Otome in his bid to Take Over the World. Their powers are equal to those of the originals, but their personalities are nearly polar opposites.
- In the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, Big Bad Shadow creates mirror copies of the girls for the purpose of destroying them. Four of the five are killed by their own Good Counterpart while the last dies in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Done again near the end of Smile Pretty Cure! when Joker creates the Bad End Precure. This time, however, none of the five are spared.
- Pulled off again in Happiness Charge Pretty Cure when Phantom tears off a part of Cure Lovely's shadow and wears it, becoming Cure UnLovely.
- Inverted and played straight simultaneously in Il Sole penetra le Illusioni. The Elemental Tarot cards were created from their Daemonia twins, which unfortunately allows the Daemonia card to manifest an evil copy of the Elemental card's current user. The evil cards can only be destroyed by their good version making a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- Cards like Clone, Vesuvan Doppleganger, and The Mimeoplasm let you create this, though (because of rules regarding "legendary", or unique, cards), doing it to one of those caused both to die up until 2014, which tweaked it so that the only restriction on legendary creatures is that the same player can't control two copies of the same one. Also, the Scars of Mirrodin block went out of its way to make Phyrexian versions of old cards.
- Sakashima the Imposter is a (somewhat clunky) workaround to the Legend Rule, though he has the ability to impersonate multiple creatures (sequentially), and so is arguably not an example.
- The infamous Clone Saga in Spider-Man. This was taken to its limits in one issue, where it ended with dozens of Spider-Man clones attacking our heroes.
- The Flash comics has Inertia, who was created to be the evil Thawne family member when Bart Allen (Impulse I/Kid Flash II) refused his heritage as a Thawne.
- In most Superman stories, Bizarro is a creation of Lex Luthor, intended to defeat Supes. For his part, Superman has pretty much never considered Bizarro evil so much as incredibly misguided. This is across all incarnations, from the confused Superman clone to the backwards denizen of Bizarro World.
- Legion of Super-Heroes:
- In the storyline The Great Darkness Saga, the servants of Darkseid are duplicates of Lydea Mallor (ancestor of Legion member Shadow Lass), Superman, a Guardian of the Universe, and Darkseid's sons Orion and Kalibak.
- In the Postboot version of the same storyline, the same Big Bad has cloned minions of his son Orion, fellow New God Big Barda, and, Firestorm.
- The various comic versions of Sonic the Hedgehog usually feature Metal Sonic at some point- recently in the Archie comics, a robot duplicate of Scourge, Sonic's Mirror Universe counterpart was also created.
- Sonic the Comic:
- The comic renamed the Metal Sonic "Metallix" to be more distinctive, and explained his different appearance in Sonic CD versus Sonic and Knuckles as being due to there being a whole army of them, the Brotherhood of Metallix. Naturally, what with A.I. Is a Crapshoot, they ended up going rogue, usurping Robotnik and even attempting to erase him from history, they also created their own Evil Knockoffs of Porker and the Omni-Viewer creating the Porker Metallix and Pirate Omni-Viewer.
- After the failure of the Sonic Metallix Robotnik created the Metallix Mark 3 which was modelled after Knuckles unlike the Brotherhood of Metallix the Metallix Mark 3 was loyal.
- Evil robot Ultron from the Marvel Universe frequently tried making evil knockoffs (of sorts) to limited success. Both the Vision and Jocasta's thought patterns were based off those of The Avengers Wonder Man and The Wasp respectively, but both also quickly turned against him and would go on the become Avengers themselves, making them more-or-less good knockoffs of already good characters. Similarly, Alkhema was created with the thought patterns of Mockingbird and was arguably a successful Evil Knockoff as she was genuinely evil but ended up betraying him anyway. Even later on, Ultron planned to replace all organic life with evil knockoffs after he killed them all (he failed, of course).
- It is also revealed that Ultron himself is a Evil Knockoff of his creator, Hank Pym, who used his own thought patterns in Ultron's programming process.
- And again, in Spider-Man #520, Hydra reveals four Avengers knockoffs, using special gear to simulate their powers: The Hammer, with his electricity-manipulating hammer, as a counterpart of Thor; Karl, a man in powered armor styled after Iron Man (who refuses to call himself by his assigned codename, Tactical Force); The Militant, basically a terrorist version of Captain America; and Bowman, a counterpart to the (then-deceased) Hawkeye.
- In a Deadpool story arc, North Korea attempted to create its own knock-off version of the X-Men. North Korean versions of Wolverine, Storm, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Sunfire were created by infusing prisoners with Deadpool's Healing Factor.
- Match, the evil clone of Superboy in The DCU.
- Superboy as well. Didn't work out.
- The Black Lanterns in Blackest Night are evil (and in the cases of dead villains, eviler) knockoffs of the dead people chosen by the Black Lantern rings. The rings reanimate the corpses and simulate any powers and weapons they had in life and a twisted version of their original personalities specifically meant to provoke a strong emotional response from people, enabling the Black Lanterns to rip out their emotion filled hearts.
- Not so much evil as unfriendly and impolite, but Obmoz in Zombo was created as a more powerful version of Zombo that would do as The Government commanded.
- The many evil doppelgangers of Earth's greatest heroes in the Infinity War, created by the villainous Magus.
- The Titanium Man was a KGB agent who had a suit of armor modeled specifically on Iron Man's specs (although inferior Soviet resources meant that the resulting armor ended up being more than eight feet tall). The Iron Monger was a later villain to do the same thing.
- The Boys has one of the strangest examples of this trope. Black Noir is the Homelander's evil clone, designed and tasked to kill him should the need arise. While they look completely alike, Black Noir constantly wears a completely covering black outfit to hide this, and never speaks in public. Because the Homelander behaves himself for too long, Black Noir steals his costume and commits atrocities in his name, making sure he will hear of these things. This turns the Homelander from a superpowered asshole to a monster, as he starts to doubt his sanity and morality. Because the sanction still refuses to come, both Black Noir and the Homelander snap, and the latter starts a war between the government and the supers, while the former finally decides to kill the latter. As one character puts it, "[he] turned into a psychopath by mistake".
- Played straight in a hilarious manner in a Groo The Wanderer story. The antagonist is a sorcerer who can conjure up any thing or being he can imagine (though they are very temporary). When facing Groo, he declares "The only thing that can defeat Groo... is Groo!" and conjures up an exact copy. Who directly proceeds to cutting of the sorcerer's head by accident and then disappearing.
- This was M. Bison's evil plan in Malibu's Street Fighter.
- In issues 3 and 5 of ''Justice League of America (2013), The JLA fights robot doubles of, not themselves, but the Justice League built by Professor Ivo.
- The award-winning "Manhunter" arc (the Paul Kirk version that ran in early 1970's Detective Comics) had clones of Paul as the Council's security forces. A variant in that Paul was initially head of security and they were created to help him, but after he found out what the Council was up to, they did wind up on opposite sides.
- In Ultimate X-Men, the Weapon X program looked for a mutant with a similar Healing Factor to Wolverine's after Wolvie went AWOL in hopes of recreating the adamantium-bonding process, and found Sabretooth.note Lampshaded by Wolverine:
- In Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, the Red Guardian is a deranged Russian attempt at creating a rip-off of Captain America. He even has a shield made of human remains.
- Brutaal, who was believed to be a brainwashed Superman in Earth 2, is revealed to be one in issue #26.
- Modesty Blaise: The Russians use plastic surgery and extensive training to create a duplicate of Modesty in "The Double Agent".
- In Perfection Is Overrated, the Big Bad, The Usurper, is trying to take over the world with the help of the SUEs, but they repeatedly lose against the Himes. In response, for his last stand against the heroes, he deploys the final two SUEs as references to the Copy Cat Sue archetype- Makoto Kagami, who can take the form of any canon character and chooses Mai, and Suzuka Harushiro who wields Haruka's power from the manga. Natsuki tells him he's a hypocrite for thinking the SUEs are superior when he's using ones who imitate the Himes' powers, and Makoto and Suzuka fall at the hands of the Himes.
- Examples from the Calvinverse:
- Yognapped has Xephos, the clone made from Lewis's blood. He's a sadistic Blood Knight who, on his very first outing, reduces the population of Minecraftia by the thousands and pushes the world into an After the End state.
Films — Live-Action
- De Nomolos' evil plot in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey involved a pair of robot Bill and Teds assassinating and then replacing the originals. This also counts as an Inversion after Bill asks "How do you defeat a pair of evil robot usses?" You build a pair of good robot "usses"! (Hilariously, these do not look human at all.)
- An early example is the 1920's film Metropolis. In the film, slaves which toil to keep a city running find hope in the form of a woman called Maria, who leads them in rebellion. To counter this, the leaders of the city above create a robotic copy of Maria to take her place.
- Slightly different in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The Big Bad only gathers the League so he can get samples of their powers, create multiple Evil Knockoffs, and sell them to the highest bidder - "an army of Hydes, invisible spies, vampire assassins" - together with Nemo's supertechnology.
- Nuclear Man is the Evil Knockoff of Superman in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
- All of the major villains Iron Man has fought have been knockoffs of Tony Stark's own designs. The Iron Monger was directly based off the Mk I, the "Hammeroids" were designed to compete, and Whiplash designed his tech to beat Stark at his own game.
- Before the heroes confront Nicola in Bunraku, they each have to face off against an evil counterpart.
- Lone Wolf:
- In book 19 of the series, Lone Wolf faces an Evil Knockoff of himself called Wolf's Bane.
- A similar predicament happens to Grey Star in Book 3 of World of Lone Wolf.
- In book eight of the Hive Series, it turns out that the Furans have their own personal Otto Malpanse, named Zero. Except Zero has even finer control over electricity, allowing him to control other's minds. The copy comes dangerously close to winning out, defeated by a The Power of Friendship moment between Otto and HIVEmind. The clone mind rapes poor Laura so badly that the next time she sees Otto, she's terrified nearly out of her mind, and Nero gives her the option to go home.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe, specifically The Thrawn Trilogy, has Luuke Skywalker, an evil clone of Luke made from the hand he lost at Cloud City and wielding the same lightsaber. He was indeed mindless, and designed that way, as an extension of his master's will. Also, one of the main villains of this arc also proved to be a clone of a character we'd meet much later in a novel set during the prequel series, although he was very, very like the original. Zahn originally wanted to make this character a clone of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Executive Meddling torpedoed it.
- The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings has a variant example — Morgoth makes evil knockoffs of entire races, the Orcs from the Elves, the Trolls from the Ents, the Balrogs and dragons from the Maia, and presumably the Ringwraith's flying steeds from the Eagles. This is part of the limitations of his power: "The Dark Lord cannot make, he can only mock".
- Mark Vorkosigan of the Vorkosigan Saga is a subversion.
- In DoubleShot, the criminal organization The Union decides to take revenge on James Bond by turning one of their people into an exact copy of him through plastic surgery, and frame him for various crimes.
- Power Rangers:
- Almost every team has an episode in which the Big Bad creates bad Rangers. The Jungle Fury season did a variation on it, with the "Five Fingers of Poison," poisonous animal-based Monsters Of The Week, as an Evil Counterpart team rather than an Evil Twin team. They even got a morph phrase and poses. Later in the series, we have The Spirit Rangers, senior members of the Rangers' order, with original suits and attacks based on the masters' own animal spirits. Naturally, the masters are freed from Brainwashing and the baddies now have eight rangers to deal with.
- The original series did this most memorably in "Return of the Green Ranger" when White Ranger Tommy was cloned and the clone became the Green Ranger.
- Power Rangers Dino Thunder had an evil knockoff of the White Ranger after the original evil one did a Heel-Face Turn.
- Princess Ardala created several copies of the eponymous hero in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. One of them was to be sent to Earth to act as a spy; the others... were to be kept by Ardala for her own private purposes.
- In an episode of The A-Team a villainous landowner hires some thugs to pretend to be the A-Team to terrorize his enemies, with a fake Hannibal, fake B.A., and a fake Face. It ends as well for him as you might imagine.
- Get Smart: KAOS created Gropo the robot to destroy Hymie (who was created by KAOS in the first place, but changed sides).
- In Primeval, Helen Cutter creates a clone of Nick Cutter in order to infiltrate the ARC. The real Nick almost gets his evil clone twin to turn, telling him he has free will. He fails. The clone however, whispers "Save yourself!" just as he sets off the bomb intended to destroy the ARC
- Kreel creates two copies of Will in The Legend Of William Tell. One dresses up in a cloak and kills people to sully his name, and later pretends to be his long lost brother. The other kidnaps Vara and nearly kills the team before Will manages to straighten things out.
- In Beetleborgs the Shadowborg was an evil Beetleborg reverse-engineered from the Blue Stinger Borg's armor specifically created to destroy the heroes. The good guys had to create a good knockoff of Shadowborg, the White Blaster Beetleborg, to even the odds. Because of the rules governing the magic that created White Blaster, when Shadowborg was eventually defeated White Blaster's power vanished as well.
- Subverted in Juukou B-Fighter, the Metal Heroes series which was where the original footage of Beetleborgs came from, by the original version of Shadowborg, Shadow/Black Beet. Originally created to defeat the B-Fighters by his master, he eventually starts to question his own existence and his loyalty starts to waver. Then, it is revealed that he is an actual clone of Takuya/Blue Beet and is eventually become obsessed with beating Takuya in order to prove his own existence and in order to gain immortality as he is dying due to being a short-lived clone who was only created to serve his purpose in defeating the B Fighters. He eventually ditch his master to fight for himself.
- One episode of the classic Hawaii Five-O featured a criminal who put together a team of lookalikes of the Five-0 squad in order to con a businessman out of a large chunk of cash. The episode was also notable for showing what a Mission: Impossible-type operation would look like from the other side.
- In the VR Troopers episode "Kaitlin Through the Looking Glass," Grimlord makes an evil duplicate of Kaitlin. The dupe eventually does a Heel-Face Turn, helps the heroes stop Grimlord, and then agrees to be reabsorbed into Kaitlin (it must be done or both will vanish.) The reabsorption process goes wonky though, giving Kaitlin the permanent extra superpower to split off Kaitlin Two at will.
- Doctor Who:
- The Daleks construct an android version of the Doctor in "The Chase".
- Parodied cleverly (with the help from a bit of Tomato Surprise) in the Short Trips and Sidesteps story "The Android Maker of Calderon IV", in which an android builder creates a completely perfect android duplicate of the Third Doctor as his life's work, as part of an incredibly convoluted villainous plot to get revenge on the Doctor and Sarah Jane. Then the real Doctor shows up with Sarah, but he's regenerated into the Fourth Doctor since then, making the robot useless.
- In the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "If I Had a Hammer...," Hephaestus brings a statue of Hercules to life. He has all of the strength and looks of Hercules, but none of the brains. Subverted in that he's not really evil, but rather childish and easily manipulated by Discord, who was using him to frame the real Hercules for murder.
Myths & Religion
- A common interpretation of the Antichrist is that he is a false god, to stand in for the real deal.
- In Monsterpocalypse, the monsters from the faction Ubercorp International are robot duplicates of monsters from other factions.
- Near the end of the Paranoia adventure "Send in the Clones", the PCs discover that their adversary Teela O'Malley has been cloned multiple times. They end up facing an entire army of Teelas.
- Sabata from Boktai was abducted at birth by Hel, infused with Dark Matter, and raised as a "Dark Boy" with the intent purpose of killing Solar Children. Turns out he's not such a bad guy, just a fatalist with some serious issues who changes sides and becomes The Lancer quite quickly once he decides he wants to fight fate.
- The Chaotic Blade of Doom from AdventureQuest Worlds is a Chaos Knockoff to Necrotic Blade of Doom and the Necrotic Blade of Doom is evil to begin with.
- Sailor Moon has evil counterparts to the Inner senshi for basically every season/arc, the only group that fits as Evil Knockoffs is the Opposito Senshi from Sailor Moon: Another Story. Each Opposito has a corresponding power to her counterpart (dark water for Nabu to combat Mercury, for example) and they even have a unified uniform design. Their mission is specifically to take the power of the Ginzuishou and defeat their counterparts. In fact, if you show up without Mars at one point in the game when confronted by her Knockoff, Marduk calls Mars a coward.
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog has created several robotic duplicates of Sonic, Metal Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog CD (pictured above is a scene from his arrival in the animated movie) being the most famous. He's never used more than one at the same time, though - apparently Robotnik is Genre Savvy enough to know about Conservation of Ninjutsu.
- On the other hand, Sonic Heroes implied that Metal Sonic had created an entire army of Shadow androids after usurping Eggman. When he took back his position, Eggman uses those Shadow androids in Shadow the Hedgehog for a couple of stages. He also convinced Shadow that he was an android as well, and Shadow, due to his amnesia, even accepted it in two of the endings. However, about seven to eight minutes into the final battle, Eggman admits to the Shadow you control that he had saved him from his death in Sonic Adventure 2 and is the same ultimate lifeform that his grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik, created 50 years ago.
- The boss of Sonic Advance's Angel Island Zone at first appears to be Knuckles, except that his colors are somewhat off... Halfway through the fight, however, his fake skin peels away and he starts firing huge missiles out of his mouth, revealing him to actually be a robotic duplicate called Mecha Knuckles.
- Jon Irenicus makes copies of the party members with his magic the first time you fight him. They're not much of a threat as they lack the skills and equipment of the Party and can only attack normally.
- The Sloth Clones from Neopets. Unique in that they're clones of the villain that created them.
- The final stage of Metal Slug 3 features a disturbing piece of Martian Organic Technology which is continuously pumping out clones of one of your captured comrades. Fortunately, each clone is just as much a One-Hit-Point Wonder as you are (well, actually they have 4 hit points, but they drop so much Heavy Machine Gun ammo that it doesn't help them stay alive any longer). Once you free your comrade from the machine, it starts producing zombies of him/her instead (and these are much tougher, and even have that nasty Blood Vomit attack).
- In Metal Slug 5 the Ptolemaic Army uses Metal Slug tanks of their own. In fact, the first boss of the game is a giant Metal Slug.
- Depending on how you play Mega Man X 2, you either fight Zero, or Zero dispatches a cheap knockoff clone of himself built by the X-Hunters.
- F-Zero has Blood Falcon, a clone of Captain Falcon by Black Shadow.
- Guilty Gear XX has Robo-Ky, a green-skinned robot copy of Ky Kiske.
- Mortal Kombat has Mileena, a clone of Kitana created by Shang Tsung with Tarkatan DNA as a plus, making her one heck of a Butter Face.
- Mega Man Zero inverts this by making the Zero you play as the knockoff, but the memory's real...the original Zero body is the mindless, Ax-Crazy one.
- This comes up a few times in Metroid.
- In Metroid Prime, the Space Pirates make several weapon designs to emulate Samus's Chozo Powersuit. They also attempted to copy the morph ball, only to have it break every bone in the test subject's body. Needless to say, they moved on.
- Later in the Prime games, Dark Samus appears, after the eponymous creature stole Samus's Phazon Suit. It has Phazon-based versions of several of Samus's attacks from the first Prime game.
- The SA-X in Metroid: Fusion is a bunch of X taking the form of Samus's suit; when they infected her, she had to lose most of her suit to be cured, so the SA-X has the upper hand for most of the game.
- Inverted by Tales of the Abyss in almost every way conceivable: The Big Bad decides he'd rather have The Chosen One for himself, so he kidnaps and makes an inferior clone of said chosen one and sends the clone back as a stand in while grooming said chosen one into becoming his disciple. The Chosen One turns out to be a bit smarter than the Big Bad had intended and rebels against him... While the clone ends up surpassing both the original and the Big Bad himself, to the original's annoyance and the Big Bad's utter surprise.
- The Riku Replica in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, though when you fight him in gameplay, he fits the other definition of "cheap".
- And in 358/2 Days it seems that Xion, an imperfect Replica of Sora, was a failed Evil Knockoff
- Ooooh, that's a really complex one. Roxas is important to the Organization, because he can use the Keyblade, meaning that unlike the entire rest of the Goddamn Organization, he can actually contribute to it's ultimate goal. But Roxas is kind of a wild card and the higher-ups don't like that, so Xion was created to siphon off Sora's memories from Roxas, and his ability to use the Keyblade, so that they could have someone they could control. So she's actually meant to be an Evil Knockoff of both of them, and no, that's not redundant.
- The Big Bad in Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus sends out copies of various characters (none of which are of the playable characters) to act out his evil plans of Canon Defilement on the featured Light Novels (really). All of those fakers are bosses (in fact, it'd be easier to list which bosses are not clones) and while looking exactly like the genuine characters (except for the Minori and Kanzaki clones, who both have villainous eyes), they are also weaker than them (except for the Minori clone again, considering what kind of story Toradora is in the first place) as one of them admits after defeat.
- In Endless Frontier, the Einst create copies of Haken and Excellen, and later even produce versions of the Personal Troopers.
- Team Fortress 2 features the Robot Team, a team comprised of evil, robotic counterparts of the Mercs.
- Knights of the Old Republic 2 features the HK-50s, which are the evil(er) knockoffs of HK-47. And HK-47 was pretty damn evil to start with.
- It has to be said that for all their bragging, they lack the original's subtlety (and that's saying something) - the first one keeps dropping his facade so much you have to wonder how he managed to fool anyone long enough to do anything. Not to mention their combat skills are nowhere near the original's - after a bout of grandstanding, three of them are wiped out by T3-M4, a pintsized astromech droid. (Then again, T3 is that badass. Maybe they should've copied him instead.)
- HK-47 himself is angry at these knockoffs. It's too bad the HK-50 factory never made it into the final game.
- Fridge Brilliance: It's rather like what George Lucas has done to Star Wars in the last 15 years. This could actually be a subtle criticism...
- Shadow Mario in the Mario series, although he is really Bowser Jr. in disguise.
- Also, in Paper Mario, the Duplighost enemies could transform into your allies, and at one point in the game a mirror breaks, and it turns out that Mario and his allies' reflections were actually disguised enemies behind glass.
- In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, the Big Bad creates an army of clones of the main character. At first they're identical replicas, but later on you meet ones with heightened attributes. These include speed, strength, and carrying a huge flamethrower. Because they're really tiny, the ones that aren't destroyed are sold as toys, or are kept to keep Qwark company.
- The golem Astaroth's Character Development in Soul Calibur from the third game onwards revolves around him discovering that he is just an Evil Knockoff of Rock the "White Giant". Astaroth dedicates himself to killing Rock so that he can be a truly unique being instead of just a cheap copy.
- Soul Calibur was created to be a good knockoff of Soul Edge. However, since it was created using a piece of Soul Edge itself, it turned out to be just as bad in a different way in Soul Calibur IV.
- Not only that, Astaroth gets his own twin, who is a bright eyed idealist clockwork golem who matches Astaroth's moves but doesn't have the slightest bit of resemblance to him in appearance. She is tasked with bringing Astaroth back.
- The Issue 17 update of City of Heroes, titled "Dark Mirror", revolves around this trope, with various dopplegangers for players to fight, of varying origins.
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex has Cortex create a bigger, more violent version of Crash named, imaginatively, Crunch. Then Crunch joins Crash's side at the end of the game.
- In Rayman, there's Bad/Dark Rayman, created by Mr. Dark.
- Kojack in MadWorld is basically a copy of the player character Jack. It's not known how evil he is, he's just another participant in the Blood Sport that is Deathwatch. Jack certainly isn't Incorruptible Pure Pureness either, it's pretty much just the announcers who say Kojack is an Evil Knockoff of Jack.
- Dragon Quest gives us the FooHero, FooFighter, FooPriest, and FooMage, knockoffs of the Hero, Warrior, Priest, and Mage classes.
- In the international version of Final Fantasy X, there are a handful of sidebosses called the Dark Aeons, which are PaletteSwaps of your original Aeons. They're also much harder.
- Played with at the end of the game proper. Yu Yevon possesses each of the Aeons that you summon, transforming the into enemies identical to the aforementioned Dark Aeons (just not nearly as hard).
- The supervillain Deja Vu in Freedom Force can make evil duplicates out of anyone he wants, so he chooses to make a bunch out of Minuteman (a Captain America Expy). The knockoffs have the same powers but have Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Dark Link has appeared sporadically throughout The Legend of Zelda. His most memorable appearance was probably in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He usually has similar sword play abilities compared to the main character, but a lack of magic and various items.
- In Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, Dark Mind captures Meta Knight and creates a copy of him called Dark Meta Knight who is sent to attack Kirby. Dark Meta Knight is disguised as the real one for most of the game until the true Meta Knight reveals that he is an imposter.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising gives us Dark Pit, created when Pit shattered a soul-reflecting mirror (it breaking is why Dark Pit isn't a perfect copy). However, despite Pandora's wishes, he's definitely more of an Anti-Hero than a villain.
- Later in the game, the Aurum invaders create copies of enemies from the Underworld Forces and the Forces of Nature.
- A notable ability of Chaos Sorcerer in Dawn of War II in Last Stand is to create demonic copies of his enemies - and sacrifice them to restore health if he needs to. Alternatively, he can trade these abilities for increased health and attack power as well as ability to heal himself by sacrificing energy.
- In Super Robot Wars Z2, Anti-Spiral pilots a Palette Swap of the Gurren Lagann with Anti-Spiral Nia instead of the Grand Zamboa because Tengen Toppa wasn't in the game.
- The Citadel DLC of Mass Effect 3 has the clone of Commander Shepard, created by Cerberus during Project Lazarus for the purpose of spare parts but who was awakened by Agent Brooks for the purpose of providing the ultimate weapon for Cerberus. S/he serves as the Big Bad of the DLC, attempting to kill Shepard in order to replace him/her. The clone even fights with the same abilities as Shepard.
- There's Carla Radames, the Big Bad of Resident Evil 6. She originally was a scientist working for Derek Simmons, and created the C-Virus. However, after Ada Wong left him, Simmons became obsessed with having her back. Eventually, he decided to use the C-Virus to transform Carla in a perfect clone of Ada. It worked, or so he thought. While the cloning process was meant to replace Carla's memories with Ada's (albeit slightly altered to make her think she never left Simmons), it only managed to shut them away temporarily. When those memories returned (kind of, as she never really realised who she used to be, only that she was pissed off at Simmons), Carla began to plot Simmons' downfall. It nearly worked, but the part of her mind that remembered who she was made her contact Ada. When the two of them met, Carla injected herself with the C-Virus, making her mutated into a giant mess of grey goo, after which Ada killed her.
- The two bosses of Mission 7 in Double Dragon Neon are dumb, Abobo-esque clones of Billy and Jimmy called "Bimmy and Jammy."
- In Diablo III, during the second phase of the final battle, you not only have to face the Shadow of Diablo, but also the Shadow Clones of your character that it creates from time to time, which may or may not use the same major moves as you do.
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax has Shadow Doppelgangers; copies of the main characters true Shadow Selves created by the Big Bad to fight the heroes. All of them just melt into puddles of goo after being defeated.
- Fukua from Skullgirls is a clone of Filia hellbent on "becoming" her. By the end of her story, it looks like she's succeeded.
- Toward the end of Maximo vs. Army of Zin, you have to fight Zin who are explicitly modeled after Maximo, some of which even wield a Hammer of Heroes knockoff.
- In Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots, Calamitous' evil legion of Living Toys are backed up by robotic clones of Sponge Bob Square Pants, Danny Phantom, his archnemesis Jimmy Neutron, Timmy Turner, and Tak who, beyond looking like those heroes, have zilch to do with them in abilities. The proposed explanation for this is that these robots are built from Master Models, figurines holding data from characters around the multiverse that Calamitous kidnapped and then dumped back home and mindwiped to keep his secret plans, uhh, secret (Except that the first two were never seen captured at all during the storyline, though their previous clash two games ago might fill in for that.). And considering what Master Models you collect in game, we have to question what makes him consider that Arnold is as worthy as Aang.
- In Grisaia No Rakuen Yuuji gets his own artificially aged clone as a rival to fight at the end. The fight takes a really long time because Yuuji is badly injured but has more experience.
- Parodied in Adventurers!. Khrima creates robot duplicates of all the heroes, and plans to kidnap the heroes and replace them with their doubles to fool each other, only to be informed of the holes in this plan: the duplicates only vaguely resemble the people they're replacing; he built a double of Evil Killer Death Spybot 5000, who is already a robot and already on their side; if all the adventurers are replaced by robots then when the trap is sprung the robots will be turning on each other; and, if they're kidnapped, then of course there's no need to trick them anyway.
- In It Sucks to Be Weegie!, Luigi ends up running into the one guy that might possibly suck more than he does; Waluigi. Hilarity Ensues.
- MS Paint Masterpieces had Copy Mega Man, made by Dr. Wily to stop Mega Man and pre-loaded with all of the Robot Masters weapons. A logical move on Wily's part since Mega Man is, y'know, a robot he helped build. And honestly, it would have actually killed Mega Man if it weren't for outside intervention.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Santa Clause creates Mecha-Easter Bunny to defeat Bun-bun. The only way he could be more evil than Bun-bun is to destroy Tokyo, which he does before he even appears on-panel.
- In Sonichu, Robotnik and Giovanni make two Evil Knockoffs of Sonichu - Black Sonichu (later renamed "Blake") and Metal Sonichu. Metal Sonichu is defeated in his first appearance and Blake is an annoyance to Sonichu and the Chaotic Combo until his hidden away Heel-Face Turn after getting a girlfriend.
- The concept is parodied in this Zebra Girl comic.
- In Rusty and Co., the hipster vampire sets out to do this to Cube, by drawing out his evil side, and gets Madeline. (Would have worked between if she had more evil to draw out.)
- Sonic the Comic – Online! has the new Metallix built by Grimer called "Neo Metallix" it is based on Metal Sonic's Neo Metal Sonic form.
- Atop the Fourth Wall has the mysterious Mechakara, who resembles Linkara with a robotic hand. His origins and motives are unknown and mostly he's just lurked in the background chuckling in a sinister fashion and occasionally making subtle attempts on Linkara's life and re-killing the original Spoony. Linkara apparently doesn't even know he exists.
- As related to the above, The Spoony Experiment has implemented this recently. At the end of Spoony's Final Fantasy VIII review, he is attacked by Squall, who was hired by Dr. Insano, ALL of whom are played by Noah Antwiler. At the end of this encounter, both Squall and Spoony are killed, and Linkara takes to reanimating Spoony through cloning. This Clone is now the main character of the Spoony Experiment. The Evil Knockoff comes in when a short while later, a Black Lantern ring falls into Linkara's hotel room while he's at the Chicago Comic Convention, and reanimates the soul of the Original Spoony One. This Black Lantern version fights Linkara briefly, is defeated, and joins Linkara in a single review. He is then promptly murdered by Mechakara and brought back as a Black Lantern again. Then, in the Final Fantasy X review, before the review truly begins, the Original Spoony bursts in on Clone Spoony, explaining that he came back to life as Spoony the White, and came to kill the clone to get his show back. Upon finding out that Clone Spoony was going to review Final Fantasy X, however, Spoony the White shot himself with the gun intended to kill the Clone. He then promptly returns as a Black Lantern Spoony, again. Given the convolution of this plot, it's hard to say if he's really the original, an Evil Knockoff, or if this is reversed from the get go.
- Frederick The Great went out of his way to recruit light forces once he realized how effective Maria Theresa's Croats and Hussars were at raiding.
- During lengthy conflicts, its very common for one side to copy or incorporate the other's weapons technology, tactics and strategy. Sometimes it went as far as recruiting the people who are responsible for whatever you were copying. The results can be anything from a noticeable improvement, to a bad knockoff.
- An example of something not at all for the purpose of fighting would be, at least from the perspective of The United States, the Buran spacecraft, the Soviet Union's knockoff of NASA's Space Shuttle.
- Rome didn't have a war navy until the I Punic War. The Romans captured some Carthaginian ships early in the war, and since they were serially produced, it was easy to replicate the process and churn out their own fleet to fight the enemy at sea. Combine that with Rome's own ingenuity for war machines in the form of the corvus boarding device, and that's why soon there was not a Carthaginian fleet anymore.