Ego, the Living Planet
"Something about this place feels... alive."
Some people are places. A Genius Loci is a location with a mind. A sentient planet, country, island, city, or street. Obviously, this is more common in science fiction and fantasy, though a certain amount of animism in otherwise realistic series
isn't unknown, and it may be only suggested
Usually, the Genius Loci has some control over its own form
, and uses that control to communicate with the other characters. Alternately, it can trap them
in Alien Geometries
and torment them with Living Memories
and giggles. It can be a Hive Mind
formed from the various organic life-forms that inhabit a place, a nonphysical being possessing the area itself
, a mythological spirit of a locale, or a computer system laced through the brick and stone. It can be helpful, neutral, or antagonistic.
The name comes from the Latin
for "spirit of a place", originally a location's protective guardian spirit. To refer to "spirits of places", or multiple locations, each with their own guardian spirit, the correct pluralization is Genii Locorum
. For "spirits of a place", or a place inhabited by a Mind Hive
, the correct term is Genii Loci
. And for a "spirit of places", such as an omnipresent
being inhabiting many disconnected lands, the term is Genius Locorum
The Other Wiki
has more details on Genii Locorum here
See Setting as a Character
for when the location isn't actually alive, but is still treated as a character in the work.
Contrast with the non-tangible but often similar Sentient Cosmic Force
. Compare Sapient Ship
, That's No Moon!
, Anthropomorphic Personification
, The Lost Woods
, Fisher King
, Fisher Kingdom
, Living Structure Monster
and Smart House
. May overlap with Monster Shaped Mountain
, Environmental Symbolism
, or Eldritch Location
The Other Wiki
has a list of living planets
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Chrono Crusade, Pandaemonium is both the name of the demon's home which, in the manga, is apparently some sort of spaceship and the name of their Hive Queen, who has at least some control over their world and may even be the entire brain of it herself. Also in the manga, it's implied she serves not only as the ruler and mother of all demons, but some sort of organic, on-board computer as well. As you can probably tell, it's unfortunately not the clearest-written part of the series' back story.
- The main characters' apartment complex in Acony that can bend space and time within itself. Sometimes to ward off intruders, sometimes it's just plain trollin'.
- In the Sailor Moon special manga stories, a series of comical Genii Locorum villains make life difficult for the Sailor Soldiers.
- Wiseman/Death Phantom in the manga proper also counts. His soul inhabits the planet Nemesis, while the "Wiseman" body is little more than a skeletal puppet.
- Tsukuyomi Moon Phase has Vigo, who first appears as Hazuki's butler within her ancestral castle, but also appears to be part of it, as evinced during his battle against Kouhei.
- In 666 Satan, the entire Roc Bird City is part of Beelzebub.
- Eureka Seven gives us the Scub Coral planet itself, a kind of Starfish Alien that communicates via Instrumentality, but seeks another way through the Coralian title character.
- Nagi from Kannagi describes herself as one of these, since she spawned from a carving Jin made from the sacred tree that used to be outside his shrine.
- Heavily implied in CLANNAD, because of the story that Akio tells to Tomoya before Nagisa gives birth:When Nagisa was near death, he prayed that she would be saved. It seemed that since then, Nagisa's health would be linked to the town's. Ushio also inherits this link in the world where Nagisa, Ushio, and Tomoya all die.
- The Shikima realm, at least in the newest La Blue Girl series, is very much this trope (it's described as "self-regulating"), and the parts of it are actually described corresponding to a body. The appendix is apparently a prison, the brain may just control the entire universe, and it has an anus. I will say it again, of course: it's a world * with an anus.* On the other hand, this self-regulating world that maybe controls the universe has also decided that it likes the local clan of demons with tentacles, so.
- In Angel Sanctuary, after Lucifer rebelled against God because God said so and retreated to Shioul, he and his follower fallen angels found out that it was a barren wasteland, so Lucifer had to merge with the plane itself in order to support any possible life, thus making Hell a Genius Loci. Except for the fact that Luci's soul was sealed into Alexiel's sword somewhere between that and Alexiel's own rebellion, so Hell isn't much sentient anymore.
- In Transformers Cybertron, Primus' vehicle mode is Cybertron itself, and he actually transforms towards the end of the series. This makes for a really awesome toy, complete with various canonical cities located on his body. According to the manual, this applies to every Cybertron in every Transformers medium across the multiverse; he doesn't wake up much to avoid squishing inhabitants and such.
- Digimon has Housemon, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a giant house digimon (dub only mind you; in the original it was simply a giant puppet that Puppetmon made).
- Also, one forest and one city have turned out to be giant turtle Digimon. (They're not the same turtle, either.)
- An episode of Mushishi has Ginko investigating a swamp that travels from place to place, and a girl who travels with it.
- The Forest in Origin: Spirits of the Past.
- The nation-tans of Axis Powers Hetalia might qualify.
- Laputa from Castle in the Sky. The castle itself responds to Laputian royalty who own the crystal and the garden / tree's roots keep the kids safe while Muska dies. Subtle example, but several character comment on it.
- In the Fairy Tail Drama CD, the Mirror Mansion is revealed to be one, having being granted a soul by the researchers that once lived there.
- The titular Hellstar Remina of the one volume manga by Junji Ito is a planet-eating planet.
- Some stands in Jojos Bizarre Adventure act as something akin to this. Strength takes the form of a gigantic freighter that allows its user to telekinetically control every individual part of it right down to the bolts holding it together, and Superfly is an autonomous stand bound to a transmission tower that traps one person inside it at all times and reflects any damage inflicted on it back at the attacker.
- Cyborg 0012 in Cyborg 009. More exactly: she's a cyborg that has the brains of a rich and lonely woman who died some time ago waiting for her husband to come back home, which now controls the Big Fancy House where she used to live, with Everything Trying to Kill You inside it. In the 2001 anime, said brains/control are located in what seems to be a look-alike mannequin laying in the center of it.
- Earth itself in Narutaru is Sheol, one of the few shadow dragons in existence that has more than one symbiote, in this case Mamiko and Shiina. After crossing the Despair Event Horizon following the deaths of her closest friends and her parents, Shiina agrees to cooperate with Mamiko and get Sheol to kill every other human on the planet in a flurry of giant hands, leaving their currently unborn children as the heralds of a new era of humanity.
- The Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays The Chimes of Midnight ("Edward Grove is alive.") and The Condemned ("For all intents and purposes, the building is him!"). Notably, in the latter case, the Genius didn't even realize he was no longer human.
- The DCU has several examples:
- Mogo, the planetary Green Lantern. His uniform is a ring of vegetation around his equator. He is also responsible for reassigning the rings of deceased Lanterns. In the Legion of Super-Heroes story Legion of 3 Worlds, the Corps is gone in part because Mogo is dead and the rings cannot be sent out to new wielders.
- Ranx, The Sentient City, evil and prophesied to destroy Mogo one day. In the Sinestro Corps War, he tried and failed.
- Danny The Street (a pun on Danny LaRue), a sentient, transvestite boulevard (think gunshops and hardware stores with pink curtains and pastel-blue awnings) who moves around the world and acted as the Doom Patrol's headquarters for a time. He eventually grew up into Danny The World before being torn down by cosmic repo men. Now he's slowly regrowing from Danny the Bungalow. For a time, he was Danny the Brick.
- The 2005 The Question miniseries had him talking to "the spirit of Metropolis", who would answer with seemingly-coincidental snatches of conversation from the people in the street.
- The Sandman spinoff, Lucifer, had one character converse with the Spirit of Las Vegas (summoned by deliberately losing one's life savings in a rigged game, appeared as a 1930's hipster in a zoot suit).
- The Sandman collection Endless Nights features a story in which the stars themselves are portrayed as alive, and even hypothesizes that the destruction of Krypton and the survival of one of its people was a deliberate set-up between Despair and Krypton's sun, Rao. In the issue where the hero tells us each city has its own personality, he gets stuck in his city's dreams
- The Endless themselves are this. Dream of the Endless lives in the Dreaming, but he also IS the Dreaming.
- A recurring character in Hellblazer is essentially the personification of London. He even refers to himself as this.
- Fiddler's Green (or Gilbert, when he's in his Anthropomorphic Personification form) counts as this.
- Solaris, an evil sentient artificial sun, from the DC One Million event and All-Star Superman.
- Aquarius, a rogue living star responsible for the death of Golden Age Black Canary's husband.
- In Justice League International, during the Keith Giffen era, several important events revolved around the island of Kooey Kooey Koey, which was mobile and sentient.
- On a smaller scale, it is implied in some stories that Arkham Asylum, the Gotham City psychiatric institution which houses the various psychopaths and lunatics that Batman frequently battles, is in fact a living entity that causes and feeds on madness, thus partly explaining why Arkham's patients have a particularly tough time being cured, and why the asylum itself is a Cardboard Prison.
- The DCU also had a sentient galaxy in some story that I can't seem to recall exactly. But it aligned a bunch of stars to give Superman a huge powerup. Also there were some smaller living (but not sentient) galaxies, artificially made by some uberpowerful race as bioweapons. Supes, again, kept one as a pet.
- The New52 Wonder Woman changed the realm of Hades to being an extension of him that he can control at will and he forms his bodies out of its substance.
- When Brainiac 13 infects the city of Metropolis with nanites, it has the unforeseen effect of making the city itself sentient. Its personality is female, and she and (who else?) Jimmy Olsen fall in love.
- From the Marvel Universe, the first foe the X-Men fought in the Bronze Age Revival was Krakoa, the Living Island, whose life had been mutated into a single organism by a nuclear test. Marvel also had the aptly-named Ego the Living Planet, who tangled with such persons as The Mighty Thor and Galactus. Another living planet known as Kathulos once appeared in a Doctor Strange story. He blew it up.
- Deadpool once destroyed a Genius Loci called Id, the Selfish Moon, which used to be a moon of Ego the Living Planet.
- Cloud, one-time member of The Defenders, was a sentient nebula, an immense cloud of gas, with the ability to assume human form.
- Another living location is Spragg the Living Hill—it was a hill controlling people's minds. She-Hulk fought him, then sent him to space...well, Mole Man sent him to space. On a geyser. He last appeared in a She-Hulk issue, being arrested by Cop Rocks in Space.
- In the Realm of Kings crossover, a fault in space opened the way to an alternate reality. In said reality it was revealed that not only is the other universe sentient, it's an Eldritch Abomination that wants to consume ours.
- In a comparably more mundane example, the Chrysler Building became one after the events of World War Hulk.
- Mephisto is sometimes treated as an extension of his own realm with a case of one being destroyed they both are destroyed and having complete control over it. Of course, other stories have him being overthrown and cut off from it. Other mystical entities like Agamotto and Chthon are often treated the same way in their home dimensions.
- The 2000 AD series Ace Trucking Co. included a story about fast-breeding 'Bampots' attempting to colonise a living planet called Gordon.
- The Books of Magic includes a dirty, cynical, slobbish character who is the spirit of London. Tim Hunter tells him, "I don't think I like you." The spirit replies, " 'Course you don't like me. Nobody likes me, but plenty are fascinated by me."
- Mount Sorrow, a sentient, talking mountain from the Star Wars Expanded Universe whose tears had healing properties. This is not a joke.
- Also in the Expanded Universe the planet Zonama Sekot the homeworld of the Yuuzhan Vong is a single living intelligence.
- Htrae, the Bizarro-copy of Earth that was home to the Bizarros, was sentient simply because regular Earth wasn't. (Though this was only so in Ambush Bug, which isn't really in continuity.)
- All Star Superman certainly seems to indicate Htrae has some semblance of intelligent and/or sentience.
- In The Authority Jack Hawksmoor can talk to and command all cities, implying that they are all Genii Locorum, albeit fairly sedate ones who don't interfere in their own affairs very often. Apparently they all have wildly different personalities, and even genders, though these are somehow strangely appropriate—the first time he fought using his city-powers, for example, Jack wore Tokyo like a Humongous Mecha suit.
- And more recently, a bizarre borderline example: Gaia Rothstein, a century baby. Her astral form looks like the ten-year-old girl she really is, but her physical form is an island... which looks like a walking, talking, two-mile high version of the Swamp Thing.
- In Zot, a trip to the future results in the hero meeting a small girl in purple clothes who makes some enigmatic comments before vanishing. She is later said to be the living embodiment of the planet Sirius IV.
- A Justice League of America limited series starring Zauriel and Martian Manhunter declares that the reason the forces of evil fail in the invasion of Heaven that happens in the end is that God -IS- Heaven, down to the chairs, walls, and floor. More than Heaven even, as Zauriel states that:
Zauriel (to Asmodel, the rogue Bull-Angel): Do you really think The Presence just sits here on the Seventh Heaven watching everyone? [...] The Presence is nowhere and everywhere, the rock beneath your feet and the air in your lungs. He's Heaven and Earth, perhaps even Hell itself.
- Tom Strong has a beautiful birth of this- when the Modular Man comes to town, Tom reasons with him that the life he has, and will have, sporadically, isn't the life he wants; he'll get a couple months, maybe a year, before Tom and his crew hunt him down and destroy him and then he'll be dead for years before someone else builds the next module from plans on the internet. So, Tom offers, why not go elsewhere? He ends up on Venus. Scratch that- he ends up as Venus. Venus, in the Tom Strong universe, is the Modular Man. Which is how, in a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Venus can swat a spaceship out of the sky with a giant hand, give Tom a thumbs-up, and then go back to being what it was.
- ABC Warriors has Medusa, the consciousness of the planet Mars.
- The original Transformers comic had Omega Supreme, who transformed into a rocket base with its own death tank.
- On a larger scale than that, Fortress Maximus, Metroplex, and Trypticon all transformed into cities.
- The Marvel G1 comics also had Boltax, guardian of the Underbase who appeared as a regular robot. The robot was a puppet; Boltax himself is the Temple of Knowledge that housed the Underbase.
- And of course, there is not only Unicron himself, but in most comic versions, Cybertron itself is Primus, Unicron's opposite number.
- The Galactus-infused zombies from Marvel Zombies EAT one of them.
- Barbelith, in The Invisibles. Barbelith is a planetary-type body that helps "initiate" agents of the Invisibles into the higher mysteries. Its true nature, though, is pretty damn mixed; Dane isn't sure, yet Barbelith answers, "You made me" (it? they?) Whoa, more and more questions...better luck asking Grant Morrison, maybe?
- The ultimate goal of Krona in Trinity was to learn from the worldsoul, the sentient soul of the planet Earth itself.
- in the Futurama and The Simpsons crossover comic book has Nerdanus XII, guardian of the Geek-E galaxy. looks like a giant nerdy dude, which mountainous acne and an asteroid belt for glasses
- In Paperinik New Adventures, One is the Ducklair Tower,the headquarter of Paperinik.He can move walls as he likes,control every mechanism in it and be aware of everything that happens inside it. He only uses his Huge Holographic Head so Paperinik is more confortable when talking to him. Two could-and briefly did-do the same.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami features this in... an interesting way. Dungeon hearts serve as a 'focal point' for negative/dark energies, specifically the power of the Dark Gods. As a result plants wither, water grows brown and scummy, and (if there is enough corruption or enough hearts) the weather might even grow stormy, and magma may rise to the surface. Within the Dungeon itself, the dungeon hearts tend to modify any additions to rooms- leaning towards the macabre and the eerie/creepy. Normally this would not qualify as a Genius Loci by itself, but Ami's research into dungeon hearts and their contruction and effects, not to mention her modified hearts, have had some odd effects. These include strange, organic elements in architecture. Following her consumption of a Lesser Aspect of Crowned Death it gains a highly ominous skull motif. Then, later, the dungeon itself grows ill...
- However, truthfully, this might actually be an inversion, since the dungeon hearts are technically part of the keeper (and might be part of the Dark Gods as well, the jury is still out).
- In the Ib fanfic Forgotten Portrait, Weiss Guertena became one with his own creation and basically turned into a genius loci.
- Pony POV Series:
- The four Elders — Fauna Luster, the Father of All Alicorns, Havoc, and Entropy — are not only each the Dimension Lord for their own realm (The Alicorn's Domain, Pony Heaven, Pony Hell, and Oblivion respectively), but each of their realms are described as being them.
- Discord's castle in the Dark World turns out to be alive, as proven when it gets up and runs away when the Elements of Harmony try to blast it. After this, Applejack is able to convince it to stand down and stay neutral in the coming fight.
- Harmony Theory: The Everstorm seems sentient and malevolent.
- A sentient Atlantis (who is partial to John Sheppard) is a common feature in Stargate Atlantis fanfic.
- Stars Above: Jiovanni, the Sixth, takes the form of a twisted cathedral made out of volcanic rock.
- Red Lightning: Percy the Pier used to be human, but he was absorbed into the pier and became one with it.
- A sentient Hogwarts occasionally shows up in Harry Potter fics, with varying degrees of sentience.
- In Crowns of the Kingdom, it's hinted that Disneyland itself is alive.
- In the climax of Sonic X: Dark Chaos, the Dark Chaos Planet is this. Justified as it's actually a transformed version of an Eldritch Abomination.
Films — Animated
- Transformers: The Movie introduced Unicron, the evil robot planet who eats other planets. The comics added a good counterpart, Primus, the god of the Transformers who inhabits their planet, Cybertron. Also, Metroplex, the city-transformer, and his evil counterpart Trypticon, who were later joined by Fortress Maximus and Scorponok, respectively. Transformers Headmasters also featured the living planet Daira.
- In Final Fantasy The Spirits Within, Cid hypotheses that the planet is one. He's right, of course.
- Wreck-It Ralph has the Surge Protector, an Anthropomorphic Personification of the surge protector. Inside said surge protector.
- The movie Osmosis Jones treats each human being as a Genius Loci, inhabited by trillions of sentient cells that lead human-like lives.
Films — Live-Action
- Silent film A Trip to the Moon's most famous scene, where the space capsule crashes into the eye of the Man in the Moon.
- In some stories featuring a Haunted House, the house itself will display attributes of a Genius Loci. One of the classic examples is in The Film of the Book of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. The 2006 CGI movie Monster House is a more recent example.
- Hausu, an incredibly bizarre Japanese horror film (by Toho, no less!!!) is about a sentient man-eating house.
- Rose Red, a miniseries based on a screenplay by Stephen King and aired on ABC, features a house which is both alive and completely insane. It is implied in the miniseries that all locations are alive in some way, but that the eponymous mansion is the architectural equivalent of a Serial Killer.
- Pandora in Avatar is a case of a Genii Loci; a planet inhabited by a Mind Hive consisting of the spirits of the deceased.
- Tony Stark's mansion in Iron Man should count. It's controlled by JARVIS, a sophisticated AI that takes diction, helps manage Stark's projects, suggests new color schemes, and is an unflappable Deadpan Snarker.
- As Samuel L. Jackson says in the film version of Fourteen Oh Eight, the room isn't haunted by any ghost — it's just "an evil fucking room".
- The titular ship in Event Horizon is strongly implied to be this. At one point a character refers to the ship as "she" with the heavy implication it was more than just the standard anthropomorphism of vessels. This was not Han Solo's "girl." This is foreshadowed early on; a bioscan of the ship revealed there were many signs of life, but couldn't locate where any of them were from.
- Like the Iron Man example above, the underground base from Resident Evil qualify, since it's completely run by a highly intelligent AI named The Red Queen.
- The Hotel from The Shining which slowly drives Jack mad and torments Danny. Well it's at least one of the theories.
- The Film Grave Encounters is basically about a group of individuals who seem to be trapped in a building that liberally changes its geometry with no warning. The sequel basically confirms that the ghosts are part of the haunting, the other part is the building itself which may be the result of various dark rituals performed there.
- Castle Hurog did not originally have a genius loci, but the owner decided he wanted one and turned his own son into one. Oreg can materialize a body and usually does so when talking to the protagonist, but can feel any damage done to the castle, and see everything within its walls. Most of the inhabitants think he's just a normal ghost, as the only thing he changes on the architecture is to make doors lead somewhere they could not, realistically, lead.
- HP Lovecraft's The Street begins with the classic line: "There be those who say that things and places have souls, and there be those who say they have not; I dare not say, myself, but I will tell of the Street."
- And Lovecraft's contemporary and friend (and fellow Cthulhu Mythos author) Clark Ashton Smith even wrote a story CALLED "Genius Loci" - could this be the trope namer?
- Hill House, from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. "Hill House itself, not sane, stood alone against its hills, holding darkness within."
- Ray Bradbury's short story "Here There be Tygers" has an entire planet as one of these. The planet is very friendly and wants to do anything to please the astronauts who landed there, from creating fish that cook themselves to perfect weather up to attractive female companions. When several of the astronauts leave, one decides to stay behind. Despite the planet appearing unfriendly with volcanoes appearing on it, the astronauts know the one who remained will be spoiled rotten by the planet. The astronauts decide to list the planet as unfriendly since it would be to those who would exploit it (rather than appreciate its gifts).
- China Miéville:
- Kraken gives us the so-called angels, who are the worldly avatars of Genius Loci.
- Another example is found in the short story "Reports of Certain Events in London", which is about Viae Ferae, or 'wild streets'. These are streets which may appear perfectly normal, but are, in fact, alive and capable of moving about from place to place at will. Sometimes they even fight.
- The ship in Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood is actually a living creature able responsive to chemical impulses.
- In Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, stars turn out to be living organisms of a sort, as do the nebulae which preceded them.
- Gaia, the living planet in Isaac Asimov's Foundation's Edge, is of the Genii Loci variety: it's not so much that the planet itself is "alive" as that every living thing on Gaia is part of a single hive-mind (albeit with some degree of autonomy, at least in the case of the human inhabitants).
- Another example is in Isaac Asimov's book Nemesis. "Nemesis" is the name of the red-dwarf star which is orbited by the gas giant Megas which in turn is orbited by the habitable world Erythro, and Erythro - or, more accurately, a form of life existing all over its surface - is the Genius Loci.
- Saybrook's Planet from "Green Patches". Every single organism on the entire planet, from the lowest bacterium to the most advanced terrestrial animal is merely a part of a single, amalgamated mind. (Referred to in the story as "Organized life").
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
- Word of God on the character of Tom Bombadil (aka Iarwain Ben-adar, Forn, Orald, the Eldest) is intentionally vague; but strongly implies that he is a kind of Genius Loci, an avatar of uncorrupted Middle-earth.
- The main characters speak as if they sincerely believe that Mount Redhorn (aka Caradhras) is a genius loci. However, the book never says whether so truly is the case. The Film of the Book simplifies it: rather than the mountain being hostile, Saruman is the one causing the storms and avalanches that hinder the party. However, as Genius Bonus, the spell that Saruman speaks in Quenya consists of him goading Caradhras to wake up and raise his wrath, while Gandalf's counterspell tries to put him back to sleep.
- A good case can be made that the Genius Loci of Caradhras is Durin's Bane.
- In The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis, each planet is embodied by an Oyarsa, an extremely powerful eldil (or angel). Yes, that includes Earth, though in that case it's actually a prison, and he's not allowed past the orbit of the Moon (usually; an exception is made in Perelandra). Guess who the Oyarsa of Earth is.
- The title city in the Ray Bradbury short story The Lost City of Mars. After being rediscovered by Earthlings, it tries to trap them inside so that it has someone to entertain.
- Another, similar Bradbury short story is called The City and involves a sentient Martian city ambushing the human explorers and changing them into cyborgs, so they'll launch a bioweapon attack on Earth and avenge its defeat in an ancient war with humanity's ancestors. And the story's narrated almost entirely by the city itself.
- The house in "There Will Come Soft Rains" could be considered one, in that it's a setting that's also a character. The only character in the story, in fact.
- As of Jim Butcher's Turn Coat, Harry Dresden has confirmed that the island from Small Favor is one, which he has named himself. He's also bonded a psychic connection with it, allowing him some cool super-senses while on the island, which he quickly uses to his advantage.
- And it doesn't just sit around and do nothing, hell no. Demonreach is one of those directly responsible for Harry's resurrection in Ghost Story.
- Cold Days reveals that Demonreach is a prison designed to hold hundreds, if not thousands of insanely poweful Eldritch Abominations.
- Jim Butcher's Codex Alera features a character who deliberately pisses off a volcano's spirit to trigger an eruption.
- And at the end of the penultimate book, it's revealed that Alera itself has a genius loci.
- Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, possibly.
- In Diane Duane's High Wizardry, Dairine visits a planet composed principally of silicon, in layers laid down by periodic volcanic activity. Thus, the planet had become a natural computer and, due to its size, was sufficiently complex to be sentient. Unfortunately, having no sensory apparatus, it hadn't had very much to think about up until then.
- In Harry Harrison's Deathworld the hero finds himself on a planet whose flora and fauna are in constant full-on attack against the human miners/settlers. Everything is deadly, poisonous, powerful, stabby, etc. It turns out that the planet itself has a mind (is a mind?) and has been psionically directing the attacks.
- Frank Herbert's Whipping Star: The Calebans are living stars which interact with human beings through constructs called Beachballs.
- Stephen King liked to use this one. The Overlook hotel from The Shining, the house on Dutch Hill from The Dark Tower, Book 3: The Waste Lands, and the eponymous hotel room from the short story Fourteen Oh Eight are all Genius Loci.
- The eponymous mansion from Rose Red.
- The Dark Tower is the ultimate example.
- The eponymous villain of IT is often equated with Derry, the town It inhabits.
- In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Grey Hunter, a temple is so permeated with evil that it is capable of possessing the minds of people who come there.
- The eponymous planet from Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is entirely covered with an ocean of plasma, which is one living, intelligent organism.
- In the Faction Paradox books, there's mention of the City of the Saved, a huge galaxy-sized colony in which every human being ever to exist lives again. And yes. It's sentient. Not so bad, and even quite nice... until you find its "son" infested parts of its structure, transforming really nice places into industrial nightmares with specialized factories for the processing of human beings.
- The shellpeople of Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who series are starships and cities that exhibit all the signs of a Genius Loci, because they have human brains running them.
- Another Anne McCaffrey series, the Petaybee series, features the titular sentient planet that communicates via echoes and lightshows in caves, and changing the climate/topography of the land when it's so inclined to benefit its inhabitants or drive off bad guys.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Fulgrim, the Laer temple makes Julius think that it's alive.
- In Terry Pratchett's The Dark Side of the Sun, the First Sirian Bank is a sentient planet (naturally occurring) who happens to be the godfather of one of the main characters. There's also a sentient ocean and a living sun. They're looking for an intelligent gas cloud to round out the elements. Maybe they could get that one from Star Trek: The Next Generation?
- Fred Hoyle's novel The Black Cloud features an intelligent cloud of interstellar dust. (When contacted by the protagonists, it expresses surprise that life could exist on a planetary surface.)
- In the Discworld series, it is revealed in Wyrd Sisters that the kingdom of Lancre is alive and aware. Notably this is not a property of the land itself, but an emergent consciousness growing from everything that lives in the land put together: at one point it communicates with Granny Weatherwax through a horde of different wildlife, including animals that would normally prey on each other. It grows irate under the reign of a monarch who doesn't care for it, and it is also implied in Lords and Ladies that part of the reason the Elves can't remain in Lancre for very long is because the kingdom rejects them.
- Explicitly stated later-the Elf Queen gloats that marrying Verence, the king, will make her the queen, and then Lancre will have no choice but to accept her.
- The carnivorous shopping mall in Reaper Man. It's implied that this is how all shopping malls operate.
- Unseen University itself, which has a personality likened to that of a large, overenthusiastic shaggy dog. If it could get away with it, it'd roll over on its roof to have its foundations scratched.
- During the Journey to the Center of the Mind in Hat Full Of Sky, it turns out that the hillside on which the Feegles find themselves turns out to be...the Chalk. But Tiffany and the Chalk are one.
- In a more serious tone than Mount Sorrow above, the Star Wars Expanded Universe has the rogue planet Zonama Sekot. Zonama refers to the world itself, while Sekot refers to its self-aware, Force-sensitive biosphere. It grows living matter around mechanical components to produce intelligent Living Ships, and has enormous hyperdrive engines built into its crust, transforming itself into a world-sized Living Ship and earning the "Rogue Planet" appellation.
- The Galaxy of Fear series also includes D'vouran, a planet which is in fact a carnivorous bioweapon. It seems to be rather less intelligent than the other examples, but isn't mindless.
- John Varley's Titan bears the tagline: "The alien that is, itself, a world."
- Appears in the sci-fi trilogy Titan, Wizard, Demon. The rotating space habitat is sentient, all of its inhabitants designed for her entertainment. it turns out the current Gaia is not actually the several million old habitat but instead an inhabitant who merged with the central core, and is overthrown by the main character at the end of the third book.
- In John C. Wright's Orphans of Chaos, Bran the Blessed appears as a gigantic decapitated head. He describes what he has done to shelter the British islands, and demands an oath not to harm them, under any condition.
- In Bernard Werber's Third Humanity, planet Earth is sentient and is able to control natural catastrophes to protect itself against humans... unfortunately for us, Earth is incredibly incompetent with her powers and is also mind-numbingly stupid. She also appears to be carrying around a moon-sized idiot ball. Throughout the book, she's constantly hitting the good guys with various natural disasters (either because she misunderstands their actions, or because she tries to hit the bad polluters and misses).
- The aptly titled Shivers book "The Haunting House", about a family that moves into a new home which suddenly turns violent when the two kids are left alone. They discover that the house is not haunted, rather the house itself is what's doing the haunting.
- Quite possibly, Shadar Logoth from The Wheel of Time. Unfortunately, the whole city is an Eldritch Location, and the resident spirit, Mashadar is an evil soul-sucking Eldritch Abomination.
- The fortress on Mephetic from The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, and possibly the jungle on Shatterstone as well.
- Speaking of jungles, the Maelmord in The Wishsong Of Shannara might also count.
- And the garden in the Chew Magna, although YMMV.
- Antrax, the Big Bad supercomputer of the eponymous second part of the trilogy, definitely counts as an artificial one, since he inhabits and controls most of Castledown.
- Terry Brooks also used this trope in his Magic Kingdom of Landover series, wherein the castle Sterling Silver is alive and aware, its purpose in life to shelter and protect the High King and his household. Later on, it is revealed that the royal library Libiris has similar properties, being descended, as it were, from Sterling Silver.
- Earth itself in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "When the World Screamed", featuring Professor Challenger.
- There's a Babylon 5 short story by J. Michael Straczynski featuring a planet whose entire biosphere forms a collective hive mind. The name of the story? "Genius Loci".
- Inverted with Ardneh in Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East. When Rolf finally arrives in Ardneh's cave, he asks Ardneh to show himself, only for Ardneh to explain that he has no body to reveal, that, to the extent he has a physical form at all, it is in the various cabinets throughout the caverns, since Ardneh is a giant supercomputer, its processors, memory chips, hard drives, and so forth all housed in the aforementioned cabinets. The inversion comes when Ardneh explains that within his cavern, he is weak and blind, (much as it is very difficult for a man to observe and manipulate what is going on inside his own body) and needs Rolf to conduct certain repairs. Played at least partially straight, however, in that Ardneh can turn lights on and off throughout the complex to guide Rolf to where he needs to go.
- Done to horrifying effect in Richard Matheson's short story "The Creeping Terror," which was originally published as "A Touch of Grapefruit." The story, which is presented as a thesis for a Master's degree, describes strange occurrences throughout the Midwestern United States, including citrus trees growing in corn fields, increasingly balmy weather, and people looking for the ocean and talking about driving to different locations in California. As it turns out, the city of Los Angeles is alive...and it's spreading. At first, the populace at large takes this as a joke, but soon, people across the whole nation begin to completely lose their minds, destroying their homes and property, as the city moves from the Midwest to the rest of the nation. By the end, Los Angeles has taken over the whole country, with the entire population now brainwashed by it—and the final lines of the story imply that "Ellie" is beginning to spread to the countries surrounding the United States as well.
- In Those That Wake, the tower and Man in Suit make each other up.
- Harry Potter: staircases sometimes change direction and are said to be fond of doing it.
- Arthur C. Clarke's short story "Crusade" has a living rogue planet as its protagonist. Another story, "Dial F for Frankenstein", plays with the idea that the world's communication satellites network may become sapient, which in practice has pretty much the same effect as if all technology in the world became sapient. Both stories can be found in the collection The Wind from the Sun.
- The The Heroes of Olympus series following its mythological roots has several villains/gods who are their own location. Gaea is the Big Bad and spends the series trying to fully wake up. The fourth book featured Tartarus, the lowest pit of the underworld, described in terms of biology with rivers being its blood and monsters being its cells and by the end for the first time in its long existence takes physical form.
- Long before Avatar, there was Ursula K Leguin's novella Vaster than Empires and More Slow. One planet, one forest, one mind.
- In Fancy Apartments, Facny Apartments itself is a living building, able to change its shape, know what's going on inside it, shield itself, repair itself... You know, the standard magic building package.
- The short story The Very Pulse Of The Machine by Michael Swanwick has a lone human astronaut on Io who begins hearing voices in her radio. She may be hallucinating but it's strongly suggested that they're real, and if they are, Io itself is alive and talking to her via electric currents in its crystallised-sulphur surface.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Twilight is a sentient dimension.
- Eureka: Carter's smart house, S.A.R.A.H., is so smart it has opinions. And a Twitter account!
- The warehouse in Warehouse 13 is sentient. To what degree is uncertain, but it is alive.
- Doctor Who:
- During his appearance on The Sarah Jane Adventures, the 11th Doctor mentions leaving his companions Amy and Rory from Doctor Who on a honeymoon planet, "which isn't what you'd think - it's not a planet for a honeymoon, it's a planet on a honeymoon. It married an asteroid."
- Kamen Rider Kiva's Castle Dran, a sentient castle/dragon tank-like ancient haunted house. That's just the exterior. Side information says that it's a dragon bonded to the mold of a castle to serve as the home of the Fangire King.
- Kamen Rider Gaim's Helheim Forest turns out to be one of these, with DJ Sagara being its avatar.
- Farscape had Moya the Living Ship, which had intelligence and personality, but could only communicate via the Pilot.
- In Andromeda, stars, black holes, and some planets and moons (and blue diamonds, and purple horseshoes) have embodied Avatars of varying power, including Trance Gemini. This was not part of the original conception of the character or the show, but after the original producer left, things changed.
- Well, I won't say it was not part of the original conception. The original producer wrote the same thing.
- They're two twists on one basic idea. Just a shame it meant some of the foreshadowing came to nothing in the end.
- Watcher's Woods in an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- In Smallville, Jor-El is basically a ghost haunting, and controlling, the Fortress of Solitude.
- The Outer Limits (1995) episode "If These Walls Could Talk" had a mansion that would eat unsuspecting people. Since the story was partially based on Who Goes There?, alcohol was like acid to it.
- The Tales from the Darkside episode "A New Lease on Life" featured a living apartment building; only food waste was allowed to be thrown down the trash chute, because that was its esophagus.
- Destiny from Stargate Universe, maybe.
- Power Rangers Turbo had one episode where the local forest had a genius loci in the form of a child. (He claimed his name was "Erutan". Spell it backwards...)
- The title character of Lexx is a sentient, insectiod ship. It also eats. Parts of planets.
- The Haven episode "Real Estate" had as its Monster of the Week Roland Holloway, a man who became one with his house.
- Mr. Nobody, the disembodied intelligence inhabiting a cave system which Penny becomes friends with in the Lost in Space episode "My Friend, Mr Nobody". His memories date back to the formation of the planet's molten core; he is telekinetic and has control over the planet's weather. At the end of the episode he Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence and a new galaxy appears in the sky.
- Crusade: In the Episode "The Memory of War" the crew arrives on a planet to find that the inhabitants had all violently murdered each other, only to have the same happen to them. Galen discovers the cause to be an AI controlling a nanoplague created by another Technomage that even acknowledges itself as "Genius Loci".
- LOST: The island. Its guardians simply channel the island's raw power. However, it can of course be argued that the guardians are themselves the sources of power. But afterJack succeeds Jacob as the guardian, even if he is appointed by Jacob for this role, it is clear that the power is not located to a specific person. It is located to, well, a location.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the pilot episode, the city on the alien world is really a starving and trapped, sentient space jellyfish, being used by the locals to produce whatever they want.
- The Decemberists' "Annan Water"; the river is apparently capable of understanding William's vow to let it drown him on the return journey if it will only let him across to save Margaret. Unfortunately for him, it takes him at his word.
- "Ego the Living Planet" by Monster Magnet is, sadly, not about a living planet.
- "Billy The Mountain" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
- "Man-House lives inside himself with thoughtful human brains" in Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth.
- Many Native American religions/cultures are based on Animism, the belief that every object has a spirit.
- Ditto for the Japanese Shinto. The spirits of the mountains are especially significant.
- The mountains in Inca (Quechua) religion are like this.
- The Trope Namer, of course, is ancient Roman religion. The original Genius Loci had little in common with how fantasy and pop culture typically depict them. They were either spirits or known gods who frequented a specific location, or manifested there in the past. Their past or continued presence at the location might be marked by some type of miracle or unusual feature of the land. A more accurate example would be "Our Lady of Lourdes", where there is a spring that is alleged to cure illnesses.
- Many beings in Classical Mythology were personified locations; Gaea (the Earth), Ouranos (the sky), Tartarus (Hell) and Aether (the air that the Gods breathed) were notable examples.
- Sally's school building in Peanuts.
- The kite-eating tree may count. Lucy once threw Schroeder's piano into it which immediately ate it.
- Several SCPs are buildings or particular locations that seem to have some degree of sentience.
- SCP-015 is a Pipe Maze which attacks anyone who acts hostile towards it or who carries any sort of tool.
- SCP-413 is a sapient parking garage which can change its internal layout, and also change the painting on its insides to spell out words for communication. It uses its abilities to play pranks on people, and also to punish vandals by trapping them for months in an ever shifting labyrinth.
- SCP-2018 ("Museum of You"). SCP-2018 says that it was once the protective spirit of the Australian Museum. It can manifest itself as an old man and talk to people who enter it.
- In Mortasheen, the creatures Ovulooge and Manglewood, while not exactly this, can become something very much like this in certain wetlands when they've grown to a sufficient size.
- At least a couple of sentient cities and complexes have cropped up in Warhammer 40,000, usually due to the Adeptus Mechanicus or Chaos. Titans are so enormous they may also qualify.
- The Machine God of the Adeptus Mechanicus' Forge World of Mars is one of these. As of Mechanicum it's official that the Dragon is locked in a special prison on Mars. Rather, it is the prison (though other sources describe it differently). It is a room with Alien Geometries chained to itself through something that the Emperor built. There is considerable in-universe speculation that it may, in fact, be the C'Tan known as The Void Dragon.
- A particularly amusing example is the fan character Deffboss. Because Orks do not die of old age, continually growing until they die in battle, Deffboss, the sole survivor of the original batch of Orks bioengineered by the Old Ones to fight the Necrons around the time of Earth's Cretaceous period, is now the size of a planet. He has an entire civilization of normal-sized Orks living on him who operate the various weapon emplacements and hangars built into his armor.
- Eldar Exodite worlds, apparently. The planets have veins of psycho-reactive crystal running through them, and this means that they function as soul repositories for the Eldar dead. This is partly the reason why Exodite worlds are difficult to conquer - besides the Exodites being stupendously Badass, of course; any hostile forces set foot on the planet and the whole place goes utterly batshit and sends hordes of wild vicious beasts at the invaders.
- Exalted has a few of these, usually in the form of the Primordials, the beings who created the gods. Malfeas is both the hell dimension that binds the Yozis (Primordials who were crippled, twisted, and imprisoned following their defeat) and a Yozi in his own right, the former king of the Primordials twisted into a blighted city of basalt and brass. Some of the other Yozis serve as similar parts of the landscape in Malfeas: such as Cecelyne, the Endless Desert; Szoreny, the Silver Forest; and Kimbery, the Sea That Marched Against the Flame.
- The Primordial Autochthon, on the other hand, serves as a pocket dimension outside of Creation (he sided with the gods, so he escaped mostly unscathed). He serves as home to the Alchemical Exalted, beings created from the magical materials and animated by the souls of dead heroes. Only he's starting to wind down...
- The Alchemicals themselves eventually turn into cities when their essence score gets high enough. This involves vivisecting them and spreading their body out over miles and miles of Autochthon's world-body. They're used to it because all their big improvements require carving them up. Turning into a city is only different because they aren't cut up in a nice, sterile vat complex; instead, they are spread over an entire landscape.
- Gaia, the closest thing to a good Primordial, has a world-body of her own, currently off exploring the depths of the Wyld. (Her souls, the Five Elemental Dragons, are part of Creation's geomancy.)
- The Fair Folk in their native, unshaped state as well. The Primordials are distant kin of them.
- If you're a Devil-Tiger, you are a walking human-shaped Genius Loci who holds a world inside your Essence 6+ person. Paradoxically, you can go inside yourself and interact with the beings who inhabit you.
- Autocthonia also appears in Mage: The Ascension, made by the same folks who did Exalted (White Wolf). This time around it was a sentient machine world and "living" manifestation of Order hanging in the spirit realm, discovered and colonized by a transhumanist faction of superscientists/mages.
- There's also lots of smaller gods, of things like individual mountains, cities, forests and such. Some PCs can reasonably expect to beat them in a fight.
- And the first real enemy in the quick start scenario is a spirit of laziness and apathy that possesses an abandoned baseball stadium. And is actually capable of causing a Total Party Kill.
- Also, in the original Mage, there was a Merit-Flaw combination (Manifest Avatar/Phylactery) that could turn your soul into one of these. Meaning that you had to be standing in that place (and somehow make it obvious that it was important) to be able to cast, but it would act as a Genius Loci on its own. Since the soul has a semi-distinct personality from the mind, this might get... interesting.
- Dungeons & Dragons has multiple examples:
- Fossergrims and Oreads are to waterfalls and mountains (respectively) what Dryads are to trees. Dryads can't really be called an example of this trope, unless you consider a tree a place.
- The monster called a Spirit of the Land is the spirit of a particular geographical area, such a valley, desert or river. They can transform in an elemental form to defend the terrain feature they're associated with.
- There's an actual creature called a Genius Loci. They form from places that are undisturbed for a long time. They're normally not intelligent, but can enslave a creature, which then gives them intelligence and the ability to speak. They're often, but not always malign.
- As of the 3rd Edition Dragonomicon, Dragons (usually good-aligned ones) can opt to become a genius loci as an alternative to death from old age, lichdom or any of the other ways a dragon can live past its already substantial years. The dragon's spirit enters the chosen terrain (which often takes on a draconic feature like a hill shaped like a resting dragon). These spots are popular places for dragons to lay eggs and raise young because of the protective influences of the area's spirit. Dragons can even commune with the location to seek advice from the dragon that inhabits it.
- A creature called a Zeitgeist is the spirit of an age. At the end of an old one, it picks a person whose character and ideals set the "tone" of the next age. Article for context: 
- Sometimes, entire planes of existence are alive. The demiplane known as Neth is an entire world of living tissue. It's curious and sends out Children of Neth to learn about the multiverse. The Chaotic Evil Abyss, home to Demons, is thought to be sentient to some degree. Each layer has a dim awareness which bonds with the Demon Lords that rule those layers.
- In the Ravenloft setting, a Phantasmagoria is a particularly powerful sinkhole of evil that has spontaneously become self-aware.
- Dream Spheres in the Nightmare Lands are personalized versions of this trope, sculpting their environments in accordance with the resident dreamer's psyche.
- There is also a monster unique to Ravenloft called an animator that can possess objects and control them. Most animators can only control small objects, but the most powerful ones can possess entire buildings, and could thus qualify as Genius Loci.
- Also, the House of Lament. This is a small Domain, but it is a case where the Domain and the Lord are the same. It is a Haunted House that is possessed by the restless spirit of a girl who was tortured and murdered there, who can now control the place completely, and prevent anyone entering from escaping, usually refusing to do so until one member of a group dies. (Legends say the spirit can be laid to rest forever if a selfless hero volunteers himself, but thus far, no-one has been willing.)
- Atropos, the undead afterbirth of a long forgotten god, takes the form of a sentient, omnicidal planetoid.
- Nimicri is a floating trade city in the Chamada layer of Gehenna where all the citizens and the place itself secretly form a single organism with ambiguous intentions.
- The 92nd layer of the Abyss is a foul and disgusting place resembling the inside of an organic creature called Ulgurshek. Some people call it "the living layer" due to its apparent sentience. Only Lolth, the goddess of the drow, and some of her most powerful servants know the truth about it: It is very intelligent, and it's actually an ancient being, older than the Abyss itself, called a draedan. The Abyss literally grew around this creature at the beginning of time, trapping it here. It usually devours anything that enters it, but it has a bargain of sorts with Lolth, whose domain borders it: she searches for information about other members of its species, and in return, it shares the ancient and terrible secrets that its race was privy to.
- And in 4th edition, the Warlock spell "Vestige of Land's Soul"' allows the Warlock to wake up the spirit of the land around them and order it to kill one of their enemies.
- The land of Rashemen in Forgotten Realms is implied to be a living being.
- Module X4: ''Master of the Desert Nomads'', for original Dungeons & Dragons, features a swamp with a sentient area called the Malakaz: "It is not a monster, but an evil force. The hut was once the home of a particularly evil female wizard. When she died, the hut and the area around it became filled with the essence of all her evil."
- In Shadowrun the fact that the earth has a presence on the astral plane is seen by some as evidence that the planet itself is alive.
- Shamans can also summon a Hearth Spirit, literally the Genius Loci of wherever they happen to be: in a nightclub you might get a spiritual bouncer or barman (depending on the kind of nightclub you are in), for instance.
- Shadowrun also has a phenomenon called "background count," in which the mana of a place can be warped by events that take place there. This doesn't exactly make the area alive, but it has an impact on anyone who visits.
- Rifts has quite a few. Millennium Trees are huge thousand-foot tall trees that form living cities, nurtured and protected by the Trees' own latent psychic field. And there's at least two living planets, one (Wormwood) is inhabited and in the middle of a demon invasion/dying of cancernote , and the other (Eylor) kept hidden by transdimensional slavers who have a monopoly on giant magical eyes harvested from its surface.
- Magic: The Gathering has "man-lands", lands that can turn into creatures. The most recent of these are the five dual-color man-lands and the "construct-land" from Worldwake.
- Following the Animistic themes of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the planet itself is the Earth Mother Gaia. More locally, every major city has a City Father/Mother, who represents the city's general culture and ideals. Chicago's City Father has been shown to be an old-school 30's gangster, while Atlanta's is a Southern Belle.
- Werewolf: The Forsaken inherited Apocalypse's animism; as in its predecessor, there are numerous spirits of place, with the most significant to the Forsaken being Luna, the spirit of the Moon.
- The "Freedom City" setting of Mutants & Masterminds has Doctor Metropolis, the living spirit of Freedom City; think The Spectre with Jack Hawksmoor's powers and Doctor Manhattan's, um... sense of humor?
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, a high-level use of Animalism allowed a Gangrel (usually) character to do this, and it was implied that such was the origin of such phrases as "forbidding mountain" and "haunted forest".
- In the same game, the Tzimisce can use their Vicissitude Domain to mold their ghouls together into living, breathing rooms for their homes. This concept appears in the computer game adaptation, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, when the player character enters the lair of a Tzimisce, complete with walls that bleed when struck. It is easily the most atmospherically disturbing mission in the game.
- In KULT, the cathedrals of Archon and Angel of Death are the true self of their owner.
- The Paranoia role-playing game takes place in Alpha Complex, a massive domed/underground city ruled by Friend Computer.
- Mongoose Publishing's Strontium Dog RPG. Queux is a living, intelligent planet that is billions of years old. It knows the secrets of the entire galaxy.
- In Mindjammer the ecosystem of the planet Chembu was sentient long before homid colonists arrived, whom it assimilated.
- The giant robot Mata Nui in BIONICLE.
- The homeworld for the Tamagotchi is a giant, living planet. If the planet gets drunk or falls ill, the effects are felt all over the world.
- The World of Mana games have a variation on this; while the Mana Tree is purported to be the Mana Goddess transformed, and in some games actually displays evidence of sentience, it's actually a woman of a specific breed who sacrifices mobile life to fulfill the Tree's vital role to the functioning of the world.
- In Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri all native life on Planet forms a single distributed neural network, and as the game progresses your faction leader starts to get incoherent telepathic messages from it. Every 100 million years or so it starts to become self-aware, but collapses before it reaches full sentience, and the presence of human colonists is accelerating the process. If you cause too much environmental damage it sends Mind Worms to ravage your units and bases, help build the environment enough, and it might allow you to train Mind Worms to attack your enemies.
- The colonists can avert the ecological collapse with the "Voice of Planet" secret project, which blasts the entirety of the datalinks archives into the Planet mind. At which point it starts speaking in complete sentences and every faction unlocks the Ascent To Transcendence secret project, which causes their faction to merge with the Planet intelligence.
- The game also has a secret project, "The Self-Aware Colony", which reduces the costs of maintaining and controlling your cities by turning them into Genius Loci. The cinematic for the project shows a city trapping a pair of dissidents before incinerating them, and even automatically cleaning both their ashes and the graffiti slogan they were writing from a wall. We Must Dissent...
- In the Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion Pack Mask of the Betrayer, one of the bosses is a Genius Loci who even uses the name.
- The Genius Loci, in fact, is a Dungeons & Dragons monster, appearing in the Monster Manuals of the 2nd and 3rd editions of the game.
- Silent Hill's eponymous town, though debatable as it may simply be haunted.
- This may require some elaboration: The whole town of Silent Hill is alive with a mystical force that takes your nightmares and fears and brings them to life, whether in monster form or in the form of a location (like a building or something). If Silent Hill wants you, you will end up in the town, either by being called to it or having an unfortunate accident in or near the town and ending up stuck in that Hell-hole. Later in the series, the power of the town grows to consume its neighbor, Shepherd's Glen. The only way the town will let someone go is if they solve whatever trauma/problem that attracted its attention.
- The comics, which may or may not be Canon, has the town portrayed as this, absorbing the memories and conciousness of those who come to it.
- In Planescape: Torment, one early quest involves helping a living street give birth. Another involves helping a haunted house. Oh, and a door that only opens when you aren't looking at it. And the Lady of Pain may be the Genius Loci of Sigil.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, two of the dungeons that Young Link must go through are the Great Deku Tree (a giant sapient tree that is the protector of the Kokiri Forest and its perpetually-childlike denizens) and Jabu-Jabu's Belly (the interior of a giant fish/whale that is the deity of the aquatic Zora race). In Oracle of Ages, Link must once again traverse the interior of Jabu-Jabu, except this time it's the god of a different group of Zoras, in the land of Labrynna.
- In both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, Link can enter the Maku Trees, which are also giant sapient guardian trees. However, there's only one room inside, and it only houses a character whose function is to transfer data between the two games, so the Genius Loci aspect doesn't really come into play. (Nintendo probably only put Farore inside the trees because they wanted her location to be the same in both games.)
- The Moon from Majora's Mask. Whilst it has a actual (rather intense-looking) face, it never moves it or shows any other signs of sentience. Like the rest of the game, it's all rather mysterious.
- In Klonoa: Moonlight Museum, the eponymous museum is sentient. It's also the Big Bad of the game, and plots to steal people's dreams to host as art exhibits.
- According to the flying future-dolphins, the ocean becomes this in the good future of Earth in Ecco The Dolphin: Tides of Time.
- The Shalebridge Cradle in Thief Deadly Shadows housed an asylum and an orphanage. At the same time. Fueled by the sheer amount of brutal, institutional cruelty inflicted by the staff before a fire killed most of its inhabitants, It remembers things, likes to keep the things it remembers so it can play with them, and soon after you enter it...it remembers you.
- Earthbound has Dungeon Man, a maze builder who opted to be literally turned into a giant walking dungeon.
- In The 11th Hour, the sequel to The 7th Guest, the mansion has apparently become the physical incarnation of Stauf himself, eg. one scene in the backstory involves two girls being raped by the house, and one of them producing an Enfant Terrible as a result.
- Portal is the Spiritual Successor to a game called Narbacular Drop, which is set inside a sentient dungeon named Wally.
- Since GLaDOS controls much of the testing facility (possibly all, depending on your thoughts on her motives), she also functions as one.
- In the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC for Portal 2, one iteration of Cave Johnson is in fact the entire planet.
- The city of Leá Monde in Vagrant Story. Every cobblestone, every wall in the city is inscribed with ancient Kildean runes, turning it into the Gran Grimoire —the ultimate focus of the power of the Dark. After centuries of this supernatural influence, the city itself acquired a will of its own, and any soul tainted by the Dark is doomed to wander its catacombs forever.
- Carnate Island and Baltimore in The Suffering, according to many theorists throughout the two games- human or otherwise.
- In the Castlevania series, the eponymous castle is implied to be a living creature of chaos. It would certainly explain why its layout changes with every game.
- One of Demigod's Heroes is a walking castle.
- In Metroid Prime 3, Phazon is implied at numerous points to be a sentient lifeform; in the first two games, it was assumed to be just a material. Phaaze, the planet that is the source of all the Phazon, is not only living, it spreads Phazon to other planets by giving birth. (Some Epileptic Trees differ, but the point is that Phazon is living and Phaaze is made of Phazon, ergo Phaaze is living.)
- Albion has Argim, a former Iskai. During one of his experiments to find the secret of true immortality, Argim lost his body, and his consciousness entered the living plants that made up his home, and the creatures that took up residence there. The only way to communicate with him is by finding his brain (well an extension to it), which is still intact and has grown to just the right size to block the path to the MacGuffin.
- Gaia in Tsukihime. All the other planets are essentially alive as well, though nothing happens there. In Fate/stay night this is expanded on to include Akasha, which exists alongside Gaia in some form or another. People have tied their existences to such things and made themselves nearly indestructible.
- Halo 3: ODST features an interesting variation with New Mombasa, a city run by an artificial intelligence called the Superintendent, or "Virgil." Its influence is limited during the game itself, during which it sends you a map of the city through a videophone, unlocks supply caches marked with its "face," and sends audio files that tell the story of a girl trying to rescue her father, who works with the Superintendent; in the audio files, the Superintendent's full ability, ranging from controlling garbage trucks to stoplights, is shown.
- La-Mulana has the eponymous Temple of Doom, which is the body of the Mother.
- System Shock's Citadel Station, being completely controlled by the crazy AI SHODAN, surely qualifies.
- Whale Island in Rune Factory Frontier was given consciousness by the spirits of the Runes, allowing it both to float in the air and speak directly to Raguna. However, the influence of the Runes on the island is growing weak, and if it should fade completely, it could prove disastrous for the inhabitants of the town of Trampoli on the surface.
- The planet in Final Fantasy VII. Cetra can hear the cries of the planet, Lifestream/Mako Energy is its blood (with materia its crystallized form), and it gives birth to WEAPONS when its existence is threatened. In the game's ending, when it appears Holy isn't powerful enough to repel Meteor, the planet sends out its Lifestream to supplement Holy and save the day.
- Chzo Mythos; DeFoe Manor binds to the mind of John DeFoe, but not the house. The house is burned down. It's apparently the PLACE now. Which is a lot trickier to destroy and create the Bridge, requiring something on the order of a nuclear blast to annihilate.
- Let's not forget the titular Eldritch Abomination, Chzo itself, which is so big that Trilby even says it's as much a place as a creature.
- The planet in Loco Roco is very much alive, complete with facial expressions. It is a rare player-controlled example where through using gravity alterations, lightning and earthquakes, you can affect the life of the inhabitants of the planet. There are also a solar and lunar body with facial expressions who often react to sound waves of the inhabitants of the planet. It's more cheerful than it sounds though.
- World of Warcraft has Nespirah and L'Ghorek, non-villainous gigantic crustacean-squids. Their insides could easily house several cities.
- And Mists of Pandaria adds Shen-zin Su, the Wandering Isle, who is a giant turtle with villages, forests and mountains on his back.
- In Golden Sun, one of the earlier dungeons/bosses is a gigantic, hollow, sentient, Psynergy-capable tree.
- In The Lost Age, the Kibombo tribe worship a statue with a Magitek-mechanical maze beneath and inside it, which is broken, frustrating the student priest trying to prove himself to it. Once mended by our heroes, it turns out to be sentient, and quite grateful for their help (to the ire of the new priest).
- In the Transformers Armada video game, one level is in a ship, and when you leave, it transforms. You were inside Tidal Wave the whole time.
- In Jables's Adventure, a hill in the Green Hill Zone has a face. Its eyes follow you as you walk by. No explanation is given.
- Ar Ciel, the planet on which the Ar tonelico games take place, has multiple wills that form a single consensus for the planet with each will governing certain aspects. Horus for example was the will that governed all the others as well as the earth (as in the surface of the planet) until it was mortally wounded when the sea of death was created and when it dies completely so will the planet and all the other wills. There are many other wills, some who you actually meet during Ar Tonelico 3 such as Yurishca who governs the technological advancement of humanity and Soma who maintains balance through natural selection. The most recent will to come into existence is Ar ru whose role is to create planetary antibodies for the purpose of wiping out humanity which had delivered a quite possibly fatal wound to the planet. The end goal of the third game is to simultaneously heal the planet and communicate with Ar Ciel's consensus to convince it to forgive humanity.
- In Metro 2033, Artyom (the Player Character) and his then-companion Bourbon are forced to detour into a small room, at which point the mutants pursuing them stop following. It turns out the room is full of the corpses of other explorers, and as Bourbon attempts to pry open a grille door, he starts hallucinating that something is singing to him. As his hallucination gets worse and worse, you start seeing the room as a tall and narrow passageway, with one end increasingly shrouded in an ominous red and black atmosphere. Fortunately, you and your companion manage to escape before sharing the same fate as many of the others in that room.
- Little wonder the nosalises stopped chasing you.
- A similarly "alive" location is found in Last Light, which Khan calls the "River of Fate". Consisting of an underground river in a supposedly dead-end tunnel, it allows those who have regrets to swim in its waters and change their destiny. There are also several instances of skeletons within its borders moving as if alive, and a utility phone rings out of nowhere with Artyom's dead mother on the other end. Khan speaks of it with a level of reverence that suggests the River has some kind of intelligence, and explains that many who've gone searching for it in the past never returned.
- In Fallout 3, which takes place in the ruins of Washington D.C 200 years after a nuclear war, the landscape is very desolate and befitting of the title of Capital Wasteland. The one exception is in a forest area called Oasis which earns its name with healthy plants and trees all over the place and pristine lake water. The source of this forest comes from an old character from Fallout and Fallout 2 named Harold, who last time we saw him had a mutant tree growing out of his head. Apparently Bob, as Harold named it, mutated to the point that it enveloped Harold's entire body. Harold is now a living tree who has been rooted to the ground for 30 years and in the intervening period Bob (Harold treats the tree that has consumed his body as his friend and as a sentient being, either that or he treats the tree as a friend so he doesn't go insane from boredom) has been producing spores that have planted seeds all over the area which has sprouted the forest you now see. Even more amazing is that Harold claims that his mind is linked up to the entire forest, if he tries real hard he swears that his eyes can see through every leaf of every tree. The player has the option to apply medicine that could accelerate Harold's growth and in time his forest could envelop the entire United States making the entire continent a part of his living body. Yet Harold admits he's in a "And I Must Scream" scenario, and pleads to be put out of his misery. So whether you kill him but destroy the forest, or convince him his life is for the greater good of everyone else is all up to you and is one of many moral dilemmas the game puts you in.
- World 5-F2: Living Palace in Super Mario Fusion Revival. The layout of the palace has bricks that can move around while hindering Mario in the process.
- Mario Games in general have faces on Hills... and boxes... and clouds... though none of them give any indication of sentience. The instruction manual for Super Mario Bros. explains that captured denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom were transformed into the various items you find throughout the game, for the rest of the series it's just seen as an unusual and unexplained feature of the world.
- Progress far enough in Fallen London and you get the chance to go to Polythreme, the place where Clay Men are born. Everything on and around Polythreme has a soul and moves, to the point where clothes speak and fountains sympathize, because of the King with a Hundred Hearts - who is Polythreme. And he used to be human. He was dying, and his lover made a deal with the Masters of the Bazaar to save him.
- It's also made clear that the Bazaar itself is alive it feeds upon love stories.
- The narrator of The Cave is the eponymous Cave itself. It provides massive amounts of snark directed towards the player characters and the dreadful things they do while exploring the Cave in search of their hearts' desires.
- Psychosomnium: The final character enters the wizard's castle in hopes of finding and killing him. Turns out, the castle itself is the wizard, and announces this in huge letters as one of the rooms turns into a face.
- The Daedric Princes in The Elder Scrolls and the Daedric Realms they rule are actually one and the same. The forms they take are merely projected avatars.
- In Dead Space 3, the Moon of Tau Volantis is revealed to be a "Brethren Moon"; a massive post-convergence Necromorph made up of the corpses from an entire race of beings. The Awakened DLC reveals that though Isaac and Carver managed to kill it, the Moon had managed to wake up its Brethren, who begin consuming humanity.
- In Mortal Kombat series: one of the stages is called "The Living Forest" which is a forest of grimacing growling trees, some of which have sharp teeth. In Mortal Kombat 9 the trees look a lot less freaky than in 2.
- In League of Legends the champion Anivia is the spirit of the frozen, harsh land of the Freljord.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Jin's gag reel is set in, and hosted by, a sentient island called the Isle of Ranking. Jin's Chronophantasma gag reel brings him back to it.
- In Tears to Tiara 2, there's Tartetos a floating city that has walls that can be raised above water or sunk below, cast its own magic, and communicate with words on a central pillar.
- In Robopon, Volco is a living island full of treasure.
- In Meteos, the eponymous 'evil planet' has no known inhabitants, suggesting that it's one of these.
- In A Witchs Tale, the Demon's Mouth Inn is alive, and swallows Liddell to restore her health.
- The Fade in Dragon Age could count. The Fade is full of spirits with the ability to shape the world in whatever way they wish. However, because they have no creativity or imagination of their own, they simply attempt to mirror the physical world, based on the collective emotions, beliefs, and experiences of mortals. So a person who visits the Fade and expects to see a hellish nightmare full of demons is more likely to find this than someone who expects a peaceful glade with friendly spirits.
- The Grave Academy, in the eponymous Forum/RPG is pretty explicitly alive, and apparently needs feeding once a month.
- In the Whateley Universe, the Grove is a sentient, very ancient grove of trees just off the Whateley Academy campus, and it doesn't permit visitors it doesn't like. The Whateley Universe also reveals that there are multiple such genii locorum in New York City, ranging from 'Street Life' and 'The Thug' to 'Show Biz' and 'The Firefighter', all spirits representing important aspects of the city.
- One of Ursula Vernon's short stories (untitled and unfinished as of yet) features sentient trees who have fungus for brains. Once outsiders arrive and begin scooping out the fungus as a delicacy, the trees themselves go mad.
- The Dionaea House is a semi-famous internet story featuring someone who goes and investigates the disappearance of his friend and finds what turns out to be a sentient (and hungry) house. Found here.
- Tales of MU has domesticated nymphs who are the spirits of cultivated fields, and the Emily Center for Fine Arts, which is a living building. The 3 Seas, by the same author, has the spirit of a ship named "Loki".
- The Tale Of Gaven Morren has The Tower of Miir, which manipulates the emotions of the population to feed itself, manifesting through The Shadows, a collection of living stories / demons / faeries / ghosts that represent the city's long and sordid history.
- Any civilized habitat in Orion's Arm is alive. In fact the powerful Archailects have to be planet or star sized due to the (Real Life) Bremermann Limit.
- There are also Envomes, sapient or transapient ecosystems.
- The wall in Draw With Me.
- In the third ASDF Movie, a guy named Jim commits suicide with the standard line "Goodbye world." The Earth says goodbye asking him where he's going only to be horrified when Jim kills himself.
- In asdfmovie5, a couple on a romantic getaway comment that it's "just you, me, and the Moon". The Moon comments that they should kiss.
- In asdfmovie7, Saturn calls the Sun 'fat'.
- The Empty City is a sentient city that is also a Mobile Maze and a Living Labyrinth - representing the fear of being lost, if you get trapped inside it, you be will wander its streets until you die - in The Fear Mythos.
- Being somewhat of a location that other people can enter, the Book from The Book of Stories OCT falls under this due to having a mind of its own.
- One of the main premises of Planetary Moe, with just about every celestial body in the Universe having its own personification.
- As of the end of To Boldly Flee, the Awesomeverse is part of the Plot Hole and The Nostalgia Critic is merged with the Plot Hole, effectively making the Critic the Awesomeverse.
- Referenced by name in The Wanderer's Library
- We Are Our Avatars: Starchild is a human-shaped sentient planet and she's friends with most of the group. She uses an Avatar to interact with them.
- Megas XLR: Coop once fought a living planet that ate radio waves.
- The Foggy Swamp in Avatar: The Last Airbender, location of The World Tree.
- On The Fairly Oddparents one foe of Timmy's favorite superhero the Crimson Chin is "Mike, the Evil Living Building".
- The first "Treehouse of Horror" episode on The Simpsons had a sequence where the Simpson family moves into a haunted house that turns out to be self-aware. The house tries to scare them off because it can't stand them, but eventually gives up and simply implodes rather than live with them. A later Treehouse of Horror had them install an AI with Pierce Brosnan's voice into their regular house, who desires Marge's bod.
- In the Futurama episode "Godfellas", Bender encounters what appears to be a sentient galaxy, which initially speaks in binary and may or may not be God.
- Bender himself is a sentient location earlier in the episode when he is colonized by aliens.
- Fry might count as well, when he is colonized by sentient worms in "Parasites Lost". They have a statue of him labeled: "The Known Universe".
- Yivo in the second movie is eventually lived upon by people. Shklis body actually inspired our popular conception of heaven.
- His Elevated Eminence in the My Little Pony And Friends episode "Crunch the Rock Dog", a living mountain peak who happens to be Crunch's master.
- The Cave of Wonders in Aladdin.
- In the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", the eponymous department store that invades the town is a combination of The Heartless and Genius Loci.
- The episode "Lice Capades" tells the story of a group of, yes, lice living on the scalp of one of the boys. The story becomes a parody of natural disaster movies ("The planet is trying to tell us something!") when the kid starts using delousing shampoo.
- As listed under Comic Books, the Transformers animated canon has several examples, most notably Metroplex, Trypticon, Unicron, and Primus.
- In Transformers Animated, the Autobots' ship is actually the ancient Autobot warrior Omega Supreme.
- Supplemental materials reveal that the Great War was fought because the Decepticons wanted to use the Allspark to make Cybertron one of these and continue to expand throughout the galaxy at the expense of other species.
- Torkulon, the planet where Cyclonus tried to get Galvatron's insanity cured in the original series, was enough of a Genius Loci to contract madness from Galvatron.
- On a much smaller scale, could Tidal Wave qualify? After all, he does dwarf every single Transformer, due to him being a giant frigging battleship.
- Transformers Prime reveals that Earth itself is alive; specifically it's Unicron.
- Then there's also Primus who happens to be Cybertron itself.
- In Beast Machines, Megatron's endgame plan is to merge with the Sparks of every Cybertronian to make Cybertron itself his new body.
- In one episode of The Real Ghostbusters, it is said that Egon's ancestor (a magician) tried to refill a well, and woke up its Genius Loki (the term is used) in the form of a horse sized dragon, which thought he was his dad. The magician put it back to sleep. After a few centuries, Egon wakes it, this time house sized.
- Generator Rex gives us Van Kleiss. Though he appears human (if creepy) at first glance, his nanites are spread all throughout his home turf of Abysus. This means that the grounds and vegetation surrounding his creepy castle are effectively a part of him, and if his human body is destroyed he can simply reconstitute it.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: One episode had Flapjack and Captain K'nuckles finding themselves on a sentient (but gullible) moon and convincing it to carry them to Candy Island. The moon's traveling causes so much gravitational havoc that the sea god Poseidon has to intervene.
- In Pinky and the Brain, the closest Brain ever got to conquering the world was when he and Pinky gave the Earth itself the power of speech and befriended it. Thanks to their newfound ability to manipulate the Earth Pinky and the Brain easily cowed the nations of the world into submission. It's pretty hard to resist an Evil Overlord with the power to drag your entire country into the sea. Unfortunatly for the Brain, he managed to make it angry at him, and... Suffice to say, his plan fell apart after that.
- Though according to the ending, he may have better luck with the moon.
- In the Green Lantern animated movie Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, one of the five stories that Hal Jordan tells to his new recruit is the tale of Bofunga the Unrelenting and the day he finally.... er.... relented. He was on a quest to become the mightiest warrior in the galaxy, and the only being left in the cosmos that he had yet to vanquish was a mysterious being known as "Mogo". This being was allegedly not only exponentially more powerful than Bofunga, but was also a Green Lantern to boot. Bofunga traveled to Mogo's last known coordinates and attempted to challenge him, but even after months of searching his quarry was nowhere to be found. Refusing to give up, Bofunga began setting explosive charges all around the planet in an attempt to force Mogo out of his hiding place and goad him into a duel, but after detonating all of the charges and doing NO DAMAGE WHATSOEVER, he realized—too late—that "Mogo" was THE PLANET ITSELF... and he had just made it VERY angry. The ensuing "battle" ended with predictable swiftness, as Mogo crushed his antagonist with a well-placed gravity well.
- In the original comics, Bofunga fled after spending years searching for Mogo when he looked at the map he had made while exploring the planet and realized that the foliage on Mogo formed a Green Lantern symbol. It's not clear if Mogo even noticed him.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! gives us Planetoid Q, a Genius Loci complete with what are apparently internal organs and a brain. And it's a shapeshifter.
- Adventure Time has had a few of these show up. "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" featured not one, but two, talking mountains, and according to "His Hero", Billy once "slayed an evil ocean".
- Ultimate Spider-Man had a seemingly deserted island... where all of the sand of the island was actually classic Spidey villain The Sandman. There was a serious threat that, if he ever made it to mainland, he could spread his sentience to the entire planet.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers has Gaia, the spirit of Earth, as a very important character.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Lonely Planet", Wander and Sylvia meet an extremely yandere planet named Janet who tries to murder Sylvia so she can have Wander to herself. She later falls in love with her moon, who has a mustache and a French accent.
- Certain variants of the philosophy of panpsychism assert this to be Truth in Television, when applied to the entire universe. (There are several variants of it, though, and not all of versions believe this to be exactly the case).
- Likewise, a subset of those who believe in the Gaia hypothesis also believe that the unified planetary biosystem can also "make decisions", in a manner of speaking. And of course there are also those with non-scientific or spiritual beliefs that Earth is a living sentient being, again with many variants of each philosophy.
- The Internet could be a more tangible example of a Genius Loci / Gaia. There are certain movements around the self-organizing properties of the internet (especially concerning content, privacy, and censorship), which makes it seem to possess a mind of its own.
- On a micro scale, any living creature (including a human) can be a location. Your fleas and dust mites probably think you're a walking planet, or at least a small continent. Humans are one of the few creatures that carry two distinct species of dust mites due to having two distinct locations of hairs. And then of course, one's stomach flora is unique to each individual.
- Though not sentient (at least not that we know) there are some areas with organisms or groups of organisms that have grown to be truly massive.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the largest superorganism on earth. Covering approximately 344,400 square kilometers of ocean.
- Pando is a single Quaking Aspen. Aspens can spread by growing new trunks from their roots, creating a new "tree" that's just another part of a huge organism. It has taken this ability and used it to a ridiculous extent. It covers 0.43 square kilometers of land and weighs 6,000 tons.
- A large specimen of Honey Mushroom has been discovered in Oregon's Malheur National Forest. The fungus in an area of 8.9 square kilometers has identical genetics, though there is some debate as to whether it's all connected together or not. If it is all connected it would be a single organism weighing as much as 550 tons.
- Combining certain elements of the Gaia theory, Jung's belief in the collective unconscious, and The Singularity leads to this trope as the logical extreme. The internet itself could be viewed as a tangible form of Jung's collective unconscious, or even a full-on Hive Mind. And since most people in the developed world are expected to have access to the internet, certainly at home, if not on them at all times in the form of a smart phone, the point may well come very soon when nearly all human beings have constant access to this shared mind, making the human race the "brain" for a global superorganism consisting of all life on the planet.
- Systems theory, without directly positing this, makes little distinction between sufficiently complex metasystems in terms of sentience, whether those be biological, architectural, sociopolitical, or ecological; there's support to be found for Genius Loci in it.