And at the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, "Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
God may be good
. God may be evil
. We'd give you a more concrete answer, but... well, we can't find him. God (or some other deity
) appears to have abandoned his station, and all the angels
and the rest of the heavenly engine
are in a tizzy. Did something happen to him?
Is he too bored to do anything?
Or did he just decide that it all wasn't worth it anymore?
Generally, the absence of a deity serves one or more of several purposes:
- One, it falls upon the heroes' shoulders to find out what happened to said deity and set things right.
- Two, it may establish the setting as a Crapsack World when even the deity in charge of it gives up in disgust.
- It's just a way of welching on which religion is right. Note, neither Moses, Abraham, Jesus, nor Muhammad will be present either.
- It allows Angels to be full characters without having their Boss' moral and philosophical baggage getting in the way.
- God wants the universe to save itself, the end result being All According to Plan - which, considering it's God, is not that big of a stretch.
- And finally, in any story with Angels, full Saints, or other such characters, it allows the heroes' actions to have weight without an obvious Deus ex Machina to save them from themselves.
- Any combination of the above is also possible.
In God's absence, the Council of Angels
may be running the show, but they aren't guaranteed to be doing a good job...
Sometimes it's revealed that God decided to do it this way to allow free will, as micromanaging the Israelites in the Old Testament didn't turn out so well. Honestly, all this complaining about him being a dictator, and now you're complaining he's letting you do it your way? Make up your minds! He'll show up from time to time as an advisor, but usually only the interactee will only realize who it was after the events
— if at all. If he's really
good at it, it won't look like he did anything at all.
One way to go about this is if there are Pieces of God
in each of the characters.
Compare All-Powerful Bystander
, God Is Evil
, Neglectful Precursors
and Rage Against the Heavens
. Contrast Devil but No God
. In polytheistic settings, it's possible for there not to be a god because the God of Evil killed him.
See also Crisis of Faith
, where a single character's faith
in God is what they can't find. Can be played out this way on a metaphorical level as that character's "search for God".
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Anime and Manga
- God spends most of Angel Sanctuary holed up in a tower away from the rest of the universe. Turns out to be evil, though.
- Mamoru Oshii's Angel's Egg is actually about God forsaking the occupants of Noah's Ark after starting the Flood but never allowing the waters to recede.
- In the shonen-ai manga Innocent Bird, God is not there, and the angels have taken over in the least likeable manner. However the devil is still evil, yet everything in between appears to have a limited choice as in - they can act how they want but their side will try to punish them.
- The Transformers wind up finding their god/creator Primus midway through Transformers Cybertron after who-knows-how-long. How they missed the fact that their planet turns into a robot is also unknown.
- Angel Beats! takes place in the afterlife, and there's a violent Angel wandering around, but God doesn't show himself; whether he actually exists is unclear for most of the series. It's eventually revealed that there used to be a God, but he seems to have turned into an NPC, or something. "Angel" is actually not an angel, but a regular person who has partially reprogrammed herself. The former God apparently deified himself in a similar way.
- While Yashima of Kamichu! is not the God but one of an enormously large number of Shinto gods, he goes missing some time prior to the start of the series, so that Yurie has to go looking for him in the second episode.
- In Bloody Cross, God has apparently disappeared or is otherwise gone and various "God candidates" are competing against each other to gather "God's inheritances", artifacts that contain some of God's power so that they can use that power to become the new God.
- God has not yet bothered to show Himself in A Certain Magical Index. Given that Gabriel and the other angels have been shown to exist, it's reasonable to assume God does too. Some speculation abounds that the hero, Touma, is God's unwitting Spanner in the Works in the conflict, since Touma's power seems to be a mystery to even the most knowledgeable characters in the series, and is speculated to be of divine origin.
- Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi introduces us to a world which was abandoned by God fifteen years ago. Because of this, no new human beings are born and people who die don't stop living unless buried by a certain type of gravekeeper. The reason for His absence is still unknown.
- At least one character claims that this is just a story people made up to explain what happened. In fact, it seems what really happened is that The Magic Came Back and everyone's wishes started coming true.
- Preacher. When God ends up creating something just as powerful as he is, he abandons ship, leaving Heaven to clean up the mess. When Jesse finds out about this, he decides to track down God and deliver the crunchiest of beatings.
- Spawn has God disappearing for four years, and the archangels keeping it secret.
- One arc of The Authority has God returning after an absence of billions of years. He's not too impressed to see his retirement home's been overrun by termites.
- The Sandman: Morpheus is kept captive between the years 1916 and 1989. During that time the dream world runs wild.
- An entire arc is spent resolving the fate of Hell when Lucifer quits and gives Dream guardianship of the keys to the gates. In essence, Dream chooses the next ruler of Hell. A pair of angels take over by direct command of God, and resume business as usual, except with the end goal of redemption, rather than punishment.
- In Mike Carey's Lucifer series, God admitted that He had set up all of history from Creation onward as training for His hand-picked replacements - Lucifer and Michael (ironically, Michael the Good Boy proved to be a disappointment to Him). When that didn't work, God abandoned the universe, which immediately began to disintegrate from lack of Divine Will maintaining its existence. The universe was saved by Michael's daughter Elaine taking over as the new Supreme Being.
- God in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac admits to having done nothing since the creation of the Universe.
- In Bone, the dragons (which are not technically Gods, but they're the series' Big Goods and are very long-lived creatures well in touch with the spiritual forces of the Bone Universe) end up going underground to sleep instead of protecting the Valley people or attempting to do anything about the Lord of the Locusts.
- In one Ghost Rider story it was revealed that God's throne in Heaven is empty. Curiously, a Fear Itself tie-in reveals that Satan's throne is also empty. It is shown Lucifer is real, but Satan is more of a title no hell-lord is strong enough to claim.
- Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, there are many nigh-all-powerful cosmic beings, and even Scarlet Witch can rewrite reality and history at will on a good day. The "One Above All" seems to be Marvel's version of capital-G God. Meanwhile, if there's a Deal with the Devil about, or someone after people's souls, or a master of a Fire and Brimstone Hell, it's always going to be the Silver Surfer's nemesis Mephisto. It's unknown where they fit into this (though sometimes the devil in Ghost Rider's origin story is Mephisto.)
- In the backstory of To the Stars, Homura went on a journey through the universe to find Madokami, after realizing that her death would not reunite them. She hasn't returned yet.
- Dogma puts the responsibility on the shoulders of the main characters after God seemingly vanishes from Heaven. Then again, it's not exactly as if it's Her fault in this case.
- Two Of A Kind begins with God coming back from one of these absences, discovering everything has gone to pot while he was gone, and deciding it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over again.
- Begotten opens with the grisly scene of God Killing Himself (that's the character name according to the end credits) via disembowelment. Mother Earth emerges from his body and uses his sperm to impregnate herself, giving birth to Son Of Earth - Flesh On Bone. Mother and Son encounter faceless dwarves who first worship them and then brutally murder them. Plants sprout from their interred bodies, implying that life goes on but presumably without gods.
- In Bruce Almighty God takes a couple days off. The reason? Because he was sick and tired of Bruce moaning all the time. God only left Bruce's home city, though. It's implied that this isn't the first time that God did this-when Bruce commented on him taking a break he replied by saying "Ever heard of the Dark Ages?"
- The Devils Advocate: Al Pacino in his over-the-top speech accuses God of being "an absentee landlord."
- The resident Weird Religion Guy in Major League gets fed up asking his god for help, and prays the following before his last at bat in the big game: "I'm pissed off now, Jobu. Look, I go to you. I stick up for you. You don't help me now. I say 'Fuck you,' Jobu, I do it myself." He hit an impressive home run.
- This is Sybok's motivation in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and he drags the Enterprise to the center of the galaxy to find Him. He, however, is not who He seems to be, so it all ends in tears for him.
- In What Dreams May Come (much of which takes place in the Afterlife), we have the following exchange:
Chris Nielsen: "Where is God in all of this?"
Albert: "Oh, He's up there. Somewhere... shouting down that He loves us. Wondering why we can't hear Him. You think?"
- In The Belgariad, all the gods pick a people except Aldur (he gets a few disciples later on) because he loved the world itself too much to tie himself down. This leaves a whole bunch of people godless, and they do various stuff to fill the void. (Worshipping demons, that sort of thing) then one day one of the Godless finds out there's ANOTHER god that didn't pick a people, so he goes looking for him, and eventually embarrasses him enough so that he accepts him.
- In The Malloreon, this becomes much more nuanced. The Godless actually split into several different groups: The ones mentioned above became the Ulgos (followers of UL); the ones to the south became the Dals, who explore the more esoteric magical mysteries of the world; the ones to the north became demon worshippers (and split into the more 'civilized' Karands who gave it up partially and the Morindim who still do it extensively); finally, the Melcenes to the east were actually the first of any people to form a civilization, and they remain happily godless. At the end, it turns out that there was yet another deity who hadn't arrived yet, and this time he's supposed to be everyone's God.
- In Dune Messiah the Reverend Mother Gaius Hellen Mohiam asks Emperor Paul-Muad'dib Atreides if he believes in the God whose Word forms the basis of his right to rule. His answer comes out to "eh, maybe", as he (correctly) judged that they were trying to undermine his religion. Considering that the Bene Gesserit manufacture religions to suit their needs, they were being blatantly hypocritical.
- It's explained in passing in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that God "vanished in a puff of logic" after man disproved his existence with a Logic Bomb involving the Babel fish and God Needs Prayer Badly. So Long And Thanks For All The Fish has Arthur and Fenchurch traveling to a far-off planet to witness God's final message to his creation: "WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE", written in giant flaming letters. The characters do not question its divine origin, although it's written in English note
- The His Dark Materials trilogy has the entity that everyone thinks is God- actually just the first angel, too old for anyone to contradict him, reduced practically to nonexistence after millennia of rule. Still, his followers fight on in his name, generally making a mess of things on Earth.
- The gods of Krynn in the Dragonlance novels abandon the material plane after the knight templars start acting like they command the gods, rather than vice versa. They come back after being sought out, only to vanish again when someone steals the world from them. Naturally, that doesn't stick, either. On an interesting note, this plane is a lot more understanding to atheists than most Dungeons & Dragons settings; because really, who can blame them?
- In the Incarnations of Immortality series, God is physically present, but too busy admiring Himself to pay attention to anything else. This results in the other Incarnations impeaching Him, removing Him from office, and making a rather creative choice of a new God.
- The Forgotten Realms War of the Spider Queen novel series had Lolth apparently vanish. A crack team of freaks is sent to find out "What the hell, woman? ...ma'am. Your Awesomeness."
- One of them wins divine ascension. One earns freedom. One gets a Fate Worse Than Death. The other one just gets death.
- God's Debris has this as the origin of the central philosophy: God destroyed himself in the Big Bang, and all matter, energy, and probability is God's debris.
- In Alan Campbell's The Deepgate Codex series, Ayen, mother and queen of the gods, has exiled all of the other gods from Heaven, and locked its gates against both gods and human souls. (The other gods claim she went insane, but then, we only have their side of the story, and most of them don't come across as the most trustworthy types.) One result of this is that, with Heaven closed, all human souls now go to Hell instead. (Apart from some that end up in even worse places.) This has unfortunate consequences when people figure out that it no longer matters whether they were good or evil in life...
- Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom heptalogy features a multiverse missing its deity, The Architect.
- Temporary variant: at the beginning of Holly Lisle's novel Hell on High, God announces he's taking his first vacation in, well, ever. Two angels take advantage of his not being around to go AWOL to Earth, so they can try to convince a demon they knew before the Fall to repent and return. At the end of the book, God comes back and reveals he was giving them an opportunity to do just that.
- The Inquisitor Madderdin series by Jacek Piekara is set in an alternative medieval Christianity where Christ didn't die for our sins, but instead stepped of the Cross to punish the evil with a massacre of Jerusalem ("And give us the strength not to forgive our sinners" is part of the Our Father prayer). Even though Angels clearly exist and prayer works, at least in some ways, God himself is reportedly missing and Angels have no idea how to even look for him. Well, some of them have a very strange idea which makes the main protagonist very uncomfortable...
- Inverted in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett: the Great God Om has been reduced to an angry, powerless tortoise because, of all his millions of "worshipers," only one person actually believes in him any more. Until Om finds Brutha, it's less "Have You Seen My God?" than "Have You Seen My Follower?" Small Gods also features the idea that, if the Discworld universe has a Supreme Being, it's probably best not to attract his attention.
- The main premise of Towing Jehova by James Morrow is that God's two-mile-long, naked corpse has dropped into the Atlantic.
- God isn't actually missing in Good Omens, but hasn't given anyone a straight answer or direct instruction since shortly after the creation. The angels think they are carrying out the divine will, but that's left rather ambiguous.
- It's described along the lines of playing poker with Him, in the dark, for infinite stakes, without knowing the rules and all the cards are blank.
- And the dealer smiles all the time...
- The climax largely involves the uncertainty caused in the hellish and angelic armies when someone points out the contradictions. Just as Planned (probably).
- Patricia A. McKillip's The Riddle Master Trilogy has elementals and humans with elemental inheritance, the most powerful of whom is the High One. The problem is no one has any idea where he is or what he's doing.
- In Stefano Benni's Spiriti, a depressed God could only find solace in music. He quit his creation in disgust after John Lennon's assassination, and the world is now run by spirits.
- In Robert E. Howard's "The Tower Of The Elephant", Conan the Barbarian prefers the hands-off approach of his people's gods.
His gods were simple and understandable; Crom was their chief, and he lived on a great mountain, whence he sent forth dooms and death. It was useless to call on Crom, because he was a gloomy, savage god, and he hated weaklings. But he gave a man courage at birth, and the will and might to kill his enemies, which, in the Cimmerian's mind, was all any god should be expected to do.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians- In "The Titan's Curse" Artemis goes missing. In "The Heroes of Olympus" the gods close off Olympus and abandon mankind. In "The Lost Hero", Hera is kidnapped.
- The Heroes of Olympus series:
- Subverted; Olympus has been closed and all the gods have gone MIA on the orders of Zeus himself. However, several of the other gods thought this was foolish, and so have continued to communicate with the mortal world, abet covertly.
- In The Son of Neptune he seems to have changed his mind (or bowed to the inevitability of the others meddling making the plan moot), allowing Mars to order a quest. That or his more responsible Jupiter aspect can no longer ignore the situation and knows something must be done.
- In The House of Hades the impending war between the Greeks and the Romans has caused the Greek and Roman sides of the gods to fight one another, rendering most major gods incapacitated unless one of their children does something particularly spectacular.
- The Church of Jesus Christ the Kidnapped from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slapstick.
- Shows up in The Bible:
- Elijah is engaged in a spirit duel with 450 priests of Baal to see whose god will answer their prayers by igniting a sacrifice that has been prepared, but not lit aflame. The priests of Baal go first, and when Baal does not answer their prayers, Elijah starts mocking them, suggesting that they should pray louder because maybe Baal is sleeping or on a journey somewhere (one of his statements is sometimes translated as Baal having a Potty Emergency). Eventually, they give up and let Elijah have his turn. To showcase YHWH's omnipotence and utterly humiliate the posers, Elijah tells his servants to dump twelve buckets of water on the bull before he prays. YHWH then sends fire down from heaven to consume the sacrifice, water and all. The God of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
- A straighter example also occurs when Christ is on the cross: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
- In the short story "The Humanic Complex" by Ray Russell, God is not so much missing as suffering from the delusion that He is merely human. An angel is sent to Him in what amounts to a therapy session. It doesn't go well.
- In Mistborn, the Terran Keepers have been actively looking for their religion and which god they worshipped for a millennium. Turns out that their god and religion was the only one that was actually real. What's more, the last Keeper actually BECOMES god.
- In Siewca Wiatru (The Wind Sower) by Maja Lidia Kossakowska, God has left the Kingdom long ago, taking the Lady of the Angels, Metatron and the Seraphim with him. Between the Angel leaders hiding the truth from the heavenly populace, the Angel of Destruction going rogue and God's evil counterpart getting ready to return into existence, things go south very quickly.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Wide Green World series, the gods are said to have left when the first of the malices showed up, so a common oath is "Absent gods!"
- In Tim Marquitz's Demon Squad books, Lucifer and God both depart creation to preserve human free will. The problem is this means both their angel and demonic servants are very upset with mankind over this.
- Supernatural seasons 4 and 5 introduced Judeo-Christian mythology to the show. In season 4 Dean Winchester gets recruited by the Angels on God's apparent orders to stop the Apocalypse. It is later revealed that only the four Archangels (one of whom is Lucifer, and another is missing) have even seen the man, and other Angels have to take it on faith that he even exists. God has in fact left Heaven long ago, and much of season 5 is spent trying to find a way to reach him. But except for a single Deus ex Machina, he rejects the plea for help because he refuses to actively participate in creation any longer. The season five finale throws us one more twist at the end, strongly implying that Chuck, the whiny prophet with a penchant for booze and prostitutes, is actually God. If anything, God seems to work In Mysterious Ways in this show before leaving for good after Lucifer is defeated.
- In Stephen Colbert's Christmas special he prays for a miracle and gets put on hold.
- In Dominion, God mysteriously vanished and Gabriel went to war with humanity under the assumption they were responsible for it.
- Considering how wretched the world Tom Waits sings about is, it's no surprise that "God's Away on Business" from Blood Money Who are the ones that we kept in charge? Killers, thieves, and lawyers!
- Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip has Letter from God which starts with God saying "I know I haven't been around for a while / Because it didn't seem like you wanted me to be."
- In "God", Tori Amos bemoans "sometimes you just don't come through" and asks "why you always go when the wind blows"?
- Or in other words, this trope is something of a goldmine for Religion Rant Song material.
- The Concept Album The Funeral of God by metalcore band Zao revolves around this trope. God, fed up with humanity's immorality, decides to disapeear and let mankind continue its existence without him. Shit ensues.
- Amon Amarth's song "Where Is Your God?" is essentially being told from the perspective of a Viking raider telling a Christian that his faith won't save him from being killed.
- Joan Osborne's One of Us, while the Trope Namer for What If God Was One of Us?, also has heavy shades of this trope, implying that God is not up on his throne in control and running things, but merely down here wandering around anonymously with humans, out of touch with the rest of the Celestial Bureaucracy.
- In Hittite mythology, the 'Missing God' theme is very popular. In many myths, gods would usually disappear in a fit of anger and leave humanity vulnerable. So, humanity would always have to appease them with special rituals to calm their anger and ask them to return, wherever they may be.
- Deism is the belief that God set the universe in motion and now watches over it but does not intervene (or interfere) in daily events. A variation, Pandeism has God cease to exist (at least for a while) by actually becoming the universe.
- A scary, scary version of this occurs in the La Llorona mythos.
- According to Nietzsche, "God is dead", though it's fairly probable he meant that metaphorically since he followed up that statement with "And we have killed Him."
- If God exists, He probably counts as this, since there's been no (undisputed) scientific proof of His existence yet. And that's all we're saying on that little matter.
- The play (and miniseries) Angels In America. God abandons Heaven on the day of 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the angels are all convinced it's because humans are more interesting than they are. The angel of America tells Prior Walter to tell humanity to stop moving, in hopes that God will return to Heaven once humanity reaches a static state.
- This is Older Than Feudalism: in Aristophanes' Peace, the gods have grown tired with the Greeks' constant warmongering and have moved away to the other end of Heaven, leaving War in charge.
- Jade Empire: The reason there are so many ghosts and spirits hanging around and harassing humans is because the goddess in charge of reincarnation has vanished. Once again, not exactly her fault.
- In Ōkami, sun goddess Amaterasu was killed in battle while under the guise of a wolf 100 years before the start of the game, unbeknownst to the public. She gets better, granted, but it turns out that a century-long absence of Nippon's chief deity isn't exactly a good thing when her power relies on the belief of her followers.
- The first half of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue is devoted to Lucia's search for the local goddess to discuss the urgent matter of an awakening monster. Then the woman claiming to be the goddess is unmasked as a fraud. The true goddess decided that mankind no longer needed her and chose to reincarnate as a mortal, and has been dead for centuries.
- The Diablo series includes a Crapsack World in which the legions of hell take over Earth while the inhabitatants of heaven don't want to interfere. This also allows an angel, Tyrael, to play an important part in the games' affairs.
- Zehir's goal in one of the last missions in Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East is to unite the Dwarves who are currently in the throes of a civil war. To do so, he needs to find their Dragon god Arkath. The irony of an atheistic wizard searching for a god is not lost on Zehir.
- The Zuul from Sword of the Stars have lost their "gods" (the race of Abusive Precursors who created them) and are on a galaxy-spanning crusade to find out what happened to them. This is very much Not A Good Thing for any other species they happen to encounter on the way; the Zuul were made for the express purpose of exterminating their creators' enemies, and to the Zuul the act of genocide has become a holy purpose.
- In the sequel, they will return. That'll be fun.
- The Crystal Dragon Jesus element in a (somewhat)non-religious toned example: after the events of the first four games of .hack, Aura, the de facto goddess of the internet (in reality a very powerful AI capable of basically manipulating the entire networks) disappeared. The execs of CC Corp, the makers of The World (an in-universe fictional best-selling MMO) wanted to have her back since her presence alone made The World into such an advanced piece of software. To that end, they tried to summon her back using by the Restore Aura plan. Needless to say, it didn't quite work, and the catastrophic result actually forced them to completely close service to The World. Cut to GU era, and she's still missing. You do find her eventually, but by then, she wished for all humans to make do without an intervening hand of a deity, considering she's a danger magnet of sorts.
- According to the Chantry of Dragon Age, the Maker abandoned humanity out of disgust when a group of mages tried to take over Heaven by force. Plus there was the whole "burning his mortal wife to death" thing. They worship the Maker in the hopes that if He ever comes back, He'll reward the suck-ups, but when someone like Leliana expresses a belief that the Maker hasn't abandoned His children and instead works In Mysterious Ways, it makes her a target of derision.
- Also the Dalish elves have stories that their gods, the Creators, were imprisoned by a trickster god and thus weren't able to save them from invading humans. Apparently at least some elves believe that regaining their immortality and proving they're real elves would bring their gods back.
- The Elvish story about how their gods were lost and the Chantry story of how the dragon Old Gods were trapped in the earth and the source of the Darkspawn are suspiciously similar, and may be different accounts of the same event.
- In the Dragon Age II DLC "Legacy", Corypheus is visibly upset when he realizes he can't hear the voice of Dumat, the first Old God to be corrupted into an Archdemon and slain by the first Wardens, anymore.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Corypheus is so broken by the absence of Dumat and the Maker that he makes his own bid for godhood, driving the plot.
- In Tears to Tiara the supreme diety Watos apparently vanished after creating the universe, leaving the angels in charge. It's not clear if he's dead or alive or what.
- He's still missing in the sequel Tears to Tiara 2. The question of exactly where he is is a major theme of the story.
- The plot of Lost Magic is basically that the Creator died and left a group of seven sages in charge, but then one of those sages decided to try to take over and become as powerful as the Creator had been.
- In Dragon Quest IX, when you return to the Realm of the Almighty, this comes into question. Since your main character is a Celestrian (i.e. angel), it is a bit unsettling. The truth turns out to be...unpleasant. God turned on humanity in disgust and was about to unmake them all, until his daughter stopped him and pleaded that he spare the humans. He agreed, but then left, leaving his daughter, known as Yggdrasil, to watch over them instead with her "children", the Celestrians. God is missing because he left, and the god the Celestrians have been worshipping is in fact God's daughter.
- In Final Fantasy XIII the Fal'Cie's desire to bring back their creator The Maker, their own death wish, and the mass human sacrifice required to make it all possible are the driving forces behind the story.
- Shin Megami Tensei II played with the idea - the Four Archangels, sent to Earth to oversee the conversion of souls for the case of YHVH, steadily got more and more confused about exactly what they were supposed to be doing (and quite crazy, too). The problem is that the Shin Megami Tensei multiverse runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, and it really doesn't matter whose belief it is. So a Fake YHVH was born from the belief of three of four of the Archangels, a monstrously powerful puppet they made, and who they served without knowing what it was. The single exception was the Archangel Gabriel, who managed to hear the real YHVH's voice.
- The Human Gods of Guild Wars have withdrawn more and more from the world since the Exodus. As of Guild Wars 2, they are all but absent, though most humans remain devoutly religious. Most believe that the Gods merely wish humanity to stand on its own.
- The Five were suspiciously quiet in Nightfall when their imprisoned brother attempted to break free. Even when directly called, they claimed they would only grant their blessing, not direct aid. As Kormir realized, the Sunspears needed nothing more.
- Thruln the Lost claims that during the Age of Giants his people were blessed by the gods, which allowed them to build a grand and just civilization. After the gods chose to bless the humans instead, jotun civilization slid into decay and barbarism. How much of this is true is unknown due to the uncertainty of their failing oral tradition.
- In the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization, the Creator got decided to retire and leave the world to his angels. They promptly almost destroyed it in an argument.
- In Dragon Quest VII, there was a great battle between God and the Demon Lord, and it's ambiguous who won. In the game proper, you find out that the demon lord survivednote and, although it's clear that you are God's contingency plan, you never actually see any evidence of Him surviving. Until the bonus dungeon, where it turns out He just up and retired, feeling that humanity and the Four Elemental Spirits could handle things without Him.
- The Creator of the Darksiders-universe never speaks to his creations anymore. Him/her having left this universe completely is something believed by several characters, amongst them Abbadon.
- The Ascension Wars of the Dominions series are caused when the old Pantokrator, the supreme god of the setting, has vacated his post for reasons unknown, opening the way for other divine powers to fight over the top spot themselves. Constant references to "a previous Pantokrator" (rather than "the previous Pantokrator") imply that it's happened at least once before, as well.
- There are a number of gods running about the Touhou universe but there are two of extreme noteworthy:
- In the series, dragons are equated to some of the highest order of the divinities. The last dragon seen in Gensokyo until Wild and Horned Hermit covered the sky just prior to the creation of the Great Hakurei Border.
- The god of the Hakurei shrine is in secclusion due to lack of faith (which is quantifiable in this setting) and is rather bitter about it. Its own shrine maiden, Reimu, doesn't even know its name and it either doesn't even have enough power to tell her or is too displeased.
- Symposium of Post-mysticism delves a bit into with the nature of gods and what happens when they become forgotten.
- In Goats, Jon and Philip meet God, who inexplicably acts like a swishy pirate guy. Philip then suggests that he change himself into a pork chop. God does so, and Philip and Jon eat him. This ends up being a contributing factor to the state of the universe - It is destined to self-destruct pretty soon unless someone renews the warranty.
- Not to mention being the least Kosher thing Jon (ostensibly Jewish) could possibly eat.
- In Misfile, God is entirely absent. According to Rumisiel he set up the Celestial Depository in response to Lucifer's attempted coup d'etat to avoid that ever happening again and then disappeared. He supposedly knows about Rumisiel's actions but hasn't felt moved to intervene. At least, not yet.
- Jesus Christ In The Name Of The Gun by Ethan Nicolle uses this as a kicking-off point: God isn't quite as omnipresent as the Bible would have us believe. Instead, he only swings by every couple of centuries or so to see how things are going, then wanders off to leave his son to watch all this nasty shit go down. Jesus eventually gets fed up with this lasseiz-faire attitude and Second Comings a few years after the turn of the 20th century so he'll be a grown man in time for World War II and punch the shit out of some Nazis.
- Slightly Damned has a interesting case, as both Gaia and Syndel (two of the three major gods) are mysteriously absent. The third god, Death, is still around though. Except that's not actually Death, but instead the rogue angel Darius Elexion, who is acting in Death's role. Death himself vanished after leaving to search for Gaia and Syndel.
- We can probably imagine that this is how most of the world regarded the Avatar's disappearance in Avatar: The Last Airbender; he is the physical incarnation of the World Spirit, the lone master of all four elements and link to the spirit world. And then he disappears, an entire nation gets wiped out in genocide and war rules the world for one-hundred years.
- On a smaller level in The Legend of Korra, when Aang was alive, Republic City was mostly harmonious. Yes, there were gangs around causing problems but life between benders and non-benders wasn't that bad. In the 17 years after his death, the bending-gangs are exerting more power over non-benders, even amounting to killing the wife of a prominent citizen and the gang is still running around, the ruling council no longer has any non-benders on it, they do nothing to try and quell the rising distress of the poor non-bending population, they allow bending corruption to fill Pro-Bending, the police don't seem to have any non-benders working the streets leaving no one for the poor non-benders to talk to and hope for help from, thus making the city ripe for the extremist group the Equalists to come in and slowly take over the city.