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Hellseeker
"Kageyama, won't you go to Hell with me?"
Sou Yaguruma, Kamen Rider Kabuto

A Hell Seeker is a character who actively is trying to get into Hell. Literally Hell, as in the afterlife of endless torment. Maybe he thinks that he will like it there, being allowed to "reign in hell" rather than becoming one of the tormented souls. (Such a character is usually eventually proven wrong, ending up at the bottom of the hellish food-chain.) Maybe he's concerned he'll otherwise wind up nowhere at all, or vanish entirely. Or maybe he's just trying to punish himself. Or maybe he lives in a setting where Hell is something much cooler than the horrors believed in by certain Real Life religions.

Since most religions forbid suicide, one wonders why these people don't just shoot themselves.

Contrast Heaven Seeker. Also contrast To Hell and Back and Deal with the Devil. The former is for characters who want to go to hell but want to get out afterwards, while the latter is when the character accept hell after death in return for getting good things in life - but does NOT have ending up in hell as a goal in itself, and is likely to try to escape from the deal.

Not to be confused with the Hellraiser: Hellseeker, although that movie is an example. See also Dystopia Justifies the Means.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Some Chick Tracts feature Straw Loser characters who believe that hell is cool. They are, of course, always proven wrong.
  • Inrutat of Pondus has a double subversion: A Death Metal satanist comes to heaven, looking awfully disappointed. An angel explain to him: "Oh, but this is your hell".
  • Steve Dallas on Bloom County mentioned this a few times, although it wasn't clear whether he wanted to go there or was simply resigned to the fact that he would.

    Film 
  • The Hellraiser movies have several characters with this mindset, and for some of them it even kinda works out - some of them are turned into cenobites, and enjoy it.

    Literature 
  • In the short story "Down Satan!" by Clive Barker, a wealthy businessman becomes convinced God doesn't exist, and decides to find out whether the devil does by building a literal Hell on Earth.
  • In Hideaway by Dean Koontz, the Serial Killer antagonist calls himself Vassago, believing he is the human incarnation of one of the demon princes of Hell and that by hideously murdering enough people, will be allowed to return to Hell at Satan's right hand. After killing them, he arranges their corpses in ways that symbolically/artistically represent the sins he fancies they committed, but truly knows the reason for doing this has nothing to do with punishing the guilty. It's also hinted at that his beliefs of demon heritage may not be so delusional after all
  • Hattie Durham is one briefly in the Left Behind series, after deciding that she does believe in God and the Bible, but doesn't believe she deserves to go to Heaven. She comes around eventually.
  • Quentin from The Sound and the Fury entertains the idea of going to hell with his sister for committing incest (which he didn't commit), in order to protect her. Or something.
  • Alma from Suffer the Little Children attempts to sell her soul to the Devil - she's from a very abusive family who are all convinced they are going to heaven, and she wants more than anything to escape from them. (It's a story by Aleister Crowley, who went through pretty much the same experience in his childhood.)
  • Mapleshade from Warrior Cats was this when alive: she hated StarClan and wanted to go to the Dark Forest.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Yaguruma/Kick Hopper in Kamen Rider Kabuto
  • Akumaro in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger wants to break the barrier between worlds and literally bring about hell on Earth. It's the only way he can see hell, because he was born a Gedoushuu (monsters of that series) instead of being a mortal who fell to The Dark Side.
  • In Blackadder, when the title character is made Archbishop of Canterbury he has to talk a dying landowner into leaving his lands to the Crown instead of the church. Since the landowner is convinced he'll go to hell without the blessing of the church, Edmund resorts to convincing him that hell is awesome.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Many of the Nephandi (fallen mages) in Mage: The Ascension. By the time they Descend they are already twisted enough to actually enjoy it in there.
  • The Fiendish Codex sourcebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 claim that many evil characters make deals with devils on the assumption that, after they die, they'll rocket to the top of Hell's hierarchy. "None ever look at a lemure [the bottom of Hell's food chain] and think that will be their eternity."
    • It is said, however, that when bargaining with devils, powerful enough characters can bargain for early or even immediate promotion to higher ranks.
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, devils are allowed to bargain with deceased mortals awaiting judgment in the Fugue Plane due an agreement they have with Kelemvor, the ruler of the place and the god of death. While not allowed to lie to or kidnap the dead souls, they may try to offer souls a bargain in exchange for coming with them, such as wealth for living families on Faerun, vengeance against still-living enemies, or even rapid promotion to stronger forms in the infernal hierarchy. Some mortals who worshipped cruel gods and/or lived lives where they violated their faiths may actually think Hell is better than the fate that awaits them, so while the devils' success rate isn't all that high, it's enough for them to keep at it.
  • Warboss Tuska from Warhammer 40,000. Led a Waaaagh into the Eye of Terror, the place where the Warp overlaps with reality, all so they could find a good fight. They found it all right.
  • In In Nomine, many who make a Deal with the Devil do so with the promise that they'll get preferential treatment when they finally bite it and go to Hell. Very rarely, their masters even keep their bargain.

    Video Games 
  • There is an old gamer joke about a hardcore Doom player who finds a Genie in a Bottle and is granted three wishes: IDDQD, IDKFA, and a one way trip to Hell.note 
  • The backstory of Zork has the legend of Saint Yoruk, who travelled to Hades to meet with the Devil and learn the secrets of magic from him. When Yoruk died, his soul went to heaven, but as he'd gotten used to Hades, he fought his way back there.
  • In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, the player can choose to perform mean/non-charitable options five times. If he does so, he enters hell when he dies.
  • Cassus Vicus of Clive Barker's Jericho was the only person who sought out the Pyxis on purpose. Coincidentally, he's the only one who has all his perverted, twisted, and depraved desires fulfilled, with no catches.

    Web Comics 
  • In Jack Lita wanted to go to hell so she could kill her father, again. Of course, she had no idea he had become one of the Seven Sins and she ended up helping him.
  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater wants to get to Hell to rule it. He succeeds...for a time. One thinks he's got to die again eventually, though.
  • Ink Catherly from Hitherby Dragons is a preteen adventurer determined to reach hell "because I'm an explorer". In this case, hell is located in an infinitely-tall tower inside her closet.
  • In Zodiac the super-villain Hellhound is a devout believer who derives horrible pleasure from burning others to death with his flame powers, seeing Hell as his vision of Heaven surrounded by an eternity of burning flesh.

    Other 
  • A common response to quotes on Fundies Say the Darndest Things is to suggest that if the person being quoted is going to Heaven, the commentator would rather go to Hell than be stuck with such a person for eternity.


Hell of a HeavenReligion TropesThe Heretic
Hell of a HeavenAfterlife TropesIronic Hell
Hellish HorseInfernal TropesHorny Devils
Heaven SeekerCharactersHeroes

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