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Hijacking Cthulhu
So, you have your average Body Surfer or enslaving sorceror. Eventually, they aim to become or enslave a powerful being beyond comprehension. And you know what? They succeed.

This is when a character takes forceful control over an Eldritch Abomination, Physical God, or simply something vastly more powerful than themselves.

Not to be confused with Hijacked by Ganon. Can involve Hypno Trinkets, Soul Jars, body swaps or Demonic Possession.

Differs from The Kid with the Remote Control in that this is a direct and hostile takeover of the target. Compare Olympus Mons and Captured Super Entity. But always keep in mind that Evil Is Not a Toy.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Code Geass, sort of; Lelouch briefly takes control of what is referred to as "GOD" using his Geass, but given the nature of his powers, he only has control momentarily.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father uses a massive-scale alchemy technique to absorb Truth into his body. He was never weak to begin with, but Truth is definitely far more powerful. This backfires on him because he eventually loses control and is dragged into the Gate of Truth.
  • The Mangekyo Sharingan in Naruto lets the user do this to the Tailed Beasts. Madara and Obito Uchiha used their Rinnegan eyes to do this the Ten Tails. More conventionally, after becoming the Ten Tailed Beast's jinchuuriki, Obito is overwhelmed by its power and his psyche is nearly torn to pieces, but he subdues it through sheer force of will coupled with his love for Rin.
  • There was a story arc of Haruhi Suzumiya where someone stole Haruhi's powers.
  • Mao Dante: The title demon tricks Ryo into freeing it, then rewards the boy by eating him. But somehow, Ryo's personality survives this, taking over Dante's body and displacing its previous human identity Judas Iscariot.
  • Captain Ginyu from Dragon Ball tries to do this to Goku. He fails spectacularly since he doesn't know how to use Goku's techniques.
    • In the arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes, Baby becomes Baby Janemba after infecting Super Janemba.
  • In K, the Colorless King tries to hijack the Silver King, who is effectively immortal. It backfires.
  • In the manga Koudelka (from Shadow Hearts franchise), the titular character manages to control a Cosmic Horror by hypnotizing herself before she got possessed by that monster, so she could awaken her personality while possesed and assert control. It is as awesome as it sounds.
  • The premise of Devilman is that a teenager named Akira hijacks his own Demonic Possession, which gives him full control over the demon Amon's power. His friend Ryu explains that any human can do this if he/she is able to retain their sense of reason.
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa initially planned to make her own Kishin, but decided it (e.g. Crona) was a failure, so she instead releases Asura, the original Kishin. After that, she apparently changed her mind about Crona and decided to try again to make hir a Kishin capable of devouring Asura himself, which she finishes with a Thanatos Gambit. All of this For Science!, essentially. Ultimately, Crona is able to eat Asura, but falls victim to Assimilation Backfire soon after.

    Comic Books 
  • In a Thor comic book annual, Demogorge the God-Eater, an ancient deity whose very purpose is to destroy gods, is awakened before its time and opposed by an alliance of heroic gods from Earth's various pantheons. He ends up eating them all, but Thor's will is too strong, and not only takes over its body, he forces it to restore all the deities it had already eaten!
  • At one time, the Hulk was hypnotized by the Ringmaster.
  • Mister Sinister took over the body of one of the Celestial Host, beings with such unfathomable power that one of them has more power than Galactus, through genetic usurping, basically turning him into a god.
  • To soften the First Lantern Volthoom for the kill, Hal Jordan kills himself, gets a Black Lantern Ring, and promptly summons friggin' Nekron.
  • Marvel Comics's Annihilation: Conquest kicks off when the (rather Borg-like) alien Phalanx try to assimilate Ultron. His will is so strong that he ends up mentally dominating their whole collective, making them drastically more dangerous than they were already.

    Literature 
  • In The Dresden Files:
    • Dead Beat, Harry successfully summons the Erlking, a king of The Fair Folk and one of the most powerful beings in the series, and traps it in the summoning circle. Although he by no means has control of it, he is able to keep it from attacking him or leaving.
    • Harry tops that in Cold Days when he wrests control of The Wild Hunt from the Erlking and Kringle. Although he later realizes that they let him win.
  • In The Wheel of Time, you have the a'dam, a slave collar that lets certain (mostly normal) women control Chanellers. This means someone below a novice can control the strongest possible chaneller if they have them captured.
    • The whole story began with an accidental attempt at this, when researchers in the Age of Legends tried to tap into a massive power source that turned out to be Satan. Whoops. The entire civilization was eventually destroyed.
  • Discworld
    • Granny Weatherwax has the ability to "borrow" the minds of living things. Among other more normal targets, she has used this ability on an entire swarm of bees, and a building (Unseen University, to be precise, which is a Genius Loci due to all the magic). Her pupil Eskarina Smith considered trying it on Great A'Tuin, the turtle that carries the world on its back, but decided against it at the last moment because she didn't think she'd be able to get back.
    • Guards! Guards! has Lupine Wonse use a book called The Summoning of Dragons to summon a dragon and control it... but the dragon doesn't stay under his control for long.
  • In Guild Wars 2: Edge of Destiny, the Golemancer Snaff enters Kralkatorrik's mind. It's described as a raging storm, but he manages to tame it, leaving Kralkatorrik catatonic. The operation itself fails, but the Battle in the Center of the Mind is won by Snaff.

    Live Action Television 
  • One episode of Angel had an aged sorcerer who could Body Surf, and would take over younger bodies that would eventually burn out. He hijacks Angel's body who, as an immortal vampire, will never burn out. He then tries to do everything in his power to keep this new body.

    Radio 
  • Old Harry's Game: Edith is quite possibly the only human who is clever enough to manipulate Satan into doing her bidding.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, a character may attempt to control a Sphere of Annihilation with her will (Willpower check). Doing so successfully results in her temporarily controlling a tear in the reality that is capable of destroying pretty much anything in the universe on touch, No Saving Throw allowed.
    • From the same (and its derivative Pathfinder), Dominate Monster. Provided you succeed, you now have complete control over whatever's in front of you, which can be anything from a true dragon to a Hekatonkheires.
    • Also, both systems have the Magic Jar spell.
  • Fluff in Warhammer 40,000 describes how a Khornate Berserker named Akraghar once jumped onto a Defiler (a giant daemon tank), broke it to his will, and rode it into battle as a steed. The resulting unit is called a Slaughterfiend, and other Khornate Berserkers love to attempt the same thing.
    • This is the concept behind piloting a Titan as well. The pilot, called a Princeps, must link with the Titan and bend its Machine Spirit to their will. This gives them the impression of actually being the Titan, an addictive feeling of power and strength. The trope is also inverted here as any Princeps who stays in command long enough is eventually dominated by the Titan's overpowering spirit. (In this case, Cthulhu hijacks you.)

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VII's Big Bad Sephiroth starts out as an Artificial Human infused with the cells of Jenova as a fetus. After his first "death", he assimilates Jenova in an attempt to become its successor. By the time of Advent Children, he is essentially a mass of Jenova cells in the shape of his old body.
  • In Final Fantasy X, this is effectively how the Final Summon works after "destroying" Sin. It takes the body, not the soul of Sin, meaning the one who kills Sin becomes the next Sin.
  • In the Scribblenauts series, the Mind-Control Ray can be used to control powerful beings like Vampires, Cthulhu, Dragons, and the like. Instantly adds the "loyal" adjective to the target. Hypnotic items are even better, since they affect inanimate objects as well. So, you can hijack Cthulhu, a volcano, and basically anything else you please.
  • This is a recurring point of contention in Mass Effect 3:
    • The Illusive Man believes he can do this to The Reapers, and use them to bring about humanity's dominance over the galaxy. Despite all his efforts, he ends up indoctrinated by the end of the game.
    • Commander Shepard can do this in the Control ending. The Extended Cut demonstrates the ramifications of doing this .
  • Gears of War: We're riding a Brumak.
  • This has been a running theme with Dr. Eggman since Sonic Adventure. It wasn't until Sonic Generations that he actually succeeded without it backfiring.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Yuga merges with Ganon and manages to remain in control. This may only be because Ganon would have done what Yuga does with his body, anyway, or maybe because Yuga is his Lorulean counterpart, but the fact that a wizard from a world without a Triforce is capable of controlling the possessor of Hyrule's Triforce of Power is impressive regardless.
  • By the end of Outlast (and its sequel-in-a-prequel Whistleblower), Miles Upshur has been possessed by the Walrider. At first it seems relatively... ominous, seeing as Miles dies almost immediately after, seemingly letting the Walrider free to start the end of the world. Then Whistleblower comes and shows us that Miles is alive... and has taken control of the Walrider.

    Webcomic 
  • Homestuck:
    • It has Her Imperious Condescension, who has reproduced the bronzeblood's animal empathy power and mind-controlled the GCat. GCat just so happens to be the alpha universe incarnation of Becquerel.
    • Far earlier, Tavros mind-controlled Becquerel and made him teleport a speeding bullet from "towards Jade" to "towards the adult intruder on her lawn". Unfortunately, Troll culture is unfamiliar with the concept of children being raised by their parents, and the "intruder" was actually her Grandpa.
    • The Condesce is also able to control Jade. Oh Crap.
    • To a lesser and/or greater degree, Aranea can control the clock(s) in charge of choosing whether God Tiers will revive or not. From a different universe. Which, again, means Her Imperious Condescension can probably do the same (and Vriska, though hers seems to be weaker).
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater absorbs FIVE Cthulhus. One of whom was himself.

    Web Original 
  • In the SCP Foundation, this is the ultimate goal of SCP-035. It's an Evil Mask that secretes a highly corrosive liquid that prevents it from keeping a host. It wants to take over SCP-682. Obviously, the Foundation doesn't want this, so it's taken to Mind Raping the personnel assigned to it.
    • A benevolent example: One of the short fiction pieces has the Foundation attempt to use SCP-963 to overwrite SCP-682's mind with that of Dr. Bright. This fails.

    Western Animation 
  • At the climax of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Plankton mind-controls King Neptune.
  • At one point in Transformers Animated, Megatron and Starscream take turns at the wheel of Omega Supreme.
  • In South Park, Cartman manipulates the actual Cthulhu via the Rule of Cute into trampling his enemies, namely the rest of the gang and anyone he suspects to be a hippie.
  • In a certain episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, a brain-eating alien monster with a familiar singing voice has been spending the whole episode being fed by Billy. When Mandy confronts it, it sucks out her brain.... but its aura immediately changes to resemble Mandy. Her only explanation is that her brain was too "spicy" for him.
    • Let's not forget the fact that Billy and Mandy control the Grim Reaper himself, and torture him every day with their dominance of him (what with Billy's stupid demands and Mandy's enslavement).
    • Nergal also manages to mind control Grim into being his friend in his second appearance.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Vilgax ends up as The Dragon to Diagon, a Cthulhu expy. That lasted as long as it took Vilgax to have his Dragon drop by with some special equipment, at which point he absorbed Diagon and took his power.
    • In the first season of Ultimate Alien, Aggreggor's master plan is to use his absorption powers on a newborn Celestialsapien, giving him god-like powers without the normal drawback of a Celestialsapien (since its mind hadn't developed yet, he wouldn't be hindered by needing agreement with the other personalities to actually use the powers).
  • This is the entire point of the Kur Stone in The Secret Saturdays. Zak has this as a power. It's not a coincidence.
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alternative title(s): Did You Just Hijack Cthulhu
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