Hybrid Power

"Half-Vampire, half-Lycan... but stronger than both!"
Singe, Underworld

Having Mixed Ancestry isn't fun. It's rather lonely not fully belonging to the societies of either parent, even if there isn't active discrimination against what you are. However, if one or both sides of the family have some special power or supernatural trait, there may be a bonus to being a half-breed: a powerball in the Superpower Lottery.

Blame Powers as Programs or LEGO Genetics, but any power possessed, even latently, by a parent, will always be passed on to their offspring, and the presence of a different strain on the other side of the family will only serve to amplify it. This is especially true if the powers are complementary in some way, but even if they are opposite: if someone with fire powers marries An Ice Person, their kid may well have both sets or even an amalgamated access to Pure Energy, a living Yin-Yang Bomb.

You might expect this to be less the case with Half-Human Hybrids or other combinations of the supernormal and the mundane, but this is not always so. Often as not, the mundane side will leave all of the powers intact, but mitigate any weaknesses, quite likely resulting in One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce. The Dhampyr is perhaps the ultimate example of this.

It's usually the Rule of Cool in action, but also Truth in Television to some extent. Mixing genes that don't normally mix can have unpredictable results. A good example is the liger — mating a male lion to a female tiger produces offspring that grow to be far larger than either parent.

Other than reproduction, this kind of advantageous combination can result from a Fusion Dance. A Hybrid Monster might be bred specifically to take advantage of this trope. Contrast All Genes Are Codominant, in which special traits are exactly half-inherited by the offspring. See also Lamarck Was Right.

See The Other Wiki's pages on heterosis and heterozygous advantage for some information on the real-life equivalent.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo is the offspring of a human and a shinigami. Thanks to the quirks of his parentage, he therefore possesses all the known power types in his world. Ginjou does claim Ichigo is not the first human/shinigami offspring to exist. His mother was an Echt Quincy whose soul was affected forever by one of Aizen's Hollow experiments, and to save her life, his father underwent a procedure to change him from a pure shinigami into a shinigami/human hybrid. As such, Ichigo was born with Quincy, Hollow, Human (Fullbringer) and Shinigami power, all of which have awakened at different speeds throughout the events.
    • When a person survives a Hollow attack, they are left with a residual taint of the Hollow's powers in their body. This is then passed on to an unborn child via the mother. The child is permanently affected by this, resulting in the birth of a Fullbringer: a human being with Hollow-originated powers and the ability to manipulate the souls of matter (whether living or inanimate) to achieve all sorts of power effects and outcomes.
    • This is also the premise behind Visoreds and Arrancar. The former are Shinigami who have acquired Hollow powers through artificial means, while the latters are Hollows who have literally broken their Masks in order to regain Human forms and Shinigami-like power.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Saiyan-human hybrids have far more inherent power than pure members of either race. The effect seems to get stronger with successive generations. At age five, Gohan could flatten mountains and stagger Freeza if he got angry enough. Around the same age, Goten and Trunks could go Super Saiyan without even trying.
    • Cell was created using DNA from Saiyans, Namekians, and... Freeza's race. As a result, he inherits the Namekians' ability to regenerate, the Saiyans' ability to gain power boosts after recovering from near-death, and Freeza's ability to survive in the vacuum of space. Which means that when he self-destructs and takes King Kai's planet with him (he intended to do that to Earth, but Goku teleported him away at the last second), he manages to survive, regenerate From a Single Cell, and come back even more powerful than before.
  • InuYasha: The eponynous half-demon is more powerful for it. Due to his incredibly powerful father he has more power than most demons, and his human side grants him use of the sword forged from his father's fang, which lets him take out any demons his own powers can't take.
  • This trope is the entire basis of Rikuo and Rihan's ability, Matoi in Nurarihyon No Mago. Being part human they can be possessed by their youkai subordinates but because they're also part youkai they have the ability to control the "fear" aura of the one possessing them, resulting in a Fusion Dance type situation.
  • Yusuke of YuYu Hakusho is revealed to be the descendant of a very powerful demon who had fallen in love with a human. After his demon genes become active, he gains the ability to use both Demon Energy and his original human-based Spirit Energy, eventually creating something akin to Sensui's Sacred Energy by combining the two.
  • One-Eyed Ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul are rumored to be the result of matings between a male Ghoul and a female Human, and far more powerful than a full-blooded Ghoul due to Hybrid Vigor. Ken Kaneki is an Artificially-created hybrid, and proves to be exceptionally powerful once he actually begins using his abilities. The only other case on record, the legendary One-Eyed Owl (aka Eto Yoshimura/Sen Takatsuki), is believed to be the most powerful Ghoul CCG has ever encountered.

    Comic Books 
  • Blade, a classic dhampyr, has all the strengths of vampires, but none of the weaknesses, barring a much weaker desire for blood which he treats with a serum.
  • Magnus, an alternate son of Magneto and Rogue, has the power of magnetism from his father, and a variation of his mother's deadly touch; in this case skin to skin contact will cause the victim to turn to pure metal.
  • The Witchblade is a living weapon that has been used by females, and some males, over the generations. It was the offspring of the Darkness and Angelus. It has the power to create a blade, fire energy beams, create wings for flight, and can cover the host in body armor, most of the time. It also doesn't have any of its parents' weaknesses; The Darkness can't function in light, while the Angelus can't fight in the dark.
  • Ruby Summers, the daughter of Scott Summers and Emma Frost from a Bad Future seen in X-Factor has her dad's Eye Beams, and her mother's jewel form, only instead of turning to diamond, she turns to ruby quartz (the only thing that can control Cyclops's optic blast).
  • The French comic Zombillenium (about monsters running their horror-themed amusement park) has a new employee get repeatedly bitten by a werewolf and a vampire due to each being shortstaffed in their department. This ends up turning him into a Big Red Devil and the park's newest attraction.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge, Kaiser Ghidorah is portrayed a hybrid of Xilian and King Ghidorah's genes. Already an incredibly powerful kaiju, it's implied he's potentially more powerful than a super charged Grand King Ghidorah and is one of only two beings so far that has the Big Bad Bagan concerned. Unfortunately, he's a bloodthirsty sociopath...
  • Child of the Storm suggests, on the face of it, that this will be the case with Harry. Thanks to his parentage (James was Thor) not only will he have the advantage of being a living magical reactor that all Asgardians do and develop his father's Super Strength, he's also a relative of Jean Grey on his mother's side and inherited the vast psychic powers which, on top of everything else, will be stronger in that he can channel more energy. While this seems set to drive him straight into Mary Sue territory, this is Harry. There are caveats and really, it's more a case of Blessed with Suck. The Super Strength comes through only in intermittent bursts meaning that he lives in mortal fear of shaking someone's hand and squashing it or similar, the Psychic Powers come through violently, are dangerously uncontrollable for a good while nearly getting him, Ron and Hermione killed and leave him open for Voldemort to play Power Parasite, and Word of God says that he'll never be as strong as Jean is (on the other hand, as Word of God admits, this is not saying much)]] and he lacks the skills and abilities to use those powers effectively. Oh, and Doctor McCoy theorises that the steady altering of his body and brain chemistry by his Asgardian genes could mean that his Psychic Powers will eventually shortcircuit his brain.
  • The "Let's make Touhou kids" meme churns out kids with characteristics (appearance, clothes, powers and personality) of both parents. As Touhou characters cover damn near every slot in the Superpower Lottery (in addition to flight and Bullet Hell as standard), this ends up creating drunkards who can create portals to anywhere, a Cloud Cuckoolander with power over ice and nukes, a girl throwing out Kamehame Hadokens at supersonic speeds...
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • The Super Soldier project that created General-Admiral Makarov was invoking this by creating unicorn/deer hybrids, with Makarov being the only surviving and most successful one. It turns out this is a complete lie: while the experiment DID happen, it was an utter failure as genetics don't work that way. Makarov's powers are something else entirely.
    • Demi Gods have some unique powers due to their hybrid nature. While full Gods can be detected, Demi-Gods' mortal halves hide their divine half (which seems to be why Fluttercruel has gone mostly unnoticed as being one, even to beings that can sense she's in there). While full deities either need to cause a large distortion or create an Avatar to manifest into the mortal world, Demi-Gods have the ability to go back and forth between the mortal and spirit worlds at will. These abilities are why in Loose Canon (and later Ascended Canon), Venus helps a pegasus named Lovestruck merge with the Shadow of Existence of her demi-god son Cupid to become a Demi-God herself: it makes her rather ideal for rescuing ponies cause in Discord's endgame because she can use her full Demi-God power to protect ponies without being detected and can flee into the spirit world for quick escapes.

    Film 
  • Little Nicky, being the offspring of Satan and an angel, can perform both good and evil miracles.
  • In Sky High (2005), the protagonist thinks he's powerless because his abilities are rather late to bloom. Turns out he gets both his dad's brute strength and his mom's flight (at different times), making him a Flying Brick.
  • The overarching story arc of the Underworld series is pretty much driven by this trope, though only the fourth movie features a child inheriting both parents' powers—other hybridization instances are carried out via vampiric blood absorption/transmission. While originally hybrids are thought to be hard to create, and a lot of research went into finding one way it may be possible, the series features the following examples:
    • Michael Corwin becomes a werewolf-vampire hybrid by getting subsequently bitten by Lucius, a werewolf, and Selene, a vampire, but only because he is a human descendant of the first immortal Alexander Corvinus, carrying the original strain of the virus.
    • Marcus the first vampire becomes one in the second movie, by drinking werewolf blood.
    • Selene becomes a vampire-Immortal hybrid (among other things, rendering her immune to sunlight) by drinking Alexander Corvinus' blood in the second movie.
    • The fourth movie reveals that Selene and Michael's daughter inherited both her dad's werewolf strength and her mom's vampiric abilities. Since most of Selene's pregnancy occurred after she became an immortal, it is likely that Eve inherited immortality, as well, making her a triple hybrid.
  • Blade: the title character is a "daywalker," a half-vampire who explicitly has all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses.

    Literature 
  • Demigods in Percy Jackson and the Olympians are often chosen by the gods to do their work because being half-god and half-mortal, they straddle both worlds and can go places and do things that either mortals or gods cannot. Downplayed in that they also have combined weaknesses to balance out the powers; for example, half-bloods can be Killed Off for Real using Celestial bronze, something that neither gods (who can't die) nor humans (who are immune to magical weapons) can do.
  • The Silmarillion: The offspring of Beren [a Man] and Lúthien [an Elf with Maiar heredity] have the ability to choose which race they belong to, which determines their ultimate fate. Even if they choose the human side, they can expect to live hundreds of years.note 
  • In The Halfblood Chronicles, the titular halfbloods (half-human/half-elf) have both the magic abilities of elves and Psychic Powers (namely Telepathy and Telekensis) of humans.
  • In Red Moon Rising, the protagonist Danny is a half-vampyre half-werewulf, though he's had genetic treatments to suppress his wolf side. Eventually it emerges, as it does he finds that he doesn't bleed as much as a normal vampire, has heightened senses at all times, and can withstand sunlight due to both his hybrid status and his incomplete gene treatments.
  • In Mistborn, the fusion of Allomancy and Feruchemy creates an effect called Compounding, where a person who can use both arts with the same metal can store up a resource like health or age with Feruchemy, then use Allomancy to vastly increase the amount of that resource is available, effectively resulting in effects like an unlimited Healing Factor or eternal youth.
  • In the second Apprentice Adept triogy, Flach is half-human/half-unicorn (Unicorns in this universe being Voluntary Shapeshifters who can take human form). The increased magical potential from his human father gives him shapeshifting abilities above and beyond any other unicorn's. Most unicorns take years to master one (usually, but not always, human) or two alternate forms. We see five year-old Flach use three (human, vampire bat, wolf) at an age where most unicorn foals haven't even tried one yet.
  • In the Harry Potter universe it is implied that later generations of pure-blooded Wizard families can have their powers muted. There are several examples in the series of half-blood Wizards having particularly potent powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Charmed, a common witch power is telekinesis and a common power for Whitelighters is orbing. Paige, Chris, and Wyatt, who are all half-witch/half-whitelighter, they each combine these powers into orb-telekinesis.
  • In the fourth series finale of the rebooted Doctor Who, the Doctor undergoes a "biological meta-crisis" in which he uses regeneration energy to form a clone which has some of Donna's personality. More importantly, the same process gives Donna the Doctor's mental prowess, which, combined with her "gut instinct" as a human, makes her a hypergenius capable of things even the Doctor would never think to do. Unfortunately, the human-Time Lord meta-crisis proves to be unstable, and would kill her if she didn't have her memory erased.
  • Inverted in Farscape by Scorpius, the offspring of a Sebacean and a Scarran. He inherited both the Scarran bodily trait of massive internal heat generation, and the Sebacean inability to regulate body temperature easily—requiring him to use cooling rods inserted in his head to survive, which created a certain vulnerability. Other than that, he was quite badass, however, both physically and mentally.
    • His hybrid physiology does allow him to distinguish heat signatures, however, which allows him to distinguish species and tell when someone is lying.
  • Supernatural: Jane the Nephilim was physically stronger than Castiel or Metatron and tosses them around in the fight.
  • Connor in Angel is the Dhampyr version...he has the strength and enhanced senses of the vampire with none of the drawbacks. However, he is not as resistant as a vampire. Because his body is alive and not undead, he can come to harm, for example by modern firearms.
    • The two half-demons Nash and Pearl say that demons are strong but also archaic, while humans are modern, but also weak. They believe that they are the new evolution of demons and humans alike, because they combine the best of both species in themselves. Something similar also claimed Adam, who was artificially created hybrid of humans and demons and machinery.
      • Of course it may be that they have it say pejorative, because every now and then there are quite demons that have adapted well to the human community. However, quite striking that almost all half-demons were very "human" in their motives and actions, and are better not underestimate as an opponent.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva: The title character, Wataru Kurenai, whose Fangire side allows him to become Kiva and his human side prevents him from feeling the urge to drain human life energy. However, the fact that he is only half-Fangire also prevents him from being able to utilize the full power of Kiva. This is illustrated by the chains binding his Rider form. Furthermore, his human blood keeps his Fangire form in line. And if let loose, Wataru becomes more or less an animal as shown in #39 and #40.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Werewolf-Vampire hybrids are stronger, faster, and have better senses than ordinary Vampires and Werewolves, and become even more powerful under the Full Moon. They are also immune to vampire and werewolf weaknesses like sunlight and silver, posses the same venomous bite for vampires as an normal werewolf, and unlike normal werewolves can transform into their wolf form at will.
    • Vampire-Witch hybrids were originally thought impossible due to the rules of nature; a Witch that becomes a Vampire loses her connection to nature, and thus her witch powers. However, a group of mutated witches called "Siphoners" had the ability to drain magic from any source to power their own, and because the rules of nature didn't take their brand of magic into account they retain this ability after transitioning into a vampire. Afterwards, a Siphoner could feed off the same vampire magic that makes them immortal to cast spells. These Vampire-Witch hybrids can also walk in the sunlight without harm, and even cure themselves of werewolf's venom by draining the magic out of it.
    • Witch-Werewolf hybrids posses all the abilities of a normal werewolf while retaining their spell-casting powers. They also lose the weakness to silver a normal werewolf possess.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Munchkin, this happens whenever a player uses Half-Breed with a single race card — he gets bonuses against anyone that race card gives bonuses against, but doesn't take penalties when fighting monsters who have an advantage over that race.

    Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry 4: Angus wonders why Dante was more powerful than he. While he [Dante] never gives Angus a straight, it pretty munch boils down that he [Dante] has the power of the demons and determination or soul of a human that makes him powerful.
    • Dm C Devil May Cry has a better example with that version of Dante who is half demon and half angel, and thus has access to weapons with both demonic and angelic power. Ditto for Virgil.
  • In Diablo, all humans on the world of Sanctuary are the descendants of the Nephalem, offspring of renegade angels and demons. The Nephalem had power that potentially far outstrips their parent races, and in fear of them the angels tuned the Worldstone to diminish their power, resulting in the mostly ordinary human race.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates provide players with the ability to pair units in marriage, and allows their offspring to inherit their last equipped skill (one from the father and one from their mother), plus letting their base stats be influenced by the stats of the respective parents at the time the player encounters each kid on the game.
  • In Fire Emblem Tellius, the offspring of Beorc and Laguz are known as the Branded (from the marks they have somewhere on their bodies, usually kept hidden) or Parentless. They often have special abilities, but it's generally considered a great stigma, until Radiant Dawn when it turns out the Apostle and Empress of the Begnion Empire is a Branded, the descendant of the Laguz Heron Lehran and the Beorc woman Altina, which enables them to hear the voice of the Goddess Yune. Also, aside from Ike's army, most of those unaffected by Ashera turning the entire population to stone are Branded due to her having no idea that they exist.
  • A variant in Pokémon games via Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Breeding two mons together produces a mon of the females' species, that will learn some of the male's moves. So in theory the new mon might have some more powerful moves (sometimes at level 5, meaning just-hatched) without any drawbacks except that hatching it takes longer.
  • In StarCraft, two alien races were uplifted by the Xel'Naga: The protoss, who with their powerful bodies and Psychic Powers, are deemed to have "purity of form", and the Zerg, which with their mutative adaptibility, Hive Mind and resultant singularity of purpose, have "purity of essence". Eventually agents of a renegade Xel'Naga create a hybrid species, which have the strengths of each, supposedly making them the Ultimate Life Form.
  • Xenoblade: Half-Homs High Entia, despite their usually smaller head wings and lack of Pointy Ears, are just as long-lived and capable of manipulating ether as their pure-blooded cousins. What really sets them apart is that they are cured of the genetic "curse" that can eventually turn pure High Entia into mindless Telethia.
  • In Skylanders, Sunburn is a dragon-phoenix, which grants him rare powers like teleportation. This actually turns out to be a mixed blessing, as his abilities make him a target for unscrupulous wizards; part of the reason he joined the Skylanders is for protection.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, when visiting the Labyrinth of Amala, a Loa comments demons sacrificed their ability to change and grow in exchange for a form of immortality, while humanity kept it at the cost of remaining mortal. He passingly wonders what this means for the Player Character, the Demi-Fiend, who has the body of a demon and a human heart and soul, thus combining the best attributes of both...
  • In SaGa Frontier. Humans increase their stats by developing their bodies and minds through training and battle, and can learn Sword, Gun and Fighting skills by using the requisite weapons in combat; they can also use nearly any equipment. By contrast, Mystics grow in power by absorbing monsters into their Mystic Weapons, gaining increases to stats and skills based on the monsters they have in their gear at any point, and many Mystics have equipment slots permanently occupied by mystical armor (which is often less useful than top-tier gear by a long shot); both species can learn Magic. Half-Mystic Asellus normally develops as a human, but can use Mystic Weapons, absorb monsters, and change into a Mystic form to boost her human abilities, yet lacks the problematic Mystic Armor. One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce doesn't even begin to describe it; this combination possibly makes her the most powerful being in the world, period.
  • Subverted in Bayonetta; Despite being the daughter of an Umbra Witch and an Lumen Sage, Bayonetta only has Umbra Witch powers.
  • In Boktai, both Sabata and Django are essentially half-immortal on their mother's side and as a result are mostly immune to Klorofolun: while it saps their strength on contact, a normal human would instantly turn undead if they so much as touched it. It's also implied to be the reason Django was able to become a half-vampire (though he still would have turned completely had they not used the Pile Driver on him first), and the reason why Sabata was able to be imbued with Dark Matter.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Averted over the course of a single generation, as interbreeding between the races results in offspring who almost entirely take after the mother. For example, the child of an Altmer father and Nord mother won't come out as a mixed Magic Knight, but will be 99.9% Nord in appearance and abilities with the the chance of having a slight point to his ears or perhaps a slight change to his complexion.
    • The Bretons of High Rock were born of a eugenics program which mated elves with the Nedes, the common ancestor of the human races of Tamriel (except for the Redguard and maybe the Nords, there are conflicting histories in the series' lore), over many generations. As a result, the Bretons have an innate affinity for magic but they possess human frames and lack the physical frailty that plagues the elvish races of Nirn, which inclines them towards being Magic Knights to the Nords' Magically Inept Fighter and the High Elf's Squishy Wizard. In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bretons are Game Breakers as their racial trait, a 50% resistance to all magic, can be stacked with a single item with also grants 50% resistance to magic as well as 35% chance to reflect spells, creating a character which is completely invincible to all magical and elemental attacks, only physical strikes hurting them.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Nasuverse, this crops up fairly often, mostly in Tsukihime, since it has the most focus on it. Descendants of oni and humans are regularly shown as having supernatural powers that don't seem to originate from either side and the distinct advantage of being solidly grounded in reality, as opposed to regular oni, which are considered to be 'demons,' formless forces of nature with incomprehensible minds, morality, and physics that are given shape by human thought and aren't good at maintaining physical form (although, oni hybrids also have severe disadvantages that pure oni and pure humans don't, most notably that they are at constant risk of degenerating into feral, animalistic madmen). The powers held by oni hybrids are pretty much random: Akiha has Prehensile Hair, the ability to 'Plunder' heat and life force from things simply by looking at them, and an innate ability to create shikigami; SHIKI has his 'Death Resistive Body', the ability to heal his own wounds by eating human flesh, and the ability to control, shape, and solidify his shed blood; Kouma has Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Toughness, and pyrokinesis; and Miyako has very mild Super Strength. The only ability common to all half-breeds is magic resistance, which is apparently simply a natural quality of any human/supernatural creature hybrid.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
    • Inverted in an episode of the original series where the Omnitrix is damaged, causing Ben to assume hybrids of his normal forms. In all cases, these new forms are worse than his normal ones.
    • Played with when Kevin is transformed into a Shapeshifter Mashup of all of Ben's forms. While none of his powers are as strong as the originals, Ben points out that he can combine them to use strategies that none of his forms could use by themselves (the simplest being that weak versions of Super Strength, Super Speed and Super Toughness equals "one mean punch").
  • Steven Universe is half-human, half-Gem. At first, the human half mostly just seems to be inconvenient for him, if not life-threatening; Steven isn't as strong or fast as other Gems, less able to control his powers, and isn't The Needless (though he is stronger and more durable than a normal human). However, a couple episodes suggests that his abilities will grow to become stronger than even his mother's were, and the Season 1 finale show one vital benefit to having an organic body: Steven is immune to advanced Gem technology that can instantly destroy the body of a regular gem. "Alone Together" reveals another ability he has that the other Gems lack: the ability to fuse with humans in addition to Gems. Probably best thing about being a human/Gem hybrid, however, is that since he was raised among both, he's the only person in the world who can easily empathise with and understand both sides...

    Real Life 
  • According to an anecdote told variously about George Bernard Shaw and Isadora Duncan/Sandra Bernhardt, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe, etc., the woman says to the man, "You are the greatest brain in the world and I have the most beautiful body, so we ought to produce the most perfect child." He responds, "What if the child inherits my beauty and your brains?"
  • Ligers, the offspring of a male lion and female tiger. They are massive due to heterosis, but mainly a defective growth inhibitor (up to 900lbs, compared to a 400lb tiger) and much more powerful than either parent. That said, while retaining speed, such size might work against them were they ever wild, since they have to eat more. Interestingly, it doesn't work the same way with tigons, where the parents are somewhat reversed; they tend to be only as large as female tigers, due to overdominance of the growth inhibitor.
  • Domesticated maize, one of the most widely-grown and productive cereals in the world, was repeatedly back-crossed with its wild ancestor, teosinte, over the course of its history.
    • Indeed, commercial seed companies continue this process today to improve yields and build stamina so fields of corn can stand up to adverse weather and pressure from pests such as insects and weeds. Bio-engineering, for all the controversy surrounding it, is an attempt to replicate this using lab techniques to shorten the amount of time it takes to arrive at this effect through crossbreeding.
  • Mules tend to be more intelligent than either donkeys or horses, are able to pull and carry a slightly higher percent of their body weight, and have considerably more stamina than either parent.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HybridPower