Ermac: We hunger for new souls.When two or more souls literally fuse into one singular soul, typically in a permanent manner. It may result from a Fusion Dance. It's also possible for transcendence to involve several personalities merging together into a single collective. An Assimilation Plot can be this on a large scale. Sister Trope to Split-Personality Merge, which is when this is done with a character who has dissociative identity disorder. Compare Mental Fusion, which is a temporary fusion of minds (though the mind-soul distinction is up to debate in some circles). Also Compare Mind Hive and Many Spirits Inside of One, both of which involve multiple separate spirits in the same body. Also also compare Your Soul Is Mine and Soul Power. It's different from Your Soul Is Mine because the soul is not consumed, but rather absorbed, still retaining some of its own uniqueness in the bigger whole. Not to be confused with Soul Music.
Kenshi: Thousands of souls but none your own.
Ermac: We are the thousands!
Kenshi: Thousands of souls but none your own.
Ermac: We are the thousands!
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Anime and Manga
- This occurs at the end of the first Ghost in the Shell manga (and in the film adaptation). Motoko Kusanagi and the Puppet Master merge souls (or rather, "Ghosts") to become a new being the with personalities of the two, only now moved to the body of a teenage girl android.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Third Impact as envisioned by Seele would've resulted in all human beings on the planet having their souls merged into one singular whole, with all individuality dissolved. Although the process is initiated in the middle of the End of Evangelion movie, it fortunately gets aborted before it reaches the point of irreversibility.
- In Bleach:
- Hollows become more powerful by eating each other (and human souls). At lower stages of strength, this normally leads to them becoming beastial creatures known as Gillians, composed of many thousands of souls and forming the first stage of a Hollow's existence as a Menos. Occasionally one of these hollows contain a soul strong willed enough to remain sapient and somewhat intelligent, which takes control and continues to feed on other hollows to become more powerful. If such a Gillian consumes enough souls, it turns into a more powerful and now-truly intelligent Adjuchas.
- Ichigo's inner hollow formed when the soul and reiryoku of the proto-arrancar "White" transferred from Masaki to Ichigo and merged with his Soul Reaper powers and Zanpakuto spirit.
- In general, this is how the Applied Phlebotinum in Bleach works regardless. Zanpakutou swords themselves are stated to be built from a conglomeration of souls, everything in the world itself (both the spiritual and physical) is said to be comprised of souls, and the Hyougyoku absorbs pieces of the souls of others in order to power up.
- Demons do this all the time, fusing together to make more powerful demons. The Shikon Jewel was created when a particularly large number of demons fused to fight a priestess. After a long battle both souls fused and crystallized into the series' MacGuffin.
- Naraku was created when the deranged and perverse thief (and Kikyou's Stalker with a Crush) Onigumo merged with thousands of demons. And at one point in order to obtain a stronger body, he perfoms a Kodoku spell: thousands of fierce demons fight inside a cave in a mountain, and the winner absorb and merge with the losers. Eventually Naraku ends up absorbing the surviving demon in himself.
- Dragon Ball Z: By putting his hand on Nail and later Kami, Piccolo absorbed them, gaining not only extra power but also their memories. This process was permanent; Piccolo's personality also seemed to underway slight changes after each absorption. A similar case was when Goku and Vegeta used the Potara earrings to fuse; however, in this case they split when they entered Buu's body, although it's the only way to split, and that fusion is otherwise permanent. The personality of the fused being seemed to be a mix of both Goku and Vegeta's personalities.
- In Shinzo, all Enterrans, the new inhabitants of Earth, are reduced to an Encard when defeated. The victor can then decide to keep the card, destroy it (effectively destroying that Enterran's soul) or eat or absorb it. The soul and power of the eaten Enterran are then merged with the eater's, who usually remains in control but does take over some of the physical characteristics of the other Enterran.
- Gaia and the alien Gaia in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within are two giant aggregates of ghosts. In the end, they merge.
- In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, the Oneroi, four dream gods, have a One-Winged Angel form that fuses four of their souls into a single body. While each souls is still separate, they work in tandem to keep the body from being destroyed by harm and grant it Nigh-Invulnerability. The catch? Attacking all four souls simultaneously with precision strikes can kill them.
- An arc of DC's Hitman comic featured the Mauser, a demonic minion created by merging the souls of several Nazi S.S. officers.
- Redlance and Nightfall in ElfQuest have their souls merged as an accidental side-effect of Nightfall's love bringing Redlance out of a Heroic B.S.O.D.. They get to keep their individual personalities, though.
- In "What If The Avengers Had Lost the Evolutionary War?" from the second volume of What If?, many of the superhumans cut their ties to humanity and leave Earth find their own destiny. Eventually, they merge with the Anthropomorphic Personifications of Death and Eternity, and the resulting entity leaves to create a big bang for a new universe, afterwhich it splits into just Death and Eternity. Meanwhile, humanity evolves to the point that the humans merge their minds and become one with the planet itself, transforming themselves into a Genius Loci.
- Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal had the wise Mystics and the wicked Skeksis, who were created when the Dark Crystal shattered. They were two halves of the souls of the creatures which shattered the crystal, and a death of a Mystic also kills their Skeksis counterpart, and vice versa. In the climax of the film, the crystal is mended by the hero Jen, and the two races are made one once more.
- Happens towards the end of Isaac Asimov's The Last Question, when the remaining humans (by now bodiless entities) merge one by one with humanity's hypercomputer, the Cosmic AC.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld: Thief of Time introduces Lobsang Ludd and his not-quite-twin brother Jeremy Clockson. The awful truth, when it comes out, is that they are not twins at all but the same soul born twice due to a temporal anomaly (their mother is the anthropomorphic personification of Time, and her labour got a bit strange, despite the best midwife in the Discworld being present). The two half-souls are allowed to fuse together towards the end of the book, with Lobsang dominating, so as to take over the job of running Time from their mother.
- In George Zebrowski's Macrolife, The Agregate of Minds is a distributed artificial intelligence (spread among a fleet of a million or so artificial worlds) whose countless processors and memory storage systems apparently include a library of simulated personalities. It is apparently capable of reversing the process, allowing a component intelligence to function independently in order to hold conversations and then reabsorbing it when done.
- Happens in Magic: The Gathering's Kamigawa Cycle between Michiko and The Taken One so that they can become Barrier Maidens.
- In The Legend of Drizzt Crenshinibon, an Artifact of Doom taking the form of a crystal shard (from whence the first book of The Icewind Dale Trilogy gets its name), was formed from a ritual that merged the souls of seven liches. Upon its destruction in Servant of the Shard the souls are apparently separated and pass on.
- In The Gods Themselves, this is how the Soft Ones in the parallel universe have sex. It's also how the Hard Ones are formed, when the last mating becomes permanent.
- A couple of examples from The Wheel of Time.
- Slayer, the Shadow's top assassin, was created from merging the souls (and bodies) of two separate men, Luc and Isam; though he still demonstrates separate personalities, the two souls and closely attached to each other in some unspecified manner, and he is known as "the Man with Two Souls" among the Shadow's elite.
- Early in the series, Mordeth tried to pull a Grand Theft Me on Padan Fain. Because of the Dark One's touch on Fain, this failed, and what resulted was a third personality that combined the worst elements of both men.
- Echo and Alpha from Dollhouse both have 40+ personalities inhabiting a single body. It is clearly shown in Echo's case that her "main" personality is an amalgamation of all the personalities she has been imprinted with, though she can seamlessly slip into one specific personality when needed. With Alpha, it's not as clearly defined and there are even a couple scenes where two or more of his personalities are openly arguing with each other. He does seem to have one "main" personality that is in overall control, though it is never clearly shown if this "main" personality is an amalgamation of all his personalities like Echo's is.
- Castiel, an angel from Supernatural, became something far more powerful by absorbing the souls of Purgatory. Unfortunately one set of them was too powerful for him and took over.
- Joined Trills in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fuse the consciousness of the near-human host with the consciousness of the slug-like symbiont to produce a new individual with personality traits of both. The symbiont is removable, but after 93 hours joined doing so will kill the host, and removed symbionts retain memories of past hosts.
- Hive, the Season 3 Big Bad of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is a parasitic Inhuman, who Body Surfs into freshly dead corpses whenever he's in need of a new host body. In doing so, he gains access to the new host's memories and personalities, allowing him to impersonate them well enough to convincingly fool anyone. And as it turns out, he keeps the memories of every prior host even after moving onto a new one, enabling him to shift between personalities at a whim.
- The Faithless song "We Come 1" deals with the merging of the speaker and the one addressed.
- The concept of Animism is loosely connected to this. Under an animistic belief, every individual object has a "soul". However, this becomes ambiguous when you consider that every "object" is made of smaller objects, and is itself part of a larger object. (For example, each speck of dirt makes a rock, which together make up mountains.) Thus, most animistic faiths have larger Deities which personify any concept are likely to be this, especially considering that no two worshippers interpret anything exactly the same way.
- This is the most common difference that Buddhism has from other "Dharmic" belief systems (such as Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism). While the latter three all believe in an eternal, unchangeable, immutable soul that stuck in the hellish cycle of rebirth, Buddhism instead argues that there is no such thing as a "self" and that once one lets go of the illusion that there is one, you are fully free to become one with this world and the one beyond. As such, the state of Nirvana is one in which there is one massive harmony of souls existing as one.
- The Greek philosopher Plotinus (c. 204-270 AD) postulated "Emanation ex deo (Out of God)". Basically, in the hierarchy of being, there is The One (who is all good, transcendent, and unchanging). The nature of the One is simply that it filters down itself, but the One never loses anything or changes. Next comes the Nous, or Divine Mind, and then bellow that is the Oversoul. From the Oversoul comes individual Human Souls. So what does this have to do with this trope? It's possible for a human soul to reunite with the One again, forever (at least in Neoplatonic tradition).
- In high Hindu philosophy, the goal of the soul, over however many incarnations it takes, is to unite with the Brahman, the absolute reality.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The God Emperor of Mankind was said to be the reincarnation of thousands of prehistoric shamans' souls, merged into a singular being.
- Slaanesh, an Eldritch Abomination and one of the setting's four Gods Of Evil, was born when countless Eldar souls that died in extremely decadent orgies and sadistic slaughters coalesced together into a single entity.
- Towards the end of Dust: An Elysian Tail it's revealed that Dust himself has the souls of Ginger's brother and the Big Bad's henchman/best friend who slew each other. It's explicitly stated that the resulting being has its own mind and body, with either soul just providing moral guidance and power respectively.
- Exdeath, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy V, came about after several beings and creatures were sealed within a tree in the Forest of Moore.
- Morrigan Aensland fused with Lilith, who was originally a part of her soul Split at Birth and henceforth exists as a Split Personality capable of manifesting in an independent body, as can be seen in Marvel vs. Capcom.
- Also, this is the basis of Jedah's Assimilation Plot in the third game. He plans on absorbing all of Makai's souls into his body, creating a perfect being (the Shintai) and then resetting all of reality so that he can save his world.
- StarCraft: The various "archons" created by the protoss.
- The first game's high templars can perform a one-way fusion into an archon, a ghostly psionic entity that is very damaging and quite hard to kill* . The Brood War expansion allows two dark templar to fuse into a dark archon, a caster unit.
- The Expanded Universe and Enslavers II add-on campaign have Ulrezaj, a rebel Dark Templar who eventually fuses with five others to form an Ax-Crazy super-archon of sorts. He's eventually defeated in the Dark Templar Trilogy by having the last of the templar Preservers sacrifice herself to seal him with her into a khaydarin crystal.
- StarCraft II dispenses with the dark archon, allowing archons (initially called twilight archons, but this was dropped in early patches) to be created from any combination of two high templar or dark templar.
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Jalhalla, the end boss of the Earth Temple, is essentially a collective of poes who merge into one massive poe. They (he) can only be harmed when they separate.
- Mortal Kombat:
- Shang Tsung's power is said to be derived from his having absorbed the souls of his vanquished opponents. He is dangerous because he is not one opponent, he is thousands.
- Ermac is made up of the thousands of souls whose shells died resisting Shao Kahn's rule fused together to make a body. Ermac serves as an enforcer for Shao Kahn, killing dissenters and adding their souls to his collection. His body is starting to degrade in Mortal Kombat X due to Shao Kahn's death.
- EverQuest II introduces the Duality. The combined essences of the great wizard Al'Kabor and a powerful necromancer named Dartain sharing one body. His physical body morphs between the two personalities at frequent intervals.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer the Thayan Academy of Shapers and Binders has a wizard who can fuse souls, and bound his own soul into a clay golem to do it more safely. A sidequest on the same level requires you to trade a particular soul to two pit fiends. Unfortunately, they can't agree on what the soul should have; in fact each gives mutually exclusive requirements. The solution ends up being to have the aforementioned wizard fuse two completely opposite souls together.
- At the end of the undead campaign in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Arthas merges his soul with the Lich King.
- The Generation IV Pokémon Spiritomb is a collection of 108 souls that have amalgamated together out of negative emotions.
- In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Digital Devil Saga 2, Serph and Sera fuse into the androgynous Seraph, gaining a new Atma form and pooling their learned skills in the process.
- There's conflicting evidence for this and Mind Hive in the case of Mass Effect's Reapers. They're created from the amalgamation of millions of sapient minds but it's unclear whether the souls are fused or exist separately: Legion states the latter, but Reapers act like single entities and refer to themselves with singular pronouns (contrast Legion, who always uses "we").
- By the end of Mass Effect 3, Legion's varying programs have knitted together to form a personality core. Unfortunately, he has to die to save his people soon after.
- In Dragon Quest VI, The Hero and Carver become merged with their Real World counterparts, granting them new powers. The Hero's counterpart takes a bit of work, though.
- At the very, very end of Tales of Symphonia, it's explained that this is what happened to the souls of the various Chosen Ones who sacrificed their lives in the Journey of Regeneration - they merged together along with Martel, the woman they were trying to revive, with the latter emerging as the dominant personality of the new mana tree's guardian spirit.
- The Final Boss of Dark Souls III is implied to be one of these. Specifically, it is implied to be the combined might and Souls of every being that ever Linked the First Flame, as its Japanese name translated is "Incarnation of Kings". It also borrows quite a few design cues from The Chosen Undead from Dark Souls and its second phase move set and theme is a direct Call Back to Gwyn, the first Lord of Cinder.
- The first of the Lords of Cinder, the powerful souls who once linked the fire, that the Ashen One faces on their journey is actually an entire army called the Abyss Watchers, who all partook in an oath and drank wolf blood, a process that fused their souls together. As such, they can only use the full extent of their powers while the soul inhabits a single individual and the player receives a single soul upon defeating them, entitled Soul of the Blood of the Wolf.
- Dominic Deegan:
- Acibek was a golem created by an ancient Elven tyrant who powered him with several souls combined together, many of them collected unwillingly, and not happy about it. The Sylvan Oracle and her own creation "Dirk the Mighty" were similar golems.
- And there's also the Storm of Souls, a raging maelstrom of souls formed from deceased members of the chaos-worshipping cult The Chosen and intended to be their weapon to destroy the world with. Acibek sacrificed himself to trap it in a cage forged from his own souls and centuries later the Sylvan Oracle sacrificed herself to destroy it.
- Vriska's and Tavros' dead bodies are thrown into Jane's game sprite, yanking their souls out of the afterlife and fusing them together as "Tavrisprite". Their personalities are so irreconcilable that the sprite explodes (sending the two souls back to the afterlife) mere moments later.
- Eridan and Sollux were successfully fused into an Erisolsprite (which spends most of his time flipping people off at random), and Equiusprite is fused with Dirk's sentient AI auto-responder to create Arquiusprite. Feferi and Nepeta were also fused into a Fefetasprite, which had a peaceful life for six months but doesn't last long once Erisolsprite and Arquiusprite start arguing over her.
- During a battle with Caliborn, Dirk ripped out his soul and shoved it into Lil' Cal. Unfortunately, Arquiusprite (Autoresponder + Equius) and half of Gamzee were dragged in as well. Lord English is a combination of Caliborn, the Autoresponder, Equius, and at least half of Gamzee's souls, though Caliborn seems to be the dominant party.
- This happens in Spinnerette, unfortunately the souls are evil souls from Hell merging together into a Kaiju-sized demon.
- In the backstory chapter of The Dragon Doctors, a massive time-destroying paradox (the ghost of a woman who used time-travel to kill her past self) is merged with the soul of a cyber-shaman, giving her a new physical existence and ending the unravelling of reality. Later, the shaman explains she had to undergo an "emergency meditation" to resolve her identity and that she's not entirely the Shelinda the other characters know.
- There was an episode of The Real Ghostbusters featuring an advanced anti-ghost robot designed to destroy (actually disperse) ghosts instead of capturing them. As soon as the dispersed essence concentration went above a certain threshold, well◊...
- Tigerhawk in Beast Wars was originally a Vok Emissary made from Tigatron and Airazor's bodies. However, their Sparks followed their bodies, and after Tigerhawk was defeated, Airazor and Tigatron's sparks merged and took control of the shell.