Shepard: What is the individual in front of me called?As Hive Mind is one mind, many bodies, Mind Hive is many minds, one body. Mind / Consciousness / whatnot of different people are housed within one body, most likely through magical or technological means. The minds can communicate with each other, and normally actions are through consensus. Distinct from Split Personality because even if what's housed inside is totally separate entities that got merged, they still retain their individuality. Sometimes may speak in I Am Legion pattern. Compare Many Spirits Inside of One. See also Animal Eye Spies.
Legion: There is no "individual". We are geth. There are currently 1,183 programs active within this platform.
Legion: There is no "individual". We are geth. There are currently 1,183 programs active within this platform.
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Anime and Manga
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Hohenheim is this, due to being a living Philospher's Stone. He's revealed to have reached an accord with each of the tens of thousand souls sharing his body, though he's the dominant one in control.
- Envy's true form. He claims the souls lost their personalities long ago, but that doesn't stop faces from popping up all over him and wailing things like "mommy!". They also tend to speak for his subconscious ("Don't look!" "Don't Look!" "At me!"), so there are a lot of reasons he just doesn't wear this form normally.
- In Hellsing, vampires keep all the souls of the people they've devoured inside them. Alucard had millions of souls until the finale.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual World arc, after Nezbit of the KaibaCorp Big Five managed to take Honda's body, all five of them collectively shared the body in a duel against Yami Yugi and Jonouchi. Although they were able to chat amongst each other to make decisions, they rotated out who was in charge while also rotating deck masters.
- At the end Saint Beast: Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan, there is a monster made up of the angry spirits of purged angels, sharing one giant body of miasma. A similar case occurs earlier with the dead of the lake town.
- The AIM Fetus from the Level Upper arc of A Certain Scientific Railgun is a Mind Hive born from Hive Mind of the users/victims of Level Upper. It reflects their mind, all of whom lament their lot in life as weak espers. When the giant flying baby-thing is defeated, the victims of Level Upper wake up from their coma.
- Apocalymon from Digimon Adventure is a single life-form created from the collective data of all Digimon who died in failed attempts to evolve.
- Kirito Kamui from Psycho-Pass turned out to be this kind of entity, and as a collective he became immune to the Sibyl System, which analyses Crime Coefficients on an individual basis.
- The Kree Supreme Intelligence in Marvel Comics is the collected brains of all the important Kree, harvested upon their deaths.
- In Zorn & Dirna: Les Laminoirs, Death has been imprisoned and cannot claim any lives. Since people still age and become horrid-looking, necrotic zombie-lookalikes, they are by law forced to go (or be dragged) to facilities where they are beheaded... which won't kill them, but make the soul take residence in the axeman. Some of the axemen (who are usually prisoners) harbour several thousand souls, which can fight for control of the body.
- The Mega Man comic's version of Mega Man 3's Doc Robot is one, containing the personality chips of all eight Mega Man 2 robot masters.
- In B.P.R.D., the Oannes Society planned to save humanity from the Ogdru Jahad by preserving the souls of millions of people inside the bodies of a half dozen genetically engineered giants (with the unfortunate side-effect that everybody else would have wound up getting bumped off ahead of schedule).
- Winged Victory from Astro City is backed by the Council of Nike, a worldwide psychic network of thousands of women. Their unified goal is to help women everywhere, with Winged Victory being a vessel for their collective power. She becomes considerably weakened when they question her devotion to the cause.
- Deadpool has been known to house other minds within his own due to unusual circumstances. Agent Preston gets put into this position until they can put her mind into an LMD, while Madcap rode along in Deadpool's head for a while after merging with him, becoming the "second voice" in the Daniel Way run until they were split up again in Deadpool Annual #1.
- Charles Xavier's all powerful but tragically insane son, David Haller, has multiple personalities that are multiplying all the time. During his ongoing solo series he was given an animal motif of superorganisms such as bee hives or man-of-war jellyfish. He keeps them in check by imagining a prison where he drains their powers. When they assert dominance and assume control, it's depicted as them gnawing on his body.
- Bruce Banner has multiple personalities. Apart from the ones we've seen, they're all dormant, depicted in his mind as frozen in ice as a kind of stasis. When the ice breaks they start fighting for control.
- Similarly to Dune, Points Of Familiarity and its rewrite Surrogate Of Zero have a post-Third-Impact Shinji Ikari and the "Well of Souls." Near as anyone can determine, he is the last surviving human with a body. Everyone else lives in his head.
- Thousand Shinji: After Third Impact, the Well of Souls -an amalgam of the souls of all humans that got harvested during Instrumentality- is inside of the bodies of Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato.
- In The Exorcist, the demon Pazuzu appears to be one, containing the souls of the damned deceased. ("Your mother's in here with us, Kerras.") Maybe. Even less certain in the book.
- Sid 6.7 in Virtuosity is a virtual program who eventually gets downloaded into a self-regenerating android body. He's assembled out of the minds of dozens of psychopaths, murderers, and dictators, including the dead terrorist Matthew Grimes, the protagonist Barnes's previous nemesis. Grimes is repeatedly brought to the surface when Sid comes face to face with Barnes and influences Sid's desire to gain world notoriety.
- In Glen Cook's The Black Company novels, Soulcatcher (a powerful spellslinger whose primary talent is Exactly What It Says on the Tin), might well be the epitome of this trope.
- Hohass "Runt" Ekwesh from the X-Wing Series is this. He has many minds and they're all different. There's the pilot mind, the pirate mind, the careful mind, the student mind....yea, his entire race is made up of creatures with a different mind for each task.
- Frank Herbert's Dune series. Abominations are people who experience Bene Gesserit memory sharing before birth. As a result, they are subject to being taken over by the personalities of their genetic ancestors. This can lead to some interesting situations:
- Alia was taken over by multiple personalities just before her death. Prior to this, her grandfather Baron Vladimir Harkonnen had controlled her for a fair amount of time.
- Leto II reached a compromise: He built a sort of council of more level-headed ancestors (led by an Egyptian Pharaoh) to help him share his consciousness, staving off some of the crazy ones (like Baron Harkonnen).
- Robert A. Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil. After having his brain transplanted into another person's body, Johann Smith picks up additional personalities: first the one which formerly inhabited his body, and later that of his lawyer after the lawyer's death. Something of a subversion in that while he clearly knew things he could only have learned from the previous inhabitant of the body, there's no clear method of transfer for the lawyer's memories, so at some point he may have simply gone insane.
- Altogether Andrews from Discworld. He has several personalities lodging inside his body, some of which are only darkly referred to and never seen. And none of which are named Andrews. The going theory in-universe is that he was a psychic who let in too many wandering spirits, and the spirits eventually crowded him out.
- Clifford Simak's Time is a Simplest Thing has a psychic power called mindshake. It's a personality exchange.
- In Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, there are several ways this can happen. Alzabos are animals that can absorb the memories and personalities of the dead people they eat. Corpse-eater cults use an alzabo derived drug to do the same. The Autarches do the same by eating the brain of their predecessor while he or she is still alive.
- The protagonists of Black Star Rising by Frederik Pohl include a scientist known as Manyface, who once nearly died from brain damage that was treated by replacing the lost sections with pieces from the brain of a dead boy. When asked if he could remember his name, he gave it, then gave the dead boy's name a second later. The two realized that their joined knowledge was a great aid to the scientist's research, and by the start of the story they've collected so many brains they've had to undergo experimental skull-enlargement surgery to fit them all in.
- Shades in Inheritance Cycle.
- In Ekaterina Sedia's The Alchemy of Stone, the soul-smoker is this after a lifetime of absorbing ghosts.
- Shitload from John Dies at the End is so called because "there's a shitload of us in here."
- Lord Mark Vorkosigan in Mirror Dance develops four alternative personalities he calls his "black gang".
- It implies that It consumes or retains the souls of It's victims ("We all float down here"), making it a sort of Mind Hive. It may be lying.
- The basis of many "super-intelligences" in the Perry Rhodan universe, who tend to form when entire species Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence under the right conditions.
- Also seen in the so-called "concepts" briefly created by IT (the mostly-benevolent super-intelligence claiming among others the Milky Way galaxy as its domain, not the It cited just above) when the latter suffered from a spontaneous case of My Skull Runneth Over after absorbing virtually every human being on Earth at the time to save them from a rival. Concepts consisted of several minds in the body of one member of the group; the most iconic case was Kershyll Vanne, a highly trained agent who found himself sharing his body with the minds of six specialists with different areas of expertise. He ended up playing a key part in freeing the then-occupied galaxy.
- In Animorphs, the Ellimist has a pattern of switching between "I" and "we," so characters are unsure of how many Ellimists there are. The prequel book reveals that this trope is actually in play—before getting godlike powers, the Ellimist was an alien refugee captured by "Father," a massive sea-creature that killed countless people (including the few other members of the Ellmist's species) and absorbed their minds. The Ellimist eventually defeated Father and absorbed the minds into himself.
- In Remnants, Tate's "power" is that she turns into a sort of Beserker with a huge mouth who tries to eat anything around her. When she gets A Day in the Limelight, she winds up eating the villains and has their minds living in her head. Yago and Amelia wind up having a Heel–Face Turn and stay for the rest of her life.
- Author Keiichiro Hirano explores a similar idea - that of "dividuals" - in his 2009 near-future science-fiction / political thriller Dawn and his latest work Fill the Void. Acting as an alternative to "individualism" - that is, the idea that the different masks we wear in everyday life in response to the situations and people around us are all simply parts of the same core "personality" or "individual" - "dividualism" posits that the different personalities we seem to have are just that: distinct entities ("dividuals") generated naturally by the interaction between a person and his or her environment or conversational partners, all of which exist simultaneously within that person and emerge at the appropriate time. In the works (particularly Dawn), the implications of whether to accept or reject this model of "personhood" on the level of society are discussed at length, in the context of both intimate personal relationships and a major battle of political ideology.
- Mallory in the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy has "a head so full of dead people I suspect whoever I started off as should probably be counted as one of them". Mallory is a necromancer, which in this setting means collecting the data of now dead people to prevent their knowledge, skills and whatever else of themselves they had saved before death from being lost, and being able to use that information, all the while getting all the individual people to be nice to each other.
- While Mallory is an extreme example, the same technology allows for other people to have milder cases of this as well. For example, the ship's Captain and Chief Engineer both get their predecessors' data loaded into their brains, which enables them to use their knowledge and also to talk to them.
- And then there's eating other people, which is similar to the above, but obviously with less voluntary participation from the one being eaten.
- Quick Ben from the Malazan Book of the Fallen is Soulcatcher's (see above) understudy in this (and possibly inspired by the very same). He's got twelve souls rattling around in his brain and has a habit of talking to himself in different voices when no one's looking, but claims to have reached some kind of consensus with them.
- Journey to Chaos:
- Remho the Trickster is the God of the Theater and so he has four aspects within one personality; producer, director, casting director, and special effects artist. All of them coexist as one deity with four roles but occasionally they argue. When they argue it all comes out of Remho's single mouth.
- During Looming Shadow, Basilard looks into the surface of BloodDrinker's blade and sees countless Bladi chiefs staring back at him; the souls of the sword's previous wielders.
- A random Imperial from the Eldraeverse probably has both a personal assistant AI ("muse") and a fragment of the Eldraeic Transcend Hive Mind ("soul-shard") running in his head alongside his own mind. And since minds are software, this can scale up a long way.
- Lexx: Kai has the memories of all those he has assassinated in his service to His Divine Shadow.
- Dollhouse: By the end of the series, both Echo and Alpha have assimilated dozens of personalities.
- Red Dwarf: You may call me Legion, for we are many. "You mean you're a gestalt entity?" "Yes."
- The Time Lord Matrix in Doctor Who is a part of the Gallifreyan Hive Mind and houses the biodata of all deceased Gallifreyans, serving as an archive of the collected knowledge of Gallifrey. The Matrix feeds biodata into the Looms. It is not itself sentient, but it is possible to enter it as a virtual reality Cyberspace.
- Colony Sarff, Davros' servant from "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar", is a mass of sentient snakes which can collect together to take on a humanoid form. It claims to be a democracy.
- Done in Stargate SG-1 and again in Stargate Atlantis; in both cases, the mind hive was created to serve as The Ark.
- Crusade had one of these as a Monster of the Week. It began to spread parts of itself amongst the crew of the Excalibur, turning each crew-member into a platform for one of its personalities.
- Once Upon a Time: Season 5 reveals that every Dark One contains within themselves the spirits and memories of every other Dark One to come before them.
Mythology and Religion
- The Synad race from Dungeons & Dragons Complete Psionic handbook.
- Eldar exarchs in Warhammer 40,000 have the souls of all previous wearers of their armour bound into it. Though the mind of the wearer (usually) remains dominant, they can commune with the souls of the previous exarchs and gain their knowlege. Phoenix Lords, the oldest of the exarchs and creators of the Path of the Warrior are an exception though. Their souls are so powerful that the original personality will dominate all others, causing anybody who wears their armour to effectively become a reincarnation of the Phoenix Lord.
- Eldar Craftworlds are also this, as souls of dead Eldar are placed within the Craftworld's infinity circuit to protect them from being devoured by Slaanesh. There's an in-universe quote describing the Craftworld as "a living being, with a hundred thousand minds".
- Depending on which version of Emperor's backstory you subscribe to, he may be this - the most common tale states that he's an amalgamation of all Earth's shamans who put their souls together to form one being. It's unclear, however, if they haven't merged into a singular mind over time.
- Depending on how you interpret it, the finale of Little Shop of Horrors might imply that Audrey II's victims have become this.
- Ermac from the Mortal Kombat series was a single being created via the combination of a legion of souls by Shao Khan and tends to speak as "we" to represent this fact. Mortal Kombat 9 reveals that Edenia's former king Jerrod is one of the souls within Ermac. Mortal Kombat X, which follows a Time Skip after the previous game, implies that Shao Khan's soul has joined them.
- Archons and Dark Archons from Starcraft are the result of the merging of 2 High Templars or Dark Templars (or in Starcraft 2, one of each). Ulrezaj is an extreme case, the merging of 7 Dark Templars. Also, in the Dark Templar Saga novels, Jake (a human) and Zamara (a Protoss "preserver") merge; however, her presence in his mind causes a brain tumor.
- The Many in System Shock 2. In contrast to self-centered megalomaniac Shodan, who speaks in the voice of the legion, The Many alternate between separate and distinct voices. Humans assimilated by it begin slipping into the voice, though.
- The Beast in Homeworld Cataclysm is both. It converts spaceships and control them with its conciousness, but at the same time absorbs all the data it finds and uses it to form its speech pattern.
- The Valkyries of the Valkyrie Profile series utilize this trope. The souls of einherjar—warriors deemed worthy enough to become part of Odin's armies—are taken into a Valkyrie's body and dwell within her while she continues her duties in the mortal realms. As Valkyries are also responsible for helping to train einherjar in preparation for service in the afterlife, they can temporarily summon the einherjar to their side during combat.
- Alicia from Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is the best example of the trope in action. She's just a human teenager, but her body is also the "can" of the valkyrie Silmeria, who shares control of Alicia's body. Silmeria also has a large host of Einherjar residing within her, and they can speak in Alicia's mind (as they do in the opening cutscenes).
- Kingdom Hearts: Sora. There are three, maybe four, other minds in his heart at this point, and the earliest has been there since he was four. It comes to a head in 3D when he starts to learn the truth, and the villains ask where he ends and the others begin.
- As of Birth By Sleep, this turns out to also be true of Xehanort. He's got Terra, Master Xehanort, and Master Eraqus in his heart.
- The geth from Mass Effect are a purely software-based species, and house themselves in massive space-based data hubs that contain millions of geth programs, all of which communicate and work to build consensus. When the geth need to fight or perform other necessary tasks, they upload themselves into "mobile platforms" - the geth soldiers, ships, and vehicles encountered in the games themselves.
- "Individual" geth programs are said to be non-sapient, being too simple to function beyond their original purpose; this was an intentional limitation placed by the quarians to avoid creating an AI. However, when the programs are able to network together, they are able to create something greater than the sum of their parts and achieve a unique form of sapience.
- Most "mobile platforms" contain around a hundred geth and have intelligence limited to their designated task, though they can become more intelligent if additional platforms are nearby with which to network. The platform known as Legion is designed to operate outside geth space and so contains over a thousand programs, enough for autonomous operation and dialog with organic sapients.
- The Reapers are revealed to be this as well, by the end of Mass Effect 2. Legion points out this was already implied in the first game by comments regarding the nature of the first Reaper encountered.
Sovereign/Nazara: We are each a nation.
- Considering the revelations in the climax of the second game on how Reapers are created, it's possible that the individual "programs" of Reapers are actually the remaining minds of the intelligent beings used to produce the Reapers.
- The geth actually speculated correctly about the exact nature of the Reapers, though this was just one of many theories.
- Alex Mercer/ZEUS, from [PROTOTYPE]. The original Mercer was a Mad Scientist who unleashed the Blacklight virus on Penn Station to spite Blackwatch when they cornered him, but inadvertently became the host of the virus. Initially ZEUS, the player character, is the reanimated corpse of Mercer that thinks it's really him. However, as he kills and absorbs other humans, the original Mercer is supplanted as the memories and minds of his victims are incorporated into him. This actually causes ZEUS!Mercer to grow a conscience and become less of a dick than the real one.
- Alex: Because everyone I've killed... They're in me. They are me.
- In Tales of Symphonia the newborn Spirit Martel proclaims she is this, although it seems that while she's made up of all "who were sacrificed to the Great Seed", she has the appearance and personality of Martel Yggdrasil. It's unclear whether the souls comprising her will merge over time or not.
- In Portal 2, it is revealed that rogue AI GLaDOS was constructed with at least one if not more uploaded human personalities in addition to the multiple contradictory directives and Restraining Bolts that Aperture Science tried to install to keep it in check.
- Pokémon: Spiritomb is made up of 108 spirits combined into one rock called the Odd Keystone.
- An Original Character from the EA game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects was Brigade, a Super Soldier whose mind (and body) consisted of an entire squad killed in an explosion, and subsequently saved by Rukko, who implemented an alien neuro network to combine their minds after he used cybernetic components to merge their bodies. It's not without its effects, however...
- The Voices of Nerat from Tyranny devours the minds of people to claim their knowledge and power for himself. By the time the game takes place, he's absorbed countless people. Sirin the Archon of Song can't manipulate him with her Compelling Voice because there are simply too many minds inside him to dominate at once.
- Garth from Comedity, even most of the head-Garth represent part of his thinking process, the Muse and the Penguin is still quite independent.
- Kano of Kagerou has this trope in addition to split personalities. A large part of the mystery of his character is trying to keep track of who he is at any given moment and figuring out whether a character in his head is actually a different person trapped there (like Red) or another persona of his (possibly Kid and/or Dark).
- In Homestuck, when two sentient beings are used as the ingredients of a Sprite, this may be the result. An animal and a human results in the human mind being dominant with a few personality tics, while combining two sapient ingredients results in this trope, with the two minds attempting to work as one, with varied results.
- Chairman Jack of Chairman Jack: Emerge (The sequel to A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe) has been advanced to this point by the Everyman after he gains full power so that he has an entire board of various parties in his mind who move various actions.
- The Nobles in Deep Rise are this: Each have between 10 and 20 neural centres for each individual, collectively referred to as "Congress". Also, representative of the readers' suggestions.
- In Orion's Arm this the proposed explanation for how the minds of transapients work.
- Also believed to be how sapient minds work, except that only one "node" can operate at a time as opposed to several in even the simplest transapient.
- In addition there is polysophonce which operates more like Split Personality disorder.
- There was also an individual that was thought to be an example of this, composed of thousands of sophonts, usually experts at something. Then it was revealed that: 1. The meta-sophont was really composed of the relevant sections and memories of the original sophont, and 2. the sophonts involved were all kidnapped over a long period of time, although the perpetrator is still at large.
- Red vs. Blue has an unusual example. The Meta has a collection of A.I.'s in his head and continues to collect more. Since the A.I.'s are all fragments of an original A.I. it's a little unclear of how much individual personalities they - or their human host - retain.
- Butcher XIV from Worm carries the consciousnesses of every previous bearer of the Butcher mantle.
- This is pretty much exactly how Twitch Plays Pokémon works. It's essentially a game of Pokémon where the player character is controlled via chat by... anyone. The end result is that hundreds to thousands of people are constantly controlling the character. Imagine two or three people fighting over a video-game controller, multiplied by several thousand. Add to that about a 20+ second delay between input and action which the majority of people don't even realize is there.
- In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor explains that his stay on the Golden Throne has fractured his mind in so many tiny pieces that while he can conceivably know everything, he doesn't know this because the part of him knowing is in the other end of the Warp.
- Piccolo in Dragonball Z Abridged becomes one of these after fusing with Nail. Unlike in the source material, Nail retains his individuality inside Piccolo's mind after the fuse and can converse with/constantly annoy him freely. Later Piccolo also fuses with Kami, and his head starts getting even more busy.
- Coldstone from Gargoyles was created through cybernetics and sorcery from the remains of three separate gargoyles, and houses the minds of all three. Two of the souls are eventually placed in robot bodies of their own, Coldfire and Coldsteel.
- Happened once, temporarily, in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Buzz and Mira were fused together into a nasty blob-thing with eyestalks and two tongues, and their "internal arguements" formed much of the dialogue in the episode.
- Sage from Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 has the entire dormant Blue Sentient race hidden in her subconscious. She doesn't know this however, as her finding out would trigger their release.
- Fusion seems to work this way in Steven Universe. When two or more Gems fuse with each other, an entirely new entity is created, but if the new form is unbalanced or experiences emotional turmoil, the constituents can often be heard speaking back and forth through the combined form's individual voice. It's even described as one character as being akin to a conversation, though the literal metaphor of the Fusion Dance may be a more apt comparison, in that the result is no longer two beings, but not quite just a whole new being; rather, fusion is an experience, the parts having to work in-synch for the whole to function.
- There is a theory that human minds work like this.
- As well as Eric Berne's early model that essentially viewed some behaviour patterns as internal roleplaying sessions between one's learned roles (mostly reduced to basic "parent" and "child") and the part that isn't in this game and as such is more "rational". Which may be weird, but much less so than the facts he tried to explain.
- In addition, Friedrich Nietzsche once described the human mind as a bunch of conflicting souls (not the supernatural kind of course), with one soul in dominance.
- Real Life people with Multiple Personalities generally describe their experiences as being more along the lines of this trope than that one.
- Jungian psychology describes people this way. Each person has Personas, which are the masks a person uses when dealing with different situations. A person also has Shadows, which are the repressed thoughts and/or inner feelings you know would be a bad idea to express. So if your child accidentally breaks something expensive, you wear your Father Persona to calm down your child and say you're not angry, while your Shadow is screaming at you to punish him for doing so.
- Technically, anything with a nervous system is a Mind Hive in the same sense as the Geth are in Mass Effect—except replace "simple programs" with "cells". Even as part of a body, cells are still distinct life forms with their own personal, (albeit primitive) functions. Alone, even a brain cell is completely non-sapient. Working together with other cells however, the basal, one-track "motivation" of a cell can form an incredibly complex network of electrochemical interactions sufficient enough to carry out intelligent actions. This is how the brain is designed—our "minds" are the result of the interactions between over a hundred billion neurons and synapses mingling together to form a single greater consciousness above the level of any single cell.
- A lesser version of this is the result of what happens if the corpus callosum (a bundle of nerves that connect the two hemispheres of the brain) is cut. The left brain and right brain are unable to coordinate with each other they start to disagree on things. Since the left brain has the areas that govern communication, it's able to express its viewpoint, but the right brain doesn't so its mute.