A person has just been hit by a laser beam
, or a truck
. The person doesn't fly off into space
, though. Instead, he shatters into hundreds of... animals? Which then flock over in unison
to a different spot? Then regroups into that person again, whole and unscathed?
Alternatively, the person may not be in imminent danger of being splattered into pieces involuntarily, and merely decide to scatter himself into many many tiny bits which then fly away elsewhere. And even then, the go-elsewhere part is also optional; the person may just scatter into dust lest a truck runs him over.
Most of the time, the person in question has a superpower, or may also be supernatural, or may be in fact The Worm That Walks
Unlike in the case of Literally Shattered Lives
, those employing this trope don't die from being shattered. See also Pulling Themselves Together
, which is similar to the second half of this trope, and generally trauma-induced.
Not to be confused with Million-to-One Chance
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Examples for trauma-induced variants
- This happens with cars in an insurance commercial (Liberty Mutual?) The car would be rear ended, and fly into little pieces, before reforming a short ways away.
Anime And Manga
- Kinnikuman: When Kinnikuman uses his Megaton Punch to shatter Akuma Shogun's body, it breaks into hundreds of razor-sharp pieces that fly though Kinnikuman's body before reforming.
- From Naruto, Itachi Uchiha's crow-clone genjutsu invokes this. As does Shino Aburame's insect clone jutsu.
- Gabriel in The Prophecy series sometimes teleports this way, as when a shot from a gun turns him temporarily into a murder of crows.
- Madonna's music video Frozen has one scene where she seemingly falls over and shatters into crows which then fly away.
- In 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the crystalline beings known as the Shardmind have an ability that lets them separate into individual pieces and reform a short distance away after being successfully attacked.
- In Bayonetta, by dodging an attack at the very last second, Bayonetta can shatter into bats upon getting hit, negating the attack and gaining increased amounts of Witch Time in the process. For Jeanne, this is the only way she can get any normally.
- This is an infuriating ability of the "Golden Knight" enemies in Karnov.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Jalhalla, boss of the Earth Temple. Killing the smaller parts is what actually harms it, as evidenced by its lifebar.
- Boolossus, the third boss of Luigi's Mansion, is defeated by luring him into the horn of a nearby ice unicorn statue, causing him to pop into many smaller Boos, which you can then capture.
- This is how the player character "dies"/or just before they die and regroups themselves in cat planet.
Examples for at-will variants
Anime and Manga
- In the manga version of Guyver, Aptom converts his own body into Gaster's organic missiles to attack an enemy. After Aptom converts himself completely, the manga cuts to a distant rooftop, where it is revealed that while most of the missiles blew up, some of them flew away and recombined into a diminished Aptom.
- The 2010 Clash of the Titans has Hades teleport by having demon imps fuse into him (and he can fission into said imps). He also has a "conventional" Villain Teleportation where he appears from what is essentially a shadowy black hole that has sucked up a platoon of Argosian soldiers.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The vampire Mina Harker can split up into a swarm of bats at will, travel some distance and reform into a human again.
- Snow White & the Huntsman gives this ability to the Evil Queen, who can disperse into crows.
- Little Nicky once turned into a bunch of spiders to escape an angry mob, then reformed in his apartment.
- Lance-Constable Sally von Humpeding, the first vampire to join the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in Thud!, turns into a flock of bats, much like the movie version of Mina. This is theoretically easier than turning into a single bat since you don't have Shapeshifter Baggage problems. What you do have are "keeping track of where they all are" problems.
- In the Wild Cards novels Inside Straight, Busted Flush and Suicide Kings, Jonathan Hive has the power to turn himself into a swarm of wasps and back again.
- Exalted has the spell Flight of Separation, which turns the caster into a flock of birds.
- In the New World of Darkness, the Changing Breeds can do this with a specific aspect. Werecrows turn into crows, werebats turn into bats, and werecats turn into a horde of small cats or kittens...
- In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the warlock can transform into a cloud of darkness and bats, but given any warlock's extremely limited skillset and how late this comes, nobody ever takes this power.
- A variation is the central ability of the Yellow Devil and its many, many successors throughout the Mega Man franchise.
- Dracula from Castlevania occasionally teleports this way. Being the good ol' Drac, he becomes a mass of bats. Curiously, the ability was first seen in an NES-era boss fight with Alucard, who uses Drac's classic pattern from the other games.
- Some games also give this ability to the Phantom Bat. Similarly, Super Castlevania IV gives this ability to the mummy boss, Akmodan II, who teleports as a stream of loose bandages.
- Nevan from Devil May Cry teleports across her room (read: battle arena) by dissolving into bats.
- The fire elemental boss from Cadash looks like a big demon standing still in a pit of fire, that shatters in a multitude of fireballs before reforming into another fire pit.
- One of the new Taken in Alan Wake's American Nightmare, the Birdman, turns into a flock of crows at will, but doesn't have the darkness shield of vanilla Taken.
- In Alice: Madness Returns Alice gains the ability to briefly turn into the swarm of butterflies to get back from Bottomless Pit or just Flash Step around.
- This is Kain's favorite method of transportation in Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen and Defiance. Being a vampire he transforms into a flock of bats.
- Vagullion, the Warm Up Boss from Ys Origin, will sometimes transform into a flock of bats and fly toward the player to attack. After taking enough damage, it splits into two beings, both of which use the swarming attack.
- In The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, Yuki gains the ability to dodge attacks by instantly shredding herself into a full body version of Pink Mist then reforming elsewhere.
- Cackletta and Antasma of the Mario & Luigi series are both capable of splitting into a cloud of bats and rushing the brothers.