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Uh oh... Alice finds herself captured and strapped to a wall/altar in the center of a big magic symbol. Candles are set in very specific places while an Ominous Latin Choir
hums in the background. It's obvious that she is going to be used in a dark ritual to summon an evil god of sorts, or alternatively, unlock a magical lock to a Macguffin
. There can be several reasons why the evil forces go to the trouble of specifically capturing Alice, instead of just capturing a random innocent victim:
- The Big Bad comes back stronger this way.
- They need it to overcome some specific power seal. (Overlaps with 1, but is not identical to it)
- The ritual literally can only be done with Alice's blood/life force.
The actual sacrifice factor can range anywhere from just needing Alice's fresh blood
to needing her full life force
. Not that it changes much, since whoever is in lead of the ritual is not going to leave her alive.
Subtrope of Human Sacrifice
. The key difference between this trope and Human Sacrifice
is that that one would work with any John Doe picked up from the street, this trope specifically needs Alice to make the ritual work, no exceptions.
tend to be prime targets for this, for obvious reasons.
Anime and Manga
- A group from Naruto called Akatsuki tries to do this not once, but nine times! They search for the nine Jinchuriki, including protagonists Naruto and Gaara, to extract their inner demons.
- In Blue Seed, it is said that to stop the Aragami, the "Kushinada" (a human literally bred to be a human sacrifice) must be sacrificed. Problem is, this time there are two twin sisters who qualify as Kushinadas... and one of them has had a Face-Heel Turn.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father needs people who not only can open the Gate, but have done it once before and survived: this ends up being the Elric brothers, Hohenheim, Izumi Curtis, and Roy Mustang. Without them, he can't perform his ritual and capture the power of God. They are targeted more because of their skills and experiences than some particular power or bloodline, but finding replacements would be extremely difficult, so it counts.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean, to reverse a curse, the blood of a specific pirate is required - or that of his descendant Will Turner. They only need a small amount, as we learn when they attempt to use Elizabeth. But by the time they got Will, they were angry enough at him that they decided to slit his throat instead.
- The Big Bad from the first Scooby-Doo movie needs a pure soul for his ritual. The only soul meeting the requirements on the whole island is Scooby's.
- Bleach: Memories of Nobody. A Shinigami girl named Senna (who is also the Memory Rosary) is captured and tortured by the Dark Ones (exiled Soul Reapers). They try to sacrifice her in order to collapse the Valley of Screams and destroy both the World of the Living and the Soul Society. They fail, but Senna still dies.
- In The Wicker Man, Howie is slated to be the sacrifice because he's still a virgin, because he's acting as a representative of the Crown, and maybe other reasons.
- In Lesbian Vampire Killers, the blood of the last of the McLaren's is required in the ritual to resurrect Carmilla the Vampire Queen.
- The Cabin in the Woods. To say any more would be to spoil the whole film.
- Jug Face Whenever a sculptor has a trance and makes a jug depicting someone's face, the redneck community sacrifices that person to a mud pit to replenish the pit's healing powers and to contain a Sealed Evil in a Can.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort casts a ritual requiring the blood of an enemy. As Wormtail points out, nearly the entire wizarding world qualifies, but of course he wanted Harry Potter's, to circumvent his protective ward.
- The Dresden Files likes this trope.
- In Summer Knight, Aurora needs Lilly, because she holds the power of the summer knight, and killing her at that time and place will give the power to the Winter Court.
- In Blood Rites, Lord Raith needs to kill both Harry and Thomas to break the curse their mother laid on him, because it's tied to her bloodline.
- The Red Court needs to kill Harry's daughter so that the spell will trace her bloodline back and hit both Harry and his grandfather Ebenezar, one of the most powerful wizards in the world.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Glory needs Dawn because she's The Key, an interdimensional gateway recently turned into a human being. The fact that activating its power will involve killing her is basically incidental.
- In Angel, the demon Yeshka has the pretty exacting sacrifice requirements that people have to sacrifice their daughter, she has to be a virgin, and it has to be done on the father's fiftieth birthday.
- In The Vampire Diaries, Klaus needs to sacrifice Elena, the latest "Petrova doppleganger", to break the curse binding him. He also needs a vampire and a werewolf, but those are easier to get hold of.
- In the Doctor Who episode The Girl In The Fireplace, the clockwork androids pursue Reinette because her body is needed to repair their ship.
- Almost happens to the Avatar in the beginning of Ultima VI.
- Happens in several The Legend of Zelda titles.
- In Persona 3, Shuji Ikutsuki tries to sacrifice the heroes to bring about The Fall, but it doesn't work.
- Colette Brunel in Tales of Symphonia was to be sacrificed by the Big Bad Mithos to resurrect his sister in her body. Though it is stated that several other people were used for the ritual before, it has never worked before, most likely due to the body not matching or whatever.
- In The King of Fighters, the original ritual to awaken Orochi 1800 years ago included plans for the sacrifice of eight Barrier Maidens, known as the Kushinadas. Seven of these girls were sacrificed (and in the manhua they willingly offered themselves as this, having being told that they'd stay young and pretty eternally in exchange), but the last one was rescued by the Kusanagi, Yasakani and Yata leaders, who then went on fighting and sealing Orochi away. In the present, the New Face Team (Yashiro, Shermie and Chris) kidnap the currently last descendant of this surviving Kushinada, a Girl Next Door from Osaka named Yuki, for the same thing... and commit the HUGE mistake of gloating about their evil plans to Kyo Kusanagi, Chizuru Kagura and Iori Yagami, the descendants of those who fought and sealed Orochi; since Yuki just happens to be Kyo's girlfriend, they piss him off BADLY. Obviously, Yuki is saved from them and Orochi is re-sealed.
- It's revealed partway through Radiant Historia that the ritual to hold off the end of the world requires someone who's died and been brought back to willingly give up their soul to power it. There are two potential candidates. Too bad one of them is more inclined to let the world end.
- Tomb Raider (2013): Sam. While the Solarii Cult had tried several other sacrifices before, they realise that they need her specifically because she is an ancestor of Himeko, and therefore the only one fitting to serve as her new vessel.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, the first generation of the Court hits upon a self-defense scheme that involves killing a particular person, and immediately afterwards splitting the soul of their grieving lover, so the negative parts of their soul become an angry superpowered spirit, trapped at the place they died. The man who came up with this scheme insisted that the chosen targets were the only ones who would work as a sacrifice, but it's implied that he also selected these two because one of them was the target of his unrequited affection.