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Unwilling Roboticisation
aka: Unwilling Roboticization
Princess Sally demonstrates.

Sci-fi oftens portrays cybernetics as the way forward. Replacing lost limbs, augmenting abilities, even allowing body transplants. But on occasion, a story involves characters who don't want to surrender their fleshy bodies. And that can be handy to know for a villain. This is normally done by dictator types. This can be to suppress rebellion, to remove individuality, or to create a robot army - or a combination of the above.

This can be similar to You Will Be Assimilated. Related to Cybernetics Eat Your Soul. Can sometimes be portrayed as a very special kind of Body Horror. Also see We Can Rebuild Him and Emergency Transformation.

Some devices that inflict roboticisation use nanomachines, resulting in graphic scenes of the person being slowly mechanized while screaming in pain as they are being rebuilt into machines. May be resisted with Heroic Willpower. May lead to Sheep In Wolf's Clothing. See also Man in the Machine and Hypno Trinket.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Galaxy Express 999, while Tetsuro originally tries to GET Roboticized, after witnessing that such operations does not make everything immediately better he decides against it. Cue Queen Prometheum trying to forcefully turn him into, as Tetsuro describes it, a bolt.
    • Then again, Queen Prometheum decides to turn all organics who do not roboticize into Food Pills for her bot citizens.
  • The master plan of the main antagonist in Macross Frontier is to institute mandatory cybernetics implantation for every single person in the universe as part of an Assimilation Plot.
  • None of the heroes from Cyborg 009 wanted to become cyborgs. All of them were kidnapped and forcibly transformed by Black Ghost, leading to understandable angst, frustration and all nine becoming Phlebotinum Rebels as soon as they could. Most of the later cyborgs were created under similar circumstances; however, Black Ghost had learned from their prior mistakes and ensuring they couldn't follow in the first nine's footsteps and become anything more than Tragic Monsters.
  • Daitarn3: The Meganoids' master plan is making this to ALL humans to improve the humankind.
  • Mazinger Z: All Co-Dragons -but Gorgon- and Mooks are Cyborgs created by Big Bad Dr. Hell. He never gave someone choice in the matter or asked them if they want being turned into half-mechanical beings (and since Baron Ashura and his Mooks were corpses he revived by using cybernetic implants they could not refuse either). And in the case of Count Brocken, in one of the manga versions he states bitterly he was grateful to Hell because he saved his life... but he never wished serving him.
    • Baron Ashura may have subverted the trope in other versions, though: Even he/she was still converted to a cyborg unwillingly, in Mazinkaiser he requests Dr. Hell making him/her in a part of his latest Mechanical Beast to fight Mazinkaiser hand-to-hand. And in Shin Mazinger Zero he/she wanted being turned into part of another Robeast with the same purpose.
  • The Kikai Empire in Nekketsu Saikyo GoSaurer
  • This is how Renee Cardiff Shishioh from GaoGaiGar initially became a cyborg.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, The Major's backstory has elements of this (technically she was turned into a full-body cyborg (essentially making her a Brain in a Jar with a gynoid body) to save her life, but it's implied that she didn't have much choice in the matter). In the third movie the Puppetmaster takes control of Togusa and tries to force him to force his daughter to undergo surgery to become a cyborg, making it a case of unwilling unwilling roboticisation.
  • It's stated a few times in Dragonball Z Kai that Androids #17 and #18 were made the way they are against their will.
  • Gatchaman: For the sequel, Joe Asakura's essentially-dead body was scooped and turned into a cyborg. Dr. Rafael, the scientist who did it without bothering to ask, had a vendetta against the Galactor and wanted a weapon to use against them.
  • Kagerou Project . Haruka, who has had an attack and is sent to the hospital, is killed by Kenjirou. His soul is sent to the Daze while Kenjirou starts making experiments on his body. His experiences in the aforementioned place and the scientist's interruption drives him to a point where he unintentionally uses his newly gained powers to reshape/robotize his body. He was kind of okay with it at first, but he probably didn't expect the 'lose all your memories' part of the deal.

    Comic Books 
  • As with their source material, the video games, various Sonic publications feature this trope:
  • Sonic the Comic mostly followed the games; Robotnik's main forces were simply shells which weren't organic, and were powered by an organism. Most of them were nameless one-shot characters, but a few major characters were changed - Shorty, Porker, Tails, Johnny and Amy.
    • This was inverted with Metamorphia. She started out as an apparently cybernetic artificial life-form, was turned into a Badnik and transformed into an organic character.
    • This was subverted by Vermin who chose to be a Cybernik.
  • The American comic by Archie Comics takes it more literally. The furry holocaust that served as the backstory of Sonic SatAm the was the result of Robotnik using the invention, known as the Roboticizer, to turn Mobians into mindless slaves to do his bidding. Ironically, the original Roboticizer wasn't even created by Robotnik; it was created by Charles Hedgehog, Sonic's uncle, as a way of keeping critically ill or injured patients alive until a cure could be found. When the whole "mindless automaton" thing couldn't be resolved, Charles dumped it as a failed experiment...and Robotnik took it up, using it as the basis for his takeover. And things went downhill, too: the test subject was his brother (and Sonic's father), who was mortally wounded. To this day, Jules is the last remaining "Robian", because de-roboticizing him would restore his old wounds and kill him.
    • An early issue featured an alternate-universe Robotnik, driven to desperation by his imminent defeat, turning the roboticizer on himself — resulting in one of the creepier villains produced by that series.
    • During the third year this happened to Sonic himself, and it became the focus of the Mecha Madness arc. To fight him, the good guys roboticised Knuckles. Yes, it was awesome.
    • Sally was roboticised (page image is a partial of the cover), willingly, having a chip to allow her to keep her free will, escape, and study the effects. Unfortunately, the damn thing fell off as she was changed. Bad stuff happened. It happened to her again in issue 230, though for rather noble reasons, and has been undone due to the events of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide.
    • Inverted with an alien race that developed a process to convert robotic lifeform into organic lifeforms and carrying an idiot ball caused genocide when they used it on an alien robotic race whose world couldn't support organic life (Sonic had to defend an alien who used the process to reverse the roboticization on the current victims of unwilling conversion and was due to be executed for it as the prohibition against the use of the technology made no distinctions between returning organic beings who'd been unwilling converted and forcibly converting robotic lifeforms).
    • And in Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, Robotnik teams up with Dr Wily and combines his roboticization technology with Wily's robotics. The result is used on Sonic's captured friends, turning them into the "Roboticized Masters", each with a different Robot Master weapon. However, a combination of Sonic's Spin Dash and Megaman's Charged Shot and weapon copy system can turn them back to normal. Tails was the only one restored this way, as he modified Megaman's Megabuster so that the Charge Shot mimics Sonic's Spin Dash and do the work in one step.
  • Batman and the Outsiders foe the Duke of Oil thought he was a human brain transplanted into a cyborg body. Upon learning that there was no brain and he was just a set of memories downloaded into a robot, he went slightly mad.
  • Several iterations of the Superman villain, Metallo, invoke this trope. Most involve his human brain being moved into a robotic body after horrific injury to keep him alive, without his consent (being unconscious from said injuries at the time of the transfer).
  • The short-lived series ManTech (based on a toy line of the same name) revolves around three unconscious and fatally injured human astronauts who are rescued and cyborgized by a benevolent alien. Of the three, SolarTech accepts that it was the only way to save their lives, and LaserTech loves his new super powers, but AquaTech hates his transformation.
  • Robotman of Doom Patrol has never been comfortable with his transformation, and even less so after finding out The Chief was responsible for his fateful accident
  • Both DC and Marvel in their main universes have plots where large numbers of ordinary humans were (themselves unknowingly) roboticised, to serve as sleeper weapons against superhumans. In the Marvel case, it was part of Bastion's plan to get rid of all mutants (at the time in the 90's when most non-mutant heroes were thought to have died in the battle against Onslaught). In the DC case, it was the OMAC project (one of the preludes to Infinite Crisis).
  • The Phalanx and the Technarchy from the X-Men comics have this as their hat, along with elements of The Virus. Both groups can convert organic life to techno-organic life by touch. The Phalanx use this as a recruiting tool; the Technarchy can do the same thing, but usually avert it by immediately eating whatever they convert. They actually use the same virus to do this. The Phalanx are spawned from the Technarchs' leftovers and are treated by the Technarchs in much the same way humans treat moldy food.
  • X-Men's Cable has a robotic arm for this reason. He actually has to constantly expend some of his vast psychic powers to keep it in check, otherwise his entire body will be consumed.
  • Avengers Arena's Rebecca Ryker was forced into becoming a Cyborg by her father
  • Cyborg of the Teen Titans never asked to be made into a cyborg. Victor's father did it to save his life after the same Eldritch Abomination that ate Victor's mother and fatally poisoned his father with radiation tore him apart, but Victor was initially so horrified by his new body that he wished he had died instead and spent years hating his father. Making things worse, Victor was a great athlete, and his condition meant he could never participate in such activities again. Victor eventually made peace with his new body and his father when he learned his father was dying from radiation poisoning.
  • The eponymous heroine of Lady Mechanika was turned into a cyborg by persons unknown. She has no memory of who she was before she awoke in the lab.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The World's End. All but three of the residents of Newton Haven (plus thousands of other towns across the globe) have been replaced by identical robots with their memories retained as part of a scheme to aid the remaining humans to fulfil their potential and join the Galactic Community. However people generally tend not to like being replaced by a doppelganger and recycled as fertilizer.
  • In The Black Hole the Cygnus' compliment of robotic crew members are actually revealed to be the lobotomised remains of the human crew who Reinhardt and Maximilian converted into subservient cyborgs after they tried to mutiny.
  • Robocop. Officer Alex Murphy wasn't given a choice about being rebuilt as the title character in the first movie, and neither was Cain in RoboCop 2. Both of them do still take it better than the two cops that were roboticized before they came up with using Cain.
    • Murphy's dedication to law and order and his religious devotion which precluded the notion of suicide was why he survived being rebuilt. As for Cain, the researcher behind the Robocop 2 project wanted the brain of a psychopath that she could control by means of his addiction to Nuke. Needless to say, the project backfired.
  • During the climax of Superman III, the super-super-computer drags Vera into its internals and subjects her to this.
  • In Star Wars, the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader was carried out on the orders of Palpatine, regardless of his apprentice's opinion. And it was done without any form of painkiller to toughen him up. Because, you know, losing your limbs and skin to lava wasn't quite enough.
    • The Expanded Universe revealed that General Grievous was created this way as well. He was originally a fully organic general among his own people, until Dooku arranged an "accident" that left him needing a new body. Dooku's surgeons made sure to cut out his conscience while they were at it...
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy merges Dan Jordan with a motorcycle as the teen's driving it down a road. The transformation sequence was so horrible that most of it was cut out of subsequent video and DVD releases.
  • At the end of the 1986 version of The Fly, the Brundlefly is merged with one of the telepods. It's not pretty.
  • Samira, a Middle Eastern terrorist, was captured by the CIA and made into an obedient cyborg in 1987's Programmed to Kill (aka The Retaliator). Their plan goes horribly wrong.
  • The Energy Being in Virus does this to an entire ship's worth of Russian scientists, and two American salvage crewmen. One of them prefers the state, retorting "Nothing, now" when asked what is wrong with him.
  • One trailer from Sucker Punch shows us the creation of one of the German Steam-Zombies through the eyes of one poor battlefield casualty, injured enough to be paralyzed, but not killed.

    Literature 
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel The Truce At Bakura, the Ssi-ruuk's forces consisted of several members of other races who had been "enteched," turned into battle droids. Turns out their souls are still alive and in agony.
  • The Machmen by James Schmitz.
  • The Wizard of Oz is actually an example of this. In the original story, the Tin Man is repeatedly attacked by his own ax, which has been bewitched by the Witch of the East. His limbs and body are cut off one by one, and he gradually has to replace them all with a body and head of tin.
  • A novelization of Sonic Sat AM had this happen to side-character Bunny Rabbit. Luckily, Sonic could save her before the process was completed, turning her into Bunny Rabbot.
  • May happen to you in one of the endings of the Choose Your Own Adventure book Your Very Own Robot.
  • In the 1998 novel Aliens Berserker it is revealed that the MAX robot was run by convicted felons. Although the convicts are offered a reduced sentence for their services, it is not possible to survive their stint as the suit's operator due to the constant chemicals pumped into them and the countless wires run in and out of their bodies which reduce them to a living husk.
  • In Max Barry's Machine Man, Dr. Charles Neumann undergoes this. What's curious is that while the good doctor was perfectly content to replace his legs and right hand, he had no desire to become a Man in the Machine or a Brain in a Jar. Both end up happening to him.
  • In The Court Of The Air, revolutionaries obsessed with leveling all social disparities take over a city, then begin forcibly converting its organic inhabitants into Clockpunk proto-cyborgs so they'll be "equal" to the city's animated-construct inhabitants.
  • Robopocalypse features this as the robots experiment on humans during their attempt to eradicate their creators. Anything from replacing a guy's hand with a metal claw to ripping out a young girl's eyes and replacing them with electronic equipment.
  • Played with in Stanislaw Lem's Memoirs of a Space Traveller, where Ijon Tichy, touring an asylum for robots, meets a robot friend of his who has developed a delusion that he was previously a human who one day woke up transformed into a robot, and that "they" have "stolen his body".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Cybermen. The revival's Cybermen are the brainchild of gadget magnate John Lumic, who puts the technology forward as a way to overcome the ageing process and eliminate frailty. Those who know what it entails reject it as a sick idea, so he uses another of his gadgets to brainwash people into assembling at his cyber-conversion facilities. When he is left for dead by one of his underlings, however, he's not so keen:
      Lumic: I will upgrade only with my last breath.
      Cyberman: Then breathe no more. (disconnects apparatus)
    • Forced conversions are shown in the original series with the "proper" Cybermen too. To quote the Doctor, "it's just like being an organ donor, except you're alive, and... sort of... screaming."
    • Even scarier are the Robomen from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Jenny, a resistance member, explains: "There aren’t that many Daleks on Earth. They needed helpers. So they operated on some of their prisoners and turned them into robots... The transfer, as the Daleks call the operation, controls the human brain. Well, at least for a time... I've seen the Robos when they break down. They go insane. They smash their heads against walls. They throw themselves off buildings or into the river." The Robomen in the original television version are particularly chilling. In the film, they simply seem to be under mind control, but the television ones — it's clearly implied — are effectively dead from the moment that the transfer is carried out. There is no way that they can be "cured" or "freed" as the film versions can, other than by death. In some ways, they make the Cyber-alternative look almost merciful. But then, that's the Daleks for you... The movie version aren't ever shown being "freed" or "cured" in any way, either. They all get killed at the end of the film as part of a delaying action to provide time to throw a Spanner in the Works of the Daleks' plan.
    • Daleks can be produced from humans. Specific methods include harvesting the humans for "good" materials and using them to construct Daleks, and using nanogenes to convert corpses into mechanical (but humanoid) soldiers. There's also such a thing as a "full conversion" for those they consider too intelligent to waste, like Oswin.
  • The Borg from Star Trek, naturally. While they utilize nanomachines, these don't cause as much terror as they do in other series. Aside from changing skin color and causing small basic machines to appear, they mostly work to render the person complacent before the full process commences.
  • This is a major plot point in the Babylon 5 episode "Spider in the Web". Abel Horn, a (former) authority figure in the Free Mars terrorist group, is rebuilt as a cyborg post mortem, the cybernetic part controlling his body while his mind is fixated on the moment of his death by means of a telepathic deep scan.
  • Showa Era Kamen Riders. Played straight with #1, #2, Tackle, Kamen Rider ZX, Kamen Rider Black and Shadow Moon who were unwillingly turned into cyborgs by evil organizations that they'd later battle (except for Shadow Moon, who is loyal to his converters). Riderman, Kamen Rider X and Skyrider were cyborgized as means to save their lives. One of the 90s movie-only Riders was like this as well. Subverted by Kamen Rider V3, Kamen Rider Stronger and Kamen Rider Super-1 who got turned into Altered Humans willingly. Almost all cases contained scenes of very painful looking surgery without any anesthesia. The Movie Kamen Rider The First was less graphic on Painful Transformation, but still given us a lot of screaming and implications of drill to the skull.
  • In Power Rangers RPM, this is what sentient computer virus Venjix does to create his Mecha-Mooks. This was also what happened to Dillon and his sister, Tanaya 7 and, in the finale, unknowingly to many of the people of Corinthe, who were being slowly roboticized by a virus since the war started to act as sleeper cells.
  • An episode of Sliders had them finding a world where the Cold War went hot, and the resulting arms race (of the non-nuclear sort, presumably) has resulted in fighter jets becoming faster and more maneuverable, with the pilots now having to be implanted with augmentations that allow them to survive flying these things. However, the military is interested in further turning the pilots into mindless drones that are capable of even greater feats... with or without the pilots' permission.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, one punishment the Ministorum reserves for the worst heretics or criminals is the rite of Arco-Flagellation, in which the offender's arms are lopped off and replaced with vicious close combat weapons, their brains scrambled, and combat drug dispensers are grafted onto their spines. Pacifier visors play soothing hymns and display religious imagery to keep them calm outside of combat, but when the right official gives the Trigger Phrase the visor lifts, a cocktail of drugs floods into their systems, and the Arco-Flagellants turn into snarling killing machines.
    • Servitors are lobotomized individuals implanted with cybernetics and "bio-programming" so they can serve as menial laborers, weapon platforms, targeting computers, and other useful tasks to get around the Imperium's ban on "Abominable Intelligences." Some unlucky servitors were former political prisoners, Space Marine washouts, or "retired" Imperial Guardsmen, but others are vat-grown clones and so not true examples of this trope.
    • The Necrons used to do this to abducted humans who possessed the Pariah gene, turning them into flesh-metal hybrid units that terrified anything they came near and were particularly effective against psyker powers. Their new backstory has some of the Necrontyr resisting the transformation into immortal, soulless Necrons but being deceived and forced into the procedure anyway.
    • A Space Marine Dreadnought is a bipedal war machine that serves as the tomb of the mortally-wounded warrior interred within, and are treated as honored elders allowed to slumber away the centuries when they aren't needed for battle. Chaos Space Marines view such an imprisonment as a living hell, the ultimate in sensory deprivation, a denial of an afterlife of oneness with the Warp. This doesn't prevent some Chaos Marines from being put into a Dreadnought anyway, and as such Chaos Dreadnoughts are psychotic killing machines prone to firing upon their allies, so dangerous that outside of battle, the sarcophagus is removed from the Dreadnought, which is then chained to the wall, just to be safe. Abaddon the Despoiler came up with Defilers, war machines crewed by bound daemons, because such blasphemies were more reliable than Chaos Dreadnoughts.
  • The Ravenloft NPC Ahmi Vanjuko was converted against his will into a mechanical golem by the insane darklord of Vechor.
  • This was one of Phyrexia's more terrifying tools in the earlier storylines of Magic: The Gathering. This being a fantasy setting, rather than a sci fi one, the cyborgs in question were monstrous in appearance and the game rules classified most as either a "Zombie" or a "Horror."

    Video Games 
  • In Achron it is heavily implied that this is the origin of the Vecgir. They were humans that were enslaved and 'enhanced' by the Coremind.
  • Of course, Sonic the Hedgehog's Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is the king of this trope, although the concept was treated more lightly (the victim is used as an living battery, there is no direct transformation) than in the Trope Namer: SatAM and the comics. Sonic Adventure downplayed the roboticization aspect (although it is the central plot point of E-102 Gamma's storyline) and since Sonic Heroes rarely used.
    • In Sonic Lost World we actually see the animals being put inside Badniks. Later on the Deadly Six plan to turn Sonic into a robot in a style similar to the SatAM method, but due to a Heroic Sacrifice they wind up kidnapping Tails instead. They try to turn him into a robot anyway, but he Macgyvers his way out and pretends to have been turned into a robot, only to turn on the Six.
  • Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as a result of near-fatal injuries he suffered at the beginning of the game. While there's some Memetic Mutation regarding his line "I never asked for this," from the trailer, the player can play him as either resentful or as grateful as they like.
    • Anyone affiliated with the Omar in Deus Ex: Invisible War will eventually be "invited" to join their Hive Mind. How? They come in the middle of the night, take you, and "upgrade" you to a full Omar with your will completely suppressed.
  • Matthew Kane in Quake IV. The augmentation is standard procedure for all Strogg including POWs from other species. You can take a look here, but be warned that it is not for the squeamish.
  • In American McGee's Alice, the Mad Hatter ran an asylum where he transformed the patients into steampunk robots.
  • The Lin Kuei ninja clan do this to their clansmen in Mortal Kombat. Though Sektor was a volunteer, Cyrax and, depending on which timeline out of two is in question, either Smoke or Sub-Zero aren't willing.
  • Gray Fox and Raiden were both unwillingly transformed into cyborgs in the Metal Gear series.
  • Dr. Nefarious of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal makes this his goal out of hatred for organic life. According to the Qwark vidcomics, he was once organic himself, until he became a robot through a wedgie gone wrong.
  • Used in System Shock 2.
  • This is the modus operandi of the Reapers and their Geth allies in Mass Effect, forcibly turning humans into cybernetic zombies called Husks.
    • Even more frightening the Reapers are created by forcibly melting organics down into a liquid metal which is then fused into a massive exoskeleton.
    • When the Collector General assumes direct control of one of its soldiers, the Collector in question is effectively transformed into nothing but a super-powered collection of cybernetics.
    • The ultimate fate of Saren, following his death, was to have his corpse transformed into a cybernetic puppet of Sovereign.
    • The dialogue added by the Extended Cut DLC to Catalyst's dialogue states that Harbinger was created from Catalyst's creators. Though they wanted Catalyst to find some way to put an end to the eternal cycle of organics vs. synthetics, they didn't exactly want to be melted down and made into an Eldritch Abomination. Catalyst didn't give them a choice.
  • Used as a late-game plot point in Spyro: A Hero's Tail. The villain has his underlings reversibly turned into robots to improve their combat efficiency. It's used on him before the final boss fight.
  • A major part of the backstory in Total Annihilation.
  • Done to a character named Tsukikage, known after becoming a cyborg as Dural, in Virtua Fighter.
  • Plenty of animals had this happen to them in Mother 3 when not being spliced to other lifeforms. Some examples include the Reconstructed Caribou, the Mecha-Drago, the Almost-Mecha- and Mecha-Lion, and the protagonist's older twin Claus.
  • In the Dark Side ending of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, this is what becomes of the Apprentice. In this ending, the Apprentice defeats Darth Vader, but while weakened, is almost killed by Palpatine. The Emperor transforms him into a 'placeholder' until he can acquire someone to take over Vader's role.
  • Done to humans (both volunteers looking for privileges and anyone who rebels) by the Combine, Earth's alien overlords in Half-Life 2, to the point that some (such as stalkers) scarcely even count as human any more, and certainly haven't had the free will of a human for a very long time. It's implied by the look of some of the Combine's technology that they've done this to other species as well—for example, both gunships and dropships have a very organic look, augmented with mechanical parts.
  • Played With in Portal 2: GLaDOS, who is already a robot, is unwillingly changed into a potato-battery.
    • And it turns out, this is GLaDOS' origin too: she was initially Cave Johnson's secretary Caroline, whose consciousness was uploaded into an A.I. in order to make her immortal, likely against her will. Audio actually exists in the game's files of GLaDOS's voice actress protesting repeatedly. This was cut as it was determined to not fit with the game's tone.
  • This is what happened to Captain Hook and his crew in Epic Mickey, with Mickey being given the option of destroying or reversing the conversion machine while on his way to fight Captain Hook.
  • In Thief 2, Father Karras and the Mechanists kidnap the lesser denizens of The City and turn them into "Servants", Steam Punk cyborgs that are programmed to serve their masters perfectly. They are not particularly happy about this arrangement; listen to them, and you'll hear them weeping about how cold it is and beg you to kill them. If you do, they thank you.
  • Song Summoner plays this for all of the Nightmare Fuel it can. The worst part is that the Machines still retain some of their humanity, but you have to destroy them anyway. One Stargazer combines this with An Offer You Can't Refuse — he cuts off a city full of starving refugees from any outside aid and offers to turn them into Machines that feel no hunger.
  • In Disgaea 4 all of the generic classes have introductory cutscenes which play when you create a new one to add to your team. The cyborg class's cutscene shows a female fighter being subject to Alien Abduction, before being Strapped to an Operating Table and transformed into one.
    • This happens to Jennifer in the first game, at the hands of Kurtis. It proves to be reversible. It also mostly seems to be limited largely to mind control; the demons were expecting a giant robotic Jennifer stomping a city, but the reality is disappointing.
  • BioShock's Big Daddies are described in game as being the internal organs of a subject grafted into a large diving suit. Most Big Daddies are criminals, political dissidents, and other undesirables, although a handful of volunteers exist.
  • In Xenoblade, the seventh member of the group, or the third one if you take into consideration she appeared in the prologue, Fiora, gets transformed into a Mechon. She takes it surprisingly well, after breaking from the mind-control.
    • The same happen to Mumkhar and Gadolt but unlike the latter, the former didn't got his memory wiped.
    • Egil's forces do this to a lot of Homs, in order to have them pilot Face units. The process is not pretty. It involves the removal and replacement of internal organs, and the reconfiguration of the circulatory system so that their blood can interface with the Face unit to which they're assigned.
  • The enemies in Absorption.
  • One example from Star Wars: The Old Republic has Imperial soldiers captured by a rogue Sith lord and their brains used as the central processor of advanced droids. The only one still able to communicate realises in horror that they'll be aware within the droids, but unable to control themselves, and begs for death. You may decide that the droids are too useful a resource to waste.
  • One of the main quests in Dragon Age: Origins has the player combing through dwarven ruins to find a magic anvil that modern dwarves believe creates golems. Upon some exposition, the anvil actually invokes this trope, and has a long and sordid history of more and more dwarves being cast into it as the war underground got worse. Initially, it was only used on condemned criminals and volunteers, but by the time the situation got so bad that the city was lost, any criminals (even petty thieves), political dissidents, and low-ranking individuals of the caste system were thrown into the anvil, ending with its creator suffering the same fate.
  • Some gnomes in the World of Warcraft region of Borean Toundra are transformed into "mechagnomes" by gearmaster Mechazod. Interestingly, since modern gnomes evolved from mechagnomes, this is also a case of Devolution Device.
  • Bishamon from Darkstalkers.
  • The Handymen of BioShock Infinite were once regular citizens of Columbia who were fatally injured during the civil war between the Founders and the Vox Populi; using advanced technology, their vital organs and heads were grafted into giant metal bodies with oversized hands (hence their name). Not all Handymen are unwilling, though; the procedure is used on terminally ill or injured people who request it as well.
    • That said, it is also used as a punishment. At one point you can find a list of "sins" that could lead to you being forcibly converted to a Handyman. Notably, one of them is pacifism.
  • The brain of Dogan from Psychonauts is used to power a tank weapon when Raz enters the Brain Tumbler.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend's extended BBL route, the characters are attacked by a scarecrow robot after they are trapped in the school. Turns out that the doctor used your character's brain to power it.
  • BioForge: The Mondite movement is building its loyal cyborg army from unwilling, kidnapped victims.
  • When Luke tries to report Nanotech’s illegal experiments to the police in one ending of Bionic Heart, Richard arrives, captures him, and turns him into Prototype 11.
  • The Old World Blues DLC for Fallout: New Vegas starts with this; your character's brain, heart, and spine are removed, and replaced with machinery. However, there's a lot of Cursed with Awesome involved. Having no brain means you can't become addicted to drugs or be concussed, no heart means you can't be poisoned or Critically hit by robot enemies, and no spine means your torso can't be crippled, and you become superhumanly strong and resilient. Your character just takes it in stride, and since putting the said organs back Nerfs the perks, it's a better choice to not bother.
  • The Big Bad of Space Siege forcibly converts humans into cyborgs to fight off the resident Scary Dogmatic Aliens.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. Much of the Athena's mission since Revas took over is to annihilate major colonies so the survivors can be harvested for her cyborg army. The "Ghost Drones" can be remote-controlled by the other mercs from specific control stations and are mindless automatons. Riddick encounters a guy who's in the middle of the transformation process and begs Riddick to kill him.
  • In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun expansion pack Firestorm, the rogue Nod A.I. CABAL attacks civilian settlements to harvest the people for his cyborg army. GDI is responsible for shutting down one of his processing plants during the campaign.
  • In Double Dragon Neon, the Lee brothers get roboticized for the final stage.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The trope namer, Sonic Sat AM. The cartoon was developed in conjunction with the Archie Comics version, and uses this trope in all of the mentioned methods. In fact there was a scene, part of a dream sequence, where Sally was roboticized. The horrified look on her face as it happened and her scream when it completed says it all. That cartoon's unrelated successor, Sonic Underground, does the same.
    • Ironically, the "Blast to the Past" two-parter of SatAM showed this happening to Robotnik himself. The series had always shown Robotnik sporting a mechanical left arm (the Archie comics usually did too, especially later on). We learn that during the aftermath of his coup, Robotnik – knocked dizzy by a very young Sonic – accidentally stuck his arm into an active Roboticizer. It is heavily implied that this is the reason Robotnik goes berserk anytime Sonic is mentioned.
  • Also happened in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's "Quest for the Chaos Emeralds" four-parter; Robotnik uses his robot transmogrifying raygun on Blackbeard, a whale, a pterodactyl, and a treasure chest (the latter resembling Crabmeat from Sonic the Hedgehog). Oddly enough, this is the only time roboticization is ever mentioned in that series.
  • In an early episode of Teen Titans there was a robot who wanted to make Cyborg 100% robot by removing what made him human. It should be noted that the robot (whose name is Fixit) detects flaws in the human body and honestly thinks he's fixing Cyborg. He probably would have left Cyborg alone had he been completely human.
    • Indeed, Fixit even made sure to create a backup copy of Cyborg's memories and personality. It's upon examining the backup copy that he realizes his error and lets Cyborg go.
    • Brother Blood returns in Titans East to re-create his school by abducting the Titans East and turning them into Cyborgs, with Cyborg's own tech. He also made several robot clones of Cyborg as well to help with this, but his main goal is to use the cybernetics to more easily control his "students" minds.
  • Parodied in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Welcome to the Chum Bucket"; Plankton threatens to put SpongeBob's brain inside a robot chef if he didn't make a Krabby Patty. Eventually he does just that, but since the robot has SpongeBob's brain, he turns out to be just as recalcitrant. Lampshaded by Karen, who says to Plankton "You know that never works."
  • Dr. Arkeville of Transformers Generation 1. He'd already had some work done on him at some point before we met him, but was injured and "repaired" by Shockwave into being more mechanical than human.
  • In The Simpsons, one of the stories in Treehouse of Horror II had Homer's brain being put into a robot by Mr. Burns.
  • Dr. Wily appeared to be doing this to innocent park-goers in an episode of the Mega Man animated series. Actually, it turns out he was just brainwashing them to think they were robots, then outfitted them with armor and blasters.
  • The Big Bad of Centurions, cyborg Mad Scientist Doc Terror, was strongly implied to create his drones this way. The process, so far as was shown, was not reversible.
  • Happens to Wylde and Kadeem in Hot Wheels Acceleracers. The former survives with his mind intact, and his body completely intact except that it has an awesome-looking robot arm, the latter... wasn't so fortunate.
  • Subverted with Metallo in Superman: The Animated Series. John Corben contracts a rare virus while in prison and willingly subjects himself to Luthor's experiment to save himself. Initially he's happy with the results: Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability, and a Kryptonite power source that weakens Superman. Then he discovers his robotic body has no sense of taste, touch, or smell. Since he's The Hedonist, this causes a Freak Out so bad that he rips off half of his artificial skin. When Superman reveals that Luthor was the one who had him infected by the virus in the first place he temporarily halts his attack on Superman to go after Luthor.
  • Vor Tech Undercover Conversion Squad: The series mooks where transformed with a techo-infectious plague Transhuman Treachery ensues.


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alternative title(s): Unwilling Roboticization
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