[[quoteright:283:[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/UlicsGhost.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:283:[-''StarWars'' {{hologram}}s and Force ghosts are both pale blue. Coincidence? Probably.-] ]]

The SciFi version of the SpiritAdvisor.

[[HowToKillACharacter Death]] is a real bummer. [[DeathIsCheap Fortunately, in the future, we'll find a way around it.]] Using [[AppliedPhlebotinum Science]][[TradeSnark ]], we will be able to [[BrainUploading squirrel away the mind of a dead or dying person in a computer]], and digitally recreate them later as a ProjectedMan with {{hologram}}s.

[[UnwantedRevival They may not be thrilled by this]], but as they're dead, they don't get any say in the matter.

Usually overlaps with IntangibleMan. If {{Cyberspace}} is involved, they will be corporeal in that plane.

In series with a CoolStarship, it's particularly common for a Virtual Ghost to end up running the ship, especially if they are [[SpaceshipGirl female]].

Interestingly a Virtual Ghost is technically just as much an AI as a [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot robot]], but even though they are essentially a computer with a preprogrammed human personality and (sometimes) the memories of a deceased person they will probably be treated different from other robots and computers. Whether the character is the same person as the dead character, or merely a piece of software that has been written to ''think'' it is, is a famous philosophical conundrum... that will almost certainly not be brought up in the series in question.

A Virtual Ghost can end up practically reincarnated if made out of HardLight. SisterTrope to LivingMemory. See also HologramProjectionImperfection.

Compare with DigitizedHacker, which is a mind that has integrated with the internet.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', when the Sailor Senshi are transported to the lunar ruins of the Moon Kingdom they are greeted by the virtual ghost of Queen Serenity, Sailor Moon's mother from her previous life.
* Bunches of examples from ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandaloneComplex''.
** Well, not really. An attempt was made once with six million people simultaneously, but aborted.
** Motoko from the movie wonders if she is a virtual ghost, and if her personality and memories are, in fact, [[FakeMemories programmed]], due to the small amount of brain matter she is left with.
** [[spoiler:Motoko Aramaki and the rest of the "children" of Motoko and the Puppetmaster were not born with biological bodies, and yet have a "ghost".]]
** The Puppetmaster also points out that everyone leaves "ghosts" in the minds of those we interact with, i.e. we recreate realistic images of those we interact with in our minds.
*** Well, useful images; Puppetmaster freely admits that information preserved this way is heavily fragmented, and most personal details are lost - naturally, since only interactions with others are "recorded."
** Theoretically this presumably is the result in mid-way of a Ghost Dub, but it's just a deteriorated, incomplete copy, while the original dies. Trying to copy an entire human brain is difficult business in this universe.
* StrawNihilist Schwarzwald made a Virtual Ghost cameo in ''Anime/TheBigO'', inexplicably taking over a robot and killing the pilot for no real reason other than to indirectly save the hero via DeusExMachina, though, if the ghost's words are to be believed, it was a type 4 DeusExMachina (ChekhovsGun style) as the Megadeus are sentient and Schwarzwald, despite his insanity, turns out to be much more correct about the world than anyone else in the show.
* Noah (and Gozaburo) Kaiba in the [[OvertookTheManga anime-only]] Virtual Nightmare {{Arc}} of ''Anime/YuGiOh''
* The final fate of [[spoiler:Harry [=MacDougall=]]] in ''Anime/OutlawStar'', after [[spoiler:he died and fulfilled the series' quota for MadeOfPlasticine]].
* {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in ''DennouCoil'', where several virtual ghosts appear that are [[spoiler:fleeting remnants of consciousnesses of eyeglass-users who got ''too'' integrated into the network and died. They're barely sentient and appear as tormented, shadowy beings]].
* ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' has a field day with this one. The first episode starts with two characters killing themselves to achieve this, and soon after the [[MindScrew Id of one character]], a scientist and the recreated image (see ''Ghost in the Shell'' above) of a third character's paternal aspects become virtual ghosts. [[FromBadToWorse Then it gets complicated...]]
* [[spoiler: Tieria Erde]] in ''{{Gundam 00}}'' TheMovie.
** George Glenn in ''GundamSEEDAstray'' is a semi-example. [[BrainInAJar Though he's still technically alive]], he can only interact with the outside world through a hologram.
* After his death near the end of ''[[TwentiethCenturyBoys 20th Century Boys]]'', [[spoiler:Manjoume]] appears in ''21st Century Boys'' as one of these in the Tomodachi Land SimulationGame bonus stage.
* The AI versions of Harold Hoerwick in .hack//Sign. They're nowhere near as advanced as most other versions on this page (and rightly so; this series is set 20MinutesIntoTheFuture) and tend to only repeat a few cryptic lines at a time, but the information inevitably proves crucial. He also appears in the four PS2 games set slightly afterward.
* ''{{Zegapain}}'' is about this trope and giant robots.
* In SwordArtOnline, this is what becomes of Akihiko Kayaba, Griselda, and Sachi. There may be others, as there were nearly 4000 fatalities from SAO, each with a .1% chance of becoming a virtual ghost.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Jor-El in recent Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles, riffing off TheMovie and ''{{Smallville}}''.
* The [[CrazyPrepared Batman-like]] version of The Black Terror featured in ''ComicBook/TomStrong'' and its spinoff ''Terra Obscura'' had created one of these before his death. Once activated, Terror 2000 manifests as a hologram projected from a swarm of floating golf ball-sized machines.
* ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'' has its usual unique take on this with foglets. When a person goes foglet tiny nanomachines eat his body for the energy to scan and download his brain. When it's done, the person is for all intents and purposes a ghost -- floating through the air, making himself visible or invisible at will, and performing spooky miracles by reassembling matter at the molecular level. Though society in general doesn't think of it as death, Channon does:
-->'''Channon:''' All ''I'' know is that they're going to dump [[spoiler:his]] mind into a bunch of machines the size of a fat virus and then burn [[spoiler:his]] body. Sounds like death to me.
* The ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'''s Bishop had a sister named Shard who was essentially this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* The ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movies had Virtual Ghost versions of the Elders of Krypton sent along with the spaceship.
** Most recently in ''Film/ManOfSteel'', Jor-El's recorded consciousness interacts with Clark, showing him Krypton's history. [[spoiler: He also helps Lois Lane escape Zod's ship and gives her information on how to return Zod's army to the Phantom Zone. He then briefly confronts Zod before getting shut off for good.]]
* Subverted in the film version of ''Film/IRobot''. A dead scientist leaves behind a 2D holographic recording of himself to guide the main character, but this is a more realistic hologram than most, in that it is a simple computer program rather than a copy of the dead man's personality. Its most commonly-used statement is "I'm sorry, my responses are limited; you must ask the right question." Sonny himself describes the hologram simply as part of a "TrailOfBreadCrumbs".
* Used in ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' -- with Alfred, of all people, who calls it a "[[ShapedLikeItself virtual simulation]]".
* Jobe becomes one of these at the end of ''TheLawnmowerMan'', after consciously putting himself into the network and leaving his body behind.
* ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow''. A [[NikolaTesla Tesla]] Coil-projected image of MadScientist Dr Totenkopf warns off the protagonists, but it turns out he's been [[DeadAllAlong dead for over twenty years]], leaving his robots to carry out his scheme. The actor playing Dr. Totenkopf is one of these, too: the legendary [[LaurenceOlivier Sir Laurence Olivier]]. Like his character, Olivier had been dead for a while (15 years at the time of filming) and appears via computer manipulated stock footage.
* ''Film/GhostInTheMachine'' has one created accidentally in the present day, when a seriously injured SerialKiller is in an MRI machine which is overloaded by [[LightningCanDoAnything a lightning strike]]. This also conveniently fries and kills the physical body. The resulting electronic consciousness is able to travel through power lines and kills people by manipulating and overloading electronic appliances, such as turning a hairdryer into a flamethrower.
* ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'' has Anna Kalmann, the founder of [=PharmaKom=] whose brain was patterned into their mainframe so she could advise her successors. However she helps Johnny escape the company's agents.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', [[spoiler:Armin Zola is revealed to "live" in a roomful of 70s computer mainframes, expressing himself through monitors no more advanced than the 90s, {{Zeerust}} and only some modern technology such as an USB drive.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The Dixie Flatline construct in ''{{Neuromancer}}'', but since he's stored on [[TechnologyMarchesOn ROM]] he's little more than a recording. [[spoiler:The titular AI's purpose is to create Virtual Ghosts on RAM, including ones of Case's old girlfriend -- and Case himself.]]
* The first ''LazarusChurchyard'' story features "Virtual Heaven", a cyberspace environment full of the digitally preserved personalities of deceased programmers.
* Nimue/Merlin in ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' is technically this, a downloaded personality of ancient terran commander. She plays with this trope by having [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots life-like human body]], a PICA, which she uses to move around. [[spoiler:Nahrmahn Baytz]] becomes a more conventional one after [[spoiler:he's killed in terrorist attack]].
* Shade of Garth Nix's ''ShadesChildren''. Also, the Leamington personality from the University, though it was much less refined.
* Used in many of Peter F. Hamilton's novels. There was usually a HiveMind made up of these ghosts, and this method is considered a [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence viable alternative to death]].
* A future human society in StephenBaxter's ''ManifoldSpace'' makes use of "limited-sentience projections" as messengers. Initially Nemoto appears several times via more ordinary holographic telepresence, making for an unexpected WhatMeasureIsANonHuman moment when another character asks the projection what exactly it is; Virtual Nemoto explains and then looks horrified before dissolving into light.
* The fairly transhumanist novel ''Newton's Wake'' has virtual ghosts as self-aware beings who happen to be susceptible to the same kinds of access restrictions and file system commands as regular bunches of data. Some characters treat owning and utilizing virtual ghosts as slavery. Others test the defenses of computer systems by throwing copies of ghosts at them.
-->"The uploads replicate and develop relationships. Most of them go very bad. You sometimes get an entire virtual planet of four billion people devoted to building prayer wheels in an attempt at a denial of service attack on God."
* Calvin Sylveste in Alastair Reynolds' ''RevelationSpace'' (and also, to some extent [[spoiler:Sun Stealer and the Mademoiselle]]).
* The Citizens of Creator/GregEgan's ''Literature/{{Diaspora}}'' are either humanoids who took part in the Introdus, or their descendants. They all live in Polises, giant supercomputers that run separate (but interchangeable) virtual realities.
* In Ian Banks's ''Feersum Endjinn'' people who die have their memories saved and are reincarnated in new bodies, however after a certain number of deaths they are reduced to virtual ghosts. After they die enough times in the virtual world they stop existing altogether.
* In the ''StarWars'' ExpandedUniverse, Jedi and Sith memories consigned to a holocron are actually self-aware, making them great teachers; in the case of the Sith, they can even attempt GrandTheftMe if so inclined (Jedi could probably do it too, but never do if they're still on the Light Side).
* The idea is older than sometimes realized. "The Dead Lady of Clown Town" in Cordwainer Smith's story of that name written in 1964, is a virtual ghost, and also has a robot copy of her old body.
* An application of AI in ''Literature/InfinityBeach''. The main character uses it to talk to a simulation of her dead sister (which the AI chides her for, saying it's emotionally unhealthy).
* MikhailAkhmanov's ''[[ArrivalsFromTheDark Trevelyan's Mission]]'' series has the titular character being sent to various primitive worlds alone. His only companion is an implanted chip with the personality of his long-dead ancestor, a famous commodore, who often provides counterpoints to Trevelyan's thoughts.
* Most of humanity have been rendered into these in ''TheQuantumThief''. However, the Djinns featured in ''Fractal Prince'' are even closer to the trope, as they are people who were consumed by GreyGoo nanomachines called Wildcode and had their consciousness uploaded into the nanotech in the process. They haunt the Wildcode Desert like ghosts, sometimes attempting to possess living humans when given an opportunity.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' has Rimmer, and occasionally, other deceased crew members.
** They occasionally ''do'' examine it a bit more than most: in the novel ''Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers'' the hologram before Rimmer is assured by the ship's metaphysical psychiatrist that he's not really him, he just thinks he is. And in the "Back To Earth" revival, Rimmer is told there is no moral, ethical or legal problem with killing him, because the ''real'' Rimmer is already dead.
* ''Series/RoboCopTheSeries'' the TV series has Diana, a.k.a. the [=MetroNet NeuroBrain=]. Like Robo, a cyborg, but she has even less living tissue, and is permanently installed in a datacenter that runs all of Delta City. She was murdered and installed in the system by corrupt OCP scientists (she was a colleague) and thus helps Robo even against her employers.
* ''Series/SuperForce'' featured a low-resolution image of Patrick [=McNee=] as the digital recreation of a dead scientist.
* ''Series/VRTroopers'' had the same thing.
* ''Series/MaxHeadroom'' just barely counts -- he was intended to be Edison's Virtual Ghost, but Edison survived, and Max evolved into a very different person.
* Honorable mention: Al in ''Series/QuantumLeap'' -- he shows many of the same traits, though he's actually a living human whose holographic form is a sort of telepresence.
* Garibaldi memorably manages to destroy the world to save it from beyond the grave as a Virtual Ghost in one episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' - centuries after his death no less.
* Jor-El in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' is probably one of these, though admittedly, it is not quite explicit exactly ''what'' he is.
* Near-miss: the absence of real-time superluminal communication in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' (FasterThanLightTravel requires a living pilot) means that all messages must be delivered by courier. In at least one instance, particularly vital information is sent in the form of an AI recreation of the sender, so that his virtual ghost can carry on an interactive conversation.
** This was actually a {{Retcon}} to rationalize the use of real-time interstellar communication in several earlier episodes, which happened because the new producer of the show didn't look into the ground rules of the show's universe.
* A hologram version of Madeline appears in one episode of ''Series/LaFemmeNikita'', though she knows she isn't the original.
* Because no trope is complete without a ''Franchise/StarTrek'' entry: in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Next Generation]]'' episode "Inheritance", Data converses with a holographic AI of his creator, Noonien Soong.
** Not to mention the various EMH/LMH variants seen were based on the personalities and appearances of either Dr. Zimmerman (their creator) or a famous Starfleet doctor.
** In a ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode, Reg Barclay sends a hologram of himself to the ''Voyager'' in order to interact with the crew. Unlike the shy Reg, the hologram is lively and friendly. However, as it turns out, the hologram was intercepted and corrupted by a group of Ferengi who wish to get their hands of the ''Voyager'' even if it means the deaths of the crew.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' two-parter "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" features "data ghosts", neural patterns that are left over in the interfaces of the archaeologists' suits after the archaeologist dies. The ghost is an echo of the person's personality, unable to interact or learn and slowly "winding down" to the point where it can only drone mindlessly. In "Forest of the Dead", [[spoiler: it turns out one of the dead archaeologists was able to transfer their full personality into the library's [=WiFi=] system, and by the end, the Doctor's managed to transfer the personalities of everyone who died into the library's computer]].
** The upshot being that, technically [[spoiler: EverybodyLives]].
** The data ghost of River Song reappears in the episode 'The Name of The Doctor' to help guide Clara in helping The Doctor through his ordeal on Trenzalore. At first, she believes that only Clara can see her, but The Doctor later reveals that he has been able to see and hear her the whole time, giving her a last kiss and an emotional goodbye before leaping into his Timestream to rescue Clara.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'':
** There's a complex case in the form of Zoe Graystone's Avatar. She's a recreation of her creator, based on ''publicly available records of her life'', and yet, even her father acknowledges that the difference between the original (and now deceased) Zoe and the avatar version is inconsequential. Unlike most examples of this trope, the avatar version of Zoe existed alongside her creator, and the two had been able to converse. The questions her existence raises for the nature of what it means to be a person is at the philosophical heart of the series.
** Tamara is a more typical example, created after her original's death and not even realizing she was dead [[spoiler: until recently]].
* In ''Series/KnightRider 2010'', the supercar's computer intelligence was actually a copy of the mind of his girlfriend, who'd been in {{Cyberspace}} at the time of her murder so that her mind was [[YouFailBiologyForever not actually in her body at the time]]. In addition to controlling the car, she could project a hologram of herself.
* This ''[[WildMassGuessing may]]'' be the ultimate fate of the [[spoiler:Asgard]] as of season 10 of ''Series/StargateSG1''. [[spoiler:With their last attempt at curing their [[CloningBlues genetic disease]] ending in failure, they opt for mass suicide and the destruction of their society in order to stop other races from pillaging their ruins. But not before transferring all their knowledge and technology into a legacy device which was handed over to Stargate Command. This device also has holographic projections of the Asgard people, which can be accessed at will. Note, however, that said holograms are never shown to have personality, merely being a glorified user interface similar to the ''Film/IRobot'' example.]]
** In the episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' where Shepherd gets flung into the distant future by a solar flare intersecting with a wormhole, Rodney leaves behind a virtual ghost of himself before they abandon Atlantis in order to guide Shepherd when he emerges from the wormhole and hopefully be able to get him home.
** There's also the upload of [[spoiler:Dr. Franklin]] to ''Destiny'''s mainframe via the [[spoiler:neural interface chair]] in ''Series/StargateUniverse'', followed by [[spoiler:Ginn and Amanda Perry]] late in Season 2.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS10E13HaltAndCatchFire "Halt And Catch Fire" (S01, Ep13)]], a man who dies in a hit and run accident near an electrical line connected to a Wi-Fi antennae survives as a ghost who seeks revenge by traveling through Wi-Fi.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The band Music/XJapan did something as close to this as can be managed in RealLife for performances in 2008 and 2009. Lead guitarist [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] [[AuthorExistenceFailure died]] in 1998, but it was pretty much agreed among the band and the fans that he could not be left out of the performances due to his impact upon the band and his iconic status as a member of it. A hologram of hide (created by, among other people, one of his former solo programmers INA) played along with the live band, almost perfectly matching hide's facial expressions and behavior.

* Perhaps the most heartwarming instance of this trope applied to music occurs in the current tour of ''Music/JeffWaynesMusicalVersionOfTheWarOfTheWorlds'' The tour ads bill "Richard Burton--In Sight and Sound!" among the other lead singers...behind-the-scenes material on the official website shows how they made the new CGI Burton hologram possible, and indicates that this might very well be the first time a long-dead thespian returned to stage work through holography. It's a thing of beauty, and brings a lump to the throat when you see it.
* TupacShakur's appearance onstage at Coachella 2012.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Ariadne of ''VideoGame/MadDaedalus'' is the ArtificialIntelligence of a crashed alien spaceship, and appears as an attractive, glowing spectral woman.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TranshumanSpace'' setting for ''{{GURPS}}'' has virtual ghosts via destructive [[BrainUploading uploading]]. The result is actually called a ghost, and is legally the same person, although opinion is divided as to whether the uploading process is really immortality, or a really expensive and narcissistic suicide.
* In ''EclipsePhase'', a large number of human beings have spent time as a virtual ghost, due to the evacuation of Earth during TheSingularity mostly being done via BrainUploading. The majority were reincarnated into cheap, mass-produced robot bodies, but some decided they preferred to stay digital. Additionally, backups and cortical stacks mean that death is optional for just about everybody but the bioconservatives and terminally poor. People can get an implant that allows a virtual ghost to ride along in their body.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** The Necrons are an entire race of Virtual Ghosts. The ultimate goal of most of the Necrons' leaders, particularly the Silent King, is to find a way to transfer themselves back to bodies of flesh.
** The Tau have one in the form of Commander Puretide, who was considered a military genius back in his day, and is most famous because of his ability to teach his techniques to others, producing many successful commanders through his tutelage. In the last years of his life, his brain was carefully [[BrainUploading mapped and recreated in an A.I.]], that his knowledge and teaching abilities might be preserved for posterity. Even today the most promising Fire Caste commanders are sent to train under his [[ProjectedMan projected avatar]].
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' Ghosts in the Machine, remnants of flatlined hackers floating around in the Matrix, are widely considered an urban legend. However the 4th edition "Runner's Guide" has "Ghost" as a quality that AI characters can take. The earliest known one was Alice Haeffner, who died in the first Crash in 2029. Several more Ghosts were created during Crash 2.0 in 2064, including the datajacked dragon Eliohann.
* Known as eidolons in ''TabletopGame/{{Mindjammer}}'' and the most common form of smart AI in the Commonality, though it's generally accepted that they're not the person their initial memories came from.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Dr Carroll in ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' is the mind of a dead scientist programmed into a floating laptop computer. He appears in human form in [[{{Prequel}} Perfect Dark Zero]].
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'': This is Megaman.EXE's origin in the video games. Interestingly, not present in the anime version, ''Anime/MegaManNTWarrior''.
** It also seems likely that the Dr. Light hologram that appears in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series is a Virtual Ghost -- in the first game, it was possible that he simply provided pre-recorded messages, although remarkably prescient ones... but since then, the hologram has displayed knowledge that Dr. Light simply could not have had during his lifetime. This suggests he's still "alive" in some form.
*** In fact, the end of ''X5'' suggests [[spoiler:that Light's hologram is capable of existing outside the capsules. In fact, the capsules in the game show that the hologram knows who Zero is (there are various explanations for this), but also who Alia is, which would be impossible for the original, living Dr. Light. In addition, he actually tells Zero early in the game that he has no knowledge of Zero's systems, so he can't upgrade him, but then states later, in a hidden capsule, that he's done some research and can now upgrade Zero. A very capable Virtual Ghost, indeed.]]
** X himself takes a page out of his creator Dr. Light's book. X is now an EnergyBeing to serve as Zero's ObiWan when ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' rolls around.
* Cortana in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' game series is copied from a cloned brain of the creator of the SPARTAN-II Program, Dr. Catherine Halsey; no wonder she and Master Chief get along so well. In fact, this trope applies to all "smart" [=AIs=]; because they're copied from human brains, they have a much greater capacity to learn than their "dumb" counterparts, but they only have a life-span of about [[ArcNumber seven]] years due to information overload, and are far more prone to [[AIIsACrapshoot rampancy]]. The process also destroys the brain being copied from.
** It is possible for a "smart" AI to hang on for a little longer than seven years, if it has a purpose to do so. Juliana, the AI of the Rubble asteroid base in ''TheColeProtocol'', only shows small signs of rampancy despite being older than 7. However, after the end of her purpose, she volunteers to make a HeroicSacrifice.
** Forerunner AI [[spoiler:343 Guilty Spark]] is based off the mind of [[spoiler:a prehistoric human named Chakas]].
* In ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest IV'', villain Sludge Vohaul returns as a Virtual Ghost. [[spoiler:He also attempts to [[GrandTheftMe hijack the body]] of Roger's son to avoid being deleted.]]
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline Episode 1'' has this. [[spoiler: A mission in the hunter's guild involves you escorting Elly, a girl who exchanged messages with a friend named Calus who was in Pioneer 1 and seemed like the only survivor since he continued messaging her long after the vessel exploded and traces of the people inside were lost. The further you go, the more Calus's messages seemed to contradict itself until finally you meet Calus, who turns out to be an AI in a computer that's hacked and close to self-termination. An NPC after the mission is finished explained he heard of a professor with the same name who died young of illness and created AI-Calus to live on. Afterwards, Elly had a copy of his AI, which is referred as Cal in Episode 2.]]
* Adam, the computer from ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Fusion'' is actually [[spoiler:the mind of Samus's old CO Adam Malkovich.]] Who would've guessed? Anyone with a brain, perhaps, the foreshadowing is so hilariously obvious.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Anachronox}}'', the main character had his dead secretary digitized into an artificial intelligence on his PDA.
* Although not an exact Virtual Ghost as described above, Ether in the little known FMV game ''TerrorTRAX: Track of the Vampire'' describes herself as a "digital ghost".
* The dialogue for Dr Killjoy in ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'' seems to indicate that he is not a ghost or returned zombie-spirit-thingie like so many other adversaries. Apparently he set up spiritually-juiced film projectors throughout his Asylum and most of Carnate Island to test a subject he knew would be coming by long after he was dead. There are a few bits of physical interaction with the real world but mainly he is confined to filmstrips.
** The second game allows him to extend his influence to televisions in Baltimore.
* An experiment in A.I. led to this in one story arc in ''CityOfHeroes''. The player aids the doctor who was murdered and uploaded her mind into the Internet destroy the machine and her killers.
* In ''Videogame/DestroyAllHumans 2'', Pox has become one of these.
* In the ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' spin-off ''Virtua Quest'', the cast of ''Virtua Fighter 4'' (save Dural) appear as ghost data called "Virtua Souls". When [[PlayerCharacter Sei]] encounters them, he engages in a one-on-one fight with them and, upon defeating them, is bestowed with knowledge of their fighting techniques. The evil organizatio Judgement 6 is looking for Virtua Souls, themselves, for use in a new weapon...
* In ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders: the 2nd Runner'', [[spoiler:Viola, an AcePilot who died in the first game, returns as an AI. The Viola AI has all of the skills of the original, but none of the humanity.]]
* The VI located on ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'''s planet Ilos contains the last untouched record of [[{{Precursors}} the Protheans]] to [[spoiler:send a message to future civilizations warning them of the [[EldritchAbomination Reaper]] threat.]] While the VI is not a ghost ''per se'', it has access to a vast amount of personal data and information about the Protheans that is unlike anywhere in the extant Galaxy, and claims its personality is loosely based on the project director's. To say that the dialogue that occurs between Shepard and the VI is [[IncrediblyLamePun haunting]] would be an understatement.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard can run across another Prothean VI on [[spoiler: Thessia]] who is likewise based on a Prothean scientist named Pashek Vran. The VI doesn't consider itself to ''be'' Vran, though, merely based on him in personality.
** The quarians played this trope straight as a way to preserve their ancestors memories and knowledge, but stopped after the geth rebellion put the fear of true AI into them.
*** The codex states that the reason the quarians were so into AI research in the first place was a desire to upgrade these recordings into true intelligent virtual ghosts rather than limited-responses [=VIs=]. Since one of the first things the geth did was trash the ancestral archive, this didn't work out.
* Jefferson Clay in the Independence War series became one of these in his final battle. Created without consent, he is understandably upset about his situation and acts as the ship's resident DeadpanSnarker.
** He is the PlayerCharacter's mentor in the sequel.
* [[spoiler:Prometheus]] is this in both ''TheConduit'' and ''{{Conduit 2}}''.
* Infel and Nenesha from ''ArTonelico2'', posing as Mind Guardian of Cloche and Luca, respectively. [[spoiler:They are also the BigBad, and are manipulating Cloche and Luca into opening the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Tree of Marta]]]].
** Before that, [[spoiler:Mir]] from the first ''ArTonelico'' [[AndIMustScream had her soul forcibly severed from her body, and then locked in Binary Field]]. The ghosts aren't just virtual, they are vengeful.
* Lumi in ''ChildOfEden''.
* Ma3a in ''[[{{Tron}} Tron 2.0]]'' straddles the lines of this, BrainUploading, and InterfaceWithAFamiliarFace. [[spoiler: Dr. Lora Baines-Bradley was killed by being partially digitized with her laser. Whether by accident or design, the part of her left in cyberspace was compiled with the AI project she and Alan were working on, creating Ma3a.]]
* Clay Kaczmarek [[spoiler: ''[[TheObiWan Subject 16]]'']] in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' has a copy of his mind in the Templar's Animus machine. [[spoiler: ''[[FromBadToWorse He later gets deleted once the system starts purging files.]]'']]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson's dying wish is to achieve immortality through BrainUploading. Unfortunately he dies before the project is ready, so they go with his back-up plan: [[spoiler: upload his [[HypercompetentSidekick hypercompetent]] GirlFriday Caroline instead so that she can run Aperture forever. Oh, and [[UnwillingRoboticization don't bother asking her opinion of the plan]]. This [[GoneHorriblyWrong did not go well]], and resulted in the creation of [=GLaDOS=].]]
* In ''[[HeecheeSaga Gateway II: Homeworld]]'', the player finds the [[{{Precursors}} Heechee]], who have hidden themselves in a pocket universe the only way to which lies through a black hole. It turns out that, whenever a prominent Heechee dies, his or her brain is uploaded to a storage. The departed can then project themselves as heads and interact with those still living. This is only done when the Heechee is about to pass, as it's believed that the uploaded minds are the same people who have AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence. A rogue group reveals that they have secretly disproven this theory by deliberatley uploading a living person with the person not feeling or acting out of the ordinary. They maintain that the uploaded minds are merely copies of the people who died and thus should not be given equal say in Heechee politics. While this may seem cruel, the Virtual Ghosts are shown to be very conservative (as anyone who has lived long enough gets) and try to maintain the status quo by any means necessary.
* In ''Videogame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'', Handsome Jack, BigBad of ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' exists in the form of an AI hologram that only Rhys can see after he plugged the ID Drive of Professor Nakayama (Jack's StalkerWithACrush) into his head. ''Videogame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'' details the creation of the AI in a sidequest, which Jack refers to as the "Diet Soda of immortality".
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Towards the end of the web comic ''{{Narbonic}}'', main character Dave Davenport turns into one of these -- albeit a somewhat crazier variant than is the norm. Fortunately, his girlfriend is a [[MadScientist Mad Geneticist]], so he got better.
* Similarly deconstructed in '''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20010319.html here]] and [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20010320.html here]].
* The Computer from ''[[Webcomic/EvilPlan]]'' has [[spoiler: Will's mind uploaded into it. He retains his full memory and tells his backstory from personal experience, things which his programmer had no idea about. Very useful for getting Alice up to speed on how Stan became evil.]]
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''RedVsBlue'' offers an interesting take on this: [[spoiler:Church is killed early in the series and "comes back" as a ghost. However, in ''Reconstruction'' he finds that he is an AI based on a (living) person's mind.]] The newest series, ''Recreation'', seems to be about [[spoiler:bring Church back to "life" with the remnants of his digital memories, themselves manifested as an AI.]]
** [[spoiler:Tex]] may be a more straight version of this trope.
* Samantha Harrison from ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' is this, made of hardlight, projected by a wifi modem, who can convert into pure electricity, and that's just the start.
* ''Literature/TheJenkinsverse'' has Adrian Saunders finding the data core which contains the VirtualGhost of his dead friend [[spoiler: Trycrur]] as he builds the starship "Spot".
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Possibly Franz Hopper from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko''; his daughter Aelita was thought to be a Virtual Ghost, but is actually a digitized person who has survived for years in {{Cyberspace}}. Ulrich also spent one episode as a sort of Quantum Ghost due to his mind being accidentally separated from his virtual body.
* Borderline case: Watson in ''SherlockHolmesInTheTwentySecondCentury'' -- he's not so much a digital recreation of his namesake as a RobotBuddy who consciously chose to imitate Watson to the best of his abilities.
* [[spoiler:Megabyte]] pulls this trick near the end of ''ReBoot''. Even though he's already a computer program on a show taking place inside a computer. Yeah, probably best not to think about it too hard...
** He did this ''twice''. First to mess with whoever tried to shut down Mainframe's core manually, second time as a distraction. He was more or less intangible both times.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "Lost Soul", Robert Vance does this to himself so that he can advise his company from beyond the grave.
** Subverted in ''Return of the Joker''. The subversion is the kind of hardware the Virtual Ghost runs in. [[spoiler:It's former Robin Tim Drake's brain.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'': "Animatrons/Man or Machine", the BigBad turns out to be an android that the real Eisenstein uploaded his personality to before his death.
* Quite literally on ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}''. When Bender commits suicide in one episode his programming is uploaded into the cloud and he acts like a "normal" ghost who can't be seen by anyone except the robot devil and can possess machines.
* Professor Honneycut from ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' had his body destroyed when he was struck by lightning. Incidentally he was helping his robot assistant Sal get untangled from some fallen wires and had his mind uploaded to Sal's body.[[spoiler:It is later revealed that he uploaded himself to the internet shortly before his heroic sacrifice and comes back later to further aid the turtles]].
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