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Artifact Domination

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"The one-eyed wreath grants power but swallows the soul... It devours, stealing any sense of self... Truly, this crown rules all. Free him from this nightmare! Take his hand and save a new friend!"
Description of the True Final Boss under the influence of the Master Crown, Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe

An item of power, usually magical (or "magical") in nature, exerts some kind of mind control on its user. This is usually attached to a curse placed upon the item by its original owner, however it can be within the purview of a Living Weapon, an Empathic Weapon or a Talking Weapon to do this on its own. The object may also be acting as a Soul Jar, or the "can" of Sealed Evil in a Can and whatever is in it wants out. Oftentimes associated with an Artifact of Doom, and perhaps its capacity to possess its users is exactly what makes it "...of Doom". This can also be the result of Misapplied Phlebotinum or an imperfect understanding of the object by the characters using it. Whatever the case using, possessing or in some cases just being near the object allows it to exert mind control over sentient beings. This is usually in the form of a compulsion to act a certain way, ranging from general behavior influences (compulsion to commit certain acts like theft or murder, or act good/evil) or outright command to take a specific set of actions to lead to the object's desired outcome. Conversely, this may also reference an instance where touching an item leads directly to some kind of possession by an entity inhabiting the object.

Sub-Trope of Artifact of Power. Heavily associated with Artifact of Doom though not exclusively. One of the leading causes of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, though not the only one by any means. Can lead to Grand Theft Me, or Demonic Possession, but is not in and of itself demonic possession. Though largely a trope of evil, it's not exclusively evil. Many sources can be benign or even good.

Compare Evil Weapon, a frequent source. Contrast Hypno Trinket and Mind-Control Device, which exert direct control at the behest of another being.

Super-Trope of The Hat Makes the Man, Clothes Make the Maniac, and Weapon Wields You.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • Berserk has the Berserker Armor, which has the effect of bringing out the wearer's "inner beast" (in the Skull Knight's case, his familiar skull motif, in Guts' case, "The Beast", his Hell Hound evil side), turning him into a raging monster incapable of distinguishing friend from foe.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 features the Dark Spores. The good news: they make you faster and stronger, and provide genius intellect. The bad news: They turn you cold and sadistic. Worse news: their real purpose is to resurrect a seriously nasty baddie once enough of them have collected enough energy from those they've corrupted. Even worse news: they're imperfect copies of the real thing, so if they're not harvested, you die.
    • Don't play with the Beast Spirits in Digimon Frontier, either. You can learn to control yourself eventually, but that's only after a considerable amount of wrecking everything in sight. If you're not one of The Chosen Ones, using them at all may be hazardous to your sanity.
  • In Fatal Fury The Motion Picture Laocorn Gaudeamus first touches the Armor of Mars and is transformed from a good, if a little meek, businessman into a power-mad megalomaniac bent on finding the rest of the pieces of the armor and possess the power of Mars, the God of War. With each new piece he grew more powerful and more insane until he'd united them all and unwittingly summoned Mars himself to Earth.
  • Inuyasha:
    • The Jewel of Four Souls, which was formed when a powerful miko locked her own soul into an endless battle with a multitude of demons in order to contain them after her death. Initially regarded as a Dismantled MacGuffin, a single shard of the Jewel gives demons enormous power. Even those with good intentions are inevitably corrupted by shard use. Then it's revealed to have a malevolent will of its own, making it the Man Behind The Big Bad.
    • Downplayed with the demon blade Toukijin. It is so powerful it possesses its creator, kills him due to the sheer force of its power, and then continues to animate the corpse afterwards until Inuyasha hacks off the corpse's wrist to separate the sword from the body. Not even the story's Ultimate Blacksmith is capable of approaching it, causing the protagonists to warn Sesshoumaru that he'll be consumed by the sword if he touches it. Cue their absolute astonishment at Sesshoumaru's effortless victory over the sword's evil via willpower alone. Eventually, Sesshoumaru destroys the blade when the force of his compassion becomes too strong for the sword's hate to handle. Sesshoumaru is able to eventually replace it with a better sword.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - specifically Stardust Crusaders - has Anubis, the series' first autonomous Stand which inhabits an ancient katana. Anyone who manages to unsheathe the sword - or grabs the hilt after it is unsheathed - is possessed by Anubis and sent off to fulfill its objective: kill the main cast members. Even if they've never held a weapon in their lives, Anubis' power ensures that it isn't an issue, as demonstrated when it grants the young man who first finds it master swordsmanship abilities through what's essentially a barrage of glorified Jedi mind-tricks. And then Polnareff grabs it. Y'know, the guy whose Stand is a swordsman with a rapier so fast it can rival Star Platinum (or at least give its user pause for concern)?
  • The Red and Blue Orb in Pokémon Adventures does this to anyone with a weak mind, where even Tabitha who touched it briefly went mad. Archie and Maxie learned this the hard way.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has the Mirari twists and corrupts those who seek its power. Originally it was only meant to be a probe, but ended up spilling magical power into the world corrupting its wielders.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • When Spider-Man first came into possession of his symbiotic costume he was unaware that it was a living entity. The symbiote, coming from a fairly violent species, slowly twisted Spidey into a more violent version of himself until he realized what was going on and got rid of it. Several other symbiotes exist in the Marvel Universe and the symbiote is a danger to take over its host. However, most of these symbiotes have found sympathetic hosts, so it's not known how much influence they exert or how much is the host's own appetite for destruction.
    • After leaving Spider-Man the first symbiote found Eddie Brock whose own hatred of Spider-Man and violent temper were a better fit.
    • Another symbiote found violent serial killer Cletus Kasady and became Carnage, a mass-murdering supervillain.
    • After Eddie Brock rejected the symbiote, he auctioned it off to Don Fortunato who gives it to his under-achieving son Angelo, hoping the power of the symbiote will finally make him into something. However, when Angelo becomes frightened of his newfound power and refuses to kill a weakened Spider-Man, the symbiote abandons him.
    • Agent Venom (Flash Thompson) is only allowed to wear the suit for 48 hours at a time precisely so it cannot take control of his mind.
  • Ghost Rider: Dan Ketch became the second Rider when he found (then-dead) Johnny Blaze's old motorcycle and touched the gas cap, becoming possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance.
  • Also from Marvel; the Darkhold is a Tome of Eldritch Lore penned by Chthon to serve as a foothold in Earth's dimension after his banishment from it. Anyone who uses it risks becoming enslaved to Chthon's purposes.
  • Long ago the Skrull brought the Resurrection Stone to earth. The consciousness of the gem is malevolent and seeks to bring chaos to the universe while feeding on sentient beings' desire for immortality. Ultimately, no mortal being can withstand such power. Entire civilizations have been destroyed by the madness it brings with it.
  • Green Lantern: All of the colors of the spectrum represent emotionsnote  and are wielded via power rings (well, the Indigo Tribe uses staves). The rings are actually sentient quantum-computers created by one of the most technologically advanced races in the universe. It's generally stated that the further away from the middle (Green) that a ring is, the more control it has over its user.
    • The Star Sapphire Corps actually captures and brainwashes foes in crystal "Conversion Chambers" and then indoctrinates them into the corps. The rings also attempt to take over the minds of their users; only very strong-willed Star Sapphires (like Carol Ferris) can resist being "...put on auto-pilot."
    • Red Lanterns are little more than rage-driven war machines. Most of them can only use the most basic functions of their rings (flight, life support) and very few of them act on anything other than pure rage.
    • The Indigo Tribe is shown to take violent criminals and chain them to their staves until the Indigo light forces them to become loyal and compassionate servants.
    • There can only be one Orange Ring of Avarice, because anyone who experiences its power becomes irrevocably rapacious; seeing to possess its power exclusively. It makes them incredibly greedy and gluttonous, desiring to own all they survey.
  • DC Comics also has the Heart of Darkness; a black crystal that can grant its host fearsome mystical powers. The cost? Said host almost always becomes a flesh puppet to the evil spirit within the diamond: Eclipso.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): The Heart of Baetylus comes with necromancy powers, however it dominates and warps the minds of those who carry it besides Hippolyta and can outright possess them if they have no powers of their own to try and stave off its genocidal intent.
  • The Mask: The title artifact grants its wearer Nigh-Invulnerability and reality warping powers, but also loosens their inhibitions until eventually they become a cackling Ax-Crazy mass-murderer.
  • Suicide Squad: The Thinker technology is an interesting example in that it isn't sentient, but along with the intellect boost it gives to its users, it amplifies their more negative traits and induces a fairly strong psychosomatic addiction, making most users get hooked after the first use. It's possible to resist it, but it takes quite a bit of Heroic Willpower and an equal amount of spite.

    Light Novel 
  • Durarara!! has Saika, a katana with an insane love for humanity that being a sword is centered around carnage. It's constantly consumed by thoughts of loving humanity, thoughts that overwhelm anyone in contact with it, either as a wielder or a victim of its blade. It's even infectious, implanting "children" into whoever it cuts that control their hosts with it as Hive Queen, each one capable of replicating its powers with blades of their own. The only reason she's not dominating her current wielder is because they were so traumatized that they're completely numb to feelings of love.

  • The Trope Codifier is probably the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings. Once the property of the ultimate evil Sauron, The One Ring was built to rule over nineteen other rings of power given to the kings of the other races of Middle Earth. In this, Sauron hoped to control and rule all of the peoples of Middle Earth. Sauron poured a great deal of his own power into the ring, and in doing so imbued it with a piece of his soul. As a result, anyone coming near the ring would be tempted to claim its power for themselves. It would also make anyone who was in contact with it for any length of time paranoid, cruel and greedy. It also makes them very selfish, especially when it comes to the ring. The One Ring is sentient, containing Sauron's soul. It wants to be returned to Mordor and used to resurrect its master. The ring can be used to grant invisibility and it lengthens the lifespan of its owner.
    • Isildur first claimed the ring after he killed Sauron, and it compelled him not to destroy it. It was lost when Isildur was killed by orcs and fell into a river. It's been suggested the ring itself chose to abandon Isildur to his fate.
    • It was found 2500 years later by the Stoor Hobbit Déagol while on a fishing trip with his cousin Sméagol. The two of them fought over the ring at its insistence until Sméagol murdered Déagol. Sméagol was changed by the Ring’s influence over several centuries into the creature known as Gollum. Gollum, after being exiled from his home, sought shelter far beneath the Misty Mountains. There he and it remained for nearly five hundred years, until the Ring abandoned him and fell off his finger. Later, when he discovered Frodo Baggins was in possession of the ring, he tracked Frodo down. Even after being captured and forced into service by the hobbit and his friend Samwise Gamgee, Gollum was driven by his desire to possess the ring once more. He enacted several plans to try and have Frodo and Sam killed so he could again possess it.
    • Bilbo Baggins next possessed the ring and used its power of invisibility several times in his adventure to slay the dragon Smaug. While the ring didn't seem to try to compel or corrupt Bilbo as it did the other users, it did have a slight hold on him; even when told by his friend Gandalf of the ring's evil, he needed a great deal of persuasion in order to part with it.
    • Frodo Baggins bore the ring to Mount Doom and was constantly tempted by its evil. As the journey wore on he began to grow paranoid, greedy and weary of its evil. He remarked several times about being able to feel Sauron's spirit and hear him calling to the ring. Even knowing he had to destroy it, he could not, instead Gollum stole it and then fell into the fires of Mount Doom, thus destroying it.
    • Though he never possessed the ring, Boromir felt its call and desired to possess it. He even tried to steal it from Frodo, threatening the hobbit with his sword until he realized he was under the influence of the ring's evil.
    • Frodo offered the One Ring to the elf queen Galadriel who, though tempted by the power, refused the ring saying that she had, "passed this test."
    • As mentioned above, The One Ring was also intended to make the other Rings of Power into mind control devices that would enslave their bearers to The One Ring. Though in practice, the results were mixed. The Elves took off The Three the moment they noticed what Sauron was trying to do. The Dwarves' natural hardy mental states made them unsuitable for outright mind control through the Seven, though the Seven did make them even more greedy. Only the Nine that Sauron gave to Men had the intended effect of enslaving their bearers to Sauron.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry carries a Horcrux note  on a chain around his neck for safekeeping and starts to act like a dangerous Jerkass. Later, once the trio realize what's happening they take turns wearing it, only for a few hours at a time each so it won't corrupt them too much.
  • In the Discworld book Men at Arms, there is The Gonne which compels most of the people who wields it to kill.
  • In The Dresden Files, just touching a Blackened Denarii coin is enough to invite the fallen angel bound to it into your mind, where they will toy with your perceptions, offer you power, and eventually turn you into their flesh puppet. If you're especially strong-willed, you might become the Fallen's partner, but you're still going to be evil.
  • The Illearth Stone from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is pure evil and extremely powerful. Even shards cut from it are potent magic items that can corrupt people. Additionally, if the Illearth Stone or a shard of it is in one place for long, its evil anti-nature aura will kill off all the plants in a large radius around it.
  • Zig-zagged with Rebel Geniuses novel Warrior Genius. A genius's gem does not inherently dominate the user, but for Tulpas such as Zanobius or Giaccomo, its possible for the gem of their creators' geniuses to be used as a Mind-Control Device.
  • Area 51: The Airlia computers mentally dominate the people who foolishly turned them on.
  • Hemalurgic Spikes in Mistborn. Piercing yourself with a metal spike made from a dead Allomancer or Feruchemist grants you their power, but gives Ruin a hold on you. One spike only allows communication and slight emotional imbalance, which is bad enough when Ruin's favorite way to manipulate someone is to appear as the ghost of a loved one. More spikes grant Ruin more influence; the kandra have two and are given a suicide pact in the event that Ruin tries to take control, and Marsh, who has over twenty, is forced to kill and like it.
  • The pieces of the Heart of Vermiel in Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Giant Monster seem very friendly, and offer power without asking anything in return. But the power influences your behavior, making you more aggressive and destructive, until you have your brain overlaid by Vermiel's.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Angel there are a few.
    • The Shroud of Rahmon from the episode of the same name causes anyone near it to become psychotic. They will fight to the death to claim it.
    • Lindsey McDonald has his hand cut off at the end of season 1, and has it replaced by an evil hand sometime later. It writes "KILL" on everything, and Lindsey feels threatened that it will take over his mind, so much so that he leaves Wolfram and Hart afterwards, and isn't seen again til the show's final season.
      Lindsey McDonald: "You do know you gave me an evil hand, right? I've been writing kill kill kill on everything. It's crazy. It's crazy. Anything could happen! Alan how are you?" [Punches Alan and steals his gun.] "Uh oh. Uh oh." [Shoots Alan's foot.] "Ooooh, that's going to hurt in the morning. Come here." [Throws Alan to the ground.] "Stop it, evil hand, stop it!" [Shoots around the room.] "I just can't control my evil hand."
    • In one of the most heartbreaking examples, Fred touches Illyria's sarcophagus and is slowly converted into Illyria, an Eldritch Abomination from ancient history. Fred's body is completely taken over by Illyria, who also absorbs her memories and destroys her soul. Though declaring there is no more of Fred's soul in her, Illyria reverts to Fred for her parents and Wesley.
  • One episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer centered around the Brooks Family's letterman jacket, passed down through generations as a family heirloom. The jacket carried a love spell that made Dawn Summers, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Anya Jenkins fall in love with its current owner, R.J. Brooks. As a result, Dawn pushed R.J.'s rival down a flight of stairs and tried to kill herself on a railroad track to show how much she loved him even if she couldn't compete with the older women; Buffy tried to kill Principal Wood due to R.J.'s issues with him; Willow tried to transform R.J. into a woman to make him fit her sexual preference; and Anya robbed a bank.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", Percy Bysshe Shelley is taken over by a Cyberman AI called the Cyberium after finding it in Lake Geneva while out walking. The Cyberium proceeds to: make Shelley invisible and inaudible to others upon returning to the villa, twist the house into a Mobile Maze as a security system, and cause Shelley to see all kinds of symbols and information that he draws all over the walls of one of the bedrooms.
  • In Grimm the Coins of Zakynthos have the effect of causing the person who holds them to have delusions of grandeur and of great power, and also a murderous drive to keep them away from others who might try to take them. We see Sean Renard fall victim to them and have dreams of mass adoration from the public, and later old film reels reveal they had ties to Nazi Germany.
  • The Librarians 2014 has a few of these, unsurprisingly.
    • While trying to rescue Santa, Ezekiel Jones is given Santa's hat which is a magical talisman. While wearing the hat, Ezekiel is filled with the "Spirit of Christmas" and spreads cheer and goodwill. He is also compelled to grant anyone's "Christmas wishes" if he is able to. He even does a bit of Christmas baking before he's rid of it.
      • At the end of the episode, the hat is given to the villain, and he's tricked into granting the heroes' wishes in order to defeat himself.
    • The next episode had the Apple of Discord, an item which turned whoever held it into the absolute worst version of themselves.
      • Jake Stone (an art historian) went into a museum and berated the staff for hanging paintings in the wrong place, threatening physical violence against them.
      • Cassandra Cillian gets hold of it next and her Ludicrous Precision forces her to become a Mad Mathematician who tries to set off an Earth-Shattering Kaboom for fun.
      • Flynn Carsen gets hold of it next and laments his life of sacrifice, saying that with his knowledge he should be a god.
      • Ezekiel Jones grabs it and... is fully immune. As an unapologetic self-centered narcissistic thief; he's already the worst possible version of himself that he can be.
  • The Sleepy Hollow season 2 episode "Root of All Evil" centers around one of the Thirty Pieces of Silver given to Judas to betray Jesus. Whoever possess the coin is compelled to seek revenge for any transgressions, no matter how slight. It forces a woman to shoot up the bank where she works after being passed over for promotion, another man kills his father whom he resents for pressuring him into the family business and it sends one of the protagonists on a mission to kill the person she believes is responsible for the death of her mother. Oh, and one of these coins was responsible for Benedict Arnold's famous defection.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager’s episode Memorial, the ship’s vicinity to a memorial artifact placed on a planet causes the crew to re-enact an ancient military conflict.
  • Supernatural is no stranger to cursed/haunted artifacts.
    • The Season 7 episode "Out With The Old" has a small cache of cursed items which kill their victims in specific ways.
      • A pair of ballet shoes that make their wearer dance uncontrollably until their feet explode. After recovering them, Dean admits that he feels a compulsion to put them on, himself.
      • A teapot that forces people to drink its boiling water directly from the spout.
      • A gramophone which hypnotizes a child to try and kill his mother with a knife, but he's stopped by Sam.
      • A vintage "Gentleman's Magazine" which kills through unspecified methods.
        Dean: You know, I wonder how old porn kills you.
        Sam: Pretty sure you don't want to know.
        Dean: Hey, got the porn. Just in time, too.
        Sam: What was he doing?
        Dean: Uh, like you said; you don't wanna know.
    • At the end of Season 9 Dean acquires The Mark of Cain and The First Blade. When given to a mortal the Mark and The Blade turn their owner increasingly violent and create a strong need to kill and will eventually turn them into a demon.
  • Common in Warehouse 13, the very first artifact Myka and Pete saw was an Aztec bloodstone that brainwashed a museum worker into trying to kill the president. Several more popped up through the series, some were complete mind control, others would gradually turn their user evil the more they were used. Pete at one point says that this is why seemingly harmless artifact are being kept under lock and key, mentioning ones with miraculous benefits that also permanently make you a remorseless killer.

    Multiple Media 
  • Played straight and inverted with the same artifact in BIONICLE, where the Mask of Life uses its immense power to either ward off intruders or to enlist them, sometimes against their will, as its guardians. Later in the story, though, it becomes a Soul Jar for Mata Nui, who becomes its dominant personality and makes full use of its power.

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-708 ("The Big Orange Forklift"). Anyone who sits in SCP-708 and starts it up is subject to its mental effects. If the person has no violent inclinations then they will be obsessed with using SCP-708 to lift other objects. If they have violent tendencies they will use SCP-708 as a weapon against anyone or anything they can see.
    • SCP-764 ("The Obscene Show"). When anyone looks at SCP-764-1 and SCP-764-2 (Punch and Judy puppets) with no barrier between them, they are compelled to don the Hand Puppets and put on a show. Everyone else nearby is forced to act like an audience member.
    • In general a very common feature in SCP objects, to the degree that it's considered a cliché by many of the site members.
    • Turned on its head with SCP-804: The most frightening thing about this object is that it doesn't have any mental compulsion effects. As a Foundation researcher puts it:
    "... why did a group of activists throw themselves and their neighbors into the deadly workings of a machine that they thought was going to wipe all human life off of Mother Earth? They simply wanted to do it."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The Trope Namer is The AD&D 2nd Edition Book of Artifacts which lists "Artifact Domination" as a bad side-effect of many of the entries contained therein.
      • The Acorn of Wo Mai contains a demon who will try to get people around the object to free it. It will kill them if they do.
      • The All-Knowing Eye of Yasmin Sira is a veil which will gradually alter the perception of its wearer to make the world consistent with his or her "ideal" world. It can alter their sense of sight and sound, and filter out anything that is inconsistent with the wearer's dream world.
      • The Axe of the Emperors will attempt to possess any user, gradually turning them into a lawful evil ogre with a constant compulsion to slay other ogres.
      • Blackjammer's Cutlass attempts to turn the user into a black-hearted pirate always on the lookout for treasure who says "Arrgh, Matey" far too much.
      • The Book With No End seeks to possess its users to seek world domination.
      • The Book of Exalted Deeds would increase the wisdom and other ability scores of good aligned characters, but physically harm non-good characters or change their alignment.
      • The Book of Vile Darkness was a Tome of Eldritch Lore which would increase the wisdom and other ability scores of evil aligned characters, yet physically harm non-evil characters or change their alignment.
      • The Codex of Infinite Planes can do this. It has no limits to what it can do, and no mortal can read more than 99 pages without some horrible fate befalling them.
      • If the Coin of Jisan the Bountiful is used for selfish purposes, it will turn its user into a ravenous glutton until they freely give the coin to a complete stranger.
      • The Crystal of the Ebon Flame attempts to brainwash anyone within 30 feet of it into a cult dedicated to worshiping it. It's heavily hinted that the Crystal is an ancient god's prison.
      • The Hammer of Gesen slowly turns its user into a chaotic good fighter, losing any other classes they may have had. Eventually they are unable to resist any good cause, and will seek to challenge and destroy evil wherever they find it.
      • The Hand and Eye of Vecna seek to possess their owners to further Vecna's goals, including summoning him (now a demigod) back to the prime material plane.
      • Heward's Mystical Organ has a chance to either strike those who hear it mad; or make them unbearably depressed; unable to eat or drink until they waste away.
      • The Horn of Change has a 1% (Cumulative) chance to turn its owner into a compulsive gambler, however this can be rectified by giving the artifact away.
      • The Invulnerable Coat of Arnd is still inhabited by the spirit of the Paladin from whom it takes its name. Anyone wearing it is susceptible to turning into a wandering do-gooder, helping the poor and unfortunate as a 14th level cleric, whether they're a cleric or not.
      • The Iron Bow of Gesen turns its users into a wild horseman of the steppes; eventually turning them into a crusader unable to resist any adventure or good cause.
      • The Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless is filled with a demon who can snatch mortals into its realm to become slaves for eternity, or it can change them into an evil megalomaniac who seeks to destroy all of creation!
      • Johydee's Mask allows users to shape-shift into another humanoid creature and imitate them perfectly; however the longer they wear the mask the are increasingly likely to believe they're actually the person they're imitating.
      • The Mace of Cuthbert turns its wielder into a zealous lawful good follower of St. Cuthbert who will attempt to convert anyone they meet.
      • Theoretically possible with the Machine of Lum the Mad. Several of its settings can affect any number of curses from driving people mad, to Demonic Possession.
      • The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o has a chance to sent its driver into a battle rage for 24 hours in which they drive the nigh-indestructible vehicle to destroy anything it its path.
      • The Monocle of Bagthalos has a chance to make the user remember every misdeed they've committed against everyone in their life and compel them to make amends.
      • The Orbs of Dragonkind are all possessed by spirits of ancient and powerful dragons who will seek to turn their owners into dragons and possess them. If successful the dragon's soul takes up residence in the new body and the person's soul is lost forever.
      • The Psychometron of Nerad compels its wearer to end slavery and attempt to destroy the sorcerer kings and the dragon it's namesake opposed in his life.
      • Queen Ehlissa's Marvelous Nightengale reverts its user to childhood and gives them night terrors which render them unable to sleep and drains their experience levels.
      • The Regalia of Might comes in three vintages, Good, Neutral, and Evil. Any character who handles a Regalia of a different alignment risks a number of bad effects (it gets very complicated) including having their soul corrupted into the alignment of the artifact they're wielding.
      • The Ring of Gaxx slowly turns its wearer into a demon, once the transformation is complete, they need the ring to survive.
      • Possessing any part of the Rod of Seven Parts risks turning you into a devout follower of law and order. The effect is stronger as the character possesses more pieces.
      • The Rod of Teeth turns its users Chaotic Evil and might just switch your mind with that of your target.
      • The Silencer of Bodach turns its owners into a blood-thirsty megalomaniac who seeks to command any group or area before him.
      • The Sword of Kas seeks to destroy Vecna and anything associate with him and will compel any user into this mission. It also demands to be drenched in blood daily, forcing its user to kill to placate this demand.
      • Teeth of Dalhvar-Nar turn their owners chaotic evil and eventually instills into them the personality of a red dragon. they become greedy, covetous, hoard their possessions in a cave and obsessively seek to acquire more wealth.
      • The Triad of Betrayal's individual pieces turn their users cruel, greedy, jealous and compel them to betray their friends and loved ones.
    • 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide. Magical swords had an Ego based on how powerful they were. A sword with a high enough Intelligence and Ego could take over the mind of the person wielding it and control their behavior.
  • The Earthbound in Demon: The Fallen are fallen angels who have been summoned from the Abyss over the millenia and bound to physical objects because living creatures were not strong enough to hold their essence. As a result, they have gradually become completely inhuman, all the while their power grew. This resulted in a number of objects that Mind Rape any humans who come near into their fanatical servants.
  • True to some extent of all magical equipment in 13th Age. Magical items all have some degree of personality, and at very least impose personality quirks on their wielders. These effects are significantly exacerbated if an adventurer wears too many magic items, and gamemasters are encouraged to make things complicated for players trying to game this trade-off...
  • Warhammer Fantasy: The orc warlord Azhag the Slaughterer once found a crown that belonged to the lich Nagash. Ever since he put it on, the crown has wielded him as a tool in order to reunite with its master, using extremely un-orky tactics such as actual tactics. However, greenskins are notoriously hard to dominate, and the crown never managed to fully possess him, settling for giving him instructions and advice and casting spells, leaving the impression that Azhag is often seen arguing with himself. He was defeated when the crown tried to possess him during battle, leaving himself open to attack.

    Video Games 
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The bracelet unearthed at the start of the game starts subtly affecting the mind of Miku. As the granddaughter of Zet, the last Latour warrior, the bracelet is seeking out her compatibility.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Frostmourne, the blade of the Lich King. Frostmourne held a fragment of Ner'zhul's power and was ejected from his prison on the Frozen Throne to be found by one powerful enough to free him. Eventually the legend of the blade was discovered by Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron who sought to possess its power to help his people who were under constant attack from the undead Scourge army. Upon discovering the blade, Arthas was undeterred by the warning carved into its pedestal: "Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit." Under Frostmourne's influence Arthas tried to murder his best friend Muradin Bronzebeard. He then returned home and murdered his own father. After that he killed his mentor, the legendary paladin Uther the Lightbringer when confronted over his deeds. He then became a champion of the Lich King, betraying and murdering his friends and allies and ultimately destroying his own kingdom by turning it into a festering, plague-ridden land of the undead. Finally Arthas destroyed the Lich King's prison, donned the possessed Armor of Dominion and became the Lich King; which was what Frostmourne wanted all along.
    • After consuming The Skull of Gul'Dan Illidan Stormrage transformed into a powerful malevolent demon. This led his brother to banish him from the forests, and eventually led to his trying to claim the throne of Outland. To be fair to Illidan, he still had noble intentions for destroying the Burning Legion and saving Azeroth and he was already pretty unstable and dark even before that happened, but absorbing the Skull's power really didn't do his mental state any favors.
    • Neltharion the Earth-Warder created the Dragon Soul under the influence of eldritch abominations. Its whispers promised him power beyond his wildest dreams if they served him. However they underestimated its pull on the ancient dragon. Becoming paranoid and power hungry, Neltharion nearly destroyed the Blue Dragonflight (driving their leader mad in the process) and sent the other dragons into hiding out of fear of his wrath. Because of his actions, he was christened Deathwing the Destroyer and the Dragon Soul became known as the Demon Soul. Deathwing's body body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Goblin smiths forged an armor of adamantium to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers and keep them in check. Only the adamantium plates kept the power from destroying his body.
  • The demonic sword Soul Edge from the Soul Series of fighting games. The sword invades the mind of its wielder and turns it into its host body, removing the wielder's self-consciousness and turning them into a bloodlusting machine whose only goal is to offer the souls of slain ones to the sword. The sword's influence can also affect the user's physical appearance in varying degrees, the most common effect being a demonic-looking deformed arm.
  • The Gem of Might from the Record of Agarest War series that does precisely as its name says, but at a VERY terrible price of the wearer slowly becoming an accursed Gurg and, at first, retains their identity/mind, but has become enslaved to the forces of darkness' cause of plunging the world into darkness once they're fully corrupted by the artifact, as per Summerill's orders to them. Over time, however, they eventually lose their entire sense of identity and mind, ending up a mere mindless puppet of horrific strength, existing only to destroy innocents and sow discord within various kingdoms, having them turn on one another for very selfish/cruel reasons, with no sense of remorse or guilt whatsoever, effectively becoming an unstoppable killing machine that, without the Oathsworn/Werdefahrt bloodline and their comrades resisting them, would have laid absolute waste to Agarest, leaving it in complete ruin forevermore.
  • Pieces of Reaper technology in the Mass Effect series have the same, albeit weaker indoctrination effect as functioning Reapers themselves: any living being that spends prolonged periods of time in their vicinity is imbued with the Reaper agenda and, knowingly or unknowningly, starts advancing their goals.
  • Moshi Monsters has the Sonic Sapphire-a gemstone that can make monsters confused and hypnotise them. Music spreads its powers.
  • Atlantis artifacts in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey are described as having a will to defend themselves. They do this by transforming their bearers into mythical monsters and dominating their minds. The unfortunate bearer will not even recognize their loved ones while under an artifact's influence.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • The amulet of the Lord of the Nightosphere turns its wearer into a giant demon and imbues them with magical powers, but also changes their alignment from whatever it previously was to Chaotic Evil (the D&D alignment name is explicitly invoked in dialogue).
    • The Ice Crown's effect is less instant, but also seriously unpleasant. The best outcome ever achieved caused the wearer to become a dangerously demented Cloudcuckoolander who only rarely did truly evil things, but flashbacks and in-canon alternate universes have showed much worse things happening.
  • The Shen Gong Wu in Xiaolin Showdown become capable of this during "The Last Tempation of Raimundo". Because of the Heylin Comet passing overhead, using any Wu carries the risk of them possessing the user, driving them to seek out more Wu, mutating them into a hulking giant, falling deeper under their control until they're rendered a mindless vessel to be possessed by Wuya herself in her spirit form.