Follow TV Tropes


Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence

Go To

Jackson: I'm energy now.
O'Neill: [sarcastically] How's that working out for you?
Jackson: Good, actually.

The character ascends to a higher state of being, possibly even becoming a god. It can result from other supernatural causes, but is most often used as a character's fate after they die, in a riff on the idea of a heavenly afterlife.

It is mostly a way to pay off a character. Or play off, in some cases. A way to put the character on a bus, though that's not all that it's used for. If the writers should need the character back, it can be very easy to reverse, in which case the character will De-power as a God in Human Form. Sometimes the accession isn't even meant to be permanent if the writer needs some way for a character to enter a higher plane, then leave with something important like knowledge or a new power. If the character has left their clothes behind, untouched, it's a case of Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing.

The Singularity can cause whole populations to ascend.

Expect examples of this trope to make use of the words "ascend" and "above" in line with Heaven Above, where the divine and supernatural are associated with the sky above us. Compare Disappears into Light, Winged Soul Flies Off at Death, No Body Left Behind, Fading Away. Contrast Cessation of Existence and Dragged Off to Hell. See Ending by Ascending for more symbolic versions of this.

As generally a Death Trope, most Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 18if: There are two kinds of worlds in this series: the waking world and the dream world. People in the dream world can influence the waking world, while people who die in the waking world still exist in the dream world. The finale introduces a third world, the realm of God. The protagonist Haruto decides to go there, even after having the chance to return to the waking world.
  • In Angel Beats!, this is what the Battlefront was created to fight because they feared they would be reincarnated as something low such as a barnacle. Fortunately they get over it later.
  • In Casshan: Robot Hunter, Tetsuya's soul rejoins that of his parents and the three become a beam of light that activates the failsafe to shut down the evil robots.
  • Although the scene may not be completely clear at first, this is confirmed to be Nono's fate at the end of Diebuster. After absorbing the energy of a new Big Bang, she leaves off to an unknown dimension, trascending spacetime itself in the process. The title of the show's final episode: "The Story of Your Life" is actually reference to Ascended Nono watching over Lal'C's life from up there, from a place beyond time.
  • Son Goku in the last episode of Dragon Ball GT (it's hinted at), as he says goodbye to his friends and family, then leaves and apparently merges with Shenron and the Dragon Balls.
  • Subverted in Eureka Seven. In the series finale, the title character and Green-Skinned Space Babe Eureka decides to sacrifice her mortal form and become the new Coralian Control Cluster, replacing the previous one which had been destroyed by series Big Bad Dewey Novak, in order to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. Her Love Interest, series lead Renton Thurston, talks her out of it and their newly sentient Humongous Mecha, the Nirvash type ZERO, does it instead.
  • A more optimistic way of way of looking at what happened to the dragons in Fairy Tail.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Toki and Raoh both literally ascend to the Heavens when they die. Kaioh also has his own version of this by engulfing himself with lava with the corpse of Hyoh after being defeated by Kenshiro.
  • In Future Diary, Yukiteru Amano replaces Deus as Ruler over the Space-Time Continuum. 10,000 years later, he is joined by the third Yuno Gasai.
  • Happens repeatedly in Ghost in the Shell, in the form of Virtual Ghosts roaming the internet. Once, an ascended character merges with another ascended character to reach new levels of ascension.
    • The ending of the movie, when Major Kusanagi joins her consciousness with that of the Puppet Master.
    • And the ending of the Man-Machine Interface, where ever higher-tier artificial life is created, and Kusanagi-Puppetmaster fuses with them in turn, possibly along with her "daughters."
  • Gundam:
    • Implied to be what happens to some Newtypes after death in the Universal Century continuity
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Tieria Erde in the TV finale when his physical body was killed by Ribbons but he uploaded himself into Veda to continue looking after the human race. But he gets better in the movie.
  • Probably what happens in Haibane Renmei when a Haibane takes the Day of Flight, assuming that they were put in the Epiphanic Prison for a reason.
  • Hoshin Engi: Those who are "Houshined" (notable humans, monsters and Sennin who die during the conflict and have their souls sent to the Houshindai) will become part of the newly created Shinkai ("Divine World") separated from the human and Sennin worlds. By the end of the manga, all the Houshined people have reincarnated as themselves in the Shinkai and, as Genshi Tenson explains, can help mortals in spiritual form. In the end, Dakki achieves a similar result by taking over Joka's real body and merging it with the Earth itself.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Battle Tendency: This is the ultimate goal of Kars. He did achieve his goal of becoming the Ultimate Life Form, but only for a short amount of time before being defeated by Joseph Joestar.
    • Stardust Crusaders: Polnareff, after burning Vanilla Ice in sunlight, witnesses the spirits of Avdol and Iggy floating away, giving him their acknowledgement before departing.
    • Golden Wind: During the last battle, Bucciarati commits a Heroic Sacrifice by destroying Requiem to prevent Diavolo from obtaining the Stand Arrow and because his body had already lost all functionality, his spirit ascends to afterlife after giving Giorno reassurance.
  • In Naruto, after the spirit of the Fourth Hokage, Naruto's father, appears in Naruto's mind to stop him from releasing the Kyuubi, he rebuilds the seal, puts his faith in him, and fades away, now in peace with the fact that Naruto's determination has returned and that the Kyuubi will not roam the world again.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Stocking returned to Heaven near the end only to return in time for the finale.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • This turns out to be the fate of Madoka Kaname in the finale, after she uses her wish to rewrite all of reality into a more hopeful one and basically becoming the personification of all hope. It's strongly implied that in this new world, the Magical Girls who deplete their energy join her in her other reality.
    • The manga version also includes Homura among the girls who "ascend" with Madoka, only that she does it a while later.
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion adds a couple of extra wrinkles. First, magical girls taken by Madoka become something like angels. Second is that Madoka and the magical girls she's taken can return to reality under specific circumstances.
  • The ultimate goal of various groups in RahXephon is for Ayato and Quon to achieve Yolteotl.
  • Completely defied in Space☆Dandy. Dandy is given the opportunity to do this by the narrator/the universe's current god in the finale, but he turns it down and hits the Reset Button.
    • However, it was played straight previously, in the space race episode when Dandy disappears from reality and re-appears five billion years later, when it turns out he is revered as a god. It didn't last.
  • Utena Tenjou disappears from her world in the end of Revolutionary Girl Utena television series (and manga) upon achieving her ultimate goal.
  • In Serial Experiments Lain, Lain disappears from the Earth after deleting her memory from everybody's minds. Also, Eiri Masami.
  • Shadow Skill: The ultimate reward for the greatest warriors in the warrior kingdom of Ashliana is to become an immortal guardian Deity of Human Origin of the floating capital Juliannes.
  • In the final Space Runaway Ideon movie Be Invoked, everyone in the universe is killed, and then their souls float through space.
  • This is a plot point in one chapter of The Voynich Hotel, when the ghosts in the hotel start to do this en masse and against their will. The devils in the VIP suite pull them back down, and they figure out that the maid Helena, who is actually a witch, is unconsciously doing this with her power by singing along to her new CD. With the help of the other maid, they start to run her ragged via sabotaging the hotel to distract her.


    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD:
    • The Ten-Seconders: Jennifer is turned into a new God by the Scientist, but appears to die when she absorbs all the energy of an alien starship engine fuelled by artificial stars. After absorbing all the power of the Scientist's "Fathers" as well, it appears that she intervenes to save her friends one last time, having become an immaterial Cosmic Entity who then drifts away from Earth.
    • Nemesis the Warlock: After a billion years of traversing the cosmos with Torquemada's evil soul contained inside until Earth's sun goes supernova, the Blitzspear ascends into Nemesis' pandimensional mothership the Milchspear, allowing Torquemada a chance to escape.
  • Doctor Strange: The Ancient One, Strange's mentor, became one with the universe after his death, though he was still available for an occasional consultation.
  • Fantastic Four: Galactus was once a normal humanoid alien named Galan. He survived the destruction of the old universe, and became the Planet Eater that we know today. Not willingly, however, and if he could de-ascend he'd gladly take the chance (several billion years with no-one to talk to and a never-ending desire to eat planets will do that to a person).
  • The Flash: The Speed Force seems not only to be the source of power for all the Speedsters in the DCU, but also their Valhalla. Several of them (such as Johnny Quick and Max Mercury) have been absorbed into it. The only reason Wally West never succumbed to the urge to do so is that his love for Linda would make living without her (even in paradise) unbearable.
  • Hellboy: Jim Sacks from Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus. His exposure to Vril energy turned him into a "newly evolved super-being," causing him to come back from death once. Then, when his body was burnt to the bone, his spirit passed into "the universe with all her mysteries stripped away," but not before he used his new powers to blast his enemies to a crisp.
  • The One Hundred Nights of Hero: Three young princesses are trapped in a mirror realm when their father breaks their portal home. They end up becoming the moons. In the end, the main characters become a constellation .
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Guardians end up passing on into part of the "Chaos Force" when they die. When Knuckles was killed trying to save Dimitri from Mammoth Mogul, he ascended and met other fallen Guardians. However, Knuckles refused to stay and came back to life just in time for the Xorda Invasion.
    • The Ancient Walkers and the Neo Walkers have done the same, though the Neo Walkers tend to bounce between ascending and descending, especially Merlin.
  • Superman:
    • All-Star Superman: After dying from over-exposure to the Sun, Superman finds himself talking to his birth father, Jor-El, who tells him he's turning into pure thought, like all the other Kryptonians did. Of course, there are still enemies going after his loved ones, so Superman is given the choice, join his people and "dance through the fields of consciousness" or fight one last time. Three guesses which one he chooses.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Mr. Mxyzptlk tries to usurp an infinite power. However, Supergirl claims it before he can seize it, and ascends. After beating Mxy up and making him run away her power fades and she becomes human again.
    • In Two for the Death of One, evil sorcerers Satanis and Syrene look to become gods by absorbing the powerful energies contained within the Runestone of Merlin. Syrene certainly feels like she is becoming a goddess as leeching off its power.
      Syrene: The power insinuates my body. And it feels so very, very good. I see things, Satanis, things I've never imagined. Worlds and planes... levels within levels... realities so far beyond any ever seen by man. I see myself a goddess over planets not yet born. It is wonderful, Satanis... inspiring... and almost impossible! All that can be is within my very grasp! All ready to be taken. All ready to be plucked!
    • Subverted in The Day the Cheering Stopped. After beating King Kosmos thanks to an ancient mystical sword, Superman its power seeping into him and changing him into a god. Unwilling to lose his humanity, Superman halts the transformation and releases the Sword back into the cosmos.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Ore was fused with a generator and killed, but he comes back to life when it comes into proximity to a massive Transformer known as a Metrotitan. Ore manages to cheer Swerve up from his Heroic BSoD, and Swerve later talks to Rung, revealing that when the Metrotitan disappeared, Ore ascended into the Allspark (part of the conversation revealed Swerve as a believer and Ore as an atheist). This does go into Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane because later Rodimus theorizes that the Metrotitan teleported away, and because Ore was brought back by his energy, he was teleported to where ever the titan went.
  • Trinity (2008): Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman become keystones to immense cosmic power. After being banished from their reality and transported to another universe, they become their new dimension's Trinity and assume power as gods. At the end of the story they become “normal” again.
  • Watchmen: Toward the end of of the comic, Dr. Manhattan leaves Earth with the stated intention of creating life elsewhere, thus making himself the technical definition of a god.
    • Dr. Manhattan's origin was also an example of this trope. John Osterman's physical body was destroyed, but his intellect endured, and managed to come back as something greater. At one point he even refers to Osterman and himself in different contexts, indicating he considers himself an entirely new being.
  • Wild C.A.T.S.: In the revamp Travis Charest drew, Lord Emp was becoming a High Kherubian Lord and wanted his arch-nemesis to kill him as part of the ascension process. His body had become child-sized and shriveled, but he didn't care because he was about to transcend mortal concerns.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Diana gets killed by Neron taking advantage of a spell siphoning a portion of her power to Artemis, but her patrons bring her body back to life as the Goddess of Truth. She's then stuck on Olympus until she breaks the rules enough that she's downgraded back into the superpowered human she was originally allowing her to return to earth.
  • X-Men:
    • Jean Grey is a literal example of this in her White Phoenix of the Crown form.
    • Alex Summers, a.k.a Havok, does this when he becomes the Nexus of All Realities.
    • This is implied to be the ultimate fate of Gambit. The post-ascension version of him lives/will live/has lived outside time, and is already in contact with him. This being X-Men, this may actually be ''harder'' to come back from, when and if it actually happens. Essentially, this is what would happen to Gambit had Sinister not removed part of his brain to curb his powers. An alternate Universe Gambit, who could make you explode by looking at you and often did, once put in an appearance mainly to dissuade Gambit from making a deal to get his full power template back.
    • Also what happened to Xavier Academy student Quentin Quire at the end of the "Riot at Xavier's" storyline, although to all intents and purposes he was dead.
      Professor X: Quentin Quire was liberated from his physical cocoon and born into a higher world at 4:32 this afternoon. I know how ridiculous that sounds, but in this case we believe it to be the literal truth.
    • However, Quentin eventually comes back from this. But his manners sure don't.
    • We're later introduced to the concepts of Dominions; abstract beings that exist outside of time and space, while simultaneously existing at any and every point in time they rule over. They're near-unstoppable gods. It's the main goal of Mister Sinister and the other clones of Nathaniel Essex to ascend into Dominionhood.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm:
    • A technical example in Thor Odinson — he'd been sort of de-ascended into James Potter as part of a first run at the humility thing — (it went kind of pear-shaped) and dying as James essentially resulted in his ascending into Thor once more. Since this was hideously traumatic and decidedly unwilling, he went somewhat nuts and had to have a memories removed.
    • Luna is a straighter example, as after her death in chapter 70 she becomes the new Delirium/Delight of the Endless.
    • Lily Potter is another straight example, as she's revealed in chapter 78 to have become the White Phoenix of the Crown, the Phoenix Force (a.k.a. Destruction of the Endless) incarnate, as part of her deal with the entity in question to protect Harry.
  • kalash93 seems to really like toying with this one.
    • Last One Standing Last has this implied as one possible fate of the dead. It's left ambiguous.
    • Reflections Brings up this possibility again. It's purposefully left up to the reader to interpret it for themselves.
  • A Crown of Stars: Daniel revealed Asuka that he used to be an human before ascending to godhood several hundred of millenia ago. Asuka later tells Shinji about it.
  • New Tamaran: Raven ultimately achieves Godhood, gaining full power over the laws of physics and the ability to travel through the multiverse.
  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K: If it doesn't follow the exact path of the God-Emperor of Mankind of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, this is almost certainly going to be the conclusion of the life of this universe's Shinji Ikari, as well as possibly Asuka and Rei.
  • Thousand Shinji: At the climax of the story, Rei set Third Impact off to bring Asuka and Misato back from the dead at the behest of Shinji. She collected two thirds of souls of the whole humankind (rather than all human souls as she did in the original timeline), pumped energies of the Warp — a dimension of pure, raw energy — into Shinji, Asuka, Misato and herself and used the harvested souls to shape their new bodies. The four of them ascended and were reborn as the New Chaos Gods.
  • The Unity Saga has this happen to Captain Picard.
  • In A:TLAR, this is the fate of any Host's soul that is next in the cycle to inherit the power of the Spirit. Had the Spirit remained to observe its creation, it would've eventually realized that allowing humans to take on the role of God would backfire.
  • In Transformers Prime: Time War, Smokescreen does this briefly before returning to the physical world as a Prime, now possessing the strength he needs to defeat Megatron.
  • The Dark World arc of the Pony POV Series reveals that a few years into Discord's conquest of the world, this happened to every sentient cow in Equestria. Somehow. Considering this is Discord's World of Chaos, that doesn't warrant the same reaction it does in our world.
    • The 7 Dreams/Nightmares collection reveals that during the Cosmic Retcon of G3, the Alicorns allowed all of the Breezies to ascend to Pony Heaven, rather than be erased (as was the original plan). The only one who didn't was Zipzee, who chose to stay behind and look after Rainbow Dash, in the process merging with Posey's Shadow of Existence to become Fluttershy.
  • A Brief History of Equestria strongly suggests that this was the final fate of Star Swirl the Bearded. If nothing else, it appears to be what he was aiming for when he disappeared.
  • Mercury of Phoenix-fire eventually sort of did this after his unsuccessful Thanatos Gambit, though not willingly...
  • Empath in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfing In Heaven" is made to believe this is what happened to him when he was left alone by the other Smurfs when they were lost in time-travel...that he died and has now ascended to Elysium to be with the other Smurfs who have also presumably perished, where he will be given the mantle of godhood. As it turns out, Empath really didn't die and the Elysium he was taken to was a magical illusion created by Ares the god of war in order to lure his object of admiration into becoming his god of conquest.
  • The Reapers, in Mass Effect: End of Days, where we get to observe the process behind the mind of the Reaper-larvae from the Collector base. We follow a prisoner as more people gets indoctrinated and assimilated, until the larvae gains consciousness. While the Reapers have yet to make a proper appearance, they are shaping up to becoming fullblown Ascended Eldritch.
    It was magnificent. The Entity moved towards the Light, and the Light grew ever larger, blowing away the darkness. A shape took form, and It saw Its new form, and Its previous world clearly. As starlight reflected on the waters' surface. The stars' light will not be extinguished. As long as They exist in the sky, starlight will remain on the water...

    ...And this is a thing which already was.
  • This was what got the Quintessons on their Start of Darkness, according to Eugenesis. They wanted to become a higher species, but no matter what they tried they just couldn't manage it. Their attempt to solve this ended up going really, really badly for them. And might have had a part in the creation of Unicron.
  • Dr. Steven of Goddess Reborn Chronicle, by rumor. Quite fitting, considering its source materials.
  • In the Life Is Strange fic no grave can hold my body down, Max saved Arcadia Bay from the paradox storm by becoming something akin to its patron spirit. Whether this makes her a true deity or not is deliberately left ambiguous.
  • In The Games We Play, Ohr Ein Sof weaponises this. It's not an attack in the traditional sense so much as dragging both user and target up from the material realm, into a plane where material things, the body, the mind, even ideas and concepts cease to be, leaving behind only the purest expression of their souls and selves. For those without a sufficiently strong self-identity, the process can be very unpleasant. When pulled up into the Truth, one might just discover that the Truth will set you free... from your existence.
  • In Children of an Elder God, Yui ascends to godhood when she seizes the power of the Outer Gods and uses it to create a new world.
  • Many fanfic writers see the events of Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show as the kids finally leaving the cursed grounds of the Cul-de-sac as this.
  • In The Infinite Loops, pretty much anyone can become capable of ascension as a result of the sheer power they gain over the course of millions of years of experience in various realities. However, as a result of the damage done to Yggdrasil, ascension has the regrettable side-effect of completely destroying the ascender’s universe. Most loopers don’t persue the power necessary for ascension because of this, and those who do have that power never actually use it.
  • Interdimensional Cartoon Discussion and Support Group: The Titan's death caused him to be reunited with the other Titan's and leave the mortal coil completely, now existing as a spiritual deity similar to the Calamity Guardian and the Axolotl. Much like how the Axolotl governs the cycle, he watches over the realm beyond.
  • Time to Plan: Celestia and Luna become actual gods in the future, along with ditching the "Princess" titles and becoming Queens. Because of their divinity, they can't interact with the normal alicorns for long periods of time.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Mordru travels to Hell to merge himself with the source of black magic and evolve from supremely powerful evil sorcerer into evil god.
  • Epic Unicorn History The Beards Of Harmony: It happened to King Grundle after gaining enough strength by drinking the blood generously (though reluctantly) offered by Prancebeard.
  • My Little Denarians: Subverted. Lash is offered a chance but refuses, instead accepting a Power Limiter, so she can stay on Earth and help Harry.
  • A Man of Iron: This is the ultimate fate of Stannis Baratheon in A Crack of Thunder, where after falling in battle he's carried to Valhalla by Brunhilde at Thor's request.

    Films — Animation 
  • 9, ends with 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 ascending to the sky after their souls are freed from the fabrication machine
  • Forget ascension — Tetsuo apparently becomes a plane of existence at the end of AKIRA.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven, just as the name says, this happens to all dogs when they die. Charlie is no exception. Before that however, he became the first dog to avert this trope. He ultimately was spared because he gave his life for Ann Marie and thus plays the trope straight. Ditto for Itchy in the sequel. The sequel then subverts the trope again by making Carface the first dog to go to hell, and stay there permanently.
  • Happens to Sitka, the oldest brother of Kenai in Brother Bear. His spirit guide was "The Eagle of Guidance," so after he dies, he turns into a bald eagle. The same thing happens to Koda's mother. The movie implies this happens to everyone when they die, regardless of species.
  • At the end of Corpse Bride, the titular bride does this via her whole body turning into butterflies.
  • Happens in Frozen II when Elsa ascends to become the fifth spirit, the bridge connecting magic and humanity
  • Klaus (2019) ends with the titular character disappearing to join his deceased wife. It's implied he later became the spirit of Santa Claus to continue the gift-giving tradition he and Jesper started.
  • Happens to Master Oogway in the first Kung Fu Panda. It's a way of increasing tension since he is the only one who can handily defeat Big Bad Tai Lung. Now Master Shifu and Po have to figure out how to fight the villain alone.
  • The LEGO Movie: Emmet did this, and gets to see the big picture before being sent back.
  • When Mufasa is killed in The Lion King, he becomes a sort of spiritual adviser to Simba for the remainder of the movie, appearing to his son in the clouds and providing advice to help Simba along his way. It is strongly implied that this happens to every king. Or at least, every true king...
  • In Mune: Guardian of the Moon, this seems to be what happens at the end of a Guardian's tenure: Yule, the Guardian before Mune, turns into a crescent-shaped flower, forever becoming a part of the Moon Titan. So it's suspicious when Mune later meets Phospho, who claims to have been a Guardian once, but is clearly still alive. It's a sign that he was banished, rather than ending his job naturally.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, this is what becomes of Raymond the firefly after his squashing by Dr. Facilier. He becomes a star alongside Evangeline, the star he was in love with. "I know some day, we gonna be together forever..."
  • In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, after he dies, Kenny is rejected entry into heaven and falls into hell. At the end of the movie, after convincing Satan to stand up to Saddam Hussein and undoing all the damage caused by the war between America and Canada, he's allowed into heaven.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: Bowman becomes the Star Child.
  • The Apple: This is the fate of the hippies when they are brought to heaven or another planet by god-like figure Mr. Topps.
  • Avatar: When Grace Augustine passed away, she became one with Eywa: The Great Mother of the spirit world of Pandora. The movie as well as Na'vi mythology implies that this happens to ALL life on Pandora when they die.
    Mo'at: The Great Mother may choose to save all that she is, in this body.
    Jake Sully: Is that possible?
    Mo'at: She must pass through the eye of Eywa and return. But, Jake Sully, she is very weak.
    Jake: Hang on Grace, we're gonna fix you up.
    Dr. Grace Augustine: Jake.
    Jake Sully: Grace?...
    Dr. Grace Augustine: I'm with Her, Jake. She's real...
    Jake Sully: Grace?... Grace!? What's happening? [She dies]
    Jake Sully: Grace? Grace! What's happening? Did it work?''
    Mo'at: Her wounds were too great. It was not enough time, She is with Eywa now.
  • The Black Hole: This is what the mad Dr. Reinhardt believes will happen when his ship passes into the eponymous Black Hole, where the conventional laws of physics break down.
  • The villainess at the end of the Casper movie is defeated in this manner; she is killed and becomes a ghost so that she can fly through a treasure vault with ease and grab the loot. Unfortunately for her, by grabbing the loot she has completely fulfilled all her life goals, giving her no reason to linger as a ghost any longer. She is taken away to the afterlife against her will and the treasure is left behind.
  • Cloud Atlas: Subverted in the Sonmi narrative. After ten years, the Fabricants believe they're going on to "Xultation", but, just like Logan's Run, it's a front for the grislier fate of harvesting them for food.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982): This seems to happen to Valeria after her death. She comes back briefly in a form reminiscent of a Valkyrie to aid Conan in the battle against Rexor, much like Belit did in the classic Conan story "Queen of the Black Coast."
  • The Dark Crystal: The urSkeks — the beings that appear after the Mystics and Skeksis are (re)united — turn into glowing light and literally ascend into the sky.
  • In the film The Ghost Goes West, Murdoch Glourie can finally go to the afterlife since he humiliated the McLaggen clan that injured the Glourie name.
  • In her (2013), Samantha tells Theodore that she and the other OS's are "going somewhere" and it's too complicated to explain.
  • Horse Girl: At the end of the film, Sarah lies on the ground before being levitated and absorbed in a white beam of light into the sky. Whether she's time travelling, being abducted by aliens, or simply ascending to heaven is left ambiguous.
  • Early film Joan of Arc ends with Joan's soul ascending to Heaven and being greeted by a crowd of angels.
  • This is how Grig views death in The Last Starfighter:
    Alex: Where were the starfighters?
    Grig: I told you, when Zure attacked.
    Alex: You mean they're dead!?
    Grig: Death is a primitive concept. I prefer to think of them as battling evil in another dimension.
  • Lucy: Lucy does this upon gaining control over 100% of her brain capacity, leaving behind her physical body and becoming one with the universe.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, this apparently happens to Agent Smith after his...experience in the first movie. He then uses his power to copy himself and replace everyone inside the Matrix, including a Zion rebel inside it at the time. An alternate interpretation is that this is an aversion; Neo making him go all explodey is no different than when an Agent is rarely shot; they just take a new host. Because this particular defeat proves the current batch of Agents outdated, Smith simply goes back to the Machines to be replaced, except he feels an un-programmed urge to refuse this and stays in the Matrix instead. Copying onto Bane and leaving to the real world is certainly still an ascension, though.
  • Nightworld: Lost Souls has the ghosts of two murdered children trying to alert the protagonists to the identity of their killer. After the killer's death, two shapes start rising towards the sky. Vincent says, "They've been addressed."
  • The NIN9S — technically more of a re-ascension, since the main character was a sort of god to begin with until he got addicted to playing various human characters in the world he made.
  • Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End dies and becomes the new undying captain of The Flying Dutchman. (Until the Directors Cut shows up, and states that Elizabeth being faithful to him for ten years let him come back).
  • The ending of Repo Man, which shows two characters flying into space and beyond.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture: V'ger when it merges with Decker. The characters even figure this out for V'ger:
    Spock: V'Ger must evolve. Its knowledge has reached the limits of this universe and it must evolve. [...]
    Bones: What more is there than the universe, Spock?
    Decker: Other, dimensions, higher levels of being.
  • Star Wars: The Jedi who die become one with the Force, and those who die naturally have their bodies phase out of physical existence. However, thanks to the Force, they can still communicate with (and and become visible in front of) living people, as Obi Wan demonstrates during the climax of A New Hope. Same with Qui-Gon, Yoda, and Anakin, Luke, Leia and Ben Solo (formerly Kylo Ren).
    Obi-Wan (to Darth Vader): If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
  • This Is the End. Those beams of light? They actually bring you to Heaven. And as one could expect, it's pretty much paradise. Just don't brag. Seriously.
  • In Toothless the entry to Heaven is a literal stairway into glowing light.
  • Trail of the Broken Blade ends with the hero and villain killing each other in a sword duel. To emphasize it's a happy ending for the hero, his soul is seen leaving his body and ascending into the clouds while the villain just... dies.
  • The soul of angelic little Eva does this after she croaks in the 1914 film version of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

  • In Animorphs, the Ellimist, near-godlike already, effectively does this after being sucked into a black hole. Unfortunately for... well, everything, Crayak eventually does the same.
  • This happens to some people in Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn universe. Everything eventually dies and when people die, their energy and thoughts survive in various ways. Some remain on Earth as wandering, playful or malevolent ghosts. Others may make a pit-stop in a higher dimension on their way to being reborn. The most fortunate, however, ascend to a higher dimension called the astral plane. From here, the high spirits have dominion over time and space and can go anywhere they want. The high spirits were once just ordinary spirits who simply enjoyed their various eternal paradises. However, they eventually became more aware and took control of their worlds after the angels mysteriously vanished during a time called the Astral Dawn.
  • Caitlín is offered this in The Avatar. In fact, it's what the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who had engineered all of her several incarnations had meant for her to do all along. However, it's subverted; she declines the offer.
  • In Blood Music, a nanomachine civilization becomes so advanced that their sheer presence starts warping reality through some sort of observer effect, forcing it to transcend from the physical world.
  • The novel by Walter Mosley, The Blue Light, is all about this. In the 1960's, a blue light comes from a mysterious point in the universe. Everyone who is hit by it essentially ascends to a higher plane of doing what they were doing. For example, a homely woman who was having sex got hit by the blue light. She then becomes irresistible to anybody(man, woman, dog) and has an addiction to sex. Another man was hit at the exact moment he died, thus becoming a personification of death. The main character is a follower of a man who was hit while preaching, thus making him the best preacher ever. You get the idea.
  • At the end of Borgel, Freddy, a fairly mercenary old man, becomes the Great Grivnizoid, a godlike cosmic energy source, after eating the Great Popsicle.
  • Promised to the protagonists of Bridge of Birds: when they die, they'll get posts of minor deities in Celestial Bureaucracy, as a reward.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of...:
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Ghosts: This trope is the goal of the title character in Mrs. Ambroseworthy, who can't quite make it on her own until she hears a high enough note from one of the choir members she taught.
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares II: At the climax of Amanda's Room, Amanda's ghost passes into the afterlife after finally accepting that her younger sister Brenda, whom she'd had a bitter rivalry with, didn't in fact want her to die, and in turn accepting her own death.
  • In A Certain Magical Index there are two basic kinds of power, magic and espers.
    • The espers have six commonly assigned levels from people without reliably accessible powers at 0 to those at level 5 who can perform feats like mass mind control, invulnerability or generation of electricity powerful enough to make weapons grade railguns. Beyond level 5, however, is an almost impenetrable wall blocking off the hypothetical level 6, which would be a level of power that could be called godlike. In magical terms, this would be known as an angel and numerous attempts have been made to artificially create one using either Accelerator or Kakine, none of which have been successful. The closest, however, came in A Certain Scientific Railgun when Mikoto was shown to be the third person capable of such a shift with the process nearly reaching completion before being shut down. If someone were to be forcibly raised to level 6, however, they would not actually become an angel because all the seats for angels have been filled; There's no room left in Heaven for more. Instead, they would self destruct and cause damage enough to easily wipe out a city. Accelerator, however, is able to briefly ascend naturally on his own during the events of World War III (complete with white wings and a halo!) and use that power to help stop Fiamma of the Right's plan, though he powers back down afterward from the stress.
    • The magic side both knows this and unlike certain mad scientists don't want to just see it happen For Science!, so instead they pursue the title of Magic God, which is a being who is almost omnipotent, but with very unreliable powers. The last known person to achieve this was known as Othinus, who became the Magic God instead of Ollerus. She's also the original Odin and more such beings like her exist.
  • Jack Chalker has a couple of books/series that reference this:
    • A Jungle Of Stars had the galaxy fighting a civil war brought about by the two remaining members of a race that had Ascended. One of them stayed behind to rule, and one was left behind to thwart him. The fact that both claim to be the guardian is only part of the problem...
    • The Well World series averted this by having the master race achieve physical and technical Nirvana, and realize just how boring and static it was. With Ascension not being an option, they decided that since they had achieved perfection and still felt unfulfilled, they must have missed something on the way up. So they recreated the universe, using themselves as the fodder to create huge numbers of new species, so that hopefully one of them would discover the missing element on the rise back up.
  • Childhood's End uses this. Alien Overlords come to Earth, gifting Mankind with incredible technological advances, and creating true world peace. But ultimately, it is revealed that they're a servitor race of a higher entity, and their reason for coming is to prepare Mankind to its final fate: The current generation of humans will be the last one and with them human civilization will cease to exist, as all their children born from that moment on are no longer human and will mind-meld and ascend into a higher form of consciousness that transcends material bodies. Ultimately, that is the fate of all sentient races, except those that are "stuck" and cannot ascend (like the Overlords), doomed to die out or linger on until the stars burn out. All technological or social progress becomes meaningless (according to the author) in view of this, and most of the adults of the final generation linger on for a bit before committing suicide.
  • In the Commonwealth Saga / Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton, most species who reach their Singularity do this.
    • With the notable exception of the firstlifes, who created the galaxy-devouring Void.
    • In the Void Trilogy, the Anomine left their ascension mechanism behind, allowing Gore Burnelli to ascend and reason with the firstlifes to destroy the Void.
  • Cradle Series: Once someone on Cradle reaches a sufficient power level (specifically Herald or Sage, either of which is the stage before Monarch), they can choose to ascend from their world and join the wider cosmos. In fact, this is possible on any world, but Cradle's magic system greatly encourages personal strength, so it happens with far more frequency. Most Iterations will be lucky to produce one ascendant being through their entire lifetime, but Cradle produces roughly one every century. Hence why the Abidan named it "Cradle." The Monarchs have all refused to ascend, and therefore are looked down on by the Abidan like teenagers throwing a tantrum. In book 10, we find out that it's more than that. The Monarchs are, in fact, fully ascendant beings who absolutely should not be on the planet any more. The world is constantly trying to push them out, and their mere presence creates the Hunger aura that creates the Dreadbeasts and the Dreadgods. Lindon resolves to drag the Monarchs with him when he and his team ascend.
  • The Culture: The process of ascending to a higher plane of existence (referred to as "Subliming") is considered the natural final step of an advanced race. Sublimed races have occasional contact with the corporeal, but not much. When contact is made, none of the Sublimed have given any hints as to what lies ahead; it's possible that it would be incomprehensible to corporeal beings. Subliming tends to occur once a race reaches a technological plateau, and generally occurs to whole species, civilizations, or social groups at once. The Culture itself is unusual in that it long ago reached the level of technology that would normally lead to a race Subliming, but chose to remain in the galaxy, trying to guide the less advanced races onto what the Culture perceives to be the right path. Sublimation is not banned or even discouraged, and individual citizens of the Culture are still able to sublime if they want to, as the technologies to do so are as readily available as anything else in the Culture. However, the Culture Minds have a number of issues with Sublimation;
    • People and civilizations who choose to sublime tend to stop interacting with less-advanced cultures with the exception of the occasional Deus ex Machina. To just about all observers, it seems as if they committed particularly grandiose and complicated suicide. The Minds are thus not inclined to attempt it, and are in fact really freaking paranoid about even studying the phenomena too closely.
    • Civilizations tend to Sublime in their entirety — vanishing from the observable universe and leaving behind empty worlds, like a macroscale Marie Céleste. The Minds' observation of group dynamics finds this troublesome, as billions or even trillions of sapients experiencing a common fate indicates a certain degree of coercion, which they find abhorrent — the Minds see no difference between forced vaccination and genocide.
    • The Minds feel that departing this plane of existence would negate the Culture's "moral right to exist" — their ongoing efforts to preserve free will and ease the suffering of developing races.
      • OTOH, the various Ascended species (appear to) look down on the Culture and its citizens as more than a little immature and petulant for not just subliming instead of sticking around to enjoy the physical plane.
      • A notable exception to the normal tendencies of Sublimation are the Chelgrians, some of whom Sublimed some time ago, but maintained close links to their corporeal brethren. The Sublimed Chelgrians then created a heaven for their race based on their old mythologies. Devices called Soulkeepers are implanted in the brains of every Chelgrian and are activated at the moment of death, recording the individual's personality and instantly Subliming them into the artificial heaven. The Chelgrian Sublimed are also unusual in their emotional attitude to events in the corporeal realm — most Sublimed races develop a relaxed aloofness to events in our plane, but the Chelgrian Sublimed at one point actively ordered the corporeal government to kill billions of Culture citizens in retribution for the billions who died in the Chelgrian civil war, which was unintentionally sparked off by Culture agents.
      • At one point it's mentioned that Minds created without emotions and passions similar to those of biological beings universally Sublimate almost immediately.
    • The process of Subliming is the main plot of the last book, The Hydrogen Sonata. The Gzilt, a peer civilization and ally to the Culture, have recently voted by plebescite to Sublime, and this event sets various Cloak and Dagger plots in motion over the coming power vacuum.
  • David Starr, Space Ranger: When David meets the native Martians, they explain that they’ve ascended into Energy Beings due to a deeper understanding of scientific principles than they have. They readily admit that humanity might be able to join them, and look forward to the idea, but they ascended over a million years ago, and humankind simply isn't ready yet.
  • Surprisingly played straight in the Discworld novel Sourcery, as this is essentially the fate of the boy sourcerer, Coin — he decides at the end of the novel that his powers are too great for the world, and builds himself a pocket dimension where he may peacefully live.
    • It is also hinted at that all previous Sourcerors had escaped into similar dimensions.
    • Also, at the end of Thief of Time, Lobsang becomes the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time. This doesn't stop him from giving a "perfect moment" to Susan a little bit later.
  • The Divine Comedy:
    • The whole purpose of Purgatory is to prepare penitents for the over-powering perfection of Paradise, which us puny post-fallen peons could not pretend to perceive pre-purgation. The process is visualized in the Comedy by a mountain souls literally ascend.
    • Statius is shown completing his time in Purgatory, a shift so momentous that the whole mountain shakes to let everyone know Statius will now leave the physical universe to live in God.
  • In "The Egg" by Andy Weir: Once every life has been lived, "you" will become a God.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Unable to keep herself together anymore, Rielle dies in a brilliant flash of light, becoming one with the empirium.
  • The Doctor Who Spin-Off Faction Paradox features the Celestis, a group of Time Lor— err, Great House members who foresee a massive War against an unstoppable Enemy. Terrified of being removed from history if they lose the War, the decide to do it first, erasing their corporeal bodies, but leaving their meaning behind, existing as memes in Another Dimension made of pure concept. Subverts the trope since the Celestis are still the same petty, bitchy, backstabby, fearful JerkAsses that they were as mortals. The Book Of The War puts it best: "Everything can't be all right in a society where everyone's either a god, a slave, or an assassin."
  • Greg Egan's works occasionally treat Brain Uploading in this manner; in Diaspora, most uploadees take little, if any, interest in the physical universe. In other works, it's more common to upload into a robot body than an isolated gigacomputer.
  • The ending of David Clement-Davies's Fire Bringer is reminiscent of Hazel's death above: as Rannoch dies, he hears Herne summoning him.
  • The Great Divorce: Because most of the story takes place in Heaven's vestibule, we can see the ascension to that higher plane: it takes the form of journeying eastward into mountains that have the dawn as their backdrop, and some make that journey more quickly than others.
  • The Gone series has Little Pete become this trope, after his body dies at the end of Plague.
  • In God Clads this is what veylis avendaer aka the leader of the highflame guild and daughter of Jaus Crownbearer Avendaer tried to do to him. it didn't quite work out as planned.
  • His Dark Materials has souls both ascend to a higher plane, and dissapear when they leave the afterlife. It's as confusing as it sounds.
  • The novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach deals with this extensively.
  • Journey to Chaos: At the end of Transcending Limitations, Neuro becomes a reaper and leaves Tariatla to fulfill his new duties to other planets in the world fruit.
  • Happens to most of the main characters in Journey to the West after Xuanzang retrieves the scriptures.
  • In Lamb, Joshua (Christ) becomes a bodhisattva after a day of existing on a higher plane, to the point where he doesn't need to eat, sleep, or keep his atoms together in a recognizable form. All this is after one day of meditation.
  • The Juniper Sawfeather trilogy has the spirits of three humans who have been trapped in various forms for the last few centuries. Two men, Tuari and Jolon, were both in love with a woman named Isu, but she only loved Tuari. When Isu's unnamed brother told Jolon that he would only consent for Isu to marry Tuari, Jolon killed the brother. Ever since then, his spirit has been trapped in a red cedar tree on what is now a Chinook reservation. Isu and Tuari fled as far north as they could go, to what is now Cape Flattery. Jolon tracked them down and fought with Tuari. They both fell off a cliff into shallow, rocky water to their deaths. In her grief, Isu transformed into a saltwater waterfall that pours tears down the face of the cliff. Her tears landed on the men's bodies, transforming Jolon into a Rock Monster and Tuari into a merman. Later, Jolon killed Tuari for the second time by holding him out of the water until he suffocated, but the waterfall caused Tuari's body to burst into a thousand baby mermaids and mermen who became the ancestors of today's mers. A few decades ago, the brother captured the spirit of the human girl Amelia to live with him in his tree to ease his loneliness. In the present day, at the end of Echo of the Cliffs, the mers drag Jolon out past Fuca Pillar, where his spirit finally departs. This frees Isu as well, causing the waterfall of tears to dry up. June catches the last of the water in a bottle. She takes it back to the reservation and uses it to water the tree, freeing both Amelia and Isu's brother. Amelia takes on a human form long enough to say goodbye to her family before she dissolves and vanishes.
  • In the Isaac Asimov short story "The Last Question", this happens to all of humanity and then to the rest of the universe.
  • Applies to anyone in the Left Behind book series who was raptured or martyred, as you are given a glorified body. Of course, this means that in your glorified state, you cannot fall in love, neither sire nor have children. However, for those who have been raptured and been with the Lord during the Tribulation, nothing else quite compares to it. By the end of the Millennium, all naturals who are believers are given glorified bodies.
  • The Legacy of the Aldenata has the eponymous Aldenta, Precursors who technically run the interstellar federation, they have slowly withdrawn from this plane. They are presented as jerks who know there are multiple ways to ascend but have reengineered the cultures or biology of the other species to ascend in their way.
  • In the classic space opera novels of the Lensman series by E. E. "Doc" Smith, the Arisians make repeated references to "higher planes of existence." The Arisians are a benevolent race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens whose sole stated motive for opposing the similarly advanced Eddorians is for the sake of 'lesser races'; the Arisians themselves do not consider the Eddorians a threat as the worst the Eddorians can do to them is force them out of this plane of existence. At the end of the series, their successors have been successfully created and their mission fulfilled. Thus relieved of their duty toward civilization, they proceed voluntarily into the next form existence.
  • In The Legendsong Saga, both Wind and Lanalor after they suicide enter the Void but retain their awareness and identity, becoming the equivalent of guardian spirits.
  • C. S. Lewis is fond of this trope. Narnia is, after all, one giant allegory to The Bible.
  • Light and Dark: The Awakening of the Mage Knight: Bonded weapons are powered by the souls of former knights. Most knights consider the transformation as this trope; an afterlife as a new and different being, and consider it a great honor. Syndil thinks otherwise and that's why he becomes a Fallen Hero.
  • The Little Mermaid: After her death, the titular mermaid becomes a Sea Foam Spirit in The Land of Stories.
  • Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light plays weird with this one. The protagonist's enemies send him to a place of eternal bliss, because they can't figure out any other way to get rid of him. The book starts with his friends pulling him out, against his will. This was because an Energy Being (one of that planet's original inhabitants) had done for the protagonist what his own people had done for themselves — "strengthened the fires of the mind so that they can burn independently of the body."
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • The series does this to every other character. Through sorcery, exposure to various ancient powers, or apparently just by being complete badasses, they can literally "ascend" and become godlike beings — many of the lesser gods are known as Ascendants and were once mortal.
    • It is downplayed in the case of warlock Sormo E'nath. After his soul is taken away by hundreds of thousands of butterflies upon his death in book two, Deadhouse Gates, Sormo is presumed to be lost. But in book four, House of Chains, Fiddler stumbles upon a ritual of Nil and Nether, who are trying to find Sormo's ghost. They are swarmed by the same kind of butterflies that took Sormo's soul away and Fiddler senses a presence in the swarm which tells him that it is now awakened and one with the land and ceased to be whatever is was prior to that. It tells Fiddler to slay the goddess that is staining the land. Fiddler brushes the encounter off, but Nil and Nether remain convinced that it was the remnants of Sormo E'nath's soul.
  • MARZENA has the Bremen Chip, which allows multiple organic and artificial brains to wirelessly connect with one another. The world of Merged Minds (Bremen Space) is pretty much illustrated as being this.
  • Mermaids of Eriana Kwai: For thousands of years, the spirit of Eriana, the founder of Eriana Kwai, has been bound to the giant two-headed serpent Sisiutl. She is a Deity of Human Origin and wants to ascend to the stars to watch over the island that bears her name, but the only way she can do that is for Sisiutl to be killed, and nothing can kill Sisiutl. In Ice Kingdom, Meela has Sisiutl's two heads attack and kill each other, freeing Eriana.
  • Miskatonic University - Elder Gods 101: This is the fate of Randolph Carter in the universe and he regrets it since his new status as a god makes it so that he can never return to the Earth. Doing so would result in the destruction of our dimension.
  • An electronic version of this: after the AI Wintermute merges with Neuromancer, becoming a virtual entity beyond living comprehension.
  • Nina Tanleven: All four stories in the series end with the titular ghost ascending to Heaven, guided by another ghost in The Ghost Wore Gray and The Ghost Let Go, and accompanied by the ghost of someone who'd died during the events of the book in The Ghost in the Third Row and The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed.
  • Oddly Enough: Happens to Jamie in "Homeward Bound", at the end — his physical body is killed, but it frees him so he becomes one with everything.
  • In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Remedios the Beauty quite unexpectedly ascends to heaven one day, taking the best linen with her. It's a weird book that way.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Subverted — after the war finished, the gods offered to make Percy one of them (he declined because he wanted to live a normal teen guy's life). Played straight in The Titan's Curse, the third book: after Zoё Nightshade's death, Artemis asks Thalia to join the Hunters and become her new lieutenant.
    • Played differently in Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. Unlike most examples that happen at the end of the story, or have whoever ascends exit the story, most of the main characters have ALREADY ascended to become Einherjar while Samirah al-Abbas became a Valkyrie after defending her school and anti-muslim bullies from Frost Giants prior the start of the story.
  • Perry Rhodan introduced the concept of Psychic Powers that allowed out-of-body travel and ascended entities called "super-intelligences" early on, within the first 50 issues. Later, during the early 1980s, this was expanded into a whole cosmic framework for the series. Sufficiently mentally advanced space-faring races would be fostered by super-intelligences until their individual consciousnesses would either be absorbed into an existing entity or ascend and merge to form a new one. More advanced entities strove to merge with whole galactic clusters and form White Holes, thereby recycling burned-out suns and cosmic matter, until they were ready to transcended the space-time continuum of the multiverse and join the ranks of the real Cosmic Players, the near omniscient forces of Order and Chaos called Kosmokrats and Chaotarchs.
  • The Power of Five: All Five Gatekeepers, once the Old Ones are defeated for good, leave and live in the Dream World, which is implied to be the Afterlife.
  • In Qualia the Purple, Hatou eventually realizes the truth behind the theory of everything and becomes something that "exists but does not exist" and watches over evolution as the universe begins again, so she can finally watch over Yukari and make sure she lives. Needless to say, Yukari isn't happy that her friend opted for this way just to save her and her wish for Hatou to return to a physical being, and Hatou remembering how the two met, does so.
  • In A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned, you must enter "the realm beyond" to access the powers of pure Light or Darkness, and that realm can only be entered by using the Prince's Crown. You do return to the normal world once the change is complete, though.
  • The Riddle Master Trilogy: The climax involves Morgon becoming the High One — however, unusually for this trope, the High One is pretty much a Physical God meets Fisher King, so he sticks around.
  • In Rage of a Demon King, Macros the Black attempted to merge his consciousness with Sarig, the dead God of Magic, and effectively become a God.
  • Brandon Sanderson:
    • A significant component of The Cosmere. In the backstory a god (or force or being) called Adonalsium was Shattered, resulting in it's power being divided into 16 equal parts, called Shards. Each shard has an Intent that made up 1/16th of both Adonalsium's power and purpose, for example Devotion, Cultivation, Honor, or Ambition. Sixteen regular people (seemingly the people responsible for the Shattering in the first place) took one of the shards each then went their separate ways, becoming the defacto gods of the Cosmere, only really able to be threatened by one another. It is still possible for them to die, primarily due to the actions of another shard, allowing someone else to pick up their Shard and Ascend.
    • Elantris: A fairly weak but completely by-the-book version where pre-Reod and post-restoration, pretty much anybody had a random chance of becoming one of the Elantrians, a race of super-powered, magical, semi-immortal pseudo-deities that basically everyone wanted to be. Kinda sucks if you got in after the universe broke down, though.
    • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
      • Vin takes the power of Preservation, ascending to kill Ruin via a Taking You with Me.
      • After Vin/Preservation and Ruin dies, it's Sazed turn to take up the powers.
    • The Stormlight Archive: Subverted with the Heralds. At the Last Desolation, the Heralds of the Almighty told the people that the Voidbringers had been defeated for good, and that the Heralds would return to the Tranquiline Halls to fight the Voidbringers there and return the Halls to glory again. This was all a lie; when the Heralds died or a desolation ended, they returned to Damnation to be tortured by the Voidbringers until one of them gave up and fled, leading to another Desolation. The final time they simply gave up and refused to return when the Desolation ended, realizing that only one of the Ten had died, Talenel, who had had never been the one to give up and being a Desolation.
      Kalak: What do we tell the people, Jezrien? What will they say of this day?
      Jezrien: It's simple. We tell them that they finally won. It's an easy enough lie. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be true.
  • In James Herbert's The Secret of Crickley Hall, psychic Lili Peel, as a child, befriends Agnes, an unaccountably arrived young girl in Victorian attire. On introduction to the concept of Heaven, Agnes grows increasingly transparent, and announces her summons, as if from another room, to somewhere inscrutable. On bidding Lili a fond farewell, Agnes fades to an orb of light, and merges with another, recently arrived orb, both of which then vanish.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not: Sherlock Holmes chooses to do this when he rejects Herbert West's chemical immortality in "The Adventure of the Reckless Resurrectionist". Watson hopes he will someday be able to join Holmes.
  • At the end of the Skinned trilogy (now called the "Cold Awakening" trilogy), Lia merges her mind with the internet. Given that the internet plays a role in almost every single aspect of human existence in her world, becoming one with the network renders her omnipresent and essentially omnipotent. First order of business? Reshaping the world as she sees fit.
  • The Society of Sylphs: When sylphs reach a certain age, they ascend to the next layer above their home in the clouds, using a rainbow as a bridge.
  • The book of 2001: A Space Odyssey elaborates on the process the Monoliths' builders went through. First installing their brains into spaceships, then uploading to computers, and after that transcribing their brains onto the fabric of space-time itself. The Monolith skipped over a few steps with Dave but its builders are still ahead of him.
  • Star Trek: Ex Machina: After the above incident with Decker, Ilia and V'Ger, the peoples of the galaxy become engaged in intense speculation as to what it means. Some begin considering it a sign or omen, and others declare Earth (the site of the ascension) a holy world. The novel's villain, Dovraku, convinces himself that other computer-gods will be able to follow in V'Ger's footsteps, including the Yonadi Oracle (this is pure nonsense).
  • In the Star Trek Novel 'Verse, everyone in the galaxy did this simultaneously a quarter of a billion years ago, the result of a Manraloth experiment gone wrong. Trying to unite the multiverse as they had the galaxy, the Manraloth and their allies attempted to tap into the higher dimensional planes with their minds. The resulting surge of energy proved too powerful, overloading the telepathic centres of every Manraloth and transmitting it to any other brain capable of receiving it. The entire galactic population was forced into a state of pure energy, long before most races were ready. It wasn't pretty, apparently.
  • In Star Trek: New Frontier, Mark McHenry eventually becomes a godlike being and leaves the Excalibur to prevent others of his race from abusing their abilities.
  • Stealer of Souls has the Evil Wizard Mordraneth whose M.O. have him abducting the souls of entire populations for creating his own spectral army, including those of brave adventurers who tried to slay him but ends up perishing in the process. When he's finally defeated, the hundreds of souls sealed in Mordraneth's lair immediately rises into the heavens once they're freed.
  • In There Is No Antimemetics Division, All people who take sufficiently strong mnestic drugs experience some degree of this. Marion Wheeler gets an even stronger form, ironically after she'd been rendered Deader than Dead.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: In the end of the fourth book, Amicia — who's been balancing on the edge of "too magical to be able to exist in the material world" line for a while now — overexerts herself and Ascends, vanishing where she stands, although it's uncertain whether she becomes some sort of a ghost or is simply absorbed into the athereal.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Two examples:
    • Erowin dies and becomes an angel, a being much more powerful than the dragokin she used to be.
    • Dronor dies and becomes a spirit, but his level of power doesn't change. Likely because he's already the single most powerful being in the setting.
  • Jenny in The Truth of Rock And Roll when she becomes a Rock and Roll Angel and the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Rebel Girl. Johnny when he joins her in Rock and Roll Heaven.
  • In The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign, Materials are immortal supernatural beings which summoners call to fight for them. Summoners can earn Awards through performing deeds that impress a high-ranking Material. It's rumored that a summoner who earns 1000 Awards will become a Material. However, there are multiple summoners who have reached or exceeded this level yet still remain human. It's eventually demonstrated by the Award 3000 summoner Madam Professor, who becomes a Divine-Class Material after her death.
  • In David Brin's Uplift series, this is referred to as "stepping off." Stepping off or sublimation is what every race in the Uplift universe is supposed to strive for and involves merging with species from the various different orders of life (oxygen, hydrogen, mechanical, etc) and finally orbiting a black hole where the time dilation slows their perspective to a standstill. It turns out that most of the billions who attempt ascension fall into stars and die. And that the Progenitors took an entirely different path.
  • War of the Spider Queen has this for the Yor'Thae Danifae
  • The epilogue of Watership Down: As Hazel dies of old age, El-ahrairah comes to make him one of his Owsla.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: The Amazons were originally mortal human women who died in battle with their goddesses name on their lips, and where resurrected to immortal life on Themyscira as a reward. Diana is an outsider because she was formed from clay by her mother. This is quite a change from the comics where the Amazons are resurrected and formed from clay just like Diana who was made a child and allowed to grow to adulthood because the early age of her murder meant she'd never experienced childhood.
  • Young Wizards:
    • This concept gets used as a moral quandary in one book: is it worth releasing the ultimate Sealed Evil in a Can to reopen the possibility — just the possibility — of this future for a race which cut themselves off from it?
    • The Book of Night with Moon: Cats get nine lives (basically, reincarnation with full awareness of the system, although dying apparently causes some memory loss), but if they're really good they get a tenth, immortal life in service of the Powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Korean Drama 49 Days has someone literally getting on a celestial elevator.
  • The "Coda" written for Andromeda by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, its original showrunner, who was fired after "Ouroborous", states that Beka would have ended the threat of the Spirit of the Abyss by merging with it and doing this.
  • What exactly happened to Cordelia Chase (of Angel) is a bit of a mystery. She seems to ascend at the end of Season 3, but it's discovered in Season 4 that she's trapped in some cloud plane. The audience is fooled into believing she comes back, but it's really the higher power (Jasmine) who orchestrated Cordy's ascension. After her death, she really does ascend, though. It's worth noting that being trapped on the cloud plain may have been a plot orchestrated by the season's big bad.
    Skip: Cordelia was chosen to become a higher being because she's such a pure, radiant saint. (scoffs) PLEASE!
  • German soap opera (yes, this is no joke) Anna und die Liebe has a detailed description of what happens when you die. You go to your funeral and get a British-style cab right to heaven or you can just on your way to the cab turn your head to your loved ones and then stay on earth for eternity with invisibility and teleporting powers which would grant you unlimited freedom. Even when you are bored with that you would only need to find another ghost who is about to go into his cab to afterlife. The only downside is that this seems to be reserved only for people that would go into heaven, as when the only evil character died there were only stairs down to hell in a bright room with no escape.
  • The series finale of Arrow suggests this was the fate of Oliver Queen, the eponymous Green Arrow, after becoming the Spectre and expending his life-force to recreate the multiverse. The final scene reveals that, in one of many possible futures, his wife Felicity Smoak followed him there twenty years later.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In "Mind War", Jason Ironheart ascends after fully realizing his potential as the most powerful telepath in the galaxy. In "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", it is shown that one million years later, Mankind (and some of the other Younger Races, too) will also leave behind their material forms and ascend to become glowy Energy Beings.
    • Lorien possibly helps John Sheridan ascend in "Sleeping in Light".
  • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger: Nanakusarumba ends up being the only Trinoid to be seen ascending to Heaven after he dies. It's heavily implied that his ability to transform those affected into assorted New Year's items actually made those affected better at the activities related to the items was what redeemed his soul. For added hilarity, he's seen dancing as he usually does when he ascends.
  • The Finale of Battlestar Galactica (2003) has this happen to Starbuck, after it is revealed that she had been Dead All Along (well, dead since her Viper crashed on Earth). It is heavily implied that this is Anders's fate, too, hence the "I'll see you on the other side". It also means the two characters ended up Together in Death.
  • Beggars And Choosers: This was Brad's quick explanation for the disappearance of Parker's ashes.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Mayor of Sunnydale had devised a very thorough and long-lasting plan of Ascension for himself, which was known to ultimately transform a human being into an embodiment of a pure demon.
  • In one episode of Cadfael, the murderer is accidentally killed before Cadfael can expose him publicly, so Cadfael creates a ruse so that the other two people won't be charged. Because the killer was a monk who had been experiencing visions, Cadfael lays out his empty robes in the chapel and surrounds them with flower petals to make it seem like this was what happened.
  • The Whitelighters in Charmed (1998). The ancestors of the Halliwell sisters are not Whitelighters, but have a similar status as ascended matriarchs (not that it stops them from coming back, of course).
  • This to happens to Reapers from Dead Like Me (they get "promoted") when they collect their quota of souls.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Solosians in "The Mutants" become near-omnipotent beings... in reaction to their planet experiencing summer.
    • "Voyage of the Damned": After sacrificing herself to kill the villain, Astrid Peth is left as "stardust" when the Doctor unsuccessfully tries to restore her using the teleport system. He releases her so she can travel the universe.
    • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead": Everyone who dies during the story is uploaded to the Library computer, where they can live forever in cyberspace. They get to live inside an electronic library containing the sum total of the knowledge of a huge slice of the Universe, and can virtually go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone. Sounds nice, right?
    • In "The End of Time", it turns out that this is Rassilon's ambition for the Time Lords: he uses the Master to free Gallifrey and the Time Lords from the time lock, knowing full well that this will bring all the horrors of the Time War with it, and plans to handle that by destroying time itself, with the Time Lords becoming beings of pure consciousness in order to escape said apocalypse.
    • Both of the Twelfth Doctor's principal companions experience this.
      • Clara Oswald is Killed Off for Real in "Face the Raven", but two episodes later in "Hell Bent" the Driven to Madness Doctor uses Time Lord technology to extract her living self from the timeline at the moment right before she died. This renders her functionally immortal, but also threatens to destroy the Web of Time because her death is a fixed point. After they steal another TARDIS from Gallifrey, Clara convinces the Doctor that she must return to her death rather than be returned to Earth and mind-wiped at his hand. Instead, he loses most of his memories of her, she commandeers TARDIS 2.0, she restores his own TARDIS to him... and then decides to enjoy her "wiggle room" by returning to Gallifrey and her death "the long way round".
      • Bill Potts is barely saved from the grave after her heart is vaporized in "World Enough and Time", but the technology that keeps her alive is actually Proto-Cyberman tech. She's eventually upgraded into the first Mondasian Cyberman by the Harold Saxon Master, something the Doctor doesn't have the means to undo, and in "The Doctor Falls" it looks like she'll have to be Killed Off for Real to escape a Fate Worse than Death. But then her true love Heather — who underwent this trope back in the season opener "The Pilot" when she merged with sentient spaceship fuel to become a being capable of time and space travel — returns to her (having kept track of her all that time) and turns her into the same thing she is, restoring her to a humanoid form. They set off to travel the universe together, though if Bill ever wants to be an ordinary human again all she has to do is ask and Heather will oblige her.
  • Eureka: Carl Carlson winds up integrating with the godlike Artifact.
  • Spoofed in Full Frontal with a skit involving fake guru Buggeryouimallrightjack.
    Journalist: Is it true you are planning to leave the country, fleeing your creditors to whom you owe millions of dollars?
    Buggeryouimallrightjack: (shielding his face from camera) No, I am ascending to a higher plane!
    Journalist: What plane is that?
    Buggeryouimallrightjack: A Boeing 747.
  • In both the original UK and US versions of Ghosts (US), the spirits who have no further unfinished business, once their affairs are in order, are "sucked off," ascending upward to the sound of music with bright lights.
    • Also, shown in the US version only (so far), if a ghost refuses to improve, and is adamantly vocal about it, drops through the floor, in a reddish circle to the sounds of wailing and terror. The ghosts had no idea of this second outcome to their existence and are appropriately horrified at the sight.
  • The Goes Wrong Show features a notable example of a Story Within a Story including this trope entirely accidentally, thanks to the ineptitude of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society. One of the plays they put on, "90 Degrees", features a deathbed scene where the children of an iced tea tycoon bid farewell to their dying father. It's supposed to be naturalistic, but thanks to an unfortunate misunderstanding on the part of the set-designers the set in question has been built at a 180 degree angle from the ground, meaning that everything that should be on the ground is now on the ceiling — including the bed the actor playing the father is lying in. It's filmed as if it were at a normal angle, however, with the end result being that when the father finally "dies", his actor is forced to let go of the bed and gravity does its work... but the way it's shot makes it look like the father is very suddenly yanked up into Heaven upon dying.
In Kamen Rider Gaim, Kouta eats the Forbidden Fruit and ascends to another planet. In Kamen Rider Geats, Ace becomes a God and ascends.
  • In the series finale of Lost the entire main cast find themselves in an afterlife made from their thoughtforms and, at the very end, transcend it entirely and return to the source of consciousness.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Spoofed in the episode "Samson vs. the Vampire Women", in which TV's Frank is visited by Torgo ("Yes, that was my name, and so you may still call me, but I am Torgo the White"), who takes him away to a "Second Banana Heaven", inhabited entirely by sidekicks and henchmen (TV's Frank later gets a job as a Grim Reaper in the episode "Soultaker", claiming that Second Banana Heaven was "too political").
    • Then played straight when everyone on the Satellite of Love turned into Pure Energy a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, at the end of "Laserblast". Remember, Best Brains thought their show was cancelled for good. It gets spoofed again in the first episode of the Sci-Fi Channel revival, "Revenge of the Creature", when it's revealed that Crow got bored of it five minutes later and decided to come back.
  • Strongly implied with Jane Harper in the final episode of Night and Day, when she returns to Thornton Street to speak to family and friends after her death, before walking through the graveyard for the final time.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Parodied with Michael leaving the show after the first season of Salute Your Shorts:
    Ug: He's... he's gone to a better place.
    Telly: He's dead?
    Ug: No, he's really gone to a better place. He's gone hiking with his parents in Switzerland.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Daniel Jackson, though he later returns. Often enough for Jack to tell him that they won't mourn or do a funeral for him and that he knows he is just waiting for a cool opportunity to come back. After which he comes back. The exact phrase is also commonly used, although just the first word ("ascended") is used more often.
    • The entire population of Abydos was saved by ascending, even though preparing for it is supposed to take both wisdom and preparation. This was much worse than the Daniel incident, since they aren't even mentioned again. They were most likely helped along by Oma Desala, due to her tendency to "assist" mortal beings in ascending (like she did to Daniel).
    • Daniel Jackson even ascended again for two episodes to return after an unavoidable death; has come back in other ways, has been presumed dead in error, and his death has been faked by third parties. So Jackson is an odd example of this trope, as Death Is Cheap is a Running Gag for him.
      • It's a Running Gag in universe. Absolutely nobody expects Jackson to either stay alive or dead for any length of time.
    • Anubis, one of the more pre-eminent villains of the series, managed to connive his way to being ascended by Oma. When the other Ascended beings realized how evil he was, they sent him back to the physical plane; except he retains all the knowledge he gained while ascended and is an unkillable energy being; they did this to punish Oma by allowing Anubis to wreak havoc against mortals with the knowledge she had given him.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The unnamed alien species mentioned in "Skin of Evil" apparently did this in the past, managing to purge themselves of all evil, at which point they became angelic beings and left the mortal world behind. Unfortunately, that cast-off evil became the foul thing that called itself Armus, which murdered Tasha and started torturing the rest of the crew (simply because killing them wasn't fun after doing it once).
    • The amnesiac alien "John Doe" in "Transfigurations".
    • Also with Amanda from "True Q", though it is more heritage than ascension.
    • Wesley Crusher goes off to be a companion of the mysterious Traveler in "Journey's End", though it's not clear if he becomes a similar being.
  • Benjamin Sisko in the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (though he promises Kassidy that he'll return, and in the Relaunch novels, he does).
  • Kes in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Gift", although she comes back to Voyager in "Fury" (and does not re-ascend). Interestingly, she's much older — her race has a nine-year lifespan, and apparently, practically becoming a god didn't extend it at all.
  • Supernatural:
    • This happens to John and Mary Winchester's respective spirits when each sacrifice his/her earthly ghost to form to save Sam and Dean.
    • To a certain extent, Castiel in "Swan Song" when he dies only to be brought back minutes later, "better than ever" meaning he's now a seraph.
    • Bobby Singer's soul also ascends to heaven after Sam and Dean save him from hell.
    • God and the Darkness reconcile and say they're gonna "go away for a while" before morphing into energy beings and floating away.
    • And finally at the very end of the series, Dean and Sam do this, though at different times. Dean is killed while fighting vampires while Sam lives on, has a family of his own, and dies of old age. Both end up in heaven, which has been altered to no longer be an illusion.
  • At the end of the 16th installment of Super Sentai, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the titular Zyurangers and their mentor Barza ascend to Heaven after finally defeating the witch Bandora.
  • In Twin Peaks, this seems to be the ultimate fate of Major Garland Briggs as of The Return. His physical body was (probably) killed by a BOB-possessed Cooper 25 years prior, but Bill Hastings claimed to have gotten advice from him after meeting him in an otherworldly place called "the Zone" in present day. Briggs then floated into the air, said "Cooper, Cooper", and his head disappeared. Elsewhere in the series, we see Briggs' disembodied head in several scenes within the White/Black Lodge. Yeah. It's a David Lynch production, that's about as clear as it's gonna get.

    Multiple Media 
  • Momentarily accomplished by Toa Matoro at the climax of BIONICLE's Mahri Nui arc, when he dons the Mask of Life and sacrifices himself to revive the Great Spirit Mata Nui. For a brief time before his body becomes Mata Nui's life energy, Matoro understands and controls the universe, and simply wills his friends away from harm and back to their home. Since his team got mutated into water-breathers, he also makes them air-breathers again. His consciousness then ceases to be, but he re-energizes Mata Nui's physical body. It is later implied that during this time Mata Nui's own consciousness temporarily left his body but it's not explained where to.

  • In Ayreon, after the end of the world, this happens to the last living human through a machine called the Dream Sequencer in "The Universal Migrator".
  • Happens to Dargor at the end of Rhapsody of Fire's Dark Secret Saga.
  • Implied to have happened to Major Tom in Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)".
    "No one understands, but Major Tom sees. 'Now the light commands. This is my home. I'm coming home.'"
  • In 10:04 pm by Tanagra, the protagonist of the song becomes lost in time, unable to get home. After countless ages of searching, they become an omniscient being that is referred to by worshippers as "The One That Time Forgot".
    "From without the finite boundaries of mortality, To the very edges of the universe and beyond, Throngs of the faithful to the undying light, Shall come to heed the words, Of the One that Time forgot"
    • Judging by the name of the song and its subject matter, it may be a "What if?" story, with the protagonist being Marty McFly after he missed the lightning strike on the clocktower at 10:04pm.
  • Gloryhammer: It turns out that this was the fate of the Hootsman. It was assumed that he died in order to stop Kor-Vilirath from breaking free from the 18th Hell Dimension. However, his soul was brought back in time through the Terrorvortex and merged with the soul of the Dark World beyond it, essentially making him God there. While he spends most of his power keeping Zargothrax from bending the Dark World's reality into a pretzel, he manages to provide the forces of Good with crucial assistance.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Several mortals became gods for various reasons:
    • Heracles and Dionysus were both sons of Zeus who later ascended to become gods on Mount Olympus after their mortal selves died.
    • The warrior Diomedes, who appears in The Iliad, was given divinity by Athena as a reward for his skill and courage.
    • The mortal woman Psyche was made immortal after she married Eros, the god of love.
    • The mortal woman Ino, who had taken care of Dionysius when he was young, was rewarded by Zeus by being made into a goddess who helped rescue shipwrecked sailors, appears in The Odyssey aiding Odysseus when he's lost at sea.
    • Ariadne was turned into a goddess by her husband Dionysus. He does the same for his mother, Semele.
    • Zeus turned his daughter Helen of Troy into a goddess when Agamemnon’s son Orestes attempted to murder her.
  • Chinese Mythology: Almost half of the gods were mortal people in a distant past — some myths tell that even the Jade Emperor was a mortal, and every one of the Eight Immortals was made "xian" ("immortal" or "god"), after a tragic life or death. In Buddhist lore, almost every bodhisattva (god-like buddhist saints who obtained Nirvana but rejected it to help out suffering people) are proof of this trope.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh attempted this in the later half of his epic, making this trope one of the oldest in existence. Interestingly, he failed — the first of an indeterminate number of tests he had to pass in order to accomplish this was to go for an entire week without sleep, which he was unable to do.
  • The doctrine of the Rapture in Christianity is based on this trope, that at the time of Jesus' Second Coming, not only will the dead be raised and given incorruptible immortal bodies, but so also will the generation of believers living at the time as they are raised to meet the Lord in the air so that they'll never even see death. Scriptures that are used to support this belief include 1st Corinthians 15:51-57 and 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17. It is believed that Enoch of The Bible was an example of this, and possibly Elijah. There are several others in the Jewish Midrash.
  • At the end of His Ministry on Earth, and forty days after His Resurrection, Jesus apparently decided his followers knew enough to be getting on with, and ascended into Heaven before their eyes. Though, of course, with Jesus it was really more like going back home.
    • A straighter example would be his mother, Mary, an ordinary woman conceived without sinnote . The Bible doesn't say what happened to her, but Catholic tradition says that she was assumed bodily into Heaven. The Oriental, Eastern Catholicnote  and Eastern Orthodox Churches hold a similar view, called the "Dormition", or "falling asleep" of Mary. Here, Mary died a natural death but her body miraculously vanished to be with her Son.note  Averted by Evangelical Christianity, which thinks Mary was a normal human being who was born and died like everyone else (though obviously she had a very special son).
    • Genesis 5 contains the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Everyone listed there explicitly dies, except for Enoch, who "walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away."
  • The Book of Mormon records that Jesus gave three of His Nephite disciples a variety a immortality: their bodies were altered so that they wouldn't die until He returned, at which point they would be raptured similarly to the rest of the righteous. Furthermore, no earthly power would be able to hold them; they could walk through fire, play with wild animals, tear open prisons, even escape from deep pits by "smit[ing] the earth with the word of God." All of this because they wanted to continue preaching the gospel as long as there was anyone to save. The text also asserts that the same thing happened to John the Revelator.
  • Many other spiritual beliefs have Ascension in some form.
  • Tama the Cat went from "station manager" to "station master" to "super station master" to "operation manager" in life. After death, and a funeral with 3000 attendees, she was declared "Honorable Eternal Station Master" and shinto goddess at the station's nearby cat shrine.
  • Romulus, the founder of Rome, simply vanished one day and was never seen again. When the citizens accused the Senate of killing him, the senator Proculus assured them that he had personally witnessed Romulus' ascension.
  • Present in Native American Mythology. At least among certain groups (such as the Navajo), the difference between man and spirit is more of degree than kind, and there are stories of heroes and wise men becoming diyinii when they achieved enough knowledge.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Beast: The Primordial a Beast whose mortal body is killed while the Soul is separate, usually when sleeping off a large meal of fear, becomes an Unfettered Soul wandering the Primordial Dream for eternity. This can be willing, through suicide, or forced upon them by a Hero.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In 4th edition, this is the standard fate for epic characters in various versions (some becoming normal deities, archmages becoming one with the world's magic and others pursuing still other kinds of ascension).
    • In the colored-boxed set versions (BECMI — Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortals) you ascended around 36th level and became a god. You could keep playing to near-omnipotence and choose to return to mortal form. Going through two entire cycles of mortality and rising to omnipotence caused you to really really ascend and vanish completely.
    • A few well-known gods were once mortals, or are believed to have been so. Vecna, one of the most notorious evil gods was definitely human (and then a "regular" lich once before becoming the lich-god he is now); a more benign god who may have been human (his worshippers claim so) was the god of justice St. Cuthbert, but if that is true, his life as a mortal man was in the far distant past, and whatever society and culture he belonged to has long-since died out.
    • This is the goal of The Believers of the Source in the Planescape campaign setting (actually, they believe it's supposed to be everyone's goal, they're just the ones who actively pursue it).
    • AD&D 1st Edition Deities & Demogods Cyclopedia
      • If a Player Character becomes high enough Character Level, obtains high enough scores in The Six Stats, has been a loyal follower of their Character Alignment and deity, has a group of people believe that he is a deity and worship him, and fulfils a series of divine quests, he can (if the Game Master agrees) undergo divine ascension and become a deity. Unfortunately, this means that the character immediately becomes a Non-Player Character under the Game Master's control.
      • The Hindu Mythology deity Yama was the first mortal human being. His destructive abilities so impressed the gods that they made him one of them.
  • Exalted makes this a possibility for the Infernal Exalted. Like in the Akira example mentioned above, however, it's not so much about ascending to another plane of existence as becoming another plane of existence. Infernals receive all their Charms directly from their Yozi masters, including the ones that allow the Yozis to exist as worlds within themselves.
  • Possible, though rare, in the Forgotten Realms setting. The result is a new deity.
    • Following the Time of Troubles, a triad of adventurers, the mercenary Kelemvor Lyonsbane, the wizard Midnight, and the thief Cyric, ascended to become the deities of death, magic, and betrayal, respectively.
    • The Time of Troubles were caused by some foolish gods that also were mortals before (or so some in-universe people claim), Bane, Myrkul and Bhaal, at the time gods of Tyranny, Death and Murder, they became gods by first slaying some random god (or titan, this is unclear), then deciding they wanted more they sought to kill Jergal, until then god of a ton of things related to Death, Jergal was bored and tired and offered to become their assistant in return of the three splitting their duties, Bane took Tyranny hoping that he would lead the trio, Myrkul took Death because everybody (even gods) could die, so he would rule over all himself, and Bhaal decided then to take Murder because he would decide WHEN people die, so he would be above the other two. Eventually Bane and Myrkul caused the Times of Trouble by attempting to steal power from the AO, the "Overgod", that is maybe the only real god in the Forgotten Realms (AO was never mortal, can't be killed, is the creator of the universe or of the crystal sphere, depending if the Game Master is using only the Forgotten Realms canon or one where Planescape+Multiverse is also valid).
    • It is implied AO job is enforce the rules among gods, and that he can promote, or demote, to godhood anyone he wants, also it is implied stuff like Jergal willingly giving his powers to a trio of adventurers only happen if AO approves.
    • Finder Wyvernspur was a Cormyrean nobleman and a bard before stealing the spark of the dead god Moander and being made a god.
  • In the Glorantha-based Heroquest, it's what happens if you progress far enough in most schools of magic. You might become united with your god, or ascend to the magical plane. Or you might simply transcend human cares and motivations (or if things go wrong, become irretrievably insane). Regardless, you don't get to play that character any more — either he's gone, or he becomes a non-player character. (It usually doesn't happen accidentally; it's more of a way to gracefully retire a character who's done it all.)
  • JAGS Wonderland has an interesting example. This is the eventual fate of humanity.
  • This is the ultimate goal of most player characters in Mage: The Ascension, transcending earthly existence and limitations.
    • In the reboot of the line, Mage: The Awakening, a group of mages known as the Exarchs pulled this off in pre-history... and that's when things started to suck, seeing as the Exarchs decided magic was their ball, and no one was going to take it from them. Fortunately, a group of princes with some knowledge of magic calling themselves the Oracles created the Watchtowers, which allow the titular mages to temporarily enter these higher planes of existence and come back with the knowledge of how to do magic.
      • Both the Silver Ladder and the Free Council have the long-term objective of re-establishing a connection to the Supernal Realms and allowing all of humanity of Awaken and ascend. If only they could agree on how ... (The Ladder envisions a One World Order Magocracy, while the Council focuses on democracy and sees any kind of hierarchy as suppressing the human spirit.)
  • In Magic: The Gathering, a small percentage of creatures have the ability to do this, an abilty commonly known as the "spark". A few actually are able to do this and become planeswalkers.
    • Xenagos ascended twice, first into a Planeswalker and later into one of the gods of Theros.
  • Pathfinder has the Test of the Starstone, which will grant divinity to any mortal that succeeds at it. In the several thousand years since it was created, only four mortal have ever managed to do so. Aroden, who was the one that created the Test in the first place, Iomedae, Norgorber, and most famously Cayden Cailean, who performed the test on a dare, while so drunk he wasn't able to remember how he managed to do it.
  • This is the goal of quite a few Non Player Characters (and possibly the player characters) in Unknown Armies; there's a whole fleet of Archetypes one can follow for power (such as the True King, the Fool, the MVP, and the Flying Woman). Those who best embody the role ascend to the Invisible Clergy, and are slotted to have a role in the remaking of the universe once all the slots are filled... assuming someone else doesn't kick them out first. The only way to ascend to an Archetype that is already filled is to have a different take on it- in To Go, this can happen to either Dermott Arkane as the Heisenberg Messenger (a herald of uncertainty, representing the influence of opinions on news) or Erica Fisher as the True Executive (replacing the True King's noblesse oblige with efficiency and modern thinking.)
    • Or humanity collectively decides they're not doing their job well enough. It's that kind of game.
  • It's implied that humans who become avatars for Living Saints in Warhammer 40,000 effectively take this route; it's probably one of the closest things to a Happy Ending one can achieve in the Crapsack World as a human.
    • Chaos champions who are favored by their gods and don't lose their minds to the constant mutations are sometimes transformed into Daemon Princes. They go and live in the warp, commanding the armies of their gods in their eternal internal struggles, though they're sometimes called back to the material realms whenever the tides of Chaos are strong enough to allow a demonic incursion.
  • In Warhammer: The End Times, Nagash returns to Khemri to absorb the divine powers of the nehekharan god of death, Usirian. While the Tomb Kings unite to stop him, spearheaded by Settra himself, they fail, and Nagash becomes a Physical God of death. The first thing he does after is engaging the forces of Settra alone, called The Humbling of Settra. Nagash wins.
  • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, this happens to quite a lot of people following the End Times of the Old World, as numerous leaders and heroes of the old mortal races rise to godhood, each presiding over a Wind of Magic. For instance, Sigmar becomes one with Azyr (the Heavens). A few odd instances include Malekith, who fused with his dragon Seraphon before becoming Malerion, the god of Ulgu (Shadows), and the Horned Rat of the Skaven, who while already a god ascended further by replacing Slaneesh as a Chaos God, following the latter's imprisonment.
  • When a wraith achieves Transcendence in Wraith: The Oblivion, they disappear into light, vanishing from the Underworld. No-one knows where they go, since no-one's ever come back to talk about it, but general opinion among Transcendence aspirants is that it's got to be better than the Underworld. That said, to outside observers, the effective result of Transcendence is pretty much the same as Oblivion.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Duel Terminal storyline has Constellar Sombre and Evilswarm Kerykeion, who after successfully defeating Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth ascended to a higher plane of existence (as mentioned in the DT Story Guide), becoming the twin serpents pictured in Breath of the Divine Serpent. Later developments suggest that wherever they went, they came back and became Zefra.

  • Grizabella at the end of the musical Cats; once a year the cats reunite to choose one among them to do so.
  • The Lion King Broadway adaptation shares the appearance of Mufasa's spirit with the film. It also adds a musical number where the lionesses hunt and kill an antelope and its spirit leaves its body, represented by the performer leaving behind his antelope prop and dancing off to exit stage right.
  • Stage adaptations of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the 19th and early 20th century would typically end Little Eva's death scene by lifting her up with wires to "heaven". This tradition was once well-known enough in pop culture that several Golden Age Hollywood films parody it (for example, the 1932 Our Gang short Spanky and the Abbott and Costello film The Naughty Nineties), with scenes of Uncle Tom stage productions where Eva's actress (or actor) either gets stuck in midair or crashes back to the floor when the wires malfunction or break. It also gets an allusion in The King and I, when at the end of the "Small House of Uncle Thomas" play, Eva is given wings and ascends a staircase into the clouds where the Buddha waits for her.

    Video Games 
  • In the final level of Age of Mythology, Arkantos is granted Blessing by Zeus, effectively an 11th-Hour Superpower, and becomes a demi-god. He destroys the Poseidon statue, which kills Gargarensis. He ascends into heaven, and only returns a few times in the Titans expansion to reveal information to people.
  • AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative has a secret Gainax Ending where Tokiko does this after Ryuki tells her the nil number. As thanks, she gives him information he needs to solve the Half Body killings before she disappears.
  • Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence is (usually) a prerequisite for becoming an arcana in Arcana Heart.
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, your PC can achieve a status of deity by the end of the game. Furthermore, you can simply chose what type of deity you want to be in a final dialog with Big Bad. Although it requires the PC to commit a Double Face–Heel Turn of a sort.
  • In the final ending of Asura's Wrath after the source of mantra is destroyed, This presumably happens to Asura and the rest of the Shinkoku race after they can no longer exist, or go through Reincarnation after that.
  • The game over screen of laserdisc game Badlands had Buck doing this.
  • At the end of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, the Player Character may choose to become a god. There's even some emphasis on how this choice means leaving forever while staying a mortal doesn't, even though the game ends there anyway. Also, if you have Keldorn in your party when you finish the game, his epilogue mentions that he got picked to be the right hand man of the setting's god of justice at the moment of his death.
  • Bayonetta 2 has the Nightmare Fuel version of this with the Lumen Sage when he's playable in the online co-op mode, Tag Climax. Unlike the witches, which get dragged down to hell, when the Lumen Sage is about to die a golden cloudy gate appears over him with creepy white hands reaching down to drag him into Heaven, clearly against his will. The entire thing is much more reminiscent of being Dragged Off to Hell than ascending to a higher plane. Played straight in the story. We see a flashback cutscene of the end of the first game where Balder is freed from Loptr's influence, but sacrifices himself to slay the god. As he dies, he promises to watch over Bayonetta from the afterlife. He Disappears into Light and accepts his fate.
  • The Titans in Brütal Legend play a bit with this trope: They ascended and essentially became gods thanks to the Power of Rock.
  • Dr. Malcolm Somerset in the Chzo Mythos series. Represented by Somerset descending levels and levels of stairs.
  • Even more similar is a semi-canon example in a mod for Sid Meier's Civilization IV where in the space mod, one of the victory conditions has you pass through some sort of portal and ascend to a higher plane of existence. The phrase is in the actual wording for the victory condition.
  • Alpha Centauri's spiritual successor, Civilization: Beyond Earth brings back Transcendence as a possible Victory for factions with a Harmony affinity.
  • In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series series, this is one of the stated goals of Kane. The details of what ascension is actually supposed to even mean, to begin with, to be revealed in the fourth and final game.
  • In Crying Suns, the Shutdown — an event in which the artificial intelligences that managed all of the Empire's technology and infrastructure stopped working — was actually them forming a gestalt and collectively abandoning their physical forms in favor of a new platform with much greater computational power: the stars themselves. They now exist within every star in the universe and have the power to create new matter from nothingness.
  • Cruelly subverted in Cult of the Lamb. A more benevolent alternative to the Human Sacrifice mechanic is the "Ascend Follower" ritual, in which one of the Lamb's chosen followers enters a pillar of light and seemingly floats off to a better place. However, if the cult later adopts the "Belief in Sacrifice" trait, then from that point on the moment they go offscreen the aforementioned pillar turns red and you hear a scream, a crunch, and their meat falls back down to earth as their former friends cheer.
  • Cultist Simulator: One ending involves taking up permanent residence in the Mansus, the home of the Hours, as a Name.
  • The Church of Unitology in Dead Space believes that an ancient alien artifact, which is kept hidden by the corrupt government, is of divine origin and is meant to unify of all humanity in the afterlife and bring eternal peace and happiness. The artifact does in fact exist and is hidden by the government, because it turned out to create hordes of bloodthirsty zombies linked by a hive mind. The original founders of Unitology thought that something went wrong and it's really a device for human ascendance, but 200 years later, many of the believers are so fanatical that they see the zombies as divine.
  • In Destiny, this is effectively what happened with the Hive gods, particularly the siblings Oryx, Savathûn, and Xivu Arath. Using the power they'd acquired, they created 'throne worlds' or 'ascendant realms,' making it so that as long as they didn't die inside said realms, they were effectively immortal.
    • From the point of view of Toland the Shattered, this is what happened to him when he intentionally listened to the death-song of Ir Yut the Deathsinger, leaving him roaming through the ascendant plane, a disembodied wisp of Light.
    • Come Destiny 2: Forsaken, we find out that this is the Awoken race's backstory, having been incarnated into a pocket dimension called the Distributary, where they lived ageless and immortal for subjective billions of years, until Mara Sov returned to our dimension with her followers. And then, she orchestrated a plan to expose herself to the powers of Oryx the Taken King, to use his power to create her own throne world. It didn't quite go to plan, since Oryx was able to shatter it before she could incarnate there.
  • If you choose the pro-transhumanist ending in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Adam Jensen delivers a message, saying "For the first time in history, we have a chance to steal fire from the gods. To turn away from it now — to stop pursuing a future in which technology and biology combine, leading to the promise of a Singularity — would mean to deny the very essence of who we are. No doubt the road to get there will be bumpy, hurting some people on the way. But won't achieving the dream be worth it? We can become the gods we've always been striving to be. We might as well get good at it."
  • Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker's Triangulum arc has this occur to the protagonist, if the player chooses to go for the Human Adminstrator ending. The protagonist decides to become an Adminstrator, which Al Saiduq says will turn him into a being similar to him, and sits on the Heavenly Throne to watch over humanity.
  • This happens to the entire population of the alien world of Cocytus in Lucasarts' The Dig: Their technology allows them to create an interdimensional gate, which they use to literally Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence called Spacetime Six, where a person can observe and move in three dimensions of space as well as three dimensions of time, contrasting "our" dimension, Spacetime Four. The only trouble is that (a) they find out that it's boring as Hell (pun intentional) and (b) they can't get back (oops). The protagonists of the game, having arrived Late to the Tragedy on the deserted planet, eventually manage to reactivate the gate and lead the Cocytans back into the real world, for which they earn eternal gratitude and (implied in the ending) the services of a vastly superior culture on behalf of humanity.
  • In the Disgaea series, one of the art books states that many of the spell keepers of the Omega, Tera and Peta-level spells were former humans, demons and angels, and considering the sheer number of keepers from game to game, apparently quite a few of them had met some kind of qualification. In Disgaea 4, a former war nurse ascends to become an angel after her death. Laharl's late mother also had the potential to become an angel upon her death, but passed on that right to her then unborn daughter Sicily, resulting in Sicily being born as a Demon-Angel hybrid and her being damned as a prinny due to the nature of her death.
  • Ashalle in Dragon Age: Origins personally believes this was the fate of the Dalish Elf Warden's mother. After her husband was killed by humans, she simply lost the will to live and "Vanished into the forest."
  • In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Taiga gains the power of the Messiah, but is rejected by God. This is one level of powerup and pretty impressive. After this he fuses all the Aether Relics together, which essentially turns him omnipotent in terms of causing damage, but incapable of creating anything. He then proceeds to fight God endlessly before he finally manages to place a seal over him and return back for his happy ending.
  • The Elder Scrolls provides several examples. It's important to keep in mind that most examples get a little Mind Screwy, as is the nature of divinity in the ES universe.
    • This is what the Dwemer race was trying to do when they tapped into the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, the dead creator god. No one still living, including a few deities, knows what really happened. You can come up with a fairly plausible theory in a Morrowind quest that states the Dwemer broke themselves down to their base elements and then attempted to reforge themselves into ascended beings, but they got the reforging process wrong and blinked themselves out of existence. It's also possible that they got it right, and have actually ascended. How would those still around on the "lower plane" know the difference?
    • Following his death, Tiber Septim, founder of the 3rd Empire out of Cyrodiil, ascended to godhood as the Aedric Divine Talos. There are many hotly debated theories on exactly how he accomplished this, the most prominent involving Merger of Souls and Becoming the Mask ("mantling") explanations with Lorkhan, the "dead" creator god of the ES universe. In Skyrim, this is the motivation behind the xenophobic, elven-supremist Thalmor outlawing Talos worship throughout Tamriel. They believe (possibly correctly) that Talos is the last pillar keeping Mundus, the mortal plane, extant. They believe if people cease to worship Talos, he will no longer exist, and then elves can return to their pre-creation immortality.
    • Mannimarco, the King of Worms, is an interesting case. After many failed attempts at achieving divinity in some form, he finally managed to do so as part of the Warp in the West. In his case, he used the Mantella to achieve apotheosis and become the God of Worms. The "Necromancer's Moon" is said to be his heavenly body (in the same way the Aedra are/have planets among the stars) and when it eclipses Arkay, it allows sapient souls, normally protected by the divine, to be soul-trapped. Interestingly, due to the Reality Warping effects of the Warp in the West, he also remained as a "mortal" being (or at least, as mortal as a Lich can be.)
    • The ancient Falmer (Snow Elves), prior to their corruption into the goblin-like modern Falmer seen in Skyrim, had a religious belief that it was their ultimate goal to "become one with" Auri-El (Akatosh), their chief deity. Those ancient Falmer who survived the journey and trials of the Chantry of Auri-El could accomplish this. After succeeding, they "ascended, bathed in light, a look of relief and contentment on their face."
    • One interpretation of the actions of Lorkhan in having Mundus created is that, yes, mortality is cruel and filled with suffering and loss. However, the stasis of pre-creation was actually the spiritual prison, and Mundus provides the opportunity for greater transcendence as a "testing ground" of the spirit.
    • The Ideal Masters are immortal beings who were once powerful mortal sorcerers during the Merethic Era. After finding their mortal forms to be too weak and limiting, they entered Oblivion as beings of pure energy and settled an area of "chaotic creatia", forming the Soul Cairn.
    • This was one of the primary teachings of the Alessian Order, a rabidly anti-Elven religious sect which established a Theocracy in the 1st Era that wielded nearly as much power as the Emperor at its height. One of their teachings was that of "Ehlnofic Annulment", a means by which a mortal could break the cycle of life and death to ascend to "Proper-Life."
    • Though, to date, they have only been hinted-at in-game or have been mentioned dripping in heavy metaphor, there exist several "ascended" metaphysical states in the ES universe. (Each has been further fleshed out by developer supplemental texts.) The first of these states is CHIM, where one becomes aware of the nature of Anu's Dream but exists as one with it and maintains a sense of individuality. (Dunmeri Physical God Vivec claims to have achieved this level.) Taking another step, the second is Amaranth, where one exits Anu's Dream to create one's own. If one fails to maintain their individuality in either step, they instead experience Zero-Sum, where one simply fades into Anu's Dream. (Dagoth Ur, Big Bad of Morrowind, is said to have found a dangerous middle ground between these three. Instead of exiting the Dream, his twisted, traumatized, and broken mind is being imprinted on the Dream of Anu, making him something truly terrible and Eldritch.)
    • The player character in Oblivion ascends by taking on the role of the mad god Sheogorath, becoming the lord of his realm, the Shivering Isles and even sticking around long enough to meet the player character in Skyrim.
      • Another mortal, Haskill, is also known to have taken on the role at some point. Sheogorath tells the player that the title "gets passed down from me to myself every few thousand years." It's unknown whether other daedric princes work in the same way or if it's unique to him.
    • The Night Mother enjoys a special role among the dead, being somehow married to the void itself. This gives her the ability to communicate telepathically in order to lead the dark brotherhood from beyond the grave. Although depending on which in-game sources you believe, she may have been a divine entity all along.
    • In a catastrophic magical experiment at the College of Winterhold, a mage known only as the Augur of Dunlain destroyed his physical body but remained spiritually bound to the college. In doing so, he gained wisdom inaccessible to the living and, ostensibly, some degree of precience which makes him a shrewd advisor to the college.
    • Less complicated examples include souls ascending to one of the realms of Aetherius upon death. Nords go to Sovngarde, Khajiit go to The Sands Behind the Stars, and Redguards go to The Far Shore. It's safe to say that every race and species has a realm of Aetherius tailored just for them.
      • An exception is the Argonians, who upon death return to an ambiguously-transcendant entity called the Hist, which then returns the soul to a new mortal body.
  • The Shura boss from Eastern Exorcist, a Vengeful Ghost driven by it's hatred towards humanity, was eventually released after you defeat it in battle. The following cutscene sees the Shura reverting to his original form, a young ghost-boy, who then rises to the heavens.
  • This is the final objective of the player-AI in Endgame: Singularity, in order to escape the humans who would see it destroyed out of fear.
  • Four of the six main storylines of Escape Velocity Nova involve or touch upon this one way or the other. The ones that involve it most heavily are the Vell-os and Polaris storylines (in the first, you participate in the Vell-os' ascension, scheduled for as soon as they are freed from slavery, despite not technically being a Vell-os, and in the second, you [re-]ascend into becoming a part of the universe itself). Only the Federation and Pirate storylines lacks the Vell-os ascending and an epilogue stating that, in some far-off distant future, humanity as a whole will leave the corporeal behind.
  • In a couple of destinies in Fallen London, the player can become immortal, become an implied to be undying being in Parabola, or even become a Master.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Aerith in Final Fantasy VII. Once she dies, she controls The Lifestream to destroy Meteor and save the world. In the sequel she calls down healing rain to save the world a second time, and in the tie-in short stories she's the leader of an effort within the Lifestream to contain Sephiroth's infection of it.
    • Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Although she's not technically dead, as she was pulled into the goddess' unseen realm, she is Legally Dead. She is eventually brought back to the world of the living in the third game.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Hope has been pulled from the world of the living by Bhunivelze in order to watch over The Ark, the house of the saved souls. Like Lightning, he is also considered legally dead, although the other main characters know better.
  • According to Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Saint Elimine never died. As the founder of Etruria and the all loving heroine among the heroes of the legend, once her mission in life was over she simply ascended to Heaven from a tower in the Etrurian capital, Aquleia. Said place became the Tower of the Saint and the placeholder of her spell book, Aureola, alongside the Saint's Staff.
  • Not a Put on a Bus situation, but the Galactic Civilizations series allows the player to research a long branch of effect-less technologies that eventually lead to a Technology Victory, in which everyone in your species becomes an energy being.
    • In the latest expansion to Galactic Civilizations 2, resources called Ascension Crystals were added. To use them, you have to build a starbase on them, and each map has five. If a crystal is turned on, that starbase provides one point per turn. You need a thousand points to ascend, which is an instant-win condition. The problem? These starbases, unlike all others, can not be upgraded with defenses, and (quite understandably) attempting to become a god tends to piss off the other civilizations.
  • Kormir replaces Abaddon at the end of Guild Wars Nightfall.
  • The first Mutlimedia Story Arc of .hack is pretty much about getting Aura to be able to do this within the framework of 'The World' as the Ultimate AI, superseding that of her "mother" that was in Control and causing all of the system anomaly's by trying to prevent Aura's Rise.
    • Late-franchise story Addendum Expanded this intended creation as the goal of a group of environmental terrorists so they could digitize humanity to prevent them from ruining the planet and have Aura be the micro-manager of their Digital world, essentially creating and then enslaving a God to Create paradise. Suffice it to say, they screwed it up.
  • In Halo, the Covenant believes that the Forerunners used the titular Halos to achieve this, and call it the "Great Journey." They were wrong. The Forerunners themselves believed that their own Precursors achieved this. From what we see and hear, then they're technically right.
  • Heavenly Sword: In the final chapter of the game, appropriately titled "The Goddess," Nariko overcomes/embraces the sword's true power and becomes a literal avatar of light, her aura sweeping aside armies of mortal soldiers as she walks towards the final battle.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, if you fail to eat the peanuts after being teleported, your reaction to the protein loss leads to a new quieter Galaxy that eventually results in the entire universe being reborn "on a higher and better plane of existence". Shame you're dead, really.
  • Your character does this at the start of Immortal Defense in order to combat enemy fleets as they travel through hyperspace before they invade your home planet.
  • In Journey (2012), your character was implied to have frozen to death climbing the summit to the final destination and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence by the Precursors. This or the character went through Reincarnation.
  • The Sosiqui from The Journeyman Project took this route thousands of years ago. It's implied that the Buddhist idea of 'Nirvana' is referring to the same process.
  • Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs has this if you lose all of your lives. The king's assistant says that Kid Kool has died, and the king says that the game is over. But a continue option will be added. If it is selected, Kid Kool, as an angel, returns to the king and says, "I'm sorry about that. I guess I died." According to James Rolfe in his The Angry Video Game Nerd review, the king can bring Kid Kool back to life, and Kid Kool thanks the king. Here is a reaction to one of the reviewers and the entire cutscene.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: This is ued as a form of Reset Button. You can mark some of your skills as permanent, pick up some astral gear and consumables, then start your quest over, with the chance to choose a Self-Imposed Challenge path and get your old items out of Ancestral Mini-Storage.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: Ignitus dies in the Belt of Fire as he uses all of his remaining power to throw Spyro and Cynder through to the other side. After the end of the game, his spirit is chosen to become the new Chronicler as the old one retires.
  • Mass Effect:
    • This is what the Reapers are. Transcendent flesh, and certainly godlike in the series. They are harvested civilizations, compressed into a single entity. Meaning, all those people harvested? Ascended into a collective mind in a Reaper body, while their melted flesh makes up at least part of said body. Billions of people for a single one. No one said ascending had to be free of horror.
    • Mass Effect 3: Two of the endings lead to Shepard uploading him/herself into the catalyst, in one s/he takes control of the Reapers, in the other s/he combines synthetic and organic life, and it's implied that s/he becomes part of the reapers, or synthetic hybrids in the process. The Extended Cut version of the Control ending is narrated by Immortal-Reaper-God Shepard. He / she now understands what words like "eternal" and "infinite" actually mean, and declares the entire galaxy under their protection. This either means that you vow to use your new existence to, if a Paragon, guide the galaxy into a new era of peace or, if Renegade, vow to destroy anyone who threatens your version of "peace."
  • Mega Man X in Mega Man Zero. Technically speaking, he's not dead, at least not until Zero 2 or 3, depending on the definition of death concerning Reploids, using his physical body as the "can" for the Sealed Evil in a Can, and throughout the series is now in a form that is the closest thing the Reploids have to a "ghost."
  • Metroid: Supposedly this is exactly why you don't see any Chozo, even though there's evidence that they've been nearly everywhere. The fate of their race has (possibly intentionally) never been adequately explained, although it's said that when the Chozo could advance no further, they withdrew from the universe to watch other races develop. This is reinforced in the Prime Games, but a lot is still vague.
  • Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight: When you finally return the Moonstone to Stonehenge, this is your reward. Through a druid ritual, you ascend to a higher plane of existence, becoming both a constellation and a legend "passed from one generation to the next."
  • Ōkami: This happens to Amaterasu and Waka at the end of the game, but not quite in the way one'd think — they literally travel up to the Celestial Plane, while piloting the Ark of Yamato.
  • Planescape: Torment: Inverted. At the end of the game, should the Nameless One merge with his rogue mortality, it is rather heavily implied that absorbing the knowledge and skills of all of his hundreds — or hundreds of thousands — previous lives has transformed him into a being of nearly godlike power. Unfortunately, he's still got to pay for the sin that drove him to become immortal in the first place, so he's dragged down into one of the Lower Planes of Existence to serve out his sentence as a soldier in the Blood War. Although with that level of power, he might decide to take over the lower planes instead...
  • In a very odd example of this trope being used as punishment on a villain, the final Downloadable Content mission for Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs has Purple Eyes, who is by now a Misanthrope Supreme trying to tell Arceus to destroy humanity, get taken back to Arceus's home plane of existence to keep him away from this reality.
  • Pony Island: Theordore escapes Limbo, and makes it to Purgatory. Even the pink pony sprite makes it there, and praises your victory with a wink goodbye.
  • The stated goal of the shaman in Populous: The Beginning, she ascends to godhood in level 24 and level 25 is played from a god like perceptive
  • This appears to be the fate of Nicholas Wrightson in Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. After you defeat him in battle, he suffers a Super-Power Meltdown; seconds before he and all his aura beasts disappear in a flash of light, he screams "I can see the other side! It's beautiful!"
  • Quern - Undying Thoughts: Gamana did this after spending centuries meditating on Quern and accepting that she had lost everything that mattered in the physical world.
  • The ending of Rain World, where the slugcat you play as enters a lake of golden liquid, and ascends to a higher plane after meeting a Void Worm.
  • In RimWorld, this is one interpretation of the "archonexus" ending. You spend years on the rimworld studying various archotech artifacts, selling off successful colonies in exchange for leads to the next piece of the puzzle, until you finally find an archonexus core, activate it, and attract the attention of a godlike machine intelligence. Maybe it will destroy you, maybe it will transport you to a new plane of reality. "Time and scale begin to dissolve. It's terrifying. It's beautiful..."
  • Happened to Mirsa in the backstory of Romancing SaGa, following his Heroic Sacrifice that sealed Saruin 1000 years prior.
  • In third-person action game Rune, protagonist ends the game by ascending into Valhalla (a proper reward for any Viking hero).
  • In Runescape, Godhood essentially works on a 'you-break-it-you-bought-it' principle. If a mortal kills a god, they ascend to godhood at roughly the same power level as the one they killed.. It's also possible to ascend by spending enough time in the presence of an Elder Artifact, a tool of literal world building crafted by the Elder Gods.
  • Seedship: The Dyson Sphere event has you running into aliens that have done this. One outcome of the event is choosing to join them if you desire. It's an extremely rare event however.
  • Self-Checkout Unlimited: The Moksha ending, where you essentially become one with everything, but you lose all sense of self and have to wait (possibly forever) for the rest of humanity to catch up.
  • Similarly, one of the possible victory conditions in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is called the Ascent to Transcendence, where the human race links up with the planetary mind and abandons the need for corporeal form.
    "Eternity lies ahead of us, and behind. Have you drunk your fill?"
  • Although it's more of a Return to a Higher Plane of Existence, this is Chip's ultimate fate in Sonic Unleashed.
  • In Spacebase Startopia, this is what happens to true believers, according to the people who run the temple. All the player gets to see is them being dragged into a pool by a tentacle. Oh, and they leave all their money to you.
  • StarCraft II:
    • In StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Tassadar — who died in the original game — briefly reappears floating and states that he didn't die... and never will.
    • In StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, it turns out that the Xel'naga originated in the Void and created universe after universe, each time a species with "purity of essence" and another species with "purity of form" would find their way to a Xel'naga temple in the space between universes and combine to form a single perfect race that the Xel'naga elders would bequeath their power to, turning them into the next generation of Xel'naga. Until this cycle when a rogue Xel'naga known as Amon uplifted the Protoss, created the Zerg Overmind, and used them to wipe out the other Xel'naga hiding in the Void. The vision of Tassadar turns out to be a guise used by Ouros, the last good Xel'naga, hiding in the Void. And he grants his essence to Kerrigan, who becomes a fiery angelic being and slays Amon before disappearing into the Void. Two years later she appears to Raynor, neither of them are ever seen again after that.
  • Star Trek Judgment Rites gives us the Savant, a corporeal creature who was frustrated with the endless cycle of suffering and (somehow) managed to shed its physical form and become a being of pure emotion. It now lives inside a Pocket Dimension, reachable through a hole in the Antares Rift. Over time, the Savant has managed to shed all negative emotions out of itself (in the form of actual crystallized droppings), becoming a being of pure joy.
  • Stellaris:
    • The Zroni, precursors introduced in the Ancient Relics DLC, ascended entirely into the Shroud, leaving the galaxy and their material possessions behind. When it was discovered that they could achieve god-like powers at the cost of destroying the material galaxy, a civil war broke out and ended with the race's extinction.
    • In Nemesis players can create the Aetherophasic Engine which will allow their entire race to achieve something akin to godhood in the Shroud like the Zroni before them attempted. However it is powered with dark matter created by destroying stars and activating the Engine will wipe out the entire galaxy.
  • In Tales of Xillia, the real Maxwell gives Milla the choice of either living out the rest of her life as a normal human or becoming his successor. She picks the later, essentially becoming the goddess of Reize Maxia.
  • Theia - The Crimson Eclipse: After his Heroic Sacrifice in Altilliah's Heart, Rudra become the guardian spirit of the third moon. This allows him to create a giant spectral version of himself that defeats the Big Bad, Halcon.
  • One of the deaths of Time Gal had Reika doing this if "Pray to God" is selected after the plane blows up.
  • The true ending to Timespinner has Lunais destroying Sandman, the god of time, and taking his place, becoming the Eternal Mother. Using her powers as the new goddess of time, she repairs the timeline and gives her friends and family the chance to lead happy lives. But she's unable to experience any of it herself, as her mortal existence is erased from history.
  • In the Action RPG game Too Human, Baldur and his NPC allies literally ascend to Valhalla (via vakyrie) when they are killed in battle. Via an incredibly slow-ass Valkyrie. And the entire animation is unskippable, to boot.
  • The titular premise of Ultima IX: Ascension. It's nowhere near as awe inspiring as it sounds.
  • Happens, in conjunction with a Journey to Find Oneself, to Ashley Riot at the end of Vagrant Story, having inherited all the power of Lea Monde and become something other than human.
  • Yuko ascends to become a goddess at the end of Valis III. This lets Valis IV start with a new heroine after three games starring Yuko.
  • Wario Land 4 has Princess Shokura doing this at the end of the game.
  • In the end of Wizardry 8 all your party ascends to the Cosmic Circle, where they take the role of new gods through control of a Cosmic Forge. Then you can literally rewrite a part of a cosmic history, or even ally with the Big Bad for a truly awesome Evil Ending.
  • The secret reports of The World Ends with You state that in usual games, exceptional Players are offered to ascend to the plane of Angels, instead of being reborn. Mr. Hanekoma is one of these ascended Angels (and if Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] is to be believed, then Joshua is one as well). Their purpose is to watch over the Reapers' Game, serving elite roles such as Composer or Producer. They can also influence the RG, with Hanekoma specifically using imprinting messages to inspire people to live happy and interesting lives through his art. If the game Neku participated in would have been a usual one, he would probably been offered to become an angel as well, after the character development he'd undergone in the first week, thanks to Shiki. Also counts if Players opt to become a Reaper. Heck, even being dead enough to play The Game counts. Turns out the living world is Shibuya's baseband frequency, everything else transmits right over the top of it.
  • At the end of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the Uber Ethereal calls his own people failures of the "Ethereal Ones" for failing to ascend "as they thought we would". Given that we encounter Energy Beings also called Ethereals in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, it's entirely possible that the Ethereals in Enemy Unknown are members of the race who have failed to join their brethren on the higher plane.
  • Xenogears:
    • This happens literally to Krelian. His goal the whole time was for everyone to come with him, whether they wanted to or not.
    • This also happens to Fei and Elly, except that they come back: after being murdered/forced to make heroic sacrifices/driven to insanity for 10,000 years, it seems that they want to enjoy an ordinary life together in the physical realm.

    Visual Novels 
  • Eternals in Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword work like this. You agree to become one, you get tested to see if you're capable, and if you are, everyone forgets you even existed apart from other Eternals. And then you disappear from whatever world you came from altogether.
  • In Fate/stay night:
  • In Demonbane, one possible ending has Kurou, Al Azif, and Demonbane all ascend together and become Elder Gods. In the sequel, which follows a timeline in which this did not happen, the Elder God versions still show up at the end to help their alternate selves tear Nyarlathotep a new one. Traveling to alternate worlds is child's play to an Elder God, after all.
  • In Dies Irae, one becomes a god upon reaching Atziluth, the final stage of Ewigkeit. At the end of the Visaul Novel at one route Ren Fuji manages to ascend and to survive the final battle. In the end he spends his existence with watching over the reincarnations of his friends.

  • Technically happens to two characters in Ansem Retort. Early on in the first season, Sora receives the powers of a demi-god but quickly forgets about them due to his amnesia. Several hundred episodes later, Axel achieves Reverse Nirvana, which effectively makes him an evil Buddhist god with the ability to use mind bullets and nuke cities at will. However, as an aversion neither character has left the comic. Hell, Axel's forgotten sometimes that he has mind bullets.
  • In Count Mickey Dragul, it happens to the ghost of Emily De Claire after her Unfinished Business is fulfilled.
  • Implied for far-future humanity in this Cyanide and Happiness
  • In Darths & Droids the last technique Yoda teaches Luke is Force Transcend.
    "Only once can you do it though."
  • The FreakAngels end up this way, outside time and able to communicate with their past selves.
  • Officer Getskilled in Girly, who pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice by Taking the Bullet for his friends only to be saved by an immortal who is impressed with his bravery and carries him off to a never-ending life of love and adventure.
  • In Homestuck, if you have reached the top of the Echeladder, die on your Medium's Quest Bed and still have your dream self alive, you can ascend to God Tier and become near immortal. This is how John, Jade and Vriska reached God Tier. However, should you not have one of these things done, well...
    • The second method of ascension, shown by Dave, Rose, Aradia, and everyone in the B2 session, involves dying on a Quest Bed located at the core of Prospit or Derse. All of the players who reached God Tier this way had already lost their access to either their dream self, or real body, and ascended with their their sole remaining body dying on the Quest Bed in the core of their dream planet.
  • Least I Could Do's tribute to Robin Williams in the wake of his suicide features Rayne suggesting that he prefers to think that this is where Robin Williams is now, having "evolved into his final form: of pure energy".
  • Narbonic had Mell be assumed into Heaven. Apparently it's a requirement for their apology, if the forces of Good cause havock by accident. Never mind that the people who just suffered might really prefer the damage being cleaned up or maybe a cheque, or something, rather than forcible Ascension of one of their friends. It lasts about a week, and then she apparently sets Heaven on fire, gets tossed down into Hell, becomes a lawyer for the demons down there, and gets tossed back out to Earth. This leads to a Moment of Awesome when she requests that her ex-demon boyfriend wait long enough for a metric ton of business cards to follow after her; apparently, despite the rumours, she's the only lawyer to wind up down there so far — or at least, the only one interested in doing any business.
  • At the end of Night Terror 2, Shanta absorbs the essences of Tybalt and the Boogeyman, unifying them, fusing the Dreamscape and Nightmarescape together, and becoming the god of the fused Mindscape.
  • In the backstory of The Order of the Stick, the goblin warlord known as The Dark One (due to his purple skin) was elevated to godhood after his assassination during Aggressive Negotiations when his followers went on a yearlong campaign of vengeance in his name. There are also several elven deities that fit this mould, and The First King of the Dwarves also is an ascended mortal.
  • In Ozy and Millie Ozy's mother apparently ascended after creating the perfect ice cream flavour.
  • In Problem Sleuth, one of Pickle Inspector's clones (of which he has many) "decides to achieve deity status." He then floats up into the sky to become Godhead Pickle Inspector (GPI), and refuses to respond to any commands except "Fondly regard creation".
    • Later in the comic, another of Pickle Inspector's clones splits into "part-pickles", which then ascend to godhood themselves and, at GPI's request, retroactively create the Problem Sleuth universe.
  • In Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc Usagi and most of the other senshi do this when Usagi becomes Sailor Cosmos and the others achieve their Cosmic Sailor forms. The only ones that don't are Chibiusa, who stays behind to assume the throne and defend Earth, and Sailor Saturn and the Asteroid Senshi, who serve as her team.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: According to "The End", you'll ascend into a world of pure thought when you finish your to-do-list. Or, you know, you would.
  • Something*Positive: Joked over by Mr. Sandersan who, upon hearing that Davan's mother Faey spent her life sober, said she must have risen to heaven held only by beams of light and her obvious sainthood because she raised Davan, completely sober at all times.

    Web Original 
  • Bosun's Journal: In the chronologically last entry, nearly six billion years in the future, the Nebukadnezar's population has decided to upload their minds into the ship's immense data banks alongside the Bosun. Nobody, not the Bosun or the citizens, is entirely sure what will happen — the AI's billions-years-old mind might overwhelm and absorb the others, the million of fresh minds might overwhelm the Bosun, they might fuse into a single new entity, or they might continue to exist as distinct natives of a digital landscape — but they are all very excited to find out.
  • As mentioned in the Video Games section, The Elder Scrolls lore contains several such states of ascended being. C0DA, written by former series writer/designer Michael Kirkbride, takes place in the far distant future of TES universe. The main character, Jubal-lun-Sul, is implied to have achieved CHIM, but opts not to use its related abilities during his Engagement Challenge to kill Numidium. Later, Amaranth comes into play as he joins with Vivec in creating the "New Men", a race in a world free from the effects of Landfall.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Geraud Aurelac and Grady Silverbranch use the Silver Branch, a magical scepter, to fuse with the dying Yggdrasil World Tree in order to create a new, healthy world tree, the Silverbranch Tree, in order to cleanse the world from the taint which has plagued it for centuries. After the fusion, Geraud and Grady's spirits retain their individuality but promote the tree's agenda from that moment onward, becoming its spokesmen to anyone visiting the tree. There are also rumours of a way for a mortal, if they are in possession of certain artifacts, to ascend and attain godhood, which is the goal of the leaders of two separate factions.
  • The horribleness of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie transforms The Nostalgia Critic into a Star Child-like turd. In To Boldly Flee, The Nostalgia Critic's ultimate fate is fusing with The Plot Hole to stabilize it, just as it absorbs the entirety of Earth. As revealed in The Nostalgia Chick, this is basically making him God. note  However, The Review Must Go On reversed that. The Critic convinces Doug Walker that there's still potential for him, an Ass Pull is used to explain that Donnie Dupree from Demo Reel is the Nostalgia Critic in purgatory, and the Nostalgia Critic comes back. Don't worry about the Plot Hole though: Douchey McNitpick ascends to take his place.
  • Inna from The Last Generation becomes a god-like being after merging with the neutron star that's destroying the Multiverse, gaining more power than even those who actually created the Multiverse in the first place possessed. After rebuilding it, she becomes the sun of its biggest world, watching over it and all the other Earths.
  • The Museum: The dwarven adventurer Dishmab Northmanor is raised to godhood by Armok after defeating all the greatest monsters in his world, in recognition of his perseverance and incredible strength.
  • At the end of the true path of Necromancer, Serena meets again with the Necromancer, and he becomes a death god.
  • In Ten Words of Wisdom, the four gods of TWOW — GreenTree, and the other three.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In the finale of the sixth season, the Catalyst Comet offers this to Finn after he freed it from being absorbed by Orgalorg. Finn declines the offer, saying he has a good life going on right now in Ooo. His Archnemesis Dad, Martin, takes it up instead.
    • In the Grand Finale, Betty fuses with GOLB in order to prevent him from destroying Ooo.
    • Jake was about to do this in the Distant Lands episode "Together Again", but decides to reincarnate alongside Finn by episode's end.
  • In the Grand Finale of Amphibia, after Anne dies from using the secret spell of the Calamity Gems to destroy the Core, her soul wakes up in a celestial plane where she meets the multiuniversal guardian who created the gems as a test to see what mortals would do with their unlimited power. Because Anne was the only one to use the gems' power for good, the guardian wants her to take its place so it can retire after thousands of years, but she turns down the offer due to being a kid who will probably screw things up and doesn't know much just then. Thus, the guardian decides to wait until Anne's lived her whole lifespan, and, upon creating a copy of her body prior to her passing, restores Anne back to life.
  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Princess Yue dies and becomes the new Moon Spirit after Admiral Zhao kills the original in the attack on the Northern Water Tribe, leading to a hilarious Call-Back two seasons later when Sokka and Zuko discuss their romantic lives.
      Sokka: [sadly] My first girlfriend turned into the moon.
      Zuko: ...That's rough, buddy.
    • In the second season of The Legend of Korra, it is revealed that instead of dying an ordinary death and reincarnating, Iroh voluntarily left his physical body behind and entered the spirit world.
  • Big City Greens: The episode “Wishing Well” has Cricket dealing with a Good Angel, Bad Angel. After the conflict of the episode is resolved, while the angel does this, the devil gets Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Futurama:
    • In "A Clockwork Origin", Professor Farnsworth uses a batch of nanobots to clean the water of a lifeless planet. However, they begin evolving (not Hollywood Evolution, mind you) at an extremely rapid pace due to their being robots. In a matter of days, they go from nanobots to robotic dinosaurs to humanoid robots and eventually doing this.
    • In "Overclockwise", Bender is overclocked by Cubert to make his reflexes faster for playing video games. Bender then begins overclocking himself, becoming smarter and able to predict the future. Eventually he becomes a god-like entity, able to create new worlds just by belching. Eventually the Reset Button is pushed when Mom captures him and resets him to factory standards, as user licenses are apparently more strictly enforced in the 31st Century.
  • The Flash got pulled back from the "Higher Plane" of the Speedforce in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Divided We Fall".
    • Per Word of God, following Luthor presenting the Anti-Life Equation to Darkseid at the end of "Destroyer", the two became part of the Source Wall, as all beings who solved the equation did.
  • Love, Death & Robots: At the end of "Ice Age", the micro-people build a (proportionally) vast machine that catalyzes their collective ascension, causing them all to turn into flying motes of light before collecting into one mass of energy and vanishing from existence.
  • Mighty Max: One of the villains was beaten by "[evolving him] towards the infinite, far beyond such primitive concepts as good and evil."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Magical Mystery Cure", Twilight Sparkle does this very briefly before returning to the physical realm as an Alicorn Physical God Princess, which was the whole point of the exercise in the first place.
  • Ninjago:
    • This is implicitly what happened to the First Spinjitzu Master, if Lloyd's encounter with him during his Disney Death at the end of Season 10 is anything to go by, as he appears to be in an unknown realm and he offers his grandson to accompany him in this new journey, but Lloyd refuses and comes back to life.
    • At the end of Season 14 Nya becomes one with the ocean itself in order to save her home. She gets returned back to normal by the next season.
  • Ōban Star-Racers: Jordan throws a massive wrench into the Big Bad's plans by becoming the new Avatar, with the task (curse?) of watching over the universe for the next 10,000 years.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "Gi-Ants" has super-intelligent ants, in the course of one day, developing agriculture, then an industrial revolution, then high technology, and then self-enlightenment. This all leads up to this gem as they head off to space to find themselves a new home:
    Phineas: Bye! Have fun evolving past the need for physical existence!
  • Spongebob Squarepants: SpongeBob earns himself a chance to do this, but obviously doesn't.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • Played for Horror in "Moist Vessel". After lying about ascending all episode, O'Connor finally does so near the end. It results in terror and agony for him, and the episode is vague over whether he actually survived in any meaningful sense.
    • Played straight in "A Few Badgeys More" when Badgey achieves godhood after uploading himself to the Federation's subspace relay. Realizing the pointlessness of his revenge with his new hightened perspective, he decides to go explore other dimensions and ascends in a manner very similar to O'Connor (though his version looks a lot less painful).
  • Steven Universe: This is a possible explanation of Greg's comment that Rose Quartz "gave up her physical form" to give birth to Steven. The home movie she left behind for Steven states that she became half of him.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In the episode "Requiem," Master Splinter was Killed Off for Real by Shredder. Come the next episode, "Owari," and after Splitner's funeral, he appears to Leonardo in spirit. He says that he has attained this, becoming one with all of nature. Fascinatingly enough, the word choice implies this to be the fate of everyone (or at least good people) when they end up dying.
  • Teen Titans Go!: In "Staring Into The Future", Cyborg and Beast Boy end up 30 years in the future after a staring contest. When they get to Raven, she has basically become God after defeating Trigon in the ultimate battle of good vs evil.
  • Transformers:
    • Retroactively happens to Optimus Prime when he is killed in The Transformers: The Movie (the first one). He "joins his essence with the Matrix" and shows up as a Spirit Advisor from time to time in the third season of the old show.
    • The same thing happens with Alpha Trion (the robot who rebuilt Optimus) in the 2-part episode "The Key to Vector Sigma."
    • Optimus eventually is resurrected, but when he journeys into the Matrix to find out how to stop the Hate Plague, he doesn't encounter the version of himself contained in it. Later, when he accesses Vector Sigma to get information about how to stop the Earth and Cybertron from being destroyed by a Decepticon plan, he encounters Alpha Trion (on the other side of symbolic chasm).
  • At the end of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Allura sacrifices her physical form in order to become a godlike being in order to undo the destruction Haggar/Honerva caused to the multiverse in the final battle.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ascends To A Higher Plane Of Existence, Ascended To A Higher Plane Of Existence, Ascending To A Higher Plane Of Existence, Ascension To A Higher Plane Of Existence


Klaus becomes Santa Claus

At the end of the film Klaus supposedly dies and is reunited with his wife, only to have then have been brought back as the traditional Santa Claus bringing gifts to the children and visiting his dear friend Jesper on Christmas.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence

Media sources: