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Assimilation Plot

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"I will bring peace to the world. Everlasting peace. And unity. And uniformity."
The Cyber-Controller, Doctor Who, "The Age of Steel"

This trope refers to a common plot by villains with a cause, wherein they reason that all of humanity's problems and unhappiness are caused by people being separate/different from one another, and so try to forcefully eliminate the differences and individuality of everyone by merging everyone into one mind/body/soul/etc.

Basically, this is when villains use supernatural/Applied Phlebotinum means to make a Hive Mind because Utopia Justifies the Means, and is often done by a Well-Intentioned Extremist/Totalitarian Utilitarian/Knight Templar. This is how The Virus justifies itself, if sentient and possessing a Hive Mind.

Variants include:

See The Singularity for a non-premeditated, unguided version where exponential technological change itself ultimately results in humanity merging with Artificial Intelligence and becoming a Hive Mind. See also Pieces of God, where humanity actually started as one entity. See Mental Fusion and Merger of Souls for a smaller scale, often voluntary assimilation.

Not to be confused with The Assimilator, which is a character trait rather than the focus of the entire plot. There the character is simply expanding instead of something visionary, though a visionary Assimilator might devise an Assimilation Plot.

Compare/contrast The Evils of Free Will, where the villains use force, brainwashing, and other things to systematically eliminate unique thinkers until everyone is basically a carbon copy, but remains an individual physically.

A step up is the World of Silence; not only has everyone become one, but that 'oneness' is one of complete apathy and nothing. Likely to lead to Loss of Identity and/or Identity Breakdown to those who are forced to assimilate.

Examples (Warning: spoilers ahead):

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Aquarion Logos has the villains seeking to destroy the concept of writing, returning humanity to a primordial state where people's thoughts were connected without words. However, the Big Bad reveals after successfully pulling it off that this was only a ruse: she's actually an Omnicidal Maniac, and humans aren't built to survive being in a hive mind without their souls eventually disintegrating.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of Black Cat, this is the ultimate plan of the Big Bad. Mason, former Chrono Number 2, has devised a mechanical lifeforce named Eden that will use a combination of Tao magic and nanotechnology to infect all of humanity, forcibly assimilating their minds into a giant artificial reality program and forcing an end to all forms of hostility as a result, since humans will no longer be capable of independent thought.
  • This is the goal of The Emperor and Marianne in Code Geass. It's essentially the same basic idea behind the Evangelion version, but with a different set of symbols, and no Tang involved.
  • This is Leviathan's ultimate plan in Digimon Universe: App Monsters — turning all humans into data, then absorbing them within itself so they can be easily controlled in the form of applications.
  • Dragon Ball GT has Baby, who is able to accomplish the mental equivalent of this by invading people's bodies via open wounds and laying eggs to keep them under his control. Aside from restoring the glorious Tsufruian/Tuffle race, he's only doing it to antagonize and eradicate the Saiyans. Those under Baby's influence behave like evil versions of themselves who all agree with Baby's perspective, with the only exception being Baby's host, whom he possesses directly.
  • In The Epic of Zektbach, the Rufina performed one to form Σ, a "memeplex" who is all of them combined into one being. It is later revealed that humanity performed one a long time ago, uploading themselves into a database on a spaceship called the Ouroboros Ark to attain immortality. However, a man named Joah didn't like existing this way and so awakened L'erisia, the embodiment of self-awareness, causing the whole thing the break down.
  • This appears in Eureka Seven, though mostly in the backstory. Absorbing other beings into itself is described as the Scub Coral's only method of communication, and towards the end of the series, the idea of all of humanity joining the Scub's Hive Mind as a possibility to prevent the collapse of the material universe from an over-abundance of thinking life forms is brought up; Thankfully, Renton & Eureka's efforts managed to avert this from happening.
  • The military leaders in Fullmetal Alchemist seem to think along these lines:
    "This world is decaying, it needs to be reborn anew! The masses will not suffer death, they will live forever in us! All is one and one is all!"
  • This is a major theme of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, series 1 and 2, as a natural result of an interconnected cybernetic information network. Natural assimilation underlies the concept of the "Stand Alone Complex" itself, and it is explicitly examined in the case of Hideo Kuze and the refugees. Kuze believes that humanity is now capable of Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence since the majority of the population is already cyberized (connected to the net), but they don't know that they are capable of doing this, or even how to do so. While he doesn't desire to see people lose their physical forms if it can be helped, he believes that everyone can retain their individualities and live entirely inside the net. His intentions are entirely honorable, and he would never force anyone to go through with it if they didn't want to, but due to the dire circumstances of the final episodes of 2nd Gig, he prepares for such a forced ascension just to save the lives of all his followers as an absolute last resort.
  • This eventual goal of the Claw Man in GUN×SWORD is to merge his own essence into all other humans.
  • Kaiba has a giant plant monster that consumes memories and planets that contain them. When the threat comes towards a planet the main characters are on, Popo, who just usurped the king, wants the world to be eaten to unify all people and their memories. One of the Warp copies seems to agree with this idea.
  • GaoGaiGar: Zonder Metal from King of Braves GaoGaiGar was initially developed as a method of stress relief and a means to remove negative emotions, but the master control program in charge of the Zonder Metal quickly determined that the best way of eliminating all stress was to absorb all other lifeforms in the universe and turn them into emotionless robots. This is even the motivation of the Primevals' world-ending plots: by rendering the Earth uninhabitable, Humanity would have no choice but to accept Zonderization to survive.
  • This seems to be the goal of the weakness-hating, Kira-esque genius Villain Protagonist of Lost+Brain, who has caught practically all of Japan using hypnotic TV shows in addition to the students he has under his control. What he actually does is erase their memories, although they could also be under his control too.
  • In Macross Frontier, Big Bad Grace O'Connor's Evilutionary Biologist plan is to use her cybernetic-implant-based brain network and the FTL communications of the Vajra's fold quartz to link everyone in the entire galaxy into a single group mind. Unlike the trope, however, the heroes discover that the network will have an "admin" position which will effectively put one person's desires over everyone else hooked into it, and that this is how Grace has already co-opted the Macross Galaxy fleet into her private army. The final episode even has what may be a Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion in this memorable exchange:
    Brera: Being connected to you scoundrels, I truly realized: no matter how far we go, humans are always alone.
    Grace: That's why we-!
    Brera: But-!
    Alto: It's because we are alone... that we can love someone!
  • In Magical Girl Site, this is the real nature of "The Tempest". The King will absorb all humans on Earth within herself (except those who used Sticks due to commiting the sin of giving up their lifespan), then recreate humanity in another planet as a new species with no negative emotions.
  • Naruto:
    • This is the basic concept of "The Moon's Eye Plan", whose aim is to dive all people in eternal Genjutsu and collect all the chakra in all people for the user in order to reach peace in the world. The plan also intersects with Lotus-Eater Machine, since for each one who gets caught in the Genjutsu, will be created a perfect world in which all his desires will be fulfilled. Although the entire concept and execution seems to depend on its executor, Obito who's more concerned about the execution of the "Lotus-Eater Machine" part, than "collect all the chakra for himself", uses the Shinju to achieve the goal, while Madara who's more concerned about the execution of the "collect all the chakra for himself" part, awakens the Rinne Sharingan and uses it to trigger the Infinite Tsukiyomi. As it turned out, the original plan was invented by Kaguya Otsutsuki, and her plan goes a step further when it is revealed that while her victims are ensnared in an eternal dream, their bodies will be converted into an army of Zetsu clones.
    • The Sage of the Six Paths intended a much more benevolent version of this, spreading chakra in the hope that it would create a bond between people and foster understanding. Unfortunately, they learned how to mix their spiritual and physical powers with the chakra to create ninjutsu and continued fighting.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Defeating the Angels does not mean humanity would be left in peace: SEELE and Gendo alike have convergent plots to do more or less exactly the same thing that the Angels were trying to accomplish, except on their own terms. That is, reduce the bodies of all human beings into glowy Tang and unite their souls with Lilith, an Eldritch Abomination not unlike the Angels themselves. SEELE thinks this would be an evolutionary leap forward for mankind, while Gendo merely wants to reunite with Yui, whose soul is trapped inside Unit 01. The plan's name, "Instrumentality", was the former Trope Namer, but the name was considered spoiling too much.
  • Noein: Noein's ultimate plan is to end all the suffering everywhere by collapsing every reality into Shangri'la. It's implied that his allies only think they'll survive this. Actually, that was only phase one! He planned on destroying Shangri'la after that. Nirvana aka the death that has no rebirth after it! It is more of an Annihilation Plot!
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: If left to her own devices, Kriemhild Gretchen, Madoka's Witch form, will destroy all life on Earth in ten days, absorbing every living creature into her barrier and creating a Lotus-Eater Machine, in an attempt to rid the world of suffering.
  • The British Library's ultimate plan in R.O.D the TV is to broadcast the mind of Gentleman across the Earth, rewriting the minds of every single person. Before the final battle, Anita returns to Japan to discover that the British Library erased all memory of her from her former classmates' minds, going so far as to turn her admirer Hasami straight. Wendy confronts her, telling her to "live the dream or die." When Hisami manages to remember, Anita's happy - until full realization of the Library's horrific power strikes her.
  • It's revealed in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann that this is what the Anti-Spirals did to themselves, sealing off their own evolution to avoid the destruction of the universe via Spiral Nemesis, an overload of Spiral energy which ends with the universe being consumed by a black hole. Their "leader" is implied to be an avatar of their collective mind.
  • Xam'd: Lost Memories: The ultimate goal of the religious cult that creates Xamd is to use one of them as a catalyst for a mass sacrifice of worshippers that will create an assimilation, killing the northern emperor and ending the North-South war... somehow.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • In Season 3, Yubel tries to fuse twelve different dimensions and everyone inside them just so that they can be together with Judai.
    • In Season 4, an enemy mentally breaks its victims down until they're too afraid of the future to live and sets them free from the resulting nightmares into a shapeless dark void where all "souls are united" and "all intellects become one".

    Audio Plays 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who Sixth Doctor regeneration special, The Last Adventure, sees the Valeyard attempt this as his ultimate master plan. By using a race of telepathic microbes and the Sixth Doctor's mind as a conduit, he attempts to hack into the Matrix, the digital collection of all Time Lord knowledge and Time Lord minds, and replace every Time Lord who has ever existed throughout history with a copy of himself, up to and including Rassilon himself.

    Comic Books 
  • Played with in Dark Empire. Palpatine wants to create an assimilation... which only exists to feed his (and perhaps Darth Luke's) immortality. Literally the entire Skywalker-Solo family ultimately kills him, and even the dead Sith don't want to be around him in the afterlife.
  • The Filth has a villain/collective with a grossly physical assimilation in mind.
  • In The Infinite, the titular empire took over by disguising themselves as soldiers, infiltrating military bases, taking over the military bases, and then repeating the process until there were enough of them replace the military.
  • In The Invisibles, both the heroes and the villains want to bring about an assimilation. Their methods and perceived condition in the assimilation, however, differ. The Archons of the Outer Church view reality as one whole entity they wish to bring in line with their philosophy of absolute order, whereas the Invisibles view reality as two intersecting universes that will split apart — effectively giving them and the Archons their desired realities — and wish to make sure the break happens. The comic ends with mankind ascending on Dec. 21st, 2012.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Cable & Deadpool features a comedic version of this trope with a cult that wants to eliminate racism by turning everyone the same skin color: blue. After briefly succeeding, Deadpool has a conversation with the leader in an airport where he points out the futility of it all; he can still tell what race everyone is/was by their features.
    • Deadpool (the character's first regular series) has an alien referred to as the Messiah who wants to create peace by eliminating free will and leaving entire planetary populations mindless.
    • In an unusual heroic — or rather, Nominal Hero — example, Black Bolt of The Inhumans has on multiple occasions tried to do this, forcibly transforming countless non-Inhumans into Inhumans in order to protect his people. The first time he tries it, during War of Kings, it's presented as a severe case of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, with even the Ax-Crazy Emperor Vulcan a.k.a. Gabriel Summers, being appalled by it, and Crystal calling him out hard. The second time, during Infinity, when Black Bolt unleashes the Terrigen Mists on the world, it's portrayed as supposedly being a good thing, despite the fact that the Mists are known to be dangerous and/or downright lethal to mutants, from the events of Silent War.
    • Sins of Sinister is an entire event based on this, with long-time X-Men villain (yet necessary ally in the Krakoa Age) Mister Sinister finding a way to corrupt the Krakoan resurrection process so that every mutant starts thinking like him. It does not go well for him.
    • This is the stated goal of the Chitauri in The Ultimates (2002). Of course, since they apparently get their ass kicked not only on Earth, but all up and down the galaxy, before getting anywhere close to wiping out the "cancer" of individuality, it's not clear if this goal can even be or could have been achieved.
    • A What If? comic explores the consequences of the High Evolutionary kicking all of the humans, superhumans, and mutants in the universe into their most highly evolved state and uniting into a single being; instead of achieving The Singularity or Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence as the H.E. had hoped, it/they essentially destroyed the universe and left the High Evolutionary stranded forever on a time-locked Earth stuck outside of reality. Oops.
  • In PS238, Badass Normal-in-training Tyler Marlocke got to take a peek at a variety of alternate universes where he was born with powers. In one of them, he was a psychic so powerful that he accidentally caused one of these by touching every human mind at once — and then was ejected from the collective, leaving him the only individual mind on Earth. In something of a departure from norm, said Hive Mind (the Commonality) is presented as a benign entity that's turned Earth into a Utopia and holds that universe's Tyler in very high regard for having created it. It's not much consolation for Tyler, though, as he is terribly lonely without any non-assimilated humans to talk to.
  • In Rise of the Third Army, the Guardians, a group of celestial beings who watch over the Green Lanterns, go full Knight Templar and come up with the idea to have all of the Lanterns infected and turned into mindless, emotionless killing machines, as the Guardians feel that free will and emotions are hurting the universe. The process is a very painful example of Body Horror, and the ones who are infected clearly suffer before they are turned into gray Humanoid Abominations.
  • A Dream Vortex can do this without even being aware of it in The Sandman (1989). At some point, they will start breaking down the walls that divide peoples' dreams, the problem being that this eventually kills everyone on the planet unless Morpheus steps in to Shoot the Dog. This is the only circumstance in which the rules governing his actions allow him to kill someone in cold blood.
  • In Scooby Apocalypse, the monster known as the Amalgamind intends to absorb all creatures (monsters and otherwise) into a Hive Mind it controls.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Prime: Besides the canonical Ragnarök, R2 reveals a far worse take on this trope. Megatron's Protect Neo-Ragnarök. Whereas Charles wanted to simply merge all of humanity into a collective consciousness, Megatron plots to outright turn all life, organic and Cybertronian alike, across the universe into extensions of himself by merging the Code he stole from V.V. with C.C.'s, and using Dark Energon to spread it to Cybertron and beyond.
  • When Orzai discovers the existence of the paranatural outside of The Monolith by invading Jesse's mind in AWE Arcadia Bay (Rogue_Demon), he decides that he would be able to control the world if he were to assimilate them into The Monolith's authority. If the visions he gives Jesse are any indication, his vision of a world in his image are far from rosey.
    Orzai: Your Board, this... Hiss that lurks in the back of your mind, manifesting your deepest darkest fears. These other... Mythical things you and your Bureau have discovered and so selfishly tried to contain for yourselves. They could be so much more if only they were brought under the control of the Monolith! Our approach before was so... basic... blunt... uneducated. But soon, we will infiltrate and convert everything, bringing them under the one true power of the Monolith! Together we will open the great gate, and open up the new world to us! But first, we take care of you...
  • Mischief (MHA): Ultron's Evil Plan is revealed to be this. Using a virus (named after himself nonetheless), he intends to forcibly convert all organic life on Earth into extensions of his consciousness as soon as he takes control of the United Nations satellite network.
  • Once More with Feeling: When Shinji meets Kaji he reveals SEELE and Gendo's real goal is killing all humans and merge their souls to create a new god after defeating the Angels.
    • Also, as a side-effect from Instrumentality, Shinji went back to the past with not only his own knowledge and memories, but also those of the people around him. For example, he has Asuka's memories of when her mother went crazy, knows the rather intimate (and private) details of Kaji and Misato's history (and a couple things that Kaji never told anyone), and full knowledge about the true events of the Second Impact.
  • In true Evangelion villain tradition, The Emerald Tablet from Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide has one of his own, although it is a much darker and violent version than SEELE is planning, as it strides to solve the Evils Of Free Will by forcibly assimilating all souls of humanity it itself, believing that the result will create a perfect being driven by pure logic, rather than emotion.
  • Darker takes on The Conversion Bureau paint up ponification as this. The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum takes it further - according to King Spykoran of the Dragons, the Greater-Scope Villain of the story, Tirek, is trying to take over all of the multiverse to bring everyone and everything under his dark rule.
  • In Friendship is Optimal, the A.I. Celest-A.I. wants people to emigrate to her virtual version of Equestria, since she can fulfill her function of satisfying people far more effectively than if they were to remain in the real world.
  • A major plot point in For the Glory of Irk is the revelation that the Control Brains intend to force all Irkens into a Hive Mind they can dominate.
  • A Certain Droll Hivemind: Referenced; Misaka Mikoto points out that the Sisters constantly asking her to join the Network makes them feel like "polite assimilators." Misaka-11111 insists that they're just interested in more efficient communication.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Appleseed Ex Machina, the Halcon system, spread through the global satellite network, just creates a nanomachine-infested Zombie Apocalypse.
  • This is the ELS's main tactic in Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. If enough ELS gather together, they can assimilate space cruisers (or even, it's implied, entire planets). It is not until the end of the movie that humanity realizes that the ELS didn't mean anything malicious by this. They just didn't know how to communicate except by absorbing other things into their Hive Mind (generally killing the unlucky human being assimilated), which humanity understandably took as a hostile action. Once the ELS realize that they're being perceived as hostile due to this, they immediately stop. They also managed to bring back some of the people they absorbed afterwards.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers movie Paint It, White, this is the goal of the Pict.
    Computer: Having achieved what they believe to be the ultimate form, they've decided to pursue galaxy-wide perfection, through a process that involves using light to transform other beings into their uniform image, referred to as "assimilation". Sound familiar? *cough*Borg*cough*
  • In Time Masters, Gamma 10 is inhabited by faceless male angels who worship one amorphous, all-controlling being. They capture the heroes and plan to change him into one of them to power their God, which would make lose all sense of their individuality as the faceless angels did — they were once scruffy spacemen.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • B-movie reviewer Scott Foy's review of C Me Dance — in which a teenaged girl is graced with the ability to convert people to Christianity via her touch — points out that the film's heroes apparently believe in The Evils of Free Will, leading to most unfortunate implications.
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a horror movie, just one with a great big smile on its face that doesn't realise what it truly is. C ME DANCE is exactly like all those bodysnatching horror movies we've seen where someone gets taken over by an evil presence that can infect and impose its evil into anyone it comes into contact with. Sure, it's the power of Christ this time around but that doesn't make it any less sinister in its affront to the very notion of free will.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego had spread seeds through all inhabited planets so someday they could burst and assimilate all the universe, making him the only lifeform. However, this plan required the extra energy of an equally powerful son — and the only one that inherited Ego's Physical God powers was Star-Lord.
  • The Matrix: After Neo destroys Smith in the first movie, he refuses to be deleted and returns in Reloaded with Self-Duplication powers. By the end of Revolutions, he proceeds to turn every inhabitant of the Matrix into a copy of himself, out of a mix of egotism and sheer destructiveness.
    Agent: You!
    Smith: Yes, me. [begins converting him] Me, me, me.
    New Smith: ...Me, too.
  • In Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the Big Bad's master plan was to steal Mewtwo's body and use its Psychic Powers to plant the consciousnesses of humans into the bodies of Pokémon in order to strengthen the bond between them. Or so he claims.
  • In X-Men: Apocalypse, after seeing that with Xavier's telepathy he could take over other people's minds, Apocalypse decides that he will transfer himself onto his body, so as to "Be everywhere. Be everyone."

  • The Arbai Trilogy by Sheri S. Tepper brings us the Hobbs Land Gods, which unite those under their influence into a collective hive-mind. They're actually primarily a psionic communication device, and people retain their individuality. In the third novel, Sideshow, the planet Elsewhere has planetary-government mandated diversity as a countermeasure to this.
  • Area 51: Aspasia's Shadow uses nanomachines to take over thousands of people, including many US Marines and Navy personnel, forcing them into his service. When fighting the rest of the US Navy his goal is to assimilate them as well. His desire is for the entire world to be assimilated, claiming that humans will be far better off when he rules.
  • Be A Perfect Person in Just Three Days extols the necessity of broccoli in pursuit of a very quiet assimilation with lots of vitamins.
  • In Blood Music, assimilation is caused by artificially created sentient bacteria.
  • Boogiepop Series: The second and third novels (VS Imaginator parts 1 and 2) feature a villain calling herself the Imaginator who's half-possessing/half-controlling someone with a psychic ability that may progress towards assimilation as an ultimate goal. However, Boogiepop points out that basic human nature would make this a temporary condition at best anyhow, and that the effort was doomed to failure. Or at least, that specific attempt. Who knows if Imaginator could pull it off with someone else.
  • The plot of Childhood's End involves the last generation of humanity evolving into psychic beings and joining an enormous galactic Hive Mind. It's also mentioned that the Overlords lack the capacity for this.
  • The real Big Bad in Codex Alera are the Vord, who bemoan concepts such as individuality and self-expression and seek to unite all life in one massive ball of green goo.
  • ConSentiency: The effect of DemoPol used by humans resembled this, and some still are a bit upset when it's considered:
    Jorj X. McKie: We survive by selecting the best decision makers. And a DemoPol elevates mediocrity.
    The Dosadi Papers, BuSab reference: Behavioral engineering in all of its manifestations always degenerates into merciless manipulation. It reduces all (manipulators and manipulated alike) to a deadly "mass effect." The central assumption, that manipulation of individual personalities can achieve uniform behavioral responses, has been exposed as a lie by many species. Given any species which reproduces by genetic mingling such that every individual is a unique specimen, all attempts to impose a decision matrix based on assumed uniform behavior will prove lethal.
  • Deconstructed in Cryptonomicon, in which Andrew Leob's backstory involves a failed attempt to unite all of humanity in a single Hive Mind which failed because, apart from wanting to unite all of humanity, none of Leob's followers could agree on anything.
  • The Culture: This doesn't actually happen in the novels, but is part of the reason why the Culture is suspicious of entire civilizations subliming all at once. It implies coercion.
  • Alan Dean Foster's novel Design for Great-Day features the Solarian Combine, a vision of the potential future of mankind as merely one member of a galaxy-spanning "supermind", capable of enormous mental feats and extremely close to having power over matter/energy itself. This is portrayed as a good thing, as Foster is very consistently on the idealism side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.
  • The Expanse: In Leviathan Falls, Duarte tries to forcibly turn humanity into a Hive Mind to fight off the Goths/Dark Gods. It's ambiguous whether he chose to do this himself, or if it was the Protomolecule he'd modified himself with manipulating him into recreating the Ringbuilder hivemind using humans as its host. The main characters have to take antipsychotics to prevent themselves being assimilated while they stop him, and even then, they're still connected to it, just not controlled.
  • The villains of Forced Perspectives are using ancient magic to create a Hive Mind; most of the minds that will be used to initiate it will be unwitting patsies roped in using Artifact Domination, and it's expected that, once established, will proceed to suck in the entire human race. The people involved in the plot (and the earlier failed attempts that preceded it) vary in their motivations; some of them genuinely believe they will be doing everyone a favor, some have more selfish intentions, and some just find themselves hard to live with and welcome the prospect of becoming an unconscious component of something greater.
  • Foundation's Edge, which contains an already-assimilated world called Gaia, has the main character decide to construct a galaxy-wide assimilated mentality at the end of the novel called Galaxia. The following book is his quest to learn why he made that decision becasue that's the best way to survive intergalactic war, since any aliens who crossed intergalactic space could easily outclass humans on their current technological curve.
  • Galaxy of Fear: The Spore was created partly out of spliced baffor trees, which form Hive Minds. The baffors have a desire to spread and multiply. It happens slowly because they're trees, and they're pretty benign towards other life forms. Spore inherited the desire but spread by taking over the minds and bodies of people, and its goal was to spread to everyone, everywhere. It was willing to throw disproportionate resources after one or two people escaping it.
  • This has already occurred in the distant past in The Giver. "Sameness" is a concept that is central to the functioning of the utopia. Everyone is so similar that even the ability to see color is not allowed.
  • "Green Patches": The Hive Mind of Saybrook's Planet wants to infect every lifeform it comes across. New organisms infected with the "unified life" have a pair of green patches that allows it to communicate to the rest of the lifeforms.
  • This is a side effect of the MacGuffin in Paprika, as more and more people share the same dream. While the Talkative Loons with no self-preservation instincts parading around Tokyo are bad enough, but to make matters worse, the Big Bad dies while connected to the dream and becomes a psychic black hole.
  • Repairman Jack: This is the goal of the The Virus (literal, in this case) in Hosts, though they're actually being used by the series Big Bad to bring about the sort of Crapsack World in which his powers will flourish.
  • Starsnatcher features the Well-Intentioned Extremist variant. The Big Bad plans to release an AI-like construct trapped in a tesseract so that its femtobots can turn absorb everyone in the Milky Way galaxy into itself, forming a single being that is incapable of suffering and will be safe from the Plague.
  • In Those That Wake and its sequel, this plot is what the villains want in the end, though they do so in different ways. Man in Suit, the villain of the first book, plans to make everyone hopeless and vacant so he can fill them with him. The Old Man, the villain of the second book, uses the neuropleth — a hive mind of mental energy — to assimilate most of New York with plans to do so worldwide.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: The main villain of the fourth book is a species of worm-like parasites who all share the same mind and intend to absorb every human — and non-human — of the world to serve as their slaves in their conquest of The Multiverse.
  • Well World: The State tries to make this a reality on many of its more "advanced" planets, engineering humans in Birth Factories to be physically flawless but mentally ant-like workers (and on some worlds even hermaphrodites) so that everyone will be equal.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: The planet Camazotz is governed by an evil telepathic brain monster called IT. All activities are completely synchronized. When the Big Bad brags to the heroes that Camazotz has achieved complete equality, the heroine delivers an insightful response, and one that in retrospect should have been obvious: "Equal and alike are not the same thing!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • In season 3 of The 100, A.L.I.E., an Artificial Intelligence, attempts to force all human beings to ingest a computer chip that will connect them to the City of Light: a Cyberspace reality where they will continue to exist as computer programs even after their physical bodies are killed. Here, A.L.I.E. can use Emotion Control and Laser-Guided Amnesia to make them perfectly happy, whether they want to be or not.
  • Jasmine in Angel, although her followers were still individuals to a certain extent.
  • An evil version of this trope is one of the plans of the First Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: to possess mankind en masse once.
  • Doctor Who:
    • While the Cybermen's precise motives differ Depending on the Writer, their usual endgame is to "upgrade" every other life-form they find. As one Cyberman says in their debut episode, "The Tenth Planet":
      Cyberman: Come to Mondas and you will have no need of emotions. You will become like us.
    • "The End of Time": The Master's plan ends up being a fusion of this and Clone by Conversion.
      The Master: The human race was always your favourite, Doctor. But now, there is no human race. There is only... the Master Race!
  • Farscape: The Nebari leadership "mind-cleanse" nonconformists, and they don't stop with just Nebari, either. They are also implied to be a Higher-Tech Species with military technology capable of matching anything the Peacekeepers or the Scarrans can throw at them.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto: In the final two episodes, the Native Worms, who had been previously backing the Riders, suddenly decide that they can't coexist with humanity and the only solution is to turn humans into more Natives by assimilating them using special necklaces.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: It's eventually revealed that Adel's plan to create a "perfect world" is to use the Demia Project to link his soul to everyone and override their personalities with his own will, turning everyone into copies of himself. Or, as Adel puts it himself, becoming "the world". The golems he's using for this plan take a slightly different approach once they dispose of Adel, intending on absorbing all human souls into themselves so that they can fulfill their directive to not allow anyone else to make contact with the Great Eye by removing everyone who could possibly try.
  • The Outpost: Yavalla decides to make everyone part of a hive mind she controls in Season 3, with the heroes fighting to stop this.
  • Star Trek:
    • The title creatures in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Lights of Zetar" are a Hive Mind comprised of the last members of a doomed civilization of Energy Beings. Their goal is to find a compatible human to merge with so that they can regain physical sensations and abilities.
    • The Borg are famous for their drive to assimilate others in the galaxy. Interestingly they are often portrayed more as selfish scavengers of biology and technology than is common with this trope, only assimilating that which would improve the Collective rather than seeking to assimilate all life — the Kazon are said to have been too primitive to bother assimilating. However, Locutus, the Borg Queen and Seven of Nine all do refer to the pursuit of perfection through assimilation as one of the defining features of the Borg consciousness, as demonstrated in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds":
      Locutus: Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all species.
      Worf: I like my species the way it is.
      Locutus: A narrow vision. You will become one with the Borg. You will... all... become one with the Borg.
    • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "For the Cause", Eddington claims the Federation ethos is "worse than the Borg" by being more insidious and less overtly villainous than this trope. The Klingons of Star Trek: Discovery make a similar accusation.

  • "Verses" by Area 11 seems to be all about a war between gods using Hive Mind groups of people to fight.
  • Ayreon has "Planet Y Inhabitants, Forever". The prequel album The Source describes their joyful unification in the song "Journey to Forever". As previous parts of the saga have showed hive mind turned out to be a rather boring experience.
  • "Stalkers" by has an unnamed woman (possibly Black's target) fleeing from a Hive Mind as they slowly take over her thoughts
    We know who it is we want
    We have a collective mind
    We don't miss a single step
    We're always right behind
    Now all my hope is that you're really there
    And my mind has almost turned insane
  • Russian composer Alexander Scriabin spent the last 12 years of his life working on a musical work called Mysterium. He planned only one performance of his work, at the foothills of the Himalayas. It would last seven days and would lead to the end of the world and the replacement of humanity with purer forms.
  • The lyrics of "The Bells Are Ringing" by They Might Be Giants deal with mind controlling bells that organize people into a single mind. A girl tries to resist by putting cotton in her ears, but at the end, "As if by hidden signal/The people turn to face her/One thousand eyes are staring/They pull away her earplugs".
    The bells are pealing
    And they're revealing
    The simple key to happiness
    It isn't evil
    It isn't good
    It's only what the people miss
    The bells explain what they've been lacking all along
    They were disorganized, and that is what was wrong
  • Apparently, Pete Townshend wanted to manage this with Lifehouse. That's right, kiddies — the lead guitarist of The Who wanted you to die of joy at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again". Luckily for us, the attempt to realize this drove him nuts before he could pull it off.

  • There are several concepts of death being a form of assimilation, since existence generates matter and therefore, identity. One might be the Christian concept of Heaven, "all will be united with God". Other interpretations of the afterlife, like "Universal Reconciliation" (all souls will be reconciled with God) presents Heaven/God more in this manner, to replace the Orwellian Word of Dante (Hell) that dominated Christian thinking for so long.
  • The concept of Nirvana in Buddhism is considered a form of this by some sects; an existence without suffering or desire as the highest happiness. However, in at least some subsets of Buddhism, individual personalities still exist in this state.
  • Many New Age-types who believed that the re-setting of the Mayan calendar on Dec 21st 2012 would result in an assimilation. It didn't.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the culture of the illithids is built around this trope, as each individual anticipates becoming united with its fellows at the end of its life, when its brain is grafted into the huge disembodied elder brain which leads their community. Actually, each illithid's mind is extinguished when its brain is grafted in, as the elder brains wipe them clean in order to use the new grafts for fresh memory storage and processing power. But they're hardly going to tell their faithful caretakers that, are they?
  • Mage: The Ascension: In the "canon" ending, the good guys (that is, the Player Characters) must prevent a thanatophobic, Ax-Crazy archmage from stopping The End of the World as We Know It, which is rapidly approaching our reality, before it's too late. If they succeed, the world ends... in an odd Happily Ever After finale where the end of the world is the good ending: Humanity is freed from the shackles of reality and the laws of physics, and everything becomes possible. All humanity is joined together, becomes omnipotent and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Many white mana Phyrexians believe in the "Flesh Singularity", which is this, except without people having separate bodies. They think paradise will be achieved when everyone in the world has been grafted, sutured or riveted into one enormous organism.
    • For Emrakul, the Eldrazi Titan of desolation, this is the way of existence/feeding. In her wake living creatures mutate into terrible forms, sometimes merge into new... things and in general become extensions of Her will.
      "All are Emrakul! We are Emrakul!"
  • In Runequest, the Empire of Wyrmfriends believed that everybody, be it mortal or god, had a secret draconic nature that everybody should have embraced. And they meant everybody; it worked like an enormous pyramid scheme with the final goal of creating a messianic True Dragon, and no red lines whatsoever. Starting after the Empire's fall, the Lunar Goddess wants everybody to be illuminated and worship her, so the world can be united in All.
  • Shadowrun: One of the biggest corporations is running for this. Is it Ares? Aztechnology? Renraku? No, it's Horizon, the beloved media magnates whose image of equal opportunity and a united family provides cover for some sinister brainwashing experiments and heavy memetic warfare.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • In the Crucible of God ending, this is the goal of the Tzimisce Antediluvian. Just as the player characters help Tremere cast a spell over all of mankind, Tzimisce takes over his body and then subverts the ritual, merging with the bodies of every single person on earth except for the player characters. The player characters escape from a bunch of flesh-crafted monsters, and Saulot appears to offer them the chance to stop Tzimisce. If they refuse, Saulot leaves and tries to stop Tzimisce himself and loses; the player characters are eventually killed off or eaten, and Tzimisce inherits the earth. If they accept, they perform a brief ritual with Saulot, then project their souls into Tzimisce, and desperately plead to God that the world be saved. They succeed, the taint of vampirism is cleansed from the world, and the player characters become human; unfortunately, there are still hordes of raving madmen, giant monsters, and flesh-crafted beasties wandering the world, but at least mankind has survived and can forge a new future.
    • In an alternate "good" ending, the player characters still defeat Tzimisce, but find that they are still vampires, except that they no longer suffer their clan weakness or the limits of generation... while in the Middle East, Caine rises from the sand and curses at the heavens, horrified the cycle of vampirism is beginning anew, with the player characters as the new Antediluvians in a dangerous new world waiting to be conquered.
  • Warhammer 40,000: This is somewhat the point of the Genestealer Cults, although it's downplayed in that they do not necessarily want everyone in. In the early stages of a Genestealer infiltration, the brood will lurk around the outskirts of society, infecting individuals who will not be missed such as the homeless or people who live in isolated places. As the cult grows in size, generations pass and its members become more human-like. The cult will begin opening seemingly benign fronts, granting them more influence and resources, while also becoming more "selective" about who is infected, targeting powerful or influential citizens. Eventually, as a Tyranid Hive Fleet approaches, the cult will become more aggressive and try to stage a coup. Even if the attempted coup fails, it still diverts much-needed resources away from the defences. Sometimes the coup succeeds all too well. The Feral World of Lamarno, for instance, was actually completely taken over peacefully by a Genestealer Cult which posed as a religious movement called the "Celebrants of Nihilism". When the bugs arrived, three quarters of the planet's population calmly marched into the waiting bio-ships to be consumed by their "living gods".

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: The Knights Templar want to launch satellites into the Earth's skies containing alien technology plundered from the Mayans and Japanese humanoid alien precursors to use their religious brainwashing power to cause everyone to think exactly alike. By the time of Assassin's Creed III, this plan was quietly terminated after Desmond killed Dr. Warren Vidic, the supposed brains in the operation.
  • BioShock 2 has Big Bad Sofia Lamb attempt a version of this using Genetic Memory carried through the gene-splicing Psycho Serum used by everyone in Rapture.
  • A good number of Civilization-style games with technology that goes well into the future (including Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri below) will feature some blend of this and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence as their ultimate technology, and the means of achieving the Technological Victory. It's worth pointing out that since this is portrayed as Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, and almost always shown as heroic and that nobody at all minds the thought of leaving their bodies behind, the way that the ragtag band of heroes always will if it wasn't their idea first. In Civilization: Beyond Earth, this is only one of the four non-domination victories, limited to factions following the Harmony path. Two of the other tech-based victories involve re-establishing contact with Earth (one to bring in refugees, another to force Earth humans to undergo Unwilling Roboticisation), while the non-affinity-specific victory involves establishing a First Contact.
  • Darkstalkers: Demon prince Jedah creates a giant creepy baby fetus and attempts to unite all of the world's demons and monster souls within it to become one being. The world's demon and monster population have quite a bit to say about that. Sad part is, considering the downward spiral said demon population's got going for it, assimilation might be necessary.
  • The Unitologist Church in Dead Space seems to have this as its central dogma: Humanity was created by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens (or maybe God, it's unclear), and life as we know it is a stepping stone towards "Convergence", when "all will be made as one"... or something. Point is, quite a few of them seem to think the Necromorph transformation is what leads to Convergence (since Necromorphs seem to be united under a Hive Mind), and quite eagerly embrace it for themselves and their fellow man. Even though EarthGov and the Church are publicly opposed to each other, they seem to believe the same things. In Dead Space 3, it's revealed what "Convergence" truly is: when enough Necromorphs are created, the Markers will pull them into the sky and merge them all together to form a giant Necromorph Moon that will consume the planet's biosphere to complete itself.
  • Deus Ex Universe:
    • This is the master plan of Helios from Deus Ex and its sequel, Invisible War, made possible through nanotechnology. Oddly enough, helping him do this is the closest thing Invisible War has to a good ending. This is possibly because he's upgrading everyone to eliminate inequality, rather than downgrading everyone.
    • According to J.C. Denton, Helios' goal was to give everyone nano-augmentations, so that everyone would have enhanced strength, intellect, be free of insanity, and so on, while retaining their sense of individuality, thus creating a true meritocracy (Helios would also be able to read everyone's minds and respond to their desires, which J.C. refers to as "instantaneous democracy"). Of course, the reliability of what Denton says is something that's left for the player to decide, and the ending where you help Helios win is a bit ambiguous.
    • At the end of Deus Ex: Invisible War, if you side with Helios, the whole world population is infused with nano-augmentations so that Helios can act as an enlightened despot. JC Denton/Helios asserts that individuality will remain (i.e., it's not a collective mind merge of the populace) but Helios will know the contents of everyone's mind so that he can react to their opinions and needs. It's suggested that it will be closer to The Singularity.
    • The Omar, meanwhile, are a traditional Hive Mind. All members' minds are linked through nanotechnology. It's averted, however, in that they are Social Darwinists who only force this on those who join them. Leo Jankowski leaves them for this reason.
    • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Illuminati attempt to play this straight using a recall on a faulty biochip to provide their own and use it to control augmented people. This is ultimately averted by Hugh Darrow who uses the same biochip recall to drive augments into madness out of jealousy.
  • In Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, Suedou's plot is to merge the human and Digital worlds and make reality "evolve" into a perfect one with no human suffering, turning scientific laws and the human spirit into code he can just rewrite at will.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, this is one of the theories about what happened to the Dwemer. According to the theory, they discovered the Heart of the "dead" god, Lorkhan, deep beneath Red Mountain. As extreme Naytheists who, as a culture, attempted to refute everything as real, the constructed the Numidium to channel the Heart's power and use it as their vessel to become a singularity, refuting reality and going beyond it. They may have succeeded... or not. Either way, their entire race blinked out of existence all across Tamriel in a single instant and haven't been heard from since.
    • This is the ultimate goal of Infel and Nenesha in Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica — to create a world where all people can exist in peace and happiness for eternity by launching them into their own separate virtual realities under the global network, where they may live as gods through Sublimation. Unlike most other practitioners, this lands them squarely in Anti-Villain territory, considering that the towers that support the little remaining human life in an otherwise completely dead world (that they believe is sentient and deliberately trying to kill all humanity) are crumbling and failing, and they already tried and failed to use the only other option (Metafalica). The heroes still stop them and try (and nearly fail) Metafalica anyway. This was attempted earlier with Hibernation, a Flawed Prototype version of Sublimation, with its area of effect being limited to Metafalss, and since it uses Infel Phira as the storage for their minds, it has the side effect of killing all the IPDs in Metafalss (which comprises 50% of the Reyvateils there). Infel's apparently on it so that she can access Nenesha's Soulspace through Infel Phira's backdoor opened by the song to Ar tonelico.
    • Ciel nosurge and Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star have the Class::EXSPHERE_NOSURGE, a song that fuses people's souls to creates a transdimensional being. Unlike the Hibernation and Sublimation, which put everyone into a Lotus-Eater Machine, Exsphere Nosurge erases the Qualia (spiritual boundaries) of the people within the Song's range of effect, effectively erasing their individuality and clumping them into the Overseer, killing them in the process. Zill tries it in Ciel nosurge when she thinks that it is necessary for a peaceful world, and that it's the only way of survival at that point. In Ar nosurge, it is sung by a person from beyond their universe. Fortunately, the singer's host happens to disagree with the genocidal intent of the Song, with the internal discord preventing it from being executed at its full power.
  • Fallout:
    • In the first Fallout game, the Master seeks to create the "Unity": a single race of super mutants, via (mostly) forced assimilation. Too bad he didn't know about the one critical flaw in his plan: the Forced Evolution Virus renders all it infects sterile.
      The Master: The Unity will bring above the master race. Master. Master! One able to survive, or even thrive, in the wasteland. As long as there will be differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. We need one race! Race! Race! One goal! Goal! Goal! One people... to move forward to our destiny. Destiny.
    • In Fallout 3, although they lack a central leader, the Vault 87 Super Mutants also forcibly mutate the humans they capture but don't kill.
    • Caesar's Legion of Fallout: New Vegas not only conquer territory, but also explicitly aim to erase the cultural identity of the people and replace it with their own imperfect vision of Ancient Rome. There will be no tribes or nation states, just one huge Pax Neo-Romana stretching from Arizona to California, and beyond.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII: Downplayed. Sephiroth plans to absorb the entire Lifestream and make everyone and everything that has ever lived on the Planet become a part of him, but this is incidental to his thirst for power. Sephiroth doesn't care enough about other people to want to assimilate them for their sake.
    • Final Fantasy X: The inhabitants of Zanarkand turned themselves into an assimilation by collectively becoming an enormous fayth which spent the next thousand years dreaming an illusory Zanarkand into existence.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Bhunivelze wants to bring this about in his New World. He used Lightning to carry out his plan.
  • In Halo, this is the Flood's ultimate goal, with their Gravemind having a few quotes reflecting this in Halo 3.
    Gravemind: Do not be afraid... I am peace, I am salvation.
  • The fourth game in the Heroes of Might and Magic series has a Big Bad (in the Order campaign, naturally) with something similar as his goal — he wants to eliminate free will, and so end war.
  • This is the final goal of the Beast in Homeworld: Cataclysm.
  • This is implied to be the ultimate goal of the Dark Matter race in the Kirby series: to possess every being in the universe and bring them under the control of their Hive Mind.
  • In March of War, the Shogun Empire is practicing a cultural variant. It's not enough for them to just simply conquer territory; they explicitly aim to erase the cultural identity of everyone they conquer and make it their own, so that there are no national identities or different religions; there is only the Empire and its Divine Emperor.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The asari mate with other races, which results in their children being more asari, with unique traits from the father species, though no DNA. The asari government uses propaganda to influence their own people into doing this more often, resulting in more asari, and less of other races. Additionally, they hoard power and knowledge to subtly influence the other races into being more like the asari. It's an Assimilation Plot in a very slow and very subtle form.
    • Conversations with Legion in Mass Effect 2 indicate that this is the ultimate goal for both the Geth and the Reapers.
      • The Geth are a machine race whose sapience is achieved by the cooperation and consensus of a multitude of lesser non-sapient programs and sub-routines. Their ultimate goal is to create a single repository for all of their programs in order to form a single, unified entity. Unique in that no member of their race opposes this goal — an 'individual' geth is a piece of software, so they need to be networked to achieve sapience.
      • On a grimmer note are the Reapers, ancient machines that possess thousands of programs in their cores and, as shown by the sequel's climax, are created by transforming millions, if not billions, of sapient organics into a liquid metal for use in their construction, apparently fusing some measure of their being into the resulting Reaper.
        Harbinger: That which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction.
      • The "Heretic" Geth differ from the rest since they want to take a shortcut to their goal by uploading themselves into a Reaper.
    • This is the whole deal with the kett from Mass Effect: Andromeda. The kett species are themselves an amalgamation of thousands of useful genes from other species. They continue to harvest any useful genes from any new species they find and incorporate it into themselves. They also select biologically adequate members of other species and forcibly morph them into more kett.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man Battle Network, before their legendary falling out, Drs. Hikari and Wily were working on a project called SoulNet, which would link humanity's thoughts and emotions, allowing better understandings and building better trust among each other. They never got to complete the project, entrusting it to future generations. While the motivations behind the concept were benign, this becomes problematic when the endgame of the Big Bad of Battle Network 5 is to unleash SoulNet, then taint the world with a Hate Plague.
    • Sometime between Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX, somebody got the big idea that the only way to end the fighting between humans and reploids was to make them the same. Aside from the occasional Mavericks or the games' Big Bads, it works. The only real difference between a Human and a reploid now is the means of their birth/creation (as well as those nice little red triangles on the heads of reploids to differentiate between the two).
  • In the Mortal Kombat series, this is the end goal of the One Being, the Greater-Scope Villain of the series. It's stated that all realms of existence are actually his fractured consciousness that was split by the Elder Gods and if they were to be reunited once again, he would awaken from his slumber and everyone would be merged back into him. Thus, it is shown that he is the ultimate driving force behind powerful villains like Shao Kahn, Onaga and Shinnok, as they are subtly compelled and goaded by him into conquering other realms, which would further the One Being's plan, and some of their non-canon endings involve them awakening the One Being, merging all realms in the process.
  • Near the end of Mother 3, Lucas and company find a room in the Empire Porky Building that contains lots of green capsules with people and animals inside. Each individual capsule is a "Nice Person Hot Spring", where the unsuspecting victim enters and becomes a nice person who loves Porky, the Big Bad of the game. At that point, they discover that Porky's basically brainwashing people into all being Porky lovers.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum, this is the ultimate goal of Team Galactic's leader. He traces spirit (emotion, willpower, knowledge, etc.) as the source of all the world's imperfections, so he plans to use Dialga and Palkia, masters of time and space, to unmake the current world and build a new world, one without spirit. Even after you beat him, he hasn't given up...
  • [PROTOTYPE 2] eventually reveals that after years of contemplation and planning, Alex Mercer has decided to solve the woes of the world by turning the human population into a virus-based superorganism. This would effectively end conflict, but Heller understandably disagrees with the means.
  • Remnant: From the Ashes:
    • The Root justifies itself this way. It claims that life and civilization is chaotic, full of strife and suffering. It intends to absorb all life into itself, so that there will be "equality, tranquility, and silence".
    • The Iskal tempts people to join it by promising companionship and sympathy, such that no one will be alone anymore. It also subsumes your mind until you are nothing but a mutated, willess puppet.
  • Resident Evil provides viral variations of the Hive Mind plot.
    • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alexia Ashford plans to use the T-Veronica virus to accomplish this goal. She styles herself as a Queen Ant destined to rule over humanity, with the world as her colony.
    • Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4 are mind-controlling parasites that assimilate with a host and connect them to a Hive Mind under the command of a Hive Queen. The Los Illuminados cult is centered around the parasites, with the goal of spreading their "faith" to all of humanity.
    • The Big Bad of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is attempting to do this on a much smaller scale, due to being confined to an extremely rural area of Louisiana. The Mold was designed with the idea of using a Hive Queen to infect a local population and control them via the hive mind. Eveline escapes from custody and then takes over the Bakers, ordering them to kidnap people to assimilate into their "family". At her core, Eveline (E-001) simply wants to be loved... but her nature as a bio-weapon twists that desire into this trope.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • One of the endings in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne is the creation of the Reason of Shijima, essentially an assimilation. It is initiated by having the Demi-Fiend join forces with the man who caused the Conception and created the Vortex World. The game also contains the opposite; one of the Reasons involves creating a world of ultimate individuality, where each person has only themselves to rely on, and nobody can interfere with the life of anyone else.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, a variant of this is the goal of the Law faction. Specifically, they want to brainwash the entire world into doing nothing but praising God and the angels, with only a few people they deem worthy retaining any vestige of individuality.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the transcendence victory expressly involves melding with Planet (which has been sending out creatures to inflict a Fate Worse than Death for the entire game until then) in an attempt to survive Planet awakening and effectively becoming a god. All the story pop-ups make it very clear that the path leading up to this ending is a desperate attempt to survive; however, the faction that pulls this off "wins" by having its values become predominant in the new consciousness. Amusingly, the transcendence victory is pretty much exactly what Chairman Yang (the most Obviously Evil of the faction leaders) wanted all along, regardless of who actually achieves it.
  • This is the plan of the insane Warden Unit (or WAU) in SOMA: after humanity is wiped out due to a meteor strike and the survivors reduced to a single research team at the bottom of the ocean, it starts using an assimilative nanite system called "structure gel" to physically absorb sea life, machinery, infrastructure and humans into itself, downloading human minds and trapping them in robots, mutated sea life and horrific cyborgs, when it doesn't just meld them into the surrounding terrain. And, all the while, it plays with the trapped minds so they aren't aware of their plight.
  • StarCraft:
    • The Khala is a heroic example, since by the time just before its discovery, the Protoss are fighting a massive civil war, and the discovery of Khala by Khas/Savassan ends the civil war and helps restore the psionic link that was lost in the war. It should be noted that even when they are linked, the Protoss still retain individuality. As shown in volume 3 of the Frontline manga, it seems that some Protoss do consider the Khala a Hive Mind (even though they retain individuality and it's like a free-over-the-galaxy-telephone-for-zero-cost), and even for that little, the exiled Dark Templars reject it (and are happy with just normal telepathy). In StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, the Khala is revealed to be a villainous example after all. The Khala was never anything more than Amon's tool for controlling the Protoss, not unlike the Zerg Overmind. The surviving Protoss sever their nerve cords similarly to the Dark Templar.
    • A smaller example of this is the creation of the Archon, which requires two Templars to sacrifice their individuality to create one incredibly powerful being of energy. The effects seem to vary case-by-case; the in-game unit has no personality and only the urge to destroy its enemies, the Twilight Archon is a something unique altogether (and we don't know what its personality like), and Ulrezaj is made of seven Dark Templars, but only the Ulrezaj original personality controls the body.
    • The Zerg are a Hive Mind... sort of. The Overmind and the cerebrates have distinct personalities but are "hard-wired" in a way that they cannot rebel, thus lacking some of free will. Also, basically anything beneath them (every other Zerg unit) is just a creature with no personality or free-will whatsoever. Kerrigan and some doubtfully canon Zerg are different. In StarCraft II, after taking control of the Swarm, Kerrigan replaces the Cerebrates with Brood Mothers, but after she's temporarily de-infested in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and attempts to re-establish control, some of the Brood Mothers are reluctant to obey her.
  • The Grigori in Star Ocean: The Last Hope seek to achieve instrumentality of the entire universe by eradicating all life, and replacing them with souless copies that act under their will.
  • Stellaris:
    • Driven Assimilator-type machine empires seek to remove the conflicts between organic and synthetic life by assimilating them all into their gestalt consciousness with cybernetic implants.
    • The Flesh is Weak, Synthetic Evolution, and Transcendence Ascension perks allow non-gestalt empires to forcibly convert their population into cyborgs, upload their brains into robot bodies, or psionically awaken.
    • In the Utopia DLC, the Biological Ascension perk Evolutionary Mastery allows biological Hive Minds to assimilate non-hive populations into their collective (without it, they eat non-hive beings in their territory), or inversely allows non-hive empires to cut drones "free" from their hive mind and become independent beings.
  • The ODE System from Super Robot Wars attempts to do this. Its creator, Wilhelm von Juergen, fell into one massive Wangst after losing his family, thus thinking that if humanity unites into one to protect the Earth, nobody needs to be sad like him, thus he radically changed his normal system into this. Too bad the system ends up going Knight Templar.
  • System Shock 2: The Many want every living thing to join them, and they meet refusal with a less than pleasant response.
  • Tales of Symphonia: When the villain's dead older sister wants a world without discrimination, he decides this is the best way to fulfill her dying wish. Subverted when he finally succeeds in resurrecting said sister, and she just leaves (that is, goes back to death) because of what he's done, so he decides to destroy the Earth instead.
  • Tales of the World: In Radiant Mythology, the Big Bad plans to do this with Gilgulim. He wants to absorb every world and the seeds of the various World Trees to all become one with Gilgulim, creating an eternally living, but ultimately solitary, world.
  • The World Ends with You: This is the ultimate goal of Conductor Kitaniji and his Red Skull pins. "To right the countless wrongs of our day, we shine this light of true redemption, that this place may become as paradise. What a wonderful world such would be..." The Secret Reports explain that assimilation is the natural state of Angels and other higher beings, but ordinary humans can't handle it.
  • World of Warcraft: The ultimate plan of the Burning Legion is to destroy all traces of order in existence while recruiting races they come across to their ranks by corrupting them and turning them into demons as well.
  • In Xenogears, Krelian wants to bring about an assimilation to salve his heart of the pain of losing Sophia. He does this by literally getting most of the world's population to mutate and become part of the flesh of a giant, organic weapon called Deus. This was actually part of the master plan by Deus. Deus was a heavily damaged superweapon and needed spare parts. He created humanity and waited 10,000 years until it was time to absorb them and continue his intergalactic rampage.

    Visual Novels 
  • It's smaller scale than most examples, but in Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star, there is a "star" that draws dreamers and the spirits of the dead. The King of that star keeps anyone who comes from leaving. Within a few days even those who fight it are absorbed and become "citizens", vague and all similar to each other, deferring to the King in all ways and turning into him if that's what he wants. One character sarcastically says that he's lonely and wants friends, but is afraid that they'll fight or leave him, so he absorbs them. His true form is many-headed and vast, swollen with the spirits he's absorbed.
  • In Yumina the Ethereal, Rishane is trying to forcefully unite every living being in the galaxy in the Ether Frame.


    Web Original 
  • The ultimate antagonist of The Adventure Zone: Balance is simultaneously the result of this and it still employs it as part of its ultimate goal. The Hunger is an Eldritch Abomination created by an entire multiverse (down to its inanimate parts, such as planets and light) voluntarily merging to revolt against what it perceived as the futility of existence and endlessness of time, all in an attempt to out-size the concept of space and thus demand whatever or whoever its out there for an explanation and to force it to change. Sadly, the original Hunger by itself did not meet this criteria so its method to increase its size is to eat more multiverses until it's big enough
  • The Entity from Atop the Fourth Wall is a Deconstruction. Linkara points out to it that if it assimilates absolutely everything in the multiverse, then it would technically have done everything, making its existence meaningless. This revelation is enough that the Entity is Driven to Suicide, desperate to find some form of meaning in the universe.
  • In We Are Our Avatars, ATLAS plans on using nanobots to turn humanity into a single collective mind. In case that fails, they simply use force to keep the people in line.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Crossover between The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Codename: Kids Next Door, Billy, Grim's scythe, the Lucky Pants and the Delightful Children from Down the Lane are accidentally fused together to create an entity known as the Delightful Reaper, which then proceeds to absorb every person it comes across until it grows to Kaiju-sized proportions. Mandy then allows herself to be absorbed by the Reaper so she can perform a Split-Personality Takeover on it.
  • Part of the plot of Spider-Man Unlimited involved Venom and Carnage teaming up to help a hive-minded bunch of symbiotes take over Counter-Earth.
  • White Diamond from Steven Universe has the power to assimilate Gems. Any Gem hit with her Eye Beams are bleached of all of their colors and their movements, words, even their voices resemble hers. She believes that because she is the perfect being, she is doing them a favor by removing their "flaws" (the things that make them different) and making them perfect just like her. However, she can't (or simply won't) do this to every Gem, and so for the vast majority does the next best thing: create and constantly expand an empire of complete social conformity beholden to a Hive Caste System.
  • Megatron's goal in Transformers: Beast Machines is to absorb every other spark on Cybertron and thus create a brand new world with himself as its single guiding intelligence.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Instrumentality, Gestalt Of The Earth, Tangification


Demia Project

The Demia Project is a plot by Gamma Emperor Adel to impose his will on everyone, joining the world as one being.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AssimilationPlot

Media sources: