Baphomet is one of the more infamous of the Demon Lords And Arch Devils; a goat-headed, triple-horned, black-winged figure with both male and female features. When he appears in fiction, he is usually pure evil, and frequently a direct stand-in for Satan. He generally has cults following him who really go in for magic circles and pentagrams. It's not too uncommon to fight him as the final boss in a video game.
His origins go back to the First Crusade, where the Muslim defenders frequently called out to the Prophet Mohammed. The crusaders, not understanding (and not really caring,) reported this under various mishearings as some sort of idol or demon, and often filled in sinister details of their own invention to make the Muslims look as evil as possible. The "Baphomet" spelling that became standard is first mentioned in a letter by the crusader Anselm of Ribemont.
He rose to further attention in the early 1300s, when King Phillip of France decided that the easiest way to settle his debts to The Knights Templar would be to disband them and seize their wealth. To facilitate this, he cooked up lurid stories of the Templars worshipping Baphomet and engaging in various sinister rituals, then tortured their leaders into confessing. The Masons have also often been accused of worshipping him during bouts of anti-Masonic hysteria.
The standard image of him shown in the picture was created by Eliphas Levi in 1856, who reimagined him as the "Sabbatic Goat," a dualistic figure of binary opposites. Aleister Crowley subsequently adopted Baphomet into his cosmology, and various occult and neo-pagan groups today often have some place for him in their belief systems, often giving him a Satan Is Good interpretation.
Baphomet appears in:
- In Ragnarok the Animation, Baphomet is a huge, goat-headed monster. In a break from tradition, he's not really evil, and actually helps the protagonists.
- The Great Goat from Berserk is a Pseudo-Apostle resembling a wingless Baphomet. He's the leader of a heretical cult near Albion. When the Great Goat gets converted into a Pseudo-Apostle by the Egg of a Perfect World's stinger, he turns into a half man, half goat monstrosity with a pair of long horns, goat hooves, and a serpentine phallus that he uses to make an attempt to consummate with Casca. Fortunately, Guts shows up just in time and he slays the Great Goat for good.
- In a Keyword associated with Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, the depiction of Baphomet in Eliphas Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie is claimed to have been inspired by a glimpse he caught of the true form of the immortal alchemist Adam Weishaupt, who it turns out is the setting's closest equivalent to Lucifer.
- In The Wicked + The Divine, Baphomet is one of the twelve reincarnated gods. He doesn't look anything like the demon's classic image, but does have a goat-skull sigil as a nod. It eventually turns out he's actually the Mesopotamian deity Nergal, but took the Baphomet name because he was afraid of getting Nurgle jokes.
- A cursed statue of Baphomet causes the supernatural events in Return to House on Haunted Hill (and turns out to have been causing them in the previous film.)
- Dungeons & Dragons has featured Baphomet "the Prince of Beasts" as a powerful Demon Lord since 1982, in which capacity he's primarily associated with Minotaurs rather than goats. He likes to play The Corrupter to entire societies, particularly Minotaur settlements.
- The Devil card in standard Tarot card decks uses Baphomet as the image.
- In Silent Hill, Incubus, the final boss in the good endings, is patterned after Baphomet.
- He is the final boss of the Irem shooter XMultiply. Which is a little odd, since this is a science-fiction game where you've been shrunk and injected into a woman's bloodstream to eradicate a disease.
- In Eternal Daughter, Baphomet is the true mastermind behind the Dungaga's conquest, and is the final boss.
- In La-Mulana, Baphomet is the female Guardian of the Twin Labyrinths. She starts out as a robed wizard with a staff, then transitions to a purple alien for the second half of the fight.
- In Assassin's Creed: Unity, Arno must infiltrate the Cult of Baphomet to kill their leaders. You first have to steal a couple chalices from the Notre Dame to convince them to let you join.
- Baphomet is planning to take over the world in Darklands, and is the final boss. Take Your Time, though, the game is more about exploring the Wide Open Sandbox than getting to the credits.
- In Post Mortem, the Head of Baphomet idol allegedly worshiped by the Templars is the main MacGuffin, setting off the events of the game with the murder of an American couple, who were transporting the Head through Paris.
- Baphomet is a recurring demon in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, being a member of the Vile race or the Devil Arcana. Baphomet typically are early-to-mid-games demons and learn Fire, Dark, and ailments skills.
- Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars involves the Sword of Baphomet, and the French translation of the game title means "The Knights of Baphomet".
- Due to its tarot influence, The Arcana depicts the Devil as Baphomet, and the character most associated with the devil, Lucio, is strongly associated with goats in general.