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Crystal Prison

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Secure and decorative.

Diamonds are forever, which comes in handy when you want to make someone really suffer during a life sentence while keeping them (securely!) caged.

Characters in a Crystal Prison are put inside some gorgeous, colorful and exquisitely cut variety of gem. This crystal is usually made of Phlebotinum capable of keeping the captive alive despite the lack of air, either in suspended animation or forever awake. This escape proof prison may trap them bodily like a bug in amber; in fact, if the Crystal Prison isn't coffin sized it's going to be small enough to be worn as jewelry.

While breaking the gem can release the captive, attempting this literal jailbreak may not be a guarantee of getting the captive out alive. Breaking it could also shatter or kill the captive, or the gem may be unbreakable unless the jailer/creator somehow dispels it. That being said, a prisoner who is pushed into using Heroic Resolve may crack open the crystal through sheer force of will.

If the crystal is imprisoning a very important character, and if Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors is in-universe at the time, this can get a person or persons from all the various groups to combine their powers into one technique, preferably in a big Finale or at least a Swirly Energy Thingy that features Power Glows, and break the crystalline prison, in a show of Dramatic Shattering.

Contrast Soul Jar, where the soul is put in a crystal, Body to Jewel, where the character becomes crystal, or Crystal Landscape, where the character can explore a place of crystal. People Jars are sometimes this trope with "science." Also compare Harmless Freezing, with ice blocks being the main difference. See also Mineral MacGuffin, Magic Mirror, Phantom Zone and Power Crystal. Not to be confused with a Gilded Cage, which this is very unlikely to be unless it contains some kind of plushly-appointed pocket dimension.

As you can see from the example distribution, this is most common in anime and video games.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lisette in 11eyes. Happens to Yuka later, and for some reason, her clothes are also gone.
  • In Attack on Titan Annie "Female Titan" Leonhart invokes the trope and seals herself in one when the Survey Corps capture her, so they won't be able to interrogate her.
  • In the Blue Exorcist Anime this happens to Rin, when he blows his cover.
  • In Fairy Tail, the mysterious Lumen Histoire turns out to be a crystal containing the body of the titular guild's creator and first Master, Mavis Vermillion.
  • In the Anime version of King of Bandit Jing, the mermaid that Jing is trying to steal is trapped inside a crystal (in the manga, she is merely chained inside the tower).
  • Although ice is not usually considered a crystal, Snow of MÄR evokes this trope by encasing herself in ice when she first appears, and the characters, good and evil, don't want to just bust the ice apart, possibly for fear of shattering her as well. They must find a fire ARM to melt the ice instead.
  • Naruto:
    • In the Three-Tails filler arc from Shippuden, the villain put Hinata in one of these. While the crystal substance was extremely strong, the main problem was getting her out without shattering her if she was even still alive.
    • In that same arc, the Anti Villainess Guren's ability is to crystallize anything. This means she can turn people into crystals right down to the cellular level. The only ones known to have escaped from this jutsu are the aforementioned Hinata (who surrounded herself with a protective chakra cloak) and the Three-Tails (a monster created from chakra). She also can use it for protective purposes, like she did to her protegé and Morality Pet, Yuukimaru, to keep him safe from her enemies.
    • It's also made quite clear that she isn't preserving her life by doing this, one of the characters notes that they only have a handful of hours to rescue her before she'll die while trapped.
  • Happened to Asuna Kagurazaka in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, during her days as a Barrier Maiden.
  • The Noozles has the Crystal Place at the center of Koala Walla Land, which is filled with colored orbs that permanently entrap anyone who touches them with bare hands, such as Sandy's grandfather.
  • Panzer World Galient: After capturing The Hero's mother, Queen Felia, Marder locked her inside a multi-colored glass prison where she remained in suspended animation and placed her in his private chambers as if she was some sort of war trophy. She is aware, but she cannot move, talk or even blink.
  • In the Johto season of Pokémon: The Original Series, when Ash and Co. take a Journey to the Center of the Mind of the shy Larvitar that Ash has been taking care of, Larvitar's fear of humans due to his Dark and Troubled Past is symbolized by an image of the poor thing encased in crystal. It takes Ash lots of effort to get him to open up.
  • Lorelei in Saber Marionette J while trapped in the Mesopotamia.
  • Used several times in the first Sailor Moon's anime:
    • In the first season, Jadeite got this for repeatedly failing Queen Beryl. Later, the people who once were the Seven Demons get kidnapped and imprisoned by either Kunzite or the Brainwashed and Crazy Mamoru into the Black Crystal that pinpointed their "heritages", but are released by the end of the episode.
    • In the final fight against Kaorinite, Tuxedo Mask also gets sealed in a glass crystal by Senishenta. It also happened to him in the R movie, with Fiore as the culprit. In the first case, he has to be unsealed by the Senshi; in the second, he breaks out when Fiore tortures Moon via sucking her out of her Life Energy almost to death.
    • In the second season (plus the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal, Neo Queen Serenity was trapped in a coffin-like crystal during the Bad Future. Subverted: the Queen had been very gravely injured after Taking the Bullet for Chibi-Usa during the invasion of the Black Moon Clan. Her wounds and the Dark Energy inside them caused her to fall in a coma, so the Senshi of said Bad Future encased the Neo Queen in crystal to protect her from any other threats. She's healed and released when Wiseman is defeated.
    • Downplayed in the manga and Crystal's fourth season, in which the Maenaids are first seen in crystal prisons in Elysian...but it's not so much to keep them imprisoned as it is to keep them safe from the curse affecting Elysian.
    • Used in the fifth season, when the Inner and Outer Senshi are one-by-one sealed within mirrors by Nehelenia. When Usagi goes "Take Me Instead" and gives Nehelenia a You Are Not Alone speech, the magic weakens and the Senshi are released.
  • Saint Seiya:
    • In the Asgard saga, there's an extremely nasty version. The God Warrior of the Megrez Delta star, Alberich, can summon the "Amethyst Sealed" —an attack that sends shards of amethyst flying from his body and towards the enemy, encasing and sealing him/her (hence the name) in a shell of translucent gemstone. If they're not freed, victims will be robbed of their Life Energy, and eventually become skeletons trapped in amethyst. And the only way to really free them is to kill Alberich himself. That almost happens to Marin and later Seiya and Hyoga, and Shiryu has to save them both via fighting Alberich to the death.
    • Also happens to Hyoga in the anime, but this is an ice prison rather than a mineral one. Shiryu, Seiya and Shun find him, then Shiryu uses one of the Twelve Weapons from the Libra Cloth to unseal Hyoga's body before he actually freezes to death.
    • Happens a second time to Hyoga during his rematch with Aquarius Camus, this time complete with Heroic Willpower and Dramatic Shattering.
  • Meliodas from The Seven Deadly Sins briefly gets sealed within a small crystal charm.
  • A frequent tool used byvillains in Sgt. Frog to nerf Angol Mois.
  • This is Hellmaster Fibrizzo's signature move in Slayers, whether a coffin-sized one on individuals (like the ones he crafted for Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Sylphiel, Martina and Zangulus — and he starts crushing Gourry's to taunt Lina and provoke her into summoning the Lord of Nightmares) or a titanic glacier on an entire city (like Sylphiel's Doomed Hometown). It was copied by Rezo in the 4th season.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • Washu was trapped in a gem placed inside a closed Pocket Dimension located somewhere in Kagato's Cool Spaceship. When Mihoshi stumbles into said dimension almost by accident and starts fighting a monster inside it, the energy released starts cracking the gem's surface; once the monster somehow becomes Taken for Granite (and just few inches away from poor Mihoshi), Washu is able to break free safely.
    • Towards the end of Tenchi in Tokyo, Sasami is abducted by Yuugi, whom she's a Morality Pet for and is locked inside one of these so she won't escape. She's wearing a bracelet with a powerful gemstone (part of the MacGuffin), and when it begins to react to Tenchi and the girls's own shards, it breaks through the big gem and Sasami is saved.
  • Kaname Kuran from Vampire Knight is seen in one of these in the Grand Finale, after he destroys his own heart and falls in a coma. It's actually a case of ice made by Aidou with the intention of protecting his comatose body.
  • Pandora in Violinist of Hameln.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:

    Comic Books 
  • Chroniques des pays de Markal: The first book in this Franco-Belgian Comics series is about a stone with this power.
  • Contest of Champions (2015): Contestants that refuse to take part are held in crystals (which seem to correspond to the colour of the Infinity Gems, for whatever reason). Normally, it's impossible to escape them, but Ares manages. Once The Maestro takes over the show, he throws these out in favour of using cells.
  • Disney published a huge, multi-series crossover that centered on this in its Disney Adventures magazine. A powerful sorcerer was imprisoned in a crystal and his power placed in the gem's mount. The sorcerer is desperate to reunite with the mount and can possess vehicles and electronics to do it. The series involved were DuckTales (1987), Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, Goof Troop, and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
  • Green Lantern:
    • This is one of the methods the Star Sapphires (Violet Lanterns) use to recruit new members. The crystals they encase people in brainwash them to become more compassionate and compel them to join the Star Sapphires. Curiously, though they've trapped men before, all have either broken free or were rescued by someone else.
    • Green Lantern: The Lost Army: The local lightsmiths create crystalline forms rather than light constructs using their method of wielding the emotional spectrum. The red smiths kill several Lanterns by encasing them in red crystal, with John managing to break through his before he runs out of oxygen and power to his ring.
  • Judge Dredd: Whenever they're not wreaking havoc throughout Mega-City One, the Dark Judges tend to be contained in special crystal orbs designed to hold their spirit forms. The crystals in turn are kept in a Tailor-Made Prison.
  • Justice League of America:
    • During JLA (1997), this happened to Triumph. He was a hero who turned bad due to a run of unbelievably crappy luck.
    • In Justice League of America (Volume 1) #4: "The Doom of the Star Diamond!" five Leaguers have been imprisoned inside a giant diamond by the villain Carthan.
  • Hellboy: The Ogdru-Jahad of the B.P.R.D. verse, are sealed away in hunks of cloudy yellowish crystal floating through an interdimensional void, only able to interact with the world through telepathic communication with anybody stupid and/or evil enough to help them break out and cause The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Shutter: In the second issue, three rats trap Kate in one.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles imprison the immortal Mammoth Mogul inside a Chaos Emerald.
  • Superman:
    • The immortal villain Mister Z collects souls in the gem set into the handle of his Classy Cane.
    • In Krypton No More, Superman, Supergirl and Krypto are defeated by an alien force known as the J'ai and thrown in a cell which is a hollow, multi-faceted crystal sphere.
    • In War World alien overlord Mongul kidnaps Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and another of Superman's friends and puts them inside a crystal cube.
    • The Hunt for Reactron: After capturing super-villain Reactron, Supergirl and Flamebird shrank him and put inside a crystal shard in order to transport him to New Krypton where he would be trialed.
    • In Death & the Family, Insect Queen imprisons Supergirl in an amber-like, drop-shaped orange gem.
    • The Plague of the Antibiotic Man: Superman defeats Nam-Ek by encasing him in a man-sized uartz prism. Since yellow sun-rays bounce off the surface of his crystalline pod, Nam-Ek is cut off from his power source.
      Superman: "All I need to do to cut off Nam-Ek's super-powers is mold and shape the form a giant prism! It'll filter out the yellow sun-rays— that are present even in space— and which give Nam-Ek his super-powers!"
    • According to Power Girl's retconned origin, she was cast into one when she was an infant by her grandfather Arion to protect her from being possessed by her granduncle Garn Daanuth, which then turned into the symbio-ship that carried her from the past into the present while she ages only twenty years in the process. This was Retconned out of existence by revealing that "Alternate Universe Superman's cousin" was her true origin.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Osira traps Wonder Woman and other JSA members in pyramid shaped force fields which she then solidifies into crystal prisons.
  • Cristalline in X-Men 2099 can produce crystals out of thin air. Apparently she can structure them to allow air through, so when she is in good mood her enemies will be trapped in a block of crystal but relatively unharmed.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Demonreach, an island prison designed by Strange and Merlin which is full of these, with its prisoners usually minimally being Humanoid Abominations. It also siphons off their power. According to Strange, they based it off the Rock of Eternity, created by Agamotto, which is capable of producing these at its master's command - and when the Council Elite of Skyfathers gets uppity, Strange, wielding the Tesseract, demonstrates just how effective it is. On Zeus.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: As revealed in chapter 11 of the sequel Diplomat at Large, Grogar the ram sorcerer is encased in the heart of a crystal that's at least a mile thick. Not even counting the assorted security spells as a backup.
  • Sassette as a real young female Smurfling was put into suspended animation inside a crystal in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf and awakened 100 years later when all her fellow Smurfs were now adults and now had three young Smurflings become her friends. Only she was awakened without any memory of who she was before she was imprisoned in the crystal, so Papa Smurf told her that she was created with the same formula that was used to create Smurfette. A few years later in "Little Sister Smurf Lost", a female wraith named Avengelica awakened Sassette's true memories as she was the one who imprisoned the Smurfling in the first place, to be used as a pawn for getting even with all males in the world.
  • Sarah Kerrigan finally gets what she deserves: Sarah Kerrigan finds herself trapped inside a huge crystal where she is barely able to move and her entire body is in a very uncomfortable position and is pressed by the walls of the crystal from all sides, which causes pain to Kerrigan. However, the worst part is that the crystal would keep her alive like that for all of eternity.
  • Hefty, Toughette, Baby, Babette, and the Smurflings find themselves in one during the events of "How Things Smurf" in The Smurfette Village series.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Godzilla Junior is trapped in a crystal by the titular alien villain in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.
  • The Ogdru Jahad in Hellboy (2004). Hellboy shatters the ice-like crystals, partially releasing them.
  • Zod & co. from Superman II, who got thrown into the original Phantom Zone.
  • For the evil Djinn in the first two Wishmaster movies (at least), a gem was basically used in place of the more traditional bottle.
  • Zeiram: One of Iria's tools causes a suspended-animation crystal to form around whoever is hit by it. The target is rendered frozen but unconscious until the crystal is dissolved by activating a switch on the outside.

  • One of the two Zelda installments in the Nintendo Adventure Books, The Crystal Trap, had Link being the victim of this due to a curse laid by Ganon on the Triforce pieces (which got Link on a technicality since the Triforce of Courage was in his heart). The reader followed the plot of Zelda on a Fetch Quest trying to find the three items that would work together to free him from the curse before it became permanent — one of the "failure" endings depicted the crystal turning to stone with Link still inside.

  • In the Conan the Barbarian story "The Tower of the Elephant" an evil sorcerer is trapped inside a plate-sized ruby, to suffer eternal torment from an extradimensional being he had previously trapped and tormented for power and knowledge.
  • In Dark Lord of Derkholm, Mr. Chesney keeps the demon that allows him to send Pilgrim Parties to Derk's world trapped inside what resembles a clear paperweight. He ultimately ends up taking the demon's place in the final step of his well-deserved Humiliation Conga.
  • In the second book of The Deptford Mice trilogy, which is actually called The Crystal Prison, the spirit of Jupiter ends up trapped inside Madame Akkikuyu's crystal ball. Once it's inadvertently smashed though, he's free.
  • In the Dresden Files, Demonreach is a prison in which each cell is a crystal. Each crystal holds an Eldritch Abomination. The tunnels holding the crystals go on for miles.
  • Prior to the beginning of The Elenium Queen Ehlana is sealed in a diamond. This was done not to imprison but to save her. She had been fatally poisoned but the diamond slowed her bodily functions and thus the damage done to her body, giving Sparhawk time to find a cure.
  • In Servant of the Dragon, third book in David Drake's The Lord of the Isles epic fantasy series, Cashel is served by the demon Krias, who is trapped in a large gem mounted on a ring.
  • One of the Magic Kingdom of Landover books had Ben trapped in a crystal.
  • The Seventh Tower: Some of the seven Guardians are trapped within their own Keystones, so their bodies are suspended in an extradimensional void but their minds are alert and can be communicated with through the Keystone. Oddly, this isn't an intended function of the Keystones, but was done in secret by the Big Bad exploiting their magic.
  • Petre from Skate the Thief has been trapped in a glass ball filled with blue smoke, leaving him as The Faceless, with only his eyes visible to people he talks to. He's in there because of a murder he committed, but "murder" is not exactly the issue; he holds himself responsible for the death of his love because he didn't stop her from over-reaching in her study of magic. He notes that all he would have to do to get out is ask Belamy to let him go, making this an example of Self-Restraint.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Spren imprisoned in gemstones power the Magitek fabrials. Of course, since most spren are non-sentient and even the sentient ones don't think like humans do, it's unclear if they care or even notice when they are imprisoned. This is used intentionally in Oathbringer when an ancient, powerful Voidspren is trapped inside a gigantic ruby.
  • In Wielding a Red Sword, the Incarnation of War finds a beautiful princess trapped in a smooth sphere. He is only able to enter the sphere as a soul (not with his body) but when he does so, he finds it is a trap by Satan. Satan then brings both of them into Hell.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Olaf the troll was trapped in a crystal in Buffy the Vampire Slayer until Willow broke it.
  • A variation of this appears in the Doctor Who episode "Heaven Sent". While the prison itself is a Big Labyrinthine Building, the exit is behind a twenty-foot thick wall of Azbantium, a crystalline substance 400 times tougher than diamond.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sabrina hopes to find a love spell to use on Harvey, but Aunt Zelda explains that love is far too powerful and precious to try to control. Aunt Hilda then chimes in and adds that while you can't make someone fall in love with you, you can imprison them in a piece of jewelry for a few centuries and hope they'll change their mind. She then shows off her ring, which contains a man from the Middle Ages who remarks that Hilda is "starting to grow on him." The scenario is really disturbing upon further thought.
  • In Smallville, the Fortress of Solitude had been used to imprison Clark in Blue and Persona and Davis in Bride.
  • An episode of Warehouse 13 has an artifact that encases its victim in amber.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The spell Trap the Soul imprisons the target's soul inside of a gem.
    • Magic Jar has you willingly transfer your soul into a gem or crystal, then attempt to possess another living creature who comes near.
    • 1st/2nd Edition has a spell called Binding. One variation of the spell is Minimus Containment, which shrinks a creature and holds it inside a gem.
    • A demilich can drain the souls out of its victims' bodies and store them in its gemstone teeth.
    • Adventures:
      • C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness: The Soul Gem could drain the souls of creatures and store them in itself.
      • "The Garden of Nefaron" in Dragon magazine #53 has evil psionicist Malakon, whose mind is trapped within his own psychogem.
    • Elder Evils: Pandorym's mind is trapped within a giant crystal made from solidified magic, which will subject anyone who touches it to several kinds of harmful magical effects and then suck their souls in as well.
  • Exalted:
    • In the Shard "Gunstar Autochthonia", the Magnus is imprisoned in a cell carved into Autochthon's Elemental Pole of Crystal.
    • Gods have a Charm, "Chrysalis of Preservation" that lets them do this. They can even imprison concepts inside their crystals.
  • Magic: The Gathering: In the Mirage storyline, Mangara was trapped in amber, as depicted on the card Amber Prison.

  • Toa in BIONICLE can create or destroy absurdly strong Protodermis by using their powers as a team - even Makuta Teridax can't break free of a prison made of it.

    Video Games 
  • Brave Fencer Musashi features several dozen binchotite crystals scattered across the game world. Each one contains a kidnapped member of the palace's staff, and can only be broken by Lumina. Not only will the freed palace staff be helpful later on, but breaking a crystal will increase your maximum MP.
  • The Big Bad does this to your entire party at the end of Breath of Fire II. The Hero breaks out of it, but this angers the Big Bad and he shatters the remaining crystals. (The Hero's 11th-Hour Superpower brings them Back from the Dead soon after.)
  • Bubble Witch Saga:
    • Stella clears up stages by popping magical, colorful bubbles with her Magic Wand. These bubbles contain things like eyes, tentacles, worms, etc. inside
    • Some stages have living animals trapped inside big transparent bubbles (frogs, rats, birds, etc.), which must be popped to release them and fill the requirements to pass.
    • In Bubble Witch 3, the evil cat Wilbur captures not only small owls, but faeries inside the bubbles themselves. This includes the Fairy Queen, whom he locks away inside a special bubble that he carries around right before the game starts. If Stella pops the fairy bubbles, the now-free faeries will pop random empty bubbles to help her clear the stage.
  • Chrono Cross: Schala turns up during the final battle inside a crystal, which is actually the backside of the Time Devourer. Freeing Schala without killing her is how you unlock the Golden Ending.
  • In the DS remake of Chrono Trigger, this same awaits Schala when you face the bonus boss, Dream Devourer. Additionally, one of the exiles from Zeal, Melchior, is trapped in a crystal on the Mountain of Woe's peak.
  • In Dark Souls, Dusk of Oolacile was trapped for centuries inside a Crystal Golem. Defeating the Golem frees her and allows you to summon her later so she can teach you a few nifty spells.
  • In Destiny 2's Season of the Lost, this is the fate for long-time Greater-Scope Villain Savathûn, the Witch-Queen, courtesy of Queen Mara Sov of the Reef. Interestingly, it's implied the prisoner is partially willing, allowing Mara to imprison her as part of a bargain, since being in the crystal prison protects Savathûn from her sister, Xivu Arath, and from her worm's rampant hunger.
  • In Doodle World, Maelzuri imprisons Craig in one after you fight him in the Crystal Caverns by trapping his consciousness inside the Opal Orb. You carry said Opal Orb around for the rest of the game.
  • In Doom mod GMOTA, you can use the primary attack of Blazter to seal the enemy with a crystal for awhile. You can't seal bosses with this attack, though.
  • The Arcane Warrior whose soul was trapped within a gem for thousands of years in Dragon Age comes to mind.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series has Soul Gems, magical crystals which can be used to trap the souls of living things after using a Soul Trap spell. The gems typically range from Petty to Grand, with more powerful creatures requiring larger (and thus, rarer and more expensive) Soul Gems. Additionally, Black Soul Gems are made from Grand Soul Gems, and allow for the trapping of "black" sapient souls (like those of Men, Mer, and the Beast Races) — their use is considered one of the darkest of The Dark Arts in-universe. Once filled, soul gems can be broken and the souls bound to items, permanently "enchanting" them with magical abilities, as well as to recharge already enchanted items.
    • Azura's Star is a legendary artifact associated with the Daedric Prince Azura. Azura's Star is not destroyed during the enchanting process like standard Soul Gems, allowing it to be refilled and reused. It won't accept the souls of sapient creatures unless you perform a dark ritual to corrupt it.
    • Before the development of Black Soul Gems (their creation only became possible as a result of the events of Daggerfall), it was still possible to trap black souls. It just required a bit more inventiveness and special means, as instead of outright ignoring Arkay's Blessing (the term for what protects black souls, that does not allow their use "without consent"), it had to be bent and manipulated. Redguard featured this prominently, though not all the souls were trapped in crystals...
  • EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: The Power Crystal encased in the head of the Shakun Star central computer traps an unknown green-haired woman inside, the true source of its power. Astral Gather spirits her away the moment she is freed from the crystal, taking her mystery with him.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Five years before the game begins, Cloud confronts Sephiroth at the Nibelheim power reactor when the latter returns to retrieve Jenova. Thanks to Cloud mortally wounding him, Sephiroth tumbled off the catwalk and fell into the Mako pool below the reactor, eventually winding up in the Lifestream. In the present, Cloud and his party chase "Sephiroth" across the planet, unaware it is Jenova imitating his appearance; the real Sephiroth is frozen in a block of Mako, having drifted to the North Crater during his travels.
      • Sephiroth's mother, Lucrecia Crescent, is also frozen in crystal in a hidden cave on the Western Continent. But she's there by choice in atonement for her willing participation in Hojo's experiments.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Once branded a L'Cie by the Fal'Cie, Crystal Stasis is the reward for fulfilling their focus, in contrast to failing and becoming a Cie'th (i.e. transforming into a twisted, zombie-like horror). But this also means the Fal'cie can reawaken them and use them as puppets as much as they want. This is what happened with Serah and Dajh, and Vanille and Fang were originally Pulse L'Cie brought to Cocoon and awakened by Barthandelus as his Unwitting Pawns. Ultimately, this also happens to Lightning, Snow, Sazh and Hope by slaying Orphan, but soon awaken as a result of Vanille and Fang's double Deus ex Machina Heroic Sacrifice.
    • World of Final Fantasy have Hauyn trapped in crystal cage for several hundred years by Laynn and Reynn so she's stop her from interfering when they try to open the Ultima Gate. Considering what happened to her it's understandable why she has grudge towards them.
  • Inexistence Rebirth: Claos imprisons Hald's sister inside a crystal as part of the spell he casts on her at the start of the game.
  • In the musical Edutainment Game Julliard Music Adventure, the player must rescue a Queen who is trapped in an amulet.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, six of the seven Princesses of Heart (namely, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Alice, Jasmine, and Snow White) are sealed in crystalline prisons, with odd black thorns wrapped around their bodies. It seems like the crystals may serve a practical purpose, as they allow Maleficent to channel the Princesses' hearts to reveal a giant Keyhole flooded with evil power. Or they may have just needed to hold them in place to do it, who knows?
  • The entire plot of Kingdom of Loathing comes about because the Naughty Sorceress imprismed King Ralph. In a prism.
  • Several games in the Kirby series include Galacta Knight, a warrior from a time long past who was so powerful that his people sealed him inside a crystal out of fear. Various non-canon subgames have him get broken out to fight Kirby or Meta Knight, usually either ending with him dying violently or being sealed back in the crystal.
  • League of Legends champion Nocturne is imprisoned in a nexus shard when not fighting on the rift. Despite this, he's constantly slashing away at the barriers between him and the outside world, causing his powers to have a slight influence around the nexus shard.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Towards the end of Ocarina of Time, Princess Zelda is imprisoned in a crystal as seen in the page picture.
    • In A Link to the Past, this was the the fate of the seven maidens when they entered the Dark World, as they were too pure to change form and thus became imprisoned in crystal instead.
    • Din in Oracle of Seasons is trapped inside one (and used as a shield) by Onox. Hitting the crystal with your sword makes you take damage, so use the Rod of Seasons instead.
    • Like in A Link to the Past, the six Maidens and Zelda are enjeweled again in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
    • In Skyward Sword, Zelda does this willingly to prevent the end of the world.
  • In Magicka 2, Crystal Prison is, interestingly, where playable Wizards end up after saving the child of prophecy, imprisoned by the child in question. The inside is a The Matrix-inspired white space with some furniture.
  • Several enemies are trapped inside crystals in the Crystal Caves -level of MediEvil.
  • Mega Man X2 features Crystal Snail and his weapon, the Crystal Hunter. Getting hit by it will trap you in crystal, and you have to mash buttons to get out. When you beat him and get his weapon, you can do the same to weaker enemies and use the trapped enemy as an Improvised Platform. And if you dash into them, they shatter into pieces.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: The final level, made by a civilization that appears to have a better understanding of magic than any other, appears to trap their sinners inside yellow crystals that have appeared nowhere else.
  • In Realm of the Mad God, Mysterious Crystals are scattered throughout the Realm, literally begging you to smash them. They are actually the prisons of bosses that summon demon PONEHS.
  • In RuneScape, the goal of the "Merlin's Crystal" quest is to rescue Merlin, who has been trapped inside a crystal by Morgan le Faye.
  • Silent Hope has the Princess encased in a giant crystal that is made up of the tears she's shed after her father jumped into the Abyss and envelop her. Fragments of this crystal can be found in the Abyss, enabling you to swap characters (and get an attribute bonus based on who's tagging out) or leave. When the Princess actually died is anyone's guess, but when you defeat the King - who involuntarily transforms into the King of Malice for your fight with him - the two of them pass on to the afterlife after their souls meet one last time, but the crystal and the fragments remain.
  • Sonic Adventure, Perfect Chaos was released from the Master Emerald.
  • Starting in Soul Calibur IV, Soul Calibur starts using this trick in quite a few character endings where it defeats Soul Edge. The biggest example is Patroklos, who's in the receiving end after the spirit of Soul Calibur turns on him.
  • The Unholy Crystal boss in Splatterhouse 2, which contains the soul of Jennifer.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Spyro the Dragon: Most of the characters are (depending on whether you read the manual or play the game) either sealed in crystal or turned into crystal statues.
    • Spyro: Season of Ice revolves around freeing fairies trapped in ice crystals.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Spyro, Cynder, and Sparx are trapped in a gem between the second and third games.
  • Starcraft: While not exactly crystal, the Arbiter's Stasis ability uses the aesthetic, trapping units in geodesic prisons for a short time.
  • Krystal in Star Fox Adventures.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 had several Toads and Lumas trapped in crystals (possibly by Bowser), and Mario/Luigi had to spin said crystals to set them free. There are also Goombas trapped in crystals as well. Makes players wonder why Bowser wanted to trap his own minions in crystals along with his enemies.
  • Something of a recurring theme in Valkyrie Profile and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria; apart from the Valkyrie's ability to temporarily trap monsters in a crystal (ice for Lenneth, light for Silmeria), Silmeria, Lenneth and Brahms all end up in crystals during VP 1 and 2. Rather like this, really.
  • In Warcraft III, a Soul Gem shows up in the last mission of the Orc campaign; it's used to imprison Grom Hellscream so he can be captured without killing him.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Myzrael is a princess (elemental princess, note) trapped in a crystal in a quest.
    • A few enemies and bosses, notably some crystal giants, can do this to you. A few ice using bosses can imprison you in an ice block as well.
    • Warlocks can trap the souls of their enemies in crystals in order to fuel their stronger spells. And it happens to the warlock himself in this episode of "Chronicle of the Annoying Quest"
    • An Archaeology item of ancient amber allows characters to do this, but only to themselves. As one might imagine, it's not a particularly useful item.

  • In Jupiter-Men, the second Star Struck monster the Avalon twins face is a Man-Eating Plant that's able to turn its petals into flying bee-like drones. These bees are able to shoot their "stingers" as projectiles. Anyone whose skin is penetrated by them is encased in crystal and rendered helpless as the monster drags them into its maw to be digested.
  • Jadis from Kill Six Billion Demons, entombed in a giant block of glass. The prison is self-inflicted, in order to protect her from the aftereffects of seeing the True Shape of the Universe.
  • In The Order of the Stick -1: Start of Darkness, Xykon traps the soul of Lirian the druid in a gem, and later uses this fact to bait her lover Dorukan into facing him in an attempt to free her. Dorukan is defeated and trapped in there with her. Since the gem is never mentioned again, for all we know they could still be in there over a year later.
  • In the Skin Horse arc "Borrowers," Tip finds the maintenance staff trapped inside the living crystal entities in the basement. He gets captured too, but since the crystals are sensitive to noise, they release him when he threatens to start singing Madonna.
  • In Snarlbear, the elf city of Monochrome is trapped in crystals by Queen Cassie.

    Web Original 
  • One of these contains the soul robot of Maureen Miller in The Adventure Zone: Balance's Crystal Kingdom arc. It was created by the Philosopher's Stone, which then proceeded to go out of control and turn the entire building into the titular Crystal Kingdom. Ironically, Maureen is the one who created her prison. When she died, she saw the Hunger, breaking her mind. Her son Lucas tried to bring her back but failed because of the damage what she saw did. By putting herself in the prison, she prevented what she saw from taking her over... but it's pretty much impossible to control a Grand Relic, so she almost ended the world in the process.
  • Empires SMP Season 1: Scott and Gem manage to trap Xornoth in one as a Sealed Evil in a Can, but it doesn't last when it shatters in the earthquake during the Apocalypse How at the end of the series, releasing Xornoth once again.
  • Rubirules in TOME has the ability to create these, which he uses to imprison Kajet and the Dragon Bug during the climax of the series.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: A Psychocrypt victim will have his Life Energy in one crystal, and his body entombed in a second. Merging the two will free the person.
  • Adventure Time:
    • At the end of her episode, Tree Trunks ends up inside a gem, (gem-apple, really). She seems quite fond of it.
    • The Lich is encased in amber as of the beginning of "Mortal Folly".
    • The Citadel uses these to imprison cosmic criminals. It doesn't work so well on the Lich.
  • In Aladdin: The Series, recurring villain Mozenrath loves these—the plots of two episodes revolve around him trying to entomb the Genie in one.
  • The hazmat robots — and, often, the human characters — in Detentionaire wield guns that can trap their targets in green crystals.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: The Death Song is a predatory dragon that spews amber instead of breathing fire. It uses the amber to cocoon prey, though not enough to suffocate them, as the Death Song seems to prefer live meals. The amber is impossible to break through blunt force or cutting, but it does melt at a high enough temperature, which weakens it enough for the humans or dragons trapped in it to break free.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight and Starlight do this to each-other in their fights in the season 5 finale.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016). Princess Morebucks unsurprisingly desires to be a Powerpuff Girl and devises a complex plan to achieve this goal. She indirectly isolates Buttercup from her sisters and has a monster pummel them repeatedly until they agree to make her a Powerpuff Girl "Now that there's an opening". Once they comply, she makes the monster leave and tosses them a Jewelry box. The crystal inside becomes a heart shaped prison for the both of them. After Bubbles and Blossom say that she can be a Powerpuff Girl she plans to destroy them so she can be the ONLY Powerpuff Girl.
  • Samurai Jack: the titular monster from "Jack and the Lava Monster" is actually a viking warrior that Aku imprisoned in crystal thousands of years ago. Either through magic or sheer force of will, he worked out a way to manipulate the stone and form a rock body before creating a Death Course in the hopes of drawing in a mighty warrior to give him an honorable death.
  • SheZow: SheZap shrinks Guy and traps him inside a Glam Rock in "SheZap is Whack".
  • Rhombulus of Star vs. the Forces of Evil encases anyone he and/or the rest of the Magic High Commission consider to be evil in crystal. It seems to be their method of punishing criminals. Most of these are monsters, hinting at their hypocritical Fantastic Racism. The only human-looking one is Eclipsa, one of the previous Queens who was in love with a monster, and rumored to be The Dreaded. The season 3 finale reveals that Eclipsa's monster husband, Globgor, is also trapped in crystal. His crystal was left in his and Eclipsa's old lair instead of stored with the rest of Rhombulus' prisoners because his immense size made moving him too difficult. It's nearly impossible for anyone but Rhombulus himself to open the crystals.
  • During the two-part finale of Storm Hawks, many sky knights are captured and imprisoned in a giant crystal.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) this is Parodied in "Omens Part Two," when The Lizard Army uses a giant geode as a Trojan Horse to enter Thundera, having been stuck waiting in there for two days, not counting the trip to Thundera. One complains to his general about the smell after being freed.

    Real Life 
  • Amber is the fossil resin of ancient trees. Since resin evolved as a way of trapping insects and other small animals (to protect the tree from the damage they do), we naturally find a lot of insects, spiders, etc., trapped in amber. In one particularly extreme case, archeologists found a preserved raptor tail, feathers and all.


Starlight Glimmer

Starlight Glimmer traps Twilight and Spike in a giant purple crystal

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Main / CrystalPrison

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