Follow TV Tropes

Following

Eldritch Transformation

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tetsuo_transformation.png

We see the Shade Stalker. Reality bubbles and drips where they step. Did you know they were human once, sweetling? It is hard to tell, harder to fathom. They have become so like the Dreamers, little fractal effigies. The changes you see are only the tip of the black iceberg. They have grown appendages in dimensions you cannot perceive.
The Buzzing, The Secret World
Advertisement:

Ah yes, Eldritch Abominations. The embodiment of the incomprehensible, the grotesque, the omnipotent. Nothing can be so terrifying as a Cosmic Horror monster, regardless of its origins. Especially if those origins are someone as mundane as your average Joe.

Perhaps by some odd circumstances, a person, often from humble beginnings, ends up being transformed into something truly terrifying and grand in scale, possibly involving Body Horror. Sometimes they may transform into a Genius Loci somehow. It may be used simply to give a final boss a One-Winged Angel form, if nothing else, as there is plenty of overlap.

This can be caused by otherworldly viruses, a curse, or a consequence from Deal with the Devil.

However, this only happens once and is most often involuntary. Lovecraftian Superpower, while closely related, covers habitual and usually voluntary transformation. However, these are not mutually exclusive; one with a Lovecraftian Superpower may undergo The Corruption and end up transforming permanently into an Eldritch Abomination.

Advertisement:

Subtrope of Eldritch Abomination, and can overlap with many of its sisters. Related to From Nobody to Nightmare. Compare and contrast the Demon of Human Origin, usually a less eldritch equivalent of this trope. Compare Body Horror and The Corruption. Related to Power Makeover. Eviler twin of Superpower Meltdown. If the transformation itself is horrific, see Painful Transformation and Transformation Horror. Contrast Baleful Polymorph for when someone is turned into something harmless, and Bishōnen Line when a character gains a more human form as their power increases.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • AKIRA's film adaptation is the Trope Codifier. Tetsuo transforms into a giant human amoeba after his psychic powers get to be too much for him to control in the third act of the film. It takes Akira, himself a walking apocalypse, coming Back from the Dead to stop his transformation, destroying Neo-Tokyo in the process and transporting him and the Espersnote  to a new universe.
    • In the manga, Akira had always been alive, Neo-Tokyo had already been destroyed once, and Tetsuo was killed instead of imprisoned.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: This is revealed to happen to all Magical Girls who don't clean their Soul Gems with Grief Seeds, resulting in the Soul Gem itself turning into a Grief Seed that their Witch form sprouts from. As Kyubey once implies, there is no known way to reverse this effect.
  • In Sailor Moon, Wiseman was a depraved mass murderer who was banished to the Planet Nemesis. He fused with the planet to become a Genius Loci Eldritch Abomination through The Power of Hate.
  • Soul Eater: While Asura was already made of Lord Death's fears to begin with, it's implied becoming a Kishin from consuming enough souls escalated him to the horrifying Humanoid Abomination he's depicted as in-story.

    Comic Books 
  • The Bad Bad Place: Lady Malise Castavette, after communing with the things beneath the Estate, gradually begins to metamorphose into a Lovecraftian monster; initially only sporting a nightmarish grin after emerging from the tunnels for the first time, by her second visit she's gained a lot of weight and can now only amble about on crutches; her clothes are eventually revealed to be hiding multiple breasts - as part of her new role as a Mother of a Thousand Young. She also gains greater magical powers, enough to imbue the Estate with its most horrifying traits. Over time, she grows progressively less human: when she finally re-emerges in the 21st century, she has transformed into a bloblike mass of teats and tendrils, a minor Eldritch Abomination in her own right.
  • Death Vigil: Necromancers make deals with eldritch entities, hosting them in exchange for Lovecraftian superpowers. Hosts of the four True Primordials can transform from their human form into immensely powerful eldritch abominations and back. Mia hosts the True Primordial known as the Beast and managed to hijack it with help from her father, while Clara is — initially unwittingly — host to one that's thus-far been content to lay dormant and only take action to defend its host when she's endangered.
  • Phase IV of Zenith reveals that the Many-Angled Lloigor that the heroes have been fighting against all this time were once human - and not just any humans: they were Cloud 9, the original superhero team, having self-evolved to a level so far beyond humanity that they became Lovecraftian gods existing beyond space and time. In fact, not only have they fought their past selves many times throughout the series but actually inspired their own creation by giving the super-serum formula to the Nazis, prompting the creation of the first superhumans. Issues 9 through 10 of this Phase feature the very moment in which the villain team ascend into the black sun and are reborn as the Lloigor; initially taking the form of naked, glowing humanoids with no genitals, they quickly transform into giant tentacled insects and go on the attack - with apocalyptic consequences.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: A fairy that was changed by chaotic magic turned from a Winged Humanoid into a moving hole-filled web of sorta-bony material.
  • Elementals of Harmony: This occurs occasionally to characters.
    • "Where Parallel Lines Converge": If planeswalkers are forced out of a plane in the wrong way, this happens to them. They get huge and dangerous and impossible anatomies.
    • My Little Praetor: Phthisis is Magic: Has this happen to at least two characters on opposing sides:
      • "Biopsy Punch": Technically, Punchline, turned from a "weed [with] contact telepathy, transmutative poison, and a sense of humor", into a dryad, a.k.a a humanoid in a land of non-humanoids, and also "a bizarre entity with abilities and senses wholly alien to normal plants", such as eyes, ears, and mouths.
      • Also, due to the effects of glistening oil, a unicorn has been described as an "aberration" for gaining:
        the details, the deviations from the norm, began to register. Silver shone on her hooves, flowing up her legs here and there like a stretching axon or an exploring slime mold. A hint of the same was visible now and again in her tail, as though the flesh beneath the hair had become metal. Her horn was similarly metallic, in addition to being longer and sharper than was acceptable for polite society. A crown of some sort rested on her head, or perhaps it extended from it. The line between jewelry and scalp seemed oddly blurred. Most disturbing of all were her eyes, matte spheres of solid black, swallowing any light that fell into them.
  • The Game of Thrones fanfic (Il)Logical Conclusions features none other than Bran Stark undergoing one of these as the result of a very Long Game arranged by himself and the Children of the Forest: first, he becomes the nexus of a colossal Weirwood forest spreading throughout Westeros, erasing all signs of civilization wherever it goes, killing millions of innocents, and converting children into his Humanoid Abomination servants. Then, he uses the countless deaths as part of a Blood Magic ritual that transforms him into an eldritch deity of flame and shadow existing outside of time - to the point that Bran becomes directly responsible for every aspect of Game of Thrones that wasn't explained. This deity's name? The Lord of Light. However, the finale reveals that a small cabal of maegi, sorcerers, and warlocks are planning to repeat the process for Meera Reed so they can transform her into the only thing that might be able to stop Bran before he does anything worse: The Great Other.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the Mouth of Madness:
    • Anyone who makes the mistake of reading Sutter Cane's final novel is not only driven insane but ultimately mutated into a Lovecraftian horror. The final form of this mutation is only glimpsed, though the Creepy Changing Painting in the Pickman Hotel suggests that it's essentially a huge, tentacled wormlike thing.
    • Sutter Cane himself is beginning to transform into an eldritch being as a result of the patronage of the Old Ones, having not only been granted reality-writing powers but also a hideous body sprouting from his back. In the climax, he transcends reality and essentially becomes a god alongside the Old Ones.
  • Shin Godzilla: Godzilla originated as a marine reptile exposed to radioactive waste, and transforms into a horrendous living nuclear reactor capable of spontaniously adapting to its environment in ways the team of eccentric scientists trying to study it admit shouldn't be possible.
  • Slither: Grant Grant becomes fused to a parasitic alien life form that's bent on multiplying and assimilating all life on Earth; after he escapes the police and disappears for several days, we see he's mutated into a slimy, tentacular monstrosity with only vaguely humanoid features.

    Literature 
  • In A Bad Case of Stripes, Camilla gets a disease that makes her change depending on what other people say (for instance, while saying the Pledge at school, her skin turns the colours of the American flag). Eventually, she ends up with many plant and animal parts growing out of her body, then when told to "become one with [her] room", she literally turns into a sentient version of her room.
  • David Conway's short story Black Static ends with Reinhardt Stahl and the main character becoming indescribable Hyperbreed Omnibeasts through a combination of Stahl's made techno-magical rituals and the efforts of the other Omnibeasts imprisoned in Maximus Prime. Together, they go on to enslave the human race to their whims for all eternity.
  • Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner: This is what happens with Harley Q. In the beginning, he just like every other person in the Junkyard was infected with the Atma virus, which gives those who have it the ability to transform into Asuras, but forcing them to eat human flesh to maintain it. Harley Q went through a Villainous RRoD - as is typical with those who are not sufficiently feeding - but instead of kicking the bucket, he ended up in the sewer system where all the data from all the dead people are stored. From there, he absorbed all that information and eventually turned into a black sludge made of pure hunger and the desperation of all the dead, and he grew large enough to cover and devour the entire Junkyard.
  • Whateley Universe: Sara Waite, who is technically a living mass of tentacles that just look sort of human, is the end result of her previous male form, "human" Michael Waite, being an Uneven Hybrid with the larger parts being non-human and related to the Cthulhu Mythos.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: In the final season, Sabrina Spellman becomes the host of the Weird, one of the Eldritch Terrors and the in-universe inspiration for Cthulhu, and begins to transform into a creature with a hardened radula for a tongue, ammonia for blood, and ink-sacs.
  • Night Gallery: In the episode "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture", a professor at Miskatonic Univerisity attempts to show that The Necronomicon is bunk by reading aloud from it in class. As he reads from it he completely fails to notice the obvious magical effects his reading is causing, culminating with him being transformed into an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Stranger Things: In season 3, the Mind Flayer begins infecting ordinary people and rats in Hawkins to allow itself a physical presence in our world. When it decides to take a personal hand in hunting down Eleven (the only one it perceives as a threat), it melts down and assimilates its hosts into a single horrific, arachnid-type body.

    Music 
  • The music video for "Fantasy" by Dy E sees a group of teenagers sneak into a swimming pool at night... then suddenly start mutating into eldritch monsters and attacking one another. The only survivor dives into the pool and finds herself in the presence of a being so horrifying her eyes burst.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu:
    • A worshipper of the Cthulhu Mythos deity Y'golonac (which is an Eldritch Abomination) can be forced to become an avatar of the deity and assume its form whenever the deity wishes. In the supplement Shadows of Yog-Sothoth adventure "The Warren", this happens to the Non-Player Character Philip Boucher.
    • The milk of Shub-Niggurath transforms those who drink it into vicious monstrosities.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The plot of the "Shadows over Innistrad" block is kicked off by Nahiri summoning the Eldritch Abomination Emrakul. Emrakul's presence on the plane slowly drives its residents insane and mutates them into tentacled horrors like this one.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade, the legendary third generation of vampires—the Antediluvians—have in many cases transcended all semblance of humanity and become godlike monsters.
    • Ennoia has permanently merged with the Earth itself, kept asleep by its rotation and when she awakens in Gehenna, manifests entirely as earthquakes.
    • Malkav exists as intangible madness, linking his children together as a Hive Mind and becomes contagious enough to drive human beings into solipsistic psychopathy during Gehenna.
    • Lasombra now exists as a Living Shadow within the Abyss and goes so far as to spread himself across the entire planet in Gehenna, creating an endless night.
    • Tzimisce takes the cake: as the founder of a clan dedicated to pursuing this very metamorphosis, he has expanded into a hideously organic Genius Loci sprouting and growing under New York. During Gehenna, he takes this to the next level by becoming first a gigantic Blob Monster that eats the city alive, then a disembodied intelligence controlling and deforming anything that possesses his blood, and finally, the entire human race.

    Video Games 
  • Bloodborne has, in its most obtuse-to-get ending, the Hunter transforming into a newborn Great One, though if this is a good or bad thing is highly subjective.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Shifted Spires: The final form of Voluntary Shapeshifting user Prophyria, a non-human mass of tentacles that covers the whole screen, with all the other forms seeming to follow a less eldritch trend of Full-Frontal Assault-ish women.
  • Brave Hero Yuusha: The final form of the Puppeteer is a result of this, having lost a humanoid form.
  • In the Control DLC AWE, it was revealed that Dr. Emil Hartman (a minor antagonist from Alan Wake) was taken into the Federal Bureau of Control when the Dark Presence's... er, presence in Bright Falls reaches their attention. They discover his various experiments relating to it and arrest him for his "violation[s] of paranatural law", only to release him when it becomes apparent that he poses little threat. His research confiscated, he dives into Cauldron Lake, becoming a Taken possessed by the Presence and thus kept in containment at the Oldest House. When the Hiss begins invading the Oldest House and possessing everyone there, the mixture of Hiss and Presence in him mutates him into a horrific Humanoid Abomination, indiscriminately killing anyone he comes across.
  • Darkest Dungeon: When reaching the titular area, the Darkest Dungeon, most of the Cultists fought throughout the game "Ascended" thanks to their eldritch master, which means they've turned into horrifying, fleshy, tentacled creatures which barely resemble their humanoid form. Of note are the Cultist Priests, which on the outside look like humans with robes that obscure their face and bodies, but are actually the most monstrous and eldritch out of all of them underneath.
  • Dark Souls: Over the course of the three games, it's revealed that this is one of the possible outcomes of the Lord Souls' power being misused — particularly the Dark Soul and the shards of it known as Humanity. Manus' humanity raging out of control transformed him into a horrifying monster, creating the Eldritch Location known as the Abyss — from which many of the series' more Lovecraftian bosses originate.
  • Diablo: Characters in the series who possess one of the Soulstones eventually transform into one of the Prime Evils. From what we see in the games, their bodies gradually become more corpse-like until abruptly tearing apart to reveal the demon beneath. Their minds seem to undergo a similar process. We also see the reverse of this in the first game: after slaying Diablo, his Big Red Devil form reverts to that of Prince Albrecht.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • The "Foreigner" Class consists of individuals who encountered a Great Old One but, by keeping their sanity intact, became able to use their eldritch powers. This results in turning innocuous people into Humanoid Abominations or Monstrous Humanoids. Abigail Williams, as seen in the Salem Epic or Remnant, is the best example of such a transformation: she goes from a normal, innocent little girl to an eerie, washed-up, sinister channeller of Sut-Typhon. This is inverted with Summer Abigail, who starts off as the sinister eldritch witch and turns into a normal girl in her later Ascensions.
    • Anything that gets absorbed into Tiamat's Chaos Tide will be transformed into one of her monstrous offspring. Humans become spider-like creatures called Lahmu, while Servants like Ushiwakamaru become Humanoid Abominations able to replicate endlessly at will. Notably, they're still changing after being transformed, with the Lahmu growing wings and becoming Bel-Lahmu, and Ushiwakamaru changing from a Rider to a Berserker before losing her class altogether (which means she's no longer affected by the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors; it's implied that she would have gained Tiamat's Beast Class if she had continued to evolve).
  • Final Fantasy VII: Professor Hojo turns into a weird monstrosity after infusing himself with Mako energy and Jenova cells.
  • Freedom Planet: In the third stage of Final Dreadnought, Lord Brevon mutates Milla into a horrific scorpion-esque monstrous form of herself, which is fought as the penultimate boss of the game. After being defeated, she reverts back into her original form, but seemingly dies, which drives Lilac/Carol into Unstoppable Rage. A lesser example occurs just a stage prior with General Serpentine, and is seemingly killed by the heroes when they fight him, only to show up alive in the end credits, and unhappy that his prosthetic arms are gone.
  • Katana ZERO: Invoked with the secret boss fight against the Psychologist, who injects himself with a bunch of super-soldier serums and undergoes a transformation into a grotesque horror that Zero has to defeat. However, this was all just in Zero's head, courtesy of a hallucination.
  • Kirby:
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Magolor deceives the main cast into helping him to defeat Landia and then tries to take the power of his Master Crown for himself. Though he initially turns into a more powerful form of himself, he gets defeated, after which the crown ends up taking control over his body, transforming him into an Eldritch Abomination fought as the final boss of the game.
    • At the end of Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Queen Sectonia, the true Big Bad of the game, fuses herself with the Dreamstalk, turning herself into a Botanical Abomination version of herself.
    • Kirby Super Star: In the "Milky Way Wishes", when Kirby summons Galactic Nova to wish for Sun and Moon to stop fighting, Marx steals his wish and wishes to control Pop Star. Nova then transforms him into a bat-like monstrous form of himself, which is fought as the Final Boss of the mode (and, by extension, the original game). In the remake, Marx's dead body absorbs the destroyed Nova's parts and mutates into an even more monstrous form known as the Marx Soul, which is fought in the True Arena as the True Final Boss of the game.
    • At the end of Kirby: Canvas Curse, when Kirby defeats Drawcia in her sorceress form, she ends up uncontrollably mutating into a monstrous blob of paint known as Drawcia Soul, which is fought as the final boss of the game.
  • Michigan: Report From Hell has a few. Pamela has her waist mutate into a giant mouth; Dr O'Conner turns into a giant, snake-like mouth with two tiny legs; and the Patient Zero mutates into a giant ball of flesh upon being killed.
  • In Resident Evil 4, the villagers in the later stages of the game turn into extremely disgusting and repulsive tentacled horrors when wounded enough, with their heads exploding so the tentacles can get out. Leon has to put them down quickly before they get too close, as their tentacles have blades on them that inflict heavy damage.
  • The Secret World:
    • People infected by the Filth - if they survive the initial Zombie Apocalypse phase - gradually become less and less human until they transform into beings of pure Filth known as Shades. The ultimate iteration of this is the Shade Stalker, a gigantic spidery mass of Filth that's essentially a scaled-down edition of the Dreamers themselves.
    • As a result of being at the very epicentre of the Filth bomb used in Tokyo, John Copley transcends physical existence altogether and becomes a minor Eldritch Abomination known as the Black Signal. Now part of the Dreamers' collective but unbound by the Gaia Engines that normally keep them under control, he is capable of creating bodies out of pure Filth, speaking in Brown Notes that induce spontaneous suicide in listeners, and manipulating technology in any way he pleases - to the point that he's actually able to hack the game's lore entries just so he can talk to you.
  • In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Erazor Djinn tries to absorb the seven World Rings to take their power and remake the world of Arabian Nights in his own image. As he tries to sacrifice Sonic, the one who collected the rings, Shahra takes the strike for him and dies. Because Sonic wasn't the one who got sacrificed, the ritual was botched, and Erazor ends up mutating into a horrific six-armed monstrosity known as Alf Layla wa-Layla, who is fought as the Final Boss of the game.
  • Sundered: Eshe can acquire Lovecraftian Superpowers by corrupting the abilities she acquires with Elder Shards, with the Embrace ending having her merge with the Shining Trapezohedron and transform into a Humanoid Abomination.
  • They Bleed Pixels: The unnamed protagonist begins to undergo a transformation into a purple-skinned Humanoid Abomination with razor-sharp claws for hands, courtesy of a Tome of Eldritch Lore she finds in the school library.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Final Boss transforms into a humanoid form called "The Nameless," twice as tall as a normal one with a Red and Black and Evil All Over aesthetic.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening: Evocations' Demonic Possession of their hosts causes this, growing larger and inhuman.

    Web Original 
  • Battle for BFDI: Four, already Eldritchy to begin with, merges with Earth after his show is overtaken for a second time.
  • This is what happens to the avatars in The Magnus Archives. They have a close encounter with one of the fourteen eldritch horrors, and they (or whatever remains of them) are corrupted into a Humanoid Abomination which hunts for other victims in our realm. The narrator, Jon, is being slowly transformed into the avatar of The Beholder, though he doesn't realise it until season three.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: The Greater-Scope Villain of Fate/stay night and its prequel Fate/Zero is the Avenger-class Servant Aŋra Mainiiu, who Fate/hollow ataraxia reveals was once a mortal man chosen by the ancient Zoroastrians to be ritually sacrificed as the incarnation of all the world's evils. When the Einzbern family tried to summon the Zoroastrian God of Evil in the Third Holy Grail War, they wound up summoning the man who'd inspired the myth instead. Upon Avenger being slain, the Holy Grail misinterpreted the Zoroastrians' belief that "Aŋra Mainiiu" was a God of Evil as a wish for him to become exactly that, turning him into a nascent Eldritch Abomination that seeks to be born so that it can annihilate humanity.

    Western Animation 


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report