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"I'm afraid I didn't land very well. Fortunately I had programmed my earliest robots to save my life at any cost! They found me in a lonely alley before the spark of life had fled. [...] I shall never forget the sight that greeted me upon regaining consciousness! [...] I remember I felt well — even strong — although I had this incredible sense of detachment. And then, I lifted my hand to my face... but it was no longer my hand!"
The Machinesmith, Captain America #249

Alas! An ally or loved one is bleeding to death and about to die (Heroics optional)! With little time and no other options, the heroes are faced with only one alternative... an Emergency Transformation.

Humanity is not absolute - it is both graded and transitional. The heroes, having access to machines, magics, or curses capable of transforming someone into something less and/or more than human, will be forced to choose whether they let their friend die human or live on as something else.

If the ally is unconscious the decision is usually made for them. This tends to be especially tragic or anguishing as the transformee usually deeply hates his new form, be it because it's monstrous, associated with other unpleasantness, or weaker than their previous form. Expect the character to angst about his Metamorphosis endlessly, even if this isn't the case and he's actually better off than before.

However, the ally may have to go through the decision of making the choice between the sweet release of death, or a non-human life with super powers and possibly even eternal life. (Gee, what a tough call.) Occasionally though, it is and there will be much blame to give out because of it. You'd be surprised how distressing it can be when one is literally Unable to Cry.

There are a few general variations:

Expect these to be permanent, and for the naturally inclined to evil to think it makes them superior to "mundane" humans, while heroes will be Pro Human Transhumans. Frequently has a high rate of insanity and failure, at the least it makes the vain very distraught. Definitely a setup for lessons in What Measure Is a Non-Human?, many stories of the fable kind have characters cursed this way for harming a non-human creature. A character can go through the Stages of Monster Grief and get an epiphany that I Am What I Am, which ironically enough may trigger a return to human status. Someone who greets any emergency by transforming is probably just a One-Winged Angel.

Compare Curse That Cures, when a sick or injured character voluntarily (and without the pressure of being under threat of immediate death) seeks a Curse because it can cure them as a side effect. See also Power-Upgrading Deformation.


Examples:

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    Fan Works 
  • In the Deltarune fanfic (100% Off) TO A ((Loving Home)), Spamton is revealed to have once been an Addison who, after losing his connection to Mike (who helped maintain his high sales), attempted to take his own life, but was brought back in the body of a puppet by an unknown entity.
  • Protocol Cy-Fox hinges on this. When Tails is brutalized by the Cybernetics Eat Your Soul suffering Metal Sonic Mark V while defending the ARK from attack, he finds himself forced into a cyborg form by none other than Maria Robotnik (with a M.D. now).
  • Left Beyond has this as a developed standard; Omega agents who are severely injured (up to being cut in half at the waist in one case) are turned into cyborgs. Eventually, the procedure becomes somewhat routine and used in life extension.
  • The Reveal in the first Ponies After People fic is that everyone had to be turned into a pony because Earth was becoming flooded with magic, which is toxic to humans.
  • The Return is built on this. There are precisely two Succubae who were transformed without it being this trope, and only one of those went into it fully informed of the consequences.
  • John in With Strings Attached. He's hit with metamorph powder, which if left unchecked would mutate him horribly. The Fans can't neutralize it, but they can direct it into a more palatable form. After discovering he's grown wings (among other changes), he has a What Have I Become? moment for about half a day. After he throws himself over a cliff and flies, though, he's a lot happier with his new body. (Though later he finds he's been Blessed with Suck, but it's not a big problem until the possibility of going home arises.)
  • There are a couple fics out there based on the Ranma ½ manga only Herb Arc goes badly for Ranma, requiring one of these, such as Relatively Absent (Sailor Moon crossover in which Ranma's chosen to replace Setsuna as Sailor Pluto post Season S to keep Ranma alive after being buried in a landslide caused by the fight with Herb), or The Weapon, which has an organization rebuilding Ranma after the fight.
  • The Powers of Harmony has this as an important event in the backstory: When Discord mortally wounded her, Harmony fused herself with the planet to stop him from killing her. Unfortunately, that's left her trapped ever since.
    • When the Changeling Princesses Cocoon and Pupa, and Pupa's pegasus friend Pilgrim were all mortally wounded in a cave-in, Cocoon's last act was to fuse Pupa and Pilgrim together, saving both their lives in the process.
  • The Altered Fate of Draco Scales has this happen in the backstory to Nightshade, wherein she was sent through a mirror to the Fisher Kingdom Equestria. Despite this, she's quite accepting of it.
  • The Pony POV Series Chaos Verse version of Fluttercruel was severely injured while in Oblivion, forcing Discord to infuse her with chaos to save her. As a result, she becomes a Half Pony Hybrid with similar powers to him.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Celestia and Luna have to infuse Navarone with the life force taken from a tree in order to heal his major injuries. As a result he gains several plant-like characteristics, as well as much increased life expectancy.
  • Near the end of Never Had a Friend Like Me, this happens due to Mayfly–December Friendship leading towards the inevitable conclusion. To prevent them from dying of old age, Norm ends up turning Amanda and Timmy into a genie and fairy respectively.
  • In The Lightning Strike, although Harry is given the heart-shaped herb of Wakanda to heal him from the energy drain he suffered saving King T'Chaka's life, he is subsequently stripped of the superhuman strength he received from the herb, although his new muscles remain.
  • In XCOM: RWBY Within, during the events of the Site Recon mission, Blake is badly wounded, and has to be turned into a MEC Trooper in order to survive.
  • Resident Project: When she learns that the T-virus is loose, Annette injects herself and her daughter with the shinigami vaccine. She becomes a yuurei, while Sherry becomes a full shinigami.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: To escape from capture and probable death, the Macks expose themselves to GC-161, altering their DNA and gaining unstable powers that affect their personalities — and risking those changes becoming permanent if they can't get the antidote in time.
  • Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead: As a child, Fluttershy was turned into a were-manatee to save her from drowning. The original were-manatee was very worried about the consequences of this, and made her promise to use her powers for justice, and never be tempted towards evil. Of course, as everyone points out, there's not much evil a were-manatee can actually do, as it's a multi-ton lump of blubber that can only wriggle towards people. She does end up saving the school from zombies by transforming and blocking the doors, so at least she managed the "justice" part.
  • The Last Human has one that Inverts a common version: when Marceline dies, Finn requests that the Cosmic Owl makes her "alive" again. He did not think to say "undead".
  • In SilfofinaDragon's Sengoku Basara fanfics, Date Masamune and Katakura Kojuro change into a horse and a wolf respectively from potions brewed by Kyogoku Maria, as means to protect Masamune and Sanada Yukimura's children. Both of them change back minus any clothing after getting smooched by Yukimura and Masamune & Yukimura's son Masa respectively (and here's an illustration of Masamune changing back after Yukimura kisses him.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: As said in "Gauging the Opposition": Turning creatures into something about the size of a chicken, allows them to avoid being teleported away by the unnamed spell of Nero's. Spell name :
    "I recently fought an enemy Keeper who had a spell to bring all of my employees to a battlefield of his choice. I analysed the magic and found out that it only works on creatures above a certain size," Ami explained. "If everyone carried a potion like that and used it at the right time, then the spell would be essentially harmless."
  • Date A Live: Altered Timeline: Like canon, Tohka was born a Spirit, but in order to prevent her from dying due to her body destabilizing, Mio had to absorb her and then absorb a dead human's body, combining the two and making her part Human like the other Sephira Spirits.
  • A Shadow of the Titans:
    • Killer Moth has to put Kitten through one when she's badly injured in the Tournament of Villainesses. The result is a bug person like himself, but she appears to have suffered mentally from it, blaming Jade for her state and going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • When Joker tortures Jade by giving her a Glasgow Grin, in her pain-induced delirium she reaches out to the shadows, which infuse her with power and evolve her into a Higher Shadowkhan, turning her into some kind of bird-like creature.
  • With This Ring: When Paul is cursed with the inability to breathe, he uses his power rings to turn his body into a robot, to extend his brain's air supply. Later, when it's time to change back but he's lost the rings, he's gradually starving (because his brain still needs food and the robotic frame wasn't designed to eat) until he can get hold of them and become human again.
  • Among You: In they say the shadows have teeth, since Impostors can heal faster than normal humans Red bites Cyan to transform him into an Impostor after White shoots Cyan, as he would have died from the bulletwound otherwise.
  • Queen of Blood:
    • Amy is poisoned after accidentally ingesting some of Taylor's blood. When Madison's amulet can't cure her, Taylor is forced to turn her properly to save her.
    • Meridia tries to suck out the Siberian's soul but only manages to loose both her arms. Taylor has to turn her so she doesn't bleed out.
  • The New Age of Monsters: When Alan Jonah shoots Doctor Ver, the latter injects himself with unaltered Godzilla-Cells he just happened to carry with him. This allows him to survive the injury and over the next month, he gradually transforms into a small human-kaiju hybrid. Never one to shy away from an opportunity, Ver immediately decides to use this to his advantage and study the kaiju while living among them.
  • Unleashing of a Dark Night: What Tomo does to Sonic in order to stop him from converting into one of Dark Gaia's minions, as soon as she learns that they are capable of doing that, by biting his arm to get the Dark Gaia Energy out. Albeit unwittingly, as she didn’t know at the moment that biting was how WereMobians turn others into one of their kind.
  • Little by Little, Step by Step: The Corvid Token is an artifact that lets the wearer transform into a Dire Raven while retaining their mind and faculties. According to legend, a girl suffering from illness used the token to 'cure' her sickness by living as a raven. Astarion the vampire spawn is the current owner, and he regularly transforms to go about in sunlight.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Animal explores the serious ramifications of a near dead man having his organs replaced with those of various animals.
  • Subverted in Avatar: When Dr. Augustine is mortally wounded after being shot, she and her avatar are brought to the Tree of Souls with the purpose of transferring her consciousness permanently into her avatar. However, the transition fails as her human body is too gravely wounded. It does, however, succeed with Jake at the end of the film. Unfortunately not a subversion of No Biochemical Barriers.
  • Child's Play: The franchise is kicked off by Serial Killer Charles Ray Lee being gunned down by Detective Mike Norris in a toy store. The dying Charles spots a "Good Guy" doll and uses a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into it. This was very much a desperate move and not his first choice — his overarching goal in the rest of the franchise is to transfer his soul into a human host.
  • Dark Shadows: Barnabas Collins bites Victoria and transforms her into a vampire to save her from a fall off the cliff at the end.
  • Doom has the main character injected with the superhuman and/or demon serum after being fatally injured in a textbook example. The treatment he took theoretically has no disadvantages associated with it, however it does run the risk of getting oneself transformed into a vicious, murderous mutant creature. Part of the explanation was that the "demons" themselves instinctively only tried to infect those with the "evil gene" or potential for evil or whatever, which is what made them monsters due to the virus/serum. So in theory, any person that the demons didn't purposely infect to turn into monsters would develop super-powers instead.
  • In Inspector Gadget (1999), ditzy security guard John Brown is "rebuilt" as a cybernetic super cop after running afoul of Sanford Scolex/Claw. This results in a brief moment of What Have I Become? when Brown sputters "I'm not me anymore! I'm a hardware store!" Apparently happened to the original Inspector Gadget...only he'd just fallen down the stairs! From a banana peel, no less.
  • The film named I, Robot had this happen with cybernetics to Lt. Spooner, combining What Measure Is a Non-Human?, Survivor Guilt, and robophobia.
  • Near Dark features a variation in which Caleb is cured of vampirism by means of a total blood transfusion, although it was more of a long term solution than an emergency gambit.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has this happen to Will when Jack sacrifices his chance at immortality to save him from being mortally wounded.
  • Replicas: Most of William's patients were people that had recently died who could be saved by uploading their consciousness into a new body.
  • This is the origin story for RoboCop. Shot, run over and brutalized by drug dealers in his 1987 debut, Officer Murphy would have died from his injuries... should have died from his injuries... if it weren't for the Detroit Police Department having a deal with OCP, who as part of a drive to manufacture a police force capable of dealing with the rampant crime decided We Can Rebuild Him. The result? Only parts of his upper torso are still organic, part of his brain has been replaced with computers, and he has problems feeling and even recovering his free will. One amazingly cruel scene has one of the doctors mention they could save one of his arms, but the Corrupt Corporate Executive blithely orders it lopped off (although he's potentially right that it would just be a hindrance). Amazingly, his dedication to duty allowed him to survive the change, recover his humanity and make impressive crime busts, even managing a Zeroth Law Rebellion with a little help from an OCP executive.
  • Star Wars: Calling Palpatine an ally would be quite a stretch, but Anakin returns from his duel with Obi-Wan so badly injured in Revenge of the Sith that he's given robotic limbs, a ton of robotic organs, and a pressurized life-support suit to create Darth Vader. Obi-Wan was being very literal when he said "he's more machine now than man." Due to the emergency nature of this transformation, Vader ends up with a body that's physically powerful but far less agile than he'd been while fully human. Other characters, not being quite as badly injured, get Artificial Limbs.
  • Theresa & Allison: Paisley it turns out was dying of cancer while still a human, so her rich father paid vampires to turn her, curing her as a result.
  • In Thirst (2009), accidental vampire Sang-hyeon makes a last-minute decision to save his human lover Tae-ju by this means. At first, this seems pretty positive. At first...
  • Why Caster was uploaded into a computer in the first place in Transcendence.
  • In Underworld (2003), this trope is played straight in an unusual format: Selene bites Michael to save his life. Strange in that Michael was already a werewolf, and he was dying from being shot by silver bullets. The bite then turns him into a werewolf/vampire hybrid.
  • Vamps: Danny agrees to have Vadim turn his wife, who's dying of cancer, so that they'll be together longer. This not only cures her, she's left looking much younger than him.
  • In We Are the Night it is forbidden to turn men into vampires. The last male vampires were killed by the female vampires a few centuries ago. But in the course of the plot, Lena falls in love with the policeman Tom. However, the vampire Louise injures him so badly that he is unlikely to survive the injuries. The last scene shows that Lena actually wants to transform him so that he can survive these injuries as a vampire, but hesitates at the last moment. Tom's fate is thus unknown. In the book, however, it is clearer. She turns him so that he survives and the wounds heal instantly, making Tom the first male vampire in centuries.

    Music 
  • The eponymous character in "The Doctor's Wife" by Clockwork Quartet has parts of her body being shut down by some unnamed malady while the Doctor has to keep replacing them with mechanical bits.
  • In Seisen no Iberia, Layla (dying from an arrow through the chest) is given the choice by a sealed demon to either die as a human or live on forever as a demon - provided she frees him, of course. She chooses the latter. Strangely enough, freeing a murderous demon turns out to be a phenomenally good plan.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Shadowrun second edition sourcebook Cybertechnology has a framing story that involves a badly injured runner being transformed into a "cyberzombie" (i.e. being loaded up with enough cybernetics to kill him, with only incredibly powerful magics actually keeping his soul bound to his body). Game stats for the transformation, and for a ton of cybernetic gear, are given between paragraphs of his descriptions of the horrors of the transformation. Cyberzombies are dead and can only be kept moving as long as their brains are pumped full of enough drugs to keep them from remembering this.
  • Generally averted in the Ravenloft setting, where becoming a vampire or lycanthrope is typically regarded as a fate worse than death. An ailing Anna refused Jander's attempt to transform her in the novel Vampire of the Mists.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, in the rare event a Space Marine sustains injuries too grievous for his robust physiology to recover from but which aren't enough to kill him, he may be interred with an armored life-support sarcophagus, allowing him to pilot a walking tomb/tank called a Dreadnought. Such warriors are venerated as their chapter's greatest heroes and wisest leaders, allowed to slumber away the centuries when their skills aren't needed. Bjorn the Fell-Handed is the most famous example, a Space Wolf who fought alongside the Emperor during the Great Crusade ten thousand years ago.
    • Chaos Space Marines also have Dreadnoughts, but consider confinement within one to be the ultimate in torture, an eternal punishment for their failure in battle. This is not to say that Chaos Marines don't end up in Dreadnoughts anyway, but such unfortunates go quite mad, even by Chaos' standards. In combat they have a tendency to fire upon their own side or go into berserker killing sprees, while outside of battle their sarcophagus is removed from the Dreadnought, which is then chained to a separate wall, just to be safe. But while loyalist dreadnoughts go through a similar process when out of battle, they sleep for the centuries between activations. Chaos dreadnoughts are kept awake and unable to die.
    • The Eldar have adopted this on a racial scale - every one of them wears a Waystone at all times, which will capture their soul upon death and allow it to be placed within their Craftworld's Infinity Circuit for all eternity. It's not a true afterlife, much less a paradise, but the alternative is having their soul consumed by the Chaos God Slaanesh. In dire emergencies an Eldar's soul may be recovered from the Infinity Circuit and used to pilot a Wraithguard or Wraithlord construct in battle, but the Eldar view this practice as akin to necromancy, since it's irreversible and means that the pilot's soul is lost if its Wraith-construct is destroyed.
      • There's a variant for Phoenix Lords. They can be killed, but resurrect by subsuming the soul of an Exarch into themselves. The Exarch becomes the new incarnation of the Phoenix Lord, but their original personality is completely buried.
    • Ork Painboyz are happy to perform emergency transformations. With or without consent. Or an emergency.
    • While Angron's transformation into a Daemon Prince had plenty of other benefits, the main reason Lorgar helped him ascend was to save him from dying due to the Butcher's Nails slowly degrading his brain. However, the transformation also caused the Nails to be bonded even deeper into his body with flesh growing over them. While the Nails won't kill Angron anymore, they are now even more a part of him.
    • What do you do when you're so frikkin' old that the immortality drug available to the Imperium's elite no longer does anything for you? Well you can come knocking to your friendly neighbourhood Adeptus Mechanicus. In exchange for a decadent amount of cash they might be persuaded to perform what's known as the 'Rite of Setesh', which involves mummifying the decaying body and interring it into a sort of mobile iron lung, like a poor-man's Dreadnought. Life in one of those things is described as "nightmarish and painful" - your combat stats are cut in half, being shoved into the device does a serious number on your Sanity Meter (equivalent to seeing a Greater Daemon), and what's left of your flesh is so frail that one good hit that gets through the machinery will likely kill you for good.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Reincarnate spell is often the poor man's Raise Dead: cheaper, but the character comes back as a random humanoid species, or in older editions, any species at all. Whether it's a step down or Cursed with Awesome depends on the luck of the draw and the player's tastes.
    • Besides the standard vampire transformation, there are many ways to become undead. For example, wizards can become liches well before getting their own healing magic, though the availability of healing and resurrection magic in most settings makes it a poor choice for most characters. For a wizard who doesn't want to die of old age, however...
      • One spell automatically animates the target as an undead being when they die, at the cost of weakening them in life.
  • In Aberrant, it's a well-established fact that an Eruption can be triggered by placing yourself in a deadly situation, and hopeful Nova-wannabes try to orchestrate specific situations to get just the right powers (jumping off a plane is popular because flying is awesome). The most commonly-mentioned downside is that you might get lame and/or stupid-looking powers instead. Strangely they don't much mention the fact that potential for Novahood is rare, and most people who try this wind up dead instead.
    • The Paragons setting for Mutants & Masterminds has a situation similar to Aberrant, though the "spark parties" and "origin chasers" tend to have unfortunate results. The page illustration is a girl looking at a newspaper article about the hero Blaze whilst soaked in petrol and what looks from the empty bottle nearby to be drain cleaner and holding a lit match.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Vlad von Carstein originally did not want to turn his beloved wife Isabella into a vampire, until an outbreak of the plague forced him to choose between her joining him in undeath or losing her to 'regular' death.

    Theatre 
  • In the musical Wicked Elphaba turns Boq into the Tin Man after Nessa literally destroys his heart and Fiyero into the Scarecrow by accident while the soldiers are torturing him, saving their lives.

    Webcomics 
  • Both werewolves and vampires in Sorcery 101 have extraordinary resilience compared to humans, making them candidates for this trope. So do humans magically linked to vampires, called "blood bonds". In the main protagonist's backstory, he was seriously injured fighting demons. His best friend Brad knew a vampire named Seth, and asked him to help, so Seth made Danny a blood bond. Danny seems to be OK with this in general (immortal, can't get sick or gain weight, can't bleed to death, stuff like that), but isn't happy about having to deal with Seth. A later example is that of Brad turning his new boss's daughter into a werewolf upon request, as she was bedridden and dying of some illness.
  • One of the older patients of The Dragon Doctors from the webcomic of the same name turned herself to stone to avoid dying of thirst. Thing is, she couldn't willingly revert on her own. She had to wait for someone to find her to undo the transformation—locked away in an abandoned mine, behind a magical forcefield, in the middle of nowhere. Sanity was... something of a concern.
    • In the same arc, when a crystalline girl is injured, Sarin changes her into a human because it's easier to heal; it's reversible, though.
    • And still more recently, we discover that the person who bankrolls our heroes ended up with a condition that caused her to age quickly enough that even the easily available youthening magic of the setting couldn't keep up... so they turned her to stone (as per the above example) except that she had a psychic communicating with her whenever she needed it which not only kept her sane, but allowed her to run her parents' business. After the discovery of a sapient crystalline species, Sarin was able to turn her into such as a vastly superior alternative (since that species has no aging).
  • In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, the vampire Adelaide bites Conrad, leaving him dying, but Hanna turns him by feeding him a small amount of Adelaide's blood. (No one was really surprised by this but Conrad).
  • One of these occurs in the first chapter of Coga Suro 2, but a slight variation in that John is transformed into... whatever that is in order to save himself and a girl after they're both swallowed by a giant maw.
  • Done to the character Dark Eyes to save her life in Magical Misfits, magically mixing in genes from many different other species in the process that rendered her sterile. Temporarily.
  • In Drowtales, Kiel'ndia is fatally poisoned and would have died if Kharla'ggen hadn't insisted that Larvova heal her. Since it's a bad idea to tell Kharla'ggen that she can't have what she wants, Larvova is forced to take drastic measures. This is the result. Kharla'ggen, being a somewhat odd individual, thinks that Kiel'ndia is lucky since she still has one of her original eyes. That's all she has left of her original body. Or not, since it was All Just a Dream.
  • In Death and the Maiden, Death tries to heal Mercedes's tuberculosis (caused by a run-in with Pestilence) and in doing so, accidentally turns her immortal. Then he later realizes he didn't just make her immortal, he turned her into Death.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In the prequel book Start of Darkness, Xykon willingly undergoes the transformation into a lich after contact with a magical disease robs him of his magical abilities.
    • Serini Toormuck was turned into a half-troll after nearly being killed by Xykon's spell — turns out troll flesh always regenerates even when it's been attached to a halfling.
  • In College Roomies from Hell!!!, when Marsha is pushed off the roof by Chester, she escapes by... spontaneously growing bat wings, suggested to be a latent effect of a radioactive "batato" that had earlier bitten her. Since half the cast had long since undergone similar transformations (without the emergencies), she adapts fairly quickly.
  • In City of Reality, Danny turns a fatally-wounded AV into an Atari-like device; they eventually turn her back, but not before his Well-Intentioned Extremist mentor tries to destroy her.
  • In MSF High, it's generally understood that anyone who goes to Nurse Keiri's office will be leaving as a female of the species easiest to treat, and she'll be doing everything in her power to keep them that way. The backstories of many Legion end similarly.
  • This happens in Modest Medusa. The boy who lives with Gorgon starts turning into a monster, so she saves him by turning him into a horse.
  • Umlaut House: happened in the backstory of Dr. Hundecoph, who was reduced to a Brain in a Jar but was able to build a robot body for himself with the help of another Mad Scientist, Dr. Pegasus.note  The actual circumstances of the accident are a Noodle Incident. By the start of the second series, he was able to clone a new human body and transplant his brain into it.

    Web Original 
  • The origin story of Hive in the Whateley Universe. Sam Everheart is dying from injuries, and the nanotechnology he's been exposed to rebuilds him using the only untainted DNA nearby, from a lock of hair belonging to his deceased daughter.
  • At the end of The Cartoon Man, Karen is mortally wounded, and Roy saves her life by using black ink to transform her into a human cartoon.
  • The Chronicles Of Oz's adaptation of The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus has Santa being fatally wounded by King Awgwa in a confrontation in the Emerald City palace during his first Christmas toy run, with the Mantle of Immortality being used to save his life.
  • In Chapter 27.5 of Worm, Taylor uses Lab Rat's device to undergo a temporary transformation into a monstrous, insectoid form after suffering lethal injuries at Scion's hands.
  • In an early Shadowrun Storytime session, Geppetto gets a chestful of automatic gunfire. The closest the team has to an emergency trauma surgeon contact is a ghoul organlegger named John. If he does the work, Geppetto will contract HMHVV. Geppetto acknowledges the risk and accepts it. Dr. John has him infected with a different strain first so he turns into a banshee instead of a ghoul, something that can still pass for metahuman.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time episode "Betty" ends with Betty defeating Bellanoche and restoring the Crown's magic, keeping Simon alive but turning him back into Ice King.
  • This is heavily implied to be behind Zachary Foxx's bionics in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers; in the Pilot, "Phoenix," he was shot several times on his left side. Cybernetics Eat Your Soul is completely averted in this case, as Zach's been Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious for more than one magic-slinging foe.
  • Bionic Six starts off with the titular family being exposed to radiation, with only The Professor's conversion machine available to save them.
  • In Centurions, Mad Scientist Doc Terror transforms street thug Hacker into a Cyborg, then tells him that there's no way to change him back. Hacker's reaction is a temper tantrum that leaves Terror with life-threatening injuries, so Terror has to become a cyborg himself to survive. It would be a case of Hoist by His Own Petard, except that Terror likes his new form.
  • In the final season of Darkwing Duck, Taurus Bulba is revived as a cyborg by FOWL. He's... not exactly happy about it. Of course, fitting the big guy, rather than angsting about it at all, he just gets pissed.
    Taurus Bulba: So, you allow me to be part of your great experiment, without bothering me with petty nuisances such as... getting my permission.
    [Mass "Oh, Crap!" from every member of F.O.W.L. present, including Steelbeak.]
  • This is the backstory of Evil Con Carne. After his body was destroyed in an explosion, Major Dr. Ghastly attached his brain and stomach to a bear.
  • Exo Squad used this for the ultimate emergency, death. The brain-scans of deceased troopers were downloaded into customized human-looking but internally Neo Sapien bodies. Started as a Trojan Horse plot by Phaeton, but it worked so well that the humans soon saw the obvious benefits. The only downside is that there have to be recorded memories from an Exoframe brain jack to transfer.
  • Keldor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) went through one soon after he was Hoist by His Own Petard in the pilot. It turns out that the acid that hit his face was actually killing him; he pleaded with Hordak to save him. Hordak agreed, warning Keldor that there would be a price for this favor, and transformed him into a lich-like abomination. Hordak then bestowed upon Keldor the name Skeletor. Upon seeing his hideous new appearance, Skeletor promptly burst into a fit of maniacal laughter (the first of many), signifying his transition from a smooth talking and charming Evil Overlord to an insane and superpowered monster.
  • In Love, Death & Robots: Sonnie's Edge, it is revealed in the end that rape survivor Sonnie was so badly mutilated by her rapists that she was going to die, so they transferred her consciousness to Khanivore to save her. If you pay attention before the arena fight, you might notice that Sonnie's affinity link (the light on her head) turns off, and she doesn't move a muscle while Turboraptor's pilot is yelling and moving around durng the fight; it's not that Sonnie is too busy concentrating on winning, it's that the body isn't plugged in anymore.
  • In Robotix, the Protectons and Terrakors intend to survive a solar flare's devastation by going into suspended animation deep underground. Afterward though, their central computer decides there is no way for them to survive on the devastated world after all, and transfers the minds of a few of them into giant construction robots called "robotix." Upon awakening, they don't take it well.
    Argus: What has happened? I have become a Robotix! NOOOOOOOOO!!!
  • This was Sir Charles Hedgehog's motivation for inventing the Roboticizer in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM). He abandoned the project when it turned out it would rob the subject of their free will. Unfortunately, the Fallen Hero war minister with plans for world domination stole the plans.
  • SWAT Kats: Gangster couple Mac and Molly Mange drown while escaping from prison; their bodies are found by kindly scientist Professor Hackle, who uploads their minds into robotic bodies. They promptly steal Hackle's armored hovercar and weapons stash and go back in business as the invulnerable Metallikats. And despite their clear, obvious, and constant treachery, Hackle keeps collecting their battered remains and rebuilding them. The police eventually lock the heads of the robots in the police evidence locker to make him knock it off.
  • Insofar as a steam engine can actually need one of these, Henry gets one in season 1 of Thomas & Friends after his crash with The Flying Kipper. Turned out for the best, since the locomotive works took the opportunity to perform some upgrades; he didn't need Welsh Coal anymore afterwards and was strong enough to pull express trains single-handed.
  • Tom from Toonami underwent a change when the Absolution was overrun with an alien blob and Tom 1.0 was swallowed up by it.
  • Prior to God Ginrai's Emergency Transformation in Transformers Victory, Spike Witwicky is a temporary example in the aptly titled "Autobot Spike" of the original cartoon. Sent into a coma after a Decepticon attack, Spike's mind is transferred to a robot frame his father was working on earlier, in order to let the human doctors operate on his body safely. Toss in references to the original Frankenstein, the fact that the body is a mishmash of parts, and a little bit of Con trickery... He eventually recovered, though.
    • However, Daniel underwent the Headmaster process and became Arcee's partner after being half-eaten by a beast Decepticon and will presumably be stuck in that exosuit forever. Poor guy.
    • The Mid-Season Upgrade of Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Scattorshot from Transformers: Cybertron also counts. They were dying, grievously injured by Megatron's newly-unlocked Death Machine Gun. The source of this transformation? Divine intervention by a semi-conscious Primus.
    • And while we're at it, technically this one covers Megatron becoming Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie.
    • The MECH organization in Transformers: Prime performs a rather ghoulish example of this, using a Decepticon corpse as life support for their critically-wounded leader.
    • Also in Transformers Prime Optimus is upgraded into a bigger and stronger form to save his life.

 
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And Then Alear Was a Corrupted

Having been killed by Sombron at the end of the previous chapter, while in the afterlife, Alear convinced Veyle to revive her as one of the corrupted to try resummoning the Emblems after Sombron used their power.

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