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Gem Tissue

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Those gems are her actual body, and the body is a projection of the gems.

Entities that have gems or crystals that make up at least part of their own body tissue. In various works of fiction it sometimes appears as some sort of monster, alien or even on occasion a Mineral MacGuffin. It may even be some sort of Power Crystal (especially if they're mechanical in nature). The gem(s) or crystal(s) may even glow at times in the entity's life to show a reaction towards events going on in its life. Of course it's even more likely to be used due to Rule of Cool.

Subtropes include Carbuncle Creature, for creatures based on, or which are, carbuncles; Crystalline Creature, where a creature is composed solely of crystal and nothing else; and Gem Heart, where the mineral component is a single large gem somewhere in the being's body.

Compare with Silicon-Based Life, Body to Jewel and Rock Monster.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The core found on angels and some Evas resembles a sort of red crystal and behaves like various other crystalline materials.
  • Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry has the dragon Animus, whose horns and claws look like great masses of crystal growing out of his body.
  • Future Card Buddyfight has Athora, a dragon whose body is partly covered with crystal growths that form very colorful natural plating.
  • Digimon Xros Wars: Blastmon is a humanoid porcupine whose spines are gigantic diamonds.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Oversaturated World: Gems become embedded into Unicorn Aspects' foreheads as part of becoming the human equivalent of unicorns, with the gem representing the horn and allowing for spellcasting.
  • Judge Luna: In "Case #9: Puppet", it's mentioned that unicorns have a gem called a carbuncle within the base of their horns, which is the source of their magic.

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Contact with a Power Crystal changes Commander Rourke's flesh to the same glowing blue crystal. This doesn't seem to have interfered with his bodily functions, as he showed no signs of ill health until Milo hoists him up to the blimp propellers, shattering Rourke to a million pieces.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Camp Half-Blood Series:
    • Festus has ruby eyes.
    • Aurum and Argentum both have rubies for eyes.
    • Alcyoneus, the bane of Hades, is made up of various precious stones and metal. His own heart is stated to be composed of raw diamonds.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ):
    • The golgari, as they mature, choose a type of rock to permanently bond to their skin, imbuing a measure of life into the stone to form their "true skin". Granin chooses a cheap but plentiful material, making repairs easy, but it's not unknown for extremely wealthy individuals to use diamond.
    • Anthony chooses mutations that gradually turn more and more of his carapace into diamond, until eventually the whole thing is sparkly and glittery and yet still flexible (the supporting underlay helps).
  • Discworld: In general, all trolls have diamond teeth — it's the only material strong enough to grind and break down the rock that they eat. In addition, the Diamond King of the Trolls is made entirely out of diamond.
  • The Elric Saga: The Chaos Lord Pyaray is a giant red octopus who stores his soul in a blue crystal embedded in his forehead.
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level: "Monsters" are distinguished from other creatures by the small gems within their bodies, which the Adventure Guild trades for coin. One dragon refuses to attack some giant boars until she learns that they're not monsters, as she doesn't want to eat the gems by mistake.
  • "The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles": The hideous and misshapen titular creatures have brilliant green multi-faceted eyes which look like emeralds. Mortensen, the cordage salesman, dooms himself when he tries to take the Head Gnole's spare set of eyes from a display cabinet as payment for the Gnoles' rather abundant order.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan: Dragons have a red oval stone inside their brain and the stone appears to be particularly gemlike on the covers of some books. The Stone of Blood is one.

    Live-action TV 
  • Ultra Series: A few members' bodies are adorned with crystals, which serve as sources of their energy, notably Ultraman Ginga and his partner, Ultraman Victory. The body crystals are later carried over whenever Ginga and/or Victory lend their powers to another Ultra, such as when Ultraman Orb borrows Ginga's powers to create his Lightning Attacker mode, or when Ultraman Zero uses both Ginga's and Victory's powers for his Zero Beyond form.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • The Grootslang, a creature from South African folklore, is described as a forty- to fifty-foot-long serpent with diamonds for eyes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: When the legendary magus Quendalon transformed into a faerie (or was replaced by one), his eyes were replaced with faceted rubies. He claimed that they improved his vision.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors beyond Tyr: The dagorran is a giant frog-like creature with green crystals growing out of the top of its back, under the neck. These crystals are the source of the creature's tracking and psionic abilities. The leader of a pack of dagorran has a larger growth of crystals than the other pack members.
    • Some earth genasi — Uneven Hybrids of humanoids and earth Elemental Embodiments — have crystals growing out of an otherwise humanoid body, or geode-like fissures in their flesh.
    • Part of the process for a lich to transform itself into a demilich is to create eight soul gems and incorporate them into its body, empowering it to consume people's souls. The most famous demilich, Acererak, appears as a skull with gemstones for its teeth and "eyes".
    • A gem stalker's skin is studded with bright crystals that pulse with psychic energy, which allow it to communicate telepathically and which can be fired as a ranged attack after being imbued with various magical effects.
    • The gnomish deity Garl Glittergold is commonly depicted as a dapper gnome with gemstones for eyes, symbolizing his affinity for all mineral wealth.
  • In the Exalted setting of Autochthonia, people have 'soulgems' implanted on their foreheads at birth. Souls are a finite and vulnerable resource in Autochthonia, so their passage into a new body is assured by the living recycling the soulgems of the deceased. Another reason for the practice is that a soulgem's type indicates the caste of the person it belongs to, enabling the higher castes to more efficiently oppress the lower.
  • Pathfinder: Ioun stones usually orbit their user's head, but characters can permanently incorporate them into their bodies through a combination of psychic attunement and surgery. Afterwards, the stone counts as a part of the user and can't be targeted separately by attacks or effects.
  • Warhammer:
    • Warhammer 40,000: The book Xenology, while largely moved away from, details the biology of several Xenos races. It implies that anything that would clot or solidify in a human physiology crystallizes in an Eldar.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Chaos mutation "Mindless" transforms the victim's brain into warpstone, reducing them to an Empty Shell who can do nothing but obey simple orders from spellcasters.

    Video Games 
  • Arknights: Originium is known to cause an incurable disease called Oripathy, where the mineral assimilates into living cells and turns them into more Originium. Oripathy often manifests as patches of Originium crystals visible on the skin, and the body of Oripathy sufferers can dissolve into active Originium dust upon death to infect even more people.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set in a world where a widespread demonic affliction causes the victims' flesh to randomly crystallize, often forming unsettling stained glass-like shapes. The heroine of the game is also afflicted and has multiple patches of crystal on her body, most prominently a rose-like one over her heart.
  • Borderlands 2: The Caustic Caverns are the habitat of creatures known as Crystalisks, huge tripedal animals with valuable crystals growing in their flesh.
  • Command & Conquer
    • Command & Conquer: Renegade: Initiates have a few tiberium crystals growing out of their shoulders.
    • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun:
      • The Forsaken are Mutants who have been altered by exposure to Tiberium to the point they have Tiberium crystals growing out of their skin.
      • The Tiberian Fiend neutral unit is a huge dog with tiberium crystals growing out of its back. It can shoot them at your troops as well.
    • Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars: In the Kane's Wrath expansion, Scrin Ravagers have a cluster of Tiberium crystals growing out of their backs.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Thing From the Stars, a boss monster added in the Color of Madness DLC, is composed of multiple human corpses and at least one deer corpse, and filled with growths of aquamarine-colored crystal. The crystal protrudes out as spines and forms a blade sticking out of one of its mouths.
  • Dark Souls has the semi-crystallized undead populating the (mainly) Duke's Archive, who have magical crystals sticking out of their bodies that give them various sorcerous abilities. Across the franchise's three games, Crystal Lizards have also been a source of rare Titanite crystals, being tiny Fragile Speedsters... until the third game had some consume souls and grow enormously into crystalline monsters with an appetite for souls.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy XIII: While the physiology of this process is never exactly explored in detail, when the l'Cie in the Final Fantasy XIII mythos make their Faustian Bargain, a small crystal forms somewhere inside their bodies that allows them to manifest their superpowers and grows larger as they become stronger (this serves as the in-universe justification of the Crystarium subsystem). Eventually, when the l'Cie fulfill their end of the deal they made, the crystal grows so large that it completely encases them, freezing them in an eternal stasis.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The full-blooded Garleans have a small pearl-like growth in the middle of their forehead, called a Third-eye.
      • The Crystal Exarch in the Shadowbringers expansion is slowly turning to crystal due to his affinity with the Crystal Tower of the Allagans. One arm, most of his neck, and part of his cheek are already converted — any other parts are hidden under his robe. His mobility is unaffected.
  • Flight Rising:
    • Skydancer dragons have crystals on their foreheads.
    • There are several genes that can have this effect on a dragon, such as Gembond (embedded gems all over the dragon), Opal (parts of the body turn into opal), or the paired Crystal and Facet genes (makes the dragon's skin crystalline on either the main body or their wings).
  • Gears of War 4: The Scions, a.k.a. evolved Locust, and Swarmak, an evolved Brumak, have crystals of some sort growing out of their bodies.
  • Godzilla Unleashed: Along with SpaceGodzilla, who has crystals growing out of his back and shoulders, there is also Krystalak, whose entire back is covered in crystals and who also has a beard made out of them.
  • Kid Icarus: Pyrrhon has a green jewel on his forehead.
  • Legend of Mana: The Jumi have cores of gemstone (of varying types), which are their most vital organ. Damage it and you damage them permanently; remove it and you kill them.
  • Pokémon: Several examples exist, such as Carbink and Diancie, though the Lake Trio are probably the most famous since their gems are integrated into their games' story. Others such as Dialga and Palkia have gem-like orbs embedded into their limbs and torsos. Special mention to Sableye, which eats Carbink and develop their own gem tissues as a result of their diet.
  • RuneScape has the gemstone dragons: dragons with dragonstone, onyx and hydrix gems naturally embedded into their bodies. They were originally born from the eggs of a crystal dragon, which was created by the dragonkin Vicendithas when he magically infused a white dragon with elven crystals. Dragonstone, in particular, was a gemstone not found in the wild, leaving Vicendithas to name it after its source.
  • Skylanders: Flashwing is a gem dragon and has wings made of crystal, as well as crystals on her head.
  • Slime Rancher: Crystal slimes are covered in growths of razor-sharp crystals.
  • Spore: Any creature with the Mackne, Derma Bark, Baublewarts, Jemite and/or Stealing Crystals parts is partially made of crystal or gems.
  • Temtem: This is a common motif among Crystal types, if they're not outright Crystalline Creatures. Many have crystals on their claws and/or foreheads, but the Lapinite line takes this one step further and have a ridge of crystals down their backs.


    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Generator Rex: Skalamander has diamond-like crystals growing out of one of his arms, which he can use to fire pointy shards or create defensive constructs.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven has his mother Rose Quartz's gemstone where his belly button would be.
    • The Gems and Gem Monsters occupy a hazy borderline between this and a fully Crystalline Creature. Technically, their bodies are less "made of gems" and more Hard Light constructs around a central core that is a gem. As a result, the gemstone embedded in some part of each Gem's anatomy is in a sense their "actual" body.

    Real Life 
  • Depending on who you ask, coral is this.
  • Trilobites, an extinct class of arthropods distantly related to modern horseshoe crabs, used transparent calcite crystals as lenses in their eyes.
  • Subverted with the elongated jewel squid. At first glance, you'd think it has small jewels encrusted all over its skin, hence the name, but upon closer inspection, you'll see that those "jewels" are actually tiny eye-like lensed apparatuses which, when activated, emit focused beams of bioluminescent light.