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"I shall become a God! No one here can stop me!"

A Godhood Seeker is, quite plainly, a mortal or otherwise non-divine being who wants to be a god. The most obvious purpose for doing this is the ultimate quest for power — gods tend to be the ultimate authorities and rulers in settings where they exist, making divinity the logical goal for someone driven by ambition and a desire to rule. Likewise, someone concerned with personal rather than political power (such as in the form of magical might, or control over one's environment) may see godhood as the ultimate pinnacle of mastery over reality.

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Alternatively, someone may seek godhood in order to bring themselves on the same playing field as preexisting gods. For instance, a character may wish to confront a deity directly, or to unseat one and take their place. Relatedly, a character may feel that the current gods are not doing a good job of running things and believe they could manage the universe more efficiently or fairly than they are.

For successful Godhood Seekers, see Deity of Human Origin. Note that Deities of Human Origin may not necessarily seek godhood before they became divine beings. This may overlap with Transhuman Treachery if becoming a god makes the new divinity look down on their once fellow humans/what have you.

Compare Immortality Seeker, with which this may overlap. An immortality seeker "merely" wishes to live forever, without necessarily wanting other changes in their condition. A Godhood Seeker, by contrast, may only pursue eternal life as a secondary effect of their quest for divinity.

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Compare with A God Am I, where a powerful but otherwise normal individual has delusions of already being a god. A Godhood Seeker is generally fully aware of their currently non-divine status.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In 3×3 Eyes, the trope is downplayed with the Big Bad Kaiyanwang: his plan to gather all the fragments of the Great Light present in mankind, then join it sounds like this trope, but the way he talks about it make it seems like it sees it only as a natural step forward, as the Light seemingly wants to unite again to travel the Cosmo in search for a new place to inhabit. played straight when he finally kickstarts Sanhara to merge with the gathered Light and starts gloating about he will be the one and only God of the galaxy, though he soons become horrified when he witness the Great Darkness that is part of the Great Light and he never wanted to acknowledge. Implicitly, the Great Darkness is what is making Kaiyanwang acting evil and arrogant.
  • Air Gear: Whatever altruistic intentions Sora Takeuchi might have concerning the 99%, deep down, he only cares about one thing, and that's making himself powerful enough to rule the world through the Sky Regalia. When he gets there, he immediately styles himself as some benevolent deity to uplift and rule over all of humanity.
  • Attack on Titan: Kenny Ackerman's goal in the series is to acquire the Founding Titan, which makes anyone who possesses it a god in all but name. A semi-benevolent example compared to others as Kenny's motivation for coveting the Founding Titan is because he believes it will give him empathy. Unfortunately for him, only a member of the royal family can use the Founding Titan to it's fullest potential, something he is not happy to find out. It becomes even more tragic on his part when it's later shown in the penultimate chapter that Ackermans are immune to Titanization, so even if Kenny had learned he could bypass the royal blood restriction as shown with Eren, he couldn't even become a regular Titan.
  • Berserk: Griffith was dying to be worshiped, and got what he wanted by becoming a god for real.
  • Bleach: When Sosuke Aizen reveals he's a villain, he states he will fill the "unbearable vacancy on the throne in the sky". Later on, he intimdates that he won't simply rise to the level of a god, he will become something even gods will serve. All his experiments over the decades have been geared towards breaking the boundary between the mortal and the divine, and he loudly boasts when his spiritual pressure can no longer be sensed by his enemies because he has "transcended" them. In his quest for godhood, Aizen impants the Hogykou - an object that sense the inner desires of those around it and make them reality - into his chest. As the battle of Fake Karakura Town progresses, the Hoyoku causes Aizen to undergo several transformations until he finally becomes a Transcendent Being. The Bleach Cant Fear Your Own World light novels reveal that he was trying to become a being capable of usurping the Soul King.
  • Brynhildr in the Darkness: Chapter 151 finally reveals what "slay the gods" means, from the perspective of Vingulf. Director Takachiho wants to become a god himself, and thinks there's an actual Physical God in the way. So killing god is a necessary step in mankind's evolution.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • The ultimate goal of the Science side is to achieve SYSTEM (read "one who is not a god yet reaches the will of Heaven"), also known as "Level 6", a state in which an Esper achieves absolute comprehension of, and control over, the laws of physics. Accelerator is the world's strongest Esper, with a Swiss-Army Superpower and Super Intelligence to match, making him the closest to achieving SYSTEM. Being a Reluctant Psycho Tyke Bomb, he's talked into participating in a "Level 6 Shift" experiment by scientists who convince him that once he's omnipotent, people won't be afraid of him any more. After learning that the experiment was a sham and he's been killing people for no reason, he completely drops this goal in favour of "revenge on scientists who treat people like tools"... ironically getting much closer to it in the process.
    • Some characters on the Magic side also seek to reach this state, which they refer to as "La Persona Superiore a Dio". In a strange coincidence, this term can be translated into Japanese as "Kami-jou", a homonym for the protagonist's surname. Becoming an actual "Magic God" is also possible, but it has enough downsides relative to a Kami-jou that some characters see it as not worth the effort.
  • Cyborg 009: Doctor Gaia can become a god with the energy stored in his reactor. Unfortunately for him, he gets shot by a very angry Apollo.
  • Death Note: When Light Yagami obtains the titular Death Note, it doesn't take him long until he seeks to become "the God of the New World" by killing criminals worldwide and turning himself into an object of worship with a cult of personality. When he hits his stride, he starts believing he is one despite — as Ryuk mockingly points out — him only being a normal human.
  • DEVILMAN crybaby: In the past, Satan/Ryo Asuka tried to usurp God, but was defeated and consequently banished for his actions. While he plans to fight God again in the present, he's largely dropped those ambitions.
  • Dragon Ball Super has a variant in regards to Zamasu. While he is already a legitimate Physical God, he desired to become the Top God and then reenact his "Zero Mortals Plan" to achieve his envisioned utopia for the multiverse. He does so by using the Super Dragon Balls to steal the body of Goku and becoming Goku Black, before travelling to an Alternate Timeline where he teams up with his future self who they use the Super Dragon Balls to wish for immortality for this Zamasu. This Evil Duo then proceeds to lay waste to the universe. Later on, the two of them fuse together to form an Ultimate Lifeform.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Father doesn't just want to be a god, he wants to usurp the throne and merge with God himself. He's actually successful until Hohenheim's reverse transmutation circle strips him of his powers.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, Nakago wants Yui to use one of her wishes to make him a god, so he can take revenge on the world.
  • Kill la Kill: Ragyō Kiryūin is introduced as the sadistic chairwoman of the Kiryūin Conglomerate and CEO of the REVOCS Corporation, abusive mother to Satsuki Kiryūin. It later transpires that she was once a human scientist whose family had worshipped the Life Fibers as a god. Seeking to transcend humanity, Ragyō began experimenting with imbuing humans with Life Fibers, succeeding with herself, her daughter Ryūko Matoi, and Nui Harime. By the end of the series, Ragyō creates an extremely powerful Kamui — Shinra-Kōketsu — and throws away whatever scraps remained of her humanity by assimilating the Primordial Life Fiber. After being defeated, stripped of her Kamui, and offered a chance at redemption by Ryūko, Ragyō scornfully refuses and commits suicide to ensure the Life Fibers comprising her body can escape into the universe.
  • Naruto:
    • Over the course of the series, it unfolds that recurring antagonist Orochimaru's ultimate goal is to obtain the deific power of the Sage of Six Paths — which is the impetus behind him attempting to take Sasuke Uchiha as a host, and his experiments with Wood Release and Cursed Seals.
    • Madara Uchiha sought to attain godhood by becoming the Jinchūriki of the Ten-Tailed Beast, and for a while he succeeded only to be taken over by Kaguya Ōtsutsuki and then perish once the Ten-Tails was extracted from him.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The goal of SEELE's Human Instrumentality Project — as revealed in the Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 game — is for the council members to ascend to godhood by merging their souls inside of an Evangelion Unit. However, they're foiled when Gendo Ikari attempts to hijack the plan for his own purposes,note  and then when Rei Ayanami goes rogue and gives control of the Third Impact to Shinji Ikari — who is in the middle of a despair-induced mental breakdown.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?: Upon learning of the existence of the Administrators of the System, Kumoko decides that she wants to surpass them in power and slay them — especially D. Upon achieving apotheosis and becoming the goddess Shiraori, however, she more-or-less drops this goal in favor of saving the collapsing world by killing untold numbers of people.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Many characters, minor or otherwise, covet the power of a Kishin to reach godhood. Some try by eating every soul they can, giving in or empowering themselves with Madness, or making their own Kishin or form of Madness.
    • Noah, the Idol of Greed, uniquely wants to become "God" by collecting everything in the world into the Book of Eibon.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • While Nobuyuki Sugou styled himself as a god in ALO and saw himself as such, being the one who created the game, he also seeks to become one IRL by perfecting his Mind Control research.
    • Gabriel Miller's end goal is to steal Alice's lightcube to place her in a virtual world of his own design. Afterwards, he plans on kidnapping real world people, killing their physical bodies, and placing their souls in his virtual world too, all so he can manipulate their souls as he sees fit. He even boasts himself as one during his fight with Kirito.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Kagemaru wants to harness the power of the Sacred Beasts to "become the God of the world" and restore his youth.
    • Amon Garam wants to become the god of all alternate dimensions.

    Comic Books 
  • Beast Wars: In IDW Publishing's comics, Shokaract believes that he can ascend to godhood by consuming enough Angolmois energy to awaken his Anti-Matrix.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Haazheel Thorne, the main villain, is an uber-powerful Sorcerous Overlord who is already worshipped as a god by his personal Religion of Evil. However, in truth he's more Semi-Divine as he's the son of Lucifer. His ultimate goal in creating the conditions for Hell on Earth is so his father will reward him by ascending him to full godhood.
  • The DCU:
    • The Sandman (1989): Subverted in an issue focusing on Augustus Caesar. One day, while disguised as a beggar and accompanied by a dwarf actor assisting him, Caesar discusses his legacy of making Rome the most powerful empire on Earth, and says his destiny is to become a god after his death. When the dwarf remarks that it's good to be a god, Augustus simply asks him "Is it?" After his death, the dwarf recounts how Augustus forbade expanding Rome further, eventually dooming it, and his ulterior motive for doing it may have been to undo his godhood.
    • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: While Jason is primarily seeking immortality, his speechifying makes it clear he'd like to attain godhood in the ways of the "heroes" of old like Hercules who were raised to the pantheon for their slaughter after dying.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Carnage: While he is usually a nihilistic serial killer whose only goal is to cause as much death as possible, Carnage has on three separate occasions sought to apotheosize into a god of chaos and death — first by absorbing the Enigma Force in Minimum Carnage, then by freeing Chthon in Carnage Vol. 2, and finally by empowering the Dark Carnage symbiote and freeing Knull in Absolute Carnage.
    • Doctor Doom: Victor von Doom has an ego worthy of a god, but is aware that — while he may be one of the most-powerful sorcerers in the world — he is still only human. However, he is more than happy to steal the power of cosmic entities for himself whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    Fan Works 
  • Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society: Willowe's goal is to become a god in full.
  • Apotheosis (MHA): After completing the Infinity Gauntlet and having his first taste of its power, Izuku decides he wants to be something greater than a hero — he wants to be the most powerful person in the world, someone who shapes the world by design. The name of such a person- God.
  • Child of the Storm has this as the goal of those seeking the Word of Kemmler, and the Ascension Rite within.
  • Children of an Elder God: Yui Ikari uses the Children's power stolen from the Angels to ascend to godhood and rewrite Earth into a paradise for humans according to her will. It ultimately fails, as the power of the Great Old Ones is inherently corrupting, turning her paradise into a False Utopia. And once the Children realizes what's going on, they confront Yui and take back their stolen power, before wiping her out of existence.
  • Citadel of the Heart: Once Roy realizes what his new Fusion Dance body can do, he proceeds to declare his original plans as boring and decides that killing all of the gods to have ever existed, and then declare himself the one true god out of sheer contempt for the prior ones, is much more satisfying to him.
  • Codex Equus:
    • Don'yoku to do this with a ritual involving a celestial conjunction and actually succeeded. Though he didn't survive long enough to enjoy it.
    • Lord Waking Nightmare's ultimate plan is to become the "Emperor of Nightmares" over a Meridia that he would transform in his own image by merging it with Meridia's Dream Realm and kick-starting a "New Dreamtime" which he would usurp. He succeeded, becoming a Nightmare God, but was thankfully destroyed by the Nightmare Breakers before he could finish remaking Meridia.
    • Invoked by the Church of the Stars. Unlike most examples, the Church sees godhood as a way for mortals to become the best they can possibly be, and has Ascension training available for anyone who wants to become a deity. The only requirement for all Ascendants-in-training is they have to be selfless in their desire for godhood and genuinely willing to help others better themselves. Anyone who seeks to Ascend for selfish reasons, like War Rock, are rejected.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Zarekos, an already quite powerful vampire, is attempting to ascend to godhood when Ami encounters him. Later, when Ami asks one of her own minions whether Zarekos thought he was a god, she's answered that he wasn't that delusional — he was planning to become one, yes, but he was fully aware of his current limitations.
  • Fallout: Equestria: Red Eye's ultimate goal is to do away with the Goddess and take up her office.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Harry's ultimate goal is essentially to become a god. Or, as he words it, "To understand everything important there is to know about the universe, apply that knowledge to become omnipotent, and use that power to rewrite reality because I have some objections to the way it works now." This statement is slightly Less Disturbing in Context, in the sense that Harry's a Well-Intentioned Extremist with a strong sense of right and wrong, but many readers are of the opinion that it would be better for the universe if he didn't pull this off.
  • Infinity Crisis: Circe's ultimate goal is to ascend and replace the Olympian pantheon.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: MissingNo tries (the key word being tries) to achieve godhood by getting people to form a cult worshipping it. It instead ends up with them worshipping Omanyte and Omastar.
  • Robb Returns: Chapter 158 expounds on the canonical agenda of Euron Greyjoy, which reveals that Euron Greyjoy intends to kill the Drowned God and take its place by consuming its power. He has allied with the Others to achieve that goal since they also want to wipe out humanity... and then intends to kill the Others and take their power.
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    Films — Animated 
  • Hercules: Heroic variant, as the titular Hercules, unlike his mythological inspiration, was born a god but was stripped of his divinity as part of an assassination attempt, becoming a mortal with nothing left of his godhood but his divine strength. He consequently spends most of the movie trying to become a true hero in order to restore his godhood and return home to Mount Olympus.
  • Jiang Ziya:
    • Jiang Ziya, the titular protagonist, was a Taoist warrior who trained under the Heavenly Master of Jingxu Hall — realm of the gods — in order to attain godhood, only to be stripped of his divinity and cast into exile when he balked at executing the Nine-Tailed Fox-Devil, who informed him that doing so would end the life of an innocent girl.
    • Towards the end of the movie, Nine-Tailed is revealed to have been promised divinity by the Heavenly Master in exchange for starting the Great War, only later realizing she had been tricked and used as a pawn after Jiang Ziya was sent to execute her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dreamscape: The Overlord of Evil wishes for nothing less than total control over reality.
  • Scooby-Doo: Emile Mondavarious — aka Scrappy-Doo piloting a Mobile-Suit Human — intends to become a god by absorbing the souls of a bunch of vacationing college students using the Daemon Ritus to take revenge on Mystery Inc. for unceremoniously kicking him to the curb due to his annoying arrogance.
  • The One: Gabrial Yulaw believes that by killing all his Doppelgangers in other universes, he will absorb their unspent life force and become a god. The reason the MVA is after him is because they aren't entirely sure that this will be the outcome. They think that the final murder will cause that universe to cease to exist. For most of the movie, there are only two versions of that person remaining in The Multiverse: Gabriel Yulaw and Gabriel "Gabe" Law. Both are equal in strength and speed, and both have extensive martial arts training (they're played by Jet Li, after all). A memorable scene has Yulaw pick up two police motorcycles and use them as clubs against a cop, and he's been clocked at running at 50 mph without breaking a sweat.

    Literature 
  • Angelmaker: Shem Shem Tsien, the Opium Khan, was a historical supervillain who wanted to find out if God existed. His plan to do so was to emulate God and become His equal so he could meet Him face-to-face. This was worrying because Shem Shem Tsien believed God Is Evil, and therefore that emulating Him required God-like levels of cruelty and atrocity, and also because he was Cambridge-educated, globally renowned, and the autocrat of a small but wealthy kingdom neighboring the British Raj, and had the resources and political/criminal connections that all implied. He's several decades dead by the present day, but he "survived" by brainwashing the serial killer Vaughn Parry into a perfect mental copy of himself, and his final plan to achieve apotheosis is to do the same to everyone on Earth using a Clock Punk reality-warping engine.
  • Arc of Fire: Kyrian's plan is to kill Vraxor and ascend to godhood in his place.
  • Dragonlance: Raistlin Majere, already a powerful wizard, wants to kill Takhisis the goddess if evil and become the new god of evil instead. He very nearly suceeds, too, but stops as he notices that his ascension would kill all the other gods and all life on earth, making him the ruler of nothing but ashes.
  • The Dresden Files: The arch-Necromancer Kemmler devised the Darkhallow Ritual, which transforms the caster into a minor god by consuming all life, spirits, and magical energy within a mile. Fortunately for the world, he was killed mid-attempt. In Dead Beat, Cowl attempts to perform the Darkhallow in Chicago, but Harry and the White Council interrupt the ritual and run him off.
  • The Flying Boy: Dr. Andy Paigne wants to collect enough superpowers to become a god.
  • Middlegame: Reed's century-long bid for divinity is to embody the Doctrine of Ethos, a universal force that can control reality through mathematics and language, in Artificial Human twins, then subjugate them to his will before their powers fully manifest.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • New Jedi Order: Onimi believes that if he kills everyone in the galaxy he'll get the power he needs to become a god. Somewhat unusually, he also believes that Jacen and Jaina (and several other Jedi) are incarnate gods, and in his mind the whole series is a conflict between the established pantheon and himself trying to usurp them, played out through the Republic and the Yuuzhan Vong.
    • The same idea of "kill everybody to become a true god" is played out nearly to the letter by Sith Emperor Tenebrae Vitiate in the events of the Second Great Galactic War.
    • Fate of the Jedi: It's hinted that the main goal of Abeloth, the Eldritch Abomination Big Bad, is to become a god.
  • Journey to the West: Sun Wukong the Monkey King was a supernatural monkey born from a divine stone, and acquired immortality and godlike powers through mastering Taoism. After the Jade Emperor offers to deify him hoping he would settle down, Sun Wukong was outraged that his position in Heaven was effectively a stableboy, stole multiple forms of immortality, and went on a rampage defeating every warrior in Heaven and attempting to usurp the Jade Emperor's throne. The Buddha stepped in and sealed him under a mountain for five-hundred years, after which he was tricked into becoming a bodyguard for a Buddhist monk on a pilgrimage to retrieve the sutras. After doing so and learning the tenants of Buddhism, Sun Wukong ultimately attains enlightenment and becomes the "Victorious Fighting Buddha".
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: Masego, the Hierophant, wants to ascend to godhood - not for the power, but for the knowledge and understanding that would bring.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Euron's goal, which he explains to Aeron while torturing him, is revealed to be to become a god. Euron commands his brother to worship him and become his priest, but he refuses to do so.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Zoom wishes to be the only metahuman with super speed so that everyone will fear him. He goes even further in the Season 2 finale, preparing to wipe out the entire multiverse just to keep a single world as his own personal domain.
    • Although in the present day Savitar already calls himself the "God of Speed", when his identity is revealed he explains in "Cause and Effect" that he realized becoming a god would solve his problems and that he still needs two more things before he reaches godhood.
    • Another speedster, Godspeed, also calls himself the "God of Speed". His speed is artificial thanks to the Velocity 9 serum, but he wants "organic" speed of the kind granted by the Speed Force in order to realize his dreams of godhood.
    • Dr. Orloff seeks immortality by draining the life force of those around him. However, he only gets a few years younger for the decades he takes from others. Thus, his plan is to accelerate the aging of everyone in Central City until they crumble to dust in order to become immortal.
  • Babylon 5: Emperor Cartagia of the Centauri is convinced that the Shadows will make him a god even if it means that his home planet will be destroyed. When he's assassinated by Vir, his last words are "I was to be a god."
  • House of Anubis: In season 2, all of the characters are looking for an artifact called the Mask of Anubis. While Sibuna needs it to break a curse that had been placed on them and Victor just wants immortality, the villains Rufus and Senkhara are after it because it can take the wearer to the Egyptian afterlife, where they'd rule as if they were Gods. This doesn't work out for either of them; Senkhara is banished before she can possess Nina and use her body in the afterlife, and Rufus is Dragged Off to Hell for his impure heart.
  • Supernatural: In Season 9, it's revealed that Metatron's plan is to set himself up as the new God, having had this goal in mind since he manipulated Castiel into casting all the other angels out of Heaven, so that he could reveal the way to return them home and be accepted by them as the new ruler of Heaven. By the end of Season 9, he also starts performing miracles on Earth so humans will worship him as God too.
  • Super Sentai: Quite a few different villains have this goal in mind. Empress Meadow or, in actuality, Vulgyre in Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman. Meadow, Zone's ruler, is out to destroy 1000 planets to gain eternal life, with Earth being the last. Meadow's actually an illusion created by the Genius Loci serving as Zone's Supervillain Lair, Vulgyre. It sought the life energy of 1000 planets to become a god and assume its' Galactic Super Beast form. It achieves this in the final arc and goes on the rampage, before the Fiveman use their Sidon flowers, Vulgyre's only weakness, to plunge inside Vulgyre's body (uncovering the true Meadow in the process; she was a woman who'd rather kill herself than become Vulgyre's empress, and Vulgyre was too obsessed with her to let her go); this weakens Vulgyre enough to finish it off with the Super Five Robo, ending the threat of Zone forever.
  • I, Claudius: Evil Matriarch Livia is a relatively mundane version of this trope. She believes that the only way to avoid damnnation for a lifetime of atrocities and treachery is to be deified by the Roman Emperor. When Caligula visits her at her deathbed and gloats that he'll never make her a goddess and she's going to burn in hell for eternity, it's portrayed as a major Kick the Dog moment.

    Manhwa 
  • Aflame Inferno: Pandemonium's ultimate goal is to find the Tedlar's predecessors and "become a complete being above life and death."

    Music 

    Religion and Mythology 
  • The Bible: This is what caused the downfall of humanity and the Original Sin. Adam and Eve enjoyed their lives in Eden, but they were looking for a way to be like God and know both good and evil. Satan, disguised as a serpent, told them it would happen, and he was right... at least partially, as eating the Forbidden Fruit stole their innocence and separated them — and by extension the entire human race — from God as well.
  • The goal of some Left Hand Path esoteric organizations is self-deification. The interpretation on how to attain this varies and might imply from Jungian deep psychology to rehash concepts from Eastern, Gnostic and other ancient Esoteric sources but mostly look for individualization and self-realization.
  • Depending on your interpretation, Buddhism, Jainism, and Taoism promote this, as their goal is your full enlightenment which would make you god-like. Also there are some Buddhist techniques that allow you to program yourself to be reborn a Deva, but this is often discouraged.

    Roleplay 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Crimestrikers: The ultimate goal is of Big Bad Vance Coffin and his Dragon Walter Mastron is to turn themselves and their trusted allies into nearly immortal pseudo-gods by using a Kill Sat to harvest the Life Energy from most of the population of Creaturia.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia version of Classic D&D, characters of at least 30th Character Level can undergo a quest to become an Immortal (the BECMI D&D equivalent of a god). There are four paths to Immortality, each of which requires performing heroic deeds such as retrieving a powerful artifact, completing major tasks and creating a lasting testimonial to the candidate's greatness.
    • Socially, Vlaakith CLVII is already pretty much the goddess of the githyanki, but that's not enough for her; she wants to become a full-fledged deity. This aspect became particularly prominent in 3rd Edition, when an entire adventure — The Lich-Queen's Beloved — is devoted to her attempt to complete a divine ascension, which the players have to stop.
    • The Elder Evil Kyuss longs for godhood more than anything else. He has wanted it ever since he was a mortal, and even in his current state as an immortal Eldritch Abomination he is determined to achieve the glory of true divinity.
    • Yuan-ti rarely worship deities out of any true sense of reverence — their extremely dispassionate and emotionless natures aren't very conducive to this — but rather seeks to emulate their deity, learn the secrets of their ascension or divine nature, and use this knowledge to become deities themselves and supplant their former patron.
    • Eberron: Underneath all the dour trappings, this is what the Blood of Vol religion ultimately is. They believe that, since there's no decent afterlife (it's a proven fact that souls go to one specific place and fade; other religions have faith that there are alternatives, but no actual proof), then mortals should seek to become divine themselves. They believe that blood contains the spark of the divine, and that with enough time that spark can ascend them to true divinity. In fact, many sects believe that mortality is a curse placed on the world by jealous gods who didn't want anyone to have the time to rise up and challenge them. The religion's supposed obsession with undead is simply pragmatic; a corpse is worthless without the soul inside it, so you may as well make it get up and do chores. Intelligent undead who work with the cult are considered martyrs who gave up their own chance at divinity to guide the living, while intelligent undead who don't work with the cult are hunted down just as ruthlessly as any other major religion would do so.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The red dragon Tchazzar sought to apotheosize into a deity and for a while actually managed to become a dragon ascendant demigod, but whether he retains his divinity as of 5th Edition is unknown.
      • Karsus, an ancient Netherese archmage, was a particularily devastating example. He originally tried to temporarily "borrow" the power of a god in order to save his homeland from a war, using the extremely advanced spell Karsus' Avatar to do so. Unfortunately, he picked the deity Mystryl, goddess of magic, as he reasoned she would be the most powerful and the best suited. What he didn't know was that Mystryl was always preoccupied maintaining the Weave of Magic, and, without her power, all magic in the world went haywire for a little while. Netheril was an empire built on magically floating islands, so you can guess the result.
    • Planescape: The Believers of the Source, also called the Godsmen, believe that life is a series of tests and challenges that must be overcome; successfully doing this allows one to move further up the ladder of being and eventually achieve godhood. Their ultimate goal is to do just that, although most of them don't seriously hope to achieve it in this life but hope that, by perfecting themselves as much as possible, they bring their next reincarnation closer to the goal of divinity. Their previous factol, Curran, managed it, although some would argue this was because of the beliefs of his followers in the Godsmen and not a natural law of the universe.
  • Games Workshop:
    • The end goal for most, if not all, servants of Chaos in Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 is to become a Daemon Prince, a quasi-Physical God with immense physical and magical power after being ascended by one or all of the Chaos gods to wreak havoc on the galaxy for all eternity. Fortunately, the vast majority die (or worse) long before they can even get close to that goal.
    • Nagash the Undying had aspirations for godhood, but did not pursue Chaos to achieve this. Instead he invented necromancy and became a powerful liche, his Evil Plan being to slaughter the entire world and raise the dead as his loyal puppets, thus starving Chaos of worship and leaving him as the only supreme being around. During the End Times, he successfuly usurped control of the dead from Morr, the god of the dead, taking over the afterlife. This bound the magical Wind of Death to him, making him an Incarnate of that specific set of magic and gave him control of the afterlife. His victory was short lived however as his own lieutenant, Mannfred, betrayed him and the rest of the Incarnates, allowing the four Chaos Gods to undo reality and destroy the world that was. He ultimately got his wish in Age of Sigmar when he schemed his way into being the only Death God around, but his plan to become Top God by killing all his competition is still on the agenda.
  • Magic: The Gathering features a few characters of this type. Notably, several of them succeed. But in the world of Magic, being a god makes you harder to kill, not immortal:
    • Yawgmoth is one of the most famous Magic villains. He became a god by binding himself to the core of the world of Phyrexia. He planned to use his godhood and army of Phyrexians to make everyone and every other world 'perfect'. He was eventually killed by the Legacy Weapon: a complicated magical device that took an entire story arc to complete.
    • Xenagos was the main antagonist in Theros, a world based off Ancient Greece and Classical Mythology. On Theros, Clap Your Hands If You Believe is in full effect, so he became a god after getting enough followers. He was eventually killed when he was stabbed with the Godsend, a magic spear forged by the gods.
  • Pathfinder:
    • In general, the Starstone — a magical meteorite held within the city of Absalom — has the power to allow mortals to ascend to godhood, if they can pass the traps and tests surrounding it. Absalom is thus home to a constantly-replenishing series of hopefuls seeking to take the Test of the Starstone and become divinities, although the vast majority fail and perish — only three peoplenote  have successfully passed the Test in the five millennia or so it's been around.
    • Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, is a lich obsessed with both power and personal survival. He views his current status as an ageless undead and the most powerful necromancer to ever live as a stopgap measure meant to give himself time to work towards his real goal — conquering Absalom, draining every drop of divine power from the Starstone and becoming a god.
    • Erum-Hel, the Lord of Mohrgs, is an undead servant of Tar-Baphon's who has spent the last several centuries obsessing over his defeat by the crusader hero Iomedae. As Iomedae eventually became a goddess, she is now far beyond any retribution, and Erum-Hel has thus been forced to strike at her church in her stead. He still obsesses over the taste of blood he had during their clash, though, and desperately hungers for more. He has thus been giving serious thought to taking the Test of the Starstone himself, becoming a god and confronting his old enemy on an even field once more.
    • One of the villains of the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path, the worm that walks wizard Xanthir Vang, believes that gods are simply powerful creatures that have evolved beyond the constraints of the previous forms. To him, the gulf between mortal and deity is perfectly bridgeable through sufficient refinement of one's magical power, and he aims to do just that in order to become a demigod of vermin and portals.
    • The Big Bad of the Iron Gods adventure path, the A.I. known as Unity, is one of these, seeking to ascend to divinity and brainwash the entire planet into worshipping them. Naturally, it's up to the player characters to stop this from happening.
    • Nocticula, while already a demon lord and thus a lesser divinity herself, has long been rumored to be seeking to become the second demon lord to ascend to full godhood — something that makes the first such demon god, Lamashtu, more than a bit wary, as Nocticula's rise to her already considerable power has been paved with the a number of slain rivals impressive even among demons. At the end of first edition Nocticula indeed ascends to godhood, although to considerable In-Universe surprise she does so as a Chaotic Neutral, rather than Chaotic Evil, deity — her desire for godhood was in large part driven by a desire to grow past the bonds of demonhood and the limited nature of most outsiders' wills.
  • Unknown Armies: One possible character goal is to join the Invisible Clergy, the 333 individuals who represent key archetypes among humanity; once there are 333, the universe comes to an end and the Clergy shape the next one. This is far easier said than done. Option one is to become an Avatar, a follower of an existing Clergy member, and then get so powerful that you can symbolically overthrow them. Option two is to find an archetype no one represents yet and perform a massive ritual that lets you ascend as that archetype.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology: Gargarensis wish to become a full-fledged god, as he is a descendant of Poseidon through (nonconsensually) his great-grandmother Amymone. Rather than despising the god, he believes that Poseidon "owes" him something, like godhood.
  • Ara Fell: Baramon seeks the Sunstone to become a godlike being, but his failed experiments caused him to become the first vampire instead. According to the developer, this was because the goddess who originally raised Ara Fell disappeared, so he believed the continent needed a new god to lead them.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: You may become this at the end of the patched game if you side with Kerghan until the very last moment and then declare godhood when he demands to know the reason for the betrayal.
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey: Melite's personal goal is to utilize his research to somehow find a method to achieve godhood.
  • Choice of Games' Avatar of the Wolf: The protagonist can seek to usurp the power of the Wolf God, their patron deity.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: When Copen asks the Oracle if she intends to become a god with the power of the Muse, she states that she's "strongly considering it".
  • Baldur's Gate: Two of the series' Big Bads attempt to become gods by absorbing the essence of the dead god of murder while another antagonist has this as part of his backstory. The Player Character is the only one who can actually succeed in becoming a god if they so choose at the end of the series.
  • Bloodborne: Several of the game's factions seek to transcend mortality and join the ranks of the gods, and the Player Character can do so if they meet the right conditions.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: In the final hours, it's revealed that Dominique has actually decided to Rage Against the Heavens and has renounced her faith in God, and plans to use the demons in order to make herself into a being higher than God and then kill Him.
  • Devil May Cry: This is the goal of every human villain in the series:
    • Devil May Cry 2: Arius is the Big Bad of this game and the first human villain in the series who has godhood as a goal. He sought to perform a ritual that would grant him the power of a great demon named Argosax. Fortunately, Dante was able to prevent Arius's ascent by switching out one of the items for the ritual for his signature coin.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: Arkham's entire plan is to obtain Sparda's power in order to become a god. Previously, he had sacrificed his own wife in a ritual to that end.
    • Devil May Cry 4: Sanctus, the seemingly benevolent head of the Order of the Sword, is a Sinister Minister who seeks to claim the power of Sparda.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth: Akemi Suedou's final plan is to hijack Mother Eater and use its power to remake the world. Interestingly, he doesn't want power for the sake of it — he just wants to be the one to do it in accordance with his own vision.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Player Character and their companions seek out divinity at their own patron gods' urging, both to defeat the Voidwoken and to fulfill their own visions for the future of the world. Trouble is, There Can Be Only One new Divine, and the companions will turn against the PC if they can't be accepted to endorse the PC's bid for divinity. In the finale, the PC can choose whether to become Divine.
  • Dominions: Some of the Pretenders who can become your civilization's patron are powerful humans seeking to ascend to godhood by becoming the Pantokrator.
  • DOOM (2016): This turns out to be Olivia Pierce's endgame, as she made her deal with Hell in a bid to become a god. She gets her wish, sort of, in the form of her transformation into the Aranea Imperatrix, a.k.a. the Spider Mastermind, who promptly gets killed by the Doom Slayer and his BFG.
  • Dota 2: Deconstructed by Enigma, in one of its gambit in attracting power-hungry alchemists into becoming its Unwitting Pawn. Attaining godhood is not as simple as 'singing nursery rhymes and making chalk drawings on a floor'.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Elder One, the game's main villain, aims to be a god, and plans to fuse the material world and the Fade to accomplish this.
  • Dragon: Marked for Death: Duchis Medius, the elderly and terminally-ill Divine King, seeks to transcend the shackles of mortality and become a god imbued with the Celestial Primatus' power. For this reason, he instigates a genocide against the Dragonblood Clan and has their Oracle, Amica, abducted. While he succeeds in sacrificing Amica, Primatus scornfully smites him instead, and further strips the Divine Knights of their holy powers.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Mannimarco, the first man to become a lich, did so as one step in his plan to eventually reach Complete Immortality, with him desiring to truly become a god. He eventually did... sort of.
  • Fate/Grand Order: The endgame of Beast III/R, a.k.a. Kiara Sessyoin, is being worshipped as a god, taking in the love, pleasure, and eventually lives of everyone else for her own sake.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo has the distinction of being the first (though hardly the last) Final Fantasy villain to seek out godhood, and one of the few to achieve it when he absorbs the power of the Warring Triad.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Sephiroth seeks to become a god by merging with Jenova and draining the Planet of The Lifestream, and nearly succeeds before being slain by Cloud. His soul endures within the Lifestream out of pure hatred, and he formulates a new plan that he puts into motion in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children before once again being foiled by Cloud.
      • Dirge of Cerberus retcons Professor Hojo into having injected Jenova cells into himself in VII to try and make his body strong enough to be a vessel for Omega, and his plan in Dirge of Cerberus is to use Weiss' body for the same purpose. His goal is to become a cosmic being who will drain the planet completely of the Lifestream, thus ending all life, leaving the planet a literal shattered husk afterwards and to travel the stars in search of another planet to continue the process.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates: Galdes' goal is to harness the power of the corrupted crystals to become the Moongod.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Thordan VII seeks to become a God-King by becoming a primal of Thordan I.
    • Final Fantasy XV: Verstael's goal in transforming into Immortalis is to become an existence "beyond divinity".
  • Galerians: Dorothy, the AI in charge of a major city, went insane, but was brought back under control by being given religion: man serves God as His creations, thus she must serve man as theirs. Unfortunately, she took it a step further: anything she created would have to serve her. Thus she created the Galerians, humans with psychic powers, to replace humanity and rule over them as a goddess.
  • Golden Sun: This appears to be Alex's goal, though he doesn't phrase it as such (the only mentions of religion in the game are either summons, bosses or generic "pray to the spirits"). Rather, he seeks to light the elemental beacons not to save the world from slowly decaying into nothingness but absorb their combined power (once activated as the titular Golden Sun), giving him immortality and complete control over all the elements. He succeeds at this, or would have, if the Wise One hadn't sabotaged it by shunting one of the Elemental Stars's power into Isaac instead. He's still around for the third game, though how he intends to pursue this goal is unclear.
  • Halo: The Prophet of Truth initially believes that the function of the Halo rings is to enable the worthy (in which category he naturally includes himself) to become gods. When he learns they're actually superweapons designed to obliterate all life in the galaxy, he plans to fire them anyway (having taken refuge outside the firing range with his most loyal followers), believing that doing so will qualify him as a god.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: Nazis Hans Ubermann and Klaus Kerner are after a massive machine in the lost city of Atlantis designed to turn humans into gods. Although the machine horribly deformed scores of Atlanteans in the past, the Nazis assume it will work on them due to their superior Aryan qualities. They find out the hard way that they are wrong.
  • The King of Fighters: Igniz in The King of Fighters 2001 has this as his entire motivation and will do anything to obtain it, up to and including manipulating everyone else in the NESTS organization including the CEO, his own father, and then killing said father to formally usurp his position as leader. He's so obsessed with it that nearly every single line of dialogue he has mentions this in some form or another.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Ganondorf's main goal in the franchise is to become a living god with the power to remake Hyrule in his own image. He usually seeks out the Triforce, which can make wishes come true, and often succeeds in obtaining it. Of course, when he does obtain that power, it transforms him into a demonic boar-like beast known as Ganon and he doesn't enjoy his newfound godhood for long as Link and Zelda will always emerge to defeat him.
    • Vaati from the The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures was originally a Picori, but was corrupted by his desire for the limitless power of the Light Force. Draining a fraction of it from Princess Zelda transformed him into a one-eyed demonic entity.
    • Yuga from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds wishes to absorb Ganon's essence (which contains the Triforce of Power) so that he can obtain "true beauty" as an all-powerful being. At the climax of the game, he double-crosses Princess Hilda so he can steal her Triforce of Wisdom, and tries to steal Link's Triforce of Courage in order to "take [his] rightful place among the gods".
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: The Big Bad Albert's main plan is to be "at the evolution's extreme"; he thinks that the "Mega Man" (people with the power of Biometal) is the next step of humanity's course of evolution, and with the power of the combined fragments of Biometal Model W, he aims to be the "Ultimate Mega Man" and use its power to Restart the World, creating a new one where only the "Mega Men" will live. After he has attained said power, when Grey/Ashe confronts him, he claims that he doesn't "think" he's a god - he is one.
  • Ōkami: Orochi seeks to become a god of the underworld through all the maidens he's been sacrificed.
  • Pokémon:
  • Poseidon: Master of Atlantis: The first campaign has king Atlas, a son of Poseidon and the player character's father, visit Olympus and eventually beg to live there. By the end of the campaign, he's ascended among the Olympians, and shows up in later campaigns as a worshipable god who helps out with monument building.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: This is stated to be the goal of Darth Vitiate, the Sith Emperor. Unfortunately for everyone, he's been building his power for centuries and is pretty much three quarters there already, including a "side project" Empire (other than the Sith-ruled one he's got already) who worship him as a God-Emperor.
  • Sorcerer King: The titular Sorcerer King, ruling over a world shattered by multiple magical apocalypses, figures that he might as well scrap it for parts. The player can take advantage of his surprisingly deep gullibility, out-maneuver him, and stop him — or, in the expansion Sorcerer King Rivals, destroy and consume the world himself.
  • The Tiamat Sacrament: The Big Bad, Ry'jin, wants to use dragon DNA to become a god surpassing the setting's actual deity, Tiamat.
  • TRON 2.0: Strongly Implied. The instant Thorne hits Cyberspace, he takes on all the trappings of A God Am I, including a cult of corrupted Programs (Z-lots), the title of "Master User," and unleashing Zombie Apocalypse across the digital world. However, he's an Unwitting Pawn of the true villains, who are a little more subtle in expressing their greed but far more ambitious as they want to exploit "User" status to reign as deities over the Program world and use that to control the human one through control of information. Needless to say, the game's protagonist inverts this by wanting absolutely nothing to do with "User" status after seeing the kind of damage left behind.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: The games' Greater-Scope Villain, the Avenger-class Servant known as Aŋra Mainiiu, was once an ordinary human who was ritualistically scapegoated and sacrificed as the incarnation of "All the World's Evils" — inspiring the Zoroastrian God of Evil. Summoned as a Servant during the Third Holy Grail War, Avenger proved to be pathetically weak and was killed immediately... but the Holy Grail registered the wish of the ancient Zoroastrians for an incarnation of "All the World's Evils" and turned Avenger into an embryonic Eldritch Abomination. Avenger, for his part, wants to be reborn as a god of destruction and destroy everything, and almost succeeds in the "Unlimited Blade Works" and "Heaven's Feel" routes.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Miyo Takano, the Big Bad, wants to grant her adoptive grandfather metaphorical godhood by making his scientific research on brain parasites widely recognized, in addition to "becoming" Oyashiro-sama by carrying out a massacre of Hinamizawa and blaming it on the deity.
  • Shinza Bansho Series: Despite being a series focused on powerful individuals attaining godhood, this trope is surprisingly rare in the series with godhood often just being a side effect of whatever the characters are trying to do. That said, it does show up in Dies Irae with Rusalka who at the height of her madness made it clear that she seeks godhood simply for it's sake so that no one is above her.

    Webcomics 
  • Tower of God: Any Regular climbing the Tower to become a Ranker for the power or status is already a downplayed version, since Rankers are nicknamed "gods". Since there's a really long line of Regulars and then Rankers going up way up in terms of power, there isn't really any clear line for when someone becomes a real Physical God in that sense — immortality, incidentally, is obtained by anyone who becomes a Ranker. The Slayers of FUG are considered the gods of FUG, so anyone trying for that position counts more seriously. Jahad and (some of?) his original companions were some of the most ambitious Godhood Seekers, and Jahad did succeed in becoming God-Emperor of the Tower. Now, he could well be counted as having succeeded at becoming a Deity of Human Origin, but he continues to seek even more godlike power and absolute control.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: Godhood is Vecna's ultimate goal. He succeeds in becoming a god, but since Gods Need Prayer Badly he lacks the followers to transcend his physical form and manifest a divine domain. As Ioun puts it, the quickest way for him to accomplish this would be to create "a miracle of terror" horrifying and destructive enough to inspire worship out of sheer fear. This "miracle" turns out to be the destruction of Vasselheim — the oldest city in Exandria, seat of power for most of the good-aligned religions, and a fortress that has stood strong for centuries against the forces of evil.
  • In Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War, the Cambodian genocide is part of a massive Human Sacrifice ritual intended to turn Saloth Sar (Pol Pot, who never changed his name in this timeline) into a god. He gets nuked out of existence, along with the rest of his government, before he can finish the process.
  • The protagonist of "Nothing Like The Sun" already is a god, and once she finds out that her whole world was created by two ordinary humans as a work of fiction, she comes to the conclusion that either the people involved envy gods like her and resent their own pitiful human weakness, or else just want to fuck a god. Ironically, the authors in question could be said to already have divine powers in a way, but can't enjoy them because they don't work in their home universe.

    Western Animation 
  • Final Space: The Lord Commander's ultimate goal is to open the breach into Final Space, in the belief that the Titans will make him one of them and let him be god over all dimensions. Turns out, he's mistaken.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2015): Thanos's ultimate goal is to gain the Cosmic Seed and bend the Universe to his will.
  • Justice League: Lex Luthor seeks to become a god after being diagnosed with Kryptonite cancer and discovering the blueprints to Amazo's powers and immortality. He doesn't get the chance to upload his conscious into an Amazo android body but after learning that Brainiac has been living inside of him the whole time, he decides to make do with the alien AI's powers instead. After losing Brainiac in a battle with the Justice League, Luthor spends the last season trying to get him back because the taste of godhood was worth more than the billions he made as a criminal businessman.
  • The Legend of Korra: Unalaq believes the only way to bring humans and spirits together is to rule them over as the Avatar. However, since that position is already taken by his niece Korra, and she's not willing to go along with his plans, Unalaq decides to unleash Vaatu from his prison and merge with him to become the Dark Avatar. To solidify his status as the new Avatar, he also seeks to destroy Raava, the Avatar Spirit, to deprive Korra of her powers and connections to her past lives.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: While the show doesn't directly state it, this is more or less what Tirek's plan amounts to. In a world where ponies need magic to control the forces of nature, Tirek draining them would give him control over the rise and fall of the sun and moon and allow him to manipulate weather freely, and he'd be the only creature able to grow the crops the ponies need to feed themselves.
  • Star Wars Rebels: The reason why the Empire has been investing heavily in the Lothal system is because the Emperor had learned of a portal to the World Between Worlds, a place that would give access to all of space and time. Naturally, he wants to use it to dominate the entire universe from beginning to end.

    Real Life 
  • The Greek philosopher Empedocles was supposedly this. One version of his death holds that after the gods didn't invite him to join them, he committed suicide by jumping into mount Etna to make it seem as though he'd been raptured, but the volcano threw up his charred sandals to prove him wrong.

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