Follow TV Tropes


In Their Own Image

Go To

"And then I, Grodus, will build a new world! A perfect, ideal world... Yes. A world made by me, about me, and for me!"

So things aren't going too well for this character. Maybe they want to turn over a new leaf. Maybe they want to start their life anew. Instead, maybe they don't want to half-ass it, they want to make all life anew. Or, they could just be a power-hungry Card-Carrying Villain out to satisfy their immense narcissism. Either way, this character gets the bright idea to remake the entire world In Their Own Image.


How this is done can vary. They can try to go back to the beginning of time, or a foundational event in the timeline, because their mere presence or actions will cause For Want of a Nail to its logical extreme. Lacking access to such a thing, designating a point in time at which the world will start to revolve around the subject will suffice. They can seek to gain a powerful artifact that can alter the world as they like and go from there. They can be a Godhood Seeker aiming to use their powers to make the world they want. Or they can go full-on Omnicidal Maniac and make a new world for themselves from scratch.

Usually the result, should they succeed, is some form of Villain World.

Compare "End of the World" Special when it is the protagonists who remake the world on their (generally better) terms.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • At the end of Transformers Cybertron, this becomes Galvatron's goal. He seeks to send the multiverse ending Black Hole into overdrive to destroy everything, using the Omega Lock and Cyber Planet Keys to survive the end of the universe, then rebuild it as he sees fit.
  • Bagramon of Digimon Fusion wants to remake both the human world and the Digital World in his image in an event that he calls D5. D5 is short for Dimension Deletion and Deadly Destruction Day.
    • Collecting all 108 Code Crowns allows anyone to do this to the Digital World. When Taiki gets all of them, the zones merge and everyone who died over the course of the series is purified and given a second chance at life. Bagramon modified the Code Crowns so that he could remake the human world as well.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Regardless of all of their Motive Rants about justice, it's clear that this is the endgame of each version of Zamasu; by wiping out all mortals and gods, they'll create their own vision of paradise. It's especially blatant with Goku Black and Future Zamasu; they constantly go on about how they're doing the gods' justice and making a new world "by gods, for gods," and since they're the only ones left in Future Trunks' timeline, it basically translates to their new world being "by Zamasu, for Zamasu." In the manga, Fusion Zamasu takes it even further when he completely drops the "justice" angle and declares his intent to slaughter everyone across every timeline who isn't a version of himself, god and mortal alike. Infinite Zamasu takes this to extremes; by becoming one with the Future Trunks timeline, he succeeded in creating a multiverse where only Zamasu exists...because he is the multiverse.
  • This is the plan of the the Big Bad Pucci in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 6; to reset the universe and create a world where everybody knows their own destiny (also, the Joestars won't exist, but that's more Avenging the Villain).
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this seems to be the goal of Kriemhild Gretchen, the enormously powerful Witch that Madoka will become if she falls into despair. The implications are horrifying enough to overlap with Omnicidal Maniac, because her desire is ultimately to swallow up the Universe into the chaotic Labyrinth that exists within herself, which she believes to be a paradise because it is free of suffering. Thankfully, she is destroyed by the protagonist's wish, which triggers the destruction and reconstruction of the Universe, but in a way more akin to an "End of the World" Special.

    Comic Books 
  • This is why Darkseid seeks the Anti-Life Equation. With it, he can wipe out free will all around and turn everyone into his faithful, worshipping slaves. And from there, he can get to using them as slave labor to tear down all there is and rebuild it "in the image of his soul".
  • The Anti-Monitor did this in Crisis on Infinite Earths after his original plans to destroy all universes were defeated by superheroes. He is stopped again, but random changes (most notably the elimination of all Parallel Earths) happened as a result.
  • Sise-Neg from a Doctor Strange story in the Marvel Universe. Note that Sise-Neg is "genesis" spelled backwards.
  • In an issue of The Incredible Hulk the Leader goes back to make everyone a gamma freak (they'll turn out Leaders, Hulks, or Abominations) and Hulk & the Avengers go back to stop him.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Zeus plans to destroy the earth as it stands and kill of all but a handful of humans who will be subjugated and forced to commit scheduled human sacrifices to him as he has decided that his fading power due lack of worshipers means that humanity can't be trusted to worship him without the removal of their free will or out of any sense of loyalty or gratitude.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): The entire purpose of Dr. Eggman's Genesis Wave technology is this. Using the Chaos Emeralds, he can reshape all of reality and the universe to his liking.
    • He and Dr. Wily actually succeed in this during near the end of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, but Sonic and Mega Man defeated them and undoes this trope. Unfortunately, Eggman stubbornly wrecks Sonic's chances of a complete fix in their universe, but the Cosmic Retcon doesn't do too much except for rewriting history at best and unleashing a Sealed Evil in a Can at worst.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): This is what this version of Eggman plans to do once he conquers the world and creates his Eggman Empire. Utterly despising how "filthy" and "irregular" the world is, Eggman, as the greatest genius that has ever lived, feels that it's his duty, his destiny to mold it into his image of perfection by eliminating what he deems as imperfections, including free will.
  • In The DCU's Crisis Crossover Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, Hal Jordan as Parallax tried to go back to the big bang and reboot the universe the way he wanted it. This resulted in another Cosmic Retcon and a partial Continuity Reboot to several DC series (Hawkman and Legion of Super-Heroes, most notably).

    Fan Works 
  • In Ghosts of the Past, sequel of Child of the Storm, this is revealed to be the motivation behind Surtur, the original Dark Phoenix, going Dark Phoenix in the first place. He also genuinely believes that this would be better, since he sees the universe as it is now as a chaotic hell-hole.
  • In Fallen King, Pegasus's ultimate goal is to rewrite the world according to his rules.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: This is what Kiria's Evil Plan ultimately boils down to: by using the Chrono Displacement spell and the Blackheart serum, he plans to change the outcome of the Battle of Kahdaln, which forced the monsters to set up The Masquerade in the first place, in favor of the monsters using Tsukune's inner ghoul, as well as use other Blackheart-infected monsters to wipe out all of the Dark Lords and any other powerful beings who could possibly pose a threat to him, effectively creating a world where monsters rule, humanity is extinct, and Kiria himself is the greatest, most powerful monster of them all. Unfortunately for Kiria, the plan fails and he gets killed because, in the case of Ghoul!Tsukune, Evil Is Not a Toy.
  • Fanfic version: In the Undocumented Features arc Twilight (no relation), Loki sneaks into the building containing the supercomputer Yggdrasil, planning on reprogramming it to grant him infinite cosmic power. However, Urd stops him.

  • Avengers: Endgame: Thanos was already mad enough to think killing off half the universe so the other half would thrive without killing the whole from overpopulation was a swell idea, but at least he left it at that. However, when he realizes people are trying to undo things and there is a remote chance they might succeed at it, he cracks just a little more. As a result, he decides he's going to just push the Reset Button on everything so no one has anything to mourn, and what life comes after can be steered away from what he thought would be disaster, showered in enough resources to thrive... and he'd make sure they'd be thankful for it this time.

  • The Belgariad has The Prophecy, or rather the two prophecies, which are to some degree compatible (due to vague, cryptic, figurative language) up to a particular event. When this event (the meeting of Belgarion and the Maimed God Torak) occurs, they disagree on the outcome, and diverge wildly from there. It's implied that outcome of this even will rewrite all of history so that the prophecy with the correct prediction of the battle is spot on. Among other things, if Torak wins, Belgarion's "aunt" Polgara will become Torak's bride, and despite how much she hates and despises him now will have always loved him unreservedly. The Prophecies are implied to be living, sentient entities, not just a collection of sayings, which makes this example fit the trope even better.
  • The Chronicles of Amber:
    • In the Corwin part of the series, the evil half-brother, Brand, seeks to re-create the universe to his own image by re-drawing the Pattern.
    • When the Pattern is damaged, there's some debate between various characters as to whether to attempt to repair it or destroy it and draw a new one, effectively rebooting the universe. Corwin actually does draw a new one when he believes the original is destroyed (it turns out it wasn't), which is revealed in the sequel series to have spawned an alternate universe.
  • In the The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids story The Fall of the Consistency Palatium, this is stated by Mandragora as his plan for after he destroys the Multiverse — although he's more interested in becoming all-powerful and omniscient for its own sake, and creating a new cosmos afterwards appears to be an afterthought).
  • Subverted in the 2nd Dragonlance trilogy, the Twins set, when Tasslehoff ends up in the future, and manages to get to a pivotal point in time to avert said future. He makes Raistlin, who is altering the timelines, discard his plan to become a god by convincing Raistlin that Raistlin, even as a god, will NEVER be able to create life.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension, a band of imaginary beings, the Mythos creatures, were facing Fantastic Racism. They attempted this in order to live in the "real" universe (where the rules didn't allow for their existence), and finally have a place to call home. Instead, a compromise was agreed upon, and they could freely inhabit half of Fourth Dimension, the plane of existence that they were just being persecuted in and fighting for complete control of before. The dimension is basically an infinite stretch of floors, corridors and offices, so this could have been proposed earlier if the leaders of each faction weren't so stubborn, though it's unclear if the Mythos creatures actually came from that dimension.
  • Played with in Eric by Terry Pratchett. The not-really-evil conjurer demands Rincewind make him live forever, which means starting at the beginning of creation..... Mayonnaise ensues.
  • When Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Star Wars Legends books The Thrawn Trilogy first tried to recruit Fallen Jedi Joruus C'boath in order to use C'baoth's Mind Control talents to reestablish The Empire, C'boath wasn't interested. It turns out C'baoth is the petty, Control Freak sort of tyrant who wants to control every thought and aspect of the lives of his subjects, and being the leader of a galaxy wide Empire is incompatible with that. Thrawn, catching on fast, then suggests a downplayed version of this trope: Thrawn proposes that he can kidnap Leia's children and give them to C'baoth so C'baoth can shape them how he pleases, and through them, mold the rebirth of the Jedi Order so it can be become C'baoth's personal vision for the Jedi. C'baoth agrees, but later his mind control abilities grow so much from constant use that C'baoth decides that he can rule a galaxy wide empire his way after all...
  • Swellhead plans to reshape the world entirely from his own imagination.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Dark One would do this if it ever got free. During their final battle, it torments Rand by showing him two possibilities it might realize — the first is a dystopian hellscape ruled by the Forsaken, and the second seems normal enough... until it's revealed that the entire human race have had their sense of right and wrong and empathy removed, turning them into heartless sociopaths just like the Dark One itself. In both cases, history was rewritten so that no one realized anything was wrong. The second vision was so bad that Rand produced a world where he did this, by making it so that the Dark One had never existed. Except it turns out that the Dark One is necessary for free will, so that everyone in Rand's "perfect" world was only eternally good and happy because he'd essentially brainwashed them to be like that. Cue My God, What Have I Done?.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A variation in Arrow. The Big Bad of Season 4, Damien Darhk, plans to destroy the world in nuclear war while his followers hide out in an underground bunker, then use the powerful Black Magic created from the deaths of billions to recreate the world anew.
  • The Big Bad of Kamen Rider Build, Evolt intends to do this on a universal scale by devouring every planet in the universe one-by-one, at which point he'll be left with a barren "new world" that he, now effectively a god with all the planets he absorbed, can shape to be whatever he wants.
  • Tao Zant in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger planned to use the Evil Will to destroy and remake everything on a universal scale.
  • Supernatural:
    • In "Let the Good Times Roll", Lucifer intends to dismantle the entire universe and remake it in his own image after he receives a Power-Up; in seven days, or ten at the most.
      "Remake it in my image, better than Dad ever could. I'm thinkin'... Hmmm... Fire-breathing dragons? Sassy talking robots. I might give humans another chance if they know their place and... worship me."
    • In the finale season, Chuck/God threatens to remake the whole of reality from scratch after he's finished dismantling the rest of The Multiverse and then the main universe. Unlike most examples, he's actually the original creator of the already-existing version of reality.
  • Stargate SG-1: After the heroes unlock the Dakara Superweapon and use it to wipe out the Replicators, they promptly lose control of it to Anubis, who plans to use it to wipe the galaxy clean of life and repopulate it in a manner more to his liking.
  • Brajira's ultimate goal in Tensou Sentai Goseiger is to use the Nega End to "purify" the world at the cost of removing its lifeforms, effectively remaking it.

    Professional wrestling 
  • Through the Prophecy, this was the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels's plan for Ring of Honor.
  • Kevin Steen wanted to do this to the entire pro wrestling industry, starting with Ring of Honor and Chikara. He wanted to take Eddie Kingston along, who he already felt was "in his own image" but Kingston, being the first Chikara grand champion, kind of liked the place the way it was and had starting learning to love ROH too.
  • "The World Famous" Kana has been accused of having such ambitions since 2010 when she wrote a "manifesto" in Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH on how to save Joshi, but in December 2014 she actually announced plans to "reform" the REINA promotion after fighting, and weaseling her way to the REINA World Women's and World Tag Team titles.
  • Amber Rodriguez literally set out to do this to professional wrestling after returning from the army, striving to give every last wrestler she came across a makeover, willingly or otherwise. She adopted the title "Mad Esthetician" with pride and started taking beauty classes to live up to it.

    Video Games 
  • In the Marathon series, this is the final resolution of any AI that goes Rampant — to escape the heat death of the universe and shape the one that follows. To quote Durandal, "Escape would make me a god."
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: Gol and Maia's Evil Plan amounts to this; by cracking open the Dark Eco silos, they'll be able to use the massive amounts of Dark Eco within to remake the world as they see fit.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Master Xehanort's ultimate goal is to trigger a second Keyblade War, then use the power of Kingdom Hearts to wipe out the current worlds and remake them in his image of balance.
  • System Shock 2: SHODAN, after having the player fight off the Annalids, tries to take control of the hyperspace module to rewrite the universe to her specifications.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Whereas Princess Hilda is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to use Hyrule's Triforce to save the dying world of Lorule, Yuga wants to use it to remake Lorule in his own image.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind this is what makes Dagoth Ur an existential threat. He is already slowly but surely warping Mundus into a reflection of his own broken mind due to deluding himself into thinking Mundus is his dream rather than the Dream of Anu. And the power he gained from the Heart of Lorkhan is making his delusion real. This is the true nature of the Corprus and the Ashblight — both are manifestations of Dagoth Ur's remaking the Anu's Dream into his own nightmare.
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time: This is ultimately the plan of Doctor Nefarious Tropy. After Neo Cortex is defeated by Crash and calls it quit, Nefarious reveals himself and ends his alliance with him. He explains that while Cortex is content with just ruling space and time, he would rather start from scratch. Using the rift generator, Tropy plans to "wipe the slate clean" by rebooting the entire timeline and rebuilding to his liking, with him as the only god, of course.
  • Paper Mario series:
  • Pirate 101: At first, many characters believed Kane to be an Extreme Knight Templar whose goal was simply to get rid of piracy. During the second part of Valencia, it's revealed that this was not the case, as Kane wants to get rid of everything completely by destroying the Spiral and reforming it into what he considers perfection.
  • Pokémon:
  • This is the point of the Reasons in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Each Reason holder seeks to re-create the world according to their guiding philosophy. The only one who attempts this and fails is Yuko Takao, who believes that her God will tell her the Reason, failing to realize that she is meant to come up with it herself. However, the MC can still unlock it as an available ending. It's worth mentioning that her motivation is relatively unselfish compared to the others: she's only trying to undo her mistake by restoring the world to the way it was.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric: Lyric's Evil Plan is to destroy all organic life on the planet and rebuild it into a robotic world under his control, feeling he can't trust anything non-robotic after he was forced to convert himself into a cyborg to stay alive after contracting a fatal disease:
      Lyric: Technology is the only thing you can trust. Which is why I'm going to rid this world of all organic lifeforms - and rebuild it, piece by robotic piece.
    • Eggman always planned to Take Over the World, but by the time of Sonic Forces, this seems to be his plan. His ultimate plan to take out La Résistance? Have Infinite use the Phantom Ruby to drop an artificial sun on them, essentially destroying the entire planet and enabling him to rebuild it from the ashes.
      Infinite: We move forward with the plan?
      Eggman: Of course! When it's complete, the Resistance will be erased. The world will be nothing but ashes, from which a glorious Eggman Empire will rise!
    • Sonic and the Secret Rings: The Erazor Djinn's ultimate plan, once he's acquired the seven World Rings, is to remake the world of the Arabian Nights in his image, and then move on to Sonic's world and repeat the process. He even states as such during the final boss.
      Erazor: I will remake this world and this reality in my own image!
  • Spider-Man: Edge of Time:
    • A key factor in Sloan's plan. By traveling back in time to the 1970s, he founds Alchemax years before it was supposed to be established, remaking the company in his image.
    • The Alchemax CEO, aka Peter Parker 2099, takes it even further, planning to harness the quantum energy of the incoming Time Crash to assume control of the timestream and remake the universe in his image. He's actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist, as a key part of this plan is undoing Peter Parker's mistakes, such as the deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, but Spider-Man 2099 argues against him doing so, because he's trying to harness power no human should have.
  • Starcraft II: The Dark Voice, who turns out to be named Amon, the Big Bad, is a fallen Xel'Naga that believes that the Endless Cycle is filled with torment and suffering and aims to bring an end to it. While this might make him sound like a Dark Messiah, and his worshippers believe in this, a protoss that entered his mind claims that his intentions are anything but noble. He only seeks to kill everything in the universe, even his own followers, and reshape it into his own image
  • This is Bowser's plan, believe it or not, in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel. Bowser didn't want to destroy the galaxy however, he just wanted to create one of his own. But that wasn't enough, he then wanted to use it as the capitol for his new space empire, which lead to a battle that destroyed it and the original galaxy until the lumas reset it, causing him to try his plan again a different way because the lumas never recreat the Mario galaxy the same way twice.
  • In Wizard101, Morganthe's ultimate goal is to learn the Song of Creation and use its Reality Warping powers to remake the Spiral in her own image.


    Western Animation 
  • Darkwing Duck: In the episode "Time and Punishment", Gosalyn hitches a ride with a Time Machine into a Bad Future where her disappearance caused Darkwing to become increasingly extreme in his fight against crime, not only destroying all the bad guys but turning all of Saint Canard into a totalitarian nightmare where All Crimes Are Equal. When he obtains the time machine, he contemplates going back to the start of history and issuing the death penalty from the get go, or even going to the Paleozoic period to drill respect for the law into the new land-based lifeforms.
  • In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, Abis Mal gets his hands on a time travel device and decides to go back to the day Agrabah was founded, so that he could found it instead of the ancestors of the current Sultan. Instead, he ends up squabbling with his ancestor and not really getting anything done, before Aladdin shows up to take the time travel device away and set everything right.
  • In X-Men: The Animated Series, Apocalypse steals Cable's time travel device in the far future, and travels to a temporal center called the Axis of Time. He kidnaps psychics from all eras in history, planning to use their combined power to wipe out all reality so that he can rebuild it to his choosing.
  • In Pinky and the Brain, the Brain once went back in time to make a world ruled by mice. He succeeded, but changed his mind when he ended up with a world full of Pinkies.
  • Action Man (2000): Dr. X plots to "test" humanity to create what he called Neo-Humanity. His so-called tests were effectively to to kill off those were not the most physically capable humans and leave only the strongest, most athletic people as survivors. His ultimate goal was to take these most physically capable and inject them with his DNA, turning them into clones of himself while using their bodies as extensions of his mind, making him the most literal example of this trope.
  • One episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had Billy stranded back in time and fall in love with a cavewoman. When we get back to the present, everyone looks and acts like Billy.
  • Justice League:
    • This turns out to be the overarching scheme of Darkseid: Attempting to discover the Anti-Life Equation, he intends to use it to first destroy reality itself, then commandeer the re-creation process and rebuild reality in his image, hoping to create a universe of perfect order and obedience.
    • One-off villain Lord Chronos tried this using his time-travel suit to head towards the very beginning of time itself and work from there to reshape reality, a far cry from his original hobby of going back to steal objects no one would ever miss.
    • After being taken over by Brainiac, Luthor asks what the plan is after analyzing and destroying all worlds. When it turns out he doesn't have one, Luthor suggests they rebuild them on their own terms, and Brainiac acquiesces. As a result, Superman's "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight appeal fails miserably.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): In the Ninja Tribunal story arc, this is the Tengu Shredder's ultimate goal, and he admits as such:
    Tengu Shredder: What a pleasure it will be to hear the screams when I remake the world in my own image.
  • The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour special had Professor Calamitous planning to use Jorgen's powers to do this.
  • This was the goal of Maltruant in Ben 10: Omniverse, who planned to go back in time to the universe's creation and sabotage the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens responsible for it.
  • In Major Lazer time-traveling villainess Lady Rothschild goes to the Garden of Eden with the goal of killing Eve and becoming "The Mother of Humanity". When Major Lazer shows up to stop her, she proposes killing Adam and to offer Major Lazer the title of humanity's baby daddy.


Video Example(s):


All-Powerful Crocker

After finally capturing a fairy (namely Wanda), Crocker fulfills his goal of becoming a supreme magical ruler.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotSoHarmlessVillain

Media sources: