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Instant Allegiance Artifact

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Spike: It's called the Alicorn Amulet, and whoever wears it is blessed with untold powers!
Rarity: Even though it provides great power, it also corrupts the user!

Sometimes there's a form of Applied Phlebotinum that can instantly convert a person's ethics to match some desired end. Depending on the type (and the needs of the story), this mental alteration might disappear as soon as the Instant Allegiance Artifact is removed. Or it might not.

This is a popular fictional means of arranging a temporary Faceā€“Heel Turn. It's far less common for heroes to use such an artifact even if it would be a 'humane' alternative. In fact, the willingness to use such an implement often distinguishes heroes from the Well-Intentioned Extremist or Tautological Templar.

A variation is that the artifact does nothing at all, but the subject thinks it does, and behaves accordingly.

See also The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, Artifact Domination, and Hypno Trinket. Compare Mirror Morality Machine and Enemy Exchange Program.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure: In the first season there are the Black Gears, followed by the Black Rings, Black Spirals, and Dark Spores in Digimon Adventure 02. The first three turn Digimon evil until they can be removed or destroyed, while the Dark Spores turn humans evil.
  • Fairy Tail: The ancient magic Nirvana does this, with a slight twist in that it turns villains good as well as turning good people evil. (As long as their emotions were in flux: basically, a good person will turn bad if they're depressed, angered, or otherwise in a negative state, while a bad person will turn good if they're happy, pleased, or otherwise in a positive state.)
  • Yakitate!! Japan: Yuuichi Kirisaki's Go-Pan #1 caused an instant alignment change after consumption.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: Spider-man's black symbiote costume typically brings out the darker, selfish desires of whoever wears it.
  • Suicide Squad: The Thinker helmet grants the wearer technopathy and massive intellect boosts. However, the darker facets of their personalities are left to take the helm.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Aladdin, The Genie's Lamp is stolen after his fight with Aladdin, and with Jafar now his Master, he's forced to work against Aladdin and grant Jafar's wishes, even if he doesn't want to. A similar event happens in Aladdin: The Series when Eden, a female Genie, has her bottle stolen by the episodes villain.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Avengers, Loki is armed with a scepter that allows him to instantly sway Hawkeye, Eric Selvig and a significant number of other involuntary accomplices to his side. All his victims have Mind-Control Eyes that turn bright blue. The scepter won't influence Tony Stark due to his arc reactor, though. As revealed in The Stinger and Avengers: Age of Ultron, the scepter was lent to Loki by Thanos and contains one of the Infinity Stones.
  • The Golden Child: Letting the Golden Child touch you will result in you becoming his protector, even if you were ordered to kill him.

  • In Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords book series about a set of magic swords forged by the gods, one of the swords - the Mindsword - had this as its ability. Whenever it was drawn, anyone who saw the blade would instantly become a follower of the wielder. Let me repeat that: ANYONE who saw the blade, even the gods themselves, would instantly become a follower of the blade's wielder, regardless of who the wielder was, or what the personal beliefs of the victim were. And this could be done just as effectively to entire armies as it was to small groups. The only thing that could counter it was some of the other swords from the set - Shieldbreaker would grant its bearer immunity, Sightblinder would grant its bearer the ability to resist, Soulcutter's ability to induce despair overrode the Mindsword's powers, and Doomgiver was theoretically (the Sword of Justice was destroyed before anyone got an opportunity to test this) capable of defending against it as well.
  • As Artifacts of Doom created from the darkest of magic, Horcruxes from Harry Potter have a habit of altering the mental state of those that come into contact with them.
    • Tom Riddle's Diary from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets possesses a fragment of Lord Voldemort's soul from back when he was Head Boy of Slytherin House, presumably created with the murder of Moaning Myrtle. When Ginny uses it for a prolonged period of time, assuming it to be harmless, the fragment of Tom Riddle slowly begins to take possession of her, using her as a temporary vessel to threaten the school with the Basilisk. By the time Harry finds her in the Chamber, Tom Riddle was almost completely taken control with the intent of using her life to revitalize his own.
    • While looking after Slytherin's Locket in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione take turns wearing the locket as a safety measure so that they are always keeping an eye on it until they figure out how to destroy it. Because of this, it amplifies all of the negative emotions the wearer is feeling as long as they are wearing it, leading to Ron suspecting Harry and Hermione are conspiring against him and abandons them. Interestingly, while Dolores Umbridge wears it, it amplifies her magic without clouding her mind with negativity. Word of God confirms that this is because she is so much of a Hate Sink all her negative qualities are considered positive ones to her.
  • In Helm, this is one of the uses of the imprinters.
  • Downplayed with the One Ring from Lord of the Rings. While it does corrupt its users and can eventually bend their will to Sauron, the process is far from being instantaneous. Exceptionally strong-willed users can theoretically use the Ring to overthrow Sauron, but the power they would gain from it would corrupt them as well.
  • In Ruler of the Magical Keys, whoever owns a certain thermos gains power over the genie that lives inside.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, the Confessors were basically walking, talking versions of this. They have the power, through touch, to instantly turn anyone into a servant of the confessor. However, there's a restraint to this power: it has to recharge, and it only can do this to whoever the confessor is touching, so when the Big Bad starts hunting confessors, he sends out Quads, groups of four well trained killers, so that the confessor can change one of them, the other three can kill the changed one, then the survivors kill the confessor afterward. It's a highly effective method, as long as they can catch the confessor alone.
    • Before the Big Bad made the scene, confessors were used to obtain confessions from suspected criminals, since after a single touch, the victim would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on command. However, since a confessor's touch is essentially permanent, they would only use it on people who's guilt was almost completely certain, in order to confirm their guilt before execution. Unfortunately, the person who SEEMS to be the guilty party isn't always so, so not every person whom the confessors touched was guilty.
      • This was often offered as an alternative to execution after a conviction; if the convicted turned out to be innocent at least they were still alive if no longer the same person; and if the convicted were guilty they could at least be put to good use as a servant of the community rather than being turned into useless meat.
  • The Caps in The Tripods. Their purpose is to mind-control the humans they are attached to, making them docile and obedient to the Masters.
  • The Wheel of Time: A rather odd example is the Horn of Valere, which summons the spirits of heroes bound to the Wheel of Time — who will then fight for whoever blew the Horn, regardless of their allegiance and moral alignment.
    • Downplayed in that while in-universe sources of information may hold this view, the Heroes of the Horn themselves contradict this by stating that they have never been summoned to fight for the side of evil. It is implied that while the Hornsounder can be of any morality or allegiance, certain conditions must be met to summon the Heroes to battle that make it unlikely that they will ever be summoned by a person with evil intentions.
  • In The Witch's Eye, from the Witch series of books, the titular glass-eye seems to make anyone who carries it slowly turn evil. And, much like The One Ring, it also makes it very difficult for the carrier to throw it away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Legend of the Seeker has the Boxes of Orden, which, when put together, give the wielder the power to instantly gain the allegiance of anyone in line-of-sight. In order to counteract the seductive effect of Orden on the wielder, the activation must be coupled with Confession. Breaking up the boxes instantly returns all who were under their power to their original allegiance.
    • An attempt by Zedd to alter Cara's past results in a radical change to the timeline with Richard succeeding in using the Boxes of Orden to turn Rahl into a loyal ally and become the ruler of D'Hara.
  • From the Stargate SG-1 movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth the aforementioned ark is speculated as being one of these, with the ability to instantly change someone to the side of truth. Turns out it's basically programmed to show followers of the Ori that they're wrong, but it's speculated that it could be reprogrammed to make someone believe anything. Apparently the Ancient who created the device had a sense of irony, because the password to activate the Ark is "Origin".

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons some artifacts have curses that gradually change Character Alignment.
    • Almost this, the Helm of Opposite Alignment will flip the Character Alignment of any who wear it to its diametric opposite. It doesn't switch allegiances immediately, but it can potentially unmake any paladin who wears one or tear an adventuring group apart... though that might be debatable, considering the ethical standards of some D&D players.
      • In earlier editions the change took place immediately.
      • In Dark Sun this little trinket led to the founding of the Veiled Alliance — a high-ranked templar got subverted and used his penchant of weaving conspiracies for a good cause (Water and ashes short story by Allen Varney).
    • Forgotten Realms has the Crown of Horns, enchanted by Myrkul, former god of death, to turn the wearer's alignment to Neutral Evil. The first Crown came to control a high-ranked divine minion and was promptly crushed by another servant of the goddess it crossed. If it wasn't bad enough, the Crown v.2 contains what's left of Myrkul, and the wearer is stuck with it not until some priest manages to get close enough to cast "remove curse", but until the dead god chooses another puppet. While gradually transforming into an undead. That will turn to dust once Myrkul decides to leave.
    • When the Eye of Vecna is placed in a living creature's empty eye socket, the creature will immediately change alignment to Neutral Evil. If the Hand of Vecna is grafted onto a creature's arm stump and one of the Hand's primary powers is used, the creature will become Neutral Evil at once. (In earlier versions, this has the added bonus of making the Eye and Hand's wielder think they are actually Vecna.)
    • Those unfortunate enough to look into the Mirror of Simple Order (from Tome of Magic) long enough are polymorphed into their reflection, which is grayed out and stripped of ornaments. For really unfortunate ones this also includes turning Lawful Neutral with very boring personality, average stats, and out to set order to the world.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Choas weapons are possessed by daemons and will corrupt its wielder to Chaos. One of the best examples is Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperors Children legion, who obtained a sword which was corrupted by a daemon of Slaanesh. He was slowly corrupted by its influence and eventually became a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has a dark helm which gives the wearer a boost to their magical aptitude in exchange for penalizing (or rewarding, depending on your character) their alignment with 20 evil points. In an unpatched version of the game, both changes are permanent, and a new bonus is added each time the helm is taken off and re-equipped.
  • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast. Helm of Opposite Alignment, complete with a stick-to-your-head curse!
  • In Fable clothes or armor have alignment change stat. A full suit accounts for about 1/4 distance between pure good and pure evil. If you feel you're too nice, just wear evil clothes, and you're a 50% less good anti-hero.
    • In the evil ending of the expanded version, The Lost Chapters, this is what happens when you put on Jack of Blades' mask rather than destroying it, as this allows Jack to possess the Hero. From a metagaming standpoint it drives your Morality Meter all the way to the Evil end.
  • NetHack has a helmet that temporarily causes your alignment to flip. Bizarrely, it doesn't make you do anything per se—it just causes opposite Karma Meter scoring. So with some exceptions, you can put the helmet on, do some stuff that normally causes Karma damage, uncurse it off, and it translates as if you've been doing the proper actions. Be careful about sacrifices, though - do the wrong ones, cement your alignment, and you've triggered the one way to make NetHack Unwinnable.
  • The Psychosis Gun in Perfect Dark makes the target think friends are enemies and vice versa. It figures most prominently in one of the bonus missions that Elvis undertakes.
  • The Warcraft series contains the artifact Frostmourne, which sucks out the soul of anyone who uses it and lets them hear the voice of the Lich King, thus equipping them with a lack of conscience and a new master in one stroke.

  • In Eerie Cuties, Chloe's mom has the "Doom Panties" locked away. These enhance a succubus power as well as their Extreme Libido instincts. When Chloe puts them on at too young of an age, she instantly transitions to a full-blown succubus and goes from a nice, nerdy, shy girl to contender for Alpha Bitch.
  • In Erfworld, the Arkenpliers, as wielded by their attuned master, are capable of Decrypting units (which works like Uncroaking/Animate Dead, except they resurrect as sentient, non-decaying units instead of zombies). The Decrypted are loyal to the Arkenpliers' user regardless of past loyalties. Even the Decrypted Prince Ansom experienced a complete alignment reversal. It was initially unclear whether that was because of the Arkentool or just a matter of him going nutty over being beaten by Parson, but it has since been revealed that the Arkenpliers have that effect on anyone. His brother, Ossomer, proved that this was not irresistible by turning his allegiance back, In both cases, the person seemed to retain their original personality (although the initial death experience affects some more than others). Ansom was a fanatic (first as a Royalist then, after being defeated and resurrected, as a Toolist) while Ossomer was dedicated to the principles of nobility and remained so even after being Decrypted.
  • The Other's slaver wasps in Girl Genius. Get snagged by one, and that person's enslaved to the will of the Other.

    Web Original 
  • SCP-2140-1-D from the SCP Foundation universe was an image that caused anyone who looked at it to instantly turn against the Foundation. It was destroyed after being reverse-engineered into SCP-2140, an image that would cause anyone who looked at it to become loyal to the Foundation.

    ... And then a while later someone found that records showed that the Foundation had never used the instant-loyalty image on anyone (not even test subjects), but had granted security clearance to research the image to an unusually large number of Foundation personnel. Follow-up investigation into those exposed to the original SCP-2140-1-D showed that all of them had been moles. So the Foundation concluded that the SCP didn't do anything like brainwashing or Mind Manipulation, but instead retroactively changed the past so that anyone looking at the image had always been loyal to the maker of the image.

    Western Animation 
  • Megatron infamously reprogrammed Rhinox in the Beast Wars episode Dark Designs. The latter's strength and intelligence, coupled with Predacon ambition and lack of scruples, allowed him to singlehandedly trash half the base and take over the rest before he picked up the Villain Ball and Megatron changed him back.
    • Also done to Ravage via a recording of the G1 Megatron
    • And this is what G1 Autobots did to Devastator. Which is only fair as a later episode revealed Megatron made the Constructicons evil.
  • In Challenge Of The Go Bots, the GoBots have a Good/Evil switch of sorts. Why do they even have that button?
  • In Kim Possible, there was a helmet that flipped people between being a superhero and supervillain.
    • Later turned into a laser weapon, causing multiple midfight switches. And of course, it hits Ron.
  • Magi-Nation has the Allegiance Relic, which can change Shadow Magi good and vice versa, so long as they consent. But even that can be overridden with a willingness spell.
  • The Ying Yo-Yo and Yang Yo-Yo in Xiaolin Showdown. If you use one to go into the Ying-Yang world, you come out evil. (A later episode says it just reverses alignment.) Using both nullifies this drawback.