Follow TV Tropes


Mind Hive

Go To

Shepard: What is the individual in front of me called?
Legion: There is no "individual". We are geth. There are currently 1,183 programs active within this platform.

As a Hive Mind is one mind, many bodies, a Mind Hive is the opposite — many minds, one body.

The minds/consciousnesses/souls/whatnot of different people are housed within one body, most likely through magical or technological means. The minds can communicate with each other, and normally actions are through consensus.

Distinct from Split Personality because even if what's housed inside is totally separate entities that got merged, they still retain their individuality. Sometimes may speak in I Am Legion pattern. Compare Sharing a Body, Two Beings, One Body, and Many Spirits Inside of One. Contrast Merger of Souls. See also Animal Eye Spies.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The AIM Fetus from the Level Upper arc of A Certain Scientific Railgun is a Mind Hive born from Hive Mind of the users/victims of Level Upper. It reflects their mind, all of whom lament their lot in life as weak espers. When the giant flying baby-thing is defeated, the victims of Level Upper wake up from their coma.
  • Digimon:
    • Apocalymon from Digimon Adventure is a single life-form created from the collective data of all Digimon who died in failed attempts to evolve.
    • Digimon Frontier has Susanoomon, which acts as this for both the heroes themselves and the Ten Legendary Warriors.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Imperfect Cell evokes this trope to try and trick Android 18 into letting herself be absorbed, by mimicking Android 17's voice and asking her to "join him". 18 very briefly swayed, but very quickly sees through the trick.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Hohenheim is this, due to being a living Philosopher's Stone. He's revealed to have reached an accord with each of the tens of thousands of souls sharing his body, though he's the dominant one in control.
    • Envy's true form. He claims the souls lost their personalities long ago, but that doesn't stop faces from popping up all over him and wailing things like "mommy!". They also tend to speak for his subconscious ("Don't look!" "Don't Look!" "At me!"), so there are a lot of reasons he just doesn't wear this form normally.
  • In Hellsing, vampires keep all the souls of the people they've devoured inside them. Alucard had millions of souls until the finale.
  • In My Hero Academia, Izuku Midorya gains a version of this when he gains the ability to communicate with the previous One for All users in dreams and trance states. At first he can’t talk to them but gains that ability as well. Two users reject him at first but relent at the urging of the first user. It causes trouble when Midoriya manifests Blackwhip the first time. Another student with a brainwashing Quirk tries to brainwash Midoriya to help him regain control and it fails because his Quirk can only brainwash one person at a time while Midoriya had multiple entities in him.
  • At the end of Saint Beast: Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan, there is a monster made up of the angry spirits of purged angels, sharing one giant body of miasma. A similar case occurs earlier with the dead of the lake town.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual World arc, after Nezbit of the KaibaCorp Big Five managed to take Tristen's body, all five of them collectively shared the body in a duel against Yami Yugi and Joey. Although they were able to chat amongst each other to make decisions, they rotated out who was in charge while also rotating deck masters.
    • Yu Gi Oh ARCV ends with Yuya becoming this, after he absorbs his three-dimensional counterparts. Considering that they talk to each other a few times, they all seem to be fine with it.

    Comic Books 
  • Winged Victory from Astro City is backed by the Council of Nike, a worldwide psychic network of thousands of women. Their unified goal is to help women everywhere, with Winged Victory being a vessel for their collective power. She becomes considerably weakened when they question her devotion to the cause.
  • In B.P.R.D., the Oannes Society planned to save humanity from the Ogdru Jahad by preserving the souls of millions of people inside the bodies of a half dozen genetically engineered giants (with the unfortunate side-effect that everybody else would have wound up getting bumped off ahead of schedule).
  • During the Eighth Doctor's tenure in Doctor Who Magazine, he fought against one of these. Turns out his companion Grace Holloway saved some of the saliva the Master spat at her during The Movie, and had begun researching it in hopes of introducing regenerative capabilities on humans. Unfortunately, at that point in time the Master was actually possessing an alien creature, and only his strong will kept his body's urges and the influence of the other mind he consumed in line. The arrogant scientist who gained control of the project lacked the Master's will and experience with mind control, so he rapidly decayed into a lumbering mass of protoplasm, tormented by the dozens of minds he'd consumed, until the Doctor mercifully blew him up.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Kree Supreme Intelligence is the collected brains of all the important Kree, harvested upon their deaths.
    • The cyborg Death's Head II has assimilated the minds of 106 targets from across time and space. Most of them are suppressed, with Death's Head drawing on their skills but not overtly influenced by their personality, but there have been exceptions — mostly notable the original Death's Head, but also Bezial (who refused to cooperate and later stole a new body of his own) and Czorn Yson (who later built a new body and became Die-Cut).
    • Deadpool has been known to house other minds within his own due to unusual circumstances. Agent Preston gets put into this position until they can put her mind into an LMD, while Madcap rode along in Deadpool's head for a while after merging with him, becoming the "second voice" in the Daniel Way run until they were split up again in Deadpool annual #1.
    • Charles Xavier's all-powerful but tragically insane son, David Haller, has multiple personalities that are multiplying all the time. During his ongoing solo series, he was given an animal motif of superorganisms such as beehives or man-of-war jellyfish. He keeps them in check by imagining a prison where he drains their powers. When they assert dominance and assume control, it's depicted as them gnawing on his body.
    • Bruce Banner has multiple personalities. Apart from the ones we've seen, they're all dormant, depicted in his mind as frozen in ice as a kind of stasis. When the ice breaks, they start fighting for control.
  • Mega Man (Archie Comics)'s version of Doc Robot is one, containing the personality chips of all eight Mega Man 2 robot masters.
  • In the Supergirl (2011) storyline Be Careful What You Wish For, the titular heroine comes upon the Inoxians, an alien race who are a collective consciousness.
  • In Zorn & Dirna: Les Laminoirs, Death has been imprisoned and cannot claim any lives. Since people still age and become horrid-looking, necrotic zombie-lookalikes, they are by law forced to go (or be dragged) to facilities where they are beheaded... which won't kill them, but make the soul take residence in the axeman. Some of the axemen (who are usually prisoners) harbour several thousand souls, which can fight for control of the body.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Besides the three-headed Ghidorah and the two-headed Monster X's respective Multiple Head Case, there's the Many, who are The Assimilator capable of performing Fusion Dances with the biomass they've infected and absorbed.
  • Animorphs: The Reckoning: Andalites, being a naturally telepathic species, tend to Go Mad from the Isolation when stranded on a planet without others of their kind. To remedy this, Aximili voluntarily hosts Temrash, a Yeerk, in order to provide the constant social stimulation he requires. In addition to the Living Memory of Elfangor that Ax mentally carries, Temrash itself brings remnants of its previous host — Jake's brother, Tom, and all his catchphrases, personality quirks, and human mannerisms. Marco points out how off-putting the resulting amalgam behaves.
  • Atonement: This is how the Pandoras work, post-Character Development. Originally, it was a Hive Mind with Pandora Prime in charge, but then she got killed off and the other bodies she'd made eventually settled into 18 distinct personalities in constant telepathic contact. Due to their self-biokinesis, each personality usually has one body to herself, but they're capable of changing that at whim.
  • Inky Future: Much like Gem fusions, the fused entity known as "Leviathan" made from Agents 3 through 8 after they were blended together is one of these, the main reason that they manage to make it work is because all six individuals comprising Leviathan have close bonds and learned to link their minds to coordinate while still maintaining their individuality. Learning that this is the case triggers a Villainous Breakdown in Commander Tartar, who was expecting their minds to be merged and in fact detests the concept of individuality and free will, and Leviathan gleefully rubs this fact in in their face and insinuates that Tartar's desired "ultimate life form" would never work with melded minds without senses of self and individuality.
  • The Moonstone Cup: When a mage uses Energy Absorption to gain extra power, a limited copy of the source's thoughts is planted into their own mind as long as the energy is present. When Twilight's friends offer to be drained before the finals to give her an edge against Amarok, she ends up with the voices of all six of them in her head for most of the match.
  • Points of Familiarity and its rewrite Surrogate of Zero have a post-Third-Impact Shinji Ikari and the "Well of Souls." Near as anyone can determine, he is the last surviving human with a body. Everyone else lives in his head.
  • Thousand Shinji: After Third Impact, the Well of Souls — an amalgam of the souls of all humans that got harvested during Instrumentality — is inside of the bodies of Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato.
  • What Insertion?: This happens to Hellmaster Phibrizzo against his will due to a wish Inuyasha made on the Shikon no Tama. The wish transplanted him and the story's resident Author Avatar into twin chambers hollowed out within the mazoku's mind, and the both of them can move about freely within them and interact with things they find; this in turn affects Phibrizzo's immediate reality, much to his constant irritation.
  • Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash: Callista is shown to deal with this. Kaoru Matsubara resides in her head and can switch places with Callista at any time, swapping both bodies and minds. Her subconscious is also home to the Copycats, physical representations of the darker and lighter aspects of her personality who are constantly squabbling with each other.

    Films — Animation 
  • A downplayed and benign example appears in Atlantis: The Lost Empire with the Heart of Atlantis, which thrives on the collective emotions of all Atlanteans that pass on, providing its people with power, longevity and protection in return. However, as the crystal grew, it eventually began to develop its own consciousness, so when King Kashekim Nedakh attempted to use it as a weapon of war, its power ended up overwhelming Atlantis and leading to its destruction.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Exorcist, the demon Pazuzu appears to be one, containing the souls of the damned deceased. ("Your mother's in here with us, Karras.")note  Maybe. Even less certain in the book. Even with all the proof he's seen, Karras still thinks of it in terms of "manifesting personalities" until Fr. Merrin, a world-renowned exorcist, dismisses this with a flat "There is only one." And since he's evicted Pazuzu before, you can take what he says to the bank.
  • House on Haunted Hill (1999): It turns out that the house isn't merely haunted, but the ghosts have amalgamated into a single entity that speaks with multiple voices, and wants to devour the souls of the visitors to add to its consciousness.
  • The Rise of Skywalker: In the years since Return of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine has become one; according to the man himself, "I am all Sith."
  • The titular monster from The Thing (1982) is this. It's technically a species of multiple infectious alien micro-organisms, but the cells forming a shared biomass also have a shared intelligence distributed amongst them in the same way human brain cells do.
  • Sid 6.7 in Virtuosity is a virtual program who eventually gets downloaded into a self-regenerating android body. He's assembled out of the minds of dozens of psychopaths, murderers, and dictators, including the dead terrorist Matthew Grimes, the protagonist Barnes's previous nemesis. Grimes is repeatedly brought to the surface when Sid comes face to face with Barnes and influences Sid's desire to gain world notoriety.

  • In The Alchemy of Stone, the soul-smoker is this after a lifetime of absorbing ghosts.
  • Animorphs:
    • the Ellimist has a pattern of switching between "I" and "we", so characters are unsure of how many Ellimists there are. The prequel book reveals that this trope is actually in play — before getting godlike powers, the Ellimist was an alien refugee captured by "Father", a massive sea-creature that killed countless people (including the few other members of the Ellmist's species) and absorbed their minds. The Ellimist eventually defeated Father and absorbed the minds into himself.
    • Visser One concludes that humans as a race are this. Self-doubt and second guessing are alien concepts to Yeerks until they meet humans, and their best translation is that it is like living with your own worst traitor in your head. She also sees the advantage of this, as unlike an external traitor, the internal human one still has the survival of the human as a major interest, so the decisions humans make are wiser because they considered the possibility that they could lose. As a whole, Yeerks find humans to be very frustrating to infest, as humans tend to fight them, if only a near constant barrage of Snark-to-Snark Combat, long after the point where other hosts would have given up. The Yeerk who infested Jake states that Tom knew that it was useless, but still tried to tell him what to do and mocked him like Jake was doing. Chapman's Yeerk had to make concessions to the man because Chapman's will was such that he could overthrow control from time to time, something that other races could not do and Yeerks saw as bad form on the part of the Yeerk.
  • In The Black Company, Soulcatcher (a powerful spellslinger whose primary talent is Exactly What It Says on the Tin) might well be the epitome of this trope.
  • The protagonists of Black Star Rising by Frederik Pohl include a scientist known as Manyface, who once nearly died from brain damage that was treated by replacing the lost sections with pieces from the brain of a dead boy. When asked if he could remember his name, he gave it, then gave the dead boy's name a second later. The two realized that their joined knowledge was a great aid to the scientist's research, and by the start of the story they've collected so many brains they've had to undergo experimental skull-enlargement surgery to fit them all in.
  • In Book of the New Sun, there are several ways this can happen. Alzabos are animals that can absorb the memories and personalities of the dead people they eat. Corpse-eater cults use an alzabo derived drug to do the same. The Autarches do the same by eating the brain of their predecessor while he or she is still alive.
  • The Chaos Cycle: Abaddon, the evil spirit and antagonist of the first book The Hollow Gods, is actually a collection of minds in one form. Since ancient times, Abaddon has constantly made the same evil mistakes over and over again so many times through all of his reincarnations that he's become a combined entity of sorts with the mind of each of his past lives exerting some control but led by his original incarnation, known as "The First" aka the God of creation Velizar.
  • Author Keiichiro Hirano explores a similar idea — that of "dividuals" — in his near-future science-fiction/political thrillers Dawn and Fill the Void. Acting as an alternative to "individualism" — that is, the idea that the different masks we wear in everyday life in response to the situations and people around us are all simply parts of the same core "personality" or "individual" — "dividualism" posits that the different personalities we seem to have are just that: distinct entities ("dividuals") generated naturally by the interaction between a person and his or her environment or conversational partners, all of which exist simultaneously within that person and emerge at the appropriate time. In the novels (particularly Dawn), the implications of whether to accept or reject this model of "personhood" on the level of society are discussed at length, in the context of both intimate personal relationships and a major battle of political ideology.
  • The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time: Legion is a fleshy slime-like creature hosting souls of eleven individuals (both male and female) and one parasite life form. It takes the form of whichever personality emerges and gradually gained the ability to temporarily separate a personality from its main body.
  • The Diadem Saga: The spirits of past Diadem wearers are bound irrevocably to the device, and can take over the wearer's body at need. When Aleytys becomes a wearer, there are three: its original owner Harskari (represented as a pair of amber eyes), a scholar whose jealous lover forged it to trap her forever, a bard named Shadith (violet eyes) who died in a spelunking accident, and a warrior named Swardheld Foersvarat (black eyes) who stumbled on Shadith's then-ancient skeleton.
  • Altogether Andrews from Discworld. He has several personalities lodging inside his body, some of which are only darkly referred to and never seen. And none of which are named Andrews. The going theory in-universe is that he was a psychic who let in too many wandering spirits, and the spirits eventually crowded him out.
  • The Divine Comedy:
    • On Mars, the souls of the martyrs are in such harmony that they organize into what appears to be one gigantic cross and single with what sounds like one, heavenly voice,
    • On Jupiter, the souls of The Good Kings work together to take the shape of a gigantic eagle, the symbol of the Roman Empire. Amazingly, not only can they perfectly move parts of the Eagle's bodies without speaking to each other, but the Eagle can talk separately from any of them. Spiritually, this shows the perfection of Heavenly communion, but it also makes a political point that kings are not supposed to manipulate others on whims, but are supposed to be one, subordinate part of a just society that works for the good of all.
  • Dune:
    • Abominations are people who experience Bene Gesserit memory sharing before birth. As a result, they are subject to being taken over by the personalities of their genetic ancestors. This can lead to some interesting situations:
    • Alia was taken over by multiple personalities just before her death. Prior to this, her grandfather Baron Vladimir Harkonnen had controlled her for a fair amount of time.
    • Leto II reached a compromise: He built a sort of council of more level-headed ancestors (led by an Egyptian Pharaoh) to help him share his consciousness, staving off some of the crazy ones (like Baron Harkonnen).
  • A random Imperial from the Eldraeverse probably has both a personal assistant AI ("muse") and a fragment of the Eldraeic Transcend Hive Mind ("soul-shard") running in his head alongside his own mind. And since minds are software, this can scale up a long way.
  • Fate/Apocrypha has Jack the Ripper, a Humanoid Abomination that takes the shape of a young girl, but in reality is the aggregate of the hate, fear and pain of thousands of abandoned and abused children in Victorian London.
  • It implies that It consumes or retains the souls of It's victims ("We all float down here"), making it a sort of Mind Hive. It may be lying.
  • I Will Fear No Evil: After having his brain transplanted into another person's body, Johann Smith picks up additional personalities: first the one which formerly inhabited his body, and later that of his lawyer after the lawyer's death. Something of a subversion in that while he clearly knew things he could only have learned from the previous inhabitant of the body, there's no clear method of transfer for the lawyer's memories, so at some point he may have simply gone insane.
  • Jacob's Ladder Trilogy:
    • Mallory has "a head so full of dead people I suspect whoever I started off as should probably be counted as one of them". Mallory is a necromancer, which in this setting means collecting the data of now dead people to prevent their knowledge, skills and whatever else of themselves they had saved before death from being lost, and being able to use that information, all the while getting all the individual people to be nice to each other.
    • While Mallory is an extreme example, the same technology allows for other people to have milder cases of this as well. For example, the ship's Captain and Chief Engineer both get their predecessors' data loaded into their brains, which enables them to use their knowledge and also to talk to them.
    • And then there's eating other people, which is similar to the above, but obviously with less voluntary participation from the one being eaten.
  • Shitload from John Dies at the End is so called because "there's a shitload of us in here."
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Remho the Trickster is the God of the Theater and so he has four aspects within one personality: producer, director, casting director, and special effects artist. All of them coexist as one deity with four roles but occasionally they argue. When they argue, it all comes out of Remho's single mouth.
    • During Looming Shadow, Basilard looks into the surface of BloodDrinker's blade and sees countless Bladi chiefs staring back at him, the souls of the sword's previous wielders.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, the Kel utilize command composites, which are made up of some number of Kel minds (with an occasional guest from another faction) fused temporarily into one being. Most notably, the Kel Command — the Kel in charge of the entire army — is a command composite.
  • Quick Ben from the Malazan Book of the Fallen is Soulcatcher's (see above) understudy in this (and possibly inspired by the very same). He's got twelve souls rattling around in his brain and has a habit of talking to himself in different voices when no one's looking, but he claims to have reached some kind of consensus with them.
  • Nevermoor: There are two Scholar Headmistresses at Wunsoc: Ms. Dearborn for the School of the Mundane, and Mrs. Murgatroyd for the School of the Arcane. Morrigan is quite taken aback when she gets there and finds out that Dearborn and Murgatroyd are, essentially, two different women in one body, and one will transform into the other with very little warning — sometimes without one's say-so. They can interact directly, but it's rare, and they don't seem to particularly like one another. The third book reveals the School of the Wundrous, and the existence of a third personality named Rook, who becomes Morrigan's Scholar Headmistress when she begins to study the Wundrous Arts. Morrigan tentatively asks her how many people are "in there", and Rook admits she's not sure; she only showed up when Morrigan did. She compares it to being a Russian nesting doll — she knows Murgatroyd and Dearborn (who seems to be the biggest doll in this analogy) are there, because they're "outside" of her, but she has no idea if she's the innermost personality, or just one of many in the middle. Interestingly, she also comments that Dearborn might not even know she exists yet; Rook only "sees" Murgatroyd on her way in or out, so unless she told her, Dearborn may well still be in the dark.
  • The basis of many "super-intelligences" in the Perry Rhodan universe, who tend to form when entire species Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence under the right conditions. Also seen in the so-called "concepts" briefly created by IT, the mostly benevolent super-intelligence claiming the Milky Way galaxy (among others) as its domain, when the latter suffered from a spontaneous case of My Skull Runneth Over after absorbing virtually every human being on Earth at the time to save them from a rival. Concepts consisted of several minds in the body of one member of the group; the most iconic case was Kershyll Vanne, a highly trained agent who found himself sharing his body with the minds of six specialists with different areas of expertise. He ended up playing a key part in freeing the then-occupied galaxy.
  • In Remnants, Tate's "power" is that she turns into a sort of Beserker with a huge mouth who tries to eat anything around her. When she gets A Day in the Limelight, she winds up eating the villains and has their minds living in her head. Yago and Amelia wind up having a Heel–Face Turn and stay for the rest of her life.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?: Protagonist Kumoko eventually gains the skill "Parallel Minds", which essentially creates new "brains" inside her (symbolized by whole new versions of herself), which are capable of separate thought and are tasked with taking care of different things during fights (for example, there is a Body Brain responsible for her movements and attacks, letting the original brain only act in processing information and strategizing, and later a brain whose only responsibility is to figure out how magic works and cast it during fights is added). Each new brain is added to her Split-Personality Team and they work together to make decisions outside of fights, like which skills she should invest on.
  • One tie-in novel for Star Trek: The Original Series has the Enterprise make contact with a Vulcanoid race capable of housing multiple minds in one body (basically, the katra transfer from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan taken to the next level). One representative from this race has 413 minds inside her, which Kirk notes is almost the crew complement of a Constitution-class starship.
  • Clifford Simak's Time is a Simplest Thing has a psychic power called mindshake. It's a personality exchange.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In Mirror Dance, Lord Mark Vorkosigan develops four alternative personalities he calls his "black gang".
  • Butcher XIV from Worm carries the consciousnesses of every previous bearer of the Butcher mantle.
  • Xanadu (Storyverse):
    • A group of dragon dancers, implied to have been named Ben, John, Phil and Ray, are turned into a single Chinese dragon named Behjopiray. The new creature's mind is presented as an amalgam of the four people who were turned into it, and its internal monologue is a set of four distinct commentaries with slightly different personalities — most are largely subsumed into the new draconic persona, but the last one retains more of its human memories.
    • The Lalannas in "Five Hours, Thirty-two Minutes" are a downplayed version, insofar as each body only hosts two minds. They're born as non-sapient larvae, and maturation comes when two merge into a single being with two distinct, mature brains. They resulting "sophantsiblings" remain in constant mental contact with each other through their shared nervous system, and alternate in taking control of their body's eyestalks, ears, tentacles and other extremities at need.
  • X-Wing Series: Hohass "Runt" Ekwesh has many minds and they're all different. There's the pilot mind, the pirate mind, the careful mind, the student mind — in fact, his entire race is made up of creatures with a different mind for each task.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Fittingly, Hive is an example of this trope (in addition to the inversion, Hive Mind). Hive is an Inhuman who takes the form of a worm-like parasite that inhabits the dead. It can then reanimate and bolster the corpse, even healing it to full working order with enough food. It gains access to all the memories of its host and remembers all its previous hosts as well. This leads to some confusion as it will often switch between referring to the hosts as separate entities, while other times it speaks as them directly. S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually manages to cripple Hive for a time by using the memory extraction machine on it, thus making it relive all its hosts' memories at once.
  • In Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, OverMind, the Master Computer which aids Lord Dredd, contains the minds of every human that has been digitized.
  • Crusade has one of these as a Monster of the Week. It begins to spread parts of itself amongst the crew of the Excalibur, turning each crewmember into a platform for one of its personalities.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Dollhouse: Both Echo and her Evil Counterpart Alpha eventually transform into a new type of being with multiple personalities simultaneously inhabiting the same person. When Echo is asked if she would want to go back to her original personality Caroline, she states that she is no longer that person and is now her own entity.
  • Lexx: Kai has the memories of all those he has assassinated in his service to His Divine Shadow.
  • Once Upon a Time: Season 5 reveals that every Dark One contains within themselves the spirits and memories of every other Dark One to come before them.
  • Red Dwarf: Legion, in the episode of the same name. "You may call me Legion, for we are many." "You mean you're a gestalt entity?" "Yes."
  • Star Trek:
    • Downplayed with joined Trill as depicted in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A Trill who plays host to a symbiont will have all the memories and experiences of previous hosts, as well as elements of their personalities, but (if properly trained) won't be consumed by them; the current host instead retains his/her individuality.
    • Also downplayed in Star Trek: Picard with the Daystrom Android M-5-10. It was initially stated to contain the minds Data, Lore, B-4 and even Lal along with its own creator. However, it is subsequently revealed to only have the actual "minds" of the former two, with the rest just being copies of their memories.

    Multiple Media 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible has the original "We are Legion, for we are many" scene. Interestingly enough, Legion is sometimes described as being possessed by a demon or unclean spirit. He also has Super-Strength.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3rd Edition introduced the playable synad race in the Complete Psionic handbook. Each synad has three fully independent minds fused into a functional whole: an "overmind" that controls the synad's actions most of the time, and two "subminds", a "collective" mind that can tap into the synad's racial memory and an "oracle" mind that can offer Combat Clairvoyance once per day. Besides ensuring that a synad is never alone and can always look at problems from multiple viewpoints, their threefold minds let them more easily resist mental attacks, or "multitask" by spending a power point to have a submind perform a purely mental action as a free action. This quirk affects the synads' appearance — in normal light, they can pass for tall, hairless humans, but in dim lighting, and if a synad has expended all their daily power points, two ghostly visages representing their subminds become visible around a synad's physical head.
    • Subverted with the elder brains of the illithids, which are supposedly a gestalt consciousness of all the mind-flayers who have gone before them, absorbed into the greater whole. That's just what the elder brains tell the illithids. Absorbing illithid brains give them the fallen illithid's psychic energy and memories, but nothing of their consciousness remains.
  • Interstitial: Our Hearts Intertwined: The Amalgam playbook lets you play as one, and even induct additional characters into the hive as you advance.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The souls of dead Eldar are placed within their Craftworld's infinity circuit to protect them from being devoured by Slaanesh. There's an in-universe quote describing the Craftworld as "a living being, with a hundred thousand minds".
    • To protect the sanctity of the infinity circuits, the soul stones of Eldar exarchs, warriors who have utterly lost themselves to a life of war and bloodshed, are bound into their armor, to join those of all who wore it before them. Although the mind of the wearer (usually) remains dominant, they can commune with the souls of the previous exarchs and gain their knowledge. Phoenix Lords, the oldest of the exarchs and creators of the Path of the Warrior, are an exception. Their souls are so powerful that the original personality will dominate all others, causing anybody who wears their armor to effectively become a reincarnation of the Phoenix Lord.
    • Depending on which version of Emperor's backstory you subscribe to, he may be this — the most common tale states that he's an amalgamation of all Earth's shamans who put their souls together to form one being. It's unclear, however, if they haven't merged into a singular mind over time.

  • Depending on how you interpret it, the finale of Little Shop of Horrors might imply that Audrey II's victims have become this.

    Video Games 
  • In Abyss Odyssey, the Ghost Monk is a hooded skeletal figure that is an amalgamation of all the Chilean soldiers that have died fighting the Warlock's dreams in the Abyss. The Chilean army fights alongside him in trying to defeat the Warlock, partly because they don't want to become part of him.
  • Dragon Quest XI: The good ending of Hendrik's plot arc, in the post-game, sees this happen when the spirit of Jasper willingly merges with them to help defend the Luminary and atone for past mistakes. This results in a snazzy new costume and the character sometimes speaking in the plural.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's has Ennard and Molten Freddy (although the latter is just the next stage of the former after they kicked one character out for supposedly being a 'bad leader'). Golden Freddy also seems to be one, made up of the Crying Child and The One You [William Afton] Should Not Have Killed.
  • The Beast in Homeworld: Cataclysm is both. It converts spaceships and control them with its consciousness, but at the same time absorbs all the data it finds and uses it to form its speech pattern.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Sora. There are three, maybe four, other minds in his heart at this point, and the earliest has been there since he was four. It comes to a head in 3D when he starts to learn the truth, and the villains ask where he ends and the others begin.
    • As of Birth by Sleep, this turns out to also be true of the Xehanort we see in Kingdom Hearts II. He's got Terra, Master Xehanort, and Master Eraqus in his heart.
    • As of Kingdom Hearts III, both of the above have been revoked. Terra and Ventus have their bodies back, Roxas and Xion have new bodies of their own, while Masters Eraqus and Xehanort have passed on.
  • Kalista of League of Legends is a spectral version of this. When a wronged individual summons the Spear of Vengeance, their soul becomes part of the ever-growing amalgam of minds that is Kalista.
  • One Original Character from Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is Brigade, a Super-Soldier whose mind (and body) consist of an entire squad killed in an explosion, and subsequently saved by Rukko, who implemented an alien neuro-network to combine their minds after he used cybernetic components to merge their bodies. It's not without its effects, however...
  • Mass Effect:
    • The geth are a purely software-based species, and house themselves in massive space-based data hubs that contain millions of geth programs, all of which communicate and work to build consensus. When the geth need to fight or perform other necessary tasks, they upload themselves into "mobile platforms" — the geth soldiers, ships, and vehicles encountered in the games themselves.
    • "Individual" geth programs are said to be non-sapient, being too simple to function beyond their original purpose; this was an intentional limitation placed by the quarians to avoid creating an AI. However, when the programs are able to network together, they are able to create something greater than the sum of their parts and achieve a unique form of sapience.
    • Most "mobile platforms" contain around a hundred geth and have intelligence limited to their designated task, though they can become more intelligent if additional platforms are nearby with which to network. The platform known as Legion is designed to operate outside geth space and so contains over a thousand programs, enough for autonomous operation and dialog with organic sapients. Legion itself initially didn't have a name for itself as it considers itself part of the Geth consensus — it is EDI who suggests "Legion" as a name by quoting Mark 5:9, which it accepts as an appropriate metaphor.
    • The Reapers are revealed to be this as well by the end of Mass Effect 2. Legion points out this was already implied in the first game by comments regarding the nature of the first Reaper encountered.
      Sovereign/Nazara: We are each a nation.
    • Considering the revelations in the climax of the second game on how Reapers are created, it's possible that the individual "programs" of Reapers are actually the remaining minds of the intelligent beings used to produce the Reapers. The geth actually speculated correctly about the exact nature of the Reapers, though this was just one of many theories.
  • Ermac from the Mortal Kombat series was a single being created via the combination of a legion of souls by Shao Khan and tends to speak as "we" to represent this fact. Mortal Kombat 9 reveals that Edenia's former king Jerrod is one of the souls within Ermac. Mortal Kombat X, which follows a Time Skip after the previous game, implies that Shao Khan's soul has joined them.
  • Pokémon: Spiritomb is made up of 108 spirits combined into one rock called the Odd Keystone.
  • In Portal 2, it is revealed that GLaDOS was constructed with at least one if not more uploaded human personalities in addition to the multiple contradictory directives and Restraining Bolts that Aperture Science tried to install to keep it in check.
  • Alex Mercer/ZEUS, from [PROTOTYPE]. The original Mercer was a Mad Scientist who unleashed the Blacklight virus on Penn Station to spite Blackwatch when they cornered him, but inadvertently became the host of the virus. Initially ZEUS, the player character, is the reanimated corpse of Mercer that thinks it's really him. However, as he kills and absorbs other humans, the original Mercer is supplanted as the memories and minds of his victims are incorporated into him. This actually causes "Mercer" to grow a conscience and become less of a dick than the real one.
    Alex: Because everyone I've killed... They're in me. They are me.
  • Risk of Rain 2: The Heretic is referred by she/her pronouns in flavor text, but is called "they" in their ending, if the player becomes her. Since you transform into her if the player grabs all of her body parts, it's implied that she and the survivor have become one person occupying the same body.
  • Archons and Dark Archons from StarCraft are the result of the merging of two High Templars or Dark Templars (or, in StarCraft II, one of each). Ulrezaj is an extreme case, the merging of seven Dark Templars. Also, in the Dark Templar Saga novels, Jake (a human) and Zamara (a Protoss "preserver") merge; however, her presence in his mind causes a brain tumor.
  • The Many in System Shock 2. In contrast to self-centered megalomaniac Shodan, who speaks in the Voice of the Legion, the Many alternate between separate and distinct voices. Humans assimilated by it begin slipping into the voice, though.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the newborn Spirit Martel proclaims she is this, although it seems that while she's made up of all "who were sacrificed to the Great Seed", she has the appearance and personality of Martel Yggdrasil. It's unclear whether the souls comprising her will merge over time or not.
  • The Voices of Nerat from Tyranny devours the minds of people to claim their knowledge and power for himself. By the time the game takes place, he's absorbed countless people. Sirin the Archon of Song can't manipulate him with her Compelling Voice because there are simply too many minds inside him to dominate at once. He's also a clear Expy of Soulcatcher from the Literature section above, as the game is clearly inspired by The Black Company.
  • The Valkyries of the Valkyrie Profile series utilize this trope. The souls of einherjar — warriors deemed worthy enough to become part of Odin's armies — are taken into a Valkyrie's body and dwell within her while she continues her duties in the mortal realms. As Valkyries are also responsible for helping to train einherjar in preparation for service in the afterlife, they can temporarily summon the einherjar to their side during combat. Alicia from Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is the best example of the trope in action. She's just a human teenager, but her body is also the "can" of the Valkyrie Silmeria, who shares control of Alicia's body. Silmeria also has a large host of Einherjar residing within her, and they can speak in Alicia's mind (as they do in the opening cutscenes).
  • This is what Rude Zuud has become in Warframe after the Deck 12 incident. What used to be a Hive Mind (separate bodies with a single shared mental space) was shattered by the deaths of all but one, leaving the sole remaining individual with massive Survivor's Guilt and the inexplicable presence of several other pseudo-personalities speaking to them in commlink noises... the data-ghosts of her sisters, memory echoes of the connection they shared as a hive mind.
  • The existence of one of these is The Reveal of one mission in World of Horror. "Together" is the boss of the "Bloody Brief of the Beckoning Bulletin" mystery, formed from a mass of ghosts, who wants to incorporate all humanity into itself and does so by convincing people on an online bulletin board to commit suicide. However, it's not inherently hostile; it genuinely believes people are better off without physical bodies. If you take the right steps, you can explain that it can't fulfill its goal if the local Eldritch Abomination has its way, and not enough people are hooked to the Internet yet for it to make a difference anyway; it admits defeat and leaves for the time being.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Z is the Anthropomorphic Personification of people’s fear of change. This means that he is an amalgamation of the many fears of different people.

    Visual Novels 
  • Case 03: True Cannibal Boy: The original Cannibal Boy is the fusion of several abandoned children from Mt. Candyhouse, and they can separate individual spirits to act as minions.
  • The Demon Tsukuyomi spirit from Spirit Hunter: NG is a collection of all those who died in the Momoi Department Store fire — their bodies merged together into one spherical clump of flesh, which moves and operates as a single unit.

    Web Animation 
  • Dingo Doodles:
    • It is eventually revealed that Sips has two other personalities in his head. One of them is his evil side created by his curse and the other is a crystal embedded in his head, which is a piece of a being named Xanu. This third personality has been helping Sips to hold back the curse personality.
    • The soulprowler is a Draconic Abomination that is composed of many souls that are constantly struggling with each other for dominance. As a result, it is a Mood-Swinger flipping between aggressive and friendly even while in the middle of a sentence. It adds new souls to itself by having people sell their souls to it.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor explains that his stay on the Golden Throne has fractured his mind in so many tiny pieces that while he can conceivably know everything, he doesn't know this because the part of him knowing is in the other end of the Warp.
  • Red vs. Blue has an unusual example. The Meta has a collection of A.I.s in his head and continues to collect more. Since the A.I.s are all fragments of an original A.I., it's a little unclear of how much of the individual personalities they — or their human host — retain.

  • Chairman Jack of Chairman Jack: Emerge has been advanced to this point by the Everyman after he gains full power so that he has an entire board of various parties in his mind who move various actions.
  • Comedity has Garth. Even though most of the head-Garth represents part of his thinking process, the Muse and the Penguin are still quite independent.
  • The Nobles in Deep Rise are this: each have between 10 and 20 neural centers for each individual, collectively referred to as "Congress". Also, representative of the readers' suggestions.
  • In Homestuck, when two sentient beings are used as the ingredients of a Sprite, this may be the result. An animal and a human results in the human mind being dominant with a few personality tics, while combining two sapient ingredients results in this trope, with the two minds attempting to work as one, with varied results.
  • Kano of Kagerou has this trope in addition to split personalities. A large part of the mystery of his character is trying to keep track of who he is at any given moment and figuring out whether a character in his head is actually a different person trapped there (like Red) or another persona of his (possibly Kid and/or Dark).
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • Giants are this in addition to being a Body of Bodies of trolls. Beings that are the ghost equivalent to giants appear later in the story.
    • Kade are a far more dangerous version, being the result of an infected Finnish hive. They are capable of infecting the mind directly, without going through the body, and most people infected by a Kade joins their infector, rather than forming a new Kade.

  • Orion's Arm:
    • This is the proposed explanation for how the minds of transapients work.
    • Also believed to be how sapient minds work, except that only one "node" can operate at a time as opposed to several in even the simplest transapient.
    • In addition, there is polysophonce which operates more like Split Personality disorder.
    • There was also an individual that was thought to be an example of this, composed of thousands of sophonts, usually experts at something. Then it was revealed that: 1. The meta-sophont was really composed of the relevant sections and memories of the original sophont, and 2. the sophonts involved were all kidnapped over a long period of time, although the perpetrator is still at large.
  • SCP-2003 from SCP Foundation is a time travel device that the Foundation uses to see possible futures. One of them has the consciousness of 134,000 people jammed into the body of a single human being, who is then confined to a cell and automatically dispensed food while the rest of humanity is wiped out.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role has Cognouza, a neighborhood of Aeor that was shunted into the Astral Sea when the gods shot the city down. The Somnovem, Cognouza's leaders, hoped to save themselves and bring their people to a realm where dreams could be reality — but when they arrived, they landed in the middle of a psychic storm that shattered every soul in the city. Those pieces eventually reformed and merged with the city itself, transforming Cognouza into an eternally hungry city of flesh, inhabited by thousands of gibbering, screaming souls begging for death, with the equally insane Somnovem at the helm.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Piccolo becomes one of these after fusing with Nail. Unlike in the source material, Nail retains his individuality inside Piccolo's mind after the fuse and can converse with/constantly annoy him freely. Later, Piccolo also fuses with Kami, and his head starts getting even more busy.
  • During one of Failboat's livestreams, he coded a war for his live chat to play Bandana Waddle Dee alongside him in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, just like Twitch Plays Pokemon (see below). Chat, using TTS, interpreted this as Waddle Dee being possessed by thousands of different voices, which technically he is.
    Waddle Dee: I cry out for salvation, for a thousand souls speak through my lips.
  • Twitch Plays Pokémon: This is pretty much exactly how the stream works. It's essentially a game of Pokémon where the player character is controlled via chat by... anyone. The end result is that hundreds to thousands of people are constantly controlling the character. Imagine two or three people fighting over a video-game controller, multiplied by several thousand. Add to that about a 20+ second delay between input and action which the majority of people don't even realize is there.

    Western Animation 
  • All Hail King Julien has Mort, who after seasons of seemingly just having normal Split Personalities, is revealed to contain the spirits of several Morts from across the multiverse that all live on inside his head.
  • Amphibia: In "Olivia & Yunan", it turns out that the Greater-Scope Villain that King Andrias has been reporting to is "The Core", an amalgam of Newtopia's greatest minds who live on in death through uploading their collective consciousness into a mechanical body. Unfortunately, it decided to seek a living host, and it chose Marcy.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: This happens once, temporarily. Buzz and Mira are fused together into a blob-thing with eyestalks and two tongues, and their "internal arguments" form much of the dialogue in the episode.
  • Centaurworld: The taurnado's Voice of the Legion, which Glendale starts to harmonize with as she's sucked into it, and lines about taking the souls of its victims imply that it's composed of the collected selves of everyone that it's ever sucked up.
  • Gargoyles: Coldstone was created through cybernetics and sorcery from the remains of three separate gargoyles and houses the minds of all three. Two of the souls are eventually placed in robot bodies of their own, Coldfire and Coldsteel.
  • Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5: Sage has the entire dormant Blue Sentient race hidden in her subconscious. She doesn't know this, however, as her finding out would trigger their release.
  • Steven Universe: Fusion tends to work this way. When two or more Gems fuse with each other, an entirely new entity is created, but if the new form is unbalanced or experiences emotional turmoil, the constituents can often be heard speaking back and forth through the combined form's individual voice. It's even described as one character as being akin to a conversation, though the literal metaphor of the Fusion Dance may be a more apt comparison, in that the result is no longer two beings, but not quite just a whole new being; rather, fusion is an experience, the parts having to work in-synch for the whole to function. According to Rebecca Sugar, one of the "permafusions", Flourite, who is composed of six different Gems, speaks very slowly for this sole reason. The more Gems are involved, the harder it is for all of them to be in sync so that their combined form is speaking for everyone.

    Real Life 
  • There is a theory that human minds work like this. See Society of Mind and the Internal Family Systems Model.
    • As well as Eric Berne's early model that essentially viewed some behavioral patterns as internal roleplaying sessions between one's learned roles (mostly reduced to basic "parent" and "child") and the part that isn't in this game and as such is more "rational". Which may be weird, but much less so than the facts he tried to explain.
    • In addition, Friedrich Nietzsche once described the human mind as a bunch of conflicting souls (not the supernatural kind of course), with one soul in dominance.
  • Real Life people with Split Personalities generally describe their experiences as being more along the lines of this trope than that one. Disordered multiples can be helped by viewing themselves this way and finding ways to communicate, which may be more advantageous and beneficial instead of Split-Personality Merge.
  • Jungian psychology describes people this way. Each person has Personas, which are the masks a person uses when dealing with different situations. A person also has Shadows, which are the repressed thoughts and/or inner feelings you know would be a bad idea to express. So, if your child accidentally breaks something expensive, you wear your Father Persona to calm down your child and say you're not angry, while your Shadow is screaming at you to punish him for doing so.
  • Technically, anything with a nervous system is a Mind Hive in the same sense as the Geth are in Mass Effect — except replace "simple programs" with "cells". Even as part of a body, cells are still distinct life forms with their own personal, (albeit primitive) functions. Alone, even a brain cell is completely non-sapient. Working together with other cells however, the basal, one-track "motivation" of a cell can form an incredibly complex network of electrochemical interactions sufficient enough to carry out intelligent actions. This is how the brain is designed — our "minds" are the result of the interactions between over a hundred billion neurons and synapses mingling together to form a single greater consciousness above the level of any single cell.
  • A lesser version of this is the result of what happens if the corpus callosum (a bundle of nerves that connect the two hemispheres of the brain) is cut. The left brain and right brain are unable to coordinate with each other they start to disagree on things. Since the left brain has the areas that govern communication, it's able to express its viewpoint, but the right brain doesn't so it's mute. CGP Grey has a good, if not unsettling, video on this.
  • Insects have a decentralized nervous system, where ganglions control their organs, different parts of their bodies, etc. in addition to a brain that basically monitors everything as the sensor organs are connected to it. As can be seen proposed here, the mind of a hypothetical alien that had a similar structure would be really alien to us.
  • Cephalopods are also an example of this, as each of their tentacles possesses its own brain and carries out tasks on its own, with the central brain acting simply as an overseer and coordinator.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Many Minds One Body


Olivia & Yunan

The Core, a mechanical Mind Hive which King Andrias serves, uploads itself into Marcy to turn her into its living host.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrandTheftMe

Media sources: