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Partial Transformation

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Leopards may not be able to change their spots, but were-jaguars? No problem!
One of the understated traits of shapeshifters is their versatility, not just in having multiple forms they can assume, or people they can impersonate, but by using the stages in between. When a shapeshifter uses a Partial Transformation they can selectively shapeshift a part of their body (often an arm or limb) into their alternate form. This has a lot of potential uses: For example, a shapeshifter needing to open a safe underwater doesn't have to transform into a full fish or shark, but can instead choose just the gills (and perhaps a few fins) to breathe and maneuver underwater, while retaining their human hands to manipulate the safe itself; a vampire thrown off a building could swap out his arms for a pair of bat wings to slow his fall; and a sniper without any surveillance gear could transform his eyes into that of an owl's, cat's, or anything else with enhanced vision.

This can also be used for offense and defense, using their alternate form's natural weapons (claws or whatever) as a type of Shapeshifter Weapon while remaining in human form.

A second variant of partial transformation occurs when the character "stops" their usual Transformation Sequence "half way" between their forms. For example, a character who can transform between a human and a wolf shape (and we don't necessarily mean a werewolf) may opt to transform into a Wolf Man instead of a "full wolf", combining the advantages of both, like the sharp claws and fangs of their wolf shape while retaining the bipedal mobility of their human form. It goes without saying that these "middle" forms typically look like humanoid animals.

One interesting thing about the Partial Transformation is it's usually a "high-level" technique that can be mastered only by the best shapeshifters. A character who has recently acquired Voluntary Shapeshifting must first learn how to shapeshift between their "basic" forms before they have any hope of mixing and matching the elements between them in a helpful manner. Attempting to selectively invoke this without sufficient experience to properly control the transformation can result in some... messy consequences.

Phlebotinum Breakdown can also trigger this accidentally, and put the character in great danger; not only by revealing their powers to unaware Muggles, but because the broken transformation can also leave the character "stuck" between forms, possibly in a lot of pain at the same time.

Also be warned that attempting to utilize several partial transformations simultaneously may result in a Shape Shifter Mashup, a special case of the shapeshifting Gone Horribly Wrong.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Reo's attempt to nullify the Gender Bender curse put on Matsuri only manages to makes his breasts disappear, leaving the rest of his body female. Unfortunately, even that backfires after a few hours, making Matsuri's chest uncomfortably large for the rest of the day.
  • Eve from Black Cat can transform different parts of her body (usually her arms) into swords, hammers, and shields. Her hair can be turned into fists and sharp spikes. At one point, she even gave herself angel wings that she saw a picture of in a book. Her expy, Yami the 'Golden Darkness' in To Love Ru has the same ability.
  • Vetto in Black Clover uses Beast Magic, which allows him to take on traits from particular animals. He's shown to use Bear Claw, Rhinoceros Armor, Cheetah Charge, and a spell using a whale to go underwater. Mythical Beast Magic itself is much more powerful and mimics unknown animals.
  • BNA: Brand New Animal: Michiru is introduced with Shapeshifter Mode Lock, as a human transformed into a tanuki beastman who can't transform back to a human, as all other beastmen can. However, it turns out she has an Adaptive Ability to transform parts of herself into parts of other animals depending on her needs, such as cheetah legs when she needs to run faster or gorilla arms when she gets conscripted as a batter for a baseball team.
  • A favored tactic of Nakajima Atsushi in Bungou Stray Dogs, who rarely uses his full tiger form in favor of shifting his limbs (for added strength) and adding a tail. He's also been shown to shift just his eyes to access a tiger's enhanced vision.
  • Buso Renkin: The hawk-homunculus Washio is unique amongst that animal-type homunculi as he is able to only partially transform into his bio-mechanical animal form, changing his arms and hands so that he can use his razor-sharp claws and shoulder-mounted wings. This hybrid form allows Washio to make greater use of his strength and speed, while still allowing him to read the wind with his metallic feathers in order to predict his opponent's moves.
  • In Claymore, Clare manages to Awaken only her limbs to save her Cool Big Sis-figure Miria during the battle of Pieta. She later masters this technique, partially turning into an Awakened Being at will. As a much later chapter shows, this may have something to do with her inability to Awaken completely. Riful is also fond of this.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and The Space Heroes introduces a shapeshifting alien villainess, Meba, as one of the Co-Dragons. Much of her schtick involves turning her arms into whips or tentacles, forming her lower body into an elongated serpentine shape, and turning her ears into Ear Wings, while retaining her original form.
  • Elfman and Lisanna can do this in Fairy Tail with their Take Over abilities. Their older sister Mirajane can do it too, but she prefers the Full Body version, which in this world is supposed to be more difficult (in fact, the only time we see her Partial is as a child when her magic originally manifested and she had no control over it, causing her to be stuck partially between her human and demon form). However, it should be noted that both Elfman and Lisanna can do the Full Body Take Over as well, though Elfman in the beginning of the series tended to only avail of this trope, due to the fact that the last time he tried, he lost control of himself, and ended up killing Lisanna... Or so it seemed.
  • Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist might count, it's more armor forming that actual shapeshifting, but he tends to only shift up to his elbows because he thinks he looks ugly when he covers himself entirely.
  • HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! had moments where the heroines are hit hard and powerful enough that shift down to a partial state. For the Heartcatch characters, their costumes revert back to something akin to sundresses while Happiness Charge characters resemble something akin to underwear.
  • Naraku of Inuyasha will occasionally transform his hand into one or multiple Combat Tentacles while otherwise retaining his default appearance. On other occasions, he has turned into a mess of tentacles while leaving his upper body in a mostly humanoid shape.
  • The Big Bad of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Kars, becomes this once unlocking his full power. After using the Red Stone of Aja to become the Ultimate Lifeform, Kars has access to the biology, senses, and abilities of every living thing on Earth, in any combination, in addition to his already impressive strength, agility, and natural weapons. When in this form, he is frequently shown with the gigantic, feathered wings of a large bird, enabling him to fly as fast as an early airplane, the tentacles of an octopus to add reach and flexibility to his unarmed attacks, and the ability to turn parts of his body into woodland animals.
  • Played for Laughs in Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger. Tart the Chicken permanently transforms into a more humanoid form pretty early on in the series, but sometimes, her Transformation Trinket malfunctions after she's hit in the face, leaving her with a human body and a chicken head. She's normally rather attractive in either form, but both at the same time looks completely ridiculous. And she knows it.
  • In Kaiju Girl Caramelise, Kuroe Akaishi has the potential to turn into a Not Zilla Kaiju called Harugon if she gets too emotional. If she's able to contain herself, however, only one aspect of Harugon appears, such as a scaly hand, dorsal spikes, or a tail.
  • A rare example of a mecha partial transformation are the GERWALK modes of various Macross Variable Fighters. The mode falls squarely into the "best of both while having no downfalls" category, the result essentially being a plane with arms and legs, which allows for some truly impressive manoeuvres under the control of a skilled pilot. Most newbie pilots, hence, elect to skip the mode in favour of a direct transformation from plane to Battroid mode; the skill required for the full control of a GERWALK mode is sufficient that the reaction times of most pilots are more likely to get them killed in the mode before they can even react while in it.
  • Most of the dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid seem to prefer this, keeping their horns visible while they're in human form. They can also morph their claws, wings, tails, and presumably any other body part they choose.
  • Inverted in My Hero Academia - Initially Deku uses One For All by channeling all of its energy into his fist as a Finishing Move, but as a result he injures his arm every time he uses it, making it impractical in a prolonged fight. His later "Full Cowl" technique instead spreads the power evenly throughout his body, turning him from a Glass Cannon into a more sustainable Jack of All Stats (with the option to switch back in a pinch).
  • This happens in Naruto with Gaara when sand from his gourd envelops his body and forms an incomplete Shukaku.
    • Naruto's is more complex. After forming the 6th tail, an incomplete skeleton forms and attaches to the V2 cloak. The 7th tail results in a complete skeleton and a full-sized fox-shaped aura. The 8th tail results in the aura being replaced with organic tissue (muscle, organs, eyes), though skin, fur, and tails have yet to be formed.
    • Also fellow jinchuuriki Killer Bee can do this by forming any part of the Hachibi at will.
    • Sasuke also manages it with his cursed seal form, sprouting one of its wings to block an attack. Jugo, the source of the cursed seal transformations, comments that this means Sasuke has complete mastery over its powers (Jugo can do this as well).
    • Members of the Akimichi Clan can shrink and expand their bodies. An advanced application of this seen late into the series is the expansion and contraction of select body parts to perform what's needed with minimal energy expended.
  • One Piece:
    • Mr 2 Bon Clay is capable of it and can make arbitrary Shape Shifter Mashups.
    • On a more general note, all characters with Zoan-type Devil Fruit powers can take on their animal form, original form and a hybrid of the two. Most skilled users can transform only part of their bodies into the animal form and even change the proportions of their animal's and hybrid's forms.
  • The original Sailor Moon anime had an odd case of this, especially in The Movies and especially towards Usagi as something could injure our heroine and essentially render her naked except for the ribbons that make up her costume.
  • In Shattered Angels, the five Angels can shift a certain part of their body into their mecha form's body part. It's also a sign of what part of the original Angel they were.
  • Another non-werecreature example is in Soul Eater, since some of the Equippable Ally characters can shift parts of themselves into weapons (this tends to be a sign that they're more powerful, with weaker ones partnering up with meisters). The most notable examples being Giriko (who only fully transformed for the first half of his first fight and otherwise just manifested his chain on his limbs) and Justin Law (who's never been seen to fully transform into his Guillotine form). Death Scythes in particular seem to not only be able to turn part of their body into weapons but also make multiple copies of their weapons spring from their body at will.
    • In Soul Eater Not!, it's shown that untrained weapons may not be able to transform fully: before the first chapter Tsugumi didn't even know what her full weapon form was (a halberd) and another student could turn into a sword except the hilt was still shaped like his head. They can even end up doing a partial transformation entirely by accident, suddenly having bits of weapon pop out of their chests. As the first scene of the anime show, this is often how they find out they're Weapons in the first place.
  • Used heavily in Wolf Children, where the children (And their father) can take on their wolf forms to any extent they please while still generally appearing human.
  • Attack on Titan: Titan Shifters "transform" by creating a Titan body which there human body controls from the nape. On a few occasions the shifter creates an incomplete body.
    • When Kitz Worman tries to execute Eren by cannon fire, he creates a legless skeletal titan with only one arm to deflect the blast.
    • Later Eren bites his hand hoping to transform, but is unable to. After failing to grab a fork with his injured hand, he accidentally creates a partial and miniature titan body, a vertically bisected torso with no skin. This freaks out his fellow Survey Corp members, except for Levi.
    • When Reiner exposes himself and Bertolt as the Armored and Colossal they both transform. Being on top of the wall, the Colossal does not create any legs, and has an exposes spine and ribs to cling to the wall. This time however, Bertolt is inside the Titan body controlling it just like a complete body.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe.
    • Rahne Sinclair could change into a wolf or a transitional state between human and wolf. While still a member of the New Mutants, she was captured and taken to Genosha, where she was turned into a "mutate" slave with no free will of her own. When she was rescued, she found that using her powers restored her free will, but reverting to full-human form put her back in the "mutate" state, so she spent pretty much her entire run as a member of X-Factor in the transitional state, until the Genoshans' damage could be undone.
      • She can and does also alter portions of her body, such as concealing 'transitional' legs under a long skirt for discreet mobility boosts or using a lupine head as a Game Face to run off harassers on a nighttime walk.
    • Fantastic Four: The Super-Skrull is all about this. He's got the usual Skrull shapeshifting and the powers of the Fantastic Four on top of that, which means that if he wanted to he could copy any one of them perfectly. But why do that when he can copy parts of all four at once? Other Skrulls will sometimes produce wings to glide down from a great height.
    • Spider-Man: Sandman's most common form of offense is to shift his arms into sand weapons in a style similar to the T-1000 (although Sandman was already doing this in the comics 2-3 decades before the Terminator films were made). It is also not uncommon for him to assume a giant humanoid sand monster form during battle.
  • Robin: The unnamed grey skinned villain who escaped from O.M.A.C. captivity below Bludhaven partially transforms to give herself claws and some fur on the exposed part of her back to fight, before transforming completely into a strange bright red-furred mix-and-match critter later on in the brawl.

    Fan Works 
  • In Hakkōna and Kaitō Kokoro, Kiku can transform into his nekomataneko form, which is basically a mix between a human and a nekomata.
  • A minor example in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World comes early in the book, when Paul speaks with a half-bird woman, who complains about being stuck in “this wretched transitional form” after suddenly finding herself on C'hou.
  • In Leviathan (My Hero Academia), Izuku utilizes his Quirk without turning into a full Eldritch Abomination Blood Knight by only transforming himself partway, such as growing a tail or sprouting gills on his chest (the latter he didn't even know he could do until he was drowning).
  • The Night Unfurls: The Good Hunter can slightly shapeshift his arm into a mass of tendrils whenever he wants to pry out information from them as quick as possible. Anyone at the receiving end of his tendrils are also susceptible to being Brainwashed.
  • In What's in a Hoard?, Izuku first learns how to partially transform himself, such as turning his arms draconic.

    Film — Animated 
  • In the film adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle, sometimes Howl seems to transform partially into the bird-creature, and sometimes he's more birdlike and less human.
  • In Pinocchio, shortly after his friend Lampwick fully transformed into a donkey, Pinocchio grows donkey ears and a tail, he is able to escape from Pleasure Island with Jiminy's help before he completes his transformation, he eventually loses the ears and tail when he becomes a real boy after giving his life to save Gepetto from Monstro.
  • Meilin Lee from Turning Red can partially transform into her red panda form, taking on the ears, tail, and paws while staying mostly human.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone apparently have precise control over how far their transformations go. Their use of this varies—the most heroic of the lot stays slightly human as a rejection of his heritage, whereas the Dark Action Girl seems to use it as a means of taunting him.
  • Dreamscape. Tommy Ray was able to become a snakeman to terrify Alex. When Alex turned the tables on him, he changed into a half-man half-snakeman form.
  • Fright Night (1985). Evil Ed changes into a wolf to attack Peter Vincent. After he's staked he changes partially back into a human, looking like a humanoid wolf.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 frequently transforms its arms into metal stabby things while keeping the rest of its body human.
  • John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) could change any part of its body into any living material it had previously absorbed. It loved spider legs. Combine this with the mechanic that "every part is a whole new animal" and you get situations where you cut one's head off, they both keep fighting, and the head grows spider legs to crawl away.
  • Mulan (2020): Xian Lang can turn her hands into talons to do various things, such as block swords and perform sorcery. She can also fully transform into a bird if she needs to fly.
  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger , Zenobia uses a potion to turn into a seagull in order to spy on the heroes. Through mis-adventure, she loses the majority of the potion required to turn back into her original form, and ends up with a seagull foot, which she retains for the rest of the movie.
  • In Underworld: Awakening, Quint turns his hand into a massive paw to slash through elevator cables.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage has Venom take over Eddie's feet at the end, after longing to feel sand between its toes, but leave the rest of him human.

  • This trope is mostly averted in the Animorphs books, because the unpredictable nature of morphing makes it impossible to guarantee a usable mashup of body parts.
    • One time Rachel goes partly into her elephant morph to scare off a mugger. She succeeded in changing her face, but she also ended up bursting her shoes when her feet also changed. On another occasion Jake partially morphs wolf to disguise his voice.
    • Cassie has a talent for morphing, which she has used to hold a centaur- or angel-like form (by morphing horse and bird, respectively). Also, her ability to morph into the second animal while demorphing from the first saved the day once. The Andalite spirit that shared her mind has to comment that her morphing talent would've made her a hero if she had been born an Andalite.
    • Marco once had Power Incontinence due to stress, causing him to uncontrollably morph into weird chimeras.
    • Andalites know a technique called a Frolis Maneuver, which allowed Ax and Elfangor to create new human morphs by mixing the DNA of multiple individuals. It is unknown if one can use this to mix different species.
  • In The Burning Realm, a werewolf needs to convince some pirates that she's a powerful sorceress, and does so by transforming her hands and features just enough to make herself look bestial and terrifying. She then reverses the effect (with difficulty), because if she turns all the way into a wolf, she'll be in a recognizable shape and thus less frightening.
  • Discworld
  • The Dresden Files: Inverted. In one of the short stories, Will reveals he can use his shapeshifter powers as a makeshift Healing Factor. He describes it as being very similar to transforming into his human form. It means he scars more than he otherwise would, though.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Viktor Krum uses a partial transformation into a shark for the underwater task.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Elves have Voluntary Shapeshifting as a race ability and can shift all their body parts independently. They can mix and match as long as they know how to make all the parts work together.
    • Eric possess the ability to shift parts of his body individually to his grendel form. This was, in fact, easier than the full transformation because of Psychosomatic Superpower Outage issues.
  • In the Kate Daniels series, the more dominant weres have enough control to assume what is called a "warrior form", halfway between human and animal form. From descriptions, it's pretty grotesque. One character, Andrea is a rare creature called a beastkin. She is the offspring of a werehyena and a hyenawere, and the result is that while she can't take the shape of a hyena, she effortlessly assumes something like the warrior form, but with a seamless blend of human and animal traits.
  • In Loyal Enemies, werewolf Shelena can partially transform certain parts of her body when in human form, like letting her claws and teeth grow, or adjusting her eyes to gain better vision in the dark. Veres points out that this is highly unusual and other werewolves cannot do that.
  • The Parasol Protectorate: Alpha werewolves can use the "Anubis Form", in which they transform only their head into wolf shape. This form is necessary for creating new werewolves.
  • Tortall Universe: Daine from The Immortals can partially or fully change into any animal as part of her powers. Notably, when she's pregnant (the first time), she's forced to constantly shift the shape of her lower body, so that the fetus, which has inherited the powers, doesn't rip though it, due to having made the mistake of shapeshifting while pregnant.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: LaTasha Abayo, a rookie witch at an evil Wizarding School, demonstrates this power when she shifts her hand into a lion's paw and rakes open the cheek of another witch who was attempting to poison her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first episode of Being Human series 4 George manages to trick his body into thinking it's full moon in order to rescue his daughter from vampires. He changes to somewhere between human and wolf, which greatly enhances his strength, but also allows him to remain somewhat in control. There is one drawback, though: while a complete transformation heals what it damages, a partial transformation does not. It's fatal. George dies of heart, kidney and liver failure just minutes later.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear Itself", everyone is celebrating Halloween inside a Haunted House when they are forced to live out their worst fears. Oz, a werewolf, inexplicably starts to change and gets stuck halfway between man and wolf. He ends up huddled in a bathtub, scared out of his mind and muttering a hopeless Survival Mantra that he's not going to change.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977):
    • In the two-part episode "Prometheus", Banner stopped halfway through his transformation. He had some of Banner's personality but much less knowledge, and he was stronger than Banner but not as strong as Hulk. He had his green eyes, but not green skin. It wasn't voluntary, however; it was caused by a nearby meteor emitting a high concentration of gamma rays, and not letting him revert fully to normal.
    • A downplayed example (as the transformation is slowed down rather than stopped) in the episode "747": Banner's second transformation began when he was trying to perform an emergency landing of the eponymous aircraft, following the instructions of the flight controllers on the communicator. He somehow managed to slow the transformation's pace note , because, while he needed extra strength to move the control stick, which was stuck, he also needed to retain intelligence enough to follow the flight controllers' instructions. He spent the whole landing process in an intermediate state, which was different from the example above, as he was green-skinned this time (but with Banner's features)note . After the landing, the transformation goes full course (and his intellect goes away), but a teenager that David befriended early on enters the cockpit, helping the Hulk to activate the brakes and stop the plane.
  • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: Mimmi's attempt to De-power Evie does not go as well as her demonstration of turning an apple into a banana. First, Evie gets forced into mermaid form, then her head and torso change back to human, leaving her as a mermaid with no lung capacity. Zac interferes, and Evie's legs come back, but her upper half reverts to the Organic Bra of a mermaid. Then Evie gets forced into a state where it's unclear how much of her is human or mermaid, before Zac is able to get Mimmi to stand down.
  • In Super Sentai series, especially those of the past fifteen years, you know you've reached the end of the series when a team transforms into their costumes yet leave their helmets off until they pull off their roll call, in which their helmets appear.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 1st-2nd Edition AD&D:
      • 1st Edition wererats can change into human, rat or human-sized ratman form. Judging from their illustrations, werewolves and wereboars can change into half-human half-animal forms as well.
      • The wolfwere (a wolf that could take human shape) and greater wolfwere can half-change, thus gaining human arms and legs but keeping their wolf head.
      • In the 1st Edition Oriental Adventures supplement (1985), hengeyokai can change into a transitional bipedal form with arms and hands and the rest of the body in animal form. While in this form the hengeyokai can speak normally, use weapons, armor and equipment, and has infravision.
      • Dragon magazine #265 article "Humanimals" updates the Oriental Adventures hengeyokai for 2nd Edition, by adding twelve new versions. The partial transformations get a bit more complex, since some of them aren't based on quadrupeds. A dolphin hengeyokai's hybrid form grows legs as well as arms, while an octopus hengeyokai essentially grows an entire humanoid body but still has tentacles instead of limbs.
      • Dungeon magazine #66 adventure "The Sunken Shadow". The were-eel named Arkos Seatamer can take one of three forms: a human being, a twelve foot long moray eel, and a monstrous eel/human combination. The combination form has a human trunk, the head and tail of an eel, and human legs that end in flippers.
      • White Dwarf: Issue #19's article "The Fiend Factory" gives a werefox three possible forms: a beautiful woman, a fox, and a bipedal human/fox hybrid.
      • The "Basic" D&D supplement Night Howlers covers rules for player character lycanthropes for that version of the game. Newly infected characters start as "cubs" and have to work their way up to "normal monster" level (splitting experience between human and animal form) to actually get all the standard powers of their were-type. The ability to take the transitional "beast-man" form came most typically only upon reaching 9th level as a were after that.
      • Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix: The lycanthropic were-jaguar can take three forms: human, human/jaguar and jaguar.
      • In the RPGA Living Jungle setting, katanga are animal shapeshifters who take three forms: human, their natural animal form, and a half-human/half-animal biped.
      • In 2nd Edition, the jackalwere was given the ability to take a hybrid form that combined its human and jackal forms.
    • Ravenloft:
      • In the Realm of Terror boxed set, most true lycanthropes can assume three forms: human, a specific animal, and a human/animal hybrid. The hybrid has a humanoid form but with animal characteristics (fur, claws, etc.).
      • In the Masque of the Red Death boxed set's "A Guide to Gothic Earth", Lady Michelle LeDeuce is a werefox who can assume three different forms: a silver fox, human being, and a hybrid fox/human.
    • Forgotten Realms: In the 2nd edition supplement Hall of Heroes, new lycanthropes that can change into hybrid forms include werebison, werecats, weredragons and wereleopards.
    • Monstrous Compendium Annual
      • The werebadger can take three forms: a dwarf, a giant badger, or a hybrid form which has a dwarf body with huge claws, thick fur, and a badger's head.
      • Pteramen can assume any of three forms: a small pteranodon with a fifteen foot wingspan, a lizard man without a tail, or a lizard man with webbed wings.
    • Edition 3.0 and 3.5:
      • All werecreatures (a.k.a. lycanthropes) have human, animal and hybrid forms, though it's harder to enter hybrid form than animal form.
      • Shapeshifters in 3.5 can also enter the Warshaper Prestige Class, who can use this ability to sprout claws, elongate his arms, enhance his strength, heal his injuries, and shift his vital organs around.
      • The Aranea is a giant spellcasting spider which can change to either a normal humanoid, or a humanoid with concealed fangs and spinnerets.
      • Wild feats allow a druid to expend a use of their Wild Shape ability to gain a bonus themed after a particular animal (such as the speed of a cheetah), accompanied by a minor physical transformation. It's possible to use wild feats while Wild Shaping, even while Wild Shaping into the animal the feat is based on.
      • The strength of the true form spell allows the caster to use some of their original strength while shapeshifted into a weaker form, its intended users being dragons disguised as humans.
      • The Eberron setting introduced the shifter playable race, sometimes known as "weretouched." These humanoids' trademark ability is "shifting" into more bestial forms, granting them stat boosts according to their subtype. It's not as pronounced a transformation as the hybrid forms of full lycanthropes, but unlike those, the shifter race is balanced to be playable from first level.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Vampire: The Masquerade:
      • Vampires with the Protean discipline (which allows shapeshifting into wolf and bat forms) could learn the Partial Transformation merit, which allowed them to change one feature into that of their animal form for dice bonuses or attacks.
      • One Vampire bloodline in Shadows Of Mexico the Dead Wolves, could actually shapeshift into a werewolf Crinos form thanks to an ancestral connection.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse. In addition to human and wolf forms the Garou could turn into Crinos (traditional wolf-man) form. With effort, they can even transform just part of their bodies (although they may lack Required Secondary Powers— using Crinos arms to lift a heavy object might snap one's human spine).
    • Changeling: The Dreaming . With the Cantrip Beastkin a changeling can gain animalistic features, like wings or claws. Thanks to the system of magic, also objects can be enhanced in this way, like envenomed swords.
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • The Asylum and Other Tales, adventure "The Asylum". Proto-shoggoths can change any given part of their bodies to any form of living material (organs, skin, etc.).
    • Masks of Nyarlathotep chapter 2 "London", adventure "The Derbyshire Monster". Eloise Vane is a werewolf. On nights with a full moon she changes into a half-human, half-wolf monster.
  • GURPS 3E sourcebook Bestiary Second Edition. Were-Creatures could have a "Beast-Man" form, an anthropomorphic blend of human and animal.
  • Shadowrun: The Wolf and Raven short story "If As Beast You Don't Succeed" has Wolfgang Kies turn into a half-man half-wolf form.
  • Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters: In the adventure "Where Wolf?", a character affected by the werewolf curse can change into human, half wolf, or wolf form. They are strong and fast in all of the shapes, and all have the human form's knowledge and intelligence.
  • Arduin RPG. The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources. Metamorphs have shapeshifting between any of three possible forms: human, 1 type of animal, and a human/animal hybrid.
  • Warhammer: Beorg Bearstruck's warband is made up of partial werebears — in the heat of battle the develop traits such as claws, ursine muzzles and thick fur, but only Beorn himself was blessed with the ability to transform into a full bear.

  • Some Transformers figures could change part-way between modes as a result of how the toy was engineered. Sometimes, this was deliberate, like G1 Scattershot (which was just his spaceship mode with his robot legs folded down so he could walk on them and a cannon deployed from his spaceship's nose) or G1 Jetfire (his jet mode with his arms and legs deployed, due to being a remake of a Macross Super Valkyrie toy). Other times this was accidental, like Siege Impactor, who could be transformed as either a tank turret on legs or his robot torso, arms, and head on tank treads.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: The resident Battle Butler, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, has this ability. He's a Werewolf can transform various parts of his body into one, or even into an actual wolf. Its kinda similar to how the Zoan Devil Fruits from One Piece work.
  • Used in Bloodborne for "Visceral Attacks," which involve turning the right hand into a werewolf claw so the Hunter can reach into a stunned enemy's chest and scratch out their heart. It averts the "advanced technique of shapeshifting" part, as you need to invoke a certain Caryll Rune to fully transform into a werewolf.
  • Cornell the werewolf from Castlevania is depicted with inhumanely long fingernails in most of his human form's original artwork, besides being used in combat without fully changing, they allow him to shoot laser beams from his hands... for some reason.
  • In Digital Devil Saga 2 if you start a battle at high Solar Noise, it's possible that party members will enter the Berserk Mode. During this mode the user will transform only their arm (or in Gale's case, leg) into the demon form. Is a double-edged sword, really - your power attack greatly increases and critical hit become all but assured, but you can't use items and it's a lot easier to miss.
  • Every Dragon Knight protagonists in Dragon: Marked for Death has their ability to morph their hands to dragon weapons.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, characters of the Nohr Prince(ss) class and the Nohr/Hoshido Noble class demonstrate this when they trigger their Dragon Fang skill, utilizing the claws of their dragon form in a flashy combo attack.
  • Volga of Hyrule Warriors does this in some attacks, morphing his arm into a dragon's claw or sprouting wings from his back to fly instead of transforming fully into his dragon form.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Alex Mercer's de facto form of attack is to shapeshift parts of his body into weapons, such as claws, the whipfist, hammerfists, a shield, or a BFS.
  • The J'avo from Resident Evil 6 make good use of this. Blow off an arm, and they'll sprout some Squicktastic insect appendage to replace it. Since the transformations stack, you can accidentally make enemies stronger if your aim is crappy.
  • In Sands of Destruction some Ferals can transform into beast forms, but the only ones who do so for a prolonged period of time are the Beastlords. Other Ferals usually transform their limbs into claws for the duration of attack, using the full beast form only as a Limit Break. Rhi'a, being a dragonkin, demonstrates the largest range of partial transformations, being able to turn her hands into claws, sprout tail and wings, and grow her tiny horns into a full-size set. Somewhat strangely, we never see her full dragon form, indicating that full transformation is more difficult to achieve than partial one.

  • It's been established that Timmain from ElfQuest can do the wolf-man... er, wolf-elfwoman thing, both with tail and without. Mostly seen in flashbacks to her early days though. In later comics she's usually either one or the other.
  • Grace from El Goonish Shive can transform to any stage between full squirrel and full human, can selectively morph away her furry antennae, as well as routinely pull off various Shape Shifter Mashups with any or all of her continually growing number of forms though all of them are humanoid.
  • NIMONA: The titular Nimona can shapeshift only parts of her body at times, such as growing dragon wings. At one point, when she has to carry Ballister to safety, she's shown with her entire body transformed into a Hulk-like shape... except her head.
  • Qwerty and his family from the webcomic One Small Step can all partially shapeshift, but rather than were-bodies, they can turn their appendages into tools.
  • Sphinxes in Wapsi Square have shown the ability to take forms between full human and full sphinx. This includes revealing fangs and talons in human form, combining the size of the sphinx form with a human shape, and a few other combinations.
  • Adrestia in morphE transforms her arm into that of a grizzly bear to attack a training dummy. No one was allowed to joke about destroying it with her "bear hands".

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake can transform parts of his body for when he needs to use his dragon powers on the sly.
  • In one episode of Care Bears, Mr. Beastly accidentally breaks Lord No-Heart's amulet and tries to use it himself to capture the Care Bears. He discovers that the damaged amulet can only perform partial transformations, and that these transformations stack, resulting in him eventually becoming a comical Shapeshifter Mashup. He succeeds in capturing Braveheart Lion and Tenderheart Bear, but discovers he can't change back... unless he admits how much he really cares. (Tenderheart then blackmails Mr. Beastly into letting them go with a tape recording of him shouting "I care!" over and over.)
  • Bioborg, Replicon from Skysurfer Strike Force. Very rarely does he do a full transformation.
  • In Young Justice (2010), Beast Boy seems to prefer a form halfway between a normal human and a monkey.
  • In Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, this is initially all that Kipo is capable of, only being able to transform body parts into their jaguar equivalents and grow a tail. And even then, that started as something she had no control over, being involuntary emotional reactions to environmental triggers. It's also the safest use of her powers, as full transformation puts her at risk of Shapeshifter Mode Lock.
  • On Supernoobs, shapeshifter Kevin is capable of this, though it takes him a few episodes to learn that he can do partial transformations as well as complete ones.

Alternative Title(s): Partial Shapeshifting, Mix And Match Shapeshifting



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