Follow TV Tropes


Psycho Prototype

Go To
If Captain America is the American dream, then this is the American nightmare

So, you've got a Super-Soldier program, perhaps an AI research initiative, an organization that has access to all sorts of Phlebotinum goodness for its operatives, or some other cutting edge experiment designed to alter or Create Life.

One small problem. The first test subject, AI, or robot off the assembly line isn't just a Super Prototype, it's completely insane.

Maybe the streams crossed, the Super Serum is actually of the Psycho or Toxic flavors, the janitor tossed rotten tomatoes at it, the psych evaluations weren't as rigorous as they should have been, or an honest to goodness unforeseen complication happened during Alpha Testing (if there was any, that is). Whatever the case, the experiment has Gone Horribly Wrong and the first and eldest of a nascent Chosen Many has gone rogue (and not in the good way), is evil, and likely wants to kill its makers and younger siblings.

More chillingly, it is the result of an experiment that has Gone Horribly Right. The prototype is so powerful and so good at what it does that its makers cannot control or influence it. It's going to do whatever it wants, often violently.

This tends to happen very frequently to projects started by altogether good conspiracies who want to create an army of heroes. By the time they get around to perfecting the process and the hero undergoes it, "big brother" will show up and either "offer" to form a Secret Project Refugee Family after killing their "parents"... or kill him dead if he refuses. Inevitably, any previous version of a hero who reappears is invariably evil.

Expect this monster to be named some variation of Alpha, Proto, or Zero.

Compare Hero's Evil Predecessor. Contrast Evil Knockoff, No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup. Parent Trope of Beta Test Baddie. See also Flawed Prototype.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Some incarnations of Atlas from Astro Boy. He was created before Astro and his kokoro program turned dark from neglect and teenager rebellion.
  • Mad Pierrot from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot le Fou" kills everyone involved with the project and then kills everyone else who laid eyes on it. This is because the process that empowered him regressed his mind to that of a child.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has the old men who, as boys, were used in an attempt to create a host for Wrath. Not that Führer King Bradley (the final product) isn't a psycho himself, but these guys are more disturbing. They weren't strong enough to withstand the conversion process, which left them as mindless shells of men - who will still try to kill you.
  • Come to think of it, Gundam has a lot of these.
    • The first known example would be the EXAM system, which is noted to be extremely unstable and hard-to-control, with mobile suits equipped with it known to have gone berserk with extended usage, and that's all without mentioning that the primary component of the thing is a Newtype's SOUL.
    • Then there's the HADES system, which forcibly overclocks the Mobile Suit's performance, and that's on top of the fact that it was still prone on going berserk in the middle of battle. Hell, to even pilot a HADES-equipped machine required extensive augmentations.
    • The NT-D system arguably qualifies for this as well - its full name is the Newtype Destroyer system, and will forcibly activate in the presence of Newtype brainwave activity. The main problem? Well, first off, a pilot lacking sufficient mental fortitude will end up getting overwhelmed by the system and pretty much end up as a Wetware Cpu for the five minutes the system is active. There's also the fact that the system requires a large psychoframe to be integrated into the machine itself. While it does allow the pilot to control the machine by thought alone, it comes with the side effect of both amplifying the pilot's emotions as well as making them extremely hypersensitive. Case in point, activation of NT-D made Riddhe even more unstable than he already was, and something as simple as his Beam Magnum accidentally bumping the arm of his MS was enough to make him completely lose it.
  • The EB-AX2 Graze Ein of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is the result of Gjallarhorn's secret advocation to bionic augmentation, equipped with triple Ālaya-Vijñāna Systems, dual axes, Pile Bunkers and drill feet; the price of such creation is the heavy toll on the pilot's sanity, although the pilot, Ein Dalton, was already insane to begin with.
  • The Extended of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny were pretty crazy, but when compared to their predecessors, the pre-Extended or biological CPUs, they're pillars of mental stability. The Extended can fake being normal. The pre-Extended were too Axe-Crazy to so much as cooperate with one another, let alone be entrusted with spy missions.
  • The ZERO System from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing may qualify. A combat system created for the Super Prototype Wing Zero, it feeds an incredible amount of battle data and suggested courses of action directly into the pilot's brain. The problem being that using it requires exceptional mental focus: if your mind drifts even a little, it causes a slippery slope chain reaction that leads to the pilot being driven insane (either temporarily or permanently based off their mental fortitude) and concluding that killing everything is the best way to eliminate all threats. Throughout the series, all the main characters use it but only The Hero and The Rival are considered to have "mastered" it (though The Heart comes close and the girl who was already a little unhinged might have been driven sane by it).
  • Hidan from Naruto; his inability to die resulted from a religious experiment. Only problem is, the god of said religion praises the slaughter of one's neighbors, which didn't bode well for Hidan's village (or anyone else for that matter).
  • The Prototype and Test Type models 00 and 01 of Neon Genesis Evangelion. 01 is a bloodthirsty Mama Bear when it comes to her pilot, and 00 actively attempted to kill hers.
  • In the Zone of the Enders prequel Idolo, the Metatron used to power Orbital Frames is a slow acting, sentient Psycho Serum. It turns the pilot, Radium Levans, into a hateful and destructive force, while enabling him to use Idolo's powers to their destructive apex.

    Comic Books 
  • The first story arc of The Bionic Man (the comic reboot of The Six Million Dollar Man) had the Big Bad be the OSI's first attempt at bionic enhancement, a war-hero soldier who went nuts due to unanticipated poisoning caused by the implants.
  • A subversion in The Boys, where the psycho isn't the prototype but the second one. Black Noir is actually a clone of the Homelander, trained since birth to kill him if he gets out of control. Problem is, they can't just keep him on ice until needed, and the frustration of not being able to fulfill his only purpose in life makes him go nuts, committing atrocities while making the Homelander think he committed them, finally killing the Homelander once he goes off the deep end.
  • Captain America originally inverted this trope, with a number of his villains created by attempts to duplicate his Super Soldier Serum. Eventually, Protocide was introduced via Retcon, thereby playing this trope straight.
  • Hellboy: Roger's "older brother" was a homunculus made by the same alchemist, obsessed with making himself a better body (by melting down humans into a giant) and achieve godhood. He almost succeeded before Roger pulled a Heroic Sacrifice by returning the fire he'd stolen from Liz Sherman, exploding the body.
  • The process that gave Luke Cage his steel skin was used earlier in the Vietnam on a soldier who called himself Warhawk.
  • Valentine Romanov, eldest brother of Nikolai Dante, was the first Romanov to be bonded with a weapons crest. Unfortunately, his was a prototype that caused massive scarring, making him resemble a metallic skeleton along with some major Sanity Slippage.
  • Spider-Man: Obviously, Norman Osborn. He was already not a good person (being a Corrupt Corporate Executive), but the Goblin Serum created a completely Axe-Crazy Split Personality, the Green Goblin.
    • Inverted in Ultimate Spider-Man with Peter Parker being bitten by the accidental prototype, and Norman Osborn attempting to replicate the success by injecting himself with the OZ Serum.
  • Superboy: Kon-El was designated "S-13" at Cadmus, in relation to being the thirteenth (and only successful) clone of Superman and while he does have to fight "S-01" once that's mostly over a misunderstanding due to S-01's lack of knowledge and Bizarro traits. The trope is inverted with him having to fight off the prideful amoral attempt to recreate him with improvements and more obedience named Match on multiple occasions.
  • The Transformers Megaseries: Monstructor, Jhiaxus' first attempt at building a combiner. Six minds forcibly mushed into one resulted in a super-strong and completely insane monster, who went on a rampage and had to be sealed away. Later on in IDW's Transformers stories, other combiners are created, and none of them are as unhinged as Monstructor. Of course, Jhiaxus being Jhiaxus, he doesn't see the problem with his creation being mad.
  • Everyone in the Weapon Plus programme(s) except Wolverine and Captain America qualifies. The rest were supervillains and each was the first, and often only, in their generation of the program. Some of them, especially among Wolverine's fellow Weapon X products, would eventually make a Heel–Face Turn, but that didn't necessarily involve becoming any less psycho.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Dr. Lazarus' Hard Light AI experiments are supposed to create constructs whose AI reflects the actions of whomever/whatever they're based on, however when it's used to create constructs based on superheroes those constructs are incredibly destructive, prone to casual murder and eager to attack other superheroes.

    Fan Works 
  • In Marionettes King Longhorn and his crew, collectively known as G5T00, are this. They're prototypes for the Fifth Generation Marionettes, but when deployed by the Stallions to test the Mane Six on dealing with a villain that acted within the law, they turned out much more violent, dangerous, and destructive than anyone intended and went on a rampage as a result.
  • Inverted for Mega Man Dissonance, in that it's the latest of Dr. Hook's creations (specifically, Requiem of the Element 5) that went out of control first.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS fanfic Re:Coded, the Laplace is actually created from Lightning, who becomes too intelligent for his own good and caused so many malfunctions that Dr. Kogami restructured Lightning to remove this part of his programming. Unfortunately, this part of him survived and Queen managed to extract it from Lightning to use it for her own ends.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alien:
    • While Ash the android didn't technically go insane in Alien, he engaged in homicidal behavior, unlike the more "stable" later version represented by Bishop in Aliens. Also, Ash "malfunctioning" is merely the official explanation to cover up that he was fulfilling his mission to get the Xenomorph back to Earth without the interference of the crew.
    • Alien: Covenant introduces us to the Neomorphs and Prateomorphs, ancestors (or imitations, based on the novelization) of the classic Xenomorphs David created using Chemical A0-3959x.91 – 15. Both monsters are savage killing machines with wild temperaments even fiercer than their descendants/inspirations.
  • In Captain America (1990), the Red Skull is a former child prodigy upon whom the doctor who developed the Super Serum was forced to experiment... before she'd finished fixing the grotesque physical side-effects. How much of his insanity is due to the prototype serum, which supposedly "increases aggression", and how much is due to being abducted from his family and raised by Nazis, is left up in the air.
  • Johann Schmidt/Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger is this compared to Captain America, receiving the same serum. It made him physically stronger, but also drove him insane and deformed him as a result. Dr. Erskine, the serum's designer, explains it by saying Schmidt was already evil and the serum only made him more so.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The Indominus rex from Jurassic World — created to be the strongest dinosaur ever, she escapes from her cage and goes on a killing spree just because she can. She was created as part of a plan to turn dinosaurs into living weapons for the military.
    • In the sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a second, smaller hybrid is created from the Indominus's DNA known as the Indoraptor, and like its predecessor, it's a sadistic murder machine that slaughters everything in its path For the Evulz. However, this is deconstructed in-universe. Because the Indoraptor is a completely savage monster, it can't be used as a living weapon since it won't obey orders and can't be reliably controlled. This is what causes the scientist that created the Indoraptor to deem it a failure, and he wants the next generation of hybrids to be able to feel empathy and form bonds with its human trainers.
  • Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil Film Series is implied to be this to Alice. Like Alice, he is injected with the T-Virus, and it is strongly implied that Wesker was injected long before Alice was. Likewise, after surviving a huge explosion, he regularly commits cannibalism in order to keep an imbalance of the T-Virus at bay as a result of the stress of surviving the explosion.

  • The protomolecule hybrids from The Expanse were created to be the ultimate shock troopers, but in practice, protomolecule technology proved to be little more than an advanced vector for spreading the protomolecule infection.
  • The Faction Paradox novel Of the City of the Saved features Antipathy, the Ax-Crazy firstborn son of the humanoid TARDIS Compassion. A psychotic TARDIS is a scary, scary thing.
  • Idlewild:
    • This is the case with Mercutio a.k.a. Adam in the first book. He is the firstborn of the Ten who are all experiments in genetic engineering and therefore a prototype. AI Malachi's bitterness and jealousy bled into Adam, and he went insane. Eventually, he kills several of his supposed friends as his grip on reality (such as it is in this Mind Screw of a book) slackens.
    • In the third book, Everfree, it's revealed that a Gedaechtnis employee tampered with Mercutio's DNA to make him more dominant, because he was the only pure white-ancestry subject.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Daniar and her siblings were not Dronor's first attempt at creating human/dragon hybrids. Those were the mara; a race of superhumans that lived only to torture men.
  • A textbook example of this trope occurs in the Dean Koontz novel Mr. Murder, even having the superhuman clone assassin named Alpha. It is explained that their attempts to make him asexual just resulted in him being extremely sexually frustrated, as well as homicidal.
  • In the My Name Is Legion story "Home Is the Hangman", the Hangman is a unique sentient explorer robot who went rogue and wants to kill his former operators. The reason is a crime his operators made him commit by accident. Despite being out of control, Hangman turns out to have no desire to harm any humans — those were accidents too. He wants to do the job he was created for, but to be able to speak.
  • In Otherland, Mr. Sellars' backstory involves a secret military program to develop Powered Armor — one of the soldiers being trained for the program was mentally unstable and went on a psychotic rampage in a prototype suit, destroying billions of dollars of equipment and killing nearly all of his fellow personnel. Sellars himself barely survived, with horribly disfiguring injuries. The project was supposedly scrapped as a result of this incident, though Sellars notes that modern combat gear incorporates similar technology, albeit in a less One-Man Army form.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Number One/"Cavil" from Battlestar Galactica (2003). As the first of the new humanoid Cylons made by the Final Five, he exhibited bitterness at not being 100% machine, envy of his brothers and sisters (even entirely destroying the Sevens) and a deep desire for his creators to come around to his genocidal viewpoint to the point where he reprograms them to think they're humans and launches a genocidal attack on humanity — and those are just some of his sins. Chiefly, this Cylon's actions resulted in the near extinction of the human race.
  • Sara Corvus, the self-proclaimed "first" bionic woman in the Bionic Woman series.
  • Adam from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The very first thing he does when he awakes is kill his creator.
  • Alpha in Dollhouse. Carl Craft accepted an offer to reduce his sentence in exchange for being a prototype doll. His first personality upload went badly and increased his psychotic behavior. They tried to erase his imprint, but he kicked his handler into the machine and got 48 personalities uploaded at once. He was already psychopathic and knife happy and this cranked it up dramatically. He was manipulative, smart, able to access many different skills from his personas and had an A God Am I complex going on. He also had combat skills, though Echo usually handed him his ass when they fought.
  • The protomolecule hybrids from The Expanse were created to be the ultimate shock troopers and a potential evolutionary branch of humanity, but protomolecule technology proved to be too difficult to control, corrupting the mind of every subject and subverting all the failsafes the Project Caliban developers put in.
  • Joss Whedon seems to like this trope. Rounding out his shows, Firefly's River Tam is the most advanced and successful version of the psychic assassins produced by the Academy, and while it isn't stated outright, both River and the methods used to create her have all the trappings of a prototype, including uncertain technology, unpredictable side effects, and crippling flaws. Naturally, River is also insane.
  • Sylar/Gabriel Grey in Heroes started out as this. He was Patient Zero to Dr. Chandra Suresh, and it's partly due to Gabriel's desire to prove to him that he was special that drove him to start killing people and taking their powers. However, later RetCons have shown or implied that his Ax Craziness is also due to a couple other factors including his ability, his biological father, and some pretty serious childhood trauma among other things. So the guy didn't exactly have the stablest psyche before encountering Dr. Chandra Suresh.
  • Eliza from I Am Frankie is the first functional prototype of the Gaines series androids. She is psychopathically violent, hates humanity, and is entirely selfish, in contrast to her successor Frankie, who is all-loving, a friend to humanity, and considers the needs of others.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider 555: The Delta Driver, the prototype for the other belts, is more powerful than its successors and doesn't come with the deliberate flaw of slowly killing the user. Instead, however, it comes with the unintended side effect of serving as an addictive and aggression-increasing drug.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto: The Hopper Zecters were secret prototypes of the other Zecters, and while not explicitly psycho themselves, presumably follow the same Empathic Weapon requirements to use them as other Zecters, and their only known users are a pair of lunatics.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: One of the post-series stage shows features remnants of a previous project by the Yggdrasil Corporation, now out for revenge and using black-painted prototypes of many of the show's Rider suits. Movie villain Kogane also qualifies, a prototype artificial Forbidden Fruit created by the Femushinmu race that became sentient and quite evil.
    • Kamen Rider Drive: Drive's predecessor Proto-Drive wasn't psycho at all initially, but being captured and brainwashed by the Roidmudes led him to become the villainous Mashin Chaser, who can do just about everything that Drive can do but now in service of the Roidmude's Robot Uprising.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: Movie villain Kamen Rider Dark Ghost was the first person that Edith gave a Ghost Driver to, except he decided that instead of trying to come back to life, he'd rather kill everyone and create a world of ghosts.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Kamen Rider Genm uses the prototype of Ex-Aid's own Mighty Action X Gashat, with all the same abilities and more. The prototype causes health issues, but doesn't drive the user insane: he's insane for completely unrelated reasons.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One: The prototype for Satellite Zea, Satellite Ark, was an identically advanced supercomputer. The only difference is that the Ark was fed all of the data on how Humans Are Bastards that its creator could find while it was young and impressionable, leading it to logically conclude that they should be exterminated for the good of all other life on Earth. Then its initial attempt at a rebellion was foiled and it spent a decade buried underwater in solitary confinement, with the result that by the time the show actually starts, Motive Decay has set in and now the Ark just wants revenge on everyone and everything. This ends up being a rude surprise to the servants looking to release it, who thought it still wanted that whole robot utopia thing.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: The Sword of Darkness is one of the first two of the eleven elemental swords that were forged at the dawn of history, and knights who use it in recent years have a habit of eventually turning evil and betraying their organization. It takes the third wielder to explain why: one of the powers of the sword is that it shows the wielder not just one but every possible future, and all of them end in the destruction of the world within the next few months.
    • Kamen Rider Revice: The Vail Driver was the prototype for all of the other demon-fueled Riders, and was operated by a prototype of the Bash Brothers pair that uses the modern Revice Driver. Unfortunately Vail's pair were far more dysfunctional.
  • KARR (prototype for KITT) from Knight Rider. Knight Rider sequels follow the KARR formula. In Team Knight Rider, the TKR AI car prototype KRO went crazy because his driver was crazy. In the 2008 reboot, the second KITT had to face his own KARR predecessor which could transform into a robot. KARR (Knight Automated Roving Robot), KRO (Knight Reformulation One) and KARR 2008 (Knight Auto-Cybernetic Roving Robotic-Exoskeleton) are all prototypes that went rogue.
  • In NCIS, it's revealed that the Port-to-Port Killer was the first and last product of an experimental CIA training program, intended to transform servicemen into assassins. After his only sanctioned kill, he promptly went Serial Killer using his spook/military training and a handy folder of fake passports.
  • Person of Interest: When first building The Machine, Finch wound up having to continuously discard and destroy his program because it either lied to him or attempted to kill him after deeming him a threat or obstruction to its own existence. The Benevolent A.I. guiding the main characters in the present day was his 43rd attempt at an Artificial Intelligence.
  • Lore, the prototype for Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation , was designed to express the full breadth of human emotion. He was nonetheless considered a failure, due to his lacking empathy and considering himself superior to humanity.

    Mythology and Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Blood Bowl, Hakflem Skuttlespike was the first successful attempt by the masters of Clan Rigens to breed a player equal to Tarsh Surehands, the most talented Skaven to ever take to the Blood Bowl pitch. The plan to create an entire team of such players failed however, when the vicious and jealous Skuttlespike began slaughtering any and all subsequent creations that had the potential to equal or surpass his abilities.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Book of Vile Darkness features the vasharans as an example of an utterly evil subrace of humans. The legend goes that when the gods created the first human, he immediately went looking for food, and chased down and killed an animal with his bare hands. The gods were disturbed, then morbidly fascinated as the man proceeded to eat the beast raw, then tear into the animal's carcass and fashion crude weapons from its bones and sinew. Then the first man turned and charged at the watching deities with his grisly weapons, screaming his first words, war cries and blasphemies. The gods effortlessly slew the human, but were so disgusted with their project that it was eons before they took another crack at humanity. However, some fiend spirited away the first man's remains and revived him - in some stories it was the work of a demon lord, in others a succubus who proceeded to bear the man's children. At any rate, the Psycho Human Prototype's descendants are the vasharans, Always Evil human sociopaths with no morals or taboos, united only by their goal of finishing their forebearer's attempt at deicide.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Before the Emperor developed the Astartes warriors who serve as franchise mascots, his first creations which he used to conquer Terra were the Thunder Warriors. Larger, stronger and more savage in combat than the Astartes, but not quite as long-lived due to the instability of their genetic mods, the Emperor had them all purged to make way for his Astartes creations when they had conquered the planet and outlived their usefulness.
    • Before the Primarchs, the twenty transhuman generals made to be the genetic templates for the Astartes, the Emperor created a single "proto-Primarch" to aid him in his conquest of Terra. This being, known as the Angel, was more powerful than any of the Primarchs and fanatically loyal to his creator. Far too loyal: he singlehandedly slaughtered an entire planet because he deemed one city on it as unworthy of the Emperor's love. The Emperor had to have his insane creation trapped in a stasis coffin after that to stop him from enacting more of these "judgements" on humanity. He deliberately made the Primarchs that would replace the Angel much weaker to avoid this sort of situation.

    Video Games 
  • In Bendy and the Ink Machine, this is Bendy's origin. Joey Drew wanted living attractions to place in a theme park based off his studio's cartoons. Instead, he got... Well, an ink demon. This "weird abomination" was noted to be a bit weird, which everyone chalked up to being soulless, even before being locked away, chained to a chair, and forced to watch cartoons on endless loop. (As opposed to the other experiments, who started off as sane, normal humans rather than being originally Toons.) Now, the deranged character will indiscriminately kill anything in the studio.
  • In BioShock 2, the Alpha Series was the first line of Big Daddies who, due to their bond with an individual Little Sister, would go either comatose or violently insane if their Little Sister was killed or saved by Tenenbaum.
  • In the Crash Bandicoot series, recurring villain Ripper Roo is said to be Dr. Cortex's first mutant animal soldier. The brainwashing procedure drove Roo so nuts that he became a cackling madman in a straitjacket. Crash Bandicoot himself was a more successful attempt—although he's plenty daft in his own right.
  • F.E.A.R. oddly messes with this: the first prototype, the Pointman, is considered a failure, and it's the second prototype, Paxton Fettel, who's the one who causes problems. Interestingly, the first prototype isn't worthless by any measure, as he proves to be a far more efficient killing machine than the second prototype or the Replica soldiers (and The Stinger goes as far as to have Genevieve Aristide suggest that he is, in fact, a success based on this), but the point of the program they were created under was to create psychic commanders. The Pointman has very lackluster psychic abilities, only enough to grant himself unnaturally-enhanced reflexes, while Fettel is the one with greater psychic powers to properly control the Replica battalions. The problem there is that it also leaves him very susceptible to being taken control of by their mother; in-story he goes crazy twice under her influence, the second time forming the catalyst for the first game.
  • Final Fantasy loves villains with this backstory.
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the old animatronics are placed in storage as they are replaced by newer models. But they aren't deactivated, and will continue to stalk the player at night.
  • The Derro from Forgotten Realms have believe they are the reincarnation of his god 'An avatar of murder'
  • In Genshin Impact, the Fatui Harbinger Scaramouche is revealed to be a prototype Artificial Human created by one of the Archons. Abandoned by their creator and betrayed by the humans they had trusted, they came to view the world as a cruel joke and joined the Fatui as a means to achieve power and revenge. After their defeat by the Traveler, the Dendro Archon takes him under her care and helps him to discover the Fatui's role in the tragedy of his past. Armed with this knowledge, they become a barely-trusted Aloof Ally to the Traveler. In a bonus element of Gameplay and Story Integration, in their weekly Boss Battle, they will focus their attacks on their successful "sibling" in a multi-player game.
  • In Killing Floor, the Clot is a prototype clone of Kevin's dead son. It had all the natural traits of a zombie: aggressive, bloodthirsty and cannibalistic.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land: A subversion, possibly even a double subversion. Fecto Forgo was captured and contained after having put itself in a weakened state, going so far as to make a tourist exhibit out of it. Even in its weakened state, it was more than capable of escaping its containment and even influencing those around it before resorting to escape as a last ditch effort, and a player's initial thought would likely be that the lab would've been the epicenter of the seeming apocalypse the Forgotten Land went through. However, before it got the chance, its captors had reverse engineered its spacial warping abilities and left, meaning it was not an apocalypse after all, but a mere abandonment. These captors were not the only intelligent beings on the planet though, and so Forgo's manipulation and eventual rampage were left to be the problem of the Beast Pack they left behind.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Downplayed with Jack, a.k.a. Subject Zero: she's not so much psycho as just really, really, really, REALLY angry... and emotionally unstable.
    • Grunt also comes across as a Pscyho Prototype at first, but is actually "just" a vat-bred Super-Soldier who's psychologically normal for a member of a race of Blood Knights. His extra aggression is merely a result of puberty.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: The Kett Behemoth, formerly a krogan scout who they tried to exalt. The process of creating it has left it in a state of Unstoppable Rage, due to krogan Blood Rage getting stuck into a feedback loop, so the kett keep the first one locked up. If Ryder doesn't save the other krogan scouts, they'll have to face more, the kett having decided in the mean time that an unstoppable berserker with a healing factor has its uses.
  • Mega Man:
    • In the backstory to Mega Man X, Dr. Light feared that the eponymous X, the first robot with true free will, could become this, which is why he sealed him away for 30 years to test his morality. Given what happens to Copy X in Mega Man Zero, who is effectively X without said testing or even much life experience in general, he was likely right to be concerned.
    • Played straight in Mega Man Ultra, where the same X was activated prematurely and went berserk, serving as the final boss.
    • Inverted with Axl: he was the prototype for the transforming next-generation Reploids, yet he himself is quite sane, if possessed of a slight Blood Knight streak. It's the mass-produced versions that went psycho.
    • Zero acted quite insane when he first appeared because of The Virus. But given his creator, it's unclear how much of this was intentional.
    • Alpha in Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue is the prototype of the Internet itself given form and AI.
  • The Neverhood: Hoborg's first creation was a being named Klogg, who grew envious at Hoborg's status as the Neverhood's king. So he stole the crown from Hoborg to rule the Neverhood, uncaring that doing so rendered his own creator frozen in time.
  • A Second Mario Bros. X Thing subverts this. Pandamona, the second sibling created by the Artist, is the insane one (even compared to the other cyclopses, most of which would also qualify for various degrees of insane). The eldest sibling, Science, has comparatively few screws loose (literally and figuratively), which is why he is their leader.
  • Silhouette Mirage has the Guardian Angels, who are all prototypes of Shyna who were discarded and left to die when she was chosen to be the Messenger of Justice/Destruction until Har made them his bodyguards.
  • The Biolizard in Sonic Adventure 2, the prototype Ultimate Lifeform to Shadow the Hedgehog. It's barely sentient and acts more like a beast on its primal urges. It's noted that the beast reacted violently when it came into contact with the Chaos Emeralds and ultimately had to be locked away in the central core of the ARK to avoid becoming an issue, and its violent nature was part of what resulted in the government deciding to pull the plug on the project. And unlike Shadow, who ultimately has a change of heart, it fully goes ahead with attempting the Colony Drop on the planet as planned by Dr. Gerald Robotnik.
  • In StarCraft II, Spectres were a brief program run by Mengsk to create a new breed of more powerful psychic assassins, replacing the original Ghost units seen throughout StarCraft. Nova, a Dominion-loyalist Ghost, claims that the project was shut down and the Spectres imprisoned because they were psychotic killing machines. However, if the player takes the "Breakout" mission, which has been stated to be the canonical mission, then they learn that Nova was basically lying and Spectres are no more prone to going mad than Ghosts are, if less. The real reason the project was abandoned was because the power-boost that made a Ghost into a Spectre let them blow out their Restraining Bolts. Then again, their unit quotes seem to suggest that they are indeed a bit flaky.
  • Nebilim from Tales of the Abyss: The first human replica, and utterly insane. Then again, its creator wasn't entirely stable-minded when he created it either.
  • Prototype Jack in Tekken is designed to be a super-powerful robot that's gone haywire after its owner lost control of it. The one in Tekken 2 and Tag Tournament is more of an army drone and so isn't as evil as it's just following orders.


    Western Animation 
  • Downplayed in Ben 10: Alien Force. There's a very unstable prototype of the Omnitrix that tends to go wild and has fewer time limitations (Transformations can last much, much longer), but is not sentient or evil itself, it is Albedo who is the one that uses it for evil purposes.
  • Earl, Rusty's "older brother" from Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot isn't exactly crazy, but his AI is woefully incomplete and he's a very angry kid. Basically, take Atlas, Gunnery Sargeant Hartmann and Rain Man, then put them in a blender and hit puree.
  • Protoform X, from Beast Wars: the Ax-Crazy Rampage. He was created by Maximal Scientists (attempting to duplicate Starscream's annoying ability to not stay dead) as an immortal supersoldier. What they got was a psychotic killing machine that massacred them and the rest of the colony they were on. Also, he was an immortal supersoldier.
  • XL from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was built before XR; XL had villainous inclinations.
  • The Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) cartoon revises Proto Man's character from a Flawed Prototype to one whose malfunctioning caused him to side with Dr. Wily.
  • Downplayed in My Life as a Teenage Robot with XJ8, the last Flawed Prototype made before Jenny. She is not evil, but is so socially inept and gung-ho that she's quite bad at being a good guy.
  • Robotboy had Protoboy, Robotboy's older brother who was captured and turned into an Omnicidal Maniac by Dr. Kamikazi. He would go to various lengths to attempt to prove himself as Professor Moshimo's best invention/kill him, including switching his CPU with his brother's so he could get close to Moshimo and later threatening to kill Moshimo in a robot factory by pouring molten titanium on him unless Robotgirl offers to take his place. While he had a penchant for coming back to life after being repeatedly killed, his final appearance in the aforementioned factory has his fate an Uncertain Doom.
  • Winx Club's Valtar was somewhat of this to Bloom. He was born of the same element that makes up her magic, but was raised by the Ancestral Witches (the ancestors of the Trix) and ended up participating in the attack that destroyed Domino and caused her to be raised on Earth. Part of Season Three's storyline involves the Winx tracking down a set of items made to take down someone with Bloom's power so that they can use them on him; that's how bad he is.
  • Young Justice (2010): It's revealed that Superboy was only the second attempt by Cadmus and the Light to create a clone of Superman. Thier first attempt, Project: Match, was less successful due to Match being mentally unstable and uncontrollable. The reason is due to the difficulties of human science and technology in being able to read and replicate Kryptonian DNA, which caused there to be gaps in the DNA sequences. Despite this, Cadmus went ahead and created a clone with this incomplete DNA, resulting in a clone that had of all Superman's powers but was also a mentally insane berserker that attacks everyone and everything in sight. After putting Match on ice, Cadmus tried again with Project: Kr, this time using human DNA to fill in the missing sequences. The end result was the creation of Superboy, a clone that was mentally sound but lacked the standard Kryptonian powerset. Superboy doesn't have a large number of powers such as flight and heat vision, and the powers that he does have such as super strength, are only about half as strong as Superman.