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Spawn Broodling

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What happens when Enemy Summoner meets Chest Burster? A villain that has the ability not only to kill a character but also to generate allies.

This is distinguishable from The Virus in that the Spawn Brooder is not spreading itself, and from Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong in that it is an ability that takes a much shorter amount of time and is generally not considered that sort of attack. See also Flunky Boss, who might use this as an attack, Forced Transformation, and The Punishment. Contrast Weaponized Offspring which is about attacking or creating allies by giving birth; this trope is about attacking or creating allies by making the enemy give birth.


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Quick and painful

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has three Epic Spells: Animus Blast, Animus Blizzard and Demise Unseen, all of which kill your enemies and then reanimate them as undead under your control.
    • It also has the spell 'Extract Water Elemental' which is basically exactly what it sounds like it turns all the water in the victim's body into an elemental creature of the same size category under the caster's control.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The expansion Rise of the Eldrazi includes a card called "Corpsehatch" that is virtually identical in function to the Trope Namer ability; it kills a creature and creates two Eldrazi Spawn in its place.
    • There's also Skeletonize, which burns away a creature's flesh and (assuming three damage will kill it) leaves behind and undead skeleton under your command.
    • This motif shows up a lot in association with Phyrexia, with cards like Parasitic Implant taking a fairly traditional approach to this trope. Contrast to Phyrexian Rebirth, a Fantastic Nuke spell that inflicts this on an entire army, fusing them into a gigantic misshapen Body of Bodies.
  • Pathfinder brings out the mythic Drakainia, a Mother of a Thousand Young who represents the mutagenic demon lord Lamashtu. She not only uses Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong tactics to impregnate player characters (regardless of said character's gender), but any already pregnant creatures within line of sight immediately give birth, with the children afflicted with her mutations and under her control.
  • Warhammer has a necromancy spell that tears the souls out of the victims and turns them into Spirit Hosts, as well as a spell available to the Daemons that turns enemies into more Daemons.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Gift of Chaos/Boon of Mutation (essentially the same ability, but one is Chaos Marine psychic power and the other is a Daemon shooting attack), which attempts to turn the target into a Chaos Spawn (a mindless mass of mutated flesh). The Orks also have a special character that can polymorph an enemy into a Squig. The Tyranids have a special character that can infect units arriving from the reserve, causing them to turn into Ripper Swarms.

    Video Games 
  • Broforce: If even one Facehugger gets on your Bro in the later levels, it will hatch into a full-grown Xenomorph, killing the Bro instantly and leaving your next Bro with a big problem.
  • Defiance has the Infector weapon class. They shoot needles into your enemies, and when enough of them hit the poor sod, a bug bursts out of them. The exact mechanics of it do vary from one type of infector to another - some of them (e.g. the Canker variant) spawn bugs only upon the target's death, and some don't spawn bugs at all. There's also the various Hellbug event weapons, many of which also spawn bugs.
  • In Devil Survivor, Belzeboul, AKA Beelzebub, can implant his fly eggs in you, which hatch a turn later, and join in.
  • Emperor: Battle for Dune has Tleilaxu Leeches, which would spit a parasite onto enemy tanks that would eventually destroy them, creating another Leech. They also had a zombie-like enemy called a Contaminator that would spawn another Contaminator every time they killed an infantry unit.
  • E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy has the Invocation psi-power, which immediately kills targeted enemy and (with a splash of blood and gore) summons a metastreumonic creature in their place.
  • Kingdom Rush series:
    • Kingdom Rush: Frontiers: The Parasyte enemies will latch onto your barracks soldiers and reinforcements, immobilizing them and draining health rapidly, and if that kills the troop before it's killed it immediately bursts into a much stronger, tougher and faster Reaper alien. Thankfully, no Reaper spawns if they latch onto and destroy Alric's summoned sand warriors or a Necromancer tower's spawned skeletons.
    • Kingdom Rush: Origins: The Cloud Stalker enemies will latch onto your barracks soldiers and reinforcements, immobilizing them and draining health rapidly. If it's not killed in time that troop will explode and produce another Cloud Stalker.
  • Singularity: A double-blast of the TMD turns an enemy soldier into a ghoul-like monster that hunts by sound. It will usually attack other enemies because they don't know to be quiet. A third blast to the monster will turn it into an Action Bomb.
  • StarCraft:
    • StarCraft: Queens and their Broodlings; the Zerg Queen has an ability called "Spawn Broodling" that kills an enemy unit and creates two Broodlings, similar to Zerglings, except in how they are made.
    • StarCraft II:
      • Brood Lords "create" Broodlings using their attacks, but that's because they are flinging them into battle.
      • The Heart of the Swarm campaign has two more examples, Corpsers are a variant strain of Roach whose normal attack infects enemy units with a pair of mini-roachlings that burst out when it is killed, and one of Kerrigan's possible abilities allows her to do basically the same thing.
  • Undead Knights: The entire point of the gameplay is to attack enemy knights and turn them into zombies. You can even work it into your combos to zombify them instantly after weakening them.
  • X-COM:
    • Chryssalids will slice at you (usually killing you unless you have stronger armor), spit an embryo in your corpse, and then the embryo will infest the brain and raise the corpse as a zombie before mutating into an actual Chryssalid.
    • In the remake's sequel XCOM 2, Chryssalids inflict the slow and painful variant instead. The usually-nonlethal attacks (assuming players are making a good pace on armor, unlike unarmored civilians) apply a lingering and persistent poison, slowly killing the target with implanted eggs that will turn their eventual corpse into a cocoon that will then burst into actual Chryssalids.
    • Tentaculats from the second game, Terror From the Deep. Now they can fly.

  • One of the early Looking for Group strips has Richard summoning the skeletons of some enemy soldiers... while the soldiers are still alive.

    Web Media 

Slow and painful

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Anything with Spawn, Implant, or Create Attacks; for example, the Slaad and the Marrash.
    • Extra special mention goes to the Vargouille.
    • If your GM is cooperative, cast Animate Dead on a carnivorous creature's last meal and see what happens. If all works out, they'll have a zombie in their tummy.note 
  • Warhammer:
    • The Sword of Change, a magic blade that can mutate its victims into masses of random Body Horror under partial control of the user.
    • There's a Skaven spell that changes its victims into a unit of Clanrats.

    Video Games 
  • Alien vs. Predator: Xenomorphs of the genetically engineered variety.
  • In Alien Swarm, the parasite enemies will latch onto a player, and the infestation is not cured in time, will exit the host, along with several parasite buddies.
  • Particularly horrific version in Dragon Age: Origins in the form of the Broodmothers. Lets just say that female Grey Wardens have an even bigger reason for seeking out a quick death on the battlefield than their male counterparts and leave it at that.
  • Guild Wars has a spell (Malign Intervention) that reduces healing, and creates a minion if the target dies while affected.
  • Warcraft III has a few abilities like this (Doom, Parasite, Dark Arrow...), but they create a unit upon death instead of insta-killing.
  • World of Warcraft has Curse of Doom, essentially the same spell as Doom from Warcraft 3, except it doesn't insta-kill the target, but instead deals large amounts of damage. Should this damage kill the target, it spawns a demon. Death Knights also have a talent that may count: Bloodworms, which causes their melee swings to have a chance of causing worms to burst out of the target and attack it.
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall:
    • The "Filled with Despair" status effect inflicted by Psynumbra abilities causes a unit to spawn a ghostly Echo of Despair when they die.
    • Units that die under the effects of Parasitic Infection have a chance to create Xenoplague units after the battle's end.

    Real Life 
  • A real life example that doesn't involve animal spawn... the cordyceps genus of fungi. They infect various kinds of insect, but the form most often seen by people is one which infects ants and flies and the like. The fungus grows within the body of the host eventually causing death, but before it does so it forces them to climb to a high point (say the top of a blade of grass) and cling there until they die. Then the fungus matures, fruiting bodies sprout from the corpse of the host and spread fungal spores into the surroundings to start the cycle anew. Overlaps with The Virus. There's a reason certain ants take away infected workers away from the colonies: cordyceps can and will completely destroy them.
  • Parasitoids are all about doing this, and many wasp species in particular are parasitoids. They place their offspring on (ectoparasitoids) or inside (endoparasitoids) a host, where it develops by feeding on the host until it eventually dies. Some notable examples:
    • Spider wasps, of the family Pompilidae. The adults feed on nectar, but the females hunt down spiders (hence the name), and sting their victims, paralyzing, but not killing them. Once the victim is subdued, the female then drags it back to the nest, and lays a single egg. The egg hatches, and the resulting larva slowly eats the host alive, starting in non-vital regions, then nibbling away until there's nothing left but an empty husk, whereupon the larva pupates. There is one subfamily of spider wasps that prey on other spider wasps, in that the females of this group lay their eggs in another species' nest, whereupon the invading larva first eats the original occupant, then proceeds to eat the original occupant's victim, itself.
    • A type of wasp from the family Braconidae uses caterpillars as hosts, and can even force the still-barely-alive caterpillars to guard the larvae while they pupate.
    • The emerald jewel wasp goes the extra mile. It poisons a cockroach with a neurotoxin that turns it into an honest-to-god zombie roach and leads it by its own antennae to a secure location and hides it there, where it is slowly eaten alive by the larva inside it.
    • Wasps of the genus Trichogramma are incredibly small and parasitize the eggs of other insects. They are used extensively as biological control agents.