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The Corruption

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The itsy-bitsy symbiote crawled up the spider's arm...

"Don't you feel the power? Soon everything will be corrupted. Including you."

The Corruption is a force of chaos that gives some of its victims a Superpowered Evil Side before (or while) it mutates them into mindless monsters. The Body Horror transformation progresses gradually, and the final result tends to be a hideous, slithering creature that looks like the spawn of an Eldritch Abomination, an Enemy to All Living Things capable of inflicting the Corruption on any creature falling into its tentacled clutches.

In the standard plotline, it will usually infect The Hero at some point. While seeking to cure themself, the infected hero must struggle with malign influence and limit use of the evil powers granted by the Corruption, since using them tends to corrupt them further.

This often works by an interesting rule: Mooks and Red Shirts tend to be turned into raving, mindless beasts/monsters. If the hero or the villain catches it, they get Cursed with Awesome superpowers. Heroic Willpower is probably the reason for this temporary(?) emotional stabilization. Named villains and extras will usually give in to it much more quickly for the powers, and quickly betray humanity because of it. Expect them to get Drunk on the Dark Side and suffer a Super-Power Meltdown because of it. Remember, Evil Is Not a Toy.

Nastier versions require a Mercy Kill. They may, in Dying as Yourself, recover for just a few moments, but only if mortally wounded. Contrast with Power Degeneration, where the cause of eventual death is overuse of superpowers, or simply having them.

In video games, a Non-Standard Game Over may occur when the player is corrupted too much. You can tell you're getting too close to the edge if the PC gets Tainted Veins and Undeathly Pallor.

Often related to The Dark Side. Compare with With Great Power Comes Great Insanity and Evil Makes You Ugly, and contrast The Corrupter, who also does their best to turn other characters evil, but is also a character in their own right, rather than an impersonal force. It's usually represented visually by gaining Volcanic Veins, a Red Right Hand, and a Game Face or even a full-on Slow Transformation of the The Worsening Curse Mark. Someone with Incorruptible Pure Pureness may be immune to its influence or may become a victim of a metaphysical variant of The Worf Effect, succumbing to show how powerful the Corruption is.

Due to the Body Horror involved, it's a potent source of Nightmare Fuel.

For when the evil force corrupts a location instead of a character, see Evil Tainted the Place. For when the corruption is so resilient that it turns into another creature after being "cleansed", see Residual Evil Entity.

Not to be confused with the third game in the Metroid Prime Trilogy (even though it uses this trope as a critical story element). Nor should it be confused with corruption of the political variety. Or the corporate variety. Or the visual variety.


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    Comic Books 
  • Donna Troy after she's bitten by her own dead infant son in Blackest Night.
  • In Marvel UK's Captain Britain, the superhero-killing machine the Fury repairs itself with organic material— and anyone unlucky to have contact with it in its fix-up mode gets infected with its Nanomachines (though the term wasn't used back then) and turned into a monstrosity. Unusually for this trope, it didn't make you evil, just insane, hideously deformed, and easily mistaken for the Fury in a world where superheroes were trying to destroy said machine on sight.
  • Jackie Estacado is the receiver of this in the appropriately-named comic The Darkness.
  • In Valiant Comics' The Legend of Zelda, the Triforce of Power was like this as it started turning Link into a Ganon-like creature once he took possession of it. As Zelda pointed out, Power without Wisdom means nothing; unwilling to become another Ganon even though he expected giving up the Triforce of Power would probably kill him, Link tossed it. The power of the Triforce of Courage ended up restoring him to normal when it decided to reclaim him for getting rid of the other Triforce.
  • The Technarch Transmode virus in Marvel, even in an otherwise benign symbiosis, such as between Warlock and Cypher, and works both ways; as the organic life-form becomes techno-organic the infector becomes Magus, a more powerful entity hostile toward organic forms and its own offspring.
  • Every time Spawn uses the powers being a Hellspawn grants him, he gets a little bit closer to completely losing his humanity and becoming the commander of The Legions of Hell.
  • In IDW's Transformers Output, one of the earliest Primes, Nova Prime, became infected with a parasitic energy known as "The Darkness" that dwelt in the ominously named Dead Universe. It was unclear exactly how much of what he did was down to his own expansionist philosophies and how much was the result of the Darkness controlling him, but it was clearly sentient on some level. Not helping was that Nova was already a dick before it got its tendrils into him. All The Darkness seems to have done is change his color-scheme and give him some super-powers.
    • Cyclonus is a clearer example, being a proud warrior who developed Ax-Crazy tendencies after being corrupted by the Dead Universe. Unlike his comrades he was well aware that this was a problem.
  • Venom and other symbiotes from Spider-Man are alien parasites that grant their hosts a variety of powers but also tend to affect their moods and personality, and can be quite clingy and possessive as well.
  • In the My Little Pony Comics The Nightmare Forces kidnap and slowly corrupt Rarity in the 6. Issue, thus they embody this trope. They do this by toying with her emotions and playing with her fear of losing her friends which culminates in her becoming Nightmare Rarity as she succumbs to their corruption.
  • Inverted in Sojourn. Originally, the sigils are neutral symbols, the good part balancing the evil part; however, Mordath's malice changed that symbol into one with two evil parts.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, there's the Many; a Virus-type Assimilator created from Ghidorah's remains which turns its victims into monstrous, super-durable abominations whilst assimilating them into the Hive Mind.
  • A common result of exposure to the warp in Age of Strife
    • The entire 504 is slowly being corrupted by Khorne.
    • The military of Greengraft starts having problems with warp mutation after the warp rift at Glass Canopy.
    • Dia herself eventually acquired a giant corrupting scar courtesy of Khorne after the same incident.
    • Mirande ends up with burning blood after direct physical and mental contact with a daemon.
  • All Guardsmen Party: The weapons produced by "the Box" slowly mutate their wielders into Orks. This is because it's a heretek manufactorum that uses servitorized orks as assembly line workers.
  • This is a main theme in The Legend of Zelda fanfic series, the Bound Destinies Trilogy, and its especially prevalent in anything having to do with Link's character development across each story.
    • In Blood and Spirit this is one of the important subplots in the story. After receiving a wound in battle against the Fierce Deity, Link starts to be corrupted by Majora in the same manner as Terminus's hero was. However, thanks to his strong Heroic Spirit, Link is able to resist it a bit more effectively, though he still cannot fully get rid of it. And even despite his resistance, the demon constantly assaults the hero, physically and mentally as it tries to wear him down throughout the course of the story.
    • In Wisdom and Courage, this theme is toned down a bit, but still present. Not confident that he will be able to face Veran in battle and win, Link turns to the Fierce Deity's Mask to grant him more power, despite the fact that he is warned that it could overtake his mind and spirit. And, when he puts the mask on for the first time in the story in chapter 29, he almost does lose himself to it, only to be brought back to his senses at the last minute by Zelda. However, due to Veran effectively breaking him by seeming to kill Zelda in front of him in chapter 33, he is apparently corrupted for a short time, until his spirit begins to fight back against the mask's influence and he is actually able to use its power to defeat Veran once and for all.
  • The The Realm of Darkness is described as such in Clash of the Elements.
  • A very subtle application in Dungeon Keeper Ami. At first it seems to be merely the compromises Ami is forced to make - She's Trapped in Another World, and it's a rough place, even when one doesn't have both the Villains AND the Heroes after her. But slowly things like giggling in a creepy manner at inappropriate times, and clothing that spontaneously turns black and grows bat-motifs starts sneaking up on her...
  • The Nightmare forces to Luna in Equestria: A History Revealed. Of course, she was already toeing the line of evil before, but after seeking them out, they accelerated her fall. And they were responsible in helping her darkness win the battle in her heart and complete her transformation into Nightmare Moon.
  • Fate/Parallel Fantasia has "All Evils of This World", the curse which has corrupted the Grail and transforms any Servant exposed to it into their Dark form. The increased power is accompanied by the twisting of their minds, though True Rider finds that she's able to resist to an extent when False Avenger's attention isn't focused directly on her.
  • The voice in Luna's head from The God Empress of Ponykind. It convinces Luna that Celestia doesn't care for her and sidelines her to take all the glory for Herself. It turns out to be Tzeentch, who faked his death in a gambit to get rid of the Emperor.
  • In the Harry Potter fic King of Kings, Ruling over Rulers, the deity known as Tau is the embodiment of corruption. However, the corruption is not portrayed as an evil entity , but as a force of change. It is worth to mention that corruption was the first thing to exist in all of reality, and that reality itself is a corruption of nothingness.
  • The unnatural blend of light and dark magic that is Celestia's cutie mark spell in Act II of Legends of Equestria functions this way for the Everfree Forest (where the spell was originally cast), corrupting it over time from a beautiful, peaceful place into a twisted shadow realm.
  • Most of the remnants of Nightmare Moon in Past Sins. The remnants that aren't? Those would be Nyx.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series, the Blooming Moon Chronicles, the Clay of Prometheus is an example of this, being explicitly referred to as "corruption" on various occasions. It is not an entity; rather it is a sort of life-force that takes the form of black mire. While it is used with malicious intent in some cases, such as with the Tyrant Wyrms, certain characters are able to harness the corruption and use it for good; for example, Scrivener Blooms, Innocence, and Thorn.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines features Shadow Pokémon, as seen below in the Video Game folder.
  • Dark Chaos Energy from Sonic X: Dark Chaos. The negative energy of the Emeralds of Power given physical form, it is a highly toxic blue substance that is extremely radioactive, highly corrosive, and mutagenic. It is capable of corrupting and twisting anything.
  • Re:Coded: The Laplace corrupts any program or person it encodes itself to, making them villainous or turning them into self-aware puppets. Ghost Girl and Blood Shepherd fall under Laplace's control after a botched operation and are forced to fight their allies, Queen is hinted to have fallen into Sanity Slippage after linking her mind to it, and Revolver is also corrupted by it after Queen's attempt to turn him into her knight and would have turned bloodthirsty and destroyed everything if he wasn't stopped.
  • In Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, Joker is able to induce this in the Clow and Sakura Cards and Tomoyo.
  • Fallout: Equestria: The taint. Described as like magical radiation but far worse, it horrifically mutates any living thing it touches, inevitably into something far more violent and dangerous. And unlike radiation, there is absolutely no known protection from it. Magic, shielding, and various healing potions do nothing to stop it. Littlepip finds an old taint warning that recommends not even looking at taint.
  • Queen of Shadows: The more that Yasashi uses the mask made from Tsume, the more unstable and aggressive she becomes. This finally reaches its breaking point during the Battle of Tobe, where her rage at Ikazuki destroying Houka causes her to have a Freak Out and transform into a human/Gani hybrid.

    Films — Animated 
  • Inside Out has Sadness' ability to turn regular memories sad, which the other emotions think is harmful. But it turns out to be a very important ability by the end of the movie.
  • In Mune: Guardian of the Moon, the snakelike Corrupters bring out the darkness in people's hearts, which also has the side effect of changing their powers. Case in point, the main villain Necross was an innocent Rock Monster until being corrupted into a giant lava beast.
  • In Turning Red, the repeated use of the red panda spirit to transform into a giant red panda was seen as this by Mei's female relatives as it made the red moon ritual to exorcise it more difficult to undergo.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Doom movie has mutants as enemies. Turns out humanity originated on a once-verdant Mars before fleeing to Earth via the Arc (Gate?). What were they fleeing from? Well, having used Genetic Engineering to make a new chromosome that made them superhuman, it turns out it also unleashed the evil in the "unmapped 10% of the Human Genome", making a few people into mutant monsters that could infect others with the same monstrosity. The hero turns into a Hero with extra strength and stamina, but the baddie slowly mutates into a much more badass villain while normal civilians and soldiers turn to slobbering monsters.
  • The Evil Force, AKA the Kandarian Demon, from Evil Dead. Not only does it possess human corpses and dead trees, but also damaged tissue on a still-living body. From there, it spreads rapidly like an infection, turning the afflicted into a Deadite. The spread can be stopped by amputation or sucked out like snake venom, but it can still animate anything it's already corrupted.
  • Seth Brundle brings the Corruption down on himself in The Fly (1986) when he merges with a fly during the test of his teleportation device.
  • In the Green Lantern (2011) movie, this happens to Hector Hammond when a tiny bit of Parallax infects him while he's doing the autopsy on Abin Sur's body. It deforms his head and brain, while giving him telekinetic powers and a Psychic Link to Parallax, along with a sadistic sense of humor and a burning hatred of Hal Jordan and anyone who he thinks has wronged him. In the backstory, it's also how Parallax was created: he/it is a former Guardian who explored the potential use of yellow fear energy. He was infected by it and became the monster Parallax, feeding on the fear of others.
  • 976-EVIL: The 976-EVIL phone number works this way, initially giving Hoax a means of revenge against his tormentors, but the more he uses it the more outwardly monstrous he becomes.
  • In Star Wars, the Dark Side of the Force has shown itself to be a corrupting influence. Giving in to the Dark Side makes for easy short-term victories but relying on the Dark Side too much can eventually corrupt a Force-user into evil, upon which there's no turning back. This is elaborated on further in the Expanded Universe, where the Dark Side is more overtly and supernaturally corrupting.
  • Happens to Mirror Knight at the beginning of Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, although it had no other effect besides bringing him under the control of the Big Bad, as well as altering his color scheme.
  • Just like the game it’s based on, the Warcraft (2016) features the fel, a source of magic that greatly increases the powers of whoever is infected by it, but at the price of another being's Life Energy. The corruption aspect is less notable on the orcs, who are already pretty insane without it, but it is what drives Medivh into opening the Dark Portal to Draenor, allowing the Horde to enter Azeroth. It also causes hideous body mutations to the user.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural:
    • At the end of season 4, Castiel tells Dean that consuming enough demon blood to kill Lilith will permanently mutate Sam into a monster. Possibly, God cleaning it out of his system prevented this.
    • In the finale of season 6, Castiel has turned evil and absorbs the souls of Purgatory into himself upon which he declares himself the new God. In the first episode of season 7, he goes around killing corrupt and wicked people on a massive scale to prove his "godhood", but it eventually turns out that he's also hosting far older, nastier entities who are corrupting him. His body slowly degrades and mutates and he gets temporarily taken over to perform indiscrimate massacres, ending with being totally under their control after he loses the souls. His body goes through a meltdown under the strain, and the monsters escape out into the world.
    • The Mark of Cain is the seal on the Darkness, the Primordial Chaos that God and the Archangels defeated long ago. It's described as the "finger in the dyke". Those who bore it would inevitably be corrupted by it since, following the analogy, they are in direct contact with the Darkness itself.
  • The Ultra Series have more than one major villain using the powers of corruption as their schtick.
    • Gudis from Ultraman: Towards the Future can infect other living beings with his cells, mutating harmless creatures into giant rampaging kaiju.
    • The main threat of Ultraman Cosmos was Chaos Header, a sentient mass of tiny virus-like entities made of light. It primarily menaced Cosmos and EYES by taking over the bodies of peaceful kaiju to turn them into the Monster of the Week that they would need to subdue.
    • Ultraman X has a new threat in the form of Dark Thunder Energy, released by the series' main villain Greeza to revive dormant spark dolls of kaiju, as well as driving normally benign, peaceful monsters into a state of aggressiveness.
    • Ultraman Z uses a similar concept with the Devil's Splinters, remnants of the series' previous villain Ultraman Belial, who can infect benevolent monsters into becoming berserk and attacking everything in sight.
  • Walter Sykes from Warehouse 13 was once a nice kid who found a bracelet that let him walk (he's crippled from the waist down). Unfortunately the bracelet's trade-off for giving something is to make one unable to feel true happiness or love, causing the person who uses it to become a sociopath addicted to the bracelet's power. Artie thought that he had gotten the bracelet away from Sykes before the corrupting influence took hold only to discover years later that he was too late.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: The Skeksis' abuse of the Crystal of Truth corrupted it, and spread that corruption into Thra itself. The corruption, called "the Darkening", blights the land and drives living creatures into a mad frenzy at its touch.
  • Willow:
    • Commander Ballantine is wounded by one of the Gales during their attack, and this is shown to infect him. He turns into a servant of the Crone, then infects other guards in his party to be the same.
    • Graydon suffers this too after getting infected in episode 3.

  • Deathspell Omega portray Satan as being something akin to this - rather than a distinct entity, he is portrayed as the metaphysical force of corruption in the universe. It should be noted that due to the band's Blue-and-Orange Morality, they aren't particularly condemning this.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In Classical Mythology, although intended as a punishment from which humanity would learn, the Miseries sealed in Pandora's urn wound up being this instead. They turned all of humanity save Deucalion and his family into irredeemable monsters. And thus, the Great Flood.
  • Mythology and Religions Researcher René Guénon called this Counter Initiation. According to him, all religions warned against this force and this force is the reason for the dark ages of humanity. (And that the biblical end times were all about this force rising to power.) Rudolf Steiner issued a similar warning and called it the "Ahrimanic Deception".

  • A great many powers and substances have this effect in BIONICLE:
    • The Infected Masks, corrupted by Makuta, induce this.
    • The poison of the Rahkshi Lerahk has a similar effect.
    • Although Shadow Leeches adhere to this trope most closely, they do not actually inject any substance into their targets that causes them to become corrupted, rather, they suck out the inner light of their victims so their dark sides grow stronger.
  • In Hero Factory, the villainous Meltdown developed an acidic substance which increased the anger in his targets, and got the better of Alpha Team Leader Preston Stormer, making him turn on his own men and his own advertising billboard.
  • The Great Devourer's venom works this way in Ninjago. It caused Garmadon to embark on his Start of Darkness (though it did not physically alter his appearance, that was caused by his banishment into the Underworld).
    • Dark Matter found on the Overlord's island also causes this effect, but unlike the Devourer's venom, its effect is temporary, and it seems to turn its targets into mindless servants rather than actually twisting their sense of morality.

    Visual Novels 
  • The black "mud" that follows from the corrupted Holy Grail in Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero is a literal manifestation of "all the world's evil". It appropriately grants incredible power to whoever touches it, but will irreversibly corrupt them under all but the most extraordinary circumstances. Servants in particular are extremely vulnerable to the curse due to their astral nature... unless you happen to be Gilgamesh, whose ego is too powerful to be corrupted. In the Heaven's Feel route of stay night, Sakura uses this power to overwhelm the majority of the Masters and Servants, taking Saber and Berserker back out to assist her genocidal rampage. This corruption was also the reason why Gilgamesh and Kirei managed to survive their "deaths" in Zero. Fate!Shirou shows his strength of will by mentally resisting this curse at point blank range once, then blocking the second shot with Avalon.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry plays around with the cause and effect. Hinamizawa Syndrome is just a parasite that attacks the frontal lobe, so the afflicted becomes a very angry schizophrenic, with super-strength born of madness. It also makes them hear the desperate pleas of the local deity, but that's hardly a power-up at all.
  • As revealed in Spirit Hunter: NG's Bad End, Akira's Bloodmetry can go out of control and cause his body and mind to degradate. A voice comes along and 'helps' him by transforming him into a non-human, which causes him to go completely berserk and start murdering people.

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: We don't see Sparklelord's destruction of the Radical Lands firsthand, but even after he is banished, his corruption runs deep, with no salvation in sight, causing horrific effects on the world.
    Ron: I had... bad pizza yesterday.
    King Radical: There is... a lot of bad pizza in this land too.
  • In Agents of the Realm, the past Agents were corrupted by something into becoming bleeds, turning them from people into mindless, magically-charged, omnicidal monsters.
  • Denizens of upper Fuungahi in Astray3 are turned into mindless or raving zombies made out of various appliances and mundane objects which is rather creepy.
  • Elf & Warrior:
    • All the various "monster" races are a result of ordinary animals and people being mutated due to exposure to magical energies long ago. By the time of the story, the magical energies have faded, but the monsters created remain, and have built their own civilizations in the area.
    • Anyone trapped in the demonoid realm loses all their memories and is slowly transformed into a demonoid.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior: There is a secret series of skills called nightmare which are said to spread calamity every time a player uses them so much so that there is a mark left on any player that uses it. Luckily only a select group can use these skills only by being exposed to the power and it corrupting them.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: Disium is a mysterious material that grants the infected superhuman powers at the expense of corrupting them into monsters. The transformation in mind and body can be gradual, as implied by Orcus, Crocell, Pain and Yamai.
  • In My Impossible Soulmate, a human/demi-human is transformed into a demon by being corrupted by another demon. The corrupted human/demi-human gains a boost in physical strength and a longer lifespan, but the process also robs them of their ability to perform any sort of magic.
  • In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Gleaming Hearts a crooked Slowking manages to steal the Diancie Nirvana's power and uses it to produce dark crystals that cause most Pokemon they are implanted in to become superpowered and berserk. Fortunately Nirvana summoned Jake and infused him with half her power before the Slowking arrived, and he's able to absorb the dark crystals from infected Pokemon.
  • Problem Sleuth: Spades Slick has the ability to transform characters into "shadow" versions of themselves, which he demonstrates on Mobster Kingpin. He doesn't have this ability in Homestuck, however.
  • Zebra Girl: Being turned into a demon slowly but surely corrupted Sandra. While she seemed to keep her mind and free-will intact (despite being very depressed), the very fact that she is now a demon affected everything and everyone around her, including inanimate objects such as her house, which slowly turned into an Eldritch Location.

    Web Original 
  • Most dungeon cores in Blue Core generate depletion which literally eats away at souls. And since doing so grants the dungeons power and lets them expand, this effect slowly spreads once a dungeon is established.
  • In TOME, The Forbidden Power is made of this trope. The Forbidden Power convinces Alpha to make a deal with it in Episode 1, and grants him great power in exchange for allowing him to set it free. Whenever he uses it, it grants him a much darker personality and false confidence, and when he finally starts to resist it, it changes him into a demonic form of himself which goes on a rampage. When it finally seems Alpha has gotten rid of it, it simply corrupts Zetto instead and forces Alpha to fight him. Interestingly, however, the Forbidden Power does have sentience, and can be convinced to side with Alpha when an even greater threat threatens to destroy it; when Alpha and the virus work together in the Series Finale, they become a fused form with characteristics of both of them.
  • In the Whateley Universe, this is exactly what Big Bad Eldritch Abomination 'The Bastard' (real name unknown) is unleashing. It's so horrific that it corrupts werewolves into Body Horror slaves of The Bastard, which should be impossible. They're attacking a reservation of werewolves (and other were-animals) and Whateley Academy in the current Fey storyline, and when two innocent policemen are exposed, they have already turned into Body Horror monstrosities by the time Fey and her team find them. Fey has to kill them and disintegrate the corpses.
  • In Welcome to Night Vale, you will love the Smiling God, whose form is apparently that of a hungry, spreading light. In Episode 73, we learn that that smiling, blood-soaked freak Kevin was once a normal person who had fought against the Smiling God and its takeover of his hometown.
  • The Cure from Ruby Quest. When it's first taken by a person, it acts as a panacea, up to and including repairing conditions (such as blindness) present from birth, making it unnecessary for the recipient to eat or drink, and resurrecting the recipient if they die (though they get amnesia). But once the Metal Glen started using it, everyone taking it began suffering violent fits. It also mutated them whenever they were wounded, eventually turning them into agressive, incoherent masses of Body Horror. The players met a couple far-gone victims, who they called 'zombies' because of how awful they looked. In its more middling stages, the Cure grants a Lovecraftian Superpower. Ruby has a cut on her forehead mutate into a Third Eye, Tom has extra arms on his abdomen, Red has the Elemental Plane Of Teeth, and the farther-along Filbert has a mutated arm and a giant gaping maw with teeth stronger than steel. And then there's Tom Nook. Fortunately, the Cure leaves the body quickly, and if one goes enough time without taking it, they will return to normal, a fact that Red exploited to kill himself permanently. Unfortunately, that's harder than it looks, what with Ace being the one administering it.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
  • Emperor Belos himself during the Grand Finale from The Owl House becomes this after possessing the Titan's heart, causing the entire Boiling Isles to get covered in hideous amount of green Meat Moss that kills everything it touches.
  • Ben 10: There's Corrodium (it's even in the name!), a high-energy mineral of alien origin which is harmless to aliens from the Anur system, but causes any humans or Earth-native animal life that are exposed it it to mutate into surreal-looking monstrosities.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Princess Luna is corrupted by jealousy and bitterness and becomes Nightmare Moon. In Season 2, each of the Mane 6 is corrupted by Discord into the opposite of who they are. They are all restored in the end.
  • The Dark Water from Pirates of Dark Water is an interesting case. At times, it acts like the Corruption, destroying nearly everything it touches (acting seemingly as a mindless force of nature). When consumed as part of a magic potion, it can take over the user's body from within, granting them instant youth at first, but eventually turning him/her completely into Dark Water. At other times, the Dark Water acts like The Corrupter (since there is a sentient force in charge of it, which seeks to spread the Dark Water over the entire surface of the planet. It can also corrupt anyone who comes in contact with the Dark Water, turning them into a warped yet powerful servant).
  • Steven Universe:
    • Something corrupted the minds of every gem left on Earth (except for Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl), turning them into the series' version of Monster of the Week. The corruption is apparently incurable, though Steven has proven that it can be mitigated. It's later revealed that the "Something" in question was the Diamond Authority, who caused it through a weapon they deployed on the Crystal Gems out of spite once they lost Earth. They caught many of their own soldiers in the blast, too.
    • "Earthlings" reveals that it's transmissible by fusion with a Corrupted Gem. After Jasper makes the desperate move of fusing with one against Smoky Quartz (it doesn't work), we get treated to a horrific scene of corruption slowly spreading over Jasper's body, followed by Peridot poofing her once she's fully corrupted and Amethyst bubbling her. In this battle we can also tell that even if it makes you bigger and more monstrous it is a disease and a punishment, not a power-up: Jasper was Nigh-Invulnerable, but the monster she became, in addition to being feral, was impaled by the blunt end of a metal bar flung at her by the weakest member of the cast.
    • Even when it's finally cured at the end of "Change Your Mind", all of the transformed Gems still have signs of the corruption (Jasper has miscoloured spots and horns, the Pufferfish monster has spines all over her, ect). Even the combined strength of all four Diamonds wasn't enough to fully reverse it.
  • Dark Energon in Transformers: Prime is more or less the Transformer equivalent of Satan's blood. Anything it touches becomes motile and malevolent, including dead bodies. Living 'bots that take it in tend to get powerups, but also go insane as they bend slowly to Unicron's will.note 
    • Also makes an appearance in Transformers: War for Cybertron, a video game to which Transformers: Prime is sorta a sequel. It's less corrupting there for living or formerly living things, but a lot more corrupting for nonliving things and feral creatures.
      • The novel Transformers: Exodus, which is sort of a prequel and adaptation of the game, is very explicit about the corruptive influence of Dark Energon. Start with euphoria, boosted power, and greatly increased violent tendencies... then add on instant addiction that will kill you real slow if you try to kick the habit. Oh, and the stuff turns any normal Energon it comes in contact with into more Dark Energon.
    • In Predacons Rising, the Dark Energon prevents Megatron from joining the AllSpark after death and allows Unicron to hijack and transform his body.


Video Example(s):


Belos possesses the Titan

After hitching a ride in Raine's body, Belos makes his way to the castle, and despite Raine's best efforts, fuses with the Titan's heart in order to possess the entirety of the Boiling Isles. The entire island quickly becomes overrun by rapidly growing lichen, choking out and consuming all life, and Belos fashions himself a body that more closely resembles a dragon in order to "cleanse this perdition himself".

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