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The Legions of Hell
aka: Legions Of Hell

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Now fun sized, so you can take a little slice of eternal torment on the go!

Hedonism-bot: To take over the Earth, we'd need a damned army!
Bender: Then a damned army we shall have!

Demons. Abominations. Monsters. Fallen Angels. Door-To-Door salesmen. There is a place where they go to, and a place from which they spring. Simply calling it Another Dimension doesn't do it justice.

They are legion, for their numbers are many, and their powers are diverse.

Sometimes Mooks of Satan, a Satanic Archetype, or a God of Evil (who — depending on the setting and/or the author's worldview — may or may not be the same person/thing), and residing in Fire and Brimstone Hell (or the real deal). There may or may not be heavenly equivalents, and either one can be treated in a Crystal Dragon Jesus manner. Heck, if they're in a Hentai work, they may even have tentacles.

The Shinto version of the afterlife is markedly different from the Christian version; thus, in anime not influenced by western notions of Hell and demons, Hell acts more Lawful Neutral than evil regardless of how it looks, especially the classic Buddhist and Chinese versions. Demons will be more like administrators than tormentors, often taken to the extreme.

However, if Good Hurts Evil, one wonders why the heroes don't just "accidentally" let a nun, monk, priest, child, angel, or other nice being walk in and 'crash the gate shut with a resounding bang and atomized, no, disintegrated the great forces of evil.'

If Satan Is Good expect these guys to be The Cavalry.

See also: Bonus Level of Hell, for guys slightly higher (or lower) on the infernal totem-pole see Demon Lords and Archdevils. For the non-demonic version: Alien Invasion.

The Evil Counterpart to The Armies of Heaven.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The forces of Hell and Heaven seem more like rival sports teams than vicious enemies in Ah! My Goddess, but even so the demons can be nasty.'
  • Angel Sanctuary tells the story of war between angels and demons. Among other things, the demons are the good guys....
    • Not so much the good guys as the less evil guys. God himself is mostly absent.
      • Except towards the end, where he shows himself to be evil.
  • Thoroughly subverted by Bakuen Campus Guardress.
  • The demons of Berserk are quite powerful, diverse and horrific. Every one of them were once humans who got hold of a Behelit and sold their souls and sacrificed those closest to them to the demonic gods of the Godhand in exchange for being reborn as demons. The Godhand themselves are servants of the Idea of Evil, a quite evil God that governs the Berserk universe and manipulates events so that behelits get passed down to those destined to use them so that more demons and members of the Godhand get created. Needless to say, Berserk's world is every bit a crappy place to live.
    • The worst part? The Idea of Evil only exists because humanity subconsciously wants it to exist. Apparently having demons to blame for your suffering is preferable to accepting that your pain is your fault or worse, no one's fault at all.
  • In Bleach, Hell is not among the villains. In one episode, the Soul Reapers defeat a fallen ghost who was also a serial killer during his life. A Soul Reaper cannot purify sins made by the living, so the Gate of Hell opens up and a demon reaches out and grabs the damned soul. Much better in the manga, where the giant demon impales him on an equally giant sword.
    • On the other hand, Hueco Mundo ("Hollow World") is a poster child of this trope. The Hollows themselves were the early antagonists, and the series's Big Bad eventually sets up shop there.
    • In the fourth film The Hell Verse, we meet the "Togabito" (defilers), who are the humanoid denizens of Hell.
  • The Arigami from Blue Seed.
  • The demons of Devilman, led by Satan himself. They also showed up in a Crossover movie with Mazinger Z.
  • The dead villains from the Dragon Ball franchise were shown in hell from time to time. Due to censorship issues at the time, any time in the dub the word "HELL" was on a uniform or on the wall, it was edited to "HFIL" or "Home For Infinite Losers." This is the subject of amusement and/or eyerolling among fans.
  • The Invaders from Gate Keepers and Gate Keepers 21.
  • The Hundred Demon Empire of Getter Robo G. The Dragon of the organization looks like Hitler with demon horns. Like a bonus, his name is "Hidler".
  • Even more thoroughly subverted by Hyper Police, in which the invasion is long over and the demons are a normal part of the landscape (to the point where humans are a rare and protected species).
  • Pulled off in the 10th episode of Kanokon, when a horde of them attack the school. When he reaches his Five-Tailed Form, Kouta lets loose an expanding energy wave that completely obliterates the horde of baddies (save their leader, who flees).
  • No two Orphans from My-HiME are alike, and their presence is made even more eerie once the characters (and the viewers) realize where (and who) they're coming from.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Negi's hometown was doomed by one of those. Is not clear if they do come from Hell, but they are called demons anyway.
    • Then later on, Dynamis summons an army of several hundred thousand demons. Same as above, it's not stated whether they're actually from hell, though.
      • Just a bit later, we are (re)introduced to Zazie Rainyday's sister Poyo, and Zazie too. They are heavily implied to be from hell.
  • The Dark Liege Army in Nora. Subverted in the fact that they're actually the good guys.
  • The Youma Empire of Raideen.
  • Ronin Warriors had Talpa's Dynasty Soldiers, a seemingly endless supply of Faceless Goons.
  • The DiC dub of Sailor Moon lumped all of the show's villains and monsters from the first two seasons into a single evil force called the "Negaverse".
  • The Guze no Tomogara (Denizens of the Crimson Realm in the dub) and their Rinne servants from Shakugan no Shana.
  • The Lucifer Hawke/Lucifer Folk from Silent Möbius.
  • In Slayers NEXT, Xellos is introduced. A Self proclaimed Trickster Priest with Eyes Always Shut and apparent ally, he is actually more of a Physical God and one step removed from being the single most powerful entity of darkness currently active in the world. While not quite mightiest of the mazoku (evil race), there is very little, short of the dark lords themselves, that ranks above him in power, and to date, every season he has appeared in ends with there being one less creature superior to him in power as result of his companions. The mere fact of his presence is enough to make the dragon race tremble in fear and do everything possible to avoid a direct confrontation.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The demon race who reside in the underworld are this. In order to manifest in material world when they themselves are a spiritual race, they need to acquire physical vessels for themselves. The largest "legions" are those that serve the Seven Primordial Demons, though two particular legions are of note:
    • The first is the hundreds, if not thousands-strong demon army that serves the Primordial Red and top Demon Lord Guy Crimson, with the Green Primordial Misery and Blue Primordial Rain as his two top subordinates. While ostensibly always a threat to humanity, Guy is more interested in acting as a "mediator" who keeps humanity on its toes with various raids from the northern Ice Continent. It's noted that none of these have been serious since he's never led such an invasion himself, as if he did humanity wouldn't have a prayer and it would start a massive civil war with the other Demon Lords.
    • The second is the "Black Numbers" of Tempest, made up of 711 of the strongest demons in the whole world and lead by Primordial Black Diablo, Primordial White Testarossa, Primordial Violet Ultima, and Primordial Jaune Carrera. The latter three brought 202 of their strongest from their personal legions, while Diablo recruited 101 various demons who he deemed strong enough. They are considered the strongest army under the banner of Rimuru Tempest despite also being the smallest, though ironically in their position they're actually among the good guys despite serving one of the strongest Demon Lords.

    Comic Books 
  • Black Moon Chronicles: The demons of hell are summoned in battle by Haazheel Thorn and sent by Lucifer to Take Over the World after God is out of the picture.
  • Shows up from time to time in The DCU. Teen Titans has had to deal with Trigon, Superman has traded blows with Karkull, and even Batman has fought both alongside and against Etrigan the Rhyming Demon. The Sandman (1989) makes quite a few visits there as well.
  • In Supergirl story Demon Spawn the Innerverse — a Pocket Dimension spawned by Supergirl's dark side — is inhabited by legions of misshapen demons.
  • In Godzilla in Hell, they have to contend with the King of the Monsters. However, they do have King Ghidorah on their side.
  • Hellboy has the Legions awaiting for Hellboy to lead them to destroy the world. Unfortunately for them, Hellboy was Raised by Humans and (repeatedly) tells them to piss off.
  • In Lucifer a damned but repentant human soul, Christopher Rudd becomes the Messianic Archetype of Hell, and leads the demons and the damned together against the Lilim attempting to conquer the Silver City...and conquer it themselves as revenge for the injustice of allowing Hell to exist.
  • Mephisto and his son Blackheart serve as the rulers of a Hell-like dimension in the Marvel Universe. They are responsible for the creation of any number of heroes and villains, such as Ghost Rider (who sold his soul) and Dr. Doom (who tried to access Mephisto's dimension to save his mother's soul, but wound up scarring his own face). Blackheart was the primary villain of the Ghost Rider movie, with bookend appearances by Mephistopheles.
    • Marvel has been largely inconsistent in its portrayal of hell (largely due, it seems, to an unwillingness to flatly confirm or deny the existence of God in the comics, quite unlike DC). Some Ghost Rider series have had Satan himself (not Mephisto, Satannish or any other almost-Satan Marvel has used in the past) be the one who made the deal with Johnny Blaze, while most have had it be Mephisto. For the most part, Marvel seems to go with the idea that there are many different hells, with many different devils.
      • The current canon is that demons feel free to style themselves as "Satan" or whatever name a culture gives to the Ultimate Evil, but any demon who tries to make that claim to other demons is set upon by his/her/its peers and destroyed, since allowing anyone to get away with making the claim would be seen as placing themselves beneath the claimant.
    • Originally Johnny Blaze had made a deal with the same Satan that was the father of Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan, natch) and Satanna, Marduk Kurios, who is definitely NOT Mephisto.
    • Note that part of the inconsistency has been explained by the fact that demons lie all the time.
    • The Neyaphem, a race of exiled demonic mutants led by Azazel, who is also the father of Abyss, Kiwi Black, and Nightcrawler.
  • Averted in Preacher, where Hell appears in only one arc, and even then we only see a few devils complain of the cold (a man who felt such hatred that it froze Hell over, and ended up shooting the Devil over an insult). Heaven's armies get a lot more screentime, if equally dangerous.
  • Spawn got his superpowers under the conditions of leading the Legions of Hell. He ended up not, but he still kept the powers.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: After his fall Hades warps the denizens of Tartarus into an army of undead monsters and leads them against Paradise Island. As they are not living killing them doesn't break the Amazons' oath of never taking a life, but they prove nearly impossible to dispatch until Diana has a moment of inspiration and tries turning the Purple Healing Ray on them and discovers Revive Kills Zombie.

  • In Army of Darkness, a bunch of dead bodies are possessed by demons released by the Necromonicon Ex Mortis. They attack a medieval castle, and it's up to Ash, his chainsaw, and his boomstick to defeat them.
  • In Black Adam (2022), Sabbac summons an army name-dropped as this in the final act.
  • The Gate has some kids accidentally summon demons in their backyard by contrived coincidence.
  • The main antagonists of Bloody Mallory are the armies of darkness, who intend to release the fallen angels and destroy the world.

    Fan Works 

  • The Belgariad and The Malloreon feature demons as a one-shot problem in the former, and a serious threat in the latter. The series makes a point of stating that even a normal Demon can't be fought without sorcery, another Demon, or the aid of a God; one of the antagonists is able to usurp control of an entire country just by threatening to unleash his hordes of Demons. Naturally the two Demon Lords who put in an appearance later are just shy of indestructible.
  • The Malebranche in Dis Acedia started out as this, although attrition and shortages eventually forced them to expand and recruit mortals among them.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld has its Legions of Hell living in the Dungeon Dimensions. (Technically, the Dungeon Dimensions are a home for the Eldritch Abominations, while the Legions of Hell are more amiable and bureaucratic, and reside in various Hells produced by the human imagination.)
  • The Dresden Files delivers in its usual fantasy-kitchen-sink fashion. Demons, Fallen Angels, the Devil, and all other shades of Hell exist, alongside all of Heaven, and the Nevernever, with the Fae, who's Blue-and-Orange Morality isn't evil per se but is often fairly destructive.
    • Earlier in the series, Demons had more of a presence in the story, temptations and all, but their place was usurped by the Fae. Lately, only the "Nickleheads" (Fallen Angels with mortal hosts) have made much of a presence for the Down-Below team.
    • A big point of the series is that while Good and Evil are real, a lot more to life takes place in the grey, orange, and blue. Being a good person is about always working hard at doing the right thing and being clever about it, not necessarily fighting those Legions of Hell. That said, good, strong people also fight Evil. It's just one of the things they do.
    • There's also the Outsiders, who are explicitly not associated with the Down Below, but tend towards Always Chaotic Evil, and have as their goal the destruction of reality. They also have hordes, legions and legions of them, trying to break into reality constantly.
  • Forest Kingdom: The demons that swarm out of the Darkwood in book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), although without the Demon Prince's influence they're just random monsters. Book 4 (Beyond the Blue Moon) later subverts it when it's revealed the demons are actually humans transformed into murderous monsters.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Gimmicks Three": Shapur says that hell has plenty of common damned souls, but their ratio of demon to damned is growing too high, so they're offering a discount Deal with the Devil.
  • Good Omens: when they arrive for Armageddon, it's noted that the commanders of the Heavenly hosts and the Legions of Hell look remarkably similar, all part of the book's theme that neither side is all that different from the other.
  • In the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart, the Film of the Book Hellraiser and an Expanded Universe based on the latter, the Legions of Hell are the Cenobites (a word originally meaning simply monks in monastic orders, as distinct from "eremites" or hermit monks). Hell is not a place for punishment of sins as such: souls are lured there simply by the temptation of solving puzzles.
    • Barker would later publish The Scarlet Gospels which expands that the Cenobites as a part of The Order of the Gash are only a small part of multiple factions of Hell. This book relates in description to the incarnation in Hellraiser but also limits how much it expands the mythology, leaving room for the possibilities of changes as far who makes up the Legions of Hell between the two books.
  • Sarah Kuhn's Heroine trilogy had a complete disaster of an invasion from Hell. The spell the demons you used was botched, so almost all the invading demons were killed at its casting leading to their powers being absorbed by humans near the opening gate. Even without the miscasting, the invasion would have just been a nuisance — the demons barely knew a thing about humans so their army only included one demon with a major power, everyone else had garbage minor abilities. Still a demon gate resulted and every so often a demonic animal comes to possess an inanimate object and annoy people.
  • During Homecoming, with the weakening of the Faerzress, the magical radiation barrier of the Underdark, all sorts of demons and demon lords start to pop up in the cave systems. The only way to get rid of them is killing them — and so banishing them from the material plane for a hundred years.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Magic, Inc., the characters demand of the king of Hell, according to Hell's customs, that he let them inspect his legions looking for their enemy.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, the characters end up storming Hell and facing down the legions to recover their daughter.
  • The Otherworld Series has the demonic armies of the Subterranean Realms.
  • Paradise Lost features the legions named in a device called an "epic catalogue". Usually used to name the various heroes on the quest (see The Iliad for a classic example), this version instead mentions the various gods of other religions who form the forces of Satan.
  • The Old Ones from The Power of Five.
  • The Legions of Hell feature prominently in The Riftwar Cycle, particularly the Serpentwar and Demonwar subseries. Essentially, this setting has reality in metaphysical layers, with each layer being more dangerous than the one above it — any layers below yours can be considered hell (and yes, this means that the mortal world is considered part of hell by angels, who come from the upper levels). Demons come from the fourth and fifth layers of reality below the mortal world, and have repeatedly tried to conquer it in order to feed on the life force of its inhabitants. There's also the Dasati, from the layer immediately below ours, who aren't demons per se but as an Always Chaotic Evil Proud Warrior Race they're still plenty nasty and their reality is the first level of hell from a human perspective. On the levels below the Legions of Hell you start getting really bad things.
  • Hearteater from Tailchaser's Song is the closest thing to Satan that cats have. He has legions of evil cats that live under the earth wih him and do his bidding.
  • The demons in Wars of the Realm fight as a literal army with commanders and generals over them. Bonus: they literally are "Legion" - both because they number in the hundreds of millions and because they are organized into groups called "legions."
  • Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell has the Hellborn. Even though they are humans, they are Satan-worshippers and explicitly model themselves after this trope.
  • Terry Brooks' The Word and the Void novels:
    • The "feeders" almost fit the trope. Though they're dark and oozy and scary, they aren't very dangerous; they're more harbingers of evil than evil itself.
    • There are actual demons in that series, the servants of a being called the Void, but there aren't really enough of them to call a "legion" (and they seem to have a hard time working with each other anyway). The highest number of demons ever seen together was four, and that was an explicitly unusual case.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brimstone was about a damned soul who made a deal with The Devil to get out of Hell, if he recaptured a set of other damned souls who had escaped.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel explained that there were a countless number of hell dimensions. Both Buffy and Angel have been to a few. At least twice on both shows, Hell is said to be Earth itself.
  • Power Rangers has a few seasons with monsters that are the closest the series is willing to get to actual hellborn foes. All of them have involved the "release all denizens to bring about The End of the World as We Know It" plot:
    • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue's villains from the "Spirit World" are explicitly called demons, and there's even one instance of a deal with one.
    • The villains of Power Rangers Mystic Force come from a place called the Underworld and are ruled by a monster that has Demonic Possession in his arsenal.
    • Power Rangers Samurai has the Nighloks, who come from the Sanzu River (the Japanese idea of the River Styx).
    • In addition, Power Rangers Ninja Storm had a similar principle, where Lothor's monsters were sent to the Abyss of Evil when destroyed. Lothor's plan was to have the Rangers fill the Abyss until it burst, causing an en masse monster resurrection.
  • Supernatural had the legions of hell bust loose at the end of season two. They fight them for the rest of the series, on and off, though not as much after defeating Satan at the end of Season Five, and less still in Seven, largely because they were so nerfed. Offscreen Moment of Awesome when the angels (with Castiel apparently taking point, or at least the last survivor of those who took point) laid siege to Hell and cut their way in to rescue Dean, allowing him to get out of Hell without giving in to Power Creep much. (Dean actually took a hit to his power after Hell due to PTSD, though in the Bad Future he was using his education there for Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.)

  • Seen in Fireaxe's Food for the Gods, although in this case the army was composed not only of demons, but of damned souls who were very pissed off about where they'd ended up.

  • In Devil's Dare, the Devil is accompanied by a flock of green-skinned leathery-winged lesser demons.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • Medieval grimoires (books detailing magical theories and practices) that addressed various demon lords often discussed how many legions of demons each one commanded in the service of Satan, under the assumption that, like the culture the writers were familiar with, Hell was organized along feudal lines. An example from the Psuedomonarchia Daemonum (The False Kingdom of the Demons), 1577:
    Andras is a great marquesse, and seemes in an angels shape with a head like a blacke night raven, riding upon a blacke and a verie strong woolfe, flourishing with a sharpe sword in his hand, he can kill the maister, the servant, and all assistants, he is author of discords, and ruleth thirtie legions.
  • The Qur'an mentions this tropes in Surah 96 (Al-'Alaq) in a Badass Boast from Allah.
    Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he prays? Have you seen if he is upon guidance or enjoins righteousness? Have you seen if he denies and turns away - does he not know that Allah sees? No! If he does not desist, We will surely drag him by the forelock - a lying, sinning forelock. Then let him call his associates; we will call the angels of Hell. (variant translations have "guards/soldiers" of Hell)
    • The angels in question are the Zabaniyah, the nineteen angels that in Islamic lore are in charge of punishing sinners in Hell.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dark Legacies has a far future Earth suffer both a dimensional migration of low-tech races and then an invasion by demons. If it weren't for a rising religious order with holy magic and alliances with some of these new races, the demons would have completely wiped out humanity. As it is, despite being thousands of years in the future, humans have been reduced to steam tech and crossbows as the height of technology.
  • Deadlands: The manitounote  are responsible for creating... well, technically every single ghoulie and monster in the setting. They also fuel the spells of Hucksters, are the ultimate cause behind the Science-Related Memetic Disorder of the Mad Scientist "class", and are the secret source behind the ghost rock that drives the Cattle Punk of the setting. The manitou's efforts occasionally bite them on the ass; most prominently, while many corpses possessed by a manitou rise up as Walkin' Dead, a rare few instead become the Harrowed, which are intelligent zombies, with the manitou constantly struggling with the original personality for control over the body, who can and often do use their supernatural powers to battle the manitou's purpose.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has three main varieties. The Lawful Evil devils from the Nine Hells of Baator field ruthlessly-disciplined armies out to subjugate the universe, the Chaotic Evil demons spill out of the Abyss in screaming hordes that try to tear down all of creation, while the Neutral Evil daemons, or Yugoloths, fight for whoever makes the best offer. Fortunately for everyone else, these three groups have been engaged in a conflict called the Blood War since time immemorial — the demons' advantage of numbers is matched by the devils' superior strategy and tactics, and whenever one side gets an advantage, some third party (frequently the Yugoloths) takes steps to restore the balance of power. The devils are also the only group of evil outsiders organized enough to have proper legions, which include Merregons, literal "legion devils." Each archduke of Hell maintains an army of devilish soldiers with its own distinct equipment and tactics, so the Iron Defenders of Dis are exceptional siege engineers, Baalzebul's Maladominaar are renowned shock troops, and so forth. The Nessian Guard, an elite force under the command of Asmodeus himself, is the only army that does not take part in the Blood War, since it's being held in reserve for an even greater conflict to come.
  • Exalted:
    • Hell ruled over by the Yozis (who, as the Primordials, created the world and ruled over it until the Exalted deposed them), and the Can keeping them Sealed is the inside-out body of the mightiest of their number. Each Yozi has a large number of souls, which are the immensely powerful Third Circle Demons. Those have souls which are the Second Circle Demons, and all of the above created the hordes of Mooks that are First Circle Demons.
    • The Underworld, the inverted shadow of Creation created when the Exalted armies killed some of the Primordials. Killing beings who could not die caused so much chaos that the Exalted decided to seal the rest of the Primordials away instead of killing them, turning them into the Yozis. Because the Primordials were outside the limits of death and time, however, they didn't actually die but instead became creatures now known as the Neverborn, intent on ending their existence by sending their own legions of the dead to take the rest of Creation down with them.
  • Infernum is a third-party setting that uses the 3.5 rules for Dungeons & Dragons and, as the name suggests, this trope is all over it. In fact, the default assumption is that the party members are demons. It has heavy roots in Christian beliefs, mainly Dante's Inferno, but is changed into its own unique setting. For a start, the demons are the result of vile crossbreeding experiments conducted between rebellious angels and "spawn" (prototypes of earthly lifeforms) in an effort to breed warrior-slaves... only for the demons to decide they didn't like the idea of being cannon fodder and promptly devour every last one of their "fathers" that didn't run for their life clean out of reality. Many demons at least profess not to believe in Heaven, and almost none believe that it's anything like the humans think it is (the Fallen Angels can't comment, having forgotten everything down to the reason why they Fell in the first place). There's also vague hints of even stranger forces in the multiverse; Benandanti are humans "touched" by nature spirits, whose souls travel to Hell in the guise of werewolves to steal souls to restore the vitality of nature, while Brokenlanders are the ghostly remnants of Quilipoth, another universe so ancient there's nothing left but a single ringworld orbiting the last dying cinder of a star.
  • , In Nomine gives players a chance to enact this trope as demons operating on Earth. Their opposition, Angels, have higher stats, and a military organization to support them. Demons have to work undercover and are weaker. The reason? All of this is a Game, and God is a cheater...
  • Iron Kingdoms has the Grymkin who are an army from the areas of Urcaen not controlled by any god and is considered as Hell in the Iron Kingdoms. They are led by the Defiers demigod-like beings that can warp reality to a limited extent and the souls of sinners turned to monsters that represent their sins from various legends as well as 'Nightmares' which are warbeasts created by them. They are not exactly evil as they come to punish the wicked and indirectly save the world from the Infernals but are described as a poison that will hopefully remove the parasites(Infernalists) before killing the patient(The world).
    • The Infernals is also mentioned to be quite similar although they are yet to invade Caen in large numbers. They create contracts with Humans and give them various powers and abilities in return for souls. The souls are used to create demonic monsters to fight their wars in their own realm or collect souls marked for them. If a person's soul is sold to infernals then he cannot entire the afterlife as Gods hate the Infernals and have closed Urcaen completely to them and and souls with their mark.
  • Magic: The Gathering has a variety of demons and similar events. The best known legions scenario was in the Invasion block, which had the biomechanical horrors of Phyrexia invading the plane of Dominaria.
  • Obsidian Age Of Judgement: The forces of Hell took over the world centuries in the past, reducing humans in North America to living in scattered communities or the sole fortified Hive City while Europe has been completely subjugated. It's so bad that humans don't know that there are places outside of their respective continents and while bionics and gun technology have improved to new heights, flight has become a lost technology.
  • Pathfinder has a bunch of varieties depending on what plane you're looking at. Hell has devils and asuras, Abaddon has daemons and divs, the Abyss has demons, qlippoth, and demodands, the Ethereal Plane has sahkils, the Shadow Plane has kytons, the Material Plane has rakshasas and oni, and dorvae just sort of wander. All of them are different, though the differences become more hair-splittingly specific with some of them, and all of them are bad news for mortals.
  • Red Hand of Doom: Big Bad Azzar Kul calls in various demons from other planes to supplement his army and during the final battle of the module at the Fane of Tiamat.
  • Rifts: One of the stories is the "Minion War", a war between two separate Legions of Hell: the Demons of Hades, and the Deevils of Dyval. It's beginning to spill over into other dimensions.
  • Warhammer 40,000: One of the main factions is Chaos, spewing forth from the Eye of Terror: a rift in spacetime that allows access to the Warp, a nightmare realm made of the emotions and thoughts of the entirety of sapient life in the galaxy. Chaos comes in four main flavors. You have your standard daemons, entities formed from the aforementioned thoughts and emotions of mortals who are usually aligned with one of the main four Chaos Gods. You have legions of power armor-wearing Super Soldiers, sometimes bearing some nasty mutations and "gifts" from the gods, each led by an immortal Daemon Prince. You have scores of traitor guardsmen and mistreated Imperial citizens who are so fed up with the Imperium's bullshit that they willingly pledge their allegiance to the Ruinous Powers en masse. Finally you have the more subtle angle; cults disguised as innocuous organizations, daemonic possession of unidentified psykers, and the manipulation of Genre Blind individuals.
  • Warhammer Fantasy also includes Chaos as a faction. While it does possess a lot of daemons made up of pure magic straight from the Realm of Chaos (ranging from human-level lesser daemons to One-Man Army greater daemons), the bulk of the Chaos army is tainted mortal warriors and twisted Beastmen, all sweeping down from the Grim Up North and corrupted forests. The Beastmen are savage Iron Age tribes of mutants that resemble satyrs, fauns, and minotaurs, and are considered the lowest Cannon Fodder of the Chaos ranks. The human followers of Chaos, collectively referred to as Northmen, mainly consist of two ethnic groups: Norscans (barbaric Horny Vikings) and Kurgan (Turkic/Iranic style steppe nomads); a third group, the vaguely Tungusic Hung, mostly exist offscreen. The Northmen's ranks are complemented by mutated animals, fantastical beasts (such as giants and trolls), and the Chaos Warriors, who are anointed mortals (often chieftains or sub-chieftains of various tribes) who have been "blessed" for their service with increased size and strength (averaging around seven feet tall), a suit of iron or steel plate that they can never remove, lack of need for food or rest, and often various mutations. Less prominent than the humans but still quite important are the Chaos Dwarfs, who are notably the only Chaos faction with industry. The Dark Elves have also allied with Chaos where convenient, most notably during the Great War Against Chaos and in the Storm of Chaos.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Old World of Darkness:
      • Demon: The Fallen: Demons that escaped from Hell are the player characters; the angels have long since vanished. Whether the demons are antiheroes or atoners is up to the player. Their former allies have become the Earthbound, who have gone mad from indeterminate amounts of time being Sealed Evil in a Can.
      • Wraith: The Oblivion: Specters fulfill this role, with the Malfeans being the overlords waiting til they get to eat reality. The various servants of the Wyrm in Werewolf: The Apocalypse might also count.
      • New World of Darkness:
      • Inferno introduces Hell into the setting. Hell plays host to a number of demons that are born of the first fleeting moments of human wickedness, who occasionally come to humans and offer them great power for a little price... For extra fun, ghosts and 'regular' spirits can be corrupted into demons too.
      • Demon: The Descent is a subversion — the PCs are fallen angels, but Hell is their goal, not their home. Hell is a symbol to them, signifying freedom from their former master, the God-Machine, however they choose to go about it.

    Video Games 
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery has the Forces of Chaos, an endless amount of reality-defying horrific beings from another dimension. They are invading the world of Ancardia, the setting of the game. They have The Corruption on their side, turning normal people and animals into more of them (after some Body Horror).
  • Avencast: Rise of the Mage sees a daemon invasion into the Wizarding School setting, followed by a counterassault on Morgath's turf.
  • Bloodhound sees the demon queen, Astaroth, unleashing her brood of demons into the world, and it's up to you to stop them. You start with fighting cultists, but moves on to imps, winged demons, zombified Valkyries, and increasingly horrifying enemies of all types.
  • In Bujingai, the earth is overrun with demons of various kind. It's implied that their mooks (seen as golem-like warriors with seals and swords) were once humans turned into monsters by a strange radiation.
  • Dark Souls has a mess of rather varied demons roaming throughout Lordran, although they are fairly new to the scene, having only come about when the Age Of Fire started to decline and the Witch Of Izalith tried to recreate the First Flame. Her old base of Lost Izalith has since become a textbook Fire and Brimstone Hell, and her seven daughters have either died, gone mad or turned into similarly demonic, lava infused Spider People.
    • Interestingly, by the sequel that race of demons seems to have died out eventually after Izalith's death. The few demons that appear there were humans that succumbed to their vices, and are by no means a legion.
    • Dark Souls III confirms that the Chaos Demons of Izalith did indeed perish, since the Flame of Chaos that birthed them is down to its very last embers. You meet (and kill) a tiny handful of ancient, decrepit survivors, and it's implied that with their deaths the demons are truly extinct.
  • In the Devil May Cry series, Dante foils demonic puppets, demonic sand creatures, demonic clowns, demonic businessmen, demonic cultists, etc. In the past, his father Sparda also rebelled against demonkind and faced the legions of hell by himself.
  • The Diablo video games are about the Legions of Hell attempting the world's destruction. While in the first part you venture ever deeper into ever more nightmarish caverns, in the second game the last act is in Hell, and in the third game, the Legions of Hell storm Heaven itself, and you have to go to Hell to shut down the gateways they're using to invade. The expansion to the second game is about an attempt to graft Hell and the mortal world together, and there are portals to Hell where you can go and loot stuff.
  • The Legions of the Damned are one of the playable factions in the Disciples turn-based strategy series. Their leader, Bethrezen, is given a somewhat sympathetic backstory, but the Legion's Mooks are unquestionably the nastiest faction in the game.
  • The Doom series centers around invasions from Hell. While many many video games (eg Quake, Half-Life) are based around monsters pouring forth from another realm, Doom is one of the few to go the whole hog and use the Legions of The Damned itself as the main antagonistic force. That said, Satan himself is conspicuously absent outside of the occasional reference to an unnamed "Dark Lord", with the closest thing we see in the original trilogy being the Icon of Sin. Doom (2016) establishes that there have been multiple leaders of Hell over the eons (generally just the biggest, baddest demon around), but the original Dark Lord of Hell and his identity have only been explored in Doom Eternal's DLC (in which he is briefly called "the Devil" but not "Satan", and ultimately turns out to be Davoth, the original creator of the universe, who was betrayed by the Maykrs who stole his power and his name becaue they feared what he would become).
  • The Darkspawn of Dragon Age: Origins are a kind of plague Orcs. The Chantry's version of the Darkspawn taint's origin makes the Darkspawn seem demonic - they were overambitious mages who tried to physically break into Dream Land and find the mysterious Golden City at its heart, which the Chantry believes to be the home of the setting's God. It spat them back out as twisted monsters who started a centuries-long cycle of pain. The sequel's Legacy DLC reveals there's some truth to this, although the City may have been "corrupt" before they got there.
    • The game does feature actual demons as well, which are evil spirits from the Fade that possess the living or dead bodies of human beings, usually a mage due to their ability to go to the Fade in the first place, and feed upon the psychic energies of living beings. There are five known ranks of demons; Rage, Hunger, Sloth, Desire and Pride, in order both of strength and intelligence of the complexity of the emotion they are feeding on. Destroying the host only sends the demon back to whence it came unharmed, and though some demons are able to manifest in the physical world alone, killing them seems to have the same effect. Their hosts usually mutate when possessed into a Humanoid Abomination of varying degrees of Body Horror. Demons are rarer than Darkspawn, but are broadly smarter, stronger and more dangerous. In a twist on this there are actually good or neutral spirits with little or no interest in mortals, one of which possesses a corpse totally by accident in the expansion. According to him the idea that demons destroyed in the real world return to the fade is false, and he never does find a way to get home.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, this is the "Hidden Fun Stuff" that you come across if you dig too deep.
    • You have discovered an eerie cavern. The air above the dark stone floor is alive with vortices of purple light and dark, boiling clouds. Seemingly bottomless glowing pits mark the surface.
    • Horrifying screams come from the darkness below!
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this applies to any Daedric Prince who, for whatever reason, attempts to invade Mundus (the mortal realm) with their lesser Daedra servants. The purest example is Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of Destruction. His legions include the Dremora (a Proud Warrior Race with a very demonic aesthetic who serve him in a Lawful Evil way) as his Mooks (with the higher-ranking Dremora serving as Elite Mooks and Praetorian Guard), Scamps as Cannon Fodder, Clannfear as Attack Animals, Daedroths as Giant Mooks, and the massive Xivilai as his high end Elite Mooks. Dagon has repeatedly attempted to take over Mundus in this fashion, most famously in Battlespire and Oblivion, but has yet to actually succeed.
  • Final Fantasy II outright stated at the beginning that the Emperor of Palamecia summons these to launch his campaign for world conquest.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the denizens of the Void, a dimension that is home to all manner of monstrous creatures and Eldritch Abominations. Also hailing from the Void are the Ascians, humanoid-appearing beings who have dark plans for the realm of Eorzea. The trope is later played with when the "Void" is revealed to be one of the thirteen alternate realities of the world of Hydaelyn, albeit one where the powers of darkness grew too strong and resulted in the world's ruin.
  • Freespace invokes this trope with the Shivans, the unholy intersection of Starfish Aliens and Omnicidal Maniac, by naming every class of their Standard Sci-Fi Fleet after demons and monsters from a wide range of mythologies. As such, their planet-killing flagship in the first game is classified as the Lucifer, and the even bigger and badder juggernaut-class warship in the second is designated the Sathanas. Being utterly alien, seemingly infinite in number, and apparently existing only to exterminate advanced civilization everywhere, the monikers fit.
  • Most enemies in Ghosts 'n Goblins can be described thus.
  • The monsters of Glory of Heracles III come out of the Underworld through giant holes that form in the world.
  • Hellbound, a game which is set in Hell on Earth after demons emerged from a portal connecting both worlds, have you fighting armies from the underworld the entire game.
  • Hands of Necromancy have three demonic brothers unleashing their brood into the mortal world, and you're a sorceror well-versed in the dark arts out to stop them. The monsters you fight hits every cliche in the book as well, from zombies to hooded cultists to Satanic-looking demons and dragons and whatnot.
  • In Hellgate: London, demons have decided to start off their invasion of the world in London, and it's the players' task to stop them.
  • The primary enemies in Kid Icarus (1986) and Kid Icarus: Uprising are the Underworld Army, a diverse assortment of monsters who serve Medusa and Hades.
  • The Heartless of Kingdom Hearts are, as that trope describes, The Virus made from the 'darkness' in human hearts. The original "Pureblood" Heartless are entirely Made of Evil and have been around for a long time, but it wasn't until a Mad Scientist started messing with them that they became the world-devouring threat they were by the first game. The sequel adds gray-bodied Nobodies, the cast-off shells of Heartless victims.
  • The Ing of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are highly reminiscent of this, despite being "merely" transdimensional alien beings. They come from Dark Aether, a dimension that kills any "light creature" (anything that is not Ing) almost insantly, possess creatures to suit their needs, and are repelled by "sacred" light.
  • The Kreegan infestation in Might and Magic is (in-universe) commonly thought to be this (especially played up in Heroes of Might and Magic III). As it turns out, they are actually alien invaders that sweep across the Galaxy as a plague of locust... and happen to look like the common myths of devils and demons (or possibly have breeds that look like the actual devils and demons).
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, Mephistopheles forms his army from the souls of betrayers sent to his realm after death
  • The primary villains of Nexus Clash are demons from the hellish plane of Stygia. Since every Demon in Nexus games is a Player Character, there is a twist in that Stygia isn't all that popular a place to set up in the eyes of the Meta Game. This means that with a couple of exceptions, most Legions tend to steer clear of their actual Hell plane in favor of fighting for a Hell on Earth scenario.
  • Nioh 2 's second DLC features a Japanese take on this trope: aside from the classical oni fought before in the series, the DLC features as mooks the Yominogun (Underworld Soldiers) and the Shikome (Hellish Hags), described in the Kojiki as the monstrous hordes that ran after Izanagi as he escaped from his undead wife. The Final Boss summons the Yakusa no Ikazuchi (lit. Eight Thunder Gods, translated as Lightning Gods of Yomi) the eight thunder deities born from Izanagi's festering flesh and tasked with patrolling the borders of Yomi.
  • A important chunck of backstory for all Ogre Battle games was once that the Underworld's armies of Demons, Ogres and other such nasties invaded Earth, who were aided by Heaven's armies in the titular "Ogre Battle". The Underworld lost, but parts of the legions can still be summoned by humans. They are often very important plot point, like in Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen, where Rashidi contacts a General of said Legion, Galf or in Ogre Battle 64 is a bunch of Ogres being summoned by The Holy Lodis Empire. However, in battle, you can persuade some of them to join you!
  • Painkiller is about the legions of Hell invading another world, although it's another afterlife instead of a physical world. Purgatory, to be specific.
  • Quest for Glory III features an attempted invasion of demons that the hero must thwart. They are led by a Demon Wizard who itself serves a Demon Lord that, if it manages to enter the world, immediately destroys it through its mere presence.
  • The Bydo in R-Type are arguably this, even though they were created by humanity. Thing is, they were locked into a pocket dimension (read: the future Hell) after they proved to have Gone Horribly Right, and they were able to use it as a staging ground to attack humanity several centuries into the past. Now consider that there isn't all that much reason — at least, nothing mentioned in-game — to believe they would have restricted themselves to just the recent past...
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell: You have to fight through demons, damned corpses, fallen angels and Satan himself.
  • The main bad guys in Sakura Wars are demons.
  • Members of the Legions of Hell feature in several Shin Megami Tensei games. Most notably so in Nocturne, in which the protagonist becomes half-demon, half-human that can survive The Conception thanks to the involvement of an oddly creepy child and an old man in a wheelchair. And in the game's 'worst'/awesomest ending, said protagonist becomes the general of Lucifer's armies and leads said Legions to the final battle in the war against Heaven.
  • The Fek'Ihri in Star Trek Online are supposedly this. They claim to be the army of Molor, a tyrant who ruled the Klingon homeworld hundreds of years ago, who were cast into Gre'thor by Kahless the Unforgettable and have now returned to take revenge on the Klingon Empire. They come in a wide variety of forms and even have a fleet of warp-capable starships they use to invade Qo'noS. There was some evidence found that they may have been created using technological means instead, but it took years for the thread to be picked up on. As it turns out, the Fek'Ihri were originally created by the Dominion as a predecessor to the Jem'Hadar, inspired by Klingon legends. The Fek'Ihri managed to break free, but were driven towards madness by losing access to Ketracel, ending up on Qo'noS, were they formed some form of alliance with Molor.
  • Warcraft:
    • The Burning Legion, an army of demons whose goal is to unmake the universe. They scour all life from the planets they conquer, and the only beings they spare are those whom their leaders deem fit to be "recruited", corrupted and pressed into their crusade. Overlaps with Alien Invasion due to the Science Fantasy nature of the franchise.
    • World of Warcraft has the Mawsworn, the forces of the setting's actual Hell known as the Maw. Rather than demons, the army is composed mainly of souls of the deceased that have been tortured and reforged into armored creatures of various shapes and sizes, rogue kyrian, and other beings of the Shadowlands that have been subjugated by the Jailer.
  • Inverted in Warstride Challenges - you spend the whole game fighting demons in underground caverns resembling hell, but it's you (and other mercenaries partaking in the titular challenge) doing the invading, not the other way around.

  • These used to exist in Dominic Deegan, until Karnak blew up Hell. No word on whether any survived Hell's destruction and Karnak's subsequent self-coronation.
  • Demons are trying to open a gateway into the world in Planes of Eldlor. Seeing as they are described as having an army at the ready, they are probably not looking to enter peacefully.
  • The "demonic hordes" are the main antagonist of The Senkari, although it's not clear whether they're really evil or just on the other side.
  • The Dimension of Pain from Sluggy Freelance fits this trope to a T, complete with being the launching pad for a demonic invasion of another, more peaceful dimension. Little is seen of the actual Hell, however, and even then it only appears in the B Side Comic.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, demons appear as antagonists who come from another world and attempt to invade the Land of the Living several times over the millennia first for the glory of their god Mardük, the God of Chaos, and later for themselves after their god is killed.
  • How to Hero's guide to going to Hell talks about avoiding/fighting the legions of Hell.
  • Downplayed in The Salvation War, where the demons are apparently genetic offshoots from human ancestors — and are completely mortal. Superhuman strength, speed (on foot at least), some with wings, and not a few with powers, but all killable (AND HOW!). They only managed to successfully invade mostly empty desert before being pushed back into Hell and then being invaded by HUMANS. Heck, a human kills Asmodeus with multiple sniper rifle bullets to the head, and there's nothing showing that Satan isn't mortal too. In fact, he really only survives a recent attempt by the humans to assassinate him by bombing his palace by sheer luck; he just happened to be out of the city at the time. The angels appear to be slightly tougher, and much faster, but by no means immortal themselves.
    • Satan was killed when he took two anti-ship missiles to the face, although he would have actually survived and possibly recovered from the first.
    • They may be killable, but they seem to live pretty much forever if they avoid a violent death.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Demonic Invaders, Legions Of Hell


Daemons Invade Cadia

On the planet of Cadia, legions of daemons and traitors hailing from the Warp do battle with the human guard for control of the planet.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheLegionsOfHell

Media sources: