Ryuji: You turnin' into a car is totally different than our clothes changin'!
Morgana: For some reason, "cats turning into buses" is an extremely widespread cognition among the general public.
Shapeshifting into a set form for travel, such as with Voluntary Shapeshifting, Transforming Mecha, Sleep-Mode Size, etc. Basically any type of transformation, done in the right way, can be this. This is about how transformations are used, like Mundane Utility, but more specific, than a particular manifestation of transformation.
Also, this doesn't just apply to people. This can be anything that transforms, such as armor that has some more compact form.
Body Uploading that isn't just stationary storage, usually leads to this, as information is more portable than matter.
Usually involves Ball of Light Transformation due to visual simplicity and render the user into The Needless for the duration, making things even simpler. Or Animorphism because certain animals have specific features like wings of birds, that allow new types of locomotion, Flight, in this example, for the usually human user.
Usually the travelling form is only for travelling because it's weaker than the default form in some way, but makes up for it in others. Possibly from the The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort making it safe for shapeshifting as travel, where it's presumably less stressful or dangerous than combat.
But, sometimes, the form isn't applied by the transformed, or not even a power.
Ride the Lightning, for lightning-based travel, has a large number of examples overlap with this, due to their lightning travel be due to transforming into it, sometimes involving Telephone Teleport. Compare Sleeper Starship, where people making long trips go as Human Popsicles.
- Eto Rangers: With Ball of Light Transformation. The Jyarei Monsters, the Jyarei Elite and even Jyarei Queen Nyanma herself are all capable of turning into balls of light. For the Monsters and the Elite, they do this to invade the Novel Worlds; in Nyanma's case, she uses it when she goes to Mugen on certain occasions.
- Gundam 00: Zigzagged with the Flag, a mobile suit originally designed with the ability to fold into a planelike shape for long-distance travel, but only outside combat. Ace Pilot Graham Akher developed a Signature Move of launching his Flag in jet form then transforming in midair to Speed Blitz an opponent, which grew to become a widely-known maneuver nicknamed a "Graham Special". Eventually the enhanced Over Flag would be developed with reinforced joints to make tactical transformation more practical, based on the modifications Graham had commissioned for his personal unit.
- In the Mélusine comic, Mélisande uses a Ball of Light Transformation to sneak into Mister Haaselblatt's office when egged on by the other witch's school students.
- Teen Titans: Beast Boy will often transform into an animal most suited for travel in his current environment, such as a Pterodactyl when he needs to fly, or a whale to go underwater.
- In Broken By Humanity, Healed By a Dragon, Zarc and Yugo travel to the Synchro Domain, with Zarc in his Dragon Spirit form for the entirety of the trip and Yugo in his Dragon form for most of it.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: Multiple ways:
- Vampires use Animorphism into bats, although there have also been mentions, but no appearances of, a wolf form, which lets them bypass Cannot Cross Running Water, but the animal forms remove Vampiric Feeding to the extent that they need to breathe and get tired.
- Keepers possessing other creatures, which can be aimed at creatures very far away, turn into a smoky, dark form, while in transit.
- In "Convoluted Rescue Plan, Go!", Ami transforms her minions into "tiny mice", shrinking their forms and allowing a form of teleportation that would be impossible without their smaller footprint on surfaces.
- In "Hunt's End", Ami uses Demonic Possession on a rat so she can fit inside plumbing.
- DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp: Unlike other genies who would rather turn into smoke, the genie in this movie (and anybody he brings inside the lamp with him) becomes a small cloud of sparks or a mote of light to enter/exit the lamp.
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel and Melody switch between mermaid and human forms for travel between sea and land, respectively.
- In the Harry Potter films, Apparation involves wizards turning into clouds of smoke (light gray for good wizards and dark black for evil ones) that travel to their destination, unlike the books where the wizard just disappears with a Teleportation sound effect, usually pops or loud cracks.
- Taken to extremes in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), where the Heart of Gold's improbability drive causes the ship and everything in it to transform into random objects whenever the drive is engaged.
- Legend: The fairy Oona can change into a small ball of light and fly around. She does so in Darkness's dungeon to escape a prison cell and obtain the key to the cell.
- Animorphs: Whenever the team needs to go somewhere far off (and none of them being able to drive, some less than the others), they morph into birds of prey. Similarly, they once acquired moles in order to get to the underground Yeerk pool, and sperm whales and giant squids to reach a derelict alien submarine.
- The Belgariad: Sorcerers commonly use Animorphism to travel long distances quickly in wolf, falcon, or owl form. Teleportation spells exist, but are far too draining to use for travel.
- Harry Potter: The Animorphism of Illegal Animagi allow them to evade detection because no one knows to look for an animal, and if the animal is small enough, they can be even sneakier.
- Heimskringla: Planning an invasion of Iceland, King Harald Gormsson of Denmark tasks a sorcerer with scouting out Iceland. The sorcerer turns into a whale to undertake the journey.
- Stardust: Invoked. Tristan makes a deal with the witch Ditchwater Sal that she will transport him safely to a specific destination, but he fails to specify the condition that he'll be in for the duration; so she turns him into a mouse for easy carrying until they get there.
- Charmed: Whitelighter teleportation, called "Orbing", turns the users into orbs of light that travel to their destination and reconstitute into the whitelighter.
- Dungeons & Dragons: The Wildshape ability that druids get is frequently used to let them change into an animal that gives them an improved ability to move in an environment, like a fish to explore underwater, a bird in order to fly, or a horse for swift overland movement.
- Fury of Dracula: Dracula's powers include Escape as Bats and Escape as Mist, both of which are used to end combat with the vampire hunters, and Wolf Form, which lets him travel twice as quickly during the movement phase.
- In Nomine: An angel with the Ofanite of Jean attunement may travel as lightning along any suitable conductor, including telephone lines. They cause damage at their entry and exit points, however...
- In Transformers, most Transformers will often travel in vehicle form and fight in robot form. This even includes Transformers who can't move in their alt-modes, like G1 Soundwave and Megatron- typically they'd transform into their tiny cassette player and handgun modes to ride in the cockpit of another Decepticon's jet mode.
- Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon: Gebel can transform into a bat for flight and added mobility.
- BoxxyQuest: The Shifted Spires: Party in My Pocket, having one party member's sprite represent the party as a whole, actually affects what people see, so shifting who has the party in their pocket is used to change forms into a guard, and sneak into a guarded area.
- Castlevania: Most Dracula-related people.:
- Alucard can transform into a bat and a wolf, both of which are faster and more agile than his human form.
- Soma, with the Giant Bat soul can turn into a bat to fly through gaps in ceilings, before he can jump instead.
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: Charlotte can learn the spells Frog Morph to access small crevices, and Owl Morph for free flight.
- Infamous 2: Nix turns into a smoke in a fiery burst that has Super-Speed.
- Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass: Certain forms, like the Revolting Blob and Happy Little Sunflower are more liquid / thinner, respectively, than Jimmy's normal form, allowing him to slip through grates.
- Legacy of Kain: As a vampire, Kain has the ability to travel long distances quickly by shapeshifting into a cloud of bats.
- Lemmings 3D had horizontal round teleporters that turned the lemmings into red stars which looked like the Subaru badge stars as they went between teleporters.
- Lost Dimension: Agito Yuuki’s psychic gift is to do this. Willing himself into a mist form, allowing him to move over gaps and bypass doors and over obstacles. Many of his special attacks also take advantage of the gift, such as warping behind an enemy to strike, or rapidly attacking from different angles. Later, he can even transport others, such as bringing the entire party to a specific location, or when he’s about to be attacked, he can swap places with a different enemy and make them take the hit. Should he be chosen for erasure, the Fate Materia he leaves behind will allow anyone else to gain the ability in his place.
- Metroid: Samus's Be the Ball-type Morph Ball ability lets her curl up into a ball and roll around. Good for reaching areas too tight for her usually Powered Armor form.
- Mortal Kombat:
- Raiden's teleport ability has him transform into lightning and change back at his destination.
- Mortal Kombat 11:
- One of Kotal Khan's cinematic intros has him speeding to the battle in magical wolf form, and changing back into his normal form once he's arrived.
- One of Shao Khan's intros has him arrive in the form of a giant, ethereal cobra, turning back into his humanoid form before the battle begins.
- D'Vorah can turn in a swarm of insects and then back again, often using it to move swiftly or undetected.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Link can don various masks to transform into a Deku, a Goron and a Zora. Deku move at the same speed on land but can hover in the air. The Goron has a speedy Rolling Attack that can cover distance extremely swiftly. And the Zora can swiftly move through water like a dolphin.
- Persona 5: When in the Cognative World, Morgana can transform into a bus that the other Phantom Thieves can ride in to get around. He says this is due to cats turning into buses being a common cognitive belief. In the ending of Persona 5 Royal he turns into a helicopter to save everyone from the collapsing dungeon.
- Plague Inc.: In the vampire plague expansion, your vampire will move about the globe by transforming into a bat while traveling to its destination.
- Pokémon: For captured Pokemon in general, and specific Pokemon as well:
- Pokemon captured in Pokeballs, have basically been turned into something to fit into a handheld ball, which can further undergo Body Uploading to travel from computer to computer.
- Pokeballs, in the anime, can be shrunk to be easier to carry, and unshrunk for use.
- Genesect has a high-speed flight configuration where it turns into a flying saucer-like object for travel.
- Koraidon and Miraidon have different Builds and Modes respectively to get around (Sprinting Build/Drive Mode for land, Swimming Build/Aquatic Mode for water, and Gliding Build/Glide Mode for air).
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Transforming into a werewolf gives a great boost to both speed and carrying capacity, making it a viable way to traverse the world more quickly or simply to allow yourself to fast travel when you would otherwise be overencumbered.
- Shantae's transformation dances let her turn into various forms that she can use to get around in, like the monkey (able to climb walls), elephant (able to smash through obstructions), and mermaid (able to swim underwater).
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: Hypno Baron's Castle has Cute Ghost Girl Ikki who's invulnerable to damage when using her Ball of Light Transformation to travel around the room, having to detransform and make herself vulnerable when attacking.
- Super Mario Odyssey: Mario can throw Cappy at a power line which will transform him into a ball of electricity and allow him to travel along the wires.
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: The titular dinosaur and his gang of multicolored compatriots must transform into a helicopter, a car, a train, or a mole tank to traverse certain levels or bonus areas. They're more or less invincible while in these forms, but they're all on a timer. If that timer runs out, the vehicle section must be retried from the beginning.
- Super Robot Wars:
- Fighter jets typically function as weaker Real Robots with high movement speed but only one or two low-powered attacks. Transforming Mecha with a jet form tend to follow suit, giving up most of their firepower and some of their defenses in exchange for better evasion and the ability to cross the map faster. Tank forms sometimes have increased movement speed as well, but tend to be more useful for their increased attack range.
- Increasingly Averted in newer games in the series, where true Dual Mode Units are less common and many Transforming Mecha transform only during attack animations.
- A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Saecelium teleportation applies a Ball of Light Transformation to the traveler, that travels to their destination then turns back.
- Warcraft III: Medivh shows up to give his ominous predictions in person, but turns into a raven to get from place to place (or get to the person he wants to talk to).
- The Druid class in World of Warcraft can transform into a cheetah or stag for overland travel, a seal for underwater, or a bird for flying.
- The Pokémon parody arc of El Goonish Shive has its own answer to the question of how a small flying-type pokemon can transport a trainer just because it knows fly. EGS being the kind of comic it is, this involves shrinking the trainer down to doll-size before carrying them. Meanwhile, the comic's version of the "surf" HM involves turning the trainer into a mer-person.
- The Order of the Stick has some examples from its Dungeons & Dragons-inspired RPG Mechanics 'Verse:
- Durkon the Cleric uses the wind walk spell to let the party travel at high speed in cloud form. This lets them fly and bypass anti-teleportation spells, but leaves them vulnerable to high winds.
- Vampires can transform into Super Smoke at will, which lets them fly onto the Order's airship and helps them evade notice.
- Wondermark: Parodied, where aliens from planet Mexico achieve interstellar travel by converting their mass into energy and storing that energy in their starship's battery. The downside is this is the same battery the starship uses to operate. "When we left Mexico we were eleven feet tall."
- Legend of the Triumvirate can travel at supersonic speeds by turning his body into living light, which also uses ambient energy to repair any injuries he's taken in his solid form, but impairs his ability to think.
- The white supremacist supervillain Purity has to enter a Breaker state in order to use her powers, which include flight.
- Grumman, first introduced in PRT Quest, is a hero with Down's Syndrome who has two toggleable Breaker states, one that turns him into an immobile artillery platform, and another that gives him exceedingly maneuverable flight capabilities.
- SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron: Hard Drive, a minor villain. He can convert his body into a cohesive electric charge, and travel through telephone wires, exiting either at someplace with valuables, or to escape pursuit. His travels make a Traveling-Pipe Bulge in the wires.
- Used for Black Comedy in Harley Quinn regarding Sy Borgman, a former U.S. government operative who's become a cyborg with various attachments and features. In "Harley Quinn Highway," it's revealed that in the 80's, the CIA took note of the "Transchanger" toyline (no points for guessing that joke's inspiration) and decided to give Sy the ability to turn into a sports sedan. The Body Horror and Transformation Trauma of the shift are exaggerated to the point of comedy, especially because Sy's still-human head is positioned where a hood ornament would go (and he complains the entire time).