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Ultimate Life Form

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"From the best and brightest test subjects, I created a sludge of supreme DNA. A primordial ooze from which the ultimate lifeform will emerge. Today is the day my vision becomes reality, as I destroy Inkopolis and everyone in it!"
Commander Tartar, Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

A character that can be described as perfect in some or every way. A being that's at the top of the Evolutionary Levels. They're basically the purpose of life itself, but what they are tends to vary.

Some works have them as gods, others can only describe them as totally incomprehensible entities, others state that the most adaptable creature would have this title, and in others still, it's nothing more than a simple yet hardy cockroach. A formerly normal person might even become one, usually through some form of enhancement, or going One-Winged Angel. Paradoxically, a being without limits, or one that has limitless potential, may qualify as well.

A variant has the character be at the top of a specific type of life, instead of being the apex of all life as we know it. For example, a perfect human, dog, tree, predator, machine, alien, magical entity, etc.

Another (more realistic(?)/downplayed) variant has the character simply have the peak abilities of the type of lifeform it is. Something like a human that excels at all mental and physical tasks.

The concept is most often subverted by having the being turn out not to be really perfect or invincible, or turning against its creators (especially if it's a villain in the story). Just because someone believes himself or herself perfect doesn't mean they actually are.

There is an incredibly high chance that their appearance looks human(ish); sometimes the transformation to this ultimate form will make them look human even if they previously lost their humanity along the way or were never human to begin with. This is frequently lampshaded as well; everyone imagines the Ultimate Lifeform to be infinitely beautiful and attractive, and while it may in fact be "perfect" it got that way from so many Power-Upgrading Deformations that it's become an Eldritch Abomination by dint of ugliness.

Works that attempt a more realistic approach may substitute individual ultimate powers for a more "ultimate species" approach; hive aliens are often given this treatment, or have attaining this state through successive evolution as a goal. Creatures of this type will tend less towards beautiful and graceful and more towards quickly reproducing, hard to eradicate, and dangerous to encounter.

The idea of an Ultimate Life Form derives from a gross misunderstanding of the theory of evolution by natural selection — evolution promotes the survival of the entity best suited for its specific niche, and if that niche changes or disappears the species will have to change again or die out. There is no absolute direction towards "progress", or objective scale by which one can judge one particular species "more evolved" or "superior" to another, and no, there's not any way for a life form to be "perfectly adapted" for every possible niche, because this would require numerous contradictory traits. (Unless it can shape/size shift, not really possible in real life.) Not to mention that multiple generations are required for the adaptation to complete via natural selection. This doesn't stop Evilutionary Biologists from claiming this as the objective of their work while still claiming to be scientists. There have been Real Life claims that certain species or people do indeed fit the description, so adding examples to that section is perfectly fine.

Someone with superpowers may hold this view of themselves; see Super Supremacist.

See also the Übermensch; it's a matter of interpretation how closely these concepts overlap, but there are those who conflate the two. Contrast The Perfectionist, a neurotic character who might not be "perfect", but definitely wants to be.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Invincible Villain Yujiro Hanma in Baki the Grappler is seen as this. In contrast with the pseudo-realism the rest of the setting tries to have, he is such a superhuman fighter that every scene he's in flies straight into the immensely ridiculous. He's the World's Strongest Man with Charles Atlas Superpower powerful enough to cause earthquakes with a Ground Punch, swim up water falls used for hydraulic power, Stopping a fucking whaling harpoon with the side of his finger and can learn any fighting style just from seeing it once, making him a walking encyclopedia on several styles only passed down through noble blood. His mindbogglingly stupid amounts of strength, endurance, agility, and his insensitivity to pain all seem to be genetic, and as a result his son Baki is the only man on Earth who stands a chance of ever defeating him.
  • Betterman: Kankel is described as the final stage of evolution, so much so he has the nickname of "Best Man". His powerful abilities help back this claim up. Interestingly, he's also a sentient form of cancer.
  • Bleach:
    • Aaroniero Arruruerie boasts that since he gains the powers and memories of any creature he eats, as well as the powers and memories of anything they ate, he has the potential for endless evolution. He's proven wrong with fatal results when Rukia stabs him through the head. "Potential", after all, only helps if you live long enough to achieve it and Aaroniero demonstrates that you're a lot less likely to do that if you're a moron.
    • Szayelaporro Grantz calls himself the ultimate, perfect being because he has a phoenix/Alien-like system of death and rebirth, but you can bet Mayuri proved him wrong. Gruesomely, and with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about perfection being the enemy of a scientist.
    • Sosuke Aizen, after he obtains the Hogyoku, claims to be the ultimate, if not perfect being. Then Ichigo defeats him in two blows and the power rejects him. Aizen might've been rendered unkillable due to the Hogyoku, but Ichigo clearly had his number before using the Final Getsuga Tenshou (which, while largely ineffective, destroyed most of the extra features of Aizen's One-Winged Angel forms). All of this precedes the manga's final arc, which features villains even further up the Sorting Algorithm of Evil (most of all, Yhwach, who killed Yamamoto) and the revelation that "Zangetsu" (long story there) was suppressing Ichigo's power for the entirety of his life up to that point.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Fraulein Kreutune has an Adaptive Ability and Cannibalism Superpower. Aleister Crowley notes that she has the potential to become the ultimate life form, but at her current rate of development, it would take about 2300 years, though she would achieve it nearly instantly if she were to eat Last Order and gain her powers. One has to wonder what Crowley's criteria for ultimate life form are, as Fraulein already has Complete Immortality. Though, honestly, in a series with Magic Gods so powerful that they can literally rewrite the universe on a whim, immortality isn't saying much.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Gero's ultimate creation, Cell, a bio-engineered creature made out of DNA harvested from the greatest fighters in the series up until that point, considers himself to be this, and says so in as many words. Upon taking on his final form, Cell declares himself "perfect". As he explains after surviving his own self-destruct technique due to having one cell left: with Namekian DNA he can regenerate from any injury, with Frieza and King Cold's DNA he can survive the vacuum of space and injuries that a Namekian can't survive, like decapitation or being blown to bits, and with Saiyan DNA he gets stronger with each fight and gains a massive power boost whenever he recovers from an injury (regeneration normally drains the subject's energy when used). This combination means he can go even further beyond "Perfect Cell", and become "Super Perfect Cell". In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, the Red Ribbon Army's attempt to Resurrect the Villain leads to the creation of Cell Max, an even stronger kaiju-sized clone of Cell with none of the original's intelligence as it was still incomplete. However, Cell Max's creator intentionally did not give it a Healing Factor as a failsafe, allowing it to be defeated.
    • Android 17 also believed he was the strongest on the Earth (since he had great strength and, what he considered his trump card, infinite endurance), until Cell came and... well, the poor, overconfident android never even stood a chance. Ironically, in later installments it is revealed that 17 is indeed capable of surpassing Cell, with Dragon Ball GT giving him a One-Winged Angel form he achieves via Fusion Dance, and Dragon Ball Super later establishing he doesn't even need to transform to do it. He's still not the strongest being, but he is the strongest android, a fact that no doubt torments Cell in the afterlife.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black, being the combination of Goku's never-ending growing body and the godly status of the Supreme Kai-In-Training Zamasu, considers himself to be this because of who he is. He ultimately reaches his endgame when Goku Black fuses with Future Zamasu, becoming Fused Zamasu. Theoretically, Fused Zamasu would have had Goku's power with Zamasu's Complete Immortality thanks to the permanently fusing Potara Earrings. However, because Goku Black is still mortal, this compromises Fused Zamasu's immortality, allowing him to be harmed and killed.
    • Super also has Moro, who considers himself the "supreme being" in the universe, boasting that he can eat and destroy the creations of Gods as he pleases. Goku has none of it and kicks his ass into submission.
  • From Fullmetal Alchemist, Father's final form had the power of God, gained by assimilating the entity into his body using the souls of countless Amestrians. Unfortunately for him, a transmutation circle set up in advance by Hohenheim returns the displaced Amestrian souls to their bodies, leaving him with only his original Philosopher's stone to restrain Truth. This puts too much strain on his body, rendering him vulnerable to counterattacks which only drain his stone faster. Ultimately, Father's "perfect body" becomes a Clipped-Wing Angel and he is absorbed back into the Gate once the last of his reserves are used up.
  • Heavy Metal L-Gaim: The Big Bad of the series, Emperor Oldna Poseidal fits this description since he's virtually immortal.
  • Heavy Object: The Legitimacy Kingdom holds that nobles stand above commoners due to their superior genetics. Based on this, the Kingdom began the Caesar Project intended to create the ultimate royalty. Genetic samples from every noble and royal family were cross-bred under laboratory controls, with the intent of creating a single individual who could claim descent from all the families and could thus serve as the ruler of the entire Kingdom. However, the Project stalled due to issues with hereditary diseases and was destroyed during the finale.
  • Meruem, the Chimera Ant King, from Hunter × Hunter considers himself to be this, and he's got a point given his immense physical power, intellect, and ability to take the Nen abilities of any Nen user he eats. His character design reflects this by being a Shout-Out to Perfect Cell. He's even able to (barely) survive the blast of a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately for Meruem (and his human Love Interest Komugi), his myriad abilities do not include immunity to radiation poisoning.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • From Battle Tendency, Kars achieves this form, with the present Speedwagon explicitly referring to it as such, through the Red Stone of Aja being inserted into a Stone Mask and unintentionally being blasted with UV rays by Stroheim, causing it to activate. This grants him, according to the official stats drawn up by Hirohiko Araki: an IQ score of 400, eyesight as powerful as a space telescope, hearing capable of distinguishing sound from a bat's scream to a whale's chant, the ability to dismantle his own skeleton on a cellular level to match that of any animal species including humans, and a Healing Factor that is near-instantaneous, i.e. Complete Immortality. He has all the abilities of the Earth's biosphere, past, present, and future, such as turning his hand in succession from a carnivorous squirrel to a flower to a butterfly, morphing his arms into massive bird wings with feathers that can be turned into chitin-like projectiles as well as live piranha. His repertoire also includes the abilities of Esidisi and Wamuu. Most critically, however, Kars can produce Hamon as powerful as the surface of the Sun, to the extent that contact with human flesh results in the latter being liquified and vaporizing almost instantly. He becomes so strong that any possible means of physical attack cannot kill him unless all of his cells can be destroyed. The world is only spared the catastrophe of Kars' power due to a stroke of luck allowing Joseph Joestar to eject him beyond the atmosphere via a volcanic eruption. Despite his repertoire of abilities (or at least the ones he remembers), Kars is unable to return to Earth's gravitational pull in time. The Adaptive Ability of his body eventually turns all of his cells into a twisted combination of organic flesh and hard minerals to protect against the vacuum of space, effectively freezing him in place to drift inert for the rest of eternity. Left immortal and thus unable to die, despite wholly desiring it, Kars' mind eventually shuts down completely from sheer boredom and despair.
    • In the probably non-canon light novel spin-off Jorge Joestar, this is taken a bit further. Kars ends up landing on Mars rather than shutting down and spending the rest of eternity as an oddly shaped rock. When Made in Heaven reset the universe, Kars' "Ultimate Life Form" status is verified in dramatic fashion because he survives it. Multiple times, in fact; in this story the universe was reset 36 times, and each new universe leaves another version of Kars on the red planet. His ability to attain the abilities of any creature that will ever exist? That includes Stands. The original universe's Kars returns to Earth and steals the Stands from many of the other characters, including some of the most overpowered ones like The World, Killer Queen, Made in Heaven and D4C. Fortunately, this version of Kars is now a good guy, easily distinguishable from the other 36 by his eyes having turned blue. On the downside, a version of Dio also becomes an Ultimate Life Form, and on top of that has both his original Stand The World (upgraded to stop time for an hour instead of just 9 seconds) and second Stand known as The Passion that grants him Combat Clairvoyance.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ragyo refers to herself as this. Justified because she is almost immortal, the strongest being in existence and was created by an experiment to give her high-level powers. To put her immortality into perspective, the only way for her to be killed is through destroying all Life Fibers, which is only possible through the Scissor Blades, otherwise she will just regenerate no matter how much of her is left. She ends up being strong enough to beat the shit out of Satsuki with Junketsu, when Ragyo isn't even using a Kamui. Ryuko follows the same principle as well.
  • Medaka Box:
    • The eponymous character, Medaka Kurokami, is able to copy any skill she sees, eventually to 120% efficiency. She starts the series at the pinnacle of human physical and intellectual achievement, and once the Abnormals enter the plot, she becomes outright superhuman, with the potential to become godlike because her powers have no limit. Her abnormality is named in English as "The End", but the kanji used translate to something like "absolute perfection."
    • Kumagawa is this from a different angle. Instead of being the ultimate achiever, he is the ultimate loser, as the Last Man to Medaka's Übermensch. So malignant is his personality that, when he first met Medaka in middle school, he was the only person ever to be immune to her Easy Evangelism, and he has been a nihilist since he was four, with a plan to destroy all the exceptional people so that no one can achieve anything again. He eventually loses this status after facing Medaka again, and, since Medaka is much stronger this time, is able to be persuaded to her way of viewing things at least somewhat. Though still a major Jerkass, he ends up joining the heroes and his abilities aren't even that overpowered by this point in the story.
    • Ajimu Najimi takes the cake, though, having several quadrillion abilities and existing since before the Big Bang, being the closest thing to a deity in the setting. She's responsible for Kumagawa being as big a threat as he is, and pretty much is only defeated because of her own Medium Awareness.
    • Lastly, there is Iihiko, who can be described as the distillation of all warrior-heroes in mythological sagas and epics. He's leagues stronger than anyone else, utterly implacable, and inflicts wounds that never heal. He was the first (and only, until Medaka came along) person to challenge Ajimu, and successfully kills her.
  • One Piece:
    • Word of God says that if an animal eats their corresponding Devil Fruit, then they would become the perfect specimen of that species. There is a Human-Human Fruit, which makes the eating animal a werehuman, and would enlighten a human being. The former is what happened when Tony Tony Chopper ate the Fruit.
    • Fleet Admiral Sengoku ate a model of the Human-Human Fruit that lets him turn into a Daibutsu, a giant gold Buddha. In other words, he can turn into an enlightened human.
    • Luffy's Devil Fruit is also a model of the Human-Human Fruit. Though the "enlightenment" in this case works by granting Luffy the power to manipulate his own body structure and everything (and everyone) around him as if it were rubber. Reality itself becomes Luffy's plaything when he Awakens his Fruit power.
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon: The First Movie is an artificially created Pokémon created from the DNA of Mew, the progenitor of all Pokémon species. Mewtwo was created to be the strongest Pokémon, which succeeded. It has the power to instantly level entire buildings, conjure devastating storms and has the intelligence to create clones of other Pokémon. Sadly for its creators, it rebelled...
    Dr. Fuji: We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon — and we succeeded.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: By the end of the series, Rimuru Tempest evolves into an "Ultimate Slime", the absolute pinnacle of his monster species. For comparison, the average slime is barely qualified as a non-sentient mook that's treated as a snack under certain circumstances. Rimuru by the end is an immortal Nigh-Invulnerable Physical God with potential for limitless growth via assimilation and a top contender for title of World's Strongest Man.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: Tentei (The God of the Heavens); the rulers and officials of kingdoms can err, but this guy certainly can't.
  • In the manga and Japanese versions of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pegasus claims his Toon Monsters (and cartoon characters in general) are perfect life forms because they can't be destroyed. His premise is flawed however, as his Toon Monsters require Toon World to be on the field to be summoned and are destroyed if it is destroyed.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Slivers are often stated to be this. Indeed, the Flavor Text of the Sliver Overlord describes it as "The end of evolution."
    • Creating the ultimate life form was the secret goal of the Simic Guild from Ravnica. Their Experiment Kraj was actually meant to spiral out of control.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Implied with Herald of Perfection and its upgraded form Herald of Ultimateness. In addition to their high stats, as long as the player has enough cards to discard, they can negate pretty much anything the opponent tries to play, making defeating them nigh impossible.

    Comic Books 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, the sentient dimension Twilight considered itself to be this, since it was created by the universe to replace the old Earth dimension.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Captain America is considered to technically not have any superpowers, but instead operates at humanity's maximum physical potential. He's as strong, enduring, and dexterous as any human can possibly be, meaning his only super-human physical trait is the metabolism that maintains him in peak condition across the board; back it up with decades of military experience and he's more than a match for almost any actual superhuman, and even against villains whose raw power dwarfs him he's still the guy most of the other heroes would want leading the team into battle.
    • Adam Warlock and his Distaff Counterpart Paragon/Her/Kismet/Ayesha were created to be this. They have all sorts of powers like being able to manipulate cosmic energy, don't age, and when damaged, can cocoon themselves to recover and evolve.
    • X-Men:
  • Superman:
    • This is what Doomsday was created to be. Its abilities and instincts all lend themselves to the goal of being the ultimate survivor, including, unfortunately, the instinct to seek out and kill the strongest creatures it can sense within its environment. Even worse, due to the trauma of being killed and resurrected countless times, Doomsday sees everything as a threat that needs to be killed. If that weren't enough, Doomsday has probably one of the most broken adaptive superpowers in fiction where his body regenerates and revives itself from death and every time he's killed, he becomes stronger while gaining a resistance or flat-out immunity to whatever killed him previously.
    • Superman himself could be seen as one, being "as strong as he needs to be" and having more powers in his eyes than most superheroes have in their entire body.

    Fan Works 
  • In Armored Core: from the Ashes, the 'Demon' project, of which the protagonist was a subject, was an attempt to create these; impossibly fast and strong (as in able to catch bullets in mid-flight, more intelligent than almost any human alive, and incredibly devastating NEXT pilots. The only subject to survive was Sebastian Thermidor, grandfather of the protagonist and the program's instigator. He went insane, but had two sons, Joshua (who would later change his last name to O'Brien) and Berlioz. Joshua used a lifetime of mental training to lock away his powers so that he couldn't use them; Berlioz went completely insane, but he too had two sons, Maximillian and the protagonist, Mikhael, known to most as 'Ghost'. Pretty much the entire family was slaughtered by Mikhael on a massive worldwide killing spree. As it turns out, their key failure was that their emotions had far too much sway over them, leaving them emotionally overloaded and unable to feel anything through the haze of emotions they had. With the exception of Joshua, who managed sealed his abilities away to stop them from affecting him, all acquired God Complexes and killed millions; the protagonist himself, accepted as possibly the most morally righteous of the family, killed a hundred million people to achieve his objectives after turning against his masters. So, in the end, the Demons were a textbook case of Gone Horribly Right — perfect beings, but precisely because they were perfect, they became incredibly flawed.
  • The Lost Hero: King Sombra boasts that he is the ultimate being because he has immortality and runs on The Power of Hate, and since he hates everyone, he will never run out of energy. Indeed, he can take a beating from Superman and get back up, but he is defeated by being frozen in Windigo ice, his own hatred strengthening the ice and keeping him sealed.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Celestia's Fallen Alicorn brother Morning Star viewed himself as this, somewhat justifiably due to him being made to be the Anthropomorphic Personification of Perfection and Beauty. However, this led to him viewing himself as better than even the Elders and trying to overthrow them, which led to his being sealed.
    • This also appears to be what the Hooviets were aiming for in the Super Soldier project that led to Makarov's creation. Since the Shadow of Chernobull was feeding off of the Hooviets' desires when it was released, it's worked hard to make itself/Makarov into this trope for them.
    • Queen Chrysalis boasted that Changelings are the ultimate beings because they can feed on the love of any creature.
  • The Red Dragon's Saber: Out of arrogance, Raynare declared that Angels and by extension Fallen Angels like herself are the ultimate beings, superior to all other races. She is proven wrong when Artoria Pendragon kicks her and her comrades' butts.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM: Dr. Otto Merlot long believed the Grimm were perfect beings because of their biology and aggression, but after learning about the demons, he switches to them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The xenomorphs of the Alien franchise are walking super-weapons that can forcibly "impregnate" virtually any living creature in order to continue their life-cycle. In the first movie, Ash outright calls the alien a "perfect organism". Alien: Covenant shows that they were a deliberate attempt at this by an android Evilutionary Biologist who deemed both humans and the space jockeys / Engineers inferior.
  • The Andromeda Strain: The titular entity adapts to any situation almost instantly and proves itself to be virtually unstoppable. It's even able to feed off the energy of a nuclear blast. However, in the book, it turns out that the infection is curable by hyperventilating, and it mutates into a benign form anyways.
  • Evolution: The basic bacteria that create the alien creatures are described as the most powerful life form. Of course, no one takes this seriously until one grows to the size of a city by absorbing vast amounts of napalm. It turns out to have the same Weaksauce Weakness as the rest of the aliens, though. Early drafts of the story went with something more like a giant psychic brain, but the writers decided a huge blob monster was more fun to fight.
  • Leeloo in The Fifth Element is considered a "perfect being".
  • One of the many probable origins for Irys in the Gamera films is that it is supposed to be the ultimate evolution of the Gyaos and the perfect lifeform.
  • Orga in Godzilla 2000 tries to become this by absorbing Godzilla's DNA and mutating into a hulking behemoth with Godzilla's regenerative powers (Orga is short for "Organizer G-1", the name of the gene that allows Godzilla to heal so quickly). He would've won too, if he hadn't stupidly tried to eat Godzilla and was obliterated by his nuclear pulse.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Sovereign, a race of beautiful but arrogant gold-skinned Artificial Humans, claim that they are "genetically perfect."
  • In Jurassic World, the Indominus rex is essentially created to be the ultimate Dinosaur (or at least the ultimate theropod). Much like Mewtwo, that didn't turn out well. She's a genetic mish-mash of so many different animals that she's almost unstoppable. She's as big as a T. rex, as intelligent as a Velociraptor, can hide her heat signature like a tropical frog, camouflage like a cuttlefish, widen her jaws like a snake, and was raised so poorly by her handlers that she became sadistic and starts hunting other dinosaurs for sport. Dr. Henry Wu correctly points out that they were basically asking for it by deliberately breeding an animal with such exaggerated predator traits.
  • In Shin Godzilla, several scientists refer to Godzilla as a perfect being. He has so much information in his DNA that he can alter his body and adapt to any situation.
  • In Species, Sil was the result of an experiment to create the perfect species.
  • Star Wars: It is heavily implied that Anakin Skywalker may have served as this, and that his creator was either Darth Plagueis and to a certain extent Darth Sidious (the latter apparently having manipulated the former into creating him among other things), or he was created directly by the Force itself.
    "Of all the monsters I have created, I still regard Darth Vader as something of a minor masterpiece. No, he was not an entirely alchemical creation, but he was my monster nevertheless. Even though he failed to live up to his full potential, there was much pleasure in transforming Anakin Skywalker from a bright-eyed, tousle-headed youth into the greatest Jedi killer of all time. Yes, he ultimately turned against his Master, as monsters sometimes do, but that was my fault, not his. Given the opportunity to create Vader again, I would, and with zeal."

  • In the Fighting Fantasy book Sky Lord, the main antagonists are an army of supposedly perfect beings called the Prefectas, who were created by a Mad Scientist called L'Bastin. They appear as incredibly-athletic humans with dog heads. Upon his death at the hands of one of his creations, L'Bastin reveals the Prefectas are not truly perfect beings, only highly-skilled warriors with huge egos. The Prefectas are ultimately defeated by cloning more of the creatures that are even more incredibly arrogant, which results in an Enemy Civil War.

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four: Big Brother is completely above human flaws and error, and reality itself rearranges to keep in line with what he says. He will never die, because he is one with the perfection of the Party. Or so the Propaganda Machine goes; it's far more likely that he's more a concept/ideal than an actual life form, played by a succession of actors.
  • Alterien: The Alteriens are superior versions of their immediate predecessors. The Alteriens have superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, senses, psychic powers and can manipulate energy at will. Furthermore, they can move through 4-dimensional space.
  • Animorphs:
  • The high spirits of Astral Dawn could be considered this. They were ordinary mortal humans in life before they died and left their bodies as spirits. Afterwards, they became more aware and more powerful, evolving in an age they called the Astral Dawn. Those spirits considered themselves elevated to high spirits and used their new abilities to travel through space and time. Many of them even became the gods and legends of the world. They all represent a possible future path for humanity that evolves beyond the need for physical bodies.
  • Awake in the Night Land has the Last Child, who is the human who has reached the peak of evolution. However, as the name implies, he is also the last one of mankind.
  • In Blue Light by Walter Mosley, a blue light from an unknown corner of the universe hits humans on Earth and causes them to die, go crazy, or become a superior lifeform, who is the best at whatever they are doing at the time they are hit.
  • Azathoth in H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos is quite possibly this. It is an extra-dimensional being that simply exists, mindlessly, dreaming realities in and out of existence randomly. It exists almost like some kind of vast, incomprehensible amoeba which, when you think about it, means it started as an amoeba that could do nothing and now exists as an amoeba that can do anything. If things like Azathoth even evolved of course, they are Eldritch Abominations after all.
  • Discworld:
    • In The Last Continent, the heroes encounter the God of Evolution, who, despite not understanding what the deal is with sex, believes he has achieved the ultimate life form. It's a cockroach.
    • In The Science of Discworld, the Lecturer in Recent Runes designs what he claims will be the ultimate survivor for Roundworld: a mile-long limpet that could survive a cometary impact (aside from a direct hit on the limpet itself). Ridcully poo-poos the idea, as the limpet will inevitably starve to death once it gets too big to feed itself.note 
  • In Galaxy of Fear, the Big Bad designs a creature to be the ultimate Super Soldier, having all the powers touched on in the previous books. It can touch people's bare skin to turn them into jelly and then absorb them, getting stronger from that; it is impervious to being fired upon and can almost instantly regenerate severed limbs; it can trap people in psychic visions of their worst fears. It goes toe to toe with Darth Vader and holds its own, though they got interrupted. However, it turns out to be vulnerable to Defusing The Tykebomb and when that starts to happen, the Big Bad just triggers the bomb in its head, which apparently it can't recover from. Aware of this, Vader scornfully says it's not so ultimate after all. The Mandatory Twist Ending hints that it's still alive... though it also says that might be the wind, and since it never shows up again, well...
  • In the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, the branch of the technocore dubbed the Ultimates are working towards the creation of an Ultimate Intelligence.
  • Nietzsche proposed in his book Also Sprach Zarathustra that humanity needed to evolve into what he termed the Übermensch (Super-man); that humanity was merely a transitional evolutionary phase between apes and this perfect form of man. Those Wacky Nazis picked up on Nietzsche's theme with their idea of an Aryan master race.
  • The Voyage of the Space Beagle. Ixtl can survive for millennia in outer space and may have survived the destruction of its own universe in a Big Bang-type event. It can adjust its own atomic structure and that of anything that it carries, and is impervious to anything short of an atomic Disintegrator Ray.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Daleks of Doctor Who see themselves as this. One account of their creation is that they were genetically modified Humanoid Aliens, created to survive a devastating war on the planet Skaro. The Daleks certainly succeeded at that and decided they were the ultimate lifeform and only they deserved existing. As a result, the Daleks started their crusade to wipe out all life in the universe.
  • Namtar from the Farscape episode "DNA Mad Scientist" seeks to be this by grafting genetic traits of other species onto himself.
  • Heroes: Sylar's goal is to become this. In fact, in one alternate future, he does become the ultimate posthuman (having finally stolen so many powers from other Specials he declares himself satisfied) and uses his abilities to become President of the United States.
  • Many of these beings appear in the Kamen Rider franchise:
    • Kamen Rider ZO has the Neo Organism. It's an artificially created lifeform capable of assimilating other creatures and materials into its own being and to create new creatures himself. When it reappeared as a major villain in one of the crossover movies, not even the final forms of all the Kamen Riders were enough to defeat it.
    • Orphnoch's in Kamen Rider 555 see themselves as this trope and have any right to. Being the next step in human evolution, they have Super Senses, are Nigh-Invulnerable to the point of enduring an anti tank missile and can take on armored forms that give them all sorts of super powers. They can procreate by siring regular humans into more of them. The only weakness of an Orphnoch is that their DNA is unstable, meaning they will disintegrate over time.
    • Kamen Rider Blade has the artificially created Kerberos Undead. The Undead are all immortal avatars of several of earth's animal species. Every 10000 years they gather to fight until only one is left, with the species it represents becoming the dominant species on earth. The Human Undead won the last fight, hence humanity being the dominant species. Kerberos was created to be the Ultimate Lifeform to win this fight, so its creator could remake the earth in his image.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze sees Zodiart Switches being used for this purpose, forcing human evolution in order to create a being capable of going into space to meet the Presenters. The Big Bad considers himself a successful result.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim has this as the result of eating the Golden Fruit, granting immortality and the ability to shape the world to one's whim. It just comes at the cost of The End of the World as We Know It.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost has the Great Eye eventually reveal itself as one of these, a data-based lifeform with godlike powers. Takeru eventually evolves into another, but promptly discards the status in favor of being a normal living human again.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has Gamedeus, which was created to be the ultimate Bugster and the unbeatable Final Boss of the villain's Kamen Rider Chronicle game. When it finally appears, it lives up to the title in terms of strength, but ends up a puppet of the real, human villain.
    • Kamen Rider Build: The evil organization Faust claim that one of the goals of their human experimentation is to create the ultimate lifeform, presumably so it can be used for military purposes as a Living Weapon. Evolt/Kamen Rider Evolt aims to become this and most certainly has by the end. He hails from the malevolent extraterrestrial Blood Tribe and has consumed countless planets before Queen Vernage of Mars sealed his power inside the Pandora Box. He aims to reclaim his power and continue his path of destruction across the cosmos. Every planet he destroys he consumes to grow stronger and evolve until he becomes the most powerful being in the universe. By the end of the show, he's re-aquired his full power and is able to destroy the entire Earth on a whim.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The New Breed", nanomachines involuntarily mutate the man who initially injected himself with them — to heal his cancer — into something like this, as they try to fix all types of 'limitations'. He soon develops gills so he can breathe underwater, a second pair of eyes in the back of his head to see in a 360 degree radius, and poisonous skin and more ribs to fight off attacks. As he turns into a nigh-invulnerable mutant, he realizes that it's truly a Fate Worse than Death.
  • As in the comics, Smallville's incarnation of Doomsday is this, with the twist that his Adaptive Ability caused him to take a human form when he was sent to Earth as a child, and as a result he has grown up believing he is a human and has no idea who — or what — he actually is.
  • Star Trek:
    • The objective of the Borg is to attain "perfection," both by augmenting their own bodies cybernetically and by assimilating the biology and technology of other cultures.
    • The Q are for all intents and purposes omnipotent and know everything. They consider most, if not all, other species beneath them and have transcended anything humans can comprehend. It's even implied that they might have evolved to their current state.
    • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Space Seed" gives us Khan Noonien Singh. He and his fellow "Augments" were created to be physically and mentally superior to ordinary humans. Unfortunately, their creators never considered that "superior ability breeds superior ambition," and the result was global war.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • "Threshold" averts the "looking human" thing — Paris and Janeway get advanced evolution and end up looking like salamanders. This is later subject to Canon Discontinuity, and even in the episode it's unclear if "advanced evolution" is really what's happening.
      • In "Scorpion", Species 8472 is described by the Borg as the perfect lifeform, as they're the only life the Borg have encountered that are immune to assimilation.
      • Likewise the Omega molecule from "The Omega Directive", which is both incredibly complex yet harmonious, representing true perfection to the Borg. It's speculated that a naturally occurring particle created the Universe in the Big Bang, and the Borg attempt to isolate it is compared to a religious quest. Unfortunately, Omega molecules are extremely short-lived, and attempts to sustain them always results in disaster (with an Earth-Shattering Kaboom being on the lower end of the spectrum).
  • Super Sentai:
    • The end goal of the Reconstructive Experiment Empire Mess in Choushinsei Flashman is to gather genetics samples from the planets they invade and use it to transform their ruler, Lah Deus, into the ultimate being.
    • One Monster of the Week on Denji Sentai Megaranger was actually called "The Ultimate Lifeform." It is an artificially created lifeform designed by a human scientist. The villains merely stole the designs to create it themselves.
    • The final plan of the Questers in GoGo Sentai Boukenger was to create the Ultimate Artificial Lifeform Homonculus and control it to destroy their enemies. This creature took everything the Boukengers had in their arsenal to defeat.
    • Deboth from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger really fits this trope. It lands on planets and adapts itself to fight whatever dominant species rules over the planet. When it landed on earth during the age of the dinosaurs, it managed to adapt itself to fight the dinosaurs, being responsible for their extinction. This victory was short lived, as one of its servants turned against him and managed to injure him to the point of becoming dormant. During the series proper, Deboth shifted its strategy to absorb human emotions in order to adapt against humanity. It succeeds in the end, becoming a Physical God in the process.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman Gaia: Geschenk, an amoeba-like organism that can copy the form of any living organism, has the Boss Subtitles of "Absolute Organism". It copied the form of an ancient dinosaur to fight Gaia.
    • Ultraman Max: IF, a monster whose Boss Subtitles is "Perfect Lifeform", has the ability to adapt to any attacks that it receives and evolve, and even copies Max's Maxium Cannon. Max never defeats it, and its threat is only neutralised when a blind little girl pacifies it through playing her flute.
    • Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Absolute Conspiracy: Absolute Tartarus claims to be this in his introductory speech, and he has more than enough power to back it up.
      "I am a warrior of the Ultimate Life Form, Absolutian, Absolute Tartarus."

    Myths & Religion 
  • God (and most of His imitators) may or may not be this, depending on how you define "life form". Jesus, on the other hand, is definitely an example according to Christian theology, being a human totally free of sin, to say nothing of being able to perform divine miracles.
    • Behemoth and Leviathan were created as the ultimate land-dwelling and sea-dwelling lifeforms respectively, said to be so huge and powerful that only God himself could tame them. Some sources also add Ziz, the ultimate sky-dwelling life form.
    • Adam and Eve were this before the Fall, (though not to the extent of Jesus, since they couldn’t do miracles) but lost this status when they sinned.
    • In Catholic theology, Mary, the Mother of God is this, as she is the only human being (without the divine nature her son possessed) conceived free from sin.
  • The French Revolution tried to replace God with a "Supreme Being". Which basically amounted to God without any mythology. Robespierre believed it was more rational to simply accept that a Supreme Being exists and worship it rather than trying to explain said being.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, creatures can have the "paragon" template, an incredibly powerful modification that reflects beings who represent the highest natural potential of their species. Such beings may be some sort of "original" form of the species, evolutionary end point, or other ideal. It is not necessarily anthropomorphic; any type of creature may be a paragon. Across the species however, the title belongs to the fearsome Tarrasque — a giant dinosaur-like monster, that is very hard to damage and quickly regenerates anything that manages to get through. Even if you manage to deplete its hit points, it will still come back to life in short order — you need to use Wish magic to make it stay down, for some time.
  • Ultimates in Eclipse Phase want to become the perfect transhuman, while exhumans don't bother with the "human" part. Firewall considers ultimates a potential X-risk that can be managed and directed at worse problems, while exhumans are just straight-up bad news. It helps that ultimates tend to stop short of, for example, ripping bits out of other people's minds, psychosurgically removing their own capacity for empathy, and resleeving into custom-made xenomorph creatures, while there are groups of exhumans who have done all of those.
  • In the background lore of Warhammer 40,000, a controversial Eldar philosopher declared the Ork race to be the pinnacle of evolution because they are perfectly designed to their purpose of pursuing warfare at any cost and are above the kind of petty divisions that have torn apart races like the Eldar and humanity because they don't care about such things.
    Uthan the Perverse: The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn't even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.

  • The "Chaos Effect" line of Jurassic Park toys had the Ultimasaurus, a genetically altered monster created from Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and Stegosaurus DNA to create the ultimate predator.

    Video Games 
  • Astral Chain: The Final Boss of the game, Noah, is a fusion of Yoseph Calvert, Akira Howard, the Akira Clones, and their Legions, created with the intent on absorbing all life in the universe into one singular consciousness, with Calvert at the controls. The first part of the boss fight doesn't even allow you to attack or damage Noah, instead forcing you to jump from platform to platform until Noah absorbs the player character. Once you've destroyed the Noah Core, you then have to fight Noah Prime, a weakened but still nightmarishly strong version of Noah that puts everything you've learned to the test.
  • Uranus is more or less said to be this in Bloody Roar. Given what she's capable of, it's doubtful anyone will contest it... and live at any rate. This only gets stranger when dealing with the implications that Uranus, in some fashion or another, is related to Uriko (most likely either a clone or Uriko from the future); Uriko sported the exact same powers when she was the Final Boss back in the first game and is hinted to have the potential to be the strongest Zoanthrope in-universe.
  • Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross:
    • In Chrono Trigger, it's revealed at the end that Lavos' true purpose is to become such a being by parasitizing entire planets and subverting their own evolution to its own ends. It buries into planets with primitive lifeforms, starts influencing said lifeforms' evolution and takes whatever useful DNA the planet's lifeforms have to become the strongest being. After finishing this process, it will wipe out its host planet from all life, procreate and send its spawn to other planets to repeat this process.
    • In the sequel, Chrono Cross, this is then exaggerated when Lavos merges with Schala and gains the ability to use alternate universes to learn (and destroy) everything. This turns out to be its undoing when the titular Chrono Cross, which merges all universes into a single point, is used before Schala breaks free.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth: Factions with the Harmony-Purity hybrid Affinity believe that Humanity Is Superior and aim to use Genetic Adaptation and Bio-Augmentation to engineer a "perfect" human that can dominate any alien environment.
  • Danganronpa:
  • The Brethren Moons in Dead Space 3. These massive moon-sized creatures are the ultimate Necromorphs and live only to consume all organic life in the universe. The Markers are the tools they use to manipulate entire races into offering themselves up as a buffet.
  • A recurring concept in Destiny is the Final Shape of the Universe, a hypothetical end of history scenario espoused by the Darkness, in which a single supreme civilization or entity becomes the logical endpoint of Social Darwinism and rules the universe so completely that nothing else can or will ever exist except for them. This Final Shape was the Vex, an all-consuming machine Hive Mind whose sole purpose is to subsume all space and time down to the very laws of physics, but the introduction of physics-defying Background Magic Fields at the beginning of the universe means their victory is no longer assured — they don't understand how space magic works, and so can't conquer it. What the Final Shape will be now is up in the air (though the Hive are giving it their best shot), but it seems likely to be a pyramid. For its part, the Darkness is content to watch the universe figure out the Final Shape on its own, all while viewing the struggle as beautiful.
  • Digimon:
    • Overlord GAIA from Digimon World 2 claims to be "the ultimate organism."
    • Machinedramon in its debut was considered the strongest of all Digimon, exemplified by its Japanese name Mugendramon implying infinite power. It's a mechanical chimera made up of other cyborg Digimon, and in the early lore, mechanization meant power, so a 100% mechanical Digimon meant ultimate power. It served as the Final Boss of Digimon World for this reason. However, Power Creep eventually happened by the time the anime was released internationally, where Machinedramon was Demoted to Dragon, and its power has been exceeded since then.
  • DOOM Eternal: Dr. Elena Richardson's logs claim the Doom Slayer is the ultimate life form.
    Dr. Richardson: There is only one dominant life form in this universe, and it carries a steel-barreled sword of vengeance.
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ's main villain Android 21 is a step further beyond the manga's Perfect Cell. Whereas Cell was considered biologically complete upon absorbing Androids 17 and 18, and being based on the strongest known fighters at the time, Android 21 was deployed at some point later, and thus factors in the abilities and appearance of Majin Buu. This inclusion means she is designed to not stop, but to keep wanting to encounter and absorb stronger and more capable opponents.
  • Psaro's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against humanity in Dragon Quest IV leads him to seek the "Secret of Evolution", which allows him to achieve a monstrous One-Winged Angel form with which he intends to exact his revenge against the world. In the PS1 and DS remakes, it's revealed that one of his own henchmen manipulated him so that he could obtain the Secret of Evolution himself.
  • The final boss of E.V.O.: Search for Eden purports to be a human, the ultimate lifeform. Bolbox is actually a massive single-celled amoeba-like creature, with a bunch of alien evolution-steroid rocks jammed in it.
  • The Judgements in the Fallen London universe (and its spin-off games). They enforce the universal law called the Great Chain of Being, which ranks lifeforms according to their criteria: Fraternizing and interaction between beings on different links are strictly regulated and punished accordingly, and anything on a lower link is highly limited in their ability to affect or harm things above them. The Judgements are, naturally, located at the top of this chain, and the light they emit enforce their law wherever it falls.
  • Averted with the super mutants in the Fallout series. The FEV virus does make them highly resilient, 10 feet tall, immune to radiation and disease; except for the critical flaw that they're completely sterile due to the FEV virus mistaking the half chromosomes required for reproduction as damaged DNA and "repaired" it. It also requires the victim/recipient to have little to no exposure to radiation as it causes them to become pretty stupid, though in the case of the mutants in the District of Columbia their minds also degraded due to the immense pain of the transformation.
  • The monster known as Atma/Ultimate Weapon/Ultima, from Final Fantasy VI boasts that it is the ultimate life form in all of its pre-battle speeches. In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Ultimate Weapon is brought back as one of the bonus super bosses in the last dungeon. In this incarnation, it very much lives up to its boasts, as, with its ridiculously god-like stats, almost all of its attacks are OHKOs, in addition to its One-Hit Kill attack!
  • The French version of Final Fantasy X calls the Nemesis Optional Boss "Supreme Being".
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia drops The Reveal that the Fell Dragon, Grima was originally created by the alchemist Forneus in order to create the "perfect life form" after his experiments in raising the dead for obedient soldiers produced what would become a Zombie Apocalypse called the Risen. Considering the end-result was a Kaiju dragon that could only be killed by its own power, one could say he succeeded.
  • Krystalak from Godzilla Unleashed wants to become this by absorbing all of the power the crystals are giving off. Also applies to your monster if you collect all seven of the crystal Power Surge abilities, their powers make your monster the ultimate being on Earth and you prove it by defeating six-to-eight opponents in the appropriately-named "Tyrant" final stage.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land has Fecto Elfilis, whose Boss Subtitles even say "Ultimate Life-Form". Fecto Elfilis is a universe-destroying entity that consumes and destroys everything, can assimilate with creatures, and has ultimate power than can collide worlds. The one part of them that had compassion and friendliness broke off and became Elfilin, who aided Kirby on his adventure.
  • League of Legends has Kha'Zix, a creature from the Void whose goal in life is to attain this state by killing and consuming his arch-nemesis, Rengar. In-game, if they're on opposite teams, Kha'Zix can get a sidequest to do precisely that and gain a fourth evolution point.
  • The Reapers in the Mass Effect series think they are. Shepard can prove them wrong.
    • In Mass Effect 2, you actually have three of the "peak lifeforms" on your squad. Miranda is genetically engineered to be the perfect human; basically a female Australian Captain America with biotics. Jack was brutally experimented on to created the ultimate human biotic; the experiments were a success. Grunt, like Miranda, was genetically engineered to be the perfect specimen of his species, in his case, krogan; this came with several neural imprints that allowed him to be "born" with full combat training. Each one is also a deconstruction of the trope due to their origins: Grunt's status as a tank-bred Krogan has left him with severe existential issues, Miranda's origins have turned into the ultimate example of the Broken Ace, and Jack's origins have left her severely Ax-Crazy. Shepard themself could also be counted as a fourth example, having been resurrected through bio-synthetic fusion, pushing them either into or on the cusp of Transhuman territory.
    • The Krogan are a lesser form of this due to having evolved as prey on the Death World that is Tuchanka, having evolved spare organs, a redundant nervous system and thick head-plates and skin that double as natural body armour. In addition to having a lifespan over a thousand years, their resilient physiology allowed them to brave the inhospitable worlds belonging to the Rachni, which no other race could withstand. Due to the harsh nature of their homeworld, the Krogan also evolved as ferocious breeders, until the deployment of the Salarian Genophage rendered one-in-a-thousand children to not be born stillborn, turning them into a Dying Race.
    • Amusingly, the Vorcha actually fall under this category, as because of their natural ability to perfectly adapt to new environments within a single generation, their species hasn't had to evolve at all in millions of years. Of course, they're viewed as little more than vermin by the other races and only live until the age of 20.
    • Mass Effect 3 introduces a Walking Spoiler one in the form of the Leviathans. They consider themselves to be the "Apex of organic evolution" in their own words and are the closest thing the setting has to a genuine organic Eldritch Abomination. Given that they conquered the entire galaxy in their heyday, their pride is not entirely unjustified. It is a little undermined though by the fact that a creation of theirs Turned Against Its Masters and built the first Reapers out of them.
  • Mega Man:
    • Bass.EXE is this in the Mega Man Battle Network series. He's a Superboss in every single game, considered a digital "God of Destruction", and the idea of cloning him is terrifying to certain characters. He also has the "Get Ability" program, which is normally what MegaMan has in other continuities, allowing him to absorb the power of any Navi, virus, or program — including nearly half of the Digital Abominations that threaten the cyberworld throughout the BN hexalogy. Bass.EXE is essentially the strongest Navi in the entire series, with only MegaMan.EXE being able to properly challenge him.
    • Mega Man Zero 3 has Omega, Dr. Weil's ultimate creation designed to be the "perfect ruler" of his diabolical empire. To wit, Omega, dubbed in-series as the "Ultimate Reploid" and "God of Destruction", was a being so powerful that it took X and Zero — Story-Breaker Powers in their own right — fighting together to finally end his mayhem, and that was only enough to seal him away for the next century. Omega's armor is capable of self-repair, making him virtually undefeatable in prolonged combat, and he's able to harness the power of the Dark Elf — originally a Sigma Antibody Program created from Zero's viral data — to not only bolster his strength but also control most Reploids en masse from remote distances. And should Omega's outer shell be breached, it releases his true form: Zero's original body. That said, Zero is able to defeat Omega despite being housed in a supposedly inferior replication of his body, suggesting that Omega has all of Zero's strength but none of his skill, and Zero is able to kill him for good once the Dark Elf breaks free of Weil's curse long enough to stop healing Omega's wounds.
    • Mega Man ZX Advent reveals that this is Master Albert's endgame, as the culmination of his attempts to create a new superior path of evolution for mankind/Reploids with the eponymous "Mega Men" who use Biometals would result in the creation of the "Ultimate Mega Man" who wields the most powerful Biometal in existence (that being the fusion of all Biometal Model Ws into the Ouroboros). This Mega Man would "evolve beyond the mere fusion of man and machine" and possess the power to assimilate and control all life on the planet as well as recreate life at will. He interchangeably refers to this being as a god as well. Of course, while ostensibly willing to let any of The Chosen Many who wins the "Game of Destiny" receive it, he always intended to game the system so that he gets to be the one on the throne with the power to Restart the World as he sees fit, using everyone else as Unwitting Pawns to power up the Model Ws.
  • Metroid:
  • Monster Hunter: World's Iceborne expansion adds Safi'jiiva, an extremely powerful Elder Dragon and the fully mature form of the base game's Final Boss, Xeno'jiiva. This creature is the closest the series comes to a monster that has limitless growth potential if left unchecked. The main verse of its two themes is translated from Monster Hunter's fictional language as "that which is the king of all things, the perfect being." As an implied extraterrestrial lifeform with the power to reshape ecosystems to its own liking and absorb the land's energy at will, there is reason to believe that Safi'jiiva would end up dominating the series' setting if it were to propagate itself beyond the New World, and would likely be considered a Dangerous First-Class Monster on par with Alatreon and Fatalis had World kept the classification from previous games.
  • The Ultimate Chimera in Mother 3 was built to be the perfect killing machine. Notably, you can't even enter a battle screen with it; just letting this chimera touch you is an instant Game Over.
  • Gandrake in Musashi Samurai Legend considers himself to be the "Ultimate Form of Life" as he uses the powers of Amestris, the Stone Behind the Man and Greater-Scope Villain, to gain a One-Winged Angel form.
  • Nasuverse:
    • Introduced in Angel Notes, the Types (Type-Moon, Type-Mercury, Type-Venus etc.)/Aristoteles/Ultimate Ones. Each of them is the ultimate life form of their respective home planet or satellite, even if said celestial body doesn't support life (anymore), which then inherits the planet's will, spirit, and power. To say they all won the Superpower Lottery would be putting it lightly: in the hierarchy of the Nasuverse, their sheer power ranks even above Divine Spirits, and even the Top Gods in their prime might be outmatched. In fact, some material suggests that they may be impossible to truly kill, as the concept of death may not apply to them. For a specific example, see Crimson Moon Brunestud, the Ultimate One of the Moon. It is effectively immortal and won the Superpower Lottery so hard it's not even funny (Mystic Eyes of the Noble Color Rainbow that can "crush reality," a Game-Breaker Knight Arm and tons of other overpowered abilities). Unfortunately, in-universe Memetic Badass Zelretch came along and dropped the moon on him. Crimson Moon, however, is still around in some form even after its physical body was annihilated, and is merely awaiting its reincarnation.
    • Fate/Grand Order:
      • Several characters call Ivan the Terrible's mammoth an apex of life from an era before humanity existed. Avicebron calls it a "Prime One."
      • Other characters note Ivan, due to a combination of both his natural power and vast age bolstering it further, is effectively the ultimate Yaga, if not having surpassed them to become a new lifeform entirely.
      • Qin Shi Huang Di calls himself an Ultimate Life Form in his profile because he achieved immortality and eternal youth.
      • Albion was said to be the ultimate dragon.
      • Lostbelt 7 contains ORT, the Ultimate One of the Ort Cloud. In a major twist, it's revealed that ORT ate the Tree of Emptiness in the Lostbelt's past and consequently maintains the Lostbelt in the Tree's place, meaning that you have to kill ORT to deny the Lostbelt. The final battle of the Lostbelt shows just why this is a deserved title - ORT has a Cannibalism Superpower that allows it to take on the traits of its opponents it assimilates. This makes it the only opponent so far that can outright defeat the Counter Force, as its response to facing Counter Guardians and Grand Servants is to eat them and gain their abilities, outright removing their data from the Throne of Heroes in the process. It also manages to one-up itself as it's dying by combining the Servant data it's absorbed with the Tree of Emptiness' Reality Warper abilities to simulate a timeline where it became a Servant, which it then force feeds to the Throne of Heroes to re-summon itself for one last fight: say hello to ORT Xibalba, the Grand Foreigner.
  • Parasite Eve:
    • In the first game, the titular villain Eve not only attempts to create the Ultimate Being, but actually seeks to give birth to it. She succeeds, and this creature serves as the final boss of the game, but the heroine, Aya Brea, kills him in a naval carrier explosion. The Ultimate Being exhibits the trait of rapid evolution, quickly maturing as he battles Aya aboard the carrier.
    • In Parasite Eve 2, the bad guys want to create their own Ultimate Being. Eve, a young clone of Aya, is key to their experiments.
  • Pokémon:
    • Every single Pokémon has a set of Individual Values, or IVs, so no two Pokémon encountered in the wild have precisely the same stats. The IVs determine how high the Pokémon's stats are versus the rest of its species, with each IV ranging from 0 to 31note ; a higher IV makes the Pokémon stronger in the stat that IV applies to. For instance, a Pokémon with an IV of 31 in Attack means that its physical attacks will naturally hit harder than most other Pokémon of the same species at the same level. A Pokémon with all its IVs maximised thus has the highest stats of its species before taking natures into account, befitting this trope.
    • Mewtwo was created to have the ultimate battle capabilities among Pokémon. Apparently created by genetically tampering with the embryo of a Mew (a Pokémon that has 100 base stats in everything), it escaped its creators and hid out in caves, waiting to challenge other strong Pokémon. Its mega evolutions also have the highest base Attack and Special Attack stat among all known Pokémon. So even after the power creep of later generations (ever more Olympus Mons being introduced, along with the Dark type that's a hard counter to Psychic types like Mewtwo), Mewtwo's still a contender.
    • Relicanth is implied to be this, with its Pokédex entry in Pokémon Ultra Moon citing this trope as the likely reason for it remaining unchanged for 100 million years.
    • Team Plasma tried their hand at creating the strongest Pokémon of all with Genesect, a Pokémon from the Paleozoic period already feared as the ultimate hunter in said days, now sporting an array of cybernetic enhancements such as steel armor and a large Backpack Cannon. In-game, it's a fast Magic Knight with the highest stats of any Bug-type Pokémon (discounting Arceus), matched only by a few Mega Evolutions. However, Team Plasma never actually used Genesect as N had the project cancelled, believing that science had ruined the Pokémon's natural beauty.
    • Upon discovering the existence of Ultra Beasts, the Aether Foundation created three artificial Pokémon to deal with the potential threat these Ultra Beasts presented to the Pokémon world. Said Pokémon were named Type: Full and created from the cells of all 18 Pokémon types so that they can use a type-changing ability to switch between all types, allowing them to counter any type of Pokémon they go up against. While the project was considered a failure due to the prototypes needing a restraining helmet to suppress their ability and keep them under control, the failed prototypes, known as Type: Null, still exist, and their original, full potential can be unlocked by The Power of Friendship.
  • Rengoku: ADAMs are considered the ultimate weapon with their Resurrective Immortality and growing intellect. Virgil believes they should even replace humans.
  • Resident Evil: Albert Wesker believes himself to be this as well as having a god complex, though the gears of megalomania only truly began to turn after learning his origin as one of the Wesker children sometime prior to Resident Evil 5. He also refers to the Tyrant as the "Ultimate Life Form" in the original game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Shadow the Hedgehog is a Trope Namer, as he's always been described as the Ultimate Life Form within the setting. Strangely, he fights a prototype Ultimate Life Form that looks like a dragon on life support, not at all like himself. Presumably, the Biolizard's need for life support is why they scaled back into a smaller body for Shadow.
    • Curiously, during the final battle in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow comes to an epiphany that it might not be he who is the Ultimate Life Form, but Sonic. Factor in the number of abilities shared between the two (including Sonic learning Chaos Control from watching Shadow do it); how eerily similar the two appear while in Super Form (in the Adventure games, at least); and a persistent Epileptic Tree that Shadow was based off of Professor Gerald's research on the ancient Echidna civilization, specifically their mural in Hidden Palace Zone depicting Super Sonic fighting Eggman in the Doomsday Zone over the Master Emerald, and he might actually be on to something.
      Shadow: Hahaha, Sonic! I think I've discovered what the Ultimate Life Form is... It might be you!
    • The true purpose of Project Shadow does not refer to Shadow's power but the fact that he is the most perfect lifeform. His physical abilities are indeed impressive but more importantly, Shadow is biologically immortal. He will never age and is immune to all diseases. Professor Gerald had initially hoped to use samples of Shadow's blood to create cures for the deadliest and rarest diseases in the world. Specifically, N.I.D.S. (Neuro Immunodeficiency Syndrome), the rare illness that had plagued his granddaughter Maria. With the reveal in Shadow the Hedgehog that Black Doom was the DNA donor for Shadow, it's unknown how many of these properties can be traced back to Black Doom himself and the rest of the extraterrestrial Black Arms.
    • Sonic Battle introduces Emerl, a Living Weapon created by the Fourth Great Civlization with the ability to duplicate (and improve upon) any powers or weapons he sees as well as absorb Chaos energy. Though he is one of many robots designated as Gizoids according to Sonic Chronicles, Emerl is explicitly the most powerful of his kind, and the reason the Fourth Great Civlization no longer exists is because Emerl wiped it out. Rouge outright compares Emerl to Shadow, telling the latter that Emerl is basically him but 4000 years older, whereas Gerald Robotnik (who discovered Emerl in the past) theorizes Emerl might one day be able to destroy the entire planet on his own. And considering the level of power Emerl commands when forcibly driven berserk and (re)awakened as the Gizoid in the final story, Gerald probably wasn't too far off with that estimate.
  • This is the general goal of the creature stage of Spore. There's even an achievement for it: Max Power.
  • Played with in StarCraft. The Protoss are said to have "Purity of Form" while the Zerg have "Purity of Essence." The Zerg Overmind (and apparently the Xel'naga) believed that combining the two would result in this trope. However, in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the Zerg in charge of mutations and evolution, Abathur, dismisses the idea as an impossibility. Abathur states instead that "perfection" is an ever-changing, fluid concept which can be chased but never attained, and depends on the situation and circumstances.
  • In the final battle of Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble!, Queen Heinderella of the villainous syndicate Madow uses the "hero-ness" (the essence of justice and virtue within all do-gooders) of the game's bosses and Joe himself to transform, whereupon she's given the title of "Ultimate Super Being."

  • Commander Kitty. Zenith thinks she's this, but she's actually an android.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, such a thing exists as an infectious, infinitely-adaptable fungal parasite called the Crax that consumes you from within and turns you into a nearly-invincible monster. The entire species is collectively one Crax, as it has a hive-mind, and it turns out that it used to be a human being named Preston Chang who turned himself into the thing so he could live forever by eating everything. He's thwarted in the Spirit World, but attacks Kili mentally again in a later chapter called "The Ultimate Life Form." It eventually turns out that the real Crax has evolved in response to the spiritual attack by getting rid of its weakness — the spirit of Preston Chang himself. He's dead, just a ghost haunting Kili, and when she realizes this she crushes him easily, after he had spent the entire chapter recounting all the horrible things that have happened to her in order to break her will. The doctors mention that the ultimate life form is not the ultimate eating machine, but the ultimate survivor. Since the chapter established that Kili has survived being touched by Death itself and multiple catastrophes, that implies she's the titular Ultimate Lifeform.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • In "A Beautiful Mind," a Crazy Cat Lady crossed with Mad Scientist creates the ultimate being by packing enough cats into a small enough space, forming a superintelligent neural network. Unfortunately, it still has some cat weaknesses...
    • In strip 3403, an alien lands on Earth and asks to talk to the wisest species on Earth. Humans won't do, but neither will dolphins or other "even dumber animals". It turns out he's talking about the mega-brain that lives at the centre of the Earth.

    Web Original 
  • Dingo Doodles reveals that the long-vanished Foreclaimers were obsessed with perfection, modifying their own bodies in pursuit of that ideal. Their research culminated in the creation of the artificial god Xanu, a "perfect" being created using half the energy of a stolen sun. Unfortunately for their creation, the Foreclaimers wished to ensure their creation was perfect and so continued to test him.
  • Dreamscape:
    • The Possessor Ghost is the strongest creature Melinda created and her final strike against the world.
    • Kaila claims to be the strongest of all the Master of the Dammed's creations.
  • Parodied when the Game Grumps decide to take on Ross's levels in Super Mario Maker and try a level titled "Ultimate Lifeform" where you have to flee a stack of Bowsers and Baby Bowsers, with a Chain Chomp and a Hammer Brother on top, riding a Buzzy Beetle across spikes. After the level Ross explains that the stack of enemies is the ultimate lifeform.
  • In Nazo Unleashed, the titular villain Nazo declares himself to be the Ultimate Being, in contrast to Shadow being the Ultimate Life Form. This is later subverted when one of his major goals is revealed to be shattering the Master Emerald and scattering its shards across the universe, since — as an entity manifested by the negative energy of the Chaos Emeralds — his power would forever be trumped by the Master Emerald, and his Pride will not stand letting him be Always Second Best to a "rock".
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-682 arguably fits this by virtue of being able to survive anything. If there is something that can permanently kill the beast, the Foundation hasn't found it yet or is too afraid to try it. The "arguably" part is due to the possibility that 682 may not technically be alive as humans understand it. One researcher in the termination log referred to it as an "unliving, undying intelligent monster."
    • SCP-3199, nicknamed "Humans, Refuted". They were half-poultry Humanoid Abominations created by a schizophrenic Evilutionary Biologist who sought to supplant the human race with them. They had Super Toughness and Explosive Breeder abilities alongside being The Needless, but were simply mindless beasts that did nothing but kill and reproduce. To make matters worse they essentially have Born-Again Immortality, as every one that's killed by the Foundation has a Nigh-Invulnerable egg ready to hatch inside like a hideous phoenix.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Animaniacs features the ultimate life form, known only as Toe (yes, he's a giant toe), who claims that, in a million years, they will look just like him. Truly, Toe has no apparent weaknesses except that he always needs someone to do his cuticles.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Highbreed consider themselves above all other species. Although they are apparently smarter and obviously much stronger than almost all other life forms, that's not the reason for their Fantastic Racism. For all their power, the process of reproduction is something they're losing the ability to do.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien:
    • Ben can now evolve his aliens to their final stage in their evolutionary form. Word of God stating that it is a simulated result of each alien being taken to a worst case scenario and the final result of millions of years in that scenario.
    • Aggregor's goal was to become the Ultimate Life Form by absorbing an infant of the reality warping Celestialsapiens (Alien X's species), which given the fact that the infant's minds hadn't developed yet, would give him the seemingly limitless power of Alien X without the crippling weakness of needing to negotiate with the Celestialsapien's two other minds to do anything.
    • Word of God in the franchise has Ben's alien forms being this: each of them are a prime incarnation of the species in question with a few specific exceptions. This is most notable in Bulfrag, who looks radically different from his fellow Incurseans and is notably faster but it can be be seen in a few other forms more indirectly such as Four Arms.
  • Project G.e.e.K.e.R.: Project GKR was meant to be one. It doesn't quite take: he's stolen before his final mental programming can be completed, and what we get is Geeker — an idiot with Power Incontinence.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven and Connie's fusion Stevonnie is described as being perfect by Garnet, because as far as fusions go, their components are so in sync that they can fuse with zero effort (and in fact have fused out of pure joy at being together both times), which also reflects in them being the one fusion that is completely indistinguishable from a non-fusion.
    • The Diamond Authority, the rulers of the Gem species, are at least perceived as perfect lifeforms by their followers. Peridot describes them as having no weakness, and being completely flawless beings. Blue Diamond being able to fight the entirety of the Crystal Gems, including Peridot, Bismuth, and Lapis Lazuli to a stand-still by herself along with being able to survive getting crushed by two giant spaceships falling on her head lends credence to this, as well as the fact Rose Quartz (the leader of the Crystal Gems and the most powerful Gem on the Rebellion's side) was in fact a disguised Pink Diamond all along.
    • Gems are all designed and grown from the ground for specific purposes, and Peridot is trained to analyze a great deal of information on a Gem by examining the hole they emerged from. Upon examining the hole Jasper was born in, she finds it's the most perfect hole she'd ever seen, and concludes that this makes her "The Ultimate Quartz". In terms of physical ability, this more than shows: despite being a standard shock troop, Jasper is stronger than a Topaz and way stronger than any other Quartz thus far shown. It takes Garnet to match her one on one, and even then Garnet had to out-think her, while in the Gem War Garnet and Bismuth alone were sufficient to defeat entire platoons of standard Quartz Gems. Jasper also takes more abuse than any other non-Diamond Gem in the entire series without poofing, and in fact is only poofed after being corrupted into a weaker Gem Monster and by a Diamond.
    • White Diamond, who stands even above the other Diamonds. She sees herself, and thus everything she has created, as utterly perfect and flawless, and forces all under her to maintain that supposed perfection no matter the cost. Her power, which is essentially to take over gems completely and make them extensions of herself, is just another manifestation of that; if they can't be perfect, she'll do it for them. Even the very idea of something being wrong with what she thought up and created, and thus needing or even benefiting from change, is utterly offensive. Notably, when she ends up acknowledging even one little flaw with her own behavior and decisions, her entire worldview utterly collapses, as it was all resting on the assumption she simply couldn't make mistakes. With this assumption removed, she has to admit to herself she doesn't even know who she is.
    • When describing the Spinel of Steven Universe: The Movie, Pearl says that "her cut is perfect", heavily implying she's an "Ultimate" example of her Gem type as Jasper is to hers. It would certainly explain in part how, combined with her insanity and One-Hit Kill Sinister Scythe, she can run rings around all the Crystal Gems when her model is meant to function as a court jester or clown in the Homeworld hierarchy.
  • The Venture Bros.: In the Previously on… segment of "Escape to the House of Mummies Pt II", the Cult of Osiris creates "The Perfect Man", though it's clear from the start he's not perfect, as he is completely lacking in mental development.

    Real Life 
  • Cockroaches. Or so popular culture would like you to believe. Just for an example, compare the hardiness of cockroaches, to that of scorpions. Both pale in comparison to tardigrades (mentioned below).
  • Tardigrades, also known as "Water Bears", are notorious for being able to survive extreme conditions. To elaborate, they can withstand low temperatures close to absolute zero, high temperatures at 151 degrees celsius, and radiation (even more so than cockroaches), and can even survive for up to ten days in the vacuum of space. Even though every currently existing species has adapted the ability to survive in its surroundings, tardigrades survive in these conditions that go well beyond them (Although most in part thanks to cryptobiosis). This does them little good against the mundane predators that devour them in droves.
  • Apparently, jellyfishes of the species Turritopsis nutricula are biologically immortal; although they can die of disease or being eaten, they are able to thwart dying of natural causes by periodically returning to the infant polyp stage. Theoretically, there could be T. nutricula in the oceans that have lived there since the species first evolved.
  • The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci is thought of as a perfectly proportionate human body, so it's a "perfect human" in one way.
  • Bacteria have been observed to survive dormant on the surface of the moon for over two years.
  • One Discovery Channel program about dinosaurs had a paleontologist point out that even the biggest, strongest, fastest, healthiest Tyrannosaurus rex of all time would still be rated as a complete failure, by evolutionary standards, if it never managed to pass on its genes to another generation of T. rex babies. Evolution doesn't care about physical traits or abilities because only reproductive success matters to it. In other words, it would consider the ultimate lifeform to be the one most capable of reproducing.
    • If that's the definition, the ultimate life form is probably the mitochondrion. Once an independent organism, it became embedded in a larger cell. That cell went on to be the ancestor of all plants and animals, there are easily more mitochondria in the world today than there are animal and plant cells, and there will be mitochondria as long as there are animals or plants.
  • As animals have lived in the ocean much longer than they have on land, and as the ocean is less susceptible to environmental change than land, many species of animals in the ocean have remained more or less the same for very long times, even by evolutionary standards. These species have effectively reached a 'practical pinnacle' of evolution, where any deviation from the usual is almost guaranteed to be a step backwards in terms of the species reproducibility. This highlights the reality of any "perfect" organism, that it is only perfect within its niche.
    • The horseshoe crab is an excellent macroscopic example of such living fossils; having remained mostly unchanged for the last 200 million years. Unfortunately it seems that they've finally met their match in humans, who catch them for use in medical experiments, animal feed, and rather cruel-looking specialty recipes. Those, coupled with pollution and habitat destruction, horseshoe crab populations are declining.
    • Sharks are another prominent example, not changing much in millions of years.
    • While most prominent in sea life for the above reasons, it is not restricted to them. The concept of an "Evolutionary Landscape" exists, with the idea that hills on this landscape represent a particular niche for a species to occupy, and that the peaks of these hills are a theoretical ideal form for that niche that a species may eventually evolve into, and from which they are likely to never evolve away from provided the environment doesn't change. However, as the evolution of other species is part of what effects the environment, it would take a great deal of time for land creatures to reach a state of equilibrium, even if the environment wasn't also subject to geographical changes that have nothing to do with biology, such as floods. This propensity for significant rapid change in environment on the land means that even if an animal does reach an evolutionary peak, they'll likely find it "moved" somewhere else in a relatively short period of time.
    • Octopodes and other cephalopods. They're the closest thing to a shapeshifter we get in nature, able to change shape, skin texture, and color almost instantly to hide anywhere. They're insanely flexible, unusually intelligent for invertebrates, multi-limbed with Combat Tentacles, have underwater jet propulsion, and can disappear in a cloud of ink. If land octopodes weren't impossible (their soft bodies can't be supported out of water and they'd dry up pretty quickly) and didn't only live to be about two years old, octopodes would likely be competing with humans for the position of Earth's dominant life form.
  • The ginkgo tree is another living fossil that can be thought of as almost an Ultimate Life Form, in that it is hardy in a wide variety of climates, from cold mountains (the last wild population was from Tibet), has no insect pests, is virtually immune to most known plant diseases, and is extremely tolerant of air pollution. The ginkgo's only problems as an Ultimate Life Form are that it has (compared to the flowering plants) a rather inefficient method of reproduction (in that male trees use the wind to send pollen to the female trees' exposed unfertilized ovaries), an extremely slow growth rate (a ginkgo needs to be at least twenty years old before it will display sexual characteristics), and mildly toxic seeds that are protected by an apricot-like covering that has an abominable odor (depending on how ripe and which strain, the "fruit" can smell like stinky markers, or cat vomit) that are only attractive to brave squirrels.
  • This article would not be complete without mention of the perfect predator. A lot of people don't realize that the human race has survived because we, while not the strongest, are cunning, extremely adaptable, fairly stealthy if we focus, and intelligent enough to build weapons such as guns or explosives. Look at the damage we have done. The things we kill are stronger, faster, more violent than us. The fact that you sitting at your computer can be that perfect predator, is quite frankly awesome to think about.
  • Matrioshka brains: hypothetical structures that combine the idea of a Dyson Sphere with computronium (the theoretical configuration of matter offering the most bang-for-bucks computing wise). Matrioshka brains would consequently be the most powerful computer technically possible — and as a result it has been suggested that they might be the dominant lifeform in the universe.
  • Carcinisation is the scientific term for the phenomenon of crustaceans to evolve towards a body plan resembling a crab's. Or, as the internet puts it, "advance to crab".
  • Eventually the universe will either dissolve into entropy or collapse in a reverse of the Big Bang, so the last specimen of life in the universe before conditions render life impossible will technically be the ultimate life form ("ultimate" also means "final").
  • As per the Universe example above, the last lifeforms existing in Earth before the planet becomes uninhabitable due to the increased luminosity of the Sun as it ages will also be the ultimate lifeforms -most likely some form of thermophilic bacteria living in environments as deep in Earth's crust, in the poles, in deep caves, at high heights, or a combination of them. Before it happened, the last complex lifeforms in Earth would likely exist in the oceans adapted to the extreme conditions of heat and salinity as water boiled away.
  • The "Darwinian Demon" is a thought experiment contemplating how a lifeform that wasn't constrained by the limits of biology might adapt to all conditions.