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No, TV Tropes. You are the demons.

And Then John Was a Zombie is essentially a literal version of He Who Fights Monsters. It is a situation in which a character, frequently a protagonist, is turned into the very thing he or she has been fighting; a survivor of a Zombie Apocalypse may get bitten by a zombie, a demon hunter may be possessed, and so on.

A popular variation of this is for protagonists to have this thrust on them as an Emergency Transformation, and/or use (or attempt to use) Heroic Willpower to avoid the Face Heel Turn frequently associated with this trope and use the powers for the cause of good. Results may vary. Of course, it is also possible for this to happen to villainous characters, particularly Non-human villains, though it is certainly possible for this to happen to human villains, especially in stories where The Virus has strong presence, but is not the sole villainous force. Depending on the villain and the type of transformation in question, results can and often will vary even more than heroic characters suffering this.

If poorly foreshadowed, this can very easily be a Shocking Swerve. Opposite of Tomato in the Mirror, in which case the main character was the monster all along. Also contrast Can't Stay Normal. Compare Doomed Protagonist, in which this was set up as an eventuality (or even a possibility) earlier in the story, The Virus, You Will Be Assimilated, and for variations in which the transformation doesn't force or suggest a Face Heel Turn on the victim's part, Viral Transformation.

Examples will contain spoilers!

Examples of And Then John Was a Zombie include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • In Gensoumaden Saiyuki, Hakkai slays a thousand demons and his thousandth turns him into a demon, pointy ears and all.
  • In Uzumaki, after the teacher smashes a bunch of human hybrid snail eggs in disgust, he returns a week later a snail man. With a bunch of snail eggs growing on his back.
    • In the end, Kirie and Shuichi become spirals.
  • In Digimon Savers, the main human villain, Kurata, has a great fear of all Digimon and kills a bunch of them in the name of one-sided peace, but then uses their life force to power an even worse villain-type Digimon and become one with it to ultimately take over the world.
  • In School Mermaid, the main character ends up being pulled down into the floor by the very mermaids she was hunting and becomes one herself. And it is strongly implied that her best friend will hunt her down and eat her later.
  • In Shiki, almost every character ends up as a vampire, including the protagonist.
  • In Kakurenbo, the main character wins the game of hide-and-seek by being the last child to be found... and then is given the honor of being the new "it", that is, he becomes a demon himself.
  • One of the truly Awful Truths that Magical Girls have to face in Puella Magi Madoka Magica is that every magical girl will eventually become a Witch, the monsters that the magical girls fight throughout the series. This is especially illustrated in Episode 8 when this happens to Sayaka.
  • In Shikabane Hime, Ouri turns out to be part Shikabane.
  • In "Umineko no Naku Koro Ni" EP 5, "End of the Golden Witch,Battler, who has been fighting to deny Witches up to this point, becomes a Sorcerer(basically the male equivalent of one) and takes Beatrice's place as the Game Master.
  • Kannazuki no Miko: And then Souma was a petrified Orochi. He saw it coming, though, and try to use the Orochi powers contaminating his body to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He recovers later.
  • The Claymores who become Awakened Beings definitely qualify. Particularly galling in the case of Ophelia, as she really hates Awakened Beings, and became a Claymore to fight them. And Then Cassandra, Hysteria and Roxanne Became Awakened Beings after they were resurrected.


Card Games Edit

  • Some Yu-Gi-Oh cards have images that tell stories. One is the Gagagigo series; it starts as the Gigobyte, who wants to fight monsters... and ends with Gogiga Gagagigo, whose soul has ceased to exist and his body only moves on a drive for power. Then there's Warrior Dai Grepher; the first card of his story shows him and other warriors and spellcasters fighting demonic creatures. Then the series goes on and he becomes Dark Lucius. In Sakuretsu Armor, Dark Lucius LV 6 can be seen striking down some of the people he fought alongside in that first card.
    • Gigobyte starts down the road to evil soulessness by modifying himself to get more power to defeat the Invader of Darkness. Since the story is spread over the flavor texts of many cards over a few different expansions, it doesn't come as too much of a surprise. The compiled story is here if you're interested.
  • Magic: The Gathering gives us Karn, a golem created to fight the Phyrexians. But his heart was a Phyrexian stone, normally used for insta-You Have Failed Me. This stone contained, like all artifacts of Phyrexian origin, the oil, which took hold on Mirrodin. Karn almost gave in to the Praetors' whispers.
    • The Innistrad Block has a fetish for these, and with good reason, as the story line has nearly all monstruousities coming from mankind. In particular, "church warrior becomes zombie" seems to be very popular.


Comic Books Edit

  • The ending of 30 Days of Night involves the hero, Eben Oleson, turning himself into a vampire to save his friends. This counts because the vampires invaded to feed, not to create new vampires and the humans (until that point) weren't interested in becoming vampires.
  • In the fictional comic book Tales of the Black Freighter, a story within a story from Watchmen, the protagonist mistakenly bludgeons his wife almost to death while attempting to save her and his family from undead pirates. The pirates only want him though, and the story ends ambiguously with the protagonist either being killed by the pirates or becoming one. His last words are 'I was a horror; amongst horrors must I dwell'.


Eastern Animation Edit


Fan Works Edit


Film Edit

  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers had this at the end with the little girl holding Michael's butcher knife, implying that she has become the new killer.
  • The Producer's Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ended with Dr. Loomis being marked with the Curse of Thorn to imply that he would carry on Michael's taint. This was one of many things dropped in the theatrical version, although this one happened because Donald Pleasence died.
  • At the end of the ~30 Days Of Night~ movie, the protagonist has to become a vampire in order to fight off the vampires that have been eating everyone. He dies very shortly thereafter due to watching the sunrise with his girlfriend (so he'll die and not eat anyone).
  • In the Doom movie, Reaper is dying and his sister subjects him to the chromosome which had turned everyone else into monsters. Luckily (and perhaps subverting this trope) he is among the small percent of humans who don't turn into monsters when exposed to it and instead become 'angels'.
    • Arguably played straight by the "protagonist" Sarge turning into a demon.
  • In the end of Roman Polanski's 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers (and the subsequent 1997 musical adaptation, Tanz der Vampire), the protagonists rescue the heroine from a pack of blood thirsty vampires, only to have her tun into one and attack the "hero" of the film at the very end.
  • The 1970 film Count Yorga Vampire has this three-fold, One of the protaganist's friends falls victim to Yorga becoming the third of his vampire brides. One of the brides is the mother of the female characters (at the start she had recently died mysteriously) and lastly near the said female character turns into a vampire and lunges at the hero of the film just as he rescues her from the clutches of the vampire villain and his undead brides.
    • A reversal of the kind of ending mentioned above occurs in the 1971 sequel, The Return of Count Yorga, when the hero of the film turns into a vampire just at the very end just as they kill your and attacks the girl he was trying to save, dooming her to a life of undeath in the end after narrowly avoiding it.
  • A homage to the endings described above occurs in the 1996 Tales from the Crypt movie, Bordello of Blood.
  • A similar ending occurs in the 1983 film Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
  • Ken Russell's 1988 film The Lair of the White Worm also concludes in a similar fashion.
  • Occurs in Dragon Ball Evolution when Goku turns into the Oozaru, said to be an unstoppable servant of Piccolo, after having spent the movie determined to defeat Oozaru. Only after killing Roshi does he get out of it. This is not the case in the original source material, where the Oozaru is not mentioned until Goku transforms for the first time.
  • In Pumpkinhead, a man summons a spirit of vengeance (the titular Pumpkinhead) after his son is accidentally killed by reckless teenagers. Realizing how screwed up things have become, he tries to stop Pumpkinhead, to do so, he himself must die. At the end of the film the man has to become the next Pumpkinhead.
  • In Van Helsing, the Live Action movie, Van Helsing becomes a werewolf to battle Dracula because apparently vampires are weak against werewolves.
  • David Cronenberg's Shivers...and then Dr. Saint-Luke was Infected. Ironically, David Cronenberg considers this a happy ending, as he's said the Infected are happy and free of their inhibitions, and at the end they're about to share their newfound freedom with the whole world.
  • The uber-creepy 1978 film of Invasion of the Body Snatchers ends with Veronica Cartwright's character approaching Donald Sutherland's character (he was the protagonist). As she calls out to him, he wheels around, points at her, and emits an inhuman wail (sort of the Pod People's call to arms).
  • At the ending of The Thing, it appears as though the Thing was killed in an explosion. However, Mac and Childs are still around, and it's not revealed whether or not they had been infected, leaving them to wait and see what happens.
  • All the alternative endings of The Ruins show the Final Girl succumbing to the evil plant spores in some way, while it is suggested in the theatrical one.
  • At the end of The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick kills the Grand Marshall and becomes the new leader of the necromongers, which was foreshadowed very strongly early on, when Riddick is told that the Necromonger way was "You keep what you kill".
  • In Timecrimes, Hector gets stabbed in the arm and chased through the forest by a man in a black coat with his head covered by bandages. Then he travels backwards in time an hour, cuts his head, and begins bandaging the cut. Realizing that he's in a Stable Time Loop, Hector completely wraps his head in bandages, then takes a pair of scissors and attacks his past self, deliberately causing the series of events that led to his climbing into the time machine an hour ago.
  • In the 1990 remake to Night of the Living Dead Ben is badly wounded by Cooper during the night and as a last resort locks himself in the basement against the zombie horde. When we last see him, the door seems to be holding, but Ben has no supplies and his wound is worsening. When Patricia returns the next day with a group of locals, they eventually manage to open the door to the basement, and encounter the now zombified Ben.
  • At the end of Candyman the heroine becomes a Candywoman.
  • At the end of Vampire Assassin, the protagonist becomes a vampire.
  • Near the end of Undead or Alive Elmer makes the mistake of punching an infectious zombie in the mouth, and almost immediately realizes that he is beginning to turn. While he uses the last few moments before the hunger overwhelms him to attempt to make a Heroic Sacrifice, he succumbs in the end, infecting one companion and convincing him to help devour another.
  • Skyline has Jarrod's brain installed into an alien, only for his Heroic Willpower to grant him control over that alien instead of just becoming its CPU.
  • And then, the Jedi Anakin Skywalker became the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
  • Needy becomes part-demon after surviving Jennifer's attack in Jennifer's Body.
  • In the final scene of the movie Deadgirl we find out that the main character has become a zombie rapist despite spending the entire movie trying to dissuade his friends from doing the exact same thing.


Literature Edit

  • In John Dies at the End, it is revealed in the penultimate chapters of the book that somewhere along the course of the story, Dave has been replaced with a "monster" version of himself, becoming the very doppelganger that part of the story's arc has revolved around. Considering the character John neither dies nor suffers Dave's fate of becoming that which they fought, this could be a subversion. Especially likely considering the writer is Cracked Editor David Wong.
  • In Necroscope, vampirisation happens to the good guys every now and again. Eventually, Harry Keogh is subject to this as well.
  • In Hater by David Moody, the main character becomes a Hater about three-quarters of the way into the book, after a prolonged struggle to defend himself and his family from them.
  • In the Newsflesh book Feed, Georgia, the narrator, gets shot up with Kellis-Amberlee virus and turns into a zombie and has to be killed by her brother.
  • In P C Hodgell's Kencyr series, a singer named Ashe is bitten by haunts (ghouls with an infectious bite) during a battle early in the second book but hides her wounds. By the time of the final battle in the book, she is technically dead (but hiding it well and fully in control of herself), and plays a key part in the main protagonist's (Jaime's) survival: Ashe guards Jaime's back while taking wounds that would have killed a living Kencyr many times over. Ashe's motives are unclear but seemed to include dispassionate curiosity.
  • Waves Put Out The Wind by the brothers Strugazkiys has a commission that ensures that no Sufficiently Advanced Aliens can improve human history unnoticed. One of employees gets some hidden superpowers activated while investigating a superhuman organization. He remains well-intentioned but becomes too inhuman to not gradually his contact with humanity. All "ludens" (annagram of inhuman in Russian and a reference to "Homo Ludens" - human that plays) have this fate.
  • Shinigami God of Death by Django Wexler has the younger of two sisters bring her mother and her older sister back to life, using the same method the Lightbringer did. Unfortunately, this causes her to be imprisoned as he was.
  • Animal Farm ends with the pigs coming to resemble human farmers so closely that the other animals find it hard to tell them apart from humans--they even begin to walk on two legs, wear human clothes, and carry whips. This is a rather Anvilicious commentary on how many revolutionary leaders become as corrupt and oppressive as the leaders they overthrew, if not more so.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has the twist ending of...well, guess.
  • Goosebumps:
    • In The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, the werewolf bites the hero, passing the curse onto him.
    • Calling All Creeps. Some reptilian monsters that can turn into human form come to think that the protagonist, a boy bullied by most of his school, is one of them. They have plotted how to transform everyone in school, and then on town, country and world, in Creeps like them and the hero is trying to stop them from feeding everyone the transforming goo. In the last moment, when he is mocked one more time while trying to stop everyone from eating goo-filled muffins, he is told that he will be the ruler of all Creeps and no longer a target for bullies. The protagonist does a quick Face Heel Turn, treats everyone to eat the muffins, and eats one himself, becoming the real Creep leader.


Live Action TV Edit

  • The end of Supernatural season three seems to apply to Dean once he finds out that demons are ex-humans. He also gets tortured enough in hell so that he finally breaks and starts torturing others and enjoying it because it isn't him..
    • By the end of season four, this trope applies to Sam. No, Sam, you are the demons.
    • Used again with Gordon, who started out as a vampire hunter and is eventually captured and turned by a group of them.
  • Dollhouse Season 2. Paul Ballard spends season one and most of season two trying to break down the dollhouse and free the dolls. But he is then sent into a brain-scarred coma by Alpha and is only saved when Topher rewires his brain with the active protocol and rewrites some part of his brain to work in place of the scarred tissue, effectively turning him into a doll.
  • How much does Joe of The Lost Room love his daughter? Well, after spending all the series trying to find the Object to rescue her from a Negative Space Wedgie, he becomes an Object to save her. That's right, he gives up being a human and becomes a sapient, mobile, indestructible and unaging thing. This is presented as a good thing however, despite the former Object/person/Occupant pretty much hating his existence.
  • In the 1986 Twilight Zone episode "Monsters!", the presence of a (kind-natured) vampire in their neighborhood causes every normal person in suburbia to temporarily mutate into a pack of gruesome monsters that kill the vampire - afterwards, they're horrified at the murder, never realizing that they were the monsters.
  • In Kamen Rider Decade, this happens to AU!Hibiki. In fact, this trope is a common theme throughout the Kamen Rider franchise, although the difference is that they were the "zombies" in the first place or take the source of their power from the very monsters they fight.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Survival" has this as the major plotpoint.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: In "The Tale of the Chameleons", Janice gets turned into a chameleon and drowned in a well, and her Evil Twin plans to do the same to her friend and the rest of her family.
  • The Vampire Daries does this multiple times. First with Caroline's dad who choses not to complete the transformations and later with Alaric who is turned into an Original Vampire just to become the world's greatest vampire hunter.


Mythology Edit

  • According to Japanese mythology, killing many Youkai (a thousand, according to some versions) results in their slayer being transformed into a youkai himself. Then again, anyone capable of killing 1000 demons is powerful enough to be considered a demon himself by most people, so this could just be a Lampshade Hanging on that fact.


Music Edit


Tabletop Games Edit


Theater Edit

  • Alfred, the assistant vampire hunter in Tanz der Vampire, becomes an undead bloodsucker himself at the end of the show. Worse, the vampire that turns him is none other than Sarah, the girl he loves and was trying to save. However, in the Musical this isn't depicted as especially bad, as due to sympathy-songs etc. the spectators are expected to have sympathy with the vampires and the only one really wanting to kill vampires was the professor.


Video Games Edit

  • Blizzard seems to love the trope.
    • At the end of Diablo, the hero defeats the titular boss and jams its soulstone in his/her own forehead to contain it. This results in the hero becoming the new Big Bad in Diablo 2. This was later retconned in Diablo 2 by saying that said hero was more or less mindraped into doing so.
    • It's uncertain how long Tal Rasha held out containing Baal this way, but considering the Diablo 2 expansion, it's probably safe to say that anyone who fights demons succumbs to this in some degree.
      • And again in Diablo 3. Leah, niece of Deckard Cain starts off as a genuinely Lawful Good character. Then she finds out that her Mom is an evil witch, and her dad is the wanderer from Diablo 2. She becomes corrupted by the soulstone after capturing a few more demons in to it (thus becoming an even more powerful version of) Diablo herself.
    • In Starcraft, Kerrigan fights the Zerg during the Terran campaign but becomes one during the Zerg campaign. She gets better.
    • Similarly, Arthas and Illidan in Warcraft III. Note that in the cases of Kerrigan and Arthas, the trope is in that they become leaders of the factions that they opposed, not those that they first joined.
      • Sylvannas fights Arthas' undead right up to the point where she was killed and resurrected as a banshee.
    • A playable example: No, warlock. You are the demons.
  • This happens in Knights of the Old Republic, after The Reveal; always for Bastila and optionally for the player.
  • In the Possessed ending of Silent Hill 3 Heather becomes demon-possessed, and kills Douglas.
  • Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories's worst ending features this. In spades. To elaborate, if Adell has met the required conditions, Rozalin, the real Overlord Zenon, will inform you that you too are her enemy. If you are victorious, Zenon's evil will consume Adell's soul. His first act as the new God Of All Overlords? To devour his younger brother and sister, bones and all. Cue crunching sounds.
  • The good ending of Eversion turns your character into an Eldritch Abomination just like the princess you're out to save. The bad ending has you resisting this and getting eaten by the princess.
  • In La Pucelle, if you defeat certain powerful enemies in the Dark World/Netherworld (which requires a lot of Level Grinding), a band of demons will appear and declare Prier their new ruler... which Prier rejects out of annoyance after being teased by her teammates, and the game continues anyway, ignoring this interruption. However, if she continues on past that, becoming even stronger, she triggers a Nonstandard Game Over as the demons make her their new ruler for good and her friends abandon her. Prier being a demon queen is the Canon ending, as she puts in several appearances in the Disgaea series as "Demon Overlord Prier," a powerful optional character, as a half-demon with wings and a horn.
  • Possible example: In Quake IV, at a particular point that marks roughly the midpoint of the game, the protagonist is converted into a Strogg in all but allegiance. Were it not for a very well timed raid by the good guys, our hero would have crossed the point of no return, as he was almost the entire way through the conversion process by that point. He then became a Phlebotinum Rebel. Wanna see?
  • The Bydo love pulling this on humanity's heroes in the R-Type series.
    • It first happens in R-Type Delta, if the player is piloting the R-13 Cerebrus--that particular fighter proves incapable of escaping the final level, and the Bydo exact revenge by converting the ship and its pilot into a tree-like Bydo.
    • Then there's R-Type FINAL, in which one of the Multiple Endings leads to the player getting converted into a hybrid Bydo/human/R9-Series...thing...and is sent back to the first level of the game, fighting both the Bydo as well as its former comrades. (It's worth noting that at the start of the game, you can see your future Bydo self fly by at the very start of the level!)
    • R-Type Command also pulls this on an entire human fleet at the end of the Human campaign--in fact, the player's character in the subsequent Bydo campaign is the former human commander. In both the case of FINAL and Command, the player's characters have no idea that they're no longer human and can't understand why Earth's forces are out to get them.
  • In the end of Super Paper Mario, Luigi ends up as part of Dimentio's plan and pilots a giant robot before being cured by Mario. It was implied something might happen to Luigi a few minutes before that, though.
  • In Castlevania 64's Downer Ending, you get this on two levels; a side character, Vincent the vampire killer, becomes a vampire. Also, Carrie agrees to marry Malus (Dracula), to which he ominously notes that they have "a binding contract".
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: "EU SUNT DRACUL (I AM DRACUL)!"
    • If you unlock the true ending path of Aria of Sorrow, then upon defeating Grahm Jones, who has declared himself Dracula's reincarnation, Soma himself is revealed to actually be the reincarnation of Dracula. And if you get the bad ending, by losing to the True Final Boss, then he quite literally becomes the "second coming" of Dracula, in mind as well as ability.
  • In Gemcraft Chapter 0, the force you're trying to claim takes over, but it's a prequel and the truth was fairly obvious based on the events of the first game.
  • The ending of Fable: The Lost Chapters gives you the option of putting on Jack's mask, becoming his new host.
  • Both Baten Kaitos games use this, albeit in very different ways.
  • In the end of Resistance 2, Nathan Hale fully mutates into a chimera.
  • Happens in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, when the Prince puts on the mask and finds himself transformed into the Sand Wraith. This makes him not only a monster but a doomed monster, as he saw the Dahaka kill the Sand Wraith in the past. Fortunately, he is ultimately able to Screw Destiny and return to his normal self.
    • And played straight in Prince of Persia: Two Thrones, where the prince is partially turned into a sand monster, complete with Heroic Willpower and a light sprinkling with a Gollum Made Me Do It-voice, though that seems to be there more to be defied than blamed.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni. EP5. Battler, you may have forgot, but you were supposed to deny witches, not become one.
  • The worse endings of Bioshock have you becoming just as much of a monster as Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine.
    • Also done to a degree earlier. In order to complete the game it's necessary to be converted into a Big Daddy, the most dangerous and iconic enemies of Rapture.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has Wander gradually becoming less human, and ends with Wander becoming a new version of Dormin's body (which is what the Colossi originally are) himself. It fails, and he reverts to human form, but as a newborn with demon characteristics. It's heavily implied that he becomes the ancestor of the horned boys in Ico this way.
  • At the end of the second act of Marathon: RED (a Game Mod), the hero is mutated by The Virus, and his former allies turn against him for a stage, but he turns Phlebotinum Rebel.
  • In 6 Days a Sacrifice, the main character, Theo DaCabe, is turned into the mindless servant 'The New Prince' by Chzo after the old servant Cabadath tries to betray him, because Cabadath didn't want to be replaced.
  • The ending of the incredibly obscure computer game THE SCREAMER. (Yes, it really is in all caps like that.)
  • The ending of the original Condemned seems to imply that main character Ethan Thomas has become one of the demonic freaks causing all the chaos in the game. The sequel josses this, as Ethans winds up as a burned out alcoholic bum, and the demonic freaks are really just an ancient mystical cult.
  • At the end of Apocalypse, Bruce Willis's character is demonically possessed.
  • In the end of Alone in The Dark 2008, either Carnby or Sarah becomes a demon of Lucifer.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora impales himself with Riku's Dark Keyblade in order to free Kairi's heart, releasing her from her catatonic state. In the process, he becomes a Heartless and creates two Nobodies: Roxas (himself) and Naminé (Kairi). Of course, it doesn't stick, Kairi leads him back to the light, but in Kingdom Hearts II, you will occasionally turn into Anti-Sora when activating a Drive Form.
  • Halfway through the First-Person Shooter Area51, your character gets mutated; this is also a case of Phlebotinum Rebel.
    • The other Area51 (the Light Gun Game) has this on the Game Over screen, which also happens to be the Game Clear screen.
  • Happens at the end of God of War, as amusingly portrayed in this comic strip.
  • In the final installment of Xenosaga, one of the many antagonists, Dmitri Yuriev, tries to conquer his fear of God by becoming a god himself using the Zohar and Abel inside Omega Res Novae. It works, of course, but then his clone/son who is supposed to be dead, Albedo, pops up and takes it all away. Makes one wonder...
  • In Streets of Rage, the player is one of three ex-police officers finding themselves duty-bound to stop the assorted crimes of Mr. X, a powerful crime kingpin. In the final level, Mr. X offers to make you and your co-op partner into his right-hand men. If one player accepts and one refuses, Mr. X sits back and watches while you and your former partner solve the disagreement the only way they can. If the "heroic" player loses the fight, the remaining player goes on to fight Mr. X, and if successful...No, Axel, You Are The Crime Lord.
    • Possible again in the fan remake for any character, including Mr. Freakin' X. Paradox anyone?
  • Beyond Dark Castle: And then Prince Duncan was the Black Knight.
  • Dead Space Extraction: In the first chapter, you play as one of the soon-to-be necromorphs and unknowingly kill all your comrades.
    • Then at the end of the game one of the main characters turns into a necromorph too.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, it turns out that the Soul Reaver is in fact Raziel's soul, which was absorbed into the original blood stealing "Reaver" and driven insane from being trapped for hundreds of years. And that he is doomed to fulfill this fate over and over again at least until Kain creates a paradox and saves him... until Defiance when Raziel willingly becomes the Soul Reaver, purified of any corrupting influence. In true mind-breaking Legacy of Kain style, this is also Tomato in the Mirror. There's a Tomato in the Mirror because John became a zombie at the end.
  • At the end of Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare story, the main character returns from the dead as one of those zombies he has spend the whole game fighting (thankfully, due to some special circumstances, he turns out to be a sentient one). And the character's name? John Marston. The Achievement for completing the game directly quotes the Trope Namer.
  • Happens in the end of Throne of Darkness, to the Magnificent Seven Samurai. After defeating the Dark Warlord, their feudal lord reveals that he only wanted you to retrieve the immortality potion. He then drinks the potion, transforms into the next dark warlord, kills his own servants (the player's part) and brings them back as zombies.
  • In the Nonstandard Game Over of Metroid Prime 3, Samus is "terminally corrupted" and turns into Dark Samus.
  • In Oersted's chapter of Live a Live, he spends most of the chapter trying to vanquish the Demon King. Then, after everyone around him either dies, betrays him, or turns against him due to a really big misunderstanding, he decides to become the Demon King, thus setting the stage for the rest of the game.
  • This is the bad ending of The Breach. After the most recent update, it's the only ending.
  • In Portal 2, you spend the first half of the game with a robotic sphere named Wheatley trying to defeat GLaDOS. Guess what happens to Wheatley?
  • In the escape-the-room game Poco Escape, you wake up locked in a room that's sparse except for a few pictures of adorable little bears, which are naturally slightly creepy considering the circumstances. The ending heavily implies that you are actually the girl's teddy bear.
  • In the bad ending of the first Kid Icarus game, Pit is turned into a monster. Oddly, it's Palutena that does it to him. Maybe this is really supposed to be the joke ending?
  • The backstory of Byakuren Hijiri in Touhou 12 is this played sympathetically; originally a youkai-hunting priestess, Byakuren came to appreciate her youkai allies more than her human ones, and that combined with the fear of death drove her to transform herself into a youkai. Sanae recieves a warning that she who hunts youkai may become one, as well. In her profile, it's mentioned that Alice was a human who became a youkai to pursue power. In supplementary materials, Marisa is confirmed to experiment with methods of gaining immortality, but in one game she refuses to eat an immortal person's liver to get it. Reimu also has that option, and doesn't balk at the method so much as the idea of becoming anything remotely inhuman.
  • In The World Ends With You, after several days of battling Noise, Rhyme undergoes an Emergency Transformation and eventually manifests as one. Subverted slightly in that the transformation only serves to introduce her as a Living MacGuffin, rather than invoking any Internal Conflict Tropes on her part.
  • In Dungeons of Dredmor, the first 3 levels of Demonologist give you resistance to Righteous damage, and useful powers when fighting demons. Any further than that, and you lose all that resistance in exchange for more versatile moves. What's the name of the penultimate level, giving you a chance to transform in to a literal combat monster? 'No, you are the demons'.
  • Happens in Metal Slug 2/X and 3, with MS2/X setting the players against mummies, and MS3 being the literal trope. The clones of your abducted comrade? They join in on the fun, too!
  • Happens in one of Kichikuou Rance's endings, where Rance, depressed either for Sill's death or absence (if the player is taking too long in rescuing her) finally gives in to Satera's suggestions of becoming the Demon King, committing immediately after a Moral Event Horizon cruelly killing poor Miki, who, crushed by the betrayal, lets herself be hacked during hours, since she's that tough. Then he becomes a powerful Demon King, who crushes without trouble the human nations, with Satera at his side.
  • Played for laughs in the Hidden Object Game Sinister City. In the end, Count Orlok becomes the star of a movie in which he plays a vampire. Scenes from the film shoot are shown during the game's credits. John, the protagonist, plays a victim of the vampire in one shot with Orlok ready to bite him. Orlok bites him for real and the director calls for an ambulance. The last shot is John as a vampire.


Web Original Edit

  • A skit from Those Aren't Muskets featured on Cracked, "Dealing with the Guy who's Clearly Hiding a Zombie Bite" ended as more and more members of the group revealed that they'd also been bitten by zombies, until the couple who hadn't been agreed to be bitten so as not to be left out. Of course as it turned out the original guy had also been bitten by a vampire and a werewolf. In the end, we had a group of three zombies, a werezompyre and a mummy werezompyre that also happens to be a criminally insane android with holographic legs and a webshow. Michael Swaim can officially give Cyborg Pirate Ninja Jesus a run for his money.
  • The Red vs. Blue: The Recollection trilogy drops several hints that the Meta, a shell of a man now playing host to a group of rogue A Is, was once a Recovery Agent dispatched to collect stray AIs from the field. This made explicit when he is seen in "Past" time in season 9.

  Washington: Church, you are the Alpha.


Western Animation Edit

  • Family Guy's parody of Lost - "We are the island!"
  • Finn and Jake of Adventure Time are both turned by the end of "Trouble in Lumpy Space". They got better.
    • Also in the Adventure Time episode "Mortal Folly/Mortal Recoil" Princess Bubblegum sends Finn and Jake to fight the Lich. In the end Bubblegum is turned into the Lich's vessel.
  • Parodied in Invader Zim in the episode "Balonius Maximus" in which the title character and Dib transform into bologna. The DVD Commentary hangs a lampshade on this.