Group mind (science fiction)

Group mind (science fiction)

A group mind, hive mind or group ego in science fiction is a single consciousness occupying many bodies. Its use in literature goes back at least as far as Olaf Stapledon's science fiction novel Last and First Men (1930).[1] A group mind might be formed by telepathy, by adding brain-to-brain communication to ordinary individuals, or by some unspecified means. This term may be used interchangeably with "hive mind". A hive mind is a group mind with almost complete loss (or lack) of individual identity; most fictional group minds are hives. The concept of the group or hive mind is an intelligent version of real-life superorganisms such as ant or bee nests, and consequently, insectoid aliens such as Zerg often have such a mind.


List of hive minds

Hive minds are group minds with (almost) complete loss (or lack) of individuality, identity, and personhood. The individuals forming the hive may specialize in different functions, similarly to social insects.[citation needed]





  • The Akatsuki leader Pain in the manga Naruto has six bodies that share the same mind. (All six are revealed to be merely animated corpses that Pain controls from a distance in his real body which is crippled.)




  • The Anti-Spirals in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are a group mind, having foregone their individuality to stop evolution. The final battle of the series is against a being representing their collective minds;
  • The Invid race in Robotech;
  • The Lilim, the whole mankind in the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Television series


Role Playing Games

Video Games

  • The Aparoids in Star Fox: Assault;
  • The Beast in Homeworld: Cataclysm;
  • The C-Consciousness (О-Сознание in Russian) in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl;
  • The cyborg army of CABAL in the Firestorm expansion pack to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun;
  • The Dark People in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall;
  • The Destroyers in Guild Wars: Eye of the North;
  • The Flood parasite in Halo Series kills and revives victims, stripping needed information from the brain. Controlled by the Gravemind "compound mind";
  • The Hive Mind and Necromorphs in Dead Space;
  • The Kharaa (alien species) in Natural Selection;
  • The Klackon in the Master of Orion series;
  • The Lambent in the Gears of War (series);
  • The Many in System Shock 2;
  • The Orz in Star Control 2;
  • The Overmind in the first-person shooter Tremulous;
  • The Rachni in Mass Effect;
  • The Shibito in the Siren series;
  • The Tuurngait in the Penumbra game series;
  • The Uhlek race in StarFlight;
  • The War Wasps in Metroid Prime culminate in a gigantic hive mind called the Hive Mecha in an attempt to prevent Samus Aran from receiving the Missile Launcher upgrade;
    • The X-Parasite organisms, in Metroid Fusion of the Metroid series, kill and revive their living victims to turn them into zombies;
  • The Zoni in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.
  • The Collectors in Mass Effect 2 seem to have no consciousness of their own, but are in fact all under the control of a single entity called harbinger, a Reaper


  • The Bohrok in the LEGO Bionicle saga are controlled by Krana, which link up in a hive mind;
  • The Kilik an insectoid species from the Star Wars EU (Expanded Universe);
  • The Overmind is the hive-mind leader of Zerg swarm in Starcraft series;
  • The Pokémon Exeggcute is made up of multiple eggs that have a hive mind, controlled by the largest egg;
  • The Primes in Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained;
  • The Rat King in The Ballad of Halo Jones and in Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents;
  • The slivers in Magic: The Gathering storyline. They appear first on Rath but are seen again under the battle of Otaria, and once more during the temporal chaos of Time Spiral
    • Slivers take the hive mind idea a step further: instead of sharing just a consciousness, they also share physical attributes, such as breathing fire, regenerating, growing wings, or an extra claw. They gain these attributes by being in close proximity to another;
  • The Tachyons in Godzilla: The Series;
  • The Tyranid race in Warhammer 40,000;
  • The Xar-Ggothua in Xombie not only share thoughts with each other, but each one can be reborn into a new Xar or even a group of three by the Xin-Jithoth. It is assumed this can also be done to their "cousins", the Xi-Thyndri and the Xth Nthogg;
  • The Zerg in the StarCraft series, one of the three factions in the game, are insectoids that have been genetically modified to serve under command of the Zerg Overmind.

Unnamed hive minds occur in:

List of non-hive group minds

A group mind that is not a hive either lets individuals retain some individuality, or can itself split back up into functional individuals at need. The dividing line is blurry; some Star Trek Borg, such as Seven of Nine, have been split from the collective.

  • The Advent in Sins of a Solar Empire A subspecies of humans that is in constant mental contact with one another.
  • The hyper-evolved Arisians of "Doc" Smith's Lensman series can form multi-mind fusions, as can highly-trained Lensmen.
  • The Founders (Changelings) in Star Trek are individuals, but form a group mind while connected in the Great Link.
  • The Omar in Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • The Mind Whisper project in Dollhouse
  • A group of telepathic child prodigies in Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human.
  • The Conjoiners in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space, Chasm City, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and short stories. They retain their identities, but communicate via implants and act as a group.
  • The Edenists in Peter F. Hamilton's 'The Night's Dawn Trilogy' remain individuals, but rely on telepathic empathy for emotional support, personal stability, and colony-wide referendums on major decisions.
  • The "Fold", a wireless network of nanites infecting humans and superhumans in "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2", altering the mind of the infected, leaving personality intact while changing all goals and desires to match those of the fold, with the infected not realizing it.
  • The Geth in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2although 'individual Geth' not in near other Geth will be feral rather than sentient.
  • Gaia and Galaxia in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series
  • Kithkin from Wizards of the coasts card game Magic the Gathering. They have their identities intact but are linked by Thoughtweft, which binds their feelings.
  • The Little People of Robert A. Heinlein's Methuselah's Children; the individual memories of the original bodies are retained.
  • The Martians of A Miracle of Science use brain-to-brain FTL communication; they do not lose their individuality despite being members of the group mind.
  • The Strangers in the film Dark City, a group of aliens who experiment on humans in search for their soul. Although each Stranger seems to be an individual, they can combine their psychokinetic powers to work the city-wide Machine, have a hive memory set and have a library of human memories which their doctor can combine to create a new memory. The goal of the Strangers is to obtain human individuality.
  • The Pods in Singularity's Ring by Paul Melko consist of up to five people each contributing their individual capabilities and strengths.
  • Humanity is approaching Unity with the existing galactic group mind in Julian May's Galactic Milieu series. 'Operant' humans are also able to form smaller, temporary group minds, called metaconcerts with other operants.
  • All of humanity at the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, after being reduced to LCL.
  • All of humanity in the last episode of Serial Experiments Lain, after everyone is subconsciously connected to each other through an advanced, global, wireless version of the internet.
  • The Pokémon Doduo, Dodrio, and Exeggutor.
  • Evroniani from the Disney comic series PKNA.
  • The Franklin Collective from Accelerando by Charles Stross.
  • Las Plagas, and, by extension, the Ganados, from Resident Evil 4.
  • The Unity in Hosts by F. Paul Wilson; newly infected members can occasionally break free of the group mind and think for themselves, but are eventually overpowered completely.
  • The infected in the video game Prototype.
  • The inhabitants of Camazotz, from Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle In Time'
  • [to some extent] The Human Beings, according to Nature's Semi-consciousness/on going auto-learning process in Nature is seeing a shrink by Lucas Monaco Toledo
  • The underground (Also referred to as "The Joined") in The Light of Other Days uses Brain-computer interfaces and wormhole communication.
  • The leader of the Individual Eleven, Kuze, in the anime Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG communicates with war refugees through their cybernetic implants. By constantly transmitting all his thoughts and feelings to the refugees through "the Network", Kuze becomes their friend, comrade and leader in their fight to establish a new state. The only difference from a mastermind is that he lets everyone decide, whether to follow his lead or not.
  • The Cyberbrains of every cyborg in Ghost in the Shell, revealed even more so in Solid State Society, when Koshiki revealed that every cyborg shared the same consciousness.
  • The Transcendence in Transcendent by Stephen Baxter
  • The Keymasters in Spectrum by Sergey Lukyanenko
  • The Fleetmind, or Petey, in Schlock Mercenary
  • The Strogg from Quake 2 and Quake 4.
  • The Protoss in the StarCraft series share a loose collective consciousness through a mental practice called the Khala. However, they still maintain their individuality.
  • The Virindi, a race/species in the PC game Asheron's Call, are floating, invisible entities that wear physical hooded shrouds (mostly tattered shrouds, but some forms of Virindi wear what looks like armor), white masks (think Vega from Street Fighter II) that have glowing purple eye holes (some have red pupils) and sometimes have twisted smiles on masks. They fight using magic crop sickles. They are of a singular mind which calls itself "The Singularity". The Virindi speak only in the plural (i.e.: us, we, our, etc...) when talking about themselves. Some "individuals" have broken free of The Singularity, and are of their own individual consciousness.
  • The Zilart in Final Fantasy XI, an ancient race connected by a kind of mental link they call the Whisper of Souls. Some are born without this link and are fearfully enslaved and forced to wear an amulet that artificially connects them to the Whisper.
  • The Vortigaunts in the Half-Life series share a telepathic communal link.
  • The Stepford Cuckoos from the X-Men comics share a group mind that can split up into its parts.
  • The Agents from the The Matrix series.
  • The Asurans from Stargate Atlantis: Although their leadership can use the collective to reprogram deviant thoughts, they possess individual personalities beyond this, and can use it to transfer their consciousness to new bodies after their old ones are destroyed.
  • The Babies from A Cage of Butterflies.
  • The Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.
  • The replica soldiers from F.E.A.R. universe are controlled by Telepathic commander.
  • The Hypotheticals in Robert Charles Wilson's novel Spin, a highly advanced, billions-years-old galaxy spanning benevolent collective of Von Neumann machines.
  • The Taelons of the TV series Earth: Final Conflict are connected to each other through the Commonality.
  • The residents of the town of Santaroga in Frank Herbert's The Santaroga Barrier.
  • The Sylvari race in Guild Wars 2 share a common Dream of Dreams, through which they learn basic understanding of the world.
  • The "warewolves" in the Twilight Series are able to share thoughts among their own pack. Alpha wolves can also share thoughts with each other, but must think directly at each other.
  • In David Alexander Smith's trilogy of science fiction books, starting with Marathon,[2] the Cygnan species is revealed in the second book Rendezvous as capable of entering a trance-like state of consciousness with other members of their social unit called a djan. During this time the djan mind becomes aware and is capable of thought, caused by pheromones exchanged amongst the djan. The individual Cygnans come away with increased bonding and unconscious affections, but have no cognitive recollection of the experience.
  • The telepathic Hydrans of Joan Vinge's Psion and Dreamfall. These vary; the ones in Psion seem more like a continuous fluid consciousness, but described as unusual due to hard circumstances, while the ones in Dreamfall are more recognizably human individuals typically in at least light mental contact with each other.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Smith, D. Alexander (1982). Marathon. Ace. pp. 250. ISBN 0-441-51943-1. 

External links

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