This wiki is a XML full dump clone of "Heroes Wiki", the main wiki about the Heroes saga that has been shut down permanently since June 1, 2020. The purpose of this wiki is to keep online an exhaustive and accurate database about the franchise.

Talk:Shape shifting

From Heroes Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ability Naming Conventions
The following sources are used for determining evolved human ability names, in order:
2. Near-canon Sources Webisodes,
Graphic Novels,
Heroes Evolutions
3. Secondary Sources Episode commentary,
Heroes: Survival
4. Common names for abilities Names from other works
5. Descriptions of abilities Descriptions
6. Possessor's name If no non-speculative
description is possible

Note: The highlighted row represents the level of the source used to determine shape shifting's name.
Both Sylar and Danko refer to James Martin as a "shape shifter" in Into Asylum.


  • The ability naming is pretty clear and canon, however, should it be written as shape shifting or shapeshifting?--Ikkian 22:11, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
    • I've added a redirect from shapeshifting to this page, if we do decide it to be one word, this page can be redirected to the other later. I, personally, have no preference one way or the other. Dracomaster4 22:37, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
      • Neither do I, although I do have a soft spot for shapeshifting since it looks nicer to me.--Ikkian 22:38, 30 March 2009 (EDT)

I prefer shape shifting. It sounds more professional to me.--ERROR 18:21, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Physical Contact?

  • Is it needed? I assumed he just ran into that cleaning guy accidentaly.. Not that he purposely did so.. --Peter 22:15, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
    • Nah, they made the handshaking clear, which was also the case with Danko.--Ikkian 22:16, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
      • There was also a "wooshing" noise when the guy came into contact with the janitor. -Sincerely, Thrashmeister » talk- 22:27, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
        • He morphed into Sylar, but there was no indication they ever touched. --Ted C 11:01, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
          • He probably did touch Sylar, but it wasn't on-screen because it would make his death too obvious.--Spexile 16:48, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
            • I really doubt he could get away with touching Sylar without being caught, and I do think that Sylar was trying to catch him. --Ted C 15:47, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
              • Although, now that I've thought about it a bit more, Sylar might well have set up the whole situation, including giving Martin the opportunity to touch him so he could become a copy. The guy's so damned devious, you never know what he's gonna do. --Ted C 15:50, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Difference To Illusion

This is gonna be a big argument, so I'll start it off. How is this ability different to Candice's shape shifting ability? Should they both be merged into one article or kept separately? --OprahDust 22:17, 30 March 2009 (EDT)

  • I say different because shapeshifting effects only the bearer of the ability (as far as we know). Also, Candice/Michelle/Betty could "summon" illusions easily whereas shapeshifting seems to requiere more energy and time.--Ikkian 22:18, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
    • Yes, the teacher needed to take off his coat in order to look like the janitor at the parking garage. Whereas Candice could have just made herself practically invisible. Dracomaster4 22:20, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
1) It only changes the user using it, not produce objects that aren't there ect 2) It requires physical contact with the object the user wishes to change into. 3) With Illusion the person is still the same person underneath (eg. Candice was overweight) however it is unknown if with this ability this is not true (aka taking the form of a physically more able or less able person means the user's physical ability becomes that of the person that have became. 4) Illusion stops after death this doesn't stop after death. The Light6 22:22, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
  • I believe Candice's ability is really just manipulating light and/or altering the mental perspective of others whilst shape shifting is self explanatory: the user is able to alter his/her body structure as well as appearance. --Formless 22:23, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
    • Absolutely, the "illusion" is only in the eyes of the others, the person does not change. This is very clear with Betty who wanted to be seen as a pretty girl... --Juba 07:23, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
  • Its the same as Age Shifting. That could also be seen as illusion. The diferences are small but there are clear distinctions. Such as: Shape Shifting requires physical contant whereas Ilusion didn't. --Peter 22:48, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
  • Hold on... hold on. Were none of you paying attention?! Illusion is simply that, making people see what you want them to see. Shapeshifting (as seen in the show) is a complete rearrangement of your physical appearance, physically. Watch James and Sylar when the shapeshift. Painful for both of them because their bodies molecules are literally shifting to change the appearance. That's why James didn't change back, he had literally become Sylar.

As to the discussion I saw on here about Sylar shapeshifting, and losing his other abilities while shifted, why would he? His bodie changes, and the brain remains the same. It's been established that the brain is what controls the powers, and where they honestly lie. Angielynne - talk to me... 10:42, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

    • We've all been saying, actually.--Ikkian 11:37, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

~~ yeah this ability is poopoo i mean come on candices ability would be a lot better to see sylar have

  • Aside from the fact that illusion extends beyond one's body/clothes (ie - to the room beyond) and shapeshifting doesn't, we have a clearcut example of a difference in the same situation. When Candice died, she reverted to her natural form in the eyes of whomever was beholding her. James Martin still looked like Sylar after he died. --Stevehim 15:16, 30 April 2009 (EDT)

Hes got style,Hes got grace, Hes a lady...

Sorry to be blunt...But seeing as this is shapeshifting...what happened "down stairs"?--Drwho113

  • He became a lady, then morphed back to a man. You don't think this ability changes face only, do you? --Altes 05:04, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
  • No, just think it would be very, very painful :P---Drwho113
  • Glad to see I want the only one thinking it :D---Drwho113
  • The quality of conversations around here has really gone down. --Hero!(talk)(contribs) 21:56, 2 April 2009 (EDT)

Face morph only

Can Sylar only morph his face bones/muscles/skin/hair ? I mean, they couldn't cut the woman's boobs if the change is face only. It should be noted that the voice is also changed, meaning a deep transformation. I wonder if the cells are manipulated to the DNA or if they are just moved around to for a different structure. -- Signyour Poste

Perhaps James Martin needs physical contact for people very different to himself (old or different heights). Sylar was about his height and build, maybe it was easier. - Discipol

What about height? Imagine Sylar pretending to be a woman who is in fact 5 feet tall. How tall is Zachary Quinto? That's just the thing. If he remains tall while the person he is disguised as is short... It's no disguise at all. --Altes 13:11, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

Well, when Sylar shifted into Micah, he also shifted to his height--which is considerably different from his normal one--and, therefore, was capable of fooling Danko's agents. So apparently, his shape shifting alters size, somehow. The change is apparently full. His body changes to match Micah's in all aspects, even age and height. Even his clothes changed to match his.

These posts aren't really related, are they?--ERROR 11:07, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

"The same way he acquired Electric manipulation"

I was under the assumption Sylar just studied the brain from out of the back of head, judging by the way he took electric manipulation it takes a long time to copy powers that way (also Sylar had prior history with Elle). And it seemed to make the same noise that it normally makes when he takes a brain (it cold have been the music before they cut to commercial). I could be wrong, but if I am it seems Sylar has perfected his empathy--Sylar Fan09 16:09, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

  • I was under the impression he did the same thing he did to this dude in the Untold stories. He got the brain through his mouth because his skin withstood his TK. In this case, Danko didn't want him to leave an incision on his head, so Sylar took it from the mouth, leaving no marks. -- Psilaq R.- \m/ -_- \m/- 18:15, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
    • Yeah just read that on here :) The only reason I said it was from the back of the head was because at the end they show "Sylar" with a piece of metal back there to show he was really dead. There is no way to stop the real Sylar from getting the brain from the mouth or back of the head.--Sylar Fan09 18:47, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

Hasn't it been confirmed that he used his empathy in an interview? (Although it's not actually empathy in my mind...)--ERROR 18:19, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Main Image

Does anyone find the image scarily disturbing? --IronyUTC CH 15:34, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

  • I do. That is one freaky-looking chick-dude-thing. lol --Skullman1392 01:22, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
  • i think he looks like Volermont from Harry Potter i know i spelled that wrong can some one correct me please--Skyeatsout 23:57, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
  • You think someone could get a moving Picture of Sylar using the power?--Skyeatsout 14:01, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
    • Moving images don't move in articles. I do however, think that we could use a Danko to Sylar image as the main one. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 20:38, 7 April 2009 (EDT)
      • I agree with Intuitive Empath. We should use this one. It looks better than the one we have now.-- Catalyst · Talk · HL 20:04, 24 April 2009 (EDT)

Somebody going to change it already? I don't know how to.--ERROR 18:20, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Does shape shifting change the attire?

Hi there,

just want to ask, does shape shifting change the clothes, shoes, etc of what the shapeshifter is wearing to that of the person impersonated? or can the shapeshifter choose to do so?

maybe that should be included in the article as well.


Geek God 22:57, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

  • I'm almost positive they don't change... I'd have to double check.--Skullman1392 23:10, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
    • My understanding is they don't, because James Martin had several costumes in his closet, and Sylar remained in the outfit after he changed from the woman.--Bob (talk) 17:31, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
      • Sylar was shift his outfit when he was transforming into his mom, Micah, and Nathan. --Gibbeynator 08:06, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
  • Some may find it interesting that there is an ability to morph one's clothing, called outfit morphing which may be a separate power that compliments shape shifting. It's just hard to believe that Sylar could just learn how to morph his clothes considering he needs a person's dna to biologically become them. Does he need to touch certain clothes to get the 'clothing dna'? The fact that there is an ability that specifically accomplishes clothing morphing implies that the possibility is there that he is using it as a separate power. I know Peter changed his clothes too, and I chock that up to storytelling convenience. --Ego 18:58, 4 May 2009 (EDT)
    • BTE already confirmed that it is part of shape shifting, but against their wishes, people who worked in the making of An Invisible Thread pushed that into the power, see the latest BTE interview, link's at the main page. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:59, 4 May 2009 (EDT)
      • Really? That's lame. So now we have a strange, unexplainable ability extension that makes no sense when compared to the biological description of shape shifting. --Ego 00:10, 5 May 2009 (EDT)

It actually DOES make sense, Ego. Shape shifting is the ability to change your appearance to match another's, and your outfit counts as part of your appearance, even if it isn't a part of your body.--ERROR 20:14, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

Different Transformations

Does anybody think it is possible for the user of this ability to turn into an animal?--Catalyst

Well, Intuitive Empath and Catalyst, if you think about it, when shape shifters shape shift, they mimic the animal known as a human. So it isn't a stretch for shape shifters to be able to turn into other animals. Also, Intuitive Empath, what are you worried about? Animal mimicry isn't a confirmed ability.--ERROR 18:17, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

    • He's still shifts into something of the same species as him, he can change into whoever he wants, I just don't want him going through different species. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 19:52, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Ah. I see.

Well, I don't have any views either way, just as long as Sylar doesn't shape shift into a giant bug or something.--ERROR 20:16, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

I think it is possible for somebody with shape shifting to turn into an animal, all animals come in different shapes(I know I'm repeating myself): I found it strange how Sylar did not use Puppet master or telekinesis to control Peter and Nathan.[50000JH 14:32, 14 January 2010 (EST)|]

I'm sorry, how does that last part relate to shape shifting? Also, Sylar doesn't have puppetry. Now that we're beyond that ironic statement, it does indeed make sense for a shape shifter to be able to turn into a nonhuman animal. But like I said, I don't have any views on the actual possibility of nonhuman shape shifting.--ERROR 19:49, 27 January 2010 (EST)

Peter (Exposed Future) was a Shape Shifter?

  • I strongly believe that Future Peter was a shape shifter! In that scene when he sends Matt to Africa in the episode (3x01), after he left that storage closet he morphed into his younger self. I believe it was not an illusion, but Shape shifting, I also strongly agree that he absorbed it from Future Sylar. here take a look below:

Future Peter shape shifting CLICK ON THIS LINK
Do you guys agree or what do you guys think about this. -- DARK 15:36, 21 April 2009 (EDT)

I still think it's illusion, when Sylar shape shifts, the change is never smooth, it's like he's "melting" his face and when it becomes solid again he's someone else. Difference in effects makes me think it's still illusion. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:00, 21 April 2009 (EDT)

  • Agreed --Skullman1392 19:36, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
    • At first, it seemed to hurt Sylar to shapeshift, but now it doesn't appears to. I bet Peter just got very good at it.--Ikkian 19:57, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
  • I agree that Future Peter had Shape-shifting. It wasn't like an illusion and it did look similar to how Sylar changes. He also changes clothes like Sylar does now. I'm sure it wasn't an illusion. It was nothing like Candice. --Powermimic 22:26, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
    • It looked exactly the same as Sylar changing from Nathan in 5YG --Autre31415 07:25, 22 April 2009
      • Yeah, I mean, look at how smooth the change is, his skin doesn't become blumpy like Sylar's does when he changes. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 11:41, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
        • It also leads me to believe that the eerie "Skin Tearing" Sound effect was used so people wouldn't mistake the two things. Another detail I like to note is how would one Shape-Shift to an older appearance? In order to change into another person you would need a DNA sample, but DNA doesn't mean you change to the same age of DNA. For all we know Sylar could accidentally Shape-Shift into either an old-man version of someone or a kid. So the ability to go from Older Scarred Peter to Younger Peter seems to mess with the actual nature of the ability. --Autre31415 13:41, 22 April 2009 [EDT]
          • I strongly believe it WAS illusion. There were absolutely no lumps and DID look like Candice's power. Oh and can upload that animation above, or is it already uploaded?-- Catalyst · Talk · HL 01:59, 23 April 2009 (EDT)
            • Good point about shifting one's age. DNA is the same, it's unlikely Peter could use shape shifting to make himself look older or younger. Besides, it's only now that the writers decided to break the "no clothes morphing" rule. Green.gif AltesUTC CH
  • Sounds like a great BTE questions to ask! (if worded right haha)--OutbackZack 03:04, 23 April 2009 (EDT)
    • Don't, I highly doubt that they'll pick a question about such an old topic, and if they do, it'll be a wasted question, it has happened twice in this volume, about Peter's new ability, when I read repeated questions, I want to hit people who sent them in the head. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 13:56, 24 April 2009 (EDT)
      • No, they probably would use that questions with the recent introduction of shape shifting ability. At the end of volume 3 I sent in a question about a few pictures of characters we never saw again, and they answered that one. --OutbackZack 18:38, 24 April 2009 (EDT)
        • Still think it's a wasted question, he clearly didn't get the lumps Sylar gets, it's a different effect, similar, but different enough to tell them apart. Also, the sound cues are different. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:52, 24 April 2009 (EDT)
          • I don't think it is. There's been more than one case where the same power held by two different people has been demonstrated in different ways. If it would settle this debate that would surely come up a couple of more times then it's no a wasted question, and that's if they were to use it anyways. --OutbackZack 20:22, 24 April 2009 (EDT)
            • Regardless if that is the complicated case, it is still a waste of a question due to the fact it doesn't matter now, it happened during a future that is not so probable as it used to be, and the only possibility I could imagine of him having that ability is when he took it from Sylar. --Autre31415 22:16, April 27 2009 [EDT]

It is obvious that Peter was creating an illusion - Logical Reasoning: shape shifters do not have to change back, so if peter had removed his scar using a changing of the tissue, then he would not have wasted the energy to recreate the scar, whereas if it were only an illusion, then of course he would not waste energy holding an illusion covering the scar for the sake of vainity.

Something to Think About

OK so if there were two shape shifters facing each other like Peter and Sylar were in the President's car and one shapeshifter touched the other person when they were someone else would the first shapeshifter be able to turn into the person that the second shifter had shifted into or would they turn into the original shifters look? If it's too confusing then contact me. Crazytom112 14:28, 5 May 2009 (EDT)

  • I think that the first shape shifter would be able to shift into the second one, and also be able to shift into whoever the second shape shifter can shift into, and vice versa. But I think that if either of them were shape shifted, then they couldn't get any "morphs" from each other. Thoughts?--ERROR 20:11, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
  • Since we saw the outcome of that situation, is there really any question? From the article: "After Peter acquired this ability, he used it to change into the President in order to capture Sylar. When Sylar grabbed his hand, he wasn't able to get a DNA sample. This caused Sylar to constantly change appearances until Peter injected him with a tranquilizer. Like Sylar, Peter has also shown that he can transform in a few seconds and his clothes change as well." --ElleFanBoy 15:50, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

Yes, which is why I believe my theory to be true. The only part that we don't really know to be true is whether or not Peter got any "morphs" from Sylar or not. If he didn't, then my theory is a theorem. If he did, then my theory is MOSTLY true, but not quite.--ERROR 11:00, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

I got this season on DVD and I watched that scene. Sylar did get a DNA sample from Peter, he clearly morphs into Peter a couple of times during that part (you can even see the blood on Peter's head on the shapeshifted version) but I think either the fact that Peter had shapeshifting was blocking him from fully turning into him or he kept trying to shift into the President and failed so he just shifted back confused.--WarGrowlmon18 23:48, 2 September 2009 (EDT)

Well, that proves my theory wrong, at least the last sentence of it. Also, that's a fine point. Finally, as I said before, we still have yet to solve the issue of whether or not Peter got any "morphs" from Sylar, and there's really no evidence either way with that.--ERROR 19:53, 27 January 2010 (EST)

Lead Image

IMHO this pic describes the ability better than the one we have now. No? -- Altes 09:35, 3 July 2009 (EDT)

same voice different body

Did anyone else notice in An Invisible Thread, when Nathan walked into his office and Sylar was already there, that when Sylar talked, it was his voice, but he was shifted as Nathan?--Catalyst · Talk · HL 18:14, 14 September 2009 (EDT)

  • That was episode I Am Sylar and i think it's an error they made, it was his voice but only when he stood between the doorway, other then that he had nathan's voice -- (WaterRatj) 03:23, 20 October 2009 (EDT)


I keep seeing this around the wiki. Why do people think Sylar took this ability empathetically? He was going to cut his head open, but Danko asked him not to. So Sylar used intuitive aptitude without having to cut open his brain. (This is why James Martin was screaming, he knew he would get hurt or die...also he used IA in Once upon a time in texas to help charlie) He did not use empathy to get this power.--Catalyst · Talk · HL 09:00, 23 November 2009 (EST)

  • BTE says otherwise. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 10:46, 23 November 2009 (EST)
    • Seriously?--Catalyst · Talk · HL 10:47, 23 November 2009 (EST)
      • Yeah, something about empathy not needing to be something good, just getting James Martin's "I want to be other people". Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 10:51, 23 November 2009 (EST)
        • Ultimately, we don't know how Sylar got this power. Both theories are solid and sound. Since we never saw it onscreen, and since we've never been given any direct information about how he received this power, we should not assume the method Sylar used to gain the ability, one way or another. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 11:00, 23 November 2009 (EST)
          • Isn't this the same topic as The same way he acquired EM? Anywho, I believe it was established Sylar did get this ability through his version of empathy, but doesn't that route require an emotional connection that can't be forced? Sylar got Elle's because they connected and then she taught him how to use it, but I doubt James would allow that, and at first Slyar's shapeshifting was a bit slow. It's obvious why Danko didn't want Martin to look wounded but why James was screaming before the commercial break is anybody's guess. On a different note, when Noah had what looked like Sylar's body examined the DNA came up as a match to James Martin, yet when Sylar spit out that extra tooth he said it was because he's changed his DNA so often. So if the DNA doesn't change when he shifts why would he get an extra tooth? --Inblackestnight 21:49, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

Self Changes

So far we have only seen him change into people he's touched, but could he potentially change however he wanted, like change his eye colour to yellow or maybe making himself taller or smaller, because if not its more like body replication than shape shifting. --Melkor111 11:23, 13 March 2010 (EST)

  • Well he supposedly needs a DNA sample before he can shift doesn't he? In that sense, you're right, although of course, Shape Shifting is it's name due to the numerous explicit mentions to shape-shifters, but in the strictest sense of things, it is a bit of a broad term.--Evil Maldini 11:55, 13 March 2010 (EST)
    • The ability does allow that kind of thing. Josh Davis was able to do that. I think he made himself have a six-pack at some point. --mc_hammark 11:56, 13 March 2010 (EST)
    • He was able to shift his "sweet spot" around without a DNA sample. I think he just needs a sample in order to shift more accurately.--PJDEP - Talk - Polls and Opinions 21:39, 13 March 2010 (EST)

Key to eternal youth?

This has just occurred to me... If shape shifting indeed works by changing the body of the shifter, which we by now know quite well it does, I suppose it may be a mean of remaining forever young, thus cheating age.
The shifter only needs to find someone young, take his/her form, then live until a ripe old age. Then, he/she finds a young person to impersonate again... rinse and repeat.
Also, if, like Sylar seems to do, shape shifters can change their body as they ever wish, they can just "revert" to their younger self.
If this is true, then it's not only regenerators who can avoid a death from old age...--DrIstvaan 11:15, 13 April 2010 (EDT)

Fake Mohinder

Should we really add information about a shape-shifter according to an accusation. I mean, yes that video was probably fake, but it could be done with the help of other powers. Quentin just said a shape-shifter, but it could be someone with illusion ability, or maybe some kind of technological ability which would help them to create a fake video. Maybe Micah's ability or Hachiro's ?--Sekobro (talk) 10:54, 13 November 2015 (EST)

  • Perhaps it's one of those other things ... but until we know, we use the information we are given. Quentin's statement (and Erica's non-denial) is the best (and only) information we have, so we go with that. If we find out more, we change it to update what we know. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 21:36, 13 November 2015 (EST)