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Examples of Corrupted Gems from the original Crystal Gems.

Corruption is an type of body-altering condition known strictly to effect Gems. Many examples of Corrupted Gems, or called "Gem Monsters", are constantly shown throughout the series, and the main reason by the Crystal Gems' missions on Earth. Most Corrupted Gems captured by said Gems are bubbled in the Crystal Temple, but those that are were taken away to the White Diamond Space Station by White Diamond's soldiers, in order to remove any evidence of their existence, until the ship crash landed back on Earth. All of the known Corrupted Gems are currently healed.

Cause

The exact cause and process that occurs when Gems become corrupted is currently rather vague in details, though there are some evidence aiming the process of Corruption as a punishment by The Diamond Authority, as indicated with Diopside's corruption.

While low-form corruption is currently unknown, there was a method to Corrupt a high population of Gems, used to signify the end of the Gem War.

Equestrian Magic is also known to trigger Corruption, as shown when Sombra corrupted Steven, though this is a minor case, as Steven slowly recovered his memories overtime and has mostly effected the body.

Effects

Steven Universe after becoming temporarily corrupted by Sombra.

When a Gem becomes corrupted, their entire body alters and morphs from its original form, and can make a corrupted gem appear drastically different from what a Gem type is supposed to be. More often than not, a Corrupted Gem can vaguely resemble an Earth animal, or look something completely alien. All evidence of their humanoid shape more often than not becomes non-existent.

On a mental level, Corrupted Gems are rather various: some Gems becoming skittish and flighty while others become highly aggressive and territorial towards other members of their kind, specifically those not corrupted. Most Gems usually turn feral after fully succumbing to Corruption, and often lose all memory of their past selves.

After a known true Corrupted Gem is healed, they still hold remnants of their corrupted form on their bodies, often in the form of small alterations depending on the type of gem.

Cure

It is currently unknown if there is an official for Corruption as of yet. It is possible for Jade and Flint to cure corrupted Gems once fused into Nephrite. Flint stated that if Nephrite failed once in their attempt to heal a Corrupted them, they can't try again, though this is revealed to be more of an excuse.

Prior to My Little Universe II, The only Gems known to be cured of corruption are Steven Universe and Diopside, both cured by Nephrite.

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