Powered Armor

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Fast. Bulletproof. Sleek. And even solved the icing problem.
"A suit isn't a space suit - although it can serve as one. It is not primarily armor - although the Knights of the Round Table were not armored as well as we are... A suit is not a ship but it can fly, a little - on the other hand neither spaceships nor atmosphere craft can fight against a man in a suit except by saturation bombing of the area he is in."

The Knight in Shining Armor's fashionable protective wear does well enough against swords and arrows, but what do you do when one has to face bullets, missiles, and Death Rays - or worse, Big Creepy-Crawlies are invading your planet? Power it up, of course! Powered Armor is a Sci Fi version of the iconic medieval plate armor, frequently used by Space Marines.

Powered Armor typically amplifies the movements of its wearer, adding its strength to theirs in a sort of purely mechanical Synchronization. As the page quote says, they also tend to be a self-contained environment, allowing the user to exist comfortably in space, underwater, or in other areas that would kill unprotected humans. They can often fly, at least for short distances or via rocket-assisted jumps. If this gives them good mobility and speed then the users often join the Lightning Bruiser camp. And most importantly and as the name implies, the amplified sturdiness and strength allows the wearer to don thick slabs of armor rendering them at least highly resistant to small arms with little encumbrance or exertion.

Some versions have other useful gadgets built in as well; too much of this can result in them becoming a sort of wearable Do-Anything Robot. With crystals. Of course, some suits of Powered Armor are explicitly made to be Adaptive Armor capable of great versatility. If it does this with weapons, then it's a wearable Swiss Army Weapon; expect at least one of these to be an Arm Cannon, or possibly a Power Fist. Shoulders of Doom (and in turn, Shoulder Cannons) are almost mandatory. It usually is at least Immune to Bullets or whatever else is used in Five Rounds Rapid in the local 'verse; superior models may mount Deflector Shields allowing it to tank damage well above its apparent weight class. Some of these double as life support units, as is the case for the Man in the Machine. Sadly, they can't remove their suits without risking death.

Powered Armor is distinct from Clothes Make the Superman in that it is specifically designed for combat and is clearly armour rather than clothing. Distinct from Humongous Mecha in that Powered Armor is a suit worn on the body, while Humongous Mecha are vehicles that are controlled, either from a cockpit or with some Unusual User Interface. There are, however, the occasional mecha that sit on the line between Humongous Mecha and Powered Armor. A really advanced set of powered armor will usually be made of Nanomachines that make the hero into a Chrome Champion. The change may even be Instant.

If the armor cannot be removed, then it is a Clingy Costume.

Note that unlike Humongous Mecha, Powered Armor actually could be useful, especially in urban battles where tanks (or four-story robots) would be limited in movement. There's also a number of different civilian uses for a suit that makes you strong enough to lift a car.

The usage of Powered Armor in fiction is famous enough for That Other Wiki to have an article on the subject (though its examples list makes it look more like a TV Tropes page). Currently, the US military is conducting experiments with equipment similar to power armor, perhaps making this a future Truth in Television.

Compare Clothes Make the Superman, Humongous Mecha, Scary Impractical Armor, Battle Ballgown.

Not to be confused with Mini-Mecha, where despite the machine's size, the limbs are still fully mechanical.

Examples of Powered Armor include:

Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Bubblegum Crisis, featuring both the Knight Sabers' "Hardsuits" and the bulkier Battlemover suits other factions use.
  • In order to combat fully-cyborg individuals (like the protagonists), paramilitary organizations in Ghost in the Shell occasionally requisition Power Armour. They're exceedingly rare, however.
  • Mazinger Z: In New Mazinger (one of the alternate manga continuities) several characters (including Kouji Kabuto) wore combat, powered armor.
  • The Tekkamen from Tekkaman Blade appear to wear powered armor, but in fact become metallic life forms when they transform. However, the Sol Tekkaman units ("Teknosuits" in Teknoman) are actual powered armors.
  • The Robes from Mai-Otome, although the designs are so non-armour-ish that they lean more heavily towards Clothes Make the Superman.
  • Non-micronised Zentradi in Super Dimension Fortress Macross and its sequels wear Powered Armor the size of a Humongous Mecha. They kind of have to, given that they're the size of Humongous Mecha.
    • Macross Frontier, gives us the Debut of the EX-Gear, a powered armour/exoskeletion (with built in Jet Pack and provision for a BFG) suit for use by VF pilots, granted it's not as well armored as some of the contemporaries (the waist, upper arms, and thighs are somewhat exposed, as poor michel found out...) but you must take into account thats its main function is to serve as a linkup/ejection system for the new line of Variable fighters.
  • B-Ko from Project A-ko breaks out a Stripperific mockery of one for her showdown with A-Ko... at least it would be a mockery if it did not enable her to fight a running battle with the Humongous Mecha-wrecking titular lead.
  • Chao Lingshen claims the outfit she wore during the festival arc of Mahou Sensei Negima was merely a somewhat upgraded version of a standard battlesuit from her homeland, but even without the built in time-travel device it straddled the line with Clothes Make the Superman.
  • Bonta-Kun in Full Metal Panic!: Fumoffu is a Theme Park mascot converted into the cutest miniature death machine since Metal Slug by Sousuke Sagara. Oddly enough, he marketed it to various police forces around the world, with limited success.
  • The Ranma ½ manga presents Do-chan (for dogi, a martial arts uniform, plus an affectionate suffix.) It is an ancient, sentient (and utterly perverted) suit of armor that looks like a puffy Chinese blouse, black leggings, and a yin-yang belt. It can move around independently, has limited senses (sight, hearing, and touch, at least) and can fight to defend itself. It will only accept a female owner, but those who wear it will find that their speed, power, and agility have been increased to match their own ultimate potential. Thus, when Akane wears it, she can punch enormous craters into asphalt, leap over buildings, and generally outclass Ranma to the point of utter humiliation.
    • A more straight-up example is the Battle Armor which Gosunkugi purchased off a mail-order ad. It promises amazing strength and incredible combat skills for defeating one's foes... and it certainly delivers, except that it locks into place as soon as you put it on and only activates when said foe comes along. And then, you have a very limited time to defeat him before the suit self-destructs.
  • One of the more bizarre powered armors comes from Kemeko Deluxe. The titular Kemeko is a Super-Deformed, borderline Gonk-ish power suit that nonetheless provides its wearer, MM, with enhanced battle capabilities. MM herself wears a Latex Space Suit and has to have some form of Hammerspace inside that thing - she's bigger than it is.
  • Gantz gives the hunters particularly hypertech powered armour that provides superstrength, Roof Hopping jumping powers and apparently some kind of forcefield. In typical Gantz style the big black ball doesn't bother telling anybody these facts, or that the suits' protection does not extend to swords or lasers.
    • As seen in the Osaka and Italy arcs, there is a bigger, tougher Gantz armor that's supposed to be superior to the regular suits. It's not sure if it can really hold up considering all of the users seen thus far are dead.
  • The Gold Cloths in Saint Seiya certainly qualify. Although Bronze and Silver Cloths, as well as rival gods' distinctive suits of armor, can protect the wearer to a supernatural degree, the Zodiac-based Cloths of Athena's Gold Saints provide notable increases in strength, speed, and defensive power, far beyond any other Cloth, Scale, or Surplice. They can even survive absolute zero and being hit with earth-shattering attacks.
    • Also, the anime presented a three-man squad called the Steel Saints, created by the Kido Foundation as assistants to the heroic Bronze Saints. Their "Cloths" are mechanical and crammed with gadgets that can emulate a Saint's supernatural abilities. They were Put on a Bus as soon as they could...
  • In GaoGaiGar, Cyborg Guy has a suit of "Ultimate Armor". He graduates to "ID Armor" when he becomes an Evoluder. It's not clear whether the armor is enhancing his natural strength and speed, enabling it, or is just there to look cool. That said, the ID armor has one important part in it (the GaoBrace and Will Knife), and Evoluder Guy probably at least needs the ID Armor to pilot GaoFar and GaoFighGar.
  • The Figures in Figure 17 are a kind of sentient powered armor, and Hikaru is an accientally-created Artificial Human derived from a broken Figure, who can still revert to Figure form when necessary. The aliens D.D. and Oldina also use Figures to fight.
  • Guyver: Bio-Boosted Armour, a manga from the late 80's, along with a one shot OVA from '86, a twelve part mini-series released by studio L.A. Heroes released from 89 to about 92-93 and also a twenty six episode series that expanded more on the manga than the twelve episode one, that was released in 2005 by FUNimation Studios. This series uses this concept to its fullest extent. It starts out with a high schooler named Sho Fukamchi walking in the woods near the school with his friend Tetsuro Segawa. There they hear and see the aftermath of a huge explosion and see something hurdling through the sky towards them. Sho picks it up to and points out that it's alien looking, when he all of sudden trips and smacks his face against it and it starts to encompass him. Later when Tetsuro is in immediate danger from a secret world government style organization known as Chronos, Sho clad in this "bio" metal armor then destroys the ones troubling Tetsuro. Afterward he seemingly regains consciousness while still in the armor and notes that it is DEFINITELY alien.
    • A downside of the armor is that they can't be permanently separated from their recognized user without the Remover. The user can "dequip" the armor at will when not needed and it's been demonstrated that a sufficient electrical jolt to the control metal can cause the armor to spontaneously dequip.The Removers have to be bonded to someone and though they don't kill the host, they do leave them naked and powerless in front of someone who wanted to strip their armor from them, probably a bad guy.
  • Appleseed has two classes of Powered Armor: "Protectors", which are fairly standard suits; and "Landmates", which border on being Mini-Mecha and suspend the wearer in the torso of the armor. The Landmates' main outer "Slave Arms" follow the movements of the arms of the pilot, placed in smaller, form-fitting armored gauntlets which dangle outside the main body.
  • MADOX-01: see it here
  • Steamboy has one of the least impressive examples of Powered Armor on this list. They're basically full-plate armor with steam backpacks (how they're not cooking with that setting, I'm not sure), showing immunity against small arms fire and not much else.
  • Genesis Climber Mospeada/Robotech: The New Generation. The main Transforming Mecha of the show was a Motorcycle that turned into a Power Armor, it was even the 'Mospeada' of the original name.
  • One interesting variation in Pokémon Special is what Koga wears during the Silph Co. siege. His armor is made out of his Pokemon. His Muk forms a shoulder and chest plate while his Golbat rests on his arm for a tonfa-like weapon. His other arm has an Ekans wrapped around it.
  • Code Geass Alternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack turns the Lancelot from a Humongous Mecha into a Kamen Rider-like costume that actually gets treated like a comic book superhero by the common folk.
  • From Naruto, Akatsuki member Sasori is the prime example, hiding himself in a mobile and heavily armed puppet, we also have a version of this of the spiritual version in the form of Susano'o, which Sasuke Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha use.
    • In its higher forms, Sasuke and Itachi's Susano'o falls more into Mini-Mecha in their size and power. Same with Madara's in its 'complete' (full skin form) but it turns into a Humungous Mecha in his 'Perfect' Form.
  • Similar to the Toph example below, Risho of Yu Yu Hakusho used earth to cover himself for battle, although it's not clear if it actually powered him or just lent more ferocity to his blows.
  • The eponymous Infinite Stratos suits are powered armor that doesn't do much to actually armor the pilot's torso and head, instead enveloping it in some kind of force field. They are also of the Instant Armor variety, being summonable at will.
  • Tokusatsu Deconstruction Zetman has Alfasz, who combats the Players. The suits wearer, Kouga Amagi purposefully modelled it on a Children's show hero, due to being bit of a Justice Freak.
  • Academy City uses them in their military, as well as in their rescue divisions, in To Aru Majutsu no Index and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun.
  • Many of the superheroes in Tiger and Bunny make use of some form of Powered Armor, most notably the two title characters.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Tony Stark first built his powered armour in the Vietnamese jungle and has since made countless upgrades, redesigns and variants to stay ahead in the Powered Armour arms race with villains like Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo. To make matters worse, villains are constantly trying to steal his designs, and the first Spymaster succeeded. His sale of Tony's blueprints on the black market sparked the Armor Wars, a storyline in which Iron Man goes about attacking armored villains and heroes in a fit of paranoia over misuse of his inventions.
    • His friend James Rhodes has used Stark armor many times, either taking up the Iron Man mantle while Tony was incapacitated or presumed dead, or working independently as War Machine.
  • Dr. Doom. Contrary to its almost medieval-industrial revolution aesthetic, being covered in visible rivets and displaying no apparent electronics, it is actually a nuclear-powered, ultra-sophisticated walking tank that stands up next to Tony Stark's best designs. It makes him strong and tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the Thing, discharge an array of devastating energy attacks, enables him to fly and control his vast arsenal of external technological devices. (Some versions even have a device that renders him immune to direct assault by mutant powers, so Magneto's victory over him in a fight isn't as assured as it would be against Tony.) He can basically beat the tar out of any non-"cosmic" character short of the Hulk and Squirrel Girl.
    • Doom also has on occasion created stronger variants of the armor, powered by draining some of the above-mentioned "cosmic" characters and thus rendering Doom's power almost as God-like as his ego. Since Doom is also a mage, he can use a combination of magic and science.
    • In one notable issue of Mighty Avengers (just before Civil War) Doom and Iron Man go one-on-one after the rest of the Avengers were subdued by an army of Doombots and array of traps. Their suits are so well matched that it comes down to whose suit's battery can last longer. It's Doom's.
  • Jubilee and several other depowered mutants started wearing Powered Armor to compensate for their lost abilities in the latest incarnation of the New Warriors.
  • Batman in certain incarnations (most notably when Jean Paul Valley took on the role) beefed the suit into a virtual war machine not unlike Iron Man. (This was a sort of "Be careful what you wish for" to fans who wanted Batman to become more Punisher-like during the Dark Age). Batman Beyond had the same general concept, but the suit was more slender and less clunky looking than most.
    • In Kingdom Come Batman needs an exoskeleton to move at all (thanks to the wounds from a life-time of crimefighting). His actual Batman costume is a Powered Armor. As is the Blue Beetle's and several other heroes.
    • In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman uses powered armor (among other things) to fight Superman.
    • Batman foe Mr. Freeze has to wear a sealed, temperature controlled suit to even survive in lukewarm environments, due to his cyrophilic physiology/disease/disorder/whatever. Many writers offset this by outfitting Freeze' suit with a powered exoskeleton capable of breaking a man in half.
    • In Batman vs. Predator, Batman resorts to this in order to continue the fight while recovering from the asskicking the Predator gave him earlier on. Also uses sonar to beat the Predator's cloak.
  • Steel, a.k.a. John Henry Irons.
  • S.T.R.I.P.E.
  • Lex Luthor has twice donned a suit of Powered Armor to fight Superman mano a mano: Once in the early '80s, quickly abandoned after Crisis on Infinite Earths; and once in the mid-'00s, during the run-up to Infinite Crisis, when temporal shenanigans were causing Lex to play out his pre-Crisis persona. On neither occasion did it last; he's just a more compelling villain without powers.
    • Luthor also gains a sort of Powered Armor in Justice League. It increases his abilities, but its main purpose is to keep his Kryptonite-induced disease in check (shooting Kryptonite rays is just a bonus). The Luthor that shows up in MK vs DC also wears the armor.
  • Brianna Diggers of Gold Digger uses a variety of Powered Armor, and even Gina has broken one out one or two times.
  • Grendel-Prime of Matt Wagner's Grendel series combines Powered Armor with numerous cyborg parts, making him the apotheosis of Badass in a universe where BadAssery is a requirement for survival.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the year 2094 wore these during an arc in the Archie comic, based on action figure designs.
  • Dan Dreiberg of Watchmen tried making a powered exoskeleton version of his costume. It didn't get past the prototype stage; the first (and only) time he wore it, it broke his arm.
  • Hardware from Milestone Comics.
  • The DCU's Rocket Red Brigade, who are basically the Powered Armor division of the Russian army. Originally, their armor was blocky and square; in recent years, they've shifted to a more streamlined, figure-fitting design.
  • Supernaut of the Stark-backed Order uses a suit so big it practically qualifies as a miniature Humongous Mecha, with enough armament for a small army to boot. Supernaut's somewhat notable in that outside of his suit, he's a paraplegic.
  • The Asgardian Destroyer is an unusual example, since it is, depending on your point of view, not an armor at all, or the very purest form of armor. It is not wearable, but rather sucks up the spirit of a sapient being that comes too close to it - it cannot operate on its own, although it quickly overrides the will of anyone who powers it. Unless that individual's will is strong enough. Anyway, it's more or less an armor that is powered by its 'wearer' instead of the other way around. It might be the most powerful armor in comics (well... apart from the Celestials' armor, but that might not be armor).
  • In "Superman:3D", a substory of Final Crisis, Superman and Ultraman (his evil counterpart) are merged, together, with a 'thought robot' made out of 'divine metals' by Monitor Dax Novu to defeat the Dark Monitor, Mandrakk. This 'thought robot', basically a giant (really giant. It's giant in the World of Nil, where the Monitors live - which means that it is much, much, much bigger than a universe) mecha empowered by the dual spirits of the two supermen, meant for one single battle. It is super(of course)-adaptive, getting stronger in response to its opponents' strength.
  • Darkhawk has his entire body replaced by a powered armor body.
  • An interesting version appears in Okko—the Combat Bunraku are huge, wooden, and entirely analog, being controlled via series of ropes and pulleys by the "puppeteer" who sits in the chest cavity.
  • Even Captain America (comics) got in on the armored action in the mid-90s, as he was forced to wear an armored version of his familiar red-white-and-blues due to the Super-Soldier Serum breaking down in his body and rendering him paralyzed. Naturally, it didn't take.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's Rotor Walrus has taken up wearing Powered Armor when he decided to return to active duty.


Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • In the Firefly fanfic Forward, the Hands of Blue wear blue bodysuits underneath their normal suits that turn out to be a "low profile" suit of powered armor. It allows them to resist bullets and crossbow bolts, as well as allowing them to move with surprising speed and to hit extremely hard. With these suits, they are fast enough and strong enough that even River proves unable to match them in hand-to-hand combat. Fortunately, they aren't invincible, but it takes a lot of abuse to bring one down, unless you're Kaylee. Kaylee just squishes them with a power loader.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Iron Man is unique in that it shows the trials and tribulations that would logically have to go with actually creating and testing such a device. The sound of Tony Stark screaming in terror as his suit(s) malfunction at inopportune moments almost becomes a Running Gag.
  • Aliens, albeit that the powered armor in question was more or less an Improvised Weapon as Ripley was using a heavy cargo loader which looked a lot like powered armor. It gave her enough protection to avoid some of the Alien Queen's attacks and augmented her physical strength so she could go toe-to-toe with something about ten feet tall. "Get away from her, you BITCH!!!"
    • The video game Aliens vs Predator gave us a military version nicknamed Alice. It looks like the aforementioned loader with some weapons strapped on and according to the manual, it could take on an infantry platoon or lightly armored vehicles.
  • Avatar, by the same director as Aliens, has AMP suits, which are made in both utilitarian and military models.
  • The (sized more like Mini-Mecha) combat suits of the humans from The Matrix: Revolutions that carried big guns but provided very little protection. Word of God has said this is because the Sentinels could easily tear through any armor they put up, making it more efficient to simply leave them unarmored. It has been shown in Animatrix that the armored suits go down just as easily as their descendants, but prolong the suffering of the pilot.
  • In Batman and Robin Mr. Freeze wears a powered armor that allows him to toss people around. The suit was, of course, powered by diamonds.
  • G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra features the "Delta-6 Accelerator suit", a powered armour that allows the wearer to outrun cars, leap over speeding commuter trains in a single bound, dodge missiles and climb buildings like a hyperactive monkey. Oh yes, and it's armed (quite literally) with an on-board Gatling gun and mini-missile launcher. They're used in a single scene by the two newest recruits; the story goes that the script was originally for a Halo movie or rip-off and that scene is an artifact.
  • In the grand tradition of Aliens, a suit of prawn Powered Armour serves as Chekhov's Gun in District 9.
  • While not an obvious example, The Tuxedo could be considered a form of Powered Armor, as it enhances the wearer's reflexes, strength, and speed. In fact, the tuxedo mostly functions on its own with the wearer only required to select a particular action from the list. In the film, Jackie Chan's character can't fight. It's the tuxedo that does all the fighting, although in the typical Jackie Chan fashion.
  • The aliens in Independence Day use biological suits, but are still weak enough that Will Smith can knock one out with his bare fist.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Development of this is finished near the end of Duumvirate. The people wearing it are already genetically engineered superhumans. The combination tends to work well.
  • Starship Troopers codified the concept (which the film sadly removed entirely), building off E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series, which did it first in a less dramatic fashion.
  • Dominant Species by Michael E. Marks centered on a Marine Rapid Assault Team in powered armor; the depiction took a serious (rather than fantasy) approach to the depiction of powered armor capabilities and vulnerabilities.
  • The "living-brain" Martians in H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds came very close; their war-machines straddle the line between this trope and Humongous Mecha. They also had smaller non-combat work-machines into which they strapped themselves.
  • The powered suits in Diane Duane and Peter Morwood's Space Cops books.
  • John Ringo's Posleen War Series has the main character design and then command units of ACS against the invading Posleen, powered at one point by actual Glowing Green Rocks (appropriated alien heavy plant power cells).
    • Powered Armor shows up again in his Into the Looking Glass series, albeit completely of Earth technology, and far less sophisticated than the ACS from the above series.
  • The marines in David Weber's In Fury Born uses powered armor, as do the marines of Honor Harrington.
  • Weber's and Ringo's Empire of Man series. Doesn't see a lot of use in the earlier books due to limited power and the hostile to electronics environment, but it's there.
  • The titular armor from John Steakley's excellent Bug War novel, Armor.
  • Joe Haldeman's classic, The Forever War, although in this case the suits had little armour.
  • From The Tin Man onwards, some of Dale Brown's books have featured the eponymous armours. They are noted as being resistant to bullets and eventually having limited jumpjet capability and railguns, but vulnerable to knives and missiles.
  • In C. J. Cherryh's Alliance Union science fiction series, the Earth Company Marines (and, presumably, their Union equivalents) wear Powered Armor. The only really detailed description is in Rimrunners where ex-Marine Bet Yeager, late of the carrier Africa, has to repair and recondition a pair of suits and then teach a neophyte to use it.
  • Odd subversion in Peter F. Hamilton's Fallen Dragon: Skin suits are largely biological suits powered by the wearer's blood.
    • The skin suits also have Adaptive Armor features like using reserve supplies to provide the wearer with a Healing Factor, reconfiguring itself on-the-fly to provide enhanced protection against different types of damage or even accomplishing simple tasks without the host.
  • Space and combat suits in the Perry Rhodan universe tend to come with basic comm gear, flight capability and some kind of force field for protection at a minimum; additional sensors, life support, fairly sophisticated built-in computers, and stealth features like invisibility are also found more often than not. Perhaps ironically, one thing that these suits are not primarily intended to function as is actual body armor; that's what the force field is for. Likewise, weapons tend to be external (and frequently hand-held) rather than integrated into the suit.
  • Miles ("Mr. Naismith") Vorkosigan was too short to use the average powered armor suits of his universe, but acquired a "petite" size in his first mercenary venture. He had to have the techs adapt the plumbing to fit, though, as it was originally for a female.
    • Later in his career he's worn powered armor so often that the equipment's left a mark on his forehead.
  • In Iain Banks' The Culture novels, powered, intelligent armor features in Matter.
    • And as a protagonist in the short story Descent in The State of the Art, and as a device to protect the wearer in a high-gee hazardous environment populated with super-strong Starfish Aliens in Excession. The latter is technically a glorified spacesuit, but anything that provides super strength of and plenty of damage resistance can easily be used for military purposes.
    • In Use of Weapons the protagonist also wears powered armour/spacesuit at one stage, which he requisitioned from the Culture (though he very pointedly does not want a sentient suit). At one point he turns up his suit's strength in order to lift a large stone object but has to be very careful that he's in the correct stable and braced position.
  • In Ian Douglas's Heritage/Legacy/Inheritance trilogies, the USMC has these. They start out as glorified spacesuits and end up being a combination starfighter/power armor/drop pod with enough features to make the Mjolnir VI look like a Model T.
  • The protagonist of Gary Gibson's Stealing Light has some sort of Latex Space Suit Instant Armour Powered Armour she stole from some aliens. If they knoew about it, they'd want it back. Alas, it's implanted in place of one of her lungs (at least).
  • The novel Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds features powered armor suits that can fly to a planet's surface and back to orbit, extrude powerful weapons, and change their shape; oddly, they aren't mentioned in later books, even if they would be useful.
    • They're mentioned as being exceedingly rare and powerful by one character in that novel. Chasm City is largely empty of serious high-tech of that kind. Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap don't contain any infantry combat of note.
  • The Diamond Age has "Hoplites", military combat exoskeletons that seem to take the place of infantry and tanks in serious warfare. Some models are notable in that they allow the wearers to go Roof Hopping.
  • The Stormlight Archive has Shardplate, Lost-Magitek powered armor. It magically fits itself to any wearer, and in addition to being extremely tough (it's the only armour that a Shardblade doesn't cut straight through like water) and increasing the wearer's strength, also increases speed. If it gets damaged, it can regrow itself if it is supplied with stormlight.
  • The Eternads of Robert Buettner's Jason Wander and Orphan's Legacy series.
  • Max Barry's Machine Man makes use of this when Carl the security guard needs an exo-suit to hold up his titanium sledgehammer arms.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Daleks from Doctor Who are basically evil lumps of flesh encased in salt-shaker-shaped personal tanks that function the same way Powered Armor does for humanoids.
    • The Cybermen, both the original and the Alternate Universe version in the new series, were originally designed as a suit to increase the vitality and lifespan of the wearer. And then It Got Worse.
  • On Stargate Atlantis, the Lost Tribe faction of the Asgard wear humanoid-shaped power armor suits that provide them with mobility, protect them from hazardous environments, and come equipped with blasters and built-in energy shields. They're also conveniently designed to automatically adjust to the wearer, so other races that aren't bigger than the armor's maximum size can wear them.
  • If a Metal Hero isn't a Hollywood Cyborg or Ridiculously Human Robot, he's a guy in a suit of Powered Armor out to Save the World.
  • "The Suit" in Super Force. In the first episode, an advanced spacesuit serves this purpose, though by the climax, they've switched to a purpose-built urban assault system based on the space suit.
  • MANTIS. Being paraplegic, the dude required the suit even to walk, let alone be a superhero.
  • Black Scorpion villain Slapshot also uses such a suit for similar reasons.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog
  • A Villain Of The Week develops an exoskeletal suit that allows him to move as fast as |The Flash. Then his control chip gets damaged. Cue the "bug on its back" sight.
  • Ever since it first appeared in Power Rangers in Space the battlizer has usually been a staple for the red ranger and occasionally other rangers. Of course the source of their Powered Armor varies by series.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Warhammer 40,000 loves Powered Armor. Every species from the humans (Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Inquisition and whoever can afford a lesser commercial version - which is much like Sororitas armor, but not quite as good and doesn't come with reactor backpack) and be extension Spikes of Villainy-loving Chaos Space Marines turned evil(er) to the not-quite-as-evil-as-everyone-else Tau Empire to the Orkz (warlike Space Fungi) will wear these into battle. However, this armour is generally reserved for the elite forces of the species. Naturally, being Warhammer 40000, the less-fortunate tend to be Cannon Fodder.
    • Also naturally, being Warhammer 40000, Powered Armour is merely where it begins, with more extreme versions for everyone. Starting with jump packs. Space Marines have Terminator armour equipped with personal teleporters and weapons including-but-not-limited-to arm-mounted gatling guns and giants hammers that can break tanks and spark lightning with every hit, Tau have suits armed with missile launchers and a pair of enourmous railguns, Chaos Marines have suits fused to their wearer that spontaneously spawns any desired weapon and even its ammunition, while Orkz prefer to simply stick on lotsa pointy bits and give it More Dakka. The Grey Knights even get Powered Armor for their Terminator Powered Armor in the form of the Dreadknight suit.
    • Worth mentioning about the Tau Empire is that their standard power armour makes their soldiers about as big, strong and resilient as your average human dude. Albeit a bit more bulletproof. And their big suits are actually Mini-Mecha.
      • That can fly.
    • Aside from the main lines, there are various unusual variations. For one, the Tech-priests have their own branch, which is lighter, since it plugs into their existing implants for power and neural interface.
      • Rogue Trader has utility version - "Lifter Armor", i.e. sealed power loader (it obviously has combat use, but it's too clumsy) and "Power Assisted" upgrade for any full armour that gives minor Strength bonus, and makes the suit "carry itself" (the weight doesn't count when worn), which is often more important than +1 melee damage, since normally it's worth applying only to something heavy - not generic carapace (there's already Light Power Armor), but special suits like Augmetic Engine Plate (the sort of heavy duty Hazmat Suits from which Terminator armor was derived) or Resciscum Exploration Suit.
      • Necromunda Spyrers are ordinary humans (from the Spyre of Hive Primus) who use Powered Armor to achieve Clothes Make the Superman, and it's hinted that their ancient, possibly alien suits are actually The Symbiote, as they literally grow stronger and more powerful as the wearer gets more used to them. These are unusual artefacts belonging to noble families rather than standard military gear, however.
    • The Eldar have an interesting variation, Exarch armor doesn't make the wearer stronger or faster, but instead gives him or her access to the skills and memories of previous wearers of the suit. The Phoenix Lords operate on the same principle.
  • While you wouldn't expect it, Warhammer Fantasy has Chaos Armor, which acts like magically-powered armor, rivaled only by the Dwarven Gromil armor (which is also enchanted) and the Empire's full plate armor.
  • WARMACHINE features military commanders wearing technomagical suits called Warcaster Armor. Additionally, the empire of Khador reserves valuable robot cyberbrains for only their largest war robots, with the role of light armor being filled by soldiers sturdy enough to wear Man O' War suits. There's even a soldier wearing this bulky powered armor on horseback.
    • And the horse gets its own powered armor to compensate.
  • Rackham's AT-43 features suits of powered armor for nearly every army (including Space Gorillas).
  • Rifts sings "The Girl is Mine" with Warhammer every Saturday on the subject. It also enjoys playing with the trope to a degree usually not seen. Many units that one might classify as powered armor from their size, like the Triax Ulti-Max and Coalition States Terror Trooper, are in fact very small piloted combat robots instead of worn suits, while some worn suits such as the Glitterboy are simply so powerful as to intrude on combat robot territory. The Lunar Colony's VRDS system takes it Up to Eleven by allowing one to wear a combat robot like it was power armor.
    • The books even state (at least for the Terror Trooper) that such suits blur the line between Power Armor (Rifts doesn't use the -ed) and Giant Robots. The defining characteristic seems to be that Power Armor is one man, while Giant Robots need a crew of 2-5.
  • Traveller had "Battle Dress" armor, which was pretty much an Iron Man suit for every G.I. in the Imperial forces. Besides its protective function, the powered armor was the only way to handle the recoil and backblast from the awesome FGMP-15.
    • FGMP-14. FGMP-15 was the model with the anti-grav recoil module, which meant you *didn't* have to wear Battle Dress to wield it. However, the FGMP-15 costs almost as much as an FGMP-14 and Battle Dress put together.(though the cost of the avionics suite that went into the Battle dress dwarfed the cost of the FGMP - it made economic sense to run a xray lazer or two as point defense )
  • While BattleTech is best known for its 'Mechs, there's also Powered Armor down there, ranging from simple suits worn by special-forces troopers, to one-ton monsters capable of taking down a 'Mech in teams and withstanding their weaponry, to two-ton four-legged machines more piloted than worn, with enough firepower to shame an infantry company.
    • The Clan genetics program has culminated in the birth of huge humans to pilot their massive Powered Armor; the Elementals. Even one outside of the likewise-named armor can dismember an armored opponent with their bare hands, and the massive brutes top seven or even eight feet tall. Elemental armor fits above into the 'one-ton monster' variety, a sizable fraction being the pilot itself.
    • Much like the larger Battlemechs, the powered armour technology is even present in the civilian market throughout the Inner Sphere, with uses ranging from police and rescue work to forklift truck analogues (which was presented as a clear homage to Aliens).
  • Given Exalted's attitude towards the Rule of Cool (namely, if the concept exists and is sufficiently awesome, put it in the game), it should come as no surprise that there are many, many examples of this to be found in Creation.
    • They're called Warstriders. The Abyssals call them Bonestriders. Which they make IN A CA- in the Underworld. WITH A BOX OF SCR- With spare body parts.
    • Warstriders are arguably closer to a Mini-Mecha. There is also powered armor, from Gunzosha (which can even be worn by mortals, at the cost of a mere half their lifespan) to Celestial Battle Armor (which is as tough as Superheavy Plate armor, far less restrictive, and can usually fly).
  • Cyberpunk 2020 introduced an entire subclass of Solo called 'PA Trooper' who's only reason for existence was using various heavily-armed suits of Powered Armor. The supplement 'Maximum Metal' was mostly devoted to their design.
  • Pretty much every side in Cthulhu Tech is a big fan of powered armour. Of course, how dangerous they are is entirely dependent on what they're up against. They're basically invincible to infantry level firepower, requiring specialist anti-armour weapons to scratch, while carrying guns which can kill a normal human/Migou/Deep One with a single shot. On the other hand, up against anything larger, they're the Glass Cannon, who tend to get crippled if they get hit at all.
  • Genius: The Transgression lists this as one possible product of the defensive Prostasia axiom (although you have to use the travel axiom Skafoi to make it fly and the weapons axiom Katastrofi to give it weaponry).
    • And the Exelixi axiom for super-strength... a good suit tends to be an expensive investment for a veteran Genius. But oh so worth it.
  • Powered Armor characters are common in Champions. One of the most powerful human villains in the official game universe is Doctor Destroyer, who wears a suit of powered armor that lets him take out (spelled "kill") whole teams of superheroes.
  • A fair number of powered armor suits survived the Last War in 'Deadlands: Hell on Earth.' The trick isn't so much finding one as getting it to work for more than fifteen minutes in the Scavenger World left After the End.
  • GURPS: Ultra-Tech has a slew of them. The most powerful is the TL12 "Warsuit" which, just for starters, is armored with layers hyper dense regenerating metal alloy and multiplies an ordinary person's strength 25 times over. There's also the clever "Exo-Field Belt" which is Powered Armor made out of nothing but forcefields.
  • Mutants and Masterminds: while the Device power can be used to represent anything from the hammer Mjolnir to a Green Lantern Ring, the battlesuit is one of the coolest uses. (Especially since there are no restrictions on what you can give a battlesuit save the points available, meaning that it's not impossible to build a suit that lets you warp time.)
    • To expand, there are two types of device. Those you can remove with a disarm check (weapons) and those you can only remove from someone only when he's unconscious. This include powered armors.
  • It is technically possible to do this in Shadowrun by combining multiple levels of Mobility Upgrade, Strength Upgrade, and Hydraulic Jacks on a suit of milspec or modern Samurai armor, but your GM will not be pleased.
  • The D20 Modern supplement D20 Future features Powered Armor in a few different forms. The standard version is a fairly basic version, providing a sealed, protected environment and enabling flight, but not giving the wearer any offensive abilities. Blurring the line with Mini-Mecha, the Mecha chapter includes rules for Large size Mechs (roughly 9–11 feet tall) that act more like the Marauder suits from Starship Troopers; they grant the wearer a sizable Strength bonus (+8 for the smallest, when a normal human's absolute maximum is 18) and serve as mounting brackets for heavy armor, shielding, and weapons too heavy for a normal human to wield (such as .50 caliber chainguns and rocket launchers), with options for sealed environments, flight capability, and other neat doodads.


Toys[edit | hide]

  • The Golden Armour from Bionicle, although it's more of a fantasty variant than most of the science fiction examples on this page. It has the power to incinerate Antidermis, including all the Kraata inside Rahkshi, and permanently transfers the Kraata's powers to the user. The Toa Nuva's Adaptive Armor also develops different characteristics to enhance the wearer's performance depending on the environment.
    • There's also the Exo-Toa which, as the name suggests, are an exo-skeleton armour for a Toa. If needs be they can function independently making them robots as well as Power Armour.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Starsiege: Tribes and its sequels has everyone wearing a suit of Powered Armor, complete with Jet Pack. They come in three sizes: light/scout, medium/assault, and heavy/juggernaut. They can be further customized with a variety of packs that draw from the armor's energy supply (or in the case of the energy pack, give increased recharge rate), such as a shield pack, repair pack, cloaking pack, or sensor jammer pack.
  • PlanetSide has the MAX (Mechanized Assault eXoskeleton) suits. They're extremely powerful and well armored, but slow (until you activate the sprint mechanism, disabling your weaponry), turn slowly, and they can only carry one weapon.
  • Master Chief's MJOLNIR armor is one of the most well-known video game examples...
    • Halo also has the Arbiter, who wears power armor that's functionally the same as Master Chief's, but with a cloaking device and the added bonus of being a legendary religious artifact. Minus the artifact status, every other Elite in the series wears armor pretty much identical to it.
    • In addition to the SPARTAN-II's Mjolnir Mrk. IV-VI armor suits, Halo features SPI (Semi-Powered Infiltration) armor worn by SPARTAN-III's and arguably the Cyclops Exoskeleton (though that's designed more for repair and heavy utility work than combat). There's also that suit of armor in the Halo Legends short "Prototype."
    • The manual for Halo: Reach implies that combat Scarabs are not so much vehicles piloted by a Lekgolo worm colony (as fans previously assumed) as a huge Lekgolo worm colony in a similarly massive suit of Powered Armor. For some idea of the scale here, the combat Scarab is adapted from a form of fully-mechanical mobile mining platform. They also normally carry a complement of more normally-sized infantry to protect against boarding attempts and man mounted guns.
  • ...along with Metroid's Samus Aran, who did it a long, long time before he did.
  • Turrican's protagonist wears the eponymous suit, which has plenty of weapons and a spiky ball mode not too much unlike Samus Aran's.
  • Half-Life's Gordon Freeman has his HEV suit, which features "high impact electro-reactive armor" (read: goes rigid when hit), and gets an actuator upgrade (read: powered sprint function) in Half-Life 2. It was originally designed for combat situations, but the expense of the suit made it unfeasible to implement, so it was instead adapted for handling things in hazardous environments. When it's called on for a combat role, however, it's still a suit of reactive armor.
    • Opposing Force reveals that while the US Military didn't adopt the suit as is, at least elite units got adapted (recharger-compatible with HEV) reactive armor, in the form of the Powered Combat Vest.
  • StarCraft has several types, most of them Terran. Protoss Zealots get powered armor, too. The only reason the Terran infantry stands a chance against the Zerg is that they're in that armor (and they have guns, letting them draw first blood against Zerglings). The Zealots are so able to take advantage of their power that in the hands of a skilled player when ably commanded, they're able to do three to one against Zerglings.
    • Strangely enough, the apparently unarmored Terran "Civilian" units you get in some campaign missions are nearly as tough as a normal marine. If I recall, they only have 10 less HP.
    • In the sequel, you get to see it up close (Firebat and Marauder specifically). They're frikkin' huge, more like Mini-Mecha than anything else, almost the size of the tank.
  • Section 8 (video game) has players using Powered Armor - which allows them to 'burn in', that is, rain themselves from 15000 feet in the air to the ground. In ten seconds. Among other things.
  • Metal Gear Solid. Although in the original the Cyborg Ninja was a cyborg instead of a guy in a Powered Armor, in the sequel it is this way.
    • And how does ex-president George Sears AKA Solidus Snake stay limber despite premature aging? Power Armor.
    • His Arsenal Tengu goons wore something similar, just without the tentacles and with a gas mask.
    • The Beauty and the Beast unit in number 4 counts, too as well as the form fitting suits worn by the Frogs that allow them to leap over 2 meter walls in a single bound.
    • One brief rail shooter scene in MGS4's South America features actual powered armor mooks. They don't show up anywhere else.
    • Snake himself uses powered armor in Metal Gear Solid 4: his OctoCamo suit augments his prematurely aged muscles, allowing him to operated as if he were a man of a much younger age. Without it, he finds it difficult to even stand.
  • Fallout has power armors, and its sequel Fallout 2 has an advanced model powered by a portable fusion generator.
    • The third installment, despite Bethesda's tendency to feature unrealistic armor , has a tuned down Powered Armor, even though they're still following the original design.
    • And now the Fallout 3 modding community has made mods to add the Crysis Nanosuit and Warhammer 40k Power Armor.
    • Fallout: New Vegas sees the return of truly effective power armor, with the dispensing of damage resistance (multiplicative) and implementation of damage thresholds (additive). As well as the return of the above advanced model suit (now known as Remnant Armor).
  • Some of the heavy armor in Knights of the Old Republic qualifies.
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl has a full Exoskeleton armor near the end of the game.
    • Or a couple hours in, with the most recent release in the franchise.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura had Steampunk Powered Armor.
  • Killzone and Killzone2 give us the Heavy Assault troops (Abrreviated to just "Heavies" in the second game) who wear big bulky Faceless suits of powered armour, often ccarry some of the heavy hitting weaponry, and soak up tonnes of punishment before finally dying (especially in the second game).
  • Shining Force's Guntz is a Steam-Powered Armor-dillo.
  • Super Robot Wars J and W are unique for the series, in that they also feature series' that use Powered Armor as well as Humongous Mecha, namely Detonator Orgun and the abovementioned Tekkaman Blade.
    • But before that, a couple of little-known games called Hero Senki and Super Hero Sakusen combined Tokusatsu heroes like Kamen Rider and Ultraman with Gundam pilots wearing Powered Armor versions of their Mobile Suits, though in Super Hero Sakusen it was implied that the Gundams and original mechs were full-size. Don't think about it too hard.
    • Hero Senki also featured the first appearance of one of Banpresto's most wide-ranging original mecha, the Gespenst, in Powered Armor form. It later got upgraded to a Humongous Mecha in Super Robot Wars 4.
  • Earthworm Jim has the Ultra-high-tech-indestructible-super-space-cyber-suit, which not only mutates Jim to a strangely large size, but allows him to wage war against various intergalactic nasties. While it's made to be Powered Armor, with a foot-long mutant earthworm sitting in the collar it borders on mecha territory.
  • Mass Effect has this, to an extent. Regular armor is still powered, but it can be upgraded with a more powerful exoskeleton that increases melee damage. (Especially noticable if they already had something that boosts melee attacks, like the assault training talent.)
  • Crysis pretty much centers on a the deployment, uses and functionality of a semi-realistic, 2020's Power Armor suit. This "Nano-muscle suit" or Nanosuit is designed like a materials scientist's wet dream, with a reactive fabric that can, in turn, make the user bulletproof, super-fast with enhanced reflexes and dexterity, super-strong (and by that we mean "bring-a-whole-house-down-with-but-your-fists" strong), or invisible. It also includes a large suite of sensors, scanners, emitters and recording equipment, and a medical system that can bring the user back from the brink of death in a few seconds. It's as close to being Superman as one is likely to get in this century. The only problem is, just like today, the power source. Exertion of any of the four suit functions drains power very quickly (especially the cloak, which increases power drain with movement speed). The capacitor banks recharge quickly, but there are significant intervals of vulnerability, especially outside of Armor mode.
    • US Army Intelligence also seems to thinks that the larger alien machines, the flying Scouts and gigantic Hunters, are actually a sort of powered "exosuit" for the rather feeble, jellyfish-like Aliens. In Crysis 2 this is made clearer, as the main enemies are mollusk-like alien organisms granted rigidity and legs via an advanced robot exoskeleton.
    • The Nanosuit 2 in the sequel takes this trope and kicks it into orbit. The suit is more of a symbiote that can fully integrate with the user on a molecular level, growing its nanofabric into wounds and replacing vital functions, essentially keeping a corpse not only alive, but in combat capacity far beyond that of a normal soldier. It also features an advanced AI that can link up with your brain and save a copy of your personality if you actually kick the bucket. All of the previous functionality is ported over and improved as well.
  • The best (and most expensive) form of armor tech in any turn-based X-COM game is generally this. Flying Armor, Magnetic Ion Armor, X-COM Armor (sic) all apply. The first two even give you unlimited flying, allowing for much more freedom in moving around the battlefield. Sadly, these suits do nothing against any of the game's Demonic Spiders.
    • Except for Chryssalids, which can't attack you if you're on air. Advisable not to hover too near them in any case.
    • X-COM Armor in Apocalypse is not in fact powered, but simply extremely light. Marsec Armor on the other hand...
      • Note that this the opposite of how powered armor worked in the first game: The Power Suit (the penultimate armor in the first game) consists of thick armor plating and a power source that just restores normal mobility and strength to the user. With nothing but heavy armor plates and a sealed environment, this is just about as basic as powered armor gets. The Flying Suit is the same design with flight capacity.
    • Spiritual Successor UFO: After Blank has two varieties of powered armor in the first game. Human powered armor is the standard version of this trope, but since it was in prototyping before the alien invasion, it has several drawbacks, most notably the fact that the user cannot run. However, carrying capacity is vastly increased, and the powered armor is the only way to use deployable weapon turrets. On the other side of the equation is the Reticulan bio-armor, which doesn't enhance statistics, but actually acts as a symbiotic armor layer (some of which can project a personal shield) powered by, well, whatever a symbiotic armor layer eats.
  • Man-Bot in the Freedom Force series wears a powered exoskeleton that feeds off his energy generation power and bleeds off excesses. He can't take the armour off or his power starts killing people.
    • Positron in City of Heroes has much the same deal, until recently his armour was the only thing stopping him from going boom.
  • A functional suit of Magitek power armor (complete with Arm Cannon) is an easter egg in the Baldur's Gate series. As a decoded note in Baldur's Gate says "ALWAYS keep the pantaloons!".
  • In Alone in the Dark 3 (which takes place in the Wild West) the final boss fights you wearing a 19th century power armor suit (which even has an Arm Cannon).
  • The Riot Guards in Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and R.E.V.6.s from F.E.A.R. fall somewhere between Powered Armor and Humongous Mecha, being soldiers wearing robotic suits similar to a compact version of the Aliens Power Loader example.
    • And don't forget the Heavy Replicas.
    • In Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, an enemy roughly analogous to Riot Guards return in the form of Athena Mechs. However, Revas dons a suit that plays this trope completely straight for the final boss fight.
  • Magitek Armor in Final Fantasy VI also treads the line between Humongous Mecha and Powered Armor.
  • In Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, the Nova Suit is depicted as this in the manual's comic, however, in the original Mashin Eiyuden Wataru anime, it was a Humongous Mecha.
  • The Command & Conquer universe features several examples of powered armor:
    • Most of the units from Tiberian Sun and Tiberium Wars, particularly the GDI Commando and Zone Trooper units from Tiberium Wars.
    • Soviet Tesla Troopers from Red Alert 2 and 3.
      • With the most recent expansion pack in the series, Cryo Legionnaires as well. Their suits are noted as making tesla troopers' look downright primitive, and give them vastly increased speed and the ability to walk on water in addition to the usual protection.
      • There is also Desolators, who's suit doubles as life support for their unlucky pilots.
  • These show up as the top armour in the RPG Wasteland; only five suits are available late in the game (for a party that can max at seven), until you reach The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • According to what is All There in the Manual, the Alto Angelo enemies from Devil May Cry 4 are what happens when demon-ascended members of the Order of the Sword use the Bianco Angelo Animated Armor suits as Powered Armor, although this does not fully explain the different capabilities of the former. Then again, demons and magic.
  • Arcana Heart: One of Mei-Fang's supers has her pulling out a Powered Armor from... somewhere and shoulder-tackling her opponent while wearing it. If Mei-Fang has enough for a second super attack, she could then follow it up with a blast from its shoulder canon.
  • Rush turns into several variants in the Mega Man series. In 6, One confers a Power Fist, while the other flies. In 7, the Super Mega Man form splits the difference, granting a Rocket Punch and short jet boosts. Treble can also do this for Bass, though his is primarily a flight mode. It's debatable whether Mega Man X's various armors are powered, thought the Ultimate Armor from Command Mission almost certainly is.
    • Mega Man ZX: The Biometals? The Biometal envelops the Chosen Ones with a Powered-Armor based on the previous character the Model was based on. Of course, this is a topic of contention among several fans.
  • Depending if you consider it powered or not, BioShock (series)'s Big Daddies wear armored diving suits. The game does state that they require certain circuit boards (R-34s) to run properly, that and the drill needs fuel, as well as the helmet lights. Obviously the power has to come from somewhere, and it certainly doesn't come from the guy inside...
    • Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if the squishy goodness in the centre of the Big Daddy was all hopped up on Lightning Plasmids...
  • In Star Wars: Jedi Outcast Galak Fyyar wears a huge battle suit with lightsaber-resisting cortosis, shield generator and other toys. Not that this poses a problem for Kyle Katarn.
    • Jedi Academy adds Hazard Troopers, who are typically armed with one of the game's two BFGs, armored enough to take multiple lightsaber strikes, and can smack the player away if they get too close.
    • Well, they didn't so much add them as bring them from the first game, Dark Forces, where the main mission of the game is to destroy the factory making the armor for droid Dark Troopers, but the final stage is power armor for the General in charge.
  • In City of Heroes this is pretty much the entire idea behind the Technology origin, and the Arachnos Wolfspider Archetype has powers based around giant suits of armor.
    • Some enemies start building up robotic armor as well, especially the Longbow and Arachnos soldiers (though the former eventually drop the armor and get superpowers instead.)
  • In Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, all members of the hazard team wear highly advanced armor with shielding and regenerative capabilities, as well as lots of fancy electronics. When you pause the game, you can see a diagram of the armor that they use.
  • Human ground assault teams (which are not shown in-game, but appear in a splash/loading screen) are supposed to use this in Sword of the Stars.
  • In the Master of Orion series, can be developed as one of the ground troop technologies. In the second game it upgrades marine units (but not militia) from "infantry" to "power suits" with +10 to combat ability and +1 hit to kill - equal to tanks (with equal technologies and perks) and to Heavyworlder infantry (plus anti-grav or equipment superior by 2 notches).
  • Syphon Filter 2 had the Emergency Defense Squad from the Bio Lab Escape level who can only be killed by explosions. Chance and Rhoemer (in a flashback in part 3) both wore Nigh Invulnerable high-impact kevlar armor. Ditto for Anton Girdeux in the first game.
  • System Shock 2 has a notable example in that although the powered armor is the best armor, it - surprise! - requires power and once your energy runs out, will prove no protection until it's recharged again. And in the later levels of the game, you can go a very long time without finding a recharge station...
  • The Sacred Armour of Antiriad (from the old ZX Spectrum game of the same name). Naturally, it is an Anti-Rad suit with a "gravity displacer" and a "pulsar beam" launcher.
  • HACS (Heavy Armour Combat Suits) that the terrorists use in Razing Storm generally serve to be the game's Giant Mooks.
  • The protagonist, Marines and heavy Skaarj of Unreal II the Awakening are wearing various forms of power armor.
  • Amusingly, in Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2, there is a Palette Swap of the Guard Armor, called exactly... you guessed it... Powered Armor!
  • The Power Suit in Power Blade is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The sequel has several specialized power armors such as the Newt Suit and Rocket Suit.
  • The NES game Shatterhand also has a power armor powerup.
  • The Ragnarok Online 3rd job Mechanic can get a set of powered armor.
  • The Silencers from Crusader have a kind of powered armor as their uniform. The armor itself doesn't (apparently) increase strength or speed, but it can mount a dizzying array of technological devices, including wide-spectrum vision, targeting sensors, personal shielding (against weaponry and hard radiation), and also apparently comes with a backpack of holding standard. Oh, and it's apparently made of polonium, which (among other things) is extremely heavy.
  • Isaac Clarke in Dead Space (and presumably everybody else on the USG Ishimura) sports a pretty neat looking high tech mining suit that boosts the strength of the user, as he can apparently decapitate somebody with one punch in his suit, as seen in this video. Skip to 30 seconds to see a good old space zombie punchout. Doesn't really help him out much, though, as said zombies are left relatively unfazed.
  • Relatively late in Silent Storm, you gain access to Mecha Panzers, developed by Nazi scientists. They're as ridiculous as they sound, and if you want to finish the game, you'll need all of them you can get.
  • Prominently featured in Conduit 2. Players can also customize their armor loadouts for different attribute buffs.
  • In Time Crisis 4 there are suits that allow the mooks within to remain mobile whìle firing rotary guns.
  • TimeShift had a pretty nice suit, a bit like The Master Chief's, except you didn't need to be superhuman to use it, but still made you stronger, faster, provided shields, in addition to providing the power to slowdown time, stop time and reverse it (like 10 seconds).
  • Featured prominently in Vanquish, which basically allows the user to go Crazy Awesome. Comes with a shapeshifting gun!
  • The Demonica in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is designed to withstand the environment of the Schwartzwelt, a place innately hostile to humanity. It increases in power as its user progresses, and early on acquires the Demon Summoning Program, allowing them to control creatures of eldritch power. The only catch is that there are no on-board weapons - you have to carry an issued gun and knife.
  • World of Warcraft has several versions which straddle the line between this and Mini-Mecha, such as Goblin Shredder and Gnome Pounder. In addition, the Gan'arg demons and some creations of the Scourge employ powered exoskeletons though they're more of a Hollywood Cyborg and Frankenstein's Monster respectively.
  • The idea of powered-armor-wearing shooter heroes is directly ridiculed in Duke Nukem Forever. Duke is offered some oddly familiar power armor but turns it down on the grounds that "power armor is for pussies". In fairness, since Duke can kick an alien's head off, rip open metal doors with his bare hands and survive weapon damage using the power of his ego, he hardly needs it.
  • Arguably, almost all armour in every RPG where characters receive bonuses other than protection (such as increase to attributes such as strength and agility)from their equipment is this. Naturally, this depends on whether items are actually enhanced or enchanted to provide benefits or it's a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation and the bonus provided is purely mechanical.
  • Aleste Gaiden puts protagonist Ray Waizen in a suit of high-speed combat armor which can jump 30 meters In a Single Bound and comes equipped with twin gravitational-energy swords.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The A.N.T from Mechagical Girl Lisa A.N.T., when used by a human (it was intended as a Humongous Mecha for alien ants).
  • Ysengrin from Gunnerkrigg Court. His wooden arms aren't Artificial Limbs, but part of magically-powered shapeshifting armor. Made of wood. Surrounding a pathetically wizened and balding wolf.
  • Girl Genius: This suit, while not armored, certainly does all the other things that power armor is supposed to do.
    • There are armorpants - a lower half, not as much of armor as a running exoskeleton with mounted heavy weapon.
    • The Corbettite Monks got suits that apparently are steam-powered.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, most military groups wear some or other powered armor.
    • The most common variety is form-fitting low-profile armor, which can deflect small arms fire, increase strength, deploy helmet-cowl providing breathable air, and has inertiics to compensate for impacts (and explosions) and fly. Many (such as UNS and Celeschul, and Toughs after the latter) use it as uniforms.
    • Tagon's Toughs used bulky armored suits, which was civilian-grade gear bought on the cheap, then switched to low-profile armor, and later got an advanced heavy armor, worn when they expect the fan to be hit hard - with autonomous lifesupport (as in, nanomachines recycling the wearer's waste) and pauldron cannons with their own low-grade AI, that can detach and fly around.
    • Doyt-Haban was wearing an experimental suit with integrated AI and escort of mini-drones said to be dangerous to tanks at short range. There was also a security team with suits that can stand up to quite powerful weapons, with integrated pistol-sized gun on top of the helmet.
    • The Esspererin with their "battle suits" introduce yet another twist of the concept: not only the lines between suit and vehicle can be blurred, but after you throw in enough of robotics, the lines between automated vehicle, Animated Armor and armored cavalry aren't quite clear either.
  • In SSDD Tessa and the rest of her squad of super soldiers are field-testing experimental powered armor that is controlled using Nano Machine implants as of the current arc (which is backstory), she has been seen using the armor in other story arcs that take place later (from her perspective).
  • Nodwick played with thes a few times. Piffany gets a suit at one point, as an Aliens Shout-Out.
    • An extra from Aaron Williams with the steam-powered version.
  • Abigail Primrose in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob owns a suit of Bubblegum Crisis-styled Powered Armor capable of flying into space. It was given to her by space dragons.
  • In Sluggy Freelance the 4U City military initially seemed to be using Giant Robots, but these were later revealed as being this trope.
  • In Tales of the Questor, the newest member of Quentyn's party is a knightless squire with a sort-of-borrowed, sort-of-stolen suit of armor. Magical, self-propelled armor.
  • The squirrels at Sequential Art built a set of suits (along with a Mini-Mecha for 4mb3r) after the giant bug incident.
  • Coga Suro: Steve's second Super Suit [and possibly the third] works like this; in the sequel, Zero-Saviour wears a Robot Girl that turns into a Kamen Rider-esque suit of Power Armour.
  • The Bulls from My Life at War wear bulky, primitive power armor. They even have power cables to power them.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Many characters from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe wear Powered Armor. Arrowstar, Scarab, Detroit Steel, Doctor Tomorrowland, Talos, Cyclone, Lawgiver, Liberty Belle, Piping Shrike, Ironclad, T-72, Rainbow Knight, Industry, Iron Mask, Steel Tortoise, Dragonfly, Horus, Solar Centurion, Chevalier, Haephestus, The Templar, To, Tetsuronin, Resolute, Ogun, Myrmidon, the Iron Amir, and Lancelot, just to name a few.
    • The Iron Legion is an entire team of villainous Powered Armor wearers.
  • The GIACA from Welcome to Omega is a good example, but it's not strictly speaking power armor. It's a lot like the Venom symbiote, built into the wearer's genome and its protection based off their reaction time.
  • The armor worn by the Dimensional Guardians in the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes.
  • Building your own suit of power armor is apparently a pretty common ambition of gadgeteer and devisor students at Whateley Academy. (In a bit of a subversion, the blind devisor Jericho is working on a life-saving powered armor super-suit for EMTs and medics to wear on battlefields and in similarly dangerous spots like your basic superpowered hero-vs.-villain slugfest.)
    • Loophole has designed and built a suit of 'Iron Man' style power armor with flight, weaponry, and spacesuit capabilities. She's about fifteen. Dynamaxx has a similar power armor suit, but he may have bought some of the components.
    • In "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" a squadron of mercenary killers, half of them in power armor, attack Ayla's friends. Since these are friends from Whateley Academy, this turns out to be a serious mistake.
  • Nick Klein inherited his grandfather's Powered Armor and his superhero identity, The Rocket, in Jim Zoetewey's Legion of Nothing.
  • Lampshaded in the blog-novel Flyover City! – crime fighting archer Sureshot is something of a joke until he dons his 90s-style cyber armor… transforming him into an even bigger joke.
  • The Onion mentioned it in passing on the video about the axed Dragon Tank.

"Or the Cyberarmor so after one of our troops is shot his body will keep firing guns while rock music plays".

  • Powered armor does appear in Darwin's Soldiers but they are intended mostly for carrying heavy cargo.
  • Any Machinima filmed using Halo will naturally require the presence of this trope. How much it's emphasized or played with as a part of the plot may vary.
    • Red vs. Blue adds specialization modules that give individual Freelancers different abilities. These can range from invisibility, to super healing, to creating a Stable Time Loop.
  • Soldiers in the Registry of Time universe wear suits of armor that increase strength, stamina, speed, and have have built in targeting systems.
  • Iron Man, War Machine, Iron Clad, Iron Cross, Captain Marvel and many others use these in Marvels RPG.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • As in the comic book continuity, Lex Luthor occasionally donned a Kryptonite-powered battlesuit in the Justice League franchise. Possibly as a friendly Shout-Out to Iron Man, it was originally intended to slow the effects of a terminal heart condition (ironically the result of constantly carrying around a piece of Kryptonite).
    • Also ironically, it packed Kryptonite rays up the wazoo, making it quite appropriate for battling Superman.
  • Granny May from Word Girl has one. In addition, one episode involved the Evil Genius Dr. Two-Brains building one.
  • The Earth Corps scientists from Inhumanoids wore Powered Armor designed for subterranean exploration.
  • Gargoyles loved this trope:
    • Xanatos had several versions: His standard suit which resembled a crimson gargoyle, the bulky iron gargoyle suit that he used to fight Oberon, and a sort of skeletized armor that basically consisted only of a chestplate, powered gauntlets, and a rocket pack.
    • Dingo from The Pack in the same series opted for Powered Armor rather than cybernetic upgrades or genetic manipulation like his fellow Pack members.
    • The three modern Hunters are also briefly seen using their own variety of Powered Armour.
    • Demona had powered armor in the first act of "The Reckoning".
    • Subverted in "Leader of the Pack": Coyote appears to be Xanatos in yet another suit of powered armor, but it turned out to be a robot.
  • Transformers has a few varieties. The simplest are the exo-suits worn by Spike and Daniel in Generation 1—these are modified space suits that confer protection and limited transformation ability. Headmasters and Targetmasters in the American continuity are more advanced forms, which grant improved protection and firepower as well as full transformation abilities, effectively making them one with their partners. In addition, the Autobot Pretenders in Masterforce can summon powered armour as an intermediate form between their Human and Transformers forms.
  • The suit from Batman Beyond originally served as an aid to keep the older Bruce Wayne in decent fighting condition, before his heart gave out. The suit was certainly sleeker then most Powered Armors, protective yet still retained a certain fabric-like dexterity. Bruce later showed a more "Iron Man"-like suit he had designed years earlier, which was more powerful and had heavier armor, but also put a lot of strain on the wearer. Of course Bruce later got to wear the suit to help Terry in a jam.
  • In The Batman, everyone's favorite vigilante dons a power suit similar to the larger one from Batman Beyond in order to tangle with Bane. It allows him to survive, but that's about it.
    • He later dons a different suit to battle a Mind Controlled Superman, although it doesn't help much aside from providing a distraction.
  • One of the episodes of the first season had Kim Possible obtaining a power armor that got powered up by the user's stress level. Ironically, despite all the good things that came with the armor, Kim defeated Shego much easier without the armor...
    • It's not like she'd be used to using it.
    • She later gets a battle suit. Among its features are: defensive shields, self-repair, the ability to capture and redirect energy beams and a physical boost sufficient to let her clumsy boyfriend become a star quarterback.
  • Exo Squad has the "Exo Frames", usually called "E-Frames", which are somewhere straddling the line between Powered Armor and Mini-Mecha, in addition to the occasional Giant Mecha (one of the Terran examples even has a hangar bay for launching E-Frames) and the lighter Powered Armor worn by the Jump Troopers.
  • The Monarch and his Deaths-Head Panoply from The Venture Brothers. Subverted in that it isn't actually powered. Its just a solid, unmoving suit that fires missiles and rockets about. He can't even move his arms. However this is due to design flaws that haven't been worked out yet.
  • In "Gangland", an episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Silvermane shows off his powered armor, which inexplicably doesn't cover his face. It's the kind of powered armor that hums and whirs with every movement, and the noise tips Spidey off about how to defeat him.
  • TMNT villains Baxter Stockman and Darius Dun use these when they want to get offensive. The Shredder also takes to these when he wants a power boost, although, given his Utrom-y nature, those may actually count as Humongous Mecha.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command established that Star Command spacesuits were power armor. Would've justified the toy's clunky appearance... except the animation style made the suit sleeker.
  • Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender sometimes uses her earthbending to create an armor of rock that covers her entire body. It makes her virtually invulnerable to about everything and by using earthbending to move it doesn't slow her down the least.
  • Gizmoduck of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck fame wore Powered Armor that was almost reminiscent of Inspector Gadget, with mechanical arms and gadgets coming out of every panel. In the new Darkwing Duck comic series, Gosalyn controlled the Gizmoduck suit for a while, since it responded to her Catch Phrase.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades features this courtesy of M.A.R.S. Industries. Warning! May cause bouts of Unstoppable Rage.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Beak", the titular brothers build a suit that was half this, half mecha (since it required the two of them to pilot it).
  • In the Wallace and Gromit short "The Wrong Trousers", Wallace buys a pair of ex-NASA techno-trousers. Hilarity Ensues.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Believe it or not, it's coming. Utah-based company Sarcos has already developed a functional powered exoskeleton called "XOS" that increases the strength of the wearer significantly. As one person put it, "From enough grace to gently play ball, to enough super-power to load a missile on an aircraft". And indeed, from the footage, it seems surprisingly mobile. The main problems being that A) Currently, it doesn't have the covering to act as armor, but they fully intend to add an outer shell when the kinks are worked out. And B) they're still working out how to power it as a self-contained unit. The scary part? Sarcos has been bought up by a defense contractor called Raytheon, meaning we may be seeing elite soldiers in these things in a decade or so. Indeed, the US Army already field tested it in 2009.
    • According to Scientific American, Raytheon plans to introduce a tethered version of their suit for logistics and loading/unloading in 2015, and an untethered version 3–5 years after that. The logistical problem with the untethered suit is building in a power supply that won't run out in less than an hour.
  • A one man project armor that while not fire proof could have potential use for fighting forest fires. Or the vengeful, hellfire-fueled ghost of Smokey the Bear.
  • Atmospheric Diving Suits, especially the more modern ones, could be seen as a type of Powered Armour.
  • A Japanese company named Cyberdyne introduced a powered exoskeleton named HAL (it's like they're trying to bring about the end of mankind). See for yourself.
  • The US military model HULC has graduated from testing to production, still no arms though, but has the added bonus of being useful for spinal cord injury sufferers. [1]