Created By: Weaver on July 25, 2013 Last Edited By: Weaver on July 27, 2013

Rise to Fight Again

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Trope
In war, soldiers are killed, with each death representing a loss of manpower and a reduction in an army's ability to fight. And the deaths add up.

Therefore it probably isn't terribly suprising that every so often in fiction there's instances of dead soldiers being reanimated in order to send them back to the front lines, be it via science or magic.

Frequently We Have Reserves taken to its logical extreme and, depending on the methods used, can also qualify as We Can Rebuild Him on an industrial scale. Compare Night of the Living Mooks

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In One Piece, on the Thriller Bark, there are Soldier Zombie and General Zombie divisions, who are made of dead legendary soldiers reanimated by Gecko Moriah's power.

Film

Literature
  • Deconstructed in one of Robert Sheckley's short stories, where two countries are locked in a Forever War, thanks to both being able to restore their dead soldiers back to life indefinitely. The protagonist is a soldier who approaches his last revival (there is a law limiting how many times a guy might get revived)--but just as he dies for the "last" time, the law gets changed. So he goes out and tries dying by head shot, but it turns out, the medics have already learned how to fix even that.
  • Stalkers in the Mortal Engines series are corpses that have been reanimated with cybernetics, and are often modified to serve as elite soldiers.
  • An example of the zombie variant shows up in the short story Weaponized by David Wellington, compiled in the The New Dead anthology by Christopher Golden. The U.S. is recycling casualties into (literally) remote controlled meat robots by implanting a chip in a corpse and wrapping their body in a biohazard suit. Each zombie soldier costs less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee. It all seems to be going great for the Syrian campaign until the insurent jihadis figure out how to do it themselves.

Mythology
  • Celtic Mythology features multiple 'Cauldrons of Resurrection' which were used to resurrect warriors slain on the battlefield.

Video Games
  • A terminal in Marathon features an excerpt from "The History of Battleroids". Battleroids were soldiers who were killed in the war between Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492 and subsequently "recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form." It is heavily implied in the games that the player character is a Battledroid, one of ten brought onto the Marathon in stasis.

Western Animation
  • The Cauldronborne from The Black Cauldron are undead soldiers reanimated from the remains of perished warriors via the dark powers of the titular Black Cauldron. The Big Bad Horned King wants the cauldron because of this, and aims to rule the world.

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • July 25, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Basically We Can Rebuild Him on an industrial scale?

    • Norse Mythology: The Einherjar are Viking warriors slain in glorious battle and taken to Valhalla so they can train for Ragnorak. This is used in a few works inspired by Norse Mythology as well.
      • Warhammer40000: The Space Wolves recruit young Fenrisians who go down swinging and resusciate them. Of course, space marine training being what it is many of them die in a more permanent manner before training is over.
      • Too Human: The AESIR corporation has teleporting cyborg valkyries pick up fallen soldiers so they can be made into nine-foot tall armor-plated cyborgs.

    • Other 40K examples:
      • Dreadnoughts are mortally wounded Space Marines wired into armored coffins with legs and arms and assorted cannons.
      • Necrons are virtually indestructible, they can be rebuilt even if melted into metal pools.
      • Tyranids use a slightly different definition of "recycling". When they're done infesting a planet they eat their ground forces, living or dead, and use the biomass to spawn new ones when they move to the next planet.

    • In Star Craft Protoss Dragoons are Zealots who only escaped death because their armor contains an emergency teleporter.
    • Warcraft III has the Undead's Necromancers, who can produce short-lived skeletons from corpses, either side's corpses.
  • July 25, 2013
    DAN004
    I Read That As "Recycled Tropes". :P

    Compare Night Of The Living Mooks, btw.
  • July 25, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^Same, heh.

    We Have Reserves taken to its logical extreme.

    Rises To Fight Again?
  • July 25, 2013
    Astaroth
    • In Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri, the cutscene for the Nano-Factory secret project shows a swarm of nanobots being set loose in the aftermath of a battle and recycling the debris (including human corpses) into a shiny new hovertank.

    • Stalkers in the Mortal Engines series are corpses that have been reanimated with cybernetics, and are often modified to serve as elite soldiers.
  • July 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In The Incredible Hulk circa issue 400 the Leader reanimates General Ross (who was dead at the time) to run his Redeemer armor to battle the Hulk.
    • In an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine a Jem H'edar unit and a Bajoran unit do battle on an isolated planet where everyone who dies comes back to life to fight again. Nobody in particular does it, it's a feature of the planet itself. If they leave the planet they'll drop dead and stay dead. After Kai Opaka (the spiritual leader of Bajor) is killed and resurrected, she is forced to stay on the planet or else she'll die too.
  • July 25, 2013
    dvorak
    I second "Rise to Fight Again."
  • July 25, 2013
    Koveras
    • Deconstructed in one of Robert Sheckley's short stories, where two countries are locked in a Forever War, thanks to both being able to restore their dead soldiers back to life indefinitely. The protagonist is a soldier who approaches his last revival (there is a law limiting how many times a guy might get revived)--but just as he dies for the "last" time, the law gets changed. So he goes out and tries dying by head shot, but it turns out, the medics have already learned how to fix even that.
  • July 26, 2013
    DAN004
    • In One Piece, on the Thriller Bark, there are Soldier Zombie and General Zombie divisions, who are made of dead legendary soldiers reanimated by Gecko Moriah's power.
  • July 26, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Western Animation

    • The Cauldronborne from The Black Caudron are undead soldiers reanimated from the remains of perished warriors via the dark powers of the titular Black Cauldron. The Big Bad Horned King wants the cauldron because of this, and aims to rule the world.

    Video games

    • Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge features the Grinder building for Yuri's faction it is used to recycle units, preferably mind-controlled enemy captives, into resources for building more of your own troops and buildings.
  • July 26, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • In Dungeons And Dragons, the Animate Dead spell can be used to change the corpses of soldiers into undead skeletons and zombies to continue the fight.
  • July 26, 2013
    kjnoren
    Web comics:

    The second panel in the linked page would probably make for a spiffy trope illustration.
  • July 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Un-wikiworded the word "UniSols" in the Universal Soldier example.
  • July 26, 2013
    Chernoskill
    One example where fallen soldiers are recycled by the enemy:

    • In Mutant Chronicles, the bodies of fallen human soldiers are taken by the Dark Legion and brought into a huge machinery that converts them into Undead Legionnaires, basically zombified soldiers that mindlessly march forward as long as their squad leader is alive to control them.
  • July 26, 2013
    Chabal2
    There's a Batman storyline set in the future where the US can wage war with greatly reduced casualties, mostly because the soldiers are Frankensteinian reanimated corpses of American soldiers. Strangely enough, the general public was not made aware of this detail.
  • July 26, 2013
    Earnest
    Literature

    • Another zombie variant shows up in the short story Weaponized by David Wellington, compiled in the The New Dead anthology by Christopher Golden. The U.S. is recycling casualties into (literally) remote controlled meat robots by implanting a chip in a corpse and wrapping their body in a biohazard suit. Each zombie soldier costs less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee. It all seems to be going great for the Syrian campaign until the insurent jihadis figure out how to do it themselves.
  • July 26, 2013
    Weaver
    Changed the title since 'Rise to fight again' was somewhat clearer as to what is actually meant.
  • July 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Though the title can be misinterpreted as a singular person being awakened to fight again... and "Rise" can have different meanings too :/

    BTW
    • In the Fourth Shinobi World War saga of Naruto, Kabuto uses the Impure World Resurrection Technique to resurrect many dead ninjas of the past to be used as his troops. Including, but not limited to previous Jinchurikis, dead Akatsuki members, previous Kages, and Madara Uchiha.
  • July 26, 2013
    Weaver
    The title seems to be an ongoing problem. I'm open to suggestions.
  • July 26, 2013
    Bisected8
    Compare Reviving Enemy.
  • July 26, 2013
    MrRuano
    Mortal Kombat: The general basis about the Dragon King's army is that the Dragon King himself can resurrect any who die in battle with magic and then send them back into the field of battle. This force is so powerful that they were even able to survive after being mummified, and this army's power is what draws Shang Tsung and Quan Chi to it, planning to utilize the army for their ends.
  • July 27, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Ares magazine #3, game Barbarian Kings. One of the Necromancy spells available is "Raise Units". It allows dead military units to be raised as zombies controlled by the caster.
  • July 27, 2013
    Astaroth

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4afrfjvtoeie48m6uyqywosd