->''"Hm. Upgrades."''
-->-- '''Neo''', ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded''

The reverse of DoomedUpgrade, in anime mecha series it's common for the main mecha (and sometimes secondary ones as well) to be upgraded or replaced about halfway through the storyline. Either the original is damaged, destroyed or simply outclassed by the MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours nature of the opponents.

In many such cases, the series starts with the protagonist mecha so powerful that no enemy unit can stop them, then to get some balance the enemy catches on eventually and creates weapons powerful enough that defeating them gets virtually impossible. Finally, the heroes get their upgrades to devastate their enemies and restores their superiority.

In cases where the original mech survives or is later retrieved, it often becomes a hand-me-down given to one of the other members of the cast - as in several Gundam series - but is now rather outclassed.

Note that the opening sequence of the show will probably change to show the upgrade, although the title may not.

Don't be surprised if happens in time [[MerchandiseDriven for new toys to get out for Christmas shopping season]].

Not to be confused with the acquisition of a new SuperMode. See also NextTierPowerUp. If it's not in the middle but in the beginning of a new season, it's SoLastSeason. Compare and contrast MechaExpansionPack, where they just tack new stuff onto the old mech.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The term "mid-season upgrade" is used in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' fanspeak, and happens in almost every series except for [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam the original]] (which only had an upgrade for the first suit, not a replacement).
** ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' was the TropeCodifier, with Kamille Bidan's Gundam Mk. II being upgraded mid-season into the eponymous Zeta Gundam.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'' has fun with this trope, giving protagonist Shiro what can only best be described as a "side-grade", with his damaged Ground-type Gundam being repaired into the "Ez-8", a kitbash using whatever spare parts were available just trying to get the thing running again, that nonetheless slightly outperformed its original incarnation.
*** The antagonists' ''Apsalus'' mobile armor plays the trope straight and hard, getting ''two'' upgrade over the course of 12 episodes.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket'' was actually a LampshadeHanging of this trope, showing why the original anime [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness never used this trope]] (the Gundam Alex was supposed to be given to Amuro for the final battle of the One Year War, but Zeon commandos ultimately destroyed it before it could finish testing). Note though that only the actual anime lacked this trope; in the {{novelization}}, Amuro ''did'' upgrade to the RX-78-3 "G-3" Gundam, a similar model to the RX-78-2 with magnetic coating on its joints, among other upgrades to let it keep up better with his heightening [[PsychicPowers Newtype reflexes]] (in the anime, they just apply said coating to his -2).
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'' initially plays this the same way as ''08th MS Team'', where the [=GP01=], which is only designed for ground combat, gets trashed when Kou tries to use it in a space battle, and over the course of an episode or two it's repaired and [[MechaExpansionPack upgraded]] into the [=GP01-Fb=], which primarily adds additional thrusters for zero-gravity mobility. Then it goes for a more traditional example, where both it and the stolen [=GP02=] destroy each other in combat, and Kou moves on to the even better [=GP03=].
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' is notable for having Judau upgrade to the machine very early on, not even a quarter of the way through the series. This is balanced out by getting improvements on the machine at two separate points, turning it into an AceCustom version.
** They even manage to fit one of these into one of the movies, the Nu Gundam ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char's Counterattack]]''. This example is notable in that, much like Kamille's Zeta Gundam, Amuro designed this upgrade himself.
** [[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam The V2 Gundam]] is a straight example of this, even though the protagonist would still occasionally pilot the previous model or even an enemy unit.
** ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' is an interesting case. Out of the main five, Domon is the only one who plays this trope straight. The others get {{Super Mode}}s.
*** In-universe, Master Gundam is classified by the Gundam Fight Committee as a mid-season upgrade to the Kowloon ([[DubNameChange Haow]]) Gundam, even though the Kowloon Gundam was really Master Gundam in disguise.
*** The more recent manga adaptation ends up giving the rest of the main five upgrades. And they're ''still'' just as stereotypical as you can get.
** And of course, there's ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', in which each of the six primary pilots gets a mid-season upgrade. Played with a bit in that Heero and Zechs receive each others' eventual upgrades and then swap the next time they meet. Additionally, Trowa and Quatre's upgrades are little more than space mobility conversions for their original Gundams, though Trowa's upgrade does come with double the firepower of the original. Then comes ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz'', but since the Gundams are a RetCon rather than entirely new machines, the only actual upgrade is the Tallgeese III.
** While counted as an upgrade, the Wing Zero is actually the predecessor to the original Gundams.
*** Interesting only Duo and Wufei actually get their upgrades mid season. Heero doesn't get to keep Wing Zero for good and Trowa and Quatre don't get their upgrades until the very final arc.
** It occurred twice in ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'':
*** Played with when the original X was rebuilt into the X-Divider, as it lost its most powerful weapon, the Satellite Cannon. On the other hand, the Cannon was borderline useless much of the time since it could only be used at night when the moon was out, Tiffa had to mentally activate it the first time for Garrod to be able to use it, it had a awkward firing position that rendered the Gundam helpless while firing, it could only be fired once per battle, and when it was the result was a gigantic, unwieldy beam of annihilation that caused tremendous collateral damage. The Divider's weapons may have been weaker in terms of destructive capability, but they were more effective as they could be fired anytime by anyone with the beams much easier to control. It also had its rifle separate from the shield, which was much easier to use than the combo rifle-shield the original X had.
*** Later, Garrod swaps out the X-Divider for the brand-new Double X Gundam, which brought back the Satellite Cannon. The Double X corrected all but the night problem (it had Jamil's brainwave data taken from the first Gundam X so Garrod could arm the weapon on his own, it swung over the shoulders allowing the Gundam to do other things while charging, and it was easier to control the firing angle). Like the Divider, it also corrected the X's unwieldy armaments with separate shield and rifle, as well as two beam sabers.
** While not a full-fledged replacement, the ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' having its "limiter" removed, which gives it even more ways to destroy things and activate its deadliest weapon: The Moonlight Butterfly.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Gundam SEED]]'' and its sequel [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny SEED Destiny]] has several of these with almost every notable character getting an eventual upgrade.
*** Kira starts with the Strike and Athrun starts with Aegis. Both are destroyed at the half way mark of the series in a showdown between the two. Both of them get upgrades soon after in the form of the Freedom and Justice when Lacus helps Kira steal the Freedom and Athrun is given the Justice to go after it.
*** In Destiny, Kira keeps the Freedom but because of the peace treaty that limited use of certain technologies by the Earth Alliance and [=ZAFT=], it is still the most powerful suit on the battlefield until Shinn exploits Kira's reluctance to kill and successfully destroys it. Kira then upgrades to the Strike Freedom that allows him to be the biggest threat once again. Athrun initially has the Saviour which is inferior to the Justice which was destroyed at the end of the last series. The Saviour is destroyed around the half way mark but Athrun doesn't get his upgrade, the Infinite Justice until much later and spends a lot of time out of commission. Initially, the Legend was intended for him but this did not play out as he defects from [=ZAFT=].
*** Mu La Flaga initially pilots a measly space bound and switches to a Skygrasper when they return to Earth. When the Strike is rebuilt, he keeps it. Similarly, Cagalli pilots a Skygrasper in occasion but upgrades to the Strike Rouge. In the sequel, Cagalli gets a much better suit, the Akatsuki but she doesn't pilot it fire long before passing it to Neo Roanoke who initially piloted a Mobeius Zero and Windam [[spoiler:and is actually Mu La Flaga.]]
*** Rau Le Creuset pulls several [=ZAFT=] grunt suits before finally getting a proper Gundam in the finale in the form of the Providence.
*** Shinn starts with the Impulse and upgrades to the titular Destiny and the former is handed down to Luna who had only a grunt [=ZAKU=]. Rey also upgrades from a [=ZAKU=] to the Legend Gundam.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' might have all other Gundam series beat on this. The first season has new support systems for the Gundams towards the end of it, plus a SuperMode for each. Then, the second season features ''two'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C9WGVMG8l8 rounds of]] upgrades for the ''new'' Gundams (which technically invokes SoLastSeason, except brand-new mechs are the usual mid-season upgrade for a Gundam series, so this kind of happens ''three or four times'' in 50 episodes).
*** Taken to it's absolute zenith with [[BloodKnight Graham Aker]]. He gets at least ''three'' upgrades for his AceCustom unit in the first season alone, shifts to a ''different'' AceCustom at the beginning of the second season and then gets what seems to be a SuperPrototype... which is upgraded ''twice'' during the course of the following episodes. [[spoiler:Recent events indicate that the last few may have actually been upgrades to his original unit]]. Lucky guy.
*** The series also inverts this in the final episode: protagonist Setsuna and BigBad [[spoiler:Ribbons Almark]] destroy each others' Gundams and each takes with one of the 00 Gundam's GN Drives. [[spoiler:Ribbons]] finds [[spoiler:his old 0 Gundam]] and installs the Drive he stole, while Setsuna's allies send him the Gundam Exia, though in this case both machines received a few minor upgrades in the meantime.
** Being based on Gundam, ''Toys/BBSenshiSangokuden'' would hand out mid-season upgrades at several different points in time, turning characters into mechas related to their archetypes. Ryuubi Gundam turned from the classic RX-78-2 into the Perfect Gundam, Shiba-I Sazabi evolved into the Nightingale, the list goes on.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]'' doesn't have the upgrade ''at all'', something that hasn't happened since the first series. While the titular mobile suit does get stronger, it's either through a MechaExpansionPack in the form of a ridiculous amount of heavy ordinance and two massive boosters, or pilot Banagher upgrading its SuperMode by [[TookALevelInBadass coming into his Newtype powers.]] The Unicorn itself is exactly the same mecha from beginning to end.
*** Happens to both Marida and later Riddhe when they go from their [[AceCustom ace mobile suits]] to the Banshee. However, Riddhe gets to piloted the updated form called Banshee Norn which adds a revolving launcher to its beam magnum, a specialized shield that doubles as an auxiliary thruster and a powerful beam weapon. More psycoframes are also added on its back which, when in Destroy Mode, forms a lion's mane. [[spoiler: And just like the Unicorn, it also gets an awakened super mode at the end, though not the crystallized version.]]
** ''Anime/ModelSuitGunplaBuildersBeginningG'' has Beginning Gundam upgraded to Beginning 30 Gundam. TheLancer also has Sazabi replace Hyakushiki.
** ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' continues the tradition with the main characters Sei and Reiji under going two upgrades with the same machine in the Build Strike (a customized variant of the Strike Gundam) and later on adding a backpack with additional thrusters with beam cannons and can even function as a controllable fighter jet. After its destruction, it gets upgraded into the Star Build Strike with a [[PowerGivesYouWings special backpack sprouting beam wings]] that can be configured into three different modes after either charging up or absorbing beam energy through its specialized shield. In between these upgrades though, Sei built a separate emergency machine called Build Mk.II, essentially a customized Gundam Mk.II.
*** Their rival, Tatsuya a.k.a. Meijin Kawagachi III, also goes through an upgrade from the Zaku Amazing to Kaempfer Amazing, then to [[spoiler: Amazing Exia and its corrupted Dark Matter form]].
** ''Anime/GundamBuildFightersTry'' has all three protagonists go through an upgrade simultaneously, although Yuuma makes adjustments to his Lightning Gundam early on for dedicated hit and run tactics by adding a long barrel to his beam rifle and a BWS for a fighter mode, similar to its original base unit's functions. Hoshino on the other hand, swaps out her Powered GM for an SD-type Gundam to support her allies.
*** For the Japanese tournament, Sekai's Build Burning Gundam evolves into the [[spoiler:Try Burning Gundam, which adds more of the blue parts that stores Plavsky Particles similar to the RG system used by the Star Build Strike. It has the same attacks, but the performance was better tuned so that the machine could handle Sekai's more extreme attacks such as the unnamed phoenix attack that shattered the original's arms.]]
*** Yuuma is the only one of the three who didn't alter his unit's frame. Instead, [[spoiler:He simply replaces the old backpack with a new one capable of keeping up with and even exceeding the speed of a Trans-Am'd Kyrios in fighter mode without needing to transform himself, along with additional beam cannons]]
*** Hoshino upgrades her Winning Gundam to the [[spoiler:Star Winning Gundam, which was heavily modified to be able to fight without having to support or rely on her allies and features a hidden super mode which transforms the unit from an SD to a properly proportioned version of itself]].
*** For the final match [[spoiler:Sekai and his friends make final adjustments to all three units so that their polycaps were made to be compatible with each others frames, allowing them to swap out parts with one another. Minato states that they practically had to rebuild them to make this work]]
** ''Anime/GundamReconguistaInG'' is weird about this. The two main characters, Bellri and Aida, stick with the G-Self and G-Arcane respectively (though they do get fancy new {{mecha expansion pack}}s in time for the final battle). On the other hand, nearly ''everyone else'' trades up at least once throughout the series, if not more.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'' is also kinda weird with this, because Mikazuki goes through 6 different Barbatos forms throughout the entirety of Season 1. For a couple more traditional examples, Akihiro goes from a Graze Kai (a jury-rigged Graze that was barely holding itself together) to the Gundam Gusion Rebake (the Gundam Gusion frame outfitted with new armor), while Shino goes from a lowly mobile worker to the Ryusei-Go (which was the Graze Kai with a lot of upgrades).
*** In season 2, nearly ''everyone'' who's gotten into the cockpit of a mobile suit got one. To name a few:
*** Mikazuki upgrades from the Barbatos Lupus to the Barbatos Lupus Rex [[spoiler:after the former was severely damaged in the fight against the Mobile Armor Hashmal. The latter uses the tail blade mechanism from the Mobile Armor.]]
*** Shino upgrades from the Ryusei-Go III (a custom Shiden with an AV input system installed) to the Ryusei-Go IV (the Gundam Flauros). As a result...
*** Ride (who used to pilot a standard-issue Shiden with no AV system installed) gets handed down the Ryusei-Go III and renames it Riden-Go, giving it a new paintjob and an additional gauntlet on the right forearm.
*** Dante swaps out his standard run-of-the-mill Shiden for a Landman Rodi, a Man Rodi with improved ground capabilities.
*** Hush switches from a Shiden to a Hekija (which was designed for ease of use).
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': New captures, attacks, and evolutions are typically gained throughout a season rather than being localized near the beginning or the end. This is mostly because the ungodly amounts of {{Filler}} act as huge buffers between plot points and wind up distributing them fairly evenly.
* It also happens to the supporting cast only in ''Anime/RahXephon'' with the ''Vermillion'' units. Played straight as the first Vermillion gets severely damaged in the final battle to the point where Elvy ditched it in favor of her original fighter plane.
* It's late in the original ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' (probably because the series was originally meant to be 13 episodes but only 8 were made), and also present in the remake.
* Then there are the Alter upgrades in ''Anime/SCryed''.
* The Mark Sein in ''Anime/FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor''.
%%* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' had these. Some of them are lost at the end of the season, which somewhat justifies the following SoLastSeason.
* Happens at various points in ''Anime/CodeGeass'', though rarely with actual upgrades.
** Lelouch hijacks the SuperPrototype IFX-V301 Gawain to replace his ace custom mecha about 2/3 of the way through the first season. Said SuperPrototype gets destroyed in the season finale, and the salvaged parts are used to rebuild it into the Type-0/0A Shinkirō which has {{Deflector Shield}}s and a BeamSpam WaveMotionGun.
** Suzaku gets a flight pack for his Z01 Lancelot in episode 20 (Z01/A Lancelot Air Cavalry). In the second season, Suzaku has the entirely new Z01/D Lancelot Conquista, essentially a visually similar redesign with an integrated flight system and a WaveMotionGun. The Lancelot Conquista is thrashed in it's first battle with the Guren SEITEN so it's replaced with the [[PowerGivesYouWings winged]] Z01/Z Lancelot Albion a few episodes later; the Albion is more of an AceCustom than a SuperPrototype as it is built specifically for Suzaku. The Albion is destroyed in the final episode. As for the original Lancelot, it is rebuilt using spare parts into the Lancelot Frontier which is destroyed very quickly.
** Kallen gets two: first her Guren Mk-II is upgraded in the sixth episode of the second season (Type-02/[=F1A=] Guren Kashōshiki) to take on the Lancelot Conquista, featuring an integrated flight system and a new right arm radiant wave surger that's almost {{Wave Motion Gun}}/{{Kamehame Hadoken}} levels of badass. It's eventually captured by the Britannians and heavily upgraded in episode 18 into the extremely high-spec Type-02/[=F1Z=] Guren [[FunWithAcronyms S.E.I.T.E.N.]] which not only features a [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority red version of the Lancelot Albion's wings]], it's right arm becomes capable of DetachmentCombat.
* Every ''Franchise/PrettyCure'' series features a mid-season upgrade, invariably the ability to summon some item that allows the use of a more powerful attack and is [[MerchandiseDriven conveniently available in toy form.]]
** ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'' plays with this a bit. Miki realizes she's the only one who doesn't have her upgrade yet, and spends an entire episode desperately trying to avert CantCatchUp.
** ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'' have the girls get the ''item'' they need for their upgrade, but they don't get the actual upgrade until the 3/4ths mark; they needed a fourth and she was busy being in a TenMinuteRetirement until someone told her to GetAHoldOfYourselfMan, then they had to deal with a SecretTestOfCharacter.
** ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure'' took this to ridiculous heights: they get their first upgrade just after they get the team fully formed a few episodes in, then they get the required upgrade, then they get another upgrade at the 3/4ths mark and a ''final'' one in the final episodes.
** ''Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure'', plays with this as well. The first person to get a mid-season upgrade? Iona, after her old powers get destroyed.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'''s seasons usually have their first Mega debut around the 35th to the 40th episode, and it's usually TheHero and TheLancer that gets to have this (with the exceptions of ''Anime/DigimonSavers'', which had all of the main fighters get a Mega ''and'' Burst Mode; and ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' with the PowerTrio and SixthRanger).
* Halfway through ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'', the titular mecha has taken a rather thorough shellacking, and Van has been [[{{Synchronization}} synchronized]] to it. The heroes call in the Yspano clan, who originally built Escaflowne, to repair it and save Van.
* The first two seasons of ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' had this. The first season just upgraded their porons, but ''Sharp'''s was a magic upgrade (complete with a brand new outfit) that could be only be used on Oyajide when he kidnapped Hana-chan.
* ''Franchise/{{Zoids}}'':
** In ''Anime/ZoidsChaoticCentury'', Van's Shield Liger was magically transformed into a Blade Liger after getting trashed in a battle.
** In the sequel series, ''Guardian Force'', Van gets a couple minor improvements to the Liger's guns and boosters. Irvine, on the other hand, gets a brand new prototype Zoid (the Lightning Saix) to replace his wrecked Command Wolf (that's been there since his first appearance in the first season).
** This happens in every ''Zoids'' series, really, given the MerchandiseDriven nature of the show. A notable subversion is Bit Cloud's Liger Zero in New Century/Zero, which could be transformed into various specialised units thanks to its Changing Armour System, but defeated the final, ultimate antagonist (the Berserk Fury) in its original basic armour.
** The scene where they show an X-ray of Liger Zero's Organoid system imply that it may in fact be Van's original Liger permanently fused with Zeke, which, if true, would make it a Between Season Upgrade.
** In the same series Brad upgraded in a similar way to Irvine, from a Command Wolf into a prototype Zoid called the Shadow Fox.
** ''Anime/ZoidsGenesis'' to most of the protagonist units -- except the main one, which already had its own [[TransformingMecha powers]].
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' often subverts this; whenever a character changes mecha, their new ride isn't necessarily better than their previous one:
** In ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', Alto and Luca actually ''downgrade'' from their VF-25s to a VF-171 variant called the VF-171EX. On the plus side, this variant is specifically tuned to be an anti-Vajra upgrade. In the film adaptation, Alto then gets a genuine upgrade: The YF-29 Durandal Valkyrie.
** In ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'', [[TheHero Basara]] uses the same Valkyrie for the whole show, while [[TheLancer Gamlin's]] upgrade is practically the same unit as his first one with only a different head and different markings to show that he is a squadron commander. The only character to actually switch to a completely different mecha is Mauve Shirt Docker upgrading from a Nightmare to an Excalibur, and he's totally ineffective with it. Basara gets an true upgrade in ''Dynamite 7'' though.
** In the original ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'':
*** In his first battle, the still-civilian Hikaru is on the Valkirye VF-1D trainer variant; when he's finally in the military, he gets the VF-1J ace variant, which itself gets the battroid-only upgrade for a single battle; after Roy's death, he inherits his VF-1S, which is faster and better armed than the standard ace custom, and gets a Super Pack with anti-ship reaction missiles for the final battle against Bodolza's forces.
*** Max starts with the standard VF-1A, receives a VF-1J after getting promoted, and fights the final battle with his fighter upgraded with a Super Pack.
*** Milia starts with a Meltrandi Queadluun-Rau power armor, gets downgraded to the inferior VF-1J upon joining UN Spacy (since it doesn't have any Queadluun-Raus), but fights Bodolza with her VF-1J upgraded with a Super Pack and the one thing the Queadluun-Rau never had, anti-ship missiles.
* In ''Anime/EurekaSeven'', the Nirvash is upgraded to Spec 2 standard just a ''little'' bit after the series' midpoint, allowing it to better contend with [=theEND=], as well as adding an additional vehicle mode.
* [[Anime/TokyoMewMew Mew Ichigo's]] Strawbellbell gets an upgrade once we are through the DebutQueue, and again once they get all the Mew Aqua... so it's more of a quarter-season and three-quarter-season upgrade.
* In ''Anime/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', once the PowerTrio gets the song ''KIZUNA'', they get instant FrillyUpgrade - and so do the AloofAlly they were saving and the girls trapped in PeopleJars, despite not doing anything. You tell me how that works.
* In ''Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce'', Ginrai discovered a trailer approximately 1/3 of the way through the series, and learned to combine with it a couple of episodes later at a moment of [[DieOrFly dramatic need]]. A around the 2/3 point, he got his hands on the Godbomber, which allowed him to become even more super.
* A frequent occurrence in ''Franchise/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', first with Nanoha and Fate adopting the cartridge system in ''A's''. It's usually accompanied by a new TransformationSequence for the characters as well. In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' the devices had limiters and were actually capable of doing things like the dagger mode of Cross Mirage as early as the time the Forwards had received them. The only sort of upgrade that happens to them is Mach Caliber being tweaked to better support Subaru.
* ''Anime/{{Gravion}}'' doesn't get its upgrade until midway through the ''second'' season/series.
* ''Anime/{{Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann}}'s'' most obvious upgrade is [[MechaExpansionPack hijacking a flying Gunmen and converting it into a jetpack/mega boomerang]]. Since the jetpack was attached to Gurren's body, Gurren is also now able to fly on its own, but the series only depicts this once: [[spoiler: right as Viral is forced to detach Lagann and throw it at Granzeboma when Gurren is pinned by its CombatTentacles]].
** From the beginning, it starts off as just Simon with the Core Drill. Then, he finds Lagann, finds out the Core Drill activates it, and now has a MiniMecha. Next episode, Kamina hijacks the Gunzar, totals an arm and both legs, and tears apart two other mecha piloted by Beastmen mooks. Littner village salvages enough parts from the two wrecked mecha to rebuild Gunzar with better, more humanoid limbs, and Kamina has the mecha stylishly repainted, emblazoned with Team Dai-Gurren logos, and the swords reforged into a giant pair of boomerang glasses. He re-dubs the Gunmen "Gurren," and no faster than its debut episode, does Kamina get the idea to wedge Lagann on top to match up with Viral's two-headed Enki... and Gurren Lagann is born. On top of that, Kamina tears off Enki's helmet head by accident, plunders it, [[AwesomeMomentOfCrowning places it atop Lagann]], and completes the transformation.
** Viral's Gunmen, Enki goes through a forced downgrade. He loses his helmet to Kamina, which had a focusing lens for an energy beam weapon, losing it in the process. He remodels Enki into Enkidu, basically the same mech with an axe blade crest replacing the head. Then, he realizes the weapon's not good enough, has it removed, and replaces it with a second set of swords and arms, turning Enkidu into Enkidudu. Unfortunately, the mechs never stand up to Gurren Lagann, and after the TimeSkip, seven straight years of wear and tear cause Enkidudu to break down for good.
** It's also mentioned that most of the protagonists' Gunmen were upgraded by Makken and Leyte during the TimeSkip with new [[spoiler: Anti-Spiral]]-combative weaponry. Later, when they discover the frightening Gunmen-manufacturing capabilies of Cathedral Terra, they devise Space Gunmen, new, super-sized versions of the pilots' original Gunmen with much more firepower on tap.
** The protagonists' base also upgrades throughout the series: first is the captured Dai-Ganzan (repainted red, given a new control watchtower and a team flag, and renamed Dai-Gurren), then the Arc-Gurren (and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rfKf8JLnbY Arc-Gurren Lagann]]), then Cathedral Terra (and Super-Galaxy Gurren Lagann), and finally the [[TitleDrop Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann]].
** In a subversion or parody of the usual mid-season upgrades, the new, larger and more powerful Space Gunmen everyone receives, and all the scaled up Gurren Lagann mecha are actually ''piloted by'' the original Gunmen, so it's [[MetaMecha giant robots driving even larger giant robots]]. Repeat this four times for Gurren Lagann in all its variations. And if you want to know the scale, it goes from person-sized robot, to standard mecha genre building-size robot, to New York City-sized robot, to ''planetary-sized robot,'' and finally a robot that '''''dwarfs galaxies.'''''
** Kittan has a unique combination sequence he performs with Kiyal's Kiyalunga: the latter become a shield and double-pointed spear for the former- Kittan calls the combination "King Kittan Deluxe," and he hitches a ride on the Dayyakaiser for good measure.
** The first movie adaption, ''Gurren-hen,'' gives the Beastmen Generals' fortress Gunmen a combined form, with Viral replacing Thymilph's hijacked Dai-Gunzan with a look-alike of his own. Yoko also gets a more stylized version of Dayyaka's Gunmen to fit her persona better.
** The second movie, ''Lagann-Hen'' goes as far as to not only give Yoko another new Space Gunmen take of the Dayyakaiser in the original series, but has a major alteration in plot that [[spoiler: [[SparedByTheAdaptation spares all six Space Gunmen pilots killed in episode 24 of the original anime]]]], and a huge change to the FinalBattle. This time around, Granzeboma [[CurbstompBattle tears apart Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann]], only for all the pieces to form scaled-up Tengen Toppa versions of Lagann, the Space Gunmen, a fusion form of Gimmy and Darry's Grapearls, and a fused form of the Dai-Gurren and Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren. Lordgenome, however, doesn't assume a Tengen Toppa Lazengann (mainly because he's such a badass he can both fight on his own ''and'' survive the ''vacuum of space'' on his own and generate a Gunmen at will), but according to series concept drafts, one was made; basically his mecha fused with his generals' mecha and Viral's Enki. Kittan also got a Tengen Toppa mecha concept design... [[spoiler: but unfortunately, [[HeroicSacrifice his role in the series did not change...]]]]
** Finally, we have the upgrade that happens at the movie climax: The Gunmen reform back into Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and assume an even ''bigger'' form, the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a swirling, caped humanoid mass of Spiral Energy that is [[spoiler: [[WordOfGod supposed to be Kamina reincarnated]]]] and is almost '''''UNIVERSE-SIZED.''''' On top of that, [[spoiler: Anti-Spiral]] matches the transformation with Super Granzeboma, revealing that all this time, there was an even ''greater'' extent to the race's power than the anime ever depicted. And did we mention they hold the all-time record for largest mecha ever depicted in anime, or for that matter, ''ever?'' Obviously!
* Chachamaru in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' gains one of these after her GadgeteerGenius creator [[MadScientist Hakase]] gathered the observed battle-data of the [[SchoolFestival previous arc]]. Among a few new weapons and a speed upgrade, one major aesthetic improvement has her concealing her mechanical joints with softer, more realistic skin. She still has a set of [[UnusualEars antenna ears]] on her head, so its not hard to figure out she's a robot.
* Chor Tempest in ''Anime/{{Simoun}}'' suffers a mid-season ''downgrade'' from the ''[[CoolShip Arcus Prima]]'' to the ''Messis'' when the former ship is sabotaged.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and his sequels:
** Mazinger Z was routinely upgraded to allow it fight on different enviroments successfully or to endow it with new weapons to fight increasingly powerful enemies. The most prominent of those upgrades was the [[RazorWings Jet Scrander]]. Sayaka's robot -Aphrodite A- also got upgraded in the third episode with [[TorpedoTits its signature missiles]], and in one of the last episodes Sayaka got her upgrade to Diana A.
** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' got the Great Booster (a JetPack increased its speed and was endowed with a retractable spike could be used to impale enemies with) relatively late in the series.
** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' got upgraded throughout the series with several attachable, flying vehicles allowed it maneouvering more easily in space, in sea or underground: Double Spacer -piloted by [[TheLancer Kouji]]-, Marine Spacer -piloted by [[LoveInterest Hikaru]]- and Drill Spacer -piloted by [[WarriorPrince his sister Maria]].
** ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'' subverts and plays straight this trope. Kouji Kabuto gets the upgrade from Anime/{{Mazinger Z}} to Mazinkaiser in the first episode and doesn't get his Kaiser Scrander upgrade until the final episode. However, Sayaka Yumi gets her upgrade from Aphrodite Ace to Venus Ace in episode 3.
* The titular mecha in ''Anime/AuraBattlerDunbine'' is replaced midway through the show by the new Aura Battler Billbine (as a gift, no less). It's also a textbook early example of the hand-me-downs variation, predating ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' by 3 years, with Dunbine becoming Marvel Frozen's mecha.
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'' plays this trope straight. Mithril's [=M9E=] Gernsbacks are shown to be capable of opening a can of whoopass on just about every other stuff used at the time and coming out victorious (mainly due to them being third gen; in comparison, mainstream second-gen uses more-or-less real-life technology). Until, smack dab in the middle of the first season, Kurz is nearly killed when the Codarl blows his M9 to hell and back with his own shot. Conveniently, Mithril has their own SuperPrototype, the ARX-7 Arbalest (essentially an M9 with FullContactMagic capabilities) which they quickly airdrop for Sousuke. Cue [[BigBad Gauron]] getting his ass kicked. He later returns with an advanced Codarl model so that's a Mid-Season Upgrade ''for the bad guys''.
** And much later, [[spoiler:the Arbalest gets torn up by the Belial. No problem, though; it's wreck is used to birth the most badass Arm Slave ever made: the ARX-8 Laevatein]] which is somewhere between SuperPrototype and AceCustom since it's truly one-of-a-kind but it was specifically built for the pilot.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** After getting hit and partly melted by Ramiel's laser beam, Unit-00 was outfitted with new armor and weapon-carrying capabilities.
** Unit 01 gains an S2 (Super Solenoid) Engine, the core that gives the Angels endless energy, allowing it to become both self-sustained and self-aware. However, the upgrade is acquired by [[spoiler:devouring the organ right from an still-breathing Angel's guts.]]
** Unit-02 got special, heat-proof armor in an episode. Said armor resembled a scuba diver suit.
* The Anime/BraveSeries:
** Anime/GaoGaiGar to Star [=GaoGaiGar=]. In addition to gaining giant engines (the better to operate in space), [=GaoGaiGar=] used the nacelle cowlings ''on'' the engines to beef up its RocketPunch and the Protect Shade.
** Guy starts out ''FINAL'' in the replacement mecha [=GaoFighGar=], which gets utterly totaled early in the series. After a few episodes centering around the SixthRanger King J-Der, he comes back in the [[GameBreaker patently overpowered]] [[PhysicalGod Genesic GaoGaiGar]].
** The entire series, which the above-mentioned Gaogaigar belongs to, all make heavy use of this trope. In general, the series feature one main mecha and one or two teams of combining support mecha, though occasionally this is switched up with one team of support mecha and one other stand alone mecha. Each series runs 52 episodes or there abouts. By episode 18, one of those two support mecha teams will have gained an additional (usually fourth) member, allowing all four to combine into a larger mecha. Around episode 25-27, expect the main mecha to get knocked out of action somehow, and a new hero mecha introduced to replace him in fighting evil. By episode 32, you can look forward to the original hero mecha and the new one combining into a new form (usually named "Great" Hero mecha)[[note]] Funnily enough, the aforementioned [=GaoGaiGar=] is the only exception to this since there is no new hero mecha for [=GaoGaiGar=] to combine with-- The closest thing to another robot it combines with is Goldymarg, and that's not part of the aforementioned Star [=GaoGaiGar=]. The series seems to treat the SixthRanger King J-Der kinda like one of these mecha as there's a brief period of time where Guy is out of commision, but J-Der can't combine with [=GaoGaiGar=]. [[/note]]. The other support team doesn't usually get an upgrade. Occasionally, new mecha are introduced who are either stand alone guys, or who turn into weapons for the hero mecha, giving him a second mid-season upgrade.
* In ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'', the cars get mid-season upgrades as the series progresses. For instance, Hayato's Asurada GSX is upgraded to the Super Asurada 01 in the second half of the TV series. In ''11'', it's been upgraded into the Super Asurada AKF-11, and in ''SAGA'', the car is upgraded once again into the v-Asurada AKF-0-AKF-0/G. Similar cars get the same treatment.
* Partway through the second season of ''Manga/InitialD'', Takumi's [=AE86=] Trueno [[spoiler:[[HeroicRROD breaks down]] ([[HeroicBSOD along with him]])]] and gets an engine swap. [[spoiler:His father [[TricksterMentor lets this to happen]] so as to force Takumi to accept the swap.]]
* Subverted with ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'''s [[SuperMode Good Luck Mode]], a modification Doc Saito added to Kotetsu and Barnaby's PoweredArmor in episode 5. What does it do, exactly? [[spoiler:Absolutely nothing. Except make them look cooler]].
* ''Manga/BakusouKyoudaiLetsAndGo'', features several upgrades for each of the good guys mainly because their racing cars are occasionally trashed by [[CarFu battle cars.]] Go and Retsu each get ''two'' upgrades of Magnum (Victory Magnum and Cyclone Magnum) and Sonic (Vanguard Sonic and Hurricane Sonic) in the first season.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsters'' has Yami's ability to merge with his monsters in the fifth episode. Dark Magician evolves into Magician of Black Chaos in the eighth, and stays that way.
* In ''Anime/{{Xabungle}}'', Jiron goes from the titular mech to the Walker Gallia. To note: this is ''the first'' mid-season upgrade for the RealRobot genre.
* The titular mecha of ''Anime/MetalArmorDragonar'' get attachments that give more missiles and the ability to fly midway through the show, though they feature prominently in the opening from the very beginning.
* Halfway through ''Anime/GearFighterDendoh'' the titular mecha is upgraded with technology copied from [[GrandTheftPrototype the captured Ogre]] to allow it to use a single pilot instead of needing two (the one actual difference between Dendoh and Ogre). [[BoringYetPractical It's very small, but considering they only had two pilots capable of piloting the mechas it effectively doubled their fighting force]].
* ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'': Galient got "Assault Galient", a combination of assault rifle and ShoulderCannon.
* Miho's Panzer IV Ausf. D is the only tank from Ōarai to get an actual Mid-Season Upgrade in ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', the girls swapping out its original cannon for a high velocity gun just before the semifinals (upgrading it to an Ausf. F2 configuration). The Panzer IV is upgraded again just before the FinalBattle, gaining additional armor "skirts" to make it an Ausf. H configuration. The only other tank from Ōarai to get an upgrade is Turtle Team's Panzer 38(t), which is converted into a Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" tank destroyer before the final match.

* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': After [[EldritchAbomination Ramiel]] melted Unit-01's armor, the [[HumongousMecha Evas]] got the L-Type Equipment: new, sturdier armor, and new, more dangerous weapons. After the first battle against Israfel, Unit-01 got a WaveMotionGun and Unit-02 a chain-axe.
* ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'': About midway through the story, [[EvilSorcerer Daolon Wong]] manages to transform himself into a Shadowkhan and add their [[CastingAShadow powers]] to his own, including being able to make his own tribe of Wizard Khan. In response, Jade -- who already has Shadowkhan powers of her own thanks to [[SuperPoweredEvilSide her Queen persona]] -- also learns to make her own tribe of [[AmazonBrigade Kunoichi Khan]].
* ''FanFic/JewelOfDarkness'': Partway through the Rivalry Arc, after the encounter with Mad Mod, Jinx develops a new outfit for herself. Among other things, it's magically warded to protect her from energy attacks.
** The start of the same arc also sees [[VillainProtagonist Midnight]] develop a new suit of armor for herself, made from [[spoiler: [[TheStarscream Ai's]] remains]]. It is also magically warded, specifically to counter Jinx's hex magic (which her old suit was vulnerable to).

[[folder: Film]]
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': Gandalf The Grey dies and returns as the more powerful Gandalf The White.
* Tony Stark has a tendency to do this in the ''Film/IronMan'' movies. In the first movie, he upgrades his chest-mounted arc reactor to increase its power output [[spoiler: although this upgrade gets removed for his final fight scene]], and in the second he has to engineer [[spoiler: a new atomic element]] to both power up the reactor and stop it from killing him,.
** Also applies in a slightly more traditional sense--the armor he's using in the end of the first movie is Mark III, and by the end of the second he's up to Mark VI.
*** Also the film's version of War Machine is [[spoiler:Tony's Mark II armor upgraded by the military]].
** This happens again in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''; Tony upgrades to Iron Man Mark VII armor, and SHIELD gives ComicBook/CaptainAmerica a new, modern uniform to replace his World War II outfit.
** He does it again, this time UpToEleven, in ''Film/IronMan3'' with ''42'' suits. It's explained as his coping mechanism to deal with the PTSD of his near-death experience in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. He found comfort in tinkering around his workshop.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', where Cap ditches his black ops uniform (in a deleted scene it's revealed that it had a tracker on it) and switches back to his World War II uniform. Notably, unlike the new uniform the old one is ''not'' bulletproof, resulting in a serious injury in the climax.
* All of the original Avengers in ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', except Thor. Even Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk gets a new pair of stretchy pants.
* Ditto for ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', where all of the Avengers have new costumes and tech courtesy of Tony Stark.
* In ''Film/BlackPanther'', T'Challa gets a new suit that uses NanoMachines to act as a suit of InstantArmor.
* ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees Spider-Man donning a new high-tech suit that's inspired by his Iron Spider armor from the comics.
* In the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' live-action movies, Bumblebee changes from a beat-up 70's Camaro into a brand-new 2009 Camaro, and the sequel the twins go from being an ice cream truck to Chevy compacts.
** In [[Film/{{TransformersAgeOfExtinction}} the fourth movie,]] Bumblebee goes through two different forms (a mostly black and worn out 1967 Camaro and a 2014 concept Camaro), and Optimus likewise goes through two vehicle modes after ditching his Peterbilt form from the first three movies, taking the shape of a [[Franchise/{{TransformersGeneration1}} G1-evocative]] Marmon 97 truck while in hiding, then becoming a Western Star once he takes on his new, more knightly appearance.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* The Max Spark in ''Series/UltramanMax''.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark]] gets new powers (XRayVision, [[EyeBeams heat vision]], [[SuperSenses super hearing]], etc.) as mid season upgrades usually just in time to use it to save the day. It is not NewPowersAsThePlotDemands as they are all [[SuperpowerLottery established powers of Superman]].
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', and by association ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', often add to the heroes' arsenal about midseason... usually just in time for the Christmas shopping season. The most common additions come in three flavors:
** The SixthRanger.
** A SuperMode, with new weaponry and changes to the suit. This can either apply to the whole team or be exclusive to the Red Ranger - or they'll do one of each version.
** New HumongousMecha, usually opening up new [[CombiningMecha combination possibilities]]. These may be tied to the above upgrades; the SixthRanger usually brings his own mecha when he shows up, and other sets of mecha may be related to the Super Modes.
* In ''Series/BeetleborgsMetallix,'' the Beetleborgs get the ability to combine their new powers with their [[SoLastSeason old ones]] from ''Big Bad Beetleborgs,'' making the Mega Spectra Beetleborgs.
* With its reliance on {{Swiss Army Hero}}es in recent years, ''Franchise/KamenRider'' often gives its headlining Riders a LightningBruiser form in the middle of the season. Sometimes the secondary Riders get new forms as well.
** This happened from the very beginning of the franchise. ''Series/KamenRider'' had Ichigo and Nigo go from their original forms to their more recognizable Shin forms that are still used today. ''Series/KamenRiderStronger'' and ''Series/KamenRiderSkyrider'' got new abilities in the middle of their seasons. Stronger's Charge Up form is the ''Franchise/KamenRider'' franchise's ''first'' form change, but it'll explode if he doesn't finish the job and discharge the extra energy under a minute. Skyrider's upgrade is permanent, resulting in the original darker colors lightening to their more familiar version.
** ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'' plays this a little differently, as instead of just getting shiny new forms that are stronger than their original ones, he ''also'' have those original forms enhanced, I.e. Kuuga's Mighty Form becomes Rising Mighty Form. He then of course got the even more upgraded LightningBruiser (Amazing Mighty Kuuga) and SuperMode (Ultimate Kuuga) form later on.
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' also gets this. His first four forms are all usable from the outset unlike Kuuga, but then he gets "Dragon" versions of each. Their powers can be combined into "All Dragon." Beyond that is the true SuperMode, Infinity Style.
* Midway through the second season of ''Series/BabylonFive'', the station received an upgrade to its defensive systems, due to increasing tensions amongst the major powers. General Franklin remarks that the upgraded station would be capable of [[{{Foreshadowing}} taking on a starship]] in battle.
** The heroes were given the [[CoolStarship White Star]] at the beginning of Season 3. Towards the end of Season 3, it was revealed that this was merely the ''first'' White Star, and that they now had an entire fleet of them ready for battle.
* Almost happened in ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', where after five episodes were shot the sets & uniforms got overhauled to look a lot cooler. Then ExecutiveMeddling led to the upgrade-style episodes being aired ''first''.
* Happened the seventh episode of ''Series/TheFlash2014'', Barry loses his SuperSpeed to a new energy-draining meta-human named Farooq. He tries electrocuting himself again to jump-start his recovery, but it doesn't work. Finally, when Farooq is about to kill Dr. Wells (whom he blames for his condition), Barry's concern for him not only causes his powers to come back, but he's also moving ''much'' faster than before, tapping into more of his potential. This is demonstrated by the camera going into BulletTime to show Farooq's lightning blasts slowly traveling to Dr. Wells, and Barry is still {{Flash Step}}pping in this mode. When Farooq tried to feed off Barry again, he underestimated Barry's new reserve and, basically, choked to death. Still, Barry's speed was not enough when he finally faced off against the Reverse-Flash in the mid-season finale.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' Season 7B. Not only did it introduce a new companion in the middle of the season, it also changed The Doctor's costume, the TARDIS desktop theme and the title sequence. It felt almost as much a JumpingOnPoint as ''The Eleventh Hour'', with the only constant element being Matt Smith himself as the Eleventh Doctor.
* Midway through Season 1 of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', the titular starship gets upgraded with new "phase cannons" to fight an alien threat.

* Used in Creator/SternPinball's ''[[Pinball/IronManStern Iron Man]]'', which requires the player to advance the Iron Man armor up six increasingly-advanced technological levels, from Mark I through Mark VI.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In the Japanese video game ''[[VideoGame/GeppyX 70s Robot Anime Geppy-X]]'' (a horizontal shoot-em-up that's an AffectionateParody of the ''Manga/GetterRobo'' franchise (as well as ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and the {{Macekre}} that was ''Starvengers'')), halfway through the game your mecha is destroyed, but luckily you receive an upgraded version of it, Geppy-XX, which you keep for the remainder of the game.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', while a game series, follows this trope almost to the letter. Almost every game will feature the main character (and sometimes even characters from existing anime beyond the ones featured in the shows themselves) getting at least one of these. Most notably, in the OriginalGeneration games and the AnimatedAdaptation, Ryusei goes through 2 and a half of these (the half being finding out the units of his squad actually make up a CombiningMecha.)
** It should also be noted that Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}} was originally created as a Mid Season Upgrade for Anime/MazingerZ in ''F Final''.
** In a PSP exclusive mission for ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsMX'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7j659VjfIQ Aqua pilots a Dragoon for the second time and together with the Dragonars, have to take on a large force of Martian Successors]]. More enemies show up and wreck Aqua's Dragoon. As a result, the Dragonar team and Aqua are outnumbered. Hugo shows up with an upgraded robot and shows how powerful it is. This instance was supposed to show that Hugo and the mecha got improved after the Medius Locus wrecked it 2 missions ago.
** Some of the games in the series parody this by including an upgrade called "Tem Ray's Circuit", which actually ''decreases'' the abilities of any mecha it's installed on. It's in reference to the original ''Gundam'' series, in which Amuro's father, delusional from oxygen deprivation, gave Amuro a useless piece of junk that he claimed would drastically increase the Gundam's power.
* From ''ThunderForce IV'' onwards, it's become a tradition to have the player ship get a permanent upgrade halfway thorugh the game [[ThemeMusicPowerUp to some pretty awesome music]].
** In ''Thunder Force IV'', your ship gets an attachment that allows you to fire the [[ChargedAttack Thunder Sword]].
** In ''Thunder Force V'', you swap out the Gauntlet for the Brigandine, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome proceed to blast the shit out of a battleship fleet]] until you go to the next stage or run out of LifeMeter (at which point you revert to the Vambrace, essentially an enhanced Gauntlet).
** In ''Thunder Force VI'', if you are using the Phoenix, the end of the second-to-last stage upgrades you to the Syrinx, which comes with an improved Wave weapon.
* Late into ''[[VideoGame/NineteenFortyTwo 1944: Counter Attack]]'', your {{Attack Drone}}s get swapped out with more advanced drones that shoot lasers. ''Laser drones in World War II.''
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', you start getting upgraded gears for several characters about midway through. Some are just other gears you find (that happen to be almost exactly like the ones they're replacing) but some are actual upgrades by use of "Anima Relics". Fei's Weltall gets upgraded twice: Once to Weltall-2 and then near the end of the game to the titular Xenogears.
* While you can build actual Mid-Season Upgrade units in ''Gundam Breaker'', the true upgrade for the player takes place when you move from using High Grade parts to the much larger and more powerful Master Grade versions.
* Happens to Jehuty in ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEndersThe2ndRunner'' when the Zero Shift program finally settles in, transforming it into Jehuty Ver. 2, which turns its fin-like Wisps into full-on attack drones that shoot and slash with Jehuty and an auto-shield that blocks anything short of a Burst Attack
* In ''Gundam Extreme VS Maxi Boost'', Leos goes from his original Extreme Gundam to the Type II VS, which brings all the Extreme's phases together to form something that is essentially a super robot version of Strike Freedom with an Erupting God Finger-esque attack.
** Happens to [[spoiler:Ex- of all people in ''Maxi Boost ON'' when he returns as Ex Treme, now using an upgraded black version of his Extreme Gundam called Extreme Gundam MK. II AXE. Rather than using giant armors, it deftly flies around the arena firing energy blasts from its hands, a hidden beam cannon and its mouth, massive beam swords formed from its flying shields and even manages to essentially turn the Gundams Leos derived his own unit from by creating hard-light replicas of other Gundams that can mimic the weapons and functionalities of the originals.]]
* Happens to pretty much everything you have in ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}: Cataclysm'': the vehicles you research get one or more upgrades as the story goes on, the most notable being the player's command ship going from a large customizable mining vessel to a highly-capable {{Battlestar}} equipped with a WaveMotionGun and capable of building her own fleet through the course of the game.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'': [[Anime/TransformersArmada The]] [[Anime/TransformersEnergon Unicron]] [[Anime/TransformersCybertron Trilogy]] was built on this trope.
** In ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' [[spoiler: Smokescreen]] is killed messily, but Red Alert makes a new body for him. Later a number of the cast members supposedly get "upgrades", but they're mostly repaints.
** The QuirkyMinibossSquad of Tidal Wave (later Mirage), Cyclonus (later Snowcat) and Demolishor (who is...still Demolishor) get new bodies in''Anime/TransformersEnergon''. The repaint issue shows up again.
** Overhaul gets upgraded to the lion Leobreaker in ''Anime/TransformersCybertron''. Red Alert, Hot Shot, and Scattorshot are given new bodies when they become the Cybertron Defense Force.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' the "Transmetal" upgrades in season 2 were [[WhatCouldHaveBeen originally]] going to be done throughout the season, but Hasbro [[ExecutiveMeddling mandated]] that it all happen at the beginning of the season. Season 3 got to do it's "Transmetal 2" upgrades gradually, with Cheetor and Dinobot 2 getting that status at roughly the halfway point.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', Season 2 had the Winx earn Charmix, which was a simple power-boost that occurred late in the season. Season 3 had Enchantix, which was gained by the characters separately throughout the season. Season 4 had Believix, which was gained early in the season, and Sophix and Lovix. Season 5 had Harmonix early in the season and Sirenix in the middle.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'', TheSquad's mechs were upgraded with SuperPrototype devices mid-second season. Although said devices didn't bring about a combat performance improvement as most examples above, they did save their lives on several occasions later.
* A rare Children's example is WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine's colleague Henry The Green Engine. In the famous Flying Kipper episode he crashes and is rebuilt from a cartoonishly designed locomotive into a Black Five; a locomotive design that is historically the best mixed traffic locomotive ever built. This move by the Rev. Awdry was due to his original illustrator not knowing much about steam engine designs.
* Early in the second season ''WesternAnimation/VoltronTheThirdDimension,'' the titular robot travels to another dimension and transforms into Stealth Voltron. It isn't a permanent upgrade however as Voltron returns to normal when returning to its home dimension. It does however transform into Stealth Voltorn every time it returns to the other dimension.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' had Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Ventress and Palpatine receiving updated character models in the middle of Season Three.
* In Season 2 of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'', the auxiliary craft ''Phantom'' gets upgraded with hyperdrive capabilities.
* In Season Two of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'', the Guardians gain a power boost, revealing new powers and abilities that they didn't have before.
** Also present in the original comic book: they start out with the abilities they gain in the season 2 of the adaptation with some variants (in the comic everyone can become invisible and Hay Lin's exclusive powers are to discover the past of objects by their sound and flying, the latter of which could be done by everyone in the adaptation, while Cornelia can manipulate not just [[GreenThumb plants and wood]] but [[DishingOutDirt the earth itself]]), their abilities increase in power at the start of the fifth arc, the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin New Power]] story arc increase their powers and give everyone the ability to fly, and at the end of the final arc they gain a sense-based power each and the ability to [[FusionDance join in a powerful super being]] [[AllYourPowersCombined with all their abilities]].
* After the Whizzing Arrow II is destroyed at the halfway point of ''WesternAnimation/ObanStarRacers'', it is replaced by the Whizzing Arrow III, which sports greater fuel capacity, a stronger hull, and additional boosters for a faster [[NitroBoost hyperdrive]].


[[folder: Others ]]

* In the Magazine/{{Dragon}} Magazine series "Voyage of the ''Princess Ark''", the titular flying ship is accidentally upgraded when it gets possessed by a powerful, sphinx-like extraplanar entity. Not only does the ''Princess Ark'' become sentient in the process, but it rebuilds itself into the shape of a gigantic sphinx, with sails mounted laterally for wings and a separated bridge/head that floats above its shoulders, turning side to side to 'look' at things or deliver a lightning-blast roar.
* ''Toys/{{BIONICLE}}'' had this as its method of keeping hero characters in focus -- as with every change came new toys. It was either this, or [[SpotlightStealingSquad bringing in new heroes]] and [[OutOfFocus push the old ones back]], the creators explained.
** The Toa Mata upgraded into Toa Nuva 2/3 of the way through the first umbrella-arc. This happened, by the way, directly ''after'' the enemies had been dealt with and just before the new ones showed up.
** The entire [[{{Hobbits}} Matoran]] populace of the island Mata Nui received new, stronger bodies halfway through the 2003 story.
** Six of those original Matoran characters then became Toa Inika around the middle of the 2006 story. Then, the following year (1/3 of the way through the main arc), were transformed into Toa Mahri. Although in this case, it can be doubted if this really ''was'' an upgrade -- they lost several unique powers, but also gained new ones.
** The Toa Nuva returned after a 4 year-long break (in real life), when they received their AdaptiveArmor upgrades at the 2/3 mark of the aforementioned arc. Then, mid-2010, their leader, Tahu had to be ''down''graded for the GrandFinale, back into his Toa Mata state, but kept the AdaptiveArmor.
* A rare, mythological version exists. In Arthurian legend, KingArthur pulled the Clarent (a.k.a. the Sword on the Stone) successfully to become king of England. Said sword got destroyed in battle, but he was able to receive the better and the more famous Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake.
* In ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'' , the titular character receives the Naegling after the destruction of his Hrunting in his battle against Grendel's mother.