We shall take only the greatest minds, the finest soldiers, the most faithful servants. We shall multiply them a thousandfold and release them to usher in a new era of glory.A common source of soldiers in science fiction is cloning. This can make sense if you want to mass produce one exceptionally good soldier or don't want to spend much time creating and raising an army of Designer Babies from scratch. Typically they grow to adulthood at an accelerated rate as well. Fridgelogic, however, may reveal that given how difficult assembling a single amoeba would be, mass chemical fabrication of multiceular human bodies would be the most counterproductive thing ever, and so choosing to do this rather than recruit them from amongst the populace where all that has already been done for them like normal is far superior. Related to Send in the Clones. Often overlaps with Expendable Clone and Faceless Mooks. May be used to justify We Have Reserves tactics. If the clones are a unique race they may form a Henchmen or Servant Race.
— Col. Corazon Santiago, "The Council of War", Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (Accompanies completion of the Secret Project "The Cloning Vats")
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Anime and Manga
- In Blood+ the Corpse Corps are clones of the Schiff Moses.
- Obito of Naruto created an army of Zetsu clones using Hashirama's DNA and the chakra of seven of the bijuu. Kaguya intends to reproduce this on a larger scale by converting the victims of the Infinite Tsukiyomi into Zetsu clones.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist an Amestrian general explains that the actual reason human alchemy is outlawed is not the associated dangers but that it could be used to create an army. Which is exactly what the Central Amestris army did. Unfortunately the manufactured humans just ate anyone they happened across, the army included.
- All soldiers of Germa 66 from One Piece, are clones, grown in tubes and programmed for being loyal and never question orders. Surprisingly, none of the soldiers actually aware about their origins.
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Glemmy Toto has the beginnings of one with his corps of clones of Elpeo Ple, a powerful Newtype girl. Only about 13 of them are actually created before most of them die in the final battle.
- The Judge Dredd universe features extensive cloning by the police force to which the titular Judge Dredd belongs. Dredd is a clone himself and on occasion has to fight his "brothers" who have gone rogue. The clearest example of an actual army however are the Judda, a clone army built by a rogue genetic engineer in Australia.
- The comic The Boy Who Wanted War had a scientist create a clone army based off his son's DNA. But there are still drafting from the population because it was not enough.
- The backstory to Prophet is about how the Earth Empire cloned John Prophet innumerable times so they could take over and enslave the universe. Not just straight clones either, but clones with special conditioning to obey the Empire, ones genetically modified to handle different environments, huge floating brain clones to direct other clones, even teenage Sex Slave clones. Eventually the clones rebelled and infighting destroyed the Empire. The main story is about sleeper agent clones reactivating and rebuilding the Empire, this time with nothing but clones.
- In the StarCraft / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic crossover The Koprulu Sector the Dominion uses cloning to fuel their rapid population growth. Most are not intended directly for the military, as it's easier to resocialize criminals, but the side story Born of Sin reveals that Scootaloo's DNA was used to breed an experimental army.
- In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Atlas and later Jakobs used cloning technology to produce hordes of commandos with only the best training.
- In the Pokémon fanfic The Power That's Inside, all the Officers Jenny and Nurses Joy are programmed to be this.
- Cycles Upon Cycles: Saren resorts to cloning to quickly build an army of fearless, perfectly obedient drones in numbers capable of matching the Terrans and Zerg.
- American Ninja 3 has an army of ninja clones.
- Star Wars:
- The page image features the Clone Troopers from Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, who are all cloned from famed bounty hunter Jango Fett. They are genetically engineered for obedience and age at twice the normal rate. In fact, the first generation of stormtroopers were mostly veteran clone troopers.
- Discussed in The Force Awakens. After Finn has deserted and broken out a Resistance pilot, Kylo Ren is openly sceptical of the First Order's stormtroopers, most of whom are regular humans taken at birth and raised to be warriors. While Hux is arguing that his troops are the best, Ren argues that perhaps a clone army would be better, showing that the Clone Troopers still have quite the reputation sixty years on.
- In Oblivion (2013) the Tet cloned an army of astronaut Jack Harper to conquer earth, then switched to drones and had the Jacks maintain them.
- Pootie Tang: Parodied with the fake Pooties. Only an idiot couldn't tell they were fakes, but they fool everyone anyway.
- In Steven L. Kent's "Clone series" (The Clone Republic, Rogue Clone, The Clone Alliance, The Clone Elite, The Clone Betrayal, and so on) all the enlisted men in every branch of the military are clones, and very disposable ones at that. In an interesting take on this concept, each individual clone knows that his fellow men are clones, but believes that he is a normal human. The inherent Fridge Logic in this scenario is given a rather inventive Hand Wave too.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Grand Admiral Thrawn recovered some Spaarti cloning cylinders capable of growing a clone to adulthood in a matter of weeks and giving it the original's memories. Regular humans come out OK if shielded from the Force during growth, but cloned Jedi invariably go insane.
- In the Alliance/Union series the Union military relies heavily on azi, mass-produced Designer Babies intended to help make up the population difference between the Union and Earth. They're not all clones per se, but many genotypes are copied many times.
- At least one novel in the Star Trek Expanded Universe mentions the Arcturians, who provide clone soldiers for the Federation military.
- in Worm, after the Slaughterhouse Nine are decimated, Jack had Bonesaw create an army consisting of ten clones of every member the Nine have ever lost, each with the original's powers and a reasonable attempt at their personalities. Bonesaw also created a couple of Hybrid Monsters combining two members' powers just for fun.
- In Old Man's War the Colonial Defense Force's personnel are all clones, but they're intended as replacement bodies for their geriatric recruits rather than mass-produced soldiers. In the second book an alien race is mentioned as having had an army of genetically identical clones, then another species wiped them out with a tailored virus and then massacred their civilian population.
Live Action TV
- In Dark Angel many of the X-5s have several clones, in the first season finale Max destroyed the stockpile of embryos so more wouldn't be born. When she was recaptured they tried breeding her the old fashioned way.
- Doctor Who:
- The Sontarans are an entire race of this. They're all clones of a general who lived 10,000 years ago.
- The two-part special The End Of Time features The Master Race. An army of six billion humans transformed into loyal clones of The Master.
- Warhammer 40,000
- Most Dark Eldar are vat-grown. "Trueborn" units have special stats.
- Many of the Adeptus Mechanicus's Skitarrii are grown in vats, or at least their organic components are.
- Depending on the Writer, the Death Korps of Krieg may all be clones of the exact same guy, a fact they hide from outsiders by wearing gas masks everywhere.
- In Paranoia, all humans are this for Friend Computer.
- You can do this in Dungeons & Dragons 5e by abusing the combination of the spells Simulacrum and Wish. Simulacrum is used to create a copy of the caster with half the HP and all of the spell slots (though with no ability to regain spells), and Wish can be used to duplicate the effects of any spell. To create the clone army, you cast Simulacrum, creating a clone of yourself with the ability to use Wish. The clone uses Wish to duplicate the effects of your spell, creating another clone who can also use Wish. That clone also duplicates the Simulacrum spell, resulting in yet another Wish-capable clone, and so on.[[note]]The older editions of D&D would put checks in place against game-breaking loopholes like this,
- The history of the Forgotten Realms had the Spawn Wars between several shield dwarven subkingdoms, so called because the warring factions made heavy use of legions spawned with the help of deepspawn, creatures capable of creating copies of creatures they eat. This ultimately turned out to be a terrible idea, as eventually the copied dwarves got integrated with regular society one way or the other — with the implied result that genetic variety amongst the shield dwarves crashed, contributing to their fertility issues in later eras.
- The King of Fighters '99 had the endgame involve armies of Kyo clones being staged across the world by Krizalid in an attempt to take over the world. Even if he were to succeed, which he did not, the governing body that created him had shut down his connections and the endboss of the next game, Zero, personally terminated Krizalid because of how out-of-control he got.
- In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the Lab Assistants are revealed to be this in the Secret Warp Room, where the production line of them is shown.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The alien troops are collections of genetic and cybernetically modified clones from a variety of species under the control of the Ethereals.
- In Total Annihilation the Arm's troops are clones while the Core's are robots with uploaded human minds. Or at least the Commanders are, the ordinary units could be just robots.
- In the First Encounter Assault Recon games, the Replicas you commonly fight throughout the series are clones of Paxton Fettel developed by Armacham.
- Grand Theft Auto 2: The SRS Scientists have developed a large number of clones, who are the foot soldiers you can find and fight around the streets and during missions.
- In Little Big Adventure, the tyrannical Dr Funfrock maintains control of planet Twinsun with an army of clones.
- The 1983 Atari arcade game Major Havoc has the title character leading an army of clones (all cloned from himself) against the automated bases of the collapsed Vaxxian empire, according to the backstory listed on the arcade cabinet.
- In Endless Frontier, it was revealed that the Shadow-Mirror had originally envisioned their W-Series forces to be this. They got as far as the prototype before realizing they had no way to accelerate his growth, so decided to go with androids instead.
- In Fire Emblem Elibe has War Dragons and their human counterparts morphs who could be considered a fantasy version of this, being life created from artificial means using recycled quintessence(life force) for the purpose of being expendable soldiers.
- In Warframe, the concept is put through an interesting spin. The fascist Grineer Empire is trying to conquer the solar system with soldiers cloned in industrial quantities that they claim are sourced from "perfection". In reality, the entire empire is falling apart, dependent on copies of copies of copies, riddled with so many genetic defects that they're dependent on cyborg technology just to survive.
- Mortal Kombat has Mileena, who was made to replace Kitana. As of Mortal Kombat X, this happens to Kano as well. He's not pleased about this.
- In Battleborn, Oscar Mike and Whiskey Foxtrot are two clone soldiers who are remnants of a clone army from a long-forgotten war. The difference between the two apart from personalities is that Oscar Mike is a regular clone, and Whiskey Foxtrot is a defective one.
- Empires that research cloning in Stellaris can create clone armies. They're slightly better than ordinary assault armies.
- The Prototypes from Sunrider are a “race” of cloned women who have been genetically enhanced to possess superhuman intelligence, telepathy, and a Hive Mind. L7 model Prototypes are specifically bred to act as warriors and field commanders, and they often lead PACT’s ordinary human armies into battle while piloting the best Ryders in their arsenal.
- In S.S.D.D the Anarchists use clones known as "Gigglers" as Cannon Fodder. They're engineered to feel no pain and are grown at an accelerated rate that leaves them no time for an education so they're dumb as rocks. They're controlled using an implant that pumps them full of happy drugs when they do something right, hence the name.
- Lee is a clone grown by the Anarchist's enemies, the CORE, using a stolen cloning rig that was given to their R&D department. He was grown at a normal rate so he is smart, but still a bit flaky.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Frans Raynor had a shoddily-made army of Dr. McNinja clones produced in order to invoke Conservation of Ninjutsu on the original.
- Galatea attempts to do this in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! but is talked out of it.
- In The Venture Bros. the second season premiere revealed that the boys were clones, and Doctor Venture kept a room of clones for when they inevitably die. In the season 3 finale, Sergeant Hatred takes the preformed clones and leads them as a Redshirt Army. This also serves to remove the safety net from the show.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens Gallaxhar considers himself to be a perfect being so he clones an army of himself.
- In the TV series, Coverton is asked by his master to clone one of the monsters for this purpose. Unfortunately, the chosen subject is B.O.B., a choice even Coverton finds dubious.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars, for obvious reasons. However this actually goes into the ethics of the trope, which go less addressed in the films. The clones' wages are constantly delayed (making them effectively slaves), the fact that they were artificially aged and are still aging faster is giving them issues that are going unfixed (and stay unfixed after Order 66), Jango Fett's death means no more fresh genetic material and thus more and more clones are defective, clones are treated as defective simply for not wanting to fight in the war, most people outside the Jedi and a handful of senators treat them as utterly expendable despite their sentience, and the Order 66 arc reveals that there are chips in their heads—designed to give out a variety of Orders with 66 being the one that gets selected in the end—that can malfunction and impair their thinking at any time OR just force them to obey.
- Star Wars Rebels reveals that after the war ended the remaining clones were "decommissioned", although this seems to be functionally the same as being mustered out. It also makes a point of directly comparing them to stormtroopers; the stormtroopers are nowhere near the skill level or training, their weapons aren't as good, vision in their helmets is so bad it interferes with their aim, and their armor is of such a lower quality that it's little more than a uniform.
- Some species of gall aphids parthenogenically produce warrior caste nymphs.