Doom Troops

Surrender now, and we'll kill you painlessly.

"What the enemy cannot see, they cannot fight. What they can see, they will soon learn to fear..."

You can tell by looking at them, these are no ordinary Mooks. Every aspect of them is designed for maximum intimidation; their boots strike the ground with a despair-inducing tromp and their loud breathing sends chills up the enemy's spines. Their uniforms are black, possibly emblazoned with skulls, and almost always have a mask that makes them seem less human. Enemy soldiers would rather surrender than fight them, but they are trained to show no mercy. Every action they take is meant to induce Mook Horror Show in the Red Shirt Army and civilian populace.

In short, scary mooks, elite or otherwise. Expect a lot of Putting on the Reich.

Has nothing to do with the Web Comic Troops Of Doom, or the SNES game Doom Troopers. Or the Legion of Doom.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Protect Gear troopers from Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (They're based on SS troops).
  • Hellsing's Iscariot Organization soldiers wear armour and face-covering robes complete with conical hats of the kind traditionally worn during certain Catholic festivals — most commonly the burning of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition. This is clothing that citizens of the American Union have come to associate with the Ku Klux Klan.
  • ANBU in Naruto are supposed to be this. They are masked, nameless elites who carry out assassination missions and who hunt down rogue ninjas and dispose of their bodies to keep village secrets. The silliness of their masks and being the repeated victims of The Worf Effect somewhat ruins the effect, however. They're more of an example of Early Installment Weirdness and don't really serve this trope after the arc that introduces them.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Tiberium Wars presents the Black Hand as these; when a GDI infantry squad encounters a squad, the corporal in command completely flips out in terror at the sight. Later on, when a Black hand unit ambushes a GDI convoy, the mere sight of the Hands is enough to terrify a GDI officer into paralysis.
  • The 4Chan 40k parody army "Scary Marines".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • While Imperial Stormtroopers are generally considered to be just Mooks, in-universe they`re greatly feared. In fact, the reason they're armored in white is to conjure up mental images of bleached bones. It's the black uniformed Imperial Army soldiers in bell-shaped open-face helmets that are the standard poor bloody infantry, and we see stormtroopers so much because we see Vader so much.
    • Their predecessors, the Separatist battle droids, were made in the likeness of alien skeletons. However, their stupidity and incompetence made them fail as Doom Troops utterly and completely (it didn't help that technical limitations resulted in the aliens in question being shaped differently enough from the droids that it wasn't obvious from the films that the droids were supposed to look like their skeletons). In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the common "Roger-Roger" battle droids are, in fact, comic relief. Then they introduced the B2 super battle droids, which are much bulkier and more menacing than the B1's.
  • The movie SS Doomtrooper (which directly inspired the Ubersoldier videogame) had a Super Soldier prototype meant to be one of these. He'd have preferred to stay dead and breaks out.
  • Hydra Soldiers in Captain America: The First Avenger are clearly meant to evoke this trope. Huge, heavily armored, scary masks and high-tech weaponry.

    Gamebooks 

    Literature 
  • Some might say the Snatchers and Death Eaters from Harry Potter, but there's some Fan Wank over this...
  • The Blood Pact from Gaunt's Ghosts.
  • Imperial Sardaukar from Dune. The Fremen become this for Paul and both are breed into the Fish Speakers under Leto II, which in-turn merge with the Tleilaxu and Bene Gesserit in the Scattering to become Honored Matres.

    Music 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000 gives us two examples, the Death Corps of Krieg for The Empire and all the Space Marine chapters (both good and evil; it's explicitly stated that they eschew camouflage in favor of scariness).
    • Some sub-units take this even further: the Night Lords Legion of Space Marines have this as their hat, going into battle covered in the remains of their enemies, whilst the "Destroyer" units of regular Space Marine Legions were black armored chemical and biological weapon specialists. The reason their wore black? Because their weapons corroded the paint off their armor. Not nice.
  • Mutant Chronicles Lampshades this, one unit available to most factions is the Doom Trooper. Special mention goes to the Dark Legion.
  • In Strike Legion, not only do we have the Imperial Space Marines, who deck out their armor in Spikes of Villainy and bones and blood of their enemies, we also have the Doom Legion, made up of the most elite and well-armed soldiers in the Imperium.
  • The Coalition States of Rifts used to distribute suits of black body armor with an intimidating gas-mask stylized like a skull. Then they replaced those with suits of body armor sculpted to LOOK like a human skeleton.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • Hitler's Waffen SS is the Trope Codifier.
  • Guard regiments of XVIII Century and the Napoleonic era were often meant to look imposing, which was achieved by means such as enlistment of exceptionally tall men into their ranks, and uniforms including broad pauldrons and tall caps.
  • British Royal Marines
  • The Saddam era Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard.
  • Just... take a look at these pictures. Dear god, Denmark, France, and Taiwan...
  • The Italian Bersaglieri are a Subversion: they were intended as this and have the combat record and reputation to match, but their Nice Helmet (created to help them aim their weapons, what with their name being Italian for sharpshooters) and propensity to run all the time, even when playing brass (established by their regulations increase their stamina), make them look more ridiculous than scary until Fridge Horror sets in.
  • The United States Marine Corps has such a reputation in some circles. They've spent the last hundred years fine tuning their reputation as a force to be feared on the battlefield, both by deed and by urban legend. You'd never suspect that they are the smallest branch of the US military. Within the Marine Corps, there is Marine Force Recon and MARSOC (which traces its roots to the Marine Raider Battalions of World War II), for the more elite troops.
    • Certain formations of the US Army similarly are known for being particularly fearsome, especially some of the more storied units like the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, infamous for their history of dropping behind enemy lines to generally make a mess of things. Probably best known for this trope however, are the Army Rangers, the Light Infantry component of the Army's Special Operations Command, which traces its roots to the original Ranger battalions formed during WWII (and trained by the British Commandos, who presented them with their trademark berets) and Merrill's Marauders, a jungle warfare unit that fought in Asia during the same war.