Goku and many of his friends from both the Dragon Ball anime and manga live and breath this.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed has shrapnel in his arm, and he is giving Father a full on beat down for having Al give up his soul.
Mazinger Z: Kouji is a Hot-BloodedThe Determinator fights for saving innocent people, so he has plenty moments like this. Threatens someone innocents and he will go The Berserker. A good example happens in Shin Mazinger Zero: The Dragon Baron Ashura has managed gets Mazinger-Z and Aphrodite-A trapped, but instead of ordering one of his Mechanical Beasts targeting Kouji he orders it targeting Sayaka because she pissed him off (by wrecking THREE of his Beasts), so he wants to kill her as Kouji witness it helplessly. It was NOT a good idea (You do not know what an Unstoppable Rage is until you see an angry Kouji charging).
Himura Kenshin relies on resolve often, but during his fight with Shishio, he gets mortally wounded almost half a dozen times, blown up, and knocked unconscious. And that's only halfway into the fight.
All the good Saints in Saint Seiya have moments like this, but Seiya himself is the undisputed king of this trope. During the Sanctuary Arc, Saga uses his most powerful move, which renders all your five senses useless. The fact he knows both his friends and Athena herself, Saori will die if he fails gives him the strength to reach a Crowning Moment of Awesome. And that's just one of many moments like this.
Dragon Shiryu's heroic resolve has allowed him to defy death.
Double subversion: he still gets back up a few moments later, despite it being implied that it should have been impossible with all his extensive injuries... only to have his zanpakutou's blade shatter upon striking the too-stunned-to-move Byakuya.
This happens in almost every major fight scene in YuYu Hakusho, to the point where Kuwabara fakes his own death during a particularly bleak-looking battle because he knows it will give Yusuke the resolve to turn the tide. Interesting though, the trope is subverted at the end of the series, when Yusuke loses against Yomi, despite undergoing a major resolve power boost.
An interesting subversion exists before that. During the Chapter Black Arc after Sensui kills Yusuke just as his friends escape from a dimension they were trapped in Kuwabara, Hiei, and Kurama's power jump and they take on Sensui. However, It still isn't enough and Sensui is handing them their asses.
Oh so frequent in Vandread. This is explained though in that the Peiksis that fuels the power of the protagonist's superweapons responds to the emotions of those it's in contact with, which often results in extreme power boosts when the main characters show their resolve, most of all when it's Hibiki and Dita doing it.
His fight with Jack Rakan. He gets pulverized by one of the most powerful people alive, coughs up roughly half of his blood, and then gets back up anyway.
This is also what Jack Rakan attributes his that-should-be-completely-impossible-but-he-just-did-it-anyway moments to. According to him, if you have enough resolve and guts, you can do anything. His most impressive moments include getting impaled by the combined might of an anti-army lightning spell and continuing the fight regardless, and briefly willing himself back into existence from being erased just to Bright Slap an angry young hero.
In The Prince of Tennis, in the middle of an informal tennis match he was losing against a member of the Shishigaku tennis club, Tezuka finally overcomes his shoulder injury when his opponent aims a shot at Chitose Miyuki.
For all intents and purposes, the Spiral Energy that powers Gurren-Lagannis heroic resolve. If the Spiral Energy Meter Maxes out, expect something awesome to happen. This hits the peak in the battle against Lord Genome. Every time Simon picks himself up to fight again, Lord Genome is there to slap him back down. At the point when you think Simon's finally won, Lord Genome gets out of his mech and calmly slugs Lagann in the face with his bare hands.
That's just the first half. Heroic Resolve goes at lot farther. By the end of the series, there is a galaxy-sized mecha made of Spiral Energy. Word Of God has it being 13 billion light-years tall. That's billion, with a B. That's nearly the distance between Earth and the edge of the visible universe. Spiral Energy is the love child of Heroic Resolve and Rule of Cool. During the final episode, the spiral energy meter maxes out, then that meter forms a second meter drilling through the first meter. Then, that meter breaks, and THE ENERGY METER'S BAR KEEPS GOING!!! This energy release allows for the creation of the titular Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (lit. Heaven Piercing Crimson Lotus Lagann). Then the moviecreated an even bigger mecha.
In both the anime and manga, Inuyasha has displayed this since Kagome talked him into claiming Tessaiga. The third movie drops an anvil on it, but proves that Sesshoumaru, despite his denials, is capable of the same.
The manga canon and anime of the same story arc shows several characters' Heroic Resolve with one single event. Naraku's enemies are mostly youkai or youkai-blooded or the undead. That means by exploiting a powerful priest to create the most powerful sacred barrier ever heard of, Naraku can hold almost all of his enemies at bay at once and by using different lures, he manages to force each of them to enter the barrier hoping the barrier will destroy them by purifying them to death. It results in the following occurrances.
Kouga is ambushed by several of the Band of Seven and forced to fight for his life while his enemies use the barrier as a cover to gain a severe advantage over them. He takes the full might of what is essentially a mediaeval tank to achieve victory, and succeeds.
Inuyasha is forced into the barrier to try and rescue Miroku and Sango. He's driven so deep inside the barrier by the Band of Seven that the barrier overcomes him and fully purifies his youkai blood. Being half-human, he doesn't die, but is rendered fully human instead. Despite his vastly weakened state, he keeps fighting, quipping that he actually feels much better now the sacred barrier is no longer objecting to his non-youkai presence.
The Band of Seven kidnap Rin and take her inside the barrier fully intent on ensuring Sesshoumaru's destruction from the barrier. Despite having no human blood to protect him, Sesshoumaru doesn't hesitate to go into the barrier, travels so far and fast that he actually overtakes and ambushes them, and proceeds to fight his two opponents as though nothing is wrong. His opponents are utterly amazed that he can even stand up, let alone fight.
Kikyou, who separately entered the barrier chasing after Rin's kidnappers, has to ride a horse because she cannot stand under her own strength. She still arrives just in time to help Sesshoumaru save Rin's life, help save Suikotsu's soul and then ride back out of the barrier without dying.
Pokemon Special sees Heroic Resolve used as a drug by many characters, with Gold as its most notorious addict. Gold on Heroic Resolve can survive a lot - including a beating from Neo Team Rocket, multiple encounters with the Mask of Ice, and disappearing into the timestream without adequate protection.
Like mentioned above, in Eyeshield 21, Sena's legs are pushed beyond exhaustion by repeatedly going up against Jerk JockAgon in the Shinryuuji game. Agon is also having a grand time smacking Sena around at every opportunity. It's looking bad for Deimon; Shinryuuji is such a strong team and Agon is a big, vicious, unstoppable force. But then Agon mocks the Devil Bats' Christmas Bowl dream (particularly Hiruma, Kurita and Musashi's). It's the first (and only) time we ever see Sena get mad and go after someone with a previously unseen brutal will to fight.
A Naruto arc has a perfect example as to why you shouldn't try to invokeHeroic Resolve: Hinata jumps in to fight Pain to defend a weakened Naruto, only to be smacked down without any effort by Pain, who then idly stabs her a few times just to piss off the titular character.Bad idea.
Also invoked by Jiraiya. Initially, he loosened the seal on Naruto so that he could use Heroic Resolve to control the Nine Tails Chakra. It didn't work.
One Piece plays this trope straight most of the time...but starting at the Enies Lobby Arc, it starts getting subverted when Luffy and his crew meet enemies who are simply too strong to be beaten by digging down for the last bit of strength. No amount of willpower is able to let Luffy move his body after the combination of beatdown and overexertion that he goes through fighting Lucci, regardless of the danger to his person or allies. And then it happened again in the Thriller Bark Arc, after fighting Warlord Moriah.
Then this trope is deconstructed at the end of Sabaody Archipelago Arc, reconstructed in the Impel Down Arc, then deconstructed againhard at the Marineford Arc final.
Guy Shishioh from GaoGaiGar embodies this trope to its fullest.
3G. The G-Stone is fueled by heroic resolve.
Common in Digimon, as most of the time a new level of digivolution is reached via Heroic Resolve, either by the partner for the sake of their human friend, vice versa, or even for one another at the same time. However, by far the greatest example is in the finale of Digimon Adventure. After Apocalymon digitized the Digidestined and their partners and destroyed thier Crests, things seem hopeless. Then, the group manages to perform a "World of Cardboard" Speech and their combined Heroic Resolve manages to reassemble them from scattered data, let's their Digimon reach their strongest forms without their Crests, and take Apocalymon down once and for all. It's as awesome as it sounds.
A variant happens in Berserk during the Eclipse, where after pummeling and slaughtering countless demons that were sicced on the Band of the Hawk by Griffith's Deal with the Devil, Guts is the only one left standing, and is surrounded by the apostles that are seemingly taunting him with the half-eaten remains of his comrades and friends. Guts just shouts at the hoard in anger, but it might have also have been in defeat... until he sees Casca, his lover and sole survivor of the massacre, being dangled bloody, naked, and unconscious from a demon's tentacle grip. And that'swhen Gutsgot PISSED.
Steins;Gate outdoes itself in Episode 23 when Okabe realizes how to save Kurisu from an apparently unavoidable death.
"I am the Mad Scientist, Hououin Kyouma, and the world is on the palm of my hand!"
Gundam Age, the three protagonists experience this at least once in lifetime in a similar fashion; the ones they love/respect/befriended are killed right in front of them.
Spider-Man wrote the book on this one; as far back as the sixties, Spidey has shown a marked increase in strength, durability, and badassery (accompanied by a decrease in smartassery) whenever Aunt May, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, etc. are in trouble. Being Mr. Responsibility, he also responds this way to endangered random innocents as well, going so far as to occasionally hold up buildings to save them. The first instance of this was when he overextended his strength by about five times the (then) official rating to get some Applied Phlebotinum to Aunt May after being trapped under debris weighing as much as some small planetoids.
In the final Matrix movie The Matrix Revolutions, when Neo and Agent Smith face off in their final battle, Smith has Neo beaten down on the floor and says this tirade:
Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting?...You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?
Neo: Because I choose to.
This is Tony Jaa's shtick in every action movie in which his character is injured. Despite the obscene levels of bone-breakage he's capable of normally, that quotient seems to increase in direct relation to how injured he is, and how pissed off he is.
In Captain America: The First Avenger, the patriotic and dutiful Steve Rogers tells a heckler to shut up during a WWII news reel before a movie. Even when the comparatively massive, bad-ass heckler drags him out of the theatre and beats him up, Rogers refuses to yield the point. In basic training, he dives on a grenade while the other recruits (who by every objective measure are more bad-ass than him) flee in terror. And when that resolve is combined with his super-powers, he easily weathers a helpless beating at the hands of his arch-rival long enough for his squadmates to raid the base.
The only reason the humans on Turtledove's World War series survive. Well, not the only reason, we had numerical and tactical advantages as well, but there was still a lot of this.
Well, that and the Race seem to have been collectively handed the Idiot Ball by the author...
50,000 years without a war would tend to dull the skills a little. Oh, and they were only expecting middle-ages technology.
Richard from The Sword of Truth series, to the point where he's dying quite quickly from a magically indued version of the black death, he still manages to jab his arm through someone, crush their spine and heal 2 critically injured women before he succumbs. He does nearly die, but the only thing keeping him going at that point was determination.
In fact, once he learns to Dance With Death (it's a sword technique involving him drawing the knowledge of prior owners of his sword, and then just being infinitely better at his job than anyone in his immediate vicinity), this becomes one of his stock descriptions.
This is SOP with Harry Dresden. He's quite possibly the Trope Codifier (him or Spiderman, who he references every now and then, saying 'I follow the Tao of Peter Parker). At one point Harry was facing down a respectable fraction of the senior-most wizards on the planet, each one of them a paragon of destruction, and they're scared of him. He knows that he's gotten by with some combination of this trope, luck, and having good friends, but all they know him as is a zombie-dinosaur-riding-potentially-dark-wizard who doesn't lose. He's fought Demons, Fallen Angels, the Fae, trucked his way through a war consisting of the entirety of Fae on more or less this trope and pluck, and then executed Aurora, Lady Summer. He's carved his way through armies of super-ghouls to rescue his friends, kicked off a war with the Red Court when they took his girlfriend by killing dozens of their lesser leadership, he's lead an assault on Arctis Tor, the seat of Mab's (yes, that Mab) power. He's (essentially) won a duel with a Red Court Noble through the medium of Will, in a very Harry Potter-esque literalist take on this trope, fought off an Eldritch Abomination that Lovecraft would be proud of, challenged the entire Senior White Council to a duel, and then showed up. Heroic. Damn. Resolve.
Immediately before the aforementioned Fae war, Harry explained to the Gatekeeper (the most enigmatic of the Senior Councilors) that the job wasn't finished, so he (Harry) was going to go into the fight. This after he very nearly died multiple times trying to unravel the mystery of the week that lead to his actions said war.
After that incident, Harry has dueled and killed a Red Court Noble, who was only marginally below a living demi-god. After his home was burned, his office detonated, his car crushed, and all the while his daughter was in Red Court hands.
Even being "dead" doesn't stop Harry from riding to his friends' rescue.
Live Action TV
In the finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a Turok-Han runs Buffy through the chest with a sword. It seems mortal, and Buffy hands over the Scythe to Faith. Then the First starts taunting her. Buffy gets up, catches the Scythe tossed to her by Rona, and the Crowning Music of Awesome kicks into high gear...
Stargate SG-1: The whole titular team has had many of these moments, when the chips are down or one of their own is in trouble. This includes returning from actual death (twice!), defeating a galaxy of near-godlike energy beings, and one member managing to keep himself and his father-like mentor alive for days where both had life-threatening injuries. Among other things.
The Breaker: despite being a relatively weak character for most the series, Shi Woon will absolutely not give up a fight if his friends are threatened. His Heroic Resolve even intimidates Hyuk So Chun, who is considered a martial arts prodigy by most of the cast.
Heroic Resolve is a trait carried by many characters of Dino Attack RPG, including Rex and Frozeen, who fly into Unstoppable Rages the moment an enemy dares to threaten someone close to them.
The Storyteller system of the Old World of Darkness includes an attribute called Willpower for all characters. Willpower can be used, for instance, to ignore all damage taken thus far when performing complex actions (normally, you get a penalty if wounded). It can also be used to add a single automatic success to the character's dice pool for one roll.
In Exalted, channeling Compassion in battle tends to work out like this. See, characters can enhance their rolls by channeling their Virtues in appropriate situations; Compassion is a measure of the character's capacity for love, friendship, mercy, and generosity, and... yeah.
The Vanguard of Bloodline Champions has the Battle Shout ability, healing myself and allies affected by it in addition to other effects.
Rune Factory 3: In the last stage of the fight against the Final Boss Aquaticus, the hero is beaten up by an endless stream of water and debris shot by the dragon that deal him damage in the hundreds with every blow...though even with 1 HP, the resolve to save his fiancče motivates him so much not only he can resist everything he's thrown at, but only needs to land one single blow on Aquaticus to finish him!
Kingdom Hearts: When Sora learns that his best friend is being possessed by an evil scientist and that his (girl)friend, he has been searching for, has been trapped in his own heart all this time, he seems to be too shocked (and probably also too confused) to fight against the aforementioned scientist, who plans to steal Kairi's heart from Sora, by kinda killing him... until Kairi's voice calls out to him from inside his mind. As soon as Sora hears her, he jumps up and shouts that "You'll never get Kairi's heart!". We get a similar scene later in the game, before the final boss battle: Sora is falling down into a dark abyss and seems to be lost, until Riku's voice tells him not to be such a wimp. He then pulls himself together and uses the power to fly by happy thoughts, which he obtained in Neverland.
Kingdom Hearts is one Heroic Resolve after another. If you are defeated in certain boss fights, King Mickey has to jump in and bail you out (depending on your choice and luck). A few Keyblade slaps to the enemy from this guy, and a liberal mashing of Triangle, and Sora rises to his feet with strength renewed.
Zack Fair, in the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, who escapes with Cloud after four years of horrible experimentation by the Mad Scientist Hojo. Zack steadfastly refuses to give up hope on or abandon the comatose Cloud, taking care of him for nearly a year, then has an epic Last Stand in which he battles a massive force from the Shinra army and manages to whittle them down to three troopers, in order to protect Cloud. And then, after being absolutely riddled with bullets, Zack still manages to give Cloud a Take Up My Sword speech before going out with a smile.
Cloud himself in the original Final Fantasy VII during the real flashback to the showdown with Sephiroth in the backstory. Even after he gets run through the gut by Sephiroth's giant sword and lifted into the air with it, he grabs the blade with both hands and uses it as leverage to hurl Sephiroth off the platform into the lifestream pit below. Not bad for a scrawny kid who couldn't make the cut for the Super Soldier program and had to enlist as a lowly grunt instead.
City of Heroes has Inspirations, which translates as the ability to continue fighting beyond normal means. The healing inspirations (which do Exactly What It Says on the Tin) fall under this trope, with such names as Dramatic Resurgence and so on.
There's also the new Willpower set, which is a good mix of this and Hot-Blooded.
Additionally, with the Shield powerset, there is the aptly named "Against All Odds." The more enemies you're surrounded by in melee range, the more damage bonuses you receive.
Given the actions of the community after the announcement of the game's impending shut down, they all certainly qualify as this.
If you'll believe it, we've got a villainous version from Tales of Phantasia. After being beaten for the second time, Dhaos regains his strength and goes all One-Winged Angel on the heroes after hearing the prayers of his people and receiving more power from his god.
Mega Man X 1. In the fight against Vile in the first stage of Sigma's castle, X loses the fight much like he did in the beginning of the game, left paralyzed and with little health. Zero makes a Heroic Sacrifice and destroys Vile's mobile suit with his remaining energy. Vile still thinks he has won, to which X breaks his bonds and restores his meter to full.
In the "Day of Sigma" animated-prequel in the PSP remake Maverick Hunter X, Big Bad Sigma stabs X through the gut with his beamsaber. After a brief Flashback of X swearing to Doctor Light that he will always fight for hope and justice, he comes back online and charges Sigma, digging his glowing blue hand into Sigma's face and giving Sigma his trademark eye scars before finally shutting down.
In Mega Man X 5, Zero manages to summon up one final shot to take down Sigma despite having lost half his body.
In Chrono Trigger, when Marle, Crono, and Lucca discover why the year 2300 is so awful, they decide that they simply will not let it happen. The moment (as many others throughout the game) is punctuated by a soundtrack that is pure distilled Heroic Resolve.
Later on, the Guru of Time explains that only through Heroic Resolve can Crono be brought back to life.
In Lunar: Silver Star Story when Alex becomes the Dragonmaster. This shy, meek teenage boy, who's been practically a silent protagonist up until that point in the game, orders the Big Bad away from his girl with such fury that the player can't help but be a little intimidated.
Shepard:[takes a steadying breath] Yes, sir? What do you need me to do?
Before that, the mission Priority: Horizon. The asari homeworld of Thessia has fallen to the Reapers. The galaxy's Darkest Hour is upon them. What does Shepard do? Give up? Give in? No — s/he's going right back out there to (as James succinctly puts in) kick Cerberus in the balls for a change.
In the Mass Effect games in general, Shepard seems to have some pretty tremendous resolve mixed with a nice dose of I Did What I Had to Do in his/her mission to stop the Reapers. We're talking about someone who came Back from the Dead to keep fighting them off. Bonus points if the player picked the "Sole Survivor" background.
In Batman: Arkham City, Batman is poisoned and is stumbling around. At one point the camera shifts to his POV when he drops to his knees and starts coughing up his own blood and the screen starts to blur. Batman just clenches his fists and the effects wear off, but he still takes a hit to his max health.
The whole game is essentially Batman displaying just how far his will and resolve is able to carry him. He constantly is getting sicker and sicker, and despite this, he does battle with many of his most dangerous foes, fights off hundreds of thugs out for his blood, and is trying to find a way to take down Hugo Strange, who is protected by his own private army. When his sickness reaches its most extreme point, he is at death's door, and is told by Barbara that unless he finds what he's looking for, he has only minutes left to live. His response? "I'll make it."
The player can activate this themselves in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. If the player is injured, they can activate a battle cry at the cost of some psyche (essentially willpower). If the player uses a certain battle cry, Big Boss or the MFS Soldier you're controlling will shout "It's not over yet!" and recover their health, allowing them to continue on, despite their wounds.
You can also instill Heroic Resolve in your comrades as well. Another battle cry makes Big Boss shout "We're still in this fight!" healing you and all of your allies. There's another battle cry that causes Big Boss to yell "Don't die on me!". If any of your teammates are dying, this actually causes them to come back to life.
In Fate/stay night, Shirou gets one-shotted by Gilgamesh while protecting a Saber, who is having a minor Heroic BSOD. This snaps Saber out of it, and she fights Gilgamesh. And loses. Badly. With Saber lying on the ground, Shirou pushes himself up with Heroic Resolve, projects Calliburn and...gets one-shotted. He then gets up again, as Saber is about to Heroic Sacrifice herself to protect him, projects Avalon and reflects Gilgamesh's attack. So, a subversion and a playing it straight within moments of each other.
Played with. In chapter twelve of Broken Saints, Lt. Charles and Lt. Bravado plan to have some fun with their prisoner (and our hero) Oran. After mercilessly taunting the poor man for some time, the finally reveal that it was they who raped and murdered his childhood friend Hassan. As soon as they enter the cage to fight, they realize the flaw in the plan, as Oran in a righteous anger is able to overcome both their size advantage and their number advantage, and kick their asses.
Almost all characters in Greek Ninja have a turn in this.
In Kung Fu Panda, Po is given hopeless Training from Hell by Master Shifu and the Furious Five to make him quit trying to become the Dragon Warrior. However, Po notes a "a real warrior never quits" and vows to persevere no matter what. To the shock of his "trainers," Po endures everything they inflict on him and just keeps coming without complaint. Eventually, most of the Five begin to change their minds about the panda; to them, Po may not be the Dragon Warrior, but his courage and tenacity are impressive.
Po also shows Heroic Resolve in regards to food, able to carry out great feats in pursuit of a snack. Shifu uses this to train Po, and Po himself uses it in the final battle, envisioning the Dragon Scroll as a cookie to help him climb a wall to reach it.
Having spent much of the episode T is for Trauma suffering from a Heroic BSOD Hay Lin finally manages to break out of it when she sees that her boyfriend's life is in danger and delivers the following speech to a shocked Nerissa.
"That's how you survive the trauma. Not by knowing it'll be alright, but by having no other choice. I don't have the luxury of breaking down right now. Not when innocent lives are at stake."
In the Justice League episode The Clash, we get an interesting hero on hero example. Captain Marvel, a relatively new and inexperienced hero, is trying to stop Superman from destroying a device. Superman believes that it's dangerous, Captain Marvel wants to get someone to verify what it is before they do anything. A fight ensues and it becomes clear that, while the two are pretty even in terms of power, Superman has the edge in experience and fights far more aggressively. Yet no matter how badly Superman hammers away at Cap or how often he kicks him while he's down, Captain Marvel just keeps getting back up to place himself between Superman and the device. Eventually, Superman is able to win by holding Cap in place so that he's depowered by his own magic lighting, but it turns out Superman should have listened to Cap in the first place.