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In many video games, clothing and armor can be worn by anyone, regardless of its source or the wearer's size or gender. These are usually Acceptable Breaks from Reality
, as it's a pain to have exclusive sets of equipment for each character, but sometimes it just gets ridiculous.
Compare Informed Equipment
, as well as Costumes Change Your Size
. A default ability of the Adaptive Armor
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- Compared to other examples, it seems odd that this trope was averted in Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure. There is a second playable character named Popon, who is, just like Parin, a little girl. However, attempting to put on any of Parin's headgear will result in the message "It doesn't fit" greeting the player.
- World of Warcraft provides an extreme example: It's possible for a Tauren (an 8-foot-tall bipedal quasi-bovine) to wear gear looted from a leper gnome.
- Also, that the same piece of gear, when worn by a female, instantly becomes not just smaller, but also more revealing/form fitting.
- Exactly the same in Final Fantasy XI, but replace Tauren with Galka, and Gnomes with Tarutaru.
- Not only that, when worn by draenei or tauren, pants and robes magically sport tailholes.
- And shoes lose the shoe part, and become something like legwarmers. Note that you can later give the shoes to someone without hooves and have the shoe part reappear.
- The Cataclysm expansion brought Worgen to the table. In human form, shoes are just normal shoes, but in worgen form, they become leg warmers. Your shoes will magically switch between shoes and leg-warmers depending on what form you're in.
- Also, any robes, pants or shoes that a Forsaken puts on will immediately have large holes ripped in the elbows, knees, and toes, all the better to show off their decaying skin and exposed bone.
- The MMORPG Guild Wars is a notable exception, as all armor of any type (including gloves and shoes) must be custom-built by a merchant NPC and is only usable by the character that bought it, although it can be salvaged for crafting components or upgrades (always less than what went in). Weapons are sharable unless you want them customized, in which case they get a slight damage increase but can never be sold again either.
- Further, you can recover mobs' armor as loot - but it's only usable for sale of to be broken into components.
- The sequel implements a more traditional loot system playing this trope straight.
- Averted in Retro Mud, where every equipment has a numbered size, as does your character. This makes it really annoying to find equipment if you're not playing as a humanoid.
- Partially averted by Runescape: Early on in the game's history, a blacksmith NPC existed solely to convert men's armor to women's armor and vice versa. This was eventually done away with in a major game upgrade, and the blacksmith's shop was replaced with a burnt, abandoned shell. However, both plate legs and plate skirts exist as armor pieces and unwearable armors from other races, such as goblins, exist.
- Unwearable until you turn into a goblin, that is.
- Both averted and played true in the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. The same shirt or suit of armor can fit a 6-foot human and a 4-foot Bothan; however, Wookiees and Ithorians can only wear specialized clothing and armor, certain types of clothing (for humanoids) are gender-specific, and certain species cannot wear certain forms of headwear or helmets (partially due to the graphics issues).
- Averted in Puzzle Pirates. All females are exactly same size, so one size truly does fit all females. Ditto with males. However, cross-dressing is never allowed, leading to oddities such as bandannas that can never be worn by males.
- This has been cited as a justification for the fact that you can only wear one ring on each hand in roguelikes: rings come in only one size, so they just barely fit onto a orc's pinky, and are dangerously loose on a hobbit's thumb. All this goes out the window to a certain extent in Nethack, since rings and amulets (but not body armor) can be worn not just by humanoids, but by jellies, snakes, and intelligent clouds of vapor.
- The ability to wear rings as a fingerless creature is limited to rings that were on your finger before you changed shape and is there to avoid making it too easy to get rid of cursed rings. If you turn into a fingerless creature, you can't put on new rings and the old ones that were there before you changed shape are stuck and won't come off. In effect, they change with you.
- The real reason, of course, probably stems from the D&D tradition of only allowing players to wear two magical rings at once, citing interference between their enchantments.
- Nethack armor, on the other hand, can be too small (when you're polymorphed into a creature too large to wear it), or the wrong shape, but never too large. Any creature that's vaguely human-shaped and no larger than human-size can wear any armor: gnomes can wear plate mail (though it may burden them because it's uncomfortably heavy)
- The game of Dwarf Fortress abstracts this issue into size categories, so that clothing and armor is only usable by races of the same size category as the one that produced the item. Previously, there were also 'stout' and 'narrow' categories, which kept goblins, dwarves, and elves from wearing the same armor even though they were the same size.
- Averted for some items in the Roguelike Incursion: many weapons which can be wielded one-handed by normal sized beings must be wielded two-handed by small beings, and small beings can't wear normal sized backpacks.
- A common complaint in Angband was that a gnome could wield a weapon that was heavier than him with strength-boosting equipment.
Real Time Strategy
- In the original Ogre Battle, any unit can equip any armor. Even armless creatures like dragons can wear mail or use weapons without problems.
Role Playing Game
- In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars you can buy Work Pants that will fit any character, even though Bowser clearly wears no pants.
- Many Final Fantasy games will have armor or clothes that can be passed around relatively universally, even if the sizes of your teammembers range from "7-foot-tall muscle-bound dude" to "8-year-old girl."
- Especially odd in Final Fantasy IX, when many people on your team aren't even the same species, with all the differences in physical build that would imply. However, they at least make an attempt to address this trope with some male/female specific equipment.
- Partly averted in VI, which has armor only females can wear. However, considering they mean Terra, Celes, or Relm...
- This trope is fully in evidence in the Champions of Norrath series. In Return To Arms, for example, a piece of clothing will change from a form-fitting, cleavage revealing blouse on a female human mage to a pair of shoulder pads that appears to be made of leather and bone on a male lizard man.
- In Dragon Quest V, you and your friend Bianca can wear the same armor as adults that you wore at age 6 & 8. Later, your own kids can wear the same armor adults can.
- Similarly in Might and Magic VI and on, where the same suit of leather, plate or chain is equally form-fitting and functional as it is passed from dwarf to elf to goblin to human to half-orc and from male to female and right back again.
- Averted in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - the "beast races" (reptilian Argonians and catlike Khajit) could not wear boots due to the unusual shape of their feet. Played straight in the other games in the series. This can be justified in the case of the Khajit, who supposedly range from feral jaguar-men to Cat Girls, but there is no explanation for Argonians.
- Particularly jarring in Oblivion is that if you play as a female character and steal clothing or armour from a male character (or vice versa), the item actually magically changes appearance when worn - trousers become skirts and shirts become blouses.
- An extreme example from Oblivion is the "Huntsman's Vest", which, on male characters, is a simple fur vest. On female characters, it becomes a fur bra.
- The helmets in Skyrim and Oblivion seem to force people to have the same head size...somehow. All the beast race's horns, muzzles, spikes and foot long ears seem to fold up.
- In Fallout 3, you can blast your enemies limbs and head off and still take the armor, which magically becomes whole again. Vault-issued sewing kit, perhaps?
- Some clothes have different appearances depending on the wearer's gender. If your character is male and you remove "pre-war casual wear" from the inventory of a woman wearing a dress, when you put it on yourself it will be pants and a shirt.
- Earlier Fallout titles generally did not allow players to loot armour from corpses, but armour and clothing will fit any character just fine. The massive Sulik and the tiny Myron can both wear the same Leather Jacket with no problems.
- Fallout: New Vegas provides perhaps the most absurd example, in the Dead Money DLC. At one point you encounter the skeletal corpse of a female singer about whom you've heard much, and the skeleton has her dress still on it. You can take the dress, shown as a dress right in front of your eyes and well established as having been worn by a female, and it will instantly morph into a tuxedo if you're playing as a male.
- Averted in Planescape: Torment - everyone who winds up in your party has their own armour or clothing, and refuses to take it off. You can buy armour for the party Action Girl, but you can't wear that (or the clothing it replaces).
- This goes even further - one character cannot wear earrings due to the shape of his ears. Another, being a skull, is unable to equip anything except a set of teeth. This does not explain his large inventory.
- Averted in Mass Effect. All species use different types of armour, save for the asari, who are close enough to human (female) shape that they can wear human armour without hitch. On the other hand, all species use same type of weapons, even though it's a bit hard to see how the massive krogan even fit their fingers on human-sized triggers.
- And still played straight, as human armour fits all sizes of humans and asari and has a form-fitting breast plate only when worn by a woman.
- Averted in Arcanum where torso clothing comes in three sizes: small, medium and large, and Ogres can't use pistols and other small firearms due to their large hands. Of course everything else is one size fits all.
- Averted in Secret of Mana, where the female character can wear certain items of clothing not available to the male characters; in Seiken Densetsu 3, each character is required to buy a unique set of armor (and weapons).
- But still played straight as the Boy and the Sprite can wear (most) of the same armor, even though the sprite is about half the size of the human male.
- In The World Ends with You, clothing plays a major part in the gameplay. As long as you have a high enough Bravery level, any character can wear any outfit. This includes the guys wearing gothic lolita dresses. However, they're Invisible to Normals, and you don't actually see the outfits.
- In Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood, all the footwear that Cream and Amy can wear, Big can wear. Boots that can be worn by Rouge can also be worn by Eggman. Gloves can be worn by any non-robot.
- The Rouge/Eggman example may be justified by the extremely disproportionate size of furry hands and feet. While the human characters' limbs are also disproportionate, they are less so, meaning a 6'2", 282 pound human could hypothetically have the same shoe size as a 3'5", roughly 90 pound bat.
- Messed about with in the first Star Ocean game - most characters are roughly the same size, but Ilia (a kung-fu-fighting woman and Pericci both have unique sets of clothing that only fit them. On the other hand, Phia (a female warrior) wears the exact same stuff as Roddick and Cyuss (male ones). Oh, and some characters have tails, but since the game takes place on a world where almost everyone has tails, the assumption is that the tail holes are always there but the human characters just ignore them.
- Muppy, a slug-like alien from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis roughly around a fourth of the size of the other playable characters, can still equip armor that comfortably fits his otherwise human allies.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, any suit of armor will fit anyone, be they a stocky dwarf, a slender elven girl, or a towering human male.
- Averted in Venetica: any armor found by the player has to be taken to the blacksmith to be tailored.
- In Dubloon, you can even have your Team Pet Ricky wear armour if you wish so.
- Played mostly straight in Drakensang, who comines this trope with Form-Fitting Wardrobe too. Is sometimes averted by certain clothes and armor pieces who can only be worn by dwarves or can't be worn by dwarves at all. Plus, the Amazonian Armor set and dresses can only be worn by female characters.
- In the Game Mod Star Wars Conquest, the race of the characters is only a cosmetic feature. Droid parts, human-sized armours and helmets, alien-shaped helmets, woookiee bodies, etc can be worn by everyone.
- In all the Mario & Luigi series, the items you buy will always fit both Mario and Luigi, despite their size and body structure differences. Averted in Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story, where the baby bros and Bowser have different types of clothing.
Turn Based Strategy
- In the Disgaea series, the only equipment restriction is that monsters have to wield monster weapons, and humanoids have to stick to the six other weapon types. Otherwise, any unit can wear any piece of armor (Even the dresses and bikinis) or weapon regardless of gender or species, and can even wear three pieces of the same armor type, like three pairs of shoes, or three pairs of glasses. The weapons used by humanoids are the only visible piece of equipment.
- In Shining Force II, rings, bracelets and similar generic accessories can be worn by characters who don't have hands.
- In the handheld and NES Fire Emblem games any equipped weapons will magically adjust to the style that the character wielding them likes. A Hero using an Iron Sword will wield a massive broadsword. Pass that same sword to a Myrmidon and it's a katana. Finally give it to an assassin and it's a pair of daggers.
- Some of the SNES entries, and Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, have weapon appearance based on the weapon instead of the person holding it, however.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic, any hero can wear or wield any artifact, breastplate, sword, shield, boots, etc. regardless of the fact that some heroes shouldn't technically be able to (genies for instance shouldn't have feet).
Wide Open Sandbox
- Averted slightly in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In order to do some insanity, Tommy and his sidekick Lance ambush two cops in a garage. They tie them up and steal their uniforms. Tommy declares that his are 'a bit tight in the crotch'. Lance then claims the same. Oh, Lance.
Examples Outside Video Games:
Anime and Manga
- Saiyan battle armor from Dragon Ball Z has this effect: the suits come in one size, but are extremely elastic, and can expand to fit any wearer comfortably... even when that wearer is a 50-foot tall giant ape!
- 5'8", 145 lbs Tim Drake wearing a Batsuit fitted for the 6'2", 210 lbs Bruce Wayne in Battle for the Cowl.
- Interestingly, in Knightfall, when Tim gives Jean-Paul a Batsuit, Tim mentions that it's one fitted for him and that the original one worn by Bruce is on injured reserved.
- Partially averted in Ever After: Danielle repeatedly steals Marguerite's dresses to disguise herself as a courtier, and while the improbable fact that her stepsister's clothes fit her perfectly is never mentioned, Danielle does comment that "the shoes are too big," and she ends up wearing her ordinary servants' shoes to court.
- In Species Sil steals clothes from a female train conductor to blend in, yet somehow the overweight, middle-aged woman's clothes fit perfectly on Natasha Henstridge's model body.
- In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne steals one of the warden's suits prior to his escape from the prison. Andy is quite a bit taller than the warden, yet the suit fits him perfectly.
- In Stage Beauty, Maria steals Ned Kynaston's dress to wear to dinner at the palace. Kynaston, being a man, has broad shoulders and a large torso, and Maria is much smaller than he is, yet the dress fits like it was made for her.
- Pointed out in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of Space Mutiny. Hero David Ryder beats up an Enforcer, strips him naked and takes his uniform. As Tom Servo says, "So, he fits into a uniform that was really restrictive on a tiny guy."
- In a possible model for this trope, the titular Rings of Power from The Lord of the Rings are capable of altering their size fit their present owner (and to treacherously slip off their finger).
- In the movie, when Isildur picks up the ring after destroying Sauron, it actually shrinks in his hand.
- In The Neverending Story, Auryn, the Childlike Empress' amulet was worn easily by a centaur, two boys, and a large luck dragon, all around their necks. The Childlike Empress also wears it, but she is the god of the world, so that can be justified.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer flashback Spike steals his leather coat from a dead Slayer, who naturally is much smaller than him, and who wears quite form-fitting clothing. The coat visibly grows between scenes when he pulls it off her.
- In Quantum Leap, it's established (usually) that Sam Beckett is leaping around in time in his own body, and he merely takes on the appearance or "physical aura" of the person he's leaped into. Despite this, his hosts' clothes always fit him perfectly, even when he leaps into people much smaller than he is. In one of the comics, Al mentions that the project programmer, Gooshie, has considered the problem and theorized that the leap causes a disturbance in the molecular structure of the clothes, making them unstable. Sam considers this theory for a moment and concludes, "Gooshie reads too many comic books."
- The tabletop Dungeons & Dragons both uses and avoids this. Armor and clothing are treated realistically, as individual pieces can't be worn by someone the wrong size and/or shape (a halfling can't wear chain mail designed for an orc). However, many magical items are explicitly stated as resizing themselves based on the user, so a giant can wear a normally human-sized magical ring, and a tiefling with goat hooves could wear a pair of magical boots.
- Plate mail also only fits the character it was made for and has to be "fitted" to be worn by someone else.
- This is actually unrealistic; with adjustable straps it's possible to make a plate armour that will a fairly wide variety of people, as long as they aren't very far off from the average size in height or weight. It won't fit as perfectly as armour made by your measures, but grand majority of the Medieval soldiers and knights had no trouble using such equipment.
- Every larper or reenactment participant that has worn plate mail can attest to that, as the armors worn are just a little lighter than the real thing, and usually one tries a friend armor before buying ones own.
- This also varies heavily by edition, with some saying to not worry about it, some requiring a massive fee almost the cost of creating a new set, and some allowing anything to change size as long as it's magic.
- This can get beyond ridiculous at times, when the rules suggest specific magical items created for colossal dragons (like tail-guards and horn-covers) which will change shape entirely to fit the analogous part of a humanoid.
- However, many video games based on D&D dispense with these rules,meaning you can freely swap that plate mail suit between a seven foot tall half-orc and a three foot halfling.
- This makes sense though, since the designers want you allow players to roll up characters of different race/gender combos, it would take a lot more programming to whip up random items with a decent chance of actually being used rather than sold.
- Earlier editions—up to 2d edition AD&D—were heavy aversions. One supplement had a chart for a percentage chance of swapping armour between species, and an additional modifier when gender comes into play. And reminded the DM that Rule Zero still applied, so they should definitely remind the 6' barbarian heroic human built like a square of muscle that he's not going to have any chance at all putting on the magic chainmail from the dead female elf.
- Averted in GURPS armor for characters larger that a normal human is heavier and more expensive. Some ultra-tech armor will resize itself within limits.
- Averted in Shadowrun when armour for dwarves is actually more expensive than armour for humans, because 90% of the population are human so dwarves often need to order specially and end up paying as much as trolls. The same is true of vehicles, guns, you name it. (Well, guns are less of an issue for dwarves, but trolls still need them customised)
- The boardgame Talisman has armour that will fit anyone from a sprite or a dwarf up to a minotaur, a troll, or even a centaur. The minotaur cannot wear a helmet; a few other characters are debarred from armour use for arcane reasons, but none because it simply does not fit. What's more, if the troll picks up armour that the sprite was wearing it fits just fine and is fully effective with no adjustment whatever.