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Super Soldier
aka: Supersoldiers
Eight feet tall, power-armoured, genetically-engineered, a full-auto rocket launcher for a pistol, and a fist that can kill tanks: Your average elite mook in ''Warhammer 40,000.

"Space Marines excel at warfare because they were designed to excel at everything."
Primarch Roboute Guilliman, Warhammer 40,000

A soldier specifically intended to be above and beyond a normal man; harder, better, faster, stronger, tougher, more skilled, more determined, built and trained to fight and win.

The Super Soldier can come in many forms, ranging from government-raised human weapons, cybernetically, genetically or chemically enhanced ordinary humans, to complete artificial lifeforms, or any combination of these. Usually trained by The Spartan Way.

If the super-soldier is a protagonist, they will often either be ruthless killers who have had a change of heart and/or angry victims who want revenge against their creators. They are often wracked with guilt over their previous actions, and may be extremely 'twitchy' and likely to unintentionally attack their own comrades out of reflex (metaphors for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are optional, but very common).

The exception is when they're created to defend the good guys against overwhelming forces, or if they were created as super-soldiers but raised as regular people. In the latter case, they'll usually have to go against Evil Counterparts in the form of the "normal" super-soldiers or Psycho Prototypes.

If large numbers of them are created by the Big Bad, they will seem terrifying at first, but eventually either they lose their threat and become just more mooks to get beaten up by the dozen, or else the production facilities are destroyed and they are never heard from again.

Note that this is a trope unusually likely to bring out the Fridge Logic. The biggest logical flaw is, of course, why the results would remain loyal.

The Space Marine is often a Super Soldier, and if so is even more likely to be a One-Man Army and may even be part of a Badass Army. If created by the bad guys, these have a nasty tendency to become Phlebotinum Rebels. An army of Super Soldiers often has this as the Mass Super-Empowering Event uniting them. If there's only one, it's likely because of a Disposable Superhero Maker and/or Last of His Kind.

Expect them to possess, among other things, Psychic Powers, Super Strength, Super Speed, enhanced regenerative capabilities, and if in a fantasy setting, probable Magical abilities (or pseudo-magical).

Often overlaps with Henchmen Race, and not infrequently With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. Contrast No Transhumanism Allowed.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • Gunslinger Girl plays this trope dead straight for tragedy: For the terminally-ill little girls of the title, it's either be made into a cybernetic monster that commits sanctioned murder for the Italian government, or die of sickness and Parental Abandonment.
  • The Claymores of the anime Claymore are half-human, half-youma hybrids that are generally a match for most ordinary youma. Why the Organization does not simply create an army of them (rather than their traditional 47) and exterminate the youma is never explained, though it likely has to do with the danger of too many of them slipping through the control process and becoming Awakened Ones, which have the mind of a youma and drastically increased powers. Having a lot of AOs and no more source youma from which to create more Claymores would be kinda bad.
    • It has also been suggested that the Organization itself is responsible for the presence of the youma in the first place; after all, the Organization's Claymores are the only ones who can reliably kill them, and villages have to pay ridiculous sums of money to get a Claymore to come and save them from a youma. Villages that fail to pay afterwards are said to get wiped out by youma soon after...
      • It goes further than that, as recent chapters have confirmed that the Organization are responsible for the existence of Yoma (if possibly indirectly). The entire continent is, in fact, a testing ground to create controllable Super Soldiers in order to fight a war for a much greater empire struggling against an equally powerful enemy.
  • Fyana (Make: Melkian Government, Model: Perfect Soldier) of Armored Trooper VOTOMS is one of these, but she's as much of a McGuffin as a character.
  • The Artificial Mages and Combat Cyborgs in Lyrical Nanoha, which turn out to be secretly supported by the higher-ups of the Time Space Administration Bureau themselves so they can have a steady supply of combat-capable mages.
  • The Headdliners of The Five Star Stories, who are not supersoldiers per se as they are born with their powers, but this is because they are descended from actual genetically engineered supersoldiers. While typically serving as Humongous Mecha pilots as they're the only ones with reflexes fast enough to properly control the things, they're no slouches in hand to hand combat, either.
  • The MDS (Most Dangerous Soldiers) of MD Geist.
    • Capable of taking a bullet to the head inbetween the eyes, and surviving without any regeneration period.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Olivier Armstrong being introduced to an army of artificial "humans". Souls of those killed in Amestrian wars are collected and infused into white, emaciated, nigh-immortal bodies created by alchemy. The goal of the Amestris high command was to use these puppets to replace their human armies, creating more soldiers from the souls of their fallen enemies.
    • There's also the "perfected" human chimerae.
      • In the 2003 anime version, they are implied to be the results of both a project to make powerful soldiers and because they knew too much about the government's nasty little misdeeds.
    • Wrath is basically this: a man trained to the peak of what the human body can endure and then subjected to an experiment that increased his physical abilities ten-folds, made him more durable and slowed-down his aging. His eyes were especially augmented, being able to process information almost immediately and never missing anything.
  • Gundam has had quite a few of these through the years...
    • Because of it's age, the Ur Example in Gundam is the Cyber-Newtype. In the mist of the increasing powerful Newtype of Universal Century Gundam, the Cyber-Newtype was created as a means of combating them on an equal footing. Creating one was usually based on prescribing drug cock tails that would give one Psychic Powers on-par with some Newtypes with some military training and other therapy. They are powerful but highly unpredictable while being legendarily unstable.... Throughout Universal Century, there has been at least one starting with the Titan's Four Murasame and Rosamia "Rosammy" Badam. Unless...
      • You are encountering an Artificial Newtype. They are rather similar to Cyber-Newtype's having being artificially given Psychic Powers, through the process is different. Cyber-Newtypes are made, Artificial Newtypes are born through cloning and manipulation at the DNA level through drugs. They, too, receive some manner of therapy and military training... but aren't as unstable as there cyber-newtype counterparts (through not known to be sane either). The first known one(s) are based on Elpeo Puru with Puru Two. It turns out that Neo-Zeon made more than one. Much more.
    • The Human Reform League super soldiers from Gundam 00, made from artificially born, gene-boosted and nanotech-enhanced humans. The exact nature of the program that created them is kept in the dark to the viewers, but judging by their only surviving alumni (one sane but Emotionless Girl working in the HRL military, and one Split Personality Ax-Crazy Phlebotinum Rebel who killed all the others and destroyed the program headquarters) and the public backlash the HRL suffered after it was revealed to the world, it was not exactly the prime definition of a 'success'.
    • Heero Yuy of Gundam Wing also fits this, but actually got his ranking in this category through sheer training and force of will. Although, being able to bend steel bars with his bare hands tends to make one think otherwise.
    • The Extended of Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny are another example, created by Blue Cosmos to battle the genetically-enhanced Coordinators. Abused from birth and kept under control through drugs (and by Seed Destiny, memory wiping), they're extremely powerful (with the first batch being able to take on Kira and Athrun on a pretty even footing) but none too stable. The drugs enhance their reflexes, reaction time, and raw strength/agility considerably, but at a serious cost to reasoning power, and leaves the user dependent on Blue Cosmos; withdrawal is fatal. It's worth noting that this last part is entirely intentional: by making defection a death sentence, the Earth Forces are able to maintain control over their maddened creations.
  • The entire point of the Radam invasion in Tekkaman Blade is to turn Earth into more Super Soldiers. They partially succeed, turning a large part of the population in "Primary Bodies", who can partially transform, but have no weapons.
  • Alita and the other Panzer Kunst warriors of Battle Angel Alita. They are of the cyborg variety of super soldiers.
  • The Shaman Warriors functioned as a mystical version for the Kugai.
  • Chise in Saikano. In addition to being a cybernetic weapon for the JSDF, she is a high-ranking officer.
    • Then again, Chise is less like a super-soldier and more like a living weapon of mass destruction. A super-soldier can take down entire battalions. Entire armies, sometimes. Chise can take down the entire fucking human race. And in the end of the series, she does.
  • The Invisible 9 of Pumpkin Scissors are nine whole units of super soldiers. For example; 901-ATT is the unit full of soldiers who can take on tanks and 908-HTT are soldiers that take down their enemies with flame throwers. However, just knowing that they exist seems to mean death...
  • There are elite cyborg troops in Ghost in the Shell world who can wipe the floors with regular soldiers. Most of the show's protagonists are former members of such teams.
    • One of the chapter titles in the manga is "Super Spartan"
  • Dracula in the original work was already a pretty bad mofo. In Hellsing, though, experimentation by the Hellsing family has enhanced Alucard's powers to the point where he is, among other things, not worried about losing his head.
  • The Jinchuuriki of Naruto are one part this, one part Attack Animal, depending on how they are viewed. It varies.
    • Actually, the ninja themselves are basically this. There are also plenty of ninja- sometimes entire clans- who have been modified through "permanent jutsu" to enhance themselves further; this is more or less taken for granted, at least by more experienced and older nin, though the likes of Orochimaru or Sasori are usually regarded as having gone overboard.
      • Every member of Akatsuki could count as going overboard, not just Sasori and Orochimaru. Deidara turned himself into a walking nuke, Itachi has his Mangekyo Sharingan, Kakuzu is a conglomerate of other people's body parts, Kisame fuses with Samehada, Hidan's immortality jutsu, the Six Paths of Pain, Konan's attack with 600 billion paper bombs...
  • In the manga Kieli, the main character Harvey is an 'Undying'; an undead soldier that was created from the corpse of a soldier who had died in combat. Upon being reanimated, the Undying are nigh-unstoppable. They don't have any more strength or speed than a regular human, but they aren't affected by pain (although they still feel it), they don't age, do not need nourishment or sleep, and they can take nearly any amount of damage and keep going. Harvey, at one point, had half of his head blown off, along with one leg and an arm. Though it took months, he recovered. The only way to kill an Undying is by ripping its 'core' out of its chest, as the core is what gives them animation. After the war, the Church (who originally created the Undying to win the world war they were fighting) began to hunt them down and slaughter them mercilessly, offering a massive bounty for anyone who located or killed an Undying. Despite being technically dead, the Undying still have the same emotional capacity and personality that they did when they were alive, so the scant few who escaped the Church's massacre went on the run. At the beginning of the story, Harvey has been avoiding the Church for eighty years and counting.
  • The purpose of 511 Kinderheim in Monster was to make these, in the Tykebomb variety. It... didn't exactly work out.
    • Well, technically it worked. They got the monster they wanted after all.
  • General Blue in Dragon Ball is implied to be one, as he seems to have an insane amount of durability, strength, possibly speed, and has psychic powers.
  • From Burst Angel: Jo, Maria, and the other "Genocide Angels".
  • This shows up to different degrees in the various incarnations of Birdy the Mighty, including the title character herself.
  • Mai-Otome may well feature the only school for Super Soldiers that includes embroidery and ballroom dancing as part of the curriculum. Garderobe does not skimp on the traditional surival and combat training though.
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon was cloned from Mew and then genetically altered to be the strongest pokemon in the world. They succeeded.
  • Attack on Titan: According to Pixis, Eren is "the successful result of cutting edge science." He is a titan shifter, a human that can transform into a titan. This means he has all the strength of a Titan as well as their Healing Factor, but retains human intelligence. Though Pixis is lying outright about who gave him that ability, it was his father performing experiments on his own rather than the military.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Captain America began as the first of what was to be an army of super-soldiers, but after he was altered the creator was killed and the process was never successfully duplicated. This was eventually retconned to be part of the Weapon Plus program. Has a good claim on being the Trope Namer.
      • There have been several failed attempts to recreate Captain America, none of which have worked out well. U.S. Agent was probably the closest thing to a success, if only because he's still alive and a hero.
      • And then there's Nuke, who is... less so.
      • In the X-Men: Evolution adaptation, this is changed to the treatment being eventually fatal, leading Cap and Logan (later Wolverine) to destroy what they thought was the only Project: Rebirth capsule. Ironically, in this case there was a backup, which the X-Men then need to go destroy after it is discovered by Big Bad Magneto.
      • In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the supersoldier program was restarted in the 1990s and by the early 2000s several nations and alliances had their own versions producing Persons of Mass Destruction. The final issue of Volume 2 of The Ultimates mentioned a Superhuman Test Ban treaty that was to be signed to stop the continued escalation.
      • It's implied that many of the characters in the story were born from an attempt to recreate the super soldier serum. It's stated outright that the experiments that eventually led to the creation of The Hulk were initially attempts to recreate the super soldier serum. The genetic modification of spiders that later created Spider-Man also has its roots in the super soldier project.
      • Also in Ultimate Marvel - the creation of Captain America scared the bejeezus out of the Soviet Union, who started their own attempts at creating a super-soldier. But, apparently, there were budget considerations, so in their case it consisted of cutting bits of the Ultimate version of the Vision (who had crashlanded in Tunguska in 1908) and sewing them onto live human subjects. The results were... less than successful. After the dissolution of the USSR, eventually the human employees just left the bunker where the labs were housed, locking up and leaving the "super soldiers" to their own devices. When the Ultimates and the X-Men worked their way in about a decade later, the survivors were extremely disgruntled.
    • Wolverine and the other products of the Weapon Plus program (of which he was Weapon X).
      • Deadpool (another beneficiary of the Weapon Plus program) at one point faces off against Cap with a spiel about two wary super-soldiers watching, respectful yet wary...until Hercules runs out of fuse.
      • Fantomex (Weapon XII) and Huntsman (Weapon XIII) were both created from nanotechnology. While Fantomex was intended to be a poster boy for a Mutant hunting superhero team he mostly spends his time now working with X-Factor. Huntsman on the other hand was essentially a walking version of The Virus that infected anyone he touched taking over their mind.
    • Similarly, X-23, an attempt to produce a controllable Wolverine.
    • The Galadorian Spaceknights.
    • The Nova Corps, who are a mix of this and Space Police (depending on who is writing)
    • The Fifty State Initiative - California's The Order is essentially a grouping of applied phlebotinum media darlings; a team crafted to be popular AND powerful. One of the few teams that Tony Stark had a personal hand in building. Unfortunately, these superbeings have a time-limit on their careers: each person is under contract for only one year (otherwise the idea would get "stale", plus their granted powers might kill them). They also experimented with using Bannermen, mass produced super soldiers inspired equally by Captain America and the Hulk, as team members, but the idea was scrapped after Bannermen Green and Brown died fighting the Infernal Man.
    • The immortal Evilutionary Biologist called Apocalypse likes to enhance his already super-powered mutant follower/slaves into armored killing machines, while giving them subtle nicknames like "the Four Horsemen".
    • Beta Ray Bill was the 'winner' in a competition to create a powerful guardian for his people as they fled the destruction of their homeworld and a demonic invasion. The magic hammer simply added to his considerable power.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Rogue, the Rogue Trooper, is the last survivor of a unit of genetically-engineered super-soldiers who were massacred when one of their generals betrayed their strategy to the enemy, leading to a massacre. GIs are stronger and faster than humans, immune to all known poisons, and can go longer without sleep.
    • Friday, Rogue's successor, is the last of a group of GIs "tested to destruction" against three waves of attack (soldiers, armoured assault, and prototype versions of his unit) after taking an enemy stronghold.
    • Zenith: The Nazis got some cheat codes from a few Eldritch Abominations on how to make a superman, the British stole that information during World War II, and afterwards attempted to recreate the process. The resulting superwarrior children came of age during The Sixties, promptly rebelled and became hippies, and... well, let's just say it didn't end well for anyone.
    • The Judges in Judge Dredd are paramilitary law enforcement rather than soldiers most of the time, but the combination of training regimen, childhood recruitment and occasional use of cloning puts them in this category. The Judda, being highly genetically engineered and raised to be even more fanatical, are a clearer example.
  • The Global Frequency story "Big Wheel" dealt rather graphically with a Super Soldier program gone very, very wrong.
  • Wildstorm's Team 7 was an army unit involuntarily exposed to a "gen-factor" that turned them into supersoldiers. The downside was, the more they used their powers, the crazier they got. Their children were also born super-powered, forming the heroic Gen-13 and the not so much DV8.
  • Marshal Law is a satirical look at super"hero" veterans of a genetic war who had been enhanced and programmed for violence, then were unable to go back to normal lives.
  • DC Universe:
  • In Camelot 3000, dissidents and criminals are involuntarily converted to Neo-Men by oppressive governments: oversized, voiceless, unquestioning brutes used to suppress riots and political unrest. Sir Percival's reincarnation undergoes this transformation within moments of having his past life's recollections restored, but retains his own mind due to the memory-restoration magic's effects.
  • Paperinik New Adventures give us many different types of super soldiers, courtesy of the Emotion Eaters of the Evronian Empire. The Evronians being Dangerously Genre Savvy, they had a way to neutralize every single type super soldier if they rebelled:
    • the first we hear about is Project Abominion, shown only in the technical files present at the end of the various issues. From what we're shown, Project Abomination yielded some results but was shut down when said results went out of control;
    • the first to actually show up is Grrodon. Combat-wise he's a normal warrior, but has Shapeshifting abilities. Interestingly enough, this kind of super soldiers were the ones without some safety, and in the Continuity Reboot they're implied to have assassinated the Emperor in a failed coup that plunged the Empire into chaos;
    • the most famous is Trauma, an Evronian general who had Evron's best scientist rebuild him with Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability and the Psychic Powers of causing fear and then feed on it, thus transforming the victim in a Coolflame. When he was about to rebel, a warship showed up to arrest him and, after he saw through their ruse (they ostensibly wanted to bring him to the Imperial Council for some award) attacked with overwhelming force and Humongous Mechas, put him into a restraint that suppressed his powers, and, after the martial court (in which he thanked the Imperial Council for giving him such an enjoyable battle) brought him to The Well (a prison planet, so called because there's no way to break out but you can be pulled out if Evron has some kind of dangerous mission for you);
      • The 2014 relaunch "Might and Power" brings us mass-produced Traumas: made from normal warriors, less physically strong and deployed unarmed and with large numbers of normal soldiers, they use their psychic powers as 'motivator' for prisoners.
    • later we have Klangor the cyborg soldier, with enough firepower to take on The Well's garrison and win, energy-absorbing abilities that allow him to survive an attack capable of destroying a small warship, and a remote-controlled off switch. When he rebelled, the Evronians turned him off, put him in The Well, turned him back on and told him to behave or they'll turn him off again. Note that, canonically, this guy was built before the creation of Trauma;
    • issue #28 gives us Raghor and his beast-soldiers, an offshot of Project Abominion created by fusing Evronian DNA with that of the Beasts of Rangar to give them superior strenght, speed and resistance to damage. During their test ride they're surveilled by a dozen times their numbers of regular Evronian, whose leader Zortag decided to put brainwashing devices in their helmets after they went on an unathorized mission. The beast soldiers being just that good, they actually managed to overpower their guards before Zortag could activate the devices and then went to try and kill a temporarily Brought Down to Normal Xadhoom before killing their keepers, only for Zortag and his warriors to outsmart the two guards left there to surveil them and brainwash Raghor's beast soldiers in his moment of triumph. Knowing that Raghor couldn't be trusted, Zortag was about to shoot him when Xadhoom recovered his powers, at which point Zortag ran with the beast soldiers while the furious Physical Goddess dealt with the idiot who pissed her off;
    • the special about the invasion of Xerba give us a variant of the shapeshifter Evronians Kravenn the Hunter. Created by Gorthan, the same guy who created Trauma, Kravenn has an uncanny ability to track down whatever his target is, and is programmed to die should he fail his mission or rebel. Again, this one was created before Trauma's rebellion;
    • the final issue of the original series, titled "If" due containing a number of stories where something went different in the main story, give us another experiment of Gorthan, a breed of Evronian-Angus Fangus hybrids that are combat-ready at birth, capable of feeding on negative emotions without special items and strong enough to tear through tank armour bare-handed. This time the in-built weakness is an extremely fast metabolism: if they can't feed they starve and faint in less than a minute, something crippling against regular Evronians who can't feel any emotion. Or Human soldiers who realize this weakness and start thinking about anything but them (how they were defeated when Paperinik, thanks to the first one talking too much and revealing Angus had been chosen for his ability to find, cause and feel negative emotions, realized this weakness);
    • the sequel series PK2 has the Predator, who, for a change, was not created by the Evronians but by a Corrupt Corporate Executive by taking a SeaDuck (a Navy SEAL Expy) soldiers and modifying his body until he's 80% mechanical and has enough firepower to take on a tank, plus enough conditioning to make him loyal and convince him his partner on his last mission betrayed him. As the guy was not Dangerously Genre Savvy as the Evronians, there's no counter in case the Predator rebels... Something that happens as soon as Paperinik shows him a record of the executive saying that he and The Dragon had set him up;
    • the Ultimate Universe Continuity Reboot gives us another group non created by the Evronians, the Guardian Drones. Created by the Guardians of the Galaxy to fight the Evronians, they brought the Evronian Empire on the brink of collapse, sacking Evron itself, before the Guardians became appalled at the violence of their creations and had them destroyed.
  • Independent publishers
    • Some of the engineered superheroes at the lower end of the power scale in Supergod, published by Avatar Press, fit this trope quite nicely. The created heroes range from this trope to A God Am I to Eldritch Horror.
    • Phase Sixers or Super Warriors from the IDW published Transformers comics are powerful enough to fight armies of other Transformers and destroy planets with ease. Transformers: More than Meets the Eye shows that they aren't created from normal Transformers, but Cybertronians who are already abnormally stronger then the usual, in a process that would kill any regular 'bot, and very nearly kills them. They also have an amazingly high tendency to turn traitor, at which point the Decepticon Justice Division, a whole crew of super soldiers, are sent after them.

    Fanfic 
  • Harmony Theory: How Rainbow is viewed by those in the setting, 1000 years after My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • The Pony POV Series has the Hooviets' Project Hybrid, a project devoted to creating powerful pony/deer hybrids soldiers. General-Admiral Makarov is the most successful of them and the only one still alive in modern day. He has immensely powerful magic and enough physical power to curbstomp Shining Armor. Subverted in that the experiment was supposed to be a complete failure, as even if it succeeded it'd have just resulted in pony/deer hybrids rather than Super Soldiers. Makarov's true form, a reality bending monster called the Shadow of Chernobull that altered history. It's also revealed that Makarov was the one responsible for killing the other hybrids so he could be unique.
  • Athene and her siblings from Mobile Suit Gundam Storm.

    Film 
  • Hanna in Hanna comes from a secret government program that develops otherwise aborted fetuses into powerful soldiers.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has several examples of these:
    • Emil Blonsky / Abomination in The Incredible Hulk film starts out as a Super Soldier, thanks to work based on a certain WWII project we "later" see in more detail. When that still isn't enough for him to take on the Hulk, he injects himself with even more dangerous crap and full-on becomes the Abomination. Tony Stark later pops in to condescendingly remind General Ross why that program was put on ice.
    • There were two Super Soldiers in Captain America: The First Avenger: The first one was surprisingly Johann Schmidt AKA The Red Skull (he received the super-soldier formula first. However, it wasn't perfected yet, and, ala Kefka Palazzo, he was implied to have been driven even more insane than before and gained the characteristic red face as a result), the second was Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, which was luckily perfected by that time. The fact that they have different personality traits also were influencing factors on their characterizations. It's also been implied that Bucky was also injected with a similar serum.
      • Interestingly, this is also the case in the 1991 Captain America film with Matt Salinger playing the title role. In the case of that film it's indicated that the red face was actually a disfigurement caused by the original process, first seen tested on a rat, and which is later perfected for use with Steve who comes out looking normal, if extremely powerful in build.
    • In Iron Man 3, Extremis makes people super strong with a Healing Factor capable of regenerating limbs in minutes and the ability to produce intense heat at will. Unfortunately the serum is unstable and many eventually explode with enough heat to vaporize anyone nearby.
  • RoboCop, though he was supposed to be a supercop rather than a soldier.
  • Soldier, wherein a Tyke Bomb who survives to middle age gets tossed aside by his creators... Only to stomp a mudhole in a platoon of the genetically engineered "new models" when they cross paths.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Jedi themselves are warrior monks with Psychic Powers trained from childhood.
    • The Mandalorians, and the later Clone Troopers based on them.
      • ARC troopers, basically very badass versions of the Clone Troopers. A squad of these guys were able to fight General Grevious to a standstill. In the Clone Wars cartoon, where he was still badass.
    • The Yuuzhan Vong warrior caste, trained from birth to be merciless sadomasochist killing machines. They're fond of chopping off various parts of their bodies and replacing them by more efficient, genetically engineered symbiotic grafts.
  • Universal Soldier used corpses as the base. However, the Unisols are just more then corpses that they reanimate. They're corpses of soldiers, marines and the like; that are exceptional compared to their fellow service members. They are retrieved from the battlefield, and brought back to life, using a complex procedure of freezing, surgery, Bio-Augmentation and reheating using deep-tissue electrical shocks, and then doped up on performance boosting drugs and the like. They then take it a step further using gene therapy, in Universal Soldier: Regeneration, and further more with false memories and mind control in Day of Reckoning.
  • In The Bourne Series it was hinted at that the operatives in Treadstone and Blackbriar, that includes the protagonist Jason Bourne, had some form of enhancements beyond simple Training from Hell. While they don't do anything quite superhuman they have an unreasonable amount of stamina, pain tolerance and mental acuity to the point you know they aren't quite normal. The fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, actually has it as part of its plot. The operatives regularly take specific pills that increases muscle density, gives them a mild Healing Factor and sharpens their mind. When cut off from that supply they suffer withdrawals and are threatened that they will revert to being "normal" without it. It was later revealed that the newer iterations of the Outcome operatives, the LARX operatives; had these improved traits and abilities; made into permanent parts of their physiology, via retroviral gene therapy.
  • In the Jet Li film, Black Mask; the operators of Squad 701 are this. The 701s were created by the Chinese Government, in order to deal with the escalating crime rate, caused by gang violence and drug distribution. The 701s were selected from elite military units, and subjected to a procedure known as a neurorectomy, in which they injected a chemical solution into their brain stems, chemically deadening the part of their brains responsible for pain, exhaustion and fatigue. Because of this, the 701s no longer feel pain to a large extent, nor are they affected by exhaustion and fatigue. This removes the psychological limitations on the Human body, allowing for them to push themselves harder then the average soldier. They were able to hit with enough force to break through concrete, fast enough to outrun automatic gunfire and dodge it and perform other incredible physical feats.

    The downside to this process, is that it left the 701s impaired to physical trauma and wear and tear from overexertion, meaning that it was very possible for the 701s to die from internal bleeding caused by their superhuman performance. Another downside to this process, was that it left the 701s with impaired judgment and morality. Major troubles for the 701s started, when one of their own, went berserk and killed a bunch of police officers in the process. After this incident, the government terminated the project and had most of the 701s killed, with only a handful escaping and surviving out in Hong Kong. The protagonist of the movie, Simon/Michael (In the Chinese dub his name is Tsui) is a 701 attempting to lead a normal life, but is called back into action when his fellow 701s begin taking down gangs all over Hong Kong and begin to cause trouble for the police.
  • The Neo-Vipers from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra stroll through massed assault rifle fire without any apparent ill effect, and one even continues on as normal even after being set on fire. More or less you have to shoot them in the eye (the only part without armour) or use anti-tank weapons to kill one. At the very least with Joe tech, aim for the head.
  • In Cube Zero, the government soldiers are implanted with a chip and "reprogrammed" to become the perfect soldier, feeling no pain, getting superhuman strength and obeying orders without question.
  • The made for television 1998 film Legion was about a team of death-row convicts who were offered full pardons if they helped take an enemy installation. They realize something is wrong when they find nothing but a pile of rotting bodies waiting for them. Then they start getting picked off one by one. It turns out their entire mission was really a test of the military's prototype supersoldier the titular "Legion" who is actually one of the convicts who allowed himself to be a guinea pig to avoid execution. Said supersoldier was created by integrating lizard DNA into his genetic makeup and could shapeshift into his original human form, adapt to environments inimical to humans, and boasted enhanced strength and agility.

    Literature 
  • In Adam R. Brown's Alterien series, Oberon is enhanced to such a degree he is able to serve in an elite group of superhuman soldiers.
    • Apart from the Alteriens are enhanced soldiers such as the SABE Rs and their British counterparts, the Actuals.
    • There are other superhuman soldiers from other countries such as the Red Hammers from Russia.
    • New experimental super soldiers were eventually produced that proved to be a challenge even to the Alteriens. These included the Kinetic Absorbing Endoskeleton cyborgs (The Kendos) and the Double Ms (matter manipulators).
  • Ender’s Game: Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin and the rest of the Battle School students; note that they were trained, not to fight personally, but as super-generals.
  • Dune: the Sardaukar. And, arguably, the Fremen once Paul and Jessica train them to be soldiers not individualistic killing machines. (Although even as the Atreides are falling to the Sardaukar, Fremen under the control of Liet Kynes are engaging Sardaukar and suffering losses that Thufir Hawat finds amazingly low (losing two of their own and killing over a hundred enemy). One wonders what might have come about if Thufir had not been ambushed before he could link up with Paul and Jessica.
    • Later, God-Emperor Leto uses the Sardaukar gene pool to breed the all-female Fish Speakers as his private enforcers.
  • The Postman: 'Augments', of which there were two varieties: one cybernetically altered and chosen for their psychopathic tendencies, the other trained in exotic meditation techniques and chosen for their high sense of ethics.
    • Actually, they were created the same way. After the first batch turned out to be megalomanical killing machines, the government got the bright idea to kidnap someone who hated the whole concept of violence and force him to accept the cybernetic implants, with the notion that he would use his powers only if they were truly necessary.
  • The Sauron Supermen and Motie warrior caste in The Mote in God's Eye and related stories.
  • Wolfbreed has The Teutonic Knights try and turn a bunch of werewolf children into elite shock troops and commandos.
  • The Uruk-Hai were Super Soldier Orcs in both book and film versions of Lord of the Rings. Notable in that though they're bred for it, they are speculated by Treebeard to be hybrids of human and orc. In the Movieverse, it's regular Orc and Goblins (which are the orc equivalent of Gnomes or Dwarves), capitalizing on Hybrid Vigour.
  • The Moreau Series of books by S. Andrew Swann dealt heavily with the aftermath of this trope, with the novels' soldiers being Furry Half Human Hybrids who eventually became second-class citizens after the war they were built for ended.
  • Subverted in the Lois McMaster Bujold short story "Labyrinth"; the 'super-soldier' was designed by a committee with no actual soldiers on it and is flashy but massively impractical. The effect is rather spoiled by the fact that the prototype frequently appears in later stories as a very effective soldier.
    • The super-soldiers in question would have been impractical to mass produce. Sergeant Taura functions quite well as an individual working in conjunction with human soldiers — most of the time. However, she requires large amounts of medical care due to her genetically engineered hypermetabolism, and most of her character development revolves around her continually beating the low odds her doctors give for her continued survival. She's basically written like an eight foot tall cancer patient with fangs.
      • It was mentioned that this project was intended to produce a commandos unit, not line grunts. And it basically reached its goal, if you're willing to overlook the radically shortened lifespan of an individual soldier. It's just that the country that ordered them was defeated before the project could be completed.
  • There is something of a mild subversion in Honor Harrington. The Scrags were engineered to be elite shock troops in Earth's final war, however, the novels takes place a thousand years or so after said events and they have devolved into none too bright thugs that tend to get easily trounced by powerful, but mostly unagumented humans.
    • On the other hand, both people who easily trounced scrags were heavyworlder martial arts specialists: Thandi's literally a Space Marine, and Anton is a wrestling champion.
      • Once Thandi had given her amazon brigade of scrags some proper training, they became very effective soldiers.
    • The scrags really are on average much stronger, faster and even have and initial intelligence higher than the average person. Unfortunately they also know this and, combined with generations of inbreeding, has resulted in a subculture that is so absurdly arrogant about its own capabilities that they don't bother with proper strategy or even basic training.
    • You can't mention Super Soldiers in the setting without mentioning The Salamander herself. It's revealed a few books in that Honor is herself is descended from Super Colonists, her ancestors being genetically tweaked to thrive on the planet Meyerdahl which had gravity quite a bit higher than Earth (they also serve her well on her own home planet of Sphynx which is has a gravity lower than Meyerdahl but still higher than Earth). For her, this translates to a tall, solid frame, much higher than average strength and very fast reflexes. The tradeoffs for Honor are an extremely fast metabolism (Upside? She eats all the cookies she can find without gaining a pound. Downside? When she was being held prisoner in a later book by folks who didn't know about her metabolism, she nearly starved to death on what would normally be considered generous rations for a prisoner.)
      • It's implied that many members of the Manticoran upper and middle class are "Genies", but it's generally played down because of bad memories of the Scrags.
    • The backstory also mentions another group of Super Soldiers, originating in Asia around the same time as the Scrags. This heavily-augmented group of cyborgs proved to be even more monstrous than the Scrags' progenitors, which were created in Ukraine by racial supremacists. Unlike the Ukrainian supersoldiers, the Asian ones were incapable of reproducing and died out after a single destructive generation. It is implied that things went rapidly downhill at this point in history as every nation unleashed their own supersoldiers, chemical weapons, and biological agents on each other in what became known as the Final War.
  • Also by David Weber: Empire from the Ashes gives us anybody from either the Fourth or Fifth Imperium military (Battle Fleet or Imperial Marines).
    • Dahak's 'improvements' make a Fifth Imperium soldier a serious super soldier compared to a Fourth Imperium super soldier. Talk about helping someone Take A Level In Badassery.
  • The Colonial Defense Force from John Scalzi's Old Man's War. Earthborn humans are given the option to join the offworld military instead of retiring at age 75. Once off planet their consciousness is transferred to a genetically engineered body grown from their DNA. Notable in that the entire force from privates to generals consist of supersoldiers. (It's made very clear that unenhanced humans wouldn't last five minutes against the aliens they have to fight.) The Special Forces are much worse: they are born with the knowledge of how to be supersoldiers, and not much else.
  • In John Ringo's Council Wars series, the Elves are the virtually immortal genetically engineered superhuman soldiers of the last Resource Wars.
  • The Specials in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. They have bones made of aircraft material with servos inside for better movement, artificial muscles that are stronger and don't get sore, weaponized fingernails and teeth filed to sharp points, nanobots in their blood that allow them to heal quickly, antennas implanted in their skin to allow for more efficient communication between themselves, a direct link to the city's interface that they can manifest as a GUI by closing their eyes and thinking about it, and an artificial addition to their brain that gives them enhanced senses and reflexes, a serious superiority complex towards non-Specials, and violent tendencies. Oh, and their facial features are modeled to look vaguely lupine to stir up the primal fear of predators in unmodified humans.
  • In Daniel Keys Moran's Tales of the Continuing Time, the Peaceforcer Elites are made into Super Soldiers through a grueling series of gene therapies and cyborgizing surgeries. Tens of thousands of years ago, the Old Human Race made Super Soldiers through genetic engineering and sheer badassery. Additionally, the Unification's Project Superman experimented with gene modification to produce the de Nostri (a human-leopard mix), and a group of telepaths, both as attempts at Super Soldiers. One team was especially effective, consisting of a telepath (Carl Castanaveras), a Peaceforcer Elite (Christian Summers) and a de Nostri (Jacqueline).
  • Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels feature a whole variety of augmentations and genetically engineered supersoldier bodies. However the premise of the universe (that FTL travel is only possible by beaming your consciousness to another planet and downloading yourself into a new body) means that the ultimate soldiers are 'Envoys' who undergo an intense mental version of The Spartan Way to condition them to fight effectively in a new and unfamiliar body.
  • Many of the Inchoroi "weapon races" in the Second Apocalypse series. Sranc (essentially rape-happy orcs) serve as mooks, since they have none of the morale problems human soldiers might. Bashrags (essentially ogres) and dragons are the "fewer, but higher quality" sort.
  • The Unsullied in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, a type of eunuch slave soldier using armament and tactics similar to Greek hoplites. Due to brutal training and drug use from a young age, the Unsullied are robotically loyal, utterly fearless, and immune to pain. However, their castration during youth causes them to lack raw muscular power. They are also specifically not one man armies, being far more effective in their phalanx fighting formation.
    • The first sci-fi story Martin had published, "Hero" is about this trope. The protagonist is a heavyworlder raised and trained on a War World, with drugs used to maintain his speed and stamina. Despite his superior trying to disuade him, he decides to retire to Earth at the end of his enlistment instead of returning to his native planet like his colleagues, thinking he'll be a hero there instead of just another retired soldier. Instead he's murdered by his superiors who have no intention of letting such a dangerous person anywhere near ordinary humans.
  • Pepper from Crystal Rain. His body actually burns off a good fifty pounds over the course of a single fight, and he has to keep eating and drinking constantly during lulls in the battle to keep his metabolism running. So Badass that he actually came out of a And I Must Scream situation more or less unscathed.
  • The Discworld version of Orcs. They have extendable claws in their fingers, are superhumanly strong, can recover from lethal wounds, and created by an evil wizard from humans. The one we meet is a Warrior Poet.
  • Painless soldiers in the Inheritance Cycle. They are incapable of feeling pain, so they can fight with stuff like missing limbs and crushed sternums. Nothing is Squickier than fighting a laughing madman with only half a face. It's later revealed to be something of a deconstruction: those soldiers didn't feel pain, so they didn't exhibit a survival instinct, allowing them to be easily lead into traps.
  • The Shrike from the Hyperion Cantos- if a metallic nine foot tall, time-bending, godlike killing machine covered in spikes doesn't qualify as a supersoldier, nothing does.
    • Also Rhadamanth Nemes and her twins. They manage to take on the Shrike and survive. One of them even temporarily defeats it!
  • The serjants of the Night's Dawn Trilogy are also an example of this, as they are initially used to police Tranquility, and later used as the front line troops to fight the possessed.
  • Homo Drakensis is engineered to be the perfect predator of human beings. They are faster, smarter, and stronger than any normal human and able to dominate the minds of others through pheromone control. The Draka believe that one or two Drakenses is an adequate force to establish dominance over a world full of unaltered humans given enough time. Even before the Draka actually became superhuman, your average Draka citizen soldier was worth several of the enemy due to his/her superior equipment, conditioning and morale.
  • The Hradani of the WarGod series by David Weber. Bigger, faster and stronger than humans and twisted by magic to become berserkers in combat.
  • In Max Barry's Machine Man, this is the goal of Better Future's Corrupt Corporate Executive, the Manager.
  • The Trollocs from The Wheel of Time were intended to be this- in reality they're only mediocre at it, as while they are much larger, stronger, and more aggressive than humans, they're also lazy, undisciplined, and not very bright. Their effectiveness is improved greatly if one of their Myrddraal cousins is put in command, since they're smarter and have a variety of weird powers that includes the ability to telepathically coordinate Trollocs, making them far better warriors. Normally, though, the main use for Trollocs is the Zerg Rush, since there are a lot of them.
    • The Gholams can also be considered this since they are immensely strong, immune from magic and are essentially immortal
    • On the side of the Light Warders can be considered Super Soldiers since due to their bond with their Aes Sedai they gain increased strength and endurance. Combined with receiving the best possible training in the world and they are a formidable opponent

  • The koloss from Mistborn are artificially created killing machines that can take out whole squads of human soldiers by themselves, though they lack any real capacity for subtlety or tactics. Their primary drawback, though, is that they're berserkers- once a koloss army has been unleashed and gone into frenzy, they're nearly impossible to rein in until the frenzy has passed and will kill anything non-koloss (and sometimes other koloss too, if they can't get anything else) that crosses their path. This means that you can't deploy your koloss near human population centers you don't want levelled.
  • Comes up frequently in the works of Timothy Zahn, often also highlighting the drawbacks and pitfalls.
    • The title characters of The Cobra Trilogy Series are man-made supersoldiers originally created for a major war. They have unbreakable bones and numerous weapons built into their bodies. At the end of the first book (Well after the war ended), it is revealed that the process that made their bones unbreakable also caused people who underwent the COBRA treatment to become arthritic and anemic as they got older. This is in addition to the question brought up earlier in the book of what you're supposed to do with supersoldiers when there isn't a war going on.
    • Also in Zahn's Blackcollar trilogy: the Blackcollars are deliberately low-tech supersoldiers, created using drugs to enhance speed and strength, then equipped with low profile body armor and weapons like shuriken, nunchaku, and slingshots, in order to wage a guerrilla war against an enemy capable of tracking more advanced weapons.
    • In The Conquerors Trilogy, The Copperheads are cybernetically augmented humans capable of "Mindlink" with their fighter craft, to the extent where the highest level makes the pilot feel like they are the ship, and allowing the equivalent of instant telepathic communication among a squadron. For obvious reasons, they're incredibly effective in combat. Unfortunately, because the Mindlink is both highly stimulating and designed to suppress things like physical and emotional pain while it's active, it can become addictive and even cause brain damage if it's used more than absolutely necessary.
  • It's found that Project Starscream, an Imperial bioweapons project responsible for a number of threats in Galaxy of Fear, has the end goal of creating an Ultimate Life Form Super Soldier with the abilities of all those other threats. Only the first is met then and there - as a baby in a pod, who gets to adulthood and then monsterhood within a day but it's clear that if the plans and prototypes hadn't been destroyed there would have been more.
  • Deconstructed in Gladiator: Hugo Danner has a professor father who experimented on him as a fetus, so that he developed a reasonable degree of Nigh-Invulnerability and Super Strength. Trapped in World War One, he becomes a Super Soldier killing as many German soldiers as he can for the French Foreign Legion. He decides to win the war by Instant-Win Condition: hijacking a plane, infiltrating Germany and killing the German Emperor and his generals to force a Decapitated Army. Unfortunately, Reality Ensues and the war ends on his own accord. The truth is, modern wars (maybe since the nineteen century) are not won nor lost by soldiers anymore, but by economic and politic reasons out of any human being control.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium, the protagonist, a professional bodyguard named Kai Dutch reveals that he was created as one of these in secret, as genetic engineering is illegal in The Empire. For the first 15 years of his life, he was a weakling and constantly bullied (and raped). Once he hits 16, he hits a huge growth spurt and develops superhuman strength, speed, reaction time, and analytical powers. However, even when he has to fight a Meklar hand-to-hand (normally a death sentence to any non-Meklar), he has a doctor (working for The Mafia) give him tons of "enhancements" and a "battle cocktail" that turns him into a killing machine that can survive a few minutes against a Meklar.
  • A Dry, Quiet War by Tony Daniel involves soldiers from a war at the end of time 15 billion years in the future, who are almost unkillable because their bodies extend into alternate timelines.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek has several:
    • OS: Khan Noonian Singh and the other 'eugenic supermen' in "Space Seed" and The Wrath of Khan.
      • Their "brothers and sisters" made an appearance in several episodes of Enterprise.
      • These weren't created as super soldiers. Soong just wanted to make perfect humans. Unfortunately, their egos demanded more, and they began to see everyone else as inferior. A predictable reaction if ever there was one.
      • The IDW Star Trek Khan comics have Benedict Cumberbatch's version of the character stand trial after the events of Star Trek Into Darkness and retell the story of the Eugenics Wars and why he looks nothing like Ricardo Montalban. A powerful corporation kidnapped a whole bunch of kids from slums all over the world in 1970s and, with backing by various governments, set out to train an army of Super Soldiers, genetically-enhancing them using tech unheard of outside the company, giving them a Healing Factor, among other things. Noonien Singh became the leader of the "enhanced" at the Indian compound. Eventually, all the enhanced all over the world coordinated their actions and escaped, deciding to plot a global takeover in order to keep the foolish humans from destroying the world. In 1992, they make their move by nuking Washington and Moscow and announcing their intentions. Their takeover takes a few weeks. After capturing India, Noonien Singh takes the name/title Khan and becomes the ruler of the Central Asian territory. According to him, he's the only ruler who tries to make the lives of his people better, while the others use their ambition to fight among themselves, which, in the end, allows humans to fight back and push the "enhanced" to Australia. Khan and his followers escape on the SS Bottany Bay. He then gets Easy Amnesia and is tricked by Admiral Marcus that he really is John Harrison, agent of Section 31. His memories return when he blows up Praxis as part of his mission.
    • TNG: Roga Danar and the other exiled Angosian soldiers, in "The Hunted", with a Vietnam Veteran Syndrome metaphor Anviliciously applied.
    • DS9: The Jem'Hadar.
  • Babylon 5: Lyta Alexander after she was Touched by Vorlons. It's eventually revealed that the Vorlons originally created telepaths for just this purpose.
    • In the fourth episode there was an Organic Technology artifact that turned someone into an unstoppable killing machine.
      • Also the Techno-mages, as seen in the trilogy of books.
  • The Transgenics in Dark Angel.
  • First the Jaffa, an actual human subspecies that was biologically dependent on having a Goa'uld larva inside them and later the nigh invulnerable Kull Warriors (who were actually often called 'Super Soldiers') in Stargate SG-1.
  • Just when the Myth Arc for The X-Files couldn't get any more bungled up, they threw in Super Soldiers in the last season. Mind you, they cast Adam Baldwin and Lucy Lawless, so fanservice all around...
    • This trope was employed in the excellent episode "Eve" in season 1. The creepy twin girls came from a secret government's project. Its aim was to create and clone humans with superior strength and intelligence. Boys and men were called Adams, while girls and women Eves. Pity the clones suffered from severe psychoses and had suicidal and murderous tendencies. Easily one of the best episode from the first season. Great story-telling.
  • The second season opener of SeaQuest DSV centered around the "Daggers", genetically engineered warriors whose very existence was outlawed before they were a year old, and are exiled to life on a prison island. They are freed by the end of the episode.
    • The official term is GELF - genetically engineered life form. "Dagger" is an insult.
  • Firefly's River Tam was physically and psychologically conditioned to be a psychic One Waif Army. Then she got away.
    • In some ways, it can be argued that she's a Deconstruction of the trope. Yes, she's a phenomenally dangerous living weapon, but she's also insane and barely functional as a person after what she went through to become a Super Soldier.
      • Though the end of the movie implies she does come to terms with this and got better.
  • Heroes had Scott, the Marine from the last couple of episodes in the third season.
    • Notably killed a few seconds after receiving his first combat assignment.
  • A few of these were created in The 4400. They were injected with Promicin, and the survivors of this made several appearances. However, they were "just" soldiers with superpowers, the latter of which is fairly common in this series, so they often got their asses kicked by 4400s or other P+ s.
  • In Dollhouse, one of Rossum's secret projects is to create a unit of Hive Mind-ed supersoldiers using Active brain-architecture used in conjunction with neural radios. The result is.... disturbing, to say the least.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Initiative troops in season four were chemically augmented to be tougher, stronger, and faster than ordinary humans. They were still no match for Buffy herself, however, and since they were usually going up against the same type of critters she fought, they didn't show up too well.
    • Adam was meant to be the first line in a new (and better) line of Initiative Super Soldiers to the example mentioned above, combining the advancement of technology, the intelligence and adaptability of humans, and the superior strength and emotional detachment of demons in one big badass package.
  • The Nietzscheans of Andromeda, who fight not only outside enemies, but each other, constantly. Stronger, faster and tougher than humans, with bone spikes on their forearms.
  • Lex creates one in the Smallville episode "Prototype".
    • The episode title is appropriate, as Lex's plan was to repeat the process and create an entire army of Super Soldiers for the US military (supposedly, anyway; this is Lex Luthor we're talking about). Fortunately, the facility creating the soldiers was destroyed in a fight between Clark and Bizarro.
  • The Original Kamen Rider was made into this by Shocker. However, the Kamen Rider, through a rescue, became a Phlebotinum Rebel.
    • Most Showa Era Kamen Riders fall under this save for one. The only Kamen Rider to actually be used by Shocker (save for Evil Twins) is Kamen Rider ZX, but it was for a short while.
  • Kamen Rider Double had another villainous example in the form of NEVER, mercenaries enhanced with a serum that revives them. They too became a Phlebotinum Rebel, but not in a good way.
  • The Daleks are an entire race of these, albeit non-humanoid after extensive bio-engineering by their creator Davros.
    • And, to a lesser extent, the Sontarans.
  • In NCIS, a Marine who escapes from a mental institution (funded by a private military contractor) and is brought back in by Gibbs' team claims to have been experimented on, a claim backed up by cybernetic implants found in his body. When a company official for said private military contractor demands his return, it is suspected that he was an involuntary subject of a Super Soldier project. It turns out that he'd been self-medicating with steroids, and the 'implant' was a homing device placed after his return to the US.
  • The Cortexiphan kids from Fringe were trained to become this in the impending war between universes.
    • The show notably shows the downsides to having some of these powers, such as a telepath who can't bear being near other people and must live in isolation for the rest of his life, an empath who unintentionally causes other people to feel his depression and commit suicide, or a pyrokinetic who can't control her own flames.
  • In Defiance the Bio-Men were secretly developed in case of an alien invasion and deployed when the Votan appeared. They look less human than many of the Votan species being massive hulking humanoids with blue skin, no hair, numbers etched on their chests, and an "off-switch" that knocks them out until someone electrocutes them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines (Imperium of Man): Fanatically dedicated, comprehensively superhuman genetically-engineered giants selected through decades of religious indoctrination and a form of The Spartan Way that only one of a hundred aspirants even survive, who carry fully automatic armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenade launchers as their basic gun, are strong enough to rip a man apart and can survive having a tank dropped on them. Among the more... interesting genetic grafts and hormonal modifications are a second heart, a third lung, a second stomach, bones coated in naturally occurring ceramite, and a ribcage that is solidified into one large chunk of bone. On top of their large intelligence they also have the ability to eat the brains of enemies to incorporate their intellect. Their muscles are so thick that they are immune to any weapon smaller than a 9mm handgun, they can breathe water, they are immune to diseases, and they don't require sleep. If they are not killed, they will live forever.
    • Terminators (Imperium of Man): The Elite Imperial Space Marine - veterans of countless battles, the strongest and fittest and most capable of all marines. And they get a super-power armor (Tactical Dreadnought Armor) and even more obscene weaponry (like larger caliber gatling versions of said grenade launchers or Thunder Hammers that can rip tanks to pieces). They can also teleport. It's commonly agreed that battle brother becomes eligible to the First Company (where Terminators are grouped as per Codex Astartes) posting after at least a full century of service. And some chapters require even more.
    • Grey Knights (Imperium of Man): incorruptible Marines who are also great psykers, have a magic-immunity shield and a spear that shoots lighting for killing giant daemons. The selection process for Grey Knights involves, among other things, the "666 rites of the Emperor", which can be best described as 666 Mind Rapes.
    • Thunder Warriors (Pre-Imperial human): The precursors of the Space Marines used when the Emperor united Terra. Stronger and tougher than their successors, but with shortened lives and none of their non-combat utility.
    • Aspect Warriors (Eldar) dedicate every single conscious moment of their lives to training for a particular aspect of war, also utilizing the second-most advanced technology in the setting. Despite being of only average human dimensions, they can generally go toe-to-toe with the above-mentioned Space Marines.
      • Exarchs take this to the next level, as their entire existence is dedicated to combat. They never leave their shrines and have the best equipment of their respective aspect. In older editions they were Eldar heroes who had access to an incredibly wide range of Bad Ass wargear, even from outside their aspects, but they've been toned down to be more akin to Sergeants or typical squad leaders.
    • Stormtroopers (Imperial Guard, Imperium of Man): The Stormtroopers carry backpack-powered hellguns, heavy carapace armor, and - depending on the regiment - can receive genetic enhancements. In older editions, squad leaders could even carry powerfists or lightning claws.
    • The Orkz: Orkz are an entire race of Supersoldiers created by Precursors, designed for the sole purpose of fighting. Whatever the Orks may lack in tactics and technology they make up for with More Dakka, more choppa, More Dakka, a total lack of fear, More Dakka, the ability to quickly infest worlds via their fungal lifecycle, and More Dakka.
    • Various Inquisitorial Assassins: Four Temples each with it's own breed of assassin dedicated to one of four major fields of combat: Sniping, Impersonation, Terror-Attacks, and Anti-Psyker. They are the Vindicare, Callidus, Eversor, and Culexus. These assassins have profiles in-game that rival/exceed that of most army leaders, are implied to be trained from birth (very little of their training proceedures is ever alluded to) and can only be deployed by authorization from a sanctioned Inquisitor, and even then said Inquisitor are never allowed to deploy more than one. The Eversor stands out among them, as he is usually only deployed when the inquisition needs to make an example of someone. His modus operandi usually results in the immediate area receiving a very visceral redecoration.
  • Also from Games Workshop, is the old tabletop game and now app Chainsaw Warrior. The Chainsaw Warrior was a spec ops soldier who got blasted apart in a mission and was rebuilt with extensive cybernetics and removal of his sense of fear. He's then sent out on missions that are otherwise impossible for any other soldier.
  • Rifts had several, developed by the governments of the world before it all came crashing down. Naturally, the technology to make them managed to survive, and in many places, any person with the inclination and a whole lot of cash can just pop over to the local Body-Chop Shop to get turned into a cybernetic, mentally- or chemically-enhanced killing machine. Specific examples:
    • Full-conversion 'borgs, those who choose to get their entire bodies replaced with metal save their brains; they also come in partial-conversion varieties, replacing only their limbs and some organs.
    • Crazies, who have microscopic implants in their skulls that grant exceptional strength and psionic powers, but slowly drives them mad; they're identifiable by the giant steel rods in their head, an anachronistic remnant of the old process that they insist upon, and the fact that they tend to act like cartoon characters.
    • Juicers, people who are chemically wired to operate at the absolute peak of human performance. The problem is that the constant manipulation of their blood chemistry slowly destroys their bodies; the maximum life span of a Juicer is six years. "Detox" is possible, but after five years has almost a 100% failure rate and only if done within two years will the individual not suffer from their body being partially burned out.
    • Notable examples developed After the End are Coalition States Battle Cats, Kill Hounds/Kill Cats, and Ursa Warriors, genetically engineered animal Super Soldiers. A similar project in South America resulted in the Amphibs of Tritonia, as well as two separate independent nations of primarily mutant animals.
    • A number of post-cataclysmic societies developed Magic Knight type character classes, including the Psi-Warriors of Psyscape, the Battle Magi of Dweomer, plus orders of Cyber Knights and Mystic Knights. The Coalition States has their Psi-Battalion, which consists of various psychic classes to counter threats from practitioners of magic.
    • Rifts being Rifts, nonhumans get in on the fun as well with their own Super Soldier creations. The aliens occupying Atlantis have the standard Juicers, Crazies, and 'Borgs, but they also have the Bio-Borgs, beings that are magically mutated and often enhanced with a wide variety of parasites and symbiotes. The results are often strange and disturbing, but extremely effective. The Kreeghor of Three Galaxies favor genetic manipulation: their Invincible Guardsmen routinely feature beings who have been transformed into living metal or who can change into pure light on a whim. In a larger sense, there are a number of nonhuman Proud Warrior Races who are capable of facing down most of the Super Soldiers on this list. For added fun, try applying any of the above Super Soldier creation techniques to one of these beings.
  • The Clans of the BattleTech / MechWarrior Universe. Descended from the remnants of the Star League army that fled the breakup of the Star League, the Clans genetically breed their Mechwarriors, Infantry, and Aerospace pilots - only the top 25 individuals of a particular "Bloodline" are allowed to have children (they believe Lamarck Was Right). Clan Elementals (infantry) are 8-foot tall mountains of muscle donning a suit of even stronger, MechWarriors are of average height and weight but are immensely fit and have excellent reflexes, and the aerospace pilots have slimmer bodies and larger heads and eyes with enhanced reflexes and perceptions to give them the advantage in an Old-School Dogfight. In the game universe, this made them individually better (with a few individual exceptions), but few in number compared to the Inner Sphere pilots, born the "old fashioned way" (The same problem that eventually cost the Real Life Spartans their unbroken record of victory). The Elementals are of particular note, as they don a one-ton suit of Powered Armor (the Elemental-class battlearmor) that can rip open battlemech cockpits and soar through the air with bursts of a Jet Pack. The Inner Sphere eventually caught up and began to make even more varied (and heavy) suits of battlearmor, though for the most part they are piloted by regular soldiers.
    • The Clan fighter pilots actually subvert this, as the Clan aerospace fighter pilot program is regarded as a failure by 3060 and outright obsolete by 3070; despite superior equipment and genetics, Clan fighter pilots consistently lose to Inner Sphere ones. It is implied that Clan emphasis on BattleMech clashes resulted in the retardation of their tactical and training development for fighter pilots as well as denying their pilots combat flight time, meaning that Inner Sphere fighter doctrine and training is a hundred years or more ahead of its Clan equivalent and most Inner Sphere fighter pilots have more experience!
  • Magic: The Gathering has the Metathran, genetically engineered soldiers created by Urza to fight the Phyrexians. For that matter, the Phyrexians themselves also qualify. They are born as humanoid creatures called Newts, which are already much stronger that normal humans, and are later compleated (not a typo).
  • This is the intention of the extensive training and metaphysical battle creed of the Adamantine Arrows of Mage: The Awakening. It is intended that they should be this way without the use of their magic. When they do use magic, they are supposed to be akin to living gods of war.
  • Decommissioned Super Soldier-types are the focus of the Underground RPG.
  • GURPS: Bio-Tech features numerous different super-soldiers created through Bio-Augmentation. A few examples:
    • Orion's: A lower tech level super soldier who has enhanced reflexes and strength (not super human but very good nonetheless), improved metabolic performance and a high pain thresh hold.
    • Artemis: A more advanced all female super soldier race. They have enhanced strength, speed, durability and senses and can reproduce either sexually or asexually but suffer from inherent overconfidence and recklessness. They are also almost always bi-sexual or lesbian.
    • Guardian Warriors: Created to be super commanding officers, they have have the super human strength and speed typical of super soldiers, though to a lesser degree than most examples of this trope. However, they make up for it by being able to emit pheromones to manipulate others, having enhanced intelligence, an improved resistance to physical damage, poison and disease and by being universally attractive and all having sexy voices, making them all incredibly charismatic and persuasive.
    • Herakles: A very hight tech level (and very expensive) super soldier, the Herakles has Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Reflexes, enhanced longevity, resistance to poison and diseases and a decent Healing Factor.
  • In GURPS Transhuman Space most Fifth Wave nations use AI controlled robots for most of their infantry, but supported by bioroids or biomod humans wearing powered smartsuits or battlesuits for certain special operations.
  • A fantasy version occurs in Exalted with the Magitek Gunzosha Commandos: these are ordinary mortals who keep up with Demigods on the battlefield by sacrificing half of their lifespan to beat up on demons, Eldritch Abominations, the aforementioned demigods, and anything else that gets in their way in a world where Humans Are Special because they're the low man on the totem pole and their souls taste better. Out of a population of millions, the top 600 most Badass folks in the world are the only ones who stand a chance of becoming a Celestial Exalt (Sidereals don't count). Gunzoshas did it often enough that in the First Age they had to include protocols for what to do with them Exalting mid-battle in the manual.
    • Also, the Terrestrial Exalted were originally intended to be this; the Gunzosha were intended more to supplement their numbers than to be the backbone of their armies. Then the Usurpation happened, and the Terrestrials became the new aristocracy.
    • Solars can create these incredibly quickly with Tiger Warrior Training Technique and its expansion Legendary Warrior Curriculum. Tiger Warriors are generally considered in the fluff to be the most Badass soldiers mortals can be without special equipment, such as gunzosha armour. Mix in an Infernal to use Fealty-Acknowledging Audience and By Rage Recast to grant them power-enhancing mutations, and you now have a unit that nobody wants to get in front of.
      • Lunars aren't bad either, between Wolf Pack Training technique and Burgeoning Wyld Infliction they can both train and mutate mortals into make-your-own-super-soldiers, and with the right upgrades, they can add animals and even plants to the list of potential recruits. Of course, breeding your own army of beastmen is more fun, and they easily become self-sustaining if you do a good job.
  • d20 Future (the Sci-fi expansion to d20 Modern) features the Helix Warrior class, for players wishing to become super-soldiers. Also, the Genetic Engineering system presented in the book allows players to take this even further. It's possible to made a super-soldier with god-like levels of unkillability (assuming cost is no object).
  • Dark Sun nomadic mantis-folk Thri-Kreen are hatched as sleepless armored death machines. Tohr-Kreen (settled variety) consist of similar races or subspecies. But they got technology more advanced than anything in inherited memories of those savages and make "zik-trin" — enforcers or scouts large and hideously powerful compared to normal Kreen, mentally conditioned to absolute obedience to their controllers. Tohr-Kreen are reclusive and as Properly Paranoid as most sentients on Athas, so their only representatives met in other lands are such modified scouts with memories of their homeland location removed, doubling as missionaries to wild Thri-Kreen packs.
  • The ultimates in Eclipse Phase are trying to become these, and operate by a philosophy based on eugenics, asceticism and discipline. The problem comes when one goes over the edge and modifies himself into a predator exhuman, which could be roughly described as a Super Hunter that views everything else in the universe as targets and possibly food.
    • There are also a number of morphs designed as soldiers, most notably Furies, Ghosts, and Reapers.
  • Given the ample precedents set in superhero comics (above), naturally just about any superhero RPG can incorporate super-soldier characters without missing a beat. It's for example not at all an unusual origin for characters in the Champions setting, where canonically quite a number of both heroes and villains owe their powers to somebody's efforts to build the better mook — from villainous organizations like VIPER to the United States' own Department of Defense.

    Video Games 
  • Any "Ultimate Weapon" revealed (and possibly fought) early in any game will eventually be fought more and more. In some cases, with more than one at a time. (See the Double El Gigante fight in Resident Evil 4)
  • Speaking of Resident Evil, the Tyrants are the best example of this trope in the whole series.
    • Albert Wesker might qualify, seeing how they injected himself with a virus that enhanced his strength, speed, agility, durability, and healing to superhuman levels, and the virus itself was strongly implied to be intended to be given to certain members of Umbrella to create new life for Spencer to rule as a god over.
    • It could be said that just about everything you encounter in the series is either this trope, or an attempt or side effect of creating this trope.
  • Samus Aran in the Metroid series. Sam's pretty much got the complete Super Soldier package, being adopted by the fantastically advanced yet consciously going extinct Chozo, who infused her with Chozo DNA to gain fantastic speed, strength, agility and sensory capacity, trained her as the last Defender (read: legendary universe-saving warrior/judge figure) and equipped her with a modular suit of Powered Armor that's the envy of the galaxy. On top of this, she's largely fueled by a burning desire to get back at the Space Pirates who trashed both of her homeworlds and left her orphaned twice over. If there's a better warrior in the series' galaxy, we haven't seen him, her or it yet.
    • Not only that, she later gets infused with Metroid DNA, and has also been exposed to the highly volatile substance Phazon repeatedly. Additionally, her aforementioned Powered Armor can utilize virtually any weapon or technology it comes across, can hack into even the most secure networks just by LOOKING at it, and can determine the weakness of almost anything, animal or mineral, by the same process.
      • For bonus points, the word "metroid" in the Chozo language means "ultimate warrior."
    • Also, most planets tend to explode by the time she's done with them
    • Let's face it, in her universe she's a combination of Superman, Ironman, Batman, Wolverine and Green Lantern. No wonder most people don't even think she's real anymore. The alliance soldiers think she's just a myth of propaganda, and the Space Pirates perception of her seems to be leaning towards an Eldritch Abomination that exists solely to torment them for all eternity. It's Not like they don't deserve it, though...
  • Solid Snake and several of the villains in the Metal Gear series. All were the products of genetic engineering, and many were just plain freaks of science.
    • Heck, Solid Snake's best friend was also a super soldier, as well, both during the events of Portable Ops (where he was a sole-surviving test subject of a CIA project to create the Perfect Soldier), and Metal Gear Solid (when he was made into a Cyborg Ninja).
    • Not to mention the Genome soldiers an attempt to create a army of Big Bosses quality soldiers from Metal Gear Solid.
    • And to a lesser extend almost every single active soldier in the word in Metal Gear Solid 4, thanks to the nanobots.
  • The Combine Elites in Half-Life 2
    • The regular soldiers too are transhuman specimens. They have simply received less augmentation, which is more in line with placing an untrained civilian on the level of your average soldier quickly rather than enhancing average soldiers to superhuman levels, like the Combine Elites. The only pure humans in the Combine military are the Civil Protection officers.
    • Combine Elites? No, two words: Gordon. Freeman.
  • MCPO John-117 and the other SPARTAN-II cyborgs in the Halo series. It initially consisted of 75 trainees, chosen by way of genetic markers indicating for exceptional athleticism and intelligence, who were abducted and conscripted into the special forces at age six, trained into perfect warriors until age 14, and then subjected to a series of augmentations that rendered them practically invincible — before they got suited up with the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, which further enhanced their abilities.
    • Unfortunately, only thirty-something trainees survived the augmentation process unscathed; most of the rest died, and a handful were crippled...though some of the latter were later rehabilitated.note 
    • There's also the SPARTAN-IIIs, vengeful kids orphaned by the Covenant who were sent on suicide missions almost right from the moment they hit prematurely-induced puberty. They lacked the exceptional genetics, MJOLNIR armor, and experience of the IIs, but mostly made up for it with less-lethal augmentations (with a roughly 100% survival rate), a poor man's version of active camouflage, and far greater numbers (300-330 per company). The newest company also received illegal drugs that further enhanced their aggression, strength, endurance, and tolerance to injury.
      • A handful of SPARTAN-IIIs, namely those who were good enough to meet the standards of the original SPARTAN-II program and therefore too valuable to waste on the standard S-III suicide mission, were taken out of their companies, reassigned to more elite units, and given the same MJOLNIR armor as the S-IIs. Other SPARTAN-IIIs were taken out of their companies and paired up into two-man assassination-and-sabotage teams known as Headhunters.
    • The predecessor to both programs was the ORION Project, later known as the SPARTAN-I program. Unlike its successors, the project used adult volunteers; unfortunately, despite the effectiveness of the ORIONs, their abilities still fell short of what was hoped for, and they tended to both physically and mentally deteriorate later in life. The only confirmed SPARTAN-I seen in the games is Sergeant Johnson.
    • Unlike their predecessors, the SPARTAN-IVs from Halo 4 are the first iteration of the program to successfully utilize adult volunteers (with the surviving IIs and IIIs being offered a place as well), and are all equipped with an even more advanced version of MJOLNIR (GEN2, to be precise). Due to their comparatively normal backgrounds, the IVs are far more socially-adjusted than the IIs and IIIs.
  • The Silencer and his brethren in Crusader, whom you never actually fight in the games. However, properly equipped, a skilled player can scythe through hordes of lesser enemies, the implications being that a squad of Silencers would be both horrifying and overwhelming in a fight.
  • The Boosted Children and later the Machinery Children from Super Robot Wars Original Generation are basically this - though the Boosted Children were mainly just experiments that produced some good results, the Machinery Children were the "real deal". Similiarly, the W-Numbers and Biodroids used by the Shadow Mirror and Inspectors; however, the Biodroids were mindless creations used to replace actual human losses, and the W-Numbers/-series were similarly purposed, but the W-series ended up with personalities.
    • W00, The Prototype of the Shadow-Mirror's W-series in the Super Robot Wars Original Generation continuity turns out to be a Human Haken Browning, if you must know. The project was switched to androids like Lamia when they realized that it takes too long for Super Soldier babies to grow up.
  • The Empire in Final Fantasy VI used drained magical power both to create magic-wielding super-soldiers (called Magitek Knights in the translation, but simply called madoushi - mages - in the original) and actual Magitek. Celes is an example of when it goes right, but Kefka is what happens when it goes horribly, horribly wrong.
  • Final Fantasy VII (and its associated Compilation works including Crisis Core) include numerous Super Soldiers, many of which were created using Mako energy, Jenova cells, a combination of both, and/or other experiments, to produce superhuman fighters with greatly improved combat abilities, including (but certainty not limited to) enhanced physical strength and speed.
    • SOLDIERs, members of Shinra's elite military unit, are carefully selected humans treated with Mako energy and Jenova cells to produce superhuman combatants.
    • Sephiroth, Genesis, and Angeal, while generally called SOLDIERs First Class, are actually prototypes for competing Shinra research projects directed to infusing humans with Jenova's genes.
      • Sephiroth was created by directly infusing a developing fetus with Jenova cells (Project S, headed by Hojo).
      • Unlike Sephiroth, Angeal was indirectly exposed to Jenova cells because his mother Gillian was the one injected with Jenova cells before his birth, while Genesis was exposed to Jenova cells even more indirectly with his mother being treated with cells harvested from Gillian (Project G, headed by Hojo's rival Hollander).
      • They also had radically different results. Sephiroth was by far the strongest of the three. Eventually, he gained the ability to control the Jenova Cells perfectly....in exchange for losing all his humanity. Angeal received a weaker power boost, but inherited Jenova's ability to infuse other organisms with his cells to give them some of his power and vice versa. Genesis was a Flawed Prototype who shared Angeal's abilities but also suffered from degradation (as did his copies) — and boy does this cause problems.
    • Zack Fair, probably the strongest of the officially and 'conventionally' produced (i.e., non-prototype) SOLDIERs.
    • Cloud Strife, while never an actual member of SOLDIER, has all the physical enhancements of a SOLDIER, thanks to Hojo's sadistic experimentation after the Nibelheim Incident.
    • Vincent Valentine, an ex-Turk who becomes a shapeshifter with superhuman physical abilities thanks to Hojo's and Lucrecia Crescent's experiments.
    • From Dirge of Cerberus, Weiss, Nero, Rosso, Azul, Shelke, and the other members of Deepground, who underwent SOLDIER-type treatments as well as special individualized experimentation to develop unique powers. It was said they used Genesis as the basis, since his cells gained the ability to use Mako similar to Jenova, but without the degradation, losing your sanity (Well, okay, he did briefly lose his sanity, but for different reasons), and having a desire to smash a Meteor into the Planet to eat it for breakfast.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's SeeDs, who are superhumanly boosted, cast powerful magic, and able to summon deific beings to smite their enemies. These guys are apparently so badass that nine of them (in three-man teams) are expected to hold off an entire invading army, complete with artillery and killer walking robots. Twelve more candidates to become SeeDs are expected to assault and clear out an entire city of enemy soldiers.
    • Their single greatest advantage is actually the Guardian Forces, which allow, among other things, the casting of magic (which is insinuated as artificial and weak when used by anyone other than a Sorceress), the collection of magic, and the use of magic to increase abilities from well above average to omni-powerful. No other group specializes in junctioning magic, which is why SeeDs are so devastating. This makes a small, specialized group more than a match for most smaller armies, as long as they have specific objectives. The GF forces are capable of granting characters permanent stat boosts. If you assume the normal stat growth is "average" human stats, then it is possible endgame for SeeDs to be 3-5 times stronger, faster, etc using GF forces.
  • A slightly less traditional form of the Super Soldier would be the black mages from Final Fantasy IX.
    • Both Zidane and Kuja would fit better as Super Soldiers in this game, but it was only because unlike the rest of the Genomes, they were given souls. Makes you think what would happen if the other Genomes had gotten their souls too...
  • The yin to Cloud's yang, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. She can fly (well, actually, manipulate gravity) while machine gunning hordes of Mooks, and most amazingly do it all while protecting her modesty. And all that is before she gets her l'Cie powers.
    • Lightning was actually more of a Mook herself, roughly equivalent to a police sergeant, so it can be inferred that the stuff she had access to was probably standard issue.
    • It is revealed through the story that millions of l'Cie were created and trained to fight the ancient War of Transgression in secret bunkers. Eight of them were sufficient enough to bring down a planet, so only God knows what a full force was capable of.
  • The bestial enemies in the PC game Vivisector are another rare Animorphism version of this trope, being created as warriors for the main antagonist's private army. Doubly intimidating, as they have both animal and cybernetic elements to augment their fighting prowess.
  • Agent 47 of the Hitman series is a clone with DNA borrowed from five high-profile criminals (A German mad scientist, a Chinese Triad boss, a Colombian drug lord, a Austrian terrorist-for-hire, and a Kazakstanian arms dealer.)
  • The Brotherhood of Nod in the C&C series likes to experiment with Tiberium on humans (and weapons) attempting to create Super Soldiers. This is especially relevant for Renegade, which features several mutant mooks in the later levels (which tend to be immune to Tiberium weapons, or are healed by it), as well as a boss.
    • Which is somewhat of a parody of the original, the smallest character in the game. Havoc notes that "at least he's taller".
    • GDI took a much more simple approach to the thing in Tiberian Sun — they hired a Forgotten (humans mutated by Tiberium exposure, granting some degree of resistance to further damage from Tiberium exposure and accelerated healing when near Tiberium) veteran and gave him a railgun.
  • The Terran Ghost units in Starcraft. As well as arguably every single Protoss unit.
    • Well, the Xel'Naga did choose them for uplift, based on their alleged purity of form. Also, the Zerg, the entire frickin' species. The Zerg incorporate foreign genetic material, and then make it into something more useful - like purpose-built killing machines, of which they have plenty. A single Zergling has a fair chance against a trained, armoured Terran marine wielding a gauss rifle.
    • Most Terran units are far more heavily augmented than they appear, which is more evident in SC 2 than in the first game. The Marine in the original SC 2 trailer has multiple metallic sockets on his body and the Battlecruiser captain has a cybernetic eye.
    • Assuming aliens count, Protoss are the very embodiment of this trope. Zealots, the most basic protoss soldier, are 9 ft tall cybernetically enhanced warriors with decades of training, plasma shields, laser beam wolverine claws, and apparently capable of walking as fast as a motor vehicle and charging much faster than that. Oh yeah, and the can absorb as much damage as a tank (and survive a direct tank blast to the face without even losing their shields - and a couple more when their shields are down!).
  • Sword of the Stars has a couple of examples
    • The Zuul from Made by giving a race of flesh-eating marsupials a human-like intelligence, Psychic Powers (including the ability to Mind Rape knowledge out of their victims), a Hive Mind, and a natural lust for exploration and conquest, the Zuul were created for exterminating any race that wouldn't be subjugated; cargoes of them were simply dumped onto any old planet whose inhabitants needed a good genocide. They became more wildly successful than their creators could ever have dreamed of, insofar they went on to voluntarily worship said creators as gods and view their genocidal purpose as a holy war against the unworthy.
    • Hiver members of the Warrior caste. While a worker is around the same size as a human, warrior cast hivers are far stronger and tougher, highly armored with plating, and one of the largest among any of the species in that universe. In game, this is reflected in Hiver ships being the toughest to successfully board.
  • Second Sight introduced two classes of super-soldier, created by the American Zener Project: the first is just an extremely well-trained marine that's been taught to create mental shields, which deflect bullets but not mind-blasts. The second- only encountered in the second-last level- are Superpowered Mooks, loyal soldiers that have been given impressive psychic abilities via implanted stem cells taken from the original Zener Children and John Vattic, the protagonist. By the end of the game, most of the two classes have either been killed in action, or never existed at all.
  • Caulder/Stolos' 'children' in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Intended not for the front ranks, but for the command room, as their ability to assemble and react on tactical information in the field, as well as their encyclopedic knowledge of warfare, is far beyond that of a normal human. Tabitha/Larissa is also implied to have physical modifications as well.
    • By extension of a little logic, Sami's Infantry can become this during her Super CO Power, which allows infantry of any health capture any property in a single turn. By graphical interpretation, a single, wounded infantry can on a heavily guarded opponent HQ in a single day...and win.
  • Fallout has the Super Mutants created by The Master as a new, superior version humanity better suited to the nuclear wasteland of the post-apocalyptic future. They didn't come out quite as expected.
    • Half points. The supermutants are the product of a pre-war super soldier research project. The Master just started implementing it.
      • Notably, the two big flaws for the Master wouldn't have been an issue for the pre-War super soldier project: almost every human back then were, effectively, pristine Vault material, so no need to go hunting for subjects that turn into smart mutants rather than dumb ones, and the fertility issue is a perk rather than a flaw if you want supersoldiers rather than a race intended to replace baseline humanity.
      • As seen in Fallout 3, Vault-Tec performed similar experiments on the residents of Vault 87 with a modified strain of the FEV, and the resulting Mutants turned out even dumber than their West Coast counterparts, as well as having the side effect of increasing in size with age. Only Fawkes retained his human intelligence.
  • Some factions in the Geneforge series attempt this with the canisters, but given that side effects include egotism, severe anger management problems, and Hallucinations, several give up and rely on Mons.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein has B.J. fighting Uber Soldats at some points in the game, such as the first time in a Lab, and three at the same time near the end. Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny has the player fighting an Uber Soldat as a Mid Boss as well.
  • Marathon has the Battleroids, dead soldiers reanimated with cheap cybernetics. They were first used in a dispute between two small asteroid governments, in which battleroids from both sides got inside their opposing asteroids and killed pretty much everyone, after which their use was banned and they were put in stasis for safekeeping. 10 "military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs" were smuggled on board the Marathon, but only 9 were killed when the Tau Ceti colony was blown up. It is all but confirmed that Marathon's player character the 10th, which would explain his One-Man Army capabilities.
  • Prototype has Black Watches Super soldiers, soldiers infected with a modified form of the series' virus. They're bigger, stronger, and faster than the regular Mooks, they can sniff the protagonist out almost instantly even when disguised, and can easily go toe-to-toe with the opposite side's Elite Mooks, the hunters, and even the protagonist himself when in small groups.
  • F.E.A.R. is chock-full of Super Soldiers, including the Point Man and Paxton Fettel (products of Project Origin), Becket (product of Projects Paragon and Harbinger), and a mini-army of cloned Replica soldiers.
  • Witchers also fit the trope: alchemically and ritually augmented, made stronger, quicker, tougher than humans, and somewhat alienated from humanity because of it. They're also expected to be defenders against monsters normal humans can't face.
    • They're explicitly defined as genetically engineered (via alchemy) in a couple of places.
  • Jak II: Renegade sets Jak up as one of these, Wolverine-style; experimented on against his will, he later breaks free and swears revenge on the people who did it to him.
  • Mass Effect 2 has three. First, Commander Shepard, who was killed and then brought back from the dead, and upgraded by use of what Miranda refers to as bio-synthetic fusion. Second is Miranda, who was genetically engineered to be the perfect woman (which apparently consists of the standard super soldier package, plus good looks). Last, is Grunt, who is genetically engineered to be the perfect Krogan, or "Pure Krogan".
    • Also, Jack, who was engineered to become a superhuman Biotic.
      • Also any of the kids in the original biotic training program, until Kaiden killed the turian instructor, and the project was scrapped.
    • Even regular Systems Alliance Marines undergo extensive gene therapy to boost their strength, endurance and healing. On top of that they all have personal kinetic barriers and weapons with effectively unlimited ammo that fire projectiles at relativistic speeds. The only reason they're not thought of as super solders within the setting is that every other military threat out there is just as deadly.
  • City of Heroes, being a game about super powered individuals, is full of this trope. Crey, The Council, The 5th Column, and Arachnos all dabble in making Super Soldiers in the traditional sense. Other groups, like The Vahzilok, or The Freakshow dabble in giving themselves super powers, but they lack the military organization of the big four.
  • In the Star Wars Dark Forces games, the Dark Troopers, though in practice the first two generations were battledroids, the third generation could function as Powered Armor, and the resulting combo could be called Super Soldiers.
  • Ogmo from Jumper series is one, or at least supposed to be one. Aside from improbable jumping skills, he's also designed to survive without food or light. For long.
    The Boss: Ogmo is not the ultimate soldier! He's just the retarded monster!
  • In No One Lives Forever 2, your character squares off against several super-soldiers.
  • The golems of Dragon Age: Origins straddle the line between Super Soldier and Attack Animal with the reveal that they are created by entombing dwarves in stone statues and infused with molten lyrium. The golems' might gave the Dwarves a fighting chance against the Darkspawn, and losing the means to create more of them turned the tides of war against the Dwarves. Most of the few active golems remaining are kept on a leash via control rods, though a few still retain free will.
    • Fenris of Dragon Age II is another example, of the "angry victim seeking revenge on his creator" variety. He was originally a normal elf, but the mage who owned him as a slave had lyrium etched into his skin all over his body, an agonizingly painful process that gave him the ability to become partially insubstantial (and possibly made him stronger and more agile as well). He uses this power to resist injury...and reach into people's chests to crush their hearts.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Depending on play style, Adam Jensen can be either a super soldier or a super spy, or you're really good, both.
    • There are also the tyrants, augmented mercenaries and the only enemies you actually have to kill for them to stay down.
  • Both sides's grunts in Fracture fall into this category while their more elite and powerful units can almost no longer be called human.
  • Crysis's Delta Force nanosuits allow its users to turn invisible, survive a point-blank shotgun blast, to run as fast as a Humvee, and then flip over said Humvee by punching it, all through the use of reverse-engineered Ceph nanotechnology. The sequel shows that the suit is capable of becoming even more - Alcatraz, a regular US Marine, is mortally wounded, then placed in a nanosuit, which keeps him alive by growing into his wounds and eventually running most of his higher mental processes.
  • DonPachi features the DonPachi Squadron, an elite air force unit. Deconstructed; clearing the first loop reveals that in order for prospective members to be able to take on massive enemy forces, they are ordered by their commander to slaughter the entirety of their own forces, and that this training process goes on for at least seven years.
  • In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, with all the cloning, genetic engineering, cybernetics, and Brain Uploading you can inflict on your civilians your mid to late game soldiers probably count. The Spartan Federation in particular.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth this is what your infantry eventually turn into, one way or another. They start out as guys in NASA space suits with guns, but by end game, well it depends on which tech affinity you adhere to. With Harmony they are bio-armor wearing Half-Human, Half-Alien Hybrids that heal by breathing in poison gas. With Purity bio-augmented seven foot giants in Powered Armor that are about one step removed from 40K Space Marines. With Supremacy they are insectoid-looking more machine-than-man Cyborg shock troops.

    Webcomics 
  • The Abductees in It's Walky!!, especially Walky and Sal.
  • Grace (Shade Tail) in El Goonish Shive, who was created to fight a single individual, Damien. Subverted, however - she's a sweet, naive pacifist. Left to her own devices, she would far rather have pretend tea parties than actually fight. It is only recently, and with great reluctance, that she has begun learning martial arts, and then only because she doesn't want to hurt people by using her full powers against them.
  • Schlock Mercenary. To begin with, every human supposed to fight, including most of Tagon's Toughs, has "soldier boosts" (implants and Nanomachines) that optimize metabolism (they are mostly immune to intoxication, for one), improve reaction, strength and toughness enough that grunts can throw punches twice as strong as XX century professional boxers, without using protection or severely damaging themselves. With a Powered Armor on top of this.
    Fully inertic, flight-capable, powered fullerene uniforms: about two years' salary for a grunt, assuminghe has to buy them himself.
    Unlicensed soldier-boosting of the metabolism, enhancing strength, speed and reaction time: three years' salary and five in prison if you're caught.
    • Doyt Gyo stands out as an experiment in this area, has high-end Powered Armor and implanted genius AI acting as Mission Control and using several attack drones with great precision. Later, courtesy of the "magic cryokit", he gets more biological enhancements and interface for said AI to control the body directly — Doyt may have superhuman reaction, but his intellect is the obvious weak link.
    • And then the Project Laz'R'Us — experimental Nanomachines-based AI that confer virtual immortality, including an armored superhuman transitional form to revive from death, Tagon specifically calls this a "runt super-soldier".
  • Girl Genius has the Jägermonsters, "constructs" with a rather Frankenstein's Monster meets Doctor Moreau appearance. Dressed up in the shiniest of Napoleonic uniforms (Prussian style) and really Nice Hats. Complete with silly German accent and the habit of being loud except when sneaking. Fangs, the claws, the super-strength, and the fact that they may well be immortal. They are are also "ideal soldiers" mentally. Always ready to fight, honorable (they even have a proper duel code) and extremely loyal to their liege and creators, the House of Heterodyne. Also, good sport — they admire people who manage to beat them and so far we saw them hitting on ladies only after knocked out by the lady in question. Most of them are staunchly loyal to the Heterodynes (by choice, no less) and aren't exactly as monstrous as rumored to be. That doesn't stop normal people from trying to hang them, though.
    • Also, Airman Higgs is looking a lot like this. There's speculation that he might even be a Jägermonster; the "Sneaky General that keeps lots of secrets" to be exact.
    • And almost every Mad Scientist is building his own. (and we are talking about a world that is ruled by mad scientists)
  • The 'Gigglers' from the future setting of S.S.D.D probably qualifies - mass-produced clone-soldiers who feel no pain, and get injected with 'happy drugs' whenever they kill somebody... thus leading to their nickname, due to their disturbing habit of slaughtering their way through enemy forces while grinning, giggling, or laughing out loud... of course, the guys who produces them are generally considered the 'bad guys'.
    • There's even an example of a 'turned' giggler, Lee, joining up with a group of Core Space Marines - he is of the 'created like a Super Soldier, but raised like a normal person' variant, but still has certain... ehm... 'gigglish' tendencies.
      • That guy was an experiment after they managed to obtain an Anarchist Cloning Cylinder. Most clones (Gigglers) are stupid and have very little education/social conditioning, hence the implants with the happy juice; with this guy they got the process wrong. With the new systems they've been testing on him, he now has FEELING on the outside of his body, which leads to fun like "How much will it hurt if I stick this fok into my knee?"
    • Why are mass-produced clones being cited as an example when the protagonist of the S.S.D.F. plot arc is a Nanomachine enhanced Space Marine with Powered Armor, Healing Factor, super strength, and radio-based telepathy? What separates them from a basic Redshirt Army compared to anything from their own time? Asides from the fact that, in that plot arc, that technology (powered armor, electric telepathy, healing factor, and superstrength) is still in an experimental phase, three things: Their total inability to feel pain will allow them to continue fighting until death, as even a crippling wound won't stop them from advancing on an enemy position, whereas for an ordinary soldier, a single bullet in the hand or foot will stop all but the most well trained soldiers from continuing; their inability to feel anything other than entertainment at killing means that, unlike most ordinary soldiers, they ENJOY killing others, and will never retreat, hesitate, or show mercy, they just keep coming without even a thought of self-preservation; and the psychological aspect of having something that could be considered an insane mix of The Joker and The Terminator advancing on you, giggling all the way, with the sole intent of killing you will break all but the most disciplined unit's morale very quickly. These three together make them a force to be reckoned with on a battlefield, since, even if they're so dumb that the only tactics they understand are "go that way and kill stuff", they don't NEED anything more advanced than that, since their primary job is just to grind down enemy resistance so that the Anarchists won't lose less expendable units (like tanks, aircraft, normal soldiers, combat robots, etc.) doing the same job. After all, most "elite" soldiers require years of rigorous training before they can be half as effective at killing the enemy as a "Giggler" can be right out of the proverbial box.
  • This was the goal behind Hereti Corp's Aylee cloning project in Sluggy Freelance. The Oasis Project might also have similar goals.
  • Heroes Inc, actually highly effective the story line follows them being actual soldiers and then exploring the people's lives as superheroes.
  • Captain Victory of The Specialists is one of these, unfortunately it the process killed one hundred and four men to get one super soldier. Using the same serum on women had ... Different Effects.
  • Cwynhild from Cwynhild's Loom has been cybernetically enhanced, making her stronger and faster than other humans on Mars. Her reactions are also quicker, and she can interact in various ways with computer systems through an artificial right hand, including shorting them out with an electrical pulse. She can also survive being stabbed in the heart..
  • Genocide Man features Genocide Men, who have nanotube ceramics in their bones to make them unbreakable, artificial glands that provide combat stimulants and negate many toxins, and telomere replacement therapy to mitigate the effects of aging. Many of the genetic deviants they were designed to combat were super soldiers as well, the Ugandan deviancy comprised four-year old children with claws, slitted pupils, and ridiculously fast reflexes, they killed everyone else in Jacob Doe's squad, he only survived because he was a G-Man.
  • Harbourmaster's Super Soldiers are humans who were imbued with DNA-level upgrades by the Aquaans to help defeat the Yogzarthu. Interestingly, Partasah made sure that those who did receive the treatment generally fell under the heading of "Technical Pacifist"; he didn't like the idea of someone genuinely bellicose having this upgrade. Jendolyn is the main example in the series. She has no qualms about using commensurate force to protect the peace in the Tethys colony, but she'd rather not look upon violence outside of that (a bit of a nuisance when you consider her girlfriend loves Masked Luchador films).
  • Everyone in the Gods and Monsters chapter of Accidentals.
  • Among The Chosen has Addicaines, who are artificial transhumans owned by a megacorp.

    Web Original 
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe has several, but the most notable ones are Achilles, leader of the Global Guardians, and World War II era Nazi Superman stand-in, Sturmfuhrer.
  • The Freelancers of Red vs. Blue. All of them underwent advanced training to be elite soldiers, and most were paired with an AI implanted directly into their head. Each of them also had a special armor ability (invisibility, Healing Factor, time stop). And yes, a number of them rebel.
  • Being heavily based on Ultimate Marvel, Marvels RPG feature several super soldiers and a lot of characters have gained powers as the effect of a super soldier program.
  • Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw wrote a column dedicated to explaining why Super Soldier Projects, at least those that are generally presented in Video Games, are not such a great idea.
  • In the Whateley Universe, one of the theories about the growing number of mutants, especially in the US and Europe, is the heavy use of Super Soldier experiments by both the Axis and Allies during World War II; the idea is that many of the current mutants are the descendants of wartime supers. It is also explained that most of the Super Soldier experiments went badly, either resulting in hideous transformations or severe psychological disorders, which resulted in many former 'patriotic heroes' becoming super-villains in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Western Animation 
  • The Supertroopers in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.
  • The Neo-Warriors and Neo Lords in Exo Squad. The Neosapiens themselves would count, except that they were actually designed for physical labor rather than combat. Still, they make good soldiers.
  • General Grievous, one of the greatest badasses in the Star Wars universe, was a cyborg. His finest display of power was shown in the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars; at the Battle of Hypori, his first public appearance in the Clone Wars, he single-handedly defeated a team of seven Jedi, including Council members Ki-Adi Mundi and Aayla Secura. He killed four of them, and would almost certainly have killed the other three if a team of ARC troopers hadn't arrived at the last second and (somehow, without getting obliterated themselves) held him off. Grievous himself summed up this victory with a declaration of their imminent demise prior to the fight:
    Grievous:"Jedi! You are surrounded, your armies decimated. Make peace with the Force now, for this is your final hour. But know that I, General Grievous, am not completely without mercy. I shall grant you a warrior's death. Prepare!!!"
    • The team of ARC troopers managed this because they were Super Soldiers themselves (to a much milder degree than Greivious, sure, but there were a lot more of them then there were of him). They held him at bay with impressive amounts of More Dakka.
  • Gorillaz's Noodle was apparently raised to be one of twenty-three Super Soldier children by a secret organisation in Japan, before having her memory erased and being FedExed to Kong.
  • Part of The Spectacular Spiderman's plot was the city's criminals trying to create sort of super soldiers to take on Spiderman. But more specifically a later episode is about villains fighting for the formula that was used to create the villain Rhino, in order to make an army of super soldiers.

    Real Life 
Although the typical fictional super-soldier is superhuman in ability, there are several real life instances that do emulate the spirit of being superior warriors:
  • If certain Scottish newspapers are to be believed, Joseph Stalin once commissioned Soviet biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov to create a breed of half-gorillas to serve in his army. It didn't work out.note 
  • Many various bodies of historic and present day military groups of various nations around the world could qualify for the trope due to their intensive selection and training. (For a sufficiently low value of 'super', anyway.)
  • Skeletons of English archers during the Hundred Years War period have overdeveloped bone structures in their upper body to support the huge muscles needed to draw an English longbow of the period. In fact, until the invention of repeating firearms, the longbow itself was a far deadlier weapon, with a much better rate of fire, than muskets. However, it took ten years of practice to develop the muscles needed to draw one, whilst a man can be trained to proficiency with a musket in a week.
  • The Pheidole group of ants can unlock a a bigger version of their soldier caste, which are literally refered to as super soldiers.. Scientists have even created super soldiers in species that don't naturally manifest them, which may or may not lead to a Bug War.
  • A recent report for the Greenwall Foundation discussed the possibility of "Enhanced warfighters".


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alternative title(s): Super Soldiers; Super Warrior
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