"Relaxed and ready, he waits for me to start the Walk: the long slow measuring stroll where we both psych ourselves into the killing zone. He knows there has to be a Walk; he knows I have a profound respect for tradition."
Our hero is fighting a losing battle. Every time he tries to make an attack his opponent knocks him back. Finally he tries a new strategy. He enters a state of Tranquil Fury, gets up, and starts slowly walking toward his opponent with a determined look on his face.
A few things might happen during this time. The enemy might send a barrage of projectiles heading toward the hero, which are casually dodged or deflected, or completely ignored. The hero might be in the middle of a battlefield with explosions happening all around him that don't affect him at all. He also might encounter multiple enemies during his walk, who he will dispatch effortlessly, never changing pace and never taking his eyes off his target.
Used to show the hero is really ready to beat up his opponent. It's almost guaranteed that once the hero gets within attacking range his opponent will not only be beaten, but beaten soundly. When used effectively it's a great tension builder, with audience anticipation rising as the hero gets closer and closer to the inevitable beat-down. In some variations, however, both the villain and hero approach each other with the walk, in which case you can expect a great deal of whoop-ass to be exchanged by both sides.
Subtrope of Tranquil Fury, which is the general mood when this action takes place. May be combined with Ominous Walk, Unflinching Walk, or Out of the Inferno, or even a Self Destructive Charge, minus the charging bit. For the Video Game AI equivalent, see Perfect Play A.I.. Sometimes an enemy might do this - such fellows are usually Implacable Men or Juggernauts. Not to be confused with The Slow Path.
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Anime and Manga
Sengoku Shunsuke from Cyber City Oedo 808 did this at the climax of the first episode. Somewhat subverted in that he realized his half-man-half-computer opponent was predicting his dodge moves, so when he started the slow walk his opponent launched attacks aimed at where he was expecting Sengoku to leap to and consequently missed. Sengoku did still take a few glancing hits, but just shrugged them off.
Claire from Claymore whenever she's facing down an Awakened Being. As she slowly walks toward them they usually launch a barrage of attack which all seem to miss while she just keeps walking. (Really she's sensing their energy and dodging just enough to avoid the attacks.)
Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok: Loki does this on occasion, most noticeably when he's walking into the mansion of the Norns, and they throw both a storm of knives and a couple of evil spirits at him - and he just keeps walking, casually commenting on the 'warm reception'. Interestingly enough, he doesn't seem to be actually deflecting or dodging anything, indicating either that even the Godesses of Fate are subject to mandatory training at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, or that Loki possesses some sort of 'probability control' power that allows him to simply make them miss.
Given that he's the Trickster God trapped in the form of a boy, 'tis probably the latter.
Dukemon/Gallantmon, walking through the flames (from his own attack) while donning his cape, putting out the fire around him in the process: "Not even the deva are worthy opponents for Dukemon. Royal Saber!"
Fate Averruncus, brazen as he is, likes to do this to his opponents to show how little he fears them.
Takemichi is an odd case: while he seems to choose to move slowly during combat and speak with a polite, casual air, this becomes clearer once you realize that 1. this' just his usual expression; 2. he deliberately holds back against most of his opponents in part with his slow walking for their sake (he's quite fast otherwise);3. keeping his hands in his pockets happens to be his fighting stance.
Takamichi, really, does Iaido. Except instead of sword and sheath, he uses hands and pocket....which then creates Beam Spam. It's handwaved as "fist pressures"; he's punching so hard that the pressure from his strikes is still incredibly strong. Then he powers it up with Kanka...
The movie retelling that is .hack//G.U. TRILOGY has Haseo performing this towards the AIDA-infected Atoli. It's not so much as facing off to defeat the opponent, it's about him reaching Atoli to give her a Cooldown Hug.
Done in a very Bad Ass way near the end of Xxx HO Li C: the movie. Despite being assaulted left and right by explosions, poltergeists and the like, she walks so steady it sounds like a metronome. In the manga, he also does this to the Big Bad, before the later wisely decides to try and run away. Not that it did him much good.
In the third Kara no Kyoukai film: Remaining Sense of Pain, Shiki Ryōgi does a classical example of this trope to Fujino Asagami in their climatic confrontation.
Elfen Lied: This seems to be a natural instinct for the diclonii; Lucy does it during her escape, and Nana does it vs. Bandou.
In Dragon Ball Z whenever Gohan as a preteen goes Super Saiyan 2, he remakes himself as this trope. He only has two speeds. Too fast to see, and the Slow Walk. Even while doing Kamehameha. Goku also does it to Broly of all people.
In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, the title character masters the Ryuusui Seikuuken, a technique purely designed to be used as the slow walk. I mean, he walks through a self-destructing arena like he's taking a casual stroll
Done by Tamahome before the final battle in Fushigi Yuugi. Given that he just escaped limbo, he looks pretty Bad Ass doing it.
Luffy from One Piece, pulls this off in Movie 6 just prior to the final confrontation with the Big Bad, effortlessly dodging the homing arrows that gave him so much trouble before.
Occurs when Eric fights Tin-Tin in The Crow. He dodges one thrown knife, and stalks towards his opponent, teeth bared. He bats the next thrown knife out of the air, and eggs Tin-Tin on to try again. He catches the third knife, then throws it back.
Inigo Montoya does this at the end of The Princess Bride at the same time as making a certain catch phrase of his about fifty times more quotable.
Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th series definitely fits this trope. He has that slow "zombie walk", constantly pursuing his target and is unfazed by bullets, strikes and girls with telekinesis. And despite his victims running as fast as they can, always gets ahead of them and in position to slaughter them horribly without so much as jogging.
The Matrix has this sort of when Neo realizes he's The One after being shot to death and getting back up. Though he does quickly turn this into a 'fast run' of sorts.
The Monster Squad: When Dracula finally gets tired of those pesky kids messing with his plans he starts slowly walking towards them, effortlessly swatting away all the police officers trying to stop him without even slowing down.
Sin City has a good example, although Marv is walking to a bar and not a fight, he's still contemplating tracking down a group of people and killing them.
A Signal Shattered: Jack Potter does a notable version of the slow walk when facing down the Big Bad. Having just worked out a way to teleport himself around the galaxy as well as duplicate himself, Jack has become omnipresent. He walks towards the villain only to be killed at a distance. A duplicate appears one step closer and continues the walk, only to be killed in a different way. This continues until Jack is right up in the villain's face, at which he realizes that Jack has become effectively unstoppable and decides to parlay.
In BIONICLE, Axonn finally gets to the showdown with his former friend Brutaka. Brutaka is not only powerful enough to down all six of the main heroes and the supporting cast with one swing of is blade, he's also wearing a Mask of Dimensional Gates and is beefed up on Antidermis (a substance that works like steroids on his species). After Axonn is nearly electrocuted by the very same blades he had once given Brutaka as a gift, and is threatened by a portal to the "Zone of Darkness", he suddenly becomes very calm and does The Slow Walk towards Brutaka; now shrugging off every single energy blast and locking blades with his former comrade; all the while delivering a Bad Ass speech about how he understands that Brutaka is completely lost and how he will deny him and his evil at all costs. Poor Brutaka didn't stand much of a chance after that.
Live Action TV
Power Rangers: their giant robot advances, it is being shot at, but the explosions from the projectiles are useless.
Another example of a Ranger doing this is Casey towards the end of Power Rangers Jungle Fury. When he goes to face down Jarrad/Dai Shi, he has a slow motion walk into the bad guys' lair, taking down a load of mooks effortlessly.
Kit Taylor, from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight does this, as Kamen Rider Onyx, to his mirror twin Adam, who had become Dragon Knight. Kit clearly Took A Level In Bad Ass here because he does it MID-FIGHT SCENE after beating the hell out of Adam in the first minute of the fight. So basically he was already winning the bout, and decided "screw it, I'm just gonna kill 'im", and started doing the walk. Adam so had it coming, though.
We also see it with Len. At one point, Kit had been tricked into distrusting him, and he was just generally having a bad day. So when he hears the mirror world sound, he takes out his Advent Deck... and then puts it away. We next see him walking slowly and purposefully towards two mirror monsters, his Cool Shades of Badassitude on. He proceeds to beat them down without transforming, and send them running away.
In Dino Attack RPG, the Slow Walk was used by Trouble during the Final Battle during his Heroic Second Wind. Even as Michelle Glados shot him repeatedly, he remained on his feet and kept walking towards her until he got within attacking range.
In Nomine by Steve Jackson Games, has this available to angels of Stone as a power called "Inevitability" — so long as the angel continues to pursue at all, their fleeing prey is at half speed. The effect is described as being like the classic horror movie ... no matter how quickly the victim tries to flee, the walking angel keeps getting closer and closer.
The Necrons are for the most part forced to use, and master, this trope-when they need to get around, they tend to teleport into position, then make a slow walk. In general, they don't as much dodge or block the attacks as take them head on. Their toughness is emphasized often in the fluff.
Another army that's prone to Slow Walking are the Thousand Sons, a faction of Chaos Space Marines backed by Tzeentch. They, like the Necrons, have a good reason for their lumbering gait: whilst the Necrons are really ancient skeletal robots, the Thousand Sons are, essentially, the souls of those Thousand Sons with no psychic powers trapped in their armor forever and ever, unless...evicted forcibly. It's only the non-psykers who do this, as the Sorcerers that lead them are capable of normal locomotion.
Although essentially fixed with a particular Tau-only Planetstrike stratagem, where the death of their leader actually galvanizes the entire army into a state of fearlessness for a short time. For the Greater Good.
Any unit in the game that benefits from the "Slow And Purposeful" special rule tends to do this, the rule allowing the unit to fire with weapons as if they stood still even if they have moved that turn - slowly though, as they always move as if through difficult terrain, which is on average slower than otherwise.
ExDeath in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. When he needs to get around quickly, he teleports. At all other times, he pimp-walks. Only partially justified in that he's in a suit of armor, because other villains with similar armor (like Garland or Golbez) aren't nearly as encumbered.
Well, he is an evil tree. Those don't usually move too fast.
Batman: Arkham Asylum, in the cutscene before the penultimate boss fight, Batman takes a slow walk towards Joker, casually dispatching his mooks without even looking.
An example of this takes place in the cinematic trailer for Warhammer Online, when the Dark Elf Sorceress makes her appearance, freezing the Shadow Warrior in place and then casually walking toward her, while freezing Imperial soldiers in place with casual waves of her hand.
World of Warcraft: The Lich King does this to a party of players (who are accompanied by Sylvanas Windrunner if they're Horde or Jaina Proudmoore if they're Alliance) in a dungeon, stomping very slowly towards them while raising walls of ice and lots of undead Mooks to impede them. He is actually slowed by Jaina's or Sylvanas' spell.
This is the only way Xemnas ever moves around on foot in Kingdom Hearts II (Usually utilizing Teleport Spam or flight instead). Trying to take the initiative in attacking him while he's doing this doesn't usually work out well.
In No Songs For The Dead Miranda Io does this as she is battling Romeo in the end of Chapter 2. Might also be considered as an Ominous Walk as Miranda's morality is slightly ambiguous.
Lampshaded in Red vs. Blue Season 9, Episode 15: "The Sarcophagus" by Washington, when he and Carolina are slowly approached by an Insurrectionist ODST with flame-painted armor and a visor painted to look like a shark's mouth.
Stonewall Jackson had this reputation in Real Life. Rifles at the time weren't very accurate, so hits were rare. Still it takes a real Bad Ass to be completely unfazed as bullets are whizzing by. Jackson was a deeply religious man who said (paraphrased), "If the Lord decides it's my time to go there's nothing I can do about it except be ready to meet Him." He didn't take lunatic chances, he just did what he had to do and didn't worry with a lot of ducking and dodging. For a most excellent and true-to-life portrayal of him watch Stephen Lang in Gods And Generals.
In the Real World, this is basically what Humanity does best. As a species, we're a social pursuit predator. Of all the animals in the world, only canines can match human endurance, which is why they were one of the first to be domesticated. There are African tribes that hunt by walking after the prey, not letting it rest or sleep, until it just collapses.
While a furious, full sprint charge into battle can be a good way to open combat, sometimes it's best to advance slowly, keeping in formation and reserving stamina for when you really need an all out effort.
Romans were famous for this as their legion formations depended on discipline and drilled moves that had men moving as one, not as a wild hacking and slashing mob. Slow and steady was the Roman way!
Pike formations. Even for the famous 300 or the infamous Swiss Mercs, RUNNING pike formations is a recipe for disaster. However, the Greek phalanx (such as the ones used against the Persians) was intended to roll over the enemy in a short run as it attacked.
The thing that made retreats so difficult in the age of massed formations was that, in order to retreat and maintain unit cohesion and effectiveness, you had to have troops trained and disciplined enough to walk away from the enemy that they were retreating from. As one character in the Horatio Hornblower books stated: Once the troops start running, it's much harder to get them to stop. Of course, rounding up and rallying fleeing infantry in the event of such a gambit failing was one of the roles of Cavalry troops.
Chasing them and killing them after such a gambit fails is, of course, one of the major roles of the other side's cavalry.
Riot Police in armored gear with shields will do this in formation, as one of many crowd intimidation tactics. Sometimes they strike their batons on the shields in step unison to emphasis their slow advance.
This is a very old habit shared by many groups; the Norse called it the vapntakr and accompanied it with bloodthirsty chants to demoralize the enemy
The concept of marching fire. Early examples of this developed when formations of infantry could more practically deliver volley fire and reload while on the move. World War I saw some brief experimentation in this trope, using modern automatic rifles used by modern small units instead of single-shot rifles wielded by blocks of soldiers. The modern version was to enable a compromise between fire and movement, allowing a unit to close in with the enemy while still adding their own fire support. Unfortunately, even when complimented by non-moving fire support, the technique was too little fire and not enough movement.