Evil Overlords have the tendency to fight in full plate armor, even in settings where that doesn't actually make sense. Their armor usually has plenty of Spikes of Villainy and is Color-Coded for Your Convenience in black. Usually, it conceals their face to make them appear more mysterious and menacing. Often upgraded to Powered Armor or a full-body prosthesis/life support system in more advanced settings. In fantasy settings, this is the standard look for the Black Knight. However, that doesn't always mean that an overlord of this type is solely a physical fighter. He might also be an Evil Sorcerer that made the wise choice of donning armor to offset his main weakness. Besides, they are almost always Large and In Charge so it's normal to see them as evil Magic Knights. Spikes of Villainy and a Badass Cape are commonly used accessories. See also Animated Armor. Contrast Chrome Champion
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- Berserk is naturally filled with villians (and some heroes) in this style.
- Probably the most notable one is the legendary High King Gaiseric, also known as the Skull King for his preferred helmet style. In an interesting subversion, if he and the Skull Knight are one and the same person as most fans believe, he became a good guy (relatively speaking) after becoming undead.
- Master Hades of the Grimoire Heart guild from Fairy Tail.
- Prince/King Kaito from Murder Princess.
- Wapol from One Piece had a ship called "The Tin Tyrant" but Don Krieg fits the bill better albeit without a helmet.
- Yuki Judai of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX fits this trope in full, as his standard clothing during the Genocidal Overlord phase becomes a black, full-body armor, heavily accessorized with sharp spikes, jewels, a flowing red cape and a helmet which fully covers his face when the visor is lowered — as can be seen here◊.
- Doctor Doom in the Marvel Universe.
- Apocalypse in some interpretations.
- Although less armored (and evil, at least on a good day) than most, Magneto also qualifies.
- Cable's evil clone Stryfe.
- And now Cable.
- There was a Zod who wore a pink suit of armor. Err. Red. Totally Red. Manly Red.
- Master Menace from Squadron Supreme.
- Darth Krayt from Star Wars: Legacy is a bit of a subversion as the armor is a part of him it's Yuuzhan Vong armor.
- To clarify, it is A collection of crustaceans that have bonded to his skin to provide lightsaber-proof armor at the expense of unending agony as they attempt to digest him. Darth Bane wore similar armor, but not of Vong origin..
- G.I. Joe: COBRA Commander, in the middle of the Marvel Comics run where he always wore his battle-armour. It had the side benefit of concealing the fact he was an imposter.
Films — Live-Action
- The Lord Marshal of the Necromongers in The Chronicles of Riddick is rather nostalgic for a space conqueror, forgoing any sort of conventional or futuristic outfit for a plate armor suit that he never takes off, only removing his helmet from time to time. Most of his followers are no different, presumably because of their martial society.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Sauron, but he is only described in armor in the movies; in the book, he's simply described as "A Terrible Dark Lord", "an image of malice and hatred made visible". His master Morgoth is described as wearing black armor in combat (though outside of it, at least his hands and face are left uncovered).
- The Witch-King is something in between this and Animated Armor, since he's a disembodied undead spirit and needs the armor as a surrogate body, to manipulate objects.
- At the climax of Disney's Maleficent, King Stefan battles Maleficent in a suit of armor that invokes this trope. Being Dangerously Genre Savvy, said armor is made of iron, which burns fairies that come into contact with it.
- From Star Wars, the Sith in general are likely to be this; many of them were famous for their unique suits of armor. Darth Vader is probably the most obvious example, if not the Trope Codifier: he was most likely inspired by the Witch King of Angmar and Sauron, Doctor Doom, and armoured samurai from Japanese films, but he is probably the most famous example in popular culture. Vader's armor also doubles as a life support system, stemming from injuries he sustained in an old battle with Obi-Wan.
- To a lesser extent, Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic.
- Mandalore, leader of the Mandalorians, in pretty much any era (although they also qualify as Blood Knights, seeing how they take joy in battle). Yuuzhan Vong love their living crab-armor, too, although the Supreme Overlord doesn't bother with it.
- The Silver Samurai from The Wolverine sports a suit of silver-colored armor, in this case a suit of Powered Armor.
- Being set in a medieval society, most of the lords in A Song of Ice and Fire wear heavy and elaborate plate armor when they go into battle. The Boltons' may be the most sinister, as its designed to look like a flayed man. And they are bastards.
- In the original Dragon Lance trilogy, all of the Dragon Highlords had ceremonial plate armor with elaborate helmets. Verminaard actually fought in his. It backfired, as he had no peripheral vision in the armor, and when he suddenly lost his cleric powers, he was killed shortly afterwards.
- In The Silmarillion, Morgoth takes to dressing like this after fleeing Valinor with the Silmarils.
- Sauron is usually portrayed like that too by the artists.
- Obould Many-Arrows from the Forgotten Realms books wears a spiked suit of black plate armor that's nearly impenetrable. They even used a spell to give him a transparent visor on his helmet so he wouldn't have vulnerable eye holes. Though, when he took the armor off, he got really dangerous.
- The "evil" emperor in Journey of the Catechist wears full plate armor. Ironically, not only is he a powerful sorcerer who doesn't need it for protection, its used entirely to hide his appearance, which he considers ugly.
- In The Wheel of Time, Demandred goes in for this look when leading the Shadow's armies at the Last Battle. Somewhat unusually, though his armor includes a helmet and mask, he keeps it off for most of his pagetime, preferring to show his actual (rather normal-looking) face. The armor is also silver, going in for Light Is Not Good rather than Dark Is Evil.
- Chaos Lords from Warhammer Fantasy usually wear heavy plate armour decorated with loads of spikes and symbols of Chaos. Chaos Lords and Sorcerers from Warhammer 40,000 wear Powered Armor (or even heavier Terminator armour) decorated with loads of spikes and symbols of Chaos, as well as... er... trophies.
- In fact at one point the mark of a true Chaos Warrior was being granted Chaos Armor, which fused to their skin, could never be removed, and if damaged would grow back.
- Ork Warlords have a habit of turning up wearing mega armour, which makes them Rusty Iron, Tin, Ceramite, Adamantium, And Rubber Tyrants.
- Dark Eldar Archons usually wear heavy armor in the style of the Incubi, instead of the form-fitting constructions worn by most of their warriors.
- Dark Elf Dreadlords usually wear heavy plate armor, and in some cases don't show their faces often.
- The ruler of the dark elves Malekith has to wear armor all the time. After the Flame of Asuryan opinioned that he was unworthy of becoming the Phoenix King he's needed a suit of magical armor to give his ruined body strength.
- The Armored Megalomaniac archetype in Mutants & Masterminds, as well as the somewhat more specific example of Evil!Daedalus from Anti-Earth in the Freedom City sample setting.
- Exalted gives us the First and Forsaken Lion, an ancient, tyrannical ghost empowered by the dead makers of Creation to go out and kill everything. He's a master warlord and strategist in a gigantic suit of armor. Not that he has much choice, as he was welded into it as punishment for his first major screw up.
- One of the signature Abyssals, Falling Tears Poet, is clad in heavy armour, wields a really big hammer, and is approximately the size of a bus. Bear in mind that one of the potential end arcs for the Abyssals is to overthrow and replace the Deathlords.
- The unofficial Lord of the Rings tabletop game Ambarquenta encourages this by ruling that metal contains Morgothian element and thus gets in the way of casting good wizardry and good-ish sorcery, but does not hamper evil sorcery and necromancy in any way.
- The Final Fantasy series' more medieval installments love this trope, as seen at the top of the page.
- Garland in Final Fantasy I. (although his characterization in Dissidia is more similar to that of a Blood Knight)
- Emperor Mateus Palamecia in Final Fantasy II, although he doesn't have a helmet, he certainly has a golden and violet suit of armor.
- Golbez in Final Fantasy IV.
- Exdeath in Final Fantasy V. Being a shapeshifter (And a sapient tree), it's unclear if he wears a suit of armour, or if that's simply the form he chooses to take.
- All the Judges in Final Fantasy XII, but especially Gabranth.
- The fal'Cie play with this, since they appear to be made of tin.
- The Garlean generals in Final Fantasy XIV all dress like this. Unlike a number of examples here, their armor tends to be functional on top of the form - Gaius van Baelsar, for example, seems to have a number of gizmos, like a gauntlet-gun, installed in his armor.
- The late Emperor of Garlemald, Solus zos Galvus, wore similar armor, except that his face was visible. His grandson and heir, Varis zos Galvus, is seen to be wearing similar armor as his late grandfather.
- All of the eponymous Overlords in the Overlord series.
- Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda has been seen in armor quite a few times, but never covers his head.
- Sarevok in Baldur's Gate.
- Death's Hand in Jade Empire is the Emperor's right hand man, who had his departed soul bound to a black suit of armour. Master Li declares that "That is the armour of a man who knows no remorse, no pity." The irony is that said armour originally belonged to Master Li.
- The Magic Emperor Ghaleon in Lunar, notable in that he seems to wear it because he knows that villains are supposed to wear it.
- Magruder in Gun. The reason, kinda, that he's completely unharmed by any of your weapons and has to be taken down by other means.
- Guilty Gear: Surprisingly, Justice is this as well, since the drama CDs state that she wears it to protect her frail figure. The hair on the armor, though, is her real hair.
- In the first game of Lightning Warrior Raidy, one of the bosses is this. This hides the fact that inside, it's a girl.
- In the Warcraft series, Arthas fits this trope quite well.
- Deathwing as well, despite being a dragon. Unlike the other dragons which run around basically naked, Deathwing has elementium plates grafted onto his body. His body is slowly wasting away due to his vast power, and the plating is basically holding his body together.
- In Myth: The Fallen Lords, Balor wears armor in combat, which is probably all the time. Given the game's heavy Tolkien influences, this is pretty fitting.
- Nightmare from the Soul Calibur games, depending on the game, either wears or is an awesome suit of azure armor.
- Standard fare for the more physically inclined Fire Emblem Big Bads and higher enemies. Many of these have a very powerful unique class; some of the most memorable examples are Hardin, Zephiel, and the Black Knight. One is finally fully playable in the thirteenth installment, namely the Conqueror Walhart.
- All of the male Sinistrals in Lufia.
- In the The Witcher, the Big Bad first appears unhelmed, presumably to make better use of his charisma, then passes for a Magic Knight for a time, and then subverts the helmet trope when his True Colors show.
- Oda Nobunaga fits this trope perfectly in Sengoku Basara, complete with Spikes of Villainy.
- Xemnas from Kingdom Hearts II gets this form during the first and third stages of the final battle with him. He spends both fights slouching in the control chair of a spaceship, using his powers to fight. It turns out to be the Keyblade Armour of Master Xehanort, his original original incarnation.
- Mordekaiser from League of Legends rules over... something and is constantly seen wearing armor. It's strongly believed that whatever's under that suit, it isn't anything friendly. His (noncanon) Pentakill Mordekaiser skin removes the armor covering his torso, but he is still wearing his helm.
- Lord Deimos from Mace: The Dark Age fits too, seeing as he's encased in blood red armor and we never see any part of him outside of it. He even has the BFS and Spikes of Villainy
- Frank Horrigan from Fallout 2 is a 12-foot tall, Powered Armor version of this. The Roman-themed Legate Lanius from Fallout: New Vegas is the more traditional version.
Legate Lanius: We shall see how brave you are when you are nailed to the walls of Hoover Dam, your body facing West so you may watch your world die.
- Loghain in Dragon Age: Origins is arguably an aversion, while he does run around in full plate armor it appears to be standard, ordinary, off-the-shelf full plate and is silver instead of black. Of course the armor was taken from another Tin Tyrant who occupied his nation.
- Knight-Commander Meredith in Dragon Age II has got normal-looking plate armor as well.
- Revenants, who are part of many Bonus Boss fights (including Gaxkang) in both games, sport this look. They command other undead, and use Mind over Matter to pull your Glass Cannon party members towards them. Revenants come into being when a Pride Demon (the most powerful kind) takes Demonic Possession of a corpse, and most are found after the player disturbs graves, a Tomeof Eldritch Lore, or touches Blood Magic vials.
- Saren in Mass Effect has creepy-looking armor that looks like it has Geth parts fused to it. They aren't fused to the armor, they're part of him.
- The Reapers are all gigantic spacecraft, and thus have got pretty tough black shells.
- Gandohar in Two Worlds I and II.
- Tell the Demon Sovereign from Might and Magic: Dark Messiah that Sauron is suing.
- The Black Knights from Dark Souls are completely covered in their huge, tough black armor and that's all that's left of them. Also Havel the Rock, though his armor is actually incredibly heavy carved rock.
- Heinrich, the final boss in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. He doesn't have a helmet.
- Dark Lord Gaol in Kid Icarus: Uprising. It turns out that the armor is actually used to control Gaol, who was a captured spy and is actually a woman. After defeating her, she makes a Heel-Face Turn and learns to control the armor herself.
- The Nemesis in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.
- Crow from Nefarious fits this trope, wearing a high-powered suit of armor as he carries out his world-domination schemes.
- No one in Girl Genius is this, but Agatha's fashion clank thinks Gil should be!
- General Tarquin in The Order of the Stick, complete with Spikes of Villainy and dark colors. Very shortly after his introduction, though, he removes the helmet for the dramatic reveal of his identity.
- Discussed in Schlock Mercenary, where the pun of this trope is brought to its extreme after the events of Credomar. LOTA, a robotic longshoreman built from the remains of a ruined tank, is naturally covered head to toe in heavy armor. LOTA is then voted in as sole ruler of the colony after the battle over food supplies.
- The Voiceless Token Evil Teammate Akryung from Tower of God.
- All Shredders in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
- Metallus in Hanna-Barbera's Space Ghost.
- The Fairly OddParents: Crocker becomes such a tyrant during The Movie, despite being ridiculously skinny.
- Xiaolin Showdown: Hannibal Bean has a Mobile-Suit Human themed after this. He's rarely seen using it though.
- Megabyte in ReBoot is a borderline example. His body is his full metal armor. Though on one occasion Dot calls him a "blue tin coward" when Megabyte didn't show up in a battle.
- Megatron in Transformers, being the leader of an army of Killer Robots, qualifies. Tarantulas even calls the Beast Wars incarnation one on one occasion.
- King Sombra in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.