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Chained by Fashion

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He's got killer fashion sense.

They've tried belts, zippers, crystals, wings, bones, and even their kid sister's glowy floaty sparkles, but none of those made them look badass and super powerful (more like a cute Rummage Sale Reject)... so what's a budding Mon, summon monster, or enslaved freedom fighter to do?

Get Chained, by Fashion.

Simply put, characters who are impossibly powerful tend to be incredibly dangerous, so they get limited, sealed, or bound to imprison them (in this particular case it must have been with chains). Like that'll work. To show this, when the chains inevitably break because the character is just that powerful, they'll often choose to keep the locked manacles as reminders of their captivity (humility, rare) or displays of their indomitability (pride, common). Then, there's always cases where they either can't remove the manacles or don't care to.

The manacles will have short lengths of chain still attached, which will rarely ever impede movement and will nonetheless still be long enough to act as whips or to choke opponents. Sneaking up on someone while hauling noisy chains around can prove difficult, which may constitute The Croc Is Ticking.

For when there's someone else at the end of your chain, see Chained Heat. For chains as Improvised Weapons, see Chain Pain.


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  • Monster Cereals:
    • Frankenberry wears thick chains as suspenders, though this seems to be a purely "strength" related reason, while also adding to the "industrial" look he has compared to other Frankenstein's monsters.
    • Boo Berry originally had chains attached to him, in a Jacob Marley-esque way, often with a cereal box dangling off of them. These were removed in later iterations of his design.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: The Beast of Darkness is Guts' extremely dangerous and powerful Enemy Within, and the rattling chains attached to its wolf-like body represent Guts and Schierke's measures to contain it inside Guts' subconscious.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Exodia is a Sealed Evil in a Can, split into five pieces and each piece bound. Yugi put him back together in the first episode, and he had chains on his limbs. There also exists Exodia Necross, which is basically a playable version of the assembled Exodia. He still has the chains and manacles on him... except they're all broken.
  • Ajimu Najimi from Medaka Box appears in the real world in the state Kumagawa sealed her in: six giant screws in her body, especially the ones fastening her hand to her chest.
  • Free from Soul Eater. For some bizarre reason, he keeps his ball and chain attached to his foot. Not that it really impedes him any.
    • In the manga, he uses it in conjuntion with his ice magic to help him and Eruka get away from the prison guards.
  • Cheza from Wolf's Rain, who has golden manacles and a neck chain from her time in the scientist's People Jar. Subverted in that they're so not chain-like that they look like a matching necklace and bracelets, but considering the only thing she'd respond to was the blood of a wolf (believed extinct for two centuries), the scientists understandably didn't think she'd ever move enough to get out. Or that Darcia would break in and bust her out himself.
  • Iron Maiden Jeanne from Shaman King wears this as part of her self-inflicted torture training.
  • Mukuro from YuYu Hakusho was once a slave. Even after she becomes one of the most powerful demons in Makai, she continues to wear a manacle around one of her wrists.
  • Homura from Gensoumaden Saiyuki. Those chains are supposed to be keeping his hands together, right? Then whose idea was it to make it so long?! They don't even impede his movements. Lampshaded when he puts the longer chains on Goku, and he comments how helpful they were in a fight.
    • Goku himself was like for a while, too, in the entirety of Saiyuki Gaiden, and in flashbacks in Saiyuki. He does eventually get rid of them. And also, all of the main characters wear chains in the opening credits to the first anime series (as well as tight leather pants and no shirts). The mangaka originally wrote yaoi and the franchise is heavily marketed towards girls and women, after all.
  • Mai-HiME Destiny's Mayo Kagura finds herself shackled with a pair of really bulky (and nigh-unbreakable) dragon handcuffs, which act as a Power Limiter for the evil Dragon Priestess lurking within her.
  • Lanancuras of Shinzo has rock armor. Turns out that's the last bit of the asteroid that restrained his power, and once it's all knocked off of him in battle, he goes from powerful to god-like.
  • Hinted at in Saint Seiya. Shun, Bronze Saint of Andromeda, wields the Nebula Chains on each arm: the right-arm one, with a pointed end, is meant for offense; the left-arm one, with a circular weight, defends (although it can suffer from The Worf Barrage from time to time.) While he uses these as his primary tools most of the time, woe to the foe that destroys them or forces him to take them off —at that point, Shun will shed his inhibitions, explode his Cosmo, and summon the unbeatable attack Nebula Storm.
  • The characters of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- wore chains on their gothic outfits in the Human Chess-obsessed Mafia world they stopped off in after the series took a turn for the confusing. It Makes Sense in Context, but not much.
  • In King of Thorn, Alice's protector is adorned with chains, which it can also manipulate as weapons.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Kurapika's nen ability is the ability to materialize a variety of chains from his hands with different powers.
  • In Digimon Data Squad, Belphemon wears chains that bind him in his dormant form. In both that and his awake form, he is able to shoot lasers made out of green fire from them.
  • In Fairy Tail, Virgo is also manacled, showing her servitude to her master. She really doesn't seem to mind.
  • Ikari in Eyeshield 21. He's not the most powerful character in the series, so much that his teammates have to chain him up, so you'd usually see him restrained until the critical time comes. But he's pretty showy about his Berserk Button. It's revealed that back in middle school he was The Dreaded due to being The Berserker and the chains were part of his clothing style, which gave him the nickname Prison Chain Ikari.
  • Sloth in Fullmetal Alchemist. Although the chains and manacles are probably to get him to do things rather than to keep him from doing things. He'd rather not do anything.
  • In One Piece, Yamato has explosive manacles with short lengths of chain attached around both wrists that were put on him by his father Kaido to prevent him from leaving Onigashima.
  • Haruko in FLCL has a manacle around her right wrist with a single chain link still attached. The chain link rattles as if being tugged on by some unseen force at certain points in the story in response to Atomsk - the chain link is a piece of his nose ring.
  • A later series by Studio Gainax, Melody of Oblivion has Sayoko, who wears manacles which do the exact same thing as Haruko's, pointing toward the man she's in love with. The manacles are left over from when she was going to be sacrificed but was saved by Kurofune. Also, they stop pointing toward him and start pointing to Bocca about midway through the series, for obvious reasons.
  • The Yamai twins in Date A Live each have manacles(and trailing chains) on one arm, one leg, and the neck. The positioning indicates they were originally chained together. A subversion in that it signifies that they were one spirit split in two rather than something bound that was freed.
  • In the Mega Man EXE manga, a flashback to the origin story of Bass.EXE shows that his destructive tendencies caused him to be restrained with a code that manifested as shackles. He asks his creator if they at least make him look cool, showing that at the time, he had an innocent and optimistic personality. Then comes Bass's Start of Darkness, and the shackles are the first thing to go.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs: Chuuya has a small chain on his hat. If someone's in need of being knocked down a peg (either because they're the target of the Port Mafia or because their name is Osamu Dazai) they're in for a beating.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman's enemy Doomsday beat the entire Justice League to a pulp while still half-bound in the massive steel-cabled straitjacket used to seal him in the can.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In Zara's second appearance she wears a chain collar with a strip of chain dangling down from it between her breasts.
    • In the Silver Age, the Amazons kept their former slave shackles as handy bullet-bouncing bracelets.
  • One Iron Man comic book has ol' Shellhead cabled in front of a huge laser cannon. When he gets down from there he still has cuffs and cables on his wrists, but he doesn't have time to take them off since he still has to defeat The Living Laser. At least he figures out that the cables could come in handy if he sweeps them across the floor to trip up some henchmen.
  • On the cover of an issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic himself wore broken manacles since the arc had him currently framed for murder.
  • Ex-con The Absorbing Man, part of The Mighty Thor's Rogues Gallery, carries his prison ball-and-chain as a weapon. Since he was wearing it at the time he got his powers, it has the same magic properties he does, so this is a matter of practicality.
  • Not only does Spawn wield chains as weapons, but they also feature prominently in his outfit, one chain holding his cape in place, while another set serves as a belt.
  • In Dark Crisis, villains under the control of the Great Darkness (the Big Bads of previous Crisis Crossovers, and later Deathstroke's Secret Society of Supervillains) have crossed chains across their chests.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Tiger Prowess: The gold chains Lord Japper wears around his neck and on his pants are a good indicator that he's quite rich, as well as the fact that he's even able to build an amusement park over Goats' Village in the first place.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pang from Dog Bite Dog, a cage fighter who escaped police custody after being handcuffed to a police vehicle, where he managed to saw the cuff off. He spends several scenes - several days in-universe - wearing a cuff with a dangling chain attached.
  • Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand. He just never bothered to take his restraints off.
  • The rather inappropriately titled (under the circumstances) Hercules Unchained, as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • In Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason Voorhees has a length of chain hanging from his neck, left over from the end of Part VI, when Tommy Jarvis chained him to a big damn rock and anchored him at the bottom of the lake.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Megatron's new look has him covered in chains that crisscross his chest in robot mode and across his grill in vehicle. Considering his injured state coming out of the last film, it looks less "Insane beast raging against his restraints" and more like hodgepodge medical work that he refuses to let do its job while he does his business.
  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: New villain Scourge has chains wrapped around his arms in robot mode and over his exhaust pipes in vehicle. Considering the full trailer shows that his master is Unicron, planet eating monster transformer with a panache for enslaving others to his will, its appropriate.

  • Prince Josua of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn wears the manacle around his left wrist that his brother, King Elias, imprisoned him with. In his case, it's the humble version of the trope and serves to emphasize his personality. It also gets a Chekhov's Gun moment at the end of the story, when it saves his life from Elias' sword blow.
  • In The Scar, a castaway recounts the story of how the avanc, a gargantuan sea monster, swam out the side of a vast wall of water and plunged into the titular crack in the world, dragging along the boat-city of Armada, to which it had been tethered as a means of propulsion. Twenty miles of chain coil around its body as it falls.
  • In Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley's ghost is weighed down by long chains, locks, and lockboxes as punishment for his greed and apathy in life. It's later shown that this is not an isolated case — the punitive side of the afterlife actually has this as standard punishment for those who are like Marley. Scrooge is warned the same fate is waiting for him when he dies as well, and his chains will be even longer and heavier than Jacob's.
  • Harry Potter has the Bloody Baron, ghost of Slytherin House, whose distinguishing features are being covered in chains and blood. The last book reveals that he wears them out of guilt for killing Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter, which drove him to kill himself.
  • Wyrd Sisters mentions a Barbarian Hero wearing "the outside of several bulls and enough chains to moor a battleship". Unfortunately, he commits the error of calling the Librarian a monkey... (he's an ape, people never learn.)
  • Early in Snow Crash, Y.T. gets arrested for going in to a burbclave while not on official Kourier business, and while they're processing her paperwork, they handcuff her to a radiator. She picks the lock and escapes with the help of Hiro, but she still takes the cuffs and wears them on one arm like a double bracelet because she thinks it looks cool.
  • In An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Nephy was forced into a collar during her enslavement, which suppresses her mana and was enchanted to explode if anyone took it off. After the Benevolent Boss she was sold to disenchanted it and freed her, she decided to keep wearing it as a sign of her Happiness in Slavery, and is treated more like an engagement ring for the two (it helps that her natural elf strength means the collar barely weighs anything to her).

    Live Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: House Umber's sigil is chains, and they wear chains in their armor.
    • The Faith Militant wear two chains crossed over their chests over their habits.
    • The Maesters wear a long chain as a symbol of their learning, with each link symbolising a different subject they have studied. Notably, they are entitled to keep adding links to their chain if they continue studying things.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva:
    • Kiva has chains on his right leg and shoulders which act as Restraining Bolts, removed only when he triggers his Finishing Move and Super Mode, respectively.
    • Chains also form a large part of Kiva's motif. They spread over his body during his transformation sequence, and whenever he changes into Bashaa, Garuru or Dogga form, chains appear all over the parts of his armor that change.
    • Additionally, the original King of Checkmate Four wears a costume bedecked with chains; when Wataru declares himself King near the end of the series, he starts wearing the same outfit.
    • It's not just limited to the Kivas, either - Kamen Rider Rey from King Of Hell's Castle has loads of chains wrapped around his arms, but instead of restraining wings, they are restraining huge ass claws.
  • Ultraman Leo's younger twin brother Astra has a shackle on his left thigh, complete with broken chain, as a leftover signifier of his days as a slave in the hands of the Magma aliens.
  • In the Doctor Who story "Battlefield", world-destroying demon the Destroyer is chained when summoned. Then Morgaine releases him when the Doctor stops her taking Excalibur.
  • Hank Zipzer: In "Hank's New School", Mr. Rock's old bandmate Crazy Ed wears a pair of handcuffs to hold up his pants because it is part of his rock n' roll image. And because he lost his belt.

  • The Guy, the mascot of Disturbed, is frequently portrayed with numerous chains strung across his body, often in part from having broken some restraints. Even when he hasn't, he generally wears them anyway to convey the same theme.
  • Zero of Steam Powered Giraffe wears a large one around his neck.

  • In some versions of the myth of Prometheus, even after being Chained to a Rock for a few thousand years and freed by Hercules, Zeus relented but had to enforce his permanent sentence. Thus, Prometheus would continue to wear a wreath and a ring of chains. It's said that humans began to wear wreaths and rings in tribute to him.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Warhammer 40,000 character, Kharn the Betrayer, has a massive bundle of chains around the hand in which he holds his chain-axe. Yep. And he still has Intiative 5. To compare, you only have Intiative 3. He has an excuse - he's the favourite champion of the chaos god, Khorne.
    • Justified - he chains his axe to his wrist so he doesn't lose it when he goes into one of his bloody frenzies. Which he does a lot.
    • It helps with the speed that, before becoming chosen champion of the Patron God of Ax-Crazy, he was already a Super Serum-modified Space Marine in Powered Armour that boosts strength. The divine favour's just the icing on the blood-soaked mightily-thewed death-cake.
    • From the same setting, the Black Templars chapter of Astartes usually have several chains strung about their Power Armor. These chains are symbolic, tying their weapons to their arms as a sign that they will not let them go as long as the battle goes on, and to carry various lanterns which represent them bringing the light of the God-Emperor with them.
    • Daemonhosts are very often depicted in this fashion - the (usually almost-naked) human host having been securely chained down before the ritual in a (usually unsuccessful) attempt to prevent the daemon summoned into them from getting free. Many other prisoners and constructs associated with Imperial Inquisitors (such as psychic Penitents) also wear chains to mark their subjugation.
    • Chaos Marine Helbrutes are usually chained down to prevent their berzerk rampages outside of battle. They also tend to break free and charge about with broken chains hanging from their legs and arms.
    • Chaos Dreadnoughts are restrained with a simpler method: the sarcophagus simply has its arms and legs disengaged, which is then chained to the wall. Note that being put in a Chaos Dreadnought is punishment- where Loyalists reserve it as an honor for the most deserving of champions so their wisdom can continue to benefit that Chapter by letting them sleep in the centuries between battles, Chaos forces keep them awake and unable to do anything about it. Small wonder that they have a chance of shooting their own side in battle.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The imaginatively named Chainrasp Hordes and Chainghasts — the ghosts of prisoners who died in chains, and who are forced by Nagash to continue wearing said chains in the afterlife, symbolizing their new imprisonment as his Nighthaunt.
  • Kytons (Chain Devils) from Dungeons & Dragons have a magical ability to control any and all chains. The Master of Chains prestige class can do the same, to a lesser extent.
  • Lawgivers, one of the spectre types from Orpheus, are wrapped in copious amounts of chains, which they can also use as weapons. The chains show they are under the direct control of the game's Eldritch Abomination and have no free will of their own.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Xyz Monster Battlin' Boxer Lead Yoke. fashionable and practical, because as the anime reveals, he's so damn strong that he needs the chains to hold back his full strength. As his effect is used and his Xyz Materials are spent, the chains crack and break, finally falling off when he has no Xyz Materials, at which point he's at full strength.

  • BIONICLE: Toa Hewkii has one large climbing chain around his weapon as an Inika and two smaller electrified chains attached to his arms as a Mahri.
  • My Pet Monster had bright orange manacles with a snap-link in the middle.
  • Monster High has Spectra Vondergeist, and all the other ghost students, wearing chains, ala Jacob Marley.

    Video Games 
  • Ninjara from ARMS has Chains for arms. He also has glasses and headphones combined by being a chain, that chain also holds his hair up into a shuriken-shaped ponytail.
  • In the battle against Bahamut in Granblue Fantasy, he spends the first half of the fight heavily chained, a remnant of his original sealing. When he goes into Overdrive, he breaks the chains and later unleashes a party-wiping 999999-damage laser.
  • Anima from Final Fantasy X appears heavily bound by chains. But then you reach her Overdrive...
  • Golden Axe III had Braoude Cragger, who was a Giant still wearing manacles. And yes, he was the strongest of them all.
  • Wolf Link in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has a manacle and a short length of chain around his weapon paw (Left for the Game Cube, Right for the Wii) Of course, Link didn't break it; Midna did. He keeps it for the rest of the game.
    • The chain also jingles somewhat audibly when he moves.
    • Twilit Igniter Fyrus, the boss in the second dungeon, Goron Mines, also retains his chains after breaking them, which are both his weapons and the key to taking him down.
  • Guilty Gear's Potemkin is a particular case. In the beginning, his gloves and collar are both a weapon and an Explosive Leash, designed to explode should he disobey or try to take them off. At the end of the first game, the dictatorship of his country is eventually overthrown and his devices are deactivated, but as of XX he still has them as a keepsake of his former life as a slave. (shotgun gloves help.) However, Potemkin's Magnum Opera move reveals their nature of Power Limiters, as he disintegrates them away and destroys the opponent in a single punch.
  • Your character in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion starts as a prisoner, with (pre-broken) manacles among your beginning equipment. Many players like to hang onto them — not only do they look pretty snazzy, but they're the only non-armor hand equipment in the game, making them useful for Squishy Wizard players. And they're weightless, to boot.
  • City of Heroes features the Giant Monster Jack in Irons, who is basically Smash Mook, who occasionally spawns to drop the hammer on Heroes in one particular Zone. His game model features manacles, an iron neck-brace, and a lot of chains.
    • The game also features chains (and barbed wire) as ubiquitous costume options in character creation, which are often used by PCs to invoke this trope.
  • Castlevania
  • Cody in Street Fighter Alpha 3 still wears, as part of his prison uniform, a pair of long-chained handcuffs. It's pretty clear during several victory poses that he can take them off at will, rather than actually being bound by them. He merely wears them for the challenge.
    • For a more straight example. Oro in Street Fighter III bound one of his arms because of his power.
  • Billy Coen, the male lead of Resident Evil 0, spends the entire game wearing a broken pair of handcuffs on his left wrist. They're probably symbolic, or something.
  • The enemy Cerberus from Final Fantasy IX features manacles with broken chains on its forelegs.
  • The Shadow Stalker boss in Kingdom Hearts II is wrapped in chains. When it turns into Dark Thorn, it has manacles hobbling its legs, and manacles with broken chains hanging from its wrists.
    • The various forms of Iron Imprisoner from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep - and the fewer chains it's wearing, the more pain you're in for. By the time it's completely free...
  • Karura keeps an immense iron ring around her neck. Don't worry, she has superhuman strength. She keeps it to remind herself that she is a normal woman and not a princess of a country that (justifiably, apparently they were huge jerkasses) turned on her race and killed/drove them all out, though she dismisses offers to remove it as it is CLEARLY much too heavy.
  • Regal Bryant in Tales of Symphonia. In the sequel, he's taken them off, only to end up back in handcuffs. Sometimes it would appear as if Regal likes being in handcuffs.
  • Mortal Kombat's poster boy Liu Kang is killed and resurrected as a zombie, complete with chains attached to his wrists. The opening video for MK: Armageddon even shows him using them in a whip-like manner to grab hold of another character, a move he isn't actually able to perform in the game. This one comes complete with total inexplicability: we saw Lang's death scene the previous game (Shang Tsung broke his neck), and there were no chains on him then. And the zombie is explicitly Liu Kang's corpse (since we also see his spirit, mostly appearing to tell people how disgusted he is that his body was brought back wrong.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Both Suika Ibuki and Yuugi Hoshiguma wear manacles and chains, being oni and all. Suika also has three symbolic geometric shapes attached to her chains. In his character notes, ZUN even directly states that the chains were chosen to denote Suika's oni-ness. There's no way Yuugi wouldn't get her own jewelry.
    • Kasen Ibaraki also has a manacle on her wrist, which is one of the many clues foreshadowing that she's actually an oni.
  • Bowser, of Super Mario Bros. fame has manacles. Given that he's a king and has never been depicted as being chained up, he only wears them truly because of Rule of Cool.
    • In Bowser's Inside Story he can swap them out for ones that actually do stuff, like boost his power or regenerate SP.
    • Like father, like son; the Koopalings also have spiked bracelets like Bowser's. The daughter, Wendy, has bracelets that are more fit for a princess, made out of gold and in no way resembling manacles.
    • Chain Chomps are another example. In every depiction, they are either chained to a fixed point so that they can only bite someone who comes too close, or they have just broken free and they are gleefully running around while dragging a chain behind them.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In the GBA iterations of the Fire Emblem games, the General class has a chain that attaches their lance or axe to their arm. Why exactly this is helpful is uncertain, but that's made up for by the fact that watching a giant suit of armor throw a spear or an axe at someone and then yank it back via the chain is simply too cool to question. Occasionally lampshaded in Fan Fiction that have a character grab the chain to prevent the General from pulling the weapon back, rendering him unable to continue fighting.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, unlike the students of the titular three houses, all of the Ashen Wolves students have chains incorporated into their school uniforms, possibly signifying the persecuted and underground nature of the unofficial house.
  • Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders gives us Regnier. His chains are part of his armour, and you can buy different chains for bonuses to him.
  • Warcraft:
    • Liches, some of the most powerful undead creatures, have chains floating around them.
    • The Jailer, the Big Bad of the Shadowlands expansion, has a chain motif on both his person and the areas he controls. They symbolise how he was locked away in a hellish afterlife but broke free. It is commented that "He forged his chains into a weapon".
  • God of War, anybody? Aries bestows upon Kratos the most badass weapons ever forged that doubly exist so that he can control Kratos. Said chains became undone at the end of III, signifying that his service to the Olympians is now over. The chains were seared onto Kratos' arms when he made his pact with Ares. Even centuries later his arms still bear the scars. And while his service to the Olympians is over, the Blades of Chaos are still bound to him — no matter what he does to get rid of them they always return to him as a permanent reminder of his sins.
  • Yggdra Union has Nessiah. In fact, his chains have a name: the Chains of Conviction.
  • The Divine Dragon in The Legend of Dragoon. The chains worked . . . for 11,000 years. One could call it Sealed Evil In a Can, but it's more like Sealed Dumbass In a Can given the nature of dragons in this game.
  • Quite a few creatures in the Heroes of Might and Magic series, mostly the demonic ones. The sixth release has the Demented, a low-tier unit, but the most prominent example, hands down.
  • The Qunari of Dragon Age fear mages even more than the rest of Thedas. Qunari mages are chained, collared, masked, have their mouths stitched shut, and are restrained with special control rods by their handlers. Despite this, in-game they are still as powerful and dangerous as any enemy mage.
  • Though Voldo doesn't own costumes with chains on them, there is a memorable mission in Soul Calibur IV. Nightmare has ravaging the countryside and as you chase him down you come across a large town that is destroyed and abandoned. The description explains that in the chaos, many prisoners were released (possibly by nightmare) from the local dungeon including a guy who is found clinging onto a wall like a spider. He simply hisses at the hero and attacks him. He has so many restraints that he completely absorbs most damage and the only way to defeat him is by using power attacks to throw him forcibly across the walls for concussion damage.
  • In Astal, Astal carries broken handcuffs on his wrists after escaping from imprisonment on the moon.
  • Gaige from Borderlands 2 has a pair of handcuffs on her belt, kept over from her arrest. They serve as a fashion statement, since she is into anarchy and punk, and may also be used for... other stuff.
  • Sengoku Basara has Kanbe Kuroda, The Starscream and Butt-Monkey of the third game, who is always seen in chains because he is a prisoner. He runs around very slowly because of the ball and chain that hobble him and tie his hands together, but he's also a surprisingly powerful fighter. It's often implied that he would be a menace to all of Japan if he got his manacles off, though this is stymied somewhat by a combination of his bad choices and worse luck.
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei series, some demons have chains on their bodies, such as Hecatoncheires, Angels, and Grendel, who has chains for hair.
    • Beldr from Devil Survivor has several chains attached to his body.
    • The Reaper, a recurring antagonist in the Persona subseries since Persona 3, is wrapped in chains that audibly signal his presence.
    • Persona 5: Whenever a party member awakens their Persona for the first time, their Persona is surrounded by chains, symbolizing how they feel trapped by society. Arsène in particular has long chains that the protagonist often grips onto. The hero breaks these chains when Arsène evolves into Satanael.
    • Persona 5 Strikers: In addition to chains like the ones from Persona 5, Zenkichi's Persona Valjean wears cages over formal clothes. Broken chains hang from them to symbolize how he has broken free of the cynicism and despair he fell into after he was blackmailed into letting his wife's murderer go free.
  • Secondary protagonist Cyrille from Shining Force EXA, has these binding her to her book. While most video game characters that wear chains are freaking strong, Cyrille is the opposite. She's a frail and bookish magician-type, who's more into standing far away and shooting foes with her crossbow pistol or zapping them with magic.
  • Rosa from the Bayonetta series had a thick, metal collar welded around her neck with shackles attached to her wrists and ankles connected by chains, although they don't seem to actually impede her movement. They were placed there when she was incarcerated by the Umbra Witch clan for breaking their code by having a child with a Lumen Sage, and they possibly act as a Power Limiter. In Bayonetta 2 she even uses them as an Improvised Weapon to slaughter several angels during the Witch Hunts ... well, in the cutscenes anyway.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Abomination's body is bound in cursed chains (which serve as his armor), which burst off when he transforms into his Beast form and magically reappear when he turns back into a human.
  • Risk of Rain and its sequel have Acrid, a lizardlike creature who was chained up in one of the shipping containers of the Contact Light. The crash seems to have broken its chains and freed it, but its shackles are still around its wrists.
  • Sylas in League of Legends wears chains hanging from his wrists as a reminder of the time he spent in prison for being a mage in magic-hating Demacia. The links, as shown onscreen, are larger than some books.
  • Possessed Klug from Puyo Puyo uses golden chains as a necklace, which holds his clock and his cape. He's the Final Boss of Puyo Puyo Fever 2.
  • Mega Man X DiVE: Ferham's Swimsuit variant in this game sports some chains around her waist, heels and left thigh.
  • The G archetype in Brink! incorporates chains into its clothes. The pants have a chain and padlock as a makeshift belt, while the jacket has a chain necklace built from a chain and another chain wrapped around an improvised harness.
  • Vermintide II: Sienna's Unchained class wears plenty of padlocked chains around her neck, as arm- and wristbands, and connected to her belt. Ironically, the class represents her succumbing to her magic addiction and giving up on trying to control it.
    Flavor Text for Chains of Purpose: The locks amidst the chains are symbolic of Sienna's (oft-abandoned) struggle for control.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kukuri's guardian angel Abraxas in 11eyes, a representation of her soul, is restrained as much as possible. Its mouth and eyes are covered and its hands are bound. Yet it can still unleash some powerful mace attacks.
  • In Corpse Party: Cross Fear, due to how she's lashed out at the hospital staff, Kaori has been forced to wear manacles connected by a chain. One of her first goals after being pulled into the cursed school is finding a way to get them off.
  • In Fate/stay night there's Berserker, the Greek hero Herakles, and there's Gilgamesh's magical chain, "Enkidu", which responds to any divinity a captive has by growing stronger. As the son of Zeus, Berserker's divinity is highest ever seen in the series (since Gilgamesh lost most of his long beforehand). Despite that, Berserker still manages to break free with sheer strength and rage in order to protect his summoner. He's not a straight example in that he doesn't wear any part of the chains afterwards indeed, Gilgamesh kills him shortly afterwards, but his "breaking free" moment is iconic, and a part of one of the game's video intros.
    • And then there's Rider's fashionable and functional chains. Though they're not attached to any of her restraints, they're always around her.
  • Prosecutor Simon Blackquill from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is a convicted murderer so in order to prosecute cases he is forced to wear manacles on his wrists. Though they seem somewhat pointless at first, they do prevent him from finger pointing which is serious business in Ace Attorney court. With one exception he nevertheless breaks the chain between the manacles EVERY SINGLE DAY that he appears in court, signalling that things are getting serious and allowing him to use razor wind. In one case he even broke the chain BEFORE HIS OPENING STATEMENT. (That case was personal for him.)
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, chains wrap around the Demon Tsukuyomi's spherical body, the same ones that were used to tie up their bodies back when it was a group of humans caught in a store fire. If Akira isn't able to gift it with the proper items, then it'll lash out and attack him with its chains.

    Web Original 
  • hololive: Kronii Ouro wears a large flat chain through her hair like a bizzare ribbon or headband; as she is the Anthropomorphic Personification of time, this is meant to signify humanity's perpetual imprisonment in time, with Kronii as our "Warden."

    Western Animation 
  • In Disney's Aladdin, the Genie's wrist cuffs disappear when Aladdin wishes for the Genie's freedom, but he ends up wearing them anyway later on.
  • Ghostfreak's design in Ben 10: Omniverse has manacles around his limbs and chains around his torso. One Transformation Sequence even involves chain imagery.

    Real Life 
  • This was controversially invoked in an Adidas shoe design that was quickly canceled before official release.
  • Lady Gaga. Pick a costume.
  • Escape artists regularly appear in chains so they can later wriggle out of them. Many pictures show Harry Houdini wearing chains and little else, to demonstrate that he wasn't hiding any keys.
  • Owney the Postal Dog, mascot of the U.S. Railway Mail Service in the 1890s, was a travel-loving mutt who habitually hitched rides on the postal trains to travel hundreds of miles cross-country. To ensure their beloved mascot's safety from animal-control officials, the postal workers registered him for dog-license tags in dozens of towns and cities, eventually linking them all together with lightweight chains to construct a full-body "vest" the little dog could wear during his travels.
  • Billie Eilish in this clip for the song "Lovely" wears a black costume with a lot of metal chains.


Video Example(s):



The Burrower is a ground-dwelling malefactor wrapped in chains.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChainedByFashion

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