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Cloak of Defense

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"you must be safe from iron, from cold, from spite. you must be quiet. you must be light. you must move softly in the night. you must be quick and unafraid. this means I must make you a shaed."
Felurian, The Wise Man's Fear

Capes or cloaks are a good way to make your character look imposing, threatening, or regal. Some media give them a more practical purpose by having them be used as a defense against attacks. This clothing will usually be made of a particularly durable (often fictional) material, be doused in a certain chemical, or have some kind of enchantment that grants it protection.

This trope also applies to outerwear worn around the upper torso and over shirts such as robes, jackets, coats, shawls, and mantles.

Even in a non-magical setting, a sturdy cloak or heavy leather buff coat offers some protection against blades and a heavy vest with 20 layers of quilted fabric (a gambeson) may offer protection against blades or modestly-powered firearm projectiles.

Compare Invisibility Cloak and Armor of Invincibility. Sub-Trope of Arsenal Attire. May be the reason why Superheroes Wear Capes. Is often a Badass Cape. Can sometimes overlap with Cloth Fu.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon:
  • Inuyasha: Inuyasha's red robe is made from the fur of a rat Youkai that was Immune to Fire. The robe retains the Youkai's fire immunity and grants this protection to anyone who wears it.
  • Mega Man X: In the manga adaptation of the game, Sigma's cape is given the ability to protect him from enemy attacks. This becomes essential to X surviving the destruction of Sigma's fortress when he uses the discarded cape to protect himself during the descent.
  • One Piece:
    • In his fight against Hotori and Kotori, Gan Fall uses his cape to protect himself when one of them emits methane gas with a Flavour Dial (Gan Fall thought it was a Fire Dial).
    • Diamante's cape is actually a sheet of high-grade steel. He uses his Devil Fruit, the Billow-Billow Fruit, to make it malleable and flowing like cloth when not using it as a shield.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Bruce's cape is resistant to fire and bullets. It also obscures his silhouette, making it harder to target him.
    • Azrael's cape can protect him from small-arms fire.
    • Robin (1993): Tim's cape is resistant to fire and slashing damage, though its most impressive customization is his ability to detach it and run an electric current through it that makes it wrap tightly around whomever has grabbed it.
  • Spawn can manipulate his cape for offense and defense. He once used it as a shield against Overtkill's laser.
  • Trese: Alexandra wears the Cloak of Takipilsm/Cloak of Twilight. It is a magic cloak that protects Alexandra from harm and can take the form of any type of clothing, usually a Badass Longcoat.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: One of the products the Weasley twins sell through their company is a Shield Cloak. As the name implies, it is a cloak enchanted with a Shield Charm that makes the wearer immune to jinxes and hexes of weak or moderate strength.
  • Incarnations of Immortality: The Grim Reaper's cloak and mask render the wearer completely invulnerable. It is later revealed to be partly a Magic Feather - whoever holds the office of Death is immortal when they want to be, but they can also loan out the cloak.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle: A powerful fae weaves shadows and moonlight into a shaed cloak for Kvothe. It grants him camouflage in darkness and dampens incoming blows, making it a cross between this trope and Invisibility Cloak.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Elven cloaks given to the Fellowship in Lothlorien. While they don't protect against weapons or physical blows, they help to camouflage the wearer and prevent "unfriendly eyes" from spotting them.
  • Rebuild World: Akira's third and fourth sets of Powered Armor come with a cloak that has Deflector Shields. This has a separate power source from his suits, which comes in handy when the suit needs taken offline for reprogramming by his Virtual Sidekick mid-battle.
  • Re:Zero: When she was hired by Roswaal L. Mathers, the assassin Elsa Granheirt was given an enchanted cloak that could protect its wearer from any offensive magical attack. However, the cloak had two drawbacks; Firstly, it only worked once and would dissipate after negating an attack; secondly, it only worked against spells intended to harm her physically and could be bypassed by indirect Shamak magic.
  • The Tin Man: The Tin Man suit has a bulletproof cape made from similar material to Batman's cape in The Dark Knight Trilogy.

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology and Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The game has numerous cloaks, robes, mantles, and capes which provide certain types of defense and protection. These include:
    • The Cloak of Protection, a standard magic item that grants the wearer a +1 bonus to armor class and any saving throws they make to avoid harmful effects.
    • The Cloak of Arachnida gives its wearer properties of a spider, including resistance to poison damage and immunity to being trapped in any kind of webbing.
    • The Cloak of Displacement makes the wearer harder to hit by generating an illusion of them standing a short distance from where they actually are.
    • The Firebane Cloak gives a +3 bonus to saving throws against fire attacks and reduces damage from such attacks.
  • 7th Sea: The Robertson and Torres schools of fighting are both based on rapier and cloak, with the latter putting more focus on defense.
  • Warhammer:
    • The Dark Elf Corsairs wear cloaks made of Sea Dragon skin while the Chrace High Elves of the White Lions regiment wear pelts from the beasts that give them their name. Both have varying effects depending on the rulebook edition but always provide good protection.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay:
      • Elven cloaks are enchanted to camouflage the wearer and reduce the accuracy of incoming ranged attacks.
      • White Wolf Cloaks render the wearer immune to natural and magical cold. As their creation requires a High Priest of Ulric to kill a white wolf bare-handed in single combat, they are a rare privilege.

    Video Games 
  • Angband: There is a cloak with an unnaturally high enchantment and immunity to elemental-based attacks. It is also made of an exceptionally thick and durable material, which protects the wearer from blasts of crystal shards.
  • Darkstalkers: Dimitri uses his cape to guard against attacks.
  • Darkwing Duck (Capcom): The player can have Darkwing use his cape to deflect enemy fire by pressing "Up" on the D-Pad.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Robes are a type of armor with high defense against magical attacks but minimal protection from physical damage. They're preferred by magic users and often have an Intelligence prerequisite to wear.
  • Dungeon Crawl: Cloaks can be equipped by most races on top of their armor. Although they provide little in the way of armor (base 1, upgradable to 3), their real utility is in the variety of defensive magical enhancements they can have. These include improving stealth and improving resistance to magical attacks.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy: The Protect Cloak is worn in the shield slot, and is the only shield in the original version that White Mages or Black Mages can equip. Later versions added the Zephyr Cloak and the Elven Cloak.
    • Final Fantasy IV: Rubicante is weak to Ice and Water attacks, but wears a cloak that heals him if he is hit by those elements while it is raised.
    • Final Fantasy V: The Elven Cloak is worn as an accessory, but otherwise behaves exactly like a shield by stopping physical attacks when it activates.
  • Helherron: Various cloaks and capes increase protection, defense, or both.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: The "Robe of Protection" card grants all minions on its side of the board the effect "Can't be targeted by spells or hero powers" while it remains in play. However, this is a downplayed version of this trope; the card doesn't make minions immune to spells and they can still be affected by spells that hit everyone.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V: A hero wearing the Cloak of Sylanna can reduce the damage earth spells cause to their army by 50%.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Adventure: Nightmare, the Final Boss of the game, wears a cloak that protects his tornado-like core from damage. The only way to hurt Nightmare is to strike his core when he reveals it from under his cloak when attacking.
    • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: Similar to Nightmare, Dark Mind wears a cloak that protects his eye-like core when he performs his Badass Arm-Fold. When he attacks, he drops the arm-fold, leaving his core unprotected and open for attack.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf uses his cape to deflect his own magic when Link tries to make it rebound on him.
  • Medabots: As his name implies, Redmatador is a defense-focused Medabot modeled after a matador. He uses his cape as a shield against attacks.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams…: Jackle's mantle keeps him from taking damage while he flies backward and tosses cards. It has to be removed with one attack for him to become vulnerable; one of the reasons that his fight is infamously difficult is that if you allow him to, he can recover his mantle to go back into attack mode.
  • Project M: As a nod to his boss battle in Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf's Neutral Special attack, if performed on the ground, will cause him to swing his cape in front of him, reflecting projectiles back at his opponents.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: The Matador boss has a unique skill called Red Capote, in which he uses his cape to buff his evasion stat to its highest possible value.
  • You must find and equip a cloak in Shadowgate to protect against the intense heat in a particularly fiery room.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Mario can deflect projectiles by pulling out a cape. Dr. Mario has a similar move done with a sheet.
  • Terranigma: Elle makes Ark a special cloak that allows him to guard against enemy attacks. This allows him to survive an upcoming boss's otherwise devastating attack, reducing it to mere Scratch Damage.

    Western Animation 
  • The Mechanical Monsters: The villain tips a huge vat of molten steel onto Superman and Lois Lane. Superman spreads his cape into a makeshift barrier that withstands the molten metal. Even Convection, Schmonvection can't hurt Lois Lane despite being closely surrounded by the stuff.
  • The Owl House: In "Agony of a Witch", Eda makes Luz a cloak made out of "witch's wool", a material that deflects powerful spells.
  • Samurai Jack: The Princess and the Bounty Hunters" has The Gentleman, a Bounty Hunter and Professional Killer who throws his cloak at his opponent to blind and distract them long enough to throw his knives through the cloak at them. Princess Mira warns him that Jack is far too quick and disciplined to fall for such a tactic, and even when attacked by the coordinated efforts of Mira, The Gentleman, and four other bounty hunters Jack effortlessly parries the knives and cuts down The Gentleman in a single slash.
  • The Secret Saturdays: Argost is able to use his cloak to protect himself from Doyle's explosives and Drew's heat beam.
    Argost: Megatooth shark skin! And so stylish!
  • Teen Titans (2003): Robin's cape is made of a special polymer ten times stronger than steel. He sometimes uses it to shield himself against enemy attacks. In "Winner Take All", it proved strong enough to protect Robin from Hot Spot's fire blasts.
  • Zorro: Generation Z: Zorro's cape is resistant to gunfire.

    Real Life 
  • European fencing styles from 16th and 17th Centuries used the cloak to deflect enemy attacks in a duel. They can also be used as distraction, for feints, and to conceal the shape of your body.
  • In Spanish bullfighting, the various capes used by the matador are designed to confuse the bull into charging the cape rather than the matador's body.
  • Note that while using a cloak as a parrying device in Real Life fencing worked, actually wearing a cloak in combat is a very bad idea. It's all too easy for an opponent to grab hold of it and strangle you with it, entangle you in it, or pull you to the floor using it. Thus it was important to practice not only fighting effectively with a cloak but also quickly removing it for use.