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Dark Lord on Life Support

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"See what I have become? Mere shadow and vapor...I have form only when I can share another's body...but there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds..."

An event has left a villain severely injured or drained of power. So, their minions hook them up to a device that will keep them alive for the time being. It doesn't have to be a machine; it can be the inability to survive without attaching to another body.

This can be a way of creating sympathy for the villain by showing that they are weak or dependent. The weakness can be exploited by someone attacking them — the Evil Overlord may not have full strength because of what's happened to them or may be stuck in one place. Dependence means that The Hero can destroy the support system to destroy their enemy (although there might be moral issues with dealing the killing blow to a villain who can't fight back). Frequently, the very thing that made the Dark Lord this way was done by the hero, sometimes in a battle that didn't succeed in completely killing the villain. This can be a sign that the hero wasn't ready to fight the villain, that they did so rashly, etc.

Please note that it is possible for said Dark Lord to recover from this, maybe even come back stronger than ever.

Aesthetically, this trope associates the villain with illness and death, which in turn makes them seem creepier than he would be otherwise.

Usually a subtrope of Man in the Machine. This may result in a Dragon-in-Chief and/or The Heavy, as well as a case of Weak Boss, Strong Underlings. May or may not be an Evil Cripple. Can also be a good reason to employ Orcus on His Throne and may be a Greater-Scope Villain. See also Red Right Hand, Brain in a Jar, Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, and No Immortal Inertia. May also be a trait of a villainous Symbiote. Compare and contrast We Can Rebuild Him for when this makes a villain stronger, not weaker. For when the dark lord creates themself a new body to replace their old one, see Self-Constructed Being. See also Strong Empire, Shriveled Emperor, which this can be a particularly extreme version of when the Dark Lord on Life Support also happens to rule a powerful force. Compare Sealed Evil in a Can, when the above-mentioned defeat completely incapacitated him, but there's still a danger they could come back from it.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Bubblegum Crisis: Toyko 2040 version of Gemon's CEO, Quincy, was depicted as being hooked up to a throne that included life support equipment.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Dr. Londes from the episode "Brain Scratch" is revealed to be a teenaged hacker on life support who used his connection to the internet to become digitized and create a virtual persona.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Freeza technically qualified for this trope for a brief time at the beginning of the Resurrection "F" arc, where he was brought back to life but in the form of a bunch of chopped-up pieces that needed to be reconstituted in a healing tank.
  • Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid: Gauron has been reduced to lying in a bed tied to a machine after he was defeated in the previous season, but still manages to ruin everyone's day.
  • After having his life saved by Heaven Canceller, Aleister Crowley from A Certain Magical Index has only once ever been seen someplace other than floating upside down in his tube. It's debatable if he was actually physically present at that one time.
  • In Monster Rancher, due to the process of his body and soul merging not being done correctly, Moo ends up being weakened by the sun, leaving him in bad shape. As a result, he has to be kept alive via life support while his Baddies work to resolve the problem. After the Magic Stone is used to perfect the process, Moo ends up returning stronger than ever.
  • In My Hero Academia, All for One needs a life support system while in his mansion but has a portable one that allows him to venture outside for short periods of time. Like many other cases of this trope, All for One is in this condition in the first place due to a duel against All Might. The inverse is true too, however — while not on life support, All Might's health has deteriorated considerably and requires frequent medical care because All for One dealt a near-lethal injury to All Might too.
  • Naruto:
    • Orochimaru became bedridden after his arms were sealed by the Third Hokage, and eventually he gets progressively weaker and more sickly when he has not transferred his mind to a new body every three years. Sasuke takes advantage of this, and defeats him in his sickly state.
    • Madara Uchiha managed to survive his defeat by the First Hokage, but by the time he rescued Obito he was an old man only alive thanks to using the corpse of the Ten Tails as life support. This didn't stop him from plotting to manipulate Obito and Nagato into unwittingly restoring him to full strength in the future so he could carry out his master plan.
  • In One Piece, Whitebeard of the Four Emperors is a Dark Lord from the perspective of the World Government (who are far from saints themselves to be fair). He's actually something of a Reasonable Authority Figure compared to the others: Big Mom is an immature Psychopathic Womanchild who wants to create a twisted utopia, Kaido is a bored Death Seeker who is willing to start a world war just to see if it would be able to kill him, and Shanks is too laidback to be much of an authority figure though he is also pretty reasonable. In his youthful prime, he was rightly considered one of the strongest men in the world if not the strongest. But time has caught up with him. When we first see him, he's a hulking giant of a man... hooked up to life support and being monitored by nurses. He's still incredibly strong and capable of causing destruction on a massive scale thanks to his Tremor-Tremor Fruit power, but he's a shadow of what he was in his youth.
  • Queen's Blade Rebellion has an interesting twist in this trope: The physical body of the Swamp Witch is the one from a demon princess named Werbellia, who needs her for being able to survive in the mortal realm, since the Swamp Witch uses her body in a Grand Theft Me scheme, as Werbellia turns to be a Noble Demon at worst. When the Swamp Witch is defeated for good, Werbellia is forced to return to her realm, leaving her daughters Annelotte and Aldra behind her.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne, Big Bad Dornkirk (who is actually Isaac Newton transported to Gaia) is perpetually hooked up to a massive life-support machine keeping him alive well past when he should have died of old age. In the last episode, he rips free of it and lets Folken kill him to set in motion his Thanatos Gambit.
  • Kagemaru, the Big Bad of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX's Sacred Beast/Phantom Demon arc, is at first confined to a full-body life support mechanism. During his duel with Judai, with each Phantom/Sacred Beast he summons, the more duel spirit energy he absorbs, restoring his youth, to the point that he's able to emerge from the mechanism and duel Judai without it.

    Comic Books 
  • Agents of Atlas: The Golden Claw always remains one step ahead of Woo and the Agents, save for a brief run in at Fiji. When they finally meet him again in the final issue, he's dying, admitting the trip to Fiji took a lot out of him. He's very okay with this, and calmly goes to his death with a smile.
  • Mr. Freeze from Batman can't survive outside his suit for long due to his heat sensitivity. Exploited in Batman & Robin, where Arkham Asylum's administrators build a Tailor-Made Prison out of some sort of refrigeration beam.
  • Though a less visibly obvious example than some others, this is Darkseid's state in Final Crisis. He's essentially stripped of his physical presence, and only able to persist by possessing a series of human hosts, which decay to resemble his own form and burn out as he uses them. He's simultaneously stronger and weaker than ever — the Anti-Life Equation allows him to crush the free will of nearly everyone on Earth, reducing them to extensions of his own will, but at the same time he's irrevocably dying, and his primary goal is to drag Earth and the universe into oblivion with him.
  • Green Lantern foe Baron Tyrano is a brilliant-minded multi-millionaire. However, due to an ailing condition, he is restricted to wearing an iron lung. He became an enemy of the Green Lantern as he desired to transfer his mind into the hero's body.
  • Harry Cooper of Hellblazer's "Son of Man" arc; once known as the London Gangster to end all London Gangsters, an unknown illness has left him confined either to his bed or an armchair, unable to do much more than dribble and mumble out the lyrics to songs from his younger days. For good measure, he appears to have picked up a rather unsightly growth on his midsection that's left his limbs to slowly wither away. Until he recovers, his affairs are carried out by his brother Norman or his son Ronnie. It turns out that he's actually pregnant, the father being Ronnie — or rather, the entity inhabiting Ronnie's corpse.
  • Preacher: Marie L'Angelle, the monstrous matriarch of the L'Angelle family is a wheelchair-bound, wretched, and withered old crone of a woman hooked on oxygen tanks. She rules over her family with an iron fist with absolutely no tolerance for defiance. At some point, she punished Jesse by locking him inside a weighted down coffin with an air tube put in the bottom of the swamp, without food or water, to stir and crawl within his own urine and feces for a month after he refused to become a priest like she wanted. She meets her end after Tulip sets her mansion on fire and the flames reach her oxygen tanks. The subsequent explosion launches her decrepit corpse like a rocket right into Hell.
  • The Arch-Hierophante in Requiem Vampire Knight has such a desiccated body that he needs to be kept in a liquid tank all the time. In order to move on his own, he needs his minions to flay someone else alive so he can wear their skin, and even then it's for a limited time since it degenerates at a very rapid rate.
  • Dimitri of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) was quickly drained of his Enerjak power and left decrepit. The Dark Legion was forced to turn him into a cyborg to keep him alive. Dr. Finitivus, seeking to learn the power of Enerjak, disassembled him, leaving him as just a head in a floating bubble.
  • This was supposed to be the case with Gaunt, a Spider-Man villain in a cybernetic life support suit who first appeared during The Clone Saga. Gaunt was intended to be the mastermind behind the whole mess, the then-dead Harry Osborn. However editorial nixed the idea, resulting in Gaunt being revealed as former one-shot villain Mendell Stromm and a flunky to the real Big Bad.
  • In Star Wars Legacy, Darth Krayt suffers from a parasitic infection that is slowly killing him, and needs to go into stasis for long periods of time to slow the spread. He spends most of the series hell-bent on capturing the young Jedi Cade Skywalker, whose unique Force powers could be used to heal Krayt. It's a bit of a downplayed example, as Krayt is still a very powerful Sith Lord and can wipe the floor with much younger opponents during the times when he's not in stasis. After coming back from the dead, Krayt has been cured of his affliction.
  • King Ommin of Onderon in the Star Wars Legends comic book The Freedon Nadd Uprising (part of the overarching Tales of the Jedi) is a wannabe version of this: after years of keeping himself alive with Dark Side abilities learned from Freedon Nadd, he has been reduced to an extremely aged, apparent invalid kept in a secret laboratory on a special armature. It turns out that the Dark Side sustaining him makes him still a dangerous threat that the Jedi make the mistake of underestimating, but the armature itself is what allows him to stand, walk, move, and fight by supporting his aged flesh and softened bones. Naturally, it is destroying this that results in Ommin's rather disgusting but well-earned death.
  • Superman: Lex Luthor was twice afflicted with terminal illness during the Dark Age, first cancer contracted from his kryptonite ring, then later a degenerative illness in his new cloned body. The latter left him in a near vegetative state, unable to so much as close his own eyes.

    Fan Works 
  • Codex Equus has High-Roller/Mr. Scratch, a Diabolical Mastermind running a criminal empire that's been running behind the scenes for over a hundred years and is one of most feared and dangerous ponies on Equus at the time. However, when he finally reveals himself in person, it turns out being over a hundred years old means that he's extremely elderly and his deathbed, only kept alive by life support. He's decidedly not happy about this, particularly because he knows he's going to Hell when he dies. So he tricks Prince Maestro, an Alicorn, into a trap and swaps bodies with him to both avoid death and become stronger than ever.
  • In The Weaver Option the Ambiguously Evil Primarch Omegon was nearly killed by Guilliman but survived with severe phosphex burns across his entire body. His followers have sealed him in a healing tank where he is kept in a near-permanent slumber, only waking for a few minutes every few years to get a briefing and update his strategies. He can also use a Primarch-sized Dreadnought with a built-in healing tank to go into battle but only does so as a last resort.

  • In the Disaster Movie parody The Big Bus, the Big Bad lives in an iron lung.
  • Bane in The Dark Knight Rises wears a metallic mask which constantly supplies him with anesthetic gas to keep the crippling pain from his old injuries at bay. It's frightening, to say the least. Unlike many examples, unless it is damaged, the apparatus does little to hamper his combat ability. As a matter of fact, the cocktail of drugs dispensed by the mask suppresses his sense of pain, which contributes to his durability.
  • Downplayed as he's not exactly evil (just a lawyer), but the Senior Partner in Intolerable Cruelty is portrayed like The Dreaded evil overlord and generally represents Massey's bleak fate if he remains Married to the Job; heartless, work-obsessed and quite literally dying at his desk, surrounded by tubes and pumps and sucking in painfully labored Vader Breaths.
  • The Jurassic Dead: Dr. Wojick Borge, the villain of the movie, starts out as a fully-abled, healthy human. However, after he gets hit by a car, his health seems to start deteriorating. When he's encountered in his bunker, he's shown to have developed the need of an oxygen tank and wheelchair.
  • Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road is introduced being put into his armor, allowing us to see that his back is covered in angry, raw red flesh and weeping sores that need to be debrided regularly. He also always wears a mask that seems to provide him supplemental oxygen and/or medicine that gives him Vader Breath, and while he's a Badass Driver par excellence his mobility is limited. It's not clear what exactly caused him to get like this but radiation poisoning or some manner of massive infection seem likely, and while not explicitly stated it's implied he's Secretly Dying, making his moniker an Ironic Name.
  • Lt. Muldoon in Planet Terror has to breathe from a tank of some kind, though he's able to go short periods without it. It's revealed the tank contains the DC2 virus and breathing large quantities of it is the only known means of preventing an already infected person from mutating, and that while an enemy he's actually not such a bad guy.
  • Jigsaw in the second through fourth Saw movies. His cancer has finally reduced him to the point that he's permanently bedridden and relying on his assistants to carry out his plans.
  • Overdog in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone is a cyborg who is linked to a life-support system that lets him suck the life force out of his victims and infuse it into his body. The apparatus also serves as a means of moving around in his lair as he has no lower body and instead is connected to a crane-like structure.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Vader is probably the Trope Codifier. Following his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar, Vader had lost the rest of his limbs and suffered third- to fourth-degree (yes, those exist) burns all over his body and his lungs had collapsed from smoke inhalation. His sealed black armor contains life support systems (his Vader Breath is his cybernetic lung doing the breathing for him) and in the old canon removing it for any significant period of time outside a sealed environment with a carefully controlled atmosphere (Such as the dome in his quarters as shown in The Empire Strikes Back — as the dome opens, you can briefly see him without the helmet, which quickly lowers onto his head, suggesting that he can go without the helmet in the dome while it's sealed) would be fatal (which is unfortunate for him, since it's relatively badly crafted and leaves him in constant pain, exactly as Sidious planned).note  In the new canon he can stay out of it for some time, but only by floating in his bacta tank, so if he wants to actually do anything, into the suit it is. Incidentally, this is the reason why he never uses Force Lightning, despite it being one of the most powerful Dark Side techniques; it would short out his systems. Hence his death at the end of Return of the Jedi.
    • In Star Wars Legends, after an engineered shuttle crash nearly killed him, General Grievous's brain and vital organs were transplanted into a robotic frame. His film version doesn't seem to be in the best of health either, as he's constantly coughing and hunched over. This was a Game-Breaking Injury for him thanks to his fight with Mace Windu in Star Wars: Clone Wars, where Windu Force-"choked" (more like crushed) the container that held his organs save for his brain. In current canon, Grievous augmented himself to fight Jedi until he was more mechanical than organic.
    • In Rogue One, while not a bad guy per se, Saw Gerrera has still become a delusional and paranoid rebel leader on Jedha. He also needs an oxygen mask to stay alive (making the Darth Vader breathing noise when he uses it) and can barely walk with his replacement legs, using a staff to support himself. The implication seems to be that he has become not so different from Darth Vader, having fallen to the Dark Side while fighting the evils of the Empire.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, a Not Quite Dead Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious has become this, leading the Final Order from his life support throne on the Sith homeworld of Exegol. He only becomes whole again by absorbing the life energy of both Rey (his granddaughter) and Ben Solo.
  • Brainiac is this in the unproduced Superman Lives script by Kevin Smith.
  • In They Saved Hitler's Brain, Adolf Hitler's head has been saved in a jar by Nazi scientists and is orchestrating a plot to restart the Holocaust.
  • Inability to survive without attaching to another body is pretty much was describes the plot in the infamous So Bad, It's Good movie The Thing with Two Heads; a racist Corrupt Corporate Executive attaches his head to an unwilling black man.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse has the title villain, who would periodically transfer his essence into a new host body whenever the old one started to wear out. At the start of the movie, he's old and relying on a life support suit, and about to perform a body swap with a mutant that has a Healing Factor to finally be able to "live forever".

  • In Artemis Fowl, Opal Koboi goes into a self-induced coma after her goblin uprising fails, and depends on others to feed, wash, and otherwise take care of her.
    • This may not count, as Opal essentially put herself into this state on purpose just to deflect attention from herself until the clone she had created to take her place was ready while she put her new plan of revenge into motion.
  • In The Belgariad, Torak spent thousands of years in a near-coma after his attempt to use the Orb crippled him. After the Battle of Vo Mimbre, he spent another couple of centuries recovering from the fatal stab wound he received during a one-on-one duel.
  • The Black Company: The Limper spends most of The Silver Spike in this state. The events of The White Rose left him as nothing but a disembodied head, but a temporary alliance with the demon, Toadkiller Dog, see him resurrected as "The Wicker Man." In this state, he can walk and exercise the full force of his sorcerous might, but can speak only as a loud whisper (and that's an improvement over the first draft of his wicker body, which initially didn't let him speak at all) and is painfully aware of the threat that fire poses to his "toy body". Later in the novel, he gets a new body, this time made of enchanted clay, and goes full-on One-Winged Angel.
  • In Count Zero, multibillionaire Josef Virek has incurable cancer and has been at the center of a massive complex of life-support machinery for decades now, it's implied that his tumors now comprise the majority of his body weight. For obvious reasons he only communicates through the matrix, using a Digital Avatar based on his former self. His attempts to seek out the remnants of Neuromancer, the AI that can create sentient virtual ghosts, drive the novel's multiple plot threads.
  • In "Donovan's Brain", a scientist recovers said organ from an evil millionaire killed in a plane crash unaware that, freed of its physical body, the brain would grow and gain telepathic powers. The brain takes over the body of the scientist and even hypnotizes someone who knows too much into crashing their car, killing them.
  • Mason Verger in the film and book Hannibal is a depraved child molester who was attacked by Hannibal Lecter but survived as a disfigured paraplegic, and therefore utterly depends on his caretaker to carry out his scheme of vengeance against Lecter. As a result of what Lector did to him at their last meeting, he is now on a respirator, bedridden and relies on a machine to moisten his lidless right eye. In both versions, Lecter convinces his caretaker to kill the helpless Verger in retaliation for years of abuse.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort lives off Quirrel in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Since he was nearly destroyed, he is too weak to survive alone and even has to have unicorn blood to stay alive. This means he's weak enough that he can barely talk; when Quirrel is killed, he flees like a ghost.
    • And even more repulsively when he's reduced to a helpless fetus that relies on Wormtail's care-giving and lives on a cocktail of snake venom and unicorn blood while waiting for the ingredients needed to get his original body back. Even then, he's still got an attitude.
  • The Authority from His Dark Materials is so old and withered that he has to live in a crystal globe to prevent air currents from disintegrating him.
  • Sauron in The Lord of the Rings relies entirely on the existence of the One Ring. If it is destroyed, then his ability to interact with the physical world is destroyed as well. When the ring is cast into the Cracks of Doom in Mount Doom, Sauron's body is destroyed as is his entire castle and his armies are defeated easily.
  • Masks of Aygrima: The Autarch has to constantly sap magic from the Child Guard in order to stave off the problems caused by his age. Shortly before the first book, he started creating new masks that make people more submissive and allows him to take magic from any Gifted person.
  • In Mistborn, the Lord Ruler maintains his youth by being a Compounder who can use atium. Without constant contact with his atium, he has No Immortal Inertia.
  • The James Bond novel Nobody Lives for Ever reveals that current SPECTRE head Tamil Rahani ended up on life support after his previous encounter with Bond in Role of Honour and is slowly dying. The conflict of the book stems from Rahani putting a price on Bond's head (literally) in the hopes of seeing him dead before he goes.
  • In Otherland, Felix Jongleur is nearly 200 years old, having been born prior to World War I. Throughout his long life he's devoted himself to the singular purpose of conquering death, and through his wealth has constructed a fantastic virtual reality simulation that he can play God in (and to the world, via his VR avatar). The truth is that his real body is a shriveled, useless thing that lives permanently in a life support tank, with little more than the heart and brain functioning. The horror of his circumstances is one of the few things he fears to confront, and his ultimate plan is to achieve immortality through Brain Uploading.
  • The Wizard King Ahm Y'Zir, youngest son of Xhum Y'Zir from The Psalms of Isaak is eventually revealed to be this; kept alive for more than two thousand years by a combination of Blood Magic and being turned into a Cyborg. Of course, either the process or his great age has left him quite insane, and he's the guiding hand of the Empire of Y'Zir, the most powerful and aggressive nation on the planet...
  • Ah Ling/Hendrik van Eeden/Tzaddik from the Sally Lockhart series is this. Although Sally shoots him in The Ruby in the Smoke, we find out in The Tiger in the Well that he survived, but her bullet had pierced his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.
  • Inverted in the Dale Brown novel Starfire: Patrick McLanahan, the hero, is revealed to be Not Quite Dead, but his badly mangled body is dependent on a CID's life support systems nearly all the time.
  • A variation in The Wheel of Time. Ishamael used the True Power way more than was good for him, which did quite a number on his body (superficially, he may still look like a handsome middle-aged man, but those flames constantly coming out of his eyes and mouth? They're real). Apparently the only thing keeping him alive was his connection to the Dark One, and when he dies his body has burnt-out holes where eyes and mouth should be, and rots away almost immediately. It's no wonder that Rand mistakenly thought Ishamael was the Dark One in the first book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plays with this trope a bit in the latter end of the first season:
    • "End of the Beginning" has Garrett and Coulson track down Thomas Nash, who they believe to be the Clairvoyant. They discover that he's in a wheelchair and requires breathing tubes, and can only communicate through a speech synthesizer. He's a subversion; the real Clairvoyant set him up as a fall guy and had someone else running the synthesizer before having Ward shoot him.
    • "Ragtag" reveals that Garrett, the real Clairvoyant, really is one. He actually has a cybernetic implant feeding him Centipede serum, yet he has no super-strength because he's so far gone that the serum only brings him up to "normal". Even with the implant, he's going to die unless he takes the GH serum.
  • In Black Scorpion, Starter Villain Breathtaker is confined to suit of armor that breathes for him after having been shot through both lungs.
  • Hector Salamanca from Breaking Bad fits this trope, since he used to be a cruel killer for the Cartel and is now confined to a wheelchair, needs a nasal cannula and can only communicate by using a bell thanks to suffering a debilitating stroke. His rival and Arch-Enemy Gus Fring loves rubbing it in his face, at least until Hector uses that bell to trigger a makeshift bomb and kill Gus and himself in revenge.
  • Doctor Who:
    • All of the Daleks. Inside those fearsome "travel machines", they're just these helpless little squid-like things.
    • Davros, the creator and for a while the ruler of the Daleks, kept alive by a life-support system inside his high-tech wheelchair which can be turned off by pressing a button.
      • In "Revelation of the Daleks", he appears to be reduced to a head in a tank. His subsequent appearance reveals that the head was just a robotic decoy.
      • When we see him in "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar", either age or disease has worn him down to the point that he needs to be wired to the energy of every Dalek on Skaro to keep himself alive, and he's permanently confined to his life-support chamber. That changes after he convinces the Doctor to spare him some regeneration energy — and tricks him into powering up every Dalek on the planet, to boot.
    • A most extreme example is Queen Xanxia of Zanak from "The Pirate Planet". She is an extremely old, withered crone, kept one second away from death with time dams. The gigantic, hollow planet Zanak materializes around other, smaller planets and sucks them dry in order to fuel these time dams. Entire planets die to keep one woman on 'life support', and the Doctor mockingly tells her when they meet that it won't work forever, even if she tries to take the energy from suns, as there simply isn't enough energy in the universe for that plan to work.
    • Lady Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17 from "The End of the World" and "New Earth" considers herself to be the last human being, but has undergone 708 cosmetic operations and is now nothing more than skin with a face, stretched over a screen, with her Brain in a Jar underneath, needing to be constantly moisturized.
    • "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel": John Lumic, the creator of the alternate universe Cybermen, due to an illness. He created the Cybermen partially as a way to help him find a way to extend his lifespan. When his machine is damaged, the Cybermen forcefully install him into their Cyber-controller.
    • Max Capricorn in the Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned". Thanks to an almost two-century long lifespan, he's only a head attached to a machine.
    • The villain in "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", Tzim-Sha (a.k.a. Tim Shaw) is in pretty bad shape when the Doctor meets him: he needs a mask to breathe properly, and is attached to a pair of pumping bellows that seem to function as supports for his heart or lungs. Having five DNA bombs explode under your skin will do that to you, even three thousand years later.
  • Scorpius in Farscape. A Sebacean-Scarran hybrid, his body chemistry is literally at war with itself; Sebaceans become delirious and risk death if they get too hot, while Scarrans constantly produce massive amounts of heat, and so Scorpius required an extensive cybernetic cooling system (including rods inserted into his brain) just to maintain a functional condition. Enemies who learn of this weakness frequently try to take advantage of it to kill or disable him.
  • The Flash (2014): Season 4 Big Bad Clifford DeVoe, a.k.a. the Thinker, gained his Super-Intelligence through an experiment that heightened the energy flowing to his brain. But as a side effect, that energy is being drained from the rest of the body, giving him a form of ALS that crippled and is slowly killing him. Only the hoverchair he has to routinely plug himself into is keeping him alive, and even that is revealed to be merely delaying the inevitable until he uses a telepath's powers to transfer his mind into a new body. And then he's forced to Body Surf the bus metas until finally settling in Ralph Dibny's body, whose flexible cellular structure is not only immune to DeVoe's degradation but enables him to shift back into his original form.
  • Forever (2014) ends with the immortal sociopath Adam confined to a hospital bed after Henry injects an oxygen bubble into his brain, leaving him with locked-in syndrome. In a flashback, Adam avoids a similar fate in a hospital by slitting his own throat, thus triggering his Resurrective Immortality, which returns him to the same state as before the injury.
  • Heroes:
    • Samson Grey is found by his son, Gabriel "Sylar" Grey, hooked up with tubes and IV because of his terminal disease. He reminisces on his younger days, when he was a great hunter.
    • Arthur Petrelli is bedridden after a near-fatal poisoning until he managed to absorb the healing-factor of another superhuman.
  • God Neros of Chōjinki Metalder is this — it's heavily implied his throne is the only thing really keeping him alive, as he never leaves it, even to fight Metalder.note 
  • In Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Evox took over the body of Mayor Daniels as part of his master plan to seize the Morphin' Grid. However, prolonged exposure to human DNA caused his data to corrupt and corrode. Upon being separated from Mayor Daniels, he was left weakened to the point that he required massive amounts of Morph-X to stay alive, which prevented him from being too active for several episodes. It wasn't until the finale that he was brought back to full power by absorbing his source code.
  • In Power Rangers Samurai and its Super Sentai counterpart, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, after leaving the Netherworld to attack the Rangers (and viciously curbstomping them), Master Xandred/Chimatsuri Dokoku dried out to the point that he needed to be immersed in the Sanzu River for several episodes. He eventually returned when the destruction of Daiyu's harmonium/shamisen caused the Sanzu River to rise enough for him to recover almost immediately.
  • William Raines in The Pretender had to wheel an oxygen tank around with him wherever he went.
  • Season 8 of Smallville turns Lex Luthor into one. Strapped into the back of a truck, fed by tubes, and hooked up to a respirator after the Fortress of Solitude landed on him, Lex is reduced to acting through his intermediary, Winslow Schott.
  • Jackie "The Chemo-sabe" Aprile Sr. in The Sopranos is a realistic example, until the cancer finally kills him.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The Goa'uld are a form of this, due to requiring a host body to do anything more complicated than swimming in a lake.
    • Anubis as well. Due to having ascended and then getting kicked partway back down to our plane of existence, he currently exists as an Energy Being that requires some form of assistance in order to interact with our world. From season 5 until "Lost City", that assistance was a force-field suit. After its destruction, he had to Body Surf between hosts whose bodies reacted to him as if he were a disease and eventually suffered immune system failure.
  • Mobius from Team Knight Rider, who is left confined to a wheelchair and needing the use of tubes to talk due to an unspecified illness.
  • The Cigarette-Smoking Man of The X-Files is eventually confined to a wheelchair due to alien technologies implanted into his brain and heavy smoking.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 5th Edition Champions the leader of the murderous cult/criminal organization DEMON is the dark sorcerer Luther Black. He plans to unleash the Kings of Edom to join their ranks and enslave humanity. He's actually gotten pretty close to this goal by the time we see him. Unfortunately for him, absorbing that much physically and spiritually corrupting Qlippothic energy has both made him the world's most powerful black magician and left him a helpless cripple on constant life support.
    • Came to an end about a year and a half ago, as his ascension to Eldritch Abomination status was set to coincide with the winter solstice of 2012. Word of God says it failed.
  • Exalted features Ragara, the founder of one of the Dragon-Blooded Great Houses of the Realm. Where the typical maximum lifespan of Dragon-Blooded is around three hundred years, Ragara is more than six hundred and twenty years old, sustained in the modern setting by a magic sword slowly feeding him the life force of the captured soul of a Solar Exalt. The decrepitude of his state is enough that he's been forced to retire from running his House personally and lives surrounded by full time carers.
  • The module Goldfinger II: The Man With The Midas Touch from Victory Games James Bond 007 RPG includes alternate stats for Auric Goldfinger if the players "killed" or seriously injured him during a previous encounter. In that case, a near-quadriplegic Goldfinger trundles around in an armored, golf cart-like mobile life support system equipped with a waldo and a concealed Uzi.
  • In Warhammer, Malekith the Witch King failed to pass through the flames of Asuryan and was horribly burned for being unworthy. He was saved when his followers encased him in black Armor of Midnight which fused with his flesh. Malekith is kept alive, thanks to the armor, his followers' magic, and his hatred of the High Elves.
    • Meanwhile, all Chaos Dwarf sorcerer-priests suffer from a unique form of Power Degeneration that causes their bodies to gradually petrify into inanimate statues as a result of their continuous usage of magic note  The oldest of all the sorcerer-priests, Astragoth Ironhand, has circumvented his ongoing paralysis by equipping himself with a steam-powered Cyborg frame: it's kept him mobile and alive for the time being, but it's only a matter of time before he's reduced to another statue lining the roads to Zharr-Naggrund.
  • The Emperor of Mankind in Warhammer 40,000 is kept on the Golden Throne, an enormous life support machine powered by consuming the souls of a thousand psykers every single day. While his body crumbles, his mind is said to remain intact, guiding space travel and holding the forces of Chaos at bay. His direct actions have led to the deaths of billions in pursuing his long term goal of preserving humanity and could easily qualify him for Dark Lord status in most other settings. Due to his state of unlife and the ridiculously grimdark setting, though, the living version would probably still be horrified by what the Imperium of Man has become. Depending on the Artist the Emperor is in various states of mummification, ranging from an almost living corpse in a sitting position to a giant skeleton with wires hanging out of it.
    • Huron Blackheart, a renegade Space Marine Chapter Master, led a failed secession attempt against the Imperium that ended with close to half his body being blown off. His Chapter managed to save his life by rebuilding him with extensive cybernetic implants. Huron is now a powerful space pirate lord aligned with Chaos, living in perpetual, near maddening agony due to his extensive injuries and requires frequent medical treatments to manage his condition.
  • Later books in Vampire: The Masquerade reveal that Tremere himself has been trapped in a very unique form of Torpor for the last few centuries; quite apart from being effectively comatose and only intermittently capable of awakening, he also suffers from violent fits and spasms, requiring around-the-clock care to ensure that he doesn't hurt himself. At times, for reasons his lieutenants have been unable to fathom, Tremere even mutates into a grublike monstrosity covered in eyeballs; needless to say, the clan founder's condition is a best-kept secret, and apprentices have been killed to ensure it remains so. This is actually a direct result of Tremere diablerizing Saulot; the Usurper was able to devour the Salubri founder's soul, but not quite capable of digesting it, forcing him into torpor in his attempts to stop Saulot from taking over his body. During Gehenna, Tremere loses the battle altogether and is evicted from his own body, allowing Saulot to live again and forcing Tremere to seize control of Goratrix.
  • During the Werewolf: The Apocalypse book Subsidiaries: A Guide To Pentex, it's revealed that Dexter King, founder and former president of King Breweries, is currently bedridden and dependent on a respirator. Ironically, he only ended up this way thanks to the only good deed he ever performed in his life: opposing his son's partnership with Pentex. Cursed with a degenerative lung condition by his son's new allies, he's been effectively ousted from power and left to slowly die - slowly, so Jeremy can keep his father informed on how well the company's doing without him, and so Dexter's suffering can linger on for decades. Of course, the book notes that Dexter still has a few contacts within the company - and, if the player can stomach an alliance with him, a means of taking revenge.

    Video Games 
  • Von Bolt, the Big Bad of Advance Wars: Dual Strike, has to be kept in a life-support chair with his head in a dome of liquid to keep him alive. Three guesses what his goal is.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • In Batman: Arkham City, the Joker has to be kept on life support because he's dying from Titan poisoning. The Titan serum that mutated him and gave him superhuman strength at the end of Batman: Arkham Asylum actually had unforeseen side-effects; he has a sickness that is slowly killing him.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight, "Season of Infamy" DLC: Ra's Al Ghul has developed severe complications from extensive use of the Lazarus Vector (as seen in Arkham City). He can't be moved from the city and Batman blew up the local Lazarus Pit, so he's forced into a giant life-support throne while his army of ninja bunnies guard him. This has caused Nyssa Raatko, Ra's other daughter, to attempt to take control of the League of Shadows and sparks a civil war within the organization. Batman can choose to save Ra's with what little remains of the Lazarus Pit liquid, or destroy the life support and send him to police custody until he dies.
  • The Domz Priest from Beyond Good & Evil. The weird statue is the only thing that's keeping it alive.
  • Zachary Hale Comstock in BioShock Infinite is revealed early on to be suffering from terminal cancer and is in the process of grooming his daughter Elizabeth to rule Columbia in his place and carry out his plan to destroy the world below. Later in the game, it's also revealed that the cancer, his apparent old age, and his sterility are the result of over-exposure to the Luteces' Interdimensional Travel Device; he's actually the same age as Booker.
  • Zig-zagged in Dark Souls, where the Lord of Light Gwyn, who may either be the Big Bad or Big Good of the series, depending on your interpretation the lore (remember, he's the creator of the world of Dark Souls as we know it, and we know damn well what kind of world that is), has become the life support for the First Flame by offering himself as fuel to it. By the time we meet him as the final boss of the first game, he has become a disheveled mummy, whose previous strength as the God-king of Lordran and the world has faded to such an extent, his attacks can be parried as if he was a common Mook.
  • Destiny 2: It is revealed in the Presage lore that the reason Emperor Calus fights using robot doubles rather than facing you personally is because he's actually an extremely old and sickly man suffering from severe drug addiction thanks to his long lifetime of hedonism, so much so that he needs to be sealed in a Darth Vader-esque mechanical frame that constantly pumps royal wine into his veins in order to walk around. The robot duplicates you've been fighting all this time are actually representations of Calus in his youth.
  • Devil May Cry 5: After Vergil split himself into Urizen and V, both halves were left still dying, so Urizen merged himself with the Qliphoth tree so he could survive until it bore the fruit that would heal him.
  • Mr. Hat in the Dishonored DLC The Brigmore Witches is unwillingly hitched up to one while his "nurse" usurps his leadership. To stop anybody from ending his life he's hooked up to a kill switch that'll flood the building with a deadly toxin.
  • In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Alvin Peats, the founder of WATICorp, is alive at the age of 150 as machines are keeping him alive.
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron has Semyaza on angelic life support after his fall from heaven. Worse, he seems to have died down to the soul before you even reach him.
  • Pyramid in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West turns out to be an old man hooked up to a variety of tubing and wires feeding his memories of the old world to survivors his robots kidnapped. Trip unplugs him while he is showing Monkey the old world.
  • Fallout:
    • The Master in the original Fallout is integrated into his Vault lair and cannot leave it.
    • Frank Horrigan, the final boss of Fallout 2, is essentially welded into his Powered Armor.
    • Fallout 3:
      • Mad Scientist Dr. Stanislaus Braun has spent the past 200 years in a VR/life support pod overseeing the Tranquility Lane simulation, and is terminally dependent on it, as he tells the Lone Wanderer in the sim.
      • The "Point Lookout" DLC features a feud between the ghoul Desmond and the Brain in a Jar Professor Calvert. Calvert is the more obviously villainous of the two (though you can side with him if you like) and is utterly dependent on machinery to survive.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • Mr. House (though his villainy depends on who you ask), who has managed to prolong his life by confining himself to a sophisticated life support chamber. Opening the chamber will ensure his eventual death due to being exposed to outside contaminants.
      • Caesar isn't technically on life support, but has a crippling brain tumor, hence Lanius being Dragon-in-Chief. A Legion-aligned player can attempt to rectify this by either fixing an Autodoc, getting a capable-enough surgeon or (with sufficient-enough medical skill/luck) doing the surgery themselves.
      • The six scientists of Big Mountain in the "Old World Blues" DLC are all little more than a Brain in a Jar, having been converted to "Think Tank" life support systems in order to continue their research long past their natural lifespans. Their "Dark Lord" status is a little nebulous, but in true Fallout fashion, the player can side with either group of them, or with neither.
    • Fallout 4: Shaun, the director of the Institute, is a 60-year-old man dying from cancer. Assuming you haven't killed him, in your final encounter with him, he's on his deathbed and only has enough time to give you some parting words.
  • Jon Gravelli, The Don of the Gambetti crime family from Grand Theft Auto IV, has been confined to a hospital bed for the past three years when the player meets him. After the last mission, he passes away in his sleep.
  • Makaan in Homeworld 2 qualifies: He is Unbound, and as such requires machinery to keep his body alive and linked up. While it is entirely possible for an Unbound to be extracted the process is extremely difficult and potentially fatal.
  • ICO plays with this. The Queen has been living in her own body, but she'll soon need to sacrifice Yorda and use her as a host to keep living.
  • Jade Empire has a more magical version in Death's Hand. He is the ghost of a dead prince, whose soul was bound into his brother's armor by his other brother.
  • The Big Bad of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Fecto Forgo, is unable to leave the "Eternal Capsule" they're trapped in because they're incomplete without Elfilin, a "small, benevolent heart" who split off from them during a Warp Experiment Incident. As a result, they're stuck as a larva, and will immediately melt should they escape. This does end up happening, but Fecto Forgo finds a way around this, with the help of the Beast Pack...
  • Metal Gear:
  • Metroid:
    • Subverted with Mother Brain, the Big Bad of the series, a giant brain in a highly impact-resistant glass casing. After breaking through the shield, you still have to fire multiple missiles (regular beams do nothing) directly at her bare grey matter in order to finish her off proving that the transparent casing is clearly for protective reasons only.
    • Samus' Arch-Enemy Ridley is subject to this over the course of the Metroid Prime Trilogy, where after being defeated by her in the events of the first Metroid, he survived, crippled, and the Space Pirates gave him cybernetic implants to restore him to battle capacity. Eventually, thanks to his strong Healing Factor, he sheds the implants by the time of Super Metroid (as shown in Metroid: Samus Returns) and is back to being fully organic.
  • Mother:
    • In EarthBound (1994), Giygas' mind is destroyed from being inside the Devil's Machine. When you eventually fight him, Porky explains to you that he's the one running the show, deriding Giygas as an Almighty Idiot who is now trapped inside the machine before he shuts it down and reveals his true form.
    • In Mother 3, Porky himself is ultimately revealed to be trapped inside a machine, being immortal but physically unable to function outside of it due to time travel, and even hacking and coughing while either talking or fighting you.
  • Ex-hitman Volkov in No One Lives Forever 2 rolls around in a wheelchair, following his fight against Cate in NOLF 1. The wheelchair has a built-in rocket launcher, though, so it's all good.
  • Portal:
    • Technically, GLaDOS falls under this trope, since she is bound to the facility and dependent on the emotion cores and the local power supply.
    • By the end of his life, Cave Johnson counted as this too, slowly dying from moon-rock poisoning.
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella president Oswell E. Spencer is confined to a wheelchair and life support system when we seem him in flashbacks in Resident Evil 5 due to his old age. He expects Alex Wesker to reverse this condition by engineering an Immortality virus, although Albert Wesker kills him to become the Big Bad after Spencer reveals that Wesker was one of many Unwitting Pawns for Umbrella known as "Wesker children" in a project done to create the perfect breed of humans.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Sludge Vohaul, the primary antagonist of the Space Quest series and an Expy of Darth Vader, is permanently attached to a life support machine, as first seen in Space Quest II and the page image. Roger manages to shut it off, which kills him, but he returns as a computer virus in the fourth game.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Doctor Octavius has a degenerative muscle disease that will eventually render him a brilliant mind in an immobile body, prompting him to create advanced prosthetic technology that eventually results in the invention of his iconic tentacle arms. As a result, one of his greatest fears as he's thrown in prison is being separated from his arms.
  • Darth Malgus in Star Wars: The Old Republic, courtesy of Republic Trooper Jace Malcom rushing him with a live thermal detonator. Star Wars Legends had him as an in-universe inspiration for Darth Vader's fighting style, as they both suffered similar injuries and handicaps.
  • Crime boss syndicate Mr. X in the Streets of Rage series is brought down to this by the end of the 3rd game via Brain in a Jar.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The teams' owners, Blutarch and Redmond Mann, are (or rather were) among the closest things to evil overlords in this universe. Both of them are on life support/extender machines to try and outlast each other. Since the machines are about a hundred years old, they don't run perfectly, and thus the brothers die every now and then.
    • Gray Mann, the heretofore unknown third brother, has a life extender machine embedded into his spine. It works far better, as it is smaller, is never shown malfunctioning, and has left him ambulatory and in much better shape than his brothers after all these years. The Ring of Fired comic reveals that it runs off liquid Australium, which is why he seeks to retake Mann Co. and Hale's stash of Australium.
    • Helen, The Announcer, is only alive because of similar technology that The Engineer has to keep on updating.note  At the end of "Team Fortress #6: The Naked and the Dead'', she uses the last bit of Australium on the planet to give herself one last hour at her prime.
  • In Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, after all the years fighting Nazis, B. J. Blazkowicz finally comes face to face with Mr. Hitler himself... and finds out that the once-charismatic Fuhrer has been reduced to a frail, doddering old man whose grip on reality seems tenuous at best and regularly cycles between pissing blood, ranting about "Jewish conspiracies", whimpering for his mother, vomiting all over the floor, casting people for his new "cinematic masterpiece", and shooting people who displease him. It's pretty much implied that his subordinates have him distracted with his artistic pursuits in order to keep him as far away from leading the Reich as possible.
  • In Xenogears, there is Emperor Cain of Solaris, who actually spends most of his time throughout the game proper trying to atone for what he's done during his many years alive. He was the first human created by Deus and has been on extended life support for nearly 10,000 years, what is actually seen of him is a mask that accounts for part of the system that keeps him alive; when he's finally killed later on — the mask comes off and all that remains is a blackened husk.

  • Count Tarrorviene of Annyseed is hooked up to a blood machine which he is dependent on for survival. He also keeps his most capable servant at his side all the time, rather than sending her out to accomplish tasks that are difficult for his lesser servants, because he's incapable of defending himself and fears for his safety.
  • In Erfworld, the Big Bad, Charlie, was reduced to a pitiable state by his treacherous sociopathic daughter, Olive Branch. At first, she tried to control him with a Fantastic Drug and tried to murder him with poison when that failed. While he managed to survive, it was at a terrible price. In the present era, his body is overweight, mostly limp, and cold to the touch. He is hooked up to machinery and requires the aid of his closest followers to even move his hands.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: Hitler was burnt at the Reichstag fire and is a Brain in a Jar.
  • The Demiurge Jadis in Kill Six Billion Demons is a withered wreck entombed in glass, whispering unfailingly accurate prophecies to her priests. Her condition comes from forcing herself to witness the true Shape of the Universe — effectively punching through a You Cannot Grasp the True Form of cosmic scale — which granted her perfect knowledge of its workings but scoured away her mind and body.
  • Recursion: Dr. Deathe suffers from a genetic disorder that left her with an extremely frail body dependent on a hover chair to move and supplemental oxygen to breathe. It actually motivates her world conquest plans, she wants to make sure that no Kassan is born with conditions like hers again, via eugenics.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: As shown in "The Winning Edge", Bane is wholly dependent on life support, his life of Venom use having turned him into a shell of the man he once was. (Unlike what some think, it wasn't from Venom abuse; THAT does the same to you within months.)
  • Vilgax must command his armies from a tank of goop until the first season finale of Ben 10 due to the space battle in the series premiere. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien also sees him needing to work through others while regaining his strength.
  • Mother Brain in Captain N: The Game Master as a Brain in a Jar depends entirely on her minions for survival.
  • The Egg in Count Duckula is... a literal egg. In a world of anthropomorphic birds, the Egg never hatched, is confined to a chair and he communicates through special machines connected to his eggshell.
  • The Eek! The Cat episode "Eek's International Adventure", a Spy Fiction parody, shows a villain with several organs displayed in different jars.
  • Hector Con Carne of Evil Con Carne, a spinoff of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, is a Brain in a Jar (and stomach, in a separate jar) set atop a bear. He's a possible parody of the Brain from Doom Patrol.
  • As G.I. Joe: Renegades went on, it was revealed that its version of Cobra Commander was afflicted with a disease that ultimately forced him to don a breathing mask similar to the Commander's traditional silver visor.
  • Following the first season finale of Jackie Chan Adventures in which Jade destroyed his body, Shendu was reduced to a spirit and for part of the second season (thanks to a spell by his brothers and sisters) was stuck possessing Valmont's body. He eventually regained his body in the third season thanks to Dalong Wong.
  • Jeremiah Surd from Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures. Quadriplegic and wholly dependent on life support after being shot by Race Bannon, Surd's main strength lies in his ability to hack the QuestWorld.
  • Alpha in Men in Black: The Series is kept like this in one of the MIB dungeons after the alien parts that gave him Lovecraftian Superpowers were removed in one of his defeats.
  • In Monster Allergy, after being eaten by Bristlebeard the Pirate and ending up a blob of gunk, Big Bad Mangacat was forced to reside in a Healing Vat for several episodes in order to regain his physical form.
  • Galiel from The New Adventures of Ocean Girl is essentially reduced to a decrepit corpse attached with umbilical cords to a crystal, due to his fading power.
  • The Owl House has Emperor Belos, who's true form is that of an oozing skeletal monster. It's eventually revealed that he's actually a human that came to the Boiling Isles centuries ago, with the oozing form being a result of the magic he has used to stay alive for so long. To maintain his life and his normal form, he has to regularly feed on the essence of Palismen.
  • Hordak in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power relies upon his cybernetic armor to stay alive, since a medical condition has weakened his body. Eventually, his first set of armor breaks, and he becomes so weak that Entrapta has to build him a second cybernetic exoskeleton to keep him going. In season 5, Hordak is healed and healthy-looking following his "reconditioning" by Horde Prime. The implication is that he was destroyed, then remade.
  • Krang's android body from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a variation. He doesn't need it to survive, but without it, he's a barely mobile brain-like creature.
    • This is also carried over to the Utrom Shredder, Ch'Rell, in the 2003 version of the series. Much like Krang, Ch'Rell is a barely mobile brain-like creature inside a very capable robotic double of this series's original incarnation of Oroku Saki, who is the actual Shredder in every other version of the franchise (an ancient Oroku Saki appears as a demon Shredder down the line, but Ch'Rell Shredder is the main antagonist of this series).
      • Somewhat subverted, as while not quite the Implacable without the suit, Ch'Rell outside it was still a Killer Rabbit who used his suit more often for his human cover.
    • For an added example, following his fourth battle with the Turtles in which he was caught in the implosion of the TCRI building, Ch'Rell had to stay in a Healing Vat while alien bacteria healed his wounds, with Karai having to manage the Foot till his return.
    • In Season 4 of the 2012 version, during "Earth's Last Stand," Shredder tries to break the Enemy Mine against the Triceratons and stab Splinter In the Back, and he initially succeeded back in Season 3's finale... but thanks to some time travel intervention, Splinter (now with knowledge of Shredder's impending betrayal) manages to avoid the hit this time and is so pissed at Shredder for trying to ensure Earth's destruction for the sake of revenge that he dishes out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. The next time we see Shredder, he's bedridden and hooked up to an IV machine and a breathing mask, and wrapped in casts and bandages like a mummy. In response, Stockman begins pumping mutagen into Shredder to heal him, eventually turning him into the Super Shredder.
    • In the 2003 version, Baxter Stockman slowly goes through worse and worse events: first he's crippled, missing an arm and an eye whilst being confined to a wheelchair, only being able to fight in an Utrom Exo-Suit. And then he's just a head on a mechanical spider body until he's allowed to use an Utrom suit... until 'that' is destroyed and he's left a brain, eye, and spine floating in a tank, confined to robot bodies. In the episode "Same as it Never Was", Stockman is in a tank connected to Hun, himself stuck in a wheelchair.
  • This is the villain of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, capable of creating an entire ink monster army. He's not actually the villain; the real villain took over him and keeps him in that condition.
  • Transformers:
  • Monstroso from the fourth season of The Venture Bros., after recovering from a mid-season surgery.
  • At the end of season two of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Zarkon ends up in critical condition after his most recent battle against Voltron.
  • In Young Justice (2010), this is the case for the real T.O. Morrow, who is extremely old and in a coma. The person running his plans is Actually a Doombot.


Trauma Center: New Blood

Master Vakhushti needed the final Stigma to keep him alive, so when it's removed from his body...

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Main / DarkLordOnLifeSupport

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