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"Mental note: Do not get in an arm-wrestling match with an Eridian."
Ryland Grace, Project Hail Mary

A common trope in Science Fiction, the Heavyworlder is someone who is adapted to life in a high-gravity environment — either a human being who has been altered to survive through Genetic Engineering or Hollywood Evolution, or an alien who evolved on such a world in the first place.

One factor common to nearly all Heavyworlders is prodigious physical strength.note  Many versions will therefore be The Big Guy, because size is so commonly associated with strength. Other (some might say more realistic) depictions will be short and squat, because basic mechanical considerations and the Square-Cube Law show that it's much more advantageous for a Heavyworlder to have a compact, stout, but short body, not unlike common portrayals of Dwarves in fantasy.note 

Usually they have personalities to match (imagine an entire race as The Big Guy). A few exceptions are noted below. In fights, a Heavyworlder is usually a One-Man Army, though they can vary between being Lightning Bruisers and Mighty Glaciers because while being freed from their heavy gravity can grant them much more agility, they may be designed just to hold up their own weight, not move it particularly fast. Likely to not know their own strength when on worlds with lower gravity.

A common variant is when an ordinary human visits a low-gravity world, and is treated as a heavyworlder in comparison to the natives. In vintage SF, this was often used to show that Humanity Is Superior.

For the opposite, see Lightworlder.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • King Kai, his pet Bubbles, and anime-only Gregory are the first characters introduced as Heavyworlders: they live on a planet small enough to see the curvature from wherever you're standing, but also has a force of gravity ten times stronger than Earth's. According to the Kai, the high-gravity training on his planet is so intense, it's roughly equivalent to thousands of years of training on Earth. But Kai admits even this would be nothing to...
    • The Saiyans, who hail from Planet Vegeta, with gravity 10x that of Earth. Goku and Vegeta also routinely train in high-gravity chambers, with Vegeta once turning it up to 450 G. This was used hilariously when a lower level Elite Mook named Pui Pui in the beginning of the Buu saga challenged the Saiyans, thinking that changing the environment to his home planet, which had 10 times Earth's gravity, would give him a sizable advantage. Boy was he wrong.
    Vegeta: Maybe... if your planet had five hundred times Earth's gravity, you'd have an advantage, but ten? I don't even feel it!
    • The series also gets around the whole issue of Heavyworlders logically being short by having the Saiyans be invaders who originally evolved on another planet, which presumably had gravity closer to ours. Indeed, Planet Vegeta's original inhabitants were noticeably smaller than humans.
  • Rumiko Takahashi's comedic one-shot Maris the Chojo, was about a bounty hunter whose family was from a high-gravity world, and had proportionate strength, so they had to wear special restraints in order to keep from destroying everything around them by accident. The antagonist was also a super-strong Heavyworlder, though not to the degree of the protagonist.
  • Gundam:
    • Not a person but a machine: in Zeta Gundam, Paptimus Scirocco's final mobile suit, The O, is designed for operations in Jupiter's gravity. As such it's incredibly heavily armoured and features massive thrusters to allow it to move at all. Turn it loose in space or Earth's atmosphere and it becomes a Lightning Bruiser and One-Man Army.
    • To a lesser degree, Scirocco's three previous mobile suits fit this model as well. He's got a godlike ability for cranking out one-shot, scratch-built Super Prototypes. His first known mobile suit, The Messala, is a Transforming Mecha and arguably the deadliest suit on the field for the first half of the series.
    • The eponymous Crossbone Gundam was also designed to operate within Jupiter's gravity. In order to keep weight down, its primary thrusters are mounted on flexible X-shaped binders that can fan out for maneuverability or close together for incredible speed. As with The O, it's a Lightning Bruiser that can outmaneuver most modern mecha, which allows it to rip them apart in melee combat.

    Comic Books 
  • Charlie-27 of Marvel Comics' original Guardians of the Galaxy is a Jovian, a member of a human subspecies genetically engineered to colonize Jupiter. As such, he's broadly-proportioned, super-strong, muscular and very tough. Implicitly he's even stronger and tougher than the typical Jovian, as he was a career military man. He's also not short at all despite his "squished", squat frame — the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe lists him at an even 6', slightly taller than the average adult human male,note  and he's often drawn as the tallest of the team, at times even taller than Yondu's fin.
  • Tom Strong was raised in a high-gravity environment, giving him immense musculature and strength while somehow not interfering with his growth. Just the opposite, in fact, he's huge; this may be due to how heavily the miracle food goloka figures into his diet.
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire is a Hoffmannite, from a violent race of large Heavyworlders who call normal humans "jellybones" and are prone to Attack Hello. Hoffmanites aren't noticeably shorter than regular humans and appear quite obese... but it turns out the bulk is all muscle. They were also genetically engineered by a team that thought that making a sub-race of centaurs was a good idea.
  • Superman:
    • The late Golden Age and full Silver Age explanation for Superman's powers was that his home planet, Krypton, had exceptionally high gravity (the first explanation given in Action Comics #1 was Evolutionary Levels — Superman had originally been conceived as being from the future). Even after the yellow sun explanation came into play, Krypton was still described as having a much greater mass than Earth.
    • Elliot S! Maggin once wrote that Krypton's gravity was so great that every explorer from another planet who had landed on, or even approached Krypton was unable to ever return. Krypton gained an ominous reputation as a "black hole planet", whose gravity was inescapably strong.
    • The What If? story Superman: Last Son of Earth inverts the character's Origin Story, having Clark Kent sent away from a doomed Earth and landing on Krypton where he's adopted by Jor-El and Lara. Jor-El has to put the baby in a room with controllable gravity which he gradually raises over time, and even as an adult he needs a specially designed exoskeleton to move around. Later in the story when he returns to Earth, he discovers that adapting to Krypton's gravity has given him superhuman strength, endurance, and bulletproof skin.
    • In The Supergirl From Krypton (1959), Superman mentions he owes his powers to this while he examines his cousin's rocket.
    • This was also the explanation for the powers of Supergirl back in the Silver Age, combined with the yellow sun factor.
  • The idea that Aquaman's incredible strength and durability come from he and his fellow Atlanteans adapting to the "crushing ocean depths" is related to this trope, but coming from the ocean abysses of Earth rather than the heightened gravity of another planet.
  • The Flash: Thondor Allen, a "fifth-generation Jupiter colonist" and distant future descendent of Barry Allen, who appears to exist largely for the visual humour of a really massive speedster.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • Frequent foes of the Legion are the humanoid Khunds, who hail from a high gravity world.
    • Supervillain The Persuader is a normal human, but has incredible strength from being born and raised on a high-gravity world.
  • Marvel Universe: The Kree are super strong due to the high gravity on their homeworld, Hala.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dan Dare: The short and stocky Verans from Jupiter are a good example of this trope. When one visited Earth, he fell flat on his face and needed a couple of industrial cranes to get back on his feet.

    Fan Works 
  • In Bait and Switch (STO) New Bajor is stated to have about a third more gravity than Bajor.note  LCdr. Reshek Gaarra, who's from New Bajor, is once seen in the ship's gym adjusting the weight set to mimic his planet's gravity so he won't lose the edge it gives him.
  • The Desert Storm: Yoda’s species are heavyworlders, hence their short size, as are the Aleen. When Ben visits Yaddle’s homeworld, he notes that the gravity is higher and finds it a little difficult to breathe.

  • The Phantasm films have dead humans resurrected as superstrong dwarves by compacting their density on a high-gravity world in an alternate universe.
  • The creature in the B-Movie It Conquered the World (1956) was originally conceived as short and squat, due to the heavy gravity of its native planet. Actress Beverly Garland was unimpressed by the vertically-challenged villain — approaching it within hearing of director Roger Corman she cried "So, you plan to take over the world do you? Take that!" and kicked it in the head. Corman agreed to redesign the creature to more menacing proportions.
  • Earth has higher gravity than Barsoom, as John Carter finds out.
    • He's also much shorter than the green-skinned Tharks, although he's the same size as the more human Red Martians. His Super-Strength isn't shown much, although he easily breaks through the first chains that the Tharks put him in. They put him in heavier chains and attach them to a huge rock. Carter manages to throw the rock. He also kills a Thark with a single punch.
    • Deja Thoris theorizes that the reason for Earthling and Martian physiology appearing similar is that Carter's body is more dense than the Martians. More realistically, the superpower that he shows off the most is being able to jump really far.
  • One reason why Kryptonians are so strong on Earth in Man of Steel.
  • Princess of Mars: Of the second variety - John Carter is an Earth-normal human on a light-gravity world.

  • John Carter of Mars is probably the trope maker — and certainly the progenitor for the "common variant" described at the top of this page. The title character, used to the gravity of Earth, arrives on Mars to find himself as this trope in relation to the native Martians, gaining incredible strength and speed, as well as the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, much like a certain other pulp hero who followed in Carter's tradition.
  • All Tomorrows: The Lopsiders were an... unusual take on this trope, having been genetically modified from human stock by the Qu for life on a high gravity world by being made flat and flounder-like, crawling along on paddle-like limbs and with their sensory organs crowded on one side of their face.
  • In Animorphs the pacifistic Pemalites and their android servants the Chee hail from a world with gravity four times that of Earth. As you'd expect, they're very powerful by human standards. While the Pemalites are extinct and we don't know how well they followed the trope, the Chee, being robots, are incredibly strong and incredibly fast. Erek is so fast that he can get from his inland house to several miles out into the ocean and three miles deep in less than an hour. In their more bitter moments, the Animorphs frequently lament the fact that, if the Pemalites would have just reprogrammed the Chee's violence prohibition, they might not be extinct and the Yeerks would done over in a week.
  • The "1 on 1" gamebook Battle for the Ancient Robot had Kan-Tal from Jupiter as one of the human player's allies. His vital stats are given as 5' 2" and 492 pounds.
  • One story by Stephen Baxter had "humans" engineered to live on neutron stars. Said "humans" were on a microscopic scale — such that they considered a centimetre to be a really impressive size for a city — and lived inside the star. Oh, and got around by "swimming" through the magnetic field...
  • Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison. The Chingers are lizardoids only seven inches high, but as they come from a 10G world, they're able to throw the Space Trooper protagonist easily. Government propaganda portrays them as being seven feet tall so morale won't be affected.
  • In Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the people of San Brendan are unattractive by most standards thanks to living on a world with a higher gravity than Earth norm. They are short, stocky, and grey-skinned. However, after thousands of years, the San Brendan colonists who have re-settled the planet Transformation (renamed from Brunnershabn) have changed to normal-sized (and attractive) humans. Bioscrupture may have been involved. French even mentions recognizing facial features common to Slavic and Scandinavian people.
  • The CoDominium universe has the inhabitants of Frystaat, a Death World with high gravity, intense heat, blinding sunlight, and native life with More Teeth than the Osmond Family. A mere six hundred years of mutation and natural selection has rapidly transformed them into superhumans with strength, stamina, senses, and reflexes beyond the human norm (almost a match for the Saurons). They are, however, very vulnerable to cold.
  • Torin Kerr of the Confederation of Valor series is a mild version of the trope; her homeworld has 1.2 times Earth's gravity. This works to her advantage in a Bar Brawl in the first book since the planet she's on has 0.8 G.
  • Members of The Culture can do this at will. One character lives on a high-gravity world but visits a world with lighter gravity, and his body begins to adapt, shedding muscle and bone mass. He plans to return home soon, so he imagines a stick figure standing on a sphere, and he makes the sphere larger in his mind. His body automatically reverses the changes and builds up muscle and bone again.
  • Harry Harrison's Deathworld features Pyrrus: double Earth gravity and so, so much more. The population are all TykeBombs. Pyrrans are short and massive, for added realism. Jason's Love Interest Meta is a native Pyrrhan. He muses that, at first, her rock-hard abs were annoying him a little during sex, as he's used to less muscular women. However, after a while, he grows so used to her abs that he can't envision being with someone who doesn't have them (then again, Meta would probably kill him, if he tried to step out on her).
  • Implied to be true of the Jenoine, from the Dragaera series, as they have sturdy, heavily-muscled bodies and the world on which they imprison their captives in Issola has higher gravity than Vlad and his friends are used to. Only an implication, because it's unclear whether the prison-world in question is the Jenoine's native habitat, or if its higher gravity is just a coincidence.
  • Dragon's Egg features one of the most extreme examples and yet manages to treat it realistically — like the Stephen Baxter example above, the Cheela live on a neutron star with a gravity 67 billion times stronger than Earth's. They're essentially puddle-like Blob Monsters the size of sesame seeds (but with the same mass as humans), since nothing could stand on legs on their homeworld, and made of degenerate matter for even ordinary atoms fold themselves in that gravity.
  • In The Expanse (both the book series and its TV adaptation), humans raised on Earth are heavyworlders by default compared to those who grew up on Mars or on colonies in the asteroid belt. The trade-off is that Earthers also require more food and oxygen. It's most pronounced with Amos and Alex; while they look similar in size, Alex (a native Martian) isn't able to lift Amos (an Earther) because he is physically weaker and because the Earther is denser than he is.
  • The short story "Heavy Planet" by Lee Gregor is probably one of the earliest examples of this trope. The planet's gravity is so intense that the alien describes the metal of a crashed human ship to be like rubber, poking a hole in it with his bare finger.
  • The Brobdingnagian, from the Hoka story "The Napoleon Crime". Who's also a Gentle Giant and a Japanophile, and would be obnoxiously cute if he weren't huge.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • The eponymous heroine of the series is from a world with heavier-than-normal gravity, and the "Meyerdahl Beta" genetic enhancements built into her ancestors to best thrive in heavy gravity are part of what make her kick so much ass. She's actually a fairly marginal example of a Heavyworlder, though. Meyerdahl Betas' modifications were specifically designed to be subtle in the face of widespread prejudice against genetic modification, and Sphinx isn't THAT heavy, only about 1.3 g.
    • On the other hand, the series also has San Martin, at 2.7 g the highest gravity planet inhabited by humans, with several minor characters being from there. San Martinos are much more classic examples of the trope — in its squat-but-wide form — noted for their prodigious strength and muscle mass, and tend to be quite tall as well. San Martin's gravity is actually so high that humans can't even survive at sea level: the increased air pressure makes the atmosphere toxic.
    • The third of the Manticore system habitable planets, ~1.5 g Gryphon, is somewhere in-between, and its inhabitants often lack the genetic mod most Sphinxians sport, becoming short and squat instead. Anton Zilwicki, a stereotypical Gryphon highlander, is 163 cm (5'6") tall and was shown to dismember a Super-Soldier with his bare hands, so the comparisons to the dwarf lords are thrown about him quite routinely.
    • The most extreme example is probably Thandi Palane, who comes from a very high gravity world that did its own share of genetic engineering. One character actually notes that for a non-intelligent animal the changes would probably be extreme enough for them to be considered a separate species. The book also discusses the pros and cons of her genetics. She's incredibly strong, but her density is high enough that she can't swim without help, and while she has great endurance she needs to eat a LOT of food and will starve much faster than most people if she doesn't get enough.
  • Hour of the Horde and some short stories by Gordon R. Dickson add a forgotten corollary: things fall faster (or rather, accelerate at a higher rate) on a high-gravity world. One alien from such a world is somewhat stronger, but much faster, because falling over on such a planet is a bad idea and being able to catch falling things is usually helpful too.
  • Hyperion Cantos:
    • The people of Lusus, a very massive planet and industrial powerhouse with settlements buried underground, are described as being rather short, rather stout, and very strong . This includes Brawne Lamia, a Private Detective from Lusus who fell in love with a clone/reconstruction of John Keats who had lost his memory... and long story short, that's how she ends up one of the main characters of the first novel.
    • The people of Sol Draconi Septem, which in addition to being very heavy was covered in a mostly-frozen atmosphere (or something), are described in the third novel (Endymion) as being rather like short, stout Inuit.
  • In Fury Born: Alicia is able to identify Tannis Cateau as being from a high-gravity world immediately on meeting her due to her short, stocky build.
  • Known Space:
    • The Jinxians are one of the rare short Heavyworlder variety (described by one character as "five feet tall and five feet wide"), realistically so, since human growth patterns are determined in part by the weight of the body. They are strong enough to bend crowbars, and black-skinned regardless of ancestry, since the star they orbit, Sirius, is far brighter than Sol, particularly in the ultraviolet. They got this way after only four hundred years of selective breeding, but the downside is heart problems and short lifespans even with the life-extending drug "boosterspice". Culturally, they are mainly scientists and punsters. Ringworld even features a joke about them:
      Q: How many Jinxans does it take to paint a building?
      A: Three. One to hold the paint sprayer and the other two to shake the building up and down.
    • Kdat has higher gravity than most of the other inhabited worlds, leading the kdatlyno to being very large and strong compared to other species.
  • Last and First Men: Olaf Stapledon describes a realistic version of Heavyworlders engineered to colonize Neptune (at the time it still seemed possible): they're simply midgets who take advantage of the Square-Cube Law. Subsequent Neptunian species engineer themselves to be taller than the original terrestrial men, but it's made clear that they're so advanced they're not limited by petty biological constraints.
  • Matador Series: Saval Bork is from a heavy-g world, and has some genetic modifications to help him survive there. He also spends a lot of time weightlifting, when he's in places with lighter gravity. His personal record in the bench press is 360kg, or approximately 790 pounds.
  • Mission of Gravity: The inhabitants of the planet Mesklin (which not only has very high gravity, but a very rapid rotation) are adjusted to this by looking somewhat like flat centipedes. The Mesklinites are the main characters of the story, which tells how a brave sea merchant retrieves a probe fallen from the sky for a strange space alien (i.e., a human).
  • Perry Rhodan: The setting features human colonists that come in short-and-squat, physical giant, and even relatively normal looking superman form depending on their exact planet of origin. (Ironically, these just happen to be listed in order of increasing homeworld gravity — so the most normal-looking ones hail from the world with the most extreme conditions. Oxtorne is rated at 4.8 Gs and the locals' idea of "mild" weather would be considered a full-blown hurricane elsewhere.)
  • The setting of Anne McCaffrey's Planet Pirates series and Dinosaur Planet series may actually be the Trope Namer. The genetically-enhanced Heavyworlders, due to their history, resent and distrust "lightweights" to the point of being open to manipulative propoganda and conspiracy theories by the titular criminals. In a greater society of near-universal vegetarians, they also have to eat meat due to their altered metabolism.
  • The Eridians in Project Hail Mary come from 40 Eridani A b, a super-Earth with twice our gravity and twenty-nine times the atmospheric pressure. They weight 800 pounds on their planet and have incredible physical strength in Earth-gravity.
  • Reconstructed and downplayed in The Right Hand Of Dextra: While Dextra's gravity isn't that much higher (the real challenge is the Mirror Chemistry), the protagonist speculates that the colonists' descendants will be Heavyworlders, albeit a more realistic take on the idea (short, stocky, and thick-limbed). At that point, however, he wasn't counting on people mutating themselves into centaurs.
  • Averted (as per usual) in the Sector General series, with the FROB Hudlar (homeworld in excess of 3G, body plan more or less spherical with six prehensile tentacles) and FGLI Tralthan (homeworld 2G, rather like a hexapedal elephant, can easily be killed by a fall).
  • Semiosis: Pax's gravity is 20% higher than Earth's, so the human colonists' descendants grow up to be over a foot shorter and more sturdily built. The Pacifists come to see Earthling proportions as strange and spindly as early as the second generation.
  • E. E. "Doc" Smith:
  • Star Trek:
    • As Spock was from a higher gravity world, in some of the earlier original series novels Spock set the environmental controls in his quarters to simulate conditions on Vulcan, complete with higher gravity which was uncomfortable for most humans. Captain Kirk in particular discovered this the hard way when he walked into Spock's quarters in one novel and nearly twisted one of his ankles going from standard to Vulcan level gravity.
    • The S't'ach in Star Trek: Titan, who resemble metre-high four-armed blue teddy bears, but are denser than they appear. In early books they are said to be superdense, but in a later book one points out the perils of having a lot of mass on a high gravity world. Apparently, this is a rumour spread by the S't'ach themselves; they're aware of how cute they look to humanoids, and want to discourage them from trying to pick them up and cuddle them.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Jek "Piggy" Porkins — callsign Red Six, the first pilot to die on the run against the Death Star in A New Hope — was from a high-gravity world. This made him somewhat overweight but still strong, and likely killed him. In the X-Wing Series, a surviving squadmate reminisces that Porkins dialed back his fighter's Artificial Gravity a bit more than usual, which could be why he insisted that he could pull out of his fatal dive into the Death Star's surface.
    • Several minor characters and extras in the Star Wars Expanded Universe are also mentioned to be Heavyworlders — however, unlike Jek, they're generally portrayed as being short and stout. It's possible that Jek Porkins was adapted to a heavy world, and gained weight from the sudden drop in exercise upon moving to standard-gee worlds.
    • The novelization of The Force Unleashed II features Berkelium Shyre, a human who became incredibly strong from living on the high gravity world Malastare for several years.
  • The Starwolves in Edmond Hamilton's Starwolf trilogy are Vikings IN SPACE! from the heavy world of Varna. They can endure higher-acceleration maneuvers than anyone else they've encountered, which is what makes them so dangerous and hard-if-not-impossible to catch. "When a Starwolf gets killed, they declare a holiday on all decent worlds."
  • Ia, protagonist of the Theirs Not to Reason Why series, is from a 3.2g planet. The Corps requires her to practically live in a weighted suit to retain her consequent strength and reflexes, a suit that doesn't have enough connection points for weights to fully mimic Sanctuary's gravity. There's a mention that heavyworlders in this Verse are usually smaller and more compact than lightworlders, but Ia is an exception, and her brothers are even bigger than she is.
  • Used in George R. R. Martin's Thousand World stories. In the short story "The Hero", the planets Wellington and Rommel have habitable climates but higher-than-Earth gravity, and their populations were recruited by the Federal Empire of Earth as soldiers.
  • The Masters in The Tripods had evolved in a higher gravity world and built domed cities to maintain a higher pressure to accommodate both this and their need to breathe an atmosphere other than Earth's. It didn't have a good effect on their human servants.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alien Worlds (2020): The first episode features a high-gravity world, known as Atlas, and the organisms which are adapted to its conditions. Notably, most of these are flying organisms — the world's high gravity creates a very dense atmosphere, which can sustain very large fliers — but there are also blob-like, rolling boneless scavengers on the ground.
  • Andromeda: There are several genetically-engineered human variants, including people who breathe water and Heavyworlders. Captain Dylan Hunt's mother is a Heavyworlder, so he has genes that almost make him a physical match for a Nietzschean Super-Soldier. In a straight fight against a Nietzschean with equivalent hand-to-hand combat, he'd lose. This is acknowledged by the producers in commentary tracks. Remember, Gaheris Rhade was eventually revealed to have thrown that fight. It helps that Dylan has Argosy Special Operations training and tends to fight smart.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century had an episode with an unassuming man of average build named Toman who was secretly from a high-gravity planet, giving him great strength, which he used as a hit man who never needed weapons.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Sontarans, a race of cloned galactic warriors. Although Sontarans "grew" in size over the course of the series, the new series took the trouble to restore them to their original short height, leading to the inevitable Hurricane of Puns from the Doctor.
    • The Sarah Jane Adventures spin off said that the planet Sontar has six times Earth's gravity and The First Sontarans audio story said the current Sontaran race was bred on the planet's moon which has even more gravity.
  • Galactica 1980 has the Twelve Colonies with greater gravity than Earth so that the Galacticans are considerably stronger and can jump much higher.
  • The Orville: Alara Kitan's race, Xelayans, come from a high gravity world. In Earth-like conditions, they can smash through concrete and make great leaps. Surprisingly, despite their reputation for great strength, they're a Proud Scholar Race, who scoffs at military service as beneath their intellectual pursuits. Alara's parents constantly berate her for her choice of career and ask when she's going to stop this foolishness and get a proper education. The episode "Home" addresses the issue that because Alara has been living in Earth-like conditions for so long, her body is becoming used to it and losing her great strength. She has to return to her home planet to re-acclimate to its gravity.
  • Star Trek: Vulcan is said to have higher gravity than Earth, and Vulcans are consequently around three times stronger than humans. This explains why Spock, in spite of being a nerd, can kick most people's butts in hand-to-hand combat. Well, that and the fact that while Vulcans turned away from their previous proud warrior race society thousands of years ago, they kept teaching the old (and very effective) martial arts as a matter of tradition.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Eclipse Phase: The "Gatecrashing" supplement introduces Dvergar (singular: Dvergr), short and stocky morphs meant for exoplanets with significantly higher gravity than old earth.
  • Godforsaken: Bontherrian plants and animals acclimated to Flevame, whose gravity is somewhat greater, are stouter, lower to the ground, and generally stronger.
  • Starfinder:
    • A rather unorthodox downplayed example in skittermanders, who hail from a world with half-again standard gravity. While they're solidly-built little fuzballs, "little" is the operating word; they're about the size of a three-year-old human child, and their Heavyworlder status manifests in the absence of the Strength penalty that other small species (such as ysoki and halflings) typically suffer.
    • The yrgytchee hail from a world with double standard gravity and look something like muscular, feathery kobolds.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • One group of Heavyworlders adapted to their environment by bulking up (and up, and up) at the expense of culture and brainpower, developing into the abhuman Ogryns.
    • Meanwhile the settlers of the high-gravity worlds near the galactic core gradually became shorter and stouter, developing into the Leagues of Votann, aka "the Squats."
    • In a less extreme example, the jungle death world of Catachan has slightly higher gravity than Terran standard, which helps explain why its inhabitants are so brawny. This earns them the somewhat unflattering nickname of "Baby Ogryns."

    Video Games 
  • City of Heroes: Taken to an extreme by the "lobster" form that Kheldians can take; a previous common host for Kheldians were the inhabitants of a white dwarf star.
  • Destiny: The Cabal are so adapted to their own high-gravity worlds that they have to wear specially-pressurized suits just to survive on Mars.
  • Halo: According to official data, the Covenant has a few Heavyworlders in its ranks. The Sangheili/Elite homeworld Sanghelios has 1.375G, Doisac (the Jiralhanae/Brute homeworld) has 2.1G, and the Yanme'e/Drones call Palamok, with 2.2G, their home. Fittingly, all three races are quite physically strong — Elites and Brutes can match Spartans in close combat, and Drones are strong enough to lift full-grown armored human marines into the air. Additionally, Te (the Lekgolo/Hunter homeworld) has 4G. Appropriately, the Lekgolo are actually small wormlike creatures that live in massive colonies, and the only reason they didn't develop space travel despite their surprisingly advanced technological civilization was because they couldn't overcome said high gravity.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The elcor come from Dekuuna, a world with crushing gravity by Earth standards. This not only shaped the elcor into being extremely strong and durable, but it also colored their psychology as a species that's always careful and conservative — hasty movement might lead to falling, which in their world's high gravity tends to be lethal. In Mass Effect 3, their status as Mighty Glaciers comes to prove incredibly beneficial; if Shepard rescues the elcor survivors trapped on Dekuuna, they're awarded the remnant army of the elcor to combat the Reapers, who use their status as heavyworlders to act as Shoulder Cannon-wielding infantry, made even more capable with complex VI systems. While there's a Tear Jerker to be found in the elcor ambassador breaking down at how only a few elcor survived the onslaught of the Reapers, one can't deny what the elcor ambassador describes as "living tanks" are nothing short of an Offscreen Moment of Awesome.
    • The volus homeworld has a high pressure atmosphere and a gravity of 1.5gs, making the volus rather short. They have to wear a pressure suit to keep their skin from splitting open when in environments that are suitable for the other council species.
  • Meteos: Gravitas is the planet in the game with the strongest gravity. Its are about one meter in height and seem to be angular in shape. There are a number of other planets with very heavy gravity too, though they don't have it as their defining trait like Gravitas. They're reflected in gameplay by everything falling quickly (and thus tend to be more difficult planets to work with).
  • Master of Orion II: Races with the High-G World trait gain an extra hit in ground combat and do not suffer production penalties when colonizing other high-gravity planets, though they still suffer a production penalty when colonizing low-gravity worlds.
  • Sword of the Stars: One of the Biotechs that allow colonists to be genetically tailored to their environments is Gravitational Adaptation.
  • Reach For The Stars has a species that lives on the surface of the solid core of a gas giant. Yes, thousands of miles below the gas giant's apparent surface.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: The Klausian people are from a planet with a gravity roughly twice that of Earth's. True to form, they possess heightened speed, strength, and stamina relative to Earthlings.

  • Outsider: The Golim come from Golim-chei, a superearth with six times Earth's mass, high surface gravity, and a dense, hot, corrosive and electrically charged atmosphere. They're very short and squat as a result, with out quadrupedal bodies about a meter tall and with tough, resistant flesh.

    Web Original 
  • The Jenkinsverse: Humans are heavyworlders compared to the rest of the galaxy. While the difference between Earth gravity and galactic standard is comparatively small, it was just enough for natural selection to prefer our comparatively denser and harder bones and simpler but powerful muscles over the fragile silicate bones and multifunctional but weak muscles most aliens have. Humans are also comparatively short, the only shorter sentient creatures are the Corti (whose diminutive physical size is the result of genetic engineering) and the Gaoians (who come from a planet with a gravity fairly close to Earth's and are borderline deathworlders themselves).
  • Junction Point: The ktrit'zal homeworld has five times the surface gravity of Earth, and they are appropriately squat quadrupeds. Liu mentions that Rudak's arms are nearly as thick as her torso, and apparently females are even bigger.
  • Orion's Arm has numerous races designed and redesigned for high gravity planets, such as the Anakim and the Kobolds, who mostly resemble very short — often around a meter tall — humans with stout limbs, barrel torsos, and severely reduced pendulous parts (for instance, they have very small external ears, small noses, and almost nonexistent breasts) to reduce the discomfort they'd cause under the pull of gravity. They're also well-suited to spaceships accelerating at high speed, since the acceleration results in a high Artificial Gravity.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: An early episode involves a high-gravity planet on a harder-than-it-sounds mission to deliver pillows. The only person they meet on the planet is quite short and wide and incredibly strong, able to toss the now super heavy pillows the crew struggled with over his shoulder with ease.
  • Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: The Aesir are from a planet with heavy gravity, making them nearly indestructible.
  • ThunderCats: Tug-Mug is strong enough to make incredible leaps and snap the Sword of Omens itself due to growing up on a high gravity world.

    Real Life 
  • A variant of this can be seen in people who grew up in places located at high altitudes. While the gravity is the same, the air is substantially thinner, meaning that people raised to breathe this air as normal often have heightened stamina when closer to sea level. This is part of the reason why mountainous East Africa (especially Kenya) is famous for its long-distance runners, and why the United States' first Olympic Training Center was established in Colorado Springs (at 6,035 feet above sea level, one of the highest-altitude major cities in the US).
  • Humans are this when we go to the Moon, as roughly one-sixth of the gravity we're used to means we can jump much farther than we could at home and carry equipment that would be much too heavy on Earth. Very few humans have ever been able to experience this, though.
  • "Super-Earths" (Earthlike planets except larger), so long as they're not too much larger (around double Earth's mass)note  might actually be more conducive to life than Earth is, as plate tectonics would be sustained longer (thus giving life a long period of time in which to potentially evolve), and the thicker atmosphere and possibly stronger magnetic field would provide more protection from cosmic radiation. So heavyworlders could easily be out there somewhere.