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High-Tech Heaven

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As tropes and settings in pop culture evolve, so too do how older myths and legends are presented to us. Thor can be some kind of advanced alien instead of a plain old deity. Elementals can be stated to come from black holes instead of being summoned from elemental planes.

As for angels and similar heavenly beings, it's becoming increasingly common for them to be depicted as using advanced technology — things like starships, energy weapons, computers, radio communication, robots, Powered Armor, advanced sensors — you name it! This can range from tech that's simply up-to-date to futuristic things decades or centuries ahead of what humans have at the time the work was created.

This probably has to do with another aspect of the classic angels-versus-demons battle, and that's that demons are beings of chaos, while angels are beings of order. And technology requires study, science, and manufacturing, all of which are trappings of order. This can contrast them with demons who lack this technology and rely on brute strength, beasts of burden, other biological vectors, or magic to get things done.

That being said, there are also settings where angels and demons both have advanced technology at their disposal.

This trope is Older Than They Think; there is a mural from around 1500 called The Damned Are Cast Into Hell by Luca Signorelli, depicting angels clad in plate armor and wielding swords that, as of the painter's time, would've counted as the most advanced tech available.

Differs from Sufficiently Advanced Aliens in that those are aliens who appear to be divine; here, it's actual gods and angels who're using the technology.

May overlap with Magic from Technology or Magitek. Compare Deus est Machina, Post Modern Magick, Scientifically Understandable Sorcery. Contrast Magic Versus Science, Belief Makes You Stupid, and Science Destroys Magic. Can overlap with Zeerust in cases where Technology Marches On.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The realm that the goddesses of Ah! My Goddess come from is shown to be very high-tech, despite the fact that the goddesses also use magic. In fact, the "real world" is actually being run by Yggdrasil, this universe's Almighty being's supercomputer that connects all living things. In addition, one of the three main goddesses, Skuld, actually prefers to use advanced technology over magic, partially due to her young age as she has not yet fully developed her magic like her older sisters Belldandy and Urd. But it also works thematically since the goddesses are actually stand-ins for the Norns from Norse Mythology and Skuld is the Norn of the Future.

  • A stand-up comedy segment by Eddie Izzard suggests that God failed to prevent the execution of Charles I because he was having trouble using the tablet computer that he uses to interface with the world.

    Comic Books 
  • Zauriel from JLA (1997) is a bonafide Angel from Heaven who has knowledge and access to some of Heaven's advanced magical technology, when they're not using conventional swords and shields for traditional aesthetics. As revealed during Zauriel's trips to Heaven, the Heavenly Host/the Pax Dei is exceedingly high-tech, boasting a collection of dangerous super-tech such as interdimensional warships with divine energy blasters and shields, teleporters, telepathic cruisers, and devices that can construct universes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Once Upon a Honeymoon was a short film sponsored by Ma Bell to show off their new line of colored telephones. Naturally, the angels are equipped with the most advanced phones available in the 1950s: early, very bulky cellular phones.

  • Agent Angel has a mix of technology from several eras, due to many of the Angel Academy's students being humans who died and them being allowed to have things they want from their era, such as music. The library on campus has a copy of every book and movie ever made.
  • Magnifi-Cat by Carolyn and Edmund Sheehan: The Pearly Gates have been upgraded with a modern computer system that automatically scans each new arrival's aura and matches it with their life record to determine whether they're allowed in or have to go to the Other Place. The plot kicks off when the system encounters a situation the programmers didn't anticipate and locks up, bringing everything to a halt.
  • Older Than Radio. The angels in Milton's Paradise Lost are described as using cannons (then fairly new) in their war against Satan.
  • Zig-zagged in The Wish List: Saint Peter laments that Hell gets all the computer programmers, and thus the better technology, so he has to rely on scrolls for his work while his Evil Counterpart Beelzebub gets a computer. By the end of the book, however, a computer programmer gets admitted into heaven and replaces Peter's scroll with a PC.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Lucifer, it's implied that Heaven has access to all of Earth's technological advances. During Season 4, Eve mentions that Heaven has TV and Adam spends most of his time watching ESPN. At another point, Lucifer mentions that his sister the angel Remiel was fond of hot tubs (considering he was banished a long time ago, that means Heaven already had those long before Earth).
  • Supernatural: For human souls, Heaven is a Lotus-Eater Machine where they exist in their own separate Heaven and relive their fondest moments, which is heavily implied to be code-based. It's made clear that souls cannot leave their private heaven, and that with the exception of soul mates, the versions of their loved ones are artificial. That is, except for computer hacker and genius Ash, who boasts he has hacked the angels' system so he can move from Heaven to Heaven, meeting some of his historical idols and causing trouble. On top of that, outside of human heavens, angel spaces feel very antiseptic and modern, like high-tech offices, though this might just be A Form You Are Comfortable With for the audience.
  • Played With in Touched by an Angel: Angels, while in human form, use technologies of the time the same way humans would, but they have no special trappings that make them seem any more high-tech than humans. That being said, it was stated as a joke that one especially old angel "was doing paperwork before there was paper", implying Heaven is (or at least was) more advanced than humanity technologically.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Duel Masters: The Light Civilization is a faction of machines with heavenly motifs, led by "angel commands" that vary from mecha-styled classical angels to Angelic Abominations.
  • In Nomine: both angels and devils are up to date to slightly ahead of modern humanity on technology, with Vapula: Demon Prince of Technology and Jean, Archangel of Lightning (whose portfolio has expanded to include Science and Technology).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Many fairy-type monstersnote  look more like advanced alien robots.

    Video Games 
  • Darksiders: Angels in this game have Powered Armor and large energy weapons. Demons tend to have more biological and magical trappings to them.
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: Flonne is an archangel who owns a giant robot called Great Flonzor X that she claims is powered by love.
  • In Doom Eternal, Urdak, the Maykr Dimension (which is more or less Heaven in this setting), is a flying city of gold and crystal glass, with the Maykr Angels all cybernetically enhanced and armed with energy weapons. This is in stark contrast to Hell's Meat Moss-encrusted medieval architecture. Later inverted, as it turns out the capital of Hell/Jekkad is also very technologically advanced and more than prepared for the final battle against the Slayer and surviving Night Sentinels, and the Dark Lord even has his own badass Mech-Praetor Suit for his final battle against Slayer.
  • In El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, the Shards of Wisdom are essentially this as Heaven's most guarded secret and powerful weapons. They are essentially constructs formed from the Fruits of God's Wisdom that take the form of three exceptionally high-tech weapons which Enoch can use to destroy various mooks. It was these Shards that allowed the Fallen Angels to bring humanity from cities of rock to metropoles filled with techno-skyscrapers.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Fitting in with the Law Faction's theming of intellect triumphing over nature, angels of second sphere and higher have cyber enhancements with the highest-ranking (e.g. The Metatron, Sandalphon, and Ophanim) being completely robotic. This is actually Played for Drama in Shin Megami Tensei IV, as raiding the Law faction's dungeon in the Neutral and Chaos paths has either Burroughs or Lucifer react in horror when they realize that these robotic angels have no will at all, merely playing pre-recorded klaxxons and fighting automatically. Both also come with their own Fridge Horror, since Burroughs is also an AI but is entirely sentient and sapient, not an empty husk like these beings; Lucifer, meanwhile, knew these angels personally and confirms they weren't like this before.
  • Too Human: The Norse gods are actually technological "magic" in this setting.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Naaru are a kind of energy being that have been compared to angels, and they have ships that are capable of interdimensional travel.
    • Kyrian look more like classic angels and are in charge of parts of the setting's afterlife, and they have Teleportation and several different types of robots defending and patrolling their zone.
  • While the Overthere from Super Paper Mario mostly resembles a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, it does have elevators operated by holographic terminals

  • Adventures of God: God can be seen using a desktop computer, while his second in command, Gabe, apparently uses a complex server network to control the universe.
  • One of the key elements of Dominic Deegan is the Elemecca, a city-machine that filters elements for the purpose of creating new worlds. A stark contrast to the comic's usual fantasy setting.
  • The Good and Evil pantheons in Exterminatus Now each have their own gods of technology, Gruss and Fernex, respectively.
  • Lore Olympus: The Mortal Realm in Ancient Greece is at an accurate level of culture and technology but Olympus and the Underworld have progressed into a 21st-century level society.
  • The Order of the Stick: Heaven has modern computers, in contrast to the Medieval Stasis (with occasional anachronisms for comedy) of the material world, though the Lower Planes are also depicted as having stuff like (blood) plasma televisions and phones. Considering that in the countless number of times the material plane has been destroyed by the Snarl and rebuilt differently by the gods that at least two worlds were Cyberpunk worlds, the advanced technology of heaven starts to make sense.

    Western Animation 
  • A Religious Edutainment show for kids called Angel Wars depicts angels wearing sleek, glowing armor and piloting ships with heavy energy weapons. And any angel who hasn't yet earned their wings must settle for using a Hover Board. Of course, the demons in the setting have ships and jetpacks, too, but they also mix in magic.
  • The Simpsons: In "Heaven Swipes Right" of "Treehouse of Horror XXX", heaven was bought out by Google and is full of smart electronics.
  • South Park: Everyone in town is obsessed with a new PSP game, which it turns out was invented by angels in heaven, to find someone capable of leading heaven's army against the forces of hell. Kenny is the first person to beat the top level and commands the armies of heaven with a golden PSP.