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Kill Sat

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Exhibit A: The GDI Ion Cannon Satellite. Exhibit B: Something that has stopped being architecture and started being physics.

"In war, one should seek to take and hold the high ground. From there, the enemy's movements are clearly visible, and he will struggle just to reach you, let alone fight you. High orbit is the highest ground there is."

When it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed on time, nothing beats your own remote-controlled, satellite-mounted laser cannon.

A variation of the Wave-Motion Gun, Kill Sats have the added advantage that you don't need to be anywhere near either the weapon or the target. Instead, you can fire it from the safety of your headquarters: your satellite will move into position and unleash a shiny descending Pillar of Light (or, less often, a good ol' kinetic projectile) on your unsuspecting target. Power/accuracy on Kill Sats vary, ranging from "lone vehicle" to "entire building" to (rarely) "town or small city." Planet busters are another category entirely, as firing them remotely from anywhere on the surface is inadvisable.

Since it's considered poor form to snipe your opponent from such a risk-free distance, Kill Sats are generally the realm of villains. So-called good guys who resort to these will, at best, fail miserably. If Everything Is Online in their world (and you know it is), there is always the risk of control falling into the wrong hands.

In video games, Kill Sats are frequently used by the good guys (ie the player) but usually requiring some sort of targeting system on the ground in the vicinity of the target (distance varies from a few meters to a few miles). If the good guys do have one, its precision and accuracy are emphasized, often by providing the bad guys with a less precise weapon of equivalent power (such as a nuclear missile).

Of course, in the hands of either side, it would end the story in a hurry if these could be used repeatedly: none of the opposing side could poke their nose into the open without risking vaporization. Therefore:

Alternatively, it's not active at all yet, in which case the story centers around making sure it never gets off its first shot. In these cases it generally leans toward the powerful end of the scale.

Kill Sats sometimes display the orbital properties of their more benign counterparts, the Spy Satellites, able to move themselves over any target in record time and then park themselves there to get off as many shots as they please. More often, thankfully, the writers actually pay attention to how satellites work and incorporate that into the plot ("we've got two hours to destroy the control center before the satellite is in position over our headquarters!")

Any villain seeking to get their private space program off the ground (pun most definitely intended) is probably doing so to put one of these bad boys in orbit (never mind what it actually gets used for). Spy villains love these things. The Ancient Conspiracy may already have a full network of Death Ray Sats secretly in orbit, but they're careful about using it regularly, lest someone catch on.

The Standard Sci-Fi Fleet can and will take this up a notch, with the heavier ships turning their guns on a helpless planet below.

An early test fire of these may create the Doomed Hometown.

The trope name is a parody of "TelSat", the TV satellite system.

A popular way to rain Death from Above, and a subtrope of Orbital Bombardment. Compare Wave-Motion Gun, BFG, Big, Bulky Bomb, Doomsday Device, and There Is No Kill like Overkill. Very often considered a Superweapon by the forces on the ground with no way of knowing when and where it will strike. Contrast Save Sat, when a satellite crashing down has a beneficial/defensive effect.

This item is available in the Trope Co. Catalog.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Parodied in Heaven's Lost Property, where Ikaros acts as a Peeping-Sat with a mirror (think Periscope). It then carried a karate-chop back (still through being reflected by the mirror), making it act as a Kill-Sat in reverse
  • AKIRA:
  • Bakugan: Hyper Pulsor, Bolcanon's BakuNano, transforms into small satellite that can fire energy blasts. While it's attacks are powerful, it can leave it’s user defenseless against close-range attacks.
  • Battle Programmer Shirase has a technique called "Three Sisters Deathblow", where three scrapped Cosmos satellites are programmed for re-entry. The first two serve to shield the third from atmospheric heat, so that it can enter the atmosphere intact and precisely hit a target on the ground (or sea).
  • One of the major subplots in the original Bubblegum Crisis revolved around a MacGuffin which would allow a Boomer to gain control of the military's network of Kill Sats.
  • Space Battleship Yamato had a few of these. The first series had a series of Gamilon mirror satellites working in conjunction with a planet-based BFG, and the second had a proper kill sat in Earth orbit.
  • The first anime Kill Sat was in Cat's Eye, but they got the idea from Diamonds Are Forever.
  • The Sky Fortress Damocles from Code Geass. Technically not a satellite but a floating fortress armed with a cannon that shoots F.L.E.I.J.A. warheads, but since it was supposed to be flown out of the atmosphere and placed on a geosynchronous orbit, it fulfills all the criteria for a Kill Sat (it's in space, it rains doom on people).
  • The Cowboy Bebop episode "Jamming With Edward" features a network of satellite-mounted lasers. They were built in an attempt to reduce the severity of meteor showers after the moon was destroyed by the hyperspace gate explosion. In the episode, an A.I. which evolved in the network uses them to carve graffiti on unoccupied areas of the planet surface to recreate the Nasca Lines. Then automated defense programs activate when Spike comes to collect a bounty on it and try to blast his fighter...
  • Mikawa Kai uses a NASA Kill Sat in an effort to destroy the "Terminator" in My Bride is a Mermaid.
  • In Great Mazinger (the sequel of Mazinger Z), Great Marshall of Hell fabricated a massive lens of ice orbited around Earth and worked like a Kill Sat by focusing sunrays in one single point and blasting it with a massive, hot-melting heat ray. It appeared only in one of the manga continuities, though.
  • Used in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Especially impressive considering the series takes place in the 19th century (the satellite was Atlantean technology).
  • Jiro from Hajimete No A Ku has one, on top of that it has ridiculously accurate aim, able to shoot glasses of the heroines face without hurting her.
  • The original Sol Bianca OAV cheats a little, when Feb hides herself on an orbiting Space Ring with a very long-ranged laser sniper rifle to help her friends escape from their own execution on the planet below.
  • Gall Force ups the scale considerably with a planet-sized energy cannon orbiting the sun.
  • Artemis, the trump card for the Searrs Foundation in My-HiME, is actually a meaningfully-named gigantic Mon in orbit.
  • A pin-point precise version of this goes haywire in the All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku OAV.
  • The Radam-occupied Orbital Ring around Earth in Tekkaman Blade is used for orbital bombardment in several episodes.
  • Gintama, naturally, featured a comedic variation: Otae actually uses one of these in an episode as protection against Kondou stalking outside her dojo, along with spiked fences and pratfalls.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • It included a Kill Sat angel. It fired a Mind Rape beam at you to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Asuka was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of said beam, and needless to say, the results were not pretty.
    • A different Angel started out dropping bits of itself on the city, gradually target-tracking onto the geofront, at which point the whole thing came crashing down and the Evas have to run up and catch it.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's Anti-Spiral-controlled Cathedral Terra. The heroes nip its firing sequence in the bud, but it had several hundred (if not thousand) massive death rays trained on the planet, and it was (disguised as) the planet's natural satellite at the time.
  • The AMP in Silent Möbius has access to a Kill Sat, which seems to be privately owned by member Lebia Maverick. It also acts as her second brain, providing a ridiculous amount of extra data storage. Its name is Donald.
  • In the final episode of Mnemosyne, Techno Wizard Mimi hijacks a Kill Sat belonging to her friend's company and uses it in an attempt to stop the Big Bad's plan. She fails.
  • Fairy Tail features the Etherion, a magical version of this. It takes about an hour for the Council to charge it up, and then it blasts down with the power of more than two billion, seven hundred million ideas of magical energy, which is about equivalent to the combined magical energies of all the wizards on the continent. According to one member of the Council, its destructive power is sufficient to wipe a country off the face of the planet. Naturally, the arc's villain manipulated the council into firing the weapon at his magic tower (which was secretly designed to absorb magical energy) so he can use the energy as a power battery for his spell to resurrect history's most infamous black wizard. As the tower takes too much damage in the battle between him and the heroes, however, the energy starts to leak out and runs the risk of going out of control and exploding anyways. Only barely is the tower forced to fire the energy back into space to avoid a massive loss of life.
  • The Death-Para Machine from Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, which had the power to destroy Earth's ozone layer.
  • Utawarerumono. You won't know where it is though... Until episode 24, when Mikoto/Kamyu uses a powerful magic to obliterate a country. The next episode, we are given a glimpse on how it actually works... arrays of satellite-mounted beam cannons.
  • Kill Sats show up in many Gundam series, although they aren't quite as common as the Colony Drop.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam has the Solar Ray, a super weapon made out of a colony. In the anime, it's burnt up after using it to kill General Revil and Degwin Zabi. In the novel, it's fully operational and it outright murders both sides.
    • Zeta Gundam has the Gryps Colony Laser. Which makes a return in the final episode of Gundam Unicorn.
    • Victory Gundam has the Keilas Guilie... and it is still around in ∀ Gundam.
    • Gundam Wing has the Space Fortress Barge and Space Fortress Libra.
    • Gundam X also has a colony laser. The titular mobile suit itself is a Kill Sat in a mech; Garrod once used the Satellite System in this manner, using the system as if he was preparing to fire the Satellite Cannon, then getting out of the beam's way.
    • Gundam SEED has the Gamma Emission by Nuclear Explosion Stimulate Inducing System, or GENESIS. It's an enormous gamma ray cannon that fires what is best described as a massive microwave beam powered by nuclear explosions. And it's estimated to be powerful enough to wipe out half of all life on Earth with a single shot.
    • Gundam SEED Destiny has the Requiem and the Neo-GENESIS.
    • Gundam 00 has the Memento Mori. Two of them.
    • According to the backstory given in the original Gundam novels, the reason space colonization was needed was due to the Federation bombarding the Earth with kill sats entirely by accident. They tried to solve the world's energy problems with solar power satellites, but miscalculated the power of the microwave beams used to transmit the energy to the surface and almost burned off the entire atmosphere.
    • Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE shocks the fandom with one of these. Alus reveals this from the moon base he was in and, despite BUILD DiVERS trying their best, it fires and completely nukes the city of Seguri from the face of Eldora. The second half of the series is devoted to making sure Alus doesn't pull off a round two.
  • Getter Robo features two of these, in Humongous Mecha form. The first, from the Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo OVA dispenses countless meteorites over North America, some of which are so large that they function as drop pods for other Humongous Mecha. The second is in the Getter Robo Go manga, and is of the laser variety. Though it can apparently fire multiple times in succession.
  • Macross:
    • Macross Plus reveals that, decades after Space War I, Earth has upgraded its defenses with a network of hundreds of thousands of densely-packed, automated Kill Sats that serve a dual purpose: vaporize orbital debris before it falls into the atmosphere, and discouraging invasion from external forces. When Isamu has to navigate this network and force his way into Earth, his only hope is to shoot down a couple of communication sats, hide among the falling debris, and pray. His companion has so little faith in their chances he just shuts himself off into hibernation.
    • On that subject, the conclusion to Space War I in Super Dimension Fortress Macross: the main Zentraedi fleet folds in and the first thing they do is shoot the Earth with several million (Not Hyperbole) Wave Motion Guns, turning most the surface into an arid wasteland and exterminating 90% of the human population.
  • Dancougar handles this differently; the Kill Sat hits the sword of the titular machine, creating a gigantic laser sword for it to use.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual Nightmare filler arc, Gozaboro Kaiba's former right-hand man Daimon/Lecter (who takes the form of "Jinzoningen - Psycho Shocker") summons a monster called Satellite Cannon, which is quite a pain for Kaiba until he finally summons Blue-Eyes White Dragon and destroys it.
      • Damon hints in the original version that Gozaburo was working on a real version of a Kill Sat before he was ousted from his position. It turns out that he succeeded and the weapon was in orbit ready to fire. Noah uses it to destroy the mechanical fortress sustaining the virtual world; he changes his mind and tries to stop it, but Yami Marik destroyed the controls when he stepped away.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: In the last third of the second season, securing one of these was part of the plot. The bad guys—an extraterrestrial Eldritch Abomination and a brainwashed prince—were planning to use it to scour the Earth of all life. The 4Kids dub claimed the satellite fired a brainwashing beam and that the bad guys were planning to use it to take control of the world, but forgot to edit out the satellite's laser destroying the landscape before the heroes could stop it. Its owner, the aforementioned prince, duels with a deck built around his love for Kill Sats, using three copies of Satellite Cannon as well as a much larger Fusion of three of them.
    • Continuing with the trend, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has "Number 9: Dyson Sphere", a weaponized space colony that's the 2nd largest monster in the game, falling just behind its Chaos Number form "Chaos Dyson Sphere".
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Shun Kurosaki has a card called "Raid Raptors - Satellite Cannon Falcon", which is a Kill Sat combined with a giant cybernetic falcon. Combined with the Hard Light technology of the setting, it has absolutely devastating results - he blew up the stadium, and in the following 20+ episodes it never gets fixed. He's also banned from dueling there again.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG Stories: In the backstory of the Sky Striker arc, the AI-run nation of Spectra used satellite weapons to render humanity extinct. The AIs of the nation Karma blew up all the satellites, filling the planet's orbit with so much debris that that it is impossible to launch anything into orbit again.
  • In Najica Blitz Tactics, one of the android girls actually is the remote control for a Kill Sat, making a fair grab for the sexiest use of this trope in fiction.
  • In Eureka Seven, Dewey Novak fires one called "Oratorio #8" once at the Scab Coral to make a hole for TheEND to fly through, and again to target the beacon TheEND placed on the Control Cluster. After the second shot, the thing self-destructed and STILL rained death down on the poor planet with its highly explosive debris.
  • Shaman King has one of these which is used against the main villain Hao Asakura, but he is unhurt by it. It was also detrimental for the other shaman as it caused the world to become aware of their presence on the island.
  • Zoids:
    • There's one in the Zoids: New Century series, as a side function of the Judge satellite. While it doesn't usually come up because the enemy uses Dark Judges, which skew the battle in their favor, in one specific instance there's a regular Judge on the battlefield and the bad guys ignore him completely, prompting him to call down a barrage that completely frags the remaining enemies and their Airborne Aircraft Carrier.
    • Near the end of the series during a tournament, the Backdraft Group calls down a whole bunch of different Dark Judges. As they're defeated on the ground, the real judging authority has a very large satellite covered in gun turrets that blows the satellites out of the sky.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World arguably has two: Ifurita, a Miniature Death Star With Breasts, and the Eye of God, a superweapon which steps up the game by being able to selectively destroy a planet.
  • Wormhole Driver from The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye is an old (but still fully operational) Kill Sat capable of creating Black Holes on top of the targeted area (which means that depending on the power used in such attack it can most likely destroy anything up to the entire planet)
  • The GHQ's satellite laser "Leucocyte" in Guilty Crown. All 256 of them. Or rather, all three of them, and two of them were destroyed in episode 6. The 256 number was a bluff pulled by a guy with massive steel balls, and the U.N. bought it. The last remaining satellite was not in a position to deal any damage.
  • Fate/Prototype brings us Archer: his twin swords join to form a bow, yet the arrow fired from the bow itself is nothing more than a targeting beacon for a magical version of this trope.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes featured two variants of Kill Sat, both of which are designed as space-based defences: the giant Iserlohn Fortress occupying an important choke-point in the Imperial frontier and the Artemis Necklace networks of battle-satellites orbiting around determinated planets. The Artemis Necklace is notable for being extremely powerful, wiping out an Imperial warfleet off-screen, but ultimately failing against the amazing skills of their opponents in the two occasions it's used on-screen.
  • Saya from Onidere has access to a Kill Sat that strikes her father every time she says a phrase. However her father is so tough that despite destroying his house he doesn't even notice it.
  • From the Lupin III film series:
    • In Island of Assassins, the major governments of the world control a satellite laser that's been programmed to shoot down any ships that approach, or attempt to leave the island without authorization. Which Lupin reveals is the secret behind all the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.
    • Travels of Marco Polo: Another Page: Zeal, Bernardo’s satellite-based laser weapon, which incinerates everything it touches.
  • Sekirei: MBI owns one that can attack any single target in Tokyo. Matsu reveals its existence by attacking Musubi with it. Musubi manages to escape with minor clothing damage. The neighborhood she was in (she was buying groceries on Miya's behalf) wasn't quite so lucky.
  • Princess Lucia: "God" employs one in chapter 36, it takes 180 seconds to recharge per shot, and it completely wrecks a city block trying to zero in on its target.
  • Panzer World Galient has the Eraser, a network of killing sats that uses a powerful gravity surge to destroy the surfaces of planets.
  • Stealth Symphony: Laika's "third eye" is revealed to be a satellite that looks like an eye and can shoot deadly lasers from above.
  • In Toriko allied forces used those against Four Beasts, along with massive army of giant tanks, ships and airplanes. It fails miserably.
  • In Assassination Classroom, the government builds an orbital satellite, armed with a laser, specifically designed to kill Koro-Sensei. And when he manages to escape that, they trap him in a forcefield, so the next one would kill him for sure, and temporarily confine his students, just in case they decide to sabotage something in order to break him out.
  • In Not Lives, the Emperor Gentleman's skill, the 'Emperor's Thumb', involves firing a giant laser beam from an orbital satellite onto the unfortunate avatars in its path.
  • In episode 4 of Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, penicillin is represented as a satellite zapping the cell walls off the invading gonococci, leaving them vulnerable to the white blood cells.
  • In episode 10 of Engage Kiss, a satellite with laser weaponry, from the Cold War era, was used against Asmodeus, an especially dangerous demon. It did not damage the demon.

    Comic Books 
  • The Blue in Fathom had a network of these orbiting Earth before Killian's Blue Sun destroys them all to absorb their energy. In the event that the Surface Dwellers ever gave them a reason, this network could have obliterated every city on Earth several times over! They also had a secondary function of being spy satellites.
  • The final issue of Global Frequency is based around a preset plan by the US government to cause a population reduction by blasting a few major cities with Kill Sats. These are kinetic harpoons, a single shot weapon mostly by virtue of being a fancy orbiting crossbow that fires an artificial diamond at enough speed that the kinetic energy goes off like a nuke when it strikes the ground.
  • Superman:
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, Lex Luthor appropiates Comlab, an orbiting communications laboratory, and turns it into a weapon capable of controlling the weather. He creates a giant storm with the deliberate intention of destroying human civilization, but Superman and Spider-Man stop him.
    • In War World, the eponymous super-weapon is a star-sized satellite equipped with weapons that can easily disintegrate planets. When Superman and Supergirl attempt to destroy it, they confirm that a pair of blows of the weakest weapon of Warworld can kill them in spite of being nigh invulnerable.
    • Ultraman is a human version in JLA: Earth-2. When he hears someone on Earth talking trash about him, he leaves the Crime Syndicate's satellite bases and blasts the man from space with Eye Beams.
    • One of the Kryptonite Rings which Superman helps Leo Quintum design in All-Star Superman is a cannon that's fired from the Moon which can send Superman into the Phantom Zone.
    • In The Phantom Zone, General Zod and his criminal band build a giant space cannon, powered by Green Lantern's power battery, to send Earth into the Phantom Zone.
  • Blackhawk: A kinetic harpoon, armed with bunches of tungsten rods, appears in one story. Wildman is in love with the concept — "Why spend all the money and resources building a laser or a missile when an inert object traveling at Mach Ten does the same amount of damage?"
  • The last Story Arc of the original Grendel series features the Sun-Disk, a superweapon used only once (to level Japan and a future cold war), before its creator disables it and dies.
  • Zodon's 'modifications' to the lunar lander in PS238.
  • An orbital particle beam cannon shows up in Planetary.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) has a kill sat with the command centre hidden in the Chrysler Building. The IDW series that carries on the Marvel continuity also uses it.
  • Infinite Crisis: The rogue Brother Eye satellite that Batman built can be used as a Kill Sat; it even has the A.I. necessary to use and control all of it's functions (yes, even the really deadly ones) on its own, which sucks for Earth.
  • Paperinik New Adventures:
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire shows the Galactic Empire using a number of kill sats in Operation: Cinder, a series of orbital bombardments triggered as a contingency following the death of Emperor Palpatine.
  • The Avengers: An early story features a group of mad scientists (Egghead, the Mad Thinker, and the Puppet Master) attempting to hold the Earth for ransom with one of these. Obviously, the Avengers stop it.
  • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Luthor gleefully describes the system of Kill Sats he placed around Earth to a captive Batman. Kill Sats which will wipe out most of Earth's population and bring it to a level that will be easier for Luthor to control. Fortunately, Batman had only let himself be captured as a distraction to give Green Lantern an opportunity to get rid of the Kill Sat network.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in Secret Wars (2015), as it is revealed that, in order to stop the Incursions, Iron Man has created the Sol's Hammer, a Kill Sat surrounding the sun which absorbs solar energy to recharge itself and can destroy a planet at 2% of power!
  • Warren Ellis would revisit the kinetic harpoon concept in The Wild Storm; Skywatch calls it "Little Stick", a single diamond rod too small for radar detection, dropped into the atmosphere over a target and striking with the force of a tactical nuke. Bendix uses one to level a recently-evacuated I/O base and threatens he could easily do the same to their New York City HQ.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County parodied SDI with "The Space-Based, Basselope-powered All-Purpose Defense Initiative," featuring a ridiculous variety of Death Rays including the "Anti 7-Eleven Porno Rack Raygun" and the "Anti-presidential Progeny Destruct-o-Beam."

    Fan Works 
  • A variation of Kill Sats appeared in the All Things Probable Series story: A Friend in Darkness. The villains of the story, Monkey Fist (who had been infused with the power of the Yono) and Maze, used a device called an Ultra-Atmospheric Jammer to seize control of the world's communication satellites and use them to channel the Yono's petrification power across the world to create an army of Living Statues.
  • HERZ: The Orbital Defence Platforms, satellites mounted with positronic cannons. Power was collected by solar panels and channelled into a sophisticated power system to blast enemies from the sky.
    "We've still got the Orbital Defence Platforms that we put up over the past few years. Their positronic cannons should give HERZ's Evas a real nasty surprise should the need actually arise. And they thought that we'd actually use it to help those UN and HERZ guys over that little escapade in Kransoyarsk."
    "Ain't this a beauty." Each ODP was a satelite mounted with a version of the positron rifle first used by Eva. Power was collected by solar panels and channeled into a sophisticated power system. This was the ultimate weapon. And now, they were all in place, circling the heavens. Deadly and waiting.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Zoe Nightshade assists Percy through her constellation in the stars, raining arrows in the form of lasers upon foes in the general direction of Percy's sword swings through their mutual connection in Riptide. While these beams are normally a mere D-Rank Noble Phantasm, enough to injure but not kill a Servant, their power rises dramatically at night when the stars and moon are visible, easily delivering a Boom, Headshot! death to the soldiers Lostbelt Chiron sends after Percy. At full power, they're strong enough to scour an island.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has an image macro titled "Hate Detected. Firing The Orbital Friendship Cannon. (It's not actually a Kill Sat though, just Speed Lines combined with Mundane Made Awesome). The MLP FIM FanFic animation, however, plays it straight.
    • Orbital Friendship Beam, meanwhile, is used by several fanfics to refer to the beam produced by the Elements of Harmony.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's Morph Weapons can assemble into a Kill Sat called "Spear the Gungnir".
  • During The Emiya Clan Christmas Special Zelretch is shown to have an orbital railgun, in the shape of a giant yellow smiley face. It's used to great effect.
  • Used in A Dream. As part of Valiant's satellite program, he's launched several stations capable of carrying out kinetic bombardment of nearly any location in Equestria. So far it's only been used against Gabby, which while it failed to kill her, it completely destroyed the landscape and is the only thing to even come close to disabling Tin Mare.
  • The Last Son features a couple of examples:
    • A.I.M. constructed an orbital railgun as part of a blackmail scheme with Kaznia.
    • Battlestation Sentrius is described by Nick Fury as a Death Star 2.0, and with good reason: it has all the state-of-the-art weaponry available in the Kryptonian Military Force. General Zod uses it to launch a Nova Javelin at North Korea in retaliation for them trying to attack it with a salvo of nukes.
  • The oddly named "Cosmetic Moonlight Blaster" appears as part of Bahija's backstory in The Zero Context Series, dealing the finishing blow in a vicious chain of attacks that she experienced. Bahija remembers the blast as striking her with the force of "a thousand supernovas concentrated into a single point" while the power was set to less than one percent.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Zeus space cannon in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
  • In Antz, a kid with a magnifying glass functions as the insect-sized version of this. He vaporizes one soldier ant before chasing the protagonists down with a beam of sunlight. They get away, but end up hopelessly lost in the process.
  • This is how Megamind actually kills MetroMan. Except that it turns out that MetroMan's Not Quite Dead. In the straight-to-video Megamind: The Buttom of Doom, the villain-turned-hero Megamind tries to sell off all his "evil" inventions at a garage sale, including the Kill Sat, which he markets as a barbeque starter. This is the only item he fails to sell. It turns out to be useful in the end when he has to destroy a Humongous Mecha he built a long time ago programmed to kill heroes, who he now happens to be.
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker using his host Tim Drake's knowledge as a communication expert, builds a Satellite Jamming System that allows him to take control of a military defense satellite armed with a laser. Terry is forced into a chase scene with the beam through downtown Gotham at one point. (The commentary notes that this is a Shout-Out to the AKIRA example from above.)

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Death Star from Star Wars: A New Hope, and its successor in Return of the Jedi. It's not technically a satellite, since it's a mobile space station with millions of staff, a full complement of fighters and support ships, thousands of secondary weapons, and a planet-shattering superlaser - however, it is seen orbiting the planet Yavin in A New Hope so that it can turn its superlaser on the moon where the main rebel base is located.
    • The Death Star acts much more like a typical Kill Sat in the Star Wars anthology film Rogue One when Tarkin orders the battlestation to fire low-power shots to destroy the Holy City on Jedha and the Imperial base on Scarif. The blasts destroy the targets and their surrounding areas while the celestial bodies remain (relatively) intact.
      • Although considering the ejecta seen spewing from Jedha, the moon may have been rendered uninhabitable by the Death Star's attack. Confirmed by its appearance in a later comic: the effects were so large it blow an enormous hole in the planet, rendering it as good as dead.
  • The Soviet Nuclear Attack Satellite in The Return of Godzilla counts as this, being a military satellite operated by Soviet Russia armed to the teeth with ICBMs. In the original Japanese film, the Satellite is accidentally activated after Godzilla damages the boat carrying the launch system, but not before the ship's commander, Colonel Kashirin, bravely tries to stop the launch sequence, but dies in the process. In the American dub, he deliberately launches the missile.
  • The Dimension Tide in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus was designed to trap Godzilla within a miniaturised black hole. Unfortunately, a test firing of the satellite's cannon opened a wormhole for a very brief moment, allowing an egg from the Carboniferous period containing countless Meganulon and the larval Megaguirus to arrive in the present day. The Dimension Tide is later used at the end of the film to successfully trap Godzilla, although it seems to have merely imprisoned him underground...
  • Dr. Evil's "Alan Parsons Project" in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. He cheated a little by putting it on the Moon, but that's still in orbit. This is actually justified as the Moon is a natural satellite.
  • James Bond villains loved this one:
    • Diabolical Mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld helped pioneer this trope in Diamonds Are Forever. Willard Whyte, a faintly disguised version of Howard Hughes, is a reclusive billionaire who supposedly put a satellite into orbit as part of his Aerospace operations, only to discover it was actually Blofeld, impersonating Whyte, who went on to use the satellite's ability to focus the sun's light into a coherent beam and thus fire a laser anywhere on earth to attack important locations such as nuclear missile launch facilities or nuclear submarines.
    • Moonraker had a slight twist on it: Hugo Drax's Kill Sat was also an inhabited space station, where his master race would remain safe and sound while nerve gas wiped out the rest of humanity.
    • The titular weapons in Goldeneye were single-shot EMP-based Kill Sats. The first one is used to cover up the theft of the satellite control codes by destroying the operations base. The Big Bad plotted to use the second one to knock out London (and all evidence of a grand electronic bank raid to be completed first), but was stopped by Bond and his Girl of the Movie, Natalya.
    • The villain in Die Another Day makes an orbital mirror that doubles as a Kill Sat. Much like Blofeld's version, the weapon used diamonds to focus the energy.
  • In Real Genius, the lead characters are duped by their college professor into building a laser which is intended as the main weapon for a Kill Sat dubbed "Crossbow". They retaliate by sabotaging the test to have it destroy the duplicitous professor's home. With popcorn.
    • Technically, the weapon would be mounted on a shuttle, not on a satellite, as shown by the demo video at the start of the movie. It's still insta-death from orbit for anyone it hits though.
  • The Steven Seagal movie Under Siege 2: Dark Territory features a Diabolical Mastermind who designed one such satellite for the military, faking his death, and seizing control of it to threaten Washington, DC. It shoots earthquakes — which, somehow, can also destroy high-flying bomber jets.
  • The disaster movie Meteor features two satellites armed with over a dozen nuclear weapons. It turns out Sean Connery designed one to be a defense against asteroids, but they thought it would be better used against Russia.
  • In The Right Stuff, this is the flavor of Red Scare that Senator (later VP and President) Johnson invokes to scare the cabinet into funding the space program.
    And now the Communists have established a foothold in outer space. Pretty soon they'll have damned space platforms so they can drop nuclear bombs on us, like rocks from a highway overpass.
  • The protagonists in Space Cowboys go into space to fix what they're told is a communications satellite, only to find out it's an old Soviet Kill Sat armed with nuclear missiles and in danger of activating.
  • Star Trek (2009): The Narada's drill. It seems to blast some kind of epic fire rather than an actual laser, but it can punch straight to the core of a planet. This turns out to be problematic for Vulcan, as it allows the Romulans to drop a ball of black-hole-creating matter to the core and make it implode. Something like that in the hands of angry and "particularly troubled" Romulans? Oh sure, they get kinda woobie with the backstory, but that still ain't a happy situation.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Soundwave's alt mode is that of a satellite. Instead of normal projectiles, however, he fires other Decepticons, notably his minion Ravage. And if his toy bio has any credence, he's hacked so many satellites that he could destroy human civilization if he got bored.
  • The stolen MacGuffin in Escape from L.A. is a control for a network of Kill Sats that can be focused to shut off all electric devides in specific regions, effectively returning them to the Dark Ages.
  • Although it didn't make it into the final product, an early draft script of the Watchmen movie featured one of these. (None existed in the original comic.)
  • Maximum Overdrive. At the end, the epilogue states that the alien mothership was destroyed by a Russian "weather satellite" equipped with a laser cannon and "Class IV Nuclear Missiles".
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Cobra's Zeus satellites which they use to break London like an egg. Want to know something scary? That appears to be a very accurate depiction of how such a system would function in reality. The only mistake they make is when they say that the satellite "drops" its rods instead of launching them. If it merely dropped the rods, then they'd continue orbiting with the satellite instead of falling to the surface. The rods have to launched on a tangential velocity in order to reduce their orbit and get them to fall where intended.
  • A very unconventional example in Geostorm. The Dutch Boy satellites are orbiting weather control machines that are meant to save people by changing the weather in a specific area. The plot revolves around them doing the opposite (which is made blatantly clear by the trailers). The Moscow satellite plays it particularly straight by attacking the city with a massive heat ray very akin to the (in)famous one in Die Another Day.
  • AmeriGeddon: The terrorists affiliated with the United Nations possessed a satellite that can fire an EMP before self-destructing. It was used to cause a massive blackout as a pretext for martial law in the United States.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action has the ACME satellite, which harnesses the power of the Blue Monkey diamond to turn the earth's population into monkeys.
    Daffy: Uh, did you order satellite?
    Bugs: Eh, I don't even have cable.
  • In Once Upon a Spy, Big Bad Marcus Valorium steals the X-2 supercomputer from NASA because this allows him to calculate the exact position of any satellite in orbit. This in turn allows him to use any satellite as a kill sat by bouncing his Shrink Ray off it.
  • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tony leaves Peter in charge of a Stark satellite that holds an army of Attack Drones that can be deployed anywhere on Earth.
  • Epoch Evolution starts with a Chinese General Ripper launching an unauthorized nuclear strike at a Western space station armed with three laser weapons for shooting down ICBMs. The attack was preceded by a Chinese satellite disabling one of the weapons with a powerful jamming signal. Two of the missiles are shot down early enough, but the remaining one can only be hit by the disabled laser. The crew of the station manages to get control of it in time to destroy the missile, but the nuclear blast still destroys the station. In retaliation, a US sub torpedoes a Chinese one. Things start to snowball toward a nuclear war. Fortunately, they don't reach that point, and a Chinese party official has the rogue general arrested.
  • Man of Steel (and the opening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) has the Kryptonian World Engine, which is used for terraforming planets using a destructive pillar of light with gravitational effects; while not explicitly a tool for mass murder, it has that effect by default if deployed over a populated area, and indeed the Kryptonians park it directly over Metropolis.
  • Def-Con 4: A case where it's a space station instead of an autonomous satellite, nevertheless, the film's main protagonists were stationed in one and ordered to launch the nuclear missiles if war broke out — which it did. One warhead that was not launched because of an apparent malfunction, but which remained armed and began counting down after the station crashed, is the film's biggest Diabolus ex Machina.

  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy had as a major plot point the simultaneous development of anti-satellite weapons by the US and the USSR. As the lasers were ground-located, they weren't technically Kill Sats, but the US system included the ability to bounce the laser beam off of multiple orbiting mirrors, thus hitting any target on the planet. It worked, too, except that the laser was too weak to do much more than give the target a mild sunburn.
    • In the non-Ryanverse novel Red Storm Rising, the both the US and USSR employ anti-satellite weapons. Played straight by the Soviets with kamikaze anti-satellite satellites, but inverted by the US with the air-to-orbit ASM-135 missile. See the entries under Real Life, below.
  • The Dean Koontz novel Dark Rivers of the Heart has a rare heroic use of one. One of the protagonists uses a back door to commandeer a Japanese laser satellite, using it to help make a getaway. The satellite is named Godzilla.
  • The fusion-powered microwave satellites in Duumvirate can burn and melt a building.
  • Flight of the Old Dog, which involved the Russians with a nuclear powered laser in Siberia. Later, they deploy a mirror sat, and the Americans deploy their own Kill Sat with X-Ray warheads in response.
  • In Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, Fedmahn Kassad uses these to resolve a planet-wide hostage situation—by simultaneously attacking all of the terrorist ringleaders at once. The leader of the terrorists is even killed on live television mid-Sedgwick Speech, for bonus points.
  • In Milan last stop by Simone Farè, in a soft dystopic world, the city of Milan, Italy, has a secret Pure Energy and Deflector Shields and use it, among things, to create and launch such a satellite called "Giudecca", controlled by the same physicist who controls the city and created these technologies.
  • A Kill Sat named ODIN ( Orbital Defense INitiative) appears in Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines Quartet, especially in Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain. A semi-sentient one no less. You might even feel sorry for it after its mini-BSOD.
  • Peter F. Hamilton
    • In Mindstar Rising, Julia Evans creates an improvised version by hacking her own space probe so it remains in Earth orbit. She intended to place a phone call to the Big Bad to establish the location of his yacht, then Colony Drop the probe on it. It ends up getting used in a similar manner in the climax of the novel.
    • By the third book of the Greg Mandel trilogy, the area of concern is a surprise attack by a Space Plane armed with kinetic energy harpoons, so networks of high-orbit defense platforms have been organised on a regional basis rather than political alliances. Strictly defensive, but as there's a fear of them also having hidden kinetic energy harpoons, spy satellites are put up to keep an eye on them. The protagonists are investigating a possible First Contact by an alien lifeform, and there's a lot of concern that the alien might be hostile. A Russian general who is a friend of Greg's tells him he has the means to access these defense satellites to take direct action if needed.
    • The Night's Dawn Trilogy has planets surrounded by swarms of these, known as "Strategic Defense satellites". They usually are pointed outward to defend against attacks from space, but can be used against surface targets with devastating effects.
  • Powersat by Ben Bova: a microwave power satellite is turned into a Kill Sat by a bunch of terrorists.
  • In Quicksilver by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the titular satellite was intended to be a relatively harmless (to biological material) EMP blast, but instead caused some sort of chain reaction which charged the air around the target to such a degree that hugely powerful bolts of lightning would strike the target instead.
  • Almost completely inverted with VALIS in Radio Free Albemuth. In addition to healing serious injuries and curing cancer, it provides telepathic assistance to keep you from getting killed (including taking control of the protagonist when he is framed as a Communist spy), advice (prophetic dreams, future knowledge, and at one point an audience with God), and immortality beyond death. The only thing it doesn't do is perform resurrections... at least not within the context of the story.
  • One of the ultimate examples of this trope: Larry Niven's Ringworld is defended by a magnetically controlled X-Ray laser made by the forced-fluorescing of sunspots. The beam of this weapon is the width of Earth's moon. Sort of makes the Death Star seem wimpy in comparison.
  • In the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, human history (as represented by the population of the Riverworld) ends when a fumbled first contact triggers a counterattack by an orbiting alien satellite that methodically lases every square mile of Earth into ash.
  • David Weber's Safehold series: The planet Safehold's prohibition on advanced technology is enforced by orbital platforms that, if they detect power sources, will unleash a kinetic bombardment capable of devastating a small continent. Merlin is running extensive tests to determine what counts as a "power source". So far, no solution has been found to the main problem, but we're up to steam engines with no response.
  • Silver Tower by Dale Brown. The title space station has a high energy laser weapon called Skybolt that's used to wipe out a swarm of Soviet cruise missiles and save an American naval fleet from destruction. It reappears in later books, but the Skybolt is eventually removed. Executive Intent has the Mjölnir/Thor's Hammer kinetic kill vehicles, transparently based on the Real Life "Rods from God".
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Wedge's Gamble, Rogue Squadron remote-control-hijacks a solar mirror orbiting Imperial Center. The mirrors are used to redirect sunlight, but this one was focused on one of the water reclamation plants in order to raise the local humidity to create a massive thunderstorm and knock out the power at a shield generator. Nothing exploded, but there was quite a bit of steam and melting going on.
    • Base Delta Zero.
    • In Rebel Dream, the New Republic pulls this off for the first time with Operation Emperor's Hammer, using the Lusankya to bombard the Yuuzhan Vong warriors assaulting the Borleias base.
      Wedge: We're going to face them with an enemy they've never had the displeasure of fighting. We're going to hit them with the Empire.
      Tycho: They're not going to like the Empire.
    • Shatterpoint features a De-Orbiting Kinetic Anti-emplacement Weapon, or DOKAW, that essentially drops a chunk of metal from orbit at 30,000 kilometers per hour.
  • Takeshi Kovacs' homeworld of Harlan's World has several Martian satellites in orbit that vaporize any technology more advanced than a gas-powered helicopter that rises above a certain altitude. Though there is at least one gap in the coverage through which the original Colony Ship landed. The "angelfire" also makes for good Harlan's Day fireworks, and easy disposal of bodies.
  • In the Bizarro Universe Transformers: Shattered Glass, the United States has a massive Kill Sat called the Global Orbiting Defense Satellite, which gets hijacked by the Autobots and used to hold the world hostage to their demands.
  • In Vernor Vinge's story "True Names", the Eye of God laser satellites are the first military installations taken over during the climactic in-computer battle between the Big Bad and Mr. Slippery/Erythina. Suddenly, things get real, and the danger of dying the True Death raises its head.
  • The Last Command is a short story by Arthur Clarke in which the USSR built one of these, armed with nuclear missiles, as the "ultimate deterrent".
  • In Book of the Ancestor the planet Abeth's moon is a giant focusing mirror that melts away a bit of the ice covering the planet each night. The moon's light can also be focused on a single point, instantly vaporizing everything there through the immense heat. In the climax of the third book, Zole and Nona kill the Scithrowl's warrior-queen this way, ending the ongoing war.
  • In Wraith Knight's third book, Wraith King, there is a literal example of the trope as an orbital satellite leftover from the days of Old Terralan is used to blast the armies of both Empress Morwen and Jacob, killing the majority of both. Jacob ends up destroying it by sacrificing his newly acquired human body.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In "Soul Purpose", the heroes are surprised and disturbed to find they have such a thing at their command (in the form of microwave laser satellites) after taking over Wolfram and Hart. Angel considers using them to wipe out all the bad guys rather than continue to live as a corporate drone.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In "Endgame", when Sheridan's forces arrive at Earth and easily overwhelm most of the remnants of EarthForce fleet, President Clark kills himself, after programming the planet's orbital defense system to take all of Earth with him. This means Sheridan's fleet must destroy the satellites before they fire.
    • The rebuilt orbital defense system shows up again in "A Call to Arms", and this time manages to fire their Wave Motion Guns at the target, the Drakh fleet. The Drakh are obliterated... but, sadly, not in time to stop them from infecting Earth with their plague.
    • The Expanded Universe has many other models from multiple factions. Honorable mention for capability and originality go to the Abbai Alanti, the Orieni Skywatch and the Drazi Shodroma: where most models are just a large gun or missile launcher (or both) with thrusters for positioning and aiming, the Alanti, like most things put in space by the Abbai, has actual Deflector Shields, the Skywatch complements the laser cannons and missiles with kamikaze drones to ram enemy targets (a standard Orieni weapon), and the Shodroma packs the same Drazi-designed Wave-Motion Gun of the Earth model (the blueprints of the weapon were given to Earth during the Earth-Minbari War as an apology for their inability to intervene and fight the Minbari).
  • The Season 2 finale of Blindspot reveals that using one of these is key to Sandstorm's ultimate plan, based on the more realistic principle of a satellite (which Sandstorm put into orbit) launching a projectile from high orbit to impact the surface. This one has the added component of being targeted for the GPS coordinates of some nuclear material that Sandstorm stole; the impact will cause it to disperse over most of the East Coast.
  • Parodied by The Colbert Report when Colbert responds to North Korea's bizarre video about a man dreaming about nuking the United States by falling asleep and dreaming about flying into space to blow up North Korea with a satellite-mounted laser. (The effect is mitigated by the obvious use of movie clips and the presence a man dancing around in a hot dog suit.)
  • In The Expanse, the UN has at least 5 large railgun-armed satellites orbiting Earth. They can target and take out any target within the inner Solar System. The MCR has stealth orbital nuclear platforms aimed at Earth as a MAD-type deterrent. The UN uses the former to take out the latter, but one of the platforms manages to get off a missile before being destroyed. The MIRV gets a warhead through Earth's anti-missile defenses and nukes South America, killing 2 million people.
  • An early First Wave episode has the protagonist investigate the death of a college student who is revealed to have been working on a government project to deploy a series of nuclear missile-armed satellites in Earth's orbit. While he initially assumes they're there to attack other nations, the fact that they're pointing away from Earth tips him off that the government is aware of (some sort of) an alien threat and are taking precautions. Unfortunately, the aliens find out about this and send their agent to set the satellites to self-destruct, showing Earth with radioactive material. Since Cade foils this plot, the satellites are assumed to still be up there. None if this is ever mentioned again.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: The M-BUS is capable of acting as one, though it mostly serves as a Transform Sat instead.
  • Project Crossbow in Nikita, a defunct Strategic Defense Initiative satellite that couldn't hit a moving target, but does really well against large, planet-based nuclear power plants. Except it doesn't. In a subversion, it turns out that the whole thing is a hoax cooked up by a villain with mooks willing to conduct suicide bombings of the targeted reactors.
  • In The '90s remake of The Professionals, a scientist developed a successful laser satellite for the Star Wars program, but then the Soviet Union collapsed and the system was made redundant. He's able to regain control of the system and plans to sell it to an Arms Dealer.
  • The 1978 Quatermass series (a.k.a. Quatermass IV or The Quatermass Conclusion) featured an alien device that lured people into small areas and then engulfed them in a column of light. True Believers assumed that the light was transporting them to a better planet. No such luck. It was actually a kind of nasty and insidious form of Kill Sat, only just to make things worse there wasn't an actual satellite that could be shot down. There was something that the Russians launched nuclear missiles at, but it didn't work.
    • In the novelisation (by the scriptwriter) Quatermass theorises that it's a kind of energy field surrounding the Earth like a huge soap bubble. When it needs to fire it just concentrates its energy on one spot.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • In the season 4 episode "Absolute Power", the Harsesis (a human child born with the racial memories of the Goa'uld) gives Daniel a sample of that knowledge after warning him that "Evil is too strong". Daniel uses that knowledge to lead the construction of a network of kill sats intended to defend the Earth from The Goa'uld, but then takes sole control over it and destroys Moscow to prove his power and discourage retaliation. The entire thing was a dream given to him instead in order to teach him that Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
      • In "Ethon", the Ori supply one of these to the Rand Protectorate, one of two feuding governments on the world of Tegalus. It ends up destroying Earth's first starship, the Prometheus.
    • The Asurans use a Kill Sat against Atlantis in the Stargate Atlantis episode "First Strike". The Kill Sat itself is a big ship with a stargate embedded in it. The beam is fired on the Asuran homeworld through a stargate, and out the other onto Atlantis. The Expedition also uses one (though it's actually a space station, not a satellite) in order to destroy a Wraith hive ship while a fleet of Wraith is on its way to Atlantis in in the finale of the first season.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the season 6 finale "Tears of the Prophets", the combined Federation, Klingon, and Romulan fleets attempt to invade a Cardassian world protected by kill-sats. These satellites appear again when the allied fleet manage to reach Cardassia near the series finale.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: The Xindi weapon in season 3, which blasts a corridor of death from Florida to Venezuela in literal scorched earth campaign. And that was just the prototype. The finished version was designed to create an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Quarantine", Matthew Foreman designed a series of particle beam satellites for the American government before he entered suspended animation in 2023. Sarah and the other members of the Commune ask him to use one of the surviving satellites to destroy a meteor that is rapidly approaching Earth. However, it turns out that they are deceiving him using their psychic powers. They actually want him to destroy an American spacecraft containing 1,000 politicians and military figures for whom only five or ten years have passed since the nuclear war of 2043 because of Time Dilation.
  • In The X-Files, the episode "Kill Switch" (written by William Gibson) centered around a network of Kill Sats, complete with a computer control system that developed its own ideas about how to use it.

    Myths & Religion 
  • God in The Bible does this a lot.
    • Although He deals out punishment from Heaven several times throughout the Bible, special points go to the story of Elijah. The prophet is sitting on a hill when a captain leading fifty soldiers approaches and calls out, "Man of God, by order of the king, come down!" Elijah responds, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you with your fifty men!" A second captain leading fifty men suffers the same fate, and the third one appears begging for his life. An angel tells Elijah that this one is safe to go with.
  • The same goes for any solar deity. Helios, for instance, is begged to by Gaia to throw a burning "red" ray to melt off Zeus' snow and ice off Typhon in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 543 ff. Ra's Eye, usually a goddess like Sekhmet or Isis, acts as this every night to kill of his enemy Apep... and punish whoever is unlawful.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Conspiracy X, the secret organization "Project Rasputin" has a psychic Kill Sat. It's a gigantic amplifier for a crew of psychic characters, letting them use their powers on anything from one building to several square kilometers. In that area it can do things like read minds, alter memories, or yes, kill people.
    • More directly, NASA also had "Gun Stars" that would fire hockey-puck sized chunks of metal really fast at ground targets.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Satellite Cannon. While it has 0 attack points it gains 1000 attack points every turn and continues to charge itself up indefinitely. And it cannot be destroyed by monsters who are Level 7 or lower, as according to the anime the Satellite is in outer-space and only strong monsters can reach the satellite.
  • In the Old World of Darkness, the Technocracy had secret orbital satellites for spying, defense against alien incursions, you name it (as well as various research stations on Luna and some moons of Jupiter and at Lagrange points throughout the solar system, a defense parameter around Earth and Moon, a Dyson Sphere in Deep Space...). As revealed in the supplement Time of Thin Blood, when an ancient vampire arose from slumber in India during the End Times and laid waste to Bangladesh the Technocracy executed "Code Ragnarök"; they finally managed to destroy the vampire by first stunning him with fusion bombs and then incinerating him with the help of a network of mirror satellites and a concentrated ray of sunlight from heaven.
  • In Leviathan: The Tempest, the Marduk Society has access to orbital Lightning Gun satellites. They are very much a Godzilla Threshold weapon though, as they will probably kill everything within a quarter-mile of the target and are exactly as unsubtle as you would expect from a giant orbital lightning bolt. The rulebook mentions that player Leviathans should not have to worry about these unless they very seriously screw up.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Exterminatus is the command used by the Inquisition when demons or heresy spread too far across the planet to be contained by covert or even overt military action. All possible (or at least important) Imperial forces pull out, and the orbiting fleet blows the planet in any of a wide variety of ways, ranging from glassing the surface with hundreds of multi-gigaton warheads and ship-based beam weapons, to bombs filled with viruses that turn all organic matter into sludge, and "cyclonic torpedoes" that light the atmosphere on fire in a rather Homeworld-esque way. All of these methods aim for one thing: rendering life on the planet impossible.
    • Even when you don't need to destroy the entire planet, the various factions aren't above shelling the battlefield from orbit.
    • There is a giant defense system in Terra's solar system meant to defend it against enemy fleets thousands strong. It includes Kill Sats, moons that were hollowed out and made into bases, and a whole space fleet to name a few items.
    • This being Warhammer 40k, sometimes setting the atmosphere on fire, rendering organic matter into its constituent molecules or just plain old turning everything into molten slag just is not enough.. for this, there are two stage torpedoes which will actually blow a planet up.
    • Lampshaded in the Ciaphis Cain novels, with Cain admitting that occasionally a planet is too far gone even for bombardment, as it won't work and merely "gives them ideas".
  • In Shadowrun, "Thor shots" are Kill Sats that fire space junk at the target. It has similar power to a nuclear device and is treated as such. Orbital lasers also exist, and one was used on the dragon Alamais. He survived. Neo-Tokyo also has a power generating satellite in geosynchronous orbit, which as is quickly pointed out, also an enormous orbital microwave laser cannon. It's jokingly suggested in-universe that it's there in case Gojira attacks the city.
  • The Fist of Shiva from the Feng Shui supplement "Seed of the New Flesh" is a Buro weather control satellite that doubles as a Kill Sat. In the adventure that features it, the players have to forge an alliance between all the other factions in order to commandeer a space shuttle, take over the Fist of Shiva, and use it to destroy the Buro-controlled 2056-era Vatican in order to wipe out not only a powerful Buro feng shui site, but also to stop the Buro from using their new Transworld Maglev Network to make the site the most powerful in the world and warping the world's chi to an unimaginable degree.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a spell called "Apocalypse from the Sky". No points for guessing what it does, considering it's not summoning kitties.
    • Also, in 4e Warlocks with a Starpact learn an spell that calls down an ice beam from the stars. Sustaining it drains the Warlock's life but continually ramps up the power. With Actions and a paladin sustaining him a Warlock could do several dozen D10's of damage over the course of the spell.
  • In the d20 Modern Urban Arcana setting, the Swiss Juncture of Gnome (a bunch of gnomes dropped in Switzerland using their "out of the box" though process to form their technical consulting company) made plans for a kill sat, that was never built because of cost concerns.
  • In the post-apocalyptic world of Eclipse Phase, the Earth has been ravaged by nuclear weaponry, bio- and nanovirii, and rampaging TITAN technology. The planet is under interdiction by a number of Kill Sats - they shoot down anything attempting to reach or leave the surface. Who put them there? Nobody's quite sure...
  • In Heavy Gear, there's even a new term to describe kill sats - ortillery, a portmanteau of orbital artillery.
  • In Genius: The Transgression, "Orbital Gun" is a modification one can make to Katastrofi Wonders. It allows the Wonder in question to deal out hellish amounts of damage, but makes it difficult to successfully hit any target smaller than an Navy destroyer. For added fun, you can also pour in some extra training and a crapton of Mania, and get the mother of all Healing Shivs in orbital laser form.
  • For reasons that aren't entirely clear a lot of White cards do this in Magic: The Gathering. Smite the Monstrous is a apparently a mystical laser that is fired by the moon of Innistrad.
  • In Nuclear War, the Killer Satellite card is used to deter/destroy Space Platforms.
    • It can also shoot down the Space Shuttle, IIRC.
  • In Rifts many people believe that Earth is surrounded by Kill Sats put into orbit by the nations before the Great Cataclysm, which is why nothing can be launched into space without being destroyed. They're partially right. In reality, survivors from Earth's space stations and Moon colony maintain and deploy new Kill Sats deliberately to keep the Earth under quarantine.
  • BattleTech has Space Defense Systems used to protect capital worlds from invaders. They are armed with multiple cannons, design to take down warships, and blast incoming Drop Ships attempting to make land fall. They're also insanely rare Lostech to the point that by the late 31st Century it's possible they've become completely extinct.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: While he joins the heroes in fighting OblivAeon, Luminary is still very much the Mad Scientist Baron Blade was. Case in point, his deck's special keyword is "Doomsday Device," and among them is an orbital death ray.
  • Neuroshima has two potential examples:
    • The ARGUS system is a constellation of missile defence satellites equipped with powerful lasers.note  Some say it can be reprogrammed to hit ground-based targets. Although, if that were the case, the Moloch would probably have used it for that purpose long ago.
    • There are rumors that the Orbital, a pre-war space station, has some kind of weapon system installed. Naturally some people are worried that the astronauts who are stuck up there will start to shoot random targets once they finally Go Mad from the Isolation.

    Video Games 
  • Kira from Dirty Bomb has this as her special ability, which she controls via a Puppet Gun.
  • End of Nations has the Shadow Revolution use these.
  • A miniature variant (Romanov Attack Satellite) appears as a regular enemy in Heavy Weapon. It will fire a death ray downwards, which will instantly fry your tank if it hits, regardless of your shielding. To avoid such a fate, you have to shoot at it to push it away from you. It's also the game's signature enemy. Uniquely for a Kill Sat, it doesn't appear to be travelling in space; rather, the satellite apparently travels through the atmosphere at similar heights to other Red Star aircraft, which raises questions on exactly how it works and if it's even a "satellite", given that a tank can shoot it down.
  • In Dungeon Fighter Online, the Wrecking Ball class' ultimate attack is a satellite beam.
  • Since the protagonist in inFAMOUS has attacks that mimic Standard FPS Guns, one these attacks is this in the form of lightning.
  • New Legends have the main villain, Xao Gon, using a powerful particle beam satellite called the God's Eye as his ultimate Trump card. Said weapon is a forbidden technology whose blueprints were supposedly destroyed, but Xao Gon managed to obtain a backup and have it constructed in his lab underneath the Forbidden City, with the final stage having you and the resistance stopping Xao Gon from using it. Appropriately enough, Xao Gon would suffer a Karmic Death when his satellite gets sabotaged - it's first and only shot is the one which vaporizes Xao Gon in the final cutscene.
  • In Phantom Dust, this is one of the many psychic powers you can obtain. Where exactly the laser comes from is never explained.
  • In Planet Alcatraz, each of the prison planets has an "Orbital security and surveillance complex" hovering in orbit. It is equipped for precision strikes again targets on the ground, on the air or in space. Your mission is to locate the space shuttle in construction, so that it can be destroyed with an orbital strike. Also, if you spill details about your mission to an NPC in Northern City, you get to see an orbital strike killing your team and everyone in the area, resulting in a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Advance Wars Dual Strike features a Kill Sat called the Black Onyx on the level Crystal Calamity. Its primary purpose is to create a barrier around Kindle's main source of power — a large crystal that turns the land into desert while creating energy. The Black Onyx also features a potent laser beam.
    • Spin-off Battalion Wars features a good guy version — the Doomsday Weapon used by the Solar Empire to put an end to the Iron Legion in the game's backstory.
  • Belcrant in Tales of Destiny It was used to fire on the earth to absorb pieces of it to create the Aethersphere
  • In what is one of the (probably) few unintentional uses of a Kill Sat, the game Freelancer makes mention of a winter world attempting to use a vast array of orbital mirrors to gradually thaw out the world, or at least the settled parts of it. Evidently, someone didn't carry the one, because the in-game article states that it focused the refracted light into a single coherent beam and described the results as being akin to a superlaser bombardment on the colony.
  • Magic Rampage: The green lightning bolts in Dungeon 15 and 16 are like this.
  • In Warzone 2100, the main antagonist (a self-aware computer virus called NEXUS) eventually powers up his laser satellites against the player during the semi-final mission as at this point all of his systems are now back online.
    • Just before The End of the World as We Know It, the North American Strategic Defense Agency also had access to satellites stuffed with thermonuclear missiles, which NEXUS used to nuke most of humanity all the way to the afterlife.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII has two. One was the "Bahamut ZERO" summon (though it was less a satellite and more a giant dragon blasting the enemy from orbit), and the other was one of Barret's level three limit breaks called "Satellite Beam", which does exactly what the name suggests (even underground).
    • Crisis Core had Bahamut Fury turn the Moon into a Kill Sat.
    • Final Fantasy IX has another summons that seems to do much the same thing, Ark, complete with mystical targeting electronics readouts.
    • Final Fantasy XII has yet another in the form of the Holy summon Ultima, who fires a beam from space via a cannon mounted below herself from space, as a finishing move.
    • Ultima did it again in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. However, this version only did MP damage. Watching a gigantic lance of energy smash into the enemy from above with an explosion of magical force, only to see nobody at all physically harmed, let alone reduced to a pair of smouldering boots... a case could be made for subversion, there.
      • The sequel makes Ultima deal Light-based damage on all enemies and heal all allies. There are others with this Modus Operandi, as well.
    • Duodecim gives access to one of these to Laguna as one of his HP attacks.
    • Final Fantasy Dimensions has Holy. Small beam targets an enemy, large one obliterates it. Even in the World of Nil.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the Machinist's Level 3 Limit Break call one down to raze whatever boss is unfortunate to be in its path.
  • Breath of Fire IV has it's 2 Dragon protagonist and antagonist, Ryu and Fou-Lu have their ultimate dragon forms, Kaiser and Tyrant respectively. The method of attack is eerily similar to the Final Fantasy VII Bahamut Zero example above, they both transform, fly high into space, and then Tyrant blasts the entire battlefield with a massive dark ball of power, while Kaiser beam spams the area.
  • In Ninja Blade, the UN's backup plan in case Ken fails to eradicate the Alpha Worms from Tokyo is to fire an orbital death laser at Japan.
  • Cloud Cutter gives you the Ion Strike designator, a power-up that homes in on designated targets you must plant manually, on certain targets like an enemy submarine or a power plant. The following cutscene will have a laser bolt larger than yourself coming down from the stratosphere and wiping out everything in it's way.
  • Looking for a Death from Above superweapon? Play as the good guys and beat the baddies with style and morals in Command & Conquer, with three different flavors!
    • The GDI Ion Cannon in the Tiberium games is a by-the-book kind — used and abused against the Brotherhood of Nod. It has a humble start killing small targets but eventually moves to leveling entire military bases. As of Tiberian Twilight, it even has adjustable power settings, and there are even some foot-soldiers that can call down a strike (first seen in Renegade with the Ion Cannon Beacon). Compare this to Nod's excessive use of tactical nukes.
      • In the Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath expansion, GDI have an additional orbital attack protocol: Thor's Hammer orbital attack satellites that fire Mjölnir rods at the surface, decimating Kane's little armor divisions with impunity.
      • The Scrin, having a bunch of support starships beyond Neptune's orbit, as well as wormhole capabilities, can deploy a Tiberium-laced asteroid against ground targets, as well as call down a Tiberium-seeding beam from orbit. None of these are superweapon-grade, however.
    • The American Particle Cannon orbital reflectors in Generals are a less verbatim kind. Technically, they're not even real Kill Sats — they're actually part of a bigger beam cannon system, and their job is to reflect beams fired from a Particle Cannon on the ground to another spot on the ground. And what do the other two sides get? Tactical nukes and anthrax SCUD barrages, respectively.
    • The Allied Athena Cannon in Red Alert 3, in the form of a truck-mounted Laser Sight and comms boom paired with a Kill Sat up in orbit — also less verbatim. Oddly, though, each truck purchased gives you control of a different satellite, leading some players to wonder why, if they have all these satellites up there, they can't just use them all at once. However, given that the Allies are clearly obsessed with data security ("clearance" must be purchased in order to deploy more advanced weapons), it does make a kind of sense for them not to give you too many at once.
    • The Soviet Union also uses a sort of Kill Sat in the form of the Magnetic Satellite, which is capable of sucking any vehicle up into space. This, coupled with their Krasna-45 Orbital Drop protocol enables them to not only de-orbit space stations at you, but also send back the same vehicles they've previously captured. The only thing that could ruin your day more than having your aircraft carrier sucked up into space is having that same aircraft carrier thrown back down at your base.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd: The previous era of humanity built the Selene satellite, which could fire all the way to the moon and result in an utterly massive explosion that failed to inflict anything permanent on the 14th Herrscher.
  • Neverwinter Nights added one in the second Expansion Pack with the Epic Spell "Greater Ruin" (though no mention is made of a "Ruin" spell) that includes a beam of earth-shaking golden light striking from above, then tracking across the ground onto target.
    • There is also the "Hammer of the Gods" spell, which causes a large yellow column of holy light to strike the target. "Greater Ruin" also causes holy energy damage. It is likely an upgraded version of "Hammer of the Gods".
  • Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 have the Ion Cannon, which deals lots of damage in a wide radius, but requires an Ion Painter to designate a target area, and there needs to be a clear line of sight between the target area and, depending on the game, one of the satellites that actually fires the beam (2003) or the sky directly above (2004).
  • Gears of War - The Hammer of Dawn, controlled by the good guys, and somewhat more limited than usual for this trope as it requires a grunt on the ground to 'paint' the target using a handheld laser gun from close range; getting into a position it can reach while it's overhead plays a part in the stages where it's used.
    • The Kill Sat only works in certain weather conditions — it's how they explain it only being used occasionally. The Government in Gears deliberately Kill Satted most of the planet to stem the Locust invasion, which is the major reason for all the Scenery Gorn.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man X4: the Final Weapon satellite was such a Kill Sat that Sigma was trying to use to destroy the Earth.
    • In Mega Man X8, Optic Sunflower's Earth Crush and Zero's Tenshouha calls a gigantic laser from above. For an Easter Egg, a simulation of the Final Weapon is shown when Sunflower uses it.
    • SearchMan.exe can summmon a small one as his most damaging attack in the Mega Man Battle Network series. Unfortunately for him, it's also the easiest of his attacks to avoid, as it'll only fire if its targeting cursor touches you, and if it does, it can still be sidestepped.
    • The Ragnarok satellite in Mega Man Zero 4 was built by Big Bad Dr. Weil to help destroy all inhabitable places on Earth. After Craft's Hazy-Feel Turn and he uses Ragnarok to destroy Neo Arcadia, Dr. Weil then uses it for a Colony Drop. Zero destroys the satellite, with himself still in it.
  • Another Rare hero example is in Metal Max Returns the only problem is activating the program that allows you to trigger it using your BS Controller
  • In the GBA version of Shining Force, the hero gains a spell called "Supernova", which the flavor text implies is a Kill Sat beam. In fact, all magic in the continent is described as being provided by a satellite.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Eggman's orbital station known as the Death Egg. The original was central to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and later games featured other incarnations like the Death Egg mk. II or the Death Egg II. The one in Sonic Battle showed its true power by destroying a star.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, the bad guys take control of the Space Colony ARK and threaten to use the Eclipse Cannon (so named because at full power with all seven Chaos Emeralds it can pierce stars) on the populace, demonstrating its power by using it to destroy half of the moon. Fortunately, the heroes managed to short-circuit the system in time to prevent the planet's destruction (what happened afterwards is a different story).
    • Shadow the Hedgehog:
      • The game saw the Eclipse Cannon used once again. In several of the routes, the Black Arms take control of it from G.U.N. and fire it down at a city on Earth, wiping it out (thankfully, the city was evacuated). In the Final Story, it's used to the destroy the Black Comet and the alien menance once and for all, which was apparently the original reason Gerald Robotnik made the cannon before he went crazy.
      • The game featured a "Satellite Gun" as one of several rewards for beating the game; this was a targeting beam for what was presumably an orbital laser satellite. There's a significant delay before firing, during which the target often moves away, which is probably why the laser doesn't see more use by the heroes.
    • Sonic Unleashed: One of Eggman's satellites is equipped with the Chaos Energy Cannon. After draining Super Sonic's Chaos Energy, it was used to break the Earth open and release Dark Gaia.
  • The heroes in Time Crisis II are fighting to foil a plot to launch a nuclear equipped military satellite. A prototype copy of the satellite features as the final boss, and is equipped with rockets, a laser and a guy in glasses perching on top with a pistol.
  • In Borderlands 2, Hyperion's Helios Space Station is outfitted with a moonshot cannon: originally designed to fire supplies to the moon of Elpis, Handsome Jack modified it to function as an orbiting artillery cannon. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, it had a laser cannon called the "Eye of Helios" which weaponized an eyeball recovered from the Destroyer, the Final Boss of the original Borderlands.
  • The Satellite Rain weapon in Syndicate Wars drops a tungsten-uranium alloy rod which melts into ten "raindrops", each a couple of seconds apart. While it can level buildings, so does a regular land mine. Just not with half the style.
  • The Armored Core series has the Justice cannon, a space-based laser cannon which, to this writer's knowledge, fired once, charring the surface of Earth and forcing humanity underground and to Mars in order to survive. Later, someone attempts to fire it again, and the player must take the fight down the barrel of the cannon to stop it from annihilating the planet.
    • This fight, by the way, is between robots that are at least fifty, and probably closer to one hundred feet tall. And they fight down the barrel of a space gun that takes a full three seconds of flight to reach the top of. That is a big f**king gun.
    • In Armored Core: Silent Line, a Kill Sat takes out anything that crosses the titular boundary. In Armored Core: For Answer, its revealed that there are so goddamn many of these cannons in Earth Orbit that its become impossible to reach space.
  • Another Century's Episode 2, a spinoff of Super Robot Wars, has the Guardian System controlled by the mysterious red Buster Ark which shows up to periodically harass the heroes. They occasionally wonder why the pilot doesn't just vaporize their battleship, but eventually you learn that the pilot is Tak's partner/Love Interest Marina, who faked her death at the start of the game. The Guardian System was designed to prevent an alien invasion (here, the Zentraedi from Super Dimension Fortress Macross), but it runs off the pilot's lifeforce and the energy required to defeat the Zentraedi fleet would be fatal. Tak eventually unlocks the Guardian control program in his own mecha and convinces Marina that they should fight the invasion together so nobody has to die, which prompts her Heel–Face Turn back to the good guys and their eventual happy ending.
    • As an added bonus linked to the storyline aspect of the Guardian, it actually does cause damage to the Gunark and Buster Ark when used, making these two the only mecha in the game capable of destroying themselves.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: In 2nd Original Generations, one of the optional weapons is this.
  • The Space Marine Force Commander's special ability in Dawn of War allows him to call in supporting fire from his Battle Barge in orbit. In Dark Crusade onward, the Tau Ethereal can also call down an Orbital Bombardment.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Soulstorm has the Tau turn a natural satellite into a Kill Sat. As in, they built a cannon capable of firing across the system's interplanetary distances on a moon. (Flee not, spoilerphobes! This is told to you in the very first campaign cinematic!)
    • In Dawn of War 2, the Orbital Bombardment ability for Space Marine players is essentially three lasers hitting the area of your target. Devastating to anything that gets hit.
  • The last few missions of the first Crusader game involve striking at an orbital defense platform which controls a network of nuclear-armed satellites.
  • Dino Crisis 2 has one of the protagonists activating a satellite to vaporize a gigantic dinosaur.
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 had this as one use of the Psycho Drive, apparently. Also, Karin Kanzuki's ending has her calling in a family favour and using their own Kill Sat to blow up the Shadaloo base.
  • The Golden Sun games had a fair few summons that did this — and, being summons, they could naturally target anywhere you happened to be battling, even inside caves or buildings — but only Eclipse (a dragon) and Isis were in space at the time.
  • In Snatcher, the Snatchers' final stronghold is destroyed by one of these in the game's climax.
  • As a affectionate parody of Bond villains, it shouldn't be too surprising that your goal in Evil Genius is to launch one of three Kill Sats to blackmail world leaders into total surrender. It works.
  • In the RTS Tom Clancy's EndWar, both the American Joint Strike Force and the European Enforcers Corps have access to Kill Sat technology. The latter have your usual laser satellite tech, while the former have kinetic impactors, aka "Rods from God."
  • In Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, one of the protagonists gains access to a giant space laser (actually designed to be fired from the ground at orbiting capital ships, like the ion cannon on Hoth), which can be targeted to vaporize anything.
  • The BFG of Ratchet: Deadlocked is the Harbinger, which scatters targets all over the battlefield, which are then quickly followed by beams of light blasting those spots. Also the Deplanetizer from the original game.
  • The Rail Shooter Confidential Mission revolved around recovering control of a laser satellite from the Big Bad. Which you do. And then you fire it at his escape submarine.
  • Civilization: Call to Power was a Civilization-style game that included the ability to build space-based weapons and cities. One of these weapons was, for all intents and purposes, a high-powered Kill Sat that could hit anything on the ground with near impunity. It's a shame that the game was never completely debugged....
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri features the Orbital Defense Pod, a satellite that serves as a missile defense system. You can also sacrifice the pod to destroy a Planet Buster or an enemy satellite.
  • Top-down shmup Sonic Wings features a barrage of orbital lasers presumably from satellites as the special weapon of one of the playable characters. Video games seem to like to give these to good guys and bad in equal measure.
  • In the anime-style fighting game Evil Zone, Metal Heroes parody Danzaiver's Limit Break has him calling upon a Kill Sat to strike at his enemy from orbit, complete with cutaway to the satellite itself. It's not as painful as it sounds. However, this technique is actually a grappling maneuver, which takes the concept to an unforeseen level of ridiculous.
  • Parasite Eve 2 contains a Kill Sat that fires what seem to be kinetic projectiles down on the entire main setting, acting as a last resort when containment looks unlikely.
    • The 3rd Birthday features another one, although scaled down, that you get to use several times.
  • In WinBack, the GULF Strategic Weapons System is a top-secret satellite laser owned by the US Government with an unlimited power source and the ability to obliterate any target on Earth with pinpoint accuracy, but it takes several hours to charge between shots. The plot kicks off when one of its two Control Centers is seized by terrorists and it's used on the Center for Space Development, the location of the other Control Center.
  • In Jack's ending in Tekken 2, he is destroyed by a Kill Sat in front of young Jane. In his Tekken 3 ending, he is carrying adult Jane on his shoulder, when Dr. Abel tries to do the same thing, but he protects her and himself with a Beehive Barrier.
  • In Sengoku Basara, Nohime has this as her Limit Break, summoning the Oda Mon as beacons with pillars of lights coming from the sky.
  • The expansion pack for Supreme Commander gives these to the UEF. They aren't particularly powerful, but given enough resources, you can use a group of them to pick off enemies with impunity.
    • As a nice touch, if the control station is destroyed, the satellite de-orbits. Straight down at whatever it was targeting. With all the ready-to-explode mass and energy of any experimental. Did we mention wreckage ignores shields?
  • In Zone of the Enders, BARAM turns Mars' moon, Deimos, into a Kill Sat based on the Urenbeck Catapult, a form of space-compression power slingshot. 'Course, then it turns out the real use is to not fire it, and let the overload blow a hole in space/time three times the size of the solar system.
  • Gunbound has two. First, the mobile E. Sate has a Kill Sat as its normal attack, though it doesn't as much fly through space as hover above it's head. However, there's the giant Kill Sat named Thor that hovers above the stage, adding damage to attacks on certain turns, and becoming stronger as it deals more damage. The two of them together is a sight to see.
    • Then there's the Aduka, whose secondary weapon is specifically designed to call down the Thor. A 4v4 match where everyone is piloting an Aduka... things aren't so bad in the beginning, but the pain really starts once Thor hits 3 or 4.
  • The first Support Character you earn in Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2 is a 14-year old girl. With a steampunk Kill Sat.
  • LARS from the car combat game Interstate '82 which is possibly the first video game weapon that's more effective in the hands of the player than the AI.
  • The King of Fighters 2000 has the Zero Cannon, a Kill Sat created by the NESTS group, powered by fight energy, but stolen by the renegade Clone Zero, who desires to use it against them. While it fails to destroy NESTS, it does succeed in nuking Southtown. It's later destroyed by Kula Diamond.
  • Halo:
    • Human planets are defended by UNSC Orbital Defense Platforms, Orbital "Super MACs" (Magnetic Accelerator Cannons) that fire 3000-ton slugs at up to 4% the speed of light at incoming enemy warships. Smaller MAC weapons are mounted on every UNSC warship, and both versions can be turned to fire planetside in a tick.
    • Earth's orbital defense grid is featured in Halo 2; the announcement trailer has a debate between a general on the ground wanting those platforms to be used as Kill Sats against the already-landed invasion forces, and the admiral in orbit trying to hold off the Covenant fleet:
    "I'm asking you to re-target the orbitals!"
    "And let more of them sweep the kill zone? That's insanity! There's nothing more I can do!"
    • The expanded universe reveals that the Covenant have their own orbital defense stations, except theirs fire energy beams.
    • In Halo Wars, the smaller MAC Gun of the Cool Ship Spirit of Fire can be used as a more conventional, if ad hoc, Kill Sat. On the other hand, Covenant ground forces can call upon their own ships in orbit to deliver plasma bombardment or 'glassing' on their enemy.
    • Halo: Reach:
      "MAC rounds? In atmosphere!?"
      • After the Grafton destroys the Spire, it gets kill-satted by the Long Night of Solace's energy projector.
      • On a smaller scale, there's the Target Locator for calling down orbital bombardment strikes.
  • Several of the Twisted Metal games feature a weapon of this type.
  • Resident Evil 5, in a seemingly desperate attempt to fit possibly every trope ever into one game, gave you a Kill Sat to fight one giant boss, that came with an "L.T.D." (short for Laser Targeting Device), which was effectively an empty bazooka with a laser attached to it, a la Gears of War's Hammer of Dawn. It takes a while to lock on, so it's good to have a friend stun the orbs you aiming at (which, by the way, are the giant orbs of a humongous version of the Uroboros you fought four chapters ago). The recharge time is ridiculous, and you can destroy the orbs you're aiming with bullets, but its great when you hear the three quick beeps letting you know it stopped charging, and you can once again destroy whatever you lock on to.
  • The fourth boss in the SNES game The Ninja Warriors Again wields a pimp cane that can direct an unseen Kill Sat to fire on your position.
  • In Spore, you get the "Uber Turret", a fast moving low-orbit satellite missile platform. It is an inversion in that instead of attacking ground targets (you deploy on your own colonies; not exactly the thing you'd want to blow), it is used to destroy (in a matter of seconds) squadrons of alien invaders that enter your planet's atmosphere.
  • Uprising has that as a building called Ksat. Awesome, but Impractical, and very annoying when the Single Player enemy uses it.
  • If you built a Microwave power station in SimCity 2000, it could occasionally "miss" and rain Kill Sat-like destruction on your helpless citizens.
  • In World of Warcraft, Azeroth has 4 Kill Sats in orbit, used by the Titans as orbital defense weapons and named after the Keepers of Ulduar.
    • The final quest in the current starting area for gnomes suggest the gnomes have some themselves.
  • In Razing Storm, your allies have one, aimed by firing a laser cannon at the target to transmit its location to the satellite. It's used in Stage 3 to destroy the Big Bad and his headquarters, as well as to finish off the Giant Spider Tank boss.
  • The scrapped Fallout: Van Buren project revolved around the B.O.M.B., one of two nuke-throwing death stations, still in orbit after 200 years, and still with its payload intact.
    • Bethesda's Fallout 3 has a Shout-Out to the above with "Highwater Trousers" orbital platform. Broken Steel has the Enclave dust off the Bradley-Hercules satellite weapon, which you can use against either their own base or the Brotherhood of Steel Citadel. Then there is Mothership Zeta and its Wave-Motion Gun...
      • And the player finally gets one of their own in Fallout: New Vegas, in the form of the Archimedes II solar death ray. Complete with a Lethal Joke Item for a target designator. Prior to that, you can fire the Archimedes I on the NCR's own Helios 1 plant, earning you infamy to them.
      • Taken up several notches in Fallout 76, in which the player can earn access to the Kovac-Muldoon orbital platform. Unlike in previous games, there's no limit to where you can aim the K-C or how many times you can use it, so craft some orbital strike beacons and go wild!
  • Battlefield 2142 has Orbital and EMP strikes.
  • Machines: Wired For War has a ion cannon that can wipe out almost anything in its (small) blast radius and set fire to anything just out side it. Taking over an enemy base can gain access to their ion cannon.
  • Ace Combat:
    • Ace Combat 3 has the OSL (Orbital Satellite Laser) unlockable weapon, which only requires a radar lock and the push of a button to annihilate any target in one hit, is available for all aircraft, and has plenty of "ammo" too.
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has the SOLG (Strategic Orbital Linear Gun), a satellite-based railgun capable of firing MIRV-type nuclear warheads and wiping out half the major cities in the game's two main countries, and it's programmed to crash down into Earth if control from the surface is cut off. There's also the Arkbird, which is actually a huge spaceship rather than a satellite, but can still kick some ass down there when equipped with a laser system.
    • The Belkan laser-based superweapon Excalibur in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is kind of a downplayed example of one. While the weapon is ground based, it uses a network of satellites with mirror-like structures in orbit to redirect the beam, thus allowing Excalibur to increase its effective range and change its angle of attack as if were an orbital platform.
  • In Target Terror, the player can acquire a one-use "Smart Bomb" by firing at a miniature Kill Sat that quickly scrolls across the screen at regular intervals. When used, a cutscene shows a satellite charging and firing into the earth, immediately killing all hostile targets with individual lasers while leaving friendly NPCs unharmed, even indoors.
  • The 8-bit game Dark Side takes place on a moon where terrorists have built a superweapon. It continuously collects energy from the Sun; guess what will happen if you fail to disable it.
  • Captain Vladimir, Rank 3 in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, has a radio uplink to an old Soviet Union satellite cannon called Volk. It has two functions: a rain of smaller beams that deal good damage, and the "big beam". The big one's a One-Hit Kill.
  • In XGRA, you can use the Death Strike for a One-Hit Kill. It's an orbital laser operated by the sponsors.
  • BlazBlue has the magical satellite Nox Nyctores Gigant: Take Mikazuchi, complete with digital monster in a coffin that shoots the beam. It has a four-year "cooldown" period, and the firing sequence is breathtaking to behold.
    • Ruins of Japan: The shot from Take-Mikazuchi was the finishing blow to the Black Beast.
    • Ibukido: The entire city was annihilated. In one timeline, only Number 12 (aka Noel) survived.
    • Kagutsuchi: "Activating Tsukuyomi Unit."
    • Chronophantasma: The true Big Bad pulls it down to earth and repowers it to serve as the True Final Boss.
  • X-Men Legends gives you super moves for each character. Beast's is "Orbital Bombardment", wherein he magicks a holographic computer from nowhere, presses some buttons and multiple lasers rain down and wipe out all onscreen enemies. Mr. Fantastic gets the same ultimate attack in Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
  • Ar Tonelico 2 features Replekia, which is powered by a Combined Energy Attack and amplifies your magic. It's rather effective. Several spells in the series also do this.
  • Just Cause 2 of all games has this, while fighting the Japanese boss, and you have to dodge it constantly. Sadly for this boss, he's not Friendly Fire Proof.
    Yahtzee: There is one particularly sharp-witted boss who attacks you with a satellite missile system while standing on the same narrow rooftop. Didn't even need to shoot the bastard. It was practically assisted suicide.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 2 gives you one of these after you reach the first checkpoint. The final boss has the ability to do this, as well.]] It appears in the third game as well - though instead of a summon for Natalie, it's a Limit Break for Lance. And it's safer to use. And then in the fourth one, one of the bosses hacks it to use it on you, though you can use it as well if you find the right chest.
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron, the alternate form of Trypticon is one.
  • In Bayonetta, Balder owns one of these and will try to use it during their boss battle. It has a two-shot limit, after the second time, if you don't kill the boss before the third, they'll just yank it out of the orbit.
  • Champions Online actually has the "Orbital Cannon" power available for player characters (and some NPC's) to use. Normally a single, vehicle-sized blast, one optional advantage allows it to fire continuously - and select new targets on its own (always an enemy)as it does so.
  • The plot in Vanquish is kicked off when Russians hijack the orbital colony of Providence and use its microwave emitter on San Francisco.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic.
    • Imperial Agents have the Orbital Strike skill, calling in a strike from some of the Imperial ships orbiting the planet.
    • In Knights of Fallen Empire expansion Arcann built 6 of these to ensure compliance of conqured planets.
  • System Shock has the Tachyon Mining Beam on Tri-Optimum's Citadel Station, in orbit around Saturn. A note says that it can be "easily configured for military usage" on top of the hundreds of other weapons available on the station itself. In-game, the station's AI SHODAN first tries to use this laser to obliterate human cities. You have to disable the laser by blasting it into the Station's shields, but you can also get a glimpse of what happens if it is fired directly.
  • Black & White:
    • The most destructive spell is called Mega-blast, in his basic form consist in one powerful beam of turning a building into scraps and in his most powerful form consist in many powerful beams capable of turning a village into scraps.
    • In the sequel, activating a Wonder initially manifests as a beam from the sky, quickly followed by anything from a localized hurricane to a volcanic eruption at ground zero.
  • Last Alert had the player as a mercenary out to stop a Mad Scientist from taking over the world with one of these.
  • City of Heroes features a few examples at higher levels - the powerful War Walkers have access to an Orbital Cannon, while Mad Scientist Anti-Matter can launch an Obliteration Beam from his space station which not only deals massive damage but also holds players helplessly in the beam.
  • Digimon World 3 has Gunslinger, the location and last boss, sort of, of the final boss battle for the main part of the game. It's infested with powerful Digimon and at the end Snatchmon merges itself with its master and then with the station itself. Then it plans to merge with Earth to make the most powerful Digimon EVER to have existed.
  • Crusader: No Remorse last mission consists in the player destroying an enemy space station (with a kill sat goal) before it becomes fully operational.
  • Winback The entire plot of the game is to stop terrorists using a stolen Kill Sat called The Gulf System to destroy targets in America.
  • War Wind's human scientist faction can build armed satellites.
  • The EA version of Battleship for iOS has a one-shot satellite-based superweapon that can devastate a fairly-large area of the game grid. Naturally, it ends up being Too Awesome to Use.
  • One of the oldest examples of this trope in video games was Shin Megami Tensei II's Megiddo Arc - a massive superlaser designed to all but eradicate humanity's last strongholds. The guy who had it constructed? YHVH. And he's intent on using it - even against cities explicitly confirmed to be aligned with Him.
  • Predating even that is the Missile Command-inspired Ashes to Ashes from the early Macintosh days, which had a satellite-based ion cannon as one of the three weapons in the player's defensive arsenal. It strikes the target area instantly and has unlimited uses, but has a 2 second cool-down delay and a smaller blast radius than ground-based missiles. Still, skilled players can survive for quite a while after exhausting their other weapons.
  • The X-Universe series features lasertowers and orbital defense stations, which operate like Halo's Super MACs in that they're defensive in nature, blowing hostile ships out of the sky. In X3: Terran Conflict the lasertower is a Useless Useful Spell since out-of-sector combat mechanicsnote  negate its main advantage over its targets (superior range). Even in-sector, it can take dozens to bring down a capital ship. Lasertowers got a major buff in Albion Prelude, making them effective defenses. The Torus Aeternal, a Ringworld-esque megastructure that wraps around Earth, is a defensive kill sat - it has enough weaponry to One-Hit Kill any ship that deviates from their assigned docking path. The Torus was such a powerful piece of Terran infrastructure that the Argon Federation resort to sabotaging it via suicide-bombing in order to invade the Solar System in X3: Albion Prelude
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dawnguard expansion features Auriel's bow, a weapon forged by a God. Whenever this weapon is used to fire Sun-Hallowed Elven Arrows directly at the Sun, cue the magical equivalent of a powerful Kill Sat being unleashed onto nearby enemies.
  • In Star Control II, this is how the Ur-Quan appears to enslave alien races. Once an alien civilization's starfleet is destroyed, they will send ships into near-orbit as Kill-Sats over the major capitals of their homeworld and threaten death unless they surrender. Except...they still destroy some capitals as a message. As the Earth commander states: "you won't find Buenos Aires" on any new maps...
  • In Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, Spike's Level 3 super move involves the use of one of these to wipe out every player on screen.
  • The Homeworld series knows Low-Orbit Atmospheric Deprivation Weapons - as war crimes to use, possibly even build. Firing one burns up the target planet's atmosphere, infrastructure and population.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place after the United States has been devastated by strikes from its own Kinetic Impactors ("Rods from God") after the space stations containing the weapons were hijacked by astronauts from a hostile nation.
  • Vector Thrust boasts the EOS-02 MRSA satellite, which uses a scalar-based laser system to One-Hit Kill most, if not all objecs barring other superweapons. While each beam is small, there are a lot of satellites.
    • The Blackstar UAV from the same game is functionally the same, except it's an upscaled Darkstar reconnaissance drone equipped with no less than three microwave lasers on its underbelly for shooting down enemy nuclear missiles before they reach orbit. Nobody's stopping it from pointing these lasers at other things.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has one which is used by the good guys to destroy an incoming Leviathan (a living, sentient, evil meteor) before impact.
  • In The Farm, a Tower Defense game, the farmer can use a satellite-mounted laser to defend his flock of sheep. This may seem excessive, but then he is being attacked by zombies, cultists and the US Army.
  • In Evolve, the support character Hank can target an orbital bombardment fired from a modified mining satellite. His modification replaces the artillery barrage with a laser beam.
  • In Sacred, one sidequest involving a Seraphim researching their history reveals that the Seraphim are actually genetically engineered cyborg supersoldiers of a space empire. Their ultimate energy beam "spell" is actually them activating one of the empire's Kill Sats that is still in orbit around their world and still fully functional after thousands of years.
  • Sega's arcade Strategic Defense Initiative subverts this trope. While you control a Kill Sat, that at the end of each stage goes back to the cargo hold of a space shuttle to be carried elsewhere, you use it to destroy enemy missiles, bases, and ships... in spacenote 
  • In PlanetSide 1, each empire has access to an orbital laser that can annihilate anything outdoors after a short charge-up period. If you hear the distinctive whine of the strike and you aren't in a vehicle or already at a dead sprint, You Are Already Dead. Orbital Strikes can be called in by players that have reached Command Rank 4, and the blast radius gets upgraded at Rank 5.
  • 7th Dragon III: code VFD has one that the Agent class can gain access to by completing a sidequest. Firing it causes massive damage to all enemies and has a high chance of inflicting Hacked status.
  • The fifth game in the Bloons Tower Defense series has the Bloonsday Device, which can send down a laser that can pop bloons.
  • In the Doomsday Heist update for Grand Theft Auto V, an orbital cannon was made available as a purchasable utility for your high-tech facility, enabling you to use it as surveillance across all corners of the map, or as its function as an instant kill weapon by firing on your target from high above. But, you will need $500k to fire a manual shot or, if you so choose to leave the reins to the game, pay $750k to autotarget your choice of players in the lobby and let the cannon do the rest for you. On top of that, there's a long cooldown period before it can be used again, and you can only use it from a command post in the facility.
  • In Planescape: Torment, the Mechanus Cannon is effectively a cross-planar kill sat. The spells Power Word Kill, Meteor Storm Bombardment, and Torment also have kill sat mechanics with some rather impressive visuals.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 the Artifice Siren, commanded by Mythra, is a Humongous Mecha floating in space that wields a particle cannon. As part of Mythra's and, in New Game Plus as of patch version 1.3.0, Pneuma Level IV Blade Special, she calls on Siren to rain lasers from above onto the target (so long as there isn't a roof over the party's head). Its targeting ray is apparently enough to kill Pyra, when she threatens to do so in order to get Torna to take her without harming the rest of the party.
  • In Rimworld, the planet that your colonists are on has several abandoned satellite arrays which can serve this function though only one of the the three current types is purpose built for it. Your colonists can activate one of them with one-use targeter items, hacked not to require security credentials from someone who's been dead for centuries. They can be orbital weapons which drop tons of bombs, solar collection satellites which shoot a massive beam of intense heat to the target, or weather manipulation satellites which create tornadoes.
  • In SYNTHETIK, there are items that can release satellite beams. The G87"BEAMER" shoots a slowly-moving beam, the "Icarus" shoots triple beams at once, and the Legendary-tier "Redline" can unleash a massive orbital beam for a long time.
  • In Spy Hunter (2001), the Nostra corporation aims to cause a worldwide power blackout with an array of EMP-producing satellites known as "The Four Horsemen".
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, Low Orbit Ion Cannons are mentioned a few times in passing. A certain item lets you call down a strike from one on enemies during battle.
  • Yakuza: Dead Souls has a "Satellite laser" weapon that players can wield. Hits with it often register as "headshot".
  • In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, completing the Business Sidequest storyline unlocks the "Essence of Orbital Laser" in which Ichiban presses a Big Red Button on his phone that activates a satellite owned by his Mega-Corp to nuke the enemies to oblivion.
  • Ironsight features the Zeus, a tactical drone that calls in a beam of concentrated energy to kill enemies once you've scored enough points to call one in.
  • Doubly subverted in The New Order: Last Days Of Europe. Among Hermann Göring's wunderwaffen is a so-called "Sun Gun" satellite. It doesn't work as intended...but it does kill someone by falling on Oskar Dirlewanger.
  • Guilty Gear -STRIVE-: Goldlewis Dickinson has a target designator for one in his glasses, and has it fire on the enemy for one of his specials.
  • The Toppat Clan's orbital space station in the Henry Stickmin Series contains a large energy weapon called the Supreme Dominance, which they charge up in one path in a last-ditch effort to stop Henry from stealing the Norwegian Emerald.
  • Fate/Grand Order: In "Lostbelt 5.1: Ancient Ocean of the Dreadnought Gods, Atlantis", one of the biggest threats Chaldea faces is one of these, a massive divine satellite in orbit that unleashes massive magical lasers powerful enough to reduce islands to nothing and it's classified as an Anti-Planet Noble Phantasm. It's actually the true form of the Moon Goddess Artemis herself. You see, in the Nasuverse, the Twelve Olympians were once massive alien machine life-forms that gained sentience and humanity from mingling with humans after their original bodies were destroyed by another extraterrestial threat. This Lostbelt shows what happens when said Olympians managed to keep their old bodies.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, if a Ranger or a Gunner uses an Assault Rifle, they can use a photon art that has them call down a laser blast from orbit. Holding down the trigger button allows it to deal more damage, but it leaves the player vulnerable to attack, making this Awesome, but Impractical. In New Genesis, the Photon Art is changed into a Photon Burst when a player uses an Assault Rifle that calls down a laser beam from orbit, and the player is temporarily made invulnerable to attack while its active.

    Web Animation 
  • The graphic novel-esque flash series Broken Saints features a fanatical Corrupt Corporate Executive who sets up a Kill Sat network in order to broadcast a signal triggering his vision of Judgment Day. It also has the ability to lock on to anywhere on the planet and emit highly-focused EM pulses.
  • The "MIR Anti-Nuke Express" of 3D animated short Indigen is an autonomous Earth-orbitting particle cannon which does exactly what its name implies. It doesn't mind blasting anything in the target's vincinity along with it though. Until its suffers a blue screen.

  • In Megatokyo, the Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division used "a high-intensity satellite-based laser" to "neutralize" Ed and his plasma cannon, in this strip.
  • In Romantically Apocalyptic, The Good Directorate possesses (possessed?) at least one of these.
  • A military Kill Sat was fired with great precision at just one person in this strip of Antihero for Hire.
  • In Drive (Dave Kellett), it is revealed the Tesskans used some kind of Kill Sat on Berlin, Beijing, and New York City.
  • Exterminatus Now, being a combination of Sonic the Hedgehog and Warhammer 40,000, is named after the command that field agents of the Mobian Inquisition can use in times of imminent defeat or upon discovering a massive demon incursion to request a direct strike from an orbital weapons platform on their current position — which means if they don't manage to get far away quickly enough, they too will go out with a bang. This is a toned down version of the WH40K Exterminatus...
  • In Exploitation Now, the Bad Guy is incinerated by his own "defense" satellite after the heroine reprogrammed it to target the building they were both on the roof of. 1, 2, 3
    • Earlier on, the same character hijacked an old secret Soviet orbital weapons platform to nuke Canada.
  • The RPG-spoof Adventurers! has a laser-obsessed Big Bad who loves nothing more than using his orbital-based DeathRay to toast bread and make sammiches.
  • In Sluggy Freelance:
    • The "Eyes in the Sky" from. In the ghoul-infested world, these "Eyes" were used to rain destruction down upon attacking ghouls.
    • This turns out to be the mysterious Oasis's true nature, an artificially intelligent satellite with Invisibility that can ignite fires from orbit. It is also the most important element of Dr. Schlock's plans to Take Over the World, equipping said satellite with a Teleport Gun to intimidate or wipe out all opposition.
  • Used in This strip about Sound of Music robots from Truck Bearing Kibble.
  • User Friendly is also fond of this trope, in the form of "Crowbar Satellites", which... well, drop crowbars from orbit. When the User Friendly crew were visiting Antarctica, one of the techs living there used a satellite to drop a crowbar on the unfortunate Predator wandering around outside with a soldering iron stuck in his eye (it's a long story), exploding him quite satisfactorily. Pitr (resident evil-genius wannabe) eventually got his own Crowbar Satellite... at least until one of the other techs found the remote and mistook it for a handheld game, wasting all the ammo.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dracula is far too elegant to bother with something as blunt as an orbital satellite. He uses Moon Lasers instead.
    • Technically, the moon is a satellite.
  • NSTA revolves around the operations of the titular National Satellite Tracking Agency, which manages orbital satellites used for both techno-telepathic brain-borrowing computation and orbital laser strikes. The first strip to introduce the latter functionality involved precision brain surgery by thought-controlled orbital laser.
  • The Tower of Babel in S.S.D.D. is an odd variation in that the satellite is only a mirror designed to redirect the lasers fired from a very large, very phallic looking tower. Apparently previous attempts at orbital weapons were either really large and easy to shoot down, or underpowered.
  • In Sequential Art Jack launched an orbital laser cannon and used it to destroy a couple buildings, then Art accidentally made it target the tank Jack was driving, and (intentionally) pinned him to it. Later OZBASIC attempted to upload into that satellite.
  • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach of Girl Genius made it look like he was directing a kill sat with a handheld scepter. Subverted when the power source is six large crystals positioned around the city, which fried right before the enemy surrendered.
  • Atomic Robo sees the titular character seize control of a Nazi kill sat.
  • In The Far Side of Utopia the IDS have The Skyhammer which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; Unfortunately for them it proves no match for Mium.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-923 is a mind effecting Kill Sat. It makes people Ax-Crazy, and the effect 'splashes' at higher settings. It reports a maximum output of 238, which gets converted to 'keter' intensity - and apparently causes effects that screw with reality itself. More worryingly, using it causes wear (and results in lower-intensity settings slowly becoming unavailable). What really worries the Foundation, though, is the fact that the Kill Sat says it was built to help protect a site that they never built.
    • SCP-1514 ("Star Wars"). SCP-1514 is a whole network of xaser killer satellites Powered by a Forsaken Child (and his mother). They are based on the real-life Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars" program. See real-life folder for more information.
    • SCP-2578 ("This Machine Kills Fascists") is usually content to act as an extremely localized version, sniping exact (tyrannical) individuals with apparent high-velocity rounds from up in orbit after giving ample warning. It's in the Foundation's best interests to not make it come down here, as the last time that happened it had a giant quarrel with a Keter-class that ended with everyone in Pyongyang dead, SCP-2578 in need of heavy repairs and the Keter-class in question flung into the sun.
  • Anonymous has a Low Orbit Ion Cannon (a program that helps with their DDOS attacks), which got them noticed by the FBI after they attacked sites that were boycotting WikiLeaks.

    Web Videos 
  • In To Boldly Flee, Big Bad the Executor has a Kill Sat that he uses to (almost) kill That SciFi Guy. And plans to use it to destroy the Earth.
  • In Microsoft Sam and the War in the Republic of My, the Orbital ROFL-Laser serves as one. In Episode 1, one of its tests was a Disastrous Demonstration, erroneously firing into an unintended target.
  • In Super Power Beat Down episode "Iron Man vs. Optimus Prime", Tony attempts to take out Prime with one of these, which he nicknamed 'Lucy'. Optimus is able to fly up to it and hijack it physically to kill Tony, leading to him to self-destruct it, only for Prime to come down from space on its flaming carcass. In the normal ending, Prime crushes Tony with it. In the alternate ending, the Endo-Sym Armor saves Tony.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama episode "Crimes of the Hot" had an unintentional satellite of doom. In an effort to defeat global warming, Farnsworth's rival Wernstrom creates a giant mirror to reflect the sun's rays. When the giant mirror is knocked off course, it focuses a beam of sunlight on the Earth that incinerates everything in its path. Epic Fail. Later in the episode, when President of Earth, Richard Nixon lured all the robots in the world to the Galapagos Islands to destroy themnote  he had Wernstrom converted his mirror satellite into an EMP satellite to fire it at the Galapagos and permanently deactivate all the robots.
  • Justice League:
    • In the episode "Maid of Honor", villain Vandal Savage takes control of a mass driver equipped Kill Sat owned by the kingdom of his intended bride...and is promptly crushed (but not killed, thanks to his regenerative powers) by a shot from the weapon after his plans are foiled.
    • In Unlimited, the second Watchtower had a more conventinal one of these, which caused the heroes no end of grief when it got hijacked for villainous purposes. Even before that, just the knowledge that they had it on top of being the single largest force of metahumans on the planet caused a lot of people to become very distrustful of the Justice League. They eventually decided it was too much power for anyone to have and decommissioned the gun. It was called the "Binary Fusion Generator", which (while never spoken as such in the show) has a convenient acronym.
  • Code Lyoko:
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
  • In an episode of Galactic Guardians, Darkseid tries to turn the peaceful Star City into a Kill Sat. When the heroes foil his plan, he is forced to settle for a Colony Drop.
  • In the 1981 Spider-Man cartoon, Doctor Doom introduced us to a satellite-mounted laser — the laser part of which was actually a holdover from an earlier episode — and used it to play with the Pacific Ring of Fire. As far as the "kill" part, the satellite turns out to have a surprisingly localized effect when it gets knocked off course, burns a path to his castle and bodily vaporizes him.
  • Johnny Bravo was once fried by one when he started hitting on a random nerd girl.
  • Invader Zim parodies this. When Dib discovers that Zim is weak against water, naturally a water fight ensues. This escalates until Zim builds a giant, orbital water balloon launcher.
  • In Invincible (2021) the Global Defense Agency uses one of these against Omni-Man. Twice. They only manage to piss him off.
    Director Cecil: 400 billion dollars for the world's most expensive nosebleed.
  • In G.I. Joe: Resolute Cobra uses a kill sat to blow up Moscow. Successfully, in the first ten minutes of the first episode.
  • In the Dilbert series, Dogbert causes some havoc with one of these.
  • Ronald Reagan in Celebrity Deathmatch tried to kill Ayatollah Khomeini with the Star Wars satellite defense system. The first attempt failed and killed a random audience member instead, but the second attempt succeeded.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers:
    • The episode "Queen's Lair" revolved around the Rangers' efforts to take out one of these before The Queen of the Crown took out Earth with it. This actually made for one of the darker episodes of the series.
    • It was also played for tragedy in "Ghost Station." The kill sat was from a lost alien civilization that presumably blew itself to bits. The AI running the station tried holography and other tricks to try and scare the heroes off, then prematurely triggered its self destruct in order to save Earth.
  • In Beast Wars, an alien race known as the Vok had built a gigantic death ray (well, a heat ray designed to detonate all the Energon they'd placed in the crust) within a second artificial moon orbiting Earth with the purpose of getting rid of the Earth "experiment" if it didn't work out or would cause them problems. Said ray was blown up when Optimus Primal attempted a Heroic Sacrifice. He got better.
  • Played for Laughs in Teen Titans Go!, when Beast Boy and Cyborg's desperate attempts to stall the pizza boy ultimately result in using one of these to destroy the whole pizzeria. They quickly realize that they may have gone too far.
  • Transformers: Prime has established that before he founded MECH, leader Silas was involved in the development of these as part of "Project Damocles", which was believed to be cancelled, but it turned out the prototype had been built, and when Silas gets transplanted into Breakdown's chassis and joins the Decepticons, it gets put to use with great effect by Soundwave.
  • The US President in Rick and Morty uses one of these. He has a watch with a laser pointer which causes the kill sat to fire a beam at his target.
  • In Spliced, Octocat controls a Kill Sat that she uses on people who annoy her.
  • A Kill Sat made a short appearance in the Kim Possible episode "Kimitation Nation". Drakken attempted to obtain the controls for it, but failed.
  • One episode of Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series featured Dragaunus taking over one such satellite while the ducks dealt with an energy monster he had unleashed. Fortunately, the ducks managed to solve both problems by firing the energy creature at the satellite, destroying both.
  • In the South Park episode "Sons of Witches", the men in town have an annual witch week, during which one of them, Chip Duncan, uses a spell book to transform into a real witch. He proceeds to terrorise the town and kidnap children. This is resolved when the kids call their old fourth-grade teacher Mr. Garrison, who had the previous year been elected President of the United States. Mr. Garrison flies to South Park in Air Force One, and tries to talk Chip down. When it fails because Chip claims to be more powerful then ever, Mr. Garrison replies "you wanna see what real power is?" and has a US military space laser incinerate Chip, leaving nothing but dust. The men cheer and then proceed to party with El Presidente.
  • A villainous attempt to build one is a running plot for much of the second season of Thunderbirds Are Go. He does eventually manage to get the thing working, and tries to use it to kill his (even more villainous) boss; it can only fry relatively small areas, and the power is directly proportional to how long it takes to charge, so it's not really a global threat, but it's certainly a problem for the guy he's trying to kill.
  • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Shredder and Krang take control of a satellite armed with a super laser and used it to cut the Technodrome free from the Arctic ice trapping it. However, just as they were finally moving, Bebop and Rockstead get into a scuffle over a comic book, resulting in Bebop falling back against the controls of the lasernote . This not only shorted out the controls, preventing them from using the satellite any further, but it also caused the laser to create a hole in the ice in front of the Technodrome, resulting in it ending up at the bottom of the ocean.

    Real Life 
Although the actual deployment of nuclear weapons in space has been prohibited by the 1969 Outer Space Treaty, that hasn't stopped anyone from seriously suggesting it as a way of dealing with people they don't like.
  • This kind of thing was commonly bandied about in the Soviet Union and beyond:
    • The Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (or "FOBS") was designed to deliver a nuclear warhead (or several) by mimicking a satellite's orbital path. The Soviet brass was not too enamored by it because it would have been too effective — it would bypass any early-warning system and make for a very effective decapitation strike, thereby eliminating the prospect of Mutually Assured Destruction. And without mutually assured destruction, the Soviet Union's enemies would be more likely to throw a preemptive nuclear strike at the country, which would not be very good for the people who lived there. The fear around FOBS led to the SALT II treaty in 1979 specifically prohibiting development, testing, or deployment of any such technology.
    • The Almaz-class military space station OPS-2/Salyut 3 sported a 23 mm self-defense gun (in Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon fashion) that was tested successfully on another satellite. The intent here was probably taking out potential American Kill Sats. Had any subsequent Almaz outposts been commissioned, they would have carried missiles instead.
    • The Polyus/Skif-D was an advanced weapons satellite that would have sported a megawatt laser — key word being "would", because the only time they tried to launch an unarmed test platform, they had to launch it upside-down (for structural load reasons), and when it spun to fire its engines, it spun too far and plowed straight into the ocean. Officially (and most likely) it was a programming error, but some people believe that it was deliberately sabotaged in order to end the disastrous ongoing space weapons arms race.
    • Kaskad was a missile-based equivalent to the Polyus. That never got off the ground, but they did plan to test it on six refitted Progress cargo drones, which were already on the assembly line by the time the Soviet Union fell.
    • Sputnik 1, the first ever artificial satellite, was not a Kill Sat, but many people were afraid that it was thanks to the political climate at the time, or more specifically that the launch vehicles could be repurposed to launch nuclear warheads.
    • In the late 1990s, the Russian government proposed a sort of "peaceful" Kill Sat — a network of mirror satellites that would redirect sunlight onto subpolar regions (i.e. Siberia) during winter, to improve agriculture and cut down on electrical lighting during the polar winter. They quietly dropped the project due to costs, but there's enough interest in it to make it a proposed alternative to terraform Mars, as this could (at least in theory) counteract the lack of atmosphere that makes Mars as cold as Hell.
  • This kind of thing was also bandied about in the United States to counteract the Dirty Communists:
    • Project Horizon was a 1950s feasibility study into a joint scientific/military lunar expedition which included a proposal to install nuclear missiles on the Moon as an invulnerable strategic reserve. The base would have been equipped with Davy Crockett low-yield nukes and claymore mines specifically designed to puncture spacesuits. The proposal died quietly after someone pointed out that the missiles would take at least three days to reach Earth, by which time the war would be over.
    • The "Strategic Defense Initiative" or SDI, a Reagan-era proposal commonly referred to as "Star Wars", was a way to ramp up the U.S. defense against a possible Soviet strike by launching it from space. It never got past the experimental stage, was widely seen as a waste of money, and was shelved in the last years of the Cold War, but it did include a few Kill Sat-like proposals, in addition to just firing missiles from space:
      • The "Kinetic Bombardment System" (commonly nicknamed "Rods from God") is meant to fire not missiles, but 20-meter-long tungsten rods. Their kinetic energy from their fall, plus the plasma sheth created by reentry into Earth's atmosphere, would give the weapon the force of a nuclear explosion. It could even penetrate nuclear shelters through sheer momentum. But it wasn't radioactive, which meant (a) no fallout and (b) it's not covered by the 1969 Outer Space Treaty. It's still on the drawing board, having survived SDI as a way of discreetly dealing with hardened terrorist bunkers.
      • The little brother to "Rods from God" was "Brilliant Pebbles", a fleet of small satellites that would detect and then attack incoming Soviet ICBM's. Technical problems and the end of the Cold War led to it's cancellation.
      • SDI also planned a pop-up one-shot X-ray laser satellite, powered by a nuke and (at least in theory) able to toast an area as wide as a football field. It was tested only once, and the result was inconclusive, but it serendipitously fueled the development of plenty of other technologies (many of them civil). This one was directly referenced in Shaman King, as Hao calls the Kill Sat in question as SDI X-ray laser. It may also have been an inspiration for the Goldeneye example.
    • In the late 1960s, the "Lenticular Reentry Vehicle" was a proposed manned version. It was essentially a large nuclear-powered Flying Saucer that would have been carried into orbit by booster rockets and covertly loitered in orbit with a payload of four nukes which it could launch as a revenge weapon. The status of the project remains classified, but its existence is not, and that implies that it's possible that this thing was fully functional at one point — but likely not, if only because it probably would have cost a lot of money.
  • In fact, it's Older Than They Think: Those Wacky Nazis proposed a version, with the original design being from 1929. They called theirs the Sonnengewehr or "Sun Gun", and it would have been a giant space-borne parabolic mirror designed to burn down cities from space. This, naturally, never got off the ground, much like the Nazis' other absurd technological proposals.
  • The Nicoll-Dyson Laser is essentially a Dyson Sphere of Kill Sats. It would use the same basic principle — i.e. surround the sun with a shell of satellites to collect its energy — but rather than simply harness the energy, it would focus it into a single laser beam whose initial width would equal the size of the satellites' orbits and whose effective range could be millions of light years. Its "designer" is not a scientist or engineer, but rather sci-fi blogger and fan-writer James Nicoll, who admits it's not feasible in real life and just uses it as a plot point.
  • The inversion of the Kill Sat is more common than the straight example; it's called an anti-satellite weapon or ASAT. While these, too, can contain anything from ordinary missiles to nuclear warheads, they're aimed at other satellites and not at Earth. They could still be just as destructive, though, especially given how much of our cool information technology runs on satellites. It is the safest way to dispose of an obsolete satellite (because the alternative is dropping it on Earth with all the flaming debris that entails), but it does leave debris in orbit which could still hit other satellites and cause big problems (i.e. Gravity in real life).note  The Soviets have had one since 1968 (although early versions were more kamikaze-style satellites designed to crash directly into U.S. Kill Sats), the Americans since 1985, and the Chinese since 2007 — and the Chinese also used theirs, to much criticism internationally (and forcing the International Space Station to change its orbit twice).


Video Example(s):


Ion Cannon

The Ion Cannon is an orbital satellite-mounted weapon system capable of firing a destructive energy beam onto a target with deadly precision, making it the most powerful and advanced weapon in the Global Defense Initiative's arsenal.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / KillSat

Media sources: