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Mid-Season Upgrade

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Nadi: Ugh, we just got Barbatos Lupus up and running, it's already in this sorry state. I wish you would show more restraint with your gear. So, how did Lupus do out there?
Mikazuki: Lupus?
Nadi: You know good and well that's the new name Teiwaz's chief mechanic gave it.
Mikazuki: Barbatos is the Barbatos. The repairs were good.
Nadi: You never change...

In a series dealing with mecha (or Powered Armor, Cool Car etc), typically anime, it's common for the important machines to be upgraded with a Mecha Expansion Pack with a Meaningful Rename or replaced with a brand new version about halfway through the storyline. The original is either damaged, destroyed, served as the base skeleton of the new model or retired entirely because of the escalating technology of the conflict. It may also be that the machine was a work in progress, with the newer version a better realization of its' capabilities.

In many such cases, the series starts with the protagonist mecha so powerful that no enemy unit can stop them, then to get some balance the enemy catches on eventually and creates weapons powerful enough that defeating them gets virtually impossible. Finally, the heroes get their upgrades to devastate their enemies and restores their superiority.

The name comes from Fan Speak in the Gundam franchise, as it is especially common for a new Gundam to be introduced as So Last Season comes into effect. In cases where the original mech survives or is later retrieved, it often becomes a hand-me-down given to one of the other members of the cast but is no longer the Bigger Stick it once was. Note that the opening sequence of the show will probably change to show the upgrade, and in some cases reveals the meaning behind the title.

Don't be surprised if it happens in time for new toys to get out for Christmas shopping season.

Despite the name this does not exclusively come "mid season," but may be introduced in the beginning of the second season, at the beginning of the second movie, or after a Hard-Work Montage the new toy is ready for a movie's climactic battle.

Compare to the Mecha Expansion Pack, which may just be adding a Jet Pack to the existing machine, and Equipment Upgrade, which centers around weapons, shields and utility devices. May overlap with Super Mode or Time to Unlock More True Potential, but those can just be linear performance improvements, although developing new superpowers or adding new features to old abilities may count. See also Next Tier Power-Up.

Do not confuse or other types of upgrades like Art Evolution or Significant Wardrobe Shift.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The titular mecha in Aura Battler Dunbine is replaced midway through the show by the new Aura Battler Billbine (as a gift, no less). It's also a textbook early example of the hand-me-downs variation, predating Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam by 3 years, with Dunbine becoming Marvel Frozen's mecha.
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!!, features several upgrades for each of the good guys mainly because their racing cars are occasionally trashed by battle cars. Go and Retsu each get two upgrades of Magnum (Victory Magnum and Cyclone Magnum) and Sonic (Vanguard Sonic and Hurricane Sonic) in the first season.
  • The Brave Series:
    • GaoGaiGar to Star GaoGaiGar. In addition to gaining giant engines (the better to operate in space), GaoGaiGar used the nacelle cowlings on the engines to beef up its Rocket Punch and the Protect Shade.
    • Guy starts out FINAL in the replacement mecha GaoFighGar, which gets utterly totaled early in the series. After a few episodes centering around the Sixth Ranger King J-Der, he comes back in the patently overpowered Genesic GaoGaiGar.
    • The entire series, which the above-mentioned Gaogaigar belongs to, all make heavy use of this trope. In general, the series feature one main mecha and one or two teams of combining support mecha, though occasionally this is switched up with one team of support mecha and one other stand alone mecha. Each series runs 52 episodes or there abouts. By episode 18, one of those two support mecha teams will have gained an additional (usually fourth) member, allowing all four to combine into a larger mecha. Around episode 25-27, expect the main mecha to get knocked out of action somehow, and a new hero mecha introduced to replace him in fighting evil. By episode 32, you can look forward to the original hero mecha and the new one combining into a new form (usually named "Great" Hero mecha)note . The other support team doesn't usually get an upgrade. Occasionally, new mecha are introduced who are either stand alone guys, or who turn into weapons for the hero mecha, giving him a second mid-season upgrade.
  • It's late in the original Bubblegum Crisis (probably because the series was originally meant to be 13 episodes but only 8 were made), and also present in the remake.
  • Happens at various points in Code Geass, though rarely with actual upgrades.
    • Lelouch hijacks the Super Prototype IFX-V301 Gawain to replace his Ace Custom Burai about 2/3 of the way through the first season. Said Super Prototype gets destroyed in the season finale, and the salvaged parts are used to rebuild it into the Type-0/0A Shinkirō, which has Deflector Shields and a Beam Spam Wave-Motion Gun.
    • Suzaku gets a flight pack for his Z01 Lancelot in Episode 20, making the Z01/A Lancelot Air Cavalry. In the second season, Suzaku has the entirely new Z01/D Lancelot Conquista, essentially a visually similar redesign with an integrated flight system and a Wave-Motion Gun. The Lancelot Conquista is thrashed in its battle with Kallen Kōzuki and her Guren, so it's replaced with the winged Z01/Z Lancelot Albion a few episodes later; the Albion is more of an Ace Custom than a Super Prototype as it is built specifically for Suzaku. Of course, the Albion is destroyed in the final episode by Kallen and the Guren. As for the original Lancelot, it is rebuilt using spare parts into the Lancelot Frontier, which is also destroyed by Kallen very quickly.
    • Speaking of Kallen, she gets two: first her Guren MKII is upgraded in the sixth episode of the second season into the Type-02/F1A Guren Flight-Enabled Type to take on the Lancelot Conquista, featuring an integrated flight system and a new right arm Radiant Wave Surger that's almost Wave-Motion Gun/Kamehame Hadoken levels of badass. It's eventually captured by the Britannians and heavily upgraded in Episode 18 into the extremely high-spec Type-02/F1Z Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements, which not only features a red version of the Lancelot Albion's wings, it's right arm becomes capable of Detachment Combat.
      • In Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection movie, Lelouch initially piloted the Mahoroba Type-0 following his return as Zero but after getting it heavily damaged, C.C. brought the Gekkoei to him so that they could continue in their mission to rescue Nunnally. He and C.C. became co-pilots again, a Call-Back to them co-piloting the Gawain in Season 1. Also, both Suzaku and Kallen pilots the Lancelot siN and Guren Type Special respectively, which are successor units to their final Knightmare Frames in the TV series and third Compilation Movie.
  • Digimon's seasons usually have their first Mega debut around the 35th to the 40th episode, and it's usually The Hero and The Lancer that gets to have this (with the exceptions of Digimon Data Squad, which had all of the main fighters get a Mega and Burst Mode; and Digimon Tamers with the Power Trio and Sixth Ranger).
  • In Eureka Seven, the Nirvash is upgraded to Spec 2 standard just a little bit after the series' midpoint, allowing it to better contend with theEND, as well as adding an additional vehicle mode.
  • The Mark Sein in Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor.
  • In Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger, Princess Sara knights Shogo, Rei, Sharuru, and Duston to justify their presence in her palace after they agree to stay and protect her. To go along with this, she replaces their lost gear with weapons from the Mysidian armory, giving them all a much needed upgrade in time for the Magus Sisters to besiege the Mysidian Royal Cathedral with Calcabrinas.
  • Full Metal Panic! plays this trope straight. Mithril's M9E Gernsbacks are shown to be capable of opening a can of whoopass on just about every other stuff used at the time and coming out victorious (mainly due to them being third gen; in comparison, mainstream second-gen uses more-or-less real-life technology). Until, smack dab in the middle of the first season, Kurz is nearly killed when the Codarl blows his M9 to hell and back with his own shot. Conveniently, Mithril has their own Super Prototype, the ARX-7 Arbalest (essentially an M9 with Full-Contact Magic capabilities) which they quickly airdrop for Sousuke. Cue Gauron getting his ass kicked. He later returns with an advanced Codarl model so that's a Mid-Season Upgrade for the bad guys.
    • And much later, the Arbalest gets torn up by the Belial. No problem, though; it's wreck is used to birth the most badass Arm Slave ever made: the ARX-8 Laevatein which is somewhere between Super Prototype and Ace Custom since it's truly one-of-a-kind but it was specifically built for the pilot.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula, the cars get mid-season upgrades as the series progresses. For instance, Hayato's Asurada GSX is upgraded to the Super Asurada 01 in the second half of the TV series. In 11, it's been upgraded into the Super Asurada AKF-11, and in SAGA, the car is upgraded once again into the v-Asurada AKF-0-AKF-0/G. Similar cars get the same treatment.
  • Halfway through GEAR Fighter Dendoh the titular mecha is upgraded with technology copied from the captured Ogre to allow it to use a single pilot instead of needing two (the one actual difference between Dendoh and Ogre). It's very small, but considering they only had two pilots capable of piloting the mechas it effectively doubled their fighting force.
  • Miho's Panzer IV Ausf. D is the only tank from Ōarai to get an actual Mid-Season Upgrade in Girls und Panzer, the girls swapping out its original cannon for a high velocity gun just before the semifinals (upgrading it to an Ausf. F2 configuration). The Panzer IV is upgraded again just before the Final Battle, gaining additional armor "skirts" to make it an Ausf. H configuration. The only other tank from Ōarai to get an upgrade is Turtle Team's Panzer 38(t), which is converted into a Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" tank destroyer before the final match.
  • Gravion doesn't get its upgrade until midway through the second season/series.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam never has the original Gundam replaced or rebuilt, only giving passive modifications that aren't visibly apparent. Its merchandising potential was instead increased by rarely-used transformations, which the anime's staff loathed so much, this trope became standard as a compromise. Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket acknowledges this absence, showing the Gundam Alex was supposed to be given to Amuro for the final battle of the One Year War, but Zeon commandos ultimately destroyed it before it could finish testing. Note that in Tomino's novelization, Amuro does upgrade to the RX-78-3 "G-3" Gundam, a similar model to the RX-78-2 with magnetic coating on its joints, among other upgrades to let it keep up better with his heightening Newtype reflexes (in the anime, they just apply said coating to his RX-78-2).
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam was the Trope Codifier, with Kamille Bidan first piloting the Gundam Mk. II, which was basically the original Gundam that fielded a new lightweight frame technology. In a subversion of the Super Prototype of the first Gundam, the Mk. II was other a solid but unremarkable device and enemy gear was ready to overtake it fairly early on. Kamille then switches to the eponymous Zeta Gundam, which he personally designed and it fully realized the frame technology to create a Transforming Mecha. Emma Sheen later pilots the Mk. II as a replacement for her Rick Dias—which itself was a hand-me-down from Quattro after he replaced it with the Zeta's Flawed Prototype the Hyaku Shiki.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team has fun with this trope, giving protagonist Shiro what can only best be described as a "side-grade", with his damaged Ground-type Gundam being repaired into the "Ez-8", a kitbash using whatever spare parts were available just trying to get the thing running again, that nonetheless slightly outperformed its original incarnation.
      The antagonists' Apsalus mobile armor plays the trope straight and hard, getting two upgrade over the course of 12 episodes. This one is justified by the Apsalus being an experimental new weapon in active development and testing — the first two versions were work-in-progress prototypes.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory initially plays this the same way as 08th MS Team, where the GP01, which is only designed for ground combat, gets trashed when Kou tries to use it in a space battle, and over the course of an episode or two it's repaired and upgraded into the GP01-Fb, which primarily adds additional thrusters for zero-gravity mobility. Then it goes for a more traditional example, where both it and the stolen GP02 destroy each other in combat, and Kou moves on to the even better GP03.
    • Gundam ZZ is notable for having Judau upgrade from the Zeta to the Double Zeta very early on, not even a quarter of the way through the series. This is balanced out by the Double Zeta getting minor improvements at two separate points, turning it into an Ace Custom version.
    • They even manage to fit one of these into one of the movies, the Nu Gundam from Char's Counterattack as Amuro was previously using a Re-GZ, a downgraded version of the Zeta Gundam. This example is notable in that, much like Kamille's Zeta Gundam, Amuro designed this upgrade himself.
    • The V2 Gundam in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam is a straight example of this, even though the protagonist would still occasionally pilot the previous model or even an enemy unit.
    • G Gundam is an interesting case. Out of the main five, Domon is the only one who plays this trope straight. The others get Super Modes.
      • In-universe, the Master Gundam is classified by the Gundam Fight Committee as a mid-season upgrade to the Kowloon (Haow) Gundam, even though the Kowloon Gundam was really Master Gundam in disguise.
      • The more recent manga adaptation ends up giving the rest of the main five upgrades. And they're still just as stereotypical as you can get.
    • Gundam Wing has each of the six primary pilots gets a mid-season upgrade in differing ways:
      • Wing Zero was first piloted by Quatre, and passed through most of the main cast before becoming the official mobile suit for the original Wing Gundam pilot Heero. While counted as an upgrade, the Wing Zero is actually the predecessor unit to the initial five colony Gundams.
      • Heero was the first pilot for the Epyon, and trades it to Zechs for the Wing Zero.
      • Deathscythe and Shenlong were outright destroyed by OZ and had to be rebuilt from the ground up into Deathscythe Hell and Altron.
      • Trowa's Heavyarms and Quatre's Sandrock technically get upgraded, but this mostly just consists of making them space-worthy by tacking on a few extra thrusters and slightly improving their firepowernote . This seems to be mainly because Heavyarms and Sandrock remained relatively intact over the course of the story.
      • The proclivity of this trope is that the new designs used in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz were thought to be upgrades, but are more just a cosmetic Retcon rather than entirely new machines (some other material attempts to explain it away as an offscreen upgrade, but recaps and flashbacks used in the movie itself can't be overlooked). Zechs does end up with the Tallgeese III, as Treize was the sole pilot of the Tallgeese II.
    • It occurred twice in Gundam X:
      • Played with when the original GX was rebuilt into the X-Divider: replacing a Wave-Motion Gun with a suite of mundane beam cannons might not seem like an upgrade, but since the Satellite Cannon had a ton of strings attachednote , replacing it with a weapon that's less powerful but easier to use could still be considered an improvement. It also replaced the original's integrated shield beam rifle with a separate machine gun (the Divider cannons are built into the shield), making that easier to use too.
      • Garrod later gets the Double X, which brings back the Satellite Cannon but fixes all the afforementioned issues except for the moon needing to be visible. Besides retaining the separate rifle-and-shield setup from the Divider, it also got a number of extra weapons like a beam javelin, Gundam hammer, and rocket launcher...that are sadly a case of All There in the Manual, since the show's shortened runtime meant they only appeared as extras with the Double X's model kit.
      • Other Gundam pilots have their suits upgraded such as Witz (Airmaster Burst), Roybea (Leopard Destroy), and the Frost Brothers (Virsago Chest Break and Ashtaron Hermit Crab). Meanwhile, Jamil returned as a full-time pilot while retaining his position as the Frieden's captain, inheriting the X Divider from Garrod (He previously piloted a GX in the past, and in the present time, a Daughtress and Carris' Bertigo). His long-time rival, Lancerow, was a pilot of a Zeong-Expy, the Febral but is now piloting a custom Crouda.
    • Like in the original show, the ∀ Gundam does not get replaced; rather, it has its "limiter" removed, which gives it even more ways to destroy things and activate its deadliest weapon: The Moonlight Butterfly.
    • Gundam SEED and its sequel SEED Destiny has several of these with almost every notable character getting an eventual upgrade.
      • Kira starts with the Strike and Athrun starts with Aegis. Both are destroyed at the half way mark of the series in a showdown between the two. Both of them get upgrades soon after in the form of the Freedom and Justice when Lacus helps Kira steal the Freedom and Athrun is given the Justice to go after it.
      • In Destiny, Kira keeps the Freedom but because of the peace treaty that limited use of certain technologies by the Earth Alliance and ZAFT, it is still the most powerful suit on the battlefield until Shinn exploits Kira's reluctance to kill and successfully destroys it. Kira then upgrades to the Strike Freedom that allows him to be the biggest threat once again. Athrun initially has the Saviour which is inferior to the Justice which was destroyed at the end of the last series. The Saviour is destroyed around the half way mark but Athrun doesn't get his upgrade, the Infinite Justice until much later and spends a lot of time out of commission. Initially, the Legend(a thematic upgrade of the Providence Gundam mentioned below) was intended for him but this did not play out as he defects from ZAFT.
      • Mu La Flaga initially pilots a space-bound Mobius Zero and switches to a Skygrasper when they return to Earth. When the Strike is rebuilt, he keeps it. Similarly, Cagalli pilots a Skygrasper on occasion but upgrades to the Strike Rouge. In the sequel, Cagalli gets a much better suit, the Akatsuki but she doesn't pilot it for long. Neo Roanoke who initially piloted the Exus(a thematic upgrade of the Mobius Zero) and a Windam and is actually Mu La Flaga ends up piloting the Akatsuki.
      • Rau Le Creuset pilots several commander variants of ZAFT grunt suits before finally getting a proper Gundam in the finale in the form of the Providence.
      • Shinn starts with the Impulse and upgrades to the titular Destiny and the former is handed down to Luna who had only a grunt ZAKU. Rey also upgrades from a ZAKU to the Legend Gundam.
    • Gundam 00 might have all other Gundam series beat on this. The first season has new support systems for the Gundams towards the end of it, plus a Super Mode for each. Then, the second season features two rounds of upgrades for the new Gundams (which technically invokes So Last Season, except brand-new mechs are the usual mid-season upgrade for a Gundam series, so this kind of happens three or four times in 50 episodes).
      • Taken to it's absolute zenith with Graham Aker. He gets at least three upgrades for his Ace Custom unit in the first season alone, shifts to a different Ace Custom at the beginning of the second season and then gets what seems to be a Super Prototype... which is upgraded twice during the course of the following episodes. Recent events indicate that the last few may have actually been upgrades to his original unit. Lucky guy.
      • The series also inverts this in the final episode: protagonist Setsuna and Big Bad Ribbons Almark destroy each others' Gundams and each takes with one of the 00 Gundam's GN Drives. Ribbons finds his old 0 Gundam and installs the Drive he stole, while Setsuna's allies send him the Gundam Exia, though in this case both machines received a few minor upgrades in the meantime.
      • The Movie has Setsuna piloting a custom Flag in the beginning, then transfers to the repaired 00 Raiser (though equipped with Large GN Condensers as its power source instead of GN Drives) and finally, to the Attack Drone-equipped 00 Qan[T], which is also designed for true Innovator pilots like him. Lyle initially pilots his late brother's Gundam Dynames while rescuing Allelujah and Marie, then transfers to the Gundam Zabanya for the battles against the ELS.
    • Gundam AGE has most of its pilot characters upgrade at least once due to its story spanning 3 generations:
      • Unlike his son and grandson, Flit never overhauled nor replaced his AGE-1 until the Four Generations Arc, where his AGE-1 is given 2 Mecha Expansion Packs: First is a heavy armor set and additional weapons, re-christening it as the AGE-1 Glansa, and the second one is an armament/thruster unit called the Glastron Launcher, and it is re-christened again as the AGE-1 Full Glansa.
      • Asemu initially pilots his father's AGE-1 Normal, then soon transfers to the AGE-2 Normal. His AGE-2 then receives the Double Bullet upgrade, which is actually an overall enhancement instead of AGE-1's Multiform Balance and the later AGE-3's terrain-based forms. He returns to the Normal wear upon arriving on Earth. Years later, it is heavily damaged after an encounter with SID, and after he became the leader of Bisidian pirate group, his AGE-2 is overhauled into the AGE-2 Darkhound. While it lacks the Double Bullet's high firepower, it is equipped with unconventional weapons which suits his new, more Combat Pragmatist-leaning, fighting style.
      • Kio first pilots the AGE-3 and then switches to the X-Rounder-use AGE-FX.
      • Zeheart has piloted several Mobile Suits in his entire career as a pilot, with each succeeding units better than the previous (except the Wrozzo R, which he only piloted once, and that's because of a specific mission that requires the use of amphibious MS), culminating in him piloting the Gundam Legilis, which is the first Gundam-type MS developed by Vagan and is the penultimate suit of their faction.
    • Being based on Gundam, BB Senshi Sangokuden would hand out mid-season upgrades at several different points in time, turning characters into mechas related to their archetypes. Ryuubi Gundam turned from the classic RX-78-2 into the Perfect Gundam, Shiba-I Sazabi evolved into the Nightingale, the list goes on.
    • Gundam Unicorn is also the rare subversion. While the titular mobile suit does get stronger, it's either through a Mecha Expansion Pack in the form of a ridiculous amount of heavy ordinance and two massive boosters, or pilot Banagher upgrading its Super Mode by coming into his Newtype powers. The Unicorn itself is exactly the same mecha from beginning to end.
      • Happens to both Marida and later Riddhe when they go from their ace mobile suits to the Banshee. However, Riddhe gets to piloted the updated form called Banshee Norn which adds a revolving launcher to its beam magnum, a specialized shield that doubles as an auxiliary thruster and a powerful beam weapon. More psycoframes are also added on its back which, when in Destroy Mode, forms a lion's mane. And just like the Unicorn, it also gets an awakened super mode at the end, though not the crystallized version.
      • Marida gets this twice, as after she stops piloting the Banshee, she goes back to her old Kyshatria- Which has then been upgraded into the Kyshatria Besserung/Reparied, replacing the damaged funnel pods and leg with fuel pods and a beam Gatling, and also adding a beam axe for good measure.
    • Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G has Beginning Gundam upgraded to Beginning 30 Gundam. The Lancer also goes from the Hyaku-Shiki to the Sazabi.
    • Gundam Build Fighters continues the tradition with the main characters Sei and Reiji under going two upgrades with the same machine in the Build Strike (a customized variant of the Strike Gundam) and later on adding a backpack with additional thrusters with beam cannons and can even function as a controllable fighter jet. After its destruction, it gets upgraded into the Star Build Strike with a special backpack sprouting beam wings that can be configured into three different modes after either charging up or absorbing beam energy through its specialized shield. In between these upgrades though, Sei built a separate emergency machine called Build Mk.II, essentially a customized Gundam Mk.II.
      • Their rival, Tatsuya a.k.a. Meijin Kawagachi III, also goes through an upgrade from the Zaku Amazing to Kaempfer Amazing, then to Amazing Exia and its corrupted Dark Matter form.
    • Gundam Build Fighters Try has all three protagonists go through an upgrade simultaneously, although Yuuma makes adjustments to his Lightning Gundam early on for dedicated hit and run tactics by adding a long barrel to his beam rifle and a BWS for a fighter mode, similar to its original base unit's functions. Hoshino on the other hand, swaps out her Powered GM for an SD-type Gundam to support her allies.
      • For the Japanese tournament, Sekai's Build Burning Gundam evolves into the Try Burning Gundam, which adds more of the blue parts that stores Plavsky Particles similar to the RG system used by the Star Build Strike. It has the same attacks, but the performance was better tuned so that the machine could handle Sekai's more extreme attacks such as the unnamed phoenix attack that shattered the original's arms.
      • Yuuma is the only one of the three who didn't alter his unit's frame. Instead, He simply replaces the old backpack with a new one capable of keeping up with and even exceeding the speed of a Trans-Am'd Kyrios in fighter mode without needing to transform himself, along with additional beam cannons
      • Hoshino upgrades her Winning Gundam to the Star Winning Gundam, which was heavily modified to be able to fight without having to support or rely on her allies and features a hidden super mode which transforms the unit from an SD to a properly proportioned version of itself.
      • For the final match Sekai and his friends make final adjustments to all three units so that their polycaps were made to be compatible with each others frames, allowing them to swap out parts with one another. Minato states that they practically had to rebuild them to make this work
    • Gundam: Reconguista in G is weird about this. The two main characters, Bellri and Aida, stick with the G-Self and G-Arcane respectively (though they do get fancy new mecha expansion packs in time for the final battle). On the other hand, nearly everyone else trades up at least once throughout the series, if not more.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans downplays it considerably compared to other Gundam shows, Mikazuki goes through 6 different Barbatos forms throughout the entirety of Season 1 and another two versions for Season 2, but they are all the same basic machine with different armor and weapons packages. It's original deployment was very bare bones, adopting shoulder armor from its first defeated Graze for its second major encounter, and otherwise constantly being refitted and modified after every battle. The Barbatos Lupus in season two is a more thorough upgrade using corporate resources to make it tuned to become a true Ace Custom catering to Mikazuki's combat style. Barbatos Lupus Rex is one final upgrade after Barbatos Lupus was severely damaged in the fight against the Mobile Armor Hashmal. It uses the tail blade mechanism recovered from Mobile Armor Hashmal to become truly one of a kind even for the Gundams.
      • In season one it's mostly the pilots for the grunt suits that end up with a new mobile suit, Akihiro goes from a Graze Kai (a jury-rigged Graze that was barely holding itself together) to the Gundam Gusion Rebake (the Gundam Gusion frame outfitted with new armor), Shino goes from a lowly mobile worker to the Ryusei-Go (which was the Graze Kai with a lot of upgrades).
      • In season 2, nearly everyone who's gotten into the cockpit of a mobile suit got one. Shino upgrades from the Ryusei-Go III (a custom Shiden with an AV input system installed) to the Gundam Flauros, which his vanity renamed it the Ryusei-Go IV. Ride previously used a standard Shiden but gets the Ryusei-Go III and renames it Riden-Go, with a new paintjob and an additional gauntlet on the right forearm. Dante swaps out his standard run-of-the-mill Shiden for a Landman Rodi, a Man Rodi with improved ground capabilities. Hush switches from a Shiden to a Hekija (which was designed for ease of use).
    • The tradition of upgrades returns for Gundam Build Divers, though this is a slow going, really.
      • Riku is the first. After his Gundam 00 Diver Ace is totally wrecked in an actual Gunpla Duel against the Astray No-Name, he rebuilds it into the 00 Sky, which uses parts from other Gundams such as the Destiny Gundam.
    • Ayame, once she performs her Heel–Face Turn and fully joins Force Build Divers, modifies her RX-Zeromaru, giving it a new paint job, a taller build and some new weaponry.
      • Yukki, after going through some needed Character Development, replaces the GM III Beam Master with the Jegan Blast Master, a heavy ordnance variation of the RGM-89 Jegan which includes various heavy beam weapons up to and including twin Satellite Cannons.
      • Ogre replaces the Ogre GN-X with the GP-Ratsu, a heavily modified GP-02A "Physallis" with a GN Drive and wired-mounted arms.
      • Emilia and Karuna both replace their Clanche Customs with customized Impulse Gundams, the Impulse Arc and Impulse Lancier.
    • And it keeps going with Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE.
      • Hiroto upgrades the Core Gundam into the Core Gundam II, giving it flight capabilities.
      • Kazami, concluding his heavily needed Character Development, replaces the Justice Knight with the much powerful Aegis Knight, going in reverse in units (The Justice Knight was based off of the Infinite Justice, the Aegis Knight based off of the Aegis.)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury:
      • The last 2 episodes of the first season have the Gundam Aerial being repaired and upgraded into Gundam Aerial Rebuild, which adds on additional boosters and replaces the original beam rifle with a much larger one that can combine with Aerial's bits to fire a Wave-Motion Gun.
        What's interesting to note is that Aerial is also, like the Turn A, unlocking more power over the course of the series by pushing the GUND Format to higher Permet Scores. They don't visibly change the suit, but are much more important to the plot.
        The second half of the second season introduces an unusual twist: Suletta loses Aerial entirely, because the suit is sapient and chooses to side with Prospera. When Suletta gets back in action, she's left with the Calibarn, which is little more than an outdated proof of concept machine which is incredibly dangerous to pilot, and its equipment is positively spartan compared to the Aerial, being just a single beam cannon and a booster. This makes the whole thing more of an end of season downgrade that is supported by Suletta's piloting skills and its crazy unfiltered GUND-Format system. Played straight in the end when Suletta, while piloting the Calibarn, borrows Aerial Rebuild's GUND-Bits due to the reveal that it is compatible in using them, and was able to surpass Eri/Aerial Rebuild when Suletta/Calibarn reaches beyond Permet Score 8.
      • Guel's suits have an interesting history: he starts the series dueling Suletta with an Ace Custom Dilanza, but then upgrades to the unique prototype Darilbalde just a few episodes later for a rematch. After he loses again, Jeturk House don't let Guel use any mobile suit, so he fights his next duel in another, stolen Dilanza—which runs worse than his old one because it was tuned to be used by his brother. It's not until midway into the second season that Guel gets back his Darilbalde, which then has four Attack Drones instead of two and makes the arm-mounted shields larger. After that's destroyed in Guel's fight with Shaddiq, he switches back to his original Dilanza.
      • Late in the second season, Norea's attack on Asticassia destroys Chuchu's Ace Custom Demi Trainer, so Secelia lets her borrow her family's Demi Barding, the newest prototype from the same mobile suit line. The suits are similar enough that Chuchu can immediately, expertly use it once Nika returns to Earth House and tunes it properly. Secelia lets her borrow it again to attack Quiet Zero, though she demands she pay for any damages.
  • Partway through the second season of Initial D, Takumi's AE86 Trueno breaks down (along with him) and gets an engine swap. His father lets this to happen so as to force Takumi to accept the swap.
  • A frequent occurrence in Lyrical Nanoha, first with Nanoha and Fate adopting the cartridge system in A's. It's usually accompanied by a new Transformation Sequence for the characters as well. In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS the devices had limiters and were actually capable of doing things like the dagger mode of Cross Mirage as early as the time the Forwards had received them. The only sort of upgrade that happens to them is Mach Caliber being tweaked to better support Subaru.
  • Macross often subverts this; whenever a character changes mecha, their new ride isn't necessarily better than their previous one:
    • In Macross Frontier, Alto and Luca actually downgrade from their VF-25s to a VF-171 variant called the VF-171EX. On the plus side, this variant is specifically tuned to be an anti-Vajra upgrade. In the film adaptation, Alto then gets a genuine upgrade: The YF-29 Durandal Valkyrie.
    • In Macross 7, Basara uses the same Valkyrie for the whole show, while Gamlin's upgrade is practically the same unit as his first one with only a different head and different markings to show that he is a squadron commander. The only character to actually switch to a completely different mecha is Mauve Shirt Docker upgrading from a Nightmare to an Excalibur, and he's totally ineffective with it. Basara gets an true upgrade in Dynamite 7 though.
    • In the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross:
      • In his first battle, the still-civilian Hikaru is on the Valkirye VF-1D trainer variant; when he's finally in the military, he gets the VF-1J ace variant, which itself gets the battroid-only upgrade for a single battle; after Roy's death, he inherits his VF-1S, which is faster and better armed than the standard ace custom, and gets a Super Pack with anti-ship reaction missiles for the final battle against Bodolza's forces.
      • Max starts with the standard VF-1A, receives a VF-1J after getting promoted, and fights the final battle with his fighter upgraded with a Super Pack.
      • Milia starts with a Meltrandi Queadluun-Rau power armor, gets downgraded to the inferior VF-1J upon joining UN Spacy (since it doesn't have any Queadluun-Raus), but fights Bodolza with her VF-1J upgraded with a Super Pack and the one thing the Queadluun-Rau never had, anti-ship missiles.
  • Mazinger Z and his sequels:
    • Mazinger Z was routinely upgraded to allow it fight on different enviroments successfully or to endow it with new weapons to fight increasingly powerful enemies. The most prominent of those upgrades was the Jet Scrander. Sayaka's robot -Aphrodite A- also got upgraded in the third episode with its signature missiles, and in one of the last episodes Sayaka got her upgrade to Diana A.
    • Great Mazinger got the Great Booster (a Jet Pack increased its speed and was endowed with a retractable spike could be used to impale enemies with) relatively late in the series.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer got upgraded throughout the series with several attachable, flying vehicles allowed it maneouvering more easily in space, in sea or underground: Double Spacer -piloted by Kouji-, Marine Spacer -piloted by Hikaru- and Drill Spacer -piloted by his sister Maria.
    • Mazinkaiser subverts and plays straight this trope. Kouji Kabuto gets the upgrade from Mazinger Z to Mazinkaiser in the first episode and doesn't get his Kaiser Scrander upgrade until the final episode. However, Sayaka Yumi gets her upgrade from Aphrodite Ace to Venus Ace in episode 3.
  • Zigzagged in The Anime of the Game for Medabots when Spyke of the Screws upgrades his Medabot by swapping its Cyandog chassis for a Krosserdog chassis. Playing the trope straight, Krosserdog does have better stats than Cyandog. Subverting the trope is the fact that this actually does nothing to address Spyke's fundamental issue, which is that he's trying to use a hand-to-hand specialist Monkey medal in a shooting-focused Dog chassis. Meaning that even though his Medabot's base states have gone up, it still sucks in combat. The fact Spyke made this decision whilst consciously knowing about the medal-chassis incompatibility bumps him from Willfully Weak to just plain stupid.
  • In Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, once the Power Trio gets the song KIZUNA, they get instant Frilly Upgrade - and so do the Aloof Ally they were saving and the girls trapped in People Jars, despite not doing anything. You tell me how that works.
  • The titular mecha of Metal Armor Dragonar get attachments that give more missiles and the ability to fly midway through the show, though they feature prominently in the opening from the very beginning.
  • Chachamaru in Negima! Magister Negi Magi gains one of these after her Gadgeteer Genius creator Hakase gathered the observed battle-data of the previous arc. Among a few new weapons and a speed upgrade, one major aesthetic improvement has her concealing her mechanical joints with softer, more realistic skin. She still has a set of antenna ears on her head, so its not hard to figure out she's a robot.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • After getting hit and partly melted by Ramiel's laser beam, Unit-00 was outfitted with new armor and weapon-carrying capabilities.
    • Unit 01 gains an S2 (Super Solenoid) Engine, the core that gives the Angels endless energy, allowing it to become both self-sustained and self-aware. However, the upgrade is acquired by devouring the organ right from an still-breathing Angel's guts.
    • Unit-02 got special, heat-proof armor in an episode. Said armor resembled a scuba diver suit.
  • The first two seasons of Ojamajo Doremi had this. The first season just upgraded their porons, but Sharp's was a magic upgrade (complete with a brand new outfit) that could be only be used on Oyajide when he kidnapped Hana-chan.
  • Panzer World Galient: Galient got "Assault Galient", a combination of assault rifle and Shoulder Cannon.
  • Patlabor:
    • Patlabor: The TV Series: Almost inverted in one episode: there are plans to downgrade from the Ingram to the cheaper Economy Model Ingram mk. I, but its performance is simply too poor. Played straight for SV 1, who trade in the obsolete Pythons for AV-0 Peacemakers, a mass-production version of the "Type Zero" that had appeared in Patlabor: The Movie.
    • Patlabor The New Files: The Griffon gets one, replacing its wings, which broke off after it crashed into a mountain, with a pair of back-mounted hydrojets.
  • Pokémon: The Series: New captures, attacks, and evolutions are typically gained throughout a season rather than being localized near the beginning or the end. This is mostly because the ungodly amounts of Filler act as huge buffers between plot points and wind up distributing them fairly evenly.
  • Every Pretty Cure series features a mid-season upgrade, invariably the ability to summon some item that allows the use of a more powerful attack and is conveniently available in toy form.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure! plays with this a bit. Miki realizes she's the only one who doesn't have her upgrade yet, and spends an entire episode desperately trying to avert Can't Catch Up.
    • HeartCatch Pretty Cure! have the girls get the item they need for their upgrade, but they don't get the actual upgrade until the 3/4ths mark; they needed a fourth and she was busy being in a 10-Minute Retirement until someone told her to Get A Hold Of Yourself Man, then they had to deal with a Secret Test of Character.
    • Smile Pretty Cure! took this to ridiculous heights: they get their first upgrade just after they get the team fully formed a few episodes in, then they get the required upgrade, then they get another upgrade at the 3/4ths mark and a final one in the final episodes.
    • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, plays with this as well. The first person to get a mid-season upgrade? Iona, after her old powers get destroyed.
    • Later seasons also have the monsters start getting upgrades, too, usually adding something to their names or changing them.
  • It also happens to the supporting cast only in RahXephon with the Vermillion units. Played straight as the first Vermillion gets severely damaged in the final battle to the point where Elvy ditched it in favor of her original fighter plane.
  • Rebuild World: Akira gets improved equipment relatively frequently both in replacements and upgraded variants, usually after the old ones were lost somehow. These consist of new guns, ammo types, Powered Armor, vehicles, and eventually swords. Most of these Akira has ordered by his Friendly Shopkeeper Shizuka and he even gets some equipment brand sponsorship deals.
  • Rare Non-mecha example: Mid-way of Rurouni Kenshin's Kyoto Arc, Kenshin's Sakabatou Kageuchi got broken in his first match against Soujirou Seta. He then receives the Sakabatou Shinuichi from the son of both sakabatou's forger. The Shinuichi has better quality than the Kageuchi, as shown during Kenshin and Soujirou's rematch: where the latter's new sword (which has better quality than the one he used to break the Shinuichi) got broken by the Shinuichi while the former's new sakabatou didn't even received a scratch in the process.
  • Then there are the Alter upgrades in Scryed.
  • Chor Tempest in Simoun suffers a mid-season downgrade from the Arcus Prima to the Messis when the former ship is sabotaged.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's most obvious upgrade is hijacking a flying Gunmen and converting it into a jetpack/mega boomerang. Since the jetpack was attached to Gurren's body, Gurren is also now able to fly on its own, but the series only depicts this once: right as Viral is forced to detach Lagann and throw it at Granzeboma when Gurren is pinned by its Combat Tentacles.
    • From the beginning, it starts off as just Simon with the Core Drill. Then, he finds Lagann, finds out the Core Drill activates it, and now has a Mini-Mecha. Next episode, Kamina hijacks the Gunzar, totals an arm and both legs, and tears apart two other mecha piloted by Beastmen mooks. Littner village salvages enough parts from the two wrecked mecha to rebuild Gunzar with better, more humanoid limbs, and Kamina has the mecha stylishly repainted, emblazoned with Team Dai-Gurren logos, and the swords reforged into a giant pair of boomerang glasses. He re-dubs the Gunmen "Gurren," and no faster than its debut episode, does Kamina get the idea to wedge Lagann on top to match up with Viral's two-headed Enki... and Gurren Lagann is born. On top of that, Kamina tears off Enki's helmet head by accident, plunders it, places it atop Lagann, and completes the transformation.
    • Viral's Gunmen, Enki goes through a forced downgrade. He loses his helmet to Kamina, which had a focusing lens for an energy beam weapon, losing it in the process. He remodels Enki into Enkidu, basically the same mech with an axe blade crest replacing the head. Then, he realizes the weapon's not good enough, has it removed, and replaces it with a second set of swords and arms, turning Enkidu into Enkidudu. Unfortunately, the mechs never stand up to Gurren Lagann, and after the Time Skip, seven straight years of wear and tear cause Enkidudu to break down for good.
    • It's also mentioned that most of the protagonists' Gunmen were upgraded by Makken and Leyte during the Time Skip with new Anti-Spiral-combative weaponry. Later, when they discover the frightening Gunmen-manufacturing capabilies of Cathedral Terra, they devise Space Gunmen, new, super-sized versions of the pilots' original Gunmen with much more firepower on tap.
    • The protagonists' base also upgrades throughout the series: first is the captured Dai-Ganzan (repainted red, given a new control watchtower and a team flag, and renamed Dai-Gurren), then the Arc-Gurren (and Arc-Gurren Lagann), then Cathedral Terra (and Super-Galaxy Gurren Lagann), and finally the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    • In a subversion or parody of the usual mid-season upgrades, the new, larger and more powerful Space Gunmen everyone receives, and all the scaled up Gurren Lagann mecha are actually piloted by the original Gunmen, so it's giant robots driving even larger giant robots. Repeat this four times for Gurren Lagann in all its variations. And if you want to know the scale, it goes from person-sized robot, to standard mecha genre building-size robot, to New York City-sized robot, to planetary-sized robot, and finally a robot that dwarfs galaxies.
    • Kittan has a unique combination sequence he performs with Kiyal's Kiyalunga: the latter become a shield and double-pointed spear for the former- Kittan calls the combination "King Kittan Deluxe," and he hitches a ride on the Dayyakaiser for good measure.
    • The first movie adaption, Gurren-hen, gives the Beastmen Generals' fortress Gunmen a combined form, with Viral replacing Thymilph's hijacked Dai-Gunzan with a look-alike of his own. Yoko also gets a more stylized version of Dayyaka's Gunmen to fit her persona better.
    • The second movie, Lagann-Hen goes as far as to not only give Yoko another new Space Gunmen take of the Dayyakaiser in the original series, but has a major alteration in plot that spares all six Space Gunmen pilots killed in episode 24 of the original anime, and a huge change to the Final Battle. This time around, Granzeboma tears apart Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, only for all the pieces to form scaled-up Tengen Toppa versions of Lagann, the Space Gunmen, a fusion form of Gimmy and Darry's Grapearls, and a fused form of the Dai-Gurren and Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren. Lordgenome, however, doesn't assume a Tengen Toppa Lazengann (mainly because he's such a badass he can both fight on his own and survive the vacuum of space on his own and generate a Gunmen at will), but according to series concept drafts, one was made; basically his mecha fused with his generals' mecha and Viral's Enki. Kittan also got a Tengen Toppa mecha concept design... but unfortunately, his role in the series did not change...
    • Finally, we have the upgrade that happens at the movie climax: The Gunmen reform back into Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and assume an even bigger form, the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a swirling, caped humanoid mass of Spiral Energy that is supposed to be Kamina reincarnated and is almost UNIVERSE-SIZED. On top of that, Anti-Spiral matches the transformation with Super Granzeboma, revealing that all this time, there was an even greater extent to the race's power than the anime ever depicted. And did we mention they hold the all-time record for largest mecha ever depicted in anime, or for that matter, ever? Obviously!
  • The hero of Tentai Senshi Sunred has his Firebird Form, which gets introduced in episode 14, but the whole series is an Affectionate Parody of Toku so it is unceremoniously revealed after Red's amicable archenemy spots a drab cardboard box with "Firebird Form" written on it in Red's closet, which is then pushed further back into the closet as soon as Red explains this trope to him. Viewers just get to see it in action in the opening credits sequence. The same thing happens with "Prominence Form" in season 2, but that doesn't even get a joke scene dedicated to it.
  • Subverted with Tiger & Bunny's Good Luck Mode, a modification Doc Saito added to Kotetsu and Barnaby's Powered Armor in episode 5. What does it do, exactly? Absolutely nothing. Except make them look cooler.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Mew Ichigo's Strawbellbell gets an upgrade once we are through the Debut Queue, and again once they get all the Mew Aqua... so it's more of a quarter-season and three-quarter-season upgrade.
  • In Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, Ginrai discovered a trailer approximately 1/3 of the way through the series, and learned to combine with it a couple of episodes later at a moment of dramatic need. A around the 2/3 point, he got his hands on the Godbomber, which allowed him to become even more super.
  • The Transformers Unicron Trilogy is built on this trope:
    • In Transformers: Armada Smokescreen is killed messily, but Red Alert makes a new body for him. Later a number of the cast members supposedly get "upgrades", but they're mostly repaints.
    • The Quirky Miniboss Squad of Tidal Wave (later Mirage), Cyclonus (later Snowcat) and Demolishor (who is...still Demolishor) get new bodies inTransformers: Energon. The repaint issue shows up again.
    • Overhaul gets upgraded to the lion Leobreaker in Transformers: Cybertron. Red Alert, Hot Shot, and Scattorshot are given new bodies when they become the Cybertron Defense Team.
  • Halfway through The Vision of Escaflowne, the titular mecha has taken a rather thorough shellacking, and Van has been Synchronized to it. The heroes call in the Yspano clan, who originally built Escaflowne, to repair it and save Van.
  • In Xabungle, Jiron goes from the titular mech to the Walker Gallia. To note: this is the first mid-season upgrade for the Real Robot genre.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters has Yami's ability to merge with his monsters in the fifth episode. Dark Magician evolves into Magician of Black Chaos in the eighth, and stays that way.
  • Zoids:
    • In Zoids: Chaotic Century, Van's Shield Liger was magically transformed into a Blade Liger after getting trashed in a battle.
    • In the sequel series, Guardian Force, Van gets a couple minor improvements to the Liger's guns and boosters. Irvine, on the other hand, gets a brand new prototype Zoid (the Lightning Saix) to replace his wrecked Command Wolf (that's been there since his first appearance in the first season).
    • This happens in every Zoids series, really, given the Merchandise-Driven nature of the show. A notable subversion is Bit Cloud's Liger Zero in New Century/Zero, which could be transformed into various specialised units thanks to its Changing Armour System, but defeated the final, ultimate antagonist (the Berserk Fury) in its original basic armour.
    • The scene where they show an X-ray of Liger Zero's Organoid system imply that it may in fact be Van's original Liger permanently fused with Zeke, which, if true, would make it a Between Season Upgrade.
    • In the same series Brad upgraded in a similar way to Irvine, from a Command Wolf into a prototype Zoid called the Shadow Fox.
    • In Zoids Fuzors, RD's Liger Zero has the Fire Phoenix as its Fuzor partner, which combines into Liger Zero Phoenix but got destroyed midway of the series and is then replaced with the Jet Falcon, which combines to form the more powerful Liger Zero Falcon. RD's rival, Blake, initially pilots a Berserk Fury, which combines with the Buster Eagle to form the Buster Fury, but after their destruction, he later receives the Gairyuki which has a pair of Fuzor partners: the Evo Flyer and the Dispelow.
    • Zoids: Genesis to most of the protagonist units — except Ruuji's Murasame Liger, which already had its own powers (though the Murasame Liger's transformation powers aren't available at the start, Ruuji started unlocking them midway of the series).

    Fan Works 
  • Code Prime: In the six-month Time Skip between R1 and R2, all the Black Knights' aces get new Knightmares developed with help from the Autobots. Several can also transform due to being made from Cybertronian protoforms.
    • Lelouch upgrades from the Gawain to the Shinkiro.
    • Kallen's Guren is converted straight to the Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements.
    • Suzaku's Lancelot is upgraded right to the Lancelot Albion.
    • Rai goes from a Gekka Prototype to the Raiden S.E.I.T.E.N. Seven Elements.
    • Ohgi upgrades from a normal Burai to the Gawain Nerion.
    • Cornelia receives a Vincent painted in the colors of her original Gloucester.
    • Like Cornelia, Villetta gets a Vincent, moving away from a Sutherland.
    • Nonette's Galeschin becomes the Galeschin Conquista.
    • Monica upgrades from the Florence to the Florence Nero.
    • Tohdoh and the Four Holy Swords, who piloted Gekkas, now respectively pilot the Zangetsu and four command-model Akatsukis. C.C. also receives her own command model Akatsuki.
    • Meanwhile, Tamaki and the other Black Knights retire Burais in favor of Akatsukis.
    • After Gino joins the Black Knights, his Tristan is converted to the Tristan Divider.
  • Jewel of Darkness: Partway through the Rivalry Arc, after the encounter with Mad Mod, Jinx develops a new outfit for herself. Among other things, it's magically warded to protect her from energy attacks.
    • The start of the same arc also sees Midnight develop a new suit of armor for herself, made from Ai's remains. It is also magically warded, specifically to counter Jinx's hex magic (which her old suit was vulnerable to).
  • The One to Make It Stay: In All the Laughs We Had in the Past, Master Fu conducts a special ritual for Ladybug and her allies, granting them extra layers of protection and powers that they can use in their civilian forms, without the use of any Miraculous. These include protection against being akumatized, the ability to create a distraction to protect their secret identities, and the power to alter or remove memories related to the Guardians or the Miraculous, as an emergency measure.
  • Shadows Awakening: About midway through the story, Daolon Wong manages to transform himself into a Shadowkhan and add their powers to his own, including being able to make his own tribe of Wizard Khan. In response, Jade — who already has Shadowkhan powers of her own thanks to her Queen persona — also learns to make her own tribe of Kunoichi Khan.
  • Thousand Shinji: After Ramiel melted Unit-01's armor, the Evas got the L-Type Equipment: new, sturdier armor, and new, more dangerous weapons. After the first battle against Israfel, Unit-01 got a Wave-Motion Gun and Unit-02 a chain-axe.

  • In Beverly Hills Cop II, Billy switches out his standard service revolver for a .44 Magnum roughly halfway through the film, reasoning that after a shootout at a nightclub that he needed more firepower. His drawing of the Magnum during a chase prompts an incredulous reaction from Axel.
  • In The Dark Knight, Batman is still using his suit from Batman Begins at the beginning of the film, but after a suit malfunction during an encounter with Scarecrow, Bruce asks Lucius Fox for a more flexible suit that allows him more mobility, such as turning his head.
  • James Bond:
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf The Grey dies and returns as the more powerful Gandalf The White.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark has a tendency to do this in the Iron Man Films, as he is constantly tinkering his Powered Armor which results in a Perpetual Beta situation where each armor is field testing unproven tech. In the first movie, he goes through two early versions of his armor before developing his working all-purpose iconic armor, but also upgrades his chest-mounted arc reactor to increase its power output. When his newer reactor is stolen from him, he's forced to rely on the earlier underpowered version for the climactic fight. In Iron Man 2, he has to engineer a new atomic element to fix a fatal flaw in that reactor, which he uses alongside his newest armor upgrade.
      • Also, Rhodey becomes War Machine by taking Tony's Mark II armor (the second prototype) and upgrading by the military in the second movie. Iron Man 3 has a modified "Iron Patriot" paint scheme used for PR reasons, but most later movies have him in the basic, original, War Machine colors. In Avengers: Endgame, he used the same armor for most of the movie, but for the climax deployed in an even heavier looking armor that emulates the tech advances Tony had been using.
      • In Iron Man 3, building new suits becomes Tony's coping mechanism to deal with the PTSD of his near-death experience in The Avengers (2012), reaching 42 suits. He found comfort in tinkering around his workshop, but the problem became a lack of proper testing and faulty mechanics.
    • Captain America: The First Avenger shows Steve using a USO Captain America costume, but when moving out to rescue fellow soldiers he puts on a few military gear mixed with the costume to get the job done. This inspired his official tactical suit for the rest of the movie.
      • Inverted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Cap ditches his black ops uniform (in a deleted scene, it's revealed that it had a tracker on it) and switches back to his World War II uniform. Notably, unlike the new uniform the old one is not bulletproof, resulting in a serious injury in the climax.
      • Captain America: Civil War has most of the Avengers with new costumes and tech courtesy of Tony Stark. The Falcon has a new wing suit with built-in missiles, transformable wings and a high-tech drone, Black Widow has wrist-mounted weapons that launch miniature tasers, War Machine has a new armor with even more weaponry and Scarlet Witch now has a proper costume instead of street clothes. In an inversion, Captain America no longer has his magnetic gauntlet from Age of Ultron. Spider-Man is an odd case as it is revealed he's been in action for a while in a homemade suit and is given his upgrade in his first onscreen appearance.
    • The Avengers (2012) has Tony using the Mark VI armor from the end of the second movie, but is forced to use a mostly untested Mark VII for the climax. S.H.I.E.L.D. gives Captain America a new, modern uniform to replace his World War II outfit.
      • All of the original Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron, except Thor. Iron Man has yet another new suit (three of them, even), Captain America now has an electromagnetic gauntlet that allows him to remotely retrieve his shield, Black Widow has electric stun batons and a new costume with glowing Tron Lines, and Hawkeye has a new costume and an even larger arsenal of Trick Arrows. Even the Hulk gets a new pair of stretchy pants!
      • Avengers: Infinity War sees Spider-Man don a new high-tech suit that's inspired by his Iron Spider armor from the comics. Tony uses his most advance Powered Armor yet, using Nanomachines from the chestpiece to let it construct around him and produce new weapons and other devices instantaneously. Thor also gets a powerful new axe called Stormbreaker, which serves a replacement for his hammer, which got destroyed during Thor: Ragnarok.
    • In Black Panther (2018), Shuri gives T'Challa a new suit that uses Nanomachines to act as a suit of Instant Armor. It also lets him absorb and redistribute kinetic energy, making him even more dangerous.
  • A common occurrence in Star Trek:
    • The original Enterprise is given a complete refit for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, changing her into a brand new, state of the art ship, complete with a more advanced bridge, warp core, an integrated deflector dish, and a set of rectangular nacelles.
    • After her destruction in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Starfleet gifts a new Enterprise to her crew in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the Enterprise-A. It's essentially the same ship as her predecessor, but it gets retrofitted over time until her retirement.
    • Star Trek: Generations would introduce the A's successor, the Enterprise-B, herself an upgrade to the Excelsior class. The most notable differences are fins on the nacelles, a reinforced deflector housing and impulse engines, and a more advanced bridge. The film also necessitated the replacement of the Enterprise-D when she was destroyed, so the next film, Star Trek: First Contact, would feature the Enterprise-E in her stead. She too would get minor tweaks over the years, mostly to her weaponry and armoring.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In Transformers, Bumblebee changes from a beat-up '70s Camaro into a brand-new 2009 Camaro, and in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, the twins go from being an ice cream truck to Chevy compacts.
    • In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bumblebee goes through two different forms (a mostly black and worn out 1967 Camaro and a 2014 concept Camaro), and Optimus likewise goes through two vehicle modes after ditching his Peterbilt form from the first three movies, taking the shape of a G1-evocative Marmon 97 truck while in hiding, then becoming a Western Star once he takes on his new, more knightly appearance.

  • In Fengshen Yanyi:
    • Sometime close (but not nigh) halfway through, Jiang Ziya realizes that his magical skills are not enough to counter the fearsome enemy Immortals he may ran into, so he goes to see his master and asks for help, receiving the mystical Supuxiang mount, as well as the deadly God-smacking Whip and the Yellow Apricot Flag, which will become his weapons across the novel.
    • Inverted halfway through when the Twelve Immortals of Kunlun, who have helped Xiqi resist against the devious Immortals of Jinao and their Ten Deadly Formations, are defeated by the Xiao Sisters and imprisoned in the Nine-Bends Yellow River Formation, which makes them mere mortals without powers. Their master Yuanshi notes that the only thing they can do is to go back and study the Tao from the beginning, so that they may get their powers and enlightment back.
    • The famous Nezha, reknown for his three-headed and six (actually eight) armed form, spends the majority of the novel lacking said form, taking it alongside his entire arsenal of magic weapons and treasures only halfway through, when the heroes finally march against Zhaoge.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman Jack gets the the Ultra Bracelet from Ultraseven in episode 18, a Swiss-Army Weapon that allows him to bypass the energy-consuming monster Bemstar. Ultraman Taro and Ultraman Leo receive similar items in episode 19 from the Mother of Ultra and episode 26 from Ultraman King respectively.
    • In Ultraman Gaia, Gamu receives Ultraman Agul's light from Fujimiya when he gives up the mantle of Ultraman Agul about halfway through the series, granting Gaia two new forms: Gaia V2, an update to his base form, and Supreme Version, a powerful Super Mode.
    • Ultraman Cosmos gains Eclipse Mode in episode 30 in order to battle Chaos Header's physical forms, combining the powers of his Luna and Corona Modes.
    • About a third of the way into the series, Ultraman Max's superior Ultraman Xenon gives him the immensely powerful Max Galaxy in order to bypass the infamous Zetton's force field.
    • Ultraman Mebius achieves this in episode 17 when his friend Ultraman Hikari gives him some of his power to allow Mebius to enter Brave Mode, which increases the power of his Mebium Blade. Later in episode 30 The Power of Friendship allows Mebius to enter Burning Brave Mode (not related to Brave Mode) in order to destroy the Humongous Mecha Imperiser.
    • In Ultraman Ginga S, Ultraman Victory earns one called the Sherpherdon Sabre when his kaiju companion Shepherdon performs a Heroic Sacrifice, allowing the monster to continue supporting him in battle afterwards.
    • Ultraman X's X-Lugger is gained about halfway through the series after almost getting killed by the monster Tsurugi Demaaga, granting him rainbow-themed powers.
    • Ultraman Orb got two: the first is Thunder Breaster, a combination of the powers of Zoffy and Ultraman Belial that gives him incredible power at the cost of his sanity; the second is Orb Origin, which grants him a sword and Elemental Powers and is in fact his long-lost true form.
    • Ultraman Geed first gains Magnificent form, a combination of Ultraman Zero and the Father of Ultra's powers, in order to defeat Pedanium Zetton, but later on, when he has to face Belial in the form of Chimeraberos, he is granted the power of Ultraman King to combine with his already available Belial capsule to become Royal Mega-Master form.
  • In Smallville, Clark gets new powers (X-Ray Vision, heat vision, super hearing, etc.) as mid season upgrades usually just in time to use it to save the day. It is not New Powers as the Plot Demands as they are all established powers of Superman.
  • Super Sentai, and by association Power Rangers, often add to the heroes' arsenal about midseason... usually just in time for the Christmas shopping season.
    • The Sixth Ranger, which also offers a new Story Arc.
    • A Super Mode, with new weaponry and changes to the suit. This can either apply to the whole team or be exclusive to the Red Ranger - or they'll do one of each version.
    • New Humongous Mecha, usually opening up new combination possibilities. These may be tied to the above upgrades; the Sixth Ranger usually brings his own mecha when he shows up, and other sets of mecha may be related to the Super Modes.
    • Because Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was utilizing multiple Sentai shows, the new weapons and mecha were functional mostly for running out of footage of the previous mecha. Incidentally, the similarities in mecha designs between Zyuranger and Dairanger made for a near seemless evolution between the dinozords and the thunderzords.
  • In Beetleborgs Metallix, the Beetleborgs get the ability to combine their new powers with their old ones from Big Bad Beetleborgs, making the Mega Spectra Beetleborgs.
  • With its reliance on Swiss Army Heroes in recent years, Kamen Rider often gives its headlining Riders a Lightning Bruiser form in the middle of the season. Sometimes the secondary Riders get new forms as well.
    • This happened from the very beginning of the franchise. The original series had Riders #1 and #2 get upgraded partway through the series into stronger "Shin" (New) forms, which are still used in crossover appearances to this day. Kamen Rider X and Kamen Rider: Skyrider received permanent upgrades in the middle of their respective seasons, greatly increasing their strength (and giving Skyrider a new, lighter appearance like the Double Riders). Kamen Rider Stronger got the franchise's first true form change with his Charge Up form, which is much stronger but has so much excess energy that he has to use it all within one minute or else he'll explode.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga plays this a little differently, as instead of just getting shiny new forms that are stronger than their original ones, he also have those original forms enhanced, I.e. Kuuga's Mighty Form becomes Rising Mighty Form. He then of course got the even more upgraded Lightning Bruiser (Amazing Mighty Kuuga) and Super Mode (Ultimate Kuuga) form later on.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard also gets this. His first four forms are all usable from the outset unlike Kuuga, but then he gets "Dragon" versions of each. Their powers can be combined into "All Dragon." Beyond that is the true Super Mode, Infinity Style.
    • In general, odds are that if a crossover between the previous rider and the current one introduces a new form for the current rider that isn't based on the previous rider's powers, said form will become this trope when it debuts in the series. The exception being with Fourze, which introduced Rocket States in Movie War Megamax, only for the form to actually fit this trope being Magnet States (although Rocket States did appear in episode 41).
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One ditches the Heisei era convention of traditional Final Form upgrades or receiving stronger Transformation Trinkets by taking the Gundam route and having several characters swap over to using entirely different belts, with some technically being considered different Riders completely.
      • The primary example is the title character himself, Aruto Hiden. After being told that the Zero-One System has been taken as far as it can go, Aruto sits down and designs a brand-new belt, resulting in his upgrading to Kamen Rider Zero-Two.
      • After being destroyed, Jin comes back and replaces his Forceriser with the ZAIA Slashriser, likewise replacing the Flying Falcon Progrise Key with the more powerful Burning Falcon.
      • Yua Yaiba is an odd case, since she starts as Kamen Rider Valkyrie but her Heel–Face Turn is marked by her using the ZAIA Raidriser to become the Jackal Raider, a Monster of the Week rather than a Rider. Once she becomes a good guy again she downgrades back to Valkyrie, but still hangs onto the Fighting Jackal Key.
  • Midway through the second season of Babylon 5, the station received an upgrade to its defensive systems, due to increasing tensions amongst the major powers. General Franklin remarks that the upgraded station would be capable of taking on a starship in battle.
    • The heroes were given the White Star at the beginning of Season 3. Towards the end of Season 3, it was revealed that this was merely the first White Star, and that they now had an entire fleet of them ready for battle.
  • Almost happened in Crusade, where after five episodes were shot the sets & uniforms got overhauled to look a lot cooler. Then Executive Meddling led to the upgrade-style episodes being aired first.
  • The Flash (2014) periodically includes an upgraded costume, often towards the beginning of the season. The fourth season costume was in fact overly upgraded by Cisco, they faced off against a Techno Path villain who was able to wreak havoc with Barry, even use him as People Puppets, because of all the elaborate features that were installed. Barry asked him to downgrade in response, as they were more for Cisco's amusement than for Barry's use.
  • Doctor Who Season 7B. Not only did it introduce a new companion in the middle of the season, it also changed The Doctor's costume, the TARDIS desktop theme and the title sequence. It felt almost as much a Jumping-On Point as The Eleventh Hour, with the only constant element being Matt Smith himself as the Eleventh Doctor.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine started the third season introducing the new starship assigned to the station, the USS Defiant. It's said to be a Flawed Prototype but nonetheless very powerful (it's unofficially a warship, a term the Federation doesn't like to use) and needed to deal with the Dominion faction on the other side of the wormhole. Previously the station came with three Starfleet runabouts, long range heavy-duty shuttles, but it became evident something with more punch was needed for the rising threat.
    • Star Trek: Voyager had the crew develop the Delta Flyer, an in-house designed shuttle with an eye towards being more versatile, robust and agile. If the Class 2 shuttle was a pick-up truck, the Delta Flyer was a cross between a Humvee and a Lamborghini, with enough firepower to serve as decent support craft to Voyager.
    • Midway through Season 1 of Star Trek: Enterprise, the titular starship gets upgraded with new "phase cannons" to fight an alien threat. The end of season two had additional cannons, photon torpedoes, and stronger hull plating installed.
    • In season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, the titular starship is sent from the year 2258 to 3189. When she reaches the new headquarters of The Federation (or, rather, what's left of it), she's given a boatload of 32nd-century upgrades including detached nacelles, programmable matter consoles, an Invisibility Cloak, and a smoother interface for her spore drive.
  • Red Dwarf: After five series' worth of being a soft-light hologram, series 6 episode 2 sees Rimmer's light-bee projector upgraded to have a Hard Light mode, allowing him to physically interact with the world like the rest of the crew and making him strong enough to withstand point-blank grenade explosions.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: After spending the first half of season one dressed in rags lamenting he just wants to live a humble life in Numenor, Halbrand finally accepts his fate as the king of the Southlands. In episode 5 he upgrades to a golden armor an a sword received from Numenorians.

  • Used in Stern Pinball's Iron Man, which requires the player to advance the Iron Man armor up six increasingly-advanced technological levels, from Mark I through Mark VI.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • In Batman: Arkham Origins DLC Cold Cold Heart, Batman starts out with his main-game Batsuit, then later dons his Extreme Environment (XE) suit to deal with Mr. Freeze.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight, Batman starts the game wearing a slightly updated version of the Batsuit he wore in Batman: Arkham City. Roughly an hour into the main story, he dons a more high-tech costume with Titanium plates over an MR-fluid bodysuit, allowing him to move faster and hit harder.
  • Elemental Master grants you a power-boost halfway into the game, where you can cast stronger, deadlier spells, just as enemies starts coming in larger numbers while the bosses becomes stronger - courtesy of your Fairy Companion revealing herself to be an ancient Ring of Power who had assumed a fairy-like form, and then turning herself back to a ring for you to wear.
  • In the Japanese video game 70s Robot Anime Geppy-X (a horizontal shoot-em-up that's an Affectionate Parody of the Getter Robo franchise (as well as Mazinger Z and the Macekre that was Starvengers)), halfway through the game your mecha is destroyed, but luckily you receive an upgraded version of it, Geppy-XX, which you keep for the remainder of the game.
  • Super Robot Wars, while a game series, follows this trope almost to the letter. Almost every game will feature the main character (and sometimes even characters from existing anime beyond the ones featured in the shows themselves) getting at least one of these. Most notably, in the Original Generation games and the Animated Adaptation, Ryusei goes through 2 and a half of these (the half being finding out the units of his squad actually make up a Combining Mecha.)
    • It should also be noted that Mazinkaiser was originally created as a Mid Season Upgrade for Mazinger Z in F Final.
    • In a PSP exclusive mission for Super Robot Wars MX, Aqua pilots a Dragoon for the second time and together with the Dragonars, have to take on a large force of Martian Successors. More enemies show up and wreck Aqua's Dragoon. As a result, the Dragonar team and Aqua are outnumbered. Hugo shows up with an upgraded robot and shows how powerful it is. This instance was supposed to show that Hugo and the mecha got improved after the Medius Locus wrecked it 2 missions ago.
    • Some of the games in the series parody this by including an upgrade called "Tem Ray's Circuit", which actually decreases the abilities of any mecha it's installed on. It's in reference to the original Gundam series, in which Amuro's father, delusional from oxygen deprivation, gave Amuro a useless piece of junk that he claimed would drastically increase the Gundam's power.
  • From Thunder Force IV onwards, it's become a tradition to have the player ship get a permanent upgrade halfway thorugh the game to some pretty awesome music.
    • In Thunder Force IV, your ship gets an attachment that allows you to fire the Thunder Sword.
    • In Thunder Force V, you swap out the Gauntlet for the Brigandine, and proceed to blast the shit out of a battleship fleet until you go to the next stage or run out of Life Meter (at which point you revert to the Vambrace, essentially an enhanced Gauntlet).
    • In Thunder Force VI, if you are using the Phoenix, the end of the second-to-last stage upgrades you to the Syrinx, which comes with an improved Wave weapon.
  • Late into 1944: Counter Attack, your Attack Drones get swapped out with more advanced drones that shoot lasers. Laser drones in World War II.
  • In Xenogears, you start getting upgraded gears for several characters about midway through. Some are just other gears you find (that happen to be almost exactly like the ones they're replacing) but some are actual upgrades by use of "Anima Relics". Fei's Weltall gets upgraded twice: Once to Weltall-2 and then near the end of the game to the titular Xenogears.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, once the party reaches Prison Island, Arglas unlocks the power of the Monado, turning it into the Monado II; on top of making it quite bigger and more menacing, it gains the power to harm sentient biological beings as well as the Faced Mechon. Because they're the same thing.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, late in the game Rex becomes a Master Driver, gaining a fancy shiny new armor as well as the ability to borrow and control other party members' Blades (except Poppi), also granting him unique Arts while using them. Pneuma, unlocked at around the same time, is by comparison more of a Super Mode.
  • While you can build actual Mid-Season Upgrade units in Gundam Breaker, the true upgrade for the player takes place when you move from using High Grade parts to the much larger and more powerful Master Grade versions.
  • Happens to Jehuty in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner when the Zero Shift program finally settles in, transforming it into Jehuty Ver. 2, which turns its fin-like Wisps into full-on attack drones that shoot and slash with Jehuty and an auto-shield that blocks anything short of a Burst Attack
  • In Gundam Extreme VS Maxi Boost, Leos goes from his original Extreme Gundam to the Type II VS, which brings all the Extreme's phases together to form something that is essentially a super robot version of Strike Freedom with an Erupting God Finger-esque attack.
    • Happens to Ex- of all people in Maxi Boost ON when he returns as Ex Treme, now using an upgraded black version of his Extreme Gundam called Extreme Gundam MK. II AXE. Rather than using giant armors, it deftly flies around the arena firing energy blasts from its hands, a hidden beam cannon and its mouth, massive beam swords formed from its flying shields and even manages to essentially turn the Gundams Leos derived his own unit from by creating hard-light replicas of other Gundams that can mimic the weapons and functionalities of the originals.
  • Happens to pretty much everything you have in Homeworld: Cataclysm: the vehicles you research get one or more upgrades as the story goes on, the most notable being the player's command ship going from a large customizable mining vessel to a highly-capable Battlestar equipped with a Wave-Motion Gun and capable of building her own fleet through the course of the game.
  • Crossing into Real Life, the PS4 Pro and XBox 1 X were this to the PS4 and Xbox One. They play the same games (there are no PS4 Pro or XBox1X exclusives), but can render 4k graphics compared to the 1080p of the base models — not to mention they have more hard drive space.

    Western Animation 
  • In Beast Wars the "Transmetal" upgrades in season 2 were originally going to be done throughout the season, but Hasbro mandated that it all happen at the beginning of the season. Season 3 got to do it's "Transmetal 2" upgrades gradually, with Cheetor and Dinobot 2 getting that status at roughly the halfway point.
  • In Winx Club, Season 2 had the Winx earn Charmix, which was a simple power-boost that occurred late in the season. Season 3 had Enchantix, which was gained by the characters separately throughout the season. Season 4 had Believix, which was gained early in the season, and Sophix and Lovix. Season 5 had Harmonix early in the season and Sirenix in the middle.
  • In Exo Squad, The Squad's mechs were upgraded with Super Prototype devices mid-second season. Although said devices didn't bring about a combat performance improvement as most examples above, they did save their lives on several occasions later.
  • A rare Children's example is Thomas & Friends' colleague Henry The Green Engine. In the famous Flying Kipper episode he crashes and is rebuilt from a cartoonishly designed locomotive into a Black Five; a locomotive design that is historically the best mixed traffic locomotive ever built. This move by the Rev. Awdry was due to his original illustrator not knowing much about steam engine designs.
  • Early in the second season Voltron: The Third Dimension, the titular robot travels to another dimension and transforms into Stealth Voltron. It isn't a permanent upgrade however as Voltron returns to normal when returning to its home dimension. It does however transform into Stealth Voltorn every time it returns to the other dimension.
  • In Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels, the auxiliary craft Phantom gets upgraded with hyperdrive capabilities.
  • In Season Two of W.I.T.C.H., the Guardians gain a power boost, revealing new powers and abilities that they didn't have before.
    • Also present in the original comic book: they start out with the abilities they gain in the season 2 of the adaptation with some variants (in the comic everyone can become invisible and Hay Lin's exclusive powers are to discover the past of objects by their sound and flying, the latter of which could be done by everyone in the adaptation, while Cornelia can manipulate not just plants and wood but the earth itself), their abilities increase in power at the start of the fifth arc, the New Power story arc increase their powers and give everyone the ability to fly, and at the end of the final arc they gain a sense-based power each and the ability to join in a powerful super being with all their abilities.
  • After the Whizzing Arrow II is destroyed at the halfway point of Ōban Star-Racers, it is replaced by the Whizzing Arrow III, which sports greater fuel capacity, a stronger hull, and additional boosters for a faster hyperdrive.
  • PJ Masks: In the appropriately titled season 2 episode "PJ Power Up", all 3 heroes get a new super power.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Face on the Fritz", Face 9000 gets an upgrade and an all-new design. In this case, it's quite literally in the middle of the season.
  • A very unintentional one happens in the Numberjacks episode "Three Things Good": Three has gone out on a few missions with Five and Six prior to this episode, and she was due to go out with Four during this episode, but the launcher breaks and she's on her own. This may have been enough to convince Four, Five and Six to let her go out on her own in later episodes.

  • In the Dragon Magazine series "Voyage of the Princess Ark", the titular flying ship is accidentally upgraded when it gets possessed by a powerful, sphinx-like extraplanar entity. Not only does the Princess Ark become sentient in the process, but it rebuilds itself into the shape of a gigantic sphinx, with sails mounted laterally for wings and a separated bridge/head that floats above its shoulders, turning side to side to 'look' at things or deliver a lightning-blast roar.
  • BIONICLE had this as its method of keeping hero characters in focus — as with every change came new toys. It was either this, or bringing in new heroes and push the old ones back, the creators explained.
    • The Toa Mata upgraded into Toa Nuva 2/3 of the way through the first umbrella-arc. This happened, by the way, directly after the enemies had been dealt with and just before the new ones showed up.
    • The entire Matoran populace of the island Mata Nui received new, stronger bodies halfway through the 2003 story.
    • Six of those original Matoran characters then became Toa Inika around the middle of the 2006 story. Then, the following year (1/3 of the way through the main arc), were transformed into Toa Mahri. Although in this case, it can be doubted if this really was an upgrade — they lost several unique powers, but also gained new ones.
    • The Toa Nuva returned after a 4 year-long break (in real life), when they received their Adaptive Armor upgrades at the 2/3 mark of the aforementioned arc. Then, mid-2010, their leader, Tahu had to be downgraded for the Grand Finale, back into his Toa Mata state, but kept the Adaptive Armor.
  • The Toa in BIONICLE (2015) recover the Gold Masks that unlock their powers and transform their equipment into weapons. Afterwards, they get new armor, tools and new masks, which help them locate yet another set of new masks. Ekimu also upgrades his body to the form of a Toa through unexplained means, but this change proves temporary.
  • A rare, mythological version exists. In Arthurian Legend, King Arthur pulled the Clarent (a.k.a. the Sword on the Stone) successfully to become king of England. Said sword got destroyed in battle, but he was able to receive the better and the more famous Excalibur from The Lady of the Lake.
  • In Beowulf, the titular character receives the Naegling after the destruction of his Hrunting in his battle against Grendel's mother.
  • RWBY takes its sweet time with upgrading its main heroes. Jaune is the first in Volume 4, who gets a new set of armor and upgrades Crocea Mors to be able to turn into a zweihander. In Volume 7, everyone gets upgrades as they are now officially Huntsmen and Huntresses. Crocea Mors's shield is upgraded further to add a Deflector Shield function, magnetically attach to his armor and act as a glider; Ren's StormFlower now can double as chain whips a la Kratos' famed weapons; Ruby's Crescent Rose's scythe head now pivots for new angles of attack; Weiss' Myrtnaster can now shoot without using glyphs; and Yang's Ember Celica now adds in sticky bombs. So far, we have yet to see what the upgraded Gambol Shroud and Magnhild can do.
  • Aside from Xbox examples mentioned above, Microsoft has dabbled themselves into this trope in form of Updated Rereleases through each OS' lifespan. MSX had hardware-based upgrades in form of MSX2 and MSX2+, while its Spiritual Successor Microsoft Windows receive software-based upgrades for each of its versions (3 to 3.1, 95 to 98 and 98SE, and recently 8 to 8.1 are some of the notable examples).
  • The Sega Genesis received the Sega CD and 32X upgrade packs. However, the mishandling of the Saturn (a 32-Bit replacement for the whole mess that came out barely within a month of the 32X) ultimately killed Sega's hardware division.
  • The Nintendo 64 received the Expansion Pak that doubled its RAM, allowing for more colors onscreen. Not bad for something intended to mitigate a Game-Breaking Bug in one single game.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mid Series Upgrade


"I'll never give up."

Thanks to the Omega Lock, Hot Shot, Red Alert and Scattorshot are saved from the clutches of death and receive incredible new bodies.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MidSeasonUpgrade

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