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Top row: Tolkienesque
An Orc from The Lord of the Rings and an Ork from Warhammer 40,000.
Bottom row: Revisionist
An orc from Warcraft and an Orsimer from Skyrim.
"Wesnoth Orcs are brown; a portrait showing them as green is inconsistent."
Artistic Guidelines for Contributing Artists from the open-source game Battle for Wesnoth

Ever since Tolkien, the worlds of fantasy literature and video games have been overrun with tribes of ugly, bellicose humanoids, whose main purpose for existence is to serve as the Mooks of the Forces of Evil. Trolls, goblins and/or hobgoblins (and such) are usually also closely associated with them, or may just be different names for the same thing.

The word orc comes from Old English and shares linguistic roots with ogre, borrowed from French. Both terms are related to the Latin word Orcus, the name of an Etruscan/Roman god of The Underworld which came to denote the place itself (like Greek Hades). Later, Orcus was glossed as a term for a demon or hell itself. Thus, the Old English word orc, as attested by medieval glossaries — as well as cognates in other languages like French ogre, Italian orco and Portuguese and Spanish ogro — denoted a kind of demon or monster. However, the only appearance of orc in surviving Old English literature comes from Beowulf in the form orcnéas, "demon-corpses", sometimes translated as "living dead" — ghouls, perhaps? Orcnéas are said to be evil creatures descended from Cain, together with eotenas (giants), ylfe (elves) and gigantas (giants, again, so eotenas is sometimes translated as ogres or trolls). note 

In modern fiction, Orcs come in two general flavors: the original model developed by J. R. R. Tolkien who borrowed the word from Beowulf and used it for his version of goblins, and a revisionist model best exemplified (but far from invented) by Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft series.

There are also orcs IN SPACE!!!

Tolkienesque or "traditional" orcs:

  • Are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Often have pig-like snouts or upturned noses that resemble pig snouts. (Sometimes taken one step further by actually giving them pig heads, like in early editions of Dungeons & Dragons.) May have tusks. This is possibly drawn from the fact that "orc" is Welsh for "pig", and Welsh was the inspiration for Tolkien's Sindarin; alternately, it comes from the illustrators misunderstanding Gary Gygax who supposedly told them to make the orcs look "pig-headed"; or, simply, that "orc" rhymes with "pork". This look was popularized in Japan by RPGs like Dragon Quest. Often called "Porcs" on the internet.
  • If they're not porcine as mentioned above, they'll have a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth due to their meat-heavy diet.
  • Are usually carnivorous or hypercarnivorous, often cannibalistic. If not, they may instead be Extreme Omnivores.
  • Are of varying colors; ranging from sallow to gray to red. Green is not unknown, though generally not the vibrant green of "Blizzard" orcs (Dungeons and Dragons orcs are grayish-green).
  • Are most likely to be Faceless Goons/Mooks.
  • Are dumb, either using only primitive technology or with an affinity for industrialized production, lacking craftsmanship and having Creative Sterility.
  • If these orcs use any magic at all, it would be Black Magic.
  • Have little or no culture outside of raiding/war parties and worshiping gods of war or the local Evil Overlord.
  • Usually have oppressive, patriarchal societies, with females being treated as property (if female orcs are even shown or mentioned).
  • Are oftentimes made solely as artificial creatures rather than reproducing naturally (since Creating Life Is Bad), thus explaining the aforementioned lack of females and making the dehumanization and extermination of these creatures less morally questionable.
  • Are of variable strength and size, but usually shorter than humans or elves but taller than dwarves.
  • Are often hunched or stooped in build or posture with awkward musculature and proportions, and may lope like a great ape when running.
  • May or may not have a British cockney accent (as popularized by Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000).

Blizzard-style or "revisionist" orcs:

  • Are a Proud Warrior Race with an extensive honor system partially inspired by the Japanese, the Norse, or other "warrior" cultures. They've been referred to as "green Klingons" in the past.
  • Have intelligence on par with humans and other races (though other races might not see it that way). Their technology and magic might even be on par with humans and elves, though their magic will be more shamanic than arcane, and their technology will be more "earthy".
  • Are far more likely to have a more fully fleshed-out culture than Tolkienesque orcs. But unlike other races, they rarely have a direct real-world counterpart, but are instead a mishmash of various tribal cultures, although most can be summed up as a Proud Warrior Race.
  • Have an animist and/or shamanistic religious structure.
  • Are more likely to be omnivorous.
  • Are more likely to have cities or settlements beyond war camps, although other races will likely still consider them barbaric and primitive.
  • May appear rugged and violent to other races because historically they lived in dangerous environments that have very few resources available so they resort to a spartan way of life.
  • Are more likely to have females portrayed, gender equality or even female leaders. Although sexual dimorphism does exist, Orcish women are expected to fight to exactly the same degree as men, and usually also have the same degree of martial ability. More fearsome females may exemplify the Beast Man trope.
  • Have bright green skin and are physically similar to (some) trolls from European folklore.
  • Aren't necessarily repulsive. They can even be quite attractive, with the women shown as Amazonian beauties and the men burly and ruggedly handsome.
  • Will have large tusks jutting out from their lower jaws, though if the orcs are portrayed as attractive, these will be reduced to inverted Cute Little Fangs (though female orcs tend to have small "cute" tusks even when the men's are still large and imposing). This is the one holdover from when orcs were more pig-like in appearance. Even if they have human noses, they'll always have the tusks.
  • Are larger than humans and nearly always stronger. An Orc will be probably about 6-8 feet tall, and much more stocky and robustly built. Limbs are close to a foot thick. Competitive Balance usually ensures that this does not make them superior to other races in battle: elves are still much more agile and attuned to nature or magic, dwarves have comparable strength, toughness and superior equipment, and humans have superior logistics, tactics, and coordination on the battlefield.
  • May have incredibly thick muscle, broad chests and shoulders and somewhat elongated arms, but generally stand upright and appear undeniably humanoid.
  • Are vastly more likely to be protagonists or at least supporting characters as opposed to rank-and-file Mooks.

Although the two interpretations differ significantly, they broadly share both a monstrous, primitive appearance and conflict with humanity and the other Standard Fantasy Races. The author's choice of which model to emulate usually depends on whose perspective the story is written from, the story's relative position on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, and whether or not the author intends to explore ramifications of killing sentient beings. In any case, expect humans to treat revisionist orcs as if they were Tolkienesque orcs, at least initially. Also both types are generally mooted to reach maturity faster and to have a lower life expectancy than even humans, though this isn't universal. Around half human lifespan seems to be common, with half-orcs bridging the difference. You average orc will be an adult at ten, in their prime at twenty, be middle aged at thirty, old at forty and venerable at fifty, in the unlikely event they live that long - orc lives tending to be dangerous, brutish and short.

In modern fiction, "orc" is sometimes spelled as "ork", both to make the orcs that much more different and for Xtreme Kool Letterz appeal. 'Orc' is usually the spelling in medieval fantasy, while 'ork' is the norm in modern or futuristic settings, as popularized by Warhammer 40,000. The form "orke" appeared in early modern English during the Renaissance period, perhaps influenced by the French "ogre". Tolkien considered spelling it "ork" late in his life, but never got around to revising his published stuff for it.

Orcs typically share a close relationship with goblins, and indeed Tolkien originally used the words "orc" and "goblin" more or less interchangeably. Modern fantasy typically separates them into distinct species, with goblins usually being smaller and more lightly built. Orcs are also frequently associated with other monstrous humanoid races. See: Our Ogres Are Hungrier, All Trolls Are Different and Our Giants Are Bigger, as well as Standard Fantasy Races. The trope often overlaps with Pig Man, especially in Japanese media, though the pun on "pork" is linguistically coincidental. They are often the "adopting" parent when a child is Raised by Orcs. In many cases, Space Orcs will literally be fantasy orcs IN SPACE!, although it's somewhat more common for them to be an original species with a Tolkienian orcish personality added on.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Orcs are tall, stout, and porcine (plus small horns and tusks), but are primarily Blizzard-style, respecting courage, living in communal villages, and despising cowardice. They have a wholly justified reputation as murderous raiders, but the humans and elves they target can't be called innocent, having historically committed their own fair share of atrocities against the orcs. They're actually pretty amiable around non-orcs who somehow get on their good side.
  • Monster Musume being a Japanese work, the orcs are Pig Men of human-level intelligence. Typical for the series, while the males closely resemble the "Boar-men" orcs of Dragon Quest, the females shown in spinoffs are attractive, curvy humanoids who are a Little Bit Beastly instead. The first orcs shown in the series are the first truly hostile liminals introduced; terrorists who take a comic book store hostage to make ridiculous demands for the publication of orc-centric pornography.
  • In Interspecies Reviewers Orcs are the ruling political party of the setting due to the fact that they apply their lifestyle of "Eat, Sleep and Fuck" to politics (a focus on agriculture, low taxes, public support for sex industry). Otherwise aside from looking like pig men and a high sex drive/stamina there's little separating them from other species. In one notable scene, a "Raid Party" consisting of 100 orcs saves the Reviewers from Out with a Bang.

    Board Games 
  • Dark Tower: The Brigands, although bearing antlers and beaks, clearly serve the function of Tolkienian orcs.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Orcs had a presence in early sets, before growing out of focus due to goblins taking over the niche of small Red-aligned creatures, leaving little need to maintain orcs as a separate creature type. They made a reappearance in the Khans of Tarkir expansion after being absent for about fifteen years. While early orcs were exclusively aligned with Red mana (the color of impulsivity, emotion, chaos and ferocity), modern orcs are split fairly evenly between Red and Black (the color of self-interest, ambition and amorality).
      • Early orcs don't fit the Tolkensian archetype or the Warcraft archetype very well. Rather, they are sort of "goblins, but bigger (and somehow even dumber)". Their primary distinguishing characteristics are their supreme cowardice and complete incompetence; early orc cards were printed with abilities that made it difficult or impossible to force them into any combat that would kill the orc, while others had ridiculous drawbacks for minor effects that made them a bigger liability to their controller than the opponent outside of overly complicated combos.
        They warn the army of danger as they squawk past in swift retreat.Ironclaw Buzzardiers Flavor Text
      • The orcs of Dominaria were mainly found in the isolated island continent of Sarpadia, where they lived in tunnels within the continent's mountains alongside the local goblins. They warred extensively against Sarpadia's dwarven, elven and human nations — especially the humans — and alongside the thallids (fungi farmed by the elves as food sources that ended up developing sapience) and the thrulls (creatures bred as living sacrifices and meat shields by human necromancers) ended up destroying Sarpadia's nations. However, after the humans, dwarves and elves were gone, the thrulls' deep-seated paranoia led to them attacking the orcs and goblins once the other threats were gone, eventually wiping them out as well. Other orcish populations survived on other continents, such as the Ironclaw orcs of Aerona, but they're not particularly common or prominent. Physically, they chiefly resemble burly humans with green skin and pointed ears.
      • Orcs on Tarkir are much closer to Blizzard's orcs, and tend to be portrayed as proud, aggressive brawlers and warriors. They tend to have heavy frames, greyish-tan skin, triangular ears and flattened, almost absent noses. They are often found as warriors in the Mardu hordes and the Abzan houses. In the reforged timeline they are found almost exclusively among the followers of the dragon Kolaghan, and like the rest of Kolaghan's clan are ferocious, warlike barbarians and often cannibalistic.
      • Ixalan's orcs, found in the Brazen Coalition, are Blood Knights who have been known to raid their own ships if they go too long without plunder. They have much more human-like proportions than the orcs of Tarkir.
    • Orggs are a rare creature type created from the crossbreeding of orcs and ogres. They're characterized by their large and pointed ears, four arms and incredible stupidity.

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD: In Kingdom, a race of grey-skinned dog-human hybrid warriors is officially designated "Aux". Given that their human creators had a love of Punny Names (individual Aux include Gary the Old Man and Val Kill-More), this may have been deliberate.
  • Birthright portrays orcs as one of the native races from Terrenos. Despite fitting the Tolkien mold as they are mostly servants of God-King Lore, the most prominent orc character in the narrative is Rook, who serves the Blizzard mold being an heroic warrior and the main protagonist's mentor.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Similar to Warhammer orcs, with the same sense of tactics, only usually with more humanlike skintones and racial hatred of elves.
  • The DCU: The Khunds are, in many ways, the setting's Klingons, so all the comparisons of Klingons to orcs apply equally well to the Khunds. They're a big, muscular, ugly Proud Warrior Race who have a strong code of honor but still generally act like imperialistic bullies who get into fights with the good guys.
  • Drago Nero: Gmor follows the Blizzard example, being a Boisterous Bruiser and Bash Brothers with the titular character.
  • ORCS! and its sequel ORCS! THE CURSE concerns a tribe of orcs who are fun loving and always eager for a dance party. They are also extremely fierce fighters in defence of their own, and their tribal witch is a very powerful magician. The characters are drawn in a rounded cartoonish style with a wide variety of body sizes, skin and eye colours, and clothing.
  • Orc Stain depicts a world populated by Warhammer-ish orcs who rely upon Organic Technology. They're an all-male species who reproduce by ejaculating mobile plant seeds that grow into vegetative wombs full of new orcs and who use coins made from sliced up, petrified pieces of orc penis as money.
  • In Rat Queens, most orcs are more Tolkienesque, though the only orc main character, Braga, left her people after she realized they would never accept her goals to reform their culture and end the constant bloodshed (also her coming out as Transgender).note 
    • Orc Dave is another subversion, a Gentle Giant Friend to All Living Things, though it's implied that this is because he was raised alone in the woods by his father, rather than in an orc tribe.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Following the rules of the original source, the story has pink orcs with white hair. They're a Proud Warrior Race who live only to fight and serve under Keepers or live as Barbarian Tribes on the overworld.
  • The Fall: Louise is familiar with the Tolkienesque types, coming from a medieval fantasy world infested with them herself. In the Mojave, she's told a story of Super Mutants, a type of big, green, stupid and very violent humanoids. The similarities do not escape her, and she even lampshades it.
    Louise: Big green dumb brutes with a penchant for violence? Those are orcs.
  • In The Last Ringbearer, Orcs avert and invert stereotypes of them — here, Mordor is a highly advanced civilization, with constitutional monarchy, universities, beautiful art and high scientific achievements, and they are destroyed by barbaric and genocidal hordes of humans and elves. The Orcs are in fact just another group of Men of the East, and "Orc" is a slur that Men of the West and the Elves use about them.
  • The orcs of The Night Unfurls are the traditional kind. Dumb, green-skined, bestial/barbaric to the point of Always Chaotic Evil, little to no culture/character outside of organizing war bands and committing Rape, Pillage, and Burn... the orcs are Tolkienesque alright. There's also how other groups like goblins, trolls, and ogres are typically counted as "orcs but smaller or larger".
  • The Rainsverse: The caprataurs of the Everfree Forest bear a strong resemblance to Tolkienesque orcs. They are violent, cannibalistic, have little culture beyond demon-worship, and their females are little better than property. The Heartlands have been fighting off raids from their war-herds for as long as anypony can remember.
  • Prince Staghorn's Known World: True Orcs are a type of elf with a strict honor system. By contrast, the Orks are a type of sapient pig that are blatantly based on those in Warhammer 40,000. During the War of the Deer, two further varieties were created by crossbreeding Orcs with bicorns to serve as soldier races; the fierce but isolationist Urgals and the vicious Uruk-hai.
  • Shadows over Meridian: While there's canonically two different appearances to the Lurdens, they're divided into three different types in this story. The green ones with ogre-like appearance are native to the eastern Swamplands, while the brown ones with beast-like appearance come from the northern mountains. The third type, known as Sand Dwellers, who were only seen in canon in the first season episode "Escape from Cavigor", are the original inhabitants of the southern desert where Cavigor is situated.
  • Splint: Orcs are based directly on the ones Tolkien created, but are depicted as more emotionally and morally complex beyond being simple Mooks, with some dashes of Blizzard-style orcs. Female orcs are clearly shown to exist — Rukhash explains that Saruman and Sauron kept a lot of the women back in the "breeding pits" to continuously supply Mordor's armies with soldiers, while the men were sent out into battle, which explains why no female orcs were seen in the novels.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Bright: Orcs live integrated with humans and other races in a modern-day Earth. Orcs are pretty normal people for all of their racial differences. They maintain some vestiges of being a Proud Warrior Race, with the idea of being "blooded" having a central role in their society. They have intelligence roughly on par with humans, though they're stereotyped as dumb. The main orc character, Jakoby, is frequently slow on the uptake, but much of this might just be a combination of "doesn't understand human verbal play" and "inexperienced cop who hesitates," and he's more thoughtful, serious and idealistic than his human partner. They are apparently larger, heavier, stronger and slower the humans on average, and Jakoby exhibits some extraordinary toughness. They are extremely clannish and generally discriminated against by other races, making them second-class citizens in the wider society — so no wonder they're big on their own clans/gangs.
  • In the Name of the King features the Krug, who are mindless humanoid monsters for the heroes to slaughter.
  • The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have orcs as sharp-toothed humanoid monsters ranging from the very impish-looking goblins of the Misty Mountains to the hulking and brutish Uruk-hai of Isengard. Those that do speak do so in low-class British accents, with screechy or grating voices. Fitting with the pro-nature theme of the series, orcs are focused on ruthless industry, shown tearing down trees and building crude, jagged weapons of war in service of their dark masters.
    • One abandoned film treatment turned orcs into avian-like creatures with wings and beaks, causing Tolkien to comment that "Orcs is not a form of Auks." .
    • The script by John Boorman also had orcs with avian features, and threw in some reptilian ones for good measure. They also apparently spend time not fighting in a form of suspended animation, likely forced on them by Sauron. Notably, they are not serving Sauron of their own free will.
  • Star Wars: The Gamorreans, first appearing in Return of the Jedi, are brutish, strong, green, pig-snouted and tusked, matriarchal, violent brutes with low intelligence, often used as minions and low-level grunts by Hutt crime lords.
  • Warcraft 2016, being based on a game made by the Trope Codifier of Blizzard-style orcs, obviously has a multitude of examples of the latter type. There's a lot of women, and orcs have friendships, families, a Code of Honour and sacred traditions. The orc protagonist Durotan is treated as just as important as humans and questions and then opposes the actions and motivations of Gul'dan, the Sorcerous Overlord who commands the Horde.

  • In NERO, orcs are green and tusked. Half-Orcs generally look exactly like orcs but can be PCs. Whether they are of the Tolkienian or Blizzard variety seems to vary from tribe to tribe.

  • The Acts of Caine: The ogrilloi are slightly closer to Warcraft Orcs, with the exception of the Black Knife tribe, who are the ogrilloi that other ogrilloi tell horror stories about and act like Tolkien Orcs on a real bad day. In Matthew Stover's novels, "orc" is an Earth word for the species they view as an Aktir pejorative; on Overworld they're informally known as 'rilloes or grills. Ogrilloi differ from the typical depictions of orcs in their physiology (namely their quadrupedal lope, ridged back, and fighting claws).
  • Age of Fire: The orc equivalents are called blighters and, according to dragons at least, were the first sapient race. Dragons were in fact originally created to keep them from overwhelming the planet. They apparently once had a high-level civilization that dominated the other hominid races, but are now squabbling tribes that mostly fit the Tolkienian version of the race. That being said, they aren't Always Chaotic Evil, as the ones living in Old Uldam befriended by AuRon and Wistala at different points are still quite civilized and sophisticated to an extent.
  • Amtrack Wars: The Mutes are mutated humans who have weird skin patterns and bony extrusions on their heads. They fall into Blizzard territory but are regarded as Tolkienian by their enemies, the Federation.
  • The Blood War Trilogy stars the Grol as the primary antagonists, being basically orc-werewolves. Their usual Always Chaotic Evil status is subverted by the Tolen, who are the same race but lack all of their kinsmen's I'm a Humanitarian The Horde qualities.
  • Captive of the Orcs: No one kills more Orcs than other Orcs, and the combination of tribal wars mixed with an aggressive religion could conceivably lead to resembling the Tolkien Orcs, were they somehow able to unite under one banner.
  • Chronicles Of Siala: The orcs combine elements of the "Tolkien" and "Blizzard" types, with a few twists. They're a Proud Warrior Race with a strong emphasis on personal honor, but are also high militarized with a bit of a fascist bent and consider themselves the Master Race because they are the "Firstborn", meaning the oldest intelligent race on the planetnote . They're very closely related to the elves, and unusually look very similar (both races have grey-brown skin, yellow eyes, and fangs — orcs are generally bulkier and have longer fangs, but it's often hard for outsiders to tell them apart at a glance). They're allied with the Nameless One, not because they're particularly loyal to him (after all, he's not an orc) but because they think he's their best bet for destroying their enemies, the elves and humans.
  • Chronicles of the Emerged World: Fammin — hairy, tusked humanoids with long arms, four-fingered hands and powerful claws — fill the niche of Tolkienian orcs, being a race artificially created by the Tyrant to serve as an army of remorseless killing machines. This worked less well than the Tyrant might have hoped, as some fammin retain enough conscience to dislike killing and war, and have to be magically forced to fight against their will.
  • Codex Alera features the Canim, which have all of the Blizzard Orc traits — large, powerful, warlike, culture predicated on honor and a longstanding enmity with humanity — except for green skin (being wolfmen instead). Until they get fleshed out in the fifth book, the Icemen have most of the Tolkien Orc traits with a layer of frost thrown over top. The Marat may also count, being "savage", physically powerful Neanderthal-descendants who bond with animals and periodically raid the outskirts of Aleran civilization — though they're only antagonists in the first book, and are firmly heroic in all the rest.
  • Conan the Barbarian has grey apes, huge simians with an horribly human-like appearance and grey fur. These nocturnal carnivores live near the Vilayet Sea (Hyborian equivalent of Caspian Sea). They also are mute. Their superhuman strength and their malevolent cunning make them dreadful enemies, as Conan himself fear them. According to Howard inThe Hour of the Dragon, grey apes are ogres of Hyborian myths.
  • Council Wars features Tolkien orcs created in a future Earth using genetic modification and nanotech. The 'orcs' are the villains' idea of Super Soldiers. It doesn't work out very well, because the orcs are too aggressive to organize or train efficiently.
  • The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time: Orcs look like bipedal pigs and are a One-Gender Race that needs to use females of other races to reproduce. While lesser orcs are generally mindless beasts who are spawned by Dungeons, the Noble Orcs, who were created to control the lesser ones in the distant past, can be just as intelligent and civilized as humans. Our protagonist ends up creating a new variant of orc with his magic by accident named Orcus, black orcs who are just as big and intelligent as Noble Orcs.
  • Discworld: Orcs first appear in Unseen Academicals, where Pratchett wonderfully deconstructs the Tolkienesque, Always Chaotic Evil orc. To everyone on the Disc they're terrifying bogeymen from an ancient war, remembered as the typical Tolkienian orc. However, as it turns out, orcs were genetically (or, well, magically) engineered from humans as tactically-minded, nigh-immortal killing machines. They were then horribly abused by their Sauron-ish creator and given no option but to kill. The humans who won the war and wrote the history didn't know or didn't care about that, and set about exterminating them all. Mr. Nutt, the only orc in the story so far, is actually extremely hard-working, highly skilled, and has memorized basically an entire library, but is crippled by a need to "achieve worth" — because he's an orc, and, well, see Discworld's perception of them. He is able to become cultured, intelligent etc. because Children Are Innocent, no matter what species they are, and when Nutt was found as a seven-year-old chained to an anvil, Mightily Oats cut him free and sent him to Lady Margolotta for an education, instead of getting the terrible conditioning other orcs went through. Nutt may have grey skin, retractable claws and enough strength in his skinny body to shatter any chain that binds him, but damn if he doesn't talk posher than a wizard.
    • Prior to the introduction of Orcs proper, the earlier, pure fantasy, novels in the Discworld series had gnolls to fill the necessary space for a humanoid chaotic-evil Other. These are described in a way very reminiscent of Orcs, both in look and manner. however, as the Central Continent is developed, explored and rebuilt by humans and the wildernesses shrink, the last of the gnolls, a defeated race, find their way to Ankh-Morpork in much the same way Reservation Indians emerged as North America ceased to be a wilderness. in the manner of debased and defeated native Americans, the gnolls now form a sub-group at the bottom of the social pyramid, doing the filthiest and dirtiest jobs which are disdained by humans and dwarfs and trolls.
  • Emberverse: The tribes of human cannibals that still exist (long after they've learned to find other food sources, as most such tribes have either gone irrecoverably insane or turned it into a combination of ritual and sport) are referred to as yrch or orcs, especially by the Dunedain (a group of rangers funded by a rather kooky Tolkien fan).
  • Factory of the Gods: The Urkin on Keldora fill the Orc role, and while they are big, strong, and green, they have horns, are not inherently evil, and are as smart as humans.
  • Falling With Folded Wings: The urgot are large, fur-covered hunters and warriors who capture and eat whoever they can. Unlike the yeksa, they can speak, but they make it clear that they see everyone and everything else as beneath them. They are the first major enemies in the series, as when they realize there is a new colony nearby they immediately gear up for war. When they are offered an alliance, they laugh it off.
  • Fighting Fantasy: The orcs of the "Titan" setting are the illicit creation of the minor god Hashak, who served the Earth Goddess. Hashak hid them on Titan when ordered to destroy them, but the Dark Gods exploited his naivety and corrupted the first orcs with chaos and evil, afflicting them with malevolence and a tendency for Red Right Hand mutations. Since then, many sub-species formed through diversification, interbreeding with other species, and magical experimentation.
  • Grunts! by Mary Gentle portrays orcs in a sort of middle ground between the two. The Orcs of Grunts! exhibit most of the characteristics of the classic "Tolkien" orc; carnivorously cannibalistic, porcine of face and nose and have a wide range of skin colors (from black to albino white, with shades of brown, green, and gray in between). They don't really have much interest in things outside of raiding and doing the bidding of the Nameless and the Dark Lord, until they come into contact with the cursed modern weapons, which upgrade them from pure evil mook status.
  • The House on the Borderland: The swine-things, while predating Tolkien's orcs and not being named such, hit most of the trope's point. They're evil pig-men with glowing greenish skin that eat their own dead and are even more bestial than Tolkien's orcs, going naked and sometimes running on all fours. Call them "proto-orcs", maybe.
  • InCryptid: They're not called orcs, but the inhabitants of Helos (it's unknown if "Haspers" is a name for their species as a whole or just the ones in Lemure) are pretty close, being a violent race of Lizard Folk who kill and rob passing Dimensional Travelers.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Urgals start out looking like Tolkien orcs, but it's revealed in the climax of book one that they were under mind control by the Shade Durza. In book 2, they prove to be more civilized and honorable than they originally seemed, and ally with the Varden against Gallbatorix. They do not have tusks, but have fur and horns, and also come in an oversized variety called Kull. They originated in the continent of Alalea, like the elves did, and followed them across the sea when the elves came to Alagaësia. In the modern day, they mostly live in the wildernesses of the Spine mountains.
  • KonoSuba: Orcs are shown to be a race of all-female Pig Men with a taste for Black Comedy Rape (since all their males died out centuries ago). In the movie, Wiz accidentally teleports the heroes into a pack of them, leading to Kazuma running for his life while Darkness has a Heroic BSoD after learning there are no males to abuse her in and out of combat.
  • A Princess of Mars: The Green Martians predate Tolkien's orcs, and it's hard to say how much of an influence they had on him, but it's safe to say they were a big part of the basis for the revisionist model of the Noble Savage orc — tough-as-nails nomads with a rich, if violent, culture of their own, and just as capable of heroism — or villainy — as the more "civilized" races. They're also likely the Trope Maker for Space Orcs, being from Mars. Like many later revisionist orcs, they are also a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for Native Americans, with the human protagonist, John Carter, at one point comparing them to the Plains Nations (though ironically it's the city-dwelling, technologically-advanced Red Martians who more physically resemble Native American people). The story kicks off with Carter being held prisoner by a nomadic following from the Green nation of Thark. Initially he hates them, seeing them as brutal and thuggish, but in spite of himself, he gradually starts to admire their martial character and undeniable valour, even befriending a Thark chieftain, Tars Tarkas, and helping him become high chief, or jeddak, of the entire Thark nation. At the climax of the novel, Tars Tarkas and John Carter lead the Tharks to war against the real villains. In the sequels, Tars Tarkas remains one of John's best friends and strongest allies, and is a fan favourite character.
  • Learning To Live With Orcs: The orcs (along with fourteen other species like elves, dwarves, etc) are an offshoot of humans, but are neither Tolkienian nor Blizzardish — they're essentially lazy slobs (or so they appear at first). They resemble cats in that there ARE things they're good at — they're just not very interested. They have a complex social structure, are natural mathematicians, and drink a LOT.
  • The Lord of the Rings (and Tolkien's Legendarium in general) is, of course, the Trope Maker. Ironically, orcs are the least fleshed-out race in Tolkien's work, and he was generally conflicted about basic aspects of the species. Tolkien orcs have, of course, most of the "classic" characteristics of the trope: they are short, ugly, fanged, sallow-skinned, violent, and serve as mooks for the Big Bad. They have human-level intelligence, however, as well as a good knowledge of technology, and are said to be inventive with machines, "especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once." The words "orc" and "goblin" were used intermittently, and they never really diverged until after Tolkien's death.
    • Tolkien never officially settled on an origin for Orcs. In most versions, they are an Always Chaotic Evil corruption of elves and therefore cannot procreate themselves. However, Tolkien also stated in writings that there had to be Orc women. Other writings even imply that there were orcs who actually resisted Sauron. As a devout Christian, Tolkien had moral issues with the idea of an Always Chaotic Evil species — some writings speculated that they might have been modified animals who needed powerful leaders, like Morgoth, Sauron, Saruman or the balrog, to organize and direct them. Tolkien's Orcs are also a very diverse lot, and numerous varieties were around during the War of the Ring, largely as a result of the various dark lords breeding them like livestock to suit their needs. To wit:
      • Firstly, there are the tribes of the Misty Mountains, sometimes referred to as northern Orcs or "Northerners". (Fans sometimes call them goblins simply because that was the word Tolkien used more often in The Hobbit, where only Misty Mountain Orcs appear.) They're generally assumed to have descended from the survivors of Morgoth's First Age armies, who fled beneath the Misty Mountains following their lord's defeat. They're usually described as smaller than other kinds, possibly from having lived underground and on their own for so long, possibly from their ancestors not being as "refined" for war as later breeds.
      • The Orcs of Mordor, also called Black Uruks or just Uruksnote , are the "main" breed of Orcs during the War of the Ring, large and strong and ferocious. Sauron bred them during the late Third Age from the remnants of Morgoth's armies, in order to obtain a superior fighting force.
      • Saruman's Uruk-hai of Isengard are more-or-less explicitly created from crossbreeding Orcs and Men and created by Saruman as elite soldiers. They're larger than other Orc types, and more upright and humanoid — the other Orcs are usually described as hunched over and apelike. They do not fear the sun (most of Sauron's and Morgoth's creatures can't stand sunlight and do not travel by day) and are usually described as being better-organized and more dangerous foes than "common" Orcs. These characteristics, along with their Proud Warrior Race Guy attitude, foreshadows the "revisionist" portrayal, but ultimately they aren't shown as having any culture beyond fighting and serving their evil overlord, and their superior physical and mental attributes compared to common Orcs are more-or-less explicitly because of their human ancestry.
      • There are also several lesser Orcs in Mordor and Isengard, usually referred to as "Snaga" (meaning "slave" in the Black Speech). These appear to be used for labor and garrison duty, and are sent out to war when numbers are needed.
      • Finally, a specialized breed of small Orcs known as "snufflers" appear to be meant to act as trackers, possessing a highly developed nose and sense of smell. Only one snuffler is seen in the books, in the service of Mordor.
  • Lyttle Lytton Contest: From the 2020 entries, implied as an orc and an ogre from the name:
    Oogor Orkson let out a curdling hell scream and plunged his rigid warpick deep into elven flesh; this was not an Age for soft long-ears, but hard green men.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen: The Jaghut are greyish-green skinned and tusked. By the time of the main series only a few Jaghut remain, but they are considered one of the four Founding Races and have a strong affinity to ice-aspected magic. Jaghut prefer to live in solitude, although some have been known as Jaghut Tyrants — powerful Jaghut who pretended to be as gods and enslaved the Imass, causing the latter to rebel and eventually to vow to hunt the Jaghut into extinction. Later books reveal that the Jaghut used to have a thriving civilization, which they simply gave up and walked away from because the Lord of Hate, aka Gothos, convinced them that civilization is pointless. A trait common to most Jaghut is their dry as dust sense of humour.
  • Mistborn: The koloss are a twist on this. They're enormous, blue-skinned, violent creatures who constantly grow throughout their lives until they become massive twelve-foot-tall beasts and die of heart failure. Their skin is loose and flabby when they're young but begins to stretch and rip as they age and grow larger. They also attack one another over the the most trivial things. It turns out that they are humans altered by having four "spikes" pounded into their bodies, which contain the power of hemalurgy, the Blood Magic of the Omnicidal Maniac god Ruin, which drives them into violent frenzies. Interestingly, by the time of The Alloy of Law, set several hundred years after the Mistborn books and after Ruin was absorbed into Harmony, the koloss are less mindlessly violent, turning into a more Warcraft-style of orc with distinct cultures and tribal societies, and due to the influence of Harmony recreating the world, they have developed into their own distinct species capable of interbreeding with humans.
  • Mithgar has Hloks, man-sized creatures with black skin, bat-winged ears, fangs, and a mean streak. They are related to both Rucks (Goblins) and Ogru (Trolls), with all three just being different sized variations on the same creature.
  • In Monster Hunter International the orcs are definitely of the Blizzard variety; they originated in Uzbekistan, but were transplanted to Alabama where they act as allies to MHI. They also have a special ability that makes them each excel at a single skill. For example Skippy is the ultimate helicopter pilot while Gretchen is the ultimate healer.
  • New Jedi Order: The Yuuzhan Vong warrior caste are orcs IN SPACE! The other three major Vong castes (shaper, priest, intendant), who are less savage and more cunning, fall closer in many ways to dark elf status than anything, though, and the Vong's backstory confirms them as Space Elves gone bad. In any case, they follow a narrative trajectory somewhat similar to Blizzard's orcs, being initially portrayed as unrepentantly Always Chaotic Evil before being more fleshed out and finally doing a race-wide Heel–Face Turn.
  • "The Only Good Orc", a short story by Liz Holliday, features an orc trying to get out from under the usual stereotypes.
  • Orcs: First Blood embodies this trope. It tells a fantasy story in which a unit of Orc grunts are the protagonists, participating in a war in which they have no investment and fighting for a leader they don't believe in — their own commanders simply transferred their contracts to the Evil Overlord (actually an Evil Overlady). Unsurprisingly, they decide to Screw Destiny and stop being faceless mooks.
  • Paradise Lost: "Orcs" are giant sea monsters similar to whales that are mentioned to abide by the beach where Noah landed his ark. In this case, the name comes from the same root as "orca".
  • Perry Rhodan gives us the alien race called 'Dscherro', which are blizzard-style orcs in all but name—green, stout, nomadic plunderers with foot-long horns on their heads. They invaded Earth at one point and laid quite the beat-down on the capital city of Terrania.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil, orcs are a Proud Warrior Race, but it's hard to tell how much of that is biological. They do have millennia of interspecies hostility to blame for their fixation on conflict, but they're also obligate carnivores with a still-current tradition of eating the dead of their enemies. Recently they've gained more acceptance, and shown themselves quite capable of peace and discipline.
  • In The Salvation War, Orcs are the native inhabitants of hell and were enslaved by Satan and his demons when they invaded. Their native language, uniquely, is immune to the demons' (and presumably angels') tongues ability, though they can speak others. When the war goes really badly in hell, they start lynching their demonic oppressors (when they can).
  • Second Apocalypse: The sranc are a race of monsters engineered to achieve sexual pleasure from violence and rape. As a homage to J. R. R. Tolkien, they are "corruptions" of the nonmen (the "elves" of this setting) and genetically engineered to have nonman faces. Like 'normal' orcs in Tolkien's original works, they're smaller than humans and aren't much good by themselves in a fight, and make up for it with cunning, ability to survive nearly anywhere, and Zerg Rushes. Oh, and they also serve the Sauron equivalent. There is even a second, larger, better armored, and more disciplined breed called ursranc, Eärwa's own uruk-hai.
  • The Secrets of Droon: Ninns are introduced as a (seemingly) One-Gender Race of red-skinned Proud Warrior Race Guys who serve as Mooks for Sparr. Eventually, it's revealed that not only are there female and child Ninns (who show the heroes some kindness and give them food), but the whole race was created from the peaceful blue-skinned Orkins (and can be turned back by magic).note 
  • The Sorceress's Orc parodies the Tolkien orc cliché; the humans believe that orcs are Tolkien orcs, little more than animals. This, however, is nothing but Fantastic Racism. The orcs are actually as intelligent as humans, and their culture rather superior to that in which the human protagonist lives.
  • Space Captain Smith: Morlocks (M'Lak in their own language) may be nicknamed after an H.G. Wells reference, but as a race of tall, strong, betusked, greenish, humorously homicidal headhunters, their racial concept is solidly in the orc mode. Atypically, they are on the protagonist's side.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, the Parshendi, also known as the "singers" among their own kind, are a complex twist on the orc trope, with their own complex society and differing motivations.
    • The Parshendi who form the antagonists of The Way Of Kings are of the Proud Warrior Race variety mixed with Blue-and-Orange Morality, with skin that is marbled red-and-white or red-and-black. They are ferocious warriors who are physically stronger than humans and grow natural armor, and are attuned to naturally-occurring music and rhythms native to the planet of Roshar. Much of the series' plot is kicked off by them having the king of Alethkar assassinated and admitting to the act and then fighting an extended defensive siege on the Shattered Plains for seven years against the massed armies of Alethkar. Though their initial portrayal shows them as a Tolkien-like orc — savage and merciless — as the books progress it is shown that they are a mixture of both the Blizzard and Tolkien takes. They are largely honorable and driven to protect themselves, and have the ability to change their bodies to different "forms." One of which, warform, is the typical orc-like shape, while other forms include intelligent scholar forms or stout and squat worker forms. They are also revealed in the third novel, Oathbringer to have been anti-villains, as the reason that they assassinated King Gavilar was that one of them learned that he was planning to bring back the Parshendi's "old gods" who had enslaved and controlled them in the past. Furthermore, they were manipulated by the god Odium into their position as part of his long-term plan to restart the Desolations.
    • The Parshmen, meanwhile, are similar to the Parshendi, except that they are a Slave Race who have no real free will of their own and limited intelligence. It is later revealed that they are actually the same species as the Parshendi, but a terrible event happened that robbed most of them of their minds and free will, locking them into a slow-witted, subservient "dullform" state. At the end of the second book, the desperate Parshendi corrupt themselves using Voidspren and summon the Everstorm, a powerful storm fueled by Odium, which restores the minds to the Parshmen across the planet and effectively makes them all into Parshendi. These Parshmen rise up in rebellion against their former masters and act as the foot soldiers in the armies of Odium.
    • There are also another group, known as the Fused. These are the souls of ancient Parsh singers who were fighting a Forever War against ancient humanity for control of Roshar. Thanks to Odium's power, their souls do not pass on into the afterlife when they die, but are preserved and are allowed to possess the bodies of living singers. They each possess some form of magical power, such as being able to change appearance, fly, or meld through stone. Unfortunately, the endless cycles of death and rebirth, along with being alive for over seven thousand years, has frayed their psyches to the point that many are some degree of insane.
  • In That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, orcs are initially portrayed as type 1, being an army of over 100,000 savages who trample through the land, killing and eating anyone they encounter. However, it turns out that they were only acting that way due to the influence of their leader Geld's "Starved" skill (which allows them to absorb the power of anyone they eat at the cost of feeling perpetual hunger), which Geld himself only accepted to learn because his nation was suffering from a severe famine. Once Geld is defeated, the orcs turn into a rather peaceful people who regret what they did under the influence, and when Rimuru invites them into his nation of monsters, they happily put their physical strength to work doing manual labor like constructing roads and buildings rather than fighting, though their new leader (named Geld II after his father) proves he's more than capable of bringing the pain when called to war.
  • Thraxas: There's a people called Orcs who more-or-less fit the "Blizzard" category, but their skin is apparently a dark reddish shade, and it's never made clear just what differentiates them from humans. They're referred to as ugly, but Thraxas has a friend who's half Human, a quarter Elf, a quarter Orc ... and all gorgeous. There's also a half-Orc villain who's described as being rather handsome, making it an unresolved question just what's wrong with the appearance of the pureblood Orcs.
  • In Victoria, "Orcs" is an in-universe term of dehumanization for roving packs of black and Latino gangbangers who terrorise the New England backwoods and rural communities inhabited by the protagonists. Yeah, it's that kind of book.
    Father Dimitri: "The word is from Tolkien, ... He was one of the great Christian writers of the 20th century. In his Lord of the Rings, which is Christian analogy, orcs are soldiers of the Evil One. Those creatures your government wants to move in to Bangor are orcs, believe me."
  • David Weber:
    • The War Gods: Hradani would be either Dark Elves or Orcs depending on your viewpoint. Seven feet or higher, prone to rages, living in a tribal society, used in the past as cannon fodder by Dark Wizards. They fit the Blizzard mold by being a proud, honorable warrior race, and the Tolkien pattern by having been "twisted" in the last (wizard) war from being so very peaceful and even tempered that they were named for it.
    • Honor Harrington: Scrags are genetically engineered Tolkien Orcs working for Mesa, except for one Amazon Brigade who are Defectors From Decadence and become a Proud Warrior Race.
  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: The svart-alfar's name literally means dark elves, but the underground creatures have far more in common with orcs or goblins. In The Moon of Gomrath, the place of evil footsoldier is taken by the bodachs from far Albany: these are a more lizard-like sort of goblin, still humanoid and intelligent enough to forge metal and organise as war-bands. The concluding novel in the trilogy, Boneland, pays Homage to a well-founded theory that as newer sub-species of the human race arose, the predecessor races they co-existed with and then succeeded over inevitably became the goblins, dwarves and Elves of our legend.
  • The Wheel of Time: Trollocs fill the role of Tolkien orcs. They are Mix-and-Match Critters, each sporting a blend of human and animal features. They come from a variety of clans, each of which has a name vaguely similar to a real-world mythological monster. They are strong, but stupid and cowardly. By the fourth book, none of the main characters have any trouble fighting off droves of them.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Clamavi de Profundis: Orcs are present in the world of Hammerdeep, where they're a barbaric, warlike people whom other species fear and hate. They're almost invariably evil and destructive people, but it's implied that this is something instilled in them by a cruel upbringing rather than innate nature.

  • In Dungeons And Dragon Wagon, Orcs are called Orccans and were created from Swamp Mud by the goddess, Rasa. Though, they have green skin, are large, and have tusks, they may just return to mud if Rasa ever falls from power, as Suggested by Ugu-ta (Michele Specht) in Chapter 8.2.


    Tabletop Games 
  • 13th Age: Orcs are the classic evil variant. They can't breed with humans in the standard setting (half-orcs arise spontaneously), and sometimes just spawn from the ground. Orcs can be green-skinned, big, pig-snouted, snake-eyed, bandy-legged, leather-faced or cinder-skinned, but only the orcs themselves care about the different varieties. They're also becoming steadily more united as the new Orc Lord rises to prominence.
  • Age Of Ambition: Orcs are one of the 5 subtypes of the Ogre race. Their main distinction being impulsive to a fault, and a mild healing factor that gives them an increased appetite. Unlike most other fantasy settings, they are mostly accepted in most civilized nations.
  • Burning Wheel Orcs are Tolkien style for the most part. The game plays up the brutal and vicious aspects of Orc society by giving orcs a 'hate' attribute. Orcs are more likely to be killed or maimed by another Orc than by their real enemies. Naturally, Orc campaigns mostly deal with power, treachery and deceit within a group of Orcs.
  • The Chronicles of Aeres: Orcs are what happens when goblins manage to live a particularly long time. They're still Made of Evil, but the prolonged lifespan allows them to grow larger and stronger and marginally smarter — and considering Aeres orcs are still Dumb Muscle, that says something for how dumb Aeres goblins are. They're rarely seen, and because lesser goblins obey them instinctively, they're commonly known as "Goblin Kings".
  • In Chronopia the Blackblood orcs are a mixed between Tolkien and Blizzard-style orcs with Mongolian themes. They also specialized in Alchemy.
  • The Dark Eye: Orks are smaller than humans, but stronger. They are covered in black fur (Blackpelts) and have tusks. Normaly nomadic, they have begun building cities in recent years. Due to a coming choosing of a race that will govern a new age, they could overpower humans. They believe in Brazoragh, the god of males, power and war, and Tairach, the god of death and magic. Brazoragh killed his father Tairach, becoming the new godly chieftan. The orkish culture is just like that, constant fighting for the highest place. The only reason they have begun buidling cities, instead of killing themselves and everybody else, is their new leader, the Aikar Brazoragh (Chosen of Brazoragh): as strong as a giant (meaning amongst the strongest creatures on the planet), more magical power than three archmages and, being the sole chosen of a god, having more clerical power than all human high priests together. He had to beat every single chieftan though until his people accepted him as leader.
  • Deadlands: Two of the three settings use orc-like characters.
  • Dungeons & Dragons was highly influential in making orcs a standard part of fantasy settings. The game's characterization of orcs varies widely based on the edition and campaign setting, (to say nothing of dungeon master interpretation). One of the monster guides gave a picture showing the different interpretations of the monsters including a Tolkien-inspired orc.
    • Early editions of the core game follow Tolkien model fairly closely. Orcs are violent humanoids who dwell underground and find sunlight uncomfortable. They are said to be highly competitive and good tacticians. Earlier editions had them as Lawful Evil, but later editions made them Chaotic Evil. Half-orcs are also a playable race, receiving extra strength but lower charisma. In the first edition, Orcs were drawn as piglike creatures despite the description not mentioning this. As many early and popular JRPGs, most notably Dragon Quest, based their monsters off of first edition D&D illustrations, this helped popularized the "porc" look in Japan.
    • Second Edition and subsequent editions are largely Tolkien model, but include hints of the Blizzard model. Orcs are violent, stupid creatures who typically serve as fodder for low-level heroes to slaughter. They have a shamanistic (albeit violent) culture, and a more troll-like appearance. They are typically drawn with green skin, though this can vary. 3rd Edition explicitly states that they have grey skin, though this is not borne out in most of the illustrations.
    • The 3.5th Edition Races of Destiny book also introduced the Sharakim as a sort of orcish subrace, gray-skinned, tusked, flat-nosed brutes who go beyond orcish ugliness by sporting a pair of curved horns on their temples. They're the descendents of early humans who were cursed by the gods for killing and eating a sacred silver stag. Sharakim are taught from birth that they were created from sin, and thus go out of their way to compensate by being fastidious about their dress and hygiene, and always friendly and well-mannered in their interactions with other races... except in the case of true orcs, which they utterly despise.
    • Fifth Edition has given the orcs more character by focusing on their pantheon and increasing its importance, turning the race into borderline Religious Bruisers fighting to appease their savage gods. Gruumsh remains the orcs' primary war deity, but also important are Ilneval the strategist, the barbaric Bahgtru, the rotten Yurtus, and the dark and sinister Shargaas. These gods' followers all serve specific roles in a tribe, so Gruumsh's chosen act as leaders, Ilneval's followers as tacticians, and Bahgtru's as berserkers. Yurtus' priesthood operates on the fringes of orc society, only interacting with the rest to claim the bodies of the dead or to tend to plague-ridden orcs, while the followers of Shargaas only emerge from their unlit caverns to cull the weak members of a tribe or assassinate its foes. And while previous editions treated female orcs as mere chattel, in 5th Edition the importance of the orcish mother goddess Luthic has been increased so that her worshippers are the ones holding the tribe together, crafting their weapons and armor, constructing defenses and expanding their cave lairs, and viciously defending their homes and children from invaders. One archmage even believes that the divine war between the orcish and goblinoid pantheons will end with Luthic as the last deity standing, who will go on to rule over the orcs.
    • One trait that has remained consistent throughout editions is the ability to successfully interbreed with other races. Known orc hybrid races include the Tel-amhothlan (half-orc/half-elf) from Kingdoms Of Kalamar, the Dworg (half-orc/half-dwarf) from Midnight (2003)), the Losel (half-orc and half-baboon), the Orog (orc father/ogre mother, resulting in an orc with increased stature, vigor and intelligence), the Ogrillon (orc mother/ogre father, a violent, dimwitted brute whose skin is covered in bony armor), and Tanarukks (half-orc/half-demon). This trait has become somewhat less pronounced as time has gone by — Orogs were presented as a smarter subrace of orcs originating from the Underdark in the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms, whilst in 5th edition Orogs are the recipients of a divine blessing from the orc mother-goddess, Luthic.
    • The Forgotten Realms setting deviates from the above in that while the orcs can interbreed with most other races, and a significant number of orcs are actually half-breeds with humans, goblinoids, or giants, they cannot interbreed with elves. This is because Gruumsh explicitly forbids it due to his burning hatred toward the elves and their pantheon,
    • For the most part, the Forgotten Realms has followed the usual D&D variety straight, but it has been played with over time. The Legend of Drizzt series eventually saw the founding of the Kingdom of Many-Arrows, a legitimately recognized orc kingdom founded by a Visionary Villain, Obould Many-Arrows. In 4th edition, the Many-Arrows kingdom had been enjoying a real peace with its formerly hostile neighbors for decades, implying orcs in at least that part of the world were finally climbing out of their Always Chaotic Evil niche... and then 5th edition came in and had Many-Arrows destroyed and orcs cast out again, with Salvatore's novels having traditionalist orcs denounce Many-Arrows' existence as an aberration in the natural order . Before Many-Arrows, there was Thesk, which wasn't a orc kingdom but as a result of a grand coalition involving a Zhentarim orcish mercenary army had a significant and mostly non-evil orcish minority from a while into 2E onward.
    • The Forgotten Realms are also home to the Ondonti, a rare group of pacifistic Lawful Good orcs who prefer to tend their farms and mind their own business. They're believed to be descendants of orcs who were saved by the clergy of a minor goddess of peace and agriculture who chose a third option to the traditional Orc Baby Dilemma.
    • Orcs in Eberron are somewhat "Blizzard orcs," but somewhat fulfill the role of elves in other settings (Eberron elves are a Proud Warrior Race). They have little actual conflict with the other races, are the best druids in the setting (despite a fullblooded orc getting a Wisdom penalty) and actually have a sort-of company that finds Dragonshards — crystals that are essential to create magic items. The shamanistic culture of the orcs of the Shadow Marches is responsible for keeping one type of Cosmic Horror from causing The End of the World as We Know It. However, there are also other orcish cultures — the Jhorash'tar orcs of the eastern mountains, separated from the Marches by hundreds of miles of land occupied by other cultures, don't have much in common with them and are closer to "Tolkien orcs" - although they're still generally portrayed as people whose long-running enmity with the dwarves of the Mror Holds is just an awkward result of two cultures in close proximity but without much in common, and not just generic enemies to stab for money.
    • In the Spelljammer setting, there's a villain race called the Scro, who are tougher than normal orcs, and are also more "civilised" (i.e. "usually Lawful Evil).
    • The D&D Adventure Drums on Fire Mountain introduced the kara-kara, a primitive race of green-skinned, island-dwelling orcs who possess a Polynesian-based culture (while still being brutal savages). Their primitive weaponry and garb are logical enough for humanoids living in such an environment, but they also have afros. The race has been swept under the table for years due to the Unfortunate Implications surrounding them.
    • Hobgoblins in D&D sit at a juxtaposition between this and Our Goblins Are Different. They also derive from the original Tolkienish model of the orc as a bestial humanoid dedicated to war and conquest, but more strongly take up the Hordes from the East aspect — the earliest hobgoblin artwork even depicts them wearing distinctly Japanese styled armor. The main difference in early versions of the game was that hobgoblins were more proactive and organized, whilst orcs tended to usually be busy fighting amongst themselves until somebody else took charge. From 3rd edition onward, the two races took a greater divergence; orcs became a Chaotic Evil Proud Warrior Race and hobgoblins became a Lawful Evil Proud Soldier Race.
  • Eon: Gûrds, Tiraks and Trukhs are the setting's stand-in for Orcs, (being roughly analogus to Goblins, Orcs and Ogres respectively, or even D&D's Goblins, Hobgoblins and Bugbears) and are further culturally differentiated from each other depending on which family lineage they belong to: Frakk and Bazirk, while adhering to a culture based on might-makes-right, are not evil, though they are often brutish and savage, with the former being a Barbarian Tribe of Proud Warrior Race Guys and the latter primarily being either pirates or merchants, traders and fishermen. The Marnakh family, on the other hand, have comepletely assimilated into human society and behaves like the culture they're part of. The Frakk and Bazirk families, while barbaric and brutal, are also among the forefront opposers to all things demonic.
  • Fellowship: Orcs are one of the playbooks available to players. All orcs are known for being tough, warlike, and industrious; Blood is their core stat, and they have the ability to break something and fashion it into a weapon, or break their weapon to pay a price for a move or to finish off an opponent in "glorious combat". Variants available include Spawn of Darkness (mushroom-people who are resistant to poison and disease), Daughters of Chaos (aggressively free-spirited warriors who can shrug off all attempts to influence, control, or scare them), Children of Fire (basically orc-like fire elementals), and Sons of War (fighters with a knack for making improvised weapons in the heat of battle).
  • Fighting Fantasy: Orcs generally adhere to the Tolkien model of orc, although they have a few notable differences. Fighting Fantasy orcs are known for being able to eat almost anything, including, wood, rocks, and metal, although they prefer fresh meat. They also stand out due to their violent team sports, such as a variation on volleyball where the players of the losing team are eaten by the winners, or a variation on rugby played with a live slave at the ball that has no restrictions on play, often turning into a bloodbath as a result. One notable exception is Daggers of Darkness (set in an area with a Mongol-like culture) in which Orcs appear to have near-human intelligence and mingle freely with humans; some are servants of the Big Bad, but there's also one illustration (opposite section # 346) which shows Orcs mixed in with the human warriors of one of the villages you visit.
  • Flintloque: Orcs are a civilized race like any other, and in fact the main race of the setting, since it's a barely disguised Naopoleonic wargame with the Orcish kingdom of Albion as the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of England.
  • Hack Master, as a Darker and Edgier Affectionate Parody of old-school Dungeons & Dragons, presents its orcs as a race of violent, vicious, filthsome humanoid swine who are incredibly physically mutable because they rely extensively on kidnapping women from other races and raping with them to produce biological half-orcs, which are considered true orcs in orc culture.
  • Heroscape: The local orcs are Tolkien style, but are bright blue. And they ride dinosaurs.
  • Iron Kingdoms: While the setting has no races actually called orcs, there are races that fit both the Tolkien and Blizzard models.
    • Trollkin have many elements of Blizzard orcs, being large, physically powerful creatures with a sophisticated tribal culture, a shamanistic religion, and history of being screwed over by other, more advanced cultures. They're significantly more Scottish than most orcs (or trolls, for that matter), though.
    • Ogrun, although their name suggests ogres, also are pretty much Blizzard orcs. They're a proud people, but have no real enmity with the other races of Immoren, although a corrupt and evil subrace called Black Ogrun are allied with The Necrocracy of Cryx — they effectively sit somewhere between the Tolkien and Blizzard models. In a particularly unusual twist, in contrast to the standard dwarf/orc enmity, ogrun often serve dwarves as loyal servants, as their feudalistic culture relies heavily on a distinct chain of hierarchy and dwarves make excellent masters in their eyes.
    • The skorne, meanwhile, are heavily based on Tolkien orcs, with elements of the Easterlings. Appearance-wise, they have the upturned noses, and human-like build of Tolkien orcs, and their culture is abhorrent to the other peoples of Immoren: They make extensive use of slavery, Blood Magic and torture, to the point of having a dedicated torturer caste, and one of their models in HORDES is a baby elephant-like creature tortured into insanity so the skorne could weaponise its screams. They also take on the role of Hordes from the East. D&D players will probably identify the skorne more with hobgoblins, although their cultural basis in pain-fueled Blood Magic is very distinctly different.
  • In Kings of War, Orcs are typical evil barbaric green skinned savages. They're almost the same as the Orcs of Warhammer Fantasy.
  • Legend System: Hallow Orcs were originally the shock troops of chaos gods, kept stupid and unquestioning to serve their gods' purposes. Once introduced to Hallow, they were freed from their mental shackles and started their own (still militaristic) society, becoming Hallow's most prominent mercenaries. In other words: Blizzard orcs who were forced to act like Tolkien orcs for most of their history.
  • Ork has all player characters be Orks. In this game, the Orks are boar-faced, green and furred humanoids that usually go naked aside from armor they scrounge off of killed opponents (or each other). They live in tribes ruled by a Shaman and have strange biology — for instance, baby orcs burst out from growths on an Ork's body in a process known as "The Urg!". They are also mostly omnivores, but they explode if they eat broccoli. Only their shaman is allowed to be smart and magical. As in; "If I catch you doing card tricks or not talking like you got hit with a shovel as a baby I will straight-out murder your ass." Orks aren't given a name when born, but have to earn it. Finally, they worship the local God of Evil, a deity that alternatingly grants them victory and punishes them for metely existing.
  • RPG creator John Wick created a small-press RPG titled Ork World in direct rejection of traditional tropes about orcs. The orcs of the RPG are a peaceful, tribal society who are slowly being hunted to extinction by imperialistic humans and elves.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Orcs seem to look more like the Blizzard variety. However, to say that they act like the Tolkien variety would be to vastly underestimate their sheer batshittery.
      • They have varying appearances, with different bloodlines with more or less human blood. Because of this, they vary between Beast Man and Green-Skinned Space Babe, depending on the individual. Even the sourcebooks on them and their homeland of Belkzen pretty much portray them as irredeemable savages.
      • They served Tar-Baphon, the setting's main Evil Overlord, and filled the ranks of his living armies the first and second time he tried to conquer the world. During his third rise during the cross from 1st to 2nd edition, though, the orcs refused to rally to his banner again and remained an independent force, and now find themselves in the delicate position of being stuck between several human factions that hate them for having spent millennia raiding their lands and Tar-Baphon himself.
    • Half-orcs don't look quite as monstrous and do not have penalties to their Intelligence or Charisma.
    • Hobgoblins, as in 3E canon, are the Lawful Evil Proud Soldier Race to the orcs being a Chaotic Evil Proud Warrior Race. They were an attempt to engineer a Living Weapon against the elves from goblin base stock, though. As a result, elves and hobgoblins profoundly hate each other even in the modern day.
  • RuneQuest has the Tusk Riders, who are pretty much traditional orcs, down to riding boars and having a culture of evil that really loves to torture. What makes them different, is that they were a one-time experiment made from crossbreeding trolls and humans. Unlike orcs of any other variety, they aren't prolific — in the bestiary, it says there's only at most 10,000 Tusk Riders in the world.
  • Shadowrun: Orks are one of the four main metahuman types that emerged from humanity during the Awakening. Much like trolls, they mostly arose when humans spontaneously transformed into new forms as magic surged back into the world. They tend to be more belligerent than and not quite as bright as humans, but not to the same degree as Tolkienian orcs; more to the degree of the redneck shit-kicker one might meet in their local bar. Being descended from humans, they show the full human range of pink-to-brown skin tones rather than the green skin typical of fantasy orcs. They do, however, retain D&D features such as tusks.
    • Orks have developed their own culture and language which seems to draw many parallels with African-American and Hispanic "Gangsta" cultures. There are such things as non-orks embracing ork culture and becoming ork posers. Lacking the prettiness of the elves, the non-threatening appearance of the dwarves, or the sheer scariness of the trolls to keep people off their back, and the fact that they reproduce abundantly (twins and triplets amongst orks being the norm, not the exception) ensures that the orks get the worst of the Fantastic Racism, as they are often seen as threatening to take over Humanity's place due to their expanding numbers. They tend to get along with Trolls better than the other metatypes do, as the two find common cause in the discrimination both habitually face.
    • Orks also tend to be one of the shortest-lived metatypes, with an average lifespan around 40 (for natural-born orks, that is; orks who Goblinized from baseline human have a longer lifespan). However, this is noted to be a combination of lifestyle factors (see the racism above) and orks' dependency on purer background mana; ork lifespan estimates are taken from orks in crowded, violent, polluted urban environments, whereas orks that live in more "pure" environments (e.g., the wildlands of Nigeria) tend to live much longer.
    • As with the other metatypes, a number of distinctive variants have emerged from ork stock as a result of genetic variance and secondary awakening events. These are hobgoblins, wirier Middle Eastern orks distinguished by greenish skin and a strong sense of personal honor; ogres, shorter and heavily built European orks with reduced body hair; oni, magically adept Japanese orks with blue, red or orange skin; and satyrs, Mediterranean orks with slighter builds, furry legs, cloven hooves and goatlike horns
  • Talislanta's Kang are Blizzard style, but are bright red. And much like Heroscape's orcs, they ride dinosaurs.
  • Tenra Bansho Zero depicts Oni as Blizzard orcs in contrast to their usual Always Chaotic Evil portrayal, being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Ainu who are hunted by humans because their crystalline hearts can be used to power Magitek. Oni also look enough like humans that they can pass as human by cutting off their horns, though this causes them to lose their racial Psychic Powers.
  • Traveller: The closest thing to space orcs is the Ithklur. These are a reptilian Proud Warrior Race that serves in a Gurkha-like role to the Hivers. They have an innate love of combat in their psychology, but are not evil per se. Rather their hat is as a Boisterous Bruiser race.
  • Victoriana RPG: Orcs are one of the Human Subspecies of the setting, subject to Fantastic Racism from the others, being ostracized and pushed to the outskirts of civilization. They have a strong sense of spirituality and a knack for mechanics.
  • Warhammer: The Orcs occupy a strange space between the Tolkien and Blizzard models, as they're warlike enough to serve as The Usual Adversaries but have more character than most orcs. Physically they are larger, stronger, and tougher than humans, with skin tones ranging from bright green to nearly black in the case of the brutally-disciplined Black Orcs. There are no female orcs; instead, the species reproduces by shedding spores. Their "kultur" revolves entirely around fighting, so much so that the army has the "Animosity" special rule, meaning that most Greenskin units have a chance to ignore orders and squabble amongst themselves while the boss cracks some heads to impose order, shoot at a rival making funny faces at them, or break formation and charge the enemy with an almighty "WAAAGH!" Their Shamans worship Gork and Mork, one of whom is "cunningly brutal" (he hits you when you aren't looking) and the other "brutally cunning" (he hits you really hard even if you are looking). They're also cannibalistic, and will gladly eat both their enemies and weaker members of their own kind. Orcs make poor minions, but a Greenskin army can be made up of a mixture of Orcs and Goblins, as well as Trolls and Giants. Finally, they have thick Cockney accents written phonetically in flavor text. There are also a number of distinct kinds of Orcs in-universe:
    • Savage Orcs live primarily in the depths of the Badlands and in the Southlands. They are primitive even by the standards of other Orcs, and only craft and use weapons made from bone, stone and wood. They are also extremely superstitious and have the largest number of shamans of any Orc kind, and wear no armor — they instead rely on magical warpaint for protection.
    • Black Orcs were created by the Chaos Dwarfs are slave soldiers, but rebelled and broke free. They are larger, stronger, more intelligent and more disciplined than other Orcs — while most Orcs make do with patchwork armor and ramshackle weapons, fight in disorganized mobs, have a very limited grasp of tactics or self-control, and fight constantly among each other, Black Orcs are clad head to toe in thick plate, use high-quality and scrupulously maintained weaponry, fight in organized and well-drilled ranks, and are extremely disciplined in battle. Luckily for other peoples, Black Orcs are too few to form their own tribes and instead tend to be the leaders or elites of tribes of other Orcs. They have no shamans of any kind among their ranks.
    • Old editions include Half-Orcs, which rather than being actual crossbreeds are the result of humans growing more orc-like and Orcs more human-like until a sort of in-between point is reached, something speculated to be due to evil magic blending the traits of the two races in the distant past. There is also mention that Orcs and Goblins have interbred in the past to create multiple Orc variants, including the "Pig-Faced Orcs" that were numerous in the past but have since declinednote .
    • The Beastmen are arguably closer to Tolkien Orcs than the actual Orcs of the franchise. They're an Always Chaotic Evil race of mutants born from humans corrupted by the dark magic of Chaos, usually brown or red skinned and physically identifiable by their animal-like traits like hooved feet, horns, and fangs; size is variable, but averages around "broad human." They are omnivores but particularly prefer human flesh, and organize in simple, primitive, hyper-violent societies with a great deal of intraspecies Fantastic Racism, with the larger and more mutated Beastmen treating the weaker ones as slaves. Their "culture" is entirely based around the Black Magic of the shamans, raiding, and reverence for the Chaos Gods, and while they can reproduce among themselves they also depend on infecting (or raping) human women to replenish their numbers. They are incapable of building true civilization and actively detest any kind of technology beyond the bare minimum of needed to equip their Iron Age war bands. Functionally they're total Cannon Fodder for the hordes of Chaos, and considered inferior to humans in every relevant way, even by the gods they worship, but their sheer numbers make them threatening to the protagonists regardless. Also in keeping with the Tolkien inspiration, the Wood Elves consider them their Arch-Enemy.
  • Warhammer 40,000 uses Orks, which are Orcs from Warhammer IN SPACE with Funetik Aksents and Xtreme Kool Letterz. 40K is such a Crapsack World that, due to their straightforward attitudes, hooligan-style Funetik Aksents, and Insane Troll Logic, these bloodthirsty, amoral monsters are the comic relief.
    • The Orks were genetically engineered by the Old Ones to be living weapons during a desperate war against star-eating void entities, and are as such genetically hardwired to want nothing more than to be fighting. Any Ork that's not participating in a Waaagh! against aliens is probably participating in some intra-ork civil war. They also have Oddboyz, Orks born with the unconscious Genetic Memory and special powers that let them play specialized roles in the hordes — Mekboys have an instinctive knowledge of technology, Painboys are natural (if brutal) doctors, and Wierdboyz are powerful but unstable psychics. All Orks generate a gestalt psychic field that bolsters their morale in battle, can be channeled by Weirdboyz to dramatic effect, and even allows some of the Meks' stranger devices to function because the Orks expect them to.
    • Orks are extremely durable and persistent, and able to survive things like partial dismemberment, most diseases, and having large chunks of their skulls shot off. Because they reproduce by shedding spores, especially upon death, Ork infestations are hard to eliminate once they have set foot on a planet. They're also technically the most raucous part of a complex invasive ecosystem — their spores first sprout into several varieties of mushrooms later creatures eat or cultivate for various purposes; then produce a variety of fungus/animal hybrids known as Squigs, which Orks use as Attack Animals, beasts of burden, livestock and pets; Grots emerge next, and establish the basic structure of Orkish society; Orks emerge last, once the rest of the ecosystem and necessary infrastructure has been worked out, and get started on the business of finding things to fight.
  • In Wicked Fantasy, a third-party setting for Pathfinder, orks were the standard Always Chaotic Evil raider race... until they decided that they hated it and murdered their malevolent creator-gods to try and forge their own path. Now, they've made a tentative peace with humanity. They're still war-like and rather creepy, with their religious philosophy about the value of pain, but they're not evil all the time anymore. Also, they weren't created by evil gods, but by a malevolent race of amoral scholarly Snake People called the Hassad.
  • Zweihänder: The Orx are exactly the Orcs from Warhammer Fantasy Battle with something more for the an extra helping of Grimdark. Orx can spawn from spores but they can also breed sexually. As in the case of the other mutant races, female Orx are rare but Orx can mate with almost anything. So Orx will make a captive female into a Sex Slave when they go Rape, Pillage, and Burn.

    Video Games 
  • Orcs in Allods Online and Evil Islands are gray-skinned Blizzard-types (and dimorphic as hell). The otherwise unthinkable "Orc Paladin" also exists in-game.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura mix Tolkien and Blizzard Orc traits. While Orcs are primarily Tolkienian outside of cities, serving as Random Encounters (unless you play as a half-orc; then they'll just apologize for bothering you) or being seen in bandit gangs on the outskirts of towns, in industrialized cities they appear as a unjustly oppressed underclass working poorly paid jobs in factories. One Sidequest centers around this, as a group of workers are in a standoff with the police when they take control of a factory to demand better rights. How things work out in the end depends on how you handle the situation.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: In most campaigns, orcs are the Tolkien type. They are mostly portrayed as pretty much Evil, but sometimes they have motives beyond that as well. Some orcs are also allied to the (generally) good Knalgans. Appearance wise they have simian characteristics and brown or grey skin. Their massive numbers are explained by orcs being born in large litters, the runts being called goblins. Strangely, the average orc soldiers seem to have better armor and weapons then the regular human soldiers. Due to Wesnoth's decentralized development structure, the portrayal of Orcs and Trolls suffers from a touch of Depending on the Writer.
  • Blackthorne, an early game by Blizzard, features the grag'ohr, green skinned humanoids who closely resemble the orc grunts of Warcraft, being burly and fanged humanoids, usually with greenskin and horned helmets. In this setting, Grag'ohr were once humans who fell under a curse. They are one of the main enemies in the game and use automatic rifles. Blizzard even calls them orcs in later material for Blackthorne.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Darkspawn are twisted corruptions of the races of the world with poisonous, tainted blood who live underground in perpetual war with the Dwarves. They are normally fairly mindless Always Chaotic Evil but are capable of forging and using metal weapons and armor and intelligent enough to kidnap others to propagate their species. They are drawn by the call of Archdemons, constantly digging to find them and when they do, it leads them on an organized warpath to conquer the surface, known as a Blight.
    • The Qunari fit into the Blizzard Orc archetype. They're large horned humanoids stereotyped as violent conquerors by humans, are technologically advanced compared to every other race in the setting, and have a distinctly alien culture.
  • Dragon Quest: Orcs are often found as random encounters and default to the Tolkienian model, being humanoid boars with spears. Interestingly, they (and their variations) tend to be rather powerful, usually being encountered mid- to late-game.
  • In Dungeon Crawl, no official description of orcs is given beyond "[they] combine the worst features of humans, pigs, and several other creatures." Cave orcs (mooks) err towards the Tolkien model; they're Always Chaotic Evil, worship the proud but ruthless (and canonically evil) god Beogh (who refuses to accept non-orc worshipers). Hill orcs (playable) are a bit more Blizzard-like; they can play as any class, though their priests follow Beogh instead of Zin. Those who do serve Beogh can attempt to become the Dark Messiah of the orcs.
  • Dungeon Keeper: The orcs are this In Name Only. Long white hair, purple skin and wrinkles all over make them look more like trolls. In fact, the trolls in the game look more like orcs than the orcs themselves.
  • Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War: The orcs are neither Tolkienian nor Blizzard variety. They're actually humanoid boars with a love of spears. They also like to hang out in kitchens, since in orc culture using metal cookware is considered a sign of sophistication.
  • Dwarf Fortress has creatures that serve as orcs in all but name. Like much of the game's weirder creatures, they're procedurally generated and vary wildly from generated world to generated world. Necromancers can experiment on sapient creatures to create entities with names like "night's warriors" or "Tooltwist's eyes"note  that basically fill the "orc" role. They're the big, powerful minions of dark magic wielding villains who hole up in towers. They're not, however, Always Chaotic Evil, and can escape to join other civilizations; if able to reproduce (some have No Biological Sex), they can even produce independent populations.
  • Elden Ring Demi-Humans are the closest equivalent to classical orcs, being a race of sapient but savage humanoid creatures that tend to form tribes of bandits and murderers and have a Might Makes Right mentality; Boc, the only positive Demi-Human encountered, was cast out of his tribe for being well-spoken, weak and wanting to be a seamster instead of a fighter. They come in four forms: low-ranking demi-humans that resemble more humanoid pale-furred chimpanzees, 'brutes' that are more classically orc-like, Chiefs that are bigger and more lupine in appearance, and finally Queens, gigantic lupine matriarchs of their tribes.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Within the TES universe, the Orcs are another race of Mer (Elves), known as the "Orsimer" or "Pariah Elves/Folk," and to say that they have undergone Characterization Marches On is an understatement. As with most of the races of Mer, their split with the Mer Precursor "Aldmer" was over religious differences, though in the case of the Orcs, it was not voluntary. They were originally the worshipers of the Aldmeri spirit Trinimac, but Trinimac was "eaten" by the Daedric Prince Boethia and later excreted. Trinimac's remains became the Daedric Prince Malacath, while his Aldmeri followers, who continued to worship him as their central diety, were transformed into the Orcs. The Orcs possess strong, muscular builds and green skin. They are known for their ferocity and courage in battle, as well as their skill as armorers and smiths (especially with the rare metal Orichalcum), making them some of the finest heavy infantry on all of Nirn. They are a Proud Warrior Race who believes that Asskicking Leads to Leadership, which leads to their chieftains gaining that position via Klingon Promotion. They exhibit a number of other Blood Knight and Death Seeker traits as well, having a Martyrdom Culture. They've long been victims of Fantastic Racism due to their bestial appearance and perceived barbaric culture, and have been Fighting for a Homeland (or fighting to keep their homeland) for ages. Details per game:
      • In Arena, the Orcs are an Always Chaotic Evil enemy race. Essentially, flat out Tolkein Orcs.
      • In Daggerfall, the Orcs begin to receive some greater characterization. In fact, they are Blizzard Orcs before Blizzard invented Blizzard Orcs. One of the game's possible endings is to hand over the MacGuffin to the Orcish leader, which allows him to establish the first Orcish state in Tamriel.
      • In Morrowind, the Orcs are Promoted to Playable. Rather than just being dumb/barbaric, it is shown that the Orcs have been severely marginalized for ages. Emperor Uriel Septim VII began to use the Orcs as elite heavy infantry in the Imperial Legions, which gained them greater acceptance throughout the Empire.
      • Oblivion features a lampshade when you talk to one of the Orcs at Malacath's Daedric shrines. He says something like: "People think we're evil. Do I look evil?" There is also Dark Brotherhood member, Gogron Gro-Bolmog, who takes an unsubtle approach to his contracts but "has his heart in the right place".
      • By Skyrim, the Orcs have been driven back into a diaspora in the years since the end of the Septim dynasty. They now have tribal strongholds dotting Tamriel, worship Malacath and raid as bandits, although many are still Imperialized as smiths or soldiers for the Empire. (One Orc even implies that this is the norm for those that leave their stronghold.) There are couple others that stand out, like several Orc bardsnote  and even one of the faculty at the College in Winterhold known for its strong, but small population of mages. He's the archivist/librarian, to boot, and gladly threatens to sic Atronachs on you if you mistreat his books, but still.
    • Falmer in Skyrim stand in for Tolkienian Orcs, or more specifically Moria Goblins, both in appearance and in backstory (they used to be a race of Mer called "Snow Elves", but were enslaved and blinded by the Dwemer). With one (technically two) exception. They also overlap significantly with The Morlocks.
  • Endless Legend has Orcs in the form of the minor race, the Urnas. Visually they are Blizzardian, with tusks, green skin, and a bodybuilder physique. They are belligerent by default — like all minor races — but can pacified and absorbed into an another empire. They are excellent archers and are hardy, being unaffected by the movement penalty caused by the brutal winters that are destroying the planet.
  • In The Fairyland Story, orcs are basic cutlass-wielding Mooks with pointed ears sticking out of their helmets. Like all characters in the game, they're cute and Super-Deformed.
  • Fallout has the Super Mutants. They're big, they're green, a few of them eat humans, and all of them can kick ass. Regardless of whether they're portrayed sympathetically or not, they're usually portrayed as more aggressive and warlike than other in-game factions (as they indeed are created to serve as Super Soldiers in Pre-War times) and are rarely very bright. They all start out as humans, becoming Super Mutants after being exposed to the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a mutagen that turns their skin green, massively increases their muscle mass, eliminates their secondary sexual characteristics, drops their IQ a notch or three (though some strains have a small but non-zero chance to instead increase intelligence) and, as an unintended side-effect, turns them sterile as mules.
    • They come in two broad groupings, differentiated by what specific strain of mutagen was used to make them and by where that strain originated from: East Coast Super Mutants are almost always vicious Tolkien-esque monsters, while West Coast Super Mutants are more likely to be Blizzard style.
    • The art book for Fallout 3 puts even more emphasis on the Tolkien part as well as the "ogre" aspect as they are shown to make their own cobbled-together armor and guns, as well as forge melee weapons such as axes, swords, maces, and flails/meteor hammers.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy XI: Orcs are one of the more consistently evil beastmen in the game. According to a guide that was only ever released in Japan, martial ability is so prized that orcish mages hide their faces in shame. Like Tolkien's original orcs, they have good technological ability. Physically, XI's Orcs are green skinned Lizard Folk.
    • Final Fantasy XIV replaces the previous MMO's orcs with the Amalj'aa. Most Amalj'aa are Tolkienesque, in that they are constantly raiding civilized settlements and merchant caravans in service to their deity, the primal Ifrit. As the story progresses, though, the Warrior of Light can ally with the Brotherhood of Ash, a tribe of Amalj'aa who adhere much more to the Blizzard model, being Proud Warrior Race Guys who oppose the worshippers of Ifrit because their culture dictates that honor is found in battle against strong warriors, not by victimizing the weak.
  • Golden Sun: There's an Orc monster resembling a shirtless pig-headed man with a sword that lives in the desert.
  • Gothic: Orcs are intelligent, nomadic members of a Proud Warrior Race. They attack Myrtana (the land of the Humans) to capture slaves and perform archeological excavations on the sites that bear religious importance to Orc Shamans. Also, unlike many other games, they aren't low-level mooks — they're among some of the more powerful enemies in the game.
  • Halo:
    • The Brutes are orcs in everything but name. They're big, bulky, and very strong, to the point where the Hunters are the only known contemporary species capable of physically overpowering them. They even resemble several different Earth beasts (mostly gorillas), complete with fur and tusks. As their name implies, they are very brutal, to the point where they commonly eat other sapient races (they openly discuss eating an Elite in one of the first cutscenes of Halo 2). In the bonus material, it's revealed that they managed to make their way into space only to nuke themselves into the stone age, and had just rediscovered radio and rocketry when the Covenant found them, without having learned anything from their past mistakes. In fact, they are the most directly violent of the races of the Covenant; the Elites have honor, the Prophets are power-hungry, the Grunts are enslaved, the Hunters and Drones are enigmatic, the Engineers are neutral, and the Jackals are Hired Guns, but the Brutes seem to just like killing people. All that said, a lot of Expanded Universe media have shown that they're not Always Chaotic Evil, with a number of individual Brutes even being somewhat sympathetic.
      • Also, the weapon designs of the Brutes are orc-like. The rest of the Covenant use sleek and curvy guns of fantastical design that shoot plasma and other energy projectiles. The Brute weapons however, are angular, awkward-looking, and all shoot metal projectiles (except for their version of the plasma rifle, which is just the same, except painted red and a little more rapid-firing). Also, they have bayonets on all their guns (and even their hammers), except for the aforementioned plasma rifle which they hardly ever use. Their vehicles also differ from the standard Covenent designs, and follow their own angular and primitive design (in fact, one of them is repurposed farm equipment), and they have names like "Prowler" and "Chopper", compared to those of standard Covenant craft like "Ghost" and "Shadow".
      • It should also be noted that due to the relative recency of their induction into the Covenant, the Brutes had a traditionally less restrictive attitude towards modifying technology than the other Covenant races, though most of that advantage has been lost thanks to the Great Schism forcing the other former Covenant species to quickly rediscover their old technological creativity. Still, between that and their status as primates, the Brutes are one of the more humanlike aliens in the Haloverse.
    • The Grunts serve as orc-esque equivalents as well, particularly before the introduction of the Brutes. While the Brutes embody the savagery, strength and ferocity of orcs, the Grunts are reminiscent of lesser orcs and goblins. They make up the brunt of Covenant infantry as swarms of cannon fodder, are diminutive, slow-witted and cowardly, but tenacious in groups. Some can even be found sleeping at their posts if Master Chief sneaks into an area unseen.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic games usually featured orcs as part of Stronghold faction.
    • Heroes of Might and Magic 1 and 2 featured orcs as Barbarian troops. These orcs were orange-skinned and porcine, and attacked with crossbows.
    • Heroes of Might and Magic 3 featured orcs primarily as Stronghold troops. These were greenskinned and attacked with throwing axes. The game also featured orcs who rode on wild boars and wielded maces as a neutral troop.
    • Heroes of Might and Magic 4 featured orcs as part of the Chaos (Asylum Town) faction, with their design especially boar-like and first orcish heroes being mostly sorcerers.
    • The second expansion of Heroes of Might and Magic 5, Tribes of the East, introduced them as a whole new faction. Apart from having brown skin (or sometimes spreckled with red, and having horns) and being created a la Tolkien by the Wizards as slave warriors to fight the demons (by injecting demon blood into human criminals), they are very close to their Warcraft counterparts in almost any conceivable way.
  • HEX: In Hex: Shards of Fate, the orcs are actually members of the Ardent faction alongside humans, elves and coyotle. They have a Mayincatec-styled Religious Bruiser culture that favors an aggressive playstyle in-game.
  • The Orcs from Kingdom of Loathing are primarily Frat boys. They're a parody of frat boy stereotypes, but the stereotypes (being big, muscular, unpleasant and thuggish in personality, lack of culture aside from breaking other people's stuff) make them pretty close to the Tolkienian version. A second group of orcs called the smut orcs were introduced several years into the game. Their culture seems to be designed around building things out of materials with awful double-entendre names (e.g. "raging hardwood plank" and "thick black caulk").
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity has shaggy, blue-skinned ice orcs in the Frozen Reaches.
  • Knight Orc is an extremely snarky Interactive Fiction game where you play a genuine Tolkien Orc. Solving the puzzles and defeating opponents requires you to think like a cruel, underhanded cheating bastard, since in a fair fight you are a weak, sword-fodder mook. A third of the way through the game, a malfunction reveals that you're actually a robot orc in a futuristic virtual-reality MMORPG, and the objective becomes breaking the game to escape.
  • Kohan: The Drauga are technically Orcs (just like the Haroun are elves and the Mareten are humans). They're large, decidedly simian, warlike and posess a shamanistic culture. They follow Darius after he defeats their former leader, and become his powerful supporters later in the game (though some of them will insist that you beat them to earn their respect).
  • Last Armageddon: Orcs are one of the monster races of the underworld, looking like humans with blue pig-like heads. One Orc acts as one of your party members.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Whereas the moblins fall more under "ogre" and the bokoblins under "goblin/troll", the green-skinned bulblins in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were full-on orc, complete with their leader having a Proud Warrior Race Guy attitude.
  • Lineage 2: Orcs are both Tolkenien and Blizzard-type. The player controlled orcs generally follow the Blizzard version closely, being Proud Warrior Race Guys and following a shamanistic culture based around their progenitor Pa'aagrio, god of fire. There are some aesthetic differences, mainly that they don't generally have horns or tusks or really big teeth, just hairstyles that look like horns. Their melee classes essentially fill the role of the big, muscular Scary Black Man, except with green skin. Their women are something else entirely. Only Dark Elf women are bustier. The orc Mooks you fight, which by the way the player orcs HATE, are nearly always Tolkenien in most ways, being mostly dumb, savage tribal guys who generally pillage their neighborhood.
  • Master of Magic: Not much is explained about orc society, but worth noting is that orcs are the Jack of All Trades of the races, having access to the entire tech tree (they are also devoid of any extra-special units or interesting characteristics, making them fill the role humans usually take). To elaborate, Orcs can build Universities whose students help in the player wizard's research, Alchemists' Guilds to produce magical weapons for the troops, War Colleges to produce Elite Mook squads, Merchants' Guilds, and Engineers. They seem to be a blend of Tolkien and Blizzard varieties, though they predate the latter; they're as strong as humans and have civilization and engineering equal to High Men, but while they can build cathedrals, their clergy are shamans rather than priests.
  • In the 1.16 Nether Update Minecraft introduced the Piglin, which the closest vanilla Minecraft has to Orcs. They are a race of pig beings that live in the hostile dimension. Being barbaric and belligerent, they will attack you on sight, making it an interesting case where the zombie variant is actually less hostile. Thankfully, they have a massive fondness for gold, and wearing any gold armor will make them neutral towards you — as long as you don't open any chests or mine gold around them. Once neutral, the player can barter items with them using gold ingots.
    • Piglin Brutes go a bit further and make them more hostile and aggressive, unwilling to barter and unafraid of the fears of their lesser kin
    • Zombie Piglins actually subvert this, being more docile and neutral to the player... unless you hurt one of them
  • Mutant Football League has "Monster Orcs" among the player races, fat green-skinned creatures that vary greatly in size. Fluff states they're tough to coach and each generation of orcs is less intelligent than the last, "like a VHS copy of a VHS copy of a VHS copy." In Dynasty Mode, it's extremely expensive in both XP and cash to increase their Intelligence stat, which determines reaction time, field awareness, and self-preservation instinct. On the field they're typically slow but strong and sturdy, and are thus mostly linemen on either side of the ball, but a handful are nasty linebackers, bruising receivers or tough running backs.
  • In Of Orcs and Men, Orcs are of the Blizzard Orcs variety and are at war with the Human Empire, who wants to use them as slave laborers due to their strength. They're actually the heroes of the game, specifically Arkail.
  • Okiku, Star Apprentice: They're in the Mountain Pass of the Isle of Tamuro, as enemies.
  • Oracle of Askigaga: A guard in the bottom left of the starting area mentions their existence, and the following dialogue implies they're intellgent enough to form bases of operations:
    Guard: You preparing for a journey? I've heard stories from merchants about viscous snakes and orcs along the border with Hachisuka.
    Oharu: The snakes are one thing, but, have we not pinpointed a base of operations for the orcs?
    Guard: Sorry, ma'am, I don't know anything about that.
    Hiroji: Don't you have other matters to attend to?
    Oharu: Of... of course.
  • In Orcs Must Die! and its sequel, the Orcs and the rest of the Horde are Always Chaotic Evil. Interestingly, they do have rather a sympathetic motive for trying to invade Earth: their own world is a barren wasteland. They can also be pretty Laughably Evil at times.
  • Paladins: Grohk the Lightning Orc is a blue-skinned eccentric support champion who heals allies with his healing totem and fries enemies with his lightning staff. He's definitely not brutish like Tolkien Orcs, and very into his shamanistic side like Blizzard Orcs... but he's just bizarre.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, they're a race called the aumaua. They're musclebound and sharp of tooth, but have multicolored skin similar to tropical fish instead of the usual green or brown. The typical orcish hats are also defied; aumaua have a warmongering history, but are more civilized about it and you don't really encounter any "Proud Warrior" types. In fact, they actually have a strong seafaring tradition and the one who joins your party is a Badass Bookworm.
  • Serious Sam 2 features Orcs as one of the many variety of mooks for the Big Bad. Mostly used as Cannon Fodder, and are not really shown having any sort of intelligence other than basic ability to operate military equipment like the Kozak Helicopters, laser rifles, plasma ball launchers, and propellers that they use as jetpacks. Background material states that they are actually a primitive alien race drafted by Mental and given training and weapons.
  • Soulcalibur VI: The Malefic are green-skinned humanoids with red eyes and tusk-like teeth that were originally primeval warriors corrupted by Astral Chaos energy.
  • Spellforce: Orcs lean largely toward Blizzard-style orcs but have Tolkien-orc elements. They're explicitly darkness-aligned and willing to do the ravaging horde routine, and are pretty much always at odds with the light races of humans, elves, and dwarves; but they have a culture based on honor and clan allegiance, with an animistic religion.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • The platform series has the Gnorcs, which are mostly green, have protruding teeth that look like fangs or tusks, and vary in size (the Big Bad Gnasty Gnorc and some of the mooks are very large, but most Gnorcs aren't much bigger than Spyro). Their name is supposedly a combination of "gnome" and "orc" but they're much more like orcs than like gnomes.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon features Orcs as the main servants and army of Malefor in a pure Tolkenian role. They however differ in appearence, being a race of grotesque lizard-like humanoids with elongated heads, gangly limbs and bodies made of earth, grass and rock and armed with either axes or crossbows attached to their arms. Stronger and bigger variants known as Orc Heroes also exist. Other creatures in Malefor's army include the goblinesque Grublins and the humongous Trolls, all made from earth and vegetation like the Orcs.
  • Thunderscape came close to having Blizzard orcs before Warcraft and Daggerfall. One of player races is the juraks, fur-covered brutes with large fangs, who made good warriors but can just as well be Combat Medics, mages or mechanics.
  • Orcs, goblins and trolls in Ultima are straight-up Tolkien-style, in the first three games, they could even be unmade by magi using the Repond spell.
  • Vagrant Story features orcs of porcine "porc" variety though they are well-muscled rather than running to fat and they're decently equipped with regards to gear. Their leaders can use magic to augment them.
  • Warcraft: The orcs were initially a brown-skinned, peaceful, hunter-gather society, but were manipulated by demons and turned into a ruthless army of green-skinned monsters. Further demonic influence turns them red, invoking Good Colors, Evil Colors. In the earliest games, orcs were portrayed as stupid and Laughably Evil in unit quotes and like, but they were still ruthless killing machines.
    • By the events of Lord of the Clans and Warcraft III, the orcs have returned to their original ways and are now as intelligent and well-rounded as humans. Current lore portrays them as going from a primarily hunter gatherer society to a full on industrial war machine within a matter of decades, although they most likely had help from the goblins. By the time of World of Warcraft, they've become one of the Horde's most important member species.
    • The first orcs descended from ogres, who in turn arose from a species of hulking cyclopean humanoids native to Draenor known as the ogron. The ogron further descend from a lineage of increasingly gigantic cyclopes leading back to Grond, a mountain given life by a Titan in Draenor's earliest days, making the orcs technically a species of very, very small giants. It should be noted that they share this trait with one other race: their erstwhile rivals — Humans.
    • Another interesting caveat to the Warcraft orcs, is that they take to water very well. They are very competent sailors and maintain a vast fleet of warships. They even pulled off a Flaunting Your Fleets manoeuvre in the intro to II. They also avert Klingon Scientists Get No Respect in that a shaman who wields great magical power is respected just as equally as a powerful warrior.
  • Warlords Battlecry: Orcs are of the Tolkienian type. They're a bunch of Always Chaotic Evil thugs with no redeeming qualities other than the fact that they fight each other as often as they fight other, more civilized, people.
  • Wizardry: The Gorn in Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant in all but name. Green, porcine features, and tusks. Xenophobic, militaristic, and live mostly underground on account of living directly in between two powerful races that hate each others' guts, but honorable and have an Asian-influenced art design.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X:
    • The Prone are essentially Space Orcs — their skin colors include pink and purple rather than green, and they have tentacles hanging off their faces, but aside from appearance they are essentially Blizzard orcs. They come in the Cavern and Tree Clan varieties, and tend to have aspects of both Tolkien and Blizzard orcs, usually depending on how likely they are to shoot you.
    • Meanwhile, the Marnucks, being one of the primary Mook races (alongside the Prone) for the Ganglion, are essentially Tolkien orcs, aside from their blue skin, being reptilian, preference for guns, and having invented their own military technology. What little we know about the Marnucks is that they don't just love war; their chief deity is their god of death, and they think killing people in battle is an honorable act. Their homeworld was destroyed by a global civil war, and the only ones left are the ones that sided with the Ganglion.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sword Daughter: The orcs might have been lifted directly from a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, with all the usual trappings: they're green-skinned, brutish and cruel, not very intelligent, and in most story paths they're working as Mooks for the main villain.

  • Ananthalos: Gruvalg is intelligent and rational as opposed to the barely-articulate orc archetype still found in a lot of fantasy stories. With his green coloring and bald head, he also appears more like an ogre. The comic's creator acknowledges that Shrek was an inspiration for Gruvalg's character design.
  • Daughter of the Lilies: Orcs are green, hunky, occasionally axe-wielding and inexplicably Russian-accented, but besides that, they're just another sapient species, and no less civilized than any other race. They do have a history of warfare with elves, but note that the elves started it.
  • Dominic Deegan: Orcs, muscular and green-skinned humanoids with prominent tusks and about a head taller than humans, lean towards the Blizzard model with a lot of Fantasy Counterpart Culture traits for Native Americans (not to mention being completely obligate herbivores), but most of the clans are still heavily patriarchal. They are also heavily shamanistic, with their magic being a "gift from the land", tapping entirely to the natural elements, which include life and death itself.
  • Drowtales has kotorcs in the Blizzardian model, being a tribal culture with a heavily honor based society. They're considered "goblins" along with humans, with hints of a common ancestor. There's also a sub-species known as Noz who have more in common with the Tolkien orcs and appear much more wild, and can best be described as looking like humanoid hyenas.
  • Gaia Online: The orcs look somewhat like the Blizzard kind, but dress and act like they belong in a Dungeon Punk story. Apparently, they lived under the mountains near the city, until they were discovered and subsequently employed in Factory Town of Aekea. Why you would need to hire orcs in a city that already has an ample supply of robots is questionable...
  • Girl Genius has the Jaegermonsters, who — other than their nigh-immortal Super Soldier by Mad Scientist origin — fit this trope very nicely. They mostly resemble the humans they used to be, but adorned with a variety of tusks, claws, horns, odd skin colors, shaggy mane-like beards, and similar things — no two Jaegers look truly alike — and they become larger and more monstrous as they age; their oldest generals have grown into towering, ogre-like beings. They have a code that defines them to the point that there are "former" Jaegers. Their loyalty to the (Mad Scientist) Heterodynes and ludicrous strength tends to lead them to be Europa's bogeymen. They also have an interesting culture around (comedic) violence and hats, which are evidently a combination of status symbols and a sign of worthiness. Also, when we see a bar for (patched-up, too wounded to fight) Jaegers at one point in the story, it's a pretty typical rowdy establishment... until the nightly bar fight starts, at which point everything becomes a massive Improvised Weapon brawl.
  • Goblins: Orcs are large humanoids with gray-green skin and part of the traditionally "evil" races alongside ogres, goblins, kobolds and so on. One of the few orcs who's appeared so far, "Biscuit", is a big hulking brute... who speaks politely and exaggerates The Stoic personality: tribe been dead for 200 years? "Meh." His people, the Roak, made a very big deal about rising above loss and personal attachments.
  • Guilded Age: Orcs have little political presence in the world and are largely used for slave labor by both the Gastonians and Savage Races. Both parties view them as little more than labor animals with sub-human intelligence, and though nothing has yet explicitly disputed that, the main authority on the subject is so racist and unreliable that it's impossible to take this assumption at face value.
  • Linburger has the Trokks. They're a savage race that roam the wilderness and kill anybody they meet. The main character, Lin, encounters them on occasion whenever she searches the junkyard for spare parts. There's also an alcoholic beverage made by them and only them, nobody knows the secret ingredident, and the only way to get the beverage is to live among their tribe for a set amount of time.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Unsurprisingly, subverts the usual "Tolkienian" characterization of Dungeons & Dragons orcs. The orcs shown in the webcomic are just a primitive tribe; and those of the paperback prequel are just mistaken for hostile by townsfolk because they are heavy metal fans.
    • Several characters are also half-orcs. While technically all of them are bad guys, Thog is a Psychopathic Manchild who's mostly Obliviously Evil, Bozzok is a business-minded gangster who negotiates with the heroes, and Therkla is more of an Anti-Villain with a good dose of Villainous Valor. Therkla also subverts the trope of halfbreeds being born of rape: her orc mother and human father were happily married.
    • There is a race of green-skinned goblins that are more civilized, if still stuck living at the edges of civilization. Unlike most recent portrayals of goblins, they are the same height as humans, making them much like Blizzard model orcs. The conflicts between the goblins and the humans drive much of the backstory of the current conflict and are integral to the goblin villain Redcloak's Start of Darkness.
  • Sluggy Freelance's World of Warcraft parody naturally has its own version of orcs, called Gorks. The only notable thing about them is the joke that they're the race of choice for players who like to pretend they're playing as monsters when they're really green humans with tusks.
  • Tales of the Questor orcs are nomads or traders, although even merchant clans are pretty darn tough. They have a strong code of honor and stick up for their friends (against almost all enemies) and are generally fairly Blizzardish. Their appearance is fairly distinctive, though: they basically have the faces of long-eared blue bulldogs.
  • TwoKinds: The Basitin hybridize this with Our Dwarves Are All the Same and Beast Man. They're a highly orderly Proud Warrior Race who can't (or at least reeeeealy shouldn't) use magic, tending towards Charles Atlas Superpower instead. They also seem to do the Games Workshop orc thing where they start smallish and grow bigger the more authority they gain. Immune to most poisons and illnesses, slightly regenerative, and perpetuate a Forever War because it's so much fun.
  • Zukahnaut's protagonist rejects the descriptor of "orc" despite his appearance, but his one-page origin story hints that his people may have lived up to the brutal stereotypes inherent in it.

    Web Original 
  • Ash & Cinders: While not specifically called orcs, the Stonewights show various orcish tendencies. They're brutush, stupid, killing machines. The Rock Lord's first appearance is even reminiscient of Tolkien's description of the Great Goblin from the Hobbit.
  • Critical Role: In Exandria, the standing of orcs and half-orcs seems to depend on the region. In the Mighty Nein campaign, prejudice against orcs and half-orcs was common enough throughout Wildemount that they predominantly live in the drow-ruled Krynn Dynasty with other stereotypically "evil" races, but the villainy of the Dynasty turns out to be a case of Grey-and-Gray Morality colored by the propaganda of their enemies.
    • By contrast, in the continent of Marquet, orcs and orc-blooded hybrids enjoy a better reputation. The orcish patron of Bell's Hells until his death at the hands of one of their enemies, Ariks Eshterhoss is a wealthy and erudite Retired Badass who uses his vast resources to support the budding adventurers and others who work toward the betterment of the region. They also later venture to the city of Yios, the City of Flowing Lights, which has a primarily orcish and orc-blooded population, and is renowned in the region as a center of learning and enlightenment.
  • Gaia Online introduced orcs for the 2008 Rejected Olympics event, but they've never been seen since. The only thing we really know about Gaian orcs at present is that they're basically cave-dwelling greasers that were recently discovered.
  • Graven Hunter Files: Orcs are are the typical tolkein-esque orc, with greenish-gray skin, tusks, and a bad temperament. Sye encounters a trio of vampire converted orcs working for the Zemrelt clan, the most aggressive and warlike of the clans.
  • In The Midgaheim Bestiary, orcs are a type of boogeymen, a family of The Fair Folk which also includes goblins, bugbears and trolls and specializes in forming connections between Fairyland and the mortal world, allowing the fairy world to consume small portions of mundane reality to maintain some measure of internal stability. Orcs themselves are sapient, humanoid boars — their legs end in hooves, and their hands have only three, distinctly hoof-like fingers — and were explicitly bred by other fairies to be a race of soldiers. While garrulous, short-tempered and militaristic, they aren't the mindless Mooks humans tend to see them as — they're noted to have strong poetic traditions, and even have some epics that aren't about epic wars they've fought.
  • Tales From My D&D Campaign: The orcs were once standard Tolkien/D&D orcs, brutish, stupid, cowardly, and only dangerous through their vast numbers. But when the orcs pissed off a goddess by killing her mortal lover, the goddess cursed them and turned their homeland into a desert. Within a couple of generations, the orcish numbers fell from tens of millions to just a few thousand, but the survivors became unparalled warriors. These days, two or three orcs could easily burn a small city to the ground and two-three orc bands regularly slaughter hundred-man patrols.
  • Tales of MU: Orcs have not been seen, perhaps because they're not native to the continent on which the story takes place, but they form part of the cultural backdrop. "Going orcshit" is a common expression, and a history class revealed that orcs occupied the role of Hessian mercenaries in the equivalent of the American Revolution: mooks for hire with a vicious rep. The same class revealed their racial Berserk Button: attacking orc women and children. There's also one character (Coach Callahan) who appears to be part orc, and who is the biggest badass in the series.
  • The Tolkienesque type is discussed on Terrible Writing Advice in the "Fantasy Races" episode, in which he advises writers to avoid talking about the implications of an Always Chaotic Evil race in terms of morality, and just use them as generic bad guys (despite how Tolkien struggled with these questions).

    Western Animation 
  • Disenchantment: The Bozaks and their unseen relatives, the Borcs, are a brutish warrior race with horns and sharp teeth. Rather atypically for this trope, they're also seafaring pirates... and the Bozaks are also some of the kingdom of Dreamland's closet allies.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Ice orcs are beings of living ice with bodies that are almost all head with stumpy limbs, who live underground, can shoot freezing Hand Blasts and are ancestral enemies of the lava demons with whom they share their subterranean home.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The Galra are basically Blizzard orcs IN SPACE!. They're large, proud, purple-skinned Proud Warrior Race with appearances that range from shaggy and brutish to ruggedly attractive. On their homeworld, they were just one of many tribes, but rose to prominence on their planet and beyond through martial conquest. They also display an ability to breed with other speciesnote  that is either unique to them, or simply more prominently shown with them because of the vast scope of their empire. On the more noble side, the Blades of Marmora are a secretive faction of Galra who oppose the empire and assist the heroes. Even King Zarkon, ruler of the empire, was once a true hero before he was corrupted into a genocidal monster.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Most of Prince Phobos's minions are orc-like humanoids; they're initially portrayed as the Tolkien variety. They are revealed, though, to have been fed on propaganda and aren't necessarily that bad; most of them do a collective Heel–Face Turn after Phobos is defeated, and the main orc who remains villainous, Raythor, is nonetheless an honorable Noble Demon. The lurdens, Phobos' more monstrous and bestial minions, are Tolkien orcs played straight.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series: Wolverine is predictably depicted as a Blizzard variant (though he's referred to as a troll), in a fairytale told by Jubilee in one of the series' later seasons.

It's not easy bein' green....


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Our Orks Are Different, Orc


The Fighting Uruk-Hai

For many ages, the scourge of the orc has plagued Middle-Earth, but from the bowels of Isengard, a new breed, refined and improved by Saruman, threatens the land. Unburdened by pain and hatred of the sun, they are brutish and cruel creatures bred for war

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