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Tiered by Name

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Anyone or anything that returns in a stronger, more powerful fashion tends to have letters, symbols, or other similar prefixes or suffixes (like X, R, Mega, Super or even Mk II) added to either the end or the beginning of their name.

A variation is when the name itself is modified to signify that the creature or character is stronger, though the change is usually fairly minor, to prevent mistakenly suggesting that the creature or character is a completely different entity.

Bonus points if the character or creature is either recolored or has his appearance changed to look more menacing.

Subtrope of Underground Monkey and Meaningful Name; supertrope to SI Prefix Name (which uses SI prefixes like kilo and mega to denote scale or power). Compare Greek Letter Ranks and Randomly Generated Loot, which tends to use a similar naming convention for equipment.


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     Anime and Manga  
  • Digimon frequently (but not always) denotes different Digimon in the same family by adding prefixes to a base name; for instance in Digimon Adventure Greymon digivolves to MetalGreymon and then to WarGreymon. Not all prefixes are different tiers — across the franchise, WarGreymon, EmperorGreymon, ShineGreymon, and ZekeGreymon are all at the highest tier (or would be, as Frontier and Xros Wars don't have standard tiers). Digimon Fusion uses a different name system for its main Digimon, Shoutmon. Shoutmon can combine with his friends, and the result is called Shoutmon X[number] — as in, a four-mon combination is Shoutmon X4. The "X" is pronounced "cross" in Japan and "times" in the US, by the way. By the end of the series, he goes up to Shoutmon X7.
  • Common but not universal in Bleach: A Soul Reaper's Zanpakutou has a fixed name for sealed and Shikai states but that name is expanded into a full title for Bankai. For example, Byakuya's Zanpakutou is called Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Blossoms) until entering Bankai, whereupon its name becomes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (Thousand Cherry Blossoms Vibrant Display).
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure: Star Platinum, then Star Platinum: The World. Also, all Requiem stands have "Requiem" added to the end of their names.


  • A variation in Gathering Blue: Characters' names lengthen by syllable as they age to denote their increased life experience. For example, a woman born as Ann is renamed Anna, then Annabel, then Annabella as she grows older.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, when talking about the Batchwork feat and its enhanced versions or replacements:
    Uncle: Well, normally it's one per hour, but I've got this feat, Batchwork, which ups that to three... [...] Plus Improved Batchwork, and Greater Improved Batchwork, to six and then twelve.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, direwolves are a species of wolf common north of the Wall that can grow to the size of a small horse. They are named after the real-world dire wolf, the largest species of canid (but still much smaller than its fictional counterpart), which went extinct around 10,000 years ago.
  • In Warrior Cats, this doubles as both Meaningful Name and Meaningful Rename, in that the name of a cat denotes rank in a Clan Hierarchy (like -kit for kits, -paw for apprentices, and -star for leaders).

     Live-Action TV  
  • Power Rangers: Individual zords combine into a Megazord, and if all zords that year are used in a single formation it's an Ultrazord. The earlier seasons had more of a formula to it before the combinations got fancier names: [X]zords merged into [X] Megazords, combining the [X] Megazord with the Sixth Ranger's [Y]zord made the Mega [Y]zord, and adding the carrier zord made the [X] Ultrazord.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa's Putty Patrollers are replaced with Lord Zedd's Z Putty Patrollers, which have a Z on their chests and are practically indestructible - unless you hit them directly in the "Z" in which case they explode into harmless bits.

     Professional Wrestling  
  • The Road Warriors (also known as the Legion of Doom) were repackaged in 1998 as LOD 2000, with little changing except more colorful shoulderpads and the addition of Sunny as their manager. This lasted for about six months.

     Tabletop Games  
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Tyranid units that are stronger than usual are usually referred to as "Unit's Name" Prime.
  • There's various templates in Dungeons & Dragons that can be applied to a single creature to modify its stats (size, ancestry, and other traits), which are then reflected in its name. Usually a good indicator of a Min-Maxing character if applied to a PC.
  • In OGRE by Metagaming and Steve Jackson Games, The titular Artificial Intelligence controlled tanks were identified by putting a "Mark X" after the word "Ogre", with the X being a Roman numeral (I, II, III, IV, V, VI). The higher the number, the more powerful the Ogre.
  • The decker programs sold by Hacker House for the Shadowrun supplement Virtual Realities had numbers at the end of their names. The higher the number, the larger and more powerful the program.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The franchise has many monsters that act as variants of the same base monster, though not always stronger, with the connection being signified by a partial name change, such as Dark Magician to Dark Sage or Dark Magician Knight. Played straightest with the Gagagigo family, Gagagigo's card lore tracing his evolution into Giga Gagagigo, then Gogiga Gagagigo.
    • There's also the LV monsters, which are more this trope combined with Power Levels and/or Character Level. Examples include Armed Dragon and its more powerful forms Armed Dragon LV3, Armed Dragon LV5, etc., or Silent Swordsman and its more powerful forms, among others.
    • The Chaos Xyz monsters (Including the Chaos Numbers) also follow this pattern. Examples of the first type include "Number 39: Utopia/Aspiring Emperor Hope" which becomes "Utopia Ray" or if Ranked up becomes "Utopia Ray V" or "Utopia Ray Victory". Example of the variation include "Norito the Moral Leader" becoming "CXyz: Simon the Great Moral Leader".

     Video Games  
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The series in general does this for the spells: Fire -> Fira -> Firaga -> Firaja.
    • Final Fantasy V: In the remake for the Gameboy Advance (and later iOS) there is Omega MK. II, which is not only stronger than the original Omega but is also 22 levels lower than the original.
    • Final Fantasy VII: The summon Bahamut comes in three increasingly powerful versions, culminating in Bahamut Zero.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has this done not only to spells, but to healing items to some impressive extent, thanks to all the synthetizing you can master. There go Potion, Potion+, Hi-Potion, Hi-Potion+, X-Potion, Mega-Potion... And many more beside Potions.
    • Final Fantasy XII has another Omega named Omega Mark XII, one of the last marks you fight and also an optional superboss. In the Japan-exclusive version (named Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System) Omega Mark XII is also fought on the 99th floor of trial mode.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The equipment that enemies use comes in various quality tiers containing multiple weapon types each, which are distinguished from each other by the prefix added to their names.
    • Bokoblin and Moblin weapons start with basic gear, then moves into "Spiked Bokoblin/Moblin" gear augmented with spikes of bone, and culminates in "Dragonbone Bokoblin/Moblin" gear strengthened with fossils.
    • Lizalfos gear is the most inconsistent — it starts with the simple "Lizal" tier, but the two afterwards don't have unifying name themes, instead using ad hoc adjectives as befits the specific weapons (i.e., Lizal Spear -> Enhanced Lizal Spear -> Forked Lizal Spear).
    • Lynel weapons start with basic "Lynel" equipment, move to "Mighty Lynel" equipment, and finish with "Savage Lynel" gear.
    • Guardian equipment is marked by the simplest naming system, as its ranks as "Guardian", "Guardian+", and "Guardian++".
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team both have most of the bonus bosses be tougher versions of the normal bosses found in the game. They have the same name as the originals, but with "X" added to them. Even the bonus boss Bowser X from the former. The latter also has the Underground Monkey mooks having names of the original mooks with "R" at the end of them.
  • Monster Hunter: The series has many types of variant monsters, which are tougher and more aggressive versions of monsters that show up at higher ranks, and sometimes also have different elemental attacks and weaknesses. The classic example being the flagship flying wyverns Rathian and Rathalos, which later come in the variants Pink Rathian and Azure Rathalos, and later still Gold Rathian and Silver Rathalos. Monster Hunter Rise has Apex variants of normal monsters. The series also has variant armors, with the upgraded versions of armors having "Alpha", "Beta", or "S" (depending on the game) appended to the name.
  • Kirby: Almost all of the bosses and minibosses in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and Kirby: Planet Robobot that appear in extra mode have an extra suffix added to their names in addition to looking more menacing than their normal mode counterparts. This is "EX" in Return to Dream Land, "DX" in Triple Deluxe and "2.0" in Planet Robobot. This is likely a successor to Revenge of the King, a sub-game in the remake of Kirby Super Star, which acted as an extra mode for Spring Breeze and added "Revenge" to Whispy Woods, Lololo and Lalala, Kracko Jr, and Kracko. In later games like Kirby Star Allies and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, these bosses appear in special post-game modes, and the naming scheme uses the prefix "Parallel" and "Phantom", respectively.
  • In the Mega Man Battle Network games, depending on the game, the enemies may be leveled with letters (α, β, Ω, etc.), a number (V2, V3), or followed by EX or SP.
    • Bass will often be an exception, having had DS, GS, XX, and BX in addition to rarely dipping into the normal designations.
    • The Life Virus in MegaMan Battle Network Transmission gains an "R" in its name and a different color when it was revived. Other final bosses have typically used Ω for their upgraded forms, aside from Gregar and Falzar, who use SP.
  • The Mega Man Star Force games continue the trend established by Battle Network, with EX and SP bosses for the first two titles, then V2 and V3 for the third.
    • The second game started the trend of adding super-boss variants for bosses, adding DX versions for every boss and an SX form for Rogue. The final boss, Le Mu, also gets an upgrade called "Xa".
    • The third game goes further than the second, adding multiple different types of bosses. Nine of the story bosses get Ω forms, an optional boss and the two post-game bosses get Σ forms, both Ace and Joker get their own unique to multiplayer forms of BB and RR respectively, and Rogue gets two new forms in Z and ZZ. The final boss, Crimson Dragon, has both an SP and a Σ form.
  • Pokémon:
    • Many Pokémon have a two-part name with one part changing to reflect a higher power level upon evolution, such as Machop -> Machoke -> Machamp, or Larvitar -> Pupitar -> Tyranitar.
    • All Mega Evolution forms in Pokémon X and Y officially have the name "Mega (Pokemon's original name)", and a few have X and Y variants (such as Mega Mewtwo X or Mega Charizard Y).
  • Borderlands prefixes its upgraded enemies with "Badass", then "Badmutha", and finally "Superbad" as player progresses through levels of New Game Plus.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance: Many enemies have "level 1", "level 2", and sometimes "level 3" versions.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The Slimes have a lot of buffed variants, including an infamous one that only takes one point of damage and gives out high EXP. All of them have "Slime" in their species names. Several other monster families are similar, in that the name gets tweaked as you encounter stronger variants.
    • Magic spells also have modified names for stronger versions. With attack spells, the base spell tends to become [Spell]le, Ka[spell], and finally Ka[spell]le.
    • In Dragon Quest XI, monsters get strengthened at a few points in the game, gaining an extra descriptor and Glowing Eyes of Doom. First they become "vicious" monsters with red eyes, then "malicious" ones with green eyes.
  • Many enemies in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have many auto-leveled variants distinguished from the base mook by some power ranking slapped after the name. For example: Draugr Wight, Draugr Deathlord, Reaver Marauder.
  • When Sonic the Hedgehog is powered up by the chaos emeralds, he becomes ''Super Sonic" and turns yellow. There's other transformations from other sources as well, but this is the most famous.
  • The "Hyper" prefix is used in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for variants of enemies that charge their attacks. Some more traditionally upgraded foes get the "Elite" prefix.
  • Superboss Vanitas Remnant in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix has more attacks than the original, all of which One Hit Kills you if you did not set your abilities up right.
  • Robocraft had these added, instead of plasma launcher T2, Plasma launcher T3, Plasma launcher T4, etc you have plasma pulsar, plasma disruptor, plasma bombarder, etc.
  • AdventureQuest has many items that named by their level tier, often with humorous and sometimes referential top-tier names.
  • Cube Colossus: Suffixes for the names of weapons give their tier, except for Missiles, which use the one before, since they don't have a 1st Tier version: LM = 1st, TG = 2nd, KT = 3rd, X = SP or EXCA.
  • Fire Emblem: Higher-tier elemental magic tomes have prefixes denoting their level, with 2nd-tier spells prefixed in El-, and 3rd-tier prefixed in Arc-. 4th-tier spells, however, don't follow this, instead having unique names.
  • Might and Magic: In VI to VIII, monsters were all divided into three tiers, with most having names that fall into this category. There wasn't any one pattern for this, but generally the base category (eg. "Skeleton" or "Bat") was kept intact while adjectives or descriptive nouns were appended or switched around (for example, Skeletons being just Skeleton at Tier 1, Skeleton Warrior at Tier 2, and Skeleton Lord at Tier 3, while Bats were Giant Bat at Tier 1, Vampire Bat at Tier 2 and Inferno Bat at Tier 3). Sometimes this trope was used for just two of tiers (such as Thieves being Thief at Tier 1 and Master Thief at Tier 3, with Tier 2 instead being Rogue).
  • Märchen Forest: Mylne and the Forest Gift: Satchels hold food, and the ones with / named of different materials, can hold more food, with Leather Satchels being better than Hemp Satchels.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: There's an enemy called Duelist, then in Confinement, there's an enemy called Duelist Omega, which, along with how they both use a rapier-like weapon, implies a connection.
  • Runescape:
    • Elemental magic has a sequence of offensive spells for each of the four classical elements: [Element] Strike, Bolt, and Blast. Paid members get two more tiers: Wave and Surge. Despite the names, the only difference between tiers (and elements) is in the escalating amount of damage they deal their target.
    • Ancient Magic uses a similar system with the "elements" of Smoke, Shadow, Blood, and Ice, using the tiers of [Element] Rush, Burst, Blitz, and Barrage. Unlike the standard elements, the Burst and Barrage spells can affect multiple targets, and each element also makes unique Status Infliction Attacks.
  • Shanghai.EXE: Genso Network: Ω is suffixed to virus names to denote a higher tier.
  • Shin Megami Tensei series: Spells tend to have varying tier suffixes depending on what kind of spell they are (for example, elemental spells have -La(o) for 2nd tiers and -Dyne for 3rd, while One-Hit KO spells have only a 2nd tier, suffixed with -On). However, one that is common among these types is that, where the base spell is a single target, one with a Ma- prefix will target an entire group.
  • Shantae: Super is better than without Super.
  • Transistor: The Process goes from Base Name, to adding suffixes of 2.0 then 3.0.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The restoratives for Hit Points and Mana go from "[Base Name]", "High [Base]", then "Ultra [Base]".
    • Tonics
    • Mana Potions
  • In Warcraft III, most neutral creeps of a line use different suffixes (but there's no universal "this suffix means this type" effect) in addition to the usual size, model and hue differences. For example, Bandit/Salamander/Ogre Lord, Forest/Ice/Dark Troll Trapper/Priest/Warlord, Ancient Sasquatch/Wendigo/Hydra, etc.

     Western Animation  
  • Megatron and Galvatron from Transformers are usually the same being from two different time periods, although in some continuities, they're two different people.