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Tin Tyrant

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Certainly, the dry cleaner will feel oppressed. note 
"For too long, Empress Qa-Len has been a thorn in my iron-plated side!"
Lord Ferrok, Battalion Wars 2

When the phrase "tinpot dictator" is literal.

Evil Overlords have the tendency to fight in full plate armor, even in settings where that doesn't actually make sense. Their armor usually has plenty of Spikes of Villainy and is Color-Coded for Your Convenience in black. Usually, it conceals their face to make them appear more mysterious and menacing. Often upgraded to Powered Armor or a full-body prosthesis/life support system in more advanced settings.

In fantasy settings, this is the standard look for the Black Knight. However, that doesn't always mean that an overlord of this type is solely a physical fighter. He might also be an Evil Sorcerer that made the wise choice of donning armor to offset his main weakness. Besides, they are almost always Large and in Charge so it's normal to see them as evil Magic Knights. And sometimes, the wearer might be secretly a girl.

Spikes of Villainy and a Badass Cape are commonly used accessories.

See also Animated Armor. Contrast with Chrome Champion. Not to be confused with Master Computer, where the tyrant is made of tin.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk is naturally filled with villains (and some heroes) in this style.
    • Probably the most notable one is the legendary High King Gaiseric, also known as the Skull King for his preferred helmet style. In an interesting subversion, if he and the Skull Knight are one and the same person as most fans believe, he became a good guy (relatively speaking) after becoming undead.
  • Master Hades of the Grimoire Heart guild from Fairy Tail.
    • Alexei of Raven Tail wears a full suit of armor, which helps conceal his identity as Ivan, the guild's master. The fact that Ivan competes in the Grand Magic Games is one of the less flagrant ways Raven Tail cheats.
  • Prince/King Kaito from Murder Princess.
  • Wapol from One Piece had a ship called "The Tin Tyrant" but Don Krieg fits the bill better, albeit without a helmet. He has a suit of armor that's equipped with various hidden weapons that he can use against his foes.
  • Yuki Judai of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX fits this trope in full, as his standard clothing during the Genocidal Overlord phase becomes a black, full-body armor, heavily accessorized with sharp spikes, jewels, a flowing red cape, and a helmet that fully covers his face when the visor is lowered — as can be seen here.
  • The Big Bad in Machine Hayabusa spends most of the 21 episodes entirely clad in a full set of medieval-esque armour, mostly busy sitting on his throne inside his lair. He only removes it, thus revealing his true identity, in the last episode. Particularly conspicuous, considering that the anime has a modern setting and focuses on car racing.
  • In Fate/Apocrypha, the Saber of Red invokes this trope, wearing a full-body suit of silver and red with numerous spikes, a BFS and capped off with a demonic-looking horned helmet, and is actually Mordred, the traitor of the Knights of the Round Table...except she has the same body size and build as her "dad" and looks like a teenaged girl underneath. More than one character actually comments on the stark difference when she takes her helmet off. Also, she's actually pretty nice behind her jerkish demeanor.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza and his father seem to wear a (relatively small) suit of armor for no reason than this trope, as they're so immensely powerful that anything capable of actually hurting them would shred their armor like paper. In a variation, removing the armor is the first thing Frieza does upon getting serious, as for most of the time he's in a power-restricted form and his less power-restricted forms are for the most part much larger.
  • Shinzo: Both the first and final Arc Villains were armored tyrants.
    • King Daku, the leader of the Insect Enterrans, is made to resemble Tough Beetles.
    • Lanancuras, the Final Boss, looks like a red-eyed giant in rock-themed armor. He's not an Enterran but a Celestial, who normally look like angels with golden wings, so it's implied that Evil Makes You Monstrous is at play here.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Doctor Doom, enemy of the Fantastic Four is clad in a metallic suit, but the reasons behind it are partially cosmetic: Doom used to be a strikingly handsome man whose face was burned in an accident, and he has covered it up ever since.
    • X-Men foe Apocalypse in some interpretations. Namely, his outward image of a transcendent, semi-divine warlord with his pug-like face and blue lips is sometimes portrayed as a suit of Powered Armor which he borrowed from Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Underneath it, he's really an ancient, withered husk of a man. Not that he minds:
      Apocalypse: Why so shocked, child? The flesh is but a vessel, ready to be discarded when it has served its purpose. What remains eternal and unstoppable is my will.
    • Although less armored (and evil, at least on a good day) than most, Magneto also qualifies.
    • Cable's evil clone Stryfe.
  • Master Menace from Squadron Supreme.
  • Darth Krayt from Legacy is a bit of a subversion as the armor is a part of him it's Yuuzhan Vong armor.
    • To clarify, it is A collection of crustaceans that have bonded to his skin to provide lightsaber-proof armor at the expense of unending agony as they attempt to digest him. Darth Bane wore similar armor, but not of Vong origin..
  • G.I. Joe: COBRA Commander, in the middle of the Marvel Comics run where he always wore his battle-armour. It had the side benefit of concealing the fact he was an imposter.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Greldinard wears an impressive suit of red armor that he never takes off, while also serving as the Baron of Moork and the right-hand of Haazheel Thorne.
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Death wears an alternate version of the standard bulky Judge armor. He also happens to be the Chief Judge of Deadworld.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Felix the Cat: The Movie, the Duke of Zill wears full body armor in order to hide his badly disfigured face and body.
  • In The Steam Engines of Oz, the Emerald City is now ruled by the Tin Man: once one of Oz's greatest heroes, but now a (literally) heartless tyrant. Under his rule, the city has advanced to steampunk levels of technology; powered by the mighty steam engines of Oz. Tin Man continues to expand the city's territory, threatening to swallow the Emerald Forest and destroy its inhabitants.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Lord Marshal of the Necromongers in The Chronicles of Riddick is rather nostalgic for a space conqueror, forgoing any sort of conventional or futuristic outfit for a plate armor suit that he never takes off, only removing his helmet from time to time. Most of his followers are no different, presumably because of their martial society.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, General Zod (along with his remaining followers) wears a black, spikey Kryptonian suit of armor that was salvaged when he and his followers roamed the galaxies in search of Kryptonian life/technology after being freed from the Phantom Zone. He eventually ditches it to fight Superman in the climax since it offers no real advantage against him.
    • In Zack Snyder's Justice League, the New God Steppenwolf, a commander of armies of Darkseid, wears a mean-looking body-covering silvery suit of adaptive armor.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Sauron, but he is only described in armor in the movies; in the book, he's simply described as "A Terrible Dark Lord", "an image of malice and hatred made visible". His master Morgoth is described as wearing black armor in combat (though outside of it, at least his hands and face are left uncovered).
    • The Witch-King is something in between this and Animated Armor, since he's a disembodied undead spirit and needs the armor as a surrogate body, to manipulate objects.
  • At the climax of Disney's Maleficent, King Stefan battles Maleficent in a suit of armor that invokes this trope. Being very cunning, said armor is made of iron, which burns fairies that come into contact with it.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Sith in general are likely to be this; many of them were famous for their unique suits of armor. Darth Vader is probably the most obvious example, if not the Trope Codifier. He was most likely inspired by the Witch King of Angmar and Sauron, Doctor Doom, and armoured samurai from Japanese films, but he is probably the most famous example in popular culture. Vader's armor also doubles as a life-support system, stemming from injuries he sustained in an old battle with Obi-Wan.
    • To a lesser extent, Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic.
    • Mandalore, leader of the Mandalorians, in pretty much any era (although they also qualify as Blood Knights, seeing how they take joy in battle). Yuuzhan Vong love their living crab-armor, too, although the Supreme Overlord doesn't bother with it.
  • The Silver Samurai from The Wolverine sports a suit of silver-colored armor, in this case a suit of Powered Armor.
  • Big Bad Physical God Tsukuyomi from Yamato Takeru prefers to wear an elaborate suit of armor (complete with a cape), at least when he's not a giant eight-headed dragon.

  • Being set in a medieval society, most of the lords in A Song of Ice and Fire wear heavy, elaborate, and damned expensive plate armor when they go into battle. Bling of War is, frankly, endemic everywhere — especially among the most powerful of lords and rulers. The Boltons' may be the most sinister sets, however, as their armor is designed to look like their sigil of the flayed man while all nicely tinted red... in case any of their opponents should lack basic anatomical knowledge and could therefore use the hint. Also, they are right bastards: if stories are correct, this goes back to when they were known as the Red Kings of the Dreadfort. Yeah. Lannisters do it with gold on everything, Targaryens love their scales, onyx, and rubies, but the Boltons just use very expensive squick.
  • In the original Dragonlance trilogy, all of the Dragon Highlords had ceremonial plate armor with elaborate helmets. Verminaard actually fought in his. It backfired, as he had no peripheral vision in the armor, and when he suddenly lost his cleric powers, he was killed shortly afterwards.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, Morgoth takes to dressing like this after fleeing Valinor with the Silmarils. As described when he prepares to duel King Fingolfin:
    And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable unblazoned, cast a shadow over him like a stormcloud.
  • Obould Many-Arrows from the Forgotten Realms books wears a spiked suit of black plate armor that's nearly impenetrable. They even used a spell to give him a transparent visor on his helmet so he wouldn't have vulnerable eye holes. Though, when he took the armor off, he got really dangerous.
  • The "evil" emperor in Journey of the Catechist wears full plate armor. Ironically, not only is he a powerful sorcerer who doesn't need it for protection, it's used entirely to hide his appearance, which he considers ugly.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Demandred goes in for this look when leading the Shadow's armies at the Last Battle. Somewhat unusually, though his armor includes a helmet and mask, he keeps it off for most of his pagetime, preferring to show his actual (rather normal-looking) face. The armor is also silver, going in for Light Is Not Good rather than Dark Is Evil.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant featured the armour of Lord Vile. Made worse by the fact that after the heroes face him, it is revealed that he isn't in there, but has become part of the suit formed from part of the former wearers' personality which has stayed in the suit. The former wearer is Skulduggery himself.
  • Tale of Yashima: Many samurai wear armour with helmets that are designed to inspire fear, but this is especially fitting for lead character Yashiro Sou, who is fully decked out in head-to-toe red armour with an oni kabuto to match.
  • Wraith Knight has Jacob Riverson as one of the four Wraith Knights with intimidating black demonsteel armor along with black hooded cloaks. Eventually, Jacob graduates to become the new King Below, Evil Overlord of the Shadowkind, with even more intimidating helmets. Played with as he is a Dark Is Not Evil Antihero subversion of a fantasy villain.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chaos Lords from Warhammer Fantasy usually wear heavy plate armour decorated with loads of spikes and symbols of Chaos. Chaos Lords and Sorcerers from Warhammer 40,000 wear Powered Armor (or even heavier Terminator armour) decorated with loads of spikes and symbols of Chaos, as well as... er... trophies.
    • In fact at one point the mark of a true Chaos Warrior was being granted Chaos Armor, which fused to their skin, could never be removed, and if damaged would grow back.
    • Ork Warlords have a habit of turning up wearing mega armour, which makes them Rusty Iron, Tin, Ceramite, Adamantium, And Rubber Tyrants.
    • Dark Eldar Archons usually wear heavy armor in the style of the Incubi, instead of the form-fitting constructions worn by most of their warriors.
    • Dark Elf Dreadlords usually wear heavy plate armor, and in some cases don't show their faces often.
    • The ruler of the dark elves Malekith has to wear armor all the time. After the Flame of Asuryan opinioned that he was unworthy of becoming the Phoenix King, he's needed a suit of magical armor to give his ruined body strength.
    • Averted by the God-Emperor of Manking himself who is the closest this series has to a Big Good... which isn't saying very much considering this series.
  • The Armored Megalomaniac archetype in Mutants & Masterminds, as well as the somewhat more specific example of Evil!Daedalus from Anti-Earth in the Freedom City sample setting.
  • Exalted gives us the First and Forsaken Lion, an ancient, tyrannical ghost empowered by the dead makers of Creation to go out and kill everything. He's a master warlord and strategist in a gigantic suit of armor. Not that he has much choice, as he was welded into it as punishment for his first major screw-up.
    • One of the signature Abyssals, Falling Tears Poet, is clad in heavy armour, wields a really big hammer, and is approximately the size of a bus. Bear in mind that one of the potential end arcs for the Abyssals is to overthrow and replace the Deathlords.
  • The unofficial Lord of the Rings tabletop game Ambarquenta encourages this by ruling that metal contains Morgothian element and thus gets in the way of casting good wizardry and good-ish sorcery, but does not hamper evil sorcery and necromancy in any way.
  • In the official The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game from Games Workshop, they gave rough identities to all nine Nazgul, meaning that as well as Sauron and the Witch King - using their movie designs - they also had the Dark Marshal and the Knight of Umbar.

    Video Games 
  • The Final Fantasy series' more medieval installments love this trope, as seen at the top of the page.
    • Garland in Final Fantasy. (although his characterization in Dissidia is more similar to that of a Blood Knight)
    • Emperor Mateus Palamecia in Final Fantasy II: although he doesn't have a helmet, he certainly has a golden and violet suit of armor.
    • Golbez in Final Fantasy IV, as befits a Darth Vader Expy. Lampshaded by Gilgamesh in Dissidia:
      "You really oughta dress the part if you're a wizard."
    • Exdeath in Final Fantasy V. Being a shapeshifter (and a sapient tree), it's unclear if he wears a suit of armour, or if that's simply the form he chooses to take.
    • All the Judges in Final Fantasy XII, but especially Gabranth, another Darth Vader Expy.
    • The fal'Cie play with this, since they appear to be made of tin.
    • The Garlean generals in Final Fantasy XIV all dress like this. Unlike a number of examples here, their armor tends to be functional on top of the form - Gaius van Baelsar, for example, seems to have a number of gizmos, like a gauntlet-gun, installed in his armor.
      • Nael van Darnus, Big Bad of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0, deserves special mention because her armor managed to conceal her sex until it was later revealed in the T10 Binding Coil of Bahamut raid of A Realm Reborn. note 
      • The late Emperor of Garlemald, Solus zos Galvus, wore similar armor, except that his face was visible. His grandson and heir, Varis zos Galvus, is seen to be wearing similar armor as his late grandfather.
    • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: The Sworn Six of Paladia are the mayor antagonists during the first season of the game and they all resemble tin tyrants with elemental powers.
      • MAYOR spoilers from Season 3: The True Hollow Keepers are also a group of tin tyrants, this time with a card motif. They also don sleeker, form-fitting armors that wouldn't look out of place in a Super Sentai or Kamen Rider serial, contrasting with the bulky, over-the-top armors of the Sworn Six.
  • For Honor gives us Apollyon. A 6 foot tall, Warmongering despot who likes to wears thick and heavy dark armor.
  • All of the eponymous Overlords in the Overlord series.
  • Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda has been seen in armor quite a few times, but never covers his head.
  • Sarevok in Baldur's Gate.
  • Death's Hand in Jade Empire is the Emperor's right-hand man, who had his departed soul bound to a black suit of armour. Master Li declares that "That is the armour of a man who knows no remorse, no pity." The irony is that said armour originally belonged to Master Li.
  • Magic Emperor Ghaleon in Lunar: The Silver Star and its several remakes. A notable example in that he seems to wear it because he knows that villains are supposed to wear this sort of getup.
  • Magruder in Gun. The reason, kinda, that he's completely unharmed by any of your weapons and has to be taken down by other means.
  • Guilty Gear: Surprisingly, Justice is this as well, since the drama CDs state that she wears it to protect her frail figure. The hair on the armor, though, is her real hair.
    • Its Spiritual Successor Blazblue follows a similar trend with Hakumen, who combines this with being a Samurai Robot Unlike Justice however, Hakumen's armor houses his soul rather than his body. His original body was too broken to be of any further use, hence the upgrade.
  • In the first game of Lightning Warrior Raidy, one of the bosses is this. This hides the fact that inside, it's a girl.
  • In the Warcraft series, Arthas fits this trope quite well.
    • Deathwing as well, despite being a dragon. Unlike the other dragons which run around basically naked, Deathwing has elementium plates grafted onto his body. His body is slowly wasting away due to his vast power, and the plating is basically holding his body together.
  • In Myth: The Fallen Lords, Balor wears armor in combat, which is probably all the time. Given the game's heavy Tolkien influences, this is pretty fitting.
  • Nightmare from the Soul Calibur games, depending on the game, either wears or is an awesome suit of azure armor.
  • Standard fare for the more physically inclined Fire Emblem Big Bads and higher enemies, especially the Disc-One Final Boss or The Heavy. In particular, the default class for a one-off boss is generally going to be one of the armored classes, be it Knight, General, Baron, or something similar. (This is due to the fact that it has the highest Defense, making it a good boss character, but also has enough exploitable weaknesses to be beaten without much trouble.)

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 



King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin and his men raid across dimensions in intimidating black armor.

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