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Tin Tyrant

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Certainly, the dry cleaner will feel oppressed. note 

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 and Darth Vader Clone. Contrast with Chrome Champion.


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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.
  • 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.
  • 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 which 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Doom in the Marvel Universe.
    • Apocalypse in some interpretations.
    • Although less armored (and evil, at least on a good day) than most, Magneto also qualifies.
    • Cable's evil clone Stryfe.
  • There was a Zod who wore a pink suit of armor. Err. Red. Totally Red. Manly Red.
  • 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.

    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.

    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.
  • 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 and elaborate plate armor when they go into battle. The Boltons' may be the most sinister, as its designed to look like a flayed man. And they are bastards.
  • 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.
  • In The Silmarillion, Morgoth takes to dressing like this after fleeing Valinor with the Silmarils. As described when he prepares to duel King Fingolfin:
    [H]e 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.
    • Sauron is usually portrayed like this too by the artists.
  • 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, its 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first few seasons of Stargate SG-1, Apophis wore the same armor his Jaffa had, only golden. In later seasons he eschews in favors of robes.

    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.
  • 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 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation