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We Can Rebuild Him

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Unbearably painful? Yes.
Worth It? Also yes.

"Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

A character suffers a horrific Disney Death. Their body is shattered beyond repair. No One Could Survive That!

But later, they return! Only this time, they're a Cyborg! They've got more power but they might be less human so in villainous cases it's OK to be more brutal on them. When heroes are subject to this, it tends to make them question their humanity, and in doing so retain it.

This trope can serve as the Origin Story for both heroes and villains of the cybernetic variety. Alternately, if the character being repaired is a ridiculously human robot, it justifies how they survive a seeming Heroic Sacrifice or Disney Villain Death.

A Sub-Trope of Emergency Transformation. Compare with Robot Me, Unwilling Roboticisation, and Virtual Ghost. Compare and contrast Dark Lord on Life Support, when a villain becomes weaker due to dependence on some external technology or host to sustain them. The fantasy counterpart is Came Back Strong. If the cybernetics are obvious and enhance the evilness of a character's appearance, it's a case of Red Right Hand. When the one doing the rebuilding is sadistic enough, it may involve Vader Breath. If the injuries are too extensive or the technology not far enough advanced, may result in Man in the Machine. A nasty variant is when a bad guy takes a Not Quite Dead hero and has him Reforged into a Minion.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • The original A.D. Police OVA series (a Bubblegum Crisis spinoff) had an episode revolve around "The Man Who Bites His Tongue", a police officer who was rebuilt with nothing organic left beside his brain and his tongue - which he began compulsively biting to hold on to his humanity. It doesn't end well, naturally.
  • Jinno in Afro Samurai was originally mortally wounded in a mass battle for the number two headband. He was remade as a cyborg by the insane cyborg scientist Dharman. Jinno the cyborg was a superhumanly strong and skilled swordsman but was defeated and (supposedly) killed twice by Afro. When he was rebuilt a third time, he apparently was so turbo-charged, he could slap Afro around all day long. But Jinno's last act in his tortured unlife was to remember his love for Afro as a sword brother and defended Afro's life. Dying himself as a man, rather than an evil wartoy.
  • This trope was played straight with Raiden of Angel Cop. For some reason, his conversion to a cyborg also involves a personality change.
  • Jeremiah Gottwald in Code Geass pulled this one twice. Technically the second time was just the completed version. He awakened prematurely the first time, and his cybernetic upgrades were not yet finished.
  • Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou: Raito, the Cyborg detective. He didn't really want to be revived, but at least it helps with apprehending superhumans (the funny thing is, as a cyborg, he could count as a superhuman).
  • Demon King Daimao has Eiko killing her father to become the new Teruya head. She's in for a bit of a surprise when he returns as a cyborg.
  • We can rebuild ourselves. Digimon V-Tamer 01 features a factory shutdown by Lord HolyAngemon where monsters would go to upgrade themselves with metal parts. A Greymon from the human world whose owner attempted to delete it goes there to become a "MetalGreyamon".
  • A rather hilarious one takes place in Doctor Slump when a bear being returned to the wild is shot. Before administering any other help or considering any other options, Senbei declares "I might still be able to make him a cyborg!" He succeeds at this.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Frieza, after surviving the explosion of Namek, is rebuilt as an even-more-powerful cyborg. Lampshaded in the English dub, even paraphrasing the page quote. Unfortunately for him, he still gets curb-stomped by a Future Badass (and if Trunks hadn't come along, Goku would've just teleported there and done the same thing).
    • He wasn't the first one: The professional hitman Mercenary Tao did it in the original Dragon Ball after his own grenade exploded in his face. It didn't work out for him in the long run, either; he beat Chiaotzu, only to be outright humiliated by Tien Shinhan.
    • Sort-of happens to Cooler in the movies. As part of his "like Frieza, but more" approach, he gets an army of cool robot bodies while what's left of the original is hooked up to the spaceship controlling them.
    • Dr. Gero does this to himself, becoming "Android 20". He also programs a supercomputer to think exactly like him and continue his work in the event of his death.
    • And apparently Commander Red as Android 9 in Dragon Ball Online, though it could just be a side effect of the antagonists messing with the timeline.
  • In the anime/manga Dragon Half, villainous knight Damuramu gets defeated when he accidentally stabs himself in the head with his own sword. In his next appearance - even though he had no other body part injured - he's had everything below his neck replaced with magical bionics by a friendly blacksmith. Except his head. (He even had his flying mount replaced with a robotic version, although this was necessary because the Good Guys ate the original.)
  • Iwata in the Excel♡Saga manga dies abruptly of colon cancer and is rebuilt as an android. He does not mind, but everyone else is a little weirded out, especially when he forgets to do human things and casually damages his body.
  • Franken Fran rebuilds lots of people, not always for the better, some of whom didn't actually need rebuilding before Fran got her hands on them.
  • Ed before the start of Fullmetal Alchemist. Towards the end of the first anime, Col. Archer gets this done to a much more extreme extent.
  • The backstories of two main characters of GaoGaiGar is this. Guy Shishioh had his spaceship crashed with the EI-01, supposedly killing him, but he was brought back to base by Galeon and was rebuilt as a cyborg to save his life. Meanwhile, his cousin Renais Cardiff Shishioh was captured by a terrorist organization and rebuilt into a cyborg so she obeys their orders (eventually she rebelled).
  • Ghost in the Shell:
    • Set in a future where this trope is used to remedy all manner of injuries. Apparently replacing damaged organs with real ones is preferable since they require no expensive and time-consuming maintenance (Blessed with Suck), but cybernetics can always be used as a last-ditch option.
    • In every version, the Major openly states that the reason she works for the government is that it pays for the very expensive maintenance of her state of the art cybernetic body.
    • The Tachikomas are fully artificial beings who share all their experiences with each other and have a complete backup of these made every day. They get blown up and shot to pieces all the time, but can upload their minds into new bodies any time. Which actually causes them quite some concern, as their inability to experience death prevents them from Becoming A Real Boy.
  • Gintama, being the Post Modern Gag Series that it is, doesn't just do this to one of the characters... it does this to Hideaki Sorachi - Gintama's author! During the Character Popularity Poll Arc note , Tae freaks at ranking lower than two "monkeys" (Kondo and Sorachi's Author Avatar), so she breaks the fourth wall to kill Sorachi. Next chapter/episode, he's rebuilt as a cyborg!
  • The Social Welfare Agency from Gunslinger Girl rebuilds little girls who have suffered tragically and are listed as terminal, using cybernetic technology and psychological conditioning to turn them into assassins. Cybernetics Eat Your Soul is played up for all its tragedy.
  • The Major in Hellsing although the original manga never got around explaining how he became one. Fans speculate that the prequel series will show what happened between the time he is assumed to be still made of flesh and the not-so-human plot twist fifty years later.
  • In Inuyasha, Ginkotsu was a cyborg all along, but when he blew up, Renkotsu got his torso and mounted it on a tank chassis, along with 50 or so rocket launchers.
  • Inuyashiki, by the same author of Gantz, is about an old man and a teenager that are accidentally blown up by aliens and later rebuilt as super-powered cyborgs. While the old man uses his new self to become a hero and help other people, the teenager uses it for Omnicidal Maniac purposes.
  • An interesting take on it is Stroheim from the second part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He first appears to be a villain, proves to be a Noble Demon, performs a Heroic Sacrifice in an attempt to destroy Santana, then returns later as a cyborg... just in time to pull a Heel–Face Turn. He then gets chopped in half by Kars, only to come back again even more cyborged up in time for the grand finale.
  • Kim Jong-Il in The Legend of Koizumi after he fell into the sea and was eaten by sharks.
  • Professional Killer Laura from Mnemosyne is rebuilt with a cybernetic body. It is hinted that the sadistic Big Bad dissected her before doing so.
  • Done in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. After being nearly killed Ein is rebuilt into a Cyborg. A cyborg that IS a Graze Mobile Suit, the Graze Ein. It is unclear if he can be removed at all from the suit.
  • In Naruto, Madara rebuilt Obito by replacing the crushed half of his body with Hashirama's cells.
  • One Piece:
  • Abullah in Pluto. He thinks he's one of these. In reality, portions of his memory caused a superpowerful robot to think it was him and the human Abullah is dead.
  • Pokémon: The Series: During the climax of the XY&Z Saga, Citroid/Clembot sacrifices himself to stop Team Flare and save the world. The sacrifice erases his flash memory which effectively kills him, so even after he's rebuilt, his memories cannot be recovered, thus he has to start from the ground up as a trainer and a person.
  • Rebuild World: It's mentioned most cyborgs in the setting aren't one by choice, with Sense Loss Sadness explored in depth. In part Foreshadowing this, it's described how many hunters use a Brain Uploading black box of sorts within their body that can be recovered to make them a Full-Conversion Cyborg after "death". This happens when Zelmo's fellow terrorists recover his body after Akira kills him for raiding Sheryl's shop. Additionally, there are Mad Scientist Yatsubiyashi's unethical experiments taking advantage of those in the slums unable to pay, which include Tiol, after being shot by Airi, getting monster Nanomachines injected into him which makes him face Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, Horror Hunger, and Fighting from the Inside against monster programming and A.I. hacking him.
  • In the manga version of Sailor Moon, Hotaru/Sailor Saturn was made into a cyborg after she was badly injured and horribly scarred in an explosion that killed her mother when she was little and her Mad Scientist father remade her body with cybernetics and fused it with Pharaoh 90's power. This is the reason why she wears long sleeves in order to hide her cybernetic body.
  • In Shin Mazinger Zero, Kouji Kabuto died one year ago fighting Dr. Hell and was immediately rebuilt into a full-body cyborg that maintains its original appearance using an Atmosphere Element Fixation Device like Cutey Honey.
  • This is Kiddy Phenil's back story in Silent Möbius. After being carved up with Razor Floss by a serial killer named Wire, she is rebuilt as a cyborg much stronger than a normal human. An omake strip even has teammate Lebia trying to convince her to cosplay as RoboCop.
  • The 2000 anime Sin: The Movie uses this trope, as well. A flashback shows lead character Blade gunned down and fatally injured, only to be saved by being rebuilt with cybernetic parts, which end up coming in handy eventually.
  • Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Would-be Knight of Cerebus Tarant Shank goes through several rounds of this after humiliating defeats. It never helps.
  • Usagi-chan de Cue!!: Admonisher Dekao squares off against Inaba Mikami four times, losing each time. After each defeat, Dekao returns rebuilt with cybernetic parts. In his last battle, Dekao is just a head directing a Giant Mecha on caterpillar treads. He still loses.

    Card Games 
  • While not actually involving cybernetics, the necromantic Golgari guild of Magic's Ravnica setting is apparently quite casual about reanimating and 'improving' their dead with plant life, as illustrated on cards like Vigor Mortis.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Gagagigo was rebuilt as the cybernetic Giga Gagagigo in order to fight the Invader of Darkness; however, the transformation corrupted him, eventually leading him to become a mindless half-mechanical monstrosity. Fortunately, a reunion with an old friend restored Gagagigo's sanity. Another example would be Inpachi, a tree golem which was burned into charcoal and resurrected as the cybernetic Woodborg Inpachi.

    Comic Books 
  • Cyborg: College athlete Victor Stone is badly injured in a lab accident (originally a transdimensional experiment his parents were working on releasing a monstrous being, but it varies by canon), and his distraught father rebuilds him with experimental technology. Understandably, Cyborg is badly traumatized both by his injuries and Unwilling Roboticisation for quite some time. Not helping is that his cybernetics put an end to his athletic career
  • Deathlok the Demolisher. A US Army colonel who was mortally wounded in a Bad Future, he gets reanimated as a cyborg and eventually time travels to the main Marvel Universe.
  • Supergirl villain Reactron was turned into an armored, Golden-Kryptonite-powered cyborg after getting beaten by Supergirl.
  • In Supergirl story arc Bizarrogirl, Bizarro Luthor gets stomped by a monster. Bizarro assures that it does not matter since he can simply remake Lex.
    Bizarro: We will just make another Lex like I made him the first time.
  • Superman villain Metallo, in most versions a criminal (usually a man named John Corben, but there's been others, including a version of Lex Luthor) who has his brain put into a robotic body after his original human form is damaged beyond repair. Adding an extra layer to the character is the fact that in most versions, only green kryptonite can provide enough power to properly run the robotic body, inevitably driving him into conflict with Superman.
  • Doom Patrol member Robotman. In his case, everything but the brain is robotic.
  • Averted by USAgent of the Marvel Universe. He lost an arm and a leg to Nuke, a cybernetically-augmented super soldier, but refuses to get cybernetic replacements, as he doesn't want to look down at his own body and be reminded of Nuke every day. Not that he really needs 'em. Played straight later, his legs do get rebuilt by his supervillainess comrade Toxy Doxie. He accepts because these legs aren't robotic but are instead made of re-engineered alien symbiote.
  • Spider-Man villain Silvermane, a high-ranking member of The Maggia who sought a way to avoid death from old age for years, eventually resorting to transforming himself into a cyborg after being badly injured during a fight with the second Green Goblin.
  • The Ultimate Marvel version of Black Panther is a Wakandan teenager who was rebuilt into a cyborg by Weapon X after getting mauled by a panther.
  • Warren Ellis' Global Frequency features a squad assembled from members of the titular group to take down a "realistic" take on the Six Million Dollar Man. Specifically creating the single successful individual required several failures and cost somewhere in the vein of five hundred million dollars. It entailed basically turning the subject into a humanoid Brain in a Jar as his skin was replaced, bones were replaced, weapons were installed, and chips were inserted into his brain to allow him to operate everything. He also runs on at least two nuclear reactors, has a plasma laser in his chest, a vulcan minigun in his arm, and can do 70 miles per hour from a standing start. Most nefariously, he has a wire to simulate sexual pleasure from murdering people...and he's loose.
  • Several characters in Star Wars (Marvel 1977):
    • In the very first non-film comic, a town proves unwilling to let a man be buried in the graveyard set aside for offworlders because he was a cyborg, so you know there's a lot of Fantastic Racism. A stormtrooper named Valance who was badly injured and had to be made into a cyborg became a bounty hunter who mostly expressed hatred towards droids.
    • Then there's Shira Brie/Lumiya. Originally Luke's wingmate and love interest, he shot her down without knowing who she was while on a mission and later found that she was actually an assassin/agent sent by his father. At the end of that arc, she was seen floating in a bacta tank, observed by Vader. Later she resurfaced with three prosthetic limbs and extensive scarring as Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith.
  • Chew has this for two characters so far. The first one it happens to is Colby who takes a butcher's knife to the face in issue #1 while Poyo undergoes this later on.
  • In Legacy, Cade refuses to let Azlyn Rae die and has her put in a Vader-like life support armor. She is initially very unhappy with this, both because she was at peace and because the armor came with a Vader-like mask too. Fortunately, she was able to trade up for a more elegant suit of armor sans breath mask.
  • Bunnie Rabbot from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has a variation of this. Her old roboticized limbs were finally being rejected by her body and the toxicity building up were killing her. She was given two options - attempt deroboticization, which had a very low chance of succeeding (it's stated that they can only be reverted by using the same roboticizor and while the Freedom Fighters had Bunnie's, it was repaired and modified, thus not the original) or replace her limbs and never have the chance to be normal again. She took option B.
    • In the Cosmic Reboot universe, this trope was played straight with her: when Eggman took over Mobotropolis, a young Bunnie was caught in falling debris. To save her, Professor Charles the Hedgehog (the former Uncle Chuck) snuck Bunnie back into the city and used his roboticizor to save her life. It's also revealed that Eggman does this to those who join him, giving them cybernetics, but purposely botches them so that they'll stay with him forever.
  • The Punisher fights and decapitates a villain known only as The Russian. He is later rebuilt with stolen technology, but, in a terrifying move, is now given huge boobs as an unfortunate side effect of the hormone treatment required to keep him alive. The Russian isn't the least bit fazed by this, and actually requests to have them made bigger!
  • Obscure DC Comics character Commander Steel (not to be confused with the more popular John Henry Irons) was a man named Henry Haywood who was injured in an accident and had his skeleton replaced with a metallic alloy when the doctors helped him recover.
  • The Machine Men in Warlord of Mars were Martians that have been killed and had their heads placed on cybernetic bodies. Their creation was possible by researching an ancient golem sealed under Helium's catacombs. Their head being intact is required to create a Machine Man, the manner or time of their death is irrelevant. The very first Machine Man Senneth Dor tries to raise an army with them to conquer Mars.
  • Judge Dredd: Medical and cybernetic technology has advanced sufficiently that critically wounded judges and soldiers can be rebuilt as cyborgs. Notably, Nate Slaughterhouse is left as little more than a head and one shoulder before he is rebuilt as a mandroid.
  • Dog Man (Dav Pilkey): When the body of Greg the dog and the head of Knight the human police officer are dying, doctors sew Greg's head onto Knight's body, creating Dog Man.
  • Rom and his fellow Spaceknights, in their Marvel incarnation. The first generation of Spaceknights volunteered to be made cyborgs with half of their bodies replaced by tech, with the understanding that after the Dire Wraith threat is ended they will be restored. Unfortunately, all of their stored organics wind up destroyed.
  • In Chassis, Covergirl was almost killed in a spectacular Flying Car crash.She underwent extensive reconstructive surgery that included the implanting of various mechanical improvements in her body. However, her lungs were so badly damaged that she cannot survive without a portable respirator machine she must always carry with her.
  • Moon Knight: Moon Knight briefly had a teenage sidekick named Jeff Wilde, AKA Midnight, the son of his old enemy Midnight Man. Wilde was killed during a battle with the Secret Empire, but as was eventually revealed, the blast only badly injured him, and the Empire took the opportunity to rebuild him as a monstrous cyborg, obsessed with revenge against Moon Knight.
  • In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, Billy loses his arm and leg during a fight with Snake-Eyes. Megatron then replaces Billy's missing limbs by binary-bonding him to the Decepticons Army (who serves as Billy's new arm) and Limbot (who is the replacement for Billy's leg).
  • Rebecca Ryker debuting in Avengers Arena has this as backstory. When a Deathlok robot from the future tried to kill her father, lead designer of Deathlok program, he instead killed her mother and brother as well as severely wounded her. Her father then saved her life but turning her into a cyborg, now known also under alias Death Locket.
  • The X-Men villain Crimson Commando was nearly killed during a mission working for the U.S. government in Iraq, including having his arm sliced off. He was saved by Avalanche who got him back to base in time to receive medical attention. Since he still wanted to serve his country, the Commando agreed to be rebuilt as a cyborg by SHIELD scientists. A test run briefly caused him to go crazy until he was stopped by Spider-Man and Ghost Rider, but once the bugs were worked out he started serving as a government agent full-time.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ben 10: Unlimited, like in canon, Victor Stone gets rebuilt into Cyborg after being left near death, but instead of a lab accident, it's a bombing by Kobra cultists.
  • In Volume Three of Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, protagonist Blackjack gets rebuilt with Magitek cybernetics after dying of her horrific injuries, including Taint, mutilated limbs and the loss of both eyes. Her eyes and many of her internal organs are given cybernetic replacements, and her legs are fully mechanical. Built-in talismans give her the ability to eat and digest gems (for magical power) and metal (for self-repair capabilities). Blackjack is less than pleased with her mechanical body - having seen first-hand that Cybernetics Eat Your Soul - and often expresses her frustration at the fact that her body no longer reacts to her emotions.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Samantha Shepard cheats death three times, two involving adding more cyborg parts — the first is Cerberus' work and the second arises from being Half the Woman She Used to Be courtesy of being taken out of the final battle in Fractured (SovereignGFC).
  • In XCOM: RWBY Within, during the events of the Site Recon mission, Blake is badly wounded, and has to be turned into a MEC Trooper in order to survive. Because of this, their semblance stops working properly, with her missing limbs no longer appearing on her afterimage, requiring a special hologram projector to cover it up. Remember, semblances are an expression of the user's soul.
  • "A Slayer Transformed" opens with Faith Lehane (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) helping Optimus Prime (Transformers) fight off a demon attack, but Faith suffers serious injuries in the process. The Autobots are able to save her life, but it requires her to receive various cybernetic implants; while exact details are not provided, an X-ray indicates that at least one of Faith's lungs and most of her lower body organs have been altered (although her reproductive organs are still intact).
  • In The Secret Collocation of Alex Mack- a sequel to The League of Extraordinary Women and The Secret Return of Alex Mack- primary fanfic protagonist Alex Mack, who previously made contact with Buffy Summers, Selina Kyle, Samantha Carter, Jamie Sommers, and Hermione Granger, is drawn into the parallel universe of Harry Dresden, along with her various allies from her previous cross-dimensional experience, and six versions of her from the various parallel realities (Lexi Mack the Slayer, Alexan Mack of the American wizarding world, etc.). In the world of Jamie Sommers, Jamie 'recruited' Aly Mack for the bionics program after she was caught in a serious plane accident, which resulted in her losing most of her limbs and internal organs and suffering severe burns; Aly states at one point that she has around 40% of her original body left, with the rest all being bionic.
  • In Case of the Missing Technology, this was literally happening when the narrator finds out what had happened to Melanie C. Since she had been left in pieces as "part of an experiment", the rescue team was forced to go for this option.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash's Pokédex, who up to that point had been established to be Made of Indestructium, was destroyed when he made Mewtwo get enraged. Fortunately, when Ash returns to Pallet Town, Professor Oak informs him that all of his data and personality is backed up, enough to be uploaded into a new case.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dogma: The Metatron (as played by Alan Rickman of course) paraphrased the speech from the show, while Bethany was busy being resurrected.
  • Nemesis: The protagonist, Alex.
    Narrator: It took them six months to put him back together. Synthetic flesh, bioengineered organs. It always scared him that they might take out his soul... and replace it with some matrix chip.
  • Inspector Gadget (1999) has Gadget as an injured police officer who gets converted into a cyborg by the experimental Gadget Program.
  • Wang the Perverted came back as Evil Presence in Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders. Since the same actor portrayed both characters, with no attempt to hide his voice, it's obvious to everyone who watches.
  • RoboCop:
    • RoboCop (1987): Alex Murphy is rebuilt as a cyborg after he is murdered by criminals. Apparently the original Robocop team was on to something, as they decided to preserve Murphy's original face (with some body horror thrown in, it IS his actual face skin) even though the body prosthesis is complete: no original limbs from his body remain, only his brain, nervous system, some vertebrae, and a rudimentary digestive system. That's right, Robocop doesn't even have to "breathe" to function. In the second movie, Robocop mentions they "did this to honor him" referring to Alex Murphy as if he were another man.
    • Ditto for the villain Cain in RoboCop 2 who lost his whole body. Especially monstrous as OCP killed Cain explicitly so they could rebuild him. Another interesting side note is that several other attempted RoboCop 2s committed suicide; the implication is that people need a level of motivation found mostly in psychotics to be able to tolerate a cyborg's existence. It's also implied that Body Horror played a significant part in those suicides. Those failed batches were much less human in appearance than the RoboCop model Murphy was converted into.
    • RoboCop (2014) has a much more mobile version of the character. He can run and fight hand-to-hand. Also, for some reason, Alex's right hand was left original. Given how powerful his custom weapon is, wouldn't a human hand be shattered by the recoil? Additionally, the scientist in charge of the project made sure that the cyborg would stay loyal and complete missions by controlling the body and tricking Alex's brain into thinking that he's the one in control. However, later, Alex manages to override the body's priority and takes control.
  • In the So Bad, It's Good sci-fi comedy Space Truckers, the Corrupt Corporate Executive betrays the Mad Scientist by turning his Killer Robot creations against him. Fortunately for him, he's able to rebuild himself, turning himself into a grotesque mish-mash of man and machine, and takes up a new life as a pirate.
  • When Jason is killed in Jason X, there's not enough left of him for the futuristic medical beds to reconstruct as he was, so he is instead reconstructed as a cyborg (much to the heroes' chagrin).
  • Dr. Arliss Loveless in Wild Wild West lost the entire lower half of his body to his explosive experiments during the Civil War. Somehow, he survived and managed to build himself a replacement in the form of a Steampunk wheelchair with some "custom" features. He also implies that he has found a way of restoring certain other lower-body functions using technology. "Somethin' hard-pumpin', and indefatigably steely"!
  • Star Wars: Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. At the climax of Revenge of the Sith, he gets horrifically burned and loses all of his limbs save his prosthetic hand. Palpatine has him outfitted with new prosthetics and a breathing apparatus. He's still mostly human, but can't survive without his suit, "more machine now than man," as Obi-Wan says in Return of the Jedi.
  • Spy Hard: General Rancor has been rebuilt with artificial arms after surviving the explosion of his helicopter so he can menace the world once more.
  • The Vindicator: After dying in a suspicious "accident", the protagonist Carl Lehman is given a cyborg body constructed from an experimental flight suit he had been developing and cutting-edge prosthetics technology provided by his employer the ARC Corporation.

  • An interesting example is from Terry Pratchett's Feet of Clay, where the Golem Dorfl is destroyed in the final battle against the golem Mesugah. Afterwards, Captain Carrot actually says, in a direct reference to The Six Million Dollar Man, the line: "We can rebake him. We have the pottery." And they do. Subverted, the character wasn't alive to begin with or at least had no biological components. And he only got one improvement, though it was very significant: the power of speech.
  • Peter David's Psi Man series has Beutel return with fewer and fewer organic parts each time, after getting trashed in the previous appearance's No One Could Survive That! moment. We think the finale got him for real...
  • The hero of Arthur C. Clarke's short story "A Meeting With Medusa" is a man who was, delicately speaking, badly hurt in a blimp crash, and was more reconstructed (with cybernetics) than healed. The doctors were nice enough to make him 20 centimeters taller to make up for being half-machine. The sequel-by-other-hands, The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds, has him continually re-rebuilt over the centuries, until he sheds his last organic components to survive Jupiter Below, but maintains continuity of consciousness.
  • Star Wars Legends is loaded with characters good and characters evil who end up as cyborgs:
    • There's some Fantastic Racism directed towards those who lose more than a limb. Admiral Krennel literally has a skeletal prosthetic right hand that glows red. Darklighter reveals that Hobbie Klivian has at least an arm and a leg, and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor shows readers that he also lost his other leg. Ton Phanan lost limbs, half his face, and eventually more and more, and found that cybernetics ate his future.
    • Death Star has a surgeon looking at Darth Vader from a safe distance and thinking that it's pretty obvious that the Dark Lord is largely cybernetic. But it seems that this book is a little divorced from the rest of the EU, since the surgeon seems to think that cybernetics are rare and most people opt to have the missing tissue cloned and grafted on.
    • Supplementary material for Dark Forces reveals that the prototypes for darktroopers - robotic stormtroopers - were aging veteran clone troopers, too old to fight well but very experienced, who had seventy percent or more of their bodies replaced. No one asked them about this beforehand, so while they were effective in the battlefield, a lot of them committed suicide.
    • In Dark Empire, the cloned Palpatine uses Shadow Droids, which are similar except that they're fighters piloted by the brains of incapacitated TIE pilots. And they can use the Force. Sorta.
    • Ton Phanan of Wraith Squadron has an allergy to bacta, so any debilitating injuries have to be replaced with cybernetics.
  • This is the superhero Fatale's origin in Soon I Will Be Invincible. She is an ex-NSA cyborg whose implants come from a Super Soldier program that never really existed, becoming a candidate for that program after a near-fatal traffic accident in Brazil. She doesn't remember why she was there, or any of her previous life. Weighs about 500 pounds due to all the metal in her body.
  • In the Quantum Gravity series, Lila Black comes back from Alfheim after a torture session and goes through this in order to survive. In a twist emphasizing the Grey-and-Gray Morality, she didn't need those to survive until the people in her organization got their hands on her...
  • In Prelude to Dune, Prince Rhombur Vernius of Ix is seriously injured during an assassination attempt on his friend Duke Leto Atreides, losing his entire lower half and much of the upper half. Dr. Wellington Yueh, who has just managed to perfect cybernetic prosthetics on Richese, agrees to "fix" Rhombur with the prosthetics. After the procedure, he is more machine than flesh. Since Rhombur is Ixian, machines are a big part of his life, so being a cyborg for him is not so bad. However, he loses the ability to reproduce and, being the last surviving member of House Vernius, knows his line is ending. His wife suggests impregnating herself with the semen of Rhombur's deceased half-brother on his mother's side, thus providing him with a distaff heir. With his new cybernetic body, Rhombur is very strong and can crush a man's neck with one hand. He does, however, spend years learning how to properly use his new parts.
  • In Max Barry's Machine Man, Dr. Charles Neumann does this to himself, going from amputee, to double-amputee, to Man in the Machine, to Brain in a Jar, to full-on Brain Uploading.
  • People in Honor Harrington generally prefer a regen therapy, but there's a sizable minority for whom it doesn't work, including the main character. These unfortunates have to do with prosthetics, up to and including becoming a Cyborg depending on the extent of the damage. Honor, for example, has an artificial eye and an artificial arm (with a built-in gun, no less).
  • In the late 1980s, there was an adventure series called "Steele", whose lead, SWAT cop Donovan Steele, was rebuilt into a cyborg with a bit of a twist on the concept: he looked normal, but his damaged brain had been replaced with an artificially intelligent computer programmed to THINK of itself as Don Steele. Half his memories weren't even his — programmers patched in some of their own to fill gaps in the upload. He angsted a good bit about his humanity when he wasn't slaughtering bad guys.
  • Cyborg by Martin Caidin. The book they based the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man on. Steve Austin is an Airforce test pilot rebuilt with cybernetic parts after a horrific crash. He spends much of the book wrestling with Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, mostly because the prosthetics in the book are more "realistic" than in the TV series: He can't see through his bionic eye, though it can act as a micro-camera; his bionic limbs carry limited and unfamiliar sensation; and he only has 'super strength' in his grip, and in some forms of striking. Though he can run at tremendous speed almost indefinitely and has a broad variety of built-in equipment.
  • The third Robot City novel, "Cyborg", used this with a teenager named Jeff Leong, whose body was mangled in a crash-landing to the point that the city's robots had no choice but to put his brain in a modified robot shell, with his body frozen for reintegration later. It worked, but he ran off out of shock before tests could be completed. Along the way, Jeff slowly becomes Drunk with Power from his new abilities and starts thinking the other humans on the planet should be like him. It turns out that later due to the robots' incomplete knowledge of human anatomy, Jeff wasn't given the proper brain chemicals to stay sane after the transplant. After said brain is returned to Jeff's body, he goes back to normal.
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair Mechanus rebuilds Julia's mangled boyfriend into a cyborg as a gift, complete with lots of neural dampeners to keep him in line. Things go sideways very quickly when Jim breaks free.
  • In the Revelation Space Series, the Big Bad Skade is mortally wounded in an accident involving a faster-than-light drive, in a universe where that's a Very Bad Thing to experiment with. Her head is retrieved and hooked up to what is essentially a suit of Powered Armor. A similar approach is mentioned with a special type of spacesuit helmet that appears in Revelation Space, which in the event of a suit breach, will chop off the user's head and freeze it, so that they can be retrieved and revived on a new cybernetic body.
  • The central conceit of Who? by Algis Budrys. Except, it's an American scientist, who is rebuilt by Dirty Communists, which makes the Americans very suspicious when he returns.
  • Several examples in Betsy Cornwell's Mechanica duology:
    • In Mechanica, the tiny clockwork horse Jules is smashed to pieces, but Nick eventually rebuilds him as a life-sized, rideable coal-powered horse. He retains the same sentient mind in both forms because the same magical Ashes are stored inside him.
    • In Venturess, Nick's mother is revealed to still be alive in a mechanical body, which she built to save herself from her terminal illness. During the climactic battle, she's "fatally" damaged and Nick is forced to dismantle her, but afterwards, Nick effectively becomes her mother's "mother" by rebuilding her. As with Jules, her mind is retained in the Ashes... the magic-infused cremains of her original organic body.
    • Also in Venturess, this turns out to be the secret behind Esting's mechanical army. Esting's soldiers have been using the geyser of magical fire in Faerie to burn their wounded men and horses alive, preserving their minds in their Ashes, and then building new, invulnerable mechanical bodies for them.
  • Throughout Freak the Mighty, Freak lies to Max that the hospital will eventually cure his crippling disease by building him a whole new body. Max believes this, which makes Freak's eventual death a brutal shock for him.
  • Michael Moorcock, possibly prompted by parodic references to his works by people like Terry Pratchett, wrote a deliberate self-parody acknowledging that things like The Elric Saga might have gone a teeny-weeny bit over the top, called The Stone Thing; A Man of Many Parts. in which a typical Moorcock hero admits to a woman he is wooing that life has taken its toll somewhat and practically every part of his body has, at one time or another, been replaced by a prosthetic. the deal-breaker, for the lady involved, is The Stone Thing of the title... note 
  • In William Goldman's Brothers, his sequel to Marathon Man, Scylla was brought back this way by his boss and friend Perkins: "If we can keep you alive through the night and if we can pump strength into your body, I want to change you—your prints, your face, your voice, state-of-the-art surgery..."

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Trope Namer is The Six Million Dollar Man, where Steve Austin is rebuilt and given cybernetic implants to become the eponymous hero after a crash. In Homage, quite a few of the other references on this page use some variant of the line.
  • Inverted in Star Trek: Voyager with Seven of Nine who's turned from a Borg drone into a human with a few Borg components...which miraculously enable her to do everything (and more) that a Borg drone can do.
  • Subverted in Star Trek: The Next Generation with Jean-Luc Picard, who was stabbed through the heart as a Starfleet cadet and received an artificial one as a replacement. While this event helped to make him a formidable officer, his newfound strengths came from the psychological impact of his close brush with death, not from his cardiac implant.
    • In fact there were a few occasions where his artificial heart was shown to be a physical weakness, despite the miracles of 24th century Treknology – like when it developed a fault and needed replacing, or the time his artificial heart was fused by an energy weapon blast to the chest, both of which almost proved fatal.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Repli-Weir, but her body was built from Fran's plans, so it's also a The Nth Doctor situation. You know, before they killed her.
  • In Kamen Rider, most of the 90s-and-before Riders were physically altered in some way to become Riders, though few in response to otherwise-unrecoverable injury or illness. Kamen Rider J was one of those cases, infused with "J Power" after being tossed off a cliff by bad guys. (This is a rare case of the transformation being benign: the rebuilding is usually done by bad guys wanting to use the Riders as a trump card. For some reason, upgrading always comes before brainwashing, and the Rider-to-be always escapes brainwashing. (When will Shocker learn?)
  • Buredoran gets rebuilt into Buredo-RUN in Tensou Sentai Goseiger. The same goes for his counterpart Vrak (without a name alteration) in Power Rangers Megaforce.
  • In Ultraseven, when the Ghose aliens' monster Pandon gets An Arm and a Leg chopped off by Ultraseven, they rebuild the creature's missing limbs and send it back out to battle Seven under the name Reconstructed Pandon.
  • Spoofed in That '70s Show. In one of Fez's many Imagine Spots, he contemplates what it will be like to have Hyde, Eric, and Kelso teach him how to get girls.
    Hyde: Gentlemen...we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him smarter, handsomer, aloofer.
    Eric: Aloofer? Is that even a word?
    Hyde: We can make it a word. We have the technology.
  • A non-cybernetic example happens to Ser Gregor Clegane in Game of Thrones. Though victorious in his duel with Oberyn Martell, he was incapacitated by the manticore venom which tipped Oberyn's spear, and only an unknown process performed by Qyburn was able to save him. The process has left Gregor with bluish pale skin and red eyes, but has not diminished his strength or deadliness; in fact, it seems to have enhanced it. When his face is finally shown in the finale of Season 6, we see it is stuck in a listless expression and a lot of it is still rotting off. His Vader Breath, Frankenstein's Monster-like demeanor and concealing armor basically make him a medieval fantasy version of the trope.
  • In Emerald City, after Jack's horrible fall at the end of "Mistress - New - Mistress", a woman named Jane finds and heals him, replacing a large portion of damaged body with metal prosthetic in "Science and Magic".
  • Zig-zagged in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles with Cromartie and John Henry. First, Cromartie goes through a lengthy process to repair himself. Then, without the CPU, he becomes John Henry. The tech finds out that the AI requires identical software and hardware to be restored.
  • The trope was lampooned on Wonder Showzen in the episode "Time", where an animated skit had a police officer reduced by an explosion to nothing but a small pile of bloody flesh and the chief trying to save his life by having a doctor rebuild him as a cyborg. Due to a misunderstanding, the doctor instead rebuilds a homeless alcoholic who was injured in the same accident. The result is Winobot, who is too obsessed with wine to be an effective crime-fighter, to the extent that the police chief has to convince Winobot that the criminals he has to stop are blocking the delivery of wine to get him to go after them and the criminals are able to trick Winobot into turning on the chief by convincing him that his boss plans to make wine illegal.
  • On The Electric Company (1971) Accident prone Steve Awesome is rebuilt with bionic parts and a bionic brain. He is the Six Dollar and Thirty-Nine Cent Man.
  • After his return from the dead in The Brittas Empire, Brittas had to undergo extensive surgery. Although outwardly, he looks no different, he's stated to have a bionic butt, no belly-button, and has enough metal parts within him that it wound up delaying his trip through a metal detector. He's also stated to be much stronger, gaining a Crushing Handshake and at one point lifting Linda up into the air with ease.
  • The music video for "The Wind" by Zac Brown Band, has a redneck get blown up when his ATV accidentally crashes into a moonshine still. His friends then rebuild him with their power tools. He's surprising well built, capable of handling several instruments in quick sucession with only a hydraulic tube coming undone and even William Telling a spinning target while blind folded.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sentai Jin, a rebuilt astrophysicist in Kaiju Big Battel. Unfortunately, they couldn't rebuild him again after his lab exploded. This is also the origin of both Atomic Trooper Robo and Shadow Trooper Robo, who were rebuilt into super-cyborgs by the mysterious organization Robo Dynamics after (respectively) a failed BMX stunt and a drag racing accident left them near-death.
  • Although he didn't become a cyborg, this was used in the promo for Triple H's return from injury at SummerSlam 2007.
  • invoked One of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's Red Barons is "The Bionic Redneck" due to sharing his name with the Six Million Dollar Man.

  • Some characters in Embers in the Dusk had to get their body parts replaced with augments after injuries. Fredrick Rotbart had his left arm, leg and a big part of his chest replaced with artificial ones. General Schwarz has lost most of his body, and became Cyborg more machine than man. Lieutenant-General Viktor Mineyev, a particularly (un)lucky Death Seeker has barely any organic tissue remaining.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • After he was left for dead by a group of former patients out for revenge, Mad Dok Grotsnik’s Gretchin assistants attempted to save his life with emergency surgery and extensive bionic replacements. Unfortunately, the Gretchin had more enthusiasm than skill and although Grotsnik’s life was saved by the surgery, his already shaky grasp on sanity was lost altogether and he is now utterly, absolutely, and completely mad.
      • Dreadnoughts are the ultimate expression of this trope in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. A Space Marine who has been mortally wounded is fitted with advanced neural interfaces and hardwired into a Mini-Mecha so that they can continue to fight for the Imperium.
    • In Gorkamorka, the special character known only as Da Krusha suffered from an accident at some point in the past that left him on the verge of death. For unknown reasons, the Mekboyz of Mektown felt obliged to rebuild him with the most advanced bionics replacements available and continue to maintain and upgrade him generations later.
    • The 5th Edition of Blood Bowl introduces the(In)Famous Coaching Staff character Krot Shockwhisker. Krot is a Skaven Engineer who excels in combining flesh with his race's technology and hires out his services to Blood Bowl teams to finance his experiments. During a game, Krot can attempt to fix a seriously injured player so that they can take to the field once more. Given the nature of Skaven technology, however, there are often complications.
    • Mordheim has Veskit, the high executioner of Clan Eshin, who would have died from the terrible wounds he sustained while rescuing a Clan Skryre Warlock Engineer had the scientist-sorcerers not rebuilt him with their Magitek. Veskit is now more machine than Skaven, an emotionless and uncontrollable killing machine that Clan Eshin have sent to strengthen their forces in the City of the Damned.
  • Most sci-fi games feature Transhuman cybertech of some stripe, but there's usually some limiting factor as to the degree to which one can be rebuilt, often meant to curb Munchkinism. However, Shadowrun goes whole hog with cyberzombies. Apparently, Aztechnology can completely rebuild a person... but he'll live a miserable shell of an existence and likely be dead within a year. To do it, you have to take someone, shove enough cybernetic implants into them to kill them, then use Black Magic to bring them back to life, then stuff them with enough drugs to make them temporarily forget that they're supposed to be dead. And they'll probably still go psychotic or catatonic within six to twelve months.
  • Many fantasy games (particularly D&D) have necromancy provide the same effect, with villains and heroes coming back faster, stronger and deader, only the answer to the humanity question is a rather obvious No. A more traditional example might be the Half-Golem template, which has people repaired with magically powered mechanical parts. Eventually, they go nuts because Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
  • BattleTech has prosthetics in-universe, and since medical cloning technology is either prohibitively expensive (for limbs and some organs) or impossible to get right in a safe manner (for critical things like hearts, lungs, and anything involving the nervous system), a lot of characters both heroic and villainous have are described with cybernetics. In the game, this has little impact at the tactical level of Battletech but it does feature more heavily in Mechwarrior, where the loss of a limb, eye, or ear is a very real possibility for a player. A critically wounded character with irreparable damage to all their body parts can come back with four new cyborg limbs that are just as functional as their old ones, a pair of cyber-eyes and functional replacement ears, and artificial muscle grafts just to top it all off. Even with all that, there is no 'cyberpsycho' effect in Battletech, so characters can be remade into a cyborg worth more than some Battlemechs and be unchanged personality-wise. Anything beyond basic replacement is heavily stigmatized, though, thanks to the Word of Blake cult, who built cybernetic super-soldiers and unleashed them on the Inner Sphere.
  • Deviant: The Renegades: Were you subjected to being rebuilt with dodgy technology while unable to give informed consent due to a horrific injury? Congrats! You're now an Invasive Exomorph, assuming you survived the procedure in the first place. Though it doesn't have to be technology...the conspiracy that created you might have turned to magical rituals or alchemical concoctions to rebuild you. Of course, that's assuming you were only Mostly Dead at the time...if you were all dead and pieced back together with bits of other corpses or a bunch of inanimate objects, that's a different game entirely...

  • This also turned out to be a popular method of justifying new versions of Transformers characters to sell more toys. Since they're already robots to begin with, it usually works out fine. In fact, it's not unusual for Transformers to go through this several times over the course of their lives.
  • Gaardus from BIONICLE was rebuilt by a bunch of rogue engineers For Science!. Although he was already a cyborg and didn't directly suffer from Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, he was upset enough to murder those responsible for his transformation and become an outcast.

    Video Games 
  • This actually happens to the Player Character in Armored Core 1 and 2. A little known secret is that if you keep dying, the game "lowers the difficulty" by giving you cyborg upgrades that improve your Humongous Mecha. It even has a funny/morbid little cutscene with the evil AI and a doctor discussing it.
  • Blackburn of Atlas Reactor was killed by diving on a grenade but recovered by Warbiotics and rebuilt. It's unknown exactly how much of his body is organic; an alternate skin suggests it may only be his mind. It's also implied Blackburn is less than happy about his current state of affairs.
  • Gruntilda in Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, although instead of being revived as a cyborg, she transfers her soul to a robotic body while she is trapped below a rock.
  • Happens to the player at the start of the campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops III after a GIU robot owned by Ethiopian terrorists tears off both their arms and a leg while breaking the other. It ends up kickstarting the events of the game, as the pre-mission text reveals that the player actually dies while on the operating table, meaning most of the game is a Dying Dream also revealed in the rest of the game's texts to have been partially built off Taylor's memories.
  • Your death by Asteroid Thicket sets off the events of Cyborg Justice, resulting in a fatal crash-landing on a planet run by cyborgs. Said cyborgs take your body into a conversion bay and rebuild you as a cyborg (organic brain and core parts/organs, almost fully metallic exterior and limbs), allowing you to live again after a fashion... not out of the goodness of their implied hearts, but so they can wipe your memories and turn you into a work drone in service to the cyborgs' Hive Mind.
  • In Danganronpa 2, this happens to Nekomaru when he tries to protect Akane in the third chapter. He gets a full robotic body which Monokuma insists was 'absolutely necessary' to save his life.
  • Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is severely injured in the game's prologue. His employer Sarif Industries takes advantage of a clause in the employment contract Adam signed to heavily augment him without his explicit verbal permission. Sarif Industries spares no expense in the process and fits Adam with the latest in augmentation advances. This even includes augmentation that isn't officially on the market yet, such as Sarif Industries' prototype explosive device, the Typhoon.
    "I never asked for this."
  • In Evolve, Torvald underwent this in order to survive a monster attack. While it cost him most of his body, he got a jetpack, personal forcefield generator, and in-built mortar cannons out of it.
  • Implied of Liberty Prime in Fallout 3, who gets Kill Satted and blown to smithereens during the first quest of Broken Steel; his remains are returned to the Citadel, where you can donate spare parts for cash, although he never actually gets rebuilt in the game. A more traditional example is Star Paladin Cross, who was rebuilt into a cyborg by Scribe Rothchild following critical injuries while defending Elder Lyons. As of Fallout 4, Liberty Prime is back and is the trump card of the Brotherhood's military forces after the fall of The Enclave. Elder Maxson makes sure his ace in the hole is used when the Brotherhood really needs heavy firepower.
  • Driscoll at the end of Front Mission. In your (presumably) final confrontation, he is trapped in his destroyed Wanzer as it explodes around him. Most other pilots don't survive if their Wanzer goes down, but Driscoll is pulled from the wreckage and rebuilt as a sort of sentient intelligence core of the game's actual final boss. Lore-wise, if you play the Gaiden Game, it turns out he was Hoist by His Own Petard (he'd planned to use this process to turn someone else into an intelligence core he could control, not become one).
  • Henry Stickmin Series: In Completing the Mission, following the routes where the Right Hand Man is defeated by Henry, he comes back this way, with half of his face, one of his arms, and both of his legs being turned into metal. He is shown to be extremely powerful in this form, too, with such power-ups as jet boosters and Eye Beams. Henry himself gets the same treatment at the beginning of the Revenged storyline.
  • The postgame plot of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity revolves around hunting down enough parts to rebuild Terrako following its Heroic Sacrifice, after which they come back as a fully playable character.
  • Near the end of Jak II, Erol ended up crashing into several barrels of Dark Eco while attempting to run down Jak out of anger for losing Keira and the big race. He's reconstructed into a cyborg by the Krimzon Guards, and reemerges as "Cyber Errol" in Jak 3, with only half of his face and one of his hands intact. And since he got exposed to Dark Eco in the accident, Erol ended up an insane Satanic Archetype who sided with the Dark Makers.
  • Omega Rugal in The King of Fighters 95. He actually wound up destroying himself again with the use of the Orochi power.
  • League of Legends:
    • In his old lore, Urgot was a battle-scarred Noxian warrior who "refused to die". When he finally died, he was rebuilt as a cybernetic crab creature with a grenade launcher arm. His current lore is less straight of an example, as after being betrayed and sent to a Zaunite prison, he turned himself into a cyborg with spider legs as part of his newfound philosophy of discarding weakness.
    • While her original lore depicted her as a Replacement Goldfish for a Piltovan scientist's dead daughter, Orianna in her current lore is a straight example as she is the original, rather than a robotic duplicate, who gradually turned herself into a robot to save her life after being exposed to the toxic fumes that cloud the area between Piltover and Zaun.
    • A similar case to Orianna is is implied to occur with Viktor. While in his previous lore he turned himself into a cyborg as part of his "Glorious Evolution", the animated series Arcane reveals that Viktor was a Genius Cripple his entire life and by the time of Act II he is dying from his prior exposure to the same toxic fumes. This implies that Viktor turned himself (or was turned into) the cybernetic being he is today to save his (own) life.
  • Marathon brings up this trope with its Mark IV Mjolnir combat cyborgs. There is even a strong implication that your character himself is a robocopped dead soldier.
  • In Mass Effect 2, to avoid the Gameplay-Guided Amnesia, the game starts with the Normandy getting shot to pieces and Commander Shepard being hurled into space in a leaking space suit and falling all the way to the surface of the nearby planet. Cerberus retrieved the charred and broken remains and spend two years and billions of credits to bring Shepard's body back to life, including most of the memories. Cue Shepard's reply to bewildered onlookers, "I Got Better."
  • Mega Man X:
    • Averted but later subverted. When Zero dies at the end of the first game, the Maverick Hunters try their best in rebuilding him, but Zero's designs are too complicated to duplicate. In the second game, however, he was indeed rebuilt, but by the villains. This situation, however, only happens in the non-canon ending; the true ending has X obtain Zero's parts (which are implied to be created by the villains nonetheless), and the Hunters use them to truly revive Zero.
    • This sort of subversion happens again later, in Mega Man X6, where Zero reappears once again Back from the Dead, but there's absolutely no idea as to who actually rebuilt him this time.
    • And rebuilt one last time into an even more powerful body by Ciel.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
  • Following his defeat at the hands of Samus in the original Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission Ridley was rebuilt as a cyborg in Metroid Prime. You see him again in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption still sporting cyborg parts.
    • The space pirate Weavel, as seen in Metroid Prime: Hunters, was seriously injured following Samus' assault on Zebes during the events of Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission. His brin and spinal column, the only undamaged parts of his original body, were fused with a new cyborg suit.
  • Mother 3:
    • Yokuba/Fassad ends up falling off the Thunder Tower as a result of his own stupidity, but returns as a cyborg not much later. He loses his ability to speak, instead communicating through music which requires an interpreter, and is now combat-capable enough to pick fights with the party on his own though it turns out he would've been a threat even without his enhancements.
    • It also turns out that the Masked Man is a brainwashed, reconstructed Claus, who was found by the Pigmask army after his failed attempt to get revenge on the Mecha-Drago, then used by the Big Bad as the commander of the army and as a tool to pull the needles.
    • Taking a peek at the game's reveal some unused sprites of The Masked Man apparently being blown up, carried away, and rebuilt. At some point in the game, it appears this was intended to happen to him twice.
  • In the original No More Heroes, Travis kills Destroyman by vertically cutting him in half. As one of only many examples as to why the series is considered awesome, he returns in the sequel, with both halves rebuilt into separate cyborgs.
  • Genji of Overwatch was almost killed by his brother Hanzo, but Overwatch found him and rebuilt him as a Cyber Ninja. The amount of his body that was left organic is unclear, but he still has his real head, torso (including reproductive organs) and left arm, at the very least.
  • The Mythical Pokémon Genesect was once part of a species of insectoid apex predators that lived during the Paleozoic era, but in the process of resurrecting it, Team Plasma turned it into a cyborg and gave it a Backpack Cannon in an attempt to create the Ultimate Life Form. It's unclear how much of it is even organic anymore since its entire body is metal and we never saw what it looked like originally.
  • A central theme of POPGOES. Namely, Fritz wants to build bodies for his daughter whom he accidentally murdered, as well as his serial killer brother Simon presumably so their souls can possess it.
  • Amber from Project Eden was turned into a combat Cyborg after a skyway accident, apparently at her request.
  • Soldier Nathan Frost was badly injured in the opening of Project: Snowblind, and rebuilt using the latest in cybernetic technology, gaining the ability to use "Augmentations."
  • In Robopon, Dr. Zero did this to himself. After defeating Prince Tail's father, the King attacked him and left him for dead. Zero repaired his original body with cybernetics.
  • The hero of Shatterhand loses his hands against the bad guys, and his new fits allow him to take them on.
  • Skullgirls:
    • Peacock was a normal girl who was kidnapped by slavers that mutilated her body.note  She was found after her torture by staff from the shadowy Anti-Skullgirl Lab, who equipped her with a shiny new set of cyborg parts: mechanical arms with three eyes on each, a bear trap for teeth, and a veritable cornucopia of reality-warping instruments of destruction. Unfortunately, the torture drove her mad, and being rebuilt failed to stabilize her mind.
    • Ben Birdland was a cop who ran afoul of his crooked unit, ending up in an iron lung as a result. He accepted the Anti-Skullgirl Lab's offer to rebuild him as Big Band, and they made good by integrating a breathing apparatus and an array of pneumatic musical weapons into his body.
    • It's implied that most, if not all, of the cyborgs in the Anti-Skullgirl Lab 8 (such as Big Band and Peacock above) were people who suffered horrible injuries and were subsequently rebuilt by the Lab. Word of God states that even the cyborg children in Lab 8 are disabled orphans who would have been unable to survive without their assistance. Lab 0, however, is not so ethical—Painwheel was originally a normal, healthy girl who was kidnapped and experimented on against her will.
  • StarCraft:
    • According to the backstory, this is the source of all the Protoss Dragoons. Most notable is Fenix, who you get to control both before and after gets almost killed.
    • Then there are the Immortals of StarCraft II, Dragoons on steroids. Due to desperation and the loss of the old Dragoon shrines on Aiur, the Protoss had to refit the ones they had with hardened energy shields to squeeze every iota of use out of them. They represent a dying breed who will give everything to buy even a second more for their people. The definition of Determinators.
  • Charlie Nash (whose canon ending in Street Fighter Alpha 2 has him being betrayed by a fellow soldier and falling into a South American waterfall) seems to be heavily rebuilt using patches of skin from another source in Street Fighter V. His body is covered in several stitches and the grafted flesh is differently colored from the rest of him (considerably darker). He also has a Power Crystal embedded on his forehead as well.
  • In the Time Crisis series, Wild Dog gets shot to pieces at the end of every game. The first time he returned as a cyborg it was a surprise twist (for a given value of "surprising"), now it's just what he does.
  • This is the explanation for Megatron's new body in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron; he starts the game in the same body as in War for Cybertron, then gets pulverized by Metroplex and rebuilt by Soundwave into a similar but different body.
  • In the prologue to Too Human, a Cyberpunk adaptation of Norse Mythology, Baldr is resurrected by Aesir cybernetics technology. It's implied to happen again and again and again every time the player dies and the cutscene where a Valkyrie teleports in to carry him off to Valhalla shows. There are also plot-relevant cutscenes where your support troops who die are carried off as well and in the last area they are joined by the setting's version of Einherjar, nine-foot-tall armored cyborgs with Arm Cannons.
  • In the Vera Blanc games by indie developer Winter Wolves, the eponymous teenage heroine was saved from a fatal brain tumor with an experimental procedure that not only re-wired her brain to work more efficiently but gives her the ability to read minds.
  • World of Warcraft has a magic example for Kael'Thas. After his first defeat, he was brought back to life by a demon, apparently by shoving a crystal through his chest.
  • Available as an option in XCOM Enemy Within. A soldier who gets critically wounded can be out of commission for up to a month, or even longer with the Long War mod. Converting a soldier into a MEC Trooper, however, takes 3 days. Sometimes you just need to get your best troops back into the field as soon as possible.
  • In Xenosaga, "Ziggy" is a Ziggurat-8 model cyborg, thus rebuilt after the suicide of policeman Jan Sauer. He isn't too happy about it until he finds a new purpose.

  • In The Order of the Stick Start Of Darkness Prequel, Xykon's transformation from forcibly de-powered old man to Lich Sorcerer was described in this fashion, parodying the opening narration of The Six Million Dollar Man: "Xykon, sorcerer. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the magic. We have the magic to make the world's next undead sorcerer lich. Xykon will be that lich. Deader than he was before. Deader, faster, stronger." and so on.
  • Homestuck:
    • The bunny was quite injured by around twenty-five years of service, until it was patched-up by Rose. And thirteen additional years later rebuild by Jade... as a cyborg!
    • Later, Andrew Hussie does this for Spades Slick after saving him from his dying universe.
    • After Damara rendered Rufioh quadriplegic, Horuss made him a robotic replacement body. Unfortunately for Rufioh, Horuss allowed his... preferences to influence the new body, leaving Rufioh with his head sticking out of the neck of a robotic horse. The main version of Rufioh used his Dreamself to escape this fate, but at least one alternate timeline version of him is still stuck that way.
  • In one one-page comic from Freefall, Helix is kidnapped, and his kidnappers mail Sam and Florence Helix's body parts, forgetting that Helix, being a robot, can be reassembled. Even Sam says that these guys aren't criminal masterminds.
  • Dresden Codak: During Hob, happens offscreen to Kimiko, then she gets ripped apart, and rebuilt again. She's had her Artificial Limbs ever since, despite the comic's ambiguous continuity.
  • In Crankrats, the eponymous crankrats were originally soldiers who had been fatally wounded before being augmented with steampunk machinery. Unfortunately, With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Parodied in this Team Fortress 2 comic. A Scout steps on a bomb and his body is destroyed, and a group of Engineers gather saying they have the technology to rebuild him. The result is a bunch of spare parts put together and looking more like a barrel than a human.
  • Project Future has one character rebuilt as a cyborg, unfortunately after a shot in the head his remaining biological parts are destroyed. Fortunately his soul and mind are transferred into a purely mechanical body.
  • How Amazingman in Evil Plan survives falling off of a water tower and being paralyzed. Along with the fancy robotic spine came an impossible to pay off hospital bill and a mandate that he must continue superhero work until he pays it off.

    Web Original 
  • Psychotic assassin Deathlist of the Whateley Universe. He's been rebuilt so many times the only human part of him is his head. Supposedly, his first rebuild was after his parents stuffed him into a trash compactor, decades ago.
  • Red vs. Blue plays With this trope a bit. In this case, the person turned into a Cyborg (Simmons) isn't actually the one who needed rebuilding; instead, he's rebuilt as a cyborg so his body parts can be used to save Grif after an unfortunate incident with a Warthog and the wall of a base. Why Grif wasn't the one to be made a cyborg is a testament to Sarge's determination to never let common sense get in the way of scientific progress. Though technically, he was already planning to make Simmons a cyborg (so he could fix the warthog), it just happened that it left a bunch of spare organs lying around.
  • In Worm, when Armsmaster, having already lost an arm against Leviathan, is nearly killed by Mannequin, his friend Dragon designs and implements cyborg technology to save his life on the spot. He later refines this even more to the point that he doesn't need to sleep and moves like a speedster, in addition to his powered armor.
  • Dreamscape: Betty's lower-body was crushed by a pillar, so it had to be reconstructed, making her a Cyborg.
  • The first episode of Volume 7 of RWBY reveals that Penny, who had been destroyed by an unwitting Pyrrha in the Vytal Tournament back in Volume 3, had been rebuilt by her creator.

    Western Animation 
  • Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) loses more and more body parts as the show goes on, becoming a more monstrous cyborg with each appearance, until he eventually ends up as a Brain in a Jar.
  • Hexadecimal from ReBoot has this treatment after being blown up when a game cube (No, not THAT one) cut the giant laser she was using in half, but instead of a cyborg she was turned into a BDSM slave. By her brother.
  • Zachary Foxx of the Galaxy Rangers is turned into a Cyborg with an Arm Cannon after being injured in a space battle.
  • Spoofed in Family Guy in a faux-flashback when Peter remembers the time when he was The Six Million Dollar Man. Unfortunately, they didn't want to spend a lot of money so they came up with...this.
  • In Men in Black: The Series, Alpha first rebuilt himself with alien body parts, but later used cybernetics.
  • In Bionic Six, Bionic One was able to keep his identity as a cyborg superhero secret from his family until an accident required him to "use the technology," if you will, to prevent them from dying.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Parodied with Steve Austin, the original bionic man, running away from the U.S. since it turns out the government wants him to pay for the multi-million dollar surgery, on a government agent's salary.
    • It's later revealed that the cyborg villain Vendata was once the Monarch's father, the Blue Morpho, and was resurrected by Jonas Venture Sr. as a cyborg after he died in a plane crash. However he was shut down by Kano after he accidentally started strangling Rusty, and was found by Dr. Z who wiped his memories and turned him evil. He later regained his memories and took up the mantle of the Blue Morpho once more during the Morphic Trilogy.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.", the skunk Bradley, aka Numbuh Six, was run over by a car while helping out Sector V and ended up in the hospital; Numbuh Two was able to use cybernetics rebuild him into "a half-skunk, half-Kids Next Door operative, half-butt-kicking machine known as... R.O.B.O.B.R.A.D.L.E.Y.!"
  • Archer:
    • In the second season finale, the KGB turns Barry into a bionic man to hunt down Archer and Katya. His introduction is a straight-up homage to the oft-quoted The Six Million Dollar Man opening.
    • Later, Krieger rebuilds Katya. After she falls in love with Barry during his attempts to kill Archer during the second attempt to marry him and Katya, she later becomes head of the KGB.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Total Re-Carl", Meatwad declares they can rebuild him after Frylock's Super-Toilet prototype destroyed Carl's body (leaving him a severed head), though all he actually does is tie Carl's head to a tree with bungee cords and pretend Carl can actually talk. Frylock then takes the head with the intent of making a new body, but after several mishaps, Frylock just shoves Carl's head onto a remote-control toy truck and calls it a day (though technically, he did make a fully useable Cyborg body for Carl, but outfitted it with so much military hardware and weapons that if he gave it to Carl he would probably just kill them all with it).
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars Mother Talzin used her magicks to fashion new, cybernetic legs for Darth Maul, who survived his bisection at the hands of Obi-Wan.
  • Like everything else in life Robot Chicken had taken a few shots at the concept:
    • Parodied and averted in one sketch making fun of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Steve Austin gets the scientists who rebuilt him to do the same to his girlfriend, which they do. The problem is that in addition to the standard cybernetics, they give her padded knees, larger breasts, and a hand that automatically does a jerking motion (for "polishing things"). She's naturally angry and delivers a beatdown to Steve and the scientists, leaving them as nothing more than heads. They ask the people attending to them if they could be rebuilt, but they just get laughed at because the question is considered absurd, and they're told that they won't live through the night.
    • There's also the Bionic Mexican, which features the "Six Million Peso Man". He promptly uses his stronger and faster body to jump the border into the U.S, and one agent laments their loss of 283 American Dollars.
  • This happened to federal agent "B.P. Vess" (AKA: Bulletproof) in the animated series C.O.P.S. (1988) After a failed assassination attempt left him with devastating injuries, his life was saved through an experimental process that gave him cybernetic armor.
  • In Transformers: Prime, members of MECH save their critically-wounded leader Silas by modifying the corpse of the Decepticon warrior Breakdown to act as life support and to let Silas control it while hooked up to it. Even Megatron is disturbed by this.
  • In Rick and Morty, Birdperson is killed by his recently-married wife Tammy in the episode "The Wedding Squanchers". The Stinger of the next episode reveals that the Federation secretly reconstructed him as Phoenix-Person.
  • Uncle Croc's Block has recurring live action character Steve Exhaustion, the $6.95 Man, a cyborg who is always falling apart. Another direct parody of Steve Austin the Six Million Dollar Man.
  • Inhumanoids: The character Sabre Jet (who is heavily implied to be Ace from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) gets critically injured at one point and the Earth Corps save him by building his new armor around his body.
  • The Robonic Stooges is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: the Three Stooges rebuilt as robot superheroes. The creators of them have silently apologized for 32 episodes.

    Real Life 
  • Some intraocular lens implants used in cataract surgery are reported to give better vision than natural vision at its youth peak.
  • There is a debate over whether prosthetic legs such as those used by sprinter Oscar Pistorius give users an unfair competitive advantage over "able-bodied" athletes. However, as the first amputee to ever compete in the Olympic Games, he came in last place in the 400m semi-final (16th out of 51 overall), and only won one fairly minor race against able-bodied athletes before negligent homicide charges arising from the death of his girlfriend put an indefinite crimp on his athletic career. Quite an achievement for someone with no legs, but it suggests we're not quite at the point of making cyborgs better than humans just yet.
  • Dental implants, an increasingly-common alternative to dentures, never get cavities and can be less brittle than natural teeth.


Video Example(s):


"Where Did History Go Wrong?"

At first, it seemed that Zim's plan to eliminate Dib using a time machine to change the past with rubber pigs worked. Unfortunately, due to unexpected events in the past, his attempt ends up making Dib a more dangerous threat than ever.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoneHorriblyWrong

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