• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
File:Ed Cool Arm.jpg



A chainsaw can remove a limb,

or act as a replacement.
Showbread, "Dead By Dawn"

A number of heroes and villains in video games, anime and science fiction either start off with or receive an artificial limb over the course of the story, usually to offset the poignant loss of an appendage. This can either be due to an injury, or in rare cases intentional mutilation. Said prosthetics will almost always function perfectly, as if the character had never lost the limb to begin with, save for malfunctions that relate to the story.

Artificial limbs will often grant superhuman strength, frequently overlooking the fact that even if your arm has the strength to lift a tanker truck, doing so would very probably crush your spine unless it were similarly reinforced. Or, the arm will bend, but follow the path of least resistance, and simply rip itself out of the shoulder joint.

If you're in an era where cybernetics are not just in the future but ridiculously so, never fear: the Rule of Cool allows you to get Steampunk limbs instead. Nevermind that this makes little sense in terms of nerves and muscles. A fantasy world may substitute magical prosthetic limbs (based on the magic that produces the Golem), but this is rare since such worlds can usually use the same magic to regenerate lost limbs instead.

Quite fortunately, this is also a case of Truth in Television. While they can't give you superhuman powers, prosthetic limbs are becoming more and more advanced, allowing people who've lost a limb a chance to live more normal lives. As a real-life example of artificial limbs being better in some ways than biological ones, the International Association of Athletics Federations has banned certain artificial limbs in competitions it governs, including the Olympics, due to a runner who had lost both of his legs having had them replaced with springs that give back more momentum than ankles do.

The darker the setting, the more likely cyber-bits are to cause loss of humanity of some sort—sometimes it's actually called "soul", but you often get workarounds like "essence" or "vitality", and magic wielders, in settings that have both, generally can't have too much cyberware. Especially common in roleplaying games, as a balancing measure so that rich characters can't just have their whole bodies replaced.

See also Unusual User Interface for characters getting "jacks" implanted to connect to computers via cable (or even LAN!), and Swiss Army Appendage for characters who hot-swap their Artificial Limbs. Often a result of the We Can Rebuild Him style of Emergency Transformation. If the limb is awesome enough, it might be a Badass Transplant, and is usually an example of Fashionable Asymmetry.

Specific types of Artificial Limbs include:

Examples of Artificial Limbs include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Basquash!, Iceman Hotty has some made by Thousant after getting his left arm and leg cut off by Price.
  • In Berserk, the main character, Guts, loses his left forearm to a monster during the hellish ordeal where his friends in the Band of the Hawk are sacrificed so that their band's former leader, Griffith, can become one of the evil Godhand. His forearm is replaced by a Steampunk prosthetic which quadruples as a gunpowder cannon, a repeating crossbow mount, and improvised club.
    • Although the aforementioned hand's microcannon is reassuringly fictional in medieval history, the hand itself is more real than you might expect. Although the author of Berserk claims the resemblance to be purely coincidental, a German mercenary named Gotz Von Berlichingen had a very similar prosthetic hand 500 years ago. Really.
    • Also, the hand's only function is to look more human, and act as a cover for the cannon. The arm was lost right below the elbow, so he can still bend it, but the fingers don't do shit. There is a magnet in the palm, to help Guts hold his BFS. Oddly enough, possibly for convenience's sake, the fingers do still bend and function like living fingers sometimes. Following the acquisition of the Berserker Armor, however, the hand has begun acting like a live human hand, most likely due to the armor's supernatural influence.
  • Bleach
    • Kukaku Shiba has a Bamboo Technology wooden prosthetic arm. However, in the manga, she has no such replacement.
    • Gigai are prosthetic bodies to allow shinigami to interact with mortals and (mod) soul pills that act as prosthetic minds to control gigai or bodies while their normal occupants are performing shinigami business.
  • Kazuhiko from Clover has his famous roboclaw.
  • Combattler V: Hyoma Aoi -The Hero of the Five-Man Band- got replacement arms after The Dragon Garuda shot his original arms off. Unlike from other examples of this trope, they did not grant him super-strength and they did not work perfectly at all. Several times they stopped working momentarily in very inopportune moments (such like when he was driving his car or fighting in his Humongous Mecha).
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • Jet Black has a cybernetic arm replacing one he lost in a police investigation gone wrong, although he became old-fashionedly defensive at Faye's recommendation that the current tech made organic limb replacements fairly easy. Jet chooses to keep the arm as a reminder of his mistake. Surprisingly Jet's arm is depicted as synthetic, but made of soft yielding materials almost leathery in nature. It's also nowhere near bulletproof and doesn't grant him any kind of superhuman strength.
    • Spike's replacement eye. The flashback where we see him actually get his eye definitely implies it's much more then glass. He's lying naked on a lab table surrounded by machines and men in lab coats, with needle-like claws holding his eyelid open.
  • Subverted in Cynthia the Mission. Minor villain Bridget has a prosthetic arm that LOOKS real, but it turns out it's just camouflaged to look like a real one, while underneath it's a similiar to modern day prosthetic arm with a lot of grip power. Just before she is killed, its replaced by a much more advanced model.
  • Bandou of Elfen Lied gets cybernetic eyes and a cybernetic arm. The arm can stand anything short of a Desert Eagle's recoil.
    • In the final chapter of the manga he returns with a prosthetic body from the chest down after getting killed by Lucy.
      • How can it be that we don't talk about Nana here? The poor thing gets completely pruned, and has prosthetics for limbs that she moves with four of her six vectors. Distracting her can lead to some watered-down Nightmare Fuel.
  • In the Dirty Pair issue "Run from the Future," the titular duo are hunting for several criminals, including the "Planarian Cannibals;" they ceremonially eat their own arms and legs (and replace them with cybernetics) to concentrate their spiritual essence. Oh, and they eat other people too.
  • As a result of a human transmutation experiment Gone Horribly Wrong, Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist lost a leg and an arm. His childhood friend Winry was able to manufacture him "automail" replacements. Notably, the attachments of nerves and muscles is actually mentioned, and mentioned to be extremely painful, taking years to recuperate (it took Ed, as a child 1 year, in defiance of his mechanic's 3-year prediction). Also, the automail frequently breaks under sufficient strain - Winry occasionally asks Ed if he breaks his limbs on purpose just to annoy her.
    • There's also Lan Fan, who gets an automail limb to replace the one she cut off so she and Ling Yao could escape from Bradley, and recuperates in six months, also her automail has a blade on it.
    • Paninya, Buccanneer and Winry's dog Den also have automail.
    • Additionally, there have been several occasions where it's been a problem how much a metal limb conducts heat. While in Briggs, Ed almost suffered major frostbite, while Buccanneer has his made from a less conductive metal and uses the exhaust from the motor in his to keep it warm. Ed also has the opposite problem in deserts, when the metal in his automail limbs gets uncomfortably hot.
    • There's also mention of automail needing maintenance, in the form of oiling and such to prevent rust, and has to be adjusted slightly when Ed grows.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and its source material, carry the concept forward. Instead of passé clunky mechanical limbs, the sufficiently wealthy or connected can have their whole body replaced with a super-realistic and super-strong artificial construct. One's brain is removed, and placed in a life-supporting enclosure, and swaps from body to body are possible even in non-sterile environments. Two of the series' main characters, the Major and Batou (anime only), are such full cyborgs.
    • In the manga a page is also devoted to explaining the fact that most people have their entire bodies replaced, due to the exact problem of the arm falling off the body if too much pressure is exerted. Most people in their line of work prefer to have the added insurance. The whole conversation is in reference to a rogue army leader who only had his arm and his leg replaced.
      • The Manga implies, but does not state outright, that the Major became a full-body replacement cyborg unexpectedly at a relatively young age, perhaps due to an accident.
  • Gunnm/Battle Angel features similar levels of cybernetic enhancement as well as ordinary robotic limbs depending on how badly damaged a body is or (at least in the Scrapyard) how deeply into debt one is willing to go. Also in the sky city Zalem/Tiphares above the aforementioned pit all adults have their brains uploaded into, and replaced by, microcomputers without their knowledge.
  • Gunsmith Cats: Several of Rally Vincent's most implacable opponents all use prosthetic hands, thumbs or legs... mostly because Rally shot off their original hands, thumbs, or legs.
  • In the Houshin Engi manga, Taikoubou loses an arm in a battle and he's given an artificial one to replace it. It features a number of abilities including stretching (to work as a Grappling Hook Pistol), a squirt gun, and a Rocket Punch.
  • When Joseph Joestar gets his arm sliced off by Cars in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, he gets a replacement made by his Nazi buddies. Did I mention that this takes place in 1939? And that one of the aforementioned Nazi buddies is a cyborg with a gun in his chest?
  • Ryogi Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai has an artificial left arm, as her original was torn apart in a fight. It's a magic arm, to boot.
  • Squalo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn has a fake left hand. He cut off his real hand to better understand the previous Sword Emperor.
  • One Piece: Franky, He's a cola powered cyborg, having rebuilt his limbs and much of his body from the wrecks of his old battlships aka Battle Frankys
    • From the same series we also have Barthlowmew Kuma, who also a cybrog albeit much more advanced. Crocodile who has a hook for a right hand (which is covering a poisonous hook undernearth that. And if that's broken, a knife pops up to replace it). And lastly Movie 10 villan Shiki, who cut off his legs to escape from prison and replaced them with swords!
  • Harry MacDougall in Outlaw Star got an artificial arm after a nasty run-in with Gene Starwind. Unfortunately, he goes Ax Crazy at one point, rips it off, and beats on the door of the Outlaw Star with it. Later on, he gets an artificial body. Earlier in the series, we see that Hilda has an artificial arm too.
  • Shichiroji of Samurai 7 has an artificial arm with a grapple.
  • Prosthetic limbs are an important plot point in the anime series Texhnolyze.
  • Trigun: Vash's left arm was shot off by his twin brother, forcing him to get a replacement. It converts to a gun when he wants it to.
  • In Vision of Escaflowne, The Dragon Folken has a pretty nifty-looking right arm given to him by the Big Bad to replace the one that got eaten by a dragon.
  • Kurogane of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has, in the manga, recently required a prosthetic arm from the technologically advanced world of Piffle after he sacrificed his own arm to save Fai. Despite being a rush-job and therefore not covered in synthetic skin, it appears to work just as well as his organic arm. However, he has recently admitted that the arm does not fit him right and causes him pain. Hard to conceal bleeding when your boyfriend is a vampire.
    • In XxxHolic. it is mentioned that the gang eventually makes their way back to Piffle to get Kurogane's prosthetic arm fixed up properly.
  • Ginkotsu of the Band of Seven in Inuyasha starts out with a heavily prosthetically amplified body and ends up as torso attached to a Feudal style tank.
    • Arguably, the Band of Seven and Kikyou have prosthetic bodies which store their souls. Ditto for Akago/Mouryoumaru, kinda.
  • Aramusha gets a prosthetic arm and eye due to injuries in the Empty Earth arc of Mythic Quest. They're pretty common already in the futuristic world, though this particular set doesn't have any synthetic skin and has many extra jack-ins for enhanced computer-interfacing powers.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: The Godwin brothers both have robotic left arms. Rex lost his while escaping from Satellite, and Rudger cut off his own arm, with the Dragon Head Mark, to give to Rex.
  • Louise from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 gets one of these in season two as her lost arm cannot be regenerated due to the particles in the beam rifle shot that blew it off inhibiting cellular mitosis. The replacement looks and handles like the original one and doesn't appear to have any special features aside from above normal physical strength and a circuitry-like line where it's attached to her forearm stump.
  • In Tokyo Crazy Paradise, Asago gets a prostheses after having her right arm cut off in a fight; she chooses to get an artificial limb instead of reattaching her arm to cut down on rehabilitation time.
  • A number appear in Karakuri Circus, including Arlequin's weapon of choice.
  • In Naruto, Chiyo's right arm is artificial and controlled through her puppet jutsu. She can use it to create a chakra shield similar to the puppets in the likeness of her son and daughter-in-law, but it's also vulnerable to getting clogged.
  • Karl and James of Blood Plus receive Schiff limbs after being amputated.
  • Yami no Aegis: Tate has a metal arm with which he can deflect bullets. It's also his primary weapon.

Comic Books

  • Subverted in Global Frequency, in which a woman with a cybernetic arm talks about how she can feel metal grinding against her bones and how she had to have her shoulders and spine reinforced to stop her arm from ripping itself out of her body. A fully-converted cyborg has an even worse time of things.
  • In the original New Teen Titans, much like a traditional cyborg, only a portion of Cyborg's body was composed of military cybernetic limbs given to him by his father. In the Teen Titans cartoon however, as a result of the series' humorous Made of Iron characteristics, it would appear that his thought process is the only thing human about him. Well, that and his appetite.
  • Arsenal, formerly Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy, had his right arm ripped off in a fight with Prometheus. He now has a cybernetic replacement, however it isn't "permanent" as Roy's arm is still infected with flesh-eating bacteria from Prometheus' blade. The attachment works "around" Roy's nerve endings and actually enhances the pain he already feels. It hinders his ability as an archer to the point that he's stopped using a bow, he can't wear normal clothes over it, and it's a complete eyesore.
  • In the Doom Patrol comics, Cliff Steele is a racing driver whose brain is salvaged from a horrible crash and inserted into a metal body, causing him some anguish.
  • Bunnie Rabbot in the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog becomes a type of cyborg when she's halfway tossed into a (very fast-working) "roboticizing" machine. Her legs and one arm are turned into robotic limbs.
    • Additionally, in this comic's universe, the echidna are presented as an advanced people that embrace progress while not forgetting nature and spiritualism. To this end, they shunned over-reliance on technology, something not every echidna agreed with. This caused the expected infighting and social divide, culminating in the formation of the Dark Legion, whose purpose in life was to antagonize their hippie, tree-hugging brethren and to demonstrate their complete embrace of technology... by implanting ALL of their members with bionics, sometimes an eye, sometimes a limb or two, or sometimes their entire body. Talk about hardcore.
  • Lightning Lad of the original Legion of Super-Heroes got a bionic arm after losing the original to a Space Whale; he also had one in the post-Zero Hour reboot, although in that case it was because his brother had blown the arm off. Ouch.
  • In the Marvel Universe, Misty Knight was a cop until she lost her arm in a bombing; Iron Man then designed a new bionic one for her.
  • British sci-fi comics love this one.
    • Judge Dredd himself has bionic eyes, and a popular foe, Mean Machine Angel, has one arm that's been replaced by a giant mechanical claw-thing (he's also got a bionic eye, a metal-plated skull, and a brain implant that means he's only got four emotions: Surly, Mean, Vicious and Brutal).
    • Axel Pressbutton, "the psychotic cyborg" had both legs, his left arm and most of his torso replaced after three-quarters of him was eaten by a Man-Eating Plant.
    • Aimee Nixon is only one of many secondary characters in 2000 AD and its spinoffs to qualify, in her case a bionic arm.
  • What's that? The Silver Age Aquaman isn't "grim and gritty" enough for the 1990s? I know, let's have piranhas chew his left hand off! Keen! We can give him a cool retractable hook, and he can grow a beard while he's at it. (Whether Aquaman growing a beard was, in fact, Aquaman Growing the Beard is a question this editor leaves as an exercise for the reader.)
  • Doctor Otto Octavius's problems started apparently when he added four arms of questionable morality to his spine...
    • One story had him developing artificial limbs for amputees among the general public alongside another villain. Villain being the key word as the limbs contained parts of the same tech Ock used to mentally control his limbs, letting him control whatever unlucky sot that had gotten one of said replacement parts.
  • One of the more recent She-Hulk series had South Paw, a 50 pound weakling teenage girl. With a MASSIVE mecha-hand on her left hand which gave her enough strength to crush IronClad from the U-Foes' arm into scrap!
  • Lex Luthor sported an artificial hand after his Kryptonite signet ring gave his hand radiation-induced cancer.
  • Sgt. Rock adversary "The Iron Major," had his right hand replaced with one of solid iron.
  • The crime boss Johnny Woo Woo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Body Count" arc had metal hands.
  • Former Captain America sidekick Bucky Barnes has a cybernetic left arm to replace the one he lost at the end of World War 2.
  • The X-man Angel has his naturally-occuring wings amputated in some continuities and replaced with razor-edged metallic wings that can shoot blades. As the procedure is done by an evil mad scientist, there are some side effects.
    • The younger mutant Hellion later gains metal prosthetics that he animates with his telekinesis after his hands are blasted off by a sentinel.
  • Scud the Disposable Assassin inverts this trope - he's a robot whose model was discontinued, and when he loses his arm he gets a human one as a loaner until his replacement parts can be ordered in. The problems with his meat arm which once belonged to a werewolf fuel a whole story arc.
  • In All Fall Down, the now-paraplegeic speedster, Pronto, resorts to this in order to regain his super speed.
  • Several examples in Invincible: Rex Splode gets a robotic hand after having one bitten off by a Lizard Man, Bulletproof apparantley gets one too, to repalce the one he lost while fighting an evil Invincible Doppleganger, Oliver gets a prosthetic arm and jaw bone.Angstrom Levy has a robotic hand replace one that was torn off by Invincible, Conquest has a robotic arm, and an unnamed Viltrumite has a robotic eye.

Fan Fiction


  • RoboCop performs the ultimate version: in the words of OCP's project manager, "total body prosthesis". They even mention how useless the reverse situation would be: when one of the doctors notes they were able to save one of Murphy's arms, the project manager promptly orders it thrown out and the originally planned robotic arm installed in its place.
  • Kushana from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind has multiple prosthetic limbs, and according to her (at least in the 2005 English Dub), whoever becomes her husband will see worse. Think about that.
  • Reach For The Sky is the dramatisation of the story of Douglas Bader, a double amputee who stil proved a better fighter pilot than many Germans. After Bader's capture by the Luftwaffe, an unprecedented local truce was concluded so that a British pilot could courier Bader's best set of false legs to German-occupied France...
  • Star Wars: Both Anakin and Luke lose limbs to lightsaber injuries, showing off their Not So Different natures. Star Wars tech being what it is, they have replacements within 10 minutes of screen time.
  • In the Spaghetti Western Vamos A Matar, Companeros, John the "Wooden Hand" is named precisely for having an artificial right hand, the result of the protagonist having betrayed him in the past.
  • In Planet Terror, dancer Cherry Darling's leg is replaced with a wooden table leg after it's eaten by zombies. Later, she trades that in for an M-4 Carbine (with underslung grenade launcher). And at the end of the movie, she trades THAT in for a minigun.
  • The robot-hating protagonist of 2005 I Robot retains a spray-painted cybernetic left arm and two ribs, given to him in Backstory by the roboticist whose death he is investigating in the film.
  • Mad Scientist C. A. Rotwang from the classic Metropolis had an artificial right hand.
    • Which was apparently the inspiration for Doctor Strangelove and his rebellious black-clad hand.
  • In Evil Dead 2, Ash must cut off a demon-possessed hand, and replaces it with the chainsaw he cut it off with. In the sequel, Army of Darkness, it gets replaced with a Steampunk artificial hand.
  • Young Frankenstein: Inspector Kemp's wooden arm.
  • Interestingly enough, the Star Trek TNG movie First Contact does this backwards with the android Data having living flesh grafted onto his body by the Borg queen. It doesn't last.
  • Dr. No from the first Bond movie Dr. No has mechanical hands, having lost his hands in an accident during his research into radioactivity. His mechanical hands could crush stone to powder, but could not grip a vertical beam well enough for him to lift himself out of the reactor's cooling tank.
    • The henchman Tee Hee from Live and Let Die had a mechanical right arm strong enough to break Bond's Walther PPK, but he fell afoul of a simple pair of nail clippers...
  • Lindsay Lohan gets two in I Know Who Killed Me. Granted, the movie's a thriller, so they're the more realistic version, which is still able to cause some injury.
  • In Enki Bilal's Immortal (in both the comic and the film) Horus forges a new leg for Nikopol out of a subway rail. It still needs Horus' power to function.
  • In Repo Men, one of the past-due artiforg recipients whom Remy and his partner chase down on the cargo ship has a robotic arm, and uses it to put up quite a fight.
  • Michael Ironside gets fitted with one in StarshipTroopers.
  • Gobber from How to Train Your Dragon has an artificial arm and leg, the arm which he exchanges for a hammer, axe, tankard for his booze, etc. Toothless has an artificial half tail fin and Hiccup gets an artificial leg after fighting Green Death.
    • Drago Bludvist in the second film reveals that his whole left arm is artificial by flat out taking it off infront of Hiccup. However it's not fully clear if he actually has control over it or it is just for display and to hide that he's missing an arm so he won't be seen as weak by others.
  • Silver from Treasure Planet, who has an artificial leg and arm (and eye). Although his leg seems to give him a bit of gyp at times (especially after Jim stabs it), his arm has a lot of things in it, including a cutlass, a gun, several different tools for cooking, and part of an Arm Cannon (with the other part being stored in his leg).
  • Dr. Gordon has one after he escapes from the bathroom in Saw. It is of the realistic variety, with Dr. Gordon needing a cane to walk with the prosthetic foot. Also, the woman who survives the opening trap from Saw VI has a prosthetic arm and complains of needing to use handicapped parking because of it. Because this is Saw, both of these characters have these Artificial Limbs because of a Life or Limb Decision.


  • Quantum Gravity books Lila Black Become cyborg after an accident.
  • Martin Caidin's 1972 novel Cyborg introduced Colonel Steve Austin to the world. This novel was later adapted into The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • In Neuromancer, Ratz, the German bartender at the Chatsubo in Chiba City, has an old Russian military cyberarm, "a seven-function force-feedback manipulator cased in grubby pink plastic." At one point, he uses the arm to crush a hard plastic ashtray to make a point about the bar's strict "no-fighting" rule.
    • In the short story Burning Chrome, set in the same universe, the narrator, Automatic Jack, has a seemingly more advanced prosthetic, which he is implied to have received after being injured in a military operation gone wrong.
  • The Ultranauts in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy replace their body parts as they age and fail. Captain John Brannigan is almost entirely robotic at the start of Revelation Space; he can last for hours in total vacuum. He's very old
  • In Harry Potter, Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew is forced to cut off his own hand in the ritual to recreate Voldemort's body. As Voldemort returns to full power, he gives Wormtail a gift for his efforts, a hand made of silver which functions just as well as his old hand. Except for the fact that the hand was eternally devoted to Voldemort and ended up choking Wormtail when he hesitated to attack Harry in the seventh book.
    • Mad Eye Moody.
  • Spoofed by Terry Pratchett in The Colour of Magic with Goldeneyes Silverhand Dactylos, who is such a great architect his employers all tend to try and maim him so he can never make anything more beautiful than the work he's done for them. As he exposits to his current employer, his first employer gave him piles of gold and blinded him (he learned to work by touch, smell and hearing), his second loaded him with silver and then cut off his left hand (he built a mechanical replacement from silver using his knowledge of levers), and his third employer gave him mounds of silk before hamstringing and imprisoning him (he built a hang glider to escape). He winds up by reminding his employer of his promise to let him go free and unharmed now his work is complete, at which his employer says 'I Lied' and promptly has him shot. Dactylos comments on the shoddy quality of the arrowhead before he dies.
  • Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis from the Robert A. Heinlein book The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress had a variety of artificial arms that allowed him to electronic work with the built-in tools.
  • The Yuuzhan Vong of the Star Wars Expanded Universe ritually chop off their own limbs to show their devotion to the gods then get them replaced with a Biotech appendage. Warriors get limbs from the various predatory animals of their homeworld, while the Shapers replace their fingers with surgical intruments.
    • This actually has some weird connotations. Close to the finale, the Yuuzhan Vong leader has a Rancor's arm attached. Considering Rancor's are huge, it makes you wonder how big he is.
      • That depends. Did they specify that it was a full-grown rancor's arm?
      • If the above is about Tsavong Lah, it wasn't a rancor arm, it was a radank (a creature from the Vong's galaxy) arm.
  • Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodsman from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. For those who don't know his Secret Origin, his axe was cursed by a witch, and one by one, he chopped off his own limbs. Every time he lost one, he had it replaced with a prosthetic made by a local tinsmith—up to and including his head and torso... but not, alas, his heart.
    • For an extra dose of Mind Screw, a sequel reveals someone later reassembled and reanimated the discarded body parts with use of some magic glue... creating a whole new character.
  • Fatale, in Soon I Will Be Invincible, is a cyborg who has only a small portion of organic matter left in her. She often bemoans her added weight, but has a full complement of high-tech gadgets to compensate.
  • Progress in this field is noted in Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Searched.
    • In her book Dragon's Dawn one of the characters has a couple of prosthetic fingers.
  • In the book of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox has a third, artificial arm fitted to improve his ski-boxing. As is often the case with the franchise, the reason changes in the TV series/computer game/movie - in the radio series, he claims he grew the arm "for Trillian".
    • The Movie features handkerchief-cultist Humma Kavula, who uses a "platform" of dozens of tiny metal legs... and one gimpy one.
  • The X Wing Series enjoys this trope. Nawara Ven's cybernetic replacement leg synched up relatively (95%) poorly with his body, so he switched careers from Ace Pilot to executive officer. Ton Phanan had an ever-increasing percentage of himself replaced since he was allergic to bacta, and cybernetics ate his future. Krennel, a villain, had an extremely obvious prosthetic hand that glowed red.
    • When the team infiltrated Empire-controlled Coruscant as part of a covert operation, getting Wedge through security posed a problem, since he was a well known rebel hero. He disguised himself as an imperial officer with a bulky cybernetic arm and metal plating on his face and throat, apparently on his way to a specialized hospital to receive more sophisticated implants. People who saw him looked more at the prosthetics than the remaining flesh, and remembered him more for that than anything else. He was counting on that; many Imperials are uneasy around cyborgs. Wedge took this guise again in Isard's Revenge, this time in smoother-looking prosthetics.
    • Hobbie Klivian, being prone to crashes, has an artificial left arm, an artificial right leg, and an artificial left leg, probably more. Darklighter also had a scene where Biggs hinted that the same fight that took Hobbie's arm also left him needing artificial genitalia.
  • Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain lost several fingers in a fight with necrons. The replacements are augmentic.
  • Toby Frost's Space Captain Smith lost the lower half of an arm fighting the Ghast, Number 8, and while he waited for a new organic arm to be grown by the NHS, he had to make do with a bionic arm that had previously belonged to a commando, and which kept trying to kill people.
  • The ghost story "The Golden Arm" features a woman with just that, whose husband is very greedy. His greed causes her to starve to death ("Meat and cheese cost more each day./ I will not pay and pay and pay,/ And so throw all my wealth away./ Not one penny will you get today."). Her only request is to be buried with her arm, which the husband does... until he digs it up the next night and leaves it under his pillow. The wife's spirit is not pleased about this....
  • The Fault In Our Stars gives us Augustus Waters and this beautiful sentence: "Excellent! You'll find my leg under the coffee table."
  • In the Abhorsen series, Lirael loses a hand in the final battle against the big bad. It's mentioned in the epilogue that Prince Sameth later crafts her a new one, earning her the title Lirael Goldenhand.
  • The 1952 Science Fiction novel "Limbo" by Bernard Wolfe is all about a Cold War world changed by the new science of cybernetics.
  • Honor Harrington, as starting off as a Lord Nelson Expy, loses an arm and eye over the series. After an Eyepatch of Power she gets an artifical eye and arm. Rare in this society because the normal techniques used to regrow limbs doesn't work on her. She has a pulser in the arm and the aiming camera in her eye...
  • In Roger Zelazny's Book of Amber, Benedict has a mechanical arm. It is a temporary replacement because Amberites regenerate limbs. However, it takes months or years. This arm has a role in the novel "the Hand of Oberon". In fact, it is "the hand" because the arm moved of its own accord and helped Corwin and Benedict, who implied Oberon was behind. It was true.
  • Hertzer Herrick in John Ringo's Council Wars series lost a hand in the first book and received a very trick Steampunk replacement. He'd still rather have a real hand, though.
  • In one "Bill the Intergalactic Hero" story, the titular character has a Swiss Army Foot.
  • In Circle of Magic, Daja, with some help from her foster siblings, creates an artificial leg for her friend Polyam. She also has apparently made a living metal eye.
    • However, her own hand, though coated in living metal, is still just her own hand. It simply produces more of her metal.
  • Jack West in Matthew Reilly's Seven Ancient Wonders trilogy sacrificed his left arm to escape from a trap... after he was promised one of these. Luckily for him, this was in the backstory, 10 years before the first novel started so he had time to adjust to his new arm before everything went to hell.
    • Mother in his Scarecrow series looses her leg to a Orca in Ice Station, an unpleasant surprise to a shark in a later novel
  • John Simpson, in the 1632 series, has a prosthetic replacing a lower leg lost in an ambush, in his service during the Vietnam War, first mentioned in the short story "In the Navy", by David Weber. Eddie Cantrell later gets one after losing his leg during the engagement at Wismar, in 1633
  • The Wing Commander IV Novelization states Jason "Bear" Bondarevski lose an arm during the conclusion of the Kilrathi War, and has it replaced with a cybernetic substitute. In False Colors, he's given the opportunity to have it modified to give him an Unusual User Interface, but declines.
  • In Stephen Lawheads second Song of Albion book "The Silver hand" Llew gets a new hand and his Bard gets new eyes in a magical lake the villains gets dissolved
  • A plot point in Star Trek: Klingon Empire - Klag, who lost an arm in a previous conflict, could be fitted with an artificial replacement. He refuses, though, insisting that he's a Klingon, not a Borg. It's one of the Honor Before Reason issues Doctor B'Oraq has to deal with. Eventually, Klag accepts a biological graft - his dead father's arm to replace his own. It's not as effective but it's a compromise.
  • The Forever War. Mandella loses an arm and thinks he's getting a prosthesis. He's unaware of the technological advances that have been made over the thousands of years that have elapsed due to time dilation. Turns out they're actually growing him a new flesh-and-blood arm.
  • In Max Barry's Machine Man, the protagonist Dr. Charles Neumann accidentally crushes one of his legs in an industrial accident. Being an engineer, he designs a better replacement. Then he realizes he wants his legs to match...
  • In Clive Cussler's Oregon Files series, the protagonist Juan Cabrillo has an advanced prosthetic leg that conceals a small pistol, a block of C4, a throwing knife, and a built-in single-shot leg cannon that canblow a hole the size of a dinner plate through your chest.
  • In The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling, a character is described as having blade-like prosthetic legs. Probably something similar to Oscar Pistorius’s. [1]

Live Action TV

  • In The Devil's Whore, Sexby gets his arm lopped off while fighting in Ireland. He returns with a badass metal arm and is not afraid to use it.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man, based on Martin Caidin's 1972 novel Cyborg, embodies this one, as does its spinoff The Bionic Woman.
    • Parodied by Family Guy: "Gentlemen! We can rebuild him! We have the technology! But we don't want to spend a lot of money." Cue a cyborg Peter with a bucket for a leg, a TV for a head and... yeah.
  • Every Borg drone on Star Trek has at least one artificial limb, and they all have glowing red camera-eyes.
  • In the last season of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Nog loses a leg in battle and has it replaced with an artificial one. (For those who are concerned about his baseball ability "afterward," the baseball episode takes place several episodes before Nog loses his leg.)
  • Subverted, natch, in Red Dwarf: Lister loses an arm in one episode and is fitted with a robot arm. Being Red Dwarf, it's a very cheap and basic robot arm and requires a full minute worth of extremely strenuous concentration to pick up a ball. In an additional subversion, turning up the sensitivity simply causes him to punch Kryten in the face repeatedly - it's being controlled by his subconscious, and he's angry at Kryten for amputating his arm.
  • The prosthetic arm of Francois Chau's variably-named character on Lost is the subject of much speculation. The character is only seen in Dharma films/tapes. In some he has both arms, but in some he has a prosthetic. In the latest video, he refers to having information about the future, then looks sadly at his still-real arm.
  • In the Doctor Who story "Revelation of the Daleks", Evilutionary Biologist arch-villain Davros gets his right hand (his only unparalysed limb) shot off. In the following story, he's only seen from the neck up due to heavily upgrading his wheelchair, but when he returns in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" he has a rather Freddy Krueger-esque metal hand with clawed fingertips. He has the talent to make something more realistic, so one can only assume he thinks it looks cool.
  • In All the Small Things, Olive has an artificial leg.
  • Subverted in Battlestar Galactica. Felix Gaeta is shot in the leg by a twitchy crewmate, and doesn't get to medical care in time to save the limb. He is given a prosthetic leg not long after the amputation; however, the prosthetic is the wrong length, doesn't fit correctly, and aggravates his healing surgical scars, making them more susceptible to infection. The series also shows Gaeta becoming more accustomed to the prosthetic and less dependent on crutches gradually, over the course of several episodes.
    • In another startlingly realistic touch, his stump itches. He can't find a suitable lotion; the itch may be partly psychosomatic. Just before the end of the series, after he commits mutiny with Tom Zarak, Adama's forces retake the Galactica. When Zarak and Gaeta are standing in front of the firing squad, he smiles and says, "It stopped."
  • Highlander the series had Xavier something or other, a recurring villain who after his first appearance got his hand chopped off. He replaced it with a Hook Hand.
  • In The X-Files, Krycek loses his arm in Season 4 and in all subsequent appearances has a prosthetic. This ultimately is his undoing, as he is unable to grab his gun when his other arm is injured.
  • The Kamen Rider franchise in the Showa era is all about this. One of them has electric coils for hands and another has a prosthetic arm/hook/grappling hook/machine gun/drill/mini-laboratory/etc. The rest of them do not show outward signs of being cyborgs. They are still pure, undiluted badasses.
  • Nina Sharp on Fringe has a bionic arm that replaces the one she lost due to cancer. Which she actually lost in an interdimensional portal, but you don't tell that to everyone you meet.
  • Truth in Television example: Dr. Albert "Al" Robbins of CSI lost both legs in a childhood accident, so uses prosthetic legs and crutches to move about. This mirrors a Real Life accident which Robert David Hall, the actor who plays Dr. Robbins, suffered as a grown man.
  • In JAG, Lt. Bud Roberts lost his leg to a landmine in Afghanistan. Much of that season was devoted to his learning to use a prosthetic leg and regaining his strength so he could remain a JAG officer.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen features occasional appearances by the K'Chain Che'Malle. Considered the native demons of the Malazan world, they were sapient dinosaur analogues. The exact details of why or how are unknown, but the warrior caste replaced both lower arms with massive blades.
  • Arrested Development: George Sr. enlists his friend, J. Walter Weatherman, to use his prosthetic limb to teach his kids lessons by creating excessively dramatic arm-removals. The trope is used again later in the show when Buster loses his hand.
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: One of the Youkai, Amikiri, lost her arm to the Blue Ranger's ancestor and had it replaced with a claw weapon. Some other youkai who fell in early episodes were revived with artificial limbs by the efforts of Tengu and Prof. Yugami.


  • Older Than Print Celtic Mythology examples:
    • Nuada, king of the Tuatha D'anann, lost an arm in combat, but received a functional replacement crafted of silver later.
    • The same tale is ascribed to Lugh Llaw Ereint in the Welsh mythological cycle Y Mabinogion and may spring from the same Ur-Root.
  • Similarly, the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca lost a foot fighting a gigantic earth monster; depending on which version of the story you hear, he either replaced it with a snake or a smoking mirror with magical properties.
  • The Brothers Grimm tale The Armless Maiden features a girl whose hands are replaced with silver after her father chops them off to appease the devil.
  • There is a variation of a Norse myth involving Sigurd and his battle with the dragon Fafnir. During the fight his hand is bitten off, but he afterwards receives a fully articulate metal replacement with intricate wiring in place of tendons.


  • Sergeant McGurk in Revolting People has a wooden leg and a metal arm. The arm has a whisky flask built into it (and in sillier episodes will also dispense soda water and ice).

Tabletop Games

  • The Space Marines of Warhammer 40000 often make use of artificial replacement limbs. Most notably the Iron Hands chapter, who are often seen sporting several bionic limbs and favor them over flesh and blood. This belief leads the Iron Hands marines to replace their right hand with a mechanical one upon initiation via religious ceremony.
    • Everybody use bionic prostheses in 40K, if they have the money or influence to afford it. It's a voluntary replacements and additions that turn heads—cyborgs are not rare or surprising in the Imperium, but generally just aren't much welcomed.
    • Also, considering the partially poor understanding of technology, implants may work somewhere between phantastically (cortex implants from several thousand years ago that grant Dune Mentat-like intelligence), operational (bionic limbs for average soldiers that mostly work as they should, as long as the Tech-priests observe the necessary rites) and clumsy (bionic eyes that produce grainy and black/white pictures). Finally, there are servitors, lobotomized humans or animals stuffed full with bionics to serve essentially as robots.
    • Curiously for such an otherwise over-the-top setting, in Dark Heresy it's explained that human bionics don't impart superhuman strength, exactly because it would tear the user apart. It's not entirely impossible, though - but the money needed for that kind of expert gear could buy you a much more effective suit of Powered Armor.
    • The Orks. Their doctors are born with instinctive knowledge of the Ork anatomy, so they are always experimenting. The most famous, Mad Doc Grotsnik, gave several Orks exploding heads and regularly cuts off his own limbs and replaces them with 'cybork' parts or 'donations' from customers out cold on the slab.
    • The Iron Warriors Traitor Legion. While many Chaos Space Marines welcome mutations as gifts from the Chaos Gods, the Iron Warriors just chop off the offending limb and replace it with bionics.
    • Warhammer had the Chaos Dwarf army and one of its special characters was a Chaos Dwarf slowly turning to stone so he kept moving using Steampunk armour. Awesome. Yeah.
    • The Classic Dwarf entry, Burlok Damminson - who has a Steampunk power claw.
  • The Tabletop RPG Rifts makes a number of distinctions between cybernetics: Limbs and implants designed for civilian uses are simply called cybernetics, while armored limbs and weapons are called Bionics. Most characters, expect for Psionics, Mages, and supernatural creatures can get cybernetics, or go for Partial (all limbs replaced, plus some torso or head implants) or Full (Everything but the central nervous system) Bionic Conversion. Full Conversion 'Borgs can take a number of shapes, such as the Dragon-shaped 'Borgs found in Japan.
  • Shadowrun has quite a few of these too. The game's sourcebooks do explicitly mention that the rest of the body needs reinforcing for this to work, though. Plus, there's game mechanics that prevent you from replacing everything. (At least, with off-the-shelf stuff.)
  • The Cyberpunk game has this as well. Its chapter on replacement parts? Named 'Putting the Cyber in the Punk'.
  • Several character archetypes from the 2056 juncture of Feng Shui have the option of starting with one or more Robot Limbs. They are not true cybernetic hardtech, but are instead examples of arcanowave technology. Given the dangerous nature of such technology, most Robot Limbs can be found on Abominations, the altered demons that the Buro uses to fight its wars. If you have the Jammer supplement "Gorilla Warfare," you can instead start off with a set of regular hardtech Robotic Limbs as a Hardware schtick, which is favored by many Jammers who won't have any truck with arcanowave gear.
  • Deadlands has loads of fun with artificial limbs, starting with Steampunk limbs for living and undead [who take the advantage of the fact that most of their intestines can be removed (since, as undead, they no longer need it)], and their cyberpunk equivalents, again, for both living and undead. Having steam- or cyber-ware installed still lowers a character's Spirit attribute. Though that's probably justified in this case given that the limbs run on ghost rock, a fuel source made of damned souls. Or the trapped energy of a Harrowed's Manitou co-pilot. Only Harrowed can "survive" full-on cybernetics outside the odd limb or the like.
  • The BattleTech RPG Mechwarrior has rules for characters getting prosthetics, ranked in four tiers, from crude hooks and pegs to full cybernetics sheathed in synthetic skin, as well as eye and ear replacements. However, there's no real advantage to them - at their best (and most expensive), they only allow a character to perform as well as they would with the original parts.
    • It's worth noting, though, that the novels feature two prominent characters who have weapon-grade lasers built into their artificial forearms, and a third whose prosthesis includes a hidden short-range communications device that allows him to safely exchange information with his contact under the guise of an innocuous meeting. There are also the Jihad-era Manei Domini (the Word of Blake's combat elite), who appear to be routinely equipped with various cybernetic enhancements.
  • The "Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition" book for "Fudge" contains rules for all sorts of implants, and by default there is no reason other than money not to have them. That said it also notes that just having arms and legs won't let you have super-strength because the human body can't support it, right before presenting a body frame that does let you do this.
  • Being fairly Trope Overdosed, Dungeons and Dragons has their own. Half-golems are humans with replacement limbs crafted from iron, clay, or stone (or someone else's flesh...). Warforged limbs are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. There are hundreds of grafts available for various editions, including demonic claws and skeleton hands on fire.
    • There's also a third-party Dungeons & Dragons setting which has fantasy meet steampunk, with giant clanky ponderous mechs being used to fight sometimes. One of the classes is the Steamborg, who gets a small steam engine attached to himself, and slowly can change out limbs for mechanical replacements which give bonuses.
  • Genius: The Transgression naturally features a lot of options for doing this; any wonder small enough can be grafted on to your body, giving you artificial limbs of every shape, size and purpose in any style imaginable.
  • GURPS has a few. Ultra-Tech features artificial replacements or improvements for everything. One issue of Pyramid listed all sorts of crazy magical replacement arms including one with no physical substance.
  • It just wouldn't be Exalted if you couldn't get powerful cyberlimbs made of the magical materials. The Alchemicals stand out in this regard, though, as their Charms are "installed" and the more obvious ones take on the appearance of cybernetic augmentation.
  • The shard of Esper in Magic: The Gathering features Etherium, an alloy infused with pure aether. The Ethersworn have vowed to infuse every living thing on the plane with the substance. This is most readily seen in game as artificial limbs. [2]

Video Games

  • Cyberswine: The scientist working for Vice-President Bryce Gets has a metal right arm.
  • Space Siege : you play security officer Seth Reynolds you have the option during the game to upgrade yourself with cybernetic upgrades. This also enables the option to use heavier weapons. In the end you have the option to go with the ship AI ‘’Pilot’’ and turn all into cyborgs or to kill the AI
  • The Bionic Commando series has the protagonist, Nathan "Rad" Spencer with a bionic arm. It has incredible grip and can grab everything. It's used as a gameplay mechanic as it replaces jumping with swinging.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Barret Wallace lost his arm to multiple bullet wounds. Later, his original artificial arm was replaced by a machine gun, and later upgraded in the Advent Children spinoff movie with the ability to morph into a (relatively) normal looking hand.
  • Yoshimitsu from Soul Calibur is a bizarre case, as he lives in the late 16th century. His missing arm is replaced by a strange wooden contraption, which still serves him well enough to sword fight with the best of them. His 20th-century counterpart from Tekken may or may not have a mechanical arm; it's hard to tell in most of his costumes (PROTIP: one hand is usually spinning at the wrist).
    • In the Soul Calibur IV Character Creation, it's seen that his left arm, face and both legs are also prosthetic, making him a possible Man in the Machine.
  • Joe from Mega Man Legends 2 has a Reaverbot arm, mostly longer than his natural arm. In fact, this seems rather common in the Legends era. The only major male character who doesn't seem to have mechanical prosthesis, at one time or another, is Werner von Bluecher.
  • Perhaps the most extreme example is Sydney Losstarot from Vagrant Story. He sacrificed all four of his limbs to the goddess of his religion, Mullenkamp, and had all four replaced by creepy Steampunk-ish prosthetics.
  • Subverted: Raidies F. von Branstein of Super Robot Wars fame has a prosthetic hand. It apparently doesn't look realistic despite its functionality, so he wears a glove over it. He also never shows any kind of increased strength or anything. In fact, he likes to pretend it doesn't exist...
  • Dr. Eli Vance in Half Life 2 has an artificial right leg, although it is crude and amounts to a curved, springy metal strip. His original leg was eaten by an alien animal.
    • Eli Vance's leg is Truth in Television, although the springy metal strip type is usually used by athletes, because it's hard to stand still on one.
      • Fridge Brilliance: Not only would the Seven Hour War have limited his choices for a replacement, but one that allows the user to run would be very useful for a rebel.
  • Kanon from Wild Arms 2 has had an arm and part of her trunk replaced by cybernetics; she not only has enhanced strength, but also neat gadgets like a hookshot. Considering the generally low-tech or steampunk feel of the game, one wonders how they can function as well as they do.
  • Ocelot's artificial arm in Metal Gear Solid 4 doesn't provide absurd amounts of Super Strength, but it still really hurts when he manages to punch you with it. Total-conversion cyborgs such as Grey Fox and Raiden do have inhuman strength and reflexes, as well as Implausible Fencing Powers.
  • Baten Kaitos is set in a world where everyone is born with "wings of the heart", which appear on the body at will—except for Kalas, the main character, who was born with only a single wing. His foster father made an artificial wing for him as a replacement.
  • Major Jackson Briggs a.k.a. "Jax" in Mortal Kombat has bionic implants covering his arms that give him enhanced strength. Unlike most cybernetic arms, these can be removed, and he retains his natural arms underneath.
  • Sabrewulf from Killer Instinct gained cybernetic arms after the first game by Ultratech as punishment for losing the tournament.
  • The Agents in Syndicate are kidnapped humans that go a conversion process by the Syndicate organizations They are being installed with mind controlle chip as you earn money you can upgrade their bodies by various cybernetic parts, which make them considerably more effective - unenhanced agents are okay for relatively puny weapons such as shotguns and uzis, by the end of the game each agent is carrying several miniguns and a rocket launcher or two.
  • In Metroid Prime 3, the cyborg Ghor only has 6% of his original body left, having replaced most of it with mechanical appendages.
    • He also gets a severe case of Cybernetics Eat Your Soul in that when he hops into his big ass combat suit, lowering the proportion of organic body, he flips out, becoming a loud, charging berzerker.
  • Mega Man Zero's Big Bad, Dr. Weil, has Artificial everything. It's hard to figure out what part of him is still human. Not even his humanity was left intact.
    • Weil's humanity was absent long before losing his fleshy bits.
  • Mother 3's evil organization specializes in this by making mechanical chimeras out of animals.
    • Fassad and Claus are better examples.
  • Kat in Halo: Reach has a mechanical right arm. Which is a bit odd in that there seems to be no other reason to put it into a much thinner and more skeletal casing than the other arm of the body armor, but to make it obviously visible.
    • Well, there is the fact that each suit costs about as much as a... well, I'll get back to you on that, and see if anything is comparable in price, but that can be explained as cost management.
      • More likely it's rule of cool mixed with averting informed ability; after all, if you didn't show it, how would anyone know she had a mechanical arm under the armor?
  • Psychonauts has Dr. Loboto, who has a clawed hand with a pepper grinder built in.
  • Jack of MadWorld has a mechanical arm. With a built-in chainsaw.
  • In No More Heroes, Holly Summers has an artificial leg. In addition, Shinobu gets a mechanical replacement for the hand Travis chops off at the end of her fight with him.
    • In Japan, due to Bowdlerization, Shinobu doesn't get her hand cut off at the end of the fight, which led to some confusion about whether or not her losing the hand was canon. This was settled in Desperate Struggle, which confirmed she has a mechanical hand.
  • The Grox of Spore. Being an Affectionate Parody of the Borg, the entire species has replaced their right arms, legs, and eyes with cyborg equivalents.
  • The Gunslinger, one of the weapons for the Engineer in Team Fortress 2, is a mechanical hand designed by his grandfather Radigan. It was implied in the official blog that the Engineer willingly sawed off his original right hand to accommodate the replacement, though some theories exist that the hand under the glove was always artificial.
  • In Deus Ex, protagonist JC Denton has experimental nanobots implanted into his body. Towards the end of the game, should the player choose to install them, Denton can have implants in his head, arms, eyes and legs, among others. These nanobots are also present in Denton's brother Paul, Walter Simons and Robert Page. Furthermore, traditional mechanical implants are found in UNATCO agents Anna Nevarre and Gunther Hermann. Conveniently, both Nevarre and Hermann are installed with a killphrase which, when said, causes them to violently explode.
    • The Denton Brothers are actually an aversion; unlike mech-augs, which are mottled patchworks of meat and metal, nano-augmentation is a true merging of man and machine on a cellular level. All of JC's body is his own (nano-aug'd) flesh. Gunther, Anna, and the other mech-augs are straighter examples.
      • Fan-made prequel and Game Mod 2027 features these, as nanoaugmentation is still on the drawing boards. In terms of gameplay, they still function like nano augs in the original game, except augs like the leg prothesis make a whirring sound when used.
  • Adam Jensen, the protagonist of Deus Ex Human Revolution gets both of his arms replaced with advanced prosthetics, and most of his body is "enhanced" with cybernetic implants, after surviving an attack on a corporate research facility by a group of anti-bionics extremists. Throughout the game, the player is able to upgrade Adam's limbs with various enhancements, including retractable blades. One of the antagonists, a mercenary named Barrett, has a minigun built into one of his cyberarms.
    • Artificial arms are the rage in 2027, it seems - Jensen's boss, David Sarif and Tong Si Hung, Shanghai bartender/mafioso, sport them too.
  • Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320, Captain Ponder, Eddie Underwood and an officer overseeing The SPARTAN-III Alpha Company's Augmentation procedure named De Guzman in the Halo universe have robotic limbs, with Kat, Ponder and Eddie having artificial arms, while De Guzman has a synthetic left leg.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge from Blaz Blue got his right arm chopped off when he was a kid. His new right arm is made of the remains of the Black Beast. At the end of Continuum Shift, he loses his left arm. That gets replaced by Kokonoe with materials from Lambda-11's rejuvenation tank. Iron Tager, being a cyborg, has Artificial Everything.
  • The Nobleman from Assassin's Creed Brotherhood has an artificial left arm ending in a claw.
  • Bao-Dur has an artificial arm he designed and built himself. He tries to joke about it, but turns out it's a "souvenir" from the horrors of Malachor V. It has the ability to disable force fields, but somehow restricts the kinds of armor he can wear.
  • Wild Dog of Time Crisis gets one with a built-in chain gun after his defeat in the first game.
  • Starcraft: When General Warfield has to have his right arm amputated after being poisoned by Hydralisk, he returns with a sweet mechanical prosthetic than changes into a cannon.
    • Swann also has one, from when he lost an arm when he and his miners rebelled against the Kel-Morian Combine.
  • Mass Effect: While never mentioned in-universe, a Geth arm was grafted onto Saren's body to replace his left arm.
  • In an weird case where this applies to an robot; the main character of Rodea the Sky Soldier shatters his right arm in a fit of rage and is eventually refitted with an replacement, which isn't as elegant as his original one.
  • Zagi from Tales of Vesperia gets a laser-shooting blastia arm after losing the use of his left arm from the second fight he has against the party. It's begun to have some unsettling effects on him by the time he confronts the party for the last time, due to him misusing it.


  • In Bionicle, Lariska has one completely mechanical arm (as opposed to being biomechanical, like everything else), as her original arm was removed as a punishment by the Shadowed One.

Visual Novels

  • For a Visual Novel that deals with the protagonist losing an arm, suprisingly only one of the four routes in Brass Restoration has Ryo get an artificial arm. Maybe not so surprisingly, the route it happens in is Yoshine's. After all, artificial arms can be rather expensive, so if you're not rich yourself, you do kinda need a rich girl who likes you enough to pay for it herself.
  • In Fate Stay Night's final arc, Heaven's Feel Shirou gets a replacement arm from Archer, but as that's organic it doesn't really count. However, in the good ending, he gets a replacement body doll which becomes a normal body as long as he possesses it. He needed it due to having died destroying the true Grail and being resurrected as a spirit by Ilya's sacrifice.
  • Emi of Katawa Shoujo has these, probably not surprisingly. Having lost her legs below the knee in a car accident, she uses prosthetics. This does not impede her ability to run in the hallways in the slightest.


  • Crustaceo from The Incredible and Awe Inspiring Serial Adventure of The Amazing Plasma-Man has a bionic crab claw in place of his right arm.
  • Nin Wah, the red panda in Commander Kitty has a cybertronic right arm.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court inverts this, by giving Robot S13 a replacement arm made of magic wood. While Ysengrin's arms appear to fall under this trope, Word Of Tom says (and later shows) that they're actually Powered Armor.
  • Schlock Mercenary has Action Girl Ellen Foxworthy ("Elf") lose her legs due to an antimatter explosion going off under her. She spends two weeks real-time (A few hours comic time) being carried, then gets a set of massive prosthetic legs cannibalized from power armor.
    • And then there's Lieutenant Der Trihs, who essentially has a prosthetic head. He has been reduced to a head in a jar no less than three times, his survival courtesy of the universe's well-nigh-indestructible material. He's gone through one prosthetic arm, a prosthetic whisk, and a robot body connected to his jar. The chef now wears his "hand-me-down" limbs.
    • Both characters eventually had their bodies regenerated properly. At least three times in Der Trihs' case: the last time it turned out that he had his skull reinforced specifically so he could survive being blown up again.
  • Dominic Deegan has an artificial leg. He lost the original leg in an explosion set off by his Evil Counterpart. Unusually, it's a standard prosthetic limb with no special powers.
  • Characters Drowtales have 2 options - golem limbs (see Magitek) or demon limbs. The latter is rare and seen only in a private section (at least so far). A notable example is Nihi'Liir here after she lost it here
  • Shogun in Harkovast has a mechanical hand (and forearm) which is strong enough to crush the blades of swords
  • Kimiko Ross in Dresden Codak replaced her own arm, legs and eye shortly after losing the originals in a battle with time-traveling luddites (lucky for her she was already a transhumanist) and that's after she escaped from the hospital using thermite, a parachute, and the one arm she had left.
  • Mecha-Nicole of Everyday Heroes was a former mad scientist who gave herself an artificial head.
  • Jason in The Ends gets a cyborg arm to replace one that was torn off by a monster.
  • Clubber in City of Reality has an artificial arm that incorporates a variety of useful tools, including an Arm Cannon.
  • In SSDD, CORE marines have a certain saying. "If you still have all your limbs... you're not trying hard enough!"
  • Maxim in Girl Genius has recently picked one up to replace his missing right hand.
  • Daisy Archanis in Last Res0rt gets one of these as part of the Backstory just before the show begins, after having her left leg amputated while in Celigo's custody. It's heavily implied that Veled had it removed to prevent her from being able to teleport.
  • Jordan from Exploitation Now lost her left arm in a car accident when she was little. And replaced it with a mechanical one armed with all sort of gadgets.
  • In Hivebent, robotics expert Equius gave his crush Aradia (a Dead to Begin With character) a robotic body. His other works have been (in flashbacks) Vriska's robotic arm and replacement eye after she lost both to Terezi's Batman Gambit, which caused her future-seeing cueball to explode in her face and Tavros's legs after having been a wheelchair- then hoverchair-bound paraplegic throughout their game session (since Vriska psychically coerced him to jump off of a cliff).
  • Lord Tedd from El Goonish Shive seems to have an at least partially artificial arm.
    • Later shown to be a glove, not a cybernetic arm
  • Lothar from Exterminatus Now had both his legs and his right arm replaced with bionic limbs by the time he joined Eastwood and Virus.
  • Ally from Stubble Trouble has a prosthetic leg to replace her original leg which was severely damaged in a car crash.

Web Original

  • Pretty commonplace in Nexus Gate.
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe, featured several cybernetic characters, including Indian hero Naja (his legs have been replaced with a long cybernetic "tail", and he has envenomed "fangs" in his wrists), Koushik (his right arm has been replaced and gives him super-strong punches), Halftrack (the lower half of his body has been replaced by a tracked, tank-like machine with attached heavy weaponry), Daemon (cranial implants let him jack into computers, and other implants increase his strength, durability, and speed), Deadlock (cranial implants allow him to "jack in" new skillsets as needed), Overdrive (arms, legs, and spine have been reinforced, giving her Super Speed), and Robotman (who is a Brain In a Jar with a total body replacement).
  • There is a whole group of side-character students like this in the webfiction Whateley Universe at the Whateley Academy. She-Bot was born a thalidomide baby, and took to robotic limbs far better than anyone could have expected. Because she's a mutant. She's upgraded her own limbs several times. Rack is a dwarf who has built himself a normal-sized super-suit. Techno-Devil, the son of the notorious supervillain Dr. Diabolik, has replaced one of his own eyes with a glaring red cyber-implant, and has cybernetic input jacks on both side of his skull. There are characters who have deliberately done even more disturbing cyber-things to their bodies.
  • Kaogin, from The Motley Two, has a robotic arm and leg, replacements she had to get after a Noodle Incident. The arm grants her Super Strength, enough to tear down a wall. Also, she's got a vocal implant that allows her to Auto-Tune while singing.
  • Equestria Chronicles has Nova Storm. Interestingly, she was born with three legs and had to get a fourth in order to join the guard.
  • MSF High Forum: Israfel has a legion made wooden false arm since Seram keeps his real arm, Fable was given an artificial arm by Yosah on her first day.

Western Animation

  • Modo from Biker Mice From Mars has a cybernetic arm to replace the one he lost on Mars to the Plutarkians.
  • Just like in the post-Zero Hour comics above, in the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, the episode "Chained Lightning" sees Lightning Lad loses an arm to an attack by Imperiex; Brainiac 5 gives him a new cybernetic arm. He can still channel his powers through the arm and it comes with some cool other features, but the whole thing is a bit unnerving for a couple of reasons. First off, Lightning Lad was knocked unconscious by the attack, and Brainiac 5 just started working on him without, you know, asking if he wanted a cybernetic arm in the first place. Second, Lightning Lad doesn't even spare a second lamenting the loss of his freaking arm; he says "Cool" and hops out of bed to go fight the bad guys. Sorry, but losing a freaking limb isn't the slightest bit traumatic?
    • It's... possible... that in the far future the loss and replacement of limbs is relatively common. See the Futurama example below.
  • Angry Archer in Transformers Animated has a robotic arm, although it might just be a gauntlet rather than a replacement limb.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Curt Connors has an impressive robotic prosthetic arm, while Doctor Octopus is fused at the spinal cord to a harness with four superstrong robotic arms. Doc Ock uses these as extra arms and feet, and to batter and throw opponents. The three claws at each end can rotate like miniature buzz-saws.
  • In Justice League, Aquaman cuts off his own hand to save his son. It is later replaced with a hook that resembles a harpoon.
  • Inspector Gadget. What bits of him are real in the original cartoons? The Movie makes it clear that the only thing still real about Gadget is his brain.
  • Done for laughs with Fry of Futurama. In one episode he feeds a T-Rex at a sort of petting zoo, and the T-Rex bites off his hands. A quick stop at Hands Crafters and he's as good as new.
    • Another episode features Fry winning the Robot Devil's hands. When the Robot Devil stalls for time, Fry impatiently says, "Stop being such a baby and cut off my hands."
  • The Scotsman had dangerous leg, later someone at Grind House watched Samurai Jack and decided to repeat this in live action.
  • In Mummies Alive one of the characters has a prosthetic arm that's only usable in his powered up form.
  • Combustion Man from Avatar: The Last Airbender has a prosthetic right forearm and lower leg, purportedly from injuries sustained when still learning to control his technique. Toph can detect his approach via her Seismic Sense and describes it sounding like a "metal man".
  • Dr. Robotnik had a robotic arm in the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon because he accidentally roboticized his arm.
  • In the Bump in the Night episode "Farewell, 2 Arms," while Molly's left arm is detached and under repair, she finds a stronger replacement and feels the need to replace her right arm too. Over the course of the episode, she has her entire body replaced, creating a completely new entity. She comes back after Squishy puts all her original parts back together.
  • Grim Reaper in Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes has one that turns into a Scythe.
  • Takashi Shirogane aka Shiro from Voltron: Legendary Defender had his left arm chopped off and replaced with an artificial one when in Galta captivity.

Real Life

  • Royal Air Force pilot Douglas Bader lost both legs in an ill-advised bit of stunt-flying a year or two before WW 2 broke out. He fought his way out of an invalidity discharge and proved himself capable of being a fighter pilot, knocking down several Germans in the Battle of Britain. Captured in 1942 he made a series of escape attempts, despite the obvious handicap, and was eventually sent to the special camp for persistent escapers, Colditz. He still begged for a place on the emergency escape glider prisoners built secretly in 1945....
  • And for Steampunk lovers, may we humbly present Gotz Von Berlichingen, who had a strangely familiar prosthetic hand.
  • Regardless of other drawbacks, a number of prototype prostheses have 360 degree freedom of rotation at the wrist- something that humans have yet to evolve.
  • Oscar Pistorius, runner, was prevented from competing in the Olympics because this prosthetic legs turned out to be more effective than biological ones.
    • There's at least one runner who was barred from competing not due to unfair competition but because his foot blades could endanger other runners.
  • In the 2008 summer Olympics, one competitor of the woman's free swim had a prosthetic leg with a "flipper" on it.
  • After miniature sculptor Michael Perry lost his right hand in an accident, he not only learned to sculpt left-handed but had a prosthesis specially built to aid in his sculpting.
  • What about the mountain climber whose arm was pinned by a boulder, and he had to saw it off to escape? He had it replaced by an ice axe.
  • Minor case: Athlete and model Aimee Mullins makes herself taller by swapping out her normal-sized artificial legs for a longer set.
    • A great many people make themselves taller by putting shoes on. Granted, Ms. Mullins does have some very pretty prostheses.
  • Similar to the above, the Finnish cartoonist and politician Kaisa Leka had her lower legs replaced with prostethics due to a deformity that caused her severe pain when walking. She seems remarkably unfazed by the loss of her organic feet.
  • Canadian Harold Russell lost both hands in a WWII training exercise - he was outfitted with articulated hooks and, while working in a training film, was chosen by director William Wyler to co-star in "The Best Years of Our Lives" about three returning servicemen's difficult adjustments to home life.