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So you have your Elite Redshirts. They're on the good side, they're a group of (usually) non-heroes, and they are AWESOME. So... what do you call them?
It seems that, every time you hear the word "Ranger", the person/people bearing the title will proceed to kick butt for quite a long time, and will almost never suffer from Badass Decay.
In short, "Ranger" is shorthand for awesome.
- The Rangers in the Marvel Universe.
- Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America) served in a Ranger unit during WW 2.
Films — Animation
Films — Live Action
- Der Schuh des Manitu: Ranger. He has no other name besides that.
- Cameron Poe from Con Air.
- In "The Lord of the Rings", during extended cut of "The Two Towers", Saruman has a rather visible Oh Crap moment when Grima Wormtongue mention that one of the men at Edoras, (Aragorn), appeared to be a Dunedain Ranger.
- Of course, Saruman has a bigger one when Grima mentions he's wearing a ring of entwined serpents and realises who he is.
- In the Lone Wolf series, the Sommlending Border Rangers, elite soldiers of Sommerlund. Unfortunately for them, in Book 4 ( The Chasm of Doom) they are assigned to the command of Doom Magnet Lone Wolf, making them a Redshirt Army.
- Rangers from The Lord of the Rings. Both the Arnorian and Gondorian ones.
- Obviously, the Rangers of the Ranger's Apprentice series.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has the Antarian Rangers, an organization of clans founded to support Jedi Knights; they interbred somewhat with the Jedi, so Force-Sensitivity was common. Wraith Squadron member Tyria Sarkin is the last of the Antarian Rangers from her planet, and puts the infiltration skills she learned to good use.
To be a Ranger meant knowing how to move in any environment. To blend in with the forest or grasslands, to sail, to swim, to dive, to pilot. To be masters of our surroundings. We were good spies, good warriors, very adept at intrusion and escape.
- The "Ranger Girls", female federal agents in Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan novels.
- Bush rangers are shown in The Last Continent as being outlaws. Rincewind, however, makes the mistake most of us would probably make if we heard the word "ranger."
- The Last Continent is a mishmash of Australian culture, pop culture and nostalgia for things long since abandoned. The term "bush ranger" refers to criminals operating beyond the settled and adaquately policed areas of the time, analagous to American Wild West outlaws.
- In Dale Brown's books, Hal Briggs and Trevor Griffin are Air Force officers who have gone for the Ranger course. Sergeant Major Ray Jefferson was also a Ranger.
- In Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan story arc, Chavez is a graduate of Army Ranger school. He is a part of Rainbow Six.
- The Rangers of the Night's Watch from A Song of Ice and Fire. Especially Qhorin Halfhand
Live Action TV
- The Power Rangers in all their forms.
- Some (but not all) of the Super Sentai teams.
- Specifically: Goranger (1), Turboranger (13), Zyuranger (16), Dairanger (17), Kakuranger (18), Ohranger (19), Carranger (20), Megaranger (21), Timeranger (24), Gaoranger (25), Hurricanger (26), Abaranger (27), Dekaranger (28), Magiranger (29), Boukenger (30), Gekiranger (31), Go-Onger (32), Shinkenger (33), Goseiger (34), Gokaiger (35).
- Some (but not all) of the Super Sentai teams.
- Walker, Texas Ranger, of course.
- The Rangers in Babylon 5.
- The Dungeons & Dragons class Ranger.
- Particularly in the 1st edition AD&D, where they almost define Badass Normal. Rangers started their career with 2 hit dice rather than the 1 everyone else got - say an average 66% increase over the other fighter-types, 400% over spellslingers, a whompin' 90% base tracking chance(by comparison, a 1st level thief with maximum dexterity would have 20-40% in all but one skill), a 50% chance to surprise anyone, a huge(by 1st ed standards) damage bonus to pretty much any humanoid monster; and at high levels, spellcasting from two different primary spellcaster classes(druid & magic-user) and loyal followers, potentially up to storm giants and copper dragons. Yeah.
- Of course, now they are Tier 5 and only see use at all because there aren't any official ranged disciplines and none of the effective melee classes have wilderness skills. Or the rare instances of binkered grognard D Ms who see no problem with a party of two Tier 1s, a Tier 4, and a Tier 5.
- This troper plays a Ranger in Fourth Edition. His DM consistently tried to kill the ranger. And fails horribly.
- Deadlands uses the Texas Rangers--see the Truth in Television section below--and uses them shamelessly. One Riot, One Ranger is still the Catch Phrase, but the "riot" in question may well be undead, werewolves, worshippers of an Eldritch Abomination, whatever. If that seems unfair to the Rangers, that's because it is; even Player Character Rangers are told to "make do" when encountering adversity. Especially Player Character Rangers.
- The World of Warcraft High Elven class Ranger.
- Playable characters get... "hunter". Meh.
- Subversion: In Call of Juarez, Ray meets a squad of Texas Rangers and helps them assault a farm, which, they claim, is robbers' base. And he believes them completely until The Reveal.
- Pokémon Ranger.
- Rangers in Final Fantasy XI are defined as being ranged attack masters. Indeed, until a few years ago, Rangers were so far and away the top DPS job it didn't seem possible for anyone else to catch up... at least, until ranged attacks got Nerfed. While many see it as being a little bit too much, Rangers are still a good candidate for any party.
- Subverted in Command and Conquer Generals where Rangers are the basic infantry unit for the US. Possible Double Subversion in that there isn't a single unit on the US side that isn't elite and the US as a whole is defined by superior skill and technology.
- Nethack has a ranger class, focused on stealth and death from far-off, which is
a nerfed D&D rangerstrong but very well-balanced compared to its contemporary in AD&D
- Ramirez from Modern Warfare 2, who DOES EVERYTHING, is from the 75th Rangers Regiment. General Shepherd too, who nearly manages to beat Captain Price to death with his bare hands.
- Featured in several of the Dragon Quest games that use a Class System, including Dragon Quest IX.
- Fallout: New Vegas features on the cover a New California Republic Veteran Ranger in their Gas Mask Longcoat getup; in the game, they're the best of the NCR's soldiers.
- The NCR Rangers are the best of the NCR (and have been since first seen in Fallout 2), and mostly handpicked from the army, with only a few especially badass exceptions. The Veteran Rangers are the best of the NCR Rangers, with a fair portion of them inherited from the Desert Rangers of Nevada (if Tycho and what he says is anything to go by, also badasses).
- In Company of Heroes, the ranger squad is the most powerful infantry squad the americans get and is good at killing infantry and armor. Their only competition is the airborne units, british commandos, and german knights cross holders.
- Dawn of War: Eldar Rangers, the "invisible sniper" type that does huge morale damage.
- The third Ratchet and Clank had Galactic Rangers, who were generally cowardly and preferred to have Ratchet take care of all the work. However, they pull a Big Damn Heroes in the endgame, helping him clear the path to Nefarious and taking out Giant Mooks in only a few shots.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics a 2, we got the Moogle Rangers, which consist of… well, Moogles. And five of them. However, they have hundreds of counts of breaking the peace (and one of trespassing) and need to be taken down by your clan. At the end of the battle, for no reason whatsoever, they leave by rising into the sky.
- The Desert Rangers (the source for Fallout's Desert Rangers) of Wasteland were (in-universe) inspired by the Texas Rangers, and (once they realized other communities had survived the nuclear war) decided to help rebuild and re-establish human civilization in the wastelands. Your characters belong to the group, and will either die or end up doing many impressive things.
- Ranger from Eight Bit Theater is a parody, double-classing as Ranger/Ranger to dual-wield his dual-wield. With bows and arrows.
- The Highland Raiders from Drowtales. The various Sarghress units are mostly among the best in the business in their chosen field. The highland raiders may not excel as a group in any specific field, but they compensate by doing a bit of everything for long periods of time. Including expeditions to the surface, where they will suffer from Mana deprivation if they stay too long and are too few.
- Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger features quite a group of Badasses.
- United States Army Rangers, who are advanced light infantry troops in the United States Army.
- Similarly, Irish Army Rangers. (although they are actual special forces aposed to advanced light infantry)
- The Texas Rangers, Trope Namer for One Riot, One Ranger.
- Philippine Army Scout Rangers aka the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment. They're a special forces unit, created by Rafael M. Ileto after the Alamo Scouts and the American Rangers since he had served with the American military against the Japanese in the Pacific War. The Regiment is highly known in Asia for their experience in fighting against the communist New People's Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
- The Pakistan Rangers.
- The JGSDF has this, but it's more of a soldier's qualification than a unit. It's been coveted since JGSDF soldiers with Ranger training are for the most part either with the Special Forces Group, the JGSDF's counter-terrorist/elite special forces unit or with the elite paratrooper unit, the 1st Airborne Brigade. JGSDF soldiers with Ranger status are also trained to conduct anti-guerrilla/infiltration operations (alongside other special forces-type training) throughout Japan should there be a future conflict involving commandos/soldiers from intruding nations or terrorists inserted into Japan.
- The original rangers were colonial troops hired as special forces along the American frontier by various colonies. Rogers Rangers were among the most famous of these.