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Throughout this campaign, Häyhä basically just ran around doling out head-shots like the ice cream man gives out Dove bars on a hot sunny day in the Sahara desert. His personal best was fucking twenty-five kills in a single day. That's like an entire baseball team!

The protagonist does far more than pull his own weight. In video games, it is not only possible but routine for one man to go around and kill literally thousands of people. No one ever finds this particularly unusual, nor does anyone ever wonder about their psychological state, which would certainly be affected by taking so many lives. The impact of this is lessened if the enemies are Faceless Goons or don't register as human beings who exist solely to provide a Mook Horror Show, but the unlikelihood of one person wiping out entire armies of epic proportions isn't.

Often Handwaved by making the character a Super Soldier. In a series aimed at younger audiences, they may simply defeat large masses of people rather than outright kill them. In playing this trope, it is useful to have The Evil Army try to Zerg Rush said character in The War Sequence.

This trope caters to everyone's inner Munchkin or Big Guy; 99% of First-Person Shooters ever made fall under this.

Often goes hand-in-hand with It's Up to You. When the One-Man Army is intentionally sent out to take care of the problem by himself, its a case of One Riot, One Ranger. Villains tend to underestimate this person at first, considering him Just One Man. Compare and contrast Person of Mass Destruction, who's symbolically treated like a weapon by the setting, and Omnicidal Maniac, who is all too willing to push him- or herself into this territory. In the latter case, the Omnicidal Maniac often gains his/her/its kill-count through using WMDs on hapless civilians rather than personally fighting enemy combatants.

Of course, being a One-Man Army usually qualifies you as a Badass and Crew of One. However, very few people will respect your ability. Or worse, seek to abuse it because "We Do the Impossible" is in effect. Contrast with the Badass Army where each individual could be considered this but are part of said army, as well as the Easily-Conquered World where it's the severely, severely outnumbered enemies who are kicking ass and taking names. If one man makes the army, then you have The Minion Master. Likewise, if one man becomes the army, it's Me's a Crowd.

Compare Showy Invincible Hero. See also Conservation of Ninjitsu, which postulates that being outnumbered is what gives the character the advantage.

While Real Life examples do exist, this is generally not a good idea in Real Life: the reason military forces tend to work in groups or teams at the very smallest and why police officers tend to call for backup before approaching a dangerous situation is simply that one person is only capable of so much, and may be so focused on one part of what is happening that he or she will have Failed a Spot Check on another, possibly far more dangerous one.

Also, in the case of modern combat theaters, it's more difficult to pull off if any army in the theater has airstrike capabilities, because no One-Man Army can stand up to a bunker-buster bomb. Or, if any force in the theater has nuclear capabilities and delivery capabilities.

Examples of One-Man Army include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Both Killy and Sana-Kan from Blame! (who are essentially opposite sex versions of each other in personality, will and even Weapon of Choice) rack-up literally thousands of kills in the manga alone. But seeing as how both of them are thousands of years old, it could well be in the billions by now. Their signature guns make such a massive kill-count plausible.
  • Hiraga Saito from the Zero no Tsukaima light novel/anime series stopped an army of 70,000 for about two days by targeting the commanders and flustering their movements. His predecessor destroyed an army of 1000.
  • Guts from Berserk is called the "Hundred Man Slayer" because he tore apart the good part of an entire company of Blue Whale Knights, which numbered at least a hundred men, singlehandedly. His personal body count of both men and demons over the course of the Berserk manga has probably more than tripled this amount, cementing Guts's status as an all-out Badass.
    • At this point he's actually a "Thousand Man Slayer", if you count foes that were no longer entirely human when he killed them.
      • I think the point of the nickname is that Guts has killed 100 men in a single battle. Alone. Though, in this story setting, doing that is actually much less impressive than killing an Apostle. And Guts has been picking them off one by one for a while now too.
    • At one point an enemy commander during the Griffith rescue arc insists to his nervous men (who are waiting to ambush Guts and the Hawks) that the one hundred men story must be an exaggeration, and no one could possibly do that. And Guts is currently running on pure apeshit Unstoppable Rage after seeing the state that Griffith was in. Yeah. Nice knowing you, fellas.
  • Ogami the Lone Wolf once killed 70 other samurai in one fight. This in a manga that's supposed to be realistic...
  • Several characters in Tower of God, especially Zahard's Princesses like Yuri and Maschenny and the High Rankers like Yu Han-Sung, Koon Eduan, Evankell and Zahard himself. For them it is already at the point of subversion because what they are able to do has reached a terrifying notoriety.
    • Then there is the case of Irregulars, those whose presence violates the basic rules of the Tower. Mostly because they were able to open the doors to the Tower themselves, they are among the most powerful beings in the universe, so powerful in fact, that they are either the highest ranked Rankers or go even above that. Urek Mazino was able to climb the Tower in less than fisty years, at least 10 times as fast as anybody else. Enryu killed the Guardian of the 43rd floor, even though they were practically immortal. And finally, Phantaminum appeared out of nowhere and stormed Zahard's castle, killing hundreds of High Rankers in his way, reaching Zahard and decided, for some unknown reason, to leave again. In the end, there was no choice but to make him the highest ranked of the Tower.
    • On a smaller scale, Ja Wangnan convinced Baam to make a truce with him because even if he was strong, he wouldn't hold out against the next six contestants. When the rest arrive and start squabbling, Baam decides to fight them all and nearly beats all but Ja, whose master skills and PokéBombs save his ass.
  • In Shadow Skill, it is said that a Kuruda mercenary defending his friends and family is a match for a thousand soldiers. Gau Ban proves this in the assault on Blorahan by taking out the entire Soulfan army by himself.
  • In Dragon Ball, Son Goku defeated the Red Ribbon Army, the strongest army in the world at the time by himself. At age 13. When he told his friends, who had come to back him up the look in their faces was priceless.
    • Everyone in later Dragonball and all of Dragonball Z can be considered this.
  • In the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Graham Acre Mister Bushido has a "One-Man Army license", carte blanche from the Federation government to do whatever the hell he wants as part of the anti-resistance task force. Unlike this trope however, while he easily could go around wiping out whole bases, he mostly just ignores orders and has inconclusive duels with The Hero. Members of the group behind the Government Conspiracy, unsurprisingly, also have one.
    • Gundam 00 a Wakening of The Trailblazer introduces Captain Shaman and the Mobile Armor Gadelaza, which carries over a hundred and fifty GN fangs! The sheer speed at which he racks up kills is mind-boggling.
    • For that matter, any of the Gundam Meisters (or the Sol Braves squadron, made up of six of the best mobile suit pilots in the world), who are shown taking down entire enemy battlefleets single-handedly throughout the final fight (it says something about the sheer overwhelming numbers the enemy possessed that this hardly slowed them down).
  • Kira Yamato, Athrun Zala, Shinn Asuka, and Rau Le Creuset of Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny. Stella may also count once she gets inside the Destroy, and Neo Roanoke becomes one after gaining the Akatsuki.
  • And of course, Amuro Ray and the original Gundam. Proof here.
    • For those without Nico Nico accounts, the video is of every kill Amuro made in the original series. 142 on-screen kills. And since some of those were Mobile Armors or battleships, the actual number of Zeon soldiers he killed is quite a bit higher. This all took place in a couple of months, remember.
  • When the Redshirt Army gets wiped out by Precia's Mecha-Mooks in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Chrono steps up to the plate... and proceeds to mow down Precia's welcoming commitee with little effort much to Nanoha's astonishment, then tells Nanoha and her friends to handle the out of control Jewel Seeds while he blazes a trail to Precia on his own.
    • The other characters eventually gain this trait in later seasons too, soloing waves of Mooks on their lonesome. For example, Signum once demonstrated her new upgrade by showing up as the only reinforcement against an invading squadron of Gadget Drones, and destroying all fifty of them in one shot.
      • Earlier in the series, Hayate had wiped out four groups of 48 of the same Mooks with a single spell. With one hand figuratively tied behind her back.
  • Vagabond has "Musashi and the Seventy." The Yoshioka swordsmen are not all Faceless Goons (in fact at least three have full names and a number have internal dialogues), but EGAD Miyamoto Musashi is right up there with Guts; it ends up catapulting him from a local celebrity to a national figure.
    • However, the effort seriously weakened Musashi and gave him injuries that are still hurting him in the present. It was more Broke Your Hand Punching Out Cthulhu than One-Man Army.
  • The 4th Hokage in Naruto is the target of a "flee on sight" order from the opposition during the war. Later, he takes out an entire force by himself.
    • In the 4th Shinobi World War arc, Kabuto resurrects a bunch of these to fight the good guys, including many of the former Kages and the real Uchiha Madara.
    • The 3rd Raikage was able to single-handedly match a a force of 10,000 for several days, though they ultimately killed him.
    • Naruto is one himself now, with each of his clones being a Kage level threat. And then there's Physical God Pain, who soloed the entire village of Konohagakure by himself.
      • Now that Naruto has tamed Kurama, he is now a TRUE One-Man Army. He curbstomps Five Biju all at once.
    • Madara Uchiha annihilates most of the relatively undamaged Fourth Division by using his powers for a Colony Drop x2!
    • Tobi defeats the entirety of the First Division using Gedo Mazo, getting the sealed Kinkaku and Ginkaku like he was taking a summer stroll.
  • As the Big Bad in Bleach points out, each Shinigami Captain is considerably more powerful in battle than every member of their respective squadron put together.
    • Aizen HIMSELF is a walking death machine what with him having twice the fighting power of an average captain.
      • To wit, Captain Broken has the same point total as the strongest of the Shinigami, except that he trades a bit of muscle for more brains compared to old man Yamamoto.
    • Starrk is this, in a way.
      • Hell, if given the chance, the top five Espada could be this. Starrk and Barragan are a Walking Wasteland given form, Harribel can drown and/or scold armies at once, Ulquiorra's shown the ability to be more efficient than any other villain besides Aizen(and that's stretching the definition), and Nnoitra has 100% defense and enough attack power to hold himself.
  • Elfen Lied's Lucy, in both the anime and the manga, was known for gaining a massive headcount (literally), as in the escape scene at the beginning of the story.
  • Saiyuki's Hakkai killed one thousand demons with nothing but his own hands and a small knife. Unfortunately for him, this led to a Karmic Transformation because "bathing in the blood of a thousand demons" turns you into a demon. Unfortunately for everyone else, this makes him a lot more powerful. And he's the Team Mom!
    • Seiten Taisei (Goku's Super-Powered Evil Side) and Nataku count as well.
    • In Saiyuki Gaiden in their last stands kenren takes out a good number of the wierd genetically engineered animals that li touten created, and tenpou the same for a lot of men (he arguablly would have won if his glasses hadn't been knocked off) tenpou is also said to do the work of an entire unit (although thats not on the battle field
  • Black Lagoon. Revy, Ginji, Fabiola, but especially Roberta. That chick wields a .50 caliber sniper rifle one-handed, and she could shoot you with her belt buckle.
  • Monkey D. Luffy. from One Piece:

 Marines:Hey, Straw Hat! Where's your army? Enies Lobby's forces number in ten thousands!

Luffy:Yeah... and I'm alone. GET OUT OF MY WAY!

    • Fisher Tiger also counts, climbing the Red Line and raiding a Marine base by himself. Not to mention freeing all the Celestial Dragons' slaves.
    • Generally speaking, the more powerful crews such as Shanks' and Whitebeard's consist of an army of One Man Armies
    • At the time of Mihawks introduction Gin referenced him as being one man destroying 50 ships. Oda seems to love this trope, maybe he's just a strong believer in quality over quantity. Even Luffy himself said he was just looking for about 10 crew members.
    • Zoro took out a hundred bounty hunters in Whiskey Peak on his own without even breaking a sweat.
    • Capone Bege ate a fruit that made him a fortress for minature armies, when an object or human goes out of the barrier, the object or human expands to normal size. So, he is literally an one man army.
    • Admiral Akainu is the series' penultimate example during the war. Once he'd made up his mind to kill Luffy, not even the combined efforts of Jinbei, Ivankov, Inazuma, Crocodile, Marco, and pretty much every remaining Whitebeard pirate could do anything more than slow him down. And this is AFTER getting into a one-on-one fight with Whitebeard and living to tell about it. To top it off, not only is he still standing at the end of the war, but shortly thereafter he goes after the Blackbeard pirates...who promptly get the hell out of dodge when they hear that Akainu is in the area.
  • Several characters in Hellsing (Anderson, Walter, The Captain, Seras), but most notably Alucard. Not only is he capable of single-handedly slaughtering hordes of ghouls or normal humans but when he has his full power unleashed, he is capable of summoning familiars made from the souls of every being whose blood he has drained, numbering in the millions.
    • He may have lost this ability while recovering from the quantum indigestion caused by eating Schrodinger. Not too big a loss considering that the only one he needed to use it on is dead.
  • Sousuke from Full Metal Panic. Even at the age of eleven, he was shown to have single handedly killed at least fifteen trained soldiers during one battle in a war zone without breaking a sweat. Gauron saw the aftermath, and it was Love At First Sight.
    • Gauron himself is a One-Man Army.
  • Demon Eyes Kyo from Samurai Deeper Kyo is credited in the prologue and throughout the series as a samurai who once slayed 1000 men in a single battle.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has the Anthropomorphic Personification of England vs. America and a whole bunch of soldiers. England still manages to get America at his mercy, though in the end he can't bring himself to shoot.
    • It's also interesting that there are moments of allegory in which they literally are a one man army; the most prominent example would be China single-handedly defeating both Japan and Germany with just a wok.
    • And then there's Hungary taking out the entire Prussian army by herself. Probably another instance of allegory, but still pretty freaking awesome.
  • Any high level Mage in Mahou Sensei Negima probably counts as this. The most extreme example is Jack Rakan, who, well, just look. Nagi also counts, being even more powerful than Rakan. Fate is also implied to be at a similar power level.

 Rakan: "Are you sure you wanna take us on? I mean, you don't have that much firepower."

Commander: "We have two entire fleets of airships and over three thousand elite soldiers beyond the next rise! Even you can't possibly..."

Rakan: "Like I said: are you sure? You don't have that much firepower!"

    • And now Negi is worthy of such title, slaughtering through hundreds if not thousand of shadow demons while barely slowing down. Other members even lampshade it by saying that he doesn't leave any enemies for them to fight.
  • Fallan Denzell from the criminally short-lived Double Arts is rumored to have taken on and defeated 50 bandits single-handedly. Eventually, though, he sets the record straight: it was actually 500.
  • The Super Robot genre can be summed up as "a single guy in a giant robot is more than enough for vanquishing an entire alien invasion / interdimensional Eldritch Abominations / whatever wants to destroy the world this week."
    • Mazinger Z -the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier myself- is interesting because it both plays straight AND subverts the trope. The Humongous Mecha titular is certainly powerful enough to trash an entire army... but when Kouji has to fight more than two Robeasts at once, he struggles (Mazinger versus Devilman movie) or loses (Mazinger versus Great General of Darkness movie, Mazinkaiser...). Its sucessors, Great Mazinger and 'UFO Robo Grendizer have been seen taking on entire armies and winning (the former in one manga chapter penned by Gosaku Ota).
    • More Super Robot examples: Kotetsu Jeeg, Raideen, Combattler V, Voltes V, Daimos, Zambot 3, Daitarn 3... all of them are more than capable of single-handily winning against one entire army or achieving things an army is unable to. Ideon and Gunbuster are most likely the most triumphant examples of the Super Robot Genre. The former is capable of cutting one planet on half. The latter is capable of wipe out hundreds of thousands of aliens on One. Single. Freaking. Battle.
    • Even then, Ryoma Nagare stands out, because of that time when he didn't have his mech... and stormed the enemy capital by himself anyways. And would have won if the bad guy didn't summon four kaijus to help.
    • ANY Evangelion Unit or Angel is this, due to being quite literally invulnerable to anything up to a antimatter (positron) cannon powered by an entire country's electricity supply. Including nukes. Asuka futher proves this point by, in End of Evangelion, lobbing a BATTLESHIP into an entire tank and artillery brigade. A description of the very first and weakest Angel might give a better image: "...chewed through a Tank Battalion in four minutes flat, destroyed three dozen aircraft and took more firepower than the entire Pacific Fleet could dish out, right up to the use of Strategic scale N2 weapons. The UN and JSSDF threw everything they had at it and barely slowed it down at the cost of over a thousand lives and half a billion US dollars".
  • In the 17th episode of Durarara, Shizuo Heiwajima takes on over a hundred supernaturally powerful and durable Knife Nuts at once using only Good Old Fisticuffs. He doesn't just win -- he Curb Stomps them while suffering nothing worse than a number of shallow cuts and scratches.

 Shizuo: How many are here? Let's just go with a lot. Yeah, this should be enough. With this, I think I can finally go all-out.

  • The Naritaverse also gives us Baccano's Claire Stanfield, a.k.a. Vino, known for most of the anime only as Rail Tracer. The train contained two groups of a dozen or so armed thugs apiece. He slaughtered nearly all of them singlehandedly with what seemed like very little effort, and still found time to torture Czeslaw for trying to get more innocent passengers killed, convince Ladd to throw himself off the train, save Isaac and Miria, and propose to Chane while covered in blood.
    • Jacuzzi Splot most definitely qualifies, what with raiding eighteen Mafia speaksies single-handedly within one night. Given that each hideout usually has at least a dozen mooks or so...that's about....yeah...
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin is perfectly capable of taking on numerous mooks and dispatching them with pure speed. He doesn't have the title "Strongest of the Patriots" for nothing. One of his former allies Tani, a corrupt isshin-shishi states that an entire military unit wouldn't be enough to handle him.
    • Also, Sanosuke took out 200 mooks while simply relieving stress, and he's far outclassed by Kenshin.
    • Most of Kenshin's allies and enemies fall under his trope, particularly of Central troops.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, King Bradley proves himself to be this during the battle with the Briggs soldiers; for one thing, the guy takes down a tank by himself.
    • With a sword, no less.
    • Greed is able to take out just as many, if not more, Central soldiers and he destroys a truck with his bare hands.
    • The State Alchemists are viewed as such in-universe. The Ishbal war had been dragging on for years until the State Alchemists were sent in. It ended, quickly, abruptly and messily.
  • Shou, the main character of Akumetsu manages to take down 50 people unarmed before being subdued at one point.
  • In Beast Wars Neo, Big Convoy was told to be the "One Robot Army". However, since most of the time he's seen leading a group of Maximals, it could be just an Informed Ability.
  • Inazuma Eleven, Fudou tries to be this during the third season's match with Korea's Red Dragon. The result? He pisses other member off. This happens again with Brazil's captain.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, Lind the Valkyrie's job description is essentially that of Heaven's own One Woman Army. Belldandy has the skills and potential but not the personality to be the same.
  • To Aru Majutsu no Index actually has a few: namely the saints, the level 5 espers, Knight Leader, and Ollerus, just to name some (proven by Accelerator and Misaka, the #1 and #3 espers respectively, both taking out large military groups on thier own.)
  • Inuyasha: Naraku has a tendency to send out armies of Youkai mooks against the good guys. This is problematic for him because Inuyasha has a sword which is legendary for its ability to slay a hundred youkai with a single swing, something he finally masters saving Miroku from one such tactic - and Miroku himself is capable of being a One-Man Army due to being both Blessed with Suck and Cursed with Awesome at the same time. And, just in case Naraku didn't think Inuyasha and Miroku together needed careful planning to oppose, Inuyasha's older brother eventually gains a sword of his own which, as Byakuya learns the hard way, is capable of taking out thousands with a single swing.
  • Gintoki in Gintama can be this when he feels like it, which is pretty much never. It's stated to be one of the reasons no one bothers Otose in Kabukichou. Most people would rather deal with the nose-picking lazy bum living above her shop instead of the White Demon.
    • Other characters, including villains, are shown to be this as well, Okita, Hijikata, Katsura and Takasugi (usually in flashbacks), Housen, Kamui and Jirochou have all mowed down mooks by the truckload.
  • Wolfwood in Trigun. Vash is a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Manji in Blade of the Immortal. It helps that the "Hundred-Man Killer" has Wolverine-like healing powers.
  • Kongo Agon of Eyeshield 21 is a One-Man Opposing Sports Team, playing nearly every position and covering almost all of Deimon's plays by himself.
  • Eight years before the storeline of Daily Lives of High School Boys started, there was this "Archdemon", the menace of all kids around town. Ten Bully Hunters allied to "pacify" her...and they could barely make a draw with Archdemon.
  • The anime short Kigeki centres around the Black Swordsman, who is hired by a young Irish girl to take out an army coming to attack her village. The Swordsman obliges, and calmly slaughters all 200 fully armored knights on horseback in a few hours. Then he eats them for good measure.
  • In Shaman King Hao (Zeke) becomes so powerful with Spirit of Fire that he destroys an entire naval fleet designed to kill him and a shaman with a spirit stronger than Spirit of Fire. Then he becomes the Shaman King. Instant annihilation if he even looks at you.
    • Amidamaru also fits. He killed an entire army that came to capture him. Of course, he dies right after.

Comic Books Edit

  • OMAC, from The DCU, whose name is an acronym for "One Man Army Corps"; also a Shout-Out to a WWII medal of Honor winner who got the nickname "One Man Army Klein". Note that this is out of necessity; in a future where every country is nuclear and international tensions constantly threaten to boil over, where the risk of war is both ever-present and too great to comprehend, one man must stop conflict before it grows. Troops take too long to assemble and deploy, and a large scale conflict is not an option in the world that's coming.
  • The Punisher. Most Marvel characters already consider him not right in the head. Just look at the arc in the "gritty" MAX series where he responded to his family's grave being defiled by killing 68 organized crime members in one night. Also, he is shown to end up in a pretty bad shape after many of his self-assigned missions. It's implied he has to recover several weeks at time after the ones in which he's most injured. The new movies have him end in a pretty bad shape after each assailant sent against him, and in the final showdown in Warzone he responds believably to the shots that, thanks to his Bulletproof Vest, don't manage to penetrate. For more about the movies, see below.
    • In the MAX series, one police officer mentions that Castle's body count exceeds 2000 confirmed kills.
  • Batman. Whether it's dozens of Faceless Goons or merely half the Legion of Doom, you can bet that he'll get through them (without killing them, of course; this is Batman). This can often be drawn up to him being Crazy Prepared (you can totally see Bruce just sitting around going like "Okay, if a President Evil took over and I was surrounded by the Green Berets, how'd I get through them all?"), but he can do it on the fly, too.
  • Both Rogue and Friday in Rogue Trooper. To make it more impressive, each comes from an army of similarly enhanced soldiers.
  • The Saint of Killers. He is Heaven's army. Heaven's entire army.
    • At the end of the series, anyway. ("You killed the heavenly armies!" "They were in the way.")
  • IDW's run of Transformers comics has Sixshot in the earlier comics for the Decepticons. Sixshot is such a One Bot Army, his specialty is wiping out ENTIRE PLANETS. Other notable examples from the IDW G1 continuity are Overlord, who takes on the Wreckers and came so very close to beating them, and Thunderwing, who became so powerful thanks to Pretender technology it took the combined efforts of BOTH the Autobots and Decepticons to bring him down and he didn't even stay dead.. And, of course, Megatron.
    • Then there's Galvatron, main antagonist of the Marvel UK storyline and Megatron from another time, who regularly takes on entire squadrons of Decepticons and Autobots, and usually emerges unscathed (his foes less so). He has singlehandedly tore apart elite squads like the Wreckers and the Dinobots and in his last battle, the combined of Autobots and Decepticons from the past and future are unable to truly stop him, and only a rift in space and time ends him.
    • On the autobot's side, there is Optimus Prime, obviously. Omega Supreme, Fortress Maximus and Ultra Magnus also follow this trope.
      • Nearly every 'leader' Transformers fits this trope to varying degrees.
    • Grimlock and the Dinobots are basically this turned into a Badass Crew.
  • Captain America (see trope image): No other hero has been the subject of more angry commanders shouting "Kill him, you fools! He's only one man!"
  • John Doe, of Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja, who is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Wallace and Marv from Sin City took on several armed Mooks on more than one occasion. In fact, Wallace was flat-out called a one man army by the Big Bad.
  • In Last Man Standing, his character bio uses these exact words to describe Gabriel.
  • Conquest from Invincible. He claims he has conquered entire worlds with his bare hands.
  • Obelix in Asterix is a prime example of this, on more than one occasion taking on entire Roman armies single-handed, for fun. Any of the Gauls are capable of this when tanked up on magic potion, though.
  • Groo the Wanderer would be one of these, if it weren't for his stupidity. He has an unfortunate tendency to forget which side he's on in the middle of a battle.
  • Wolverine has literally fought hundreds of mooks at once. A comprehensive documentation of his combat history would include the phrase "piles of ninjas" more than once. Per page.


Fan Fic Edit

  • In Uninvited Guests, Hitsugaya, after having fit of insanity, charges into the entire forces of Hueco Mundo and manages to traumatizes everyone, although he got caught and imprisoned. Played for Laughs, like everything happens in that fic.
  • In Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns, Alim Surana, the elven mage, takes the crown. Granted, he needs a boatload of fresh blood (like, say, the one from all the fresh dead in Ostagar, humans and darkspawn alike) or a huge load of lyrium to let loose (read: hold off the whole darkspawn horde by himself for a while), but he manages to take out most enemies in every other situation as well.
  • Commandos on both sides in Tiberium Wars, due to a combination of training, technology, high explosives, and heavy armor (GDI) or cloaking (Nod). Unconventional tactical approaches also help; i.e. the Nod commando kills a Guardian APC crew and then sets the vehicle's remote gun turret to fire automatically to force some reinforcing troops into cover, where she kills them in seconds from a flanking position. The GDI commando, meanwhile, clears out an entire room of Nod soldiers by using an optical cable to locate them through an air vent connecting their room to the elevator shaft he's climbing down, calculating firing angles through said air vent, and then sniping the Nod troops from the elevator shaft with his rail carbine through the vent's thin metal walls.
  • Eri from Eri's Game underwent of taking down Mooks by herself upon becoming from fashion designer to butt-kicking activist. She kept this status even in the Reapers' Game.
  • Col. Flix from Q-Basic Gorillas can take out dozens of Ice Chimps all by himself all at once, whereas two or three Ice Chimps at once is an awful lot for the other Gorillas to handle.


Film Edit

  • The newest Starship Enterprise from the 2009 Star Trek takes the concept of One Starship Armada to ridiculous extremes. Nero's ship the Narada wrecks an entire squadron of Klingons, a Starfleet armada, and finds spare time to blow up implode a planet. Guess which starship defeats it all by itself?? Seriously, it's as if any ship with the name Enterprise is made of badassinum alloy.
    • To be fair, there was the teensy matter of the black hole weakening the Narada...
      • Precisely, the other ships were destroyed before even knowing what they were up against. Enterprise just took out the weapons fire aimed at a certain something also from the future which took the Narada out as above.
    • Also, Nero deliberately lets it live so Spock can watch Vulcan implode. If he hadn't recognized the ship as the Enterprise, he would have just blown it up, too.
      • Really this trope belongs to the Narada if anything. See above.
        • In the words of Will Riker, Luck looks out for fools, children, and ships named Enterprise.
  • The Bride from Kill Bill single-handedly defeated the Crazy 88 gang.
  • Rambo.
    • In the fourth movie. He's a methodical commando taking apart the Communist occupation force one by one in First Blood Part 2, and he gets a lot of help in Rambo 3.
    • So far, Rambo has killed over 250 people, including background information given in First Blood. There's a reason why he's considered the western ur-example of a one man army.
  • Detective John McClane, from Die Hard 2 onwards.
  • Mister. Smith. Confirmed kills: 141. Some with carrots. It gets even more awesome if you consider that he didn't even needed explosives or machine guns, only carrots, handguns and his impropable aiming skills. Considering we don't know anything about his past for sure, Smith might have racked up considerably more kills. Oh, and he was the unabomber.
  • Bryan Mills, Badass Grandpa on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Taken. He's not just a One Man Army, but a One Man Army that couldn't give less of a shit about what constitutes a fair fight. He has 32 confirmed kills, not counting the Mooks he just beats up. Don't know if the fire extinguisher incident is counted, though.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in any of his 1980's (and some later) appearances. If he isn't slaughtering his way through the Hyborian Age as Conan the Barbarian, he was mowing down endless waves of mooks in things like Commando and Eraser.
    • In Commando, Matrix kills 81 baddies. Including one incident of failed diplomacy, a guy whose neck he broke in public without anyone noticing, and the funny guy he said he'd kill last. He lied.
    • This, incidentally, makes the titular alien hunter in Predator that much more badass. Imagine Arnold concentrating his entire One Man Army power... on one guy. That's basically the third act of Predator.
  • Cleric John Preston has 118 confirmed kills in the movie. His record lies at 53 people in a single fight. And we don't know how many people he killed before the movie began.
  • Any and all Jedi tend to the One Man--or being--Army trope, though they really only achieve it if they're main characters--otherwise they tend to die.
  • The One Man Army versus spawn point of Agent Smiths. Place your bets.
  • Zhao Yun, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu in separate scenes of the first part of John Woo's Red Cliff.
  • Man on Fire: A kidnapping ring, including corrupt Mexican police, run rough-shod over the citizens of Mexico City and defy all attempts to stop them. Thus, they are completely unprepared when John Creasy unleashes a One Man Curb Stomp Battle on them and kills dozens of them in short order.
    • Somewhat subverted in this movie, though. John Creasy never attacks an armed group head-on and out in the open. Instead, he ambushes his prey or infiltrates their locations, then unleashes hell.
  • Bond. James Bond.
  • Frederick Zoller from Inglourious Basterds killed around 300 soldiers with the aid of a good vantage point to pick them off with.
  • River Tam in Serenity. Also a classic example of Waif Fu.
  • While he often has friends or an army on his side, Aragorn certainly kills enough Orcs in battle to qualify, and was very much this trope for part of the battle of Amon Hen in the first film.
    • Aragorn has killed 60 enemies on-screen, but this also includes some Elite Mooks, and he certainly killed much more enemies during off-screen fighting scenes. Just remember the many war sequences. Gimli and Legolas aren't so bad either, as both claim to have killed each like 40 Uruks during the battle at Helms Deep.
    • That still only counts as one!
  • Tik-Tok from Return to Oz is a literal example of this trope, even calling himself OZ's "army". This looks patently ridiculous at first glance, with him appearing to be a clumsy copper boiler with a head, two spindly arms and thick legs that make him slower than a glacier... and then you see him single-handedly wipe the floor with a LARGE pack of wheelers who are pure Nightmare Fuel until this point in the story. Then as the rest of the wheelers flee, he grabs one in a chokehold and mercilessly interrogates him.
  • Half the reason Dom Cobb hires Eames for his team is because Eames is an expert forger who can take any form he wants in the dreamworlds. The other half is because Eames is an absolute badass who can hold off most of an army of militarized subconscious projections.
  • The Punisher, as mentioned above, perfectly fits this trope, and in the movies, this is no different. Special mention must go to Punisher: War Zone, the NOT sequel and third Punisher movie. Frank Castle kills over 70 baddies, using various guns, grenades, chairs, knifes, a metal pipe and his fists. On one occassion, he kills a bad guy with a single punch, literally punching straight through his face.
  • Raizo from Ninja Assassin kills more than 45 people on screen. Doesn't sound like much, compared to some other people on this page. Unless you consider that all of them were ninjas themselves. His kills include his former Master, who certainly had Charles Atlas Superpowers. Raizo also possesses magic regeneration abilities, to make things even more awesome.
  • Evelyn Salt, from the film Salt. A one-woman special forces unit, she is able to single-handedly take out squads of specially-trained security agents and other operatives hot on her tail, improvise a cannon of sorts from a fire extinguisher, cleaning chemicals and the leg of a table, jump off bridges and land on the roofs of trucks unscathed, and fashion darts from freshly-milked spider venom - amongst other things.
  • In Mulan, the titular character singlehandedly defeats a majority of the Hun army and then, upon discovering that a few still survived, got their leader killed. With fireworks. As The Nostalgia Chick put it, Mulan is "the only Disney Princess with a body count. In the thousands."
  • In Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch the One Woman Army is Baby Doll in the first "Dance" sequence in which she beats up a group of Samurai with guns. On her own. Did I mention they are at least twice her size.
  • Each of The Avengers is one of these, but special mention goes to The Hulk, who is all but explicitly called one when Tony Stark and Loki are facing off.

 Loki: I have an army.

Stark: We have a Hulk.


Literature Edit

  • It takes four hundred soldiers to take out Ripred from Gregor the Overlander. Gregor qualifies as well.
  • Druss the Legend from David Gemmell's Drenai Series. With no training he kills six well armed veterans with a wood axe. Later he attacks a camp of forty raiders single-handedly and wins (Though this could probably be attributed to the fact their camp was on fire and their horses stampeding at the time). Throughout his life he goes through many such badass actions: Fighting a boxing champion to a standstill at the age of 17, ending sieges through single-combat with enemy champions, fighting hundreds of battles and campaigns, literately been to hell and back twice. But the greatest moment of Badassery is his death. 60 years old, poisoned and heavily wounded he holds the gates of Dros Denloch for a while against a horde of enemies, taking over thirty with before he finally falls.
  • Remo Williams - aka The Destroyer (the overall title of the series of pulp thrillers in which he stars) - is a definite example. Trained in the mysterious martial art of Sinanju, he's capable of running across water, dodging bullets, and feats of effectively superhuman strength (achieved through concentration and energy-conduction of a Use The Force-like kind rather than by bulging muscles). Most of these were carried over in a low-key way into the one film so far based on the series. Ultimately, he's revealed to have become an actual avatar of Shiva.
  • Rand al'Thor is a bit of a loose cannon, but as the Seanchan discovered to their dismay, he is more than capable of blowing their front lines back across several hundred miles of previously secure territory in the space of an afternoon. Even if he had help. And blew a few of his comrades up too, but hey, that's insanity for you. By the antepenultimate and penultimate books in the series, he not only is able to unwittingly affect an entire city, for good or ill, just by being there, but capable of feats unaided that make the previous, aided, efforts against the Seanchan seem mundane.
    • In Towers of Midnight, he goes against several hundred thousand Trollocs, with only two personal guards. The sheer intensity of the power he shows drives every Darkfriend within a few miles completely insane. It's a rare series where the Chosen One, while insanely messed up, is clearly the Chosen One for a very good goddamn reason: he is actually so powerful and impactful to armies and the Pattern itself that you can actually believe talk of destiny in facing an ancient unkillable evil Dark One.
    • Close enough to what the Aiel call Lan, the most bad ass swordsman in the world.
  • Honourable mention to the Kingdom of Lancre, whose standing army literally consists of only one (normal) man: Shawn Ogg.
    • Except when he's lying down.
    • On the other hand, Lancre has Granny Weatherwax. She might not single-handedly slaughter her way through an invading army, yet she is still famed as invincible, ruthless, and terrifyingly competent. As an usurper and his shrew of a wife, a wicked godmother, the Queen of the Elves and an entire family of vampires Vampyres (to name only a few!) have discovered to their misfortune.
    • Hogfather features a throwaway reference to an action figure called "Captain Carrot: One Man Night Watch". It's appropriate.
    • Captain Carrot isn't technically from Lancre, but Copperhead, which is close enough that his father sent a messenger to ask Magrat Garlick for help with spelling a word. He's perfectly capable of slaughtering an entire army if he has to, but he's so good at talking to people he never had to.
    • Sam Vimes has stopped entire wars dead in their tracks just by being himself at them. And he gives orders to Carrot. This frightens people. And it should.
  • In The Executioner action novels Mack Bolan, Vietnam veteran turned vigilante, decimates the American Mafia using everything from frontal attacks with rocket launchers, machine guns and sniper rifles, to using infiltration and wiles.
    • Also the stated inspiration for one Mr. Frank Castle
    • Frank, in fact, started out as just a Captain Ersatz of Mack Bolan, although as the Punisher developed over the years (especially under Garth Ennis) he became far more ruthless and hardcore than Bolan ever thought about being. Bolan was once referred to as "Sgt. Mercy," not a moniker you could ever apply to Frank.
  • The Bible Samson slew a thousand men of the Philistine force sent to capture him...with a jawbone of an ass. Cracked said it best: "the Philistines went to war against just Samson. And, they pretty much lost."
    • David was asked by his future father-in-law sent him to slay an hundred Philistines and collect their foreskins, hoping he'd get himself killed in the attempt and David came back with two hundred.
  • Marcus Creasy from the Man On Fire novel tortures and kills his way through the entire Italian Mafia in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Both film adaptations really toned down his accomplishment.
  • There are two states available of Achilles: in his tent and routing the enemy. Interestingly, Homer played with this trope: almost all of the Olympians stuck their fingers into affairs of mortals at the time, so Troy would be screwed even without Achilles, as it had its share of divine enemies, and the Greeks got their asses handed to them while Achilles was wangsting because his mother specifically asked Zeus to provide a nice background for his later return.
    • He often gets overlooked, but arguably the biggest badass in The Iliad is Diomedes. Agamemnon calls him a coward, so, just to prove his mettle, he goes and kills so many Trojans that Ares himself is compelled to intervene. Diomedes proceeds to send Ares crying home to daddy. Keep in mind that Ares is the fucking God of War.
      • Except it was actually Athena doing pretty much all the work, as usual.
      • Also, Patroclus. When the Trojans were getting too close for comfort, Achilles still wouldn't fight. Patroclus put on Achilles' armor and charged into battle. He, by himself, roused the Greeks and pushed the Trojan army back. They thought he was Achilles. Too bad he met up with Hector, an even more badass one man army.
        • Even that's selling him short. Hector wasn't able to take him down alone, Apollo had to sneak up behind Patroclus and knock his armor off, and Eurylochus stabbed him in the chest first. Patroclus himself tells Hector he came in third at best.
        • All of the above pale before Ajax. Diomedes defeated two gods in one day (Ares and Aphrodite), and Patroclus routed an army until he lost his armor, but both were defeated by Apollo. Ajax, however, was never beaten in the Illiad, even by the gods. In fact, when Zeus forbids the gods from helping the Greeks (but not from opposing them), all the Greek heroes are driven from the field, one by one, except Ajax, who is wounded by several gods, but never stops fighting. How many times can you put "the combined efforts of several gods, while he had none to help him, failed to stop this guy" on someone's resume? He racks up a mook body count roughly equal to Achilles, he defeats Hector in a fair fight within the first five chapters (yeah, that's right, if not for the gods intervening - by making his own allies throw themselves in the way - to keep Ajax from finishing Hector then and there, Ajax would have cut the Illiad down from an epic poem to a short story), and when he actually does die in later (now lost) poems? It's by suicide. That's right, the only thing badass enough to defeat Ajax is... Ajax. Wow.
    • Greek mythology was filled with examples of this. Even Oedipus got in on it, when he unknowingly killed the king of Corinth (also his father) and his entire bodyguard, leaving only one survivor. The survivor ended up lying that they had been attacked by a gang of thieves, because no-one would have believed him if he told the truth. Jocasta said at one point that if you want to play Oedipus, play on his fears. The messenger that tells Oedipus he was actually adopted by Polybus is there to bring Oedipus back to Thebes, where he'll be rewarded for bringing the king (ie. ulterior motive). And the servant who confirms the tale is a slave, and at the time the testimony of a slave was only considered valid if delivered under torture. Layers upon layers of confuddled possible half-truths.
  • World War Z mentions in one of Todd Wainio's recounts a soldier who "was a monster with a two grand body count". They are zombies though--they aren't remotely strong against anyone with a gun, the range to use it with and decent aim, and they tend to come in crowds, meaning that high body counts are a foregone conclusion. The relatively light defense at Hope ended the battle when they created a zombie pile so big, the zombies couldn't climb it, without a single casualty.
    • Though apparently quite a few of that monster's body count was done by hand; Todd recounted one instance where he picked up one zombie and used it as a club against a whole mob of other zombies.
  • He's a pilot, not a commando, but Wedge Antilles is an astonishingly good pilot who, more importantly, survives. The series mentions kill silhouettes painted on snubfighters--as well as having half of a Death Star, Wedge has so many TIES that they're grouped into wings, not individuals. In a later book, a character painting up a fighter is hip-deep in infiltrating the enemy as a bombastic Space Pirate, and adds a ridiculous number of kill silhouettes.

 "We fight like twenty."

"You fight like thirty."

  • Armies have been trying to take Carnival down for three thousand years. It has never worked because she's one of these; she even takes out most of an undead horde before they finally get the better of her by force of numbers. And even that can't keep her down for long. It helps that she's a demigod, though.
  • Zhao Yun is recorded as single-handedly taking on Cao Cao's army in order to rescue Liu Bei's heir in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. May or may not have actually happened.
  • Roland of Gilead, The Gunslinger of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. In the first book, he kills EVERY SINGLE PERSON in a town of dozens of people, all with a pair of six shooters, while they were armed and charging him in a crazed mob.
  • "They don't call Michael the Fist of God for nothing."
    • In Changes, Murphy does a very decent impression of Michael. Only, she comes across as more of a Leeroy Jenkins. It was still awesome, and in the classical sense of the word, which is what happens when one of the Archangels is hitching along for the ride.
    • Any of the Wardens also qualify. Dresden himself is generally no slouch in the combat department, but even he is struck by the difference between his usual battle magic and the skill, ferocity, and efficiency with which dedicated Wardens can go to town. In Dead Beat, the first time we really see Wardens at work, five of them scythe their way through dozens of zombies within minutes--and with Dresden zombies, think less Dawn of the Dead and more Terminator. It's mentioned that Morgan once got within 20 yards of The Red King, which entailed cutting his way through several Physical Gods in addition to what must have been dozens of regular vampires in the way.
  • In The Silmarillion, Turin's father, Hurin, performs a You Shall Not Pass to cover the entire back of the human army in the Battle of Countless Tears. He fights off the entire orc and troll army, killing so many that the orcs use the bodies as a bridge to cross the river he was guarding. And yelling "Day shall come again!" every time he struck. Until his axe melted in his hands. He got captured, but still, biggest badass in Middle Earth
  • A Bolo is effectively a One Tank Army. Earlier models get referred to as Continental Siege Units, while later ones take it Up to Eleven, becoming Planetary Siege Units, able to engage everything from a lowly foot soldier up to space battleships.
  • Allanon in Terry Brooks Shannara series. In The Elfstones of Shannara, The Alliance against the Demons consists of the Kershalt Trolls, the Westland Elves, the Dwarves, the Border Legion Free Corps, and Allanon. That's right. The man is actually Badass enough to qualify as an army whenever the leadership gets together, and is entrusted to do things like hold entire ridgelines by himself. Being the most powerful Druid ever probably helps. And then of course there are things like the Skull Bearers, and The Reaper which might also qualify for this.
  • War of the Dreaming's Peter Waylock, especially after he gets his hands on an Empathic Weapon. It gets better when we find out that Peter Augustus Waylock is an in-universe Memetic Badass.

 Van Dam: "At this point, we think he was giving false orders over the radio. Once we found out, he ordered a radio silence."

Wentworth: "He ordered?"

Van Dam: "Yes, sir. We think that's what caused the shoot-out at the cross corridor."

  • Shardbearers in The Stormlight Archive, actually stated outright on several occasions. Shardplate makes them nearly impossible to harm, as well as enhancing strength and speed, and a Shardblade is a weapon that can cut through normal armour effortlessly and instantly kills if it passes through the spinal cord at any point (and it literally passes THROUGH living tissue, without cutting it). Also Kaladin proved that, even without Shards, a Surgebinder can be a one man army. Even if said Surgebinder has almost no knowledge of how to use his abilities.
  • The Inheritance Cycle: Roran. It was one hundred and ninety three! Any of the Dragon Riders and elves probably count, but it's never stated explicitly.
  • Emile Khadaji is a literal one-man army, though he uses deceptive tactics to make it appear otherwise. He parlyzes 2,388 soldiers over the course of six months, then when he's about to be found out, he does the same to their commander, then turns himself in. As intended, it inspires others to start a revolution. "If one man can do this alone, think what all of you can do together."
  • In the last Percy Jackson and The Olympians book, The Last Olympian, Percy himself becomes this after taking a swim in the river Styx, giving him Nigh Invulnerability, and increasing his strength and reflexs, at the cost of making him tire out quicker, and making his emotional Fatal Flaw even more harder to control. In this state, he takes on a two-hundred plus army of monsters. By himself. And kills all but twenty, who flee, pretty much without breaking a sweat. Even after he loses it in the second book of the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, Percy still (mostly) single-handedly trounces the First and Second Cohorts of the 12th Legion of the Roman Army in their own war games.
  • Saucerhead Tharpe from the Garrett P.I. series has been described this way, as he's been known to take on a dozen ogres single-handedly and toss them around like dolls.
  • In Mistborn, any mistborn would probably count, but especially Vin. At one point, Elend even promises a minor character "two armies". Vin, by herself, is the first of said promised armies.
    • Steel Inquisitors (created to kill mistborn and possessing many of the same powers, plus an insane Healing Factor) also certainly qualify, and a Koloss may not be worth an entire army, but a fully-grown one is certainly worth a company of human soldiers. Taken Up to Eleven with the Lord Ruler- it's explicitly stated that he could kill the entire population of his capital city (currently in a state of revolt) by himself given enough time but fortunately Vin manages to figure out his Achilles Heel before he can actually start doing that.
  • In Harry Potter, both Lord Voldemort and Professor Dumbledore.
    • To put it in prospective, Voldemort is seen to effortlessly murder a room full of Death Eaters in book seven, and still he's afraid of Albus Dumbledore.
  • Lionblaze from Warrior Cats, due to his Nigh Invulnerability. One is example of this is at the ending of Outcast when he takes on a large group of cats who had been giving the Tribe of Rushing Water trouble throughout the book and comes out covered in blood- none of which is his.


Live Action TV Edit

  • The four original members of SG-1 are one man armies by themselves; as a team, they're more like a weapon of galactic destruction. Consider: in Stargate Atlantis Teal'c and Ronon Dex (another One-Man Army) teamed up and slaughtered a at least four platoons of Wraith by themselves. Colonel Carter blew up a sun and wiped out a whole Goa'uld fleet by herself. Daniel Jackson single-handedly froze the entire Replicator army with his MIND. And General O'Neill... where do we begin...
    • O'Neill... lets see: destroyed Anubis' ENTIRE fleet by sitting in a chair and thinking (and for him, this is sometimes hard); pissed off several, if not all, of the evil rulers of the galaxy at least once (some twice) and killed most of them; don't get me started on all the things in this show that have or will explode due to O'Neill's part in making it possible.
    • The team of the Atlantis Expedition is on its course as well. John Sheppard has racked a respectable body count of both hostile humans and Wraith. When Ronon meets with old friends of his and they say the tall tales about him while he was a runner, he was denying everything up to the point they say he is told to have killed a hundred Wraith, to which he responds: "That one seems about right." Dr McKay on the other hand has probably the largest body count, though the fewest direct kills: the doomsday machines he fixes and builds have been the cause of destruction for many Wraith hive ships. Teyla, although implied to be a better pure fighter than Sheppard, has the least impressive body count of the team... though that's not saying much. (It's because she was often put on guard duty for Rodney, and her skill was in hand to hand, not shooting.)
      • And let's not forget the famous quote summing up Sam's time at Atlantis, from Teyla herself "We defeated the Replicators; we thwarted Michael's plans; and the Wraith are in a state of disarray. All of this happened while she was leader of Atlantis."
  • John Crichton from Farscape pretty much ended a war between the two galactic superpowers single-handed.
    • D'Argo and Aeryn Sun are both pretty much capable of taking out entire armies by themselves.
  • Even the Technical Pacifist Doctor probably killed hundreds or thousands of random Monster of the Week--he's the only person feared by the genocidal Daleks. River Song actually called him this in The Time of Angels: she promised the clerics the equivalent of an army, and she brought the Doctor.
    • The Doctor is particularly noteworthy for ending the Time War by initiating an event which destroyed the entire Time Lord race, and almost all of the Daleks (the Dalek fleet alone comprising 10 million ships.
    • In the new series, the Daleks themselves have become One Alien Armies; the lone Dalek in "Dalek" killed two hundred people in less than an hour, and a Dalek in "Doomsday" boasts (not without reason) that a single Dalek could kill five million Cybermen. This is in stark contrast to the original series, where a Dalek could be defeated by a flight of stairs. Maybe they got an update. They did in the original series serial "Remembrance of the Daleks"
    • And let's not forget River Song, who has apparantly commited so many atrocities, she made a Dalek beg for mercy just by asking it to look up her name, although the fact that history records her as killing the Doctor might have had something to do with it (even if its only because the Doctor faked his death). In the episode Day of the Moon, she proves herself pretty adept at killing a room full of Silence with a small weapon kept in her purse. What's more, it probably says something about the Doctor that this seems to turn him on a little bit. And God help anyone who gets in their way!

 Doctor: Oh and this is my friend River. Nice hair, clever, has her own gun. And unlike me, she really doesn't mind shooting people. I shouldn't like that... kind of do, a bit.

River: Thank you, sweetie!

    • Ahem, Rory Williams went up against an entire crew of Cybermen and scared the crap out of them.
    • Rory also spent 2000 years in a collapsing history protecting the Pandorica (which held Amy in stasis) and gave stern warnings to anyone who attempted to open the box before its time. As we saw from what he later did to the entire Twelth Cyber Legion, its likely the people of that reality became all too aware of what testing the patience of "The Last Centurion" would lead too, if Rory thought they in any way threatened Amy's safety.
  • River Tam in Serenity, became a One Waif Army. One waif to kill them all...
    • Also, she can kill you with her brain...
  • Jack Bauer from 24. Bauer is a One Man Armed Forces and Intelligence Service. Plus a Badass Grandpa.
    • Finally lampshaded in Season 6. Jack (alone) storms the terrorist stronghold and kills all the terrorists, and then hangs the Big Bad. When his backup arrives moments later, his partner just looks at the carnage and says "Damn, Jack."
  • Any main starship from Star Trek is a One Starship Armada. Consider the following examples.
    • The original Enterprise destroyed a machine that pulverized whole solar systems.
      • Technically it was the Constellation, however the Enterprise did destroy a single-celled organism that literally sucked whole solar systems dry!
    • The crew of the Enterprise-D destroyed the Borg cube that wasted a whole armada at Wolf-359 by themselves and defeated the Crystalline entity that destroyed a planet.
      • In this encounter, Enterprise was unable to defeat the Borg cube in combat, but prevailed by exploiting a weakness in the Borg's Hive Mind.
      • In the first encounter with The Borg, however, the Enterprise made the Borg think twice when her main phasers dealt extensive damage to the Borg cube. About twenty percent of the cube--which itself qualifies as a one ship army--was visibly obliterated with just a few short volleys from Enterprise.
    • The Defiant. Though it was intentionally designed as a warship.

 Sisko (as interpreted by SF Debris): I should have taught my baby to do more than kill.

      • Enterprise routinely had its ass handed to it in early episodes, though.
    • The first appearance of Species 8472 firmly establishes them as an entire species of one-man armies. Three Borg cubes (any one capable of blasting its way through any two major fleets in the Alpha Quadrant) spot one Species 8472 bioship coming out of fluidic space, start their 'Resistance Is Futile' speech...and the bioship shreds all three cubes before they can finish their first sentence.
  • While we're talking about One Starship Armadas, the battlestar Pegasus from both the original and the re-imagined series of Battlestar Galactica is worth a mention. While the crew of the Galactica acknowledges that the best thing to do since the end of the world as they knew it was to guard what's left of humanity and run, the crew of the Pegasus decides that it's a great time to go on the attack.
    • You would too, if you were commanded by Lloyd "Sea Wolf" Bridges.
  • Played for laughs in Red Dwarf in the episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", Ace Rimmer single-handedly wins a two-front skirmish in World War 2. He drops a Luftwaffe plane and kills its crew, wrestles an alligator, picks off a squad of soldiers with nothing but a small blaster on his way down and ultimately leaves only one soldier standing. Oh, and he still finds time to surf on the gator and rescue a princess. Even the last soldier has to remark, "what a guy".
  • Lampshaded in the Burn Notice pilot. Michael's new landlord Oleg--apparently himself a former Russian spy--mentions that his agency thought "Michael Westen" was a full black-ops team because "one person cannot make so much problems." He gets a lot of help from his friends in the show itself, but they often work from the shadows to make it appear that Michael is a One-Man Army to intimidate the villain of the week, making it easier to settle matters without a killing spree.
    • And, from a Russian Black Ops team discussing surrender

 He's Michael Westen, there are only four of us!

    • In the episode Friendly Fire, Michael dresses in a black suit with a red shirt and tie, purposely invoking the subconscious idea that he is the Devil. The barrio gangsters he was trying to intimidate are skeptical in the beginning, but by the end of the episode actually believe that were being attacked by Satan.
  • An episode of Xena: Warrior Princess is titled One Against An Army and is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.


Music Edit


Mythology and Religion Edit

  • In Ramayana, Hanuman killed hundreds of Rakshasas after he has found Sita in Lanka.
  • Some accounts of the Battle of Badon Hill claim that King Arthur slew 960 Saxons in a single day.
  • In the Tain Bo Cuailnge, Queen Medb decides to invade Ulster just as all of it's men fall ill due to an age-old curse. The only soldier unaffected is the teenage Cu Chulainn. He manages to single-handedly hold off Medb's forces for months - and this is before he goes into a warp spasm.


Professional Wrestling Edit

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin against Vince McMahon and almost the entire backstage locker wrestlers during their feud in the WWF attitude era, notable in the 1999 Royal Rumble. Classic one man army against corporate power. Stone Cold ultimately emerged as the victor of their 2 year long feud. Oh Hell Yeah!
  • The Ultimate Warrior's "One Warrior Nation" that was set up to oppose "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan in WCW. (Get it? OWN is the opposite of nWo!) Sort of lost the point when Warrior recruited/enslaved a new member, though...
  • In many cases in 1997, Sting was a One Man Army when taking on the nWo--over the course of that year, he ended up taking out the entire group on multiple occasions, all in a bid to get his hands around Hogan's neck.
  • WCW had another in Goldberg, who squashed so many people that the announcers started keeping track of his win-loss record.
  • Oftentimes, a "monster" is introduced, or reintroduced, by showing up and beating up a lot of people, effectively clearing the ring. The Undertaker shows us how it's done.


Tabletop Games Edit

  • In the fluff for Warhammer 40000, the Space Marines in general are badass enough to be a One-Man Army to a man. That's before you get to the First Company veteran troopers, who can obliterate entire platoons or companies of regular troops. Then you get to Marines in Terminator armor, which is able to withstand being at the heart of a plasma reactor and getting stepped on by a three hundred meter tall walking battle cathedral without much damage. Then you get Space Marine officers and company commanders... and then Chapter Masters...
    • To say nothing of the Adeptus Custodes, who are said to be to a Space Marine what a Space Marine is to a normal human. And then you have the Primarchs, who function as the genetic template for all Space Marines, and above them, in his glory days, The Holy God-Emperor of All Mankind.
    • And above him... is Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! ...himself humbled by Guardsman Hawke from Storm of Iron, who wiped out about half of the Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marine force besieging the citadel. Sadly, it wasn't enough. He was the only Imperial survivor, though.
    • However, it is implied in other background sources, that some of the Marine's feats are just Imperial propaganda. Some fluff depictions have a single marine taking out entire armies of Mooks, others have marines struggling to go one-on-one with the very same Mooks. In much of the fluff Marines are deployed as companies and rarely decide the conflict alone. Others have them annihilating everything in their path.
    • Kharn the Betrayer. He once shattered two entire legions of Chaos Space Marines by himself, in one night. Shame one of those legions was his own, really. Heck of a guy, than Kharn.
      • In general any named character tends to be this, giving the armies based around them the nickname "Herohammer" due to these characters being able to take on a literal army and still stand a reasonable chance of winning. Notable ones include Marneus Calgar, Abaddon the Despoiler, Mephiston, Njal Stormcaller, and Logan Grimnar.
    • Also, when you consider the fact that Space Marine augments can drastically increase their lifespan, and the amount of combat experience required to become a veteran or commander, most of them will have taken part in hundreds of years worth of campaigns, and could potentially rack up individual kill counts in the millions!
    • In Lord of the Night, Zso Sahaal drives a hive (VERY big city, VERY many people) into near-destruction before his brothers come to destroy the rest of the planet. Him being the First Captain and chosen heir of Night Haunter himself might have had something to do with this.
    • In Iron Snakes, A ship full of Dark Eldar crashes to a remote planet. The inhabitants' armies are butchered and everything looks very bleak... so they invoke an ancient pact to the Iron Snakes, who respond. By sending a single marine. The marine takes with himself a hunting dog and goes into the wilds. Oh, and he kills the Dark Eldar.
    • Marneus Calgar, chapter master of the Ultramarines, held a breach against Orks for a day and a night, alone.
    • The biggest example of this are the C'tan, who are capable of destroying entire stars, but also want to eliminate all life from the galaxy and permanently separate the warp from real space.
      • C'tan are actual units in the tabletop game, costing almost 60% more than the next most expensive model in the game (the Land Raider battle tank), and capable of cleaving through multiple units by themselves. The creators have stated they're being removed from the next Necron update for being too weak.
    • The Grey Knights live, breath, and have exterminated daemons from this trope. They're the only group %100 immune to the Chaos, probably by eliminating the weak. They can devistate entire armies with just a few of them, and there's only about 1000 of them total. They're too small (by comparison) to be a Badass Army, but they qualify for Badass Platoon easy!
    • Why has nobody mentioned Sly Marbo yet? Other Warhammer 40,000 characters may fit this trope, but Marbo explicitly has nothing else to his character BUT this trope! He even has an in-game rule called "One-man army". Marbo is, of course, a thinly-veiled homage to every 80s action film hero and FPS character ever seen. He even looks suspiciously like Arnie.
  • Canonically all of the Greater Demons in Warhammer, especially the Bloodthirster. In-game, a strong elite unit would have a reasonable chance of killing it. The Chaos Chosen One Archaon though, fits this well enough that a recommended strategy for fighting him is to try and shoot his Hellish Horse, and then stay out of his way until the game ends.
    • Though certain clever combinations of magic items could seriously damage a Bloodthirster, especially the Dark Elf talisman that effectively gives every wound inflicted on the bearer a 50% chance of actually working and a 50% chance of inflicting a wound on the person who hit the Dreadlord instead.
    • In the same game, Sigmar Unberogen (the founder of the Empire) was renowned for his strength and skill, least of all for defeating an entire army of evil creatures armed only with an animal's jawbone. It is, of course, a mirror of the biblical figure Samson, but as an individual it is canon within the Games Workshop history.
      • Related to Sigmar (possibly literally) is his Chosen, Valtan. Although now canonicaly dead (assassinated in his sleep) and not the best fighter ever, he had a rule that meant he almost always came back if you killed him, and attacked again. And again. And again. This could end with him racking a kill count that would shame Archaon. He became known to some as "Yo-yo Valtan."
    • Looming majestically over Archaon, the Undead armies have Nagash. Previously a mere human, through magic and willpower he grew to such power that he eventually managed to single-handedly purge an entire fortress AND it's attached enormous subterranean dungeon of monsters in a single night, hours after having returned from the dead himself by sheer determination. That, and he is currently revered as the God of Undeath, so powerful that just the use of his name can draw blasphemous dark magic to the one who spoke it. In game terms, he was the only model (of hundreds) who began the battle as a level 5 Wizard, and was so powerful that he has been removed as a playable model and promoted to a mythological being in the newest edition.
      • Actually Nagash's magic level of 5 was neither innate nor unique - he derived it from a magic item (the Book of Nagash) and in the 4th-5th edition rules where he was available there were similar magic items that could make other powerful wizards level 5 also (the High Elf High Loremaster Teclis and Lord of Change Amon'Chakai were both level 5). He could still destroy entire armies by himself though, and in the background was responsible for the destruction of an entire civilization and (very nearly) the entire world.
    • The Venerable Lord Kroak of the Lizardmen armies. True to the trope in that even though he has been dead for thousands of years, his corpse is capable of leveling entire cities with godlike magic power. Physically, though, he is quite brittle and relies on magical enchantments to protect him.
      • Lord Mazdamundi is close to Lord Kroak in power, and is most likely one of the most (if not the most) powerful living mage in the world.
    • There was a tournament of champions style article in which the best special character from each of the warhammer armies of the time were pitted against each other. The Bloodthirster was used to make up numbers, since there were 15 characters, and 16 slots. The Bloodthirster rolled over everyone.

  Dice for the Dice Throne!

      • Incidentally, everyone who took part in that very Tournament were all examples of this trope, however the semi-finalists in particular stand out. There was Archaon, the Chosen Warlord of Chaos Undivided, the Venerable Lord Kroak who is the most senior of the oldest and most powerful mortal mages, the Bloodthirster who is an incarnation of the Evil God of Death and War, and... Deathmaster Sniktch, a Ratman Ninja who was quite strong and had poisoned swords. Doesn't sound like much of a match, but when you consider that Sniktch had fought his way past people riding on dragons and the immortal Princes of the Elven race to get there, only to subsequently be written out of the next edition of the game for being too powerful...
    • In-game, sufficiently powerful wizards (Lizardmen Slann, Dark Elf Sorceresses, High Elf Wizards), dragon-mounted Elf characters (especially Malekith), and most other characters are sufficiently well-equipped and generally powerful to slaughter/blast their way through hordes of grunts.
    • There might be slightly too many of them to count here, but the unnamed High Elf spearman squad that pulled the most badass You Shall Not Pass ever recorded and held the gates of Tor Yvresse against an entire Goblin army without backup for three days before Prince Tyrion finally showed up with his dragon and some reinforcements to bail the last half-dozen survivors out.
  • Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks generally describe the "ordinary citizen" as being a Level 1 Commoner or Expert (depending on if they're a peasant farmer or a skilled tradesman), and even soldiers aren't supposed to be much higher than Level 3 or 4 Warriors. This means that a properly equipped Level 20 PC is generally able to wipe out entire metropolises by himself.
    • Considering that an ordinary citizen has maybe one or two HP, and no attack can do less than one HP... and a housecat got three attacks per round, there was a good chance that a group of strays could take out a town. Lampshaded terrifically in this Order of the Stick webcomic.
    • Eberron went out of its way to emphasise this point, stating that by the time the party reaches 5th level they've already overcome more than your standard city guard will face in a lifetime.
    • In First and Second Edition it may have been even worse: Non-classed humans (and halflings) were considered less than 1 Hit Die creatures. The warrior classes (Fighter, Paladin, and Ranger) had the "Sweep Attack" that could be used against up to the character's level in foes of less than 1 Hit Die per round. At level 20, that basically meant that the expectation against a mob of level 0 foes would be 19 kills per round (#20 would be the automatic miss on a roll of 1).
  • Nobilis are certainly capable of embodying this trope, considering the characters are literal gods. One of the higher level miracles (but certainly not out of reach for any Noble) gives the actual example 'fight your way through an army alone, one by one'. However, Nobilis prefer to manipulate things from behind the scenes, and feel that if things give over to full-scale combat, everyone has already lost.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has you playing men and women who can turn into wolves (or sometimes wolves who can turn into men or women) who also sometimes find it expedient to become nine foot tall death-dealing monsters that heal almost all wounds virtually instantly and who can move at absurdly fast speeds. A combat-oriented starting character won't necessarily win a duel with a main battle tank, but it's not an unreasonable outcome.
    • On the other hand, while starting Vampires were much weaker than starting Werewolves in Vampire: The Masquerade, the most powerful Kindred easily qualified as this. A single werewolf at start of game could take out a small town in a single night. A Methuselah-level vampire with Vicissitude could turn an entire city into living sausage. And even an army of them would get curb stomped by Caine. Luckily, pretty much all the vampires who are that old are hibernating right now.
  • In Exalted, while any character who's even vaguely combat-focused is likely to be this, high-Essence Solars can learn a charm called Immunity to Armies ApproachIn Doubt of Legions Spirit, which lets them fight entire armies single handedly at no disadvantage whatsoever.
  • In Scion you play as the child of a god, imbued with some of their power. If you focus on things like strength and stamina, it's very likely that you could slaughter scores of normal people single-handed. And by the time you've advanced to demi-god status you officially count as a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • In Strike Legion, this is the end result of the Star Republic's Legion Process, which turns a small number of suitable candidates into nearly unstoppable Super Soldiers. Aside from grating a dramatically reduced aging process and making the Legionaire virtually immune to disease and poison, it also makes the Legionaire superhumanly fast and stronger, tougher, smarter, and able to break reality. Then the Republic gives the Legionaires access to hyper-advanced weapons and equipment, Powered Armor, battle frames, and a Strike Cruiser, all of which are able to lay waste to entire armies of their counterparts on the Imperial side. This is all so that the Legion can carry out impossible missions that the regular military can't. On the opposite side, the Imperium produces their own One-Man Army troops, some of which can match the Legion in direct combat.

Theater Edit


Toys Edit


Video Games Edit

 "Hey pal, what are you gonna do? Save the world all by yourself?"

  • Likewise, any Hack and Slash game, particularly those similar to Dynasty Warriors as you literally fight an entire army in each stage.
  • If there's any person who should be fit to provide the picture for this trope, it would be Captain Titus of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Why? Well, not wanting to spoil too much, but he makes other OneManArmies look comparatively sissy compared to what he's dished out over the course of the game. Deconstructed at the end. The sheer ridiculousness of Titus' deeds make the Inquisition suspicious of him.
  • The Black Ops soldiers in PlanetSide. They have ten times the staying power of a regular soldier, and can use any vehicle and weapon in the game. However, regular soldiers avert this, hard.
  • In Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle Earth, it's possible to rack up thousands of vanquished enemies with Gandalf in a single battle using his Word of Power attack. Having tens of thousands of kills at the end of a campaign is not unheard of.
    • Your custom heroes from the sequel can be this trope, too, given that you've selected the right powers. Some players put all their skill points into armour, which makes the hero capable of surviving three times the damage a normal hero unit can take, and then give him powers that allow him to curbstomp a whole squad of enemy heroes or monsters.
      • Non-campaign maps will have a stealthed Gollum running around. Killing Gollum gets you the One Ring, and if you take that to your fortress you can recruit a Ring Hero. For Men, Elves and Dwarves it's a powered-up Galadriel... but if you're playing an Evil faction (Mordor, Isengard, Goblins or Angmar) you get Sauron, who can pretty much wipe out an entire army and an enemy base by himself.
  • In Sengoku Rance, it's possible to make any foot soldier unit in the game into this by giving it the Fellow Troops' Revenge ability, which allows a special attack that deals damage equal to the number of casualties the unit has suffered. Since troop counts can easily reach and exceed 1000-2000 men per unit in this game, a foot soldier unit that's been reduced to a handful of men (or just one, ideally) can slaughter hundreds of troops per turn, assuming you can cover them with other infantry units and keep an enemy counterattack from wiping them off the map.
    • Of course, the most literal example would have to be Ogawa Kentarou after becoming a demon.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (of Warhammer 40000 fame) played this trope to terrifying limits. Not only does La'Kais kill several battalions of the Imperial Guard, large numbers of Space Marines and several Dreadnaughts, a good deal of Chaos Marines and several Daemons including a God by himself - he does it all within the timespan of twenty four hours. This is even more amazing when one considers that La'Kais is a Tau Fire Warrior, making him the Tau equivalent of basic infantry, a common foot soldier. Furthermore, not just any day--La'Kais' first day of live combat action. (Hmmm...) It's worth noting that canonically, he was driven insane by his experiences and was never fit for duty again.
    • At least, up until around the Eye of Terror world campaign, at which point they brought him back (for the Tabletop Game) as O'Kais (Shas'o being the equivalent of "general", while shas'la is roughly "private". Yeah, Tau nomenclature includes lots of compounds, and an individual's rank and caste), and used him as the justification for introducing man-portable railguns as a sniper-rifle analogue. They still note that he was a basket case, but he gets roped back in for a completely undefined 'emergency'.
    • The Novel offers a few justifications: one, (Khorne was helping); also most of his kills were from blowing up a ship's engine (flushing hundreds out into space). He's still pretty messed up.
  • In the World War 2 game Blazing Angels, you play as a pilot known as 'Captain'. You manage to accomplish by the end of the game the feats of destroying half of the Blitz bomber force, stopping the Blitzkreig at Dunkirk, destroying the entire Midway invasion force, destroying virtually the entire Pearl Harbor attack force, raiding the Japanese base of Rebaul and devastating the airfield there, taking out the top secret Nazi nuclear project, destroying the entire D-Day bunker network,, stopping Operation Bodenplatte, destroying the Berlin radar network, surviving a three minute dogfight with the rest of Germany's airforce by yourself, and taking out an elite jet squadron. And the said jet squadron insults you by saying they have jets and you don't.
  • Epitomized in many of the Medal of Honor games, where one soldier practically defeats the entire Nazi army and wins World War II single-handedly. Call of Duty: Finest Hour is another World War II game that is a major offender (the main PC series less so, as it's more team-oriented).
    • Indeed, the PC Call of Duty games were intentionally intended to avert this by using a more team-based single-player game, and having a campaign that shows the war from multiple perspectives--given the improbably large body count the player still racks up at times, they were only partially successful.
      • The attempt in the first Call of Duty is largely useless, as allied NPCs and enemies will stand point-blank discharging their weapons at each other. Eventually the player will lose all of his allies unless he takes over the killing.
      • In Call of Duty 4, it will vary within the mission; in the first, "Crew Expendable," you can literally let the AI do all the work for at least the first quarter, just following from the rear, until the first skirmish where there's a realistic chance for the enemy to hit you. Conveniently, you are spared poor orders-following AI by not having control over your team at all.
      • In Call of Duty: World at War's multiplayer, if a Marine Raiders player gets a high enough killstreak, their character sometimes yells, "I'm a One-Man Army!" in what seems to be this trope combined with lampshading.
      • One of the multiplayer perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is named One Man Army. It lets you switch classes without dying, meaning you could very well fill in for all roles of an army.
      • And Modern Warfare 3 follows suit with the "Specialist" strike package, allowing a player to actually gain more perks as he makes kills - managing to get 8 within one life gives that player the advantages of nearly every perk and weapon proficiency in the game.
  • As of KOF XIII, "The One-Man Army" is the official nickname of Hot-Blooded super-soldier Ralf Jones. Not one bit of it is exaggeration.
  • In most fighter (or starfighter) simulations, the player character pilot typically accumulates a kill score in the hundreds over the course of a career, or even a single campaign. It's common to make "ace" (traditionally five kills) during the very first mission. If the game includes a kill board, the protagonist soon outpaces the other NPC pilots, sometimes by an order of magnitude.
    • In Elite, in order to reach the ultimate Elite ranking, you have to kill over 6,000 ships.
    • Ace Combat is the best example of this trope as allied pilots are nothing more than moving distractions but the player massacres an entire country's air force (and in some games, army and navy, too)/.
      • This isn't entirely true in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War or Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, where your wingmen will occasionally shoot down enemy planes and destroy ground targets. That said, a grand majority of the property damage in the game is caused by the player. Note as a contrast that while the notoriety of Wardog Squadron in 5 is for the whole flight group, there's only one Demon Lord of the Round Table in Zero...
      • Ace Combat 6 has allied units who are actually useful; and under the right circumstances, can jack up any target with a Macross Missile Massacre. This can be very essential to certain achievement runs (such as guns-only Campaigns or those where you have to fly only one of the three plane types) and especially when it comes to taking down Strigons.
      • Actually invoked in Unsung War in Operation Katina, which stars the protagonist, Mobius 1, from the previous game. The operation narrator states outright that Mobius 1 has a higher kill ratio than an entire squadron. The narrator continues that a sizeable force of Erusean veterans has risen up to start another war, and that Mobius 1's job is to take them out... by himself.
    • In TIE Fighter, it is in fact possible to destroy one of the big Rebel cruisers with a TIE Fighter. The warship has shields and many laser turrets; the fighter has no shields, no warheads, and only two laser cannons. Of course, it's nearly impossible to do this if other ships are around; even with just the one ship, it's a pretty big accomplishment that requires a lot of hard work and fancy flying. Similarly, in its predecessor X Wing, the first 12-mission campaign centered around an elaborate plot to smuggle a bomb onto a specific Star Destroyer to blow it up; however, a sufficiently skilled pilot could shoot down that specific Star Destroyer (which acted as the base for the enemy in every mission) with a single X-Wing every single time, leading to promotion to general and every combat medal in the game bing awarded after the first mission.
      • In the final game of the series, X-Wing Alliance, it was laughably easy to become an instant ace in the very first official mission. In the training missions, LucasArts Totally Games even accounted for the very skilled players, by having recorded lines from your trainer if you manage to, for example, destroy the entire convoy.
    • Afterburner Climax has your Jaguar Flight sent to stop the enemy from using nuclear weapons. Your wingmen don't do much, really, and your plane has Bottomless Magazines along with the Macross Missile Massacre-enabling "Climax Mode" Limit Break. The enemy sends what feels like their entire air force at you. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In order to gain complete control of Los Santos, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas must kill in total thousands of rival gang members armed with AK-47s and other heavy weaponry, usually 30-40 per "territory." Furthermore, because gang members are instantly replaced (or healed by paramedics), it's possible for the player character to wipe out the same gang several times over in the course of minutes.
    • In fact, all of the various Grand Theft Auto protagonists singlehandedly accrue impressive kill counts.
  • Contra.
    • Technically, it's an example of a two-man army since there are two main characters.
    • Actually, it's more like a 30 man army if you think about it.
  • Some Shoot Em Ups like Raptor: Call of the Shadows and Stargunner tend to do this, with one ship going against an entire enemy fleet and winning.
  • In Half-Life, Gordon Freeman starts off as an unassuming theoretical physicist whose job basically amounts to manual labor. But one resonance cascade and crowbar pickup later, Gordon is a virtually unstoppable badass who fends off not only an entire invasion of incredibly lethal aliens, but also whole platoons of crack soldiers. When he returns in Half-Life 2 he finds that he has become a legendary figure whose mere presence is enough to precipitate a worldwide revolt. (No doubt his nigh-unique "hazard suit" helped, but it amounts to a bit of a Hand Wave.)
    • This was also lampshaded in Half-Life 2 in Dr. Breen's message to the Combine forces:

 "How could one man have slipped through your force's fingers time and time again? How is it possible? This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who had hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D. at the time of the Black Mesa Incident. I have good reason to believe that in the intervening years, he was in a state that precluded further development of covert skills. The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that--an ordinary man. How can you have failed to apprehend him? Well... I will leave the upbraiding for another time, to the extent it proves necessary. Now is the moment to redeem yourselves."

    • Freemans Mind mentions several times Freeman's increasing body count and the ramifications thereof. "Man, if I get indicted once I leave here this is getting harder and harder to explain. I don't think anyone's gonna buy a few dozen counts of self-defense with a submachine gun."
      • By Episode 31 he changed his mind again to a more Raoul Duke-like attitude: who would believe the prosecutor if told that he, Gordon Freeman, an untrained scientist, survived monsters, killed hundreds of marines and launched a missile?
    • You have to be a complete Badass for the enemy high command to name you Anticitizen One.
    • Gordon is so badass that he's hired by interdimensional aliens, ostensibly as a walking weapon of mass destruction.
    • However, Barney does the same thing, with only security guard gear, and no-one really noticed.
    • Adrian Shepherd from Opposing Force sort of qualifies. He leads a squad of fellow HECU marines a few times, but for the most part fights on his own.
    • Half-Life 2 actually gives you the achievement "One Man Army" once you take down 6 gunships.
  • Though all of the Spartans in Halo are referred to by the Scary Dogmatic Aliens of The Covenant as "Demons", the Master Chief is a standout even among his fellow bio-augmented and Power Armor-wearing comrades, with only Noble Six possibly equaling him in deadliness.
    • The lack of psychological damage is justified as he's been training for this since he was six, with the UNSC taking particular care to make sure that he and the other Spartan-IIs would be able to remain mentally stable no matter what. Note that in the expanded universe, the Spartan-IIIs are created with less attention to their psychological well-being; Lucy-B091 remained Dumb Struck for 7+ years after a mission which killed all but two people of her 300-strong company.
    • Halo Legends gives us one of the earliest known Arbiters, who manages to carve through an entire Covenant Army with naught but Energy Swords and sheer Tranquil Fury.
    • And the Halo graphic novel gave us Sergeant Johnson slaughtering through Flood after Flood all on his own... although it's justified since he's actually a Spartan-I and therefore somehow immune to the Flood virus. But the point still stands.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in Drakengard. How ridiculous you may ask?... Well, in around the 10% of the game, Verse XIX "Last War between the Union of Flippedfrance vs the Empire of Notspain", around the first third of the mission Caim has the enemy coundown at 1576... yeah. And this is not the biggest bloodbath in the game and you had probably killed more enemies if you unite the XVIII other chapters. There is a reason why the game is also known as Caim Kills the FUCK OUT of Everybody: the Game
  • The original one-woman army is probably Samus Aran from the Metroid series. Miss Aran has blown up at least four planets (including a Dark World version of a planet) and wiped out three entire species all on her lonesome. By the end of each and every game, Samus has become a walking instrument of destruction, plowing through enemies with the Screw Attack and able to freeze, incinerate or otherwise decimate every Metroid she comes across. As with the Master Chief, the Space Pirates (her secondary enemy after the titular species) are terrified of her and refer to her as "the Hunter" in the Space Pirate Logs found in Metroid Prime and sequels. In fact, in Metroid Prime 2, you can read the journal of a dead soldier who maintains that Samus' exploits must have been exaggerated.
    • Also in the second installment can be found some humorous logs from the Pirates, once they discover that Samus and Dark Samus are separate beings. "Horrifying as it may sound, there are two of them now. We are bracing for a new assault."
      • "Surely, we are cursed."
    • The first Metroid Prime also has Pirate logs that basically read, "We gotta find out how Samus's weapons work or otherwise we're screwed!". It gets especially hilarious when they describe certain prototypes, like their attempt to recreate her Morph Ball technology, which tended to horribly mutilate test subjects, crushing and twisting their skeletons. "Science Team wisely decided to end the project after this," indeed.
    • In short, Apocalyptic Logs where the apocalypse is you.
    • In the third installment, GFMC troopers will generally treat her as a larger-than-life hero, usually saying things to the tune of, "Samus Aran, it's an honor to meet you!", stopping just short of asking for autographs.
  • Another example of a One Woman Army is Tanya Adams. Though in Command and Conquer: Red Alert 1 she can only blow up buildings and kill infantry, and only if you specifically order her to kill that infantry, in Red Alert 2, she automatically fires on advancing infantry (with pistols, but long before she's in range of their assault rifles), she can swim even in nearly frozen rivers, and use C4 on ships, buildings, and tanks (in RA2, as with many games, tanks have no machine guns, making them weak against infantry). The only thing that can stop her besides air power and overwhelming force are base defenses like sentry guns and Tesla coils. There are several missions where she takes out entire bases with little backup.
    • The "commando" units in the Tiberium series (as long as the enemy doesn't have vehicles), and Havoc in particular in Renegade (even if the enemy has vehicles).
      • Havoc is part of Dead 6, a crack commando group with specialists for each group, Havoc is basically the jack of all trades, immagine what his teammates would do in their field.
      • The Nod Cyborg Commando from Tiberian Sun is probably the strongest candidate for this in the RTSes: it's one of the strongest units in the game, bar none. It inverts the usual Crippling Overspecialization of "commando" units by having a weapon that's good enough to destroy tanks and buildings in a couple hits (and it's a One-Hit Kill against infantry and light vehicles), is Made of Iron, can regenerate by standing in Tiberium, and can fit into subterranean APCs for surprise attacks. Ghost Stalker has many of the same abilities for the GDI, except without the Made of Iron part.
    • In the expansions to the first Red Alert, the Soviets prototype a cybernetic soldier called Volkov. His first mission consists of wiping out dozens of Allied troops, buildings, tanks, and a battleship, finally ramming the point home by killing Tanya . Understandably, this worries the Allies...
    • Colonel Burton from Command and Conquer: Generals is described as such. The man can mow down infantry with just a couple shots, and even vehicles and buildings don't hold out long against his souped-up OICW, he can plant both remote-detonated and timer-controlled C4 charges, silently off infantry with his combat knife, and then make his getaway by climbing sheer cliff. While stealthed.
  • Sarah Kerrigan from Starcraft, who as a human was only a mediocre Ghost (and being the first Starcraft game, you couldn't heal her, making it dangerous to use her in battle), as the Zerg Queen of Blades, she had great armor, huge hitpoints, a melee attack which killed most infantry in one swipe and larger units with 2 or 3, could Entangle from a distance, and could destroy groups with Psionic Storms. During her attack on the Amerigo, when she's ambushed by 20 Marines, she's able to kill every one of them without dying.
    • Let's not forget Zeratul, the unit with one of the strongest attacks, and also permanaent stealth. He also does that in cutscenes. In one mission with proper microing, you can use him to kill half a Zerg base alone.
    • In his Battlecruiser, Edmund Duke does 50 damage a shot and can kill a lot of units in two or three hits. In the lone mission where you get to use him, Duke can level the entire enemy base on his own as long as you use the Yamato Gun properly and bring a SCV or two to repair him as he gets damaged.
    • The sequel has Tychus Findlay piloting Odin, the Super Prototype to Thor. Like Duke, Tychus can lay siege to enemy bases as long as someone provides some healing.
  • Extreme in Roguelike games. In one example, T.O.M.E. (Tales of Middle-Earth), you track down and kill every single Tolkien villain, ever. Up to and including the local equivalent of Satan, Morgoth (Sauron's boss). And then you go To Hell and Back to kill him there. Some versions throw in a few gods and demons from other series, such as the Cthulhu Mythos, Warhammer, and general mythology.
    • Crawl's monsters might not go up that far in quality, but they certainly don't lack quantity: 266922 creatures vanquished. Also note that this game keeps detailed statistics on how many individuals of each creature type you have killed.
  • Fire Emblem. At first, you're generally on par with the imperial scrubs. Near the end of the game, though, you'll probably have "that one guy" (or even better, multiple), who you can just throw into a pile of red guys, and laugh at they waltz up and basically get obliterated. It's almost tragic.
    • In fact, for some this is a Self-Imposed Challenge, to play through an entire game using only one character.
    • As a more specific (and Egregious) example, it is apparently not only entirely possible, but easy, to solo the entirety of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance with the main character, Ike. And he's just a seventeen-year-old mercenary kid with a BFS.
    • In Path of Radiance, there's also Nephenee. The only edge Ike has over her is Aether. Nephenee doesn't need it, because the enemies in most cases are lucky if they even manage damage her at all. If they manage to bring her health halfway down, her Wrath ability kicks in, which boosts her critical hit ration dramatically, so one hit kills will be served in bulk.
      • Also, Mia can do serious damage thanks to Vantage. Throw on a Brave Sword, and they all die.
      • Don't forget the enemy One Man Army: the Black Knight. Tibarn mentions that he wiped out an entire unit of super-powerful bird-people on his own.
    • In the fourth game, Genealogy of the Holy War, you get quite a few characters who can almost solo the very large enemy armies (with the help of terrain bonuses). You'll know them because they wield Holy Weapons.
      • Seriously, the only reason some of them don't solo the chapter is because legendary weapons only have 50 uses per repair, and there are more than 50 enemies in the game's huge chapters. Otherwise, it's not too hard to win when Levin or Sety wields a Holsety tome with 105% evasion and 60 might.
    • In Radiant Dawn, there are several. Haar is one of the biggest, along with Caineghis, Nailah, Tibarn, and of course, Ike. However. one man overshadows them all: The Black Knight. Not only is he capable of soloing every single map in which he is available in the game,, he is also the highest possible level from beginning to end. And did we mention that he has what is arguably the second-most powerful weapon in the game, Alondite? And he's also the greatest tactical mind in Begnion, and a major military commander in two countries.
      • Actually, the enemy has quite a few One Man Armies - the two most-known are easily Dheginsea and Ashera both of which are completely cpable of killing lvl fifteens in the third tier with ease on easy mode.
      • With BEXP abuse and a bit of luck, every unit in the game can be one of these, even low-tier ones like Meg and Fiona.
    • Even the 13-year-old empress Sanaki can rock faces when her speed is upped by 2 or so. Add that to the fact that Flare recharges her health, and all those hits that take her down to 1-2 health are quickly negated.
  • The player's character in Neverwinter Nights 2 gains notoriety for this as the game progresses. In addition, a good character will express a feeling of being haunted by the hundreds of dead behind them to a party member in the final act.
    • Most likely not intended, but the first act involves the player killing, what according to the setting, is signicenent portion of the titular city, who have all decided to join thief's guilds.
      • If the player joins the theives' guild instead, you'll discover most of those are mooks from out of town. It's still a lot of mooks.
    • There's even a History Feat that points specifically to this, called "Orcslayer", or something similar. The description says that the "broken remains of the orcs clans curse the day you were born", making it unambigous that you have slain the majority of the orcs of the region.
  • Somewhat subverted in the Max Payne series. While Max kills hundreds of criminals in the course of three enraged nights, it causes him severe psychological damage. He also only narrowly avoids going to prison.
  • KOEI's Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors games have the entire game based around butchering your average soldiers as well as enemy officers. This doesn't seem to be much of an achievement, however, as it seems a majority of soldiers in Ancient China were trained to stand there and stare dumbly at their opponents.
    • Anyone who's actually read Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the Chinese literary epic on which the Dynasty series is based, will probably take this trope as Justified, because the characters are exactly that way in the book. Certain characters (Zhang Fei, Lu Bu, among others) are so legendary that entire armies will balk or flee at the sight of them.
    • Zhang Fei's claim to fame was defending a bridge by himself against Cao Cao and a thousand or more of his troops. Cao Cao was worried of an ambush on the other side, but still.
      • Zhuge Liang one-ups him in the novel by defeating Sima Yi literally by himself, armed only with a fan and a teapot and accompanied by only an unarmed servant boy. Basically, Sima Yi of Wei is approaching with a huge and formidable army. Zhuge knows his own forces are tired and cannot beat this force, so he orders them all to retreat. He then sets up in a city which he has earlier cleared of people, sitting above the wide-open city gate calmly drinking tea and fanning himself. The Wei army soon arrives, and Sima Yi can scarcely believe his eyes--an unarmed Zhuge Liang right there for his taking?! Having previously suffered multiple times from Zhuge's perfidy, Sima thinks it's just another trap and orders a general retreat.
    • Considering that the way they trained the lower level soldiers at the time was to pick a random farmer, put a spear into his hand, and say, "Have fun". The trained officers exploits may not have been exaggerated much either.
    • Sengoku Basara is a worse offender. In Koei's series, at least your allies do something good when they're not in front of you. (Some of the time, anyway. Other times...) In here, they practically do nothing but stand there like an idiot, and you REALLY have to be a One-Man Army to survive. But with flashy moves given, well I don't think it's a problem.
    • Its sister serie Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is the same premise, IN SPACE!!! It even has a skill called "One Man Army" that powers you up tremendously against grunts.
  • Another idolized Player Character is Tact Mayers from the Galaxy Angel gameverse, who, although helped by another fleet, did most of the work defeating Eonia and breaking up the Val-Fasq conspiracy. There is a twist, however--he's a commander and his victories come from the battle plans he gives the Angels, which is a bit more realistic.
  • In Baldur's Gate 2, the protagonist is the spawn of a god, with the potential of ascending to godhood. Quite a few NPC and antagonists are aware of his status and his experience at killing high level monsters, but none are particularly impressed by it. However, in the Throne of Bhaal Expansion Pack, an entire nation builds a task force for the express purpose of stopping the PC, and one of the more interesting sequences shows the villain, a high level NPC with multiple monstrous Dragons, panicking at the thought of the PC invading her lair. Even Elminster doesn't want to fight you.
    • While nowhere near as epic as BG2, being a lower level game and all, the kill count can also get pretty high in the first game. There is one area that is basically a village of the extremely xenophobic xvarts, and if you decide to go through there you'll have to kill several dozens of them. The Big Bad even acknowledges how dangerous you are in his letters to his hired assassins as you kill more and more of them over the course of the game. Also in this game you can meet Drizzt do Urden who is a one-man army in his own right, slicing through hordes of gnolls (and your party, if you are so foolish as to challenge him) without any effort.
  • In a particularly memorable sequence of the PS2 game Kingdom Hearts 2, the main character, Sora--a 15 year old boy wielding a gigantic key as a weapon--fights off a literal thousand enemies--at once. It takes maybe 5-10 minutes, tops. Go ahead and calculate the kill-per-second rate if you want...
    • In fact, those enemies are actually fairly easy to defeat, so it is claimed. The original trailers made Sora come across as even more badass, with threateningly large Heartless amongst the enemies. Perhaps the thought of it was too much badass for Disney. Sora does, in fact, gain a kill count of at least two or three that over his entire "career".
      • The actual problem was the severe amount of slowdown caused by having thousands of heartless and then hundreds of Giant heartless on screen at once. This issue was solved during The 1000 Heartless Battle by only allowing the Heartless right up close to you, usually no more than several dozen, to move, and leaves the rest to stand stationary (even beyond the invisible barrier) until Sora gets close to them or there are very few left.
    • Bonus points go to the fact that, in the upper right-hand corner, you get a kill counter.
    • Also in Kingdom Hearts II, Sora is able to use his friends as components when he goes into a drive. He becomes this when he goes into Master and Final forms.
  • In Time Crisis, the protagonist, Richard Miller, is explicitly described as a "one-man army" in the opening scenes. Although his body count is somewhat less than the other examples, he does manage to completely clear out a castle being used as a crime base in about 15 minutes. The rest of the games feature two-man armies.
  • In Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox and its Updated Rereleases, Ryu Hayabusa slaughters his way through the army of a small empire, starting with their anti-terrorist paramilitaries, then graduating to the conventional army. The body-count is easily in the thousands, and that's not even counting the dozens of ninjas he kills during a training exercise in the first level. If you start counting the demons, then there's easily another coupl'a thousand. The really interesting part is, perhaps, that he takes on a fully-equipped modern-day army--sporting assault-rifles, grenade-launchers, and anti-tank weapons, as well as actual tanks and helicopter gunships--using nothing more technologically advanced than a composite bow. But then, he is a single Ninja.
  • Super Smash Bros. Endless Melee/Brawl. You get one life to take out as many enemies as possible. Getting every achievement means you're going to have to take down hundreds.
  • Nethack's endgame involves trying to sacrifice the Amulet of Yendor to your god and ascend to demi-godhood, which was ostensibly the point of the entire venture. The altars for doing this are guarded by Death, Famine, and Pestilence; War is now the player, what with the massive amount of killing (if not outright genocide) that they've in the process of getting there. And quite goddamn deservedly, considering how difficult it is to pull it off.
    • This is actually lampshaded pretty brilliantly in-game. The Riders will eventually regenerate when killed, no matter what you do. One standard way to get rid of other regenerators such as trolls is through the use of a tinning kit on their remains. Trying this one one of the Horsemen leads to them springing back to life immediately with the quote "Yes... but War does not preserve its enemies."
      • You can also #chat to one of the riders, and they'll respond, "Who do you think you are, War?" If you sourcedive, you'll even find the comment "War" == player
    • Some Roguelikes actually have a feature, genocide, for wiping out entire species. Nethack belongs to this group; the most common way to do it there is using a scroll of genocide, which in it's blessed state can genocide multiple species with one use. As if this wasn't enough, it's also possible for the player to "extinct" enemies, which basically means to genocide manually--that is, kill enough of a particular type of enemy that the game stops spawning them.
    • On the other side of the coin, it's also perfectly possible of winning the game without killing a single being. This is, of course, a lot harder than the more violent version, but also a lot more satisfying.
  • Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid is described by other characters as being one on numerous occasions--but he isn't. It's a stealth game, meaning that if he decides to start Munchkining down the Redshirt Army he's just asking to be slaughtered.
    • In Solid Meryl mentions Snake's reputation as a "one man army." Snake insists that he isn't.
    • Although there's the occasional mandatory sequence in which Snake or Raiden are forced to do just that.
      • Though they both easily get the one-man army status due to the fact they often have to take down the titular Metal Gears (with an occasional Tank or Jet) on their own, regardless of how trigger-happy (or not) they are in the infiltration.
    • Of course, starting with MGS2, the player can take the option of a no-kill playthrough. Also technically possible in MGS1 with the exception of bosses (who must be killed). In fact, based on that information, Snake is either the most genocidal killer ever... or the most pacifistic hero ever.
    • Similar story with Splinter Cell, where the protagonist is unable to pick up weapons lying around (at least in earlier titles), and must use the limited pistol and silenced gun ammo from the start of the level. He still manages to kill or knock out at least a few hundred people by the end of the game.
  • In Doom, the nameless main character is "too tough for Hell to contain", having slaughtered the entire army of Hell, including an ultra-tough Cyberdemon and a Spider Mastermind. (Of course, the ending sequence reveals that part of his motivation in the fourth episode was vengeance for the death of his pet bunny, so perhaps the experience in the preceding three episodes had unhinged him somewhat...)
    • Doom 2 takes this further, with the main character out-and-out destroying Hell on his second tour. (Granted, via the death throes of the Final Boss).
    • Doom 3 downplays the "anything special about him", though; furthermore as a Heroic Mime, his psychological state remains unclear, although in the Expansion Pack you play a different character. Who, er, doesn't even blink when the entire rest of his squad gets annihilated by an artifact which he then carries for the rest of the game...
  • In Dead Rising, the protagonist Frank ends up responsible for killing thousands of zombies and a handful of psychopathic killers, despite having no combat training. The actual military presence does next to nothing.
    • He's covered wars, you know.
      • True, but he outright states he's never fired at a person.
    • The most noteworthy achievement in the game requires the player to kill 53,594 zombies... In six hours of gameplay.
      • For those of you who dont know the significance of that number: It's the population of the Town he's in.
  • Torque in The Suffering kills hundreds of hideous monsters while fighting his way off Carnate Island, and all by himself outside of the occasional Escort Mission.
  • In Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront II, your character is one of dozens of ordinary mooks in large-scale battles. Despite this, the player is expected to rack up enormous kill counts, because the rest of his army is made up of complete idiots. You can personally slaughter over two-thirds of the enemy forces but still have your army lose the fight!
    • Or it can go completely the other way, and you can be the sole survivor of your army and bring down hundreds of the enemy. And good god, does that feel good.
      • Even more so when you forgot to buy defense for a planet on the PSP. 90 soldiers losing to ten, of which I was responsible for eighty. Huge fail on their part.
    • It's actually a bit of an aversion; yes, the player must take care of everything in the campaign, but every time you die, you respawn as a different soldier.
      • Sometimes even switching between soldiers in mid-rampage.
  • Inspector Tequila was pretty Badass in the John Woo movie Hard Boiled, but in the video game Stranglehold, he truly turns into a One Man Army, gunning his way through... oh, somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 enemies. Ranging from Mooks, to Hitmen, to Russian mercenaries, and everything in between. He also racks up at least 70 million dollars worth of property damage. He basically eliminates three major crime syndicates singlehandedly.
  • Dante of Devil May Cry has probably accumulated a very impressive demon body count. Lack of clear details makes it difficult to say if he has outdone his father Sparda, who singlehandedly rebelled against The Legions of Hell and saved humanity (or so the backstory claims), or whether the fact that a demon as powerful as Sparda is his father justifies Dante's capabilities, which would make it in his blood.
  • Caim of Drakengard, due to his endless rage, wants to kill every single Imperial soldier in the world. And he can; getting a dragon at the beginning really just quickens the rate at which he kills everyone, he didn't actually need it for that purpose.
    • In certain levels the death toll is in the thousands. Yes, there is a counter dedicated for kills.
  • Whichever of the three mercs you play as in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction automatically qualifies, but plot-wise Mattias meets the description best.
  • Bladestorm has this complex, where, at high levels, the main character, even without aid, can destroy a whole army. However, at similar levels, it counters this again, where the protagonist is incredibly weak without men.
  • The main character in F.E.A.R. kills nearly a thousand genetically modified enemy supersoldiers in less than 24 hours. This feat is made much more impressive by the fact that all of these soldiers are being psychically controlled by one man, so that if one sees you, all the rest know where you are too. Additionally, some of the soldiers wear so much armor that it takes nearly 8 shot gun rounds to the head to kill them; other soldiers are in extremely durable mech-suits. Did I mention that even the basic infantry can take take three 12-inch steel spikes through the head without flinching? The only thing that hero really has going for him is that he has super-reflexes, or from the player's point of view, the ability to slow down time, due to the fact that is his mother, Alma, has psychic/super-natural powers...
    • The first game also nicely averts the "No one finds this unusual" aspect of this trope with a post-credits phone dialog revealing that the incident was being monitored as an impromptu field test for two experiments: The army of supersoldiers and the player character. Guess which party passed with flying colors?
    • Even more so in the sequel, Project Origin. The main character is a soldier in Delta Force, a faction that was getting slaughtered in the first game. Yet in the first mission (with no Bullet Time) he kills thirty trained corporate soldiers in as many minutes, gets surgery done to give him slow-mo abilities, and then proceeds to not only kill as many clone Replica soldiers as the Point Man in the first game did (about 500) in the same amount of time, but also to defeat a 500-strong corporate army that could invade a moderately-sized country. Theoretically, he should also have been able to destroy Alma, but this was sabotaged by Corrupt Corporate Executive Genevieve Aristide. The quote from the leader of said corporate army pretty much sums it up.
  • Mario. Also Luigi in the rare cases where he gets to be the protagonist rather than just a secondary character.
    • Let's not forget about his evil counterpart Wario, who manages to one-up him by effortlessly beating up mobs of enemy Mooks and a giant one-eyed, tentacled, civilization-destroying black gem in Wario World. He also takes down sealed evils in a can on a regular basis throughout his Wario Land series.
    • And just think, Mario isn't half the badass that Super Communist Mario is...
    • Mario's only a one man army when Luigi isn't with him. Then it becomes a two man army. Moreover, he has been a part of at least 3 four-person armies (all of whom have also included Luigi).
    • However, the only time more than one member of each small numbered army was in New Super Mario Brother Wii. Regardless, he manages to destroy entire fleets of tanks and airships which have cannons, bombs, flamethrowers on a regular day. He manages to do it while being a One-Hit-Point Wonder as well, which makes it all the more impressive and the only reason he should ever falter, but then he'll come back with another life and then plow through the hordes of walking shrooms and turtles again. The only reason why they're never afraid of him is probably because Bowser is the only one able to match his badassery.
    • And all they ever need to use? Their jumping ability. The Super Speed and Super Strength come in handy, but they don't really need them to win.
  • By the end of Resident Evil 4, Leon has singlehandedly killed hundreds of Ganados. When the Big Bad confronts you at the end, it's no wonder he's alone: you've probably wiped out most, if not all, of his army.
    • There's a note you can find about a third of the way through the first disk, which basically just reads "We gotta do something or he'll kill them all!"
  • Rayman has often fought entire armies more or less by himself, whether they consist of robo pirates or black lums.
  • Pretty much any SOLDIER 1st Class from the world of Final Fantasy VII counts. For example, in Crisis Core, one of Zack's first missions is essentially summed up as "Storm the enemy base alone. Have fun." By the end of the game, it literally takes the strength of the entire Shinra standing army to take Zack down.
      • Genesis is literally a one man army, due to his clones.
  • The Hero of Fable usually ends up killing hundreds of people and monsters through the course of the game. Since they rapidly respawn and the player can continue the game after the ending credits, the Hero can literally have an INFINITE kill count. Not only that, but every type of being he has killed, and how many, are listed on his character sheet.
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda hacks up monsters with his sword, shoots them with arrows, blows them up with bombs, tramples them with his horse, kills them in many inventive ways with magic, and in Twilight Princess, uses an iron ball and chain to massacre them four at a time. In the last dungeon you go through 20 at a time, not to mention cavalry, and in the Hidden Village you have to snipe an entire town of Bublins. In his various incarnations, Link must have killed at least fifteen armies of Mooks, plus their leaders.
    • That's not even counting the hundreds of bodies one must walk over to complete the Savage Labyrinth/Cave of Ordeals. This editor doesn't know how many Miniblins occupy That One Room, but he suspects it its upwards of fifty.
    • In the handheld versions Oracle of Ages/Seasons, you receive a ring for killing 1000 monsters.
    • However, Link takes this trope literally in Skyward Sword. After spending the whole game kicking asses, he fights entire armies of bokoblins, on his own, before defeating Big Bad Ghirahim in a duel to save Zelda. And he did it in a row.
  • In No One Lives Forever, Kate Archer kills hundreds of enemy soldiers in her various missions, and far from not finding this at all unusual, her superiors find it so unbelievable they assume she's lying in her mission reports.
  • The Silencers from Crusader are described as an entire unit of one-man armies. Given how a skilled player can practically dance through levels and has probably killed thousands of enemy troops by the end of each game, it's not that much of a stretch.
  • By late-game, Altaïr of Assassin's Creed is literally hacking and slashing his way through entire armies of Saracen and Crusader troops.
    • He may be a mortal man, but he surpasses Determinator status at the speed of light and lands squarely into Implacable Man territory.
  • In Assassin's Creed II there's Altaïr's descendant Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who starts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge at age seventeen. It lasts for twenty-three years, during which he decimates an entire faction of Templar conspiracists, becomes the most feared man in all of Italia to the point of being made into the kind of story people tell each other when they don't want to sleep at night while he's still alive, and murders his way through at least a thousand of their guards/allies. Oh, and he hunts down and administers a Curb Stomp Battle to the Pope.
  • In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood this actually becomes moreso the case, even before he cuts or sneaks his way through one more army to confront Cesare Borgia for the last time. It's possible that the first potential recruits were actually inspired by him openly fighting off Borgia troops across the bridge/river from the papal apartments.
    • Even his recruits get into the act once promoted to the highest rank, Assassino, at level 10 -- Smoke Bombs + Pistol + as many Health squares as the final boss = the Call Assassins button becomes an "I WIN" button against most Mook groups.
    • Ezio, without his brotherhood, is back to his old ways in Revelations.
    • The trope is called attention to at the start of Brotherhood.

 Ezio: Checking up on me, Uncle?

Mario: What can I say? We sent one man against an entire army. I was worried!

  • Assassin's Creed III continues the tradition with Connor, who is depicted in the E3 trailer taking on an entire British regiment by himself in order to assassinate their commander. In so doing, he rallies the Continental troops who had up until that point been suffering a crushing defeat. To this end, Connor has developed skills specifically designed to help him deal with massed musket fire, including taking cover during volleys and using the bodies of his enemies as a Bulletproof Human Shield.
  • Army of Two has, well, a Two Man Army, but still.
  • Averted in Snatcher, where Random Hajile is considered highly skilled because he's managed to hunt down four Snatchers in a month.
  • In the Metal Slug series, the Mooks will often run screaming from the player character, and for good reason--they currently have three wars with the Rebellion Army, two alien invasion attempts, a demonic attack, and an invasion from the center of the earth on their list of things defeated. Notice that the game plays trope literally: The player doesn't simply blast away Mooks and other infantry, but indeed, takes out dozens of tanks, combat helicopters, bombers, fighters, battle armors, ships, stationary guns, and, of course, the bosses. Of course, the game being on the far side of silly side, it is all depicted in a most comical manner.
  • Ratchet from the Ratchet and Clank games. There's not much to say about him, he's a one Lombax army. Literally destroying billions of aliens all by his lonesome self. Then again, if everyone dropped money when they died, you'd do it too. Having a massive collection of increasingly powerful high-caliber weaponry also helps.
    • Lampshaded in Up Your Arsenal: Once Ratchet shows up on the battlefield in Veldin, all the front-line soldiers take the Genre Savvy approach by tossing him their guns and getting the hell out of there.
    • Probably the most literal demonstration of this trope occurs in A Crack in Time, in which there's a level where Ratchet goes back in time to single-handedly win a war just so he can get a ride off the planet when he returns to the present.
  • Kratos from God of War, but, you know, he's a god. At least after the first game and his Punching Out of Ares.
    • Which then gets drained from his body in the second game. Of course, he then goes from One Man Army to One Man Apocalypse.
    • By God of War III it's been stated that if anything was left alive, it's because Kratos hasn't killed it yet.
  • Ashley Riot from Vagrant Story doesn't need reinforcements... he is the reinforcements.
    • Almost hits the trope by name: "Gods... is he even human? He fights with the strength of a brigade..."
  • In the original Star Fox and its N64 remake, the Big Bad controls a massive war machine aimed at conquering the Lylat System. The freedom-loving Cornerians are hopelessly outmatched and outnumbered....until they call upon the help of the Star Fox team. Flying in a small squad of ultra-advanced Arwing starfighters, Fox McCloud and his 3 teammates lead a daring counterattack against Andross, obliterating hundreds upon hundreds of enemy craft, destroying entire fleets of battleships, and defeating numerous boss enemies. Turns out the teammates don't even contribute much, it's all the player-controlled character carving a swath of destruction through the Mook army.
    • In Video Game/Starfox 64, the Star Fox team presents their "fee" (kill count) to the Cornerian army for their services. Depending on how high the number is, General Pepper has reactions ranging from "It was worth it," to "WHAT!?!"
  • Guilty Gear's background material indicates that Potemkin, resident Mighty Glacier, is estimated to have such incredible physical strength and stamina that he is as dangerous as an entire armored division. Considering his One-Hit Kill attack involves him punching someone once without his strength inhibitors, that seems justified.
  • The game Asterix & Obelix XXL, despite having two characters, pretty much embodies this trope, as Asterix is the one you play as most, and thus he is the One-Man Army, while the significantly stronger Obelix is AI-controlled and isn't exactly that useful. In the very last section, you also have to take down 1000 Romans.
    • By that point in the game, you should be able to purchase a special attack that enforces this trope even more: it transforms Asterix into a powerful tornado, sending literally hundreds of Mooks flying. Just one or two of them can wipe these armies.
  • Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice has Princess Sapphire Rhodonite, who effectively serves as her kingdom's entire military force.
    • In a cutscene in the first game, Laharl personally takes on the EDF invasion fleet, numbered in the millions, and wins.
  • Possibly first played straightest in the original Dragon Quest I. An entire nation's military force is overrun by enemy mooks, and one man, with no weapon or armor, no equipment of any kind, and no magic (well, at least he starts that way) steps up and singlehandedly slaughters thousands of monsters and the big bad himself.
  • In Crysis your suit makes you a One-Man Army. A slightly more realistic one than usual, because you can't carry more than three weapons and you do die with surprising ease if you fail to notice the grenade that has rolled near your feet or if an enemy scores a lucky headshot, but in the end you still manage to defeat untold numbers of baddies all by yo'self.
    • You don't even have to use weapons to be a one man army. You can just use your Good Old Fisticuffs to literally kill a hundred KVA troops. theoretically, this also works on aliens, but their strong close combat capabilities make it really hard to do.
  • Sam "Serious" Stone from Serious Sam. As the Gamespy reviewer put it back in 2001, "Never before, in all my days of gaming, can I recall a game leaving a bigger body count -- and since I was alive when Pong first debuted as a home television game, its safe to say I've seen it all, or at least most of it."
    • "I eat resistance for breakfast!"
  • In Saint's Row, you played as a custom made character who had to take down three rival gangs, mostly by yourself. Somewhat subverted in the fact that you can take along members of your gang with you on missions, and they could wield the same weapons that you do, but doubly subverted in the fact that they were exponentially weaker than you and could not take as much fire as you. In the end, it takes a planted bomb to off you. Saint's Row 2, however, confirms that your character is still alive.
  • Nariko of Heavenly Sword becomes a One Woman Army, especially toward the end when she's singlehandedly taking down literal scores of King Bohan's men in a truly epic War Sequence before the final showdown.
  • In Painkiller Daniel literally plows through thousands of demons occupying Purgatory, kills the generals of hell (who all range from 3 to 5 stories tall) and battle your way into hell and kill Lucifer. Yeah it's part of the story and thus a spoiler, but really how could you not see it coming?
  • Tony Montana from Scarface the World Is Yours can easily get over a thousand kills to his name by the end of the game, and that is without actively farming kills from respawning enemies.
  • Ninety-Nine Nights. Every level is The War Sequence, and you're the one who kills just about everything in sight. Oh! With a modicum of help from the two regiments that accompany you into battle, but really, they don't do a whole lot.
  • Terra of Final Fantasy VI is introduced in the opening segment as a one-woman army who "Fried 50 of [the Empire's] Magitek-armored soldiers in three minutes".
  • Immortal Defense had your ascended character slaughter thousand of ships and everyone on board in the eons long defense of your dead homeworld.
  • No One Messes With The Duke.
  • Amaterasu in Okami. Oh dear kittens, Amaterasu. Granted, she is a goddess, but still, she ploughs through monsters as if there's no tomorrow.
  • Deconstructed in Iji. If you decide to kill everything in sight like is expected in other games, you end up fighting off TWO CONSECUTIVE ALIEN INVASIONS IN ONE DAY. You actually get awarded the rank "One Woman Army" if you rack up 300 kills by the end of the game. The alien's chatlogs grow noticeably more afraid, and there is a You Bastard moment if you go this route. On the other hand, it is also possible to go through teh game without killing a single enemy, which leads to a somewhat happier ending.
    • The game doesn't ignore the psychological impact that the war has on poor Iji. She isn't a soldier, she'd never killed before the start of the game, and she's reluctant to start fighting in the opening cutscene. During gameplay, she apologizes to the first few aliens she kills, then grows silent as she gets numb to it, then when her kill count gets high enough, she starts screaming "Die!" at her enemies, in a voice that sounds like she's coming unhinged.
  • Mitsurugi in the Soul Series is a mercenary who explicitly sides with the outnumbered sides to fight more people. Even explicitly mentioned in his good ending in Soul Calibur III: "If you want to kill me, you had better bring a whole army."
    • Yet even he is outdone by Nightmare, who completely annihalates a huge army of Knights in the opening of Soul Calibur III. In his weakest state.
  • The protagonists of the two Knights of the Old Republic games have a decent go at this--the Jedi Exile, in the second game, massacres her (canonically, the player can choose the character's gender) way through an enormous battleship (with a little help from the boss Mandalorian and the battleship's owner's (reformed?) Sith apprentice) before single-handedly carving through the entire population of a Sith academy, wheras Revan storms through much of a giant Sith-powered army factory to confront his traitorous ex-apprentice.
    • Darth Malak rather Lampshades this in a flash of Genre Savvy. He tells to send all his troops to confront the PC, not because they'd be able to stop him/her (of course they can't), but in order to give him time to prepare his defenses.
  • On that Star Wars note, Kyle Katarn from the Dark Forces Saga, who has killed quite a large number of the Empire's servants and other miscreants in his journeys.
    • There's a reason the EU establishes him as the new Jedi Battlemaster by the time he gets into the books.
    • His apprentice Jaden Korr almost singlehandedly destroyed a conspiracy to revive a dead ancient Sith Lord, then (re)killed the Sith Lord Marka Ragnos.
  • Isaac Clarke, a single engineer armed with six power tools (plus one real gun) who takes down dozens and dozens of the creatures that wiped out and recruited an entire ship of over a thousand people, along with four separate gigantic monsters, one of which was technically invincible. In fact, he not only fails to die, he performs way better than the actual soldiers who turn up later in the game!
  • The Belmont clan's members, as well as the other playable enemies of Dracula.
  • From Zone of the Enders, we have Leo Steinbuck and Dingo Egret, who between themselves and Jehuty destroy large numbers of BAHRAM's Mecha-Mooks. Justified in that Jehuty is a Super Prototype mech.
  • Conqueror: 1086 AD asks the player to do a lot of castle storming. You can assemble an army and storm with a healthy collection of nights and bowmen. Or you can do it your damn self. The latter option is more efficient.
  • In Shogun: Total War you could build kensai units. Whereas other units represented groups of soldiers, this unit was a powerful single swordsman. So powerful that if you placed him at a choke point (so he couldn't be flanked or surrounded) he could take out whole units on his own.
  • The Marathon series is another example, and perhaps one of the first games to try to justify this trope. The character goes from being listed as just another security officer, to being a military super cyborg, to being the hero with a thousand faces, until the game decides the only possible justification is you being the physical embodiment of destiny.
    • Don't forget Durandal himself. The Pfhor sent the best fleet (14 ships, 10% of the active navy) commanded by their best admiral. He destroyed half of them with a single stolen Corvette before going down, and then finishes the job when he hijacks the flagship.
  • The nameless pilot protagonist of Einhander is explicitly described as being feared in the opening cutscene, and if his backstory exploits even approach those made while beating the game, why he has that reputation is aptly demonstrated.
  • The power of the God Hand allows its wielder to pimp-slap the entire legions of Hell all by his lonesome.
  • Legendary Champions in Dwarf Fortress, especially ones with particularly well-made hammers, unless crossbows are involved. They tend to have godlike statistics, move like thunderbolts, and can hit goblins so hard they crash into trees and disintegrate in a spectacular spray of limbs. Legendary champion marksdwarves are in many ways even scarier, because DF crossbows in the hands of sufficiently experienced troops tend to function like a fusion of sniper rifle and heavy machine gun. Incidentally, the history of the randomized worlds will sometimes cause entire armies to start fights with solitary "historical figures". The odds are disturbingly stacked against the army.
    • This is taken to the extreme with Morul, who is currently legendary in 68 out of 73 skills. Even crossbow-wielding orks are no match for him.
    • Mention must also go to Tarn Adams for being a One Man Army of Developers. Seriously, Dwarf Fortress has far more content than almost any two or three games you can think of put together, and one guy made the whole damn thing.
  • In a very rare RTS example, World in Conflict can have this. An ordinary unit of 5 soldiers can take cover and fight ridiculously well against more enemies, with bad cover. One time while this player was playing Cascade Falls, a unit took cover in the ruins of a house and held off most of the Soviet army until a hydrogen bomb was dropped on the nearby town.
  • The main quest of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind involves becoming Hortator, or "War Leader" of the three Great Houses, suggesting that you'll be leading armies into battle... not really. You'll breach the main fortress of the Big Bad on your lonesome (if you follow Vivec's advice, after sacking the enemy's other fortresses first, equally on your lonesome).
  • The vast majority of arcade games made by Capcom in the 1980s and 1990s fit this trope. For instance: In 1942 a single P-38 tries to shoot down the entire Japanese air force (in later sequels gameplay was also expanded to include sinking the Japanese navy). In Gunsmoke a lone gunman goes pistol-to-pistol with hundreds of outlaws, pistol-to-arrow with an entire Indian village, and even pistol-to-shuriken with a ninja squad. In Final Fight, one brawler (two if you play with a friend) picks a fight with a huge criminal gang who have kidnapped the mayor's daughter and have an entire city completely terrorized. In Ghosts N Goblins, a solitary knight confronts an army of demons, undead creatures, and eventually Lucifer himself to save his princess. And in Commando, a soldier (named "Super Joe" even though he doesn't technically fit the Super Soldier trope) becomes quite literally a One-Man Army; armed with nothing but a machine gun and a handful of grenades, he has to fight his way through a jungle swarming with an endless number of enemy soldiers. There are lots more of these types of games in Capcom's library, many of them sequels or Spiritual Successors of the originals.
  • Speaking of Final Fight, this is a commonality amongst most Beat'Em Up games. See also Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, etc.
  • Given the average wingman NPCs, this is often how Wing Commander missions get finished.
  • Adol Christin from the Ys series storms impossibly well defended enemy fortresses at least once per game, not to mention killing ancient evil forces, alone and generally with little more than a sword and armor.
  • Alex Mercer, from Prototype. You even regularly get updates on how many military, civilian, and infected you've killed during the course of the game, and it very, very rapidly goes up into the thousands.
  • Bioshock's Jack Ryan--who fights his way through Rapture directly after surviving a plane crash, destroying at the very least four heavily armored and powerful Big Daddies at the ripe old age of two! That said, he was designed that way...
  • The Lone Wanderer of Fallout 3 can become quite the killing machine, capable of wiping out squads of raiders, mercenaries, and government soldiers with little more than a beat-up hunting rifle. This is especially intriguing given the character was raised for nineteen years in a totally sterile, controlled environment. Of course, your dad did give you a gun at age ten...
    • For added cool points, there's nothing like slaughtering your way through Raven Rock with a Flaming Sword.
      • Or barehanded, without equipping anything until the whole compound is smoking behind you. It's doable even on max difficulty.
    • Of course, the Vault Dweller and Chosen One of the previous games can do much the same thing and one was also raised in a sterile controlled environment.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas there are three in game challenges that net you a few extra experience points and a small bonus to damage. "Lord Death," "Lord Death of Murder Mountain" and "Apocalypse Ain't Got Nothing On Me." The first requires 200 kills. The second requires 700 more kills (for a total of 900 kills). The third requires another 1000 kills (for a total of 1900 kills). They seem appropriately named.
  • The Engineer in Team Fortress 2 hits this in his Meet the Team video, where he scores more kills than any other Meet The Team (grand total of 224, 15 onscreen).
    • Also, the Soldier went on a Nazi killing spree on his own during World War 2 and didn't stop until he learned the war was over in 1949.
    • In the "Meet the Medic" video, the Medic and Heavy are a two-man army (close enough, right?) when the Heavy is ubercharged. They kill so many Soldiers as a team that they can pose on a pile of them at the end of the video.
  • Whoever you play as in Diablo or Diablo 2. In the first game, you venture into the depths of hell killing every demon, critter, and monster in your path including Diablo himself. In the second game, not only do you plow through Hell and kill Diablo, you also kill his brothers Mephisto, Baal, and legions upon legions of their evil minions, all by yourself. Its a virtual one man demonic genocide.
    • And in Diablo III? You and your companion get to save both Sanctuary and the High Heavens from Belial, Asmodean, and eventually Diablo himself!
  • The original Mega Man was upgraded from a humble assistant into a one man army to fight against all of Wily's robots.
    • Mega Man X has fought multiple robot wars all by himself. Zero and Axl eventually join him as partners, but they're all one man armies themselves. After Zero and Axl are sealed/disappear, he's a one man army again for so long that he eventually gets sick of it and retires.
      • Which paves the way for Zero to be a one man army in his own series.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog could count as a one hedgehog army, of sorts. As particularly depicted in Sonic Unleashed, he regularly annihilates entire armies of robots, leaving them smoking piles of metal in his wake.
    • The power trios that make their first appearance in Sonic Heroes count as three-man armies of sorts; especally prominent in 'Egg Fleet' and 'Final Fortress' in which they're more or less pitting themselves up against a large, heavily-armed fleet and winning. Considering that at least one of the teams is composed of an ornery killer robot, a government agent, and a guy calling himself the ultimate life form, and several of the other teams go toe-to-toe with them throughout the game...
    • Tails in Tails Adventure is a one fox-kit army.
  • Galen Marek is trained for years by Darth Vader to hunt and kill surviving Jedi while leaving no witnesses, and boy does he deliver. By the end of the game, his kill list includes two Jedi (plus two who "merely" soundly defeated, and possibly the phantoms of three more (and it should be reiterated that each Jedi is a One-Man Army in his/her own right)), hundreds of soldiers, stormtroopers, aliens, and assorted scum, several AT-STs, a friggin' star destroyer--plus several more, indirectly--and (in the bad ending) Vader himself! (Even in the good ending, he soundly defeats Vader and has him at his mercy!)
  • This happens a lot in Eve Online. Various missions involve destroying wave after wave of ships. Depending on the level of the mission this can vary from dozens of frigates to dozens of battleships. It is implied in the lore that aforementioned battleships have several thousand crew members, so one mission could have a kill count in crew members that runs into the multi-millions fairly quickly. It's also worth knowing that EVE players are Capsuleers, they use capsule technology which seriously reduces the need for crew numbers. NPC's don't have the advantages that come with capsules.
  • Rubi Malone from Wet is another one woman army, taking out a couple of criminal gangs, and about two thousand mooks over the course of the game.
  • Plenty of such characters appear in Arc the Lad, including the Token Mini-Moe.
  • In Cave Story, the protagonist destroys the Demon Crown (an Artifact of Doom granting its wearer insane power) and the island's Core (apparently a powerful conduit of magic); both of which had destroyed armies of combat robots in the past. And as an encore, in the good ending he's joined by Action Girl Curly Brace and the two of them kill the sorcerer who created the Demon Crown.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, you can expect to run up at least 250-300 kills taking over Little Italy for the Corleones. If you have less than 1000 kills by the time you become Don by toppling the other four families, you're doing it wrong. In the sequel you have assistance from a Badass Crew of Personal Mooks but nothing's stopping you from keeping them all in reserve and going to town on NYC, Florida and Cuba by yourself.
  • Occasionally and hilariously lampshaded by a few NPCs in Dragon Age. "... And people actually attack you? On purpose?"
    • And then there's the simpleminded Dwarf lad who is good at enchantment. Near the end of the game, while you're Storming the Castle, you come across him standing in the middle of about two dozen dead demonspawn. What does he say when you ask him what happened? "Enchantment!"
    • In Dragon Age: Origins the Grey Warden and his/her allies can accrue a very impressive kill count by the end of the game. Since the Grey Warden is required to be in the party for most of it, chances are good that he or she will rack up the lion's share of the kills. It's even lampshaded in one sidequest after you help beleaguered guardsmen kill an entire band of mercenaries and their leader notes that only an idiot would willingly attack you. One poor dwarf who tries to attack you at one point even says that you fight like an Archdemon. There is an achievement for killing 1000 darkspawn over multiple playthroughs. It is entirely possible to earn it in one playthrough. That does not cover everything else you kill. By the end of the game you and your small band of companions will have killed legions of enemies.
    • Every Grey Warden is chosen specifically because they are Badass. A dwarf in Orzammar will tell you that only Grey Wardens go into the Deep Roads without a squad of soliders at their back. In the Dalish Elf origin, you find Duncan by following the trail of darkspawn corpses left in his wake.
  • Jak. Let's see, BFG? Check. Super-Powered Evil Side? Check. The blessings and occasional help of the Precursors themselves? Check. Countless Faceless Goons and Always Chaotic Evil monsters who just don't know when to quit and inevitably die in amazingly high numbers? Ay-yup. That's Jak.
  • Jack, from MadWorld, is able to kill hundreds (maybe thosands) of people including bosses that have better weapons, some that are monstrously enormous, a giant robot and even some that can regenerate using only the environment, his strength and a freaking CHAINSAW on his arm. It's later justified as Jack is actually the former Grand Champion of Deathwatch.
  • The USS Cheyenne from Tom Clancy's SSN is a One Sub Navy. Of course, it does have a serious technological advantage. This is acknowledged in the novel, where the captain is promoted to rear admiral and receives both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Order of Mao Tze-Dong.
  • Lampshaded in Starlancer. While the player himself doesn't receive any special recognition beyond a few medals, his squadron are described in one news broadcast as "seemingly hell-bent on winning the war all by themselves".
  • Commander Shepard & co. in Mass Effect. One of the dialogue options before the final battle against Saren is:

 Saren: Commander Shepard, what took you so long?

Shepard: I had to wipe out a few hundred of your followers.

    • Just about any powerful biotic qualifies (take Jack, for instance, who immediately after being brought out of cold storage proceeds to tear a space station apart with her brain).
    • Garrus is another noteworthy one - he spent a long time killing hundreds of mercenaries all by himself. Granted, he had a severe advantage in terms of environment, but still.
    • Lampshaded in Mass Effect 2. On the Korlus mission, as you are going through mercenaries like a hot knife through butter, their leader chastises them on the intercom:

  Jedore: There are three of them! Three! Anything can be killed if you do your job!

  Project Guard: Shepard is tearing us apart!

    • The SSV Normandy is a one-ship armada by the end of Mass Effect 2. This is even quantified in Mass Effect 3, where the military contributions of military forces are expressed in terms of numerical "War Assets." Entire fleets of hundreds of frigates and cruisers and multiple dreadnoughts and carriers contribute about one hundred to one hundred and fifty points to the total each. The Normandy, by itself, contributes one hundred and fifteen points.
      • For comparison, the Destiny Ascension, the massive dreadnought that served as the Citadel flagship in the first game, provides 70.
    • Similarly, squadmates from Mass Effect 2 and some of the ones from Mass Effect 1 can be added to the War Assets pool. Potentially, adding squadmates to the war assets pool can net you an additional two to three hundred points, which can exceed the value of the entire ground force components supplied by some species. Only the krogan, all of the Alliance ground units you can recruit, and possibly the entire geth corps can supply more effective combat strength than ten of your squadmates.
    • Every asari commando is a one-woman army. They are considered to be the deadliest fighters in the entire galaxy (with the exception of Shepard), and even the codex says that going up against one alone is practically suicide. This is perfectly summed up by the War Assets entry for the Serrice Guard, a unit of asari commandos. After a space battle with a Blood Pack ship, they and the Blood Pack were forced to crash land on a planet. Over the course of nine days, the Blood Pack suffered over a hundred casualties from traps, ambushes, and night assaults. When the Blood Pack gave up and finally surrendered, they found out that they had only been fighting FIVE asari commandos.
  • Despite being a Glass Cannon in actual gameplay, this is the reputation bestowed upon Ragna the Bloodedge in Blaz Blue, who has singlehandedly managed to wipe out several Library institutions and kill every single man and woman inside.
  • Borderlands if you're playing solo: You'll easily rack up the ten thousand corpses required to get the "I am become death" achievement.
  • In Alpha Prime, your Mission Control speculates that you might be The Mole when he points out how unlikely it is that you could have defeated so many enemy soldiers unless it was all staged.
    • "And don't say they want to kill you. Those boys keep plugging away, but somehow they still can't seem to finish the job. They can't seem to shoot you properly. It's a pure miracle you're still alive. And miracles are always suspicious."
  • Though not canonical examples, Parker and Mason, from Red Faction and Red Faction: Guerrilla respectively, end up appearing as one-man armies, considering how hideously incompetent the rest of the Red Faction seems to be. The Red Faction wouldn't have got anything done if it weren't for those two.
  • Your character from Def Jam: Fight For New York. Think about it for a second: he so dominates the underground Fight Clubbing circuit that he takes over a bunch of the bad guy's fight club locations on his own. This continues until the bad guy suggests a winner take all match to settle everything. After you win that fight, the bad guy goes back on his word and takes most of those club locations back by force, but that's ok because you can kick his goons out of all those clubs and reclaim them. Then after all that, when the Big Bad declares that He Has Your Girlfriend, you turn back around an retake all those clubs from the "good guy" gang by kicking their butts for the Manipulative Bastard Big Bad. So, basically your character will singlehandedly destroy two huge criminal gangs by himself, with his bare hands, in the course of maybe a couple of months. Oh, and for fun during his offtime, he can get into and win various independent tournaments and battle royals too.
  • In Supreme Commander the player is literally a one man army. Gate technology only allows small amounts of mass to be teleported, so commanders are teleported to the battlefield where they build and command the actual, robotic fighting force.
  • Jack Carver of Far Cry deserves a mention. Enemy mooks speculate about how one person could not possibly pull off the stunts he does. However, his Genre Savvy allies Val and Doyle both expect and demand that he be a One-Man Army on a regular basis.
  • In Pokémon it is possible to play throughout the whole game with a single Pokémon. Simply use one Pokémon for battles, and others for useless HMs.
    • Made impossible in Black and White, where Pokemon gain less experience the higher level they are compared to their opponent.
  • In Perfect Dark, Joanna appears to be way more durable than the typical guard and quite capable of slaughtering an entire building's worth of people all alone. It gets to the point where any allies you have are more of a liability than an actual help.
  • Luca friggin' Blight. In one army battle, your team sets up an ambush to try and take him down with their entire goddamn army. They manage to pin him down even wound him. Then he gets angry. The battle ends after that with your characters expressing relief that there weren't as many deaths as they expected.
    • In game, to defeat him, you have to make 3 groups of characters to attack him, and ever after the three fights, you have to defeat him in a character duel. All of this after he is struck with an arrow.
      • 'An arrow?' AN ARROW? By his death, Luca has taken five barrages of arrows (each arrow apparently being strong enough to one-shot his elite guards which take multiple character's attacks in-battle to kill). He ends up dueling The Hero with at least SEVEN arrows still stuck in him. And he can STILL kick your ass.
  • While something you'd generally want to avoid in Mount and Blade, when you pull it off you feel like the biggest badass on the planet. Nothing like single handidly slaughtering a two-hundred man army by yourself.
    • For those who are unfamiliar with the game, becoming an actual One-Man Army (against actual enemy parties which number around 50-150 on average) is a VERY difficult feat. You start off far weaker than every other soldier out in the world. And even by end game, you will only be as best as the elite soldiers that other vassals can easily recruit in the hundreds. Even on the easiest difficulty, charging down a group of 5-10 elite troops is no easy feat. On 100% difficulty, attempting to take on any more than 3 enemies at a time is just inviting trouble, and taking on 10 toe-to-toe would be plain suicidal. The closest a player can get to being a One-Man Army is by focusing on archery and defending castles from above during sieges.
      • Or horseback archery, which, with patience, a good aim, a very fast horse, and a bit of luck to dodge the enemy projectiles, allow you to take down armies.
      • This troper was able to hold off entire armies alone by standing slightly to the right of a ladder during a siege and then swinging at head level for an hour or so.
  • Your allies are pretty useless in Gundam Climax UC, forcing you to kill everything yourself.
  • Kirby. Same as Mario but instead of having blood on his shoes, he simply ate millions of people. How that makes anyone not nauseous I don't know.
  • In Myth 2 Alric the Emperor of the Cath Buric can take on an entire army with the help of a magic sword that shoots fricking lighting out to strike down his enemies, in fact it's suggested that you let him be a one man army considering that the lighting can kill your troops to. when he's not wielding that sword he has a magic spell that jumps from enemy to enemy blowing up each one. Once you run out of spells you still is unbeatable in single combat. His evil counterparts are even more badass emphasis on bad. By using the level editor with Myth 2 you control soulblighter who is invincible to all but alric's attack's. Balor soulblighter's predecessor is once again invincible with the added bonus of calling lighting down out of the sky. shiver has a range of spells well suited for taking out an army but not invincible. And the the deceiver can brainwash an entire army and does in one level.
  • Valkyria Chronicles introduces Selvaria, a Valkyria soldier who can crush an entire squad of soldiers without backup. The only thing that's safe from her is a tank, and said tank most certainly cannot damage her, as she can deflect anything it fires at her. Later, Alicia, one of your units, becomes one of these too.
  • Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. It's even Lampshaded ingame: her exclusive skill is aptly named "Army of One".
    • Taken to extreme levels when you consider that she wipped out several battalions of Cocoon's finest soldiers, the Calvery, without any visible effort or breaking a sweat... and this is after dealing with an entire security fleet back on the race track without any visible effort either. Hell, even as a mere human she managed to wipe out an entire train of soldiers effortlessly. Final Fantasy XIII-2 seems to have taken this even further as she is not only stated to be far beyond that of a L'cie by the director... she now COMMANDS her own Eidolon army, commands an army of feral beasts, regularly defys the laws of physics, shatters entire buildings with a single spell, slams enemies through entire buildings, is immune to time manipulation, and now channels her magic to use as bullets.
    • Snow also counts, considering he curbstomps and entire army battalion midway into the game.
  • Featured in the classic Star Raiders: the only person who can stop the Zylon fleet and protect the galaxy's scattered starbases is you.
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the N64 has the player character essentially doing all the killing while your wingmen are useless. The sequel on the Game Cube at least has your wingmen look slightly more useful rather than flying around in scripted paths, but One Man Army comes back big time in one of the final missions where you must take on two Star Destroyers by yourself. Instead of a combined assault with friendly fighters, bombers and capital ships (which would, you know, make more sense) it's all up to the player to knock out these massive warships by himself while his allies fly around doing whatever. See also the "TIE Fighter" example above.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic IV, one of the many gameplay changes from the three first ones was that your heroes could walk around on the map without an army. The skill system was revised, and made your heroes able to actually fight on the battlefield instead of their earlier, supporting role. The result of this? Any level 20 hero with Grandmaster Combat, Melee and Magic Resistance combined with Expert skills in Life Magic could defeat small armies without the help of creatures. Ten levels and some additional skills (Archery, another Magic skill or more Life Magic) later, they wipe out entire endgame armies singlehandedly.
  • Michael Ford in The Conduit and Conduit 2.
  • Alan Wake in, well, Alan Wake. For a novelist who never fired a gun outside of a shooting range, he is impressively adept at gunning down the Taken. It turns out, however, that he gained this ability by literally giving it to himself. Thanks to the supernatural effects of Cauldron Lake, everything he wrote as part of his novel "Departure" came true - and he wrote himself as the novel's protagonist who faced hordes of Taken and barely survived.
  • Geneforge heavily features minion magic and summoning. The Agent and Servile classes can both become capable of surviving without them.
  • Geralt of Rivia. If you stick with his True Neutrality at the end of the game, by necessity he becomes one-man-two-armies.
  • Asura takes this to higher levels, taking down enemy after enemy like no tommorow, from massive buddha mooks, to PLANET SIZED DEMIGODS.
  • Artix in Dragon Fable. In a war with 100 million undead, he killed 50 million alone and felt he was ripped off when the thousands of other heroes killed the other 50 million.
  • This occurs in the "Conflict" games, "Desert Storm" and "Desert Storm II: Back to Baghdad". In these two games, despite having a team of four highly-trained and specialised soldiers - a rifleman, sniper, heavy weapons specialist and demolitions expert/engineer - players were capable of completing each mission of the games with just the heavy weapons specialist, Mick Connors. His skill with a light machine gun and anti-tank weaponry, coupled with the game's auto-aim system, bottomless backpacks, and more than enough ammo to supply an army in each level, made Connors capable of carrying out every mission he appears in solo. Though he would need to be given mission-dependent equipment from his comrades such as C4 and designators at the start of each level.
    • This is lampshaded in Conflict: Global Storm (aka Global Terror in the US), where in the training level Control comments that "With the possible exception of Connors, no soldier is a one-man army".
      • Still, the very first level in the Campaign of Global Storm begins with the player assuming control of just Connors, who, despite being captured, beaten, and tortured, manages to overpower one of his captors and single handedly secure the small prison his team-mates are being held in - optionally with just a combat knife!
  • In Makai Kingdom, the titles for the second to highest tier infantry units is "One man army" and "One woman army" respectively. (The highest is "Lethal Weapon".) Since you cannot have more than eight units on the map at any given time, and since some areas (dungeons) require you to go through up to a hundred maps before you can return home and rest/resurrect/save, having a team of unstoppable and untouchable battle monkeys is essential if you want to go forth and bust a cap.
  • The Admiral Proudmoore from Warcraft III, even without his bodyguards is capable of killing thousand of orcs, trolls, ogres and taurens.
    • Broxigar in the Warcraft: War of the Ancients trilogy of books, specifically the last one. He goes out in a blaze of glory against Sargeras after having killed dozens, maybe hundreds, of demons.
  • Rico of the Just Cause series is about as close to a literal example as you can get, since he routinely waltzes into military compounds and casually slaughters dozens of solders in between blowing up various important structures, until he gets bored and steals a passenger plane so he can crash it into a police squad. Not for the sake of a mission, either; the game encourages you to wander around randomly blowing things up and mowing down the countless mooks that try to stop you.
  • The Kid from Bastion hacks his way through multiple small armies over the course of the game.
  • Deconstructed in Don Pachi.
  • Stranger the Bounty Hunter in Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. Although it’s optional as to whether enemies are dead or not, Stranger still bounties a heck of a lot of Outlaws. It’s taken even further when Stranger is outed as a Steef, meaning that greater amounts of enemies are now being thrown at him due to his bounty, and suddenly there isn’t as much pressure to keep enemies alive anymore...
  • Player characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic are frequently given missions that they're told, point blank, they're being asked to do because it's too dangerous to send the army to handle it. Literally: "That factory is too well defended for our troops to take - go kill the garrison and signal us when it's safe to come in and occupy it." It's especially common on Balmorra.
  • The backstory of Chaos in Dissidia Final Fantasy is that he was supposed to be Lufenians' answer to another country's One-Man Army, Omega. Then he was driven insane by power and devastated the world, or something. By the time the game starts, it takes several Army of One from another worlds to take him down.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, entire bandit gangs, cults, and squads of Tuatha soldiers fall to the Fateless One. The Fateless One occasionally has some assistance but still does most of the work. Of course, the Fateless One isn't just a Badass, he/she is a Badass who can wield the fabric of Fate itself as a weapon. The "House of Valor" questline pits the Fateless One against increasingly ridiculous and unfair odds, with the audience expressing amazement every time he/she wins.
  • In Xenogears Id is able to take on Gears by himself. When he's in his own Gear, he destroys entire armys.
  • In Star Ruler, military strength is tied to more things than numbers alone. Therefore, a lone mega-battleship can be worth fleets of lesser craft.
  • Agents from Syndicate, both the originals and the remake. In the original, one to four Agents under your control can mow down any number of police and enemy Agents similarly equipped as themselves. In the remake, Miles Kilo and the Wulf Western Agents can also scythe through entire units of Faceless Goons, as well as Agents equal or superior to themselves.
  • Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising, a hordes of monsters and even a God cant defeat one Pit with a Weapon of Choice.


Visual Novels Edit


Web Animation Edit

  • Hank from Madness Combat is perhaps the universal embodiment of this trope. In the flashes, he could kill a hundred guys in five minutes.
    • Jebus also qualifies. As well as all of the fan-characters.
  • Every. Single. Freelancer. Ever. from Red vs. Blue. Season 9 makes this very apparent.

Webcomics Edit

  • Oasis and Bun Bun from Sluggy Freelance. Kill tallies here.
    • After alien Santa's army was wiped out, he casually took the field alone and demolished half of Halloween.
  • Shogun from Harkovast kills what is literally a small army of Nameless warriors. To make matters worse, about how way through he pauses to announce that (despite having him ridiculously outnumbered) THEY are the ones who are all going to die.
  • Skoll of Cry Havoc has a body count of a paltry fourteen. Take note however that four of those kills were with a sword against assault rifles and shotguns. Three more were the crew of a main battle tank. That she charged down. As it fired every weapon it had. And hit her. Suffice to say, she worked for those kills.
  • In Super Temps that is main character Skully in a nutshell. Her powers allow her to decimate any threat so well that she has to hold herself back. If she went off the deep-end at any point, mass destruction and chaos would ensue!
  • Zeetha in Girl Genius is one-girl army. Also, any strong Spark with little preparation can be an enormous trouble. Case in point: an army of war stompers arrives. Gilgamesh Wulfenbach walks out of the gate to meet dear guests, alone. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Goblins has Kore, a Complete Monster of a paladin who has apparently wiped out entire armies of orcs and ogres single-handedly.
  • Every member of the The Order of the Stick. Belkar is a sexy shoeless god of war, Vaarsuvius is a mage with a trigger finger, Durkon is the giant dwarf, and even Haley can hold her own against multiple foes. The only official one who isn't is Elan, but he's working on it.
  • Karnak in Dominic Deegan by necessity. It's noted he doesn't really seem to gain or keep followers very well, so any battles he ends up fighting, he pretty much has to do it on his own. Being the single most powerful demon in Hell by this point certainly helps.
    • In one of the latest arcs, we see a battle. On one side, Demon Siegfried and a gigantic battalion of demons. On the other hand, Karnak. The tagline? Two armies clashing.
  • Pick any member of the main cast in Chaos Theory. Each of them can dish out epic destruction in their own way.
    • Clayton applies liberal amouts of Conservation of Ninjitsu, taking on a small army by himself on a regular basis.
    • Connor hacks into a security system to make people get killed by their own defenses.
    • Kevin drops explosives everywhere, leaving mostly rubble and singe marks.
    • Troy literally punches out tanks and wields an AA gun like a pistol.
  • Almost every single notable character in Homestuck; however Jack Noir takes the cake, who lights a planet on FIRE, and casually destroyed at least 15 more.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the Doctor does this regularly. A later chapter introduces the "Inverse Ninja Law", which reads, "One ninja is an elite and powerful adversary. Multiple ninjas make a group of faceless and incompetent pawns."
  • In American Barbarian, Rick himself.


Web Original Edit

  • Los Hermanos, a member of the Global Guardians, is literally this. He's a super-powered duplicator who can make thousands upon thousands of copies of himself.
  • The Kriegan Army from Lambda. Each soldier is trained to take down dozens of enemies by themselves. Higher up, their elite Knights of Grabacr are up there at Person of Mass Destruction.
  • In the pilot of Hogan vs. Flair, the card features the "Kevin Nash Burial Gauntlet Match". It's pretty much Nash just destroying one guy after another after another with his Jackknife Powerbomb, parodying the way the Real Life Nash would always insist on winning on get his way most of the time.


Western Animation Edit

  • Star Wars: Clone Wars has varying degrees of this trope. Durge is shown (and explicitly stated in other EU material) to be a one-man arsenal, but "only" kills a few dozen soldiers. General Grievous is similarly able to cut through clones and Jedi with his usual psychopathic zeal, but his body count is relatively low. Anakin and Obi-Wan are better examples, a "body count" of droids well in the thousands, but they have their limits and still rely heavily on the armies they command. Mace and Yoda, however, wipe out hundreds of droids without their lightsabers and tear apart entire legions with little help from their soldiers.

 King Katuunko: You were right, Count Dooku. One Jedi is not worth a hundred battle droids... more like a thousand.

  • Iroh of Avatar: The Last Airbender. They say so. In as many words. Really. And consider that this was during the Eclipse, when he would have had no ability to firebend.
    • There's a reason he's called the Dragon of the West. It's Badass.
    • Any accomplished Avatar is one as well.
    • Can't forget Bumi either, who liberated the city of Omashu by himself.
      • While he was locked inside of what was essentially a metal coffin...with his face.
    • According to the Word of God, the reason Piandao is so revered as a sword master is because of what happened when he decided he was tired of the military and became a recluse. They sent a hundred soldiers. He sent them all back.
      • And he can't (or won't) firebend, either.
    • Then we've got Ty Lee, the butt-kicking, Genki Dark Action Girl, who takes out an entire group of elite earthbenders by herself in "The Drill".
    • Whole Team Avatar is this to some degree. In the episode "Earth King" group of kids in age from 12 to 15 year old, just blasted to Palace through legion of elite earthbenders.
    • The Order Of The White Lotus is basically composed of these. The previously mentioned Iroh, Bumi, and Piandao are all members. There's a reason their battle with a Fire Nation army that was super charged by Sozin's Comet was a Curb Stomp Battle.
      • The fact that one of their own was supercharged as well doesn't hurt.
  • Megas XLR. First episode: On one side, Coop and a nameless sidekick mecha. On the other, a large army of alien mooks and their commander.

 Kiva: Look at them all. These odds are awful.

Coop: You're right, it is kind of unfair. * knocks sidekick out* Now it's fair.

  • In Invader Zim, it's shown that apparently a single competent Irken Invader is capable of conquering a planet by themselves. Helps that they do have some impressive technology at their disposal. The main character has even better technology that he's engineered himself, but being a Chaotic Stupid Genius Ditz has no way to use them effectively (though he's still pretty dangerous at times).
  • The title character of Samurai Jack, with only a couple prepared traps, single-handedly destroyed hundreds (if not thousands) of Kill Bots in the third episode.
    • Not only that, but the last few Kill Bots actually took a step backwards trying to running away. Jack said "No, there is no escape." and ruined them.
    • Once, he managed to beat a moderately large army of robots with literally no effort at all.
  • Maggie Simpson, despite being a baby, can take out a group of mobsters with a rifle.
  • Brock Samson, the Swedish Murder Machine himself.


Real Life Edit

  • The probable top kill score in human history goes to Heinrich Severloh, the everyman German soldier assigned to man WN 62, the machinegun nest that the Americans optimistically codenamed "Easy Red." Firing over 12,000 shots from his machinegun and 400 shots from two rifles, he managed to rack up between 1500 and 2500 casualties in a single day's fighting, only retreating when all three of his guns failed due to heat warping. His testimony is, however, rather unreliable when one considers that he also claims that there were 30 men defending Omaha, when his own emplacement held 19... reliable figures aside, no-one doubts that he caused a 'lot' of casualties. When he was taken prisoner, he was afraid to speak about the battle for decades for fear of retaliation, and the American G Is and their families simply nicknamed the unknown enemy "the Beast of Omaha Beach."
    • However it is hard to say how many people Heinrich Severloh killed, but it was doubtless many, very many as he was a crack gunner and marksman and there were targets aplenty to shoot at.
  • During the 100 day Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union, Simo Hayha of Finland (generally considered to be the greatest sniper the world has ever seen) made over 505 confirmed sniper kills, and is credited for around 200 other kills with a submachine gun, ranking up at least 705 kills to his name. He ended his part in the war after getting shot in the jaw (read: head) with an explosive round and surviving. After getting shot he was in a coma for a week. The day he woke up is the day the Russians retreated from Finland. Coincidence? He then lived to the age of 97 years old.
    • His nickname throughout the entire Russian Army was "The White Death." Their attempted solution to his problem: launch artillery at where they thought he was. And even that didn't bring him down completely.
      • Artillery strikes managed to tear up his jacket once, and that was about it. That was more effective than the commandos (all of whom he killed) and all but the last counter-sniper (who died like all the others, but did shoot Simo Häyhä in the face before being killed). Think about that: Nothing short of being SHOT IN THE FACE even slowed this guy down, and he got better from that. He is reputed to have been disappointed about why he was refused a return to active duty when he woke up: That was the day the war ended.
    • Of course, the other thing Russians call "the white death" is... sugar. Making this the unlikely intersection of Foe Yay and Tastes Like Diabetes.
      • Well these are the Russians we're talking about here. When a single man can make the Russian Army (the Russian army ) look like fish in a barrel, one wouldn't be surprised at the prospect of them developing something of a crush.
  • That's compared to the second greatest sniper in history, Vasily Zaytsev, who while fighting against the Nazis, only managed to rack up a mere 242 confirmed kills to his name.
    • It's now widely known that Vasily Zaitsev's exploits (and especially his body count) were mostly fictional, created for the purposes of propaganda by the Soviets.
      • How Zaytsev can be the second greatest if Ivan Kulbertinov had 487 confirmed kills and Lyudmila Pavlichenko (just one of the many soviet distinquished female snipers) had over 300 confirmed kills?
    • It's the other way round. Zaytsev's exploits were for the most part true, but he was active on the front for the very short time, basically less than half a year. Remember, he wasn't an infantryman, he was a Marine, and he was transferred to Stalingrad from the Pacific Fleet only in Summer 1942. By the end of the summer he was raking kills so quickly that the Soviet media made him a posterboy of all snipers in the army, despite his relatively average kill count. In the end the brass realized that they couldn't risk the morale by letting him to be killed at the front, and recalled him to Moscow where he helped organize a sniper schools and served as an instructor.
  • Not so much a god of war, but they didn't call Masutatsu Oyama "The Godhand" for nothing. Able to kill a bull with one bare-handed strike (on the times he had to "settle for" two blows, he often chopped off one of their horns), he also engaged in 300 fights with the best students of his dojo in a row over the course of 3 days, stopped only because everyone else's asses were so thoroughly kicked that they couldn't or wouldn't continue.
  • Miyamoto Musashi gained his reputation after pulling one of these on the entire Yoshioka school. After he beat its two heirs in one-on-one combat, the entire school attacked him with bowmen, gunmen and swords. Musashi ambushed them, killed their figurehead leader and got away.
  • If the official record of the eight-hour Battle of Shewan, Afghanistan is to be believed, an individual U.S. Marine designated marksman (not a sniper) went 20 for 20 -- 20 kills with 20 shots -- while his platoon and three Afghan police squads was fighting off a company-sized Taliban ambush.
  • Audie Murphy. While still bandaged from an earlier wound, he was wounded by mortar fragments in two feet of snow at -14F. When the ammunition for his personal weapon ran out, he climbed on a burning tank destroyer, that could explode at any minute, and used the .50 caliber machine gun to continue to lay a withering fire at the enemy, while calling down highly accurate artillery fire against the enemy. He received a further leg wound during this phase of the battle, which LASTED OVER AN HOUR, under constant attack from, as the citation for his Medal of Honor reads, "6 tanks, supported by waves of infantry". When the survivors of his squad regrouped with reinforcements, he personally led a counter-attack that forced an enemy withdrawal. According to his citation, he personally killed more than 50 soldiers in that battle.
    • He also had malaria since the Italian campaign. Didn't get it cured until after the war was over.
    • In the film adaptation (called To Hell And Back) he played himself, and he asked for some parts of the film to be removed because "people wouldn't believe it". We're talking about a biographic movie.
  • Alvin York singlehandedly wiped out a German machine gun nest in WW I, making the leader of that nest (according to Cracked.com, 133 people) surrender to him.
    • This really doesn't do him justice. He took fire from 32 machine guns and slaughtered twenty of them before they gave up.
    • And they surrendered because he's an American. To quote, Germans at that times often thinks that Americans are the sissy ones compared to British gentlemen. So it was basically like: "If the Americans are like this, then how about the British? Fuck it, I'm outta here!"
    • And he was a pacifist.
  • A Two Man Army example: American sniper Carlos Hathcock and spotter Johnny Burke were on a mission behind enemy lines in the Vietnam War when they encountered a company of NVA soldiers (about 80 men) marching across a rice field. Hathcock and Burke each shot one of the officers, and the NVA soldiers, instead of running for the nearest forest, tried to hide behind a small embankment about 1000 meters from any more good cover. The two Americans picked off the NVA soldiers at long range for five days before calling in an artillery strike on the few remaining NVA soldiers. Only one Vietnamese soldier survived.
  • Older example: The real Cyrano de Bergerac (the scene appears in the play as well) once fought a hundred armed men at once and won, killing so many the rest turned and ran. This was with a sword and no armor.
  • Zhao Yun is probably unknown to most of the Western World (apart from Dynasty Warrior) but in China and most of Asia his name literally defines this concept. At the Battle of ChangBanPo he was tasked with finding and protecting his master's family, who had gotten lost in a retreat from an overwhelmingly superior force, and ended up fighting his way out of the entire army single-handedly. In the process, he killed about 50 officers and hundreds of soldiers, all the while cradling a baby boy in front of his chest. Rather hilariously, when Zhao Yun presented Liu Bei's baby to him after returning, Liu Bei slapped him, saying "I can have many more children, but there is only on Zhao Yun."
    • Zhao Yun pales to Xiang Yu in the Chu-Han contention. Apparently, only he can kill himself --- despite facing an entire army.
    • Guan Yu also belongs here: when Liu Bei, his friend, had to retreat from a city about to be attacked by Cao Cao's army, Guan Yu went to the only bridge leading to the city, planted his staff, and dared the army to attack him. There was very obviously no one backing him up, but the army, rather than face him, turned and ran.
  • William Marshall definitely qualifies and is one of the most Badass of people ever. A medieval knight with a record of 500 tournaments with no losses (and these were in the 12th-13th centuries before full-plate, when they were extremely dangerous), he had such a great reputation that other fighters used to gang-up on him to try to take him down. He was once so battered that they had to delay the award ceremony while a blacksmith hammered his helmet back into shape so he could get it off. Not only was he a brilliant tourney fighter, but also a great battlefield leader and warrior. At the age of 75, he led the charge at the Battle of Lincoln and personally killed the Count of Perche, the French leader and a man some 40 years his junior.
  • Cathal Brugha was one of the only rebel leaders to survive the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. And why's that? When defending his post, he took a whole platoon of British soldiers alone. He ended up in coma for a while and was not thought to survive, but he pulled through (though he was later shot down by his former comrades during the Civil War).
  • This is actually not a military example, but it still qualifies. In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson said this about his political arch-nemesis:

 Hamilton is really a colossus to the anti-republican party [i.e., the Federalists]. Without numbers, he is an host within himself. [Emphasis added.]

  • Ancient Greek king Pyrrhus of Epirus qualifies for this. Known primarily for his battles against the Romans, in which he won, but at such cost as it made the campaign untenable, Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus is full of heroic deeds, such as:
    • Winning a duel against a Macedonian officer, which impressed his army and enabled his conquest of Macedon
    • Engaging in a competition with his own Elephants to break the Roman line at the Battle of Asculum
    • Conquering the Carthaginian fortress of Eryx, Sicily by being the first man over the walls and cutting down all who approached him without taking a wound
    • Scaring off an entire Mamertine (the Sons of Mars) army that harassed his army's retreat from Sicily by cutting their biggest warrior in half with one blow
    • Leading the assault on Sparta
    • Going into an utter frenzy in another battle against the Spartans in which his son died, getting knocked from his horse and then proceeding to slay all the 'picked band' of Spartans sent to capture his son's body
    • Finally being killed because he was paralysed from behind, because he was too much raw badass to actually kill in face-to-face combat
  • German WWI commander Erich Ludendorff called August 8th 1918 the "Black Day" for Germany when it was reported to him entire German units were finding individual British soliders they could surrender to.
  • Not a one-man army but a one-tank army, the Whippet tank Musical Box, which engaged in a bloody nine-hour rampage behind German lines during the Battle of Amiens, 1918. It couldn't last forever, and understandably the Germans were very upset with the crew when they finally bailed out of their burning tank (one at least was shot and killed, and a German officer had to intervene to save the others from being butchered by his men), but it remains quite the exploit to this day.
  • Those that earn the title of a Ace Pilot are a one-manned Air Force.
  • Canadian Leo Major in World War 2. He started his career on D Day, capturing a German half track. Then, he went on to singlehandedly liberate the Dutch down of Zwolle. During a whole night he stormed the city, firing a machine gun and throwing grenades, making the germans believing a whole detachment of the Canadian Army was attacking, causing them to retreat.
  • American Tony Stein from World War II is famous for two things: his improvised Browning M1919 rifle and how he received the Medal Of Honor for taking out immense amounts of Japanese forces with it, while running all over the battlefield, barefoot, and carrying back the wounded soldiers.
  • Hans Rudel, Stuka dive bomber pilot of the Luftwaffe, is probably responsible for the single handed destruction of more stuff than any other person in history. He destroyed over 2000 targets, including, but not limited to, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, a destroyer, two cruisers and a battleship. Reading the achievements section of his Wikipedia article indicates he was pretty badass. Quite good looking, too.
  • Pretty much everyone on this list.
  • On one side: forty armed thieves, robbing, pillaging, and raping on a Nepalese train. On the other side: one retired Gurkha with a kukri. They shoulda brought more thieves.
    • Well, each Gurkha is a one man army. One regiment of Gurkhas is a good reason to say "screw this, I'm outta here"
      • Truer than you know. The story goes that during the Falklands War, entire formations of Argentinian soldiers surrendered just on hearing the Gurkhas had been deployed there.
  • Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard successfully defended a bridge against 200 Spaniards ... at a time when Spanish infantry were generally considered the deadliest fighting men around.
    • That was only one of his accomplishments. At a battle with the English, when his side had absolutely lost, he refused to surrender to any armed Englishman, because it might look as if he were afraid of that man. So he fought his way over to an enemy officer who'd set down his sword and taken off his armor. Making sure the man was absolutely helpless against him, Bayard surrendered to the fellow. That way it was obvious he was yielding to the situation, not to any one adversary.
    • At Mezieres, he wasn't alone, but only commanded 1000 men against an army of 35,000 -- and he was defending a position that everyone agreed couldn't be defended. Bayard and his men held it against 35-to-1 odds for six weeks before their enemies retreated. The position never fell.
  • Zvika Greengold, an Israeli tank commander during the Yom Kippur War. Commanded a ragtag group of four tanks in the Golan Heights he dubbed the 'Zvika Force' while Israel was still reeling from the surprise attack. Later fought with his own tank, changing vehicles half a dozen times and continuing to fight despite injuries such as burns and exhaustion. He fooled the Syrian army into believing that he alone was a large force of tanks and was credited with 40 tank kills over the course of a full day's fighting.

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