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"Programmable Armor"
Austria, ca. 1520-25 
Steel, silicon, cables ~ 3.2 kg


 By the 16th century the art of armor manufacturing had reached its peak in Europe. Body armor had become so complex that it took a knight an entire day to be properly prepared for attack, by which time the battle was usually over. The aristocracy was understandably disturbed, conservatives fearing that the role of the mounted knight was coming to an end, and that future wars would see knights simply shooting at each other with firearms like common soldiers.

Technology saved the day, however. The Austrian firm of Kaiprow, Kompak und Ozborne introduced programmable armor at the ArmorWorld Trade Show in Leipzig in 1520, which allowed a knight to instantly adapt off-the-shelf armor to his needs by inserting a 5¼" floppy disk into the helm and resetting the EPROM (E-Z-armor Pre-stressed RhinoTufSteel™ Over Mail) settings. It should go without saying that programmable armor became the fad of the decade, and anyone who could program in COLDBOLT or FORTRESS was worth his weight in Saracens. 

Shown here is an example of the extent to which custom programming was carried out. This helm is believed to have been commissioned by "Wolfman" Jacques Thibodaux, 14th Ducque of Huis Clos, and is said to have resembled him very closely, at least until the Battle of Roncesvalles, where he unluckily caught a charge of armor-piercing buckshot full in the face, after which his armor looked much more like him than he did.


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