History Main / RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain

25th Apr '16 4:01:27 PM Deathhacker
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* Subverted in ''Franchise/DeadSpace''. A headshot alone will not kill a Necromorph, unless you've cut off at least one other limb. One of the gameplay features is called "strategic dismemberment", where removing or destroying certain parts has different consequences, depending on the Necromorph. The best example of this would be the Pregnant; shooting its arms is the best bet, but a bodyshot will release the Swarmers in its belly and they will probably kill you.

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* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'':
**
Subverted in ''Franchise/DeadSpace''. with most of the Necromorphs. A headshot alone will not kill a Necromorph, one unless you've cut off at least one other limb. One of the gameplay features is called "strategic dismemberment", where removing or destroying certain parts has different consequences, depending on the Necromorph. The best example of this would be the Pregnant; shooting its arms is the best bet, but a bodyshot will release the Swarmers in its belly and they will probably kill you. For all intents and purposes the head counts as another limb you can dismember, and necromorphs only drop after you've shot off a certain amount of limbs (differs depending on the type).
** Played straight with certain Necromorphs, who either counts dismembering the head as enough "limbs" to cause it to drop dead, or it's head is the only piece that you can dismember safely (the Infector and Crawler respectively).
24th Mar '16 9:34:11 AM 3dgar01
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* In the {{Web Serial Novel}} ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'', it is stated that the zombified [[ShrinkingViolet protagonist]]'s weak point is his brain. He doesn't stay dead, because at least for him, {{Death Is Cheap}}, but in practice, reviving costs time and there are other [[TearJerker tragic consequences]].

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* In the {{Web Serial Novel}} ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'', it is stated that the zombified [[ShrinkingViolet protagonist]]'s weak point is his brain. He doesn't stay dead, because at least for him, {{Death Is Cheap}}, but in practice, reviving costs time and there are may be other [[TearJerker tragic consequences]].consequences]].
**Interestingly enough, to actually get rid of a servant, you have to avert this trope. No matter how thoroughly you kill them, as long as their reaper is alive, a servant can always regenerate. Aside from taking out the reaper, the only way to disable a servant permanently is to put the servant's {{Brain in a Jar}} so the reaper can't regrow their body or respawn them someplace else. It also has the added benefit of the servant being unable to communicate with their reaper and tell them their position.
8th Mar '16 1:14:21 PM foxley
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* Shooting them in the head is the best way to put down chupacabra (a race of cannibal demons) in ''ComicBook/WynonnaEarp''.
5th Mar '16 12:31:58 PM ScroogeMacDuck
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The ubiquitous "gotta shoot 'em in the head" scenario. For many different reasons, TheUndead throughout fiction are vulnerable only to BoomHeadshot. Kinda like how ([[OurVampiresAreDifferent many]]) vampires are only vulnerable to getting stabbed in the heart. Fortunately, removal of the head also works on people who are not a member of the walking dead, so you don't have to worry about it going out of fashion as a killing method. This may have a somewhat scientific basis, as a zombie would have a lowered to nonexistent pain response, and would most likely not stop attacking until its nervous system has been effectively severed. Also, since it is ''dead'', petty issues like "missing organs" or "blood loss" won't be as effective as they would be on the living.

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The ubiquitous "gotta shoot 'em in the head" scenario. For many different reasons, TheUndead throughout fiction are vulnerable only to BoomHeadshot. Kinda like how ([[OurVampiresAreDifferent many]]) vampires are only vulnerable to getting stabbed in the heart. Fortunately, removal of the head also works on people who are not a member of the walking dead, so you don't have to worry about it going out of fashion as a killing method. This may have a somewhat scientific basis, as basis: first, a zombie would have a lowered to nonexistent pain response, and would most likely not stop attacking until its nervous system has been effectively severed. Also, severed since it is ''dead'', petty pettier issues like "missing organs" or "blood loss" won't be as effective as they would be on the living.
living. Second, mindless though they may seem, zombies logically have to still need brains to command to their muscles to walk, to analyze what their eyes send them and thus know that there is a human to be eaten in front of them, etcetera.
4th Mar '16 5:42:40 AM Pastykake
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->''"Cut it out! Stop wasting your damn bullets, you jerks! You need to hit their heads! I told you! See, like this!"'' (shoots zombie in the head)''

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->''"Cut it out! Stop wasting your damn bullets, you jerks! You need to hit their heads! I told you! See, like this!"'' (shoots this!" ''[shoots zombie in the head)''head]''''



This trope is a consequence of a CranialProcessingUnit. Accepting this rule is often a part of suspension of disbelief

It's extension/special case of the ChunkySalsaRule. Sister trope to BoomHeadshot and AttackItsWeakPoint but it is distinct from them. BoomHeadshot is when a headshot is the most ''efficient'' way to kill something, whereas this trope is where BoomHeadshot is the ''only'' way to kill something; Period. It's also closely related to and frequently overlaps with DecapitationRequired, but the latter trope usually applies to zombies, vampires etc. with a supernatural origin as opposed TheVirus.

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This trope is a consequence of a CranialProcessingUnit. Accepting this rule is often a part of suspension of disbelief

It's
disbelief.

An
extension/special case of the ChunkySalsaRule. Sister trope to BoomHeadshot and AttackItsWeakPoint but it is distinct from them. BoomHeadshot is when a headshot is the most ''efficient'' way to kill something, whereas this trope is where BoomHeadshot is the ''only'' way to kill something; Period. It's also something, period. Also closely related to and frequently overlaps with DecapitationRequired, but the latter trope usually applies to zombies, vampires vampires, etc. with a supernatural origin as opposed to TheVirus.
2nd Mar '16 10:18:27 AM Soldancer
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' provides some interesting examples. In the first three editions of the game, undead (including zombies) were immune to critical hits. Scoring a high-damage critical against a human would often result in instant death, with decapitation being a common DM description of the action. But no matter how well you roll, putting down a zombie with a crit was just not possible. However, in 4th Edition, zombies were given the exact opposite trait: a critical against a zombie kills it instantly, in a nod to this trope. The increasing prevalence of zombies in popular culture in the time between 3rd and 4th Editions was very likely the influence for the change.
[[/folder]]
18th Feb '16 7:10:31 AM LinTaylor
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* In an ''ComicBook/XMen'' storyline, it's revealed that Professor X had a set of "worst case scenario" protocols to take down any member of the X-Men should they [[FaceHeelTurn go rogue]]. The protocol for ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} is to use a long-range attack to decapitate him, then separate his head and body to ensure he can't just heal back up. [[spoiler:Years later Wolverine kills his arch-rival Sabretooth, who also has regenerative powers, by cutting off his head.]]
10th Feb '16 7:12:15 PM FekketCantenel
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* ''Literature/EdenGreen'' plays with this by making head/brain destruction the most effective way to take out a needle-symbiote-infected human... ''temporarily''. When their brain grows back, they may be docile and amnesiac for a time, but once they learn what was done to them, they won't be happy.
2nd Jan '16 1:56:15 PM Antigone3
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* In the Literature/CiaphasCain novella "Old Soldiers Never Die", the revenants created by [[TheVirus the Plague of Unbelief]] keep going until/unless their spinal column is severed. (Or [[KillItWithFire the whole body is destroyed by flamers]].) Justified in-universe in that the Chaos-tainted virus is able to electrically stimulate the brainstem ... but can't remote-control a body that's been detached from its head.
9th Dec '15 6:28:48 PM Prfnoff
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* In ''Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army'', if a zombie ''isn't'' killed by a headshot, it has a chance of rising again after a few seconds. Headshots are also instant kills on the most common enemies, so it's in your best interest to aim for the head as much as possible so as to conserve ammo. There are also minibosses and bosses who can only be hurt by headshots; naturally, they take a whole lot of headshots to kill.

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* In ''Sniper Elite: ''VideoGame/SniperElite: Nazi Zombie Army'', if a zombie ''isn't'' killed by a headshot, it has a chance of rising again after a few seconds. Headshots are also instant kills on the most common enemies, so it's in your best interest to aim for the head as much as possible so as to conserve ammo. There are also minibosses and bosses who can only be hurt by headshots; naturally, they take a whole lot of headshots to kill.
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