Created By: irrevenant on June 30, 2013


Use of environmental hazards to indirectly take out your enemy.

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Mostly a Video Game trope, but also used in other media. For example, in the first Terminator film where they take advantage of the hazardous factory environment to take out the Terminator...
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • June 30, 2013
    Needs 3 examples and a description way more than two lines long. Come on, dude, if you're going to put it on ykttw at all, you should at least take it seriously.

    That said...

    Overlaps with Geo Effects and Boss Arena Idiocy.

    • In Freelancer, it's easily possible to destroy enemies by luring them into minefields, policed space or other hazards. In the fluff, the GMG is famous for this, having used the many hazards of their native Yanagi Nebula to destroy the numerically superior Rheinland fleet during the 80 Years War.
    • In the 2008 film of Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Trevor takes out a T. rex by running across a giant sheet of muscovite, which apparently could support the weight of a human but not a dinosaur.

    Also, might want to change the name. Enviro Kill sounds like something a Captain Planet villain would call their latest plan.
  • June 30, 2013
    Sorry, I'm new to this, I assumed concise was desirable.

    Geo-effects is close, but it doesn't include Exploding Barrels - the idea was an umbrella trope that covers situations where characters take advantage of the surrounding environment to indirectly dispatch a foe.

    Three examples:
    • Using hacking in Bio Shock to turn the automated defences against enemies.
    • Using the hazards of the factory to destroy the Terminator in the first The Terminator movie.
    • Luring enemies into traps (or Giants or Mammoths :) ) in Sky Rim.

    "Environment Kill" (Enviro Kill for short) is a very video-gamey name for it. I'm open to alternate suggestions.
  • June 30, 2013
    Ideally, the original post should be fairly close to what you imagine the finished form looking like, something you'd feel no shame in posting as-is. That doesn't mean you can't change stuff later, but if your OP is too short, tropers tend to assume that you aren't making an effort on this one and in turn don't make an effort to help. We also like to see Rolling Updates.

    Also, you always want context. What hazards did the factory have? What sort of automated defenses do you hack? When you lure enemies into "traps", are you talking ambushes or Durable Deathtraps? At what point do Improvised Weapons stop being this trope?

  • June 30, 2013
    • In the original Eye Of The Beholder game, it was possible to use the Wand of Silvanias to push the Final Boss Xanathar into a spiked trap and kill him.
    • Some Wolfenstein 3D mods have minefields. It's possible to lure German guards into walking over the mines and blowing themselves up.
    • Berzerk. By clever movement it was possible to trick robots into running into walls and destroying themselves.
  • June 30, 2013
    • Blood Rayne II is choke full with pointy spikes around the levels that can be used to impale enemies with skillful application of Rayne's harpoon.
  • July 1, 2013
    Sleeping Dogs: Several environmental kills are available, including throwing a guy off a railing or into a fusebox, slamming him down on a grill / table saw, holding his head in a furnace...
  • July 2, 2013
    • Peter Pan in his last fight with Hook seemingly started to lose and retreat, forcing the captain to pursue him. Hook was so focused on his victory that he didn't notice that he stepped out of the shipboard right into the maw of crocodile.
    • Dark Messiah has a wide range of these: spike traps, bonfires, bottomless pits, heavy things, etc. It's actually one of the easiest ways to complete the game, since traps can one-shot hearly every enemy in the game.
    • Prince Of Persia Warrior Within: in case you feeling lazy and have a Bottomless Pit or water pool nearby, you can just throw your enemies there for guaranteed one-shot. This comes in handy when you have your sword broken.
      • Also Dahaka technically killed this way.
    • Mass Effect: biotic classes have some foe-throwing abilities, allowing you to do it. They become fairly useless in 2 and 3 against armored and shielded enemies, though.
  • July 2, 2013
    Environmental Kill is the preexisting term for this, so I vote that for the name. You'll probably want to break the video game section up by genres.

    First-Person Shooter:
    • At one point Half Life 2 allows you to use a cargo crane to smash some Combine mooks flat. There's also plenty of Exploding Barrels to use throughout the franchise.

    Western RPG:

    Also under Mass Effect:
    • At least two Renegade interrupts in Mass Effect 2 have Shepard shoot objects for this purpose. Played for laughs in Mordin's loyalty mission here with Shep blowing up a gas line, crossed with Exactly What I Aimed At. Another one during Miranda's loyalty mission has Shep shoot a crane, causing it to drop a cargo container on some mooks.
  • July 2, 2013
  • July 3, 2013
    Fighting Game
    • Each stage in the Eternal Champions games has its own themed Finishing Move, triggered by dealing one last hit to an opponent standing at a certain location.
    • Mortal Kombat has offered stage fatalities from the very first game, where one specific stage has kombatants battling on a catwalk over a pit of spikes.

    Would Ring Out be a subtrope of this?
  • July 3, 2013
    Environmental Kill is fine, yeah.

    • In the Ninja Gaiden series, throwing enemies against a wall with the Guillotine Throw will do a good deal of damage and sometimes kill them. From Ninja Gaiden II onwards, it's also a basic tactic to dismember them easily.
  • September 13, 2013
    • Pharaoh: This one is rather random, but sometimes enemy ships are sunk because they were over a floodplain as the water receded, causing an instant kill, or if the soldires were on the plain as it flooded (especially satisfying if it was a transport). It's also possible for the enemy to lose a man or two to attack from wild animals like hyenas, crocodiles, and hippos.
    • Skyward Sword: at one point you run into an enemy who can only reach you via tightrope. The tightrope passes very close to a beehive. Knocking down the beehive so it lands on the mook, stinging him until he falls off, is deeply satisfying (not to mention killing two birds with one stone, as the bees would've attacked you).
    • Starcraft II has a mission on a lava planet where the lava periodically surges upwards, killing anything not on high ground. There is even an achievement for killing a Zerg super unit by luring it into the lava as it rises.

  • September 13, 2013
    Benevolent Environment (though i agree, the current works)? related to Benevolent Architecture.
  • September 14, 2013

  • September 14, 2013
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • September 14, 2013
    • In the novel Pest Control, a New Yorker is mistaken for a rival hit man by a foreign assassin and chased around the city. Realizing he can use this trope against his pursuer, he ducks into the back entrance of an Italian restaurant he's heard certain stories about, rushes through the kitchen, then slips quickly but politely through the seating area and out the front door. The assassin runs in after him, exits the kitchen with his pistol raised, and is promptly shot dead by some dining mafiosi, who assume it's one of them he's gunning for.