Created By: xxlogos on March 18, 2017 Last Edited By: zarpaulus on March 25, 2017

Healing Factor Burnout

Healing Factor Meets Dented Iron or Game Breaking Injury

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Healing Factor Burnout.

A Healing Factor is one of the coolest and sometimes overpowered abilities to have. You can heal fast from nearly any injury no matter what, even fatal damage if it's strong enough. But sometimes, you just take too much damage and when you expect it to bail you out, it doesn't, and you are slowly bleeding out as you have the biggest Oh, Crap! in your life. That is what happens when anyone who thinks their Healing Factor is unstoppable and don't realise they are still mortal and they can still take damage.

When that happens, the individual in question suffers a healing factor burnout. They are finally showing the limit of their healing factor and are losing it from taking so much damage, that it can't handle it and starts to shutdown (although not completely in some cases).

This Trope comes into play whenever a regenerator:

  1. Has been slowly taxing their regenerative abilities by constantly exposing themselves to toxins.
  2. Gets too careless and assume their healing factor will save them form any injury.
  3. Cast from age regeneration. This kind of regeneration is only beneficial in the short term. In the long term, it will just do more harm than good.
  4. Tank an attack that would one-shot anyone else.
  5. Getting the mother of all beatdowns just to make sure they don't come back for more.
  6. Aging: Some regenerators are not the ageless just because they can heal. In fact, they are only long lived because of their healing factor, not the other way around.

In cases where this is a deliberate attempt to kill someone too stubborn to die in a fight, it proves that whoever destroyed their healing factor is not fucking around and that they mean business.

Sometimes burnouts are permanent and cripple the (former) regenerator. Other times they just need some rest as it's their equivalent of suffering a serious injury or in milder cases, a broken arm, as they need time for their dormant healing factor to restore itself.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • As the battle between Vegeto and Super Buu drags on, Super Buu begins to regenerate more slowly, signifying that he is suffering lasting damage and that his insane regeneration does have its limits.
    • Later on, when Kid Buu is massacring Fat Buu. He was beaten to the brink of death. Buu, who can reform from smoke and atomization, was at death's door from such a merciless beating and so weak that even base form Vegeta could have killed him if not for Mr. Satan's pleading.
  • Dragon Ball Super
    • During the Future Trunks Arc, Goku Black and Zamasu fuse to become Merged Zamasu as a last resort. At first it seems he got the best of both worlds, but when he got a couple of his own attacks thrown back at his face, the right side of it melted into gooey flesh. This reveals that not only is he mortal again (as his immortality is now compromised by fusing with a mortal: Goku Black), but that his healing factor and overall power is also taking a nosedive with each hit he takes, to the point where Future Trunks could kill him by slicing him from the bottom up.
Naruto:
  • This is explored in Naruto. Characters that can regenerate tissue in different ways (Tsunade and Naruto for a few) are subject to the real-life Hayflick limit - i.e cells can only regenerate so many times, after which the cells (and tissues, and organs) will start to fail, limiting how much they could regenerate and also can shorten their lifespan.

    Comic Books 
  • As the Trope Codifier, Wolverine experiences a healing factor burnout when Magneto rips the adamantium from his body. After the ordeal, it went on cooldown for a couple of months before it reemerged when he unsheathed his bone claws for the first time in years.
  • Deadpool in the comics exists as this as a default. They tried to give him a healing factor a la Wolverine to start with, but what he ended up with was an imperfect healing factor. He will still heal, but only to a point. His flesh is always going to be ravaged. And if you beat him badly enough, he will require medical assistance to keep him alive long enough for the imperfect healing factor to get to work.

    Film 
  • In Logan, Wolverine's healing factor has begun to fade over time, and while he can still take a beating, it's clear that it's weakened to the point he now has scars and infected wounds and can be killed with repeated lethal attacks. In his prime, those injuries would not have bothered him at all.

    Literature 
  • In the Wax And Wayne novels, set in The Cosmere, the infamous Fallen Hero Miles "Hundredlives" Dagouter fuels his healing factor by consuming gold, so when he's executed, the firing squad has to keep working until his gold reserves are exhausted. It makes for a messy spectacle.

    Video Games 
  • In Video Games, the effects of this trope are often achieved by offsetting the Regenerating Health with a gradual Maximum HP Reduction accompanying loss of HP: your health always regenerates back—but its maximum is continuously reduced.
    • In the first two Def Jam fIghting games; Vendetta and Fight For NY. A fighters HP can drop very fast of one is on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle. But if they don't finish their opponent with a pin(Vendetta only), use a blazing move or any other means to knock them out, they will keep on fighting. The only problem is that HP will eventually get low enough to be in the danger zone for the rest of the match, which leaves one vulnerable getting KO'd.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • March 18, 2017
    Skylite
    • Deadpool in the comics exists as this as a default. They tried to give him a healing factor a la Wolverine to start with, but what he ended up with was an imperfect healing factor. He will still heal, but only to a point. His flesh is always going to be ravaged. And if you beat him badly enough, he will require medical assistance to keep him alive long enough for the imperfect healing factor to get to work.
  • March 18, 2017
    Getta
    • This is explored in Naruto. Characters that can regenerate tissue in different ways (Tsunade and Naruto for a few) are subject to the real-life Hayflick limit - i.e cells can only regenerate so many times, after which the cells (and tissues, and organs) will start to fail, limiting how much they could regenerate and also can shorten their lifespan.
  • March 19, 2017
    Arivne
    • Corrected spelling (heal fast form -> from, if its strong enough -> it's, you are slowing bleeding -> slowly, and forget to realise -> and don't realise, they are and can taking -> they can take, In the cases were this -> where, burnouts...cripples -> cripple, bring -> brink, etc. etc.).
    • Added punctuation (periods at the ends of sentences, commas).
    • Re-wrote a run-on sentence.
    • Blue Linked (healing factor, Trope Codifier).
    • Added parentheses around an aside comment.
    • Changed * to # to auto-number a list.
    • Re-worded the fourth paragraph.
    • Examples section
  • March 19, 2017
    xxlogos
    Hey thanks for the suggestions, I'll add them to the example of this proto-tropes. I wasn't too sure where there was other examples of the trope I am trying to launch.

    @Arivne Thanks for the corrections and polish, even if it's a bit embarrassing to have ones grammar constantly corrected. But still, thanks again for the help.
  • March 19, 2017
    Koveras
    In Video Games, the effects of this trope are often achieved by offsetting the Regenerating Health with a gradual Maximum HP Reduction accompanying loss of HP: your health always regenerates back—but its maximum is continuously reduced.
  • March 20, 2017
    xxlogos
    Hey all, I'll be adding as many examples as I can that you give me. Credit goes to you guys and I appreciate getting as many as I can.
  • March 20, 2017
    Koveras
    ^ My previous comment wasn't really an example (because it's not specific to a particular work of fiction). Instead, you can add it to the main write-up body, wherever you think it is appropriate.
  • March 20, 2017
    intastiel
    Kind of an odd example, but:
    • In the Wax And Wayne novels, set in The Cosmere, the infamous Fallen Hero Miles "Hundredlives" Dagouter fuels his healing factor by consuming gold, so when he's executed, the firing squad has to keep working until his gold reserves are exhausted. It makes for a messy spectacle.
  • March 20, 2017
    Prime32
    Has some overlap with Kill It With Fire.

  • March 20, 2017
    Prime32
    Double post
  • March 20, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ You're probably thinking of Fire Keeps It Dead
  • March 25, 2017
    Prime32
    Yeah, that's also worth mentioning. Though, there's a subtle difference between "kill them, then use fire to destroy their body so they can't come back" and "use fire to inflict generalised damage that taxes their regeneration, then kill them through regular means". It depends on how exactly the Healing Factor works.

    If someone uses fire to inflict a Wound That Will Not Heal on a regenerator, then that's Kill It With Fire but not Fire Keeps It Dead.
  • March 25, 2017
    zarpaulus
    Hey! the Merc with a Mouth here! That is so not how my healing factor works. The reason why I look so ugly all the time is that whatever they did to me makes my stupid cancer keep coming back as soon as I can heal from it.
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