In video games, this is a high-risk/high-reward attack or strategy that, ''if'' it works, it hits for massive damage. But if it fails, you either are going to eat a painful CounterAttack or will have crippled yourself in some other way. The penalty is ''much'' more significant than just wasting the move.

Can also apply to attacks with long wind-ups that open the player up to [[CounterAttack counters]].

Can overlap with DesperationAttack, but these can be done at nearly any time. Can become a GameBreaker if the success rate is too high or AwesomeButImpractical if too low. Some kinds of AlphaStrike may also manifest as death-or-glory attacks. For an even more extreme version, see SuicideAttack.

Strategy for {{Glass Cannon}}s often centers around this kind of attack, since it allows them to prevent battles from being decided by attrition.


!!Gaming Examples

* There's an infamous cheating move in {{Mahjong}} known as "tsubame gaeshi" in which the player exchanges their entire hand with the tiles in the wall in front of them. ([[ Video demonstration by pro player Kojima Takeo here]]) It's extremely obvious if anyone is even looking at your tiles while you do it, it's easy to just drop your entire hand everywhere, and generally there are about a bajillion ways it can fail and make it blatantly obvious that you were trying to cheat. But done right, you can give yourself basically any hand you want. This should go without saying, but DontTryThisAtHome unless you want the crap beaten out of you by three extremely angry opponents.
** Declaring an Open Riichi (declaring you need only one tile left to win, and then revealing your almost-winning hand while still waiting for said tile) in the Japanese ruleset. Most Mahjong parlours don't allow it, but for those who do it's a two-han ''yaku'' (a multiplier for your score) that stacks with the contents of your hand, but also reveals what hand you're going for to all your opponents. An open riichi can basically only be won by self-draw, since anyone with a functioning pair of eyes can avoid dealing into it (unless they're also in riichi), and has the normal caveat that you can't replace any of the titles in your hand and forcing you to discard all your draws that won't win you the hand.

* The Moon Shot (or Shooting The Moon) in Hearts: Winning all points (all hearts and a Queen of Spades) (in a game where the usual purpose is winning as few as possible, to keep your score low). Succeed, and every other player gains 26 points. Fail, and you will gain more points the closer you came to completing the Shot, up to a maximum of 25 if you just barely fail, and if someone figures out what is going on they'll slip a heart into a trick that you can't win, so it's safest when you take all tricks.
* Most combo decks in {{Collectible Card Game}}s (especially ''MagicTheGathering'') fall here: Just enough defenses to hold off the ZergRush and set up the combo. When it does go off, you win...''unless'' your opponent has the right countermeasures for it...
** The vast majority of combo decks follow the pattern of trying to "go off" and win in one decisive turn as soon as they collect all the pieces, which is exactly the right time to yank the carpet under their feet. This leads to waiting for the opponent to be unable to react, or preferring the lockdown style of combo in which you don't expose yourself and the opponent slowly gets hurt without being able to do anything dangerous.
** Red and Black like to do this in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''
*** Red can load their deck with [[ZergRush cheap creatures]] and damage spells and hope to win in the first 5 or so turns. If the game goes too long, they don't have any 'big' spells to compete and will probably lose.
*** Black has lots of spells that cost life (or other non-renewable resource) to play or use, but tend to be much better due to the extra cost. Too many of those spells, and you become just as likely to kill yourself as your opponent.
* ''TabletopGame/NetRunner'' has a good number of cards that do this sort of thing, but the most "traditional" is probably Lucidrine Booster Drug. It's a card that lets the Runner make a run with a significant amount of extra money, but after the run is over, they lose any of the bits that they didn't spend, and take unpreventable brain damage.
* Similar to Shooting The Moon in Hearts, Spades have Blinds, where you can bid a set amount without looking at your cards to gauge potential scoring. (Blind 7 and Blind Nil being the most common variants). Crosses with DesperationAttack, since most rule sets only allow Blinds if you have a negative score and/or are down by at least 100 points. Pulling it off gives you double points (a Blind 7 gives you 140 points). Failing '''loses you''' double points. A Blind Nil (betting you win zero tricks) is +/-200 points, but is particularly hard to pull off, especially since there is one unbeatable card (Ace of Spades or Big Joker, depending on preferences of rules) and gaining that will instantly sink your attempt.
* Declaring "all-in" in TabletopGame/{{poker}} is often this, depending on the situation. Most players have been in a situation where the difference between getting knocked out of the game or becoming the chip leader by a wide margin was decided by the fall of a single card, or the call-or-fold decision of a single opponent, after declaring all-in.
* WWE Raw Deal's original version of the Undertaker has a card that lets you go through your deck and choose the perfect hand ... and then [[CastFromHitPoints removes the entire rest of your deck from the game]]. In a game where the primary win condition is running your opponent out of cards. Better hope that, whatever you're planning, you manage to pull it off.

* The TropeNamer is the Death or Glory move from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', a called maneuver in which a unit stands in the path of a charging enemy vehicle to squeeze a good shot off. Success means [[OneHitKill one-shotting]] a large enemy tank. Failure means you go squish.
** This is referenced in Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''Necropolis'', where the civilian militia resorted to sending men with demo charges to destroy the advancing Chaos tanks. When a Guardsman found out about this tactic, it resulted in the following conversation:
---> '''Guardsman:''' How many tanks have you destroyed?\\
'''Militia:''' Twenty-four, I think.\\
'''Guardsman:''' How many men did you lose?\\
'''Militia:''' ''(shrugs)'' Twenty-four, of course.
* All-Out Attacks in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' are variously more accurate or more powerful than normal attacks but they leave you unable to defend yourself immediately afterward.
* A large number of feats and combat styles in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', at least in the third edition, is centered around lowering your stats for extra damage. The classic one would be Reckless Offensive, a feat that allows you to trade armour class for extra accuracy on your strikes -- another one would be Robilar's Gambit, a feat that lets you counter-attack anyone who melee attacks you that round in return for a greatly reduced armour class. The most popular option however is Shocktrooper's Heedless Charge which allows you to shift your power attack penalty to hit to your armor class, causing it to plummet to nothing. Another common one is Headlong charge which causes you to take an attack of opportunity when you attack as part of a charge.
** The Bravura Warlord in fourth edition has a lot of moves like this, some of which also encourage your buddies to make reckless attacks as well.
* Almost every advanced combat maneuver in the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' Storyteller System requires the user to forego their defense, leaving them with only their armor. Of course, since one of these combat maneuvers allows you to punch one opponent four times in a single round, defending yourself might not be too much of an issue.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': The peak of the Wood Dragon Terrestrial Martial Arts skill tree is a Charm that will kill anything that is alive, if it hits. The problem? If your attack failed to hit, at the end of the duration of this Charm you ''die''. This is not a setting where DeathIsCheap.
** Also, it's a setting where NoSell, both dodge and parry, is ''very'' cheap. It's a very good representative of AwesomeButImpractical.
* The priests of Kor, the god of war and slaughter in ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye'', have the power to harness all the damage their first eight strikes would do and use it all on the final ninth strike. While they are doing this, they will start [[CallingYourAttacks counting from one to nine]], so any enemy familiar with this cult will know what's coming.
* In a ''TabletopGame/StarFleetBattles'' ship-to-ship duel, firing an AlphaStrike in a "narrow salvo" (all weapons are resolved with one die roll, so either they all hit or they all miss) is likely to either cripple your enemy or leave you highly vulnerable until you can reload (if you survive that long). The tactic is less risky in fleet engagements where ships can [[{{Wingman}} cover for each other]].
* Fairly common in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' - especially the "Classic" era. Very few 'Mechs can fire all their weapons at once without raising their heat level to a point where the 'Mech is very likely to shut down. This is known as the AlphaStrike and taken at the right time, it can be the chance that wins the battle...or loses it.
** The DeathFromAbove maneuver is considered this. Jumping onto an enemy 'Mech to GoombaStomp them can be devastating...if it succeeds. Chances are good that a successful DFA will heavily damage the target or destroy them outright courtesy of a smashed cockpit. Chances are also good that the 'Mech attempting the maneuver will fall and damage itself as well, leaving it at the mercy of gravity, the intended victim, and any of the intended victim's friends. What's more -- and what can readily make this attack another example of AwesomeButImpractical -- is that the 'Mech trying to perform it can't use its weapons that turn, but ''can'' be shot at just fine by any and all enemy units in range while it's still technically in mid-air and has no cover.
* In TabletopGame/YuGiOh several strategies require you to commit all resources you have to eliminate your opponent in a single turn. If your opponent somehow survives the onslaught, or is able to counter it somehow, you are left defenseless against them.
** In addition, several cards use this trope, putting you at a severe disadvantage if the move is countered. The card ''Relay Soul'' allows you to summon a monster from your hand, and while it is out on the field, you take no damage. However, the second it is no longer face up, you immediately lose the duel.

* Parrying with your shield in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' is more of a movement than an attack, but nevertheless applies. If you parry correctly, you knock your enemy's weapon aside and open them up to a massively powerful counter-attack. If you don't parry correctly, you've just given up your ability to dodge or block the attack, and you're about to be pounded into the ground.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'': The Old Demon King can attempt one when at low health. He creates an enormous fiery explosion that can easily destroy even a very tough and well-armored player if they're caught in it. However, this attack drains all of the fire out of him, leaving him helpless afterward. Survive the explosion, and the Old Demon King is more or less guaranteed to die.
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai 3'' gives [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Majin Vegeta]] one of these for his ultimate attack. If Vegeta wins the mini-game, he survives with [[HPToOne one hit point]], while his opponent [[OneHitKO loses all their life instantly]]. If his opponent wins, Vegeta goes down, but his opponent survives.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2]]'''s sniper kit could get into some interesting showdowns with jeeps. Any time a jeep driver sees infantry out in the open, there's a decent chance he'll try to run them over. If the sniper is feeling bold, he can stop, take aim, and kill the driver with a single flawlessly aimed headshot, bringing the jeep to a stop. If he misses, it is incredibly unlikely he'll have time to get clear before being run down, much less take another shot.
** Sometimes if the sniper kills the driver too close to himself, the jeep does not have enough time to come to a full stop and it smashes into the sniper anyways. Due to a somewhat buggy kill scoring system, the driver may or may not get credit for the kill.
** Similarly: The C4 packs. If you manage to stick a few of them to a vehicle and detonate, you have a guaranteed kill. Of course, this requires you to be in close range of a tank (which will kill you pretty much as soon as one of the occupants notices you) or a jeep (where either machine gunners or getting run over will kill you). Against infantry they are also like mines or grenades you can control, but holding the detonator leaves you completely defenseless if they see you. Not to mention the high chance of getting caught in the explosion yourself.
** ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 3]]'' adds [[FanNickname "Jihad Jeeping"]] to the above mix; shove some C4 on ''your'' Humvee[=/=]UAZ, drive headlong at an enemy armoured vehicle and hope you can time your dive from the moving 4x4 so that it still has enough forward momentum to hit the target without you getting caught in the explosion... unless [[DeathIsCheap you don't mind having to respawn]], in which case it's a SuicideAttack.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Going for a Mongoose Mowdown often [[ results in this]]. Likewise, this includes [[ any sort of attempted splatter]] that involves holding the IdiotBall.
** ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' has the "If They Came To Hear Me Beg" achievement. To get it, you must assassinate something while falling from a height that would have killed you. If you succeed, you get the achievement and survive (the assassination breaks your fall). If you fail, your target gets to see your body slam into the ground next to them.
* ''S4League'''s melee weapons are pretty well made of this trope. The storm bat, plasma sword, and counter sword are all extremely powerful and stylish ways to put an end to your enemy - but after completing a combo they leave the wielder horribly exposed for about two seconds, an eternity in a fast-paced game. If you miss or if your target has backup, you probably will not survive.
* In ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest: Galactrix'', the Bola Mine attack can [[OneHitKill one-shot]] lesser opponents and severely damage more powerful ones. But since [[UnpredictableResults the placement of mines is random]], it can also do minimal damage AND leave your opponent with a board full of mines to hit you with. (Especially if your opponent also has Bola Mine). The Deathbringer spell in ''Challenge of the Warlords'' works the same way.
* Instant Kill Moves in the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' series. Connect - it's an instant KO. Miss - your super bar is gone for the rest of the round.
** In the first game, when the opportunity to input the IK arises, the opponent can race to input a "counter" command or even the same IK motion, possibly eliminating the instigator instead. In the same game, [=IKs=] win the ''whole match'' instead of just one round.
* Several characters in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' have these. Most are telegraphed attacks with ridiculously long windups:
** Possibly the most interesting is Yoshimitsu's reverse hara-kiri: He takes a step forward, turns to face the opposite direction, and stabs himself in the stomach. It deals massive damage to him and, if it connects, even more to his opponent.
** The Devil/Angel beam. It will erase half your opponent's life bar, but has such a long wind-up that most human players and higher-level CPU players can position themselves for a severe counterattack.
** Paul's straight punch comes to mind. Amusingly though, the slight lean backwards as he winds up made it possible to use this as a dodge/counter against someone who was trying to land a ridiculously powerful attack on you, which generally resulted in a confused and/or enraged opponent pausing for a half-second before being blasted across the screen.
** Miguel has a hugely telegraphed move where he casually walks up to his opponent and laughs before winding up a punch and [[OneHitKill laying them out in a single hit.]]
** Every character in ''Tekken 7'' can use a "Rage Art", which is contingent on [[ComebackMechanic being nearly defeated]] (which triggers Rage Mode). Once in Rage Mode, you have one chance to use your Rage Art. Regardless if it connects, is blocked, or whiffs, that's the only chance you get to use it for the rest of the round.
* Storm's "Hailstorm" super from ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'' works much the same way as the Devil/Angel Beam.
* Parries and Just Defense, respectively from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' and ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Garou: Mark of the Wolves]]'', require precise timing but allow you to counter almost instantly, gain meter and receive no ScratchDamage. The latter also offers a health bonus. Successfully Just Defending a DesperationAttack gives you a whole lot more health.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** Jigglypuff's [[ "Rest"]] attack and Luigi's "Super Jump Punch" can both easily inflict a OneHitKill, but ''only'' if they are used at absolutely point-blank range. Otherwise, they inflict ScratchDamage at best. Jigglypuff's Rest also puts it to sleep for about two full seconds (whether it connects or not), and Luigi's Jump Punch is also his mid-air recovery move, which makes it risky to use anywhere that isn't above solid stage ground.
** Captain Falcon's "[[MegatonPunch Falcon Punch]]" has a long windup period (almost one full second) before it strikes, making it easy for a player to avoid or interrupt it. But if it hits...
** Ganondorf's "Warlock Punch" is stronger than Falcon's Punch, but requires even ''more'' time to execute before it hits. However, a sucessful strike will hurt; ''a lot''. The same happens with his Volcano Kick. Again, it does a ''lot'' of damage and can K.O. very early; however, it has the longest charge of any one attack though, and Ganondorf's completely immobile during it.
** Roy in ''Melee'' has his version of "Shield Breaker", which is a charged sword strike. While Marth's version of the attack is quicker and can KO an opponent at decent damage, Roy's takes a ridiculously long time to power up and takes 10% after using it. However, when used at full power, can instantly K.O. pretty well anybody, provided he's not interrupted that is.
** ''Brawl'' adds Ike, who combines Marth and Roy's charging attacks with slow, Ganondorf-style attacks. His entire game is about timing and distancing, and if he gets them right, the battle can be quite short.
** Toon Link's downthrust aerial attack sends him plummeting straight down, sword first. The attack is a very powerful spike, but like Luigi's Super Jump Punch, if he doesn't have solid ground to land on, it's a one-way ticket off the stage.
** ''3DS/Wii U'' adds Shulk, who via StanceSystem can turn himself into quite the GlassCannon. Activating Monado Smash makes it so his attacks get very increased knockback, which is a godsend in a game where launching people off the screen is the name of the game. However, this stance makes it easy for opponents to send ''him'' flying away, which means that if Shulk is also highly damaged, Monado Smash can easily backfire.
** Any character with a CounterAttack means they have in their arsenal a way to painfully punish any incoming attack. However, activating these attacks turns the fighter into a sitting duck for a good while if they are not attacked in the usually strict window of time the counter is effective, and they are ineffective against any kind of grab.
** [[DropTheHammer Hammers]] became this after the original. ''Melee'' started the tradition with the normal hammer losing its head sometimes, becoming a useless piece of wood. By the time you're done [[Machinima/{{Smashtasm}} flailing a stick around and don't know how to stop]], someone else will have already picked up the head and thrown it at you or someone else, or just taunted you for ten seconds at making a fool out of yourself. ''Brawl'' made it even worse; if someone picks up the shiny new Golden Hammer, ''run''. One hit, or two at best, and you will be eliminated before you can say squeak... assuming ''the hammer'' doesn't beat you to it. The cute sound of a squeaky hammer won't be so cute after an opponent sends you off the screen.
** ''4'' adds "Extreme Judge", a variation of Mr. Game & Watch's Judge attack that makes it either hit [[OneHitKill extremely hard]] or not at all.
* In most American football video games, calling an all-out blitz can result in nailing the opponent for a big loss. A successful blitz can swing a game's momentum in your favor. If you can't reach the ball carrier, it can swing the other way, as it leaves large gaps in the defense and plenty of uncovered players to act as blockers.
* Quite a few ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' moves come to mind:
** The best examples are Fissure, Guillotine, Sheer Cold and Horn Drill. They only have a 30% chance to hit, but if they do, your opponent is [[OneHitKill one-shotted.]] Guillotine and Horn Drill don't work on Ghost types unless you use some form of workaround strategy. Sheer Cold is Ice type and the most dangerous of them all because no type is immune. Fissure, being a ground type move, suffers from Flying types and Levitate and Air Balloon users being immune. But otherwise, landing one of these WILL knock out an opponent's Pokémon. If you miss (70% chance), you just gave your opponent a free turn, which can prove devastating. These three moves are banned from competitive play because of how cheap the victories can be with them in use. There are moves such as Protect or Detect that block the attack, the withstanding move Endure that [[LastChanceHitPoint spares 1 HP]], the item Focus Sash which does the same, and the effects of the ability Sturdy, which makes it impossible for 1-hit KO.
** "(High) Jump Kick" hurts the user by one-half of the damage it would have inflicted if they miss. In an early Battle CD from ''Gale of Darkness'', you actually have to use this to your advantage - the opponent is ridiculously powerful and can knock you out in one hit, but [[TrialAndErrorGameplay the fixed pattern of attacks]] - it uses three elemental punches, then High Jump kick, and you have a Blissey (who has a [[DamageSpongeBoss silly amount of HP]]) with a move that blocks any attack, but loses its chances of success with repeated use - means a single blocked attack is all it takes to finish the foe.
*** In Generation V, the damage from missing is changed from one-half the damage it would have done to one-half of the user's maximum HP. Probably because of the above scenario, and a boost in its base firepower (to 130, after already being boosted from 85 to 100 in Generation IV).
** Ghosts can use Curse to inflict an incurable status which can eat through the foe's hp frighteningly quickly. The downside is that the user takes a nail to the eye for 50% of its health bar, making it rather easy for the enemy to finish the job (but making it harder to catch wild Ghost Pokes that use it, since they tend to pass out).
** Several attacks require two turns to execute. [[AwesomeButImpractical Sadly]], they're rarely powerful enough to make up for wasting the first turn (Razor Wind, Skull Bash). Then there's Solar Beam, which doesn't need a turn to charge if the weather is sunny, though causing sunny weather takes up a turn itself and if your opponent is faster and changes the weather, you're boned. Then there's moves where you're semi-invulnerable the first turn (Dig, Fly, Dive), though there are always a few moves that can still damage you (as well as a few that will cause extra damage (Earthquake against Dig)). None of those two-turn moves are very popular in competitive play, simply because the opponent will be able to switch to a Pokémon that resists or is outright immune to the attack, and has a good chance of being highly capable of mopping the floor with the two-turn-move-user (the exception being Gyarados's Bounce and Origin Forme Giratina's Shadow Force, since both Pokémon are powerful enough to justify the use of such moves). However, there is an item called a ''Power Herb'' that skips the charge up and allows to attack without it, but A) These aren't available until post-game, and B) It disappears after use.
*** Hyper Beam (and its many variants, like Rock Wrecker, Roar of Time, and Giga Impact) are inversions of the usual two-turn attacks: They strike first and require a recharge turn ''later''. They inflict massive damage, but the extra turn required to recover it can prove fatal in fierce competitive settings. (On the other hand, the extra turn is a moot point if you're about to get KO'ed anyway...) Also, anything with at least 75 Base Power (which is rather mediocre) does at least as much damage over two turns, landing these attacks '''''firmly''''' in the CoolButInefficient category. They're only useful if you ''desperately'' need an OHKO.
** And there are moves which sharply reduce the user's stats after use, which can make your Pokémon practically useless afterwards (e.g. Draco Meteor and Overheat sharply reduce attack power after use) or vulnerable to enemy attacks (Close Combat, which reduces defense).
** Then there's Bide. For two turns, your Pokémon doesn't do a thing. On the third turn, he'll attack, doing exactly twice as much damage to the opponent as the opponent did to your Pokémon during those two turns. Unless your Pokémon hasn't taken any damage because your opponent was too busy buffing its own stats in order to be more able to crush you. Or it did crush you before you could strike back. Or your Pokémon is suffering from [[StandardStatusEffects confusion or paralysis or something similar]] and quite simply fails to use the move.\\
Pokémon ''seriously'' loves this trope.
** There's also the recoil damage attacks (Jump Kick and High Jump Kick not included, since they do a different kind of recoil damage), which do damage to the user whenever it hits. And they all do pretty good damage; none of them naturally have a power lower than '''80''', 5 of them have a power of 120, and one has a power of 150. But the damage they do to the user is pretty hefty; all but one of them does 1/3 of the damage its user dealt, and the other one, Head Smash (the most powerful one), deals '''''half''''' the damage the opponent took. Imagine how much Rampardos (who has the third highest base Attack in the game, beat only by Attack Forme Deoxys and Black Kyurem; oh, and he also gets a 50% damage increase since Head Smash is a Rock attack and Rampardos is a Rock Pokémon) is hurting after using it.
*** And then there's Normal-type Struggle, which is used by Pokémon who've run out of PP for all their moves. On the plus side, it ignores the opponent's type, so you can still use it on Pokemon that resist or are immune to Normal attacks. Unfortunately, the recoil damage is pretty hefty: as of Generation IV, the user takes damage equal to 1/4 of their '''max HP''' every time it hits, regardless of how much damage it dealt.
** Shadow End from ''Pokémon XD''. It's powerful (120 power Shadow move, doubled to '''''240''''' against regular Pokémon), but the user's current HP is cut in half whenever it hits. That, and a base accuracy of 60% make it less reliable than Thunder or Blizzard.
** [[ShockAndAwe Zap Cannon]]. 100 power (120 in Generation V), instant paralysis, but only 50% accuracy. Dynamic Punch is the same, only it's Fighting-type and confuses. ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' also gives us the move Inferno, which is Fire-type and causes a burn. [[GoodOldFisticuffs Focus Punch]] is a 150 power fighting move, but goes second and fails if the user is hit.
*** When used on its own, Focus Punch is practically useless outside of very specific circumstances. As of Gen V, we have the move [[ After You]]... Granted, this only makes the move a lot more reliable in double and triple battles.
** There's also Outrage and variations thereof, which inflict massive damage for 2-3 turns, but after that the user becomes confused.
*** Focus Punch becomes ''very'' useful if you make it so the opponent can't attack you directly - so put the enemy to sleep or use Substitute, and...
** Belly Drum is a 'Death or Glory ''Buff'''. In order to use it, you must sacrifice half your total HP, if you can't then the move fails. If it succeeds however, you get ''maximized physical attack power'', with which you can deal 4x regular damage with any physical move... Assuming you live long enough to attack. Move first and you need to hope your opponent cannot hit you for the rest of your HP, move second and you run the risk of either not being able to use the move at all, or not being able to respond due to the speed difference.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a villainous example. Icehowl, a gigantic yeti fought in the Trial of the Crusader raid, has an attack where he scatters and stuns the raid against the walls, then targets a person and charges him/her. If the target (or anyone else) is hit by the charge, Icehowl goes into a rage and gains a massive damage and speed buff. If he misses, Icehowl crashes into the wall and is stunned himself for several seconds, and he takes double damage from all attacks. Considering his massive amount of health, you want him to always miss if you want to beat the enrage timer.
** In ''World of Warcraft'' the priest spell Shadow Word: Death deals damage to an opponent, but if it fails to kill them hurts the priest as well.
* Desperate Attack in Duel fights in ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' - it does a ''lot'' of damage, but if your opponent chose Guard in the rock-paper-scissors, you're going to eat a counter. (Defeating Teo with Pahn in the first game, a seemingly HopelessBossFight that must be won to get HundredPercentCompletion, is best done by choosing only Guard - Teo eventually flips out and starts using Desperate Attack exclusively.)
* Yoshimitsu of the ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'' series has an attack where he stabs himself through with his own sword - akin to [[{{Seppuku}} ritualistic disembowelment]] - losing the round, if he kills himself. If it kills an enemy conveniently standing behind him during the stab, however, the round win goes to Yoshimitsu, even if he dies from his own move.
** There are also attacks denoted by an exclamation mark on the character's move list. Said attacks are massively telegraphed (with the screen dimming and the character's weapon being covered in flames and SuckingInLines) and take a while to execute, but deal massive damage and smash right through guards.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', each class has a "taunt" attack that is an instant kill if it actually connects. However, it requires them to stand in one place for several seconds completely defenseless.
** Of course, if you can time it just right, you can kill someone coming through a doorway with one of these taunts by standing out of their sight behind a wall. A guaranteed OhCrap moment if there ever was one.
** The Pyro's taunt also has a distinctive charge-up sound and animation. The Spy is similar, although he says a generic line instead of shouting. The charge-ups for the other taunts are silent and usually less noticeable.
** Don't confuse these attacks with the Spy's instant-kill backstab or the Sniper's ability to one-shot enemies.
** The Sniper's ability to one-shot enemies ''can'' be used for a DeathOrGloryAttack, if you're a good enough shot to stand your ground and blow the enemy Heavy's head off at point blank range instead of running away.
** The Sniper's Taunt can actually be useful since it's actually two successive attacks in a row. The first one does miniscule damage, but paralyzes the target for the second half and has priority over every other attack. This is extremely useful if a Demoman is charging your way, as you will literally stop him in his tracks (he can only slightly nudge his direction, but otherwise cannot change his path) and get off an insta-kill if no one else is around.
** The Soldier has a weapon (the Equalizer) which does more damage the less health he has. Either you'll kill that Heavy in a single massive hit or you'll die because you're running around below 25HP. Also, taunting with this weapon causes the Soldier to become an ActionBomb, blowing himself up with an otherwise-unusable grenade and taking any enemies nearby with him.
** The Scout's taunt kill is perhaps the most rewarding of them all. It takes about 5 seconds to use, the longest taunt kill in the game. He calls a (baseball) shot, Babe Ruth-style, then [[BatterUp swings his bat]]. Hitting someone with this taunt kill in an open area can launch their corpse well over 100 feet, and is hilarious when it happens due to its rarity, and the fact that seeing some guy's body fly clean across dustbowl is hilarious.
*** In January 2011, an update gave the Scout a new melee weapon to use: the Boston Basher. Hit an enemy with it, and he gets hit hard with an additional bleed effect. Swing it at thin air, and you hit yourself for half as much direct damage and an equal amount of bleeding that can equal nearly half your health.
** A Pyro attempting to [[AttackDeflector airblast]] a projectile at point blank is very difficult--and with a bad connection literally impossible--but if successful will take off a ''very'' large piece of his target's health (a Sniper using the Huntsman can even be one-hit KO'd this way). If not successful the Pyro just lost at least half of ''his'' health and may not even be able to attack again before he's finished off.
* ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth'' has the Dwarvish Ulfserker/Berserker line, which instead of stopping after an exchange of the standard number of strikes like other units will simply keep fighting right until either it or its opponent is dead. (Thankfully this applies in melee only as the unit has no ability to strike or retaliate at range.) A lesser but still valid example are units with the Charge ability (double damage on the attack in exchange for doubled damage taken in return as well), especially the basic Horseman and its Lancer upgrade which ''only'' have a charge attack.
* In ''DokaponKingdom'' and ''Dokapon Journey'', every character you control or fight has a move called "Strike", which usually does enough damage to bring down a full-health enemy of the same level as the person using it. However, should the character on the receiving end counter it (using a move of the same name), the ''attacker'' gets the damage instead. It doesn't necessarily kill, but characters can kill enemies of much higher level than themselves by getting a lucky counter on the defense and then finishing off the opponent with their attack.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', the sword tech "mortal draw" works like this. To use it, you must walk up to an enemy with your sword sheathed, and then press A when prompted during a small window. If it hits, you kill almost any enemy in one strike. If you mistime it, then the enemy gets a free strike at you.
** Similarly, facing a certain charge attack from the FinalBoss will prompt you with "chance" and to press A, which enters you into a (completely optional) button-mashing BladeLock event with him. If you miss the "chance" window and fail to get out of the way, then you get hit with the brunt of the attack. If you fail the BladeLock, he'll take away a chunk of your health. But if you succeed both of those, you're well on your way to killing him.
* In the ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' series, Bald Bull's Bull Charge will end with a knockdown for one of you. You can try to dodge the attack, but Bald Bull will just reset and keep trying to charge at you until you try to counter him with a punch to the gut. Succeed, and he goes down. Fail, and ''you'' go down. While seemingly averted in the Wii version of the game, where he'll avoid an instant knock-out from it in his Title Defense mode rematch, he'll still leave himself wide open for the star punch you earn from countering it, which if timed properly, will either KO him temporarily or put him down for the count if it's a three-star punch.
** While not quite an attack, in two player mode you can become Giga Mac. You have much more power, but your punches do take longer, you can't dodge anything, and standing still for too long gives your opponent a chance to get star punches. A good opponent can actually knock you out even when you're in the Giga Mac mode. The two taunts, that replace dodging, could also count - Manage to get the taunt done, and you get a star punch and more time as Giga Mac respectively; Three star punches as Giga Mac give you a OneHitKO move, and you could theoreticaly carry on as Giga Mac for the entire match with the "Juice" taunt. However, If your opponent manages to punch you, you lose all your stars, and they either get a star or knock half your time away. Getting hit with a star punch while taunting has an even worse effect, resulting either in a instant KO or an instant win for your opponent for a normal star punch and three-star punch respectively.
* In the ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheSamurai'' Kenjutsu minigame, there's a "power attack" that causes two hits instead of one (opponents can only take 4 hits in total before succumbing). Unfortunately, it was extremely hard to perform with the lackluster controls, and the AI was adept at blocking them even when performed very quickly.
* The Royal Release from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'' and ''4''. It can deal awesome, '''awesome''' damage to even [[HarderThanHard Dante Must Die]] bosses. However, you must first build up a meter, preferably by blocking enemies' attacks at the exact moment when they would connect, and then unleash it also when an enemy's attack would connect. Fail to meet the timing and not only is the damage reduced significantly, but Dante also loses the invulnerability frames a successful Royal Release would have. Massive hurt on Dante tends to ensue.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'':
** Attempting to kill the Witch with a headshot (also known as [=Cr0wning=] due to the achievement you earn for pulling this off). Normally, the Witch turns the game in a StealthBasedMission: she sits there, crying, until someone upsets her by getting too close or shooting her, at which point she pins down the player who set her off and attacks them (a OneHitKill on expert difficulty). If you land a headshot, she dies instantly, but if you don't hit her dead-on...
** The Tank has the ability to hurl large chunks of concrete at the survivors, which allows him to attack at range for good damage and chance to hit. The animation however takes a whole 3 seconds for lifting and throwing the rock, leaving him wide open for survivor gunfire.
** Likewise the Tank's Boulder can be shot out of the air, but it takes a few shots to do so, and unless it's coming directly at you, it's probably better to just run. If it connects, however, it will stun you long enough so that the tank can get to you, so it's sometimes worth taking that shot if you have no other options (or if the tank's a really good shot).
* With the appropriate weapons mods and ammunition, sniper rifles in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' can deal absurd amounts of damage- if you don't mind them overheating after one shot. You're not truly helpless, but you won't be shooting again for a second or two while your unfortunate victim's allies exact revenge.
** The Vanguard class in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is described as being this, a "high risk, high reward" class that rushes the front lines. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2,'' the Vanguard's class ability is Charge, which biotically propels the player from anywhere (with a clear line of sight) to the enemy, ramming into them with incredible force. This can take them out, put a shot-gun wielding player in close- or it could lead to the player getting completely swarmed. It tends to go one way or the other, but this trope really shows when the player ''intentionally'' charges one enemy in the middle of an entire group. At higher levels, Charge also adds extra shield protection once it lands; since the shotguns have [[AvertedTrope a tighter spread]] than [[ShortRangeShotgun in most games,]] a Vanguard with bad aim will be mowed down quickly. A Vanguard with ''good'' aim will splat entire enemy squads after they come out of Charge before their extra barriers fail.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': Vanguards keep the 'charge' ability from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', and gain the 'nova' ability, that uses up their remaining shields to deliver a ShockwaveStomp, making this trope into [[MagicKnight the Vanguard's]] specialty. With the right upgrades the Vanguard's charge cooldown is under 3 seconds, allowing them to repeatedly charge/nova enemies to death while remaining nigh-invulnerable to anything short of massed enemy fire or a one hit kill ability from an enemy. Vanguards don't even need to carry a gun by that point.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' has several of these. There are moves to immobilize opponents, instantly cause Break status on them, summon a giant meteor to fall on them, etc. Of course they all require you to charge up for several seconds with no defense for counter-attack. These moves are actually effective against the AI because they're liable to just stand and watch you charge up your kill move, or can be "tricked" in various ways into being unable to do anything about it, usually by exploiting the stage - human opponents know better of course, so don't expect to see any of these moves go off in a PvP match.
** It does bear mentioning that none of these type of attack are usable by any of [[BigGood Cosmos]]' warriors; [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII The Emperor]] has [[ColonyDrop Starfall]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Golbez]] has [[SummonMagic Black Fang]] in his [=EX-Mode=] which instantly destroys the player's Brave, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Exdeath]] gets access to [[BlowYouAway Maelstrom]] in the prequel, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]] uses his Black Materia to [[ColonyDrop summon a meteor]] and Heartless Angel which is similar to Black Fang (in that, rather than outright breaking the opponent, [[HPToOne their BRV is merely reduced to 1]]), and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Ultimecia]] can use [[TimeStandsStill Time Crush]] in her [=EX-Mode=]. All of these characters are villains.
*** The Emperor's Starfall attack became more usable in the sequel, ue to gaining a property that stops ranged Bravery attacks, forcing the enemy to close in on him, which [[TrapMaster may play into his hand]]. Meanwhile, Exdeath's Maelstrom is almost never intended as an actual ''attack'', rather as bait to make the enemy try an attack, which Exdeath can [[CounterAttack counter]].
* [[LimitBreak Overdrives]] in VideoGame/FinalFantasyX have a very long recovery time, especially for aeons. Made even worse against the [[BonusBoss bonus bosses]]: if your aeon doesn't kill it off, your aeon is dead.
* ''StarCraft'' has the Nuke. Assuming you can get the Ghost into enemy territory undetected, and he can survive the ten-second call to target the Nuke, ''and'' you can afford the time and resources to build the Nuke itself, the Nuclear Strike is guaranteed to kill all units and severely damage all buildings within a considerable radius.
** Certain early-game rushes also qualify as this. A player may opt to build a fast unit-producing building (that may be near the enemy base, in the case of Terran/Protoss) and forgo peon production for an extremely early attack. If they're successful, they'll either outright win the game, or at least severely cripple the opponent's economy. If they don't do enough damage or get scouted early, their own economy will likely be in such poor shape from not building workers that they will be way behind on the tech tree, if the opponent doesn't come after them with a fast counterattack to flatten them right away.
** For a specific example in competitive ''StarCraft'', master player Boxer's famous "SCV Rush" was one of these. Boxer sent literally every unit he had, including the {{Worker Unit}}s, at his opponent's base and managed a win, since his opponent was spending all his resources on early expansions. If he had been mistaken in his timing, or if his opponent had had more defenses than he expected, that move would likely have cost him the game, since he essentially sacrificed his entire economy for an early strike.
* In ''VideoGame/{{BlazBlue}}'' Hakumen has a quite small window for setting off his {{Counter Attack}}s. If you're trying to stop a Distortion Drive or Astral Heat, failure will hurt a lot. It does not help that some Distortion Drives and Astral Heats have unusual timing so you cannot just blindly use the super flash buffer technique.
* In the two VideoGame/{{Touhou}} fighting games: ''Hisoutensoku'' and ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'', there are ''many'' attacks that fit under this trope. The most notable being Reimu Hakurei's "Fantasy Heaven" Spell Card. When activated, seven orbs surround Reimu and with each successful melee attack, one orb lights up. When all orbs lights up... holy crap, [[MemeticMutation you are already dead]]. In SWR, this move cannot be fully grazed and will do ''massive damage'', and in Hisoutensoku, there is nearly no chance of surviving the move once it's activated, even with a full health bar ([[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill the move can potentially do 18000 damage, your maximum health is 10000]]). Sounds good huh? Problem is, the spell costs all your current spell cards, the time is limited, and if your enemy is smart enough to know what you are doing and run away from you during this time, it is simply impossible to activate the move.
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'', the Asura class sports Ground Shaker and Agni Pentacle. Both can potentially end any duel should they hit, but if the Asura wiffs, they are left completely immobile and defenseless for a good 3-5 seconds in which time they likely '''will''' be killed.
* ''VideoGame/FateUnlimitedCodes'' has "Holy Grail Burst Super Attacks" for each character, which can only be activated when the character enters Burst Mode while 1) their ManaMeter is full, 2) the Holy Grail is full and 3) the player was the one who landed the hit that fills the gauge. If a character successfully connects with one of these, it can cause devastating damage to the opponent. This can be ruined by not activating the skill before the mana meter runs out (in which case you'll have to charge it up again by fighting), or activating the skill and missing (causing the Holy Grail to disappear for the rest of the round).
* ''VideoGame/WingCommander Prophecy'' has your ship, the TCS ''Midway'', get a MidSeasonUpgrade in the form of [[spoiler: an [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Alien]] [[WaveMotionGun ship-killer gun]] that your people salvage from the wreckage of an enemy ship and attach to your carrier.]] The weapon is used once (in a cutscene) to destroy an alien Dreadnought. Due to the [[SchmuckBait crapshoot-quality]] of all ship-killer {{Wave Motion Gun}}s in the ''Wing Commander'' universe (or at least, the ones the humans try to use), they don't want to try it again unless Plan A (a full-out, desperate assault led by the player) fails. [[spoiler: If they are forced to use the gun a second time, you get a cutscene of the ''Midway'' blowing itself apart.]]
* In the "Superweapon" mode of the [[IOSGames iPhone]] version of TabletopGame/{{Battleship}}. you have the Torpedo weapon. It fills an entire column with shots, stopping when it hits an enemy ship. But... If there is no enemy ship in that column, the corresponding column of shots is shifted to your board and any of your ships on that column will take hits.
* In several ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' games, there are Devil weapons. They are extremely powerful weapons that look like handy and valuable weapons at first... until you realize that they will occasionally deal the damage that would have been dealt to the enemy to the user themself! If the Critical Hit animation plays before the attack hits, pray that the enemy will receive the buttload of damage, [[FinalDeath or...]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'', killing shopkeeper [[TeleFrag with a teleporter]] is like this. If you're lucky, you may kill shopkeeper ''without alarming other shopkeepers'' and steal his goods with impunity. If you're unlucky, you may end up in a wall or teleport out of the shop and anger the shopkeeper.
* ''VideoGame/{{Uplink}}'' has hacking a bank. Succeed, you can earn huge amount of money. Fail to cover your tracks, and your account is suspended, in gameplay terms you get game over. Can be turned to DiscOneNuke is player knows wealthy account and how to pull this off early in game.
** The "glory" part comes from the second half of the bank hack, if you do it early in the game. The first half, transferring the money to your account, is relatively easy. The glory comes when you use your ill-gotten gains to purchase the programs you need to hastily cover your tracks, along with re-hacking the bank and so on. As it can take literally a few ''minutes'' for banks to back-trace your net-link passively, you have to work very fast, and it's awesome when you pull it off. If you don't...
* ''VideoGame/GunZ: The Duel'' has d-style, a fighting style based primarily in countering k-style moves. Most d-style moves require exceptionally good timing, the opponent to be in a [[CounterAttack specific position or animation]], or just dumb luck. It is extremely effective when done right, but most players quit long before they are good enough to do it right.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' has two different ways of doing this that aren't even attacks in and of themselves. One is an accessory known as the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Death Ring]], which significantly increases one's stats while making it so that [[OneHitPointWonder one hit from an enemy will kill you outright.]] The other is a buff glyph known as Dominus Agony, with an even bigger boost and a cost of [[CastFromHitPoints 66 HP]] ''per second''. Either one - or even both if you're especially daring - is most useful in boss fights, where one of you is going to die in a scant few seconds (or in the case of the former, if you're going for the NoDamageRun anyway).
* ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours'': Depositing ill-gotten money in the bank to be laundered requires a 'negotiation' meter. Fail and you lose half your cash in fees. Not that much of a problem when you're chucking in two grand. Later in the game, you're dealing with millions of dollars. It's just safer, in many cases, to hold onto the cash, risk losing it in death and spend what you can on the 'Exotics' menu (which provides other benefits). Drug deals use the same mechanic - if you fail, you spend the same amount of money but get only half the yeyo. If you ''[[CriticalFailure critically]]'' fail, negotiations break down and the dealer's gang attacks you. You also don't get the drugs if you kill him.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' has AI techs. Researching them gives you massive bonuses. However, every turn spent on research gives a chance that you have a devastating [[AIIsACrapshoot AI Rebellion]].
* ''[[ClashOfHeroes Might And Magic: Clash of Heroes]]'' has Fiona's Spider Cloak accessory. It boosts the power of her individual units by 100%, allowing her to take on opponents of much higher levels. The drawback is that it knocks her lifepoints down to 10% of her max, so one solid hit will kill her. Note that in earlier versions of the game, Fiona could refill her life points to full, with the Vampire elite units and a bit of luck. The UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} version closed that loophole by hard capping her HP at 10% of maximum.
* ''{{Wizard 101}}'' has a milder example with the storm spell Wildbolt. It has slightly less than a 25% base chance (up to a 33% with boost) of causing 1000 base damage, enough damage to kill any non-enemy until about the middle of the second to last world, to a single target for a fairly small cost. However, if it fails it only does a very small amount of damage and uses any boost cast.
** Taken UptoEleven with the addition of Insane Bolt. Like Wildbolt, it has a chance to do 1000 moon damage, which means [[OhCrap most defences are useless against it]]. The catch is that it also has a rather likely chance of backfiring, [[OneHitKO causing 10000 damage]] [[EpicFail to the user]].
* In the Franchise/{{Gundam}} video game, ''Encounters in Space,'' several mobile suits have an extra special attack, only usable when they fill three bars of the special meter (normal special moves use one bar). After using these abilities, the mobile suit's special meter will "break" and no longer charge for the rest for the fight. The [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory GP02A Gundam "Physalis"]] fires off its nuclear bazooka, while the two [[MobileSuitGundamSideStoryBlueDestiny Blue Destiny units]] activate their EXAM systems.
* Ralf Jones of ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' has the Galactica Phantom, a super move that can be interrupted with a low attack (it makes him invulnerable to high attacks) and a very long start-up time. If the opponent gets close enough to sweep you, you're in trouble. ''But...'' It has a ''far'' longer range than it looks, and deals ''ridiculous'' damage. Either you're leaving yourself wide open or you're winning the round.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' franchise is the EMBODIMENT of this trope. Simply taking your weapon out in public is a virtual death sentence, as you are likely to be slaughtered, and even attempting to make your way to your target on higher difficulties will either go perfectly well or leave you failing critically.
* The Sniper Minirobot from ''VideoGame/MiniRobotWars''. It shoots an extremely fast and damaging bullet at any enemy machine that enters its attack range. The catch is that said attack has a chance of missing completely, and the shot interval time is quite long. If he fails to hit the stronger enemies such as Mega Smashers, you can kiss your defenses goodbye if you don't have a ready bomb on hand.
** Thankfully, this gets averted once he gets the Eagle Eye upgrade, which makes all his shots hit no matter what.
* Limit breaks in ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant'' can be devastatingly powerful, but requires staying in close combat with the enemy. The union will also avoid almost every attack, until the limit break is used. So using these attacks instead of healing while on low health will guarantee a huge amount of damage to your enemy, and then leave you completely open to counterattack.
* ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' has the Brutal Attack spellcard, which deals massive amounts of damage, but also damages the user. It's entirely possible for the user to KO themselves if they don't have enough HP to survive it. It's also possible for the user to miss with either the attack or the damage dealt to themselves, which can lead to either the character hurting themselves for nothing, or dealing big damage with no consequences.
* Counter Hypers in ''Ultimate VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' have pretty much unbeatable priority and do great damage, but have to be timed perfectly (excruciatingly difficult in Online Mode) and if you fail, you lose precious Hyper meter.
** Phoenix Wright is a Death Or Glory ''character''. His entire playstyle hinges on you being able to hold the enemy off until he can gather the Evidence necessary to enter Turnabout Mode, but this is so difficult very few players can pull it off with anything even approaching regularity.
* In the ProgrammingGame ''[=RoboWar=]'', the "killshot" was a major part of strategy, and was made possible in part by the ability of robots to expend in one turn up to 200 more points of energy on anything than they actually had. By putting enough energy into bullets or missiles, they could at least theoretically be strong enough to kill any opponent, but having negative energy made a robot a comatose sitting duck until it recovered.
* Many {{Shoot Em Up}}s have player ships which shoot a spread of shots that fan out as they travel. As a result, the closer you are to an enemy, the more of your shots connect. The logical extreme is known as "shotgunning" or "point blanking", where you fly up ''extremely'' close to an enemy to shoot it point blank for maximum damage. The obvious downside is that you'll have no time to react, in a genre where you're usually a OneHitPointWonder, so even the slightest mistake while shotgunning usually means instant death. Some games also provide additional rewards for it:
** In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} 13: Ten Desires'', bosses drop blue and gray spirit items as they take damage, and the closer you get, the more spirit items they drop.
** In ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu]]'', shotgunning enemies and bosses with your laser deals additional damage and also charges up your Hyper Counter gauge extremely quickly.
** In ''VideoGame/MushihimeSama Futari Black Label'', shotgunning enemies makes them drop amber gems, which are crucial to increasing your score.
* In ''Videogame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', this is pretty much what happens whenever you have a soldier move to flank an enemy from less-than-ideal cover. If his shot connects, he'll likely kill the enemy. If his shot fails, then he's exposed himself, and possibly drawn the attention of many more hostiles. The Assault class actually specializes in these tactics, particularly when armed with a shotgun and using the Run And Gun skill (which allows for two movement actions and a shooting action), allowing them to run up to the enemy, vault over their cover, and blast them at point-blank range. Taken UpToEleven by the Assault's ''VideoGame/{{XCOM 2}}'' counterpart, the Ranger. Melee attacks put them right in the face of the enemy, meaning that a failed attack will be even more severely punished than before, but if a Ranger successfully gets a kill and has the Implacable skill, he gets another move to find better cover, while the Untouchable skill will let him NoSell the first attempt to counter. Both these skills require a kill. So Rangers are even further up shit creek if they screw up, but benefit even more from a success.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Divekick}}'': The "YOLO" gem will will give you a 30% speed boost on [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin your Dive, your Kick]] and the SuperMeter (Your other three available booster gems give a 10% boost for each). But once you equip it, if you lose a round, you lose the whole match.
* The "Kenway Broadside" in VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag. Basically, you bait them into ramming you, then instead of trying to escape open up with all guns as quickly as you can. It's an absolutely devastating strategy against military brigs...but you have to let them [[RammingAlwaysWorks ram you first]].
* In ''VideoGame/JStarsVictoryVS'', Ichigo[[note]]who already is in his Bankai form at the start of a fight[[/note]]'s SuperMode, [[spoiler: Final Getsuga Tenshou]], allows him to use Mugetsu. Regardless of whether the attack succeeds or fails, he gets K.O.'d.
* ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3'': Drinking a Formulade restores 75% of your RP and gives a massive 12-hour boost to your strength, vitality and inteligence. It also knocks your HP down to 10% of your max, for the duration. Combine with [[DualWielding a dual blade]] (hits twice and grants a boost in attack speed, but at the cost of using your shield), you're the game's ultimate GlassCannon.
* ''[[VideoGame/GundamVsSeries Gundam Extreme Vs.]]'': The [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Susanoo]] has a seppuku move much like [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Yoshimitsu]] (mentioned above) where it spins around and stabs [[DualWielding both]] its katanas through its "gut", dealing incredible damage to any enemy in the way but inflicting a fair chunk on itself in addition to crumple-stun.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Defiance}}'', a high-ranked monster called a Hellbug Monarch exposes its vulnerable underbelly when rearing up to attack. Instead of dodging out of the way, one can unload everything into it in hopes of stunning/killing it.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns'', melee attacks can be powerful if properly geared and statted out for them, and ''Dragonfall Director's Cut'' makes them even more so because the target counts as flanked and won't benefit from Cover. However, if you don't manage to kill the target, or leave enough AP to retreat to a safe spot, the attacker will be in prime position to suffer major retaliation.
* In ''Videogame/{{Scrolls}}'', the card [[ Necrogeddon]]. It's a ''literal'' death and/or glory attack, destroying all of your (presumably) good creatures in exchange for fairly average zombies that are immediately ready for attack.
* The "Leap of Faith" shortcut on ''VideoGames/MarioKart 64'''s Rainbow Road: Driving off the left side of the track just after the start at the right speed and angle will allow you to land on a lower tier and bypass 2/3rds of the track. Pulling this off will give you a near-insurmountable lead vs. AI racers. Miss the jump and you might as well restart.
* ''Videogame/{{Bloodborne}}'': A major part of the game, Riposte attacks and the Rallying system are all about this. Instead of backstabbing like in ''DarkSouls'', you have to shoot the enemy at just the right moment to get an opening for a powerful Visceral Attack. It ends with either the enemy or you dead.
** The Rallying system takes it a step further by allowing you to regain back health by hitting enemies at the risk of losing even more health.
* In ''VideoGame/SeriousSam'', the most ammo-efficient way of killing a Kleer is to shoot it with the double-barrelled shotgun while it's mid-pounce. If you mistime, though, it will hurt.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' has a set of physical attacks with a high critical rate but low accuracy. Normally, this wouldn't be enough to qualify for this trope, but in this game landing a critical hit earns you an extra turn icon, while missing an attack makes you lose all your remaining turn icons and has a chance to inflict a powerful buff on the enemy. Given that the game also has RocketTagGAmeplay where even normal enemies from several dungeons ago can be a threat, one missed attack can hurt your party a lot. For extra fun, use skills like Critical Wave, which hit the entire enemy team but have a chance to miss for each enemy.
* In ''VideoGame/MegadimensionNeptuniaVII'', all of the four [=CPUs=] get a NextTierPowerUp called the "Next Form" and with it, they have access to the most powerful attacks of the game. However, once used, it will bring back the [=CPUs=] to their base human form. It's not as bad for the other three as their most powerful attack does a lot of multiple hits but [[TheHero Next Purple's]] attack only does one hit for massive damage. So if that misses, not only have the players wasted an EXE gauge, she's brought back down to Neptune and now must build up the EXE gauge twice and waste two turns for Neptune to get back to Next Purple.
* In ''Videogame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'', Princess Kenny's special attacks involving summoning creatures require you to hit the [=QTEs=] properly. If you flub up, not only do you do less damage but Kenny will also die, taking him out of the battle for two turns.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Strikers 1945}} Strikers 1999]]'' has the Technical Bonus, obtained by approaching a boss's core in the brief period of time that it's exposed to turn the core from blue to red, then firing at the core to instantly kill it. This, however, puts the player at a high risk of being killed by enemy fire.
* One advanced technique in ''VideoGame/BattleGaregga'' is to [[SuicideAttack suicide your]] [[ViolationOfCommonSense last life]], using the shrapnel or one of Gain's or Bornham's {{Smart Bomb}}s deployed immediately beforehand to damage or kill enemies and push yourself past the [[EveryTenThousandPoints point threshold for the next extra life]] before the "Continue" prompt shows up (or GameOver, if continues are turned off). If you succeed -- [[DifficultButAwesome and that's a big "if"]] -- you'll get a full bomb pickup that's intended to be used as a continue incentive.

!!Other Examples

* ''Franchise/DragonBall'''s Tienshinhan has the Kikohou/Tri-Beam attack, one of the most high-level ki attacks in the series, capable of putting the hurt on even the most powerful of foes (It's also apparently nigh-undodgeable). Problem is that the attack is [[CastFromHitPoints fueled by Tien's own life force]], so every shot weakens him. Any foe strong enough to tank the first shot can and will power through the rest and Tien will eventually either be too weak to fight back or drop all on his own.
* The titular [[HumongousMecha MS]] of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' has a [[WaveMotionGun High Mega Cannon]] installed in its head, capable of wiping out multiple targets in one shot----but will also exhaust the ZZ for some time.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', the titular character's best attack, the Battojutsu, is an incredibly fast move, but if it is blocked, the user is vulnerable to a CounterAttack. However, Kenshin subverts this - his regular Battojutsu utilizes the sheath to deliver a second blow, and the [[FinishingMove Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki]] creates a [[RuleOfCool vortex that draws an opponent into a second blow using centrifugal force.]] It's still played straight in that Kenshin lacks the strong physique required by the ''Hiten Mitsurugi'' style of swordsmanship--meaning that every special technique he uses [[CastFromHitPoints over-exerts his body]], to the point where [[TheMedic Megumi]] declared at the end of the series that Kenshin would never be able to use ''Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu'' anymore in a few years.
* Hiei of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' has an hellfire version of this, the Ensatsu Kokuryuha. The unmastered version is near-guaranteed to incinerate the enemy (as happened to the first target, a powerful FIRE USER) but will cripple the user's arm; the mastered version is even more powerful, won't harm you and if the enemy somehow sends it back to him it will power up the user, but is so tiring Hiei will fall asleep in a couple minutes.
* The Eight Gates technique from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. Opening them gives the user an insane powerboost, but with each subsequent gate openned the more damage the body takes from being overstrained by it. [[AwesomeButImpractical Opening all eight will kill the user, in exchange for a short time of power matching even the Kages.]] When Lee opened five of them during his match with Gaara, his body took so much damage, that it almost crippled him for life. [[spoiler:Guy's final Eighth Gate move, Night Guy, is the logical extreme of this, as his body turns into glowing ash due to all the chakra discharge, which would (normally) leave him DeaderThanDead.]]
* In ''LightNovel/HeavyObject'' Simple Is Best specializes in closing with its enemy at high speed and delivering a single point-blank attack that can one-shot Objects. If the enemy manages to dodge, Simple can be destroyed by an attack on it's less-armored rear.
* In ''Manga/Bleach'', Ichigo's weapon has a last resort feature called "Mugetsu". Zangetsu usually works by firing Ichigo's inner energy in the form of a SwordBeam called Getsugatensho. He eventually discovers that by fusing with his weapon, he can essentially "become Getsuga", turning into a walking embodiment of every drop of strength he has and, whenever he feels like ending things, finishing his fight with one final mountain-sized strike. The obvious drawback is that when he's done using it, he'll completely burn himself out to the point where even Zangetsu itself doesn't think he'll ever get his powers back, so he better hope his opponent is actually beaten or he's in trouble. [[spoiler:He did later recover, but it took more than a year, a possessed badge, and seriously deadly rehab to do it.]]

* The MarvelUniverse has the Ultimate Nullifier - a device that can RetGone its target from the universe itself. The catch is that the target has to be visualized perfectly within the user's mind. If the user botches it, ''he'' is the one who gets erased.

[[folder:Fan Works]]

* In ''Fanfic/{{Marionettes}}'' [[spoiler:Trixie]] ultimately performs one of these. [[spoiler:She's facing [[BigBad Masquerade]], who's currently wearing a suit of PoweredArmor called the Puppeteer. While Trixie is able to hold her own and do her share of damage to it (particularly after being upgraded into an 'mecha Alicorn'), the Puppeteer is built to survive combat with ''Celestia'' and Masquerade only needs one good hit to finish her off.]] Her solution? [[spoiler:Use an elaborate plan to lure her into a position where she can't dodge with a illusion concealed puppet while making the magic symbols for the strongest attack from the style of eastern unicorn magic she picked up she knows and planting a timed explosive symbol on her back on the off chance Masquerade decides to override the Puppeteer's safety protocols to use its WaveMotionGun.]] Not only does [[spoiler:Trixie]] outright admit that if she got the timing just a little off she'd be finished, [[spoiler:the Roar of the Four Beasts drains her mana engine so severely that she can barely move afterward. Thankfully, she succeeds and destroys the Puppeteer, leaving Masquerade in no better shape than herself in the process.]]


* In Mercedes Lackey's ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar The Black Gryphon]]'', a pair of generals in Urtho's army are reknowned for these sort of maneuvers. Every time they come up in conversation, someone mentions their latest battle with the enemy, always bringing up the fact that the plan ''would'' have been a spectacular victory, except that the enemy general wasn't dropped on his head as a child, so it was fatally suicidal instead. Later it turns out that they're actually TheMole, so they have in fact been doing this on purpose.
* King Gorice XII, SorcerousOverlord and BigBad of E. R. Eddison's ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros'', uses extremely powerful magic early in the book, [[HoldingBackThePhlebotinum but refrains from repeating the spell]] ([[GameBreaker even though it would make things a lot easer for him]]), as the performance is highly dangerous to himself.

* The starship Excalibur from ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' had a superweapon that could one-shot nearly any ship in the known universe. The downside was that it drained the ship entirely of power and left it a sitting duck until it could recharge. Not a good thing if the shot misses or if the target has backup.
** This is a general weakness of the WaveMotionGun.
* Episode 48 of ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' - At the end of his final battle with personal enemy Basco, Captain Marv stomps on his foot, then ''skewers both their feet'' with Basco's own sword. Basco has a minute to comment on his sheer determination before they both fire point-blank finishing moves.
* ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'': Wagering a "true" Daily Double (all the player's winnings up to that point), can be this. If you answer correctly, you'll either take the lead or narrow the gap between yourself and the leading player(s). If you answer incorrectly, you'll lose everything, and if it's done during Double Jeopardy, you might not have sufficient time to recover any winnings for Final Jeopardy.

* Aerial attacks in general are booked this way. If the wrestler takes too long setting them up, the opponent can recover enough to either counter or simply dodge. Even if they're quick, one misstep can cause them to crash and burn, as many {{Website/Botchamania}} videos show.

* In general, any strategy that focuses on offense over defense falls under this, especially in team sports. Specific examples include:
* The blitz in gridiron football, which is when a large number of defensive players rush the quarterback in order to force a sack or worse. Done badly, it leaves receivers wide open for big offensive plays.
** Two particularly high-risk variations:
*** Corner Blitz: Sending a the cornerback in after the quarterback, usually done to the QB's blind side. If spotted, at best (for the defense) the receiver is going to have a mismatch downfield (covered by a linebacker or safety not fast enough to keep him from getting the ball with room to spare). At worst, he's completely uncovered with room to run.
*** The All-Out or "Jailbreak" Blitz: The ZergRush of football. Basically sending every defender after the QB. Rarely seen in modern football above the high school level because of the insane risk (basically you nail the QB for a huge loss or they score an easy touchdown).
* Replacing the goaltender with a regular player in ice hockey gives the team an advantage in attacking the other team's goal while leaving their net wide open. Another strategy, which is somewhat common on the powerplay, has one or both defensemen replaced with forwards so they can use the position on the ice for clear shots from the point, the downside being that they're less competent on defense which increases the risk of a shorthanded opportunity for the other team.
** On the other hand, pulling the goalie on a delayed penalty is a nearly zero-risk proposition, because the play will be blown dead as soon as the other team touches the puck. The only way it can backfire is if a member of your team accidentally sends the puck into your own unguarded net. Otherwise, pulling the goalie is almost exclusively a DesperationAttack to tie the game late in the third period. Since there's no downside to losing by two goals instead of one, you have nothing to lose by pulling the goalie to try to tie the game.
* Made harder in association football due to the off-side rule being based on where the team's defensive players are, however, like ice hockey, bringing the goalkeeper forward gives the team a numerical advantage in attacking while leaving the net open.
* A [[ riposte]] (or [[ kaeshi]] if you must) can be like this. It's really cool if you pull it off, but if you mess up prepare to look stupid.
* [[ A Fleche]] in French fencing is like this. The attacker runs at his opponent, leaps and attacks, then runs past as he lands. If executed properly, it's almost impossible to parry. If done improperly, the attacker is wide open for a counterattack. If done ''really'' badly, one or both of you will end up in a heap on the floor...
* A squeeze play in baseball is when the batter attempts to bunt while a runner at third base takes off for home plate. If the batter bunts the ball correctly, the fielders will all be out of place and be unable to scoop the bunted ball up and send it home before the runner from third scores; if the batter doesn't (either by bunting right to a fielder or being unable to bunt the ball at all), the runner is almost certainly going to be tagged out at home. This is especially so if it's a "suicide squeeze" play (the runner takes off for home as soon as the pitcher starts his delivery) rather than a "safety squeeze" (the runner waits to see if the ball is bunted well before taking off for home).
* The aptly-named 'Suicide Leap' in ''Extreme Dodgeball'' is part this and part LoopholeAbuse. The attacking player leaps over the centre line to close the distance between them and their opponent to point blank range. On the one hand, they are out as soon as they land for crossing the centre line, but while they are in the air they are still live. On the other, should they somehow miss or the ball is caught, their team loses a player, and possibly gives the opponents another player. For this reason it was used to end a round by eliminating the final player on the opponents' team.

* In ''The Melvin Chronicles'' (a SpinOff of ''Webcomic/IDreamOfAJeanieBottle'') We see the main cast in a MagicTheGathering-type tournament. Melvin chooses to use an attack that lets all of his units attack as one, giving his attack OneHitKO power. But attacking as one unit meant all his active cards counted as one unit. Meaning they all took damage as one and were vulnerable to single-target attacks. And his opponent had a spell card that One-Hit a single melee attacker. Cue instant loss.

* World War II had the Japanese do this repeatedly due to their [[HonorBeforeReason overinflated sense of honor.]] They also serve as an object lesson for its overuse, as the Japanese military's prodigality with trained veterans ended up tanking their war effort.
* Another UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo example, and a particularly extreme one, is the atomic bomb itself. Before the test detonations, the people who built it hypothesized that it ''might'' blow up a lot of bad guys and win the war... or it might [[SetTheWorldOnFire ignite the atmosphere]] and wipe out all life on planet Earth. They did evaluate the likeliness of the scenario before going for it.
* A non-military example: very large trades on the Chicago commodities exchanges are known as "O'Hare trades" (after the airport). Essentially you sign the deal, then immediately head for the airport, if the deal works in your favor, you turn the plane around and collect your money; if the deal goes against you, you are already halfway to a non-extradition country.
** To elaborate, commodities futures are highly leveraged - a small down payment for a contract to buy or sell a large amount of the underlying commodity (wheat, corn, whatever) on the expiration date; you are essentially betting big that the price of the commodity is going to rise or fall. If it goes in your favor, you can sell your contract (or the underlying) for a substantial profit. However, if it goes against you, you are stuck putting up cash you may not actually have in order to cover your losses.
* There are many examples in MMA and fighting in general. For example, a haymaker thrown with all your might will most likely knock your opponent out if it lands - but your movements will tell your opponent what you're about to do, and you leave yourself open to a number of counters. Likewise, a flying submission can end a fight quickly, unexpectedly, and stylishly, but if it fails, you'll find yourself on your back with your opponent on top of you, likely raining down punches.
* High kicks. Easily punished, but with the power of the kick and hitting the head it's not pretty for the guy it connects against.
** This extends to aerial attacks such as jump kicks, but ''especially'' drop kicks. When they work, you have directed most if not all of your body weight to a single point on an opponent's upper body at some rather unpleasant velocity. Fail, and you will very likely land in an awkward position and/or hurt yourself, leaving you at the mercy of your opponent.
* Similar to the above: The [[ "Superman Punch"]]. Connect - it looks like [[ this]] and [[ this]]. Miss - it looks like [[ this]] and [[ this]].
* The German ''Kaiserschlacht'' offensive on the Western Front in 1918. The Russian Revolution closed down the Eastern Front, and the Germans concentrated the last of their elite troops for one more shot at beating the British and French before the US Army entered the fray. The British knew what was coming, and had it lampshaded even before it happened: "If Germany attacks and fails, she will be ruined." Germany attacked, failed, and was ruined.
** They and their Austro-Hungarian allies also did the same a bit earlier on the Italian Front. Knowing that Italy's commander-in-chief Cadorna was a crappy battlefield commander, they launched a mad assault to try cutting through the demoralized and mismanaged Italian military and seize Venice (main naval base) and the area around Brescia (location of most of Italy's weapon factories). The resulting Battle of Caporetto did plow through a sizable part of the Italian military, but it discredited Cadorna and resulted in him being replaced with the more competent Armando Diaz and a slew of reforms and aid from the other Western Allies. Between this and Cadorna having heavily fortified the only way to Brescia, the offensive was stopped the well north of either targets and left the now broken and stretched out force to be wittled out for a year before Italy attacked back.
*** They tried it again in the Second Battle of the Piave River (the first being the one that stopped the Austro-Hungarian offensive after Caporetto), in which they tried to break through the Italian lines during the ''Kaiserschlacht'' (that had caused the redeployment of the French and British troops) to try and knock Italy out of the war, knowing that they were using their last reserves and they wouldn't be able to recover anymore. As the Italians knew it was coming (to the point they started shelling the Austro-Hungarians about half an hour before they were scheduled to start their own shelling), the offensive was brutally stopped, enough that the Austro-Hungarians was morally crushed.
** Italy's own DeathOrGloryAttack came at Vittorio Veneto. Succeed, and Austria-Hungary would be out of the war and open to passage to attack Germany from south. Fail, and the Italian army would be ruined, giving the Central Powers a last chance to reverse the course of the war. The attack succeeded to the point the Austro-Hungarian Empire could barely surrender unconditionally before collapsing and breaking up.
* Predators who practice [[SuperPersistentPredator Cursorial Hunting]]. Chasing prey into rough terrain or over too long a distance will result in prey too weak to fight or escape (if it doesn't simply drop of exhaustion) or a hunter too weak to find alternate prey if it escapes.
* A "Mic Drop" during a rap battle. Finishing your verse, then holding out the microphone and dropping it, as if to say "I just rocked so hard there's no way you can match me." It's a total badass move when timed correctly, ''but'' if your opponent picks the mic up and counters, not only does ''he'' look like the badass for meeting the challenge, you look like a showboating chump. Picking up the mic has its own perils: Try and keep going and come up short, you look doubly weak for not knowing when to quit.
* While not initially planned quite as such, the Battle of Stalingrad rapidly became this for the UsefulNotes/NaziGermany. The city was named for Josef Stalin, as he had defended the city during the Russian Civil War, and was an important transport hub for supplies from America and Britain coming in through Persia. Taking the city would not only cut off the Soviet Union's vital Lend-Lease supply line, but allow Germany to reap the oil-rich Caucasus. As the fighting dragged on in the city, Hitler began to up the propaganda by saying that the city would be the site from where Germany sealed her final victory. Then, winter came, and the Sixth Army slowly starved, froze, and ran out of ammunition before they were forced to surrender. From there, the front lines steadily advanced towards the West, towards Berlin.