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[[quoteright:311:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HellsJudgementHPtoOne_4446.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:311:[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Absolute denial! End of existence...]]]]

This trope is for any of those attacks that ''appear'' to do a ridiculous amount of damage, but on closer inspection actually have the rather strange effect of reducing one (or more) party members down to their very last HitPoint instead of inflicting normal (possibly lethal) damage. Lesser versions may not leave the target with ''strictly'' 1 HP, but relative to the scale of damage typically dealt in these battles, the end result is the same -- regardless of your character's HP beforehand, you are now on the threshold of CriticalExistenceFailure.

So what happens if you already have only one HitPoint when struck by this attack? In most cases, that amazing psychedelic rainbow shockwave (or whatever) attack will have no effect whatsoever, or may be labelled an automatic "Miss". However, sometimes even this attack is obligated to inflict a minimum of ScratchDamage and will actually kill the character unless they heal themselves (even slightly) in the meantime.

Should you fall victim to these kinds of attacks, your safest action is simply to HealThyself the first chance you get ... or you can also use this chance to unleash a DesperationAttack of maximum power. But be very wary: Even ScratchDamage leads directly to a CriticalExistenceFailure.

Related to SlapOnTheWristNuke. [[UniversalPoison Poison]] [[StandardStatusEffects status effects]] often have this limitation.

In multiplayer games, suffering this can leave you open to CherryTapping.

Compare and contrast LastChanceHitPoint (where the ability to survive an attack with 1 HP is associated with the defender, not the attack itself).

See also OneHitPointWonder (where having one HP is the standard).

!!Video Game Examples
[[folder: Action Adventure]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', both the Nasty Soup and the Purple Chu have random properties, ranging from this trope to an unexpected full health recovery. Very risky indeed.
* Because ''Mercenaries 2'' is ridiculously easy, all exploding vehicles, airstrikes and other 'deadly' things will always jam your HP at 3, and give you about [[MercyInvincibility ten seconds of invulnerability]]. Sometimes the game [[GoodBadBugs totally jams at that point]], meaning your Magic Regenerative Health doesn't take it back up, and gunshots can't take it back down. Useful, if you don't mind the screen being completely red.

[[folder: Action Game]]
* In ''{{VideoGame/Bayonetta}}'' BonusBoss [[spoiler:[[FallenAngel Father Rodin]]]] has a move that does this where he charges forth and pulverises you, doubling as a ShoutOut to Akuma's infamous [[SignatureMove Shun Goku Satsu]] from the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games. Better hope he doesn't pull this one out too early, since [[NoItemUseForYou you can't heal in this fight]].
* ''[[Franchise/{{Onimusha}} Onimusha:Dawn of Dreams]]'' has [[HarderThanHard Oni Mode]], unlocked by beating game at Hard difficulty, in which ''all attacks'' that don't [[OneHitKO flat out kill you]] will have this effect, meaning that you die in two hits at most unless you heal yourself in between.

[[folder: Card Battle Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' has two such abilities:
** Equality on paladins reduces the hit points of all minions to 1, making enemy minions easier to kill with area-of-effect damage.
** Hunters have Hunters Mark to reduce the hit points of a single minions to 1.
** Warriors can do something vaguely similar with commanding shout, which prevents friendly minions from going below 1 hit point that turn. If attacking a powerful enemy minion, the effect is similar.
** The villain Lady Deathwhisper from the ''Knights of the Frozen Throne'' solo adventure also has this ability: Every turn, she damages all your minions until they only have 1 HP left. Luckily, she forgets to include [=AoE=] spells to finish off your weakened minions, something that the Lich King chides her about.

[[folder: Fighting Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', hitting an enemy against the wall does bonus damage via "Wall Rush", but if the damage from the 'bonus' attack would KO the opponent (e.g., opponent has 1236 HP, damage dealt is 930 (actual attack) + 421 (Wall Rush) it brings them down to 1 instead.
* Of all games, ''Videogame/{{Tekken}}'' has this move for ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2''. [[spoiler:Unknown]] has this move where she casts a vortex, and if you're caught in that vortex, a large hand rises up and slams you into the vortex, leaving you with 1 HP [[note]](Actually, it makes ''all'' your health red, which means it's recoverable upon tag out.)[[/note]] and automatically tagging in your partner. If you're really unlucky to be caught in this attack and your partner has low health, good luck trying to survive.

[[folder: First Person Shooter]]
* In the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series, Poison Headcrabs can never kill the player, but only reduce their HP to 1 (which slowly regenerates to a few below the initial value). Because they tend to be located in chaotic scenes with lots of enemies that ''can'' kill the player, people would drop everything else and [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill unload entire clips of ammo]] just to kill the tiny, scuttling, black ''thing'' somewhere in the room. Even the [[HellIsThatNoise sound effect]] by itself, outside of the game setting, can make most former players jump a mile.

[[folder: [=MMORPG=]]]
* In ''Videogame/CityOfHeroes'':
** [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou falling cannot kill you]]. No matter from what height you fall, you will always have at least one hit point left. That said: you will survive the impact itself, but depending on your hit points left whatever is around you can and will off you pretty quick.
** This used to be used as a offensive PVP and PVE trick by [[GlassCannon Blasters]] who used to have an effect that their damage went up the less HP they had. They'd drop onto a team of Villians and pop off their strongest Area attack, often one-shotting a whole villain team. Defiance no longer works this way.
** Then there's The Magistrium trial, where the BigBad hits your raid league with a nuke, bringing everyone's HP to 1. This is his ''opening attack'', he only uses it once, and it's funny because most of his attacks can one-hit-kill most characters anyway. So in essence, a point-blank hit by a ''nuclear bomb'' is the ''least lethal'' thing that you have to worry about at this point. Yikes! (For clarification, by this point your character is an "Incarnate" who's half-way up the power ladder. You're fighting someone who's made it to the top of said ladder already)
* Several examples in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'':
** The game has [[http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Hachiryu_Armor special event enemies]] that can bring down the players' HP to 1. It's not ''as'' horrible as you'd think, considering everyone gets capped to level one for the event.
** Tonberries have an attack called "Throat Stab" that brings you down to 5% HP. Luckily, it has a very short range, so you can avoid it by walking away when he tries to use it. And if you ''do'' get hit with it, it resets your accumulated enmity, so unless you're alone the tonberry will attack someone else (most likely the mages healing you to full).
** Certain Diremites also have Tarsal Slam, which is HP to 1, but like Throat Stab also comes with a hate reset.
* ''VideoGame/Lineage2'' had a downplayed version of this called Seal of Limit, an area-of-effect spell that hard caps affected target's HP at 30%. It is ridiculously spammable and being a hard counter to Balance Life, the single best healing spell in the game.
* In ''Videogame/MabinogiFantasyLife'', the Poison and Mirage Missile effects reduce HP to one, then do only enough damage to counteract {{Healing Factor}}s. Mirage Missile is ''very'' useful if you can follow up with an AreaOfEffect attack, since with its infectious nature it can turn a whole roomful of monsters into {{One Hitpoint Wonder}}s. Attacks that do more than a player's whole health bar sends them automatically into Deadly mode, [[LastChanceHitPoint one hit away from getting killed]].
* ''Videogame/MapleStory'' has Zakum, the original BigBad of the game (who devolved into the-boss-everyone-wants-to-fight-because-of-the-[[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity-Plus-One-Hat]]-you-get-from-him thanks to further additions adding [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil even bigger bads]], the most notable and recent example being [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Pink Bean/Pink Been/Pink Being]] in [[NoExportForYou Time Temple]]) -- who, in his final form (he looks more battle-damaged with each form, the last one being terribly close to rubble) regularly ABUSES an attack that drops both [[HitPoints HP]] and [[ManaMeter SP]] to 1.
* In ''Videogame/{{Runescape}}'', Nomad from the quest Nomad's Requiem gets a unique version of this attack. The attack always hits your maximum Life Points minus 10. In a subversion, however, the attack hits this amount regardless of your current HP - so unless your health is at (or above, through the use of potions) max, it will kill you. Some shields and armor can reduce the damage of the attack, but at the time of release this equipment was [[AdamSmithHatesYourGuts prohibitively expensive]].
* Eblis, a boss in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'', has an attack like this, targeting a random player and stunning them for a few seconds.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Raid Boss Prince Malchezaar has Enfeeble that works this way, but it's only temporary damage. The trick is to avoid any further damage until the effect wears off. Of course, he casts an area-effect spell soon after, so the targets need to run away from him (and avoid the Infernals area damage). The effect also prevents any form of healing, so there is no easy way out. Mercifully, he won't use it on whoever is on top of his threat list. This would keep it from being a ''completely'' LuckBasedMission, but the above-mentioned infernals do a fine job of making it one on their own.
** Baron Ashbury in the revamped Shadowfang Keep has an ability called Asphyxiate, which stuns all players and reduces their HP to 1. Immediately after casting Asphyxiate he will cast Stay of Execution, an interruptable ability that heals both the players and himself for 10% of their maximum life every time second it ticks. Defeating him without letting him heal at all awards the Pardon Denied achievement.
** Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent has an interesting take on this. There's a friendly NPC that prevents any hit from killing anyone if their health is above 10,000, instead causing them to live with 1 health. This means that healers just have to keep everyone above 10,000 health for most of the fight, but this effect gets disabled periodically, and so massive healing is required to keep everyone alive through his caustic slimes.
** Some of the pets in the pet-battle {{minigame}} have an attack that explicitly has a version of this effect (that is, the attack does normal damage, but it will not reduce the opponent below one hit point). [[NotCompletelyUseless This has its uses]], since you capture pets by reducing them to low health ''without'' killing them (then following up with a "cage" attack). If your pet has the HP to one attack, you can use him even if he's much higher level than the opponent, and not worry about an ill-timed critical hit killing the other guy.

[[folder: MOBA]]
* ''Videogame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' has Venomancer's Poison Nova, which deals an absurd amount of damage over time but can't drop an enemy's health below 1. Unfortunately for them, the rest of his kit deals damage over time which ''can'' kill the victim.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'': Alarak can do with to ''[[PowerAtAPrice himself]]'' with a level 20 talent. More specifically, the talent lets him teleport a sizable distance and clear any status effects, but automatically sets him to 1 HP. He can use it to escape from basically any situation, but smart opponents can figure out where he might have blinked to and instantly pop him.

[[folder: Platforming Game]]
* ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' has the [[GiantFootOfStomping Stomponadon]] and the [[SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom crushers]] in Grunty Industries; being crushed twice in a row results in death. Banjo's Snooze Pack move allows him to recover health in between repeatedly getting flattened to one honeycomb. One of [[ThatOneBoss Weldar's]] attacks, the ground pound, has the same effect as well; and like all bosses it must be fought with Banjo and Kazooie together, so the recovery move cannot be done during battle.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** The final boss of ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Fusion'' does this the first time she hits you.
** The titular Metroid in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' reduces Samus' energy to exactly 1 point, regardless of any health tanks she has. This is more of a plot point than any serious danger; while [[ControllableHelplessness there's nothing you can do to stop the energy drain]], the CriticalAnnoyance alarm suddenly reminds the metroid that [[CallBack Samus tried to save it from Ridley]], and it lets her go. Luckily, there's no other enemies between Samus and an energy-restoring station.
** Also in ''Super Metroid'', the final boss (Mother Brain) resorts to the Laser Brain Attack when dealt enough damage, draining three Energy Tanks (or six, if the player is not wearing the Varia Suit), about sixty-five Missiles, and Samus's entire supply of Super Missiles and Power Bombs. What qualifies it for this trope (given that the player can have up to nineteen Energy Tanks' worth of health by the end of the game) is that not only can it not be dodged, but she'll keep doing it until the player's health becomes low enough that one more Laser Brain Attack would be lethal; furthermore, if the player has more than one Energy Tank remaining, she'll rub in her imminent victory by launching weaker attacks at Samus (who at this point is too exhausted to move) until this is no longer the case. [[spoiler:Finally, she'll attempt to finish Samus off with one final Laser Brain Attack - at which point [[BigDamnHeroes the infant "Super Metroid" will rush in and save Samus's life]].]] [[DownplayedTrope If Samus can't survive the first of the Laser Brain attacks, however, she will die]].

[[folder: Real Time Strategy]]
* The Mad Dok's Fightin' Juice in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' makes the orks under its effect immune to death for a while - so they're basically running around at 1 HP each. However, it doesn't prevent knockback, so the affected squad isn't literally unstoppable.
** The Space Marine Librarian's Word of the Emperor ability has the same effect, with two exceptions. First, it affects all nearby infantry instead of being targeted at a specific squad. Second, the Librarian himself is not affected and killing him stops the effect immediately.
* In ''Videogame/{{Starcraft}}'', the Defiler's Plague attack is an example of this: it is a powerful area attack but will never kill an enemy, only reduce their hit points to a minimum of 1. Subverted if you use it on Terran buildings, however, as if these are damaged into the red they automatically continue to deteriorate and eventually explode even if no further attack is made on them.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': some damage-over-time effects like Disease Cloud and Envenomed Weapons never kill the target, keeping them at one or two HP as long as the effect lasts.

[[folder: Role Playing Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'', [[spoiler:Moon Presence, the EldritchAbomination behind Hunter's Dream]] has a gaze attack which can deplete the Hunter's health to 1, the range is cone shaped instead of being traditional self-centered [[SplashDamage Area of Effect]], it can however result in [[InstantKill one hit kill]] instead if the Hunter's has less than 30% of the total health while being co-operater.
* The Disembowel skill from ''Videogame/BreathOfFire 3'' and 4. The enemies that use it tend to follow up with Target, an attack skill that never misses. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Naturally]], it's a UselessUsefulSpell once you acquire it yourself (doubly so when you notice it's also CastFromHitPoints and reduces your max HP temporarily when used).
* Queen Zeal's Life Shaver and Hallation attacks in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
** Great time for [[DesperationAttack Dino Tail and Frog Squash!]]
** Which can also be used by various mooks, such as Gargoyles on the Mountain of Woe.
** The Nus in Enhasa either do nothing, reduce you to 1, or reduce you ''by'' 1. They are nice enough to attack in turn, hitting (at worst) all three characters to reduce them to one, giving you time to heal, and then hitting you with the 1 HP damage.
** Krawlie, a boss that appears in the Abandoned Sewers in 2300 AD, may reduce a single character's HP to 1 with his Mash attack.
* In ''DarkestDungeon'', heart attacks, which happens when the character's [[SanityMeter stress bar]] gets doubly full, drop the character to [[LastChanceHitPoint Death's Door]]. If he or she is already in Death's Door before that, it just kills them outright (like it used to do in pre-release builds).
* A SequentialBoss from ''VideoGame/DigimonWorld3'' goes into his second form just to use an attack like this, then immediately turns into his third form. In [[VideoGame/DigimonWorld the original game]], attacks outside of battle can't get a Digimon's HP below 1.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' had the spell Kamikaze, which cut the user's and target's HP to 1 if successful.
* In the ''VideoGame/EndlessFrontier'' spinoff, Mercy is instead turned into a negative status effect that can only be gotten via one of the two Spirit commands that cast a random SC on either themselves or a random party member: the reason it's a negative status effect despite doing the exact same thing is because the whole point of the game is overkilling every enemy in overly elaborate ways and the only HP you ever need to worry about hitting 0 is your own.
* The ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' DLC ''Dead Money'', when played on hardcore mode, features an outdoor area with toxic gas that constantly drains your health down to 1HP. Given a dearth of healing items, this basically turns you into a OneHPWonder for the entire first half of the add-on.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series loves this trope.
** Beatrix has this as her FinishingMove in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''. When she executes it, the battle is over; from a story standpoint, the party is defeated as if it's a KO. She considers this her ultimate move and taunts/threatens the party with death after she uses it, which is very strange considering you can regen out of the critical status while the game fades to black, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation reducing the "impact" of the scene]].
** The final boss, [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere Necron]], boasts his "Blue Shockwave" attack, which cuts the victim down to 1 HP.
** The final monster Zidane has to fight during the "You're Not Alone!" sequence has an attack that does this, which trigger's [[spoiler:Garnet/Dagger's]] entrance by casting Curaga on you ([[GameplayAndStorySegregation even if they haven't learnt it yet]]).
** The [[PowerCopying Blue magic]] ''Death Claw'' allows Blue Mages to reduce monsters (and a few midbosses!) to single-digit hp with a successful casting. It stuns them too, leaving them unable to heal in preparation for the follow up.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'''s "Tornado" spell (and its upgraded counterpart, "Maelstrom", usable only by certain enemies) reduces its target(s)' HP to single digits, providing a much the same effect.
** ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears Final Fantasy IV: The After Years]]'' loves to do this during boss fights. Adamantoise in Yang's Story is one. [[spoiler:It also happens at the end of The Lunarian's Story too, after the fight between Golbez/Fusoya and Zeromus's Malice.]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': The spell "Fallen One" ("Heartless Angel" in the GBA translation) makes all of your warriors' HP fall to 1. When you meet Kefka at the very end of the game, this is his ''opening move.'' Other enemies besides Kefka can use it, but it usually involves using Relm's "Sketch"/"Control" command or one of Gau's rages.
** [[ThatOneBoss Holy Dragon]] 2 in the GBA edition of Final Fantasy VI can randomly CounterAttack with Heartless Angel, so if your timing is off, he could counter with it and immediately follow up with his normal turn consisting of a spell that hits the entire field.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Sephiroth can use "Heartless Angel" in his OneWingedAngel form at the end of the game. He even kept it for his BonusBoss fights in KingdomHearts (it actually reduced your HP/MP to ZERO if you didn't interrupt it. Fortunately you have [[LastChanceHitPoint Second Chance]] by then) and his playable appearance in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' (which mercifully only takes your ''Brave'' Points down to 1), so in a way, it's almost become his trademark attack. It's also used by him in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'' during the Nibelheim event.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'':
*** Ultimecia's penultimate "Hell's Judgement" attack causes the entire party's health to drop to one.
*** During the second Laguna dream sequence, the last Esthar Soldier (Terminator) has a final attack called "Soul Crush" that will put Kiros and Ward down to 1 HP. Kiros and Ward are severely wounded in the following cutscene after the battle
*** Subverted by BonusBoss Ultima Weapon (and its even more powerful palette swap Omega), which uses an attack that inflicts exactly 9998 points of damage, meaning that it will only reduce your HP to 1 as long as it's maxed out. Otherwise it's instant death.
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' with the giant bird monsters, who are always reduced to at least 1 HP before being killable (they start off in the air, then land once sufficiently damaged, but even a 99999 hit won't outright kill them from the start).
** ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 Final Fantasy X-2]]'' has Yojimbo and the Magus Sisters, the former being much more annoying as it also knocks the party's MP to one; you're screwed without an Alchemist
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' has Sight Unseeing, which reduces the target's HP to single digits with a chance of said digit being 0 and causing a OneHitKill. It only works if the caster is afflicted with the Blind status, though.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has [[spoiler:Orphan]] who uses an attack called Merciless Judgement to bring your party's HP to 100 (relatively speaking, a critical amount). Easily fixed by using a paradigm with healers, but an instant kill if anyone is poisoned when he uses it.
** The final boss of ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'' also uses the the Heartless Angel, but it's made much more manageable by the fact that you can see it coming in advance and guard it to prevent it from working.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'':
*** The first boss of Sastasha (Hard) will target a random player with Tail Screw, which will reduce their HP to 1. Normally, the healer can easily fix this, but the boss will also use a poison based debuff before using Tail Screw. If the healer didn't cure the debuff beforehand, then the chip damage will kill the player after the Tail Screw attack.
*** Forgall, the second boss of The Weeping City of Mhach, would use an attack called Hell Wind which would have this effect then immediately follow it up with Punishing Ray, an attack which players must stand in marked areas to weaken the main blast. Said areas cause an unremovable bleeding debuff as long as the players stand in them forcing the healers to undo the damage of Hell Wind as quickly as possible.
*** Ark/Cloud Chaser from Alexander's core reduces the party's HP to 1% of their total health when using Photon.
** Several Final Fantasy games had Cactuars with two attacks: One would do 1 HP of damage, the other would do damage.
* Some monsters (and bosses) have this as an attack in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun''. Notably, all of the Golem-type enemies have a chance of this effect occurring from "Truncheon Fist". It's still pretty nasty otherwise.
* ''Videogame/KingdomHearts'' has a few in addition to Sephiroth mentioned above.
** ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]] Final Mix'' has BonusBoss No Heart, who has an attack that is basically DHA turned UpToEleven. It doesn't just drain your HP to one, it ''completely'' drains your focus gauge and '''even your command board'''. Thankfully, he doesn't use it often, and the attack itself is much easier to dodge than Sephiroth's.
** ''Videogame/KingdomHearts3D'' does it again with the (this time required) boss [[spoiler:Anti Black Coat Nightmare]]. He extends a line of darkness towards you, and if it catches you, it drains your HP to one. Luckily, it's easy to dodge and if you do get caught, the health it drains from you is converted into HP orbs which are scattered all over the arena. You also have plenty of time to select a cure command while you're draining (though sometimes he just waits below you and finishes you off before you can use it...). However, the boss can also pick up the HP orbs, which restore a ''lot'' of his HP.
* ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' has several bosses who can do this: Thanatos, who does this to the entire party unless you have damage-reducing {{Status Buff}}s active, Durile, who targets a single character, and the Black King, whose attack hits the entire party, too.
* The final boss of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel II'', [[spoiler:Loa Luciferia]], has a move that can do this to everyone in the active battle party.
* ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga]]'' does this with the FinalBoss. Both characters are reduced to 1 HP in an unavoidable attack, just in time for the boss to attack once with each of her body parts (with new attacks you haven't seen before unless you've already died here). This will happen before you even get a chance to heal unless you have done enough LevelGrinding to get at least one Bro's Speed to be greater than hers or you use equipment with the First Strike effect. You can also survive by correctly timing ActionCommands to dodge the attacks.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 3'':
** When you first fight Bass, his aura is impenetrable, and his attacks are impossible to avoid fully. He 'deletes' you, but you go back the out-of-battle screen unconscious and with 1 HP.
** Invoked with the Undershirt chip and program (or wave ability in ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''), which lets you retain 1 HP on an otherwise fatal hit.
* Epsilon in ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission'' gains the ability to knock one of your characters down to one hit point after he [[TurnsRed powers up mid-fight]]. He also uses this ability to open the fight.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'', [[spoiler:the Darker Lord and the Dark Sun both]] have an unavoidable attack that will reduce the HP of the entire party to 1. Worse, they do it ''twice'' during their fight.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Mother1}} Mother]]'': [[PsychicPowers PK]] [[AnIcePerson Freeze]] alpha and beta do increasing quantities of damage, but Freeze gamma is apparently so strong that it always drops the enemy's HP to a "critical status". [[UselessUsefulSpell If the beast isn't immune to that spell]].
** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' has the New Years Eve Bomb, although it can only be used on [[BonusBoss one boss]]. [[spoiler:Said boss has so much HP that you need it anyway.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MyWorldMyWay'', the "Weaken" spell does this, though you [[ContractualBossImmunity can't use the spell against bosses]].
* ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights'' used the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons version of Harm. As a cleric spell it wasn't resisted by the high spell resistance that most powerful enemies had, making it one of the most useful spells in the game.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'':
** In ''Videogame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' the Item Trial Stew puts you down to only one heart point and zero flower points, but recovers all star power. Trial Stew also appears in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', where it gives you 100 times the HP lost in experience points.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'' has an attack that does this to its user, but adds insane damage and life drain to compensate for the price. [[spoiler:You better hope Huey has enough strength to block this one...]]
* In ''Videogame/ParasiteEve'' these attacks: the crab's attack that involves grabbing and pinching you, Eve's red tentacle in Day 5, Ultimate Being's yellow shockwave, and Maya's Energy Shot, all put you down to 1 HP.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The Generation 2 move "False Swipe" is an ordinary attack (similar to "Scratch"), but features the added effect that it will never reduce the opponent to zero HP. It is useful primarily for weakening wild Pokémon so they can be more easily caught, but can't save them from themselves (self-damaging moves), which is why you should always have status effect moves in case the {{mon}} ''does'' have self-damaging moves.
** Generation 6 introduced "Hold Back" which is identical to "False Swipe", but is rarer to obtain as it is given to certain event Pokémon.
** On the other side, various moves, items etc. provide a LastChanceHitPoint, detailed on that page.
** Prior to Generation V, poisoned Pokémon in the player's party would lose health for every few steps taken outside of battle. In Generation IV, a Pokémon brought down to 1 HP by poison outside of battle would be cured of poison; previous generations had the Pokémon faint instead.
* In the ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' series, some moves that would normally cause the user to faint in the main games like Healing Wish and Memento instead lower the user's HP to 1.
* In ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', some chests would contain a "Death Trap". If you had full health, it would reduce your HP to one. If you didn't, [[OneHitKill instant death ensued]]. You very quickly learned to heal up before opening chests.
* Fox Face from ''Videogame/ShadowHearts'' has his "!!!" attack. He's got another one that [[ThatOneBoss reduces you to one Sanity point]]. There is also the ability "Nightmare", which summons thousands of cockroaches (which crawl all over the screen, too).
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' has a version of this [[NintendoHard fitting with the spirit of the game]]: Aciel will do this to your entire party, then immediately follow it up with a regular attack before you get a turn. [[WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou Hope he doesn't target the main character.]]
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' has an attack called Death's Door, which causes the opponent's HP to go to one if they have the Sick status effect. Also in the boss fight against [[spoiler:the White masquerading as Issachar, he]] will give you multiple {{Breaking Speech}}es throughout the fight and one of the consequences of falling into one of them is that Flynn's HP goes down to one and his SP to zero.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has Galgalim Eyes, which reduce the victim's HP to 1 and inflict them with the Enervation status. The FinalBoss often follows up on this with Summons To Yomi, which kills anyone with a status ailment.
* The [[BonusBoss Long-Dead King]] from RPGMaker game ''VideoGame/StandstillGirl'' has a skill that does this. However, strangely enough, you can guard against it, halving the damage you take.
* ''Videogame/SuperMarioRPG'' has some enemy attacks that are {{One Hit Kill}}s. However, if you defend against these attacks with the ActionCommand, they become this trope.
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'':
** The final boss of ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', [[spoiler:Duke]], has a [[LimitBreak Mystic Arte]] called Big Bang that deals an absurd amount of damage to your entire party but can never reduce your HP below 1. It's not technically a HP to one effect but at higher difficulty levels (and ''especially'' against his TrueFinalBoss form) it might as well be. (''Unless'', you happen to be playing the UsefulNotes/{{PS3}} UpdatedRerelease on Hard or Unknown mode, in which case the "LastChanceHitPoint" condition is thrown out of the window and you can ''really'' [[TotalPartyKill start worrying]]).
** Any boss with a Mystic Arte in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld''. How early in the battle you see a Mystic Arte is usually a good indicator of [[HopelessBossFight whether or not it's a fight you're supposed to win.]]
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'' has the BigBad Shizel play the trope straight with Eternal Finality.
** All enemy Mystic Artes in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' reduce HP to one if they would otherwise kill the target. This explains how [[GameplayAndStorySegregation a certain character was able to survive a direct attack with the Bonus Boss's ultimate Mystic Arte.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'':
** The very first attack in the game is one of these. [[BookEnds A highly similar attack is used on you just before the final battle of the Pacifist route]].
** The boss of Snowdin will never hit you with a fatal attack. If the attack would normally be fatal, it instead reduces your health to 1 HP and ends the battle.
** The TrueFinalBoss' last attack will be a point-blank, unavoidable beam that reduces your HP to a very small fraction of a percent.
** The Final Boss of the KillEmAll ending has a GravityScrew attack. At one point in the fight he uses it with such force that it will cause FallingDamage, though the Falling Damage in and of itself can't kill you.
* The Greater Demon's Death Wish attack in ''Videogame/ValkyrieProfile''.
* Mabadi, a level 6 Priest Spell in ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}: Proving Grounds of The Mad Overlord''. The spell was very nice in helping kill those Murphy's Ghosts.

[[folder: Sandbox Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'': Poison will cease damaging you at 1/2 heart of health. If the difficulty is on Normal, so will starvation.[[note]]On Easy, it stops at 5. On Hard, it'll kill you.[[/note]] However, other tick-down effects, like wither or fire, will kill you.

[[folder: Turn Based Strategy]]
* A variation is used in ''Videogame/AdvanceWars'': CO Powers and missiles reduce units by a set amount, but won't inflict the killing blow.
* In later Videogame/{{Disgaea}} games, Adell can gain an Evility that makes all his attacks leave one hit point. Useful because the character who deals the killing blow gets all the XP, so you can use Adell to weaken enemies, have a weaker character finish them off, and make LevelGrinding quick and easy.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** The Hel dark magic from the fourth and fifth game along with Eclipse in the sixth reduce the target's HP to one, or kills if the target is already at one HP, but to prevent them from being total {{Game Breaker}}s they all had very low accuracy and high weight which would slow the user down, and Eclipse in Blazing Sword was {{nerf}}ed to only halve the target's HP, but got an accuracy boost to compensate. But in a touch of ArtificialBrilliance in Thracia 776, enemy dark mages often couple with another dark magic Yotsmungand that poisons if it hits, if a poisoned target is hit with Hel, it becomes OneHitKill instead.
** In the tenth game:
*** Whispers gain the mastery skill Bane, which instantly reduces enemy HP to one. Of course, considering that the chances of you getting any Whispers other than Sothe, combined with the chances of [[CrutchCharacter Sothe turning out to be any good]], this is rather worthless.
*** Also your other characters will often have a mastery skill that is basically "ton of damage. If he manages to survive somehow, halve his speed for 5 turns." In fact, this is the case with most mastery skills. Most of these added effects tend to be completely irrelevant since most of the skills are overpowered and will seldom not kill everything. Of course, no generic enemies nor non-plot relevant bosses will ever have these skills (or any non-mastery skills, unless they're bosses) because they never [[spoiler:make it to the third tier]], for obvious reasons.
*** Bane is just Lethality and Mercy in one skill. The former (only belonging to Volke) kills things instantly (unless they're counted as a boss character) and the latter (belonging to Elincia) makes it so that it's impossible to kill anyone since your character will stop doing damage after an enemy's hit one HP. Mercy has its uses, but the game puts it on Elincia after a certain point in the game, but ''doesn't tell you'', which can cause players to accidentally head out into battle with her being unable to kill things.
** Actually ''{{subverted}}'' in [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]: On the [[spoiler:final]] mission, during the opening cutscene, [[spoiler:Grima]] uses his power to weaken everyone in your army and it displays their health bars being reduced to a tiny sliver. However, [[spoiler:Naga, who has taken up residence in Chrom's sword,]] shortly afterward uses her own powers to heal everyone back up to full health before the battle actually starts, and they begin the mission with full health as usual.
** [[spoiler:Grima]] pulls the same trick in the ''Future Past 3'' DLC mission, only this time it's not aimed at your party, but rather [[spoiler:the AlternateUniverse versions of Lucina, Severa, Laurent, and Gerome]], making an already-precarious EscortMission even more desperate, since all four need to survive to get the GoldenEnding.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'', [=NPC=]s who are not inherently hostile but whom you've managed to annoy will generally knock you out instead of killing you. This reduces you to one hit point.
* Cutscene attacks in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' do either 150%, 110%, 95%, 90%, 50% or (in one event in ''Alpha 3'') '''[[NoKillLikeOverkill 500]]'''% of the target's maximum HP. When it's the second or third on an enemy, it generally means that the boss is either going to make a dying speech or MotiveRant before blowing up anyway, or it's going to regenerate all its health so you can fight it for real. That one time where it was 500%? It involved a [[Anime/GaoGaiGar Goldion Crusher]] on Palparepa.
** And then there's the "Mercy" spirit command, which, if it works, makes any attack deal ''just enough'' damage to reduce the target's HP to 10 without killing them. It's useful for keeping high-level enemies alive so weaker characters can kill them for experience. It's also used as a minor plot point in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'', where [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Kira Yamato]] in his ThouShaltNotKill phase ''always'' has the Mercy effect.
** [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Heero Yuy's]] "I'll Kill You" command in the [=SD=] G Generation games for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS increases his attack power at the cost of, ironically, not being able to kill.

[[folder: Other Games]]
* ''Videogame/DiscworldMUD'': Happens to any [=PC=] who decides to try stealing without a license in Ankh-Morpork, regardless whether or not the offender actually is a thief.
* In ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' Mega Man can get a Shock Guard upgrade which turns the series' trademark SpikesOfDoom into these if he has more than 1 HP.
!!Non Video Game Examples:

[[folder: Anime]]
* In the original ''Anime/YuGiOh'', someone can donate all but one of their life points to the attack of the Winged Dragon of Ra.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', this is literally the effect of Earthbound Immortal Wiraqocha Rasca; by skipping the battle phase, your opponent's Life Points become 1. This effect was removed from the real card, because an effect like that would be ridiculously broken in the real card game. A Later card, Chaos Number 6: Chaos Atlandis, also has this effect. Unlike Wiraqocha Rasca however, it was NOT removed from its real life version, balanced by a few activation and summoning conditions

[[folder: Card Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has several examples;
** Ali from Cairo, which turns an otherwise-fatal attack into this.
** Worship, which (while it fits with the right color) grants every creature this ability.
** Near-Death Experience has meant that if you are at one life during your upkeep, [[InstantWinCondition you win]]!
** If you want to inflict this on all players, the card Worldfire reduces all players to one life. (In addition to [[DeaderThanDead exiling]] their hand, graveyard and everything they have in play).
** The card Master of Cruelties is a straight example of this: If it attacks and the opponent doesn't (Or can't) block, they will immediately be reduced to 1 life.
** And now there's [[Characters/MagicTheGatheringPlaneswalkersPostMending Vraska's]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=435388 new card]] from the ''Ixalan'' set, which can inflict this on a player as its final ability.
* ''[[TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}} Super Munchkin]]'' has the Plot Device card. It sets the effective level of the munchkin currently in combat exactly 1 above or below that of the monster (depending on who uses it).
* In the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Pokemon}} Pokémon Trading Card Game]]'', [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Raticate_%28Freeze_Bolt_47%29 Raticate's Super Fang]] has this property. The move is Energy-intensive, however, and Raticate has [[GlassCannon very low HP]] (even compared to before any SequelEscalation happened).

[[folder: Tabletop RPGs]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.
** Older editions of (Advanced) ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' had the Harm spell (reverse of Heal), which would strip the victim of all but 1d4 or so hit points, no save. It did the same thing in 3rd edition where, due to the revised casting, melee attack and HP system between 2nd and 3rd edition, it turned into a massive GameBreaker. The version in 3.5 inflicts damage based on caster level, but it still cannot reduce the victim's hp below 1.
** An article in Dragon magazine #36 gave AD&D stats for Conan. He could not be killed by poison: instead, he would be reduced to one HitPoint and fall unconscious.
** In 3.5 edition drowning set your health to zero (not "down to" zero; if your health was below zero at the time, it would actually go ''up'' to zero). This was the basis for one of the most [[GameBreaker broken]] characters of all time which used this, an infinite damage loop, a spell that prevented death (at least from hit point damage) for a specific period of time, combined with a whole host of spells that added benefits per x amount of damage you took. It was named the Omniscificer. What this ignored was that by the same technicality, getting out of the water doesn't stop you from drowning.

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* Lampshaded (like everything else) in ''[[Webcomic/{{Adventurers}} Adventurers!]]'' as one of Boss Khrima's attacks.
* The Eater of Dreams in ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' has the Living Nightmare attack, which reduces ''everyone's'' HP to one and heals himself for the damage dealt. He cruelly uses it to foist a no-win situation on Lucca.
* Malack from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has Harm, and it works just like it does [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons in the source material]]. He uses it on [[spoiler:Nale]] at one point and very nearly does the classic "kill with ScratchDamage" follow-up with a quickened attack, with [[spoiler:Nale]] only surviving because the latter dodged the second attack and used his next turn to beat a hasty retreat.