[[quoteright:268:[[Webcomic/VGCats http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RapeRadius.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:268:''Too close!'']]

->''"Oh, and this melee class is working just ''super''. I love getting wasted before dealing a single hit in."''
-->-- '''Leo''' of ''Webcomic/VGCats'' 184, see picture.

Sometimes the best way to make a powerful boss character is to make sure that they have really, really good melee/short-ranged attacks. So good, in fact, that it's just about impossible for a player character to get anywhere near this boss without ending up dead in a matter of seconds. This is because the boss in question is contained in an Instant Death Radius -- an attack range in which they can easily kill you, but in which you are just about incapable of even getting close enough to touch them, let alone denting them.

Done well, this kind of enemy can force a player into using a very clear kind of strategy -- [[HitAndRunTactics keep as far away from it as possible and use ranged attacks]], wait for an opening when it can't attack and strike quickly, or throw enough CannonFodder units at it that it can't wipe all of them out at once. But other times this kind of enemy can be [[GoddamnedBats incredibly]] [[DemonicSpiders aggravating]] when there's major character customization involved. Sure, you want to play a melee-focused class such as a warrior, but guess what -- the monster's attack radius is much larger than yours, and their attacks are [[UnblockableAttack substantially]] [[AlwaysAccurateAttack stronger.]] Level up as you might, ''mano a mano'' combat is going to result in your death no matter how many {{Critical Hit}}s you land (generally zero -- one if you're lucky).

A PuzzleBoss may invoke this trope as a way of making it perfectly clear to the player that they're not going to beat it by conventional means, as will the TacticalSuicideBoss to ensure that the player waits for their opening. A ShortRangeShotgun may cause this effect. See also AreaOfEffect; a monster with an Instant Death Radius may make use of such area-of-effect abilities centered on itself as a means of denoting that radius.

!!Gaming examples


[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 3rd Edition was lousy with this, as monsters with reach (such as any monster that was ''larger than you'') could lay serious hurt on you with an Attack of Opportunity if you got within its radius, and unless the monster was using a reach weapon, it could threaten every square within its radius, meaning you could not charge or otherwise get close without sucking up an Attack of Opportunity and taking some heinous damage (because any melee monster worth its salt invariably has very high Strength, and high Strength = high attack bonus = high damage). A caster or archer could just hang back and blast them at range, but if you were a fighter or other class whose primary focus was on melee and wielding the weapons you would normally expect such characters to wield (swords, spears, axes, hammers and other weapons with normal reach), you could pretty much forget about actually doing any damage or contributing to the fight in any way other than being a "meat shield" for the others. Little wonder that the five-foot-step rule, which was called "shifting" in 4th Edition, was clarified in 3.5.
** It got much worse if the enemies were good at tripping or grappling; one Huge monster in the Monster Manual 4 has an anti-magic grab, preferred subterranean environs, and moves with a faster climb speed than many characters of the appropriate level could run. Fortunately (or [[GameBreaker unfortunately for the DM]]) Attack of Opportunity optimized character builds can invert this trope entirely. Many, many, MANY hypothetical character builds on the WizardsOfTheCoast forums could not be approached without provoking tons of [=AoOs=]; these characters would attack a foe if that foe attacked him, attacked a nearby ally, or moved -- hell, even if ''they did nothing at all''.
** The main thing though isn't the [=AoOs=], but the full attack that follows. You can expect even the half-decent melee enemies to utterly annihilate you later on accordingly or at least beat you to within an inch of your life before you get another turn. Not sometimes, but every single turn. Dragons are infamous for this, as the higher age categories get six or more attacks per round. And the only way to stand up to regular melee enemies in close combat is to either be an Evasion Tank (see LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards) or just be heavily optimized...in effect, stuff that would normally be a GameBreaker is required for basic competency.
** One of third edition's supplements introduced a monster-only feat "LargeAndInCharge" which allowed them to add [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom knockback]] to their attack of opportunity against human-sized attackers.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' getting too close to any elite melee unit can and will lead to your stuff getting [[CurbStompBattle demolished]]. The list changes depending on the version of the rules, but Khorne-marked units, Titans, anything in Terminator armour, Carnifexes, and Necron Praetorians are always worth giving a wide berth.
** Many melee-oriented named characters take this trope and run away with it. Kharn the Betrayer, Ghazghkull, Abbadon the Despoiler, Captain Lysander, and many more will all hand you your ass if you get too close.
** The Eldar Revenant's Instant Death Radius is the size of a normal game table (12" move plus 60" range). Good luck.
** The Primarchs. Four to five hundred points, if you end your turn within 12" of one you can kiss your unit/expensive combat character goodbye.
** Eversor assassins should not be allowed anywhere near your army unless you want the entire thing to get brutalized. Yes, even the tanks.
** The Vindicator's Demolisher cannon has one of the best stats for a weapon in the game, but pitifully short range for a weapon of it's type. One of the reasons the unit is not very popular is because everyone knows about it and the maximum distance, so they will go to absurd lengths to stay out of it while peppering the tank with anti-tank weapons.
** The Warlord Titan has one of the biggest ones in the game; ignoring all of it's weapons, just by dying it will hit everything within a 36 inch radius (NOT diameter) with an attack powerful enough to atomize them. Basically, going up against one, the best result you can hope for is a draw unless you have a titan of your own.
* Several classic ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' designs ([[GlassCannon Hunchback]], Victor, Demolisher, Atlas, you name them) have a reputation for this. The thing they have in common is the AC/20 -- the biggest autocannon in the game, short ranged but able to inflict potentially crippling damage all to a single location in one shot. As a result, most units much prefer to stay outside its nine-hex 'bubble of doom'.
** This also applies to the Gauss Rifle family and [[LightningGun Particle Projector Cannon]] weapons, both of which may hit only 75% as hard as the AC/20, but reach out to a range in excess of 20 hexes while being capable of [[BoomHeadshot taking off a 'Mech's head with a single shot.]]
** [[DropShip DropShips]], when landed on the surface of a planet, are effectively enormous battle fortresses, typically carry upwards of a dozen long ranged weapons like [[MacrossMissileMassacre LRM-20]]s and the aforementioned Gauss Rifles and [=PPCs=]. Because of their sheer firepower and the ability to almost instantly destroy anything that gets near them, commanders usually try to avoid directly attacking one. The dropships are often essentially boss battles in the videogame adaptation, ''Videogame/MechWarrior''
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' deliberately gives this capability to its upper-tier {{Eldritch Abomination}}s to discourage {{Munchkin}}s from fighting them. The titular Cthulhu has an unblockable, undodgeable OneHitPolykill at close range, and the power levels actually go ''[[SerialEscalation up]]'' from there. The actual Instant Death Radius for any of the big nasties in this setting is best defined as "You can see it." Most characters will take such a big hit on the SanityMeter that if they make their Sanity Check, they still have a good chance to go temporarily insane. The remainder will probably blow the roll so badly that they bow down and begin worshiping their new dark gods.
* The rules for nukes in ''TabletopGame/{{Mekton}}'': Anything in the blast radius '''is automatically destroyed''', barring GM intervention. Anything within twice the blast radius takes ''10 times damage to every location'', and probably dies. Anything within four times the blast radius takes full damage to every location.
* Most powerful melee characters in ''TabletopGame/{{Infinity}}'', with the added bonus that due to Hidden Deployment you [[SurprisinglySuddenDeath can walk straight into a model's Instant Death Radius without ever knowing it was there]]. Commonly occurs with {{ninja}}s. Powerful ranged weapons such as the HMG or sniper rifle are even scarier, due to Infinity's rules system allowing troops to fire on enemies they see acting even in the opponent's turn; to prevent the first turn from being a death sentence as four sniper rifles punch holes in anything that moves, Infinity battlefields are supposed to have a massive amount of terrain.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[ThatOneBoss Ekinard]] from ''VideoGame/{{Zenonia 3}}'' spews toxic clouds ''that follow you around'' effectively making it impossible to hit him ''[[UpToEleven EVEN WITH THE RANGED CLASSES]]''. The only way to beat him is with hit-and-run CherryTapping.
* This is exactly what happens when you get too close to a really good Zangief player (or a [[PerfectPlayAI really effective computer-controlled Zangief]]) in StreetFighter. He can't ''instantly'' KO you, but there's a psychological intimidation factor involved: You're basically fighting an ImplacableMan who will punish every little mistake with a Spinning Pile Driver or its much more brutal version, the Final Atomic Buster. Even at a distance you're still not safe as he can close the gap with his running powerbomb. Jumping's not safe either as he'll catch you with the Aerial Russian Slam from Alpha 2&3 and the more painful Siberian Blizzard from SSFIV.
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'':
** A player can specialize his character in stealth and melee attacks (and since there aren't very many stealth games out there, a lot of fans of this playstyle bought Alpha Protocol), and then run into the game's bosses that can't be snuck up on, and can kill you in a few hits while they can take [[DamageSpongeBoss 50 shotgun shells to the face]]. There isn't really a way to beat these bosses unless you invested in some guns. The problem is that these bosses only pop up after the first act, so you might have invested several hours in character that can't get past these bosses.
** There is a skill called Point Blank Shot that allows you to finish a melee combo with a pistol shot. It's extremely powerful against bosses, but requires you to invest a ''lot'' of skill points in your melee ability (it's the last skill you unlock, at 13 out of 15 ranks in), meaning you're either [[CripplingOverspecialization specializing in it early to the detriment of your other skills,]] or you're not going to have it for the first few bosses.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'':
** Mage champions tend to be this. Almost all of them have short range and/or manually aimed skillshots, usually disables that will set you up for a full combo if you predictably run straight at them. Due to this, melee champions are typically built (almost) full tank - this reduces their damage output but lets them actually survive long enough to get in close. Realising melee was not viable, the developers countered with a series of melee champions equipped with gap closers, fast movement speed, active or passive counters to magic burst, and high natural damage to enable them to build tank without losing much damage output. This effectively turned the tables and suddenly it was the melee characters who had instant death radiuses, usually corresponding to the range of their dash. The only way to survive some of the worst bruiser excesses was to stay completely out of range and (desperately) (try to) kite them.
** Darius is a melee bruiser with zero ranged attacks and no gap closer, but a fairly short ranged pull. Once he pulls you into melee range and starts to apply bleed stacks, you are probably dead unless you have a blink or your Flash is off cooldown. If you manage to stay out of range of that pull, however, he is slow and trivial to kite. Many of the recent bruisers also into this category, ala Riven, Vi, etc. Like most games of this type, teamwork is paramount and can even defeat a heavily fed character.
** Outside the meta, in order to prevent spawn-killing, the spawn location (known as the Fountain) has a turret-like laser that deals 1000 true damage a second, which means 1000 unblockable damage every second. For reference, most people end games at anywhere from 1500 to 5000 health, meaning death is dealt in seconds.
* ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' is loaded with enemies like this. The picture above is from a ''Webcomic/VGCats'' strip about this game.
** Two of the most notable examples are Diablo and Duriel. Inverted in the case of Mephisto, who has deadly ranged attacks, but will only use wimpy melee attacks at close quarters. Melee characters are widely regarded as not viable unless you have the best items in the game. For instance, there are a handful of bugged monsters that are virtually impossible to kill in melee before they annihilate you from extreme range. And one monster type used to cast a curse on you that caused you to pretty much kill yourself when you hit anything in melee. It could cast this while you were in the middle of a whirlwind or zeal hit sequence resulting in an unavoidable instant death.
** The ''Lord of Destruction'' mod "Eastern Sun" ''nerfed'' the monster version of the spell in question (Iron Maiden, a Necromancer Curse), thus making it possible to actually complete Act IV with a melee character.
** The "Median XL" mod has a literal instant death radius in the form of the [[VideoGame/Left4Dead "witch"]] monster: a motionless ghost that announces its presence with an eerie song. It does nothing, but when you get close enough she notices you and laughs; if you do not immediately get out of range, she [[TeleFrag teleports at you and kills you]] with an unresistable and unblockable attack that deals [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill 50,000 damage]] per frame.
* Every boss in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOfNorrath'' is this. Doesn't matter if your class is supposed to be melee only, you don't go ''near'' these things. The sequel's bosses tend to be a bit less dangerous in melee, although there's still a few that getting close to will get you killed in a hurry.
* Many ''Forgotten Realms'' games, but the ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series in particular uses this trope.
** Sometimes the use of this trope is forgivable, as when you confront a powerful demon. Other times it's just somebody's random bodyguard who's so good at creaming that he causes the near-instantaneous Berserk "spell" to fail. ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' inverts this by eventually giving the player access to a character who can transform into a creature with an Instant Death Radius.
** [[InvertedTrope Beholders, on the other hand, are a lot less scary once you get all up in their business]]. According to the official D&D Monster Manual, [[GenreSavvy they are well aware of that fact]].
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGateDarkAlliance'' however has this trope in full effect on harder difficulties. The melee character gets oneshot by almost ''anything'' before he can close range and swing his weapon.
* Rancors in pretty much any ''StarWars'' game will wipe out player characters in a single hit if they get too close. In the games where they can actually be killed, namely ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', you'll want to do so with lasers and mines.
* Used a couple times in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', usually as an indicator that the enemy or boss needs to be stunned before it can be attacked.
** Gyorg, the [[ThreateningShark giant fish]] boss in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''. Attempting to take the fight to him in the water will put you in range of his unavoidable (and highly damaging) bites.
** The final battle in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' is a test of patience; get too close, too quickly, and you'll take a quick sword to the face.
** Ghirahim from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' can quickly become this if you don't figure out how to play quickly or are starting to panic and start randomly swinging. It doesn't help that he's the first boss either (though at this point, if you're doing badly enough, he'll start giving you pointers on how to fight him, mainly because [[SmugSuper he's an arrogant bastard]]).
** ''Skyward Sword'' also has The Imprisoned. The most obvious method to defeat it involves [[AgonyOfTheFeet chopping off its toes]]. This is made difficult by the fact that it shoots out shockwaves from it's feet every time it takes a step. Also, this is one of the game's [[RecurringBoss recurring boss battles]] and you don't have any real ranged attacks or ways to stun it for the first few times. [[spoiler:You could, of course, [[TakeAThirdOption just jump on his head]] and skip the stunning part entirely.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', Pyramid Head qualifies as it. He's really hard to shake off once you get grappled. Also, during the first battle, his {{BFS}} attacks will kill you in one hit. In the first game, the Split-Head can insta-kill you with its vertical jaws when it TurnsRed.
* Melkor in ''[=ToME=]'' has such utterly nasty melee attacks that trying to kill him by whacking him with a sword is a losing proposition. In addition, strict melee types are the ones that will be the most inconvenienced by his summoning magic. And we are talking about an optional boss at a point in the game where any character has long ago hit the level cap, so just trying to munchkin it out won't be very effective.
* The first ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' DS game tends to rely on you blocking and reflecting shots. Why? Because when you get too close into melee range, the monsters start using unblockable melee attacks. Combine this with an upgrade/revive system that can make the game UnWinnable, and it becomes apparent that Lyoko has become [[GoddamnedBats Goddamn Bat Country]].
* This goes for just about any 3D ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' game.
** In [[VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero Zer0]], Octo Diablo sits in the water in the middle of the stage, away from melee reach, with the only way to damage it with swords is by going after the damage-giving tentacles. Not only that, but he has a SpinAttack that does three sets of damage to anyone close enough, and by close enough, we mean anyone that isn't up against the outer borders of the stage.
** Like Octo Diablo, [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Reyburn]] has a nearly-unavoidable SpinAttack for anyone who gets too close, however his ranged attacks are just as bad. Subverted with [[TransformingMecha Humilias]], where the safest place to be in the fight is right up close near his legs.
** And God forbid you choose to make a melee-specialised character in ''PhantasyStar Universe''. The bosses seem hell-bent on ruining any character that even ''remotely'' comes close to melee range.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** While many monsters can floor you with a hit or two in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'', boss-level Monk monsters can use Hundred Fists, an ability that allows non-stop, no-delay attacks that pretty much insta-kill anyone that has hate. Normally only [[StoneWall Paladins]] have a chance to not die, provided that they have the Sentinel ability at the ready, or Invincible if Sentinel is still on a timer... [[TooAwesomeToUse that is, if said Paladin actually uses Invincible!]] Thieves could also survive with Perfect Dodge, but a Thief rarely tanks outside of soloing, if ever, so you might not see it as much.
** More literally is the final boss of the DLC story pack, A Crystaline Prophecy. The final boss is a stationary crystal. It has some hard hitting aoe spells, but nothing players haven't tangled with before. The problem? It also has an aoe attack centered on itself that charms all party members in range and turn them into a cute little plant monster (in look). And it can use Draw In to drag the current target of its ire right into proximity. Melee players have been screwed in trying to find parties for this fight, which is why it pays to have many spellcaster friends.
** Charybdis is a giant octopus who can multi attack up to six times per round. The only way to fight him solo is to either load up a ridiculous amount of evasion gear on a Thief so he can't hit you or to slow his movement speed as a Red Mage and run around the room until your damage over time spells slowly whittle down his hp over the course of several hours.
** Odin's [[EleventhHourSuperPower Astral Flow]] ''Zantetsuken'' is an Instant Death Radius, it will kill any player close by who is not "showing reverence". (AKA, resting. And then it still causes a fair amount of damage.) It actually works for players with Odin, but only a chance of it instantly KO'ing every mob in the vicinity.
** Several Notorious Monsters have "aura" effects, status ailments that will apply to players if they are within range. While some of them are strictly annoying, some of them can kill you, such as Poison, Bio and Doom. Yes, Square loves killing you so much that there are mobs that [[EverythingTryingToKillYou can kill you even if they aren't thinking about you]].
** This is subverted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' against Titan. After a quarter of his HP is gone, he starts a massive AOE attack. You get to see the radius where this affects and you'll notice it doesn't cover the entire arena. This is the gotcha: you're not supposed to stand outside the radius. If you do, you'll fall to your death as that part of the arena crumbles. However, you still have to stay as far away from Titan as you can since the attack does more damage the closer you are to him.
* Solvaring from ''VideoGame/{{Quest 64}}'' attacks with a powerful beam of magma if you stay at a distance. If you get in close, though, he attacks with an even more powerful and unavoidable rock spike attack.
* Used in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', but generally only on a temporary basis. Many of them are one-shot spells that are technically survivable, but the healers won't like you.
** Frequently found on at least one of the members of each QuirkyMinibossSquad (Maulgar, Kaelthas, Illidari Council).
** The Shade of Aran will pull ''casters'' in to melee range shortly before casting his instant death radius spell.
** Demonform Illidan is so dangerous in melee that he's tanked not by a regular tank class but by a warlock, so they can hold aggro without getting near him. (And also because he only deals spell damage in this form, making their armor useless.)
** The [[{{Mooks}} Zombie Chows]] during the [[BigEater Gluth]] encounter in Naxxramas. In the Northrend version of the instance, they have 500,000 health points - more than some heroic bosses. They have to be kept in line to avoid them from healing Gluth, but they have a melee attack that applies an armour-reducing debuff. Thus, they're usually kited by ranged attackers with a slowing ability, like frost mages.
** Yogg-Saron, befitting his status as an EldritchAbomination, basically has this when players reach his brain. It casts a 20 second cast time spell that turns everyone still in there insane... which is worse than death in the sense that they are turned against the other players and the effect persists through death, making it pointless to use any in-combat means to revive them.
** Sindragosa pulls the entirety of the group to the centre of her [[HitboxDissonance oddly shaped]] hitbox before beginning to cast a devastating aura attack. It happens quickly enough that players are recommended to turn around while they're flying through the air.
** Inverted by Loken in the Halls of Lightning; who while possessing a periodically-used lightning-nova attack that can inflict severe pain on lesser-geared characters in a significant radius, also has a pulsing electrical aura that actually does more damage the further away you are from him.
*** Loken is a spiritual successor to Murmur in the Shadow Labyrinth, which had an inverse version of this trope active whenever he wasn't casting his nova attack in the heroic version, meaning that everyone had to stay fairly close to the boss and run away at the right time just outside the circle on the ground that marks the radius. A few other (mostly immobile) bosses had comparable abilities they only used when no one was near them, mostly to prevent players from trying to cheat.
** Certain outdoors raid bosses will apply "Mark" debuffs against players they kill which will stop the player from fighting them again for a while. This is done to prevent graveyard zerging. The four Nightmare green dragons place a Mark of Nature that puts you to sleep if you approach, the blue dragon Azuregos freezes you into an iceblock if you try, and the Outland [[HumongousMecha Fel]] [[SchizoTech Reaver]] [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom]][[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast walker]] has a Mark of Death. [[OneHitKill You guess what it does.]]
** Several [[HardModeFiller Heroic Bosses]] in ''Cataclysm'' have an Instant Death Radius as part of their fights:
*** Rom'ogg Bonecrusher pulls everyone into Melee Range and spawns an object called Chains of Woe that binds everyone to that spot. It must be quickly destroyed before Rom'ogg completes his attack and basically one-shots most players in range.
*** Ozruk has the ability ''Shatter'', which causes a visible radius to appear around him as he lifts a leg. If you do not run out of the radius in time, you pretty much die. To make matters worse, he paralyzes everyone before using it, so you need to have a [[GradualGrinder Damage over Time]] effect on you in order to escape. Luckily his mechanics do provide such options.
*** Assad has a sort of 'inverse death radius', in that everywhere but a designed safe zone is the death radius every now and then. To complicate matters, he casts ''Static Cling'' which you need to jump to avoid.
*** Vanessa Vancleef has an Instant Death Radius right at the end of the fight, where she basically tries to take you down with her by igniting a barrel of Gunpowder. Luckily you have several seconds to run.
** As a panic button, administrators can spawn avatars that have a literal instant death radius.
** ''Mist of Pandaria'' inverted this trope with some of the [[MiniBoss rare-spawn champions]]. If an attacking character moves outside of a set range, the champion will trigger an attack that is lethal or nearly so.
*** The Pandaren champion has an AoE in which he'll periodically perform a whirlwind-type attack that chases his current target, forcing players to flee. If they move outside his range, he'll cast an attack that can take more than half their health in one hit.
*** The Champion of Arms and Shadows in the ''Landfall'' patch both have powerful attacks that only trigger when a player attempts to flee. Arms will perform a leap to their target, potentially one-shotting them, while Shadows will perform a similarly-powered knife throw.
** The Throne of Thunder raid adds Blizzard's answer to the [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Tonberry]], Gastropods. Giant snails that fixate on a player and crawl towards them, anything they touch [[OneHitKill dies]]. Very dangerous for melee to attack as it will occasionally change the player it's fixating on, and immediately change direction; even worse, you fight them in a sewer with narrow paths to walk on, and a circular staircase where the banister will block your shots, meaning ranged players have to get fairly close to attack.
** One frequent version of this is an InstantDeathRadius in front of the boss for anyone but the tanks. Dragons and some beasts also have one in the back (swatting players with their tail) that anyone needs to avoid.
* While playing ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' adventure mode, if you lose stealth within about 10 squares of a giant cave spider, no one will find your body.
** Crossbow range in Fortress Mode also qualifies. Let's just say that crossbows could potentially punch through ''all'' of your internal organs[[note]]with a single bolt if you are very unlucky[[/note]] and leave it at that. And they used to have firing rates akin to machine guns. Today, it's not ''quite'' as bad, but you can still take a bolt to a limb and immediately pass out from pain, thus ensuring you will spend the next few minutes getting clubbed to death. Approach with caution.
** Forgotten beasts can get attacks that spew large amounts of poisonous gas/mist/dust all around them, and depending on how merciful the RandomNumberGod is feeling that day, it kills your dwarves at varying speeds, with the worst making them bleed all the blood they have in two seconds or so. And that's not mentioning the physics glitch that makes the dust variant of it knock your dwarves around at alarming speeds, ensuring someone will get a fatal meeting with a stone floor/wall.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has quite a few bosses whose melee powers are much more formidable than their ranged attacks. Some even have damage auras, where if you are standing next to them, you'll get hurt, badly, even if you haven't drawn their attention yet. A melee character trying to take on such an enemy is going to be in a world of hurt without some serious support, and that's not even factoring in resistances on the part of the enemy...
** Such damage auras are also available to the players, so they can invoke this trope on lesser foes. Still, the archvillain versions are seriously amped up in the amount of damage they deal.
** Most notable is the Envoy of Shadows, an AV of the resident DemonicInvaders who has TWO damaging auras, fire and darkness. I guess it must be what it's like to try and melee a [[GameBreaker Spines/Dark armor scrapper]]
* The Cave Troll enemy TookALevelInBadass in late 2000s ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games and now has an electric attack that spreads an azure ring around him. If you get caught ''inside'' it, the ring will stun you at every hit which takes away in the worst cases 90-100 lifepoints ''every nanosecond''. The only way to survive is to heal yourself while still being hit, otherwise you can only hand over your ass to the monster. This was quite a shock to everybody playing ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' who was coming off from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow''. If you say you didn't die on this thing at least once, you are a goddamned LIAR.
* The wall-based Guardian necromorph in ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' is one of these. Getting within a certain radius of it while it's still alive (well, alive-ish) will instantly decapitate your character.
* The final boss of ''Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits''. Unless you knew exactly what was coming (and the only way to do so is with a walkthrough) and equipped your melee fighters with all the normally-useless elemental protection you can get, getting in close with him is a deathwish.
* Many very large enemies in ''VideoGame/SeriousSam'' like the huge lava golem, Ugh Zan III or reptiloid highlanders have deadly melee attacks which can kill player almost instantly.
* Mathematically, if not ''thematically'', inverted with [[MiniBoss Hakumen]] and [[TierInducedScrappy Nu-13]] of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''. As bosses in a fighting game's Arcade Mode, they have smarter AI than the opponents the player has fought before. This means they seem conscious of the fact that there are ranges at which they can attack, but most characters can't hit them back. Hakumen has a space between "whatever range his opponent can hit at" and "the end of his {{BFS}}" where he can attack with impunity. Nu has vicious and unpredictable ranged attacks --for Nu and her ConfusionFu, the Instant Death Radius is ''the half of the screen farthest from her.''
** On higher difficulties or [[DifficultButAwesome against a skilled human player]], you do '''not''' want to get within grab range of [[MightyGlacier Tager]].
** Ragna's Devoured by Darkness Distortion Drive bites off a lot of the enemy's health and gives it to him. Pity about it being so AwesomeButImpractical, starting from being limited to grab range and getting worse from there. Then, there is ''[[TrueFinalBoss Unlimited Ragna]]''. His Devoured by Darkness is in no way impractical and [[ThatOneAttack a 2-hit kill that vastly refills his considerable life bar.]]
** Continuum Shift has Unlimited Hazama, who literally has a ring around him that drains your health.
* It's generally a bad idea to go melee with the stronger enemies in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}''; hit and run tactics are usually the way to go. This is especially true when fighting BadassNormal Cross. Yes, his missile launcher hurts. But his stun baton is even worse. This is {{inverted|Trope}} in the case of tanks. Aside from using your own vehicle, the more powerful melee powers such as the Hammerfist or the Blade are the best methods to take out tanks. Especially the [[spoiler: Thermobaric Tank]]. When you face that beast, the goal is to stick to it as closely as possible to keep it from firing. Otherwise, it will kill even a fully upgraded Alex with full health in ''one or two hits''. But it's (mostly) okay, as pretty much all normal infantry that Alex gets close enough to will usually die within seconds, and even the aforementioned EliteMooks aren't much problem if they're caught alone. Then you get to Groundspike Graveyard and Tendril Barrage Devastators, which can expand the radius somewhat...
* In ''VideoGame/RainbowSix Vegas 1 & 2'', if you encounter an enemy at point blank range, you're pretty much dead. Most noticeable when you turn a corner with an enemy hiding right around it. This is probably to discourage rushing your enemies, but it's quite obvious that their accuracy and reflexes make you wonder if these guys actually distinguish friend or foe. Even worse, they become DemonicSpiders when they [[ZergRush rush]] ''you''. And with most of the games, particular on Elite difficulty, if an enemy sees you, they will more than likely get a near-instant OneHitKill shot. Even at long range.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}} 2'' the knife is a OneHitKill both for you and your enemies.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'' has the Shock Cannon on the Gleipnir [[spoiler: and Archelon Fortress]] that shows a red flashing circle on the EnemyDetectingRadar when it's ready. If you get into it, say bye-bye. The mission Blitz, as well as Solitaire from ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'', has circles of radar coverage that, while not killing you outright, will cause a mission failure if you wander into them. In ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'', anyone who made the mistake of getting within 850 feet of Mobius One using a [[GameBreaker QAAM]]-equipped plane had effectively received his death sentence. ''X'' also has the mission In Pursuit, where "high-performance [=SAMs=]" protect a group of jammers from you, flying within their coverage is a death wish. In ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'', getting in the range of MPBMs won't immediately kill you, but unless you're skimming the surface of the blast, you might as well have been instantly shot down. In general, anything with the [[FrickinLaserBeams Tactical Laser System]] effectively has an Instant Death ''Arc'' - anything foolish enough to be in the firing circle when one of these is spitting out of a Morgan or FALKEN is getting fried.
* In ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' if you see the flashing "[[BoomHeadshot headshot]]" indicator above your head, you better run for cover ASAP or YourHeadAsplode. The snipers never miss. Some bosses will also headshot you if you get too close; one requires you to shoot the lights out so you can nonlethally subdue him.
* In ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', running into any of the end-of-episode bosses will result in you getting crushed to death beneath their feet.
* Tigrex in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Freedom Unite'' has a tail whip that trips you and pulls you toward him. If you are close and not in front of him, this is basically all he does. If he hits you with one, he hits you with as many as he wants (i.e. you die).
* Mobile Bosses in ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'' have a death sentence for suits with motion wave guns as their standard arsenal as most of them have AttackDrone units to blindside your suit while their charge attack can knock off three quarters of your health.
* The [[ThatOneBoss Leechgrave]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' is like this, forcing the player to [[FlunkyBoss kill off the four Tentaclaws]] to allow the main part to be attacked safely (your death is pretty much guaranteed if you try to go for the main part otherwise, and your attack won't do nearly as much damage either).
* Vergil from ''Franchise/DevilMayCry 3'' will start summoning Spiral Swords once you lower him to 2/3 health in [[HarderThanHard Dante Must Die]] mode. As the name suggests, this creates swords spinning around him that damage and hitstun you. Since you are on DMD, prepare for a world of hurt when he takes advantage of this. Inverted with Beowulf: He's a toughie in close, so you might think that [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim sticking to Dante's guns]] is the way to go. Well, he's got a nasty, nasty feathers of light attack that he may use when you get Dante too far from him, and then you're in trouble. Big trouble.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'':
** The game has the Sentry Guns, and the Engineer getting ready to build said gun can actually see the range of the weapon via a translucent colored sphere with the radius measured out from the barrel. Needless to say, anyone on the opposite team who comes within this range will find themselves on the wrong end of a lead barrage. Though luckily for the other team, attacks to buildings suffer no [[ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon damage falloff]] and thus most classes can destroy an unguarded one with ease if they can hit it from outside its range.
** The Pyro is a [[KillItWithFire blazing deathball]] within a space of about [[VideogameFlamethrowersSuck five meters]], and also possesses a rather effective array of melee weapons as well. Any further out however, and nothing in the Pyro's arsenal but secondary weapons will be able to hit you at all.
** The Heavy basically turns into an Instant Death Radius up to medium range any time the minigun is revved up. At point blank range, anything that has the misfortune to be in front of a Heavy--even another Heavy--will die ''in less than a second''. (The stock minigun has a DPS of around 500, in a game where the maximum health any character can have at any time, without hacking or modding the game outright, is 450). And if the Heavy gets random crits with the Minigun, the death radius expands significantly because crits both increase damage and negate damage falloff. After the Love and War update, it's a little less "instant", as the gun's damaged starts out at half power and increases to full after a continuous second of firing, but at point blank he can still kill another Heavy in less than a second.
** Sniper is a strange inversion: if you're a fair distance away and he sees you, BoomHeadshot. However, if you get in close, it's a toss-up over who will survive, since it's tricky to use the Sniper Rifle at close-range, but Sniper also has some good melee weapons and an SMG.
* Every boss in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileCovenantOfThePlume'' other than the first one can automatically use a special attack at the end of their chain of attacks against you, even if they wouldn't be able to do so had you taken another story path and recruited them. Unless you have a ''lot'' of HP or you're using one of the main character's unique abilities, this is for all intents and purposes an automatic knockout. What's worse, if your characters attack en masse and the counter manages to KO one of you without the use of a special, they'll use the special on a second attacking character, typically knocking them out too. Against sword-using bosses like Darius, this means you shouldn't let anyone other than the main character get within reach of the counter, and maybe not even him until you've worn your foe down a bit. Against mages like Liselotte, well, here's hoping you've got at least five revival items on hand. And then there's the final boss of the good path, whose counter targets every character who attacked her and has a chance of stunning anyone who survives it.
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'', Xbox remake, has the Gleaming Blade move and its [[LimitBreak Ultimate Technique versions]]. They do a number on normal enemies and can punish even [[HarderThanHard Master Ninja]] bosses significantly.
* In one ''VideoGame/CortexCommand'' GameMod, there are robots known as Zombie Bots, which can instantly gib anybody within their claw attack radius.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Amorphous}}+'', the gravity-controlling Void Eater has an attack where it sends out a deadly shockwave, killing anything in the radius. Worse, the radius is larger than your character's {{BFS}} swing. You will need to know when the Void Eater will [[SuckingInLines use]] [[OneHitKill an]] [[DisintegratorRay attack]] [[NintendoHard where]] [[DemonicSpider it]] [[TacticalSuicideBoss becomes vulnerable]], so you don't get turned into LudicrousGibs.
* In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance]]'', disgrace happens is you leave a character within range of the BlackKnight. Also, Ashnard does enough damage to take out most characters in one move, and has a flying movement range of 10! On Hard, he will take any opportunity he can to kill weaker characters.
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', Selvaria's zone extends to ''anything in her field of vision''. Basically, she carries a MoreDakka {{BFG}} ''with the accuracy and range of a sniper rifle!'', not to mention she has the high ground from the start of the mission, and you have to climb up from the bottom. With her firing on you the whole time. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Even worse]], some of your units actually ''start'' inside her Radius, meaning they'll probably die the moment you attempt to move them. The only way to stay alive is to be completely hidden from view, which is easier said than done seeing as she has the mobility of a [[FragileSpeedster Scout.]] (Being out of view on your turn doesn't necessarily mean you'll be out of view once she finishes moving...)
* ''VideoGame/HellgateLondon'' Tormentors have a damage radius that may not be instant, but if multiples overlap it becomes quick enough to be virtually instantaneous. They approach at a slow creep, but terrain and turns can trap a player inside the field.
* In ''[[VideoGame/JustCause Just Cause 2]]'', you fight the Russian agent Alexander Mirkov who is armed with [[AwesomeButImpractical an APC-mounted minigun on top of a skyscraper]]. The fight would be trivial if you could just grapple your way to the top of the vehicle and dispose of him up close, but the area around the APC is full of proximity-triggered explosives that will kill you instantly if you get too close.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders: Infinity Gene'' has the "Field" weapon that fires lasers which zap any does that fly within a certain area around your ship. When fully powered up, the field covers about 75% of the screen, meaning that just about anyone that gets anywhere near you is toast.
* In ''VideoGame/SoldierOfFortune: Payback'', enemies do quadruple damage if they shoot you within about 6-10 feet or so, which results in a point-blank shot pretty much resulting in instant death. The last 3 levels ramp up the challenge to FakeDifficulty levels by increasing this Instant Death Radius to about ''50 to 70 feet!''
** The Torturer in ''II'' will ventilate you instantly with his M60 machine gun if you get in his sights at close range. Ditto for Sanchez, who you have to take out by throwing a grenade into his hiding place.
* Likewise, in ''VideoGame/KaneAndLynch 2: Dog Days'', taking a bullet at point-blank range usually results in an instant death.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}''' WakeUpCallBoss, the Gnoll Chieftain, is the first major boss you face that primarily uses smash attacks on you, as opposed to normal attacks. At the level that you first face him, two to three hits with his giant hammer are enough to kill you, and one of his smash attacks is a powerful whirlwind sweep which clears a sizable radius around him, making staying out of range and using hit-and-run tactics as he's recovering from a smash key to surviving the battle. Higher-level players have an easier time dealing with him, both due to experience in dealing with such bosses and having better armor and more HP.
* Player example in the classic ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' games, if the player is packing the {{BFG}}. One shot at point-blank range downs everything in the game except for bosses. Even then it is capable of taking out the Spider Mastermind in a single shot. And tables on the Doom wiki indicate it is theoretically possible to do the same to the Cyberdemon. Only theoretically, though, the random numbers of the damage make that practically impossible.
* While many VideoGame/{{Touhou}} bosses have attacks that are downright impossible to survive in melee (as opposed to only nigh-impossible at range), special mention must go to Subterranean Animism's Yuugi Hoshiguma, whose "Knockout in Three Steps" literally inverts this trope. The attack generates a few bullets adjacent to her, before covering everything outside a certain radius with bullets; the only way to survive is to go up close, thus remaining inside the non-instant death radius.
* In ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'' multiplayer, getting in line-of-sight of someone with a braced heavy bolter or melee range of someone with a Thunderhammer and Killing Blow is instant death, but only if they're looking at you.
* The Flowsand Lord in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' has an attack that works like this: Enemies within its massive range get pulled onto tiles right next to him and get hit with a large amount of damage, which he absorbs to heal himself. And its range is so large that once you're hit with it, it's next to impossible for a character to move out of range before he uses it again. There are only five classes in the entire game that can hit him from outside the range of his attack, and you fight him early enough that you're unlikely to have any of those classes.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the duel with the Arishok can be really easy or ''really hard'' depending on what type of character you are playing. The Arishok has no ranged attacks, but makes up for that with ''brutal'' melee attacks. He's also [[LightningBruiser pretty fast]], so staying out of his Instant Death Radius while trying to attack him or drink a healing potion isn't easy. Mage!Hawke, despite being a SquishyWizard, has an advantage since mage staff attacks are ranged.
* Used to ''ludicrously'' unfair effect in ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', where one late-game boss, Belberith, has an Instant Death Radius of ''[[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the entire map you fight him on]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'', the final boss, [[spoiler: Polaris]], has this in it's first form and with one of it's components in it's third form as well. Said component follows up on this with the [[SarcasmMode wonderful]] attack Multi-Strike [[ThisIsGonnaSuck that can potentially hit everyone in the party two to seven times for 200+ physical damage per hit, where you'll most likely have about 500 Hit Points for the main characters by that point, if not lower]]. Thankfully though, equipping Null/Absorb/Repel Physical will stop the nightmare.
* Several examples in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' exist:
** The boss fight with Seath the Scaleless. His attacks consist of area denial by raising crystal columns in predetermined spots. While you can dodge it and get close to him, you better not take it for granted as Seath can make the entire surrounding area you fight in covered in crystals. And if the damage doesn't kill you, the Curse effect probably will. Interestingly, the miracle Wrath of (the) God(s) in both ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' and ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'' function the same: an exploding sphere of pain.
** Quelaag and Nito both have powerful area of effect attacks similar to the Wrath of the Gods. Avoiding Quelaag's can be tricky thanks to the lava she spits on the ground throughout the battle that you might dodge back into.
** Inverted with the Hydra, whose ranged attack is hard to dodge and basically impossible to block (being essentially nine separate, moderately powerful attacks converging in one spot from slightly different angles), but his bite attack is pathetic by comparison. Once you've gotten into melee range, pretty all you have to worry about is the sudden drop-off underwater and reaching the last remaining heads before it lifts them back up.
** [[WolfpackBoss The Four Kings]] also have this ability, incredibly frustrating because their equally devastating melee attacks do less damage if you're close to them and while you are trying to get away you might blunder into the arms of one of the others.
* In ''Videogame/DarkSoulsII'', the FinalBoss [[spoiler:Queen Nashandra]] has a powerful area of effect attack that could easily kill anyone in melee range. Fighting her at a distance is less challenging since she's so slow and her only ranged attacks are not too difficult to avoid.
* Both Martyr Loginus and the final boss of ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' have an attack where they jam their weapon into the ground and a few seconds later, unleash a massive shockwave. The range is almost the entirety of the arena. It might not instantly kill you, but it will leave you vulnerable in a game where you never want to be vulnerable.
* VideoGame/ArmoredCore for Answer has Assault Armors, which is also an exploding sphere of pain, usually a UselessUsefulSpell done by the player. However, a certain BattleshipRaid boss called The Answerer can also do this. And while it takes ages to charge, get caught in it and you might as well kiss 4/5ths of your health goodbye. On a related note, thanks to the plethora of heavy missiles and laser cannons on the underside, approaching it from the bottom is hazardous for your health.
* In ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'', several of the MightyGlacier fighters have this going on, especially if you take their [[LimitBreak Super Arts]] into account. Going into melee with Honda Tadakatsu, Tachibana Muneshige or Shimazu Yoshihiro (and especially getting caught in their Super Arts) can cost you a significant amount of your health bar in an instant. [[BonusBoss Oda Nobunaga]] takes this to extremes in the third game, however: When channeling his gigantic demonic SuperMode, he cannot be flinched, his attacks have ''titanic'' reach, deal horrible damage, and juggles you to boot. The only way to deal with him if you don't have a good ranged attack (preferably with knockback) is to simply run away until he stops channelling it.
* ''VideoGame/FreedomForce vs. the Third Reich'' puts the instant death radius on your side. Tricolor has no ranged attacks, and she's painfully frail, but her sword attacks can annihilate anything that gets close. Learn how to lure enemies around corners, and your only threats will be [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours enemies that are instant-deathier than she is]].
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' has hydras, which get to make an attack with each head every turn. Unless you have a fire-branded slashing weapon to lop off their heads or ridiculous AC and damage reduction, fighting an eight-headed hydra in melee is a losing proposition. The unique boss the Lernean Hydra has ''twenty-seven'' heads and can do enough damage per round to kill a mid-level character four times over, making engaging it in melee a very quick means of suicide.
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'':
** Once [[ThatOneBoss Shinobu]] starts charging her DesperationAttack (Gengoken), run for your life! If it connects, you ''will'' die. [[spoiler: Unless you have your health upgraded to the max, which you won't unless you're on NewGamePlus.]]
** Bad Girl's OneHitKill attack sets up an Instant Death Radius around her as well.
** Chainsaw mooks from the second game are extremely dangerous to take on at close range thanks to being nigh-ImmuneToFlinching and dishing out huge amounts of damage. Fortunately, the Peony has a massive attack radius once your ecstasy gauge is high enough, and is strong enough to make them flinch.
* [[CollisionDamage Touching]] any boss or miniboss enemy in ''VideoGame/MickeyMousecapade'' is instant death.
* On Veteran difficulty in most ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games, enemies with automatic weapons within two or so meters can instant-kill you. Sometimes even with pistols.
* Paranid ships in the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' series can mount a gun known as the Phased Shockwave Generator, which instead of shooting [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter solid slugs]] or [[FrickinLaserBeams energy bolts]] produces an expanding [[WaveMotionGun wavefront of high-energy death]]. Because of [[SplashDamageAbuse how splash damage works]], anything struck by the wavefront takes absurd amounts of damage (which is [[GameBreaker the main reason]] it was {{nerf}}ed to capital-ship-only in ''X3: Terran Conflict''). Paranid capital ships can mount [=PSGs=] to cover almost all attack vectors, which makes approaching within 1.5 km of a hostile Paranid so armed an extremely bad idea. [[BeePeople Kha'ak]] capital ships on the other hand, have {{Hit Scan}} anti-capital ship weapons, which are perfectly capable of slicing any fighter craft to bits within a second, unlike standard anti-capital ship weaponry which are [[HeroTrackingFailure incapable of tracking fast targets]], and even more unlikely to hit said fighters with their [[PainfullySlowProjectile slow moving disco balls of death]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' has several bosses, like the Corroder and Recursia, the Many-in-one, who invert this with devastating attacks that will cause instant death to anyone ''outside'' a small radius around them.
* ''Videogame/BorderLands2'' has Dukino's Mom, a gigantic skag who has a ground slam ability with a rather large radius. Getting hit with it once will bring you to a small sliver of health, and she typically slams the ground twice in succession.
** With the proper build, anything within melee range of Krieg becomes chunks of meat within seconds.
* The FinalBoss from ''[[VideoGame/{{Drakensang}} Drakensang 2: Phileasson's Secret]]'' has a deadly spell called "[[GratuitousLatin Vacuum Horribilis]]" ([[PowerOfTheVoid Horrible Void]]) which will annihilate any character caught inside. However, the radius isn't that large and he has to stand still for a while, leaving him open for spells and long-ranged attacks.
* The Kayran boss in VideoGame/TheWitcher2 is electrified by a sorceress "assisting" you. The Kayran doesn't seem any worse for wear, but you'll get electrocuted if you get too close. The boss itself has monstrously powerful melee attacks for a second Instant Death Radius, which cover almost the entirety of the fight arena. Thankfully there are a couple very specific safe areas you can run to, and the attacks can be dodged.
* Berserkers in ''GearsOfWar'' will tear you to pieces instantly if you allow them to get within melee range.
* The [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam Dark Gundam]] from ''DynastyWarriorsGundam 2'' onwards is sort of like this. It is surrounded by several Gundam Heads that fire off lasers and pound down on you. You have to defeat one of them first because otherwise the Dark Gundam disperses this smoke around it, causing your Gundam to instantly power down and be open to attacks. This is not terribly bad at first but at around half health the Dark Gundam itself starts attacking, and it and the Gundam Heads start firing lasers everywhere around them, dealing massive damage if your powered down.
* Dr. Salvador's only attack in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' is a OneHitKill melee attack. This, combined with being a damage sponge, makes getting in close a ''very'' bad idea. Also, Ganado with Plagas sticking out of there heads are generally a bad idea to approach. The whip Plagas can keep attacking even when knocked down, and another type also has a OneHitKill melee attack. Gigantes are also massive giants that should only be approached via quick-time event..
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma'' has a few examples of its own, mostly from [[ThatOneLevel Bitterblack Isle]]:
** The most obvious is [[TheGrimReaper Death]], who only has two attacks: one to put players and their pawns to sleep, and one to kill them. Nothing in the game can stop his scythe attack from killing you, and if you're inside its swing it doesn't even have to touch you. Your character can revive with a Wakestone, but your Pawns will have to be rehired. It is highly advised that your party has a very high sleep resistance if you're planning to face him. Or, [[ThatOneBoss don't]].
** Corrupted Pawn sorcerers become this if you can't stop them from casting [[ThatOneAttack maelstrom]]. It will draw you towards it with significant force, and once you're close enough it will juggle you in the air dealing significant damage every few seconds. This alone will kill even max level players if they don't heal, and if it's done in a room with really strong enemies like Gorecyclops (that can also have their own Instant Death Radius), TotalPartyKill ensues.
* Both [[BigBad Lord]] [[FinalBoss Dredmor]] and [[BonusBoss Vlad Digula]] have one in the four squares you can melee them on, in ''Videogame/DungeonsOfDredmor''. Sure, when they're only close and visible, while you can pelt them with spells, so can they, and Fulminaric Bolts hurt like hell, but getting up close and personal without massive evasion rates is asking for it. In Dredmor's case, his staff strikes are survivable, but they ''will'' corrupt your equipment horribly, no matter what. Digula himself just [[MascotMook nose-drills]] your guts out with ''four elements at once'' , and each element's damage ''alone'' would make for a formidable blow. Taking a nuke to the face (yes, this game has (magic) nukes, and yes, he can dole them out like candy) is the better option.
* Player example in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', especially ''[[VideoGame/Left4Dead2 2]]''. In the first game, [[QuickMelee shoving]] was infinite at first, and anything that isn't a [[GiantMook Tank]] or [[ImmuneToFlinching Witch]] will be knocked back and stunned for a good while, which lead to [[CycleOfHurting stunlocking]] Infected players in Versus mode. This was later fixed with "melee fatigue" for Versus, which carried over to ''all'' modes of the sequel. However, the latter has included melee weapons, which are a OneHitKill on anything smaller than a Charger, two-shot a healthy Charger, and clear out swarming hordes fast like nobody's business. ''And they don't have fatigue.'' Again, the only ones able to break the stalemate properly are [[LightningBruiser a Tank]], which is rare to spawn by the Director, and [[BossInMookClothing the Witch]], which isn't playable.
* In ''[[Videogame/MechWarrior MechWarrior Living Legends]]'', the [[PoweredArmor BattleArmor]] relies on short-ranged weapons for the bulk of its firepower, as its long ranged weapons have poor DPS. Annoyingly for battlearmor players, approaching anywhere ''near'' something armed with low-caliber autocannons is a recipe for instant death, as a single blast from any of the rapid fire autocannons will [[LudicrousGibs gib them]]. Worse still, AntiAir tanks and [[HumongousMecha battlemechs]] are also AntiInfantry. As such, battlearmor players must coordinate with their allies to take down anti-infantry vehicles before they can approach the enemy and begin to [[PersonalSpaceInvader RIP AND TEAR!]]
* Virtually every boss in ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' that doesn't have a ranged attack relies on this. Normal {{mooks}} count as well aside from the "instant" part: they'll hold the attacked Pikmin hostage for a little while, and if you can kill them quickly enough, said Pikmin will be released, oftentimes unharmed. To note, there isn't any IDR to [[PlayerCharacter the captains]]; they just deal some serious, but survivable, damage.
* [[EliteZombie Bloated]] [[OurZombiesAreDifferent infected]] in ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' automatically kill Joel by grabbing his mouth and forcing it wide open [[{{Squick}} until his jaw breaks]] whenever they get close enough to him.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Nectaris}}'', it's best to avoid moving a ground unit within six hexes of any enemy Atlas SS-80, since the Atlas can then hit it with one of the most powerful attacks in the game. On the advanced maps, the enemy often has multiple Atlases pre-deployed in close proximity. A stand-out example is Deshta, where the enemy base is protected by two Atlases guarding a chokepoint also lined with Triggers.
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies2ItsAboutTime'': MC [=Zom-Bs=] in the Neon Mixtape Tour. When their [[ThemeMusicPowerUp Rap Jam plays]], they gain the ability to spin their microphone around them, taking most non-defensive (and even some defensive) plants out instantly in a 3x3 radius. Even Wall-Nuts are not much of a help, being killed within two attacks. Thankfully, MC is a GlassCannon that goes down fast... except for the fact that the Breakdancer Zombie also gains an ability during the Rap Jam. Said ability helps him push zombies forward into your defences, including MC Zom-B [[OhCrap who then proceeds to wipe out your plants with his mic]].
* ''{{VideoGame/Xenoblade}}'' features Spike attacks. There are proximity spikes, where being near the enemy deals damage, counter spikes, where attacking deals damage, and topple spikes, where toppling the enemy and then attacking deals damage. There is no way to tell what spike an enemy has, and some spikes come in StandardStatusEffect flavor. For example, TheDragon has a paralysis counter spike, and the BonusBoss has an Instant Death counter spike.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'' has a few examples of this, but none stand out as much as Ursa. One of his abilities is a melee-range slow, the other ''three'' are some variation of "horribly murder whatever's standing next to me". If Ursa is even ''moderately'' farmed and is standing next to an enemy, that enemy is dead.
* Thresher maws in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' will instantly kill the player who gets close enough to them. Good thing the Mako has a rocket launcher.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'':
** All of the heavy enemies in except for the Geth Prime have an attack where they grab you and OneHitKill you if you get too close. It's not too bad with the [[MiniMecha Atlas]], since the thing is a MightyGlacier, but the Brute is a LightningBruiser that rushes you, Banshees can FlashStep, and Phantoms are disturbingly quiet. And all of them are aggressive about using the attack, too.
** In multiplayer, two player classes, the N7 Fury Adept and Asari Valkyrie Sentinel, have a power called Annihilation Field which creates an Instant Death Radius around them for a limited time when activated. Any enemy that gets close will take damage over time, have their defenses weakened, and get primed for a biotic detonation. Add in a light but powerful weapon like the Wraith Shotgun and they'll destroy everything that gets close in very short order.

!!Other examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Lucy and all other [[PersonofMassDestruction Diclonii]] from ''Anime/ElfenLied'' can manifest telekinetic "vectors" that are capable of tearing apart any human within their range. Normally, a Diclonius' vectors only have a range of a few meters, but particularly powerful Diclonii can extend this range.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' has Nobunaga Hazama, an assassin from the Genei Ryodan clan who, via his [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]], can kill with certainty within a radius.
* Ramiel, the fifth Angel from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', has an {{Always Accurate|Attack}} laser powerful enough to melt through an Eva's armor in seconds (and even with a shield, it doesn't take much longer) and can possibly fire it indefinitely (and surprise attacks from underground don't work either, as it detected Unit-01 long before it surfaced.) Needless to say, it effortlessly wipes out anything and everything in range, and the only option is to fire at it with a giant sniper rifle from outside its Instant Death Radius (except when it suddenly decides to attack ''outside'' the radius anyway.)
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': Barragan had two such abilities: his Time Dilation Field, which [[http://www.mangapanda.com/94-810-14/bleach/chapter-356.html slows anything that comes near him]] to a crawl, and [[http://www.mangapanda.com/94-811-10/bleach/chapter-357.html Respira]], which spreads rapidly upon touching any area of the victim's body and kills them -- unless they quickly [[http://www.mangapanda.com/94-811-14/bleach/chapter-357.html amputate the affected body part.]] Both of these abilities made it impossible for [[{{Ninja}} Sui-Feng]] [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption to even land an attack]], since she couldn't risk getting anywhere near him, without getting slowed down or having it affecting any part of her body.
* Haruka Kotoura from ''Manga/KotouraSan'' gives a [[{{Telepathy}} telepathic version]]: [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/K-s-1-1_8156.jpg It's the first thing viewers see]].
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' this comes as part and parcel for anyone that has [[JerkassGod Ankhseram's]] [[FateWorseThanDeath Curse]]. Basically it's a situational instant death radius that, ordinarily, only activates when a certain condition is met and is typically not active otherwise. The only problem is that the condition that activates the curse is when said cursed one cherishes the value of life, and so long as that person even ''slightly'' cares about anyone, they run the risk of the curse randomly going off and killing ''everything'' in the immediate area. Meaning that in order to prevent the unintentional deaths of those the cursed one holds dear, they pretty much have to either become a stone cold [[TheSociopath sociopath]] who has no concept of life having value, or live in [[TheAloner self-imposed exile]] away from ''everyone'' lest the curse activate and murder scores of people. This aspect, along with CompleteImmortality and a ''severe'' case of MindRape, are designed to ensure that no one with the curse can ever find happiness, and is the primary reason why [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Zer]][[BigBad ef's]] life sucks so much.
* From ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Caesar Clown can manipulate gases. This, along with [[SwissArmySuperpower other uses of that power]], allows him to remove oxygen from area around him, suffocating anyone, who comes to close to him.
** Mihawk will immediately curbstomp anyone who gets within range, befitting of his status of World's Strongest Swordsman; and don't think [[SwordBeam staying at range will keep you safe either.]] Notably, even the resident LeeroyJenkins realizes that attacking him head-on is a ''bad'' idea.
* From ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', we have [[MasterSwordsman Wrath.]] Thanks to his ImplausibleFencingPowers, CharlesAtlasSuperpower and CombatClairvoyance, he only needs a single sword to take on an entire company of soldiers, maybe a grenade to take on the occasional tank or two. It took a double SuicideAttack just to finally wound him, and even in his weakened, crippled state, no one dared to take on his challenge. Although finally the BadassPreacher took it, and duked it out to the bitter end.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One early issue of ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'' involved a young mutant with a ''literal'' Instant Death Radius -- quite a wide one, too -- that he [[PowerIncontinence couldn't turn off]] [[BadPowersGoodPeople no matter how much he wanted to]]. Only {{ComicBook/Wolverine}} could survive in close proximity to him due to his HealingFactor rebuilding his cells faster than the mutant's aura could break them down. Wolvie [[PetTheDog commiserates with the kid]] on his lousy lot in life and offers him his first drink [[spoiler: before [[ShootTheDog offing]] [[MercyKill him]] for the safety of those around him.]] The same plot happened before in a four part Wolverine and ThePunisher crossover. A situation where a young mutant had a death radius that couldn't be turned off [[spoiler: and was reluctantly killed by Wolverine before more people died]]. The difference being that it was a Morlock girl instead of a boy, and she was trying to head to the surface from the chamber she was sealed in underground to contain her powers.

* Referenced at the climax of ''Film/{{Hero}}''. The Emperor [[AwesomenessByAnalysis deduces]] that the only reason the 'hero' killed so many of China's greatest criminals was to earn a private audience with the Emperor that would put the Emperor within the hero's Instant Death Radius. He's right, but asks the hero to hear him out and ''then'' decide whether to strike.

* Ships of the wall in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' can almost instantly annihilate anything smaller than them that strays into their [[BeamSpam energy weapon]] burn-through range. This is vividly demonstrated in ''The Short Victorious War'': One Manticoran dreadnought. Two ''divisions'' of Havenite battlecruisers. The latter die to a man barely inconveniencing the former. However, this example is downplayed: while they can burn through your [[DeflectorShields Sidewalls]], they cannot punch through any impeller wedge, no matter how weak. The People Republic's blunder was amplified by sending battlecruisers, the most arthritic non-wall ship class on the helm, which could not block the line of fire in time.
** Also, treecats. Get within jumping range of a hostile one without body armor, and you'd better hope he settles for blinding you.
* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', Shardblades are usually about 6 feet long, weigh almost nothing, and pass through almost anything without resistance. The fighting style of someone with a Shardblade can be summed up as "swing blade, everything in an 8 foot arc dies". If you can get close enough the size of the weapon makes it hard to use, although if they have Shardplate as well you're now in close proximity to someone strong enough to probably punch a hole through you.
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, Mandrakes are plants that look like deformed human infants. They have a tendency to cry when pulled out of the ground, and as their cries are fatal to everyone that hears it, their death radius is basically ''earshot'' with no warning if you can't see it coming. [[{{ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill}} And wizards have the power to amplify sounds to unnatural levels.]]
* In Creator/AndrewVachss's Burke books, Max the Silent is generally described as having one, with ''Terminal'' explicitly doing a LampshadeHanging of the "stay out of his reach if you don't want to receive a CurbStompBattle" aspect.
* In the Literature/{{Drenai}} saga, Druss effectively has one of these when he's wielding his battle-axe Snaga.

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': this seems to be an ability of the godmodder. Almost any entity that manages not to have its weapons jam suddenly when they fire at it die before they get to him.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Behemoth of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' can create fire ''inside'' people's bodies if they come too close to it, which is even called a 'kill radius' in universe. He can also start emitting radiation with an even bigger kill radius.
* This trope is the reason why [[spoiler:Knuckles]] was defeated by [[spoiler:Donkey Kong]] in episode 51 of ''WebVideo/DeathBattle''