So, the Five-Man Band has been cornered by The Dragon, and they seem locked in a fight which will kill them all. Unless they get a massive amount of fatal damage in soon, they're screwed— whoops, there goes Joe, blowing himself up right on the enemy and positively obliterating him. That crazy shmuck!
An Action Bomb is anybody or anything which tends to use "Blowing Myself Up" as a combat technique. Though it kills the user, this is actually a logical tactic for those willing to expend their lives; the more accurate an explosive device is, the more likely it is to accomplish its goal, and how much closer do you get than right next to the target?
A common variation is the enemy that won't commit suicide (other than trying to attack you in the first place), but will detonate violently when/if killed.
If the user is expendable enough, he'll die. If the user is special or a hero, expect to see him either have it as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that will one day get him Killed Off for Real, or resurrected and re-deployed ad infinitum.
See also Having a Blast, Mad Bomber, Taking You with Me and Why Am I Ticking?.
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Anime and Manga
Chiaotzu in Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta and Goku also tried exploding to defeat their enemies at least once (resulting in a huge Tear Jerker for the former), and Cell actually killed Goku doing it.
Most, if not all, of Dr. Gero's Androids incorporated very powerful self-destruct devices. 17 and 18's are removed by Shenron on a wish from Krillin, (which is used as a plot point in GT because 17 was not made aware of that fact,) while 16's is removed by Bulma. The problem is that she doesn't make him aware of that either, so 16 attempts to use his now nonfunctioning self-destruct mechanism against Cell. When it fails, Cell kills him, not that the bomb would've helped anyway according to him.
The Saibamen used by Nappa and Vegeta in the first saga.
Despite the fact that in the original series, it was actually a subversion. Musashi had been trying to bomb the enemy with every intention of escaping before the missile his ship had been carrying could go off. The firing mechanism jammed, and in his confusion, Musashi wound up crashing straight into the enemy, missile and all.
In Cyborg 009, three teenagers get bombs implanted in them and are given the mission of killing someone they know and love: the eponymous Cyborg, Joe/009.
Also, in the older Tv series Albert/004 has a nuclear bomb stored in his stomach. And in the 80's movies, he does use it to save his teammates. He manages to survive, though.
In Ninja Scroll, Zakuro is a sadistic explosives expert who specialises in setting explosive traps to kill her enemies... including using living creatures as disguises for her bombs. She turns a mutilated captive ninja into one of these in her first battle, then kills Yurimaru with a setup involving a rigged warehouse and a small explosive sewn into a living rat.
She ends up being used as one herself (sadly, she didn't realize that carrying a large amount of potent, powerful explosives at all times can be a liability if those explosives are highly flammable) seeing as the Cool Old Guy managed to distract her and use herto blow a holein the hull of the ship.
Dance in the Vampire Bund has vampires pull creative twists on this twice so far. One reporter secretly involved in a conspiracy has herself turned so she can cut herself open and sew a sizable block of C4 in her abdomen before attending a press conference given by Mina Tepes. In an apparently seperate case an agent of a rival vampire clan implants vials containing a chemical that reacts explosively with the blood of vampires and rigged to rupture with a cell-phone signal inside the bodies of numerous minions, and tries to blackmail Mina by dispersing them within the Tokyo subway system.
In Happiness!, Koyuki's Sphere Toms have the ability to blow themselves up, which they use several times over the course of the series.
Yasu "The Weasel" from Shin Mazinger has a literal bomb in his stomach to be used only when the situation is otherwise hopeless.
In Hunter × Hunter this was Netero's trump card against the Chimera Ant King. By stopping his own heart after all of his other efforts barely scratched the King, he activated the extremely powerful bomb implanted in his body. It very nearly worked too.
The Church of Drowning in God's Grace from "Book of Bantorra" have the tendency to turn their "meats" (brainwashed slaves) into living bombs by implanting the bombs in their chest.
In One Piece, Mister 5 of Baroque Works has a Devil Fruit power that lets him use any part of his body as an explosive. From his leg to his boogers, to his breath. Late in a battle with the Straw Hats, he grabs Usopp and attempts to obliterate the guy with a "full-body explosion". Unlike most examples, Mister 5's powers also come with immunity to explosive force, meaning that he can blow himself up repeatedly without actual harm to himself.
In Soul Eater while battling the Kishin's forces on the moon the desk receptionist for Shibusen manages to temporarily stop Kagura by leaping inside her defensive shield while it regenerates and setting off an entire bag of bombs. Both survive the explosion, however.
Kalani from We're Alive. He saved the tower by flying a helicopter into a tanker truck rigged to explode
Damage's superpower coupled this with enhanced physical abilities, with the added bonus of being invulnerable to his own blast.
Used as a joke in an issue of Legion of Super-Heroes. Tryouts. Next applicant: X-Bomb Betty. "I can create an explosion of 150 million megatons." Rejected for having a power that can only be used once.
For comparison, the Chicxulub impact was a "mere" 100 million megatons, and the Tunguska event is estimated at no more than 30 megatons. A blast of 150 million megatons is approaching biosphere killer.
Marvel's Nitro - an exploding b-list villain best known (in-universe) for killing Captain Marvel (Not that one, the alien one). In a universe that wasn't run entirely on Writer on Board, he'd also be known as the monster who blew up 600 people in Stamford, CT.
Marvel also had z-lister Powderkeg, a mutant baddie who sweated nitro-glycerin.
One of the Dirty Pair comics had bioengineered exploding chihuahuas.
Fred Perry's Gold Digger has the Peebos, which originated as artificially intelligent robot bombs before developing into a group Robot Buddy for the series.
There's two DC characters called The Human Bomb, whose superpower is exactly what you'd expect.
One of the first villains Mark ever faced was a disgruntled teacher abducting students and turning them into walking bombs. Only one of his victims is still alive, and while he's no longer volatile his torso is still metal and wires.
The premier superteam of the USSR in The DCU, the People's Heroes, featured Molotov, a heavyset man who could make himself go kaboomski and reform sooner or later depending on the magnitude of the 'splosion.
Frag, of DC's Blasters, who haven't been seen much lately.
In When There Was A Tomorrow: The Covenant-Reaper alliance has turned out Grunts husks called Gremlins, which run at and suicide bombs their enemies.
In Lord of the Rings The Two Towers, the movie, during the battle at Helms Deep the Uruk-Hai set a bomb in the drainage tunnel at Helm's Deep, with an Uruk with a torch blowing himself up to set it off.
In the beginning, there was darkness. And the darkness was without form, and void. And in addition to the darkness there was also me. And I moved upon the face of the darkness. And I saw that I was alone. Let there be light.
Dr. Strangelove, in the famous scene where Major T J Kong rides the nuke down to its destination below, thereby causing the Soviets' doomsday device to detonate and end the world.
In Armageddon Harry Stamper manually detonates the nuclear bomb, sacrificing himself to save the world.
In Iron Man 3 the Extremis soldiers' Power Incontinence is used to turn them into living bombs. Tony also activates the self destruct on some of his automated armors to take out Extremis users in the Final Battle.
Lidia Leoni decided that she had a long life and she rather go out fighting for the Resistance than waiting for old age or a stray bomb to kill her.
In T.J. Bass's The Godwhale, the character Drum has an explosive planted in him during surgery, then is sent to a rebel group as a "diplomat" by the world government. It's discovered and temporarily defused, but will detonate at any attempt at removal and kill him if left alone. Drum goes back home and pulls a Self-Sacrifice Scheme, blowing the capital city sky-high.
John Varley's science fiction short story "Bagatelle" is about a lunar police officer dealing with someone who has had an atomic bomb implanted in his body, and warns everyone that he will explode in a set period of time.
Live Action TV
Stargate SG-1. In "Singularity" SG-1 rescues a small girl who turns out to have had an inoperable Naqahdah bomb put in her by Nirrti to destroy the SGC. Ultimately the girl is given to the care of Dr. Janet Fraiser, the SGC physician, after they discover that the bomb will dissolve if she is kept away from the Stargate.
Dave Lister's suggested method of dealing with a Polymorph (in the Red Dwarf episode Polymorph. natch) was "why don't we go down to the armory, get a nuclear warhead and strap it to my head. I'll nut the Smegger to oblivion!". this after said creature had drained all his fear.
Choujuu Sentai Liveman: Arashi Busujima, being reverted back to his old self, straps dynamite onto himself and charges to the incredibly tough Monster of the Week. All while being fired at. He runs the whole way and successfully makes it, killing both of them.
Joe in The Protomen's Act II (accidentally) becomes this to destroy Wily's control tower. It works, but things don't change.
Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder monsters, especially in 4th Ed. have the all-too-common feature of exploding upon death, usually doing more than any of their regular attacks would do. Results in many an amusing combat with everyone swarming an enemy for a round or two, then scattering to let the mage kill it with fire from range and watch it go boom.
In the 4E Eberron book, there are details about if a PC is infected with Filth Plague, and if it progresses to it's critical state, the infected loses all surges, cannot heal, and when reduced to 0 hit points, explodes and all creatures within a burst 3 contract the Filth Plague.
Balors have had this ability since the beginning of the game. Draconians from Dragon Lance were notorious for these nasty deaths. A wizard breaking a Staff of the Magi or Staff of Power can invoke this trope, though the damage is technically survivable.
Brave New WorldWorld War 2 supplement Glory Days. A "Bomber" is a delta who can make his body explode and then reassemble himself. The Japanese perform kamikaze attacks by dropping Bombers on Allied ships.
Warhammer 40,000: The Tau Empire has an upgrade for battlesuits that allow them to detonate upon losing a melee fight.
It's less reliable, but in some editions, a common tactic for walkers against horde armies is to hurl them into big units and hope that the eventual power claw strike penetrates and rolls a 6 on the vehicle damage chart - which results in a massive explosion, hopefully laying waste to the surrounding models.
Similar to, and more reliable than, the walker trick, a player in Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition can try to cast a spell with more power than their wizard can safely handle, hoping for an "unlucky" miscast surge of violent magical energy. This can be devastating when the wizard is in a unit, and his unit is on the losing end of an engagement.
BattleTech has several advanced optional rules allowing for 'Mechs and the occasional other unit to explode for damage if hit the right way or if the pilot decides to self-destruct, all the better to emulate certain dramatic scenes from the novels with. And of course, the Booby Trap piece of equipment will, for a suitable investment in tonnage for explosives and wiring, simply let a unit blow up right on cue.
DC Heroes. If the Bomb power is combined with the Self Link power, a character can use it to blow themselves up (and re-form later).
Bungie software loves this trope. Almost every single one of their games has one of these:
Halo has the Flood Carrier Forms. And the suicide grunts. Really, anything stuck by a plasma grenade instantly becomes this (including other spartans in multiplayer). The suicide grunts are just volunteering.
The Pikmin series has the Volatile Dweevil, which depending on your interpretation is either an exploding spider or a bomb with spider legs.
Seeing as Dweevils have a habit of of carrying random objects on their backs, it could just be a Dweevil carrying around a bomb rock.
Warcraft has Goblin Sappers, who deal great damage to units and incredible damage to structures. Wisps, the Night Elf worker units, can also blow themselves up, but this can only damage summoned units (though it also dispels buffs that don't help you). In the Frozen Throne expansion, the Horde get Troll Batriders, which can suicide-bomb enemy air units for massive damage.
And warlocks in World of Warcraft have a hellfire attack that is a slow motion version of this. An AoE fire blast that damages the warlock in addition to nearby enemies. And a couple of quests give you control over a giant zombie that runs around, aggros things, then explodes to kill them.
World of Warcraft also has things that amount to the same as Mario's Bob-Ombs, a cartoon bomb with feet that runs and explodes. You can have a (non exploding) one as a pet.
In the Hoptallus boss battle in Mists of Pandaria and the gauntlet before it, you can encounter virmen called Hoppers that carry explosives and can blow themselves up. The optimal way of dealing with them is killing the Boppers, picking up their hammers, and using the extra action button to kill them and the Hoplings.
In the Commander Vo'jak battle, two of the waves include Sik'Thik Demolishers, who carry explosives and try to climb the ramp to reach you. A single hit detonates them.
The Pokémon that can learn Selfdestruct or Explosion. The most powerful moves in the games. Some Pokémon can also possess the Aftermath ability, which damages the foe when knocked out.
Word of God says the screaming is for psychological warfare. And it's sure as hell effective.
Also, the marsh-hoppers.
The black bird (Bomb) in Angry Birds. Coupled with the fact that almost all of the birds attack using themselves as projectiles.
Super Mario Bros.. has an interesting take on this with the Bob-Ombs and Bullet Bills. According to first-wind-up-key accounts, Bob-Ombs enjoy blowing themselves up quite a bit, and think it akin to punching someone in the face. Ironically, their king seems to be the only one who can't do it through sheer force of will.
The Paper Mario games are the first games where they're shown to be capable of repeatedly blowing themselves up with no ill effects save for occasionally being launched a couple dozen feet in the air (Taken to an extreme by a squad of them who operate a cannon by cramming themselves into it and exploding simultaneously). This only applies to the friendly Bob-ombs, however, as once a hostile one explodes in battle, it's down for the count.
The spell Kamikazee, which has the added bonus of instant-killing all non-boss enemies with no damage to allies. Either Imps or Minidemons always attempt to use it, but due to their woefully inadequate MP, they fail every time. The Rockbomb enemies also self-destruct as a very rare technique, hence the name.
There's even an item in some Dragon Quest games called a Kamikazee bracer that blows the user up when they die and kills all opposing enemies.
In Dragon Quest II, the spell Sacrifice essentially performs this role, killing the user in exchange for instantly killing all opponents with 100% success. There are three problems, however; first, the only member of your party that can learn this spell is also the only one who can revive killed allies, so killing him means you must either find a priest (or World Leaf, of which there is only one) to get him back, or continue without him, which is a death sentence in most cases. The second problem is that some enemies can cast this, and if they do, your entire party is killed instantly every time. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, you are DEAD. Three, it actually doesn't work on the boss enemies it would be most helpful against.
In Thief, Viktoria blows herself up in a massive explosion of rapid plant growth, in order to help Garrett take down Karras by performing a Hoist by His Own Petard on him.
In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link can use the "blast mask" to create an explosion right in front of his face. This can hurt, but the damage can be blocked by putting the shield in front of his face. There are also rat-like enemies who have bombs strapped to the ends of their tails, and explode upon touching Link. In-universe, this inspired an invention called a "bombchu", (also found in Ocarina of Time) which is a sort of bomb modeled after these rats, which hovers over the ground like a heat-seeking missile.
Some bosses in the Donkey Kong Country series can invoke living, explosive creatures. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Stu can release a wood-shielded living mine that will slowly follow Donkey and Diddy. In Donkey Kong 64, Puftoss will release speedy Puftups that will chase Lanky until hitting him, or until exploding due to tiem running out. 64 also inverts the trope in one sidequest: A rabbit is tied to a crate of explosives, and several living flames will walk onto him to make him explode; the objective is to prevent this during a time limit.
The Scarfy in the Kirby series. Attempting to Inhale him often caused the Scarfy to mutate, chase after you and explode! There's also the enemy, Bomber, who is almost always perched dangerously close to the edge of a platform and then falls off promptly after Kirby comes on-screen blowing up on impact with the ground and (sometimes conveniently) taking all other enemies on screen with him. Having Kirby Inhale him will grant you one of the more powerful Copy Abilities...
Crash. Crash basically nukes the screen when used, annihilating anything that isn't a Boss (even most sub-bosses will kick the bucket when this ability is invoked, but if the boss doesn't die it will be close to death anyway).
Recent Call of Duty games feature multiplayer modes featuring the "Martyrdom" perk. When the player dies frequently enough, they get to drop a live hand grenade. Woe unto the melee attacker who sticks around after making that kill.
Disgaea (and most games where Prinnies appear): Prinnies dood! They explode when thrown, and can also do it of their own accord with their "Prinny Forever" attack in Disgaea 3, though it just leaves them with critical health in that case. Thursday's "Arigato Roboto" functions in a similar fashion..
In the "Kingdom Come" mission in Grand Theft Auto III, the player is ambushed by "Spanked Up Madmen" spawning from mook-making vans, who behave much like the Simulacrums in Marathon, complete with weird random chatter such as "Come to daddy"! "I got a present for you!" etc.
In .hack//G.U. series there's a type of monster with shell hats. Nearly all the monsters in this group have an attack where they go cover themselves with their shell and then explode.
Almost every single one of the Heaven Smiles in killer7 does this, to the point that they have no other means of self-defense than blowing themselves up when they get close enough to the player. The only ones who don't have this as a primary means of attack are the Laser Smiles, Galactic Tomahawk Smile, and some of the bosses, though the latter two will explode if oyu get too close.
Half-Life 2: Episode One introduces the "Zombine" enemies (combine troops taken over by headcrabs). They can use grenades but not throw them, meaning that they will essentially commit suicide when using them by rushing at the player with one in their hand (although it is possible to use the gravity gun to "steal" the grenade and get rid of it before it explodes, or to run like hell and let them blow themselves and the rest o of the zombies to bits).
In Red Alert: The Aftermath there are Demolition Trucks that detonate in nuclear explosions. They are stated by be driven by computers in the manuals but have normal human move sounds (arguable the manuals had that thrown in for censorship). The Soviets have the MAD Tanks that self-destructs in a large shock waves damaging vehicles and structures in a large area.
Tiberian Sun have Hunter-Seeker robots that latch onto opponents and explode. They're also as dumb as a box of rocks, picking their targets entirely at random. Sometimes they'll One-Hit Kill something really expensive or important... other times they'll go after a random soldier off in the corner of the map.
Red Alert 2 sees the return of the Demolition Truck for the Soviets (for Libya at least), now driven by a human, and the Terrorist for Cuba who is a suicide bomber. Crazy Ivans can plant bombs on friendly units to make the suicide bombers. It is a popular tactic online to use these on Attack Dogs.
In Generals the GLA also have a Terrorist and the Bomb Truck. The GLA also build Demo Traps that self-destruct when enemies go near, or can be set to detonate when ordered.
In Generals: Zero Hour the GLA Fake Buildings can explode to damage nearby enemies. The demolition GLA subfaction can also purchase the "Demolition Upgrade" allowing all units and base defenses to self-destruct. This same subfaction also replaced the Demo Trap with the more lethal Advanced Demo Trap and has even more powerful Terrorist, and their Combat Cycles come mounted with suicide bombers.
In Tiberium Wars Nod has the Fanatics, who are groups of suicide bombers.
In Red Alert 3 the Empire of the Rising Sun has the Yari Minisub can kamikaze into other ships and Burst Drones that attach to enemy vehicles and explode. The Empire has the Honorable Discharge Top Secret Protocol which makes units explode when destroyed. The Empire also has the Final Squadron (X\Omega) Protocols that call in planes to kamikaze targets. The Soviets have the Corrosion Protocol that sacrifices a unit to spread toxins and the Terror Drone Surprise Upgrade Protocol that causes Terror Drones to emerge from destroyed vehicles.
In Tiberium Twilight Viseroids self-destruct for their attack. Viseroids can only be obtained by capturing a tech building.
Various units tend to explode when killed, as well: grenadiers, flamethrower infantry, anything with raw Tiberium, shot-down bombers and airships...
Which is one of three attacks that can break the game's 9999 damage cap, the others being the GF Eden and Quistis' Shockwave Pulsar. However, unlike Self-Destruct, Kamikaze removes the using character from the battle entirely and you can't just use a Phoenix Down to get him/her back.
Also, Cid from Final Fantasy IV detonated a handheld bomb to collapse a mountain on top of the enemy airship pursuing the party. He got better.
Nexus War- Pariahs have the Explosive Murder ability. The fact that they know they'll just wake up twelve hours later fully healed with their equipment banged up makes it a bit less of a sacrifice, though, so they really just tend to do it for laughs.
Also, some of the Circle of Thorns Mages will try to blow themselves up when critically low on Hit Points.
In City of Villains, one power the Mastermind player characters can pick up in the Traps powerset lets them do this to their own minions.
With the addition of the Cyborg purchasable add-on pack, players can now self destruct to cause a lot of damage. It is actually preferable to simply allowing the enemies to kill you, as Self Destruct circumvents the game's death penalty.
Even though you don't die using it, one can consider any of the "nova" powers that Blasters, Corruptors, and Warshades get as they involve running into a mob and releasing all your power at once.
NetHack has the quite annoying gas spores, which can only be dealt with in melee if you're at least level 3 or so, and even then it's very dangerous. Other enemies, such as Yellow Lights, blow up and give you status effects.
The Tek War FPS (and corresponding novels) have android enemies that look just like normal civilians, except they explode when they touch you. Luckily you have a weapon that kills androids really quickly... at point-blank range.
Shofixti ships in Star Control have a very weak main projectile weapon — and a very powerful self-destructive "Glory Device" as a secondary weapon.
The Boomer zombies in Left 4 Dead (There's a clue in the name). Interestingly, the blast doesn't hurt anything, but it causes knockback and covers anyone nearby in bile that immediately attracts a horde of regular zombies. And blurs vision. Originally, Boomers were literal walking bombs where its exposion could cause major damage to the survivors. Seeing how play testers kept accidentally shooting the Boomer in close quarters and lost a chunk of their health, Valve decided to make the Boomer's death explosion cover survivors in "non harmful" bile instead. The purpose of the Boomer is not to be an Action Bomb, however. It's there to barf on you to attract the horde of normals... the Action Bomb mechanic is there to discourage killing them up close.
Persona 4 has Teddie using a self-destruct attack to save the party from a seemingly-invincible boss. It leaves him flattened and disheveled, but he gets better.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds features building-shredding Explosive Droids in one of the Rebel campaign missions.
In the PS1 game Wild9, one of your allies has the special ability to explode on contact with anything, repeatedly, with no ill effects. Naturally, you have to toss him into things to solve puzzles.
The Atomic Powered Robot from Earthbound, but more famously the Territorial Oak, one of the most terrifying enemies in the game.
The Atomic Powered Robots appear in some way, shape, or form in all three MOTHER games, being one of the few beings with this status. And there are always two kinds, one appearing in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Though the Territorial Oaks ARE based off of the Big Woodohs from the first, and the third game combined them with the regular Woodohs to make the enemies known as... Trees.
In Mortal Kombat 3, one of Cyrax's fatalities was blowing himself up to take out his opponent. Then through some twist of logic, he is back to fight his next opponent. Even more baffling is Smoke, who blows up the whole planet. Cyrax has a similar Earth-Shattering Kaboom fatality in Mortal Kombat Gold on the Dreamcast.
The laser-proof Balloon Fish in UFO Aftermath, best known wherever hardened UFO Aftermath players gather to cry into their beer about the entire squad being wiped out by a One-Hit-Point Wonder who happened to be behind a door and they neglected to send off one "volunteer" to open said door.
Smash TV featured Mr Shrapnel. He'd wander around, grunt if he was hit by a stray (or not so stray) bullet, stand still for a while, and detonate himself into a few examples of his namesake. One of the better examples on the page, since while he's wandering he's very low down on the player's threat level: Youhaveotherthingstoworryabout. And then it stops, and suddenly you realise that you've been ignoring several of the most dangerous enemies in the game and they take a helluvalot of damage to kill safely before they explode all up your face.
Gauntlet Legends had some enemies with an ominous red barrel and a fuse strapped to their back. The general warning was a suicidal scream before they charged you.
The Poppers from X-COM: Apocalypse, small, blue, two-legged aliens whose one attack is to run up to your agents and explode with a huge blast radius. Very deadly in the early game. Oh, and they also explode if you kill them with explosive/incendiary weapons. Their explosion is slightly more powerful than the dedicated Heavy Explosive produced by Marsec. Said Heavy Explosive is essentially a Time Bomb used for demolition work, meaning it is also an Incredibly Obvious Bomb. Yep.
inFAMOUS has kamikaze Mooks who run up to you and explode. Which you can hear coming from a mile away because they scream at the top of their lungs.
The Goddamned Rats in Psychonauts, which not only damage you by exploding, but also release a cloud of confusion gas that temporarily screws with the game controls. There are also Personal Demons, tiny humanoids with huge heads that just explode.
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors adds the Petard, a unit which does massive damage to buildings, but dies in the attempt. In the first Age of Empires, there are Demolition Ships and the Saboteurs that are only available in the last Genghis Khan campaign mission or via a Cheat Code.
Flying Bombs were an enemy in Wario Land 1, with the rather annoying attack pattern of attaching to Wario's head, being difficult to remove and then exploding on a short timer.
Starcraft has Infested Terrans and Scourges. Starcraft 2 has banelings.
The expansion to the second game lets you upgrade your Banelings during the campaign, either to explode and split into mini-banelings or to have the ability to jump over units.
One of the Ninjitsu in older Shinobi titles was the "Jitsu of Mijin", a self destruction attack that destroyed all onscreen enemies in exchange for a life from your stock. Musashi would reform himself right where he had been standing, unless the player was stupid enough to use it when no lives were left, in which case it would be Game Over.
The aptly-named 'Splosion Man, who can normally detonate himself up to three times in a row before needing to recharge.
League of Legends has Kog'Maw, whose unique passive ability is to not die when his health reaches zero, but instead become one of these, with a few seconds to run up to an enemy champion and do some damage (or even take them with him) as he self-destructs.
Some of the hobbes in Fable II have kegs of black powder strapped to their back, and will light them and run screaming towards you if they see you. Fortunately you can take them out from a distance with a spell or a ranged attack.
The Nuclear Anomaly perk from the Broken Steel Expansion Pack for Fallout 3 allows you to channel your radiation poisoning level into a devastating shockwave when your health drops to 20 or less. You explode once every 10 seconds untill you get to over 20 HP. the Glowing One enemy can do this at will.
You can make NPC's into these by planting explosives in their pockets.
Spore Carriers in Fallout: New Vegas can do this, as do Robo-Scorpions from Old World Blues when killed, even after already being exploded or disintegrated. In one of the Boomers' quests, you have to clear the Nellis generator facility of exploding giant ants. If one goes off next to a piece of ordnance, it can cause the entire stockpile to detonate, blowing you and your companions to kingdom come. The Meltdown perk causes enemies to explode when killed with energy weapons, and can also cause chain reactions.
Rachni workers in Mass Effect attack by bursting and spraying toxic fluid everywhere. Justified, as they're eusocial pseudo-insects, and eusocial organisms generally don't place a high value on the life of an individual — real-life eusocial insects have combat strategies that vary from "just as suicidal" to "slightly less suicidal"
Sonic and Knuckles has enemies in Lava Reef Zone who disguise themselves as rocks. When you get close, they lose their disguise, blink for a second, and explode, very much like the above example.
The Amiga/C64 version of Impossamole has suicide bombers with dynamite strapped to their backs.
ADOM has the elemental vortex. Its sole attack is to stand next to you and explode into a fire/ice/lightning/acid ball. Engage at range or not at all! They can't explode in the dark.
All units in Total Annihilation can self-destruct, damaging nearby units. The Roach and Invader are tiny little bots that are specifically designed to self-destruct and produce explosions much bigger than their size would suggest. For bonusfun you can load a bunch of them into a sea transport ship and detonate that, or fly them into the enemy base with dropships.
The Commander can also be used this way as a measure of last resort, provided the server settings allow you to continue playing after your Commander dies.
The spin-off Total Annihilation: Kingdoms lacked the standardised self-destruct as the units were organic (it being a fantasy setting) but later added the Giant Rat unit for Taros, a giant rat with a barrel of magical explosive strapped to its back and the ability to turn invisible.
Spiritual SuccessorSupreme Commander only has powerful death explosions for some units, while it took until the Forged Alliance expansion to add the Fire Beetle mobile bomb to the arsenal of one faction. However, some of the experimentals, most notoriously the Aeon Czar, will wipe out anything around them when destroyed. The Seraphim Ythotha then goes one better and leaves behind a quantum lighting orb thingy that fries nearby enemies when destroyed.
The Czar doesn't just Action Bomb when destroyed, the hull wobbles down to earth and destroys anything it lands on as well! The Ythotha's orb was originally intended as a feature for the Galactic Colossus, but got Dummied Out until Forged Alliance came along.
Painkiller had a zombie in the theatre level that carries a big barrel of gunpowder and runs toward you. Shooting the barrel makes im blow up his buddies. Not shooting the barrel... well, you just don't want to do that.
Both System Shock games had them: The small robot bombs in the original and the Robot Buddies-like protocol droids in the sequel.
The rover-like Scouts in Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, although they're smarter than usual by setting off an alarm and summoning reinforcements before suiciding.
The later levels of the first Klonoa game (and its Wiimake) introduce bomb enemies that explode after being thrown. Several puzzles in these levels involve throwing them at just the right time.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption features two Action Bombs made by the Space Pirates. Crawlmines crawl around everywhere and explode when Samus shoots or touches them; Aeromines are floating robots that have energy shields and weak lasers, which explode if an enemy gets too close.
Armored Core for Answer has a unique version called Assault Armor. In the game, each NEXT is equipped with a Deflector Shield called Primal Armor, powered by KojimaParticles. In for Answer, these deflector shields can be weaponized and exploded outwards, hence the trope. While these will outright take out lesser enemies (such as your common tank, helis, MTs, and some weaker Normals), these won't do much to another NEXT, barring depleting their Primal Armor. The side effect of using this is that your own Primal Armor takes more time to recharge back and recharges slowly, while the opponent's can recharge back almost immediately.
While it does take a chunk of Armor Points, and there are shoulder weapons that explicitly amplify Assault Armor usage (one of the opponent NEXTs you encounter uses exclusively Assault Armor), newer rebalanced Regulation has reduced it's usefulness to somewhere between Awesome, but Impractical to Cool, but Inefficient. This might seem like a raw deal, but in exclusively Player Versus Player match, Assault Armors are still used for anti-rushers, since besides all that, a less-advertised effect includes "blinding" your opponents, preventing them to lock on to you for a specific amount of time.
Minecraft gives us the creeper, who's a standard version except for one annoying feature: being utterly silent until the "Sssssssssss..." noise that translates to "you have about one second to live." The most annoying part isn't even dying: they do heavy damage to the landscape, including whatever structure you were working on. You might recover most of your tools and maybe your armor, but now there's a 20-foot hole where your beautiful house used to be.
If a thunderbolt manages to strike a Creeper, it super charges them, making their explosion attack even more deadly and the craters they leave behind are a lot bigger than a normal Creeper's explosion.
As of the final version, creepers are by far the deadliest mob in the game, capable of inflicting a One-Hit Kill on players without armor on hard difficulty from a long distance, and even capable of one hitting players on easy difficulty at point blank range.
Gears of War has several! The first game has Lambent Wretches who don't actively explode, but go ka-boom after they're killed, as well Nemacyst, who are more of Action Missile. The second game introduces Tickers, animals (roughly dog-sized) with bombs strapped to their backs who do exactly what's expected. Gears 3 takes it up a notch with Lambent versions of almost every preexisting enemy, as well as completely new, lambent-only foes, including the morphing Drudges and the mighty Lambent Berserker.
The controversial Flash game Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game.
Spore Galactic Adventures can have creatures do this. This is actually the only way for creatures to attack a captain that is using stealth.
In the Game ModBatman Doom, the Penguin's robotic Penguin Bombs are this. In the last boss fight with the Penguin, they keep spawning and coming at you from all sides while you're trying to deal with the boss.
Team Fortress 2 has one weapon, the Ullapool Caber, that allows the Demoman to become this. It's a stick grenade used as a melee weapon. Whacking an enemy with it does a large amount of damage to them and anyone else nearby while taking out most of your health and sending you flying straight up in the air. It is possible to survive this, but not likely. Combine it with the Chargin' Targe for a guaranteed melee Critical Hit, and you gain the ability to charge at high speeds, followed by an explosion that will probably wipe out anyone nearby, be they Scout or Heavy Weapons Guy. Alternatively, using Sticky Bombs to jump can turn you into a guided missile.
A Soldier holding an Equalizer can use a Taunt Attack that makes him rip a grenade from his bandolier and pull the pin. Everything that is close enough will receive 500 damage. He won't survive without ubercharge (and he can only be ubercharged during the attack through glitches).
Although the new 'Mann vs. Machine' game mode lets you buy upgrades, such as Blast Resistance which can let you survive the Kamikaze attack.
You can also use the Rocket Jumper to take no damage from the blast.
Mann vs. Machine also introduced Sentry Busters. The game even describes them as "basically a bomb with legs".
The Bionic Commando arcade game has kamikaze soldiers with explosive backpacks.
Gaia Online MMORPG zOMG! spends the first two areas setting up the Fluff-type enemies as mildly annoying at worst and no real threat. Then you enter Zen Gardens and are greeted by Cherry Blossom Fluffs, which explode when aggravated for improbable amounts of damage. And they mob. Newcomers learn quickly not to harass the fluffs.
The Savage in Hard Reset. It's an explosive, beachball-sized robot with two stubby legs that either runs up to you and explodes, or rolls itself towards you like a super-fast bowling ball... and explodes if it hits you. They explode if you kill them too, which can potentially start chain reactions.
Heavy Weapon has the ICBM, Cruise Missile and Blimp enemies. ICBMs will rise up from the background and drop on certain parts of the screen, while the cruise missile will come in horizontally and turn downwards as soon as it goes over your tank. Thankfully, both of them do not explode with a huge blast radius. Blimps will detonate into multiple indestructible shots that rain on you when you defeat them.
Plants vs. Zombies: For the plant's side, we have Cherry Bombs (hits a 3x3 radius), Potato Mines (kills the first zombie that steps on it), Doom Shrooms (a nuke) and Jalapenos (hits a line of zombies). The zombies have the Jack-In-The-Box zombie, who plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" on his box until it randomly blows himself up with any plants in a 3x3 radius.
In Evolva, Flame Parasites catch fire, and explode after a few seconds, when they're killed.
With Terraria, an enemy called the Clown may appear rarely on a blood moon ON HARDMODE. This clown throws bombs, effectively destroying your house if it's near it. And, true to this trope, it explodes with the force of a bomb upon death. Ranged attack is advised.
Omega Defense Spawn in Descent 2. A few other enemies, as well as bosses, also deal explosive damage when killed.
Dynamite-wielding enemies in Resident Evil 4 will do this if they grab you and you're too dumb to shake them off. Instant death, needless to say.
In Dungeon Fighter Online, Mechanics can set up robots to walk into enemies and explode, and the Witch's high level skills have her set up large contraptions which explode at the end of the attack.
Spiral Knights has bombies, armless little zombies with bombs for their heads. No points for guessing their plan of attack. In a small twist on the trope, they actually have a fair amount of health, so the easiest way to kill them is actually to trigger the explosion and then to either run away or push them away before they detonate.
In Borderlands, psycho bandits will occasionally charge at you while carrying live hand grenades.
Borderlands 2 not only has Suicide Psychos, who either pelt you with grenades or just run up to you and blow themselves (and you) up, but also self-destructing versions of the Loader Mecha-Mooks called EXP Loaders. DLC Character Krieg's final skill of his Bloodlust tree has it that whenever he kills an enemy they explode with whatever element they were killed with (non-elemental kills just has them do a regular explosion).
Dungeon Defenders had Kobolds, monsters with dynamite strapped to their backs that charge at you when you approach or attack them, dealing damage to any group of defenses (or defenders) caught in their wake.
Nitro Splicers in BioShock can self-destruct at low health.
Any time missiles appear as separate units, their sole attack is an enormous unavoidable explosion with range 1 that also destroys the missile. They'll use it as a counterattack, or against a unit sitting at the edge of their movement range.
The Bursters from Desert Moon are similar to Runners, but they're faster and explode if they reach your engineers or if they are killed, killing any nearby engineers. The ship log describes them as "Faster, more aggressive... and suicidal."
Schlock Mercenary, probably as a Shout-Out to the Voyager/TNG example above, features former Ambassador Ch'vorthq. Ch'vorthq is a genetically engineered bomb, set to go off at a meeting between the Creethlings (for whom he is the nominal ambassador) and the Golbwerians, killing the Golbwerian diplomats and allowing the Creethlings to attack in force. He's disarmed before he can do any actual damage. Unusually, Ch'vorthq doesn't know he's a bomb; he thinks he's a legitimate diplomat, and is horrified to discover that his employers/designers didn't actually want him to make peace. However, the 'disarmament' only stoped him from being forcibly detonated - he could still blow himself up at will. Or, rather, (since he's ugly, not crazy), setting a part of his anatomy on a short fuse and throwing it. At this point, he's lost both his arms and one of his eyes this way, but since then has managed to remain sufficiently in the background that further Heroic Sacrifice hasn't been necessary.
Agatha's Dingbots in Girl Genius has the ability to do this, a rather uncomfortable fact that the Baron's army learned when they found themselves fighting several swarms of them.
Ran in Bob and George is built of shoddy Soviet materials, and breaks so often (and is made so cheaply) that his creator simply set a machine to automatically download his memory and personality into a new body and teleport it back to the location of the previous one when he dies. Result, when the heroes are facing an army of Robot Masters? Ran Bombs!
Nuclear Dan's entire strategy in Another Gaming Comic is to do this. Subverted in that he's normally immune to fire, but justified that any time he isn't, he still does it. It is surprisingly effective.
Clubs Deuce attempts to invoke this during the Midnight Crew intermission in Homestuck, by running around with a hat full of bomb and a head full of empty. It manages to terrify Fin, but not Stitch, because C4 is a stable explosive and thus unlikely to detonate with gunfire.
Orion's Arm: The early modified humans Homo Jihadi had a modified endocrine system, "naturally" producing explosives that accumulate in their bones and other calcium-containing tissues. They were modified at the zygote stage and have not been known to reproduce. It did not help the reputation of genetic engineering...
The Venture Bros. had the Goliath Serum, which turns any living thing into an explosive. Hank had a brief bout with it in "Ice Station Impossible!"
Making Fiends has the exploding pigeon fiends in "Mama Vendetta". Naturally, they proceeded to follow Vendetta everywhere they went after they hatched, thinking that she's their mommy.
Many of the slugs in Slugterra have some effect that involves blowing up. Particularly Grenukers.
Starscream of Transformers Animated once used two decoy clones as bombs that began a countdown to detonation after they were captured and placed in close proximity.
The Kamikazes of World War II and the terrorists that carried out the 9/11 attacks, both of which involved deliberately crashing planes with people in them into what they wanted to destroy (though the kamikaze pilots were alone).
The Russians trained dogs to dash to the nearest tank and crawl under it. Then they wired the poor mutts with pressure-triggered explosives. Although it must be noted that their first batch of dogs was trained using Russian Tanks.Guess what happened on the first battlefield trial. They did better in the Crimean War, training pigeons to fly to men wearing red jackets, and attaching black-powder grenades to them.
There were also variants of Kamikaze: aside from damaged planes or pilots with the initiative to do this on their own, the "cherry blossom" (ohka) rocket-propelled plane and the kaiten manned torpedoes were designed explicitly for this purpose, with no additional armaments or autonomous capacity, and once the pilot was seated in the cockpit, it was impossible for him to get out.
In the same vein, a group of German fighter pilots in WWII would ram their planes into American and British bombers. Typically the pilot tried to survive the crash, so they'd aim to cause damage like shear off wings or tails. The technique was developed after one pilot accidentally steered his stricken fighter into a bomber and destroyed it.
Late in World War II, American military researchers hatched an ambitious plan to release massive numbers of bats over the industrial cities of Japan; the bats would descend upon countless buildings and roost in hard-to-reach places. As each bat was to be equipped with a small incendiary device, it was predicted that the result would be widespread, uncontrollable firestorms and a devastating final blow to the Japanese war machine. The program was taken very seriously and preliminary testing showed promising results, but plans to outfit millions of bats with bombs were scrapped when a more definitive solution became available. Yet it worked—for a given value of worked. The bats certainly did what they were expected to (went and roosted someplace), but failed to do what they were supposed to (roost in something with military importance). Bats would either suffocate or freeze to death during any trip to an actual target, and it wasn't exactly an improvement over conventional incendiaries that didn't require the military to breed and care for hundreds of bats.
It's a remake of a trick from the Russian epic: the newly widowed princess Olga is persuaded to stop her Roaring Rampage of Revenge if her foes will give her some nominal tribute... say, three pigeons and three sparrows per household? They wonder how forgiving she is... until the next night, when the birds returned to their dry straw nests—with fuses.
The brander, or fireship. A small sailing vessel laden full of explosives, tar and gunpowder, and manned with a skeleton crew. The idea of a fireship is to sail it next to an enemy flotilla, preferably at night when it cannot be seen until too late, and then jam the rudder once the bearing is set. The crew then sets the ship alight and exits with a dinghy. When used correctly, they were literally devastatingly effective, being able to set several enemy ships into fire at once. The Royal Navy especially became known for its skillful use of fireships.
The ancients as far back as the Greeks in 400 BC used fire ships as a tactic against massed fleets of wooden sailing ships. Not a bad choice since the flammables could easily spread from one burning ship to another, or alternately, a large, valuable warship could be destroyed by a dinky little boat full of lit oil.
The Chinese added gunpowder to their boats, turning them into true sailing explosives. The most notable instance of such a tactic working was at Red Cliff, where Wu's explosive fire boat attack crippled Cao Cao's massed, chain-linked navy. The sacrifice of one cheap, old ship (and just as often its crew) to destroy one or more functional warships was considered a worthwhile trade.
A potentially viable modern strategy is to load a ship with missiles and plow it into a carrier group to overload the defenses of the group. The ship won't survive and it would not be a cheap endeavor but carriers are expensive and valuable.
The US military strongly considered doing this with nukes. The first time was during the Crossroads test at Bikini atoll after the first air dropped nuke did not do a lot of damage to target ships. A second one was detonated underwater hanging from a repurposed landing craft. Next when the hydrogen bomb came around, designs were too big to fit on airplanes, so a suicide ship was to be designed if aerial deployed designs didn't pan out. Many hydrogen bombs were tested on moored barges, mostly for cheapness and safety, but some military engineers figured similar barges could be used to deny large swaths of the sea to an enemy navy.
Some real-life ants and termites actually do this. It's called Autothysis.