Fighting something with a Healing Factor
is very difficult, usually requiring extreme force, special powers or tools, or clever tricks.
Ways of dealing with Healing Factor
- Playing with Fire: Fire can cauterize wounds to prevent regeneration (including from death)
- Kryptonite Factor: A special weapon or element, whether it be magical or scientific, can often do harm while ignoring a character's Healing Factor. Sometimes, this weapon or element will be connected to how the Healing Factor came about in the first place.
- Excessive Damage: Healing Factor may have a limit of how much damage can be regenerated
- Complete Annihilation: Given situations like From a Single Cell, that is the only way to deal with such
- Achilles' Heel: There may be a specific place, such as the head, where something is the most vulnerable
- Preventing body parts from reattaching: Something that can reform itself can be defeated or severely hampered if a single body part is prevented from reattaching to the rest of the body
- Inflicting a Wound That Will Not Heal
- Stealing the Healing Factor
of Power Nullifier
. Compare with See the Invisible
. Often the means of defeating a Reviving Enemy
Anime and Manga
- Dragon Ball features quite a few characters with Healing Factors who have had to be stopped.
- One Piece: Buggy the Clown, who is capable of Detachment Combat, was initially defeated by Nami tying most of his body parts in a bundle before he could reassemble himself.
- My Hero Academia: Endeavor defeats a Noumu with a "Super Regeneration" Quirk by making his flames hot enough to turn blue and carbonize the head off.
Films — Live Action
- The primary villain of Heavy Metal 2000 stumbles upon a fluid that can grant him Resurrective Immortality, provided he takes regular doses. Tyler goes on a quest for the source after attaining the key. He ends up squished under a huge stone door where regeneration would avail him naught. Further, The Mole unmasks himself, and attains access to the wellspring of eternal life. However, once the huge stone door closes, he's trapped in that chamber. As The Hero remarks: "Forever is a long time to spend all alone."
- The beginning of Hercules Unchained has a fight against Antaeus, who recovers from all injury whenever he touches the ground. Unlike the original Greek myth, Hercules defeats Antaeus by throwing him into the sea.
- In The Wolverine, Wolverine has a bio-mechanical healing suppressant device implanted in him, thanks to Viper. For a large portion of the film, Wolverine finds he is no longer healing and needs to have his wounds stitched up.
- In Logan, it's finally revealed that the long term effects of adamantium exposure is healing factor degeneration. Wolverine has had adamantium bound to his skeleton for years and isn't healing as well as he could. Ultimately, his healing factor is completely compromised and he dies.
- Animorphs: Morphing normally heals all injuries, but there have been notable exceptions, few of which are explained beyond Drama-Preserving Handicap: suffering Mode Lock (Tobias is stuck in hawk morph at the beginning of the series so an injury would be particularly devastating, when the ability is restored he can heal but still has to live as a bird), a genetic disease (a crashed Andalite refuses to fight because the disease stays with him when he demorphs, while another is allergic to the morphing process and cannot repair his severed tail), time travel (Tobias breaks his wing while in the Cretaceous and can't restore it), and possibly old age (Jake ends up in a Bad Future where Rachel is a complete wreck in a wheelchair, with no indication that she'd lost her morphing ability).
- Classical Mythology:
- One of Hercules' task was to kill the Hydra, which regrows any heads you cut off. He succeeded when his nephew Iolaos started to cauterize the stumps with his torch.
- The giant Antaeus challenged travelers to a wrestling match to the death, without mentioning that every time he was in contact with his mother the Earth (i.e., thrown to the ground), his health and energy were completely restored. When Heracles came along, he solved the problem by hoisting Antaeus in the air with one hand and strangling him with the other.
- Often werewolves are given a healing factor that is neutralized by silver.
- The Lambton Worm is an English legend about a dragon which kills by constriction and is difficult to kill because it can re-attach parts of its body that are cut off. It is eventually killed by a Prince who lures it into the River Wear while wearing armour forged from razor blades — the blades hurt the beast when it tries to constrict him, and the river flow washes its severed body parts away.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Trolls in Dungeons & Dragons possess a Healing Factor which can only be overcome by injuring them with fire or acid.
- 1st Edition AD&D Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia, Greek Mythology section: each minute the giant Antaeus is in contact with the ground, he heals all damage and gains 25 additional Hit Points. The hero Heracles (Hercules) defeats him by lifting him off the ground and inflicting damage on him while doing so.
- 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D. When someone wears a Ring of Regeneration, they can only be prevented from regenerating if their body is totally destroyed by fire or acid.
- 2nd Edition AD&D Planescape boxed supplement Planes of Conflict. The Quesar live in the Upper Outer Plane of Elysium. They regenerate 1 Hit Point per round, even after being killed, as long as they're in daylight. To prevent them from regenerating you just have to keep them out of daylight, such as moving them underground or casting a spell to create darkness or summon thick cloud cover.
- In Big Eyes, Small Mouth, any special attack with the No Regeneration modifier cannot be healed using the Healing or Regeneration attributes, and has to be healed naturally. The Incurable modifier is a stronger version of this, and basically inflicts Wounds That Will Not Heal.
- Pokémon: The move Heal Block prevent the target Pokemon from healing, whether by its own moves, abilities, terrain, or items (for the last one, only Generation V and onward).
- Resident Evil 4: Regenerators and Iron Maidens can only be killed by using a special scope on a rifle to aim at specific places were the Las Plagas parasites are inside their bodies.
- A few particularly powerful wizards in Arcanum have the ability to summon a regenerative cocoon at the moment of death, healing their wounds and increasing their lifespans. The Vendigroth Device is a weapon which was specifically designed to combat this technique, and exploits the fragile balance between magic and science to invert the cocoon and make it rip the mage apart instead.
- The Serpent boss in Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a regeneration ability which lets it recover about 2/3rds of its max hitpoints at the end of every turn. However, the area above it has a series of light puzzles which, if completed, allow you to shine up to four beams of light onto it, potentially cutting its healing to a measly 30hp/turn instead.
- Warcraft III:
- The expansion introduced several freely available healing items that restore health and/or mana over time (Scroll of Regeneration, Clarity Potion...) with the caveat that the effect ends as soon as the unit takes damage.
- Inverted with the Phoenix and Destroyer units, who have negative health and mana regeneration respectively. The Phoenix respawns every time it dies (unless its egg is destoryed), while the Destroyer has several spells that let it eat mana or status buffs to empower its attacks.
- Overwatch: Ana's Biotic Grenade prevents enemies from healing temporarily, whether by Healing Factor or other healing sources.
- One-Punch Man: Melzargard's head has a small marble-like brain which allows them to regenerate endlessly. If a marble is destroyed, the associated head melts instantly, and Melzargard dies once they're all destroyed. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that he has multiple heads and can freely move his brains within his body. However, his regeneration always begins with his heads, meaning that the brain can be easily found if his body is completely destroyed and forced to regenerate from scratch.