To put simply, these powers don't drain your ammo, mana
, or the like; instead they consume your money or similar collected resources. Such an ability may literally require money to work (such as offering a bribe to the enemy or physically tossing coins to attack), or else it simply reduces your cash with each use.
Given that money is a consumable, sometimes scarce resource (though still more available than your precious Hit Points
), Casting From Money should be somewhat more powerful than standard attacks — or else the player wouldn't bother. On the other hand, making such a move too powerful can create a Game Breaker
, especially if using it allows you to earn more than you spend.
Occasionally can be justified
through Practical Currency
. Often a form of Gameplay and Story Segregation
, if the money is permanently consumed even when the ability does not necessarily destroy it (like tossing coins).
Note: simply buying a power or an attack does not count as this trope.
Compare Cast from Hit Points
. See also Cash Gate
, Throwing The Distraction
. Often used to reduce the impact of Money for Nothing
Anime & Comics
- In The Daichis: Earth Defence Family, the special weapons made available to the family cost money for each use, and they have to learn to fight without them to avoid going over budget.
- In Rumiko Takahashi's manga Rinne, several characters have access to powers that literally use money as ammunition; the hero seldom uses his due to being broke.
- A cyborg assasin in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex uses coins for her shotgun-style Arm Cannon. She does this because she hates rich people and capitalism and loves the Irony of killing them with money.
Table Top RPG
- In Red Alert 3, the Allies Spies have a skill that converts nearby enemy unit to his side, for a price. It's the only money-draining skill in the game.
- In MapleStory, there is a skill called Meso Explosion, which explodes the mesos (the currency in MapleStory) dropped on the ground around you to attack monsters.
- In several of the Castlevania games, the powerful secondary weapons often cost Hearts (the game's currency) to use.
- A staple of 4X games. In Civilization and its sequels, the player can for example perform espionnage actions that cost a lump sum proportionate to their difficulty or usefulness such as research theft or the covert capture of an enemy city. Additionally, under certain governments, it is possible to rush production by paying citizens.
- Certain RTS titles such as Emperor: Battle for Dune have a system where the player can make instant purchases of units independently from the normal production queue.
- Used heavily in Ganbare Goemon. Your basic ranged attack involves literally throwing coins at your enemies and later the magic attacks and power up grade all draw directly from your finances.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- In the original The Legend of Zelda I, shooting the bow costs one rupee. However, in addition to getting the bow as a dungeon item, you also have to buy the arrow from a shop as a separate item to actually use the bow. Also, this game predates the series becoming infamous for Money for Nothing; rupees are not easy to come by and only come in denominations of one and five, plus your wallet caps at 255. Prepare to spend lots of time gathering rupees before each dungeon to stay armed.
- Lacking the magic meter of many other games, the magic armor in Twilight Princess drains your wallet at a extremely fast rate. Of course Awkward Zombie had to cover this one.
- Wind Waker HD actually changed the magic armor to work this way, presumably to balance the item as you could simply carry magic restoring potions around. But it's less useless than in Twilight Princess because it only drains money upon getting hit.
- In Metro 2033, post-apocalyptic society uses bullets as currency. Specifically, irreplaceable pre-catastrophe bullets which are much better than what can be manufactured now; hence you can get a damage boost by literally firing your money at the enemy.
- Final Fantasy features a recurring skill called Gil Toss. It lets you attack all enemies by literally throwing money at them, costing you gil.
- Final Fantasy X has the Aeon Yojimbo, whose attacks are entirely dependent on giving him money. Give him enough money, and he will One-Hit Kill any enemy in the game including bosses.
- Final Fantasy XII features an accessory that makes spells cost gil to cast instead of MP.
- Exit Fate has a Bribe mechanic which allows you to always-successfully avoid a battle.
- Oracle Of Tao has such a skill as a Limit Break.
- Inverted with the move Pay Day that actually generates money for the player to collect.
- Played straight with Pokémon Rumble's rendition of Fling, which has you chuck 1K of money for a decent amount of damage.
- SimCity 4 lets you live out this trope by driving down the streets in the mayoral limo, throwing money (straight from the public coffers) to boost your mayor rating.
- InWario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario can convert ten normal coins in his possession into a special "10 gold coin" that he can throw at enemies — and then run in and collect again, because he's a greedy guy, of course. Useful in the absence of other mooks he can pick up and throw, and required to open the exit gate in most levels (demonstrated in the first level).
- In Assassins Creed II, one special move involves tossing cash to the ground, which can be used to distract the unalerted guards or create a commotion on the streets to slow down pursuit.
- Freedroid RPG spell-like programs merely cause heating, but equipment enhancement consumes Valuable Circuits comonly used as currency by hundreds.
- One of the special skills in Dragon Quest IX is Gold Rush, which spends 1000 gold coins to "do some distinctive damage" to the enemy. (It looks like piles of money falling onto the monsters!)
- Dungeons of Dredmor has this with some of the Bankster skills. Insurance Fraud allows you to gain back money when attacking a target; Hire Contractor temporarily converts a monster to your side; and Fiscal Hedge causes some damage to affect your money instead of your HP.
- In World of Warcraft, many spells originally required expensive reagents. In Wrath of the Lich King they became affordable through Ridiculous Future Inflation, and in Cataclysm most reagents were eliminated.
- Although it's not immediately obvious, Million Gunman in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle actually uses up rolled up wads of cash as ammunition for his guns, as can be seen from the large clouds of floating bills whenever you get hit by them. Then again, considering that bills fly out of any enemy you stomp repeatedly or cut in half with your Beam Katana, his choice of weaponry isn't really that surprising.
- Terraria added the Coin Gun in its 1.2 update, which fires coins from your inventory as ammunition and deals damage according to their value. Its damage can range from being moderately acceptable with the lowest valued coins, to being the hands-down strongest weapon in the game... for a few seconds.
- Legaia II: Duel Saga has the "Gold Siphon" skill, which increases the character's attack power at the cost of draining 100 G per strike.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Some spells require material components to cast, with the more powerful spells requiring components of nontrivial value, such as "a diamond worth <x>", going up to thousands of gold pieces. When the spell is cast, the components disappear as they power the spell.
- Third edition has a magic item crafting system based around expending money, as opposed to the previous system based on Fetch Quests.
- Judges Guild adventure Dark Tower (1979). The artifact called The Mind of Balance drains the value from items (gold, gems, jewelry) to power its healing ability. Items which have been drained become worthless dross, glass etc.
- A class specialty in Unknown Armies has you literally burning cash for magic.
- In an episode of South Park a cure for AIDS is discovered. It involves taking large amounts of money, putting it in a blender, pureeing it and then drinking the result.