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.
- Naruto has a wannabe shinobi from a wealthy family using money instead of chakra to pay subordinates to emulate jutsu.
- Deals in [C] – Control work like this. Both Direct and Flations require money to be used. Richer Entrepreneurs are typically the strongest.
- The Night of Wishes: Liquid money was one of the ingredients needed for the Notion Potion.
- A variant in The Stormlight Archive. Everyone on the world of Roshar uses tiny gemstone chips for currency, and those gemstones are the only things that can capture and store the titular Stormlight. Since Stormlight fuels both the mystical Surgebindings of the Knights Radiant, and the Magitek fabrials, magic expends money to work.
- Allomancers in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: The Original Trilogy generally use copper coins as ammunition. Justified in that coins are just about the perfect weight and size. In addition, nearly all Allomancers are filthy rich and can afford to throw away a few handfuls of change for use in combat.
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.
- Tales of the Abyss: One of Anise's Mystic Artes, Fever Time, showers the battlefield in giant coins, ending with blowing the enemies up with fireworks. It costs 20,000 Gald to use.
- 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 Assassin's 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.
- Much like the Ghost in the Shell example, Fallout: New Vegas lets you craft Legion Denarii into a type of 12 gauge shotgun shell. It's a slight upgrade over regular ammo (being statistically almost identical to magnum ammo), but exists mostly for the entertainment value of killing Legionnaires with their own money.
- The Merchant job from Bravely Default has a lot of abilities that use the party's money. "Pay to Play" sharply boosts the user's Critical Hit chance, and "Takeover" is a Fixed Damage Attack where the user throws a large ball of coins at the enemy.
- Ragnarok Online also has a Merchant class skills that make use of Zeny, the in-game currency. Two of them, in fact. The first one is the basic skill called Mammonite which has a distinct animation of scattering coins. The second is a Mastersmith skill called High Speed Cart Ram which requires both Zeny and a pushcart.
- In Ancient Domains of Mystery, all classes can throw gold pieces but only the Merchant class can turn it into effective missiles, particularly against their own doppelgangers, which confuses them.
- Phantasy Star Online's "Charge" Special weapons. For 200 Meseta per hit, you get to deal 1.5x extra damage. One of the most popular and effective weapons isn't the super rare Infinity+1 Sword of the game, it's a mundane normal mechgun with the Charge special on it. Another special weapon takes 10,000 Meseta per swing, but deals 3 times as much damage!
- The first Dungeon Keeper didn't feature a separate mana pool: ALL your spells were fueled by the money in your Dungeon Heart or Treasury. Which is more important, getting out more imps so that you can expand your dungeon faster, or setting up rooms? On maps with small amounts of gold around your starting area this was a very important choice.
- The Rain-Doh Orange Agent in Kingdom of Loathing is a special combat item; unlike most other items, it is not consumed when used. However, using it requires a nominal amount of meat to use. Still, it is useful when you need to make sure that your attack hits.
- 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.
- One player found a loophole, DM permit, in which they party simply sells cheaper amounts to each other for 500 gp.
- Fourth edition's rituals are basically all like this. Being able to work ritual magic itself is just a matter of the right feat that even members of traditionally "nonmagical" classes can take, but the rituals themselves and their components for every casting must be bought with cash.
- 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.