Dangerous Forbidden Technique
"By opening all eight gates, you could attain power beyond even the Hokage. The only drawback is... you die."
on the Hidden Lotus technique, Naruto
There are some attacks
in the media that come at a price. Actually, there are a lot
of attacks in media that come at a price.
Perhaps the technique conducts a horrible toll on the person's body
. Perhaps it's horribly immoral
or damaging to the mind
. Perhaps it calls up monsters that can't easily be controlled
Whatever the case, the character's mentor will tell him that he can only use said attack a set number of times or he's never supposed to use it unless some requirement is met. Expect the Old Master
to inform the hero that You Are Not Ready
. And naturally
, a situation will
come up where the character has no choice but to use the technique, or if it has a limited number of times it can be used safely, he or she will be forced to use it more than the safe number of times. Like Forbidden Chekhov's Gun
, this technique (or rather, its overuse) comes at a heavy
price. Unlike Forbidden Chekhov's Gun
, the price is nearly always paid
If the hero is lucky
, it could just be a Heroic RROD
. But it's often worse than that. Sometimes it unleashes their Superpowered Evil Side
Compare Deadly Upgrade
, Cast from Hit Points
, Cast from Lifespan
, Sacrificial Revival Spell
, Death or Glory Attack
. If they constantly survive these it's a case of I Thought It Was Forbidden
. See also Godzilla Threshold
and Lethal Harmless Powers
open/close all folders
- In the Marvel universe, there exists a weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier which can Ret Gone anyone or anything the user chooses. But if the target isn't visualized perfectly by the user, then the user is the one who gets erased. This is possibly the only weapon that can truly defeat Galactus. (Possibly. He is known to be afraid of it, at least. Whether any mortal would actually be capable of perfectly visualizing Galactus is dubious.)
- The "Demon Ball" technique in Bowling King; Its creator injured himself badly attempting to perfect it and was forced to retire from professional bowling.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer prequel comics, there are dark magicks that the Watchers are forbidden to use. Someone does it anyway, and gets revealed by Giles. But Giles had also used a forbidden technique to reveal the guy, which is why he gets put through a torturous test that either drove everyone else who took it insane or killed them outright.
- The Mighty Thor supporting character character Beta Ray Bill is a cyborg whose body was built with safeguards to prevent his internal reactor from overloading. By releasing these safeguards, he can multiply his power by many times. The drawback is that after a few minutes of this, his reactor will reach critical mass, with explosive consequences.
- The Human Torch of the Fantastic Four can release a blast of nova-intensity heat, which was very dangerous to do in his earlier days (one issue even stated that releasing it at maximum power would instantaneously kill every living thing in the same hemisphere of Earth as him). Later subverted as he learned to control it better, making collateral damage no longer a serious problem.
- A Growing Affection has a few:
- Naruto's original technique, the Blood Clone Jutsu uses blood to form clones almost as tough as the creator, that return any leftover chakra to the original when the technique ends. But the amount of blood required means that anyone without a healing factor would pass out creating more than one Blood Clone. Naruto creates a stronger version that has Sakura and Ino heal him and give him plasma pills so he can make a small army of blood clones.
- Breaking the Souhi is not unlike the retributive strike below, it (according to lore anyway) instantly reduces the temperature of everything in a five kilometer radius to -100 degrees (Fahrenheit or Centigrade not specified), including whoever breaks it.
- Twilight mentions in Getting Back on Your Hooves mentions unicorns have more potential magical power than they can safely use, which operates on the same principle as muscles being capable of far more than they can safely use. Using their maximum power would drastically increase what they can do, but at the risk of damaging or breaking their horn. At the finale, Checker Monarch does this after her Engineered Public Confession in an attempted Taking You with Me on Trixie and the mane cast. It not only fails, but her horn is badly damaged as a result.
- In Pokeumans, Spiritus reveals to Brandon that as an Energy Channeller he may be able to perform Total Absorption - which would consume the enemy's aura (and by default, is totally fatal) and may even take a hit on his sanity to the point of unleashing a Superpowered Evil Side.
- Rikuto of the Long Island Elite Four apparently knows many of these, but must restrain himself from using because, well, he can't kill all of the base's most promising battlers whenever they fight him.
- Parodied in a Justice Society of Japan omake, where Mr. Satan and Dan Hibiki both claim to know one of these, but are both to scared to actually perform it.
- The Legend Of Cynder Series: Myst's fury, after she takes a potion to help cure her blindness. The potion has a side effect of drastically increasing a dragon's powers the more they've drunken, of which Myst needed to drink a whole buckets worth in order to purge The General's poison that was blinding her out of her body. It's heavily implied that Myst's fury would be one of the single most powerful attacks in the entire fic series... However, it would have the unfortunate side effect of killing her if she were to release that much power at once. As such, she has never once used it so far.
- The entire point of The Dark Side in Star Wars.
- In Kiss of the Dragon, Jet Li describes the titular technique as "very secret, very forbidden". (Though that technique actually poses no danger to the user. It is forbidden because of its effect on the target.)
- In Blades of Glory, the Iron Lotus is a technique developed by the coach in his "wild youth", but only one country was crazy enough to try it - North Korea. The only attempt resulted in the woman's head cut off by the man's ice skate (as impossible as this sounds). According to the coach, the only way for the technique to be performed successfully is by a pair of two men.
- In Man of Tai Chi, Tiger's master's ultimate move qualifies due to its obscene killing power. When his master pulled the attack and didn't even make physical contact with Tiger, it still left severe bruising and caused Blood from the Mouth.
- Shows up early in The Fast and the Furious: Brian, in his first drag race, uses his nitrous too early and is in danger of losing the race. In desperation, he uses a second nitrous burst, still loses, and severely damages his engine as a result. No one in the entire series of movies ever uses nitrous twice, except for this one instance.
- Don't cross the streams!
- Death magic in Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion series causes both the target and the caster to die as their souls are borne off to the Bastard's Hell (when it works at all). Luckily for some so affected, not only is the Bastard's Hell more of A Hell of a Time than a Fire and Brimstone Hell, but they don't always stay there, as some of the other gods may take them up. Not to mention that unsuccessful attempts/research are regarded as attempted murder at best and dealt with by temporal authorities as such.
- Of course, successful attempts at death magic are considered divine intervention, and not prosecutable under criminal law. This is a bit of a semantic point, since if successful there's usually nobody left to prosecute. Usually.
- The use of "balefire" in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time is forbidden by the magic users of the world, and when people use it anyway, they're exceedingly careful with it - because balefire doesn't just obliterate its target, it goes back in time to do so, with all the potential paradox that implies. Entire cities and their recent histories disappeared from the face of the earth before the mages, good and evil, decided that maybe gratuitous use of balefire wasn't such a good idea... When Rand begins using it for more than minute uses it is seen as a sign of his rapidly deteriorating mental state impacting his judgement, though he is technically correct that balefire is the only way to ensure enemies such as the Forsaken are not ressurected by the Dark One.
- It wasn't just the cities disappearing that almost broke reality, but also having them reappear again as the destroyers were killed with balefire, and then having them vanish again if the person who did that also got killed with balefire. (Though Robert Jordan waffled on this a bit, at one point saying that the effects of balefire couldn't be undone by more balefire.)
- Picking apart a weave of the One Power rather than leaving it to dissipate is a Dangerous Forbidden Technique among the Aes Sedai, and just a bloody dangerous technique among the Aiel Wise Ones. If executed perfectly it won't leave a telltale "residue," which normally lets one channeler see exactly what another has done, but failure is extremely easy and can produce a range of consequences. When Elayne tries and fails, it produces a burst of wind. A burst of wind with the force of a small nuclear explosion.
- And a lasting "fallout" effect that makes it difficult to cast spells in the entire region for a year or more.
- Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald Mage trilogy mentions the "Final Strike", in which a mage uses up all his energy in an offensive spell, thus killing himself along with whatever is aimed at. It works, too, in the tragic ending of the trilogy.
- It's also mentioned many other times in her other Valdemar works, and used at least once more on a very powerful scale. Where Vanyel's already massive power results in a Final Strike that is so literally earth-shaking that the geography of northern Valdemar is forever altered, in the Owl Knight trilogy poor old almost-powerless Wizard Justyn must expend his Final Strike to destroy the single bridge that stands between a marauding barbarian tribe and his fleeing village. In its own way, it's just as much a Dying Moment of Awesome.
- Harry Potter has spells that count as Dangerous Forbidden Techniques, such as the Unforgivable Curses and Fiendfyre.
- Ironically, despite the fact that there was supposedly no known countercurse or any means of defending yourself from Avada Kedavra, Harry Potter survived it three times in his life, two of which were direct hits. Voldemort survived it once as well (for the same reason Harry did the third time, so someone was clearly misinformed).
- The use of Horcruxes is so forbidden that it's nearly impossible to find any information on how to use it. Probably not least because it involves fracturing the soul, and doing that involves murdering people.
- Similarly, the drinking of unicorns' blood grants one life, even when one is all but dead, but at a terrible cost: that one lives a half life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches their lips.
- The Pendragon Adventure: It turns out that all Travelers can pretty much warp reality like Saint Dane can, but doing so drains the life force of Solara. Saint Dane avoids these drawbacks by relying on a warped version of Solara based on darkness.
- In Anthony Reynolds's Warhammer 40,000 novel Dark Apostle, creative thinking is viewed like this by the Mechanicus. Dangerous enough to be sealed away in a separate brain.
- The Dragaera series has "Elder Sorcery", which involves the direct manipulation of raw chaos, and the practice of which is a capital crime by imperial edict. Those who research and practice it do so mainly out of curiosity and/or for the search for knowledge, since elder sorcery has long since been supplanted by the much safer and easier use "normal" sorcery, where the energy of raw chaos is first filtered through the Imperial Orb before being used. However, there are some circumstances where normal sorcery doesn't work, forcing the characters to resort to elder sorcery.
- In The Magician's Nephew, the Prequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, there is a dark spell the Deplorable Word. When it is spoken, every form of life in the world with the sole exception of the speaker is killed instantly. Jadis actually boasts about the extensive measures she took to learn this and then use it to kill everybody in her homeworld as part of her backstory. Considering the time Lewis wrote it, it's quite blatant what it's supposed to symbolize.
- The Dresden Files:
- A wizard's death curse. Put simply, the wizard, usually when knowing s/he is about to die, draws up all the power stored in their body and mind and unleashes it in an extremely powerful spell, usually a curse on whoever was killing them. Of course, this leaves no energy to keep the brain or heart working, so the wizard dies immediately on casting.
- Hellfire, which is demonic power that enhances spells but only available when your soul is corrupted by a Fallen Angel. Soulfire, Hellfire's divine counterpart, actually uses the stuff that composes your soul as the power source. Use too much Soulfire, and your soul literally evaporates into your spells, killing you (and maybe then some).
- In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series, the last of the bells of the necromancer throws everyone that hears it deep into Death, including whoever rings it. There is nevertheless a point in the series where the situation is desperate enough for this to seem like a good idea.
- In Perdido Street Station, Isaac relates to Yagharek how a previous administration's Torque experiments were banned once pictures of what that utterly-malignant energy had done to a rival city went public.
- In Pact, summoning a demon is actually spectacularly easy-all you need to do is state their name a certain number of times, and they will come. Of course, there's nothing preventing said demon from immediately inflicting a Fate Worse Than Death upon you if you don't take extensive precautions, and even if you are protected, a demon is defined by its pure hatred for existence itself, and summoning one will diminish the world as a whole-candles get a little less bright, gasoline lasts a little less long, and people are a little bit worse to one another. There's no known way of reclaiming what the demons have already taken from the world. In some cases, there's no way of knowing what was taken.
Live Action TV
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger features the Ju-Ju-Zenshin-Hen, which allows the user to take on a super-powerful beast-like form. The bad news: transformation is permanent. The worse news: if your technique isn't perfect, your life's gonna suuuuuuck. A Wolf Fist user winds up transforming into an out-of-control werewolf periodically, but at least he gets restored into his human form. The Fly Fist user (no, really) isn't so lucky, winding up an anthropomorphic fly who is about the size of a mouse. He ends up getting swallowed by an evil Chameleon Fist user and is resurrected along with her after she dies...
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger also has one. Anyone who uses Chronogel's forbidden time spell will die via getting sucked into a wormhole that appears on their chest while it sucks other things like matter and time into it. This curse was deliberately placed on it - apparently, the use of time magic is so dangerous that making sure the universe is screwed if you use it is the best way to protect it. Yeeeah.
- Used on the main character in Eli Stone. When Eli needs to see the future with more clarity, he asks his acupuncturist Dr. Chen to use a little-known needle combination known as "The Dark Truth." After doing it once, Eli nearly has a heart attack, which makes Chen swear it off. So Eli winds up going to Chen's Distaff Counterpart and rival. He actually has the procedure done at least three times, which is probably why his aneurysm gets worse by the end of Season 2.
- L's fiddling with the Death Note rules in the live-action movies could be considered this. There's also the more common in the anime world "technique" of Shinigami intentionally lengthening lives at the cost of their own.
- In Supernatural, Sam's demon blood-drinking to power psychic abilities takes a toll on his sanity and turns him into an out-of-control addict. It gets worse when it's revealed all he did was just so he'd be tricked into releasing Lucifer. Since then, he went cold turkey (...with some exceptions...). In order to finish the Self-Sacrifice Scheme to let Lucifer possess him so he can jump into Lucifer's prison and prevent the world from being razed, Castiel says this requires for him to drink A LOT of blood. Castiel also hints that Lucifer's current Meat Suit has to drink gallons of demon blood just to keep him in.
- Kamen Rider Double's Twin Maximum, in which he activates two Maximum Drives at the same time, temporarily taking his power up to 200%. However, this puts an incredible strain on his body, as demonstrated when Shotaro impulsively uses it in one battle, which lights him on fire and severely injures him. In the final battle of the series, Double's Super Mode is powerful enough that he can combine the Xtreme and Prism Memories' Maximum Drives without ill effect.
- The bonehead maneuver in Babylon 5: Opening a jump gate within an existing jump gate, resulting in a massive explosion of energy that the ship who triggered it is highly unlikely to survive or outrun. The heroes only use it because it was the only way they could think of to shake the Shadow ship trying to kill them. Doubly dangerous, as this destroys the jump gate, leaving the system inaccessible to non-jump drive equipped ships until a (very rare) construction ship drops by to rebuilt the jump gate. On this occasions the planet was already deserted, and the heroes had to additional motive of rendering it inaccessible to grave robbers.
- Resurrection spells in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They either turn the dead person into a zombie, or make them come back wrong and all screwed up.
- The heart removal technique for vampires was in the Angel half. Most vamps won't go near it because they don't know how long they'll be invincible for, only that it could be minutes, hours or days, and then they die.
- And of course, the enjoining spell that the Scoobies use to defeat Adam. Giles' knowledge, Willow's magical strength, and Xander's heart, all combined with Buffy's super strength and resilience into one nigh-invincible Slayer, complete with Voice of the Legion and Golden Eyes Of Doom? Cool. Being stalked and almost killed by the First Slayer in your dreams afterwards because the spell disturbed her spirit? Less cool.
- In Merlin, using the Cup of Life to become immortal. The result is that the person who drinks from it becomes the living dead of a sort, not a zombie, but tainted still.
- Subverted in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Enterprise Incident", where Spock appears to kill Kirk using a powerful Vulcan technique called the "Vulcan Death Grip". In reality, this was part of a plan devised by Kirk, Spock, and Bones to infiltrate the Romulan ship, which involved Spock becoming a Fake Defector; Spock actually only used a more intense version of the more familiar Vulcan Nerve Pinch to render Kirk unconscious and make his vital signs undetectable, claiming he had killed him to win the Commander's respect. There was actually no such thing as a "Vulcan Death Grip". (They were counting on the Commander to not know that, as Kirk later told Nurse Chapel.)
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty" involves a maneuver called the Koolvord Starburst, which is forbidden because the last time it was attempted a century earlier, all five cadets were killed. Turns out it was attempted again, and another cadet paid the price.
- The curse that trapped the fairy tales character into our worlds, made them forget about their former life and in Once Upon a Time. Even the witches like Maleficient think casting the spell is crossing the line because you have to kill the one you love the most which leaves an emptiness inside you. Regina however did it to get her revenge on Snow White.
- Nova blasts from BIONICLE, during which Toa characters unleash all of their Elemental Powers in a massive explosion. Not only does it leave the Toa with no power left, depending on the type of element it can also easily kill anyone in a not-so-close vicinity.
- Some moves can cause lasting damage to the performer's body. The two most glaring examples are the moonsault and the tombstone piledriver, both of which involve landing full force on the knees. The repeated stress of the latter move is why Kane switched finishers to the chokeslam and why the Undertaker developed the Last Ride.
- Speaking of the piledriver, an actual piledriver (not the tombstone version that the Brothers of Destruction use) is something that WWE superstars haven't been allowed to use for over a decade due to Owen Hart using the move on Steve Austin, giving him the neck injury that would eventually end his career (no offense to Owen). Come 2013, the fact that Punk used it at all, let alone on Cena (who's had a history of neck problems), upped the Holy Shit Quotient of the match they were in. Said match is now considered one of the best TV matches in RAW history.
- Hulk Hogan with the Legdrop and Stone Cold Steve Austin with the Stone Cold Stunner. Landing directly on your ass hundreds of times a year must be great for the spine and neck (yup, they're connected.) But perhaps we should just cut this off right here and now and say that wrestling in general will pretty much fuck you up over time.
- Most aerial techniques, but the 450 Splash and the Shooting Star Press are really bad, not only do they wear your body down overtime, but messing up could seriously hurt you on the spot. Just ask Brock Lesnar.
- Booker T's Harlem Hangover (a top-rope flipping Guillotine Legdrop) combined the wear and tear of aerial moves and legdrops. Back problems caused him to abandon the move after only a few years of use.
- The diving headbutt, and German Suplex (which puts a lot of pressure on the spine), especially nasty since they were both moves that Chris Benoit used...a lot.
- Technical wrestlers generally avoid this as most submissions don't actually put that much pressure on the body.
- Certain moves can get banned as part of a wrestling angle, usually by a heel authority figure.
- At the 2007 Survior Series, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton faced each other in a title match where Michaels would get disqualified if he used his finisher, the Sweet Chin Music. To even up the odds, however, Orton's championship would go to Michaels if he got himself intentionally disqualified or counted out. Orton won the match due to Michaels getting distracted trying to use the move but stopping himself, but then used it on him after the match was over.
- In 2008, Vickie Guerrero banned The Undertaker's then-recently-added submission move the Hell's Gate. Her reasoning was due to it causing superstars to get injured and cough up blood. She would strip Undertaker of his World Heavyweight Championship for creating it in the first place, and the ban wouldn't get lifted until over a year later by Teddy Long.
- In 2011, Vickie would strike once again, this time banning Edge's spear briefly, and firing him for using it. One week later, Teddy Long once again lifted the ban and reinstated Edge.
- In 2012, after Sheamus accidentally hit Ricardo Rodriguez with a brogue kick instead of intended target Alberto Del Rio, Del Rio and David Otunga tried to push general manager Booker T to ban the move. Booker briefly banned it while investigating whether or not to ban it permanently, but shortly after pointed out that they should understand the risks involved in pro wrestling, and lifted the ban on the move.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- There exist two magic staffs in the game, the staff of power and the artifact staff of the magi which, while very powerful items in themselves, can be broken for a "retributive strike" which releases every spell inside the staff at once, centred on the caster. Given that the Squishy Wizard is the norm in D, anyone attempting this strategy had better hope that the 50% chance of getting sent to another dimension comes up.
- There also exists an incredibly powerful dispel spell called Mordenkainen's Disjunction, which can destroy just about any magic effect, even those created by gods. If it is used for this purpose, however, the caster may permanently lose all his magic abilities and/or anger the effect's creator. And he is no slouch, believe us.
- This is the point of the corrupt spells in the Book of Vile Darkness (and their Exalted Deeds counterparts, sacrifice spells). They are notably more powerful than other spells of their level—for instance, run-of-the-mill Blindness is a second-level spell, while Seething Eyebane, a corrupt first-level spell, causes the target's eyes to spew acid and explode—but there is always a tax, sometimes permanent, on one or more ability scores. The most powerful of these spells is harmful even to prepare and has a very good chance of rendering the caster dead and/or permanently insane (if he wasn't already).
- Something else mentioned in the Book of Vile Darkness is the Artifact of Doom called the Death Rock. Artifacts are always dangerous, but this one is worse than most; it's history does say that its owners tend to obtain great power and are able to conquer empires, but tend to lose the power at the worst possible time, and are usually overthrown in violent insurrections by their enemies. Here's how the Rock works: It gives the user incredible dark powers of necromancy, giving him the potential to raise vast undead armies. But it has a terrible cost; once a week, it demands the user slay his closest friend or loved one, and claim him or her as a zombie slave. If he is unwilling or unable to do so, the Rock and all powers associated with it vanish. Clearly, all former users never realize that if you are willing to do this, you're going to run out of friends and loved ones very quickly (a lot of them will likely stop being your friends before you can use them as the required sacrifices) and be unable to make any new ones; on the other hand, you'll probably make hated enemies very fast...
- Prior to the 2nd Edition, Orcus was murdered by Kiaransalee, the drow goddess of undeath, who usurped his realm in the Abyss. However, in the Dead Gods module, he Came Back Wrong, becoming an undead demon named Tenebrous, possessing a spell called the Last Word that was so lethal, even gods were afraid to use it. This didn't stop Orcus, however. Despite the fact that it was literally consuming him from within, he used it in his camaign to restore himself to life killing several gods using it in order to reclaim his Wand, and regain his domain in the Abyss. (He succeeding in doing all that, but fortunately, failed in his ultimate goal: becoming a true god.) After gaining back his true form and position, he lost the ability to use it. (The gods have since taken steps to prevent anyone from using it again.)
- In the Dragonlance setting, Wizards of High Sorcery view Primal/Wild Sorcery this way. It was three Sorcerers who, fighting an army of Dragons at the end of the Second Dragon War, caused magical storms that wracked Ansalon. These three Sorcerers ended up becoming the first Wizards after being taught High Sorcery by the gods of magic.
- Several of the noble families from the Ravenloft supplement Legacy of the Blood possess the knowledge of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique or two, usually in the form of feats that only family members or their elite henchmen can select.
- In the Mystara setting, Glantrians' use of the Radiance is considered this trope even by the Alphatians, who normally consider even the darkest sorts of magic to be permissible. This isn't because it's dangerous to the wielder (which it is), but because using the power of the Nucleus of the Spheres threatens to drain all magic from the world, bit by bit.
- In the Sorcerer game from the Mage: The Ascension line, there is one Path that can have this effect: Cursing, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Specifically, you can create an absolutely vicious curse rather than the normal version. The problem is, though, that it renders the caster a vegetable.
- Genius The Transgression has Deep Inspiration, which lets you draw out Mania directly from the Genius's mind, even if the Genius is "empty". Unfortunately, doing so too often or with too much power runs a very real risk of turning you into an Unmada, and if you keep pushing it even after becoming Unmada...It's a bad idea.
- Changeling: The Lost features Goblin Contracts, magical powers that are cheaper to buy than standard Contracts and have nice effects (open all the locks on a building, see the future, drain an enemy of all their Glamour). The catch? Well, they also have side effects that will likely screw you over (respectively, your locks fail the first time someone tries to break in, you go mad, you lose all your Glamour).
- One particular Goblin Contract is "Call the Hunt" which has no real catch because it is its own catch; it calls forth a hunting party of True Fae. If the changeling who uses it doesn't run away fast enough, he or she will likely be killed or, even worse, dragged back to Arcadia to be tortured once again.
- Plenty of Charms in Exalted come with heavy tolls. The more common include pushing up your Limit track, and Abyssals have some that increase resonance or mean that they'll experience Cessation of Existence upon death.
- The Infernal Exalted get a good number of these, mainly because they're learning Charms that make them more like their Yozi patrons. Learn a Charm that gives you increased authority over lesser demons? That means greater demons are allowed to walk all over you. Learn a Charm that perfectly blocks Social attacks? That's because it turns all noise into wretched discord that makes you want to kill. Learn a Charm that allows you to communicate telepathically? Shame you can now only vocalize laughter for the rest of your days.
- The Words of Power from GURPS: Thaumatology. Saying one will knock most characters unconscious and the most control you can ever have over a Word is none at all, trying to control it only makes things worse.
- Scion has the Avatars, which allows Gods to channel the power of a Purview at the apex of cosmic power, so much that anyone who fights them has to become one in order to match. However, while the cost to activate it is rather modest game-wise, there are some major prices to be paid: first, you suffer the strongest Fatebinding upon activation, second, if you die, all the Avatars you learned to channel get loose all at once, and third, you activate it in the domain of a Titan, you'll attract every Titan Avatar in it, and chances are, they'll already have their own powers ready as well. Congrats, you now get to fight five or six beings with the same power as you.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- The game has a bunch of cards that are effectively this. You can't miss them, because they all inform you that you lose the game after a certain amount of time or if a certain condition is met. For example, Final Fortune allows the user a free turn at a cost and color that doesn't normally get it, but the user loses the game at the end of that turn if they haven't won yet. Lich and its variants protect you from dying through life loss, but kill you under other circumstances, such as an empty graveyard.
- Most Demon Cards and Mechanics play on this in another way; they handicap you in some way or form (such as Echo Costs or requiring you to sacrifice a creature every turn) to maintain their power. The entire concept of Black Suicide builds on this, using cards that have disproportionate amount of power but delayed detrimental effects to win before said detrimental effects does them in. It's referred to as "tearing your arm off and beating your opponent's to death before you bleed out".
- Blue Rose has Sorcery, generally banned in most kingdoms, to the point that legalizing the study of sorcery in Aldis has been greatly controversial. While arcana are generally legal in Aldis, sorcery allows an adept to directly harm, control or invade other individuals, mentally or physically, as well as create undead or summon darkfiends, and are considered crimes against all sentient beings. Trying to classify sorcery is tricky, as few arcana are clearly sorcery, and even those that are can be wielded for a period of time without any real damage to the adept if he is sufficiently resilient. Unfortunately, sooner or later, The Corruption takes hold, and the adept will either fall into the arms of Shadow, die a painful death and become transformed into a walking corpse, or try to cleanse himself even as corruption makes it harder. Many people who use sorcery are scrupulous enough to embrace the corruption that comes with it, but the temptation is always there for any arcanist, even those with the best intentions.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has a few perfectly legal cards that could be considered this. One is Destructive Draw. It's a Continuous Trap that lets you draw twice during your Draw Phase if you have no cards in your and when you start your turn. However, you take 700 points of damage per turn, and unlike most cards like this, it's possible to lose the duel this way. Also, this card is hard to get rid of; doing so causes the player who uses it 3,000 points of damage.
- At least there are ways to turn that one to your advantage, like Prime Material Dragon. And even worse card is Lucky Punch. This is also a Continuous Trap, and it lets you toss three coins once per turn when your opponent attacks. Get three heads, and you get to draw three times. (That's only a 12.5% chance, by the way.) Here's the catch: If you get three tails, the card is destroyed, and if it's destroyed in ANY way, you lose 6,000 Life Points. (Because it isn't considered damage or a Life Point payment, there's really no way to avoid it or convert it to Life Point gain.)
- In Ironclaw Unholy magic (such as Necromancy, offensive Lutarist spells and a few Druid curses) summons vengeful spirits to do magic for you, there is a chance that these spirits will do other things like animate random corpses, possess people (including the caster), or make scary sounds that freak people out (sometimes to death).
- Hc Svnt Dracones: Transcendent implants at Cuil 3 or higher generally have a significant chance of causing messy, painful death for their owners, it's guaranteed if someone at Cuil 5 tries to use their implant. Oh, and the Cuil level of an implant temporarily increases each time it's activated in combat.
- In Kingdom Hearts, channeling the darkness is this for most characters. Riku and Terra pay heavy prices for its uncontrolled usage, getting them both possessed by the Big Bad in Kingdom Hearts 1 and Birth By Sleep, respectively.
- In addition, many of the Kingdom Hearts villains themselves cannot control the darkness. Maleficent actually appears to Hades and cautions him not to delve too deep at one point in the story. Ironically, she delves too deep and is slain at the hands of Sora and company. Hades, while defeated in the Hades Cup, does not die, being a god, and reappears in Kingdom Hearts II not at all worse for wear.
- In the Phantasy Star series, Megid invokes this trope by name. In PS2, it's Cast from Hit Points at a painful rate. In PS3 it's only invoked in a cutscene, but when it is, it wipes out an entire city in a single casting. Note that PS3's setting is largely medieval compared to the sci-fi ambience of the rest of the series, so any spell capable of leveling a city is pretty much the equivalent of the Tsar Bomba. In PS4, the negative effects on the player are gone, potentially due to where it comes from and what the stakes are at the time, but it's not easy to access (being guarded by a Sealed Good Is Not Nice In A Can guardian who you need to outwit to get it) and the only other user of the spell is the Eldritch Abomination that threatens to wipe out the entire star system (and, ostensibly, the universe after that) if you fail in your quest.
- The Chaos Dunk from Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is this for basketball, with the original one wiping out millions of people and getting B-Ball outlawed and is implied to kill Barkley and Balthios when Barkley uses it to kill Shadow Barkley
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Similar to his anime counterpart, Shadow the Hedgehog can gain an extreme power boost whenever he removes the bracelets from his arms. Unlike the Sonic X version, however, it doesn't appear to drastically drain his energy. He only used this power once in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) to save himself, Rouge and Omega from Mephiles the Dark, who used two of the Chaos Emeralds to create an army of clones of himself.
- In Final Fantasy IV, the sage Tellah is seeking the ultimate magic spell, Meteo(r), so that he can seek revenge on Golbez (the game's Big Bad) for the death of his daughter Anna. Sure enough, Tellah eventually learns the spell from his repressed memory, and uses it against Golbez, killing himself in the process. Other, more youthful mages, as well as an eternal precursor, can cast it without side effects. In gameplay terms, this means that he never ends up getting the required amount of MP to cast it.
- In the DS remake, thanks to the New Game+ mode the game has, you can easily subvert this: while the items to raise your max MP wouldn't normally be accessible until after his death, they can be carried over from your previous playthrough and indeed, using one on Tellah will allow him to cast Meteor as many times as you want with no ill effects.
- In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, the Crystal puts an ominous pause into its usual new-crown recitation by saying "To thee I give this gift of light, upon thy head a crown of... forbidden might" when you get the final one, Dark Fencer. The Desolator spell obtained at the same time is treated in the same way.
- Suikoden IV offers us the Rune of Punishment, which drains the user's life every time it's used. The rune itself is sentient, and tries to engineer events around it to guarantee it will keep getting used, until eventually its bearer is killed and the rune jumps to a new host, only to begin the cycle anew.
- Interestingly, the Rune of Punishment governs atonement and forgiveness. if the player is able to forgive the resident backstabbing friend Snowe throughout the course of the game (and he becomes less and less worthy of forgiveness as time goes on, so it's tough) and recruit all 108 Stars of Destiny, Leknaat appears and says that the rune's time of punishment is at an end, and the time for forgiveness has arrived. In addition to unlocking the most powerful rune attack, which greatly damages enemies and greatly heals allies, the improved Rune of Punishment no longer injuries the user for attacks. This, of course, implies that everyone that used the rune before was either a) stupid and greedy, or b) unable to understand the proper implications of forgiveness.
- Compare the Soul Eater Rune in the first Suikoden game, which...eats souls.
- In the Mega Man Battle Network games, the Dark Chips are extremely powerful, but that permanently reduce your max HP by 1 with each use. Also, each use drops your Karma Meter, and enough uses will disable Soul Unisons.
- Battle Network 5 also has Chaos Soul Unisons, which allows you to use a Dark Chip as your charged shot for one round of battle without any of the permanent negative side effects. However, there is a noticeable chance (game-breaking glitch notwithstanding) that the charged shot will fail and backfire, instead summoning an invincible shadow copy of Mega Man to join the enemies and attempt to beat the crap out of you.
- Also doubles as Difficult but Awesome, as enough use of Chaos Unison trains the player to be able to use it multiple times in succession without being knocked out of it without Pause Scumming, meaning the player can continue charging even if they're being pressed. Shadow Chaos, Knight Chaos, and Magnet Chaos are particularly deadly upon being mastered.
- In The World Ends with You, Joshua uses his Jesus Beam attacks to get himself and Neku out of a battle with a Taboo Noise. Though not dangerous in itself, he held back this power until this moment to conceal his identity as the Composer, and used this power in the sight of a Reaper, thereby drawing suspicion to himself.
- Hanekoma later proceeds to revive Minamimoto as a Taboo Noise He reveals this himself to the player in the secret reports
- Some Techniques and Spells in Romancing SaGa drain Life Energy if one is low leveled in That field of magic or if the weapon uses Life Energy for it's techniques.
- Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume has a heartbreaking example in the Destiny Plume. Left by Lenneth on Wylfred's father's body and corrupted by the goddess Hel, it can make any unit absurdly powerful - ten times as powerful in every single stat. And at the end of the stage, they die. Wyl is forced to use its power on his best friend and would-be Lancer at the beginning of the game...
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has the Dominus glyphs; Dominus Anger and Dominus Hatred are direct attack glyphs with each use inflicting shitloads of damage at cost to your HP, while Dominus Agony amps all your stats immensely with gradual HP loss thrown in on top of that. Unless you use a healing item at some point, prolonged uses of these glyphs by themselves will kill you. The Dominus glyph union kills everything in the area—Shanoa included... ...unless you're using it at the end of the final battle, when Albus lets his soul be the sacrifice instead.
- Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter had an extreme version of this. The main character, Ryu, can transform into a ridiculously powerful dragon form at any time which can even floor bosses in a few attacks. However, there's a % counter in the top-right corner of the screen that's slowly ticking towards 100% throughout the game, and using dragon powers make the counter increase much more quickly than it normally does - and if the counter gets to 100%, it's game over. Without dragon powers, the boss fights are quite hard (especially the later ones), so it's down to the player to manage how often they use the dragon powers.
- Vagrant Story has learned techniques that, when used, drain a portion of your health.
- Akuma's (Gouki in the original Japanese) fighting-style from Street Fighter has the Shun Goku Satsu attack. Until it was mastered by Akuma, it was generally assumed that using it would always be lethal to both. Of course, in-game, it's just a move that does a lot of damage...
- Team Fortress 2: There is an unlockable weapon for the Demoman class called The Eyelander, a massive sword which decapitates and heals its user on a killing blow. The downside is that having the sword in your loadout reduces your max HP by 25, because the blade feeds on your soul.
- Averted when, upon killing enough people with the eyelander, the Demoman becomes second in max health only to the Heavy and in speed to the Scout (or a Soldier with the Equalizer at maximum effect).
- A more appropriate example is the Equalizer. It's possible for a Soldier to become super fast and do huge damage when wielding the melee weapon and at low health. Obviously while powerful, using the weapon this way is very risky, as a casual shot could kill the soldier. Oftentimes cornered soldiers with no rockets use this tactic as a last resort.
- A sillier example is the close combat Ullapool Caber. Is it a giant log that takes health of the user when you swing it? No. It's a stick grenade, that you whack people with. It only works once, and you sure as hell are going to feel it if you don't have any bonuses because it explodes in your face. Despite the fact that you are dead if you come across another enemy, it's quite deadly, and can be useful as a last resort or for OHK Os with a critical charge.
- The Boston Basher for the scout is possibly his most powerful DPS weapon, having no damage penalty or crit penalty while being able to inflict bleed damage. However, any attacks that make absolutely no contact will instead hit you, inflicting full damage and bleed on you. On a crit, this can kill the wielder in one hit (although not instantly, but the bleed will do him in if he doesn't find a med kit). If combined with the Crit-a-Cola, this can turn the user into a whirlwind of pain, so long as they never miss.
- The Conniver's Kunai was designed with this in mind; it lowered the user's health so low that a glancing hit from any weapon was strong enough to kill the wielder. This is especially problematic because the class that uses it, the spy, is often in the midst of combat and very likely to get glanced even if the opponent doesn't know he exists. The perk comes that upon a successful backstab, the user gains all the health of the person he just killed. Skilled Kunai users can chainstab through an absurdly large amount of people that they can effectively tank sentries while this happens, which also helps that they also wipe out entire teams with this kind of a maneuver.
- The first four .hack// games feature Data Drain, a technique that allows the user to either severely weaken a computer-controlled enemy, or Mind Rape a human being (most humans hit with a Data Drain end up in comas). The hero, Kite, is the only human with the ability. He uses it to weaken game enemies that have been hacked so as to have infinite HP, thereby making them defeatable, and to gather virus data to hack into protected areas of the game. The catch is that repeated use will corrupt his character data with the virus, causing nasty side effects in battle and, eventually, his character's death.
- Multiple moves in the Pokémon franchise harm the user (such as Explosion), but these moves also tend to be very powerful.
- And then there's the move "Struggle," which is a rather weak move that damages the user by 1/4th of it's max HP. Chances are, you're only using it four times before you die.
- Focus Punch is extremely powerful, but at two costs. 1. It takes one turn to power up, leaving it open for attack. 2. If your pokemon is hit while powering up it "loses focus" and can't attack.
- And, of course, the classic Hyper Beam and all of its variations. It has 150 base power, but also renders the user immobile on the next turn.
- There's also Curse and Belly Drum, where the user sacrifices half its total HP in order to have the foe lose 1/4 HP every turn or maximize its Attack, respectively. If the user uses the former when they have less than half HP left, they faint; the latter fails when the user is at half HP or less.
- As of Generation V, there's a move called Final Gambit, which causes the user to deal its current HP to the enemy at the cost of fainting. It's also commonly suggested as the best move for Shedinja.
- And then there's moves like Overheat and Close Combat, which, while powerful cause Stat drops to the user and leave them vulnerable to opposing attacks.
- In NetHack, one can choose to break a magic wand in half, unleashing all the remaining power at once. Can be dangerous as most wands will simply explode.
- In MLB Power Pros, Alvin has a special pitch, the Mirage Knuckler, but it is extremely dangerous to try to catch it, so much after Alvin and Mark, the catcher train with it for a week, Mark is covered with bruises.
- In Valkyria Chronicles, Valkyrur are already so powerful that not only can they fire huge lasers, NORMAL BULLETS HAVE NO EFFECT ON THEM AND MORTAR ROUNDS CAN ONLY STUN THEM. However, they can sacrifice their life to do things on the scale of annihilating a fort, and the army inside it in a giant blue flame.
- In Zettai Hero Project Dangerama's entire skillset is composed of these. As a Death Seeker, this makes sense.
- Blood Magic in the Dragon Age games. It is extremely powerful and dangerous — to enemies, allies, and the user — and for many, many reasons, it is forbidden everywhere in the world. Even the Tevinter Imperium officially condemns Blood Magic, though in practice all of the Magisters are secretly Blood Mages.
- In Trauma Center: Under the Knife Derek's senior surgeon forbids him from using the Healing Touch after his first intentional use of it makes him collapse after the operation... with the caveat he's completely aware Derek will merrily ignore this instruction if he thinks the Healing Touch will mean the difference between life and death.
- This is meant to communicate to the player that they should only use it as a last resort, as doing so will negatively impact their score. Good luck figuring that out without trial and error, though.
- Although the only time that the Healing Touch is actually bad is in Under the Knife, where it slaughters your ranking. Any game from Second Opinion or later have no penalties to using the Healing Touch.
- Dungeon Crawl has a lot of examples.
- Lugonu's self-banish causes permanent damage to HP and MP.
- As does Borgnjor's Revivification.
- Most necromancy is partially cast from HP.
- High-level summonings can break free and turn hostile at random, and those that can't will instead inflict nasty stuff like sickness and intelligence loss on the caster.
- Downplayed with mid-level summonings, most of which have a chance to be hostile.
- Zed in League of Legends is stated to have learned forbidden shadow techniques to defeat his rival Shen, and become a more powerful ninja. It mostly translates to throwing living shadows everywhere.
- An antagonist example: In Golden Sun, shapeshifting into dragons seems to be a Dangerous Forbidden Technique of the Mars Clan of Prox, requiring a great deal of energy and completely wiping out the user's abilities afterward. Saturos even warns Felix in the first game that he and Menardi won't be much help after fighting Isaac & Co. as the Fusion Dragon (which they aren't, though not for the reasons Saturos had expected). When it's forced on the antagonists of The Lost Age, they are left without enough power to warm themselves against the freezing cold of the Northern Reaches, and freeze to death. And then the Wise One forces the transformation on your parents...
- The Binding of Isaac allows players to pick up many upgrades and abilities at random, some of which are very, very powerful. But there are many with heavy, even potentially crippling costs.
- Epicac changes one's tears into a strong explosive attack, at the cost of making them charge slowly and be able to hurt the player. In an added bit of irony, range up effects or upgrades actually make Epicac harder to use, as maxed range makes the projectile detonate far from the player. This means they'd need to hug the opposite wall just to have a hope of hitting a target in the middle of the room.
- The Suicide Bomber vest allows the player to use unlimited explosions, with the downside being they also take the damage. Because, you know, they are detonating bombs strapped to their chest.
- The Devil Rooms usually hold a number of power items, and while they vary from room to room they're relatively consistent. The problem comes from having to sacrifice heart containers to receive them. Not hearts, heart CONTAINERS. The player literally sacrifices their life for power. And that's not counting many of the items they get from the devil rooms have their own disadvantages.
- In each of EYE Divine Cybermancy's three main endings, you are rewarded with a unique and hyper-lethal "Gate" psychic ability. The Hypnotic Gate instantly and permanently paralyzes an enemy, Triangular Gate warps an enemy out of reality, and Substitution causes the player to be healed if the enemy takes damage, and damage the enemy if the player is hurt. All of the abilities are also hyper-lethal for the user, as they have a very high probability to fling the user towards random directions at lethal speeds, drive them insane, fry their brains, or cause permanent trauma which hurts stats and persist even after resurrector usage.
- Ikaruga: "Release the restraint device. Using the released power may result in destruction of the ship".
- In the background lore for Diablo III, the Wizard character is doing this when he or she expands his/her arsenal to include the manipulation of raw mana and controlling time, as well as when s/he ignores the normal rules about Equivalent Exchange that other casters adhere to in order to prevent magical fallout or corruption. This is why the Wizard is much more destructive than the Sorcer/ess of the past two games.
- The Hell Stringer Technique of the Orphes in Super Robot Wars UX is basically a combination attack with the Lyrath that uses the Lepton Vector Engine. Richard uses it to bend the space & time continuum, so he could survive. Richard's body was already screwed up by then and that use pretty much was the final nail.
- Odin Sphere has Oswald's shadow form. In gameplay terms it vastly increases his attack speed and power, at the cost of rapidly eating away as his POW meter (which, if depleted, causes him to become exhausted and unable to move or attack until it refills completely.) In story terms, using it too much will destroy Oswald's soul and turn him into one of the ghostly Revenants haunting Winterhorn Ridge which eventually does happen in one of the bad ending scenarios, is Oswald is pitted against Onyx.
- There's also the Darkova spell, which transforms the user into a massive, powerful cerberus. The former king of Titania used it once to try and fend off enemy forces and went mad with power, ravaging Titania for seven days until he was finally slain by his son. Ingway finds out how to use it, and it similarly comes back to bite him as soon as he does.
- In The Elder Scrolls Backstory, Redguard warriors known as "Sword Singers" could become so skilled with their blades that they were said to be able to split atoms using a technique known as the "Pankratosword." It is said that their original homeland of Yokuda was destroyed by this technique, so it became forbidden and was lost to history. (Though the "destruction of the homeland" story is hinted at being an embellishment, and the Redguard people left Yokuda to escape much more traditional violence and oppression.) This being The Elder Scrolls, where lore is often intentionally contradictory, it is left up to the audience to draw their own conclusions.
- A few heroes in Dota 2 have abilities that are like this. Some examples are Huskar's Life Break, an ability that will deal 35% of an enemy's current HP as damage, but will do the same thing to Huskar himself, and the Techies Suicide Squad, Attack!, which will kill the Techies with a massive explosion, but will also deal massive damage to any enemies in the explosions radius, if not kill them outright.
- In the Fate scenario of Fate/stay night, Saber comes under this limitation because using her Noble Phantasm requires all the mana she's currently holding to activate (and her flawed summoning means Shirou can't provide her with any), and she ends up facing at least three enemies that require — or at least seem to require — the use of it to defeat.
- In Heaven's Feel, projection (more specifically, projection using Archer's arm) becomes this for Shirou. While it puts a strain on him in all three paths, this path spesifically gives him a clear limit on usage, and overuse will kill him. Which it eventually does.
- Furthermore, each Servant has a power known as the Broken Phantasm — willingly breaking their Noble Phantasm. This renders the servant without their proof of heroism (which for many of them is their weapon), but also inflicts massive one-time damage on whoever the Phantasm is shattered on. Archer, who can create Noble Phantasm duplicates, routinely uses this technique to compensate for the fact that his duplicates are weaker than the real thing.
- The protagonist of Tsukihime has the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which allow him see the concept of death itself on everything in the form of lines and points. Observing death, however, will lead to insanity, so he has to use special glasses which block his ability. Every time he takes off these glasses his eyes get stronger, but since humans are not meant to observe the nature of death it puts an increasingly enormous strain on him. In fact, in the epilogue, which takes place a while after any of the routes, it is revealed in his reunion with his 'sensei' that he is literally on the verge of death, in part due to his ability; it is heavily implied that he actually dies just after they part ways.
- MS Paint Adventures and Problem Sleuth both feature SEPULCHRI-TUUUUUUUUUDE!!
- 8-Bit Theater":
- HADOKEN!!!! Although not considered forbidden, Black Mage is only able to cast that spell once a day, and it makes a cute little nuke-sized crater wherever he aims it.
- Spells that drain the net amount of love from the universe with each use and require the sacrifice of orphans to gain in the first place tend to have a bit of a social stigma against them. Black Mage seems to find an excuse to use it nearly every day...but then again, this is Black Mage.
- Also, the Ice-9 spell, which was purely theoretical until Red Mage used it to defeat Kary, the Fiend of Flames. No one had ever cast it up to that point because it would put everything in existence on ice. Thankfully, RM had a Bag of Holding which contained both Kary and the spell.
- Jigsaw Forte's Zombie Mode, while not explicitly a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, effectively becomes this when you realize if she uses it at all while on camera, she's blown her personal Masquerade (which means if she doesn't die from using it in the first place, she will when she's done).
- Word of God implies that abusing the form does have plenty of consequences, but it depends on how she uses it / how much damage she sustains, not necessarily how often.
- In El Goonish Shive, magic apparently drain users at various rates. Spells too powerful to handle may overtax even well-trained magic users, possibly even removing their magic for months at at a time.
- There are several different levels of it in the Whateley Universe. Phase has a technique (using his disruption-light level on someone) that runs the risk of corrupting their Body Image Tempalte if they are an Exemplar or Shifter, and turning thme into something grotesque; he avoids it it on moral grounds. Fey has some spells powerful enough that the energy drain will destroy entire ecosystems around her, which is way worse.
- The Forbidden Move in "Axe Cop Gets Married": When Axe Cop's opponents at a fighting restaurant in China do a secret move that combines them all into a giant fighter, Axe Cop counters that he knows a move that is more than secret — meaning because it's forbidden. The technique has not been explained as forbidden before, but everyone knows about it and panics when he starts to do it, because it will kill everyone in two provinces. The move creates a giant tornado that picks up the adjacent province and smashes your opponent with it. Ultimately subverted: Axe Cop shows that when done correctly, the move only affects the one opponent, removing everyone and everything else to safety and then putting them back too fast for anyone to notice.
- Jacob from Demon Fist can teleport, but doing so damages his body. Using the power to escape with the Hookshot was what cost him his hand.
- The Shield of Wonders from Goblins is an Artifact of Doom that casts random magical effects when struck. Simply using the Shield in combat is a Dangerous Forbidden Technique since it's barely less dangerous to the user than it is to his enemies. Naturally, Complains is forced to use it profusely in a Death or Glory Attack, and naturally the shield almost kills him a couple of times and turns him into a half-demon.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Osmosians are aliens that can absorb matter and create something out of that absorbed material (usually armor). They can also absorb energy, but it can turn them Ax-Crazy. To elaborate, Kevin absorbed energy from Ben's Ultimatrix to stop Aggregor's plans of bringing forth the End of the World as We Know It. They defeated him alright, but afterwards Kevin went as far as ruthlessly kill whatever comes his way in a rampage out of insanity. He was so insane his wrongdoings can be classified as Nightmare Fuel.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: While it's not really forbidden, lightning redirection (a Firebending technique where you internalize lightning and shoot it in another direction) is extremely dangerous, to the point where even teachers of the move refuse to practice it with their students. First, you have to catch the lightning, which is just as dangerous as it sounds. While internalized, the lightning must be carefully controlled so it doesn't travel through vital organs. By the end of the series, only three characters know the technique, and only Iroh is skilled enough to avoid the dangers consistently.
- Energybending also carries the danger of mentally and spiritually destroying those who attempt to use it on others if their willpower isn't strong enough. This nearly happened to Aang when he used it on Ozai.
- Bloodbending, supposedly the ultimate technique of waterbending, which involves moving around the blood in a living body and making that body do whatever you want it to do. Like the Osmosian example above, it is shown that it is detrimental to the Waterbender's sanity, making them Ax-Crazy and power-driven.. To elaborate, Hama was bent on getting revenge after discovering the technique, Katara almost lost herself while trying to avenge her mother, in which she almost lost control while mercilessly bloodbending the Fire Nation's Guards.
- Later on in The Legend of Korra, it's revealed that bloodbending has since been outlawed completely and for good reason, as even after that its track record didn't get any better: Yakone came out to be an Ax-Crazy Bloodbender who brought fear to Republic City, and even figured out how to bloodbend without a full moon. Then came his sons, both of whom practiced bloodbending frequently and ended up insatiably power driven later on in their lives, especially Amon.
- In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) there was the Spell of Separation. Thousands of years before the present day, Hordak used it to divide Eternia into the Light and Dark Hemisphere's, hoping it would transform the Dark half into a realm where he could raise his dark army. But it was more powerful than he had thought, and might have rent the entire planet in two if he hadn't realized it in time and put a stop to it. In the present day, Two-Badd gets ahold of the spell and believes it can be used to separate them back into their original forms of Tuvok and Badka; ignoring He-Man's warnings when he tries to stop them, they gather the three artifacts they need, and the spell is restarted where Hordak left off, forcing He-Man to push himself to his limits and return the three components before it literally destroys Eternia.
- In W.I.T.C.H., the Guardians can choose to transform into living embodiements of their elements, giving them Physical God levels of power- at the risk of losing their personalities and humanity, and being left open to mental domination from outside forces, such as Big Bad Nerissa. Fortunately, the one time they do this, they manage to come back- barely.
- ReBoot: Bob's fusion with Glitch is viewed as doing the unthinkable by Daemon's adviser, and Bob was fully aware that overusing his new Glitch powers would kill him. Bob comes very close to death when Daemon infects and forces him to overuse his powers to create portals. Bob does imply that the fusion would have been much less dangerous had Glitch not been damaged at the time (which is what necessitated the merger in the first place), however.
- Transformers examples:
- In The Transformers, Elita One turned out to have the power to freeze time, but as Alpha Trion had warned her, using it drained her Life Energy to a near-fatal level.
- Also in Transformers Generation 1, Megatron has the ability to draw anti-matter from black holes and pretty much blow up all of his surroundings. It was used about twice in the Marvel comics, where it was explained he didn't often use it because he was liable to kill himself too.
- G1 again, Windcharger can create magnetic fields capable of ripping apart even the strongest of metal structures. It burns him up very rapidly though.
- In Transformers Cybertron, Vector Prime would greatly tax himself reversing time by a few minutes, and eventually die by using his time/space powers to get the team through the rift separating Gigantion from the normal universe.
- In Justice League the League had pretty much lost against the Brainiac/Luthor hybrid, until The Flash saves the day by running at extreme speeds (to the point where he was circling the world in mere seconds) and smacking Brainithor around by repeatedly running into him. Soon enough, he destroys all traces of Brainiac, leaving only a naked Luthor lying on the ground. However, in the process he was almost swallowed by the Speed Force from moving so fast, and he says he probably won't be coming back if he ever goes that fast again.
- A Batman: The Animated Series episode has a ninja steal a scroll in Japan that teaches him the secret of a "deadly touch" technique. When Batman faces him off in the end, he tries to avoid being touched by the guy in a specific spot, which (theoretically) would cause instant death. He fails and falls down, seemingly dead. He then gets up and knocks out the bad guy. When asked if the technique was bullshit, he pulls out a metal plate from under his suit, which has been deformed by a strong force.
- On Regular Show, Muscle Man enters a bodybuilding contest, but since he doesn't have time to be fully fit, he concentrates on posing technique. As a last resort, he tries to execute a pose called the Shredder, which if done correctly, will "shred" the competition; but if done incorrectly, it causes the poser to explode. Muscle Man manages to do it perfectly and wins the competition.
- Backfired with the destruction of HMS Invincible at Jutland. The Dangerous Forbidden Technique in this case was the bypassing of safety protocols designed to prevent flashdown of a detonation in a turret from reaching the magazines, and it was done to increase rate of fire. But Invincible was pounding the crap out of the German SMS Lutzow, so why not? Why not, indeed. The mist that was hiding her cleared, just long enough for the critically damaged but afloat Lutzownote , along with a second German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger, to get some solid hits in in the right place, and Invincible was blown in two. At least one and possibly both of the other British battlecruisers lost that day went up for the same reason. The fact that British ships of World War I used a more volatile gunpowder than their German counterparts didn't help, either.
- The Mordhau in German school of swordsmanship. Bilingual Bonus applies why it is forbidden in friendly combat where the aim is NOT to kill your opponent. True, it may seem odd how, in a fight with big, sharp implements it's smashing someone with the handle that's forbidden, but that thing is heavy, and tends to ignore the fact the victim's wearing metal armor. It has that name for a reason.
- In soccer, the awesome techniques of jumping up in the air and trying to hit a ball next to another player is usually forbidden, because it could hurt the other player if he'd get hit by a flying boot. A little more mild, but still similar is the "scissors" technique of scoring.
- Nuclear weapons. Nukes are capable of great destruction, but actually using one comes at a hefty price. Large nuclear detonations release irradiated material into the surrounding environment that remains dangerous long after the explosion is over. In a more immediate sense, several nations have active nuclear weapons that are kept ready for launch at all times. Since there is currently no viable way to defend against a nuclear weapon after it's been launched, the target has no reason not to fire all its weapons at the aggressor. This is the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) and it effectively makes using nukes suicidal. Note that in World War II, this was not an issue; with no other nuclear-capable countries to provide the "Mutual" portion of MAD, the United States was free to attack Japan without fear of a similar retribution.
- Nukes are literally forbidden by international law; even threatening to use nuclear weapons against another power constitutes a war crime. Though eight nations are declared to have nuclear weapons (and one is suspected) most nuclear powers refuse to consider using nuclear weapons unless someone else does first. Nowadays, the worry is more about the dangers of non-state actors (ie. terrorists) using them instead, which MAD is essentially powerless against.
- Even nukes aren't necessarily as repellant as biological warfare. At least a nuclear weapon only destroys its targeted area, however horribly; use of biological agents as weapons poses a very real risk of infecting everyone the contagion touches, be they enemy, ally, innocent bystanders, or one's own side.
- This trope is usually very heavily subverted in real life, due to Combat Pragmatism being a time-honored military and general combative doctrine. If it's dangerous and highly lethal, using it is the best way to win. If it's forbidden, all the better, because that means the other guy will never see it coming.
- Overdosing on caffeine as a deadline draws nearer.
- Recreational drugs in general, actually. The more intense a drug's effects are, the more likely it is to cause harm if not moderated, along with the need for more strict moderation. And the more intense effects you experience, the more curious you'll get for even stronger experiences. Though just because an experience is weak doesn't mean the damage is light: air duster as an extreme example. Alcohol is an aversion, though: drinking more after getting buzzed actually decreases the euphoria and eventually can cause severe depression and rage.
- Not exactly a technique, but human muscles are actually so strong that they can rip themselves off your bones. Usually, the body has all kinds of limitations on itself to prevent it from happening, like pain. But in situations where super strength is the meaning of life or death (like being slowly crushed under some heavy boulder), body can drop these limits by itself. It'll save your life when needed but at a really really painful cost. It will eventually heal, if you're able to find a doctor who can properly set your broken bones and muscles so that the ligaments and tendons heal naturally. And, also, you'll need to follow his protocols for recovery to the letter.
- Steroids, blood doping, performance enhancing drugs and other methods are illegal in most offical events, partly for ths reason.
- Water methanol injection, also called as War Emergency Power, on turbocharged internal combustion engines. Injecting 1:1 water-methanol mixture to the combustion chamber can boost the performance of the engine for up to 33% and add up extra horsepowers. Unfortunately, it will also damage the cylinder heads. In WWII, its use was approved only for emergency situations, like an airplane escaping from a particularly nasty enemy, and using the mechanism involved on breaking the seals.
- Likewise nitrous oxide injection, called ''Ha-Ha-Gerät'' in the Luftwaffe. It will boost the performance, but long periods of use will seriously damage the engine.
- This is the effect of pushing the engine past its rated limits. What's on paper is what the manufacturer has safely determined the engine will go up to without dying sooner than how long it's expected to last. You could always push an engine harder, but doing so wears it out faster. Sometimes much faster, if the strain you put on the engine passes what its structural integrity can handle, causing it to tear itself apart or burst into flames.
- In modern military aircraft, afterburners can certainly count in some cases. The way they work is by taking raw jet fuel from your tanks, and spraying it directly into the VERY hot exhaust section of the engine. This in turn adds up to a sudden burst of power from the engine which will get your aircraft from just barely scratching the sound barrier, to moving twice the speed of sound in the span of a minute or so depending on the aircraft. This comes at a price however. Normally, afterburner use is relegated to take off, or on a bolternote . These short bursts normally don't do much damage to the engine, but using it too often (as in the case with most dogfights), can shorten the life span of your engine, meaning it'll have to be changed out once you return to base. However, use the afterburners too much, and you won't even have to worry about that, because your aircraft will eventually clunk into the ground with not even a drop of fuel left in the tanks.