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Destroyable Items
"Warrior shot the food!"

A game mechanic, usually a disliked one, by which a game's pickups, powerups, and sometimes even mission-critical objects can be destroyed entirely by accident. This can include damage by the players' attacks, damage from enemies' attacks, and, if the developer is especially evil, the game environment itself. Vehicles are not included in this trope unless they take an unreasonably low amount of firepower to destroy.

Some games may even punish players who destroy certain items, on top of losing the items themselves.

A related trope is Breakable Weapons. Compare Attackable Pickup.

Examples:

  • Pretty much most if not all Bomberman games.
    • In some versions, the bad items could not be destroyed and were merely blown somewhere else. The good items however...
  • In the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons if a creature rolls a 1 on a reflex saving throw from a spell, the spell also affects a randomly-determined item it's carrying, potentially destroying it.
    • Extended into the arcade games made by Capcom, but since it's a beat'em-up, it means that whenever you get hit, there's a chance that any of the magic items you're carrying might break. Most likely intentional, as many of them have effects that would trivialize the game even more if you could hold on to them all the way to the end.
    • Attacks can destroy some disposable items in Dungeons & Dragons Online. It's particularly irritating when it happens to expensive ammunition or potions.
  • Desert Strike (and its sequels) leave all pickups subject to attack. This includes ammo, fuel drums, armor repair kits, mission-critical objects, and the people you need to save. To add to the fun frustration, your helicopter's auto targeting loves aiming at pickups and friendlies instead of enemy tanks and anti-aircraft units. Some particularly glaring examples include:
    • Some missions in Urban Strike require you to carry an object under your helicopter. What you're supposed to do is hover over a specific spot so it slowly lowers, which isn't quite stated clearly. Problem is, they also give you a button to simply drop the item, destroying it outright (which of course fails the mission).
    • Jungle Strike has you use land vehicles for some missions. Since you can't fly over things to pick them up, you grab things by very slowly running into them. But if you go any faster than 1 mph, you'll most likely just destroy it as well as take damage for running into something.
  • In Gauntlet, it was not only possible to accidentally shoot your food, you could shoot magical potions as well. If you went so far as to shoot poisoned food, it had a negative effect on your enemies.
    • And in the Gauntlet Legends series, anything could be blown up, including food. Food could also be poisoned if a green barrel was blown up near it.
  • In Impossible Mission 2, it was possible to destroy needed music samples by accidentally putting a land mine instead of a time bomb in front of a safe.
  • The The Lost World: Jurassic Park game for the Sega Genesis is particularly evil with this trope. After collecting a certain number of tokens, you can call for an air support drop. The crate you get usually contains ammo, health, armor, and sometimes even an extra life. However, be careful busting this crate open; if the ammo inside is anything explosive, the entire contents of the crate will go up in a large explosion, likely blowing up the player as well.
  • In The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, all the Fetch Quest items are destructible.
    • Lampshaded in that the army tends to go for whatever Fetch Quest item you happen to be carrying, because they know they can't take the Hulk down so they opt to stop you from completing your objective instead.
  • Crystal Quest would occasionally spawn a Bonus Crystal worth as much as dozens of regular crystals. If you shot it instead of grabbing it, it would flash the word "Lost!" instead of its point value.
  • Many of the more famous Roguelikes have this mechanic; environmental damage is Nethack is a killer not so much from pure hitpoints, but from shattering potions, wands and rings. ADOM in particular is incredibly sadistic about this: it has the four-story Tower of Eternal Flames, during which every turn has a chance of destroying items you have equipped or in your inventory. Including, at a lower rate, the items that protect the rest of your equipment or inventory from burning up. All the while you have to deal with constant damage and powerful monsters - and this happens a bit more than halfway through the game. Not to mention the many (many) other areas or effects that can destroy things.
    • Particularly annoying in ''Doo M The Roguelike. The slightest AoE damage will destroy any item on the ground, even if that item is armor that would have protected you from that damage, or even if the item is invincible once you have it.
  • The 2D Duke Nukem games. In a partial subversion, a chicken leg item could be shot once and become a full roasted chicken. Of course, shooting it another time would destroy it.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: To prevent players from just bashing chests open, destroying a chest has a chance to destroy its contents too. Unfortunately, this also applies to chests accidentally damaged by area-of-effect spells. Dammit Qara!
  • The X-COM series plays this trope pretty heavily, along with destroyable terrain. Items even have different amounts of 'hit points' and a few are explosive in their own right.
    • Most frustratingly, the enemy UFOs are packed with valuable equipment to salvage and research, all of which is ridiculously delicate/explosive.
  • Golden Eye 1997 had the Caverns, a level where Bond had to gain access to a complex and for some reason explosive communications system surrounded by guards. If you went in shooting, the guards would usually line themselves up behind the computers before returning fire, blowing the system to hell. As it was very difficult to stealth your way to that point, you had to be able to take out the guards without damaging the equipment right next to them and before they destroyed it themselves.
  • In Prince of Persia 2, dropping a loose tile on top of a potion will destroy it. It's all too easy to destroy the large potion in level 10 this way.
  • Knights in the Nightmare has objects in combat that, when sufficiently damaged, usually crack open to yield a Key Item that unlocks a new weapon or character later. If you damage them some more, they break completely, usually coughing up some Item Crafting material.
  • The original Valkyrie Profile allowed you to pick up chests and item bags and at times required you to do so to use them and your ice crystal creation powers to build stairways to reach even better treasure. Unfortunately, due to the way the controls are mapped, it's easy to pick up an unopened treasure chest by accident when trying to open it and then panic, press the wrong button and have Lenneth gleefully toss it and the Infinity+1 Sword it contains into a wall, shattering both into a million pieces. Which ultimately doesn't make much sense, as vast majority of the items you obtain are explicitly stated to be coated in Ether and thus made unbreakable.
  • Ultima:
    • In the Ultima Underworld games, dropping almost any item in water causes it to be lost forever. This generally doesn't matter, although it's liable to happen in one level which requires you to grab an essential quest item while skidding across ice towards a river.
    • Happens to anything dropped in the water in Ultima VIII, leading to inevitable shenanigans.
  • In Jagged Alliance 2, any item can be destroyed. Usually this occurs through explosions which damage a character, thus damaging the items he is carrying. Also, weapons become damaged (and can be potentially destroyed) by firing them repeatedly, and armor is damaged every time you get shot. Finally, wading or swimming through water will cause damage to most items you're carrying. Fortunately you can repair most items back to 100% condition.
  • In Unreal Tournament, the Volatile Ammo mutator makes ammunition packs destroyable (which will cause them to fire five to ten rounds in random directions). Since the ammo will respawn after some time, it's actually a valid tactic to snipe the boxes as an opposing player gets near them. Thankfully, the Redeemer doesn't have any ammo drops or else it would just get silly.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, some enemies gain abilities that break armour/weapons at a certain late-game part unless you have a special ability equipped... the main problem with that being there so much better Passive abilities to use over Safeguard.
    • The original Final Fantasy Tactics also had Knights, whose main ability was to break weapons and armor. Some bosses in the game have even stronger abilities that do this.
  • In Worms, boxes can be destroyed with explosive results. This can work for or against you depending, of course, on who's nearby.
  • Some RPGs will drop a random treasure chest (or equivalent thereof) into the middle of an enemy party during a random encounter. Finishing the fight without damaging the chest nets you its contents, but the chest can be destroyed if you're not careful. An example of this: the later Mega Man Battle Network games, where random Mystery Data can appear during a virus battle.
  • Some Oversouled enemies in Final Fantasy X-2 have attacks that destroy an item.
  • The Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy series. You can make powerups (zappers, x-terminators and cure potions) explode by shooting your magic missiles at them, though scrolls, keys and radar gems are immune. This matters little because there's an unreasonable abundance of these items.
  • In Star Control 2, a planet lander's stun beam can destroy mineral deposits.
  • In King's Quest IV, if you use the shovel a certain number of times in the wrong place, it breaks, and if you haven't used it for what you needed to do yet, you're screwed.
    • In King's Quest I, one of the random monsters is a dwarf, which will steal one of your treasures if it touches you. Since there is no way to get it back, the treasure is effectively destroyed. Since the goal of the game is to collect treasures...
  • Donkey Kong Country and its sequels had boss fights (or puzzles) that required the use of barrels. Wouldn't you know it, if anything minor touches those barrels, they explode into pieces, even though they're made of wood with metal bands. This is especially annoying in any boss fight where there's lots of stuff flying around on the screen and you need to use said barrels against the boss.
  • Far Cry 2 has ammo and explosive stockpiles that are amazingly valuable when raiding camps and bases, as most enemy weapons are rusted to the point of near-uselessness and they won't necessarily have something you can take ammo from. Explosive stockpiles, obviously, go up in a massive fireball that will probably burn everything nearby and create a spreading fire, while ammo stockpiles fire a hail of bullets in every direction for about 5 seconds or so. While this is often a tactically sound method of eliminating enemies or distracting them, it can result in a massive Oh Crap for players running low on ammo and grenades.
  • In Team Fortress 2 items would be given out based on how many achievements you had completed for a class. When they introduced a way to delete items, they didn't realize there was no way to get them back. So until they implemented a new drop system, everything you deleted was Lost Forever.
  • Billy Hatcher and The Giant Egg uses this sometimes in the form of special-purpose eggs that must be negotiated to a goal. Especially annoying because giant eggs are also used to combat enemies, essentially binding your ability to fight back by nullifying your only weapon.
  • Phantom Brave has objects littered around all of their stages. These items all have the exact same stats as a character does. Including HP. What's more, destroying them even gives EXP.
  • The X-Universe series, starting with X2: The Threat uses this to avert Critical Existence Failure. Once your hull integrity goes below ~85%, weapons and upgrades start to get destroyed by enemy fire.
    • The ion disruptor is often used to help capture ships by abusing this mechanic. It does the bare minimum of hull damage, increasing the length of time you have to cook off things like Hull Polarization Devices and Internal Sentry Lasers.
  • In Secret Agent, killed humanoid enemies leave behind a tombstone that gives 1000 points when collected. If accidentally shot, it disappears and gives only 100 points.
  • Doom: Zombie enemies usually drop ammo and weapons when they die, but these dropped items get destroyed if under a Descending Ceiling. (All other items are immune to this, though, including ammo and weapons placed on the map by the level designer.)
  • In Minecraft, if items come in contact with fire, cacti, lava, or an explosion, they are destroyed.
  • NetHack has a variety of ways to both destroy and prevent items from being destroyed. For example, if your character falls into water, their scrolls will become blank and their potions will dilute - unless they're being stored in an oilskin sack.
  • In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, blasts from traps, the Aftermath ability, and the Selfdestruct and Explosion moves will destroy any items caught in their radius. There's also Pokemon traps, which inexplicably turn any items in a room into enemy Pokemon when triggered, and any items that land in a hole or lava will be lost for good, as well. The traps are by far the most aggravating cause of item loss, as it's all too easy to forget to check for them when you catch sight of something valuable.
  • Crystal Quest punishes players who shoot everything coming out of the Mook Makers by subtracting points if they shoot a bonus crystal.
  • Glider PRO makes it possible for bonus items to be permanently destroyed by switches or triggers designed to do so. Even Magic Stars can be destroyed this way, making the game unwinnable; this effect may cause a graphical glitch and is proscribed by the Level Editor.

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