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- The boss fight with Mysterio in Spider-Man 2. After the appearance of his abnormally large health bar filling up three times, he doesn't actually do anything but throw increasingly desperate threats until he gets KO'd with a single punch.
- You'd be forgiven for thinking this trope was named for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, where fairies would occasionally pop up on the World Map alongside normal Wandering Monsters, and touching one sent Link to a "battle" screen with nothing but a healing fairy hovering in midair.
- An easy way to avoid random encounters when low on health in the same game would be to move onto a road tile after the Random Encounters popped up. Being touched by an enemy while standing on a road would take you to a one-screen wide sideview area with no enemies that could be left by simply walking off-screen.
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass has Jellyfish that occasionally pop out of the water, but do not attack, and can be shot for free Rupees.
- They return in the Ocean sector map of Spirit Tracks.
- In the game Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Spirit Caller, selecting a person (all represented by a triangle with a circle on top) talks to them. Usually this challenges that person to a duel... unless it is the Dark Magician Girl, who will instead give you a rare card.
Role Playing Game
- The Final Fantasy series has this trope in spades:
- Final Fantasy II has Soul enemies, Demonic Spiders that absorb all elemental magic and bombard your entire party with elemental attacks. Rarely you can encounter Green Souls, which instead cast Cure on your party members.
- Final Fantasy IV had something like this. If you walk around in the developers' room you'll run into random encounters with monsters named after developers. You can fight them, but they don't do much to you besides talk.
- "Magic Pots" first appeared in Final Fantasy V, where they asked the player to Give Me Your Inventory Item, and variations of them appear in most subsequent games. This entry also had a Hidden Elf Village that was randomly encountered in a certain patch of forest, with the usual Fight Woosh.
- Final Fantasy VI's Magic Pots simply ask for Elixirs... while using Elixirs on you.
- Final Fantasy VIII had the first Pop Quiz encounter, plus later encounters with PuPu.
- Final Fantasy IX is the Trope Namer, whose theme song for such encounters is aptly named "Fairy Battle". The monsters in question appear similar to ordinary monsters, but with slight differences, and they do not attack you. Some just ask for a specific type of gem, and there's even one that just gives you a pop quiz! The "Fairy Battles" were a requirement to be able to physically attack a side quest boss.
- There is another monster called the Gimme Cat that pretends to be friendly and demands a rare gemstone from you. However, instead of the Fairy Battle theme playing, it's the standard random encounter battle theme, which should tip you off. If you actually give the monster your diamond, it'll run away and you gain nothing from it. If you attack it, it will fight back.
- Final Fantasy X: You can encounter fiends called Magic Pots in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth; instead of attacking you, they tell you to select an eye on their pot to hit; if you hit the correct eyes, you get increasingly rare and useful items. Hit the wrong one and... well...
- Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess has Sprites appearing in the past. They spawn like normal mobs, but actually use spells helpful to players. Even Raise!
- Final Fantasy XII's Magic Pots just want to be given Elixirs... assuming you can actually find them first. And assuming you switch off your party's Gambits+ so you don't accidentally attack them, because you will really regret it if you do.
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has some encounters that don't involve any fighting at all, especially the Bonga Bungle reports that task you with digging for treasure or making interviews. The repeatable airship cleaning missions may or may not have enemies.
- The Haunted Ruins: There's a few.
- There's the mice, which, when encountered, are just spoken to.
- The wizards give a spell when encountered, then disappear. Once you get all the spells, they're encountered in a floor filled with them, where they're used to give backstory.
- Kingdom Hearts I has White Mushrooms, which reward you for hitting them with whatever spell corresponds to their miming act; and blue mushrooms called Rare Truffles that reward you for juggling them in mid-air, without them touching the ground. Subverted with Black Fungi, which do attack you and behave more like Metal Slimes.
- There's also the Bulky Vendor in the sequel, whose HP goes down all by itself after it appears. By using a Reaction Command on it, depending on how low its HP is (the lower the better), it'll drop an assortment of munny, health/magic/drive replenishing items, and an item or two that can be used for synthesis.
- And Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has a special rare encounter where sometimes, in certain preset locations, you might encounter an enemy variant that does nothing but drop ice cream components for you. These can be traded in for ice cream, which only have tangental use. Though, it eventually rewards you with a Lethal Joke Weapon of a Keyblade.
- The Pig Noise in The World Ends with You have distinctive green scan symbols and don't attack, instead trying to simply escape by running offscreen. You are guaranteed a usually rare or high-value, occasionally unique item drop if you defeat them before they get away, although the means of defeating them vary from pig to pig.
- In Torneko's chapter of Dragon Quest IV, he occasionally runs into traveling merchants on the world map, or even a traveling innkeeper.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, in the ruins near Petalburg, there is a Thwomp who, despite appearing to be a mini-boss, actually just gives you a pop quiz. If you lose, however, he does make you fight a handful of enemies.
- In the Fallout series, it's quite common for random encounters to set you up against... a travelling merchant? A rave party in the wilderness? Doctor Who? How dangerous random encounters are depends on your "Luck" stat and, to a lesser degree, the Outdoorsman skillnote .
- One encounter in Neverwinter Nights 2 is a literal Fairy Battle. With fairies. You can still kill them if you want to, but they are just pranksters and will reward you if you play along.
- To be specific, they want your pants...
- Chrono Trigger had Save Point Chest Monsters in Magus's Castle... which fluttered around doing nothing in particular until you killed them. They're evidently there just for the free experience and tech points...
- In MOTHER 3, there's an enemy called the "Walking Bushie" that casts Lifeup on the main characters in battle and never attacks. After a few rounds of healing, the bush walks away, ending battle. If you attack the bush, it runs away without healing you.
- The original MOTHER 1 featured an enemy called Groucho. While it could attack you, if you let it live, it would say "Hello" and then leave, giving a random party member a fair experience bonus.
- In some dungeons in Xenogears, you encounter repair bots that will simply heal your HP, and can't attack you. You can still kill them, though, and get some cash.
- The Legend of Dragoon has a "boss fight" in an early dungeon (the Shrine of Shirley) which is actually just a series of questions about your party's motivations and so forth. Just Guard in between each question to heal all the damage you took during the normal boss fight right beforehand.
- In Dragon Age: Origins you can occasionally encounter a dwarven vendor as a "random battle" when travelling on the map.
- Lost Odyssey features NPCs that challenge you to play music by hitting cubes in the battle interface.
- Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana has the "Ware Cat", I mean, "Were Cat",note who befriends Norn and will often appear to offer her items or healing in the first battle upon entering Poto's Forest.
- In Phantasy Star Zero, you may occasionally come across a group of Rappies, who are much less aggressive than most monsters. They also come with their own, more upbeat battle theme.
- Pokémon now has Audino and Alomomola, Pokémon that have attacks that can heal your Pokémon and yield a crapton of experience points.
- Also, the roaming legendaries in the earlier gens. You're wandering along, get the encounter preface, and expect a normal mon, and it turns out to be Entei, Raikou (Pokémon Gold and Silver and remakes) or one of the Legendary Birds, the Lake Trio or Cresselia (Pokémon Diamond and Pearl) and Platinum. The Gen IV games do have a radar-type device that will tell you when they're near, but you can still get surprised if you aren't paying attention to said radar. Gen V's roamers, however, are always preceded by giant storms, so you aren't too surprised.
- In AdventureQuest, you can get treasure chests instead of random encounters. This is how you get Blade of Awe pieces.
- Shin Megami Tensei:
- In many early Shin Megami Tensei games, your first encounter with demons will just be a tutorial for how to talk to them.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV has the first encounter with Mastema. He threatens you, the boss theme starts playing... nah, he's just trolling you. He lets you pass without incident.
- The rare battles in the Digital Devil Saga subseries involve the battles against Omoikame in the first game and Jack Frost's quiz questions in the second.
- The battles of Undertale are so unorthodox as is that an encounter where your regular interface is useless or inaccessible to progress is not a wildly unusual situation at all, and the battle start animation is used more than once before entering a mock Dating Sim interface with a friendly character instead. The game does plays the trope completely straight as you are traveling through New Home to meet with Asgore and various monsters along the way take it in turns to reveal the backstory of Asgore's son Asriel to you, with each chunk of the story being presented in the format of a random encounter fight screen. The entire sequence is startlingly emotional, considering the unorthodox presentation. In a Genocide Run, this sequence of quasi-encounters is replaced with a cynical rant from Flowey. A more sinister version is found in if you kill enough enemies in a particular zone: all random encounters in that zone will be replaced with the ominous message, "But nobody came." With fittingly ominous music to boot.
- Random encounter time! Declare marching order, roll initiative...and then there is no enemy, or an "enemy" that never attacks. Occasionally useful as a break from combat. Not to be confused with a Puzzle Boss that happens to be fought in initiative order.