A character is hard to kill, not because he doesn't get hurt, but because he has the ability to rapidly recover from serious damage. While it depends on how fast he can heal and how much of a beating his body can take, a character with healing factor will bounce back from severe injuries that other beings can't, often with no scars or medical treatment.
Slightly more plausible than being Super Tough or Nigh Invulnerable, as it is a souped-up version of a power certain real life forms possess. When this ability is powerful enough (such as regenerating from being reduced to almost nothing), it actually becomes a form of Nigh-Invulnerability, however. Rarely will a character need to worry about infection, as a super immune system is most often packaged in, but they may need to worry about setting broken bones.
Really powerful characters will be able to regenerate lost body parts. Ridiculously powerful regenerators may be able to recover From a Single Cell in a stain on the floor. Most often, loss of the head or brain injury is the only permanent damage, and even then they may come back just missing some memories or with an altered personality. Sometimes they appear to be dead for brief periods, but that's just the regeneration taking a while to deal with unusually severe damage.
On the down side, extreme regeneration often leads to the character getting targeted by The Worf Barrage so often, people go "Good Thing You Can Heal" because their Immortal Life Is Cheap. Also, regenerators are often more Made of Plasticine than the rest of the show's cast.
Note that if any real-world life form were able to recover this fast, they'd need a reserve of raw organic material to work from, and afterwards would be very hungry. The only way to justify always repairing the exact amount of flesh damaged is if it uses the actual damaged flesh to do it. Writers who acknowledge this often at least have their regenerator out of commission for some time, resting and feeding... or harvesting limbs. The effect may be compared to the rapid cell growth, differentiation and self-organization of human embryonic development if the writer is interested in any degree of scientific plausibility, but most don't bother with even that much Hand Wave; they just have the wounds close up and new tissues and organs appear. Depending on the strength of the regenerator, they may also be a practical Perpetual-Motion Monster, able to go for months or years without food and water since their healing factor keeps their body alive... though this sort of Immortality Hurts.
Reptilian characters, taking a cue from real-world lizards that can shed and re-grow their tails, are likely to possess at least a minor form of this. note These lizards suppress their immune system to allow their stem cells to respecialize, which would be very, very bad in a human and is why we can't do it. Dragons, werewolves, and vampires sometimes have it as well. Other Shapeshifting characters may have this packaged in with their powers, though it's often described as returning to their "default" form rather than regenerating. Nanomachines are a common justification for an acquired power by otherwise human characters in a technological setting.
If regenerators have an Achilles' Heel, it's most often a nasty one: either suffocation, decapitation, poison, gas, fire, ice, or acid. Other times, the weakness is similar to Clone Degeneration, each re-growth results in Harmful Healing and increasingly damaged appendages/organs/shorter lifespan.
An in-universe, as opposed to plot-based, version of Hollywood Healing. Doing this to others is Healing Hands or using a Healing Potion.
If a character can be blown to bits and reform you could be looking at Pulling Themselves Together. If it happens offscreen, this may be the explanation for an Iron Butt Monkey. If this appears in a video game without an in-storyexplanation, it's Walk It Off.
Also, it's more properly called an Accelerated Healing Factor; "Healing Factor" simply refers to how quickly you heal- normal humans, for instance, have their own healing factor: a normal one. This is in fact what it was originally called in comic books and elsewhere; "Healing Factor" emerged because it's, well, shorter.
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One of the abilities of Life Fiber hybrids in Kill la Kill, including protagonist Ryuko.
Loosely implied to be a vampire's source of immortality in Rosario + Vampire. Their blood has a powerful regenerative effect on anyone, which Tsukune is quick to demonstrate once this is introduced. To date, a quick infusion of vampire blood or the activation of the blood already present inside of him has saved him from: being burned alive, slashed through the heart, having his neck snapped twice, taking two fatal slashes to the torso, having the entire left side of his body crushed, taking an absurdly long beating and a giant scythe-like appendage to the chest immediately after, and that's all in the first season.
Akasha Bloodriver has a very powerful healing factor that can cover up even the most fatal of injures. Even cutting her in half won't be enough to kill her.
In Ichiban Ushiro No Daimaou, Sai gets an arm chopped off. The stump sprouts a new one, out of blood, which regenerates back to a regular arm in seconds.
The eponymous warriors of Claymore are classified as Offensive or Defensive types based on their youki. Generally speaking, Offensive types can reattach recently severed limbs while Defensive types can grow new ones. As Awakend Ones become more common, this often results in Defensive types aiding the Offensives in Pulling Themselves Together mid-battle.
Tower of God: Whenever Viole gets seriously injured a red lobster-like being pops out of his back and he gets healed almost instantly.
Most of the major characters of Hellsing, and the Nazi vampire mooks that show up later in the manga, have impressive regeneration abilities; Alexander Anderson, for example, can take several headshots in rapid succession and keep fighting. Every single one of them is put to shame by Alucard, though, who allows himself to be near-liquified at the beginning of several fights just to completely demoralize his opponents before brutally killing them.
Schrodinger probably takes the cake; it's implied that his ill-defined ability to be everywhere and nowhere lets him ignore any injury, and he shrugs off having his head splattered by an extra-large anti-vampire bullet.
The Wu from the manga and anime 3×3 Eyes are people who have had their souls extracted by an immortal Sanjiyan Unkara and kept within the Sanjiyan. As long as the Sanjiyan lives, the Wu cannot be killed or destroyed — by anything. Their healing factor is so great that main character Yakumo once regenerated from being chewed into tiny scraps by a giant demon in a matter of minutes. The one time where an Wu was dismembered without re-attaching it instantly after the fight, the arm was kept in an sealed container. However, that might have been just to keep the arm from moving; after all, Wus can still move their body parts even if they're cut off. When the container shattered and (more important) the seal on it, Yakumo's arm instantly started to grow back, informing him something was going wrong. And in the manga, he almost regularly loses his limbs and regows them (often resulting in him losing his combat gloves).
Abel from Trinity Blood has been shown regenerating a lost arm (from the leftover pool of blood) after it was blown off.
In the third episode of Haré+Guu, Guu regenerated her arm. After chopping it up and eating it.
C.C. from Code Geass, who can recover from fatal injuries (such as a bullet to the brain or heart) in a matter of minutes. A few episodes imply that she might be near Wolverine in terms of regeneration: Her former partner Mao intended to cut her into pieces so he could ship her to Australia in luggage, and fully expected her to survive. In the season finale, her current partner Lelouch witnesses her tormented memories, including being burned at the stake, the Iron Maiden, and apparently being guillotined. The first season also ends with her trapped at the bottom of the ocean in a Humongous Mecha, meaning she had to purge the cockpit and die at least twice due to pressure and drowning before she floated to the surface; Word of God confirmed this because there was no way they would get away with showing anything that gruesome on television. And for all this, the only mark she bears is a very deliberate-looking scar under her left breast.
In the Audio Commentary, when the staff and cast discuss C.C.'s powers, voice actress Yukana jokingly suggests probably the cutest version of a Healing Factor ever: that when C.C. is killed, her body breaks apart into several miniature C.C.s that run together to re-form her original body
This is Rin Asougi's only power in Mnemosyne. Unfortunately for her, this means she loses fights quite regularly, with fatal results. Seeing as how she can only permanently die from being devoured alive by a specific monster or having her 'time spore' pulled out by a specific person, this isn't quite Blessed with Suck.
Busou Renkin - Ikusabe, one of the alchemic warriors employed by the Regiment. His Busou Renkin, Gekisen, not only arms him with a triple-bladed spear, but it also concedes him and his weapon regenerative abilities, all the way from the atoms. He manages to regenerate his body completely even after Papillon blows it up completely!
Chirico Cuvie from Armored Trooper VOTOMS is called an "abnormal survivor," and has the capability to not only survive normally fatal physical injuries and illnesses, but to resist damage from certain types of injury, such as being burned alive by mecha fuel. However, as a negative side effect of this, he suffers extreme mental stress from all of the fatal injuries he has taken, to the point of being more or less outwardly emotionless. His early memories include being burned alive and shot through the heart.
Subverted in some aspects in Naruto: Tsunade and Naruto can regenerate from grievous injuries very quickly, but they do so via rapid cellular growth, which ages their bodies prematurely and shortens their lifespans (which actually happens). Also, Naruto tends to pass out and become famished regenerating anything more than minor injuries. "No matter what the injury is, one night of sleep has always been enough."
Played straighter with Orochimaru though, who has survived being cut in half amongst other things and shrugged it off. He can even shed his skin which regenerates himself, giving the appearance of vomiting out a fresh body. He also can soak up an insane amount of blunt force trauma, far more than any normal character in the story.
He can do so without fear of shortening his lifespan because he regularly commits Grand Theft Me on others. It does however mean he burns through weaker bodies in just the three years he has before his transfer form can survive another transplant.
The primary effect of the "Cure virus" in Ever17 is to give the infected party a healing factor that makes it impossible for them to be killed.
In Slayers, trolls have such fast regeneration abilities that they are nearly impossible to kill. The main character, Lina Inverse, solves this issue by casting a magic-reversal spell on all the trolls so that even the tiniest scratch results in nearly instant death-by-implosion.
Berserk Evangelions have this ability, ranging from regrowing shattered bone to manifesting whole limbs out of angelic flesh or its own AT Field. Angels have his by default, as all of them have S2 organs and couldn't operate alone without support units.
In Dragon Ball, Namekians like Piccolo regenerate as long as their vital organs are intact. The later villains in Z have even greater regeneration abilities: Cell can regenerate From a Single Cell thanks to having both Piccolo's regeneration and Freeza's ridiculous durability, while Majin Buu can regenerate after being reduced to vapour. In fact, regenerators like Cell and Buu get maimed so often that it's pretty blatant that the creators are just looking for opportunities to show off their self-healing abilities.
Kanda in D.Gray-Man has accelerated healing, but at the cost of some of his life.
Also Road, who can't be killed unless you know her "true form".
And Krory, who can heal himself by drinking Akuma's blood.
Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi is able to regenerate using her Magic from Technology, apart from being seemingly unaffected by physical injuries. The limits are unknown, but it does happen in an instant.
The Homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist all have this power. The Shapeshifter Baggage is somewhat justified by having the Homunculi powered by a Philosopher's Stone, which converts energy into matter. When their stone runs out of juice, the Homunculi lose their powers & have to get it recharged (or run the risk of becoming Deader than Dead).
Ranma from Ranma ˝ recovers from injuries so fast some fans have theorized he has a Healing Factor. Witness him shatter every bone in his body and recover to full fighting capacity only a few moments later, in the middle of a fight.
"Full fighting capacity"? Later in the fight, he was buried under several tons of ice, punched through said ice, leapt around like a flea on acid, and was still able to run from a vengeful Amazon that very night without ever stopping to rest, and all that in his "weaker" female form. In the manga, anyway (where Shampoo's arrival took place immediately after the Ice Skating duel.)
Lampshaded early on: his agreement with Shampoo to "half-kill (girl) Ranma" (long story) didn't work because he instantly recovered after the massive beatdown.
The final enemy of the series, the Phoenix King Saffron, can generate limitless amounts of heat... which he uses to rejuvenate himself at will. He has had half of his body (head included) frozen solid, and the arm on that side broken off; as soon as the freezing influence was removed, he merely melted the ice with no damage to his brain and sprouted a whole new arm. He's not above tearing off his own wings and flinging them as deadly flaming projectiles, and having his entire body frozen and shattered only inconveniences him as far as making him regenerate a brand new infant body.
All of the characters (or at least RyogaHibiki and Mousse) have displayed something like this at least once in the series, if never quite in as impressive a fashion as Ranma.
On at least one occasion (during the first appearance of Shampoo), Ranma is beaten "half to death" by Genma and Soun, and looks to be in horrible shape. Akane says something that irritates him, and he pops upright, almost completely unhurt — which causes Akane to ask, "Weren't you beaten to a pulp just a second ago?"
The Immortals from the Mermaid Saga can regenerate from any wound, naturally, except burning to ash or having their heads completely severed.
The Guyvers from Biobooster Armour Guyver can regenerate their entire bodies if destroyed, so long as the control medal on their foreheads is not damaged. At one point, lead character Sho contemplates being a clone since his original body was killed.
In addition, Aptom develops a massively potent regeneration ability, still limited to available biomatter unlike the Guyvers, which he uses to great effect by splitting up in to clones and using one as a distraction.
Finally, any of the monsters created by Chronos could have damage regenerated by spending some time in a giant test tube.
Shikabane Hime in the show of the same name normally heal faster than humans, and can regenerate limbs given enough time. They can also have most wounds healed instantaneously by their contracted monk.
Immortals in Baccano!! get this standard with their immortality. They also avert the Regenerative Baggage issue by using the damaged or spilled flesh and blood to patch up the wounds. Yes, even if their remains are splattered across the room, thrown off a speeding train, or (in the novels) burned into smoke. A special version of the elixir was made by Szilard and given to Dallas and his cronies which gives them just the Healing Factor but they still age.
Ulquiorra Schiffer of Bleach reveals that this is his special ability during the final stage of his fight with Ichigo. It doesn't help.
It is actually an ability of many hollows to self-regenerate. Ulquiorria mentions that most of the Arrancar gave up this ability to become more powerful.
Aizen has this as well in his Butterfly form. Case in point: he survived Ichigo's ultimate attack.
Kotaro of Mahou Sensei Negima! has a Healing Factor as part of his ultimate demon form, and it's pretty freaking good, considering he survived getting impaled in the chest by a bunch of Rakan's giants swords.
Negi can reform severed limbs in his lightning mode. This is because he turns his body into lightning, and therefore can't be permanently injured by physical attacks. Naturally, he promptly runs into an opponent who can bypass that protection...
Evangeline can easily heal things like being impaled, losing a limb or having her hair cut in a matter of seconds.
One of the "signature" abilities of the Deadman soldiers in Gungrave is the ability to regenerate/near-instantly revive from almost all injuries sustained. Beyond the Grave, the heroic Deadman of the series, has this ability because of the technology used to reanimate him and other Deadmen. Grave's weakness? His healing is powered by full-body transfusions of his (rare?) blood type. Lack of blood for a prolonged period of time results in him decomposing and slowly reverting back to true death.
Franken Fran has a story of a girl with a Healing Factor that reached Body Horror levels. See, not only does it replace lost arms and legs, but it keeps on creating new body parts even when she's perfectly healthy. The end result is a body with multiple faces, organs, limbs, and torsos growing out of it at once.
In Love Hina, Keitaro's immortality is expressed as being able to completely heal from the worst Megaton Punches and landings from said punches within a few panels. This is averted only once, when he gets his leg broken; that takes several chapters to heal, and the Hinata girls are amazed that it actually happened. Oh, and the reason? The giant decorative thing on the top of the university hall fall on him. And this only happened because someone said he used up all his luck.
Killy from Blame!! has a very slow-acting Healing Factor. He can apparently recover from any damage, but it takes years, or even decades. Severed limbs take less time to reattach, which is fairly necessary considering theweaponheuses.
Soul Eater has a couple of examples. People infected the with Black Blood have been shown to heal quickly from those injuries their nigh-invulnerability doesn't protect them from. Werewolf Free thinks nothing of getting stabbed because he can easily heal. Lastly, Kid gains this at one point in the manga, being able to re-attach a limb.
The older Toguro brother, who can both regenerate and restructure his body at will, and will apparently survive any and all injuries as long as even a single cell of him is still alive. So Kuraa ultimately traps him in a Fate Worse than Death.
The younger brother also has a healing factor, though not as strong as Elder Toguro's, as shown when Genkai blows a large hole in him with the Spirit Wave. He simply doesn't have to use it as much since he's also Made of Iron.
This was given to him by Lordgenome, who achieves immortality by putting cells into biological stasis. He applied this to himself hundreds, possibly thousands of years before episode 1 takes place.
GUN×SWORD - This is one of the perks of being linked to one of the Original Seven armors (mechs). Unfortunately, the symbiotic link also means that riders need their armor to live (at least if they have had reconstructive surgery).
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka gets this, as a result of her wish involving healing. It's indicated that they can all do this with healing magic, but Sayaka is probably the best at it.
The monomakia from Brigadoon: Marin and Melan heal rapidly, especially if they return to their ampules. The monomakia Cosmos can apparently confer a lesser degree of healing factor on its user, too.
Then, there's Naraku. Being cut to bits is only a minor inconvenience to him.
Kikyou is capable of healing herself using the souls that she has collected to sustain her fake body. After being beat up particularly bad (which happens a lot, she has fallen from many a cliffs), she retreats into her barrier to recover and collect more souls for a while before showing up again, fine and dandy. The power of the soul in question seems to determine how much she is capable of healing and one particularly powerful one allows her to recover from wounds that threatened to destroy her body. Considering that many of the souls she collects likely belong to no name and weak village girls, it makes sense why this ability probably wouldn't be capable of doing all that much normally.
In Tiger & Bunny, one of the less utilized advantages of Kotetsu's Hundred Power - one that doesn't see use until the thirteenth episode - is the ability to accelerate the speed of his healing by a hundredfold. Unfortunately, this only means that (at the absolute most) he can give himself less than eight-and-a-half hours' worth of concentrated healing, which, as any doctor will tell you, is barely enough time to sort out the cosmetic damage, let alone the serious stuff.
Though he'd be able to cram almost a weeks worth of recovery in a single day if he'd use it after every hour or so (more if he'd be willing to forego sleep).
Rin from Blue Exorcist heals from wounds pretty fast. Like, getting stabbed in the stomach only for it to heal in mere minutes? Arthur even cut off his foot, since he knew it would grow back sooner or later.
In Tokko, a healing factor is one of the powers gained by people with phantoms living inside them.
Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Ayumu will heal from anything. It helps that he's already dead but he still feels pain and can be injured. When he leaps off a building holding a bomb the girls in his harem have to collect all his body parts and reattach them before he heals.
Both averted and played straight in One Piece. Characters who have eaten Logia Devil Fruitsappear to have healing factors. But in reality, they can just put themselves back together if they get cut while using their abilities. If they actually get injured, then they can't heal themselves simply by changing into whatever element they have. But then there's Marco, First Division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, who actually does have a healing factor, thanks to eating a Mythical Zoan Fruit that lets him change into a phoenix.
Arlong is a more specific example in that he can regrow his teeth almost immediately, to the point that he rips out two whole sets himself to use as impromptu weapons.
Both Yukiko and Liselotte Werckmeister from 11eyes share the same immortality with rapid healing factor and undying. It is revealed that the Voidstone is the source of the immortality and separating it from the host will disable that immortality.
In Popcorn Avatar, this is one of Ryuudou Taiga's abilities as his sister's avatar.
In Claymore, Priscilla has an extreme form of the healing factor that takes it to the next dimension. To be specific, Dae speculate it is an embodiment of Priscilla's hatred boiling over from inside, leading Rubel to ask if he is saying it is creation. In short, a form of the healing factor residing in the domain of gods.
In A Certain Magical Index, Tsuchimikado's esper ability is "Auto Regeneration", basically accelerated healing. He's only a Level 0, though, so it isn't accelerated by all that much. Also, subverted when losing an arm doesn't faze Touma in Deep Blood arc. Turns out to be a decisive bluff. Another example, creatures made of AIM demonstrate the ability to rapidly heal any damage done to their physical body; the only way to kill them is to destroy a prism-shaped "core" somewhere within them.
In Attack on Titan, the Titans are extremely fragile and relatively light despite their size. To make up for that, they have an extremely potent healing factor and feel no pain. They can recover from any injury as long as the napes of their necks aren't destroyed. Titan Shifters also possess this ability, whether in human form or transformed into their Titans. Eren has regrown missing limbs and a tooth thanks to his powers. Likewise, Bertolt survives getting a Slashed Throat that should have been fatal and is barely slowed down.
In the Trigun manga, members of the Eye of Michael can have a really strong healing factor capable of regenerating the loss of a large percentage of the body within minutes by drinking out of special vials. This leads to their fights being some of the most prolonged and grisly in the series. This ability comes at a cost of being Cast from Lifespan.
An arc in his main book was written to tone this down — by the same writer who had written one of the more ridiculous examples, ironically enough.It exemplifies Voodoo Shark - he could battle the Angel of Death if ever he dies in order to return to life, having beaten him before, but apparently can no longer do this.
There's also Wolverine's Opposite-Sex CloneX-23, who has all of Wolverine's powers. Though the exact nature of her healing factor outside of Limbo has yet to be determined. It apparently has some limit (then again, she did take a direct hit from Nimrod). Wolverine's son Daken also inherited his fathers healing factor.
Finally, Wolverine's arch-enemy Sabretooth had virtually the same power-set, including the healing factor. But all that was cut to an abrupt end. Thanks to Wolvie's anti-healing katana forged from the dark area of his soul.
Due to the nature of most children's shows, this can't be shown that effectively. The 90's X-Men animated show tries to, but it amounts to them needing less rest than everyone else; it's best shown on TV in X-Men: Evolution when Wolverine is shown to have broken his legs from a helicopter jump, and later on in Season 4 when he falls out a plane.
Mr Sinister has a healing factor that puts them two of them to shame; he can recover from massive physical wounds, up to and including having his entire chest blown out, and Depending on the Writer he can even recover From a Single Cell, or at least from having his entire body reduced to liquid. He is essentially the T-1000 (though he predates him), and since he seemingly has no blood, Bloodless Carnage is in effect and his factor was portrayed in the animated series fairly blatantly.
Apocalypse, likewise, has a great healing factor, though not quite as broken as Sinister's. It appears to be an extension of his Celestial tech Power Armor and Voluntary Shapeshifting, as he more or less appears to close any wound at will- which means, he consciously chooses to heal them, so its not really a seperate power and if he left them the wound would probably heal at a normal rate, but with his powers he can do it in seconds. In general, this is limited to superficial-to-moderate injuries- he probably can't recover from, say, disemberment- but things that would kill anyone else he can shrug off with a laugh. The fact that he also has Nigh-Invulnerability combined with Combo Platter Powers (including very strong personal Force Fields) means that doing him harm in the first place is a challenge in itself anyway. He also pulls a Grand Theft Me every now and then, targeting especially powerful mutants when he can (regardless, the new host inherits his old powers), and can recover from near-death either by that or by draining energy from any minions he has infused with his technology.
Lobo from DC Comics has an absurdly over-the-top Healing Factor, as he is partly a Wolverine parody. Plus, neither afterlife wants him.
This is taken to such ridiculous extremes that at one point, one of his powers was that a single drop of his blood will grow into another Lobo.
In one story, Lobo was "killed" by having a very special bomb shoved down his throat. He exploded in a spray of crimson... only for EACH drop of blob to grow into a Lobo clone in a matter of seconds. The group of Lobos brutally murder the aggressor.... and then turn on each other, specifically murdering each other in bloodless ways, until only one remains. He announces that he is the true Lobo, and then goes off doing Lobo type things. It's implied that this happens regularly.
The Incredible Hulk has been at various times shown to have a healing factor that makes Wolverine's pale in comparison at times. (Including having all his skin ripped off and regrown in seconds— partly justified in that drawing mass and energy from another dimension is explicitly part of his powers.)
More specifically, the Hulk's healing factor is much like his strength level in that it's tied into his emotional state. The Hulk not only gets stronger as he gets angrier, he also heals faster.
Apparently, Hulk's healing is so fast that it took years for anybody to even notice it existed. He regenerates so quickly that nobody could tell that attacks could actually damage him to begin with.
Iceman could be considered to fit this trope - he once had a giant hole blown in his chest while in ice form. He was quite reasonably afraid of dying if he changed back but when he did it was as if the injury had never even happened in the first place.
Deadpool from Marvel also has this (he even got it from the same place as Wolverine got his adamantium skeleton), but since he had cancer before his Healing Factor caused the tumors to grow out of control and made him horribly scarred and insane (he thinks he's a character in a comic book)
Well, Deadpool's been shown to recover from being liquefied. When he melted into a puddle, and Cable swallowed him (TO SAVE THEIR LIVES) and then regurgitated him, and Deadpool returned to his solid state almost instantly.
There is also that time where Wolverine stabbed him through the head. And Deadpool only asked him (with claws just north of his eyes) to move a little to the left so he could scratch his brain.
Mr Immortal from Marvel's mutant universe has a unique version: he always recovers from fatal injury. It's not shown how he'd cope with just normal grievous bodily harm, although this is rarely an issue—typically, he's facing villains who are more than happy to kill him. And if he was just really wounded, all he'd need to do is commit suicide ...
Paul Kirk, one of The DCU's numerous Manhunters, was given his healing factor by a particularly nasty group of Well Intentioned Extremists, as (apparently) was one of the clones they made of him, also known as Manhunter. The revival of Manhunter came a year before the introduction of Wolverine, and his power was actually referred to as a "healing factor," so Manhunter's series — which won many awards in the 1970s but has since fallen into obscurity — may be the Trope Codifier for modern comic books.
The vampiric Cassidy from Preacher could do this, but he had to actually open up someone's vein before he could heal.
The 1990s comic book hero Darkhawk doesn't exactly have a healing factor, but he can instantly repair all the damage to his android form by shifting back to his human form, which sends his armor back to the spaceship where it can be almost instantly repaired with nanotechnology, allowing him to summon it back at full strength. Injuries to Darkhawk's human body couldn't be healed this way, however.
Blade heals far faster than humans, and even faster than some other superhumans with lower level healing factors. Injuries such as stab and slash wounds take care of themselves just fine.
Even Spider-Man is shown to have a limited version of this ability, although it seems more that he can just heal faster from injuries that any normal human can recover from, with bruises and sprains often disappearing only a day or two after Spidey is hurt. He certainly isn't Made of Iron to the extent that Wolverine and the Hulk are, however.
It's been explained that Spider-Man's body has gained some properties of a spider's exoskeleton. His outside gets the hits, and his insides stay relatively undamaged. That may not be how science works, but the "RADIO-ACTIVE SPIDER BITE" people probably aren't too worried about the hard facts.
It was initially explained as the relative healing of a spider. And that makes no sense, because humans heal faster than spiders. The exoskeleton remark makes a bit more sense. It would make it harder to injure him, but it would also effect his weight and movement. He would also have to shed it.
Curt Connors used lizard DNA to regrow his amputated right arm, which successfully gained him this power but also made him an unwilling villain. In the movie he heals from machine-gun fire and grows new limbs in seconds.
The Venom and Carnage symbiotes are also close to immortal, where they can heal from anything but continual and ongoing exposure to high-pitched sounds. The Sentry once ripped Carnage in half (in outer space, no less) but he still somehow managed to come back. The hosts are more vulnerable- Cletus Kasady lost both his legs thanks to that, but when the symbiote returned to him he was able to walk about freely (though he had prosthetics in-between)- but still recover from most injuries as long as the symbiote is attached to them. The latest Venom host is paraplegic Flash Thompson- he uses the symbiote for limited periods (too long and the symbiote will start controlling his body and thoughts) but as long as he uses it he can walk just fine and is, in fact, a full-blown Super Soldier.
Norman Osborn has this, given to him as a Retcon to explain how he came Back from the Dead- consequently, this means even impaling his heart with a large spiked object only requires time to recover from; the in-universe explanation is that he always had it (ie. ever since getting his powers) but hadn't noticed since he had never been that badly injured before (he is Made of Iron and can shrug off small caliber bullets, so that helps a bit).
It is unclear to what extent writers remember that he has this power- when fighting Spiderman, he has since recovered from being hit by a bag of bombs and falling hundreds of stories to the ground while aflame (all at the same time); survived a point-blank explosion from Nitro the Living Bomb being buried alive in a collapsed elevator shaft (along with Peter- Osborn recovered almost instantly, if he was badly injured at all, but Peter was in hospital for days); and many, many savage beatings from Spiderman including one that culminated in having his head smashed in with a lamppost, caving it into concrete- again, he recovered within days, if not hours, off-panel, and was in perfect health when we next saw him. Some stories, however, seem to suggest that he can be killed rather easily- Hawkeye, for instance, was going to shoot him with an arrow, and the plot seemed to imply that that would do the trick. Almost no story since his return explicitly mentions his healing factor by name either.
The Savage Dragon can regrow lost limbs, albeit slowly. One villain actually used this against Dragon by breaking every bone in his body, then stuffing him down a smokestack so he healed all wrong. To fix him, another hero had to break his bones again to let him heal correctly.
90s hero Xombi has a Nano Machine based healing factor. It's treated more realistically in that the title character does explicitly need raw organic material to properly heal. In the first issue, his lab assistant is partially devoured when she rests her body against his own while he's healing.
Green Arrow II, Connor Hawke, has recently been granted healing powers by the machinations of Dr Sivana in an issue of Green Arrow and Black Canary.
Sivana gave him that healing factor using bits of Plastic Man, a character that has survived being turned to stone, shattered, and having the pieces scattered around the ocean floor for over 1,000 years. Yeah, Plastic Man takes this trope to the extreme.
Plastic Man doesn't actually heal. He's just Nigh Invulnerable as the result of having total control over his physical structure. It's the same principle that allowed him to change back to his regular shape whenever Circe turned him into an animal.
In Immortal Iron Fist, this is one of the explicit abilities of the Cobra Warrior of Peng Lai. Old Cobra once reversed his aging to become a young man again, One Armed Cobra regenerated his long-missing arm, and Fat Cobra managed to grow back both of his legs and repair his severed spinal cord after a fateful encounter with the multi-headed dragon Xiang Yao.
Mystique may have a healing factor, or it may just be an extension of her shapeshifting; it's kind of on the fence, and can vary from series to series.
Raven of the Teen Titans is able to heal herself by drawing magical energy from the emotions of others. Even with this power, she still falls into comas while healing on a few occasions.
Although hurting Superman is pretty hard to begin with, if you manage it, he will recover quickly. He once recovered from a slit throat minutes afterwards. It's unknown if this is a power of his, or just an above-average recovery time that has nothing to do with yellow-sun radiation.
It depends on which version you're talking about. Gold and Modern Age Kryptonians were genetically engineered. Yellow solar radiation makes it happen faster. Silver age Kryptonians were normal humans on Krypton. When surrounded by a Red Solar Forcefield, Superman was human but escaping "Shredded every tendon in his legs." Upon escaping "his tendons instantly repair and all the pains of humanity melt away."
Doomsday, in The Death of Superman. He's borderline Type I as it takes someone in Superman's weight class to even take him on and then, he can regenerate from anything, including death. The process actually supposedly makes him stronger each time with a new defense adapted to whatever killed him so he can never be killed the same way twice so in theory he's approaching Type I. He's shades of Type 4 also as, unlike some of the others on this list, when he's killed he actually stays dead for days or weeks.
Depending on the Writer, The Flash uses his super speed as essentially a form of Healing Factor; he experiences the normal healing a human body is capable of, but at a much faster rate. Kid Flash/Impulse, who shares the same power set, has to deal with one of the downsides when Deathstroke shoots his knee with buck shot: his super speed lets him heal very quickly, but without extracting the buck shot and setting the bone correctly his leg will be essentially useless. Making it worse, his super-metabolism also makes him immune to pain medicine, meaning he had to be awake while his bones were re-broken, set, and the metal was removed.
Man-Thing seems to come back from anything as long as he is in proximity to water.
Space Elf Jedi Master Fay from Republic #55 has a healing factor due to her deep connection to the Force. Unfortunately, it fails at a crucial moment because of her giving her Force reseverves to Obi-Wan to help him jump to safety. As a result, she ends up dying from stab wounds inflicted on her by Asajj Ventress.
The DCU's Shade is one of these. No matter what you do to him - shoot him full of bullets, blast him to pieces, rip out his heart - he'll always regenerate his injuries. The only way to kill him permanently is to take away his shadow, removing his powers, then deliver a killing blow. In one potential future, he's still going strong after several millennia.
Also in the DCU are the Black Lanterns, which can regenerate From a Single Cell and can usually only be destroyed by the combined light of a Green Lantern and any of the other colors.
Vandal Savage is another DCU example; he got his immortality from a meteor back during the Cro-Magnon era. He possesses a Healing Factor (as well as other powers) that considerably slow his aging process to the point of it being almost nonexistent.
The Five Archons in The Secret History. They can be killed, probably, but they're certainly not easy to kill.
Mildly deconstructed with Jaeger in Finder: he has superhealing (as well as being a mild WolverineExpy in other ways), but if he doesn't get injured for too long a period it makes his immune system overactive and he gets auto-immune diseases.
Luke Cage has one of a similar sort to Spidey's, in that he heals faster than a normal human but can be harmed (not that much gets past that skin of his).
Minor Marvel villain Madcap also has a healing factor. It's a Bloodless Carnage variant, and he can still control his body parts if they're detached. In the words of his severed head:
Madcap: I'm indestructible. No, that's not right...you can destruct me. What's the word for when, no matter how bad you Humpty my Dumpty, I Wolverine myself back together again?
Vampires in Luminosity have this. Even if someone tears them apart, unless the flesh is actually kept separate, they will regroup and regenerate. There's only one surefire way to kill one. And Bella found a way around that.
In Fallout: Equestria - Pink Eyes, the lead character Puppysmiles is a Canterlot Ghoul. This Puppy can survive outrageous injuries. Her list so far includes being dismembered and devoured by a manticore, taking several antimateriel rifles to the chest, and being cut to ribbons by a Minigun barrage.
Taken Up to Eleven with Rampage in Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, whose Healing Factor makes her flat-out immortal. She has recovered from extensive Taint mutation, headshots,being beheaded, being blown up, leaping into a woodchipper and even being completely desintegrated. In the latter few cases, she regenerates as a filly, regaining her adult body in the course of several days. Her healing factor also renders her Immune to Drugs, meaning that if she wants to get drunk, she generally has to poison herself with, say, washing detergent beforehand. While making her a valuable asset to the team, it only serves to aggravate her; she's a Death Seeker, and would like little more than a way to get herself killed, permanently.
In the third volume of Horizons, Blackjack herself gains a healing factor of her own, courtesy of Magitechcybernetics. Even her mechanical parts regenerate, if supplied with - ingested - scrap metal.
In the original Fallout: Equestria, Littlepip gains a healing factor after suffering taint exposure. Like the Fallout example below, it regenerates her limbs when she's under the effects of advanced radiation poisoning. On one occasion, it allows her to regrow an entire leg.
In Golden Dawn: Lost Sunrise, Tidepaw receives several wounds in a fight. However, when they ask the Clan's medicine cat for some herbs, the medicine cat points out their mysterious lack of wounds. Despite this, the scar on Tidepaw's forehead has never healed. In fact, it's still as fresh as it was when she first received it.
Lauren develops one in the Lost Girl fic Mad World. It eventually develops to the one point where she can take the wound of somebody else (curing them), and then heal herself. Though she's not as fond of this one.
Unfortunately this turns into a major Blessed with Suck when she's captured by a really sadistic Fae, as the fact that she heals from his torture just means he can torture her again.
In Godzilla 2000, the genetic origin of this (dubbed "Organizer G-1") is explicitly described as the ultimate source (in combination with its sheer mass) of Godzilla's apparent immunity to attacks. It's so powerful, in fact, that the invading aliens utilize it in order to give themselves physical form (though the plan backfires and causes them to revert to the powerful but nonsentient kaiju "Orga").
Sammael from Hellboy can heal from any non-fatal injury almost instantly.
The Clock Punk robots of Hellboy II: The Golden Army can repair themselves after being ripped to pieces.
Immortals from Highlander have fast healing, recovering from non-fatal injuries just as fast as deadly ones. The only injuries they do not heal from are ones to the neck - this is why they can only be killed by cutting their heads off.
Or, according to Highlander: The Raven, severing their spine by any other means. They also can not regenerate limbs as seen when a fine young cannibal gets his hand cut off and in future episodes has no hand.
When The Iron Giant gets his arms knocked off by a train, the parts return to him and reattach themselves.
In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina and Dorian actually wonder if they can be killed. They both heal from their wounds in seconds during their fight, prompting Dorian to note, "We'll be at this all day." Their Healing Factor is based on different abilities, though. In Mina's case, it's because she's been bitten by Dracula and is now a vampire. In Dorian's, it's because his portrait takes all his age and damage for him.
John Oldman in The Man from Earth is unsure whether he has a full-fledged healing factor, (for instance, if you shot him, would the wound heal in front of your eyes, or would he drop dead?), and has gone out of his way to avoid testing it. All he knows is that he doesn't age (he looks 35 despite claiming to be 14,000 years old) or scar.
Jeebs from Men In Black has an incredibly effective healing factor as his alien ability. Every scene with Jeebs involves him getting his head shot off, only to have it grow back in the space of seconds. The RPG specified that he had a limited number of several vital organs, including his head. The animated series said his species didn't need to breathe oxygen, but needed it to regenerate. The healing factor didn't apply to all his physiology. After shooting him, K threatens to shoot him again in a place "where it don't grow back." By the sequel, his head looks misshapen from the repeated shootings by J. Word of God is that his organs don't grow back exactly as before.
In Star Trek: Into Darkness, Harrison's blood allows his cells to heal at an astonishing rate, which he uses to heal a sick girl in the beginning in exchange for a favor. Later, Bones revives a dead tribble with it, and then uses it to save Kirk.
The T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It's too bad that a lot of scenes from the end were cut, and are thus not canon. The protagonists did enough damage over the course of the movie, specifically highlighting the freeze-and-shoot moment, that the T-1000 isn't able to completely maintain his form. Moments include grabbing a handrail, and having his fingers stick and assume the color of the warning paint, and while he walks his feet tends to melt.
This is also what tips John Conner off that his mom is the T-1000 in disguise.
In addition, it has it's limits, as it gets blown up with a grenade from the inside, and can't repair it's mangled form because of the pressurized impact and heat. That and it's fall into molten steel.
Vampires and Lycans all have an advanced form of this in the Underworld series. While Silver rounds can kill Lycans, they can use their healing factor to push the rounds out and heal the damage. Vampires eventually get around this by using liquid rounds that release Silver Nitrate into the bloodstream, preventing the healing factor from working effectively. Hybrids have an even more advanced case of this.
Taken Up to Eleven with Quint in Underworld Awakening, who can heal from any wound almost instantly. This screws him in the end, as Selene punches a hole in him, and leaves a grenade inside. The wound heals, trapping the grenade inside him.
The Djinn in Wishmaster have a ramped-up healing factor as part of their Complete Immortality. They can actually be hurt (as the Djinn in the first film demonstrates by blowing its own brains out, which he concedes hurt a lot), but the damage just repairs itself instantly.
In The Wolverine Wolverine loses his trademark Healing Factor, which is suppressed by the Yashida Corporation, through technological means.
In the 3rd X Men film, Wolverine fights a mutant who can regrow limbs instantly— but is not immune to a Groin Attack.
In Warlock, witch hunter Redferne stabs the Warlock to kill him, but finds that even the incomplete Grimoire gives the Warlock the power to recover from the wound almost immediately.
In End of Days, Satan quickly heals his host's wounds after Jericho shoots him. Near the end he suffers so much damage that he doesn't even bother repairing it anymore and starts looking for a new body because he's running out of time to complete his plan.
Billy "Carnifex" Ray from the Wild Cards series of novels is a slight subversion; he has a Healing Factor that acts as the biological equivalent of "meatball surgery". It will save his life and restore practical functionality, but repeated injuries have left him somewhat misshapen (e.g. a broken nose healing while still bent out of place).
The Mechanic's Healing Factor required him to be in contact with a machine.
Stuntman's Healing Factor regrows the damaged tissue violently, leaving him disoriented and very hungry.
Jordan the Barbarian from the Xanth books has regeneration as his magical talent, allowing him to recover from anything (anything) up to and including death... so long as his body parts are fairly close to each other. However, after being reunited with himself at the end of a 400-year period of being sliced up and scattered, he did need a lot of food to fully recover.
In Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci series, nine-lived enchanters can recover from mortal injuries such as a broken neck or 100% burns, but only eight times, and it does indeed make them very hungry.
Cormac limbs from the Saga Of Darren Shan has the ability to regain lost body parts, when you cut off his head, two smaller heads appear. The guy who decapitated him was suitably freaked out.
Wizards in The Dresden Files have a slight healing factor, which allows allows them to live for centuries and heal any injury perfectly and without scarring. Harry notes at one point that, given the abuse he's faced over the years, he'd be facing the kind of constant aches and pains a retired football player does if not for his healing factor. They don't heal injuries any faster than a normal human would, though, and any physical trauma that would kill a normal will kill a wizard.
The Specials in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series have Nanomachines in their blood that allow them to heal quickly.
Mistwraiths and some Allomancers in the Mistborn books both have rapid healing. Mistwraiths because they can simply alter their body mass into muscle or other kinds of tissue (though they can't create or repair bone), while any Allomancer that can "burn" pewter will gain super-human healing (though we're talking a week or two to recover from a should-be-fatal cut, not regrowing arms in minutes) in addition to the other benefits it provides.
The Inquisitors and especially the Lord Ruler have this even moreso. Inquisitors can regenerate from almost any injury, though it takes up a lot of their energy, while the Lord Ruler has been at various points in his Backstory shot, stabbed, decapitated, burned alive, and flayed. He shrugged off all of them in minutes, with no significant harm done.
Wordof God is the The Lord Ruler wasn't fully decapitated - he only had his neck chopped about three-quarters of the way through. Similarly, when he was burned alive, only the outer layer of skin and muscle was burned. If he had been completely decapitated or burned down to the bone, he would have been killed, but considering how powerful he is as a combatant, this is a lot easier said than done.
Feruchemists can save up their health in "goldminds" (feeling horribly sick the whole time) then splurge it all in one burst of incredibly fast regeneration. The Inquisitors' and the Lord Ruler's even-faster healing comes from their ability to combine Mistborn and Feruchemical talents.
Miles in The Alloy of Law manages the most impressive one. His healing factor is so powerful, he shoots himself in the face with a shotgun just to show off. Repeatedly. Without being even temporarily incapacitated. While possessing no other superhuman powers.
It's noted he carries around sticks of dynamite to alleviate his one weakness - that, as he possesses no other superhuman powers, he can be disabled pretty well by tying him up - although you need either well designed nets or several men to do so, because his healing factor still makes him deadly in hand-to-hand. To get around this, he simply takes the dynamite out and blows himself up, destroying the netting in the process. He doesn't really care because his healing factor has been going so long he can't actually feel pain any more.
His Healing Factor is so powerful that even when completely deprived of the very gold he uses to power it, it still takes a firing squad four entire volleys to actually kill him because he kept healing.
In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, the Kencyr peoples have impressive healing abilities, although much of it requires dwar sleep, a hibernation-like mode of deep, restorative sleep which can, for severe injuries, last for weeks. Jame, the protagonist, sleeps for thirteen days after she arrives in Tai-tastigon with severely infected haunt bites (haunts being essentially zombies); her healing astonishes the human healer who tends to her. Kencyr can also regenerate lost teeth, and through dwar sleep can recuperate from punishing speeds on foot, allowing their armies to cover ground at a sustained rate much faster than human armies can attain.
Averted, and possibly inverted, in The Belgariad, where the gods have no healing ability whatsoever because they're normally invincible and have no need of it. Meaning that when the Big Bad Torak is badly maimed, his injuries, consisting of horrible burns and a destroyed eye, remain exactly the same as when Torak received them, pain and all, even after thousands of years.
The Father of Titans from the Warhammer 40,000Grey Knights novel Dark Adeptus has one that allows for real-time regeneration of fairly severe damage, though not direct, explosive core sabotage. The Grey Knights themselves, as Super Soldiers, have a better-than-human regeneration, though they still need an apothecary for severe stuff.
In Octavia Butler's Fledgling, the protagonist recovers from being caught in a burning building—it's implied that she had severe head injuries and was blind at the start. At the end of the process, she's fine except for the amnesia, but she needs fresh meat as soon as possible, and is too hungry to notice where it comes from. It's one of her brother's human friends, who was there trying to find and rescue her.
Tempus from Thieves' World has a healing factor that was given to him by his patron god Vashanka. However, as this is Thieves' World and Vashanka is the sister-raping, brother-killing, mage-hating, generally nasty Rankan war-god, there's obviously going to be a catch. In this case, Tempus heals from anything that doesn't kill him at about the normal human healing rate. This is particularly crap when he gets all his limbs and his tongue cut off by a serial killer who doesn't realise he's damn near immortal.
In the Parrish Plessis series, one of the abilities granted by The Corruption is enhanced healing. The effects aren't too extreme; the infected can still be killed by mundane means, and still need a while to recover from severe injuries like broken bones. It is, however, quite good at dealing with toxins, which lead some well-intentioned people to start spreading it around as a cure for the pervasive heavy metal poisoning in their slum. Then the others side-effects of infection began to appear...
The protagonist of the abominable Baldur's Gate novelisations, Abdel Adrian, gets this in the second book. Due to his divine blood, his injuries will simply heal after a while, even when bits come off. This mainly serves to counterbalance the fact that, even though he's an awful Canon Sue, he kind of sucks at fighting. Also, it increases the gorn potential by letting him be sliced up too.
Lanik Mueller from A Planet Called Treason comes from a family who achieved a Healing Factor through generations of genetic modifications. It takes a lot to kill a Mueller. (They routinely cut off each other's fingers and pry out eyes in childhood squabbles.) Puberty is kind of spectacular in them: In their teenage years, their healing factor gets somewhat out of control and they constantly grow many redundant body parts. Their body stabilizes once they reach maturity... except for the "radical regeneratives" whose Healing Factor remains out of control permanently. Such poor souls lose all rights and are treated as cattle from which organs are harvested for trade.
Halfway through the book, Lanik's body is so gruesomely destroyed that the Healing Factor malfunctions spectacularly and accidentally regenerates his loose innards into a living conjoined twin. When Lanik recovers from feverishness enough to realize what has happened, he cuts off the twin and kills him in panic... but the twin has the Healing Factor too, so it regenerates and becomes Lanik's Evil Twin.
Atticus O'Sullivan of the Iron Druid books can regenerate almost any injury ... as long as his bare skin is in contact with soil.
Trolls in Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions regenerate unless damaged by fire. This is likely the origin of this concept for trollish regeneration that was later adopted by Dungeons and Dragons.
Immortals and Marra in The Madness Season can both heal themselves of injuries that would otherwise be fatal, so long as they, respectively, have enough blood or life force to spare.
Lucy from Lucy's Blade has this, as does anyone who is possessed by Lilith, which means they can't even get sick. But it isn't that super human - a seriously bad wound could still kill them because there is only so much energy Lilith has and is able to pump through a mortal body without killing her friend.
Killing an engineered in Duumvirate is a matter of either inflicting direct brain damage or making them lose enough blood. Their regeneration isn't what makes this difficult, however...
Dr. Cherijo Torin of the Star Doc novels is this way, thanks to the interference of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens in the process that created her. She even survives a point-blank gunshot wound to the head, although her memories and thus personality are severely altered by the event.
H.P. Lovecraft's Great Old Ones, or at least Cthulhu, have this form of immortality. In Call of Cthulhu Cthulhu gets a boat driven through his skull, turning his head into green paste. It reforms instantly. In writings of one of the later mythos writers, he's also gotten vaporized by a nuclear strike, only to reform himself. According to some writers, they can be killed by another Great Old One (or other godlike entity) while other sources state that they are completely unkillable.
Vampires in Women Of The Otherworld are like this. Their only special power is incredible healing. At one point, one vampire who had her throat cut is able to walk and talk a few minutes later.
Mirar one of the Wilds in Trudi Canavan's trilogy The Age of the Five. He gained immortality through his great knowledge of healing magic. This even allowed him to survive being crushed under the rubble of a collapsed building, as he used his healing magic to keep his brain and vital organs alive whilst his body repaired itself.
The Animorphs are this. Even though they're normal kids, the Andalite morphing technology they've been given is based on DNA. If they're injured while in morph, all they need to do is demorph to human and their injuries will be gone. Likewise, if they're injured while human, they just need to morph and then demorph to have a perfect DNA-based body again. No injury, no matter how serious, will kill them unless it kills them instantly. As long as they're still alive and conscious after the injury, they can recover. If they miss their two hour time limit in morph, all bets are off.
The Hork-Bajir can heal extreme wounds very fast, such as when Dak Hammee cuts his own head open, shows his brain to the Animorphs, and is able to close the wound simply by pressing the two sides of his cut flesh together. It's not like he isn't hurt from it, but it was clear that the injury was far from lethal, and a scar forms over the cut in moments.
Anyanwu from Octavia Butler's ''Wild Seed'' is a shapeshifter with an impressive Healing Factor; she can only be killed by something that would kill her instantly (presumably, decapitation or the like).
The Dullahans in Durarara!!, set in the same world as the above example also appear to regenerate their wounds, though it takes longer for them to heal. It's unclear whether it's possible to wound one badly enough to kill them permanently, but this doesn't seem to be the case.
Corwin, and by extension, the rest of the Amberites and Chaosites in The Chronicles of Amber. As he says, "I heal faster and better than anyone I know." Notably, this isn't instantaneous, but it is still accelerated compared to normal humans, and is considerably better. At one point, Corwin regenerates his eyes that were burned out of his head with branding irons, even recovering the optic nerves. It takes a few months, but he makes a full recovery. He and Benedict speculate that Benedict, who has lost an arm, will regrow it given enough time.
Honor Harrington has both quick-heal, which simply massively speeds up normal healing, and regeneration therapies, which can regrow limbs and other things within a matter of weeks, though it simply doesn't work on a sizable percentage of people, including the main character.
Galaxy of Fear has Eppon, who can instantly re-form an arm that was severed. Presumably it gets the mass from the same place where it stuffs the people it eats.
In The Girl Who Would Be King, Bonnie and Lola both have a healing factor, though they are initially unsure of exactly how strong it is — while Lola is able to heal a bullet wound to the leg, she wonders whether she'd be able to recover from a bullet to the head. They later discover it extends to the point of Resurrective Immortality.
Several characters in the Mediochre Q Seth Series have this to varying degrees. Dragons have it as a race trait - which kinda makes sense; they are reptiles after all - and Mediochre himself has it to such an insane degree due to the blood of a dragon being magically bonded with his own in backstory that he can't agepast puberty. In the first book, his Arch-Enemy Maelstrom has survived this long by repeatedly granting himself a temporary Healing Factor by using dragon's blood as a sort-of Healing Potion, which is not how it works with real reptiles, but, y'know, magic. Dhampinella's reaction to being shot also seems to imply that Dhampir (and presumably Vampires) have a better Healing Factor than humans, although clearly not as good as that of dragons.
The angels in Paradise Lost are described as having this, and "[c]annot but by annihilating die." This becomes an instance of And I Must Scream when the rebellious angels are cast into the lake of fire.
In The Vampire Chronicles, vampires have incredible healing powers. Most wounds (such as a gunshot) heal within seconds. A severed body part can simply be held back at its proper place and it will reattach. It is indicated that the only real way to kill a vampire is to incinerate them and scatter the ashes. Otherwise, it might take centuries, but they will eventually heal.
In Adaptation by Malinda Lo, after her operation Reese's scars disappear faster than they should because the operation was performed by aliens with accelerated healing trying to, "upgrade," human DNA to give humans their abilities.
In Wen Spencer's Ukiah Oregon series, Ukiah heals much faster and more completely than a human, even if he's killed, although fire will prevent this, as will some poisons. The same is true for the Pack, but moreso, while the Ontongard can put themselves back together in seconds from a shotgun blast to the face.
Teen Wolf: All the wolves have it. Sometimes they even come back from apparent death.
"Leonard Betts" played with the healing factor's similarity to the rapid cell growth of cancers; a man who could regrow his whole body almost at will showed up in lab reports as having a wide variety of cancers, and he needed to eat tumors to survive.
"Fire" featured a pyrokinetc villain who could control fire. He survived fifth and sixth-degree burns over his entire body and his tissues started to regenerate rapidly.
Appears to be the only sort of power ascribed to grim reapers in Dead Like Me, beyond the ability to yoink souls out of bodies. An example George accidentally runs her hand through a paper shredder, losing a finger in the process. she picks it up out of the basket, holds it back in place for a few seconds, then goes and washes the blood off her hands.
The Wraith in Stargate Atlantis. Their Healing Factor is directly dependent on how recently and how much they fed. One notable Wraith is found who has been feeding on both humans and other Wraith for 10,000 years. No matter how much lead is pumped into him, he keeps going. Only a drone strike finally brings him down (by destroying his body).
Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood comes Back from the Dead whenever he encounters lethal damage. When he does, the damage is healed, regardless of whether it was mundanely or supernaturally inflicted.
Taken to a disturbing extreme in the series two finale, where he is trapped in a continual death-resurrection cycle for almost 1900 years after being Buried Alive.
Taken to yet another disturbing extreme in the Children of Earth miniseries, where he has a bomb implanted in his stomach. He regenerates from a few limbs and part of a head to a skeleton to his normal self over the course of the day... and starts regaining consciousness and screaming when his skin has yet to come back. The room he's locked up in is promptly filled with concrete, and he's rescued when the team breaks the concrete block by dropping it into a quarry.
This regenerating thing of his is however not because of a natural, biological healing factor. Poor sod became a universal constant in the parent series when Rose fixed the past a bit sloppily in her god mode. This peculiar being of his makes him too weird for the time sensitive Doctor.
He loses his healing factor in Miracle Day, and after the Miracle (which stops everyone on Earth from dying, no matter how badly they're injured) there is speculation that he many now be the only person on the planet who can die. Once "the Blessing" is given some of his blood from when he was immortal, he regains it, along with associate Rex Matheson.
Adric from Doctor Who has this ability, thanks to his species' capacity for incredibly rapid adaptation. It only gets mentioned in two of his stories, though.
The Info-Text for State of Decay uses this to poke fun at a continuity error regarding a mysteriously disappearing patch and rip in Adric's trousers where he skinned his knee in Full Circle, saying that apparently "Alzarian trousers heal as fast as their owners."
In the 2005 episode "The Christmas Invasion", the Doctor is shown to be able to quickly regrow severed limbs for up to 24 hours after regenerating, using leftover regeneration energy. In "Let's Kill Hitler", Melody, who has just regenerated is shot with many bullets, but regeneration energy prevents any damage.
Buffy has a lesser healing factor as part of her Slayer powers. She can't regenerate injuries in front of our eyes, but she does recover from serious injury much faster than a normal human (at least if she also gets medical assistance).
Vampires also have this healing factor, though it may not be as strong as Buffy's. Spike was stuck in a wheelchair for several episodes, and Drusilla was heavily weakened by an attack which required a ritual to heal. In some ways it can be stronger than Buffy's, as vampires are clinically dead, they don't have to worry about things like blood loss.
Spike recovered at some point before he actually got out of the wheelchair; in one scene he reveals he'd been faking it for an unspecified amount of time. Angel has been gutted and run through an unspecified number of times, particularly in his spinoff show. Illyria also threw him through two windows several stories off the ground.
The Collector: Collectors quickly recover from any wound, with Hellfire spewing out of it in the process. A client also exhibited it(minus the flames) with fatal wounds; Because of the Devil's obligation to clients, they are protected from death for the duration of their deal, one way or another.
Revealed as an ability that Pilot's race has in a scary early episode of Farscape. The crew of Moya, minus Crichton and Aeryn, cut off one of Pilot's arms to trade for maps to their home worlds. Predictably, they get double-crossed so they REALLY mutilated Pilot for no reason.
In Highlander, immortals don't get sick and beheading is the only way to kill them. Any injury that doesn't happen to the neck or head will heal within minutes, and mortal wounds result in a short-term "death" where their body will shut down and appear dead while it repairs the damage. Once again, in a couple of minutes they're good to go. The most notable exception to their healing power is that lost limbs can't be regrown... a recurring villain whose hand is cut off in a duel in his first episode is still missing that hand in subsequent episodes.
There was also a recurring villain whose first duel with Duncan centuries ago resulted in his throat being cut. For some reason, it healed improperly, and he has since been incapable of singing opera. He really hates Mac for that.
The Leviathans in Supernatural have this as part of their skill-set. Edgar recovered from having a car crush him, and Borax, while capable of hurting them, only causes temporary damage. When they have their heads removed, it reattaches itself.
The vampires and werewolves of The Vampire Diaries. Vampires heal particularly fast if they drink some blood.
The rebuilt Michael Wiseman's new body in Now and Again has a nanite-based Healing Factor. While it's not as extreme as in some of the other examples on this page, it's much faster than a normal human.
Similar to the comic, the titular character in Painkiller Jane can recover from pretty much any injury that leaves her body largely intact. In the pilot, it takes her no more than 30 minutes to recover from Destination Defenestration. The "painkiller" part comes from the extreme pain that she goes through from these injuries that happen with a disturbing frequency. In one episode, she is trying to convince a Neuro who can make people see things that he is the one being manipulated. She shoots her own hand and shows it to him as the wound closes in a matter of seconds to prove that none of it is real. However, one "Groundhog Day" Loop episode has her die by tripping a claymore mine and following the Chunky Salsa Rule. The loop resets, so the death doesn't stick. Later, she also finds out that there are others like her. Interesting, they reveal that neither they nor she are The Ageless, and their (completely healthy) bodies simply shut down when the time comes.
Myth and Legend
The Lernaean Hydra, of Heracles/Hercules fame, was so difficult to kill because for each head the hero would cut off, two would grow in its place. The fact that its blood was also a deadly poison didn't help either. Only when his nephew Iolaos started to cauterize the stumps with his torch could Heracles finally kill the monster; this may be the (or at least one) source for the idea that fire is bad for regenerators.
The Lambton Worm was a serpent or dragon in English folklore that could heal any injury it took, to the point that it can eventually rejoin segments of its body that have been hacked off. The only way to defeat it was for the local lord to wear a suit of armour covered in spearheads fight in a river. Where the worm tried to wrap around the lord, the blades on his armor would cut it apart and the running river would wash the individual segments away so the worm couldn't reconnect itself.
Prometheus had his liver torn out every day, and grown back by the next. Over and over again, for centuries.
The Greek gods have this kind of immortality, which includes not aging. According to most writers, they can't die from anything. To add to this, the myths say that Chronos is still alive despite being cut up into tiny pieces and scattered across Eternity. Further, Chronos did the same to HIS father who is also still alive despite that. In fact, Chiron, one of the few GOOD centaurs, ends up needing to have is immortality taken from him somehow since the hydra venom in his body couldn't kill him and just continued giving him horrible, mind-searing pain.
In Dungeons & Dragons, the Regeneration ability changes normal damage into subdual damage and the ability to recover so many Hit Points' worth of subdual damage per round. Thus, if you don't use the attack form that does cause normal damage to the foe, they cannot be killed, merely knocked out for a while. There is also Fast Healing, which merely causes the character to heal a certain amount of normal damage per round and thus allows real death to occur much more easily, shutting off the power just as normal healing would be.
The ultimate example of this ability is the Tarrasque. Its renegeration ability has no damage type exception, meaning that no matter what you do to the monster it'll come back eventually unless you use a magical Wish to wish it stayed dead.
In previous editions, there were particular forms of regeneration that varied from monster to monster. The D&D troll, arguably the most famous example, can quickly regenerate wounds from swords and axes, and by themselves these weapons can't kill them, although they can knock them out temporarily by reducing their hit points to zero. The only thing that can kill them are fire and acid, which also cause damage that can't be regenerated. Whether you blow them up with a fireball, or knock them out with a weapon and then set them on fire or douse them with acid, you need to burn trolls to kill them if you're using standard tactics. If beat into helplessness, they can then be drowned also if there is water nearby (as there often is as they often inhabit swamps). Trolls being vulnerable to fire is likely originally taken from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.
4e Lycanthropes (were-creatures) have regeneration instead of damage reduction, it is suppressed by, you guessed it, silver.
Regeneration is used to create Puzzle Bosses sometimes in the game; However, it occasionally backfires through really counterintuitive or contradictory responses being required, e.g. the Tendriculos, a Man-Eating Plant, regenerates from fire and axes, and is vulnerable to electrical attacks and blunt weapons. Another man eating plant has a sort of healing factor in that it gains health from being hit by electrical attacks (the Shambling Mound).
Healing Factor is the name of a feat in the Eberron campaign setting. It allows shifters to regain health whenever they return to their normal form.
In the recent fourth edition, regeneration works more like the previous fast healing ability and does not function at 0 Hit Points or less. On the other hand, 'special' attacks (fire vs. trolls, silver against lycanthropes) generally only suppress it for one turn before it kicks back in.
Certain types of Damage Reduction, a defensive ability that reduces the severity of each attack a creature suffers (possibly negating it), are described as wounds closing instantly rather than simply not being as severe as expected.
Everything has ridiculously fast healing in 4e. For example, a power called "knee breaker" only lasts a few rounds.
In the second edition of the game, a sufficiently high Constitution score gave you this ability. The highest natural Constitution for the basic races was 19 note The highest score that can be rolled is 18, Dwarves got +1 to Constitution and -1 to Charisma. A minimal Con. Score of 20 was required for basic regeneration.
Werewolves in both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken have an accelerated healing factor. The later game, Werewolf: the Forsaken, actually plays up the cancer element; if a werewolf's wounded with silver, there's a chance they could develop a malignant growth not entirely unlike cancer.
One of the fomori powers in Werewolf: The Apocalypse provides this, except that everytime you regrow something, but always with nasty scars and often malignant tumors as well. Being a fomor is completely disgusting, seriously.
Vampires in both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem can heal about as quickly as Werewolves, but they must expend blood they've ingested to do so note while werewolves can heal bashing damage for free, and the strength of their healing factor depends on the damage type. "Bashing" damage note basic bruises and sprains, the sort of things a human would get from a dust-up[[/note ]] heal faster than "lethal" damage[[note]]serious injuries, equivalent to humans being cut or shot. Damage from fire, sunlight or a supernatural source, "aggravated damage", takes even more blood and time to heal. Depending on game and edition, different kinds of attacks are assigned different levels of lethality — for example, in the original version of Requiem, gunshots were considered to only do bashing damage, while swords and the like still did lethal. Perhaps realizing that this didn't make a lot of sense, the Updated Re Release, "Blood & Shadow", instead made it that all sources of lethal damage are instead downgraded to bashing damage, thus emphasizing how dangerous fighting a vampire with a conventional weapon is.
Well one of them, their primary Hat is that they are hyper-advanced robots.
To a lesser degree this applies to the Orks, who are capable of healing from any non-fatal wound quite quickly, and when you consider how "tuff" they are, a fatal blow is difficult. In fact, standard Imperial procedure is, after a battle with Orks, to go around and cut the heads off their bodies with entrenching shovels to make sure they stay dead. About the only non-fatal thing that they can't regenerate on their own is severed limbs and they can still stitch the lost limb, or even someone else's limb, back onto the stump and have it heal together pretty quickly. They can even reattach severed heads and walk off like nothing happened!
It's been hinted at least once that they were genetically engineered as a self-perpetuating species of Super Soldiers by The Old Ones, which would partially justify this, as does the details on their Bizarre Alien Biology (for example, there's a kind of fungus living in their skin/bloodstream that clots up wounds almost instantly).
With a bit of help from mutation, Tellos of the Soul Drinkers picks up this ability. It gets to the point where he can run into battle naked from the waist up without suffering meaningful damage. It doesn't help with injuries from before he gained this ability - so he can't regrow his hands - but that's not much of a problem when you have chainsaws attached to your wrists. It takes Exterminatus to kill him in the end.
The Carnifex is even tougher. One of them survived Exterminatus. On the planet's surface. When they found it, they had to call in a heavy-duty orbital bombardment to finish it off.
Magic: The Gathering has various spells and abilities that allow creatures to regenerate instead of going to the graveyard, wiping out all damage they may have suffered in the process (as well as tapping them and taking them out of combat). These usually require some cost to be paid (usually in mana) and there are forms of destruction that explicitly cannot be regenerated from... — Creatures also recover from damage that fails to kill them pretty quickly by default, as 'remove all leftover damage from stuff still in play' is one of the automatic events of the last step of each turn. (Players aren't so lucky.)
Lunar Exalts in Exalted are stated as being able to recover from terrible injuries at an astounding rate whilst in their warform, if not in battle (they must use separate healing powers for that purpose). They can regenerate lost limbs and internal organs (assuming they aren't dead) at a rate of one such organ or limb per hour, good as new and fully functional.
Regeneration in GURPS ranges from slow enough that people would have to hang out with you for a while to notice it all the way to so fast that you heal your total HP every second.
Regeneration is a game effect common enough to be in the main rulebook rather than the army specific ones and is cancelled by fire.
The game featured a hero called Valtan as part of their Storm of Chaos event who, by reason of being probably the avatar of a god, had a healing factor good enough that there was a 5 in 6 chance of him surviving any attack that took his last wound with no ill-effects, hopping back to his feet to fight again. In certain corners he became known as yo-yo Valtan.
Trolls have a chance to recover any wound taken that turn, unless hit by fire. The goblin chieftain Gromm the Paunch got his name by winning an eating competition with raw troll steaks. The flesh perpetually tries to grow, mostly kept in check by his stomach acids. Ever since he's been troubled by huge digestive problems, although on the plus side he eventually gained regenerative abilities.
In Eclipse Phase anyone with basic biomods heals twice as fast as a baseline human, even slowly regrowing limbs. Medichines can speed that up an additional 12 times.
Call of Cthulhu. Several monsters and deities could regenerate their injuries at high speed.
Chthonians can regenerate 1-5 Hit Points per round depending on their age.
Star Spawn of Cthulhu get back 3 Hit Points per round.
Tsathoggua regenerates a stunning 30 Hit Points per round.
The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment. In gameplay terms, this results in speedy regeneration of lost hit points. Also, some tasks take full advantage of this ability, requiring that you cut out various body parts and use them for some purpose probably not in the human body's user manual.
The healing factor is such that The Nameless One can spontaneously come back from the dead, too - there are a few quests in which 'killing' yourself is a valid solution.
With a bit of creative tinkering, it was possible to create a Regen Scrapper that was essentially Nigh Invulnerable to attack from enemies ten levels higher and more... in a game where a four level gap was considered impossible for anything less than a full team. Suffice to say, the developers nerfed this ability no less than four times in a row.
This is also why, in a game where numerous characters are disproportionately powerful in battles of attrition, and hit-run-and-repeat tactics are intentionally left viable, there are still things which take a group to bring down - their intrinsic combat regeneration is just too strong to overcome by anybody who can indefinitely survive their assault.
The Wood Golems in the Disgaea series have this as their passive ability, which regenerates 20% of their HP each turn. They can also pass this onto another unit by becoming a Magichange weapon for them.
White Mages in Final Fantasy XI have a version of this, when at level 25, they get Auto-Regen, which constantly restores 1 HP every 3 seconds. If they don't get hit after getting hurt and stand still for(At most) an hour, they can go from near-dead to full HP, so this trope does count.
Most of the Final Fantasy games have a similar Regen spell, most of which restore a set percentage of HP each turn, while the one in Final Fantasy VII restored HP constantly. If combined with a Haste effect, attacks that hit for less than 500 or so HP wouldn't even register on the status bar.
Persona 3: Chidori's persona, Media, grants her a passive ability called Spring of Life, which restores her health at a somewhat alarming rate, both in and out of combat. She later gives this ability to Junpei to save his life, and sacrificing hers.
The Medic class has innate regeneration. Although a class designed to heal others, the Medic can also heal from any damage back to full health, which is good when you consider that he can't turn his medigun on himself. If the Medic goes a certain amount of time without getting hurt again, he regenerates faster. In total, it takes less than half a minute to regenerate to full health, even from the last hitpoint. Equipping the Blutsauger reduces his regeneration speed, while equipping the Amputator will increase his regeneration speed instead.
An item for the Sniper, the Cozy Camper, gives the Sniper a small trickle of health every second, and so will require roughly 2 minutes to heal from one hitpoint back to full health. However, using this regeneration item denies the Sniper any other secondary weapons, and it makes him take more damage from enemy attacks besides.
After a patch, the Soldier can get in on the fun now too. The Concheror provides +2 health every second, and when charged grants Life Drain to allies attacks.
In Terraria, all Non-Hostile NPCs and the Player regenerate health slowly over time. In the case of the NPCs, it's a fixed regeneration rate. In the case of the Player, his regeneration rate depends on how long it's been since his last hit, starting off at almost no regeneration at all and going up to about 10 HP per second. The regeneration rate doubles while standing still. There's also an accessory that gives its own form of regeneration that isn't effected by the factors that limit the natural regeneration and steadily restores 1 HP every 2 seconds regardless of situation. Campfires, Honey (Pool of it), and Heart Lamps also provide regeneration within a certain radius.
Trolls in the Warcraft universe have a healing factor known as Troll Regeneration. They can regenerate limbs unless fire, magic is used or if they angered their loa gods. In-game, this translates to regaining lost HP points without the aid of healers or potions. (in World of Warcraft everyone regains HP in this manner, but Trolls do it faster) and are the only ones tha can do it while in combat.
It's also very, very weak and the butt of several jokes about its insignificance. In a game where characters have tens of thousands of Hit Points: "I'm regenerating 5 health per second and there's nothing you can do about it!"
The Warrior class actually has several abilities and talents that perform exactly this; while other classes can heal with magic, warriors (and druids that use the same rage mechanic) are the only class that can heal grievous wounds with anger. Unlike the troll racial ability, they can return from the brink of death to greater than half health in mere seconds if left unmolested.
Blizzard actually forgot trolls had this ability (along with many other things) in the trailer for the subpar instance Zul'aman. For those confused, in the trailer, a troll cuts off his arm with a regular broken spear and it doesn't grow back.
This was handwaved later as Troll's needing to "be in balance with the loa (nature spirits) of their tribe" in order to heal, with the amount of favor a troll has been given by the loa proportional to how fast they can heal, meaning a troll that has fallen out of balance/favor with the loa (such as Zul'Jin appearently) will be unable to heal missing limbs, or if they really piss them off, unable to heal from even a paper cut.
Further elaborated on in Vol'jin's short story, where he cuts off his broken thumb so that it will regenerate instead of heal improperly. The narration mentions that amputated digits are about the limit of what the average troll is able to regenerate and that entire limbs and complex organs are beyond what all but the most extraordinary trolls are capable of. Zul'jin's eye and arm were left to heal about as well as a human would for this reason, but there are tales of a legendary troll so attuned to the loa that he was able to regenerate completely after having most of his body burnt to ashes.
In Warcraft 3, you have to research the ability if you want your Trolls to regenerate faster. Even then, it has about no effect during a battle, though it does help to save on Healing Salves after the battle.
The final boss in Serious Sam: The First Encounter, Ugh-Zan the Third, is a towering behemoth who is nearly impossible to kill thanks to his regeneration abilities. To kill him, a player will have to wear him down first with his own weaponry before activating an enormous death ray to finish him off before he can trigger his healing ability.
Albedo, one of the antagonists of Xenosaga, has this ability to the level that makes him immortal. This is in fact why he is so Ax-Crazy in the first place. His fear of losing Rubedo, and all those close to him, to death while not being able to die himself, drove him insane. Now he seeks just that, ending his own life.
The main character in Shadow of the Colossus doesn't have much in his favor, but it helps that he can take a crushing blow from a Godzilla-sized hulking monstrosity, get pounded into the dust, and as long as he's still alive he'll shake it off in a minute or two.
In Mass Effect, this rapid healing is one of the abilities of the Soldier class, as well as the Krogan Battlemaster class.
It's a racial ability for both vorcha and krogan in the Mass Effect universe — the former because of their unique cell structures, the latter due to very resilient physiologies that include secondary and sometimes even tertiary organ systems (for a start, they have fully redundant nervous systems). In Mass Effect 2, in fact, they will heal from brink of death to full health in seconds unless you hit them with an Incinerate or Warp power, or shoot them with Incendiary (and possibly Warp) Ammo.
Healing Factor is arguably the entire point of the vorcha multiplayer characters in Mass Effect 3. Their Bloodlust ability causes their health regeneration to not only skyrocket, but also to ignore the game's usual rule about avoiding damage for a few seconds to trigger regeneration; they can be getting sprayed with assault rifle fire and keep regenerating between bullets. Despite having pathetically weak shields, this health regeneration is enough to make the vorcha nigh-unkillable by commons Mooks like Assault Troopers or Cannibals.
The Touhou series features Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou whose healing factors are derived from the Hourai Elixir, the Elixir of Immortality. Theirs is a Type IV immortality; they can resurrect from total bodily destruction, feeling every little thing along the way and, as suspected, getting used to it. The only way the protagonists can fight Mokou in an otherwise safe duel in the Extra stage is by attacking her for lethal durations and repeatedly killing her until she is too tired.
Marisa: Shall we do it again? Maybe you really are invincible.
Alice: Invincible, maybe, but she seems worn out.
Mokou: I've already reached my limit. I'd better stop before I'm unable to move tomorrow.
Ten Desires brings us Yoshika Miyako, a Jiangshi with the "ability to eat anything and everything", who uses this ability in-game to restore her health by absorbing spirits. This can make her first and third spellcards, the ones that make use of this ability, annoying to capture, as for the first you have to refrain from shooting down the bullet-shooting enemies Yoshika produces, and for the third card, you must weave through her bullets and slip past lasers to get close to the boss when she summons a bunch of blue spirits, so you can collect them before she does.
A recent First-Person Shooter (as well as other shooters) trend has been to apply this trope to the main character. It doesn't matter how many bullets have pierced your body in total over the course of the adventure: As long as you can find some cover to hide behind for a few seconds before this particular batch of bullets kill you, you're fit for fight again.
Nathan Drake from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is thus able to run around punching gun-wielding mercenaries to death, as long as he can dart in and out of cover.
Developers handwaved this particular aspect of Drake as his health not actually representing his well being, but rather his (incredible) luck. The idea here is that Nate is effectively pushing his luck the longer he stands in the line of fire, and there is a point at which fate gives up on him and lets him die.
Similarly, Marcus Fenix of Gears of War runs around without a helmet because this trope allows him to. Ironically, other characters wearing helmets are prone to headshots.
In Dragon Quest III, several of the bosses have healing factors, sometimes as much as 100 HP per round. It's especially nasty because this happens behind the scenes, and the player is given no indication of it.
One of the player character's augmentations in Deus Ex is Regeneration, this requires power to use.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution features a healing augmentation that can restore you to full health in a few minutes, balanced by the fact it takes a few seconds to kick in and your character is more fragile.
In Prototype, Mercer can heal over time when not under attack. It's faster to eat people though.
Prototype2 reboots this whole mechanic with 4 levels of regeneration upgrades, from healing up to 50% of max health while not in alert, to recovering fully even in combat as long as no damage is incurred for a certain amount of time. Additionally, a Radnet mutation allows slow but constant regeneration as long as the shields are active, on top of whatever regeneration upgrades already present.
Several Pokémon abilities and moves do this, such as Recover or Rain Dish (when it's raining). The "Leftovers" item gives a Regen-like effect, while the Poison Heal ability grants it when the Pokemon is "suffering" from poison. Introduced as an ability in its own right in Generation V, where Pokémon regenerate a small amount of health when recalled.
The Dungeon Of Doom lets you accelerate healing by slipping on a regeneration ring. Just make sure it isn't one of those unremovablenegative regeneration rings...
Expect Xenomorphs in any Alien vs. Predator game to have regen abilities. It can be accelerated with a quick headbite. It ties into the mythos; Xeno's are adapted to be the perfect survivors. In the (unfortunately extremely rare) RTS, human Radiological Ammo stops it.
Elena from Street Fighter III has a super move that allows her to regenerate up to one-third of her health.
Fallout 3 features a very slow healing factor in the form of the Solar Powered perk. As you would expect you need to be in direct sunlight for it to work. Another perk (Rad Regeneration) allows you to heal limb damage but not overall health so long as you have Advanced Radiation Sickness. Other Fallout games have a 'healing rate' which works in the standard way. There is also a hidden 'microregen' rate (natural healing) in the code that was 'inherited' from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, this restores health very very slowly.
Stalker's main character has a slow healing factor, assuming you don't bleed to death first...
The mechanic is closer to Gradual Regeneration, with some Heal Thyself and Hyperactive Metabolism thrown in if the player needs health more quickly. However, the right combination of high-level artifacts can bring this much closer to a super-human Healing Factor level, just beware the possible side effects...
In the Bioshock series, the Little Sisters personify this trope; because of the huge amounts of Applied Phlebotinum coursing through their veins, they can reconstruct their bodies instantly. In fact, they heal so fast that they frolic around with no suits at the bottom of the ocean. They heal so fast that their skeletal structure reconstructs itself 'before they explode from pressure.'
However, BioShock 2 reveals that it's not all that it's cracked up to be. According to one Audio Diary, when a Little Sister fell off some railings, her leg bones regenerated in odd angles, forcing doctors to break her legs until it healed right. The diary ends with the doctor saying that although they may heal, he can confirm that they feel pain.
Two games have a water based healing factor, BioShock 2 has the Fountain of Youth gene tonic and Giants: Citizen Kabuto has it as Delphi's natural sea reaper trait.
Metroid: Other M states that Super Metroid is the only true death of Ridley. This means that chronologically, he has survived every prior death due to his regenerative abilities. The two games that come after involve an unintentional clone and an X parasite infesting the corpse of said clone.
Vamp in the Metal Gear series has the ability to recover from apparently-fatal injuries (including multiple stabbings and headshots) after the Patriots used him as a guinea-pig to test an experimental strain of nanomachines.
In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden can instantly heal all damage through Zandatsu, cutting open enemy cyborgs and UGs and crushing their nanorepair modules.
Riviera: The Promised Land has Ledah, who regenerates HP every turn, as a temporary playable character during the prologue, making it seems impossible for you to get a game over even though the protagonist keeps dying again and again.
In Valkyria Chronicles, Alicia has a potential called "Mysterious Body." Apparently, ever since she was a little girl, her wounds were always very quick to heal. This comes from her power as a Valkyria, but is never explained from a practical standpoint. However, despite her gunshot wounds healing rapidly, she needs Welkin's knowledge of herbs for a sprained ankle.
Rogue Squadron: Ships equipped with an astromech droid will gradually regain health as the droid makes repairs. However, if your droid is destroyed you lose this ability.
An incredibly disgusting version is used by the Hunter in Dead Space who regrows entire limbs while flailing and oozing. Where it gets the extra tissue required is unknown.
Starcraft's Zerg have a healing factor, which shows up in-game as their units (and buildings) being the only ones to regenerate Hit Points over time. Roaches in particular can go from near-death to full within seconds when burrowed.
In Ghost Trick, Yomiel has a fragment of the Temsik meteor lodged in his body that constantly restores his body to how it was just before his death.
Fittingly, shra in The Reconstruction have very high rates of bodily regeneration, though not to the extent of most Healing Factors. This is deconstructed with Skint (who does have a very potent Healing Factor), who got stabbed in the back with a large sword...and his body healed the wound, with the sword still in. To make things worse, the sword was lodged through his heart, making it impossible to take out without killing him. It also means he can never take off his armour, which must make sleeping pretty difficult, too.
Qualstio's final passive skill, Physidrawing, gives him high regeneration rates as well (in gameplay terms); it is not as strong as the bodily regeneration of the shra, but regenerates all hisgauges quickly. Plus, being intrinsic regeneration, it's still stackable with regeneration buffs.
Many bosses in Super Robot Wars not only have HP regeneration, but also completely heal themelves when you defeat or successfully reduce their HP to certain amounts. Some endgame bosses tend to go so far as doing this three times.
Bosses aren't the only ones with healing factors. Major late-game units tend to have HP Regen. The worst of the bunch is the manga version of Mazinkaiser, whose major armor goes hand-in-hand with its high level regeneration, making him a tough nut to crack.
One of the effects of the Mantle skill in Fire Emblem : Radiant Dawn is regenerating an amount of HP equal to Luck at the beginning of each turn. All the enemies with this skill have maxed Luck... The Imbue and Renewal skills also allow the holder to regain HP at the beginning of their turn, but contrary to Mantle they are not specific to one unit since the game mechanics allow skills to be traded between units. The Black Knight also has the Imbue skills, which cannot be removed from him.
The Lost Odyssey characters have something more like this kind of immortality in actual gameplay; they can be injured and knocked out in battle, but automatically revive after a couple of turns.
The Primagen in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil can regenerate lost body parts and HP, and to stop it you must shoot him repeatedly in the head while he's in the process.
In Syndicate (2012) this is explicitly Agent Crane's main power. He has three "blocks" of health and will regenerate to the limit of the current block if you fail to damage him enough in one go.
A number of viruses in the Mega Man Battle Network series regenerate their HP at a varying rate when damaged, the N.O. virus in the the third game being the most extreme example, maxing out its HP in a few seconds regardless of the damage incurred (A fact it exploits by using itself as a living shield). All wood element viruses and navis will also rapidly regain HP while standing on grass.
In Resident Evil 6, Sherry Birkin is revealed to have one after the G-virus in her body mutated when she received the vaccine.
League of Legends has Dr. Mundo, whose passive regenerates a small portion (.4%) of his maximum health every 4 seconds. That may not seem like a lot, but Mundo is encouraged to build items that increase his maximum health, which increases his health regeneration. His Ultimate kicks this into overdrive by letting him regenerate back up to 60% of his maximum health. A Mundo at his full build with his ultimate available is considered to be on of the hardest enemies to kill in the entire game.
To add to this, Garen gains extra Health Regen after 9 seconds of not being struck by a jungle monster or enemy champion (enemy minions don't reset the timer). Morgana has Spell Vamp, meaning a percent of damage she does with her abilities is given to her as health. Nasus has Life Steal, meaning a percent of damage from regular attacks is given to him as health. To compound this, everyone can build items that grants them Life Steal or Spell Vamp (Life Steal is far more common), and Warmog's Armor even grants a Passive similar to Mundo's (regenerate an extra 1% of health) while also adding a flat 1000 health to your max.
The boss Beef Cloud in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is all about this gimmick. In fact, he doesn't actually attack at all, the whole 'difficulty' of the battle is that he heals a significant amount of health every two seconds or so, meaning you have to hit him more quickly than he can recover.
For that matter, many of the later bosses have this sort of health recovery anyway. The final boss for instance can jump into the background, then recover 200 HP per turn until you defeat his mooks in the foreground. And Pi'illodium can restore a fairly high amount of health on a regular basis if you don't get rid of those flunkies he summons every two turns or so.
In Baldur's Gate, if a character has a constitution of at least 20, they gain a healing factor, allowing them to regenerate to full health within several (in-game) hours.
A variation of this comes up in Assassin's Creed: since the player is actually just reliving the memories of the characters in the main setting of each game, they technically don't suffer from any injuries that the character doesn't receive as an example of Gameplay and Story Segregation, such as Connor being visibly affected by injuries received from a near miss by a cannonball in a cutscene which hinders his movement. In normal gameplay, however, injuries are never as staggering even though they can lead to death in-game. This Healing Factor is partly justified by the framing device of the game: health actually indicates how well-synchronized the player is to how the character behaved historically, with loss of all their health resulting in a game over via death because the character did not die at that point in their lives.
Shirou has this in Fate/stay night, spurring his famous "people (should) die when they're killed" line when he chooses to abandon it.
All of the Servants have absurd levels of regeneration as well. The speed of regeneration depends upon the Heroic Spirit summoned as well as the amount of mana available, but even lost limbs will eventually regenerate. Though not quickly. To fatally wound a Servant, you have to destroy or damage the two points that serve as their core; their head or their heart.
Subverted in Chaos;Head. Gigalomaniacs can alter reality, but they can't use their powers to heal. This is explained as an inability to block off person's sense of pain, which in turn disallows their delusions from taking effect. This is eventually played straight with Takumi when he accepted his existence as an imaginary being, which allowed a complete control over his own form.
The dragon and both the dragonslayer and his armor heal very quickly in Dra Koi, especially during the climactic fight at the end. The hero can see the armor stitching or unmelting itself before his very eyes.
Arcueid Brunestud from Tsukihime has this, and a single night is more than sufficient to recover from being cut into seventeen pieces. It cost her a lot of energy, though, and she stays weakened until nearly the end.
Arcueid regenerated because, like all True Ancestors and the other vampires, she possesses the Curse of Restoration, that turns her body back in time to before she was harmed. The stronger the vampire is, the greater is the damage they can regenerate from.
Schlock, from Schlock Mercenary, as an amorphous life form, can regenerate from any amount of mass remaining, but as his memories are distributed throughout his body, he loses his mind if he takes enough damage. His eyes are actually separate lifeforms, that grow on trees on his homeworld. Uusually for this trope he needs to regenerate from what's left of his own mass. If enough of that is lost, he explicitly needs a large outside source of organic material.
Additionally, medical technology of the 23rd century can regrow your body from the head down in less time than it takes you to naturally heal a paper cut.
Laz'r'us grade nanites appear to be able to provide this, as witnessed on the two occasions they're called on (for Kevin and General Xinchub).
Vinnie, the werewolf soldier from Skins. When he's fighting another monster in prison during a flashback scene, he has a broken nose, black eye and his arm so badly broken that the bone is protruding from the skin. But after he shifts to werewolf form and back again he appears all healed up and actually looks quite handsome.
It's suggested by several characters within the strip (including Torg, Riff, and Oasis herself) that she's actually a ghost that possesses people to such a degree that they take her form clear down to her crazy hair making this more Grand Theft Me although the author hasn't cleared it up for us yet.
Every member of 4U City has a 'snapshot' taken of themselves clear down the the firing of every neuron in the brain that can be used to regenerate them with nanomachines. Too much damage causes them to revert to the state they were in when their snapshot was taken which happens frequently to some (Riff's wife) and less for others (Executives like Rammer).
The protagonist in Artificial Time XS, raocow's webcomic is so incredibly stupid that she has the ability to forget and thus, heal every and all wounds.
Damien from El Goonish Shive is expressly stated to have this. Grace and her "brothers" as a shapeshifters presumably has this as well and by extension all Seyunolu and Uryuom have this to a certain extent.
In Elijah And Azuu, it's common for both angels and demons to recover from grievous injuries, but one storyline firmly established that Azuu could easily regrow his arm after having it hacked off by a sword that specifically halts a demon's healing factor. His mom was injured by the same sword in an earlier story arc, and she had to consume several souls in order to recover.
Webcomic artist Tiffany Ross loves this one so much, two unrelated series have variations of it:
The Cyantian Chronicles has it as one of the traits of genetic elites including Alpha and his son, Syrys, Shean Tibal and his bad-boy son, Rama, as well as several cubs (at this point only shown with Rama's son, Vin). Also it only works if the subject is moving, as elites were originally intended as pit fighters.
Alien Dice gives us Lexx, who has been injected with repair nanites by the ADC so he can play their game and make the corporation wealthy.
The battle monsters in But I'm a Cat Person can heal completely from almost any injury, although not so well that food and proper care don't help. Having done this for a couple thousand years now, they can be pretty blasé about the gory details.
In When She Was Bad, Max has a healing factor that is tied to his role as chosen one Amber's bodyguard. It is very powerful in the beginning, when she is inexperienced and vulnerable, but decreases over time as Amber becomes stronger and less reliant on him.
Global Guardians PBEM Universe - This was a very common power. The all-time champion was probably Splatterman, so-called because he seemed to end up as chunky salsa every time he ended up in combat. Being aware of how quickly he healed, Splatterman would often put himself in position to have this happen, because he knew it wouldn't really slow him down. Leap off the top of a building? Sure. Jump through a wood-chipper? Yep. Swallow the live hand-grenade? You bet. And like a Timex, he took a licking and kept on ticking.
The villainous Nematode not only regrew parts that were cut off of him, but the parts would regrow into whole beings as well. Cut off an arm, and suddenly fight two Nematodes.
This is so common in the Whateley Universe that there is a Regen scale describing how fast any mutant recovers from injury. Carmilla once was decapitated: her head grew back while the assailant stared in shock. Tennyo had her entire arm blasted off by a supervillain: she spun around and had completely regrown her arm by the time she got to him, intent on massive retaliation. Other characters have this to a lesser degree, including Generator and Peril.
Rick Point Blank: The plot revolves around a serum that heals wounds when it's poured on them and grants a Healing Factor that would make Wolverine jealous when injected. Unfortunately it also causes insanity.
In The Salvation War, the demons and angels have extremely fast regeneration, to the point that they can regenerate lost limbs completely and can recover from any other injury given enough time, provided they don't immediately bleed out. This is deconstructed later on in the story's discussion thread, after an angelic army gets nuked: the rapid regeneration rate, coupled with rapid mutations due to immense radiation from the nuclear initiation results in uncontrolled cancer growth in the survivors. The deceased humans are also capable of healing rapidly.
Generally speaking, any SCP item tagged "self-repairing" will have this to some degree.
Othala from Worm has the power to grant this to other people.
Then, of course, there's Crawler who can regenerate any injury in seconds - even having half his brain teleported into a parallel dimension - and then develops a permanent resistance to whatever hurt him in the first place.
Xin's titular protagonist knows a technique wherein he uses Qi to quickly mend broken bones. Subverted in that this technique is only a temporary solution, and he needs to have his bones properly mended after fights.
In Jackie Chan Adventures, the Horse Talisman does this, granting whoever has the power to heal almost instantly from injuries, together with the Dog Talisman, which grants immortality and eternal youth/youthful energy (the energy going to those above a certain age) they grant Complete Immortality.
But that was only his spark (soul) which was immortal, he didn't have a body, regenerating or otherwise. Which lead to him floating around like a ghost for quite some time until he could scam himself a new shell (or steal someone else's).
Transmetal 2s in Transformers: Beast Wars have the ability to heal mild to moderate damage near-instantaneously using energy from their spark. Rampage also has one, as he was created by an experiment to duplicate Starscream's spark.
Megatron in Transformers Cybertron can regenerate damaged parts of his body much more easily than ordinary self-repair systems thanks to the Armor of Unicron. Stealing a Dark God's power has its perks.
Canon if you go by the movie where she survives a life threatening blow at the end without more then some messed up hair.
Gargoyles have a form of accelerated healing attached to their stone sleep. Spending a day in stone sleep cures them of any wounds, infections or toxins in or on the body. However, if a body part is amputated, it's gone for good. This only applies to their hibernation. Until the sun rises, they're as badly affected by an injury as any other creature. Demona and MacBeth appear to have this, too, as long as they're not in the same room
Presumably true of Meltman, since without this he'd be kind of a one-suicidal-trick pony; to even know he has "the power to melt," he must have melted at least once. Though given the nature of the show, it's hard to say.
Given his 'melty' appearance, his healing factor is not quite perfect.
Bushroots Healing Factor is seldom seen, but he completely recovers from being squashed in his first episode and later from being shredded into small pieces. Being part plant helps.
Killface of Frisky Dingo has a rather handy healing factor. Metal pipe through the lung? Nah, tend to Simon's scraped arm. Rocket through the chest, and a gaping hole from the explosion? Fixed with a little bedrest. Though his Healing Factor was unable to heal his eyes after he was blinded by AntAgony.
The Ice Crown grants this to its wearer, to the point where both wearers shown were able to survive nuclear war. Marceline also seems to have this due to her demonic ancestry, although it isn't as powerful as the Crown's.
The axolotl is a neotenous amphibian that can regenerate limbs and organs that were damaged or lost. Although it doesn't give it Immortality, it does make it live much longer. It's used as a model in biomedicine.
Salamanders are perhaps the most complex animals capable of regenerating limbs in adulthood.
There are some species of starfish that not only grow new limbs, but the detached limb can grow a new starfish!
Sponges can be put through a fine strainer and they will eventually recoalesce.
Flatworms can regenerate bits, including heads, although it's possible to mess with this in ways that result in two-headed flatworms.
Some round and segmented worms also can do that, but with the two-tailed and two-headed mistakes as well. It generally depends on the location and extent of the injury.
Most leafy plants are able to regenerate from practically any damage, as long as they can still acquire nutrients and the materials needed to synthesise sugars (in other words, their roots and leaves still need to be at least partially functional).
Not even necessarily the roots — many plants can be propagated from cuttings. In fact for a large number of domestic fruit trees, grafting a piece of an existing tree onto an existing rootstock is the only way that they are reproduced.
Moreover, using special nutrition, leaf plants may be regrown from a single cell.
Nope, this troper has seen willows regrowing from piles of wood-chips.
Willows are extraordinarily regenerative plants which actually grow more lushly if some of their limbs are hacked off. Most plants are less enthusiastic about damage. But putting a cutting from a willow in the same basin of water as a cutting from another plant can encourage the other cutting to start sprouting roots - the hormones the willow puts into the water affect the other plant too.
There is anecdotal evidence that toddlers can regenerate fingertips that have been severed for whatever reason (not the entire finger, just the top 1/8 inch or so).
Supposedly, a man was able to regrow a fingertip that was cut off by applying a special powder, given to him by a researcher, to the open wound. There was a report on The BBC a while back.
That sounds like dehydrated Extra Cellular matrix, its a sort of universal animal cell growth medium, by applying dehydrated stuff to the wound it re-hydrates and triggers the growth of the surrounding tissue.
The liver in humans is said to regrow from just a third of its normally functioning tissue. This is why living-donor liver transplants are possible (although hardly easy): the donor can lose 55-70% of his or her liver and expect to have it back to near 100% functioning within six weeks, and it will be fully up to normal size and structure within two to three months.
Blood platelets. When flesh is cut, leading to bleeding, blood platelets are life-savers. They cause blood clots (better known as scabs) along the cut, stopping the release of blood until other body functions can fix up the blood flow. This makes them sort of a pre-Healing Factor Healing Factor.
Humans do possess the Genes to regenerate limbs, however they are heavily mutated and are considered Junk DNA: Anti Heat Shock Protein 60 and Fibroblast Growth Factor 20 are in both humans and certain types of Zebrafish and Salamanders. Those with the mutant variants of the gene only get scarring. For the animals with the functioning genes, the cells around the wound site revert to their embryonic state and reform the lost part.
Even without the ability to regrow lost limbs, humans still have an amazing healing ability when compared to other species. Our ability to recover from injury and our resistance to shock is absurdly high compared with other animals, and coupled with our high endurance this allows us to recover from virtually any injury that is not immediately fatal. Humans also form scar tissue at a much higher rate than any other animal on Earth, meaning a wound that might take an animal months to heal could be healed on a human in weeks.