aka: Super Star
Power-Up, often found in Platformers, that makes the player invincible for a short period of time. Usually, this not only makes you immune to damage (try not to fall off anything or get crushed, though), but also gives you the Touch of Death against most enemies. The effect is usually accompanied with special celebratory music. Cousin to the Quad Damage. Compare Smart Bomb, the usual Shoot 'em Up equivalent.
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- Also Older Than the NES is the magic hat in Crystal Castles, which not only made Bentley Bear invincible, but allowed him to kill Berthilda, the Wicked Witch.
- The invulnerability in Namco games Battle City and its sequel Tank Force doesn't provide the complete protection, though. Even though helmet/shield power-up grants invulnerability to the player, it's still possible to get game over due to the base still being vulnerable. Of course, there's a shovel/fortification powerup to protect the base too.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Nayru's Love spell which makes you invincible for its duration (based on how much magic remains).
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Magic Armor (which looks almost exactly like Nayru's Love), which prevents damage and knockdown while on. It requires magic in order to function.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the other hand has a Magic Armor powered by rupees.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the Magic Cape and Cane of Byrna, both of which make Link invincible but consume magic at an incredible rate. The Cape also makes Link invisible and capable of moving through certain obstacles, while the Cane gives you the Touch of Death properties, and can be useful in the final dungeon.
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has Tears of Light in the Dark Realm. Pick these up in your train, and enjoy the invincibility, super speed, and Touch of Death on the bomb trains that oh-so have been asking for being knocked right off of the tracks!
- The Legend of Zelda had the Clock item, which not only freezes all enemies on screen, but it also renders Link immune to their Collision Damage.
- A7XPG has you power up your invincibility attack meter by collecting gems at high speed. Once your meter is maxed out, you will become invincible and can crash into enemies for extra points. In fact, crashing into enemies is your main source of points; even the first extend, at 20,000 points, takes a long time to get if you don't use invincibility.
- In Fix-It Felix Jr., sometimes the building inhabitants will leave you a pie. Eat it and Felix will become invincible for a short time (indicated by his hat flashing). Not only will you be unaffected by the birds that fly by and the debris that Wreck-It Ralph rains upon you, but you can also repair the broken windows more quickly (two window panes are fixed at once, and Felix spends less time hammering away). (In an earlier "Beta Code" version of the game, the pies only restore lives you lost.)
Beat 'Em Up
- The Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure for the Gameboy Advance has the Kame Shell, but it's not particularily useful since colliding with enemies with it active only does as much damage as a regular punch and thus it only instakills enemies that would die from a single hit anyway, enemies don't automatically damage you on contact normally and the ones with projectile attacks are so slow that you can outrun their projectiles normally, and each time you collide into an enemy reduces its duration which defeats its purpose to begin with.
- Rush'n Attack for the NES has one star, and only one, during the 3rd level near the beginning, which provides Invincibility and the Touch of Death.
- The fist powerup in Robo Army transforms your character into a doom-buggy that barrels through enemies.
- Many Final Smashes in Super Smash Bros. Brawl work a bit like this, making the character invulnerable for the duration of the Final Smash. In fact, most Final Smashes are this or a single powerful attack. It's still possible to suicide with most of them, though. In addition, the original Super Star (also known as Starman in international versions) is in all Smash Bros. games as well, granting temporary invincibility, but doesn't allow you to hurt opponents by touching them. However, the Assist Trophy Isaac from the Golden Sun series, who casts the Psynergy Move, is notable for being capable of knocking out characters who are even under the effects of the Starman's granted invincibility. Isaac's technique utilizes a property of the games known as Set Knockback, which enables Isaac to merely push foes off the arena without actually dealing damage.
- Doom and Doom 2 has a green version of the Soul Sphere (a health power-up) that grants you temporary invincibility. While it's active, your character portrait has glowing eyes and black-and-white vision, but only for attacks dealing up to 1,000 damage in one blow. If an enemy or another player teleports or spawns onto your exact position, it does 10,000 damage, which is way more than enough to kill anyone. There's also IDDQD.
- Heretic uses the same engine as Doom, and has the Ring of Invincibility.
- Quake series has two examples:
- Quake I has the Pentagram of Protection. While it has obvious combat utility, it can also be used to find secret areas hidden in lava. It doesn't protect your armor from damage, though.
- Quake II has an invulnerability powerup, too, without the pentagram's armor drawback. However, since it's portable, it falls in Too Awesome to Use territory.
- The Hexen games have the Icon of the Defender. Instead of invincibility it provides a near-perfect defense whose nature varies greatly with the invoker's class. You can be killed with one active, but it's a lot less likely and some sources of damage may in fact be shut out entirely.
- Descent has an invulnerability power-up, in the form of a blue glimmering orb encircled by two linked rings which, irritatingly, could be stolen by the Thief-Bot.
- Serious Sam - The Second Encounter has an invulnerability powerup.
- Kens Labyrinth had several protective items: First, the gray cloak was a basic invulnerability powerup (protects against everything but Bottomless Pits). The green potion let you reflect enemy shots back against them (but doesn't protect against melee attacks), and the blue cloak lets you One-Hit Kill enemies by running into them (but doesn't protect against projectiles).
- Rise of the Triad has multiple invincibility power-ups.
- God mode has invincibility, plus the ability to fly and shoot glowing orbs from your fingertips.
- Dog mode also gives invincibility, plus a super bark that turns everyone who hears it into gibs.
- There is also a bulletproof vest that prevents damage from bullet weapons. Given that most Mooks have either a pistol or an MP40, it kinda works as an invincibility power-up.
- In Halo 3 Brute Chieftains will use an invincibility equipment and charge you with their gravity hammer. If you kill them before they use it, you can pick it up and use it yourself. One can also be found during the wave-defense segment of the final level. This equipment isn't available in multiplayer, but it's effects can be replicated with custom power-ups.
- The famous Energizers (aka Power Pills, aka Power Pellets) from the Pac-Man games are perhaps the Ur-Example.
- Super Pac-Man added a second type of Energizer, the Super Pill, which turned him into a giant and did make him completely invincible (Word of God has said that he was meant to be flying "over" the maze and the monsters, but as of Super Smash Bros. 4 it appears Namco has settled on the "grows larger" angle), but didn't let him go on the offensive like regular Energizers.
- Pineapple in Trog transforms you into a full grown dinosaur who can eat cavemen and demolish obstacles.
- As mentioned above, Super Mario Bros. is the Trope Codifier. Most, if not all, stars in subsequent platform games make the character sparkly and flashy as part of their effect.
- In Super Mario Galaxy, the Starman is a rainbow star (since it would be confused with the Power Stars you're supposed to be collecting otherwise) and, as per Mario Kart, also makes Mario faster.
- In Super Mario 64, the Metal and Invisible Caps have similar invincibility functions. Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros. also feature a Giant Mushroom that, while their main function is to make Mario a giant, also make him impervious to normal enemies.
- The spinoff game Yoshi's Story has Heart Fruits, which not only make your Yoshi invincible, but also gives him unlimited eggs to throw and allows his Ground Pound to defeat all normal enemies on the screen.
- Mario's recognizable Super Star is subverted in Syobon Action, where, to put it simply, the Super Star kills you.
- Hyper Candy from the Kirby series, which makes Kirby invincible and, sometimes, hyperfast. It's pretty much the definition of a Sugar Rush.
- Meat from the Bonk games for the Turbo-Grafx 16.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog, characters turns invincible when they get a power-up known simply as "Invincibility." They are then covered with flashing stars (original 2D games) or have bright light shining out from inside them. The Chaos Emeralds from Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic and Knuckles can be considered with having the same effect as well (working during normal levels, not as a story or stage requirement as in later games) once they're all gathered and the character has at least 50 rings to activate the effect. However, the Emeralds may be closer to Bonus Rewards.
- Banjo-Kazooie has gold feathers which can be used at any time, but each feather only lasts for a few seconds.
- Jazz Jackrabbit had invincibility in the form of small floating stars that would wreath the player in sparkles.. Jazz Jackrabbit 2, on the other hand, had it as part of a Sugar Rush mode available after collecting 100 pieces of food and also gave collision damage.
- The first three Adventure Island games on the NES have this in form of the "Honey Girl" fairy, which provides temporary protection against enemies, projectiles, rocks, and fire. However, it won't stop you from running out of energy due to lack of food. In Adventure Island IV, Honey Girl is replaced by a pentagram which does pretty much the same thing.
- Donkey Kong Country:
- 2 and 3 have a barrel that serves as this. No such thing in the original, however.
- In Donkey Kong 64, the eponymous character can become invincible by entering the proper magical barrel. It requires Crystal Coconuts, though.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns gives us the Banana Juice. You can use it before starting a level, but it's worth remembering that you can't refresh the 10 extra hearts provided.
- Kid Icarus has a lyre that turns all enemies into harmless mallets for a period of time.
- Black potions in Noah's Ark grant you invulnerability and you can kill everything with a single touch. Even minibosses.
- Ivy the Kiwi? has Super Stars beginning with the second set of stages, which protect her from enemies and the many instant-death spikes.
- The moon crescent in Purple gives the player temporary invincibility along with an ability to kill enemies by running through them. It becomes necessary at one point where the player has to get through a floor covered entirely in spikes.
- The red mushroom in Crystal Caves - makes you invincible, makes you kill enemies by touch. They're very rare (only three or four in the entire series) and are always a critical part to completing a level. There's also the even rarer stop sign which temporarily freezes all enemies and makes them harmless, though also impossible to kill.
- Bug! had "Stunt Bug", in which an invincible stunt double of Bug (a movie star) replaces him, and rapidly damages all enemies on contact. It lasts for a short while, of course.
- The Fairyland Story has a potion that temporarily transforms Ptolemy into a red mouse, which somehow is powerful enough to kill enemies by running into them.
- In Atlantis No Nazo, the star protects against all enemies and their attacks. It doesn't let you defeat them by walking into them, but it stays with you until you die.
- In Putty, absorbing the Dweezil icon gives Putty 30 seconds of flashing invulnerability.
- The magic medallion in DuckTales gives Scrooge McDuck temporary invincibility.
- In Shovel Knight, the Phase Locket gives 3 seconds of invincibility when used. Ichor of boldness gives 10 seconds of immunity to damage but requires finding a troupple pond or visiting Troupple King to renew, while Phase Locket can be used as long as one has mana.
- The energizers in ZZT.
Role Playing Game
- While Super Mario RPG uses the original yellow Starman while in the overworld, in battle it also features a new Invincibility Power-Up item called Red Essence, which makes the user invincible for three turns. The Starman is quite original as it not only makes you instantly defeat any mook that you run into, but also gain the EXP, thus making it an exceptionally useful item. If you can find one, it will usually be in an area with a horde of enemies for you to run through and kill.
- In Super Paper Mario, the Super Star not only makes you invulnerable, but makes the characters giant versions of their 8-bit selves. Also early on in the game a Koopa has a Dangerously Genre Savvy moment in which he collects the Super Star for himself to use against Mario.
- The God Mode cheats in most Blizzard strategy games (Warcraft, Starcraft) reduce incoming damage to practically nil. In Warcraft, you also deal a hundred times more damage than usual. This is downplayed in Warcraft 2, where the God Mode cheat either through intention or glitch can make you more susceptible to certain magic spells (a Death Knight's Death Coil more specifically) but invincible to everything else. More fitting, the Paladin hero in Warcraft 3 had an ability that turned him invulnerable for a short time. The Shadow Hunter on the other hand had an ability that turned every ally nearby invulnerable except him. The ability carries over to World of Warcraft. It can be bypassed by a certain priest skill though. Druids also have a way to make their enemies invulnerable and immune to all effects, which is much more useful than it sounds.
- Final Fantasy VIII has RPG versions of this in the form of the Hero and Holy War items, which make one character and the party invincible for a limited time repsectively. They, like Rinoa's "Invincible Moon" Limit Break (which had a party-wide effect,) had the slight drawback that they truly made you impervious to everything... including buffs like Haste, Double/Triple, Aura, and Wall. Even worse than that, the invincibility effect effectively increased your HP, not literally, but for the purposes of figuring out when you could use your limit break (which only appeared when HP was low). So if you have 1 HP, you should get a limit break about 75% of the time, but if you're invincible, it only shows up maybe 25% of the time.
- In Secret of Evermore, one of the spells only available from the summon stones temporarily made both you and your dog invincible. If you thought to save them for the Final Boss, you had an extraordinarily easy time of it.
- Mario Kart:
- The series has the Super Star, allowing you to cause opponents to flip over/spin out, items to shatter and enemies to be defeated. And it speeds you up to boot.
- There's also the Bullet Bill, which is this on auto pilot. And it's even faster.
- There is also the Mega Mushroom in Mario Kart Wii, which is 80% of this. You grow to an enormous size, most items won't harm you, you can go a bit faster, you can drive off-road without speed loss and you can squash the other drivers. If lightning strikes, you merely return to normal size instead of get shrunk down below it. Someone with star power, or a Bullet Bill, can still hurt you though.
Run And Gun
- The Contra series has the "Barrier" power-up (represented by the letter "B"), which provides a different visual representation depending on the game. In the first arcade game, it surrounds the player with three floating satellites that gradually disappear one by one as its effect wears out, while in both NES games it causes the player's sprite to flash different colors. In Contra III it surrounds the player with a bubble-shaped barrier that starts out as blue and turns red when its effect is starting to wear out.
Shoot 'Em Up
- Shoot 'em Up example: most Parodius games have a powerup (the green bell) that makes the player's spaceship (as well as their Options) grow about four times its own size for awhile. For some reason, this not only makes one invincible against enemies and bullets, but also lets one fly through solid terrain. As a slight drawback, it also disables your ability to fire, which means that if you pick it up, you might not be able to kill as many enemies as you normally would (and even though your Options grow along with you, they have no colission detection, meaning they can't destroy enemies they come in contact with).
- Bombs in the Touhou series fall under this trope, as they make you invincible for a short period of time, clear bullets off of the screen, and deals damage to pretty much everything on screen (unless you are really bad at aiming).
- Another shooter example: the Horned Mask in Blood, granting you invulnerability. (Annoyingly, due to a programmer oversight, you couldn't tell when its effect ended.)
- Vanguard is probably the earliest Shoot 'em Up to have a powerup providing temporary invincibility and letting enemy ships be destroyed on contact.
- Major Stryker has a bubble shield which makes you invincible and able to defeat enemies by ramming them.
- A variant in the Shoot 'em Up Dogyuun. Stage 10 has a powerup that makes your ship turn invincible. As in, an invincible Humongous Mecha with the ability to rapidly punch other mecha into scrap metal.
- When you grab one of these in Mii Force, a Streetpass Mii Plaza game, not only do you become invincible, but every weapon you have will automatically surround you, allowing you to fire in all directions (with any empty spaces taken up by a generic laser). There's one found in every level, although there's none in the Arcade Mode.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising has the Power Drop item, which makes you invincible and reflects shots fired at you. You can also use the Brief Invincibility power to make yourself invulnerable at any time, but it doesn't last as long.
- Jet Force Gemini has an item that can be spotted in places that are infested with enemies. It lasts for a limited time, but gives the player a chance to kill several enemies without being hurt.
- Time Fantasy has "Time Ball," where the next 30 seconds all drained balls are automatically returned to the plunger lane for another shot. Players can hit key targets to extend the invincibility period.
- Big Guns allows you to temporarily become Invincible — the center pop-up post is raised, the left kickback stays active, and the right gate diverts the ball back to the right flipper. Slightly subverted in that you can still lose the ball if it drains between the flippers and the center post.
Commander: "You are invincible! Save the Queen!"