mine! MINE! MIIIIINE!
Someone is about to kill a person, and someone else leaps in and does it instead, usually to get the credit and/or reward. This is a common way to establish a rivalry
in stories about killers. Stealing a kill is a sure way to piss these characters off. Heck, Body Count Competitions
often encourage this.
Happens with players in Tabletop Games
(especially with The Munchkin
) or online games (especially with Griefers
). There is a significant difference between it happening in an FPS and an MMORPG though. In an FPS things tend to be much more fast paced and the consequences of losing a kill aren't much more than the loss of one point (and maybe a few wasted bullets) so complaining about it too much is considered quite childish. In an MMORPG things are slower paced so it's always clearer who's fighting what (so a Kill Steal is more likely to be deliberate) and a single kill usually involves more effort and grants a lot more resources (in the form of loot and XP), as a result kill stealing is a lot more of an issue. This is best summed up in the solutions to the problem:
- In an FPS you can get points for "assisting" in a kill, much like Leaked Experience in a role-playing game.
- In an MMORPG you can't attack someone else's target without their permission (or alternatively if you attack something already fighting someone else you won't get anything for it).
In general, kill stealing in video games will refer to a combat oriented online game, and the actual act is killing an enemy who's heath has been whittled down by another player but then one person comes along when they are almost dead and kill them despite not having dealt any damage before. It is often seen as a dishonorable act by other players, leading to cries of "Stop Helping Me!
" There are a few cases where it is helpful, such as an MMORPG where a lower level player can do this on a higher level monster to get more XP.
Compare The Only One Allowed to Defeat You
, Ninja Looting
Contrast Helping Would Be Killstealing
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Anime and Manga
- Isamu's does this to at least one other pilot in the opening sequence of Macross Plus. This is one of several bad habits that eventually get him re-assigned as a test pilot for Project Supernova.
- In Tiger & Bunny, superhero Pao-Lin Huang/Dragon Kid has a regular habit of stealing other heroes' arrests (and thus their points and hero ranking) at the last minute.
- Subverted in Berserk. At first glance it looks like the Skull Knight's appearance during the final battle with Ganishka qualifies, but the dialogue reveals that his stroke was actually meant to hit Femto, who was about to fight Ganishka. It's debatable whether Femto actually planned this.
- Chloe's first appearance in Noir had her killing two targets that the main characters had accepted a contract on. In a later episode, Chloe then goes on to protect her target from a group of assassins sent by a third party to prevent this trope. At the end of the episode she tracked down their boss and killed him for the attempted offense.
- The titular character of Cross Ange is very fond of doing this, pissing off her other allies who do need the kills because their income is based on the number and type of dragons they kill. Averted, as it's suggested she does this to keep anyone else from dying like her disastrous first mission.
- In an episode of Highlander, Amanda (who is, after all, a thief) takes the head of an Immortal antagonist whom Duncan MacLeod was just about to finish off. As a result, she gets the energy from the Quickening.
- Methos does this after Duncan refuses to kill a female immortal, citing "It had to be done"
- Part of the reason that Immortals in the Highlander verse insist on duels instead of ganging up is to minimize the chance of someone stealing a kill and gaining the energy from the defeated Immortal's Quickening.
- In the Masters of Horror episode "Pick Me Up", the conflict between the two serial killers revolves around this, with both fighting over the prey they both have set their sights on.
- In Agents Of SHIELD, Coulson guns down HYDRA officer Daniel Whitehall in front of Skye's father, who had been plotting vengeance against Whitehall for decades. Coulson did not intend it, but Skye's father definitely views it that way.
- A main theme of the game Cutthroat Caverns. Players represent a party of adventurers who must work together to fight and defeat various monsters...but only the player who delivers the killing blow gets points. The game's tagline: "Without teamwork, you will never survive. Without betrayal, you'll never win."
- One of the most famous property law cases, Pierson v. Post, involved Pierson shooting and killing a fox that Post was pursuing. Post sued for the value of the fox, claiming a right to it by virtue of pursuit. The court held that while kill-stealing might be rude, a person doesn't get any property right in an animal just by chasing it.