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Kung-Fu Proof Mook
Jabba: You weak minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick.
Luke: You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me.
Jabba: *laughs* Your mind powers will not work on me, boy.

Some baddies aren't particularly dangerous, but they are annoying to deal with, because the usual tricks used by our heroes don't work on them. This kind of opponent proves difficult to be overcome by a hero who is used to fighting using a small repertoire of techniques. As such, these encounters force our heroes to think outside of the box. Mostly because it's cooler than showing them win fights the same way all of the time.

Common reasons for this include:

Runs on the same principle as Kryptonite Is Everywhere, as an attempt to avert Boring Invincible Hero. May be overcome with attacks For Massive Damage. May be part of an Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system. Back Stab and One-Hit Kill are popular abilities to be immunised against. Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... is a common consequence. Subtrope of No Sell, supertrope to Invincible Minor Minion which is this Up to Eleven. Injured Vulnerability is where you can break the Kung Fu Proofing by harming them enough.

Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Anti-Magic Field Drones in the third season of Lyrical Nanoha. ...which just means you have to use More Dakka or Magic Knight tactics.
    • Although, once the Power Limiters are removed, the AMFs really don't stop Nanoha and Fate from bringing down the whoop-ass on Jail Scagletti, Quattro, and Sankt Kaiser-mode Vivio.
    • Eclipse shown in Force is a much better example, since it seems to make those who have it Nigh Invulnerable to magic.
  • In the first Ranma movie, our hero encounters a giant (and I do mean giant) man. All that fat makes him feel no pain from kicks or punches.
  • Hokuto No Ken subverted it twice. The first time, Kenshiro had to fight Heart, an enemy so fat he couldn't hit his pressure points, at least until Kenshiro moved the fat away with a move created to do just that (probably it hadn't been the first time someone attempted that on an Hokuto Shinken master). In a later story arc, arc Big Bad Souther is apparently immune to Hokuto Shinken, at least until Kenshiro discovers his pressure points are inverted due a rare cardiovascular condition, right after Toki declaring he knew about it caused the until then smug Souther to get an Oh Crap face.
    • Another (anime only) subversion is Balkom, one of Shin's main henchmen. Upon rebelling he boasted that his technique made his muscles hard as steel and immune to Shin's Nanto moves, and in fact he actually survived Shin's initial attacks, including the one that had actually felled Kenshiro in their first fight, with nothing more than a bloody nose. Then Shin decided it was the moment to actually fight seriously, and used a move that destroyed Balkom's muscles. Oh Crap and Ludicrous Gibs ensued.
    • A subversion similar to what happened to Balkom is the fate of the King of Kiba, who not only was normally though enough to shrug off being hit on the head with a pillar of concrete, but could make his muscles even harder, as shown when Kenshiro checked his claim by hitting him with an I-beam (the beam was bent, and the King didn't feel anything). At that point the reader already knows that such a trick is useless against Hokuto Shinken due it not defending the pressure points, but Kenshiro, being a sadistic bastard, used a move that made him less tough than the ones of a normal human. Oh Crap ensued.
    • Parodied with D¨ Tiān-Fēng from the spin-off Souten No Ken. Knowing that Li˙ Zōng-Wǔ (an Hokuto Ryuu Ken practitioner) is after his head, he decided to defend himself from his pressure point attacks by procuring a Pressure Point Defense Suit, that not only defends his pressure points but electrocutes anyone trying to hit them. When he finally found him on a ship, Li˙ Zōng-Wǔ simply kicked him in the ocean with his rubber-soled boots.
  • A number of Stands in Jojos Bizarre Adventure can't be beaten through conventional means, like Judgement, which is a Stand made of air and thus intangible, and Yellow Temperance, a Stand made of flesh-eating goo that can't be destroyed (and obviously even touching it is a bad idea.) Both Stands are beaten by breathing in the Stand to suffocate the synchronized Stand User, and just attacking the Stand User directly, respectively.

    Card Games 
  • Good luck countering something with split second in Magic: The Gathering; you can't respond to it. Or something uncounterable, for that matter. Once in play, we have several other options, including:
    • Indestructable. This does not stop zero-toughness and other state-based effects.
    • Protection from X. Whatever X is, they can't be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked, or targeted by it, leading to the abbreviation DEBT. There are still ways to destroy them, like with global spells. Even then, you can simply change its type from (say) land creature to land to avoid this. Or return it to your hand with another spell.
    • Unblockable. As long as this creature's attacking, your creatures can't block it.
  • There are many examples in Yu-Gi-Oh, but perhaps the most extreme is Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes, which is immune to all spell, trap, and monster effects. The only way to beat it is to kill it with a stronger monster (which is often difficult, as it gains ATK points based on monsters in the graveyard, and can reach very high numbers), or by exploiting a loophole and tributing it with the cards Lava Golem or Volcanic Queen. Of course, it's pretty difficult to summon this card in the first place.

    Comic Books 
  • Yellow enemies for the old Green Lantern.
    • Or enemies armed with wooden weapons (e.g. Sportsmaster with his bats and hockey sticks) for the original Green Lantern.
  • Various X-Men, for various reasons, are, or have been retconned to be, immune to telepathy due to government experiments (Wolverine), messed up heads with way too much going on in them (Wolverine, Rogue), powers (Magneto in some continuities), equipment (Magneto again, The Juggernaut). Others are specifically immune to each others' powers, usually in the case of siblings like the Summers brothers or the Frost sisters.
    • Because telepathy can stop most fights before they start, either being conveniently immune or knocking the telepath out before the fights starts are frequent strategies, especially when you have a solo villain.
    • You also have villains like the Blob, the Juggernaut, or Sinister who are immune to everything. This requires either clever, out-of-the-box thinking, or a Deus ex Machina, depending on the writing quality.
    • Syndicate in the Ultimate continuity was immune to telepathy. Which was convenient, since Professor X had to deal with him solo.
  • One of the first enemies the Human Torch ever fought was the Asbestos Man, a guy with a suit and net made out of, well, asbestos.
  • Minor Marvel Comics villain the Metal Master has the psychic power to control any metal, but he suffers a Villainous BSOD if he comes to believe his powers are failing him. The Incredible Hulk (during one of his early "smart" incarnations) tricked him with a huge wooden gun painted to look like metal; while the villain panicked, the Hulk finally got close enough to grab him. Metal Master suffered an even bigger emotional breakdown when he realized ROM: Spaceknight's armor was made of an alien metal he legitimately couldn't control.
  • One Justice League of America story established that Plastic Man is immune to most telepathic attacks because he doesn't have a physical, organic brain; his whole body is just made of the same amorphous stuff. He discovers this when he has to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Martian Manhunter, who has psychically defeated everyone else.

    Film 
  • Star Wars has several examples of characters immune to the Jedi "mind trick" of Force Persuasion, to avoid letting the Jedi have too easy a time of it:
    • Watto in The Phantom Menace and Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.
    • Given that Force Persuasion only works on the "weak-minded" as Obi-Wan puts it, foiling it doesn't require any special immunity. Knowing what it is (and when a Jedi is attempting it) seems to help. Indeed, Han seems to be at least somewhat resistant to mind tricks in the EU (as shown in the short story Recovery; it helps that his brother-in-law Luke is a Jedi.
    • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Yuuzhan Vong are transparent to the Force, apart from Force Lightning and indirect applications of the Force, like hurling a boulder at them with telekinesis.
    • Also in Star Wars, the Droidekas are immune to blaster bolts reflected from lightsabers unless they lose their shields.
  • The Made of Iron London Gangster from Ninja Assassin is surprisingly ninjitsu-proof compared to everyone else in the story.
  • Used in 300. Under normal conditions the Spartans should just use the "force everybody off the cliff" strategy that they first utilized. This is indeed what the Greek forces did in Real Life. So in the movie, Xerxes ups the ante with war rhinos, crazy berserkers, and Immortal warriors without faces to keep them from doing it again.
  • Inverted in Kung Fu Panda: Po, the hero, is revealed to be immune to villain Tai Lung's Touch of Death powers purely due to being so fat.
  • In Pacific Rim the Kaiju Otachi No Sells Crimson Typhoon's famed Thundercloud Formation attack by catching all three of it's arms.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Prototype Sentinels are designed with non-metallic alloys to keep Magneto from affecting them which he gets around by weaving metal into them while they were being transported to D.C.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • In Star Trek, Ferengi are telepath-proof.
    • One Star Trek novel features a character who is "esper-blind." They are utterly incapable of sending or receiving any telepathic signal. This turns out to be very useful in solving the problem of the week.
    • The Doctor from Voyager is a hologram, and as such is immune to physical attacks, unless they are aimed at his holographic emitters or holoemitter.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster, the Master tries his usual trick of hypnosis—"You will obey me. You—will—obey—ME!"—on the 500-year-old king of Atlantis, who laughs and says that he's much too old (and learned in the sacred mysteries) for that to work on him.
    • There are also various beings on whom the Psychic Paper is ineffective, including particularly clever humans such as William Shakespeare, or anyone with the right training such as Torchwood employees.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Elves in most incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons are immune to sleep spells. Bummer.
    • In both 3rd editions, a staggering variety of other creature types are immune to one thing or another— critical hits, flanking, mind-affecting effects, energy drain, magic in general, nonmagical weapons, or more commonly several categories at once. Listing all the creature types and immunities takes up multiple pages of the rulebook.
    • Golems in particular have magic resistance as their major schtick. In earlier editions (1st/2nd and Pathfinder) they were entirely immune to magic, with extremely limited and specific exceptions. If the party could not fool a golem or sneak past it, physical brute force was the only option. (Though the 3rd and 3.5 editions tried to stick with the same theme, the immunity is significantly narrowed in scope, and rules loopholes mean that golems are particularly weak to certain kinds of spells.)
    • This is the bane of the Rogue class- their main advantage in combat is that when they flank an opponent or catch them unaware, they can sneak attack them For Massive Damage. Unfortunately for them, anything that's immune to critical hits is also immune to sneak attacks, so they effectively lose their main trick against undead, elementals, oozes, golems and a whole host of other monster types.
    • Pathfinder, as an adaptation of 3.5, continues the tradition but does remove some of these immunities when they conflicted with the Rule of Fun. So Rogues can sneak attack many more targets, but monsters often retain resistances and immunities.
    • Editions before 3rd often had a slew of monster resistances and immunities. The absolute king may have been Plane Scape. Most of the major parts of the settings were dimensions populated by immortal angels, demons, organic robots, djinn, fae avatars, and so on. Each of these races often had a slew of immunities along with Magic Resistance (a percentage chance to ignore a spell regardless of the caster's level, before saves). They frequently had complete immunity to weapons which were not magical or made of special materials. Additionally, weapons were weakened when "far from home," so your magical weapon might be so depowered it cannot harm your enemy at all. A medium-level enemy's (a lesser demon) might possess: Immune to non-magical fire, poison, cold, electricity. Half damage: Magical Fire. +2 or Cold Iron weapon to hit. Magic Resistance: 30%. There just isn't much left to throw at them.
    • This trope in D&D frequently is a modest nod to a creature's mythical origin or even a Genius Bonus. For example, Minotaurs are immune to Maze spells. Elven sleep resistance is almost certainly a nod to Tolkien's The Hobbit. Pathfinder's Jabberwocky is afraid of Vorpal swords, which are the only weapon which bypass its Damage Resistance.
  • Blanks from Warhammer 40,000 continuity are immune to, and nullify, psychic and Warp powers.
    • Also known as Pariahs, they are soulless psychic voids whose mere presence makes normal humans deeply uncomfortable. The Culexus Assassin school recruits exclusively from these people, resulting in assassins who are effectively invisible as no normal human mind wants to notice them. Specialists in slaying pskyers, for whom the Culexus represent horror. Even daemons probably find them disturbing- in fact, the rules for them in Inquisitor explain that daemons can't even see them.
    • Blanks and Pariahs may not be exactly the same thing, necessarily. Depending on the Writer, sometimes. Blanks nullify psychic powers in a certain radius around them, the same field causing revulsion and discomfort in normal people, and enormous discomfort in psykers. Sometimes they can have their blankness negated to allow psychics to operate near them. Pariahs additionally lack any presence in the Warp, and can become Culexus assassins, using this fact to power their anti-psychic weaponry.
  • Prevalent in the World of Darkness. For example, in Old Mage: The Ascension, the principle antagonist, the Technocratic Union, deployed many deadly Mecha-Mooks or Men In Black with anti-magic abilities. Older vampires tended to be able to shrug off mind control and other powers by their lessers. Hunters as player characters turned this on their enemies, with their Conviction providing a host of immunities to the powers the monsters used to maintain The Masquerade. Further examples abound.
  • The monsters section of Witch Girls is littered with monsters with blanket immunities to things. Dragons are immune to Elementalism, Giants (Lesser and Greater) and Zombies are immune to Mentalism, Mummies are immune to Elementalism, Illusions AND Mentalism AND they can create Zombies.
    • Horrors are immune to Alteration, Mentalism, Time and Space magic, and you pretty much have to 1-shot them to kill them, since they can teleport out of our reality at will. Which can be pretty hard when hearing them talk reduces all but the strongest-willed into madness.
    • Ghosts, Reapers and Wraiths are immune to everything EXCEPT mentalism and necromancy. They also respawn if killed in physical form, and are immune to physical attacks in their intangible form.
    • Magivores are the masters of this, being immune 2 to unspecified types of Magic that vary randomly amongst the species, meaning that witches won't even know (even passing lore rolls) what the immunities are. Their Resist Magic is so high that a failure for a spell to work could either be due to immunity or a low Casting roll, and there's no way of knowing. Plus if they hit you, besides the chance of reducing your magic abilities across the board, they're guaranteed to reduce at least one of your magic types, and knowing how G Ms think, that type will be the one that they're vulnerable and exactly what you needed to defeat them. Couple that with how Mundanes can't ever see them, and that they can simply teleport to your side no matter how far away from them you flee, and they are pure terror.
    • Malleus Maleficarum soldiers are able to shrug off any magic effects used against them, period, due to their iron implants. This only applies to effects that directly target them, however; destroying their weapons or dropping an anvil on them works just fine.

    Video Games 
  • Generic example: Many, many, many RPG-style games have enemies for whom magic is completely ineffective, and only physical attacks will work, or the inverse—physical attacks are a No Sell, but magic attacks take them out fast.
  • This is the schtick of the bos Red Giant from Final Fantasy VIII. He will respond with gloats and snarks each time your attacks have little to no effect on him. Tip: Gravity is his Achilles' Heel.
  • There are certain mooks in the Nintendo 64 Bomber Man games who are invulnerable to various elemental-type bombs. The most annoying? Without a doubt, the ones impervious to Fire Bombs—the basic, and most versatile, bombs.
  • The Power Troopers in Metroid Prime are the most difficult of the reverse-engineered space pirates for this reason. All your fancy new upgrades won't do squat to them. The Chozo Ghosts are also immune to your stronger weapons. Both are vulnerable to Super Missiles, however.
    • In Zero Mission, there are these black space pirates which are only weak to your beam, which are annoying to kill. All the missiles, super missiles, power bombs, screw attack? All completely useless. The two in the escape sequence can give players grief, aside from an A.I. Breaker.
    • Amusingly, a Kung-Fu Proof Mook in Super Metroid is a Space Pirate that uses kung fu-like moves. It is only briefly vulnerable after it jump-kicks.
  • In Kirby games, Scarfys cannot be inhaled. If Kirby tries to inhale them, they'll go crazy and start to chase him down.
    • Mumbies and some of the larger enemies in certain games are also impossible to inhale (requiring Kirby to spit something at them or use a Copy Ability) or at least take much longer to do so, though they don't get mad like Scarfys do. Interestingly, Dogons in Kirby's Dream Land 3 invert this; they can be inhaled, but most of the more advanced attacks don't work against them as they knock all projectiles back at Kirby.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Spinies are spiny, immune to stomping and must be killed by fireballs, while Buzzy Beetles are immune to fireballs. Super Mario World puts them together with Spike Top (spiny and fireproof); thankfully, you still have ways around that combination.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has flying Spiky Parabuzzies, who are immune to both your standard attacks; they can't be jumped on because they're spiky, and can't be hammered because they fly. The solution is to either equip the Spike Shield badge (which enables you to jump on them without getting hurt) or use a non-jump attack that hits the air (like Hammer Throw)
    • Spiked Paragoombas have the same abilities (wings and a spiked helmet), but appears much earlier in the game. The same goes for Bristles, which are ground-based but have spikes all over. Just getting close to one means you get a poke and your attack fails. Since you most likely have neither Spike Shield or Hammer Throw at this point, it means breaking out the consumable item attacks.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series lives on this trope. You'll be in a dungeon doing some grinding, and suddenly X enemy comes up. You do check its Hit Points and it's not much, you could easily rip it a new one. Then you hit him with a physical attack: it does one hit point of damage. Throw fire magic? Immune. Ice magic? Bounces back. Electric magic? It drains and recharges its hit points. Argh!
  • Shedinja from PokÚmon, depending on what kind of Pokemon you have in your team. Shedinja's ability makes it immune to everything that it's not weak against. It's a Bug/Ghost, so it can only be harmed by Fire, Dark, Rock, Ghost, and Flying. But since it's a One-Hit-Point Wonder and those elements are pretty common it usually ends up Awesome, but Impractical. It also gets KO'd by any form of indirect damage, such as from weather, status effects, entry hazards like Spikes, or contact damage from Rough Skin/Iron Barbs, which further limits its usefulness. To push it even further, any Pokemon with the Mold Breaker ability can plow through it without need of an attack it's weak against.
    • As of Pokemon Xand Y, it has access to the Safety Goggles, which will keep it from being harmed by weather effects. In a double/triple battle, if you manage to paralyze it, along with giving it the Sturdy ability (Which gives a Last Chance Hit Point to a Pokemon at full HP, except Shedinja is always considered to be at full HP...) via Entrainment or some other method, this transforms from it a Kung-Fu Proof Mook to a Nigh Invulnerable monster that can only beaten via a few very specific methods.
    • In competitive play, Shedinja's viability among the tiers is rather interesting. In the Standard tier it tends to drop fast to the frequently-in-play weather effects/status effects/Stealth Rock/specially prepared moves, but in the Uber tier, which contains the nastiest Pokemon in the game, such effects are less commonly used and most rely on raw power—thus, a Shedinja played late in the match (when your opponent's conscious Pokemon, and thus variety of attacks, are limited) can be a nasty surprise.
  • In Iji, Komato Assassins can dodge a lot of weapons, including the Plasma Cannon. They therefore need quite a bit more effort to defeat than most mooks.
  • The ghosts in Jade Empire can't be hit with weapons (but can be punched). The reverse applies to Golems, while demons are immune to chi magic styles.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, enemies can be broadly divided into three categories. Those who die instantly to the vault attack. Those who put you in a world of hurt every time you try. And a single boss who just blocks it. Almost every enemy is vulnerable to the wall kick attack, so in the end no mooks are kung fu-proof; some just require a little more sophisticated kung fu.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, throughout the game but especially in the challenges, there are the regular mooks, and then there are the mooks with knives, who are block/counter proof and will screw up your combo if you use a basic attack on them without stunning them first. Then there are the mooks with stun batons...
    • Batman: Arkham City changes the rules: while stun baton henchmen are still immune to frontal attacks, there's a new dodge/counter move to use against knife-wielding henchmen. It also introduces shields, which make the mooks bearing them invulnerable unless stunned and aerial attacked, and armored henchmen, who are immune to regular strikes (but tailor-made for the new beatdown finish) and silent takedowns (and one Predator Challenge involves clearing a room of nothing but armored henchmen).
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, the Elite Mooks are equipped with special armor that makes them immune to your psi powers. If you set them on fire with pyrokinesis, though, they become vulnerable for a split-second before they extinguish themselves.
  • The Spetznaz Elite in Singularity are equipped with special armor that renders them immune to the age-people-into-dust ability of the TMD. Deadlock stasis bubbles still work on them, however.
  • In the 360 game Wet there are two versions, the leaders who can not be hit with a sword,and the sword wielding ones who can not be killed by bullets, unless you stun them.
  • In the Assassin's Creed games, some mooks can break free of your grabs or block assassination attempts that aren't done In the Back.
    • The Papal Guards in Brotherhood can outright block counters (or "counter" you during this — though you take no damage), unlike in 2 where the Elite Mooks were still hurt by non-fatal counters, and the Papal Guards are immune to Smoke Bombs deployed in open combat. They however are vulnerable to the kill streak mechanic, which actually makes them tougher by themselves than with a weaker, non-Kung Fu Proof Mook for you to start a kill streak with. The Papal Guards' Ottoman counterparts, the Janissaries, in Revelations take this Up to Eleven; they can block kill streaks too!
    • In Assassin's Creed III the simplest way to kill mooks in combat is to block their attack and stab them. This doesn't work on officers though. The higher ranking the officer, the less types of attack works on him.
  • Dwarf Fortress averts Annoying Arrows, as bolts and arrows are capable of piercing organs to do fatal or debilitating injuries, making them quite a useful weapon. However, certain monsters, like iron men, bronze colossi, skeletal anything, and many demons don't have organs or blood and thus have to be torn apart to be killed, which arrows and bolts are very bad at.
    This applies to a lesser extent to whips (which are currently horrendously overpowered for their ability to causes immense pain and enormous injuries through armor), since they also don't feel pain and whips rarely destroy whole limbs, but they're still able to chip them into pieces.
    • Made even worse if you have the misfortune of coming up against a Forgotten Beast that has a "blob" body type of stone or any stronger material. Not only does it not have internal organs to destroy or blood to lose, it doesn't even have limbs you can hack off. It's a clear sign that the Random Number God hates you.
  • Pursuit Cops from Mirror's Edge will dodge away from your usual running attacks and are immune to counters. You're best off avoiding them, but they are vulnerable to disarms from behind. ME is built around running away, melee combat and stealing guns. Pursuit cops are immune to melee combat 90% of the time, run as fast as you, and have guns. Killing one can easily become a personal CMoA.
  • The Screen Door Zombies carry Screen Doors that protect them from most frontal attacks. Fume Shrooms can hurt them, though.
  • In the Jedi Knight sequels, humanoids with disruptor rifles. They go down the same way as anyone else, but the trick is that you can't block their shots with a lightsaber, so you can't just charge straight ahead at them without taking hits, and if the disruptor rifle is charged up enough, it's a One-Hit Kill.
    • There's also the occasional Reborn in Jedi Academy that can't be affected by Force Push and Pull at all - because the game doesn't want to give you an opportunity to automatically win so many battles by throwing someone into the abyss they're jumping over to get to you. In other cases, it's clearly intended that you do so, or the opportunity may or may not present itself as the fight goes on.
  • The Force Unleashed has the Stormtrooper Commanders, which are your average mooks, except that they have a Force-proof bubble around them. The usual Force Lightning or Force Push don't work, but your lightsaber and hurled debris still does...
  • In The Elder Scrolls games, ghosts can't be harmed by weapons unless they're magic, silver or Daedric. Magic also works fine. Fists usually work on ghosts.
  • The third and fourth bosses in Descent II, which are both That One Boss, are impervious to energy weapons, while the fifth is immune to mass weapons, and the Final Boss can only be damaged on its hard-to-hit backside. The Diamond Claw fires homing plasma balls back when hit with energy weapons.
  • In Dante's Inferno the Heretical Priests are immune to the cross. This combined with their Teleport Spam would be enough to make them Goddamned Bats, but what makes them all-up Demonic Spiders is their ability to confer that immunity on other enemies.
  • The Zuul from Sword of the Stars are immune to plagues without needing vaccine research, though they can't use plagues against others either. Spectres can only be hurt by energy weapons. High-end shield techs can outright nullify certain weapon types.
  • Ceph Heavies/Devastators and Grunt Commanders from Crysis 2 are immune to Back Stabs whereas even Ceph Guardians are not. Grunt Commanders also need to be weakened before Alcatraz can do the One-Hit Kill Neck Lift-and-throw, while Heavies by their large size are understandably completely immune to this.
  • Every non-starter enemy in God of War needs to be softened up before Kratos can grab it.
  • Plok gives us Shprouts, which become shocked and jump into the air when hit for the first time and need to be hit a second time immediately afterwards in order to defeat them; taking too long "resets" them, forcing you to start over. It becomes worse when they begin to carry shields in later stages, requiring Plok to hit them in the back by deliberately missing them with a limb he throws at them, making it hit them on its way back; sneaking up behind them won't work well, as they turn around after the first hit.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Hell Envies are functionally identical to Hell Prides, except that they are almost impossible to launch or knock back.
  • In the reboot of Syndicate higher-ranking enemies are initially immune to Breaches and must be softened up first. Elite Mooks invert this by being immune to damage until Breached. There are also Jammer Commandos who block out Breaching against enemies in their AOE.
  • Resident Evil 4's later Ganados, with more developed Plagas often don't die immediately when headshot, and need a couple extra shots to kill the parasite. The Type 3 Plagas can separate completely from the host. All are instantly killed with Flash Grenades, though. Masked Zealots are impervious to headshots.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, some dataDyne guards wear helmets, which are resistant to head shots.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Chryssalids, Cyberdiscs and Sectopods are immune to the Arc Thrower's stun, thus you can't take them alive. These three, along with Berserkers and Ethereals, also have the Hardened property, which drastically reduces the likelihood of a Critical Hit to compensate for the fact that they can't use cover. More often than not, the reduction is big enough that you'll get zero chance to crit.
    • Ethereals also have a very high resistance to psi-attacks such as Mindfray.
  • Zombies and skeletons in Minecraft are weak to the sunlight, but if they are wearing any kind of helmet, then the sun doesn't do anything to them. You have to kill them yourself.
  • Dishonored features Overseers, who have frontal armor that can take a few instant-kill crossbow bolts to the face, and Tallboys, who have all-round armor and must be killed to be neutralized. Played with for some of the bosses; they're as weak as mooks, but keep respawning from one-hit kills for a while. You need to destroy Granny Rags' Cameo to finally kill/K.O. her, and Delilah will appear for real one you've killed enough of her duplicates.
  • The Secret World spreads a variety of mooks and minibosses with passive shield effects as the player gets through Egypt and into Transylvania. Some, like vampires, are merely highly resistant to afflictions. Others will simply ignore Impairs. It gets worse as you approach Lairs, Nightmare mode bosses, or missions like The Girl Who Kicked The Vampire's Nest, and enemies will actively benefit from players who use the wrong kung fu : the Besieged Farmlands' lair is filled with enemies that silence player characters that Impair them.
  • In Fallout 3, enemies using cloaking devices, such as the Chinese ninjas in Operation Anchorage, cannot be hit with VATS. Radscorpions are resistant to being crippled with the Dart Gun, since it uses their venom for the effect.
    • Due to a bug, Cazadores in Fallout: New Vegas can't be targeted in the head with VATS unless it is the first body part locked onto.
  • In Warframe, some enemies outright don't give you the Back Stab prompt, and some others - usually shielded ones - are durable enough that the Back Stab will not One-Hit Kill them.
  • In Borderlands 2, some enemies are bulletproof, at least in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Worse, regular bullets fired at them will ricochet and, usually, hit you. In order to kill them, you need to either use explosive weapons or E-Tech.
  • In the Tower Defense Desert Moon, there are Hunters. These guys will tunnel under the sand, invulnerable to ranged attacks until they get near to a unit and surface, then rush at that unit and kill them. Furthermore, they have a lot of health. It's a good thing they're vulnerable to the Flamethrower, which hurts them a lot and even pushes them back.
  • The Avatar from Ghost Hacker. It takes a maximum of 2 damage from anything, making the slow but strong towers bad against them. However, Death of a Thousand Cuts and Memory Leak will wear them down quickly.
    • The sequel brings us the Graviton, which sucks in any projectile attacks. You need to upgrade your towers into lasers in order to defeat them easily.
  • In Something, Boss Bass is the gimmick within Dat Bass, and to make things worse, it is immune to fireballs.
  • Titania Capital in Odin Sphere is infamous for being That One Level partially for having two of these: slimes and purple wizards. The former suffers only chip damage from physical attacks and offensive psypher magic, and is Immune to Flinching except for the strongest attacks, and the latter teleports away each time he's hit. Technically, the slimes demand that the player kill them with offensive alchemical mixes like Napalm, while the wizards need to be hit with their own projectiles and stunned before moving in for the kill, but every character that goes to Titania (except Cornelius, which is why the stage is hardest for him) has a special move that One Hit Kills slimes and deals enough damage to the wizards with one hit that it's easier to just spam that instead.
  • Mass Effect 3: Cerberus Dragoons and Phantoms, being ninjas, are immune to over-cover insta-kill grab attacks, which work on everyone else. Also, Dragoons and CAT-6 Heavies, since they have an armour bar but no health bar below it, cannot be directly targeted by Overload (although they can be hit by arcs), which is especially sucky since Heavies bunker down behind a massive omni-shield that has to be overloaded to destroy it.
  • In Astro Boy: The Video Game, red enemies are immune to knockdown.
  • Spelunky has several:
    • Yetis and shopkeepers are immune to the whip; the remake adds green knights to this list.
    • The remake also adds enemies that are immune to unaided Goomba Stomps: the aforementioned green knights, giant frogs, and mammoths; mummies have also been promoted to this status. None of the above are immune to spike shoes, however.

    Web Comics 
  • Black Belt of 8-Bit Theater more or less spells this out when White Mage calls him out on his inability to defend himself against giant spiders. He says he was specifically trained to fight humans and humanoids, so his fighting training (for example, attacking pressure points) is useless against the spiders.
  • Kid Radd has a few examples where the game physics used by our heroes and the game physics used by their opponents is different enough that problems will ensue. Perhaps the most potent example is the Big Bad itself, the Seer. It has absorbed the "any attack just takes away one hit point" trick of the Kid Radd style of platformer; thus no matter how much Radd charges up, it'll still be only 1 HP damage. Kind of a bummer after an adventure of overwhelming opponents with the sheer power granted by his programming glitch, huh?
    • Radd can charge up to the point where he could utterly destroy The Seer regardless of its programming, but he's not sure how far he should charge up to do so without affecting the rest of the Internet. It's probably a good thing he didn't, though, since The Seer's conflicting death programs caused it to crash upon its defeat.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Regular Show involves Mordecai and Rigby fighting a video game character that came to life. When they were playing the game itself, they found the boss was immune to all attacks except for throwing furniture at them. When said boss comes to life, everyone has to trash up the entire house, throwing everything that wasn't nailed down in order to defeat him.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Cad Bane shows that even being strong-willed can't help you if the Jedi really wants to persuade you when Mace, Obi-Wan, and Kit Fisto brute force him into telling them what they need to know. It's clear that being forcefully mind-controlled like that was a horrible deed, Bane's left clearly in mental anguish from it and the Jedi all visibly regret it but had no choice in the matter. That said, for having three Jedi masters persuading him so hard and still managing to not crack until he's nearly knocked unconscious from the mental trauma, it's clear that a single Jedi would never be able to break him.

    Real Life 
  • In World War I, machineguns were a staple of defensive operations. Then along came the tank, a (somewhat) Immune to Bullets metal monster. Assuming that mechanical failure or rough terrain wasn't in play, the only thing that could really stop a tank was artillery fire, which wasn't always accurate. Needless to say, this real life Game Breaker, along with US intervention, ended the stalemate on the Western Front and helped win the war.

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