Morality-Guided Attack

"The Raging Demon... Its power is unequaled... It is not my fist but your past sins that will kill you... The more evil your past doings, the more painful your death..."
Akuma to M. Bison/Veganote , Street Fighter Alpha 3

An attack that draws its power from how good or evil the user's opponent is. It is often used in order for a brutal Blood Knight of a villain to utterly humiliate his adversary by showing him that he's Not So Different deep inside. It is usually a Finishing Move.

This type of ability will very likely be a favorite of anyone who is The Fettered who believes they should Never Hurt an Innocent. Vice Versa, a person who expects everyone they encounter to be evil will also likely use this kind of attack.

Compare Good Hurts Evil and Allergic to Evil.

Contrast Karma Meter, where the user's own moral standing has an impact rather than the opponent's. See Situational Damage Attack for when other factors dictate who and how are effected by an attack.

Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Spike the Devilman's signature attack, the Devilmite Beam, carries out the effect by amplifying the darkness in the enemy's heart and making it explode. Because it does this effectively to any lingering sins, Fortuneteller Baba warns him not to use it, saying he is "going too far". Goku manages to survive, though, due to his completely good heart.
    • Also, the Spirit bomb was thought to be this due to it not exploding on contact with someone pure of heart, as demonstrated when Gohan is able to bounce it back against Vegeta, and obliterate evil people. This comes back to bite Goku when he attempts to use it against Kid Buu, because Buu is acting on animal-like instinct rather than malicious intent.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, one of the functions of Genkai's Spirit Wave technique is demonstrated to have this effect. During the fight against Team Ichigaki, she uses it to expel the Barukis that Dr. Ichigaki had attached to three marital artists to make them fight and kill others against their will. Yusuke and Kuwabara at first mistakenly assume them to have been killed by her attack, but then once they are conscious she explains that it would only have killed them if they were evil at heart.

     Comic Books 
  • This is how Marvel Comics' Cloak & Dagger vanquish adversaries. Cloak can enfold them in darkness, wherein villains encounter their own wickedness face to face, which often leaves them a quivering, neurotic wreck. Dagger can fling "light knives" which can stagger mooks and paralyze villains. Interestingly, Dagger's light knives had no effect on Doctor Doom, who has never regarded his actions as evil, but rather as his rightful destiny.
  • Ghost Rider's Penance Stare makes the target feel all the pain and suffering they've caused innocents over the course of their life.

     Live-Action TV 
  • In the "Gambit" episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, there is the Stone of Gol, an ancient Vulcan weapon which harms its target by reflecting said target's own violent thoughts back at him/her. It can be rendered harmless by clearing your mind of any such negative thoughts, which is exactly what the Vulcans following the teachings of Surak tend to do.
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Paradise Found", Xena fights a guru who can turn whatever good there is in a person against them. To fight him, Xena embraces her inner evil, and she almost kills Gabrielle during the battle without her conscience to stop her.
    Garr: No! You can't fight him—I tried. He'll take what's good still in you—and use it against you!

     Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The game has spells and abilities that affect targets based on their alignment, generally in the form of Evil attacks which hurt Good characters and vice versa. The Paladin class's Smite Evil ability is the most well known.
    • Holy water causes damage to evil creatures from other planes and evil undead it touches. Unholy water does the same to Good otherplanar creatures and paladins.
    • Dragon magazine #229 article "Bazaar of the Bizarre". When the Wheel of Light Rays is spun like a pinwheel it emits a bright pattern of light up to 30 feet away. Any evil creature in the area of effect must make a saving throw or take 1-4 Hit Points of damage for each point of karma it has.
    • In 1st and 2nd Edition, all intelligent magical swords have a specific Character Alignment. A creature with a different alignment can take Hit Points of damage equal to the sword's Ego rating each time it touches the sword (and, in 2nd Edition, each minute of contact with the sword if held continuously).
  • In the Hero System supplement Fantasy Hero Companion, the Prayer of Cleansing spell causes damage to "unclean" (Evil) creatures such as undead and demons.
  • Pathfinder has abilities that affect targets based on their alignment, generally in the form of Evil attacks which hurt Good characters and vice versa. The Paladin class's Smite Evil ability is the most well known.
  • In Vampire: The Requiem, the Old Testament-themed vampiric Blood Magic of Theban Sorcery has the ritual "Bird of Sin." What the ritual does is create a spectral, attacking bird pulled from the target and made of their sins. The game has a Morality Meter that goes from 0 (utter depravity) to 10 (saintly), and the bird attacks with 10 minus the target's morality and ignoring their defence attribute. A normal person with Morality 7 could feasibly fight off their Sin Bird or at least survive the pecking, but less moral (and non-magical) targets? Yeah, death by materialized sins.
  • The World of Darkness' Society of Leopold (basically, modern-day Inquisition) possesses a ritual to permanently destroy (instead of just banishing) demons—but it only works if the demon has High Torment (i.e. if they have lost all of their original angelic grace by committing acts of treachery and evil), while leaving Low Torment demons unaffected.
  • Dangerous Journeys/Mythus castings (spells) that only do damage to Evil (Evil, malign, Nether Plane or nether nature) beings.
    • The Alchindus Sigil Formula casting does 2d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage to the first Evil character to come close to the sigil.
    • Eviltracks Agony Charm does 2d6 plus 2 Physical damage to Evil characters when a nail is pounded into their footprint.
    • Abjure Spell. Any Evil character in the Area of Effect who doesn't announce their true alignment takes 5-15 points of Physical, Mental and Spiritual damage.
    • Full Consecration Ritual protects an area from the entry of Evil beings. If one is powerful enough to enter anyway it takes 2d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage.
    • Mystic Bullets Charm. Each Bullet does 4-12 Spiritual damage to Evil targets.
    • Mystic Missile Charm does 5d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage to Evil creatures.

     Video Games 
  • Dawn of War 2 has one of Inquisitor Adrastia's spells powered by the weight of the target's sins. How this is supposed to work on the Horde of Alien Locusts Tyranids, Blood Knight Orks or Always Chaotic Evil daemons and Chaos Space Marines, who either have no concept of sin or are more likely to enjoy the memory of committing them is unexplained.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Devilman still has his Devilmite Beam signature attack. Every character even has a morality stat specifically to calculate the attack's damage—Kid Goku takes only Scratch Damage just like in the original series, Omega Shenron takes tens of thousands, and the other characters vary in-between—even separate transformations that affect one's state of mind are differently susceptible to the attack, such as Goku's bloodlust-increasing Super Saiyan forms actually taking a somewhat sizable amount of damage. The developers did a very thorough job.
  • Several monsters in the Final Fantasy series, mostly Tonberry and its numerous variations, have an attack that keys off the number of kills the target has scored during the game. Since they are usually encountered late in the game, they typically hit for ridiculous amounts of damage, except against the team's designated healers, who may have gone through the game with a less impressive body count.
  • In MARDEK, Light and Dark are just two more elements that characters and enemies can be vulnerable or resistant (or absorbent) to, so in general your good-aligned party will do extra damage to Dark monsters. Zach also has an attack called Immoral Injustice, which will do severe damage to Light or Dark enemies but Scratch Damage to anything else.
  • In some Shin Megami Tensei games, there are some late-game attacks such as "Holy Wrath," "Judgement," and "Sea of Chaos" that deal extra damage to allies and enemies (depending on the game, they can either hurt both sides at the same time or only enemies) of Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful alignment, respectively.
  • The Street Fighter series has the Trope Codifier of Akuma's Limit Break, the Shun Goku Satsu (Instant Hell Murder), or Raging Demon, which is a relentless assault that uses the evil Satsui No Hadou force within the user to draw out the opponent's wickedness while beating the living crap out of them. The only way to survive it in canon is to keep a completely blank mind during it, which has only been done successfully by Gen and Gouken.
  • The Blade of the Darkmoon covenant in Dark Souls I is the only Player Versus Player faction who are allowed to invade and attack other players who are far below their own level—but only if their marks have "sinned", e.g. by breaking the rules of their own Covenant or, gods forbid, by killing Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight in their own world.
  • The Archon from Nexus Clash can sing the Song of the Word, which does colossal amounts of damage to evildoers only. Some Archons have a broad interpretation of what constitutes an evildoer, and sing variations of the Song that damage neutrals or eventually even anyone who isn't an angel.

     Western Animation 
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack's divinely-forged sword is the only weapon that can seriously harm Aku. When Aku gets a hold of it and tries to stab Jack with it, it fails to so much as scratch him.
  • In the 90s Fantastic Four cartoon, Ghost Rider has a cameo where he gets to use his Penance Stare on Galactus.


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