troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesMain

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Resurrective Immortality
Doctor: When did you realise it?
Jack: Earth. 1892. Got in a fight on Ellis Island. A man shot me through the heart. Then I woke up.
Doctor Who, "Utopia"

These characters won't stay dead.

When killed, they will always return to life and look none the worse for wear. This is not due to a regenerative capability - they can be injured like anyone else. If an explanation is given at all, it will be magical or spiritual in nature.

On the plus side, this means that Death Is Cheap. Any enemies they have will never be able to kill them. For The Cape, this means they will never fall in the line of duty. For the thrill seeker, this means they can get a higher adrenaline fix than any of their mortal fellows. If they fall for someone whose species also lives forever, then they have a shot at Eternal Love.

On the negative side, this could be a Fate Worse than Death. Someone could torture them indefinitely without worrying about accidentally killing them. In any case they will feel the full pain of dying each and every time.

This can be a perk of being undead, particularly for vampires and liches. May overlap with other Immortality tropes, such as The Ageless, Immortality Inducer and Fighting a Shadow.

If they always come back in a certain spot, it's Respawn Point. If their mind is being transferred to a new body, it's Body Backup Drive, instead. If they respawn or are reborn as an infant, it's Born-Again Immortality.

See Joker Immunity for when a character isn't allowed to die because of Plot Armor. See Unexplained Recovery if no real reason is given for the resurrection.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The main characters of Angel Beats! often suffer horribly ignominious (and often hilarious) deaths, only to return to life a few minutes later whole, hale, and cracking wise.
  • Hakamada from Aphorism. Got thrown off the roof to die by his friends such that he could recover from his not quite fatal injuries.
  • Tenzen Yakushiji from Basilisk. As long as his inner parasite twin is fine he can abuse of this power as much as he wants.
  • The blood warriors from Princess Resurrection, most noticeably the protagonist Hiro. When a person die, one of the royal siblings can bring them back to life with their blood. This makes the blood warriors semiimmortal. When killed they will come back to life and when just hurt, their wounds will heal quick. However, there is a price to pay: the blood warriors have to drink royal blood every few days or they will die for real. So they have to follow and fight for one of the royal siblings to survive. And of course, they have to die, before they can become semi-immortal to begin with.
  • In Fate/stay night, Berserker has this ability. He can come back to life up to eleven times, and he becomes immune to whatever killed him in the first place.
  • Kenji Murasame from Giant Robo has this type of immortality. He's also got a bit of Made of Iron going on, since non-fatal wounds barely slow him down, but he'll always come back from anything that would definitely kill anyone else, including complete bodily disintegration. He's quick about it, too. Getting shot in the head doesn't even put him down for more than half a minute or so.
  • Seine from Hekikai No Ai ON. She's a The Ageless that can be killed, but as long as her body isn't thrown to the sea, she can resurrect, and when hurt, her wounds heal quickly (even her fatal wounds heal). Her predecessor Simon Magus was the same as her but he met his end being eaten by mermaids.
  • Immortals in Mnemosyne can be killed if they are damaged enough (though they also have a normal healing ability, so it takes a lot to get them to this stage,) but they always revive later. Two examples of this that were extraordinary even for them were Rin being disintegrated by a jet turbine and eventually being washed ashore (though it took decades for her to coalesce, and she lost her memories in the process), and Rin having her time spore (the thing that grants immortality) removed from her body, which caused her to turn to dust, but the time spore was able to regrow the rest of her body when it was brought close to Yggdrasil.
  • Garterbelt can't stay dead until his mission on Earth is complete; his death animation just plays backwards some time after he dies. However, he doesn't seem to be much stronger that a properly trained human, given how easily Corset tore a hole in his heart.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey can reappear almost instantly in a new body after being killed. This is probably by necessity, since magical girls tend not to be very happy with him when they discover the exact terms of their contracts.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha franchise has the Book of Darkness and the Wolkenritter. Thanks to the Book of Darkness' Rejuvenation Program, they will always come back to life no matter how thoroughly you kill them. They lose this at the end of Nanoha A's, due to Reinforce performing a Heroic Sacrifice to delete the Rejuvenation Program and ensure that the Darkness of the Book of Darkness stays dead.
  • In Is This a Zombie?, Kyoko has the ability to gain an "extra life" every time she kills somebody, so she became a Serial Killer. Every time she is killed, she uses up a life and immediately gets up fully healed. She is defeated when Ayumu manages to reduce her to her last life, at which point she begs for mercy, pleading that she doesn't want to die.
  • In Naruto, it's implied that a Tailed Beast can be temporarily killed, but as they are the embodiment of all Chakra, they will not stay dead. And they will resurrect extremely pissed off. The only semi-permanent way of dealing with one is to seal them inside a human being. The only problem is, this makes the person the walking equivalent of a nuclear bomb, with most people trying to use, capture or kill them, and the host's darker emotions will inevitably transfer over to the Tailed Beast, making it even more ticked off than before. Rinse and repeat each time a host dies and the new one suffers abuse anew. On the other hand...if one of those people overcomes their hate and fear and passes THAT on to the Beast...
  • In Campione!, Godou can come back to life fully healed with the power of The Ram, but he can only do this once a day.
  • The Tartarus guild in Fairy Tail has the ability to restore any demon of theirs that has died. They can also adjust the appearances of the demons with each rebirth. Fairy Tail being a guild of technical pacifists, this ability of the Tartarus guild has been demonstrated as a result of the demons having a much lower standard for when to use their last resort suicide attacks.

    Comic Books 
  • Mr. Immortal's only superpower is the ability to resurrect in perfect health immediately after dying, regardless of the method of death. It is implied that he is homo s. supreme, having evolved beyond death, and will survive to see the end of the universe. He can take advantage of it by killing himself to heal any persistent injuries, so it's not entirely a bad thing.
  • The DCU's Immortal Man and Resurrection Man both have this power, coming back to life each time they're killed.
  • Wolverine was one time explained to have a version of this. Each time he suffered injuries great enough to kill him he would fight the angel of death, win and return to his body with his body fully healed. Its debatable if this still works for him.
  • All Marvel Universe demons have this as a power, or at least all those who rule or co-rule a dimension, though this may apply even to lesser fiends. Dormammu, Mephisto, Set, Chthon, Shuma-Gorath and the rest can all be killed (with extreme difficulty), but they will come back as their evil energies will reform in their own dimensions- how long this takes depends on the nature of the fatality, with total destruction taking millenia to recover from naturally, but it will not keep them down. These energies retain the sentience of the demon in question and thus they can speed up the process by manipulating other magical forces, or even make themselves reappear in somewhere other than their own dimension- once or twice, this has meant Earth. It is also possible, of course, for outside forces (sorcerors, servants etc.) to help them return as well. In the case of Shuma-Gorath, he can even be reborn within the soul of the person who killed him last.
  • In Valerian, this is the fate of the fallen archangels who lose at the divine game of economics on planet Hypsis, most notably Mr. L.C.F. Sat. Having lost his immortality, but not his eternity, he dies repeatedly for no reason, evaporating into the air, only to poof back none worse for wear.
  • The pygmy tribe of Pocket God have a Gem of Life that ressurects them by it when they die. Which happens often. They later meet a female tribe with their own Jewel of Life.
  • Isstvan in Phil Foglio's adaptation of Robert Asprin's Another Fine Myth. Note that it's an involuntary curse, and the whole plot is launched by his latest scheme to get himself permanently killed.

     Fan Fiction 
  • Ho-oh from Cornova's Poké Wars series has so far been able to come back in peak condition from being pulverized, thrown into a mountain, and having all of his limbs and head torn off, all thanks to the removal of his dampener at the start of the series. Uxie notes at one point that Ho-oh is able to come back that way because he's a legendary pokemon - if a normal pokemon ended up with this ability, they'd fall under Born-Again Immortality.
  • In Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, Rampage has this as her main trait - in addition to being a muscle-bound, armored psychopath with multiple personalities and a cartload of other mental issues. She's also one of the protagonists. She can come back from severe injuries, decapitation, crushing, forced through a wood chipper, being eaten by a band of insane cannibals and being disintegrated into a fine pink dust with no problems - in fact, main protagonist Blackjack finds that a good dose of grievous killing is the best way to calm Rampage down when she has a psychotic episode that is, when her serial foal killer persona takes over. She just heals the wounds and regenerates any missing parts, although disintegration causes her to regenerate as a small filly, and she has to eat a lot to grow back to normal size.
  • As it turns out in Part 2 Clash of the Elements, Cackletta, on top of being a high-powered magic user, is capable of coming back to life an indiscernible amount of times thanks to a spell she used that restores her to a prime state every time she is killed or dies from old age, giving her all the knowledge and power she had gained in her previous life without any consequence. However, the weakness of this is that her cells stay the same as they did when she died, and Alpha is able to abuse this flaw in her spell in order to send her into a loop of death and rebirth until her spell runs dry.

    Film - Live Action 
  • The Tall Man of Phantasm who simply can't be stopped. Destroy him completely and another identical one will step out of the portal and finish where he left off.
  • Thackery Binx from the Disney film Hocus Pocus was cursed to live forever as a cat. In one scene, he is run over by a car and is clearly dead. Then as the other characters are screaming and crying in horror, he re-inflates, stands up, and says, "I hate it when that happens."
  • Freddy Krueger of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series is killed several times by the heroes, but he returns each time. The dream demons who are the source of his powers promised him that he would indefinately resurrect no matter what anyone does to him. He even boasts about it.
    Freddy: I. AM. ETERNAL! (from The Dream Master)
    Freddy: In dreams. I. Am. FOREVER! (from Freddy's Dead)

    Literature 
  • The Eternal Emperor of the Sten series. He can die, and indeed has been assassinated more than once, but he always returns a few years later to reclaim his throne.
  • On the Discworld, vampires can be killed in a number of different ways, but they are always reduced to ashes and will always regenerate when they eventually come into contact with blood. Careful slayers can keep them locked up for hundreds or thousands of years, but sooner or later they'll be back. The only recorded time one has been rendered (possibly) Deader than Dead was when a cat ate him while he was in bat form. Another vampire was threatened with being thrown off of the Disc into space, which would probably have done the job as well.
  • In The Night Angel Trilogy, the holder of the black ka'kari has this. They come back to life if killed at the cost of having someone they care about die soon after.
  • In Harry Potter, Voldemort's Horcruxes grant him this form of immortality. It's rather less efficient than most examples, since he can't form a new body by himself. Every spell and ritual that he needs to do it requires a wand, which he can't very well hold as a disembodied wraith. It takes him over a decade to return.
  • The protagonist of the Web Serial Novel The Zombie Knight has this as his primary power, thanks entirely to the Grim Reaper who revived him. This is used to both gruesome and comical effect. He also boasts Super Strength and the ability to temporarily Feel No Pain. And growing Extra Ore Dinary powers.
  • This is how Kasreyn's immortality works in the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. He has no noticeable fighting abilities, and in one scene a Giant manages to rip the chain that's binding him out of the wall and hit Kasreyn with it, breaking his neck and killing him instantly. Kasreyn is dead for about thirty seconds, then gets back up none the worse for the wear, assuring the Giant that his death will pass description. It's unclear if this power is Kasreyn's own or a side effect of the Deal with the Devil he made with a croyel but when the croyel is killed, Kasreyn dies for real.
  • The deceased believers in Christ in the Left Behind book series gain this ability once they and their still-living counterparts are Caught Up in the Rapture and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. This also applies to those who became believers during the Tribulation and were martyred for their faith.
  • The Amir Kabal of The Beyonders possess this. When an Amir Kabal dies, their mind and memories are stored in their "seed", a small cyst-like growth on the back of the neck that detaches after death. Planting the seed in the ground will cause the Amir Kabal within to regrow their body within a few months. Destroying a seed kills the Amir Kabal inside it, and will cause every other Amir Kabal to declare war on you. One quirk of this is that the "template" for the regrowth is locked by the Amir Kabal's First Death, so most Amir deliberately kill themselves around twenty-five or so to insure the best quality of body in future rebirths.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A specific variation in Smallville. When Chloe heals fatal injuries, it kills her, but she could resurrect herself. However, when she saves Lois Lane, she is dead for 3 hours. When she saves Lex Luthor, she remains dead for 18 hours. Clark thinks if she tries it again, she might stay dead. Permanently.
  • The Trill in Star Trek are a race of almost human-looking aliens that share their home planet with a species of highly intelligent slug-like worms, known as the Symbionts. The symbionts are able to live inside the body of a Trill and connect themselves to their nervous system, effectively becomming a second brain that is mostly passive but retains all the memories of the Trill it is bonded with and has been bonded to before. While the lifetime of an individual Trill is about the same as that of a human, the Symbionts can live for many centuries and go through over a dozen of host bodies. These bonded Trill make up less than a percent of their species and form the political, scientific, and cultural elite of their society, so only the most gifted and outstanding individuals are selected for bonding after a very long and hard selection process. While the selection process is primarily supposed to prevent any symbionts to be bonded to mentally unstable host bodies that would permanently damage the mind, the most important quality looked for in candidates after high intelligence and skills, seems to be an outstanding personalty that has a good chance to create a remarkable scientist, artist, or politican. And as a result, they all tend to be highly eccentric, which only gets more intense once they gain access to the memories of several remarkable lifetimes. While a bonded symbiont can live outside a host body for only a few hours and the host dies after the symbiont is removed, the symbionts are very durable and very often survive accidents and injuries that kill the host, as long as they can be transferred into a new one in time.
  • Nathan from Misfits has this type of immortality. He can be hurt or injured in the normal way, but will heal all injuries once he dies and comes back to life. Best demonstrated when in an alternate timeline, after their powers had become public knowledge, Nathan demonstrated his ability by shooting himself in the head and resurrecting on live television.
  • Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood can technically die, but only for a short while due to a mixture of this and From a Single Cell. In Torchwood: Miracle Day, Jack became mortal again. He returns to being immortal at the end of Miracle Day, with Rex also gaining this kind of immortality. note 
    • The Doctor (and any other Time Lord) can regenerate when their body dies. They retain all their memories but gain a new appearance and personality. This has been changed slightly in the new series since The Doctor doesn't fully die before regenerating. In a 1960s episode, the Doctor once stated that Time Lords can "live forever, barring accidents." The trope is not guaranteed to be in place indefinitely, however, as the series established (in a 1976 episode, and later confirmed in 2013) that Time Lords usually may only regenerate 12 times before final death, however the High Council has the ability to grant a renewed regeneration cycle (which is done with The Master, per the episode "The Sound of Drums" and The Doctor, in "The Time of the Doctor").
  • Highlander, both film and TV. Immortals can die just like anyone else, but their bodies then heal and they revive.(Unless the injury was a beheading, which is fatal for good.) And it can turn into a cycle if conditions are bad, which can lead to an insane immortal or at least an immortal with a huge desire for revenge.
    • Actually the temporary death was series-only...in the films, they just kept going. Connor walked under water, The Kurgan was shot mutiple times...the series probably introduced temporary deaths as a Plot Device.
  • Prince, an expy of Satan and the Big Bad of the last season of LEXX, could return after being killed, once a certain time period had elapsed. Worse, he could choose where he would reappear, and what his appearance would be, making him a de facto shapeshifter. His weaker enemy Duke could resurrect but not change his appearance.
    • Kai plays with this too. Although he's technically dead and only animated by protoblood, he would routinely get "killed" (decapitated, cut apart, etc) which sometimes incapacitated him for a while until he was put back together properly. Other times, he's move around regardless of injuries.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Dracula does this in the one episode he appears in. Buffy stakes him and he dusts, but then he reforms - only for Buffy to stake him again.
    • Angel once faced a demon who, no matter how many times he cut it up, would always piece itself back together and come after him again.
      Angel: Come on! I'm holding your head!
  • In Merlin, Merlin himself, who is still alive in the present day. He's taken fireballs to the chest, swords, and huge slash wounds, and yet has gotten up again. It was confirmed in a Distant Finale that he really is immortal like his mythological roots.
    • Very heavily implied as early as 4x02 with the Dorocha. Gaius outright says that no mortal can survive their touch, yet Merlin does.
  • John Amsterdam in New Amsterdam. In addition to being The Ageless, Amsterdam also possesses this form of immortality. He dies in the pilot, but he is resurrected a few hours later in the morgue.
  • The Cylons on Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) do this when they die. So long as they're in the operational range of a Resurrection Ship, and the resurrection network is online, then when they die they merely Body Surf into a dormant identical body and continue their existence. However, this also means they get to carry the psychological and emotional trauma of dying with them into their new body and some Cylons are so traumatized by the experience that their consciousnesses are "boxed" rather than having them become a Broken Bird and be a drain on Cylon society.
  • In Caprica, Zoe and Tamara possess this ability in New Cap City in a particularly fast variant. The environment is programmed in such a way to permanently ban anyone who is killed from ever entering again. For Z&T this is just a minor nuisance because they are programs with no real body to return to, so getting killed will cause a glitch and remodel them immediately.
  • Phoenix of Kamen Rider Wizard. His special ability is that he can't be killed for good and will simply revive stronger than before. In the end, the only way Haruto can permanently stop him is by throwing him into the sun and trapping him there.

    Myth, Legend, and Oral Tradition 
  • Egyptian Mythology: Born-Again Immortality seems to be the standard for Egyptian gods, who can age and die but are always reborn. However, with some of them it isn't clear if they actually have to pass through childhood when returning.
  • Jesus' ultimate miracle... albeit the fact that he only pulled this trick off once (and only temporarily, before ascending to heaven) looks positively wimpy next to some of the examples on this page. Some interpretations hold that although he's in heaven, he uniquely is still bodily intact and immortal.
    • It's more than some interpretations. Christian teaching holds that Jesus is the prototype of the faithful throughout the ages, so that when He returns, not only will He still be in His immortal human body, but He will raise all of His faithful ones from the dead and grant them immortal bodies like His own. The doctrine of the Rapture goes further to include those who are living at the time of His coming. In other words, Christianity says this trope applies to every single faithful Christian and every person who died in anticipation of the Messiah.
    • Also, the point of the Resurrection is less that Jesus has superpowers and can defy death, and more that Jesus is omnipotent and COMMANDS death, even when dead himself. Most examples on this page resurrect subconsciously; Jesus choses to simply stop being dead.
  • The Einherjar from Norse Mythology reside in the halls of Valhalla. Every day they fight with real swords and axes, and every night the dead ones get resurrected by Odin and Freyja

    Tabletop Games 
  • The mummies of the Old World of Darkness were immortals who would resurrect every time they were killed. It was possible to destroy them outright, but not particularly easy (like putting them at ground zero of a nuclear explosion).
    • Continuous damage is also said to work, such as by dropping the body into a volcano. As the mummy needs to spend a point of either permanent willpower or permanent Balance to come back, either of which requires experience points to restore, just killing them over and over until they run out would work too.
  • The Arisen carry on the Mummy tradition in the New World of Darkness. The magical Rite of Return that made them what they are restores them to life every 1460 years and/or under special circumstances (like being summoned by a cult, or having their tombs robbed), and maintains their lives for around 8-9 months until they run out of energy and fall into death again. Killing a mummy is difficult (We suggest fire), but annihilating one thoroughly enough to prevent its future resurrection is a Herculean task. Specifically, you'd need to destroy every piece of its remains (so it can't come back on its own), kill its entire cult (so they can't find it a new body), and erase every mention of its name from every record (so no necromancer or cult in the future can learn about it and then try to raise it).
  • Sin Eaters get in on this too. Not only can they shrug off limited amounts of damage, they can come back from the dead at sunrise or sunset if killed, whichever comes first. But if they come back too many times, they suffer a fate worse than death.
  • In the various editions of Big Eyes, Small Mouth, this is what the Reincarnation attribute does. The various levels determine how long it takes for the character with the attribute to come back after being killed, and how easy or hard this is to stop.
  • The Ultimate Powers Book for the Marvel Super Heroes Roleplaying Game (the FASERIP system) has the Serial Immortality and Self-Revival powers, which allow a character to come back from death. Serial Immortality in particular has several ways this can come about, some of which embody other tropes than Resurrective Immortality, such as creation of a new body, reanimating a dead body, taking over another person's body, and others. This is primarily a way for villains to come back.
  • The Inevitable Comeback creature power from Feng Shui allows a supernatural creature to resurrect after being killed.
  • The Necrons in Warhammer 40,000 are an entire RACE of this. Even if reduced to liquid metal, any necron is teleported away and rebuilt to be redeployed.
    • Hive Tyrants of the Tyranids have this built into them. Being the commander of an entire Redshirt Army of Zerg Rush troops means that commanders seldom to survive long, so each hive tyrant can and will reform in a new body with their mind and memories intact (but only until the current campaign is over). The only exception to this is the Swarmlord, who transcends the various hive fleets and always reforms with his memories. His body is also unique, possessing materials not native to the galaxy, implying that the hive mind will go through the trouble of transmuting the materials for his specially crafted Bonesabres just for the Swarmlord.
    • Then there is Lucius The Eternal, the personal champion of the deity of excess, Slaanesh. Lucius' quirk is that should he be bested in battle and the one who defeated him feels even the tiniest amount of pride about it, said person will slowly and painfully morph into Lucius and the only thing left of them will be a new screaming face on Lucius' Power Armor. Considering the amount of faces already on it, this happened quite often.
    • Also, Perpetuals. Even completely vaporized, they can pull their subatomic particles back together.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: When a Modron is slain, the Primus energy making up its form is returned to Mechanus and used to create a new Modron. (Or rather, a lower-ranking Modron is promoted to replace it, setting off a cascade of promotions down to the lowest rank, whereupon one monodrone Modron simply splits into two monodrones.) As Modrons (usually) lack any form of individuality, the replacement Modron is for all intents and purposes identical to the slain one.
    • The Deva race (angels who incarnate as mortals on the Material plane) have this, but when/where they reincarnate is up to the GM, so just choosing that race is not necessarily a way to keep the same character.
    • Many 4th Edition Epic Destinies allow the player self-resurrection— usually prefaced with the amusingly unlikely phrase "Once per day, when you die, [...]". Flavorful variations on the ability include:
  • This (along with being The Ageless) is basically how the immortality of the gods of Exalted works. You can destroy the body of a god, but as long as they have a sanctum, they'll just reincarnate there (note that all Celestial Gods count the Heavenly City as a sanctum). Some of them even reincarnate without a sanctum, if they're heavily invested in their domain, although this is less reliable (and often takes longer). The only exception to this is if they're finished off with a spirit destroying Charm, which essentially ignores their immortality. All Exalted possess spirit killing Charms.
    • Abyssals take this up to eleven (Which frankly, if you're familiar with Exalted, you should of seen coming), they can kill a Spirit, and then reform it has a devoted slave. They can also "Kill" a spirit with a Necromatic ritual that sends the spirit into the Underworld, where it's assigned duties by the Underworld. Sidereals get a variation of this, wherein they can punch a spirit so hard, they're forced to fill out a specific task It Makes Sense in Context
  • In GURPS, this is called Unkillable, and comes in various flavors

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The game has this in the form of Redmond and Blutarch, CEOs for RED and BLU, respectively. In an attempt to try to outlive the other brother, both have a machine built for them to prevent them from dying, with obvious results. It does not grant immortality in the normal sense, but it does resurrect them within seconds of dying, which does grant the user immortality in the sense that they don't stay dead for long (the third brother, Grey, also has an immortality machine, but it seems to work differently). In a related vein, respawning in-game appears to be part of canon and not just a gameplay mechanic, given that some classes, particularly Sniper, comment on it.
      Sniper: How many times have you died? I'm actually getting impressed.
      Sniper: Kill ya again soon, mate.
      Sniper: See you in five minutes.
    • Touched upon again in Poker Night at the Inventory, where the Heavy has "dreams" where he dies but then "wakes up" and continues fighting.
    • We now have an explanation as to why at least the Soldier can't die - he ate an entire bottle of magical "Kill Me, Come Back Stronger" pills owned by his (former) magician roommate. Apparently this is enough for Merasmus to not even try killing him (in the comic, at least; he'll rip your head off in-game regardless of class). The rest of his team might have taken such pills too... And the other team, too, seeing as how the Administrator wants a perpetual stalemate between RED and BLU (well, right up until the robots show up, and she would be delighted to make use of such a thing...)
  • Every runewarrior from the game Spellforce. Your avatar (main character) dies? He automatically respawns at the nearest soulstone. Any of your heroes or minions dies? Simply summon them again.
  • Likely (it's also possible that they're regenerating) the case for Ascended in Rift: They've already died once and been brought back; now, death is a temporary, if traumatic, inconvenience for them.
  • The Daevas of Aion are seemingly immortal, being able to reform with a type of ressurection stone if killed. One of the main quests involves the player investigating a malfunctioning stone, which turns anyone under its influence into zombies rather than reform them.
  • Meat Boy is a One-Hit-Point Wonder, but reforms within one or two seconds, much to the frustration of Dr. Fetus. And not just during gameplay, during cutscenes too!
  • Unreal Tournament and sequels, not just a game mechanic, as game lore suggest repeated death and resurrection can chase a persons mind to collapse.
  • In the Castlevania series, Dracula is resurrected in most of the games, the better for the player to have someone to fight. The exact methods vary.
  • The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment. Dying is even a way to solve some of the puzzles, and learning why he won't die is his goal in the series.
  • Zasalamel masterminded the events of Soul Calibur III for the express purpose of curing himself of this. In the sequel he changed his mind after seeing a vision of the future and deciding he wanted to see that world in person.
  • The fairies in the Touhou series work like this: They have very short live spans, but are reborn in the same shape (a healthy one, that is) as soon as they die even if they're blown to pieces, essentially making them immortal. As a sort of deconstruction this also gives them a rather messed up view of life; since they have no concept of death they may consider setting someone aflame and pushing them off a cliff a lighthearted prank.
    • The characters Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou functionally have this, but on an even more extreme level. They appear to die and resurrect, but they actually exist outside of life and death. Consuming the Hourai Elixir permanently removed the very concept of death from them, meaning that they'll come back from absolutely anything, up to and including complete annihilation of their bodies. Their main pastime is killing each other repeatedly, so their ability gets a lot of mileage.
  • This is the kind of immortality that Nessiah from Yggdra Union of the Dept Heaven games (and its spinoffs) has been cursed with. Reincarnating is supposed to be hellishly painful and leaves him weak, but he will inevitably reincarnate no matter what. It overlaps with Immortality Talisman (and to some extent The Ageless, as he no longer ages), and by the time of Yggdra Union he's spent over a thousand years trying to destroy what forces him to stay alive.
  • The Undead in Dark Souls are cursed/blessed with this. They cannot stay dead, but each "death" robs them of humanity until they eventually become Hollowed insane monsters. Humanity (represented by small black flames) can restore an Undead's appearance, but it's still only delaying the inevitable.
  • Peter the phoenix and Lemon the vampire from Shining Force II can automatically resurrect after each battle for free if defeated.
  • LeChuck, perennial Big Bad of Monkey Island, starts out undead and is killed at the end of each game only to come back in the next, with varying explanations. In the second game, he had to be brought back by a witch-doctor, but in other incarnations he returns on his own, thanks to the power of Big Whoop, a portal into hell. Tales of Monkey Island gives a different explanation for his eternal self-recycling: a resurrection spell he keeps hidden at the Crossroads, the pirate afterlife, which he got from the Voodoo Lady.
  • PlanetSide. When a soldier travels through a warp gate, they are matrixed into the planet's core. When they die, their body is deconstructed and then rebuilt at a spawn room. In the backstory, a Terran commander executed a pilot via firing squad for flying through a warp gate without orders - and the pilot kept showing up sitting under trees on continents. This has of course fueled the state of Forever War the planet currently finds itself in.
  • E.Ψ.Ǝ.: Divine Cybermancy - The player has a limited amount of self-resurrections. When the player dies, an implant injects a cocktail of drugs which jump-starts the body again, allowing the player to continue to fight after a few seconds of inaction. However, the implant doesn't get rid of extreme damage such as mutilations, and will deplete after a couple uses.
  • Lance Galahad of Brain Dead 13 has this from the very start, up to the very end of the game, even in a Kaizo Trap. And since the player has unlimited lives in this game, he always comes back, no matter how many times he gets decapitated, mutilated, doused in acid, eaten up, drained of blood, etc.
  • Fujin of Mortal Kombat states this is true of his fellow Physical God Raiden; however, for the latter, this means being resurrected as a blank slate devoid of any memories should he be killed. This never happens due to the fact that the only time we ever see Raiden die canonically are when he goes kamikaze on Onaga in Deception and Onaga's corruption helps him retain his memory, and when Shao Kahn kills him in MK9, but only after Raiden sends a message to his past self to prevent it all from happening anyway.
  • Due to Fallen London being located 'downstream of Hell', it's inhabitants all have this, although they can't come back from disease or old age, nor from being subjected to the Chunky Salsa Rule.
  • There are a few important late-game enemies in Nethack that possess this ability.
    • The Wizard of Yendor will resurrect every time he is killed, and can even clone himself on occasion. He will also "haunt" you and cause trouble throughout the rest of the game after being killed for the first time.
    • The final level contains three Riders of the Apocalypse, who will always resurrect a set number of turns after being killed. This being Nethack, almost all possibilities for killing them permanently have been thought of and plugged, but there are still a couple of obscure ways the Riders can be put down for good.
  • Nebiros has this skill in Devil Survivor 2. Destroy his undead, he'll just spawn more. Destroy him? He Body Surfs to one of his flunkies, and transforms him into the next Nebiros.
  • The immortals of Lost Odyssey have this type of immortality in gameplay: they take damage normally in combat, but only stay KO'ed for a couple turns before reviving. In cutscenes, meanwhile, they're basically indestructible.
  • In the Diablo series, part of the reason the Eternal Conflict between Heaven and Hell has been eternal is that both the Angiris Council and the Prime Evils have this. Even if their bodies are completely destroyed, they will eventually return.
  • The Mother in La-Mulana immediately revives if her body is killed. The plot of the game involves the player finding a means to give her soul a physical form since killing it will kill The Mother for good.
  • The main character of The Cat Lady is granted this type of immortality. Unfortunately, every time she's revived it costs the life of another person.
  • The main character of Video Game/Prey acquires this power after he dies by falling off a bridge in an organic alien Dyson Sphere. After dying for the first time, he finds himself in another dimension called "the Land of the Ancients", where his grandfather's spirit teaches him how to spirit walk (intentionally separating his body and spirit for a certain time) and death walk (return to his body when his spirit is separated by it after a death).
  • Yes Man in Fallout: New Vegas has this capability. Killing his Securitron body just causes him to upload to another one. While theoretically you could kill him by tracking down and destroying every Securitron in New Vegas, they all constantly respawn so there's no practical end to them. Yes Man just comes right back, and cheerful and friendly as ever.

    Web Original 
  • Phelous dies in all kinds of comical ways, but always comes back to life. In a crossover with The Angry Joe Show, he gets killed and resurrected multiple times in a few minutes. In a few episodes, his death scenes parody the Time Lord the Doctor's regenerations from Doctor Who.
    • He outright exploits this during To Boldly Flee, wearing a red polo in order to ensure that he will never stay dead upon being killed. This is because a Red Shirt is immediately replaced by another Red Shirt after death, and the only actual Red Shirt among the heroes is Phelous himself.
  • SCP-076-2. If he's killed (which is really hard to do by the way) his corpse will disintergrate, 076-1 (A giant stone box with a coffin inside it) will slam shut, and he'll be respawned as it were. He's basically a video game character.
    • Dr. Bright combines this trope with possession. You can kill his host body, and it'll stay dead just fine, but give the amulet to another host and he can keep walking around like nothing happened.
  • In Worm, Gray Boy has this thanks to his time manipulation abilities, which automatically rewinds his body to a point before he was injured, completely negating even lethal wounds.
  • AH.com Eternals centers on humans with this ability, and their interactions with the rest of humanity throughout human history. The series is notable for its Genre-Busting slash Genre Roulette approach to storytelling.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck has guaranteed immortality for any Sburb player who reaches God Tier which can only be achieved by a player arranging to be killed on their Quest Bed. They cannot be Killed Off for Real, unless their death is deemed just or heroic, instead coming back to life a few minutes later, any damage done to themselves or their clothes completely healed.
  • Oasis from Sluggy Freelance is implied to be one of these. It has yet to be made clear how she keeps showing up again after being shot, impaled, and blown up so many times. It's possible that this is just the result of her Healing Factor, but fans are definitely lead to think otherwise.
  • Type A Phoenixes in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures respawn in a random location when they die, and then walk to whichever of their temples is the furthest away, learning stuff as they go. They can also choose to "die" whenever they want, making them impossible to capture.
  • The eponymous Sidekick Girl has this as her only power, only healing slightly faster than a normal human. A villain manages to gain her power by use of her cerebral fluid, whereby she learns that total disintegration will kill her. Hopefully .
  • In Kubera, this is the difference between the gods and the Nastika. Nastika are more powerful than gods, but gods can resurrect themselves infinitely (though it does take a few decades), while Nastika only live once. Some of the Nastika's lesser servants do have a form of this trope, however; Hura, from the Asura Clan, has a unique transcendental that lets him resurrect twelve times a day, in addition to his already ridiculous Healing Factor.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park:
    • Kenny has this power. This was confirmed in the episode Mysterio Rises as he explains that he dies but wakes up in his bed the next day, and no-one else has any memories of his death, but this had been hinted at several times before, notably after the episode where he was replaced by Butters, and later Tweek. He recovered from that and when he came back the other characters asked where he had been. In another Stan is upset that Kyle is seriously ill and will soon die, making Kenny annoyed that he's so upset about that but no-one ever cared about all the times he died, but Stan doesn't hear him. Apart from that he dies on a regular basis since the very first season but comes back anyway because Status Quo Is God, without any explanation. He died in the first episode but came back anyway in the next one. note 
      • In Mysterion Rises it's strongly implied that Kenny's mother becomes magically pregnant with a new Kenny every time he dies and gives birth within a few minutes, making this a combination of Born-Again Immortality and Rapid Aging to get him back up to eight years old before morning because Cthulhu.
    • Jesus. In one episode, he escapes from a jail cell (in the Vatican) by having Kyle kill him and resurrecting on the other side of the door. He can only do this on Easter.
  • Because of an AllSpark shard embedded in his forehead, Starscream in Transformers Animated is repeatedly revived on death. Discovering his immortality, he proceeds to try to kill Megatron, leading to the famous Death Montage.


Purpose Driven ImmortalityThis Index Will Live ForeverImmortal Assassin
Born-Again ImmortalityImmortalityFrom a Single Cell
Removed Achilles HeelSpeculative Fiction TropesRet Gone

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
98632
33