The munitions equivalent of the Super-Persistent Predator
, this heat-seeking or similarly guided missile
just will not give up
. High-Speed Missile Dodge
? It'll just come back for another try. Hide behind something? It'll go around
. Try to mess with its targeting
? It's not fooled. You can't even outrun it, because it has truly boggling range. Basically, when a Super Persistent Missile is chasing you, the only things you can do are shoot it down or die.
are supposedly unguided
projectiles with this capability.
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Anime & Manga
- In the Harry Potter series the sport Quidditch features two Bludgers, what amount to enchanted cannonballs that attempt to smash up any player in the vicinity. During a match against Slytherin in Chamber of Secrets one of the Bludgers is tampered with, causing it to persistently seek out Harry in particular regardless of any obstacles.
- Missiles in the Star Carrier series are stated outright in the very first dogfight to be nearly impossible to shake with passive systems such as ECM or with a High-Speed Missile Dodge. They're flown by weak A.I., use a huge variety of sensors to track targets, and can easily out-accelerate any fighter. The only viable countermeasure are active systems. Human and Turusch ships dump "sand" (granules of gravitically compressed lead) into space to serve as a physical barrier or shoot them down with energy weapons, and they're little threat to Beam Spammers like the Sora, Slan, and Sh'daar.
- In Fail Safe, the Soviets have a relatively slow air-air missile that's hard to shake and has a very long range.
Live Action TV
- The bazookoid missiles from the Red Dwarf episode "Polymorph", which were actually locked in a room and kept flying around in there for a week, until the heroes opened the door just in time for them to hit the Polymorph and kill it.
- An episode of Star Trek: Voyager featured a star ship sized missile intended to wipe out a planet. The ship/missile had on board weapons to wipe out any ship that tried to intercept it, and an AI system that compensated for any interference in its mission, including orders by its programer to deactivate. And then it was hijacked by an enemy program, fooling its AI into thinking the "new" target was the normal one...
- In an episode of Drop the Dead Donkey, a character mentions Henry's story about seeing a missile pass his hotel window when he was reporting from a warzone. Dave claims that when Henry gets drunk, he starts claiming the missile acted like this, thereby getting even closer to the window. (And when he's really drunk, it was a super-smart missile that knocked on the window and asked for directions.)
- Happens a lot in FoxTrot with Jason and Marcus' toy rockets. Even though the rockets are completely unguided, and in fact are supposed to go straight up.
- The higher-end missiles from Elite II: Frontier and Frontier First Encounters cannot be stopped by any kind of ECM. They still have only 60 seconds of fuel, but if you are in range, they WILL hit you.
- In Freelancer, Cruise Disruptor missiles have incredible range, blinding speed, and aren't fooled by chaff.
- The QAAM from the later Ace Combat games is one of the only missiles in the game that can turn around, and is incredibly hard for the AI to dodge.
- They were literally impossible to dodge in Ace Combat 04, making all boss fights laughably easy after you unlocked a plane equipped with them. Thank the skies the enemies never used them due to faulty AI. Ironically, the one thing (aside from you) that can dodge it in that installment is itself a missile. One that's persistent for a different reason entirely.
- Cutscene missiles do this too - in a zigzagged example, Bartlett gets shot down by a SAM even after performing tricks that would shed most other missiles in the series, after drawing it off of Edge.
- Ace Combat's Spiritual Successor, Vector Thrust brings QAAMs back. Older models like the R-60 will just lead their targets for a higher chance of hitting, but more sophisticated models like the Japanese XAAM-5 will come back for one more pass if you manage to wriggle out of its sights.
- In Escape Velocity, it is all but impossible to avoid missiles without a Missile Jammer or a sufficiently thick asteroid field.
- Averted by contrast in its open-source clone Naev. Missiles end up being more or less useless because you have to keep your nose pointed at the target long enough to get a lock before you can even fire, and if they miss they won't curve back around.
- Worms: A cutscene shows a worm outrunning a missile before it sniffs it back out in a cartoonish, dog-like fashion, the unfortunate worm gives up at this point.
- N features banks of missile launchers that fire nasty homing missiles that never stop trying to kill you, ever. In the event you get one to smash into a wall all you've achieved is having another one sent after you.
- SAMs in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. They will chase your helicopters across the entire map and they will hit since you don't have time to land before they catch up with you.
- Occasionally occurs in World of Warcraft, but only visually. If you are on a high-speed flying mount, missile effects (magical and physical alike) are just about as fast as you, or even slightly slower. The damage itself always lands, but the graphic effect may end up chasing you for ages until you let it catch up to you.
- Not a missile per se, but you can buy Toy Zeppelins from the few toy vendors ingame. These are used for casual fun, and once thrown to other players, it leaves your inventory and appears in theirs (assuming they have enough space). The Toy Zeppelins are very possibly the most super-persistent "missiles" in gaming history, as they will follow you very slowly wherever you go - there have been cases where a Zeppelin has been thrown to a player, the player then teleports to another continent, and finds a Zeppelin approaching him four hours later.
- Mario Kart has two variations on this... the Red Shell, which homes in directly on the next person ahead (and in later games, will maneuver itself through the course until it finds its target). It gets turned Up to Eleven with the Blue/Spiny Shell, which fires relentlessly toward the leader with practically no way to stop it (and in later games causes a huge, blue explosion to damage nearby drivers as well)
- In Ratchet & Clank, as well as other games, some homing attacks can be dodged and others will keep coming until they hit something.
- Multiple enemies in the Mega Man series use these. It's made worse by the fact that some of them don't explode on contact, and will pester you until you shoot them down.
- In EVE Online, missiles fired at you within their engine range always hit, even if they have to engage in Roboteching maneuvers to do so. You can reduce their damage to practically nil depending on the size of your ship (larger missiles are less effective against smaller ships), the speed at which your ship moves, and its signature size, but the only way to generate a clean miss is to get outside the missile's maximum range.
- Missiles in the X-Universe will always continue to pursue their targets, so long as they have fuel and they're not dumbfire. The only way to stop a missile is to shoot it down or outrun it. Missile Frigates fire especially long-ranged missiles which are Robo Teching, recursive, and will target new enemies upon the destruction of their original target; which can lead to fighter craft spinning around wildly, attempting to avoid the hundreds of missiles spinning around them furiously and attempting to out-turn the fighter.
- The exploding spiky balls thrown by Vores in Quake I will continually follow you quite smartly no matter how far you run away, since they're programmed to have a slight delay before changing their path when the target changes direction, a Simple Yet Awesome gimmick that ensures it'll be able to turn most corners. The only way to escape it is by legging it far away from a corner you just turned while it's still a ways away. Sounds easy? Well, they travel just slightly faster than you can run...
- Total Annihilation. Especially noticeable if you fly a super-fast spy plane over the top of a bunch of enemy anti-air units: their missiles will chase after you halfway across the map.
- Dota 2 features the Bungling Inventor Gyrocopter's homing missile—a comically large bomb with a fuse that doggedly tracks its target. It picks up speed and hurts more the faster it goes.
- Gods Eater Burst has the Quadriga series of enemies — they look like tanks and can fire missiles, including a homing death bullet. At first, the attack can be dodged, but when the Tezcatlipoca comes marching in, you can only defend. The game kindly places a missile warhead over the head of the targeted player, warning you that the Tezcatlipoca wants you dead and now is the time to hit the guard button.
- The Kessok Positron Missile from Bridge Commander: Once it has a target lock, it will track you forever, even if you turn invisible. The only way to escape is to warp out of the system.
- The Homing Pidgit Bills in Something. They're featured in Hell Ship in the Sky and they will always aim for Mario's position, no matter what. Later on in the level, Spikitus start throwing them.
- Star Trek Online plays this oddly, as whether or not a given torpedo hits the target is predetermined by the RNG when it's fired. So you can have one torpedo fired at an escort or Space Fighter follow its every maneuver until it hits the range cutoff, and then aim your next shot at a stationary target and have it randomly careen off into space.
- The spiny ("blue") shells from Mario Kart, once fired, will always hit something, though that something varies by the particular game. In some, they'll unerringly hit the race leader. In others, they'll unerringly hit whoever was race leader at the time the shell was launched. It's possible, with an extremely well-timed shunt, to dodge them in Double Dash, but it's difficult to the point of being functionally impossible.
- Happens to Wile E Coyote, a lot.
- In the Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines episode "Follow That Feather", the Vulture Squadron used a feather-seeking missile to pursue the pigeon.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, Mr. Mxyzptlk turns himself into a Super Persistent Missile (with a kryptonite warhead) to chase down Superman. Superman leads him on a merry chase, causing Mxy's smoke contrail to write his own name in the sky, backwards, twice (which Mr. Mxyzptlk agreed to leave forever if done).
- In Justice League, Darksied's Omega Beam will NOT stop following its target (they will even change directions at a corner) until they hit something, which will almost always be the intended victim.
- In SWAT Kats, the Metalikats once fired "The Relentless Missile" at the hero's jet eventually they do get rid of it by useing a decoy while turning off their engines.