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Healing Factor / Video Games

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Healing Factors in video games.


  • Expect Xenomorphs in any Alien vs. Predator game to have regen abilities. It can be accelerated with a quick headbite. It ties into the mythos; Xenos are adapted to be the perfect survivors. In the (unfortunately extremely rare) RTS, human Radiological Ammo stops it.
  • A variation of this comes up in Assassin's Creed: since the player is actually just reliving the memories of the characters in the main setting of each game, they technically don't suffer from any injuries that the character doesn't receive as an example of Gameplay and Story Segregation, such as Connor being visibly affected by injuries received from a near miss by a cannonball in a cutscene which hinders his movement. In normal gameplay, however, injuries are never as staggering even though they can lead to death in-game. This Healing Factor is partly justified by the framing device of the game: health actually indicates how well-synchronized the player is to how the character behaved historically, with loss of all their health resulting in a game over via death because the character did not die at that point in their lives.
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  • In the BioShock series, the Little Sisters personify this trope; because of the huge amounts of Applied Phlebotinum coursing through their veins, they can reconstruct their bodies instantly. In fact, they heal so fast that they frolic around with no suits at the bottom of the ocean. They heal so fast that their skeletal structure reconstructs itself 'before they explode from pressure.' However, BioShock 2 reveals that it's not all that it's cracked up to be. According to one Audio Diary, when a Little Sister fell off some railings, her leg bones regenerated in odd angles, forcing doctors to break her legs until it healed right. The diary ends with the doctor saying that although they may heal, he can confirm that they feel pain.
  • Caves of Qud: The Regeneration mutation is a lesser version, in that you'll eventually grow lost limbs back after a couple of days; there's other ways to recover limbs, but they're not always assured. It also a passive HP regeneration that goes along with natural healing, and carries a bonus that goes up with character level, Willpower and Toughness; while this bonus is interrupted when you're hit, the base healing cannot be stopped by anything except death. It's very useful to have during longer battles.
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  • In Chaos Rings and Chaos Rings Omega, the winning Battle Couple is granted immortality that regenerates any injury short of vital organ removal and special telomeres that halt the aging process. It comes with a 10,000 year time limit though just in time for the next Ark Arena.
  • In Dancing Monster, the monster's body parts regrow when you miss your shots.
  • In Darksiders Death canonically has this, and it seems to be unique to him of all the Horsemen. In the books and comics, he quickly heals from injures such as War impaling him on Chaoseater, being reduced to a torso and head, and even shrugging off with difficulty blows from a sword that makes wounds turn necrotic and spreads the rot through the body. This doesn't appear in Darksiders II, presumably because the developers didn't want him to turn into an invincible murder machine that could solo the game easily.
  • In Dead Space, The Hunter can regrow its limbs. Given that dismemberment is the only way to kill Necromorphs, this effectively makes it unkillable. You first stop it via cryogenic freezing, but it gets loose. You finally kill by incinerating it with a shuttle's engines, leaving nothing left of it to regenerate from.
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    • This is repeated with The Ubermorph in Dead Space 2. Unlike the Hunter, you never quite kill it (although you can by exploiting a glitch) and have to merely trap it in a room before facing the Final Boss. It presumably dies when the whole station explodes shortly later.
  • In the Devil May Cry series, this is a perk of characters having demonic blood. In gameplay, this is a benefit of the Devil Trigger mechanic. In cutscenes, this is a reason why Dante, Vergil and Nero remain unscathed despite receiving injuries that would normally take long to heal.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, Werebeasts heal completely upon transforming. This includes regrowing lost limbs.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • This is a trait in some Tamriellic Vampire bloodlines. Often times, this occurs immediately after feeding. This was one of the very first traits displayed by Lamae Beolfag which terrified the nomads who rescued her, leading to them attacking and her slaughtering them all. Especially rapid healing is known to be a trait of the Thrafey bloodline of High Rock.
    • Ogrim are a massive form of lesser Daedra that are as dim-witted as they are strong. As formidable as they are to begin with, they also possess strong regenerative abilities.
  • In Ghost Trick, Yomiel has a fragment of the Temsik meteor lodged in his body that constantly restores his body to how it was just before his death.
  • Vito of Mafia II can shrug off and recover from bullet wounds that would leave his mobster companions cringing in pain (in cutscenes, at least)
    Joe: He's a doctor, deals a lot with people in our line of work. You shouldn't need to see him though, Vito, you always seem to heal quick enough. Must be your diet.
  • It's a racial ability for both vorcha and krogan in the Mass Effect universe — the former because of their unique cell structures, the latter due to very resilient physiologies that include secondary and sometimes even tertiary organ systems (for a start, they have fully redundant nervous systems).
  • Metal Gear series:
    • Vamp has the ability to recover from apparently-fatal injuries (including multiple stabbings and headshots) after the Patriots used him as a guinea-pig to test an experimental strain of nanomachines.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden can instantly heal all damage through Zandatsu, cutting open enemy cyborgs and UGs and crushing their nanorepair modules.
  • Metroid: Ridley devours his enemies to repair wounds. Aside from cloning/cybernetics, no one really knows how he reappeared after being tossed down a kilometers-long shaft or being completely disintegrated. Metroid: Other M states that Super Metroid is the only true death of Ridley. This means that chronologically, he has survived every prior death due to his regenerative abilities. The two games that come after involve an unintentional clone and an X parasite infesting the corpse of said clone.
  • Nexus Champions and Redeemed in Nexus Clash get a pretty powerful healing factor to stay alive in the series' endless apocalyptic war. In the case of the Redeemed, it's because they're The Atoner and are trying to get themselves hurt to suffer for their past, so their new side offers them increased healing as a sort of compensation.
  • The Stranger of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath can shake the pain away.
  • Persona 3: Chidori's persona, Media, grants her a passive ability called Spring of Life, which restores her health at a somewhat alarming rate, both in and out of combat. She later gives this ability to Junpei to save his life, and sacrificing hers.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil 2, William Birkin gets a healing factor after mutating due to injecting himself with the G-Virus. This causes his body to undergo further, more horrific mutations whenever he sustains injuries. However, it isn't perfect: after nearly getting done in in his fourth form, his healing factor fucks up and fails to properly heal his wounds, turning him into a grotesque and disgusting blob of flesh.
    • In Resident Evil 6, Sherry Birkin is revealed to have one after the G-virus in her body mutated when she received the vaccine.
    • Likewise in Resident Evil 6, you find out at the absolute worst possible time that Ustanak has one as well. Unlike other C-Virus infectees who mutate insect-like parts, Ustanak simply heals due to a genetic abnormality. He shows up fully healed about five minutes after taking a mining drill through the chest and beats Sherry and Jake down so the J'avo can capture them. In the final battle against the HAOS in Chris' campaign, Piers gains one as part of the gameplay since his bio-electric attacks are Cast from Hit Points.
    • In Resident Evil Village, most of the main villains have one. Additionally, Ethan has one as a result of being a molded, which allows him to survive massive amounts of damage.
  • The final boss in Serious Sam: The First Encounter, Ugh-Zan the Third, is a towering behemoth who is nearly impossible to kill thanks to his regeneration abilities. To kill him, a player will have to wear him down first with his own weaponry before activating an enormous death ray to finish him off before he can trigger his healing ability.
  • The main character in Shadow of the Colossus doesn't have much in his favor, but it helps that he can take a crushing blow from a Godzilla-sized hulking monstrosity, get pounded into the dust, and as long as he's still alive he'll shake it off in a minute or two.
  • TAGAP has the titular drug. If you have some TAGAP in your system and take any kind of wound (including a point-blank collision with a rocket), you regenerate instantly as if you were never hit, but some of the TAGAP is consumed to compensate; if you run out, you take damage as normal. In-game, any attack is enough to kill if it reduces your TAGAP to 0.
    • The "1-Up" pill takes this Up to Eleven: it's super-concentrated TAGAP combined with various other drugs, that is automatically consumed in the event of "death". It can heal even the most ludicrous of wounds (including being reduced to paste) in a matter of seconds, and refills your TAGAP levels to 100%. However, certain kinds of disintegration mess up the chemicals and reduce their effect, allowing you to wound and eventually kill the target.
  • Total War:
    • Total War: Warhammer: Multiple units have regeneration as an innate ability, which allows them to steadily recover health while outside of active combat. Notable examples include hydras, which in addition to regular regeneration have a special ability, Another Takes Its Place, which can randomly give them a large burst of health back to represent a new head growing from a destroyed one's bloody stump, and an item which can give regeneration to any character it's given to.
    • A Total War Saga: TROY: The Lernaean Hydra constantly regenerates health during battle; its healing factor is so strong that its last surviving head was eventually able to regrow its entire body after being torn apart by Herakles.
  • Touhou Project: The series features Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou, whose healing factors are derived from the Hourai Elixir, the Elixir of Immortality. Theirs is a Type IV immortality; they can resurrect from total bodily destruction, feeling every little thing along the way and, as suspected, getting used to it. The only way the protagonists can fight Mokou in an otherwise safe duel in the Extra stage is by attacking her for lethal durations and repeatedly killing her until she is too tired.
    Marisa: Shall we do it again? Maybe you really are invincible.
    Alice: Invincible, maybe, but she seems worn out.
    Mokou: I've already reached my limit. I'd better stop before I'm unable to move tomorrow.
    Alice: So, muscular pain only, eh?
    • Also, Remilia Scarlet has been stated to be able to regenerate indefinitely so long as at least ''something'' remains of her being, such as a piece of bat flesh. Though we never actually see her regenerate from an apparent death, we are treated firsthand to her ability to infinitely spawn bats from herself, ALL of which are fair game for her healing factor. Essentially, unless you make extremely sure there's no trace of her left at all, she's nigh unkillable.
    • Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires brings us Yoshika Miyako, a Jiangshi with the "ability to eat anything and everything", who uses this ability in-game to restore her health by absorbing spirits. This can make her first and third spellcards, the ones that make use of this ability, annoying to capture, as for the first you have to refrain from shooting down the bullet-shooting enemies Yoshika produces, and for the third card, you must weave through her bullets and slip past lasers to get close to the boss when she summons a bunch of blue spirits, so you can collect them before she does.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, Alicia has a potential called "Mysterious Body". Apparently, ever since she was a little girl, her wounds were always very quick to heal. This comes from her power as a Valkyria, but is never explained from a practical standpoint. However, despite her gunshot wounds healing rapidly, she needs Welkin's knowledge of herbs for a sprained ankle.
  • Trolls in the Warcraft universe have a healing factor known as Troll Regeneration:
    • Blizzard actually forgot trolls had this ability (along with many other things) in the trailer for the subpar instance Zul'aman. For those confused, in the trailer, a troll cuts off his arm with a regular broken spear and it doesn't grow back. This was handwaved later as Troll's needing to "be in balance with the loa (nature spirits) of their tribe" in order to heal, with the amount of favor a troll has been given by the loa proportional to how fast they can heal, meaning a troll that has fallen out of balance/favor with the loa (such as Zul'Jin apparently) will be unable to heal missing limbs, or if they really piss them off, unable to heal from even a paper cut. Further elaborated on in Vol'jin's short story, where he cuts off his broken thumb so that it will regenerate instead of heal improperly. The narration mentions that amputated digits are about the limit of what the average troll is able to regenerate and that entire limbs and complex organs are beyond what all but the most extraordinary trolls are capable of. Zul'jin's eye and arm were left to heal about as well as a human would for this reason, but there are tales of a legendary troll so attuned to the loa that he was able to regenerate completely after having most of his body burnt to ashes.
  • Albedo, one of the antagonists of Xenosaga, has this ability to the level that makes him immortal. This is in fact why he is so Axe-Crazy in the first place. His fear of losing Rubedo, and all those close to him, to death while not being able to die himself, drove him insane. Now he seeks just that, ending his own life.

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