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Armored But Frail

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"Its solid defence stat and insane magical resistance makes those 500 hp seem like ten times as much."
A character or enemy in a video game who has a high defensive stat or ability would be expected to have at least a decently sized pool of HP to go with it, but this isn't always the case. Some characters instead have a dangerously low pool of health and use their high defense to balance it out, much like how a Fragile Speedster would use their superior evasive skills for the same effect. Common tactics against such an opponent include wearing them down with lots of quick-but-weak attacks since they'll often do the same amount of Scratch Damage as a single hard-hitting attack, utilizing some kind of Anti-Armor technique or Armor-Piercing Attack, or a Fixed Damage Attack which disregards the defenses.

When taken to the logical extreme they're a One-Hit-Point Wonder underneath their armor. When their defensive ability is granting them more HP, it's Body Armor as Hit Points. In certain genres, this frequently comes from a Single-Use Shield.

A popular case is a Squishy Wizard which can cast powerful defensive spells. In this case, common tactics involve magical items or other spells capable of piercing the defenses, either by dissolving them to expose the target to more conventional attacks, or by ignoring them and hitting directly the wizard.

Compare with Metal Slime, which may too be low in raw health, but very well armored to impair easy kills for their significant reward. A boss that has a Broken Armor Boss Battle may fall under this as well.


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    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Conventional ground vehicles can fall into this, especially heavy tanks, since they can potentially possess ten times more armor on a location than internal structure. The Alacorn Mk VII, for example possesses 112 points worth of frontal armor but only 10 points of internal structure in that location (and a total of 40 points in the entire vehicle). Once the armor has been breached, it will die in only one or two hits from most weapons. By comparison, the Nightstar assault mech is the same tonnage as the Alcorn but has 30 points of internal structure in its Center Torso alone.
  • Champions:
    • A Player Character or Non-Player Character can be created with very high defenses against certain attacks such as PD (Physical Defense), ED (Energy Defense) and Damage Reduction, but with very low Body (the Champions version of Hit Points). It takes a tremendously powerful attack to get through their defense, but when it does, the target will go down quickly.
    • An object can be created of very strong materials which gives it a high Defense but also have a low Body. Any attack against it must overcome its Defense, but any damage that gets through reduces the Body. Thus, such an object is immune to low damage attacks but vulnerable to high damage attacks.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • When she first appeared in 1st Edition Advanced D&D products, the drow deity Lolth had an Armor Class of -10 (which is incredibly hard to hit even for a deity), but only 66 Hit Points, which is very low for a deity. Almost all deities of that period had at least 100 Hit Points, and some had up to 400.
    • In 5th edition, AC combines dodging and blocking hits as per the GM's description and does nothing to reduce damage, so it's entirely possible for the party tank to die to some high-damage attacks that got past his AC and the Squishy Wizard to survive being attacked by a giant monster because of a low roll. The Random Number God is a cruel one.
    • For a specific example, there’s the armorer artificer. They gain access to heavy armor, and infusions can boost their ac to ridiculous levels. However, they only have a d8 hit die and can go down fast if their ac is bypassed.
  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game has a few examples, most of which are based off of Pokémon which have high defense but low hit points in the video games.
    • Jungle Mr. Mime has only 40 HP, but its Invisible Wall Pokémon Power lets it block any attack that deals more than 20 damage.
    • Fossil Kabuto has a mere 30 HP, but it also has the Kabuto Armor power, which halves the damage it takes from all attacks. Ironically, this makes it better at taking damage than its own evolution, Fossil Kabutops, which has 60 HP and no Pokémon Power.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has Iron Legacy. While he has an immense amount of protective Ongoings that reduce, redirect or heal damage, underneath that he has the lowest HP of any non-gimmick solo villain (appropriately enough, the same amount as his Good Counterpart). If you can get the Ongoings out of play, it often only takes one or two good hits to bring him down.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marine Dreadnoughts are huge armored sarcophagi on legs outfitted with heavy weaponry, each containing a Space Marine too critically wounded to survive outside of a Healing Vat. If anything manages to get past the armor, the Marine inside can't do anything to defend himself (sometimes they're missing entire limbs), and so in the fluff they're considered just short of Too Awesome to Use, instead sleeping for centuries between battles so their experience can benefit the Chapter.
    • Any non-Space Marine in Powered Armor (such as certain Inquisitors and the Sisters of Battle); while they keep the armor's protection against all but the heaviest firepower, their average strength and toughness of 3 compared to the Marines' toughness of 4 makes them less effective in close combat and even more vulnerable to mid-strength weapons like Assault Cannons or Autocannons and Heavy Bolters.

    Video Games 
  • Armory & Machine: All the common enemies in the Laboratory have insanely high shielding but an extremely low 500 health — less than the enemies in the second area. The Hunter skills which deal shield-bypassing penetrating damage thus makes short work of them, especially Ballista which will One-Hit Kill them.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Any mage can be this, by casting defensive spells like stoneskin, mirror images, deflect spells, fireshield, globe of invulnerability, invulnerability to X-type weapons, resistance to Y-type damage etc. even if (s)he has awful constitution and health points comparable to a kitten. In the sequel this goes to such an extent that it is the main cause of why characters end up in a Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards situation (if it were just by simple damage output, warriors would still prevail). Many hard opponents are in-fact wizards that can in all comfort destroy you in a thousand different ways just because you can't damage them... unless you bring your spell-piercing abilities. What makes the trope become blatant is the cheap Game-Breaker tactic of leaving the wizard if possible (e.g. by going to another room) and simply wait for the defensive spells to expire, since all magic is time-limited.
    • Druids and clerics in Baldur's Gate II definitely become this when they level up enough to unlock powerful spells like ironskin (the former) or globe of blades (the latter, which however can also wear normal armor).
    • Any character could potentially become this if he or she can wear armor while having low constitution. Armor and other defensive gear/items decrease the armor class, which in turn makes enemy attacks less likely to score a hit. You want to have the lowest armor class possible, which initially is the best attribute for tanks against conventional enemies rather than the simple amount of hit points (magic ignores armor class). However, by the end of Throne of Bhaal, you will either face Elite Mooks that are not a problem or bosses that can hit you anyway even with ridiculously low armor class, thus damage resistance (elemental or even physical) and hit points are much more important for your tanks.
  • The Battle Cats:
    • Metal enemies have very low HP, but only take 1 damage from most attacks. Critical Hit attacks will bypass their defence, however; most Metals will go down after one critical attack from most cats, and even the bulkiest among them won't survive more than a few from stronger critters like Waitress Cat. Metal Cat and Glass Cat have this ability as well.
    • Some starred Alien enemies have low HP, but a very tough Barrier that only the strongest of cats can hope to break without the Barrier Breaker ability. Examples include Le'Solar, Ribbo, and UltraBaaBaa. Similarly, certain Aku enemies, such as Aku Doge and Miz Devil, have low raw HP, but a tough Aku Shield that functionally gives them much more HP.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: Ghost and its advancements have great resistance against every damage type except for arcane and fire and have good evasion everywhere, but they have relatively low HP compared to units at the same level. This makes them particularly vulnurable to wizard units like Mage and Dark Adept who have fire and arcane attacks whose chance-to-hit don't depend on enemy's evasion.
  • The Binding of Isaac
    • Soul, Black and Bone Hearts act as temporary HP, and there are various items and characters that revolve around a playstyle of shielding your low or even outright non-existent pool of normal health with a plethora of Soul Hearts.
    • The Lost is a character that has absolutely no health and dies in one hit. Donating enough money to the Greed machine in Greed mode gives him the Holy Mantle, a divine shield that blocks all damage of one single hit, at the start of every run.
  • Borderlands: Eridian Guardians have very powerful shields that can take almost every attack like a champ... unless you're using a Shock-elemented weapon/attack to quickly wear down their shields and expose their laughably low hit points. After that, a few hits will kill them, even if your attacks don't land a Critical Hit on their small heads. In fact, there are ways to bypass the shields, such as Mordecai's Trespasser skill. They still have this weakness in The Pre-Sequel and 3, and it's even worse in the latter, as the Guardians gain a new weakness: radiation. While it's not to the degree of damage of shock, it's still enough to wreak havoc on shields.
  • Breath of Fire II: A few enemies in the game have very low HP, but enough defense that it requires a couple rounds pounding away with scratch damage to take them out conventionally (and such enemies are generally entirely immune to magic). However, item-based attacks (such as consumable attack items or spells cast from equipment) and the special ChopChop skill can easily cut through their defenses.
  • Bug Fables: Pumplings have extremely high armor, enough so as to only receive scratch damage from the very strongest attacks and completely negate everything else, but have only five hit points beneath it. This makes them particularly vulnerable to Vi's armor-piercing attacks and to Kabbu's Spiky Bod badge, which deals an unavoidable point of damage to any enemy whose melee attacks he successfully blocks.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow: The Iron Golem has a mere 50 HP, but its defense is so absurdly high that any and all attacks against it deal a whopping 1 point of Scratch Damage, making lots of rapid-fire attacks the optimal strategy against it.
  • Crysis 2 and Crysis 3: The nanosuit soldier that you play as actually dies after only a handful of assault rifle hits, being not that much tougher than an average Call of Duty protagonist. However, you have an Armor Mode that hardens your nanosuit and lets you shrug off a couple dozen assault rifle hits before taking any real damage, though this drains your suit's energy reserves.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Sea Maggot has enough Protection to cause attacks against to be reduced to a fourth of their damage but even the toughest variant just barely scrapes double digits in hit points.
  • Maxwell from Don't Starve has only 75 hit points, but starts out with the best armor in the game.
  • Dota 2:
    • Anti-Mage boasts a high Agility growth, giving him lots of armor in the late game, and a passive ability that heavily increases his magic resistance, letting him shrug off both physical and magical damage easily. However, his actual health pool is fairly poor, making him vulnerable to Pure damage which isn't affected by either armor or magic resistance.
    • Medusa is a particularly extreme version of this: she has zero base Strength and Strength gain (and Strength is the stat that determines a hero's HP, so she has almost no actual health beyond what her items give her), but she compensates for this with a Mana Shield ability that redirects virtually all damage she takes to her mana pool.
  • Metal Slimes from the Dragon Quest series, on top of being absurdly fast and running almost instantly, are only capable of taking 1 point of damage from attacks, but their HP is always somewhere in the single digits. The advanced forms downplay it, but still have incredibly low HP compared to other monsters you'd find them with (though it's still high enough you'll probably need a critical hit to defeat them before they flee).
  • Player gargoyles in Dungeon Crawl have natural armor and a number of innate resistances, but they have significantly reduced maximum HP to compensate.
  • Elden Ring: Crystalians have the most extreme armor values in the game. Everything except blunt weaponry will do pitiful Scratch Damage, and they're completely Immune to Flinching. However, after you break their stance a single time, their crystal bodies become cracked for the rest of the fight, causing them to take normal damage from all sources and flinch with every hit, letting you stunlock them to death very quickly since they have a very low amount of health.
  • In the original PC version of Far Cry, on higher difficulties your armor durability remains the same but your health decreases dramatically. On the hardest difficulty your armor can take about the same amount of hits as Normal difficulty, but your health goes away in just a couple of shots.
  • Skull Eaters from Final Fantasy V have a grand total of one hit point, but have extremely high defenses and are almost impossible to take out when they're first encountered.
  • The GM in Gundam Evolution has the lowest level of hit points, but protects itself with a sturdy shield. Unlike its Gundam counterpart, GM's shield doesn't have a cooldown or prevent use of its primary weapon, so they'll have it up much more often.
  • Elites in the Halo series typically have strong energy shields, but relatively low health (in most games their health is usually 1/2th their shield strength, with Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo: Reach, and Halo Infinite being the only games where they can withstand a decent amount of firepower even without shields). Unshielded Elites do benefit from resistance to plasma weaponry, but bullets mow them down quite quickly.
  • Halo Infinite: Elite bosses have very powerful shields but are relatively squishy once those shields are down (though they do have somewhat more health than regular enemies). Brute bosses, in contrast, have average shielding but can survive multiple rocket launcher shots even with their shields down. Elite bosses typically are faster and utilize cloaking devices to compensate.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Fenix has the lowest maximum health of all Ranged Assassins in the game. However, his trait grants him a permanent shield that takes damage before his health and rapidly regenerates while out of combat. Combined, he actually has the highest total health for a Ranged Assassin, but a large chunk of it can't be recovered in the middle of a fight.
    • Garrosh's trait grants him armor based on his missing health, reducing incoming damage by a percentage. This makes him resilient to poke damage and quite hard to finish when he's nearly dead, but makes him totally defenseless if he takes a large hit early on. He also has the lowest health of all main tanks.
    • A number of other main tanks — E.T.C., Mal'Ganis, Anub'Arak — pack powerful Crowd Control stuns, sleeps, roots, silences and such... but, in compensation, have comparatively few Hit Points. Their "armor" in this case is all their abilities, which render them essentially invulnerable... but which wear out after a second or two, at which point all the tank has left are their limited Meat Shields.
  • In Iron Harvest, the Saxonian SKS 156 "Wotan" is a mech-destroyer that has Heavy armor, which causes most attacks to deal reduced damage to it. However, its health is lower than its competition, so anything that can pierce its armor will kill it relatively quickly.
  • According to the lore of Hollow Knight, the Kingsmould enemies' pearly white outer armor hides their frail Living Shadow bodies, owing to their nature as golems made out Void. Upon defeat, their armor is destroyed and their bodies fall to the ground, which straight-up melts into nothing shortly after.
  • Several The Legend of Zelda enemies have some kind of (often completely invincible) armor that can be removed with the right item (usually the Hookshot/Grappling Hook/Clawshot or its analogue), exposing or stunning them so they can be taken out with a single sword slash.
  • Legends of Kingdom Rush has the Dark Knight Companion (as well as their enemy variants in a special encounter). For a tank unit, they have a huge amount of Body Armor as Hit Points which makes melee attacks much less effective on them, but only have 4 starting HP which means that magical or true damage (both of which bypass armor) will make very short work of them. Their description even mentions that they resort to wearing heavy armor to compensate for their poor constitution.
  • Magical Starsign:
    • Soldier Ants and Magician Ants are as fragile as you'd expect for mooks found near the start of an RPG, but their defenses on one side (against physical attacks for the Soldier, and magical attacks for the Magician) are so high that they only take 1 damage from attacks of that type. According to the bestiary, the Magician Ant got that way because it knows so much about magic.
    • At the other end of the game, the Gramples found in the final dungeon have only 500 HP, when enemies at that point can easily have over a thousand, but their extremely high defenses, especially against magic, make it feel like way more.
  • In Mass Effect, Tali has low health and limited armor options due to being a quarian, but she compensates for this by having good shield strength that only gets stronger as she levels up her Electronics skill, to the point where she can survive most of the game wearing the same suit she started with. However, anything that can pierce shields, like rockets or acid attacks, will drop her very quickly.
  • Mega Man:
    • Metools have Nigh-Invulnerable helmets that they hide under to block attacks. When they expose themselves to attack, they usually fall in a few basic buster shots.
    • Some robot masters with the ability to block damage fall under this trope, as well. Heat Man is invulnerable to damage while on fire, while Top Man and Magnet Man are invincible when they’re spinning or using magnetism, respectively. However, all of these bosses take double damage from the Mega Buster, and go down even faster to their weaknesses.
  • Patrol Robots from the Metal Slug series. They're immune to damage from the back thanks to their heavily armored shell, but their front-mounted laser projectors are a very flimsy weakspot and a few basic pistol shots there will destroy them.
  • Paper Mario:
  • In Persona 4, the Steel Machine has only 65 HP, which is rather low for this point in the game, but resists all elements and only takes Scratch Damage from most attacks. The best way to kill it is to use an item like a Firecracker that inflicts elemental damage, and does 50 HP of damage due to being a Fixed Damage Attack. After that, the enemy should go down in a few attacks.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies, several zombie variants use armors and shields to tank damage, but are only as tough as a basic zombie without them. The Magnet-Shroom is useful because it can take away the armors, making the zombies much weaker. Fume-Shroom's fumes and the Pult plants can also bypass shields wielded by the Screendoor Zombie or the Ladder Zombie, so they can kill them without needing to destroy the shields.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time
    • Armored zombies like Coneheads, Bucketheads, and Pharaoh zombies have high armor, but low HP without their armor. Poison-based effects such as Shadow-Shroom, a Level 5+ Stunion, Goo Peashooter or Puffball ignore armor completely, making them much easier kills.
    • The Shield Zombie in the Far Future projects Deflector Shields in front of it that covers three lanes, blocks most attacks, can take a beating, and regenerates shortly after being destroyed. The Shield Zombie's vehicle itself can take far less punishment and is especially vulnerable to piercing plants like the Bloomerang or Laser Bean.
  • Pokémon:
    • Shuckle is an extreme example, with the highest Defense and Special Defense of any usable Pokemon (230 for both) protecting a mere 20 base HP, one of the worst in the game.note 
    • Shedinja is a literal One-Hit-Point Wonder, whose Wonder Guard ability prevents any damage from an attack type that it isn't weak to. However, Wonder Guard also does not protect it from Damage Over Time like poison and burns, from damage inflicted by weather or entry hazards, or from Pokémon with abilities like Mold Breaker, an ability that bypasses Wonder Guard.
    • Toxapex has a low base HP of 50, but it compensates with its excellent 152 Defense and 142 Sp. Defense, with several recovery options at its disposal, such as Recover and Regenerator as its hidden ability, which restores 1/3 of its max HP upon switching out.
    • Several Pokémon invert it by having low defenses but absurdly high base HP. For instance, Regidrago sports one of the highest base HP, at a colossal 200. However, both of Regidrago's defenses are abysmal, at 50. For reference, Normal Forme Deoxys, a Pokémon renowned for being a Glass Cannon, possesses the exact same defenses as it.
  • In Shining Force II, you can recruit a character named Kiwi. Kiwi has by far the worst HP growth in the game, but his defense is so high that very few enemies will ever do more than a single point of damage to him. However, he has no defense against magic or Fixed Damage Attacks, meaning his usefulness decreases by the end game, when these types of attacks are very common.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the Mitamas in the Item Farming DLC Challenge Quests take very little damage from most attacks, and outright No-Sell Almighty attacks. However, they only have about 30-40 HP, so a few strong hits are usually enough to defeat them before they run away.
  • Slay the Spire:
    • One event takes away a large percentage of Max HP in exchange for adding Apparition cards to the player's deck. These cards reduce all damage to Scratch Damage, while they last.
    • The Spheric Guardians that begin appearing in the second act are another example — they start with impressive amounts of block, can easily increase their block, and possess the Barricade trait to allow them to retain their block between rounds. Find a way to bypass their armor, though, and you'll cut through their mere 20 HP with little effort.
  • Sonic in most Sonic the Hedgehog games is a One-Hit-Point Wonder who uses rings and occasionally shields as a damage buffer. If he's caught without rings, he's a dead hedgehog, but as long as he can catch at least one of the rings that fly out of him upon damage, he's effectively invincible.
  • Soul Hackers has the Frost Five. They reflect every element except Almighty, but have only 55 HP, meaning that any Almighty attack will probably take them out in one hit.
  • In Soul Knight, the Paladin starts off with exactly 1 HP (which can be boosted to 2 as he levels up). This is mitigated by his extremely high armor of 8 and his Energy Shield.
  • Spyro the Dragon: Spyro is a One-Hit-Point Wonder, but his partner Sparx will take the hit for him if he's damaged. Sparx can take 3 hits before disappearing, leaving Spyro alone unless he can find butterflies for Sparx to eat.
  • StarCraft:
    • Zerg Larva have the highest armor value of all units in the game outside of custom maps (along with their sibling, the egg) but have a mere 25 Hit Points. Also, this armor provides relatively less protection from attacks that emphasize quality over quantity. Notably, Siege Tanks and Reavers can kill them in one hit and can even make short work of eggs (200 HP).
    • Zig-zagged with Archons. They are Protoss heavy-assault Energy Beings with a tremendously powerful Deflector Shield (more than twice as strong as a human Siege Tank) and an absolute pittance in Hit Points (one quarter those of a puny zergling). This lets them recover easily between fights, but makes them tremendously vulnerable to EMPs, which strip the shields in an instant. In StarCraft, their shields made them take full damage from all damage types, which meant Terran vehicles could quickly and cost efficiently melt through their shields, however in StarCraft II, Protoss shields were changed to be affected by unit attributes which (due to their unusual attributes) ended up making them weak to no damage type instead of every single one, but they remained vulnerable to EMP (it now only removes 100 shield points per shot instead of all).
    • Protoss Immortals in StarCraft II were the first game's Dragoons, retrofitted with special plasma shields that reduce all damage to 10 or less as long as they have shields. While this lets them counter hard-hitting units like siege tanks (and weak to Zerg Rush, which relies on lots of weak attacks) and they aren't nearly as vulnerable as Archons without shields, their actual hull isn't well armored against scratch damage. Immortals invert this trope completely in Legacy of the Void where they lose the hardened shields in exchange for a 3-second barrier that simply absorbs 100 damage and has no armor bonuses at all.
    • The Terran Thor and Protoss Colossus are an inversion: They're well protected with hit points, and have powerful weaponry, but have only one native armor point. This means that even hits from Scratch Damage will be absorbed with almost full effect, making them vulnerable to swarming unless supported. The Colossus is even more vulnerable thanks to being tall enough for anti-air weapons to makes huge dents in their hit points. They have less emphasis on sheer survival and more on damage throughput and decent mobility at the expense of high resource costs.
  • In Super Smash Bros. 64, Metal Mario is so heavy that he often can't be knocked off the stage until he's taken well over 200% damage. However, he is almost completely unable to recover once he does get to that point because his weight also makes him the fastest-falling character in the entire series. If he's off once, he's finished. His home stagenote  has disproportionately huge K.O. boundaries compared to the tiny stage size because otherwise he'd be out too fast to even attempt to come back.
  • Warframe:
    • Corpus units tend to heavily rely on their Deflector Shields to survive punishment. It's fairly easy to mod for gas damage to bypass it completely and quickly mow down their meager health. This is particularly noticeable in sortie missions where their shield capacity is greatly increased: they won't take that much longer to kill because they'll choke on poison gas regardless.
    • Hildryn is a Warframe that relies on her shields for protection and to power her abilities. As a result, her shield pool is enormous compared to other Warframes, but her health is pitifully low by comparison. This forces her to micromanage her shields and constantly replenish them by stealing it from her opponents.
    • The Grineer Nox units wear a heavy armored suit which grants them a large amount of damage mitigation and Overguard. However, they're vulnerable to headshots, which can break their suit's glass visor. Trying to take them down with body shots can be an exercise in futility unless you're massively overleveled for the mission, but a few headshots will have you hearing their death scream in no time.
  • Xenogears has an enemy in the Shevat shafts called the Gimmick, which takes 1 damage from any physical attack and is immune to magical damage. However, their 6 HP means a combo of 6 light attacks from any character will kill them in a single turn.

    Non-Game Examples 
  • The heroine of Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense. was a novice to VRMMORPGs, so when creating her character, she... Well, you read the title, right? But since she was more concerned about the physical pain of getting hurt, she only maxed out her Defense, but not her Hit Points. Fortunately for her, she also quickly gained an immunity to the usual video game weakness to such a build: poison.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Accelerator is the world's strongest esper, with his control over direction allowing him to wrap himself in an automatic reflection field that renders him immune to conventional attack. However, due to growing up protected even from things like muscle tearing and ultraviolet light, his body is scrawny and underdeveloped - if anyone finds a way around his defences (such as Touma's Anti-Magic right fist) he goes down like a chump.
  • Mad Pierrot from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot le Fou" is a highly powerful assassin equipped with a personal force field that deflects bullets and other high-speed projectiles, rendering him invincible for most of his fight against Spike. He's also a Psychopathic Manchild with no pain tolerance, so a single throwing knife (moving slow enough to not be stopped by the shield — it only stops things moving above a certain speed) to the leg is enough to cause a complete mental breakdown and take him out of the fight.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Roland tells a story of a heavily armored giant named Lord Perth who wants to conquer the world. Just as his journey starts a boy strikes him in the knee with a rock, knocking him over and killing him. Roland's friends compare it to David and Goliath.
  • Valeria Trifa, one of the earlier antagonists from Dies Irae is in possession of the Divine Vessel, a relic that is the Big Bad's physical body. This gives him defenses to the point of absurdity making him able to No-Sell pretty much anything. However should someone find a way to pierce it or take advantage of the fact that he has to open a metaphorical hole in it to use his most powerful move, then he tends to go down fairly easily. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Big Bad whom the body belongs to is nowhere near as frail should his defenses be pierced.
  • The titular Radd from Kid Radd, being a platform game character whose mechanics followed him out into the comic's setting, has a measly 4 points of health. However, anything, from a light poke from a character with Collision Damage to a nuclear bomb, only does a single point of damage, and his Mercy Invincibility prevents enemies from chaining together attacks against him.
  • While Wood Man from Mega Man 2 isn’t normally an example, he’s depicted this way in the comic books. His Leaf Shield lets him effortlessly deflect regular buster shots, but when Mega Man lures him in close and fires a charge shot point-blank, it rips through him as easily as you’d expect for a robot made of wood.
  • Shelled molluscs like clams and snails have a hard outer shell but very soft, fleshy, and vulnerable insides. Any predator capable of bypassing their defences will often make short work of them.
  • Tanks are known for being hardy vehicles with strong armor, but anything that manages to get past that armor is liable to destroy vital components and shut the vehicles down due to how compact they are. Worse, Russian tanks traditionally feature a "carousel" auto-loader that is essentially just a giant wheel of ammunition directly under the crew. This are infamous for exploding once the armor is defeated and vaporizing the crew.
  • Smartphones and tablets equipped with a protective case. The case helps defend against things that would otherwise heavily damage or outright brick the very fragile slab of plastic and glass, like being dropped, liquids, dirt, and other problems that would otherwise easily cripple something that's often designed with the screen taking up the entire front, and sometimes even the sides.
  • An animal's organs are very fragile, requiring muscles and bone to protect against the outside. Unfortunately, they're also very susceptible to those same bones potentially hurting them if the bones break in a way to pierce the organs.

Alternative Title(s): Armoured But Frail