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Carrying the Weakness

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"So you need one to kill one, but you gotta kill one to make one. How does that work out?"
Dean Winchester, "Like a Virgin", Supernatural

It's pretty common for enemies in games to drop items when defeated. What doesn't make sense is when enemies drop items they're weak against. Zombies drop holy water, vampires drop crosses, and werewolves drop silver bullets. In Revive Kills Zombie scenarios, undead enemies usually have the tendency to drop HP-restoring items.


However, from a game design perspective, it can make sense: the enemy can be a challenge that the players must overcome by themselves. When it is defeated, the players are awarded with an item to which this enemy is weak, to make the next fights easier (they already passed the tough challenge once) and provide a satisfying payback. Storywise, you could argue that they collected and hid the items so the players would not use them against them. A unique form of Hoist by His Own Petard.

Subtrope of Impossible Item Drop. Related to Carrying the Antidote. Compare Takes One to Kill One; it may overlap if the enemy in question drops either their own weapon or their own body part, which are strong against their own kind.



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  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin:
    • Slash damage:
      • Dragon Zombies drop both Gladiuses and Zweihanders.
      • Slogras drop Couses.
    • Strike damage:
      • Heavy Armors Wrecking Balls.
      • Skeleton Flails drop Morning Stars.

  • In Mega Man 2, Metal Man is weak to his own weapon, the Metal Blade. The thing can kill him in one to two hits when you rematch him.
  • In Mega Man 3, every Robot Master is relatively weak to their own weapon.
  • In Mega Man Unlimited, Yoku Man is killed in two hits by his own weapon, Yoku Attack.

  • In Dark Souls I, Ghosts commonly drop the Transient Curse consumable, which can be used to temporarily inflict the Curse status on oneself, which is convenient, since you can otherwise only harm Ghosts while you are Cursed in the regular way, halving your max health.
  • Final Fantasy V:
    • Grand Mummies drop Hi-Potions.
    • Necromancers drop Holy Water.
    • Objets d'Art, which are made of stone, drop Gold Needles, which instantly kill stone enemies.
  • Final Fantasy VI:
    • Ghosts and the Living Dead drop Potions.
    • Cloudwraiths, Necromancers, Outcasts, Oversouls, Provokers, and Skeletal Horrors drop Holy Water.
    • Zombie Dragons drop Hi-Potions.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Ghost Ships drop Phoenix Downs.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: Elasto-Piranhas, which are weak to fire, drop Bro Flowers, this game's Fire Flower equivalent.
  • MOTHER 3:
    • Boa Transistors and Mecha-Turtles, both robotic enemies, have a chance at dropping the Saltwater Gun, which heavily damages robots.
    • Sticky Slugs drop Saltwater Guns as well.
    • Mobile Graves, which are weak to explosives, drop Running Bombs.
    • The Mecha-Mole! is also weak to explosives, and occasionally drops Bombs when defeated.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: Piranha Plants, which are weak to fire, drop Fire Flower stickers.
  • Pokémon: Ghost-type and Dragon-type Pokémon are weak to their own type.
  • In Super Mario RPG, most undead enemies drop Pure Water, which instantly defeats undead enemies.

Non-Video Game Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: The metal that surrounds Kabane's hearts is so hard it takes a Pile Bunker to penetrate it. Once the weapon is reverse-engineered and distributed to the train's crew, the survivors have enough of this metal to reforge into their their swords, making Kurusu (a samurai) useful in melee again.
  • One Piece: During the Thriller Bark Saga, Brook enters the kitchen looking for some salt, which is the one thing that can instantly defeat the zombies. Upon finding it, he ends up lampshading the fact that they even keep the salt in the first place.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Module G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
      • One of the treasure items in a red dragon's hoard is a Sword of Red Dragon Slaying that has +4 "to hit" and does triple damage against red dragons.
      • A room has a group of wererats, which are a type of lycanthrope. One of the items in their treasure is a scroll of protection from lycanthropes.
    • Module S1 Tomb of Horrors
      • The demi-lich Acererak has three gems in his treasure worth 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 gold pieces. If any of these gems is thrown at him using a sling, he will take 1 Hit Point of damage per 10,000 gold pieces of its value (i.e. 1, 5 or 10 Hit Points of damage, respectively).
      • Acererak is immune to most weapon attacks. One of the few that can affect him is a +4 weapon wielded by a paladin. One of the items in Acererak's treasure is a +4 sword of defending. If the Player Character party has a paladin, that character could wield that sword to hit Acererak.
      • Deconstructed earlier in the tomb. Right outside Acererak's chamber, you can find a mace that kills him in three hits, and can't miss. But what you just killed isn't the real Acererak...
    • Module S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
      • A clay golem has a dagger +2 "Long Tooth" in its treasure. In the hands of a gnome or halfling, the dagger does maximum damage against stone-based monsters such as the clay golem.
      • The treasure of a group of lacedons (aquatic undead) includes a magical battle axe that has a +4 bonus vs. undead.
    • Module WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
      • A coffer corpse monster can only be hit by magical weapons with a bonus of at least +1. A coffer corpse encountered by the party has a mace +2 in its treasure.
      • A shadow demon carries a Wand of Illumination as its treasure. The wand can create light spells that do damage to shadow demons.
    • Greyhawk module T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil.
      • Inside the Temple the PCs may fight and kill two lycanthropes, a pair of werewolves. Their treasure includes a magical short sword which is +3 vs. lycanthropes and a scroll of protection from lycanthropes.
      • One room is guarded by 8 shadows (undead monsters). The shadows' treasure includes a magical scroll of Protection from Undead, which would protect against the shadows.
    • Module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The Burial Chamber can be found on Level Three of Lolth's Web. In this room, there are 20 undead (5 ghasts and 15 ghouls) who will burrow up out of the dirt floor to attack the Player Characters. If the PCs dig long enough, they will uncover a potion of undead control that could have helped them against the ghasts and ghouls.
    • Dungeon magazine
      • #9 adventure "The Crypt of Istaris". There are seven undead zombies in a burial chamber. In the burial chamber and a nearby chamber are two magical daggers that are +2 vs. undead.
      • #12 adventure "Huddle Farm". The leprechaun Micko O'Malley has the innate ability to turn invisible. He carries Dust of Disappearance, a magical substance that turns invisible things visible. If it were used on him, it would make him visible and thus much easier to attack.
      • #49 adventure "North of Narborel". The dragon turtle has a magical scimitar in its treasure that does +4 "to hit" and damage vs. dragons and reptiles.
    • Pegasus magazine #6 section "The Azurerain Pirates". A group of undead ghouls in a room has, as part of their treasure, a scroll of Undead Protection. If the party had obtained it before fighting the ghouls, they could have used it to protect themselves from them.
    • Polyhedron magazine
      • Issue #34 adventure "Revolution!". Night hags can be hit only by silver, iron or +3 magical weapons. The night hag the Player Characters fight has three iron weapons in her treasure, but the Player Characters can only obtain them after they've already killed the night hag.
      • Issue #49 adventure "Cataclysm Part 2: The Last Bastion of Bast". The vampire Devington Leither has a sword +1 Flame Tongue, which does +4 to hit and damage to undead (such as vampires).

    Real Life 
  • Diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs scale, meaning the only (naturally occurring) thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond.

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