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Collision Damage

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They're quite solid for ghosts.

"The Goomba shuffles sideways toward you and barely touches you with his body. For some reason, that makes you almost die."

Perhaps the character bruises easily. Perhaps the enemy is toxic. Or the character is obsessive-compulsive. Or maybe, they just weren't able to give the enemies an attack animation.

Either way, touching an enemy damages—if not outright kills—the player. If you're lucky, you might survive, although you may lose a Power-Up or two. On the plus side, Mercy Invincibility usually kicks in at this point. This is part of the reason why it seems like everything's trying to kill you.

Often the Invincibility Power-Up will give you Collision Damage effects on the enemy. This may even affect minor boss enemies.

This is a very, very old trope, dating back to Snake and specifically its original release as Blockade. It is most commonly seen in the Platformer; it is rarely seen in the Fighting Game or the RPG. It's also a Discredited Trope as many modern platformers have discarded it, at least without justification.

This tends to be a bit easier to believe if it's a vehicle-based shoot 'em up. Flying one of the choppers of Twin Cobra into an enemy chopper is usually about as helpful there as it would be if you took an AH-64 and used it to kiss a Hind. (Hint: not very.) It's just more blatant when it's a human(ish) victim and the enemy really just wanders by it.

It's particularly jarring when the boss attempting to swing its claw at you does the same amount of damage as you accidentally touching the claw. Apparently, attacking doesn't hurt more, just makes you more likely to touch the boss.

This will often happen even if facing an evil twin or otherwise "normal" opponent. This is a favorite tactic of the Personal Space Invader, who takes it up a notch by grabbing the player character beyond just touching them.

Not to be confused with the real-time model damaging employed in modern 3D games. See also One-Hit-Point Wonder. When this applies to walls, that's Deadly Walls.


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    Action Adventure Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: In the Mysterious Console DLC, Noni takes damage upon making physical contact with enemies as they attempt to move closer to her while firing an abundant of Bullet Hell weaponry.
  • Dragon's Wake: Jackalope horns, ghosts and Goddamn Bats are some of the things that will hurt you on contact.
  • Cave Story has a good deal of this; enemies like birds often appear in large swarms, making it hard not to get hit. However, some bosses don't inflict collision damage at all.
  • Certain enemies in Darksiders and Darksiders II are covered in a miasma of poison gas/mist that can be removed with ranged attacks. The catch is that they are removed for a short time so you need to get in your shots then move away quickly.
  • Ecco the Dolphin and Ecco: The Tides of Time: Ecco takes damage from enemy sea life. Somewhat justified considering jellyfish can have nasty stings and can even kill sometimes. Sharks do have sharp teeth and rough skin and crabs do use their pincers defensively. Also an npc dolphin tells Ecco that all sea life is frightened after the Vortex attack.
  • In Goblet Grotto, most enemies still require a (badly drawn) attack animation to hurt you, but some creatures like the Policemen, a Bloody Head ghost, an office door in one level or swear words (actual multi-coloured 2D words that slowly move towards you) hurt just through touch. It doesn't help that many of these are completely invulnerable as well.
  • Hollow Knight plays this straight throughout the game. With the exception of a few basically harmless creatures, the few enemies that don't deal one point of damage when you run into them deal two points instead.
  • Contact with enemies in Iji deals armor damage over time. However, thanks to Mercy Invincibility and a large health meter (should you choose to upgrade it), it's still possible to simply run through some levels without dying.
  • La-Mulana has plenty of it. However, it doesn't actually impact your Life Meter very much, so it would take a very long time for a bat to kill a player. More annoying than the damage is the potential to get knocked off a ladder or into a pit. The remake features a particularly cruel variant of this: Being in contact with Viy or Palenque will impose a life-draining effect that will kill you in seconds.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the 2D games, most enemies had the Touch of Death. This largely went away after the move to 3D made clearer attack animations possible.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Link will suffer damage if he touches a monster. However, the Cane of Byrna allows Link to generate a magic force field that not only allows him to inflict this on the enemies, but also protects him from everything up to falling into pits. You'll still bounce (with no damage) off spikeballs, though.
  • Metal Gear: The first and second 2D games have this, but went away when the series went 3D with Solid.
  • Postknight has this. However, both the player and the enemy take damage, as they essentially trade blows in each collision.
  • Sabrina: Brat Attack: Enemies slowly jaunt around and hurt Sabrina by walking into her. They even enforce this by slowly walking after Sabrina when they see her.

    Action Games 
  • Touching enemies & electrical fences in Aura Aura Climber will cause damage, if not kill you outright.
  • Seen in Car Battler Joe, but only in the first battle, as your car isn't weaponized yet.
  • All of the Contra series. Worse, you are almost always a One-Hit-Point Wonder, meaning that practically anything even remotely malignant is fatal. I mean, c'mon, you are a super muscloid juggernaut commando with muscles all the steroids in Major League Baseball couldn't build — yet a single poke by the lowliest mook is instant death. Crack out that Konami Code, people!
  • In Dodge, the only way for enemies to harm you is to crash into you. This method works equally well on each other.
  • In the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade game for the Master System, Indy takes some damage from bullets and continuous damage from falling. What happens if he touches any enemy? Instant death.
  • Everything in Magical Whip: Wizards of Phantasmal Forest will damage you from any direction for the same amount of damage. It doesn't matter whether it's a dragon, a pumpkin, or the lance of a knight.
  • In the original Rolling Thunder, touching an enemy causes you to lose one of your two hit points. In Rolling Thunder 2 onwards, however, touching an enemy simply knocks you back without any damage.
  • Silver Surfer (1990) was Nintendo Hard because just touching a wall would result in the character's death. Often the lethal parts were indistinguishable from the background.
  • Smurf Rescue is famous for doing this with, among other things, picket fences and tufts of grass.
  • In Carrie's Order Up!, your playing as a waitress running tables at a diner, and bumping into customers results in an angry patron and a lot of broken plates.
  • Inverted in Warriors Orochi, for some characters including Xing Cai and Pang De, they can generate a green energy field as a special move. When this is on, they move quicker and cause collision damage that will knock down enemies that they walk into. Damage is initially poor, but gets stronger as your character improves.
  • In Bubble Bobble, if Bub or Bob touches any enemy that is not encapsulated in a bubble, he will die comically and immediately.
  • The Dragon's Lair NES game, as The Angry Videogame Nerd pointed out. Touching a door could kill you. In one hit. In a game with a life bar.
  • Anything that moves in the Glider games can cause damage on touch (almost always killing you), which can also result from crashing into many kinds of immobile objects, such as furniture or the floor.
  • Averted in Mars Matrix, in which your ship will simply fly on top of an airborne enemy instead of crashing into it. Due to the game's scoring and weapon powerup system revolving around chaining together cubes that come out of destroyed enemies, this feature is a necessity.
  • In Jet Boot Jack, running into anything from the side, even a moving lift, will result in a violent demise.
  • In the Arcade Game Heated Barrel, even though enemies normally attack by firing guns or throwing bombs, running into one is somehow just as fatal as being shot.
  • Collision damage was enabled only once in Dynasty Warriors, specifically for the 4 version of the engine. A flying body could collide with another character and deal an enormous amount of damage to them. This led to the unfortunate tendency for officers with powerful Knock Back abilities to accidentally team-kill allies by launching a Mook into them, as well as players dying instantly because they caught a flying allied soldier with their face. Koei Tecmo realized that this made certain officers far more powerful than intended and turned certain game modes into near-certain death traps, and removed the damage from bodily impact in later iterations (now such an event merely knocks down anyone hit by a flying body).

    Card Battle Games 
  • Shanghai.EXE: Genso Network: If an enemy can go to Shanghai's side of the battlefield, moving onto their panel is going to hurt him, but not the other way around. Some examples are:
    • Cirno, who can coat herself in a spiky ball of ice and land on where Shanghai is at, and stays there for a little while.
    • Yorihime, who has some sword attacks that send her to the panel right in front of Shanghai, which puts her on Shanghai's side if Shanghai's on any column except her rightmost.

    Casual Games 
  • In Duet, the entire point of the game is to avoid touching anything with your two orbs. If you do touch anything, you have to go back to the beginning of a level, and if you're doing a speed run, you're going to lose speed, which takes a while to grow back, so you better not touch anything.
  • In Stampede Run, running into a small obstacle or runner without a take-out move will cause a stumble instead of knocking you out completely. You're fine if you can avoid stumbling again for 5 seconds or so, but if you stumble again the bull that's chasing you during that time will run you over, ending the game.

    Driving Games 
  • In Carmageddon you just need to touch the pedestrian to kill them.
  • In F-Zero GX, touching certain things in the course scenery will blow your machine up into pieces, even if the object is otherwise non-lethal to the touch or you touch it at a snail's pace.
  • Pole Position, one of the first Driving Games, had this in spades.
  • Rally-X had this. If one of the enemy cars touched you before you collected all the flags, you die.
  • The collision physics in Trackmania are especially brutal. In a turn, if you bump the inside barrier you'll often go flying into the other barrier. The cars and track seem to be made from rubber!
  • In Bump 'n' Jump, you lose a car when it touches the sides of the road, potholes, and landing right on top of water. Other cars will simply bounce you away if you bump into them.
  • In Roundabout, touching anything taller than your limo inflicts a point of damage. Pedestrians are also slaughtered in one hit if you touch them.

    Fighting Game 
  • In the Ultraman licensed game on Super NES, you will take collision damage if you try to jump on the enemy.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Battlefield 2 and 2142, players can be killed if they are crushed between a vehicle and stationary geometry. Acceptable. However, the same fatal damage is applied if the vehicle is parked, empty and motionless next to a wall, and the player walks in between. The game engine sees that the space between the vehicle and the wall is less than the size of the player, and applies indiscriminate logic. Death can also occur if you are beside a tank, but you happen to touch any portion of the kill zone (immediately beneath the treads) exposed by the ground's uneven surface.
  • The final boss of Blood (1997), Tchernobog, will instantly eradicate the player upon contact similar to the bosses found in Duke Nukem 3D.
  • Borderlands games inverts this with vehicles, which do heavy damage to any enemy they touch while in motion. Running down enemies also does some damage to the vehicle, but this is negligible except for boss monsters or large hordes. Beware, however; some enemies can drive vehicles too, and if they run over a player, it will kill them instantly with no chance for a second wind.
  • Some recent games (usually ones with advanced physics engines) have brought this trope to next-gen gaming. In Crysis, for instance, you can take damage from sprinting into any inanimate object. Which leads to the Super-Soldier protagonist dying from collision with a dumpster. In a nice subversion, your enemies are also affected by collision damage, so you can take down a KPA soldier with a well-placed chicken to the face.
    • Super-sprinting into a tree and dying is possibly the most humiliating thing ever.
  • The makers of an obscure FPS game Cytadela had a brilliant idea to make the main protagonist take damage from collision with anything. Including walls. Yeah. Good luck reaching the end of the level after you've killed all the enemies but are down to one HP — so you have to navigate the corridors with absolute precision, because one step too much will result in instant game over.
  • In Dark Forces 2, collision damage was applied to the player in any direction so long as he was moving fast enough; long falls naturally damaged you, but Force Jumping into a low ceiling or running into a wall with Force Speed also did damage. Jedi Knight II and Academy did away with this, instead opting to place multiple Bottomless Pits in nearly every level.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, if the player touches a boss, he'd be killed instantly regardless of health. However, this only applies at a certain height; at ground level the player would die instantly but if he'd be suspended in midair, by using the Jetpack as an example, while touching any of the bosses from the torso and above no damage would be inflicted.
    • The shrink ray has this property as well. Anyone, Duke or enemy, who has been shrunk will die as soon as they are touched by anyone normal-sized.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: Combat Evolved, vehicles moving past a certain speed (which is very, very low) do 10000 damage to whatever they hit. Master Chief has 75 shields and 75 health. This was adjusted in subsequent games.
    • Sword lunges at a wall can kill the user.
    • The Halo 3 beta had a form of this, wherein players who set the characters' speed as high as it would go had them running at super-fast speeds and pasting themselves on anything they ran into.
  • Ken's Labyrinth has this in full force for you (in addition to many enemies shooting projectiles). The difficulty selection determines whether or not enemies will actively try to ram into you. Inverted if you have a blue cloak active, as you can One-Hit Kill any enemy that isn't a boss. (By the way, this is the only way, other than holes, to kill the 8-balls and frozen ghost enemies.)
  • In Nightmare House, the player is encountered by shadows that do not move. If the player touches them, they lose 5-10 points worth of health.
  • Running into things with an Overdrive ability active in Section 8 will result in this. However, damage to yourself when running into things is minimal. Run into an enemy, however, and he instantly dies. And you get an Achievement!

    Maze Games 
  • Snake: In most editions (going back to the 1976 release Blockade), hitting the wall and/or yourself kills you instantly.
  • Pac-Man. One touch from a ghost monster causes the title character to shrivel up and evaporate, but with a power pellet, the tables are turned, allowing Pac to chomp the baddies.

  • In direct defiance of the fact that this trope is supposedly not seen in RPGs, World of Warcraft has one of these: the infamous "frogger" encounter in Naxxramas. Green oozes lazily slink across a hallway. Your party is on one side of them. You and your party need to get to the other side. It's harder than it sounds, since any lag at all will throw off your timing. The frogger hall has claimed many lives.

  • A booster cartridge (like the Game Genie or Knuckles) was once sold for the Commodore 64 which eliminated sprite collision detection on any game plugged through it into the C64, making the player character effectively invulnerable.

    Platform Games 
  • Afterimage: The playable character takes damage upon making contact with enemies. However, there are few or specific instances where this is disabled, such as when you read Echoes in the environment.
  • This is rather prominent in Banjo-Kazooie and its sequels, even though most enemies have actual attacks and attacking animations. As a matter of fact, in Banjo-Tooie's Terrydactyland level, after becoming a baby t-rex, the bargasaurus enemies won't attack you and you can even talk to them, but, confusingly, they still do contact damage. Another similarly confusing example is that, if you approach Mingy Jongo as any character other than Banjo and Kazooie together and touch him, you will take damage despite the fact that he's sleeping.
  • In Binary Boy, you can only get killed through the collision damage of some kind.
  • This happens in the Blinx: The Time Sweeper series, but it's pretty fairly balanced by the fact that the good targeting system makes it very easy to snipe enemies.
  • Braid. Touch an enemy and you can see Tim grimace in pain as he flies off the screen, though you can also Goomba Stomp them to jump higher.
  • The Castlevania franchise:
  • If Commander Keen touches an enemy or an environmental hazard, he assumes an agonized facial expression and falls entirely off the screen.
  • In the original Crash Bandicoot games this often resulted in a specific death animation. The first game had Crash spinning around and falling to the ground, the second had Crash turn into an angel, and the third would be some comedic sequence that you would always want to watch a second time.
  • Crystal Caves:
    • The game not only uses this, but there are two enemies (a pink snake and a green thing that looks like a jumping cactus) which leave behind corpses when they die, and these corpses still do Collision Damage. In several levels, it is very important that you kill them when they're in exactly the right spot (where you can jump over them) or else they'll block your way, dooming you to take damage.
    • At several points you have boss battles against human characters, and the key to beating them is recognizing that this trope does NOT apply, so you can just run straight past them to dodge their attacks.
  • Donkey Kong:
  • Donkey Kong: In the NES version, you can actually commit suicide nearly the instant you gain control of Mario by running to the left. Mario will die when he touches the oil drum, before it's even set on fire.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Donkey Kong and his fellow Kongs in the series will typically die if they run into an enemy. This trope can be inverted if you run into them while carrying a barrel, in which case the enemy will be the one to suffer the Collision Damage. In the first game, Diddy carries the barrels out in front of him, while Donkey carries them above his head. If Diddy runs into an enemy head-on or Donkey runs into them from below, they'll lose the barrel but the enemy will die.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns varies it slightly: while everything in the game deals basic collision damage straight-up, there are a few enemies that play an attacking animation when DK or Diddy touches them (such as Tikis biting them).
  • Ecco the Dolphin used this trope, which could get really annoying in levels with a ton of jellyfish or sharks all over the place.
  • Averted in Freedom Planet. You'll never take damage from touching enemies, and can run right through them if you so choose. But the enemies often attack fast enough that you still need to be on your toes for them.
  • Almost everything you touch in I Wanna Be the Guy will kill you. Even the apples.
  • Happens in the Jak and Daxter series of games. Simply touching an enemy, even if they're not facing you, gives the same effect as if they were attacking you: a loss of hit points and being knocked back.
  • In Jazz Jackrabbit touching an enemy will result in a lost heart. In the second title you can slightly avoid this by hitting them with a buttstomp, an uppercut (Jazz) or a karate dash (Spaz).
  • Journey to Silius takes this to its logical conclusion by featuring land mines that don't explode. Touching them just damages you.
  • Ogmo from Jumper series is just a suspectable to this as getting impaled, being electrocuted, burned or shot. Deaths by a contact with an enemy (boss or not) are counted as being "bossed".
  • Touching Mooks in the Kirby series of games results in both the player and the enemy taking damage.
    • In Kirby Super Star, Kirby has a "guard" technique to reduce or neutralize damage from attacks, including collision damage. Guarding while bosses are contacting Kirby can cause them to slowly take collision damage instead. This was Nerfed somewhat in the DS remake.
    • In Kirby's Epic Yarn, collision damage is removed altogether, allowing to ride on enemies and bump into them.
  • The horrendous ostrich-riding level on The Lion King where you had to jump rocks and duck branches or else have the ostrich stumble and therefore logically cause the lion cub on its back to immediately die. Oh, and if you were jumping off said ostrich's back at the time, the stumble would mean that you touched the ground. And died. Not a good sign, considering you're meant to grow up to be king of this, and the ground is lethal.
  • Be careful when playing Lyle in Cube Sector, you can easily damage yourself with your own cubes. Wait for them to stop moving.
  • This is a staple element of the Mega Man series. Since gameplay of the series is based on shooting enemies, physical contact with enemies is strongly discouraged.
    • In the original Mega Man, smaller bosses like Ice Man and Cut Man would also take collision damage if they touched you (they even got pushed back), while larger ones like Guts Man didn't.
    • This is one of the main reasons why Mega Man 3's Top Man's weapon is the worst in Mega Man history in the eyes of many fans. You couldn't get close enough to damage enemies with it without them damaging you also, unless the attack kills the enemy.
    • This also made Spark Shot useless. It stuns enemies in an electric field, but you still take collision damage if you touch them. Too bad, since if you didn't the weapon would be a Game-Breaker since you could one-shot every difficult enemy and just run past.
    • The best strategy for winning the Quick Man rematch in 3 meant actively trying to get hit by his boomerangs — which did only minor damage — so that the resulting Mercy Invincibility would protect you from the inevitable collision damage from an enemy much faster than you that would otherwise kill you in 2-3 hits.
    • Mega Man Powered Up allows you to play as the Robot Masters after unlocking them. When you do so, a Wily-built Mega Man copy serves as a replacement boss for your character. And you take damage when you touch him. Hmm...
    • Mega Man Battle Network: If an enemy can go to Mega's side of the battlefield, moving onto their panel is going to hurt him, but not the other way around. One such example is Sparky-s in the second game, a.k.a Shakey-s, in the 5th game: They attack by traveling across the battlefield in a wave-like pattern and when Mega is touched, it hurts him.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Every enemy, except for the dragons which try to shoot Samus, Skree which try to explode near Samus and the Metroids who try to latch onto Samus, rely on this. The bosses Ridley, Kraid, Fake Kraid and Mother Brain have projectile attacks but can still cause collision damage.
    • Played straight for every game. Bumping into enemies will damage Samus and even some creatures in the Metroid Prime Trilogy that just wander about minding their own business can damage Samus by mere contact.
    • Super Metroid: Ridley's sprite is given almost comically diminutive wings that amazingly still provide him with the ability to fly, because if they were the proper size, the impact detection for collision damage would make him impossible to get close to without being struck by them.
    • Metroid is also notable for including the Screw Attack, a permanent upgrade that lets you reverse collision damage back at weak enemies.
  • In Miner 2049er, the justification for the mutant organisms being harmful to touch was that they had absorbed a high level of radiation in the mine.
  • In Ninja Senki, your character is the only ninja in the game unable to deal collision damage. All other ninjas will gleefully damage you on touch, and all their non-ninja allies can do the same.
  • Secret Agent employed this. A cute fact: the ceiling fans look meaningless decorations, but will deal Collision Damage when jumped into.
  • In Bart Simpsons Escape From Camp Deadly, touching the escaped lunatic instantly kills you even though he's tied up. Also, in one cave there's a skull you have to shoot to turn it into a 1-up. If you instead touch the skull, you die.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog reverses the equation and smashes through enemies when he's spinning, as long as that enemy doesn't have spikes pointed directly at him for him to run into and take damage from instead.
    • The Sonic Boost move introduced in Sonic Rush and brought to glory in Sonic Unleashed is a more precise example. Sonic's spin needs to watch the spiky bits of enemies, but the Boost goes straight through every unguarded enemy.
    • The older Sonic games also play this straight, however, to the point that the final boss in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will kill you if it steps on the very tip of your toes. Apparently, Sonic's oversized shoes can be fatal if pinched.
    • When you fight Knuckles he will take collision damage from you if he lands on you out of a glide (which makes him helpless in normal gameplay).
    • In Shattered Crystal, however, Sonic and pals don't spin when they jump, and take damage from even the non-shielded enemies on contact. Learn to use the Homing Attack to circumvent this issue.
    • In Shadow the Hedgehog even touching the completely ordinary humans causes damage.
  • This trope is prevalent in all of the Shantae games, Shantae (2002), Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse and one of the few modern games to play it completely straight. Monsters can hurt the player character on contact, while most of the time it's Shantae herself, but also the other playable characters as well (Like Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops in the "Friends To The End" mode in Half-Genie Hero.
    • In Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, naturally if you touch the body of the evil Risky Boots during your boss battle with her, she will damage you. However, in the "Pirate Queen's Quest" DLC for the game you play as the villain Risky Boots as she goes on a Perspective Flip quest to achieve her wicked goal. You battle the bosses from the main game, but when you get to the point in the game where you would normally face Risky Boots, you battle Shantae instead. In this scenario touching Shantae when controlling Risky Boots causes damage to Risky, which is the exact opposite of what happens in the main game. Hero or Bad guy, damage from touching enemies doesn't discriminate.
    • Shantae and the Seven Sirens: The Crystal Crab Monster Card gives Shantae the ability to break jugs by walking into them, instead of using an attack to damage and break them instead.
  • In Super Mario Bros., even the lowliest Goomba could kill you by running into you. Getting hit with a power-up active cost you the power-up but let you keep going. And the Super Star powerup lets you turn the tables.
    • In Super Mario Bros. 2, there was the stop watch item that can be obtained after grabbing five ripe vegetables, which stops all the enemy action around Mario and friends. However the enemies can still damage them on touch, so don't get reckless.
    • In Wario Land, Wario can stun or kill most enemies just by bumping into them, without harming himself. However, most of these enemies either have spiky protection or carry sharp weapons, which do harm Wario if he touches them. The trick is to attack them from an unprotected side (usually from behind or below).
    • This is also averted with the character of Nabbit in New Super Luigi U. Unlike Luigi and the Toads, he takes no damage from any normal enemies, just lava pits and instant kill obstacles, with the side effect of not being able to get power ups (like the enemies from the game). It lets him break many, many levels.
    • This trope is Played with in the Luigi's Mansion games. While the main enemies, the ghosts, don't deal damage to Luigi via direct contact, other enemies, like the spirit balls, mice, bats, crows, and spiders, do.
    • In Super Mario 64, if a tiny Goomba runs at Mario, he will not take damage but will be knocked back as if he has; the tiny Goomba, on the other hand, will die on contact.
    • Super Mario Bros. Wonder adds some justification with new enemy animations such as Goombas biting the player character when they get close. However, it also leans towards the nonsensical with one situation; during your first encounter with Bowser Jr there will be a point during the battle where he will make you gigantic in size, and he will become very small. At this stage of the boss fight he is about as tall as your foot and realistically you should be able to just squash him underneath it. However, if you happen to touch his very tiny body you will still be the one to take damage from him.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in the Japanese commercial for the Mario Kart 8 and Mercedes-Benz cross promotion. A realistically-proportioned, badass-looking Mario steps out of the car and his foot nudges a Goomba, resulting in a panicked look on his face as the classic 8-bit death theme plays.
    • In Super Princess Peach, the game instructs players to use the walk mechanic to sneak by Calm enemies (always found sleeping) without waking them up. Unfortunately, collision damage rules still apply to sleeping enemies, rendering this mechanic useless.
    • Being based around traditional Mario platform games rather than the turn-based RPG gameplay of the parent series, Super Paper Mario has the player characters take damage from touching enemies, with considerable Knock Back.
  • The Rayman games (at least the non-Rabbid titles) have this.
  • Played with in some of Taito's older games:
    • In The Fairyland Story, Ptolemy doesn't die if she stays on her enemies' heads (until they jump, anyway) and can actually use them as means of transportation.
    • In The NewZealand Story, only enemies with spikes could kill the main character by touching him.
  • Happens in the entire Wonder Boy series except Monster World IV, where only enemies that look painful (on fire, for example) hurt to touch.
  • A Boy and His Blob: It applies to some of the enemies too if they collide with different enemies.
  • Theta vs Pi 7 both plays this straight and discussed to the point of lampshading. It seems to be automatically in effect with enemies as some sort of rule of the universe (and disappears if they become allies). Apparently it makes interspecies relationships difficult.
  • Minty Fresh Adventure!: Colgate gets hurt if she touches enemies while time isn't stopped. In the psuedo sequel Fresh Minty Adventure, Minty likewise cannot touch enemies without being hurt. Unless she uses mints to subdue them first, allowing her to use the enemies as a Power Up Mount instead.
  • In Miracle Girls, the playable characters cannot touch enemies unless they are eating candy.
  • In Giana Sisters DS, most of enemies like Red Owls, Jellyfishes, Bugs and Worms hurt Giana by bumping into her.
  • Muri: Touching an enemy hurts Adowa for one Energy and hurts the enemy as well.
  • In Rabi-Ribi, touching an enemy will make Erina take damage, unless she's in the middle of attacking with her hammer. The Pure Love badge makes Erina immune to collision damage from female bosses (i.e. nearly every boss in the game), and the Fire Orb allows Erina to inflict collision damage on enemies as well.
  • The Treasure Hunter Man series, Treasure Hunter Man 1 and Treasure Hunter Man 2: When enemies touch the protagonists, they take damage, but the enemies don't.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Delivered by Skulls and Armas in Adventures of Lolo, but all other enemies either have long-range attacks or just can't kill you (directly, anyway).
  • The help file which accompanied the old (and highly addictive) puzzle game Chip's Challenge in its Windows incarnation attempted to justify this by describing Chip as a fragile fellow. Fragile indeed, as death-bringing enemies included paramecia, bugs and balls.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon: Ramming into ships will deal damage to both the ship doing the ramming and the ship being rammed, although the ship being rammed will usually receive more damage. Ramming damage is based on the weight, speed and material of the ship, a larger ship travelling faster will deal more damage than a smaller one travelling slower and Ironclads will deal more and receive less ramming damage than wooden ships of equivalent weight and speed. The Dreadnaught is the best ship in the game at ramming, as it is the largest Ironclad in the game.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Eternal Senia: Enemies can hurt Senia by bumping into her, and vice-versa, but the damage to Senia is mostly negligible.
  • The Ultimate Chimera from Mother 3 is a perfect example of this trope. Any small physical contact will result in the player and his cohorts instantaneously being mutilated and killed.
  • Parasite Eve has this for touching any enemy in battle. Aya will suffer Scratch Damage.
  • Certain enemies in Star Ocean: The Last Hope like chimeras will cause minor damage if you touch certain parts of their bodies, regardless of the state they're in. However, it's frequently accompanied by bad status effects.
  • The Urchins in Tales of Phantasia cause instant death to anyone who touches them, but don't have any actual attacks to speak of.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Equipping a Gummi Ship with Impact Gummies will make it so that enemies take damage whenever they make contact with your ship.
  • Certain Pokémon can have an ability (like Rough Skin or Iron Barbs) that damages any opponent that attacks it with a direct-contact physical attack, or causing a status such as poison (the Poison Point ability). There’s also the Rocky Helmet held item that causes touch damage from physical attacks.
  • In the downloadable Nintendo 3DS game Witch and Hero and its sequel, both the player character and his enemies take damage when anything collides with them, and they take extra damage when attacked from behind. If the knight lands the killing blow on an enemy, he doesn't take any additional damage from attacking it.
  • Most rare monsters in Sword of Mana deal one point of damage on contact as a passive ability. The effect also momentarily knocks the affected character flat on their back. This is a trait that regular enemies and even most bosses lack.
  • Earlier Ys games have it both ways: getting hit by enemies causes damage, while damaging them involves making the protagonist, Adol, run into them at an angle.

    Shoot Em Ups 
  • Action 52 is infamous for having spectacularly bad (and inconsistent) collision damage in its shoot-em-up games, to the point where it is arguably their greatest flaw. In Streemerz, even touching money bags causes damage. In Atmos Quake, the flaky collision detection makes the last stage impossible to beat.
  • Hostile Waters: Colliding into another ship or sub causes you to die and end your game, even if you have lives left. If you do it to another sub, both you and it sink and you get points, but doing so to a ship causes only you to sink. Colliding into mines only makes you lose one life.
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: Touching enemies and terrain causes damage to the ship. One of the ship upgrade options, the Jelly Roll, has a protective coating that allows it to ignore contact damage from terrain.
  • NARC provides a notable reversal of this trope. You actually get more points for "busting" enemies (by touching them for a couple of seconds) than you do for killing them. However, this doesn't apply to all enemies, such as Joe "Dumpster Man" Rockhed.
  • In some Psikyo STGs, notably the Strikers 1945 series, collision damage would only make your ship power down a level instead of instantly kill you like a bullet would. Players could abuse this to milk the appearance of targets containing powerups for extra points during boss fights or to control the game's rank.
  • Syvalion have your character, a mechanical serpentine dragon, vulnerable to damage just by touching enemies. Which makes boss battles difficult as the arena they're set is within an enclosed square - trying to dodge attacks will have you bumping the ceiling or walls instead.
  • Tails' Skypatrol. Contact with enemies wouldn't kill you; you would simply spin out of control and begin crash-landing, but you could recover with good timing. Contact with a solid surface, though, was instantly fatal. Which is odd, because flying into ceilings or walls - or, God forbid, walking - doesn't hurt Tails at all in any other game.
  • Triggerheart Exelica will not penalize your life counter if you collide with an enemy ship — but you lose medals and can possibly alter your score, difficulty, and ending, just as losing a life can.
  • Mars Matrix not only averts this, but lets you fly over enemies without any harmful effect.
  • Magical Chase: Running into enemies or obstacles will hurt you.
  • Cube Colossus: Flying into enemies or enemies bouncing into you will reduce your shields.
  • Robotron: 2084: In a game that is one big Zerg Rush, physical contact between the scientist hero with any robotic entities is fatal.
  • Princess Remedy: If Princess Remedy touches an enemy, she gets hurt, but the enemy gets hurt too.

    Simulation Games 
  • In SAS Combat Simulator on the Amstrad CPC, upon starting the game, you were immediately swarmed by vast numbers of enemy soldiers. Your "SAS Commando" would instantly die if he touched one of them. (The fact that they also shot at you wasn't helpful either). However, part way through the first level, you could get a jeep powerup. Not only was this "jeep" a virtual tank, that made you immune to bullets, the collision-damage was reversed: now enemies died if they ran into you (even if you were stationary). But if you were hit by a grenade (or completed the level), you lost the jeep. This resulted in the most uneven difficulty curve ever seen.
  • This is a common source of player-character injury in theHunter: Call of the Wild, as animals don't seem to see your character as an obstacle when fleeing and will try to run through them. Luckily, most animals in the game can't kill you this way. At least, not with one hit.

    Survival Horror 

    Non-Video Games 
  • After a brainstorming session with Naruto in A Drop of Poison, Sabaku no Gaara finds a way to improve his taijutsu: he creates spinning sand gauntlets around both arms, capable of disintegrating rocks on contact. Melee fighting was his biggest weakness before, but he's now extremely dangerous to approach.
  • Referenced in the sprite/Pixel Art Comic Kid Radd; all enemy sprites have a power called the "Touch of Death". What happens when you bring the Touch of Death into a fighting game? Hilarity ensues.
  • In the "Denryu IraIraBou" game from the Japanese Game Show Ucchan Nanchan no Honoo no Challenger, the player's objective is to guide a rod through a maze, and touching the walls or anything else within the maze gives an electric shock. Not surprisingly, there are many video games adapted from this (though they don't give players actual electric shocks). The game was in turn adapted from the "wire loop" carnival game, where the player has to guide a loop through a twisting and turning length of wire. Once again, no electric shocks, but touching the wire closes an electrical circuit, which triggers either a light or a buzzer.
  • In Fairy Tail, Jackal's Bomb Curse can turn anything that physically touches him into a bomb that explodes violently, which simulates this pretty well if he takes the time to strike something and turn it into a delayed bomb. Natsu gets to witness this firsthand after pounding Jackal's face in something fierce in their first fight, though he figures out a way to neutralize the explosions.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, merely bumping into a Pillar Man can be fatal, as Mark finds out.
  • The Lonely Goomba was asked in a Q&A video how he can lift things when he has no hands and he replies that Goombas are telekinetic and it's their telekinesis that kills Mario when he walks into them.