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Essence Drop

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In some Action Games, when you kill enemies, they release magical spheres or glowey energy of some sort that affect your character's status in various ways when you collect them — they may give Experience Points, health, or Mana refills, and so on.

Whatever exactly these things are is rarely addressed; sometimes they're explained as the opponent's soul or blood or a more vague "essence". The exact number, types and effects of these things will vary with each game, and may or may not also be found stored in inanimate objects.

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May be a Random Drop. See also Money Spider and Organ Drops. Compare Liquid Assets.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action-Adventure 
  • American McGee's Alice: Dead enemies disappear after killed to leave for a while some "metaessence", that comes in different shapes (spheres, hearts...) but allow to regain health and mana.
  • BIONICLE: The Amana Volo spheres replenish your stamina meter, which lets you use some of the special items you can find, like Onewa's rock-crushing hammer.
  • Bunny Must Die: Enemies drop Time Crystals when Bunny kills them, refilling her time meter.
  • Legacy of Kain: Used in the Soul Reaver series: Raziel has to suck up dead enemies' souls to refill his health. In 2 and Defiance, the souls' shape and colour differs depending on if you kill a human or a demon, although the effect is the same.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion: Slain enemies turn back into X Parasites. Since Samus is part Metroid in this game, she can feed on X Parasites the way Metroids can. Yellow X are energy, green X are ammo, red restores both, so on. Boss level X Parasites also restore back one of Samus' weapons or abilities.
    • Metroid Prime Hand Waves the health/ammo drops as being the Life Energy of defeated enemies mingling with the energy of Samus's attacks and crystallising.

    Action 
  • Bubble Tanks: All enemies are made of bubbles and drop bubbles on death, which your bubble tank picks up as experience points.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has random enemies that drop glowing yellow focus symbols and green health symbols.

    Action RPG 
  • Bloodborne: Enemies drop Blood Echoes and Coldblood, which serve as currency. The game also includes Insight, which can be extracted from the skulls of madmen and umbilical cords, of all things.
  • Demon's Souls and Dark Souls do this with apparently dismantled pieces of souls being currency, whole souls of very strong enemies being used for various purposes (or broken apart for more regular souls), and in the latter game you can occasionally find piece of "humanity" that let you regain human form. Oddly, dropped items are also represented as bundles of glowing material, even when it's perfectly solid objects.
  • Kingdom Hearts has several types of these spheres, depending on the game.
  • Otto Matic has virtually everything you kill drop "atoms" in different colors... red restores health, green powers your "jump jet" and blue is "rocket fuel" needed to finish the level.
    • Somewhat more ickily, there are Slimes on planet Snoth that you can freeze with an Freeze Gun and then shatter by punching them. For a while thereafter they become a mass of little balls that you can pick up to gain one of the things mentioned above, depending on the color of the Slime. Of course, if you don't pick up all of them, any that remain turn into more Slimes.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals: Beating on already-dead enemies will cause them to drop experience orbs (along with gold coins) for additional gain. They'll also occasionally drop soul shards, which Jessy explains are used to create magical weapons and armour (and who will take your soul shards in exchange for rare and unique equipment).
  • Odin Sphere: Enemies release floating "Phozons" when defeated, which are said to be the remnants of their life force. It is used mainly to level-grind your weapons. Unusually, the constant absorption of phozons after every battle becomes plot-critical in the good ending: after the Big Bad has used the Cauldron to drain all phozon energy in order to kill the planet, Velvet hits on the idea of breaking down the psypher weapons used by herself and three of the other protagonists, releasing all of their absorbed phozons back into the world to restore life to it.
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     Fighting Games 
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 allows you to absorb blue spheres that fall from your opponent after a strong hit, to refill your Chakra gage more quickly.
  • Playstation Allstars Battle Royale: All-Star Power (AP) is made to look like a glowing orb of translucent white energy. It was inspired by God of War's red orbs.
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Soki from Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams assumes his Black Oni form for his Level 3. During this time, his partner is unavailable and his hyper meter begins to dwindle. Attacking his opponent will cause multicolored soul orbs to pop out, which Soki needs to collect using the Partner button. The blue and yellow orbs respectively restore Soki's hyper meter and health, but the red orbs are the most important, as collecting seven or more of those orbs gives Soki access to his strongest Hyper, Oni Cutter.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Blood: Dead enemies sometimes drop "life essences" which restore your health.
  • Doom:
    • DOOM (2016): Performing Glory Kills on heavily wounded demons yields guaranteed health drops, the occasional ammo pickup, and, with the right rune equipped, armor shards. Plus, killing one with the chainsaw yields a smörgåsbord of ammunition.
    • In the sequel, DOOM Eternal, Glory-Killed demons no longer cough up armor and ammo, but blasting them with the Flame Belch makes them drop armor chips.
  • Exhumed has this in the console ports when you kill an enemy where red orbs give you health and blue orbs give you ammo.
  • Painkiller: Every enemy you kill drops a soul. Regular enemies drop green souls which heal one HP, while Elite Mooks drop red souls which heal 6 HP. After collecting 66 souls of either color, you enter a berserk Demon Morph mode.
  • TRON 2.0: The de-rezzed remnants of Programs Jet kills (known as "core dumps") can be harvested to refresh some of his health and energy. Sometimes, the remains also contain the Programs' permissions and subroutines.

    Hack & Slash 
  • Bayonetta: While enemies are mostly Money Spiders, sometimes they also drop small green, leaf-shaped or purple, butterfly-shaped things that refill a bit of health or magic.
  • Dante's Inferno is very similar to God of War in many ways; it uses colored "souls" to keep track of experience, health, and mana.
  • Devil May Cry is maybe the Trope Codifier for modern action games, with the crystallised demon blood that enemies (and chairs) drop: red orbs are the currency, green orbs heal you and white orbs refill your Devil Trigger gauge.
  • Diablo III features this: Dead enemies occasionally drop "life orbs", which allow to regain some health. This is meant to do away with previous installments' (and much of the genre's in general) need to constantly swig health potions, making said potions more of an emergency healing option (which now have a cooldown attached).
  • Fairy Bloom Freesia's enemies drop glowing white orbs of Mana, which is used to buy skills.
  • God of War: Monsters drop red, green and blue orbs, for experience, health and magic respectively.
  • Ninja Gaiden: In the modern games, dead enemies drop yellow orbs (currency), blue orbs (health) and red orbs (Ninpo gauge). Also, instead of using them to heal, you can absorb them to charge an ultimate technique instantly; that's actually a vital skill when facing multiple enemies in 2. Ninja Gaiden 3 abandons this system completely for the sake of a greater immersion.
  • Onimusha subverts this system: enemies drop soul spheres, but you have to stop and attract them to you manually, which takes a bit of time and is very risky in the middle of a fight (the bigger the spheres are, the longer it takes). The game also adds a fourth type of (very rare) sphere, and collecting five of these allows you to transform into an Onimusha. Furthermore, killing enemies with Issen attacks will reward you with much more souls. You can also find or equip items that affect the soul types and number. Tenkai from the fourth game can also detonates said souls instead of absorbing them.
  • Path of Exile has Essences that are dropped from crystalized monsters that house it. They can be used on the items to roll new modifiers while guaranteeing a specified mod on it. You can use an Essence of Corruption on an Essence-holding monster for a chance to upgrade or add extra Essences, but there's a chance it will do nothing and break free instantly.
  • Persona 5 Strikers: Defeated Shadows have a chance of dropping masks that allow Joker to wield them as a Persona and give him Persona Points to strengthen other Personas.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed does this as well for points used to upgrade your force powers.

    MMORPG 
  • World of Warcraft: The monk class has a chance, upon killing an enemy, to spawn a sphere that refills the player's health or chi when walked through.

    MOBA 
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Each minion wave has a single Wizard as part of it, between the melee fighter and ranged archer minions. Killing it drops a Regen Globe, which restores a little bit of health and mana over time. Regen globes also spawn when capturing most objectives and appear naturally in generators on Braxis Holdout.
    • Some heroes turn every minion (or enemy in general) into this. Diablo collects souls that raise his max health. Dehaka collects literal essence, which he stores and can consume at any time to recover health. The Butcher gets fresh meat that raises his attack damage (although he can only get the first 200 from minions, after which point he only collects from slain heroes). Gazlowe is an interesting one, since he collects scrap from destroyed buildings and his own turrets, restoring a portion of his mana. A talent turns it into a random drop from minions as well.
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    Platform Games 
  • Adventure Story: Monsters drop bubbles of Mana and Hit Points to recover with.
  • Flink: Defeating enemies would release magical energy that would home in on Flink and be absorbed into his Life Meter. Magical energy would also be released if Flink took a hit, allowing for damage recovery similar to rings in Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • Iji: Dead enemies drop piles of nanites, which are basically XP, and appear as glowing blue spheres floating a few inches off the ground.
  • Jak and Daxter:
  • Mega Man X6: The Nightmare Souls can be considered something like experience points. After certain amounts are accumulated they increase by one the limit of special power-ups you can use.
  • Sonic Unleashed: In the night stages, any defeated enemies give out pale bluish floating bits of light. Sonic can collect these to fill up his Unleashed gauge, which when activated by the player, temporarily gives Sonic increased attack power and invincibility to some things. In the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions, enemies also give out red floating bits of light which represents experience points.
  • Spyro the Dragon: At first, enemies drop Gems. But, if you replay a level, they'll drop silver orbs that you can collect to get yourself a one-up (silver dragon statue). Also Sparx, when he burns edibles, will get essences to pick up.

    Role-Playing Games 

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Final Fantasy Tactics have characters that are not revived in 3 turns become Killed Off for Real. When someone dies, their body and soul become crystals (human enemies may drop some of their gear instead of becoming a crystal). Anyone that picks up a crystal can either inherit abilities (if the unit was human) or have their HP and MP restored.

    Web Games 
  • Indestruc 2 Tank: In Enhanced Game mode, when you destroy an enemy vehicle, little globes of white light come out of it and drift towards your tank. When they touch your tank, your Boom Bar is increased.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft uses a combination of this and Organ Drops. In addition to their assorted body parts, slain enemies drop flashing green-and-yellow experience orbs upon death. These orbs also appear when you breed animals and collect ores (either mining or smelting, depending on the type), and are spent to enchant items.
  • [PROTOTYPE] does this for most enemies. Some are more rewarding towards vitality, some towards Evolution Points. The sequel does away with this mechanic entirely.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • In Attack of the Mutant Penguins, penguins will drop a bunch of power orbs if you hit them without killing them. Collecting these orbs before swinging your weapon again will power it up to be lethal to penguins.
  • In Chaos Field, breaking parts from bosses, and defeating enemies in the GameCube version's Original Mode, will drop Meta Stock if the Meta gauge is not full, otherwise Point Items are dropped.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Some witches drop grief seeds after their defeat, which cleanses a magical girl's soul gem and refills her magic.


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