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Everything Fades

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Pox: Crypto. What do you think happens to the corpses of all the humans of whom you suck out the brain stems?
Crypto: I always figured they just faded away when I went around the corner.

In video game land, things that are dropped or changed about the environment often have a habit of vanishing into thin air after a certain time — they might evaporate, disintegrate, blink in and out of existence, crumble to dust which disappears, etc. You can turn a room into a grisly scene of carnage, or have enemies drop vast amounts of healing items and powerups, and return five minutes later to find the room as pristine as when you first entered, even down to smashed or shot-up parts of the environment having repaired themselves; or if you stand there long enough, you can actually watch the corpses and powerups fade away.

There are three key reasons for this. The main one is that keeping track of all the dead people, body parts and blood stains, dropped weapons, healing items, and bullet holes throughout every part of the environment the player has been in requires an increasing amount of memory — at least unless the game heavily restricts the player's ability to backtrack — with little to no practical effect on gameplay. Another is that these objects could become actual obstacles that impede the player's progress — in free-roaming games, you could potentially find yourself blocked off by insurmountable piles of corpses, overturned furniture, gutted vehicles, and so on. And finally, for powerups and cash specifically, this provides an additional source of difficulty and pressure on the player, encouraging them to rush forwards to pick things up before they disappear and making them weigh this against the danger involved.

Occasionally, the game meets you halfway by having bodies disappear while leaving behind any useful weapons or items the character was carrying. But even those items sometimes may disappear after a short while, an unrealistic feature common in old Beat Em Ups to keep players moving briskly.

For corpses, this is more common than it used to be since enemy characters in games are now almost exclusively complex 3D models with highly-textured surfaces and built-in Ragdoll Physics. Earlier games such as Marathon or Wolfenstein 3-D, where the enemies were low-resolution 2D sprites, had the ability to leave everything the player killed on the screen for their personal satisfaction without negatively affecting gameplay. Conversely, for console games, and especially for powerups and useful items, this has become more rare and is now mostly associated with "retro" games; in early console games, making those disappear was simply necessary because not enough memory existed to retain them.

Some games even have "corpse stay time" or "bullet decals" as a changeable setting in the options menu, for players with high-end computers. Another variant is where the corpses stay while you're there to see it but vanish when you move away. The more plot-relevant a character is, the less likely they are to disappear this way, while Respawning Enemies are almost always gone quickly to avoid them piling up.

Compare and contrast with Disappears into Light or No Body Left Behind, when deceased characters vanish not because of space constraints, but due to plot reasons, and Fading Away, where the fading happens before the character has died and does due to acknowledged in-universe causes.


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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Completely averted in Avencast: Rise of the Mage; despite wide-ranging backtracking and the many different enemy corpse types, every body remains exactly where it died.
  • Cave Story has all enemies explode into clouds of smoke. A few, like the Gaudis, fall to the ground and shake a bit before they explode. The player character also explodes upon dying.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver enemies don't disappear unless you remove their soul. Also the weapons remain wherever they landed provided you keep playing.
    • However, there is a problem with just leaving your enemies to just stay where they are. Not only do they come back to life, they can be enhanced with their OWN soul sucking abilities (when they hit you), but in the Spirit world, you will be attacked by the Wraiths that evolve from their untaken souls (and they come back after a bit unless the body is destroyed, which and only be done after killing the new powered up form, and eating the soul afterward). This can be particularly dangerous in high-level areas when enemies can pick you off easily despite your powers. FURTHER difficult if you slay them on something that does not allow you to get a second chance to kill them in the physical realm (the wall spikes, for example), and you have to suffer a wraith (or more) every time you pass by there in the Spirit realm.
  • The exploding-corpse version is used in several The Legend of Zelda games. It varies, depending on the game, as well:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the explosions are purple and spirally.
    • In Twilight Princess, they are red, black, and more morbid-looking.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past fallen enemies explode in a cloud of smoke resembling a skull. Skyward Sword echoes this, with a larger, horned skull for bosses and even having bugs turn into little ghosts with antennae if you squash them.
    • Older 3D iterations of the series use this; notably Guays, ReDeads and Lizalfos. The rest of the time fallen enemies burst into flames (which are usually a strange color) and disappear.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask featured an interesting Lampshade in the form of the Garo, a highly secretive order that taught their warriors to destroy themselves with a bomb when defeated, so as "to die without leaving a corpse".
    • In the original The Legend of Zelda, enemies would simply vanish when defeated (except for the Big Bad Ganon, who turned into a pile of ash). While this is naturally enough explained by the limitations of 8-bit graphics, the animated series based on the game would Hand Wave the phenomenon by having them not die so much as be teleported back to Ganon's lair, where they were kept in a really big jar.
    • Notably, in a couple of the games (Wind Waker being a good example), ReDeads stick around for a while after you kill them, much longer than other enemies, until finally fading/exploding.
    • Actually kind of a plot point in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. The boss monsters dissolve into Sands of Time after being defeated, which is the fuel for the titular hourglass.
    • In Hyrule Warriors, enemies flail around for a bit, become desaturated with color, and explode in a puff of smoke with a *PAF* noise. Giant Bosses turn black and explode with a much more glorious effect.
  • Averted in Machine Hunter. Alien soldiers killed will remain on the spot where they died.
  • Messiah: Justified. Every area has a small, hovering robotic device which cleans up after combat by flying up to every corpse and vaporising it.
  • Metroid:
    • Enemies usually explode into nothingness when killed. Some lingering corpses can be seen in some of the games, including the Prime games, but they usually died offscreen.
    • The Metroid Prime Trilogy has a few variations. Smaller enemies will typically explode when defeated, with the bits evaporating. Larger enemies will go through a Ragdoll Physics animation, then disappear. When you kill an enemy with the game's fire-based beam (Plasma Beam for Prime, Light Beam for Echoes, and Plasma or Nova Beam for Corruption), they will completely burn up into black dust. Meanwhile, anything killed by a Metroid will become a fragile husk, which turns to dust at the slightest provocation; this last one is used to creepy effect in Corruption, when you find a derelict starship filled with such bodies.
    • In Metroid Fusion, this is averted since all the enemies are actually the shapeshifting X parasites, which simply dissolve and turn into floating protoplasm when you "kill" them. If you don't absorb them, they'll eventually fly somewhere else in the room and turn back into monsters. Even then there's an exception to that exception, as human corpses on the Main Deck of the station can be revived by these parasites, and after shooting them the body will crumble and release the parasite again - and those remains will stay there until another parasite takes control of them again.
  • In the modern remake of Ninja Gaiden, enemies will break apart into puddles of blood that will clean themselves, burn up or sink underground once offscreen, except for certain bosses. Mostly averted in Ninja Gaiden 2, where enemies or their Ludicrous Gibs will remain for some time after you're done with them.
  • Monsters in Ōkami dissolve into patches of flowers when you kill them, since they're mostly demons comprised of negative emotions and Ammy is exorcising them. The bosses get fully-fledged Technicolor Deaths.
  • Mostly averted in Shadow of the Colossus: The Colossi, upon defeat, would turn to stone and crash into the ground, and their corpses would remain there for the entire game. (You can actually go back to the stone corpses of the Colossi and activate a "Reminiscence Mode" where you can re-enact your fight with them, complete with old-grainy-film graphics.) However, any small creatures you kill (newts, birds) will fade into the ground.
  • Irritatingly got worse as the Tomb Raider series went on (and the hardware it was running on improved). In Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II enemies pretty much never disappear; Tomb Raider III had them disappear after you had turned away for a little while; in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and every subsequent game, corpses always disappear right in front of your eyes after a few seconds. In Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary this also extends to many physics objects. Eventually averted in Tomb Raider: Underworld.
    • Tomb Raider (2013) puts an interesting variation on this trope, as now, only some of the corpse fade, this conveniently limits the amount of ammo and gear you can scavenge off corpses.

    Action Games 
  • In Carrie's Order Up!, while customers don't actually die (we hope), bumping into them on Friendly Mode causes them to vanish in a puff of smoke, not unlike a stomped enemy in a Super Mario Bros. game. Surprisingly, this does nothing to deter business.
  • In The Creed, any corpse will only stay on the ground long enough for a few rats to come out of manholes and water drains, devour it in a split second and then scurry off, giving the idea that they are extremely voracious critters.
  • In the Devil May Cry games, most enemies have an animation to cover their demise - for example, Sin Scissors shatter into pieces, Hells crumble into their composing sand, Abysses melt into the floor, and so on. Some enemies still just fade away, but they become less common as the games go on.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo all the enemies fade into the Matrix's code when defeated.
  • Not just corpses, but everything you Clean Cut in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance fades rather quickly (sometimes before they even hit the ground) except for stuff that explodes. It's just what the game has to do when you can create several hundred physics objects at a moment's notice.
  • Nemesis the Warlock for Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC was a notable exception in the 80's. Corpses of regular enemies would stay on screen. Combined with each level consisting of single screen and amount of enemies per level this eventually resulted in huge piles of corpses, which became one of the trademarks of the game. Due to player's ability to walk on cadavers and due to the need to use the bodies to build "bridges" in certain levels this was also an important element in gameplay.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness: Defeated enemies will vanish after a few seconds, but unfortunately the same can also be said for the loot they left behind.
  • Enemies vaporize in a shower of blood and money in No More Heroes and it's sequels. It's implied the UAA is following after you cleaning up your rampage, as they can be seen in post-boss cutscenes disposing of the corpse. In the Japanese version, they vanish in a cloud of black spores instead.

    Adventure Games 
  • Lampshaded in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 5, when the broken metal detector only fades after the world collides with video games.
  • While this trope is certainly older than Zork, probably going back to Spacewar!, Zork was the first to poke a bit of fun at it, with dead bodies, for no reason, vanishing in acrid puffs of smoke.
    • The bodies of the dwarfs in Colossal Cave did the same, but Zork's description of the process was longer and richer.

    Beat Em Ups 
  • Lampshaded in the opening scene of Castle Crashers. When a wounded knight stumbles into the feast hall, he collapses and simply blinks out of existence in the same manner most of the enemies do. Strangely, numerous other knight and enemy corpses can be found throughout the game, and only enemies your party kills will fade. In addition, a player character will only fade if there is no one left to revive him, and even then only outside of an arena.
  • In Double Dragon, defeated opponents blink out of existence. This also happens with Marian when she is killed at the beginning of the second arcade game.
  • In Fighting Force this happens to defeated enemies, damaged melee weapons, and items not picked up in time.
  • Franko: The Crazy Revenge is a case of a beat'em up game that averts this, with the corpses of defeated enemies remaining on the floor until they'd get scrolled off the screen.
    • Oddly enough the next game from the Franko developers, Doman: Sins of Ardan plays this completely straight with the corpses blinking out after some time. For this time the developers apparently have preferred the corpses to be displayed more "convincingly" (as in the corpses obscuring the characters that aren't below them in y-axis) rather than being simply "flat" on the surface.note 
  • In Golden Axe, defeated enemies would turn to stone on the ground - in the arcade version. The PC port has a lot less memory available, so it has them disappear instead.
  • In Growl, dead enemies don't vanish immediately, but do if you stay on the same screen for a while. That's because for some reason the game treats them like dropped weapons, which disappear after a few seconds if not picked up.
  • Similar aversion occurs in Mother Russia Bleeds, which while it has corpses lose color and go dark - to differentiate from the still alive grounded opponents that can be beaten up or convulsing ones that can be extracted from for the Nekro drug - it keeps them remaining on the floor the same, until at least, say, a grenade would end up next to them.
  • Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked avoided an M rating by having opponents' images flattened and silhouetted in red, before being sliced in half. Then they just shatter and little gold coins spill all over the place. So, apparently their blood is made of money.
  • Characters from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game explode into Canadian coins when they're defeated, as do many people in both the movie and the comic book it is based on.
  • In Time Commando dead enemies break up into fragments that fly up and offscreen.

    Fighting Games 
  • In fighting games with weapons, such as Professional Wrestling and the Super Smash Bros. series, it isn't bodies that fade but weapons, usually after only 3 or 4 hits. This is largely for reasons of gameplay balance, and to make the actions on screen more interesting: while a real person wrestling on TV might hit someone three times with a chair and then toss it aside to keep things from getting tedious, someone playing on a console might be all to happy to eschew doing any moves in favor of hitting their opponent thirty times with the ring bell.
    • Notably averted in the Japanese game Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. Any weapons pulled out will stay where they drop throughout the whole match, and can be used ad infinitum. This is balanced out by a referee's five count leading up to a possible disqualification, though.
  • In One Must Fall 2097, every hit knocks bolts and scraps of metal off of the robot, which dissolve shortly after hitting the ground. However, there's a cheat code that makes them reappear at the top of the screen and continuously rain down until the match is over.
  • If playing Stamina Mode in Super Smash Bros., your character will remain on the stage if you lose all your health. Other players can still knock you around, and even pick you up to block attacks. This gets averted from the fourth game onwards, as fighters will vanish a moment after being defeated.
    • What's especially freaky is that, unlike the games after them which have the fighter use one of their normal KO voicelines, both Melee and Brawl has anyone whose stamina reaches 0 let out the same huge scream used when they're Star KOed (usually a Big "NO!"), and time slows down as they do so.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • A bit irritating in the Alien vs. Predator series. The predator can collect the skulls from enemy corpses for points. He does this by using his melee weapons, so close proximity is required. The corpses vanish really quickly though, so a Predator player wishing to amass a lot of points necessarily has to come out of cover and get to where the corpse is, giving plenty of opportunities for enemies to shoot him full of lead. A Predator player will also wish to use the less powerful weapons, as a careless shot from the plasma weapons can vaporize a target's head, making it impossible to collect the skull.
  • In the Area 51 First-Person Shooter, this is handwaved as being an effect of the alien biotech used to create the monsters and clone soldiers you fight, and the first time it happens, a character does act like corpses vanishing is bizarre.
  • In BioShock the corpses of Splicers and Big Daddies as well as the wreckage of Security Cameras and Gun Turrets remain either indefinitely or until a certain amount of corpses are on the ground, at which point some of them de-spawn and are replaced with "Lockboxes" containing whatever the corpse was carrying before. It's assumed that empty lockboxes will despawn after a while or after the same limit is reached. However because there's not much to buy and items that are only used 3-4 times in the game continue to drop after all the opportunities to use them have passed...
  • Borderlands plays this trope both ways. Almost every enemy or boss in the game will appear to disintegrate after a very short amount of time, except the Rakk Hive. Upon defeating it, the body will remain until you leave the level. The body can even be climbed on, making it also the only solid corpse in the game.
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has this on a ridiculous degree: anything you kill will start to very quickly fade instantly after their death animation runs its course, or even before that in the case of the Deep Ones.
  • Enemies killed in The Conduit fade out with a nifty evaporation effect.
  • The Dark Forces Saga dealt with it in different ways. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and its Expansion Pack Mysteries of the Sith had bodies that wouldn't vanish for some time. Based on the id Tech 3 engine, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy had bodies that would vanish almost the instant you turned your back (mechanical enemies just exploded). It was kind of disappointing, when Jedi Knight's predecessor, Dark Forces, being sprite-based, was able to let the stormtrooper bodies pile up like cordwood. There is a console command to extend or even remove the time before bodies fade in the latter two games, however.
    • Outcast and Academy actually have three different ways of removing corpses in multiplayer. The corpses will fade on their own if left alone for a long enough time, at which point they'll be engulfed in either white light or red lightning, depending on the Force orientation of the player in question. Alternatively, civic-minded individuals can clean up corpses instantly by attacking them, causing them to disintegrate in the same manner as a fully-charged shot from the disruptor rifle.
  • Doom:
    • In Doom³, the hell creatures fizzle away to nothing when killed; the zombified humans, logically enough, do not unless you hit them with a shotgun blast, chainsaw slash, or berserk punch.
    • Corpses also disappear in the GBA versions of the first two games and in Doom 64.
    • In Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal, however, all demons burn away into nothingness a few moments after being killed.
  • The Far Cry games hide this by only making corpses vanish past a certain distance. This can hamper attempts at stealth, where enemies in a checkpoint or on the road will react to the presence of a dead ally and go on the lookout, though Far Cry 3 and 4 allow you to alleviate this issue somewhat with the Takedown Drag skill to pull a guy into an out-of-the-way alley or bush after stabbing them, or, in 4, being able to simply pick up dead bodies and carry them out of the way.
  • Appears in GoldenEye which makes sense given the sheer number of enemies in some levels.
  • Varies in the Half-Life series. For example in the first game, most enemies placed in the map directly leave corpses unless blown up by explosives, but ones made by a Mook Maker fade. In Half-Life 2 there are fifty-foot enemies called Striders, whose bodies stay behind if you had a sufficiently powerful machine, but otherwise just disappear in a small cloud of sparkles at their Critical Existence Failure.
  • Played with in Haze. The soldiers/mercenaries from the Mantel corporation are under the influence of a super-drug called "Nectar". While on this chemical bodies appear to fade away and there is no blood or gore. Unfortunately, when off the chemical the game's engine is so poor that bodies still disappear after a while, this time for no reason at all, and the gore system is so anaemic it doesn't even produce impact marks on bodies, something GoldenEye managed. An otherwise-unique game mechanic even forces the player's attention to this, as after they switch sides they can play dead when low on health to make themselves invisible to the Nectar-enhanced soldiers - and, appropriate given the engine issues above, half the time enemies who aren't supposed to see you anymore will continue shooting you anyway.
  • The many, many corpses created by the PCs in Left 4 Dead fade at different rates, depending on how many enemies are currently around; sometimes they'll stick around indefinitely, other times they'll fade before they even touch the ground. It's a testament to the atmosphere and intensity of the game that many players don't even notice when the corpses disappear.
    • Played painfully straight in the gimped Australian version of Left 4 Dead 2note , where all enemies fade quickly and conspicuously out of existence, sometimes even before they hit the ground. Just as painfully obvious in the German version, especially when a survivor is killed, and the others will then go "Oh no! Not Francis!" while staring at a piece of ground with nothing on it except maybe a puddle of blood and a medkit.
    • There are also mods that can simulate the same "bodies disappear quickly" effect, which is usually made for people whose computers aren't powerful enough to render all the dead bodies.
    • Oddly, in the penultimate map of the "Death Aboard" custom campaign, bodies of the Infected start disintegrating as soon as they're killed. It's only present in that map - word of mouth is that it's related to the map being set entirely in a beached ship tilted to the side, which wreaks havoc with prop permanence in the Source engine.
  • No One Lives Forever, a '60s spy movie pastiche with a female lead, issues a special body-dissolving powder with the gear, requiring the player to actually get close to a victim's body to dispose of it. According to in-game exposition, Cate Archer's slight frame was considered inadequate for stuffing bodies in lockers. In the sequel she was suddenly strong enough to carry bodies around, though slowly. Ironically, though, bad guys in the sequel carried the body-dissolving powder themselves and would use it before searching for the culprit. The options menu (at least in the first game) lets you enable instant fade-away, so rather than having to use the corpse-remover, it just makes them fade away.
  • Painkiller enemies 'pop' out existence leaving their souls to be collected.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has dead bodies vanish after too many are present in the level. Players who bleed out also vanish from the playing field, though this is justified in that they're taken into custody by the police rather than actually dying.
    • Subverted with the sequel during the stealth portion of a level. Dead bodies will remain in the level during stealth, since any guard or civilian that sees a body will alert the police, thus necessitating the use of body bags to move corpses into hidden corners or dumpsters if a guard gets lucky and spots you and/or murdering everyone that could call in an alarm isn't an option. If your cover gets blown, bodies will start to vanish as normal.
  • Perfect Dark does this oddly. Corpses will generally only fade if you stop looking at them for a few seconds, but if you kill enough guards in the same area, you can watch them fade away. On the other hand, they stick around for a little while. This is important for stealth/infiltration missions, as guards naturally react to seeing a dead body.
  • In both PlanetSide games, equipment left idle for too long will dissolve into a cloud of nanites which then sink into the ground. The first game allowed players to loot dead player's backpacks to steal their guns, which made the often excessively aggressive dissolve timer annoying, though vehicles were set to dissolve after ten minutes of sitting idle.
  • In Portal, the chunks that fly off of exploded turrets disappear when you look away from them.
  • In Prey (2006), bodies remain there before you obtain the power of Deathwalking. After you get it, they dissolve into a white ectoplasmic residue while you absorb their souls. The implication is that a body cannot continue to exist if its soul is destroyed.
    • Trivia: this was discussed by developers in a restaurant. After one of them made this suggestion, another exclaimed "Finally we know how to get rid of the bodies!", attracting worried looks from other patrons.
  • Justified in Quake IV; when a Strogg is killed, the Nexus (the Strogg's sentient techno-organic communication system) teleports the dead body to a facility to be broken down for future usage.
    • This was averted in Quake II, which IV directly follows. Corpses stay where they are. Apparently, in between one One-Man Army going and completely wrecking their homeworld, and the next one-man army showing up, they finally got those teleporters working. Bizarrely enough, gibs disappear, but bodies don't.
    • Since it's based on the same technology as Doom 3, it's safe to assume that the change was not caused by some new technology but by a more convenient development.
  • Mostly averted in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. bodies will stay around for in-game days to weeks, and guns will stay as well, however: if you leave the area and come back, strangely they will stick up, rather than lying on the ground.
  • In Team Fortress 2 corpses will remain until you respawn and die again. Your Eternal Reward, a special alternate Knife for the spy, plays with this. Upon a successful backstab, it cloaks the corpse, muffles the death scream, and changes you into the person you just killed, all within the span of a second. While it sounds like it should be easy to spot, it's actually very hard, especially since you'd be paying more attention to the other 10 or so people shooting at you than where that sneaky engineer or pyro disappeared to. The Dead Ringer causes you to "die" upon taking damage, dropping a fake corpse and instantly cloaking the real you so you can sneak up on the guy who thinks he killed you; attentive players may notice that you died too quickly or hear the loud decloak noise, but many will not. And you can use both of these tools at the same time...
  • In Turok 2, not only the corpses fade, so do the children and prisoners you rescue from their locked cages. They say thank you and fade while still doing their idle animations.
  • Unreal handles this problem by waiting until you turn around to dispose of bodies. You can stare at a corpse for five minutes and it won't budge, but then if you look away the corpse will disappear instantly.

    Hack and Slash 
  • In the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games, enemies fade away as soon as they hit the ground. Which is just as well since you kill them by the hundreds if not thousands.
  • Lost Soul Aside: The 2017 gameplay trailer shows that the monsters defeated by Kazer are cut apart into a few small red chunks, and then they (and a small blood pool left where the monster was) all fade away within a few seconds.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: Every killed enemy fades away after a couple of seconds with some bosses taking slightly longer along with fading to black. The Corrupted Cauldron averts this as defeated enemies will be pulled towards it to be absorbed, letting it regain some of its health.

  • The various criminals and monsters that can be "killed" in City of Heroes fade away in front of your eyes if you hang around long enough, but this may be a secondary usage of the city-wide teleporter system that automatically hospitalizes fallen heroes — similarly automatic incarceration.
  • Corpses in Nexus Clash disappear after 24 hours if not raised by a Lich first. This is because the Nexus' goddess of death wants to protect the dead from unlimited degradation and has a horde of servitor spirits that collect corpses and ferry them off to her home plane instead of leaving them to rot on the battlefield. If you are a Lich it's possible to bribe the servitors to deliver some corpses to you instead.
  • Perfect World does this differently with different mobs. They always fade away (except for the things you would find useful), but they have different animations and noises before they do so. Mantises sigh and make a clanking sound as they collapse, pterosaurs fall down on their side while somehow still defying gravity to the point that things they DROP stay in the air, Tuskmoors do a little dance thing and just fall, Taurocs look like they are going to hit you with their club one last time, and torches... ugh. They scream "CURSE YOU!" in their last breath... to make matters worse, it does this evil laugh the whole time you're fighting it. If you're a ranged class and it's closing in on you, laughing in relish the whole time...
  • Cryptic's Star Trek Online is much the same on the ground; bodies disappear after a short time of lying around. In fact, bodies that have not yet faded are Only Mostly Dead and can be revived by a player or a medical-type enemy. Player bodies disappear when they respawn. In space play, all ships explode when killed and only some, like Borg cubes, will leave behind wreckage. Even then the wreckage isn't solid and will eventually disappear. They manage to avert another common aspect of the "mechanical enemies disappear by exploding" by making the explosions from destroyed ships actually dangerous — the explosion from the aforementioned Cube can easily destroy the player along with it if they're too close.
  • World of Warcraft has a set Corpse Stay Time in their respawning cycle. Corpses do last for a few minutes after they're killed, but fade when they're respawned; if you want to loot them, you have to do it before they fade.
    • If you don't loot them, corpses can stay for quite a long time; raid bosses with items on them linger for up to an hour. Empty corpses always vanish within several minutes at the most.
    • They vanish pretty much instantly after being skinned for leather, though (or in some cases in the expansion, after they've been mined or harvested).
    • There are two exceptions: Player corpses can stay for a very long time if the player doesn't release his spirit (there is a 6 minute timer in the main world, but logging out bypasses that until you log in again), and some places have corpses that are there for "decoration" or quest purposes. In one dungeon, some corpses also act as traps, releasing several maggot-like monsters when someone gets close. In that case though, the corpse fades afterwards.
    • Players have taken advantage of the 'Log out/timer stop' element to create what has (artfully) been called 'corpse graffiti'. Essentially, the player creates several 'throwaway' characters and sets their each of their names to one word of a predetermined message, then logs them in individually and suicides to create and display the names in the proper order.
      • Gold sellers have also taken advantage of this to bypass measures taken to prevent them advertising their services ingame. Except they don't use character names for their graffiti, but spell out their site's URL with the corpses themselves.
  • In zOMG!, as in most RPGs, all enemies fade away after death. Some have a justifying animation (Gramsters for instance, collapse into dust, while Predi-Pups attempt to blow themselves up), while others simply collapse and vanish. This is somewhat justified by most of the enemies being composed of G'hi. Strangely, even the endgame enemies (a majority of which are not G'hi based) fade. Though in the case of the Labtechs, it's possible they simply went to respawn, as their death animation is similar to the "Dazed" animation for most player characters. It still doesn't explain how an entire Giant Robot just disappears, pilot included, after you defeat it. But then again, you get teleported to the Developer's Room immediately after killing it, so you don't actually get to see what happens to it's remains.

  • Justified in the Armed With Wings series. All living things in the game's universe are composed of a mystical substance called Blackmist, and dissolve back into it upon death. The characters even occasionally use the word "disappear" as a synonym to "die".
  • Partially averted in Banjo-Kazooie, enemies do not respawn and the health they drop remains remains forever until you die or leave the level. The later Banjo games fixed this.
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon: Shades fade away from front to back on death.
  • Handled oddly in the old Commander Keen games for DOS machines. In the original trilogy, enemies leaped up into the air with expressions of shock/pain when shot with a ray gun. The roasted corpses (they appeared to be surrounded by some sort of flame or energy while in their death throes, which would suggest a roasty-toasty manner of death) stayed in the room for a time and then faded away. The later games in the series, trying to be more kid-friendly, replaced the ray gun with a stun gun. The "neuralizer ray" had the same effect as the plain old Death Ray, but dispatched enemies had cartoony stars circling their heads. Despite this supposedly gentler method of dealing with enemies, the bodies never went away and kept the bizarre "oh no, I've been shot!" face while stunned. (And if you read the story section of the help, you'll learn that Keen shot his parents with the gun before the adventure began. As the extro states, "hopefully this won't affect his allowance".)
    • It doesn't seem to be permanent for the monsters either - some, such as Arachnuts, recover and come after you again.
    • The sizzling corpses staying was a deliberate choice by the designers to remind players of the consequences of their actions.
  • The Crash Bandicoot games (at least, the main PS1 ones) just showed enemies flying into the distance after being slapped by the titular character. Unless you jumped on them, in which case they disappeared in a cloud of smoke, occasionally being flattened first.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, enemies will fade away after being defeated - except for bosses, of course. They get defeated spectacularly.
  • NPC corpses (enemy or otherwise) in the Jak and Daxter series disappear in a flurry of light and sparks.
  • In the mental worlds in Psychonauts this makes sense, since nothing there is actually real. The telekinetic bears and pyrokinetic cougars, on the other hand, do the exact same thing for no particular reason.
  • Ratchet & Clank FINALLY got around to justifying this by Deadlocked: the Nanotech that otherwise keeps people alive will destroy their host bodies upon death and seek out a new host, both explaining the disappearing corpses and Ratchet's general XP. Doesn't quite explain why Ratchet never poofs out of existence though... besides the obvious.
  • In the video game version of A Series of Unfortunate Events all enemies fade out of existence, including Count Olaf’s minions, which is a particularly odd case since they show up all fine and dandy a few scenes later.
  • Played completely straight in the video game adaptation of Shrek 2. An especially hilarious example occurs in the PC version where a knight's pants fall down when he's defeated and he runs away while fading into nothingness.
  • Zig-zagged in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Early games had the enemies as robots, which exploded when destroyed, but the explosion released a tiny animal, which would then jump around towards either the left or the right of the screen until it went off screen where it was gone forever. Yes, even if that meant jumping into lava, or a bottomless pit. Later games allowed you to collect these animals meaning the robot parts disappeared, but the animals stayed, but only the last eight found, any new ones would mean older ones disappear. Later still, the series got rid of the animal powered robots, meaning the robot parts would disappear, either into pieces, or knocked into the horizon if they were boosted into.
  • When a character dies in the Spyro the Dragon series they would burst into sparks and vanish.
    • In the first Spyro, explained right in the manual. Gnasty Gnorc's spell turns the dragon treasure into the monsters; "killing" them is really just dispels the enchantment. Why creatures in the other worlds work like this, well...
  • Many of the 2D Super Mario Bros. games have any enemy on screen spontaneously vanish when you touch the level goal and you earn extra points and/or coins for doing so.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • In Age of Mythology, only heroes' bodies do not fade-because heroes can be resurrected if your civilization is doing well.
  • Both used and averted in Company of Heroes: dead infantry fade quickly but most vehicles leave a wreckage indefinitely which can be used as cover, scavenged or destroyed.
  • Unlike in the other games in the series, defeated enemies in Hey! Pikmin plainly disappear after their demise. All the games play this straight with the hapless Pikmins, though.
  • Completely averted in Bungie's Myth games: bloodstains, fire, and explosions permanently mar the ground, and every severed limb, every dropped weapon, every piece of broken armor, every piece of destroyed scenery, and even fragments of shattered arrows remain until the level ends. This is tactically relevant for many reasons: you can see where battles have occurred before you got there, dropped explosives can be picked up or detonated, explosions can turn dropped blades into damaging shrapnel, and ghols have the special ability to pick up objects (especially blades or explosives) and throw them at enemies. In these games, to ignore detritus on the battlefield as harmless eye-candy could cost you dearly.
  • Dead allies and enemies in Populous: The Beginning turn into blurred ascending souls a short while after death; sometimes they appear like a transparent version of themselves instead.
  • Starcraft has corpses dissapear almost instantly after a short death animation.
  • Infantry units in Star Wars: Empire at War will eventually fade away after dying, though there is a mod that prevents that (same one with the "no unit cap"). Most vehicles on land and fighters in space with instantly explode upon dying, but larger ones will remain for awhile (space units will break apart, float "down", then explode. Capital ships last longer in that regard) then explode, though even then (specifically with the AT-AT) they may still instant-explode. Oh, and sometimes fighters will go spinning out of control first before exploding.
  • Averted in Supreme Commander, where destroyed enemy units and buildings will usually leave their charred remains behind. This isn't just realistic: You can actually harvest them for mass (the game's less abundant resource).
  • Supcom inherits this from its predecessor Total Annihilation, which even had multiplayer maps themed around a devastated urban area. These had no normal metal deposits, so the player was expected to reclaim the destroyed buildings, cars, powerpoles etc.
  • The Warcraft series turned this into a gameplay mechanic. As long as the corpse stays, it can be used for several spells.
    • In Warcraft III, the undead Scourge, which have the majority of them, even have Meat Wagons (their siege unit) that can carry corpses to prevent decay (their animation implies they use spares as ammunition) and create them with an upgrade. One of their buildings also generates corpses for the same purpose.
      • Heroes don't leave corpses behind, since they can be re-summoned at an Altar.
  • Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War leaves a percentage of the bodies killed on the screen indefinitely. This percentage can be modified from the in-game settings; depending on how powerful your PC is, you can go from all bodies fading to the entire battleground being littered with corpses by the end of the level.
    • The Expansion Pack Dark Crusade introduces the Necrons, who have the ability to animate these corpses long after they're created. The Tau Empire also has Kroot units, which can feed on the corpses of organic enemies to gain an immense boost in health and damage.
    • Soulstorm added the Dark Eldar, who can harvest corpses for soul energy to fuel several abilities.

  • The Binding of Isaac has this - enemies explode into blood and guts when killed; while this lasts so as long as you stay within the room, all traces of it will disappear as soon as you leave - even if you double back into the room a second later. This is especially notable in any rooms with lots of enemies (such as challenge rooms, big rooms, the Boss Rush room, and some endgame boss fights like Mega Satan), where the room can be coated in the remains of dozens of creatures once you're finished with it, but the second you leave it instantly becomes just as clean as when you first entered.
  • Being based on a game that didn't use this trope much, DRL also tends to leave a lot of slain enemies laying around, while allowing explosive damage to destroy the bodies. In dealing with Archviles or Nightmare difficulty, destroying the bodies quickly is a good idea. One of the bonus levels, The Mortuary, uses this concept for maximum effect by having a massive arena utterly littered with dead bodies, the only enemies alive initially being a few Archviles.
  • NetHack's take on this: after you kill a critter, assuming it was made of meat, it may or may not leave a corpse. If it does generate a corpse, said corpse lingers for a while before rotting completely away and disappearing. Some corpses are automatically poisonous to eat, most of the rest become poisonous if you wait too long to chow down. Any gear the critter was carrying gets left behind; if you don't clean up after yourself, NetHack dungeons tend to get a bit cluttered.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • The Baldur's Gate RPG series—and games based on the Infinity Engine in general—meanwhile, had dead bodies that eventually faded (assuming they weren't exploded into giblets from massive damage). Also, Baldurs Gate had a special feature in some areas that respawned enemies some time after their corpses disappeared out of the Player's Point of View.
    • Notably averted in the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series, where you could revisit most locations that you had been to to find that the hordes of corpses and rubble were still there. This might explain why the games' save files took up so very, very much space...
  • Zigzagged in Dark Souls. Bosses, player characters, and particularly large enemies fade away in a shimmer of light when killed, and player characters leave a bloodstain containing their souls and humanity before respawning at the last bonfire they used. Most normal-sized enemies don't fade, however, and just flop onto the ground where they can be hilariously ragdolled around. Loot acquisition also varies depending on whether the corpse fades or not. If it does, the loot can be picked up off the ground (or in the case of bosses and non-respawning enemies, it's automatically put into the player's inventory,) but if it doesn't, it needs to be directly collected from the corpse (which can occasionally lead to situations where the corpse falls off a ledge into a Bottomless Pit and takes its loot with it.)
  • Deus Ex:
    • The game is also noticeable for lacking this effect, even having flies gather over the dead eventually as in Diablo below; if the bodies ever did vanish, there was always an explanation given in-game. However, NPCs friendly to the player would fail to react at all to the sight of a dead or unconscious ally. This verisimilitude comes at a terrible price: Individual save files often exceed 10 megabytes!
    • The reacting to bodies was originally in the game, but it caused too many problems with AI, and was Dummied Out at the last minute. There's a lot of it left in that can be seen and enabled with the SDK. Unless the player is carrying the corpse on their shoulders, in which case some friendly and civilian NPCs will flee in terror as if the player had just fired a shot into the air. This goes double for Gary Savage, who will alternate between fleeing in terror and running back towards the player to speak with him (under specific circumstances).
    • This trope was turned into a hazard in the sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War, where Illuminati Commandoes would dissolve, but turn into clouds of toxic gas.
    • Also hazardous for the many enemies Made of Explodium.
    • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Nothing fades, ever. This includes bodies, weapons, Inventory items, Etc. This leads to many players using Adam's apartment as a supply dump.
  • In Bioware's other big franchise, Dragon Age, enemies generally dissolve onscreen, with some exceptions for bosses and other notable opponents (have fun running through that giant spider every time you go up Sundermount). In Dragon Age: Inquisition, lootable materials will remain behind after the corpses dissolve, represented by a pile of material (for human opponents), a ribcage (for creatures), or, in the case of dragons, a giant skull.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, corpses disappear after three in-game days. Alternatively, you can manually "dispose" of a corpse to get rid of it sooner.
    • This is so explicit in Oblivion that when you start a certain quest, it spawns a body you have to search. If you wait too long, the body disappears and you can't complete the quest. Bodies do, however, tend to linger for a surprising duration, remaining in cases hours, even days, of game time later. Corpses don't vanish when the character is present, either, lending a certain veneer of plausibility to the idea that they are, perhaps, removed by others. The default time frame for a corpse to disappear is 72 hours without the player present (IE: you have to be out of the cell with the corpse for 72 hours in a row, and coming back resets the timer.) That's in game time, so it's only about an hour or two of consecutive play. Blood on the other hand fades after 30 seconds or so, and arrows shortly after that.
    • Skyrim persists corpses for a lot longer, in some cases this is to comical effect, such as when the corpse of the slain leader of the rebellion remains draped on his throne perpetually after you kill him (this was later fixed). One of the popular performance improving mods actually enforces this trope to diminish the save state data being tracked.
  • Fallout:
    • In the games, bodies remain for as long as the player is onscreen and continue to lie about for several game-days. After a while, though, the bodies vanish and are replaced with pools of blood, giving the impression that they've been eaten by wildlife. The equipment that the bodies were carrying remains, however.
    • In Fallout 3 you are able to pick up and move the bodies (or their extremities) around, which can lead to the corpses of entire gangs occupying a single bathroom stall providing you're so inclined. However, after 72 game hours in a different cell, enemies can reset and disappear or respawn, depending on who or what they are.
  • In Final Fantasy, slain enemies just disappeared in the blink of an eye. From Final Fantasy IV onward, the enemies faded in a purple haze, although they went through death throes first in Final Fantasy VIII. Final Fantasy X and X-2 were exceptions; it was explained that the monsters were restless souls that gathered together "pyreflies" (supernatural fireflies) and manifested as "fiends" - thus, killing one caused it to break apart into the component pyreflies, which flew away. (Mechanical enemies, meanwhile, just blew up or fell apart, but humanoid enemies still simply vanish without explanation.) Final Fantasy VII and its Compilation show bodies dissolving into The Lifestream, even in The Movie. To what extent this happens to humans and other 'normal' animals is not really explained. Final Fantasy has used the fading death trope as a signifier of Killed Off for Real as, for humans this is always depicted as the character blinking out of existence (see Scott or Galuf.)
  • In God Eater, you need to perform a (fairly quick) Devour attack with your Living Weapon before a Aragami corpse fades to get valuable crafting materials. Not a problem if you're dealing with one Aragami, but others will gladly smack you around while you're charging that Devour attack. Allies can help keep the heat off, at least.
  • Monsters fizzle out of existence when slain in Golden Sun, but one exception is made when Isaac's party beats Dondopa's monster pet; it doesn't vanish upon death because as soon as it dies, its body fell on Dondopa when he tried to play a dirty trick on the party the moment he saw his pet was losing.
  • Justified, but never fully explained, in Hybrid Heaven, where any killed Hybrid, alien, or clones would dematerialize (shown by light leaving their body), and then explode, not leaving any traces. Even lampshaded in the intro, where when a Hybrid is killed and dematerializes in front of another person, one of the Hybrid agents says not to worry about it because the evidence is gone. However, this dematerialization only applies to the Hybrids and their non-AI allies, as the other enemies (scanners and robots) would simply explode upon defeat, and the non-Hybrid alien Gargatuans would not dematerialize upon death. However, it is never fully explained exactly what causes the Hybrids and only the Hybrids to de-materialize.
  • Somewhat justified in Kingdom Hearts with the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed, given that Heartless have no bodies (with the darkness drifting away, and the heart returning to Kingdom Hearts), Nobodies are said to dissolve back into darkness, and Unversed are made up purely of negative emotions.
  • Lunar: Silver Star Story and its remakes play this trope straight. In fact, when Ghaleon, leaves a body behind instead of fading, it's a big tip-off he's Not Quite Dead yet.
  • Defeated foes in Marvel: Avengers Alliance either vanish into purple nothingness, or into a red silhouette if you manage to overkill them into a fine red paste.
  • Bodies in the Mass Effect series tend to disappear when you're not looking (even the giant corpses of Brutes), but in the latter two games, as long as a dead body is still on screen you can shoot it, kick it, or toss it around the room just for fun. Severed husk torsos are quite entertaining.
    • Some corpses, such as Banshees or anything you killed with fire attacks, dissolve on-camera.
  • In Monster Hunter, the corpses of slain foes would vanish within set times. These times were wildly different as enemy wyverns and dragons will take minutes to fade while pesky raptors would vanish in mere seconds. This could become aggravating for the player because taking the time to carve dead monsters would result in acquiring new items so fighting a group of raptors often resulted in a player missing half of his or her potential carves.
  • Neverwinter Nights enemies quickly fade leaving their items in a small bag. When creating a map in the NWN editor, one can set the corpses to stay on screen. Some of the corpses in the campaign itself stick around as well.
  • Justified by the unstable nature of the monster's bodies in Parasite Eve 2. Near the end of the game, the monsters are replaced by Golem Cyborgs, whose bodies do not vanish when killed, and are even still present when you return to an area, a rarity for a Playstation 1 game.
    • Late in the game when a monster you've just killed doesn't fade you know what's coming...
  • You cannot capture a wild Pokémon once it has fainted (not died, fainted) because it immediately ceases to exist. You'd think Pokeballs would work on unconscious mons because that's how some were caught in the anime, but even if you ignore that, you'd think you could use a Revive on it and try again; nope, that elder god you just "knocked out" is gone forever.
  • In Ravensword: Shadowlands, corpses that don't have any loot on them fade away almost immediately.
  • Some enemies in the Super Mario Bros. series, especially in the RPGs, do this after a whole bunch of colored stars fly out of them at zero health. On the other hand, it's not particularly consistent, since about a third dissolve into light and then fade, another few explode, some turn into clouds of smoke, Bowser gets his skin melted off in one game and bosses in Super Mario Sunshine have different "fades" for every boss. In the Paper Mario series, the stars represent Experience Points; if an enemy gives no experience they just flatten and disappear. In the older Platform Games enemies would just vanish or fall off the bottom of the screen.
  • In Tales of Phantasia when Suzu's parents kill themselves to stop hurting innocents, pretty lights descend from the sky to their level, then carry their bodies up to the heavens.
  • Justified in Vagrant Story; the city of Lea Monde is filled with a mystical force called the Dark which causes those who die within the city to disappear in a puff of glowing purple dust. As a nice bit of attention to detail, the bodies of enemies killed outside of Lea Monde during the opening sequence do not vanish.
  • Similar to Warhammer, RPG Diablo II leaves bodies populating the floor until the character leaves the area in order for certain spells and abilities to be useable (raising the dead, searching corpses and, particularly effective, making bodies explode to the detriment of those nearby). There are searchable bodies of never-seen alive NPCs which stay there forever.
  • Sadly leads to Narm in Wild ARMs Alter Code F and Wild ARMs 5—dead characters sometimes fade out among rings of light in highly detailed FMV cutscenes.
  • The World Ends with You:
    • Noise dissolve into their soul-code upon being erased and are broken down into soul-fragments subsequently. The player as well, by the way, you can even "see" Neku's and his partner's fate a split second before the Game Over-screen. Apparently, for a scattered soul everything looks like a broken TV. One of Neku's exclamations before dying is, in fact, "Huh... I'm fading?"
    • Not just Players fade, but Reapers too. That probably has something to do with everyone being already dead.
    • An In-universe example: Beat in The World Ends with You starts to fade away, as punishment for doing bugger all as a Reaper, but holds himself together so that he can get his sister, Rhyme, back.
  • In the Ys series, even main characters' bodies fade or blink out of existence upon death. A notable example is Ernst in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, where his body seems to vaporize or sublimate.

    Simulation Games 
  • Averted in Animal Crossing: No matter how long you leave that item there, it won't fade. Ever. Even after a real-time year, it'll still be hanging around—even, oddly, if it's a food item like fruit or candy. A lot of the game's saved data consists of repeated "nothing is in this grid cell" markers in order to avoid having to cap the items per acre. Items do occasionally disappear to make way for a new building, in which case a neighbor turns the item in to the Lost and Found. However, trees you cut down do fade, even if their stumps stay—your neighbors will lampshade this and wonder how the tree trunks do that.
  • In the Creatures series, dead Norn and Ettin corpses will lay on the ground for a minute or two before disappearing in a cloud of smoke and lights while bells ring. For a Grendel, they decompose into a puddle of bubbling goo.
  • Averted in all MechWarrior games bar the 2 trilogy, where most units that are destroyed explode dramatically and scatter their pieces across the landscape before fading. Occasionally, a 'Mech will not be totally destroyed in 2 and remain intact and visible for the rest of the mission. In the other games, including the first game, 3 and its Expansion Pack, and the 4 trilogy, units that are destroyed will leave wreckage behind until the mission is over, which makes it easier to keep track of what you've fought so far.
  • Enemy ships sink in the Naval Ops games and the water is always deep enough that you never run aground on wrecks. In Warship Gunner 2, you can watch them drifting down when you command a submarine.
  • In Potion Permit, Monsters vanish with a puff of smoke when defeated, randomly dropping loot such as potion ingredients and food items.
  • In SimAnt, ant corpses eventually disappear. If the spider gets killed, the body will stick around for a while before eventually turning into a few pieces of food.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • This trope is averted in many sneakers, with games like Splinter Cell and Thief requiring the player to carry and hide bodies to avoid alerting other guards.
  • In Assassin's Creed: the corpses of slain guards do linger around and can be used to distract other guards or cause pandemonium among civilians. However, if you leave the Animus and re-enter, the guards are still dead, but their bodies have disappeared.
  • Unintentional example in Dishonored, where bodies of killed or unconscious enemies are supposed to remain and need to be hidden in dumpsters and the like, but have a tendency to start despawning offscreen if either a) the player moves far enough away from them, or b) the amount of bodies in a given area starts getting high enough. Not as common in the sequel, though.
  • Averted in the Hitman series: bodies stay around for the entire hit. In Hitman: Blood Money, when they are discovered by security, the security member will bag the body and drag it to the security office, where 47 can find the macabre scene if he's been on a rampage.
    • Also, knocking them unconscious isn't permanent, either; if you take long enough, the victim will wake up and let him/herself out of whatever hiding place you've stashed them.
      • Though in Blood Money, people to stay unconscious when hidden in chests, floor refridgerators, etc.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, dead enemies disappear, but unconscious enemies must be hidden from their comrades in lockers, creating one of the game's most emblematic internal tropes, second only to the cardboard box. In the remake and the sequels, dead guards stick around.
    • Unless another guard discovers the corpse, that is. If that happens, the guard will check for lifesigns, then the dead body will blink out of existence as he radios in that something's up.
    • Lampshaded and/or Handwaved by the defeated Vulcan Raven: "However, my body will not remain in this place. My spirit and my flesh will become one with the ravens. In that way, I will be returned to the Mother Earth who bore me." When Snake looks back, his body is gone, only his gatling gun is left behind.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the corpse of a normal PMC soldier sticks around. However, if you kill one of the elite FROG soldiers, their bodies magically fizzle away in blue flames, without any clear explanation why.
      • According to the Metal Gear Solid Database, the FROG soldiers have nanomachines that enhance their abilities even more than normal nanomachines. To prevent these apparently-advanced nanomachines from being captured by "the enemy", when a FROG soldier dies, the nanomachines instantly overheat and burn the body from the inside out. Squick.

    Survival Horror 
  • In the first two Alone in the Dark games (and perhaps part three), monsters' corpses disappear into a cloud of colorful bubbles (or smoke) soon after killing.
  • For all entries in the Endless Nightmare series, slain enemies simply disappears out of existence after falling over.
  • In Resident Evil 4 and 5, the enemies collapse into piles of goo when they die. This goo itself evaporates in short order (or dissolves if in water) - this, however, is only true for the basic 'Ganados' or 'Manjini' enemies. Certain, more rare, types of enemies often leave lasting corpses, that remain indefinitely (usually because they might be carrying a key item).
    • Other games in the series feature bodies that disappear once you leave and then re-enter an area. This was lampshaded in the first film adaptation, where the characters return to the "laser corridor" to find that the bodies of their dead teammates have mysteriously vanished.
      • The Gamecube-exclusive remake of the original Resident Evil subverted this trope (but only with basic zombies). Any zombie that, er, "dies" by any method other than burning, exploding, or decapitating will stick around even if you leave and re-enter. These zombie bodies must be incinerated posthaste or they will come back later as the much more dangerous "Crimson Head" zombies.
    • A similar fate befalls slain enemies in The House of the Dead 2, but not the bosses. In the first game of the series, they just faded away in conventional fashion.
  • Zig-zagged in Silent Hill: Origins. Common enemies will leave corpses that stay put unless new enemies spawn in the same area, but bigger monsters like the Caliban and Giant Carrion will either fade or dissolve in a cloud of greenish-black smoke. This is likely done to avoid technical issues with the huge carcasses either blocking pathways if they were solid, or causing immersion-breaking clipping if you could walk through them.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Although Dead Space is practically built on body mutilation, most civilian corpses regenerate (or disappear, in the case of Necromorphs) after you re-enter the room. It has a practical use, however; if stomped bodies don't regenerate and stay dismembered, it means you'll have to deal with Infectors here.
  • Gears of War series does this too; look away from a dead locust for a few milliseconds and then look back; the body parts shrink until they vanish.
  • Justified in Giants: Citizen Kabuto by having the paradise terrain infested with ravenous scavenger critters just under the surface. Upon a creature's demise, they would pop up, rapidly devour the newly dead thing and then worm back into the soil.
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven was amazingly good about this, where you could shoot a car and have the driver flee in panic, go all the way across town, stay there for an hour, and then chance upon that same car, with the same bullet hole in the chassis. No long load times either. That said, dead things (cars, people) eventually disappear, though you have to be a ways away in order for it to count. Broken objects (fire hydrants, streetlights, phone booths) aren't fixed unless you're doing story mode.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics dead bodies only stay on the battlefield and can be resurrected during the timespan of three turns, after which they turn into either treasure chests or crystals and die for good if they were playable units. Plot-important characters never vanish though, indicated by star sign above their heads; and if the player has Ramza vanish — it's an instant Game Over.
  • Averted in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where corpses stay on the battlefield for resurrection purposes. On the downside, the judge has to move corpses around from time to time to avoid them being abused as obstacles. The sequel however plays this straight, and resurrected teammates just come back to whatever square you use the appropriate item or spell on.
  • Every dead unit in every Fire Emblem game ever fades away after being killed. In most games, assuming one has battle animations enabled, they'll even fade twice - once on the battle screen, then again immediately thereafter when you return to the map screen. The same even carries over to most cutscenes, and instances where the body of a deceased person remains to be interacted with are quite rare. The characters still talk as though the deceased individual(s)' bodies are there, though.
  • Mostly averted in Jagged Alliance 2. Soldiers killed outside will still be there later. After half a day or so, the body is visibly rotten, and crows peck at the corpse. Your mercs will make comments when seeing these corpses. (Everything from 'Oh my god, that is so revolting!' to 'Will you look at that! Hey, when do we eat?') As well, the crows fly away if you get close, or you can shoot at them for target practice (or if your merc is really good at sneaking, sneak up to them and punch them). After a few days, the corpse disappears, presumably rotting away to nothing. No sign of the skeletons, though. As well, soldiers killed inside a building just disappear rather than rotting.
  • All defeated units, be they enemies or allies, vanish in a swirl of light in Jeanne d'Arc. Don't worry, they can be revived —with a high-level, high-cost spell that shows up near the end of the game, and which restores the ally by the side of the caster instead of his or her original location.
  • Most units vanish instantly upon death in Nippon Ichi's strategy RPGs. The only exception to date is Phantom Brave, where piles of corpses can become impediments to movement and targeting. Or a source of improvised weapons. This also leads to the annoying gameplay mechanic (exclusive to Phantom Brave among Nippon Ichi games) where corpses can be destroyed through additional punishment-if this happens to one of your phantoms, they become Deader than Dead (triple-dead, since they were dead to begin with?) and reviving them becomes slightly more difficult.
  • Shining Force II has a dramatic, serious death of a king or something. You know that it's a serious death because he blinks slowly, then quickly, then disappears (as opposed to blinking away quickly or spinning in circles).
  • Super Robot Wars enemies usually explode upon death since most are Humongous Mecha or other vehicles.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Disturbing in Bully. Defeated enemies fade away, as in all the other examples given here. Problem is, none of them are actually dead; in fact, one can merrily keep kicking downed victims and watch them respond, holding whatever you strike. Then, after a few minutes ... they evaporate. Considering they never actually die though, it's probably assumed they eventually just got up and walked away.
  • Played with and lampshaded in the Destroy All Humans! series. In "Big Willy Unleashed" its revealed that when Crypto kills people the reason the bodies disappear is because Pox gathers them up to be ground up into meat for his fast food franchise. When Pox asks Crypto what he thought happened to the bodies he just says "I always assumed they just faded away somehow when I went around the corner", which Pox considers rather ridiculous.
  • Zombies in Dying Light will hang around for a while after they are killed until you look away, at which point they will disappear, leaving the items you could loot from them in nice little packages. Interestingly, if you loot their corpses they will disappear a lot faster.
  • In The Godfather game, your victims will eventually disappear after a while, along with the blood pool, while items seem to take longer.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto games, bodies go through two stages of disappearance. First they're there; then they're gone but there's a chalk outline where they had been; then the chalk outline vanishes. The burnt-out hulls of destroyed cars also disappear after a short time. However, simply abandoning a car on a sidewalk may result in the player finding it there later. Emphasis on may; any player that relies on this to any great extent will find himself boned sooner or later.
    • Supposedly leaving the door to the car open (not in a closed state) will allow the car to remain more frequently. Which, seeing as how there are NPC carjackers in the game and regular NPC will sometimes drive unoccupied cars, this doesn't make single lick of sense if trying to apply a smidge of logic.
  • Minecraft has all mobs and the player fall over and then vanish with a puff of smoke after being killed. Dropped items also vanish when they land on cactus or lava since they're destroyed.

  • In The Dark Crystal, the bodies of the Mystics fade when they die.
  • Subverted in The Rising of the Shield Hero: Ren slays a dragon threatening a village and simply leaves. This is a way of showing that he and the other two Heroes are still seeing the world as an RPG Mechanics 'Verse, where this trope would be in effect, and not a living breathing world. Since he never disposes of the body, it rots out in the open, spreading disease (and also becoming undead) and forcing Naofumi to deal with it.