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Gameplay Ally Immortality

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Jedi Exile: But to get back up after being that wounded?
HK-47: Observation: It does seem unlikely, master, but I have observed that you — allies included — seem to be able to recover from the most grievous of injuries, and quickly as well.

A game world with compelling characters and a deep plot runs into a certain problem when death is included in the equation. If the enemies were able to kill the NPCs at any time, then the game would have to adjust the plot to believably account for their absence. This often proves technically unfeasable, especially with a large cast.

So either the death of an important NPC results in a game over (leading to the dreaded Escort Mission), or the NPC is impossible for anyone to kill at all, player or enemy. Everything from swords to bullets to magic and even superweapons... bounces off them like they're made of rubber. Even if they do get knocked down, they'll just get up again a few minutes later and dust themselves off like nothing happened. In short, the only thing that's allowed to kill them is the plot.

This is a common example of Gameplay and Story Segregation; these characters can typically be killed when the plot calls for it. It is a subtrope of Story-Driven Invulnerability.

See also Friendly Fireproof.

Overlaps with You Call That a Wound?.


  • Ace Combat series:
  • Pets and guests in the Flash-based RPG AdventureQuest can't be targeted by enemy attacks. As a result, any ally that can heal your character is extremely helpful.
    • Hand Waved in the DragonFable Design Notes, which say that NPCs taste funny. Though DF does have occasional boss monsters that will attack your allies, they're few and far between.
  • Age of Mythology plays this game. Story PCs will be able to rise again if allies are around and enemies are not. One character notably has to block Arkantos's team from getting to him to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Age of Empires III has its heroes operate similarly but they at least lampshade it by by complaining about their pain in a borderline plea for euthanasia ("Every moment I live is agony.")
  • Alien:
    • The various squadmates in Aliens: Colonial Marines (Keyes, O'Neal, Bella and/or Reid) are completely invincible - and can be attacked by multiple xenomorphs without going down - when they are part of the player's party in normal gameplay.
    • Action Girl/Mission Control Corporal Tequila briefly joins you in Aliens vs. Predator (2010) for about 1/3 of Level 4 and Level 5 and helps you fight about a dozen or so of Weyland's Combat Androids and the Xenomorphs. She's entirely invincible.
  • Despite following you around for a good portion of Alone in the Dark, Sarah Flores in the 2008 Alone in the Dark'' is unkillable, and won't even be targeted by monsters. She vanish into nothingness if you die and respawn, but she'll either teleport at the destination or just be ignored until the next gameplay segment. It's mostly one of the game's many glitches.
  • With the exception of a brief Escort Mission, whenever an important ally in Alpha Protocol gets into a fight, they are invincible and have deadly aim.
  • In the Area 51 (FPS), your squad mates are functionally immortal until scripted to die in the game's plot.
  • This is a Downplayed Trope in Assassin's Creed Origins. If an ally is "killed" in battle, they stay down until the fight is over, at which point they pop back up fresh as a daisy. For some reason the game still warns you that your ally's health is low; perhaps hinting that this may have been more strictly enforced at some point in development.
  • Lampshaded in Battlefield: Bad Company. Your NPC squadmates will say things like "Ow, my face! Can't believe I made it!" when they are hit.
  • In Bayonetta 2, Rosa, Balder, and Rodin are all invulnerable when they're accompanying you, and the latter can one-shot every enemy that he touches. Loki isn't, but fights on lower difficulties will likely end before his health becomes an issue anyway.
  • The major ally in BioShock 2 is of the same enemy type as some of the Demonic Spiders, with the exception of being invincible outside of exploits and glitches.
  • BioShock Infinite features this when you first talk to the Lutece Twins. Not only will shooting a pistol into their faces have no effect, but they even mock you for doing so. Later, you find out that there's a good reason that shooting them has no effect.
    Each line is after you try to shoot one of them:
    Rosalind: "Missed."
    Rosalind: "Missed again."
    Robert: "You really shouldn't squander your ammunition or your friends when you have little of either."
    Rosalind: "Four out of five?"
    Rosalind: "And another miss."
    • During combat Elizabeth is invisible to (and invincible against) all enemies.
  • In Blazing Angels, your allies are invulnerable to your attacks. However, at the end of certain missions, you can see that they have a smoke trail behind your plane, indicating that while being hit with eight air to ground rockets and dozens of thirty millimeter bullets (which kills most enemies in the game in less than a second) isn't enough to damage them visibly, a few machinegun rounds fired off by the enemy is enough to set them on fire.
  • The player-controlled Boneraiser from Boneraiser Minions is very vulnerable and defenceless. Their summoned undead minions are completely invulnerable to enemy attacks.
  • Boogie Wings takes this trope to the extreme; on two-player mode, since your attacks can't hurt your partner, you can use your plane's skyhook to grab them (if they're in a tank or robot) before throwing them into mooks. These attacks can only hurt enemies, and doesn't affect your partner in any way.
  • The Call of Duty games have this in that characters important to the plot will never die in battle, no matter how often they are hit, but generic allies will fall and be replaced by off-screen reinforcements. If an essential character takes an excessive amount of damage in a short amount of time, they will sometimes fall over and look as if they have died, before getting back up again a few moments later.
    • You can't shoot allied NPCs though, that'll result in a friendly fire game over.
    • If the objective calls to protect said important NPC, then you better, they'll go down like the rest of the generic NPCs.
    • Immortal teammates can be a lifesaver in some situations, especially on harder difficulties. You simply find a place to hide while your ally stands out in the open and guns down the enemies for you. When they get hit by enemy fire they simply fall over, then get back up and resume fighting.
  • Curly in Cave Story, during the last part of the Labyrinth. It especially helps that she wields the Machine Gun (or Polar Star if you swapped weapons with her when you were given the chance) and can take out enemies for you.
  • In CIMA: The Enemy, your constant ally, Ivy, becomes invulnerable during boss fights. Unfortunately, she also doesn't do anything during boss fights either except follow you around.
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho, the game ends if every member of the Jericho Squad dies. However, if a few of them have died during battle but the player manages to finish the battle, the incapacitated squad members usually get right back up again, even without the intervention of Ross' or Rawlings' healing powers.
  • In Crysis: Warhead, there are a couple sections where you have a friendly team of U.S. Nanosuit Soldiers escorting you through an area. Although they can be knocked down if they take enough damage, they'll get back up again after a couple dozen seconds no worse for wear. Possibility due to a glitch, there's a very specific circumstance where they can die if they get grabbed and thrown by the giant alien robot boss. They all reappear next to you good as new once you transition to the next map, though.
  • In Deadfall Adventures, your allies seem to be unkillable, even a direct hit from a grenade will just knock them down for a few seconds. This is balanced out by the fact that they tend to hang back and camp the entrance instead of charging into the middle of a firefight.
  • NPCs in Decision that you bring with you and that are necessary to the mission don't die, they just fall to the ground and stay there until you come near them and there are no enemies around. Non-critical NPCs are entirely vulnerable (and it's quite possible to come across their mangled corpses before you even had a chance to rescue them).
  • The NPC replacement in Deep Rock Galactic for a second player, Bosco, packs as much firepower as a dwarf (and with the right upgrades, twice the mining power), with the added benefits of full 3D flight and total invincibility. His lackluster free will is the only thing keeping him from straight-up stealing your job.
  • Deus Ex
    • All important allied characters in the first game are unkillable. A lot of the generic UNATCO troopers in the early levels are immortal as well, though only in areas without enemy presence. However, the game also had a few memorable exceptions: among all the invincible UNATCO soldiers after the first mission is a single vulnerable one, and killing him gets you some extra dialogue with Manderley. Much more importantly, you can kill Anna during the confrontation with Lebedev.
    • The sequel, Invisible War had several immortal NPCs as well, but it also de-emphasized the issue by segregating the player from them. A lot of conversations with plot-relevant characters took place over video screens and across unbreakable walls. There was also areas where all your weapons are deactivated, thereby preventing you from attacking plot important characters prematurely. However, even if you glitch your way through and have your weapons still active, everybody in the area is still invincible anyway.
  • Diablo III has Leah, Decard Cain, Tyrael, and Adria occasionally join in the fight against evil directly, accompanying the human players and their NPC companions on their quest and taking the fight directly to the enemy. To avoid being a slow-paced Escort Mission, this trope is applied. This also happens when the player first meets each of the Companions throughout the story; the HUD distinguishes invulnerable characters by simply not giving them a health bar display.
  • In Disaster: Day of Crisis, the main character's girlfriend Iris is immune to any damage and cannot die in levels where the player is escorting her. That is, until the levels where she is being chased by a lava stream or being swept away downstream in a river, where you have to keep up with her and keep her from getting killed by the environment or suffer a game over.
  • In Doom (2016), attempting to shoot Samuel Hayden when you finally meet him will simply have his personal Deflector Shield absorb the attack and him telling you to save your ammo.
  • Happens all the time in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II: If people fighting alongside your party (blue-circled) are important, they will continue to fight, even if their health is depleted.
  • Played painfully straight in Dragon Quest VII, in which the weakest of Guest Star Party Members can potentially soak up more damage than the final boss, although the AI is suspiciously good about hitting you rather than them.
  • When you summon your allies in Drakengard, they cannot die. The life bar becomes a timer indicating how long they have to run around and kill crap, but they technically cannot die. If they're struck, it reduces the amount of time they're summoned.
    • In the sequel, the hero and his allies all have separate health meters. Now, if your onscreen character dies, you get booted straight to the game over screen.
  • The Duck Hunt dog is bulletproof, to the disappointment of many a player.
  • The Elder Scrolls uses this trope to varying degrees across the series. To note:
    • Played straight in Arena and Daggerfall, the allies important to the storyline are all sprites whose interaction is limited to talking to them — they can't die, but they also aren't of any help.
    • In Morrowind all NPCs, up to and including physical gods, can be killed if you're strong enough. You do get a warning if a killed NPC was critical to the main plot, but that's it.
      "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created."
    • In Oblivion, plot-important NPCs are marked "essential" and can't die. If their health reaches zero, they only "fall unconscious" for a time, after which they get back up as if nothing happened. Due to the nature of the game, this means that you can use your unkillable allies to grind your stats to ludicrous levels. Occasionally, a plot-important character will follow you around for the duration of their quest and can effectively be used as an invincible escort as a result. note 
    • Skyrim:
      • Skyrim continues the tradition with two different variants: Essential NPCs can be brought down to a point where they ought to die, but will simply become invulnerable and stand back up a few seconds later. Protected NPCs (such as the player's spouse or followers) go into "submission mode" when their health gets low enough, and whatever enemy was attacking them will stop and move on to attack the player. The player, however, can still kill protected NPCs in submission mode, meaning that the number one cause of death for your followers will probably be your own Friendly Fire.
      • The Dragonborn DLC adds the 'companion insight' effect, which means that attacks, shouts, and destruction spells no longer damage your followers while in combat. Exceptions exist but it does make it a lot harder to kill them accidentally.
      • This can be a particularly jarring example since they take a very broad definition of "essential NPC." Due to the sandbox nature of optional side quests and the civil war threatening to tear the region apart it's entirely possible, if not likely, that your character will encounter minor enemy officers that they would clearly never want to work with in the future based on their narrative up to that point and who are more than willingly to fight you to the death but that are completely invincible due to this quest giver plot armor. For fans coming from Morrowind this can be quite an immersion killer.
  • A feature of the original Fable was that you could kill pretty much any NPC or quest-giver. Of course, because the game has to find a way to carry on regardless, no-one is too bothered if you've beheaded your five previous employers.
    • Fable II has consequences for murder, including the town economy slumping, housing prices falling, and everyone in town becoming afraid of you. Then you fart a couple of times and they think you're hilarious again. If they don't run away before you finish the fart.
    • Fable III actually allows you to turn ally immortality on and off yourself by way of a D-pad option that comes up when you draw your weapon. You can't hurt friendly NPC's unless you turn off the "safety".
  • Fallout 3. After you find your Dad, he sets off to Rivet City, which is about half a map away. On foot. If you decide to take a walk with him, you get to watch him take the highway into D.C., right through everything from raiders carrying missile launchers to super mutant masters with miniguns, wearing nothing but his jumpsuit — and "become unconscious" over and over again... just to get up half a minute later and continue on his merry way. And to make the trope even more fitting, all this so later the plot can kill him anyway.
    • In fact, any plot-sensitive NPC has this ability. Try firing the sniper rifle point blank into the back of Elder Lyons' head. He dies instantly and stays dead for a few seconds, then gets up, unfazed. Unload an automatic rifle clip into Dr. Li's face some time for cheap giggles; not only does it only take off about a bar of her health, she's so unfazed that she doesn't even go hostile.
    • In addition to Dr. Li, important characters include all children, Jonas while you are 10 or 16 years old — further following the example of being invincible until he needs to die, and one Robobrain in Vault 112 — which has exactly two lines of dialogue.
      • That Robobrain is vital to the main plot, since without it you wouldn't get into the Tranquility Lane simulation to rescue your dad.
    • And there must be at least one doctor, one repairman and one trader living in the Wastes so the player isn't left stranded. There just so happen to be one of each character with invincibility.
    • The PC version makes it rather easy to grant and take away this immortality to/from NPCs and items as well by use of console commands.
    • Fallout and Fallout 2 totally averted this, though. If you are so inclined, you can kill every single NPC and still win (killing the residents of Arroyo is possible, but ends the game). The sole exception in Fallout 1 is, of course, the Vault 13 Overseer, until it's... his time.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has this in full effect for all of your companions, unless you play in Hardcore mode. There are a few exceptions though. In particular, the quest Birds of a Feather can result in the death of Cass if you comply with the Van Graffs' orders.
      ''Hi. I'm Jean-Baptiste, and you're about to stop being a pain in my ass." *blasts her in the nether regions with his laser rifle*
      • Similarly, for the Beyond the Beef sidequest, you can offer one of your human companions as a meal to the White Glove Society.
      • Yes Man is also essential. If you kill him, his personality will just download into another Securitron.
      • One companion that is unkillable regardless of game settings is the Lonesome Road version of ED-E, since you can't complete the storyline without him.
      • Hardcore also applies to the Dead Money companions, although they are story-essential. To avoid an unwinnable situation, their explosive collars are linked to the Courier's, so their death results in his/hers.
      • Roxie the cyberdog in Old World Blues can die even in Casual mode, but she can be recreated once a day.
    • This is explicitly stated in Fallout 4, companions are always immortal and only stunned, when asked the developers basically said "if the dog dies, it's an instant reload, it wasn't impactful, just inconvenient." Companions can't die even in Survival mode, since some of them are needed to complete the main quest.
  • In Fate, the player character is accompanied by a pet who assists in fighting monsters and provide extra inventory space. If its HP runs out, it will start running around in panic instead of getting killed. It won't help in further fighting, but can still carry items. Sending it to town to "sell off inventory" will allow it to fully recover its health when it comes back.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the AI controlled allies can't get Killed Off for Real, but merely be knocked out, unlike your party members proper.
  • Some guest characters in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 simply can't be killed, just reduced to 1 hitpoint. They usually stop attacking in this case unless you heal them, but they can still be attacked by enemies.
    • Enemies will actually prioritize guest characters that are still able to fight but can't be reduced below 1 HP, so an entirely valid tactic is to use a potion or healing spell on those characters to restore the bare minimum HP, and then letting the enemy attack them. It only works if they are within the enemy's attack range, and when they are reduced to 1 HP, the AI starts ignoring them again, making for a delicate balancing act.
  • In Final Fantasy Adventure, your character has various temporary allies who provide backup or just follow him around. They're all immune to damage. The Video Game Remake, Sword of Mana, changed this — and fortunately thought to provide some AI control in case you don't want your ally Leeroy Jenkinsing himself to death all the time. However, this didn't remove the silly factor so much as move it: when an ally dies, he or she follows you around as a ghost, and is instantly revived if you touch a health-refill statue.
  • In Fire Emblem, where death is permanent, most allies not under the players control will simply be injured and leave the fight if they run out of health instead of dying. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has a level with Kurth, who is believed at this point to be a civilian with no combat skills. He does, however, have much more health and defense than any of the player's characters. This means he can be used as an effective guard (albeit one that doesn't fight back).
  • In Freedom Fighters (2003) the fellow guerrilla fighters that the main character (Chris Stone) can recruit are essentially invincible. If they are downed by enemy fire, they only require a single medpack a piece to get them back into the action, and they're practically immune to friendly fire.
  • Named NPC allies in Freelancer are generally immortal in missions where they appear. They'll take damage down to roughly about 10%, at which point the game no longer counts damage against them. It is good to keep them in one piece, to keep their weapons from being blown off, so they can contribute to the battle.
  • Front Mission Evolved makes all allies invulnerable and gives them Bottomless Magazines, so they will eventually clear a map by themselves... if you wait long enough. Outside of cutscenes their aim is atrocious.
  • Seen in Gears of War, and featured via legacy code in the vast majority of Unreal Engine 3 games based off the Gears of War game code (i.e. Turok, Blacksite: Area 51, Haze, etc). If one of your NPC squadmates is severely injured in a firefight, instead of dying, they'll simply drop to their knees in pain. They get back up again good as new once all nearby enemies are dead, or if you simply walk up to them and give them a pat on the back.
    • First seen in Rainbow Six: Vegas and Star Wars: Republic Commando. Unreal Engine games really seem to love recycling this particular bit of code.
      • In Vegas, it is possible for teammates to die instantly if they are caught in the enemies' "Instant Death" Radius. Very easy to notice this in terrorist hunts in Vegas 2 by telling your team to stack up at a door and then triggering the enemy spawn. As soon as they come through the door with guns blazing, Game Over.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, plot-important characters like Sonny or Monk will not take damage in battle. Sure, they'll bleed when shot, but if you look at their health bar you'll notice that it doesn't shift one bit.
  • Downplayed Trope in God of War (PS4). The player character is accompanied by his young son throughout the game, but despite the plot detailing his vulnerability as a child, the son is immune to damage and attacks only stun him for a few seconds. Enemies can only kill him if they land an extremely rare grapple attack on him and holds him still for a minute without the player hitting the enemy once. This practically never happens, so most players will play the entire game without the son ever being at risk of dying, averting many criticisms of Escort Missions in much the same way The Last of Us did.
  • In Gothic, two people in the Old Camp can escort you to the New Camp and the Swamp respectively. While the paths are full of beasts that make lone travel deadly, they are tough enough to kill everything... and give you the experience points. It's actually worthwhile to draw the attention of beasts and let your friend kill them for you.
  • The whole point of Guardian's Crusade is to return a baby monster to its home in God's Tower. Although the aptly-named Baby can die in battle, if you end up winning the battle, Baby will be automatically revived at the end of it. Of course, he'll hate you for letting him die...
  • In Guild Wars, the Escort Missions of the original campaigns, despite the ease of resurrection for party members, would automatically be failed if your ward or ally was killed. However, since the Eye of the North included gigantic dungeons that are almost impossible to complete without a few party wipes, allied NPCs would automatically resurrect themselves when there were no monsters in the area, and apparently without any death penalty (game mechanic that temporarily reduced stats for dying).
  • In Half-Life 2, Alyx isn't exactly invincible, but (unlike you) her health regenerates extremely rapidly, making it unlikely for her to die unless you deliberately sit back and let her get mobbed by multiple enemies. Most named allies in the game are the same way, and the game designers try to engineer situations where this isn't actually shown and pull it off for the most part.
    • Griggs and Sheckley in Episode Two can, according to commentary, hold their own against the Antlion horde. You, however, will get your face chewed off.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 2 granted Sergeant Johnson immortality. You could literally keep chucking grenades at him and he would just stare at you, and if you did it for long enough he'd eventually ask what you were doing.
      • At one point in the first level, Sergeant, as he is affectionately known, tells Master Chief "That, or he can hide behind me." A surprisingly viable tactic!
      • This is lampshaded as a Retcon later on, when it's revealed that Johnson was a first-generation Spartan.
    • Miranda Keyes also shares Johnson's complete invulnerability, so have fun using her as a stress ball whenever she's around on a mission.
    • Same goes for Johnson's Covenant counterpart Rtas "Half-Jaw" 'Vadumee. You can keep striking him in the back, which would be an instant-kill for anything else, and although his shield can be seen dissipating he stays alive.
    • In Halo 3 plot-important allies can be killed, but they'll stand back up in about ten seconds like nothing happened. You can even loot their weapons, including an infinite-ammo SPARTAN laser at one point. There's even a glitch that allows you to do this with a certain character after he's been Killed Off for Real.
    • In the original trilogy, many minor recurring NPCs, such as Sgt. Stacker, are killable, but they'll show up again later like nothing ever happened. This even applied to Johnson back in the original Halo: Combat Evolved.
    • 343 Guilty Spark is also invincible, despite how much the player may want to turn him to scrap (which is even lampshaded in the novelization Halo: The Flood). It carries over to when he turns hostile in Halo: Combat Evolved, but finally disappears during his boss fight in Halo 3.
    • In Halo: Reach, all five of the player's fellow Noble Team teammates are invincible during gameplay (although their shields can be depleted). This can be seen as rather ironic, as all but one of them are killed in cutscenes by the end of the game. There's also a minor Army sergeant in "Exodus" who's invincible because he has plot-related dialogue.
    • In Halo 4's Spartan Ops, you're occasionally teamed up with AI-controlled Spartans who sometimes happen to be invincible.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, your computer-controlled teammates can die if they're not revived in time, but they'll still respawn after each fight.
  • Hewie, the cute dog in Haunting Ground, can't truly die in Normal mode, unless you Kick the Dog a little too much, causing a cutscene death later in the game and giving you the worst possible ending. He can be knocked out, but Fiona can massage and pet him until he wakes up. In Hard mode, if Hewie gets knocked out, he dies for good and the ''Acta est Fabula'' will greet you presently.
  • Allied characters in Horizon Zero Dawn, indicated by a symbol over their heads, will fall down once they take too much damage, and eventually get up again. However, friendly characters that are not explicitly allied, like independent travellers and the patrolling Carja guards in the Sundom, are not invincible, and you will occasionally find a series of scattered bodies where a party of such encountered machines or bandits and lost.
  • In Infinite Undiscovery all friendly characters except your main party are invulnerable to all damage, except during one Escort Mission. It's possible to win some boss battles simply by staying away and waiting for your invincible allies to beat it.
  • A few missions in Jedi Academy have the player fight alongside legendary badass Kyle Katarn. As you might imagine, he's insanely difficult to kill, as the game gave him superhuman reflexes, near full Force power, and more than double the HP of the Final Boss. Mooks can't kill him; the only way he can ever die is if you're unfortunate enough to encounter a Game-Breaker Glitch which causes Kyle to accidentally treat you as an enemy. (This has one of two outcomes: You die, or you manage to kill him after an insane amount of effort, in which you are rewarded for your effort by failing the mission for letting your ally die.) He can also get stuck in a giant trash compactor at one point. You are killed within a few seconds in such cases; the Badass survives considerably longer, but ultimately his HP run out.
  • This trope is a plot point in the videogame-based webcomic Kid Radd.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, you allies will get up a few minutes after losing all their health. If you lose all your health, however, it's an instant game over. The in-game justification for this is glossed over very quickly, but basically boils down to your partners simply being knocked out, and Sora losing his heart any time he dies. Because the Heartless/Nobodies are very vulnerable to the Keyblade, they don't take any chances.
    • The occasional NPCs such as Cloud and Leon that help you fight Heartless during events. While they can be hit, they seem to be invulnerable, and will pretty much kill all the enemies for you.
    • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], your own Dream Eaters can die off for good by running out of HP and not receiving assistance, the temporary ones you can call to your side using friend portals are completely indestructible and simply get knocked around by attacks.
    • For a laugh, in the first game's fight against Maleficent's dragon form, you can simply climb the branches to get as high up as you can and let Donald and Goofy do the whole fight for you (useful, as she can be quite hard unless you're diligent about leveling up).
  • Zig-zagged by Kirby Super Star. The game has partners which can be controlled by a second player, or the AI if the second controller isn't used. While they have the same amount of health as Kirby himself (which makes them much tougher than most of the enemies with the same form, but still mortal), they can't die from falling into bottomless pits or being crushed by scrolling levels since they just warp to Kirby when they go offscreen, and if they lose all of their health, they can be turned back into the ability, then back into themselves in a few moments. Also, when they run out of health there's a short window of time in which they can run into an enemy with an ability and get turned into the respective partner with full health. Finally, they can share health items with Kirby.
  • Knights of the Old Republic series: No members of your party (even the PC) actually "die" in combat (even after being blown up by grenades and lit on fire), instead merely collapsing in pain. They can be brought back into the battle with the correct healing technique, and they will struggle back to their feet with 1HP once all combat ends, but if all of your party members are knocked out it's game over. One party member even had a chance to get up right after getting "killed" as his special ability.
    • This was one of the few games where even your character could do this — you only got a game over if your whole party was killed. Of course for many boss fights, the game usually found some way to immobilize your teammates (usually by sith who put your friends in stasis, why only your two friends, and not all three is unexplained). Judging by the later lightsaber sound effects during the game over black out screen, it's implied that if you lose, whoever you were fighting will go on to kill your immobilized teammates.
    • You can use your party members to clear mines...
    • The same goes for Neverwinter Nights 2 and its first expansion (it is, however, not true for the second expansion, where dead party members would stay dead unless resurrected.)
  • Downplayed Trope in The Last of Us. Allies are generally immune to gunfire, but not to grapple attacks of bandits and zombies. If they are attacked in melee, you generally have a short while to kill their aggressors - otherwise, it's back to the last checkpoint. The whole thing is pretty forgiving, though. Despite almost the whole game being an Escort Mission, one hardly ever gets the feeling that Joel's allies are more trouble than they are worth.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the old survivors in The Passing's finale are completely immune to damage. Shooting them does nothing. It is strange that they are invincible, considering that the zombies outright ignore them and target only your group.
  • In Legend of Legaia, Noa has very low stats in the beginning of the game, but is joined by the wolf Terra, who cannot be killed. It is possible to take advantage of easy level grinding during this time.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past included a few escort quests, most notably one near the beginning of the game where you must take Princess Zelda through a variety of dangerous environments to the Sanctuary. Fortunately, she's invincible, with monsters passing right through her — her only apparent sign of corporeal existence is her assistance with pushing a bookcase.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has a couple of characters who follow you for a while, including love interest Marin. Not only do all attacks pass through her, she can somehow keep up with your Pegasus Boots, make jumps you need the Roc's Feather for, and (if you do a little Sequence Breaking) walk on water when you're swimming.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: In the final battle of the game, other than a scripted moment where she is KO'ed, Zelda cannot be harmed during the battle (though she does wince in pain); you can't kill her, even if you repeatedly slash her with the Master Sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Zelda gains the ability to control phantoms, which are giant armored knights. She can't be killed, but some attacks will stun her, she'll panic from the sight of rats, and the final boss can take control of her and make her attack you.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The four allies who help you board the Divine Beasts cannot be harmed by either you or the Divine Beasts.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The Sages cannot be harmed like Link can. At worst, they'll get briefly knocked to the ground by enemy attacks.
  • In Mass Effect, all the characters are subject to this, except for Commander Shepard (the player character, whose death results in Game Over). This sometimes becomes rather silly, as NPC's cannot be directly shot, (Except with the spray-bullet shotgun) and never react to weapons fire in any way. Even detonating a grenade an inch in front of your direct superiour merits not a flicker of an eyebrow.
  • Medal of Honor (2010) turns this trope up to 11 where you can even stab your allies without them ever flinching a muscle.
  • Ciel in the Mega Man Zero series, whenever she appears in an Escort Mission. When she gets hit, she still reacts as if taking damage, but she never dies no matter how many times she gets hit. Letting her get hit only reduces your score for that mission.
  • In Mickey Mousecapade, the player controls Mickey and Minnie simultaneously, and Minnie never takes damage from anything that isn't a Bottomless Pit. In some situations, separating the duo and attacking with Minnie makes dying next to impossible.
  • Happens in two ways in the Might and Magic series. Although you can kill any NPC walking around town, all the quest givers and important story characters are in houses or other buildings where you cannot attack. Second, you can hire NPCs to travel with you and give you buffs, but no matter how much of a beating you take, they are never harmed.
  • In Miitopia, guest party members can't be harmed and targeted by anything in battle. They're even immune to Friendly Fire attacks like the Pop Star's Out of Tune.
  • In Paper Mario, Mario's partners have no health meters; if they are struck by enemy attacks, they are merely incapacitated for a few turns. The same is not true in the sequels.
  • Perfect Dark has a small, but surprisingly satisfying exploit in the HQ/hub/training level. The hanger has a box that you can grab. Naturally, you can take this anywhere, including the firing range where the tests for all the weapons take place. This room is separated from a smaller area where scientists are watching you testing the weapons. Usually the door separating you from them can't be opened during a test and you obviously can't take weapons out with you. However, you can position the aforementioned box in front of where the door slides allows you to shoot any of the weapons at the scientists outside. Aside from blood stains and arrows sticking out of their body (and the lights blown out if you used explosives) they show absolutely no sign that they were ever hurt.
    • However, one of them will occasionally say "Just... leave me alone, would you?"
  • Pretty much every First Person Shooter made by Raven Software uses this for important NPC allies. Star Trek: Elite Force, Soldier of Fortune 2, Quake IV, etc (although the Rhino Squad marines in Quake 4 CAN die on the hardest difficulty setting, reverting several levels of the game into escort missions.)
    • In SoF 2, friendly soldiers can't be killed by enemies, they CAN be killed by friendly fire, and if that happens, you spontaneously die as well.
  • While defending the cabin with Luis in Resident Evil 4, Luis is impervious to all Ganado attack. He'll also toss you ammo and health to keep you in the game too. If you shoot him enough times, though, he won't take too kindly to that and demonstrate that you don't have his invulnerability.
  • Sacred features several unkillable escorts, most notably Wilbur (who joins you fairly early in the first chapter). If one of these NPCs gets 'killed', they just lie on the ground with stars spinning over their heads for about a minute, then get up with about 25% of their hit points restored. It's important to note that only NPCs relevant to the main plot have Plot Armor — anyone you have to watch on an Escort Mission can die, and likely will.
  • Eileen in Silent Hill 4 can't die, but she does take damage, and that will affect whether she survives the final battle or not.
  • Several Sonic the Hedgehog games feature AI partner characters who can do most of the same things the player can, and can get killed numerous times (often due to wandering into hazards) only to come back a short time later. The classic form of this, made famous by Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, is an option where you can play as Sonic and have Tails following you invulnerably and with the capacity to be controlled by another player instead of the AI; this makes boss fights a lot easier if you have a friend playing with you, or can position Sonic somewhere safe and pick up the second controller yourself, as you can have Tails attack the boss without worrying about taking damage.
  • SOS: Downplayed. While people in your group are immune to some things that would cause you to lose 5 minutes, like fire and falling chairs, they are not immune to falling or drowning.
  • The Breath of Winter expansion pack for the original Spellforce featured, in the early stages, Grim and Lena, who would follow you around everywhere and never, never die, even if surrounded by a dozen melee-focused opponents. Although, unusually for this trope, they began limping and ended up pretty much useless if their health bars went into the red, but a quick healing spell would get them back up to continue cruising through their your opponents.
  • Black Cat is invincible in Spiderman 2. In fights were she's involved, the player can hang back and let her win it for them.
  • In Star Wars: Republic Commando, your NPC allies weren't any more immortal than you. Interestingly subverted though, in that it wasn't an instant game over if you the player died, only when all 4 members were dead. Just as you could revive them if they dropped, the NPC's could revive you if they survived the firefight, or if you gave the order to break cover and revive you on the spot. Of course, none of the squad is quite dead at that point, generally groaning piteously and trying to stand; when it happens to you, you can look around and order a squadmate over. Enemies just ignored you, and you couldn't shoot.
  • In Strife, shopkeepers and plot-essential characters, the Front's leader Macil and the Oracle, can't be killed before you're supposed to be able to kill them, even though you can shoot everyone around them. However, a number of other NPCs that you need to progress can be killed, often dropping the item you require or having a switch that opens the path they were meant to.
  • Suikoden:
    • Suikoden averts this in a few cases, leading to some Hilarious in Hindsight deaths, such as If you get everyone's favorite Jerkass Luc killed well before the role he plays as Big Bad of Suikoden III .
    • In Suikoden V, a character who is killed during one of the real-time war battles is Killed Off for Real and lost, making it impossible to gain 100% Completion... except if the character is an important storyline character (read: has at least one line in future cutscenes), in which case they'll manage to retreat to safety.
    • This also appeared in Suikoden Tactics: plot-vital characters never have to worry about permadeath; no matter how much punishment they take, they'll simply retreat. Everyone else, however, has a chance of dying on the battlefield — with the only real forewarning you get how their 'defeated' quote changes to a Final Speech. However, not everyone you'd expect to have this immortality actually receives it...
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl subverts this trope during the Subspace Emissary in co-op. Player 2 can fall off the stage and be put back on it, but if an enemy attacks the player and they get pushed too far off screen, it counts as a KO. And when you get caught in a non-escapable battle, falling off the stage still counts as a KO for player 2.
  • Your NPC allies in Time Crisis can't die, either from enemy fire or you shooting them, but you do take a point penalty for shooting them (-1,000 for Captain Rush in Time Crisis 4, -5,000 for Christy in II and Alicia in 3.)
  • Averted in TimeSplitters Future Perfect; all of Cortez's sidekicks seem to be immune to gunfire, but will in fact eventually drop dead after taking too many hits from anything — even you. There are also areas where a sidekick will suddenly sprout a health bar, forcing you to watch their back while they perform a task while suddenly becoming unfathomably weaker.
  • In the video game for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in most escort missions the escortee dies when hit with enough fire. However, when you escort Ironhide (one of the only mission where you actually have NPC allies) he will take damage to a certain point and then will become effectively immortal.
  • Twisted Tropes: Discussed. The Survivor orders his dog to attack a raider, then throws a molotv at both of them, while the dog says "Oh, No... Not Again!".
  • In pretty much every Ultima game, while your allies could get killed as easy as anything, a quick trip to Lord British (or someone else filling the role) is all that's needed to get them back on their feet. The main character gets the same benefit — even saving the effort of hauling back the corpses. Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, indeed.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, has several areas where you fight alongside Sully or Elena, and while you die quite easily — often from a single hit — they can pointedly ignore direct hits from grenade-launchers. Too bad they almost never hit the enemy...
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, losing Welkin (and sometimes Alicia) is a game over, and regular recruitable characters are subject to Permadeath if they're captured by the enemy or left for dead on the field, but then you have the plot-critical playable characters (Rosie, Largo, Zaka, and Alicia when her death isn't an instant-lose condition), who will merely "retreat" under the same conditions that an ordinary recruit would die.
  • Warhammer: Dark Omen and Shadow of the Horned Rat, had certain warriors with important dialogue join your warband to help advance the plot. Not only could they not be killed permanently, they also costed no money! which almost guaranteed that you stick them in a fight. They aren't immune to damage but even if they got slaughtered in a battle, they'd be up in perfect shape for any upcoming battle so long as you win - they didn't even spend any time on the injured roster. So feel free to charge that lone Elf ranger into a ravening horde of Black Orcs or a Skaven Warpfire Thrower team.
  • Zigzagged throughout Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He's a Toon and thus able to take a lot of punishment, whether it's Eddie attacking him or being run over by cars or snakes. But if he's caught by the Toon Patrol, Stupid can use his bat on him, and he can also be picked up by birds in the overworld and carried away; either scenario costs Eddie a life.
  • Wing Commander: In some games and missions, NPCs can die (complete with funeral scene), while in others they eject to be available the very next mission... or at least remain available until they're doomed by the plot.
  • In the X-Universe, plot important ships cannot be killed or boarded. The Argon One in X3: Reunion, for example, cannot be brought lower than 93% health with friendly fire. A Good Bad Bug in early versions of X3: Terran Conflict allowed the player to acquire a freighter that never had its invulnerability flag removed after the pilot ejects, giving them a completely indestructible and completely unarmed ship; better practice your ramming skills.
  • In X-Wing Alliance there are some missions in which certain AI-controlled craft will never go below 1% hull integrity. In the last mission, which puts the player in control of the Millennium Falcon during the attack on the second Death Star, there is an X-Wing escorting you that is exempt from destruction in this manner, presumably because it is piloted by an important SW character. (Likely to be Wedge Antilles.)