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God Mode

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Ahhh, good ol' God Mode. Ever since a small company called id Software started using the key word "GOD" as an invincibility cheat (beginning with Commander Keen), the term God Mode has migrated as a catch-all term for cheat-code based invincibility in video games.

There are legitimate reasons for having the capability in a game, for playtesters who are trying a particular level and want to stress-test certain parts of a level without having to worry about being killed while testing, and similar such activities. Because they can be used in some very complicated games to allow someone to get past an intractable problem, people (customers) expect most games to have some sort of God Mode in order to allow them to play and finish a game they might otherwise consider unwinnable. A spinoff term used in many games is “Buddha mode,” which prevents the player from ever losing their last hit point while the mode is active.

The term has also become popular as shorthand for Nigh-Invulnerability in other contexts, usually in a cynical tone. For example, to say that somebody is using God Mode in a multiplayer game is to suggest that he/she is using a cheat program. This is also the origin of why apparently grossly-overpowered characters are known as God-Mode Sue. The term has also become popular within various role playing communities, where it's sometimes called the similar term "God Modding" (think "modifying" as opposed to "mode" for pronunciation). Saying that somebody "God Modes" in a tabletop game is to suggest that he/she basically refuses to allow anything that negatively impacts him. However, the term "godmoding" is viewed a bit more neutrally than "godmodding" and could just as easily refer to when the characters are given a free pass on potential death for whatever reason.

The God-Mode Sue is a type of character named after this trope. Not to be confused with the webcomic of the same name or the video game of the same name.


    Video Game Examples 

  • Batman and Robin on the Playstation has a hidden chamber that will give you this. It has a spray that gives you permanent invincibility to everything apart from Bottomless Pits and drowning.

  • Dark Forces Saga:
    • Dark Forces had two forms of God Mode: One that gave unlimited shields in the options menu and a full God Mode cheat code by typing LAIMLAME.
    • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and its Expansion Pack Mysteries Of The Sith had a code accessible by the console. It protected the player from everything but falling damage.
    • Raven Software's Jedi Knight II also has a God Mode accessible through the console. But, in the final boss fight, there is a beam of energy in the middle of the room. The game essentially enables God mode for about a minute for whoever walks into the beam, meaning once the effect's time is up, you'll be vulnerable whether or not you had God mode before you touched the beam.
  • Using id's God Mode codes in Descent would reduce your shields and energy levels to 1. Using any cheat codes flashes "Cheater!" on screen.

  • Both The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 have a God mode, though most of the time it's activated because of its infinite carrying capacity when looting.
    • The developers apparently noticed this use, since both Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have a second cheat called "Demigod Mode", which removes your weight limit and give you infinite ammunition/action points (FNV) or infinite stamina/magicka (Skyrim), but doesn't make you immortal; you still take any damage you would normally take. These games also have a third cheat called "Immortal Mode", which is the inverse of Demigod Mode, in that you have infinite, instantly regenerating health, but every other aspect works normally, with the bonus effect of being able to acquire stats and skills that require health-reducing damage to achieve, which are prevented from working in God Mode.
  • Completing Eternal Darkness three times unlocks "Eternal Mode", which gives you infinite health, magick and ammo when you enable it in the game's resident Replay Mode. Sadly, it also grants infinite sanity, depriving you of one of the game's selling points.
  • In Everybody Edits, if the player has access to it, they can switch their character between regular mode and God Mode. God Mode acts mostly like noclip, letting the player fly and ignore any solid blocks placed in the world. It also causes immunity to death, infection, and teleportation.

  • The Sega Genesis game F-22 Super Raptor had an invincibility setting on the game's startup menu. It basically made the plane immune to any damage it took and prevented it from crashing.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Clicking R3 on the PS4 port will make your HP, MP and Limit Break gauges fill up at insane speed. However, this has no effect on instant kill attacks and status effects.
  • Final Fantasy IX gets this via the Pause menu in the PS4 port:
    • Clicking L1 enables "Battle assist": HP and MP refill, and all characters are put in Trance mode, which enables more powerful attacks.
    • Clicking L2 enables "9999": all attacks do 9999 damage.

  • God of War:
    • God of War subverts the trope by having "God Mode" as an unlockable once you beat the game - it's merely the hardest difficulty level.
    • God of War II ups the ante by having "God" difficulty available at the start with its hardest difficulty being unlockable under the moniker "Titan Mode."
    • In God of War III, it gets renamed once again, this time being called "Chaos Mode".
  • Enabling 'All Guns', 'Invincibility', 'Infinite Ammo', and, if you want, 'Invisibility' on GoldenEye allows you to become almost like Jesus, Rambo and your character James Bond in one. You then have the chance to smite the wicked who dare try to stop you with any weapon you damn well feel like. Granted, these cheats do have to be unlocked by performing timed stunts so incredible that you've already proved you don't need them at all.

  • Half-Life has a God Mode. Half-Life 2 adds in "Buddha Mode" just for good measure, which allows you to take damage but almost never lets your HP fall below 1, effectively making you immortal. It may eventually fail by taking damage too occasionally.
    • Funnily enough, this applies to Team Fortress 2 as well—Buddha mode, at least. While the basic God Mode appears to be cut out, Buddha mode is available on servers with cheats enabled. You can stand in front sentry guns and jump on sticky bombs all day long and get several Scouts' worth of blood shot out of you to no ill effect. Note, however, that you will be struck dead and either reduced to flying scraps of outfit and body parts or sent flying the moment you get nailed by a Critical Hit.
    • The conclusion of the Half-Life 2-based webcomic Concerned revealed that Gordon Frohman had been under the influence of the Buddha cheat from the beginning, thus handwaving his ability to survive massive injuries for the sake of comedy. He dies when he accidentally turns it off if you don't count the unofficial sequel Concerned 2: A Concerned Ripoff.

  • id Software almost always include a God Mode out of tradition.
    • In the Doom engine, God Mode (which is also the function of the Invulnerability Sphere, except that it tints your screen in silver as well as giving you the glowing God Mode eyes) only protects against 10,000 damage per shot. Anything above that and, well...
    • Without damage hacks, the only source of damage that can possibly do this is telefragging, and monsters usually cannot do this to a player. All bets are off on the last level of Doom 2, however. Additionally, one infamous puzzle near the end of TNT: Evilution has the player navigating a maze of pillars; take a wrong turn and you'll end up telefragging yourself.
    • The ZDoom port for the Doom engine games actually has the "Buddha Mode" cheat from Half-Life 2, mentioned below. Latest builds add in a "god2" and a corresponding "buddha2" cheat code that both prevents the player from dying no matter what, not even from telefrags.
    • Confusingly, the classic games always referred to God Mode as "Degreelessness Mode", which according to John Romero himself was an inside joke with the team at id Software. The code suffix "DQD" stood for Delta-Q-Delta, a fraternity one of the devs belonged to that would quit college classes they were failing, therefore getting a Q instead of an F grade. The term "degreelessness" is a nod to this in-joke (the gratuitous "—ness" suffix was part of id's in-house slang).
  • All of id's Quake engine games have a God Mode, including those which inherited it by licensing it, as Valve did with the first Half-Life. All Unreal engine games have the same God mode. In earlier games, this was simply left available to anyone who knew how to drop down the console; later games' cheats had to be enabled in a configuration .ini file. This has pretty much become standard FPS games on other game engines as well.

  • The original Jazz Jackrabbit had a cheat that set the temporary invincibility parameter to maximum, meaning it would eventually fail. There was also a cheat to invert this, making your enemies practically invincible.

  • Kingdom Hearts III: Re𝄌Mind has the EZ Codes, which make the game much easier. These include the ability to One-Hit Kill every enemy, regenerating health, mana, and focus, tripling strength and magic for allies and enemies, 0 AP for every ability, increasing the chances of getting team attacks, Attractions, and activating Rage Form, making Link Summons last longer, and automatically blocking.

  • Almost every LEGO Adaptation Game features Invincibility as a Red Brick powerup.

  • Manhunt gives you the code to access God Mode (total invincibility) in a very odd way. After beating the game on the highest difficulty, holding the right button (all four shoulder buttons on PS2, Y on Xbox, Space on PC) at the title screen causes a backwards voice clip to play. Reversing this clip gives you a strange rhyme, followed by a series of buttons (or letters on PC). Entering these buttons in reverse activates God Mode.
  • Mass Effect: After enabling the console, there are a number of cheat codes that let you obtain just about everything in the game. Money, XP, guns, armor, new abilities beyond those in your Class. Two codes give you a yellow set of armor with 8000 shields and 99% damage resists and a geth assault rife that has 25,000 damage per shot.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has an in-game cheat that unlocks The One mode, where Neo is really in God Mode and can't be killed.
  • Mega Man 3 is somewhat infamous for being able to use the second controller to God mode Mega Man in various ways. It seems this was used for playtesting and just never removed. Of course, when 3 gets added to collections, this trick is patched out.
  • The creative mode on Minecraft is sometimes referred to as "God Mode". You can fly and have access to the complete inventory including things you can't get in survival, like eggs that spawn mobs. In addition, the only way you can die is by falling into the void and even then, you can survive if you enable flying quickly enough.

  • NetHack has Explore Mode where you have the option of coming back to life every time you die and wizard mode, where you name your character wizard. It's Explore Mode combined with a Debug Room where you can wish for items, monsters, etc., teleport across floors, and even choose if you want to die or not.
  • Neverwinter Nights on single-player allows you to tell the DM to give you stuff. XP, items, gold, invincibility, etc. etc. etc. You can also open up the campaign modules in the toolset and insert hilariously broken items. Among the funniest abilities to abuse are spell name on hit for items and spell name on getting hit for armour, allowing you to have (among other things) a sword that summons a badger every time you hit someone with it.
    • Knights of the Old Republic has a similar system, but if you do so it points out that you cheated every time you load a game after having cheated in it.
  • In New Super Luigi U, Nabbit is functionally this. While he can't use powerups, he is completely immune to all damage that doesn't immediately kill you (Bottomless Pits, lava, being crushed, and running out of time), plus the odd Invincible Minor Minion that knock him back. He can be played in single-player by holding down the ZL button (B on a classic Wii remote).
    • In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World, dying five times on a level you haven't completed yet (or one you have in NSMB2's case) nets you an "Invincibility Leaf" which gives you the White Raccoon/Tanooki suit, or White Fox for Luigi. It's basically a cross between the regular Raccoon/Tanooki/Fox suit and a Starman with no time limit.

  • Ōkami has an item you can obtain at the beginning of the New Game Plus, assuming you collected all 100 Stray Beads in the previous playthrough, that grants Amaterasu invincibility, infinite ink, and attack power that is increased tenfold when equipped. This can make the New Game Plus a literal God Mode.
    • Rather appropriate, as Amaterasu is a goddess.
  • Rise of the Triad takes the concept quite literally. The pickup called "God Mode" makes you slightly taller and allows you to smite enemies in one shot as well as making you invulnerable. You also make bellowing 'Godlike' yawns that get annoying very quickly (based on the noises John Romero would constantly make while fooling around with Doom's God Mode). The game also contains a more traditional God Mode cheat code.
    • ROTT also features a "Dog Mode" power up which makes you shorter, hairier and quadrupedal, with a chargeable bark attack that can disintegrate every enemy on screen. You are also invincible, once again. Effectively, it's even better than God Mode, as your small size grants access to secret areas in some maps.
  • RuneScape's first ever grandmaster ranked quest allows the player to access a literal God Mode after touching the Stone of Jas, an item which is said to have created and/or boosted the power of many of the games current deities.

  • In The Sims series, you can use money cheats to make yourself filthy rich. The first game had no aging, so you could pretty much do whatever you wanted, the second game had an aging off cheat, and the 3rd game even has it under options. Thus you could create a person who lives forever and has unlimited money.
  • Slam Scape has a very easy cheat that made you completely invincible to absolutely everything in the game from explosions to being squished in a pneumatic press. It actually made the game a lot funner because of the way you could bounce around and use mines to Rocket Jump, and was pretty much the only way you'd be able to play a level for more than 30 seconds anyways.
  • Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos had one, in that once your character finds all the pieces of the magic staff, his magic spells have unlimited uses, and the invincibility spell is permanently active.
  • Super Sonic, a plot-based 11th-Hour Superpower in later games, has always led to the true ending of any game it's in, but in Sonic 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, once earned, it is a legitimate God Mode, with Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles and Super Tails taking it further.
    • You can still die from getting crushed, falling into bottomless pits, drowning, and sadistic pits that are too deep for you to jump out of.
    • It's returned to being playable in levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
    • Sonic Colors lets you play as Super Sonic in levels too, and even gives you an automatic S-rank for that level if you do so. Sonic Generations also has unlockable Super forms for both Classic and Modern Sonic that are also usable in the levels.
  • Star Trek: Elite Force II had a neat side effect to including unlimited ammo when activated, and it's not unlimited on reserve ammo, it's unlimited on magazines as well, this actually causes an odd animation bug with the phaser sniper rifle, which it was supposed to blend with a reload animation since it had one shot per magazine.

  • TRON 2.0 and TRON: Evolution have "User Mode." The first is accessible via a Game Mod, and grants unlimited energy and access to all upgrades and weapons. The second just grants immunity to all damage. The name is, of course, a reference to just how powerful digitized humans are in the setting.
  • Tunic: In the accessibility menu, you will find "No Fail Mode." Setting this to On will stop your little fox from taking damage. It can still suffer from status effects like freezing.

  • The Warcraft games, as well as StarCraft, all have this as a cheat code. The Warcraft games also let you deal overwhelming damage that will typically kill enemies in one shot with it activated. Warcraft III and StarCraft disable this in multiplayer, for obvious reasons. In StarCraft's case, it's not pure invulnerability. Instead, enemies' weapon damage is reduced to zero. There are still several ways in which your units can be killed, though.
    • Warcraft II and StarCraft both have flaws in their god mode codes. In Warcraft II, the code works by giving your units incredibly high armor values; however, magical damage bypasses armor, so units like Death Knights remain a threat. In StarCraft, not only do instant-kill attacks still work on your units, but because units not under your control can't do damage, certain in-game cutscenes will essentially freeze (as the game is waiting for a unit to be sufficiently damaged before continuing) and any map where enemy units are fighting each other will wind up with a huge glut of enemy units uselessly fighting and almost nothing left to go your way.
    • Starcraft II lets you use cheat codes in single player, but doing so disables achievements.

  • Various games that use noclip. With noclipping, you can go through any object and person since they just go through you and any attack also goes through you. Because of this, you're pretty much invincible.

    Non-Video Game Examples 

  • In Caprica, the AI copies of Zoe and Tamara get God Mode abilities in the MMORPG cum Wide-Open Sandbox game New Cap City, because as genuine AIs with no physical bodies they don't get expelled from the game when they die but glitch and respawn. Eventually, they just become straight-up Reality Warpers.

  • Destroy the Godmodder is a forum game based completely off of this trope, with the posters attempting to kill aforementioned Godmodder being the entirety of the game.
    • Curiously enough, there is a Godmoder, a misspelling of the Godmodder that exists as a distinct character. He is actually invincible, unlike the Godmodder, but he leaves everyone alone for the most part, unless a player misspells their attack against the Godmodder and attacks the Godmoder instead.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, some blesses angels can Manifest, which results in their aura working like Holy Hand Grenade and makes them Nigh Invulnerable and perfectly aware of everything surrounding them, which usually results in angel in question moping floor with their enemies. Thankfully for said enemies, it doesn't happen often.

  • Magic: The Gathering
  • In Marvel Comics, there is the Enigma Force , which transforms whichever random schmuck it enters into the all-powerful Captain Universe until a certain crisis is averted. Captain Universe is a completely invulnerable Reality Warper and Flyingbrick, every bit the "no-one" in no-one can stop the Juggernaut. When Spider-Man wielded these powers, he effortlessly defeated various foes that are normally a massive uphill fight for the Wall-Crawler, such as Magneto, the Hulk, and Doctor Doom.

  • In The Peripheral, Detective Inspector Ainsley Lowbeer, also known as "The Adjudicator", is the sole remaining law-enforcement authority in a post-post-apocalyptic version of London which is ruled by a bunch of perpetually scheming rich assholes known as "the klept". The klept recognised that without her to keep them in line they'd all end up killing each other off, and begrudgingly grant her a truly staggering amount of power via London's super-advanced technology. As a result Lowbeer is closer to a deity than any ordinary human being, being functionally immortal, able to create or destroy anything using assemblers, near-omniscient thanks to semi-sentient surveillance programs known as the "Aunties", and able to call down microscopic, explosive Attack Drones á la a technological Bolt of Divine Retribution. Oddly enough, it's quite easy to argue that she, and not the klept, is the true ruler of London.

  • In Person of Interest, Team Machine refers to any individual that has one of the near-omniscient A.I.s whispering in their ear and guiding their actions as being in 'god mode'. (It also serves as the title of an episode.) Among other things, this confers Improbable Aiming Skills, with the AI in question triangulating targets and feeding firing instructions to the individual. Usually results in a Curb-Stomp Battle.

  • Superusers like Anorak (James Halliday) and Og (Ogden Morrow) in Ready Player One are game avatars that possess god-like power within the OASIS. They are able to destroy any avatar in an instant, resurrect fallen avatars, enter chat rooms uninvited, are nigh invincible and possess many other impossible-to-achieve abilities. After Wade Watts/Parzival successfully clears the third gate, he gains both Halliday's vast fortune as well as Anorak’s superuser status, his avatar gaining Anorak's cloak and access to a button that could permanently shut down the OASIS if he so chooses.

  • Roman Reigns has a t-shirt that combines this trope with Fun with Acronyms, the "God" in "God Mode" standing for "Greatness On a Different Level".

Alternative Title(s): God Moders