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Incredibly Durable Enemies

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"The enemies are too strong, which is fine, but it's annoying when every single thing you try to blow up takes so much gunfire. Even when you're in the present time, there's no bad guys that die with one shot. And I understand when you're shooting the Terminators; they're made of metal, but these are human beings."

In some games, it takes an absurd amount of firepower to take down a basic enemy, whether due to monsters simply having massive numbers of Hit Points, weapons being PVP Balanced, or a combination of both. (Though maybe it's only when the game's difficulty is cranked up to "Make It Hurt!", in which case you kinda asked for it.) Rats take multiple pistol rounds, Humanoid Aliens take repeated shotgun blasts to the face, and even with a rocket launcher, there are still some guys that are going to go through a Death of a Thousand Cuts. This concept can apply to magic and melee weapons as well.

These opponents aren't Goddamned Bats, much less Demonic Spiders: the monsters aren't Made of Iron (or at least they aren't supposed to be), and if they were Boss-level opponents, there might be some excuse. But no, these are just the average, every day, run-of-the-mill Mooks. And it takes an entire arsenal to put them down.

If this is combined with your character being a One-Hit-Point Wonder, just put down the controller and walk away...

Related to Kung Fu-Proof Mook. Compare Invincible Minor Minion for when they're outright invincible to your attacks. If everyone is durable, see Padded Sumo Gameplay. The boss version is the Damage-Sponge Boss.


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    Action Adventure 
  • All of the enemies in Ride to Hell: Retribution can take a ridiculous amount of firepower before dying. Headshots are still an instant kill, but the game's janky aiming system makes scoring one much harder than it ought to be. To make matters worse, some enemies have hockey masks that can't be knocked off no matter how many bullets you pour into them, basically forcing you to fight them hand-to-hand unless you want to run out of ammo.

    Action RPG 
  • Some enemies in Dark Souls are faintly ridiculous. In particular, the Harald Knights in the Ringed City DLC for Dark Souls III can take a boatload of punishment before they fall down.
  • Quite a number of mooks in Dungeon of the Endless have a lot of health, especially the elite variants fought on later floors. Also justified — you're supposed to use your turrets and modules to soften them up for your heroes to kill.

    Beat 'Em Up 

    Fighting Game 
  • The opponents in the Cruel Melee version of the Super Smash Bros. series' Multi-Mook Melee. Usually the only way to defeat them is to abuse A.I. Breaker tactics, as actually getting them to a high enough damage to hit them out of bounds is extremely difficult.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Bioshock 1 significantly ups the health capacity of all enemy types once you get to Arcadia. The basic Leadhead Splicer, which up to that point could be dispatched with a single headshot from the pistol, now takes four headshots to bring down unless you use antipersonnel ammo.
  • The PS2/Xbox FPS Black had enemies that took so many rounds to kill that learning to headshot was mandatory on the easiest setting. Perhaps this is the reason all your guns hold ridiculous amounts of bullets.
  • In Borderlands 2, pretty much all of your enemies become enormous bullet sponges once you enter the True Vault Hunter and Ultimate Vault Hunter Modes. For instance, a Hyperion Surveyor, a small flying Mook Medic that doubles as a generic Attack Drone, can be taken down with a few shots from a pistol by a player of the same level in Normal Mode. In True Vault Hunter and Ultimate Vault Hunter Modes, a Surveyor can take as many as five consecutive hits from a sniper rifle to bring down, even by players that outlevel it.
  • The Juggernauts from the Call of Duty franchise embody this trope. In a game where a few shots is enough to take down the typical enemy these guys require a ridiculous amount ammo to be poured into them before keeling over. According to the Call of Duty wiki in Modern Warfare 2 killing them requires "almost 80 rounds of assault rifle fire, at least five Intervention sniper rifle torso shots, around 14 shotgun blasts, or five-six direct hits from a M203 40mm grenade launcher to kill."
  • Some of the guards in the later levels in Goldeneye 1997 and in its spiritual sequel Perfect Dark usually carry some sort of body armor or have more health than usual. Then there's the unlockable 007 and Perfect Dark difficulty levels by adjusting the enemy health modifier. The default value is 100%, but it can be set to 1000%.
  • When Halo is set on legendary, Elites and Brutes can take an unholy amount of damage before their shields burst, and almost as much again to kill them unless you go for the head with a suitable weapon. It is possible to run through dual-wielded SMG clips even when they are fully on target against a red Elite, not even an Elite Mook, and still have them survive a follow-up melee attack. And even those pale in comparison with Halo 4's version of Promethean Knights, which even when unshielded can survive multiple headshots.
  • The worker/construction infected in Left 4 Dead 2 attack no differently from common infected, but their safety vests and hardhats act as armor, which makes them a bit more difficult to take down with bullets. Fire and explosions can kill them instantly.
  • Likewise, in the more recent Terminator: Resistance, T-800 Terminators are outright immune to damage from conventional bullet-firing guns, and even a shotgun at close range does very little besides stun them for a time. That leaves you with explosives and stealth until you can get a phased plasma rifle which is able to hurt them, and even then expect to empty an entire mag into a T-800 to bring it down.
  • Unreal: The enemies in Na Pali are at the very least reasonably tough. Mantas and Horseflies, some of the weakest nuisances in the game, will take at least 5 Dispersion Pistol or Automag shots to die, or one Eightball rocket. The weakest Skaarj takes almost 15 Automag bullets before it goes down. The Titan, Warlord, and Queen can all take more Eightball rockets than Prisoner 849 can carry (though they have a 30% resistance to explosives). Even the Sniper Rifle, powerful as it is, can't one-shot anything beyond a Pupae. The only attack that reliably kills up to mid-tier enemies is a fully Charged Attack with the GES Bio-Rifle. Fortunately, most weapons fire decently fast and ammo is everywhere.

    Hack and Slash 
  • When you crank up the difficulty in the Devil May Cry games, this trope is in full effect. In most of the games in the series, it's done to an acceptable degree and the worst of it can be avoided with skillful playing, but 3 makes fighting most of the enemies in their Super Mode mandatory and strategically attempting to avoid what triggers them to transform (number of enemies killed, ie. weakening all the enemies next to no health before killing off any of them so you can finish them off quicker when they do transform) only helps to fix the situation to a very minor degree, causing the game to crossover from legitimately challenging to this trope in its worst form.
  • Diablo II: Unless you have nice equipment, don't expect enemies to drop from a single cast of Meteor, Armageddon, or Fist of the Heavens.

    Light Gun Game 

    Mecha Game 
  • It varies based on where in the series it takes place, but in the course of the MechWarrior series you'll end up fighting a lot of enemies, sometimes of a vehicular nature (especially in 3 and 4), but most often you'll end up facing enemy 'Mechs. Even the smallest ones seem to be uncannily tough, with even spindly lightweights like the Owens or Osiris taking quite a while to bring down by the time the 4th installment comes around.

  • The Division had this in spades when it first launched. It was a massive point of criticism before the enemies got a time-to-kill adjustment. It still applies to some difficulties, such as Heroic, where every single enemy becomes an Elite Mook.
  • A lot of MMORPGs fall into this, but none are half so bad as Dungeons & Dragons Online. At the early levels, you're trained to think that bad guys will die after 3-5 hits. At the highest levels, it's a whole different mess. Without the best and rarest equipment, it can take 15 to 30 hits WITH the best and rarest equipment just to take a minion down. The harder ones have over 9,000 HP. Literally.
  • In EVE Online Incursions, all the enemies have their own unique fleet roles. "Ostingele Tectum" battleships fill this role, being able to survive an entire player fleet whaling on them for about as long as it takes a single player to kill an ordinary non-Incursion NPC battleship, and noticeably much longer than other Incursion enemies.
  • EverQuest: The third expansion, Shadows of Luclin, was notorious for featuring enemies with ridiculous pools of HP even by the game’s standards - especially in its endgame raid zone, Vex Thal, where raids were known to take upwards of eight hours to complete!
  • Certain quests in Final Fantasy XIV will have specific enemies you have to defeat or subdue, but their HP will be absurdly high unless you use the provided quest item that lowers their HP and attack power.
  • RuneScape has the experiments and crab variants of enemies, all of whom have incredibly high HP for their levels. Though it's subverted in that they have nearly zero offensive or other defensive stats, meaning that while they'll take a lot of punishment, they'll also constantly be taking damage and inflicting none back. This makes them ideal for training, as you gain 4 experience per point of damage dealt in the style you’re using, on top of a base 1.33 in Hitpoints no matter the style. The crabs are also aggressive, making them perfect for anyone in the low-to-mid power range who wants to level their stats without paying attention.

  • Bug!! has this in later levels. Most of the Mooks in the first two levels take around 1-2 hits to be killed (two of them take five, one's a rarely-seen Demonic Spider and the other is a Helpful Mook). Then you get to the next four levels, where almost all the regular Mooks take at least three hits to kill.
  • Ghost Battle, a Platform Game for the Amiga, has basic enemies that take over a dozen shots to kill.
  • Super Paper Mario: Muths have 100 HP, in a game where most enemies only have health in the single-digits and bosses tend to be in the low double-digits. Their relatives, Mega Muths and Dark Muths, have even more health.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the hardest difficulty has crabs and rats that can easily finish your character off. When the rats can kill you off with little difficulty, you know you're playing a hard game. Minmaxing is the key to success here. Normally though, rats go down in a few hits. The game seems to go up a few magnitudes in difficulty on the hardest setting.
  • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard: The Fafnir Knight remake massively inflates everything's HP to offset the absurd damage the MC of story mode — the titular Fafnir Knight — deals while he's transformed. This ultimately causes a few issues: first, transformation needs a full Limit Break bar to initiate, meaning it's not a matter of keeping his MP high and can only be used every so often instead of constantly. Second, none of the other classes can keep up with him at all outside of Picnic difficulty, making most battles a slog in story mode, or all battles in classic mode.
  • Fallout 3:
    • A normal human enemy can be expected to survive two or three head shots from a submachine gun without flinching. However, stronger weapons can subvert this — getting in close with a Combat Shotgun and landing a headshot usually causes Ludicrous Gibs. Any good headshot on a normal Ghoul, meanwhile, will usually be enough to bring them down. Super Mutants and Deathclaws are justified cases; the former were specifically designed to be superhumanly resilient, and the latter are the apex predators of the Wasteland.
    • The DLC Point Lookout and Broken Steel added several new and stronger enemies to the game to add extra challenge. Point Lookout has the Swampfolk, inbred mutants who worship Ug-Qualtoth, Point Lookout Tribals, mostly comprised children of said inbred mutants who "lack the marks", and the Feral Ghoul Reavers who can launch chunks of their bodies like grenades and see you even when you use Stealth Boys or the Chinese Stealth Suit. Broken Steel adds Super Mutant Overlords, gigantic mutants that are on their way to becoming Behemoths and nearly always have the Tri-Beam Laser Rifle, Enclave Hellfire Troops, the Elite Mooks of the Enclave equipped with Heavy Incinerators, and Albino Radscorpions that can take as much as they can deal and heal in sunlight. The Swampfolk, Tribals, and Overlords are even harder to kill because their weapons deal additional damage to the player when they and only they use them.
  • The enemies in Legend of Legaia generally have HP stats around 75-80% of the player characters' HP, and Health/Damage Asymmetry is not in effect. Often, normal enemies can survive a character's Limit Break, which can generally be used only every few turns, and take 2-3 rounds to defeat using weaker combos. Mooks lost a lot of staying power in Duel Saga, however.

    Shoot 'Em Up 

    Survival Horror 
  • Zombies in the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 are blatant bullet sponges, capable of taking over a dozen or more pistol headshots before they decide to stay down permanently. Not helping is the game's Adaptive Difficulty system, which steadily penalizes the player's damage inflicted if the game feels the player is doing too well.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Gears of War: The basic Locust will tear you apart if you're not in cover. (And even IF you're in cover. You might run out of damn ammo.) It takes almost a full magazine of assault rifle fire to kill just one of these guys. On Insane, you had to shoot enemies in the head in order to avoid running out of ammunition entirely. This became much less the case with time as the developers admitted the incredibly tough enemies in the first game was a mistake. In Gear of War 1, fighting without using the cover system, even if you were just walking behind the pillar to avoid fire, was suicidal even on the lowest difficulty. By the time Gears of War 3 came around, on normal mode, you had a good chance of survival even if you made liberal usage of bayonet charges.
  • Max Payne: Some plot-significant enemies take several point-blank shots to drop. The first example makes some sort of sense, as when you fight Jack Lupino he's tripping balls on Valkyr, but the others have no such excuse.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Enemies in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade's Hard difficulty are famous in the fanbase for being sturdier than in most other games, usually requiring at least three hits to bring down and being fast enough that most characters aren't doubling them. The cavaliers in Chapter 4 in particular are tough enough that even Marcus, the game's Crutch Character, fails to double and often falls short of being able to kill them in two hits with his best weapon. Later on in the game, a Weapon of X-Slaying or a crit from a Killer weapon is almost required to bring down some enemy types in any kind of timely fashion. Notably, the next games to majorly upgrade enemy stats on Hard Mode (the DS entries) disabled defensive gains for enemies barring HP, ensuring that just about anyone could at least do damage to them.
  • Enemies on Maddening mode in Fire Emblem: Three Houses not only have heavily inflated HP and Defense stats, they have so much Speed that very few allies are capable of doubling consistently. This mode relies heavily on Combat Arts that grant automatic double attacks or damage-boosting effects, as enemies take far too long to kill otherwise.
  • Some of the Mooks, and not just the elite kind, in the later stages of Jagged Alliance 2, can stand up to truly ridiculous amounts of punishment. Centre-mass shots with a .308 sniper rifle, headshots with a shotgun firing slug, even a 40mm grenade landing by their feet make no difference; they'll be back up and probably at least partially combat-effective by the next turn. And, of course, you can never get quite such good results when you equip your mercs with identical body armour.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Dungeons and Dragons itself does this, but only to the players and not to nearly the same extent. In fact, it's kind of infamous for the exact opposite trope, though largely due to being tagged with a status effect effectively being instant death.


Video Example(s):


Chipped Mobs

Chipped Mobs' defenses increase tenfold, able to tank multiple blows from the Order's extremely strong enchanted swords.

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