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Instakill Mook

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Palutena: Uh-oh, there's an Orne around you, Pit.
Pit: Are you talking about the floating skull?
Palutena: Yes, the slightest touch from one of those will annihilate you.
Pit: That sounds painful. Not to mention totally unfair!

In Video Games, The Big Bad will deploy many different kinds of Mooks across the land to stop The Hero. Flying mooks, underwater mooks, clobbering mooks, advanced mooks, etc. Usually though, the player can afford a couple of mistakes when fighting them. Getting hit just a few times won't often cause a Critical Existence Failure...

...which is why these enemies are particularly shocking.

Instakill Mooks are mooks that can knock the Player Character from full health to 0 in just one blow. Unlike with other mooks, the player can't afford any mistakes. This means the game can go from "doing very well" to "restarting the level" in just a few seconds. For that reason, these enemies are almost always feared by players. Even the Stone Wall crumbles by the wayside against them.

There are three types of Instakill Mook. The first simply deals more damage than a full HP character can take. Smash Mooks can be this to less durable characters.

The second is when an enemy simply instakills no matter how much HP the playable characters have. These will not show damage counters even in games that have them. If they do, it is likely an infinity or a skull symbol, or the phrase "dead" or "killed" will show up.

The third is when there is a One-Hit Kill technique common throughout the game that is known by many different enemies. These enemies and techniques are usually either incredibly holy or dangerously evil. Either way, the technique is often strictly forbidden. Scientific methods of insta-killing are also possible, such as massive lasers and Disintegrator Rays.

When an enemy can one-shot the player simply because of being a higher level, it does not count for this trope. The enemy must be able to end a character of the same level in one blow. Taking on vastly higher-leveled enemies is either a Self-Imposed Challenge, getting completely lost on the map, or just being stupid. Everyone knows that the level 1 character cannot fight the level 30 mooks; everything will instakill it.

When every enemy is this, the player character is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.

Subtrope of One-Hit Kill. Enemies like these are almost always Demonic Spiders. May or may not involve the use of a Suicide Attack, or swallowing the player whole. A fairly common form of Border Patrol. Compare Ledge Bats, which don't instakill by themselves, but rather by making you fall onto Bottomless Pits. Contrast Invincible Minor Minion, the mook that you just can't kill (though the same enemy could very well be both).


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    Action RPG 
  • Avencast: Rise of the Mage: The labyrinth beneath the Avencast Wizarding School is patrolled by Magitek drones, whose Wave-Motion Gun instantly kills the Player Character. Fortunately, they're Glass Cannons and the deadly attack takes a second to charge up.
  • Fallout series:
    • Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road's Deathclaws, like most DLC enemies, level scale with the player, so they are effectively guaranteed to one-shot them no matter their experience or armor level.
    • In Fallout 4, Deathclaws have a new instant-kill Neck Snap move, which Power Armor protects against, while an Assaultron's Wave-Motion Gun will immediately reduce the Sole Survivor to ashes even if they are in Power Armor. Additionally, Deathclaws can also stab you in the gut if they grab you, but they seem to only be willing to do it if your HP is low enough.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 3: Each Faction (except the geth) has at least one enemy able to perform a "Sync Kill"—an unblockable melee ability that leads a dead player that's unable to be revived. The Reapers possess both Brutes and Banshees, Cerberus possesses Phantoms and Atlases, and the Collectors possess Praetorians (Possessed Abominations can also One-Hit KO the player by exploding upon death, but this can be revived). The only playable character immune to Sync Kills is the Geth Juggernaut.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Sync Kills return in this game, with characters such as the Kett Ascendants and Fiends, or the Outlaw Hydra, able to perform them. The Remnant Faction lack this mechanic like the geth before them, but a Destroyer can produce a post-mortem explosion than can one-shot any player unfortunate enough to be in the area.
  • Monster Hunter Frontier has the Egyurasu, the flunkies of Guanzorumu that can pick up Hunters and throw them off the arena for an instant kill.

    Action Adventure 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Lynels become this in Hero Mode, as they now deal twelve whole hearts worth of damage per hit. The max is twenty, and that's with 100% Completion. By the time you actually meet the Lynels, you'll still be well under ten hearts, and even if you do upgrade your tunic to the Blue Mail beforehand, six hearts is still a pretty big chunk of your health.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Enemies in the Yiga Clan Hideout will kill Link in a single hit no matter how much health and armor he has. They also bypass faeries, Mipha's Grace, and the game's usual Anti-Frustration Feature that prevents Link from being killed in one hit if he's at full health even if the attack deals more damage than his maximum HP. This is because the segment is intended to be a Stealth-Based Mission -the enemies kill you instantly to encourage sneaking around them rather than trying to fight. However, it is possible to complete the hideout without stealth if the player is skilled and careful enough - Players have simply charged in and killed every single enemy inside.
  • One of the enemies in Carrion is an indestructible claw-like bomb that attaches to the Villain Protagonist monster and explodes, instantly taking it down no matter how much biomass it has. To survive it, the monster has to use the Keratosis power to temporarily grow a hardened outer shell which will No-Sell the explosion.
  • Three of Tomb Raider III's bosses have instant-death attacks. The Final Boss's attack is also undodgeable, meaning you're hosed if he uses it. The fireballs hurled by the Guardians on the penultimate level are likewise a death sentence if they contact Lara.
  • Quest for Glory II has the giant scorpions all around the desert, who can use their instant-kill poison stinger on you, causing a game over. You can sometimes use the Poison Cure pills to prevent this. Sometimes.
  • In Steve Crow's ZX Spectrum games Wizard's Lair and Starquake most enemies drain health, but some will cause the player to lose a life. In the former game, the dangerous mooks are the 'knight' and 'executioner'; in the latter they're mobile mines which resemble spinning tops.
  • Dave the Diver: The Gadon are mutant merfolk who are completely immune to Dave's weaponry, and if they catch Dave it's an immediate Game Over — there's no Smashing Survival unlike being caught by sea creatures. Dave needs to either hide from them, run from them, or blind them with light then run from them.

    Beat 'em up 
  • Dragon's Crown has one in the form of the Killer Rabbit, if you get hit by the rabbit's attack while it Turns Red, it deals damage equal to the player's maximum HP bar. And to emphasize this, an x-ray of a cracked skull appears over your character. So, the only means to survive this is by NOT getting touched by it (or if your HP is above the maximum).
  • The fourth stage of Renegade (or Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun) has either Mafia or Yakuza members with knives. Unlike the flunkies on the other three stages, one hit by them and YOU ARE DEAD. Their attacks are slow and predictable, however.

    First Person Shooter 
  • In just about every FPS where enemies can wield a rocket launcher, a direct hit turns the player into Ludicrous Gibs. Even in games where this isn't true, rockets do more damage to the player than most other enemy weapons in a given game, and can only be survived if one has max health and armor.
  • Deep Rock Galactic:
    • Detonators. On high difficulties, one ugly, glowing bug is enough to utterly trash your shield and health bar to nothing. They're at their most dangerous if you're stuck in a dead end. Did we mention they love to commit group suicides?
    • Bulk Detonators are rare but deadly enemies which use a telegraphed hellfire stomp that explodes an area around them, downing a Dwarf in one hit on higher Hazard Levels. Upon death, Bulk Detonators explode in a massive radius (and expel a meteor swarm) for ludicrous damage, which will one-shot a Dwarf and almost any other thing — not even a Dreadnought at full health will survive!
  • In Doom II, if the Icon of Sin spawns an enemy on top of the player, it will instantly kill them via Tele-Frag, even if God Mode is enabled.
  • On Far Cry's Realistic setting, most enemies can OHK Jack with a headshot regardless of his armor level, and snipers are guaranteed to do this once they spot him.
  • OMEN-XR-wielding thugs in the last level of Goldeneye Rogue Agent. Named mooks wielding them also have Electromagnetic Shields. It is possible to break through their shields with enough firepower, but getting rid of them is almost impossible. Almost. Thankfully, there are only about one or two of them on each floor. (And sometimes the cowards get a couple of guys with Venom guns for extra support...)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved has Stealth Elites with Energy Swords, which kill in one hit (and in that game, it can't be used by the player, unlike the sequels, where it's just as lethal). In Halo 2s Legendary difficulty, the Sniper Jackals kill you instantly no matter where they hit if they successfully hit you, which is most of the time.
  • In Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, the Witch will instantly incapacitate you if she lands a hit on you and will tear you to shreds in seconds unless your team can kill her quickly. On Expert difficulty, the Tank will also incapacitate you in one hit, while the Witch will outright kill you instead of knocking you down no matter how much health you have.
  • In the Modern Warfare series, if a guard dog pounces on you, it will perform a killing bite to the throat that can only be countered with a precise melee attack.
  • In PAYDAY 2, Cloakers unleash a powerful flying kick that insta-downs your character. In addition, they are fast and sneaky, so by the time you notice them it is often too late.
  • In the first Red Faction game, you start fighting the Mercs about 2/3rds of the way into the game. Merc Commanders are often equipped with rail drivers that kill you in one shot.
  • In Soldier of Fortune, a single charged shot from the Microwave Pulse Gun will instagib Mullins. Fortunately, enemies who wield the weapon are extremely rare.
  • Quake IV:
    • The game downplays this with the armor system, even on Harder Than Hard. Still, the hardest difficulty setting makes all enemy attacks devastating plus health & armor is scarce in later levels, making hits a major blow to the player.
    • The Tactical Strogg may carry a Railgun and if you have insufficient armor, a hit from it is a guaranteed death. Mercifully, enough armor points will save you from dying so it pays to keep your health and armor fully charged.

  • The East New World:
    • You want to kill the flying skulls of the Scorched Purgatory before they blow up and take you with them. You can't survive the explosion.
    • In the Mirror Labyrinth, there are mirror clones of yourself who presumably have stats proportional to yours. Due to Buta being a Glass Cannon most of the time, these clones will always kill you in one hit. They also attack faster than you and will always win in close combat. They are only fair because you can avoid triggering them and because they are incredibly vulnerable to magic, which only you can cast.
    • The Fire Dragon has a focused breath attack that will instantly kill you if it connects.
  • Multiple in the Super Mario Bros. series.
    • Throughout the series, there are giant fish enemies called Boss Bass or Cheep Chomps. These enemies will snatch Mario right off whatever he's standing on and eat him in one gulp, even in the New Super Mario Bros. series, where every other enemy just knocks off his powerup.
    • The Yoshi's Island series has the Lunge Fish, who behaves similarly to Boss Bass/Cheep Chomp, and Hot Lips, who spits deadly lava at Yoshi. Boss Bass also appears in Yoshi's Island DS.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, crushing damage is instantly fatal even though everything else takes three hits to kill. This means that the golem-like Thwomps, Whomps and Rhomps play this role.
    • Pouncers can one-shot Wario in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, regardless of powerup state. Even if you merely bumped into its sides. This is because the sides and bottom are spiked, and spikes are an instant kill to Wario.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3: Lethal Ghosts only appear on the co-op mode Scarescraper and have red and black coloration. All types of ghosts have Lethal variants, and they one-shot Luigi (though he can be revived by another player quite easily).
  • In Cave Story, there is an enemy that appears early in the game called a Basil. It moves incredibly fast, is indestructible, and deals 100 damage, which is far more damage than you can have health in the game.
  • The Smurfs (1994) had the Bzz flies and Black Smurfs, whose sting/bite instantly turned you into a Black Smurf.
  • Mega Man 5 had the drill enemies in Napalm Man's level. They advance towards Mega Man, and touching them would destroy Mega Man instantly regardless of health, just as if he had landed on the Spikes of Doom.
  • In Mickey Mousecapade, contact with any Giant Mook, Mini-Boss, or boss is immediately fatal.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, the Guardian Stones in and near Mount Horu periodically project sweeping laser beams that will instantly frizzle the titular protagonist if they connect. The sequel nerfed them so that the lasers are no longer instakill by themselves, though they tend to lurk around other lethal hazards.
  • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, the Robosharks in Aquaria Towers will pursue Spyro on sight and swallow him in one gulp, killing him instantly even if he has the protection of Sparx. In fact, they are hard-coded so that once they see Spyro, they will follow him anywhere, even outside of water, with no escape whatsoever. Not helped by the fact that they can only be killed by the super flames.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer: Commandos can do this to buildings, infantry, and even vehicles in some games. Generally, no building can survive a commando bomb, and the only infantry who stand a chance are usually snipers, and other commandos. The Chrono Commando can take this up a notch, thanks to short-range Teleport Spam enabling destruction of multiple buildings in seconds on top of the ability to One-Hit Kill infantry.
  • Pikmin :
    • Electricity can kill the eponymous Pikmin instantly, so any enemy attack based on this element is lethal. Same with bombs and any other explosive attack. Good thing Yellow Pikmin can use bombs in the first game and resist electricity in the second. Also, in the third, electricity is nerfed so that it can only stun non-yellow Pikmin.
    • Pikmin 2: During the later fights with the Empress Bulblax, there's her offspring, the Bulborb Larvae. They die in one hit even from a captain, but also kill Pikmin in one hit, as well as deal a good chunk of damage to the captains, and they do it fast. Given how the Empress Bulblax also constantly gives birth to the little buggers, they can become deadly if left unchecked, so having one captain on Larva cleanup duty while the other uses Pikmin to attack the boss herself is not a bad idea.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Shin Megami Tensei has several One-Hit Kill spells that are used by regular enemies:
    • Hama (Expel), Mudo (Death) and their variants. Any mook can have them as soon as you start the game, and yes, they are very effective. Hama is usually owned by Divine (read "Angel") type enemies, while Mudo belongs to ghosts, hell-themed demons etc. However, Hama gets Nerfed in a few games to being a Percent Damage Attack. Furthermore, several later games grant humans (including the Player Character) a natural immunity to Hama spells, although equipping certain pieces of gear can remove that immunity.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, both Hama and Mudo spells are nerfed in a different way: now they do regular damage like other elements, and can only instant kill if the user is Smirking, however as Smirk is gained by getting Critical Hits and weakness exploits, a Hama- or Mudo-spamming enemy can go from "kinda annoying" to Game Over in a few turns if they are able to capitalize early on your party's weaknesses.
    • Any enemy that can deal the "Stone" status. If anyone inflicted with it is hit by a physical, Earth or Force attack, they die. In some games, if the hero is petrified, the game ends instantly even if you had demons who could heal him.
    • Many - usually late game - enemies have the following pattern: a skill that inflicts a status effect, and a second skill that kills anyone who has it. For example, in the Digital Devil Saga games, Death attacks insta-down anything under the Cursed effect.
    • Persona, on top of all the Hamas and Mudos has Deathtika - usually owned by toilet-inhabiting ghosts - and Hell Eyes (owned by somewhat freackish enemies). Then there's "Self-Destruct", the Mutual Kill spell.
    • In Persona 2, most human enemies come with the skill "Sharpshoot/Aimed Shot", which deals gun-based instant kills. Other examples include "Pressure Point/Needle", "Omega Cluster" (used by late-game mooks), "Bright Judgement" and "Dark Verdict" (also by late-game mooks). Finally, a rare few enemies have "Omni Dimension".
  • Miitopia:
    • Fiends are deadly enemies with scythes. They have two attacks, either a physical attack that deals only 1 damage, or a magical attack that deals 999; far more than any Mii character can survive. Terror Fiends are similar only they have more health. 666 to be exact.
    • Scorpions, shown in the picture above, are a straighter case. If they sting you, it's an outright One-Hit KO.
  • In LISA: The Painful, most Joy Mutants (with the exception of Doctor) have either Neck Break, Fatal Chomp, or both. These attacks permanently kill your party members in one hit, so extra caution is advised when fighting them.
  • Final Fantasy
    • There is one enemy called 'Sorcerer' (named 'Mind Flayer' in the remakes) whose physical attacks inflicted only Scratch Damage but with a side effect of instant KO — pray they don't get to strike first when you encounter a group of 5.
    • The recurring Tonberry enemy has the signature Karma attack. This one attack deals damage based on how many enemies you've slain over the course of your journey. Given that the heroes are bound to have slain hundreds if not thousands of enemies over the course of the game, there is little hope of surviving an attack from a Tonberry. It will always use this attack in response to being attacked, so if you're going to fight a Tonberry, it better be a One-Hit Kill. Many games also have it possess the Chef's Knife ability, which deals massive damage or just plain kills the target outright and the Tonberry doesn't need to be attacked to use it.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Yan are an enemy limited to one specific part of the world map and the most dangerous in the game, despite their adorable looks. In particular, they possess the ability to cast "Snort" an ability that permanently ejects one player character from the fight. That character is effectively "dead" with no way of recovering them and Yan have incredible speed, meaning that all of them may get their turns (if not multiple) turns before the player can finish inputting their own, thus making it very likely that all four characters will be "Snorted" out of the fight and lead to a Game Over.
  • In Grandia II's Bonus Dungeon, there is an enemy called Devil that can cast the spell BA-BOOM, which always hits your entire party and deals more damage than you will ever have HP.
  • Mother:
    • EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound (1994) features a number of enemies capable of casting Petrification and Diamondization, respectively. Getting hit with this PSI (described in EarthBound as the enemy "glar[ing] with its eerie eye") counts as an instant kill for the target; getting one's entire party Petrified/Diamondized will result in an instant Game Over. Conversely, in EarthBound it's possible (via confusing the enemy or using Poo's Mirror ability) to have an enemy Diamondize either another enemy or themselves; this includes bosses capable of Diamondization. A Petrified/Diamondized party member will drag behind the rest of the party as a dead weight, appearing as a static sprite (when Petrified) or an orange anthropomorphic gemstone (when Diamondized), just as a reminder that they're definitely not gonna contribute to a fight anytime soon. A Diamondized enemy, meanwhile, will stay on the battlefield during a fight, but will be counted by the game as defeated and will disappear from the overworld as normal after the fight; if the last enemy defeated in battle is done so via Diamondization, it'll create an amusing situation where they'll stay on-screen while the game displays the standard victory text. Petrification and Diamondization can be cured via healers, PSI Healing γ, or (in EarthBound) PSI Healing Ω, making them slightly different than an actual instant kill move - after the effect is healed, the team member's HP is the same as it was before.
    • EarthBound Beginnings also has enemies that can cast PK Beam γ, which is a one-hit kill against any party member who lacks the Franklin Badge in their inventory. These kinds of enemies appear even before the second party member joins, so if you neglect to get the Franklin Badge (which isn't obvious), you could be in trouble.
  • Pokémon: Any wild or trainer Pokemon with a One-Hit Kill attack can be one of these. Thankfully, if your Pokemon's level is higher than theirs, has a type immunity to the attack, or has the Sturdy ability (which negates OHKO attacks), it'll fail. Even then, said attacks tend to have very poor accuracy.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Shriekers are crucified Tortured Monsters who channel their pain into a Non-Elemental One-Hit Kill beam at anyone who approaches them. They No-Sell all conventional attacks, but are immobile and can be killed by Mana Drain.
    Exter: They were Sourcerers once, but after whatever... perversion the Magisters subjected them to, they're death incarnate. If they c-can see you, they can kill you—instantly.
  • Might and Magic series has monsters that have a chance to kill with each of their attack. In VI the Terminator Units go straight for Eradication. Fortunately, VII and VIII have a spell called Protection from Magic, which temporarily makes party immune to most of status effects, though it has to be casted at Grandmaster level for it to protect you also against instant Death and Eradication.
  • While various enemies in the Dragon Quest series carry Whack, Thwack or Kathwack, all of which have a chance to instantly kill party members (and in the latter 2, the possibility of your entire party if you get extremely unlucky), a particulary infamous case has to be the Gold Batboons (Batmandrills) of Dragon Quest II. Gold Batboons knew Kamikazee, a spell that when used by an enemy, kills your entire party 100% of the time in addition to their A.I. Roulette that could let them use this on their very first action. Dragon Quest II also has Pazuzu, a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad who's a Palette-swapped Gold Batboon with jacked-up stats, Thwack, Kamikazee and Fullheal which the player is guaranteed to fight.
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: One of the enemies found in the Empyreal Bridge is the Stardust, a bead-like entity that will self-destruct to instantly kill a party character in the turn when it takes any sort of damage, and appears in the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Etrian Odyssey Nexus: The Archpixie has an instakill move as a standard attack (this enemy appeared first in the original game, but its main skill there is Petrify instead), which is why it only appears in a post-game Mini-Dungeon.
  • In Haven (2020), the Apiary Hornets are armed with Flow Jammers that instantly immobilize their target. If this happens to both Yu and Kay at the same time, or one gets paralyzed while the other is knocked out, it's a Non Standard Game Over.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: The Fox is an enemy that appears in the field between YouTube and 4Chan. Its "Speak Death" attack can one-shoot a character with excruciating accuracy. Fortunately, it is as likely to run away as it is to wreak your party so it's not as bad as most examples on this page.
  • Dark Souls: Instead of directly attacking the player, Basilisks spray a gas that inflicts the instantly-lethal Curse status if the player is exposed to it for too long. How long "too long" is can be surprisingly short in this case. A few other enemies throughout the series, notably the boss Seath the Scaleless, can also inflict Curse.
  • Elden Ring replaces Curse with Deathroot, which is more organic-feeling, but otherwise identical (down to basilisks and others inflicting it).
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, a handful of enemies such as Death aboard the Ghost Ship or the Metal Slime OOPARTS possess the skill "Can't Combat," which instantly kills the target if they're not equippd with a Talisman.

  • Gorgons in ADOM breathe petrification gas. Guess what it does if you don't have resistance. Some monsters, such as emperor liches, cast Death Ray. There seems to be a deliberate aversion, however, for monsters that just do a lot of damage (usually due to being out of the player character's league): massive blows from enemies frequently knock you down from near full health to exactly 1 HP instead of 0, as if there's a built-in protection against insta-killing. Mind you, if it was a really big monster, you'll probably be stunned and bleeding also. Well, at least you'll have time for one last prayer before bleeding out. (That's a game mechanic, actually. You can pray to be healed and maybe survive.)
  • Caverns of Zoarre has the "poison" or "paralysis"-style enemies (e.g. giant spiders or gelatinous cubes) all around the dungeon that, if you are unprotected, will instantly kill you if they hit with their abilities.
  • In Dicey Dungeons, Cornelius's attack "Nightmare" does 999 damage — far more than you could ever realistically survive. Nightmare is also a countdown card requiring 99 pips to activate, so the challenge is to beat Cornelius before he gets enough dice to set it off.
  • Nethack players use the term gnome with a wand of death, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Monsters that can use items are randomly generated with items with some chance, or they can pick up items from the ground. So there is always a small chance that a low level enemy (be it a gnome, orc, or something similar) has a wand of death (or some other powerful item) that can kill you in one hit.

    Shoot 'em up 
  • In Hard Corps: Uprising, enemy snipers will attempt to lock onto you, and if you get caught in the crosshairs, they'll fire a bullet that does 4 points of damage if it connects, enough to kill any character in Arcade mode but it can be survived in Rising mode thanks to life upgrades (most other attacks only deal one point of damage to your Life Meter).
  • Heavy Weapon: There are three enemies in the game that are far more dangerous than the others, because all of them will destroy your tank regardless of Deflector Shields or Defense Orbs:
    • Havanski Atomic Bombers drop nukes periodically, and if these bombs hit the ground (or you) before being shot down, they nuke your tank no matter where you are on the screen. Defense Orbs can cancel the bombs before they explode, but it's still a risky affair.
    • Romanov Attack Satellites try to keep near your tank's horizontal position and fire a Death Ray downwards that will fry your tank in one hit. You need to constantly shoot at them to push them away.
    • Contact with a Shovak Bulldozer will instantly explode your tank. Again, you had to fire at them to push them away as they constantly advance towards you.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    • Ornes are this combined with Invincible Minor Minion. Fortunately, they don't have any ranged attacks, don't usually come close to Pit, and die when all other enemies in the area are defeated.
    • There are also Tempura Wizards, an upgraded version of the Eggplant wizards. While Eggplant Wizards "just" turn Pit into an eggplant and render him helpless to attack, Tempura Wizards turn pit into tempura shrimp, and then try to eat him. If they catch him, you lose.
  • The samurai and ninjas in the final chapter of Not a Hero kill you instantly if they manage to land a hit.
  • In Splatoon 2, in Salmon Run, Maws, like the Octomaw, can try to eat your Inkling whole, but sometimes, if physics favors you, you can get out of being swallowed.

    Survival Game 

    Survival Horror 

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In the Syphon Filter series, explosives, headshots from snipers, and contact with burning enemies all result in instant death for the player character regardless of their armor and HP levels.
  • In Max Payne 3, sniper shots and rocket-propelled grenades are guaranteed instadeath with no Last Man Standing opportunity.
  • In Vanquish, a number of mooks have instant-kill attacks, such as the Gorgie-USS's sniper rifles, the Romanov-N's Chest Blaster(which can also penetrate cover objects), and the Romanov-G's homing mega-missiles.
  • Warframe has Narmer Deacons, who show up during The New War and the Break Narmer missions. If they spot you, they'll stun you, then place a Narmer Veil on your face, dooming you to a Fate Worse than Death and forcing a reload. Combine this with their immunity to most sources of damage, and they turn any level where they're present into a Stealth-Based Mission, since your only recourse against them is to dodge their line of sight.

    Tower Defense 
  • The Bloons Tower Defense series':
    • The third installment introduced the MOAB, a massive blimp that takes several times as many hits to kill as a regular Bloon and instantly causes a Game Over if it breaks past your defenses. This also applies to later-introduced blimps identified as "MOAB-class Bloons" such as the even tankier BFB and ZOMG or the DDT, which trades health for immense speed and immunities.
    • To a lesser extent, Ceramic Bloons take 104 lives if they escape, which is an instant Game Over on Hard (where you have 100 lives). Unlike regular bloons, their ceramic shells can take a beating before they pop, and they're also fast unlike most MOAB-class bloons.
  • Mini Robot Wars has the Giant and Titan, both of which are Giant Mook enemies that instantly crush any Minirobot they hit. The latter can crush up to three Minirobots in front at one go. If any of these two get past your defences, you instantly lose regardless of health. The Capsule Cages will abduct any Minirobot they land on if not removed in time, thankfully they have low HP.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The Zomboni and Catapult Zombie note  instantly crush any plants they run over with the exception of Spikeweed/Spikerocks which instakill them instead, the Jack-in-the-box Zombie explodes all plants in an area (including Spikeweed/Spikerocks) around it if it triggers, the Bungee Zombie abducts plants if not killed in time, and the Gargantuar and Giga-Gargantuar crush any plants in their way unless it's Spikerock, which can take nine hits.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time introduces several, besides the usual Gargantuar variants. The Explorer Zombie burns units with his torch, the Pirate Captain's Pirate Parrot can abduct a plant that isn't low-lying if not killed in time, the Mecha-Football Zombie pushes entire rows of plants back with the one nearest your house being thrown away, the Surfer Zombie uses his surfboard to crush your plants, the Fisherman Zombie can drag your plants into the water, the Troglobite can push ice blocks onto plants, the Excavator Zombie can shovel them off the lawn, the Turquoise Skull Zombie can annihilate a line of plants with a sun-powered laser, the Punk Zombie can kick plants off the lawn if there's no space when his Jam is playing, the Glitter Zombie instantly crushes plants she runs over when her Jam is playing, the Arcade Zombie can push his arcade cabinet onto your plants, the Rockpuncher Zombie can instantly crush plants while leaving unplantable craters behind, and the All-Star Zombie has a tackle attack that instakills a plant. The Barrel Roller, Pianist and Hamsterball appear to instakill, but actually deal very rapid damage over a short period of time. The MC Zom-B, Rodeo Legend, Zcorpion and ZCorp Helpdesk just deal an incredible amount of damage per attack, enough to off non-defensive plants instantly.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Disgaea:
    • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: The Male Samurai, when under 25% health, has a 20% chance to deliver a fatal blow with their regular attack. One under the player's control can get the kill chance up to 45%, thanks to a Lover Innocent.
    • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance: Ninja units under the control of the AI have a chance to instantly kill any of your units with each attack they use, regardless of whether the attack would deal any damage at all. This ability goes undocumented in-game itself, which makes for a heart-stopper when one of your best units gets unceremoniously offed.
  • Nintendo Wars: Oozium 238 from Advance Wars: Dual Strike are Blob Monster enemies with a move speed of 1 and cannot perform normal attacks or counterattacks. However, they heavily resist non-small arms fire and attack by moving onto a unit, instantly consuming them regardless of health or defense.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft
    • A Creeper explosion at point blank can kill a player at full health wearing a full set of iron armor thanks to its 49-damage detonation. The ultra-rare Charged Creeper will one-shot someone fully encased in diamond armor enchanted for max Blast Protection from the sheer damage of its explosion (97 points, or just shy of fifty hearts). The only way to escape certain death from the latter's detonation is raising a shield to block the damage.
    • Perhaps the best example of this is the Warden. Its melee attack disables shields and will insta-kill players wearing any less than enchanted diamond armor, and its ranged attack, while less powerful, ignores everything shy of the Resistance Status Effect and can't be dodged (unless you're not its direct target), making it a one or two-hit kill.
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, Cougars and Panthers have a pounce attack which, if it lands, will instantly kill the player character regardless of health. There's also the hidden snipers who one-shot you if you go out of bounds.


Lethal Ghosts

The red and black Lethal Ghosts can insta-down each player.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstakillMook

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