Follow TV Tropes


Kung Fu-Proof Mook

Go To

Jabba: You weak minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick.
Luke: You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me.
Jabba: *laughs* Your mind powers will not work on me, boy.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Some baddies aren't particularly dangerous, but they are annoying to deal with, because the usual tricks used by our heroes don't work on them. This kind of opponent proves difficult to be overcome by a hero who is used to fighting using a small repertoire of techniques. As such, these encounters force our heroes to think outside of the box. Mostly because it's cooler than showing them win fights the same way all of the time.

Common reasons for this include:

Runs on the same principle as Kryptonite Is Everywhere, as an attempt to avert an Invincible Hero or When All You Have Is a Hammer….

Compare Puzzle Boss.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • In the first Ranma ˝ movie, our hero encounters a giant (And we do mean giant) man. All that fat makes him feel no pain from kicks or punches, and even bladed and stabbing weapons simply bounced and slid off him.
  • Fist of the North Star:
  • A number of Stands in Jojos Bizarre Adventure can't be beaten through conventional means, like Justice, which is a Stand made of air and thus intangible, and Yellow Temperance, a Stand made of flesh-eating goo that can't be destroyed (and obviously even touching it is a bad idea.) Both Stands are beaten by breathing in the Stand to suffocate the synchronized Stand User, and just attacking the Stand User directly, respectively.
  • In Dragon Ball Goku faced a monster name Buyon who was a giant purplish-pink creature. No matter what Goku did he couldn't hurt Buyon since his blabber absorbed all of his attacks and even deflected the Kamehameha. Solution, Goku kicked in a wall and let the cold air freeze Buyon (he was in a winter area), making him so firm that Goku shattered him in one kick.
  • In One Piece Hody Jones' minions tried to defeat Sanji (who has kick-based fighting style), by sending mooks wearing coats covered in huge spikes. Turns out, that he can walk on air.
  • Tiger Mask:
    • Black V, Bobo Brazil's fictional apprentice, was trained to have circus contorsionism-level of flexibility to be immune to submission holds, and he shows it on-page when he takes the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker (a devastating submission move) and just shrugs it off. He's then horrified when Tiger Mask shows him the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker can still work on him if used in a certain way.
    • Kintaro Oki, Bobo Brazil and Black V are almost immune to attacks on their heads thanks to their heavy use of headbutts increasing the already great hardness of their heads. They're not completely immune, as hitting those heads with enough strength or something harder will have effect, but pulling it off is extremely hard.

    Card Games 
  • Good luck countering something with split second in Magic: The Gathering; you can't respond to it. Or something uncounterable, for that matter. Once in play, we have several other options, including:
    • Indestructible permanents can't be harmed by damage or 'destroy' effects.
    • Those with Protection from X can't be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked, or targeted by whatever 'X' is, leading to the abbreviation DEBT. There are still ways to destroy them, like with global spells.
    • As long as an Unblockable creature's attacking, your creatures can't block it.
    • Hexproof things can't be targeted by any spells or abilities from its controller's opponents. There is also the earlier (now deprecated) shroud, which works similarly but makes it immune to any targeted effects, including its controller's.
  • There are many examples in Yu-Gi-Oh, but perhaps the most extreme is Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes, which is immune to all spell, trap, and monster effects. The only way to beat it is to kill it with a stronger monster (which is often difficult, as it gains ATK points based on monsters in the graveyard, and can reach very high numbers), or by exploiting a loophole and tributing it with the cards Lava Golem or Volcanic Queen. Of course, it's pretty difficult to summon this card in the first place.

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: Yellow enemies for the pre-Green Lantern: Rebirth Corps, and enemies armed with wooden weapons (e.g. Sportsmaster with his bats and hockey sticks) for the original Green Lantern Alan Scott.
  • Various X-Men, for various reasons, are, or have been retconned to be, immune to telepathy due to government experiments (Wolverine), messed up heads with way too much going on in them (Wolverine, Rogue), powers (Magneto in some continuities), equipment (Magneto again, The Juggernaut). Others are specifically immune to each others' powers, usually in the case of siblings like the Summers brothers or the Frost sisters.
    • Because telepathy can stop most fights before they start, either being conveniently immune or knocking the telepath out before the fights starts are frequent strategies, especially when you have a solo villain.
    • You also have villains like the Blob, the Juggernaut, or Sinister who are immune to everything. This requires either clever, out-of-the-box thinking, or a Deus ex Machina, depending on the writing quality.
    • Syndicate in the Ultimate continuity is immune to telepathy. Which is convenient, since Professor X has to deal with him solo.
  • One of the first enemies the Human Torch ever fought was the Asbestos Man, a guy with a suit and net made out of, well, asbestos.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Metal Master has the psychic power to control any metal, but he suffers a Villainous BSoD if he comes to believe his powers are failing him. The Hulk (during one of his early "smart" incarnations) tricked him with a huge wooden gun painted to look like metal; while the villain panicked, the Hulk finally got close enough to grab him. Metal Master suffered an even bigger emotional breakdown when he realized Rom Spaceknight's armor was made of an alien metal he legitimately couldn't control.
  • One Justice League story established that Plastic Man is immune to most telepathic attacks because he doesn't have a physical, organic brain; his whole body is just made of the same amorphous stuff. He discovers this when he has to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Martian Manhunter, who has psychically defeated everyone else.
  • One of the most deadly things about Venom as an enemy of Spider-Man is that, as a result of all the time it spent bonded with him (as part of its origin in the series), it doesn't activate Spidey's Spider-Sense when it approaches. Spidey usually relies on this ability when dealing with pretty much anyone else, so, whenever Venom is his enemy, he generally has to try other tactics (most often around exploiting its weakness to sonic vibrations and loud sounds).

    Fan Works 
  • Wormwood from Crystal Cotillion is immune to Sumac's Silver Tongue powered More than Mind Control, probably an effect of being an ex-Warden. Sumac still reckons he can talk him into letting Silver go to the Cotillion, though in the end it's decided that Pebble will do the talking, to avoid accidentally causing friction with Gloomynote  if they disagree.
  • Zol-Am from The Vampire of Steel is a vampire who happens to not be Christian but Raotian, so unfortunately Buffy's crosses have no effect on him.
  • In Together, They Fight Crime, the Wardens are increasingly finding people resistant to their powers, something they find concerning.

    Films— Animated 
  • Inverted in Kung Fu Panda: Po, the hero, is revealed to be immune to villain Tai Lung's Touch of Death powers purely due to being so fat.
  • Parodied in The Mitchells vs. the Machines with the PAL Max Elites. Normal PAL Max robots can't tell if Monchi is a dog, a pig, or a loaf of bread. The Elites can tell the difference between all three, thus making them immune to Katie's video of Monchi.

    Films— Live-Action 
  • Chocolate has Zen, who's spent the film stampeding through her opponents, run into serious trouble when she's put up against Thomas, a young man who's trained in capoeira (a famously hard martial art to read) and who has what's implied to be Tourette's syndrome (meaning Zen's Awesomeness by Analysis can't separate his tells from the tics caused by his condition). Even after she figures out how to counter him, he still lands a Double Knockout.
  • Star Wars has several examples of characters immune to the Jedi "mind trick" of Force Persuasion, to avoid letting the Jedi have too easy a time of it:
    • Watto in The Phantom Menace and Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.
    • Given that Force Persuasion only works on the "weak-minded" as Obi-Wan puts it, foiling it doesn't require any special immunity. Knowing what it is (and when a Jedi is attempting it) seems to help. Indeed, Han seems to be at least somewhat resistant to mind tricks in Legends (as shown in the short story Recovery); it helps that his brother-in-law Luke is a Jedi.
    • In Star Wars Legends, the Yuuzhan Vong are transparent to the Force, apart from Force Lightning and indirect applications of the Force, like hurling a boulder at them with telekinesis.
    • Also in Star Wars, the Droidekas have shields that make them immune to both lightsabers and their own blaster bolts reflected from lightsabers.
  • The Made of Iron London Gangster from Ninja Assassin is surprisingly ninjitsu-proof compared to everyone else in the story.
  • Used in 300. Under normal conditions the Spartans should just use the "force everybody off the cliff" strategy that they first utilized. This is indeed what the Greek forces did in Real Life. So in the movie, Xerxes ups the ante with war rhinos, crazy berserkers, and Immortal warriors without faces to keep them from doing it again.
  • In Pacific Rim the Kaiju Otachi No Sells Crimson Typhoon's famed Thundercloud Formation attack by catching all three of it's arms.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • More like "Kung Fu-proof Red Shirts" in X-Men: The Last Stand: soldiers defending the laboratory that created the anti-mutation cure get all of their metal weapons replaced by plastic alloy weapons shooting darts filled with said cure so Magneto won't turn their weapons against them. Magneto gets around by ordering Arclight to destroy the plastic weapons with her Shockwave Clap.
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Prototype Sentinels are designed with non-metallic alloys to keep Magneto from affecting them, which he gets around by weaving metal into them while they're being transported to D.C.


    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Ferengi are telepath-proof.
    • One Star Trek novel features a character who is "esper-blind." They are utterly incapable of sending or receiving any telepathic signal. This turns out to be very useful in solving the problem of the week.
    • The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager is a hologram, and as such is immune to physical attacks, unless they are aimed at his holographic emitters or holoemitter.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster, the Master tries his usual trick of hypnosis — "You will obey me. You—will—obey—ME!" — on the 500-year-old king of Atlantis, who laughs and says that he's much too old (and learned in the sacred mysteries) for that to work on him.
    • There are also various beings on whom the Psychic Paper is ineffective, including particularly clever humans such as William Shakespeare, or anyone with the right training such as Torchwood employees.
  • Stargate SG-1: Anubis' Kull warriors are immune to bullets, energy weapons, explosives, and pretty much everything else, to the point that a new weapon had to be developed just to deal with them.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In most incarnations, elves are immune to sleep spells. Bummer.
    • In both 3rd editions, a staggering variety of other creature types are immune to one thing or another — critical hits, flanking, mind-affecting effects, energy drain, magic in general, non-magical weapons, or more commonly several categories at once. Listing all the creature types and immunities takes up multiple pages of the rulebook.
    • Golems in particular have magic resistance as their major schtick. In earlier editions (1st/2nd and Pathfinder) they are entirely immune to magic, with extremely limited and specific exceptions. If the party cannot fool a golem or sneak past it, physical brute force is the only option. (Though the 3rd and 3.5 editions try to stick with the same theme, the immunity is significantly narrowed in scope, and rules loopholes mean that golems are particularly weak to certain kinds of spells.)
    • This is the bane of the Rogue class — their main advantage in combat is that when they flank an opponent or catch them unaware, they can sneak attack them for extra damage. Unfortunately for them, anything that's immune to critical hits is also immune to sneak attacks, so they effectively lose their main trick against undead, elementals, oozes, golems and a whole host of other monster types.
    • Pathfinder, as an adaptation of 3.5, continues the tradition but does remove some of these immunities when they conflict with the Rule of Fun. So Rogues can sneak attack many more targets, but monsters often retain resistances and immunities.
    • Editions before 3rd often have a slew of monster resistances and immunities. The absolute king may be Planescape. Most of the major parts of the settings are dimensions populated by immortal angels, demons, organic robots, djinn, fae avatars, and so on. Each of these races often have a slew of immunities along with Magic Resistance (a percentage chance to ignore a spell regardless of the caster's level, before saves). They frequently have complete immunity to weapons which are not magical or made of special materials. Additionally, weapons are weakened when "far from home," so your magical weapon might be so depowered it cannot harm your enemy at all. A medium-level enemy (a lesser demon) might possess: Immune to non-magical fire, poison, cold, electricity. Half damage: Magical Fire. +2 or Cold Iron weapon to hit. Magic Resistance: 30%. There just isn't much left to throw at them.
    • This trope in D&D frequently is a modest nod to a creature's mythical origin or even a Genius Bonus. For example, Minotaurs are immune to Maze spells. Elven sleep resistance is almost certainly a nod to Tolkien's The Hobbit. Pathfinder's Jabberwocky is afraid of Vorpal swords, which are the only weapon which bypass its Damage Resistance.
  • Blanks from Warhammer 40,000 continuity are immune to, and nullify, psychic and Warp powers.
    • Also known as Pariahs, they are soulless psychic voids whose mere presence makes normal humans deeply uncomfortable. The Culexus Assassin school recruits exclusively from these people, resulting in assassins who are effectively invisible as no normal human mind wants to notice them. Specialists in slaying pskyers, for whom the Culexus represent horror. Even daemons probably find them disturbing — in fact, the rules for them in Inquisitor explain that daemons can't even see them.
    • Blanks and Pariahs may not be exactly the same thing, necessarily. Depending on the Writer, sometimes. Blanks nullify psychic powers in a certain radius around them, the same field causing revulsion and discomfort in normal people, and enormous discomfort in psykers. Sometimes they can have their blankness negated to allow psychics to operate near them. Pariahs additionally lack any presence in the Warp, and can become Culexus assassins, using this fact to power their anti-psychic weaponry.
  • Prevalent in The World of Darkness. For example, in Old Mage: The Ascension, the principle antagonist, the Technocratic Union, deploy many deadly Mecha-Mooks or Men In Black with anti-magic abilities. Older vampires tend to be able to shrug off mind control and other powers by their lessers. Hunters as player characters turn this on their enemies, with their Conviction providing a host of immunities to the powers the monsters used to maintain The Masquerade. Further examples abound.
  • The monsters section of Witch Girls Adventures is littered with monsters with blanket immunities to things.
    • Dragons are immune to Elementalism, Giants (Lesser and Greater) and Zombies are immune to Mentalism, Mummies are immune to Elementalism, Illusions AND Mentalism AND they can create Zombies.
    • Horrors are immune to Alteration, Mentalism, Time and Space magic, and you pretty much have to 1-shot them to kill them, since they can teleport out of our reality at will. Which can be pretty hard when hearing them talk reduces all but the strongest-willed into madness.
    • Ghosts, Reapers and Wraiths are immune to everything EXCEPT mentalism and necromancy. They also respawn if killed in physical form, and are immune to physical attacks in their intangible form.
    • Magivores are the masters of this, being immune 2 to unspecified types of Magic that vary randomly amongst the species, meaning that witches won't even know (even passing lore rolls) what the immunities are. Their Resist Magic is so high that a failure for a spell to work could either be due to immunity or a low Casting roll, and there's no way of knowing. Plus if they hit you, besides the chance of reducing your magic abilities across the board, they're guaranteed to reduce at least one of your magic types, and knowing how GMs think, that type will be the one that they're vulnerable and exactly what you needed to defeat them. Couple that with how Mundanes can't ever see them, and that they can simply teleport to your side no matter how far away from them you flee, and they are pure terror.
    • Malleus Maleficarum soldiers are able to shrug off any magic effects used against them, period, due to their iron implants. This only applies to effects that directly target them, however; destroying their weapons or dropping an anvil on them works just fine.

    Video Games 
  • In the latter half of Bioshock, Thuggish Splicers gain immunity to electricity, so they can no longer be stunned.
  • This is the schtick of the boss Red Giant from Final Fantasy VIII. He will respond with gloats and snarks each time your attacks have little to no effect on him. Tip: Gravity is his Achilles' Heel.
  • There are certain mooks in the Nintendo 64 Bomberman games who are invulnerable to various elemental-type bombs. The most annoying? Without a doubt, the ones impervious to Fire Bombs — the basic, and most versatile, bombs.
  • Metroid:
    • The Power Troopers in Metroid Prime are the most difficult of the reverse-engineered space pirates for this reason. All your fancy new upgrades won't do squat to them. The Chozo Ghosts are also immune to your stronger weapons. Both are vulnerable to Super Missiles, however.
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, there are these black space pirates which are only weak to your beam, which are annoying to kill. All the missiles, Super Missiles, Power Bombs, Screw Attack? All completely useless. The two in the escape sequence can give players grief, aside from an A.I. Breaker.
    • Amusingly, a Kung Fu Proof Mook in Super Metroid is a Space Pirate that uses kung fu-like moves. It is only briefly vulnerable after it jump-kicks.
  • Kirby games:
    • Scarfys cannot be inhaled. If Kirby tries to inhale them, they'll go crazy and start to chase him down, but then explode after a few seconds.
    • Mumbies and some of the larger enemies in certain games are also impossible to inhale (requiring Kirby to spit something at them or use a Copy Ability) or at least take much longer to do so, though they don't get mad like Scarfys do. Interestingly, Dogons in Kirby's Dream Land 3 invert this; they can be inhaled, but most of the more advanced attacks don't work against them as they knock all projectiles back at Kirby.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Spinies are spiny, making them immune to stomping, but they can be killed by fireballs, shells, or a Star. Buzzy Beetles are immune to fireballs, but can be stomped and sent sliding along like most other shelled enemies. Super Mario World puts them together with the Spike Top, which is immune to jumps and fire, but not to cape spins.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has flying Spiky Parabuzzies, who are immune to both your standard attacks; they can't be jumped on because they're spiky, and can't be hammered because they fly. The solution is to either equip the Spike Shield badge (which enables you to jump on them without getting hurt) or use a non-jump attack that hits the air (like Hammer Throw). If you don't have either, then at the point in the game where you first encounter them you'll have the crystal star super attack that deals fixed damage based on performance, and can at least knock their wings off.
    • Earlier in the game are Bristles, which are ground-based but have spikes all over. Just getting close to one means you get a poke and your attack fails. Since you most likely have neither Spike Shield or Hammer Throw at this point, it means breaking out the consumable item attacks.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country:
      • Klaptraps' large, biting jaws make it a bad idea to roll into them from the front. That said, they're still weak enough to be defeated any other way, including rolling into them from behind.
      • Klumps are immune to Diddy's weaker jumps, due to their helmets. However, Donkey Kong can defeat them with a stomp, and both Kongs can take them out with a roll.
      • Blue Krushas laugh off Diddy's stomps and both Kongs' rolls. DK's stomp is strong enough to defeat them, though.
      • Gray Krushas are even stronger than blue ones. None of the Kongs' standard attacks will faze them, and only barrels can take them out.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: The game adds Spinies, who can't be jumped on, but can be rolled into.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: Kuff 'n' Klout are immune to all melee attacks (even attempting one will just hurt the player) and can only be taken down with TNT Barrels or Squitter's web.
    • Donkey Kong 64: Klumps are immune to physical strikes from all but Chunky Kong in his giant form. The only ways to kill them are with Magic Music or throwing explosive oranges.
    • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze:
      • Snowmads with horned helmets cannot be jumped on, but a roll will kill them.
      • Snowmads with spears cannot be rolled into from the front, but can be jumped on.
      • Then there are Snowmads with both horned helmets AND spears, which must be hit from behind. There's also a variant with a 2-sided club which can only be rolled into when he raises it to attack you.
    • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: the elephant turrets are one of the few enemies in the game Donkey Kong can't simply beat by pounding on. He must use explosives or hijack one a Ninjape is using and then use it to shoot the others.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series lives on this trope. You'll be in a dungeon doing some grinding, and suddenly X enemy comes up. You do check its Hit Points and it's not much, you could easily rip it a new one. Then you hit him with a physical attack: it does one hit point of damage. Throw fire magic? Immune. Ice magic? Bounces back. Electric magic? It drains and recharges its hit points. On top of that, the Press Turn system makes you lose turns when an enemy resists or absorbs your attacks, punishing Trial-and-Error Gameplay even more. Argh!
  • Shedinja from Pokémon, depending on what kind of Pokémon you have in your team. Shedinja's ability makes it immune to everything that it's not weak against. It's a Bug/Ghost-type, so it can only be harmed by Fire, Dark, Rock, Ghost, and Flying-type moves. But since it's a One-Hit-Point Wonder and those elements are pretty common it usually ends up being Awesome, but Impractical. It also gets KO'd by any form of indirect damage, such as from weather, status effects, entry hazards like Spikes, or contact damage from Rough Skin/Iron Barbs, which further limits its usefulness. To push it even further, any Pokémon with the Mold Breaker ability can plow through it without need of an attack it's weak against.
    • As of Pokémon X and Y, Shedinja has access to the Safety Goggles, which will keep it from being harmed by weather effects. In a double/triple battle, if you manage to paralyze it, along with giving it the Sturdy ability (Which gives a Last Chance Hit Point to a Pokémon at full HP, except Shedinja is always considered to be at full HP...) via Entrainment or some other method, this transforms from it a Kung Fu Proof Mook to a Nigh-Invulnerable monster that can only beaten via a few very specific methods.
    • In competitive play, Shedinja's viability among the tiers is rather interesting. In the Standard tier it tends to drop fast to the frequently-in-play weather effects/status effects/Stealth Rock/specially prepared moves, but in the Uber tier, which contains the nastiest Pokémon in the game, such effects are less commonly used and most rely on raw power — thus, a Shedinja played late in the match (when your opponent's conscious Pokémon, and thus variety of attacks, are limited) can be a nasty surprise.
  • In Iji, Komato Assassins can dodge a lot of weapons, including the Plasma Cannon. They therefore need quite a bit more effort to defeat than most mooks.
  • The ghosts in Jade Empire can't be hit with weapons (but can be punched). The reverse applies to Golems, while demons are immune to chi magic styles.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, enemies can be broadly divided into three categories. Those who die instantly to the vault attack. Those who put you in a world of hurt every time you try. And a single boss who just blocks it. Almost every enemy is vulnerable to the wall kick attack, so in the end no mooks are kung fu-proof; some just require a little more sophisticated kung fu.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, throughout the game but especially in the challenges, there are the regular mooks, and then there are the mooks with knives, who are block/counter proof and will screw up your combo if you use a basic attack on them without stunning them first. Then there are the mooks with stun batons ...
    • Batman: Arkham City changes the rules: while stun baton henchmen are still immune to frontal attacks, there's a new dodge/counter move to use against knife-wielding henchmen. It also introduces shields, which make the mooks bearing them invulnerable unless stunned and aerial attacked, and armored henchmen, who are immune to regular strikes (but tailor-made for the new beatdown finish) and silent takedowns (and one Predator Challenge involves clearing a room of nothing but armored henchmen).
    • Batman: Arkham Knight adds even more. In addition to the above, minigunners during Predator sections cannot be taken out silently and require you to use objects in the environment or an extensive combo to take them out. Mooks with optic camouflage armor cannot be seen in Detective Mode. And medics, while not kung fu-proof themselves, can make other mooks kung fu-proof, temporarily electrifying them so that you take damage if you touch them; you need to use the Batclaw or the REC to remove the charge first.
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, the Elite Mooks are equipped with special armor that makes them immune to your psi powers. If you set them on fire with pyrokinesis, though, they become vulnerable for a split-second before they extinguish themselves.
  • The Spetznaz Elite in Singularity are equipped with special armor that renders them immune to the age-people-into-dust ability of the TMD. Deadlock stasis bubbles still work on them, however.
  • In the 360 game WET the Blockers fill this role. There are two versions — the leaders who can not be hit with a sword, and the sword wielding ones who can not be killed by bullets, unless you stun them.
  • In the Assassin's Creed games, some mooks can break free of your grabs or block assassination attempts that aren't done In the Back.
    • The Papal Guards in Brotherhood can outright block counters (or "counter" you during this — though you take no damage), unlike in 2 where the Elite Mooks were still hurt by non-fatal counters, and the Papal Guards are immune to Smoke Bombs deployed in open combat. They however are vulnerable to the kill streak mechanic, which actually makes them tougher by themselves than with a weaker, non-Kung Fu Proof Mook for you to start a kill streak with. The Papal Guards' Ottoman counterparts, the Janissaries, in Revelations can block kill streaks too!
    • In Assassin's Creed III the simplest way to kill mooks in combat is to block their attack and stab them. This doesn't work on officers though. The higher ranking the officer, the fewer types of attack work on him.
  • Dwarf Fortress's bolts and arrows are capable of piercing organs to do fatal or debilitating injuries, making them quite a useful weapon. However, certain monsters, like iron men, bronze colossi, skeletal anything, and many demons don't have organs or blood and thus have to be torn apart to be killed, which arrows and bolts are very bad at.
    • This applies to a lesser extent to whips (which are currently horrendously overpowered for their ability to causes immense pain and enormous injuries through armor), since they also don't feel pain and whips rarely destroy whole limbs, but they're still able to chip them into pieces.
    • Made even worse if you have the misfortune of coming up against a Forgotten Beast that has a "blob" body type of stone or any stronger material. Not only does it not have internal organs to destroy or blood to lose, it doesn't even have limbs you can hack off. It's a clear sign that the Random Number God hates you.
  • Pursuit Cops from Mirror's Edge will dodge away from your usual running attacks and are immune to counters. You're best off avoiding them, but they are vulnerable to disarms from behind. ME is built around running away, melee combat and stealing guns. Pursuit cops are immune to melee combat 90% of the time, run as fast as you, and have guns.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has Screen Door Zombies, who carry Screen Doors that protect them from most frontal attacks. Fume Shrooms can hurt them, though.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the Jedi Knight sequels, humanoids with disruptor rifles go down the same way as anyone else, but the trick is that you can't block their shots with a lightsaber, so you can't just charge straight ahead at them without taking hits, and if the disruptor rifle is charged up enough, it's a One-Hit Kill. There's also the occasional Reborn in Jedi Academy that can't be affected by Force Push and Pull at all — because the game doesn't want to give you an opportunity to automatically win so many battles by throwing someone into the abyss they're jumping over to get to you. In other cases, it's clearly intended that you do so, or the opportunity may or may not present itself as the fight goes on.
    • The Force Unleashed has the Stormtrooper Commanders, which are your average mooks, except that they have a Force-proof bubble around them. The usual Force Lightning or Force Push don't work, but your lightsaber and hurled debris still does ...
    • AT-ATs in many games, but especially Rogue Squadron, typically can't be destroyed by anything other than the Snowspeeder's tow cable (not even proton bombs or torpedoes), taking Luke's "that armor's too strong for blasters" quote literally to the point of absurdity.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, ghosts (and other similarly intangible, supernatural enemies) can only be harmed by enchanted weapons, silver weapons, Daedric weapons, and magical spells. Oddly, your bare fists usually still damage ghosts.
  • The third and fourth bosses in Descent II are impervious to energy weapons, while the fifth is immune to mass weapons, and the Final Boss can only be damaged on its hard-to-hit backside. The Diamond Claw fires homing plasma balls back when hit with energy weapons.
  • In Dante's Inferno the Heretical Priests are immune to the cross. This combined with their Teleport Spam would be enough to make them Goddamned Bats, but what makes them all-up Demonic Spiders is their ability to confer that immunity on other enemies.
  • The Zuul from Sword of the Stars are immune to plagues without needing vaccine research, though they can't use plagues against others either. Spectres can only be hurt by energy weapons. High-end shield techs can outright nullify certain weapon types.
  • Ceph Heavies/Devastators and Grunt Commanders from Crysis 2 are immune to Back Stabs whereas even Ceph Guardians are not. Grunt Commanders also need to be weakened before Alcatraz can do the One-Hit Kill Neck Lift-and-throw, while Heavies by their large size are understandably completely immune to this.
  • Every non-starter enemy in God of War needs to be softened up before Kratos can grab it.
  • Plok gives us Shprouts, which become shocked and jump into the air when hit for the first time and need to be hit a second time immediately afterwards in order to defeat them; taking too long "resets" them, forcing you to start over. It becomes worse when they begin to carry shields in later stages, requiring Plok to hit them in the back by deliberately missing them with a limb he throws at them, making it hit them on its way back; sneaking up behind them won't work well, as they turn around after the first hit.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening:
    • Hell Wraths shrug off and are impervious to most melee attacks, encouraging the player to use ranged attacks, projectiles and firearms to damage them.
    • Hell Envies are functionally identical to the most basic Hell Prides except for their nigh-immunity to launches and knockbacks.
    • If they are still in their "blood" forms, striking the Blood-goyles with melee attacks will just cause them to split and multiply. They also resist a significant portion of your melee damage in that state, so while it's possible to brute-force them with melee attacks, it will take a long time. The "proper" way to deal with them is to petrify them first with ranged attacks, as they'll receive normal damage from your melee attacks only when they're turned to stone.
  • Devil May Cry 4:
    • Mephistos and Fausts have a high resistance against melee damage as long as their shadow cloaks are still present, to the point where individual melee attacks can be reduced to Scratch Damage. The game encourages you to use ranged attacks and firearms to dispel their cloaks first, and only then can they be properly damaged with melee attacks.
    • The Blitz have an electric barrier that damages and stuns you if you try to hit them with melee attacks. Just like the Mephistos and Fausts, the game encourages you to use ranged attacks and firearms to dispel the electricity first before the Blitz can be properly damaged with melee attacks.
  • In the reboot of Syndicate higher-ranking enemies are initially immune to Breaches and must be softened up first. Elite Mooks invert this by being immune to damage until Breached. There are also Jammer Commandos who block out Breaching against enemies in their AOE.
  • Resident Evil 4:
    • The later Ganados, with more developed Plagas often don't die immediately when headshot, and need a couple extra shots to kill the parasite. The Type 3 Plagas can separate completely from the host. All are instantly killed with Flash Grenades, though. ** ** ** Masked Zealots are impervious to headshots.
    • Garradors can only be damaged from behind.
    • Regenerators regenerate any damage inflicted on them unless you hit their hidden Plagas, which you need a thermal scope to see. They can be killed through firepower alone, but it takes heavier-hitting weapons like magnums or fully-upgraded rifles; a pistol or shotgun won't do.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, some dataDyne guards wear helmets, which are resistant to head shots.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Chryssalids, Cyberdiscs and Sectopods are immune to the Arc Thrower's stun, thus you can't take them alive. These three, along with Berserkers and Ethereals, also have the Hardened property, which drastically reduces the likelihood of a Critical Hit to compensate for the fact that they can't use cover. The Ethereals also have a very high resistance to psi-attacks such as Mindfray.
  • In XCOM 2, Rangers can specialize in a "Blademaster" skill line that makes them lethal in melee combat, but you do not want to send one against a Muton. These aliens have the "Counterattack" ability that gives them a good chance to No-Sell a melee attack and immediately reply with their plasma gun's bayonet. Said bayonet strikes also have a good chance of stunning a target, which synergizes nastily with the Muton's "Execute" ability that lets them insta-kill a stunned opponent.
  • Zombies and skeletons in Minecraft are weak to the sunlight, but if they are wearing any kind of helmet, then the sun doesn't do anything to them. You have to kill them yourself.
  • Dishonored features Overseers, who have frontal armor that can take a few instant-kill crossbow bolts to the face, and Tallboys, who have all-round armor and must be killed to be neutralized. Played with for some of the bosses; they're as weak as mooks, but keep respawning from one-hit kills for a while. You need to destroy Granny Rags' Cameo to finally kill/K.O. her, and Delilah will appear for real one you've killed enough of her duplicates.
  • The Secret World spreads a variety of mooks and minibosses with passive shield effects as the player gets through Egypt and into Transylvania. Some, like vampires, are merely highly resistant to afflictions. Others will simply ignore Impairs. It gets worse as you approach Lairs, Nightmare mode bosses, or missions like The Girl Who Kicked The Vampire's Nest, and enemies will actively benefit from players who use the wrong kung fu : the Besieged Farmlands' lair is filled with enemies that silence player characters that Impair them.
  • In Fallout 3, enemies using cloaking devices, such as the Chinese ninjas in Operation Anchorage, cannot be hit (or in Fallout 4, targeted) with VATS. Radscorpions are resistant to being crippled with the Dart Gun, since it uses their venom for the effect.
  • In Warframe, some enemies outright don't give you the Back Stab prompt, and some others — usually shielded ones — are durable enough that the Back Stab will not One-Hit Kill them.
  • In Borderlands 2, some enemies are bulletproof, at least in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Worse, regular bullets fired at them will ricochet and, usually, hit you. In order to kill them, you need to either use explosive weapons or E-Tech.
  • In the Tower Defense Desert Moon, there are Hunters. These guys will tunnel under the sand, invulnerable to ranged attacks until they get near to a unit and surface, then rush at that unit and kill them. Furthermore, they have a lot of health. It's a good thing they're vulnerable to the Flamethrower, which hurts them a lot and even pushes them back.
  • The Avatar from Ghost Hacker. It takes a maximum of 2 damage from anything, making the slow but strong towers bad against them. However, Death of a Thousand Cuts and Memory Leak will wear them down quickly.
    • The sequel brings us the Graviton, which sucks in any projectile attacks. You need to upgrade your towers into lasers in order to defeat them easily.
  • Hexen has Centaurs, who use shields that can reflect almost any attack back at you. You have to wait for them to lower the shields to damage them. Later in the game, upgraded versions known as Slaughtars are introduced, which can fire projectiles at you while they are guarding with their shields.
  • In Something, Boss Bass is the gimmick within Dat Bass, and to make things worse, it is immune to fireballs.
  • Titania Capital in Odin Sphere is infamous for being That One Level partially for having two of these: slimes and purple wizards. The former suffers only chip damage from physical attacks and offensive psypher magic, and is Immune to Flinching except for the strongest attacks, and the latter teleports away each time he's hit. Technically, the slimes demand that the player kill them with offensive alchemical mixes like Napalm, while the wizards need to be hit with their own projectiles and stunned before moving in for the kill, but every character that goes to Titania (except Cornelius, which is why the stage is hardest for him) has a special move that One Hit Kills slimes and deals enough damage to the wizards with one hit that it's easier to just spam that instead.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 3: Cerberus Dragoons and Phantoms, being ninjas, are immune to over-cover insta-kill grab attacks, which work on everyone else. Also, Dragoons and CAT-6 Heavies, since they have an armour bar but no health bar below it, cannot be directly targeted by Overload (although they can be hit by arcs), which is especially sucky since Heavies bunker down behind a massive omni-shield that has to be overloaded to destroy it.
    • In Mass Effect 2, Husks and Abominations gained an Armor value on higher difficulties, making them immune to biotics until it's destroyed — especially bad because biotics are normally an instant kill and lower difficulties rely on using quick-recharging biotic powers to nullify the large numbers of Husks you encounter.
  • In Astro Boy: The Video Game, red enemies are immune to knockdown.
  • Spelunky has several:
    • Yetis and shopkeepers are immune to the whip; the remake adds green knights to this list.
    • The remake also adds enemies that are immune to unaided Goomba Stomps: the aforementioned green knights, giant frogs, and mammoths; mummies have also been promoted to this status. None of the above are immune to spike shoes, however.
  • Spyro the Dragon (1998) has two varieties. Giant Mooks can't be charged, and armored ones are immune to Spyro's fire breath. So, of course, a couple areas have giant, armored enemies, though there are still ways to deal with them. The armored giant spiders in the High Caves, for example, can be taken down with a supercharge.
  • Uruk captains in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor are usually immune to several of your attacks or abilities, such as stealth attacks, ranged attacks or being jumped over. To compensate, they have vulnerabilities as well. Berserkers are flat-out immune to all regular attacks and must be stunned or countered before they can be attacked.
  • Enforcers in Watch_Dogs are immune to takedowns until a certain skill is unlocked.
  • In Hotline Miami, Thugs and Inspectors are immune to melee attacks, and even when shot with a non-shotgun firearm, they can still keep going for a while until they bleed out. The sequel allows them to be killed with punches if you have the Tony mask on, and Alex can use her chainsaw to execute them.
    • Inverted with the Charging Prisoners in the sequel, who are Immune to Bullets, but can be killed just fine by melee attacks.
    • Dogs in both games are suicide to engage unarmed unless you have the Tony mask, and generally require a melee weapon or a gun to put down. Like Thugs and Inspectors, they can also not be stunned or door-slammed.
  • Common infected in Left 4 Dead 2 can be killed in a variety of ways, but certain campaigns will have special versions of them that make it harder to dispatch them. Hazmat infected in Dead Center are immune to fire damage, construction infected in Hard Rain are wearing earmuffs so can't hear the attached alarm of pipe bombs, and riot infected in The Parish wear heavy armor that makes them immune to regular weapons fire from the front.
  • Sleeping Dogs has a particularly literal example. Shaolin Monks at the temple have immunities usually reserved for bosses, and the ability to counter if the player tries to just blindly attack them. The only reliable weakness they have is that they can be countered themselves. They can, however, be somewhat reliably grabbed for defeating them quicker.
  • The Ninja Warriors Again has Golems, tall bipedal robots with extendable arms and Eye Beams. They're immune to most attacks from the front, automatically blocking them and causing a Sound of No Damage when you connect. However, they're not immune to throws or having mooks thrown into them, and their backs are vulnerable should your ninja robots manage to get behind them.
  • All enemies (including the boss) within the System Interior in Rabi-Ribi are immune to melee attacks, forcing the player to deal with them via ranged magic. Notably, when the player fights an illusory copy of the area boss outside the System Interior, they lose this immunity. Inversely, some bosses (most notably the ones during the Boss Rush in Forgotten Cave II) can inflict the Ban Skill debuff, which disables all melee attacks (including your air dash, which can make it harder to dodge certain bullet patterns.)
  • Star Wars:
    • Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast: The Force-using Reborn enemies are equipped with lightsabers, and can deflect nearly any blaster bolts or other energy weapons fired at them, regardless of number, distance, or angle. They also almost always dodge weapons that their lightsaber can't block, so the only realistic way to fight them is to get in close and go for a saber duel, or a duel using Force powers. Later, the game introduces the Shadow Troopers, who are like the Reborn but even tougher and more skilled, and equipped with a suit of armor that lets them take a lot more damage before going down.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Most mechanical units are immune to single-target spells and most debuffs. On the flipside, they can't be targeted by friendly buffs either (except the elven priest's Inner Fire).
    • Ancients are moving trees used as buildings by Night Elves who can uproot themselves and attack. Like all buildings, many spells won't work on them when uprooted but their armor is much lower.
    • The suicide-bomber Goblin Sappers are immune to a number of buffing abilities such as Invisibility and being loaded into Zeppelins. There's no in-universe justification for this Obvious Rules Patch.
    • Units with Spell Immunity are, well, immune to all spells helpful and harmful (although some healing spells work anyway) and Magic-type attacks.
    • Ethereal units can't be harmed by normal attacks (at the cost of having no attack themselves), but they take extra damage from spells and Magic-type damage, which is used by every faction's casters for minimal damage and by every faction heavy flyer (except the Horde). While the combination of magic-immune and ethereal doesn't exist in the standard game, it is possible to make, and the resulting unit is entirely untargetable but has no combat use if it doesn't have offensive spells.
  • In the original The Legend of Zelda several enemies are immune to various parts of your arsenal. Some simply require a specific subweapon to defeat, but just as common are enemies that can only be dealt with using the sword.
  • While most DOOM Eternal enemies can be defeated by the age-old tactic of "shoot it until it dies", the Marauder has a shield that protects him from all direct attacks, including even BFG shots. The only way to get past his defense is to either bait out his axe swing and then counterattack, or use explosives to hit him with splash damage from the side or rear.
  • Bloons Tower Defense:
    • Black Bloons are immune to explosions, and White Bloons are immune to freezing. They are both present within the Zebra Bloons, which has the immunity of both.
    • Lead Bloons are immune to sharp attacks, as well as some kinds of energy attacks (such as lasers), and unupgraded freezing.
    • Purple Bloons are immune to energy, whether in the form of lasers, magic attacks, or fire.
    • MOAB-class bloons retain their Contractual Boss Immunity after they become Degraded Boss, such as being immune to freeze, some kinds of One-Hit Kill, and slowness from non-specialized glue.
    • Later in the game, DDTs appear. These combine black and lead, on top of being camo and the standard MOAB-class bloon immunities. You will probably need a Monkey Intelligence Bureau to make a dent into them.
  • Fights in Tight Spaces minibosses are often Heavy, making them immune to being Downed, and one Jade Staff one is also immune to damage from his allies, making redirection effects less useful.
  • In Haven (2020), enemies with a green Battle Aura are only vulnerable to Impact attacks, those with a red aura can only be hit with Blast, Hornets have to be put down with a Duo Overload once their HP is depleted, some bosses require the use of Duo attacks to deal more than Scratch Damage on them, and others are only vulnerable for a brief window after attacking or being hit with a specific attack.
  • Hollow Knight has a few enemy types that are completely invulnerable to your Nail but can still be damaged using spells or Charms. These include the Elder Baldur and Crystal Crawler.
  • The ninja enemies from Ghostrunner can block your swords attacks from any angle, unlike every other enemy in the game. The only way to kill them is to use your special attacks or to parry one of their one sword swings to and counter-attack.
  • Pizza Tower:
    • Most enemies will freeze in place and drop their guards from fear if you charge at them at max speed, generally meaning that enemies which brandish weapons or launch projectiles won't interrupt a speedrun through a level when you're moving too quickly to react. However, a select number of damage-dealing enemies, especially in later stages, will not get scared, forcing you to either take them out quickly before they can attack or dodge their damage; some enemies will also not get scared if they're already in the middle of an attack.
    • Stupid Rats sit in place and block off passageways, and nothing in Peppino's standard moveset will make them budge. To get rid of them, he needs to utilize certain transformations or stage elements.

    Web Comics 
  • Black Belt of 8-Bit Theater more or less spells this out when White Mage calls him out on his inability to defend himself against giant spiders. He says he was specifically trained to fight humans and humanoids, so his fighting training (for example, attacking pressure points) is useless against the spiders.
  • Kid Radd has a few examples where the game physics used by our heroes and the game physics used by their opponents is different enough that problems will ensue. Perhaps the most potent example is the Big Bad itself, the Seer. It has absorbed the "any attack just takes away one hit point" trick of the Kid Radd style of platformer; thus no matter how much Radd charges up, it'll still be only 1 HP damage. Kind of a bummer after an adventure of overwhelming opponents with the sheer power granted by his programming glitch, huh?
    • Radd can charge up to the point where he could utterly destroy The Seer regardless of its programming, but he's not sure how far he should charge up to do so without affecting the rest of the Internet. It's probably a good thing he didn't, though, since The Seer's conflicting death programs caused it to crash upon its defeat.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Regular Show involves Mordecai and Rigby fighting a video game character that came to life. When they were playing the game itself, they found the boss was immune to all attacks except for throwing furniture at them. When said boss comes to life, everyone has to trash up the entire house, throwing everything that wasn't nailed down in order to defeat him.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Cad Bane shows that even being strong-willed can't help you if the Jedi really want to persuade you when Mace, Obi-Wan, and Kit Fisto brute-force him into telling them what they need to know. It's clear that being forcefully mind-controlled like that is a horrible deed, Bane's left clearly in mental anguish from it and the Jedi all visibly regret it but have no choice in the matter. That said, for having three Jedi masters persuading him so hard and still managing to not crack until he's nearly knocked unconscious from the mental trauma, it's clear that a single Jedi would never be able to break him.

    Real Life 
  • In World War I, machineguns were a staple of defensive operations. Then along came the tank, a (somewhat) Immune to Bullets metal monster. Assuming that mechanical failure or rough terrain wasn't in play, the only thing that could really stop a tank was artillery fire, which wasn't always accurate. This real life Game-Breaker, along with US intervention, ended the stalemate on the Western Front and helped win the war.
  • The perfection of the aircraft carrier as a weapon of naval warfare in World War II rendered the battleship obsolete, since it could only lob a shell up to thirty kilometers away at most, while the carrier could launch bombers from hundreds of kilometers away and sink any battleship from a safe distance. This was exemplified by the sinking of the Yamato, the most powerful battleship ever built which was sent on a suicide run against the American Pacific Fleet towards the end of the war after most of the Japanese carrier fleet had been sunk; it didn't get very far before being bombed and torpedoed to the bottom of the sea without ever even catching sight of the American carriers.
  • In the earlier stages of World War II, certain tanks were armored so heavily that they could No-Sell the anti-tank weapons distributed to infantry at the time, and even in some extreme cases the guns of other tanks! Again, it fell to artillery (and emplacement guns like the Germans' 88mm Flak cannon) to destroy them until technology improved. On the flip side, at the end of the war, Germany produced several tanks and tank destroyers (namely the Elefant, Jagdtiger, and Maus) that were so heavily armored that they were effectively impervious to all the anti-tank cannons being used by the Allies. However, they were so large and slow that they were vulnerable to artillery, tank hunting dive bombers, infantry swarming attacks, and simple mechanical breakdowns.
  • Also during World War II, the all-female "Night Witches" of the Soviet Air Forces dropped bombs from wooden crop dusters — which were advantageous precisely because they weren't military planes. They flew so slowly that the Nazis' planes couldn't engage them while remaining aloft, and they were light enough to sneak up on Those Wacky Nazis at night without running their engines. The crop dusters' light weight often also let the Night Witches land gently even when they got shot down.
  • Some armies have actively recruited colourblind people as snipers since, in their eyes, many varieties of camouflage don't blend in.
  • In the animal kingdom:
    • Owls' poor sense of smell makes them a Smelly Skunk's worst enemy.
    • Skunks, on the other hand, have nothing to fear from Scary Stinging Swarms as they are apparently highly resistant or outright immune to the stings of yellow jacket hornets. They'll think nothing of digging up the nest of nature's assholes, tearing it apart, and scarfing down on the larvae inside as the hornets helplessly try to sting it in vain.
    • As another example of Disability Immunity, corgis were originally bred as herding dogs because their dwarfed legs kept them too close to the ground for cattle to kick.
    • Hedgehogs, actual hogs, honey badgers, and (most famously) mongooses each independently evolved an immunity to a specific neurotoxin that occurs in many snakes' venom.
    • Cane toads, which have infamously become invasive pests in Australia, are especially troublesome because they're too poisonous for most Australian Wildlife to eat. (Yep, the little bastards are too toxic even for the Land Down Under — or more specifically, toxic in a way that Australia wasn't used to.) The only critters that can eat them are the black kite (a bird that figured out which bits are safe to eat), certain snakes (which evolved smaller jaws that can't fit the bigger, more poisonous toads), and the meat ant (which is straight-up immune).
    • Sea turtles can eat the highly toxic box jellyfish species Chironex fleckeri because the jellyfish's stingers can't penetrate the turtles' thick skin.


Video Example(s):



Don't bother using a Core Eject grenade on a Streetcleaner - they'll just swat it aside, no worse for wear.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / KungFuProofMook

Media sources: