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Life Drain

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An attack that does damage and also heals you.

Life Drain attacks generally come in three flavors:

  • HP restored equals the full damage dealt. Sometimes the reverse is also true, causing the maximum strength of the attack to vary inversely by the user's HP, and in particular fail to have any effect if their HP is already full. If so, it also has elements of a Desperation Attack.
  • HP restored equals a reasonable portion of the damage dealt, frequently 50%.
  • HP restored is a small fraction (such as 1%, 10%) of the damage dealt, to the point where the HP restoration is more of an added effect than the primary purpose for the attack. May also manifest as a status buff. Also possibly due to Health/Damage Asymmetry

Oftentimes, Life Drain will be ineffective against undead (since they don't have any Life Energy to drain), or worse, it'll end up healing them and hurting the user, for much the same reason that Revive Kills Zombie.

Subtrope of Liquid Assets. Related to Mana Drain. The exact opposite of Cast from Hit Points. The modus operandi of the Life Drinker. For the non video game mechanic version, see Vampiric Draining. This may fall under Bad Powers, Bad People, given that it involves destroying other people to empower oneself.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • This is the main reason why the titular object of Death Note exists in the first place. All shinigami were created to drain the lifespans of humans, which they execute by writing their names on Death Note. Consequently, if they use Death Note to prevent a human from being killed by another, they will die, even if they technically also kill someone in the process, because it means they have just extended a human's life, which is anathema to their very nature as shinigami. Ryuk pointedly explains to Light that humans don't enjoy this privilege; no matter how many people they kill through Death Note, their lifespans will stay the same.
  • One Piece: by using the powers of the Woods Woods Fruit, which gives him power over flora, Admiral Rokugyuu/Aramaki can generate roots from his body and use them to impale his opponents and drain their fluids, turning them into dried husks too weak to move. The fact that he has been fasting for four years but is still lively confirms that he can use this method to keep himself healthy.

    Card Games 
  • Hero Realms: Played with 0- instead of gaining life after doing damage, this card allows the player to draw another card instead.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • A staple effect of Black spells such as Consume Spirit, Drain Life, and Tendrils of Agony, which deal a certain amount of damage to your enemy and give you an equal amount of life. Some White spells such as Spirit Link tend to emphasize the healing portion of the effect; Spirit Link takes something that automatically does damage — creature combat — and makes it heal you too),
    • Defiant Bloodlord is an inversion (in contrast to most of the Vampire creature type, which plays it straight): instead of giving you life when your opponent loses life, it takes life from your opponent when you gain life.

    Fan Works 
  • Code: Total Drama Reality: Courtney can drain monsters of their life points to restore hers.
  • In Dungeon Keeper Ami, this is a common power amongst necromancers, vampires, dark mistresses, youmas and fairies. Keeper Mercury learns how to use necromantic magic to drain and then transport life energy, and then learns the youma way to do it from General Jadeite.
  • Certain Friday Night Funkin' mods feature opponents who have the passive ability to drain the Player Characters health, some with different execution:
    • In general, certain characters/mods drains health at certain increments for each note on their side, notable examples include Tabi (who's one of the first to do this), Taki and Expunged.
    • The corrupted characters from Pibby Corrupted are the same as the above, though only doing so when the white and black static notes appear on their side of the chart. Mind you, their charts can get rather spammy, and while you're often not asked to replicate them exactly, they'll still reduce you close to getting a Game Over in most of the later songs.
    • Ina (from the fan-made mod for HoloFunk) takes an unusual approach to this ability: having dedicated Sanity Notes that'll not only take away your health whenever she hits them, it also doubles as Maximum HP Reduction, with the player only able to recover if they hit the Sanity Notes that appear on the playable side.
    • HoloFunk: Rushia in her Brutal Bonus Level not only sings in the standard health draining manner, she also has the ability to scream certain notes, doing extra damage and with the capability of causing a Game Over if the player has zero health.
  • Halloween Unspectacular: In "The Picture", Percivale Northwest keeps himself alive by turning his victims into paintings and doing this.

    Film — Animated 
  • Kaena: The Prophecy: The Selenite Queen powers up her attacks against Vecanoi by literally absorbing other Selenites, killing them.

  • A Dearth of Choice: One of the dungeon's few Life-aligned monsters is a Lifedrinker, which latches onto the target and starts draining life energy from them. Not especially threatening by itself, but the more energy it drains from its victims, the stronger it becomes.
  • Tempest (2011): In Tempest Revealed, Tempest does a life drain on her own allies in order to gather enough energy for an attack on Tiamat.
  • Wraith Knight: This is the go-to move of Jacob Riverson AKA the titular Wraith Knight. He possesses the power to drain the life of his enemies and use them to empower his own spells. Given he's frequently set against armies and foes even more powerful than himself, it is an easy way to sustain himself.

  • Binary Break: Capmon's Mycospear attack can drain an opponent's energy.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: A few different entities have gotten this. The Virus was given the ability to use this on two specific enemies at one point.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting: At their full power, the Wraps of Dynamak allow a Bare-Fisted Monk wearing them to unleashed a Ravenous Strike, which deals about 20 necrotic damage and heals the monk for as much necrotic damage as they dished out. This strike can be used again after a short rest, making it source of healing for Glass Cannon Monks up to 3 times a day.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd Edition:
    • A half-succubus (alu-fiend) can drain 1d8 Hit Points by touch and be healed for half the amount drained.
    • A Vampiric Regeneration Ring heals its wearer for half the hitpoints the wearer inflicts on other creatures in melee combat.
    • The bite of a fang dragon drains all hit points from its target and transfers them to the dragon.
  • Monster of the Week: Some attacks are tagged so that they can do this. The main player character with access is the Monstrous, particularly a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire Monstrous.
  • Pathfinder: Wraiths can absorb Hit Points from creatures they're in physical contact with. Dread wraiths do this to anything in their immediate vicinity.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Daemons of Tzeentch who are elevated to the position of Herald are gifted with a ritual knife as a mark of their new status. These weapons are enchanted to siphon the energies of those they cut to heal the Herald's wounds, something the 8th Edition rules represent by allowing the Herald to heal a wound whenever they slay an enemy with their knife.

    Video Games 
  • The 7th Saga featured two spells, HPCatcher and MPCatcher, which transferred some of the targets HP or MP to the caster.
  • 20XX: The Owlhawk and Dracopent chest augments have a chance of restoring health on a kill: Owlhawk procs on special weapon use, while Dracopent prefers standard weapon attacks. Owlhawk's arm augment also gives a chance of restoring energy on a standard weapon kill.
  • Afterimage:
    • The Ancient Fangs dualblades restore a bit of Renee's HP with each hit.
    • Red Renee recovers her HP whenever her attacks damage you during her boss fights.
    • The other variant focuses on a "Recover HP on Kill" stat that recovers Renee's HP whenever she kills an enemy. Some weapons or equipment adjust or increase it, though there's also an unlockable Talent node which passively provides this effect. 42 also has a similar passive during her ten playable New Game Plus chapters.
  • In Akatsuki Blitzkampf, the Knowledge Broker Sai possesses a Deadly Gaze that lets him inflict several stat-changing afflictions on his foes. His Super tops it by not only giving all these "curses" to the target at the same time, but also draining him/her of life energy and adding it to Sai's own life bar. It turns out to be a plot point, since this specific power has helped Sai to keep himself young and at top notch fighting form through at least five or six decades, letting him become a major player in the story.
  • In Apotheon, Nikandreos can equip the Mantis Sword, which heals him with every successful attack it makes.
  • In Arknights, a number of Operators have Life Drain skills/traits, such as Nightmare, Flamebringer, and Hellagur.
  • In Arx Fatalis, there's an area-of-effect spell literally called Life Drain, but it's of questionable usefulness. It will deplete your mana meter in seconds and works only in very small radius (roughly ONE step). You surely do not want to get that close to stronger enemies as they deal more damage than the spell heals, and weaker ones are pretty well killed without it.
  • Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm: Edge can use Soul Eater when equipped with Jiptus Mana. Iris can summon the Faustus Mana to do the same, but since many of the enemies are immune to Faustus' trait...
  • In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Barkley can learn Vampire Dunk which hits an enemy and heals Barkley for the amount of Hit Points damaged. Later there's an Optional Boss' skill Soul Consume, which combines this with a One-Hit Kill.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: Attacks with the Drain special cause the attacking unit to heal for half of the damage inflicted unless the target has a trait that makes them immune (such as being undead or mechanical). In the default era only Undead units and the Vampire Bat have Drain, but mods add plenty more.
  • Battlerite: Most of Ruh Kaan's moveset involves this. His normal attack, once charged, inflicts a Curse on an enemy that causes all subsequent hits to deal bonus damage and heal Ruh Kaan. His Claw of the Wicked absorbs health from enemies and pulls them closer, and his Reaping Scythe damages the enemies around him while healing him.
  • The Binding of Isaac: A variation with Charm of the Vampire; it restores one half of a heart for every 13th kill you get. Similarly, The Leech familiar restores half a heart each time it gets a killing blow.
  • BioShock and BioShock 2 both have Gene Tonics that heal Jack/Delta upon dealing damage with the wrench/drill. How a liquid that you inject into your body can tell that you're specifically holding a wrench is anyone's guess.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna the Bloodedge's Azure Grimoire requires living souls in order to function. In a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, his drive's name is called "Soul Eater" and any time he strikes an opponent with his drive attacks, he drains their health and adds it to his own.
  • Blood Knights sees you playing as Jeremy (a dhampyr) and Alyssa (a vampire). Both of you can execute enemies by draining blood, which increases your own health in the process; for the latter draining life is literally the only method of health gain for her.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: Multiple:
    • In a twist, Miriam's Blood Steal Shard can drain blood to restore her health, but it doesn't work as long as the blood is still in the enemy. You have to hit the enemy first, then use Blood Steal to suck the blood off the bloodstained floors and walls.
    • The Drain passive Shard is a straighter example, with each hit Miriam lands with a weapon or power having a chance to heal a small amount of health. Sadly, the amount that it heals is so low that even if maxed out it tends to be more of a "make Miriam lose health slightly less quickly" effect than actually healing her in a pitch battle.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • All of the Moxxi weapons (which are generally earned as unique quest rewards) have the ability to heal you for a percentage of the damage dealt when you wield them. While for most of them it's generally roughly 2-5%, the Rubi has a 12% healing rate while the Grog Nozzle has a 65%. A slag variation of the weapon can result in some very potent healing and is somewhat necessary in higher difficulties. The "health gating" mechanic, which makes it impossible for enemies to deplete your entire health bar in one hit as long as you are over 50% health, has made the slag Rubi and Grog Nozzle examples of Complacent Gaming Syndrome, because they can make you literally unkillable with the right build. If you don't use either of these weapons then be prepared to have many people tell you that you're playing the game wrong.
    • Axton's Able skill means that any damage he deals will heal him for a few seconds. The effect doesn't stack with multiple hits, it just refreshes, but it also refreshes with every tic of Damage Over Time, meaning that incendiary, corrosive and shock weaponry are a constant source of health as long as there's something to shoot at, and even more so if Axton wields a Moxxi weapon while Able is active.
    • Like in the previous game, Transfusion grenades explode into a cluster of projectiles that home in on enemies, deal damage (in BL2's case, with the grenade's elemental effect), and spawn heal orbs that home in towards the thrower or their allies.
    • Maya's Sweet Release skill makes enemies that die in a phaselock release the exact same heal orbs of Transfusion grenades.
    • Inverted with one of Gaige's Anarchy-build skills, which causes her to lose health on a kill, but regain shields...unless, of course, you have the Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty DLC, which has a pickup that allows all kills to restore health. Gaige with both of these is basically unkillable against a large group of appropriately levelled enemies, particularly at 400 Anarchy stacks.
  • Brave Hero Yuusha: The Drain skill allows Yuusha to drain HP from one enemy.
  • In Brütal Legend, Eddie can purchase a treatment for The Seperator that returns a small portion of damage done by the weapon to Eddie as health.
  • Castlevania:
    • Symphony of the Night:
      • Alucard has Soul Steal.
      • The Mourneblade restores 8 HP every time it hits an enemy.
    • The later games give you access to HP-draining abilities. The Succubus soul in Aria claims to let you drain HP from enemies with your attacks, but what actually happens is that every time your weapon hits any enemy or object (including all those destructible candles and things), you regain 5 HP. In Dawn the Succubus soul is a subweapon, with which Soma steps forward to bite enemies, drinking their blood to restore a healthy amount of his HP. The close range required to use this makes it hard to top yourself off without bumping into the enemies you're trying to drain.
  • Champions Online has "Lifedrain" as a rather potent such power for the Darkness power set. And when used by NPC's, it's backed up by the Badass Boast , "Your soul shall be mine!"
  • Chaos Faction 2 has the "Health Leech" weapon, which allows its wielder to bite down on enemies much like a vampire and drain their health to heal themselves.
  • City of Heroes has various life drain powers in its Dark themed sets. They range from Siphon Life, which heals a small amount of its damage dealt, to Dark Regeneration, which deals very minor damage in return for the strongest healing in the game.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Soviet faction is likely the only non-magical military faction to utilize this attack. Their Main Battle Tank, the Hammer, utilizes it as part of a secondary ability (which also gives it an extra weapon if the targeted unit dies under the effect), and a faction-wide upgrade called "Grinder Treads" lets the Hammer, Apocalypse and other tracked vehicles recover health by running over enemy infantry (or tanks for the Apocalypse).
  • In Dark Souls, the curved greatsword Server and the Butcher Knife both grant a little health with every hit, and the Ring of the Evil Eye grants a little health with every kill.
  • Devil May Cry franchise:
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Nevan the succubus-like witch has a special attack that she only uses when her health is low. She teleports behind Dante to attempt a Kiss of Death that deals high damage and recharges her health to almost full in a single move.
    • Agnus of Devil May Cry 4 can use two different lifestealing attacks, which he will loudly announce and spend a long time telegraphing. One used more frequently requires physical contact and the rarer one is an undodgeable omnidirectional field - dodge the former and attack Agnus to break his concentration before he charges up the latter.
  • Diablo:
    • One possible weapon special ability is healing your character when you damage opponents.
    • Diablo 3: This attribute on weapons is very common, along with skills that do the same. It's easy to rely too much on the ability to steal life faster than the enemy can hurt you, making your character Untouchable Until Tagged by something like an ice blast which temporarily takes away your ability to attack.
  • Dice and the Tower of the Reanimator: Glorious Princess: In the good ending route, the Reanimator uses her full moveset, which includes an attack that absorbs HP from Bambooblade. However, it only heals about the same amount as a weak attack from Bambooblade, making the battle last one turn longer at best.
  • Disciples makes use of this ability on some of the Undead units (heals 50% of damage), and an Artifact (heals 25% of damage dealt). Some units in the sequel have an upgraded version of this ability that shares "excess" healing with the other units in the group.
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: Valvatorez, himself a vampire, has this on his first two unique skills, Impaler Prince (hits a 1x3 line, restores 5% of damage dealt as HP) and Bloody Hole (hits the 4 immediately adjacent squares around him, restores 10% of damage dealt). His Tyrant Self upgrades those skills to Tyrant Sweep (hits a 1x5 line, 5% restoration) and Bloody Sting (hits only a single target for 10% restoration, but has increased power).
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy: The special ability granted to Firion and The Emperor in their EX Modes is Blood Weapon/Blood Magic respectively, functionally identical—when they deal HP damage, they are both healed to an amount equivalent to their Bravery stat when performing the attack. Kain's EX Mode in the prequel gives him access to a move named Lancet, which will heal Kain equivalent to the damage dealt.
    • It should be noted that the Blood Sword equip in the original Final Fantasy II didn't actually function this way; back then, it caused damage proportional to the maximum HP of the target, and did NOT restore any of the wielder's health. It was only from Final Fantasy III that the 'drain HP' effect was attributed to Blood weaponry that appeared in subsequent games.
    • The summons Barbariccia and Kraken work kind of like this, as well—their effect is to swap the Bravery of the caster and the opponent, ideally crippling the opponent while giving the caster a hefty total of Bravery. However, considering that Barbariccia's effect activates upon the opponent using their own summon and Kraken has a countdown of significant length before taking effect, they also have the potential to backfire in a spectacular manner.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Vampiric Hunger skill, the Life Steal weapon enchantment, and points in the Necromancer combat ability all heal a character for a percent of all the damage they deal to enemy Hit Points, though they don't affect the quantity or nature of the character's damage output.
  • Dota 2: A few heroes heroes have abilities like this, but any hero can enjoy Lifesteal and Spell Lifesteal effects with appropriate items and/or talents. Like all abilities, they differ in upsides and downsides, but Pugna's Life Drain is easily the most powerful among them, as befits an ultimate ability. Bane's Brain Sap used to simulate this capability by simply healing him a fixed amount at the same moment damage is dealt, but now those two facets aren't divorced. Death Prophet has two different abilites that heal off damage dealt: Spirit Siphon and Exorcism, but with the latter you need to wait for the ghosts to return with stolen health. Other examples are Poison Dagger from Queen of Pain and any spell Invoker casts while affected by Quas essences.
  • Dragon Age also features a Drain Life spell. If you cast a Vulnerability Hex on the target first, you can actually perform an Improved Drain. Later games give the Reaver specialization the Devour ability, which goes a long way toward mitigating their Glass Cannon tendencies.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Multiple party members can gain abilities that work like this such as Miracle Slash, and multiple enemy types use such abilities. It especially compliments the Walking Spoiler Sixth Ranger party member's tanking focused skillset.
  • Dungeon Crawl has weapons with Vampiric branding, which can heal you based upon the Negative Energy damage it does, and also "feeds" you with nutrition occasionally when you successfully drain something. Of course, this weapon also requires your character to be well-fed before they can actually wield it, and the Good gods Elyvilon, Zin and the Shining One forbid the use of such unholy weapons. There is a spell called Vampiric Draining that also does this.
  • DUSK-12 have you playing as two characters, the Special Operatives Andrey and the genetically-enhanced Super-Soldier Gorin. As Andrey you regain health by way of medi-kits, but as Gorin you have a Psychic Strangle attack where your enemies glows with a red aura, and as their life depletes yours increases.
  • In EarthBound (1994), Jeff's HP-sucker machine does this to a single enemy, though it has a chance of failure each time it's used. Its souped-up version, the Hungry HP-sucker, does this to all enemies in a battle, though like the previous model it also has a chance of failure.
  • Elden Ring: One of the things that makes Malenia so hard is that she regains a good chunk of health whenever she hits you, even if the hits were blocked. Flavor-wise, it's actually described as Heroic Willpower allowing her to continue the fight just a little bit longer every time she lands a strike.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Two spell types available throughout the series (usually classed in the Destruction school of magic) are the Drain and Absorb spells, which can be used to drain/absorb a targets Health, Fatigue, or a specific Attribute. Drain spells cause a temporary reduction, do not confer it to the spellcaster, and the the reduction is restored after the spell wears off. Naturally, they cost less to Magicka to cast than equivalent Absorb spells, which do confer whatever is drained to the spellcaster. Like most spells, these effects can also be enchanted into weapons.
    • The Necromancer's Amulet is a recurring artifact item throughout the series. This is one of the many powerful abilities it grants the wearer.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: You can learn the Drain Vitality Shout (which absorbs the Health, Magicka, and Fatigue of the target) as part of the Dawnguard DLC.
  • Endless Legend: The Broken Lords maintain their bodies by draining Dust — from the environment or from sentient beings. Their infantry unit, the Stalwarts, automatically heal if their target is killed within the same turn they are attacked, and their support unit, the Dust Bishops, can drain life from afar and use it to heal nearby allies.
  • Eternal Sonata: One of Beat's guns restores his health as a percentage of damage dealt to the target.
  • Evolve has an unusual version with Slim's leech gun, which charges his heal burst with every successful hit.
  • The Vampire move drains enemy HP and gives them to your monster.
  • Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark: The Duelist class’s Leech Life passive skill heals them whenever they damage an enemy. Other classes have active abilities which drain health from their target, like the Fellblade’s Health Siphon or the Marked’s Drain Health.
  • Final Fantasy: Most games have the spell "Drain", which drains HP and usually restores one-to-one. It varies substantially in power from game to game, or even between remakes, but is usually pretty lame compared to spells that just heal or just hurt. It's also common to have one or more weapons that do the same — usually a Blood Sword — which may or may not be game breaking if used in certain ways. Also, when used against undead enemies, it is common for drain effects to reverse; they will instead heal the undead enemy and hurt the attacker.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the Blood Word effect can be achieved by junctioning the Drain spell to a weapon's Status Attack, with the percentage of damage added to the character's HP based on the number of Drain spells stocked (up to 100 for 100%). As with most spells in the game, this is usually better than actually casting it.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics has this spell always take a percentage of the target's maximum hit points. On enemies that have very high defenses and a large stash of hit points (like all of the Lucavi and the Final Boss), they effectively became the most powerful attack abilities available, taking them from Not Completely Useless and turning them into a Game-Breaker.
    • Final Fantasy X: Kimahri Ronso's Lancet ability combines this with Mana Drain, but it's not all that strong, and is really put to better use for learning his Overdrives. In Final Fantasy X-2, the move is retitled as Absorb that can be learned by Gun Mage.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Fragile Hearts In Fragile Hearts 2: Shattered Dreams, Bazur gains an HP Steal skill, but it's the worst of both worlds, dealing signficantly lower damage than his regular attack and not healing enough to be worth it.
  • FunOrb: Underdark spells in Arcanists specialize in draining life.
  • Fury Unleashed: A possible enchantment for grenades. Uncommonly, instead of directly stealing life-force, they guarantee the enemy drops a health pickup, which you still have to go fetch.
  • In God Eater Burst each of Shio's attacks will restore a tiny amount of health, since she's a humanoid Aragami and is technically eating bits of her enemies. One of the control units you can equip grants health regeneration during burst mode, which counts since you enter burst mode when your Living Weapon bites a chunk out of the monsters, damaging them to give you power.
  • Guild Wars: Necromancers have a large selection of spells that do this.
  • Grim Dawn has a number of ways to convert attack damage to health. The Shaman, Occultist, and Necromancer masteries all have skills that include a life drain component. Other classes can get life drain from equipment or Devotion constellations.
  • In Half-Life mod Point of View Xonxt's electric bolt heals him if the target is a living organism.
  • Hearthstone: The Lifesteal keyword causes the card to heal your hero equal to any damage it deals. It can be found in most classes to some capacity, but is most frequently used by Priest, Warlock, and Demon Hunter. Demon Hunters have a legendary minion named Il'gynoth that causes your Lifesteal to damage the opponent instead of heal you, which is the center of a very strong OTK deck.
  • Heretic grants life-draining when the Tome of Power is used with the Gauntlets of the Necromancer. The combo can outheal even a Maulotaur's melee damage potential.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • Vampires gain 50% of the damage they deal on an attack back as HP.
    • Certain spells and artifacts throughout the series give players the ability to grant all of their units this power.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Many tanks and bruisers have a form of life drain in order to keep them in the fight, whether it be from abilities or talents. Mal'Ganis is entirely built around lifesteal, since his trait converts a portion of all damage he deals into health.
    • One of Gul'dan's abilities lets him suck life from an enemy. It's handy too, since he'll need to constantly trade health in order to restore his mana.
    • Whitemane has an interesting variation; her trait puts a buff on any ally she heals, causing them to temporarily heal for a portion of damage she deals to enemy heroes, basically spreading lifesteal to her whole team. Her direct healing sucks, so she gets most of her healing value by being aggressive.
    • Before Tassadar was reworked from a Support to an Assassin, he could put a shield on an ally that gave them lifesteal while it held. When this was removed, Tracer was reworked to have innate lifesteal on her basic attacks since she had become very reliant on Tassadar in competitive play.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]: The Drain Dive command restores a fraction of the damage you deal with it as HP. It's no substitute to a proper heal, however. There's also the Drain buff some dream eaters can bestow, which recovers a miniscule amount of HP per regular attack you land (Which can be fairly helpful when coupled with Once More and Second Chance).
  • Knights of Pen and Paper: Dark Bats may attack with an attack that heals them while damaging party members, along with a few points of Mana Burn, averaging around 2.
  • League of Legends has lifesteal and spell vampirism, which regenerate health based on basic attacks and spell/ability damage respectively. These characteristics are mostly given through items, but Nasus has lifesteal and Morgana has (situational) spell vampirism as passive abilities. Beyond this a number of champions have spells that do this in various ways.
    • Fiddlesticks Life Drain spell is a damage beam that restores a significant portion of the damage dealt as he channels it.
    • Vladimir three of his four spells drain health; Transfusion is a single target attack, Sanguine Pool involves sinking into a pool of blood and draining the health of those he passes underneath, and Hemoplague is a big damage/heal area attack.
    • Nunu's Consume deals a huge amount of damage to a non-champion target, and heals him.
    • Sion's Glory in Death, when killed he revives at full HP (that quickly drains), and is reduced to basic attacks, but gets 100% Life Steal.
    • Trundle's Sugjugate steals health, as well as Armor and Magic Resistance.
    • Warwick's normal attacks heal him (only if below half HP). And his two lunge attacks (Jaws of the Beast and Infinite Duress) will both heal him for some of the damage dealt.
  • Luminous Plume:
    • The optional boss, Ancient Rider, has an upswing that deals a decent amount of damage while healing HP. Whatever percentage of the player's HP it deals, it heals back, which is worse than it sounds because of Health/Damage Asymmetry.
    • The Final Boss has a projectile that can drain HP too, but at the level the player fights that boss, it doesn't do enough damage to heal much.
    • Raven himself has the tech, Soul Devour, which drains HP from the enemy in proportion to how stunned they are being being hit.
  • Luxaren Allure: Chisa has skills, like Drain Chop and Nebulous Surge, which drain health from one or several enemies.
  • In Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Ghosts will attack Majin by getting close, then sucking onto him and not letting go until Tepeu shakes them off. It is possible for several of them to do that at once.
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis: Pamela accomplishes this with her living teddy bear's "kisses". At its highest level, the skill can drain life from the entire enemy party and transfer it to the player's active party members.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Shuma-Gorath has a throw that does this in his appearances in the games; it started out being able to take all life but eventually was downgraded to only restore Shuma's 'red' life. Thanos also has a super that can drain life in his two appearances. Omega Red could do this with his Tentacle Throw special attack after grabbing an opponent.
  • Mass Effect 2: Samara's bonus power, Reave, does this against organic enemies. Related is Energy Drain (Tali's bonus power), which does the same thing to synthetic enemies, though it restores shields instead of health. Both return as bonus powers in Mass Effect 3 (Energy Drain again as one of Tali's powers; Reave as one of Kaidan's bonus powers), but Reave has been nerfed so that it reduces damage taken instead of restoring health, making it no longer an example of this trope.
  • Master of the Monster Lair: Some special weapon abilities can do this, as can the Lifesteal spell.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo: An in-game cheat enables a type 1, possibly depending on how full the health is also a type 2, mode called Vampiric Draining which restores Neo's lost health as enemies are killed.
  • In McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, the four end-of-level bosses use their Vacuum Mouth to suck one of the gems from Ronald's life bar. However, Ronald can use their attack to his advantage, as the magic of the gems temporarily makes the boss vulnerable to his attacks. Ronald does have to mind his life bar, but he can collect health power-ups by defeating the boss' minions.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 7: Shade Man will drain your health if he grabs you.
    • Mega Man V has the Grab Buster weapon, which steals health if it hits an enemy.
    • Mega Man X has Launch Octopus's E-Drain move, should you get caught by his Combat Tentacles. Mega Man X8 has Dark Mantis's grab move that also drains your health.
  • Might and Magic:
    • VII and VIII have Souldrinker spell that deals damage to everything on sight and restores those HP to your party. Quite broken if used right given the resistance to Dark Magic is not that common.
    • X has Word of Light that works in similar way except being Light Magic spell. Since few final dungeons have nothing but dark-aligned enemies, it's quite handy. Not so much for DLC which has mostly light-aligned inquisitors, though.
  • Nexus Clash: Defiler demons can drain the life of their enemies to make delicious, nutritious, Karma Meter-devastating Blood Ice to heal themselves on demand.
  • Onmyoji:
    • Kyūketsu-hime has this ability.note 
    • Kachōfūgetsu can take enemies' HP for herself or for one of her teammates per turn, and can make it breathtakingly beautiful.
    • For other shikigami who can't do this, equip them with four Kōmori no Tsubasa (Bat's Wings) mitama and watch them life drain away.
  • Path of Exile uses the third type, returning some small percentage of physical damage as healing. There are also item properties that return a fixed amount of health on hitting an enemy. All claw-type weapons have an inherent life drain property and several claw-specific passive skills increase the amount drained.
  • In PAYDAY 2, there is a number of perk decks that run on variations of this trope:
    • A fully upgraded Infiltrator perk deck allows the player to restore 20 point of health upon hitting an enemy with a melee weapon, with a 20 second cooldown.
    • The Sociopath perk deck allows the player to restore 10 point of health upon killing an enemy with a melee weapon per second from each hit.
    • The Grinder perk deck focuses on health regeneration, where the player gains up to 4 health points every third of a second for over four seconds upon damaging an enemy. The only downside is that the deck will only work with two-piece suit or lightweight ballistic vest.
  • PewDiePie's Pixelings: Pixelings with the "Vampire" passive ability can heal 25% of the damage dealt to their target. This is usually given to Assassins or otherwise more damage-based Pixelings (Vlad and UllaBrita, for example.)
  • Phantasy Star II: Anna Zirski has the Fanbi technique, which drains some life from a foe to replenish hers.
  • All vampire characters in Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare have some form of this. Baron Von Bats' vampire bite attack heals more damage than it deals and his summoned vampire zombies heal 5 HP per attack. Count Chompula heals a fixed 50 HP after swallowing a zombie regardless of how much health that zombie had left. Vampire Flower heals 3 health per shot, which is usually half the amount of damage dealt.
  • Pokémon:
    • Absorb (as well as its upgrades, Mega Drain and Giga Drain), Dream Eater, Drain Punch, Horn Leech, Leech Life, Leech Seed, Draining Kiss, Parabolic Charge, Oblivion Wing, Bouncy Bubble, Bitter Blade, and Matcha Gotcha all give their user health while damaging the enemy,
    • The Shell Bell held item activates whenever an attack successfully connects with the foe and restores 1/8th of the damage dealt back to the user.
    • The Big Root item can increase the amount of damage restoration when held.
    • The ability Liquid Ooze (possessed by Tentacool, Gulpin, and their evolutions) causes any HP-draining attacksnote  used against the wielder to instead cause damage to the drainer (though the damage to the wielder is not negated).
  • Project Eden: The extractor drains life energy to recharge your energy reserves, extra energy creates batteries for your team to use.
  • Remnants of Isolation: Celesta's Arcane Pulse does this. Healing exactly the amount of health the enemy lost. If the damage done is more than the enemy's remaining health, Celesta will heal by the amount of damage it took to bring the enemy to 0 Hit Points.
  • The Siphoning Warheads, Siphoning Mine Cores, and Siphoning Rig modules in Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages add a life drain effect to your space fighter's rockets, mines, and melee attacks respectively.
  • RuneScape has quite a few: Onyx-tipped crossbow bolts, the Saradomin Godsword and Saradomin/Guthix Bow, Guthan's armor set, blood spells, the Vampyrism aura and blood essence, and the Soul Split curse.
  • Samurai Warriors: the first game features the Dark/Absorb element which allows the user of said weapon to drain life from the victims (visually represented by pale green blobs of light flying from the victim to the user). Later games remove this element but still have similar options in the skill Cutthroat (replenish a little health once every 100 K.O.s) or the Absorb weapon property in Warriors Orochi.
  • In Scarface: The World Is Yours, Tony regains health when he kills enemies in Blind Rage.
  • In Secret of Evermore, an alchemist in Antiqua will teach you the Drain formula that will damage enemies and heal the Boy for an equivalent amount. Return to the same alchemist after acquiring both Diamond Eyes and he will teach you the more powerful Double Drain.
  • Sengoku Basara: in a similar way to Samurai Warriors, weapons and skills with the Darkness element allow the user to replenish his/her health at the expense of slain soldiers. Unlike Samurai Warriors, this elemental power remained consistent across the series and you actually need to kill a soldier to activate the life drain (which is otherwise useless against other officers).
  • Shin Megami Tensei has this in the form of spells such as "HP Drain", "MP Drain" and "Leech" ("Meditation" in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne) (which simultaneously drains HP and MP). "Drain" in Devil Survivor games works by draining both HP and MP, and "Life Drain" only leeches HP, but it gets more powerful as the user Turns Red.
  • Skylanders has Chop Chop, who gains the ability Vampire Blade upon leveling up. It allows his sword to steal health from enemies.
  • Sonny: In the second game, a number of attack abilities (such as Terrify) damage an enemy and heal your character.
  • Soul Series: Yoshimitsu has two moves involving this. The first drains the opponent health if it hits, but, if the opponent counters it, they will reverse the move and drain Yoshimitsu's health. The second move works in the exact opposite way: it gives health to the opponent unless they counter the move, in which case they will unavoidably give Yoshimitsu their health.
  • Star Wars:
    • Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy: This is a Dark Side Force power. When leveled up to its max, you can make a roomful of stormtroopers drop dead while pushing your health beyond the normal maxes. Of course, the dark Force cult members known as Reborn don't hesitate to use it on you. Also, stolen health is harder to hold onto than less What the Hell, Hero?-inducing manners: you'll take a bit more damage than you would otherwise, and the above-100 health slips away even if you don't take any damage.
    • Knights of the Old Republic has a Dark Side ability with the same name. The area-effect version of this ability is called "death field".
  • Suikoden: The Drain Rune heals its bearer's HP by 10% of the physical damage done to a single enemy.
  • Super Smash Bros. features Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening, and one of their moves is Nosferatu, which traps opponents and deals damage at the same time that Robin is being healed. It's notably one of the few ways to heal on command in Smash, and so far it's the only one doesn't rely on random chance or the opponent's own attacks (like Ness and Lucas' PK Magnet).
  • In Sword of the Stars the System Killer will regain health if it survives or wins a tactical encounter in a system. In the sequel, the Suul'ka feed on the Life Energy of other beings in order to heal themselves. Consuming fleets or entire planets of their enemies or followers.
  • Team Fortress 2 has several variations:
    • The Medic's Blutsauger and Soldier's Black Box heal set amounts of health whenever they do damage (for the latter giving it several times if the Splash Damage hits multiple enemies).
    • With a kill, the Pyro's Powerjack restores a set amount of HP, the Demoman's Eyelander boosts max HP a set amount, the Half-Zatoichi restores all health (at the cost that, once equipped, one takes damage if they put it away without killing someone with it), the Spy's Conniver's Kunai absorbs all the HP of whoever he backstabs with it (though it maxes out at the Spy's overhealed maximum of 180), and a Scout with a Candy Cane on him drops a health pack (even if he doesn't get the kill with the Candy Cane).
    • All attacks against enemies covered in the Scout's Mad Milk or by people under the effects of a nearby Soldier's Concheror restore a percentage of the damage they deal.
    • Mann vs. Machine mode allows classes to purchase upgrades for any of their weapons that cause them to regain a set amount of health upon killing a robot with it, generally coming in sequential upgrades of 25% total health regained.
  • Terraria:
    • There's a magic weapon that's actually called the Life Drain. Although it doesn't give you back life according to the damage dealt, rather it increases the rate of your Regenerating Health when draining from enemies instead.
    • The Vampire Knives (found in the Crimson chest in the Dungeon) give you back a small portion of damage dealt as health. They're thrown in huge spreads quite rapidly, and being a melee weapon, they cost no mana or ammo and can be spammed with impunity.
    • The Spectre Armor set with the Spectre Hood causes your magic attacks to drain a portion of life from enemies.
  • Titan Quest: the Theurgist (a necromancer lookalike) can, as his basic spell, summon a stream of teal energy which damages enemies and heals him for part of the damage inflicted. It can be enhaced to deal more damage and strike nearby targets for bigger drain, though it's next-to-useless against Undead and Constructs.
  • Transistor: Tap() as an primary function or an upgrade heals you when you deal damage with that function. The amount is determined by the damage the function does and the number of hits (Do T functions like Purge() will heal small amounts at the same rate Purge() does damage, while single-hit functions like Tap() as a primary heal all at once).
  • Vampire Survivors has the Bloody Tear, an upgrade of the Whip which restores HP to the player when it hits an enemy. There's also Soul Eater, the evolution of the Garlic, which can heal you and empower itself when it kill something.
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • Vampire lords and heroes can get The Hunger passive ability which regenerates their health while in melee combat. Over the course of the series, some other types of monstrous units have been given that ability, culminating in Total War: Warhammer III where pretty much every unit consisting of vampires such as Blood Knights and Varghulfs have been granted it as part of the Vampire Count's second rework for Immortal Empires.
    • The powerful Lore of Darkness ability Soul Stealer does this over a wide area for Dark Elves, with Evil Matriarch Morathi being the most infamous for her expertise in the spell.
  • In Vernal Edge, Vernal's main method of healing is using the Pulse Edge to drain the life from enemies with a variety of special attacks, including a rapidly homing slam, a ranged attack, and a Blade Spam move that locks Vernal in place but does great damage and can hit other enemies besides the target.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The HP Vacuum attack:
    Steals all enemies' hp.
  • Warcraft:
    • In Warcraft II, the Death Knight's Death Coil ability healed it whenever the spell was cast on something.
    • Warcraft III:
      • Dark Rangers can learn a Life Drain spell, which steals HP as long as it's continually channeled.
      • Dreadlords can learn Vampiric Aura, which gives a draining effect to friendly melee units' attacks.
      • The Vampiric Potion temporarily gives a damage boost and a drain effect.
      • The Mask of Death item grants a whopping 50% damage-healed-to-dealt ratio to the wielder (and an anti-air attack). Unlike Vampiric Aura, it's not limited to melee attacks.
    • World of Warcraft:
      • Warlocks have this spell outright; several of their other spells, such as Corruption or Unholy Affliction, will grant a smaller percentage of health back per damage inflicted.
      • Death Knights have Death Strike, an Unholy ability which heals them as it damages the enemy. Warriors have Bloodthirst, which has a similar effect, but without the Dark Magic lore explanation.
      • Several new such abilities have been introduced in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Death Knights can obtain Death Siphon(100% healing to damage dealt), Rogues can get Leeching Poison(10% of damage dealt), and Warlocks can get an Area of Effect version of their original Drain Life, called Harvest Life(restores a set percentage of the Warlock's own health, regardless of the damage it causes).
  • Warhammer Online has a large selection for a variety of classes - mostly healers, who get spells and tactics that heal when dealing damage such as a tactic granting a straight 25% of damage dealt returned as healing to your defensive target; specific abilities that deal damage and give back healing at 50%, 100%, 150% or 350% of the value of the damage dealt; or other, more esoteric methods (a removed ability for a Zealot was to place a debuff on an enemy that would last 60 seconds, and transfer life every 5 seconds). However, melée classes also have abilities to steal life and either bolster themselves or, in the case of tanks, the person they're guarding.
  • In Wizard101, this is one of the Death School's specialties - healing the caster for half the damage dealt to the opponent(s). They can also do this in reverse to heal themselves or allies, speed up the preparation for stronger spells, or even boost the attack power of spells.
  • The World Is Your Weapon: One skill Weaco can learn from the dungeons is Miracle Slash, which heals her based on how much damage it does.
  • WRATH: Aeon of Ruin's Life Siphon Artifact heals you for every enemy you damage while it's active.
  • X-COM
  • Zigfrak: This effect is a welcome byproduct of attacks with the strange damage type. Welcome, that is, as long as you are not on the receiving end!

    Web Original 
  • There's essentially an entire meme relating this trope — a woman in a clear glass shower has her hand on the shower enclosure with the words "No one heals themselves by wounding another." written on her hand. And then, there's a picture of one of the many, many examples of this trope in various games.
  • Neopets: Drain Life is one of the Battledome abilities, and it does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It's also Dark aligned.

    Western Animation 
  • The Dragon Prince: Lord Viren has apparently been draining the life force of some magic beings, in this case, butterflies he keeps hidden in his office.
  • Marvel Rising: Initiation: Sheath's energy daggers drain the life from whoever they cut.
  • Tangled: The Series: As the power of the sun drop was to give life, the power of the moonstone is to take it. When Rapunzel learns the moonstone incantation, her hair can drain the life from everything around her.


Video Example(s):


Evil Cole MacGrath

If Cole chooses to swap powers with Nix, one of the new abilities he gains is Ionic Drain, the ability to suck the life out of multiple people around him to heal himself.

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Example of:

Main / LifeDrain

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