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Morality-Guided Attack

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"The Raging Demon... Its power is unequaled... It is not my fist but your past sins that will kill you... The more evil your past doings, the more painful your death..."
Akuma to M. Bison/Veganote , Street Fighter Alpha 3

An attack that draws its power from how good or evil the user's opponent is. It is often used in order for a brutal Blood Knight of a villain to utterly humiliate his adversary by showing him that he's similar deep inside. It is usually a Finishing Move.

This type of ability will very likely be a favorite of anyone who is The Fettered who believes they should Never Hurt an Innocent. Vice Versa, a person who expects everyone they encounter to be evil will also likely use this kind of attack.

Compare Good Hurts Evil and Allergic to Evil.

Contrast Karma Meter, where the user's own moral standing has an impact rather than the opponent's. See Situational Damage Attack for when other factors dictate who and how are effected by an attack. Anything else that is not an attack that will harm evil people, see Only the Pure of Heart.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Spike the Devilman's signature attack, the Devilmite Beam, carries out the effect by amplifying the darkness in the enemy's heart and making it explode. Because it does this effectively to any lingering sins, Fortuneteller Baba warns him not to use it, saying he is "going too far". Goku manages to survive, though, due to his completely good heart.
    • Also, the Spirit Bomb was thought to be this due to it not exploding on contact with someone pure of heart, as demonstrated when Gohan is able to bounce it back against Vegeta, and obliterate evil people. This comes back to bite Goku when he attempts to use it against Kid Buu, because Buu is acting on animal-like instinct rather than malicious intent.
    • Played straight with the initially non-canon Stardust Breaker from Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn as Gogetaís dialogue when uses it on Janemba and its alternate name of Soul Punisher implies that it targets the evilness of the victim and destroys their soul. This was confirmed later in Dragon Ball Super: Broly when Gogeta uses it on the titular berserker, and instead of vaporising Broly like it did with Janemba it just hurts him, likely because Broly isnít evil in this version merely misguided.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, one of the functions of Genkai's Spirit Wave technique is demonstrated to have this effect. During the fight against Team Ichigaki, she uses it to expel the Barukis that Dr. Ichigaki had attached to three marital artists to make them fight and kill others against their will. Yusuke and Kuwabara at first mistakenly assume them to have been killed by her attack, but then once they are conscious she explains that it would only have killed them if they were evil at heart.

    Comic Books 
  • This is how Marvel Comics' Cloak and Dagger vanquish adversaries. Cloak can enfold them in darkness, wherein villains encounter their own wickedness face to face, which often leaves them a quivering, neurotic wreck. Dagger can fling "light knives" which can stagger mooks and paralyze villains. Interestingly, Dagger's light knives had no effect on Doctor Doom, who has never regarded his actions as evil, but rather as his rightful destiny.
  • Ghost Rider's Penance Stare makes the target feel all the pain and suffering they've caused innocents over the course of their life. It's got a lot of caveats that make it unusable on several targets, but if it connects it's basically impossible to shrug off; even hoodlums will be going home to rethink their entire lives, emotionally mangled, while worse individuals can drop dead from sheer agony.
    • That said, Ghost Rider can control the scale of the pain he inflicts on others via the Stare; during one confrontation with a hypnotised Wolverine, Ghost Rider broke him free by making Logan experience the pain he caused others during a random day in the First World War.
    • Ghost Rider's Hellfire also tends to burn hotter the more sins a target has committed against others.

  • Starchaser: The Legend of Orin: The Cool Sword wielded by Orin has this effect. The invisible blade of the weapon will only cut those who are evil and/or malicious and will have no effect on good people (for example when Orin mistakenly believes Dagg is intending to harm him, nothing happens). Likewise, the sword will not work for those who are evil. Zygon discovers that the hard way when he attempts to kill Orin with the sword and then Orin manages to destroy the tyrant without the hilt (of which is revealed to only be a catalyst to summon the power of the blade in the first place) with a telekinetic slash.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the "Gambit" episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, there is the Stone of Gol, an ancient Vulcan weapon which harms its target by reflecting said target's own violent thoughts back at him/her. It can be rendered harmless by clearing your mind of any such negative thoughts, which is exactly what the Vulcans following the teachings of Surak tend to do.
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Paradise Found", Xena fights a guru who can turn whatever good there is in a person against them. To fight him, Xena embraces her inner evil, and she almost kills Gabrielle during the battle without her conscience to stop her.
    Garr: No! You can't fight him—I tried. He'll take what's good still in you—and use it against you!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The game has spells and abilities that affect targets based on their alignment, generally in the form of Evil attacks which hurt Good characters and vice versa. The Paladin class's Smite Evil ability is the most well known.
    • Holy water causes damage to evil creatures from other planes and evil undead it touches. Unholy water does the same to Good otherplanar creatures and paladins.
    • Dragon magazine #229 article "Bazaar of the Bizarre". When the Wheel of Light Rays is spun like a pinwheel it emits a bright pattern of light up to 30 feet away. Any evil creature in the area of effect must make a saving throw or take 1-4 Hit Points of damage for each point of karma it has.
    • In 1st and 2nd Edition, all intelligent magical swords have a specific Character Alignment. A creature with a different alignment can take Hit Points of damage equal to the sword's Ego rating each time it touches the sword (and, in 2nd Edition, each minute of contact with the sword if held continuously).
  • In the Hero System supplement Fantasy Hero Companion, the Prayer of Cleansing spell causes damage to "unclean" (Evil) creatures such as undead and demons.
  • Pathfinder has abilities that affect targets based on their alignment, generally in the form of Evil attacks which hurt Good characters and vice versa. The Paladin class's Smite Evil ability is the most well known.
  • In Vampire: The Requiem, the Old Testament-themed vampiric Blood Magic of Theban Sorcery has the ritual "Bird of Sin." What the ritual does is create a spectral, attacking bird pulled from the target and made of their sins. The game has a Morality Meter that goes from 0 (utter depravity) to 10 (saintly), and the bird attacks with 10 minus the target's morality and ignoring their defence attribute. A normal person with Morality 7 could feasibly fight off their Sin Bird or at least survive the pecking, but less moral (and non-magical) targets? Yeah, death by materialized sins.
  • The World of Darkness' Society of Leopold (basically, modern-day Inquisition) possesses a ritual to permanently destroy (instead of just banishing) demons—but it only works if the demon has High Torment (i.e. if they have lost all of their original angelic grace by committing acts of treachery and evil), while leaving Low Torment demons unaffected.
  • Dangerous Journeys/Mythus castings (spells) that only do damage to Evil (Evil, malign, Nether Plane or nether nature) beings.
    • The Alchindus Sigil Formula casting does 2d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage to the first Evil character to come close to the sigil.
    • Eviltracks Agony Charm does 2d6 plus 2 Physical damage to Evil characters when a nail is pounded into their footprint.
    • Abjure Spell. Any Evil character in the Area of Effect who doesn't announce their true alignment takes 5-15 points of Physical, Mental and Spiritual damage.
    • Full Consecration Ritual protects an area from the entry of Evil beings. If one is powerful enough to enter anyway it takes 2d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage.
    • Mystic Bullets Charm. Each Bullet does 4-12 Spiritual damage to Evil targets.
    • Mystic Missile Charm does 5d6 plus 2 Spiritual damage to Evil creatures.

    Video Games 
  • Dawn of War 2 has one of Inquisitor Adrastia's spells powered by the weight of the target's sins. How this is supposed to work on the Horde of Alien Locusts Tyranids, Blood Knight Orks or Always Chaotic Evil daemons and Chaos Space Marines, who either have no concept of sin or are more likely to enjoy the memory of committing them is unexplained.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Devilman still has his Devilmite Beam signature attack. Every character takes highly varying amounts of damage depending on their morality—Kid Goku takes no damage just like in the original series, Omega Shenron takes tens of thousands, and the other characters vary in-between—even separate transformations that affect one's state of mind are differently susceptible to the attack, such as the bloodlust-increasing Super Saiyan forms actually taking a somewhat sizable amount of damage over the base versions of the same characters, literally Made of Evil characters taking the maximum possible damage from it and most villains who transform physically into a different form taking slightly less damage than in their base form. The developers did a very thorough job. A What If? story has him confront Frieza and King Cold. While physically he's no match for them, because of how morally bankrupt the two are, he's still quite capable of killing them with the attack.
  • Fallen London: The wonders of Kataleptic Toxicology produced a poison known as Discriminating Aconite, which is only lethal to those who deserve it. This being London, "lethal" is not too big a deal, but with Aconite, you get a distinct feeling You Know What You Did. It isn't especially forgiving; your character will have a rough time with it no matter how Magnanimous.
  • Several monsters in the Final Fantasy series, mostly Tonberry and its numerous variations, have an attack that keys off the number of kills the target has scored during the game. Since they are usually encountered late in the game, they typically hit for ridiculous amounts of damage, except against the team's designated healers, who may have gone through the game with a less impressive body count.
  • In MARDEK, Light and Dark are just two more elements that characters and enemies can be vulnerable or resistant (or absorbent) to, so in general your good-aligned party will do extra damage to Dark monsters. Zach also has an attack called Immoral Injustice, which will do severe damage to Light or Dark enemies but Scratch Damage to anything else.
  • In some Shin Megami Tensei games, there are some late-game attacks such as "Holy Wrath," "Judgement," and "Sea of Chaos" that deal extra damage to allies and enemies (depending on the game, they can either hurt both sides at the same time or only enemies) of Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful alignment, respectively.
  • The Street Fighter series has the Trope Codifier of Akuma's Limit Break, the Shun Goku Satsu (Instant Hell Murder), or Raging Demon, which is a relentless assault that uses the evil Satsui No Hadou force within the user to draw out the opponent's wickedness while beating the living crap out of them. The only way to survive it in canon is to keep a completely blank mind during it, which has only been done successfully by Gen and Gouken.
  • The Blade of the Darkmoon covenant in Dark Souls is the only Player Versus Player faction who are allowed to invade and attack other players who are far below their own level—but only if their marks have "sinned", e.g. by breaking the rules of their own Covenant or, gods forbid, by killing Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight in their own world.
  • The Archon from Nexus Clash can sing the Song of the Word, which does colossal amounts of damage to evildoers only. Some Archons have a broad interpretation of what constitutes an evildoer, and sing variations of the Song that damage neutrals or eventually even anyone who isn't an angel.
  • Under Night In-Birth: One of Orie's win quotes claims that her rapier has this effect. If you are pure of heart, it won't even hurt you.
  • Undertale: Implied to be the primary attack method of Sans. He only has 1 ATK, but all of his attacks afflict you with KR, short for Karma. It's not confirmed outright if it's more effective based on the morality of the opponent, but it's heavily implied from the name and how throughout the fight you hear variations of "You feel your sins crawling on your back."

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: In Akuma VS Shao Kahn, the hosts do confirm that Akuma's raging demon will be able to kill Shao Kahn if Akuma manages to land it on Shao Kahn due to Shao Kahn's sheer number of atrocities he had committed. Unfortunately for Akuma, Shao Kahn's faster reaction speed and overwhelming sheer power means that Shao Kahn is more likely the one to land the fatal blow first.


    Western Animation 
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack's divinely-forged sword, and the Scotsman's Celtic blessed sword, are the only weapons that can seriously harm Aku. When Aku gets a hold of Jack's and tries to stab Jack with it, it fails to so much as scratch him.
  • In Fantastic Four: The Animated Series, Ghost Rider has a cameo where he gets to use his Penance Stare on Galactus.