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No Casualties Run

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Keeping your units alive as a Self-Imposed Challenge. This is where you try to make sure there are absolutely minimized, if any, casualties.

Different from a No Death Run in that games where this challenge is invoked have the Player controlling multiple characters at the same time, and not with the same degree of control as in a Platformer or a First-Person Shooter. Usually invoked in RPGs and Strategy games. As the aforementioned reduced degree of control makes a No-Damage Run technically impossible, this becomes the Closest Thing We Got.

This may extend to enemies for a Pacifist Run.

Compare Everybody Lives, which is when a work of fiction averts plotline deaths.


  • Most Fire Emblem players tend to follow this trope by default, since outside "Casual Mode" (introduced in Fire Emblem: New Mystery of The Emblem), losing a unit means they're gone for good.
    • Starting around Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, the enemies actually try to focus not just on their victory, but on your loss. Apparently the devs realized that most players would Rage Quit at the loss of a single character, and as a result, multiple enemies would start streaming towards one character and kill them, ensuring you, as the player, lose, as you will have to reset.
    • Fittingly enough, the player Avatar of Awakening has this attitude. In their eyes, the loss of one unit is too many. Virion lampshades this when they lose a strategy game against him; when the Avatar remarks that perhaps Virion should be the one giving the orders, he responds that noting that while he did win, he did so with heavy losses. If he were to lead an army with the same tactics, the loss of morale would quickly have him demoted.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses in particular recognizes and encourages the playstyle by giving the player specific tools to avoid casualties. During the turn, you can see all the opponent's attack paths and damage output/chance in advance, with the map explicitly showing whether your unit is doomed by standing in a particular spot; on top of that, it also expands on the Time Rewind Mechanic from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which gives you an ability to rewind your mistakes a certain amount of times per battle.
      • The game also extends this to a narrative perspective, since after the Time Skip many of the former students of Garreg Mach will appear on the field as enemies. While many of them can be avoided on relevant missions to avoid killing them, many of them will make a beeline for your units or are a mission-critical commander and have to be killed to proceed. Such units are Lorenz on Azure Moon, Ashe on Verdant Wind, Ferdinand on both of the above two routes, and both Lorenz and Ashe on Silver Snow. The only way to stop their deaths is to recruit them into your house, which gives you the option to spare them. Additionally, recruiting the other students will save you a lot of headaches trying not to kill them, or have them killed during the Second Battle of Gronder Field where both enemy's engagements are often out of your control.
  • Pikmin: Sometimes it's not just for bragging rights, but because some players can't bear to let any of the eponymous adorable alien critters die.
  • Nintendo Wars, particularly Battalion Wars but it can apply somewhat to the turn-based games themselves.
  • This is built into the mechanics of the Pokémon games to a minor extent. Following the first generation, fainting will cause your friendship value with that Pokémon to decrease, with said value affecting the power of certain moves, such as Return, and in some cases allows a Pokémon to evolve into a more powerful form. Some NPCs will even give you rewards or teach you special moves for caring for your battle buddies. Downplayed in that it is comically easy to raise a Pokémon's friendship value: so many things raise it, up to and including the simple act of walking, that you have to actively try to keep it low.
  • In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, killing any civilians during the course of the game will result in a Non-Standard Game Over. It's quite easy to avoid killing them, however, unless you have a hair trigger.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has you run a gauntlet of Space Pirates, with marines to protect. If they all survive you get an extra reward.
  • Trivially easy to do in Final Fantasy Tactics, since you have three turns to save your allies from being lost forever. That's only if you're going for a No-Crystallize run, though; a No-KO run might be a bit harder.
  • Lemmings, where you can try to save 100% every level - even when you only need 5%.
    • A select few levels (exactly how many depends on which version you're playing) are impossible to save 100% on.
    • Lemmings 2: The Tribes is built on the idea of saving your lemmings, as each level you only get as many as you saved on the previous level. Only the Classic and Polar tribes require you to lose any lemmings, meaning this is almost possible.
  • Overlord II sort-of has this as the "Domination" run-through, where you have to completely enslave a pair of cities... if you accidentally kill even a SINGLE citizen, you cannot achieve 100% Domination.
  • The point of the Hero equivalent to Chaos Runs in City of Heroes. Surprisingly, this can sometimes end up being necessary for villains.
    • Also, you can set task forces and flashback arcs to attempt a no-casualties run. Having a team member be defeated will not cause it to fail, but succeeding at some of the harder ones with the "no defeats" and "no temporary powers" restrictions in place will earn you and your teammates "Master of X Task Force" badges.
  • Knights in the Nightmare can attract this. Same with 100% recruitment.
    • The two pretty much have to go together—every time your undead allies use their weapons, they come a little closer to fading from existence, and the standard solution is to sacrifice one ally to rejuvenate another. The alternative is to have a constant stream of new recruits and leave the old ones just barely clinging to existence.
  • Some of the more recent Sonic the Hedgehog games have missions such as "Don't injure the townspeople," and "Don't break anything."
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard, a real-time strategy game, accounted for this by giving you a "good commander" bonus for minimal casualties in a mission.
  • Dead Rising. There's an achievement; "Saint", for those who save almost all of the characters. To get the maximum number of survivors, you have to ignore most of the plot, to avoid Plotline Death. If you get ending A, your maximum save count is one short of the required number — but completing Overtime Mode will add Frank himself and Isabela to the count, just barely allowing you to get the achievement and complete the story in the same playthrough.
  • Theoretically possible in X-COM: UFO Defense, although considering the ridiculously high early-game (and mid-game, and end-game) casualty rate, this is extraordinarily difficult even on Beginner, and flat-out impossible on any difficulty at or above Normal, unless you're willing to do a lot of Save Scumming. Bear in mind that in this game, weak allies can be actively harmful to your side, especially once the aliens start using mind control.
    • It's more doable in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, especially on Normal or Easy, as long as you use good tactics and know how the aliens will react for the most part. On Classic and Impossible, however, the enemy AI is unchained and will not only target weak or exposed characters, but gang up on them and even force them into vulnerability, making a no casualty run incredibly difficult.
    • In XCOM2, there is an achievement for pulling off a Classic+ no fatalities run (recoverable casualties such as unconscious soldiers or captured soldiers, provided you rescue them, do not void this achievement, only irrecoverable casualties void it).
  • Metal Slug invites this of players, since rescued prisoners are wiped from the record when you lose a life. This is extremely hard to do, but videos exist of this being achieved in several of the games. By general agreement, Metal Slugs are not counted as casualties if they get blown up.
  • This is a recognised challenge in the Oddworld games, where rescuing absolutely everyone usually nets you the best ending possible. Also, KILLING everyone gets you an extra-bad ending. In the first 3 games, this means saving all your fellow Mudokens/Fuzzles. In Stranger's Wrath, this means capturing all the bosses alive, and not killing any enemies that you don't have to. The only reward is extra money, or, later in the game, extra ammo.
  • In the Hunt gives the player a special ending if the game is completed in one credit... Your submarine is shown in the wreckage of the enemy submarines, all destroyed along with the enemy base.
  • The Halo series allows for this, but because of the general squishiness of your human allies (and later Elite and Grunt ones) it can get very hard. To add to this, some levels allow you to pick up a steady supply of reinforcements who build up and fight alongside you, moving with you through the entire level, and giving you a very visible reminder of both how well you're doing and all of your failures.
  • The No One Left Behind achievement in Mass Effect 2 is for keeping everyone alive during the final mission.
    • There are several missions in the original, including Feros, one of the main story missions, that give you more paragon points depending on how many civilians are alive at the end of the mission.
  • Dawn of War 2
    • The game rewards you with extra experience and campaign points for keeping your squad leaders from being incapacitated. Their retinues, though? Meh, it's Warhammer 40K, what'd you expect?
    • In the second game, a Karma Meter shows you how close you are to falling to Chaos. It's possible to keep all your squad leaders pure, in which case your Mission Control guy was the traitor all along, though it's canon that Avitus fell.
  • World of Warcraft had achievements to get your raid through Naxxramas and kill all the bosses with no one hitting 0 Hit Points. If even one raid member died, the challenge could only be taken up again the next week after the reset because the casualty would be recorded.
  • You wouldn't expect this in a strategy game, but Heroes of Might and Magic IV has one faction, Order, that can reasonably pull this off (at least in terms of protecting itself) by recruiting entirely ranged and spellcasting units and cutting down everything before it gets close. A certain amount of attrition is expected, so by avoiding that attrition one can make one's army unreasonably powerful, killing any enemy stack in a single attack. (Nature can do this too, but it's a lot harder, and Death in particular is completely incapable of it, since the player is expected to simply replenish the losses through reviving both sides' dead.)
  • The main Zone of the Enders games feature missions where the player is supposed to protect buildings with civilians and/or allied soldiers in obsolete mecha. One particular battle in the second game involves trying to protect 20 of these suits while fighting hundreds of enemies across a large battlefield. The only way for the main character to feel good about the outcome is to save every single one of them.
  • Blitzkrieg inspires this for the player's core units, which are selectable tanks & artillery that gain veterancy and accompany the player as he progresses through the game.
  • Shadowrun on the SNES offers a completely pointless challenge: The two women runners the player can encounter also happen to be the only runners with any relevance to the plot, and may be made into permanent party members. The challenge then becomes to keep both of their squishy spellcaster asses alive for the rest of the game.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online, the Tier 2 Challenge for Saruman's fight involves defeating him without anyone reaching zero morale, and within 30 minutes, or else everyone instantly dies.
  • In the Tactics Ogre PSP remake, the title "Concord King Unbloodied" is awarded to players who avoid ever losing an ally in battle, though in Tactics Ogre it's even easier than in Final Fantasy Tactics, as the player not only has a three-count until being Killed Off for Real, but reviving downed party members is also much easier (since the "item" command is automatically equipped and doesn't have to be leveled up to use a revive item) and the player can always opt to rewind time by as many as fifty turns if they discover that they won't be able to save a party member in time.
    • It wasn't so easy in the SNES and PSX versions, however. Actually, Final Fantasy Tactics originally had it easier than Tactics Ogre, in that, if a character dies, it's gone for good unless you have a Revivify spell ready for use before the end of the battle (And such a spell isn't available in the original until at least 70% of Chapter 2 in either route) or a Blessing Stone equipped to revive the victim on the spot.
  • Global Agenda gives bonuses for having less than 4-6 casualties, depending on the mission. Team size can be up to 4 or 10 people, depending on the mission.
  • In The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, a VRMMORPG, the main character Weed's main focus in several battles is preserving as many lives of his NPC comrades as possible, where normally most players are unconcerned of the well being of the Artificial Intelligence controlled NPC's... Weed is concerned because of a little known fact: every NPC life that lives through a quest results in extra EXP as well as a little extra reputation points for the NPC's associated faction.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light awards you with an achievement for reaching the final sector with no crew lost so far, titled "No Redshirts Here!"
  • If you reach the Final Boss of The House of the Dead or its sequel with every single civilian successfully rescued, you'll be treated to a bonus room with point and health items before fighting said boss. In III, the condition is instead successfully rescuing the other player (though neither player character can actually die due to a failed rescue), and in 4, you need a rank of A or higher on every prior chapter.
  • This is necessary to obtain an achievement/trophy in Dragon Age II: It requires that none of your party members fall in battle for a single year in Kirkwall (which would count as approximately a third of the game).
  • On top of its infamous difficulty, Dark Souls II has two items that can only be obtained by completing the game under one of two circumstances. If you complete the game without dying, you are given the Illusory Ring of the Conqueror (which makes your left-hand weapon invisible). This is a no-death run in a game with the tagline Prepare to Die. Good luck!
  • Twitch Plays Pokémon Black 2 was the first run in which no Pokémon were released. None were released in Twitch Plays Pokémon X either, but in that case it was most likely enforced by the substitute streamer.
  • Enforced in Choplifter!; the only way to get the good ending is to rescue all 64 hostages.
  • While this is possible in Trillion: God of Destruction, it's very difficult, requiring specific training sequences, stat placement, and no small amount of luck. Succeeding will only get you the sweetest variant of a bitter ending anyway, you actually have to let everyone die to get the best ending.
  • Dead In Vinland has an achievement for this. However, getting it depends partly on which optional party members you recruit (or don't recruit) because there's at least one choice which will result in inevitable Plotline Death unless you beat the game before that event triggers.
  • Darkest Dungeon is a brutal game where a stroke of bad luck can snowball into complete failure, but that hasn't stopped players from successfully finishing a zero casualties run. This requires not only playing the game perfectly and having good luck, it also requires preventing normally guaranteed deaths in the very, very last stretch of the game by dealing over 2/3 of the final boss's HP in a single hit to prevent it from using its One-Hit Kill attack!
  • In BattleTech (2018), Anyone Can Die except for the Player Character, and certain pilots such as Dekker end up with a reputation for dying early and often. As a result, some challenge playthroughs include not losing any pilots, no forced ejections, no losing temporary pilots, and so forth. by and large, the game gives you reasons to care about the well-being of your pilots and ensure they survive to the end of the game as it is.