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One-Hit-Point Wonder

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"It's like you touch the top of the building, you die, you touch the ceiling, you die, you touch the floor, you die, too far to the right, you die, too far to the left, you die, you die, you die, you die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die!"

A character who dies from a single hit or other incident of damage. Needless to say, this rarely applies to bosses, unless they are of the Zero-Effort variety. In older video games, this was frequently true of the protagonist (though almost always with Video-Game Lives to compensate); nowadays, the Player Character is usually only a One-Hit-Point Wonder if the programmers/developers want the game to be Nintendo Hard.

As mentioned above, this is more common in older games (especially the Golden Age of Arcade Games), and part of what makes a game Nintendo Hard. Modern tactical shooters also use this feature as well, even if Instant Death Bullet itself also grates on the "realism" bit.

Some games will give the One-Hit-Point Wonder access to a Single-Use Shield, body armor, or other powerups that allow them to take extra hits, but they still count as examples of this trope, provided that the character does not start off with said method of taking an extra hit.

In some cases, this creates the bizarre effect of giving the Goddamned Bats more health than the player. Luckily, many games compensate for the player's virtually nonexistent resilience by ramping their attack power way up.

This situation can happen quite often in the case of RPGs involving enemies who like to use an incapacitating status effect and a single player character who can't recover from it without help. This is usually due to either being separated from their party due to a plot event, or due to a solo character Self-Imposed Challenge.

Rocket-Tag Gameplay has everyone in this situation, so that whoever manages to hit first will win. An Instakill Mook makes the character this even when it isn't normally.

Compare Untouchable Until Tagged (where a single failure to dodge dooms a character), HP to 1 (an attack which turns characters into this), and Scratch Damage Enemy (technically a Supertrope but only due to all One-Hit-Point Wonders taking one damage before dying). Contrast One-Hit Kill. If it's a mook whose One Hit Point is exceptionally hard to remove, you've probably encountered a Metal Slime.

Has nothing to do with a One-Hit Wonder, although it is sometimes referred to as such. Neither to be confused with Critical Existence Failure.


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Video Games:

  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: In the Wanted multiplayer mode, everyone dies in one hit.
  • Atomic Runner: Chelnov from the Megadrive/Arcade game is probably the wimpiest example of this trope. Not only does any given enemy or bullet kill him, but so canthe candles you obtain power ups from. So much for the Atomic Armor!
  • In the Attack On Titan Tribute Game, both players and Titans have one hit point. Or rather, players can all be killed in one hit and Titans can be killed by any blow to the back of the neck, no matter how weak. The challenge is getting there without being squished or bitten first.
  • Bomberman:
    • Most of the early games made the titular hero a One-Hit-Point Wonder. He can survive one hit if he has the "Heart" power-up, which acts as a Single-Use Shield. Starting with the Nintendo 64 era, Bomberman got a lifebar.
    • What makes this funny is that he could be one-shotted by bumping into balloons, of all things (Granted they are cute monster balloons, but still...), making his case very obscure.
    • "Standard" mode in Act Zero plays like this, with the added condition of only giving the player one life to go with it. Should you get hit by any bomb blast (including your own) without a shield, your game is over (made extra-frustrating because the single-player mode is very long, and the player is not provided with any continues or save points of any sort — got killed on level 98? Back to level one for you!).
  • Captain Silver: The protagonist, except in the Famicom version.
  • Crystal Quest: Has no armor, but its sequel has five different types as powerups. Most only protect against one kind of hazard, leaving you a One Hit Point Wonder to everything else.
  • In Dodge, both you and the squares that endlessly chase you are destroyed in one hit.

  • Ghostrunner: A single bullet is enough to send you back to the nearest checkpoint, while a single stroke from your sword can cleanly cleave through just about any enemy you come across.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: In the Licensed Game of the movie, pretty much everything can kill Indy in one hit. In the NES version, Collision Damage from enemies and falling onto ground will merely stun Indy, but other hazards will kill him outright.
  • Zone of the Enders: A late mission sees Jehuty's AI Ada infected with a virus. While in this condition, any kind of damage will instantly destroy Jehuty, forcing the player to resort to sniping enemies from afar or risk a swift game over.
  • Mr. Shifty can't survive a single attack. Instead, he teleports out of the way.

  • The Binding of Isaac Rebirth: The Lost is a secret character in this roguelike that starts with 0 Hearts and can't gain any extra Hearts of any form, so one hit and he's a goner. This in a game that is balanced for characters that start out able to take a few hits and progressively gain health throughout the game, making said spoiler character the game's Harder Than Hard mode. If you do, however, have the patience and skill, he unlocks some of the best items in the game.
    • This trope is later avoided in the 'Afterbirth' DLC, which gives The Lost the Holy Mantle item as standard if you have donated 879 coins to the Greed Machine (a donation machine at the end of any successful Greed Mode run), which gives him an extra hit per room.
    • Tainted Lost in Repentance take it even further. He foregoes the safety of a Holy Mantle and has to rely on the much more weaker and randomly dropping Holy Cards for a single hit of protection and can't get Extra Life items and certain powerful defensive itemsnote . In exchange, he has a better item pool that excludes normally useless items and has a higher chance of finding rarer items, which can lead to beyond godlike runs (where instant defeat is always right around the corner).
  • Castlevania:
    • The main character of Haunted Castle in game version M on default settings comes close; two hits from a skeleton's bone throwing attack will kill you.
    • There is also a way of becoming a One-Hit-Point Wonder in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon - use the Black Dog and Pluto DSS cards together and you turn into a skeleton. However, while in this mode, one attack will kill you.
      • The advantage of this mode is that while Up + B will usually throw a skeleton bone, randomly it will throw a big skeleton bone. Anything it comes into contact with - mook, boss, whatever - gets a guaranteed 9999 damage, thus turning them into One-Hit-Point Wonders.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has the death ring, an accessory which grants a massive attack boost, but turns Shanoa into a One-Hit-Point Wonder. Very useful in a game that gives Bragging Rights Rewards for defeating bosses without getting hit once.
  • Chocobo's Dungeon (Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon): This roguelike has optional mind zones where both you and monster's max hp are dropped to 1. The latter stages are even worse since it only your max hp which is set to 1 while the enemies have more HP than you.
  • Dizzy: In the first three games of the series. (In the second game, Treasure Island Dizzy, you only had one life, too. The fourth game, Magicland Dizzy, added a Life Meter, but some of the hazards - in most games including water - remained instantly fatal.)
  • Gato Roboto: Outside of the suit, Kiki dies in one hit.
  • Goblet Grotto: most enemies are this, dying in one hit from you. The only exceptions are a couple of Giant Mook enemies, snakes (which are regular-sized, yet are somehow more durable than wolves or normal people) and a few enemies that are outright invulnerable.
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies:
    • Gives you a life bar at all times, but will change the number of hit points you start with on a room-by-room basis, and several rooms give you only 1. Usually however, these rooms will come without a prescribed challenge besides reaching the open door on the other side, with only a small number of low-level enemies to evade if any at all. Not always, though.
    • There is also a trick power-up that temporarily reduces your health to 1. It will return to its previous total in a few seconds if you can survive.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: The Silent Realms are a series of No Gear Timed Missions where Link must collect the fifteen Sacred Tears scattered throughout each realm. If he runs out of time or is found by a Watcher, the Guardians of the realm will awaken and chase him down until he collects another Sacred Tear, which resets the timer. If they manage to land even a single hit on him, his spirit will dissipate and you'll have to start all over again. Needless to say, each Silent Realm is an incredibly stressful experience.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The skulls of the skeletal Stal- enemies have only a single hit point each, and need a single blow when on the ground — or a single arrow at any time — to be destroyed. Full skeletons can use their otherwise indestructible bodies to absorb blows, but cursed enemies — floating craniums spawned by certain pools of Malice — lack even this protection.
      • Keese are batlike enemies with a single hit point each, which mostly serve as speedy annoyances thanks to their flight and elemental auras rather than truly challenging foes.
      • Octoroks are a downplayed example. They technically have eight hit points, but that's still low enough that a single blow of all but the weakest Joke Items will do them in, and they mostly rely on being safely hidden under the ground except when firing projectiles.
      • In the first challenge of the "Champions' Ballad" DLC Link is provided with a weapon, appropriately named the One-Hit Obliterator, which can kill any monster and destroy any breakable object in a single strike. However, the reverse is also true; Link's health, while using the weapon for the trial he's tasked with, is reduced to one quarter of a heart, thus he will die from even the slightest scratch. Even fairies and Mipha's Grace won't save you from this stipulation. During this challenge, Link is not permitted to switch to any other melee weapons, and any attempts to heal while it's equipped are immediately reversed.
  • Monster Hunter (PC): The Hunter of Monsters protagonist is on a noble mission to rid the land of hostile monsters, is skilled in all sorts of weaponry, can cast spells and take on ancient warlocks... but dies in a single hit from any monster attack.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Other M: Hard Mode removes all extra Energy Tanks, Missile Expansions, and Accel Charges, leaving Samus with 99 energy (one Energy Tank) and 5 Missiles. By halfway through the game, most enemies and bosses will do more than a whole energy tank's worth of damage, killing her in a single strike.
    • Metroid Dread: Dread Mode, a difficulty added in a free update that turns Samus into this, meaning any enemy will kill her in a single hit. The same goes for Dread Rush, a higher difficulty version of the following free Boss Rush update.
  • Rygar: Had one-hit deaths in the arcade version, though the NES version had a life meter.
  • Titan Souls: Titan Souls's protagonist is this incarnated. The game consists of Shadow of the Colossus style bosses with Dark Souls difficulty. The immense difficulty combined with the fact that attack that lands instantly kills you is challenging to say the least. What makes this game stand out though is not it's difficulty, but the fact the bosses are ALSO one-hit wonders, just very hard to hit ones. In some cases it tackles multiple hits to expose the boss's weak point, but the boss still goes down in a single hit once it's weak point is hit.
  • An Untitled Story: Completing the game on Masterful difficulty unlocks Insanity Difficulty. Technically, you start with 100 HP and can get over 1000 if you collect all of the hearts, but everything deals so much damage that you die in one hit whether it be the Final Boss or a simple snail.

  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215: Interrogation sequences. If even one answer you pick causes the person to turn red, 90% of the time you're headed for a Game Over.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The 60-year-old U-boat captain, if you decide to fight him, has a ridiculously short power bar as well as a health bar that's shorter than Indiana Jones' power bar. One hit will win the fight, and to lose the fight you basically need to stand around doing nothing while the captain punches away at Indy. The 'Game Over' screen for losing is funny, though.
  • Lone Siren: There're not many enemies, but they all kill you with mere touch.
  • Pretty much any character you controlled in the old Sierra games, like the King's Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry franchises. They were big on Trial-and-Error Gameplay, and most situations didn't involve fighting.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Choujin Sentai Jetman: This Licensed Game has two secret difficulty levels that reduce the life meter to one.
  • My Hero: An interesting example is the game for the arcade and Sega Master System. While during the level the titular hero as well as the mooks can be killed in one hit, the boss battles feature life meters for both the hero and the boss.
  • Urban Reign: The corrupt mayor you confront at the end of the game. Given that he's a politician and not a fighter, anything but the lightest punch or shove will knock him out.
    • The trick is that he has a gun, in a game where guns are very uncommon and very very powerful.

  • Divekick: This game is the Fighting Game version of this. It takes only one well-placed Dive Kick to end anyone.
  • Karate Champ: The NES port only allows the player to take one hit before being defeated in order to keep things more realistic... except it's the match or round that is over when you hit or get hit by the opponent...but not the opponent himself.
  • Nidhogg: While the fencers can take a number of punches and kicks (but will be knocked down for a Finishing Move), they will always die in one hit when being impaled by a sword.
  • SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium: There's a minigame where the player and his/her opponent can be knocked out in one hit.
  • Way of the Exploding Fist: The original game had this too, but it was emulating traditional martial arts tournament style, where any telling blow ended the round with a point for the striking opponent.
  • Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2's Galaxy Mode has a few missions for some characters that have them start at near death. Essentially leaving them with an almost empty health bar and can be just knocked out with one punch or ki blast from their enemy. The worst part is that this doesn't do the same for your enemies.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The Shedinja spirit battle is against a Mr. Game and Watch with one health point. However, he has continually renewing invincibility and a permanent Franklin Badge to replicate Wonder Guard which means the player has to move fast to get in that one hit (or on the Spirit Board or rematches just use the Health Drain item)

    Hack and Slash 
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Introduced in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, the "Heaven or Hell" difficulty makes everyone, player character, enemies, and bosses alike, go down in one hit. The playable character will die from environmental damage to which enemies are immune. Enemies that are only vulnerable in certain weak points still retain that, as well.
    • "Hell or Hell" mode, introduced in Devil May Cry 4, just makes you go down in one hit, although to compensate for it, you get a stock of three Auto-Revive items that are replenished at checkpoints.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Several stages in the Adventure Map have a mission stating "Watch Out! All Attacks Are Devastating!" where the goal is to kill x number of enemy captain units while everything dies in one hit. (technically you get a Last Chance Hit Point , but multi-hit attacks don't care about it. Enemies play this perfectly straight.) The Master Quest map has "Don't Get Hit!" stages that apply this effect solely to you.

  • Alien: Isolation: Amanda becomes this in Nightmare difficulty. Everything is instant death. Being shot once is fatal and a Working Joe will mash your head in before you have any chance to shake them off. It gets ridiculous at times; a Working Joe kicking you once if it discovers you hiding under a table will kill you instantly, as will the Alien knocking you over from charging past if you attack it with the flamethrower.
  • Basingstoke: The Player Character will die from a single bite from a zombie.
  • Blood Breed: The Player Character goes down from a single hit from a killer, or a lethal obstacle.
  • Burger & Frights: If the Player Character comes into contact with any monsters in the game, and they're dead.
  • Clea (2019): Get caught by a chaos servant, and it's game over for Clea.
  • Clock Tower: Not exactly, because in terms of gameplay, your character has several different stages of health, but they don't actually die if it hits 0. When that does happen, they can no longer avoid your enemy if they catch you. However, the character does not actually get hurt unless they die, making this an odd example, especially in Clock Tower 2 (1 in North A Merican English) and The Struggle Within, where failing these events kills you, no matter how much health you have. Surviving them makes your health go down, as opposed to dying. This makes it more of a, "You have a health bar, but you still die if you're hit at all".
  • CLOWN (2020): It's an instant Game Over if the clown catches you.
  • Demon Spore: The player scientist instantly dies if they comes into contact with any of the rapidly-spreading flesh monsters, due to how easily they can infect flesh from a single touch.
  • The Evil Within's "Akumu" difficulty reduces you to such a state.
  • Fever Cabin: If the Player Character runs into a zombie, then it's Game Over.
  • Funtime with Buffy: The Player Character, if caught by Buffy, is treated to a cutscene of him pulling out a knife and cutting into her.
  • Your character in Going into the Unknown is a zombie-killing badass with his guns, but should a zombie get him, he dies instantly (complete with a Nightmare Face of the zombie filling the screen).
  • Gone Golfing: The Player Character will be instantly be killed by any of the game's monsters that catch them.
  • Haunting Ground: Fiona, despite running much faster than normal game-play, is reduced to this in Panic Mode.
  • The player characters in Ikenie No Yoru can't defend themselves, encouraging you to dodge and learn the patterns of the ghosts that haunt the mansion.
  • Imscared: Whenever the player comes into contact with White Face (and HER in the Steam version) during a chase, the game will crash.
  • Karen Sees: Bob will die if the knife-wielding Karen manages to get her hands on him.
  • Killer7: Every enemy in Killer8 mode can kill the Smiths in one hit (except, luckily, most of the bosses, probably because of the different ways they're fought).
  • Livestream: Escape from Hotel Izanami: All it takes is one slice from the mascot's blade, and it's Game Over.
  • Neverending Nightmares: Thomas doesn't stand a chance against monsters, if they should grab him he will die instantly. To make up for this, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, as you will wake up in the nearest bedroom.
  • The Obscura Experiment: If Priya gets caught by the Dark Matter, which is a roving black hole, then it's Game Over.
  • Pylons: Zigzagged. Being touched by a pylon monster will only temporarily stun the boy, but it's Game Over if he's caught by any possessed humans.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica gives us the Final Boss of all things. It only takes one shot from the Linear Launcher to bring her down. Of course the bad news is the thing is small and quick, the Linear Launcher is a slow-moving projectile, and you only have about four minutes to land that hit. Good luck.
  • In Silence of the Sleep, Jacob has apparently survived jumping off the cliff in the prologue only to get instantly killed by any of the monsters. Pay heed to those gramophones, will you?

  • All but two of the protagonists in 1001 Spikes are this, and the two that can take a whopping two hits are majorly gimped in some way or another.
  • Most games in the Adventure Island series do this. Even though you have what looks like a Life Meter, it's actually the timer. One hit kills you. Tripping on rocks also decreases the meter. The exception is Adventure Island: the Beginning, in which taking hits knocks time off the meter.
  • The Adventure of Little Ralph: Ralph dies from a single hit from any enemy, unless he has a shield which allows him to take one more hit. This is justified in that Ralph spends most of the game as a young child, and in boss battles after the middle of the game, he turns back into a man and can take a large number of hits without dying. Then Ralph randomly turns back into a boy afterwards.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, the titular character is like this when not wearing his helmet.
  • Alex Kidd: Except in Shinobi World, one hit from something and he turns into a ghost, floating to the top of the screen waving his arms with a humorous "mwoop mwoop mwoop" sound. The Narm almost stops you from being pissed off at being killed from one hit by making you laugh.
  • Alfonzos Arctic Adventure: Coming into contact with an enemy is all it takes to do in most Player Characters. Averted with Fenwood, however, as his girth makes him impervious to harm.
  • Amagon: Amagon can't take a hit without dying. When he transforms into Megagon, he gains a life bar based on how many points you have when you transform.
  • While The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures normally doesn't use this trope, it comes into effect for both Fucking Impossible and YOLO modes. The former at least gives you five lives to compensate... the latter, not so much. And there are no checkpoints and you can't save.
  • Another World (known as Out Of This World in North American English) worked this way. Some combat elements, such as the blaster pistol capable of creating blaster shields, made it rather complicated to get through certain firefights, almost qualifying it as a Puzzle Game. The unsuspecting player is in for a surprise if he tries to run past the worms crawling on the ground in the first area.
  • Apogee Software:
    • Three of this company's early CGA games: Arctic Adventure, Pharaoh's Tomb, and Monuments of Mars. One hit from anything would mean losing a life.
    • Not to mention that to run the game faster, enemies are circumscribed by their hitboxes to simplify collision detection, so you had to compensate for invisible death-squares around every bad guy. The game even calls this "F.A.S.T. technology" and brags about it in the instructions.
  • Batman Returns: The Sega Master System version, unlike the Game Gear version from which it was converted, does not give Batman a life bar.
  • In Binary Boy, the protagonist will die in one hit from anything. However, this is compensated by having checkpoints before each obstacle.
  • Black the Fall: The Player Character will go down from a single hit from any obstacle, or bullet from a gun.
  • A Boy and His Blob: Though the blob is invincible, the boy is extremely fragile and dies instantly if harmed in any way.
  • Bubble Bobble series:
  • Bubsy: Though not in the sequel. At least every death gives you a different death animation.
  • Bucky O'Hare: This game for the NES had the player dying in one hit when playing on the hidden hard mode.
  • Castle Of Pixel Skulls: All it takes to kill the Player Character is a single hit from an enemy or level hazard.
  • Commander Keen: While not a Mario offshoot, this game was designed with Mario in mind, and the title character is just as vulnerable. One hit and the Defender of Earth is dead. Same with Dangerous Dave, another early John Romero game and the precursor of Commander Keen.
  • Constant C: The Rescue Robot either falls down/crashes into something with no ill effects or blows up instantly. There's no middle ground between the two.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • The title character lives (or rather dies) by this trope (at least in earlier installments), sure you can get Aku-Aku masks to take up to two extra hits, but those tend to be rare unless you die several times in a row between checkpoints (where you're then given a freebie mask upon respawning). Regardless, when Crash is by himself, he croaks at even the slightest contact with an enemy or hazard... even seemingly harmless ones like turtles and skunks.
    • Not even his sister Coco is safe from being killed in one hit in The Crash Bandicoot series Video Games she is playable in and in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time even Tawna, Dingodile and even Franchise villain Dr Neo Cortex can be killed in one hit, when you play as them.
  • Dark Castle: Duncan died in one hit from anything in the first game. Beyond Dark Castle combine the level timer with a Life Meter to allow Duncan to survive some hits at the expense of time.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Jumpman (later renamed Mario), from Donkey Kong arcade game. Not only will he die from touching one of the various hazards (barrels, spring-things, fire, pies), he'll also die just from falling several feet.
    • Jumpman, a game for the Commodore 64 not related to Mario, is like this as well. Getting hit, jumping or walking off a ledge, climbing into solid wall, and a few other things are instant kill. Just don't set run speed to 01.
    • All Donkey Kong Country games play around with this.
      • Donkey Kong Country: Starting from this game, since you are controlling two one hit point wonders at once, your partner fills in as your extra hit point. One single hit will take you out, but you don't lose a life. Your friend just takes over from there.
      • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: There's a boss who goes down with only one hit: When you refight K.Rool in Krocodile Kore. The catch is that said boss has a very long string of attacks before they're finally vulnerable.
      • Donkey Kong Country Returns: If you're on the minecart or rocket and you get hit once - you instantly lose a life regardless of your heart meter. You can expect that to happen if you're not careful. Also, there is a Mirror Mode where Diddy Kong doesn't appear at all and Donkey Kong only has one heart instead of the normal two hearts.
      • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Now averted with the Rocket Barrel and Minecart, which now take two hits (three if you bought a Crash Guard), and can also be healed if you pick up a heart. Played straight in Hard Mode, as the vehicles and your Kong do become a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Double Pug Switch: The titular pug will be defeated simply by touching one hazard. From there, he restarts at the last checkpoint you reached.
  • Dustforce: Falling off the course area or hitting spikes will instantly kill you, while enemies are powerless to inflict damage of any kind. However, their attacks will knock you back and break your combo, ruining your finesse score. Because of this, players aiming for a SS score will often self-enforce One-Hit-Point Wonder status by restarting the level if they're ever hit by an enemy attack.
  • Eryi's Action: Like many other platformers, you die the moment you hit a chicken, jumping flower, spike, flame, or any other of the numerous hazards you encounter in the game. There's also an RPG Boss Battle where Eryi fights with two companions. They have 1024 and 2048 HP respectively. Eryi still has just a single hit point.
  • ESWAT: Uses Body Armor As Hitpoints. You die in one hit without the titular Powered Armor, and you don't have it in the first few missions, which have you working your way up in rank. This is different in the Sega Genesis version (City Under Siege), where you have a shorter life bar in the Captain and Chief missions.
  • The Fairyland Story: The only thing that hurts Ptolemy but doesn't kill her is the wizard's spell, which weakens her with the first hit.
  • Flea (2020): Henry. One hit from an enemy or a hazard, and it's curtains for him.
  • In Gamer 2, Hailey becomes this whenever losing her deflector plate. Until she finds a new one (or recollects her old one) she'll die to a single hit from anything.
  • Ghoul Grind: Night of the Necromancer: One hit from an enemy is all it takes to fell Nox and Veronica.
  • Giana Sisters:
  • Glam: Glam will go down with a single hit.
  • Grey Area (2023): On the "Painful" and "Punished" difficulty levels, Hailey has only one health point which cannot be upgraded, so any hit from an enemy or obstacle will kill her.
  • Hammerin' Harry (Daiku no Gensan): Genzo in the original arcade game and Hammerin' Hero. In most of the other games, he does, in fact, have a health bar of some sort... but in those games, he's down in one hit unless he has a hard hat to absorb it.
  • A Hat in Time: Your maximum health is 4, or 8 with assist mode enabled, but equipping the 1-Hit Hero Badge will set it to 1. Mostly this is for the Self-Imposed Challenge, outside of one achievement and several Death Wish bonus objectives for defeating a boss with it equipped.
  • Ice Climber: Had many strange creatures and things kill you in one hit, such as the Topis, falling icicles, and a polar bear with pink shorts and sunglasses.
  • Iji:
    • Has the Sudden Death sectors, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin and required to unlock one of the game's secrets. However, the mode still gives you 100 Armor, so Iji can survive machinegun/pulse fire as long as it doesn't drain her Armor. The good news is that enemies have the same health as you... including bosses (except Iosa).
  • I Wanna Be the Guy:
    • This freeware game, made from various NES and SNES sprites, takes this as far as possible. Almost everything that touches the player character will cause him to explode in a shower of red pixels, except the Medusa heads and Cheep Cheeps which knock him around (usually into something dangerous). Being hit by a flying Delicious Fruit or A Glass of Chianti is just as deadly as crashing into one of the innumerable Spikes of Doom.
    • Lampshaded in the Fan Sequel I Wanna Be The Fangame, where the Kid is brought into a Pokémon battle screen, and his Life Meter starts at 1/1.
  • Jetpack: All enemies and traps will kill the player in one hit.
  • Jumper: This series takes this trope, uses it, loves it, becomes one with it. It also does the same with Malevolent Architecture and becomes many times harder because of the most evil game mechanic known to man — the golden arrows, which allow you to make more than one Double Jump in midair. This leads to aerial "jump mazes", usually completely surrounded by hazards, requiring pixel-precise jumps to pass it. Yes, it's as hard as it sounds and, yes, this is part of the fun.
  • JumpJet Rex: On normal difficulty, Rex dies by taking any damage, instantly sending the player back to either the start of the level or the latest checkpoint if there is one. Averted on easy difficulty, however, where he has two hitpoints instead.
  • Keep Out: The Player Character, Mr. M, can be done in in one hit. Doesn't help that he's in a world that is VERY hostile towards Living Toys.
  • Ironically, Ado, That One Boss of Kirby's Dream Land 3, is this. Once you defeat all her drawings, she jumps down from her pedestal and blindly charges forward, only to die to the slightest attack. Even Kirby's sliding kick can defeat her in one hit, and that attack is normally useless against bosses or minibosses. There's a reason she makes you fight so many living drawings beforehand. The same applies to Adeleine in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and her robotic Expy Holo-Defense API in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
  • La-Mulana: If you equip the F1 Spirit 3D and Contra ROMs (in that specific order), you will die after taking one hit. This is in stark contrast to the latter half of the game, where you will probably have so much health that dying becomes completely irrelevant, except against a boss.
  • LittleBigPlanet: Has Sackboy, who basically explodes if he comes in contact with any of the various hazards in the game. The exception is fire, which he can bounce on once before being burnt to a crisp.
  • Lizard: The Player Character turns into a skeleton and jumps off the screen upon being hit by an enemy.
  • Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy: Willy, the protagonist in these classical platformers.
  • Meat Boy / Super Meat Boy: The protagonist is this, everything from salt to sawblades will kill him on contact.
  • Mega Man Powered Up: many missions in Challenge Mode only gave Mega Man 1 HP.
  • Mega Man Unlimited has a difficulty setting called "Insta-Death," which starts you off with 1 HP and disables health refills, essentially making Mega Man one of these.
  • Miner 2049er: Bounty Bob would die instantly from any type of harm, be it Collision Damage or falling more than 1.5 times his height.
  • Mountain Troll: All it takes is for the troll to step on a hazard, and it's Game Over.
  • In Munin, the titular protagonist is instantly killed by any of the fatal obstacles.
  • N: The Way of the Ninja: The ninja is about as flimsy as wet cardboard - there's an X-Box Live achievement which requires you die 2,000 times in the single-player mode. It's easier than it sounds.
  • Nebs 'n Debs: One hit will cause Nebs 'n Debs to lose a life.
  • Ninja Spirit: In the TurboGrafx-16 version, Moonlight has five hit points in PC-Engine mode, but only one hitpoint in Arcade mode.
  • Nosferatu Lilinor: Lilinor can only take one hit before she explodes into a swarm of bats and loses a life.
  • Oddworld: In the first two games, anything (including the player character) could be killed by anything else with one hit. Unless they're being slapped or licked. That takes more hits.
  • Owata (aka The Life-Ending Adventure): This infamously Nintendo Hard Flash game features a 1HPW with a Punny Name ("Owata" sounds like "Owatta", which basically means "it's over"). You will not be able to get to the end without Trial-and-Error Gameplay and/or a guide.
  • Panky the Panda: The Player Character jumps off the screen when touched by an enemy or hazard.
  • Poyo: This freeware platformer by Lazrael plays this completely straight, but balances it out because the stages are all pretty short.
  • Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?: The Prinnies have only one hit point if you play on Hell's Finest, though you'll have 1000 of them. Standard Mode allows you four hit points; doesn't make the game any easier.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal:
    • While you had hit points in the rest of the game, one of the deathmatch types at Annihilation Nation, appropriately named "One Hit Wonder", forces you to kill waves of enemies without taking a single hit.
    • Going Commando, the previous installment, had a similar gametype available in its arenas. Ratchet didn't die, per se, but he did have to start the round over if he wanted credit for completing it (and he would, naturally, need to buy new ammo).
      • However, in these games you have access to energy shields which allow you to take hit(s) before losing these challenges.
  • Rayman Origins: Every playable character. You can collect a heart powerup, which makes you able to take one extra hit.
  • Ristar featured this. The highest (secret) difficulty level not only turns the titular character into a One-Hit-Point Wonder, but also a One-Life Wonder. Just one touch is instant death, and all health and 1UPs turn to gems. As compensation, the game gives unlimited continues, so death only sends one back to the start of the level.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: The hardest difficulty setting starts you off with one life, no continues, and everything kills you in one hit. Take any damage at all, and it's an instant Game Over.
  • Roll Away: The ball is inflatable and so is easily destroyed by heat, spikes and captivators.
  • Runbow: Player characters are merely stunned by enemies, but spikes and lasers will destroy you in one hit. This trope also applies to Satura, who only needs to be punched once in every battle with her to win the fight.
  • Samurai Revenge: Kabuto will die instantly if he takes a hit from any enemy or hazard.
  • The titular character of Sly Cooper is one in the first game. Later games in the series gave him a Life Meter, while he could collect a Single-Use Shield in the first game, being able to take two hits without dying at maximum. Also during the development of Thieves In Time, there was going to be a mode called Horseshoe Mode that would have been unlocked after beating the game the first time. It would have functioned just like the first game with the one hit point mechanic and the player could collect 2 horse shoes to avoid dying. This did make the final product because of time constraints and some negative feedback from play testers.
  • Skylanders series:
    • In Giants, at the end of the battle arena of chapter 12, the leader of the bad guys in the level, Pipsqueak, will be jumping down to battle you. You just have to hit him once before he says "Owie!" and sends in his Shadow Knight to do the fighting instead.
    • In the 3DS version of Swap Force, you battle Count Moneybone in his robot suit multiple times. After the final fight against him, said robot suit breaks down and he decides to take you on himself with his "bone" hands. As it turns out, he really needed that suit if he wanted to be able to take more than one hit.
  • Smurf: Rescue In Gargamel's Castle: All it takes is just one hit from an enemy to make you lose a Smurf, besides everything else on the path to Gargamel's castle being dangerous.
  • So Many Me: Filo and his Mes will burst into green particles upon being hit by any enemy or obstacle in the game.
  • Something series:
    • Yosu no Tera has a section where Mario has to use the P-Balloon as Small Mario, and Yosu no Tera 2 does the same thing to Luigi in Something Else. Fantoma Mura, Yurei no Jinja, and This is Something in Something Else also have the same gimmick.
    • The True Final Boss Rush in Something had Mario facing all of the game's bosses as Small Mario
  • The titular character from Sonic the Hedgehog is this whenever he doesn't have rings. Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 took full advantage of this with their Final Boss levels, The Final Zone, and Death Egg Zone, which do not contain even a single ring.
    • Sonic Frontiers has the Extreme Difficulty introduced in the "Sights, Sound and Speed" update, which locks Sonic's stats at level 1 for the entire playthrough, and more importantly, makes him go down from a single hit from any enemy, regardless of how many rings he has. This restriction even applies to the normally-invulnerable Super Sonic.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Most sidescrolling games did this. Unless Mario gained a powerup, he died with one hit. Super Mario Bros. 2 is an exception, with a life meter, but it's a Dolled-Up Installment. The 3D games added a true life meter.
    • New Super Mario Bros. has some bonus routes that can only be reached by Mini Mario, which is even smaller than small Mario (thus forcing you to ground pound in order to actually damage enemies) and just as fragile. Some exits are found after boss battles, which become much more challenging with this powerup.
    • Super Mario Galaxy does this in its daredevil runs, where Mario's Life Meter has only one hit point. This is usually reserved for a repeat of a completed boss battle.
    • The final star in Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes a level that was already Nintendo Hard with three hitpoints and three check-points, and throws in a Daredevil Comet and removes the checkpoints. It borders on being Platform Hell.
    • Mario fan games Paper Mario World 2 and Mario!!! (not to be confused with the series, that's all the game is called) go even further: one hit from anything boots you back to the title screen. No checkpoints, additional lives or save points either, so one hit really does end it all. Super Mario Pandemonium is also like this, although it at least has a lives counter.
    • In Super Mario Run, prior to the Remix Ten update. The other playable characters outside of Mario and Luigi couldn't use Super Mushrooms and died in a single hit. The update lets them take a hit and shrink before dying.
  • Your heisters in The Swindle die in one hit, which is why it is, for example, important to spend your time hitting things in the back of the head and getting away from any dynamite you plant nice and quickly.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Caverns of Death: Sydney goes down with only one touch from an enemy or hazard.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Shrines of Peril: Sydney goes down with a single touch from any enemy or hazard, and is sent back to the beginning of whichever screen he was on.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Sacred Tribe: One touch from any enemy or hazard costs Sydney Hunter one life.
  • Syobon Action is a Platform Hell Super Mario Bros clone where you, naturally, die in one hit. Fortunately, you have unlimited lives.
  • Teslagrad: Falling doesn't hurt, but brushing against fire, electricity, or monsters is instant death and room-restart. As it's a Puzzle Platformer with infinite lives this is usually not a big deal, but it's a headache in boss fights, since each time you progress to a new phase you have no idea what to expect and will probably be instantly killed, then have to start the fight from the beginning again.
  • Tiny Hands Adventure: One hit from an enemy is all it takes to cost Borti a life.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures does this in the NES game, and other games based on the show often make you a one hit point wonder in hard mode, such as in Buster Busts Loose for the SNES and Babs' Big Break for the Game Boy.
  • Toki Tori: The eponymous chick dies in one hit from an enemy or spikes. Since the game is a Puzzle Platformer, it's mandatory to figure out how to avoid the monsters; avoiding them is the easy part.
  • Turbo Pug 3D: If the pug/cat/penguin hits any obstacle in their path, it's Game Over.
  • Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider has a Module aptly named "Glass Cannon." Unlike the trope it's likely named after, the Module does not allow you to kill all the enemies in one hit at the cost of you dying in one hit. Instead, the Module makes it so you die immediately should you take damage, whereas all the enemies' and bosses' health remains the same.
  • VVVVVV: The player character. The rest of the crew members are this in the escort mission.
  • Wardner: The protagonist, except in the Famicom Disk System version.
  • Wario Land 4, just like most Mario platformers, in that while on Super Hard Mode you technically do have more health, you always start the levels with only one hit point left, usually right in front of a monster ready to kill you on contact. So you're always a One-Hit-Point Wonder for the first half of every level.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Adventures of Lolo (Adventures of Lolo/Eggerland): Lolo of the series is one, as well as Lala, when she's playable.
  • Aspire: Ina's Tale: Ina will die from a single hit. So make sure she isn't... hit by an enemy.
  • Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle (Looney Tunes): This old Game Boy and NES game has Bugs running around dozens of floors of a castle where the other Looney Tunes have been brainwashed or something, and running into one of them just once sends you back to the start of the level. Only two items can circumvent this: one that temporarily lets you walk through other characters and one that temporarily lets you walk through and kill other characters. Made worse in that some characters follow you around and a few float through walls and floors.
  • Chip's Challenge: In this puzzle game, any enemy and obstacle can kill you upon contact, making the levels harder than they already are.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death: In this series, the player and everybody else has one hit point, with the exception of very large enemies that shrink when you hit them (snakes and the rock giant). In addition, some enemies can't be killed with any of your own weapons. Added to this that it is a turn based tactical game with tiny turns, to the point of being a puzzle game, and it was designed by a bunch of total sadists, the series is one of the hardest around. DROD RPG uses HP for the player and the monsters, and employs deterministic statistic-based combat mechanics, which also cause a need for difficult strategizing.
  • Frobot: The titular character can get blown up from a single shot from an enemy/stage hazard.
  • HyperRogue: Most of the enemies are this, as is the player character.
  • LIT (2009) have Jake and Rachael. If either of them step into the darkness or take a hit from a boss, they die instantly.
  • Mad Age & This Guy: The Player Character can be killed with one touch from an enemy or hazard, but so can all the enemies.
  • Mondo Agency: This freeware game is a rare modern 3D example.
  • In the Picross series, filling in or erasing a tile that's not part of the solution will usually result in a time or rank penalty. In Picross 3D: Round 2, however, the "Brutal Blocks" series of puzzles has a special rule: If you make a single mistake, you'll fail the puzzle instantly and have to start over from the beginning of it.
  • Puzzle Quest Puzzle Kingdoms: Imp units literally have one hit point, but have a low mana cost and have a high attack score relative to the rest of their stats.
  • Revolution (1986): The bouncing ball doesn't have any health, so if it hits any enemies, you lose a life.
  • The protagonist of a 2014 German puzzle game Schein is instantly killed by great falls or any of the enemies/bosses.
  • In See No Evil, the protagonist will be instantly caught if they walk into any of the patrolling guards, with no way to break free or fight back.
  • Spelunker: This game is infamous as one of the easiest-to-die characters in video game history. If you don't jump or jump wrong when you get off the elevator, you die. If you step into a pit that's as deep as your ankles, you die. The remake, Spelunker HD, makes earning extra lives very easy, because you're expected to die so much.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge: By default, SpongeBob has no golden spatulas on him and dies in one hit. However, collecting spatulas will allow him to take hits as a Single-Use Shield in a similar vein to rings collected and lost in Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • Spyro the Dragon: In the original games at least, should count. Without Sparx, one hit and he's a goner.
    • Not even Spyro's Friends Sheila the Kangaroo, Sgt Byrd the Penguin, Bentley the Yeti, and Agent 9 the Monkey in Spyro: Year of the Dragon or Hunter the Cheetah and Blink the Mole in Spyro: A Hero's Tail are safe from being killed in one hit when Sparx is gone. Averted with Sparx the Dragonfly when you play as him in his own special areas that you can access by Sparx Signs in Year of the Dragon and A Hero's Tail, he can take 8 hits in Year of the Dragon and 3/4 hits in A Hero's Tail before he dies.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Every character in Bokosuka Wars is removed from gameplay once they lose a single battle. This includes your King Suren, and it's Game Over if you lose him.
  • Red Alert 3: Futuretech's Cryo weapons were advertised in-universe as causing only Harmless Freezing, for use against riots and such. While it is true that a frozen unit will thaw out over time and be none the worse for wear, they seemingly neglected to mention that while frozen, a single hit from any weapon will lead to Literally Shattered Lives. Tanks, buildings, all go down to a single bullet or missile even from units that normally can't hit them like sniper IFVs, or units that deal no damage like Cryo Legionnaires (this one turned out to be deliberate, as Futuretech recruited sociopaths who will gleefully jump-jet into frozen prisoners to murder them).

    Rhythm Games 
  • "A Danceof Fireand Ice": Hitting a tile too late will cause the planets to explode, sending you back to the last checkpoint.
  • beatmania IIDX: Break your combo in Hazard Mode? FAIL.
  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer:
    • Aria and Coda only have half a heart and cannot obtain heart canisters, and therefore die if they take any damage (Unless they have a potion, which Aria starts with and is good for a single revival, or if they are wearing glass armor, which saves them from being hit once). In Aria's case, it represents how frail she is because she's the oldest of the main story characters. Additionally, they die if they miss a beat.
    • The sequel, Cadence of Hyrule, has Yves, who has a single heart. He can't use most equipment in the game, cannot obtain heart containers, and his main attacks are bumping into enemies and shooting seeds. The Character DLC pack also adds in the aforementioned Aria, who also can't obtain heart containers and retains her "missing a beat equals death" mechanic.
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • One More Extra Stages / Encore Extra Stages force you to play with the "Sudden Death" modifier; if you get one Missnote , you instantly fail the song. Exaggerated with certain Encore Extra Stages where getting a single step below Perfect will also end the song instantly.
    • The normal Extra Stage in DanceDanceRevolution SuperNOVA 2 could be anywhere from this to a four-hit-point-wonder, depending on how well you did on your final stage. DDR X ups the minimum to two instead, but the maximum is still four. Considering some of the songs are loaded with Fake Difficulty (Pluto on the CS version being a major offender - stops are less predictable than CHAOS from DDR SuperNova), you're kinda screwed.
  • DJMAX Portable: In this series, as well as DJMAX Trilogy, some missions have you clearing a song or set of songs without missing a single note; instead of allowing you to continue having failed the mission, the game simply throws you an instant Game Over. There's also one particular mission in DJMAX Portable 2, "Just 1%", where getting a MAX 1% (the lowest judgment you can get from hitting a note) is an instant game over as well. DJMAX Portable 3 offers modifiers called "1 BREAK: GAME OVER" and "1%: GAME OVER", which have the same effects.
  • Friday Night Funkin' Vs. Impostor: In the song Defeat, the Black Impostor kills you instantly if you miss a note.
  • Guitar Freaks and DrumMania:
    • Have the Risky option. If you turn it on, you can set it to 1, 2 or 4 before the song starts, then if you get that many POOR and MISS judgments combined, you fail instantly (but unlike other Bemani games, you can play out the rest of your songs, although you can no longer earn the Extra Stage).
    • DanceDanceRevolution X2 also added a Risky option. When turned on, you get the One More Extra Stage life meter, but you can play out the rest of your songs even if you fail.
  • Hatsune Miku Project mirai has the Do Or Die item, which triggers an immediate stage failure the moment you get any judgement that breaks your combo (Safe, Sad, Worst, or Miss). However, clearing a song with this item will double the amount of Miku Points you get.
  • KALPA has the optional "All Combo" play modifier, which mandates that you get an All Combo to clear the song, i.e. one Miss will immediately end the song in failure. Taken a step further with the "All Perfect" modifier, in which any non-Perfect hit (not just Misses, but also Greats and Goods) will also fail the song.
  • Mad Rat Dead: It doesn't matter if Mad Rat gets hit by a Nightmare or touches sewer water, it'll kill him all the same. Thankfully, there is the existence of the Time Rewind Mechanic.
  • maimai has bonus tracks called Challenge Tracks that, when played, give you a Life Meter dependent on how old the track is, with older tracks giving you more health. Getting any note judgement below a Perfect takes away one life. If you attempt a Challenge Track less than two days after it's been released, you get only one life, i.e. you must play the chart perfectly or you will fail instantly!
  • pop'n music: Cho-Challenge mode has the DEATH norma, which when activated will cause a miss to wipe out your life meter. However, this doesn't end the stage; you just have to rebuild your life meter all the way back up. For extra fun, activate the "COOL or BAD!" norma, which removes all timing judgments except for COOL and BAD, so if you're outside the timing window for a COOL...

    Role-Playing Games 
  • A Blurred Line: In the minigames. The driving minigame where you're forced to travel at high speed with little room to dodge obstacles (and other cars, which sometimes change lines right before you) and the Dalia segmet in Eisen's simulation, where you have to go through the narrow, skeleton-infested dungeons, are the worst offenders.
  • The Skull Eaters of Final Fantasy V have one hit point. They are also one of the worst things to run into because they have an insanely high evasion rate and if you try to get around that with magic, they summon four buddies who will proceed to murder the party. About the only way to cope with them is with a fixed-damage attack (like 1000 Needles) or with the Excalipoor, which only hits for 1HP but is guaranteed to do so. At least they give pretty decent AP for the trouble.
  • Final Fantasy VI:
    • About halfway through the game, you will be controlling one character on a small island. The random battles consist of two monster types that have a single hit point each. On top of that, they start the battle with a HP Sap effect, meaning they often die before anyone gets a turn. They're almost completely useless for anything but decursing an item that requires you fight 255 battles with it equipped, but you can steal Elixirs or Megalixirs from them if you're fast enough.
    • They do have one extremely useful benefit; if Gau ever ran into them in the Veldt (where almost every enemy in the game would reappear), he could imitate them. If Strago was in the party when Gau did so, he could learn a couple Game-Breaker spells (like Mighty Guard, which made boss battles a complete joke).
    • However, it's also possible to be afflicted with Zombie status on that same island (there's a formation of monsters in the desert that doesn't belong to this trope). Since Zombie makes your character uncontrollable, and you'll only have that one character at the time, you're potentially a One-Hit-Point Wonder until you get off the island. Or until you equip a Ribbon.
    • The monsters, should they get a chance to hit you, do about average damage for this point in the game. So despite the lameness of their HP stat and their Seizure status, they can pose a challenge for a low-level character.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey: Hexers can become this, if you try to maximize the damage for their Revenge skill — 255% of the health they've lost will be dealt to the enemy, but the Hexer will not survive a single blow.
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth:
      • The Phantom Duelist title for Fencers has Lightweight, which increases evasion for each empty equipment slot the Fencer has. Forsake all armor and throw in the Fencer's Predict, and you effectively have this trope as the Fencer will die the moment anything manages to hit them despite the evasion buffs.
      • The Impact Brawler title for Pugilists has Death's Edge that grows stronger with the party on lower health. It is strongest when you invoke this trope on your entire party... but you have to hope it kills before the enemy acts.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, the reward for getting 100% Completion on the Gummi Ship missions is the Crown/G gummi piece. When equipped it causes the Ship to start off in "berserk mode", but makes it so any hit will kill you.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, equipping the Extreme accessory sets your HP to one, but gives you infinite use of Limit Breaks.
    • Re:coded has an unlockable cheat that reduces the maximum HP of both Sora and enemies to the designated percentage. Setting it to 0% leaves everyone with one HP.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has two Master Quartz that allow the character equipping them be this trope. Chevalier boosts a character's craft damage if their HP is low enough while Magius boosts a character's art damage if their HP is also low enough. Their third ability turns the character into this trope if they get knocked out once since it revives them with only one HP.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: While not showing one health, does this when the Glass Cannon type Daredevil Boots are equipped as an item. You have doubled attack, but one hit kills you outright. This is essentially a downgrade of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga's "Great Force" item, which doubled your attack power but halved your defense. (A One-Hit-Point Wonder is automatically more fragile than a Glass Cannon, no matter how frail the Glass Cannon is.)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel and Team ProtoMan: MegaMan can keep corrupting himself with Dark Chips (Each use of them subtracts 1 of his max Hit Points) until he becomes a literal One Hit Point Wonder. Though the enormous firepower of Dark Chips is enough to say the same about most enemies, if not bosses.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: The Shigurui difficulty level turns your character into this. Although to balance it out, any time you're not in a bossfight, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist and as long as you have at least 1 sword intact, you can block pretty much any attack and not die from it. You can also do it in midair during some attacks, making it seem that the character is casually shrugging off an attack that should've killed'em several times over.
  • Phantom Brave: The Risk debuff turns anyone into this: any attack, no matter how weak or strong, either kills them instantly or misses them. Quite annoying when a randomly-generated dungeon gives this debuff to a roomful of enemies that you would one-hit kill anyway...
    • Makai Kingdom, working off a modified Phantom Brave engine, has the same effect.
  • Pokémon:
    • Shedinja is a unique example of this in a game that doesn't usually use it. While lifebars do exist in-game, Shedinja only ever has a single hit point (as in, the game is scripted in such a way that Shedinja can not have more than 1 HP. Anything that would cause its max HP to increase, such as leveling up or using certain items, either just don't or can't be used on it to begin with, respectively. Even the Dynamax mechanic from Generation VIII, which can double a Pokémon's max HP, has no effect on Shedinja's), making its own life bar rather pointless. It's kept from being a novelty Pokémon by its ability, "Wonder Guard", which protects it from all direct damage that isn't super effective. Unfortunately, Wonder Guard doesn't protect Shedinja from indirect damage; meaning everything from Status Effects, damaging weather such as hail or sandstorms, entry hazards like Stealth Rocks or Spikes, Leech Seed, and even recoil from its own attacks are fair game.
    • In the 3rd generation, the "?????" glitch will tend to faint after any opposing attack. It starts displaying no HP, though you can still choose a move or action. You could have "?????" if you entered a battle without your own creatures, unlike previous games where you might actually win by default. Getting it like this is usually prevented, if playing normally. Some ROM hacks will allow for the player to fight using one - often in a futile way - such as the incomplete Pokémon Desolate version (by BCT Elite) by accident, or the complete Pokémon Wild Oaks (by Luminesce) intentionally. The latter goes even further than this in its quest for exaggerated difficulty.
  • Shining Force:
    • Has this in the form of Jogurt, who has exactly one point in every single statistic. Though his hit points can be raised through items.
    • Jogurt was largely a Self-Imposed Challenge, though successfully defeating an enemy with him awards you with the Jogurt ring, which doesn't do anything but change the sprite of another character into Jogurt.
  • Sigma Star Saga:
    • This shmup / RPG hybrid is an odd example. Your character has a Life Meter, but the animation for getting hit shows his ship exploding and a new one flying in from offscreen, like in most shmups. Handwaved by the plot: the Alien Empire for which the hero works has enough resources to build countless living ships but is lacking decent pilots, so the pilots are teleported from ship to ship, but each teleportation strains the pilot's health... if they are forced to teleport too much, they will die.
    • There is a two hit wonder: a boxy-carrier. One hit causes it to crack open and fall apart, revealing a small and nimble warship.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters: Rooms with the Antimatter decor provide a hefty evade chance (so attacks have a chance of not hitting at all, no matter how powerful), but if you get hit you lose all health. Annoyingly, your enemies only play with the first rule.
  • The Tower of Druaga: Gilgamesh.
  • Ultima Underworld II: Krilner the Coward is a character who only has 1 hit point. You can confirm this by casting a certain spell on him to read his statistics.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Players essentially become this in the Stranglethorn Streak "rumble," in which all the players involved in the rumble are stripped naked and have their level reduced before being forced to avoid the crocolisks, panthers, raptors and other fauna of Stranglethorn Vale. Getting hit once generally means death.
    • In one world quest in Val'sharah, the players must take the form of a wisp and use its powers to nurture the trees planted around the pool. If the player gets eaten by the fish, the wisp "vehicle" is destroyed and the player will have to return to the quest area to get another.
  • Deconstructed in Undertale. If you run a check on Sans the skeleton at the beginning, you'll find that he is, with his 1 HP, 1 DEF and 1 ATK, the weakest enemy in the entire game. Usually he just pops up here and there, cracking jokes and pranking you while being lazy and disinterested in events, but if you activate the No Mercy route by killing every mob and NPC you run across, he will finally decide to act and challenge you to a fight to the death. That's when it's revealed that, while it's technically true that he's the game's weakest enemy, the check neglected to mention that he doesn't need more HP or DEF because he dodges every attack effortlessly. His own attacks bypass your Mercy Invincibility: he deals 1 HP damage per frame and a stackable Damage Over Time effect is applied with each hit, rendering your newly-acquired Infinity +1 Sword / Infinity+1 Armor useless. It's like Toby Fox is mocking you for thinking that numbers equal power.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • Aqua Rhapsody: If a single enemy touches the castle, the castle will spontaneously explode. Which kind of misses the point of a castle, really...
  • Arc Angle: Arc Angle gets destroyed if he gets hit by a bullet. Thankfully, he respawns on the same spot.
  • Atomic Robo-Kid: You can't take a hit without exploding, except in Atomic Robo-Kid Special, the Reformulated Game for the PC Engine.
  • Brood Star: There is a module which reduces the player's hitbox to the width of a single pixel while also reducing their shield to 1. It makes it extremely difficult for enemies to hit them, but also guarantees that the player will die if a shot connects.
  • Centipede (1998): As in the original game, taking a single hit will instantly destroy the Shooter — unless it has a ladybug shield, of course.
  • Einhänder: The Einhänder fighters go up in flames after a single hit, but the equippable gunpods can absorb a few bullets before breaking, and the manipulator arm is invincible, meaning skilled players can use it to absorb bullets that would otherwise take a life off them.
  • Eschatos and its successor Ginga Force have the player ships explode in one hit, but give them a manually-activated front shield that runs off of an energy meter.
  • Gaiares: At least until you get a shield, then you're a 6-or-so-hit-point-wonder. unless you die on the final stage, which has no such shield item, which is one of the reasons why that stage (which is ONLY a boss fight) is That One Boss. Oddly enough, your TOZ can block some bullets.
  • Geometry Wars: The "Sur-" stages in Galaxies. One life, no bombs, and you don't get more of either.
  • Gradius: If you don't have a force field, the only things your plane can touch without blowing up are power-ups.
  • Highway Hunter: Your car is this in Hard difficulty. The lifebar is replaced with a lives meter, life powerups are extra lives instead, and your weapon reverts to the V-Laser each time you're hit.
  • Hong Kong '97: The protagonist is this, despite being billed as an almighty "killer machine". However, this is evened out in the sense that the enemy mooks you face are this as well.
  • Hotline Miami: Jacket and the Biker can be killed by a single clean hit, as do enemies (aside from the Thugs and bosses). It doesn't help that the game is incredibly fast-paced. However, there are unlockable masks that allow you to take a few more hits than usual. Also, there is occasionally a small bit of RNG-based leeway when it comes to guns; occasionally, bullets will simply graze Jacket or any Mooks, allowing them to continue as normal.
    • The Bodyguard, whom Jacket fights in the last level of the game, is also one of these. The only thing that he needs to do in order to cripple her is to simply throw a trophy at her head, which instantly takes her out of the fight. However, while she's up, she can use throwing knives and perform a deadly swipe with her katana.
  • Jackal: Apparently being hit by a single bullet will destroy a jeep, every time.
  • Metal Slug: Characters die in one hit from bullets, melee weapons, or getting run over by a tank. Unless you play as Ralf in Metal Slug 6 and 7 / XX, presumably so that he can get close enough to enemy tanks to do his Vulcan Punch on.
  • Meritous: The starting enemies can be killed in one hit from the PSI Circuit.
  • RefleX: This game is particularly cruel with this trope. In Area 7, a rather brutal encounter with a boss results in the player ship receiving an upgrade to firepower and an infinite-use reflect shield...but for the rest of the game, the player ship has no armor. This is a game that does not have extra lives. If a single attack touches your hitbox, Game Over.
  • R-Type: Your Force Device is bulletproof. Your ship is not.
  • Silver Surfer (1990): As quoted above, this game, exacerbated by the fact that touching walls will kill you. Made even more annoying by the fact that one of the Silver Surfer's superpowers is being Nigh Invulnerable! The rubber ducky will kill you.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III apparently has a "Realistic" mode. You die in one shot.
  • Delta Force: In these games, you can only take one, maybe two shots if you have armor. However, the enemies also can't take more than 1 high-powered shot, even to limbs (which is more realistic than other games, if you think about it), and they tend to be unintelligent, relatively stationary, and terrible shots.
  • DUSK plays with this trope on DUSKMARE difficulty. Only enemies and stage hazards will be able to one-shot you. Self-damage will still deal normal damage, allowing the player to be able to rivet-jump and take splash damage from their own explosions.
  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter: In Hard mode, all enemies aim for the head and thus kill in one hit.
  • GoldenEye (1997):
    • Has this as an optional game mode in multiplayer, aptly named "License to Kill." Even the basic slap will kill an opponent.
    • It also has Scaramanga's gun (from The Man with the Golden Gun), which is a weapon that basically turns the entire world into One Hit Point Wonders, because it instantly kills anything it hits. If you know your Bond, you'll know this is because Scaramanga was such a good shot, he never needed to shoot anyone twice. In the game, even shooting someone in the foot with it will instantly kill them, but the gun has only one bullet. There's also a golden PP7, which acts like the golden gun, but with 7 bullets.
      • Though it wasn't programed as "this gun kills everything in one hit." It was programmed as "this gun does a lot of damage". Play with max health handicaps and a body armor pickup. If they shoot you in the foot, you live. A torso shot will still kill you, though. Also, Janus is immune to the effects of the Golden Gun. Janus can be killed from the golden gun on the last (non-bonus) level if you shoot him during one of the windows when he's vulnerable.
      • You could also play with no guns in license to kill mode with everyone running around judo chopping. This essentially turned multiplayer into a game of lethal bumpercars mixed with a The Benny Hill Show sketch.
  • Operation Flashpoint:
    • This game plays this one in a similar way; as a result, there's not even a health bar.
    • However, not every hit is always fatal: depending on where the player is hit, it may make him unable to stand up and run normally (if hit on the legs) or render the aimpoint extremely wobbly (if the arms are no longer healthy).
    • The game handled this in an interesting way. A hit on a certain part of the body would have a percentage chance to kill and a percentage chance to injure. For example, a headshot had 99% chance to both kill and injure, whereas limbs had 30% chance to kill and 85% chance to injure. This means that while any shot can kill, and most shots will injure, it is theoretically possible to survive a huge amount of gunfire (although highly unlikely). Large explosive weapons, like tank shells, which hit every body part with splash, would almost certainly kill.
  • PN03: The penultimate Papillon suit lacked shields and was a combination of Difficult, but Awesome and Awesome, but Impractical due to this.
  • Rainbow Six: Most games in the this series use a variation. It only takes one solid hit to incapacitate a character — and, in the single-player campaigns for your team, possibly kill them, permanently removing them from the game. Less solid shots, such as to extremities, take two hits instead, and hamper the target on the first hit. Ghost Recon works much the same way.
  • Ada's final mission in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is this for the duration of the sewers. It takes place after being owned by "Trenchy" and being thrown down a pit, leaving her to start the level limping, in bandages, and with her health in the red. Thankfully you can find a herb once you escape the sewers.
  • Silent Scope: One bullet is all it takes to kill non-boss enemies, although headshots generally give more points. Most bosses can be killed with a single head shot, although Monica takes two shots to destroy her helmet first.
  • In Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, some tests require you to complete the objective without taking any damage. Although, instead of one hit splatting you, this trope is provided by the test proctor C.Q. Cumber, who detonates a sack of green enemy ink that's strapped to you the moment you take damage.
    C.Q. Cumber: You took damage—test failed.
  • In SUPERHOT, everyone, including yourself, will die in one shot or one hit from a melee weapon. The only exception is punching: getting punched will instantly kill you, but enemies need three to take them down.
  • System Shock 2: If you play on Impossible difficulty as an OSA operative, you start with 10HP... which is coincidentally the exact amount of damage done by the very first enemy you encounter, a pathetically weak (on any other difficulty) pipe-wielding parasite zombie. While there are enemies that deal less damage, the fact that you're a one-hit-kill at the very start of the game means that the Impossible OSA path definitely qualifies for this trope.
  • Team Fortress 2: If you decide to play as a Scout holding the "Sandman" melee weapon (a baseball bat that gives you a baseball to stun your enemies with for the price of 15 of your max health) on an x10 server (a special game mode that multiplies every weapon's stat by 10), you will have 1 HP. See how long you'll live when even a shotgun fired from across the map can kill you
    • Same goes for a Spy with the Conniver's Kunai (-55 max health) on an x10 server. That is at least until he gets a Back Stab.
  • T2 The Arcade Game
    • Has the level after Cyberdyne in which if the T-1000's police helicopter rams into the protagonists' SWAT van even once, the player has to start the level over. Definitely worse than That Truck Level.
    • Of course, the helicopter was itself something of a one-hit wonder, as far as deflecting the attack went. Whereas that damn knew where it was, but good god, it was hard to stop.
  • Time Crisis: Almost every enemy in this series can be killed with one shot anywhere, including the finger.
  • The Unreal Tournament series has "Instagib" mode, where every player's sole weapon is a shock rifle that causes instant death. You still have the usual 100 hit points, and Falling Damage and other secondary forms of injury are no more dangerous than usual; but generally there are no health packs in this mode, so if you're good at dodging death rays you may die of minor damage accumulation.
  • WinBack: Featured an unlockable "Sudden Death Mode" wherein a single bullet was all it took to send you or any enemy to an early grave. Amusingly, this led to encounters with simple guards becoming white-knuckle standoffs, while most boss characters wound up on the floor before they even finished taunting you.

  • Ace Combat:
    • Player aircraft in this game go down with just one missile hit when played on the highest difficulty. Enemy aircraft, on the other hand, remain just as durable as on normal difficulty.
    • In ACX, if you tune Cariburn with Light engine, Sylph wing, Fenrir ECMS, and CFRP armor, it will be a one hit-point wonder not only against missiles, but against guns, too. And since guns in ACX are slightly homing...
  • The console ports of After Burner Climax have an unlockable "cheat" that reduces your armor to 1%, which means if you so much as touch gunfire or rub paint with a cliff, you explode and lose one life.
  • FAST Racing League: Your vehicle can only hit any obstacle once before turning into a flaming wreck. Strangely this does not apply to hitting the course walls or other racers, who do no damage, only to flying to the side of the course, hitting walls set to block off your path or running into the flamethrowers which all kill you instantly.
  • Glider: These games would make you lose a glider if you hit almost anything that wasn't a prize. Having aluminum foil in Glider PRO would shield you to some extent, but foil wasn't a guaranteed find and would be hard or literally impossible to keep.
  • Knights of the Sky: The original edition of this WWI-style air combat sim from 1992 had 1 HP planes (including yours, of course). To be honest, their real counterparts were not much more durable either.
  • Pilotwings: The game throws an Unexpected Gameplay Change halfway through and for its final mission, as both are helicopter missions where you must rescue given people while shooting down enemy turrets. If they nail you, your helicopter is instantly busted and plummets to the ground, bringing the mission and game to an abrupt stop.
  • Spacewar!: Probably the Ur-Example of this trope in video gaming was this 1961 game, which was created for the PDP-1 computer, and which had its players dueling each other while maneuvering in the gravity well of a star. If you got hit with a missile from the other guy or hit the star, you were dead. There is only one PDP-1 still in existence, though the game has been ported to numerous platforms ever since.
  • Star Raiders: In this classic Atari videogame, the ship goes down in one hit from an asteroid or enemy photon. Fortunately the ship's energy can retain a shield which changes hits from fatal to merely damaging some key component of your ship (at easier levels, there's a chance it won't even hurt). The shield itself is a damageable component, so you are at least two photons away from death.
  • In most of the X-Universe series, Missiles series will be destroyed by a glancing blow from the weakest gun in the game. The latest game X3: Albion Prelude gives them a health bar, however. Also, M5 scoutships are effectively this when faced with the flak guns on a capital ship, and in the first two games every ship was one of these if its shields went down (X2: The Threat added hull armor as a mechanic). The space suit the player dons when going EVA explodes from a glancing hit from all but the absolute weakest weapon in the game - and hostile NPCs considers your space suit to be a good target.

  • DEFCON: Every unit in this game, quite realistically. How many torpedo hits do you think a sub can take? To balance this, the chance to hit is quite low. This was done because the developers felt that tracking hit points for every single entity in the game would bog it down too much, so instead gave things varying chances to be hit.
  • Desert Moon: In this Tower Defense game, if an alien beast reaches any of your troops, that troop is dead. If an Infected reaches a unit, he gets turned into another Infected.
  • In Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, the Masked Hero's evility "Heart of a Flea" grants 5 extra movement spaces, allowing them to get into the middle of battle in mere seconds, or out of it if need be. The downside? The ability says Any hit with deathblow this unit. This means a unit a quarter of the level of the Masked Hero who lands a hit even if they'd deal no damage will still kill it instantaneously.
    • And well before this, Disgaea 2 introduced the Deathblow Geo Effect, where anyone standing on a Geo Panel with this effect will be killed in a single hit.
  • Galactic Civilizations II:
    • It is possible to design a ship armed to the teeth but with just one HP. This is accomplished by using the cargo hull as the base. This is usually done out of desperation in the early stages of the game in order to fight off a much stronger enemy (like the Dread Lords) until you can research bigger and stronger hull types. The ship usually will be destroyed but may deal significant damage to the enemy. Combine a few of these in a fleet, and you got yourself a disposable armada. Granted, the costs are higher than those of smaller ships, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Also, putting defenses on these is usually pointless, unless you can put more defenses than the enemy has firepower.
    • This is actually the recommended strategy for fighting Dread Lords: they kill everything in one hit anyway (their weapons are just that powerful: even at the top of the tech tree no defense can stand up to them), so you might as well forgo defenses and concentrate entirely on offense.
  • Planet Blupi: All enemies die in one hit.
    • While Helper Robot doesn't seem to be this due to having a seemingly never-emptying Life Meter, he can die as easily as the others from explosions.
  • Starcraft II: The arcade machine in the cantina segment of this game has the game Lost Viking, a Bullet Hell type shooter. Although you can gain power ups to give you additional "health" you are usually will die to one hit of anything.
  • XCOM: Your soldiers actually have life bars but, until they are experienced and get armor (and it takes a while), for practical purposes they might as well be one of these. The health bars average between 40 and 60 health points, and the weakest alien weapon (Plasma Pistol or Sonic Pistol) does 80 damage. An extremely lucky soldier will survive a single hit, be knocked unconscious from the pain, and then die the following turn from bleeding out.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown continues the trend with civilians. Those 3-HP health bars are just for poison, any attack from any alien will kill an unarmored human outright. Oh and they get no benefit from standing near cover. Which becomes a serious problem during "Alien terror attack" missions (think terrorism, alien style) because the enemy forces will use their weak yet outnumbering forces to try and kill as many humans as efficiently possible. The number of civilian survivors determines whether the terror attack will inflict mass panic in the country and its neighbors (possibly causing it to surrender to the aliens) or instead completely backfire and bolster confidence in XCOM's ability to protect humanity.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto (Classic): The very first game had anything that was harmful kill you in one hit. Body Armor let you survive up to 3 bullets though.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), the "Undies" suit (which is basically just Spider-Man wearing only his mask and his boxers) comes with the "Equalizer" power, which allows Spidey to defeat any enemy in one hit when activated. This effect also applies to Spider-Man, however.

    Other Video Games 
  • Aragami: Aragami, being made of shadows, dissolves if he comes into contact with bright light. Every single melee enemy has a Laser Blade that fires Sword Beams, and every archer is equipped with an Energy Bow.
  • Blast Corps: The truck carrying nuclear missiles are this. If ANYTHING touches it, the missiles explode. Worse, this includes your vehicles. Meaning that not only is the carrier a one-hit wonder, it's also a one-hit wonder against you, AND it's your own fault if you lose that way!
  • Carrie's Order Up!: Bumping into a customer, spinning through a puddle, or slipping on a Banana Peel will all cause you to lose a life, instantly. The exception is in "Friendly Mode", where you instead have Regenerating Health.
  • cat planet: Anything the angel touches will cause her to die instantly, although Death Is a Slap on the Wrist. This includes spikes, fire, working gears and later crows.
  • Combat School: On the last level, you have a life bar, but everything in the level (being shot, touching an enemy, touching something on fire, etc.) kills you instantly. Except the final boss, whose hits aren't fatal — so that's what the life bar is for...
  • Dragon's Lair:
    • In the NES version, the player actually has a life bar, but most hazards in the game kill him instantly, such as touching a stationary, ordinary door. In fact, the ONLY two enemies in the game that do not spell instant death are the bats and the skulls. Why did they bother?
    • This also applies to most enemies in the game, however. Even the big bad Black Knight, the giant Bat King and the skeletal Crypt Keepers are vanquished with one blow from Dirk's trusty blade.
  • Duet: As soon as either orb hits any obstacle, you go back to the beginning of the level. In Endless mode you have 3 lives, but you still reset to the beginning of a wave whenever you hit an obstacle, and lose any points you gained in that wave.
  • FAITH: The Unholy Trinity: Most of the time, if John gets hit even once, it's curtains for him. The only exceptions are during the Final Boss and True Final Boss fights.
  • Garden Gnome Carnage:
    • When a single elf reaches the chimney, it's game over. No questions asked.
    • On the other hand, elves (except gift-clad ones, who have to be knocked off screen to be defeated) by a single hit or explosion.
  • HQ: Getting even one question wrong means that you're eliminated from the game. However, if you have an Extra Life available, you gain one second chance per game.
  • Kaiju Wars: Most of the player's units will go down in a single attack, whereas the kaiju that they're fighting have Multiple Life Bars and must be worn down through attrition. Fortunately, destroyed units can be repaired and redeployed very cheaply.
  • Kick Man: If even one object (balloon or Pacman) hits the ground, your clown protagonist loses a life. The whole object is to pop balloon by catching them on your head, kicking them so they land on your head or having Pac-Man eat them so this is justified.
  • Leprechaun 1982: If the leprechaun gets the Player Character, both will explode, and you lose a life.
  • While Melting from Nuclear Throne starts out with 2 HP, it doesn't save him from this trope due to the majority of all enemies (even The Goomba) dealing 2 damage.
  • In Nuign Specter everyone dies in one hit, which is no surprise, since it's more of a visual novel than a regular game. Not only that, but the only "hits" used (a shotgun blast and bear claws) would hardly be survivable in real life anyway.
  • Punch-Out!!: In case you thought the Title Defense mode in the Wii version of this game wasn't Nintendo Hard enough, a special mode, called Champion's Mode, makes every one of your opponent's attacks knock you down in one hit - even Glass Joe can send you to the mat with a single punch. The only exception to this is Title Defense Aran Ryan's rope-glove attack when you knock him down.
  • Shark! Shark!: The yellow fish, no matter how big it gets from eating the other fish, will go down in one hit from any fish bigger than itself.
  • In Star Fox Guard, the player's main objective is to protect the tower in each base from attack by Combat Class robots. The tower cannot afford to take any damage at all, so if just one Combat Class bot manages to reach it and successfully attack it, the current mission will instantly end in failure.
  • WarioWare:
    • Series-wide: In nearly all microgames, as well as most of the unlockable minigames, the player character dies after being damaged once. It would be easier to list the exceptions, such as the Punch-Out!! clone at the end of Jimmy's stages in the original and Gold, but even then, some opponents have a One-Hit Kill punch.
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$: The postgame mode Thrilling ends when the player fails one microgame. The challenge consists of clearing as many microgames as possible before that happens (reaching at least the 15th will unlock Hard Mode).
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: In One-Controller Survival, each player only gets one life, and failing any microgames results in immediate elimination from the competition.
  • Wii Play: The tanks from the eponymous minigame are destroyed in a single hit.

Non-Video Games:

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the 4th edition of this tabletop game, there's a "minion" class of monster who basically has the same stats as a normal NPC/monster of its type, but only 1 hit point. They basically have two purposes: to give the PCs a horde of easily dispatched enemies so the players can feel all badass, or to run interference for a more powerful enemy.
    • In the earlier editions, it was quite possible for a first-level player character to have only one hit point, since you rolled only one Hit Die to set your maximum Hit Points. Common house rules were to treat all first-level characters starting hit points as though they rolled the highest number on the Hit Die, and this got formalized by 3rd edition.
  • GURPS has loads and loads of rules that can be switched on and off to play any kind of campaigns. A cinematic rule allows for Mooks that are killed or incapacitated if they take so much as a singe point of damage (damage still has to penetrate their DR though), in contrast to named characters who use normal GURPS rules.
  • Savage Worlds has this trope in effect for all characters except "wildcards" which includes the player characters, though it takes considerable damage to get through the soaking and shaken effects to actually score a wound on most tough NPCs.
  • Generally, this trope takes place in many board games with multiple pieces. Tracking health points of some kind for a single piece would slow down play significantly.
    • Every piece in Chess or Checkers is this. A pawn can capture a queen just like a queen can capture a pawn.
    • Several of the Japanese ships in Victory in the Pacific are this, having an armor factor of 0 such that any hit will sink them. One could perhaps think of them as "zero hit-point wonders", since in VITP, damage must exceed armor (i.e. hit points), not just equal it, to sink a ship.
    • Famously averted in Battleship, which uses markers within the ship pieces to denote multiple hits.
  • Both Space Crusade and the original version of HeroQuest seem to follow the logic that everything only has one hit point unless there's some special way of tracking them. Thus, the only things in HeroQuest that originally have more than one hit point are the hero characters, whose can be tracked on their character sheets; even boss monsters only have one hit point, and tougher monsters are just harder to hit at all (meaning that the two hardest-hitting spells in the game can one-shot practically anything). In Space Crusade, the Space Marine commander's hit points can be tracked on the "radar", and he has a whole six of them while all the Space Marine troopers have one hit point — and the only "monster" with more than one is the Destructor, which is a big, multi-part model with separately attacheable weapons, and it concretely loses one weapon per lost hit point.

    Non-Game Examples 
  • Professional Wrestling referees tend to be incredibly frail. Simple moves like clotheslines, which other wrestlers effortlessly shrug off, will knock a ref out cold for the duration of the match. (Well, kayfabe, anyway. In real life some of the refs are tougher than the wrestlers.)
  • In Kid Radd, Bogey, being a typical enemy sprite, dies in a single hit, so in a fighting game, his life bar is reflected by a single portrait of him. As such, it's eventually decided that it's too dangerous for him to go into games to free sprites, but it doesn't stop him from performing a Heroic Sacrifice to give Radd a vitally needed health powerup.
  • Could arguably apply to the Cevidroni from Goodbye Strangers, whose flesh is so weak it loses its tail and mouth after generation. And they don't grow back. And when it tries to attack sensitives, it damages itself instead.
  • A variation occurs in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School. Aoi Asahina's Forbidden Action is being hit with a punch or a kick, and if that happens, the bracelet on her wrist will inject her with lethal poison.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Felix is one of these in his own game, as a few loose ceiling tiles is all it takes for him to go through his death animation (and instantly resurrect seconds later). Thankfully, he can take a lot more serious harm when he's in other games (necessary for the escape from the NesquikSand) The drawback there is, since you're not part of another game's data, if you actually do die outside your own game, you don't respawn - as in, ever.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): One HP Wonder


Rhythm Heaven Megamix

Arguably one of the hardest challenges in the game, "Copycats", has you play many-input minigames (usually) without missing at all. You'll have tempo up to deal with too. (Footage by Japancommercials4U2)

How well does it match the trope?

3.29 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / OneHitPointWonder

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