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Respawning Enemies

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"Infinite bad guys from a small door. Way to rip off the clown car."
Comic Book Guy, The Simpsons Game

Hooray, you have managed to defeat the enemies that attacked you in this room. Don't get too cocky! Because when you return to this room later on, the enemies are fine and well again.

May even happen in games where levels aren't based on rooms, but set in one big area; in this case, the enemies respawn in a set position after a set period of time. Or possibly as soon as you move out of sight/attack range.

Respawning enemies come in several varieties:

  • Enemies that respawn when a certain time limit has passed.
  • Enemies that respawn every time a room is reentered.
  • Enemies that respawn when they're scrolled off screen.
  • Enemies that respawn when the game is saved and reloaded.
  • Enemies that respawn when the player dies.

Bosses are exempt from this. Bonus and other items usually don't respawn this way, unless something Randomly Drops, then you're expected to come back and fight the same enemy over and over until the Random Number God smiles in your favor.

This could be pleasurable for people who like to endlessly slaughter things, mildly to extremely tedious for most people, and absolutely horrible for people who feel guilty about killing them (which prompts the question: why are you playing a game that requires you to do exactly that?).

With very few exceptions, this applies to every online combat game ever created. (One of those exceptions: some early MUDs removed slain enemies from the game semi-permanently; they would only return when the game was reset.)

Compare Puzzle Reset, which applies to more than just enemies. Contrast Reviving Enemy, in which an enemy gets back up rather than replaced. See also Mook Maker.


  • Abyss Crossing: Floor Enemies will respawn upon reentering the map. This is actually a good thing, since it hastens the process of farming their rare drops.
  • Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare has plenty of monsters that will spontaneously regenerate when the player leaves the room and return. Not too big a deal, until you find out that health and ammunition items don't self replenish. Ever. This serves as an outstanding example of why the trope is so rarely used in Survival Horror. The Game Boy Color version does the same thing, but also sports RPG-style Random Encounters that thrust the player into a dedicated combat zone. Unfortunately, there are also no melee attacks and no way to flee these monster battles, so running out of ammunition during a fight renders the game Unwinnable by Design.
  • Bloodstained Ritual Ofthe Night: Scythe Mites spawn and respawn due to a location trigger that can be activated repeatedly by Miriam moving in and out of the location, instead of having to leave the "room" they appear in, like how most enemies respawn.
  • Donkey Kong 64: Shortly after you defeat an enemy, it will respawn thanks to an aura represented with purple-colored stars.
  • In the SNES version of Cool Spot, the enemies that Spot destroys respawn after he loses a life. They don't respawn in the Genesis version.
  • Fake Happy End: Regular enemies respawn when a healing save point is used, but minibosses and bosses don't.
  • Gun Witch: Defeated enemies reappear by fading in after a while.
  • Halo:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved approaches this, especially in the Library, especially on Legendary difficulty level. The Flood will eventually stop respawning but in some areas it takes a really long time and killing them all can take more ammo than you have available.
    • In Halo 2, the Prophet of Regret and Tartarus both have respawning reinforcements On Easy, it's the player who has respawning reinforcements in the fight against Tartarus..
  • The Nightmare difficulty in the Doom games has this as part of what makes it so hard, where any enemy that leaves a corpse would get back up after a random interval that could be anywhere from eight seconds to five minutes (usually closer to the former).
  • Prayer of the Faithless: Most enemies will reappear if an area is exited and reentered. It's the Stationary Enemies that block paths and powerful minibosses who thankfully don't respawn.
  • Syphon Filter games have this with specific opponents, which are known as "Magic Guards" to the fans.
  • Star Fox:
    • Star Fox Adventures: This happens very often, usually only a few seconds after you've defeated the enemies in the first place.
    • Star Fox: Assault: The game handwaves it with generators that will teleport in enemy reinforcements, and actually makes a point about airborne enemy presence being possibly overwhelming for your teammates due to this, so if you take too long, you'll have to take to the skies and shoot down baddies for a while. Unfortunately, a large number of generators can only be reached by foot or tank.
  • Guild Wars averts it though, no enemy will ever respawn while the players are still in the instance, and the entire game is instanced.
  • Xenosaga did this as well, though in varying amounts over the different games.
  • The normal monsters in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 will respawn immediately if you warp to a different area, reload a save, or allow a large amount of time to pass. The stronger unique monsters can respawn in the same ways, but it's random, as opposed to guaranteed.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica also does this somewhat, exacerbated by the scarcity of ammo. Enemies don't exactly respawn every time you leave an area and return (save for those goddamned moths), but several rooms and passageways you've already cleared out are scripted to fill back up with enemies again after certain events, giving the player incentive to do as little backtracking as possible.
  • In the Rune Factory series, the monsters are re-created every few seconds, unless you destroy the generators in each room.
  • Call of Duty:
    • 1 and 2 do this to a ridiculous degree,note  sometimes with odds as lopsided as ten-to-one, particularly during Hold the Line missions. The intention is for the player to do an aggressive push to reach the objectives, and be pressured with lots of targets to shoot at while in defense until the timer runs out. Turtling or losing the initiative will always result in a stalemate at best, or being eventually overrun at worst. United Offensive, the Expansion Pack for the first game, is particularly criticized for using this system: it's bad enough that every one in three Germans is now a barely-stoppable avatar of death at any range because they get the amazing Gewehr 43; add on that he'll respawn in five seconds every time you think you've taken care of him but your medkits won't, and it gets really frustrating.
    • Modern Warfare also did it, but at a slower rate than the previous games, outside of one segment in the first US Marines mission, "Charlie Don't Surf", in which a veritable swarm of insurgents assault you and your squad in the TV station.
    • Modern Warfare 2 went to great lengths to avoid this trope, and the dev team swore up and down that almost every group of enemies was finite, if only you had enough ammo to hold out; this is particularly highlighted in Special Ops mode, where a decent chunk of missions simply involve clearing a map of enemies, with an on-screen counter showing you how many are left. So when the game does finally give in to it during the Second Sun segment of the campaign, it's highly amusing: Due to an EMP, helicopters are literally falling out of the sky. As soon as the sergeant tells you to "Get to cover!", the game begins aiming for you with a never-ending rain of Blackhawks, Hinds, and even Hornets until you find that cover. Keep your eyes on the sky and step lively.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops brought it back in various places.
      • One of the most often (rightfully) complained about parts is the hallway at the end of Executive Order, where it seems the entire Red Army is hanging out somewhere behind a corner.
      • The Khe Sanh level is one of the other most-complained areas of the game for throwing the entire NVA at you, which is bad enough on Normal but becomes an absolute nightmare when you foolishly try to play the level on Veteran. When attempting to descend the hill, all mooks begin to assault you. If, by the grace of God, you make it down the hill and into a bunker, be prepared to run out of ammo before advancing because there are 10-plus enemies that respawn continuously and consecutively. On top of that, the only way to advance is to kick (yes, kick) napalm barrels into the trenches. This wouldn't be a problem if the trench, filled with thousands of enemies, was not refilled with Vietcong shooting at you as you stand up to kick the barrel, an action you cannot avoid, if you wish to advance (or if the game made a better attempt to explain what you're actually supposed to do, but that's a different trope).
    • Roebuck from World at War lampshades this; when under attack by infinitely-respawning Japanese soldiers (who even get camouflaged hatches to crawl out from underneath, since the Marine levels are too open for them to always have a corner to spawn behind), he may shout "Where did they come from?!"
    • Despite the Modern Warfare 2 example above, due to the major turnover at Infinity Ward, this trope comes back into effect in Modern Warfare 3.
  • Averted in the early Medal of Honor games, where there are a fixed amount of enemies in each level. Installments from Allied Assault onwards, however, occasionally employ this trope. Two notable examples from the aforementioned are Escape From Trondheim and The Communications Blackout.
  • Being a similar game, Homefront sometimes uses infinite respawners. Not always, fortunately (they're often limited and run out after a few waves), but when it does it tends to stretch your willing suspension of disbelief - how, for instance, does a survivalist ranch house hundreds of people, all pouring out to replace their fallen as you snipe them from a nearby church?
  • Most 2D Mega Man games have enemies respawning the very moment their position is scrolled off-screen. Mega Man X7 is notable in this regard in that, if you stood around after killing a foe, the player could see it respawn right before them.
  • Also applies to the NES series of Ninja Gaiden. If you position yourself just right, you can literally see an enemy respawn after you killed it and can just stand around all day killing enemies that just keep coming. Many rooms in the Xbox reboot have enemies respawn upon reentry.
  • The sequel to No One Lives Forever added this mechanic.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Every game uses respawning enemies, who can drop items. Generally they don't respawn until you go a few screens away and come back.
    • The Legend of Zelda: It's possible to save yourself a lot of fighting if you know that enemies only respawn if you kill all of them on a screen. If you kill all the enemies but one, it stays like that for the rest of the session, making it a lot safer to walk through the rooms you've cleaned out.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Wosu respawn endlessly, in a steady stream from offscreen. As a result, they don't drop any experience when killed to prevent infinite experience farming.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The Miniblins in the second visit to the Forsaken Fortress do this endlessly in the rooms they appear in, making it so that the room can never be emptied of enemies, although it makes those areas great for Rupee and Spoils grinding.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Monsters stay dead for a long time. However, every time a Blood Moon comes around, it revives everything.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Upon entering a room for the first time, you can't leave until you kill all of the enemies. They'll respawn eventually, but don't have to be killed, and Lament's control system makes it very easy to bypass them. On the "Crazy" difficulty level, not only are there more enemies, they respawn every time you enter a room.
    • In most, if not all, other Castlevania games, enemies respawn when you leave, then re-enter a room, such as in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Circle Of The Moon, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon: Bats, unlike most other enemies, respawn after being a certain distance from the player instead of needing to leave and reenter the room to respawn.
  • In Retro Mud enemies spawn after a certain timer, rather than when you leave the room. Usually allows for some banter in between farming.
  • Metroid does it immediately after leaving the room. Such mechanics may be referred to as "Metroid-style" when appearing in other games.
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy: Enemies don't respawn until you've moved at least two rooms away, and in some rooms will spawn in different places depending on which way you come in, as it would suck to have Shriekbats in your face as soon as the door opens.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has a room with respawning aerotroopers guarding an anti-air turret. To expose the turret's weak point, you must pull three switches on raised platforms, and the enemies can reset the switches. The only way to win is to ignore the enemies and do it as quickly as possible.
    • Metroid Fusion put a little explanation into this game mechanic, in that the bodies of dead enemies keep getting reposessed by more X Parasites. In fact, if you don't gather the X Parasite left behind after killing an enemy, it will do just that without waiting for you to leave.
  • Freedom Fighters (2003) will send in an armored car or transport helicopter to bring in new troops in some levels. They can be stopped by blowing up the bridge they travel across or their refueling pad.
  • The Shantae series:
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: Enemies usually respawn when they get off screen.
    • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: Most enemies respawn upon the screen losing visuals of their spawn point, but others are more aggressive about it, respawning on-screen, but drops never stop being possible, at least:
      • Zombies of Spiderweb Island come up from the ground endlessly.
      • Reapers of The Village Of Lost Souls reappear in the same exact location.
  • In the System Shock games and their spiritual successor Bioshock, enemies will reappear in previously cleared areas. This is a mixed blessing, as although you need resources to beat them, you can also get resources from them, as well as research them. Since this game is part RPG, this would be the equivalent of Level Grinding. It's also far less annoying than other games, since there are far fewer enemies in these areas when you revisit them. There is one particular area in Bioshock where Spider Splicers keep respawning right after you kill one. They climb out of a dark hole in the ceiling that's inaccessible to the player. Lastly, in an odd glitch, Sander Cohen will respawn and try to do you in if you mess with his quadtych after you've killed him at his apartment.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: During a cutscene in the first part of the game, Otacon informs you that there are a little over twenty enemies on the tanker. No matter how many dozens or even hundreds of the bad guys you chew through and dump overboard, however, there are always more to take their place. Later in the game there's a similar situation where the enemy's forces are supposed to be low, and yet no matter how many you blow up, stab, or otherwise obliterate there are always replacement guards.
    • Used in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as enemies in a few areas will constantly spawn, however there are places in the game that have a ridiculous amount of enemies spawn one after another that it can be mistaken that the whole game has it.
    • In Metal Gear Solid's Communications Tower, the enemy is on permanent alert until you fight your way to the top.
    • The rooftops in the original Metal Gear had infinitely respawning jetpack soldiers. When you recover your gear after being captured, it has a transponder planted in it that will constantly summon enemies until you discard it.
  • Wizardry 8 - not only your enemies respawn when you leave the area or go to sleep, they always "evolve" to match your level.
  • In Stranglehold, the final showdown against Wong has the bad guy's men coming in waves every time that Wong was out of the room.
  • Geometry Wars is an example of the "period of time" version of this trope.
  • Many minor enemies in Little Big Adventure games respawn when you leave the scene and re-enter it. This can work for you, though, since the enemies often leave money/life/magic bonuses when killed.
  • In Aliens vs Predator for the PC, human and xenomorph enemies continuously respawn throughout the level, making it impossible to clear an area, and forcing the player to always be on alert for attack from all sides.
  • EarthBound (1994) possess a unique respawn system where enemies would be arranged in a mostly random fashion as you traverse an area and would respawn in areas a short distance off screen. While it means that there is no limit to the amount of enemies in a level, it is actually a system that's heavily beneficial to the player. The obvious application being that it is very easy to grind when you want, but since the enemies were randomized each time you moved away from and returned to an area, you could /choose/ whether or not you encountered certain enemies or groups of enemies by waiting till you found a bunch you were willing to fight (or not fight).
  • Most monsters in the Klonoa series respawn extremely quickly. It sometimes takes only a second or less for a portal to drop off another enemy after you've destroyed the last one. This also serves as a handy Puzzle Reset, as you use enemies in jumping puzzles; it is possible, and occasionally required, to continuously grab and jump off a single constantly respawning enemy.
  • The first Baldur's Gate game had some areas with enemies respawning wherever the Fog of War was. While this might have been plausible in some games, BG had the player controlling a party of up to six characters, which allowed you to fully encircle one spot and then watch as fresh monsters seemed to appear out of thin air atop the corpses of their kin every time you brought a character back in range of the spawnpoint. Thankfully toned down quite a bit in the sequel.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 uses this in a rather creative manner. In one chain quest, you have to kill a specified number of a specified type of enemy and turn them in to the apprentice chef to complete the mission. If all of the type of enemy you want to kill are not on the field, more will spawn in at regular intervals, provided the enemy party has room. If this is the case, you are more than welcome to kill the undesired type if it means getting the desired type to spawn. Some math skills are required, as you must turn in the exact number needed.
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. Every dungeon is a Clowncar Grave. It doesn't matter how many in-game days it took to spelunk any dungeon: soon as you leave, new tenants have already moved in.
    • Don't forget that being in a city while having a bounty causes infinite numbers of guards to spawn, each single one of them yelling HALT! HALT! HALT!
  • Certain levels in the LEGO Star Wars games will keep sending squads of mooks after you until a certain goal is completed, be it building a path or killing the guy who keeps calling in the mooks.
    • This was kept up throughout the LEGO Adaptation Game series, and the one level in each game in which you can't stem the flow of infinitely respawning baddies is usually the most hated in the game: Defense of Kashyyyk (Lego Star Wars), Pursuing the Ark (Lego Indiana Jones), and A Poisonous Appointment (Lego Batman).
  • In the original Turok game, enemies (even dinosaurs) would be teleported right in front of you without any explanation.
    • In the sequel, enemies respawn when you die and respawn or return from a save portal.
  • Lampshaded in Dead Rising— when you kill what should have been the last zombie in the entire city, much less the mall the game takes place in, you get an achievement (the aptly-named "Zombie Genocider") and the Real Mega Buster.
  • Left 4 Dead does this, with the only enemy that doesn't respawn being witches (being close to Demonic Spiders themselves due to using a 1-hit-KO attack on the survivor that alerts them) and tanks (Lightning Bruisers which take considerable amounts of time to kill). One of the Special Infected even weaponizes this, by way of coating survivors in bile which forces more zombies to spawn in and swarm them.
  • Most maps of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings have this. This mostly just keeps it from being overly easy, but there are a few times where you can have difficulty killing them faster than they spawn.
  • In God of War, there is a segment in which you must push a cage up a slope while fending off infinitely respawning enemies. Getting hit causes you to release the cage, letting it slide back down the slope.
  • A really bad offender is Dark Forces; after clearing out a room you can turn your back on the wall and a storm trooper will almost invariably spring into existence between your back and said wall. This is sort of OK until the game starts respawing enemies carrying concussion rifles, the shots of which are practically impossible to dodge and knock off 10% of your total hitpoints.
  • Wario Land The Shake Dimension had this on a per room basis in the huge levels.
  • Kingdom Hearts games have enemies that appear while fighting, but they aren't random; there's a set amount of enemies that will appear and then you'll have "cleared" the area. You need to go three screens away and come back to get them to reappear, except in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, where it is only one screen.
  • Final Fantasy XII's enemies generally won't respawn unless you go several screens away and come back, but there are some lower-level enemies in each area that will indeed keep coming back.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure: All non-boss enemies will respawn after you've left them alone for long enough, but there are also a few places where they respawn instantly upon leaving the screen. This is actually useful, as it creates a Peninsula of Power Leveling.
  • Yoshi's Island had certain spots (usually pipes) where enemies will keep spawning unless Yoshi has six eggs. Their only purpose is to provide Yoshi with more eggs, and it's always an easy enemy like a Shy Guy. Boss battles usually also have infinite respawns for the same reason. As a bonus, these enemies were appropriately named in the player's guide under a fake genus, Edibilis Boringus.
  • GoldenEye (1997), as mentioned in the intro. Example: the first Severnaya bunker level, where you will inevitably trip the alarm and have to fight endless waves of Elite Mooks to escape.
  • Manafinder: Enemies only respawn if the party rests in the Settlement tent or at a campsite. The only exception is in Allaror's Wrath, where enemies will endlessly spawn and home in on Lambda's location. However, the Plains' Crown accessory prevents the Allaror's Wrath enemies from spawning.
  • Mickey Mousecapade was especially cruel with this on levels where you have to backtrack. For example, jumping up to the next screen, only to fall back down into the previous room with all the enemies respawned, :lands on respawned enemy:, :dies:. Even the instant-death-on-contact minibosses respawned, which meant that you could get stuck in an Unwinnable situation if you missed the key in the castle.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3: Some enemies, such as Raiders, respawn after a few days if you kill them (as long as they are outside). Interestingly, if you enslave a Raider rather than killing him, he will never respawn. You can also kill enemies and drag their bodies to a location that their enemies spawn, allowing for massive cross faction battles every time you re-enter that area.
    • Fallout: New Vegas: Some animals and Feral Ghouls respawn after a few days. In the case of Old World Blues, the outdoor enemies regenerate about every other day, sometimes in random positions, and those are often toughies such as Lobotomites, Night Stalkers, or robots, that will burn through your limited supplies of ammo.
  • Many rooms in Killer7 have one or two heaven smiles that keep teleporting in with a chuckle. Handy for collecting blood.
  • Banjo-Tooie: Every foe respawns in levels, save bosses. This is both a blessing and a curse compared to the previous game, as you have to deal with the mostly 1-hit-kill foes again and again, but it also means Honeycombs are unlimited, unlike the predecessor with limited foes on each stage and therefore limited life.
  • Eternal Sonata: Rid the area of Mooks, leave, and return.
  • Super Mario Bros.. Most games usually avoid this; the respawning enemies are either part of an Eternal Engine (or an enemy-spawning device in general) and you only get items from the first few, or they respawn when they provide a way to progress through a level to prevent an Unwinnable situation. However, it's played straight in the following games:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Enemies respawn from Behind the Black as you move around (this also applies to Birdo, who is a Mini-Boss). This can be helpful, as certain areas might easily be made Unwinnable otherwise. This also applies to the game's precursor, Doki Doki Panic.
    • Super Mario 64: Certain enemies (Piranha Plants and Bob-ombs, for example) respawn after you move away so they're offscreen and wait for a few seconds. You only get items from them the first time, but select enemies and items respawn.
    • Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2: For technical reasons, the majority of elements placed within a level will respawn when you re-enter an area after leaving. This includes enemies, which allows designers to put "reset doors"note  at the start of Kaizo or puzzle rooms so you can reload the enemies and other elements necessary to progress in case you fail in some way.
    • Wario World: Enemies respawn if you go offscreen from their spawn point.
  • Etrian Odyssey: The FOE and the bosses respawn after a few days. While this means the areas around them become dangerous when they revive, this also allows the player's party to attempt to obtain a Rare Random Drop upon defeating them, so it's ultimately a necessary feature.
  • In Hello Kitty Online you just put enemies to sleep in the first place, so to respawn, they merely wake up.
  • La-Mulana has these. Considering that most of the enemies in that game are classified as Goddamned Bats and main character can get easily kicked back to the other screen, it can cause frustration quite frequently.
  • In Glider PRO, balloons, copters and darts are the only things you can shoot down with rubber bands. The moment one leaves the screen, either by reaching the edge or being shot down, it respawns after a fixed interval, or perhaps immediately. (The same enemies would also respawn in Glider 4.0, but in entirely random locations.)
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Usually, enemies will not respawn. Sometimes, enemies will respawn for a pretty long time, but eventually stop. Rarely, they will never stop spawning, and there will always be multiples of them in that zone. This can be bad when the enemies in question are particularly dangerous or annoying.
    • Monster Hunter Freedom 2: The monsters that aren't on your kill list only respawn once (except Vespoid & Honrnetaur) and when you come back the third time, they're completely gone. If you're going for 'kill X number of Y' missions, they'll respawn in a different place (again, only once). Good thing to remember if you're trying to get rid of a very big annoying monster using a weak weapon.
  • Committing sufficiently violent crimes (or hopping the fence at the naval base) in Grand Theft Auto games will spawn an endless supply of enemies, until you sufficiently reduce your wanted level.
  • You can clear rooms in Vagrant Story, but if you come back a little bit later, they'll be occupied again.
  • The game tie-in for Avatar is particularly bad in this regard: You can clear a room, turn around, and find viperwolves or Na'vi where there was no way for some to get in... and the Na'vi and RDA forces are supposed to both be somewhat limited in size, raising questions about how you managed to personally kill or see the deaths of what should be a large fraction of your opponent's forces...
  • In Persona 3, enemies slowly respawn on individual Tartarus floors. The longer you stay on a floor, the higher the chance that red Shadows, the stronger type, will appear - handy for Level Grinding. Be careful, as staying too long makes the Reaper show up.
  • The Antlions of Half-Life 2 are the only enemy in the series that do this. It gets to be an asset once they're on your side, especially since you may have developed such twitch reflexes by then that you wind up killing several anyway.
  • (possibly) Lampshaded in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. when people talk about ruins they keep clearing of bandits and mutants, who keep coming back. As one person on 4chan put it:
    "Fifty thousand people used to live here, now it's an infinitely respawning bandit town."
  • Generally Fur Fighters is quite good at avoiding this trope but one level, which was based in hell so it gets away with it, had Elite Mooks spawn all over the place while you avoid cannon fire from tanks and then destroy said tanks.
  • In Soldier of Fortune, making too much noise causes enemies to randomly "teleport in", sometimes in plain sight. The Unfair difficulty takes this further.
  • In Golvellius, enemies would respawn any time there were less than the maximum number of enemies on the screen. This actually worked to the player's advantage as you needed a lot of gold, which could be obtained from killing enemies.
  • Used in the Wing Commander games several times:
    • In Wing Commander III, in the final Behemoth defense mission, Kilrathi fighters respawn infinitely until the Behemoth is destroyed.
    • In the final mission of the same game, the Strakha ace "Stalker" will respawn just before going to the planet until your final wingman is no longer present, to ensure you fly the final leg of the run alone.
    • In Wing Commander IV, an infinite number of Border Worlds bombers will spawn if you refuse the second opportunity to defect from Confed until the Lexington is destroyed.
    • One mid-game mission in Wing Commander Prophecy feature infinitely respawning Nephilim fighters. The goal not to kill them all, but to keep your fighter and the Midway alive until the carrier is ready to jump out.
  • Super Star Wars also has these, most prominently on the 3rd level, where you need to get to the top of the Sandcrawler. If you fall down, you will find that all the Jawas you have killed are there again, and even the various mounted guns on the side of the vehicle have been mysteriously repaired. In fact, the Super Star Wars games have enemies that respawn after a second or two on screen.
  • On the hardest difficulty of Duke Nukem 3D enemies will constantly respawn unless blown up. The Starship Troopers Game Mod of it uses enemies that respawn on all difficulties.
  • Non-boss enemies in World of Warcraft eventually respawn, as do outdoor raid bosses. For normal outdoor enemies the speed is dependent on the number of players in the region, and in extreme cases can lead to people being assailed by the enemy they killed seconds earlier. Respawns used to be a major annoyance in dungeons after a wipe, but now the shortened length of dungeons has made it less problematic. Maruadon in particular had people get lost in there, die, then get lost again because with enemies respawning they could no longer tell where they'd already been. Rare spawn enemies operate on their own timers, which in the case of the much sought after and aptly named Time-Lost Proto Drake is erratic but very long.
  • NetHack: A staple in this game, as enemies can often be seen to appear out of thin air. However, it's actually possible to render monsters extinct by personally butchering (or simply causing the game to spawn) 120 of them.
  • Slash'EM Extended starts out with a slow respawn rate, but the more turns passed in a game, the faster it becomes. Hurrying to get the Amulet of Yendor doesn't help; as soon as the player acquires it, the respawn rate is set to its maximum and doesn't go down ever again. Yes, this means new monsters get created every couple of turns.
  • Enemies in Trials of Mana respawn after your party moves two screens away. Nice if you need to backtrack a short distance after entering a dead-end room.
    • The first game is a major offender, nearly every mission (bar some escort missions and the like) will spawn endless hunters and/or helicopters for Mercer to contend with. Some of the more annoying missions give the military and unlimited supply of super soldiers and tanks which roll in off-screen to replace any you’ve destroyed. Even outside of missions, the Marines can call in new strike teams just as soon as you’ve defeated the last one. The sequel thankfully cuts down on this.
    • Structures are special in a certain way. They take a few minutes to reset after destroyed, but you must also be far away enough for the physical structure to respawn. If you stick around nearby, the structure will remain destroyed and not spawn enemies, but its area influence will reset and take effect, therefore mooks that spawn in the influence will continue to do so.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Enemies in the series only respawn after a room's been cleared in response to story events, and even then almost always only when you have to pass through those specific rooms. It's pretty handy if you don't know where the game wants you to go: If you see monsters, that's probably where you have to go next.
    • Resident Evil: Happens in most remakes of the game. Not only will zombies get back up if you don't blow their head off or burn their body, they will quite literally Turn Red, turning into dreaded Crimson Heads, which are much faster, stronger, and take many more hits. Luckily they don't get back up after going down a second time, but it is best just to avoid letting get up the first time due to the fact you don't even get enough ammo to handle all the enemies once.
  • The Kirby series is an interesting example. In most of the games, enemies will always respawn offscreen. This means that if you defeat an enemy, backtrack a little, then head back forward, the enemy will be there again. It's quite useful for if you accidentally kill an enemy whose ability you want to have, so it makes the game much more convenient in that respect.
  • In Legacy of the Wizard, circles will appear at the spots where enemies respawn a few seconds before they do.
  • In Nuts & Milk, Nuts could respawn in a few seconds after drowning in the water at the bottom of the screen.
  • In BurgerTime, enemies respawn around the edges of the screen a few seconds after getting squashed.
  • In the Wii version of A Boy and His Blob, enemies that are important puzzle elements respawn shortly after being killed.
  • In Diablo II, enemies respawn when leaving the game and coming back. In online games, the map will also change. Both online and offline, what enemies appear in which area can change. Also of note is that bosses also reappear like normal enemies.
  • The Syphon Filter series has its share of respawning enemies, which can sometimes be observed appearing via Enemy-Detecting Radar, but The Omega Strain is a noticable example, as every level has infinitely respawning enemies. If the player has a sharp eye, they will occasionally see enemies spawning out of thin air, which makes some escort missions exceedingly tough.
  • The Descent series has the purple-veined walls that spawn a wave of enemies when triggered by an Event Flag. On most difficulties, they stop producing after three or so waves, but on Insane starting with the second game, they can generate indefinitely.
  • In Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, enemies spawn continuously if you hold in one position, which is useful for money grinding on the overworld levels.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has cops and SWAT units spawn continuously during assault waves and fewer spawns during the lulls between assaults. They usually spawn in places you can't reach, similar to how Left 4 Dead does it. In levels where cameras are involved, shooting out cameras reduces the intensity of the spawn waves by forcing the cops to spawn farther away since without the cameras, the police can't know where you exactly are.
  • In the A Bug's Life video game, enemies will respawn after a few seconds... unless you collect and kill them with the Gold Berry powerup, in which they will stay dead. This is one of the parts necessary for getting 100% Completion in that level, too.
  • In Mighty Bomb Jack, a mummy would spawn on the nearest platform whenever less than four enemies were on screen. The original Bomb Jack also had enemies respawning after they were collected as coins.
  • In The Last Mission, enemies respawn whenever the player leaves the room. The annoying part about this is that some of these enemies will block the main unit's path from where it is impossible to attack them frontally, forcing the player to make a complicated detour to attack them from the other side.
  • Done by necessity in Messiah. Many puzzles in the game involve possessing the right person and using them to accomplish something, and you cannot possess dead people, so characters tend to respawn to prevent Unwinnable situations.
  • Shining Wisdom has most enemies respawn once you've moved down a length of a screen. What's odd is that not all the enemies reappear and sometimes they'll be in different areas which just makes it seem like the game is playing with you. However the respawn in partially annoying when you're changing floors in dungeons; as enemies tend to appear around the entrance and if you're hit you're likely to be knock back into the entrance, back to the last floor you where on.
  • Spending too much time on a particular stage in Hexen' will cause more enemies to teleport in. In the beginning, it's only a few Ettins, but by the end of the game you'll get Afrits and Centaurs (as well as Reivers in the Necropolis,) and in the Deathkings of the Dark Citadel expansion enemies will teleport in by the dozens and almost any enemy type is fair game (though it's still usually Ettins.)
  • In Plan B for the BBC Micro, the often numerous Mecha-Mooks in each room spawn and respawn quickly in random locations.
  • In Command & Conquer: Renegade, there are officers constantly calling new troops, and in the later levels enemies simply appearing out of thin air. In a possible Good Bad Bug, the point they appear at can be blown up, stopping the respawning.
  • Qwak: In the original BBC Micro version, enemies would respawn faster and tougher a few seconds after they were killed. This was removed entirely in later versions.
  • The Tenth Line: All (regular) enemies on the map respawn after you exit it and return or after you reload a save.
  • TorchlightII only saves the state of the three most recent world maps and three most recent dungeons. Visiting another will clear the earliest one, so it can be revisited for more loot and experience, or to force certain Random Drops.
  • In Putty, not only will enemies respawn after a while (sometimes on top of you), so will the Bots if they suffer mishaps.
  • In Mini Ninjas, the actual enemies only respawn when revisiting a level, but there's a much more egregious example with the fishes you can catch. You've been fishing in a single spot and there's no more fishes? Just turn around and when you'll look back at the same spot, there will be fishes again.
  • In Far Cry 2, every cleared outpost will be filled with enemies again, once you go away far enough. It's worse if you draw attention on you in a weapon-restricted area though. The two factions will start an all-out war against you, spawning new mooks to keep their numbers up whenever you kill one of them. The only way to stop them running at you is to flee from the area.
  • In Far Cry 4, meanwhile, liberated outposts, fortresses, and belltowers will remain cleared, but enemies will still spawn on the open road at random.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, the enemies have a fascinating tendency of appearing (and sometimes even disappearing) where you were a second ago the first moment the spawn area is off-screen.
  • In Kolibri, most enemies respawn once their starting positions scroll off screen, which can hinder exploration in the open-ended levels.
  • Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle has enemies that respawn in their original locations shortly after being killed, which makes no logical sense in missions whose formula is "Defeat N Corrupted soldiers."
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • An area of Silver's Kingdom Valley level in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has two enemies that you can down, only for two more to come down onto the opposite side. Defeat those and two more will come down on the opposite side of them and so on and so forth.
    • Sonic Frontiers, similar to Breath of the Wild, regularly respawns defeated enemies and guardians in "Starfall" events.
  • In Holy Umbrella, enemies will respawn as soon as their spawn point is offscreen.
  • Bug: Most enemies do not respawn, however there are exceptions, usually those enemies that suddenly pop up from the foreground/background for an ambush. Those will respawn as soon as you scroll off the screen far enough from their ambush point. There's also one section in Quaria with never-ending streams of starfish that bounce down a slope.
  • Inverted in Turrican games on the C64. Here, if you move an enemy off screen, then come back, the enemy is gone forever. Unfortunately the same applies to bonus items.
  • The Wolf and the Waves: Any zombies or bunnies you kill will respawn somewhere else on the island.
  • In Might and Magic VII and VIII the enemies will usually respawn after certain in-game time has passed. The exact time depends on the map and the type of the location; dungeons have usually shorter respawning times than the open landscape. There are some exceptions to this however; some locations will stay empty after killing everything there, usually due to plot/quest reasons (such as the Castle Harmondale in VII) and some will respawn the enemies right away after quitting the place (The Pit in VII, aggravantingly enough).
  • In Little Red Hood, the goblins instantly respawn when killed.
  • Zool and its sequel, Zool 2.
  • In Hollow Knight, most small enemies always respawn if you leave their area and come back, whereas tougher enemies will stay killed until after you use a Healing Checkpoint.
  • In Distorted Travesty 3, there are a few places where enemies respawn. A notable case is an enemy that drops off a ledge you need to climb up to. However, defeating the enemy simply makes it respawn on the ledge, meaning you'll have no choice but to deal with it when climbing up.
  • Towards the end of Touhou Project fangame Fantasy Explorer Nitroid's Extra Stage, there are red-color Kedamas that explode upon hitting something and are the only normal enemies that can die. They endlessly spawn from a red-color smiley face and you need to guide them into walls that they can break.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles II, during enemy turns, enemy units may appear from an enemy camp. Capturing enemy camps is able to keep them from respawning. During the mission with the Final Boss, enemies will respawn even if all enemy camps have been captured.
  • Usually Blasphemous only respawns enemies when you use an altar, Dark Souls-style, but one of the optional difficulties you can activate on a New Game Plus changes this so that enemies respawn every time you leave and reenter a room.
  • Ruphand: An Apothecary's Adventure: In the Ice Orb's dungeon, there's a poem on a plaque on the wall, that talks about the respawning, since it's required to progress if mistakes are made:
    Brill: "Walking upstairs
    after walking on down
    helps your foes pick themselves
    up off the ground."
    I've noticed most monsters recover after I leave the area they're in, and are ready for a rematch. If I have to use them as a brake again, that might be handy...

Non-Video Gaming Examples

  • Dungeon Crawler Carl: This isn't usually in effect, mobs can be depleted, but Carl does notice that when the AI has "accelerated" him in order to force him to crush his enemies under his feet, the frenzied gerbils just keep coming, and coming, and coming.
  • In The Hunger Games, the dead tributes are returned as half-human, half-wolf "mutations" to attack the surviving players (Or they are simply modified to look like them, it is never truly explained). In Catching Fire, the Quarter Quell course sends fresh monsters at the tributes for one specific hour per day.
  • I Woke Up As a Dungeon, Now What?: Dungeons have the option to purchase "spawn rooms", each of which can be linked to a certain number of minions. If those minions are killed, they reincarnate in the spawn room after sufficient time has passed. After Taylor gets spawners and confirms that respawned minions retain their memories and personalities, she starts allowing the inhabitants of Fort Aresya to kill her minions for loot drops.
  • The Table top game Super Dungeon Explore exploits this trope as its primary game mechanic, with "spawning points" serving as the primary objective of heroes and the source of never ending waves of mooks, and one or two MiniBosses.
  • Certain scenarios in Descent: Journeys in the Dark allow the Overlord to respawn monsters at their starting locations after they have been killed by the heroes.
  • Journey to Chaos: Monsters are created by a natural phenomenon called "mana mutation". No matter how many are killed by hunters and the like there will always be more. Studying this monster re-spawning is a major plot point in both Looming Shadow as well as Mana Mutation Menace.
  • In Trogdor!! The Board Game, whenever the peasants move there's a chance that more peasants will spawn from any un-burninated cottage.
  • In Zombicide, the undead spawn from specific points every turn. Even better, characters have an experience track that progresses with each kill and grants them new abilities whenever they pass a threshold. But when that happens, the spawn points are designed to level as well and release more and/or tougher enemies.
  • In the first phase of the Wizard Mode of the Physical Pinball Table Tales of the Arabian Nights, you'll have to vanquish the evil genie's skeleton army by shooting lit lanes, and you need to hit three of them within a brief period of time to defeat his minions and advance to the second phase for a face-to-face final showdown with the villain himself. If you take too long to make the needed shots after taking down at least one of the three skeletons, they will respawn until a max of three are present, as shown in the scoring display.
  • In Zen Studios' Digital Pinball Table DOOM, in order to finish a demon battle, once you've killed the demon leader or eliminated all demon drop targets, you need to hurry up and destroy the remaining demons, because if you don't, at most one drop target or the leader will respawn.
  • In Zen Studios' original Digital Pinball Table Sorcerer's Lair, the mission "Crazy Ghosts" requires you to quickly defeat six ghosts on the table by touching them with the ball. If you take too long to do so, the ghosts will start to respawn, one by one.