Most Video Games use one or two sound effects to punctuate the inflicting of damage against an enemy. And then there's a special sound effect used to warn that an attack has been repelled, blocked, or otherwise failed to affect the target. This is a case of Sound-Coded for Your Convenience (as a clue to stop wasting your attacks), and may involve Arcade Sounds.
The Sound Of No Damage is largely associated with projectile weapons (think of that "bullet ricochet" sound from any Old West film, for example), but can also occur with melee weapons — expect to hear this a lot when facing the Shield-Bearing Mook or if testing whether an element of the environment (like that cracked wall or oil barrel) really is or is not destructible.
This is common in Platform Games and Shoot Em Ups, and a high-pitched, metallic or hollow "ping" is the most popular sound effect used, but a blunt "thud" is also fairly common, and some games may opt for a deliberately humorous sound effect to mock the attacker. For Fighting Games, a similar "thud" sound may occur, although in their case it's more often a Sound of Scratch Damage.
Often, this sound effect will also be accompanied by a special visual effect, such as the projectile visibly deflecting from the target, or (for melee attacks) a special recoil animation as the attacker's strike bounces harmlessly off. Other accompanying clues may include the absence of a Flash of Pain, or a "Guard" or "No Effect" message in place of normal damage numbers.
If not described otherwise, most examples are simply a simple "ping" sound with no accompanying visual effect.
Video Game Examples
- Blade & Soul: Upon using certain abilities, players are granted resistance frames, making a metallic clank sound and leaving a faded afterimage of themselves when struck, but remaining completely unharmed, as seen here..
- Cave Story plays a metallic ping sound, different graphical effect and the obvious lack of damage numbers. The same applies to Swim, Ikachan! and Guxt.
- Maze Of Galious: Hollow ping sound + projectile ricocheting off.
- La-Mulana: The same as in Maze Of Galious.
- Mega Man (Classic): A metallic "ping" sound effect, plus the projectile ricocheting away (which still counts towards your three-shots-at-a-time limit). In the Mega Man X series, the sound effect is clearly more metallic, and some projectiles (like charged Buster shots) have special 'dissolving' animations instead of merely bouncing off.
- In Solar Jetman, shooting at a Weak Turret Gun while its shield is up will produce a "plink" sound while your bullets bounce off it.
- In Distorted Travesty it's a thud instead of a ding.
- The Legend of Zelda used a metallic "ching" sound for Link's shield deflecting attacks, as well as enemies getting hit in armored areas. Projectiles such as spears or rocks bounce off Link's shield before disappearing.
- The Zelda series also uses it in another way; bombable walls make a different sound when you strike them, making it a good way to check for hidden areas (in fact it's the only way to find completely hidden ones at all, since you're unlikely to spam bombs everywhere).
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has that weird "ooee" sound.
- Fire Emblem:
- In the Game Boy Advance games, any attack that does no damage will make a high-pitched ping sound. Even magical attacks like Fire and Thunder. Even when the person getting attacked isn't wearing armor.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, the Sound Of No Damage associated with Dual Guard (attack deflected by a supporting ally) makes a "ting-tang" sound, followed by a remark from the ally. Again, even magic attacks.
- In Final Fantasy Adventure, a long, loud, high pitched CALALAAAANK! plays whenever an enemy takes no damage from an attack. A weak wall and treasure chests will make the same noise when struck by most weapons.
- The Kingdom Hearts series of games feature a rubbery bounce sound when an attack has no effect, accompanied by a ripple where the enemy was struck. Countering an enemy's physical attack with one of your own or guarding causes a high "ching" sound.
- A soft "clink" in the Paper Mario games, like a small object falling into a tin cup, is heard when an enemy fails to damage Mario with their attack (or vice versa). It's visually accompanied by a harmless yellow star graphic instead of the large white star and damage numbers.
- This happens in RuneScape, actually, and it's really disorienting sometimes. Even if your enemy is constantly hitting zeroes on you, there's still a sound effect of stuff scraping off your armor (if you are wearing armor, that is).
- Castlevania games have a snapping or metallic sound for this.
- Grandia II has this during the few Hopeless Boss Fights, when any attack produces just a metallic clanking sound without dealing any damage.
- In Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age games, attacks that are nullified through enemy immunity (or damage reduction) don't produce special sounds but prompt the party members to loudly comment that their attacks have no effect.
- Strangely, in Spiral Knights, what few enemies have invulnerability (mostly bosses, Mecha Knight shields, and spawning Zombies), it makes a purple spark effect accompanied by a very short "pop" sound similar to crystal shattering.
- In the Ōkami games, it's a "clank" sound and a spray of kanji that translate as "futile".
- The Elder Scrolls series typically uses alternate noise to indicate that your attack did no damage, usually the sound of weapons clashing futilely or a whoosh of air. Later games also featured a special sound for blocking with a shield (Morrowind randomized the chance of shield use based on the Block skill; Oblivion allowed it to be user-controlled).
- Gem Craft plays a metallic clink if an attack on an enemy is nullified by Damage Reduction.
- In the first No More Heroes, a steel-like "clonk" sound will happen when you hit a boss while they are performing an unstoppable attack. Even if they are only flesh and clothing. Generally averted in the sequel, where the bosses do more actual guarding and move-canceling.
- ActRaiser and SoulBlazer share the same metallic sound, which in ActRaiser is also used when the people seal a monster lair.
- World of Warcraft uses "bonk" for blocking an attack (which actually doesn't stop all damage, but does significantly reduce it), "swoosh" for missing or dodging, and "clang" for parrying.
- Crystalis plays a ping sound if an attack does no damage either due to your attack power being too low or by the enemy being immune to your sword's element.
- And if you significantly Level Grind this can apply to you from some weaker enemies as well.
- The Touhou Fighting Game spin-offs use a "thud"-type of sound and display some sort of magical shield depending on character if an attack was blocked.
- If you attack the floating bugs in Metroid with something other than the Ice Beam, you will hear a "clang" sound. Oddly enough, this exact same sound is also found in the obscure Rare NES game Digger T. Rock, when you poke your shovel against solid stone walls.
- In Metroid: Fusion, attacking enemies with an attack that's too weak to deal any damage results in a "beep" noise.
- The Dragon Quest games play three short descending beeps when an attack does no damage. Interestingly, the beeps are slightly higher pitched when a player character fails to damage an enemy, as opposed to when an enemy fails to damage a player character. And for some reason the attack is described as "Miss!" regardless of whether the attack failed to cause damage due to actually missing, or if it simply didn't do enough damage to overcome the target's defense...
- Space Shooter Arrow Flash for the Genesis\Mega Drive had this for bosses when hitting an indestructible spot or hitting the boss as it was arriving.
- Spyro the Dragon can't use his charge attack on large enemies and you'll hear a thud if you try it.
- The Adventures Of Rad Gravity uses a ping sound.
- Bionic Commando: "Ka-dunk" with the projectile ricocheting.
- Tomb Raider has the sound of bullets ricocheting if your weapons hits an enemy that can't be harmed by guns, along with the bullet sparks.
- Descent has a soft buzzing sound if you try to open a locked door, or if you try to damage a player or a boss robot with a weapon it's immune to.
- Team Fortress 2:
- Ubercharged Medic/Whatever pairs will "tink" when hit, showing that they don't take damage;
- Scouts under the effect of Bonk! "whoosh" and a Written Sound Effect (MISS!) appears over their heads;
- In Mann vs. Machine, if you've bought any kind of damage resistance, you'll hear a metallic sound (in addition to the usual "taking damage" noises) to indicate that said resistance has kicked in;
- There's also the opposite effect, the Sound of Taking More Damage; there's even two variants, the mini-crit effect (from being covered in Jarate or hit with a Buff-Banner-charged attack), and the full-crit effect (from random crits and being charged with the Kritzkrieg).
- Final Fantasy XIV has a dull "dink" sound if you attack an enemy that's invincible, which also has "INVULNERABLE" pop up every time you hit it. Some enemies will also have another type of invincibility where normal damage sounds play, but you won't do any actual damage.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) uses that "T'hhhhhhhh!" Stock Sound Effect in conjunction with a hexagonal sprite to indicate when you hit a robot in its shield.
- Bug normally makes comedic sounding hit effects every time he stings an enemy. Against the Invincible Minor Minions small beetles that Queen Cadavra sends out, a bouncy "twang" sound effect is heard instead.
- In Fairune, if you try to attack an enemy that's above your recommended level (deals 3 or more damage to you), you'll hear a high-pitched "plink" sound and bounce right off it.
Non-video game examples
- Lampshaded in Kid Radd comic 197.
Fool! My traps are protected with an indestructible alloy! I shall laugh as your pathetic attacks bounce off with a cutesy "clink" sound! Mwa ha and ha!
- In both Iron Man films, whenever Tony Stark gets tossed, punched, or shot at with his suit on, it makes a loud, metallic "ding" sound. Several instances of this happen during his fight with Rhodes in the second movie.
- And in The Avengers when Loki tries mind control by touching his staff to the center of Tony's chest, producing a soft "clink"-noise as it hits the arc reactor keeping Tony alive.
- This gets discussed in Game Grumps as they play Mega Man 7, with them coming up with the term "tinky" to describe an enemy with an abundance of "tink"s (Mega Man 7's Sound Of No Damage).
- In the Doom Comic, the Doomguy's Night Train goes *bonk* when it hits the Cyber Demon.