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Subsystem Damage

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Some limbs work... but some don't.

Subsystem Damage is the opposite of Critical Existence Failure. It is when individual body parts (or components of a vehicle) can be targeted or damaged, or when physical effects impede your character, such as limping or shaky aim.

Subtrope of Multiple Life Bars. See also Cognizant Limbs, for the Boss variety. Can sometimes result in a Shared Life-Meter depending on how the game chooses to display the damage. This can lead to Injured Vulnerability. Shows Damage is a visual-only variation of this. Compare Attack the Injury.


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  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
    • The Guardians work this way. Destroying a Guardian Stalker's legs or a Guardian Skywatcher's propellers will reduce their mobility or even completely immobilize them save for their laser turrets.
    • Downplayed with Igneo and Frost Taluses. Their limbs cannot be destroyed separately from their bodies, but their fiery or icy coatings can be quenched or melted off separately from each other and their central body's using counter-elemental attacks. The Talus can re-ignite or -freeze them as the fight goes on, but until then this will allow Link to scale the targeted body parts without being set on fire or frozen.

    Fighting Games 
  • The arcade weapon-fighting games Time Killers and BloodStorm, both by Strata, both have a feature that allows the player to target and sever one or both of their opponent's arms. Time Killers also gives players the possibility of lopping off their opponent's head (resulting in an instant victory), while Bloodstorm removes the beheadings but adds the ability to cut off the opponent's legs at the torso. The opponent can continue to fight without arms, and even without legs, but any attacks or special moves requiring the use of a missing limb cannot be performed, and legless opponents can barely move.
  • In Bushido Blade uses this in lieu of a Life Meter; a character's head, torso, and limbs and limbs all take damage individually. Wounding a leg drops you to one knee, while wounding an arm makes your attacks slower and weaker. Taking a solid hit to the head or torso is usually a One-Hit Kill.
  • In the Def Jam Series, the submission subclass targets limbs for an alternate victory. Damaging a limb reduces damage dealt when the opponent strikes with it.
  • Smackdown Vs.Raw 2011 features a health color indicator for each of a wrestler's body parts. When struck, the part in question starts as green, then slides towards yellow, orange, and finally, red. Having some parts severely hurt can cause, at best only slowing the character down (while holding his head or his torso), at worst provoking the loss of a fight (if an opponent conveniently uses a submission move against a heavily damaged arm, giving up is very likely to happen).
  • The Zero Divide series features this throughout every installment. Each part of a combatant's body will register some amount of damage at which point the exoskeleton of the Robot fighters (actually AIs that appear as robots in cyberspace) shatter leaving those areas vulnerable to greater damage. In the case of the arms of legs of the characters, this also cause attacks with those limbs to be weakened.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare has the Harder Than Hard Specialist difficulty. Not only is passive health regeneration turned off, you can get shot in your limbs as well, which will affect function until you use a nanoshot; for example, getting shot in the left arm will disable your grenades. In addition, your helmet can get destroyed, leaving you vulnerable to getting instantly killed by headshots as well as suffocation when in space until you replace it. Finally, it is entirely possible for your weapon to get shot out of your hands. For those looking for an even crazier challenge, the game has #YOLO mode, which is all of the difficulty of Specialist mode, only with Final Death Mode slapped on top of it.
  • Deus Ex has separate health for each body part of an entity. As each is damaged, a corresponding change occurs: As your arms are damaged, you can't aim as well; if one arm's health is completely depleted, you can't use two-handed weapons, and if both arms are completely dead, accuracy is so low as to be useless. As your legs take damage, you run slower; if one leg is completely dead, you can't run at all, and if both legs are dead, you can only crawl. As your head takes damage, your vision becomes murky and accuracy suffers slightly and your torso (which takes most of the damage) even causes slight performance drops in all areas as it goes from green to yellow to red. Thankfully, you can choose to heal individual body parts with items. The loss of arms and legs is a major inconvenience, but non-life-threatening (and can fairly easily be recovered from, since even 1 HP recovery on a limb makes it "not dead" any more), but if either your torso or head lose all HP, you die. As a last note, the torso and head take twice the damage as the limbs from the same attack, which makes sense since all the vital organs are there.
  • Shows up in Elvira and its sequel "Jaws of Cerberus" wherein the player character's body is divided into head, torso, legs, and arms. Taking too much punishment and losing an arm meant you couldn't carry as much stuff or dual wield, while a missing leg slowed your character to a crawl making him easy pickings for a wandering monster. Obviously if either your head or torso fell to zero hp, you simply died.
  • SiN (1998) has different armor points for legs, torso and head.
  • XIII has a peculiar example in which armor is destroyed first by damage in a somewhat locational manner. Helmets protect only the head, and body armor protects everything else. Since you can loot armor from fallen foes, it becomes imperative to go for clean headshots when looking for intact body armor, and silent takedowns when looking for helmets. Since headshots deal several times the damage of body shots, yet NPC enemies rarely hit XIII in the head, body armor is more valuable in the story mode, while helmets are more valuable in multiplayer.
  • G-Nome, a game about Humongous Mecha, tracks damage to the various parts of your mecha. These being bipedal or quadrupedal vehicles, losing a leg is as immediately fatal as losing the cockpit.
  • Perfect Dark: This can be done, but only to enemies in single player. Hitting an arm can worsen their accuracy, and hitting a leg can impact their running speed. Arm damage can cause them to drop their gun, and the gun itself can even be shot out of their hand. However, Joanna as well as every character in multiplayer have no subsystem damage at all.
  • In most of the Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six series, getting hit in the limbs will incur some very serious penalties, while getting hit center mass usually results in a One-Hit Kill, and a shot to the head always results in death.
  • Soldier of Fortune allows you to damage and destroy individual body parts in gory detail. The player is still subject to Critical Existence Failure.
  • Halo:
    • In the later games, you can do things like shoot off a Scorpion Tank's turret without destroying the whole vehicle.
    • Occurs with the player's interface in Halo: Reach's "Lone Wolf" epilogue - as you take damage, cracks start forming in the visor of your helmet, which starts knocking out parts of your HUD, leaving you to have to find where the enemy is coming from manually or guess how much ammo you have in your current weapon and the like.
  • The Terminator 2029 implements this with the various systems, in addition to standard health. They get fixed using an autorepair system.
  • The killdrones in Receiver and Receiver 2 can be disabled (or incompletely disabled) by shooting out any of several subsystems.
  • Battlefield 3 has this to some extent, on vehicles equipped with Reactive Armour: Each side has its own plate of Reactive Armour that can be disabled after one hit from an Anti-Tank weapon, need to be repaired separately from other plates of armour and the vehicle's general health and multiple can be maintained even if the vehicle is disabled or destroyed.
  • In Doom Eternal, certain enemies have specific areas that can be damaged to disable them, typically Arm Cannons or turrets that can be destroyed to force demons into close range.

    Hack and Slash 

    Light Gun Games 
  • CarnEvil uses this in place of an HP count for most foes. Typically, taking off the head or blowing out the kneecaps brings your opponent down. (It's as disgusting as it sounds.)
  • Star Trek: Voyager — The Arcade Game uses this. Justified in that the player is fighting the Borg, and something that's half-robotic isn't likely to bleed to death.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Cortex Command: Since all of your units are machines, the game allows your characters to be almost fully dismembered and keep on ticking. Lose an arm? No more two-handed weapons. Lose a leg? Hop. Lose both arms? Ram into the enemy. Lose both legs? Use your rocket pack to get around. Being dismembered even makes you lighter (good for flying) and smaller (good for mining.)
  • Homeworld 2 both uses and subverts this. Capital ships have subsystems like engines and guns, but they also have a Hit Points meter, depleting which causes Critical Existence Failure regardless of the status of their subsystems.
    • Homeworld: Cataclysm had the Mothership's improvements destroyable. Losing them would reduce the player's Arbitrary Headcount Limit, prevent firing the superweapon, and/or prevent building larger ships. Although they were not specifically targetable and could only be destroyed by having weapons fire hit them from the right angle.
  • Spellforce: Critically injured characters have reduced speed, making it easier to catch up with them when they try to flee.
  • Vehicles in Company of Heroes can have their engines or weapons damaged and destroyed before they die but they can't be specifically targeted.
  • Hierarchy Walkers in Universe at War have individual hardpoints that can be attacked. Only by destroying all the hard points blocking the core and the core can they be destroyed. Also, the attachments on hardpoints (such as turrets, production enhancing upgrades, and repair chambers) can all be individually targeted.
  • Empire at War: In the space combat portion, most capital ships and space stations have targetable subsystems for almost any system: each individual weapon, shield generator, engine, and hangar. In fact, the only way to destroy a ship is to destroy all subsystems. The ships show realistic damage when subsystems are blown up. Normally, ships have to take down shields first before targeting subsystems, but torpedoes and mass drivers easily pass through shields.
    • Mon Calamari M80 cruisers are unique in that they don't feature a targetable shield generator, meaning the only way to take down its shields is the hard way. Interestingly, Admiral Ackbar's flagship Home One does have a targetable shield generator, likely a balancing issue.
  • In StarCraft, the info card at the bottom of the screen displays Terran and Protoss units and buildings with color-coded statuses on subsystems which cycle through yellow to red as the unit loses HP, but this is purely cosmetic — your Zealots won't run slower if their legs aren't OK and a Siege Tank can still fire perfectly fine even if the display shows the cannon in red. This info on where the supposed "damage" occured isn't even tracked when saving a game, it's simply reshuffled on load. Zerg units and buildings have no sub-divisions and are instead displayed in infrared that suggests their body temperature drops as they accumulate wounds.
  • Star Ruler uses this: Weapons, armour/shields, engines, support equipment, et cetera. are all put together on a blueprint and can be individually damaged to put them out of commission. Even better, some systems are explosive (like Anti Matter reactors) and will cripple nearby systems and possibly explode the entire ship when the explosive systems are destroyed.
  • In Prisoners Of Power: Epilogue units deal less and less damage themselves as they receive damage, and also lose morale untill they take to panic and seize to shoot at all. Thus you usually don't even need to finish the near-dead enemies off, unless they can reach a repair shop nearby, or you feel like a few extra XP points.
  • A variation in MechCommander. You can instruct your pilots to focus their fire on specific parts of an opponent, such as targeting arms to remove weapons, targeting legs to cripple the enemy's movement, or trying for the (more difficult than normal) headshot to take an opponent out instantly. At the same time, units can suffer varying types of damage as their internal structure is damaged—losing electronics, mobility, or weapons as various parts of the 'Mech are damaged. Vehicles aren't affected by this, as taking out any one portion of a tank will destroy it.
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon allows various parts of the ship to be targeted for the purpose of damaging or destroying. Destroying sails, engines and rudders can cripple mobility, where as destroying sections of the hull can disable weapon banks.
  • The Kane's Wrath addon to Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars introduced the Scrin Mechapede, a modular unit that looks like a giant robotic centipede once complete. Only the head section scurries out of the factory, but additional segments armed with various weapons can be added freely. While this gives Mechapedes astounding versatility on the field, it also makes them less and less effective as they take damage since each destroyed segment reduces their firepower. Thankfully/unfortunately (depending on which side you're on), the head can't be targeted directly for a quick kill.

  • Cataclysm divides your body in your head, torso, both arms, and both legs. Getting your head or torso destroyed will kill you, and getting your limbs broken will slow you down or make it harder to fight.
  • Mecha in GearHead are made of individual body parts that can be specifically targeted. Destroying a body part will remove the pilot's ability to use any systems that were in that body part, and sometimes attacks that don't destroy a part might still destroy a system inside that part. Destroying the torso will blow up the mecha entirely.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light individual subsystems can be damaged or destroyed, disabling the relevant function until repaired. These are separate from hull damage, making it entirely possible for a fully functional ship to be destroyed.
    • In a similar vein, tiles can be breached or set on fire, and this isn't always coupled with either hull damage or system damage. Crew can also be seen as a damage-able subsystem as each crewmember has their own hitpoints and they're necessary for keeping your systems going and making repairs, and if they all die it's just as much game over as if you ran out of hull points.
  • In Crying Suns, battleships are divided into three components: Hull, Weapons and Squadrons. Attacking them not only inflicts damage to the battleship itself, but also causes heat buildup in that system. When the heat reaches a critical threshold, the system suffers a harmful critical effect which lasts until an officer can repair it.

  • In the Etrian Odyssey series, binds can be applied to head, arms and legs. Head binds restrict elemental, healing and buff/debuff skills and lower accuracy; arm binds restrict physical skills and reduce physical damage; and leg binds restrict a few skills, evasion, make escape impossible and reduce turn speed. These are all treated along the same lines as status debuffs rather than damage levels, and can either be healed or expire after a few turns.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout and Fallout 2 have locational targeting for both robots and living things (for example: The head, eyes, torso, arms, groin, and legs on anthropoids.) Accuracy, damage, and critical hits are affected by which body part is attacked, but the health of individual body parts aren't tracked. Attacking some extremities will result in an injury (limp, blindness, etc.) which can't be healed without the services of a surgeon. In addition, one can target the weapon the enemy is holding in order to knock it out of their hands.
    • Fallout 3, on the other hand, does track damage to body parts, though there are no adverse effects until they have been entirely crippled. Crippled arms decrease accuracy, crippled legs decrease running speed, a crippled head causes a concussion halo effect, and a crippled torso amplifies how much often you flinch from attack (throwing off your aim). They can simply be healed with stimpaks (which your average player tends to stockpile, but your average NPC doesn't) or by sleeping in any bed. This becomes a life saver when fighting Deathclaws, giant lizards with machete-sized claws, as you can cripple their legs with ease by using the Dart Gun to slow them down to a crawl. Weapon targeting in VATS is also still a viable strategy, as well as shooting missiles and grenades as they are thrown towards you.
    • Hardcore mode for Fallout: New Vegas uses the same body part hit point system as Fallout 3, but makes recovery much harder: limb damage can only be repaired partially by certain items (the uncommon, but craftable, Doctor's Bag, and the addictive chem Hydra) or entirely by an NPC doctor or a bed the player owns. With Hardcore disabled, gameplay is the same as 3.
    • Limb damage in Fallout 4 mostly works as in 3, but crippled limbs are always restored to 1 HP after combat. Although item health has been removed for most weapons and armor, Powered Armor still has item health for each of its 6 individual armor segments: the helmet, the torso, and the 4 limbs. If any of the parts drops below a certain amount of health, the Heads-Up Display will show that particular part in red instead of orange, and if they drop to 0, they break and must be repaired at a Power Armor Bench, offering no benefit but still adding weight to your inventory. You can no longer target weapons in VATS, but you can shoot the arms of Super Mutant Suiciders - special super mutants with a mini nuke strapped to their hand - in order to prematurely set off the bomb.
  • Fable II has elements of this - such as shooting an enemy's weapon out of their hands, or doing a headshot (or Groin Attack...).
  • Hybrid Heaven uses this as a game mechanic for both the player and enemies. Disabling an arm prevents the character from using that arm, which effectively reduces the number of attacks they can select from. Likewise, damaging the legs enough has the same result as well as making that character move slower. Damage the head enough and the character will fall unconscious, making them completely defenseless to attacks.
  • In Kingdom Hearts game, one type of Mook that would appear comes in the form of a flying pirate ship commandeered by a Heartless. While attacking it normally plays the Critical Existence Failure trope straight, its cannons, mast and back propellors can also be targeted and destroyed, impacting on its performance. It will sometimes even shake violently, leaving it open to attack while the pilot employs Percussive Maintenance.
  • Lost Souls (MUD) has limb-based hit points, and you can get mental disorders from being smacked in the head.
  • Vagrant Story does this for Ashley and most enemies, and Ashley himself has a colored silhouette to depict the current status of his body: blue is A-OK, green is slightly damaged, red is critical, and black is "dead." "Killing" the legs impairs movement; killing the arms restricts defense and attack; killing the head (!!) will simply "silence" the character and make magic useless. While most attacks can be specifically targeted thus, area-of-effect spells, Break Arts, and such will target any viable body part in range, and the accumulated damage from each strike can finish off an enemy even if the individual damage wouldn't have —say, if a soldier with 45HP receives torso damage from a spell that hits for only 15HP, he'll survive... but if you adjust the spell effect sphere to include his head and legs, that 15 + 15 + 15 will do him in. Unfortunately, the same applies to Ashley.
  • Vindictus, there is a mild example. Several bosses have "break offs" attached to a part of their body. whenever you hit that part with a smash, they will play a flinch animation (like reeling back and shaking hit head for a helmet or mask). Hit the point a few more times and something will break off, usually dropping an exclusive item and sometimes also weakening the boss in some way.
  • Wild ARMs: Second Ignition had this in boss fights. While you could just kill the boss right off, taking out the subsystems would net you extra experience, and would limit the number of attacks the enemy could use. Unfortunately, the attacks that were left tended to be the boss' hardest hitters.
  • Colosseum: Road to Freedom; part of the HUD showed a figure, which would start out colored green. If the hero was attacked on his right arm, the figure's arm's color would change, from green to yellow to red. If a leg was hurt beyond red, the hero's speed would decrease dramatically. If it was the arm, he could no longer attack or defend with it. Lose too many use of limbs, or lose the torso and head, and you'd lose the match.
  • Dead Island zombies can be hit in the head, torso, abdomen, and upper or lower sections of both arms and legs, all for different amounts of damage and crippling them in a multitude of ways. Taking out the legs of a fast zombie or amputating the arms of a brute zombie are often the best ways to kill them. Headshots, of course, do the most damage, but can be extremely difficult on a weaving, ducking, running/stumbling zombie... and the more powerful zombies can take several headshots, so removing their arms and legs first is almost required.
    • A notorious game engine limitation means that removing the legs, which is almost as easy as removing the arms, instantly kills any zombie.
    • Removing arms actually gives experience points, and Sam B and Xian actually have skills where they get higher experience points than other characters for breaking or severing arms, respectively.
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria has this for enemy monsters. You can attack, and break, individual limbs and other appendages for either item farming or to reduce the enemy's effectiveness—breaking a bird's wing, for example, renders it immobile for rest of the fight, breaking weapons reduces damage, etc. Breaking any living creature's head is an instant kill regardless of remaining HP, as is breaking most creatures' backs, and some enemies will outright flee if you break their main attacking limb.
  • Last Rebellion has this as an important feature in its battle system: if you targeted the right parts in the right order, you can maximize the damage you do.
  • Some enemies and bosses in Phantasy Star Online 2 have parts that can be targeted and broken to expose a weak spot, cripple their ability to attack or move, and/or get some extra items after they're defeated. This extends to New Genesis as well.
  • In Evil Islands, most enemies have several parts that can be targeted, usually body, head, arms and legs (some enemies lack some of these parts, however). Damaging arms affects attacking speed, damaging legs affects moving speed, and having the body or the head depleted of life point means instant death. Although it's usually harder to aim to a specific part, doing a backstab gives you more chances to hit, which proves invaluable against enemies who are too strong to be killed otherwise.
  • Losing a bro in the Mario & Luigi game series is highly detrimental. The other bro doesn't just sit on the ground and stay out of the action like many other RPG's. Rather, the bro who's still conscious picks him up and carries him on his back, to protect him during your opponents' attacks. This causes a significant delay to EVERY dodging and countering maneuver you try to make, which can throw off your rhythm in avoiding attacks on the remaining bro that you might otherwise know the timing for.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn allows you to target weak points of robotic enemies. Destroying some components simply causes massive damage (and/or potentially an elemental explosion), while others disable certain attacks and combat moves. Individual armor plates can also be shot off, hitting the machines at the same point again causes much larger damage. And some weapons shot off from stronger enemies can be picked up and used against them.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, every non-humanoid enemy has at least one additional appendage with its own HP separate from the enemy's main HP bar that you can lock-on to and destroy, which can stop the enemy from using certain Arts and drop additional items. Certain skills can either increase the damage done to appendages or negate it to deal more direct damage instead. But be warned, this can also happen to you if you are in a Skell, taking out your own arts until you can repair it after the battle is over.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Phoenix has attack waves where the player's spaceship is threatened by a flock of large birds. They can be killed by a shot to the body, or damaged by shooting their wings. The wings regenerate after a few seconds, giving skilled players a chance to rack up lots of points at the bird's expense.
  • In Bosconian, the goal is to destroy several space stations in each wave. A station can be blown up with a single direct shot to its core, or the player can attack the six pods around the station's perimeter, which progressively disables the station's weapons. Once all six pods are destroyed, the station blows up anyway.
  • In Axelay, the ship is equipped with three weapon modules (a type of laser, a type of missile, and a variety of "360 degree" weapons) in addition to the standard peashooter. Basic, non-collision damage to the ship will only disable one of these weapons, forcing you to use the peashooter or switch to another weapon. However, if you're hit again while all you have equipped is the basic gun (whether your other weapons are all disabled or not) the ship itself will be destroyed.
  • Many of the larger enemies in Einhänder have multiple parts and weapons that can be damaged. Destroying certain parts of an enemy may bring it down, but it's safer to just go for their cockpit as it's their weakest spot. Plus, it's generally not a good idea to attack enemy weapon pods as you might actually destroy the weapon that you want to obtain.
  • In the Area 88 shoot-em-up (released as U.N. Squadron in the US), several bosses have weapons that can be disabled by shooting them. In fact, the crew of the battleship Minks will scuttle the ship if she loses all four turrets.
  • Warning Forever has boss ships that become increasingly imposing and deadly, and you can destroy them piece by piece, weapon by weapon.
  • Raptor: Call of the Shadows has fortress emplacements of anti-air weaponry than can be destroyed gun by gun, slowly reducing the withering storm of firepower sent at you to a more manageable amount.
  • Hellsinker has a lot of enemies and bosses with individual parts that can be blasted away, resulting in bonus Spirits and also disabling particular enemy weapons before going in for the kill.
  • Event Horizon has the Wormship, with each segment of its tail giving it a percentage of Damage Reduction until destroyed. You don't have do destroy them all, but doing so makes the battle significantly easier.
  • Chippy allows you to destroy and sever individual pixels and guns of bosses. Many guns are required to be destroyed in order to damage the core.

    Sim Games 
  • Dwarf Fortress does this for every living organism except vermin, tracking damage on down to individual fingers, toes, teeth, entrails, layers of skin, and even nervous tissue. In certain earlier editions, damage would be done without taking into account surrounding organs. It was at one point perfectly possible to take both of someone's ears off with a single arrow without hurting the head in-between. Injuries that heal over time might also leave scars, which appear in the appearance description.
    • This means that a creature is almost Nigh-Invulnerable if it doesn't bleed and has no brain to destroy, with the only possible way to kill such creatures being decapitation, bodily bisection, drowning (assuming it's 'alive'; undead are another matter) or simply pummeling it over several hours/days/weeks until a vital part collapses into a pulp. Unless it's made of a very fragile material, like fire, in which case it becomes a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
    • Certain injuries can disable body parts without crushing or dismembering them. Notably, recent versions allow breaking the spine to cause paralysis.
    • Wounds to the lower torso can cause guts to fall out. These can be attacked or pinched, but Toady has expressed interest in allowing you to drag people around and strangle them by their intestines.
    • Zombies explicitly used a Hit Point system, to prevent them from being Nigh-Invulnerable. This was a placeholder until Toady One implemented a system for attacks to gradually "pulp" flesh into tissue that even a zombie can't use.
      • Pulping has been implemented, making blunt weapons essential for defending a fort where attacks by the undead are expected. The goal is to mangle a body part so bad it can't be reanimated, and not separate the parts for individual reanimation (It's frightening when you cut off a zombie's arm and then you continue the fight a bit, only to be attacked from behind by the arm you cut off). Of course, the same applies to non-organic materials and parts made from them; pounding on a Bronze Colossus' head will eventually make it collapse into scrap, ending its rampage.
  • MechWarrior is ALL about this, with every battlemech tracking separate damage counters for each arm, leg, the three front torso sections (and one to three rear torso sections), and of course, the cockpit. Destroying sections will disable any equipment mounted there, and in the case of the center torso, destroy the mech. Some games also track individual subsystem health within the sections, such as weapons or ammunition. Destroying legs has the most dramatic effect besides outright killing a mech; in 2, destoyed legs would leave a mech immobile, 3 was a Game-Breaker where it would destroy the mech, 4 and Online will gimp their movement speed, and Living Legends will ragdoll the mech but leave the pilot in control of the Jet Pack and weaponry.
    • Mechwarrior Living Legends also adds in tanks, aerospace fighters, and helicopter-esque aircraft. Tanks have armor on all sides which must be broken through to reach the inner Hull armor, along with a turret section which will cripple traverse speed when destroyed. VTOLs and aerospace fighters have an engine (lose all control when destroyed), body (Critical Existence Failure) and wings (mounting points for weapons).
  • Star Raiders (1979) was one of the earliest examples of this. Your ship's shields, engines, weapons, targeting computer, and scanners could be damaged or outright destroyed.
  • X-Wing series:
    • The first game has some elements of this, mainly with Star Destroyer shield generators.
    • Its sequel, Tie Fighter, has an even more improved system, allowing individual turbolaser turrets to be taken off capital ships, as well as nearly every subsystem. Taking enough time, one can completely strip a ship down to little more than a hull floating in space.
    • X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter implements the same, but protects turrets and subsystems if the capital vessel still has active shields.
    • In every game in the series, the player's starfighters feature their own form of subsystem damage, in which weapons, engines, etc., are knocked out for a set period of time before being automatically repaired, or parts of the cockpit get shot out and no longer function. This generally only comes into play with the sturdier craft, and even then is often just a prelude to the player's ship being destroyed outright, however under the right circumstances it can make for some tense moments for the player while they sit dead in space or flying in a perfectly predictable straight line while they wait for their engines or flight controls to be repaired.
  • Star Trek: Bridge Commander has this in abundance. Damage depends on where you hit and how strong you set your weapons, you can target everything down to individual torpedo tubes and phaser arrays, subsystems can be disabled but reparable or completely destroyed, doing so affects the ships's performance (an especially effective tactic is to knock out the enemy's sensor array as that renders them unable to target you and return fire), and the 3D models show realistic battle damaged, to the point where you can punch holes all the way through or lop off engine nacelles. Destroying the warp core/Power plant kills a ship/station outright even if they are probably over 50% percent integrity.
  • Star Trek: Starfleet Command lets you knock down an enemy's shields and beam commandos on-board to knock out subsystems. Ships generally don't blow up until they've lost so much functionality that they're reduced to drifting pieces of junk. In the third game you could also target sub-systems directly with your weapons. Any damage that got past shields would be applied to the sub-system (or wasted if it missed), and you could target every sub-system on the ship, which allowed you to knock out its engines (the warp drive is especially good to target because it supplies power to the ship, meaning damaging/destroying it would also drop the shields, kill motive function, and silence the weapons, leaving the target ripe for destruction or capture). Target sub-systems also lowered the amount of enemy marines/crew without risking destroying the ship, making capturing the ship much easier.
  • FreeSpace and FreeSpace 2 allow it both ways, and have specialized weapons just for this purpose. You can even have your own radio shot out and be unable to call for resupply/repair, and incoming transmissions/dialog will be garbled and distorted. Individual batteries on capital ships can be taken out if they are harassing you, or entire operational systems completely destroyed. However, most ships have Hit Points independent of their subsystems, and blow up when those are depleted regardless of any other damage done to them.
  • The obscure DOS space flight sim Star Rangers actually allows your ship to take damage to specific parts of subsystems - in particular your maneuvering thrusters (eventually making it so that you can't turn to the right, for example).
  • Wing Commander: Available for the Player Character ship, since the very first game, where you could lose subsystems that hamper your performance but don't kill you outright; some of the damage can be repaired by auto-repair systems if given sufficient time... unless that, too, was destroyed, in which case you were hosed. Losing a gun, though, wasn't fixed until after you returned to base.
    • Starting with Wing Commander III, capships were given individually targetable turrets, and in Wing Commander IV one of the Speradon missions involves destroying the engine exhaust ports on a carrier in drydock as part of an effort to keep it from escaping.
    • In Prophecy and Secret Ops, you had to destroy certain critical subsystems (including, on the largest vessels, shield generators) before you could land the killing blow on Nephilim capships. Fighter craft in Prophecy, however, have a single "core" statistic analogous to Hit Points; if that's depleted they go boom no matter what subsystem damage they've taken.
  • The Famicom space combat sim Star Luster has three subsystems on the player's spaceship that can take damage and hamper performance. Damage to the radar can limit the player's ability to track enemies and leave them unable to ascertain the status of bases and planets. Damage to the combat computer makes it harder to land shots on enemies and can prevent the ability to launch photon torpedoes. Damage to the energy core can prevent shields from recharging and slow the player's ship down.
  • In Tachyon: The Fringe, the player is able to target and destroy capital ship subsystems, but they barely count towards the overall "health" of the ship. They do, however, perform vital functions (e.g. Deflector Shields, weapon generators, turrets, engine power plants). For convenience (if not for realism), these systems themselves are on the outside of the ship and are completely unshielded. This allows even the weakest fighter to take out a cruiser without too much trouble.
  • In Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, each ship bigger than a fighter/bomber has subsystems that can be targeted with lasers or fighters. As a rule, lasers don't do much damage to Deflector Shields or the hull with a few exceptions. These subsystems include engines (primary and secondary), power plants, FTL drives, shields, and weapons. Alternatively, the hull can be damaged with Magnetic Weapons and missiles sufficiently for the ship to be considered lost, starting the evacuation of the crew.
  • In Starlancer, targeting subsystems on capital ships is necessary to successfully destroy them. The affected parts of the ship actually blow up, deforming the ship.
    • The sequel Freelancer allows you to target subsystems on capital ships, but you can't actually destroy them. The fact that you can target them probably means they planned to add this functionality at some point but decided not to. Of course, this would make killing battleships even easier than it already is for a single fighter. In the campaign, you single-handedly wipe out a good chunk of the Rheinland fleet. However, things look different when it comes to fighters. Most fighters have wings, and most of these wings tend to have weapon hardpoints. All mounted weapons have individual life bars themselves, and once a fighter loses its shields, incoming fire not only damages armor and hull but also has a nasty habit of blowing your guns off your ship, or wreck your wings. Very rarely you might end up with no weapons at all, but that won't matter much since by that point you're one sneeze away from destruction anyway. Destroyed wings and damaged weapons can be repaired for credits at any ship merchant, but destroyed weapons are irrevocably lost, which sucks supremely if said weapon was a unique Class 10 artifact gun.
  • In the Flying Saucer flight simulator, your alien spaceship can sometimes malfunction in a funny way due to subsystem damage.
  • ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead (a standalone expansion on ARMA 2) introduced this for vehicles to the ARMA series, allowing damage and effects (i.e. inability to turn properly if a tank's treads are shot up). For the most part this is absent from the base game, where vehicles only have one "subsystem", the Hull itself, though helicopters can also have their propellers taken out of commission either with small arms fire or smacking into the environment during a bad landing.
  • In the flight simulator F/A-18 Hornet, all subsystems and engines can be damaged or disabled. A Critical Hit by a missile can kill you or an enemy instantly.
  • In the X-Universe series, ships taking heavy damage to their hull will begin to fail, with their weapons being destroyed, the engine tunings being ruined, and various software suites being wrecked. It's not possible to directly target certain subsystems, but some weapons are designed specifically to strip out weapons and electronics, such as the Ion Disruptor. Mechanically it operates by doing the bare minimum of hull damage, just enough to keep the RNG rolling to see if stuff breaks.
    • X: Rebirth takes a leaf out of the Tachyon: The Fringe playbook. Capital ships feature dozens of different objects along their hulls (turrets, shield generators, jumpdrives, engines, etc.) that can be individually targeted and destroyed. The player's ship can have individual systems crippled from hull damage (primarily the weapons and engine boosters), which can be repaired slowly over time by an engineer or by buying repairs at a shipyard.
  • While Kerbal Space Program doesn't have anything actively trying to kill you, your vehicles can take damage by running into one another or the ground. Each individual rocket part has its own parameters, including heat and impact tolerances. With a little luck, you can even save your crews from crashes that will destroy the rest of the vehicle.
  • In the Ace Combat series, very large enemies (say, an Airborne Aircraft Carrier or a warship) have multiple targeting locations: weapons, engines, and a final shot on the cockpit.
  • In Elite Dangerous this trope is in full effect. Every individual module of a ship can be destroyed by weapons fire, from its exterior parts such as weapons to the essential guts of the ship such as the Power Plant. Damaged modules can malfunction while destroyed modules are entirely unusable until repaired. This is especially distressing when the cockpit's Canopy is destroyed - the player loses much of their heads up display and has to breathe emergency oxygen until repaired.
  • Saurian:
    • In Saurian's combat system, each dinosaur's body is represented as a collection of body parts with their own external layers (scales, feathers, osteoderms, etc.) and internal layers (flesh and bone) that show the overall injury level of the animal. When attacking a specific body part, you have to damage the external layers until they're destroyed, before you can attack the internal layers for even greater damage. As a result, targeting specific body parts is very important during combat.
    • How well you can damage an opponent is also based on the type of attack. For instance, biting works well against feathers, but not as well against osteoderms.
  • In Gratuitous Space Battles, a ship's total health is composed of the combined HP of each individual module installed on it. As such, when a ship takes hull damage, components on the ship will take damage independently, and taking heavy damage can and will knock out modules and reduce the ship's performance in battle. It's not uncommon to see ships fleeing the battle due to their weapons being destroyed (usually frigates and fighters due to having less weapons and health) despite the ship's hull being otherwise mostly intact. This can also be observed with shields, which are displayed as a single shield bar, but the individual shield modules can be knocked out independently from damage, which in turn can affect the shield's ability to resist weaker attacks (a ship's shield resistance is equal to that of the strongest shield still active, so if that module is disabled then the ship's shield resistance drops accordingly).

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech is all about this. Not only do the BattleMechs have locational damage for the limbs, three torso locations (left, right, and center), and the head, but the individual subsystems, weapons and so on that are contained within them can be damaged too. This means you can trigger ammunition explosions that tear one apart from the inside, disable the gyroscope so it falls over, or go for a critical hit directly on the pilot...
    • BattleTech is in the unique situation wherein it has both Critical Existence Failure and this. A single penetrating hit on the cockpit, or 3 engine hits will instantly take out a mech, and any given shot has a small but non-zero chance of doing this. At the same time, you could have a mech with both arms and both side torsos blown off, no armor left, 2 engine hits, a single gyro hit and both hips damaged and it will still be able to move around (provided it doesn't fail a movement roll and crush the cockpit while falling due to damaged leg actuators) and keep firing if it has weapons on the head or center torso. Such 'mechs that can keep posing threat even after being savaged like that are known as "Zombie 'Mechs"
  • The RPG RuneQuest uses hit locations with (non-escalating) hitpoints. An unarmored person will be lucky to get out of a pitched battle missing only one limb.
  • GURPS uses fairly generic hit locations as an optional rule but then adds on different effects based on damage type. The Martial Arts supplement added hit locations like veins and arteries as valid targets. Vehicles also have a system of hit locations and spaceships get a different version.
  • WARMACHINE/HORDES use this faithfully on everything large enough to warrant it. For Warmachine, every Warjack has a 6 column (Colossal Warjacks have 12 column) damage chart with a variable number of ablative "armour" squares in each column. After you hack through those, you start damaging vital systems which have real penalties when they fail. After enough systems give out, the 'jack shuts down. Hordes' version is simpler in that there aren't as many vital parts to damage, but the gist is the same.
  • Battlefleet Gothic: The game's critical hit system is a form of this. While a Cruiser still blows up after eight arbitrary damage points, critical hits give you a chance to knock out weapons batteries, cripple engines, disable shields, or simply do horrific extra damage as bulkheads collapse and hull plating shreds in the heat of battle.
  • F.A.T.A.L.: In keeping with its theme of "painfully detailed awfulness," FATAL allows you to stab a man in his Fallopian tubes without damaging the surrounding organs or skin.
  • The titular tank in Steve Jackson's OGRE contains elements of this. While the typical army units die from single hits, you can target the Ogre tank's weapons to knock out its offensive capabilities, or take out its treads so it can't move. Paralyzing the Ogre is usually the only way for an army to win since it's otherwise horrendously tough and can still ram the army's Command Post to destroy it (weapons or no).
  • Ammo breaths this trope. Every physical damage has to blow at least one of the target fighting characteristics (Strengh, Agility, Combat, Aim, Sense or Reflexes) before reaching the Costitution; it works like ablative armor. Damaged characteristics (up to zero) are a pain, as they are summed to the dice throw for specific action. Zeroed Aim means crap shots, zeroed Strengh lower your melee damage, and so on. Still, even a PG with all zeroed characteristic but positive Costitution is alive and kicking (only, badly).
  • Stick Guy damages one body part per successful attack. Damage to the head or the torso is guaranteed lethal, while damaging limbs just provides penalties. Limbs can be healed by sacrificing experience points.
  • Star Fleet Battles models combat between Star Trek-like starships; battle damage is resolved by destroying randomly-selected interior systems in the target (phasers, warp engines, The Bridge, etc.) until there's nothing left to destroy.
  • Starfire represents each starship as a linear left-to-right track of systems, with shields and armor on the left and the systems buried most deeply inside the hull on the right. Each damage point destroys the leftmost undestroyed system, eating away at the spacecraft until there's nothing left. As systems are damaged, the ship can do less and less.
  • Deadlands has this, with five health levels per region. Five levels of damage will potentially destroy any region of your body, which in the case of head or torso is deadly. In addition, most armour is very specific about which regions it protects.
  • In the advance set of Formula D rules, rather than having a set of 18 wear-points (acting as standard HP), cars (if not playing customized cars or characters) have 6 tire WP, 3 brakes, gearbox, body and engine WP as well as 2 road-handling/suspension WP, should a player lose the engine, suspension, gearbox, body points, they're out of the race, if they overshoot a curve that depleted their tires, they spin out, the car is placed backwards on the space they ended the move before shifting down to first gear, spend a turn for turning around. Overshoot another curve by more than one, you're out of the race. Body, engine and road handling damage results in a damage marker being placed that other cars can run over and take road handling damage as well. Various events can also result in specific damage such as redlining in 5th or 6th (rolling a 20 or 30 respectively) to cause engine damage.
    • Players can also customize with a limit of twenty WP's to allocate to any system they wish. Characters also have a set of WP's assigned to certain systems, Derek Manson for example, has a tough body to fit with his aggressive ability.
  • Inquisitor, the RPG spinoff of Warhammer 40,000. Notably, crippling damage to the groin causes unconsciousness, and crippling damage to the head is instant death. Damage is usually randomised, but there are mechanisms for characters to take more careful aim if they want to make called shots.
  • Also a long-time staple of vehicular combat in the original Warhammer 40,000 system. Any hit that at least scratches a vehicle's armor is followed by a roll on a damage table, with effects including stuff like temporary or permanent immobilization, destroyed weapons, the vehicle getting wrecked, or the vehicle blowing up in a spectacular fashion. That last one is of course the most effective result as it often kills most of the passengers if the target was an APC, and the explosion can also damage other models in close proximity. Vehicles continue to function unless they suffered one of the "destroyed" results, but of course their effectiveness diminishes with every hit, especially with every weapon lost. Superheavy vehicles like Titans have special damage tables that can potentially result in the mechanical monstrosity's plasma reactor going critical. The ensuing blast can easily wipe out half the battlefield, which (since most Titans are walking artillery platforms that attack from far, far away) tends to hit their own side the hardest.
    • Examples from Warhammer should specify when it was the case. As of eighth edition (Summer 2017), Warhammer averts this trope; instead, a damaged vehicle suffers a slow and gradual degradation of its abilities as its Wounds are depleted. No subsystem damage applies as of October 2021.
  • Reign, Wild Talents, and other games using the One Roll Engine have separate hit locations for head, torso, each arm, and each leg. Any one of them getting filled up with lethal damage has bad effects for that part, but of course when it happens to your torso or head it kills you. It's easy to make monsters with different kinds of hit locations representing unusual anatomy.
  • In Flying Circus, planes can be hit in specific locations, such as with a Crit, causing specific penalties. For example, destroying the landing gear means that the pilot must make the Go Down move when they land.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, attacks affect a specific body part (on humanoids, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, body, or head), which is either determined randomly or selected in exchange for an attack penalty. Body parts don't have their own Hit Points but can suffer distinct effects from a Critical Hit, like disabling a sword arm, getting a Tap on the Head, reducing movement speed, or damaging that piece of body armour.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • The Front Mission series gives each mech separate Hit Points for their body, left arm, right arm, and legs. If an arm dies, you can't use any weapons equipped on it and if the legs die movement is limited to one square (visually they appear badly damage rather than completely destroyed). If the body dies though, the entire unit dies, which tends to make shooting the other parts a waste of time. Unfortunately, you have no control over where your shots hit, although certain skills can make it more likely.
    • Actually, aiming for limbs CAN be useful, at lest in Front Mission 3, as if you destroy several of them, enemy soldiers will sometimes surrender, allowing you to capture their machine. You can then either sell it, let one of your characters use it or split it into parts which can then be equipped on your other machines.
      • In Front Mission 4, you can often stop snipers and Bazooka Mechs by destroying the arm holding the gun, and those Arms have significantly less health than bodies do. Destroying the other arm reduces the mechs accuracy.
    • The highly contested Third-Person Shooter Continuity Reboot actually retains this system, albeit simplified. Destroyed parts reveal their (inexplicably indestructible) skeletal frame and any attached weapons take a massive hit to their performance. Destroyed legs cause Wanzers to sort of waddle around at a snail's pace unless they use their boosters. On the plus side, deliberately shooting a part is now fully possible (and recommended, especially with the Bullet Time mechanic)- meaning that skills that used to improve chances of hitting certain body parts have been removed or altered and every enemy now fights until its torso (and hence the entire machine) is destroyed.
  • In the rare case that an X-COM soldier hasn't been instantly killed by whatever hit him, the body part that wound up getting hit suffers from this. Though damage may be spread across the head, torso, and individual arms and legs, the most common malaise is sending a Red Shirt's accuracy even further into the toilet.
  • Cyberstorm used this for your mecha's dozen or more systems, generally reducing performance in a linear fashion as damage accumulated. The enemies in single-player did not have subsystems until Cyberstorm 2... where your giant cannons, once quite effective at killing, suddenly gained an annoying tendency to "critically hit" an enemy's arm, rather than put a hole in the chassis.
  • The Star Trek Text Game, possibly the Ur-Example from 1971. Warp drive, phasers, torpedo tubes, targeting computer, and sensors could all be knocked out by enemy fire.
  • Sword of the Stars allows you to knock off turrets for all ship classes, as well as individual ship sections for destroyers and cruisers. When facing an Alien Derelict, you get a longer boost to research if you disarm the derelict (by blowing off all its turrets) rather than destroy it, even though the second is easier.
  • Master of Orion II has subsystem damage but not subsystem targeting. Certain weapons are specifically geared towards damaging subsystems, but this is completely random and doesn't depend on the player. Also, it is possible to send a Boarding Party on a raiding mission, which usually results in the destruction of several weapons and/or systems.
  • The Space Empires games are made of this trope - a ship is destroyed when and only when all of its components are destroyed. Though in later games, it was more like when all internal components are destroyed - if you used armor piercing weapons, you could destroy a ship without destroying any of its armor! (Except in unpatched versions of the fifth game, in which using exclusively armor piercing weapons made it completely impossible to destroy an armored ship, since you did in fact have to destroy the armor as well!)
  • Super Robot Wars GC (and its Xbox re-release) uses this, with a main HP bar representing the mech's body, and three smaller HP bars for the head, arms and legs (controls, weapons and engines respectively, for non-humanoid units). Damaging/destroying these separate parts caused reductions in the target's accuracy and evasion, weapon damage and movement area respectively, but could only be targeted specifically if the attacker has certain skills, uses certain spells, or is smaller than the target (and if the attacker is small enough, can ONLY target these parts until they're all destroyed). Interestingly enough this mechanic has ONLY appeared in this game in the franchise, presumably as idle experimentation since Nintendo aren't developer Banpresto's main 'client' for these games.
  • Unlike in previous Civilization games where you either took an enemy city wholesale or didn't at all, in VI you can target and destroy individual districts outside the city centre to cripple parts of their industry.
  • In Atlantic Fleet, your hits can deal damage to various subsystems, depending on where they hit. Some can be repaired (if not destroyed), while others cannot. The obvious targets are main guns (which have their own armor stat independent of side or deck armor). Destroying them results in an explosion animation. Secondary guns on larger ships can be damaged but not destroyed. Damaging propulsion results in ships slowing down, while damaging steering results in them being unable to affect their turn (if they were going straight, they'll keep doing that, if they were turning, they'll keep doing that too). It's also possible to reduce targeting accuracy by damaging/destroying RADAR and spot positions. Carries with destroyed/damaged flight decks can't launch or recover aircraft. Destroyers/corvettes with damaged/destroyed SONAR can't detect submarines, while subs with damaged/destroyed SONAR can't detect any other ship or sub if not surfaced or at periscope depth. And, of course, there's always the chance that a lucky hit will strike the main magazine, but that's a Critical Existence Failure.
  • In Ring of Red, AFW's have 3 sections: hull, legs, and gun. The hull takes more damage, but can't be disabled until the unit is totally wrecked. The legs have two section HP, "on fire" which debuffs their speed, and "ruined," which immobilizes the unit. The gun has one section HP but is technically immortal. It can still be used, but it takes a huge accuracy penalty and the reload meter is reset to zero.
  • Phoenix Point: Each body part for soldiers and monsters has its own armor value and hit point track. Depleting a body part's HP causes bleeding damage over time, reduces the unit's maximum HP, and has other effects depending on which part it is (disabled arm means the unit can't attack with that arm, disabled leg reduces movement range, disabled head can cause confusion or panic, etc). Weapons and gear can similarly be damaged or destroyed.

     Other/Multiple/To Be Sorted  
  • In Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, when using the bow Eivor can target glowing parts of their opponent's bodies in order to open them up for stun attacks.
  • Second Sight (Stealth-Based Game) and Penumbra (Adventure Game with a dash of Survival Horror) both use the most basic form, with the main character limping when injured.
  • Nova 9 keeps track of just about everything on your hovertank. Shields on four different sides and hull integrity to start with, but also the maneuvering jets (you may be able to turn right but not left), radar (at several levels; the first damage done to it just makes the dots jitter around, further damage makes the dots flicker and eventually it just turns into static), individual inventory slots (even if there's something loaded in them), and even your special weapons. The only system on the Raven 2 that can't be destroyed is your basic cannon, but if it gets to that point, you're probably already screwed.
  • The Char's Counterattack game for Playstation allows the player to target different parts of the enemy's mobile suit, with noticeable effects; destroying the head reduces accuracy, taking out the shield or left arm removes the ability to defend, blowing off a leg lowers mobility, and the destruction of any of the three removes any weapons linked to the appropriate part.
  • The Gundam Vs Series games set in the Universal Century have an ability called Revival which allows you to avoid death at the cost of a body part, taking with it any weapons or abilities linked to that limb. Several machines have this ability in Gundam Vs Gundam, most notably the black Gundam Mk-II, which loses its left arm; since it has to reload manually, this means that post-Revival you can't use anything but your melee weapon.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2, destroying a mobile suit's head will take out its radar and reduce the damage it can inflict significantly. On ground maps, destroying a mobile suit's legs forces it to walk at a snail's pace and causes it to fall over if it attempts to boost. On space maps, destroying a mobile suit's thrusters also reduces movement speed, as well as prevent boosting.
  • Realms: In this New England- based LARP, you take damage based on what body part gets hit. Hit in the leg? You can't use that leg any more (and hopefully you have good balance). Lose an arm? Hopefully you can fight with your other arm (and aren't using two weapons or a two-handed weapon).
    • Almost every LARP use it. You can save considerable time just naming the ones that don't use this trope.
  • In Monster Lab, monsters are killed if they sustain too much damage to their torso, while destroying arms, legs and head impairs their fighting (and fleeing for legs). Though if they lose everything except the torso, they also die.
  • Kenshi Has several sub-sections on each character that can take individual damage. Blood, Head, Chest, L-Arm, R-Arm, L-Leg, R-Leg.
    • Part health ranges from -100 to 100. A character will faint or die if their blood, chest, or head reaches 0 or -100 respectively, though head and chest wounds have a small chance of instantly killing a character via a high damage critical hit when being reduced below 0. Arms/legs become crippled if they drop below 0 and require use of a more advanced splint kit in order to resuming healing, regular bandages only work above 0. If a limb reaches -100 health, it's severed and lost, permanently crippling a character and requiring a prosthetic in order to regain some of their full function.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and 4, shooting an enemy in the leg will cause them to limp. Arm injuries will cause his hands to shake and decrease their firing accuracy. Headshots are always fatal unless they're wearing helmets.
  • In the Naval Ops games, your ship can lose the ability to launch aircraft if the deck is damaged. Damage to the engines reduces your speed to a crawl, and a hull breach will eventually cause engine failure due to flooding. And a hit to the rudder will make it very difficult to change course.
  • Dead Space is all about system damage as a core part of the gameplay. Necromorphs can take a huge pounding in general damage before Critical Existence Failure kicks in. However, targeting extremities can remove An Arm and a Leg quite easily. One limb removed will not stop them, but will impair their lethality appropriately (lost arms mean one less claw to rake the player, lost legs mean they have to crawl along the ground, lost heads cause them to charge while swinging blindly, etc.) and enough limbs lost will kill them outright.
  • This is a major gameplay mechanic in World of Tanks, where you can hit specific subsystems on opposing tanks (their treads, fuel tank, engine, ammo rack, etc.) and preventing them from functioning properly until their crew fixes it (and you even have a chance of incapacitating a crewman). This is especially important if your gun lacks penetrating power or just doesn't do enough damage, like if a light tank goes up against a heavy, the light tank can cripple the heavy tank until its allies can come along and finish the job.
  • War Thunder keeps track of over a dozen subsystem for planes. This includes pilot (one hit kill), gunners for turrets (no return fire), radiator and coolant liquids (engine will overheat), the engine itself (glide back to base!) and the flaps, ailerons, tail control, gear control, and more. Notable that there is no hit point system, a plane is considered lost if the pilot is killed, it is burnt up or loses a wing or the tail.
    • War Thunder Ground Forces keeps the subsystem damage for the vehicles, including crew. Examples include turret traverse (horizontal and vertical), ammo box, fuel, engine, cannon breach, radiator and more.
  • In Silent Hunter, you can target with the deck gun -if present- of your submarine different parts of enemy vessels, such as their weapons, their bridge, or at their flotation line. On the other hand, your submarine has both crew and a number of subsystems (such as diesel engines, electric engines, hydrophone...), plus others within them (left or right electric or diesel engines, etc.), that can be damaged or destroyed causing different adverse effects -if you lose the diesel engines, for example, you're in very serious trouble.-
  • In Need for Speed: Most Wanted, during a police chase, if you somehow manage to get exactly one tire blown out by spike strips, you will lose some acceleration and speed. Two or more out, though, and you are busted.
  • The DOS game Lightspeed: Interstellar Action and Adventure has an "engine room" where you can store and apply various components to Screen Generator, Blaster Turret, Spindrive, Main Gun and Thruster systems. Each time you are hit, a component from a random system gets destroyed, which can have the following effects:
    • Reduced probability of the screen generator deflecting an attack.
    • A blaster only being able to give off three shots in a row before overheating, or ceasing to function completely.
    • Loss of interstellar travel fuel efficiency
    • The main gun taking longer to charge, or doing less damage
    • Loss of engine speed
    • The closest the game comes to having your ship destroyed is when your navigator gets destroyed and you have no more in stock. It's always the last to go, though. When this happens, you have to use your escape pod to return to base, and you lose a ton of game time waiting for a new ship.
  • Been part of the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw wrestling games, allowing you to focus your moves on a specific area. Though this doesn't reduce opponents mobility, they are far more likely to submit via a hold that targets a badly injured area, than one that has taken no damage. Similarly, they're unlikely to get properly pinned unless there torso has been severely injured, making focusing on a specific body part a key strategy of winning quickly.
  • Some driving games, such as the Forza and TOCA series, have damageable vehicle subsystems, impairing your vehicle's performance according to whatever has been damaged. In Forza, getting rear ended could damage your rear spoiler, or wreck your engine if you have a rear or center mounted engine. Bottoming out your suspension will quickly ruin your shocks and springs, affecting your handling. Taking side impacts will cause your alignment to get screwed up, forcing you to constantly steer in one direction to drive forwards. All of the damage except for body damage and downforce damage can be repaired in the pitstops, however.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The series has this for its large monsters. Certain parts of these monsters can be broken to grant additional drops; and certain parts grant extra attack options, and destroying or severing these parts impairs these attacks in some way if not disabling them entirely.
    • Monster Hunter Frontier has Zenith monsters. Individuals that have unusually developed limbs such as claws, tails and wings, when you break these parts the monster in question are significantly weakened and often lose the ability to control their elements and use certain attacks.
  • In Guns of Icarus, enemies can target different parts of your zeppelin. If your rigging or balloon gets destroyed, it causes a Critical Existence Failure. If your cargo bay is destroyed, it affects the rewards you earn for beating the level. And damage to your engines causes you to slow down and eventually stop. Part of the strategy of the game is prioritizing which sections to repair and how long to wait before repairing them.
  • Battleships Forever is arguably all about this trope. Ships are made out of structure pieces and systems, each one of which has its own HP total. Each ship has one core piece, to which other structure pieces are linked, and other structure pieces can be linked to them, and so on. If you destroy a piece of structure, everything "downstream" from it is also destroyed - but usually, you'll destroy something that has nothing "downstream" from it. Extra structure can be used as ablative armor.
  • In Veigues: Tactical Gladiator, if the shield is depleted, further damage will destroy Veigues' head or left or right hand, disabling the radar view or weapons.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 links hits to certain body parts to stat penalties; getting hit in the arm will cost Dexterity, Agility is lost by getting hit in the legs and headshots cost Wisdom... unless they're powerful enough to overcome whatever helmet the target is wearing, in which case they're almost invariably a One-Hit Kill, or if you're very lucky a One-Hit KO that requires lots of in-game time and resources to patch up. Incidentally, the stat penalties are applied for each individual pellet when using a shotgun loaded with buckshot, and the v1.13 mod added flechette rounds that are basically the same, but more. Shotguns might not be able to reliably kill the Elite Mooks who start turning up in later stages,but they can sure sign 'em up for the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • A similar mechanic to Jagged Alliance 2 is used in Silent Storm. Your soldiers are able to target specific body parts (but only if you have a keyboard with a number pad, so good luck laptop-users). Hitting an arm will affect accuracy, hitting a leg will affect walking speed, and hitting the head can cause temporary blindness or deafness. Each hit can also cause wounds that will deal persistant damage every turn until healed.
  • World of Warships has both Subsystem Damage and Critical Existence Failure in the same game. A ship's steering, engines, and individual main gun turrets can be temporarily disabled. Turrets, torpedo mounts, and anti-air mounts can all be permanently destroyed, as well. The ship can be lit on fire in four different places, and also flood. However, (except for fire and flooding) all of these things do not necessarily affect the ship's hit point total. The ship only sinks once its HP reach zero.
  • In Dagorhir Battle Games, getting hit on an arm or a leg prevents the player from using that arm or leg (the arm must be tucked behind the back and cannot hold onto anything, and the loss of a leg means they must fall onto their knees/kneel). A death needs two limbs to be lost or a hit on the torso.
  • In Everspace, you can sustain damage to your ship's subsystem from damage or have them be temporarily disabled in very hot areas. You're gonna have to find a repair station to fix them or you can fix them yourself using specific crafting materials. Damaged weapon systems greatly reduce or disable your firepower, damaged inertia dampeners make controlling the ship harder, and damage life supports puts you on a timer before your pilot dies.
  • As part of RimWorld's trademark ultra-detailed micromanagement, each individual character, robot, and wild squirrel has a list of body parts that can be injured causing various effects, each of which the game will keep painstaking track of. This system is so detailed as to include damage to individual internal organs and scars that a character has acquired in their life, and has stat debuffs for each one. For instance, a character with the flu that gets through a battle with nothing but a destroyed kidney may die days later from impaired immunity.
  • A major part of the mobile game Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet, different missile types damage subsystems like sidewalls, missile tubes, or point-defenses.
  • Red Ninja: End of Honor allows you to target the head, torso or legs of an enemy (by default the torso is targeted) with wire attacks. Though the different parts don't have separate life bars, some are more vulnerable than others. Additionally, the part that is hit by the final attack determines how the enemy's corpse ends up: decapitated (if finished off by a head attack), cut in half (torso attack) or legs cut off (legs attack). This mechanic is crucial to one boss battle in which you must steal three keys that are tied to the boss's neck, waist and ankle using attacks targeting each part.
  • Kids playing "swordfight" will often insist that a struck limb can't be used any more.
  • Goddess of Victory: NIKKE: Particularly large Rapture bosses often have weapons that can be targeted separately from the main body. You are heavily encouraged to shoot these first, as destroying them both prevents their usage and deals massive damage toward the main body.