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Training Dummy

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"Getting hit doesn't hurt Sandbag at all. As a matter of fact, it loves to see players wind up and let loose."
Sandbag's trophy description, Super Smash Bros. Melee

In Video Games, this is some typically immortal character that you can return to, to practice your moves on. Often, it is a literal inanimate training dummy. You can't lose a fight against one, but in most cases, you can't really "win" the fight either. You decide when the fight is over. If the game uses a Hit Points system, you may be able to see exactly how much damage your attacks are doing, which gives you a way to assess your combat ability.

Sometimes you can get rewards for getting high combos, involving keeping it in the air as long as possible. Other times it involves destroying the training dummy when it is not meant to be destroyed.

Training dummies usually make no effort to fight back, or may have no ability to. In cases where they do, you may also have the option to determine their behavior, whether it be defensive, offensive, or jump in place on one leg.

Contrast with the Training Boss, a training opponent that you can't win against but can lose to.


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    Video Games 
  • Shades of Doom has this in the "easy" difficulty level. Monsters won't strike back unless you attack them first and won't move to attack unless you are within their attack range.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The Sandbag, introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is sentient, but as its trophy description demonstrates, it's totally cool with getting smacked around. It initially served as the "ball" in the Home-Run Contest minigame, but was later introduced as an item in Brawl, where it functions like a piñata and will drop items when beaten up. It also appears in some of the Wi-Fi waiting rooms and while you can technically defeat it by smacking it out of bounds or eating it with Wario, Kirby, or King Dedede, a replacement will appear immediately.
    • Also in Brawl, you get trophies for kicking around the computer player in training mode.
  • World of Warcraft has Training Dummies for precisely that purpose — to be precise, they're for seeing how much damage you can do, rather than building up weapon skills. They're also useful for testing statistics and for developing good rotations for your abilities. In a more literal sense, in Cataclysm, there are actual dummies that train your character in skills like normal trainers.
    • In later expansions, training dummies that were more than just a Damage Sponge were introduced, to help newer players learn the other two parts of the trinity of Tank, DPS, and Heal. A tank dummy will attack the player back, hitting very hard and requiring you to learn how to mitigate damage. The healing dummies are usually on fire...
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has them as static objects, but you can't actually interact with them. Several popular Game Mods add them as, essentially, stationary and invincible NPCs. Attacking them will help you level up your weapon and spell skills.
    • Oblivion:
      • Dummies that can be struck are added officially to the series for the first time, mostly in Fighters Guild halls. However, using them is strictly for fun. They can't help you increase your skills, presumably because they would make leveling up far too easy.
      • Until they are no longer plot-sensitive, you can consider Oblivion's "essential" NPCs to be training dummy characters. Beat them up all you want (though they will fight back) because they won't die, only fall unconscious and reawaken feeling all better for more beatings. And unlike actual training dummies, doing so actually levels up your stats, since attacks only count if they're on enemies or NPCs - the actual dummies are just for decoration (although they do jiggle around when hit).
    • Skyrim adds a wider variety of training dummies, but once again, using them is strictly for fun. "Essential" NPCs can also be used for this purpose like they were in Oblivion.
  • In Revenant, there's a dummy you can practice your moves on during the tutorial mission.
  • Ōkami has training dummies that you can slice in half as many times as you like. The dojo master just whacks his shinai on the floor and it slides back together.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Twilight Princess:
      • There is a scarecrow in Link's front yard where he can practise his moves after he receives his wooden sword. The neighborhood children call out attacks for you to perform on him.
      • Likewise, the Hero's Shade serves as an animated Training Dummy, since no matter how much of a beatdown you lay on him, he'll get back up again. The only problem is that you hardly ever get to attack him with attacks other than the one you happen to be learning at the moment.
    • In Gerudo Town in Breath of the Wild, the "Voe and You" class and a minor Gerudo NPC's house are depicted containing wooden training dummies with painted-on faces that the Gerudo women use to practice how to talk to men.
  • In Overlord I, the Jester serves this purpose. In the main game while you are in your Supervillain Lair he'll follow you around and praise you with titles depending on how you play. You can still attack him. Doing so will eventually have him start to include "The abuser of Jesters" among your titles.
  • Valkyrie Profile has a mode in which you can practice the timing of your combos against an immortal version of the enemies fought in the first dungeon.
  • Much like the Valkyrie Profile example above, Endless Frontier also has a near-immortal version of a first dungeon enemy you can practice combos on. The key word here being "near": ironically enough, you can only destroy it with low-level characters, as its defense and self-healing increase exponentially as you gain levels, making it so that it heals 6 digits worth of damage every turn and only ever takes 10 damage from any attack when fought with maxed-out characters.
  • City of Heroes has a location in the tutorial level filled with "disabled Rikti drones" that you can take potshots at before moving on to actual combat.
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy: You get to practice all your new moves when you first get them on special training dummies.
  • Runescape had practice dummies up until about level 7 on each of your attack stats.
  • In Tomb Raider: Legend, there is a dummy in the first Peru level which you can practice your hand-to-hand combat moves on. You can build one later in your player-owned house that instead shows your max hit with the weapon you're using.
  • The training area in Assassin's Creed has either one or two young assassins for you to pummel. Unlike most incarnations of this, they don't take it without a fight; they're just plain weak (plus, you never use fatal moves on them).
  • The White Forest area of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 has a disabled Strider you can practice throwing equally-depowered Magnusson Devices at until you're confident enough to take out the real thing.
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords has the Practice Dummy. A skilled player can use it to rack up easy gold and EXP before heading out to the storyline missions.
  • Kingdom Hearts lets you practice magic and special attacks against Merlin's endlessly respawning furniture.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 5 feature dedicated training rooms, in which the player can learn and master various combos and maneuvers. In the previous Devil May Cry games, one had to go to Bloody Palace to practice their moves against hordes of enemies.
  • Guild Wars has wooden dummies to beat up on in the tutorial.
  • So does Fable. In fact, they're still sitting around long after you no longer need them.
  • Vagrant Story has training dummies that spawn in areas you've already completed. They serve two purposes: they allow you to train your combo timings against a harmless opponent, and each one is considered a different type of enemy (for example, the first one, modeled after a lizardman, is considered a Dragon), so whatever weapons you use on them will gain points in that enemy type, improving their damage against them.
  • Dan of Street Fighter IV is the training dummy for the Trial challenges. He doesn't attack, but he does tend to block attempted combos if your timing isn't quite right. If you're practicing an anti-air attack, he will jump in place.
  • Bang Shishigami serves this role in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift's Challenge Modes.
  • The first stage of Bound by Blades sees you battling a training scarecrow who barely have any attacks of it's own, save for a slow and predictable projectile launcher. It's a Zero-Effort Boss meant for training junior warriors, and your second boss fight seems to be another dummy - until it turns out the dummy is possessed by an actual demon and starts attacking you for real.
  • The tutorial of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- features Sin as the training dummy, framed as a sparring match between him and Sol. In -REVELATOR-, newcomer Jack-O' takes up the role.
  • Subverted in Waku Waku 7 with Bonus-kun, which is a training dummy and does fight back.
  • In Oni, the training stage has you practicing moves and combos on droids. When defeated, the droids will lie down for a second or three, then wake up and be ready for another whupping.
  • The Myth series has scarecrow-like training dummies with buckets or pumpkins for heads.
  • Jump! Ultimate Stars has KomaRed, KomaYellow, and KomaBlue, three square-looking things (they represent manga panels) that actually have fully functional attacks. They have three uses: tutorials and practice (each represents an attribute so you can test damage), cannon fodder in certain missions, and a handicap when you're forced to play as them.
  • La Tale has an early tutorial area that is filled to the brim with training dummies you can smack around until you feel comfortable with the controls.
  • Ayane's first appearance in the Dead or Alive series is as a training dummy.
  • An unlockable character form the ultra-violent Thrill Kill is a S&M gimp. You don't feel bad about beating him up because he loves the pain and he is just plain damn weird.
  • Chrono Trigger has Lucca's singing combat training robot Gato, who can be fought any time at the Millennial Fair for 15 Silver Points and a few EXP. He can only attack with a spring-loaded first from his navel, and is always unharmed at the end of it; even if you use Magus's Black Hole move, he'll reappear after the Battle.
  • Mokujin in Tekken was actually a wooden Training Dummy brought to life due to any fighting force surging near him (Ogre, Jinpachi Mishima, etc). He's also the Training Dummy for move demonstration in Namco × Capcom.
  • Similarly, the Amiga beat 'em up Shadow Fighter features a training mode in which a sinistar-looking mounted puppet with stitched eyes called Puppazz takes you on, with no moves other than a random punch, a random chainsaw emerging from its midriff, and a random blocking move. It is possible to lose this level, but it's mainly practice for the real thing. Amiga Power magazine were especially fond of Puppazz.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land has a training dummy named Mr. Sandbag in the item rooms, which can be destroyed by making Kirby inhale it or by dishing out an amount of abuse that most of the bosses in the game would succumb to. It respawns immediately afterward, though.
    • Mr. Sandbag returns in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, residing in a side room in the weapons shop for the player to test their abilities on.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe has a Tough Waddle Dee in its ability room which serves the same purpose as the dummy, but the Waddle Dee can take an infinite amount of abuse.
  • Wii Sports Boxing Training has a punching bag mode where you punch as many bags as you can in 1 minute. You can even play Multiplayer Hot-Seat like in all trainings.
  • Those robot-like things you can practice your Bros. Attacks on in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. They never fight back, just existing to be mowed down as target practice. They also exist in the Mad Skillathon mini-games, in which your goal is to destroy hundreds of them for points, ranks, and prizes. The basic ones just stand still, the slightly less basic ones move around on the floor a bit and some others fly around aimlessly.
  • You're given a generic soldier with a sword to whale on and experiment with trap setups in Training mode of Deception III: Dark Delusion.
  • Virtua Fighter has, like many other fighting games, a training mode where you can practice your moves on a configurable enemy (standing, crouching, jumping, and the like). The fourth and fifth games upgraded this feature, where you could set the "dummy" to either repeat your moves or "learn" the moves as you do them. Once you train your training dummy, you can actually send them into the game, where they can play through the different game modes, earning rewards, just like you.
  • Batman: Vengeance lets you whale on a static post during the training session. Alfred's pre-recorded voice notes that most of Batman's foes are "a smidge more active than a training post."
  • The Sloth Ghost in Ghostbusters: The Video Game acts as one. He's slow and weak enough that he serves this purpose.
  • The very first encounter in Undertale is a dummy set up by Toriel to teach you about the game's combat mechanics. You can either attack it (it goes down in one hit and gives no EXP) or try to strike up a conversation with it (which pleases Toriel). If you instead do nothing to it for several turns, the dummy gets bored and flies away, to Toriel's bewilderment. Eventually, you learn that a ghost was possessing the dummy and his cousin, also a dummy, shows up for revenge later as a miniboss.
  • This is continued in Deltarune, in which Ralsei makes a dummy modeled after himself to practice various skills. If you repeatedly attack it, Ralsei wonders what this says about your feelings towards him, and you can also hug it, or hug Ralsei.
  • The first stage of Team Fortress 2's training section features a series of wooden targets you can shoot at, painted to look like the various classes in the game. All this really does is teach you to aim at stationary targets in a first-person shooter with a precise crosshair, but if you have absolutely zero experience with mouse aiming, or just bought a Steam Controller and need to get some practice in with it, it could be useful.
  • Rogue Legacy features a wooden statue in front of the castle that can take an infinite amount of punishment without fighting back. Every time you hit it, its name on the permanently-full health bar changes, from mocking your strength to shouting in pain, although this is only cosmetic.
  • In Magicka, there are not only people but actual training dummies. You can use them to not only test out the damage of a spell or combination and they won't fight back. They suffer, aside from a few cases, all status effects. Vlad, when he shows up in person, fits the trope just short of being able to go to him whenever you want, but he does have high HP and is suspectable to all status effects and damage.
  • The tutorial level in Thief: The Dark Project includes an actual training dummy that lowers itself into the ground after receiving enough sword strikes, as well as a live enemy (looking like a typical city guard) to show you how to block. Neither you nor the enemy can hurt or kill each other, but he still makes pained sounds when struck (and you can keep whaling on the poor guy even after the sparring is over).
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has an inanimate scarecrow in the tutorial, which you can use to practice strangling people with a fiber wire. Creepily, due to the way NPCs are implemented in the game, the scarecrow's head will turn to follow you when you're in the vicinity.
  • Battlerite has a few training dummies in each map's starting area, so you can practice using your character's abilities while you wait for the other players to finish loading and pick their loadouts. There's also a training map that includes dummies set up in various formations to test area-of-effect attacks, moving dummies, dummies that simulate teammates, dummies that shoot at you, and a dummy with a huge amount of health that automatically regenerates so you can test how much damage you can inflict in a short period of time.
  • When you bring a radio transistor to the bum that lives on-campus in Bully, he'll serve as one of these while teaching you a new melee combo.
  • Dungeon Keeper 2: The player can build Training Rooms with straw dummies for their evil minions to practice on in lieu of deploying them as rookies, although this can only get a creature up to Level 4 (out of 10) before it has to switch to real combat experience.
  • The Dark Spire has Sir Garland, a living punching bag that you (and every other aspiring guild) are supposed to kill. He's revived afterwards, which does little to help with his sanity.
  • Pious Augustus of Eternal Darkness is instructed by the Ancients to prove his worthiness to them by attacking a statue in his image, giving a tutorial of the game's unique targeting system in the process.
  • Skelly from Hades, an immortal skeleton who has been hired by a Mysterious Employer to let Zagreus test his weapon skills through repeatedly pummelling Skelly. No matter how much Zagreus wails on him, he comes back ready for more. Giving him enough Nectar opens a quest where he requests being made Deader than Dead through a maximally upgraded Blade of Chaos... Only to come back again and proclaim he was just pulling Zagreus' leg.
  • Heroes of the Storm: Taking a hero into Try Mode has a number of things to test their skills with. Across the top is a fort that spawns endless minions, and an AI-controlled hero that you can set to be any hero in the game. Below that is an area with five training dummies - an allied one to heal or buff, an enemy one to attack, and three bunched-up enemies to test Area of Effect skills on. The training dummies actually can be killed with some effort, although they respawn a few seconds later (from a literal Easter Egg no less).
  • Bloons TD 6 has the Test Bloon, which can be spawned in Sandbox Mode. It's a special bloon with almost infinite health, but slow movement speed, letting you see how a particular tower attacks without having to send many bloons.

  • Neopets has a character named "Punchbag Bob" that you can beat up in the training mode. You can also get him as a battledome challenger, where he's very hard to beat. The guy has 5000 health, and you get a special trophy if you whittle that down to zero. It does take a while, and he sometimes pulls his "Dark Shield" to slow you down. Additionally, fighting him will randomly put you against Punchbag Sid, rarely, his Evil Twin who is one of the most powerful enemies in the game. Whereas Punchbag Bob wears those silly-looking "Groucho Glasses", Sid sports an Eyepatch of Power. 'Nuff said.
  • Star Wars
  • Ip Man practices against a wooden training dummy (Cantonese: mook yan jong).
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the series has an automated training wooden doll modelled after one of the strongest demon slayers to ever live, said slayer was seemly so ridiculously strong that the doll was given 6 arms with a katana in each hand so it could at least simulate how powerful that samurai was with just 2 arms and one katana; the automated dummy is called Yoriichi Zeroshiki, who’s allegedly named after this mysterious slayer, later revealed to be Yoriichi Tsugikuni.
  • In the Cheryl Ladd episode of The Muppet Show, Cheryl Ladd tells Miss Piggy that she's a huge admirer of her karate moves, and shows Piggy the dummy she uses to practice. Piggy says she also has a practice dummy and calls Kermit into the room.
  • In the Discworld novel Men at Arms, the Night Watch's new recruits are trained in truncheon technique (i.e. delivering a Tap on the Head) with the aid of "a puppet, mommet or heffigy, called by the hnickname of Harthur", as Sergeant Colon puts it. Angua goes first, and delivers a perfectly good blow, although Colon criticises that she should have approached Arthur from behind. Cuddy the dwarf goes next, and can't reach. Then Detritus the troll hammers Arthur into the ground without even using the truncheon ("Now the dwarf, him can have a go.")

    Real Life 
  • Ever wail on your pillow for no reason? Or your sibling?
  • The targets for Shooting Ranges.
  • Punching bags.
  • The mook yan jong, as Donnie Yen demonstrates in Ip Man.
  • Averted by one Darwin Award winner who'd built a gym in his house. He'd accidentally connected the punching bag to the wiring, and when showing it off punched the bag, killing himself.

Alternative Title(s): The Sandbag