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Victor Gains Loser's Powers

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Sometimes characters get stronger by leveling up. Other times they have to train under hard conditions to take a level in Badass. But there are times the character only needs to defeat his opponent and he'll get a boost to his strength, getting this way powers related to his enemy. There are some ways this can happen:

  • The character has an ability that lets him copy the powers of anyone he defeats. He doesn't need to kill his opponent (though that's what usually happens); just defeating his enemy will grant him any power his opponent had. He doesn't steal the power outright; he merely copies it.
  • The character learns an ability or special move (normally an exact match to one his opponent had) after the match, or he may get an object that lets him use or learn the technique.
  • The character obtains a special weapon after the match. It can't be any common weapon: it must be a unique weapon, and sometimes the carriers are famous for carrying it. The weapon reflects the defeated opponent in some way, be it the same weapon he used or one that reflects the battle style among other things.

Subtrope of Power Copying and by extension Meta Power. Compare with The Assimilator, where no defeat is needed because the enemy is made part of the character directly, Power Parasite, where getting the power involves the original user not being able to use it anymore, and You Kill It, You Bought It. See Your Soul Is Mine! for one way this kind of thing can come about. See also Cannibalism Superpower. For when one grows stronger by just battling their opponent, see Experience Points. Can overlap with New Skill as Reward. When done repeatedly by an antagonist, constitutes a Snowballing Threat.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is the entire premise of Campione! When a human kills a heretic god it triggers a ritual enacted by Pandora and Epimetheus, granting the victor at least one of the god's Authorities.
    • The ritual does have limits on what it considers the "victor". Perseus and Godou had a lengthy battle which ended with Perseus barely escaping death only to be immediately killed by another Campione while weakened. Neither Campione received an Authority as a result.
  • In Digimon Tamers, Beelzemon could use the techniques of the Digimon he'd absorbed in battle. This becomes a problem when he performs Leomon's Fist of the Beast King to free Juri from the D-Reaper Kernel Sphere and seeing the attack traumatizes her.
    • In Digimon Fusion, several of the Bagra generals can absorb members of their armies to gain their powers. The first general to do so is MadLeomon.
    • In the franchise, this is a power of all Digimon in series where it exists. Starting with Tamers, continuing in Frontier, sitting out of Data Squad, but returning in Fusion, is that when a Digimon dies, the bits of data it breaks down into can be absorbed (you don't have to be the one who did the killing to do this, though naturally, bad guys absorbing the data of victims is the most commonly seem form of this). Because of the way the universe is set up, it is not seen as particularly heinous, though: different seasons have different rules about whether upon death a Digimon will revert to digi-egg to hatch again, or just stay dead; absorbing data has yet to appear in an "if the data floats away you'll be reborn but if it gets sucked up you're Deader than Dead" manner. However, while absorbing data makes you quite stronger, it giving you the actual powers of the one you absorbed is rare; Beelzemon used Makuramon and Leomon's attacks where before he couldn't, and Mercurymon used Seraphimon's data to become a warped version of him.
  • In Food Wars!, this is how Saiba Asahi's Cross Knives ability works, in conjunction with All Your Powers Combined. By defeating a chef in a cooking match, he takes their 'knife' (which is mainly just whatever their signature cooking tool is) and psychometically assimilates their abilities. As a result, he can combine the skills of various other chefs to enhance their effectiveness and create new techniques.
    • During his match against Megumi, Asahi uses Monarch's Knife alongside Kou's Ink Claw (both chefs having been defeated by Megumi previously). He wins.
    • During his match against Soma, he takes it even further and uses Joichiro's knife alongside five others in order to crush Soma. It doesn't work.
  • The victorious mechs in Gigantic Formula gain abilities, technology and personnel from the countries they defeat.
  • The titular character of InuYasha wields the Tessaiga, a sword whose explicit power is to absorb the essence (and thus, the abilities) of the enemies it slays. Enemy throws an impregnable barrier? Kill the enemy, and the Tessaiga can break through barriers. Enemy turns to diamond and flings spears of the material? Kill it, and Tessaiga can turn to diamond and shoot off diamond spears. Enemy can slice open a rift into the world of the dead? And so on and so forth. Furthermore, these are not inherent abilities; Inuyasha deliberately switches them on and off, triggering the appropriate transformation on the blade's appearance.
  • Kakuzu from Naruto has survived by taking the hearts of his defeated opponents, allowing him to use said opponents chakra type.
    • From Naruto too, Killer B has acquired Samehada after his previous owner was killed.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Thriller Bark arc, Zoro did battle against the samurai zombie Ryuuma in order to claim his katana, one of the Meito, for himself.
    • Blackbeard has discovered a secret that lets one steal a Devil Fruit user's powers upon their death, halting its reincarnation process. This was first seen when he stole Whitebeard's Tremor-Tremor Fruit upon his death. After the Time Skip, his crew starts hunting Devil Fruit users to steal their powers to increase their strength.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a creature called Diabound, which absorbs the powers of every creature it destroys, including the Egyptian God Monsters.
    • Duels in Battle City had an ante rule: The winner got to keep the loser's rarest card. This is how Yugi gets the Egyptian God Cards and Jonouchi/Joey got Jinzo, Insect Queen, and The Legendary Fisherman.
    • Jonouchi got his Red-Eyes Black Dragon card by defeating it's original owner in a duel. Ironically, Jonouchi loses the Red-Eyes to a Rare Hunter in Battle City. Yugi wins the card after defeating the Hunter, with Jonouchi promising to win the Red-Eyes card back in a duel.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, when Yuma or Kaito wins a duel against someone with a Numbers card(s), they steal that Number. In Yuma's case, the real reason for this is to recover Astral's memories.

    Fan Works 
  • Children of an Elder God: A pretty dark example. When Shinji, Asuka, Rei and other pilots defeated an enemy they stole its power... but their enemies are the Eldritch Abominations from the Cthulhu Mythos. Ergo, their powers allowed them easily obliterate a planet... and corrupted everything around them, making people frightened. Finally Shinji and Asuka were so fed up with people freaking out whenever they passed by they left human civilization forever because they did not fit anymore.
  • In Dungeon Keeper Ami, the Dark God Azzathra sponsors and organizes duels to the death with people he personally dislikes (such as Keeper Mercury), and the winner of said duel gets something empowering from the loser.
  • In Godzilla Neo, the Orochi Spawn gain one of their sibling's elemental powers after defeating them in battle. Varan gained Vagnosaurus' poison, Baragon gained Barugon's fire, while Manda gained Shiigan's electricity.
  • Kill them all: After killing Othala, Taylor discovers a new skill, to "gain new powers from the blood and flesh of defeated monsters and interesting enemies. Powers will be related to those of the enemy but not the same." It quickly becomes her most important ability, as she roams the world (with powers derived from Vista and Oni Lee) and then the multiverse (with a power from Labyrinth), gaining and upgrading new powers all over the place. It helps that she doesn't actually have to kill them, just defeat them and get a blood sample, so she can collect from heroes and villains alike.
    I could gain powers from parahumans. That changed everything.
  • In New Blood (artemisgirl) it is possible to absorb an Elemental by defeating them in a battle of wills, however they will take your body for themselves should you lose. A victory will bestow wandless magic of the chosen element, and absorbing Air Elementals grants the power of Flight.
  • Quicken: Emma gains the powers of the parahumans that she kills. When she killed super-villain Cricket, she got Cricket's fighting style, speed, enhanced reflexes and echolocation power.
  • In This Bites!, under Cross's suggestion, the Straw Hat Pirates slightly avert their The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything mentality by claiming weapons from their defeated opponents. Of particular note, they collected Dials from Eneru's forces in Skypeia, with Ohm's Eisen Dial being added to Nami's Clima-Tact to greatly increase her versatility. In a variation that combines with Defeat Means Friendship, Lasso and Funkfreed, the dog-gun of Baroque Works and the elephant-sword of CP9, ended up in Cross's possession.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Highlander films featured this, as an immortal would gain the power and skill of any other immortals they beheaded. In Highlander: Endgame, Connor deliberately provokes Duncan into taking his head, in order for Duncan to have the strength to take on Kell.
  • In The Butchers, killing one of the resurrected Serial Killers causes the person who killed them to absorb the killer's power. The end of the film becomes a race between JB and Simon to absorb enough power to defeat the other (with Zodiac, who no one manages to kill, as a wild card).
  • A variation in The One, where it doesn't really matter how someone dies, since their life force is then redistributed among the remaining doubles in The Multiverse. The Big Bad Yulaw is determined to kill all his doubles in order to become The One and have superhuman strength, speed, and endurance. However, the last remaining double Gabe also has the same level of strength as Yulaw (just no practice using it), as they're both sharing the energy of over a hundred doubles split between just the two of them.

  • The titular weapons of the Black Blade series absorb magic, so any person who owns one can kill people or creatures with innate magic, take the magic into the blade, and then transfer the magic from the blade to themselves. This makes having powerful magic a double-edged sword, as having particularly strong or unusual magic will make the person who has it a target. The Big Bad of the series, Victor Draconi, gained his considerable magical power by stealing it from dozens of people.
  • In The Dark Sea Annals, the Shepards are a pseudo-race of Differently Powered Individuals born with various abilities, usually those of the Elemental Powers type. If they are killed by someone, then the killer gains their powers. Both Morlan and Cythraul exploit this, the former gaining Combo Platter Powers by killing three Shepards.
  • Nowhere Stars: When a Keeper kills a Harbinger, they can absorb its "heart" for an increase in power, which tends to also include giving them new magical abilities based on the Harbinger's own. Killing Yurfaln gave Liadain a power-boost every time she's near to death, and killing Irrakia gave her the power to see through her tarot cards as a form of Eye Spy.
  • This is the Musser family practice in Pale; after defeating a rival practitioner they symbolically brand them with the Musser family seal, forcibly adopting them into the family, before forcing them to "permanently lend" their implement, familiar, or demesne. The family patriarch, Abraham Musser, has dozens of unique objects and enslaved Others that grant him a diverse array of abilities.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Deliberately Invoked when Dalinar needs a way to defang the unruly highprinces. He plans to relax his ban on Adolin's duels so that he can win Shardblades and Shardplate from them.
  • Heretics and Reapers in Heretical Edge have this ability. For Reapers, it activates whenever someone dies near them, while for Heretics it only works on the killing blow and doesn't absorb all the powers of the deceased.
  • A variant occurs in Worm with the Butcher. Whoever kills the Butcher inherits all the Butcher's accumulated powers, but also has the previous Butchers inside their head, driving them mad until they eventually become the new Butcher. As of the story's beginning, they're up to the sixteenth incarnation.
    • Glaistig Uaine can harvest powers from dead parahumans (or living ones, which kills them anyway), and manifest them in the form of ghosts resembling their original wielders.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Super Sentai series Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, we get a more sinister version: the Cursed Armor is transferred to whoever defeats the current wielder. That means that if there's one thing worse than having to take down your own corrupted wife, it's having her evil armor latch onto you and drive you insane.
  • In Charmed, Warlocks are supposed to have the ability to steal the powers of any supernatural beings they kill. However, they never actually did this very much, and this attribute of theirs was mostly just used as their motivation for trying to kill the main characters. The only Warlock character who actually went around stealing abilities was a single-episode Monster of the Week. Season 7's Big Bad, Zankou, also had the ability to absorb the powers of those he killed, but he only used it once, in his introductory episode.
  • Sylar from Heroes lived this trope. He was a serial killer who was addicted to stealing powers by cutting open characters' skulls. Many of whom he actually liked. It's later revealed that he doesn't have to kill to learn powers, he just likes it. In addition, his father has the same power and even picked up some of the same other abilities over the years.
  • This is the entire concept of Wizards of Waverly Place. It holds the Wizard Competition, which is a contest between siblings to test them on everything they have learned about wizardry. The winning sibling drains the powers of the losing sibling, becoming a full wizard.
  • Applies to Highlander: The Series. To quote Joe Dawson in the opening narration "The winner takes his enemy's head, and with it, his power." Although it's not as pronounced as some of the other examples, immortals do sometimes pick up traits or skills after a quickening.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Kamen Rider Ouja kills Gai and Raia and takes their contract monsters, allowing him to use some of their cards in addition to his own. Nobody else does this because taking on more contract monsters also means needing to feed them all with the energy of slain Mirror Monsters, with the penalty for failure being to become their next meal instead.
    • Kamen Rider Blade: The 52 Undead that are the show's weekly monsters are also the source of the Rider team's powers, so each monster defeated adds a new tool to one of the four's arsenal.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto does this in a nonlethal sense with TheBee, Drake, and Sasword, proving himself their superior and thus winning the loyalty of their Zecters. While the original owners can still use the Zecters to transform, Kabuto can call them to himself to use them as additional power mushrooms whenever he wants, even if they were in the middle of being used.
    • Kamen Rider OOO does this on a regular basis with his primary opponents, the Greeed, who do it right back to him. Any encounter between them tends to result in both parties gaining and losing some of their Core Medals, which changes what powers OOO can use and makes the Greeed associated with that Core color stronger or weaker.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Several of the Inves Games in the first arc of the series result in the loser giving up a Lockseed to the winner, which may be used for either summoning Inves or by the Riders for form changes. Later in the series, Gaim defeats Sigurd and Marika in separate battles to claim their Cherry and Peach Energy Lockseeds, gaining access to his second and third Jimber Arms forms. Much later, in Movie War Full Throttle, Takatora Kureshima gained replacements for his original (and since destroyed) Sengoku and Genesis Drivers from fallen enemies.
    • Kamen Rider Build spends much of the first quarter of the show defeating Smash and taking their essence to create new Fullbottles for himself, which have powers based off the Smash that he defeated. At the end of the first quarter it's revealed he was playing into the hands of the villains that were creating the Smash all along by doing so, as the real point of the monster attacks was to make a complete set of the bottles.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade, a vampire can diablerize a more powerful vampire, gaining a portion of its power at the cost of the other vampire's soul. This is against the rules of vampiric society, however, and can be discerned by changes to the feeder's aura.
  • Plunderchess is a variant of chess in which a piece gains the moveset of all the pieces it captures.

    Video Games 
  • Dicey Dungeons: The Jester does this in their "Losers Weepers" episode, where they take one of their enemy's items after defeating them. As the name implies, they're forced to do this, unlike the Thief's "Finders Keepers" episode, which with their deck-based gameplay means accumulating too much enemy equipment that doesn't work well outside of its initial context can be run-ending.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim functions on this principle; the Dragonborn (and presumably other dragons), upon killing a dragon, eat its soul and gain its knowledge of how to use the Thu'um.
  • Every single Mega Man except Trigger follows this trope to certain extents, some in unique ways. The series was also the former Trope Namer for Power Copying.
    • The Classic series seems to have it as an innate ability of top end robots, since Mega Man, Proto Man, and Bass can all use the weapons of defeated Robot Masters. In Power Fighters, Duo can too. Roll has only been shown to use Robot Master weapons, and only in the non-canon Marvel vs. Capcom series. (Furthermore, its successor Tatsunoko vs. Capcom ditched this aspect in her new moveset.)
    • EXE has his Souls/Crosses/etc. It had this as well in the form of chips.
      • More details: Souls and Crosses fit into this trope solely on the level of a gameplay mechanic. In-universe, Souls and Crosses are manifestations of The Power of Friendship. Souls occur when MegaMan and whichever of his companions at the moment experience a strong moment of empathy; Crosses, however, occur when Lan earns access to various other NetNavis by successfully completing various tests posed by the respective Operators (each of which involves Lan assuming control of that particular NetNavi). Notably, each Test occurs as a "class", which suggests that Link Navis are not necessarily exclusive relationships.
      • More details 2: Battle Chips are various weaponry that may be used freely by NetNavis, many of which consist of an enemy's attack or ability, and are derived by defeating the corresponding virus or NetNavi. There were originally only the distinctions of standard chips and Navi Chips (the latter being limited), but the third game introduced the Standard - Mega (Navi Chips and those of equivalent power) - Giga (basically Finishing Move chips and fifth-level Navi Chips) classification that would last on through Mega Man Star Force. Battle Chips will only appear if the enemy is taken out efficiently - the leftover data stagnates as time passes, and Standard and Navi Chips may change code or even power level, respectively. Of course, for collection purposes, this may be sometimes necessary.
    • In ZX and ZX Advent, Grey and Ashe go the extra mile and completely copy the forms of bosses.
    • The Star Force series has this in the form of Mega Cards that are gained from defeating bosses and regular enemies.
      • The Card Force in Star Force is largely a simplification of the Battle Network system, such as removing chip codes to make streamlining easier. Many of the same rules apply.
    • Zero often simply learns a new fighting move by mimicking the boss. It's an interesting variation in his series in that, at least in the early games, he's not specifically gaining the new move from the defeated boss, so much that a move they only use when Zero is at a high rank reminds him of a move he had back during the prior Mega Man X series. The Z-Knuckle in 4, on the other hand, will actually rip an enemy's weapon out of their hand and/or body.
  • Mighty Aphid: Whenever Avery "Aphid" Cavor beats a boss, his father, Dr. Cavor, analyzes the boss' powers, and allows Avery to use their weapon like it was his.
  • One of the modes in Spell Swap makes it that you can swap your spell with your opponent's only if you manage to kill him.
  • Drawing from its spiritual predecessor, the Azure Striker Gunvolt Series features this as one of Copen's main abilities from Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 onwards. By defeating an Adept, Copen can use the combat data he gains to program a new EX Weapon into his Robot Buddy Attack Drone Lola, allowing her to mimic the abilities of the Adepts that he beats. This helps compensate for the fact that without his high-tech equipment, Copen's pretty much just a really smart Muggle.
  • A staple of the Kirby games, where, after beating a mini-boss, the titular hero can eat and copy their ability. Really, almost every enemy in this series follows this trope.
    • The Robobot Armor has the same capability... so long as Kirby's in the cockpit.
  • Metroid:
    • Samus in Metroid Fusion had all her abilities copied by X. After killing X-infected bosses (which tend to be able to produce similar attacks), she can absorb the X-parasite to regain that power.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes does something similar, where, after losing most of her starting abilities to a mob of Ing, she has to regain them in one-on-one boss battles where they're used against her.
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus somehow gets the Charge Beam this way, even though her opponent, Deorem (A.K.A the "Charge Beam Beast"), never used anything like it. Metroid Prime also has a few examples, such as the Varia Suit from Flaaghra, the Spider Ball from Thardus, and the Phazon Suit from the Omega Pirate. Metroid Prime 3 has Samus gain the Ice Missiles, Plasma Beam, Grapple Voltage, and all the Phazon upgrades this way.
    • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, fighting the other Hunters that got corrupted nets her a new ability closely related to them.
    • In Metroid Dread, once the E.M.M.Is are defeated, Samus absorbs them and gains a power related to their special abilities. The bosses that are controlled by X parasites and absorbed by Samus also give upgrades similar to the attacks they used.
  • Castlevania: Soma Cruz from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow can equip the abilities of monsters by defeating them and absorbing their souls. It is revealed in the former that he gained this ability by being the reincarnation of series Big Bad Dracula. Now, Dracula himself never displayed this ability until it was retconned in by Dracula absorbing Death in Portrait of Ruin, but it's been described as a variation of Dracula's greatest power — to command all the monsters in his castle.
  • In Pokémon you can get the bosses' powers—in a sense. Most Gym Leaders' final Pokémon either have a move they shouldn't learn by leveling up, or have a move that is just really easy to spam. When you beat them, they usually give you a TM of it.
  • Emerl from Sonic Battle gets one random skill card from each character in the battle after every battle in which it participates in Story Mode. The cards allow Emerl to use fighting moves from the other characters.
  • Many spells in Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords can be learnt by the player by capturing the monster that uses them (by solving a puzzle) and then learnt in the citadel (by means of a special game mode). A few spells can also be accessed by capturing a mount. However, in all cases, the player has higher mana costs than the monster that normally uses them (or the class that learns them normally).
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Snake gains an ability or weapon from each of the defeated members of the BB Corps (Octopus' FaceCamo, Raven's M32 Grenade Launcher, Wolf's railgun, and one of Mantis' body- or corpse-controlling dolls). Furthermore, defeating the BB Corps non-lethally will result in the player getting their face (via OctoCamo).
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the yet-to-be Big Boss could acquire the bosses' camouflage suits (except The End's, who gives you his custom non-lethal sniper rifle insteadExplanation ) by dropping their stamina to zero instead of their health. It's a unique straight take on the trope in an otherwise "realistic" series because, while the patterns themselves may not actually work very well as camouflage, wearing them actually gives you some ability based on what the boss you got it from could do (e.g. the Fear had stealth camouflage but tired himself out jumping through the trees in his arena, so his camo pattern gives you a flat 80% camo rating but drains your stamina much faster than normal).
    • A variation occurs in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, where the player can actually recruit the boss characters by defeating them. Python requires a non-lethal takedown, Cunningham requires both a non-lethal takedown and defeating him before January 1, 1971, Gene requires a non-lethal defeat and either recruiting 200 soldiers (NTSC version) or completing boss rush (PAL version), and Null simply requires defeating him both times regardless of lethality, as he'll be available the next playthrough. After recruiting them, you can also access their weapons (Liquid Nitrogen grenades, Laser, Bowie Knives, and Machete, respectively), although they are the only ones allowed to use them.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, after defeating certain bosses you'll unlock their weapon. The descriptions explicitly state that they're copies made by observing the bosses, rather than the originals; hence why you don't get them immediately.
  • Gaiares let the player "capture" an enemy's weapon and use it, though the captured weapon didn't always look the same as when the enemy used it.
  • Kingdom Hearts does it somewhat subtly. Strike Raid, Ars Arcanum, Ragnarok, and Sonic Blade all come straight from the movepool of the boss you just beat. But they do have different names, and their executions are slightly adapted to fit the powers of the Keyblade.
  • Devil May Cry has been an embodiment of this trope in the third and fourth games. Dante (and Vergil) can claim the powers of slain boss enemies after the fight. Whereas in DMC3, it seems to happen almost as an afterthought or said boss willingly offering their power to the victor in Dante's case (Vergil does it intentionally after killing Beowulf), in DMC4, Nero is shown intentionally 'harvesting' these powers after every boss he defeats, since he could ostensibly leave the shiny orbs on their pedestals (or not, as you HAVE to have the things on the pedestals to advance).
  • Dragon Age: Origins has a portion of the Broken Circle quest that plays like a massive homage to Mega Man. The hero must defeat (or aid) 5 individuals to gain their powers, then use said powers to track down and defeat a sub-boss for each of the 5 areas. The end-boss of the sequence completes the Mega Man homage with a Boss Rush consisting of all the previous sub-bosses before you can fight his "true form".
  • In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Yuri can gain stronger fusions. To do that he must defeat monsters in the real world to gain their souls and then sacrifice those to the appropriate elemental gravestone. Then he has to fight an incarnate of the fusion spirit before he can use it. In the case of his more powerful fusions, this amounts to beating a god and stealing its power.
  • In the Final Fantasy series, Blue Mages gain the use of any spell that hits them in a battle that they subsequently survive. A sort of shorter-term variation on this trope, as surviving the spell they're absorbing is more a one-round demonstration of superiority than the final defeat of their opponent.
    • Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy VIII can learn the abilities of some enemies by using a special object they drop after they're defeated.
    • Quina of Final Fantasy IX does so through the slightly more direct method of eating a weakened one.
  • In Bravely Default, all job classes aside from Freelancer are obtained by defeating bosses of those respective positions. You also may pick one of the skills you were using before to carry over. Interestingly, this is also a case of Powers as Programs as the object that allows you to take the new job is called a job asterisk.
  • The fan-made game called Mega Mari (based on Marisa Kirisame of Touhou Project) plays with this notion: the game is a "clone" of Mega Man 2 (with massively jacked up difficulty) which involves Marisa (or her friend Alice) defeating eight bosses, stealing their weapons in the process, before gaining access to Patchouli's castle/library so Marisa can steal some more books from the poor asthmatic sorceress.
    • Adding to the replay value is that you pick whether Marisa or Alice gets an upgrade from each victory, and that they pick entirely different weapons of the enemy to copy. It's possible to win with any choices, though it may become (even) harder.
    • In regular canon, most of Marisa's spells are stolen from previous opponents, although she has no explicit spell-copying ability. Fighting people just gives her ideas.
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has you acquire some planes in this fashion. As in, shoot down a named ace squadron flying a particular type of plane, and it's yours to buy.
  • Guild Wars has a skill called Signet of Capture that lets you capture a skill from a defeated boss. This is one of two ways to learn elite skills, and the only way to learn a skill you haven't unlocked on your account.
  • Kratos in God of War tends to do this to his enemies, in one of two ways. Either he'll steal the weapon straight out of the enemy's hands (and beat them to death with it) or he'll cut the enemy to pieces and use one of their body parts as a weapon. For example, taking off a Gorgon's head and using it as a petrifying ray gun on his enemies, or stealing the wings of Icarus from the man himself as he's flying.
  • In Scaler, Scaler has the ability to transform into other lizard-y creatures by defeating a specific amount of that particular creature.
  • In Rune Factory 3, you can upgrade staves with boss drops, which then allows you to use that boss's special attack. They tend not to be too practical, though, as they use a prohibitively large amount of RP.
  • In Kongai, the Gem of Souls enables its possessor to absorb the innate ability of any opponent the character kills.
  • One very neat feature in BloodStorm was that defeating an opponent would grant you their signature ability.
  • Dark Souls trilogy:
    • Most bosses drop souls that can be crafted into weapons and/or spells. In some cases, the weapons and spells are copies of those used by the bosses. In other cases, the weapons look like they were made out of the bosses' remains. Some of the boss weapons allow players to use the same special attacks the bosses used. This is true of Demon's Souls and Elden Ring, as well.
    • Sometimes the only way to obtain equipment is to kill enemies who use that equipment. Thanks to the Random Number God, this can be a time-consuming process.
    • All games have merchants who sell armor sets that resemble certain bosses after the bosses are defeated.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, after winning a fight, you can take 2 to 3 monsters from your opponent.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule Breed and Battle allows you to swap monsters with a defeated opponent, which can lead to trouble if your monsters are all strong and theirs are weak.
  • Deconstructed in Operation: Inner Space. Collecting a defeated character's weapon is Video Game Cruelty Potential, but if the Enforcers are around, it becomes Video Game Cruelty Punishment as they will arrest you on the spot.
  • You can gain new Rune Classes in Rakenzarn Frontier Story by swiping them off bosses. This is justified by the fact that they're using the same Rune Crystals that grant them their classes as you are, so it makes sense that their users are interchangeable. It's also a plot point as Rune Crystals are supposed to be Realmwalker gear only, so just where they're getting those from is a mystery.
  • The Assyrians can do this in Civilization V, as their unique ability lets them gain a random technology known by their opponent the first time they conquer any enemy city.
  • Meta from METAGAL gains the powers of each of her sisters that she beats.
  • This is the basic mechanic of the Rivalries in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. Each is a battle between Divine Knights (Humongous Mecha) held under special conditions. Whoever comes out the winner gains power from the defeated Divine Knight, as well as any special abilities it may possess, the defeated Divine Knight more-or-less absorbed into the winner. Alternatively, if both parties so choose, the defeated knight can instead remain, becoming a vassal of the victor.
  • Occurs in Pocket Puyo Puyo~n. Unlike the console versions of Yo~n, where Arle can only borrow a Super Attack from one of her "party members" (Draco, Serilly, Witch, Chico), the GBC version lets her obtain any character's power by defeating them.
  • The Soulhacker class of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, conferred by Triton, allows the user to obtain arts and skills by defeating Unique Monsters. While it can't confer these arts or skills to other classes, its role can be customised to better suit your preferred loadout while this class is equipped.

  • Princess Ip, the apparent greatest enemy of Princess Pi, can steal the powers of whoever she kills.
  • Cucumber Quest: The magic wand Cucumber took from the stash of Saturday the thief has the ability to use the powers of any Disaster Master sealed earlier in the quest.

    Web Original 
  • In the sixth season of Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, the new Big Bad known as the Meta steals AI and Armor Enhancements from the bodies of Freelancers that he's killed.
  • /tg/'s Joker Quest is based entirely around this: Upon his death, the titular Red Joker's unique armour and title is immediately transferred to his killer.
  • French artist Asur has since 2015 drawn the NBA playoffs with the teams represented by mascots\avatars fighting each other, with the winner taking a Battle Trophy from the defeated; in some cases, it gives an ability as well (i.e: Toronto Raptor beat Miami Heat: fire-breathing; Golden State Warrior beat Houston Rocket: Jet Pack).

    Western Animation 
  • The series' ultimate evil, Vilgax, gets this ability himself when he's reintroduced in the later seasons of Ben 10: Alien Force, using it to absorb the powers of the galaxy's greatest heroes after he beats them and takes over their planets. Naturally, he does this ten times before going to Earth to take on Ben 10. While he uses a machine to do that he can only claim the enemies powers after he's defeated them in combat. Yes, this means when he started, he didn't have any of the powers he displayed in Alien Force.
  • In the "Home" episode of Ninjago, Skales becomes leader of the Hypnobrai after defeating Slithraa in a duel. This causes Skales to have his legs turn into a giant snake tail and also gain new markings on his body while Slithraa is reduced to another mook.
  • During the Stakes Story Arc of Adventure Time Marceline regains her abilities by sucking the souls of vampires who wield the respective ability.
  • Samurai Jack: Jack takes Scaramouche's tuning fork after defeating him in battle as his own blade is too heavy for him to carry.
  • The Batman: Catwoman steals Batman's utility belt after she beats him in their first meeting. Batman takes it back from her in their next encounter.