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Only A Flesh Wound / Video Games

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Flesh wounds in video games.


  • Area 51 had especially gruesome death animations for its enemies after a single shot. More often than not, they would have their upper body explode, regardless of where they were shot.
  • Assassin's Creed invokes this trope when dealing with the main targets. After Altaïr delivers mortal damage to his targets, he then stabs them in the throat — whereupon every single target goes into a Motive Rant. Granted, they do die within a couple of minutes, but exactly how can you give a (not even remotely rasping) speech immediately after being stabbed in the throat? The only possible answer is justified by the implication that the Animus is reconstructing memories based on what actually happened, with the player's actions only affecting how they're reached. All the speeches take place in a blue background, and if you press a button when the screen glitches, you see the men walking around as though nothing happened. So it's very possible that the men simply hadn't been stabbed yet when Altaïr actually spoke with them. But that would mean Altair and his target are pontificating to each other while everyone else, guards and all, is just standing there watching, and only intervene when Altair actually makes the kill.
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  • Hilariously in Brütal Legend, if a Headbanger unit is set on fire by an enemy fire unit, sometimes they'll say "I don't care, I like being on fire!"
  • The Bushido Blade series for the PlayStation had a "body-damage" system: if you were slashed in the arm, it became useless and your attacks were less effective one-handed. In the first game, you could be crippled in the legs, but this was removed in the sequel since it was no fun spending half the game crawling around trying to wield a katana.
  • Averted in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. In which the character bleeds out, speed and aiming is reduced, color drains from vision, and bullets break bones which in turn slows down movement/ruins aiming (depending on the limb).
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare subverts this trope. During one scene in which the USMC and SAS are attempting to capture a young Russian man that is vital to their efforts to stop the game's antagonist, a standoff ensues. The commander orders the Russian man to put his weapon down, but the language barrier prevents him from understanding. Frustrated, the commander orders the player to disarm him, but not before Sergeant Griggs, a Marine support gunner, offers to shoot the Russian in the leg. That prompts a quick and sharp reply from the commander: "No, we can't risk it!" Though it makes sense: Griggs normally wields an M249 SAW, which in reality fires at a maximum of a thousand rounds per minute, and does not have a semi-auto mode. It's likely Griggs would end up putting more than one in his leg, leaving him to die quickly from shock or blood loss.
    • However, it's played straight in actual gameplay, where enemies hit in their legs will often stumble and stand back up (although they will die if shot multiple times). And of course, the player character regains his health within seconds after being shot, if the shot wasn't immediately fatal.
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    • Zig-zagged in one mission of Modern Warfare 2, where you're trying to capture an associate of a gun-runner named Rojas alive to get information from him. A "non-lethal takedown" consists of shooting him in the leg to stop him from running. Justified in that they don't really care about his long-term well-being; all they need out of him is Rojas' location. Once you start chasing him down, Ghost over the radio offers twice to stop him in the same manner, only for Soap to tell him it's too risky (makes sense given that he's running across rooftops for the majority of that half of the mission, so tripping him up with a leg shot would likely end with his neck broken).
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops II has two sections where you have a choice of shooting someone in the head and killing them, or shooting them in a leg or other "non-fatal" area and merely wounding them. Both cases are rather ridiculous given you are using a very large gun for the job — either a .50-caliber sniper rifle for Mason, or a shotshell-firing revolver for Briggs. In the latter case, however, you do have the option to simply not shoot him, which has the same net result as a non-fatal shot, since Briggs will try to jump Menendez and get knocked out via Pistol-Whipping.
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  • Conker's Bad Fur Day and Conker: Live and Reloaded, during the parody of the SPR Omaha battle above.
  • Darkest of Days got particularly silly with this. One major game mechanic is avoiding killing "blue-aura" soldiers, who are noted as individuals who survived the battle you're in and went on to do something significant or had descendants who did. Most of them, of course, are on the other side and have no compunctions about shooting you. You're given walnut-like grenades that home in on these sorts and then stun them, but those are limited. Shooting them in the leg or whatnot is also acceptable, but dangerous. One thing that consistently incapacitates a blue-aura soldier without killing them, however, is smacking them upside the head with a melee attack. The thing that makes this silly is that the game makes no distinctions for weapons that handle melee any differently — you can stab a man in the face with the bayonet on a Mosin-Nagant, and everything will be just fine and dandy as far as the game's concerned.
  • Taken to near extremes in Dead Space 2: Issac Clarke takes a Javelin spear straight through his palm, dropping his RIG into yellow. And he pulls it out, albeit with some difficulty. But that's not the worst part: he takes a second spear to the upper chest, collapsing his lung, and appearing to narrowly miss his heart. And even though his RIG is in the red with that second spear, he pulls it out, steals the gun, and finishes off his foe with a spear to the throat.
  • Averted in most games in the Delta Force series. You can survive three bullet hits maximum, and there are no instant heals. All of your guns, likewise, are pretty consistently a One-Hit Kill, even at ranges where the bullets start falling off.
  • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Lady — the only entirely human character in the game — gets stabbed through the thigh with an enormous bayonet. She's still up for a boss fight not long afterward, and then climbs up a building!
  • Downplayed in Deus Ex. Damage done to the player is seen in a damage readouts display for the various parts of your body. If the player's legs are injured severely, they won't be able to move quickly, and if damaged badly enough will have to crawl along the ground instead. Since JC is a nano-augmented superagent, lack of death from blood loss is understandable: nanites seem capable of stopping bleeding by themselves but require application of medkits, specialized programming from the Regeneratio augment or even energy from ingested food in order to properly reconstruct JC's damaged body.
    • Played straight, however, in that shooting enemies in the arm often makes them drop their weapons and flee. Shooting exclusively in one limb is lethal, however.
  • Die By The Sword, a 3rd person swordfighting game cheerfully plays this trope to its fullest with its detailed damage system that tracks the status of individual body segments while also retaining a traditional global HP bar. This makes it possible to lop off bits of characters without them immediately dying, to the point that you can end up with a Pythonesque armless, one-legged knight.
  • Dino Crisis has a damage system where the protagonist's mobility is impaired the more they are injured, i.e. broken ribs, limping. In addition, you can start losing blood and eventually bleed to death without treatment.
  • Doom, being a health-bar-based shooter, plays this straight with tougher enemies and averts with weaker ones: the latter have gruesome, exploding body death animations for grazing shots with small caliber arms.
  • Averted in Drakan. Don't wanna deal with the scavenger? Hack its arm off and find somewhere to sit so it can't bite you while it's bleeding out.
  • Dwarf Fortress averts this. It has an absurdly detailed wound mechanism, so it's quite possible to bleed to death from a large wound, to pass out from pain, or to go into shock. It's also possible for characters to lose arms and legs and continue fighting with their teeth. They can also survive disembowelment, recover from the blood loss, and trail their entrails for the rest of their lives.
  • Averted in Ever17. We're used to injuries to the legs and arms not being very serious, so when Tsugumi gets stabbed in the leg by a falling pole you might not think it's that serious. However, it's noted that it ought to require months of hospitalization before she can walk again and she nearly dies of blood loss. The fact that Tsugumi is the one hit is kind of important.
  • In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, it is possible to shoot a person in the arm or leg with the weapons that can be aimed in first-person, which is always lethal (and in fact often lops the limb off entirely).
  • Halo justifies the trope: Flood Combat Forms as zombies are people whose bodies have been infected by the Flood parasite, to which pain has no meaning. It's possible to shoot off the appendages of Flood, but they'll just either attack you with their remaining limbs, grow tentacles, or starting from Halo 2, have their infection form abandon the body to find a new host (to prevent the player from creating harmless "Flood Buddies" as in the original game).
  • The Fallout series has status effects for critical hits, depending on where the character was hit, but the characters do not die until Critical Existence Failure. A hit to the eyes could cause blindness and any of your four limbs can be crippled and require real medical care, not just Stimpaks or rest.
  • Zig-zagged in Far Cry 2. Your character can absorb dozens of bullets on the lowest difficulty, then heal instantly and completely with a painkiller syringe. If you get down to the last fifth of your health bar, it will start to constantly decrease until you fix yourself up, usually by removing a single bullet from some part of your body, not even bandaging the wound in many cases. One particularly silly thing too is that when a buddy is "rescue-ready", even something that would be immediately fatal to you, like being on a boat as it explodes, will become not quite fatal because your buddy is able to teleport in from nowhere, drag you to cover, and get you back up on your feet so you can heal yourself.
    • Enemies get in on the act too. Bare-chested mercenaries can absorb 5-6 assault rifle bullets to the chest before dying. It’s not unusual to see one go down after a few shots from a weak gun, then get up and continue shooting.
  • Two examples in Fire Emblem Tellius: First, Micaiah takes a full force knife wound to the upper chest and continues to stand, and only falls down after she tells Pelleas (who was being given euthanasia) not to kill himself. Also, when Deghinsea is defeated, he shrugs his wounds off as nothing, and dies after everyone leaves. But all your units in the series can take so much damage as to be on 1HP, and still fight at full ability.
  • Subverted in Hakuouki: Chizuru learns that Sannan was injured in battle while away on a mission, and is relieved when she hears that it was only his left arm that was injured. The other captains of the Shinsengumi, however, see nothing to be relieved about, and explain to Chizuru that the injury is more than enough to end Sannan's career as a swordsman.
  • It doesn't matter where you hit an enemy in Hitman: Blood Money—they still die. In fact, the only body part that receives damage differently is the head; headshots amplify the damage. Further, the game is nice enough to include a slightly squicky animation wherein a wounded character falls to the ground and pitifully rolls around a bit before bleeding out. This can even occur several seconds after being shot.
  • Averted in the Jagged Alliance games, where you can bleed to death from any unbandaged wound, become considerably less effective after even a minor injury due to stamina (and therefore action point) loss, and can be crippled by permanent stat decrease that remains even after the wound has healed. Healing also requires time and close medical attention — or a couple of weeks of bed rest.
  • In Mass Effect, shots to the legs will slow down organic enemies and make them stagger. That's the extent of it, though; there's no persistent bleeding, and they don't even fall to the ground. Partially justified with the built-in medical systems in everybody's armor. Also, it can be seen as an Acceptable Break From Reality in a game where enemies have health bars rather than simply dying when shot — if the killing shot is to the leg, enemies will collapse clutching their leg, dying seconds later.
    • It's also a well-known racial ability of krogan; each of their vital organs have backups, some of those have backups, and their Hyperactive Metabolism draws nutrients from the hump on their back so they can just walk it off.
    • Averted in a cutscene at the end of Mass Effect 2, though — if you didn't pick the right fire team leader in the second part of the last mission, said leader will take a bullet to the gut and die less than a minute later.
    • Also averted in Garrus's and Zaeed's loyalty missions — if you don't pick the Paragon interrupt to stop Garrus shooting Harkin, Garrus will shoot him in the leg. Harkin is visibly in pain and unable to move faster than crawling. In Zaeed's loyalty mission, taking the Renegade option results in Zaeed catching Vido, who is already limping from light injuries from an explosion. Again, a leg shot results in the target going down and staying down. In this instance, the shot man even points out that he will die from his wounds in a few moments. He dies, but in a rather nastier way. Zaeed burns him to death in a pool of spent fuel
    • Lampshaded in Mass Effect 3:
    Shepard: Anyone injured?
    Garrus: Just the usual minor fleshwounds.
    • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, Vorn - a particularly scrawny krogan - takes a bullet for Drack, with the characters acting like both of them were seriously threatened by it. Moments later, Vorn's running around just fine. Probably justified since even a scrawny krogan is still a krogan.
    • In the same game, there's Major Salen Varn, a salarian, who are the most fragile species in the setting, who gets shot, left in the desert for an unspecified amount of time and left to die before Ryder finds him. After that, he travels all the way to Kadara to arrest his attacker... while still not taking out the projectile he was shot with.
  • Max takes a .50 caliber BMG round from a Barrett M107 sniper rifle in his shoulder in Max Payne 3. Keep in mind this is an anti-materiel weapon, meant to be used to disable transport vehicles (not to mention the same kind of rifle that completely severed Zakhaev's arm in Call of Duty 4, which is not an unrealistic depiction of the power of such a firearm). Max does start to bleed out following the shot so he doesn't escape entirely unscathed, but some bandages from Passos and a few painkillers later and he can move and shoot once more (with his injured arm, no less).
  • Exaggerated in the opening cinematic for Mercenary Kings, where your chosen character survives plenty of usually-fatal injuries, including head wounds.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty allows you to shoot soldiers in the limbs to limit their movement/combat ability, but if you take out both arms or both legs, or shoot them repeatedly in the single limb, they die (instantly from arms, from blood loss from legs). Later zig-zagged in one of the series’ biggest Tear Jerkers when Vamp deals Emma a single stab wound to the stomach before being shot by Raiden. Without any means to get her to a hospital immediately, she stays barely conscious before dying 20 minutes later.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3 has the injury system designed to avert this, but it was hilariously underdeveloped. It's entirely possible to treat a bolt wound without removing the bolt itself, and letting the last bit of health damage heal 'naturally', leaving Snake running around with a number of crossbow bolts lodged in his body that cannot be removed.
    • Averted and played straight in Metal Gear Solid 4. Being a cyborg kind of justifies how Raiden survived cutting of one of his own arms and having the other crushed by getting buried under a battle cruiser; at the same time, though, being a cyborg is also why getting cut up as much as he does in the fight with Vamp in Act 2 has him out of commission for almost the entirety of the next two (he needs external equipment that Snake and Otacon don't have to dialyze his artificial blood). This does not stop him from showing up for the showdown, saving Snake while wielding a katana with his mouth and the ability to use electricity as a weapon, somehow.
    • Played massively straight when Big Mama gets shot in the chest during the motorcycle chase. Despite being hit by a .300 Win Mag round (a magnum rifle round that can drop a moose with one shot) on her bare chest, she seems to completely ignore it. Also played straight again in their final battle against the FROGs, when Johnny and Meryl each take at least half a dozen bullet wounds but continue fighting until they run out of ammo, completely ignoring the first one or two shots and being completely recoverable at the end.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, your enemies are combat cyborgs, that are specifically designed to be able to continue functioning for at least a week as long as their brain is intact. As such, non-lethal takedowns consist of chopping off the enemy's legs and then running far away enough that they give up on trying to kill you and de-spawn.
    • In the same game Raiden has choice words at Jetstream Sam slicing off his arm.
      • Though in the same fight Raiden was bothered at the loss of his eye since unlike his arms it was real, though he kept on fighting regardless.
  • X-Ray attacks in Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X can involve cracking skulls, shattering spines, breaking their rib cage, impaling their guts, stabbing their eyes, and/or making their crotch internally explode, but once it's over your opponent is still perfectly able to fight. As of Mortal Kombat 11 they've completely given up trying to make it remotely plausible, with ruptured hearts and bullets going straight through brains being walked off so long as there's a sliver of a health bar left.
    • In the MK9 story mode, Big Bad Shao Khan gets punched through the chest by Liu Kang, and a few minutes later he’s up on his feet merely pissed off.
    • In the MKX story mode Big Good Raiden gets both revenant Kabal’s hookblades in his shoulders and he just uses the attack to remind Kabal that metal conducts electricity while Fujin gets his head mauled by a Netherrealm demon and isn’t bothered; since both characters are Physical Gods it’s to be expected.
    • In another cutscene if the player fails the QTE Kotal Khan will get stabbed by Kano’s massive knife, but since Kotal is a tank Kano still gets his shit wrecked.
    • Averted with Johnny Cage as he is stabbed by Revenant Jax and nearly dies despite being World's Strongest Man at that point.
      Johnny: Blood’s... s’posed to be... on the inside.
  • Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 plays this one seriously. Enemies whose arms Ryu has chopped off will assault him with kicks, while those missing legs will crawl up and attempt to kill Ryu with a suicide explosion. There is nothing Narmful about getting suicide-bombed by a Determinator that keeps going after losing his legs.
  • No More Heroes is well known for the killings of each boss. The first boss, Death Metal, gets his arms cut off while in mid-swing of his giant sword which would get stuck in the ceiling. Death Metal then has time to talk to Travis, but is later decapitated. An even better example would be Bad Girl's death. Travis completely pushed his light saber through her back and twists it. Bad Girl turns around, whacks Travis across the head, and continues to pummel him while on the ground so hard that Travis actually gives up, luckily, Bad Girl dies seconds later on top of Travis. During the second-to-last boss battle, Jeane punches Travis through the heart. Travis doesn't die, or show any pain, and instead is able to land the finishing blows on Jeane.
    • There’s also Shinobu. Travis, unable to kill a girl at this point, simply cuts off her arm. Granted, he does use a laser katana, so the wound was probably cauterised.
    • Continued in the sequel. The first boss, Skelter Helter, lives for about a minute after being decapitated by Travis, long enough to give a Hot-Blooded speech to him about revenge, then dies by tearing off his head again. Million Gunman also lives and speaks for some time after Shinobu sliced his head off.
  • In Street Fighter V Rashid gets stabbed in the back and poisoned by F.A.N.G, and still has strength to go One-Man Army on Shadowloo mooks protecting Black Moon's console. Rashid is also perfectly fine afterwards in the epilogue despite the deadly poison.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In the bonus fifth case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the prosecution deals what seems to be a crushing blow to the defense's case, after which Ema will quip, "It's merely a flesh wound!" Naturally, it gets better. Later, after another seemingly crippling point is made, she says it again, with Phoenix replying: "You just said that!"
    • Semi-averted around the end of the fourth case in the first game, it's revealed that Manfred von Karma was shot in the shoulder some time ago, and was still able to shoot Gregory Edgeworth. However, he had to take a few months time of vacation to let the wound heal over the bullet since he didn't undergo surgery in order to not become implicated in the murder.
    • A more literal example can be seen with Franziska von Karma in the final case of Justice for All. During the case she's shot in the shoulder. After several hours in the hospital she seems completely fine, and is even swinging around her signature whip as if nothing had ever happened. In the anime, though, she's out of commission the whole day, and has her arm in a sling when she shows up in court for a Big Damn Heroes moment the next day.
    • This trope is subverted in case three of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, in which the victim Romein LeTouse is shot in his right shoulder, yet he dies of blood loss hours later.
    • At the end of the final case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, after the phantom is caught, he's shot by a sniper rifle before he can reveal his identity to the court, yet the sniper hit him in a "non-vital area" and the phantom was rushed to the hospital quick enough to survive.
  • Postal 2 zig-zags this trope. For civilians and weaker enemies, being set on fire, having their limbs hacked off, tazed for several seconds, stabbed with a knife, and more will either kill them on the spot or leave them bleeding to death while they run away in terror/crawl on the ground. Stronger enemies, however, can take a fair amount of punishment before these effects kick in, and the player is immune to all of it. Bullet weapons don't have any special effects beyond extra damage from a headshot (and destruction of the head in the case of a close-enough shotgun blast), and any character will stay in perfect condition no matter where or how much they get shot, until their health reaches zero and they promptly ragdoll to the floor.
  • Subversion: In PSP game Pursuit Force, falling of a car you are trying to hijack (normally falling off due to being shot repeatedly) will often result in your commander telling you over the radio that "it's just a flesh wound!". Unfortunately, it never is and you always have to restart the mission.
  • Resident Evil
    • Leon in Resident Evil 2 takes a bullet to the upper chest (shoulder in the remake) protecting Ada from Annette and after getting slightly patched up Leon is A-OK, still strong enough to use a shotgun or Rocket Launcher and even physically fight off monsters. The novelization tries justifying it by having the bullet clip Leon’s arm instead of his torso area, and even then Leon needs two aspirins and is in pain for the rest of the book.
      • Game-wise Leon at full health in Resident Evil 4 can survive the Iron Maiden’s grab attack which involves getting turned into a pin cushion.
    • Averted with Ada in the RE2make and Claire in Resident Evil: Degeneration as both women get something sharp inbedded in their legs and are immediately debilitated and respectively need Leon’s aid before they can recover.
    • Wesker in Resident Evil 5 doesn’t react to Sheva’s huge combat knife getting stabbed into his forearm, though since he’s superhuman enough to be only staggered by guns and rockets launchers it’s hardly surprising at that point.
    • Played with in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard: Mooks survive almost every wound unless their head explodes (or they got a massive amount of damage otherwise) to the point of some of them crawling to the player without arms and legs, attacking with just their teeth.
    • The bosses play this entirely straight and unless hit repeatedly in their weakpoints, they won't even really react to the damage they receive. Jack getting a chainsaw into his face or Mia an axe into the neck are prime examples here. Justified, they are infected with a fungus that restores any physical harm in incredible speed to the point where Jack can restore losing his head and Lucas regrow a cut-off arm.
    • Ethan himself at one point during the beginning loses his arm thanks to a chainsaw wielded by his lovely wife. Not only does he manage to continue fighting and reloading his gun despite that, but he later gets his arm simply stapled back on. This is supposed to show early that Ethan is infected with the mold as well and thus got healing powers. His general health also regenerates slowly over time.
      • If Ethan gets caught by Jack near the crawlspace he will hack off Ethan’s foot with a shovel and make him crawl towards some given medicine to reattach his foot in probably the most horrifying and unintentionally hilarious first aid tutorial ever.
  • Averted in the cutscenes of Saints Row. In the first game, Johnny Gat gets shot in the leg with a shotgun and needs to walk with a leg brace for the rest of the game. In the sequel, he gets stabbed in the stomach with a sword and needs to be rushed to a hospital before he bleeds out. He's out of action for the next few missions. Played straight in regular gameplay, where all he needs to survive being knocked down by multiple sword wounds, gunshot wounds, and explosions, is a little beer poured on his face.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming plays this one so straight it'll make you go "Wait, what?" Alex has no trouble walking or running after Judge Halloway shoves a spinning power drill through his leg. It's Gameplay and Story Segregation at its finest, too, because he limps heavily during a later cutscene.
  • Subverted in the first two Soldier of Fortune games, where severing an enemy's limb causes instant death, but in the third game, they can sometimes fight back after losing an arm or leg.
  • In Star Fox 64, the boss of Solar gets both of its arms shot off, and still keeps trying to kill you afterwards despite essentially being a giant flaming bug torso. Even more extreme is the boss of Titania, whose severed bits of arm will float up and reattach to the boss's body if you take too long to kill it after blasting all its extremities off.
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment's Soul Series, massively. Any of the complicated throws, stabs, etc. would easily kill a normal human being. Yet no matter if the fighters are guillotined, skewered, shish-kebabbed and then dragged across the floor, they stand right back up, unscathed, ready for the next hit. And the game's bloodless. The irony can be summed up by one of Siegfried's victory lines: "I avoided your vitals. You'll live." Keep in mind that his weapon of choice is a BFS.
  • Taken to rather horrifying extremes in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning when fighting the Ice King. As you whittle away his health, you also whittle away his skin... near the end of the battle, his limbs are hardly more than stumps of exposed bone, and he's still able to fight you as well as or even better than before.
  • Averted in SWAT 4. Taking a round to the shoulder will degrade your already-suspect aim severely. Taking a round to the leg will reduce your movement speed from "leisurely stroll" to "barely above a crawl". On the other hand, you'll never bleed out as a result of being shot, and it's possible (although really not recommended) to convince suspects to give up by taking a leg shot and then shouting at them. Provided they survive the initial wounding, they can be handcuffed and left for several minutes without being any the worse for wear.
  • In the little-known Fighting Game Time Killers, it is possible to slice the opponent's arms off in the middle of a battle. Its semi-sequel, Bloodstorm, not only retains this but introduces the sunder, which, if performed at the right time, will destroy the opponent's legs. Neither technique stops the fight, and in addition, players will actually be rewarded if they win with missing limbs.
  • Double subverted in Tomb Raider (2013) when Lara is critically injured when she first goes to Shantytown. She is still able to fight enemies and perform basic movement due to her Determinator status, but when is unable to climb and otherwise do Le Parkour. She heals herself with some medicine she finds in a downed aircraft. Otherwise played straight with Lara.
    • Also played straight with Roth and Alex who both respectively don’t let the fact that their legs are mangled stop them going Guns Akimbo on wolves/cultists. They both still die however.
  • Surt from Treasure of the Rudra loses the lower half of his left arm at the start of Sion's Scenario and returns later with a claw replacing the severed arm.
  • Taken to extremes in True Crime: Streets of L.A.. After levelling up your shooting skills, you gain good cop points by shooting criminals in the legs, thereby disabling them to be arrested safely. You gain bad cop points by taking lethal blows to the head or torso. This ability carries over to include the trope Every Car Is a Pinto. However, with the Hollow Point Bullet upgrade and with the best pair of pistols available, your shots start doing so much damage that you may end up killing them with shots to the legs anyway.
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron, there is a Multiplayer XP award named after this trope, for when you successfully kill another player despite being near death.
  • In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Chloe has a bullet from an AK graze her shoulder while rescuing Drake and Sully. She almost completely ignores it, and it barely bleeds. Contrasting this, however, is the shot Drake takes to the gut at one point, which bleeds heavily and, while technically not preventing him from doing any of his impressive Le Parkour, ends up incapacitating him for some time once he's away from danger. In fact, part of the series' explanation for Regenerating Health relies on averting this trope. Drake isn't literally healing from bullet wounds in a matter of seconds simply by not taking more of them for a while, so much as he's actually dodging bullets through sheer luck — as more and more of them come at him, his luck gradually runs out, until eventually one actually hits him and he drops on the spot.
  • World of Warcraft has an ability that death knights complain about constantly because of its logic failure. Death Knight ghoul pets can use an ability to "gnaw a limb off the target". It does ridiculously small amounts of damage. One would think that if you got your arm chewed off by a zombie, you'd do a little more than be stunned for 3 seconds and only minimal damage.
    • Probably the best example in World of Warcraft is a weapon, or a small number of rare weapons, with a random chance to do a substantial amount of extra damage on each hit. Sort of like a critical strike, but not affected by your critical strike chance or any of the usual damage modifiers. Seems normal enough so far, right? But the problem is, the item text describes the effect as follows: "Decapitate the target". One would think that even in a world with magical healing, decapitation would be more... final.
    • A boss in the 5-man Trial of the Champion is called "Black Knight", and he nonchalantly disregards damage to himself ("My rotting flesh was only getting in the way!") Justified in that he really is undead, and the moment he says it is when he turns into a ghost, who then resumes fighting you.
  • X-COM:
    • If it doesn't kill outright, getting hit is certainly not just a flesh wound. It will greatly reduce the soldier's fighting abilities depending on where he was hit and he will eventually bleed to death. He won't be fully effective even after stopping the bleeding and will require a long rest in the infirmary upon returning to base.
    • The best armor you get in the original game is a huge powered flying superthick shell impervious to all damage... wait, what did I say? Yeah, no, a pistol shot can still kill you. The armor does make you essentially immune to early human weaponry, but even the weakest alien weapon can kill the by-that-time superhuman soldiers in two shots. And since every shot, regardless of weapon, has a chance to damage the armor and reduce its effectiveness, it is still possible to get killed by a human pistol. The best way to survive is to not get shot. The best way not to get shot is to shoot (and kill) first. Even with extreme caution, you are likely to get gruesome casualties on the early missions. Once you get armor (the default one is a kevlar vest, which gives you near nil chance of survival if shot), it gets very slightly better — mostly, singular wounds will not be fatal. It still means a few weeks in infirmary though. And you can bleed out if you don't finish the fight soon enough or have medkits.
    • In Apocalypse, you start with armor on the level of the power armor from the first game. It means your soldiers rarely die if you're cautious enough. If you don't even have this basic armor, good luck — singular hits are very dangerous again, and you are often caught in auto-fire. So you're comfy in your suit of armor, only giving in to heavy fire or heavy weaponry (rocket launchers and mines tend to mess up your day). Then, the aliens bring devastator cannons — a gun on the level of a human rifle. It just goes right through the armor, often incapacitating or killing with a single hit, possessing deadly accuracy, recharging ammo, and autofire. On the other hand, your soldiers heal very quickly (using nanotechnology healing machines) — the worst non-killing injuries just mean a few days of healing. However, since the time scope of the game changed quite a bit since the original game, having realistic (without the nanomachines) healing times would mean you'd have to hire a replacement for the soldier anyway, since there are going to be hundreds of incidents in the time of his healing. Actually, even with this rate of healing you often send wounded soldiers to battle. And when it's base defense time, you sometimes have blood soaked soldiers trying to hold the base, easy to kill with single shots and having their stamina, accuracy etc. severely impaired by their wounds. X-COM is serious about wounds.
  • The 2009 Wolfenstein has an interesting aversion for normal enemies, who will realistically limp and bleed out from non-fatal wounds to their limbs. What makes it interesting is that it's nearly impossible to actually see this mechanic in action without modding the game to buff enemy health — even on the highest difficulty, every gun available to you kills every regular soldier in two shots maximum.
  • In the Yakuza series, the protagonists are generally treated as never killing others, no matter what ridiculously brutal melee moves they pull off, ranging from stomping on a downed enemy's face to suplexing them onto railings spine-first (and that's not getting into the things they can do with bladed weapons and even guns). Any regularly-fought enemy will be shown limping away after the fight. Situations where the characters do things such as get into shootouts that result in massive explosions or toss people off of buildings are just ignored by the story.
    • This is usually inverted in cutscenes, where guns are almost solely used by villains and show their trademark deadliness. A notable exception is in Yakuza 0 where protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is shot through the shoulder and thigh by an assassin and passes out only to wake up three hours later with his wounds bandaged by an ally. Cut to the very next scene as he walks out of the neighborhood, and he rips off his shirt to show not only have the bandages been removed, but there is no visible wound, and he goes straight back to his explosively dramatic martial-arts style unhindered. The gunshot wounds are not mentioned again in the whole game.


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