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Unexplained Recoveries in video games.


  • The Adventures of Massmouth 2 has Linguica re-appear without explanation soon after being killed in a boss battle ("I'll kill you for killing me!"). "Doesn't anybody stay dead any more?", Massmouth ponders.
  • In Arfenhouse 3, after Evil Kitty makes a Heel–Face Turn, she gets killed by Billy in a parody of Aerith's death scene from Final Fantasy VII. Housemaster vows to avenge her death, but Good Kitty later returns with no explanation whatsoever.
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  • In Ashen Amara is seemingly killed off in a very dramatic fashion during the boss fight with the Shadow of the Ashen. She appears at the end of the fight, no worse for wear with no explanation given for her recovery. It's possible that the Ritual Stone had something to do with it, but it's never specified in-game.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio is stabbed in the stomach by Rodrigo Borgia in the penultimate boss battle and collapses in a spreading pool of blood, complete with fade to black. Then he wakes and stands up, completely shaking it off. The sequel explains it by his armour blunting the attack. But if that was the case... why was there so much blood?
  • Twice in Asura's Wrath. First when thrown from an orbiting spaceship and second after being tossed into lava with both arms ripped off. Applies to Vlitra as well, since it's never explained how it keeps coming back. This is actually explained in the DLC, Chakravartin (God) was bringing both Asura and Vlitra back. He was trying to groom Asura to be the new God of the planet, and was trying to make him worthy using Vlitra as an enemy.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, almost any time you run into an NPC who could have joined your team in the first game, you are given the option "But I killed you," or "What are you doing here, I saw you die!" as any character can die permanently. This is essentially what all the characters reply.
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    • The setting does have resurrection magic, but said magic does have its limits...
  • In Beyond Good & Evil, this happens near the end of the game with Jade's uncle Pey'j. However, despite his casual dialogue concerning his death-and-resurrection, there are a few reasons he tries to give...
    Jade: Pey'j, I... but you were...
    Pey'j: Dead. I know.
  • Dracula in Castlevania. Interestingly, his defeats in the first two games actually seem to take a toll on him, as he becomes weaker the next time around. (He's astronomically difficult to beat in 3, the first chronologically, still a tremendous challenge but less so in 1, and an absolute pushover in 2.) That still doesn't explain how he comes back (none of the games are clear on this), and it's especially egregious in 2 because completely destroying him is supposed to be what ends the curse.
  • The Curse of Monkey Island:
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    • The insurance fraud puzzle:
      Guybrush: I died! I really did!
      Stan: And you just... got better?
      Guybrush: Well... yeah.
    • Considering Stan himself had just survived being trapped in a nailed-shut coffin for presumably months, he's really not one to talk. In fact, he even acknowledges that he's been dead in his life insurance sales pitch.
    • Something of a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, considering Guybrush really does die at the end of Chapter 4 of Tales of Monkey Island, when LeChuck dramatically stabs him in the gut. Naturally, Guybrush really does "get better" in Chapter 5.
  • Eliphias the Inheritor from the Dawn of War series appears to be heading this way. At the end of the Chaos Stronghold mission in Dark Crusade, Eliphas was killed by a demon prince. Now he's coming back in Chaos Rising. Considering the manner Eliphas died, it certainly sounds as if he's headed for this trope.
    • In fairness, if your soul goes straight to the Chaos Gods, they can put it back in a new body. They usually do this in order to make the next life even harder for you.
    • General Sturnn in Winter Assault is resurrected at the Field Command after 10 seconds every time he gets killed. His only 'excuse' is "I've returned".
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, exactly how did K. Rool manage to come back from being munched on by piranhas?
  • Dragon Age:
    • The player has a choice to invoke this in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, if they import a save from Dragon Age: Origins where the main character died in the end. Doing so basically retcons away the death, having the plot be that you Take a Third Option, and nobody in the expansion mentions it ever happening. There is a confused inquiry as to how you survived what is normally a fatal event, though...
    • Similarly, if the player ended up killing Leliana in the first game, she shows up in future games with little explanation as to why she's still alive other than claiming possible divine intervention. In other words, A Wizard Did It. The Trespasser DLC of Inquisition provides an answer: it wasn't Leliana. A spirit, probably of Faith, broke the Veil and impersonated her.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition ambient dialogue between Cassandra and Cole has Cole mentioning a Templar he once met.
      Cole: A pretty Templar... she died protecting Rhys and me. But she got better.
      Cassandra: I don't even want to know what that means.
  • High Priest Rolo in Dragon Quest VIII. When we last see him, he is facing two very pissed off thugs, completely unarmed and with no visible means of escape. He even tells the thugs to "do their worst". However, in the ending, not only is he still alive, but he's the new head of the Church of the Goddess.
  • Lampshaded in The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion by an insane Argonian NPC at the Shrine of Sheogorath, the madgod.
    Argonian: I used to be a dog. I got better. Not a better dog, though. I'm a terrible dog now.
  • Fallout:
    • Harold, when telling his stories in Fallout 1&2, if asked, "How did you survive?" answers, "Didn't! Got killed!" Harold loves that joke.
    • Fallout 3 originally had either the Lone Wanderer or Sentinel Lyons sacrifice themselves to activate the purifier and subsequently melt into a puddle of goo, but Broken Steel retconned the ending so that the Lone Wanderer is rendered comatose for two weeks instead. However, Lyons still dies for real if you send her into the control room.
      • Fallout: New Vegas reverses the situation in a sense, with the main character starting off by getting shot in the head and buried- only to be dug out and revived by the nearby town's doctor. Although you'll know exactly how you managed to survive having your brains blown out, at no point does the game allow you to explain to your bewildered assailants why you're not dead. Instead, you get this exchange when you do eventually meet up with one of them:
        Jessup: What the hell? You're that courier Benny wasted back in Goodsprings. You're supposed to be dead.
        Courier: I got better.
      • This causes the man to wet himself and say something along the lines of, "Damn, and I thought we were hard to kill". There's also an option to say, "I'm a ghost....woooo!" Jessup is not amused.
      • You can also tell Cass about your incident when she asks why you're wandering the Mojave:
        Courier: I'm looking for the man who shot me.
        Cass: The man who shot you?
        Courier: Twice. In the head.
        Cass: And you got better.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • This trope occurs in some form in several games. And also, you can't ignore how, in regular battles in several of the games, a character can be turned to stone and then shattered, which incapacitates them for the duration of that battle, but then you pop 'em a Phoenix Down and they're good as new.
    • Even more blatant use of this trope is seen in Final Fantasy IV in which ALL but five of the player's party members suffer tragic deaths, with all of them - even Cid, who rode a nuclear bomb into a pit, was at the epicenter of the explosion, fell several thousand feet and landed on some pointy rocks, had even more rocks fall down from thousands of feet above to seal the passage between the underworld and the upper world (this being the POINT of setting off the bomb), then dragged himself several miles to the dwarf city to rest up - coming back near the end. Except Tellah.
    • Contrast to Edward. Leviathan attacks ship—leading to Edward apparently twisting his ankle. Apparently he shattered his shinbone, because he will be bed-ridden or, at the very best, chair-ridden (in the tank at the end) for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Yang (same Leviathan incident) can still fly through the air with his foot out in battle. Rydia also suffers in the same boat accident and is seen being eaten by a giant see snake! Yang goes through an even less survivable experience: he destroys the Tower of Bab-il's Super Cannon by apparently stuffing himself into the barrel before it fires, resulting in a massive explosion that destroys the entire chamber containing the cannon. He's presumed dead until you discover that a bunch of sylphs found him and nursed him back to health. Palom and Porom turn themselves to stone which is accompanied by sad music and the distraught characters trying to revive them only to find they can't. Then near the end of the game they just turn up again saying their elder healed them (note, Tellah who is hailed as the greatest magic user in the world and had already recovered all his forgotten abilities claims they can't be revived). Oh, and Cid, the "Old Man" (quoth Edge about 10 times), back to blacksmithing approximately 3 hours in-game time after blowing himself up. Yang's case is, while still egregious, not quite as bad given that he is the World's Strongest Man if his stats are to be believed.
    • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka survives being stabbed by Celes, and the destruction of the floating continent, as the party survives an airship being torn apart, "the very day the world collapsed", shown as a series of explosions visible from space, and the rearranging of the continents.
    • Rufus from Final Fantasy VII supposedly died from the Weapon assault on Midgar, yet he's fine in Advent Children. When Cloud meets Rufus Shinra in Advent Children, he's shocked to find his supposedly exploded enemy alive. Rufus begins to explain what happened — and Cloud cuts him off impatiently, and turns to leave.
      Rufus: ...The day of the explosion—
      Cloud: What do you want?
      Rufus: I managed to get out of the building—
      Cloud: Why did you call me here?
      Rufus: before it collapsed—
      Cloud: I'm leaving!
    • It's been said in Dirge of Cerberus that Rufus Shinra merely 'ducked' to avoid being killed. He was later evacuated from Midgar when Meteor fell, via helicopter.
    • Additionally, contrary to popular belief, Tseng never died in the original game either. The line with Elena who implies he's dead is actually a mistranslation for 'Messin' my boss up'.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Squall takes an ice shard to the chest, and wakes up fine by the next disc. However, he game does explicitly show mere minutes later Selphie attempting to use Cure to heal Zell after he was roughed up by prison guards, meaning that healing magic isn't just some abstract thing that only exists in gameplay, so while it's not explicitly stated, it's not too far of a stretch to just assume that Edea or someone healed Squall's wounds so that he could be interrogated.
  • In Final Fantasy X if a team member gets petrified in water they sink a few inches before shattering almost immediately after. They still get brought back the normal way, though fighting enemies that can petrify is almost a certain game over if armor isn't modified accordingly.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Gangrel, Emmeryn, Walhart, and Aversa all die in the main plot, yet have special paralogues accessed after the main game is mostly complete, allowing you to recruit them for the final battle. Not a single one of them get any explanation as to why they're still alive. Although some dialogue suggests Walhart is a Risen. Also Yen'fay is not an example, he's from an alternate timeline where his sister died instead.
  • Phone Guy reappears in Five Nights at Freddy's 2, despite being killed on Night 4 of the first game, making it look like this. This is actually the first hint that the second game is a prequel.
  • Herumor in The Fourth Age: Total War is good at this. It's justified in that he appears as an ancillary rather than a controllable character, to reflect the fact that he is working in secret. One of the mechanics in the game is that whenever your faction leader dies, his ancillaries will pass to his heir.
  • The Dread Lords in Galactic Civilizations. They got crushed by the humans and their allies in the game Dread Lords, but there was a set-up that it was a ruse. They came back and got beaten again in Dark Avatar. In Twilight of the Arnor they're back AGAIN with no explanation at all.
  • In Gothic 2 Night of the Raven expansion pack, you can meet the character Bloodwyn from Gothic. One dialog option is to note that you killed him back then, to which he comments that he has "survived a lot of things".
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Villain Toreno seemingly explodes in a helicopter. Several missions later, he's having C.J. ride around in a monster truck. No explanation is given for living—or for the truck.
    • Its implied through his dialogue he just fooled CJ into thinking he got on the helicopter - he knew CJ was trying to kill him, and needed him to think he had in order to get his help.
  • In Guilty Gear Xrd: REVELATOR, Ramlethal Valentine is seemingly killed when she is caught in an antimatter explosion, which not only convinces everyone else she is dead, but also apparently blows her to barely recognisable pieces if the word of Ky's attendant is anything to go by. She later shows up out of nowhere during the final chapter almost completely unscathed save for her left arm and leg being heavily bandaged, with no explanation whatsoever. Clearly That Man had something to do with her recovery, as it is Raven who teleports her to the final battle, but how was done is never even alluded to. Apparently, Valentines are just that hard to kill.
  • Halo: If one completes Halo: Combat Evolved on Legendary, they are treated to a video of Sergeant Johnson and an Elite fighting over a plasma rifle on the Halo ringworld, who end up hugging as they see The Pillar of Autumn, the ship that destroys said Halo, begin exploding. In Halo 2, he's still alive. How? That's confidential information, soldier. note 
    • Bungie remarked on this in the Halo 3 Legendary Edition bonus DVD by saying that he was "Like Kenny" he could die in every single level he's in, but he'll be alive in the next one.
    • On the other hand, Johnson has died on-screen in Halo 3... presumably for good, now.
  • In the original House of the Dead, the protagonist's girlfriend, Sophie, is apparently killed after being gravely injured by the Chariot. Not only is she shown alive and well in the good ending, but she actually goes on to marry Thomas, with their daughter Lisa appearing as one of the main characters of House of the Dead III.
    • House of the Dead 2 opens with James and/or Gary finding a gravely wounded G who urges them to go on without him, strongly suggesting he's only come Back for the Dead. Later, Harry does pretty much the exact same thing, giving you the keys to his car with what appear to be his dying breaths. Both appear in a distant shot to greet the protagonists in the standard ending, and Rogan outright confirms they made it out okay in the Golden Ending. Regardless of which ending is canon, though, G's return in parts 3 and 4 definitively settles the question of his survival even if it's never stated how he did, aside from the implication that he's just that much of a badass.
  • Injustice 2:
    • Scarecrow is a confusing case. The Joker murdered the doctor to get a hold of his fear toxin which kick-started the plot of the first game, making Scarecrow the first character to die in the story-line, as revealed by the prequel comics. In Injustice 2, the good doctor reappears with no explanation, and in one of the pre-fight interactions he comments on the Joker stealing his fear gas, but not on the whole killing him part. Other interactions, however, suggest that the Scarecrow persona became a Legacy Character and that it is not Jonathan Crane under the mask.
    • Likewise, the Injustice: Year Two comic revealed that the John Stewart version of Green Lantern was murdered by Sinestro. Despite this, John still appears as a Premier Skin in the game, and his pre-fight dialogue sometimes even references his death.
    Batman: You're supposed to be dead.
    John Stewart: Maybe you noticed; I don't die easily.
    • The Joker is an interesting case. While it's subverted in the story mode as he only appears as a hallucination to Harley in chapter 2, in any non-story fight he's in, he somehow turns up mysteriously alive, leaving others to wonder how he came Back from the Dead, and he'll deliberately go along with whatever they think is true. Some say he was either resurrected by or chose to Deal with the Devil with either Shinnok or Nekron, while others assume he's from another universe altogether. Still others think he was revived in the Lazarus Pits, or that he escaped from either the Source Wall or the Phantom Zone, or that it's All Just a Dream. Nevertheless, being the Trope Namer for Joker Immunity, the Trope Codifier for Multiple-Choice Past, and infamous to give different Freudian Excuses for his crimes, what can anybody expect from the Joker?
  • In Jak II, Sig appears to have been destroyed by a huge Metal Head but shows up at a party later, invoking this trope as a Badass Boast.
  • Despite the fact that the second-to-last level of Katamari Forever involves Dismantling the Roboking, he appears in the postgame without any explanation.
  • Kirby does this even more confusingly, given he eats his foes. This is most obvious with Bandanna Dee from the Revenge of the King game in Kirby Super Star Ultra: Cut him, zap him, burn him, swallow him whole and he'll still show up for the Masked Dedede fight.
  • Lakeview Valley opens with your bus driver running over Amy Cooper, leaving her dead and mangled in the street. When you visit the diner, potentially mere minutes after this, you find her perfectly alive and well, none the worse for wear. The player can choose whether they want to investigate this mystery or just let it lie.
  • The Infocom text adventure game Leather Goddesses of Phobos features various scenarios where your helper character (Trent or Tiffany, depending on a decision at the beginning of the game) dying in horrific fashions, at one point hopping on a grenade and exploding right in front of you, but he/she always comes back at a later point with an improbable explanation of how he/she could have possibly survived.
  • In Legacy of Kain Vorador, who was beheaded in Blood Omen, is alive in Blood Omen 2 with no explanation. Especially frustrating since being a vampire, his resurrection is not out of the ordinary and could have been explained in one or two lines had the writers actually bothered.
  • Perhaps the better question in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is where in the world did Dekar get a whale to return from his Heroic Sacrifice on the back of.
  • Played for laughs in MadWorld with the Black Baron, who introduces every deathtrap mini-game only to be made into a quick demo of each one by his ladyfriend. Despite being brutally murdered at least once in every level, he never so much as has to change his outfit, and is actually the last boss of the game.
  • In Mass Effect 2's DLC, Zaeed Massani survives a bullet in the head. His "explanation" is "A stubborn enough person can survive just about anything. Rage is a hell of an anesthetic."
    • On the mission when Shepard goes to recruit Thane Krios, Nassana Dantius exclaims "But you died." Shepard's response: "I got better."
      • That said, Shepard's recovery is fully explained in-game: (S)he was brought back from being technically dead via an awful lot of expensive medical and cybernetic work. By one of his/her enemies, no less. That said, it becomes a Running Gag that (s)he isn't inclined to go into the whole story with every character (s)he runs into who is surprised to see him/her alive.
  • Zero's infamous "I hid myself while I tried to repair myself" when he returns in Mega Man X6. In the prior game, he was blown in half, and the entire plot of X2 revolved around the fact that repairing Zero is not an easy thing to do.
    • Almost subverted as he, when he has the occasion to do so, asks Doctor Light if he's the one who repaired him. After a short silence, Doctor Light say his resurrection was a miracle. But no proper explanation is ever given. Even the popular fan theory that Wily did it conflicts with another popular theory that Isoc is Wily because Gate mentions at one point that Isoc is searching for Zero's body, implying that he thinks Zero is still dead.
    • In Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, Shadow Man becomes a Bonus Boss in Wily Stage 4 if you unlock him, even though he had died in Cossack Castle 1.
  • In the thrilling conclusion to Mega Man 3, Dr. Wily gets completely flattened by a stone block. Not only is there never any explanation as to how he returns in 4 (and is even pulling the supposed villain's strings), no one ever mentions this incident, not even Wily himself. Although, in all fairness, Wily's survival was briefly foreshadowed in the original ending sequence when Mega Man looks up at the sky - the tiny object moving around the tree is not a bird but Wily's UFO in the distance. One of the theories out there is that the final boss was just another dummy robot that got crushed before it could humiliate.
  • In Metal Gear Solid Liquid Snake is the epitome of this trope. You "kill" him no fewer than four times (firstly in the Hind D battle, secondly in the battle with REX, thirdly in the fistfight on top of REX, and finally during a car chase). He eventually ends up dying of FoxDie in the ending cutscene.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty it seems that Liquid is still not dead, but instead possessing the body of Revolver Ocelot. By the time Metal Gear Solid 4 rolls along he's in full control.
      • Of course, it turns out that the possession was a fake in MGS4, but real in MGS2. And the legitimate possession gave Ocelot the idea for his greatest Gambit Roulette.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots this also happens with Raiden, who seemingly dies, complete with a Really Dead Montage, saving Snake from the Outer Haven submarine when, in fact, he survives. The characters don't even seem to think his survival is a big deal, casually mentioning it.
      • Not to mention the entire ending sequence with Big Boss.
      • Nanomachines.
  • Metal Slug features tough, brawny Allen O'Neil, who slumps over in a spray of blood at the end of his encounter in nearly every game (even being EATEN BY A WHALE in 2) with a death cry of "See you in Hell!", and yet is alive and kicking in the next game, or in the case of Metal Slug 3, LATER THAT LEVEL.
    • In 3, It's easy to assume that the Allen you face is a Martian in disguise, since that's what his superior Morden reveals himself to be after you beat him in the course of the level, and that the one that appears later to help you escape is the real one. And in 4, what appeared to be him was actually a robotic copy. Doesn't stop him from returning in any of the other games.
  • In Metal Wolf Chaos, you can shoot down and blow up a reporter's helicopter. When you do, he says "My fellow viewers, please rest at ease, for I, Peter McDonald, have somehow managed to escape. I'll return to the action in another helicopter."
    • Likewise, at one point a resistance helicopter is shot down, and you hear a message on the radio saying, "Don't worry Mr. President, us resistance soldiers have thorough knowledge of how to escape." All very good and well, except that the helicopter was hit by a missile from a tank, exploded in a ball in flame, and then the burning wreckage plunged into the Hudson River. Thorough knowledge indeed.
  • In Metroid series, some of the bosses that Samus has killed would often return in the next chronological game without any explanation whatsoever.
  • Strange as it may seem, this is almost always subverted in Mortal Kombat, at least as far as canonical deaths go. There's usually a pretty good explanation given when this happens (which, granted, does tend to occur a lot). The only real exception was Shiva, who was supposedly killed by Kano at the end of the 3, but back in Armageddon, with no explanation as to how.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Destroyman comes back after having been cut in half in the first game. Someone just added a cyborg half to each side, so now there are 2 of him. Also, Letz Shake comes back, but he's an earthquake generator like Dr. Shake in the first game.
  • PAYDAY 2:
    • A bonus Escape mission may trigger after the end of a heist, resulting in your escape van crashing and your driver, Twitch, dying. Despite this, Twitch will still be called in just minutes later to get you out, in an identical-looking van, while the original Twitch's corpse is still present.
    • The Custody mechanic can lead to this: As long as you have a hostage, you can even come back from falling out of a plane.
  • Portal:
    • In Portal, GLaDOS gets destroyed in a pretty brutal explosion. However, in Portal 2, she's fine (albeit a bit battered) after a reboot.
    • At the end of Chapter 1 of Portal 2, Wheatley is crushed by GLaDOS. However, he makes a return at the start of Chapter 3. Aside from a crack in his optic, a battered shell and an occasional wiring issue causing him to spark and twitch, he's completely fine. He does try to explain how he recovered, but considering he's telling the story as you're bouncing 50 feet into the air, we never find out just what saved him.
      [Chell jumps]
      Wheatley: ...you'll never believe what happened, I was just laying there, you thought I was done for, but...
      [...]
      [Chell jumps again]
      Wheatley: ...a bloody bird! Couldn't believe it either! And then the bird...
  • The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment does this all the time, and at one point (at the beginning of the game) actually says: "I think I actually had died... and got better." The general plot of the game revolves around his attempts to figure out exactly why this keeps happening to him.
  • In Red Steel 2, the protagonist is standing on top of a train that is blown up. The next cutscene shows him standing by the destroyed train without a scratch on him. His friends assume him to be dead and question how he made it out alive; one of them even tells him not to die again.
  • In Resident Evil 4 if you shoot the Merchant, he reappears later, but never again in the same place as where you shot him.
  • In Robopon 2, a lot of characters pull this, especially Riggs, who blew himself up and Dr. Disc, who was severely wounded when the Zeros fired on past!Baba Village. The former even lampshades it by pointing out that the epitaph caption that came up for him didn't explicitly say that he was dead.
  • Squid Baron in Shantae: Risky's Revenge who is a boss dying in the classic several-explosions like manner but later appears unscratched. This is also lampshaded by the characters.
  • Flynn in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, after having been kidnapped and held captive on a crucifix surrounded by some sort of barrier, is back on his feet when the heroes find him again in Tsukiji Konganji, and on top of that he easily lays the smackdown on Odin, who had previously put you into a Hopeless Boss Fight with him. Subverted, as revealed later: Not only is Odin faking his defeat, but it turns out the Flynn you rescue and assist later on in the assault on Lucifer's and Merkabah's forces is actually Shesha in disguise.
  • In Silent Hill 2, Maria is killed by Pyramid Head in the basement of the hospital, but James later finds her alive and well in a prison cell under the Historical Society. When James becomes understandably confused as to how she's still alive, Maria insists she was never killed to begin with. After James manages to break into the cell, however, Maria is once again a corpse. Later on he finds her alive yet again strapped to a rack in the hotel, being menaced by a pair of Pyramid Heads, who kill her. Depending on the ending you're going to get, she shows up one more time as the final boss.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • How Dr. Robotnik survived plummeting from orbit in a burning mecha body suit in Sonic & Knuckles is anyone's guess.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow had fallen down to earth after using Chaos Control with Sonic to stop the Space Colony ARK. In Sonic Heroes, he is found to have been alive (but with amnesia), but there were no details about how he survived the fall. note 
    • How did Dr. Eggman exit the White Space in Sonic Generations is also anyone's guess. He reappeared in Sonic Lost World with no explanation whatsoever.
  • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary ran a print adverting spot that consisted of a picture of Kirk looking surprised to see Spock and asking "I thought you were dead!" Spock replies "I rebooted."
  • Anyone in the first 2 Suikoden games who is not a main character can get Final Death; but will mysteriously show up in the sequels. Some of them, (Luc, Sheena) actually have snarky comments about this.
    • A specific example happens in Suikoden IV. Ramada is spying on the enemy forces in Fort El-Eal, when he's found by Graham Cray, impaled by a knife, and from the events that follow, it seems fairly evident that he died... Only for him to show up inexplicably after the final battle to take a second (and poisoned) knife meant for Elenor. He survives this, too, somehow.
  • Bowser from the Super Mario Bros. series. No matter how Mario defeats him, he will be back in the next game. The same applies to his underlings. The fact that "1-ups" are a tangible object that exists in this series may have something to do with it.
    • In Super Paper Mario, during the final chapter, each of the heroes is seemingly killed one by one. When they show up before the final battle, Peach and Bowser have valid explanations for having survived, but Luigi doesn't, which is made more confusing by the fact that Dimentio did the same trick which killed Luigi in Chapter 6. Of course, it turns out that Dimentio kept him alive for his evil plan.
  • One of the Squirrels in Super Meat Boy gets revived twice for mysterious reason. Meat Boy himself doesn't count since he's clearly seen respawning during one of the cutscenes.
  • Tales Series:
    • We get two of these in Tales of Vesperia:
      The first is after Raven's Heroic Sacrifice in the Baction Shrine. The whole place collapses on top of him. It's implied that his subordinates dug him out, but how was he not crushed to death?
      The second was when Yuri falls off of The Enduring Shrine of Zaude. All we're told is that Duke saves him, but how exactly is someone saved from falling off of something that high in the air? Duke isn't shown to have any type of flying device/creature at that point. So how on earth did he save Yuri?
      • At the time, Duke was partnered with Khroma, a draconian entelexia who could fly (remember the scene with her descending upon a heat-stroking Yuri in the desert?). Most likely, she caught Yuri and Duke simply took the credit.
      • There's also Zagi. He survives an explosion on a burning ship in the middle of the ocean, as well as falling from a very high fall.
    • In Tales of the Abyss, Luke resolves to sacrifice himself along with 10 000 replicas in order to neutralize the miasma. He ultimately survives the ordeal.
      • The game subverts this because Luke ends up becoming terminally ill. Doubly subverted when he seems to have come back to life after a Heroic Sacrifice, but whether or not its truly Luke or Asch is purposefully left vague.
      • The God-Generals sans Asch are resilient enough to last for three boss battles each, despite various members being buried in an avalanche, getting blown sky-high, and falling into the core of the planet. Dist in particular is said to have the tenacity of a cockroach, and it shows. He's the only God-General to survive the game.
    • In Tales of Symphonia, there's a series of scenes where your entire party appears to sacrifice themselves so Lloyd can move forward.
      • Regal takes on a massive group of angels by himself, with the implication that he can't defeat them all on his own.
      • Sheena is seen falling into a massive pit, pulled by a tree root.
      • Raine is also seen falling into a massive pit after the floor collapses underneath her.
      • Presea is trapped and restrained in a room with no way to exit— perhaps one of the less threatening of fates compared to the rest of the characters, but she'd probably starve eventually.
      • Genis helps Lloyd escape an approaching force field (that is implied to be fatal), but is unable to escape himself due to his lack of "physical reflexes."
      • Despite all this, they all show up just fine in the next scene. Apparently Zelos (or Kratos, if you went his route), very improbably, rescued all of them, although we have no idea how he managed to pull this off.
  • Shredder, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games based on the original cartoon series (and earlier). Okay, the first arcade game DID say that he may have survived by zapping to Dimension X (which he probably did). But that doesn't account for him being there in the first place, given that in the first NES game, he completely disintegrates in a pool of fire. It only gets worse in The Manhattan Project, where you kill him TWICE, once as his normal sword-swinging self and the second time in his mutated form. Given this, it shouldn't be too surprising that something as mundane as the fall he took in Turtles in Time (second and last arcade game, fourth console) didn't finish him, he was back and ready to rumble in Tournament Fighters.
  • The Time Crisis character Wild Dog who is in every game bar Crisis Zone, in a series where the protagonists change each game. In the first game he falls off a castle and drops a radio detonator, detonating a huge set of explosives that goes off during the fall. In the second game, at the launch site of a nuclear satellite he leans against what appear to be warheads before using another radio detonator. The third game features the protagonists asking him "Don't you ever die?!" before he uses the same radio detonator again. The fourth game has him buried beneath large, full, metal boxes weighing at least tonnes only for his arm to burst out of the rubble to activate what appears to be the same radio detonator. The only lasting effect of these is that between the first and second games one of his arms is replaced with a machine-gun.
  • Used in Universe at War: Earth Assault. Orlok apparently kills some major characters during the Hierarchy campaign — they show up alive and well in the Masari campaign with no explanation of how they survived. It only adds to the Shoot the Shaggy Dog feel of that entire leg of the game.
  • Reaper from Unreal Tournament III, he is killed by the Krall in the opening cinema, but is later healed up, and in the very next scene, shooting a rocket launcher against his allies for a training session.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has "Ty the Immortal". The Elite Mook who you fight, and kill, three times in the game. Other than his name, it's not explained just how he does this.


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