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I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.—Woody Allen
One of the oldest of human desires is to counteract the fleeting nature of our short human existence. Eternal life is ingrained in the collective human consciousness, having been present in literature and myths for as long as they've been around.
Of course, having been around for so long, Our Immortality Is Different, and comes in several flavours. These tropes are not mutually exclusive; there's plenty of room for overlap.
- Complete Immortality - A character can't die.
- Retroactive Immortality - A character can die, but won't stay dead.
- Biological Immortality - A character is immune to the ravages of time.
- How to become immortal? - Methods by which a mortal character can actively cheat death. Key word being actively, once the method is stopped or reversed, they become mortal again.
For general tropes relating to immortality, see This Index Will Live Forever.
These were formerly labeled as various Types, which many pages still refer to:
- Type I: Complete Immortality, like certain gods, Nigh Invulnerable + The Ageless.
- Type II: The Ageless
- Type III: Regenerative; From a Single Cell.
- Type IV: Resurrective Immortality, or like Body Backup Drive
- Type V: The Undead
- Type VI: Age Without Youth
- Type VII: External, like Soul Jar or Immortality Talisman
- Type VIII: Legacy Immortality
- Type IX: Parasitic, like Body Surf
- Type X: Vampiric, like Life Drinker, Blood Bath
- Type XI: Projected avatar, like Fighting a Shadow or Body Backup Drive
- Type 0: Plot immortality, because the writers will never kill them off for good, like the Joker.