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Jabba: You weak minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick.

Luke: You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me.

Jabba: *laughs* Your mind powers will not work on me, boy.
"Your powers are useless on me, you silly billy."
Dr. Killinger, The Venture Brothers

Some baddies aren't particularly dangerous, but they are annoying to deal with, because the usual tricks used by our heroes don't work on them. This kind of opponent proves difficult to be overcome by a hero who is used to fighting using a small repertoire of techniques. As such, these encounters force our heroes to think outside of the box. Mostly because it's cooler than showing them win fights the same way all of the time.

Runs on the same principle as Kryptonite Is Everywhere, as an attempt to avert Boring Invincible Hero. May be overcome with attacks For Massive Damage. May be part of an Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system. Back Stab and One-Hit Kill are popular abilities to be immunised against. See also No Sell, The Spiny, Immune to Bullets, Heavily Armored Mook and Giant Mook. May invoke Anti-Magic, Balls of Steel or Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh. Related to Invincible Minor Minion. When bosses do this, Contractual Boss Immunity is involved.

Examples of Kung Fu-Proof Mook include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Anti-Magic Field Drones in the third season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. ...which just means you have to use More Dakka or Magic Knight tactics.
    • Although, once the Power Limiters are removed, the AMFs really don't stop Nanoha and Fate from bringing down the whoop-ass on Jail Scagletti, Quattro, and Sankt Kaiser-mode Vivio.
    • Eclipse shown in Force is a much better example, since it seems to make those who have it Nigh Invulnerable to magic.
  • In the first Ranma ½ movie, our hero encounters a giant (and I do mean giant) man. Of course, all that fat makes him feel no pain from kicks or punches.
  • Hokuto no Ken subverted it twice. The first time, Kenshiro had to fight Heart, an enemy so fat he couldn't hit his pressure points, at least until Kenshiro moved the fat away with a move created to do just that (probably it hadn't been the first time someone attempted that on an Hokuto Shinken master). In a later story arc, arc Big Bad Souther is apparently immune to Hokuto Shinken, at least until Kenshiro discovers his pressure points are inverted due a rare cardiovascular condition, right after Toki declaring he knew about it caused the until then smug Souther to get an Oh Crap face.
    • Another (anime only) subversion is Balkom, one of Shin's main henchmen. Upon rebelling he boasted that his technique made his muscles hard as steel and immune to Shin's Nanto moves, and in fact he actually survived Shin's initial attacks, including the one that had actually felled Kenshiro in their first fight, with nothing more than a bloody nose. Then Shin decided it was the moment to actually fight seriously, and used a move that destroyed Balkom's muscles. Oh Crap and Ludicrous Gibs ensued.
    • A subversion similar to what happened to Balkom is the fate of the King of Kiba, who not only was normally though enough to shrug off being hit on the head with a pillar of concrete, but could make his muscles even harder, as shown when Kenshiro checked his claim by hitting him with an I-beam (the beam was bent, and the King didn't feel anything). At that point the reader already knows that such a trick is useless against Hokuto Shinken due it not defending the pressure points, but Kenshiro, being a sadistic bastard, used a move that made him less though than the ones of a normal human. Oh Crap ensued.
    • Mercilessly parodied with Dù Tiān-Fēng from the spin-off Souten no Ken. Knowing that Liú Zōng-Wǔ (an Hokuto Ryuu Ken practitioner) is after his head, he decided to defend himself from his pressure point attacks by procuring a Pressure Point Defense Suit, that not only defends his pressure points but electrocutes anyone trying to hit them. When he finally found him on a ship, Liú Zōng-Wǔ simply kicked him in the ocean with his rubber-soiled boots.

Card Games

  • Good luck countering something with split second in Magic: The Gathering; you can't respond to it. Or something uncounterable, for that matter. Once in play, we have several other options, including:
    • Indestructable. This does not stop zero-toughness and other state-based effects.
    • Protection from X. Whatever X is, they can't be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked, or targeted by it, leading to the anagram DEBT. Note that there are still ways to destroy them, such as with global spells. Even then, you can simply change its type from (say) land creature to land to avoid this. Or return it to your hand with another spell.
    • Unblockable. As long as this creature's attacking, your creatures can't block it.

Comic Books

  • Yellow enemies for the old Green Lantern.
    • Or enemies armed with wooden weapons (e.g. Sportsmaster with his bats and hockey sticks) for the original Green Lantern.
  • Various X-Men, for various reasons, are, or have been retconned to be, immune to telepathy due to government experiments (Wolverine), messed up heads with way too much going on in them (Wolverine, Rogue), powers (Magneto in some continuities), equipment (Magneto again, The Juggernaut). Others are specifically immune to each others' powers, usually in the case of siblings like the Summers brothers or the Frost sisters.
    • Because telepathy can stop most fights before they start, either being conveniently immune or knocking the telepath out before the fights starts are frequent strategies, especially when you have a solo villain.
    • You also have villains like the Blob, the Juggernaut, or Sinister who are immune to everything. This requires either clever, out-of-the-box thinking, or a stupid Deus Ex Machina, depending on the writing quality.
    • Syndicate in the Ultimate continuity was immune to telepathy. Which was convenient, since Professor X had to deal with him solo.
  • One of the first enemies the Human Torch ever fought was the Asbestos Man, a guy with a suit and net made out of, well, asbestos.

Film

  • Star Wars has several examples of characters immune to the Jedi "mind trick" of Force Persuasion, to avoid letting the Jedi have too easy a time of it:
    • Watto in The Phantom Menace and Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.
    • Given that Force Persuasion only works on the weak minded, foiling it doesn't require any special immunity. Knowing what it is (and when a Jedi is attempting it) seems to help.
    • In the Expanded Universe, the Yuuzhan Vong are transparent to the Force, apart from Force Lightning and indirect applications of the Force, like hurling a boulder at them with telekinesis.
    • Also in Star Wars, the Droidekas are immune to lightsabers unless they lose their shields.
  • The Made of Iron London Gangster from Ninja Assassin is surprisingly ninjitsu-proof compared to everyone else in the story.
  • Used in 300. Under normal conditions the Spartans should just use the "force everybody off the cliff" strategy that they first utilized. This is indeed what the Greek forces did in Real Life. So in the movie, Xerxes ups the ante with war rhinos, crazy berserkers, and Immortal warriors without faces to keep them from doing it again.
  • Inverted in Kung Fu Panda: Po, the hero, is revealed to be immune to villain Tai Lung's Touch of Death powers purely down to being so fat.

Literature

Live Action Television

  • In Star Trek, Ferengi are telepath-proof.
    • One Star Trek novel features a character who is "esper-blind." They are utterly incapable of sending or receiving any telepathic signal. Of course this turns out to be very useful in solving the problem of the week.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster, the Master tries his usual trick of hypnosis--"You will obey me. You--will--obey--ME!"--on the 500-year-old king of Atlantis, who laughs and says that he's much too old (and learned in the sacred mysteries) for that to work on him.
    • There are also various beings on whom the Psychic Paper is ineffective.

Tabletop RPG

  • Elves in most incarnations of Dungeons and Dragons are immune to sleep spells. Bummer.
    • In both 3rd editions, a staggering variety of other creature types are immune to one thing or another-- critical hits, flanking, mind-affecting effects, energy drain, magic in general, nonmagical weapons, or more commonly several categories at once. Listing all the creature types and immunities takes up multiple pages of the rulebook.
    • Golems in particular have magic resistance as their major schtick. In earlier editions (1st/2nd and Pathfinder) they were entirely immune to magic, with extremely limited and specific exceptions. If the party could not fool a golem or sneak past it, physical brute force was the only option. (Though the 3rd and 3.5 editions tried to stick with the same theme, the immunity is significantly narrowed in scope, and rules loopholes mean that golems are particularly weak to certain kinds of spells.)
    • This is the bane of the Rogue class- their main advantage in combat is that when they flank an opponent or catch them unaware, they can sneak attack them For Massive Damage. Unfortunately for them, anything that's immune to critical hits is also immune to sneak attacks, so they effectively lose their main trick against undead, elementals, oozes, golems and a whole host of other monster types.
  • Blanks from Warhammer 40000 continuity are immune to, and nullify, psychic and Warp powers.
    • Also known as Pariahs, they are soulless psychic voids whose mere presence makes normal humans deeply uncomfortable. The Culexus Assassin school recruits exclusively from these people, resulting in assassins who are effectively invisible as no normal human mind wants to notice them. Specialists in slaying pskyers, for whom the Culexus represent Nightmare Fuel. Even daemons probably find them disturbing- in fact, the rules for them in Inquisitor explain that daemons can't even see them.
    • Blanks and Pariahs may not be exactly the same thing, necessarily. Depending on the Writer, sometimes. To elaborate, Blanks nullify psychic powers in a certain radius around them, the same field causing revulsion and discomfort in normal people, and enormous discomfort in psykers. Sometimes they can have their blankness negated to allow psychics to operate near them. Pariahs additionally lack any presence in the Warp, and can become Culexus assassins, using this fact to power their anti-psychic weaponry.

Video Games

  • Generic example: Many, many, many RPG-style games have enemies for whom magic is completely ineffective, and only physical attacks will work, or the inverse--physical attacks are a No Sell, but magic attacks take them out fast.
  • This is the schtick of the bos Red Giant from Final Fantasy VIII. He will respond with gloats and snarks each time your attacks have little to no effect on him. Tip: Gravity is his Achilles Heel.
  • There are certain Mooks in the Nintendo 64 Bomberman games who are invulnerable to various elemental-type bombs. The most annoying? Without a doubt, the ones impervious to Fire Bombs--the basic, and most versatile, bombs.
  • The Power Troopers in Metroid Prime are the most difficult of the reverse-engineered space pirates for this reason. All your fancy new upgrades won't do squat to them. The Chozo Ghosts are also immune to your stronger weapons. Both are vulnerable to Super Missiles, however.
    • In Zero Mission, there are these black space pirates which are only weak to your beam, which are annoying as hell to kill. All the missiles, super missiles, power bombs, screw attack? All completely useless. The two in the escape sequence can give players grief, aside from an AI Breaker.
    • Amusingly, a Kung Fu-Proof Mook in Super Metroid is a Space Pirate that uses kung fu-like moves. It is only briefly vulnerable after it jump-kicks.
  • In Kirby games, Scarfys cannot be inhaled. If Kirby tries to inhale them, they'll go crazy and start to chase him down.
    • Mumbies and some of the larger enemies in certain games are also impossible to inhale (requiring Kirby to spit something at them or use a Copy Ability) or at least take much longer to do so, though they don't get mad like Scarfys do. Interestingly, Dogons in Kirby's Dream Land 3 invert this; they can be inhaled, but most of the more advanced attacks don't work against them as they knock all projectiles back at Kirby.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Spinies are spiny, immune to stomping and must be killed by fireballs, while Buzzy Beetles are immune to fireballs. Super Mario World puts them together with Spike Top (spiny and fireproof); thankfully, you still have ways around that combination.
    • Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door has flying Spiky Parabuzzies, who are immune to both your standard attacks; they can't be jumped on because they're spiky, and can't be hammered because they fly. The solution is to either equip the Spike Shield badge (which enables you to jump on them without getting hurt) or use a non-jump attack that hits the air (like Hammer Throw)
    • Spiked Paragoombas have the same abilities (wings and a spiked helmet), but appears much earlier in the game. The same goes for Bristles, which are ground-based but have spikes all over. Just getting close to one means you get a poke and your attack fails. Since you most likely have neither Spike Shield or Hammer Throw at this point, it means breaking out the consumable item attacks.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series lives on this trope. You'll be in a dungeon doing some grinding, and suddenly X enemy comes up. You do check its Hit Points and it's not much, you could easily rip it a new one. Then you hit him with a physical attack: it does one hit point of damage. Throw fire magic? Immune. Ice magic? Bounces back. Electric magic? It drains and recharges its hit points. Argh!
  • Shedinja from Pokémon, depending on what kind of Pokemon you have in your team. Shedinja's ability makes it immune to everything that it's not weak against. It's a Bug/Ghost, so it can only be harmed by Fire, Dark, Rock, Ghost, and Flying. But since it's a One-Hit-Point Wonder and those elements are pretty common it usually ends up Awesome but Impractical.
    • Hackers are known to make a Spiritomb with that ability, since its type combination gives it no elemental weaknesses whatsoever and thus it shouldn't be harmed by anything at all. Unless you have the ability that cancels the other's ability.
    • Or a Pokémon with both Foresight/Odor Sleuth (or the "Scrappy" ability) and a Fighting-type move, because once the Ghost-type's immunity to Fighting is removed, the Dark-type's weakness is still present.
    • Or a Pokémon that can deal Non-Elemental damage at the end of each turn via weather effects (like Sandstorm, Hail or Shadow Sky) or poison. Yeah, Wonder Guard isn't very wonderful.
    • In competitive play, Shedinja's viability among the tiers is rather interesting. In the Standard tier it tends to drop fast to the frequently-in-play weather effects/Stealth Rock/specially prepared moves, but in the Uber tier, which contains the nastiest Pokemon in the game, such effects are rarely used and most rely on raw power- thus, a Shedinja played late in the match (when your opponent's conscious Pokemon, and thus variety of attacks, are limited) can be a nasty surprise.
      • Indeed, some Legendaries are completely helpless against Shedinja under normal circumstances (Kyogre is the biggest example, many players keep Ancient Power (a somewhat weak Rock-type attack) on their God of the Sea specifically to deal with the ghost bug).
  • In Iji, Komato Assassins can dodge a lot of weapons, including the Plasma Cannon. They therefore need quite a bit more effort to defeat than most mooks.
  • The ghosts in Jade Empire can't be hit with weapons (but can be punched). The reverse applies to Golems, while demons are immune to chi magic styles.
  • In Prince of Persia Sands of Time, enemies can be broadly divided into three categories. Those who die instantly to the vault attack. Those who put you in a world of hurt every time you try. And a single boss who just blocks it.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, throughout the game but especially in the challenges, there are the regular mooks, and then there are the mooks with knives, who are block/counter proof and will screw up your combo if you use a basic attack on them without stunning them first. Then there are the mooks with stun batons...
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, the Elite Mooks are equipped with special armor that makes them immune to your psi powers. If you set them on fire with pyrokinesis, though, they become vulnerable for a split-second before they extinguish themselves.
  • The Spetznaz Elite in Singularity are equipped with special armor that renders them immune to the age-people-into-dust ability of the TMD. Deadlock stasis bubbles still work on them, however.
  • In the 360 game Wet there are two versions, the leaders who can not be hit with a sword,and the sword wielding ones who can not be killed by bullets, unless you stun them.
  • In the Assassin's Creed games, some mooks can break free of your grabs or block assassination attempts that aren't done In the Back. The Papal Guards in Brotherhood can outright block counters (or "counter" you during this -- though you take no damage), unlike in 2 where the Elite Mooks were still hurt by non-fatal counters, and the Papal Guards are immune to Smoke Bombs deployed in open combat. They however are vulnerable to the kill streak mechanic, which actually makes them tougher by themselves than with a weaker, non-Kung Fu Proof Mook for you to start a kill streak with. The Papal Guards' Ottoman counterparts, the Janissaries, in Revelations take this Up to Eleven; they can block kill streaks too!
  • Dwarf Fortress averts Annoying Arrows, as bolts and arrows are capable of piercing organs to do fatal or debilitating injuries, making them quite a useful weapon. However, certain monsters, like iron men, bronze colossi, skeletal anything, and many demons don't have organs or blood and thus have to be torn apart to be killed, which arrows and bolts are very bad at.
    This applies to a lesser extent to whips (which are currently horrendously overpowered for their ability to causes immense pain and enormous injuries through armor), since they also don't feel pain and whips rare destroy whole limbs, but they're still able to chip them into pieces.
  • Pursuit Cops from Mirror's Edge will dodge away from your usual running attacks and are immune to counters. You're best off avoiding them, but they are vulnerable to disarms from behind.
    • Just to clarify: ME is built around running away, melee combat and stealing guns. Pursuit cops are immune to melee combat 90% of the time, run pretty much as fast as you, and don't have guns. Killing one can easily become a personal CMoA.
  • The Screen Door Zombies carry Screen Doors that protect them from most frontal attacks. Fume Shrooms can hurt them, though.
  • In the Jedi Knight sequels, humanoids with disruptor rifles. They go down the same way as anyone else, but the trick is that you can't block their shots with a lightsaber, so you can't just charge straight ahead at them without taking hits, and if the disruptor rifle is charged up enough, it's a One-Hit Kill.
    • There's also the occasional Reborn in Jedi Academy that can't be affected by Force Push and Pull at all - because the game doesn't want to give you an opportunity to automatically win so many battles by throwing someone into the abyss they're jumping over to get to you. In other cases, it's clearly intended that you do so, or the opportunity may or may not present itself as the fight goes on.
  • The Force Unleashed has the Stormtrooper Commanders, which are pretty much your average Mooks, except that they have a Force-proof bubble around them. The usual Force Lightning or Force Push don't work, but your lightsaber and hurled debris still does...
  • In the Elder Scrolls games, ghosts can't be harmed by weapons unless they're magic, silver or Daedric. Magic also works fine. Fists usually work on ghosts.
  • The third and fourth bosses in Descent II, which are both That One Boss, are impervious to energy weapons, while the fifth is immune to mass weapons, and the Final Boss can only be damaged on its hard-to-hit backside. The Diamond Claw fires homing plasma balls back when hit with energy weapons.
  • In Dante's Inferno (video game) the Heretical Priests are immune to the cross. This combined with their Teleport Spam would be enough to make them Goddamned Bats, but what makes them all-up Demonic Spiders is their ability to confer that immunity on other enemies.
  • The Zuul from Sword of the Stars are immune to plagues without needing vaccine research, though they can't use plagues against others either. Spectres can only be hurt by energy weapons. High-end shield techs can outright nullify certain weapon types.
  • Ceph Heavies/Devastators and Grunt Commanders from Crysis 2 are immune to Back Stabs whereas even Ceph Guardians are not. Grunt Commanders also need to be weakened before Alcatraz can do the One-Hit Kill Neck Lift-and-throw, while Heavies by their large size are understandably completely immune to this.
  • Pretty much every non-starter enemy in God of War needs to be softened up before Kratos can grab it.
  • Plok gives us Shprouts, which become shocked and jump into the air when hit for the first time and need to be hit a second time immediately afterwards in order to defeat them; taking too long "resets" them, forcing you to start over. It becomes worse when they begin to carry shields in later stages, requiring Plok to hit them in the back by deliberately missing them with a limb he throws at them, making it hit them on its way back; sneaking up behind them won't work well, as they turn around after the first hit.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Hell Envies are functionally identical to Hell Prides, except that they are almost impossible to launch or knock back.
  • In the reboot of Syndicate higher-ranking enemies are initially immune to Breaches and must be softened up first.

Web Comics

  • Milo from The Wotch. While not exactly an actiony guy or anything, he's a supporting character who happens to have a complete immunity to magic.
    • Which becomes unfortunate when he's damaged by non-magical methods and is immune to magical healing.
    • Dex Garritt of Dominic Deegan has the exact same condition.
  • Black Belt of Eight Bit Theater more or less spells this out when White Mage calls him out on his inability to defend himself against giant spiders. He says he was specifically trained to fight humans and humanoids, so his fighting training (for example, attacking pressure points) is useless against the spiders.
  • Kid Radd has a few examples where the game physics used by our heroes and the game physics used by their opponents is different enough that problems will ensue. Perhaps the most potent example is the Big Bad itself, the Seer. It has absorbed the "any attack just takes away one hit point" trick of the Kid Radd style of platformer; thus no matter how much Radd charges up, it'll still be only 1 HP damage. Kind of a bummer after an adventure of overwhelming opponents with the sheer power granted by his programming glitch, huh?
    • Radd can charge up to the point where he could utterly destroy The Seer regardless of its programming, but he's not sure how far he should charge up to do so without affecting the rest of the Internet. It's probably a good thing he didn't, though, since The Seer's conflicting death programs caused it to crash upon its defeat.

Western Animation

  • One episode of Regular Show involves Mordecai and Rigby fighting a video game character that came to life. When they were playing the game itself, they found the boss was immune to all attacks except for throwing furniture at them. When said boss comes to life, everyone has to trash up the entire house, throwing everything that wasn't nailed down in order to defeat him.
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