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The Tick: Urgh! Got to....pull myself to...gether! Must....defy....laws of....physics!

Arthur: Fight it, Tick! Fight that black hole!

Super Toughness on steroids.

Someone is tough. Merely fighting them won't make them go away; if at all possible their defeat requires one to figure out how, which is a legendary quest in and of itself. Usually the ability of the Big Bad in sci-fi and fantasy settings, few heroes get this one. (Except in Superhero series, with Superman being the flagship example.)

Either one has to find their Achilles Heel, or else summon up a nuclear-bomb's worth of power in the last episode, either through The Power of Love or Ki Attacks or really heavy armaments (e.g. When All You Have Is a Hammer) and hope for Villain Decay.

Sometimes a vaguely defined nigh-invulnerability is just a way to make a hero only as tough as he needs to be to advance the plot.

There's a number of ways one can have Nigh Invulnerability.

  • God: Face it. Sometimes you CAN'T kill a god. It's physically and theologically impossible. However other gods can sometimes kill gods, so they do technically fit the "nigh" part.
  • The Blob: a common variant of this, when the character is made of some sort of fluid stuff that makes him tangible, but completely impervious to damage with bludgeoning or piercing weapons.
  • Made of Rubber: Somewhere in between the last two, where most attacks just seem to bounce off with little to no effect to the victim.
  • Can Only Kill Part Of Him: Fighting a Shadow. Similar to Regeneration/Regrowth/Resurrection, but basically the whatsit that you were fighting was just its... "representation" in the same world. Killing its body in this dimensional plane is a mild setback... if at all, as it can grow that back very quickly or replaced. Technically not that different from Resurrection except for semantics. Usually applies to gods, demons, and Cosmic Horror.
    • The Proxy: Another example of Fighting a Shadow, but differing in that the individual in question is very much present in the world and very much capable of dying through conventional means. They usually make use of other bodies or identities in order to conceal themselves and reduce the risk of death or injury through direct contact. The proxy could take the form of a remote-control robot, a cloned flesh puppet, or a victim of mind control or possession, and is usually killable. If the proxy is encountered often enough, it can give the semblance of invulnerability.
  • External Repair/Spare Body Parts: Like regeneration and/or regrowth, but external, most common with machines but occasionally works for the undead or supernatural foes. Chop off an arm? Meh, if it's too damaged to reattach, no big deal: it's replaceable. Blown into tiny chunks? Allies or drones will show up and rebuild. In some cases, they can modify themselves, or even abandon their body entirely after building a new one to transfer into, or, if they're Made Of Air underneath it, choosing a new one to possess.
  • Multiple Bodies: The classic power of the Hive Mind. Killing one body is irrelevant; at worst, it will reduce it's cognitive abilities; more often, though, the only way to kill him is to kill all of him, as even one survivor may be able to recreate a whole new army of selves.
  • Extreme Luck: The part where the clumsy hero/heroine can dodge everything just because of extreme luck. The only problem is if the extreme luck is unwieldy.

Contrast Made of Iron, where no explanation is given for an individual's incredible resilience. Compare of course Physical God, Implacable Man, The Juggernaut, Intangible Man, The Blob and Made of Indestructium. Taking this the logical step beyond nigh invulnerable gives the character Complete Immortality or may even make the character The Omnipotent. See also Immortal Life Is Cheap, which applies to such cases as Multiple Bodies and Regeneration.

Examples of Nigh Invulnerability include:


Fan Works

  • Paul in With Strings Attached. He needs it, since he's holding a shitload of energy inside him and would explode quite thoroughly without it. He is literally Made of Diamond; his hair, nails, and teeth are either diamond or diamond-like. Presumably his bones are diamond too. He has so far been invulnerable to most everything, including dragon fire, but he has no resistance to intangible things like wraiths, and the Hunter's BFS once cut him just enough to draw blood.


Films -- Animated

  • The title character in the The Iron Giant combines being "Made of Diamond" (survives heavy weaponry from tanks), as well as a mixture of "Regeneration" and "External Repair" (even after being blown apart, the Iron Giant is capable of self-repair while its pieces crawl back together from various places to rebuild itself).
  • WALL-E's cockroach, who survives being squashed by WALL-E (twice!) and nuked by EVE. He just pops right back up after each accident. However, he's otherwise powerless beyond his survival skills; he's just there to be a cute pet.
    • Another Pixar film, The Incredibles, deconstructs this a bit. Mr. Incredible can be hurt, as evidenced by a small scratch he receives going up against an omnicidal robot, but that's the only injury he receives and he has super strength to go along with it. That said, he doesn't have super anchoring abilities (he gets smacked around a lot), and when he stops a train he does so by bracing himself first and visibly winces just before impact.


Films -- Live-Action

  • The Terminator. The first Terminator "merely" has Super Toughness, but other examples do fit this trope:
    • In Terminator 2, the T-1000's blob-like nature makes him a Regenerator Blob.
    • In Terminator 3 The T-X a.k.a. Terminatrix has a standard Super Tough Terminator frame with a Regenerator Blob cover, just like the T-1000.
    • Meanwhile, the Sky Net in Terminator 3 is discovered to be virtually unstoppable because it's actually software, which puts it somewhere in the Multiple Bodies category.
  • Various kinds show up in The Matrix movies:
    • In addition to diamond-powers, the Agents in The Matrix also manifested by taking over the bodies of those still connected to the Matrix. Due to their abilities, "killing" an Agent is an incredible feat for a human -- and all it meant was that the Agent had to move on to the next body. Then there's Smith in the latter two films, who could infect any plugged-in human or program and rewrite them into a copy of himself.
    • Neo, the central protagonist of The Matrix, is also effectively Made of Diamond (while inside the Matrix), specifically in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He's able to block a sword cut with his hand, only drawing a tiny bit of blood. An on-looker proceeds to highlight this fact, ignoring that Neo just proved himself to be ungodly tough even by Matrix standards. The character's NOT as invulnerable in the original movie until he learns to dis-believe the reality of the artificial world at the film's conclusion (and therefore seize the means to manipulate it). When Neo meets the multiple Smiths for the first time in Reloaded ("The Burly Brawl"), it's a case of Diamond vs. Diamond as neither can defeat the other no matter how hard they struck. Smith does draws the stalemate close to a win since there was only one Neo, who escapes from a dog-pile of nearly 100 Smiths atop him.
    • The Twins from The Matrix sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, combine Made of Air with Regeneration. Not only can they turn intangible at will, but while intangible they almost instantly heal any injuries they have sustained while in corporeal form. On the other hand, the Twins couldn't hurt anyone when intangible either, which the heroes used to their advantage.
  • Jason and most other horror movie Psycho Killers -- at least the ones who got sequels.
  • Basically, any of the daikaiju in Toho's Godzilla series — any degree of firepower short of Applied Phlebotinum (and some of that, too) or other monsters can at best annoy or distract them. Gamera (from competitor studio Daiei) is comparably tough inside his turtle shell, but more recent films have suggested his exposed limbs can be vulnerable to explosives or concentrated fire.
    • Godzilla himself can also regenerate from almost anything short of being completely skeletonized or reduced to a radioactive puddle--the two things that actually have killed him in the series. Presumably, this also applies to Biollante and Space Godzilla, however this is uncertain, as they never return to show that they actually survived the injuries sustained in their respective movies after dissolving into particles of light and fleeing to space.
  • Dorian Gray in The Movie of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is of the Regeneration/Regrowth type. It could also be a form of Divine Protection, as the damage and aging he sustains is magically transferred to his picture, rather than healed.
  • In The Crow, when he comes back from the dead, Eric is completely invulnerable to being shot or hurt, until a mystic determines killing the man's crow companion leaves him vulnerable.
  • The Creeper in Jeepers Creepers is a regenerator with a twist: he cannibalizes his victims for parts. Literally.
  • From the Gag Dubbed And Edited movie, Kung Pow, Master Pain, also known as Betty. His invulnerability goes so far as including having a show of power by being beaten by several men with pole weapons. This did not go over nearly so well when the 'chosen one' tries to replicate it...
  • Aereon from The Chronicles of Riddick shows off two advantages to the Made of Air version. When she's on a plane another character threatens her while she's standing by an open trap door (which would make her fall out of the plane), and goes to take a swipe at Aereon with a sword, asking if Aereon (as an Air Elemental) can fly. Aereon goes insubstantial to avoid the sword, then drift across trap door before becoming solid on the other side, where she replies: "No, we can't fly, but we do glide very well." Made all the more awesome by the fact that Aereon is being played by Judi Dench, complete with a little smirk as she says her reply.
  • All the immortals from Highlander and Highlander the Series have the Healing Factor/Resurrection version of this, vulnerable only to getting made a little shorter.
  • Inspector -- sorry, Chief Inspector -- Jacques Clouseau would seem to be an example of the "Extremely Lucky" variant of this trope.
  • Clu in Tron: Legacy is the "Divine Protection" variety, in a manner. He was created by Kevin Flynn to be his assistant and stand-in while Kevin isn't in the Grid. To ensure that Clu was still there if he left, he programmed Clu to be impervious to physical harm. Unfortunately, that came back to bite Kevin in the ass... When Clu executes his Coup, Tron single-handedly dices up all the other black guards accompanying Clu, but when Tron starts attacking Clu, a cutting stroke with a data disc is merely shrugged off.
  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel film serial of the 1940's is one of the earliest examples, and interestingly enough, a mild subversion. While Captain Marvel is completely immune to bullets and blades and most forms of harm, there exists technology that can hurt him enough to stun him for a while, and phenomena like molten lava is considered lethal even to him.
  • The titular creature in the horror parody Monster in the Closet: it emerges unscathed from an artillary bombardment, being electrocuted and shot with a prototype laser. (It turns out it can only be destroyed when all closets in the world are destroyed.)
  • Hancock is immune to bullets and trains. An apartment fire hurt him but even then, he survived. The only thing that can kill him is being near his wife.
  • In The Thing we have...well the Thing. Part of what makes the film so terrifying and such Paranoia Fuel is that it only takes ONE cell for the creature to survive. The fact that it's basically a virus that spreads it cells to others makes it that much worse and nearly impossible to kill.
  • The aliens in Ghosts of Mars are possessing spirits, putting them at Type 4. Moreover, while their hosts can be destroyed (qualifying them for the "nigh" part of this trope) they themselves can't, making them Invincible Villains.
  • Hellboy:
    • The Golden Army, due to their Healing Factor.
    • Downplayed with Johann Kraus. He is invulnerable whenever he assumes his intangible form, but he can't stay like this perpetually, needing to return to his suit.


Literature

  • How can Odysseus possibly win a fight if it's just him and his son against 150 people who really, really want you dead? If Athena and Zeus are making them fight about as well as a four year old girl.
  • The Shrike from Hyperion Cantos, and Rhadamanth Nemes in the sequel series Endymion, would qualify as Trope Codifiers if the series was better known. The Shrike attacks the Swiss Guard, supposedly the greatest soldiers in charted space, and kills them all. Nemes is attacked by a ship that melts the rock around her, and instead of dying, sinks into the liquid stone. Even later, the Shrike punches Nemes about eight metres through solid rock.
  • In Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire, massive blond thug Roland Niedermann seems invulnerable to everything from full-force body blows to stab wounds and even gunfire. In fact, this is not the case: Due to congenital analgesia, he simply cannot feel the damage inflicted on him. This, when paired with his enormous build, makes him appear invincible. However, the same genetic flaws that give him his strength and numbness result in him being an utterly paranoid psychopath.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind, the eponymous "mankind" is a race of aliens who are under relentless assault from a hero who Just Won't Die - the hero being a small boy playing a computer game, that of course allows you replay from the last save point whenever you die.
  • An example from Discworld: Wolfgang von Uberwald in The Fifth Elephant, being a werewolf, survives any number of horrific experiences until Vimes uses a signal flare to destroy him with fire.
    • Also in Discworld, vampires can be "killed" but they always come back one day. Some blood falls on their ashes or some such thing and then they are regenerated. This is one of the reasons Vimes hates them.
    • Zombies - after all, how do you kill somebody who is already dead? Shoot him with a crossbow, and it'll make him just annoyed. Losing a limb, or even a head is nothing that a few stitches can't fix. (Though this condition doesn't [normally] give you any supernatural durability - when in Witches Abroad an alligator ate Granny Weatherwax's hat, she didn't let Baron Saturday try getting it back, because "Just because you're dead it doesn't mean you have to be in pieces.")
    • Honorary mention to Mr. Shine from Thud!. Mr. Shine. Him diamond!
  • In the Incarnations of Immortality series, the Incarnations are nigh invulnerable unless they explicitly or implicitly allow it, such as when Death changes offices
  • The Wild Cards series had Demise, an undead and unhinged assassin whose wild card triggered during a near death experience. He ended up getting a healing factor that allowed him to return from the dead. When his head was chopped off by a similarly psychotic Ace, Dr. Tachyon analyzed the corpse and realized that his head was growing back. He ordered the body cremated, and while Demise hasn't shown up in any other books yet, well...
    • Wild Cards also had Golden Boy, a classic comic-book Flying Brick (without the flying) who, when hit by anything up to a 50 millimeter artillery shell, would merely glow yellow instead of getting injured. According to Dr. Tachyon, Golden Boy projected a biological forcefield around his body whenever threatened by imminent danger, whether he was aware of this danger or not.
  • Parodied to hell and back in Nuklear Age by Brian Clevinger. The main character Nuke gets thrown into a sun and survives, beyond him there's Atomik lad who has a nifty forcefield that blocks everything, Angus the Iron Scotsman who's covered in iron and never takes damage (apart from one nasty incident where he is found in his suit backwards), there's a guy made of tungsten, and last but not least Superion who can't be destroyed ever thanks to how his powers work.
  • The eromakasi (eaters of light) in Carnivores of Light and Darkness, Into Thinking Kingdoms, and the Journey of the Catechist series in general (by Alan Dean Foster) can only be killed by eromakadi, because they are basically mist, and need to be sucked in. The most powerful mage in the world has two of them as bodyguards. That isn't the only nigh invincible creature around. The wall, a several mile long wall that can walk is also next to invincible, with the main characters just running under it.
  • Usually when people actually run into one of H.P Lovecraft's Great Old Ones, they end up going insane or getting brutally killed. In the few cases they manage to fight back, it turns out the beings are unkillable by mortal weapons. Sometimes they might be banished, like Nyarlatotep's avatar the Haunter in the Dark, who can't stand bright light, but even then they are likely to come back later. Others fall into the "Made of Air" category, and physical attacks go right through them. Some, like Cthulhu himself, can be harmed, but regenerate any damage within seconds.
    • In Call of Cthulhu a boat rams Cthulhu in the face, causing his head to blow apart, yet the only effect is to make him slightly annoyed as his head regenerates right after the boat has passed through it. (He did go back to sleep for another millennium afterwards, so it was a net win for Team Humanity.) In another story (not written by Lovecraft himself) humans try to stop the awakened Cthulhu by firing a ramjet missile carrying a 300 megaton nuclear payload right at him. It doesn't even slow him down.
    • Even the "normal" aliens (i.e. not the godlike extradimensional ones that destroy worlds on whim) in Lovecraft's fiction are extremely resilient, or made from some exotic matter which makes normal weapon very ineffective against them.
      • Not all of them. Deep Ones and Ghouls aren't especially bulletproof, and a one of the Fungi from Yuggoth was killed by dogs. And Wilbur Whateley, who got ripped apart by an attack-dog.
  • The Ringwraiths of The Lord of the Rings are incredibly difficult, though not impossible, to permanently destroy, and are immortal thanks to the powers of the nine magic rings that sustain them.
    • The only ways to permanently destroy the Ringwraiths are to destroy their rings (which Sauron keeps in his personal possession), or destroy the One Ring. In his letters, Tolkien says that Sauron could have restored the Witch King in time, if not for those meddling hobbits dropping his Ring into a volcano.
  • Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter went the phylactery route to allow his spirit to remain Earthbound even after his body is destroyed. Since he can't regenerate a new body on his own, however, this turns out to be less clever than he thought.
    • According to Word of God, the fear inducing soul sucking Dementors are invincible. The Patronus Charm can drive them off, but they can't be destroyed by any means, magic or otherwise. Fortunately for the Harry Potter-verse, Word of God also stated that Dementors are not immortal and do eventually die.
      • Of course, with no soul to hang on to, they can stick around until their body crumbles (a century or so after their creation, give or take).
  • In R.A. Salvatore's The Cleric Quintet book 3 The Night Masks, the leader of the eponymous assassins' guild is Ghost - a scrawny, withered man who doesn't look at all imposing. He combines the Regeneration method (a Ring of Regeneration is hidden in his shoe, presumably around a toe) with the Multiple Bodies trick - he possesses an artifact, a Mirror that allows him to swap souls with someone, then kills his own fragile body with his victim's hand. When his body dies the victim's soul departs, Ghost then waits for the body to regenerate then uses the artifact to swap back, putting his soul back in his body and leaving the victim unharmed but soulless and therefore dead. The artifact in question is so powerful that it pulls Ghost's soul out of hell and back into his corpse after he is later finally killed, and has to be destroyed by the breath of an ancient red dragon... and the resulting explosion blinds the dragon in question. And if ALL THAT wasn't good enough, he has Vander, a huge giant-like humanoid called a Firbolg, as a slave with whom he will frequently forcefully swap bodies if the situation demands. Yeah.
  • In the Xanth series, Bink has the 'extreme luck' form of nigh invulnerability, because his talent protects him from magic attacks using coincidences and so on. The Magician Trent finally figured it out when he was trying to transform Bink and was always missing, to the point of transforming bacteria on Bink's skin instead of Bink.
  • This is one of the mutant abilities in Those Who Walk In Darkness by John Ridley, rendering one's skin impenetrable. The standard way of killing these mutants is to overload their pain receptors, but apparently contact poison works as well.
  • Jon Remillard, aka Jack the Bodiless, in Julian May's Galactic Milieu books is nigh invulnerable in his native form of a disembodied brain. His brother Marc actually remarks in the book Diamond Mask that nothing had been discovered to harm Jon in that form up to that point.
  • In Spider Robinson's Lady Slings the Booze several characters are protected by a bullet-proof forcefield over the entire surface of their skin, of course the flaw being that a gun fired into the mouth of one character causes the bullet to ricochet off the inside of the forcefield with results akin to a sack of chunky salsa.
  • Nicodemus in The Dresden Files, the leader of the Fallen Angel-possessed Denarians, wears the noose that Judas hanged himself with as a necktie, making him immune to everything from getting blasted by a wizard to getting ripped in half with a machine gun by a mob boss. But not from itself.
  • Vampires in Twilight are invulnerable and sparkle as if coated in diamond dust when exposed to sunlight. The only way to kill them permanently is to rip them into shreds and burn the pieces.
  • Glen Cook's Black Company novels are full of this. Really high grade sorcerers are near impossible to kill due to their use of magic to do most of the things on the list. One sorceress Soulcathcher survives being beheaded. The limper survives having a building collapsed on him, shot with ballista bolts, shot with magic arrows, beheaded, burned, etc. Many sorcerers presumed dead reappear throughout the series. The only real way to make sure they're dead is to burn every sticking piece of them.
    • In some cases their soul and raw power (but not their personality) can still survive usually as some kind of artifact.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Rogues in the House" Murilo argues they should leave, "Human weapons cannot harm a were-man." -- and Conan's reaction is to merely tell him it's impossible and then setting out with him to escape the place.
  • Morgan Primus from the Star Trek: New Frontier series of books is both this and immortal. This takes its logical course when something was strong enough to destroy her body... her consciousness transferred to the ship she was on. She is currently the Andromeda-like avatar for the starship Excalibur.
    • Which is as close as a book can get to Actor Allusion. She looks exactly like several characters who were played by Majel Barrett onscreen, though which ones were really her and which weren't is still unclear. The Federation computer voice is also played by Majel Barrett, so it's quite fitting.
  • In Jericho Moon, the Biblical Joshua is endowed with Nigh Invulnerability by Yahweh's favor, remaining untouched by any of several attacks that would've killed an unprotected man. Subverted when Yahweh's own storm winds catch up an arrow and send it unerringly towards Barra, so she grabs hold of Joshua and lets the missile pass through her own body and into his. In effect, God overcomes Joshua's God-granted invulnerability.
  • In Warrior Cats, Lionblaze's special power is that he can't be hurt in battle. He can turn this power off if he really wants to, but it's pretty difficult; he only does it once in the series, to prove to the cat who he wants as his mate that they can control their own destinies.


Live-Action TV

  • Big Bad Mayor Wilkins of Buffy the Vampire Slayer regenerated all damage, thanks to a dark ritual performed a hundred days prior to his ascension. The Next Big Bad, Adam, was Made of Diamond; until the finale none of the heroes' attacks even made him flinch. Besides which, he was sustained by a uranium power core, and so could continue functioning without a head; destroying him meant either utterly annihilating his body or destroying the power core. Adam was followed by Glory, a hell goddess who wasn't budged by anything short of semi trucks or the hammer of a troll god.
    • Also in the Buffyverse are the Beast, whose hide is so tough that the only thing that can hurt him is a piece of himself; The First, who's made of air; the mystic orbs that the Geek Trio use towards the end of season 6--whoever holds them is made of diamond and super strong; and Jasmine, whose weaknesses revolve around her blood.
    • And, in the last season of Angel, Marcus Hamilton. Until...

 Hamilton: Let me say this as clearly as I can. You cannot beat me. I am a part of them. The Wolf, Ram, and Hart. Their strength flows through my veins. My blood is filled with their ancient power.

Angel (a vampire): Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said?

    • Basically every Big Bad from Buffy. Dark Willow from season six was unstoppable, if it wasn't for that pesky human conscience...
  • Claire and Peter from Heroes -- for the same reason. Both have healing powers so strong that they both regenerated after being dead for several hours, and Claire proved her resilience by being at the core of a nuclear reaction and having her skin burned off - then having it grow back leaving her perfectly unharmed just ten seconds later. Since Peter's powers are taken from Claire, he has the same potential (though, for full resurrection, she might have to be with him).
    • In the second season, we are introduced to Adam, who essentially has the same ability as Claire: he automatically heals all damage. He is also immortal (his body, after his ability emerged, stopped aging). It is also revealed that both Adam and Claire can use their blood to temporarily grant their powers to other people and heal them (including bringing back people from the dead). In fact his power is only thing keeping Adam alive. When he loses it he quickly withers into a pile of dust.
    • In season three, Sylar finally gets his hands on Claire's power and becomes immortal as well. Peter, on the other hand, is un-immortal'd due to the sudden alteration of his power (he can only use one at a time, and therefore ages normally whenever he isn't using Claire's power - which is most of the time).
  • The Daleks of Doctor Who are nigh-on invulnerable, generally needing to be out-thought rather than out-fought. However, this often suits The Doctor, who is a classic Technical Pacifist.
    • Aim for the eyepiece! The eye* ZZZAAAPP!
      • Even THAT apparently doesn't work anymore:

 Dalek: ::sizzle:: My vision is NOT impaired!

    • Their Plot Armor is even stronger than their physical defenses - if even a single Dalek survives extermination, it will inevitably end up traveling back in time and regrowing the whole species. Again and again and again...
    • And the Doctor himself managed a regrowth recently: he was able to regrow a severed hand, but only because he'd only just regenerated.
    • Captain Jack Harkness (Of Doctor Who and Torchwood) has a direct link to the Heart of the TARDIS, and just regenerates whenever he dies -- which he does quite often (over 1,000 times in the twentieth century alone). Eventually Gwen Cooper, the other main character of Torchwood, stops screaming whenever Jack dies, realising that it's really no big deal. However, Jack does age very slowly.
  • On Battlestar Galactica the humanoid Cylons have the ability to "redownload" and resurrect in shiny new bodies after they're killed, but only when there's a resurrection ship nearby. Even if one manages to make death stick for one of them, though, there are plenty of copies. It is possible to shut an individual Cylon (or even an entire model) down for good, but the only ones with the technology to do this are the other Cylons.

    As of season 4 subverted, where the Cylons have lost the ability to resurrect due to the destruction of the resurrection hub.
  • There are many examples of this trope in the Stargate Verse - almost every category has an example: The Ori are Gods, The Ori Priors have Divine Protection, The Kull warriors are Made of diamond, the Black Knights are Made of air, Human-form replicators are The Blob, the Wraith, the first Unas and the Replicators have Regeneration, Anubis: Can only kill part of him, Ba'al and the Replicators have Multiple bodies and Apophis had Extreme luck during the first four seasons.

    Daniel Jackson, while not actually invulnerable in any reliable or definitive way, has managed to recover from death on a frightening number of occasions, arguably placing him in Resurrection. To the point where the fanon has him dying and recovering on an almost monthly basis.
  • The Changelings from Star Trek Deep Space Nine are immune to any "regular" damage - they simply liquify and reshift. Odo survives being shattered (while being a glass) and run through in human form. Laas can even travel in vacuum. The only things that can kill them are beam weapons at high setting (it took over 100 hits to finish off the Martok impersonator), radiation and a special virus developed by Section 31.
    • Although Mirror!Odo is destroyed by a common phaser blast
    • Borg are hive-minded and can quickly adapt to energy weapons, although kinetic weapons can always kill them.
    • Also Q, though godlike aliens have weapons to kill each other - which are powerful enough to make stars go supernova as a side effect.
  • The Objects from The Lost Room are indestructible as long as they're outside the eponymous room. Including the Occupant.
  • Jesse Kilmartin of Mutant X is both the Made of Air and Made of Diamond version of this trope. His favorite tactic is to wait for someone to hit him, then punch them out while they nurse their now-broken hand. He's also used as cover, since he's not only Immune to Bullets, but he's been shown to reflect lasers and even Brennan's electrical attacks.
  • Ex-demon Cole Turner in Charmed became functionally invincible after absorbing the power of MANY fallen demons; he was able to use this power to return from beyond the grave so he could be with Phoebe again. Sadly, his immense power now made him a threat to her and her family, so she divorced him. To his dismay, he found that he could not even kill himself while in a stint of depression. He was eventually vanquished during a last-ditch (failed) attempt to win Phoebe back in an alternate timeline.
  • This - specifically the Resurrection version - was what made Big Bad Master Org so hard for the rangers to take down in Power Rangers Wild Force. While they had won a number of prior battles simply by the sheer number of Zords they had available to throw at an enemy, Master Orge was able to absorb all their attacks, regenerate without a scratch, and eventually wear down and destroy 4 different Megazords as well as the leftover stragglers. They get better.
  • In MacGyver, Murdoc survived just about everything.
  • Lost's Man in Black couldn't be killed until the island was "unplugged" in the finale.
  • A number of types appear in Supernatural:
    • God: Pagan gods can be killed by mere mortals, but the trope does apply to the Big G, since it seems like Death is the only entity that could kill him.
    • Divine protection mixed with Resurrection: In season 5 Sam and Dean are functionally incapable of staying dead. If they do die then the Angels (and in Sam's case, also Satan) will just resurrect them because they can't be used as Angelic vessels if they're dead.
    • External Repair: Dr. Benton is a scientist who somehow gained immortality, but his body kept on decaying. In order to continue functioning he regularly harvests new organs.
    • Extreme Luck: Whoever acquires the rabbit's foot, at least as long as they have it in their possession.
    • Regeneration: The Leviathans recover from almost anything. The only known means of immobilizing them so far is to chop off the head, and then keeping it absolutely out of reach of the body so it can’t just reattach itself.
  • This is the main reason Anubis's Kull warriors in Stargate SG-1 qualify as Bosses in Mook Clothing. Their armor is basically impenetrable to anything short of an artillery cannon (one survived a near-direct hit from a small missile, while another shrugged off C-4 and multiple claymores), so defeating them with man-portable weapons required the development of Applied Phlebotinum that negates their Healing Factor.


Mythology and Religion

  • Achilles. According to the Romans, his skin was impenetrable because his mother, a nymph named Thetis, dipped him in the waters of the Styx. His only weak spot was his heel, which didn't touch the water because it was where Thetis was holding him. Of course, this legend leads to a bit of Fridge Logic, even referenced in the movie Troy, as to why Achilles would bother wearing all that armor if that were the case.
    • Achilles is actually depicted as fighting naked in a lot of Greek art... but so are most Greek heroes.
  • The Nemean Lion also had impenetrable skin, according to Pindar and Bacchylides (both c. 480 BCE). The only way Hercules managed to kill it was either choking it or shooting it in the mouth with arrows (depending on the version).
  • Antaeus, the giant wrestler. According to Roman writer Ovid, he could not be defeated as long as he was touching the ground, as he was the son of Gaia, the Earth. Hercules quickly caught on, and finally killed him by holding him above the ground and crushing him to death in his arms.
  • The hero Siegfried from Nibelungenlied and German folk legend became nearly invulnerable by bathing in the blood of a dragon, which made his skin impenetrable (except for a spot on his shoulder).


Other

  • Bionicle featured Vezon and Fenrakk. When cursed by the Mask of Life, they gained the power to absorb any energy tossed at them and get stronger. Even throwing them in lava did not help, they just came out bigger. They were stopped by freezing time and removing the mask, but even after that, Vezon still has a knack for not dying.


Tabletop Games

  • The Tarrasque, a monster from Dungeons and Dragons is not only incredibly tough but regenerates at a hideous rate and will not stay dead, and is immunized to 50% of the offensives spells. The only way to kill it is to bring it to -10 hit points (the normal point of death for living creatures in D&D) and cast wish, specifically wishing for the Tarrasque to remain dead.
    • The 4th edition version of the Tarrasque just plain cannot be killed; reducing it to 0 Hit Points simply banishes it back to its resting place at the core of the world. However, while still incredibly tough on account of massive hit points and all-purpose damage resistance, it no longer regenerates.
    • There is a Shout-Out to this creature in Starcraft, in which one of the higher-level Zerg units is called a Torrasque. It is quite durable, regenerates quickly, and is presented as being continually reincarnated by a specific cerebrate.
      • That may actually also be a reference to the original creature of actual legend, a dragon named "the tarrasque". It had a turtle-like shell, and proved invulnerable to everything - until blessed by a saint, at which point it became both vulnerable, and docile as a lamb. Too bad for it the local villagers weren't in a forgiving mood, despite the saint's pleading.
    • Another Blizzard-related Shout-Out comes from the popular Warcraft 3 map Defense of the Ancients with an item known as the Heart of Tarrasque. Providing a dramatic increase in health total and regeneration, the Hero carrying it becomes difficult to kill except by sustained vicious focus-fire from the enemy team.
    • Anarchy Online also has a Shout-Out to this critter by having it as one of their early endgame bosses, which drop bits of its own body that you can turn into armor.
  • Prior to 3rd edition, lots of D&D monsters had Nigh Invulnerability to weapons below a certain "plus" value, meaning that heroes without such equipment could only defeat them with spells, fire, or improvised alternative methods (e.g. holding a werewolf underwater until it drowns). This rule got the nickname "You Must Be This Tall To Fight This Monster", and was fortunately replaced with damage resistance in 3E.
    • Particularly noteworthy were the AD&D versions of the rakshasa (invulnerable to mundane weapons and nearly all magic) and the intellect devourer (same deal, and even magical weapons' damage would be reduced to almost nothing on a hit).
  • In the Mirrodin block of Magic: The Gathering, there is a substance called darksteel that certain objects, including some artifact creatures, are made of. Anything made of this substance is indestructible, meaning in game terms that it can't be destroyed or killed (although it can be removed through indirect means). A prime example of this is Darksteel Colossus, a huge artificial giant that not only can't be killed by usual means, but if someone manages to actually send it to the graveyard, then it is simply put back into its owner's deck to be drawn again later. The indestructibility mechanic was retained and used in later blocks, and has been applied to many things not made of darksteel.
    • just as an idea of how indestructible it is, Word of God says that it is easier to rewrite the laws of physics such that you find a piece of darksteel in the shape you want than it is to forge the darksteel by any conventional means.
    • Also in the Magic Universe is Squee, an innocent and friendly goblin who just couldn't stay dead. What started out in the books as him simply not retaining any damage as a form of comedic discontinuity was latter changed into a legitimate supernatural ability, causing him to come back from any level of abuse, even death. Unfortunately for Squee, this is used as a form of torture when Ertai, The Dragon to Big Bad Crovax, kills him over and over again.
    • Another MTG example is Lord Konda, the evil daimyo of Kamigawa, who stole a powerful spirit from the otherworld and bound it inside an artifact that granted him eternal life and imperviousness to harm.
    • Possibly the oldest example of this trope in MTG is the "Regenerate" mechanic, which (almost always for a cost, though usually a small one) negates the next attempt to kill or destroy the thing being regenerated, presumably by means of a phenomenal Healing Factor. With the right cards and a healthy stockpile of mana, your entire army can essentially become nigh-invulnerable.
    • There are a handful of creature cards with the "Phoenix" subtype, all of which have some ability that allows them, like their legendary namesake, to come back from the dead. The cost and repeatability of this varies, but rest assured if your opponent puts a Phoenix on the battlefield, you'll probably have to kill it at least twice.
    • Platinum Angel gives you Nigh Invulnerability, stating quite simply that while the angel is in play, you can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.
    • If you can get your life total above 30[1] while he's on the field, Rune-Tail, Kisune Ascendant becomes an enchantment that makes all your creatures impervious to any and all forms of damage.
    • Honestly, there are lots of cards that confer or possess Nigh Invulnerability, far too many to list here. Yes, this is only a small sampling.
    • Can't forget Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, which at least has the justification of being an Eldritch Abomination.
      • Emrakul, while not actually possessing the "Indestructable" rule, does prevent itself from being countered and being affected by almost all spells (so only colorless artifacts can harm him). Given his insanely high Power and Toughness, as well as the flying ability, this makes him VERY hard to put down.
  • Not only are Warhammer 40000's Necrons Terminator-like metal skeletons with amazing damage resistance, they have the ability to teleport matter directly to their own system from their tombs for nanites to incorporate it into their forms as a self-repair mechanism powerful enough to rebuild them even if cut to pieces. And if you DO manage to get one to stay down, its various component parts will be teleported back to the tomb and rebuilt no matter what sort of damage has occurred. The Imperium doesn't even know if there exists weapons that can kill Necrons. And given the kind of weapons that exist in Warhammer 40000, that's saying quite a lot.
    • One Necron managed to directly regenerate from being melted into a puddle of metal. And this was not even a leader, just a Necron mook.
    • There is technically a way to kill Necrons and possibly their C'Tan gods -- hitting them with weapons that expose them directly to the Warp, since their existence is purely material, and they can't survive the Immaterium. That's the purpose of the Blackstone Fortresses aka Talismans of Vaul. The background tends to get retconned with every version release, so this may no longer be valid.
    • Daemons aren't so easy to dispose of either. Powerful ones cannot actually be killed (at least with physical weapons), merely banished back into the Warp, and even doing stupendous amounts of damage only make the banishment longer. Kill a daemon, and he'll probably be back in a couple centuries, which isn't much time in Warhammer 40000. Other supernatural entities share similar traits, such as the bodiless "walking armor" soldiers of the Thousand Sons legion of Chaos Space Marines, who have an annoying tendency to come back from the dead.
    • Space Marines almost constantly wear armour better than most tanks, underneath which is a three-metre-tall Super Soldier with a bullet-proof chest and multiple spare organs. Even severe damage near to the point of death doesn't stop them, as they are wired into a Dreadnought and continue fighting.
    • Da Orks are already ridiculously tough, being hulking brutes with physical strength equal to or greater than a fully equipped Space Marine, but they are further resilient due to being animals with a symbiotic relationship to fungi, almost completely devoid of vital organs and any injury short of missing limbs being superficial (it is thought that bolters, self-propelled explosive rounds, were invented originally to combat Orks). There are reports of Orks being decapitated, killing the person who decapitated them then reattaching their own severed head, with no problems whatsoever. Datz reel Orky.
      • Makari (Ghazghkull's standard bearer) had the supernatural luck version of this, effectively granting him a great saving throw against pretty much anything. The most recent codex informs us that he "lived to the ripe old age of nine before finally being sat on by his master and subsequently fed to an ill-tempered Squiggoth."
  • The dwarves from the Warhammer games. While still being mortal and technically still squishy on the inside (so no "Made of" rules) the Blood Bowl rule book comments on their "Stubborn Knack of refusing to Die".
  • New World of Darkness:
    • While there's not really such a thing as "invulnerability," , Prometheans come pretty damn close. For instance, most mortals and supernatural creatures take wound penalties to all actions after they take a certain amount of damage. Similarly, if their health meters fill with bashing, they have to resist passing out, and if they fill up with lethal, they start bleeding out. Prometheans experience none of this; the only way to put them down is to fill their health meters with aggravated damage. And after that, they can still come back if their Azoth is high enough. Of course, this is the World of Darkness. The only reason they're that tough (gameplay-wise) is because they need to be tough; the world literally hates them, and the only way out is to lose their powers, including invulnerability.
    • Similarly, there are the slashers who follow the Mask Undertaking. Any attack against them, be it with a sword, a machine gun, or a flamethrower, only fills one box on their health meter, and it has to fill all the way before they go down (and even then, that's not much of a guarantee).
  • Old World of Darkness:
    • Mummies are effectivly indistructable. They take damage pretty much the same as any other player character; the difference is they regenerate damage, and have something like 7 wound levels past incapacitated that define various levels of dismemberment to their corpse. The reason? To figure out how long it will take before they can get back up again. The answer is usually, not long.
    • Mages in Mage: The Ascension could take the 'Immunity' Merit, which could be taken to a level to prevent all damage from all save a progressively rarer source. If taken to a high enough level, this could prevent all damage not from such sources as the Public Domain Artifact of choice or more common sources under more stringent conditions (the book itself lists 'mistletoe dagger wielded by a red-headed woman on the night of the full moon' as a viable option). Unsurprisingly, many Storytellers do not allow it in their games.
    • The Vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade had the Fortitude discipline, which was pretty much this trope when you got it past even mediocre levels. If you had enough you could reduce sun and fire from One-Hit Kill to "meh", meaning you could walk around in broad daylight, for a short time.
  • GURPS has the Supernatural Durability advantage that gives the ability to survive any amount of punishment unfazed until you reach -5xhp and even then only one form of damage can truly kill you. The rules do say that being blown to pieces by a single attack is still lethal.
    • In GURPS: Supers on the discussion of cosmic scale characters buying enough Damage Reduction to divide an attack's damage by one billion is noted as being "alarmingly cheap" at just 1350 points. Consider that the destruction of Hiroshima required not even a hundred thousand points of damage.
  • Several characters in Scion come with Invulnerability, though this almost always has one caveat - a character with higher Legend can damage them. There are some exceptions to even this, however.
  • Liches in most games that have them will regenerate from any sort of destruction unless their Soul Jar is broken first.
  • In Nobilis, all Nobles know a simple rite that renders them immune to a certain level of mortal harm. Unusually, as the character gets more powerful, the rite will start to include less severe damage. So, a weak Noble will walk out of a (mundane) nuclear explosion unharmed, but be completely vulnerable to bullets. True masters of this rite can't even be insulted by mortals.


Theater

  • In accordance with The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples Marcellus in Hamlet describes the apparition of old Hamlet thus after throwing his spear fails to have any effect: "It is as the air, invulnerable."


Video Games

  • Touhou Project: The main protagonist, Reimu, has a Spell Card called Fantasy Heaven, which makes her completely impossible to touch. It's even implied by secondary character Kirisame Marisa that the best strategy against this ability is simply to run away. However, Reimu rarely, if ever, uses this Spell Card, and it only appears twice in the series: in Imperishable Night, where it's essentially an unlockable bonus boss (you have to dodge all her attacks within a time limit) and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, where it's probably the most powerful Spell Card in the game. In SWR's update, Hisoutensoku, it's turned into a One-Hit K.O. move, as the damage it deals is several times a character's lifebar. However, it's rarely if ever actually used as the restrictions are rather ludicrous: Reimu has to first invoke the Spell Card, and then hit the opponent with melee-damage seven times within a time limit. While this SEEMS simple enough, Reimu's melee combat ability is only just barely adequate, and the game places high emphasis on dodging and evasion. Any reasonably able player would be able to avoid getting hit incredibly easily. It has been stated by both Marisa and Word of God that Reimu was born with this ability, and it's one that she never has to use. The implications are that being intangible is simply a natural state of being for her, and that she holds back on purpose. That's right, if she wanted to, she could defeat ANY boss ANY time without getting hit ONCE. However, that wouldn't make for a very fun game, so she's almost always in a tangible state.
    • Some bosses would probably be able to retaliate. For example, Yukari could adjust the border of illusion and reality to put her back on the reality side.
    • A long time ago, when she was still a citizen of the moon, Eirin made the Hourai Elixer, which makes the drinker absolutely immortal by effectively removing their death. Kaguya and her "rival" Mokou (and possibly Eirin herself) are the only characters known to have drank it, and as a result haved lived for almost two millenia (and counting) and are impossible to kill. When fighting the latter, a character with the explicit ability to kill anything wasn't able to kill her, and in the end she only stops fighting because of the pain (she instantly regenerates all damage, but it still hurts).
      • To quote, "The first time one takes it, one cannot become an adult. Take it twice, and even the pain of sickness will be gone. Take it three times, and your fate is sealed."
    • Many, perhaps most of the cast fits the trope (however, since the fighting they do is simply a game, many literal god characters are very easy to beat). Nearly every listed variation of this trope is in the series, including a literal made of air example in Suika, who can turn into a heavy mist.
  • Minor subversion: Zasalamel in Soul Calibur 3 perfected the art of reincarnation, thus allowing him to die and resurrect multiple times throughout history, retaining all of the skills and knowledge he amassed before then. The subversion is that, instead of being a boon like he thought it would be, it quickly turned into a horrible curse, as his newfound power deprived him of a peaceful death, and the literal sinking feeling that his soul was damned to hell just a little more with every death and revival, and since that revelation he sought the game's MacGuffin to try and undo his hubris.
  • Absolute Virtue from Final Fantasy XI is a type of Bonus Boss that has the ability to regenerate instantly, and will do so constantly. It also hits like a semi running over a tin can, will cast the most damaging spells in the entire game (often instantly and repeatedly), and possesses all the Eleventh Hour Superpowers of most job classes in the game. Oh, and it can summon baby dragons. Repeatedly. That cast devastating Area of Effect spells. And blow up. The only way the playerbase has ever beaten this mob is through a exploit, or more recently, a Zerg Rush, both of which were patched quite a while ago. And this thing has been around for years. Maybe the developers just wanted an unbeatable monster, and won't admit it. And now we have Pandemonium Warden, which at first almost took a day to defeat (they gave up), but was finally beaten by Apathy, an endgame group. The reason this is astonishing isn't simply the win, but the fact Square actually approves of the win and didn't patch Pandemonium Warden. They seem to be comfortable with only AV giving them a stiffy.
    • The developers finally released a video of them killing Absolute Virtue themselves, in response to no one figuring out the tricks. The trick? When the player uses their own Eleventh Hour Superpowers it blocks Absolute Virtue from using his (making it a battle of wits -- the party has to block him from using powers such as Mighty Strikes (every attack is a critical hit) or Benediction (heals user to 100%)). In practice, however, this trick doesn't seem to actually work, leaving AV pretty much undefeated...
  • On your first playthrough of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, all the bosses cannot die unless you draw a specific Magic seal. It gets difficult on the 5th Seal especially against Death and Abaddon; draw the seal wrong and you have to deal more damage before you get the opportunity to try again.
    • However in Julius Mode the Bosses die without you having to draw the seal. Maybe the power of the Vampire Killer has the ability to negate the Bosses' Reconstitution due to the seals?
      • In the standard game, Julius tells Soma he kills them before they can regenerate.
  • Ganon from The Legend of Zelda definitely counts. He has been killed (each time more painfully and unbelievably than the last) and he still manages to come back even stronger despite being killed over 9 times! Though this is probably because of his Triforce of Power, which gives him strength in the same way Link's and Zelda's pieces give and/or represent, respectively, their courage and wisdom.
    • The Continuity Snarl that is the Zelda timeline makes reconciling each of Ganon's appearances rather difficult, but it is explicitly known that the one from Ocarina of Time is the same being as the ones from The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Previous Word of God has also stated that Ocarina's Ganon reappears in A Link to The Past and the original The Legend of Zelda, but the stories of those games contradict each other on a number of points.
      • It is actually somewhat explained in "Skyward Sword". Ganon is actually the manifestation of Demise's hatred towards the humans who brought him down (Link and Zelda), whose bloodline Demise cursed to be forever haunted by him. Thus, Ganon always comes back, as long as Link/Zelda's descendants/reincarnations/whatever live.
  • Chance, The Mole and Final Boss of Syphon Filter 2, wears a special advanced full body armor suit that is not only Immune to Bullets, but also apparently to even the shockwave of grenade explosions at impact, and its weight doesn't seem to slow him down, either. His Achilles Heel? The spinning helicopter tail rotor.
  • In Star Ocean the Second Story the Big Bad and his minions cannot be damaged unless you gain the Sword of Plot Advancement, Void matter.
  • In Devil May Cry 3, the Dullahans have Made Of Diamond shields that can only be penetrated by a hard-to-pull-off attack. The Döppelganger is a shadow-entity that is invincible outside of the light, and Dante's acquisition of it makes it invincible even in light, i.e. fully invincible. It probably would laugh at the idea that Good Is Dumb. Boss Vergil in his Devil Trigger state is also invincible, in addition to regenerating any damage he might have sustained in human form. Just-timed usage of Royal Guard also makes Dante invincible to any attack; Perhaps predictably, the cutscenes never show him touching it.
    • Dante does use it in the boss fights against him in Devil May Cry 4, though thankfully he doesn't do it all the time or the game would be Unwinnable.
    • In Devil May Cry 3, Dante before the first level is impaled several times. Cutscene Dante hardly needs Royal Guard.
      • Cutscene Dante definitely doesn't need Royal Guard. He gets impaled at least once in each game minus the second (it's usually several times each game) so it's almost a Running Gag.
  • In Romancing SaGa the boss Soulgutter cannot die since it has no soul, it can only be resealed. However it can still feel pain, so deal 30,000 damage to it and it will reseal itself to escape pain.
  • In Planescape: Torment, it is The Nameless One's defining characteristic that he can't stay dead. As a plot point, every time he dies he returns to life as an amnesiac, generating a completely new personality for himself every time. In gameplay terms, it means the game doesn't end when he dies - the player just sees TNO wake up in the closest morgue, and the game continues as before (for gameplay reasons, and Handwaved in-game, the amnesia doesn't kick in on these deaths). Only a being of godlike power can kill the Nameless One and make it stick, though it's hinted cremation could do the trick as well. The Nameless One also doesn't age, and the total age sum of his lives is likely counted in millennia.
  • Archimonde has this in the final mission of Warcraft 3 where the objective is not to kill him but merely to stall his advance for half an hour. Oddly, while his armor is Made Of Diamond, he still takes 1 damage per hit and thus can theoretically be killed by massing archers (though he has an Ankh of Reincarnation and thus must be killed twice).
  • The Gnosis in the Xenosaga series is the 'Made of Air' variety as the only way to combat them is to hit them when they making a phase transference to fire their energy weapons, or use of the Hilbert Effect to force them into Real Space from Imaginary Space.
    • Also, Albedo is Cursed with Awesome in being immortal and having super regeneration powers; he cuts/tears/blasts off his own head to demonstrate. Unfortunately, the realization that other people aren't immortal causes him to go insane. The only one who can kill him is Jr., who was specifically designed to do so... his technobabble cancels out Albedo's.
  • Saya, in Saya no Uta.
  • Dark Samus from the Metroid Prime subseries posses extreme regenerative power, mainly since "her" (technically its genderless) body essentially consists of pure Phazon. In Metroid Prime 2, Samus fights her multiple times, and after every fight she explodes into a cloud of Phazon particles, only to reassemble herself later. According to one scan of her, only a complete atomic disruption can kill her for good. In the 100% ending it's even shown that she survided the destruction of Dark Aether, somehow reforming in space above Aether. She is finally killed in Metroid Prime 3 when she posesses a cybernetic computer connected to the planet Phaaze, which is made primarily out of Phazon. When Samus destroys this form, all Phazon in the galaxy goes critical, destroying Dark Samus, the entire planet, and ridding the galaxy of Phazon once and for all.
  • Many episodes of Final Fantasy feature enemies with likely powers. Though, about all of the main villains show the ability to survive incredible damage...
    • The most famous example is the Cactuars. They're incredibly speedy, so they attack often, and they are agile, making attacks on them rarely connect. To make things worse, they use 1000 Needles, which does 1000 damage exactly and will kill any character whose HP is not above 1000.
      • And then, of course, there's the various souped-up versions of the Cactuars, some of which have attacks like 10,000 Needles or other special abilities. Oh, and many Cactuars will simply escape from the battle if you don't finish 'em off quickly.
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Golbez regenerates from a mere hand all but the DS remake. A Core unit of the Giant of Bab-il regenerates unless its support unit is destroyed. Zeromus just plain can't be hurt unless one with a pure soul uses the dark crystal on him. Among fandom even Yang and Cid are considered Made of Diamond as they respectively survive the explosion of a giant cannon while standing in it and jumping down some miles, with dynamite attached to him and hitting the ground nice and fast.
    • In Final Fantasy V, a few late-game enemies (and one boss trio) will automatically revive from KO within a single turn (with full HP) unless/until the player is able to land a finishing blow to the whole group simultaneously.
      • Also, for some reason, no one could kill Exdeath until he lost control of the Void.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, The Guardian in Vector is impossible to defeat. All your attacks do no damage. The reels for an absolutely unavoidable instant death attack against all enemies won't line up against him. If they do, he dies, but its adventure map sprite isn't removed, so you do not pass either way. The only way to destroy it is to wait for it to load a battle program, when it starts attacking and stops being invulnerable.
      • There is also Chupon/Typhon in the Colosseum. He is winnable against, but chances are that he'll just Snort your only character out of battle and that counts as a loss, so usually you do not defeat him. He has no special damage resistances, still.
    • In Final Fantasy X both main villains, Seymour and Sin, are able to shrug off death. Seymore sticks around as some freaky ghost, increasing in power with every death. Sin just comes back in a few years due to the method of his death also being his method of Resurrection.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the Lucavi possess people with the use of ancient gemstones. They are rumored to keep reappearing throughout Ivalice's history and wreaking havoc. They also have ridiculous amounts of strength and HP. How the hero is going to stop them for good doesn't even occur to him. The problem is apparently solved when the stones become stuck in an alternate dimension where the Lucavi leader's spirit was imprisoned.
  • The comic-book-genre-based MMORPG City of Heroes includes the Made Of Diamond, Made Of Air (sort of), and Regeneration variants all as power sets for melee fighter player characters, as "Invulnerability", "Super Reflexes", and "Regeneration" respectively, as well as the "Willpower" set which combines elements of all three. In addition, some powers can create a state of intangibility, in which the affected character can neither affect nor be affected by anything.
  • In the science fiction MMORPG Eve Online, players are known in-game as pod pilots, named for the biostatic capsules or "pods" they use to control their ships (allowing them to replace bridge crews). A side benefit of quicker reflexes is that capsuleers are virtually immortal - whenever their pods are destroyed, a clone of theirs wakes up immediately at a cloning facility. Clones have a limited memory capacity, and if a player doesn't update his clone properly, he may lose some skills. In fiction, capsuleers may also be killed outside of their pods, or if their clone malfunctions and doesn't activate (the latter is the assumed fate of deleted characters), but as far as game mechanics go, capsuleers are immortal.
  • The infamous "Cardboard Immortality" trick from the Mega Man Battle Network games requires only three components (a Wood-element Style Change, the Under Shirt status/Navi Customizer Program, and a Grass Panel or nine) and combines constant regeneration with the ability to survive an otherwise lethal hit with one hit point. The only way to combat this is to alter the stage. Fortunately for anyone facing this setup, Grass Panels get burned away by Fire attacks (doing double damage in the process), which Wood-element enemies take double damage from.
    • Was weakened in later games by making the rate of health regeneration decrease as your got lower on HP. At one HP, it takes a few seconds to regenerate a single point of HP.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has Llednar Twem. For all your encounters with him except for the last, he's protected by a special law that makes any and all attacks against him useless.
  • If you're a Fire Emblem villain (or The Dragon to the villain) you're made of Diamond to anyone that isn't wielding the legendary weapon of this game. Those that aren't made of diamond by an ability are made of Diamond by having RIDICULOUS Stats.
    • A special mention goes to Dheginsea. He embodied this trope three times over:
      1. Blessed by a goddess--even legendary weapons don't work unless they have also been blessed by a goddess.
      2. Amazing regeneration--there are very few ways for a single character to do more damage in a single turn than he recovers (in a game with about 50 playable characters).
      3. His stats are among the highest of any boss in the series. A good portion of this is already devoted to defense.
  • The demon morph Super Mode in Painkiller has invincibility to everything except falling to death and the final boss's attacks.
  • The Blind Rage Super Mode from Scarface the World Is Yours gives Tony invincibility.
  • This is a large part of the premise for Soul Reaver, the main character is a ghoul that lives in the spirit realm and can construct a body in the material realm, if that body is destroyed (even when atomized) it just sends him back into the spectral realm. If mooks in the spectral realm "kill" him, his soul drifts around before settling in the heart of the underworld, where he regains his strength and starts again. It is said explicitly several times over the series that he is completely indestructible and that even the local god is unable to do more than play mind games with him or contain him.
  • In the final stage of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, the party splits up into two teams. Each one ends up fighting a boss with ridiculously powerful shields at one point. When Knuckles' team faces the Gizoid Centurions, you have to survive two or three turns against them and their shields before you get a cut scene of them losing; then Sonic's team seeks out some inactive Centurions and Tails studies them to understand how the shields work and is able to jam them, allowing Knux and crew to fight them for real. After that, Sonic's crew encounters Prefect Charyb underwater, where he has a humongous advantage (plus you can't use POW Moves. After three turns, you get another cut scene, and action switches to Knuckles' team. After beating Prefect Scylla, Knuckles is able to reach the drainage switch for the room the others are in, allowing Sonic to fight Charyb for real.
  • Paper Mario has Bowser and Tubba Blubba. Bowser uses the Star Rod to get diamond defense that prevents all damage and status effects until the defense is taken down by the Star Spirits' power. Tubba Blubba's method is a Soul Jar in the form of his heart, locked behind a door opened by a key he closely guards. Oddly enough, it might have made sense if Tubba Blubba had sent his heart to Bowser. Granted, the Boos were the ones holding Tubba Blubba's Star Spirit, but they would only have released him upon Tubba Blubba's defeat, and if Bowser and Tubba Blubba guarded each other's methods of Nigh Invulnerability, there would be nothing to stop Tubba Blubba from wiping the Boos off the map *or* deadlocking Mario's quest.
    • Bowser is absolutely ridiculous even without the Star Rod. Throughout his long villainous career, he's survived lava, bottomless pits, more lava (this time getting his skin boiled off and keeping on going without it), being thrown through a star, and being smashed by an asteroid into a black hole. He always gets back up in time for the next game.
    • Also, the Armored Harriors from the second game. The only way to damage these hard-heads is to knock one into the other.
  • Clive Barker's Jericho has Hanne Lichthammer, who, it seems, cannot be harmed (or, at the very least, cannot be killed) by bullets. It only takes Church's blood magic to trap her, and even then she has to be killed in a blood ritual.
  • Dead Space has the Hunter, a Necromorph who can regenerate any lost body parts and is damn near impossible to kill. He is only killed when Isaac lures him into the path of the engines of a shuttle and test fires them, roasting the Hunter.
    • Dead Space 2 has another Hunter-esque Necromorph. It's called the Ubermorph. If any name pretty much guarantees "impossible to kill" this Necromorph has it.
    • The Necromorph in general: although they are relatively easy to kill by dismemberment, they can reanimate any dead tissue, including dead Necromorph, so its only a matter of time before the remains are re-infected and come back as undead giblets and body parts trying to kill you again...and again and again and again...
  • Metal Gear games might have one here or there, most notably Fortune (whose "luck" means bullets cannot hit her and grenades are all duds) and The Sorrow and his army of people you killed (who are all still dead, and you can't exactly shoot a ghost). Not to mention Vamp, whose already potent regeneration abilities were enhanced with Nanomachines.
    • Also Snake, not just gameplay-wise anymore: It may be a case of incredible determination, but in the fourth game alone, despite an artificially advanced age that other character say should preventing him from moving, he is shot, stabbed, electrocuted, lit on fire, and forced to crawl though a hallway full of microwave radiation.
  • Prototype's Alex Mercer has a potent Regeneration ability, he can also consume people and monsters (although those must be weakened first) to regain health, he can grow shields and armor from his own body mass, and he even regenerates himself from death by a nuclear explosion.
    • Even without the eating people to gain health thing, instory he's pretty much indestructable. If the game were closer to it's story, there wouldn't be a healthbar because you wouldn't need it.
      • The health bar mechanic is justified through incredible Fridge Brilliance: The game over text is "Alex Mercer is dead", which is completely true, but the player character isn't Alex Mercer, it's the Blacklight virus embodied. Losing all health merely leaves the virus vulnerable to being captured by the military or Greene's mutants - it doesn't die.
  • One of the powerful creatures in Devil Survivor for DS, the Immortal Lord of the Demons Beldr is not only incredibly strong, but also the first time protagonists meet him he's virtually immortal (duh), but also starts the first round by attacking everyone and sucking life of every creature he hit. Since it's impossible to kill him, heroes are forced to run for their lives or retreat immediately.
    • He is however, according to the legends, vulnerable to Devil's Fuge, a talisman made of mistletoe. It isn't even clear whether it's real mistletoe, since it's attached to a cellphone strap.
  • The GMan in Half Life. The only characters who were able to stop him at all only temporarily restrained him, and even that didn't last long.
  • The House of the Dead 4 has Temperance, a morbidly obese, several-stories-tall zombie whose lifebar doesn't drain. You kill him by dropping a huge clock face on him.
  • In many rail shooters with a Take Cover mechanic, the cover/shield your character can hide behind will withstand pretty much everything the enemy can throw at it, even superweapons of mass destruction.
  • The Tank in both Left 4 Dead games. He has the most health out of all infected, ranging in the thousands, but on Expert, he has the same properties as steel since Tanks in Expert get 8000 health points. Shoving him does nothing and he doesn't even stumble from a Grenade Launcher shot or from explosive ammo (oddly, exploding propane tanks or oxygen tanks make him stumble). His sheer strength alone can launch survivors across the street or off a rooftop and he also has the ability to send cars flying your way. If you play on Expert, the Tank can down you in a single hit, even if you're at 100% health! A Tank will go down but you need a lot of firepower and your friends have to concentrate their fire on the Tank to bring it down quickly, otherwise you're in for a losing battle. However, most players will try to set it on fire and keep outrunning the Tank until he burns to death.
  • The Reapers in Mass Effect 1. They can be killed, but they are ridiculously powerful and their defenses nearly impenetrable. At the end of the first game, one Reaper is destroyed, but it takes nearly an entire fleet down with it. And it wasn't even trying to fight back.
    • To be fair, Sovereign was being backed by a fleet of Geth, and most of the trouble came from them. Sovereign wasn't even paying attention to the other fleet until they started massing on him. But yeah, even then he destroyed ships like he was swatting away flies.
    • And from the image at the end of Mass Effect 2 we've got over 200 more coming in for the finale.
    • Mass Effect 3 clarifies exactly what it takes to kill a Reaper: three of the human alliance's largest warships can match a single Reaper, while it takes four to have a decent chance of killing it[2]. The Reaper armada vastly outnumbers said largest warship. One of the smaller Reapers takes an entire fleet repeatedly Attacking Its Weakpoint to finally go down. The Reapers are taking casualties in the war... just not very many, and not nearly enough.
  • Lord British in the Ultima series. He is nearly impossible to kill (if not outright impossible), and even the Armageddon spell, which destroys every person and object in the entire world does not affect him. Usually, the only way to kill him involves either creative exploits or (in one instance) an Easter Egg.
  • In The Last Remnant, The Conqueror is a prime example of this trope. In the many times the heroes face him, they can't even touch him ( All except Emma, who manages to make him bleed, though she gets promptly killed after this). By the time you get to the end of the game and give him a thorough thrashing, he's only a little bloody, and still almost manages to end the world, and after the credits we find out that he is still alive.
  • Nyx from Persona 3 is a strong example. First of all, the Nyx Avatar has to be fought and defeated in 14 different forms. (Which is not sufficient to kill it) Then after doing that, the protagonist must face Nyx in a scripted battle and throw his life away to stop her. ("Stop", not "kill." All the attack does is prevent the physical manifestation of mankind's collective wish for death from reaching Nyx and unleashing her destructive power.)
  • Isaac and Garet in Golden Sun Dark Dawn. When they join you as a Guest Star Party Member, their attack and defense are so high that everything monsters throw at them, including the first boss, is nothing more than Scratch Damage and they have abilities that will pretty much annihilate everything that looks at them funny. Isaac and Garet's stats cannot be viewed, but they DO have their HP lowered when they are hit. However, since their HP is around 500 points and every attack does around 1 to 5 points of damage to them, killing them off would take forever. This is all justified since they literally saved the world 30 years prior and still retain all the training they had done from then to after.
  • The Archdemon of Dragon Age Origins uses the Multiple Bodies strategy. If its current body is killed, the Archdemon's soul can transfer itself through the Taint to the nearest Darkspawn. Since Darkspawn are soulless vessels, the Archdemon is thus reborn. The Grey Wardens are needed because they are the only ones that can get past this Nigh Invulnerability by taking the Archdemons' souls into themselves through their Taint -- an act that destroys the souls of the Archdemons and the Wardens.
  • The Soulless of Lusternia are virtually indestructible, which is very bad news for everyone else. Big Good Estarra could theoretically kill them, but it would necessitate destroying the multiverse - which is the very threat presented by the Soulless. Bonus points for each Soulless being a different flavour of nigh invulnerable: Illith is The Juggernaut, Crazen is The Blob, Muud has a Healing Factor, Zenos is an Intangible Man and Kethuru is, uh, all of them.
  • WARIO. In Wario Land 2 and 3, nothing can kill him. In fact, he has to get hit in order to take on hilarious different forms so he can solve puzzles in the third one.
    • Well, ALMOST nothing. Wario Land 2 has nothing, but if Rudy grabs you, a Game Over screen appears, and you're kicked out and have to start the fight over.
  • Prince Laharl from Disgaea is the son of the overlord, and it shows. His reaction to Gordon firing a raygun at maximum power in the novels? "It tickles." Etna also claimed that 5 shots from a rocket launcher, 4 missiles at point-blank distance and 3 X-ray beam cannons did absolutely nothing to him. However, he can still be injured by high-powered and magic-imbued weapons.
    • In the games Laharl is Made of Diamond, easily shaking of physical abuse from Flonne and Etna, even heavy abuse after a few hours nap, without a single scratch and talking like he did not even feel pain.
    • This makes it all the more confusing when Etna "kills" him at the start of "Etna's mode" with a single shot. The game even points it out to you.
  • In Pokemon, the ability Wonder Guard causes a Pokemon to take no damage from attacks that it is not normally weak to from its typing. Spiritomb and Sableye have no weaknesses, so if they obtain Wonder Guard they cannot be hit by ordinary attacks. (However, Sableye can only legitimately get Wonder Guard in the third generation; in later games they can only obtain the ability by cheating, since Skill Swap, used to swap Abilities between two Pokemon, deliberately cannot swap Wonder Guard.)
    • In Black and White, the ability Sturdy causes a Pokemon to survive any attack with at least 1 HP if it is at full health. The Pokemon Shedinja has a maximum of 1 HP, therefore if it obtains Sturdy, which it can do legitimately, it cannot be K Oed by ordinary attacks.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Estelle has a spell that temporarily grants Made Of Diamond status. She also has an ability that, when equipped, has a chance of making all buffs, including this one, last until the end of battle. This combo (removed from the PlayStation 3 version) is a rather easy Game Breaker to put together, particularly useful in extremely long battles.
  • Quake offered you the occasional Pentagram of Protection, which made you invulnerable for 60 seconds. In later games, they changed it to the shield of protection as the game Jumped the Shark, so they wouldn't be seen as offering not just Witchcraft, but Witchcraft-as-Good-Thing, to the kiddies.
  • The Beast from In Famous 2. To the extent that it can survive a direct hit from a nuclear missile.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Gears of Destiny
    • The Materials are revealed to have kept the regenerative abilities of the Darkness of the Book of Darkness, able to reconstruct their physical forms out of nothing given enough time.
    • The Unbreakable Darkness meanwhile, is as unbreakable as her name suggests. She's both regenerative and is made of diamond. To give an idea, Amita manages to blast her at point blank range with a Desperation Attack that, according to the Wolkenritter, exceeded the Triple Breaker attack used near the end of A's to completely destroy the physical body of the Darkness of the Book of Darkness. It didn't even put a scratch on her, despite the fact that she was at around 10% of her full strength. In the end, the were only able to stop her by getting her to keep her destructive impulses in check. And even that required a lot of help from the Materials, who were revealed to have once been a part of the same whole with her.
  • Bryce Boltzmann, the protagonist of Never Dead is Cursed with Immortality. In his case, he is literally indestructible. Dismemberment and Decapitation are mere inconveniences to him, and he can even use them both to his advantage.


Webcomics

  • The Werewolves in Cry Havoc survive A LOT of automatic weapons fire. Skoll shrugs off rifle, machine gun, grenade launcher, and cannon rounds all durring one charge.
  • In Yosh!, Phil takes advantage of this in odd ways, like falling multiple stories because it's faster than the stairs.
  • One issue of Girl Genius involved a circus group being attacked by a mutant/demon horse. They blast it with various steampunk guns, unleash a swarm of poisonous bugs and a super advanced mecha, they barely even scratch it. They finally manage to cut its head off only to find out it has a second mouth starting at the base of the neck. Luckily Agatha's lighting gun manages to disintegrate it.
    • It would appear to be part of sparkiness as well. It's never explained precisely how Othar manages to survive all of his he-should-be-dead experiences.
  • The necromancer Helixa in Dominic Deegan, Oracle For Hire had such control over death with her magic that any attempt to kill her caused her to resurrect where she wished. Klo Tark attempted to get around this with an attack that paralyzed her for three hours before killing her, which would ensure she was there to interrogate when he was done with the current crisis; she bit through her tongue and choked on her blood to escape. After that one, though, she ended up Deader Than Dead. Miranda Deegan, her old rival, killed her with an angelic gauntlet; its magics canceled Helixa's necromancy, and Helixa was thus Killed Off for Real. And for good measure her soul was destroyed during the "War in Hell" arc.
    • The same War in Hell introduced Sirellith, the Demon Lady of Treachery, who could "betray death" and come back from the dead. The only way to kill her for real was to "use her treachery against her" and kill her with part of her own body; Karnak did so by snapping a horn off of her and stabbing her with it.
  • A more comical version of the constant regeneration type is Ran Cossack of Bob and George. He was made out of cheap Soviet parts, so he dies from even light physical contact, but the parts were so cheap a new body with a copy of his memories would just instantly be built and teleported back. He is effectively immortal as long as they don't destroy the production machine (as he puts it "You can kill me, but you can't stop me"). The only way to defend from this is to block the teleportation with a shield. He also gets a powerful but unstable weapon that always kills him, but it can be stolen from him to make an infinite number from his respawning, and also makes him a powerful explosive or "Ran-bomb".
    • In addition, though Ran himself dies easily, a wall of his corpses can withstand just about anything.
  • Amorphs in Schlock Mercenary are classic Blobs, with some impressive (if rather disturbing) regenerative abilities. Schlock himself has not only recovered from being blown up, poured down drains, sliced into pieces splattered into droplets, but in one case, immediately returned to the fight after stopping for a quick bite of minced comrade-in-arms (I told you it was disturbing - don't worry, he saved their heads for later recovery) to gain enough extra mass to beat the creatures which did it to him in the first place.
    • There are also the Peteys, a massive Hive Mind comprised of a mix of A.I. and organic bodies. At one point, Petey (along with the rest of the Fleetmind) ponders the fact that despite this, they aren't quite immortal - yet.
      • Petey has also been working on a way to grant immortality to some of his favorite organics using Nanomachines that not only repair the body from everything incuding most forms of death, but can morph their benificiary into an armored Super Soldier form when needed.
  • In Order of the Stick the evil lich Xykon can regenerate from his philo... phylia... soul hidey place (phylactery) as long as it is kept intact.
    • The Monster in the Darkness as well. When Miko attacks him, he complains that it tickles. Later, he doesn't even notice when Belkar attacks him.
  • Nesuko of The Adventures of Boschen and Nesuko eventually proves to have the regenerative version of this power, taken to its logical conclusion- her severed limbs and organs try to grow back new bodies.
  • Sluggy Freelance villains provide a number of examples:
    • Satan's kittens - Made of Diamond, not showing any signs of damage after taking grenades and shotgun blasts at point blank range.
    • K'Z'K - When possessing Gwynn he was a regenerator, able to pull himself together even after being run through a meat grinder. After assuming his true form he is Made of Diamond; since we never see anything hurt him in this form, we can't be sure whether he retains his regeneration.
    • Lord Horribus - Can only be killed through decapitation or stabbing the very center of his soul with an enchanted weapon. In fact, most demons are Made of Diamond, enough so that swords clang harmlessly off their skin.
    • Evil Aylee - Her head and her shell are Made of Diamond, with her (retractable) neck her only vulnerable point.
    • Oasis and Kusari - Resurrection. They've been blown up, shot through the head, decapitated, stabbed through the chest, and confirmed dead by medical proffesionals, but they always come back, completely uninjured. How they do this is one of the series's big mysteries. They also heal extremely well while alive.
    • Vampires - Depends on type, and some have pretty serious Kryptonite Factors, but they seem to be able to regenerate all damage (up to and including having their brains eaten) unless it's inflicted in the one right way.
    • Dr. Crabtree - Her body thoroughly infused with nanites, she's probably able to survive and heal from just about anything ( except an EMP), though it sometimes takes a while for the repair nanites to start running.
      • This same technology extends to everyone in 4U City.
    • Alien Christmas elves and Santa - Taken over by parasitic alien DNA and turned into hybrid monsters, the elves -- and Santa doubly so -- were tough enough to be Immune to Bullets and all conventional weapons short of heavy explosives. They were still vulnerable to nerf, and it didn't keep Bun-bun from beating one up until it was begging for mercy.
  • The Wom Wom Coconut in The Egregious Adventures of the Wom Wom Coconut suffers many deaths. The hit invariably turns out to have been taken by a member of the Stunt Nut Corps, a numberless horde of coconuts identical to each other and the hero. Both the coconut and the coconut's arch-rival, Space Durian, are capable of instant reincarnation. Death is shrugged off in the same panel it occurs in.
  • The Mows of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures are completely invincible. They're immune to magic, can't be harmed physically, and are too stupid (IQ: 3) for psychic attacks to have any effect. Oh, and they're adorable. Mows are basically furry Servbots.
    • The fae also seem to be invincible. If in-comic information is trustworthy, they can only die when they choose to.
  • Lampshaded in Everyday Heroes when Mr. Mighty and Matt O'Morph get into a Brick vs. Blob sparring match.
  • Grace in El Goonish Shive is a Tyke Bomb Super Soldier that regenerates fast enough to be fire-proof.
    • Actually her fur is fireproof by design, this is not due to rapid regeneration (though she does that as well). The regenerative powers are more of an Informed Attribute since Grace has barely been touched by anyone. On screen anyway, apparently Damien was physically abusive to her. When Grace ends up fighting Damien, it is such a Curb Stomp Battle that he barely lands a single blow. She was more of less designed to kill Damien specifically, and being fire resistant would be necessary for that.
  • Like his totally not based off counterpart, Captain Broadband appears to be very difficult to damage, surviving falls out of planes, hordes of attacking fans and setting off his own bomb by punching it!
  • The golem girls in Wapsi Square are of the made of diamond variety. They are implied to be able to survive even complete planetary destruction.
    • Monica has a touch as well; after accidentally teleporting into a gunrunners hideout, they made with the More Dakka, and she survived unscathed, with only Clothing Damage to show for it. One character postulated the extreme luck form of this, and another suspected she was (unwittingly) teleporting the bullets away as soon as they touched her skin.


Web Original

  • In the Whateley Universe, they have all of the above. Lancer (and plenty of the villains) is Made Of Diamond. Phase and Jinn Sinclair are Made Of Air (due to completely different powers). Aqueous is The Blob, being composed of living water. Jody Cooms is Made Of Rubber and even calls herself Plastic Girl. Carmilla and Tennyo have the regeneration thing down: Carmilla has been torn in half, and another time decapitated (she was meditating and literally didn't notice until she found the decapitated head which also hadn't died); both fall into the projected avatar/FightingAShadow category. The unstoppable supervillain Deathlist is of the Good Thing You Can Heal type: he's a forcefield-protected head on a robot body with the ability to teleport the head to safety in the worst case scenario; he has killed more superheroes than any other villain in history.
  • SCP Foundation's SCP-682 has Adaptive Ability and From a Single Cell on top of its Super Toughness.
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe has characters that fit all of the categories on both sides of the law:
    • Byelobog really is the "White God" Byelobog from Slavic myth, while Ganesha really is the Indian elephant god.
    • Crusader is protected from harm by the power of God himself, as is Mercy, the Anthropomorphic Personification of the popular concept of angels.
    • The Shield and Stone are Made of Diamond, as is the Powered Armor worn by the appropriately-named superheroine Diamond.
    • La Fantomas is Made of Air.
    • Mercury is a liquid metal Blob.
    • Cascade and Sand are Made of Rubber (well, Made of Water and Made of Sand, respectively, but the effect is the same).
    • Splatterman is a supervillain whose regenerative powers are so quick and effective that he's pretty much immune to all harm.
    • Tsugha is an Eldritch Abomination whose "body" is only a part of the larger creature that exists in another dimension entirely.
    • Slave is a remote-controlled Super Robot Proxy that's been destroyed dozens of times. Its operator keeps rebuilding him,
    • Swarm, a mutant who can transform into a horde of cockroaches and seems to conjure new insects out of thin air when the old ones are crushed and destroyed.
    • Los Hermanos has thousands of duplicate bodies and has survived his own "death" dozens of times.
    • Fiasco is lucky, and can cause other people to be unlucky. He avoids injury by following Mr. Myagi's advice: "Best defende, no be dere."
  • In Fine Structure, the Powers are all of the "made of diamond" version. It takes a diamond-tipped syringe to break Arika's skin, and even not even that will work on Jason. But both of them pale in compairison to Anne Poole, who is possibly the single most indestructible object in existence. When she gets thrown into a black hole, the Universe breaks before she does.
  • The AI gods of Orion's Arm are so invulnerable that one of them engineered an all out war against itself just so it didn't have to expend any energy scraping off some outdated armor.
  • In Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog, Hero Antagonist Captain Hammer has Super Strength plus apparent invulnerability, as in at least one scene he appears prepared to stop a runaway van with his body. This is subverted in Act III when the explosion of Dr. Horrible's malfunctioning Death Ray causes Captain Hammer to experience pain for the first time in his life, revealing him as a Miles Gloriosus.
  • Red vs. Blue has the Meta, who has survived the following: a missile pod missile, sustained Gatling gun fire, Tex, several point-blank shotgun rounds, a knife in both shoulders and getting stabbed in the torso with the energy sword.
  • Trogdor the Burninator in his second appearance in Peasant's Quest (A parody of the King's Quest line of games) is invulnerable when you try to kill him. But congratulations on getting to the end!

Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, you can kill the Avatar all you like, but unless you get lucky enough to kill him in the Avatar State, you're going to have to deal with his Reincarnation.
  • Parodied in Drawn Together, by the character Captain Hero, especially in an episode in which he and Foxxy Love go through an extreme form of BDSM relationship: because Captain Hero was indestructible, Foxxy could act out her most violent desires without fear of injuring him permanently (this disregarding the fact that all of the characters in the series die on a frequent basis, only to return shortly afterwards as if nothing had happened).
  • The Transformers are a nigh-invulnerable race, generally of the "Spare Body Parts" variety. They don't generally regenerate on their own, though some can, but pretty much any damage can be repaired; the line between what can be repaired and what's fatal, however, is nebulous at best.
    • Generally speaking, a Transformer can survive pratically anything as long as their spark chamber (equivalent to a human's heart) and CPU (equivalent to a human's brain) are both physically intact. As you would expect, these two components are typically located within the most heavily armored parts of their bodies, making it even more hopeless for an average human to fight one, even before taking into account the difference in physical size between an average Transformer (20-30 ft. tall) and a human (~6 ft. tall). Inflicting significant damage to other body parts will certainly slow them down, though, and might even render their vehicle form(s) useless. After all, a Transformer who lost an arm can't change into car mode with the car parts that form that arm now missing.
    • When Animated Starscream is revived by a piece of the Allspark lodged in his head, he gains the resurrection method. Anytime that he is killed, the Allspark resurrects him. Discovering this, the Autobots opt to just capture him.
      • Then, of course, he is Killed Off for Real when he has the Allspark fragment removed at the end of the show.
      • In the G1 continuity that Starscream's spark is immortal, allowing him to possess other Transformers, and apparently float through time and space since he turns up in Beast Wars too.
      • An ability that was copied into BW Rampage. Rampage can regenerate, but he's later killed by a spike of raw energon going through his spark. In an earlier episode, a processed energon knife cutting parts of his spark did not do the job (though Megatron says it would've killed anyone else, and he takes it as proof of Rampage's immortality) however. It's unknown whether Starscream could be similarly killed.
      • Animated Megatron goes at ground zero of an explosion capable of destroying everything in a hundred-mile radius. For comparison, the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear device ever made, had a complete destruction radius of 40 miles. Megs survives (though he's pretty banged up).
    • Animated Soundwave also deserves mention, being able to take Spare Body Parts an order of magnitude further than your average Cybertronian (and, indeed, he's not Cybertronian. Possibly that has something to do with it). Twice now he's been reduced to a component the size of a human hand and remained online.
      • This ability is somewhat balanced out by his tendency to shatter if you hit him hard enough. The downside of a body without any Cybertronian alloys in it.
  • Vilgax from Ben 10 is not only Made Of Diamond to the point where he lived through being attached to a nuclear warhead as it was used to blow up his ship, but he has a tank full of healing fluid in case his next ship blows up partially, giving him Regeneration while he's in there. He's the Implacable Man's Implacable Man.
    • Ultimate Aggregor from Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. He takes a beating from Humongousaur (one of Ben's strongest aliens) and gets right back up without a scratch, even saying that he didn't feel a thing.
  • In Disney's Gargoyles, Demona and MacBeth are essentially immortal. Due to a pact they made back in Medieval Europe, when one dies they both die. However, due to some weird twist of logic with the pact (or just the "Weird Sisters" reviving one of them), since one of them wasn't killed directly they both come back to life shortly afterward (Elisa Maza once temporarily killed Demona to keep her from fighting MacBeth so she could talk to him). Allegedly, the only way for them to permanently die is to kill each other.
  • Futurama:
    • In the straight-to-DVD film "The Beast With a Billion Backs," the title beast is from another universe and made of "electromatter," which the professor describes as "normal matter's bad-ass grandma." Nothing can hurt it except something else made of electromatter.
    • One episode showed it was commonplace for robots to periodically upload a copy of their memory which will be uploaded into a new body if they are destroyed, with Bender being the exception because of a design flaw.
      • Completely contradicting the previous episode where Bender championed the cause of broken-robots, which, although still fully sentient and aware, were generally just melted down for recycling materials (for beer cans and paper-weights and the like).
      • And contradicted by a later episode in which Bender's body is destroyed and he reflexively uploads a backup into The Cloud to become a "robot ghost"-- which may also qualify as an example.
      • In "Jurassic Bark", Bender jumps into a pool of molten fucking lava in order to save Fry's fossilized dog. His sole injury is a slightly expanded torso chassis.
    • Leela is a very possible contender. In addition to being a genetically modified sewer mutant that has never lost a single fight during the series' run, she also survived a near-universally fatal space bee sting, suffering a mere two-week coma instead.
  • Most characters from Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry can survive vicious beatings, gunshot wounds, falling from cliffs, and explosions unless the creators want the character to die
    • Subverted in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?? with Dip, a mixture of various solvents that broke down the ink that Toons are drawn from in what is essentially permanent death for them.
  • Professor Impossible from The Venture Brothers is seemingly unkillable due to his body having the properties of elastic. He once swallowed an explosion meant to destroy an entire island in a failed attempt at suicide.
  • Signature power of the Mysteron Agents and the eponymous Phlebotinum Rebel in both incarnations of Captain Scarlet, although the method varies: the original series has them as classic Made Of Diamond Implacable Men, while in the remake they're more vulnerable but will still get up again right after being put down. Both versions also mix in shades of the Fighting a Shadow version since the Agents are merely cloned puppets and the Mysterons themselves remain aloof and untouchable no matter how many plots Spectrum foils.
  • In Invader Zim, it's specifically stated that their consciousness, personality, emotions and memory are all stored in their PAKs. In a fully scripted but never animated episode, Zim could take over Dib this way; his physical body would be dead, but his mind would be in a new body, so that's okay. This theoretically applies for every single member of the Irken race, which would make them all immortals who change bodies every so often (as it's unlikely their best soldiers would be allowed to die when they're still usable). Since a PAK can attach to someone even after you killed the body hosting it and is made of the same Irken metals that allowed The Massive to go through a star without being heavily damaged, the only way to kill an Irken is to either take the PAK to Irk and have it be erased by the Control Brains or hide it away from all living life. Basically, if Zim wasn't such an idiot, he'd be nigh unstoppable.
    • In the same script, though, Zim claims that Dib's "filthy human body chemistry isn't compatible with the PAK. It would've destroyed you!" Of course, considering the source, that may not be the case...
  • The Fairly Odd Parents has the Crimson Chin, a Superman parody. Timmy himself became this when he wished for superpowers.
  • The DCAU version of Superman isn't quite as tough as his comics counterpart, but is still monstrously hard to kill.
  • The characters of The Ren and Stimpy Show, combined with extreme Status Quo Is God.
  • "Darkwing Duck" has two of these characters. The Liquidator is a villain made out of water. And Dr. Bushroot, a mutant plant/duck that has can regenerate after being run over by a runing lawn mower.
  • Roger from American Dad. He's seemingly immortal, and invincible. Of course, he's an alien, and not only that, he was an alien who was literally used as a crash test dummy, so it's no surprise he's practically unkillable.
    • Apparently even his superiors weren't aware of how invulnerable he was, as they fully expected him to have died from blunt trauma. Oh and he's fire retardant too (which he hilariously did not know).
  • Grandfather from Codename: Kids Next Door. He survives a Colony Drop to the face without even a scratch and just dusts himself off afterwards.
  • In the episode "Schooled" of Young Justice, Amazo has absorbed the powers of, among others, Superman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, meaning he is Made of Diamond, Intangible Man, and has Super Reflexes and Super Speed.
  • In the early seasons of South Park, Kenny was always killed off Once an Episode, only to inexplicably return the next week. In later seasons, it's revealed that he will always resurrect due to a Lovecraftian curse that was placed on him. Worse yet, because of the curse no one can remember any of his previous demises.
  • The titular character from The Tick. The Trope Name is even invoked frequently when referencing him.


Real Life

  • Kazuyuki Fujita's skull.
  • Water Bears. Can survive extreme heat and near Absolute Zero temperatures. Can survive being exposed to lethal doses of environmental toxins and radiation. Can survive six times the pressure of the deepest part of the ocean. Can survive without water for a decade. Can survive the vacuum of space.
  • Michael Malloy, a target of gangster/bootlegger duo Tony Marino and Joe Murphy in the early 1930s. He survived being given enough alcohol to be fatal, being given whisky spiked with antifreeze, being given several drinks spiked with antifreeze, turpentine, horse liniment, and rat poisoning, being fed a sandwich made with spoiled sardines, metal shavings, and tacks, being fed a sandwich made with oysters soaked in wood alcohol (which could cause blindness, and that didn't work either), being buried in snow in below-zero temperatures, and being hit by a taxi. They finally managed to kill him by knocking him out and gassing him, but it's still unknown how he survived all the attempts on his life.
    • Though to be fair, since the treatment for antifreeze poisoning is alcohol, spiking whiskey with antifreeze to kill someone wasn't likely to work in the first place.
  • Alan Magee, who survived 28 shrapnel wounds, severe oxygen deprivation and a 22,000 foot freefall in one sitting. He lived to the ripe old age of 84.
  • Marine Corporal Alvin York. During WWI, his unit was sent to capture a German railroad, when they came under fire from dozens of hidden German machine gun nests. With half the squad dead and the other half cowering, York stood alone with his rifle and took concentrated fire from thirty-two machine gunners and over 100 German riflemen and didn't. Receive. A scratch. He fired back, killing 28 Germans, and according to his account he didn't even miss.

 York: I jes couldn't miss a German's head or body at that distance. And I didn't. Besides, it weren't no time to miss nohow.

    • The Germans, slowly realizing that York was somehow not dying from the hurricane of lead they were firing at him, sent a six-man squad to rush him. Since he had few shots left in his rifle, York drew and shot them all down with his pistol, back to front, so the ones in front wouldn't notice the others dying until too late. Shortly after, he accepted an offer of surrender from the German major present and marched all 130 or so remaining soldiers back to his base as prisoners (surviving several false surrender gambits including brushing off a hand grenade attack from one such, as well as heavy artillery fire all the while he was escorting the captured soldiers), after having had tens or hundreds of thousands of bullets from scores of heavy machine guns and rifles fired at him without leaving a mark on his body. Not enough gun, it seems.
      • Incidentally, York himself believed that God protected and guided him during the battle...if he was right, this may be more of a literal example than it appears.
      • He does have a pretty good case for that doesn't he?
      • While indeed U.S. Marines have a reputation for being so mean they make medicine sick, Alvin York was in fact a member of the U.S. Army's 82d Infantry Division. (The Devil Dogs still have Chesty Puller.)
  • Grigori Rasputin was supposedly poisoned, shot, beaten, and stabbed in an assassination attemp before being bundled into a carpet and thrown into the river where, it was claimed he actually died of drowning. However, according to his Wikipedia entry, new evidence claims there might not have been any poison in his body and the bullet wound to his head should have killed him instantly.

Notes

  1. For those who don't know, you typically start the game at 20.
  2. Sovereign was especially powerful even by Reaper standards, which is why it took two entire fleets to kill it
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