Fixed Damage Attack

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Many games (especially RPGs) feature complex systems for determining how much damage is meted out in combat; the attacker's strength and/or skill, the defender's armor, Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors ... even the Luck Stat may play a part to determine what happens when a character is hit.

But a Fixed Damage Attack ignores all this, and instead causes a fixed, predictable number of damage each time it is used, regardless of all the normal rules.

The amount of damage is often a very specific, exact number—for example, an Eldritch Abomination might prefer a spell causing exactly 666 points of damage to whomever it is used against. (This is obviously a dire threat to a Squishy Wizard with a maximum of only 700 HP, whereas a Mighty Glacier with a maximum of 3,000 HP would no doubt brush it off as Only a Flesh Wound.)

Unfortunately, if the player can acquire one of these skills themselves, it will usually become a Useless Useful Spell because many RPG systems give monsters more HP than the players, and the fixed amount of damage ceases to remain useful as the player progresses to stronger monsters—though if acquired very early on, it could also double as a Disc One Nuke. (It could also provide a One-Hit Kill against the Metal Slime's low HP and impenetrable defense).

As a means of averting this, some systems may link to amount of damage to the user's experience level in some way, allowing the attack to grow stronger as they do. However, it is still exempt from the normal damage mechanics (including Standard Status Effects that affect attack or defense powers), and still inflicts a set, predictable amount of damage every time it is used.

Compare and contrast Percent Damage Attack, which is also exempt from normal damage rules.

See also Scratch Damage and Cap, when a fixed amount of damage occurs for different reasons.

Examples of Fixed Damage Attack include:

  • In many RPGs, characters suffering from the "Poison" status will often receive a fixed amount of damage at regular intervals; this may be a specific number, or a fixed percentage of their maximum HP. In either case, damage from Poison is exempt from the rules governing attacks and defense.
    • Final Fantasy X probably had the strongest Poison, removing 25 percent of a character's maximum HP per turn, guaranteed to kill him in four turns unless healed.
  • The Final Fantasy series is replete with examples, not the least of which is "One Thousand Needles", a Flechette Storm that inflicts exactly 1,000 points of damage every time it is used; it is the signature move of the "Cactaur" (anthropomorphic cacti) species. Often, the player can acquire this as a Blue Magic skill.

Stronger versions exist, such as "10,000 Needles" and "100,000 Needles", able to inflict more damage than the player's maximum HP cap.

In Final Fantasy VI, "10,000 needles" is executed as "1000 Needles" 10 times in a row, each usage targeting a random standing party member.

  • Cactrot Rapido in Final Fantasy XI also has the above version of 10000 Needles. 1000 damage per hit is still a heavy amount, but players can band together in large groups (up to eighteen players, in fact; and that's not counting whatever pets, NPCs, or summons that each player can bring alongside them to soak up damage while the humans keep their distance)
    • Final Fantasy IX has several of these attacks usable by the player:
      • Freya's Dragon Crest, which does damage dependent on the number of dragons the player has killed throughout the game;
      • Zidane's Thievery, doing damage based on the number of successful steals, and his Lucky Seven, which does either 7, 77, 777 or 7777 damage if Zidane's HP currently ends in 7;
      • Quina's Frog Drop, which does damage according to how many frogs you've caught, and his/her Limit Glove, which does 9999 damage if s/he has exactly 1 HP remaining.
    • Final Fantasy VI also features the "Step Mine" / "Traveller" Blue Magic for Strago, which inflicts one point damage for every 32 steps the player has walked from the beginning of the game. (To balance this, its cost is proportional to the player's gameplay hours.)
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the Bonus Boss Omega Weapon has two attacks that do a set amount of damage. One deals 9998 damage to your entire party, bringing everyone down to 1 HP if they have 9999 health, and KO'ing them otherwise. Another always deals 9999 damage, but fortunately only hits a single target.
    • The Jumbo Cactuar adds insult to injury when performing 10,000 Needles, leaning over the victim before clogging that part of the screen with a thousand "10"s.
    • Similar to the Thievery example above, Final Fantasy VII had a rare status effect (for lack of a better term) called "All Lucky 7s" where any character with exactly 7777 HP would fly into an Unstoppable Rage and unleash a series of attacks that always cause 7777 damage per hit. However, it reduces the player's HP to one after battle. (But if the player is lucky enough to build one character with a maximum of 7777 HP....)
      • Bonus Boss Emerald Weapon had a special attack that hit each party member for 1111 HP for each Materia that character had equipped. With a normal setup this would be devastating. However, by equipping sufficiently-levelled characters with two HP Plus Materia, they could reach the cap of 9999 HP. And then get hit for exactly 2222 HP. Which leaves them on 7777 HP. Bingo.
    • In Final Fantasy X-2, the "Cat Nip" accessory caused the user's attacks to inflict a fixed 9999 points damage any time time their HP dropped below half. (It could also combine with the Gunner's multi-hit "Trigger Happy" skill, with almost Game Breaker results.)
    • The Gil Toss move used by Jugglers in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. You use 30 gil to attack, and as long as it hits, it'll always to 30 damage, no matter the enemy.
    • The Tonberry's Karma/Grudge move does damage proportional to number of enemies that the target killed (or the number of Tonberries the party killed). The damage tends to scale up to OHKO levels quickly.
  • Chrono Trigger has an enemy that does either an attack that does exactly 1 hp of damage, or an attack that sets HP to One. Especially fun when you face a group of those enemies, each of them either battering you to near-death or flicking you hoping to snatch that last HP.
    • The DS remake adds a bow for Marle that always does 777 damage.
  • Pokémon has a variety of moves that inflict a fixed amount of damage regardless of attack/defense powers or Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
    • "Sonicboom" inflicts a fixed 20 points of damage (on anything but Ghosts, who are immune to Normal-type attacks), while "Dragon Rage" inflicts a fixed 40 points of damage on absolutely anything.
    • "Night Shade" and "Seismic Toss" inflict a fixed amount of damage equal to the user's Level, although Normal types are immune to Night Shade and Ghosts are immune to Seismic Toss.
    • "Psywave" is a strange one: It inflicts a randomly selected amount of damage ranging from 50% to 150% of the user's level, regardless of all other factors, against anything but Dark types who are immune to its element.
    • "Super Fang" is a Percent Damage Attack.
    • "Pain Split" divides the user's and opponent's HP equally between them, thus functioning as a Life Drain for whichever Pokemon has the lower HP (hopefully the user).
    • "Endeavor" reduces the opponent's HP to the same amount as the user (and has no effect if the user has more HP).
    • The Fifth generation adds "Final Gambit", which causes the user to faint but inflicts damage equal to however much HP the user had remaining before using it.
  • Persona 3 has a Fusion Spell, available if the Protagonist has both Helel and Satan in his Persona roster, called "Armageddon" that does exactly 9999 HP worth of damage. It's one of the few ways, if not the only way, that one can even beat the Bonus Boss, as said boss is fond of spamming full-heal spells and character annihilation spells when the character's HP reaches 10,000 or less.
  • The Light Brand, an enchanted sword found in several Fire Emblem games, has a ranged attack that always does ten damage regardless of either the attacker or defender's stats. Unfortunately this means that the sword is much more useful to your enemy than it is to you, as any of your units with a high enough weapon level to use it is probably going to deal more than ten damage with an ordinary weapon. It doesn't help that this is one of the few ranged swords that can be obtained.
    • In some games, it's affected by stats just like any other magical attack.
    • The long-range dark magic attack, Eclipse, has a fixed damage rate. In the sixth game, it automatically took a unit down to 1 HP when it hit. Later games toned it down so that it dealt damage equal to half the unit's current HP (rounded up if it was an odd number).
  • In RuneScape, Nomad posesses one attack that inflicts damage equal to your maximum HP - 1. So if you're at full health, you survive with just one HP; anything less and it's an instant kill.
  • Super Mario RPG contains an attack called "Geno Whirl" which, if properly executed, will always cause 9999 damage to all non-boss (plus Exor) enemies in the game. Oddly enough, the highest HP user in the game only has 8000 HP, making this attack almost humorously over the top.
  • Xenosaga uses this in Episode III, against Citrine, Jr's "sister", a boss you fight on the Durandal. One attack dropped all targets' HP to exactly 666. The next attack does - you guessed it - 666 damage exactly. If the enemy boosted after the first attack, well, kiss your ass goodbye.
  • In Lufia: The Legend Returns, there are several of these attacks:
    • Amon uses an attack that deals 666 damage. It's highly unlikely that you'll have that much HP at this point of the game.
    • Several opponents use attacks that will leave you at one HP. One of these will also poison you. And no, you don't have enough equipment at that point of the game to protect everyone against poison.
    • Your characters can learn several attacks that remove a percentage of the opponent current HP. One of these halve the opponent HP. And those attacks works on any boss as well.
  • Jade Cocoon 2: A particular tree of Earth attacks, while intended to break a specific Earth shield spell, will do a set amount of damage to unshielded targets. The higher the rank of the attack, the greater its damage. This is useful against Divine Beasts with very high Defence stats, since it guarantees consistent damage output, but is much less so in situations where any other attacks, which have the potential for critical hits or would do more damage anyway, are more effective.
  • Last Scenario has a mushroom Palette Swap with a "One Thousand Spores" attack, a clear Final Fantasy series Shout-Out.
  • In its Spiritual Sequel Exit Fate, a certain boss has the spell "Annihilation Ray", which always deals 5000 damage (which is more than your characters are expected to have at any point of the game), regardless of defense or buffs, and can be avoided only by the Status Buff 'Blink'.
  • The first Breath of Fire game has the E. Key which is gained early in the game. It does 30 damage to all enemies. Very useful when you first get it because it does more damage than the White Magician Girl does.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Patty's Card The Gamble and Janpai spells do a varying amount of fixed damage based on what cards or mahjong tiles come up, the most painful being the combinations with the highest point value.