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A scene where a character is so obsessed with their target and/or are gonna die anyway, that they keep trying to reach it even though their body is breaking down around them — usually because whatever side doesn't want them to reach the switch/button/Instant Win Condition/Keystone begins unloading a massive payload of bullets. Robots are prone to walking their way through a wall of bullet fire; whether their charge fulfills this trope or not depends really on if their limbs blow up/fall off, or they sustain very heavy damage. If not... it's probably more like Made of Iron taken literally. If The Juggernaut and The Hero have a final showdown, this is likely how it will play out. Usually takes one of three common forms:

  1. If it's a villain, usually the villain will have their legs blown off somehow and end up crawling toward their target before being put out of their misery by the hero. In most cases, the villain NEVER reaches the target unless it's a Self-Destruct Mechanism... in which case it's a Taking You with Me kind of thing.
  2. If it's a hero, the hero will begin their dash but be mowed down before reaching the target, dooming their teammates and on occasion, the whole world in the process. Usually this is done for a Downer Ending.
  3. Alternatively, the hero will make it to their target. The hero will then either quietly die while being unable to move or be found by their teammates at the brink of death and taken to the super doctor.

Related to Rasputinian Death, may be a form of Heroic Sacrifice, or not, depending on how it goes. Basically You Shall Not Pass from the other guy's point of view. Contrast with Foe-Tossing Charge, where the charge isn't quite so self-destructive. Usually a Death Trope, and therefore frequently a Dying Moment of Awesome.

Examples of Self-Destructive Charge include:

Anime & Manga

  • Sailor Moon does this with Sailor Neptune. She runs through two waves of painful projectiles in order to get to her lover, which indirectly leads to her death.
  • Zabuza did this in Naruto. Unlike most villains, he reached and killed his target. However the target was a less badass villain so he may have counted as a hero for that action. Instead of bullets, he got swords, spears, and various other pointy things stabbed in his back.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The first series has this in spades, usually from Asuka Langley Soryu. The most prominent example is the fight with the angel Zeruel. Asuka first tries to More Dakka it down with just about every hand-held Eva weapon in the arsenal, to no effect. Then, in a fit of rage, she charges at it, only to have her Eva's arms ripped off. Blinded with both pain and rage, she makes a final charge only to have the angel tear Unit 02's head off, ending the fight.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion". In the battle with Zeruel, the final angel of the movie Mari activates the Eva's Beast Mode, limiting her tactics to just charging forwards regardless of damage inflicted to her. This reaches its logical conclusion, when after both her hands are torn off and her torso is bleeding she charges at the angel in an attempt to bite of its AT Field. And it works. Kinda anyway.
  • The last episode of Ronin Warriors's OVA Legend of the Inferno Armor does this, where Nadia and White Blaze race onto the battle field where Ryo and Mukala are fighting against each other in their Inferno Armors. The impacting forces of the armored warriors is so great that it literally blows Nadia and White Blaze away, killing them both.
  • The Grand Finale of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the titular galaxy-sized mecha charging at the Grand Zamboa, knocking out each other in a Cross Counter. Then the planetoid-sized Chouginga Gurren-Lagann breaks off and charges, only to get impaled by the Grand Zamboa's tentacles. Then the mecha's mouth opens and the city-sized Arc Gurren-Lagann continues the charge, only to get impaled by the tentacles erupting from the Anti-Spiral homeworld. Then, the Arc Gurren-Lagann's mouth opens and the building-sized Gurren-Lagann does the final charge, until the Anti-Spiral's tentacles impale it too. Viral's response? Tear off the Lagann and throw it at the Anti-Spiral. Even though the Lagann is disintegrating around him, Simon continues charging at the Big Bad, finishing it off with his trademark attack: "LAGANN... IMPACTOOO!!!". Epic is too mild of a word to describe the sequence: it's pure, undistilled HSQ.
  • The ultimate warrior from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is ordered to fire on the advancing bugs; he does so even as his immature body is disintegrating around him. It eventually melts away completely.
  • Tenshinhan and Chaozu both try this on Nappa in Dragonball Z. Subverted in that it doesn't have much of an effect, but at least they tried.
  • Naturally Hellsing has a particularly nasty version of this when the elder Valentine brother attacks Alucard.
  • Guts tried this when he was confronted with his Arch Nemesis Femto/Griffith two years after the Eclipse in Berserk. So blinded by his rage of seeing Femto again, that Guts - who sustained massive injuries after fighting the Count - charges toward Femto while forgetting that his brand, which bleeds and hurts when he's around lower Apostles, will explode with blood and pain when approaching one of the most powerful demons that the Berserkverse has ever seen. The pain can be so incredible that it can kill him. Lucky for Guts, it doesn't.
    • Speaking of the Eclipse Guts did this when he tries to reach Casca, who is being raped by Femto, after he hacks off his arm in order to escape demon. Unfortunately, he doesn't make it because he gets dog-piled by a bunch more demons, so this is much of scenario #2 from above.
  • In the Claymore manga backstory, Roxanne engineers Cassandra's death by letting Cassandra's close friend die horribly, telling the Organization that Cassandra was planning to rebel in order to gather many other Claymores in the area, and then goading her into trying to reach her through said Claymores. In exchange for all the damage she does to them along the way, she doesn't try to evade their own attacks, and she doesn't quite make it. Her last memory is a smirking Roxanne striking her down with the hilt of her sword.
  • In Gundam Seed Destiny, Shinn takes Kira's Freedom Gundam out this way. When Kira tries to go for a Non-Lethal KO by decapitating the Impulse, Shinn launched the damaged upper torso at the Freedom then shot it with his cockpit-fighter's machine gun before commandeering the backup torso. A while later, Shinn threw one of his swords at the Freedom's shield to take it out before charging straight into the Freedom's beam saber to impale it with his other sword.

Comic Books

  • During the period the team was helmed by the Martian Manhunter, Professo Ivo send androids to take down the members of the Justice League of America. The second Commander Steel, Henry Heywood III, confronts an android capable of distintegrating his flesh and exposing the machinery underneath. Heywood eventually charges the android and it continues blasting him, eventually overloading itself and exploding. Although he did defeat the android, little more than a metal skeleton is left behind, screaming out "HELPMEHELPMEHELPME." Later, he is euthanized by his grandfather, the original Commander Steel.



  • War Horse: A somewhat accidental one; the British cavalry unit the titular horse is attached to charges a seemingly poorly defended enemy camp, only to be mowed down by gatling guns secured just inside the tree line at the edge of the clearing. The casualties are enormous, and it earns the British commander a What the Hell, Hero? speech from the Germans.
  • The Terminator: the T-800 exoskeleton had the lower half of its body blown off when Kyle Reese planted explosives in its chest. It then followed Sarah Conner by dragging itself with its arms, and was trapped under a hydraulic press and squished. Likewise, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day the T-1000 was caught in a flood of liquid nitrogen and frozen. It broke off its feet while walking and continued on the stumps, then was shattered into hundreds of pieces by a bullet from the T-800's gun. And it still kept going.
  • Tank Girl: the Ripper DeeTee charges forward in a hail of gunfire to destroy the power box and turn out the lights so the other Rippers can succeed in their mission. He ends up dying, sending the other Rippers on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Played for comedy with Monty Python and The Holy Grail's Black Knight "Come back you coward, I'll bite your legs off!".
  • Khan's activation of the Genesis device in Star Trek II.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine's relentless advance towards Jean probably counts - his Healing Factor kept him regenerating in the face of the telekinetic assault, but still... I suspect it was only his Magic Pants that kept his legs from getting the same treatment.
  • V for Vendetta. At the end of the film, V takes a few hundred bullets from Creedy's henchmen, but does not fall down. He instead says "My turn" and kills them all. Of course, he was wearing a plate mail breastplate, and he was still mortally wounded by the gunfire.
    • A lot different than the original; which had V die from a single bullet; which was all part of his plan.
  • The Captain (Laurence Fishburne) from Event Horizon. In the climax he gets his ass kicked from here to the dark side of the moon by Sam Neill's nutty scientist, but then saves the rest of the crew by blowing up the portal to the Cthulhu dimension thingy.
  • Happens twice in the RoboCop series.
    • In the first movie, an OCP executive gets his knees shot up by a hired killer, who then proceeds to leave a hand grenade (with a clearly visible display...) on his desk. He desperately tries to crawl to it in time to throw it away or stop it, but he's barely touching it when it goes off.
    • In the third movie, the main baddie gets his legs cooked by the hot exhaust from Robocop's jetpack, and is left in an empty room with a time bomb. The scene repeats itself, with the exact same results.
  • Batman Returns: Max Shreck shoots Catwoman no less than five times (though somewhat inaccurately) as she approaches him with a taser and his back to the main generator of Gotham Zoo.
  • In The Last Samurai, Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, is mortally wounded from a rifle shot during a rescue of his father. Knowing his hours are numbered, he convinces his father to flee, and fires off a handful of arrows into the Japanese guard before drawing his blades and charging. He's gunned down at the bridge in a Heroic Sacrifice moment.
    • If there is to be only one example of this trope from The Last Samurai, it should be the climax. Which is a cavalry charge by the weary, outnumbered, defeated remnants of the samurai army into first a line of gunners and then frickin' GATLING GUNS. The samurai are, of course, killed to the very last man.
  • In the movie Glory (based on the story of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry during the American Civil War), Colonel Shaw is killed in a rather dramatic charge up the earthworks of Battery Wagner (referred to as Fort Wagner in the movie). It takes a sum total of five gunshot wounds (any one of which would have been mortal) to finally stop him. After which his regiment launches itself over the wall in a Crowning Moment of Awesome. And then proceeds to get utterly destroyed by reinforcements coming out of the bombproof shelter inside the battery.
  • The Olympic Runner Orc from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
  • One of Lawrence's warriors charges a Turkish column all by his lonesome about three quarters of the way through Lawrence of Arabia and gets gunned down before he reaches them with his scimitar, prompting Lawrence to snap and order his army to kill every single Turk in the column. Including wounded.
  • The charge of centaur general Oreius and the rhinoceros in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a Heroic Sacrifice on both parts to buy time for Peter to get away from the White Witch's advance. Oreius also takes out the Witch's right-hand minotaur along the way.
  • One of the most memorable scenes of the classic movie The Birth of a Nation is when the protagonist charges a battery of guns, armed only with a flag, to the tune of Dixie. He survives, and goes on to found the Ku Klux Klan in the final act.
  • Star Wars Return of the Jedi: The A-wing pilot ramming his disintegrating fighter into the bridge of the Executor during the climactic space battle.
    • Vader killing Palpatine counts too. The Emperor's Force Lightning short circuited his life support system and left him mortally wounded.
  • The climactic charge into a canyon lined by Apache marksmen in Fort Apache.
  • The ending of the Live Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato has Kodai applying this trope with the Yamato itself. Justified in that the Wave Motion Gun had its muzzle jammed earlier so firing the weapon would destroy the Yamato as well - not that he had any other options, the ship already being heavily damaged and all. He merely wanted to make sure when he pulls the trigger, his target will be within the blast radius. Result: sad but spectacular success.


  • In the Redwall book Salamandstron, Urthstripe the Strong goes berserk at the end, ignoring his wounds and went out to fight the Big Bad. He succeeds, hurling himself off the mountain with said big bad.
  • One of the Idirians in Consider Phlebas is left for dead. A bad idea when you are up against a species that is essentially biologically immortal (as a result of evolving on a Death World that takes Everything Is Trying to Kill You Up to Eleven). He spends about an hour dragging his own near-corpse to the train controls, finally succumbing just as he starts it on a collision course with the protagonists, eventually killing most of them
  • The bearded mercenary in The Bartimaeus Trilogy chases Nathaniel into a room full of Deadly Gas. Nathaniel manages to reach the Amulet of Samarkand in the center of the room and put it on to protect himself. The mercenary keeps chasing him, even as his flesh melts away and he collapses as a pile of bones at Nathaniel's feet.
  • Alexander Tagere and the Wolf Cubs' last charge in book five of the Arcia Chronicles was so vicious, its survivors (on the enemy side) have nightmares about it for the rest of the series. Notably, it is a faithful reproduction of historical Richard of Gloucester's last moments, at least up to the point where Alexander is knocked out from behind by his best friend (where Richard was unhorsed and hacked to death).

Live Action TV

  • Jekyll sees Hyde walking towards the Big Bad at the end of the last episode, getting gunned to pieces. His advance only stops because the bullet wounds eventually cut his muscles up so that he can't physically walk any more.



 "Forward he cried from the rear as the front rank died"



  • Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Happens in several videogames:
    • Half Life 2 's headcrab zombies can be cut in half by razorblades launched by the gravity gun; sometimes they'll die on the spot, sometimes the crab will jump off and attempt to attack on its own, and sometimes the legless torso will keep coming after you.
    • Unreal's Krall warriors occasionally lose their legs as well; they'll often keep coming after you crawling on their bellies, shooting their staffs as they go.
    • Alien vs. Predator (1&2): at a distance, humorous as the xenomorphs drag themselves toward you... and in the poorly lit claustrophobic corridors where you're often firing wildly, it's terrifying.
    • The Jedi Knight games - where occasionally, limbs fall off.
    • Not intentional, but still counts: Soldier of Fortune was one of the first games to allow enemies to be dismembered part by part. Only, it and its sequel had a bug that sometimes made those enemies keep fighting anyway, so that eventually you'd be facing a shapeless blob of meat that still somehow was able to move and shoot.
  • Cielo's death in Digital Devil Saga 2.
  • A truly epic example from the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, with Snake stumbling then crawling his way to GW through a hallway literally cooking him with microwaves.
    • If you take too long, Snake will literally use his fingers to move himself inch by desperate inch towards the end of the hall.
  • In Dead Space, all enemies will keep coming after you until they are thoroughly dismembered. Some will even keep coming after that.
  • In the Resident Evil Series, specifically RE 2, it is at times possible to "exterminate" a zombie by destroying it's torso with a shotgun blast that also destroys the head, the catch is that the legs, in perfect working order, can continue their plodding charge. The kicker is that as the game keeps track of what enemies are defeated this pair of legs will remain in the room forever walking directly into a wall.
  • The Climax Boss battle against Luca Blight in Suikoden II is a perfect example of the 1st variety. Notable in that it continues for a lot longer than normal and he actually DOES reach his target, but he's been weakened enough that he can't best him in battle.
  • A fairly common event in League of Legends is heroes who can't escape a turret, won't escape incoming enemies, are only alive because of some ability, or are going to be resurrected if they die, chasing enemies into danger to try and finish them off. Of course in the last case, the self-destructive aspect can be averted. Zilean's ultimate in particular encourages this kind of behavior because if you don't die while it's on you the spell does nothing. Kog'Maw has this built in - when he's killed he can still move for a while, then explodes for considerable damage to nearby enemies.
  • In Command and Conquer, many cyborgs can have their lower bodies blown off, and they'll just keep coming. Even the Cyborg Commando can do this, and it won't cost you the mission if that happens!


Western Animation

  • Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot." When Fry's Liu-bot walks through the the popcorn seed-bullet fire to turn the projector on the other Liu-bots is pretty much a perfect example.
  • In a post-1986-movie episode of Transformers, Optimus Prime finds himself rebuilt — by whom, he doesn't know — and must make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the episode's big menace. He flies his space ship right down the bad guys' gullet, and we can see him falling apart on the way in before he impacts and blows 'em up real good.


  • In the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night, you bear witness to Berserker doing this in his battle against Gilgamesh. Shirou observes that it's a simple battle--if Berserker can push through the hail of swords Gilgamesh is sending at him long enough to reach Gilgamesh, he wins. Not only is that hopeless, but Shirou turns out to be dead wrong--even if Berserker did reach Gilgamesh, Gil could use the same chain he used against the Bull of Heaven to render Berserker harmless in an instant.
    • Shirou himself can pull this at several points, though it almost always results in his death. A notable exception is when he tries something similar against Gilgamesh only to have Gilgamesh leave him on the brink of death.
  • Den does this twice in Battle Angel Alita.
    • It's undoubtably a Crowning Moment of Awesome, as his last charge permanently disables a power cable to Tiphares, and causes children to be taught the legend
  • Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7 charges a wall of guards as they're firing at him with machine guns. But he's a cyborg, so it doesn't kill him.
    • Instead, he dies later on by standing heroically still in front of a charging city. Very manly, and possibly very useful, but one wishes he hadn't.
  • A potential tactic in Halo in co-op mode, where as long as one player is alive the other will respawn. So one charges forward to remove a strong defense or locate snipers while the other hangs back.
  • In Negation, Matua casts a super-powerful spell that kills a Lawbringer standing between him and his goal by launching a swarm of magical energy swords at her - but because they were in an enclosed space, the swords rebounded off the walls and cut into Matua as well, killing him, making this his Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • The Honor Before Reason charge of Kenny, the first self-aware Bolo, which routed the enemy but left him too damaged to salvage.

Real Life

  • Real Life example: In 1943, Pvt. Rodger Young and his platoon were pinned down by enemy fire from a Japanese machine gun nest. Pvt. Young was wounded in the initial blast, and as the platoon started to withdraw, Young called out that he could see the machine gun nest and began crawling toward it. Wounded again, he continued his advance, drawing enemy fire and answering with his own. When he got close enough to the nest, he began throwing hand grenades, and was killed shortly thereafter. Pvt. Young received a posthumous Medal of Honor citation for his actions, which are commemorated in The Ballad Of Rodger Young."
    • Commemorated by Robert A. Heinlein in Starship Troopers.
  • Quite a few charges throughout the history ended up this way, whether or not the charge failed or actually achieved its objectives. Notable examples include:
    • On horseback:
      • The French at Crécy and Poitiers/Maupertuis.
      • Several in the Napoleonic Wars, notably the French at Eylau, and both the French and British cavalry at Waterloo.
      • The British Light Brigade at Balaclava.
      • The "death-ride" (Todesritt) of Bredow's brigade at Vionville (aka Mars-la-Tour).
    • On foot:
      • The French at Azincourt.
      • The final charge of Napoleon's Guard at Waterloo.
      • The Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg, Antietam and Cold Harbor, Pickett's charge at Gettysburg.
      • Many World War One battles, most infamously the Germans at Verdun and the British on the first day of the Somme. The British and Empire forces at Gallipoli.
      • The Banzai charges of the Japanese army during World War II, which were standard operating procedure when they were losing. The preference to die charging the enemy with a melee weapon rather than surrender meant that Japanese POWs were comparatively rare.