The term "non-corporeal" is used to refer to a being with no true physical form. They may use physical avatars, but their essence exists in a nonphysical form. Sometimes, this could be spirit, energy, etc. Non-corporeality is different from intangibility, because in the latter case, said being's apparent body is their true body, it just can't be affected by physical forces. A non-corporeal being generally does not have any kind of defined body, but may take many different forms, all of which can be destroyed with little or no inconvenience to the true being behind them.
Examples of non-corporeal beings:
- Ainur from Lord of the Rings
- Cheap Trick and other hostless stands from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
- Elder God from Legacy of Kain
- Giygas from Earthbound/Mother
- God Hand from Berserk
- Daemons, Chaos Gods, C'Tan and various others from Warhammer 40,000
- The First Evil from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The Makuta from Bionicle
- Moon=Millenniummon from Digimon
- The Shadow King, from Marvel Comics
- Szadek, Lord of Secrets from Magic the Gathering
- The Ultimate Intelligences, from the Hyperion Cantos
- Various energy beings, such as the Organians, from Star Trek
- Xellos and other Mazoku or Shinzoku, from Slayers
- Yuki Nagato and other data interfaces from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Defeating/killing a non-corporeal being is often very difficult. However, some methods that can prove to be effective are:
- Attacks that affect the soul. Of course it depends on whether the being in question has a soul or not.
- Powerful psychic attacks (if the being's true form is susceptible to such things and can be located on the astral plane)
- Reality Warping (of course)
- Some non-corporeal beings, such as the Neural Djinn from DC Comics, act as parasites and need a host to survive. In this case, said beings can often be killed by eliminating all potential hosts they would otherwise have access to.
- Time manipulation
Non-Corporeal beings are sometimes considered the third hardest type of being to kill, behind only abstract beings and omnipotent beings.