History Main / InstantWinCondition

25th Jul '17 10:18:32 AM MyFinalEdits
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* TabletopGame/{{Chess}}. Take a look at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortal_game the immortal game]]. It's an excellent example of this trope. White wins, by the way.
** For those unfamiliar with the chess rules: you win by putting your opponent in checkmate, which is when the opponent's king cannot escape a threat. This wins the game even if you have two pieces left against your opponent's sixteen (though pulling ''that'' off would require a truly EpicFail from your opponent).
** And of course, there's the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_mate Fool's Mate]]: 1. f3 or f4 e6 or e5 2. g4 Qh4++ . That's about as instant as chess gets!

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* TabletopGame/{{Chess}}. Take a look at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortal_game the immortal game]]. It's an excellent example of this trope. White wins, by the way.
** For those unfamiliar with the chess rules: you
TabletopGame/{{Chess}}: You win by putting your opponent in checkmate, which is when the opponent's king cannot escape a threat. This wins the game even if you have two pieces left against your opponent's sixteen (though pulling ''that'' off would require a truly EpicFail from your opponent).
**
opponent). And of course, there's the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_mate Fool's Mate]]: 1. f3 or f4 e6 or e5 2. g4 Qh4++ . That's about as instant as chess gets!



* In ''Literature/EndersGame'' by Creator/OrsonScottCard, Ender realizes (or remembers from his time at Salamander) that he doesn't have to disable all of the opposing soldiers in order to win the Battle Room situations, like everyone had assumed -- he just had to get five of ''his'' to the gate. [[ObviousRulePatch The rules are promptly changed]], but it does allow him to win a battle against a double-size army in entrenched defensive positions.

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* In ''Literature/EndersGame'' by Creator/OrsonScottCard, ''Literature/EndersGame'':
**
Ender realizes (or remembers from his time at Salamander) that he doesn't have to disable all of the opposing soldiers in order to win the Battle Room situations, like everyone had assumed -- he just had to get five of ''his'' to the gate. [[ObviousRulePatch The rules are promptly changed]], but it does allow him to win a battle against a double-size army in entrenched defensive positions.



** Both scenarios were pretty much {{unwinnable}} with the conventional approach and thus required the lateral -- and very much desperate -- thinking to win. It's also worth noting that in the second example, Ender has crossed the DespairEventHorizon and is ''trying'' to get kicked out by doing the unthinkable. (And in the first example, he's on the very edge of the horizon and he just wants to mock the instructors.)



* GameShows:
** Many game shows that had a rule that, upon winning enough games and returning to the bonus round, won the grand prize automatically. Usually, this was after a fifth day of a contestant's reign, in which case they were simply given the prize without having to play the bonus round and (often) retired undefeated.
** Specific other examples:
*** ''Series/TheJokersWild'': Drawing three jokers in a single spin during the main game automatically won the game at $500, provided two conditions were met: 1. The contestant correctly answered a question in a category of his choosing, and 2. His/her opponent (if they were the champion) was unable to spin a combination that would allow him/her to tie the score at $500. In early episodes, the game immediately ended without anything further needing to be done, but the aforementioned rules were added once a contestant a champion spun a triple joker on his first spin, meaning the opponent didn't get even a chance to play. The bonus round also awarded a contestant the prize package in question upon spinning a triple (three of any denomination).
*** ''Series/WheelOfFortune'': Provided the contestant can correctly pronounce the displayed puzzle, a contestant filling in the puzzle completely on his turn won automatically. (The video game version, which does not require the reading of the puzzle aloud, automatically awards the contestant the win.)

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* GameShows:
** Many game shows that had a rule that, upon winning enough games and returning to the bonus round, won the grand prize automatically. Usually, this was after a fifth day of a contestant's reign, in which case they were simply given the prize without having to play the bonus round and (often) retired undefeated.
** Specific other examples:
***
''Series/TheJokersWild'': Drawing three jokers in a single spin during the main game automatically won the game at $500, provided two conditions were met: 1. The contestant correctly answered a question in a category of his choosing, and 2. His/her opponent (if they were the champion) was unable to spin a combination that would allow him/her to tie the score at $500. In early episodes, the game immediately ended without anything further needing to be done, but the aforementioned rules were added once a contestant a champion spun a triple joker on his first spin, meaning the opponent didn't get even a chance to play. The bonus round also awarded a contestant the prize package in question upon spinning a triple (three of any denomination).
*** * ''Series/WheelOfFortune'': Provided the contestant can correctly pronounce the displayed puzzle, a contestant filling in the puzzle completely on his turn won automatically. (The video game version, which does not require the reading of the puzzle aloud, automatically awards the contestant the win.)



** 6th Edition has introduced the Absent Forces rule -- if one player has no models on the board at the end of the Game turn (rather than their own personal part of the turn), they instantly lose. Against an army that makes heavy use of Deep Striking, Outflanking or Reserves, where a random number of units will appear in the first turn, it's possible that only a small number turn up and are quickly exterminated, or -- [[http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/277109.page as in one very famous example]] -- are prevented from entering play at all.
*** 6th edition also now awards players bonus victory points for killing the enemy warlord, having a unit in the opponent's deployment zone, or being the first to completely destroy an enemy unit, all of which can easily tip the balance of a game.

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** 6th Edition has introduced the Absent Forces rule -- if one player has no models on the board at the end of the Game turn (rather than their own personal part of the turn), they instantly lose. Against an army that makes heavy use of Deep Striking, Outflanking or Reserves, where a random number of units will appear in the first turn, it's possible that only a small number turn up and are quickly exterminated, or -- [[http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/277109.page as in one very famous example]] -- are prevented from entering play at all.
***
all. 6th edition also now awards players bonus victory points for killing the enemy warlord, having a unit in the opponent's deployment zone, or being the first to completely destroy an enemy unit, all of which can easily tip the balance of a game.



*** Then there's the flip side, cards that instantly cause someone to ''lose'' the game. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=288992 Door to Nothingness]] is an example, in that it will (if you're able to satisfy its ''very'' high mana cost) instantly cause someone to lose the game. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=106427 Phage the Untouchable]] is another example, in that if she deals combat damage to a player, they lose. There are also the creatures that give players poison counters, and if a player has 10 poison counters, they lose. Finally, a planeswalker introduced in Return to Ravnica, Vraska the Unseen's ultimate ability creates 3 1/1 assassins that, if they hit a player for damage, that player loses the game.

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*** ** Then there's the flip side, cards that instantly cause someone to ''lose'' the game. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=288992 Door to Nothingness]] is an example, in that it will (if you're able to satisfy its ''very'' high mana cost) instantly cause someone to lose the game. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=106427 Phage the Untouchable]] is another example, in that if she deals combat damage to a player, they lose. There are also the creatures that give players poison counters, and if a player has 10 poison counters, they lose. Finally, a planeswalker introduced in Return to Ravnica, Vraska the Unseen's ultimate ability creates 3 1/1 assassins that, if they hit a player for damage, that player loses the game.



*** Of course, if the other guy has a Force of Will (a counterspell which can be cast without mana), you're pretty much hosed.
** Another combo involved spells that you had to pay for next turn; if you didn't, you'd lose the game. The deck would play more of these than they could hope to pay for, then use the benefits of those spells to win before the next turn ever started.
*** Similar decks would play the same spells and force ''the opponent'' to cast them somehow. Depending on the deck and spell, it would often be impossible for your opponent to pay the cost for even one of them, let alone many.

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*** Of course, if the other guy has a Force of Will (a counterspell which can be cast without mana), you're pretty much hosed.
** Another combo involved spells that you had to pay for next turn; if you didn't, you'd lose the game. The deck would play more of these than they could hope to pay for, then use the benefits of those spells to win before the next turn ever started.
***
started. Similar decks would play the same spells and force ''the opponent'' to cast them somehow. Depending on the deck and spell, it would often be impossible for your opponent to pay the cost for even one of them, let alone many.



** "Decking", the original alternate win condition: If you're told to draw from an empty library, you lose. This is harder to do than getting your life to 0, though, so it's rarer to end a game by decking.
*** Unless you've deliberately set up your deck to "mill" the opponent into submission. Cards such as [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=millstone Millstone]], [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=197129 Halimar Excavator]], [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=193441 Rise of the Eldrazi's Keening Stone]], and any other Ally card are all useful unless your opponent has a card that allows them to shuffle their graveyard back into their hand. (Even if they do, the original [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=109694 Feldon's Cane]] has to be exiled from the game after use, and the fancy mythic rare Eldrazi that can do this for free are, well, mythic rare.)
*** Also, there's a card from ''Innistrad'', [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=230788 Laboratory Maniac]], that turns the instant ''lose'' condition into an instant ''win'' condition. If you would lose the game by being "decked" with the Maniac out, you win instead.

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** "Decking", the original alternate win condition: If you're told to draw from an empty library, you lose. This is harder to do than getting your life to 0, though, so it's rarer to end a game by decking.
***
decking. Unless you've deliberately set up your deck to "mill" the opponent into submission. Cards such as [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=millstone Millstone]], [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=197129 Halimar Excavator]], [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=193441 Rise of the Eldrazi's Keening Stone]], and any other Ally card are all useful unless your opponent has a card that allows them to shuffle their graveyard back into their hand. (Even if they do, the original [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=109694 Feldon's Cane]] has to be exiled from the game after use, and the fancy mythic rare Eldrazi that can do this for free are, well, mythic rare.)
*** Also, there's ** There's a card from ''Innistrad'', [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=230788 Laboratory Maniac]], that turns the instant ''lose'' condition into an instant ''win'' condition. If you would lose the game by being "decked" with the Maniac out, you win instead.



** Yu-Gi-Oh's specific win-condition cards include: Successfully inflicting damage with "Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes" three times (but it's tricky enough to summon), "Final Countdown," a stall victory condition that activates after 20 turns, a faster victory condition called "Destiny Board" which nonetheless requires stalling and hoping your opponent can't remove the cards on your back row, the iconic getting all five pieces of Exodia in your hand, and the now-banned "Last Turn" which has one of your monsters and one of your opponent's of their choice duke it out for a last battle. When playing a match with someone, perhaps in a tournament, where the winner is determined by best of 3 games, the aptly named card "Victory Dragon" automatically wins you the entire match if you win just one game with it striking the finishing blow.
*** In addition, if you can create a chain so that you get a win condition before your opponent, their win condition seems to magically disappear - for example, activate Ring of Destruction when your opponent gets the last piece of Exodia or "Spirit Message - L", knock their Life Points to 0, and you win instead because chains resolve in reverse of the cards being activated. So your effect happens first, unless they can stop it.

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** Yu-Gi-Oh's specific win-condition cards include: Successfully inflicting damage with "Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes" three times (but it's tricky enough to summon), "Final Countdown," a stall victory condition that activates after 20 turns, a faster victory condition called "Destiny Board" which nonetheless requires stalling and hoping your opponent can't remove the cards on your back row, the iconic getting all five pieces of Exodia in your hand, and the now-banned "Last Turn" which has one of your monsters and one of your opponent's of their choice duke it out for a last battle. When playing a match with someone, perhaps in a tournament, where the winner is determined by best of 3 games, the aptly named card "Victory Dragon" automatically wins you the entire match if you win just one game with it striking the finishing blow.
*** In addition,
blow. And if you can create a chain so that you get a win condition before your opponent, their win condition seems to magically disappear - for example, activate Ring of Destruction when your opponent gets the last piece of Exodia or "Spirit Message - L", knock their Life Points to 0, and you win instead because chains resolve in reverse of the cards being activated. So your effect happens first, unless they can stop it.



* And in just about every CCG, you can cause a player to lose by fixing it so that they run out of cards in their deck before you do; if it's their turn to draw, and they can't draw any cards due to there being none left, they lose, no matter how far ahead they were at the time. This is referred to as "milling" in card game parlance (after a MagicTheGathering card that reduced the enemy's library, Millstone).
** An exception to these is Magi-nation, where, due to the nature of the game, games can last a very long time indeed, the rules indicate that when you run out of cards in your deck, you shuffle your discard pile, and set it as your deck. The only way to win is to have the opposing Magi hit 0 energy without any creatures on the field, so it's entirely possible for both players to lose if they aren't careful.
** This is, however, being more often [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] in many more modern digital [=CCGs=] such as ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' and ''VideoGame/InfinityWars'', where running out of cards causes you to take steady damage every time you fail to draw (morale rather than fortress damage in ''Infinity Wars'') rather than losing instantly. Mill decks are still a valid option in these games, but they no longer meet this trope.
** Played straight, however, and in fact taken UpToEleven in digital GenreThrowback game ''Spellweaver'' where you actually lose the instant your deck has no cards in it, rather than when you fail to draw.

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* And in just about every In many CCG, you can cause a player to lose by fixing it so that they run out of cards in their deck before you do; if it's their turn to draw, and they can't draw any cards due to there being none left, they lose, no matter how far ahead they were at the time. This is referred to as "milling" in card game parlance (after a MagicTheGathering card that reduced the enemy's library, Millstone).
**
Millstone). An exception to these is Magi-nation, where, due to the nature of the game, games can last a very long time indeed, the rules indicate that when you run out of cards in your deck, you shuffle your discard pile, and set it as your deck. The only way to win is to have the opposing Magi hit 0 energy without any creatures on the field, so it's entirely possible for both players to lose if they aren't careful.
** This is, however, being more often [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] in many more modern digital [=CCGs=] such as ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' and ''VideoGame/InfinityWars'', where running out of cards causes you to take steady damage every time you fail to draw (morale rather than fortress damage in ''Infinity Wars'') rather than losing instantly. Mill decks are still a valid option in these games, but they no longer meet this trope.
** Played straight, however, and in fact taken UpToEleven in digital GenreThrowback game ''Spellweaver'' where you actually lose the instant your deck has no cards in it, rather than when you fail to draw.
careful.



** ''Fluxx'', from the same developers, can have up to two victory conditions, depending on the cards in play, and they may or may not be mutually exclusive. Sold separately are packs of blank cards that allow people to make up cards which could do this.
** ''We Didn't Playtest This At All'' is made of this trope. For an example, here are a few ways you can win by playing a single card: Being the only girl, being the only one without points, having an even number of players in the game, having five or more cards, owning a pony... The game works by stint of it being possible for anyone to win at any time, and all players accepting that the game will, probably, only take a few minutes to play.

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** ''Fluxx'', from the same developers, * ''Fluxx'' can have up to two victory conditions, depending on the cards in play, and they may or may not be mutually exclusive. Sold separately are packs of blank cards that allow people to make up cards which could do this.
** * ''We Didn't Playtest This At All'' is made of this trope. For an example, here All''. Here are a few ways you can win by playing a single card: Being the only girl, being the only one without points, having an even number of players in the game, having five or more cards, owning a pony... The game works by stint of it being possible for anyone to win at any time, and all players accepting that the game will, probably, only take a few minutes to play.



* The original ''LordOfTheRings'' collectible card game. You win by having the most points after a certain amount of time - but if you manage to destroy The One Ring, you win immediately, regardless of score.
** And, for that matter, the newer game (based more on the films). As long as your ringbearer survives all skirmishes at site 9, you win, even if he's an inch from death and the rest of the fellowship died turns ago.
* The ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' CCG was made of this trope. There were three default victory conditions: Military (wipe out your opponent's, either by destroying their 4 provinces or reducing them to -20 Honor), Honor (reach 40 Honor points), or Enlightenment (play all 5 elemental rings). Some VERY successful decks were designed around making a suicidal dash for max honor or enlightenment while paying just enough attention to the opponent's attacks to not be ''completely'' wiped out before winning. Not all of these were ''instant'' win conditions (Honor, for example, would only resolve if you had 40 Honor at the ''start'' of your turn, giving your opponent a last chance to respond, unless you used the Naga personality Dashmar to win by Honor immediately) but they would bypass the usual "kill all opponents" condition which is the usual default for [=CCGs=].
** Additionally, [=L5R=] would often add new gimmicky victory conditions in expansions, such as opening enough of the 12 Black Scrolls either before (7) or after (12) the event The Darkest Magics comes up to revive the Dark God Fu Leng, or seizing control of (playing) all 4 Walls of Otosan Uchi before the event The 38th Hantei Falls comes up to effect a coup. The most notorious was [[http://l5rshop.com/zencotw/zen.zcotw~7.161.shtml Master of Five]], a victory condition [[GameBreaker so nauseatingly easy to accomplish]] (after the event in question resolves all you had to do was generate one elemental effect of each of the five elements on the same turn to win at the start of your next one) that it was generally considered a mistake that should never be repeated (the gimmick victory conditions were meant to be exactly that ''[[AwesomeButImpractical -gimmicks-]]'' and not seriously competitively viable).

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* The original ''LordOfTheRings'' ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' collectible card game. You win by having the most points after a certain amount of time - but if you manage to destroy The One Ring, you win immediately, regardless of score.
** And, for that matter,
score. In the newer game (based more games based on the films). As films, as long as your ringbearer survives all skirmishes at site 9, you win, even if he's an inch from death and the rest of the fellowship died turns ago.
* The ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' CCG was made of this trope. There were three default victory conditions: Military (wipe out your opponent's, either by destroying their 4 provinces or reducing them to -20 Honor), Honor (reach 40 Honor points), or Enlightenment (play all 5 elemental rings). Some VERY successful decks were designed around making a suicidal dash for max honor or enlightenment while paying just enough attention to the opponent's attacks to not be ''completely'' wiped out before winning. Not all of these were ''instant'' win conditions (Honor, for example, would only resolve if you had 40 Honor at the ''start'' of your turn, giving your opponent a last chance to respond, unless you used the Naga personality Dashmar to win by Honor immediately) but they would bypass the usual "kill all opponents" condition which is the usual default for [=CCGs=].
** Additionally,
[=CCGs=]. [=L5R=] would also often add new gimmicky victory conditions in expansions, such as opening enough of the 12 Black Scrolls either before (7) or after (12) the event The Darkest Magics comes up to revive the Dark God Fu Leng, or seizing control of (playing) all 4 Walls of Otosan Uchi before the event The 38th Hantei Falls comes up to effect a coup. The most notorious was [[http://l5rshop.com/zencotw/zen.zcotw~7.161.shtml Master of Five]], a victory condition [[GameBreaker so nauseatingly easy to accomplish]] (after the event in question resolves all you had to do was generate one elemental effect of each of the five elements on the same turn to win at the start of your next one) that it was generally considered a mistake that should never be repeated (the gimmick victory conditions were meant to be exactly that ''[[AwesomeButImpractical -gimmicks-]]'' and not seriously competitively viable).



** In the original ''Super Mario Bros.'', jumping behind Bowser and touching the axe destroys the bridge and sends him tumbling into the lava pit below.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', clearing a stage will usually cause all remaining foes on screen to spontaneously transform into coins.
** ''Every'' platform game is like this. If you can win enough points to advance to the next level, you will still go to the next level, even if you're on the verge of death.
** In the 3D games, no matter the situation, as long as you get to the Star or Shine Sprite without dying, the Star protects Mario from any major trouble in the area. It doesn't matter if in the middle of an island sinking into lava, the bottom of the ocean with hardly any oxygen, or in the case of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', doing a victory dance on a bottomless pit/the middle of the sky[[note]]this one was averted in the remake[[/note]].
** ''VideoGame/KaizoMarioWorld'', the TropeNamer for the KaizoTrap, goes out of its way to avert this trope. Unless you've taken care to cover the pit beyond the finish line, grabbing the flag will cause Mario to happily walk to his death.

to:

** In the original ''Super Mario Bros.'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' and ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels The Lost Levels]]'', jumping behind Bowser and touching the axe destroys the bridge and sends him tumbling into the lava pit below.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', clearing a stage will usually cause all remaining foes on screen to spontaneously transform into coins.
** ''Every'' platform game
coins. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' does this only when the boss of the current world is like this. If you can win defeated, as the trope is averted with the Mask Gates. The remaining games merely turn the enemies into earned points when the flagpole is touched, though if enough points to advance to the next level, you of them are gathered at once, they will still go to the next level, even if you're on the verge of death.
turn into extra lives.
** In the 3D games, no matter the situation, as long as you get to the Star or Star, Shine Sprite or flagpole without dying, the Star item or pole protects Mario from any major trouble in the area. It doesn't matter if in the middle of an island sinking into lava, the bottom of the ocean with hardly any oxygen, or in the case of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', doing a victory dance on a bottomless pit/the middle of the sky[[note]]this one was averted in the remake[[/note]].
** ''VideoGame/KaizoMarioWorld'', the TropeNamer for the KaizoTrap, goes out of its way to avert this trope. Unless you've taken care to cover the pit beyond the finish line, grabbing the flag will cause Mario to happily walk to his death.
remake[[/note]].



** ''VideoGame/KaizoMarioWorld'', the TropeNamer for the KaizoTrap, goes out of its way to avert this trope. Unless you've taken care to cover the pit beyond the finish line, grabbing the flag will cause Mario to happily walk to his death.



** This is {{justified|Trope}}, at least in the story mode - the ACU is the only manned unit, and the other units' AI isn't sophisticated enough to continue strategic combat in its absence.
** It's a holdover from [=SupCom=]'s spiritual predecessor ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation''. In the campaign and the default multiplayer settings destroying a faction's Commander would instantly ''detonate'' every single one of their units and structures- effectively a shortcut to the more plausible 'destroy all enemies'.

to:

** This is {{justified|Trope}}, at least in the story mode - the ACU is the only manned unit, and the other units' AI isn't sophisticated enough to continue strategic combat in its absence.
** It's a holdover from [=SupCom=]'s spiritual predecessor
* ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation''. In the campaign and the default multiplayer settings destroying a faction's Commander would instantly ''detonate'' every single one of their units and structures- effectively a shortcut to the more plausible 'destroy all enemies'.



** Ditto ''SaintsRow'' and Forgive and Forget.
*** Also, the Saints stores in ''Saints Row The Third''. You walk into a store and instantly your wanted level disappears. Why? Because your (invisible) boys are guarding the store and it is Saints territory. Which is enough to scare off tanks and APCs sent by someone who openly declared war on you.

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* VideoGame/SaintsRow'':
** Ditto ''SaintsRow'' and Forgive and Forget.
*** Also, the
The Saints stores in ''Saints Row The Third''. You walk into a store and instantly your wanted level disappears. Why? Because your (invisible) boys are guarding the store and it is Saints territory. Which is enough to scare off tanks and APCs sent by someone who openly declared war on you.



*** * car leaving Pay N' Spray* "Let him pass boys, we're looking for a blue car"



*** Going to sleep will even work if the police are ''in your house'', or even if they're ''shooting at you as you climb into bed''.



* In the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' series (and many similar games), many missions just involve getting to a particular MacGuffin. Once you're actually at it, even if half the enemy army is about to converge at your position in what will surely be a one sided victory for them, the mission ends and you miraculously escape off-camera.
** Except for that one mission in the first game where you have to escape with it: Nod mission 6.
** Averted in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2 Red Alert 2]]'', where lose conditions are checked even after the victory banner is shown; one Allied mission requires using Tanya to destroy a few key buildings in a Soviet base, and Tanya can be overrun and killed if you complete your objective without clearing out the enemies (especially attack dogs) nearby - the victory banner is shown and cheering starts, then Tanya dies and the Mission Failed banner appears over the victory banner and you must start the mission over.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Outpost 2}}'', every mission is a race against time. If you're playing as Eden, the bacterial nightmare called the Blight encroaches on the map and starts destroying your base, consuming it entirely if you dawdle, resulting in an automatic mission failure. Plymouth faces a similar threat from volcanic activity: If you take too long, you'll get swamped by lava. The thing is, even if the Blight or the lava is just a tile or two away from your Command Center, if you can otherwise fulfill the mission conditions, your colonists are all packed up and ready to escape before the disaster consumes everything.
** The game does attempt to avert this somewhat - a constant requirement across all base building missions in the ''Outpost 2'' campaign is to be sure you have enough evacuation transports constructed for your current population, and have materials for the new colony already loaded into trucks and ready to leave at a moment's notice. If this isn't the case, either by not building them or the transports somehow getting destroyed, victory ''will not'' occur. Indeed, in the closing missions, you're reminded to keep your population at a steady figure, too, lest people be left behind. [[spoiler:Not to mention, a big part of one mission is a non-optional mercy objective to kidnap/rescue the enemy's children, since you're leaving behind the other colony to die.]]

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* In the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' series (and many similar games), many missions just involve getting to a particular MacGuffin. Once you're actually at it, even if half the enemy army is about to converge at your position in what will surely be a one sided victory for them, the mission ends and you miraculously escape off-camera.
**
off-camera. Except for that one mission in the first game where you have to escape with it: Nod mission 6.
** * Averted in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2 Red Alert 2]]'', ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'', where lose conditions are checked even after the victory banner is shown; one Allied mission requires using Tanya to destroy a few key buildings in a Soviet base, and Tanya can be overrun and killed if you complete your objective without clearing out the enemies (especially attack dogs) nearby - the victory banner is shown and cheering starts, then Tanya dies and the Mission Failed banner appears over the victory banner and you must start the mission over.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Outpost 2}}'', every mission is a race against time. If you're playing as Eden, the bacterial nightmare called the Blight encroaches on the map and starts destroying your base, consuming it entirely if you dawdle, resulting in an automatic mission failure. Plymouth faces a similar threat from volcanic activity: If you take too long, you'll get swamped by lava. The thing is, even if the Blight or the lava is just a tile or two away from your Command Center, if you can otherwise fulfill the mission conditions, your colonists are all packed up and ready to escape before the disaster consumes everything.
** The game does attempt to avert this somewhat -
everything. There is a constant requirement across all base building missions in the ''Outpost 2'' campaign is to be sure you have enough evacuation transports constructed for your current population, and have materials for the new colony already loaded into trucks and ready to leave at a moment's notice. If this isn't the case, either by not building them or the transports somehow getting destroyed, victory ''will not'' occur. Indeed, in the closing missions, you're reminded to keep your population at a steady figure, too, lest people be left behind. [[spoiler:Not to mention, a big part of one mission is a non-optional mercy objective to kidnap/rescue the enemy's children, since you're leaving behind the other colony to die.]]



** On the other hand, there's also the (thankfully) just as rare "Game Over" Geo Effect and/or (in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'') Dark Sun Curse.



** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' you have to follow the judge's rule for the match to get bonuses and sometimes to win at all, but since it doesn't acknowledge a law being broken until the turn it was broken on ends you can break the law without penalty as long as you end the fight on that turn.
*** The game also has multiple kinds of win conditions, depending on the battle. Some fights force you to endure waves of enemies for certain amount of rounds while others require you to weaken a specific enemy. Satisfying the win condition is all you need to do and nothing else matters.
* Likewise in all three ''LuminousArc'' games, where defeating XXX is enough to grant you the victory even if you have just one party member left.
** Subverted in two late-game boss battles in ''VideoGame/LuminousArc3'', however, where defeating the target without defeating a certain other enemy/enemies on the battlefield would lock you out of the good ending.

to:

** * In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' you have to follow the judge's rule for the match to get bonuses and sometimes to win at all, but since it doesn't acknowledge a law being broken until the turn it was broken on ends you can break the law without penalty as long as you end the fight on that turn.
***
turn. The game also has multiple kinds of win conditions, depending on the battle. Some fights force you to endure waves of enemies for certain amount of rounds while others require you to weaken a specific enemy. Satisfying the win condition is all you need to do and nothing else matters.
* Likewise in In all three ''LuminousArc'' ''VideoGame/LuminousArc'' games, where defeating XXX is enough to grant you the victory even if you have just one party member left.
**
left. Subverted in two late-game boss battles in ''VideoGame/LuminousArc3'', however, where defeating the target without defeating a certain other enemy/enemies on the battlefield would lock you out of the good ending.



* Seize missions in ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' have the objective of capturing the throne. If you do this, the level is cleared and all the enemies that might have been chasing you will just decide you aren't worth the trouble any more. Smart players will kill everyone for the EXP first, though.
** Similarly, "Defeat Boss" missions end the moment the boss's HP hits 0. Great for {{speed run}}s.
** Then there are the "Defend the Throne/NPC" missions, off course when the designated amount of turns over a handful of {{Redshirt}}s appear and scare the enemy off.
*** In many of these missions, should the player manage to defeat the Boss(es) of the map and/or rout the entire field, the player automatically wins and the mission ends, even if this particular condition wasn't mentioned. It's still smarter to let the turns run out and milk the mooks for EXP, gold, and items though.

to:

* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'':
**
Seize missions in ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' have the objective of capturing the throne. If you do this, the level is cleared and all the enemies that might have been chasing you will just decide you aren't worth the trouble any more. Smart players will kill everyone for the EXP first, though.
** Similarly, "Defeat Boss" missions end the moment the boss's HP hits 0. Great for {{speed run}}s.
** Then there are the "Defend the Throne/NPC" missions, off course when the designated amount of turns over a handful of {{Redshirt}}s appear and scare the enemy off.
***
off. In many of these missions, should the player manage to defeat the Boss(es) of the map and/or rout the entire field, the player automatically wins and the mission ends, even if this particular condition wasn't mentioned. It's still smarter to let the turns run out and milk the mooks for EXP, gold, and items though.



* The ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' series ''loves'' this one. Aside from the HQ Capture method of victory (particularly important in [=AW1=]'s "Advanced Campaign", where the enemy have overwhelming numbers and you're basically using all your units as sacrifices and bodyguards for one Infantry-loaded APC), many, many campaign missions from ''Black Hole Rising'' onwards have you winning by destroying the enemy's superweapon ''du jour'' (unit-spawning factories, big cannons, thing that heals a lot of units at once, sometimes all three), causing them to retreat and giving you victory ''even when their conventional forces overwhelm you''.

to:

* The ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' series ''loves'' this one. series:
**
Aside from the HQ Capture method of victory (particularly important in [=AW1=]'s "Advanced Campaign", where the enemy have overwhelming numbers and you're basically using all your units as sacrifices and bodyguards for one Infantry-loaded APC), many, many campaign missions from ''Black Hole Rising'' onwards have you winning by destroying the enemy's superweapon ''du jour'' (unit-spawning factories, big cannons, thing that heals a lot of units at once, sometimes all three), causing them to retreat and giving you victory ''even when their conventional forces overwhelm you''.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' has this in the "Control Area" and "Take and Hold" victory conditions. The former involves holding over two-thirds of the Strategic Points, while the latter involves holding half of the harder-to-defend Critical Locations, but in both cases the idea is the same - if the timer runs down to zero, victory is achieved regardless of who has the bigger and stronger army.
** The reverse is now possible in ''Dawn of War 2.'' While most games are based on holding points, it is possible to destroy the enemy base before the points all tick away, allowing an outmaneuvered player a (very difficult) alternate win condition. Note that it's mostly difficult because of the toughness of the bases; even with a few heavy tanks and the personification of the god of murder beating down on one, it takes nearly two minutes to destroy an undefended base, which is an eternity in a game whose rounds typically last 10 minutes or less.
** Perhaps the most outrageous example is the siege of the SpaceMarine stronghold by the Tau in the Dark Crusade. The objective is to destroy their main Stronghold. Since the Tau Commander, if properly upgraded, is an invisible jet-packed one-man-tank, he can cut the "sieging" and "storming" parts, sneak to the enemy base and raze the building single-handedly from a vantage point (just keep in mind the map is littered with Servo Skulls, who can turn the Commander visible again). That's it. One building. And despite that the whole SM army is still intact they will let out a mighty BAWWWWWWWWWW as their Captain suddenly drops dead, admit defeat, and barrage their own positions with orbital bombing so that they don't fall in your hands. Suckers.

to:

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: 40000}}'':
**
VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' has this in the "Control Area" and "Take and Hold" victory conditions. The former involves holding over two-thirds of the Strategic Points, while the latter involves holding half of the harder-to-defend Critical Locations, but in both cases the idea is the same - if the timer runs down to zero, victory is achieved regardless of who has the bigger and stronger army.
** The reverse is now possible in ''Dawn of War 2.'' While most games are based on holding points, it is possible to destroy the enemy base before the points all tick away, allowing an outmaneuvered player a (very difficult) alternate win condition. Note that it's mostly difficult because of the toughness of the bases; even with a few heavy tanks and the personification of the god of murder beating down on one, it takes nearly two minutes to destroy an undefended base, which is an eternity in a game whose rounds typically last 10 minutes or less.
** Perhaps the most outrageous example is the The siege of the SpaceMarine stronghold by the Tau in the Dark Crusade. The objective is to destroy their main Stronghold. Since the Tau Commander, if properly upgraded, is an invisible jet-packed one-man-tank, he can cut the "sieging" and "storming" parts, sneak to the enemy base and raze the building single-handedly from a vantage point (just keep in mind the map is littered with Servo Skulls, who can turn the Commander visible again). That's it. One building. And despite that the whole SM army is still intact they will let out a mighty BAWWWWWWWWWW as their Captain suddenly drops dead, admit defeat, and barrage their own positions with orbital bombing so that they don't fall in your hands. Suckers.



* In the ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' series, when you get to the escape point for a level, you're home free, even if there were a million cops and security guards shooting at you at the time. On some levels, this is partially justified (because the escape route is an airplane or helicopter or whatever and the level is otherwise isolated / difficult to chase you from); in others... not so much.
** Even if PC was not discovered, the stealth rating drops when any alarm is raised. Of course, eventually any dead or unconscious body will be found, or knocked out NPC will wake up and run screaming, but it's not your problem if the mission ends one second before that.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' has the custom map ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'': Destroying the World Tree or Frozen Throne is all that counts. It does not matter how many times the enemy Heroes get killed if they succeed in bringing down your main building. Kills and gold help, but if you happen to get a carry into the enemy base while they aren't looking, good game. Balanced in that you have to destroy all buildings in at least one lane before you can kill the Throne.
** The campaign itself had a few of those situations as well, of course.
*** In one case, this is actually used for PlayingThePlayer: [[spoiler:Once you acquire Frostmourne in the final human campaign mission, insurmountable waves of enemies begin to spawn, overwhelming your base. Since it's only HeroMustSurvive for Arthas, most players will just abandon the camp and have Arthas go solo the major antagonist necessary to win. It turns out that's exactly what the Lich King intended, and this time the allies stay dead and Arthas is corrupted.]]
** Not to mention that even if you have enough resources to build 100 bases consisting of all the available buildings, have enough workers to do so 10 at a time, and your army is fully teched with three Level 10 Heroes (and is unstoppable compared to the opponent's), you will lose once all buildings go down. As a result, some players mass Siege Engines or Raiders and send them to sick on the enemy's bases in an "all or nothing" attack.

to:

* In the ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' series, when you get to the escape point for a level, you're home free, even if there were a million cops and security guards shooting at you at the time. On some levels, this is partially justified (because the escape route is an airplane or helicopter or whatever and the level is otherwise isolated / difficult to chase you from); in others... not so much.
**
much. Even if PC was not discovered, the stealth rating drops when any alarm is raised. Of course, eventually any dead or unconscious body will be found, or knocked out NPC will wake up and run screaming, but it's not your problem if the mission ends one second before that.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'':
** The game
has the custom map ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'': Destroying the World Tree or Frozen Throne is all that counts. It does not matter how many times the enemy Heroes get killed if they succeed in bringing down your main building. Kills and gold help, but if you happen to get a carry into the enemy base while they aren't looking, good game. Balanced in that you have to destroy all buildings in at least one lane before you can kill the Throne.
** The campaign itself had a few of those situations as well, of course.
***
In one case, this is actually used for PlayingThePlayer: [[spoiler:Once you acquire Frostmourne in the final human campaign mission, insurmountable waves of enemies begin to spawn, overwhelming your base. Since it's only HeroMustSurvive for Arthas, most players will just abandon the camp and have Arthas go solo the major antagonist necessary to win. It turns out that's exactly what the Lich King intended, and this time the allies stay dead and Arthas is corrupted.]]
** Not to mention that even Even if you have enough resources to build 100 bases consisting of all the available buildings, have enough workers to do so 10 at a time, and your army is fully teched with three Level 10 Heroes (and is unstoppable compared to the opponent's), you will lose once all buildings go down. As a result, some players mass Siege Engines or Raiders and send them to sick on the enemy's bases in an "all or nothing" attack.



* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' has gates to the hell dimension of Oblivion opening everywhere. The Oblivion worlds are full of enemies, but the best way to win is just to make a break directly to the top of the large tower and grab the Sigil Stone.
** Which makes sense, because a portal to Oblivion collapses completely once its Sigil Stone is removed, and the player character and any of his or her friends will end up safely on the grass where they originally entered the portal. The daedra that were in that area of Oblivion, no longer have a means of getting from their world to ours and are thus no longer a threat.
** Similarly, the final mission requires you to escort Martin Septim to the Temple of the One during a huge demonic invasion. To win, all you have to do is get ''yourself'' inside while Martin is alive. Even if he's a whole block behind you and surrounded by enemies, he will enter the Temple as soon as you do, triggering the ending sequence.
*** In fact, utilizing GoodBadBugs, it's possible to trigger the end sequence in this way without ever meeting Martin Septim in the first place.
** The same can be said about many four and five-star "Civilian Displacement" missions in ''VideoGame/FableII''. As long as you don't stick around and fight, the baddies won't stick around, either.
* Due to the "war score" mechanic, almost every game ParadoxInteractive makes has this to one degree or another. It doesn't matter whether or not the enemy has a force that can pummel you into the ground if brought fully to bear (or even if the majority of your army is wiped out); if you can seize an early lead in the war by taking provinces quickly, you'll often come out better off at the peace table than you were before.
** At least the newer EU III versions work differently, countries consider whether they have armies left to fight. Which can lead to silly situations itself - a huge army will mean that your enemy may not surrender, even if you, e.g., control all of Spain, but Spain has still a huge army on Mallorca, though without any ships to move them.
** Starting in ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', warscore is calculated based on a variety of factors. Capturing an enemy province means very little if they have 60+ provinces, and beating down their 1500-man army won't even earn you a percentage point if they have a 15,000-man army heading your way. However, if that 15,000-man army is a continent away, or can't actually reach you, it won't be factored in[[note]]which is important when the country you're fighting calls on allies: if it will take them quite some time to reach the battlefield, you still have a chance to win even if they control a vastly more powerful army[[/note]], and defeating a numerically superior force with better tactics is also worth much more warscore than just trumping the enemy with bigger numbers yourself. That being said, if you get to 100% positive or negative warscore, the war is over immediately (your opponent will offer surrender terms immediately, or immediately forces ''you'' to surrender).
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'' has a particularly funny example in the expansion: as an invincible Titan wreaks havoc in the nearby city, the player's forces and an ally have to survive against the Titan's offspawns and other enemies. In the end, the Titan comes for the player, likely crushing his entire base...but as long as the player fulfills the objective of bringing 3 Rocs (Egyptian Myth units that act as air transports) to the ally, everything is fine and dandy.
** Another example from the original campaign is a Tug of War mission. When the cart that is being fought over nears the players base, the enemy starts pumping out lots of units from his base... but they give up the second the gates close behind the cart.
*** {{Justified|Trope}} by game mechanics. In [=AoM=], only your own or allied forces can pass through an intact gate of yours, even if the gate on-screen is wide open and enemies want to get in. Still funny to see though.

to:

* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'':
** The game
has gates to the hell dimension of Oblivion opening everywhere. The Oblivion worlds are full of enemies, but the best way to win is just to make a break directly to the top of the large tower and grab the Sigil Stone.
**
Stone. Which makes sense, because a portal to Oblivion collapses completely once its Sigil Stone is removed, and the player character and any of his or her friends will end up safely on the grass where they originally entered the portal. The daedra that were in that area of Oblivion, no longer have a means of getting from their world to ours and are thus no longer a threat.
** Similarly, the The final mission requires you to escort Martin Septim to the Temple of the One during a huge demonic invasion. To win, all you have to do is get ''yourself'' inside while Martin is alive. Even if he's a whole block behind you and surrounded by enemies, he will enter the Temple as soon as you do, triggering the ending sequence.
*** In fact, utilizing GoodBadBugs, it's possible to trigger the end sequence in this way without ever meeting Martin Septim in the first place.
** The same can be said about many
* Many four and five-star "Civilian Displacement" missions in ''VideoGame/FableII''. As long as you don't stick around and fight, the baddies won't stick around, either.
* Due to the "war score" mechanic, almost every game ParadoxInteractive makes has this to one degree or another. It doesn't matter whether or not the enemy has a force that can pummel you into the ground if brought fully to bear (or even if the majority of your army is wiped out); if you can seize an early lead in the war by taking provinces quickly, you'll often come out better off at the peace table than you were before.
** At least the newer
before. The later EU III versions work differently, countries consider whether they have armies left to fight. Which can lead to silly situations itself - a huge army will mean that your enemy may not surrender, even if you, e.g., control all of Spain, but Spain has still a huge army on Mallorca, though without any ships to move them.
** * Starting in ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', warscore is calculated based on a variety of factors. Capturing an enemy province means very little if they have 60+ provinces, and beating down their 1500-man army won't even earn you a percentage point if they have a 15,000-man army heading your way. However, if that 15,000-man army is a continent away, or can't actually reach you, it won't be factored in[[note]]which is important when the country you're fighting calls on allies: if it will take them quite some time to reach the battlefield, you still have a chance to win even if they control a vastly more powerful army[[/note]], and defeating a numerically superior force with better tactics is also worth much more warscore than just trumping the enemy with bigger numbers yourself. That being said, if you get to 100% positive or negative warscore, the war is over immediately (your opponent will offer surrender terms immediately, or immediately forces ''you'' to surrender).
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'' has a particularly funny example in the expansion: as an invincible Titan wreaks havoc in the nearby city, the player's forces and an ally have to survive against the Titan's offspawns and other enemies. In the end, the Titan comes for the player, likely crushing his entire base...but as long as the player fulfills the objective of bringing 3 Rocs (Egyptian Myth units that act as air transports) to the ally, everything is fine and dandy.
**
dandy. Another example from the original campaign is a Tug of War mission. When the cart that is being fought over nears the players base, the enemy starts pumping out lots of units from his base... but they give up the second the gates close behind the cart.
*** {{Justified|Trope}} by game mechanics. In [=AoM=], only your own or allied forces can pass through an intact gate of yours, even if the gate on-screen is wide open and enemies want to get in. Still funny to see though.
cart.



* In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, it's not always necessary to kill every last enemy to win the mission. In fact, in a few missions you get chewed out if you engage in unnecessary bloodshed. (JustifiedTrope: Wasting men and resources to kill enemies not necessary to achieve the objective would get you chewed out in a real military.)
** This is quite common for the strike missions, particularly against the Kilrathi starbase at the end of Wing Commander I.
** You can do this in Secret Missions. Plot a course straight for the Sivar, afterburn towards it and after wasting it get out of dodge. Only need to worry about a few fighters around the Tiger Claw.

to:

* In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, it's games:
** It's
not always necessary to kill every last enemy to win the mission. In fact, in a few missions you get chewed out if you engage in unnecessary bloodshed. (JustifiedTrope: Wasting men and resources to kill enemies not necessary to achieve the objective would get you chewed out in a real military.)
**
This is quite common for the strike missions, particularly against the Kilrathi starbase at the end of Wing Commander I.
**
I. You can also do this in Secret Missions. Plot a course straight for the Sivar, afterburn towards it and after wasting it get out of dodge. Only need to worry about a few fighters around the Tiger Claw.



* In ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'', Counter-Terrorists can win a round in hostage maps by rescuing all of the living hostages on the map. The key word here is ''living''. If things got hairy, you could (as a CT) rescue just one hostage (out of 4 or 5, depending on the map) and let the rest die in the crossfire (or if you are truly sadistic, to off them yourself). Once that happens, the [=CTs=] will win the round for rescuing all the living hostages.
** Terrorist teams often counter this "strategy" by offing all of the hostages at the beginning of the round, turning the round into a deathmatch - though many servers will auto-kick players for killing too many hostages.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'', ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'':
**
Counter-Terrorists can win a round in hostage maps by rescuing all of the living hostages on the map. The key word here is ''living''. If things got hairy, you could (as a CT) rescue just one hostage (out of 4 or 5, depending on the map) and let the rest die in the crossfire (or if you are truly sadistic, to off them yourself). Once that happens, the [=CTs=] will win the round for rescuing all the living hostages.
**
hostages. Terrorist teams often counter this "strategy" by offing all of the hostages at the beginning of the round, turning the round into a deathmatch - though many servers will auto-kick players for killing too many hostages.



** The first game also had a boss with a spike pit at the bottom, but in that case, the spikes instantly crumbled as soon as you dealt the final blow. This boss returns in ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'' but now projects HardLight spikes that shut down when you defeat it.

to:

** The first game also had * ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' has a boss with a spike pit at the bottom, but in that case, the spikes instantly crumbled as soon as you dealt the final blow. This boss returns in ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'' but now projects HardLight spikes that shut down when you defeat it.



* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' uses this. Most missions are won if you seize the enemy's main base. A fun strategy is just running a scout into the base, grenading any troops there, and winning, regardless of the (likely rather poor) tactical situation the rest of your army is in. The game practically ''encourages'' this, since the ''only'' factor affecting your end of mission rating is how quickly you won- kills, casualties, nothing else has any relevance to your score.
** Likewise, any and all 'defeat enemy commander' missions. Useful in the games where you can kill Aces to claim their bonuses (especially RandomlyDrops weapons) and get the mission done as soon as possible to save time.

to:

* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' uses this. this.
**
Most missions are won if you seize the enemy's main base. A fun strategy is just running a scout into the base, grenading any troops there, and winning, regardless of the (likely rather poor) tactical situation the rest of your army is in. The game practically ''encourages'' this, since the ''only'' factor affecting your end of mission rating is how quickly you won- kills, casualties, nothing else has any relevance to your score.
** Likewise, any Any and all 'defeat enemy commander' missions. Useful in the games where you can kill Aces to claim their bonuses (especially RandomlyDrops weapons) and get the mission done as soon as possible to save time.



* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', killing a faction's leader unit instantly defeats them. Many single player missions can be completed extremely quickly, simply by slapping haste on a powerful unit and rushing them to the enemy leader, completely bypassing the entire map covered in enemy units. On the other hand, it also makes it ridiculously easy to lose if you aren't careful with your own leader.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', killing ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'':
** Killing
a faction's leader unit instantly defeats them. Many single player missions can be completed extremely quickly, simply by slapping haste on a powerful unit and rushing them to the enemy leader, completely bypassing the entire map covered in enemy units. On the other hand, it also makes it ridiculously easy to lose if you aren't careful with your own leader.



* The ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series has various missions where you need to gain a minimum number of points by destroying targets within the time limit. As long as you made the point limit, you could just survive till the time ran out and the mission would be accomplished... if there is no "Mission Update". Some other missions you could just go for the targets and ignore the other enemies to win.

to:

* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'':
**
The ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series has various missions where you need to gain a minimum number of points by destroying targets within the time limit. As long as you made the point limit, you could just survive till the time ran out and the mission would be accomplished... if there is no "Mission Update". Some other missions you could just go for the targets and ignore the other enemies to win.



** But also a subversion; there's a brief period of time between "Mission Accomplished" and actually completing the mission to be taken to the results screen, and during this time you can still crash into things and fail the mission. ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'' had a double subversion, though, as a mission accomplished was still a mission accomplished even if you crashed and the only cost was a deduction from your cash to replace the plane. Missions in which a post-mission accomplished crash would be unavoidable normally (such as the obligatory canyon mission) just had the player immediately de-spawn once the final target is destroyed.

to:

** But also a subversion; there's There's a brief period of time between "Mission Accomplished" and actually completing the mission to be taken to the results screen, and during this time you can still crash into things and fail the mission. ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'' had a double subversion, though, as a mission accomplished was still a mission accomplished even if you crashed and the only cost was a deduction from your cash to replace the plane. Missions in which a post-mission accomplished crash would be unavoidable normally (such as the obligatory canyon mission) just had the player immediately de-spawn once the final target is destroyed.



* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. In the final moments of control point and payload matches, the pushing team is often outnumbered, surrounded, and dying left and right. But once the objective is complete, all opposing players are disarmed and fall prey to those they had been killing just seconds before. Taken to the extreme, one side could be losing the fight badly and still win if [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VafqOW_qu4E someone sneaks by enemy lines]].
** In fact, the Spy and Scout have achievements for doing so.
** As a matter of fact, this happens quite often on Dustbowl. The second capture point in each part falls extremely quickly to a spy or scout sneaking past the defenders if they get too bold and fight too far away from it.
*** It actually is one of the three common win strategies: 1. Steamroll, 2. Lots of teamwork, or 3. Spy/Scout Capture.
** [[EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce Inverted]] against the player in Mann Vs Machine mode. It doesn't matter how badly you're steamrolling the robots' spawn point, if a single Scoutbot sneaks behind you with the bomb, you're done for.
*** The humans do still have an instant-win condition against the robots, just one that's tough to exploit. If, for example, a wave consists of 30 Soldier bots and unlimited "support" Scoutbots, killing the 30th Soldier bot causes the Scoutbots to drop dead instantly, no matter how much of the field the Scoutbots control.

to:

* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''.
**
In the final moments of control point and payload matches, the pushing team is often outnumbered, surrounded, and dying left and right. But once the objective is complete, all opposing players are disarmed and fall prey to those they had been killing just seconds before. Taken to the extreme, one side could be losing the fight badly and still win if [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VafqOW_qu4E someone sneaks by enemy lines]].
**
lines]]. In fact, the Spy and Scout have achievements for doing so.
** As a matter of fact, this This happens quite often on Dustbowl. The second capture point in each part falls extremely quickly to a spy or scout sneaking past the defenders if they get too bold and fight too far away from it.
*** It actually is one of the three common win strategies: 1. Steamroll, 2. Lots of teamwork, or 3. Spy/Scout Capture.
** [[EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce Inverted]] against the player in Mann Vs Machine mode. It doesn't matter how badly you're steamrolling the robots' spawn point, if a single Scoutbot sneaks behind you with the bomb, you're done for.
***
for. The humans do still have an instant-win condition against the robots, just one that's tough to exploit. If, for example, a wave consists of 30 Soldier bots and unlimited "support" Scoutbots, killing the 30th Soldier bot causes the Scoutbots to drop dead instantly, no matter how much of the field the Scoutbots control.



* In the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games, when assaulting an enemy settlement, you win by either destroying the entire enemy army or by holding the settlement's central plaza for a certain amount of time (which generally translates to having at least one of your guys within the plaza's boundaries and no enemies). Even if there's a ginormous enemy reinforcement army approaching, you will still win as long as it fails to reach the plaza in time to disrupt the timer. This can make for some [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Awesome]], if rather cheap, victories.

to:

* In the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games, when games:
** When
assaulting an enemy settlement, you win by either destroying the entire enemy army or by holding the settlement's central plaza for a certain amount of time (which generally translates to having at least one of your guys within the plaza's boundaries and no enemies). Even if there's a ginormous enemy reinforcement army approaching, you will still win as long as it fails to reach the plaza in time to disrupt the timer. This can make for some [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Awesome]], if rather cheap, victories.



** In the campaign maps, it doesn't matter if the opposing faction has several huge armies coming to curbstomp you, the minute you take out their last city they're instantly wiped out, since presumably [[WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou they're so distraught by the loss of their leadership, they can't do much of anything, let alone reestablish the nation]]. Adverted in some games as armies will stick around to cause misery to you, but because they have no source of income they have to act fast to regain any kind of foothold. And activetly inverted in ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar: Barbarian Invasion'' where destroying a barbarian's last city will spawn several armies as the group leave in search for new lands....normally yours.
*** The armies remain, though, as Rebels. You still have to deal with them.

to:

** In the campaign maps, it doesn't matter if the opposing faction has several huge armies coming to curbstomp you, the minute you take out their last city they're instantly wiped out, since presumably [[WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou they're so distraught by the loss of their leadership, they can't do much of anything, let alone reestablish the nation]]. Adverted Averted in some games as armies will stick around to cause misery to you, but because they have no source of income they have to act fast to regain any kind of foothold. And activetly inverted in ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar: Barbarian Invasion'' where destroying a barbarian's last city will spawn several armies as the group leave in search for new lands....normally yours. \n*** The armies remain, though, as Rebels. You still have to deal with them.



* The Cavern of Transcendence trial in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' becomes incredibly easier if you have a teleporter who also has stealth. You have 90 minutes to complete the mission, much of it taken up fighting your way through tunnels to the door of the cavern, then a huge roomful of monsters between the door and the eight obelisks that have to be clicked at the same time. A stealth porter can get quickly through the tunnels to the door and then teleport the team. Once inside the chamber, the porter can then run to each obelisk and teleport a team member to it. Once they are clicked simultaneously, trial over, go team! It's entirely possible to complete the entire thing without having to engage in any combat, and often then only if a spawn of monsters is too close to the cavern door when you enter to allow the team to wait for the porter to do his thing.
** This is even ''easier'' in ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'', as Stalkers have access to Hide at level one. In most non EscortMissions, you only have to clear out the last room, and even then that's only for newspaper missions. It's balanced out a bit by the fact that ambushes can see through Hide... while escorts can't.

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* The Cavern of Transcendence trial in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' becomes incredibly easier if you have a teleporter who also has stealth. You have 90 minutes to complete the mission, much of it taken up fighting your way through tunnels to the door of the cavern, then a huge roomful of monsters between the door and the eight obelisks that have to be clicked at the same time. A stealth porter can get quickly through the tunnels to the door and then teleport the team. Once inside the chamber, the porter can then run to each obelisk and teleport a team member to it. Once they are clicked simultaneously, trial over, go team! It's entirely possible to complete the entire thing without having to engage in any combat, and often then only if a spawn of monsters is too close to the cavern door when you enter to allow the team to wait for the porter to do his thing.
**
thing. This is even ''easier'' in ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'', as Stalkers have access to Hide at level one. In most non EscortMissions, you only have to clear out the last room, and even then that's only for newspaper missions. It's balanced out a bit by the fact that ambushes can see through Hide... while escorts can't.



* Possible in ''VideoGame/RockBand''; all you have to do to pass a song is finish it, but if somebody fails out, the band has to save them within a reasonable window of time or everyone fails. This can happen twice, and the third time is an inevitable band failure... unless it happens close enough to the end for the song to complete (''including'' the second or two it takes to transition from the song's end to the score screen) before that.
** Blatantly obvious when a Big Rock Ending is involved, as the moment the Big Rock Ending hits, EVERYONE that was failed out is revived and the performance meter is removed.

to:

* Possible in ''VideoGame/RockBand''; all ''VideoGame/RockBand'':
** All
you have to do to pass a song is finish it, but if somebody fails out, the band has to save them within a reasonable window of time or everyone fails. This can happen twice, and the third time is an inevitable band failure... unless it happens close enough to the end for the song to complete (''including'' the second or two it takes to transition from the song's end to the score screen) before that.
** Blatantly obvious
that. It happens when a Big Rock Ending is involved, as the moment the Big Rock Ending hits, EVERYONE that was failed out is revived and the performance meter is removed.



* In ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'' you'll frequently watch Maxwell go through his death animation or disappear down a bottomless pit, but it's alright, because he touched the Starite before dying, so the victory screen pops up.
** It gets even better in one of the puzzle levels of world 4: You have to destroy everything to make the Starite appear, but you can also just use a [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill nuke or something similar]] and hope to touch the Starite before losing the level.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'' you'll frequently watch Maxwell go through his death animation or disappear down a bottomless pit, but it's alright, because he touched the Starite before dying, so the victory screen pops up.
**
up. It gets even better holds true in one of the puzzle levels of world 4: You have to destroy everything to make the Starite appear, but you can also just use a [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill nuke or something similar]] and hope to touch the Starite before losing the level.



* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'': I don't care if Washington is incapable of fighting, my only unit left is a villager, the entire Colonial militia was destroyed, the enemy is closing in on the camp at Princeton, or if I bankrupted the Revolution's fight in Trenton, those petards destroyed the enemy capital!
** Similarly, in the steal-the-spanish-treasure-fleet mission, the Spanish can't take ships back, so it's entirely possible, having five of the six ships required, to win with a tiny army even if the Spanish have destroyed your colony entirely.

to:

* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'': I don't care if Washington is incapable of fighting, my only unit left is a villager, the entire Colonial militia was destroyed, the enemy is closing in on the camp at Princeton, or if I bankrupted the Revolution's fight in Trenton, those petards destroyed the enemy capital!
** Similarly, in
In the steal-the-spanish-treasure-fleet mission, the Spanish can't take ships back, so it's entirely possible, having five of the six ships required, to win with a tiny army even if the Spanish have destroyed your colony entirely.



** A lot of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' fights against major enemies (not simply bigger enemies, but strong enemies that are part of the plot) will include many other enemies that you can forget about. The moment the major enemy is killed, the battle is over.
*** Also, on the final mission when you have to [[spoiler:escort a tech expert through a series of pipes.]] Hitting the last switch in the mission ends it instantly (triggering a cutscene). Regardless of how many enemies are still present.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', during the climactic battle at the end of Priority: Tuchanka, all that matters is [[SummonBiggerFish activating the maw hammers]]. It doesn't matter if you're arse deep in [[SmashMook Brutes]] when the second hammer goes down - the moment that hits, [[SandWorm Kalros]] appears, [[CoolVersusAwesome kills the Destroyer-class Reaper]], and presumably you and your allies withdraw in the chaos.
*** On a storyline level, this is what everyone hopes for the Crucible project - since the Reapers cannot be defeated in a straight fight, due to all their advantages, the goal is to complete the Crucible, find the Catalyst, and thereby kill the Reapers without needing to bleed the entire galaxy to death in a straight-out war. That's the theory, anyway; nobody's quite sure how the Crucible works or what it will do. [[spoiler:As it turns out, it's a lot more complicated than that - the Crucible's main purpose is to upgrade the Reaper's controlling intelligence, the Catalyst, so it can handle solutions to its purpose that are less bloody than "kill and/or enslave everything", allowing you to choose one. Still counts; successfully deploying a completed Crucible, unless you pick Refusal, allows you to end the Reaper war by wiping out all synthetic life including the Reapers, taking control of the Reapers yourself, or kicking off TheSingularity and leaving them with no ''motive'' to continue slaughtering people.]]

to:

** A lot of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' fights against major enemies (not simply bigger enemies, but strong enemies that are part of the plot) will include many other enemies that you can forget about. The moment the major enemy is killed, the battle is over.
***
over. Also, on the final mission when you have to [[spoiler:escort a tech expert through a series of pipes.]] Hitting the last switch in the mission ends it instantly (triggering a cutscene). Regardless of how many enemies are still present.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', during the climactic battle at the end of Priority: Tuchanka, all that matters is [[SummonBiggerFish activating the maw hammers]]. It doesn't matter if you're arse deep in [[SmashMook Brutes]] when the second hammer goes down - the moment that hits, [[SandWorm Kalros]] appears, [[CoolVersusAwesome kills the Destroyer-class Reaper]], and presumably you and your allies withdraw in the chaos.
***
chaos. On a storyline level, this is what everyone hopes for the Crucible project - since the Reapers cannot be defeated in a straight fight, due to all their advantages, the goal is to complete the Crucible, find the Catalyst, and thereby kill the Reapers without needing to bleed the entire galaxy to death in a straight-out war. That's the theory, anyway; nobody's quite sure how the Crucible works or what it will do. [[spoiler:As it turns out, it's a lot more complicated than that - the Crucible's main purpose is to upgrade the Reaper's controlling intelligence, the Catalyst, so it can handle solutions to its purpose that are less bloody than "kill and/or enslave everything", allowing you to choose one. Still counts; successfully deploying a completed Crucible, unless you pick Refusal, allows you to end the Reaper war by wiping out all synthetic life including the Reapers, taking control of the Reapers yourself, or kicking off TheSingularity and leaving them with no ''motive'' to continue slaughtering people.]]



** Likewise, in SpiritualSequel ''VideoGame/HapHazard'', collecting the last bomb will end the level with a victory. Doing so also adds two seconds to your clock, which is ''absolutely necessary'' in order to complete the game within the time limit (not that this is [[GuideDangIt specified in-game anywhere]]).

to:

** Likewise, in SpiritualSequel * In ''VideoGame/HapHazard'', collecting the last bomb will end the level with a victory. Doing so also adds two seconds to your clock, which is ''absolutely necessary'' in order to complete the game within the time limit (not that this is [[GuideDangIt specified in-game anywhere]]).



* One of the early Terran levels in ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' requires you to survive for a set amount of time. You can still win even if all you're completely overrun and all your units and headquarters are destroyed, as long as you take one random building and fly it to the corner of the map.
** Same in ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2XCxnKKjXY Starcraft II]]''.
*** There are also three missions where, after satisfying the instant win condition, you get to bypass the mostly intact Protoss base between your forces and the artifact fragment. On two of these, this is the most likely way to finish the mission.

to:

* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'':
**
One of the early Terran levels in ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' the first game requires you to survive for a set amount of time. You can still win even if all you're completely overrun and all your units and headquarters are destroyed, as long as you take one random building and fly it to the corner of the map.
** Same in
map. In ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2XCxnKKjXY Starcraft II]]''.
*** There
II]]'', there are also three missions where, after satisfying the instant win condition, you get to bypass the mostly intact Protoss base between your forces and the artifact fragment. On two of these, this is the most likely way to finish the mission.



* In the original ''VideoGame/DefenderOfTheCrown'', the only requirement to win the war and become king is to have all three Norman castles under your control. While uncommon, it's possible to win without possessing every territory, and, although rare, win with one or even ''both'' of the other Saxons still in possession of their home castles.
** In the EXTREMELY unlikely event that one of the other Saxons claims all three Norman castles, ''he'' becomes king, which actually leads to a NonstandardGameOver: the game chides your efforts as "less than spectacular" and you're exiled to the outer Hebrides in Scotland.

to:

* ''VideoGame/DefenderOfTheCrown'':
**
In the original ''VideoGame/DefenderOfTheCrown'', game, the only requirement to win the war and become king is to have all three Norman castles under your control. While uncommon, it's possible to win without possessing every territory, and, although rare, win with one or even ''both'' of the other Saxons still in possession of their home castles.
** In the EXTREMELY very unlikely event that one of the other Saxons claims all three Norman castles, ''he'' becomes king, which actually leads to a NonstandardGameOver: the game chides your efforts as "less than spectacular" and you're exiled to the outer Hebrides in Scotland.



** Can be subverted: Fully wiping out the enemy team trumps base capture, and there's a 5 second window after any win condition is met for anything else to happen. Sure, you can be the lone tank against 10 enemy tanks and cap them out. In that remaining 5 seconds, they can force a draw by having their cap finish, or they can outright win by killing you.



* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'': As long as the player can make it to 6 AM, they will win. It doesn't matter if the power has gone out, all four animatronics are on the loose, and Freddy is in the middle of playing his jingle right outside the door before he kills you; 6 AM means a guaranteed victory. The later games take it even further by enabling you to win even if an animatronic is in the middle of jumping at your face to kill you. However, this is a ''highly'' rare [[JustifiedTrope justification]] for this trope, as all the creatures you're battling are simple animatronics that automatically turn to stationary or at least non-lethal mode when the clock hits 6. Even in the fourth game, where the animatronics are clearly not entertainers with automatic modes besides 'Kill' and 'Kill Harder', [[spoiler: since they're [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness hallucinations]][[AmbiguousSituation /]][[AdventuresInComaLand dreams]], your character simply wakes up or stops hallucinating.]]
** In the same vein, a fanmod named ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtVault5'' will instantly turn off all robots and alarms and clear off all of your radiation if you successfully reach 6 AM, regardless of whether your radiation was about to reach lethal levels and a robot was in the middle of charging at you.

to:

* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'': As long as the player can make it to 6 AM, they will win. It doesn't matter if the power has gone out, all four animatronics are on the loose, and Freddy is in the middle of playing his jingle right outside the door before he kills you; 6 AM means a guaranteed victory. The later games take it even further by enabling you to win even if an animatronic is in the middle of jumping at your face to kill you. However, this is a ''highly'' rare [[JustifiedTrope justification]] for this trope, as all the creatures you're battling are simple animatronics that automatically turn to stationary or at least non-lethal mode when the clock hits 6. Even in the fourth game, where the animatronics are clearly not entertainers with automatic modes besides 'Kill' and 'Kill Harder', [[spoiler: since they're [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness hallucinations]][[AmbiguousSituation /]][[AdventuresInComaLand hallucinations]] or [[AdventuresInComaLand dreams]], your character simply wakes up or stops hallucinating.]]
** In the same vein, a * A fanmod named ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtVault5'' will instantly turn off all robots and alarms and clear off all of your radiation if you successfully reach 6 AM, regardless of whether your radiation was about to reach lethal levels and a robot was in the middle of charging at you.



** This resulted in a truly ''epic'' bungling of the game's economic system that stopped his research dead in its tracks. His victory was ''in spite'' of this funding idea. Basically, that player was a lucky idiot that time around. (Let's hope he learned from his mistakes.)
*** He did. [[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=195920&site=pcg His next game]] he's going for cultural victory (is it?), but several problems changed him to start liberally blowing up suns instead. Then he won a Alliance victory.
---> ''Jenna Casey, cornered after Sol was destroyed'': "...While we know we cannot defeat you, we shall have the last laugh. We have surrendered to the Dominion of Korx!"
---> ''Tom Francis'': That is pretty funny. [[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=198344&site=pcg They're my ally]].
** Long story short, as long as you manage to research the technology victory in time, you win even if every single planet you own is a turn away from being blown up.



** Unless, of course, the "losing" boxer is [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever a Rope-A-Dope]].
* This philosophy was taken to its logical extreme during a particular wrestling match in ancient Greece, where one participant pinned down his opponent with an attack which [[SuicideAttack killed him instantly]]. The referee didn't notice that he'd died until after he'd declared him the victor, making him probably the only person to be declared the winner of a wrestling match posthumously.
** In the brutal sport of Pankraton (Ancient Greek Wrestling), one of the insta-win conditions is to die in the ring (i.e. if you kill your opponent, your opponent automatically wins). It serves as an incentive for the fighters to go easier on each other.

to:

** Unless, of course, the "losing" boxer is [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever a Rope-A-Dope]].
* This philosophy was taken to its logical extreme during a particular wrestling match in ancient Greece, where one participant pinned down his opponent with an attack which [[SuicideAttack killed him instantly]]. The referee didn't notice that he'd died until after he'd declared him the victor, making him probably the only person to be declared the winner of a wrestling match posthumously.
**
posthumously. In the brutal sport of Pankraton (Ancient Greek Wrestling), one of the insta-win conditions is to die in the ring (i.e. if you kill your opponent, your opponent automatically wins). It serves as an incentive for the fighters to go easier on each other.



* Invoking GodwinsLaw is widely considered an inversion of this, as whoever does it automatically loses the argument.
** Conversely, the ThinkOfTheChildren defense will generally let anyone win any political argument.

to:

* Invoking GodwinsLaw is widely considered an inversion of this, as whoever does it automatically loses the argument.
**
argument. Conversely, the ThinkOfTheChildren defense will generally let anyone win any political argument.
21st Jul '17 1:32:06 AM NondescriptLarva
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** An anecdote printed in an early ''Magic: the Gathering'' tournament rule-book related the story of a play-tester that was inexplicably winning almost every game. Upon investigation, it was discovered that one of the player's cards read, 'When this card is played, opponent loses next turn' (as in, 'the opponent skips his next turn'), but the player interpreted the text to mean 'the opponent loses ''the match'' next turn' and had been using that inadvertent loophole as an instant-win condition. The card's text was quickly re-written to remove such ambiguity.
15th Jun '17 5:53:40 PM Anddrix
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** Against Queen Chrysalis, Twilight expects them to be an instant win ''and'' is able to use them. Too bad Chrysalis [[GenreSavvy anticipated this]] and stationed a metric crapload of changelings to guard the room they're kept in, forcing the ponies to resort to other means to succeed.

to:

** Against Queen Chrysalis, Twilight expects them to be an instant win ''and'' is able to use them. Too bad Chrysalis [[GenreSavvy anticipated this]] this and stationed a metric crapload of changelings to guard the room they're kept in, forcing the ponies to resort to other means to succeed.
2nd Jun '17 2:10:25 PM JediGoalie30
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* Sudden Death overtime in sports, although the specifics on how it works varies by sport.
** In baseball extra innings, the game is over when one team has the lead at the end of an inning. The visiting team always bats first in each inning, so if they take a lead, the home team has the bottom half of the inning to respond, but if the home team takes a lead the game is immediately over.
** In American football overtime, scoring a touchdown (6 points) at any time ends the game. If the team that receives the kickoff only scores a field goal (3 points) on their first possession, the other team gets one possession to respond, and if they score a field goal of their own, the next team to score in any way wins. Any defensive score (a safety or an interception/fumble returned for a touchdown) immediately ends the game.
** Ice hockey overtime is pure sudden death...if somebody scores, the game is over. In the regular season, only a short OT period is generally played with reduced manpower (4-on-4 or 3-on-3 instead of 5-on-5) and is followed by a shootout (3 rounds of penalty shots, then continuing with additional rounds if needed) if nobody scores. In the playoffs, regular 20-minute periods will be played until the game is decided.
28th May '17 3:27:21 PM nombretomado
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* WarhammerFantasy can have this too, in regard to the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. Being undead, the army is held together by the will of its general (or Hierophant with Tomb Kings). As a result, if the general is killed, the army begins to fall apart at that exact instant and at the beginning of each turn after. As a result, if you can kill the (usually heavily guarded and well protected) general, you can gain such an absurdly huge advantage that, even if your opponent is in an amazing position, you can still win. And if the Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings player is in a poor position when the general falls, they usually [[RageQuit just surrender.]]

to:

* WarhammerFantasy TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy can have this too, in regard to the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. Being undead, the army is held together by the will of its general (or Hierophant with Tomb Kings). As a result, if the general is killed, the army begins to fall apart at that exact instant and at the beginning of each turn after. As a result, if you can kill the (usually heavily guarded and well protected) general, you can gain such an absurdly huge advantage that, even if your opponent is in an amazing position, you can still win. And if the Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings player is in a poor position when the general falls, they usually [[RageQuit just surrender.]]
24th May '17 11:44:46 AM Vir
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** In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', the battle is basically won once the rebels on Endor's surface blow up the shield generator. Despite being pincered between the Death Star and a huge Imperial fleet, and taking serious losses, the battle's basically won as soon as a few fighters and the Millennium Falcon conduct an AirstrikeImpossible. This example is Justified in a later story, when it is revealed that the Emperor had been directly influencing his troops, and with him dead, their skill and morale vanished.

to:

** In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', the battle is basically won once the rebels on Endor's surface blow up the shield generator. Despite being pincered between the Death Star and a huge Imperial fleet, and taking serious losses, the battle's basically won as soon as a few fighters and the Millennium Falcon conduct an AirstrikeImpossible. This example is Justified {{justified|Trope}} in a later story, when it is revealed that the Emperor had been directly influencing his troops, and with him dead, their skill and morale vanished.
18th May '17 12:33:05 PM BrendanRizzo
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Even weirder is the space race victory in the Civ I, Civ II and the Beyond the Sword expansion for Civ IV. You win when the spaceship ''reaches'' Alpha Centauri (not just when you launch it). If your opponents wipe you off the map in the time it takes it there, you still lose, even though you colonists will still arrive at Alpha Centauri. Or conversely, if your opponent has already launched the spaceship, killing ''him'' quickly (nukes are your friend there) will stop him from winning. In some cases you may be able to complete a faster spaceship, and beat him there.\\\

to:

Even weirder is the space race victory in the Civ I, Civ II and II, the Beyond the Sword expansion for Civ IV.IV, and Civ Rev. You win when the spaceship ''reaches'' Alpha Centauri (not just when you launch it). If your opponents wipe you off the map in the time it takes it to get there, you still lose, even though you your colonists will still arrive at Alpha Centauri. Or conversely, if your opponent has already launched the spaceship, killing ''him'' quickly (nukes are your friend there) will stop him from winning. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome In some cases you may be able to complete a faster spaceship, and beat him there.\\\]]\\\
14th May '17 6:33:13 PM ANTMuddle
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*** ''Series/TheJokersWild'': Drawing three jokers in a single spin during the main game automatically won the game at $500, provided two conditions were met: 1. The contestant correctly answered a question in a category of his choosing, and 2. His/her opponent (if they were the champion) was unable to spin a combination that would allow him/her to tie the score at $500. In early episodes, the game immediately ended without anything further needing to be done, but the aforementioned rules were added once a contestant a champion spun a triple joker on his first spin, meaning the opponent didn't get even a chance to play.

to:

*** ''Series/TheJokersWild'': Drawing three jokers in a single spin during the main game automatically won the game at $500, provided two conditions were met: 1. The contestant correctly answered a question in a category of his choosing, and 2. His/her opponent (if they were the champion) was unable to spin a combination that would allow him/her to tie the score at $500. In early episodes, the game immediately ended without anything further needing to be done, but the aforementioned rules were added once a contestant a champion spun a triple joker on his first spin, meaning the opponent didn't get even a chance to play. The bonus round also awarded a contestant the prize package in question upon spinning a triple (three of any denomination).
24th Apr '17 11:10:20 AM gophergiggles
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* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' during a Duff Beer competition where Round 3 makes up 98% of the total score...
--> '''Duff Man:''' ...making the previous rounds a ''complete waste!''
* Deconstructed in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' with the [[MacGuffin Elements Of Harmony]] which are in theory this trope but only succeeded as such once and have also had numerous consequences:
** Against Nightmare Moon, they work as intended and take her out in one shot.
** Against Discord, Twilight expects them to be an instant win but Discord foils this by breaking up the friendships between her and the other wielders, rendering them ineffective until she manages to patch things up.
** Against Queen Chrysalis, Twilight expects them to be an instant win ''and'' is able to use them. Too bad Chrysalis [[GenreSavvy anticipated this]] and stationed a metric crapload of changelings to guard the room they're kept in, forcing the ponies to resort to other means to succeed.
** Against Sunset Shimmer, the Element of Magic almost became this trope ''for the villain'' as Twilight left it in the open for the villain to steal, which also inadvertenly introduced Equestrian magic to the human world allowing The Dazzlings, Midnight Sparkle, and Gaia Everfree to gain power and cause trouble spanning across ''three more movies''. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice one, Twilight]].
** Against the Plunder Seeds, it turns out using them is what allowed the evil plants to invade Equestria to begin with as using the elements drained the finite power the Tree of Harmony needed to keep the plants at bay, and the ponies are forced to give up their MacGuffin to save the day.
18th Mar '17 8:28:22 AM Morgenthaler
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* Collecting the last star in ''GliderPRO'' makes you a winner, even if something else kills you at the same time.

to:

* Collecting the last star in ''GliderPRO'' ''VideoGame/GliderPRO'' makes you a winner, even if something else kills you at the same time.
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