Created By: BonsaiForest on February 8, 2011 Last Edited By: BonsaiForest on February 10, 2011

Respawn On The Spot

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This is a trope that's very common in old-school video games, especially arcade games and arcade-like games.

Basically, when you die, you come back to life... right at the very spot where you died or at least right on the screen, and lose no progress.

The thing is, that does not mean that Death Is a Slap on the Wrist. In fact, this design element is most common in games which have a distinct lives limit, and running out of lives could mean starting the level over, or ending the game altogether.

Some games have this feature only in the multiplayer mode, but not the single player mode, which instead brings you back to the last checkpoint. Players also have to go back to the last checkpoint if all of them are defeated at the same time. This is sometimes done so that players who are defeated while their friend is still alive can quickly rejoin the action, rather than waiting for the next checkpoint to be reached.

Not to be confused with Auto-Revive, which is an item or spell in RPGs that allows you to come back to life on the spot, but must first be obtained or invoked. This trope is instead about a consistent play mechanic.

Examples of games that always let you do this:

Examples of games that only let you do this in multiplayer:

  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if you die in multiplayer, you soon come back to life in a bubble. If all players are dead at the same time, you go back to a checkpoint.
  • The original Chip and Dale NES game allowed the defeated player to come back on a balloon as long as one player survived. If both were defeated, it's back to the last checkpoint.
  • The Serious Sam games, although it's a server setting. The game host can choose to enable respawning at checkpoints (which are plentiful), or respawning on the spot. Both forms of respawning only exist in the cooperative mode.

Any more examples? Do We Have This One??
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • February 8, 2011
    In the Lego Crossover Game series, players respawn with only a loss of studs.
  • February 8, 2011
    In Torchlight you can respawn on the spot, at the start of the floor or back in town depending on how much XP and money you're willing to lose.
  • February 8, 2011
    For RP Gs, compare Auto Revive.

    • Star Parodier: Respawning on the spot required posession of a specific powerup, otherwise you were sent back to the last checkpoint and stripped of all weapon powerups. Ouch.
  • February 8, 2011
    I think I won't include that entry since it's about a specific item allowing you to do so. This trope is coming back to life on the spot when you die as a matter of course, not as a bonus you need to earn. In fact, I modified the description a bit to explain that.
  • February 8, 2011
    I played Star Parodier a little bit, and the early levels are easy enough that you can collect 3-5 respawn powerups before actually getting killed ... only to reach the Nintendo Hard final levels and start discovering that instant respawning isn't the status quo.
  • February 9, 2011
    Yeah, that's pretty borderline. I don't think it quite fits the trope. It would instead be something more akin to Auto Revive.
  • February 9, 2011
    Making it more frustrating is the game doesn't inform you of whether or not you actually have the powerup on hand (or how many).

  • February 10, 2011
    The description should mention Respawn Point.

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