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:
- Life Force has your spaceship respawn right away flying in from offscreen after being destroyed, which is different from the Gradius series it is a spinoff of.
- Konami's beat-em-ups - all of them, such as X-Men (Arcade), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade, The Simpsons arcade, etc.
- The Contra games have you respawn from the corner of the screen right after you die.
- In the Lego Crossover Games, players respawn exactly on the spot with only a loss of studs.
- 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. So there's a choice, and a penalty to go with it.
- The Mr. Driller series has you respawn physically right where you stand.
- This happens in But That Was Yesterday when you fall off a cliff or a roof.
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?