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Instant Gravestone
A death creates a gravestone on the spot; no-one builds it. (usually in videogames).
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-25 16:27:25 sponsor: MicoolTNT (last reply: 2012-12-03 02:26:48)

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Oh, no! Someone just died! The life drains out of him, his Winged Soul Flies Off at Death, his body falls to the floor... and is replaced with a gravestone?

This trope is where a death creates a gravestone on the spot; that is, the very fact of death creates a gravestone. No-one builds it, and there is no time lapse. Usually, no explanation is given besides Rule of Funny and/or Gameplay and Story Segregation. Or it happens in the type of game/show with Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Often involves Grave Humour, but not always.

Purposes behind the use of the trope vary. Sometimes it's just Rule of Funny / Have a Nice Death. Sometimes the gravestone is used to indicate to players that somebody died. Sometimes it serves a gameplay purpose, like containing loot. Often used for similar light-hearted symbolism as the aforementioned Winged Soul Flies Off at Death.

This is not where a gravestone is used for symbolism, such as if a "game over" screen is a gravestone, or a gravestone indicates a dead character in the interface. The gravestone must appear in the world.


Examples:

Video Games
  • In RuneScape, Instant Gravestones (usually) protect your items when you die. Bigger and fancier ones can be purchased which hold your items for longer.
  • In Realm of the Mad God, all players get Instant Gravestones; stronger characters get bigger, more impressive gravestones. Due to the game's use of Final Death, players will often pay respects to a particularly strong character.
  • Oregon Trail contains this, including player-defined inscriptions. People tend to try to invoke Grave Humor with Bottom Of The Barrel Jokes, as future players can read the gravestones.
  • All of The Sims games use this, specifically it will be an urn if it's indoors and a tombstone outdoors, and it will change if the player moves the grave marker. If a sim's grave is on a lot, that sim's ghost may show up at night.
  • Worms games have dead worms blowing themselves up with a dynamite plunger and instantly being replaced with a gravestone.
  • Dying in Terraria will spawn a tombstone stating your cause of death. You can then dig it up if you like.
  • The Multiplayer game Glitch has this. When you die a gravestone appears on the spot. Other players can visit the gravestone to mourn or celebrate. The stone disappears after you respawn.
  • The RPG crossfire does this. Gravestones can even be collected by someone.
  • In the Warrior Cats fan-made game Warrior Cats: Untold Tales, killing a cat will make a tombstone appear.
  • In the Kid Icarus: Uprising Multiplayer, when a player dies, a tombstone will appear where they died. If it gets hit enough, it will explode, hurting everyone within range.
  • The 1976 Exidy Arcade Game Death Race may be the Ur Example. Running over people turned them into grave markers that couldn't be driven over.
  • In Warcraft3, units with the Reincarnation ability leave a large cross/ankh-shaped marker on death. Played With, as the unit comes back to life a few seconds later.
  • In Maniac Mansion, whenever one of your characters dies, a gravestone appears on the front garden of the mansion.
  • In the Chinese version of World of Warcraft, tombstones appear instead of skeletons when a player character dies.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, you can watch a Show Within a Show where a salesman sells some concoction to an old man, causing him to dig his own grave, complete with headstone.
  • Later Grand Theft Auto games (third game onwards) have a variation. Bodies will eventually fade away and be replaced by a chalk outline (irrespective of whether the police have arrived at the scene or not).
  • In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair's multiplayer, dying creates a tombstone which spawns a skeleton.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2, being killed by a sledge hammer produces a grave stone with Crash's face on it.
  • When a player's character dies in MapleStory a tombstone appears.

Non-Game Examples
  • There's a gag in the Looney Tunes short Baseball Bugs where a player tries to catch a fly ball ("I got it! I got it!"), gets plowed into the ground by it, and a gravestone pops up where he stops (reading: "He got it").
  • This Raid commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRwlYLS_0fk
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