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Beating a Dead Player
Get up so I can kill you again!
Marine, Halo

So your life bar is down to its last sliver, or maybe you're a One-Hit-Point Wonder. You're going along, trying to be careful, and BAM, something kills you. You fall down dead. It'll be a second or three before a mercifully-invincible replacement flickers into existence, or the screen fades out and you appear back at the last checkpoint, or, if that was your last life, anyway, the big Game Over. But, not content to celebrate over your fallen corpse, they just keep attacking it. What are these guys doing?

They're Beating A Dead Player. It can make you wonder if they're vainly trying to make you Deader than Dead, perhaps they can somehow remember your cruelty towards them?

It's notable that there are multiple different versions of this. There's just lazily programmed games in which it's blatantly obvious that people keep on shooting at you even though, heh, you just exploded or something. Many older games do this, as there often wasn't enough room to program them to do anything else. Some games do it right and on purpose, with the enemies walking up to you and delivering a coup de grace or celebrating their victory with a few potshots.

Then there are games in which people can do this themselves. Like fighting games, in which before the end of a round or something, one guy will still be mid-air and you can land a couple of hits on them. Some multiplayer games reward you for this with a Surplus Damage Bonus.

Often combines with Ragdoll Physics in amusingly gory ways.

May also apply if you're in one of those outdrive-the-cops games, and they stop you... but that doesn't stop them from ramming you repeatedly for good measure.


Examples in which games use a specific finishing animation:

  • Found in many horror games, such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, where some enemy attacks display a unique scene of the player's gory death.
    • In Resident Evil 5, if you die during the first boss fight, a cutscene is shown of the Majini hacking up Chris and Sheva's bodies.
  • Clive Barker's Undying had a unique "kill-the-player" animation for every single enemy in the game (except for the Lesser Monto Shonoi: Word of God says there was no way the small ones could have looked right with the same animation as the large ones, so the developers had to block it from them).
  • According to the authors of Quake, the ogre enemies were supposed to pee and laugh after killing the player, but that never got introduced due to "time issues". Then again, the game's design ideas have been changed a number of times.
    • Quake II managed to sneak one in, however: if you're killed by a Tank Commander, it will walk over and punch your dead corpse.
  • Dead Space also had this happen. The way you die at the end of the demo was a particularly prominent example.
  • Whenever a combat ends in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the AI will walk around finishing off any wounded enemies with headshots.
    • If you get killed by one of the wild dogs, they'll drag your corpse away to their den and eat it.
      • Bloodsuckers are also wont to do this. In fact, just about any mutant will gladly drag your battered corpse back home for supper.
  • Trespasser also has the "eat your corpse" variety of animations.
  • Non-video game example: Press Your Luck had special Whammy animations for a player's fourth Whammy, since four Whammies knocked a player out of the game.
  • In the first Tomba!, dying in the jungle area before obtaining that area's Pig Bag will result in a swarm of insane tribals pop out of the bushes and start multilating Tomba's corpse. Judging from the sounds they make, we're probably lucky that the thick ground foliage serves as a sort of censor bar...
  • Games in the Gears of War series, with weapon-specific, instant-kill executions. To be fair, you can (and probably will) do the same thing to your opponents.
    • Gears of War 3 has a somewhat steady example when it comes to multiplayer. In TDM if someone got killed and their body's still there, someone, usually the killer, will shotgun the body into tiny gibs. CTL (Capture the Flag, but a player is the flag) has this when someone caught the leader since the game lets you snap their neck after the round is won. The No-Holds-Barred Beatdown execution (or Beat Them With Their Own Arm if you're Locust) could be this since the player is already dead as soon as someone does it.
      • If a player is taken as a meatshield they will usually have the respawn time countdown as soon as they are picked up. Besides that it's possible to have them shoot their own corpse.
  • Killing Floor actually has an achievement based around killing specimens that are feeding on your dead teammates' corpses.
  • This was used, to a limited degree, in the original Devil May Cry - it was practically an Easter Egg, but basically, if you got down to a sliver of health, and then got hit by certain, particular enemy attacks (one for each type of enemy, IIRC), instead of just fading to black, you'd be treated to a cutscene of the enemy tearing you apart in some creative fashion.
    • Happens normally in Devil May Cry as well, as just enemies attacking you after you're already down.
  • Not a usual occurrence in World of Warcraft, but there are a handful of enemies who do this. Wolves will tear at your corpse, for instance.
    • There was once a rare spawn, a vulture, who if it killed you, would feed on your corpse. When it did this, it would go from hostile to "passive".
  • In Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode, losing your health will usually put you in a "bleeding out" state, in which another player can revive you if they can get to you fast enough. However, if there are enemies nearby, one might walk over to your corpse and "execute" you, leaving you unable to revive until the end of the round.
  • Cloakers in PAYDAY: The Heist are able to instantly incapacitate player characters, and will continue to beat the player with their nightsticks after doing so.
  • One of Terumi's Victory Poses in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is delivering a 2-hit curb-stomp to his downed opponent, complete with combo counter. This goes up to a 10-hit curb-stomp against Ragna.

Examples in which the enemies just don't stop attacking as if the character were still alive:

  • Used in all of the Resident Evil games - dying usually meant that you got to watch the zombies chew on your corpse for a while.
  • Ditto in Dead Rising.
  • Doom was probably the first game to do this.
  • The Syphon Filter series is also guilty of this; when you drop dead, enemies will continue to make mincemeat out of your corpse with their bullets.
  • Galerians does this. Funny thing is that Rion falls on the ground and Birdman/Rita/Rainheart/Whoever keeps attacking as if you're still standing.
  • Whenever you die in Metal Gear Solid, the enemies just keep shooting at you, as if they couldn't tell that you're already dead. In later games, though, better AI meant they'd stop shooting to check you out. This behavior is the main reason MGS3's Fake Death Pill works.
  • Oracle Of Tao has this, though only on certain circumstances. The game itself is programmed to switch targets as normal for spells and attacks, but a specially-coded spell (designed not to be reduced by armor, or be reflected) will possibly kill the character and then keep attacking because there isn't the proper targeting code (it's a flaw of the system, there's no Condition "if Hero is targeted"), so it has to be done using random numbers. In theory, the code is supposed to retry if the character is dead, but in some cases this is not what happens and the dead character is a valid target despite programming to the contrary.
    • For that matter, the Stone condition and others that should disable party members from battle, don't actually count as dead. The character will be petrified only to continue being targeted by petrification attacks, and then get killed by a magical attack.
  • In Jet Force Gemini, not only could you watch your killers shoot your corpse, but you could press 'A' to make your body twitch slightly.
  • Serious Sam, where you can watch all the melee enemies run frenziedly back and forth over the spot where you died.
  • Happens a lot in Halo, on both the enemy's side and your own NPC allies. The phrase that comes to mind is when a Marine shoots the corpse of an Elite, going "Get up so I can kill you again!" (It generally seems to be more "Making sure it's dead and not just wounded". The Covenant are another story, though. They know you're dead, and shooting at your corpse and arguing about who gets to keep the helmet is the way they rub it in.)
    • Same for the spiritual precursor Marathon.
  • In Wizards And Warriors, the bats would continue to swoop at a dead Kuros as if attempting to eat his iron-clad corpse.
  • Golden Eye 1997: After dying, you'd get to see James Bond fall over from three different angles, whilst enemies continue to fill you with bullets. Amusingly, however, these are not replays of the death; the game resets your character in order to depict him as falling over, though all other events in the area (enemies) continue as they were.
  • If you die in Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy to Meat Puppets they will usually run up and kick your corpse if they can.
  • In Grand Theft Auto the cops will occasionally continue to pump you full of lead even after you're dead (it even happens in the newer ones). The weird part is that they'll do this even if you only have a 2-star wanted level (for those unfamiliar with GTA, that's pretty much a low level felony or high level misdemeanor, not really anything the cops should be blasting holes into you for).
    • However, this actually becomes a lampshaded reference in GTAIV to the supposed brutality of the Liberty City police. Only the police will continue to shoot your corpse after you die - Gang members and armed civilians won't.
  • The first Diablo, but not the sequel.
  • Dirge of Cerberus does this. Soldiers even run up to the little dead stuffed-robot-cat and began blasting it with assault rifles.
  • This not only holds true in Call of Duty, but the enemies will switch weapons and fire at your corpse with their sidearms. They also think throwing grenades at the dead player is good sport.
    • Enemy soldiers in Star Wars Battlefront II (a game with sometimes extremely bizarre AI) do the same thing. Strangely enough, only the Rebel faction is seen doing it. It's possible that this was done on purpose to appear like they were trying to execute downed players. Even though, in-game, they're already dead.
  • Thief 1 and 2 had this. The AI DO eventually stop attacking a fallen foe, but it takes a few seconds to register. Once in a great while, you'll catch them going back into an earlier alert stage, wondering where you are, even though, hello, you're dead at their feet!
  • In the original Super Mario Bros., the goombas will continually walk back and forther over where Mario died.
  • In the SNES game Skuljagger: Revolt of the Westicans, enemies will continue to attack the location where Storm was standing when he died, even though he falls out of the level upon death (and the screen will scroll to follow him unless he's at the bottom of the map).
  • This is very obvious in the Survival Mode of Minecraft. The enemies continue to push your guy's corpse all around the level as backdrop to the game menu. However, this can be utilized to one's advantage in Multiplayer mode- while the spiders/zombies/whatevers are attacking the corpse, another player can slip by mostly undetected.
  • In the first Manhunt game, after you die, the hunters will continue to punch an kick your bloody corpse while you get to watch.
  • Enemy mobs in Smash TV and Total Carnage continue to swarm over the player's dead body where it lied until the player respawns (unless there was a second one still alive). Those with weapons continue attacking thin air until then.
  • In most Racing Games, the AI cars continue to circle the track after they've Rubber Banded past you and won the race, simply because they're not programmed to stop.
  • Most enemies in Metroid: Other M will still attack or walk over Samus after she is killed.
  • This happens in Fallout 3. If an enemy shoots you to death then they will continue to pop rounds into your body even though you are clearly dead and have already fallen to the ground. It can be quite hilarious to see a guy shoot your lifeless body in the crotch even though you are already dead.
  • Somewhat done in Dungeons & Dragons Online. While enemies will stop attacking if you are actually dead, if you're knocked to the 'dying-but-not-yet-dead' phase some enemies will deliberately keep attacking to finish you off. "Kobolds never forget!"
  • Happens in Ultima VIII, in which it's not uncommon to see the Avatar's corpse being kicked around by the same enemies/traps/obstacles even after his death but before loading a save.
  • Terraria the monsters will hover around the point in which your character died until you respawn. Since only a few monsters attack with ranged weapons (Like Gastropod's Pink Laser attack) and even those do damage by touching the player all monsters are basically 'attacking the dead player'. Odd since you don't actually leave a corpse; you do however drop a tombstone upon death but it will bounce around until it settles on a stable piece of land and the monsters still only hover the point where you died.
  • Enemies in PAYDAY: The Heist may continue to shoot at you after you've been downed (but able to fire your pistol) even if you haven't gotten their attention by shooting at them. The Bulldozer is particularly notable for doing this unless someone else is already shooting at them. Firing off a shot or two at the cops in this state will invariably cause most of them to turn their attention to you.
  • While Spelunky's shopkeepers, at least, are smart enough to stop shooting once they've killed you, most other enemies will continue to assault your corpse long after you're dead. This is particularly notable with the Yetis, who'll continue to fling your dead body against the walls until you explode into a cloud of blood.
  • Enemies in City of Heroes will often just stand there right atop your body if you are defeated, forcing you to go to the hospital and return to the mission if you do not have a self-revive power that will make you invincible long enough to get your defensive powers back up, or another player to teleport your body away from the enemies.
  • Left 4 Dead likes to do this, especially during the escape scenes. If you're the last survivor to fall, the camera usually zooms out to show the zombies still tearing your corpse to shreds.
  • Played straight in all Mega Man (Classic) games: enemies continue shooting/divebombing/stomping the spot where Mega Man died (and exploded), even though he is no longer there.
    • At least in Mega Man 3, this behavior lets the player have a little insight on the inner workings of the game: Die by falling in a bottomless pit, and all "home in on Mega Man" enemies suddenly move towards the TOP of the screen, where you died.
  • A rare non-video game example in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Avatar". At one point the Kull warriors in the Unwinnable Training Simulation kept shooting Teal'c even after he was already dead.
  • In NARC if Max Force or Hit Man loses his last life to a dog, the dog will continue to drag his body around during the continue countdown.
  • In the first Rogue Squadron game, enemies would often continue firing lasers at the location where the player's fighter had just exploded.

Examples in which another player character can do this, regardless of whether or not it's widely done:

  • All video games with a Finishing Move, including Mortal Kombat.
    • Especially Quan Chi in Mortal Kombat 4. One of his Fatalities involves ripping off your leg and beating you to death with it. He's still hitting you with the leg as the scene fades out.
      • The 2011 release has him revisit this Fatality. But instead of the camera fading out, he'll still be doing it until you hit continue or quit.
  • The Soulcalibur games allow you to do this. In SC IV's Arcade Mode, you even get a small bonus for each hit you land after the KO.
    • To add insult to injury, you can jump off the stage once you've made a KO or Ring Out, but it doesn't count. Especially in an ice stage this can turn what should be a mutual kill into a victory or loss simply because one person is six inches further down than their opponent.
  • The Marvel vs. Capcom series (and its successor Tatsunoko vs. Capcom) allow the player to press Start after the battle was over to give him a few more seconds to beat up the unconscious opponent. A few of them even gave the player bonus points if he ended in a sufficiently amusing animation.
    • This ability is removed in the Ultimate All-Stars version of TvC and both editions of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, most likely because the Japanese people you might end up playing the game with don't take too kindly to it.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom also has Jin pulling out a katana and posing with it, but just before the screen pauses, he suddenly leaps at the fallen opponent.
    • In some instances, computers would do this to the player just like other players could. Apocalypse in Marvel Superheroes Vs. Street Fighter particularly liked to trap already-dead players in triple-digit combos.
    • Earlier in X-Men: Children of the Atom, one of The Juggernaut's win poses had him stomping on the loser's body. A milder one has him pick them up and laugh in their face.
      • In the same game, when Sentinel defeats one of the X-Men he will lock him/her in some sort of bubble before flying away with it.
  • One of Rolento's victory poses in Street Fighter Alpha 2 consists of him tossing a grenade at his downed opponent, which then blasts them into the air.
    • One of Q's victory poses in Street Fighter 3: Third Strike consists of him walking up and grinding his shoe against his fallen oppponent's face.
  • In the Stamina modes of Super Smash Bros., you can do this to opponents who have run out of "stamina," as they just fall down and lay on the stage until the match is over. Some people even go as far as to purposely knock the characters off the stage entirely just to add insult to injury.
  • The Tekken games still allow this. Later versions would let you use ground grapples on a downed, K Od opponent. Would this count as anti-teabagging, since instead of the winner tapping the loser's head with his groin, the winner smashes his head into the loser's groin?
    • One of Bryan Fury's win poses is to leap atop the finished opponent and punch them silly while laughing like a maniac. Heihachi, meanwhile, will grab the opponent by the hair, badmouth them, then slam their face to the ground in disgust.
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger awards you a trophy/achievement for scoring a 20-hit combo after the rounds is over: "It's The Only Way To Be Sure."
  • In the mostly-freeware platform shooter Soldat you get to watch your corpse — and whatever indignities are done to it — while you are waiting to respawn.
  • In the NFL Blitz games, such as NFL Blitz 2000, you obviously can't kill anyone on the opposing team, but when you knock the ball carrier to the ground, you can spend the time in between the end of the play and the appearance of the play book to mercilessly pound on the ball carrier as many times as you can fit into the small period. Typically with leg drops and suplexes. It doesn't result in injuries or lack of ability on the part of the victim afterward; it's just for fun.
    • NHL games usually let you bodycheck opponents mercilessly after the whistle, including the legendary "check over the boards and into the bench\penalty box" animation found in some older games. In at least NHL 11, the whistle often signals the computer-controlled players to start checking each other (and player-controlled skaters) endlessly.
  • The player may beat on the downed enemy for a few seconds in Virtua Fighter. The computer will generally stand still once the KO is registered... unless it's playing as Shun Di, in which case it will repeatedly swig alcohol. (Shun Di is a Drunken Master, and the more drinks under his belt, the more moves he can use.)
  • Done to excess in the multiplayer games of Gears of War 2 where besides 'raping' a fallen opponents body, many players near the end of a round will unload their power weapons repeatedly on an already dead enemies corpse for the lulz. And blood.
    • A favourite is to pick up a downed player for a meatshield (which will have you grab them for a Bullet Proof Human Shield), walk into a wall, walk back a bit, walk into it again... see what I'm saying? The fact characters hold their shield with the left hand over the enemy's mouth only seems to make it work better.
      • Note that the players most likely to do this are also the ones to react most poorly if you point out the obvious Ho Yay.
    • Just make it fast on Execution mode. Some players have died or even lost rounds because they wanted to bask in the glory of their glory a bit too long while their opponent was downed. In Execution, they may get better.
  • In Perfect Dark's multiplayer mode, if you are struck with poisoned knives while dead, the poison will take effect as soon as you respawn. Probably a bug, but it has the effect of encouraging this sort of behaviour.
  • Halo's infamous "teabagging" shows up a lot in multiplayer play. People aren't content to just kill you, they have to violate your corpse.
    • Which also applies to almost any FPS game out there. Even some people in Melee and Brawl may teabag your body in stamina mode. Yahtzee has also taken a stab at people who seemingly have to teabag every time they score a kill.
      • It's definitely a cultural thing. Games like Halo, Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike have a lot of players who teabag dead opponents. In games like the Battlefield series, America's Army, it virtually never happens, and doing it is likely to get you kicked off the server. A sociological paper could be written on teabagging in FPS games...
    • Somehow, in Halo, meleeing a corpse is intended to be more offensive than the teabag.
    • Halo 4 adds a new dimension to "teabagging", where the hologram power-up introduced in Reach will now teabag any corpse it encounters, including one's own...
  • In Half-Life, you can club your fallen foes with the crowbar until they splat into mush.
    • This can similarly be done in Deus Ex.
  • For deathmatches Half-Life and its mods (particularly Counter-Strike), players would usually tag those they killed with a spray paint image. Since it was also possible to use custom images, it was sort of a signature mark that you killed that player.
  • Left 4 Dead (and its sequel) allow you to keep attacking the enemy players after their team have all been incapacitated or killed.
  • In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Joker's win pose usually ends in him tip-toeing his way over to his opponent's corpse and curb-stomping it while laughing maniacally.
  • Several characters in Fist of the North Star interact with their defeated opponents in their victory poses. Souther, most notably, will walk up, plant his foot on them and then don his Emperor gear as if calling his army to battle.
  • Some attacks in Super Robot Wars have what's called a Dynamic Kill, where the animation changes if the attack successfully blows up the enemy. These are usually the robot's Finishing Move, but sometimes lesser weapons have them too. On rare occasions enemies will have Dynamic Kills, but they're far more common on the player's side. Two famous examples are Banjou Haran of Daitarn3 delivering a Flying Kick when using the Sun Attack, and Domon Kasshu of G Gundam lifting his opponent into the air when using the Erupting God Finger.
  • The Fire Pro Wrestling games often allow the winner of a match to continue beating exhausted, helpless opponents after the bell. In Professional Wrestling matches this is not unusual, but not many athletic commissions would sanction this behavior in Mixed Martial Arts bouts.
  • Team Fortress 2: Very few people do this out of spite, but there are professional players who (In an example that would justify this trope) would do this with Spies, due to the ever-prevalent Dead Ringer item for that specific class.
  • In the Shadowrun FPS, eviscerating your opponent's corpses is actually a tactical decision. The magic present in the universe of Shadowrun means that if you have the right spell in your loadout, you can resurrect your teammates. But if you beat up a corpse enough, that player will stay dead for the rest of the round. Odd example in that overkill is actually a productive use of your time if you're not in immediate danger.
  • World of Warcraft battlegrounds include the feature of looting an enemies corpse for money and commemorative items while also preventing them from respawning at their corpse. The reward and inconvenience are relatively minimal, which just makes the message that a player took the time to do so even more insulting.
    • The Flag of Ownership is a rare item which allows the user to place a flag on player corpses; said flag bears a thumbs down to drive the insult home. Due to its scarcity, players now use other in-game flags and banners for the same insult.
    • Two items introduced in Pandaria allow corpses to be desecrated. A set of knives renders the corpse down to a pile of meat and bones while a torch sets it ablaze.
    • The Death Knight ability "Corpse Explosion" was originally an offensive ability which also destroyed a corpse. The damage component was removed, but the ability can still be used to reduce a corpse to a small pile of meat and bone.
  • Several characters in Injustice: Gods Among Us do this for their victory pose. The Joker lights his opponent on fire, Ares skewers them with a flurry of swords, Black Adam electrocutes them, Harley Quinn kicks them off screen, Solomon Grundy chucks them away, and Scorpion impales them and throws them down a portal to Hell.
  • Alien vs. Predator 2 has this as well, where the different factions have different reasons for attacking a corpse. Aliens eat bodies for health, especially heads. Predators remove heads for trophies (which doesn't really do anything). Humans...are just being dicks.
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition has Oni, whose victory pose has him grab the downed opponent by their head and lift them up before the camera cuts away from their unfortunate fate.

Battle IntroVideo Game TropesBeat Them at Their Own Game

alternative title(s): Beating A Dead Protagonist
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