"This rock, this sockVideo games struggling for creativity will invent unlikely obstacles. If a level in a Platformer takes place on a mountain, it may be unrealistic that you'd run into sequential lava pits, but it's at least logical in that you want to avoid their obvious skin-boiling danger (though you'll be okay if you just don't touch it). But in some games, you can be injured by the strangest and most mundane of things. All manner of inanimate objects seem primed and ready to hurt you, especially if the setting doesn't allow for more extravagant opponents. Stumbling onto a flying soccer ball hurts just as much as being run over by a car. In some cases, just to really hammer the point home that the game's creators are true bastards, your character will be a One-Hit-Point Wonder, and the slightest injury will make you explode into a fountain of blood. You can usually blame Collision Damage for this. And heaven help you if the place is inhabited. Nearly every living thing in the area suddenly gets a taste for your tender flesh, even if they're normally skittish herbivores. This may be a modern take on the older version of this trope: in old adventure stories, if the hero goes camping or even just for a walk through the forest, he can expect to be attacked by bears, stalked by wolves, jumped by mountain lions, infected by poison ivy, torn apart by thorns and so on. Is nothing safe? Walls? The sun? The moon? The boundary of the screen? While a common trope in the Nintendo Hard generation of games, this has more to do with old-style games than difficulty. Many older games were platform games, where the objective is primarily to get from the beginning of the level to the end. Memory was at a premium, so pretty much anything added to the game needed a purpose. And in a platformer, most things should be either power ups or obstacles, things that make it a challenge (and thus fun) to get from Point A to Point B. Adventure Game designers, especially those at Sierra, also delighted in finding new and interesting ways to kill the player character; with no quantified attributes, such a game's hero could only survive or not survive. Some games that normally avoid this will design a deliberately ludicrous yet highly dangerous enemy/obstacle for comedic value. A Platform Hell game will often take this trope to ludicrous places for comedy. See also Malevolent Architecture and Death World. Compare: Animals Hate Him, Attack of the Killer Whatever, Death Course, No OSHA Compliance, and Super-Persistent Predator.
This clock, that tree
All have a great potential for harming me
I bet that you think
You could never get hurt
By a box of raisins or a flannel shirt."
This clock, that tree
All have a great potential for harming me
I bet that you think
You could never get hurt
By a box of raisins or a flannel shirt."
— Wade Duck, Garfield and Friends
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Video Game Examples:
- Most of Ecco the Dolphin 's foes are logical for a dolphin — sharks and jellyfish for the most part. The angry crabs and giant water spiders are a bit weird, but the Prehistoria levels take it to the extreme with trilobites and giant seahorses who shoot their young at you.
- Enemies in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 had the rather alarming tendency to forget who they were fighting and come after you. This is even worse when demons and demon hunters become best of friends for the amount of time it takes to kill your character.
- Several games in The Legend of Zelda series contain rooms where the floor tiles will fly up to attack you. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening takes this to a whole new level, where one boss IS the floor of the room you just walked in.
- Legend of the Mystical Ninja, in addition to having ordinary citizens of peaceful, feudal Japanese towns trying to kill you, has a particularly mean enemy: deer. The deer deal out a ridiculous amount of damage, they bound around very quickly and haphazardly so they're difficult to dodge, and worst of all, you lose health if you hurt them. Because you're beating up on deer, you jerk.
- This leads to a rather assholish trap in Stage 2. After visiting a certain fortune teller, she'll tell you that she sees bad luck in your future. Cue the player walking outside to find themselves completely surrounded by deer.
- The Castlevania series loves this trope. Sure, you're going up against Dracula so monsters like skeletons and zombies are obvious. The (empty) coffins in Super Castlevania IV fit with the theme, though common sense doesn't explain why they would be so aggressive. But armadillos, frogs, toads, birds, bats, snakes, plants, chefs, butlers, maids, and sometimes previous teammates all want you dead. Most of Dracula's villainy is informed/off screen, so it makes you wonder if the Belmonts and company are actually just colossal jerks who no one likes.
Well this is bound to be a lovely resurrection party... Oh Christ, it's one of those guys with a whip again. He'll probably whip all the party guests to death, snuff out our candles, and steal our food.
- The more recent, Metroidvania style games have begun explaining it by having them all be demons or ghosts. They're still absurdly aggressive for their jobs, though.
- The enemies of the SNES game of The Wizard of Oz include birds, stalactitish lemons, cactus cats, plants on unicycles, chattery teeth, hands of grandfather clocks, walking chairs, blobs, flying blue elephants, dripping water, bouncing pumpkins, and buzzsaws. Plus rats.
- Strangely, in NES Rambo game, the entire wildlife hates Rambo. That includes Giant Spider, tigers, flamingos, flies and birds.
- Aquaria advertises over 175 unique creatures to discover. This is a list of the ones that are harmless: small fish, some (but not all) eels, a couple species of jellyfish, macaws, and monkeys. Everything else hates you, and wishes to feast upon your delicious, juicy corpse.
- There's only a handful of creatures in the Monster Hunter series that don't try to kill you on sight, and all of the ones that do make the players their sole targets once they've noticed them, disregarding each other's presence and defying common sense for the sake of the attacking them. The little knee-high Jaggi, for instance, consider dealing with you a much higher priority then not getting accidentally trampled, roasted, or subjected to some other manner of pain by whatever enormous monster you're fighting with (And they pretty much always will). In their defense, nearly every creature in the game can(and most likely will) be killed for parts to make more weapons, armor, or hunting gear, so it's really more of a survival tactic.
- In The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, the Warmup Boss, Cane, is literally a cane. Like, a walking stick. You have to fight a walking stick.
- Actually justified in Metroid: Fusion by the lifeforms on the BSL Research Station. Normally most of them would be peaceful creatures, but they've all been taken over by the X-Parasites and Samus Aran's body happens to contain the DNA of their natural enemy: the titular metroids. They can tell and they want her dead.
- Paperboy is infamous for having everything from runaway lawnmowers to breakdancers to the Grim friggin' Reaper running around the middle of the street for no discernible reason other than to mess with the eponymous deliverer.
- Brain Dead 13. Everything. From the leaves in the hedge maze, to the fire in the stove, to the bookworms in the library.
- Besides cars, motorcycles, trucks, snakes and alligators trying to kill him, Frogger also demonstrates Super Drowning Skills.
- Home Alone 2 for the NES and SNES was ridiculous. Not only did every random stranger in the hotel try to get you, but so did vacuum cleaners, luggage, and mop buckets (both the moving mop and the inanimate bucket).
- The first one was even worse in that regard.
- The Infogrames staff must have played this game before coding Tintin in Tibet. In the hotel level alone, you could get Collision Damage (and lose one of your four hit points) from waiters carrying a platter, maids vacuuming the floor, luggage carelessly knocked over by said maids, and little dogs that don't bite. Oh, and the timer too.
- The Jurassic Park game on the Sega Genesis. Cute little lizards who take half your health, climbing ropes who are vertical poison ivies, Pteronodon carrying you back to the top at the cost of half your health... Also goes with Nintendo Hard.
- The Sega Genesis X-Men (1993) game first level started in a jungle. And in this jungle, getting a lance thrown at you did damage, getting carried off by a Giant Flyer did damage... and having a dragonfly buzz past you did damage. The hell?
- Bomberman runs with this trope in every game since the beginning. The Big Bad's mooks, bugs, statues, rocks, fish, robots, floor tiles, your own bombs, items, and standard stage hazards. It really gets ridiculous though, with butterflies, snowflakes, penguins, clowns, Funny Animal mice holding balloons, panda/umbrella... things, snowmen, trees, and even wandering clouds who pour down raindrops. No matter how cute and innocuous it looks, if it doesn't hatch from a giant egg, it will kill you (or your kangaroo/dinosaur) on contact.
- Time Gal. That girl has no allies whatsoever. It seems that every era she gets transported to only serves the purpose of pitting her against something or another.
- In Drol, enemies include hopping scorpions, flying turkeys, a witch doctor, flying weapons and vacuum cleaners. It's supposed to take place in a Dream Land.
- Taken to its logical extreme in Pepsiman, where even Pepsi trucks and giant Pepsi cans are trying to kill you. There's also various trucks with their back ends open to dump things onto the road for you to avoid. Seems like an accident, until you notice that if you get knocked down and take too long to get back up, some trucks will actually stop and wait for you.
- Aladdin for the Sega Master System has his magic carpet ride with Jasmine as a level. Even here, the poor guy can't catch a break, with birds, thunderclouds, majestic horses, and falling cherries waiting to thwart his every move.
- The Super Star Wars games make the laser-filled war they are based on look subtle. It is not enough that an endless swarm of every last bad guy, background extra, and random prop in the Star Wars universe is out to furiously murder you. There are just as many original threats and every set piece has been turned into a hazard-filled Death World. You have no mercy invincibility so anything can destroy you.
- To give an example, the very first level of Super Empire Strikes Back starts you off in a Slippy-Slidey Ice World covered in instant death spikes, leaps of faith, exploding cliffs, spontaneously generating giant snowballs, sentient ice crystals that grow or launch themselves at you, rocket squirrels, giant boars, mynocs, porcupines, fire-breathing plants, and an entire army of Imperial Probe Droids that all swarm the screen at once. It gets worse from there.
- Sierra celebrated the way of character death, embraced it, became one with it. Many Sierra adventure games would kill for making one seemingly innocuous false step, and then mock you for getting yourself killed. It became slowly more forgiving with time, replacing unwinnable situations with instadeaths (which is a good thing, kind of) and eventually granting an "Oops" button or two.
- Take the second Laura Bow game. It would kill the title character by means of an automobile that appeared out of nowhere if she stepped off the pavement onto a seemingly empty road. You were apparently supposed to look at the road first to confirm that no cars were approaching, but the same would happen even if you did that and the game told you it was all clear. (It expected you to look both ways before crossing the road. Just looking once wasn't enough, in one of Sierra's more... pedantic puzzles. Luckily, you can get everywhere by taxi, and just skip the stupidity.) Another scene would kill you if you wandered into a dark passage without a light. Somehow, a woman in her early twenties would be swarmed and overpowered by quite ordinary bats — unless she had a light to scare them with.
- Not all that many games make players try to kill off their characters in every possible way, even fewer have them enjoy it. The latter include the farcical Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry series, where even the narrator is basically a Deadpan Snarker. A fan website has cataloged 67 distinct ways to die in Space Quest V alone. In Space Quest III, trying to pick up a simple piece of metal scrap one room away from the start of the game would result in Roger cutting himself, severing an artery, and dying of blood loss within seconds. Total play time to first death in that situation could be as little as 20 seconds.
- The bar in Space Quest I features a "Slots-O-Death" machine. Get three skull-n-crossbones, and it turns you into dust with its built-in Disintegrator Ray. You could rig the machine in the remake to beat it quickly, but in the original, save often and hope for the best.
- The game even warns you by showing a little robot with a broom picking up the dust pile of the last loser and ditching it out the back of the bar. If you go behind the bar, there's a huge dust pile composed of all the people who lost recently.
- In one area of Space Quest II the more observant player could notice a square of outlined grass in the terrain. If you attempted the command "look at trap" the narrator would promptly berate you for your overly suspicious approach to the game. The noted area was, of course, a pit complete with spikes.
- Space Quest IV introduces the "Smell" and "Taste" icons to the game interface, which have no plot relevance whatsoever; not once in the entire game will you ever need to smell or taste anything in order to progress. Instead, they exist almost exclusively for the purpose of killing yourself in hilarious ways. Such as being dumb enough to try "tasting" a pool of bubbling green acid.
- A related and frustrating example, also from Space Quest IV was the "unstable ordinance". You gain points for picking it up from a wrecked tank, indicating that this is the "correct" move. However, if you're still carrying it a minute later, it explodes during a scripted event and the game mocks you for not apparently understanding the significance of the word "unstable". This would logically indicate it's the "incorrect" move and players would not touch it on subsequent play-throughs. In reality, the "correct" way to handle it is to pick it up, but then immediately put it back, netting you a small gain in points that you otherwise have no way to make up and get 100% completion, Guide Dang It!!.
- Hilariously, the flag that caused the unstable ordnance to kill you was only for one very specific event. If you pick up the unstable ordnance after that event, it will never blow up and never kill you, which is strange considering the bumps and bruises Roger receives later in the game are much worse than the bump that causes the ordinance to blow up in the first place.
- Leisure Suit Larry, which should be a nonviolent mature game, has so many ways to kill your character. Especially the second game: there's at least five ways to die at the hands of KGB agents, four ways to die from the "helicopter girls", three separate ways to die from "Mama Bimbo", two lethal chefs, and a guy named Carlos, who, thanks to U.S. foreign aid, has many extra bullets that he enjoys firing for amusement - on you. Throw in many unwinnable situations, and you are in for a very frustrating game.
- Leisure Suit Larry 2 is designed in such a way that you have to die. For example, at one point of the game, you have to take a hair pin out of a plate of food. However, the only way to know of the hair pin is to choke from it. Also, in a later point of the game, the KGB agents even say: "Caught again!" Why do they even bother?
- Furthermore, at some point you gain points for picking up spinach dip for no good reason. Later, you end up starving in a lifeboat, and will automatically eat the spinach dip, thus dying from salmonella poisoning. The "solution" to this "puzzle" is to throw away the dip after picking it up. The dip serves no purpose. None. You can completely ignore it, or you can take it and eat it before it goes bad. However, this will cost you points. To get the maximum points from the dip, you have to take it and throw it away after the lifeboat you're in hits the water. Guide Dang It, all right.
- The Police Quest series is just plain atrocious. Sonny Bonds, a trained police homicide detective, would be killed by a speeding car if he tried crossing the street without pushing the walk button on a nearby streetlight first.
- Even more bizarre is the paradox contained in the sequence in the first game in the series, in which Bonds had to go on patrol in a squad car. If you followed proper procedure and inspected each wheel of the vehicle by walking around it before driving off, there would be nothing wrong with it. If you failed to do so, one wheel would without fail be faulty and you would soon suffer a flat tire, which prematurely ended the game even though Bonds was not injured at all.
- In the third game, a mere loony can kill you with a single swing of his fist. And you are not allowed to shoot him (or you lose).
- Also in the third game, if you pull someone over while driving, then get out of your car to talk to the person, walking around the car in the wrong direction will get you killed.
- The first game starts with you taking a shower before briefing, if you leave the shower room in your towel, a female co-worker will see you and laugh at you causing a game-over. So you got fired? Or died of embarrassment?
- Even Police Quest is trumped by Codename: ICEMAN, where you play an elite multi-skilled spy. Every single thing in the game goes wrong unless you explicitly check it. The guard that asks for your ID gives you the wrong ID back, leading to a dead end unless you bother to check. Machines break down with no warning unless you explicitly oiled them in the last chapter, even though that's the technician's job. And you die for no reason if you walk away from a cardiac arrest victim, because it would be heartless not to give her CPR, which is nigh impossible without reading the manual.
- The character of the adventure/RPG hybrid Quest for Glory series has hit points, so a majority of hazards are not immediately fatal. Still, there's a number of situations that result in an immediate game over. In the first game of the series: If you attempt to pick up any item in the hermit's lair, he'll teleport you into a waterfall, drowning you; if you attempt to pick any lock during the day, the hero will refuse, saying that it isn't safe and that he ought to wait until dark... except for the door of the guardhouse, which you can attempt to pick in broad daylight and in front of the sheriff, leading in your immediate arrest; also, if you attempt to pick any single lock one too many times in a row (at night), you "make too much noise" and get arrested without any chance of escape; using a lockpick on yourself will make the hero pick his nose with it, resulting in brain hemorrhage and death unless your skill is high enough (quite easy to do in the VGA version; in the EGA version, you at least had to type PICK NOSE, making it a fine Easter Egg); you need to say a password to enter the witch's hut, but if you say it too close to the hut, it'll descend on you, crushing you to death; ordering (and drinking) Dragon's Breath in the tavern also results in your death. Not to mention several unwinnable situations.
- Also, in the thieves' guild, if you walk in front of the chief as he throws knives at a dartboard, one will hit you in the chest and you die. Also, the three stooges, the antwerp-tripwire, getting danced to death by the faeries, damaging the sacred tree, just about anything involving Baba Yaga, failing to solve the final bandit puzzle, etc.
- King's Quest and its sequels had their fair share of ludicrous character deaths. For one, the minute you start the first game, if you move too close to the castle moat, you will fall in and die. You will also inexplicably get killed by a sliding rock if you push it from the wrong angle. That's right, pushing a rock away causes it to fall on you.
- AGD Interactive also proved that they could do it too if they really tried in their Fan Remake (entire reworking, more like) of King's Quest II: Romancing The Throne. There is one location containing six fairly innocent-looking rocks around the base of a larger one. Examining any but one of these, however, will cause it to explode and kill you.
- On the first screen of the Land of the Dead in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, there are two zombies that can come over and touch you to death in fewer seconds than the immediately preceding cutscene lasts.
- Nothing in Leisure Suit Larry 5 can kill you. Nothing. Even if you try to electrocute yourself with a wall outlet. There is also exactly one unwinnable situation in the game due to a bug.
- LucasArts, the other major publisher of adventure games, was kinder and gentler than Sierra, and its games were more cartoonish. Character death was possible in its more realistic games, but it would take blatantly stupid actions. In general, LucasArts believed that players should not be punished for experimenting with their games, seeing as most of the time puzzle solutions in adventure games in general had a tendency to be on the obscure side. This policy was adopted by LucasArts during the development of The Secret of Monkey Island, but dying was still frequent in their earlier titles such as Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
- Death was rare but possible in the Full Throttle adventure game. Each time Ben was killed, the game would automatically backtrack to the point where the fatal mistake was made, allowing you to try it again — with Ben saying quickly over the black screen, "Lemme try that again". This is because, similar to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (see below), the game is being told in flashback by Ben (the opening monologue makes this clear).
- Death only becomes possible in Full Throttle in the endgame, when it's made blatantly clear that you're in a life-or-death chase sequence.
- The Monkey Island games, for example, averted this trope. Nothing could kill its hero, Guybrush Threepwood (well, almost nothing), or even do permanent harm. Not even getting repeatedly punched sky-high by the Big Bad.
Guybrush: Wow, I guess it's true that gun owners are nine times more likely to shoot themselves.
- The only way to die in The Secret of Monkey Island is a major Easter Egg by its rarity alone: After Guybrush gets thrown into the bay by Sheriff Shinetop, simply wait ten minutes (which is how long Guybrush can hold his breath) until he drowns.
- The same game has another sequence where Guybrush can walk off a cliff. A Sierra-style death screen comes up, followed moments later by Guybrush bouncing back onto the cliff's edge, with two words of explanation: "Rubber Tree".
- Guybrush could also die in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge if you took too long escaping the Death Trap in LeChuck's lair, but since the game was told in flashback form, Elaine (to whom Guybrush was telling the story) would point out that Guybrush couldn't have died if he was here talking to her, and Guybrush backtracks his story. In the easy mode play, it's impossible for Guybrush to die, and the Death Trap is solved automatically (via an alternative bodily fluid).
- In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush has to fake his death to progress in the game, prompting one character to comment "Funny, I didn't think you could die in LucasArts adventure games." He fakes said death (at a later point in the game he states that he simply went into a temporary coma) by usage of combining medicine and alcohol, an act that he lampshades by noting that if he wasn't a "lovably inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels", he more than likely would have been killed by doing this. You can see the whole event here.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, the one possibility of death is a brief time-traveling episode in a swamp. Future Guybrush would tell present Guybrush things and give him things in a specific order, and if that order was not replicated exactly by the player (when the player controls future Guybrush), a time vortex would open and swallow everything. (And that doesn't really end the game — you get another try to do the sequence right. For shocks, you can also try shooting your alter ego with the gun he had handed you...)
- Another possibility of a Game Over in Escape is that he can stay underwater, but after 8 minutes on the first dive, Guybrush says, "I'm running low on air." If kept under water for another 2 minutes, he decides to head back up to the surface. It is on the second dive that if he stays underwater for ten minutes, he will drown, with no second chances this time.
- And Tales of Monkey Island shows the only time in the Monkey Island series that Guybrush's death by the Big Bad's Cutlass of Kaflu at the end of Chapter 4 (and repeated disposessions of his corpse while on Flotsam in Chapter 5) is not a Game Over or an Easter egg, but rather story-related in order to continue on with the progress of the game.
- Death was rare but possible in the Full Throttle adventure game. Each time Ben was killed, the game would automatically backtrack to the point where the fatal mistake was made, allowing you to try it again — with Ben saying quickly over the black screen, "Lemme try that again". This is because, similar to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (see below), the game is being told in flashback by Ben (the opening monologue makes this clear).
- Wonderfully inverted in The Neverhood, where there was only one way in the whole game to die: jumping into a big pit with a sign over it that said "Do not jump in this pit. You will die." It was even lampshaded in the manual, where it explained that there was only one way to die in the game, and that it was well signposted.
- The Infocom text adventure Bureaucracy, written by Douglas Adams, has you dealing with a series of what would normally be minor, petty annoyances. However, these annoyances raise your character's blood pressure, and if your blood pressure goes up too high, you die of a brain aneurysm.
- Shadowgate. Let's see: the third screen in a rather marvelous book is hiding a plot essential MacGuffin. Take the book and you die, no warning or 'save'. A few rooms over, you find a long hall with eyes staring out of the darkness. A bunch of items are on the ground. Take the wrong one, and you die. A few rooms later, you face three mirrors. You must break one to continue. They are indistinguishable. Break the wrong one, and you die. Your game is timed by a torch that burns out, and you must find more torches to continue. If your torch goes out, the darkness kills you. Even if you are standing in a bright, exterior courtyard or a well-lit interior room with its own source of light and more torches for you to take. Fortunately, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist in this game, unless, of course, you don't have the needed torches to have the time it takes to solve some Nintendo Hard riddles.
- Interactive Fiction games are notorious for everything being able to kill you in some way. One of the funniest is in Zork II, where you couldn't figure out what to do with a bucket and in frustration typed "KICK THE BUCKET". The game was happy to oblige.
- Lampshaded a bit in Zork 1 if you eat a garlic clove: "What the heck. You won't make any friends this way, but nobody around here is too friendly anyhow. Gulp!" Surprise! Guess who can't fend off a vampire bat later in the game!
- In Spelunker you can die because you're in mid-air: just fall from any height higher than your character is and you die. This means you can lose all three of the lives you start with and get a Game Over less than three seconds after starting the game.
- The video game adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the most notoriously hard text adventures ever made, with ludicrous instakills all over the place and a plethora of (often very lengthy) dead ends if you miss little details. Most players get themselves killed in three or four different and hilariously unfair ways before they can even figure out how to leave Earth in the opening scene.
- Though some deaths are worth trying just because they are funny/awesome. For example, if you enter Marvin's quarters, the room is so depressing you instantly die
- Would you believe this can even happen in a racing game? In Split Second, traps and explosives, called Power Plays, are littered around the track to take out your opponents with. But no matter how much stuff goes boom in a normal race, this is nothing compared to Detonator mode — one lap around the track, practically every single Power Play triggering. Pass by something, and the probability that it will explode, collapse, break loose, slide in front of you, and generally screw you is 90%.
- Not only do pedestrian drivers in Rad Racer not do anything to get out of the way of the maniac zooming by at 200 MPH, but some of them even change lanes at random and pretty much do whatever they can to run you off the road.
- One story mode mission in F-Zero GX has Captain Falcon try to race down a busy highway with a bomb strapped to his racer that will explode if he goes under a certain speed limit. Fortunately, the larger vehicles have the courtesy to pull over for you (though they'll be slower to do so on higher difficulty levels,) but the smaller vehicles refuse to budge, not to mention that the aforementioned highway is ridiculously and needlessly serpentine, includes dirt traps designed to slow down your racer and even a near-vertical climb for some godforsaken reason.
First Person Shooter
- While not exactly everything trying to kill you, all of the killable characters in the PC game Vivisector: Beast Inside — whether they're humans or Half Human Hybrids — attack you the moment you first load up the game, even after you switch from the former's side to the latter. There's an attempt at handwaving, dealing with some flimsy excuse of the humans not authorizing your presence in the game's setting and the hybrids being programmed to see humans as the enemy, but really, it's just an attempt to bring in Fake Difficulty to the game.
- Similarly, Shadow the Hedgehog has both good and evil enemies, and they'll all attack Shadow regardless of his Karma Meter (except when they're busy fighting each other).
- Another example of this sort of thing can be found in Far Cry 2. Ostensibly you are a mercenary working for one side in a civil war in Africa. They try to handwave it in game by claiming you're a disposable asset that nobody knows about. In reality even when working a mission for one side you will be attacked by both sides. Constantly.
- In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, when you stumble on a fight between zombies and Germans, both sides immediately forget each other and make a beeline for you. During WW2 the US Army and the Wehrmacht were not on the best possible terms, but they might make a temporary alliance against the undead.
- The Hunter Primal a hunting simulator game also can be considered to fall in this trope, since almost everything on Primal Eden (the island in which the games take place) is dead set to kill you. Carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Utahraptor and Ptero Soarer/Quetzalcoatlus are set to hunt down the player and generally ignore any other wildlife around it, even the Herbivorous Triceratops will attack and kill you if you spook him.
- It is worth noting that certain kinds of mushrooms and plants are poisonous upon contact or when eaten, falling from a certain height will also kill you as will falling in water too deep to wade through.
- In Evolve the planet Shear serves as this. There are massive predators, large herbivores, acid lakes and ponds, packs of smaller predators, and man-eating plants, all of which will kill an unwary player.
- The original First Encounter Assault Recon has a variant on this thanks to how its AI is programmed. The AI was primarily designed for fighting the player, and that's where it shines - against other AI, and the two forces will simply stand around exchanging bullets until one side eventually kills the other... or, more likely, until the sides notice you, at which point they completely turn their focus onto killing you instead.
- The Game Mod Half-Life: Hazardous-Course 2. The name is the understatement of the century. Not only is virtually everything trying and likely to succeed in killing you, including things you couldn't possibly know about ahead of time, there are an abundance of hazards that kill the NPCs as well, often without even needing your involvement. The full extent of it has to be seen to be believed.
Light Gun Game
- The 80s light gun arcade game Who Dunit requires you to not only guide a detective through a mansion, but protect him from things like pimps throwing their hats at him and beach balls bouncing all over the place. This is because anything that touches him will instantly skeletonize him, leaving his soul drifting away—including the beach balls!
- Another Exidy light gun game, Crossbow, isn't as bad about this in comparison. The Heroic Fantasy warriors you're defending will literally go up in flames if anything touches them, even if the implement of their destruction was a coconut thrown by a monkey. Hey, at least it beats getting turned into a skeleton by a beach ball.
- Pretty much every object in the games on the Action 52 multicart is trying to kill you. Elton John kills you (Non Human). Money kills you (Streemerz). File cabinets kill you (French Baker). The floor kills you (Meong). Pasta kills you (Alfredo, only playable via some emulators). Bowling balls kill you (Hambo). Dildos kill you (Thrusters). You'll wish that the game would self destruct and kill you in real life.
- Star Evil is pure evil with the way it puts your ship two inches from a cinderblock at the start. And the stage boss moves like a DUI driver (according to mpn1990's Unlicensed Garbage show on YouTube).
- Invoked by the title screen in Dweep, which shows deadly lasers, bombs, wrenches, carrots etc. all launching towards the carefree Dweep. Also counts as Title Screens Always Lie—half of this stuff isn't even in the game, and most of the rest is harmless.
- Feeding Frenzy 's high seas are filled with creatures that are out to have you as their dinner. Tunas, swordfishes, sharks, dories, pufferfishes, oysters... As long as it is bigger than you, it will eat you. Add mines, mutant fishes and pelicans to the mix and the entire ocean becomes one giant deathtrap.
- In Gruntz, you have to get past enemy gruntz, floors decorated with sharp spikes, eternally rolling boulders, holes in the ground, pits filled with oil, tar and such, and that's not even half of it...
- Kingdom of Loathing has its fair share of unlikely enemies, including hippies, ninja snowmen, animated nightstands, anime smileys, fire-breathing ducks, pastiches of characters from Final Fantasy VII, and the Guy Made of Bees. Then there's the many twists on standard RPG enemies, like Orcish frat boys, apathetic lizardmen, misspelled undead (including zmobies, lihcs, and ghuols), and the 99 Bottles of Beer On A Golem. There's also an area (accessible only while high on astral mushrooms) where you can fight things like some really interesting wallpaper and the urge to stare at your hands. Really. The game appropriately classifies them as "weird."
- "Crimbo" 2010 introduced exciting new enemies, such as the Tedious Spreadsheet, the Hideous Slideshow and the Water Cooler. Oh yes, and there were elves climbing out of the toilets, too.
- The oddest thing is that almost all enemies are fought in the standard RPG fashion: they and you have HP, attack, and defense, and you hit/shoot/spell at each other until one of you runs out of health. How the same style of combat works for fighting haunted billiard ball golems, clouds of lumberjack beard hair, and "visible music" is not entirely clear.
- Spookyraven Manor is a straighter example—everything in the mansion is haunted and malicious. Everything. Canned food, the fridge, books, chalk dust in the billiards room, paintings, nightstands (a whole room filled with them), dinner trays, toys and toy-boxes, paper towels and toilet paper, wine racks... the only thing not trying to kill you is Lady Spookyraven's ghost, the quest-giver NPC. Her also-deceased husband is the violent type, and apparently he turned the whole house evil with some sort of botched demonic ritual.
- This is pretty much the entire plot of zOMG, which features enemies called "the Animated".
- Not to mention the cute pink balls of fluff that can kill you with one hit.
- The MUD Aardwolf takes this trope to utterly ludicrous levels, as some magically enchanted areas have A Wizard Did It (literally) related creatures, from the traditional walking broom to irritated neck-ties, nightstands, gardening equipment, cabinets, violent cacti, and man-eating pot pies. Dungeons & Dragons wishes it had gotten this crazy with mimics and evil sorcerer aides. To make matters worse (read: funnier), a generic NPC creator was used in the construction of this MUD. So it's not uncommon to see people walking around with Boots skinned from A Lampshade or A Helm skinned from A Shovel.
- World of Warcraft seems to have this in spades. You'll realize this as you count up the hours you spend running away from increasingly violent and aggressive deer, flowers, and moths - on top of the demons, dragons, and old gods (aka Faceless Ones), of course.
- Guild Wars 2 has a seasonal event called Super Adventure Box, which is an homage to 80s-era adventure and platform games, involving jumping puzzles and battles in a simulated, low-poly environment. Normally it's pretty reasonable, with the biggest challenge being jumping through the environment. But decide to have a go at "Tribulation Mode" and it becomes this. Suddenly everything is out to get you. The flowers? Explode when you touch them. The clouds? If they don't appear out of nowhere to block your way, they shoot lightning after you and chase you down. The white hands on walls pointing out which way to go? They shoot out at you and explode. The rocks? They jump up and ground pound, knocking you back (usually into certain doom). The ground? Instant-death spikes shoot up from certain patches with no obvious indicator of where they are, or occasionally just to spice things up, you'll fall through the ground and into underground lava instead. It's actually merciful when there's instant-death spikes or lava that you can see.
- Platform Hell games use and abuse this trope mercilessly. NEVER trust anything on the screen; if it exists, it will probably try to kill you, no matter how illogical its lethality may seem.
- Another World is all about this. Poisonous black slugs, alien lion monsters, numerous alien troopers armed with insta-kill Death Rays, tentacle monsters with mouths embedded in the rock, falling rocks... Pretty much the ONLY thing not trying to kill you is your alien buddy.
- Heart of Darkness, being Another World's Spiritual Successor, is of course rife with death around every corner as well, but made even more disturbing by completely averting Infant Immortality, as the protagonist is a pre-teen boy.
- "Manos" The Hands of Fate licensed video game lampshades the entire platform game genre with this Trope. According to the Word of God:
MANOS is an homage to all of the cheesy games you remember from your childhood! Remember how every film and cartoon had it’s own platform game adaptation? How concepts in the film were made completely nonsensical for the case of gameplay? When every man, woman, child, animal and inanimate object were out to kill Marty McFly, Freddy Krueger filled the streets with bats, ghosts and frankenstein monsters and Darth Vader would casually transform into a scorpion? MANOS will take you back to the fantastically absurd movie adaptations of the past!
- The Unfair Platformer. Yup, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Beware of message boxes!
- The Genesis game Greendog turned this into the plot: the eponymous character had been cursed by an amulet that made all animals attack him on sight. Though this doesn't explain why some animals don't attack him, like the dog that attacks enemies in exchange for eating all your food pick-ups, or why this extends to random people in a subway station.
- Super Mario Bros.: One instance you're stomping flying Bloopers, another has you running from unkillable Chinese vampires, the next has you being stalked by candle fires, and then you find yourself chased by an angry sun. Yes... even the sun wants to kill you. Is the princess really worth braving all that?!
- The NES platform game Monster Party had some pretty out-there enemies. Disembodied legs stuck in the ground and walking pants are just two examples. Then there's the bosses, which include a giant bubble-spitting pitcher plant, a giant snake with Medusa hair that throws tsuchinoko (a type of semi-mythical snake famous in Japanese cryptozoology; Dunsparce is a tsuchinoko) at you, and a giant fried shrimp which eventually morphs into an onion ring, then a kebab. Also included are the rock n' roll player makes you "Face the music!", the giant cat who throws killer kittens at you, drops of blood that mysteriously hurt you... on the other hand, there are also that dead spider that says "sorry, I'm dead", and those zombie dancers who you beat only if you don't attack them and watch them dance.
- The freeware game I Wanna Be the Guy uses this to and past the limit, featuring killer spikes,
apples giant cherriesDelicious Fruit that can also fall up and the moon as the most common killers in the game. Add to that ripped-off enemies from 8-bit games, several innocuous-looking objects suddenly dropping lethally on your character (including a star, thunderbolts, a glass of wine thrown by the Symphony of the Night Dracula during a cutscene and a killer pop-up), a Tetris segment where you must avoid being squashed by the blocks, a floor of spikes that suddenly develops wheels and chases you and even a killer save point just before the final boss to get a hair-tearing frustration masterpiece.
- As one comment on the YouTube video for the Game Over music states, "If one could harness the pure hatred and frustration induced by this song, the world would never want for energy again."
- "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD, YOU RETARD!"
- Contrary to popular belief, not everything is trying to kill you. The air is relatively safe. Also, there are numerous squares of very benign ground. Everything else will kill you.
- Incidentally, at one point the only way to survive a certain jump is to land in a pool of water. Making it one of the rare games where the water DOESN'T kill you (particularly odd given that that would have been one of the deaths that made sense in real life if it had killed you).
- The Fan Sequels are just as ridiculous. The Final Boss of I Wanna Be The Fangame is the StickyKeys dialog box.
- Also, the cursor can kill you.
- As is the official sequel I Wanna Be The Guy Gaiden, where there are traps in the world map!
- In I Wanna Be The Boshy, even the save points want a piece of you. If you shoot them, they'll shout "fuck you!" and spit on you.
- Nearly everything in the video game movie Warlock could harm you, including water dripping from the ceiling and otherwise harmless birds if they fly into you. Even worse, there's one stationary hazard, a thorn vine trap, that will damage you even if you cheated and used a Game Genie to give your character unlimited life and/or gave you unlimited Mercy Invincibility. Then again, you could also be killed with those cheats on through Super Drowning Skills and staying immersed in lava.
- While a relatively friendly game, the Banjo-Kazooie series is jam-packed with all manner of inanimate objects that come to life, sprout cartoonish eyeballs, and try to kill you. The Freezeezy Peak level in Banjo-Kazooie features the Sir Slush enemies, giant, immobile laughing snowmen who are positioned all over the damn place and will endlessly barrage you with snowballs until you kill them, in addition to the Chinks, which are giant ice cubes with eyes that are near invisible before they spring to life and come spinning after you. Also annoying are the Boom Boxes in Rusty Bucket Bay, crates of TNT that chase you and explode, which are accompanied by bouncing life preservers. This is taken to even more ridiculous heights in the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, where you're frequently pitted against bouncing shovels, coin-spitting slot machines, flowers, various nuts and bolts, oil drums that release suffocating gas (which also has eyes and chases you), more crates of TNT, and so on. This even spreads into some of the bosses, such as Old King Coal, a massive, animate lump of carbon; Mr. Patch, a skyscraper-sized, dinosaur-shaped inflatable toy that coughs up exploding beachballs; Weldar, an enormous welding torch; and Terry, a giant pterodactyl that spits out "Mucoids", which are giant blobs of green snot with eyes that try to kill you.
- Believe it or not, Barbie Super Model falls under this trope terribly. Any and everything that hits you takes away life—people, beach balls, low-flying birds, frisbees, snowballs, clods of dirt, and the list goes on...
- The Barbie game for the NES is even worse: pizzas, jellyfish (complete with creepy music), clothing, water spouts, kites, tennis balls, skates, soda...
- Sunday Funday puts you up against plumbers, disco dancers, businessmen, joggers, big-headed women wearing pearl necklaces... All of them want you dead for the terrible crime of going to Sunday School. This game was a 'Christianized' retool of an earlier title, Menace Beach. All they did was change the storyline ('rescue your girlfriend' is now 'get to Sunday School') and the sprites (from somewhat more acceptably threatening ninjas, evil clowns etc. to more innocuous yet equally threatening enemies).
- Beautifully inverted in indie game Karoshi. Absolutely nothing is trying to kill you, and some things will even prevent your death. Unfortunately, the point of the game is to die...
- In Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, besides encountering goons, you'll encounter and beat the life out of a wide variety of enemies including, but not limited to tigers, crab under a rice bowl, river kappas, gameras, Surprise Fish, and so on. Animated Buddha statue too!
- The Monty Mole series makes it difficult to tell which objects won't kill you. The ones that will include but are not limited to:
- Hairspray bottles, angry faces and flying bricks in Wanted: Monty Mole.
- Innocent little penguins, origami birds, rolling barrels, and ceiling tiles even after they've fallen in Impossamole.
- The extremely Nintendo Hard Bubsy The Bobcat games, as demonstrated in this Let's Play.
- The Tiny Toon Adventures NES game should qualify for this. During the game, Buster and his companions repeatedly get killed by rats, crabs, fish, pirates, hedgehogs, owls, squirrels, bees, dogs, cats, Sweetie Bird (isn't she supposed to be one of the good guys?!), slime, pails, footballs, eyeballs, pens, coins, and of course, Goddamned Bats.
- In Pizza Pop, everything, including cats, dogs, construction workers, ghosts, and jack 'o lanterns are trying to kill the pizza deliverer.
- Terramex contains, among others: acid rain, dragons, snakes that pop up from the very rocks... and your character is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- In Kid Niki Radical Ninja, enemies ranged from ninjas flying on kites to fire-breathing frogs. The third game had flying banana peels, flowers which shoot at you, statues shaking their private parts at you, hairy plant legs and so on.
- Back to the Future II and III. Enemies include giant snails, fish, mutant frogs, birds, bouncing balls, dinosaurs, bullet-shooting clouds, pipe monsters, ghosts, walking trashcans and in certain areas, books, test tubes, teddy bears, heart symbols, graduation hats, and screwdrivers. The list goes on.
- The NES Hook game has obviously pirates. However, besides these, you also have Giant Spiders, Bedsheet Ghosts, levitating yogas, bees, giant acorns, penguins, dragons, innocent-looking fish, dynamite sticks on balloons, boulders out of nowhere and parrots for whatever reason.
- The SNES Home Improvement game had pretty interesting things attacking you ranging from ants and dinosaurs to mechs.
- In Donkey Kong Country Returns, the Minecart Madness levels are bad enough, and the Rocket Ride levels crank this right on Up to Eleven.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) video game had some strange enemies attacking you. When you're in the dreamworld, getting attacked by skeletons and spiders with a human head is justified. However, it doesn't explain why in non-dream world Giant Spiders, Giant Rats, rocks falling from the sky, bats (some of which drop stones), snakes, Frankensteins Monsters and jutting spikes are after you.
- This Let's Play video of freeware game Syobon Action does a good job explicating this trope. On stage 2, the player is killed by an "invisible cloud". He was underground at the time.
- Word to the wise: Don't trust anything in this game, from the floor to the ceiling to message boxes to bonus items to clouds in the background!
- Just like Michael from Achievement Hunter put it...
Michael: The fucking cloud killed me?! GODDAMMIT!!
- In the original Blues Brothers film, many things were after the protagonists. However, in its NES game, there were also alligators, spikes, spikeballs, mutant slugs, giant spiders and much more.
- Earnest Evans has the protagonist fighting windworms, skeletons flailing their pickaxes, ribcages, dagger-throwing scorpions, bats, spiders, things that are hard to identify, lava with fireballs and so on. And that's just normal enemies.
- In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's NES game, almost everyone in the town is after doctor Jekyll. Ladies charge at him, kids shoot their slingshots at him, the whole wildlife hates him, guys in top hats drop live bombs next to him, gravedigger dishes dirt at him, singers drop notes at him and so on. Night stages also have strange monsters attacking Mr Hyde.
- VVVVVV. Generally speaking, if it's not a wall, it'll probably kill you. (Fortunately you get plenty of checkpoints.)
- Zool. Due to most of the levels being a Wackyland of some sort, many of the enemies you face are just weird. Examples include jelly, musical instruments, furit and vegetables, carpenter tools, toys, carnival food, and desert plants.
- In Dust Force, the dirt has turned many things against janitors like residents of the area, books, trash cans, wildlife and other things.
- The indie game Limbo is this in spades. The worst part about it is you are an ordinary boy. You can run, jump, and push things, but you have no weapons, and no way to defend yourself from an insanely hostile environment that seems to exist solely to kill you. And kill you it does.
- In Mitsume ga Tooru, enemies ranging from spiders to skeletons throw bandages, which act as a sort of Kryptonite Factor in the game. There are birds, snakes, bats, pillar statues, rocks and more.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus has many bad things trying to kill Mr Gumby, including but not limited to dead parrots, Vikings on unicycles, pillow-tossing members of the Spanish Inquisition, piggy banks, vicious gangs of "Keep Left" signs and bouncing black spots.
- The web game City Jumper has stationary obstacles that you have to jump over. What makes it difficult is that there are so many landmarks and other features that you come across, and every single one of them kills you. You can be killed by trees, crabs, and even clouds. An example of this trope where it's easy for these objects to kill you when they're not actually trying.
- Rayman is no stranger to this, coming to a head in the Band Land levels of the original game where the level geometry itself has disgruntled, bloodshot eyes attached to the platforms that periodically shoot lightning at you.
- Wario Land has a few examples of this (as mentioned on Our Monsters Are Weird), but the ultimate 'huh' example of an insane boss design just has to be Cuckoo Condor. It's a flying, psychotic, laser shooting cuckoo clock! Which is the boss of a world based on industry and factories.
- Every level of Spelunky is studded with lethal critters and booby-traps.
- Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti has crosses, books, kitchen knives, cooked poultry, chainsaws and buckets trying to kill you, as well a wide variety of well-known monsters.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, we have lemmings turned into monsters, zombies, vampires, werewolves, sharks, green goo monsters, cowboys and exploding barrels, and there are also bees, spikes, swinging spiky balls, airships shooting rockets...
- The Smurfs (1994): Even your fellow Smurfs are out to stop your progress in the game in the very first level, in an Apathetic Citizens sort of way!
- The Berenstain Bears' Camping Adventure has pretty much every single thing in the forest out to get the player characters. Snakes and alligators are dangerous themselves, but then the game throws woodpeckers, turtles, skunks, beavers, snails, ants and mushrooms.
- Puzzle Platformer game The Castles of Doctor Creep had several lethal obstacles and enemies to deal with: mummies, Frankenstein monsters, ray guns, lightning machines, and (under the right circumstances) trap doors.
- Anything that moves in the Crash Bandicoot series will hurt or kill you. Heck, anything that doesn't move (like TNT boxes) will kill you too if you're not too careful.
- Inverted in the indie game Default Dan. Everything that would normally not kill you is lethal: coins, platforms, and cupcake powerups to name a few cause you to instantly explode. On the other hand spines bounce you high, pits drop you from the top of the screen unharmed, and vicious-looking flying enemies serve as harmless (and helpful) platforms.
- In Time Zone, the enemies just in the starting level include road signs and soda cans.
- Alphaman has various typically-tame woodland critters as enemies and children's cartoon characters as major bosses. (Gumby will kick your ass.)
- NetHack features an almost infinite number of ways to die; there's plenty of the usual murderous monsters, but you can also die from choking on food, falling off your horse and/or down the stairs, kicking pretty much anything, mixing potions indiscriminately and blowing yourself up (or simply drinking a toxic potion), careening into a wall while levitating, etc. The SLASHEM variant is even more unforgiving.
- In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, all Pokemon in the dungeons are hostile and will kill you on sight (not counting the ones you're quested to rescue, also if you count the Kecleon Shopkeepers if you steal from them); despite this being a parallel universe where Pokemon are just as sentient as humans, Pokemon are territorial assholes who like to pick fights for no reason.
Role Playing Game
- In Drakkhen, sometimes the stars would randomly turn into crazy monsters which would fly down and kill you very quickly.
- Pretty much the core of Dark Souls; it has "Prepare to Die" as its tagline.
- Ironically, this can screw you in the other direction as well. There are some NPC's which aren't hostile to you, unless you attack them first. Once hostile, an NPC will stay hostile unless you pay a certain character to forgive your sin. Make that character hostile and you've pretty much just made the game harder for yourself.
- In the original Neverwinter Nights, the way the faction system was set up some modules created with the toolset would have everything in an area turn hostile as soon as you attack one thing.
- In the EarthBound, all manner of unlikely enemies are out to kill the party, in keeping with the absurd tone of the game. These include dogs, crows, mice, bears, mushrooms, seedlings, cups of hot coffee, miniature Flying Saucers, trees that explode, killer puddles of puke, drunk guys, old ladies, fire hydrants, street signs, taxis, abstract art, trash cans, a circus tent, hieroglyphs, nooses, dinosaurs, oversized single-celled organisms, disembodied mouths and the infamous New-Age Retro Hippie.
- The game sort of jokes about this: there's an NPC who claims she got badly wounded by a mouse. It's a legit warning: Rowdy Mice have a high chance of dealing SMAAAASH!! attacks.
- And this is just EarthBound. The entire MOTHER series includes as enemies: MORE exploding trees, ghost amour, potato bugs, walking bushes, electric guitars, a doll, LAMPS, giant robots, more mushrooms, more zombies, men's room signs, and to top it off, a walking statue with an obscene amount of HP.
- The fangames MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance and MOTHER 4 follow this trend. Cognitive Dissonance throws artwork, flowers, and weird things from other planets like Cacti from Jupiter and Irate Businessmen from Earth, Mother 4 has policemen, bugs and leaves.
- Pokémon, not just referring to the various monsters, but also the trainers who use them. While you're walking along, expect to be interrupted and thrust into battle with Engineers, Guitarists, Teachers, Burglars (who aren't trying to mug you), Scientists, Poké Maniacs (read: cosplayers), Schoolboys, Gentlemen, Fishermen, Swimmers, Sailors, Jugglers, Dancers, Preschoolers... in fact, when Generation 4 introduced babies as NPCs, more than one player approached the strollers with caution, expecting a battle to begin. It hasn't happened... yet.
- The monsters themselves also count as this. Micenote , ducksnote , Poké Ballsnote , palm treesnote , snailsnote , mushroomsnote , cicada exoskeletonsnote , dollsnote , sea slugsnote , cherry blossomsnote , meerkatsnote , ice creamnote , snowflakesnote , barnacles note , the Nazca Lines hummingbirdnote , garbagenote , cotton candynote , sandcastlesnote , sea cucumbersnote ...
- The Trainers aren't trying to harm you or your Pokémon aside from making them faint (aside from a few evil team leaders that Would Hurt a Child), but most wild Pokémon try to maul anyone coming through their territory. When the player attempts to walk through tall grass without Pokémon of their own in the first games Professor Oak stops them as if they're a child about to stick a fork in a light socket, and whenever the player's party gets wiped by a wild Pokémon they drop money in a panic and run for their life to the nearest Pokémon Center.
- The Immortal had many, many ways to kill you, all of them creatively animated, sudden and well-hidden (some can be viewed here). Even you inventory items can and will kill you if you don't use them correctly. The most pathetic? Approaching a down ladder from the wrong side.
- AdventureQuest, the online Flash RPG, has odd monsters like giant Salt Shakers, Doom Cola Machines, and Candy Golems. Speaking of, the horror that is the Am-Bush. It is a bush. That ambushes you. Nobody seems to be entirely clear on why.
- Persona 3 and Persona 4 have enemies that are called Shadows. While that sounds reasonable, take into account that their appearances include tables, gloves, scales, castles, and even one boss that is a giant heart. The sad part is that these enemies are actually threats and can easily kill you if you are not prepared.
- Dragon Quest VIII features enemies like living handbells, bags of money, and, in the game's penultimate boss fight, a homicidal, sentient castle.
- Dragon Quest VII had it even worse, with the aforementioned bags of money (a staple monster for the series), a giant rose bush, books, pots, wells, eggplants, anteaters, columns, clowns, a moose, clouds, Aladdin-style lamps, Easter Island heads, starfish, snails, penguins, Don Quixote robots, and wine bottles.
- Solar systems. Every Dragon Quest game featured some bizarre enemies, it seems. Dragon Quest II had robots, in a medieval fantasy. Dragon Quest III had jewel bags, carnivorous treasure chests, and evil mushrooms. Dragon Quest VI had evil mirrors, castles, and waves.
- Similar to the Dragon Quest VIII example, one of the bosses in the second Xenosaga game is called Cathedral. It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Similar to those two examples above, Hell House from Final Fantasy VII. It's a small house... that sprouts a head, arms and legs and tries to crush Cloud and co. Oh, and it fires out nukes as an attack.
- So many RPGs employ the use of deadly walls as bosses that they may deserve their own subtrope. These come in the "passive" variety, which will stay put as they try to kill you (Final Fantasy VII), and the "aggressive" variety, that advance either on a timer or over a set number of turns and crush the party for an instant game over (Secret of Mana) or an instant kill (Final Fantasy IV). Or the kind that advances to crush you on a timer AND attacking regularly (Final Fantasy XII).
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has the killer soda creature called the Chuckolator, which is exactly what it sounds like. It has a shield and sword, and is healed by bad jokes. There's also a yo-yo wielding Hammer Bro species.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has the Piranha Planets, which are killer planets with astronaut piranha plants. And the Handfakes, killer hands made of tar holding pictures of enemies that they attack Mario and Luigi with.
- Super Mario RPG has a wedding cake as a boss at one point. You fight the chefs that made the cake and they flee when the cake comes to life. The cake's signature attack is Standstorm, which attacks the whole party and causes Fear, cutting your defense in half. The hard part was you can't kill it traditionally at first. You have to "blow" out the candles by attacking and it relights one candle when its turn comes up. It's only after you get rid of the top layers that you can attack the bottom layer normally and when you do beat it, Booster comes in and swallows the cake whole. Mario and his crew then just move on as if nothing happened...
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has among other things, a murderous water fountain, a robot killer rubbish bin, living treasure chests, killer trees, Goombas eating lollipops, Bowser's memories of Mario and Luigi and all of Bowser's giant opponents. And said giant opponents happen to be a flying castle (which you have to beat up), a tower shaped like a man with a goofy head, a train that turns into a hill and a Humongous Mecha Peach's Castle that has a black hole gun!
- And in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, you have a watering can robot, the spirit of the McGuffin you're trying to find turned giant drill robot, a living volcano (which tries to ram the heroes), a robot made of buildings that becomes a flying hammer and such interesting enemies as dog walkers, squid shooting urns, another living rubbish bin and ? blocks! You know, those blocks Mario and Luigi hit? Well, apparently there are evil equivalents called Dark Blocks now.
- This is pretty much the premise of the RPG Maker game hfygs. Talk to the chicken? You inexplicably turn into another character and get skewered by the "anti-transformation chicken". Look at the letterbox? You send a letter bomb to God, who immediately smites you to death. Talk to the kindly old man? He devours you. And to top it all off, the final boss is The Almight Charset.
- In the Final Dungeon in Ultima III, you can be attacked by the grass outside or the floors inside.
- While trekking across the desert in Secret of Evermore, the player will be actively pursued by tumbleweeds trying to do him harm.
- The plot of Citizens of Earth partially involves the Vice President of the Earth investigating why everything is trying to kill him. You start off fighting killer protesters, then move on to deer with telephones on their head, stop signs, traffic cones with crabs in them, hippies, girl scouts, toasters, unpopped popcorn kernels... Near the end, you find out that the reason for this is that some aliens made a miscalculation with their ship's warp engine and ended up stranded near Earth, without enough energy to get back. Since their technology is powered by happiness, they contacted the world's leader (You) to ask him what humans like, so that their happiness would give their ship enough energy to return. But instead, they got a response from your secretary, the real Big Bad of the game, who lied to them and told them that dangerous things are what humans enjoy. So the aliens started creating dangerous things, mainly by combining animals and objects together, and released them on Earth.
- Justified and discussed in the Golden Sun series. While the world had some aggressive monsters beforehand, it was the eruption of Mount Aleph and the Psynergy Stones it scattered all around the world that caused almost all the world's wildlife to become monsters, become aggressive, or both. Many NPCs remark how aggressive creatures have become lately and warn you that routes that were once safe are now dangerous. It even caused some areas to turn deadly, such as the Kolima Forest which was a desert before the eruption and is now a maze-like forest nightmare.
- Give so much as a passing graze to any of a town's chickens in Skyrim and everybody will immediately attempt to murder you. It's difficult enough to justify with soldiers and town guards, but the "smack the clumsy hero down" dance will be joined by such unlikely actors as everyday workers, otherwise mild-mannered shopkeepers and old ladies. All of them, of course, indifferent to the dangers of threatening a mighty dragon-killing warrior.
Shoot Em Up
- The very premise of Gun Nac is that normally docile animals and even inanimate objects mysteriously come alive and start attacking... everything! Of course, it's up to our hero to find the cause of this madness.
- The 1984 Commodore 64 game Revenge of the Mutant Camels by Jeff Minter had a truly bizarre selection of enemies, including British telephone boxes, Polo mints, peace signs, goats, exploding sheep, skiing kangaroos, guys sitting on flying toilets, the jet from Attack of the Mutant Camels, Minter himself and ZX Spectrum's.
- In Cloud Master, enemies include rocks, assorted animals, the odd mahjong tile, and waves of gyoza, shumai and ramen bowls.
- Llamatron's enemies include, in the author's own words: "Flapping toilets firing loo rolls, giant killer sheep-centipedes, arena-roaming lasers, screaming Mandelbrot sets, angry telephones, shrieking pointy arrows and goat-firing false teeth."
- Captain Tomaday for the Neo Geo has a cast of enemies as strange as the titular character. As the Weird Video Games review puts it:
"Right in the first level alone, we have what I think are grape helicopters, bats, eggplant missiles, neon ghosts, robo-carrots which shoot carrot missiles, jack-o'-lanterns, pigeons, some kind of mechanical Mr. Potato Head with Lego Man arms that shoot parsnips at you, and flying wizards. I reiterate, this is only the first level, and I'm not even counting the bosses."
- 720 Degrees: Police on scooters, bodybuilders, lugers, breakdancers, frisbee throwers, recumbent bikers, cars, other skateboarders, and rollerblading skeletons are all out to slow you down and inhibit your escape from the killer bees that appear when the timer runs out.
- In the Mario fangame Mario The Music Box, Played with but exaggerated in the sheer number of ways you can get a game over (all of which obviously result in death). There are some things that look like they may not kill you, some things that look like they are obviously going to kill you, and some things that are (in)active at certain points of the game with certan characters. Justified in that the house is cursed to where several vengeful spirits want the playable cast dead, and the other killers aren't just the NPCs.
- The original Resident Evil and it remake, not only did the player have to deal with numerous monsters and zombies, but also a fair amount of death traps, the most famous of which was the Descending Ceiling that triggered from picking up the shotgun.
- The Fear Effect series had, in addition to all sorts of different enemies trying to kill you (humans, robots, zombies, ghosts, demons, ect.) but also a ton of hazards and traps, and even instant death scenarios that could be triggered by making the wrong decision.
Video Games based on The Bible
- Bible Adventures has 3 separate games but each with their own assassins.
- In Noah's Ark, rocks appear randomly and some of the animals you have to pick up try to fight back until you manage to lift them over your head.
- In Baby Moses, you have giant spiders, birds and men throwing bricks at you.
- In David and Goliath, scorpions and squirrels throwing oversized acorns at you make an appearance.
- Bible Buffet: the food is trying to kill you. Walking vegetables, eggs that blow themselves up, snowmen, ice creams, french fries and your other average food stuff. Plus test tubes and kitchenware.
- Super 3D Noah's Ark, it's animals who are after you. Mostly goats.
- In Konami's Noah's Ark, the entire wildlife except the selected 7 animals whom you must rescue don't greet you well. The animals include giant snails, spiders, giant frogs, penguins, fish, jellyfish, birds, scorpions, giant Asteroids Monster lizards, kangaroos, ostriches and dolphins. A lot of them can shoot projectiles at you.
- Other enemies are weirder like water plugs, deadly ice cubes, flying tigers, squares that fall from the sky, volcanic debris and mummies. Some hazards too like spikeballs and cacti that is deadly on touch.
- There are also indigenous people like Native Americans, Romans, Aborigines, Inuits (who are surprisingly on Antarctica), Incas and Japanese. Some who use magic against you.
- As for the bosses, the stage end boss is a water plug. For chapter bosses, in order, there is a giant sea bass, a giant spider hanging from the sky, a South American-styled sun god symbol, giant lobster, killer snowman, giant hornet and Satan.
Wide Open Sandbox
- In Super Scribblenauts, you can literally make anything want to kill you by adding an adjective like "angry" or "evil" when spawning it. You can get killed by something like an angry pancake or an evil bathtub. They're not very dangerous but they will display an "angry" emotion and try to jump at you and do their best to harm you.
- While Minecraft's Creative Mode mostly avoids this, Survival Mode plays the trope straight with things from Zombies, Giant Spiders, Skeleton Archers, Creepers, Ghasts, Wither Skeletons, The Enderdragon, The Wither, and Endermen to Falling Damage, drowning, suffocation, fire, lava, and Standard Status Effects can kill you, which, given that Continuing Is Painful, can be a serious annoyance (or permanent if you play on Hardcore Mode). And that's not getting into what player-made traps can do to you...
- No Man's Sky features a big emphasis on survival and with such things as rampaging/aggressive wildlife, asteroids, Space Pirates, hostile robots, potentially hostile atmospheres, the void of space, and even the very resources you need to gather being capable of killing you in various myriad ways you're going to need to put a big emphasis on upgrading your suit, vehicle, and weapons in order to survive.
- In addition to the usual dangers of radiation, zombies and wild animals you'll find in Radiation Island, there are environmental "anomalies": clouds of fire, lightning, water, or just plain death that at times are easy to spot, and at other times can simply appear on top of you without warning. Later on in the game you encounter anomalies that can move around, patrolling areas you want to pass through, and even passing through buildings. Worst are the ones that imprison you in place, or follow you until you die.
- In Planet Explorers, the majority of alien fauna will make spirited attempts to eviscerate any human or peaceful animal unfortunate enough to come their way.
- While the Grand Theft Auto games always had a lot of people trying to kill you, they were usually regulated to either gangs or law enforcement. Grand Theft Auto V takes it to another level where, on top of the above enemies that want you dead, animals are thrown into the mix. Causing chaos in the neighborhood? Don't be surprised to see someone's dog run after you and it's entirely possible for said dog to maul you for a One-Hit Kill. Even wildlife like coyotes and cougars will hunt you down if provoked. If playing the game online, take all the above and add other players to the list.
Non-Video Game Examples:
Anime & Manga
- Another: There's nothing safe to anyone. Elevators have smashed people, umbrellas have pierced eyes, windows have exploded to stick every glass fragment in a person, boulders will fall randomly from mountains to kill you, even just standing in you room will get you killed when a car with a wrecking ball falls down the street. Nobody and nowhere is safe.
- Attack on Titan: The 104th Trainee Corps. And has been since day one. These poor kids can't catch a break. Famine, boot camp, Titans, other people...
- Innocents Shounen Juujigun: Hugo tries to make sure of this. From sending bandits after the kids, to getting the village they were staying in burned down, to turning the entire Catholic Church against them, Hugo doesn't give the kids a shadow of a chance at recovery.
- The Transformers Spotlight: Wheelie has the planet LV-117, which every single life-form wants to eat you, regardless of whether or not you're actually edible. This includes the giant-sized spiders, the birds, the freaking molluscs, everything. And then there's the Chaosteros, which is basically a big fat green T-Rex, capable of biting off a Transformer's arm in one go. Considering who the planet apparently belongs to note , this isn't surprising in the least.
- In A Million Ways to Die in the West, Albert cites this as one of the many reasons the Old West is such a terrible place. In his own words: "Everything that isn't you wants to kill you."
Six bullets in the gut or just a paper cutToo many ways to quantifyThey'll cut your ankle off to cure a minor coughCause there's a million ways to die
- The Final Destination series runs on this trope. When Death has it out for you, nothing and nowhere is safe.
- The Hunger Games: Driven home more in the film than the book, where we can see the Gamemakers controlling everything, up to making burning trees fall on command.
- In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Capitol is a minefield with deadly (and sadistic) traps every ten steps.
- Trolls: A scene from a trailer implies that the ecosystem around the Trolls is this, when a butterfly gets eaten, then the thing that eats the butterfly gets eaten, then the thing that ate the thing that ate the butterfly gets eaten, etc., culminating in a fire-breathing plant.
- The Last Continent has Death preparing to go to the continent of 'XXXX' ("Four Ecks") and asks his library for a listing of dangerous animals... he get buried in an avalanche of books. Including one that's presumably part of a series- it's "Volume 29c, part iii". A request for non-dangerous wildlife produces a slip of paper, with the words "some of the sheep".
- In The Death Gate Cycle, the Labyrinth is a Death World created as a prison for a race of Magic Knights. It's also controlled by an Ax-Crazy Genius Loci that is consumed with hatred for its "inmates" and seeks to kill them by any means possible. The result is that not only is the Labyrinth peopled by a wide variety of violent, sadistic monsters with weird magical abilities, the plants, the waterways, and even the ground can turn lethal and a moments' notice. The only restriction is that the Labyrinth's magic requires it to give it's victims a fighting chance - everything it throws at you can, potentially, be beaten. So far as most Patryns (aforementioned imprisoned race) are concerned, as mercies go, this isn't one.
- Harry Harrison's Literature/Deathworld has an entire planet of plants and animals that are literally trying to kill (and in some cases, then eat) the people who colonized that planet. The reason for this constant level of attack is that all of the plants and animals are psychic, and reacted poorly when the original colonists started clear-cutting a space for their city. The plants and animals fought back, the colonists started killing them off in self-defense, and it escalated from there.
- Paragon is set in a a Heroic Fantasy world of muscular Barbarian Heroes, maidens wearing Chainmail Bikinis, and lush landscapes with lovely names like the Valley of Demons and the Beast's Lair, with giant griffons and other Hybrid Monsters galore.
- Atari's Middle Earth is an alien Lost World filled with feral beasts, bloodthirsty dinosaurs, giant apes, and strange monsters, all fighting each other while volcanoes erupt all around.
- Destroy the Godmodder invokes this trope occasionally. For example, when the Glitch turned the landscape and very ground itself into a massive roiling death trap.
- Dungeons & Dragons was all over this trope like chaotic evil jam on toast that hungers for your brains. The old Monster Manuals are full of seemingly innocuous objects that are actually monsters waiting to eat you. Examples include the Roper (a stalagmite that sprouts a mouth and tentacles), the Piercer (a stalactite that falls on you in an attempt to stab you), the Cloaker (looks like an old cloak but is actually a levitating manta-ray-like thing) along with its undead equivalent the Sheet Ghoul, the Mimic (can look like any innocuous object but canonically resembles a treasure chest), the Green Slime (a corrosive amoeboid mass that looks like typical dungeon muck), the Crystal Ooze (a corrosive amoeboid blob that lurks invisibly in pools of water), the Shrieker (a giant mushroom that screams when you approach it; it isn't trying to kill you but the curious monsters investigating the screaming might), the Bowler (sentient mobile boulder), the Galeb Duhr (sentient spellcasting boulder with legs), not to mention the three different monsters (Caryatid Column, Gargoyle, and Stone Golem) that can all be summed up as "stone statue that comes to life and tries to kill you." It's not uncommon for Properly Paranoid adventurer to take a sledgehammer to any objects big enough to be a threat.
- And let's not forget the Doomy Room Of Doom: the Lurker Above (looks like a cave ceiling), the Trapper (looks like a cave floor), the Stunjelly (looks like the wall), and the Gelatinous Cube (perfectly square transparent ooze, so the space inside the room can kill you!)
- And the Greater Mimic, which can imitate larger objects, like a room. The Lurker Above, Trapper, and Stunjelly in one.
- And the great and mighty House Hunter Mimic, which is a house that reproduces by budding, with its offspring being sheds, outhouses, and of course, Dread Gazeboes.
- Later editions seem to have moved away from this trope, but most of the old monsters have become icons of the game, and continue to be reprinted from one edition to the next. Furthermore, in Third Edition D&D, there are rules for animated objects as monsters, allowing for dungeon masters to easily turn anything within line-of-sight into something that will try to kill you. Furthermore, players noted housecats could easily kill a 1st level commoner in a single turn.
- Fourth Edition generally averts this with higher hit point totals overall and a relative lack of instant-kill effects, although one could come away from looking at all the stat blocks in the Monster Manuals with the impression that it's still true because the "fluff" sections often come up a bit short, suggesting that everything in there from angels to zombies immediately wants to kill the player characters upon meeting them. That's more a case of chicken-or-the-egg syndrome, though — the Monster Manuals are supposed to be primarily books of ready-made combat stats for when the DM needs those, how to handle peaceful interaction regardless of whether the creature you're talking to has the power to explode for extra damage upon dying is more the concern of the Player's Handbooks and Dungeon Master's Guides.
- The Spoony One tells of a D&D adventure in a world based on Alice in Wonderland - where everything and everyone tries to kill you almost instantly, from the Cheshire Cat to the Caterpillar. Hell, even the Dormouse is a 20th level ninja monk
- Many other planes of existence fit this as well. The Plane of Negative Energy drains your life force, and if it kills you there's no way to resurrect you because your body will crumble to dust, which then vanishes. The Plane of Positive Energy feels wonderful, until you discover that if your hit points (which constantly increase there) reaches double your normal maximum, you explode. Then there's the Plane of Elemental Fire, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Planes of Elemental Water, Earth, and Air are similar for the other elements, making it difficult to find a place you can just survive for a few minutes without life supporting magic in most Planes. The places where these six planes meet form Para- and Quasi-Elemental Planes, which typically combine the most lethal aspects of each of their parent Planes. Going into the Outer Planes (which more or less correspond to possible Afterlife destinations), there are entire dimensions filled with hideous monsters that want nothing more than to chew on your soul for all eternity (and there are no less than seven of these Planes), even more so than they want to kill the denizens of the other similar Planes. There's an entire plane of pure chaos, where only a strong mind can allow you to impose a small bubble of order around yourself to survive in. Even the relatively benign residents of some of the Planes may attack you if you have a different alignment, or if you violate some obscure rule of behavior that you have no way of knowing about.
- And let's not forget the Doomy Room Of Doom: the Lurker Above (looks like a cave ceiling), the Trapper (looks like a cave floor), the Stunjelly (looks like the wall), and the Gelatinous Cube (perfectly square transparent ooze, so the space inside the room can kill you!)
- Dark Sun is a strong contender for the most kill-happy of all D&D campaign ever published. Players are instructed to create a character tree of four characters who are assumed to know each other, because death is so expected in the settings. The game starts with your characters at level 3, instead of 1— simply living a life in this hellhole qualifies as adventuring. Few other campaign settings can net you the honor of being brutally murdered by psionic vermin.
- This is arguably the primary appeal of Paranoia, as much of the dark humor comes from the endlessly creative ways the players and the GM can kill the Troubleshooters. Between untested R&D weaponry, malfunctioning robots, traitors everywhere, and the ever-omnipresent maniacal Friend Computer, it's easier to count the things that aren't trying to kill you. If the clones are not risking death buying a can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage, the GM's a wuss.
- Warhammer 40,000, in a nutshell. While it doesn't show up too much in the tabletop mechanics, it's all over the place in the background fluff. Cosmic Horror Story is one thing, but it's hard to find a list of things that won't kill you in gruesome ways through no fault of your own. The plants, the housepets, the cattle, the ants, the police, the ground, the air, even your cellular phone or other household appliences, on a particularly bad day.
- In the faux-videogame webcomic Kid Radd, the eponymous hero sprite is damaged by apples and bazookas (and by touching Bogey). And he's damaged the same amount by each one. This is a major plot point.
- Parodied (of course) in Adventurers!. The party encounters an Inanimate Chair and somehow can't run away from it. Ardam gets attacked by a coffee cup. An encounter with evil pants is immediately followed by one with a demonic boombox. As Ardam says when facing down a killer coffin, "It really says something about our lives that this doesn't seem at all weird."
- Basic Instructions covered this trope in this comic.
- The title character of Princess Pi suffered this in her first comic released, "Princess Pi vs. Everything".
- The planet Alternia in Homestuck, where "everything is considered unsuspecting prey by everything else".
- As shown in the example illustration, Girl Genius has Castle Heterodyne. The Castle combines this trope with A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Comedic Sociopath. As the sign at the door says, "Trespassers will be Amusing." At its full power, its control extends to the whole of Mechanicsburg, and invaders are subject to this as soon as they trespass into the town. And that's not counting the massive horde of monstrous constructs and clanks it has stored in its bowels, all loyal to the Heterodyne family.
- In the webcomic Skin Horse, the Anasigma facility is practically the epitome of this trope: it has negative OSHA compliance. Jonah Yu finds that whenever he dies, he comes back to life at a point he'd previously 'saved' at. This results in a cavalier attitude in regards to the numerous, incredibly silly, contrived, and pointless deaths he subsequently experiences.
Jonah: This place has way too many ways to die.
- Kaeloo: This seems to be the case for the perpetually unlucky Stumpy. Lampshaded in one episode where he tries to put himself in danger, and all he does is throw a pebble. This starts off a chain reaction which results in him almost being crushed to death by a boulder.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Curse", as a result of Gumball temporarily running out of luck, everything in the vicinity tries to kill him.
- Do not read this footnote. It is a trap that will kill you.