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Game Over Man
"Oh, it's you again. You died so carelessly..."

The Game Over Man is the character many video games show to the player after getting killed. Often he's the Grim Reaper, or a laughing Big Bad. Sometimes, he offers a Have a Nice Death message.

The trope name is a play on a line from Aliens.

Not a Mega Man boss who attacks by giving you an instant Game Over. (That would suck.)


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Ganon in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (American version), complete with 8-bit Evil Laugh.
    GAME OVER
    RETURN OF GANON
  • Hulahooping oni in Ganbare Goemon.
    • Of whom, for some reason, you can actually control to some extent in the second Nintendo 64 game, Goemon's Great Adventure; the faster you shook your analog stick, the faster they would shake their moneymakers.
  • Borf, from Space Ace is an inversion, as he only appears when you lose a life.
  • If you get killed fighting one of the Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus, a close-up the Colossus' face shows up on the screen.
  • The Grim Reaper in Maximo: Ghosts to Glory if you don't have any death coins to pay him.
  • Skate or Die 2: "No way, dude!"
  • In Kya: Dark Lineage, Brazul appears with his evil laugh if Kya dies by losing all her health. Of course, he only does it in the action-levels, whereas if Kya loses all her health in the hub-town, she respawns.
  • The Sega CD game Wild Woody, besides the Game Over cutscenes where the universe blows up, had this in the game's ending, where Woody... WIIIIIILD WOODY... is putting back the last head. The last head says that he "shall not be defeated." Woody's response? "Sorry pal, but it's Game Over."
  • Just how awesome is Deadpool? How about so awesome that he's his OWN Game Over Man in his own video game?
    "Don't do that again, ok?"
    "Well, I was bored anyway."
    • Considering Deadpool technically can't die, it not only makes sense, but fans would probably shout in rage if he wasn't.

    Action Games 
  • The Director in The Ooze.
  • The Joker and/or Harley Quinn will show up with one of several taunts when you get taken out by mooks in Batman: Arkham Asylum. If you get killed as the Joker, though, either Aaron Cash or Batman himself mocks you.
    • Dying during a boss fight with one of the other members of the Rogues' Gallery leads to a similar taunt from one of them (like Scarecrow taunting you for dying during one of his Mind Screw segments, or Bane preparing to snap Batman's spine — complete with a symptomatic quote: "The bat is broken!").
    • In Batman: Arkham City, not all of the mooks follow the Joker, so the taunter will be whoever is in charge of the guys who just took you out. The Riddler will also appear, in all his smugness, when you die in one of his death traps or fail any of his challenges.
      "What's wrong? Has your primitive brain given up and accepted that I - The Riddler! - am better... than you?"
    • Oh boy, Batman: Arkham Origins continues the tradition by having the villains appropriate to their areas in the game or the gang who just defeated you taunt you when you die. And if you die in the Sionis Steel Mill too early in the game, you get The Joker, effectively spoiling the reveal of him being The Man Behind the Man.
  • Wayne's World for NES and Game Boy: "Denied!" says Wayne.
    • Or "not worthy!" in the SNES version.
  • In the 3DO adaptation of Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone (who reprised his role for the game) would actually taunt the player upon failure. Since the game was very difficult and not very well-designed, this tended to happen a lot.
    "Hey, Puke Skywalker! Use the force!"
  • In Under A Killing Moon, Tex Murphy will have a talk with the Great PI In The Sky (James Earl Jones) whenever he manages to kill himself.
  • In Avoid The Noid, a grinning noid.
  • The infamously bad Drake Of The 99 Dragons has the guardians that keep bringing Drake back to life. Every time you die, you're sent to their realm for them to mock you before sending you back to the stage. Seeing as getting sent there requires two loading screens (one to get there and one to go back), and the game's supremely bad quality will ensure that you die many, many times, this gets old really fast.

    Adventure Games 
  • The Grim Reaper in Shadowgate.
    • From the same developer, dying in Uninvited is accompanied with a close-up shot of a skull against a bloody background, or the vicious skull of Scarlett O'Hara, or the Big Bad, or the animals that kill you...
  • This nut in Total Distortion. Probably better-known than the entire rest of the game.
  • In Sierra's adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama books, the Game Over Man is none other than a sympathetic, full-motion video... Arthur C. Clarke. He can be seen here.
    Clarke: "Oops. I hope you aren't upset because we killed your alter ego, the replacement astronaut. We just wanted to remind you that there are some dangers inside Rama..."
  • In Double Switch, some of the Game Over sequences have Lyle the Handyman (played by R. Lee Ermey) take this role.
    "YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS JUST A GAME, DIDN'T YOU? WELL, IT'S OVER FOR YOU!"
  • From the same developers, Night Trap has either the leader of S.C.A.T. disconnecting you for either performing poorly or not pushing start, or one of the villains disconnecting your connection and sending you down a trash chute.
  • In Phantasmagoria 2, the Hecatomb will mock you.
    "Face it, Curtis: you're better off this way. And you thought it couldn't get any worse!"
  • In Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, Whittlin' Willy, the game's narrator, will show up to relate the circumstances of Freddy's untimely death.
  • The LAUGHING SKULL in Police Quest 1 VGA. 2 and 3 has Jim Walls berating you for your failure.
  • The Wumpus in the TI-99 port of Hunt The Wumpus.
  • In King's Quest VI, the gatekeeper to the Realm of the Dead. Unusual for this trope is that you actually get to visit that location, alive, late in the game.
  • In Space Quest III, the Two Guys From Andromeda.
  • The Egyptian-themed supervillain Sutekh looms large over the city when you see Nightshade's game over screen.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder! may show the person/thing that is responsible for your death in the death message. The creepiest one was removed from the game, but can be seen here.
  • King's Quest IV shows a pixelated image of Roberta Williams when you die. She's not mocking you or scathing, she simply looks like she's posing for a portrait.

    Beat 'Em Up 
  • Another infamous one is from Battletoads, where the Dark Queen has a wide variety of different taunts when you run out of continues. Seen here...
  • Mortus in Comix Zone.
  • What, the mob guy who shoots, shoots, and SHOOTS!!! at you in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs .
  • In Alien Vs Predator Capcom, if you die as a Cyborg, you get a scene of a Xenomorph looming in front of you. If the last player was a Predator, you see the bomb on their forearm counting down...
  • In Mortal Kombat 4, if you lose a match, you will see your character falling down a very long pit. If you don't continue, your character will hit the ground and be impaled by spikes at the bottom of the pit with blood puddles below them.

    Driving Games 
  • A laughing skull in a supposedly military vehicular combat game Return Fire.

    Fighting Games 
  • Relius Clover from BlazBlue. It's rare he shows up in a character's Story Mode, but when he does, your character is usually on a one-way trip to being tortured, mind raped, killed horribly, or some combination thereof. Just check out Noel, Tager, and Makoto.
    • Carl, Valkenhayn, and Platinum all have business with Relius in their Story mode's true path. In their cases, Hazama replaces Relius as the Game Over Man.
  • Lose to any of the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 bosses, and the opponent will appear on the continue screen. Heihachi and Jinpachi have an interaction in which Heihachi, being a backstabbing Heel-Face Revolving Door, drops Jinpachi down a trap door. True Ogre eats you, Jun looks down before walking away, and Unknown... she waits for the counter to count down, then reaches out and if it hits zero she... absorbs you? Because she's not exactly easy, you will see this screen a lot. If you do not lose to a boss, depending on your character choice, there will be various continue screens in which one of your selected characters attempts to convince the other to get up, giving up and walking away when the counter hits 0.
  • M. Bison takes this role in Street Fighter Alpha 3, where losing in the final round gets your character thrown into the Psycho Drive and used to destroy a city. If you're playing as M. Bison on the final stage, though, Ryu becomes your Game Over Man.
  • If you lose to Galactus in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and don't continue, you get Galactus' ending, where he devours both the Marvel and Capcom Earths.

    First Person Shooter 
  • The smiley face in Faceball2000
  • In Operation Body Count, during game over, a villain shouts "You lose!".
  • In Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, the Big Bad Mad Scientist Dr. Goldfire pops up with his trademark Evil Laugh on your character's "REBA" personal data assistant to taunt you about your failure when you lose all your lives.
  • Urban Chaos Riot Response usually played this straight — if you waited a few seconds after dying, the enemy who killed you would taunt you before finishing you off. However, if you had a partner nearby, you would sometimes have them instead (paramedics trying to stabilize you, fellow cops radioing in a man down, and so on).
  • In Isle Of The Dead, when you got a Game Over, you were treated to a short cinematic showing the circumstances of your death, followed by the Mad Scientist giving an Evil Laugh. Also, when you quit the game, you see a scene of the main character blowing his own head apart with his shotgun. (Followed by the same Mad Scientist laughing.)

    Flight Simulator 
  • Chuck Yeager himself appears in "Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer".

    Interactive Fiction 

    Light Gun Games 
  • One of the earliest NES examples is the dog from Duck Hunt.
  • On the game over screen of Area 51(the lightgun game), the player character morphs into an alien monster, becoming the Game Over Man himself.
  • In ''Mad Dog Mccree" and its sequel, The Creepy Undertaker serves this purpose.

    Platform Games 
  • In the Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games, Dr. Robotnik taunts you with missed Chaos Emeralds if you beat the game without acquiring all of them. (Losing all your lives simply gives you a standard Game Over message.)
    • Also, your player character is a continue man, waiting for your input so that he can run off the screen and continue the quest.
    • Sega Sonic The Hedgehog has a more standard use of the trope. Lose and you get a game over message... with Eggman in it, mocking you.
  • Bowser since Super Mario 64, not only when you got a Game Over but also when you lost a life.
  • The Toadies that take the defeated Yoshi to Bowser's castle in Yoshi's Story.
    • If the Toadies take Baby Mario away in Yoshi's Island, you get a short scene showing the group against a black backdrop before flying off-screen and the usual response to losing a life takes over.
  • Castlevania games have frequently had these since Symphony of the Night. Featured characters include Dracula, Death, Boschian artwork, Bloody Tears, a completely random dragon...
    "Game... Over... Mu-hahahahaha!"
  • Jafar in Aladdin (Virgin Games): "Give up, street rat!"
  • A mourning Rafiki in the SNES and Genesis versions of The Lion King, although the 8-bit versions have Scar instead.
  • The Queen in the SNES version of Alien³. Complete with a digitized "game over, man!" to boot.
  • In the Super Star Wars trilogy, there is Darth Vader (Super Star Wars), Yoda (Super Empire Strikes Back), and Emperor Palpatine (Super Return of the Jedi).
    • For Yoda, when you continue, he says, "Do or do not. There is no try." When you quit, he says, "That is why you fail."
    • Emperor Palpatine's expression stays immutable if you decide to quit or run out of continues, but when you continue, he scowls at you.
  • The prettified Gruntilda (and uglified Tooty) from Banjo-Kazooie serves as a Game Over Woman.
    • Ugly Grunty is heard cackling when you die regardless of whether or not it's a game over.
  • The Jak and Daxter series has sidekick Daxter say something snarky in the first and third games (though these are rare in the latter's case).
  • Kind of a subversion of this, the first time you die in Conkers Bad Fur Day, Death appears and taunts Conker various times, before explaining how the life system works in the game. After that, this cutscene is never seen again (unless you restart).
  • The Game Over in the original Strider arcade has a sound clip of Grandmaster Meio laughing.
  • Dr. Cortex plays this role in Crash Bandicoot 2 and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and again in 3 with Uka Uka.
    • It's actually a bit of a giveaway in 2, because Crash thinks that Cortex has reformed for a good part of the game. Obviously he hasn't (it even says something like "A gullible Crash is tricked into working for Cortex" when you hover over the PSN version of the game on PSP or PS3), but seeing him say "Game. Over. Bwahahahahahahaha!" before you've gotten very far in the game is a pretty major hint.
      • The opening cutscene should be an even bigger giveaway. The conversation between N. Gin and Cortex gives it away.
      • Another giveaway? The freaking subtitle of the game!
  • A Bug's Life: "You think this is a game? Well, guess what? You just LOST!" (This is a quote from the movie, by the way.)
  • The video game adaptation of Disney's Hercules features Hades smoking a cigar and blowing it into the camera, chuckling evilly at the player as the smoke forms the words "GAME OVER".
    • Before that, the game would also play the clip where Hades summons said cigar and utters the "Game. Set. Match." line
  • When you get Game Over in Putty and Super Putty, Dweezil the Cat in Looney Tunes style rings says, "Too bad!" while an off-key version of Shave and a Haircut plays. He does that during the first stage too - except he bursts through the background.
  • In LazyTown: The Video Game, the "evil dude" says "Give up yet?!"
    • Same applies for the other video games of LazyTown.
  • Ma Fratelli in The Goonies II for NES.

    Puzzle Games 
  • The Yellow Face from Minesweeper.
  • Irisu welcomes you with a heartful smile every time you get a game over.
  • In Wesleyan Tetris, the voice of Pvt. Hudson himself tolls your defeat.
  • If you fail to destroy the pigs' fortresses and kill all of the pigs inside in Angry Birds, then the surviving pigs will all smile and cackle and snort evilly when the Game Over screen appears.
  • In the comic strip "The Boss's Secret" in Jimmy T's stage in WarioWare Snapped, the player and a detective are having a conservation, and at the end, the player says that the detective got a message from "Cookie," and says, "Two words: Game Over," which makes the detective gulp.

    Rhythm Games 
  • beatmania IIDX 8th Style shows an alien DJ on the results screen if you fail a song.
  • In Elite Beat Agents if you fail a song, you get a short blurb that you ultimately failed the character you were trying to help, and his/her/their lives enter pure hell.

    Role Playing Games 
  • Many examples in the Shin Megami Tensei series:
    • Igor in Persona 3 and Persona 4. An odd example in that Igor not only isn't the Big Bad, but a valuable ally, and that his words in the Game Over screen are just him mourning the Main Character's death.
      • He also plays the Nonstandard Game Over Man in 4 if you miss a dungeon deadline, offering to send you back in time one week to have another go.
      • In Persona 2, Philemon laments that you'll die without ever unraveling the game's mystery.
    • The spirits of the previous Raidous in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army.
    • Shin Megami Tensei features a voice telling you to cross over the river back to the land where all souls originate. The sequel features a demon named Charon as your Game Over Man (or your continue man: you can pay him to revive you at the last terminal you saved at).
      • He returns in Shin Megami Tensei IV; the afterlife is so full of dead people that he's perfectly willing to sell continues so he won't be overworked. The player has the option to pay Play Coins alongside the usual Macca. If you choose to pay in Macca, but don't have enough of it, he'll revive you anyway, putting the bribe on a tab that will automatically be taken once you get enough Macca. If you die while still in debt, however, Charon will refuse to revive you and it will be Game Over for real.
  • In the Baldur's Gate series, a Holy Symbol of Bhaal fills in for the visage of the dead god.
  • The Grim Reaper in RuneScape, although only around Halloween.
  • Tengai Makyou Zero has short scenes that play out whenever your party is felled by a boss.
  • Shadow Keep superimposes a laughing cartoon demon over the interface when you die.
  • The Grim Reaper shows up if you die in AdventureQuest. Luckily, he's always over his quota for the day, and you just get dumped back in Battleon owing him yet another favor.
    • In WarpForce, the expansion to AdventureQuest set in space, Death is replaced with DEATH 2.0, who is a robot. Other than that, it's the same, except he sends you back to the LSS Alteon so that he "continue to marvel at your antics".
  • Musical version in Mass Effect 1, where mission failure is accompanied by Saren's theme.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Arena has two of these. Early in the game your Spirit Advisor Ria Silmane will mourn your death and wish you peace in the afterlife. Later on the Big Bad Jagar Tharn will gloat and taunt you.
  • The Dungeon Revealed shows you the illusion of a skull formed by tree branches in front of a cave.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • Andross in the Star Fox series.
    • Star Fox 64 gave the player a laughing Andross even on a game completion, unless you took the hard route and destroyed the monkey once and for all. Once and for all?!? You're kidding, right?
  • Super Aleste has a cute variant of this. You see the two main characters, in Super-Deformed form, poking at a burnt model of their own ship. Like the rest of the anime-style graphics and everything pertaining to the story, it was removed in non-Japanese releases.
  • Air Zonk/P.C. Denjin had the Big Bad do this... in the form of a song and dance number performed by him and his two underlings. The Japanese version even had lyrics mocking you.
  • Gradius starting with II: "You need more practice!" or "Come on, we're just getting started!"

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • When getting a Game Over in the Metal Gear series, the various Mission Control characters would call out "Snake... Snake! SNAAAAAAAKE!" before the continue screen. Also, in MGS 4, you'll sometimes see Screaming Mantis's puppet-strings attached to Snake's body, a reference that doesn't get explained until the last 1/5th of the game.
    • Super Smash Bros Brawl also shout out to Snake (including Slippy) if Snake is knocked off the edge during a conversation. Snake also spoofs it. If Luigi is battled and a conversation is brought up, Snake and Colonel will talk about Luigi, and then Colonel will start acting strangely. Snake replies with, "Colonel, snap out of it! Colonel! COOOOLONELLLLLLLLLLLL!"

    Survival Horror 
  • In Silent Hill 3, dying will sometimes result in a creepy cutscene during which a certain mysterious monster appears and drags your corpse away. Example.
  • In Alone In The Dark 2, Carnby's dead body is tossed off a cliff into the sea by one of the zombie pirates you fight throughout the game should you bite it.
    • And playing as the little kid, the scene cuts to Carnby being held by his hands on a ship's mast as soon as you get hit or caught at all.
  • And in Alone In The Dark 1992, if you lose, the minions in the house may decide to bring you to a certain altar... in front of a certain tree. A Fate Worse than Death, indeed.
    • Likewise in Alone In The Dark 3 where if you are killed by the ghost cowboys there's a scene of your body strung up upside down with the ghost gathered around you.
  • The Mad Hatter from the first Alice. 'RUNNING AWAY, ARE WE?
  • Freddy from the titular game Five Nights at Freddy's will personally come to get you should you run out of power.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Xizor in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
  • Lose an S4 League team match, and the other team will be shown on the screen, with its players free to taunt-spam you. Win, on the other hand, and your team plays this role to the opposing team instead.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ace Attorney, it's the judge declaring your client guilty.
  • Make a game-ending mistake in Hatoful Boyfriend and you'll be greeted by a near-perfect parody of the Shadowgate Game Over screen, complete with an avian Grim Reaper.

    MMORPGs 
  • In the original AdventureQuest, the Game Over Man is none other than Death. However, he lets you go free because Death is Chea- I mean, his quota is full.
    • In Dragon Fable, the second AE game (not counting Arch Knight), does not have this, instead only having a standard message telling you that you fell unconscious, and you wake up at the beginning of the Quest. Ironically enough, Death still can be found (and fought) in game, complete with a scary makeover.
    • The THIRD game, MechQuest, is the same as Dragon Fable, with no Grim Reaper at all.
    • Death FINALLY returned as of the most recent update to their MMORPG AdventureQuest Worlds. He was at first a minor, minor NPC who you could get baby dracoliches from, and the death screen merely would be a blue screen with a countdown to your Respawn. However, as of the update, the blue screen comes with an ad, and good ole Death grinning at you to advertise it.

    Other 
  • The Yeti/Abominable Snow Monster in SkiFree appears after a certain moment in a very quick speed and eats the player, then mocks their death by jumping up and down victoriously, signalling that the game is over.
  • In the earlier seasons of the live action TV show Knightmare, the dungeoneer's death would be met with the health meter's skull taking over the screen and crumbling down to nothing.
  • Genjuu Ryodan has a man who is presumably the king of Earthing lying on the ground, being stabbed at the back with a sword.
  • In Capcom's Pinball Magic, all of the mystic masters do this at the end of the game as you're leaving the theater, ending with Matra Manga laughing at you as the door closes.
  • In Katamari Damacy almost every game has the King Of All Cosmos silhouetted in darkness. The earlier games are a "Reason You Suck Speech" and are heavily guilt laden, while lightning flashes showing creepy images such as his skeleton, and his arms raised to the both sides in a somewhat eerie manner, and another which looks like a dog growing out of his shoulder. Later games his eyes are glowing bright red as he shoots lasers from his eyes or hurls asteroids to destroy you. (Which in turn is a somewhat fun endurance minigame to see how long you can avoid them)

Game OverOlder Than the NESGameplay Grading
Character Select ForcingVideo Game CharactersLady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game
Game OverVictory and DefeatGraceful Loser
Game OverVideo Game Difficulty TropesHave a Nice Death
Total DistortionImageSource/Video GamesTouhou

alternative title(s): Game Over Return Of Ganon
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