In video games, it is common to have Everything Trying to Kill You. Some games try to vary the experience of dying over and over again by giving the player various mocking death messages, which can be One Liners or run through many screens.
Though the death message could just be randomly selected from a generic list, it often specifically relates to what killed you, thus overlapping with Non-Standard Game Over.
However, having a game do this creates a perverse incentive for the player to die in every way possible at least once to see the ending message.
Common subjects for these messages to talk about include:
So does Maziacs on ZX Spectrum. The game has a set of about six death messages for each cause of death; here are just a few:
On a diet? (Ran out of energy.)
A pity you can't eat Maziacs. (Killed by one of the titular monsters.)
Maziacs have to eat as well. (Ditto.)
Game overs in the Fear Effect series were accompanied by gruesome cutscenes, sometimes annoyingly long. Being overrun and eaten by a swarm of rats, getting shot in the head, accidentally killing your partner, getting a dose of nerve gas, and many others are disturbingly well documented on Youtube.
Also, if Wolf Link falls into quicksand, Midna hops off his back, and watches him sink, looking at him as if thinking "Should I or should I not help him?" while Link slowly sinks.
In Brutal Legend it is possible to get Eddy to say something as he dies in a normal mission ("Hey, wanna make out before we hit the water?"). However, the good ones come from the RTS missions (ex: "What were they thinking? Didn't they see the giant fists?") and the 'protect the bus' missions (Ex: listening over your radio as Magnus gets burned alive or "All your friends were on that bus weren't they?") which have entire cutscenes for them.
Trevor: "Your evil power can't beat me!" Somehow he manages not to narm this.
Later in the second battle: "So, this is the best the Devil Forgemaster can do?" Thanks, Trevor. Thanks.
Isaac, second battle: "Atone in death, you damned traitor!"
Dracula himself, of course: "You die at my hands. You should be honored." Followed by classic evil laughter.
If his second form stomps you, expect LOTS of evil laughter, which is almost more rage inducing than an actual sentence.
The FMV filled version of Demolition Man actually features original footage of Sly Stallone, who comes on whenever you lose and critiques your performance. He ends by actually saying "You Suck".
Batman Vengeance had a quick one liner, based on which stage and which type of enemy you lost against.
"Death is not a substitute for justice" is what you get if you don't rescue the Joker when he jumps off the blimp.
Age Of Conan's game over menu features such taunts as "Cimmerians should not die so easily" and "The maidens question your virility".
Batman Arkham Asylum features these, ranging from amusing (just about anything from Joker and Harley Quinn), to a Continuity Nod (Bane's) to terrifying (Scarecrow and Killer Croc). And since you get around two different scenes for each villain, you may actually want to die on purpose multiple times just to see them all.
When the player dies in the Joker Challenges, you get one from either Aaron Cash or Batman himself.
These continue in Batman Arkham City. As in the previous game, a different villain taunts you depending on where you die. And, as in the previous game, it's all pretty fun and climactic.
Star Wars: Rebel Assault does this a lot, eg: "Guess the rookie wasn't so sharp after all" (if you die on the last training mission). "And so, the Alliance was defeated" (if you fail the final stage of the first game). "I got the Rebel dirtbag here". Notable in that there are unique animations for each stage if you lose all of your lives.
Robot Unicorn Attack gives you different messages depending on how you died. Smash into a wall? "Your dreams did not come true." Crash into a star? "You became a star." Fall off the screen? "Your dreams were dashed against the rocks below."
Fear Effect. Both games feature failure cutscenes where your character gets killed off in one form or another, followed by a Game Over screen.
Both Return Fire games had a skull laughing at you in the (frequent) event of your death.
The Conan platform game on the Apple 2 had the unusual (in that genre) feature of displaying a completely different game over screen - with variable graphics and text - based on what particular hazard caused your final death. For example, dying on a field of spikes in the second screen would give "Mission Terminated" with an exaggerated picture of the same spikes; falling into lava gave "You beat a heated retreat"; and dying via killer ants gave "Death at thy feet, life from above.."
Several Jeff Minter games display (very brief) messages on death describing what killed the player. The release version of Iridis Alpha would display "OVERLOAD", "DEPLETED.", "ENTROPY.." or "HIT SOMMAT" on the life loss screen, and Tempest 2000 would display "Caught you!", "Shot you!", or "Fried you!" at the moment of life loss. His later Tempest variants, Tempest 3000 and Space Giraffe, dropped this feature in favor of using differing sound effects to indicate what killed the player, but as this was not obvious many players complaining about not knowing what had killed them in those games.
Sierra's adventure games also deserve a special mention for having some of the fastest ways to end your game for good in gaming history: For example, it's very possible to end Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards in less than half a second by walking onto a street and getting run over by a car almost immediately afterwards. Of course, this leads to a particularly Non-Standard Game Over, that shows Larry's body lowered into an underground facility to be cloned for the player's next try (with cameos from several other Sierra games).
Not to mention what happens if you don't pay for the taxi. Or run out of money. Or get into the taxi while holding alcohol. Or try to flush the toilet. Or don't use a condom with the hooker. Or forget to zip up after leaving the hooker.
There's also a Gay Option in one game. Larry's not dead, but it's still Game Over.
Spoofed in The Secret Of Monkey Island. If you walk too near a cliff edge, Guybrush falls, you get a cheesy pop-up window that looks straight out of the Sierra's "Quest" series, and then Guybrush bounces back up, where he offers two words of explanation: "Rubber tree!"
Sierra has a Shout Out to this in the puzzle game Castle of Dr. Brain. One of the hallways has a rubber tree with the description "These can be very useful should you fall off a high cliff. They are much less useful inside a castle." (It's a game in which you can't be killed, incidentally.)
Another spoof, this time in Monkey Island 2 Le Chucks Revenge, has Guybrush telling the story to Elaine in which he fails to escape an acid trap in time and dies. This prompts her response, "Horse hockey. You honestly expect me to believe you were disintegrated in acid." The plot goes back to before the event.
Prince Of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame: Lose to Jaffar in the final level, and he'll laugh at your loss.
Bastion gave the narrator a large variety of different lines he could use upon your death, and one which he used if you fell off the first stage (which doesn't actually kill you in that game - it causes an instant respawn - but the player might not know that at the time). He would say, "The kid falls to his death.. [respawn] ..just kidding."
In Spider And Web, for most of the game the player character is trapped in a Virtual Reality machine, narrating their (already complete) infiltration of an enemy base to an unknown interrogator. If the player's actions result in death, the character is pulled out of the simulation, and the interrogator deadpans "And then you died."
In Police Quest, if you "drop gun" or "give gun", the message says "A police officer without a weapon is like being up a creek without a paddle!". Ironically, you don't actually need your gun except during two scenes, and you can safely leave it in your locker or in the jail locker for the rest of the game.
One early game death is the moat in Kings Quest I. If you walk too quickly or don't stay close enough to the castle, you can easily fall into the moat, and get told "The moat monsters appreciate your good taste."
On Sierra's Gabriel Knight: The Sins of the Fathers, if Gabe is killed, you are shown a skull while Gabriel's voice tells you, "I really don't want to be dead. Can we try that again?". Tim Curry's delivery as the voice of Gabriel makes the scene.
You can die in Quest For Glory I by sticking your lockpick a bit too far up your nose, which only occurs if you try to "pick nose" with a very low lockpicking skill. Genius. Twisted genius. Buy that writer twelve thousand beers. (Beer is fine, just don't drink the Dragon's Breath, or you will also die by bursting into flames.)
Quest For Glory V took this to the next level by providing poems mocking the player's death. There was a surprising variety of poems, each for a different type of death.
Getting yourself killed in Zork: Grand Inquisitor gives you a text screen similar to the original Zork games; a text command similar to what you just did to get yourself killed appears, followed by a text description of the result. Among the more colorful ways to die in the game are playing a losing "Old Scratch" lotto scratch ticket (the ticket is haunted and the devil steals your soul), falling down a bottomless pit (you meet another hapless person falling endlessly, start a family, and die of old age), and all manner of combinations involving the settings on a Totemizer and a dimensional portal at the end (in one, you're effectively turned into a hubcap and are discarded on the side of the Jersey Turnpike).
The best was after losing a game of "Strip Fire-Water-Grue" while time traveling, you become one of the characters you meet at the beginning of the game. Ah, paradox...
Its parody form on Uncyclopedia will give you Game Over screens involving everything up to and including Mario imitations. Of course, the entire point of the Uncyclopedia version is to kill you as often as possible...
Of particular note is the Totemizer setting for "Mars". The area you are taken to is made up of real pictures of the Martian landscape. You then die of due to the lack of oxygen on Mars.
Nearly all the totemizer destinations are fatal in their own way. You can also send yourself into the vacuum of space, or to New Jersey, where you die by living out a relatively mundane and uninteresting life. You also get different death messages depending on whether or not you turned off the device that permanently seals the totems. The only other nonfatal approach to the puzzle is to send yourself, unsealed, "Straight to Hell," which is another location in the game, complete with a handy subway platform.
Similarly, Buried in Time: The Journeyman Project Part 2 would switch over to a block of text explaining your various demises. During the endgame, if Gage does not set some teleport co-ordinates correctly, he will be sent into the lap of some visiting aliens who were waiting for their first experience with carry-out from an Earth restaurant. They enjoy the "crunchy on the outside, chewy in the inside" texture of Gage inside his timesuit.
The first Journeyman Project game had each different death depicted with a rather graphic picture and a text box describing the death, sometimes mocking the player. Some particularly gruesome examples: getting run over by the maintenance transport on Mars, dying from prolonged exposure to radiation in the Sauna of Death Shield Generator Room, or getting crushed by the ore processor. Many of these were "learn by dying" situations, and unavoidable the first time through.
Not all of these are deaths, though. For example, in Chichen-Itza, if the player chooses to walk down the steps towards the natives, the game cuts to the "Game Over" screen, describing how you showing up in a big metal suit has caused them to assume you're a god and build a statue in your honor, thus having a major effect on history.
In the game adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, any of the myriad ways to die would produce a game over screen with the question "Start again (y/n)?" Answering positively would yield "From the same point (y/n)?" Agreeing to this would lead to the game starting again from the exact same time you died. Game over. The correct course of action was of course to reject starting again from the same point and acknowledging that you wanted to start again "from not quite the same point".
The game over screen was accompanied by mocking voiceovers from Eric Idle. "You're dead, and I'm alive!" (It's only a matter of time before that becomes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.)
Dying to a Guitar Warrior in Total Distortion, gives you what's been described as the "Best Game Over Ever": DEATH BY GUITAR WARRIOR! Sing along with me!: "You are Dead! Dead! Deeead!". Different death messages are used for burning to death, being trapped by the Deadly Video, or simply running out of health (which is generally more common); these have much simpler and more abstract animations, but use the same song.
When you die in Shadow Of Destiny you are given what is intended as a hint before you replay the level, but in practice said hints tend to be either mocking you or terribly unhelpful. Examples include, "It looks like there's someone hiding behind a tree, and that someone is out to get you. How do you suppose you can prevent that?" "Did you really think a rotten rope would hold your weight?" and after returning to the present day and being immediately killed, "I don't think returning to the present is the way to solve this problem."
Of course there's a pretty good chance that the person making said comments is probably Homunculus. And considering his general disposition said comments are rather fitting.
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy computer game will kill you in many, many ways you never considered and gives you personalized messages for each one. One particular death (being hit with a brick while protesting against the bulldozer) forced the player to read a multi-sectioned text on their death, having to type to read the next section. Typing quit to start over would not quit, it would rather be interpreted as typing something to continue. And to add insult to injury, the game would scold you for it - "You keep out of this, you're dead." This was annoying especially because it was one of the easiest ways to die early in the game.
Die in the Tex Murphy game Under A Killing Moon, and you get a conversation with "The Great P.I. in the Sky," (i.e. God, played by James Earl Jones), who gives you advice. He also lets you return to just before the moment of death to try again, implying that Tex is so important to history that God is willing go give him a second chance.
In Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Game Over screens will usually be accompanied by a text explaining Dr. Jones' death and/or what happened after. A paraphrased example: "The Nazi forces conquered the world due to Indy's inability to defeat a 70 year-old sea captain."
Any game by Horrorsoft (now Adventuresoft): Elvira 1 or 2, or Waxworks (ESPECIALLY Waxworks). Getting killed by any enemy or trap will show you the very gruesome results of your failure. Most of them not very pretty.
The little-known Sega CD point and click adaptation of Jurassic Park cleverly featured a black screen with only the sounds of the player character's demise, usually at the claws and teeth of the various dinosaurs found around the island. For mere audio, it could get quite gory indeed.
When you in Return To Zork, the screen fades to black, someone (Morpheus) laughs at you, and you get a screen at a temple with the glass window showing a picture of your death and a short message at the bottom of the screen. There is also a music piece that plays in the temple screen that is different for each death.
Some of the deaths are quick and doesn't make a laugh, an example is deaths from explosions.
Kings Quest VII involves the main character's talking head next to the message "You Have Expired. Do you want to try again?" The character usually summarizes what she (meaning you) should have done. Stuff like taking too long causes your character to say she should have been more decisive, and doing an action that kills you causes the character to say "Maybe I shouldn't do that next time..." Of course, doing something insanely stupid (walking into an open grave and so forth) makes the character say something alone the lines of "What was I thinking?!?"
All too common with Nancy Drew games. Usually she either had a "Whoops don't do that!" message or a telephone conversation with someone saying she got fired or sent home. The more recent ones give a Good News, Bad News message. One example, after falling out of a tree:
The Good News: No one saw you fall out of the tree.
In a few of them, it ends with Nancy's pathetic come-take-me-home message to Hannah. One version of this has Nancy mix up words as she speaks, having lost the game by suffering a concussion.
Conquests Of The Longbow, a Sierra game based on Robin Hood, had the twist of showing the Merry Men discussing the manner of Robin's death, usually including a hint on how to avoid repeating the same mistake.
Shadowgate. Each death was accompanied with a lovingly detailed description of your end (some of which could get quite gruesome, like being impaled on glass or dissolving in acid.) And this was during the early Nintendo era, when most of the audience of this game were little kids! The creepy music and Grim Reaper face that accompanied every death only added to the Nightmare Fuel.
Uninvited was similar, only with a blood-red skull and/or a horrifying close-up of whatever was killing you to accompany the decription of your horrible death.
Dynamite Cop has all of the mooks and boss mocking you while you're lying on the floor, most often calling you a loser or a poor baby. If you have any continues left, when you hit start you jump up and sucker punch the nearest foe.
The arcade version of The Combatribes barks "You coward! Get out! Game Over" if you choose not to continue.
Street Fighter II started the tradition of fighting games displaying a different line on the Continue/Game Over screen depending on the character that defeated you.
Collectible Card Games
In the Yu Gi Oh Nightmare Troubadour, Game Over could only happen if you lost a Shadow Game, with a quote from the person who defeated you appearing. One that is really grating...
Ha ha... I knew you couldn't do it.
If you drive into the ocean in Midtown Madness 2, you get messages like "Sleeping with the fishes" and "More tea, vicar?".
The console released of the Crazy Taxi series have minigames where you need to fulfill certain objectives. In these minigames, failing an objective yields a message from the announcer. Survive, but fail? "Uh-oh, too bad!" Fall into the water? "No time to take a bath!" Fall hundreds of meters to your doom? "Hey! Where ya goin'?"
Whilst not exactly a 'death', failing a licence test in Gran Turismo 4 awards you with a large white FAIL on the screen, and the song "Oh Yeah" by Yello, possibly the last song on Earth you'd represent with failure.
In Vette, crashing out (either by too much damage or a high-speed collision) gives you a nice picture of your smashed car. Driving into water results in it being fished out by a tow truck. If you lose a race, your opponent mocks you, such as "I thought you said you were fast".
Getting a bad ending in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift will send you to Kokonoe's lab, where she gives your character sarcastic advice on how to achieve the good ending. Since most of the bad endings feature your character dying, this tends to lead to Mood Whiplash.
The Big Bad Duumvirate's hobby seems to be causing this. If you lose a match to Hazama in Arcade, you have to fight him again. If you win, it turns out you still lose. Run into Relius in Story Mode? 75% chance he'll be the cause of the Bad Ending.
In the demo of Duke Nukem Forever, dying by falling off of a cliff produces this message while the game reloads to your last save point: "If you died from falling of a high ledge, it's probably your own fault."
Also, in Half-Life 2, if you get a game over by losing a vehicle or key ally, you will get a fade-to-black followed by a mission report from the G-Man, saying something like: 'Subject: Freeman. Mission terminated. Reason: Failure to conserve vital resources.' In the Episodes, you instead get a prophecy of doom from the Vortigaunts, after they wrest control of you from the G-Man.
Further, in the Opposing Force expansion of the first game, you get an opportunity to jump into Freeman's portal to Xen. If you do, the game will end, accusing you trying to rewrite history - "Evaluation terminated: Subject attempted to create a Temporal Paradox.".
Bungie's old game Pathways Into Darkness gives you a different dialog box for everything that can kill you. Those Banshees are really annoying, aren't they?
Quake had a different death message for being killed by each monster. It also featured a colourful list of messages for suicides, environmental deaths, and the multiplayer kill messages are loaded with double entendres.
Complete list of environmental deaths, suicides and multiplayer messages (taken from the game's data files):
"Weenie sleeps with the fishes" and "Weenie sucks it down" (drowning)
"Weenie gulped a load of slime" and "Weenie cannot exist on slime alone" (fell in a slime pit)
"Weenie burst into flames", "Weenie turned into hot slag" and "Weenie visits the Volcano God" (fell into lava)
"Weenie discharges into the water" (fired the lightning gun underwater)
"Weenie tries to put the pin back in" (grenade misfire)
"Weenie becomes bored with life" and "Weenie checks if his weapon is loaded" (suicide)
"Fraggod was telefragged by Weenie" or "Weenie tried to enter Fraggods personal space" (Tele Frag)
"Weenie feels Satan's power" (attempted telefrag, "victim" had Pentagram of Protection)
"Weenie was ax-murdered by Fraggod" (axe)
"Weenie chewed on Fraggod's boomstick" (shotgun)
"Weenie ate 2 loads of Fraggod's buckshot" (super shotgun)
"Weenie was nailed by Fraggod" (nailgun)
"Weenie was punctured by Fraggod" (super nailgun)
"Weenie eats Fraggod's pineapple" and "Weenie was gibbed by Fraggod's grenade" (grenade launcher)
The only interesting monster death message is "Player joins the Zombies" (killed by a zombie). The rest are pretty matter-of-fact.
Unreal Tournament had a different kill message for each weapon, and, being a multiplayer game, you would often see messages like "<Rival> rode <Player>'s rocket into oblivion." The sequels expanded these kill messages into even more colorful ones, rarely related to what weapon got used such as, "<Rival> was cornered by <Player> in a foggy London alley." In fact, one of the major selling points of the game was that it recorded an insane amount of data on player kills, and always told you what they were.
The Call of Duty series' death screens display randomly selected quotes about war. In later games, it shows helpful advice on how to avoid what you've just died from (if you died from something easily avoidable, such as a grenade or highly combustible and exploding car), or statistics such as the price of a single missile or fighter jet in Modern Warfare. The multiplayer matches have a "Killcam" showing a replay from the first person of the one who killed you.
The tactical FPS Operation Flashpoint has this. When you're killed, the camera pans back and forth between your lifeless corpse and whoever killed you, while the game matter-of-factly states "You are dead." in bold red text, accompanied by quotes from authors, Cold War-era politicians, and even Pink Floyd lyrics.
In single player, that is. When you die in multiplayer matches, you become a spectator in the form of a seagull, and can fly around observing the action.
Rise of the Triad. Although not cruel to the player on the actual game over screen beyond showing severed, burning feet, the track title for the song that occurs upon a game over is aptly titled, "You suck".
Some deaths in the game result in an Orbital Shot before the character spontaneously gibs, may show the player burn, and in some suicides, causes the "Yooouuuuu Suuuuck!" announcement.
Team Fortress 2 has a simple format for reporting kills: <user name in respective color> <method of death> <enemy name>, where the method of death is a little pictogram of what killed you (a baseball bat, rocket, flamethrower, etc.). When you are killed via a backstab or a headshot, it shows a little silhouette with either a knife plunging into its back or a bullet exiting its head from the other side, respectively.
About the only time a snarky remark is made is when you die from fall damage (<user> fell to a clumsy, painful death) or when you switch class outside of your base, which kills you (<user> bid farewell, cruel world!).
The game's killcam shows you who it was that ended your pathetic run- and if it so happens that your body or body parts are in view of the killcam, the game cheerfully points them out with arrows and signs... "Your leg!", "Your head!", "Your liver!" "Your other foot!"
After being killed by the same player three times, they start spouting "domination phrases", which vary based on the class they are, and the class they killed. For example, when a Scout dominates a Heavy, one of the phrases he spouts is "Nice hustle, Tons o' Fun! Next time eat a salad!"
Additionally, there are server mods to display kill notifications in the style of Unreal Tournament and Quake (from which Team Fortress descended); Player X backstabbing Player Z will display as "Player Z took a knife up the ass from Player X!"
An accidental example exists in Counter-Strike. When you are killed, a message shows in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen saying, "<killer><icon of weapon used to kill><victim>." The flashbang does approximate one hit-point of damage (or less), and if you are killed by one, the icon in the message is reasonably larger than any other weapon icon, as if it was to mock the victim. Truthfully, because the flashbang was never meant to actually kill anyone, the people who made the game never actually made a smaller icon for the kill messages.
Descent: "Ship Destroyed, X Hostages Lost!" "You died in the mine. Your ship and its contents were incinerated", if you die or run out of time after destroying the Reactor Boss.
Faceball 2000 for the Game Boy was a proto-First-Person Shooter, in which all the enemies (and other players) were some variety of smiley face. When you were taken out, the offending party would appear on screen, and it would say "(One who killed you) says, 'Have a nice day!'" This could maddening, but the Super Nintendo version of the same game made it worse by giving them synthesized voices (all of which simply said "Have a nice day!" in different pitches). In later levels, this could include being hunted by a pack of enemies and hearing "Have a nice day!" repeated every 15-30 seconds, depending on how long it took for them to hone in on the next spawn point.
Tribes 2 had a message for every weapon kill. Most notably, a disk kill would give "<Killer> served <victim> a blue plate special." In Tribes: Ascend, that became the official name for a mid-air disk kill.
Between you and us, that thing that just killed you is a total dick. Please disregard this message if you committed suicide.
Of course, Dummied Out dialogue may occasionally have Hansome Jack mocking you for your failure before stripping you of your funds. And even if you are bankrupt still lets you be revived so he can watch you suffer.
All of the enemies will mock you after you die before you respawn.
Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer had a unique scene if you crash your plane. You get to see the face of Chuck Yeager giving a snarky comment.
Pilotwings had various mocking comments by the trainers if you failed an event, such as "That's a parachute, not scuba gear" (parachute into water). "SPLAT!" (freefall without a parachute) "Be careful, the equipment is expensive" (crash the Rocketbelt).
Combat Flight Simulator matter-of-factly states,"We regret to inform you that you have been killed in action. Your next of kin will be notified."
One of the oldest examples: Lunar Lander had several randomly chosen death messages. "You destroyed an 800 megabuck lander", "You created a two mile crater", "There were no survivors", etc.
In early Sierra game Stunt Flyer, crashing your plane in game would actually cause your computer to crash.
An unusual strategy game example: If you lose in Master Of Orion 2, the game informs you: "Your power is gone, fleet destroyed, armies scattered, cities crushed, people enslaved... your insolence has cost you your empire!" And then it laughs at you.
Galactic Civilizations 2 has distinct game over messages for military, influence, retirement and technology losses, plus a special one◊ for anyone who blasts their own empire into shrapnel with a Terror Star.
Light Gun Games
Silent Scope: "Don't die partner! Oh no! What are you doing? Stand up! Stand up!"
American Laser Games had a tonne of these. If you were shot, or killed an innocent bystander, you would typically be treated to a brief cutscene in which a particular character taunted you for your lousy gameplay:
Mad Dog Mccree: An undertaker who would comment on your actions and remind you how many lives you had left. When you ran out of lives, he would seal up your coffin.
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold: An undertaker in a graveyard, with a small range of macabre quips. Run out of lives, and "you're history, partner."
Who Shot Johnny Rock?: If you were shot, a doctor, who'd make various wisecracks at your expense whilst removing the bullet. When you were out of money, the doctor would refuse to help, and you'd get an additional scene with an undertaker wishing you better luck next time. If you gunned down an innocent bystander, said undertaker would appear to criticise your bad judgement.
The Last Bounty Hunter: A disgruntled doctor or a wise-cracking gravedigger.
The Light Gun GameArea 51 has a Game Over screen where, should you refuse to continue after you die, your character turns into an alien and jumps toward the screen. Oddly enough, you get this after you beat the game.
The World Of Warcraft add-on "Cartographer" has the option to turn on insulting messages directing you to your corpse.
Blizzard themselves have given us Zaricotl, an elite carrion bird in Badlands. Whenever it kills a player, it will eat their remains and calm down. Congratulations, your death has just made the area a bit safer for other players! Adding assault to injury, Zaricotl is ludicrously overpowered for the zone in which he is, and also he patrols, which means that he likes to gank unsuspecting newbies, a lot. He's a rare spawn, so generally if you deliberately try to hunt him down you won't find him. He will be there to eat your newbie character, though.
Dungeon bosses also yell if they manage to kill a player in the group, usually commenting on how the player is weak and they're getting bored.
By far the most entertaining example of this is Kologarn in the Ulduar raid, who also has a tendency to throw out Monty Python quotes.
Since Cataclysm, the dragon Deathwing has roamed free, randomly incinerating entire sections of the game world. Getting caught in this awards an achievement.
The airborne clash with Ley-Guardian Eregos gives us this awesomely sarcastic remark should a player be killed:
Ley-Guardian Eregos: "It's a long way down..."
In RuneScape, the default death message is "Oh dear, you're dead!" When you drink a potion from a Romeo and Juliet parody quest, you get "Oh dear, you're...still alive somehow?" In a certain safe duel, you get "Oh dear, you are nearly dead!"
During Halloween, Death would appear and escort you to the respawn point with various messages.
Some bosses has their own taunts.
Yk'Lagor the Thunderous: ANOTHER KILL FOR THE THUNDEROUS!
Fitting to the theme of the game, in City of Heroes the strongest bosses will often spout a one-liner upon defeating a player, that can range from badass to hilarious.
Countess Crey: And remember! This beating has been brought to you by Crey Industries!
DOS game Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion shows you a different animation for each of the 8 ways you can die (Werewolf, zombie, slashed to death...)
One screen compounds an already-deadly fall with a giant airplane straight out of Mario Paint flying onto the screen to hit you, complete with a little 8-bit song.
In the Tourian System, you can get attacked by a Metroid. If you do, you turn to dust instead of gibbing, and you don't get the usual game over music, at all.
The Lost Vikings will bemoan the level's difficulty and berate the player for dying too many times in one level. If you die too many times, Thor himself will show up and tell you that you suck.
In the sequel, this will be combined with Easy Mode Mockery if you manage to die in the first level. The goddess who resurrects you when you lose a Viking will mock you for dying on the first flippin' level and grant you some new powers to help you along the way. Of course, the objective of the first level is "cross a small valley between two hills" and the valley is so shallow that it requires a collaboration between Eric and Olaf to even achieve a single point of falling damage, so it's more like an Easter Egg than anything else.
The DOS game Xargon 3: Xargon's Fury has a room in the final castle with a "Prepare to die!" banner hanging from the ceiling; upon entering the room, you immediately plummet into instant-death blades. The door to this room is in a row of 5 identical doors (3 of which eventually lead to required switches or items, & the other leads to a room full of bonus points), making memorization the name of the game in this part of the level.
Jak and Daxter manages to do this and make you hate snarky sidekick Daxter all at the same time. When Jak dies, Daxter climbs atop his body and looks into his eyes, only to make some sarcastic remark at Jak's expense. Must be great for Jak to have the last thing he sees be his alleged best friend making light of his death.
And then, when it's removed in Jak II, you actually miss it. Of course, Jak X gives you a lovingly detailed image of your car's burning wreckage sliding around a racetrack, so mocking your failure lives on.
It makes a return in Jak 3, but only if Jak dies in the exact same manner as in the first game (which is rare for some reason). Given the series' tone up to that point, it's somewhat fitting that Daxter's comments are somewhat more insulting this time around (though still funny).
The boss with the best monologues happens to be, without a doubt, Grolla, because, of course, she's just that badass.
Grolla: ...Pathetic. Grolla: Is that all you've got?
Crash Bandicoot 1996 had a limited set of animations for when you died. Crash Bandicoot 2 Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped on the other hand had loads of unique situational deaths, depending on the level, and what enemy killed you. It varied from simply being crushed flat, or falling down a hole, to dying at the kiss of a frog who immediately turned back in to a prince, or being hit with a hammer while underground, and having a tombstone appear above where you were. One in particular in Crash 2 involved being shrunk down to the point of non-existence, but this was so slow, you could inflict another death on Crash and get a miniature version of the death animation.
Crash Tag Team Racing has a Gotta Catch Them All collection of Die-o-Ramas, which are "humorous" cutscenes where Crash is killed in a variety of different-yet-similar ways.
Riding the cute little polar bear into the ice results in a frozen Crash with the bear on top. "Arf, arf".
In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, one can get hit by a giant wielding a club. Crash will hit the camera and slide down it.
Jumper 2 has unlockable features, one of which "taunt mode." If you turn this option on the game will display a snarky insult, accompanied by an audible groan, every time you die. Also, regardless of whether you're being actively mocked, the game keeps track of how many times - and in what ways - you died. Beating this Nintendo Hard game likely means dying hundreds of times, and striving for One 100% Completion may involve dying thousands of times.
Conkers Bad Fur Day has an extended cutscene upon the player's first death explaining the extra life system and introducing Greg, the Grim Reaper.
In Battletoads, Professor T. Bird will make fun of you or say something mocking or condescending every time you continue, and if you get a game over, the Dark Queen will mock you and, in one instance, eat you.
If you lose all of you lives in Stinkoman 20 X 6, the Game Over screen will actually show a badly beaten-up Stinkoman saying "My stummy hurts..." This is changed to 1UP if you die on the level where you play as him, and if you die on the level where you're trying to keep 1UP safe until you can get your power crunch back from him, you get both of them, and the message, "Our stummies hurt..."
Also, if you make it to the end of the Battlerock or Dreadnought purple coin missions without all the purple coins, the Gearmo at the end will mock you for not trying hard enough and you'll end up losing a life.
A funny thing in Battlerock's purple coin mission is that if you get absolutely ZERO purple coins, the Gearmo will refer to herself as "this old iron lady", suggesting they're made of iron.
iOS's Temple Run has numerous. "Trees hurt" (run into a tree), "Smells like toast" (fire) or simply "Mind the gap" (jump a little short and hit the front of the next platform) are examples of it.
It's even better than that. Every death is accompanied by a picture of the protagonist's fate, and some of the messages vary depending on which character you were playing as.
In Distorted Travesty, all of the Game Over messages will relentlessly mock you for losing. 'Have you ever thought about winning?' with another being 'Remember that time you lost? Oh that's now'. Harsh.
Playing on Easy mode will also make it throw in some Easy Mode Mockery from time to time: 'You could always lower the difficulty... oh wait, no you can't.'
Home Improvement on the SNES. It doesn't matter how Tim loses a life, the screen goes black and a sketch plays where he stands in place, dazed, while his sons try to snap him out of it. Even if Tim falls down a pit.
Dying in Quantum Conundrum yields a message telling you things that the player character will now never experience, all of which can be found here here.
Occasionally, on player 1 running out of lives in Razing Storm: "Who gave you permission to take a hit, Alpha 1?!"
Real Time Strategy
The first three Command And Conquer games (Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Tiberian Sun) had around 20-30 short videos per side. Some of them applied to the mission, such as blowing up a bridge (video shows a convoy driving over it as it explodes) while some are more/less generic, such as the scorpion being killed by an Eagle, or an APC barging into a base, knocking over the enemy flag, then soldiers jump out and raise theirs.
One of the most chilling examples in Red Alert (which shows up whenever you get Tanya killed on a commando mission and thus fail the mission) is a simple shot of a cross gravestone marked with her name, then a slow pullback to reveal it's part of one of those giant WW 1-style cementeries.
Several Soviet missions have their own version with your own gravestone and some type of Russian funeral dirge.
The somewhat obscure RTS Dark Colony had also a different cut-scene for mission accomplished and mission failed.
The expansion pack of Age of Empires, Rise of Rome, includes texts about the consequences of your defeat in campaign scenarios. These often include requests by the superiors full of Bond One Liners, such as "report to Catapult Unit XIV where you'll get another chance to have an impact on the Carthaginians".
"RIP Bob, killed by elementary physics" is the tombstone you get when you throw a dagger, sword, boulder, etc. directly upwards.
And you can also be "killed by elementary chemistry" if you dip a water potion into an acid potion instead of vice-versa. Remember your chemistry lessons, kids - "do like you oughta, add acid to water".
There's always a "Do you want your possessions identified?" prompt, with the implication of "...so you can see what, exactly, you had that would have saved you? (y/n/STFU)"
Ancient Domains Of Mystery: "[player character] died from choking on his own vomit" (i.e. suffered a fatal fever attack whilst paralyzed). How rockstar.
More fun with ADOM: if you're too heavily burdened, you can break your neck falling down stairs. Kicking any stairway can make the dungeon collapse on you. If you're carrying too much weight when your Strength of Atlas spell wears off, you'll be squashed by your own inventory. Entering a dark space if you're doomed can get you eaten by a grue. Step on an altar at the wrong moment, and you become an inadvertent live sacrifice. Try for a special ending with the wrong equipment, and the denizens of the ChAoS plane will rip you to shreds. And those are just some of the more obscure ways to die.
Dungeons of Dredmor, a satire of Rogue Like games, takes great delight in your death ("Congratulations! You Have Died.") The main character is Genre Savvy enough to know he probably won't last long as well.
In the Xbox game The Bard's Tale, the narrator (voiced by Tony Jay) took delight in the untimely passing of the protagonist character, often making snide remarks on the ineptitude of the Bard or how he 'loves a happy ending.'
Betrayal At Krondor, sort of. There are book-style text screens for every major and minor occurrence, and each different way to die yields different descriptions - whether you were killed by a trap, defeated by enemies, fell into a pit, tried to light a torch in a mine heavy with naptha fumes, starved in the Sleeping Glades, or annoyed the half-dead gods of Timiranya by repeatedly trying to walk into a restricted area.
In the online Flash RPG, Adventure Quest, sometimes you go to Death, who will return you for reasons other than having a filled quota. Your death also varies based on your armor equiped.
Dying in the action/adventure game Nox leads to a stylized picture of your death and the Big Bad mocking you.
If you die in Dungeon Siege, the game will display random messages like "X would probably love to be resurrected", or "X bought the farmhouse".
The Tales Series usually has the line "And they were never heard from again..." or some variation appear (And sometimes be ) before the game presents you with the option to reload a save, continue, or quit. The bosses also sometimes throw in some last words (Usually insulting) before the game over screen appears.
The PS2 remake of Tales Of Destiny actually replaces the usual quote with dialogue from the boss who just killed you, generally in the case of human bosses.
In Tales Of The Abyss, you'll get a skit at the game over screen telling you what you should do the next time you try to fight the boss that killed you.
Tales Of Vesperia usually has the standard Tales game over message, but the deviation comes from the person who was the last to die in your party who will be the one voicing the line. A special case is the last battle - if you die during the battle, it's the last boss who voices the line.
Bioware's Jade Empire usually gives you a helpful tip after the following message: "You have died." At some point, the game runs out of tips, and just says "You have died." in the tip box.
Fallout 1 and 2 talks of your demise over your dead corpse as the narrator speaks of your impending doom and how the village and humanity is doomed. Fallout 3 is not as bad but still shows how your character dies before respawning moments before your demise.
Some of these could get especially humorous or harsh depending on the cause of it. One particularly memorable phrase: "Boy are you dumb. And dead."
Wasteland is well known for having colorful descriptions of deaths in combat, though those apply for enemies too. These include "exploding like a blood sausage" and "reduced into an undertaker's nightmare".
Secret of Mana: "Sadly, no trace of them was ever found." It's always the same game over message, but it's still rather depressing.
Lose any fight against Lavos in Chrono Trigger (except during the Ocean Palace), and you get to see said monster burrowing out of the earth and unleashing the End Of The World. "But the future refused to change."
Chrono Cross manages to top this by erasing Serge from existence entirely every time you game over.
In the MOTHER series, losing a battle sends your character to The Nothing After Death, under a spotlight (The Earthbound version is particularly eerie). The narrator then asks if you want to try again (In Mother and Earthbound, he's very optimistic, but in Mother 3, he just says "Retry?"). Saying yes in Mother 3 has your character stand up and do a pose.
Planescape: Torment: Since the Nameless One can't die for good, his death leads to Morte being sarcastic about the circumstances. "Great... another trip to the Mortuary."
Devil Survivor: The Laplace Mail, an email which predicts the future does this. It tells the main character and his companions how either they or anyone they are aquainted to will die, whether it is by man or demon. Even better, it may tell you about some kind of super powerful boss demon who may be the death of you and millions of innocent people. Whatever the case, the email will always end with a pleasant "Have a nice day."
Many of the pop'n music characters' fail animations fall under this trope. Nyami (in Pop'n Music 16) sulks over a ruined party, Cup-kun tips over, Timer sulks in the rain while his Cheerful ChildCosplay Otaku Girl sister Minit's comforts him, etc.
With a skull in the background if you fail Pandemonium and "ROUND FAILED ^2" if you failed Vertex^2 (the hardest songs in the first and second game, respectively).
DJ Max: "You need more practice! Never give it up!"
DJMAX Technika 2: "YOU FAILED. GAME OVER."
In the Dance Dance Revolution series, if you fail a song, one thing the announcer will say is "You got burned!" Others include "You need more practice for sure.", "That's not what I wanted to see...", and "Dancing? That was dancing?!
He'll also continuously insult (or compliment, if you're doing well) you during the course of the song.
QWOP, which lies somewhere between rhythm and sports games, tells you off the bat that "it's not about winning or losing", and the so-called "try again" screen is done like a certificate of attendance.
In beatmania IIDX 19 Lincle and 20 tricoro, if you fail a Dan course, your "Q-pro" avatar is shown crying on the evaluation screen.
Shoot 'Em Up
DOS-era shooter Traffic Department 2192. Standard death shows your character's dossier being updated (Status: Active to Status: Deceased). Episode 1, Mission 17 requires you to defend Traffic Department headquarters from enemy hoverskids while they try to get their shields back online. Since it's the only(?) mission you can fail despite not dying, it gets a short dialogue between your enemy and his superior, to the effect of, "It appears you do have everything under control after all. Well done."
You can fail a few of the escort missions too, some of which lead to a game over, whereas others allow you to continue but with a black mark against your record (that has no actual effect on the game). In one of the missions where you have to protect a medical convoy, if they all get destroyed a scene is shown where your character comes back and claims she doesn't care that they've been destroyed only to be informed that they were vital, and then the game forces you to restart the level.
Not actually deaths (unless you lose to Medicine), but Touhou has this in two games:
Imperishable Night has a "game clock" where reaching 6 AM would result in Game Over. (Running out of lives gives you the option to continue, adding half an hour to the clock, two lives to your stock, and an inability to reach the Perfect Run Final Boss.) Running out of time gives you the standard Bad Ending, with the heroines going home in disgrace, vowing to do better next time.
Phantasmagoria of Flower View features lines from your opponent if you run out of lives against them (you get the option to continue after they mock you). This can be anywhere from Reimu telling you to stop causing trouble to Komachi (mistakenly) lamenting your suicidal tendencies.
Operation Wolf: "You have sustained a lethal injury. Sorry, but you are finished...here." The alternate game over: "Since you have no ammunition left, you must join the hostages." Strangely enough, you still had to wait until you ran out of life before that happened (during which time you'd get one bullet back every few seconds).
Gradius, with the exception of Gradius V - if you die and run out of all your Vic Vipers, the voice messages give you some cheery insults such as "Come on! We're just getting started!" If you do not continue, the strangely cheerful Game Over music plays.
If you complete 7 stages before getting a Game Over, the annoucer goes "What the hell?"
In Gradius Gaiden, the announcer's death comments get more disparaging the further you go. From the standard "Try again" in earlier stages, to more insulting ones such as "Poor boy!", "It is cold in space," "Get Out of here, forget about it!", to a straight-up Evil Laugh.
The infamous "Game Over - Why don't you try hard?" screen from Cave shmup Donpachi.
Even if you clear both loops and beat the game, you'll still get the same Game Over screen after the ending. What, that wasn't trying hard enough?
The demo version of the cosmic Sim game Afterlife initiates the following message after a certain amount of time elapses: "The Powers That Be have decided that you've been playing this demo for too long! To dissuade any further abuse of their charity, they're unleashing the unstoppable FOUR SURFERS OF THE APOCALYPSO◊, who will destroy everything you've built. Have a nice day." — At this point the skeletal surfers of the apocalypse ride through both heaven and hell on surfboards and waves of lava until both map quadrants are completely reduced to molten lava.
This also happened in the full game if you failed thoroughly enough, and was preceeded by a lengthy message from your angelic and demonic advisors informing you of your failure.
"...I'd say it's been nice working with you, but that would be lying. Then again, demons always lie, so may I say what a pleasure..."
The original War Hawk (for the original PlayStation) featured some rather descriptive (and very long-winded) accounts of your death, depending on what mission you happen to die on. These ranged from dying slowly in the burning wreckage of your craft to actually indirectly taking down the Big Bad by causing him to laugh so hard at your failure that he chokes to death.
Trauma Center: "The Medical Board will be notified. Operation Failed."
In New Blood: "Your skills were not up to the task. Operation Failed." In operations where you're up against Stigma or GUILT, this makes more sense than being subject to disciplinary action just because you didn't know how to deal with a biological weapon that neither you nor your superiors have much knowledge about.
The Sims can get snarky when all the sims on a lot die. One reminds the players that The Sims is a life simulator, not a death simulator.
The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games have them; if you skate into water or through the Invisible Wall; they include "no swimming/water... baaaad!/you're hosed!" for the former and "don't do drugs!/stay in school!" for the latter (complete with making your character bail from American Wasteland onward.), along with many others.
"Snake! Peace Walker has launched the nuke! It's all over."
"Duh nuhnuhnuh nuh nuh, DUN DUN DUN!" (If you repeatedly do really badly in Peace Walker, a random member of the main cast (Snake, Miller, Paz, Amanda, Chico, Huey, CÚcile or Strangelove) will sing along with the Game Over music. Some are better singers than others.)
In the game Haunting Ground (Capcom) for the Playstation 2, you took the the role of an 18 year old girl named Fiona. She explored a big castle wearing almost no clothes, with only a dog to help her out of the nightmare. You had to run away from 5 pursuers through out the game, each wanting Fiona's body for his or her own needs. The first was a mentally challenged giant that thought she were a doll, and would crush her spine in a bearhug if he caught her. The next was an android woman that wanted to harvest Fiona's, uh... lower female part to become "complete" and would either impale her on a large piece of glass or cut her to death with it. The third was a man who wanted to use her so he could be reborn and would either shoot, strangle, or beat her to death. The fourth was a creepy old man who would suck the life right out of her if she was caught. The fifth used killer magic attacks as his method of execution. The key thing about these deaths is that you'd hear them doing their respective action to Fiona after she died. The first would tear her apart (complete with spilling blood sound effects), the second would extract her uterus, the third would rape her (even though she's dead!), the fourth would suck out her life, and the fifth would also extract her life. Again, yes, you heard each one of these things happen as the game screen turned red and presented the game over card.
In Resident Evil 5, dying during the Public Assembly fight would give you a brief first-person perspective of the Majini hacking Chris and Sheva's bodies apart.
Robinsons Requiem gives you a rather scary death screen whenever you die of Violent Traumatism or just about anything.
The various Wrong Ends of Corpse Party usually involve your currently controlled character meeting some gruesome end, with the game thoughtfully providing the last thoughts going through their head along with a detailed description of just how they're dying. For instance, one of the Wrong Ends found in the first chapter of Corpse Party: Blood Covered has Naomi forced by ghostly children to slash open her mouth and throat from the inside with a pair of scissors. Or there's also the Chapter 2 Wrong End where Yoshiki is slowly Buried Alive. It's... rather unsettling.
The Dead Space games have long drawn out death animations for whenever an enemy grabs Isaac and the quicktime event fails. Most of them involve slicing and/or smashing Isaac into chunks. Some of the animations can last almost up to a minute.
The seminal Zarch! (Virus on the Amiga), a notoriously difficult game, can actually award the player negative scores. If you die while your score is still negative, you might end up unfavorably compared to a slug or a dried up piece of lichen.
Metroid: Other M has Adam Malkovich shout worriedly at Samus as her suit disappears and she collapses to the ground. When the plot made it so Adam wasn't available, this was removed.
"Samus! What's going on?! Respond! RESPOOOND-!"
Monday Night Combat announcer Mickey Cantor will frequently quip about players being gunned down by robots during the game. Since the players are clones who respawn when they're killed, this happens often. If you get killed by the weakest robots, his words get particularly humiliating.
"Ooh, an Ice Man is cloaked and smoked thanks to a Gremlin."
"And a Hot Shot gets a pine condo courtesy of a Black Jack bot: sleeps one, no stairs."
"The Bouncers wrap up another package, this time with a Hot Shots team member for the bow."
"Oh, there's a surprise. A Slim bot frags an Ice Man. I don't know why, but that sounds disgusting."
S 4 League: "You were dominated by [player]! What a shame!"
The Worms series, starting from the second game, has a number of various Bond One-Liner style death messages for the individual worms, like "Worm 1 couldn't swim", "Worm 2 has slipped off the hook", or "Worm 3 was of no use anyway"; Worms 2 also includes special messages when the whole team gets wiped out.
Both Tsukihime and Visual Novel/Fate/stay night have a cheerful hint corner that you can view after meeting a bad end. "Teach Me Ciel-Sensei" in Tsukihime, with Ciel and Neko-Arc giving advice, and in Visual Novel/Fate/stay night the "Tiger Dojo" with Tiga and Illya giving the advice. They're actually helpful in telling you how you screwed up, but the comedic nature of them can create Mood Whiplash (which the Tiger Dojo, oddly, actually warns about).
Monster Girl Quest not only shows you what the opponent is going to do to you afterwards, you also have the option of asking Ilias for an evaluation afterwards. She soon starts accusing you of losing on purpose.
BAD END "School Festival Chao Lingshen Arc" Ermine End No.16 After that, he spent 6 months as an ermine and never returned to Mahora Gakuen again... Think about where you made the wrong choice. Was it alright to hold a strategy meeting at Eva's resort during the night of day two? Was it alright for you to enter the Mahora Martial Arts Tournament so carelessly? Was saving Chao and accepting her time machine the right thing to do in the first place? Return to the previous save point and try again. You should be able to discover the clues to advancing!
The monster cards in the Munchkin card game describe "Bad Stuff" that happens if you fail to defeat them or escape from them, which in the case of many higher level monsters means death. Perhaps the most memorable "Bad Stuff" is for Squidzilla: "You are grabbed, slimed, crushed, and gobbled. You are dead, dead, dead. Any questions?"
Nothing beats getting killed by Great Cthulhu. "Not only do you die, but everyone who isn't you goes up a level just to mock you. And your new character is a cultist."
In Munchkin Bites, the level 20 monster is a Thesaurus (mainly because vampire roleplayers' pretentiousness and liking of big words is the Running Joke of the game). Naturally, its Bad Stuff is a Hurricane of Euphemisms for you being dead.
The Plasmid from Star Munchkin "burns you to a small, crispy, dead flake. Then it steps on you. Then it laughs.".
The Itsy Bitsy Spider "gives you an itsy bitsy bite, and you DIE."
If you had been paying attention to Pinkie's tail 20 screens ago you would have seen this coming. Oh well. Thank you for playing Pony Quest I. We are very sorry that you are not smart enough to beat our game. Now go read a book or something.
The Choose Your Own Adventure! books involved you picking different actions for the main character. Many times it ended up in a pithy little blurb about the character's death. (The most annoying thing, of course, was when BOTH actions led to death.)
Game Show example: Wipeout commentators John Anderson and John Henson remark on every time a contestant wipes out, usually with some kind of a pun connected to either the obstacle that the contestant wiped out on, or the occupation or some personality quirk of the contestant. Oftentimes both. Sometimes, Jill Wagner joins in as well.
The Teselecta's Antibodies from Doctor Who have an array of these, all delivered in a robotic monotone.
Antibody: Welcome. You are unauthorized. Your death will now be implemented. You will experience a tingling sensation and then death. Remain calm while your life is extracted. Please cooperate in your officially sanctioned termination. It is normal to experience fear during your incineration.
Mafia involves players being murdered by "mafia" during the "nighttime" phase of the game. Usually the narrator comes up with creative ways to describe each player's death.
One of the big attractions of Tracy Hickman's "Killer Breakfast" events at GenCon, for many attendees, has been seeing all the hilariously-stupid ways he kills off their own and other characters, always accompanied by a snarky one-liner. Also inverted, as new players who replace those killed must come up with a smart-alecky justification for their PCs' own arrival in order to not be bumped off just as amusingly.