Oh, no! Someone just died! The life drains out of him, his Winged Soul Flies Off at Death
, his body falls to the floor... and is replaced with a gravestone?
This trope is where a death creates a gravestone on the spot; that is, the very fact of death creates a gravestone. No-one builds it, and there is no time lapse. Usually, no explanation is given besides Rule of Funny
and/or Gameplay and Story Segregation
. Or it happens in the type of game with Acceptable Breaks from Reality
. Often involves Grave Humour
, but not always.
Purposes behind the use of the trope vary. Sometimes it's just Rule of Funny
/ Have a Nice Death
. Sometimes the gravestone is used to indicate to players that somebody died. Sometimes it serves a gameplay purpose, like containing loot. It is often used for similar light-hearted symbolism as the aforementioned Winged Soul Flies Off at Death
This is not where a gravestone is used symbolically, such as if a "game over" screen is a gravestone, or a gravestone indicates a dead character in the interface. The gravestone must appear in the world.
- In RuneScape, Instant Gravestones (usually) protect your items when you die. Bigger and fancier ones can be purchased which hold your items for longer.
- In Realm of the Mad God, all players get Instant Gravestones; stronger characters get bigger, more impressive gravestones. Due to the game's use of Final Death, players will often pay respects to a particularly strong character.
- The Oregon Trail contains this, including player-defined inscriptions. People tend to try to invoke Grave Humor with Bottom Of The Barrel Jokes, as future players can read the gravestones.
- All of The Sims games use this, specifically it will be an urn if it's indoors and a tombstone outdoors, and it will change if the player moves the grave marker. If a sim's grave is on a lot, that sim's ghost may show up at night.
- Worms games have dead worms blowing themselves up with a dynamite plunger and instantly being replaced with a gravestone.
- Dying in Terraria will spawn a tombstone stating your cause of death. You can then dig it up if you like.
- The Multiplayer game Glitch has this. When you die a gravestone appears on the spot. Other players can visit the gravestone to mourn or celebrate. The stone disappears after you respawn.
- The RPG Crossfire does this. Gravestones can even be collected by someone.
- In the Warrior Cats fan-made game Warrior Cats: Untold Tales, killing a cat will make a tombstone appear.
- In the Kid Icarus: Uprising Multiplayer, when a player dies, a tombstone will appear where they died. If it gets hit enough, it will explode, hurting everyone within range.
- The 1976 Exidy Arcade Game Death Race may be the Ur Example. Running over people turned them into grave markers that couldn't be driven over.
- In Warcraft III, units with the Reincarnation ability leave a large cross/ankh-shaped marker on death. Played With, as the unit comes back to life a few seconds later.
- In Maniac Mansion, whenever one of your characters dies, a gravestone appears on the front garden of the mansion.
- In the Chinese version of World of Warcraft, tombstones appear instead of skeletons when a player character dies.
- In Red Dead Redemption, you can watch a Show Within a Show where a salesman sells some concoction to an old man, causing him to dig his own grave, complete with headstone.
- Later Grand Theft Auto games (third game onwards) have a variation. Bodies will eventually fade away and be replaced by a chalk outline (irrespective of whether the police have arrived at the scene or not).
- In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair's multiplayer, dying creates a tombstone which spawns a skeleton.
- In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, being killed by a sledge hammer produces a grave stone with Crash's face on it.
- When a player's character dies in MapleStory a tombstone appears.
- The human enemies in Secret Agent. The higher-ranking enemies turn into lower-ranking enemies until you kill the lowest, weakest form, at which point they become a gravestone (which can be picked up or just destroyed for points.)
- A gravestone appears along with a Have a Nice Death message every time you die in Tomb Racer.
- There's a gag in the Looney Tunes short "Baseball Bugs" where a player tries to catch a fly ball ("I got it! I got it!"), gets plowed into the ground by it, and a gravestone pops up where he stops (reading: "He got it").
- In the Betty Boop short Betty Boop, M.D., a wheelchair-bound elderly man takes a swig of Betty's patent medicine Jippo, dances around seemingly rejuvenated, but then lies down in the road and pulls the asphalt over his head, as a scat-singing tombstone pops up. The man's arm then pokes out of the grave to plant a flower on it.
- In an old Raid commercial, some bugs crawling on the floor turned into tombstones when the anthromorphic Raid sprayed them. See here.
- In the anime Monster Rancher, whenever monsters die they instantly turn into a Lost Disk — a stone disk gripped in a dead shrub.
- One of the Tex Avery MGM Cartoons, Little Tinker, features this after an elderly rabbit, in a fit of mad lust for B.O. Skunk's Frank Sinatra impression, jumps out of her wheelchair, does cartwheels, jumps into the air and lands in the ground. A tombstone then appears that reads "Oh Frankie!".
- There's a trend in many Garry's Mod videos featuring the Team Fortress 2 cast, where when someone is fatally injured they'll announce their own death out loud and become a tombstone, sometimes even just blurting out "Dead.". Other times it will simply be the Heavy's voice saying "Dead.", as if it was a sound effect.