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It's a Wonderful Failure
Fail and watch as two worlds fall to Galactus!

"One by one the funding nations sign pacts with aliens promising technology, prosperity and peace... Surviving generation suffer terrible mutations as they flee alien destruction. They are rounded up into slave camps in order to help transform earth into an alien colony which is part of some unknown empire. The knowledge gained through the X-COM project is lost forever. You have failed to save the earth."

Most game developers are comfortable with just giving players a generic Game Over screen to inform them that they lost. However, some particularly cruel game developers aren't satisfied with just telling them how badly they lost — they have to show that the player failed through an alternate Downer Ending in which players are forced to endure the terrible fate that awaits the characters they were supposed to be helping. They didn't just get a Game Over where they can reload and everything's fine - they FAILED. They failed and now they will live just long enough to see the Big Bad claim victory and to see the END OF THEIR CIVILIZATION. This has the effect of getting players so upset that they are inclined to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and retry the game.

If done right, it will end up being very, very depressing, especially for younger gamers, and thus a very strong incentive to not die. It may however become very annoying when the game is hard and requires the player to try and fail over and over.

This is often a Nonstandard Game Over, though a few games use this trope in the standard failure. Compare Have a Nice Death, Shoot the Shaggy Dog and The Bad Guy Wins. Not to be confused with Fission Mailed, which is non-sarcastically wonderful. This is for game overs, for just dying see The Many Deaths of You. See also Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, a situation where the hero failed to do his heroism the right way.

This is a death trope. Expect lots of marked and unmarked spoilers ahead.

May or may not be related to It's a Wonderful Plot.

This trope is being confused with Have a Nice Death. It only is an example if you are being shown the consequences of losing. If, when you get a Game Over, you see the villain taunting you, it is not an example. If you see the Damsel in Distress despairing at the fact that she will not get rescued, it is an example.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Conquest Of The Crystal Palace had the main hero hanging from a rope while the river flooded until he drowns while his faithful companion, Zap, barks for him.
  • Dark Earth had three different Game Over endings:
    • The first one, if you died in the first half of the game, just quickly hinted that it gets worse after your death.
    • However, if you died in the second half of the game, you were fully shown the horrible fate of your city...
    • Which was nothing compared to the terrifying and creepy ending (in a campy GWAR-ish kind of way) you would get if you were to let the darkness take over you...
  • If you fail The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, you get to see the moon fall and destroy everyone.
  • Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (not the Game Boy one, but a custom quest for Zelda Classic, a recreation of the original The Legend of Zelda game with an editor program for making your own games) has a scene where Dr. Wily steers a massive asteroid into the Earth, destroying it. This is shown from the viewpoint of people on Earth witnessing this seconds before it happens. One of the ways to trigger this scene is by simply walking into Wily's Tower without having all the Triforce pieces collected.
  • Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow and its sequel, Dawn of Sorrow, had the bad endings where Soma becomes the new dark lord, and Julius comes into the throne room promising to "fulfill [his] promise". Dawn takes this a step further; the bad ending is the backdrop for the game's playable Julius mode.
  • In the arcade version of Rainbow Islands, if the True Final Boss hits Bub/Bob with one of his bubbles, he ends up Floating in a Bubble (an orange one, in fact) heading off above the screen, instantly transformed into a bubble dragon. If the player was on the last life and this criteria is met instead of touch-dying as usual, instead of the game over screen being blank, it shows the character float all the way up into and get locked into his rightful place in The Alcatraz with eleven other victims in small individual jail cells in eternal tragedy as a green bubble dragon.
    • The odd thing is, even if the 2nd player loses this way, the character is still revealed to be a green bubble dragon. And in other games, Bob (the 2nd player's character) turns into a blue bubble dragon.
  • The bad ending of It Came From The Desert: The mutant ants swarm off to take over the planet, and the H-bomb goes off. Radio operator asks: "Is anybody there? Anybody at all?" (This is a Shout-Out either to The Day After, or the radio version of The War of the Worlds.) Followed by text "THE END?" and credits.
  • In Otto Matic, when you die, you get a video of the humans that you try to rescue from the evil Brain Aliens throughout the game being converted into even more Aliens to serve the Big Bad.
  • In Demon's Crest, you can go off the rails and fight the final boss early. See Nice Job Breaking It, Hero for the startling Bad End this triggers.
  • In Hello Kitty Roller Rescue, failing to stop the giant robot in the final mission results in a Downer Ending where Block-O succeeds and the Earth and all of its inhabitants are turned into a cube.
  • In Metroid: Other M, if you fail to reach Anthony with the Grapple Beam in time as he gets attacked by a powerful creature, you get to see him get pushed into the lava pit in slow motion.
  • Batman Dark Tomorrow gives you a bad ending for beating the final boss! At the end of the game, you fight Ra's Al Ghul and — after the fight — Ra's detonates bombs and floods the planet. Batman then collapses to his knees and yells "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" To get the game's proper ending, you must disarm Ra's Al Ghul's signal device before going to the final boss, which the game does not tell you or hint to you.
    • If you fail to defeat Ra's, Batman is stabbed and lives to see Ra's detonate the bombs before he dies.
    • If you disarm the signal device and then lose to Ra's, Batman is stabbed and Ra's tells Batman that the device will be repaired in 18 hours, thus Batman again dies knowing that he failed.
  • In Pandora's Tower, Elena, the hero Aeron's girlfriend, has been placed under a terrible curse that slowly transforms her into a monster. This curse can only be staved off by feeding her meat from the monsters in the dungeon. Put off feeding her for too long and let her humanity gauge completely empty (and even then, the screen will pulse violently for a few minutes before the end happens, so you still have a little time) and Aeron will be transported back home, where Elena has completely transformed and eats him. If that wasn't bad enough, it then goes into a bad ending where Elena leads an army of monsters across the land, and if that wasn't enough, a line at the end implies that Aeron is still alive inside of her!

    Action Game 
  • Warhawk (1995) had a variety of different failure messages depending on what stage you die on, including the heroes getting burned alive in their destroyed cockpit, a rather unpleasantly detailed description of their canopy getting crushed in the deep sea, and the big bad dying from choking on a chicken bone while laughing at your defeat.
  • In God of War 2, during the Atropos fight, she goes back in time to destroy the sword-bridge Kratos used during the last phase of the fight in the first game. If she succeeds, Ares kills Kratos in the past, and the present-day Kratos seizes up and collapses slain in the present.
  • If you die in the Flash game series Drakojan Skies, the games give you this message: "MISSION FAILED. The failure of this mission resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Drakojans. Many more could have been prevented."
  • In Star Wars: Rebel Assault, if you die on the final mission, the Death Star blows up Yavin IV. "And the Alliance was defeated".
  • Brutal Legend has several, ranging from Mangus screaming to Eddie as the bus explodes, to Drowned Ophelia drowning Eddie in the Black Tears. The best, though, comes from Doviculous in the final battle, only made better by the fact that he is played by Tim Curry: Eddie, defeated, falls to the ground before Doviculous. The POV switches to Eddie's. Doviculous declares "You have your mother's eyes. And so will I... on a necklace, I think..." right before reaching forward to tear Eddie's eyes out.
  • The Sega Genesis game Red Zone features a cutscene and description of a Planetary/Total Extinction apocalypse, which is made even more cruel considering the difficulty.
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! on NES more or less rubs failure in your face. When the player runs out of lives, the screen goes black and instead of a "Continue?" option with Yes or No choices, the tomato in the title card's eyes appear staring at the player, but then a bunch of tomatoes are thrown at the screen, which spell out "Try again tomato face!" (get the feeling the game is laughing at you?). There is no way to gain extra lives or continues, so if you fail a second time? "Try again tomato face!" Fail a third time? Dr. Gangrene launches the Doomsday Tomato into the sky which then splatters ketchup all over the town. Any doubts about the game laughing at your failure are put to rest as the words "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA" rise up from the bottom of the screen!
  • In the arcade game Elevator Action II (Elevator Action Returns in Japan), running out of time near the end of the final mission will cause the terrorists to launch the missile, followed by a picture of an erupting mushroom cloud. Then it goes to the computer screen, with the message saying "YOUR MISSION IS OVER".

    Adventure Game 
  • In the 1992 Adventure game Waxworks, there's the game over screen you get if you fail to avoid the police (who believe you to be Jack the Ripper, who happens to be your evil twin) in a Stealth-Based Mission. And it's only one of many horrifying examples. And out of all of them, it's probably the least disturbing.
    • There's also a wonderfully detailed description of your death if you forget to use the gas mask in the mines.
  • Infocom's Sorcerer (the second part of the text adventure Enchanter trilogy) has an example of this in the endgame. If you exorcise the demonic Big Bad from your mentor, but neglect to protect yourself from possession, the demon will not only take over your body, but show you a vision of the future. He shows you a world where the demon, in your body, has taken over the world and parents offer their children as sacrifices to him. And, worst of all, it is you who embodies the demon, your image that adorns the temples and sacrificial altars, and your visage that is associated with so much misery and death.
    • While Sorceror best shows it by giving you a preview of the future, all three games of the Enchanter trilogy had similar "Menace to Society" failure states. Enchanter had a mid-game puzzle that could be failed so badly a powerful demon was unleashed who teamed up with the Big Bad and made him completely unstoppable. In the endgame of Spellbreaker, similarly failing to stop the villain from ascending to godhood - or stopping him by destroying the entire universe - earned you the honor of seeing all you ever cared for eradicated in an instant.
  • Dying or reaching 0 mental stability in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy gives you a Film Noir voiceover of the current viewpoint character saying how they died or why they gave up and what happened afterwards, ranging from leaving town due to being unable to get over one's claustrophobia, accidentally committing suicide (alcohol and pills don't mix), being viciously murdered by inmates at a facility for the criminally insane, and many many other things. Most of these end with the viewpoint character moodily reminiscing on how they'd never find out what happened that night, or how the world thinks them a murderer.
    • At one point, the developers even subvert it: it looks like Lukas has been once again cornered by the police and we are treated to the standard Game Over message... but then he enters Tranquil Fury mode and proceeds to escape in a manner most awesome. Also, the bad ending (out of three) is an Apocalyptic Log.
    • One of the worst is if you don't choose to save the little boy and walk into the cop from the restaurant even after the main character says who he is. His speech has changed a bit, though it ends on the same note.
      Well, that's where my story ends, because by the stupidest of chances, I happen to run into the cop from the restaurant while he was making his rounds in the park. It was one chance in a million, and I bought the winning ticket. I'll spend the rest of my days rotting in prison.
  • In the white chamber, there are four ways to die before the ending cutscene: opening a door leading to outer space one too many times, neglecting the smelly fridge for too long, failing to stop the electrocution scene in time, and choosing to stay in the quarantine room. Each of them shows what happens to your character with not-very-pleasant images and a pithy line about the ending you brought on yourself ("You're waiting for the Decaying ending," "You couldn't escape the Electrocution ending," and so on.)
  • The bad ending of Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest and its sequel The Dagger of Amon Ra. In particular the one in the second game, which explains in discordantly cheerful detail the fates of everyone and their corpses, thanks to your failure. Then you get murdered and your father commits suicide, and the reporter who wanted your job becomes rich and famous. The end.
  • In Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire, a standard death (by attack or low stats) will usually just give you a punny death message and let you restore and get back to the game. However, if you fail the task of capturing the Elementals or die anytime after Ad Avis steals the evil genie Iblis' lamp, you are treated to a long cut scene of the city being destroyed or an even longer cut scene of Iblis escaping the lamp and wreaking havoc upon the world. The first time, it's creepy, but after the third or fourth time, it gets annoying. And it's a Sierra game — you die all the freaking time.
  • In Obliterator, your death is followed by a text screen that reads: "YOU HAVE FAILED IN YOUR MISSION. YOU ARE DEAD AND THE EARTH IS DOOMED. SO ENDS THE MISSION OF THE LAST OBLITERATOR." This is followed by a shot of the player character's skeleton, still wearing his space armor, floating in orbit around Earth.
  • The Fourth Protocol, the game of Frederick Forsyth's novel from 1984, revolves around a Soviet plot to explode a nuclear bomb near a US Air Force base in Britain to influence the upcoming British elections by shocking the voters into electing an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-Soviet government. Mess up the defusing of the nuke and you are told that the plan succeeded, the Russians were invited into the UK and began working on Europe from both fronts. Alternatively, things go even worse: the bomb leads to a limited nuclear war, destroying both sides and making the northern hemisphere uninhabitable. This comes "From the annals of the Australio-Indonesian Empire..."
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor has an interesting one. If you do anything that would cause a Game Over, the game switches to a text adventure (a throwback to Zork's old days) and inputs the command you just did, followed with the results of how you died/got totemized/whatever. Interestingly, this also happens if you win the game (after the satisfying ending cutscene).
  • In Police Quest: SWAT, if you do anything that's outside of SOP for SWAT, you'll get a cutscene where two other officers lead you away from the scene.
  • In Maniac Mansion, there are several actions that can lead to a meltdown. You see the mansion explode, followed by a message that the nuclear explosion has destroyed everything in a 5 mile radius. (It's never made clear how far the mansion is from the town.)
  • Shows up in two games from Homestar Runner: "Where's an Egg?" and "Dangeresque Roomisode 1." In "Where's an Egg?", failing to find the egg will result in the main character being banished to the Siberian tundra and subsequently freezing to death, while in "Dangeresque Roomisode 1" getting the task wrong will result in Dangeresque being sent to the "HOOSEGOW."
  • The game over screens of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis include a brief text about Hitler and the Nazis taking over the world once Indiana Jones is not there to stop their plans.
  • Bum around for too long in Shenmue (roughly until the middle of April) and you'll be treated to a cutscene where Lan Di returns to the Hazuki compound and demands Ryo give him the Phoenix Mirror. Ryo refuses, charges at Lan Di, and is hit by a strike (presumably fatal) as the scene freezes and fades to white. The words "Game Over" are then seen, which is impossible to generate under any other circumstance. Luckily, this sort of thing almost has to be forced because of the generous timeframe you're given (the game starts in November of the previous year). As long as you commit some plot-related task that day, you'll pretty much always be moving forward to the end of the game note .
  • Dying late in Ultima IX replays the Britannian Holocaust cinematic that can be seen in Lord British's Magic Mirror: a towering wave of fire sweeps across the land, turning all life to ash and all structures to dust. This is what the Guardian has done to other worlds, and intends to do to this one.

    Beat Em Up 
  • Bayonetta has a horrible Game Over screen, but it's not as much frightening as it is depressing, demented, or, then again, scary. if you choose to continue, okay ("The shadow remains cast!"), but if you choose not to, she screams in agony as about twenty or thirty hands grab her from all sides and pull her down into Hell. And this all happens within two seconds flat.
    • Made even more depressing when you fail to rescue Cereza from the lust and the game over screen is just her cat doll.
  • Dying in Comix Zone showed you a short cutscene of Mortus either complaining that it wasn't fun enough (and giving you another chance) or using your death to make himself a body somehow and ominously looking down at the city.
  • In Streets of Rage 3, failing to beat the Final Boss in 3 minutes, earns this ending.
    • The Japanese version makes it worse by showing a picture of the city that was destroyed by the bombs. The U.S. version cuts the image out, reducing the impact of the failure.
    • Oddly enough, the text of the Japanese ending downplays the impact of the obvious ruin on the heroes, while the U.S. version's readout implies that the heroes' reputations are ruined as much as the city.
  • Splatterhouse 3 kills off your wife or child, if you take too long to rescue one or both of them. The endings reflect these failures ("Daddy, where's mommy?" "Where's David? No... NO!!" or just plain old "your family is dead").
  • Getting a Game Over in Lollipop Chainsaw results in the screen turning to gray as Juliet faints, and then it cuts to a comic book panel depicting one of three outcomes (all of which are randomized):
    • The most common one depicts Juliet's zombified arm coming out from her grave and reaching for Nick's head.
    • One of them only has her arm coming out (Nick isn't present), and instead we hear Nick saying in a very choked-up tone, "Juliet...I will always love you, baby. Always..." (This is the only Game Over screen used in the Prologue.)
    • And last but not least, there's one where Nick's head is placed at Juliet's grave, holding a rose between his teeth (she doesn't rise from her grave in this one).
    • Also, when you finish the game and wait until the credits are over, you will get two different cutscenes, depending on whether you saved all of the saveable classmates or not. If you didn't save all of them, the cutscene you get shows Juliet's mom revealing that she's a zombie, and saying, "Time for dinner! And by dinner, I mean...YOU!" The screen then cuts to black as we hear everyone screaming, followed by a loud *CRUNCH*.
  • The Game Over screen of The Wonderful 101 shows the character's soul floating over their body and crying.

    Driving Game 
  • In APB (the arcade game, not the MMO game), the game over screen reads "Too Many Demerits - YOU ARE FIRED", and shows other cops pulling you out of your patrol car and either throwing you into a paddy wagon or canning you by stuffing you into a trash can.
  • Getting a Game Over in Emergency Call Ambulance gets you a big EKG Flatline and a sorrowful one-liner from the patient you were trying to save. Especially harrowing if you lose in the first stage, with the patient, a ten-year-old boy, lamenting "I don't want to die..."

    Edutainment Game 
  • Oregon Trail: "Everyone in your party has died. Many wagons failed to make it all the way to Oregon. Do you want to write your epitaph?" The beautiful part is that every time you play, you get to pass the graves of your previous failed attempts (which can lead to a contest to see who can leave the earliest grave on the trail). The most commonly pirated version of the game features the classic (in response to "What would you like on your tombstone?"):

    Fighting Game 
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3: Lose to M. Bison in the final battle in Arcade mode, and you can't continue. All you can do is watch as he stuffs your beaten character into a machine and uses the Psycho Drive to blow up a city, ensuring his dominance.
    • Conversely, losing the final fight against Ryu when playing as Bison shows Ryu's ending.
  • In the Soul Edge knockoff Mace: The Dark Age, each character has a "good" ending if they defeat Asmodeus and claim the Mace, and a "bad" ending should they fail (ie, run out of continues). The bad endings for the evil characters tend to have a ring of poetic justice to them, such as the despotic ruler Lord Deimos deposed by his subjects, or the sadistic Executioner tortured to death (assuming he died in the end...) by Asmodeus. Those of good characters are depressing and/or disturbing, such as the lost princess Namira going insane in a dungeon, or Ragnar turned into a powerful, ravenous wolf sent to kill the last of his family and friends, completely aware of what he's doing.
  • The home console game of Street Fighter: The Movie has a "Movie Battle" mode where the player, as Guile, must fight your way to General Bison through different Street Fighter characters under an expiring time limit. If the player does not reach Bison within the time frame (once the timer reaches zero), once the current fight is over, Cammy will tell Guile there is no more time left and Bison needs to be found immediately and the bad ending starts. As a result of a failure to reach Bison in time, the AN is forced to pay Bison the ransom, Guile is court-martialed and Bison uses the ransom money to finance his operation to turn his entire army into Perfect Genetic Soldiers, allowing him to rise up and seize control of the world.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, should you fail to beat the final boss, Galactus, you are treated to a victory screen (for him) where he destroys the entire world. The planet explodes and you arrive at a blank, white 'Continue?' screen.
    • Even worse, should you choose not to continue on this specific fight, you can view his ending, shown above (in the Ultimate version; the vanilla version does not have the "GAME OVER" text superimposed).
    • The aforementioned victory screen shows the Earth blazing red before it is destroyed. If that isn't creepy in itself, sometimes, while fighting the final boss, should the player take too long, the planet (which is seen in the background) will start to turn red by itself. This reddened Earth is still visible if the character wins, though, the ending sequence progresses as if the planet had been saved quickly. Seeing the Earth decay before you even lose is just plain creepy.
  • You have two options in BlazBlue's arcade. Either see the Big Bad's plan go through and be faced with Mu-12, or see Hazama get torn to pieces... by the other Big Bad. And either way, you still don't win.
  • If the player does not continue or is killed by a finishing move in WeaponLord's Story Mode, it would state that the way of the barbarian is to kill or be killed. Unless the player lost as Zarak, which then states that the prophecy has been fulfilled and, because of the player's ineptitude, the Demon Lord is now dead and his lineage has been put to a halt.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Halo: On The Maw, fail to escape the Autumn in time; cue cutscene of the ship exploding, taking you with it. Ditto if Captain Keyes dies on Truth & Reconciliation. "Without the Captain, the Covenant have already won".
    • Halo: Reach ends with a Bolivian Army Ending, but after the credits you get to play through your inevitable end. After you're defeated, a final cutscene shows you still fighting on the ground while being buried under a pile of elites.
  • System Shock had a terrifying failure display if you died without being regenerated. You would be turned into a cyborg under computer control.
    They find your body and give it new life. As a cyborg you will serve SHODAN well.
  • Rise of the Triad plays this for laughs. Defeating the final boss, El Oscuro, without finding and killing all his spawnlings in that level will earn you the first part of the victory celebration (namely, seeing the boss you just defeated on a tombstone). Then, however, the game informs you that since some of his spawnlings survived, "Twenty years later, one of them rose to power and destroyed the world, but nice work anyway." Then you see the earth exploding violently.
  • In Team Fortress 2, losing teams on Defense in Payload get to watch the bomb you didn't stop make a big boom. Even winning Payload teams aren't safe - just don't stand too close to the cart you're, er... supposed to stand next to.
    • In Special Delivery, victory for one team sends the rocket launching into the air...and landing into the losing team's spawn.
    • In many custom maps, winning triggers a variety of interesting (and often hilarious) events. And then there was the "idle" map that eventually spawns a giant killer cat.
  • Most Red Faction deaths are just a simple "You have died", but if you get a plot-critical NPC killed, the game explains in detail how everything proceeds to go to hell from that point on. For example: "Your failure to protect Griffin doomed the rebellion. Without the information only he could provide, Ultor's troops and the plague wiped out Eos and the Red Faction". Amusingly, you still get one of these for killing a certain character mere moments before he's scheduled to die. Even giving him a Mercy Kill while he's burning to death in front of you gives you a nonstandard game over!
  • Strife, like the other games that use the Doom engine, normally just has your view spin (as it falls to the ground) to face the baddie that killed you. Should you die in the final boss fight versus the Entity, however, you get to see this ending. Pretty depressing stuff.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, should you spare Menendez but have Lynch die in one point of the game, the ending will show the cyberattack succeeding, and Menendez will escape from jail. He kills Woods in his retirement home, then he'll be shown visiting his sister's grave. After that, Menendez will douse himself in gasoline and set himself on fire.
    • Another bad ending in the game includes killing Menendez. If you kill him, a YouTube video he had recorded earlier will play, and a mass riot by Cordis Die will spread around the world.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Die and refuse to continue in Area 51 (arcade), and you get a CGI of your character morphing into one of the alien mutants. Overlaps with Have a Nice Death.
  • In the Silent Scope games, if you miss the final bullet, you are treated to a Downer Ending of some sort (The President gets blown up or Laura falls to her death, or the like.)
  • Terminator 2 for the SNES and Game Boy have their variations, and both only give you one life, making matters worse: In the SNES version, if the Terminator dies, Judgment Day begins, complete with a picture of the fiery explosion from the movie and the date August 29, 1997. In the Game Boy version, if John Connor dies, a picture of the barren and destroyed landscape is present, along with the text:
    With John defeated, Skynet was able to overpower the resistance thus insuring [sic] the extinction of all human life on earth.
  • Sin and Punishment 2: In Stage 6, fail to keep your partner, being held by a crane, above the rising lava, and he/she is dumped into the lava, resulting in a Game Over.
  • Operation Wolf: "Since you have no ammunition left, you must join the hostages".

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Did you fail to reach the goal in a Katamari Damacy game? We are so disappointed. Really, it is Our fault for leaving this task to Our incompetent, pusillanimous Son. Our fans will be devastated, surely! Run, little Prince, run! Our Royal Eye Beams will hit you and shock you no matter what! It's no use looking so crestfallen, begone from Our sight!
  • In Blast Corps, letting the missile carrier touch anything makes it explode in a red nuclear blast, destroying everything.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Catwoman has the option to take her loot and leave, or save Batman in the Steel Mill. If she takes the money, it leads to a credits scene revealing that Batman has died and a now-immortal Joker commanding the League of Assassins has taken over Gotham City.
  • In Ace Combat 5 on the final mission to shoot down a Kill Sat on a kamakaze mission to destroy the player's capital city, if you fail to kill it in time, you get a cutscene of it crashing into said city and blowing it to hell.
  • "Crash Bash": In the Adventure Mode, every time you don't complete a mission, you get a giant "YOU FAIL" pop up, with accompanying voice. Thanks.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie's Game Over is an ending cutscene in which you have to watch the Wicked Witch/Vain Sorceress Gruntilda succeed in stealing the beauty of Banjo's younger sister Tooty and turn her into something like Frankenstein's Monster. She even demands a talk with Banjo immediately for this travesty. However, for some, this was offset by Grunty's newfound hotness and the fact that Tooty was The Scrappy. For others, this scene was scary. The problem with this is that the scene plays every time you save and quit, too. It's almost as if the game is slapping you across the face for not playing it start to finish in one go. However, if you die before even reaching Grunty's lair or after passing her game show, then they will simply show the words "Game Over" over the scene where you lost your last life.
  • Believe it or not, Liquid Kids, a platformer from Taito with cute characters, does this with its continue screen. Here, Hipopo (the player character) has one of the bomb enemies bouncing on him with the clock counting down (and a cuckoo clock sounding) with each bounce. When the timer reaches one or so, Hipopo will call out "Help Me!". When it reaches zero, the screen fades to black, and the sound of an explosion can be heard...
  • Two occurrences in the Commander Keen series:
    • Episode 2: The Earth Explodes ...well, don't say you weren't warned, because the game's title happens. Made even worse if you happened to set off the Big Red Switch yourself while trying to jump up and disarm it.
      "Oops."
    • Episode 5: The Armageddon Machine ... The arc this episode is part of is named "Goodbye Galaxy" for a reason. To make things worse, the music played on the Game Over screen sounds like it's mocking you.
  • In Contra: Shattered Soldier, if you don't have a high enough ranking when you beat Mission 5, you get a Downer Ending where the island is destroyed by a Kill Sat, killing everyone - including the heroes.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness: Overlaps with Non-Standard Game Over. In Margot Carvier's Apartment level, after the dialogue choice, the police will be on their way to the apartment (regardless of what you said to Carvier). Lara has a time limit to do what she needs to and get out of the apartment (which would be look for the notebook if you were rude to Carvier, in which case your job is made harder). If she hasn't left by the time the police get inside (after two cutscene warnings), she surrenders and they arrest her. Game Over.
  • In Metroid Prime 3, if you stay on Phazon Hyper Mode for WAY TOO LONG, you see a short cutscene of Samus transforming into Dark Samus. After that is a nice new variation of the Game Over screen. The liquid splotch is blue instead of red, possibly to represent Phazon, and under the words GAME OVER are the words "TERMINAL CORRUPTION".
  • In Bionic Commando: Rearmed, after beating the final boss, you need to escape from the final level, which is sinking into the ocean. Whether you actually escape or run out of time, you end up watching the same lengthy cutscene of the base sinking into the ocean. You don't find out until the end of the scene whether you escaped or went down with the base.
  • If you die, or choose to join the villain in Wizards And Warriors III, the scene then shows the villain having taken over, with the hero chained to a pillar as his prisoner. It cuts to a picture of the kingdom being overshadowed by the villain in the background.
  • In Terramex, if you die, you get to see the meteor hit the Earth.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a rather chilling example. In a game where Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, dying gets you expelled to the area's lobby on DK Island/to a cave entrance on the island. However, pausing the game and selecting "Quit Game" from the menu will eventually take you to the title screen, but first, you are shown a cutscene where King K. Rool presses a button on his throne, and a fully operational Blast-O-Matic begins charging up, pointed directly at the island, accompanied by impending doom music and letters superimposed over the outside shot, spelling "GAME OVER". The exact same thing happens when you run out of time in Hideout Helm.
  • In Knuckles Chaotix, they don't recieve a death per se, but if you fail to collect all of the Chaos Rings, you will have the bad ending in which the upgraded Metal Sonic hovers over the burning remains of a city. Probably one of the darkest endings to a Sonic game to be made so far.
    • For that matter, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, but only in the US version. Yes, it is nothing but a game over screen, but it's the Nightmare Fuel inducing music combined with Robotnik's laughter that makes this so disturbing. Especially considering the fact that if you don't touch the controller for three minutes, Sonic will actually give up and run away.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Master System/Game Gear has an implied bad ending if you beat the game without getting all the chaos emeralds. Failing to get all the emeralds won't let you get access to the final boss and the ending shows Sonic running along by himself, eventually stopping to look in the starry sky as a constellation of Tails forms. From there, you just get the Game Over screen since you did not rescue Tails from Robotnik, and it could imply that he killed Tails.
  • In the 16-bit games of Beavis And Butthead, after dying in the SNES game Beavis and Butthead complain about their new status in hell until a camera flash goes off, while on the Genesis game they go to hell after dying and Beavis is seen saying "I think we're dead or something" while Butthead says "This sucks dude!"
  • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, dying on the Boss Rush game mode yields this game over screen.
  • Jet Set Radio Future: In the mission where you must defuse all of the bombs in the Fortified Residential Zone and save Yoyo, if you fail to complete the mission in time, we see the entire area exploding, and Professor K jokes, "'Sup with all the fireworks? Is it New Year's already?"

    Puzzle Game 
  • Riven has several bad endings, complete with their own credits. It's possible to trap yourself before finding Gehn; provoke Gehn to shoot you; trap Gehn, then release him and trap yourself; trap yourself in the rebel hideout; or trap Gehn and release him in the rebel hideout... while trapping yourself. It's also possible to open the Star Fissure and destroy the world without first trapping Gehn, or without first rescuing Catherine and the rest of the Rivenese, or both. If you're very lucky, you can even guess the combination that opens the Star Fissure without interacting with anyone else in the game and earn yourself a No Ending.
    • The Bad Endings for Myst V all wind up with you stranded in the ruins of Myst Island, where the game series began. Dedicated fans of the series sometimes seek out these endings on purpose, just for the experience of exploring the deserted, forsaken isle.
  • Most of the Game Overs in Ghost Trick are just running out of time before your subject dies, meaning you have to go back four minutes before their death and start again. However, in one case, you also have to avoid being detected by Yomiel. Since he knows about ghost tricks, any suspiciously moving inanimate items will alert him to your existence and he'll directly address you, telling you that there's nothing you can do to stop him.
  • Failing to clear a level in the iOS puzzle game Jelly Splash results in seeing your cute little jelly friends mutated into alien beings by the dark slime you were trying to clear.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Failing to battle the alien threat properly in UFO: Afterlight will result in a cinematic where one of the battered main cast walks up to literally watch the Mars colony burn in the horizon. Over the comms he can hear his people screaming and the sound of weapons fire, before his enviromental suit's oxygen warning blares up. Just as the oxygen runs out, he's engulfed in a massive explosion as the colony is destroyed.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert, if you fail to stop the Nuclear Missile from reaching its target, you're treated to a shot of the Effiel Tower as a giant mushroom cloud and screams engulf it.
    • Most of the early Command and Conquer games had two end of mission cutscenes; one for victory and one for defeat. Many looked pretty damn cool (Nod Soldiers raising a flag in the middle of a burning base?)
    • Tiberian Sun actually has a few cutscenes where you succeed, but feel like a complete monster for doing so. In one, the Nod Soldiers are walking through a devastated base; a lone GDI soldier, apparently surviving the carnage, crawls out and limply pleads for mercy. The Nod Soldier simply shakes his head and fires his gun. The base is the one you attack in the previous mission.
    • In Red Alert 2, during the Allied mission to recapture St. Louis, if the timer runs out and Tanya is mind-controlled, there is a special cutscene that shows Tanya having been taken over and quite enthusiastically favoring the Soviets now.
  • In addition to Olimar's notes of hopelessness, you also get to see the ship crashing and the Pikmin turning Olimar's (presumably dead) body into one of them if you fail to get the 25 required parts by the end of the first Pikmin.
  • Starcraft II example: when the Protoss base is destroyed in the mission "In Utter Darkness", the closing cutscene shows the star system being outright consumed by the Dark Voice. This is the victory ending — you're guaranteed to die in the mission. It's a vision of the future that you have to prevent.
  • Dying in Little King's Story will show a cutscene of the main character's funeral, complete with tear-jerking music and "LIFE OVER" being shown.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Elite Beat Agents has alternate endings for failing a mission in which the story resolves badly. Particularly cruel is A Christmas Wish, in which the girl goes into her teenage years continuing to cling on to false hope that her dead father will return one day.
  • If you fail a song in the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games, you get booed off the stage.
  • In Gitaroo Man, in most levels, if you lose you simply see the villain taunting you. However, if you lose in the fourth stage, you see the space shark you were trying to outrun eat U-1's spaceship, and U-1 will cry "It's dark! *sob*"
  • Most Game Over animations in Parappa The Rapper fall more along the lines of Have a Nice Death. But stage 5 in particular (also known as "that stage where Parappa has to win rap battles to cut in line at the bathroom") has a particularly long game over sequence, where we see a video of a rocket taking off, symbolizing Potty Failure.

    Role Playing Game 
  • If you receive a game over in Chrono Cross, you'll also get a cheerful message that you've managed to erase Serge from existence altogether.
  • Chrono Trigger had one too — fail against Lavos, and you get to see exactly what happened on the day he erupted from the earth.
    "But... the future refused to change."
    • And in the DS remake, if you fail against the Dream Devourer, Schala proclaims something about erasing everything and you see the same shot of Earth at the end of the above game over, with a slight change:
      "In the end... the future refused to change."
  • Secret of Mana froze on the comatose bodies of your three child PCs as the text explained that "no trace of them was ever found." Those kids are worm food!
  • In the often overlooked PS1 SRPG Vanguard Bandits, if you failed to achieve a fairly sizable set of conditions regarding the main character's level, what stat boosts you gave him throughout the entirety of the game, and the average morale of the rest of the party, one of the endings had the final boss mind-controlling the main character, leaving you the option to get killed by your friends, or watching them all get killed by the final boss. As one last kick, the ending scene has your character 'waking up' just in time to witness the boss completing his takeover of the world. D'oh.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei I and II, losing features a brief scene where your character crosses over a river and into the afterlife.
    "You, one who has fallen before fulfilling your destiny... Beyond lies the land to which all souls eventually return... Do not be afraid..."
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne gives you a twist on this where the Demi-fiend apparently goes to Heaven. Considering what kind of guy YHVH is in SMT, that probably isn't a good thing.
    "The comfort of death will come, for men and demons alike...by the guidance of the Great Will."
  • Die in Persona 3, and Igor will recite a poem about how though death is inevitable, one will live on in memory... before adding that you are an exception. Interestingly, dying in Persona 4 has Igor recite something that goes against the meaning of the last game.
    • If you die in "The Answer", Igor recites another poem, about how the Main Character sacrificed his life for you and that you dying was a waste of his death. Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it?
    • And prior to any of that, you get to hear your character groan his last breath, along with Mission Control ordering you to get up or crying out for your life. Made even more poignant if you've been building up your Mission Control's Social Link and getting intimate with them.
  • Failure to rescue one of the victims of the Midnight Channel before the deadline in Persona 4 results in a game over where a party member calls you to inform you of the victim's demise. Failure to meet the final deadline results in Shadows leaking into the real world, with you hearing Naoto getting killed by one. Igor will allow you to travel back in time a week in either case.
  • Devil Survivor: Partway through the game, the heroes find a man named Honda and some survivors trying to escape the Tokyo Lockdown. They can escape with Honda, but a lightning storm will later kill everyone still trapped in Tokyo, and humanity will be subject to instrumentality.
  • In both games of the Raidou Kuzunoha series, a game over entails being confronted by the spirits of the previous Raidou Kuzunohas and berated for shaming their name.
  • If you get killed in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, you're treated to the sight of your grave, complete with a dramatic chord played. If you ally with or get killed by the Final Boss, you get an "end of the world" scene instead.
  • All the Geneforge games except the first give this for overuse of canisters. 1, 2, and 5 give it for Refusal of the Call, and 5 gives it if you render the game Unwinnable. There's also a "standard" one for just dying, but it's a single screen rather than the length of a normal ending.
  • In Fallout and Fallout 2, the image of the player's skeleton set against the dead wasteland background is made worse by the narrator telling you just how many people were depending on you. This can be downright eerie if the death came unexpectedly (e.g., via radiation poisoning), because the shift from the gamescreen to the deathscreen is so Goddamned sudden.
    • If you betray the Vault's location to the mutant leaders, you are dipped in the FEV in a disturbing scene that contrasts the consensual nature of your turning. To add more scares, you then get a cutscene through the Vault's security cameras of the mutants storming the vault, having easily ripped the thick metal door off the hinges, blasting harmless civilians without provocation, and a drawn out Gatling Good battle with the Jerk Ass Overseer protecting the last uncontaminated humans the Unity seeks. With mutants falling left and right to the gunfire, there is a tiny glimmer of hope that he will succeed, which is then dashed as he is suddenly ambushed by supermutants climbing onto his command chair to deliver a vicious beating-to-death as the camera pans away to show only eerie shadows, before it fails entirely and goes dead. Game Over.
    • In Fallout 3, allowing the Purifier to explode gives you the worst ending, also excluding you from playing the Broken Steel DLC epilogue. Earlier, while imprisoned in Raven Rock, if you tell Autumn the code to the Purifier, he executes you on the spot.
  • If you say "Yes" to the Dragonlord in Dragon Quest... the screen goes immediately to black. Angry, angry, black. With red text. "Take a long, long, rest. HAHAHAHAHA..."
  • In Baldur's Gate, when you die, it shows a hand (presumably the player) whose flesh is turned to dust and blown away, leaving only bones. (This is actually the Protagonist's essence going to fuel the resurrection of Bhaal.)
  • In Final Fantasy X , during the final fight against Sin, failure to stop its Giga Graviton attack obliterates the airship and your party and possibly sets the area the fight took in into irreversible ruins since the attack can cause land masses to shift. Not even using your Aeons as a shield will stop this — technically, the attack doesn't even do damage in any form, it just outright triggers a game over.
  • If you allow the birdbots to break through the gate to Nino Island in Mega Man Legends 2, the game will immediately switch to a cutscene where the mayor goes nuts and screams "NOOO! I'LL NEVER LET YOU HAVE THE KEY, NO! WE'LL TAKE YOU WITH US!!!" and then presses the Big Red Button, blowing up the island.
  • Phantasy Star: Alis' hope cannot overcome the power of Lassic. The adventure is over.
  • Eternal Sonata has a weird one: if the player loses to the final boss, Frederic Chopin, Chopin wakes up from his terminal illness in the real world. He closes his eyes again, though, and it's not certain whether he goes back to sleep or dies anyway.
  • Saying Yes to the "Let's work together and take over the Earth" request from the final boss in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door treats you to a short bunch of dialog boxes describing how you and the boss took over the world and darkness enveloped it forever. Then it shows the standard Game Over screen, depicting a dead Mario.
    And so the Shadow Queen engulfed the world with her foul magic... For Mario... For Peach... And for the world, it was...
    GAME OVER
  • An interesting case occurs in Hammer & Sickle. If the player causes or fails to prevent World War 3, the game doesn't end right away. Instead, the player is given one more mission where you have to secure a bridge. Then the game ends, and you are shown a cutscene (with some authentic black-and-white footage mixed in) about the course of the war and how your characters died in it (most of them die heroically). The war ends in the Soviets capitulating after the US drops nukes on several major cities (Moscow is mentioned to have been saved by a Heroic Sacrifice of a fighter pilot).
  • In Mass Effect 2, if you don't upgrade your ship, don't earn the loyalty of any of your teammates and stall before entering the Omega 4 Relay, everyone on the Normandy (except Joker) is killed during the final mission: your team members die in increasingly brutal deaths, the rest of the Normandy crew are liquefied and turned into fuel for a half-human prototype Reaper, and Shepard falls to his/her death after attempting to jump onto the ship during the endrun. Unbelievably, the ending keeps going, as Joker successfully pilots the Normandy out of the system (set to epic music), confronts the Illusive Man, and looks out the window after reading the datapad on the Reaper fleet, completely unsure of what to do.
    • It's better in the DLC "Arrival": if you screw around in the mission so you don't destroy the mass relay before the time given to you on the countdown is up, you're treated to the arrival of the Reapers and cutscenes showing everyone you know being indoctrinated/dragged off to be made into Reaper Chow.
  • In Toby "Radiation" Fox's horror-themed "EarthBound Halloween" Game Mod, lose a battle to the final boss and you'll end up in the continue screen as usual... except the narrator refuses to let you continue. "Just kidding, you are dead forever!" "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..."
  • Die in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and you're treated to a cutscene where the Schwarzwelt covers the entire globe, followed by the message "Mission Failed".
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, there are two. First, if you die and have not yet paid the tab Charon The Ferryman demands for reviving you, you will be tossed into a mountain of souls to wait for your turn to cross the Styx... which is implied will take millennia if not aeons. The second one is just after destroying Kenji in Infernal Tokyo; to achieve it, you must agree to destroy the Yamato Perpetual Reactor for the Omnicidal Maniac White, killing yourself and taking the multiverse with you to the grave.
  • In Live A Live, losing against a normal enemy leads to a short scene of someone reacting to your death and failure. In some scenarios, you get presented with another ending if you lose to one of the final bosses. A special mention goes to the final chapter, where losing to Odio means you get to see something similar to the alternate Armaggedon ending, but from the other characters' point of view. Playing AS Odio is two variations of this: Triggering the mentioned Armaggedon (from a menu command), or Oersted left to wander alone in an abandoned Lucretia forever.
  • Boktai, a series created by Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear fame, also has several failures that cross onto nonstandard game overs. While monsters and bosses have no special game over screens, there is a chance for you to serve the Big Bad, embracing your vampirism and bringing about the end of the world. Then there's another time that you can be eaten by the Last boss and bring about the end of the world as well.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has a different closing narration depending on various decisions you make throughout the game, especially regarding the King of Shadows. If you join him and kill the rest of your party, it talks about how a mysterious general led the forces of darkness against Neverwinter and a large swath of the Sword Coast descended into shadow.
  • In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, after beating the game, Uatu the Watcher looks back at various plot points in the game which could have been failed or chosen differently without resulting in death: for instance, saving Nightcrawler or Jean Grey, and destroying Galactus's drills. Depending on how you chose, failed, or succeeded, the Watcher will tell you how various factions were affected by your actions. if you saved Nightcrawler instead of Jean Grey, she comes back as the Phoenix to take revenge, whereas choosing Jean over Nightcrawler leads to his angry mother Mystique killing Professor Xavier, leading to the disbanding of the X-Men. If you didn't destroy Galactus' drills, he comes and uses them on the Earth.
  • In Golden Sun, your main character is given the option of choosing to quest to save the world, or denying this responsibility. Should you choose the latter, and walk out of that building, the game informs you that you just doomed the world. Funny enough, this choice is presented within the first hour of the game, meaning you can beat an RPG within an hour. As long as you don't care for that 'saving the world' hullabaloo.
    • Gets confusing when in the second game you learn that the Designated Villain is the good guys, and you were an Unwitting Pawn for most of the game.
      • The exact words were "and the world drifted towards its fated destruction...". The world IS falling apart on its own, and if you don't go, the Designated Villain fails their mission to save the world. (You actually finish their mission after defeating them.)
  • Radiant Historia does this each time you make a poor decision.
  • If an essential NPC dies in Morrowind: "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created." The sequel, Oblivion, made essentials unkillable instead.
  • In Recettear, failing to meet a payment deadline will result in a scene where Recette is kicked out of her house and laments having to now live in a cardboard box. However, your next attempt will start with Recette waking up on Day 2 and starting over, but still keeping all of her items from the previous attempt, making the next try easier.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, if you betray Artix in the Doomwood Part 1 finale, you allow Vordred to become the Champion of Darkness without him having to slay Artix himself and he unleashes a Zombie Apocalypse on the world, starting with turning you undead. After the credits roll and you go back to the starting section of the Vordredboss area, you unlock the Bad Ending shop, which contains the Holey Warrior armor and the Backstab Blade sword. And to sum up this wonderful failure, here's what the Backstab Blade's item description has to say: "How could you? Artix was your friend. He trusted you! I hope you're happy now. Traitor."
  • In Madoka Portable, if you made the "right" choices, you get to see and fight Mami and Kyoko's witches, Candeloro and Ophelia, respectively. And if you lose to Walpurgisnatch you get a glimpse at Homura's witch, Homulilly. That last one is truly this trope — you can't fight that particular witch, and seeing it is part of a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, the infamous Conquest ending. Should you feed the demon sword by killing all of the other CPUs with it then destroy Arfoire, she actually takes her defeat very well, and because of that, with all the CPUs killed, Nepgear has faded the world to no competition, and soon Arfoire's ultimate revival will come and she will feed on the remains, and Gamindustri will soon crumble and be doomed to an eternity of destruction. Thankfully, this is only one of the Multiple Endings, but is by far the worst. Ironically, though, this is the hardest of the Multiple Endings to get. If you want some consolation, you do get to keep the sword in a New Game+.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Chimera Beast does this in its "Bad" ending, where your Eater destroys the planet and then proceeds to destroy all planets in its path, eventually reaching Earth. It then tells you that "you'll have to live with the knowledge that what led them there was...you.". Somewhat subverted in the sense that this is the ending you get when you beat the Final Boss.
  • In Cybernator (Assault Suits Valken in Japan), allowing the asteroid colony to strike the Earth in a Colony Drop scenario or failing to destroy the enemy's reinforcement shuttle gets you a Downer Ending where the main character returns to find everyone on his ship dead and the war having degenerated into a bloody stalemate. It ends with a message telling you that you messed up, are stupid, and need to try again.
  • Die in the first true final stage of Raiden Fighters Jet and it is implied that the right-wing terrorist group's stolen nuclear materials crater a city when you finish the next stage.
  • In the unreleased beta of Star Fox 2, if Corneria takes too much damage from Andross's forces, the game ends with a cutscene showing his ships destroying the command center, complete with a voice sample of someone screaming "Emergency! Emergency!!" just before the whole thing gets nuked. Then you see Andross's ugly mug and in burning letters, CORNERIA FELL. The incidental music for that last screen makes it all the more depressing.
  • Depleting the Dragoon's entire shield or failing to destroy all the Spark Bits in time during the final part of Galaxian^3 Project Dragoon results in a cinema sequence of the Cannon Seed firing and shattering Earth into fragments smaller than California. (Good luck, team.)
    • And in the sequel, Attack of the Zolgear, failing to destroy the Zol Stone results in a cinema of the Dragoon J2 exploding inside Zolgear, and then the Earth being shattered into fragments smaller than California.
  • Fail to defeat the Final Boss of Thunder Force V within the time limit, and The Guardian implores you to self-destruct your ship... oh wait, you can't, because your ship's systems are dying! Now history is forced to repeat itself and you are doomed to die of oxygen deprivation!
  • In A.S.P. Air Strike Patrol (A.K.A. Desert Fighter), if you fail the final mission in any way, you get treated to a nuclear holocaust. The ending monologue states the Earth is conquered by aliens soon after.
  • In Novastorm, running out of lives shows a cutscene which progressively get longer depending on how far you are in the game, starting with your fighters being shot down, continuing with the destruction of your headquarters, and finishing with your home planet being blown up by a laser.
  • The king of most insulting and discouraging Its A Wonderful Failures: Death Duel. When you lose all your lives, the enemy insults you with a quote, then you're treated to a scene where The Grim Reaper comes for your wrecked robot suit. It then cuts to a scene detailing the consequences of your death, calling you a coward, condemning you and your family for centuries. And you thought "You and your friends are dead, game over" was bad enough.
    "Your defeat has brought chaos to the Federation. Your cowardice and betrayal shall be known throughout the stars. Your decaying corpse will be an object for ridicule and scorn. Disgrace will follow your family for centuries. Once adored and worshipped by all, your rotting flesh will serve as the price of failure. Oh, the horrible pain of defeat..."
  • The Spirit Overload ending in Hellsinker. While most of the time you get a simple game over when you die, fail against Rex Cavalier's final attack and you get a special ending about the true nature of the Prayers as you become one yourself.
  • In Einhänder, if you lose the battle against the Stratagem Spacecraft in Stage 6 by running out of time, your fighter starts to power down and you fall to the Earth, as a swarm of police fighters are heard opening fire on your ship. And after hearing a brief narration from your pilot, you get a creepy Non-Standard Game Over screen with a shot of a pilot's helmet laying on the ground cracked, while this nightmarish music plays.
  • In NAM-1975, should you lose to the final boss, Dr. R. Muckly, he will be heard boasting about his victory and that the world is now his, then it cuts to the world being destroyed by the laser weapon he had built, and as he is heard laughing evilly, it then cuts to the typical Game Over screen.
  • Missile Command has the infamous, loud, and seizureiffic "THE END" explosion, the explosion signifying a nuclear apocalypse. However, this doesn't happen if you make the high score list.

    Simulation Game 
  • The extremely melodramatic failure messages from the Trauma Center series. The dev team tells you, roughly, "WELCOME TO CLINICAL DEPRESSION, MOTHERFUCKER!!".
    • There is one logical exception - fail the bomb mission in the first game, and you just get an explosion, as Derek has been blown up into itty bitty bits.
    • In New Blood, you must operate on a dog. Failing this operation gives you the same "Ashamed by their failure, the doctors left medicine forever..." Game Over screen, the same as if you'd failed to save any other (human) patient in the game, which is kind of taking it too far.
    • Even worse in Trauma Team, where at the Game Over screen, you hear your doctor characters lamenting how life sucks, their ideals suck, and wondering why they even try.
      • There is one exception, and it makes sense, as well. It's a simple medical examination. Failing it has the doctor go "well that was bad, let's go again".
      • Even WORSE than the voice clip, failing Naomi's final mission has ROSALIA exclaiming in despair about how she wanted to help everyone.
  • Every Wing Commander game has an ending depicting the results of losing the campaign.
  • Fail to expose the spy in Wing Commander II, and the Tiger's Claw goes down with all hands onboard. (Includes Blair's love interest, Angel. Also you're fired.)
    • The losing ending of Wing Commander III shows the Kilrathi landing on a ruined Earth.
    • In Wing Commander IV, if you fail during the final sequence (which is entirely conversational), you end up shown being put before a firing line, to be executed for treason.
      • Fail several times in the first few mission sets, they'll show Blair back at the bar in Nephele after he's been booted from the service, watching a newscast of a declaration of war against the UBW.
    • In Prophecy, the aliens end up destroying you, your carrier, and presumably the last hope of staving off the invasion.
  • In the last level of FreeSpace 2, it doesn't matter if you successfully escape at the end. Most of the ending cutscene is the same, with the narration either mentioning your miraculous survival, or your outstanding sacrifice.
  • Consciously averted by the 1980s geopolitical sim Balance Of Power.
    You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure.
  • The Game Over/Bankrupt screen of Theme Park for PC shows an office desk with a framed photograph of a happy family. In the reflection of the glass covering the photo, the theme park owner tries to commit suicide by jumping out the window, though he changes his mind and goes back up after a second or two. Still, this detail is easily missable, especially if you're trying to stomach the (up until then) disturbing sequence. The SNES and Genesis versions, on the other hand, had neither the storage space nor video decoding capability to include that clip. As a result, they used a still picture of the owner in mid-jump, making the implication even more disturbing than what PC players would have seen.
  • Going bankrupt or otherwise losing in the Sim City-alike Constructor leads to a delightful CGI cutscene of the player character being buried alive.
  • Aerobiz: If another airline beats you to achieving the scenario goal, you are treated to "scary-music" and screen-shots of people pointing in terror as a huge, ghost-looking guy descends on your corporate HQ building. So the other airlines had an insidious plan to build a Humongous Mecha to unleash on your HQ after they won?
  • Losing a scenario in Railroad Tycoon 3 would trigger an FMV with the Railroad's former chairman (you) walking down the tracks as a hobo whilst a dialogue box suggested you try again.
  • The original Warhawk on the PS1 featured some of the most fantastically morbid game over screens ever devised, some of them going so far that they cross into Humiliation Conga. Experience them for yourself here.
  • Dwarf Fortress allows you to explore the shambles of your once thriving fortress in Adventure Mode.
    • For a straight example, you'd have to view the history in Legends mode after retiring your fortress to see it declared destroyed, and all the dwarves and other named characters who died or went insane as a consequence.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Die in Metal Gear Solid 2, and you get the usual "Snake? SNAAAAAAAAKE!" or "Raiden/Jack, answer me!" messages. Die to the Final Boss, on the other hand, and the Colonel AI laughs at you, and insults you on subsequent game overs.
    • Kill any important characters in MGS3, and Campbell yells at you for causing a Time Paradox. On any of the Game Over screens, the words slowly morph into "Time Paradox" if you let it sit.
    • Should you die at all in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, you get the screen rapidly flashing the game's major events as a distressed and panicked Otacon is heard yelling "SNAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!" followed by the Mission Failed screen. Especially haunting if you lose the microwave scene near the end of the game. Also, should you lose to Liquid Ocelot during the final battle, the "Exit" option on the Mission Failed screen will become "Exist", and choosing it will cause Liquid to shout, "It's not over yet!"

    Survival Horror 
  • Rule of Rose has a particularly nasty one, talking about just how miserably Jennifer died and how meaningless all her efforts were, ending with a mean-spirited and creepy narrated "And they all lived happily ever after."
  • In Resident Evil 2, when you ran out of health, you had to sit through a small cutscene of your character being brutalized by the monster that killed you.
  • In Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, certain powerful enemies will trigger a special animation upon killing you, having you die in a special and usually brutal way rather than just collapsing from your injuries. These include being decapitated by chainsaw or other means, devoured whole, impaled, bisected, or having your face melted by acidic vomit. If you die in the first chapter of Resident Evil 5, you get a special game over screen from the POV of your character as they are stomped, hacked, and bludgeoned to death by the angry villagers.
  • Dead Space had some of the most gruesome death scenes in gaming as you watched the monster destroy your hero. Which ONE? Oh, take your pick.
  • Eternal Darkness has a stock message for 10 of its playable characters: "(Name) has perished at the hands of the Eternal Darkness. With no one to stop their diabolical plans, humanity will surely be annihilated." If you die as Pious, however, since he would otherwise become the villain, the game over message just laments that he failed to fulfill his Emperor's command to find the artifact. And Anthony, thanks to his curse, can't even die until Paul gives him Last Rites.
    • Alex gets an extra cutscene, though, if she dies during the final boss fight; Pious will spit on her corpse and gloat.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • In Second Sight, if you die in the playable backstory, you see the main character in an interrogation cell, being coerced by the Big Bad in various ways. What he says varies depending on what level you were on and how you died. For example, if you die after finding an assault rifle and killing someone in the training level, he'll say "What made you think you could get away with just shooting people?"
    • Or, if you fail in protecting Jayne Wilde, Colonel Starke, or the WinterICE team, he'll say things like "They're all dead, and it's all your fault!"
  • In Win Back, if you take too long, the GULF Kill Sat fires again, and you get a Bad Ending.
  • In the Crusader series, if you get killed or take too much time in certain missions, you will get a video—usually a newscast saying that "Yeah, things are awesome now that those Rebels are all dead!", but a couple of times you get to watch people at your base being slaughtered.
  • Oddworld - Abe's Oddysee; If you don't free at least 50 Mudokons, the game ends with the Big Bad dumping Abe into a meat grinder.
    • It's a regular trend in the Oddworld series — in Abe's Exoddus, the "bad ending" shows Abe getting electrocuted to death, and in Munch's Oddysee, Abe gets ripped apart by the Fuzzles he failed to rescue, and Munch gets kidnapped by mad scientists who want his valuable lungs, and gets them surgically removed while he's still alive, complete with a shot of a heartbeat monitor beeping rapidly before flatlining.
  • In the Metal Arms: Glitch in the System missions that take place in Droid Town, sidetracking too far will result in the Colonel calling you and warning you to turn back or else. If you continue anyway, then eventually he'll call you again and bash at you for your failure. This is followed by a cutscene of the Mils having taken control of Droid Town and massacring said droids, rendering wasted all of the effort put into the rebellion.
  • Nanosaur: Since the plot of the game involves traveling back in time to right before the extinction of the Dinosaurs, you're being timed. And if the timer runs out - or you run out of lives, you get treated to this wonderful screen.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • While losing a fight is normally a minor setback in the Suikoden series (unless you lose one of the Stars in the process), losing certain battles in Suikoden V lead to alternate endings. For instance, lose your fight with Roy, and he gets to take your place just like he wanted... by pretending to be you while the Prince is comatose. Then he gets killed, the Godwins take over your stronghold, your forces scatter, and Sialeeds bitterly muses that it might be better if you never wake up.
    • Even worse, earlier in the game, if you choose to go along with Lord Barow's plan to become king, you will be treated with this very depressing scene.
    • Another lovely one involves choosing to stay behind and defend the castle as Roy and losing to Childerich, wherein on losing, he slits Roy's throat and gives a disturbing, ranting order to kill everyone in sight to his men. Then there's a small portion where you control Kyle, where losing shows the two Knights you lost to asking why you couldn't have been on their side before leaving you for dead. Kyle's last words are an apology to the Prince and Princess.
  • Star Wars: Rebellion ended either with your forces destroying the enemy flag ship, or with a hostile fleet appearing next to your ship and shooting it to pieces.
  • Super Robot Wars occasionally does this when you're on a level which would be the conclusion of a series with a Downer Ending like Baldios, Ideon, etc. They usually have some method to their madness, such as the Baldios ending being a re-enactment of the final scene in the series with a Tsunami wiping out all life on the planet.
  • The 9th and 10th Fire Emblem games make the death quotes much darker than previous games. While not technically game overs, most people restart when met with one thanks to Permadeath.
    Micaiah: I can't... Not when our goal...is still......so...far...... Sothe...
    Sothe: Micaiah... Don't leave me here alone... Micaiah!! Don't die!
    • Radiant Dawn is especially notable in this regard. As can be seen here, just about every chapter has its own unique dialogue for having a We Cannot Go On Without You character die. Some of the ones against major bosses paractically qualify as Bond One Liners.
    Micaiah: Ike... It's up to you now... Oh... Sothe...
    Zelgius: Maiden... I did not wish for things to end this way. However, the fate of the world has already been sealed.

    Micaiah: Why? Why must...we fight?
    Sephiran: Just a little longer. The fate of mankind is decided. All that's left to do is wait.

    Micaiah: The goddess...was right... We didn't...stand a...chance... S... Sothe...
    Ashera: It is inevitable. The start of death, as it should start. The end of life, as it should end.
  • In Star Control 2, if you don't blow up the Sa-Matra before the Kohr-Ah reach Earth, they kill everyone and then broadcast a message to you, telling you that you failed.
  • The majority of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten 's Multiple Endings are just early bad endings you get for losing to bosses in various chapters. You see fully-voiced cutscenes (some rather lengthy) and a narration of the boss you lost to going on to conquer the world.
    • Note that unlike many other examples of this trope, these sequences are actually very lighthearted, but apart from losing to Artina (which results in her forcing your characters to work for her but might still have the possibility for them to go back to their normal plans), they result in Fridge Horror since it would mean The End of the World as We Know It.

    Turn Based Tactics 
  • The original X-COM: UFO Defence... if you failed - either by losing your last base, having your organization's funding withdrawn, or by getting wiped out during the final Mission to Mars - you got to see what happened to Earth as a result... humanity reduced to slaves of the alien invaders, slowly mutating into pitiable monsters due to the radiation and pollution leaking from the alien's colonies... the sun blackened by dark clouds... and stuff like that.
    • In the PS1 version of the game, you got to see the aliens burst in and murder the President while signing a peace treaty with the aliens.
    • X-COM liked this trope. In Terror From the Deep, Cthulhu The Great Alien awakens and destroys the world. In Apocalypse, the aliens pull Earth into another dimension.
      • And that's the bad ending. The good ending in Apocalypse saves Earth, although Megaprimus lies half in ruins. In Terror From the Deep, you destroy the mothership of the abomination, which in turn poisons Earths atmosphere, makes a lot of people die and quite a lot of Earth uninhabitable. This in fact is the reason to build the megacities, like Megaprimus in Apocalypse. Also, your whole expedition dies on the ship. You know, the ones you trained for months, the ones you loved... just gone in an instant. Apparently, it wasn't received all that well, so both Apocalypse and Interceptor have much more positive good endings. And Interceptor? Well, if you fail, Earth is destroyed by a death star. If you manage to destroy the death star but not escape in time (or have your way home destroyed), you're dead along with your wingmen but hey, you saved the Earth so it's kind of victory, right?
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, losing eight of the nations on the Council triggers a cutscene where the spokesman for the Council announces the project has been shut down, and the camera pans to show he's being mind-controlled by an alien. In Enemy Within, losing the base defense mission results in a cutscene showing the XCOM base in complete ruins from the alien attack.

    Visual Novel 
  • Fate/stay night makes heavy use of these, usually through a first-person narration of your messy and painful death, or being trapped in a doll, or killing your emotions, all your enemies and a good number of your old allies (and letting the girl you're falling in love with be killed by her own sister)...
    • The one that probably fits the trope best is the infamous Mind of Steel ending where Shirou allows Sakura to be killed. Unlike the vast majority of bad endings, nothing really terrible happens to Shirou. Instead, Kotomine Kirei congratulates him, absolutely convinced that Shirou will now win the Grail War by any means necessary which will naturally include going after Tohsaka in the next five seconds and killing her as well as taking out Ilya, who Shirou has grown very close to. Because, as Kotomine notes, they can't really be trusted with the Grail anymore.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, there is a point near the end where screwing up will not cause you to just get a guilty verdict and Game Over, but instead a not guilty verdict for the oh-so-evil Engarde and Phoenix running screaming from the courtroom and quitting as a lawyer
    • Unsure if it's the only case of non-standard Game Over, but in Apollo Justice, failing to get your last client a "not guilty" verdict means she dies in the hospital mere hours later. Postponed for eternity indeed.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations plays the trope straight: every single situation you could get a game over in has its own scene, ranging from Edgeworth being kicked off the investigation to the killer laughing in your face before walking away free to the wrong person being arrested.
    • Dual Destinies has a couple of bad endings in the final case but the worst one ends with Blackquill being executed, Aura absconding with all the hostages including Trucy never to be seen again, Athena leaving the office out of despair, Apollo becoming completely distraught and refusing to smile again, and Phoenix quitting the legal profession in disgrace. Burn your meter on Blackquill's testimony to get the Player Punch of a lifetime.
  • Strangely averted in Kanon: Succeed in a girl's scenario, and you get to find out all the horrible things that happen to her. Fail? "Every day is perfectly ordinary..." No mention of how badly you screwed up, other than Yuuichi's vague reference to his missing memories. However, he does acknowledge, if you fail late enough in their scenarios, that he never sees Ayu or Shiori again.
  • Due to the structure of Remember11, not only will the game go into great detail about your final moments of freezing to death (quite common in its Bad Ends), but when you try to take the other protagonist's route, you will usually catch his/her last moments as well floating over your corpse and summarizing what happened. This actually serves a useful purpose, since some of bad ends (especially Kokoro in Satoru's body eating and making his body suceptible to the effects of the MAOI) have the ending occur several days after the deciding choice, with the choice not being incredibly conspicuous. However, it's still really depressing.
  • If you somehow manage to screw things up so badly in Act 1 of Katawa Shoujo that you fail to get on any girl's path, you are treated to a depressed Hisao, having nothing better to do, skipping the festival in favour of a "manly picnic" on the roof with crazy neighbour Kenji and a bottle of whiskey, during which he reflects on all his squandered opportunities. Then Hisao falls off the roof and dies.
  • Didn't earn the love of a bird in Hatoful Boyfriend? Have fun when the sinister Hawk Party condemns the heroine's failure to mend human-bird relations and commences plans to exterminate humanity! Coffee, anyone?
  • The bad endings of Hakuōki come in every flavor of horrible, the least traumatic of which tend to involve either one of the guys dying to protect Chizuru or Chizuru taking a mortal blow to protect them instead. Others have Chizuru and her chosen guy getting killed, usually by being unceremoniously shot, or Chizuru being dragged off to A Fate Worse Than Death by Kazama; Saito's route includes a possible bad ending in which he loses his sanity to the fury bloodlust and cuts Chizuru down himself when she tries to protect him from Amagiri, and Hijikata's route has an especially horrifying one in which Kazama first gets him to lay down his sword by threatening to hurt Chizuru, then tortures Hijikata to death in front of Chizuru to teach her not to defy him.
  • In Cinders, if you try to poison your stepmother and fail (an outcome you pretty much have to be trying to get), you get arrested and thrown into the royal dungeon to rot to death there in misery and darkness. To twist the knife in further, if you befriended Perrault, Tobias or Ghede before your arrest, they'll be shown mourning at your gravestone in the ending screen — and if you didn't befriend any of them, the ending text will make a point of commenting on how nobody cared enough about you to mourn your death.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Failed to stop Carlito's bombs in the 7th Act of Dead Rising? Congratulations! You just destroyed every living (and nonliving) being inside the Willamette Mall, and also released the deadly virus that turns people into zombies upon America, if not the entire world, essentially dooming humanity. Way to go, champ. You deserve that Ending F.
    • Similarly, if you are in military custody when the 3 day clock runs out, there is a short cutscene of you being flown away and a text indicating that Frank has disappeared.
  • If you lose to the final boss of Prototype, you get an alternate ending showing New York getting nuked.
  • God help you if you fail to catch the Brickster in LEGO Island: You are treated to a vision of all of your island friends sitting around and weeping under the control of the Brickster. Good job, hero.
    Infomaniac: Well it's not as bad as it looks. Well maybe it is. No, actually, you can just start again, or come back later if you want to! We'll be able to reconstruct. Err, maybe. Oh who am I kidding? Of course we can! We're the citizens of LEGO Island! So, start a new game, or exit through those doors, and come back when you want to visit again.
  • Minecraft. Hardcore mode. Die and instead of the usual "You died! [Respawn] / [Title Menu]" screen, you get a message telling you that you cannot respawn, and you see only one button labeled "Delete world". The game technically doesn't delete your world upon death, as it's still there and you simply can't move anymore. No, it makes you activate the process of deleting your world.
    • Died in an online game that's using Hardcore mode? Good news: you don't have to delete the world. Bad news: you're permanently banned from that server.
  • If a hardcore character dies in Terraria, you return to the world, where you died, as a ghost. You then get to look around the world your character is leaving behind before you exit, at which point the character gets deleted, and all the stuff dropped despawns when the world unloads.


Shoot the Shaggy DogSliding Scale of EndingsPyrrhic Victory
Hoist by His Own PetardIndex FailureIgnorant of Their Own Ignorance
Have a Nice DeathVideo Game Difficulty TropesNon-Standard Game Over
I Let Gwen Stacy DieTear JerkerKick the Dog
Impending Clash ShotImageSource/Video GamesKung-Fu Wizard

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