In most games, players see the dreaded Game Over screen when their in-game avatars are defeated in some way. Maybe they took too many wounds and lost all their Hit Points, or maybe they fell down too many Bottomless Pits and lost all their lives. They could have failed an objective or lost a critical NPC. They might have forgotten to pause the game while reading the walkthrough they pulled from GameFAQs and the game's timer ran out — you get the idea. These are all standard failings, usually treated with a simple, default message: "Game Over."
But, there are a few games that give special punishments to particularly noteworthy player screw-ups. These areNonstandard Game Overs.
There are a few variations on this theme:
Otherwise standard game overs (loss of hit points, lives, etc.) that receive special treatment because they occur in a particular place or time (e.g., a unique death cutscene for losing a Boss Fight);
In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, if you fail the final minigame-for-a-boss, you are treated to a very disturbingly realistic portrayal of emergency services and news helicopters flying over Manhattan as a smoking ruin after a nuclear blast.
And in the first Splinter Cell game, you are on a training facility, and at a certain point you get a gun. If you turn back and kill an officer, you get fired. You also get fired if you attack Grimsdottir in the beginning of the level.
Romancing Sa Ga 2 had several; If you fail the Komulune Island mission and allow the volcano to erupt, or perform the South Sea Mermaid quest. These will only happen as last emperor though.
In Romancing Sa Ga 3, if you die during the battle with the final boss, you get to watch it cause an explosive chain reaction that destroys the entire universe. It even destroys the depiction of the world map (on an actual map) that is floating in space when you access it. It blows up if you beat the game, too, but gets better.
In Time Shift, if you block or otherwise interfere with certain movable objects while using your Time Reversal power, you get a non-standard Game Over due to Time Paradox.
In A Dance with Rogues, your character is subject to two loyalty tests in the middle of the first chapter. Failing either of them (selling the thieves' guild to the man in the Mysterious Note quest or going off north instead of returning to Betancuria in Lesson 7) causes the game to end and the standard credits to roll.
Also, if you refuse to summon Hyath but keep the ring, you get a dreamscape cutscene and you die as soon as you leave the Summer Isles.
In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, the party can enter the Bonus Dungeon, Black Forest. It's a maze where you're guided by talking flowers. Yes, talking flowers. The white flowers always tell the truth, and generally give you clues about how to get through the dungeon. However, near the end, a white flower tells you how to "proceed deeper into the forest." If you follow its advice, your characters get lost in the forest forever (complete with a creepy message) and thus, Game Over.
In Koudelka, failing to obtain a certain object before fighting the final boss will result in a gruesome cutscene rather than the standard Game Over screen. Also, if you lose the fight with the final boss, you're shown the "sad" ending, which is actually longer than the "happy" one. And arguably more satisfying. And canon.
Shadowgate: All the myriad deaths cut to a glowing-eyed Reaper against a sunset with the caption, "It's a sad thing that your adventures have ended here!!", except (at least) jumping into a massive chasm, which brings, "The Reaper Man stands below, waiting to catch you" instead. If that doesn't seem scary, you lack the childhood trauma.
System Shock's normal game over is you serving SHODAN well, as a cyborg. You get a non-standard game over when you fire the mining laser into Earth. The game ends with a frantic Cyberspace battle where the player crashes an AI who in turn hacks the player's mind. The latter is represented by a storm of pixels slowly filling the screen. If the AI wins, the pixels fill the screen to form a picture of her empty, emotionless, Gigeresque face.
If you lose to Lavos, you get to watch him destroy the world. The text "But the future refused to change..." then appears.
In the DS version, if you lose to the Bonus BossDream Devourer, Schala says she will erase all existence, and then you see the "In the end, the future refused to change" screen.
Losing to Magus in 600 AD (who is no pushover) will treat you to a very short scene in which he turns around and continues summoning. And, before the screen fades to black, Lavos's great scream is the last thing you hear.
Alone In The Dark 1992: the normal Game Over shows a zombie dragging your dead body to the alter of Pregzt, where it shows the text "The End". Nonstandard game-overs occur if you die in or near the final boss room, get eaten by the giant plant guarding the front door, or happen to read "De Vermis Mysteriis", in which case it just says "The End" on the screen where you died.
In the arcade version of Street Fighter Alpha 3, losing the final CPU match against M. Bison does not allow you to continue. Instead, you'll get an alternate ending in which M. Bison uses your character's body as an energy source for his Psycho Drive. And if you lose to Ryu playing as M. Bison, it will play Ryu's ending instead.
There's an extension of the moon falling Game Over: If the guardians are called with the Oath to Order when even one of them isn't free, the free ones' attempt to stop the moon will turn out to be not working, at which point the player gets one minute (real time) left to play the Song of Time to escape. If the player opts to let time run out here, he or she will see a scene where the guardians fall over and the moon continues to fall. Then it continues to the normal scene of this Game Over variant.
In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, when you're travelling with a character, a Pirate tank (or ship) may invade your train. When this happens, lots or miniblins (and later a Big Blin) will try to kidnap your passenger. If they succeed, you can still rescue the character when going to the Pirate Hideout island, so this wouldn't be a big deal. But if that place hasn't been unlocked yet (and it isn't yet when you're taking Carben with you), the character is Lost Forever and you get an automatic Game Over.
In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Imprisoned triggers this if it manages to arrive at the Sealed Shrine before Link can reseal it. The Imprisoned requires Hylia's soul (read: ZELDA'S) in order to reclaim its true form and power, and guess where you can find it?
Another dungeon in the game triggers a NSGO if you decide to stop and fight the mooks hording around you in a pit, and fail to notice THE GIANT STATUE FALLING ON YOUR HEAD.
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes has one in the ice level where you free prisoners. If you manage to get yourself locked in a cell, Plastro himself comes out of nowhere to mock you followed by a game over.
Sarge's Heroes 2 has a hilarious one. The tutorial has you follow orders from Colonel Grimm, a.k.a. Vikki's father. You can choose to kill him and simply finish the tutorial yourself, but at the end, instead of Vikki's usual "Congratulations" when you open the last door, she will immediately shoot you with a bazooka as soon as the door opens. Even if you somehow dodge, it you still fail.
Take too long to destroy Vegnagun in the second-to-last battle in Final Fantasy X-2, and you get to watch Shuyin fire it, obliterating Spira.
Likewise, in the previous game, if you take too long during the final fight against Sin, it will unleash its Overdrive "Giga-Graviton," which will destroy the airship you're standing on, instantly killing your party. You can't even use an Aeon to take the hit for you.
Breath Of Fire II has a case of a Nonstandard Game Over that's also a bad ending. A still screen depicting an army of demons taking over the world can be seen in one of two ways: either by choosing not to unseal the gate to the final dungeon, or failing to break out of the final boss's paralysis spell.
Breath Of Fire III also has a case of a Nonstandard Game Over, which doubled as a bad ending. It was achieved by submitting to the final boss and relinquishing Ryu's powers instead of fighting against her.
Breath Of Fire IV also has a case of a Nonstandard Game Over, which (again) doubled as a bad ending. It featured Ryu ultimately agreeing with Fou-Lu, merging with him instead of battling him, and caused the player to CONTROL the final boss against the entirety of your former party. Destroying them was quick and brutal, and afterwards the game left no doubt in the player's mind as to the fate of humanity (it was blown up).
In Treasure Of The Rudra you get one when you are at the bio tanks and input the wrong combination to stop the pollution.
In the original Leisure Suit Larry, if you died by getting run over as soon as the game begins (or in the nearby alley), you're treated to a cut-scene of Larry's corpse being lowered into a laboratory, which then creates a new Larry to be raised to the opening scene for the soon-to-be-restarted game.
Anything that resulted in a "normal" dead body would trigger this scene. (Interestingly enough, getting killed in an alley would result in one of the techs saying Larry screwed up again, but this never happened anywhere else.) Getting run over wouldn't, as he'd be too, er, sticky to be dumped into the bit bucket.
More obscurely, if the player took too long to reach the end game, Larry sees the sun rising, and then shoots himself in the head in despair over stillbeing (technically) a virgin.
The game can go even further to psych out the player here. If you haven't saved in a while, the game will detect this and call you out on it. "Do you really want to lose all of your progress?"
In Metal Gear Solid 2, during the Tanker chapter, if Snake gets caught sneaking around during the Commandant's speech, the player is shown the soldiers in the Tanker taking Snake into custody before "Game Over" is displayed.
Metal Gear Solid 3 is actually a prequel to Metal Gear Solid 1 and Metal Gear Solid 2. In MGS3, you meet a boss that also appears in MGS1. You're supposed to simply knock-out that boss in MGS3, but if you decide to kill him instead, you'll have Colonel Campbell, from the 'future', shout "Snake, what have you done? You changed the future! You've created a time paradox!", and the words "Time Paradox" will appear, instead of the usual game over text. There are other characters that appear in later games that you can't kill or you'll create a time paradox.
In the same game, there's this quote if you get this game over: "Snake, you can't do that! The future will be changed! You'll create a time paradox!" Also: "You've created a time paradox! Snake, you can't go changing the future like that!" Furthermore: "Snake! You've created a time paradox! The future must not be changed! You must know the future!!!"
Of course, since MGS3 is the prequel, with Naked Snake being Big Boss, or the father of Solid Snake, the normal Game Over screen will slowly evolve from the words "Snake is Dead" to "Time Paradox", if left alone long enough. In addition, if the Fake Death Pill is used, and the words change completely to "Time Paradox", then Snake dies for real, fake death or not.
There's a few cases in Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, in particular, where you get a wildly different Informal Eulogy depending on the circumstances. Crash into the tripwires surrounding Baker, and Ocelot will call you an idiot/fool depending on if you're playing the remake or not. Fail the torture, and not only will your CONTINUE option be missing, but you'll get to hear Liquid yell at Ocelot for getting carried away. Die during the final battle in Metal Gear Solid 2 after your "support" team has dropped their fašade, and they'll laugh at your failure.
In Metal Gear Solid 4, die during the final battle & you will be given the choice to "Continue" or "Exist". Choose the latter, and you will hear Ocelot tell you "It's not over yet, Snake!" and you will have to choose again, only "Exist" will have returned to the traditional "Exit".
Gurlugon. Possibly the most bizarre game over sequence in the entire series.
Rather than Snake dying, there are other ways you can get a Game Over. If, for example, you kill Johnny, Otacon will shout "Snake, what did you just do? Have you lost your mind?!", and as soon as the Game Over screen appears, Otacon says "Oh no! What are we going to do now, Snake?"
The Disgaea series tends to give you often humorous Non Standard Game Overs for being beaten by the games' Goldfish Poop Gang, or one of the main team members before they've joined the group. Most of them are treated like endings (Particularly in 3 and 4, which add lengthy narratives to them), causing the credits to roll, and in some cases, allowing you to start a New Game Plus earlier then normal.
In Disgaea 2, a multitude of characters propose bills to be the main character in the Dark Assembly. Should they be passed (and there's a very high chance they will without any intervention on your part), you immediately get a game over. Also, winning the Hopeless Boss Fight against Laharl, or the one against Etna, nets a Non Standard Game Over as well.
Revisiting the final level of the first chapter in Disgaea 3 and winning the battle there before a certain point in the story also results in a humorous Non Standard Game Over where Mao and Almaz openly acknowledge that they've screwed up the plot and the only option is to reset the game.
In Makai Kingdom postgame, you can trigger an encounter with Zetta himself, who turns out to be Overlord Baal possessing Zetta's lost body. Winning the fight nets you the body as a playable character. However, if you've previously shanghaied Laharl and use him as the active character when initiating the encounter, and then winning the fight, results in Laharl claiming the victory instead of Zetta, followed by him destroying the body and ending Zetta's reign.
Signing a ceasefire with a major enemy group in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 results in a sequence of events over several missions in which the situation degrades until your army dies a horrible death. In the same game, should a particular character be defeated in action, its defeat causes the end of all existence, complete with a special game over screen.
RPG eroge made by Eushully tend to have this. Even losing in battles that should be somewhat easy will result in a slightly extended ending. For example, losing against an assassin in Reiki has you have the main character talk with said assassin before going to the game over screen.
Typical H-Game fandom has a GOR (Game Over Rape) subgenre, which is all about this trope.
In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, in the fifth case, there is a piece of evidence that appears to point to one person, but the place where it was found points to the real murderer. If you present it too early, i.e. before the real murderer admits that he was hiding it, you're told that the trial was unwinnable from that point onward, and the word "Guilty" appears on a black background.
Similarly, in the second Phoenix Wright game, right near the end of the 4th case, you're given a chance to show a particular piece of evidence to a particular person. Pick the wrong thing or person, and the villain goes free, an innocent person is convicted, and Phoenix up and quits being a lawyer. "But the miracle never happen..."
Several of the Boktai games have non-standard bad endings if the player ever abuses the vampiric side his character is cursed with in later parts of the series.
During the final battle in the first God Of War, Kratos is hurled back to the moment his family died by his hand, only to find them alive... whereupon Ares conjures up an army of Kratos clones. The family has their own health bar in the following battle; should it run out, a cutscene starts, showing Kratos collapsing in abject despair and sorrow, murmuring, "Not again..." The Kratos clones then gang up and chop him apart.
During one of the last battles in God of War II, Kratos is hurled back to the moment that he defeated Ares. The boss, Atropos, was going to destroy the giant sword you originally used in the first game to slay the god of war, which would lead to your retroactive death. If you failed to defeat Atropos before she could destroy the sword, you get a cutscene of past Kratos kneeling in defeat and getting stabbed by Ares, which causes present Kratos to wretch in pain and fall over, dead.
In Final Fantasy VIII, at the Missile Base, failure to alter the coordinates of several missiles results in a scene where your home is promptly obliterated by said missiles without even so much as a time limit.
Failing to rescue Rinoa in time leaves her floating off into space forever.
A pretty basic one in Final Fantasy VII as well. If you don't get out of the reactor in the opening mission before it blows up, it simply blows up with you inside it.
Final Fantasy IX has two of these in the start of the Evil Forest section. Garnet, and then Vivi get abducted by a monster and you have to kill it to free them. During the fight, the monster sucks up Garnet and Vivi's HP and if their HP hits zero, they die and the game ends.
Another from FFIX: if you let the other three party members get KO'd in the fight against Black Waltz #2, it will cast Sleep on Garnet, and spirit her away, ending the game.
Normally, losing a fight in the first Fatal Fury leads to a taunting quote from your opponent and a "Continue?" screen showing your fighter's battered picture. Losing to Geese, the last boss, however, gives you a cutscene where he kicks you off of Geese Tower. The "Continue?" screen likewise shows your character plummeting to his death.
Given that using a Continue would place you back at the same battle again, one imagines a giant trampoline placed directly under the window...
Metal Saga features several Nonstandard Game Overs, usually for humor and initiated with a single conversation. The very first appears before the game even begins, when the player character's mother asks if he'd like to stay and work in the family garage instead of embarking on a quest for fame and fortune. If the player agrees, an epilogue detailing the rest of the character's life (which is entirely un-noteworthy) begins and the game ends. The player character may also marry his first prospective party member at any time simply by asking her, at which point they both quit adventuring to start a family.
In an Older Than the NES example, many old text adventures (Interactive Fiction) games allow you to easily recover from death (sometimes by simply "walking out" of the afterlife, sometimes with an "undo" command) but have some exceptions where that doesn't work if you really screw up, such as by wiping yourself from existence through Temporal Paradox.
Example: The original Zork trilogy always cut to a prompt allowing you to "RESTART, RESTORE or QUIT" upon death. The notable exception was if you died in Zork 3 while using the time machine to travel to the past — the game simply and immediately quit to the system command prompt, due to the historical paradox making your character cease to have ever existed entirely. This becomes particularly jarring for people playing the games on emulators on modern systems.
The notoriously cruelThe Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy text adventure also does this if you, as Ford Prefect, negate the events of the game by not saving Arthur Dent from the Earth's destruction in the first place. It is particularly notable for causing chaos and consternation among players by actually quitting the game in MID-SENTENCE.
Quitting the game became a less acceptable option over time at Infocom, but the Enchanter Trilogy, sequel to the Zork Trilogy, kept up the tradition of having special ways to die. In all three games it is possible to take actions that not only cause you to fail your mission but make the world substantially worse off than it was before. Thus, your score displayed at the game over prompt, which normally would be some score taken out of a total (100 out of 400, say) and give you a rank dependent on your score (from "Charlatan" to "Enchanter" to "Sorcerer" to "Archmage"), would instead become a score of -100 and your rank would be "Menace to Society". In the original game, Enchanter, one earned this rank for releasing a powerful Lovecraftian demon upon the land; in the sequel, Sorcerer, one earned this rank for successfully tracking down your demon-possessed mentor and allowing the demon to transfer itself to your far more powerful body; and in the finale, Spellbreaker, it was revealed that the entire plot of the game was a cunning trap and that actually succeeding in your goal would grant you this rank if you didn't see the ruse in time.
In Dragon Quest, when you finally face the Dragonlord, he offers you a chance to join him and rule half the world. Smart players select "no" and get on with the battle, but if you choose "yes" (and confirm it): "Then half of this world is thine, half of the darkness, and... If thou dies I can bring thee back for another attempt without loss of thy deeds to date." Then the screen turns red. "Thy journey is over. Take now a long, long rest. Hahahaha..." Then you're dead. (It's been rumored that this also erases your game data, but that is not correct.)
In the computer game version of Frederick Forsyth's The Fourth Protocol (in 1984), you have to uncover a Soviet plot to explode a nuclear bomb near a US Air Force base in Britain, to influence the upcoming British elections and lead to the election of an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-Soviet government. Usually, if you take too long or don't get anywhere with the plot, you get a memo telling you you're being reassigned tothe Falkland Islands, until you get far enough. When you find the bomb you have to defuse it, and if you mess it up you are told the plan succeeded: Britain fell to the Soviets, and they started working on Europe from two fronts. But sometimes a different ending appears: 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..."
In the Strike series of Helicopter games, simply getting yourself blown up would earn a normal game over. Failing a mission or otherwise rendering the level Unwinnable, however, would result in your being recalled to base for a dressing-down from your commanding officer which changed according to what you did wrong. (From Jungle Strike's first level, if you tried someMonumental Damage of your own: "You redecorated the White House, Beruit style!")
In Nuclear Strike, it is possible to have a nonstandard game over piled on top of a nonstandard game over. If you tried to refuel thrice after being told to return to base because of a SNAFU, General Earle orders your (literal) termination for going rogue.
The Code Geass game for Nintendo DS normally uses a still picture from the show's ending credits as the Game Over screen, with a voiceover by C.C. admonishing the player to not be so stupid next time. However, one can earn a Non-Standard Game Over simply by choosing not to interfere with Euphemia's special administrative region, which goes off successfully, avoiding the slaughter from the TV show completely. This turn of events yields a different quote from C.C.: "Well, this is a Good Ending, I guess..."
Metroid Prime 3 has one: Stay in Hyper Mode for too long, and you see a cutscene of Samus turning into Dark Samus, followed by a modified death screen. Normally, the game over screen has a red splatter appear, presumably blood. If you get this Nonstandard screen, there's this dark blue blotch (Phazon?) that grows on the screen, and the words "Terminal Corruption" appear.
Metroid: Fusion has exactly three Non-Standard Game Overs, all of which involve a timed mission. The first occurs when the X figure out how to hack the computer and order the engines' boiler to explode; the second when an SA-X discovers and attacks a secret Metroid breeding facility; the third occurs at the very end of the game, when Samus is forced to destroy the entire space station. If you run out of time during any of these timed segments, you will see the same cutscene you'd see if you successfully completed the mission - except that you don't survive. Of course, initiating said cutscenes are Instant Win Conditions, so you can literally wait until the last possible second.
If you die in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, you will usually just watch Kyle die in a slow motion sequence. However on one level, you are required to be stealthy. If an enemy raises the alarm, you will see a cutscene of Kyle in prison just before being tortured. Memetic Badass my ass...
Failure during the finale of any Quest for Glory installment from Trial by Fire through Dragon Fire will lead not only to the hero's death, but a scene of the resident Sealed Evil in a Can breaking free to lay waste to the world.
This can happen several times in the second game, Trial by Fire. The main city is beset by four elementals over the course of the story, and three days after they individually show up, if they haven't been defeated, then you get a cutscene of them destroying the city. In addition, the final portion of the game, after the Big Bad gets the sealed evil, but before it is released, any failure or waste of time will result in the above mentioned non-standard game over.
Conkers Bad Fur Day involves a fabled Panther King seeking a red squirrel with which to replace his broken table leg, so as to prevent him from spilling his milk on said table. The standard game over has Conker, the protagonist, tied and gagged to the king's table leg. Depending on the circumstances of the player's death, the game's nonstandard endings include the Panther King's minions turning Conker in as either a bag of soggy squirrel, bloodied chunks or black char, or just a shot of Conker's Face on a Milk Carton.
In the final stage of the game after The Panther King dies, they do away with the cutscene entirely, only showing you "GAME OVER" on a black screen.
America's Army - If you shoot an instructor, the screen goes black and then transports your character to a prison cell in Leavenworth.
If you shoot people on your own team too many times in online play the game will kick you out of the server and give you the Leavenworth scene as well.
And like before, even with cheats, the game ends as the death of her causes a premature end of the world, and Ailyth won't approve of that.
Half-Life has several of these, usually taking the form of a black screen with white text:
When using the teleporter "gun" in Opposing Force, there are places where you can translocate into nothingness, giving you an unusual Game Over screen.
And if you try to chase Freeman to Xen, you will lose due to creating a Temporal Paradox.
And similar to the America's Army example above, you can attack/kill an instructor during the tutorial and get yourself court martialed.
Similiar to the Opposing Force tutorial example mentioned above, this can also occur at the start of Blue Shift before you officially report for duty. You're given a pistol at the practice-firing range, loads of comrade security guards are around, no need to guess what happens if you decide to shoot someone.
Refusing the G-Man's offer at the end of Half-Life might be a case of this, or a case of Multiple Endings. He expresses his regrets, and then it's not pretty.
There's also a much earlier Half-Life NSGO during the Questionable Ethics level where you got to bring 1 of the 3 hiding scientists to the eye scanner to unlock the front door of the building. If you decide to kill all 3 of the scientists before the door is unlocked, you end up trapping yourself. The game will then fadeout like the G-Man endings after shooting the last remaining scientist.
In Half-Life 2, crashing a vehicle into a location that the player will not be able to recover you are terminated for "failure to preserve mission-critical resources".
Jumping off the cliffs on Highway 17 will fade to black with the note that you "demonstrated exceedingly poor judgement".
In Episode Two the G-man's endgame reports have been replaced with Vortessent messages, the most amusing of which comments that "the Magnusson's misgivings about the Freeman were completely justified" if the player fails to protect the base.
Rise of Nations has two kinds of Game Over: the normal defeat, when your opponent simply wins, and the Armageddon defeat, which happens if you drop too many nukes, and basically means everybody loses. Similarly, the Cold War campaign has two Game Overs: the normal defeat, where the opposing side wins, and the Nuclear Holocaust ending, where everybody fires Mnogo Nukes.
So does Theatre Europe. Notably, you can't win as Warsaw Pact under the hardest difficulty, as NATO will, as a desperate measure, launch a major nuclear attack against you, leading to an End of the World as We Know It. (Conversely, when playing as NATO your goal is to defend yourself for a requisite number of turns; if you ever enter the Warsaw Pact territory, the enemy will start a global nuclear war. You can also trigger it deliberately, or by provoking the enemy by launching one too many nuclear missiles against them.)
Fire Emblem7 has an interesting case - in one of the sidechapters, the completion goal is to make it to the other side of the map and talk to the boss, Fargus, in order to earn being ferried by his crew to the Dread Isle. If you so choose to attack Fargus, he'll probably kill any unit you have at the time. But if you somehow defeat him, the mission ends with him telling you that you now have no way to continue. Game over. Even if you didn't kill him, he would then refuse to take you to the Dread Isle, resulting in a similar Non-Standard Game Over.
In Silent Hill 3, if you die a certain way or in a certain place, Valtiel is shown carrying away Heather's body.
And if Heather shoots Claudia, Heather "births" the god and dies in a rather gruesome cutscene, where Claudia says "Oh God, bring us salvation".
In Fatal Frame II, if you decide to use the secret passage to escape from the haunted village without your twin sister Mayu you'll get a scene and then one of these. It could actually qualify as a bad ending, since it's a viable conclusion to the story and even suckier than the already depressing regular (and canonical!) ending.
In Red Faction, if Griffin dies, you will get a special message saying "Your failure to protect Griffin doomed the rebellion, etc'', followed by just "Game Over" instead of "You Have Died".
In Red Faction: Guerilla if you kill your brother during the tutorial, the Game Over screen will appear, saying "WTF, you killed your Brother!!!". Yes, with that wording.
In Golden Sun, after you let the bad guys make off with the Elemental Stars, you are asked (not told) by your village elder to go after the stars. Refuse twice and the screen fades to a sepia tone, accompanied with the text "And so, the world drifted towards its fated destruction." You are then given the option of continuing from the beginning of the conversation. This is ironic because the destruction it is describing is the slow erosion described in the second game, due to alchemy not being unlocked, but you assume it is because alchemy WAS unlocked that the world ended.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age justifies it, since after lighting three out of four lighthouses, the world's erosion at the hands of Alchemy gets direr until the fourth one is lit. But the Mars Star was in Isaac's hands all along, so Felix never had the chance to seize it before the erosion devoured Prox and the Mars Lighthouse.
In Castlevania Rondo Of Blood, normally Richter dies in a Rain of Blood (being the first Castlevania protagonist to suffer this), but getting ambushed by a living portrait ends up with Richter being trapped in a picture within the picture - which the figure in the portrait proceeds to tear up. It's the only unique death animation in the game.
Losing to the True Final Boss in Aria of Sorrow results in Soma being taken over by Dracula completley, and you get a short scene where Julius Belmont is implied to make good on the I Cannot Self-Terminate promise he made with Soma earlier.
In Tomb Raider (and loyally copied into its remake, Tomb Raider Anniversary), if Lara makes the mistake of touching the magic hand of the Midas statue, she herself turns to solid gold, just painfully slowly enough for her to be able to realize what her mistake has cost her before she actually dies. Many players consider to be the coolest death of the franchise.
One question in The Impossible Quiz 2 asks "Click Yes to exit." Clicking "Yes" will take you back to the title screen, without the Game Over screen.
In Persona 4, if someone appears on the Midnight Channel, you have to rescue the person from the TV world before a certain date passes. If the deadline passes and you didn't save the person, said person will die when the fog is at its heaviest. Your hero collapses and you are then given the option to exit to the title screen or flash back seven days to try again.
The stated in-game reason for this Game Over is not because the person dies (though that's obviously the motivation), but because the death frustrates any further attempts by the hero to investigate the murders due to lack of clues or information.
And the very last person— if you fail, instead, one of the characters calls the hero to tell them that shadows are coming out of the TV, and suddenly cuts off with a scream.
In Tales Of Symphonia Dawn Of The New World, if you defeat Lloyd and Marta in the game's penultimate boss battle, you don't proceed to the real final boss. Instead, you get a scene where Emil commits suicide upon seeing that he wounded Marta while faking possession by his Superpowered Evil Side and becomes a core. The final scene is days later and shows Marta writing in a diary as if to Emil, noting that they will never see him again.
There are three non-standard Game Overs in Harvest Moon DS and two or three in Harvest Moon DS Cute.
The first is during the opening sequence, when Mayor Thomas from Mineral Town annoys your character into attacking him. The dog will then become angry. You'll have the option to call your dog back. If you refuse, the screen will fade to red, likely signifying that your dog has killed the mayor. The credits roll, and you're taken back to the title screen.
This next one takes a very long time to get...you have to grow a Level 100 Toadstool, then submit it at the Harvest Festival. The entire town (including you) will grow sick and die. The credits roll, and you're taken back to the title screen.
If you turn on HMDS with Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town in the GBA slot (or HMDSC with Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town), villagers from Mineral Town will start to visit Forget-Me-Not Valley. You only have to do this once to make them keep coming back forever. The Mineral Town girls in DS are marriage candidates...but marrying any of them will take you back to the title screen and revert back to your last save file. This is changed in DS Cute, though, allowing you to continue the game with a Mineral Town husband.
In the English version of Magical Melody, marrying your rival, Jamie, will cause the game to end.
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town have this as well. If you choose not to inherit the farm after the mayor asks you, the mayor will be sad and the ending credits will roll.
In the Wonderful Life subseries, your game ends if you are not married by the end of the first year. In later chapters, allowing your farm and shipment levels to fall by the wayside can cause your wife to leave you. In the PS2 special edition, you can end the game in the first cutscene by simply telling Takakura you don't want the farm.
A Japanese interactive movie Super Voice World has several Nonstandard Game Overs, the first of which you can get in the very first choice you make (choose wrong and you end up getting run over by a car). Most of them get you killed or Put on a Bus. Considering that the film is about you doing stuff aspiring seiyuu do in order to become one, it certainly has creative ways of getting rid of you - you can, for example, end up getting shot by Shinichiro Miki when trying to sneak out of a bar without paying, or get eaten by a vampiric Tessho Genda.
Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door has five Nonstandard Game Overs. The first is in Chapter 1, where you can be crushed by a spiked ceiling, killing you instantly. The second is in the second chapter, where you get one if Lord Crump's time bomb goes off. Another is in the 6th chapter of the game, where you have to retrieve a diary for a Ghost Toad, who warns you not to read it. If you do so anyway, the ghost will appear and kill you. The fourth is during the final boss fight. The final boss will ask you to become her servant. Agree, and you get another Game Over. Hopefully you saved right before the final door. The fifth one is quite different from the others, as it has to do with the Lottery in Rogueport of all things instead of being integrated with the plot. Lucky doesn't like it when you mess with the console's clock to get more chances to win, as the lottery is played using real time. He'll let you off with a warning the first time, but the second time, Game Over.
At the very start of Super Paper Mario, you can refuse the Pure Heart that Merlon tries to give you by saying "No" three times (with Merlon getting increasingly desperate each time.) After that, he'll wander off worrying, you get a text screen saying that the universe was destroyed, and it's Game Over. This is before you even get to control your character!
When you get the fishbowl and enter the space world, Tippi tells you to put it on. If you refuse several times (even after she lampshades that Mario canbreathe underwater), Game Over. In fact, she basically calls you a moron and lets you die.
When Queen Jaydes asks Mario to find Luvbi, he has the option to refuse. Refusing enough times will result in Jaydes zapping Mario with lightning and stating that he shall be condemned for eternity.
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, you get a Game Over if you fail to exit Bowser's Castle in the allotted time. (Of course, even the first time around, it's easy enough that it shouldn't take even half the time the game gives you.)
In Tron 2.0, if you kill any non-hostile and/or "Civilian" Programs (like Ma3a, Byte, or any character than you can talk to), you hear a voice say "Illegal program termination." Five seconds later, you get a screen with the same message.
Losing to any of the final dungeon's bosses gives you a Nonstandard Game Over as well; each boss has a different one.
Rayman 2 has exactly one of these. There's a quest in which you have to locate a healing elixir in the Cave of Bad Dreams. After completing the cave's obstacle course, you are offered massive sums of cash. If you accept this, you will find yourself sitting on a luxury yacht with a pile of cash the size of a small building. The implication is that Rayman lets his greed get the best of him and decides to simply let the pirates enslave everybody while he lies around enjoying his money.
After the standard Critical Existence Failure, the gameover screen reads "You have died. Would you like to try again?" If your Oxygen Meter runs out underwater, the screen changes to "You have drowned." If you fall into either of the two Bottomless Pits in the game, it reads "You were never seen again..."
The worst of the game's Multiple Endings borders on a non-standard game over. Notably, the music that plays ("Hero's End") is different from that in the better endings ("The Way Back Home"), and this is the only ending that lacks the ending credits.
In The Groove has a slightly different Game Over screen for its hardest song, "Pandemonium." After the usual "LIFE DEPLETED/ROUND FAILED" screens, a skull appears afterwards.
In The Groove 2 features something similar if you fail "Vertex^2," you get the usual "LIFE DEPLETED/ROUND FAILED" screens, and then a power of two pops up next to "FAILED," turning it into "ROUND FAILED^2."
In Wing Commander, if the Tiger's Claw is destroyed, you get a message saying "With your carrier destroyed, you drift endlessly through the void..."
In Wing Commander IV, if you repeatedly screw up your early missions, say, by immediately ejecting on launch for every mission you get, Tolwyn hands you your pink slip in a hysterically dark cut scene.
In Wing Commander III, screwing up critical missions results in the fleet jumping back to Proxima and then making a Last Stand at Sol. This mission is unwinnable even with godmode, and drops you into another cutscene where you can decide how you die. This is quite possibly the Nonstandard Game Over that's drawn out the longest. If it is possible to save before the mission, pray you didn't save it over your previous save game.
In the final mission of Ace Combat 5, if you fail to destroy the SOLG (loaded with a nuke) in time, you're treated to a short cutscene of it detonating over Oured.
Likewise, if you don't destroy the last missile in the Megalith mission in "Ace Combat 04", you get to see that very missile launch from its silo and win the war for Erusea.
This also happens as early as the name entry screen. If you don't enter a name, or enter one but don't submit it, Regis will make a comment once every few seconds, growing increasingly impatient each time, before he finally throws in the towel and quit the game for you.
Similarly, in almost all You Don't Know Jack games, the following will happen when the contestants respond with "fuck you" on Gibberish Questions three times in a single game: the first time, you lose a very large sum of money, and depending on the mood the host will take even more and possibly even rename you into something insulting. The second time, nothing happens to the score because he doesn't find it funny or creative to warrant the punishment a second time. The third time, he just gives up and closes the game, and he'll make it known you can't pause or press a key to get out of this if you tried.
In Prototype, if you fail a normal mission, MISSION FAILED is displayed on the screen. If you fail the last mission, you see a nuclear bomb destroy Manhattan.
The Interactive Fiction Game, Anchorhead, has a large number of grisly ways to die, but the character can go insane in true Call Of Cthulhu fashion by either fully reading the black tome in the church or by attacking and killing your husband during the game's finale. The character can also suffer "Endless Torment" by being sucked into the womb at any point.
Return to Zork: In most deaths, a three-note song plays (the notes are from the game's opening theme), an evil guy laughs at you, and a temple screen is shown. However:
In the very first death of the game (getting attacked by a vulture), a longer song plays.
In any death relating to water, a different three-note song plays.
In any death relating to explosions, there is no song and no evil laugh.
In one death (walking over a pile of leaves and getting sprung in a trap that also turns you upside-down), the temple screen is also upside-down.
Two final special game overs, related to the Copyright Protection quizzes. One just exits out to DOS normally if you get the questions wrong, but one later on in the game you are "blown" back to DOS by a double barrel hunting shotgun.
Devil Survivor: There is one mission where a group of angels are fighting it out with a group of demons. Honda and some random civvie are also in this fight. If you choose to side with the demons and go along with Honda's plan to escape the blockade, the mission completes...until you get a montage and text explaining that while you did manage to escape the lockdown, on the Final Day, God's judgment kills everyone in the Yamanote Loop and humanity is completely controlled by Heaven. Then you get the Mission Failed screen. Nice Job Triggering Instrumentality, Hero.
In the sequel, you can trigger a game over from the start-up by refusing being saved from the train wreck.
New Blood, Episode 5: Run out of time on the lock-picking mission and instead of "Your skills were not up to the task - Operation Failed", you hear the sound of water filling up as the screen fades to white.
Trauma Team also gets one. If you fail on Naomi's final case, instead of the normal message/suicide note, you get a recording of Rosalia talking about Albert and the Rosalia Virus.
In the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, failing a critical mission objective will cause the mission to end (even if you are still intact), followed by a "MISSION FAILED" screen (instead of "GAME OVER") with a description of what triggered mission failure.
In Rogue Leader, it's possible to get a unique game over by running out of torpedoes in the attack on the Death Star. Cue Yavin IV getting blown the hell up.
Batman Arkham Asylum has quite a few of these. If you let Zsasz see you when he has the guard in the electric chair, true to his word, he electrocutes him. If Batman is in Joker Venom for too long, he laughs himself to death. If Batman doesn't set off his trap for Killer Croc, we are treated to a first-person shot of Croc lunging to his head, along with the sound of bones getting crushed. There are several more examples, but one of the more humorous ones is when Zsasz has Dr. Young trapped in his arms, if you are seen, miss your batarang, or if you wait too long, Zsasz kills her, with the Joker mocking you.
Joker: Who would have thought the deranged murderer would really kill the poor, little doctor?
In Batman Arkham City, after Catwoman successfully loots Hugo Strange's vault, she gets the option of either going to save Batman (who has just been captured by TYGER) or escaping with her loot. Doing the latter cuts to the credits where you hear a message from Oracle saying how the Joker rampaged through Gotham, Gordon is dead, Wayne Manor has been compromised and that The Bad Guys Win. The game then rewinds all the way back to the choice and makes the player choose to save Batman.
In E.V.O.: Search for Eden, several bosses ask you to join them (the "Tyrasaurs" at the end of the dinosaur stage, the Birdman King in the first mammal stage, and the boss Rogon in the final stage). Saying "yes" results in a short (and usually somewhat comedic) ending, then puts you back on the world map.
You also get dialogue choices with the Yeti, but both lead to the same result (fighting him)
Super Bases Loaded for the SNES. In this particular sports game, you end up getting the Non-Standard Game Over screen, should the CPU completely blow you out, by getting 9 runs straight. It will not even wait for you to make it to 9 innings. Instead it will briefly freeze, then show someone from your team kneeling in defeat, with the word "Blowout" over their head, with some sad music. From there, it will go to the scoreboard, and the words "Blowout Game" will appear. From there, it will promptly go back to the title screen. Did I mention, that you get NO Continues in 1P mode. So, if you make it far, and this happens to you, you can initiate controller chucking rage mode. (This to my knowledge, has not been tested in 2P mode. To ensure that you end up seeing the above, simply pick any of the final remaining 4 teams, and this happens eventually...)
Baseball Stars uses a similar "mercy rule", ending the game if either team is ahead by ten or more runs at any point.
So did Sega's Sports Talk Baseball for the Genesis. It was explicitly called a "10-run Rule", and the talking commentator would say the team won "by domination".
Typing "click heels" in the old The Wonderful Wizard of Oz text adventure would lead to a black screen and state that while it did get Dorothy home safely, it leaves her friends fending for themselves, and that Dorothy will spend the rest of her life wondering about the wonders she missed out on.
In the 1985 game Balance of Power, pushing too hard in international negotiations would result in an immediate end to the game, with a black screen displaying the message: "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."
This is arguably not non-standard, as it's part of the game's main gameplay mechanic. However, it is possible to apparently win a negotiation and get the same message, but with the text changed to "an accidental nuclear war".
In the final mission of Target Terror, if you directly shoot the final terrorist instead of the Dead Man Switch he's holding, the plane blows up. If you run out of lives during the "no continues" part of the mission, the plane is shown crashing into the White House.
There are a few points in Half Minute Hero's "Hero 30" mode where failing to complete the stage's objective before defeating its Evil Overlord will prematurely end your journey. Instead of the world exploding, you'll be treated to a still picture of what your hero wound up doing because he couldn't proceed (stranded on an island, forced into back-breaking slavery, etc.), and you won't be allowed to save your scores for that attempt.
In Sonic CD, waiting idle for 3 minutes will cause Sonic to lose his patience with you, and with an "I'm outta here!", leave the game, giving you a Game Over.
In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, failing to escape from Eggman's Tower in time will cause a Game Over with no option to continue.
In Myst, if you try to enter either the red book or the blue book, the brother inside will keep you trapped inside the book by tearing out all the pages. If you enter the green book without the final page, you're trapped. In the nice ending, you put the white pages into the green book with Atrus in it. Then you get to wander the entire game world as a reward. Other entries in the series also offer multiple endings.
In Vette, if you don't answer the Copy Protection question correctly, after a few minutes, the game displays the message "You are driving a stolen Vette" and quits.
Rogue: "R.I.P.: Software Pirate. Killed by Copy Protection Mafia.", if you die while playing an illegal copy.
Call of Duty: "You are a traitor to the motherland!" if you kill a Commissar in the Russian campaign, "Friendly fire will not be tolerated", if you shoot a friendly elsewhere, or "You were killed by a grenade, exploding vehicle, lethal pocket of radiation, etc."
If you fail the helicopter jump in Modern Warfare, you get "Nobody makes their first Jump..." If you miss your shot in the flashback level "One Shot, One Kill", "Zakhaev escaped unharmed".
In Modern Warfare 2, in the early mission "Team Player", if the player chooses to run in on foot rather than go into the convoy, you are promptly taken down by sniper fire with the notice "It would probably be safer to ride in the convoy."
Failing to move past certain events in recent installments will replace the quotes with whatever you are supposed to do. One is reminded to "Hold on for dear life" after falling to death while ice climbing.
Dying to an attack dog in Modern Warfare or a Banzai charger in World at War has the game tell you when to press the melee button/key to save yourself.
In Call of Duty 2, there are two instances, one in "Red Army Training", and one (appropriately enough) in "Prisoners of War" where the game will display the message "Killing prisoners of war will not be tolerated" if the player attacks captured German soldiers.
Operation Wolf: Aside from "sustaining a lethal injury", the game will also end if you run out of bullets and grenades ("Since you have no ammunition left, you must join the hostages."). Strangely enough, you still have to run out of health before that happens.
Inverted in The New Zealand Story. If, after clearing World 1, you lose your last life by getting hit by an arrow (or similar) attack, instead of the standard game over screen, you instead go to "heaven", and have a chance to escape in order to continue the game. If you make it to the end of this "hidden" stage, however, the game ends for real. You have to find a hidden exit in order to get out of this "nonstandard" game over. Escape and you have one last chance. Lose that, and you're taken to Hell for another Nonstandard Game Over.
In Resident Evil 4, if Ashley gets captured, a cutscene is shown of the Ganado carrying her off and the game over screen says "Mission Failed" instead of "You are Dead". Also occurs if she is killed, either by an enemy or your bad aim.
Also, in an early scene, where you defend a cabin with an ally, if you shoot him too many times, you're treated to a cutscene where he gets sick of it and guns you down.
If you fail the last Press X to Not Die prompt when knife-fighting Krauser, a cutscene shows him stabbing Leon through the heart. Another death-by-cutscene occurs with Mendez via Neck Snap if you fail to dodge his first attack.
During Samara's loyalty mission, you can recruit Morinth instead of Samara. Once aboard the Normandy, you then have the option to seduce Morinth. Doing so causes things to end about as well as you'd expect.
Joker will meet an untimely end at the hands of the Collectors, if you rush too quickly during their attack and abduction of the Normandy crew.
Not unlocking the valves fast enough for your chosen Tech expert during the Suicide Mission will lead to an abrupt Game Over.
If you take too long to defeat David during the final boss fight in the Overlord DLC, it will upload to the Normandy and infect EDI.
Wait for the Arrival Countdown to hit Zero during the second scene and Shepard will experience what is a rapid glimpse of Reapers coming down on the galaxy to cleanse all life.
You can technically win the game, yet still get one of these. A normal win allows you to continue playing in the aftermath for missions you didn't do or play the Downloadable Content as it comes out, and will give you the option to upload the storyline into Mass Effect 3. But if you didn't bother to prepare at all for the suicide mission (not getting certain ship upgrades, or doing any loyalty missions), all of your party members die by the end of the Final Battle, along with Commander Shepard. That's just not very conducive to epilogue play, but you did technically win the game (if you want to call that "winning"). However, it still counts as a NSGO since a save game with an ending where Shepherd dies cannot be imported into Mass Effect 3.
In Infinite Space, you wind up in some sort of negative space where it's unhealthy to stay. You are presented with three options, and in two of the options you slowly drift around, with the situation getting worse and worse. You think you will get rescued or catch a lucky break but instead your party poofs into nothingness
In the Xbox 360 version of the otherwise unremarkable FPS Secret Service, shooting the President results in a game over... And unlocks a zero gamerscore achievement entitled 'The Exact Opposite Of Your Job'.
In the second game of the series, Tinto City gets overrun by zombies, and it can be at this point that the poor kid just decides that he can't handle it anymore. This can result in him (and his adopted sister) deciding to cut their losses and make a mad dash for safety. Of course, the core of your several-dozen-strong entourage comes after you once they realize you're gone. If you persist in leaving, one of the leaders of your army will die. From here, if you change your mind and decide to go back, said dead person will be replaced by his son. The hero's second-in-command will Bright Slap him and ask him to come back one last time. If you leave the town to the south, the screen will fade slowly and be replaced by a still picture of a log cabin, indicating that the hero and his sister have chosen to live away from society, in order to have a so-called 'normal life' without wars or fighting.
In Suikoden IV you can elect to stay and make a life for yourself and your two companions on a deserted island as opposed to looking for a way to escape. This is a particularily insidious one since it never ends; you are placed into a Groundhog Day Loop repeating the same actions over and over leading some players to think that they are still playing the game and are stuck. It does hint that something's different by replacing the character portraits with black and white sketches and removing the local save point.
Also on the scene if you don't use the Rune of Punishment and let your flagship get rammed by the enemy.
In Suikoden V, if you accept Salum Barows' suggestion of taking the throne for yourself instead rescuing the rightful heir, you'll get a cutscene where said heir is informed that you were assassinated.
If you fail to defeat Roy in a duel, you're put into a coma from the injuries, and your group forces Roy to take your place, but soon the army's overrun, the last line in that ending:
In the Gaiden GameSuikoden Tierkreis, if you choose to agree with the plan to sacrifice all of the Starbearers to stop The One King, this will result in the main character becoming the new One King instead. On the other hand, this also provides more information about the Tierkreis world.
Lanpshaded/Inverted in Eversion, where "GAME OVER" shows on your screen sometimes, as the "READY!" screen after you get to X-5 or later.
In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, For most of the main quest, Martin Septim is flagged as essential, meaning that if his HP gets reduced to zero, he will not die, but will instead be knocked unconscious for a few seconds. But during two points of the main quest (the battle at Bruma and the final mission in the Imperial City), he loses his essential status, and if he dies, it shows a few lines of text and prompts you to reload. Made worse by a glitch that prevents him from equipping proper armor during the former event, forcing you to exploit another glitch to keep him alive.
In Drawn to Life, you can choose not to help the Raposas. Mari, the only one hearing from "you" at that point, loses hope, and the game ends.
Waerjak in Heroes of Might and Magic IV can trigger one of these when he meets the Boar's Hoof tribe. Waerjak is given the option of attacking them and claiming their garrison; if he does so, his followers will turn on him, proclaiming his philosophy of community to be a lie.
This is a recurring element throughout the campaigns, made easier by the fact that all events are narrated instead of animated, resulting in various different scenarios that you wouldn't normally see in a game. If Lysander for exemple, would attack Glen Garrison to rescue the Big Bad's mother (instead of finding a way around it), the commander would notify him that he sent his men to execute her. If Elwyn takes the red ship instead of the blue one, Shaera would commit suicide, believing he died (granted, this is an unnecessary complication of the gameplay, since Harke will bribe the crew to switch the sails, and Elwyn arrives just in time to save the girl anyway, making the outcome pretty much the same).
Might And Magic VI has a special ending video if you complete the end-game dungeon without getting the Ritual of the Void. You are warned that if you destroy the Kreegan Hive's reactor without powerful magic to keep it contained, it will destroy the world. Ignore the advice, and you get to see exactly that happen.
In Halo, if Captain Keyes dies, the camera cuts to him falling, and Cortana says "No! Without the Captain, the Covenant have already won". If you run out of time during the Escape Sequence, the game displays a cutscene of the Autumn exploding with you still onboard.
In Rise of the Triad, it is possible to die in the explosion when you defeat a boss. If that happens, you are given the standard Game Over screen, no matter how many lives you have left.
Failing to catch all of El Oscuro's (the final boss and villain of the series) spawn will give you a seemingly standard ending... but twenty years later, one of his spawn rises to power and explodes the Earth. But nice work, anyway.
In X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, if you fail at a mission (rather than just dying, ejecting, or hyperspacing out of there before the mission's done), you'll be treated to some tragic music. Depending on how well you did, you might be the sole survivor, or your enemy might curb stomp you.
In Knights of the Old Republic, the Court of Manaan will sentence you to death if you can't prove the Sith violated the neutrality act (therefore justifying your own actions for breaking into their base) or if you plead guilty.
In Mario's Time Machine, if you either lose all of your lives or run out of time rescuing all of the artifacts from Bowser, then they will show a cutscene where Bowser successfully activates his time machine and escapes to a tropical island. If you rescue all of the artifacts but get them back in the wrong time period, then Bowser's time machine will overload, and as a result he is sent back to the Cretaceous period all dazed and confused-looking. If you get everything right, then Bowser's time machine will still overload, and as a result he is sent back to the Cretaceous again, only to be crushed to death by a giant dinosaur foot.
Normal game overs in Ghost Trick are caused by being unable to save your subject's life before time runs out. However, there are two instances where you can actively cause the subject's death.
If you recline the seat while the van-driver is driving, he will lose control of the vehicle and crash anyway.
If you replace the bullet with the hard-hat, rather than the soft knit hat, it will still crash into Cabanela's face and crush his skull. His ghost isn't very pleased, but it's hilarious to watch.
Another instance (in the same chapter as the second example) occurs if you try manipulating objects in view of the killer.
In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you can watch a unique ending sequence if you lose to the final boss and opt not to continue. In Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 said ending became unlockable by beating the newly added Galactus Mode.
In the second episode (game) of Commander Keen, there are Tantalus Ray Cannons you must destroy in order to save Earth. There are eight of them, but if you press a switch on the side of any of them, a Tantalus Ray shot will destroy the planet and your game is over instantly.
In Hellsinker, failing to destroy Rex Cavalier, the Segment 7 boss, within the given time will result in a very strange sequence referred to as the "spirit overload" ending. The boss, with its last remaining bits of energy, downloads its memories into the character's mind and drives them insane. Over time, the game over text implies, your (human) character is reshaped into an utterly inhuman Prayer.
In Getter Love!!, the game normally ends when you or one of your opponents declares your love to one of the girls. If someone other than you wins the game, you're treated to a word from everyone involved, and that's it. If two game-weeks pass by and no one wins, you'll be treated to a scene where Reika, fucking, MARRIES YOU, as her equally butt-ugly family attends her wedding ceremony.
The old MS-DOS Real Time Strategy game Command HQ features a NSGO by nuclear winter. Normally, allowing your capital to be overrun results in the status bar stating "We captured the enemy's capital!" or "The enemy captured our capital!", along with a catchy tune and a bit of flashing. However, if you use too many nuclear strikes in a scenario, it exits straight to DOS with the message "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI" (Latin for "Thus passes the glory of the world.")
In the NES game The Magic Of Scheherazade, you'll come across a part where a new ally will ask you if you're afraid of the monsters. Answering 'no' twice is the only way to recruit him, while saying 'yes' at any point of the conversation will result in an automatic game over... regardless of how many lives you have!
Later on in the game, you'll have to guess that Coronya is really Scheherazade and a wrong guess will result in an instant game over, again regardless of how many lives you have. Hope you are good at spelling!
In Contra: Hard Corps, choosing to join Colonel Bahamut in one of the game's alternate route will shown an ending in which Bahamut conquers the world with the player character as his lackey. However, the player will be then taken to the Game Over screen and be asked to continue (if he has any credits left).
In Space Invaders, allowing even one of the eponymous alien ships to reach the bottom of the playfield results in an instant game over, no matter how many lives you have left.
Retained in Return of the Invaders but averted in Super Space Invaders '91 because of the difficulty of the differing formations in each wave: you simply die and the playfield is reset, minus any Invaders you destroyed previously.
In Devastators, not only does this happen if you run out of time, but it actually tells you straight out before each mission:
Fallout and Fallout 2 both have a built-in time limit - if this is ever reached, a small cinematic with the words "THE END" plays and the game quits back to the title screen. It takes about thirteen years of game time though, so it's really no bother unless you're actively seeking it out.
In the Fallout New Vegas DLC Dead Money, if you agree to work with Elijah at the end, as opposed to killing him, the game ends and a cutscene explains how the Courier and Elijah spread the Cloud across the entirety of the Mojave, turning it into an uninhabitable wasteland. There's another one where examining a computer message specifically meant for Dean Domino in the Sierra Madre Vault will lock the Courier in there. After s/he eventually dies, a hologram of him/her is created.
Fallout 3 allows you to tell Colonel Autumn the activation code for the water purifier. He thanks you, then shoots you.
Also, if you fail to activate the purifier in time, it explodes, terminating your game regardless of whether Broken Steel is installed, since without the purifier, the events of the epilogue can't take place, and the main characters are probably killed in the explosion anyways.
In Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, the Ur-Quan, being the reasonable people they are, will allow you to surrender them and spare the lives of your crew. They're not going to let you live, of course, and even if they did you wouldn't have your plot-necessary Cool Spaceship anymore, so if you accept the conversation cuts directly to a Game Over screen. Still, quite a magnanimous offer considering that everyone on you ship is currently engaged in fully voluntary rebellion.
The game has a time limit, in that eventually the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah who have an agenda of total genocide will triumph over the green Ur-Quan and begin moving to exterminate all sentient life in the galaxy. You can monitor their progress on the galactic map as they move from species to species. Eventually they will head for Earth and if they arrive before you eliminate their flagship and halt their advance, the population of Earth is eradicated and it's game over.
In the first Stealth-Based Mission of Soldier of Fortune II, if a guard spots you, Dr. Ivanovich is immediately captured and you get a slightly different Game Over screen. In the level where you are escorting a team of soldiers, disobeying orders or accidentally shooting one of them results in them executing you on the spot.
The first Soldier of Fortune had a number of these for failed mission objectives, such as running out of time to stop the missile launch in Siberia.
In the original Time Crisis, running out of time caused an instant game over, unlike the sequels.
A mission in the later parts of Mafia II has you in a house trying to hide somewhere while hoping not to be seen by a hitman. If you decide to hide in the shower you will be treated to an extra cutscene of the hitman shooting you through the curtains and then you get your "You got killed"-screen.
If you fail most missions in LEGO Island, the Infomaniac will simply tell you so. If you fail to catch the Brickster, though...
In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors,NSG Os are actually plot-critical. If you try to get the True Ending on your first playthrough, instead you get the Coffin Ending. You need to find the Safe Ending first... Eventually you find that you are actually playing from the perspective of the protagonist's friend in the past. The fact that you know it would be impossible for Junpei to know at the time is because she (you) actually ran through these scenarios where Junpei made this or that decision, gleaning more information about the best way to proceed each time.
This persists in the sequel Virtues Last Reward. You will be running into a lot of different endings, several of which are 'To Be Continued' path locks that require secret knowledge from other paths to get past.
Left 4 Dead has a non standard game over in the finale of The Sacrifice. There has to be a minimum of 2 survivors alive to perform the sacrifice; one survivor has to jump off the bridge and restart the generator to get the bridge up and the other survivor has to be on the bridge to get away from the zombies once it is raised. If 3 survivors are killed or are incapacitated on the bridge and the survivor sacrificing themselves is off the bridge, it counts as a failure and you will have to redo the finale. This is coming from a game where the only way to lose is everyone dying.
In North America's release of Custom Robo the protagonist is freely given the option to not go on the final mission near the end of the game. If you decide not to go the protagonist's partner, Harry, will beseech him - repeatedly - to reconsider. By steadfastly refusing to go, the rest of the team will go without him. The next day, the Big Bad arrives in the city, having killed off the others, and proceeds to destroy everything. After an ellipses, the game will return the player to the previous day where Harry insists that they all go.
Kingdom Hearts II: during a lot of timed battles, a few bosses, and battles where the objective is to prevent a party member from dying, there's a possibility that you'll be booted to the Game Over screen before running out of HP. Should this happen, you'll get an image of Sora standing there pouting, rather than his usual floating around dead animation. Most memorably happens during the Demyx battle.
In Vay, you're required to seek out the help from the wind fairy Sirufa in order to get across the continent to find one of the Orbs. However, the "wind" needed to get across is actually a killer case of flatulence, and all three of your party members need to wear gas masks before they enter her domain, or else they'll pass out and die, ending your game.
In the video game version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you play most of the game as King Arthur, but the "Knights in Kombat" mini game allows you to play as Arthur or the Black Knight. If you play as the Black Knight and win, the game immediately cuts to the Game Over screen.
In Biomotor Unitron, losing a battle usually has few repercussions: you leave the Arena or Dungeon and return to the main screen. However, losing to the first Dark Unitron causes the game to cut to a Game Over screen, which the game never normally displays.
In the arcade game Elevator Action II (Elevator Action Returns in Japan), if you run out of time near the end of the final stage (the nuclear missile silo), the missile will be launched and a picture of an erupting mushroom cloud is shown, followed by a message on the computer screen that says "YOUR MISSION IS OVER".
Failing the storyline stage battles in Brutal Legend leads to a Type A cutscene where they gloat over you.
Choosing to suicide or shoot Forrest Kaysen over shooting Emily to end her suffering in Deadly Premonition results in York telling Zach he made the wrong choice, while showing a shriveled up Emily in the Red Room, and allowing the choice to try again.
Quake 4 has a Nonstandard Game Over that can be activated at two distinct points, both of those points happening when an ally you're supposed to protect is killed.
Many older pinball machines had a mechanism to detect dishonest players trying to cheat the machine's coin mechanism into thinking a coin had been inserted when it actually hadn't, or trying to steal the coin box outright. If triggered, the machine displays "SLAM TILT" (not to be confused with the regular TILT) and all players get a Non-Standard Game Over, plus any credits left in the machine are voided. However, modern pinball machines usually won't Slam Tilt, since modern coin mechanisms aren't vulnerable to the old exploits that Slam Tilt guards against.
Usually in SWAT 3 and SWAT 4, failing objectives does not end the entire mission in failure, with Mission Control instead asking if you want to continue and try to salvage what you can of the mission. A few missions, however, have objectives that, if failed, result in an immediate game over (i.e., letting the plane take off in SWAT 3's "Rapid Deployment, Airport" mission), complete with an FMV showing what happens afterwards.
Oregon Trail II: "You're Fired!" (kicked out of the wagon train), if you're a trail guide and morale gets too low.
As a combination Visual Novel/RPG, Fate/EXTRA has one of these for pretty much every defeat by another Master, as well as a number of ways to lose by making a wrong dialog choice. (DEAD END, indeed.)
Fable Heroes normally does not allow the player to lose; even if all Player Characters in the party are killed, they can complete the level as ghosts, receiving fewer resources. The normal end screen shows the party members standing on a championship platform. However, if the game is set to the highest difficulty level and all the PCs die, the game cuts to the same platform but with all of the top 3 spaces occupied by monsters, with the heading "The Creatures Win!"
In the Sega CD version of Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin, losing to the Kingpin (the final boss) results in a sad ending sequence in which the Kingpin triumphs over the defeated Spider-Man. He then lowers both Spider-Man and Mary Jane into the vat of deadly ooze, after which they are never seen again.
the white chamber has a full eight endings. Four are standard Have a Nice Death you get by getting killed before completing the story (end up in outer space, get electrocuted, die from toxic air, or decide to stay in a quarantine bay until you expire). Completing the story nets you an ending depending on how many points you've gained by certain deeds until then: five points nets you the Redemption ending, in which you leave the station. Less, you get the Damned ending in which you have to do everything all over again since you didn't learn. Zero points nets you the Tormented ending, in which you're essentially dumped into HELL. Oh, and scoring six points (difficult unless you go out of your way to do everything right) lands the Comedy ending, which is weird.
Mother 3 has one in Chapter 2. In Osohe Castle there is a statue holding a heavy metal ball. Ramming into this statue causes the ball to fall off the statue and through a crack in the floor. If Duster is stupid enough to stand in the place where the crack is after ramming into it, the metal ball will crush him and trigger a game over. This is the only game over in the entire game that is not triggered by an enemy.
If, at any point, you make physical contact with the Ultimate Chimera, you're not even given a hopeless boss battle; the Ultimate Chimera starts chomping, complete with biting sound effects, and the screen fades to red before going to the standard "Retry?" screen.
Radiant Historia turns this into an art form. The game will regularly present you with two choices of what to do next, and aside from the very first one, one of these choices will always lead to some sort of horrible ripple effect that makes it impossible to save the world. Given that it's a game about time travel, Stocke just warps back to Historia, gets a lecture on what he did wrong from the resident Spirit Advisors, and goes back to try it over again.
If you beat the final boss but fail to rescue all the animals in Rolo to the Rescue, the game tells you that it will "remain on your conscience" and "you will never truly be happy again". This is followed by the words "GAME OVER".
Ib, a RPG Maker game, does this sometimes, specially where A picture of a crazed neon face keeps asking for for a flower and you can offer your rose to it. Garry will advise you to not trust this guy, but you can insist and then... "CHOW TIME!". Yep, a picture eats your rose... YOUR LIFE!.
The ending Ib All Alone is pretty much a NSGO. Go figure why.
As of 1.04, if you meet certain requirements and generally do really bad at the game, then when you reach the doll room event, failing said event causes Garry to go insane, Ib to have a nervous breakdown, and depending on her bond points with Ib, Mary will either stay with Ib and Garry in the painted world or she'll attempt an escape on her own and fail miserably. Not only does this cut the game short before you even reach the final chapter, but no one escapes despite all your best efforts of getting them out of there.
Why is that Guillotine going u- AH!
Final Fantasy VI has the famous opera scene that Celes takes the lead in. As she sings her lines, you have to choose the next set of lines for her to sing and if you choose the wrong set, she botches the play. If you screw up 4 times, the game mocks you for failing and you get a game over.
In Mercenary II, also known as Damocles, death is normally a slap on the wrist, since you can use a safe quit option that will resurrect you and teleport to space in a cool ship that you can fly. However, you can activate non-standard Game Overs by:
failing to prevent the comet Damocles from colliding with the planet Eris (the president of Eris will then insult you)
destroying Eris instead of Damocles (the president will ask you if you understood the mission)
destroying one of two other unrelated planets (a newsflash will report the destruction of the planet and inform you that you are now wanted by the police)
destroying the author's computer, on which the game itself supposedly runs (all planets in the system will explode one by one, and your on-board computer will question your actions, telling you to reset the game. If you do not, your on-board computer will tell you that he is surprised you haven't left yet, informing you that "THERE'S NOTHING LEFT - IT'S ALL GONE - BLOWN UP". That phrase will remain on the screen until you reset the game.)
In Contra: Shattered Soldier, completing Stage 5 with too low a rank results in the archipelago being destroyed via Kill Sat, taking the heroes with it.
The Japan-only PSX platformer The Adventure of Little Ralph punishes players for leaving Ralph idling too long by making stars fall from the top of the screen, inevitably hitting and killing Ralph.
in Dishonored the morning after you return from capturing Sokolov Callista will be in the bath, jumping in the bath causes a game over due to "irreconcilable hostilities".
Virtue's Last Reward normally has fairly standard Game Over conditions: Sigma loses the Nonary Game and either dies or becomes trapped in the facility. But some other Game Overs, which do not even appear on the game's provided flowchart, arise in circumstances where a plot thread is impossibly damaged; for example, if the player managed to annoy Alice enough to alienate her by repeatedly failing to decode a message, the game ends instantly, even though nothing has happened to Sigma.
Amusingly played in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. If the final boss's We Can Rule Together offer is accepted, Barkley is immediately hypnotized and his very first course of action is to kill his son Hoopz, who, up to that point, was the main reason he was adventuring in the first place. Besides that dialog choice, it's also possible to die outside of combat during a Quick Time Event or while navigating the sugar cave.
Sleeping in a pile of wands in one of Homestuck's flash "walkarounds" will result in an inexplicable game over.
In the arcade game Undercover Cops, failing to stop Dr. Crayborn from dropping the atomic bomb on the city will result in a bad ending in which the city is destroyed by the bomb and the three city sweepers are forced to quit their jobs, followed by the Game Over screen.
Two of them as death cutscenes in Hitman: Blood Money. The first is in You Better Watch Out... where an unknown Franchise assassin disguised as one of the strippers stabs 47 in the neck with a nail file. The second is in A Dance with the Devil; the singer is actually a Franchise assassin named Eve, who will try to seduce you. Should you follow her and wait for too long she will stab 47 repeatedly.
At the end of Beneath A Steel Sky, you can get one either by having Rob voluntarily plugging himself into LINC, or waiting until LINC itself grabs him. Rob struggles for a while, then has his mind wiped and replaced with that of LINC.
One of the earliest examples comes from the 1980s era CRPG The Magic Candle. At the very beginning of the game, you are asked by the King to accept the game's major quest. You have the option of declining, and if you do, the game ends immediately and unceremoniously.
The Last Story: if you refuse to marry Callista 3 times, in chapter 42 you get a game over.
Einhander, Stage 6: Fail to destroy the space shuttle's thrusters in time and your craft plummets to earth where it is immediately set upon by German forces. The game ends here even if you have extra lives remaining.
Jade Empire has one as well during the final boss fight. Your opponent gives you the chance to surrender and lay down your life for the greater good (in his eyes.) If you do, he kills you and a scene plays showing a statue of your character in the armor of your enemy, with the final boss laughing evilly.
If you lose to the final boss in Wanderlust: Rebirth, you're treated to an extended cutscene of him subjugating the rest of the world.
In Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, if at anytime you allow Meruru's popularity to drop to zero, then Rufus comes to the workshop, chastises her, and then sends her before her father Dessier, who is so mad at her that he reneges on his promise and ends her alchemy studies immediately, followed by a Game Over without even getting the Bad Ending (and thus no "Castle Life" Trophy.)
Parasite Eve has two non-standard Game Overs, one is if you fail to exit the roof of the hospital in about thirty seconds after beating the Day 4 boss, the other is when the monster caught you at the end of Day 6.