Point Of No Continues

So you're playing through a game, and let's face it — you haven't been doing great. Good thing you can continue — except during this part. Usually this is near the end of the game. Here you can't continue, period. Instead, when you lose the game automatically goes to the Game Over screen and you have to start all over.

Mostly seen in Arcade Games, to prevent Bribing Your Way to Victory by credit-feeding (and something of a Scrappy Mechanic for cabinet owners who would have liked to earn that extra revenue). It can also show up when facing the True Final Boss. If there is a long leg at the end of the game where you can continue, but it takes you all the way back to the start of the leg, that's just a form of Checkpoint Starvation.

If a game has a Mode Of No Continues, that falls under Final Death Mode.

Compare Out of Continues, which can be invoked via this trope.


Fighting Game
  • Bloody Roar
    • In Bloody Roar 3, the player can continue as often as needed, up to the end boss, Xion. If, however, you manage to win every fight without losing a round, you'll face the game's secret boss, Uranus, immediately following your bout with Xion. You only get one shot. Lose, and it's an automatic game over.
    • The final boss of Bloody Roar 4 will also give you a game over on a loss and is an even bigger SNK Boss than Uranus. Unless you're using Uriko.
  • Guilty Gear X2
    • Dizzy's story mode route diverges depending on whether the player wins or loses against one opponent: Boss Mode I-No.
    • In the later updates, hidden boss Order Sol gives you only one shot. Lose and it's game over.
  • Street Fighter series:

Platform Game
  • Cannon Dancer has a less severe example of this: normally using a continue respawns you right where you died with a full set of lives, but continuing in the final level which is a Boss Rush sends you back to the beginning of the level.
  • ESWAT in the arcade stops continues in the final stage.
  • The final stage of arcade Shinobi allows no continues.
  • The Fairyland Story does not offer continues past Round 98.
  • If you lose your last life on the 6th and final round of Rastan, you get a Game Over.
  • Rainbow Islands only permits continuing past certain points (island 7 on the arcade original, island 5 on the PC version) if you collect the book from the secret room on said island.
  • Downplayed in Toki. Regardless of how many quarters are in your pockets, once you reach the final stage the game limits the number of times you can continue.
  • Downplayed in Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure, where continuing normally puts the player back at the map screen, with Buster's icon on the level they were in. During the final factory stages, if the player has to continue, then they are instead put back at the first factory, with any of the other three factories made unavailable again.
  • In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, continuing during the final escape from Eggman's tower is impossible.

Rhythm Game
  • The original DJMAX Technika allows you to continue from the beginning of the stage you failed if your Life Meter empties out...unless you're playing the last stage of Technical Mixing or are playing Platinum Crew mode, in which case you're immediately greeted with the Game Over screen. Later games prohibit continuing at all.

Shoot 'em Up
  • Stage Final-B of Imperishable Night does this. Given that this is the True Final Boss' stage that can only be reached by not using any continues, this is both better (it only makes sense) and worse (good luck getting any practice) than usual.
    • Extra Stages prevent continuing at all. Flandre in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil even breaks the fourth wall to lampshade this if you're playing as Marisa. This does mean that anyone who says they've cleared an Extra Stage did so on one credit, but it also means you can't use continues to practice, making learning Extra Stages and their bosses more difficult.
  • Darius locks out continues and joining in once you get to one of the final zones.
  • In the NES version of Ikari Warriors, players can resurrect themselves with the A-B-B-A code. The code stops working in the middle of level 3.
    • The same cheat code works for the NES port of Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road, except during the final boss battle.
  • R-Type Final takes this trope Up to Eleven- You only have one life at clearing F-C. Get hit once and it's Game Over.
  • Salamander 2 disables continues and joining in once you reach the second loop.
  • After assembling the legendary Golden Warpship in Solar Jetman, you only get one chance to escape the last planet with the ship intact. If it gets shot down or crashes, it's Game Over.
  • The last level of Thunder Cross and its sequel do not allow any continues.
  • In Hellsinker, you have one continue, but you lose it after visiting the Shrine of Farewell.

Third-Person Shooter
  • Forbidden Forest restarts the game completely if you lose against the Demogorgon at the end.

  • In Metal Gear Solid, if you die during the torture sequence, you can't continue. Ocelot even tells you "there are no continues, my friend."
  • In Super Adventure Rockman, losing to Shadow Man and Gemini Man gives you no chance to continue.
  • NAM-1975 doesn't allow you to continue if you fail to defeat the Final Boss. The game disables the 2nd player slot in the final level to prevent one from using it to go around the continue restriction.
  • Odin is responsible for the retry-battle function in SaGa 2. Once you defeat Odin, the retry-battle function is lost.
  • A variant occurs in Genpei Touma Den. Once you reach the halfway point where the path branches a second time, continuing, which previously allowed you to restart at the stage you died in, brings you back to the halfway point. Oh, and you only have one life.
  • Pro Heists in PAYDAY 2 can't be retried or restarted. If your crew fails the heist, you go back to the lobby to choose a new contract.
    • Additionally, several heists have a "Point of No Return" near the end, which triggers an infinite police assault until you escape. Since you can't trade hostages to respawn in the middle of an assault, if you go into custody, you're there for good (unless you happen to have Stockholm Syndrome).
  • Tower stages in Elemental Story has no continues. Instead, players can access them again (for free after 24 hours) at the highest level which has been cleared before.
  • Dying while in the penultimate dungeon of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse prevents the player from continuing like in the rest of the game. Downplayed in that they can still save and load freely within the dungeon, so it becomes a matter of being diligent with saving.