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 nor have any more players to join in (and bypass the inability to continue in the case of multiplayer titles), unfortunately.note  Instead, when you lose the game will be entirely over and all the progress you have made so far will be completely lost!

Mostly seen in Arcade Games where continuing is painful by having any scores reset to 0, to stop players with lots of coins in their pockets from bribing their ways to victory by credit-feeding (and something of a Scrappy Mechanic for cabinet owners who would have liked to earn that extra revenue, apparently highly disliked by some development and publishing companiesnote ); in console games it simply makes them Nintendo Hard. In all cases, it can also show up when facing the True Final Boss. If there's a long leg at the end of the game where you can continue, but doing so takes you all the way back to the start of the leg, that's just a form of Checkpoint Starvation.

Compare Out of Continues, which can be invoked via this trope. But if a game has a Mode of No Continues, that falls under Final Death Mode.

Examples:

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, and continuing against her is impossible. Don't lose, or your game will be over instantly and for real!
    • The final boss of Bloody Roar 4 will also cause your game to be 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 and you can't continue against him. Your game will be permanently over if you lose!
  • Street Fighter series:
    • The original Street Fighter can place this anywhere, allow you to continue/be challenged by another human player even in Thailand (the final country) or entirely disable such abilities altogether through the machine's DIP switch settings.
    • The ability to continue is disabled once you get to face the final boss in Street Fighter Alpha 3; you even get a cutscene of Bison using your fighter to power the Psycho Drive should you lose (incidentally, it's also Bison's ending). If you're playing as Bison, you'll face Ryu instead, and losing will give you his ending.
    • In Street Fighter IV, losing to Akuma or Gouken in Arcade mode causes your character's ending to play without offering a chance to retry.

Platform Game
  • Cannon Dancer has a less severe example of this: normally using the ability to continue revives 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 silently disables continues in the Final Stage.
  • The Fairyland Story does not begin to offer continues until you get past its first 7 Rounds... but once you reach that title's final 3 Rounds, it stops continues completely!
  • The Arcade version of Shinobi denies you continuous play once the Final Mission begins.
  • You can't continue in Rastan once you reach its 6th and final Round.
  • Rainbow Islands only permits continuing past certain points (island 7 on the arcade original, island 5 on the PC version) if you collect the big brown book from the secret room on said island.
  • In the final area of SegaSonic the Hedgehog's final levelnote , continuing and having any more players to join in is impossible.
  • 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.
  • Downplayed in Toki. Regardless of how many quarters do you have handy; once you reach the final stage, the game limits the number of times you can continue to five before the ability to credit-feed is finally disabled.

Racing Game
  • In RoadBlasters by Atari Games (not to be confused with "Road Blaster" by Data Eastnote ), if you can make it to the final rally, it simply tells you "one chance", indicating that you can't use continues at that point.

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 completely. 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.
  • You can't continue nor have a second player to join in once you get to one of the Final Zones in the original Darius.
  • 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 can be used in the NES port of Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road, except that instead stops working once the final boss is reached.
  • 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.
  • 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, your game will be over!
  • R-Type Final takes this Up to Eleven - You are given only one life and no continues at clearing Stage F-C. Be careful not to get hit, or your ship will explode and... Game Over!
  • Salamander 2 locks out continues once you reach the second loop. Downplayed in that you can still have a second player to join in... up to until you clear the final stage again or lose all your lives, of course!

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

Other
  • 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.
  • Odin is responsible for the battle-retrial function in SaGa 2. Once you defeat Odin, the battle-retrial function will be 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.note 
  • 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 have 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.
  • Exaggerated in NAM-1975, which doesn't allow you to continue nor have a 2nd player to join in once you reach the Final Boss and gives you the bad ending should you lose all your lives by that point!
  • Steel Gunner stops continues completely once you reach the Final Boss. note  If you die against him, it'll be Game Over for you!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PointOfNoContinues