The Computer Shall Taunt You
...bite me, fleabag.
"You've got the flying skills of a large asteroid."
Imagine you're playing a video game. You're not really emotionally invested in it, you just want to beat the game and...HEY! Did that NPC just insult
you?! What a jerk
! Now It's Personal
, and you will not rest until you shut this guy's mouth.
NPCs might taunt, mock, or insult you for a variety of reasons. One reason could be to make a villain seem less likeable
to you and more like somebody you just want to punch
. Or, if you're playing as a villain, you might go after the good guys with renewed zeal if they piss you off enough by showing their contempt for you. Or maybe you're playing a Fighting Game
gloats after winning.
Can be related to Player Punch
, depending on the circumstances. Made more frustrating if the computer is also a cheating bastard
. Compare with I Shall Taunt You
, Easy-Mode Mockery
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- The other world leaders in the Civilization series are not◊ above◊ this◊.
- In V, certain civilizations are staggeringly petty and insult you frequently with no intention of going to war. The player can either brush it off, or somberly reply that "you will pay for this in time." This might be to allow role-playing players to pursue a war strategy without feeling guilty.
- In Age of Mythology single-player mode, the AI will constantly taunt you as they cheat their way through the various ages with such gems as, "Only a civilization as advanced as ours gets to survive", "Your civilization has yet to discover fire or the wheel", and, "May all of your villagers be eaten by wild animals." It makes you feel a lot better when you smash their base and army into pieces as they beg for peaceful surrender, though.
- Deadlock took it to a new level, allowing players to send fully voiced, 3D animated boasts/insults/complaints unique to your race at opponents. Some of these approached CMOF level.
- The AI is designed to respond appropriately to these messages allowing you to slowly improve diplomatic relations with the AI by sending praise or goad one to war with insults and threats. And the AI loves to get in on the action too; after a battle expect a string of messages from your opponents either (Depending who sent it) vowing revenge, congratulating you on your victory, or telling you to lay off their friends.
- Enemy pilots will do this fairly often in the X-Universe games, even if you're in a vastly superior ship compared to theirs. The page quote is one example of many.
- Enemy factions in Sins of a Solar Empire enjoy sending you whispers. Sometimes it's to tell you to stop baiting the Pirates to attack them, sometimes it's to let you know they've just ambushed a fleet (or a single, automated exploration ship), and sometimes it's just a heads-up that you're about to get wrecked by a Novalith shot.
- In Ready, Aim, Tomatoes, if your shooting accuracy was below 50% in a given level, the game would tell you "Good shooting... NOT!!!"
- In most battles against Dr. Eggman in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2d games, anytime he manages to hit Sonic and his friends, he looks at the player and laughs.
- The dog in Duck Hunt pops up and laughs at you if you miss every duck in any round, and also in the "game over" screen (see the page pic). This is one of the earliest examples of the trope, and has spawned such anger over time that numerous Flash games have been made that let you kill the dog. It is one dog that most people probably wouldn't mind kicking.
- Some of the enemies in the first Mega Man X game will laugh at you if they hit you, namely the pickaxe-throwing robots and the lumberjack robots. (This is a minor Mega Man franchise staple that pops up now and then; it began with Guts Man.)
- A lot of the boxers in the Punch-Out!! series will taunt you, which generally serves no purpose other then providing you with a chance to earn a free star for interrupting it. Sometimes, it even makes them more vulnerable to star punches, which can score you an instant KO or TKO if you land one during a taunt.
- Don Flamenco is a little different; he keeps taunting Mac waiting for him to throw the first punch; at which point Don will dodge and counter-attack (which Mac can then dodge and counter-counter attack).
- The computer players in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl often use the 'taunt' move (there is an actual taunt move for each character) right after they've killed you. It can really motivate a person to kick their ass. Though to be fair the computer probably isn't doing it to be a dick, but to get special points by earning 'Instant Poser', a particular designation you can get if you taunt right after killing someone enough times.
- More infuriatingly, they will often taunt REGARDLESS of if they were the ones who actually KO'd you or not.
- Even worse, in Melee, they'll taunt you AFTER YOU KILL THEM AND THEY RESPAWN.
- In the original, if you did this in Single Player, you'd get the bonus "Fighter's Stance".
- Shao Kahn will taunt you often, either after a knock down or randomly during the fight. It does get quite infuriating; however, it also acts as a time to score a free hit.
- Eternal Champions gave each character a "taunt" move with a practical use: it sapped an opponent's Inner Strength, i.e. the stuff that allows one to perform special attacks. Fine for head-to-head fighting, but since AI opponents can freely use any and all special moves even with a completely empty Inner Strength gauge, it usually just meant the player could never use special moves themselves against a CPU-controlled opponent because they would repeatedly taunt and drain the player's gauge at the start of the round.
First Person Shooters
- Avoid The Noid. Every time you die, the screen fades to a picture of a giggling noid, complete with sound effect of annoying laughter. Also, to complete the game you need to search certain phones. Pick up the wrong phone (indicated by a subtle audio cue) will show a picture of a giggling noid on the other side of the phone call. Cue annoying sound effect, then he presses a detonator and your phone explodes. You die, see above for what happens next.
- A lot of enemies in the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy laugh and mock you after hitting you, which for some of them can give you an opening to attack.
- The PS1 game Rugrats:The Search for Reptar has a mission in which you play as Tommy and have to race Angelica around the house to get to the kitchen. If she gets ahead far enough, she will stop and taunt you until you pass her, ultimately giving up the win.
- Donkey Kong 64. There are racing sections against a green and purple beetle, which can be examples of That One Level, even for experienced players. If you lose (and you will, a lot) due to it being able to make you lose coins through Collision Damage, falling off the course for instant failure, or greatly outspeed you on the home stretch, the beetle will laugh at you and victory dance every time you lose. You will soon come to absolutely detest that mocking laugh and dance.
Real Time Strategy
- Starcraft: Brood War shows you a propaganda film made by the United Earth Directorate which claims that the UED forces have been decimating the pitiful Zerg in a Curb-Stomp Battle. Then it hands you control of the Zerg.
- In a cutscene preceding one mission in Warcraft III where you are controlling the undead Scourge, the orc leading a charge against you opines that killing a bunch of weak, mindless undead like you guys should be no problem. Also, the Scourge higher-ups just LOOOOVE trolling Arthas in the Human Alliance campaign. Especially frickin' MAL'GANIS, who is possibly the most annoying thing in the game...yeah. Stratholme can fast become much less a race to save the people from a fate worse than death than it is a race to make that damn Dreadlord shut the hell up already.
- In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, rogue AI CABAL loves to taunt the player, regardless of affiliation.
- Age of Empires III gives voice to each of the leaders of the different computer-controlled factions you may face in skirmishes, including the bloodthirsty Cuauhtemoc, the arrogant Frederick the Great, and the humorously philosophical Suleiman the Magnificent. They're all quite chatty, with thousands of recorded lines of dialogue to mock your failures, compliment your skills (as an ally), gloat over a victory, or proclaim your imminent defeat.
- In Super Paper Mario, O'Chunks will take a moment to laugh or dance before your character gets up whenever he successfully grabs and throws them (Unless you're using Peach).
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion basically starts you out in a cell. You start the plot by walking up to the gate and listen to the guy in the opposite cell insult you for more than a minute, before finally advancing the plot. You get to kill him later if you join the Dark Brotherhood. Ah, revenge is sweet...
- Mass Effect 2: Harbinger will not shut up when in combat with you. He even taunts your party members specifically, and assures you it's not done when you kill his current host.
- Playing as a Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you get an assignment to kill a Sith. When you get to her, she says she's disappointed that it was just some bounty hunter who was sent after her, not even a Mandalorian! If you ask her why, she says that obviously she's going to make short work of you, since she's this badass Sith and you're just some chump who can't even use the Force. Maybe another Sith could beat her, or possibly a really lucky Jedi, but not the likes of you.
- The Halbird dream eater in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] likes striking Sentai-esque poses whenever it hits you (Or the enemies if it's your ally). It's also mostly Immune to Flinching, so you can't really take advantage of it, either.
- In Chrono Trigger, Gato makes fun of you in song if by some miracle he manages to defeat you.
- A number of the bosses in the Tales Series will drop a snarky one-liner when you lose to them. Volt's Tales of Xillia incarnation, for instance, simply informs you that "You lose." (Which you might end up hearing a lot in the sequel).
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, most enemy demons will let out a roar if they manage to get a free attack, be it due to an ambush, a demon conversation gone wrong, or the enemy in question being one of the Fiends.
Shoot 'Em Ups
- Sinistar thinks you're a coward and wants you to know it. RUN, COWARD!
- Blazing Star has mocking comments like "Hey poor player" appear on the screen whenever you die. And if you fail to beat a boss in the time limit, you get to see "You fail it! Your skill is not good enough, see you next time!"
- MetalSlug: the not-quite-Nazi enemies you fight will point and laugh at your corpse if they kill you. However, they scream in horror when they see you re-animate.
- The game over music in Bangai-O Spirits is accompanied with an Evil Laugh, and you will hear it very, very often.
Space / Flight Simulation Games
- In the Atari Jaguar game Cybermorph, your onboard AI partner Skylar will diss you every time you craft bumps into an obstacle. Given the game's low draw distance causing mountains to pop up out of nowhere, you can expect to hear her say "Where did you learn to fly?" a lot.
- Playing the Chris Jericho storyline in Smack Down Vs Raw 2011, you have to wrestle one match with Triple H sitting in on commentary and contemptuously dismissing you as a joke throughout the whole thing. This provides incentive to go after him later on. (Although, since this is Triple H we're talking about, some players may not have needed any additional incentive.)
- In Williams Electronics' Comet, the Dunk Tank Dummy constantly heckles the player to goad him into hitting him.
Dunk Dummy: "C'mon, turkey! Hit me!"
- Rudy the Dummy in FunHouse is infamous for doing this to the players, as part of his Deadpan Snarker personna.
Rudy: "Now who's the dummy?"
- Taken Up to Eleven by Buzz and Bud in No Good Gofers, whose relentless heckling gives the players even more enticement to hit them with the pinballs.
Buzz: "You're dumber than Bud!"
- Done constantly by the opposing boxers in The Champion Pub
Patrotsky Yirbitov: "Hey, look. The weakling is back."
- Colonel Quaritch taunts the player in Avatar, thanks to custom voice work by Stephen Lang.
- In Full Throttle, the player is constantly taunted by his rival, Francisco Valentino.