Playing With / Instant-Win Condition
aka: The Enemy Gate Is Down

Basic Trope: Video games tend to allow you to survive what in Real Life would be a hopeless or fatal scenario simply by achieving a victory condition.
  • Straight: You're falling to your death in a pit of lava but get off one lucky shot that kills the boss, ending the stage just before you die.
  • Exaggerated: You're in the lava pool, and the boss walks into a trap you set, killing himself during your death animation. Next stage, it turns out you didn't even lose a life in the process.
  • Downplayed Your character is forced to kill the boss before too many of his magic minons flood the area. Right as it's looking overwhelming, the boss dies.
  • Justified:
    • You're playing an RTS or SRPG, where victory relies on conditions that can feasibly be met even if most of your forces have been routed.
    • The traps that are active in the area are part of the big bad's magic, and once killed they vanish.
    • The mission is just that important. Whether it is preventing a nuclear/bacteriological/Phlebotinum weapon from going off, firing such a weapon at your enemy, pulling a Do Not Adjust Your Set on the enemy's Propaganda Machine, or anything like that, it doesn't matter whether you live or die, so long as you succeed. It's outright stated that you went on the mission fully expecting to either take a few of them before you go down or become a Doomed Moral Victor.
  • Inverted: Non-Standard Game Over
  • Subverted: Kaizo Trap
  • Double Subverted: The trap was just a cat scare.
  • Parodied: A capture-the-flag game ends with all the enemies spontaneously exploding into Ludicrous Gibs for no apparent reason, other than that you've won.
  • Zig Zagged: The only way to beat the end boss is to kill him just as you land in the lava, triggering the end-of-mission cinematic. However, midway through the cinematic, the boss barges into the victory celebration, declaring that your victory was "totally cheap." This time, you force the boss into the lava, and he kills you with a trick shot as he dies. The good news is that you get to interrupt your own Game Over sequence to respawn, because "it's only fair," and kill the boss for good. Or, at least, until he respawns, disgruntled, after the end credits.
  • Averted: This is not the kind of game where you can "nearly" lose.
  • Enforced: Narrow victories are an important thematic element of the game.
  • Lampshaded: "Of course, even a bad commander can still win if he achieves the victory conditions before the enemy achieves theirs..."
  • Invoked: The game provides bonuses for clearing stages while near defeat.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The game is intentionally designed so that there are no "close" victories or defeats (even where these would normally be plausible), only total and decisive ones. If you're not crushing the opponent utterly, then you're getting trounced.
  • Discussed: "Look, I don't care how it works in videogames - in real life, if you kill the commander, someone else will just take over."
  • Conversed: "It's clear the Good Guys will win the moment they say the magic word. All this dramatic battle and almost crushing defeat is just for pathos."
  • Deconstructed:
    • War is literally a game in the setting, with thousands being killed for the sport of dictators.
    • CONGRATS! Your team just brutally slaughtered that dictator. Instead of laying down their arms, however, the Elite Mooks surrounding you aren't really happy about that...
  • Reconstructed:

Victory is assured if you head back to Instant-Win Condition.