This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.
Krid: The focus on this isn't on people being fine until they die, it's about how when they die spectacularly from unspectacular reasons despite being perfectly fine a moment ago. For example, a Staff Chick landing the killing blow on the Big Bad, causing them to paint the walls with their own blood.
Krid: Kind of a cross between that and a localized Load-Bearing Boss. What makes it distinct is that people involved seem to be held together more by their own life force than anything tangible, as the act of dying instantly makes them as durable as a wet tissue paper.
YYZ: Right. You can still be up and walking around as long as you have even one unit left on your life meter - but when you lose that one, it's always in a spectacular manner. Megaman's just fine until he loses his last Hit Point - then he explodes. The Resident Evil characters walk around just fine until they finally lose all their HP - at which point they collapse and die (RE 4 was a step forward in that it was a bit more obvious about showing the effects of attacks on Leon).
Incidentally, where'd the name for this page come from? If it's a Douglas Adams reference, there's a mistake - the term he invented was Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure.
Morgan Wick: Wait, is this a conflation of two tropes? Because it seems to me that "you're perfectly fine until your last hit point goes" and "when you die, it's always in a blaze of glory" are two separate tropes, though it's true that the latter is a lot sillier in conjunction with the former. Call me a splitter...
YYZ: Well, given the fact that so many videogames include both of those ideas, I would say they add up to a single trope: "You show no signs of damage until you lose the last of your health, at which point you explode or otherwise die spectacularly."
Error: I removed the Dystopia reference, because the head flying off only happens when the head hitbox takes the killing blow.
Willbyr: Finished the rough sort of the entries; I'll leave it to someone who knows more about these games to sort the video games into their respective subcategories.