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Death Throws

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Mario: Wait, Wario... What was-a death like?
Ghost of Wario: Well... You sorta jump up in the air and the music goes, "Do do do-do do do do do do-do."

A death animation common to 2-dimensional Platform Games especially during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras; in which the dying character flies into the air before falling off screen, often in a "sitting" spread-out contorted pose. This may happen to enemies as well.

The Trope Codifier is Super Mario Bros.

Compare Winged Soul Flies Off at Death.


  • Super Mario Bros. is the Trope Codifier (pictured above).
    • The Trope Maker is Mario's second game: Mario Bros., and the Ur-Example was Donkey Kong Jr..
    • This is lampshaded in a live-action parody on YouTube (HERE) where the characters are in the real world and super-sized Mario is shot to death by a cop. He is thrown off-screen in the classic manner, leaving the cop wondering what the hell just happened.
    • Happens to the villains too, at least in the Super Mario Land games and first Wario Land spinoff. In many cases, they actually plummet off screen head first with the comedy sound of someone falling off a cliff.
    • Super Mario Bros.: The fireball has his effect on enemies.
    • Taken even further in Super Mario Fusion Revival, where the bird boss from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins dies by spinning around like a lunatic as it falls off the screen, complete with the same comedic falling sound. You can see the... odd effect in this video.
    • Happens to mooks (their sprites are flipped upside down) if they're hit by a fireball (except in Super Mario World), vegetable, raccoon tail, starman, cape...
    • After a long while, this returns in New Super Mario Bros., now while Mario is flipped upside down.
    • Also makes a return in Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World, which is remarkable because they're the first 3D Mario games to apply this trope.
    • Super Mario Odyssey also does this if you die by losing all your health, making it the first sandbox-style entry in the series to do this—also note that Mario will always be thrown out of whatever enemy he's Captured if he loses his last hit point in such a scenario, so it's not like the enemies have their own death animations. Bowser is an exception, however, as he's the only enemy Mario isn't thrown out of upon dying. If Mario freezes to death, however, he won't be thrown.
    • In the Yoshi's Island series games, while Yoshi would normally lose lives by having Baby Mario taken away from him, falling onto Spikes of Doom will simply result in him spinning out and collapsing, but if he falls into a pit of lava, he will die this way.
  • Commander Keen naturally does this since the prototype of his game's engine was a "Copyright Infringement" knockoff of Super Mario Bros. 3. He bounces off anything else that would kill him during the animation, so if there are a lot of enemies on screen he can bounce around for a while before finally falling off the screen.
    • There's a glitch where, in the later games, saving and reloading during the death throw causes the death flag to be reset but the throw state to be kept - you then fly in an uncontrolled fashion through walls and, if you touch the edge of the level, finish it instantly.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this in all the 2D games, including the 2½D ones like Sonic Rush and the classic half of Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces, though his legs are usually spread out each time.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Defeated enemies do this. It only happens to the player characters if they've transformed into an animal buddy.
  • Kid Icarus (1986): The instant Pit takes his last hit, he jumps off the stage, and the Game Over screen reads: "I'M FINISHED!"
  • Kirby does this whenever he dies, while spinning.
    • While playing as Meta Knight in Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land and Kirby Super Star Ultra, his body explodes and his mask remains behind to fall offscreen in this fashion. Starting with Return to Dream Land, he adopts the same pose Kirby does in these circumstances.
    • Averted in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards due to it being partially 3D; in that game Kirby just spins around before collapsing. A similar animation was also used for Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
    • Also averted in Kirby Mass Attack. Whenever a Kirby is killed, it turns into an angel and attempts to fly away. Quick players can order one of their remaining Kirbies to grab them and slam them on the ground returning them to the land of the living albeit at only one HP.
  • Whenever the Road Runner dies in Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, he turns upside-down with a shocked expression on his face and falls off the screen.
  • Parasol Stars and Bubble Bobble Part 2 (NES) while spinning out.
    • This happens in the North American and Japanese NES versions of Rainbow Islands. In contrast, the arcade version has the character hitting the platform he was shot off of and fall backwards from the impact. Others just make him hit midair and fall backwards.
  • This only occurs with two kinds of death in LittleBigPlanet: falling onto Spikes of Doom (or other pointy objects like knives or wooden spike traps) and being crushed. Both result in Sackboy jumping forward one gameplay layer (if in the front layer, then out of the gameplay area) before falling out of reality. It gets even more ridiculous with the crushing animation, because he may leap right through the material that crushed him, and even fall right through the floor. Other kinds of death (electricity, Impact Explosives, etc.) have the expected means of death instead of this. (Electricity causes Sackboy to visibly pop in the PS3 game, and nothing is shown in the PSP game before the screen moves back.)
  • Prehistorik Man has this. Interestingly, the way drowning is handled changes late in the game: Initially the character is thrown when he hits the bottom (once you've hit the surface you can't swim or jump out anyway), but after being told water makes you drown, the death animation is changed to drowning.
  • Secret Agent leaps off the screen while waving his hands and eyes madly as if he had an epileptic fit.
  • This is how the deaths of the main character and enemies are handled in Eversion, at least before everting past X-5.
  • This is Ogmo's only death animation in Jumper games, oddly accompanied by gunshot sound. Jumper Three replaces gunshot sound with dead Ogmo exploding shortly after death.
  • In Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge (the sequel to Frogger 3D), the player character gets thrown and smacked against the screen when hit by an enemy whilst on its last life.
  • Happens in Braid to the One-Hit-Point Wonder protagonist; however, the twist is that just before he falls off the bottom of the screen, the action freezes and you're prompted to press Shift and rewind the action to a point before you died.
  • Inverted in two ways in Mischief Makers; Marina throws things to take out enemies and her throwing enemies is itself is usually fatal.
  • In The Caverns of Hammerfest the main character, a snowman, is knocked off to the bottom of the screen whenever he is hit by something.
  • In Legacy of the Wizard, every enemy except the Final Boss does this when defeated.
  • The Famicom version of Nuts & Milk did this with both player and enemies. This was one of those games where reaching the Level Goal killed all enemies, so every enemy would take a flying dive into the water at the bottom of the screen.
  • Alex Kidd and Wonder Boy starting with Monster Land float off the screen upon death.
  • In Crystal Castles, when Bentley runs into an enemy, he gives off a speech bubble saying "OH NO" or something similar and flies off the top of the screen.
  • Disney's Magical Quest has the player characters (Mickey, Minnie or Donald) fall off the screen when losing a life. With a different animation depending on the costume they are wearing.
  • Things get thrown offscreen in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (SNES) on the NES and SNES upon defeat.
    • On the Game Boy version, enemies drift offscreen when defeated.
  • Balloon Kid features this if Alice gets hit by a stronger enemy or certain objects (i.e. bears, walruses, spikes, fires, struck by falling stalactites, sparks, getting crushed, etc.) And she spins upon defeat.
  • The Contra series actually averts this, where the One-Hit-Point Wonder characters would get blown backwards and land dead on their back when harmed. All except one— Browny in Contra: Hard Corps dies this way, "jumping" then falling off the screen with his machinery sparking.
  • In the arcade version of Donkey Kong Jr., if the title character died, his eyes would bug out and he would fall out of the stage. The latter detail was not preserved in the NES version.
  • Amagon does this turning towards the screen and throwing his hands up, Mario-style.
  • In Little Nemo: The Dream Master, when Nemo loses the last segment of his life bar, he starts spinning around repeatedly and drops off the screen after a few seconds.
  • Happens in the little-known SNES game Skuljagger Revolt Of The Westicans. However, enemies will continue to attack the spot where Storm took the fatal hit.
  • Amusingly enough, this is how the little human enemies die when killed by your Mini-Mecha in Assault Suits Valken. Everything else explodes.
  • In Atlantis no Nazo, getting hit by anything will make you fall off the stage unless you fall into one of the game's many secret warps.
  • In LEGO Dimensions, Sonic does this instead of falling apart like every other character when he gets defeated.
  • In the arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, it was possible for the turtles to throw enemies in such a way that they would come flying directly at the player, hit the monitor glass, and slide off the screen.
  • Kid Niki: Radical Ninja loves this trope. Other than the bosses, every character gets a death throw. Enemies hit by Kid Niki's sword tumble high into the air and disappear through the top of the screen, and when Kid Niki himself gets hit by an enemy, he goes into a rapid somersault and falls off the bottom of the screen.
  • Happens in 1001 Spikes. Variants on it involve your character having a burnt sprite if killed by fire, or purple if poisoned. Amusingly, if you die to something else, THEN get touched by fire during the Death Throw, your flailing body still becomes charred.
  • During the Boss Rush of Shovel Knight, the re-defeated members of the Order of No Quarter are thrown off the screen. After the fighting is over, it shows them hanging from each other in a Chain of People.
  • In Rick Dangerous, both Rick and the enemies die facing the screen, flailing their arms as they drop off. The humorous "Waaaah!" sound that normally accompanies this was provided by the game's designer Simon Phipps.
  • In Ponpoko, contact with anything harmful causes Ponpoko to plummet to the bottom of the screen and land on his head.
  • Most characters just collapse to the floor when defeated in Freedom Planet, but defeating Spade in Sky Battalion causes him to get flung off in this way.
  • Run the clock out in Castlevania Legends and watch as poor Sonia Belmont gets ejected off the screen, Mario-style.
  • While the titular Bug doesn't die this way, the yeti boss of Burrubs does, by falling off the terrain in a flailing pose. The horned lizard boss of Reptilia also drops off the scene flailing when defeated.
  • Happens to Fix-It Felix Jr. if he dies in the Flash version of Fix-It Felix Jr. In the original, however, his death animation resembles Mario's from Donkey Kong.
  • This is what happens following a knockout of any character in Lethal League and Lethal League Blaze.
  • Happens for most characters in Claw, unless they are killed from spikes, liquids or falling.
  • Giana Sisters DS has the main character get thrown off the screen towards the camera when losing a life.
  • Sabrina: Spooked! has Sabrina fall off the screen while spinning ala Kirby, whenever she loses a life.
  • Sailor Moon S (Game Gear): Falling into a bottomless pit results in your player character (Usagi or Chibiusa) doing this. Usagi/Sailor Moon even gets a Sweat Drop while she falls off the screen.
  • Smashroom: If Smashroom runs out of health, he curls up, and then jumps off the level.
  • Lizard: If the Player Character touches an enemy, they will turn into a skeleton and jump off the screen.
  • Panky the Panda: Panky falls off the screen if he's touched by an enemy/hazard.
  • Ghoul Grind: Night of the Necromancer: Interestingly, the trope applies to the enemies in this game. They all jump into the air upon defeat.
  • Nebs 'n Debs: Get touched by an enemy or hazard, and Debs jump up, then down off the screen.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan: If Sydney loses all his health, he assumes the usual position, then falls off the screen.
  • Venture Kid: Whenever Andy loses a life, he kind of jumps off the screen while upside-down, with his eyes turned into Xs.
  • In Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, you can knock human enemies off the screen or gib them. Mechanical enemies explode upon defeat instead.
  • Pizza Tower's Peppino Spaghetti inflicts this on enemies when ramming them at high enough speeds, even the massive Pillar Johns. Pizzaface turns the tables should he catch Peppino if the latter takes too long during Pizza Time, crushing him underneath a giant 'TIME'S UP' and sending him flying. This also happens in the intro when Peppino bulldozes through Gustavo.
  • In Antonball Deluxe, letting the ball go out of bounds in Antonball, falling into a pit, or touching a Ballbuster makes the player jump off the screen.