This clock, that tree
All have a great potential for harming me
I bet that you think
You could never get hurt
By a box of raisins or a flannel shirt."
Video games struggling for creativity will invent unlikely obstacles.
If a level in a Platformer takes place on a mountain, it may be unrealistic that you'd run into sequential lava pits, but it's at least logical in that you want to avoid their obvious skin-boiling danger (though you'll be okay if you just don't touch it).
But in some games, you can be injured by the strangest and most mundane of things. All manner of inanimate objects seems primed and ready to hurt you, especially if the setting doesn't allow for more extravagant opponents. Stumbling onto a flying soccer ball hurts just as much as being run over by a car. In some cases, just to really hammer the point home that the game's creators are true bastards, your character will be a One-Hit-Point Wonder, and the slightest injury will make you explode into a fountain of blood.
You can usually blame Collision Damage for this.
And heaven help you if the place is inhabited. Nearly every living thing in the area suddenly gets a taste for your tender flesh, even if they're normally skittish herbivores. This may be a modern take on the older version of this trope: in old adventure stories, if the hero goes camping or even just for a walk through the forest, he can expect to be attacked by bears, stalked by wolves, jumped by mountain lions, infected by poison ivy, torn apart by thorns and so on.
Is nothing safe? Walls? The sun? The moon? The boundary of the screen?
While a common trope in the Nintendo Hard generation of games, this has more to do with old-style games than difficulty. Many older games were platform games, where the objective is primarily to get from the beginning of the level to the end. Memory was at a premium, so pretty much anything added to the game needed a purpose. And in a platformer, most things should be either power ups or obstacles, things that make it a challenge (and thus fun) to get from Point A to Point B. Adventure Game designers, especially those at Sierra, also delighted in finding new and interesting ways to kill the player character; with no quantified attributes, such a game's hero could only survive or not survive.
Some games that normally avoid this will design a deliberately ludicrous yet highly dangerous enemy/obstacle for comedic value. A Platform Hell game will often take this trope to ludicrous places for comedy. See also Malevolent Architecture and Death World.
Compare: Animals Hate Him, Attack of the Killer Whatever, Death Course, Land Down Under, No OSHA Compliance, and Super-Persistent Predator.
Video Game examples:
- Aquaria advertises over 175 unique creatures to discover. This is a list of the ones that are harmless: small fish, some (but not all) eels, a couple species of jellyfish, macaws, and monkeys. Everything else hates you and wishes to feast upon your delicious, juicy corpse.
- The Castlevania series loves this trope. Sure, you're going up against Dracula so monsters like skeletons and zombies are obvious. The (empty) coffins in Super Castlevania IV fit with the theme, though common sense doesn't explain why they would be so aggressive. But armadillos, frogs, toads, birds, bats, snakes, plants, chefs, butlers, maids, and sometimes previous teammates all want you dead. Most of Dracula's villainy is informed/off screen, so it makes you wonder if the Belmonts and company are actually just colossal jerks who no one likes.
Well this is bound to be a lovely resurrection party... Oh, Christ, it's one of those guys with a whip again. He'll probably whip all the party guests to death, snuff out our candles, and steal our food.
- The more recent, Metroidvania style games have begun explaining it by having them all be demons or ghosts. They're still absurdly aggressive for their jobs, though.
- The Divide: Enemies Within have you crash-landing on an alien planet infested with hostile life, with literally everything that moves being an enemy after your life. Even the platforms will kill you by collapsing seconds after you step on them.
- Most of Ecco the Dolphin's foes are logical for a dolphin — sharks and jellyfish for the most part. The angry crabs and giant water spiders are a bit weird, but the Prehistoria levels take it to the extreme with trilobites and giant seahorses who shoot their young at you.
- If you see anything of note in the ruins of La-Mulana, it's probably a trap that will try to kill you. This goes double in the sequel. The traps in the first game were designed by the Four Philosophers to test aspirants, to ensure that anyone capable of clearing them and awakening the Mother would be able to kill her. The traps in Eg-Lana are designed to kill any intruders.
- Enemies in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 had the rather alarming tendency to forget who they were fighting and come after you. This is even worse when demons and demon hunters become the best of friends for the amount of time it takes to kill your character.
- Legend of the Mystical Ninja, in addition to having ordinary citizens of peaceful, feudal Japanese towns trying to kill you, has a particularly mean enemy: deer. The deer deal out a ridiculous amount of damage, they bound around very quickly and haphazardly so they're difficult to dodge, and worst of all, you lose health if you hurt them. Because you're beating up on deer, you jerk. This leads to a rather assholish trap in Stage 2. After visiting a certain fortune teller, she'll tell you that she sees bad luck in your future. Cue the player walking outside to find themselves completely surrounded by deer. This is an artifact from the arcade Goemon games where he was a wanted thief, with everyone trying to claim the bounty on his head.
- Several games in The Legend of Zelda series contain rooms where the floor tiles will fly up to attack you. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening takes this to a whole new level, where one boss IS the floor of the room you just walked in.
- There's also a pottery version of the homicidal floor tiles. Though given what Link usually does to pottery, that could be ruled self-defense.
- The door traps in the Fire Temple (from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) that crush you when you try to open one of them.
- Actually justified in Metroid Fusion. Normally most of the lifeforms on the BSL research station would be peaceful creatures (and you can occasionally see a few uninfected creatures in the background), but they've all been taken over by the X Parasites, and Samus Aran's body happens to contain the DNA of their natural enemy: the titular Metroids. They can tell and they want her dead.
- There's only a handful of creatures in the Monster Hunter series that don't try to kill you on sight, and all of the ones that do make the players their sole targets once they've noticed them, disregarding each other's presence and defying common sense for the sake of attacking them. The little knee-high Jaggi, for instance, consider dealing with you a much higher priority than not getting accidentally trampled, roasted, or subjected to some other manner of pain by whatever enormous monster you're fighting with (and they pretty much always will). In their defense, nearly every creature in the game can (and most likely will) be killed for parts to make more weapons, armor, or hunting gear, so it's really more of a survival tactic.
- Strangely, in Rambo for NES, the entire wildlife hates Rambo. That includes Giant Spiders, tigers, flamingos, flies, and birds.
- The Tomb Raider series features killer bats, bears, wolves, crocodiles, eels, tigers, monkeys, gorillas, sharks, ravens, random hobos and museum security guards. Lampshaded in Legend, when Mission Control wonders why predators always attack prey larger than themselves.
- In The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, the Warmup Boss, Cane, is literally a cane. Like, a walking stick. You have to fight a walking stick.
- The enemies of The Wizard of Oz include birds, stalactitish lemons, cactus cats, plants on unicycles, chattery teeth, hands of grandfather clocks, walking chairs, blobs, flying blue elephants, dripping water, bouncing pumpkins, and buzzsaws. Plus rats.
- Aladdin for the Sega Master System has his magic carpet ride with Jasmine as a level. Even here, the poor guy can't catch a break, with birds, thunderclouds, majestic horses, and falling cherries waiting to thwart his every move.
- Bomberman runs with this trope in every game since the beginning. The Big Bad's mooks, bugs, statues, rocks, fish, robots, floor tiles, your own bombs, items, and standard stage hazards. It really gets ridiculous though, with butterflies, snowflakes, penguins, clowns, Funny Animal mice holding balloons, panda/umbrella... things, snowmen, trees, and even wandering clouds who pour down raindrops. No matter how cute and innocuous it looks, if it doesn't hatch from a giant egg, it will kill you (or your kangaroo/dinosaur) on contact.
- Bosses, of course, range from typical dragons, giant robots, and vehicles to sphinx with rockets in its shoulders, a crystalline ice spider, a giant electrical catfish, and a crazy dominatrix Cat Girl.
- Brain Dead 13. Everything. From the leaves in the hedge maze, to the fire in the stove, to the bookworms in the library.
- Besides cars, motorcycles, trucks, snakes, and alligators trying to kill him, Frogger also demonstrates Super Drowning Skills.
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York for the NES and SNES was ridiculous. Not only did every random stranger in the hotel try to get you, but so did vacuum cleaners, luggage, and mop buckets (both the moving mop and the inanimate bucket).
- The first one was even worse in that regard.
- The Infogrames staff must have played this game before coding Tintin in Tibet. In the hotel level alone, you could get Collision Damage (and lose one of your four hit points) from waiters carrying a platter, maids vacuuming the floor, luggage carelessly knocked over by said maids and little dogs that don't bite. Oh, and the timer too.
- The Jurassic Park game on the Sega Genesis. Cute little lizards who take half your health, climbing ropes who are vertical poison ivies, Pteronodon carrying you back to the top at the cost of half your health... Also goes with Nintendo Hard.
- Machine Hunter: All over the place. While the alien footsoldiers and machines can be excused as enemies, you're also prone to being attacked by all sorts of wildlife in the swamp level, or by giant insects in the sewers.
- Ninja: Shadow of Darkness: Oh hell yes. While the human mooks like samurai and ninja can be serving the warlord directly, however during the gameplay your ninja will also get attacked by wildlife such as giant crabs, eagles, spiders, bats... it gets really ridiculous in the beach stage: palm trees will deliberately drop coconuts on you as soon as you walk underneath.
- Paperboy is infamous for having everything from runaway lawnmowers to breakdancers to the Grim friggin' Reaper running around the middle of the street for no discernible reason other than to mess with the eponymous deliverer.
- Taken to its logical extreme in Pepsiman, where even Pepsi trucks and giant Pepsi cans are trying to kill you. There's also various trucks with their back ends open to dump things onto the road for you to avoid. Seems like an accident, until you notice that if you get knocked down and take too long to get back up, some trucks will actually stop and wait for you.
- The Super Star Wars games make the laser-filled war they are based on look subtle. It is not enough that an endless swarm of every last bad guy, background extra, and random prop in the Star Wars universe is out to furiously murder you. There are just as many original threats and every set piece has been turned into a hazard-filled Death World. You have no mercy invincibility so anything can destroy you. To give an example, the very first level of Super Empire Strikes Back starts you off in a Slippy-Slidey Ice World covered in instant death spikes, leaps of faith, exploding cliffs, spontaneously generating giant snowballs, sentient ice crystals that grow or launch themselves at you, rocket squirrels, giant boars, mynocs, porcupines, fire-breathing plants, and an entire army of Imperial Probe Droids that all swarm the screen at once. It gets worse from there.
- Time Gal. That girl has no allies whatsoever. It seems that every era she gets transported to only serves the purpose of pitting her against something or another.
- The Sega Genesis X-Men (1993) game first level started in a jungle. And in this jungle, getting a lance thrown at you did damage, getting carried off by a Giant Flyer did damage... and having a dragonfly buzz past you did damage. The hell?
- Sierra celebrated the way of character death, embraced it, became one with it. Many Sierra adventure games would kill for making one seemingly innocuous false step, and then mock you for getting yourself killed. It became slowly more forgiving with time, replacing unwinnable situations with instadeaths (which is a good thing, kind of) and eventually granting an "Oops" button or two.
- Take the second Laura Bow game. It would kill the title character by means of an automobile that appeared out of nowhere if she stepped off the pavement onto a seemingly empty road. You were apparently supposed to look at the road first to confirm that no cars were approaching, but the same would happen even if you did that and the game told you it was all clear. (It expected you to look both ways before crossing the road. Just looking once wasn't enough, in one of Sierra's more... pedantic puzzles. Luckily, you can get everywhere by taxi, and just skip the stupidity.) Another scene would kill you if you wandered into a dark passage without a light. Somehow, a woman in her early twenties would be swarmed and overpowered by quite ordinary bats — unless she had a light to scare them with.
- Not all that many games make players try to kill off their characters in every possible way, even fewer have them enjoy it. The latter include the farcical Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry series, where even the narrator is basically a Deadpan Snarker. A fan website has cataloged 67 distinct ways to die in Space Quest V alone. In Space Quest III, trying to pick up a simple piece of metal scrap one room away from the start of the game would result in Roger cutting himself, severing an artery, and dying of blood loss within seconds. Total play time to first death in that situation could be as little as 20 seconds.
- The bar in Space Quest I features a "Slots-O-Death" machine. Get three skull-n-crossbones, and it turns you into dust with its built-in Disintegrator Ray. You could rig the machine in the remake to beat it quickly, but in the original, save often and hope for the best.
- The game even warns you by showing a little robot with a broom picking up the dust pile of the last loser and ditching it out the back of the bar. If you go behind the bar, there's a huge dust pile composed of all the people who lost recently.
- In one area of Space Quest II the more observant player could notice a square of outlined grass in the terrain. If you attempted the command "look at trap" the narrator would promptly berate you for your overly suspicious approach to the game. The noted area was, of course, a pit complete with spikes.
- Space Quest IV introduces the "Smell" and "Taste" icons to the game interface, which have no plot relevance whatsoever; not once in the entire game will you ever need to smell or taste anything in order to progress. Instead, they exist almost exclusively for the purpose of killing yourself in hilarious ways. Such as being dumb enough to try "tasting" a pool of bubbling green acid.
- A related and frustrating example, also from Space Quest IV was the "unstable ordinance". You gain points for picking it up from a wrecked tank, indicating that this is the "correct" move. However, if you're still carrying it a minute later, it explodes during a scripted event and the game mocks you for not apparently understanding the significance of the word "unstable". This would logically indicate it's the "incorrect" move and players would not touch it on subsequent play-throughs. In reality, the "correct" way to handle it is to pick it up, but then immediately put it back, netting you a small gain in points that you otherwise have no way to make up and get 100% completion, Guide Dang It!.
- Hilariously, the flag that caused the unstable ordnance to kill you was only for one very specific event. If you pick up the unstable ordnance after that event, it will never blow up and never kill you, which is strange considering the bumps and bruises Roger receives later in the game are much worse than the bump that causes the ordinance to blow up in the first place.
- Leisure Suit Larry, which should be a nonviolent mature game, has so many ways to kill your character. Especially the second game: there's at least five ways to die at the hands of KGB agents, four ways to die from the "helicopter girls", three separate ways to die from "Mama Bimbo", two lethal chefs, and a guy named Carlos, who, thanks to U.S. foreign aid, has many extra bullets that he enjoys firing for amusement - on you. Throw in many unwinnable situations and you are in for a very frustrating game.
- Leisure Suit Larry 2 is designed in such a way that you have to die. For example, at one point of the game, you have to take a hair pin out of a plate of food. However, the only way to know of the hair pin is to choke from it. Also, at a later point in the game, the KGB agents even say: "Caught again!" Why do they even bother?
- Furthermore, at some point you gain points for picking up spinach dip for no good reason. Later, you end up starving in a lifeboat, and will automatically eat the spinach dip, thus dying from salmonella poisoning. The "solution" to this "puzzle" is to throw away the dip after picking it up. The dip serves no purpose. None. You can completely ignore it, or you can take it and eat it before it goes bad. However, this will cost you points. To get the maximum points from the dip, you have to take it and throw it away after the lifeboat you're in hits the water. Guide Dang It, all right.
- The Police Quest series is just plain atrocious. Sonny Bonds, a trained police homicide detective, would be killed by a speeding car if he tried crossing the street without pushing the walk button on a nearby streetlight first.
- Even more bizarre is the paradox contained in the sequence in the first game in the series, in which Bonds had to go on patrol in a squad car. If you followed proper procedure and inspected each wheel of the vehicle by walking around it before driving off, there would be nothing wrong with it. If you failed to do so, one wheel would without fail be faulty and you would soon suffer a flat tire, which prematurely ended the game even though Bonds was not injured at all.
- In the third game, a mere loony can kill you with a single swing of his fist. And you are not allowed to shoot him (or you lose).
- Also in the third game, if you pull someone over while driving, then get out of your car to talk to the person, walking around the car in the wrong direction will get you killed.
- The first game starts with you taking a shower before briefing, if you leave the shower room in your towel, a female co-worker will see you and laugh at you causing a game-over. So you got fired? Or died of embarrassment?
- Even Police Quest is trumped by Codename: ICEMAN, where you play an elite multi-skilled spy. Every single thing in the game goes wrong unless you explicitly check it. The guard that asks for your ID gives you the wrong ID back, leading to a dead end unless you bother to check. Machines break down with no warning unless you explicitly oiled them in the last chapter, even though that's the technician's job. And you die for no reason if you walk away from a cardiac arrest victim, because it would be heartless not to give her CPR, which is nigh impossible without reading the manual.
- The character of the adventure/RPG hybrid Quest for Glory series has hit points, so a majority of hazards are not immediately fatal. Still, there's a number of situations that result in an immediate game over. In the first game of the series: If you attempt to pick up any item in the hermit's lair, he'll teleport you into a waterfall, drowning you; if you attempt to pick any lock during the day, the hero will refuse, saying that it isn't safe and that he ought to wait until dark... except for the door of the guardhouse, which you can attempt to pick in broad daylight and in front of the sheriff, leading in your immediate arrest; also, if you attempt to pick any single lock one too many times in a row (at night), you "make too much noise" and get arrested without any chance of escape; using a lockpick on yourself will make the hero pick his nose with it, resulting in brain hemorrhage and death unless your skill is high enough (quite easy to do in the VGA version; in the EGA version, you at least had to type PICK NOSE, making it a fine Easter Egg); you need to say a password to enter the witch's hut, but if you say it too close to the hut, it'll descend on you, crushing you to death; ordering (and drinking) Dragon's Breath in the tavern also results in your death. Not to mention several unwinnable situations.
- Also, in the thieves' guild, if you walk in front of the chief as he throws knives at a dartboard, one will hit you in the chest and you die. Also, the three stooges, the antwerp-tripwire, getting danced to death by the faeries, damaging the sacred tree, just about anything involving Baba Yaga, failing to solve the final bandit puzzle, etc.
- King's Quest and its sequels had their fair share of ludicrous character deaths. For one, the minute you start the first game, if you move too close to the castle moat, you will fall in and die. You will also inexplicably get killed by a sliding rock if you push it from the wrong angle. That's right, pushing a rock away causes it to fall on you.
- AGD Interactive also proved that they could do it too if they really tried in their Fan Remake (entire reworking, more like) of King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne. There is one location containing six fairly innocent-looking rocks around the base of a larger one. Examining any but one of these, however, will cause it to explode and kill you.
- On the first screen of the Land of the Dead in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, there are two zombies that can come over and touch you to death in fewer seconds than the immediately preceding cutscene lasts.
- Nothing in Leisure Suit Larry 5 can kill you. Nothing. Even if you try to electrocute yourself with a wall outlet. There is also exactly one unwinnable situation in the game due to a bug.
- LucasArts, the other major publisher of adventure games, was kinder and gentler than Sierra, and its games were more cartoonish. Character death was possible in its more realistic games, but it would take blatantly stupid actions. In general, LucasArts believed that players should not be punished for experimenting with their games, seeing as most of the time puzzle solutions in adventure games in general had a tendency to be on the obscure side. This policy was adopted by LucasArts during the development of The Secret of Monkey Island, but dying was still frequent in their earlier titles such as Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
- Death was rare but possible in the Full Throttle adventure game. Each time Ben was killed, the game would automatically backtrack to the point where the fatal mistake was made, allowing you to try it again — with Ben saying quickly over the black screen, "Lemme try that again". This is because, similar to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (see below), the game is being told in flashback by Ben (the opening monologue makes this clear).
- Death only becomes possible in Full Throttle in the endgame, when it's made blatantly clear that you're in a life-or-death chase sequence.
- The Monkey Island games, for example, averted this trope. Nothing could kill its hero, Guybrush Threepwood (well, almost nothing), or even do permanent harm. Not even getting repeatedly punched sky-high by the Big Bad.
- The only way to die in The Secret of Monkey Island is a major Easter Egg by its rarity alone: After Guybrush gets thrown into the bay by Sheriff Shinetop, simply wait ten minutes (which is how long Guybrush can hold his breath) until he drowns.
- The same game has another sequence where Guybrush can walk off a cliff. A Sierra-style death screen comes up, followed moments later by Guybrush bouncing back onto the cliff's edge, with two words of explanation: "Rubber Tree".
- Guybrush could also die in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge if you took too long escaping the Death Trap in LeChuck's lair, but since the game was told in flashback form, Elaine (to whom Guybrush was telling the story) would point out that Guybrush couldn't have died if he was here talking to her, and Guybrush backtracks his story. In the easy mode play, it's impossible for Guybrush to die, and the Death Trap is solved automatically (via an alternative bodily fluid).
- In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush has to fake his death to progress in the game, prompting one character to comment "Funny, I didn't think you could die in LucasArts adventure games." He fakes said death (at a later point in the game he states that he simply went into a temporary coma) by usage of combining medicine and alcohol, an act that he lampshades by noting that if he wasn't a "lovably inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels", he more than likely would have been killed by doing this. You can see the whole event here.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, the one possibility of death is a brief time-traveling episode in a swamp. Future Guybrush would tell present Guybrush things and give him things in a specific order, and if that order was not replicated exactly by the player (when the player controls future Guybrush), a time vortex would open and swallow everything. (And that doesn't really end the game — you get another try to do the sequence right. For shocks, you can also try shooting your alter ego with the gun he had handed you...)
Guybrush: Wow, I guess it's true that gun owners are nine times more likely to shoot themselves.
- Another possibility of a Game Over in Escape is that he can stay underwater, but after 8 minutes on the first dive, Guybrush says, "I'm running low on air." If kept under water for another 2 minutes, he decides to head back up to the surface. It is on the second dive that if he stays underwater for ten minutes, he will drown, with no second chances this time.
- And Tales of Monkey Island shows the only time in the Monkey Island series that Guybrush's death by the Big Bad's Cutlass of Kaflu at the end of Chapter 4 (and repeated disposessions of his corpse while on Flotsam in Chapter 5) is not a Game Over or an Easter egg, but rather story-related in order to continue on with the progress of the game.
- Death was rare but possible in the Full Throttle adventure game. Each time Ben was killed, the game would automatically backtrack to the point where the fatal mistake was made, allowing you to try it again — with Ben saying quickly over the black screen, "Lemme try that again". This is because, similar to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (see below), the game is being told in flashback by Ben (the opening monologue makes this clear).
- Interactive Fiction games are notorious for everything being able to kill you in some way. One of the funniest is in Zork II, where you couldn't figure out what to do with a bucket and in frustration typed "KICK THE BUCKET". The game was happy to oblige.
- Lampshaded a bit in Zork 1 if you eat a garlic clove: "What the heck. You won't make any friends this way, but nobody around here is too friendly anyhow. Gulp!" Surprise! Guess who can't fend off a vampire bat later in the game!
- The Infocom text adventure Bureaucracy, written by Douglas Adams, has you dealing with a series of what would normally be minor, petty annoyances. However, these annoyances raise your character's blood pressure, and if your blood pressure goes up too high, you die of a brain aneurysm.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1984) is one of the most notoriously hard text adventures ever made, with ludicrous instakills all over the place and a plethora of (often very lengthy) dead ends if you miss little details. Most players get themselves killed in three or four different and hilariously unfair ways before they can even figure out how to leave Earth in the opening scene. Though some deaths are worth trying just because they are funny/awesome. For example, if you enter Marvin's quarters, the room is so depressing you instantly die.
- Wonderfully inverted in The Neverhood, where there was only one way in the whole game to die: jumping into a big pit with a sign over it that said "Do not jump in this pit. You will die." It was even lampshaded in the manual, where it explained that there was only one way to die in the game and that it was well signposted.
- Shadowgate. Let's see: the third screen in a rather marvelous book is hiding a plot essential MacGuffin. Take the book and you die, no warning or 'save'. A few rooms over, you find a long hall with eyes staring out of the darkness. A bunch of items are on the ground. Take the wrong one, and you die. A few rooms later, you face three mirrors. You must break one to continue. They are indistinguishable. Break the wrong one, and you die. Your game is timed by a torch that burns out, and you must find more torches to continue. If your torch goes out, the darkness kills you. Even if you are standing in a bright, exterior courtyard or a well-lit interior room with its own source of light and more torches for you to take. Fortunately, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist in this game, unless, of course, you don't have the needed torches to have the time it takes to solve some Nintendo Hard riddles.
- In Spelunker you can die because you're in mid-air: just fall from any height higher than your character is and you die. This means you can lose all three of the lives you start with and get a Game Over less than three seconds after starting the game.
- Andy Phillips' games are renowned for being Nintendo Hard, but Time: All Things Come to an End is especially difficult. There are many ways to meet a sticky end, but the 2065 period (the very first area you visit after the prologue) is a dystopian future where pretty much every encounter is potentially lethal: a knife-wielding female thug, a taxi driver who shoots you should you not pay his fare, trigger-happy police officers, lethal automated security defences. The list goes on.
- One story mode mission in F-Zero GX has Captain Falcon try to race down a busy highway with a bomb strapped to his racer that will explode if he goes under a certain speed limit. Fortunately, the larger vehicles have the courtesy to pull over for you (though they'll be slower to do so on higher difficulty levels,) but the smaller vehicles refuse to budge, not to mention that the aforementioned highway is ridiculously and needlessly serpentine, includes dirt traps designed to slow down your racer and even a near-vertical climb for some godforsaken reason.
- Not only do pedestrian drivers in Rad Racer not do anything to get out of the way of the maniac zooming by at 200 MPH, but some of them even change lanes at random and pretty much do whatever they can to run you off the road.
- Would you believe this can even happen in a racing game? In Split/Second (2010), traps and explosives, called Power Plays, are littered around the track to take out your opponents with. But no matter how much stuff goes boom in a normal race, this is nothing compared to Detonator mode — one lap around the track, practically every single Power Play triggering. Pass by something, and the probability that it will explode, collapse, break loose, slide in front of you, and generally screw you is 90%.
- In Evolve the planet Shear serves as this. There are massive predators, large herbivores, acid lakes and ponds, packs of smaller predators, and man-eating plants, all of which will kill an unwary player.
- The original First Encounter Assault Recon has a variant on this thanks to how its AI is programmed. The AI was primarily designed for fighting the player, and that's where it shines — against other AI, and the two forces will simply stand around exchanging bullets until one side eventually kills the other... or, more likely, until the sides notice you, at which point they completely turn their focus onto killing you instead.
- The Game Mod Half-Life: Hazardous-Course 2. The name is the understatement of the century. Not only is virtually everything trying and likely to succeed in killing you, including things you couldn't possibly know about ahead of time, there are an abundance of hazards that kill the NPCs as well, often without even needing your involvement. The full extent of it has to be seen to be believed.
- The Hunter Primal, a hunting simulator game, can also be considered to fall in this trope, since almost everything on Primal Eden (the island in which the games take place) is dead set to kill you. Carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Utahraptor, and Quetzalcoatlus are set to hunt down the player and generally ignore any other wildlife around it. Even the herbivorous Triceratops will attack and kill you if you spook him. It is worth noting that certain kinds of mushrooms and plants are poisonous upon contact or when eaten, and falling from a certain height will also kill you as will falling in water too deep to wade through.
- In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, when you stumble on a fight between zombies and Germans, both sides immediately forget each other and make a beeline for you. During World War II the US Army and the Wehrmacht were not on the best possible terms, but they might make a temporary alliance against the undead.
- Shadow Master is set on a variety of planets across the galaxy, where the wildlife, ranging from insects to Giant Spider enemies, will attack you on sight.
- The "Angry" Skull from SPV3. When activated, NPCs who are allied with the player (the UNSC Marines and the Sentinels in 343 Guilty Spark/The Library) will instantly turn on and attack you. Additionally, multiple enemy factions that are present in the same area will not fight each other, and will instead focus all their efforts to defeat a single adversary: the player).
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. features an alternate Chernobyl which isn't only irradiated, but also is a horribly Eldritch Location as a result of a failed Soviet experiment to tap into the human consciousness and eliminate The Evils of Free Will. The Zone wants every human inside its boundaries dead and that's literally because the place is actually alive and sentient and worse, is slowly spreading to encompass the whole world. If the roving gangs of bandits and mercenaries robbing and killing people weren't bad enough, there's also zombified soldiers and Stalkers, poor saps who have had their higher brain functions burned out and now exist in a state of perpetual And I Must Scream. Every single animal besides the crows are severely mutated and extremely hostile, and there are more than a few horribly mutated people too. There are regular psionic storms called Emissions, if you are caught outside during one then you will simply drop dead. There's a special kind of mutant called a Controller that can take over your mind and get you to kill yourself. Even simply walking down the street can get you killed because there are invisible anomalies where one wrong step can see you instantly incinerated, electrocuted or crushed under the weight of your own hair as the local gravity suddenly increases by five hundred times. Welcome to the Zone.
- While not exactly everything trying to kill you, all of the killable characters in the PC game Vivisector: Beast Within — whether they're humans or Half Human Hybrids — attack you the moment you first load up the game, even after you switch from the former's side to the latter. There's an attempt at handwaving, dealing with some flimsy excuse of the humans not authorizing your presence in the game's setting and the hybrids being programmed to see humans as the enemy, but really, it's just an attempt to bring in Fake Difficulty to the game.
- Similarly, Shadow the Hedgehog has both good and evil enemies, and they'll all attack Shadow regardless of his Karma Meter (except when they're busy fighting each other).
- Another example of this sort of thing can be found in Far Cry 2. Ostensibly you are a mercenary working for one side in a civil war in Africa. They try to handwave it in-game by claiming you're a disposable asset that nobody knows about. In reality, even when working a mission for one side you will be attacked by both sides. Constantly.
- Rule of thumb in Dragon's Lair: If it's animated and you see a white flash, that entity will most likely be your cause of death if you don't press the right button or direction in time. (The In Name Only Game Boy version fully averts this.)
- Monster Eye: Thanks to a deadly virus from a mysterious crystal turning regular animals into gigantic, savage beasts, you'll be attacked by all kinds of wildlife throughout the game from giant insects to bats, rodents and plants, and even usually benevolent animals like apes and gorillas.
- In Point Blank (1994), the game routinely throws in stages where you have to protect Series Mascots Dr. Dan and Dr. Don from whatever is trying to kill them, whether it be sharks, piranhas, explosive barrels, missiles, tanks, UFOs, or whatever else. What did they do to invoke the wrath of so many different things? While these enemies are not targeting you necessarily, the fact that letting your protectee get killed takes away a life means they're more or less trying to kill you indirectly.
- The 80s light gun arcade game Who Dunit requires you to not only guide a detective through a mansion but protect him from things like pimps throwing their hats at him and beach balls bouncing all over the place. This is because anything that touches him will instantly skeletonize him, leaving his soul drifting away — including the beach balls!
- Another Exidy light gun game, Crossbow, isn't as bad about this in comparison. The Heroic Fantasy warriors you're defending will literally go up in flames if anything touches them, even if the implement of their destruction was a coconut thrown by a monkey. Hey, at least it beats getting turned into a skeleton by a beach ball.
- Pretty much every object in the games on the Action 52 multicart is trying to kill you. Money kills you (Streemerz), file cabinets kill you (French Baker), the floor kills you (Meong), pasta kills you (Alfredo, only playable via some emulators), windows kill you (City of Doom), bowling balls kill you (Hambo), safety pins kill you (Space Dreams), the list goes on.
- Invoked by the title screen in Dweep, which shows deadly lasers, bombs, wrenches, carrots, etc. all launching towards the carefree Dweep. Also counts as Title Screens Always Lie — half of this stuff isn't even in the game, and most of the rest is harmless.
- The Feeding Frenzy high seas are filled with creatures that are out to have you as their dinner. Tunas, swordfishes, sharks, dories, pufferfishes, oysters... As long as it is bigger than you, it will eat you. Add mines, mutant fishes and pelicans to the mix and the entire ocean becomes one giant deathtrap.
- In Gruntz, you have to get past enemy gruntz, floors decorated with sharp spikes, eternally rolling boulders, holes in the ground, pits filled with oil, tar and such, and that's not even half of it...
- Inverted in the Haunt the House games. Thanks to the ghosts' possession powers, you can become anything, from flickering lamps to moving statues. While you can't directly hurt most people (except for the special characters who become unlockable ghosts in Terrortown), you can scare them into jumping out the window, if you're feeling cruel enough. If not, then you can instead use everything to harmlessly make people run out the door.
- The MUD Aardwolf takes this trope to utterly ludicrous levels, as some magically enchanted areas have A Wizard Did It (literally) related creatures, from the traditional walking broom to irritated neck-ties, nightstands, gardening equipment, cabinets, violent cacti, and man-eating pot pies. Dungeons & Dragons wishes it had gotten this crazy with mimics and evil sorcerer aides. To make matters worse (read: funnier), a generic NPC creator was used in the construction of this MUD. So it's not uncommon to see people walking around with Boots skinned from A Lampshade or A Helm skinned from A Shovel.
- This is pretty much the entire plot of zOMG, which features enemies called "the Animated". Not to mention the cute pink balls of fluff that can kill you with one hit.
- Guild Wars 2 has a seasonal event called Super Adventure Box, which is an homage to 80s-era adventure and platform games, involving jumping puzzles and battles in a simulated, low-poly environment. Normally it's pretty reasonable, with the biggest challenge being jumping through the environment. But decide to have a go at "Tribulation Mode" and it becomes this. Suddenly everything is out to get you. The flowers? Explode when you touch them. The clouds? If they don't appear out of nowhere to block your way, they shoot lightning after you and chase you down. The white hands on walls pointing out which way to go? They shoot out at you and explode. The rocks? They jump up and ground pound, knocking you back (usually into certain doom). The ground? Instant-death spikes shoot up from certain patches with no obvious indicator of where they are, or occasionally just to spice things up, you'll fall through the ground and into underground lava instead. It's actually merciful when there's instant-death spikes or lava that you can see.
- Kingdom of Loathing has its fair share of unlikely enemies, including hippies, ninja snowmen, animated nightstands, anime smileys, fire-breathing ducks, pastiches of characters from Final Fantasy VII, and the Guy Made of Bees. Then there's the many twists on standard RPG enemies, like Orcish frat boys, apathetic lizardmen, misspelled undead (including zmobies, lihcs, and ghuols), and the 99 Bottles of Beer On A Golem. There's also an area (accessible only while high on astral mushrooms) where you can fight things like some really interesting wallpaper and the urge to stare at your hands. Really. The game appropriately classifies them as "weird."
- "Crimbo" 2010 introduced exciting new enemies, such as the Tedious Spreadsheet, the Hideous Slideshow, and the Water Cooler. Oh yes, and there were elves climbing out of the toilets, too.
- The oddest thing is that almost all enemies are fought in the standard RPG fashion: they and you have HP, attack, and defense, and you hit/shoot/spell at each other until one of you runs out of health. How the same style of combat works for fighting haunted billiard ball golems, clouds of lumberjack beard hair, and "visible music" is not entirely clear.
- Spookyraven Manor is a straighter example—everything in the mansion is haunted and malicious. Everything. Canned food, the fridge, books, chalk dust in the billiards room, paintings, nightstands (a whole room filled with them), dinner trays, toys and toy-boxes, paper towels and toilet paper, wine racks... the only thing not trying to kill you is Lady Spookyraven's ghost, the quest-giver NPC. Her also-deceased husband is the violent type, and apparently he turned the whole house evil with some sort of botched demonic ritual.
- World of Warcraft seems to have this in spades. You'll realize this as you count up the hours you spend running away from increasingly violent and aggressive deer, flowers, and moths - on top of the demons, dragons, and old gods (aka Faceless Ones), of course.
- Platform Hell games use and abuse this trope mercilessly. NEVER trust anything on the screen; if it exists, it will probably try to kill you, no matter how illogical its lethality may seem.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, we have lemmings turned into monsters, zombies, vampires, werewolves, sharks, green goo monsters, cowboys and exploding barrels, and there are also bees, spikes, swinging spiky balls, airships shooting rockets...
- Another World is all about this. Poisonous black slugs, alien lion monsters, numerous alien troopers armed with insta-kill Death Rays, tentacle monsters with mouths embedded in the rock, falling rocks... Pretty much the ONLY thing not trying to kill you is your alien buddy.
- Back to the Future Part II & III. Enemies include giant snails, fish, mutant frogs, birds, bouncing balls, dinosaurs, bullet-shooting clouds, pipe monsters, ghosts, walking trashcans and in certain areas, books, test tubes, teddy bears, heart symbols, graduation hats, and screwdrivers. The list goes on.
- While a relatively friendly game, the Banjo-Kazooie series is jam-packed with all manner of inanimate objects that come to life, sprout cartoonish eyeballs, and try to kill you. The Freezeezy Peak level in Banjo-Kazooie features the Sir Slush enemies, giant, immobile laughing snowmen who are positioned all over the damn place and will endlessly barrage you with snowballs until you kill them, in addition to the Chinks, which are giant ice cubes with eyes that are near invisible before they spring to life and come spinning after you. Also annoying are the Boom Boxes in Rusty Bucket Bay, crates of TNT that chase you and explode, which are accompanied by bouncing life preservers. This is taken to even more ridiculous heights in the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, where you're frequently pitted against bouncing shovels, coin-spitting slot machines, flowers, various nuts and bolts, oil drums that release suffocating gas (which also has eyes and chases you), more crates of TNT, and so on. This even spreads into some of the bosses, such as Old King Coal, a massive, animate lump of carbon; Mr. Patch, a skyscraper-sized, dinosaur-shaped inflatable toy that coughs up exploding beachballs; Weldar, an enormous welding torch; and Terry, a giant pterodactyl that spits out "Mucoids", which are giant blobs of green snot with eyes that try to kill you.
- And then there is Conker's Bad Fur Day... featuring The Great Mighty Poo (An opera-singing animated cesspool that has you collect kernels of corn for it, and in gratitude, tries to kill you).
- The Berenstain Bears' Camping Adventure has pretty much every single thing in the forest out to get the player characters. Snakes and alligators are dangerous themselves, but then the game throws woodpeckers, turtles, skunks, beavers, snails, ants and mushrooms.
- Believe it or not, Barbie Super Model falls under this trope terribly. Any and everything that hits you takes away life — people, beach balls, low-flying birds, frisbees, snowballs, clods of dirt, and the list goes on...
- Barbie for the NES is even worse: pizzas, jellyfish (complete with creepy music), clothing, water spouts, kites, tennis balls, skates, soda...
- In The Blues Brothers, many things were after the protagonists. However, in its NES game, there were also alligators, spikes, spikeballs, mutant slugs, giant spiders and much more.
- The extremely Nintendo Hard Bubsy The Bobcat games, as demonstrated in this Let's Play.
- Puzzle Platformer game The Castles of Doctor Creep had several lethal obstacles and enemies to deal with: mummies, Frankenstein monsters, ray guns, lightning machines, and (under the right circumstances) trap doors.
- The web game City Jumper has stationary obstacles that you have to jump over. What makes it difficult is that there are so many landmarks and other features that you come across, and every single one of them kills you. You can be killed by trees, crabs, and even clouds. An example of this trope where it's easy for these objects to kill you when they're not actually trying.
- Clarence's Big Chance: From office supplies to water droplets. Also lampshaded, in both cases.
"While submerging yourself in water is fine and dandy, you wouldn't want to get bonked on the head with a nasty water droplet! That kind of thing causes injuries, you know. And death."
Programmer: Whatever maniac decided to give [the office supplies] real, beating, flesh-and-blood hearts was sadly mistaken when he said they'd only cause them to be more loving!
- Anything that moves in the Crash Bandicoot series will hurt or kill you. Heck, anything that doesn't move (like TNT boxes) will kill you too if you're not too careful.
- Inverted in the indie game Default Dan. Everything that would normally not kill you is lethal: coins, platforms, and cupcake powerups to name a few cause you to instantly explode. On the other hand spines bounce you high, pits drop you from the top of the screen unharmed, and vicious-looking flying enemies serve as harmless (and helpful) platforms.
- Subverted in a rather interesting fashion in the Donkey Kong Country series. There are enemies trying to kill you for no obvious reason (Zingers, Armys, and Neckies), but there are also numerous small animals that can be seen crawling, hopping, flying, or swimming around the levels. The latter have no effect on you; they're just scenery. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, the Minecart Madness levels are bad enough, and the Rocket Ride levels crank up.
- In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's NES game, almost everyone in the town is after doctor Jekyll. Ladies charge at him, kids shoot their slingshots at him, the whole wildlife hates him, guys in top hats drop live bombs next to him, gravedigger dishes dirt at him, singers drop notes at him and so on. Night stages also have strange monsters attacking Mr. Hyde.
- In Dust Force, the dirt has turned many things against janitors like residents of the area, books, trash cans, wildlife and other things.
- Earnest Evans has the protagonist fighting windworms, skeletons flailing their pickaxes, ribcages, dagger-throwing scorpions, bats, spiders, things that are hard to identify, lava with fireballs and so on. And that's just normal enemies.
- Hailey, the player character from Gamer 2, has been explicitly imprisoned in a virtual reality machine designed to kill her, so this trope goes without saying.
- The Genesis game Greendog turned this into the plot: the eponymous character had been cursed by an amulet that made all animals attack him on sight. Though this doesn't explain why some animals don't attack him, like the dog that attacks enemies in exchange for eating all your food pick-ups, or why this extends to random people in a subway station.
- Heart of Darkness, being Another World's Spiritual Successor, is of course rife with death around every corner as well but made even more disturbing as the protagonist is a pre-teen boy.
- The SNES Home Improvement game had pretty interesting things attacking you ranging from ants and dinosaurs to mechs.
- Hook for the NES obviously has pirates. However, besides these, you also have Giant Spiders, Bedsheet Ghosts, levitating yogas, bees, giant acorns, penguins, dragons, innocent-looking fish, dynamite sticks on balloons, boulders out of nowhere and parrots for whatever reason.
- The freeware game I Wanna Be the Guy uses this to and past the limit, featuring killer spikes,
apples giant cherriesDelicious Fruit that can also fall up and the moon as the most common killers in the game. Add to that ripped-off enemies from 8-bit games, several innocuous-looking objects suddenly dropping lethally on your character (including a star, thunderbolts, a glass of wine thrown by the Symphony of the Night Dracula during a cutscene and a killer pop-up), a Tetris segment where you must avoid being squashed by the blocks, a floor of spikes that suddenly develops wheels and chases you and even a killer save point just before the final boss to get a hair-tearing frustration masterpiece.
- As one comment on the YouTube video for the Game Over music states, "If one could harness the pure hatred and frustration induced by this song, the world would never want for energy again."
- "YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD, YOU RETARD!"
- Contrary to popular belief, not everything is trying to kill you. The air is relatively safe. Also, there are numerous squares of very benign ground. Everything else will kill you.
- Incidentally, at one point the only way to survive a certain jump is to land in a pool of water. Making it one of the rare games where the water DOESN'T kill you (particularly odd given that that would have been one of the deaths that made sense in real life if it had killed you).
- The Fan Sequels are just as ridiculous. The Final Boss of I Wanna Be The Fangame is the StickyKeys dialog box.
- Also, the cursor can kill you.
- As is the official sequel I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden, where there are traps in the world map!
- In I Wanna Be The Boshy, even the save points want a piece of you. If you shoot them, they'll shout "fuck you!" and spit on you.
- In Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, besides encountering goons, you'll encounter and beat the life out of a wide variety of enemies including, but not limited to tigers, crab under a rice bowl, river kappas, gameras, Surprise Fish, and so on. Animated Buddha statue too!
- Beautifully inverted in indie game Karoshi. Absolutely nothing is trying to kill you, and some things will even prevent your death. Unfortunately, the point of the game is to die...
- In Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, enemies ranged from ninjas flying on kites to fire-breathing frogs. The third game had flying banana peels, flowers which shoot at you, statues shaking their private parts at you, hairy plant legs and so on.
- The indie game Limbo is this in spades. The worst part about it is you are an ordinary boy. You can run, jump, and push things, but you have no weapons, and no way to defend yourself from an insanely hostile environment that seems to exist solely to kill you. And kill you it does.
- Manos: The Hands of Fate licensed video game lampshades the entire platform game genre with this Trope. According to the Word of God:
MANOS is an homage to all of the cheesy games you remember from your childhood! Remember how every film and cartoon had its own platform game adaptation? How concepts in the film were made completely nonsensical for the case of gameplay? When every man, woman, child, animal, and inanimate object were out to kill Marty McFly, Freddy Krueger filled the streets with bats, ghosts, and Frankenstein monsters and Darth Vader would casually transform into a scorpion? MANOS will take you back to the fantastically absurd movie adaptations of the past!
- In Mitsume ga Tooru, enemies ranging from spiders to skeletons throw bandages, which act as a sort of Kryptonite Factor in the game. There are birds, snakes, bats, pillar statues, rocks and more.
- The NES platform game Monster Party had some pretty out-there enemies. Disembodied legs stuck in the ground and walking pants are just two examples. Then there's the bosses, which include a giant bubble-spitting pitcher plant, a giant snake with Medusa hair that throws tsuchinoko (a type of semi-mythical snake famous in Japanese cryptozoology; Dunsparce is a tsuchinoko) at you, and a giant fried shrimp which eventually morphs into an onion ring, then a kebab. Also included are the rock n' roll player makes you "Face the music!", the giant cat who throws killer kittens at you, drops of blood that mysteriously hurt you... on the other hand, there are also that dead spider that says "sorry, I'm dead", and those zombie dancers who you beat only if you don't attack them and watch them dance.
- The Monty Mole series makes it difficult to tell which objects won't kill you. The ones that will include but are not limited to:
- Hairspray bottles, angry faces and flying bricks in Wanted: Monty Mole.
- Innocent little penguins, origami birds, rolling barrels, and ceiling tiles even after they've fallen in Impossamole.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus has many bad things trying to kill Mr Gumby, including but not limited to dead parrots, vikings on unicycles, pillow-tossing members of the Spanish Inquisition, piggy banks, vicious gangs of "Keep Left" signs and bouncing black spots.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) had some strange enemies attacking you. When you're in the dreamworld, getting attacked by skeletons and spiders with a human head is justified. However, it doesn't explain why in non-dream world Giant Spiders, Giant Rats, rocks falling from the sky, bats (some of which drop stones), snakes, Frankensteins Monsters and jutting spikes are after you.
- The original Oddworld trilogy operates under a very simple rule: if it breathes and doesn't look like you, it probably wants you dead. And that's not getting into all of the non-living things, like saws, land mines, floating bombs, falling rocks, electric fences, swinging spike balls... it's probably easier to list the things that can't kill you. And did we mention you're a One-Hit-Point Wonder through all of this? Have fun!
- In Pizza Pop, everything, including cats, dogs, construction workers, ghosts, and jack 'o lanterns are trying to kill the pizza deliverer.
- Rayman is no stranger to this, coming to a head in the Band Land levels of the original game where the level geometry itself has disgruntled, bloodshot eyes attached to the platforms that periodically shoot lightning at you.
- The Smurfs (1994): Even your fellow Smurfs are out to stop your progress in the game in the very first level, in an Apathetic Citizens sort of way!
- Every level of Spelunky is studded with lethal critters and booby-traps.
- Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti has crosses, books, kitchen knives, cooked poultry, chainsaws and buckets trying to kill you, as well a wide variety of well-known monsters.
- Sunday Funday puts you up against plumbers, disco dancers, businessmen, joggers, big-headed women wearing pearl necklaces... All of them want you dead for the terrible crime of going to Sunday School. This game was a 'Christianized' retool of an earlier title, Menace Beach. All they did was change the storyline ('rescue your girlfriend' is now 'get to Sunday School') and the sprites (from somewhat more acceptably threatening ninjas, evil clowns, etc. to more innocuous yet equally threatening enemies).
- Super Mario Bros.: One instance you're stomping flying Bloopers, another has you running from unkillable Chinese vampires, the next has you being stalked by candle fires, and then you find yourself chased by an angry sun. Yes... even the sun wants to kill you. Is the princess really worth braving all that?!
- Syobon Action: Word to the wise: Don't trust anything in this game, from the floor to the ceiling to message boxes to bonus items to clouds in the background! This Let's Play video does a good job explicating this trope. On stage 2, the player is killed by an "invisible cloud". He was underground at the time.
- Terramex contains, among others: acid rain, dragons, snakes that pop up from the very rocks... and your character is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- In Time Zone, the enemies just in the starting level include road signs and soda cans.
- The Tiny Toon Adventures NES game should qualify for this. During the game, Buster and his companions repeatedly get killed by rats, crabs, fish, pirates, hedgehogs, owls, squirrels, bees, dogs, cats, Sweetie Pie (who, while a bully, is a good guy in canon), slime, pails, footballs, eyeballs, pens, coins, and of course, Goddamned Bats.
- The Unfair Platformer. Yup, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Beware of message boxes!
- VVVVVV. Generally speaking, if it's not a wall, it'll probably kill you. (Fortunately you get plenty of checkpoints.)
- Wario Land has a few examples of this (as mentioned on Our Monsters Are Weird), but the ultimate 'huh' example of an insane boss design just has to be Cuckoo Condor. It's a flying, psychotic, laser shooting cuckoo clock! Which is the boss of a world based on industry and factories.
- Nearly everything in the video game movie Warlock (1989) could harm you, including water dripping from the ceiling and otherwise harmless birds if they fly into you. Even worse, there's one stationary hazard, a thorn vine trap, that will damage you even if you cheated and used a Game Genie to give your character unlimited life and/or gave you unlimited Mercy Invincibility. Then again, you could also be killed with those cheats on through Super Drowning Skills and staying immersed in lava.
- Zool. Due to most of the levels being a Wackyland of some sort, many of the enemies you face are just weird. Examples include jelly, musical instruments, furit and vegetables, carpenter tools, toys, carnival food, and desert plants.
- Alphaman has various typically-tame woodland critters as enemies and children's cartoon characters as major bosses. (Gumby will kick your ass.)
- In Caves of Qud, the vast majority of living creatures (which is the vast majority of the world, as even the rocks can be alive and sentient) are hostile to the player. The native flora in particular is startlingly aggressive and often hardy, to the point picking a fight unprepared with a lilypad in the starting area will get you torn apart. To quote Sseth's review:
Sseth: Do you like bananas? How about being peeled like a banana? Because for about half the banana trees in the game, the fruit comes to them. This may surprise newer players, as pressing auto-explore in the banana grove is a guaranteed single-click shortcut to being disemboweled.
- Subverted in The Drop. The game has a surplus of harmful items and status effects, but they cannot kill you, and the game won't let you Cast from Hit Points if you don't have enough. Many enemy types either ignore you or flee from you, the others can be made to do so by performing an action which they like or fear. Of course most of said enemies also have a Berserk Button, so beware.
- NetHack features an almost infinite number of ways to die; there's plenty of the usual murderous monsters, but you can also die from choking on food, falling off your horse and/or down the stairs, kicking pretty much anything, mixing potions indiscriminately and blowing yourself up (or simply drinking a toxic potion), careening into a wall while levitating, etc. The SLASHEM variant is even more unforgiving.
- In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, all Pokemon in the dungeons are hostile and will kill you on sight (not counting the ones you're quested to rescue, also if you count the Kecleon Shopkeepers if you steal from them); despite this being a parallel universe where Pokemon are just as sentient as humans, Pokemon are territorial assholes who like to pick fights for no reason.
- It gets a Hand Wave in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, which states that the mystery phenomenon behind the existence of mystery dungeons also makes the Pokemon that live within said dungeons more aggressive.
- We Need to go Deeper is set in the Living Infinite, an abyss filled with aquatic monsters, every one of which will try to kill you on sight no matter how many your sub blasts throught.
- AdventureQuest, the online Flash RPG, has odd monsters like giant Salt Shakers, Doom Cola Machines, and Candy Golems. Speaking of, the horror that is the Am-Bush. It is a bush. That ambushes you. Nobody seems to be entirely clear on why.
- Generally, with Artix Entertainment, it's a safe bet to blame Cysero.
- The plot of Citizens of Earth partially involves the Vice President of the Earth investigating why everything is trying to kill him. You start off fighting killer protesters, then move on to deer with telephones on their head, stop signs, traffic cones with crabs in them, hippies, girl scouts, toasters, unpopped popcorn kernels... Near the end, you find out that the reason for this is that some aliens made a miscalculation with their ship's warp engine and ended up stranded near Earth, without enough energy to get back. Since their technology is powered by happiness, they contacted the world's leader (You) to ask him what humans like, so that their happiness would give their ship enough energy to return. But instead, they got a response from your secretary, the real Big Bad of the game, who lied to them and told them that dangerous things are what humans enjoy. So the aliens started creating dangerous things, mainly by combining animals and objects together, and released them on Earth.
- Pretty much the core of Dark Souls; it has "Prepare to Die" as its tagline.
- Ironically, this can screw you in the other direction as well. There are some NPC's which aren't hostile to you, unless you attack them first. Once hostile, an NPC will stay hostile unless you pay a certain character to forgive your sin. Make that character hostile and you've pretty much just made the game harder for yourself.
- The tradition continues into later games in the series. In Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III there are even vases that will either kill you if you break them or constantly reduce your health bar if you don't. Multiple types of vase. In each.
- Dragon Quest VIII features enemies like living handbells, bags of money, and, in the game's penultimate boss fight, a homicidal, sentient castle.
- Dragon Quest VII had it even worse, with the aforementioned bags of money (a staple monster for the series), a giant rose bush, books, pots, wells, eggplants, anteaters, columns, clowns, a moose, clouds, Aladdin-style lamps, Easter Island heads, starfish, snails, penguins, Don Quixote robots, and wine bottles.
- Solar systems. Every Dragon Quest game featured some bizarre enemies, it seems. Dragon Quest II had robots, in a medieval fantasy. Dragon Quest III had jewel bags, carnivorous treasure chests, and evil mushrooms. Dragon Quest VI had evil mirrors, castles, and waves.
- Similar to the Dragon Quest VIII example, one of the bosses in the second Xenosaga game is called Cathedral. It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- In Drakkhen, sometimes the stars would randomly turn into crazy monsters which would fly down and kill you very quickly.
- In the EarthBound (1994), all manner of unlikely enemies are out to kill the party, in keeping with the absurd tone of the game. These include dogs, crows, mice, bears, mushrooms, seedlings, cups of hot coffee, miniature Flying Saucers, trees that explode, killer puddles of puke, drunk guys, old ladies, fire hydrants, street signs, taxis, abstract art, trash cans, a circus tent, hieroglyphs, nooses, dinosaurs, oversized single-celled organisms, disembodied mouths and the infamous New-Age Retro Hippie.
- The game sort of jokes about this: there's an NPC who claims she got badly wounded by a mouse. It's a legit warning: Rowdy Mice have a high chance of dealing SMAAAASH!! attacks.
- And this is just EarthBound (1994). The entire Mother series includes as enemies: MORE exploding trees, ghost amour, potato bugs, walking bushes, electric guitars, a doll, LAMPS, giant robots, more mushrooms, more zombies, men's room signs, and to top it off, a walking statue with an obscene amount of HP.
- The fangames MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance and Mother 4 follow this trend. Cognitive Dissonance throws artwork, flowers, and weird things from other planets like Cacti from Jupiter and Irate Businessmen from Earth, Mother 4 has policemen, bugs and leaves.
- Similar to those two examples above, Hell House from Final Fantasy VII. It's a small house... that sprouts a head, arms and legs and tries to crush Cloud and co. Oh, and it fires out nukes as an attack.
- So many RPGs employ the use of deadly walls as bosses that they may deserve their own subtrope. These come in the "passive" variety, which will stay put as they try to kill you (Final Fantasy VII), and the "aggressive" variety, that advance either on a timer or over a set number of turns and crush the party for an instant game over (Secret of Mana) or an instant kill (Final Fantasy IV). Or the kind that advances to crush you on a timer AND attacking regularly (Final Fantasy XII).
- Justified and discussed in the Golden Sun series. While the world had some aggressive monsters beforehand, it was the eruption of Mount Aleph and the Psynergy Stones it scattered all around the world that caused almost all the world's wildlife to become monsters, become aggressive, or both. Many NPCs remark how aggressive creatures have become lately and warn you that routes that were once safe are now dangerous. It even caused some areas to turn deadly, such as the Kolima Forest which was a desert before the eruption and is now a maze-like forest nightmare.
- The Immortal had many, many ways to kill you, all of them creatively animated, sudden and well-hidden (some can be viewed here). Even you inventory items can and will kill you if you don't use them correctly. The most pathetic? Approaching a down ladder from the wrong side.
- Mario & Luigi:
- Mario And Luigi Super Star Saga has the killer soda creature called the Chuckolator, which is exactly what it sounds like. It has a shield and sword, and is healed by bad jokes. There's also a yo-yo wielding Hammer Bro species.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has the Piranha Planets, which are killer planets with astronaut piranha plants. And the Handfakes, killer hands made of tar holding pictures of enemies that they attack Mario and Luigi with.
- Super Mario RPG has a wedding cake as a boss at one point. You fight the chefs that made the cake and they flee when the cake comes to life. The cake's signature attack is Standstorm, which attacks the whole party and causes Fear, cutting your defense in half. The hard part was you can't kill it traditionally at first. You have to "blow" out the candles by attacking and it relights one candle when its turn comes up. It's only after you get rid of the top layers that you can attack the bottom layer normally and when you do beat it, Booster comes in and swallows the cake whole. Mario and his crew then just move on as if nothing happened...
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has among other things, a murderous water fountain, a robot killer rubbish bin, living treasure chests, killer trees, Goombas eating lollipops, Bowser's memories of Mario and Luigi and all of Bowser's giant opponents. And said giant opponents happen to be a flying castle (which you have to beat up), a tower shaped like a man with a goofy head, a train that turns into a hill and a Humongous Mecha Peach's Castle that has a black hole gun!
- And in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, you have a watering can robot, the spirit of the MacGuffin you're trying to find turned giant drill robot, a living volcano (which tries to ram the heroes), a robot made of buildings that becomes a flying hammer and such interesting enemies as dog walkers, squid shooting urns, another living rubbish bin and ? blocks! You know, those blocks Mario and Luigi hit? Well, apparently there are evil equivalents called Dark Blocks now.
- In the original Neverwinter Nights, the way the faction system was set up some modules created with the toolset would have everything in an area turn hostile as soon as you attack one thing.
- Persona 3 and Persona 4 have enemies that are called Shadows. While that sounds reasonable, take into account that their appearances include tables, gloves, scales, castles, and even one boss that is a giant heart. The sad part is that these enemies are actually threats and can easily kill you if you are not prepared.
- Pokémon, not just referring to the various monsters, but also the trainers who use them. While you're walking along, expect to be interrupted and thrust into battle with Engineers, Guitarists, Teachers, Burglars (who aren't trying to mug you), Scientists, Poké Maniacs (read: cosplayers), Schoolboys, Gentlemen, Fishermen, Swimmers, Sailors, Jugglers, Dancers, Preschoolers... in fact, when Generation 4 introduced babies as NPCs, more than one player approached the strollers with caution, expecting a battle to begin. It hasn't happened... yet.
- The monsters themselves also count as this. Micenote , ducksnote , Poké Ballsnote , palm treesnote , snailsnote , mushroomsnote , cicada exoskeletonsnote , dollsnote , sea slugsnote , cherry blossomsnote , meerkatsnote , ice creamnote , snowflakesnote , barnacles note , the Nazca Lines hummingbirdnote , garbagenote , cotton candynote , sandcastlesnote , sea cucumbersnote ...
- The Trainers aren't trying to harm you or your Pokémon aside from making them faint (aside from a few evil team leaders that Would Hurt a Child), but most wild Pokémon try to maul anyone coming through their territory. When the player attempts to walk through tall grass without Pokémon of their own in the first games Professor Oak stops them as if they're a child about to stick a fork in a light socket, and whenever the player's party gets wiped by a wild Pokémon they drop money in a panic and run for their life to the nearest Pokémon Center.
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes this to it's logical conclusion; taking place in Sinnoh's ancient past, it's emphasized that wild Pokémon can and will harm people, to the point where not many are comfortable around Pokémon in general. Informed Attribute no longer, you can actually get attacked by wild Pokémon when you're in the field, both directly and via inflicted Status Effects. Taking too much damage will cause you to black out and lose items.
- While trekking across the desert in Secret of Evermore, the player will be actively pursued by tumbleweeds trying to do him harm.
- Give so much as a passing graze to any of a town's chickens in Skyrim and everybody will immediately attempt to murder you. It's difficult enough to justify with soldiers and town guards, but the "smack the clumsy hero down" dance will be joined by such unlikely actors as everyday workers, otherwise mild-mannered shopkeepers and old ladies. All of them, of course, indifferent to the dangers of threatening a mighty dragon-killing warrior.
- In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Ultima III, you can be attacked by the grass outside or the floors inside.
- Captain Tomaday for the Neo Geo has a cast of enemies as strange as the titular character. As the Weird Video Games review puts it:
"Right in the first level alone, we have what I think are grape helicopters, bats, eggplant missiles, neon ghosts, robo-carrots which shoot carrot missiles, jack-o'-lanterns, pigeons, some kind of mechanical Mr. Potato Head with Lego Man arms that shoot parsnips at you, and flying wizards. I reiterate, this is only the first level, and I'm not even counting the bosses."
- In Cloud Master, enemies include rocks, assorted animals, the odd mahjong tile, and waves of gyoza, shumai and ramen bowls.
- Cuphead: Various animals and people are the things that Cuphead and Mugman have to fight. One of the bosses' Instant Gravestone even tries to kill them!
- The very premise of Gun Nac is that normally docile animals and even inanimate objects mysteriously come alive and start attacking... everything! Of course, it's up to our hero to find the cause of this madness.
- Llamatron's enemies include, in the author's own words: "Flapping toilets firing loo rolls, giant killer sheep-centipedes, arena-roaming lasers, screaming Mandelbrot sets, angry telephones, shrieking pointy arrows and goat-firing false teeth."
- The 1984 Commodore 64 game Revenge of the Mutant Camels by Jeff Minter had a truly bizarre selection of enemies, including British telephone boxes, Polo mints, peace signs, goats, exploding sheep, skiing kangaroos, guys sitting on flying toilets, the jet from Attack of the Mutant Camels, Minter himself and ZX Spectrum's.
- The infamous NES Silver Surfer game, where the eponymous character is not allowed to touch anything in the screen otherwise it's a life down (not even the rubber duckies are safe).
- 720 Degrees: Police on scooters, bodybuilders, lugers, breakdancers, frisbee throwers, recumbent bikers, cars, other skateboarders, and rollerblading skeletons are all out to slow you down and inhibit your escape from the killer bees that appear when the timer runs out.
- The Fear Effect series had, in addition to all sorts of different enemies trying to kill you (humans, robots, zombies, ghosts, demons, etc.) but also a ton of hazards and traps, and even instant death scenarios that could be triggered by making the wrong decision.
- In the Mario fangame (Mario) The Music Box, this is played with but exaggerated in the sheer number of ways you can get a game over (all of which obviously result in death). There are some things that look like they may not kill you, some things that look like they are obviously going to kill you, and some things that are (in)active at certain points of the game with certain characters. Justified in that the house is cursed to where several vengeful spirits want the playable cast dead, and the other killers aren't just the NPCs.
- In Resident Evil and its remake, not only did the player have to deal with numerous monsters and zombies, but also a fair amount of death traps, the most famous of which was the Descending Ceiling that triggered from picking up the shotgun.
- Robinson's Requiem has 20 different ways you can die from the harsh and unforgiving surroundings, as well as ways to kill yourself: whether it's from trying to amputate too many limbs, letting infections fester, or alcohol abuse.
- Hello Neighbor 2, the game in which everyone is out for your blood! The neighbor (of course), the mayor, the mayor’s dog, the mayor, the baker, some random bird thing… yep, all after you!
- Bible Adventures has 3 separate games but each with their own assassins.
- In Noah's Ark, rocks appear randomly and some of the animals you have to pick up try to fight back until you manage to lift them over your head.
- In Baby Moses, you have giant spiders, birds, and men throwing bricks at you.
- In David and Goliath, scorpions and squirrels throwing oversized acorns at you make an appearance.
- Bible Buffet: the food is trying to kill you. Walking vegetables, eggs that blow themselves up, snowmen, ice creams, french fries, and your other average food stuff. Plus test tubes and kitchenware.
- In Konami's Noah's Ark, the entire wildlife except the selected 7 animals whom you must rescue don't greet you well. The animals include giant snails, spiders, giant frogs, penguins, fish, jellyfish, birds, scorpions, giant Asteroids Monster lizards, kangaroos, ostriches, and dolphins. A lot of them can shoot projectiles at you.
- Other enemies are weirder like water plugs, deadly ice cubes, flying tigers, squares that fall from the sky, volcanic debris and mummies. Some hazards too like spikeballs and cacti that are deadly on touch.
- There are also indigenous people like Native Americans, Romans, Aborigines, Inuits (who are surprisingly on Antarctica), Incas and Japanese. Some who use magic against you.
- As for the bosses, the stage end boss is a water plug. For chapter bosses, in order, there is a giant sea bass, a giant spider hanging from the sky, a South American-styled sun god symbol, giant lobster, killer snowman, giant hornet and Satan.
- In Super 3D Noah's Ark, every single animal you meet on the ark tries to kill you (or at least spit at you). The game explains this as the animals getting cranky due to hunger.
- Astroneer: Downplayed after release. The pre-release versions had windstorms hurling rocks and spiky balls, lamprey-like plants on cavern ceilings dangling lures to eat anything hitting them, and indestructible worms lying in wait in pits. The Old Solar System from Early Access was not a nice place. Version 1.0 removed most of the Death World elements, but even the new game's Solar System still has plants digging pits and lying in wait, plants that explode or impale you on spikes, and even aggressive plants that will attack you on sight with poison clouds or time-delayed explosives.
- Don't Starve has health, hunger, sanity, body warmth and naughtiness meters to keep track of and if you lose control of one, you lose control of everything and can easily die. Then, to name a few things to worry about:
- Hounds will come in packs regularly to attack you, in more numbers as time goes on.
- Darkness can quickly kill you. So you have to constantly keep light at night or in caves.
- Cutting down trees can summon dangerous walking trees that can kill you in a few hits and are hard to distract.
- On a full moon, the friendly pigs turn into hostile werepigs.
- In winter, you must constantly keep yourself warm and in summer, you must keep yourself cool.
- Killing critters makes you naughty and can eventually summon Krampus, who steals your resources until you engage in a fight and kill him.
- While the Grand Theft Auto games always had a lot of people trying to kill you, they were usually regulated to either gangs or law enforcement. Grand Theft Auto V takes it to another level where, on top of the above enemies that want you dead, animals are thrown into the mix. Causing chaos in the neighborhood? Don't be surprised to see someone's dog run after you and it's entirely possible for said dog to maul you for a One-Hit Kill. Even wildlife like coyotes and cougars will hunt you down if provoked. If playing the game online, take all the above and add other players to the list.
- Almost the premise of The Long Dark. There is all the wildlife (Wolves, Bears, and Moose attack, but fresh hunted animals attract the wolves), and then there's temperature, low energy, thirst, and hunger. The world will always cause these to go lower. Also eat the wrong food, you have poisoning or parasites. Then, there's falling off of any cliff, and you can be burned by the fires you light in order to survive. Good luck!
- While Minecraft's Creative Mode mostly avoids this, Survival Mode plays the trope straight with things from Zombies, Giant Spiders, Skeleton Archers, Creepers, Ghasts, Wither Skeletons, The Enderdragon, The Wither, and Endermen to Falling Damage, drowning, suffocation, fire, lava, and Status Effects can kill you, which, given that Continuing is Painful, can be a serious annoyance (or permanent if you play on Hardcore Mode). And that's not getting into what player-made traps can do to you...
- No Man's Sky features a big emphasis on survival and with such things as rampaging/aggressive wildlife, asteroids, Space Pirates, hostile robots, potentially hostile atmospheres, the void of space, and even the very resources you need to gather being capable of killing you in various myriad ways you're going to need to put a big emphasis on upgrading your suit, vehicle, and weapons in order to survive.
- In Planet Explorers, the majority of alien fauna will make spirited attempts to eviscerate any human or peaceful animal unfortunate enough to come their way.
- In addition to the usual dangers of radiation, zombies and wild animals you'll find in Radiation Island, there are environmental "anomalies": clouds of fire, lightning, water, or just plain death that at times are easy to spot, and at other times can simply appear on top of you without warning. Later on in the game, you encounter anomalies that can move around, patrolling areas you want to pass through, and even passing through buildings. Worst are the ones that imprison you in place or follow you until you die.
- In Super Scribblenauts, you can literally make anything want to kill you by adding an adjective like "angry" or "evil" when spawning it. You can get killed by something like an angry pancake or an evil bathtub. They're not very dangerous but they will display an "angry" emotion and try to jump at you and do their best to harm you.
Non-Video Game examples:
- Another: There's nothing safe to anyone. Elevators have smashed people, umbrellas have pierced throat, windows have exploded to stick every glass fragment in a person, boulders will fall randomly from mountains to kill you, even just standing in your room will get you killed when a car with a wrecking ball falls down the street. Nobody and nowhere is safe.
- Attack on Titan: The 104th Trainee Corps. And has been since day one. These poor kids can't catch a break. Famine, boot camp, Titans, other people... their own government, and finally, the rest of the planet.
- Delicious in Dungeon: The titular dungeon is full of hostile fauna and flora, plus numerous traps. Only the more experienced adventurers make it past the first few floors, even with their significantly weaker monsters.
- ID: Invaded: Most ID-Wells have some form of pervasive lethal hazard, from snipers to lightning strikes to drills descending from the sky. Even seemingly undirected hazards such as the explosions in the copycat Gravedigger's ID-Well have a nasty tendency to follow any would-be investigators. Those that don't usually still have John Walker running around in search of victims.
- Innocents Shounen Juujigun: Hugo tries to make sure of this. From sending bandits after the kids to getting the village they were staying in burned down, to turning the entire Catholic Church against them, Hugo doesn't give the kids a shadow of a chance at recovery.
- So I'm a Spider, So What?: Pretty much everything in the Great Elro Labyrinth wants to kill pretty much everything else, and especially Kumoko. Her first experience of her new life was the sight of her gargantuan spider mother grabbing and devouring her own hatchlings. On the other hand, Kumoko is ruthless about hunting and killing anything she encounters as well, as she needs sustenance to stay alive and experience to grow more powerful. The only thing she has any compunctions about killing is another human and even that will slide if she's threatened.
- In Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, Superman and Supergirl explore a faraway alien world wherein their powers do not work. Most animal lifeforms are giant predators who try to eat them, and over ninety-eight percent of the plant life is toxic or causes hallucinations.
- The Transformers Spotlight: Wheelie has the planet LV-117, which every single life-form wants to eat you, regardless of whether or not you're actually edible. This includes the giant-sized spiders, the birds, the freaking molluscs, everything. And then there's the Chaosteros, which is basically a big fat green T-Rex, capable of biting off a Transformer's arm in one go. Considering who the planet apparently belongs to note , this isn't surprising in the least.
- Child of the Storm:
"Australia now has its formerly extinct range of horrifying giant creatures to add to its current range of horrifying small to medium sized creatures. The locals are, of course, delighted and celebrating by trying to find out how such formerly extinct creatures taste when barbecued." note
- It notes the real life reputation of Australia in this regard after the end of the first book, where the crisis event with an All of Time at Once side-effect has left a few lingering Ice Age creatures. Oh, and it already had dragons. In the words of Loki...
- The Nevernever is an ever-changing sub-realm of the Dreaming, with horrors from 'merely' The Fair Folk to fully fledged Eldritch Abominations that have escaped from outside reality, and, in the sequel, the Red Room.
- Asgard is noted to be a bit like this outside of the cities, but since Asgardians are a) absurdly durable, b) enjoy that sort of thing, it's more of a bonus than a problem.
- Project Pegasus, much foreshadowed and finally revealed in Unfinished Business - suffice it to say that the cordyceps monsters, feral Archangels, unspeakable creatures that were once human, symbiotes, and semi-insectoid/robotic mobile defences, are merely those things that a) survived Alan Scott's scouring and sealing of Pegasus, b) appear on the least dangerous route to the heart of the facility. Oh, and by this point, it's under the control of Nimue.
- The Dark Forest: This is the effect of the computer virus targeted at Luo Ji while in hibernation; any device that gets infected will attempt to kill him somehow. Combined with Everything Is Online, it gets to a point where even sofas are a danger.
- In the canonical Discworld, Fourecks is indeed a country where everything is out to kill you. A.A. Pessimal illustrated that other parts of the Disc run it a close second: the flora and fauna of Rimwards Howondaland would come as close as a match between the Springboeks and the Wallabies, for instance. Elsewhere, in Aceria (where Eagleland meets Canada, Eh?), a useless family liability who likes big game hunting is dispatched to get him out of the way, in the hope the wildlife here will prove to be far bigger game than he can handle. As the wildlife in Aceria goes up to and including yeti-like creatures with rather big feet...
- Escape from the Moon: Pretty much the entire space station where the story takes place, from the showers, camera, airlocks, and even the food, is full of Death Traps.
- Let the Galaxy Burn: Moat Cailin. A planet-wide swamp, it contains vicious crocodiles, alligators and lizard-lions, a massive number of extremely venomous snakes, all sorts of flowers that release pollen that is lethal to breathe in and more deadly illnesses that you can even conceive. Oh, and multiple almost-impossible-to-assault fortresses, ancient machinery that makes it impossible for a warship to carry out Orbital Bombardment. There's mention of a 250,000-strong force that landed on the planet, which was reduced to a few hundreds of starved and deathly-ill survivors in just one month. Some characters muse that, to define Death World, the words "Moat Cailin" would be more than enough.
- Coraline: In the third act, the formerly-enchanting Other World becomes twisted as Coraline opposes the Other Mother who created it as a trap. When Coraline plays part in a game at the end to save herself and the souls of previous victims, all of the delights of the Other World turn into dangers, and she has to fight at every turn to survive.
- Trolls: Combined with Dangerously Garish Environment. For some reason, the environment surrounding the Trolls' village is this and Sugar Bowl at the same time. By which we mean it's all made up of felt and wool and glitter and things, barring the odd translucent organic tissue.
- A key theme of Watership Down, right from the opening text: "All the world will be your enemy, Prince With A Thousand Enemies; and when they catch you, they will kill you."
- In Child's Play (2019), Chucky takes advantage of his ability to interface with Kaslan products to turn everything the Mega-Corp produces into a deadly weapon, from toys to cars to lawnmowers to thermostats.
- The Final Destination series runs on this trope. When Death has it out for you, nothing and nowhere is safe.
- Forklift Driver Klaus: Owing to the lax safety standards, the factory Klaus works at is an absolute death trap for Klaus and his co-workers.
- The Hunger Games: Driven home more in the film than the book, where we can see the Gamemakers controlling everything, up to making burning trees fall on command. In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Capitol is a minefield with deadly (and sadistic) traps every ten steps.
- Jumanji's titular board game runs on this. Everything it summons tries to kill, or at least seriously injure, the players. Animals, insects, birds, plants, an Egomaniac Hunter who is Hunting the Most Dangerous Game and eventually even the weather are all deadly obstacles the game throws at the cast.
- A Million Ways to Die in the West:
- Albert cites this as one of the many reasons the Old West is such a terrible place. In his own words: "Everything that isn't you wants to kill you."
- The movie's theme song is The Long List of ways to get horribly killed:
Six bullets in the gut or just a paper cut
Too many ways to quantify
They'll cut your ankle off to cure a minor cough
Cause there's a million ways to die
- Lone Wolf:
- The number of death traps, cold-blooded assassins, evil armies, cursed artifacts, hostile fauna, poisonous (and man-eating) flora, malevolent undead, and hidden ancient evils sealed all over the place that Lone Wolf runs into means something is always trying to kill him. Even when he isn't in a war.
- Book 1: Lone Wolf may barely escape sinking in a bog that claims his horse, just to be attacked by a very poisonous snake next. Even lampshaded in the text:
It seems that nature and the Darklords have conspired against you, but it does not shake your determination to reach the King.
- Book 6: Though it requires a series of choices you'd have to be a complete idiot to actually make, Lone Wolf can get killed by an evil taxidermist.
- Book 7: Castle Death is probably the worst about this trope. It's possible to run into magical cobwebs that try to kill Lone Wolf.
- There are three rules to live by in all the books: Someone offering you hospitality and food? That's poisoned. Someone offering to help you? Is going to try and kill you in your sleep. Someone desperately begging for your help? Of course he's a Helghast, how many times are you going to fall for that trick?
- Remember this is the series in which you can die fighting a door. Not even a magic/sentient/evil/cursed door, but die trying to open a boring, rusted, ordinary door. Well, it's a door that you're trying to force open after failing the mandatory puzzle lock, while caught in a torrent of acid rain, so it's the rain that's damaging you rather than the door itself. Which doesn't take anything away from the fact that yes, there is an honest-to-Kai combat sequence with a door, complete with Endurance and Combat Score, and you will die if you lose.
- Book 1: Lone Wolf may barely escape sinking in a bog that claims his horse, just to be attacked by a very poisonous snake next. Even lampshaded in the text:
- Grey Star the Wizard has these too. The first book alone has: a room so evil just standing in it can kill you; prehensile swamp plants trying to eat you; man-sized frogs with poison skin that can fly(!!); a soul-eating Kleasa demon; a valley full of poison mist; and worst of all, a hive of thousands of giant acid-spitting preying mantises that you inevitably piss off and have to escape by climbing out of their lair — from the bottom up.
- The number of death traps, cold-blooded assassins, evil armies, cursed artifacts, hostile fauna, poisonous (and man-eating) flora, malevolent undead, and hidden ancient evils sealed all over the place that Lone Wolf runs into means something is always trying to kill him. Even when he isn't in a war.
- In 11/22/63, the universe actively works to prevent the past from being changed, with more significant force being used to counteract more significant changes. Naturally, when Jake goes back in time to prevent President Kennedy's assassination, the universe throws everything it can at him in an attempt to stop him, including a bookie giving him a beating so bad he gets memory loss, car accidents, falling debris attempting to hit him, and much more.
- When Rob of An Outcast in Another World first arrived in Elatra, everything tried to kill him. The indigenous fauna tried, the food tried, diseases tried, and the native locals tried. Things have gotten better since then after he made allies, but most things are still trying to kill him.
- In The Death Gate Cycle, the Labyrinth is a Death World created as a prison for a race of Magic Knights. It's also controlled by an Ax-Crazy Genius Loci that is consumed with hatred for its "inmates" and seeks to kill them by any means possible. The result is that not only is the Labyrinth peopled by a wide variety of violent, sadistic monsters with weird magical abilities, the plants, the waterways, and even the ground can turn lethal at a moments' notice. The only restriction is that the Labyrinth's magic requires it to give its victims a fighting chance — everything it throws at you can, potentially, be beaten. So far as most Patryns (aforementioned imprisoned race) are concerned, as mercies go, this isn't one.
- Harry Harrison's Deathworld has an entire planet of plants and animals that are literally trying to kill (and in some cases, then eat) the people who colonized that planet. The reason for this constant level of attack is that all of the plants and animals are psychic, and reacted poorly when the original colonists started clear-cutting a space for their city. The plants and animals fought back, the colonists started killing them off in self-defense, and it escalated from there.
- The Jungle Book story, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" paints India as a place where deadly snakes can be anywhere and the most innocent action can put you in mortal danger. As it is, the human family in the story is lucky to have adopted a plucky young mongoose to take on those threats.
- The Last Continent has Death preparing to go to the continent of "XXXX" ("FourEcks") and asks his library for a listing of dangerous animals... he get buried in an avalanche of books. Including one that's presumably part of a series — it's "Volume 29c, part iii". A request for non-dangerous wildlife produces a slip of paper, with the words "some of the sheep".
- The prehistoric world as portrayed in Quest for Fire. Without the titular fire, early humans become easy pickings for lions, giant lions, leopards, panthers, wolves, giant hyenas, tigers, saber-toothed cats, bears, other humans...
- Deadliest Catch isn't kidding about its title. Among the many ways to die or get seriously injured in crab fishing: Getting hit by thousand-pound crab pots that swing from crane booms and can fall on you if not properly secured. Getting tangled up in a rope and thrown overboard. Getting hit by a wave breaking over the boat and tossing you around. Dying of hypothermia because the water's so cold that you'll only live long enough to drown if you're wearing a survival suit. Getting your ship's hull torn open by an ice floe. Capsizing in a storm. Smoking too much and dying of cancer while safely on land. It's said that it isn't a question of if you'll get hurt crab fishing, but when and if you'll die from it.
- 1000 Ways to Die documents the myriad ways people can die, from getting run over by an 18-wheeler to brain parasites, and every (usually gory) thing in-between.
- Atari's Middle Earth is an alien Lost World filled with feral beasts, bloodthirsty dinosaurs, giant apes, and strange monsters, all fighting each other while volcanoes erupt all around.
- Paragon is set in a Heroic Fantasy world of muscular Barbarian Heroes, maidens wearing Chainmail Bikinis, and lush landscapes with lovely names like the Valley of Demons and the Beast's Lair, with giant griffons and other Hybrid Monsters galore.
- Destroy the Godmodder invokes this trope occasionally. For example, when the Glitch turned the landscape and very ground itself into a massive roiling death trap.
- Dark Sun is a strong contender for the most kill-happy of all D&D campaign ever published. Players are instructed to create a character tree of four characters who are assumed to know each other because death is so expected in the settings. The game starts with your characters at level 3, instead of 1 — simply living a life in this hellhole qualifies as adventuring. Few other campaign settings can net you the honor of being brutally murdered by psionic vermin.
- Dungeons & Dragons is all over this trope like chaotic evil jam on toast that hungers for your brains.
- The old Monster Manuals are full of seemingly innocuous objects that are actually monsters waiting to eat you. Examples include the Roper (a stalagmite that sprouts a mouth and tentacles), the Piercer (a stalactite that falls on you in an attempt to stab you), the Cloaker (looks like an old cloak but is actually a levitating manta-ray-like thing) along with its undead equivalent the Sheet Phantom, the Mimic (can look like any innocuous object but canonically resembles a treasure chest), the Green Slime (a corrosive amoeboid mass that looks like typical dungeon muck), the Crystal Ooze (a corrosive amoeboid blob that lurks invisibly in pools of water), the Shrieker (a giant mushroom that screams when you approach it; it isn't trying to kill you but the curious monsters investigating the screaming might), the Bowler (sentient mobile boulder), the Galeb Duhr (sentient spellcasting boulder with legs), not to mention the three different monsters (Caryatid Column, Gargoyle, and Stone Golem) that can all be summed up as "stone statue that comes to life and tries to kill you." It's not uncommon for Properly Paranoid adventurers to take a sledgehammer to any objects big enough to be a threat.
- And let's not forget the Doomy Room of Doom: the Lurker Above (looks like a cave ceiling), the Trapper (looks like a cave floor), the Stunjelly (looks like the wall), and the Gelatinous Cube (perfectly square transparent ooze, so the space inside the room can kill you!)
- And the Greater Mimic, which can imitate larger objects, like a room. The Lurker Above, Trapper, and Stunjelly in one.
- And the great and mighty House Hunter Mimic, which is a house that reproduces by budding, with its offspring being sheds, outhouses, and of course, Dread Gazeboes.
- Later editions seem to have moved away from this trope, but most of the old monsters have become icons of the game, and continue to be reprinted from one edition to the next. Furthermore, in Third Edition D&D, there are rules for animated objects as monsters, allowing for dungeon masters to easily turn anything within line-of-sight into something that will try to kill you. Furthermore, players noted housecats could easily kill a 1st level commoner in a single turn.
- Fourth Edition generally averted this with higher hit point totals overall and a relative lack of instant-kill effects, although one could come away from looking at all the stat blocks in the Monster Manuals with the impression that it was still true because the "fluff" sections often came up a bit short, suggesting that everything in there from angels to zombies immediately wants to kill the player characters upon meeting them. That's more a case of chicken-or-the-egg syndrome, though — the Monster Manuals are supposed to be primarily books of ready-made combat stats for when the DM needs those, how to handle peaceful interaction regardless of whether the creature you're talking to has the power to explode for extra damage upon dying is more the concern of the Player's Handbooks and Dungeon Master's Guides.
- Fifth Edition's main Monster Manual tends to feature mostly evolved or created creatures that would in fact attack you or at least challenge you (if good/neutral), but as far as adventures go, it's a bit of a throwback to the earlier editions, so unusual traps abound.
- The Spoony One tells of a D&D adventure in a world based on Alice in Wonderland - where everything and everyone tries to kill you almost instantly, from the Cheshire Cat to the Caterpillar. Hell, even the Dormouse is a 20th level ninja monk.
- This was actually a relative constant in 1st and 2nd edition; in fact, in some officially scored adventures, you lost points for not assuming that everyone and everything wanted your blood, and generally you were expected to behave like a stereotypical 'murder hobo' because of this trend.
- Many other planes of existence fit this as well. The Plane of Negative Energy drains your life force, and if it kills you there's no way to resurrect you because your body will crumble to dust, which then vanishes. The Plane of Positive Energy feels wonderful until you discover that if your hit points (which constantly increase there) reaches double your normal maximum, you explode. Then there's the Plane of Elemental Fire, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Planes of Elemental Water, Earth, and Air are similar for the other elements, making it difficult to find a place you can just survive for a few minutes without life-supporting magic in most Planes. The places where these six planes meet form Para- and Quasi-Elemental Planes, which typically combine the most lethal aspects of each of their parent Planes. Going into the Outer Planes (which more or less correspond to possible Afterlife destinations), there are entire dimensions filled with hideous monsters that want nothing more than to chew on your soul for all eternity (and there are no less than seven of these Planes), even more so than they want to kill the denizens of the other similar Planes. There's an entire plane of pure chaos, where only a strong mind can allow you to impose a small bubble of order around yourself to survive in. Even the relatively benign residents of some of the Planes may attack you if you have a different alignment, or if you violate some obscure rule of behavior that you have no way of knowing about.
- And of course, the Tomb of Horrors is so chock-full of traps and monsters that it might save time to list the things that don't kill you.
- Games Workshop games:
- Warhammer 40,000, in a nutshell. While it doesn't show up too much in the tabletop mechanics, it's all over the place in the background fluff. Cosmic Horror Story is one thing, but it's hard to find a list of things that won't kill you in gruesome ways through no fault of your own. The plants, the housepets, the cattle, the ants, the police, the ground, the air, even your cellular phone or other household appliances, on a particularly bad day.
- In Dark Heresy, there is a seemingly sentient planet mentioned named Phyrr. Sentient as in: Every living thing on this planet, from the grass to the predators to the bacteria in the air will actively fight intruders. And they coordinate.
- Necromunda is set mostly within the underhive of Hive Primus, an incredibly hostile environment full of mutant tribes, hostile fauna and poisonous fungus. Even the terrain itself is insanely hazardous with industrial pollution poisoning entire areas and hive quakes threatening to bury the unwary beneath a near-infinite amount of rubble. The 1st and 2nd Edition of the game included expanded rules for fighting in such a hostile environment with random events such as toxic fog, swarms of dangerous vermin and deluges of pure acid interrupting a battle. The third Necromunda: Gang War supplement for 3rd Edition meanwhile includes random events such as hive quakes, disease outbreaks and outbreaks of dangerous flora that can affect all gangs involved in a campaign at the same time.
- In Warhammer the jungles of Lustria were magically altered by the Lizardmen to slow the advance of Chaos across the continent. Effectively every living thing in the jungles exists to kill trespassers. Plants are carnivorous, stinging insects can pierce armor, blood-sucking flies can turn a human to a husk in seconds, carnosaurs stalk the jungles as the apex predator because they hunted dragons to extinction, every pond and river hides some murderous horror. Oh, and then there are the Lizardmen themselves who have ancient Slann mages that wield tremendous power and Saurus Old-Bloods with millennia of combat experience.
- Mage: The Awakening: Abyssal intrusions and dark enchantments can look like anything, so while everything may not be trying to kill you, anything could be. Entries in various sourcebooks include a cell phone that will turn you into a paranoid wreck, a statue with an enchantment on it that causes people around it to develop some pretty weird Blue-and-Orange Morality and occasionally become serial killers, a form of qigong that causes Abyssal taint to infest your internal organs, a tangle of corridors that leads into the Abyss, and a set of equations that twist reality around them into barely survivable madness. By the way, all of those are from only two books out of dozens.
- This is arguably the primary appeal of Paranoia, as much of the dark humor comes from the endlessly creative ways the players and the GM can kill the Troubleshooters. Between untested R&D weaponry, malfunctioning robots, traitors everywhere, and the ever-omnipresent maniacal Friend Computer, it's easier to count the things that aren't trying to kill you. If the clones are not risking death buying a can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage, the GM's a wuss.
- Promethean: The Created: The nature of Disquiet means that most of the people a Promethean meets will eventually want to kill them, most of the animals they meet will eventually want to kill them, the ground they walk on will eventually not only want to kill them but make people who walk into that area want to kill them, and any inanimate object could be a sleeping Pandoran, which can awaken if they come too close and... you get the idea. The point of the Pilgrimage is that, once it's completed, all of this stops happening.
- Amnesia: Memories has the heroine in danger of dying to something. Motorcycles or trains are close to running her over, building structures fall upon her, crazy fangirls and Ukyo also try to kill her in various ways. It's revealed that this is because she's actually dead in a timeline, but was resurrected through a matter of time-rewind and alternate universes. As such, the universe considers her existence an anomaly that needs to be 'fixed' by any means necessary.
- In Kagetsu Tohya, the sort-of sequel to Tsukihime, you can get eaten by a magical leopard that springs out of Arcueid's underwear drawer and lectures you. Even Shiki is baffled and unbelieving of this one. There are random bizarre deaths like this strewn all over.
- Happy Tree Friends is a Sadist Show that takes this trope to such a level worth for a "Whoo boy." The antics of the other characters, the wildlife, and even the scenery are all chances to get a Cruel and Unusual Death.
- Parodied (of course) in Adventurers!. The party encounters an Inanimate Chair and somehow can't run away from it. Ardam gets attacked by a coffee cup. An encounter with evil pants is immediately followed by one with a demonic boombox. As Ardam says when facing down a killer coffin, "It really says something about our lives that this doesn't seem at all weird."
- Basic Instructions covered this trope in this comic.
- In Freefall, Sam is convinced that everything outside the safe(ish) boundaries of an atmosphere is trying to kill him. He's not wrong, but as Hazel explains, it's not that space is trying to kill him. Space is just relentlessly opportunistic. Sam also has a few problems with animals: as he's a comparatively simple life form next to us, he's effectively a walking seafood buffet. This leads to some concerns with wolves, sharks, miniature dogs, cows, goldfish...
- As shown in the page image, Girl Genius has Castle Heterodyne. The Castle combines this trope with A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Comedic Sociopath. As the sign at the door says, "Trespassers will be Amusing." At its full power, its control extends to the whole of Mechanicsburg, and invaders are subject to this as soon as they trespass into the town. And that's not counting the massive horde of monstrous constructs and clanks it has stored in its bowels, all loyal to the Heterodyne family.
- The planet Alternia in Homestuck, where "everything is considered unsuspecting prey by everything else".
- In the faux-videogame Webcomic Kid Radd, the eponymous hero sprite is damaged by apples and bazookas (and by touching Bogey). And he's damaged the same amount by each one. This is a major plot point.
- Plaire's dream dungeon in My Delirium Alcazar. Bugs, corpses reanimated by bugs, meat monsters and time itself all team up just to kill Plaire. Also, the dungeon itself is gradually filling with dirty water.
- The title character of Princess Pi suffered this in her first comic released, "Princess Pi vs. Everything".
- In Skin Horse, the Anasigma facility is practically the epitome of this trope: it has negative OSHA compliance. Jonah Yu finds that whenever he dies, he comes back to life at a point he'd previously 'saved' at. This results in a cavalier attitude in regards to the numerous, incredibly silly, contrived, and pointless deaths he subsequently experiences.
Jonah: This place has way too many ways to die.
- In the sneakily named Drekmore of Adventures of the Gummi Bears, nothing is safe. Assuming you avoid the prowling ogres that call it home, other indigenous dangers include sprawling fields of vines laden with melons that violently explode a second after being touched, literal cliff faces that will drop boulders on you for laughs if you get too close, giant eagles that haunt the sky, roving packs of carnivorous sabertoothed rabbits, and mushrooms which flatten their heads to reveal razor-sharp spikes and rapidly spin like buzzsaws when touched. And these are just a small sample of the dangers.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Curse", as a result of Gumball temporarily running out of luck, everything in the vicinity tries to kill him.
- The titular world of Amphibia is full of dangers, most notably giant insects and birds (sometimes even plants) that will try to eat you, but even smaller critters often turn out to be potentially deadly.
Sprig: Don't let the bedbugs bite! Seriously, they can drain a body in seconds.
- This is how the Australian Outback is portrayed in Bilby. From bushfires and quicksand to all sorts of predators and stampeding herbivores, the bilby has to constantly run for his life.
- Kaeloo: This seems to be the case for the perpetually unlucky Stumpy. Lampshaded in one episode where he tries to put himself in danger, and all he does is throw a pebble. This starts off a chain reaction which results in him almost being crushed to death by a boulder.
- Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: From the intelligent Mutant inhabitants with a bone to pick with humanity, to the mindless Mega-Mutes acting on pure instinct, to even random plants that can kill you on contact. If you're not constantly alert on the surface, you are not gonna last more than five minutes.