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It's a Wonderful Failure

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Silver lining is that if you play as Galactus, it counts as Earn Your Happy Ending!

"One by one the funding nations sign pacts with aliens promising technology, prosperity and peace... Surviving generations suffer terrible mutations as they flee alien destruction. They are rounded up into slave camps in order to help transform earth into an alien colony which is part of some unknown empire. The knowledge gained through the X-COM project is lost forever. You have failed to save the earth."

Some particularly cruel game developers aren't satisfied with just telling them how badly they lost — they have to show that the player failed through an alternate Downer Ending in which players are forced to endure the terrible fate that awaits the characters they were supposed to be helping. They didn't just get a Game Over where they can reload and everything's fine — they FAILED. They failed and now they will live just long enough to see the Big Bad claim victory and to see the END OF THEIR CIVILIZATION. This has the effect of getting players so upset that they are inclined to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and retry the game.

If done right, it will end up being very, very depressing, especially for younger gamers, and thus a very strong incentive to not die. If it's a cartoon action game that features cute, playable characters, be warned: The Game Over scene may show them in a pitiful, humiliating state of powerless defeat. It may, however, become very annoying when the game is hard and requires the player to try and fail over and over. Either way, there's no shaking that sense that the game developers just stuck their big pointing fingers at the gamer, saying "You Bastard! Look what you did to your favorite character... take a good, long look. You caused this — not us."

This is often a Non-Standard Game Over, though a few games use this trope as the standard failure. Compare Have a Nice Death, Player Death Is Dramatic, Shoot the Shaggy Dog and The Bad Guy Wins. Not to be confused with Fission Mailed, which is non-sarcastically wonderful. This is for game overs, for just dying see The Many Deaths of You. See also Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, a situation where the hero failed to do his heroism the right way. Earn Your Bad Ending may mix with this if the player has to go out of their way to watch this.

If the game over doesn't lead to this and instead cut the ending off, then you get No Ending.

This is a death trope. Expect lots of marked and unmarked spoilers ahead.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Dark Earth had three different Game Over endings:
    • The first one, if you died in the first half of the game, just quickly hinted that it gets worse after your death.
    • However, if you died in the second half of the game, you were fully shown the horrible fate of your city…
    • Which was nothing compared to the terrifying and creepy ending (in a campy GWAR-ish kind of way) you would get if you were to let the darkness take over you...
  • The Legend of Zelda loves this:
    • If you allow your three days to run out without resetting the "Groundhog Day" Loop in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, you get to see the moon fall and destroy everyone. Even worse, Majora appears to laugh in your face one last time. The 3DS remake drives the point home with a bit of text after the cutscene.
      And so the angry moon fell from the sky, annihilating this world and its many inhabitants. All items and such gained these last three days are lost.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has one if you take too long defeating Vaati's final wave of enemies in Dark Hyrule Castle. The last bell rings, killing Zelda and making Ezlo scream This Cannot Be!.
    • Letting The Imprisoned reach the Sealed Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has him destroying it while Granny/Future Impa cries out in despair that it is too late.
      Granny/Impa: All... All is lost.
  • Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (not the Game Boy one, but a custom quest for Zelda Classic, a recreation of the original The Legend of Zelda game with an editor program for making your own games) has a scene where Dr. Wily steers a massive asteroid into the Earth, destroying it. This is shown from the viewpoint of people on Earth witnessing this seconds before it happens. One of the ways to trigger this scene is by simply walking into Wily's Tower without having all the Triforce pieces collected.
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and its sequel, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, had the bad endings where Soma becomes the new dark lord, and Julius comes into the throne room promising to "fulfill [his] promise". Dawn takes this a step further; the bad ending is the backdrop for the game's playable Julius mode.
  • The bad ending of It Came from the Desert (1992) has the mutant ants swarm off to take over the planet, causing the H-bomb to go off in response, after which the radio operator asks, "Is anybody there? Anybody at all?"note  It is then followed by text "THE END?" and cuts to the credits.
  • In Otto Matic, when you die, you get a video of the humans that you try to rescue from the evil Brain Aliens throughout the game being converted into even more of them to serve the Big Bad.
  • In Demon's Crest, you can go Off the Rails and fight the final boss early. See Nice Job Breaking It, Hero for the startling Bad End this triggers.
  • In Hello Kitty Roller Rescue, failing to stop the giant robot in the final mission results in a Downer Ending where Block-O succeeds and the Earth and all of its inhabitants are turned into a cube.
  • Batman: Dark Tomorrow gives you a bad ending for beating the final boss! At the end of the game, you fight Ra's Al Ghul and — after the fight — Ra's detonates bombs and floods the planet. Batman then collapses to his knees and lets out a Big "NO!".
    • To get the game's proper ending, you must disarm Ra's Al Ghul's signal device before going to the final boss, which the game does not tell you or hint to you.
      • If you fail to defeat Ra's, Batman is stabbed and lives to see Ra's detonate the bombs before he dies.
      • If you disarm the signal device and then lose to Ra's, Batman is stabbed and Ra's tells Batman that the device will be repaired in 18 hours, thus Batman dies knowing that he failed.
  • In Pandora's Tower, Elena, the hero Aeron's girlfriend, has been placed under a terrible curse that slowly transforms her into a monster. This curse can only be staved off by feeding her meat from the monsters in the dungeon. Put off feeding her for too long and let her humanity gauge completely empty (and even then, the screen will pulse violently for a few minutes before the end happens, so you still have a little time) and Aeron will be transported back home, where Elena has completely transformed and eats him. If that wasn't bad enough, it then goes into a bad ending where Elena leads an army of monsters across the land, and if that wasn't enough, a line Aeron says at the end implies that he is still alive inside of her.
    Aeron: To think that even like this, we would still be together...
  • In Shadow Man, being defeated by Legion triggers a cutscene where Legion drains Shadowman of his power, killing him in the process, and transfers it to his army of True Forms, which procceed to cause the Apocalypse as written on The Prophecy.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3 has Luigi, along with the rest of his friends trapped within paintings while King Boo turns to the player and chuckles with eerie background music, before fading to black and the "Good Night!" text appears. It's probably one of the grimmest failure screens in Mario history.
  • The Coraline licensed game for the PS2 and Wii shows you the devastating consequences of failure that not even the movie was able to pull off: Other Mother successfully sews buttons over the eyes of the heroine, and it isn't a pretty sight.

    Action Game 
  • In the second Crusader game, there is a level where a ship full of enemy reinforcements is coming to land on the moon base and your objective is to fight your way to a cannon battery to shoot it down. If you fail to reach the cannon battery controls in time, you get a live-action cutscene showing your commanding officer making a last stand against the enemy army with his men before they are overwhelmed and killed.
  • In Star Wars: Rebel Assault, if you die on the final mission, the Death Star blows up Yavin IV.
    Narrator: The destruction of Yavin left the Alliance helpless... ...against the ruthless power of the Empire. The Death Star continued to extinguish Rebel bases throughout the galaxy... ...and the Alliance was defeated.
  • The Sega Genesis game Red Zone features a cutscene of a nuclear missile being launched, an explosion, followed by a still image of the Big Bad on a red background with a raised fist and his description of a Planetary/Total Extinction apocalypse, which is made even crueller considering the difficulty.
  • In Elevator Action Returns, running out of time near the end of the final mission will cause the terrorists to launch the missile, followed by a picture of an erupting mushroom cloud. Then it goes to the computer screen, with the message saying "YOUR MISSION IS OVER".
  • The continue countdown scene for Sly Spy/Secret Agent depicts a nuclear missile about to launch, and if it reaches zero, the Game Over screen depicts various world landmarks turning into mushroom clouds.
  • The Game Boy adaptation of The Lost World: Jurassic Park has this selection of scenes depicting your lifeless body depending on what killed you.
  • In Power Pete, the Game Over splash screen shows Pete's lifeless body lying on the floor of the burning toy store while gloomy music plays.

    Adventure Game 
  • Dying or reaching 0 mental stability in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy gives you a Film Noir voiceover of the current viewpoint character saying how they died or why they gave up and what happened afterwards, ranging from leaving town due to being unable to get over one's claustrophobia, accidentally committing suicide (alcohol and pills don't mix), being viciously murdered by inmates at a facility for the criminally insane, and many many other things. Most of these end with the viewpoint character moodily reminiscing on how they'd never find out what happened that night, or how the world thinks them a murderer.
    • At one point, Lukas is once again cornered by the police, and we are treated to the standard Game Over message...only for it to be interrupted when he unexpectedly enters Tranquil Fury mode and proceeds to escape, making it a subversion.
    • One of the worst is if you don't choose to save the little boy and walk into the cop from the restaurant, or, alternatively, rescue the child but instead try leaving the scene instead of resuscitating him, even after the main character says who he is. His speech has changed a bit, though it ends on the same note.
      Well, that's where my story ends, because by the stupidest of chances, I happen to run into the cop from the restaurant while he was making his rounds in the park. It was one chance in a million, and I bought the winning ticket. I'll spend the rest of my days rotting in prison.
  • The Fourth Protocol, the game of Frederick Forsyth's novel from 1984, revolves around a Soviet plot to explode a nuclear bomb near a US Air Force base in Britain to influence the upcoming British elections by shocking the voters into electing an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-Soviet government. Mess up the defusing of the nuke and you are told that the plan succeeded, the Russians were invited into the UK and began working on Europe from both fronts. Alternatively, things go even worse: the bomb leads to a limited nuclear war, destroying both sides and making the northern hemisphere uninhabitable. This comes "From the annals of the Australio-Indonesian Empire..."
  • Shows up in two games from Homestar Runner: "Where's an Egg?" and "Dangeresque Roomisode 1: Behind the Dangerdesque". In "Where's an Egg?", failing to find the egg will result in the main character being banished to the Siberian tundra and subsequently freezing to death, while in "Dangeresque Roomisode 1", getting the task wrong will result in Dangeresque being sent to the "HOOSEGOW".
  • The game over screens of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis include a brief text about Hitler and the Nazis taking over the world once Indiana Jones is not there to stop their plans.
  • The Jetsons Amiga game George Jetson And The Legend Of Robotopia actually inverts this in a couple of possible endings when George gets fired by Mr. Spacely again and has to get another job:
    • In one ending, George becomes a "foodarackacycle" repairman. He gets a lot of abuse from his Unsatisfiable Customers, and then he learns why they're so bad-tempered. Foodarackacycles break down as often as once a week, so George and his friend Henry design a new, more reliable model. George and Henry then sell the design to Edible Engineering, and George becomes rich from the design's sales and his new job as "senior culinary technician".
    • In another ending, George becomes a Burger Fool at McMegolith's, and is promoted to "Junior Greasedisher Grade Three". That's still more promotion and recognition than he ever got in fifteen years of slaving for Spacely.
  • The bad ending of Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest and its sequel The Dagger of Amon Ra. In particular the one in the second game, which explains in discordantly cheerful detail the fates of everyone and their corpses, thanks to your failure. Then you get murdered, your father commits suicide, and the reporter who wanted your job becomes rich and famous. The end.
  • Maabus has the player piloting a drone sent to an island in order to contain a radioactive disturbance being threatened by mutants. If the drone is destroyed, you're treated to an FMV of the admiral telling you that the island is destroyed and the world is going to be destroyed very soon. He then excuses himself to be with his family one last time while you get to watch the world be consumed by radioactive explosions.
  • In Maniac Mansion, there are several actions that can lead to a meltdown. You see the mansion explode, followed by a message that the nuclear explosion has destroyed everything in a 5 mile radius. (It's never made clear how far the mansion is from the town.) Another variation happens if you pull an Epic Fail and get all three kids killed. It says that Sandy is doomed to zombiehood and that Dr. Fred, still under the Meteor's influence, takes over the world and a small part of the galaxy.
  • Même les pommes de terre ont des yeux, a French game for the Apple ][, punishes failure by Breaking the Fourth Wall and shooting the player in the head with a pistol displayed on the screen.
  • In Obliterator, your death is followed by a text screen that reads: "YOU HAVE FAILED IN YOUR MISSION. YOU ARE DEAD AND THE EARTH IS DOOMED. SO ENDS THE MISSION OF THE LAST OBLITERATOR." This is followed by a shot of the player character's skeleton, still wearing his space armor, floating in orbit around Earth.
  • In Police Quest: SWAT, if you do anything that's outside of SOP for SWAT, you'll get a cutscene where two other officers lead you away from the scene.
  • Quest for Glory:
    • In Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire, a standard death (by attack or low stats) will usually just give you a punny death message and let you restore and get back to the game. However, if you fail the task of capturing the Elementals or die anytime after Ad Avis steals the evil Djinn Iblis' statue, you are treated to a long cut scene of the city being destroyed or an even longer cut scene of Iblis escaping the statue and wreaking havoc upon the world. The first time, it's creepy, but after the third or fourth time, it gets annoying. And it's a Sierra game — you die all the freaking time. Fortunately, stopping Ad Avis in the Fighter and Mage paths doesn’t cause the scene to happen, regardless of if he manages to kill you, and you just get a typical Have a Nice Death message. No such luck on the Thief path, though, as it happens every single time you die regardless of if Ad Avis was stopped or not.
    • In Quest for Glory IV, failing to defeat Ad Avis after the Dark One is summoned treats the player to a shot of the Dark One bursting out of a mountain (the same one seen in a vision earlier in the game).
  • Shenmue:
    • Bum around for too long in Shenmue (roughly until the middle of April) and you'll be treated to a cutscene where Lan Di returns to the Hazuki compound and demands Ryo give him the Phoenix Mirror. Ryo refuses, charges at Lan Di, and is hit by the same technique Lan Di used to kill his father as the scene freezes and fades to white. The words "Game Over" are then seen, which is impossible to generate under any other circumstance. Luckily, this sort of thing almost has to be forced because of the generous timeframe you're given (the game starts in November of the previous year). As long as you commit some plot-related task that day, you'll pretty much always be moving forward to the end of the game note .
    • The same is true for Shenmue II, which packs multiple bad endings. In one, Ryo pulls out the Phoenix Mirror, which glows red, then cracks as he is then confronted by Lan Di. In Guilin, Shenhua senses "the path is closed" before she is confronted by Lan Di, who says he will take her power "for the Chiyou".
  • Infocom's Sorcerer (the second part of the text adventure Enchanter trilogy) has an example of this in the endgame. If you exorcise the demonic Big Bad from your mentor, but neglect to protect yourself from possession, the demon will not only take over your body, but show you a vision of the future. He shows you a world where the demon, in your body, has taken over the world and parents offer their children as sacrifices to him. And, worst of all, it is you who embodies the demon, your image that adorns the temples and sacrificial altars, and your visage that is associated with so much misery and death.
    • While Sorcerer best shows it by giving you a preview of the future, all three games of the Enchanter trilogy had similar "Menace to Society" failure states. Enchanter had a mid-game puzzle that could be failed so badly that a powerful demon was unleashed who teamed up with the Big Bad and made him completely unstoppable. In the endgame of Spellbreaker, similarly failing to stop the villain from ascending to godhood — or stopping him by destroying the entire universe — earned you the honor of seeing all you ever cared for eradicated in an instant.
  • Total Distortion has the memorable little "YOU ARE DEAD! DEAD, DEAD!" song. Your heart has stopped and your brain's turned are so, so, deeaaaad! And now your body is starting to are so, so, deeeaaaaaad!
  • Getting the worst possible ending during any given chapter in Twilight Syndrome will reward you with a narration detailing the terrible things that happened as a result of your bad choices, whether they be Yukari ending up in hospital with steadily declining health after being hit by a truck, or the ghosts that Mika unwittingly summoned into the school escaping the grounds and haunting the entire city for years to come.
  • Dying late in Ultima IX replays the Britannian Holocaust cinematic that can be seen in Lord British's Magic Mirror: a towering wave of fire sweeps across the land, turning all life to ash and all structures to dust. This is what the Guardian has done to other worlds, and intends to do to this one.
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor has an interesting one. If you do anything that would cause a Game Over, the game switches to a text adventure (a throwback to Zork's old days) and inputs the command you just did, followed with the results of how you died/got totemized/whatever. Interestingly, this also happens if you win the game (after the satisfying ending cutscene).

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Bayonetta has a horrible Game Over screen, but it's not as much frightening as it is depressing, demented, or scary. If you choose to continue, okay ("The shadow remains cast!"), but if you choose not to, she screams in agony as about twenty or thirty hands grab her from all sides and pull her down into Hell to collect on their deal. And this all happens within two seconds flat. Made even more depressing when you fail to rescue Cereza from the Beloved or Joy and the game over screen is just her discarded cat doll.
  • Dying in Comix Zone usually showed you a short cutscene of Mortus complaining that it wasn't fun enough and giving you another chance, at most letting you try to complete the game three times. Die on that final chance, and Mortus will use your death to make himself a body somehow and ominously looking down at the city.
  • Streets of Rage 3:
    • Failing to beat the Final Boss in 3 minutes earns this ending. The Japanese version makes it worse by showing a picture of the city that was destroyed by the bombs. The U.S. version cuts the image out, reducing the impact of the failure.
    • Oddly enough, the text of the Japanese ending downplays the impact of the obvious ruin on the heroes, while the U.S. version's readout implies that the heroes' reputations are ruined as much as the city.
  • Splatterhouse 3 kills off your wife or child if you take too long to rescue one or both of them. The endings reflect these failures ("Daddy, where's mommy?" if you save the kid but let your wife die, "Where's David? No... NO!!" if you only have your beloved still be alive and well by the end (unless you were heartless enough to deliberately fail to keep your precious, precious son from dying, so good luck trying to get over THAT, You Monster!), or just plain old "your family is dead" (with the protagonist implied to cross the Despair Event Horizon) if… yeah, they're both dead).
  • Getting a Game Over in Lollipop Chainsaw results in the screen turning to gray as Juliet faints, and then it cuts to a comic book panel depicting one of three outcomes (all of which are randomized):
    • The most common one depicts Juliet's zombified arm coming out from her grave and reaching for Nick's head.
    • One of them only has her arm coming out (Nick isn't present), and instead we hear a very, very remorseful Nick saying, "Juliet...I will always love you, baby. Always..." (This is the only Game Over screen used in the Prologue.)
    • And last but not least, there's one where Nick's head is placed at Juliet's grave, holding a rose between his teeth (she doesn't rise from her grave in this one).
    • Also, when you finish the game and wait until the credits are over, you will get two different cutscenes, depending on whether you saved all of the saveable classmates or not. If you didn't save all of them, the cutscene you get shows Juliet's mom revealing that she's a zombie, and saying, "Time for dinner! And by dinner, I mean...YOU!" The screen then cuts to black as we hear everyone screaming, followed by a loud *CRUNCH*.
  • The continue screen of The Wonderful 101 shows the character's soul floating over their body and crying. Oh yeah, and there's a visual of a Flatline in the background, in case you needed proof that yes, they're in fact DEAD. If you choose not to continue, you'll first get a prompt asking if you are really sure, then the soul will go upwards offscreen with a ding sound when selecting no the second time.

    Driving Game 
  • In APB (1987), the game over screen reads "Too Many Demerits - YOU ARE FIRED", and shows other cops pulling Officer Bob out of his patrol car and either throwing him into a paddy wagon or canning him by stuffing him into a trash can.
  • Getting a Game Over in Emergency Call Ambulance gets you a big EKG Flatline as you're also provided with a sorrowful one-liner from the patient you were trying to save. Especially harrowing if you lose in the first stage, with the patient, a ten-year-old boy, lamenting "I don't want to die..."
  • The Commodore 64 racing game The Fury starts you off with a crappy car with no shielding and, more importantly, no ejector seat or life support. It's quite common for a game to last 30 seconds, including the time spent navigating the menus. Survive a few races and you'll be able to go go fast enough to enter the titular Fury, an alternate dimension that randomly swallows your car above a certain speed and immediately triggers a minigame to keep your aim on target. Succeed, and you reappear a good distance down the track. Fail to keep your aim steady, or just stay in The Fury too long, and the screen cycles bright colours, then abruptly cuts to a black screen with the words "WE ALL DIE SOMETIME. BUT NOT ALL WILL BURN FOREVER."
  • If you place 4th or below at the end of a Grand Prix in Mario Kart 64, the podium ceremony cutscene has your character simply watch as the top 3 racers drive up to the castle, then drive away while a sad, slower, minor key version of the ceremony theme plays in the background. And then a bomb pursues your character and explodes, adding further insult to injury. For many players, the scene Crosses the Line Twice, partially because of said bomb, and partially because you have to actively try to get the bad ending in the first place, since you have to retry a race if you place 5th or below. Super Circuit has an equally humiliating loss scene; your character drives up to the awards ceremony and they are promptly squished by the falling podium.
  • Road Rash 2 and 3 has amusing cutscenes that play whenever you get busted or wreck your bike. Some examples include:
    • Getting thrown into the back of a police cruiser
    • Attempting to escape while your arresting officer is Distracted by the Sexy and failing
    • The police throwing you into the back of a prison escort truck (and sometimes missing as the truck drives away, so you end up eating dirt)
    • EMS taking your bike and leaving you on the side of the road
    • Wobbling onto the road into the path of an 18-wheeler
    • Trying (and failing) to hitch a ride
    • Trying to ride your wrecked bike, only for it to fall apart

    Edutainment Game 
  • The Oregon Trail: "Everyone in your party has died. Many wagons failed to make it all the way to Oregon. Do you want to write your epitaph?" The beautiful part is that every time you play, you get to pass the graves of your previous failed attempts (which can lead to a contest to see who can leave the earliest grave on the trail). The most commonly pirated version of the game features the classic (in response to "What would you like on your tombstone?"):
  • Mario's Time Machine has two separate endings that embody this trope and both of them revolve around failing to acquire all the historical artefacts (Bad Ending #1) or failing to place them in the correct order (Bad Ending #2). In Bad Ending #1, Bowser configures the Timulator to take him to a place on Earth simply called 'Paradise', and you get to see a cutscene of him arriving on a pristine beach resort somewhere in the tropics, with a deckchair and cocktail already set out for his arrival. The credits then roll while he gloats. In Bad Ending #2, Bowser gets sent back to the Cretaceous Period as in Ending #3 (the true ending), but no Dinosaur arrives to stomp on him.

    Fighting Game 
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3: Lose to M. Bison in the final battle in Arcade mode, and you can't continue. All you can do is watch as he stuffs your beaten character into a machine and uses the Psycho Drive to blow up a city, ensuring his dominance.
    • Conversely, losing the final fight against Ryu when playing as Bison shows Ryu's ending.
  • In the Soul Edge knockoff Mace: The Dark Age, each character has a "good" ending if they defeat Asmodeus and claim the Mace, and a "bad" ending should they fail (i.e., run out of continues). The bad endings for the evil characters tend to have a ring of poetic justice to them, such as the despotic ruler Lord Deimos deposed by his subjects, or the sadistic Executioner tortured to death (assuming he died in the end…) by Asmodeus. Those of the good characters are depressing and/or disturbing, such as the lost princess Namira going insane in a dungeon, or Ragnar turned into a powerful, ravenous wolf sent to kill the last of his family and friends, completely aware of what he's doing.
  • The home console game of Street Fighter: The Movie has a "Movie Battle" mode where the player, as Guile, must fight your way to General Bison under an expiring time limit — represented by the amount of time given to pay a $20 billion dollar ransom to the Shadaloo Tong before the hostages are executed — through different Street Fighter characters. If the player does not reach Bison within said time frame, once the current fight is over, Cammy tells Guile there is no more time left, meaning Bison needs to be found immediately, leading into the bad ending. The Allied Nations is forced to pay Bison the ransom for the hostages (which he thankfully releases, as promised) and Guile is arrested, stripped of his rank and court-martialed for disobeying orders and being responsible for the utter failure of the mission. Two years later, Bison uses the ransom money to successfully complete the operation to turn his entire army into Perfect Genetic Soldiers, allowing him to rise up and seize control of the world.
    • This also happens if Street Battle — the standard single-player mode where you fight each opponent in a randomly-selected order — is completed as Bison, being notably the only ending where Shadaloo stays in operation. He kills Guile and his other enemies, repels the attack from the Allied Nations, and his despotic regime becomes powerful to the point where nothing can stop it any more:
      "After crushing Colonel Guile in personal combat and repelling the Allied Nations attack, General Bison grew even more powerful. The nations that once threatened his empire now quickly crumbled beneath the heel of his legions of "perfect soldiers". His dream of global domination complete, the Palace of Bisonopolis was erected high above Shadaloo City, and the cry of "Pax Bisonica" was forever heard echoing across the globe. United under his savage rule, the World entered a new age of darkness..."
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, should you fail to beat the final boss, Galactus, you are treated to a victory screen (for him) where he destroys the entire world. The planet explodes and you arrive at a blank, white 'Continue?' screen.
    • Even worse, should you choose not to continue on this specific fight, you can view his ending, shown above (in the Ultimate version; the vanilla version does not have the "GAME OVER" text superimposed).
    • The aforementioned victory screen shows the Earth blazing red before it is destroyed. If that isn't creepy in itself, sometimes, while fighting the final boss, should the player take too long, the planet (which is seen in the background) will start to turn red by itself. This reddened Earth is still visible if the character wins, though the ending sequence progresses as if the planet had been saved quickly. Seeing the Earth decay before you even lose is just plain creepy.
  • BlazBlue Continuum Shift:
    • You have two endings in the arcade. Either see the Big Bad's plan go through and be faced with Mu-12, or see Hazama get torn to pieces… by the other Big Bad. And either way, you still don't win.
    • Most bad endings play this way, and are usually horrific. Zig Zagged because, afterwards, you get "Help Me, Professor Kokonoe".
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • If the player does not continue or is killed by a finishing move in Weapon Lord's Story Mode, it would state that the way of the barbarian is to kill or be killed. Unless the player lost as Zarak, which then states that the prophecy has been fulfilled and, because of the player's ineptitude, the Demon Lord is now dead and his lineage has been put to a halt.
  • Time out in the final boss battles in the Arcana Heart series, and the consequences show either the Elemental World and the human world merging in the first game or Japan getting destroyed by Ragnarok in the third game.
  • Losing a story mode battle in Battle Fantasia shows a short cutscene, usually featuring your character getting humiliated and giving up their quest or being forcefully dragged back home in Marco or Olivia's cases.
  • If you make it to the final boss battle in Tekken 5 and run out of quarters, a brief FMV is shown, in which Jinpachi laments that nobody could stop him, appended with the text "The world will never be the same."
  • In the first Fatal Fury, when you lose to Geese Howard, the final boss, you are treated to a cutscene where your character gets kicked off of Geese Tower and the 'continue?' screen shows a freeze frame of your character falling down and then plummeting to his death when the countdown reaches 3.
  • The point behind Eternal Champions is that you play as one of nine martial arts fighters who died before their time and are now given the chance to Set Right What Once Went Wrong… the rest will suffer their original fates. Once you defeat the other eight opponents, you are not in need to worry about fighting a mirror match, but you will have to worry when facing the Eternal Champion. They all have different endings, but if you fail to defeat the Eternal Champion in combat? You are not given the option to try again; he merely absorbs the defeated fighter before giving a speech about his disappointment in your failure (with music that does not help).
    • It goes further in the Sega CD update, Challenge from the Dark Side. If you fail in the game you are given a shot of the Earth with a spirit ball that circles it, as the Eternal Champion says "I have no choice but to return you back to your death." Cue a short video of your respective fighter reappearing in their timeline and dying the death fate originally dealt.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Halo:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved: On "The Maw", fail to escape the Autumn in time; cue cutscene of the ship exploding, taking you with it. Ditto if Captain Keyes dies on "Truth & Reconciliation". "Without the Captain, the Covenant have already won."
    • Halo: Reach ends with a Bolivian Army Ending, but after the credits you get to play through your inevitable end. After you're defeated, a final cutscene shows you still fighting on the ground while being buried under a pile of elites.
  • System Shock had a terrifying failure display if you died without being regenerated. You would be turned into a cyborg under computer control.
    They find your body and give it new life. As a cyborg you will serve SHODAN well.
  • Rise of the Triad plays this for laughs. Defeating the final boss, El Oscuro, without finding and killing all his spawnlings in that level will earn you the first part of the victory celebration (namely, seeing the boss you just defeated on a tombstone). Then, however, the game informs you that since some of his spawnlings survived, "Twenty years later, one of them rose to power and destroyed the world, but nice work anyway." Then you see the earth exploding violently.
  • In Team Fortress 2, losing teams on Defense in Payload get to watch the bomb you didn't stop make a big boom. Even winning Payload teams aren't safe — just don't stand too close to the cart you're, er… supposed to stand next to.
    • Similarly, losing Mann versus Machine sees the robot carrying the bomb jumping into the delivery shoot or the Tank deploying the bomb (though the animation is slow enough that if you manage to destroy the Tank before the bomb drops, this earns you an achievement).
    • In Special Delivery, victory for one team sends the rocket launching into the air… and crash-landing into the losing team's spawn. (Actually, it lands on a presumably civilian building off to the side, at which point the Administrator will often say "Gentlemen, this never happened.")
    • In many custom maps, winning triggers a variety of interesting (and often hilarious) events. And then there was the "idle" map that eventually spawns a giant killer cat.
  • Most Red Faction deaths are just a simple "You have died", but if you get a plot-critical NPC killed, the game explains in detail how everything proceeds to go to hell from that point on. For example: "Your failure to protect Griffin doomed the rebellion. Without the information only he could provide, Ultor's troops and the plague wiped out Eos and the Red Faction". Amusingly, you still get one of these for killing a certain character mere moments before he's scheduled to die. Even giving him a Mercy Kill while he's burning to death in front of you gives you a nonstandard game over!
  • Strife, like the other games that use the Doom engine, normally just has your view spin (as it falls to the ground) to face the baddie that killed you. Should you die in the final boss fight versus the Entity, however, you get to see this ending, where The Entity renders humanity extinct and leaves the lifeless planet afterward.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, should you spare Menendez but have Lynch die in one point of the game, the ending will show the cyberattack succeeding, and Menendez will escape from jail. He kills Woods in his retirement home, then he'll be shown visiting his sister's grave. After that, Menendez will douse himself in gasoline and set himself on fire.
    • Another bad ending in the game includes killing Menendez. If you kill him, a YouTube video he had recorded earlier will play, and a mass riot by Cordis Die will spread around the world. Black Ops III's timeframe would confirm that this ending is the canon one...sort of.
    • A separate part of the ending is determined if Woods made a fatal shot on Alex Mason. If the shot was fatal, part of the ending shows Section and Woods talking over Mason's grave. This can be combined with the above two parts of the ending.
    • In the Zombies map "Mob of the Dead", the main Easter egg involves a group of mobsters who are stuck in an infinite loop in Purgatory, which would only stop if the cycle is broken. If Albert "The Weasel" Arlington is killed by the rest of the mobsters, the game over screen reads, "The Cycle Continues", forcing the events of Mob of the Dead to occur again, preventing the timeline from moving forward, and thus, the mobsters will not be able to rest in peace (as they are already dead). The Black Ops 4 remake "Blood of the Dead" confirms that Weasel did eventually kill the others and allow the Cycle to break, though all four would still be stuck as ghosts on the island until Primis came along.
  • In Overwatch's Junkenstein's Revenge mode, if the team fails, either through everyone being killed with no one left on the battlefield instead of in respawn, or allowing the castle door's Life Meter to be depleted, a cutscene shows a Zomnic destroying the door completely before a whole swath of them march their way inside, while Reinhardt narrates the results:
    The heroes fought valiantly, but they could not stop Dr. Junkenstein and his creations.
    (DEFEAT appears on screen)
    The castle fell, the defenders were slain, and Junkenstein had his revenge...
  • If you run out of lives in Terminator Rampage, you'll be treated to a cutscene of the machines riddling you with bullets… followed by Los Angeles getting wiped out by a nuke, before the narration rubs it in that your failure to stop Skynet have doomed the rest of humanity.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Die and refuse to continue in Area 51 (arcade), and you get a CGI of your character morphing into one of the alien mutants. Overlaps with Have a Nice Death. But then this gets weird as the game actually ends this way when you beat it, too.
  • In the Silent Scope games, if you miss the final bullet, you are treated to a Downer Ending of some sort (The President gets blown up or Laura falls to her death, or the like).
  • Terminator 2 for the SNES and Game Boy have their variations, and both only give you one life, making matters worse: In the SNES version, if the Terminator dies, Judgment Day begins, complete with a picture of the fiery explosion from the movie and the date August 29, 1997. In the Game Boy version, if John Connor dies, a picture of the barren and destroyed landscape is present, along with the text:
    With John defeated, Skynet was able to overpower the resistance thus insuring [sic] the extinction of all human life on earth.
  • Sin and Punishment 2: In Stage 6, fail to keep your partner, being held by a crane, above the rising lava, and he/she is dumped into the lava, resulting in a Game Over.
  • Operation Wolf: "Since you have no ammunition left, you must join the hostages".
  • Missile Defence 3D, a light gun game for the Sega Master System, featured two nations (East and West) launching nuclear missiles at one another, with the player's job being to shoot them all down before they reach their target. The player has three stages to shoot down the missiles and in between each stage, the player's AI assistant will send you a summary of how many missiles have been shot down over each area and how many remain. If any of them reach the target city, you are treated to a blurry, red-flashing explosion as the nuclear warhead detonates, followed by a chilling final message from the AI:
    ''30 missiles were launched from the Western base.
    One reached East City.
    That's all it takes.
    Game Over.''
  • In the Interactive Movie game Mad Dog Mccree, when the player runs out of lives, the town undertaker issues the player's last rites and then the screen fades to black when he puts on a coffin lid.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Did you fail to reach the goal in a Katamari Damacy game? We are so disappointed. Really, it is Our fault for leaving this task to Our incompetent, pusillanimous Son. Our fans will be devastated, surely! Run, little Prince, run! Our Royal Eye Beams will hit you and shock you no matter what! It's no use looking so crestfallen, begone from Our sight!
  • In Blast Corps, letting the missile carrier touch anything makes it explode in a red nuclear blast, destroying everything.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Catwoman has the option to take her loot and leave, or save Batman in the Steel Mill. If she takes the money, it leads to a credits scene revealing that Batman has died and a now-immortal Joker commanding the League of Assassins has taken over Gotham City.
    • Some of the Game Over dialogue you get from the Joker probably count as well.
      Joker: I guess I'll be Gotham's defender now! Don't worry... I'll do a real good job.
  • In Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, on the final mission to shoot down a Kill Sat on a kamakaze mission to destroy the player's capital city, if you fail to kill it in time, you get a cutscene of it crashing into said city and blowing it to hell.
  • In the final mission of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, the very last part of the game involves you having to shoot down Markov's last Trinity missile after he fired it from his PAK-FA just before it exploded. You have to shoot Trinity several times to knock it off course before it can hit the White House. Should you fail to do so, you get treated to a cutscene of a massive explosion enveloping the White House and Capitol, stretching out towards the Washington Monument. Great Job.
  • Crash Bash: In the Adventure Mode, every time you don't complete a mission, you get a giant "YOU FAIL" pop up, with accompanying voice. Thanks.
  • Idol Death Game TV both plays this straight and subverts it. Fail to pass judgement, and you end up watching them perform their Death Live challenge, before getting a game over. Pass judgement, and you end up watching another idol perform their Death Live challenge, before moving onto the next round.
  • In the vast majority of the games for Home Alone, getting caught by the Wet Bandits will see Kevin being hung up on a door with Harry and Marv looking very pleased with themselves (though this scene was used in the movie, Kevin is saved in time before the Wet Bandits can do anything bad to him). In the Master System port, allowing one of the Wet Bandits to get out of the house with anything valuable will show them in their car looking over their loot, with Harry saying, "Marv, what a great night we had!"
  • In The New Order Last Days Of Europe, should nuclear war break out, you get to watch every country in the world disintegrate into anarchy as a result of the war. After that, if you wait around long enough, you then can get treated to events that happen after the end.
  • Dead In Vinland describes in sometimes rather tearjerking detail how any individual party member has died, depending on which of the Multiple Life Bars hit 100% damage or how you managed to kill them off via plot events.
  • In Town of Salem 2, two roles play a special cutscene if they fulfill their objective and win the game for their side. If the Hex Master hexes every living non-Coven player, they launch a Fantastic Nuke on the town. If the Soul Collector successfully transforms into Death and isn't lynched, they kill the rest of town and steal their souls.

  • If you get a menace to 8 or above in Fallen London, you end up getting forcibly transported to another area that serves as something of a Game Over. Despite being a punishment area, the writing in all of the settings is unusually strong and somewhat makes up for the indignity of being forced to go there.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, most of the losses in battle just has the boss reset and the party restart the fight. However, there are some fights that have their own extended cutscene to show just how royally screwed you are if you lose:
    • In the Steps of Faith duty, you're tasked with slaying a massive dragon before it reaches the city of Ishgard. If you don't stop it in time, you're treated to a scene of your player character hunched over in pain and can only look on as the dragon roars in victory while Lucia declares Ishgard lost. The screen then cuts to black as "DUTY FAILED" pops up.
    • The fight against Bismarck takes place on a floating island and every time Bismarck rams it, its integrity goes down. Should the island's stability completely bottom out, you're treated to a scene of your character knelt over in exhaustion and only able to look on as Bismarck swoops in with his mouth open and swallows you and the island whole. "DUTY FAILED" appears as the screen cuts to black.

  • After the game ends in The Getaway: High Speed II, you can hear Car 504 placing you under arrest for deliberately overspeeding on the freeway, and then reading your Miranda Rights.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie's Game Over is an ending cutscene in which you have to watch the Wicked Witch/Vain Sorceress Gruntilda succeed in stealing the beauty of Banjo's younger sister Tooty and turn her into something like Frankenstein's Monster. She even demands a talk with Banjo immediately for this travesty. However, for some, this was offset by Grunty's newfound hotness and the fact that Tooty was The Scrappy. For others, this scene was scary. The problem with this is that the scene plays every time you save and quit, too. It's almost as if the game is slapping you across the face for not playing it start to finish in one go. However, if you die before even reaching Grunty's lair or after passing her game show, then they will simply show the words "Game Over" over the scene where you lost your last life.
  • Believe it or not, Liquid Kids, a platformer from Taito with cute characters, does this with its continue screen. Here, Hipopo (the player character) has one of the bomb enemies bouncing on him with the clock counting down (and a cuckoo clock sounding) with each bounce. When the timer reaches one or so, Hipopo will call out "Help Me!" When it reaches zero, the screen fades to black, and the sound of an explosion can be heard…
  • Two occurrences in the Commander Keen series:
    • Episode 2: The Earth Explodes. Well, don't say you weren't warned, because the game's title happens. Made even worse if you happened to set off the Big Red Switch yourself while trying to jump up and disarm it.
    • Episode 5: The Armageddon Machine... The arc this episode is part of is named "Goodbye Galaxy" for a reason. To make things worse, the music played on the Game Over screen sounds like it's mocking you.
  • In Contra: Shattered Soldier, if you don't have a high enough ranking when you beat Mission 5, you get a Downer Ending where the island is destroyed by a Kill Sat, killing everyone — including the heroes.
  • In the arcade version of Rainbow Islands, if the True Final Boss hits Bub or Bob with one of his bubbles, he ends up Floating in a Bubble (an orange one) heading off above the screen, instantly transformed into a bubble dragon. If this happens on the last life, the game over screen shows the character float all the way up into and get locked into the mountaintop prison with eleven other victims in small individual jail cells in eternal tragedy as a green bubble dragon. Strangely, if the 2nd player, Bob, loses this way, he also becomes a green bubble dragon, despite being a blue one in other games.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness: Overlaps with Non-Standard Game Over. In Margot Carvier's Apartment level, after the dialogue choice, the police will be on their way to the apartment (regardless of what you said to Carvier). Lara has a time limit to do what she needs to and get out of the apartment (which would be look for the notebook if you were rude to Carvier, in which case your job is made harder). If she hasn't left by the time the police get inside (after two cutscene warnings), she surrenders and they arrest her. Game Over.
  • The Game Over screen in Conker's Bad Fur Day has the Panther King (the main villain of the day) casually drinking his milk while doing to poor Conker exactly what he threatened to do, use him to replace a broken table leg. Depending on the way you die, however, Conker could end up unfit for being a table leg; as such, the Panther King gets ready to use the duct tape on his lackeys. Once you get to the final boss, a parody of a Xenomorph that kills the Panther King a la popping out of his chest, getting a game over at this point gives you "Game Over" on a black screen.
  • In Bionic Commando: Rearmed, after beating the final boss, you need to escape from the final level, which is sinking into the ocean. Whether you actually escape or run out of time, you end up watching the same lengthy cutscene of the base sinking into the ocean. You don't find out until the end of the scene whether you escaped or went down with the base.
  • If you die, or choose to join the villain in Wizards & Warriors III, the scene then shows the villain having taken over, with the hero chained to a pillar as his prisoner. It cuts to a picture of the kingdom being overshadowed by the villain in the background.
  • In Terramex, if you die, you get to see the meteor hit the Earth.
  • Donkey Kong
    • Donkey Kong 64 has a rather chilling example. In a game where Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, dying gets you expelled to the area's lobby on DK Island/to a cave entrance on the island. However, pausing the game and selecting "Quit Game" from the menu will eventually take you to the title screen, but first, you are shown a cutscene where King K. Rool presses a button on his throne, and a fully operational Blast-O-Matic begins charging up, pointed directly at the island, accompanied by impending doom music and letters superimposed over the outside shot, spelling "GAME OVER". The exact same thing happens when you run out of time in Hideout Helm. This exact scene became his Final Smash when he became a fighter in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, so now you can both experience past trauma from getting this as a game over so long ago and actually see the entirety of what happens.
    • All Donkey Kong Country games have a disturbing Game Over screen. The first one has DK and Diddy badly beaten up on a black background, sporting 'X' bandages, accompanied by funeral dirge music with an eerie wooden "GAMe oveR"; the second one has Diddy and Dixie locked in a cell (with the screen turning red) while the a red "GAME OVER" descends upon their doom: in the third a door creaks open to show Dixie and Kiddy locked away in a baby crib in a dark room made even worse with its Ominous Music Box Tune, with the words: GAME OVER in colorful, jumping letter blocks. Kiddy grasps the edge of the crib, as if pleading for whoever opened the door to let them out, while Dixie sits grumpily in the back corner. At the tune's end, the door closes. The Game Over scene in Returns and Tropical Freeze is less creepy, but keeps the dirge from the first game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • In Knuckles Chaotix, they don't recieve a death per se, but if you fail to collect all of the Chaos Rings, you will have the bad ending in which the upgraded Metal Sonic (known as Metal Sonic Kai) hovers over the burning remains of a city. Probably one of the darkest endings to a Sonic game to be made so far.
    • For that matter, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, but only in the US version. Yes, it is nothing but a game over screen, but it's the nightmare-fuel inducing music combined with Robotnik's laughter that makes this so disturbing. Especially considering the fact that if you don't touch the controller for three minutes, Sonic will essentially commit suicide.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Master System/Game Gear has an implied bad ending if you beat the game without getting all the Chaos Emeralds. Failing to get all the emeralds won't let you get access to the final boss and the ending shows Sonic running along by himself, eventually stopping to look in the starry sky as a constellation of Tails forms. From there, you just get the Game Over screen since you did not rescue Tails from Robotnik, and it could imply that he killed Tails, though Word of God confirms Tails isn't dead.
  • In the 16-bit games of Beavis and Butt-Head, after dying in the SNES game, Beavis and Butthead complain about their new status in hell until a camera flash goes off, while on the Genesis game they go to hell after dying and Beavis is seen saying "I think we're dead or something" while Butthead says "This sucks dude!"
  • Nosferatu has a unique variation: on the continue screen, if you choose not to continue, you see a brief scene of Nosferatu preparing to bite Erin and turn her into a vampire. If you use eight continues, the Continue screen will change subtly, as the photo of Kyle and Erin shows Erin sprouting fangs. Choosing not to continue after this point skips straight to the Game Over screen, as Erin will have already been turned by this point. Continuing after this point and making it to the end of the game will have the game end with Erin biting Kyle, revealing that you were too late to save her from Nosferatu: she had been turned into a vampire. This Cruel Twist Ending is then immediately followed by the Game Over screen.
  • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, dying on the Boss Rush game mode yields this game over screen.
  • Jet Set Radio Future: In the mission where you must defuse all of the bombs in the Fortified Residential Zone and save Yoyo, if you fail to complete the mission in time, we see the entire area exploding, and Professor K jokes, "'Sup with all the fireworks? Is it New Year's already?"
  • Oddworld - Abe's Oddysee; If you don't free at least 50 Mudokons, the game ends with the Big Bad dumping Abe into a meat grinder.
    • It's a regular trend in the Oddworld series — in Abe's Exoddus, the "bad ending" shows Abe getting electrocuted to death, and in Munch's Oddysee, Abe gets ripped apart by the Fuzzles he failed to rescue, and Munch gets kidnapped by the Vykkers who want his valuable lungs, and gets them surgically removed while he's still alive, complete with a shot of a heartbeat monitor beeping rapidly before flatlining. Do even worse and you’ll get the "black ending", which, following Abe and Munch’s deaths, will show the image of a newspaper proudly proclaiming that the Glukkons and Vykkers outright won — the Gabbiar was eaten, the Glukkon Queen was given her new lungs, and the remaining Mudokons have been forced back into slavery with the new hatchlings intended to do the same.
  • One of early examples can be seen in Prince of Persia. If you don't rescue Princess in time, you're treated to a shot of her room with her nowhere to be found, and an empty hourglass. The next game continues the tradition with a shot to withered tree.
  • In Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, you have the option to disobey the Prinnies' sadistic overlord Etna and attempt to escape. Doing so can be beneficial for players trying to visit each stage at each time, but if you take this route, you are taken to a credit roll and treated to a slideshow of the Prinnies' escape attempt. Everything seems to go well for the first few pictures, as the Prinnies flee across the countryside… until a Pringer X, one of Etna's mechanical minions, appears just behind them. The last few slides are the Prinnies being massacred wholesale for their disobedience — none survive.
  • The original Ratchet & Clank (2002) sees you fighting Drek on Deplanetizer for the second half. Each time you deplete one section of his health bar, he triggers a timer after which the weapon fires and obliterates Veldin. You have then to power-slam a button to disable it. If you fail to stop it in time, you're rewarded by an animation of said weapon firing and a Game Over.
  • In the licensed A Bug's Life game, an actual scene from the film is cleverly ripped and used as the game over cutscene where Hopper confronts the ants, implying that since Flik had died, there is no one left to save the ant colony.
    Hopper: Have you been playing all summer? You think this is a game?!
    Various ants: No, no! No!
    Hopper: Well, guess what? You just lost.
    *Cue solemn pan flute music*
  • The online webgame, Give Up (A Meat Boy-esque platformer), despite the fact that Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, has one if you push the giant 'Give Up' button. While the computer AI keeps egging you to press the button (taunting you, offering bribes, saying that you'll win if you press the button), if you do, you are treated to a cutscene where it tells you that not everyone can succeed, and encourages you to try again.
  • If you run out of lives in Awesome Possum... Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt, you'll see Awesome's grave surrounded by a pile of trash, having failed his mission to save the environment.
  • In the TaleSpin Licensed Game for the Sega Genesis, if you get a Game Over, Shere Khan wins the contest and buys out Higher For Hire, complete with Dramatic Thunder and unfitting music.
  • SOS: If you run out of time, it's not an instant Game Over. Instead, the ship sinks completely and immediately fills itself with water, forcing you to give up the game, all while somber music reminds the player of their unavoidable death.
  • Russian pirate developer BMB takes Game Over screens to an unnecessarily disturbing level in several of its Sega Genesis bootleg titles:note 
    • Felix the Cat uses a gory image of Felix with his face ripped off on its Game Over screen. (Like everything else in this bootleg, the image is not original, being copied from a T-shirt design titled "Felix the Cat Unmasked.")
    • In Mario 4: Космическая Одиссея ("Space Odyssey"), the continue screen has Mario lying on his back with a Piranha Plant bursting out of his chest and a Blooper clinging to his face. The Game Over screen shows Mario's "M" cap on a realistic-looking skull, accompanied by Russian text stating that "Mario died, and with him died his hopes of saving the Mushroom Kingdom." (These images are also copied from T-shirt designs.)
  • The other Pixar licensed game Ratatouille has some surprisingly brutal game over screens whenever you lose your last hit point:
    • Lose all hit points while attacking enemies/touch a mouse trap: Remy goes down for the count.
    • While falling from a great height: Remy tries to get up but is too weak to do so.
    • Getting caught by dogs: He begs for his life.
    • Falling into the abyss: He falls into the abyss (nuff said).
    • Get caught by humans: He's put in a jar.
    • Fall into water: He sinks right in, struggling to swim to the surface.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The goal of The Lost Vikings is to get the three Vikings back to their home time and defeat the alien Tomator. The goal of each level is to lead them all to the exit (all three Vikings must make it). If at any time a Viking dies, the level becomes Unwinnable and the player can either try to progress to the exit (and not proceed), kill off the remaining Vikings or simply choose to give up. The "Continue" screen shows a Viking funeral where at nighttime any surviving Vikings are watching as a lone Viking ship sails away while on fire. Once the ship is offscreen, a continue option appears. Choosing "Yes" has any deceased Viking return with a lightning bolt, while choosing "No" makes the words "Game Over" come down onscreen, meaning the lost Vikings will stay lost.
  • Myst is devoid of life save for static-filled book recordings of two men, Sirrus and Achenar. Both accuse of the other of being a fraud and a murderer, and plead to be let out. Turns out, both of them are nobs: they reward your generosity by sealing you in a book in their place, mocking your stupidity (Archenar even squeals, "You lose!") If you journey into the green book without the corresponding page to exit, you'll meet their beleaguered father, Atrus, who scolds you for being foolish and welcomes you to your fate.
    Atrus: Did you not take my warning seriously?! (sighs) Welcome to D'ni. You and I will live here... forever.
    • Riven has several bad endings, complete with their own credits. It's possible to trap yourself before finding Gehn; provoke Gehn to shoot you; trap Gehn, then release him and trap yourself; trap yourself in the rebel hideout; or trap Gehn and release him in the rebel hideout... while trapping yourself. It's also possible to open the Star Fissure and destroy the world without first trapping Gehn, or without first rescuing Catherine and the rest of the Rivenese, or both. If you're very lucky, you can even guess the combination that opens the Star Fissure without interacting with anyone else in the game and earn yourself a No Ending.
    • The Bad Endings for Myst V all wind up with you stranded in the ruins of Myst Island, where the game series began. Dedicated fans of the series sometimes seek out these endings on purpose, just for the experience of exploring the deserted, forsaken isle.
  • Most of the Game Overs in Ghost Trick are just running out of time before your subject dies, meaning you have to go back four minutes before their death and start again. However, in one case, you also have to avoid being detected by Yomiel. Since he knows about ghost tricks, any suspiciously moving inanimate items will alert him to your existence and he'll directly address you (as in you, the player), telling you that there's nothing you can do to stop him.
  • Failing to clear a level in the iOS puzzle game Jelly Splash results in seeing your cute little jelly friends mutated into alien beings by the dark slime you were trying to clear.
  • Getting caught in Mental: Murder Most Foul will result in a scene where the three characters are sentenced by a judge (with no audio, exactly what he's saying is left to the imagination), with it then showing them in a jail cell.
  • Void Stranger: As Gray or Lillie, if you are killed and don't have any more locust idols to revive with, you are given the option to come back to life and continue with what's effectively unlimited lives in a "Voided" state. Should the player die five times while in this state, a cutscene will play out of their character slumping over. If the player repeatedly mashes buttons, they will come back once more. However, should you start pressing buttons but then stop, the character in question will fall back over and slowly turn into a Void Egg as the first few notes of the bad ending theme "Voided" plays. Upon exiting the game and restarting, the game shows the Player Character-turned-Void-Egg to make it a point that your character is truly dead and you must start a new run.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • UFO Afterlight: Failing to battle the alien threat properly will result in a cinematic where one of the battered main cast walks up to literally watch the Mars colony burn in the horizon. Over the comms, he can hear his people screaming and the sound of weapons fire, before his enviromental suit's oxygen warning blares up. Just as the oxygen runs out, he's engulfed in a massive explosion as the colony is destroyed.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert, if you fail to stop the Nuclear Missile from reaching its target, you're treated to a shot of the Effiel Tower as a giant mushroom cloud and screams engulf it.
    • Most of the early Command & Conquer games had two end of mission cutscenes; one for victory and one for defeat. Many looked pretty damn cool (Nod Soldiers raising a flag in the middle of a burning base?)
    • Tiberian Sun actually has a few cutscenes where you succeed, but feel like a complete monster for doing so. In one, the Nod Soldiers are walking through a devastated base; a lone GDI soldier, apparently surviving the carnage, crawls out and limply pleads for mercy. The Nod Soldier simply shakes his head and fires his gun. The base is the one you attack in the previous mission.
    • In Red Alert 2, during the Allied mission to recapture St. Louis, if the timer runs out and Tanya is mind-controlled, there is a special cutscene that shows Tanya having been taken over and quite enthusiastically favoring the Soviets now.
  • Pikmin (2001): If you fail to get the twenty-five required parts by the end of the game, in addition to Olimar's notes of hopelessness, you also get to see the ship crashing and the Pikmin turning Olimar's (presumably dead) body into one of them.
  • Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty: When the Protoss base is destroyed in the mission "In Utter Darkness", the closing cutscene shows the star system being outright consumed by the Dark Voice. This is the victory ending — you're guaranteed to die in the mission. It's a vision of the future that you have to prevent.
  • Little King's Story: Dying will lead to a "LIFE OVER", which shows a cutscene of the main character's funeral, complete with tear-jerking music being played.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom, your second encounter with Yami Bakura has him threatening to burn Jakhud to the ground. If you fail to stop him from reaching the city, he actually will make good on this threat, and you get a special cutscene of the city burning and Fizdis crying out for her parents.
  • The Sega Mega Drive version of Lord Monarch has cutscenes for failure that differs for each chapter. Alfred can likewise be beat up by the King, get rejected by Rubia, allow enemies to invade his country, get devoured by the forest, washed away by a tidal wave, and ultimately fail to prevent the Big Bad from unleashing the spell that will destroy his country.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (and, by extension, its American sister game, Elite Beat Agents) has alternate endings for failing a mission in which the story resolves badly. Particularly cruel is A Christmas Wish, in which the girl goes into her teenage years continuing to cling on to false hope that her dead father will return one day.
    • In the latter two games in the trilogy (EBA and Ouendan 2), if you fail at all of the checkpoints but still manage to finish the song, the character you're helping either winds up right back where they started, or they succeed, but with a massive downside. The only exceptions are the sad songs (where the ending is only slightly altered) and the finale.
  • If you fail a song in the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games; your equipment shuts down, the band members glare at each other in disgust, and the audience boos them off the stage and out of the building.
  • In Gitaroo Man, in most levels, if you lose, you simply see the villain taunting you. However, if you lose in the fourth stage, you see the space shark you were trying to outrun eat U-1's spaceship, and U-1 will cry "It's dark! *sob*"
  • Most Game Over animations in Parappa The Rapper fall more along the lines of Have a Nice Death. But stage 5 in particular (also known as "that stage where Parappa has to win rap battles to cut in line at the bathroom") has a particularly long game over sequence, where we see a video of a rocket taking off, symbolizing Potty Failure.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • Fail against Lavos, and you get to see exactly what happened on the day he erupted from the earth.
      "But... the future refused to change."
    • Losing to Magus in 600 AD (who is no pushover) will treat you to a very short scene in which he turns around and continues summoning Lavos. And, before the screen fades to black, Lavos's great scream is the last thing you hear.
    • And in the DS remake, if you fail against the Dream Devourer, Schala proclaims something about erasing everything and you see the same shot of Earth at the end of the above game over, with a slight change:
      "In the end... the future refused to change."
  • If you receive a game over in Chrono Cross, you'll also get a cheerful message that you've managed to erase Serge from existence altogether.
  • Two endings of Koudelka:
    • If you fail to collect Koudelka's Pendant, the final boss will instantly reduce your party to charred skeletons in a cutscene.
    • If you perform the above condition, but lose against the final boss, James will have to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to kill it. This ending is considered canon for the sequel.
  • Secret of Mana froze on the comatose bodies of your three child PCs as the text explained that "no trace of them was ever found." Those kids are worm food!
  • Some games in the Tales Series have a screen saying "and they were never heard from again" when you get a game over. It's simple, but really effective.
  • In Vanguard Bandits, if you failed to achieve a fairly sizable set of conditions regarding the main character's level, what stat boosts you gave him throughout the entirety of the game, and the average morale of the rest of the party, one of the endings had the final boss mind-controlling the main character, leaving you the option to get killed by your friends, or watching them all get killed by the final boss. As one last kick, the ending scene has your character 'waking up' just in time to witness the boss completing his takeover of the world. D'oh.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei I and II, losing features a brief scene where your character crosses over a river and into the afterlife.
    "You, one who has fallen before fulfilling your destiny... Beyond lies the land to which all souls eventually return... Do not be afraid..."
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne gives you a twist on this where the Demi-fiend apparently goes to Heaven. Considering what kind of guy YHVH is in SMT, that probably isn't a good thing.
    "The comfort of death will come, for men and demons alike... by the guidance of the Great Will."
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, there are two. First, if you die and have not yet paid the tab Charon The Ferryman demands for reviving you, you will be tossed into a mountain of souls to wait for your turn to cross the Styx... which is implied will take millennia if not aeons. The second one is just after destroying Kenji in Infernal Tokyo; to achieve it, you overload the Yamato Perpetual Reactor, which results in it malfunctioning and creating a massive black hole, which you watch as it consumes you, followed by Tokyo, followed by Mikado, and as the screen turns to black, the game informs you that everyone has been freed from agony and sorrow and that everything is gone.
  • Die in Persona 3, and Igor will recite a poem about how though death is inevitable, one will live on in memory… before adding that you are an exception. Interestingly, dying in Persona 4 has Igor recite something that goes against the meaning of the last game.note 
    • If you die in "The Answer", Igor recites another poem, about how the Main Character sacrificed his life for you and that you dying was a waste of his death. Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it?
    • And prior to any of that, you get to hear your character groan his last breath, along with Mission Control ordering you to get up or crying out for your life. Made even more poignant if you've been building up your Mission Control's Social Link and getting intimate with them.
  • Failure to rescue one of the victims of the Midnight Channel before the deadline in Persona 4 results in a game over where a party member calls you to inform you of the victim's demise. Failure to meet the final deadline results in Shadows leaking into the real world, with you hearing Naoto getting killed by one. Igor will allow you to travel back in time a week in either case.
  • Miss a deadline in Persona 5 and you get a short sequence detailing the consequences of your failure; against Kamoshida, you, Ryuji, and Mishima are expelled and Ann becomes the next target of his lust; against Madarame, Yusuke is trapped in his abusive "mentorship"; against Kaneshiro, Makoto is discovered in a whore house deliriously rambling your name; against Futaba, the protagonist and Sojiro are arrested; against Okumura, Haru is forced into an abusive arranged marriage; all cases end with you violating your probation and getting shipped off to juvie. Back in the present, Sae realizes you are completely incoherent and leaves to give you some time to recover from whatever shit the cops put in you, at which point a mysterious man (who is really Akechi) blows your brains out in captivity.
  • Devil Survivor: Partway through the game, the heroes find a man named Honda and some survivors trying to escape the Tokyo Lockdown. They can escape with Honda, but a lightning storm will later kill everyone still trapped in Tokyo, and humanity will be stripped of their free will.
  • In both games of the Raidou Kuzunoha series, a game over entails being confronted by the spirits of the previous Raidou Kuzunohas and berated for shaming their name.
  • If you get killed in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, you're treated to the sight of your grave, complete with a dramatic chord played. If you ally with or get killed by the Final Boss, you get an "end of the world" scene instead.
  • All the Geneforge games except the first give this for overuse of canisters. 1, 2, and 5 give it for Refusal of the Call, and 5 gives it if you render the game Unwinnable. There's also a "standard" one for just dying, but it's a single screen rather than the length of a normal ending.
  • In Fallout and Fallout 2, the image of the player's skeleton set against the dead wasteland background is made worse by the narrator telling you just how many people were depending on you. This can be downright eerie if the death came unexpectedly (e.g., via radiation poisoning), because the shift from the gamescreen to the deathscreen is so Goddamned sudden.
    • If you betray the Vault's location to the mutant leaders, you are dipped in the FEV in a disturbing scene that contrasts the consensual nature of your turning. To add more scares, you then get a cutscene through the Vault's security cameras of the mutants storming the vault, having easily ripped the thick metal door off the hinges, blasting harmless civilians without provocation, and a drawn out Gatling Good battle with the Jerkass Overseer protecting the last uncontaminated humans the Unity seeks. With mutants falling left and right to the gunfire, there is a tiny glimmer of hope that he will succeed, which is then dashed as he is suddenly ambushed by supermutants climbing onto his command chair to deliver a vicious beating-to-death as the camera pans away to show only eerie shadows, before it fails entirely and goes dead. Game Over.
    • In Fallout 3, allowing the Purifier to explode gives you the worst ending, also excluding you from playing the Broken Steel DLC epilogue. Earlier, while imprisoned in Raven Rock, if you tell Autumn the code to the Purifier, he executes you on the spot.
    • Fallout: New Vegas loves this trope to death. If you help nasty factions or do badly in certain quests, the game will tell you at the end about all the terrible stuff that happened.
      • The player gets a particularly special Bad Ending if they join Father Elijah at the end of the DLC Dead Money:
        In the years that followed, the legend of the Sierra Madre faded, and there were no... new visitors to the city. Years later, when a mysterious blood red cloud began to roll across the Mojave, then West toward the Republic, no one knew where it had come from. Only that it brought death in its wake. Attempts to find the source of the toxic cloud failed. The Mojave was cut off. Through the Cloud, lights were seen from HELIOS One. There were stories of ghosts immune to gunfire, who struck down anyone they saw with rays of light. The last chapter of the Mojave came when a modified REPCONN rocket struck Hoover Dam, releasing a blood-red cloud, killing all stationed there. All attempts to penetrate the Cloud and re-take the Dam failed, and both the NCR and Legion finally turned away from it, citing the place as cursed. In the years that followed, communities across the West began to die as traces of the Cloud began to drift over lands held by the NCR. Only two remained alive in the depths of the Cloud, at the Sierra Madre, waiting for their new world to begin again.
      • Another example is a cut ending from Old World Blues, in which the player would have joined the think tank.
        In the decades following the Battle of Hoover Dam, the Big Empty remained a desolate stretch of wasteland, where few travelers dared venture. In time, however, a strange blue field began to grow, slowly spreading across the Big Empty. Lightning-blue fields of force danced on the horizon, like electrical storms. People whispered of floating spheres flickering like a rainbow of torches in the desert like Old World wisps. Then communities began to vanish. Goodsprings was crushed beneath bizarre hexcrete blocks that stacked to the sky. The inhabitants of Primm winked out, flesh-fried into X-ray silhouettes, their arms raised in surrender. A satellite fell on Jacobstown, beaming a kaleidoscope of bright blue equations into the deranged Nightkin minds, driving some berserk, paralyzing others. Black Mountain Radio began broadcasting a strange staccato static as hordes of giant man-eating battle Brahmin began to swarm from its peak. Camp Searchlight became a garden of giant carnivorous plants, and the Colorado river… "shrugged" one day, drowning several communities as its contours adjusted themselves. The Gomorrah became home to a particularly virulent vegetation-based STD that grew like a fungus within victim's genitalia until their bodies burst open like pods. The Legion East were systematically brain-scrubbed and rebuilt so that all the inhabitants believed they were in ancient Rome… on the moon. The human cattle of NCR were re-educated into believing they existed in perpetuity in a nation-wide version of someplace called "Tranquility Lane." In the end, no one was sure who had cracked the Dome of the Big Empty, although it was clear someone had been playing with forces they did not understand. Throughout all this, the Think Tank was industrious, confident these experiments were all for the best, the results of the data they obtained - incredible. They marveled that all of this had been waiting for them to come along and experiment since the war. Humanity certainly was persistent, no matter what experiments, nuclear holocaust or otherwise, it inflicted on itself.
  • Wasteland 2 has a few of these, with the ending screen saying "Oops" at the top each time.
  • In the NES version of Dragon Quest, you can say "Yes" to the Dragonlord... the screen goes immediately to black. Angry, angry, black. With red text. "Take a long, long, rest. HAHAHAHAHA..." The remakes of the game also request that you turn over the sword to seal the alliance, but instead treat the result as a bad nightmare. Then there's Dragon Quest Builders, which treats this as the catalyst of the events of the two games in the series.
  • Baldur's Gate:
  • In Final Fantasy X, during the final fight against Sin, failure to stop its Giga Graviton attack obliterates the airship and your party and possibly sets the area the fight took in into irreversible ruins, since the attack can cause land masses to shift. Not even using your Aeons as a shield will stop this — technically, the attack doesn't even do damage in any form, it just outright triggers a game over.
  • If the player fails to complete enough plot-focused episodes in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII to reach the final 13th day, the world of Nova Chrysalia is shown to be destroyed as predicted and with no new world to send the souls of the initial survivors to.
  • If you allow the birdbots to break through the gate to Nino Island in Mega Man Legends 2, the game will immediately switch to a cutscene where the mayor goes nuts and presses the Big Red Button, blowing up the island.
  • Phantasy Star: Alis' hope cannot overcome the power of Lassic. The adventure is over.
  • Eternal Sonata has a weird one: if the player loses to the final boss, Frederic Chopin, Chopin wakes up from his terminal illness in the real world. He closes his eyes again, though, and it's not certain whether this is him going back to sleep or dying anyway.
  • Saying Yes to the "Let's work together and take over the Earth" request from the final boss in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door treats you to a short bunch of dialog boxes describing how you and the boss took over the world and darkness enveloped it forever. Then it shows the standard Game Over screen, depicting a fallen Mario.
    And so the Shadow Queen engulfed the world with her foul magic... For Mario... For Peach... And for the world, it was...
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Link's death is Ganon's return, and there is no longer anything standing in his way. The Disk System version is even worse, displaying a black screen with "RETURN OF GANON THE END" and playing a digitized laugh, presumably from Ganon himself. Apparently, Hyrule is burning, and that's the last we'll ever see of it.
  • An interesting case occurs in Hammer & Sickle. If the player causes or fails to prevent World War 3, the game doesn't end right away. Instead, the player is given one more mission where you have to secure a bridge. Then the game ends, and you are shown a cutscene (with some authentic black-and-white footage mixed in) about the course of the war and how your characters died in it (most of them die heroically). The war ends in the Soviets capitulating after the US drops nukes on several major cities (Moscow is mentioned to have been saved by a Heroic Sacrifice of a fighter pilot).
  • In Mass Effect 2, if you don't upgrade your ship, don't earn the loyalty of any of your teammates, and stall before entering the Omega 4 Relay, everyone on the Normandy (except Joker) is killed during the final mission: your team members die in increasingly brutal deaths, the rest of the Normandy crew are liquefied and turned into fuel for a half-human prototype Reaper, and Shepard falls to his/her death after attempting to jump onto the ship during the endrun. Unbelievably, the ending keeps going, as Joker successfully pilots the Normandy out of the system (set to epic music), confronts the Illusive Man, and looks out the window after reading the datapad on the Reaper fleet, completely unsure of what to do. While this ending doesn't automatically doom everyone to the Reapers in and of itself, your inability to continue playing, along with certain developments in Mass Effect 3 (such as the Illusive Man getting indoctrinated), don't paint a very hopeful picture.
    • A more straightforward case occurs in the DLC "Arrival": if you screw around in the mission so you don't destroy the mass relay before the time given to you on the countdown is up, you're treated to the arrival of the Reapers and cutscenes showing everyone you know being indoctrinated/dragged off to be made into Reaper Chow.
    • Mass Effect 3 has a variation of this with the Rejection Ending. Long story short? The Reapers win. Everyone dies. The end. Now pick one of the real endings, you whiners.
  • In The Halloween Hack, lose a battle to the final boss and you'll end up in the continue screen as usual... except the narrator refuses to let you continue (you have to close and reopen the program).
    Just kidding, you are dead forever!
  • The normal final boss of Undertale takes over your save files and tries to repeatedly kill you forever. Lose to him and you'll get the same results from Toby's aforementioned "The Halloween Hack". Also, if you choose to kill every single fightable character through the game, the protagonist becomes possessed by the embodiment of the player's own lust for power and destroys the game itself. You can only start over by selling your soul to them, which taints the happiest ending of the game permanently. Unless you deliberately tamper with your save file.
    • Downplayed in Deltarune, where if you choose not to continue after getting a game over, you'll be told "THEN, THE WORLD WAS COVERED IN DARKNESS", and a track called "Darkness Falls" will play. It's not so downplayed when you learn of the Roaring and what the world being covered in darkness actually means.
  • Die in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and you're treated to a cutscene where the Schwarzwelt covers the entire globe, followed by the message "Mission Failed".
  • In Live A Live, losing against a normal enemy leads to a short scene of someone reacting to your death and failure. In some scenarios, you get presented with another ending if you lose to one of the final bosses. A special mention goes to the final chapter, where losing to Odio means you get to see something similar to the alternate Armageddon ending, but from the other characters' point of view. Playing AS Odio is two variations of this: Triggering the mentioned Armageddon (from a menu command), or Oersted left to wander alone in an abandoned Lucrece forever.
  • Boktai, a series created by Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear fame, also has several failures that cross onto nonstandard game overs. While monsters and bosses have no special game over screens, there is a chance for you to serve the Big Bad, embracing your vampirism and bringing about the end of the world. Then there's another time that you can be eaten by the last boss and bring about the end of the world as well.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has a different closing narration depending on various decisions you make throughout the game, especially regarding the King of Shadows. If you join him and kill the rest of your party, it talks about how a mysterious general led the forces of darkness against Neverwinter and a large swath of the Sword Coast descended into shadow.
  • In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, after beating the game, Uatu the Watcher looks back at various plot points in the game which could have been failed or chosen differently without resulting in death: for instance, saving Nightcrawler or Jean Grey, and destroying Galactus's drills. Depending on how you chose, failed, or succeeded, the Watcher will tell you how various factions were affected by your actions. If you saved Nightcrawler instead of Jean Grey, she comes back as the Phoenix to take revenge, whereas choosing Jean over Nightcrawler leads to his angry mother Mystique killing Professor Xavier, leading to the disbanding of the X-Men. (You can Take a Third Option, but only if you bring Magneto on that mission, as he can free them simultaneously with his magnetic powers.) In addition, if you didn't destroy Galactus' drills, he comes and uses them on the Earth.
  • In Golden Sun, your main character is given the option of choosing to quest to save the world, or denying this responsibility. Should you choose the latter, and walk out of that building, the game informs you that you just doomed the world. Funny enough, this choice is presented within the first hour of the game, meaning you can beat an RPG within an hour. As long as you don't care for that 'saving the world' hullabaloo. It gets confusing when, in the second game, you learn that the Designated Villain is the good guys, and you were an Unwitting Pawn for most of the game.
  • Radiant Historia does this each time you make a poor decision.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • If an NPC essential to the game's main plot dies in Morrowind, you're given the below message as a sign that the main quest can no longer be completed the normal way. There's an alternative "backpath" to complete the main quest, but the player isn't directly told about it and this hinges on two particular NPCs being alive — so if you kill either of them, then it really is doomed.
      With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created.
    • Later games, Oblivion and Skyrim, mark quest-important characters as "essential" so they cannot be killed, thus averting even the possibility of this trope.
  • In Recettear, failing to meet a payment deadline will result in a scene where Recette is kicked out of her house and laments having to now live in a cardboard box. However, your next attempt will start with Recette waking up on Day 2 and starting over, but still keeping all of her items from the previous attempt, making the next try easier.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, if you betray Artix in the Doomwood Part 1 finale, you allow Vordred to become the Champion of Darkness without him having to slay Artix himself and he unleashes a Zombie Apocalypse on the world, starting with turning you undead. After the credits roll and you go back to the starting section of the Vordredboss area, you unlock the Bad Ending shop, which contains the Holey Warrior armor and the Backstab Blade sword. And to sum up this wonderful failure, here's what the Backstab Blade's item description has to say: "How could you? Artix was your friend. He trusted you! I hope you're happy now. Traitor."
  • In Madoka Portable, if you made the "right" choices, you get to see and fight Mami and Kyoko's witches, Candeloro and Ophelia, respectively. And if you lose to Walpurgisnatch, you get a glimpse at Homura's witch, Homulilly. That last one is truly this trope — you can't fight that particular witch, and seeing it is part of a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, the infamous Conquest ending. Should you feed the demon sword by killing all of the other CPUs with it then destroy Arfoire, she actually takes her defeat very well, and because of that, with all the CPUs killed, Nepgear has faded the world to no competition, and soon Arfoire's ultimate revival will come and she will feed on the remains, and Gamindustri will soon crumble and be doomed to an eternity of destruction. Thankfully, this is only one of the Multiple Endings, but is by far the worst. Ironically, though, this is the hardest of the Multiple Endings to get. If you want some consolation, you do get to keep the sword in a New Game Plus.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition tells you "Your journey ends" when your party wipes, but Game Overs during certain sequences are accompanied by unique images and text detailing how Thedas fell to the demons after your failure.
  • Losing the battle against the final boss (which is a Hopeless Boss Fight unless the player gets to the Eight Points of Power) in Mother Cognitive Dissonance gives a cutscene in which Niiue laments over the deaths of his friends, and then tells the player that he's/she's welcome to come back and play again and to not let them die next time.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 : During the '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' ending, when V and Johnny Silverhand assault Arasaka Tower with no allies or backup, V is truly mortal. When the player dies, if they do not load a previous save before the 'Flatlined' screen is meant to appear, the player is instead treated to a devastating series of voice messages left on V's communicator. While the various love interests react as if V had chosen 'The Reaper,' most of the characters from V's past instead go out of their way to point out just how foolish V was being when they assaulted the Tower alone.
  • In Might and Magic VI, you need to get a scroll of Ritual of the Void from Archibald to prevent the destruction of the Kreegan Reactor from triggering a chain reaction and blowing up the entire planet (and its moon). Which is exactly what happens if you don't have it in your inventory when you exit it, as shown in an animation that is rather impressive for that time.
  • Witch Hunter Izana: Part and parcel of being a transformation centric game. Every enemy type you can get transformed into has a special ending, sometimes changing based on game progress. Same for bosses. In basically all of them, you work as a brainwashed and enslaved monster girl for the vampire Verand.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • In Axelay, once your stock of Axelay ships runs dry, you get the countdown screen, with the mother planet burning. Should you lose your last ship with your stock of credits completely exhausted or let the timer run out, the game over screen shows the mother planet, dead.
  • Chimera Beast does this in its "Bad" ending, where your Eater destroys the planet and then proceeds to destroy all planets in its path, eventually reaching Earth. It then tells you that "you'll have to live with the knowledge that what led them there". Somewhat subverted in the sense that this is the ending you get when you beat the Final Boss.
  • In Cybernator (Assault Suits Valken in Japan), allowing the asteroid colony to strike the Earth in a Colony Drop scenario or failing to destroy the enemy's reinforcement shuttle gets you a Downer Ending where the main character returns to find everyone on his ship dead and the war having degenerated into a bloody stalemate. It ends with a message telling you that you messed up, are stupid, and need to try again.
  • Die in the first true final stage of Raiden Fighters Jet and it is implied that the right-wing terrorist group's stolen nuclear materials crater a city when you finish the next stage.
  • In Star Fox 2, if Corneria takes too much damage from Andross's forces, the game ends with a cutscene showing his ships destroying the command center, complete with a voice sample of someone screaming "Emergency! Emergency!!" just before the whole thing gets nuked. Then you see Andross's ugly mug and in burning letters, CORNERIA FELL. The incidental music for that last screen makes it all the more depressing.
  • Depleting the Dragoon's entire shield or failing to destroy all the Spark Bits in time during the final part of Galaxian3 Project Dragoon results in a cinema sequence of the Cannon Seed firing and shattering Earth into fragments smaller than California. (Good luck, team.)
    • And in the sequel, Attack of the Zolgear, failing to destroy the Zol Stone results in a cinema of the Dragoon J2 exploding inside Zolgear, and then the Earth being shattered into fragments smaller than California.
  • Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers "rewards" your game over with a news report announcing the "Failed Offensive of Squadron 51" and how your defeat have led to the alien forces taking over the entire country, before moving on to the rest of the world.
  • Fail to defeat the Final Boss of Thunder Force V within the time limit, and The Guardian implores you to self-destruct your ship... oh wait, you can't, because your ship's systems are dying! Now history is forced to repeat itself and you are doomed to die of oxygen deprivation!
  • In A.S.P. Air Strike Patrol (A.K.A. Desert Fighter), if you fail the final mission in any way, you get treated to a nuclear holocaust. The ending monologue states the Earth is conquered by aliens soon after.
  • In Novastorm, running out of lives shows a cutscene which progressively gets longer depending on how far you are in the game, starting with your fighters being shot down, continuing with the destruction of your headquarters, and finishing with your home planet being blown up by a laser.
  • The king of most insulting and discouraging Its A Wonderful Failures: Death Duel. When you lose all your lives, the enemy insults you with a quote, then you're treated to a scene where The Grim Reaper comes for your wrecked robot suit. It then cuts to a scene detailing the consequences of your death, calling you a coward, condemning you and your family for centuries. And you thought "You and your friends are dead, game over" was bad enough.
    "Your defeat has brought chaos to the Federation. Your cowardice and betrayal shall be known throughout the stars. Your decaying corpse will be an object for ridicule and scorn. Disgrace will follow your family for centuries. Once adored and worshipped by all, your rotting flesh will serve as the price of failure. Oh, the horrible pain of defeat..."
  • The Spirit Overload ending in Hellsinker. While most of the time you get a simple game over when you die, fail against Rex Cavalier's final attack and you get a special ending about the true nature of the Prayers as you become one yourself.
  • In Einhänder, if you lose the battle against the Stratagem Spacecraft in Stage 6 by running out of time, your fighter starts to power down and you fall to the Earth, as a swarm of police fighters are heard opening fire on your ship. And after hearing a brief narration from your pilot, you get a creepy Non-Standard Game Over screen with a shot of a pilot's helmet laying on the ground cracked, while this nightmarish music plays.
  • In NAM-1975, should you lose to the final boss, Dr. R. Muckly, he will be heard boasting about his victory and that the world is now his, then it cuts to the world being destroyed by the laser weapon he had built, and as he is heard laughing evilly; it then cuts to the typical Game Over screen.
  • Missile Command has the infamous, loud, and seizureiffic "THE END" explosion, the explosion signifying a nuclear apocalypse. However, this doesn't happen if you make the high score list.
  • In the Share Ware DOS game Galactix, there is a scene of a city going down in flames, courtesy of the invading Xidus forces, if the player's spaceship is destroyed.
  • In the Taito video game Gun Frontier, if you lose against the final boss, the game shows a black and white image of your home planet with the words "Gloria has been closed into the evil dark world..."
  • In the Hunt has two Wonderful Failures out of three bad endings. When you beat the game as one player without using any continues, you are destroyed along with the enemy base. Another one occurs when you beat the game with two players, and are forced to fight your friend. If you succeed in destroying in the other player within the time limit, you become the new leader of the D.A.S; if you don't, then both players go down with the base.
  • In the bad ending of Raiden V, our heroes return to the solar system after destroying the crystal aliens at the source, but they appear to have accidentally warped to Mars at first. A closer examination reveals that it is Earth All Along, reduced to a lifeless red rock by the Alien Invasion.
  • The game over screen in Soulstar is a drawn-out and humiliating scene showing the player ship slowly exploding into smithereens, all set to depressing music.
  • Lose in Eco Fighters, and the Continue screen is a comic of your fighter crashing to the ground… only to hit and get stuck in a billboard. If you Continue, the comic changes to your pilot regaining control and taking back to the fight.

    Simulation Game 
  • In Abrams Battle Tank, quitting the mission without fulfilling the objectives results in your superior chewing you out (sometimes in a highly over-the-top way), followed by the status screen informing you how your failure has harmed the Allied cause. For example,
    Commander: Cologne is destroyed and both the Soviet base and the communications fort are still standing. (clutches his head) Your incompetence is overwhelming. Get out of my office.
    Status screen: Complete Failure! Neither the Soviet base or their communications fort were destroyed. The Allies were soundly defeated at Cologne.
  • Aerobiz: If another airline beats you to achieving the scenario goal, you are treated to "scary-music" and screen-shots of people pointing in terror as a huge, ghost-looking guy descends on your corporate HQ building. So the other airlines had an insidious plan to build a Humongous Mecha to unleash on your HQ after they won?
  • Consciously averted and lampshaded by the 1980s geopolitical sim Balance Of Power.
    You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure.
    • The game knew if the player had intentionally done it, too. It would say "You have ignited an unintentional nuclear war" if the player naturally screwed up.
  • Going bankrupt or otherwise losing in the Sim City-alike Constructor leads to a delightful CGI cutscene of the player character being buried alive.
  • Dwarf Fortress allows you to explore the shambles of your once thriving fortress in Adventure Mode.
    • For a straight example, you'd have to view the history in Legends mode after retiring your fortress to see it declared destroyed, and all the dwarves and other named characters who died or went insane as a consequence.
  • In the last level of FreeSpace 2, it doesn't matter if you successfully escape at the end. Most of the ending cutscene is the same, with the narration either mentioning your miraculous survival, or your outstanding sacrifice.
  • Failing a mission in Frostpunk will result in the destruction of your city, or the Captain being overthrown and enslaved, banished, or executed. Each possible outcome has it's own special game-over screen explaining what happened.
  • Library of Ruina: After defeating the Black Silence, you will be given an option to have Angela kill Roland, followed by an option for Roland to kill Angela. Agreeing to any of these prompts will result in a Downer Ending that also doubles as a Non-Standard Game Over (since the game boots you back to the title screen and forces you to restart the Black Silence encounter). And if you do not clear all nine Floor Realizations before this reception, the game will just force you to kill Angela/Roland and prevent you from continuing until you exit the gauntlet and clear their respective realizations.
    • Fail to clear the Asiyah Realizations as well as Hokma's, and you will be forced to have Angela kill Roland. Angela turns Roland into a book, kills all of her fellow Sephirot and becomes human, aimlessly wrecking havoc within the southwestern quarters of the City for 13 years before an unnamed Bookhunter puts her out of her misery.
    • Fail to clear the Briah Realizations as well as Binahs, and you will have to let Roland kill Angela, due to Angela being a human, she was unambiguously decapitated and the Library collapses like a mirage. Roland goes back to the City, but according to his former friends, he was under the influence of drugs and doing shady businesses due to losing the will to live. His former friends and enemies track him down and impale him with numerous weapons, and he dies ingloriously with his weapon-filled corpse drifting alongside the gutter, and only his former comrade Astolfo remotely displaying sympathy for his death..
  • In MechWarrior 2 Mercenaries, getting your mech destroyed treats you to a short video of your character on the ground outside of the mech, trying to reach for a handgun when a booted foot stomps on your hand and a gun barrel is shoved in your face. If you beat the game but fail to save up enough money, you'll get an ending video of your character sitting in a tiny, dirty apartment throwing a beer can at your TV after it quits working, having failed to acquire the wealth and prestige you dreamed of.
  • In No Umbrellas Allowed, each ending has a detailed pixel art scene of the consequences of your choices, even the bad endings. A few endings show exclusive locations such as the interior of Mindlesso, and notably, Ending 8 has an extended sequence, where you're taken to the medical room by AVAC and are given the memory restoration drug for your interrogation. Your weekly nightmares of your past are then given more context, but then you suddenly die from the drug's side effects after recounting your memories to AVAC.
  • Only three endings in Papers, Please are good endings; the other 17 endings are this trope. Some examples:
    • If your entire family dies: You are told of the fact, and given a brief lecture about Arstotzkan workers being required by law to support large healthy families to stimulate the growth of Arstotzka. You are then fired and replaced with someone who's better suited for that goal.
    • If you shoot a non-terrorist with your weapons: You are arrested and sentenced to forced labor if you tranquilize an innocent. If you shoot one with the non-tranquilizer rifle, or if you shoot an Arstotkan border guard with either weapon, you're sentenced to death instead. A variation of this ending happens if you shoot the Man in Red: You are sentenced to forced labor or death as above, but EZIC then sends you a note stating that the replacement inspector isn't cooperative and they have to go into hiding, but they will safely relocate your family to Obristan.
    • If you escape to Obristan by yourself or only with part of your living family in the last act of the game: You and the family members you take make it across the border, while the rest move back to their home village. The game points out that the safety of the family you left behind is unknown.
    • If you reach the end of the game having helped out EZIC, but not enough to unlock their special ending, and don't flee to Obristan: Your connection to EZIC is uncovered by the Ministry of Information, and you face the death penalty for treason against Arstotzka.
  • Played straight in the Princess Maker series.
    • In the first game, Princess Maker, (especially in Japanese PC Engine version, if your daughter gets lower-class (or even immoral) jobs. You’ll be berated by the narrator that he knows one thing for sure: you’re the worst parent ever.
    • In Princess Maker 2, having your daughter succumb to death or end up getting immoral jobs, the patron deity will berate you as a heartless parent.
  • Losing a scenario in Railroad Tycoon 3 would trigger an FMV with the Railroad's former chairman (you) walking down the tracks as a hobo whilst a dialogue box suggested you try again.
  • The Game Over/Bankrupt screen of Theme Park for PC shows an office desk with a framed photograph of a happy family. In the reflection of the glass covering the photo, the theme park owner tries to commit suicide by jumping out the window, though he changes his mind and goes back up after a second or two. Still, this detail is easily missable, especially if you're trying to stomach the (up until then) disturbing sequence. The SNES and Genesis versions, on the other hand, had neither the storage space nor video decoding capability to include that clip. As a result, they used a still picture of the owner in mid-jump, making the implication even more disturbing than what PC players would have seen.
  • The extremely melodramatic failure messages from the Trauma Center series. The dev team tells you, roughly, "WELCOME TO CLINICAL DEPRESSION, MOTHERFUCKER!!".
    • There is one logical exception — fail the bomb mission in the first game, and you just get an explosion, as Derek has been blown up into itty bitty bits.
    • There's even one in Under The Knife 2 where after being kidnapped by Heinrich von Raitenau's henchmen, they force you to operate on one of their henchmen IN THE BACK OF A MOVING CAR IN THE DARK. As if that weren't hard enough, if you fail, they kill Derek and Angie, dispose of their bodies, and they are never seen again and forgotten about within six months as the threat of Delphi encroaches upon the world. As traumatic as the murder of your protagonists is, the main concern is probably HOW DID THEIR FRIENDS FORGET ABOUT THEM IN SIX MONTHS?!
    • In New Blood, you must operate on a dog. Failing this operation gives you the same "Ashamed by their failure, the doctors left medicine forever..." Game Over screen, the same as if you'd failed to save any other (human) patient in the game, which is kind of taking it too far.
    • Even worse in Trauma Team, where at the Game Over screen, you hear your doctor characters lamenting how life sucks, their ideals suck, and wondering why they even try.
      • There is one exception, and it makes sense, as well. It's a simple medical examination. Failing it has the doctor go "well, that was bad, let's go again".
      • Even WORSE than the voice clip, failing Naomi's final mission has ROSALIA exclaiming in despair about how she wanted to help everyone.
  • The original Warhawk on the PS1 featured some of the most fantastically morbid game over screens ever devised, some of them going so far that they cross into Humiliation Conga (in addition to one that details how you inadvertedly defeat the Big Bad by having him laugh so hard at your defeat that he chokes to death). Experience them for yourself here.
  • Wing Commander had an interesting feature, whereby the "Game Over" changes according on how far you'd gotten in the campaign. (Almost like a choose-your-own-adventure book.) Stuff always ended badly for the hero Blair:
    • Die in battle and you're treated to the same 21-Gun Salute that Blair presides over in previous chapters — expect it's you, not some rookie, in the coffin.
    • Fail to expose the spy in Wing Commander II (Invisible ships? Admiral Tolwyn thinks you're seeing… er, not seeing things), and Blair exchanges a goodbye kiss with the Concordia's captain, "Angel" Devereaux. It's also the first kiss between the two if you haven't progressed far enough in the game. The next scene shows Blair burying his face in his hands as a news bulletin reports that Concordia was destroyed with all hands aboard. (Also, you're fired.)
    • The losing ending of Wing Commander III shows the Kilrathi landing on a ruined Earth. But you still have one choice to make: Blair is dragged before the Prince of Kilrah and told to beg for his life. Refuse, and the Prince offers you a "warrior's death" before punching a hole through your spinal column. That's hardcore!
    • Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom: Fail too many missions in the first chapter, and Blair gets booted from the service. The next scene shows Blair back at the bar in Nephele, drinking himself into a stupor as the civil war he could have prevented rages on a background newscast.
      • If you fail during the courtroom finale (which is entirely conversational), Blair is put before a firing line, to be executed for treason. Meanwhile, the newly-minted Marshall Tolwyn is given carte blanche to destroy any planet that harbors his political opponents.
    • In Prophecy, the aliens end up destroying you, your carrier, and presumably the last hope of staving off the invasion.

    Stealth-Based Game 

    Survival Horror 
  • Rule of Rose has a particularly nasty one, talking about just how miserably Jennifer died and how meaningless all her efforts were, ending with a mean-spirited and creepy narrated "And everyone lived happily ever after..."
  • In Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, when you ran out of health, you had to sit through a small cutscene of your character being brutalized by the monster that killed you. This would also be used in their respective remakes.
  • In Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, certain powerful enemies will trigger a special animation upon killing you, having you die in a special and usually brutal way rather than just collapsing from your injuries. These include being decapitated by chainsaw or other means, devoured whole, impaled, bisected, or having your face melted by acidic vomit. If you die in the first chapter of Resident Evil 5, you get a special game over screen from the POV of your character as they are stomped, hacked, and bludgeoned to death by the angry villagers.
  • Dead Space had some of the most gruesome death scenes in gaming as you watched the monster destroy your hero. Which ONE? Oh, take your pick.
  • Haunting Ground has variations on failing the game.
    • Dying by a trap often results in seeing a specific little animation, showing how Fiona dies to them (such as getting perforated by arrows or eaten alive by bugs) via Gory Discretion Shot and an Ominous Music Box Tune.
    • Getting caught by the enemy that is chasing you ends with the screen blurring and turning red, showing the Game Over text "Acta est fabula" ("The Play is Over") while the sound hints quite well at what they are doing to Fiona (Debilitas crushes her and rips her body apart like a doll, Daniella will laugh like crazy while stabbing you and drinking your blood, Riccardo can be heard taking off her clothes and softly moaning, Old Lorenzo will rip apart her clothes and then apparently vomit and Young Lorenzo can be heard drinking her blood).
    • The bad ending, got by not rescuing Hewie results in Fiona getting caught by Riccardo who will impregnate her with his clone, resulting in Fiona being Driven to Madness.
  • Eternal Darkness has a stock message for 10 of its playable characters: "(Name) has perished at the hands of the Eternal Darkness. With no one to stop their diabolical plans, humanity will surely be annihilated." If you die as Pious, however, since he would otherwise become the villain, the game over message just laments that he failed to fulfill his Emperor's command to find the artifact. And Anthony, thanks to his curse, can't even die until Paul gives him Last Rites.
    • Alex gets an extra cutscene, though, if she dies during the final boss fight; Pious will spit on her corpse and gloat.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: The game over screen shows a Freddy Fazbear suit with human eyes and teeth: the animatronics have succeeded in stuffing you into a suit meant for an animatronic, not for a flesh and blood human.
  • Athena: Awakening from the Ordinary Life has quite a few of these and a few non standard game overs, such as Athena dying from a psychic overload, Rika being killed by a T-Rex, and the bombs at school going off. Losing the Final Boss fight to the Tantuals System treats you to a haunting scene where Athena is seized and forcibly made into the power source for the computer, with the scene ending with a close up of her face (complete with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness) as a Single Tear rolls down her cheek.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In Second Sight, if you die in the playable Backstory, you see the main character in an interrogation cell, being coerced by the Big Bad in various ways. What he says varies depending on what level you were on and how you died. For example, if you die after finding an assault rifle and killing someone in the training level, he'll say "What made you think you could get away with just shooting people?"
    • Or, if you fail in protecting Jayne Wilde, Colonel Starke, or the WinterICE team, he'll say things like "They're all dead, and it's all your fault!"
  • In WinBack, if you take too long, the GULF Kill Sat fires again, and you get a Bad Ending.
  • In the Crusader series, if you get killed or take too much time in certain missions, you will get a video — usually a newscast saying that "Yeah, things are awesome now that those Rebels are all dead!", but a couple of times you get to watch people at your base being slaughtered.
  • In the Metal Arms: Glitch in the System missions that take place in Droid Town, sidetracking too far will result in the Colonel calling you and warning you to turn back or else. If you continue anyway, then eventually he'll call you again and bash at you for your failure. This is followed by a cutscene of the Mils having taken control of Droid Town and massacring said droids, rendering wasted all of the effort put into the rebellion.
  • Nanosaur: Since the plot of the game involves traveling back in time to right before the extinction of the Dinosaurs, you're being timed. And if the timer runs out, or you run out of lives, you get treated to this wonderful screen.
  • In Melbourne House's PS2 Transformers game, failing to protect Cybertron from Unicron during the Final Battle results in a lovely shot of Cybertron transforming into hundreds of tiny fragments.
  • Splatoon:
    • In Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, if you fail to detonate all the hyperbombs in time or fall into the water during the final boss, you're treated to a still image of Inkopolis getting decimated by Tartar's primordial sludge while Cap'n Cuttlefish, Pearl, or Marina lament the destruction of all life on the planet.
    • At the end of Splatoon 3's main campaign, "Return of the Mammalians", failing to defeat Mr. Grizz will have the game show Splatsvile (and the entire world for that matter) being covered in the fuzzy ooze, with everyone turning into giant walking balls of fuzz and grunting in pain as this happens, implying that they’re slowly being killed by the fuzz. As the cutscene concludes, O.R.C.A., the A.I. that has been observing you throughout your journey, supplies a final Wham Line as the screen fades to white. Unlike Splatoon 2, this sequence consists of multiple images for your viewing pleasure of your wonderful failure.
      O.R.C.A.: On that day... a massive fuzzball was born in space.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • While losing a fight is normally a minor setback in the Suikoden series (unless you lose one of the Stars in the process), losing certain battles in Suikoden V leads to alternate endings. For instance, lose your fight with Roy, and he gets to take your place just like he wanted... by pretending to be you while you (the Prince) are comatose. Then he gets killed, the Godwins take over your stronghold, your forces scatter, and Sialeeds bitterly muses that it might be better if you never wake up.
    • Even worse, earlier in the game, if you choose to go along with Lord Barow's plan to become king, you will be treated with this very depressing scene.
    • Another lovely one involves choosing to stay behind and defend the castle as Roy and losing to Childerich, wherein on losing, he slits Roy's throat and gives a disturbing, ranting order to kill everyone in sight to his men. Then there's a small portion where you control Kyle, where losing shows the two Knights you lost to asking why you couldn't have been on their side before leaving you for dead. Kyle's last words are an apology to the Prince and Princess.
  • Star Wars: Rebellion ended either with your forces destroying the enemy flagship, or with a hostile fleet appearing next to your ship and shooting it to pieces.
  • Super Robot Wars occasionally does this when you're on a level which would be the conclusion of a series with a Downer Ending like Space Warrior Baldios, Space Runaway Ideon, etc. They usually have some method to their madness, such as the Baldios ending being a re-enactment of the final scene in the series with a Tsunami wiping out all life on the planet.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance makes the death quotes much darker than previous games. While not technically game overs, most people restart when met with one thanks to Permadeath.
      Micaiah: I can't... Not when our Sothe...
      Sothe: Micaiah... Don't leave me here alone... Micaiah!! Don't die!
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is especially notable in this regard. As can be seen here, just about every chapter has its own unique dialogue for having a We Cannot Go On Without You character die. Some of the ones against major bosses paractically qualify as Bond One Liners.
      Micaiah: Ike... It's up to you now... Oh... Sothe...
      Zelgius: Maiden... I did not wish for things to end this way. However, the fate of the world has already been sealed.

      Micaiah: Why? Why must...we fight?
      Sephiran: Just a little longer. The fate of mankind is decided. All that's left to do is wait.

      Micaiah: The goddess...was right... We didn't...stand a...chance... S... Sothe...
      Ashera: It is inevitable. The start of death, as it should start. The end of life, as it should end.
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, if either the Avatar or Chrom are felled in battle, the other character will beg them not to die.
      The Avatar, if Chrom dies: You can't die! Not now!
      Chrom, if the Avatar dies: Open your eyes! OPEN YOUR EYES!
    • Lose in the final battle against Sombron in Fire Emblem Engage, and he will successfully re-corrupt Alear and Veyle.
      Sombron: Everyone you care about... they are all dead.
  • In Star Control 2, if you don't blow up the Sa-Matra before the Kohr-Ah reach Earth, they kill everyone and then broadcast a message to you, telling you that you failed.
  • The majority of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten's Multiple Endings are just early bad endings you get for losing to bosses in various chapters. You see fully-voiced cutscenes (some rather lengthy) and a narration of the boss you lost to going on to conquer the world.
    • Note that unlike many other examples of this trope, these sequences are actually very lighthearted, but apart from losing to Artina (which results in her forcing your characters to work for her but might still have the possibility for them to go back to their normal plans), they result in Fridge Horror since it would mean The End of the World as We Know It.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, a number of interludes are generated based on human events. The text at the end of the game is an in-depth epilogue. While there's a number of endings based on your victory, the "you are defeated" text can easily count as nightmare fuel. Especially losing to the Progenitors.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, losing to any opponent gives you a cutscene of the duelist either encouraging you to try again or mocking you for your failure. Or, in Yami Marik's case, banishing you to the Shadow Realm.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • The original X-COM: UFO Defense. If you failed — either by losing your last base, having your organization's funding withdrawn, or by getting wiped out during the final Mission to Mars — you got to see what happened to Earth as a result… humanity reduced to slaves of the alien invaders, slowly mutating into pitiable monsters due to the aliens poisoning the water and air… the sun blackened by dark clouds, urban ruins… and stuff like that.
    • In the PS1 version of the game, the aliens kick in the doors of the U.N., shoot all of the signatories, and split with the treaty before the ink is even dry! Apparently they don't think much of traitorous Quislings. This version is even more gruesome than the original, with the President getting shot point-blank in the head.
    • X-COM liked this trope. In Terror From the Deep, Cthulhu The Great Alien awakens and destroys the world, while the aliens melt the ice caps. In Apocalypse, the aliens pull Earth into another dimension.
      • And that's the bad ending. The good ending in Apocalypse saves Earth, although Megaprimus lies half in ruins. In Terror From the Deep, you destroy the mothership of the abomination, which in turn poisons Earth's atmosphere, makes a lot of people die, and leaves quite a lot of Earth uninhabitable. This in fact is the reason to build the megacities, like Megaprimus in Apocalypse. Also, your whole expedition dies on the ship. You know, the ones you trained for months, the ones you loved... just gone in an instant. Apparently, it wasn't received all that well, so both Apocalypse and Interceptor have much more positive good endings. And Interceptor? Well, if you fail, Earth is destroyed by a death star. If you manage to destroy the death star but not escape in time (or have your way home destroyed), you're dead along with your wingmen but hey, you saved the Earth, so it's kind of victory, right?
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, losing eight of the nations on the Council triggers a cutscene where the spokesman for the Council announces the project has been shut down, and the camera pans to show he's being mind-controlled by an alien. In Enemy Within, losing the base defense mission results in a cutscene showing the XCOM base in complete ruins from the alien attack.
    • Similarily, losing in XCOM 2 — whether by failing to stop the Avatar Project or losing an Avenger defense mission — results in a cutscene showing destroyed Resistance havens and an ADVENT speaker announcing the end of XCOM to the world.

    Visual Novel 
  • Four out of the six endings of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors are this. One is an ambiguous close with a To Be Continued, and the continuation of the aforementioned is the best ending, but the others range from everyone dying, to Genki Girl losing it and murdering everyone, thus becoming trapped forever and to Akane becoming Ret-Gone. The Submarine Ending is especially this, since before the credits, it displays the full body count.
  • Fate/stay night makes heavy use of these, usually through a first-person narration of your messy and painful death, or being trapped in a doll, or killing your emotions, all your enemies, and a good number of your old allies (and letting the girl you're falling in love with be killed by her own sister)...
    • The one that probably fits the trope best is the infamous Mind of Steel ending where Shirou allows Sakura to be killed. Unlike the vast majority of bad endings, nothing really terrible happens to Shirou. Instead, Kotomine Kirei congratulates him, absolutely convinced that Shirou will now win the Grail War by any means necessary, which will naturally include going after Tohsaka in the next five seconds and killing her as well as taking out Ilya, who Shirou has grown very close to. Because, as Kotomine notes, they can't really be trusted with the Grail anymore.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, there is a point near the end where screwing up will not cause you to just get a guilty verdict and Game Over, but instead a not guilty verdict for the oh-so-evil Matt Engarde and Phoenix running from the courtroom and quitting as a lawyer.
  • Strangely averted in Kanon: Succeed in a girl's scenario, and you get to find out all the horrible things that happen to her. Fail? "Every day is perfectly ordinary..." No mention of how badly you screwed up, other than Yuuichi's vague reference to his missing memories. However, he does acknowledge, if you fail late enough in their scenarios, that he never sees Ayu or Shiori again.
  • Due to the structure of Remember11, not only will the game go into great detail about your final moments of freezing to death (quite common in its Bad Ends), but when you try to take the other protagonist's route, you will usually catch his/her last moments as well floating over your corpse and summarizing what happened. This actually serves a useful purpose, since some of the bad ends (especially Kokoro in Satoru's body eating and making his body suceptible to the effects of the MAOI) have the ending occur several days after the deciding choice, with the choice not being incredibly conspicuous. However, it's still really depressing.
  • If you somehow manage to screw things up so badly in Act 1 of Katawa Shoujo that you fail to get on any girl's path, you are treated to a depressed Hisao, having nothing better to do, skipping the festival in favour of a "manly picnic" on the roof with crazy neighbour Kenji and a bottle of whiskey, during which he reflects on all his squandered opportunities. Then Hisao falls off the roof and dies.
  • Didn't earn the love of a bird in Hatoful Boyfriend? Have fun when the sinister Hawk Party condemns the heroine's failure to mend human-bird relations and commences plans to exterminate humanity! Coffee, anyone?
    • The sequel has its own moments. Notably, in the last chapter, failing to get through to Ryouta sees him become one with the King and kill Yuuya, preventing the other characters from escaping the Holiday Star.
  • The bad endings of Hakuouki come in every flavor of horrible, the least traumatic of which tend to involve either one of the guys dying to protect Chizuru or Chizuru taking a mortal blow to protect them instead. Others have Chizuru and her chosen guy getting killed, usually by being unceremoniously shot, or Chizuru being dragged off to A Fate Worse Than Death by Kazama; Saito's route includes a possible bad ending in which he loses his sanity to the fury bloodlust and cuts Chizuru down himself when she tries to protect him from Amagiri, and Hijikata's route has an especially horrifying one in which Kazama first gets him to lay down his sword by threatening to hurt Chizuru, then tortures Hijikata to death in front of Chizuru to teach her not to defy him.
  • In Cinders, if you try to poison your stepmother and fail (an outcome you pretty much have to be trying to get), you get arrested and thrown into the royal dungeon to rot to death there in misery and darkness. To twist the knife in further, if you befriended Perrault, Tobias, or Ghede before your arrest, they'll be shown mourning at your gravestone in the ending screen — and if you didn't befriend any of them, the ending text will make a point of commenting on how nobody cared enough about you to mourn your death.
  • Fail the bomb diffusing sequence at the end of Act 2 of Policenauts? Enjoy watching a hole getting blown in Beyond Coast!
  • If you die and refuse to continue in the final shooting scene in Snatcher, you will hear a voice clip of Gillian saying, "Ugh! No, not here... Jamie, I tried... Ugh..." presumably that he is dying. Accidentally shoot Jamie during the final shooting scene, on the other hand, you will see a cutscene of Gillian cradling Jamie and saying, "Jamie! Jamie! Oh, no, what have I done?" And if that happens, you can't continue and are immediately sent back to the title screen.
  • Romance Is Dead has 9 different endings, and besides the bad endings where you piss the three love interests off so much that they kill you, two in particular stand out:
    • One ending has Adam finding out he's actually from the 1950s and jumping off a bridge.
    • After you tell Don that he was betrayed by his mentor because of his race, Don is consumed by anger, loses what little physical form he had left, and destroys half the college as a wraith — right after you realize that he's the only real friend you have.
  • April Was A Fool:
    • Kent's bad ending has him giving in to the violent, sadistic half of his personality, slaughtering all of his friends, and forcing May into a relationship with him while the blood of her allies soaks into her shirt.
    • In Gunn's bad ending, May is torn apart by a dragon and all of her friends are slaughtered except Gunn, who has grown so delusional from despair that he cradles her corpse in his arms for a full year hoping she'll come back to life.
    • The most sickening, if not the most violent bad ending, is Erwin's, where May gives in to his delusion that she is actually April and perpetuates his sick fantasy for the rest of her life.
  • Amnesia: Memories has several Bad Endings for each character, two or three for most and seven for Ukyo. Some of them are only a break-up with the guy, others can involve Heroine getting chained up by the local Yandere, burning to death, getting stabbed, being put in a coma by a guy's fan club...
  • Mystic Messenger has five Bad Endings per character, three for making the wrong choices and two for not playing, two for not playing before entering a character's route, and one for making the wrong choice in the prologue. Those endings can be somewhat harmless, like marrying Zen in Jaehee's route, which causes Jaehee to be even more overworked than before, or Zen's first Bad Ending, which makes their relationship become something of a Masochism Tango, many involve Unknown kidnapping you with no mention what happens to you after, but others involve Yoosung getting fully Yandere, Jumin seeing you as a possession rather than a person, Unknown sending pictures of you being tortured to Seven and deciding to use you as a sex slave... And then there's the Casual Common Route Bad Ending, in which Yoosung becomes aware that they're only programmed machines, and ends up getting kidnapped by Unknown.
  • Most game over sequences in My Harem Heaven is Yandere Hell are abrupt, but disagreeing with Kudou on Sayuri's route will result in him murdering Yuuya and the game's narration switching to third-person. In the subsequent scene, Kudou and Sayuri plan to kidnap someone else.
  • The all ages-rated Power Pro-kun Pocket series loved disturbing game overs and bad endings:
    • About every installment has multiple love interests who either get traumatized, disappear, die or are murdered if the player fails their questline. It's naturally a major source of Player Punch to read through the resulting epilogue scenes.
    • A common game over scenario throughout the series are the protagonists either getting fired or too injured to keep playing baseball, so they leave the sport in disgrace. The one subversion was in 13, where getting crippled late in the story results in the protagonist deciding to become a coach instead.
    • Once per game, there is a game over outcome that brings up a haiku mocking the player's fate.
    • In some installments, the Mania status that makes the protagonist waste turns visiting toy stores is incurable. This locks the player into a bad ending where the protagonist becomes a fat shut-in obssessed with figurines or gacha.
    • Failing a Pennant Race run brings up a game over screen unique to each installment which shows the protagonist suffering severe levels of depression and humiliation for failing to become Japan's #1, such as being tossed over a pile of garbage on an alley. The latter games have REGRET captioned on top of the screen, and on two instances play it for laughs by parodying the deaths of Joe Yabuki and Raoh, who both went out feeling anything but that.
    • In 3's Cyborg scenario, failing to build the Memory gauge on the third year or getting defeated by Kameda on either phase of the optional final boss fight turns the protagonist into a slave for him and his Neo Propeller criminal organization. If the Karma Meter is very low, the protagonist instead willing joins Kameda in his world-conquering quest. There are also game over screens showing the protagonist drowned in a river by the yakuza or having his corpse tossed into a junkyard.
    • Losing a baseball match in 6 bankrupts the protagonist's factory and gets him sent into Indentured Servitude at a labor camp island. This is canon and leads into the Happiness Island scenario, in which there are multiple ways for him to be executed by the nazi-esque Blood Butterfly army that rules over the island. The ending for clearing the story without a rebellion has a shot of Helga and Makonde surrounded by graves of their workers and the island's natives as they continue to perform human experimentation of the Happiness drugs.
    • Submitting to the Pocket Heroes in 7's Koshien Hero scenario results in a bad ending where they kick everyone except the protagonist from the Hanamaru team. This can lead to the club's manager Rena getting brainwashed by them for knowing their true motives. Another game over scene infamous among players was a Jump Scare of a distorted crayon drawing captioned "Happiness", portraying the protagonist as brainwashed to think of nothing but baseball. When the 2021 smartphone app had an adaptation of Koshien Hero, Konami left just this game over screen in and even made merchandise of it despite every other scenario in the app having much Lighter and Softer game over scenes.
    • In 8's Special Mission Hunter scenario, failing to find the illegal android and not building a good relationship within the Hoppers team turns the protagonist into a depressed deadbeat from being kicked out of the team and the CCR organization. This counts as a save file-erasing game over despite clearing the story.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Failed to stop Carlito's bombs in the 7th Act of Dead Rising? Congratulations! You just destroyed every living (and nonliving) being inside the Willamette Mall, and also released the deadly virus that turns people into zombies upon America, if not the entire world, essentially dooming humanity. Way to go, champ. You deserve that Ending F.
    • Similarly, if you are in military custody when the 3 day clock runs out, there is a short cutscene of you being flown away and a text indicating that Frank has disappeared.
  • Dead Rising 2 continues the trend introduced in the first game, including at least one bad ending. The worst ending (Ending F) is if you don't (or can't) give Katey her daily dose of Zombrex: Chuck returns to the safe house to find Katey is gone. Without the Zombrex, she succumbed to her zombie infection and had to be put down by Sullivan. Chuck breaks down and allows the zombies to eventually kill him.
  • If you lose to the final boss of [PROTOTYPE], you get an alternate ending showing New York getting nuked.
  • God help you if you fail to catch the Brickster in LEGO Island: You are treated to a vision of all of your island friends sitting around and weeping under the control of the Brickster. Good job, hero.
    Infomaniac: Well, it's not as bad as it looks. Er... well, maybe it is. No, actually! You can just start again, or come back later when you want to! We'll be able to reconstruct. I think. Oh, what am I saying?! Of course we can! We're the citizens of Lego Island! So start a new game, or, exit through those doors. And come back when you want to visit again.
  • Minecraft. Hardcore mode. Die and instead of the usual "You died! [Respawn] / [Title Menu]" screen, you get a message telling you that you cannot respawn, and you see only one button labeled "Delete world". The game technically doesn't delete your world upon death, as it's still there and you simply can't move anymore. No, it makes you activate the process of deleting your world.
    • Died in an online game that's using Hardcore mode? Good news: you don't have to delete the world. Bad news: you're permanently banned from that server.
  • If a hardcore character dies in Terraria, you return to the world, where you died, as a ghost. You then get to look around the world your character is leaving behind before you exit, at which point the character gets deleted, and all the stuff dropped despawns when the world unloads.
  • If you fail a main mission objective in Mafia III (simply dying doesn't count), you are treated to a short cutscene of FBI agent Maguire explaining the consequences of Lincoln's failure, and how it brought an end to his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, in the documentary that the game's story is framed as. Other times, he'll simply look through his files in confusion, saying "that can't be how it happened."



Video Example(s):


The Third Chime

While the first two bell tolls are scripted, there is a finite amount of time to defeat the enemies in the last room before facing Vaati. If Link runs out of time, Vaati actually successfully completes his ceremony to steak all the light force in Zelda, who was turned into a statue in the beginning, leaving her to be a permanent bird toilet for the rest of her life, essentially killing her.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ItsAWonderfulFailure

Media sources: