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A Kaizo Trap is a type of video game Hope Spot: You have just finished a difficult challenge, such as defeating a boss, completing a level, or even winning the whole game. The battle is over and you breathe a sigh of relief. Then the game kills you during the victory cutscene, and you have to do it all over again.

The player has to find a way to defuse the trap before completing their actual goal, as their fate is otherwise unavoidable after triggering the cutscene and losing control of their character.

Known in Japanese as "Kōmei no wana" ("Kōmei's trap," Kōmei being the Japanese reading of Kongming, the courtesy name for Zhuge Liang, a famous strategist from Romance of the Three Kingdoms).

Naturally, an example of Trial-and-Error Gameplay since you have no way to know of (even less so, expect) the trap beforehand. Commonly found in Platform Hell titles, as just one more sadistic design choice on the part of the designers. The opposite of this trope is Fission Mailed and Press Start to Game Over. This is a specific kind of subversion of Instant-Win Condition.

Compare with Last Ditch Move, Taking You with Me, Cutscene Incompetence, and Fake-Out Fade-Out.


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    Action Adventure 
  • In Cave Story, the Heavy Press, one of the bosses in the secret final area, will fall through the floor after being defeated. If you're not alert and let it land on you, you'll die instantly (as would happen with the normal-sized version), unless you have Mercy Invincibility from touching a Bute, which lets you drop to the floor below faster. Also, after the ghost Puu Black is defeated, he can still give the player Collision Damage until he completely dissolves.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • An unintentional one in Batman: Arkham City, where during the boss fight with The Joker, you can get run over by a train after you beat up all his cronies and, finally, the boss himself. And it will still give you the proper achievement, even though you died.
  • In Uncharted, it's possible to kill everyone necessary to trigger the event flag but get killed by a rogue grenade at the last second. The result is the next cinematic playing for about 4 seconds and the level restarting.
  • The bosses in Final Fantasy Adventure can still deal damage during their death animations. If you don't back away as soon as you land the last hit, you can get yourself killed by your already defeated foe.
  • It's the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES! You've finally managed to beat the Technodrome boss, although it took you down to your last square of health! The game takes control and you relax and bask in the warm glow of the victory walk! Your turtle curls up and dies during the cutscene because the tank tracks of the Boss still deal contact damage after it's dead! You've got to do the whole level again.
  • There is one challenge in Dodge Club Pocket in which the confetti that appears after clearing a challenge will kill you on contact, and you have to dodge the confetti to clear it for real. It's not as unfair as it sounds, though, as the game does quietly warn you before you begin this one.
  • In Superman 64, you can die during the "Superman Wins" screen until you press start. This is not an intentional invocation of this trope, just infamously broken game programming. Sometimes you can benefit from this. Even if Lex Wins, you can sometimes wait long enough for the objectives to complete themselves. Then Superman Wins.
  • The Final Boss of Xena: Warrior Princess is Kalabrax the evil Goddess, who transforms herself into a rampaging, bull-like demon in a last-ditch attempt to kill Xena. As Xena you can only defeat the boss by tricking it to tackle several pillars holding its temple in place, and once enough pillars are destroyed, the temple will crush Kalabrax and finish her off - but you will risk getting killed together if you couldn't make it to a safe spot, an altar, in the very center of the temple.
  • Way of the Samurai 4 has a set of minigames where you get subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture by the sadistic Kinugawa sisters. After successfully surviving a torture, there is then a cutscene of the relevant sister either shoving you away or slapping you. If your health was low at the end of the minigame, the slapping can actually kill you, unless you press the same button used to brace yourself in the minigame proper, not that the game ever hints that the button would work in the cutscene.

    Adventure Games 

    Card Games 

    Fighting Games & Beat 'Em Ups 
  • Ur-Example for video games: The princess you're trying to rescue at the very end of the Apple II game Karateka will kill you and end the game instantly with no continues if you approach her while in the "fighting stance." She won't do so in the Game Boy version, however.
  • In Soulcalibur III, Colossus will fall forward after you remove the last of its health. If it lands on you, you die and lose the battle.
  • Zaugg, in Barbarian, also falls on you. Sometimes. It seems to have been planned this way, but sometimes he goes straight through you as in a normal end-of-game cutscene elsewhere.
  • White, the final boss of Real Bout Fatal Fury Special: Dominated Mind (the PlayStation version of Real Bout Special), will lie down and shoot a fireball from his cane when his lifebar is depleted: it needs to be blocked low or jumped over, and getting hit by it is an instant K.O. while the boss gets up and wins the round regardless.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • After defeating Porky in Brawl, one of the legs will fall with enough force to hurt you. Similarly, the Porky Bots don't vanish when he's defeated, hence you can get blown up by them after the boss has already been defeated if you're too close to him. Not too dangerous in the main game, since you can't get KO'd if the boss is defeated, but devastating in Boss Battles when you don't want to take much damage or waste healing items.
    • Knocking a foe off of the top of the screen results in them either blasting away or flying into the camera, with the animation going on for a while before they actually get KO'd. In Sudden Death, there's still plenty of time for a bomb to spawn on top of you and send you flying off the side while this is happening, likely resulting in you getting KO'd before your opponent's KO animation finishes and thusly awarding them the match win, so if you've knocked your foes up, don't let your guard down. Smash for 3DS/Wii U changed this so that both animations play at roughly the same speed, as well as preventing either from happening during matches that are in Sudden Death or near ending (all players down to 1 stock, or the time is less than 30 seconds) stops all special animations and just counts an instant K.O. at the top of the screen.
    • Pit's arrows can still be controlled even after he loses and can be used to K.O. remaining players in rare circumstances.
    • Pokémon and Assist Trophies can continue to K.O. opponents even after the one who brought them in has been eliminated from the match.
    • You will still get a Game Over if you defeat the final boss of a single-player mode and the timer runs out during the cutscene as the final boss is defeated. The usual suspect is Master Core in for 3DS and Wii U, as that is the longest boss battle in the series.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the zoom in that flashes red is said in-game to either be a signal on when the battle is over or when someone almost ends the battle. Whenever it's the latter, the receiving end still has a chance to turn the tides in their favor while their opponent might be caught off guard, especially if they don't know if the last hit would have KO'd.
  • Most bosses in the Splatterhouse series will throw you one last cheap shot after you've technically "defeated" them. Some examples:
    • The hung corpse in the bore worm room has one last bore worm emerging a few seconds after the music calms down.
    • The poltergeist will attempt to drop a chandelier upon you. This is the only trap that's a One-Hit Kill.
    • The uterus thing in the Womb Level will explode, splashing you with (deadly) embryonic fluids.
    • Also, in the second game, the first boss' stomach explodes and kills you with digestive fluids if you're too close.
  • In Chiki Chiki Boys/Mega Twins for arcade and Mega Drive, there is a boss who will drop his pants after he is defeated. If the player character is hit by the pants, the player will lose control and then be forced to exit the stage without collecting the bonus money for clearing the stage.
  • If the game wasn't hard enough, Battletoads also has a Kaizo Trap of its own. After you kill the final boss and she falls through the floor, she will come back spinning in the middle of the room for a final cutscene. Get caught in the spinning attack and you're dead. Last life? You have to start the battle all over again. Last continue too? Game over.
  • Be careful when you beat someone in Battle Arena Toshinden next to the arena's border. If your character falls down while he/she's celebrating the victory, the game will count the match as a draw. This was fixed in the second game onwards, where it still counts as a win for you and doing so on purpose can be and usually is hilarious.
  • The final boss of Hotline Miami shoots himself with a revolver instead of being killed by the protagonist. Revolvers, in-game, penetrate multiple targets. Stand in the wrong place, and the boss may just take you with him.
    • In the level 'Deadline', when attempting to exit the level a van will slam through the wall and into the building. Mooks and Fat Mooks will pour out of the van and the driver will throw molotovs at you. Also, the van can slam into you and kill you.
  • One of the stages of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number ends with a woman nervously pointing a gun at the player character and threatening to shoot if they don't back off. If you get closer, she'll do it though it's possible for her to miss and she only has one bullet.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, after defeating Killian's gunship, it will try to kamikaze into you as a Last Ditch Move, but the real Kaizo trap is his reinforcements, which can still kill you after you beat him.
  • In the "Door To Chthon" level of Quake, you reach what appears to be the exit door, but the lights turn on to reveal a Shambler, with the true exit behind it.
  • Doom:
    • The original Doom:
      • Opening an exit room door often reveals one last enemy waiting to take a bite out of any player who thinks they're in the clear.
      • The sixth level of Episode 2, Halls of the Damned, has a fake exit switch that instead dumps you into a room with a Cacodemon and a ton of Zombiemen.
      • Episode 3's secret level starts as an exact duplicate of the first map in the episode, until you step on the exit tile and the walls drop to reveal the boss of the previous episode. You have to go back the way you came (with every room now filled with more enemies) looking for a key for the actual exit in the first room.
    • Doom II:
      • There's a nasty section in the aptly named 'Tricks and Traps' map - the final corridor to the exit lowers into an inescapable lava pool unless you know to run full pelt along it. The first time you play it, expect to reload.
      • In "The Chasm", the player is teleported to within eyesight of the exit portal... on a series of narrow beams suspended over inescapable toxic waste. And the player will be bombarded by flying Lost Souls, likely knocking them off for a slow death.
    • Final Doom: There's a trick of this nature in the first map, but only has basic enemies in the pit you get lowered into when you try to exit the level.
  • TimeSplitters:
    • In TimeSplitters Future Perfect, after a boss battle with Princess, some sort of several story-tall undead naked mole-rat-looking... thing, she/it will take one last swipe at you as she falls back in her pit. This is especially dickish, considering one of the strategies for fighting her best is to stay close to the pit. Although if you do this, the last hit won't matter much whether it hits you or not.
    • In TimeSplitters 2, the heli on the first stage can still vape you before you hit the portal if you both fire missiles at once, or worse, if it fires after you do. You see the explosion of yours, but not the trail of the missile it's covering... until it's too late. And Russian guards will still spawn until you actually step into the portal. Thankfully you are ALWAYS invulnerable upon entering/falling through a portal.
  • Portal played with this at the end of Test Chamber 19. As you are being congratulated (rather sadistically), the platform you are standing on moves you to the "last" room, which turns out to be a fire pit. Escaping from this trap gives you the actual story and ending.
  • Wolfenstein 3-D had a couple of levels with fake elevator doors that hid carnage (E1M10 comes most immediately to mind), and a lot of levels where the elevator itself housed an enemy or several (Oh god E4M8).
  • Borderlands and its sequels had some nasty ways to set up Kaizo traps. Chests with Skag dens around? Certainly will have an Adult or Badass Skag around, most likely 3 or 4 of those. Just defeated a Crystalisk? Don't stay too close. And then there's Wilhelm flipping a TRAIN on you.
  • At the end of every round of Team Fortress 2, the winning team gets a slight speed boost and a crit buff on all their weapons, while the losing team is hit with a speed penalty, is forced into third-person while they see their character running around cowering, and is stripped of their weapons. However, they can still taunt, which means taunt-kills (which are one-hit-KO's) are still possible, so you can kill a "winner" with a taunt kill if you're lucky enough. Particularly humiliating if it results in a domination for revenge.
    • The winners are not immune to environmental hazards at the end of each round either so they can still kill themselves by falling from a high height, walking into a sawmill, getting hit by a train, etc. In Payload games it's not uncommon for the players who were riding the bomb into the final goal to be killed by the resulting explosion.
  • At the end of the third map of the Death Toll campaign of Left 4 Dead, a paranoid man locks himself inside the safe room, afraid of becoming infected, and locking the Survivors out of it. Once you can access the safe room, that man becomes one of the game's Special Infected. There's a chance that Special Infected can be a Boomer, and considering the fact that you had to battle a horde just to get inside, if you don't close the safe room and end the level quickly enough, another horde will gang up on you, and considering the tiny space you're in, means you'll be dead real quickly.
  • In Titanfall and its sequel, The end of a match triggers an Epilogue to the game where the losing team tries to evacuate to a Drop Ship and escape, while the winning team tries to stop them by killing them or destroying the dropship. All players have only one life and all weapons. So it's entirely possible for the winning team to get completely wiped out by the retreating losers.
  • Descent:
    • The span of time between blowing the reactor and escaping the mine in the first two games is the point at which the level is, for all intents an purposes, completed, regardless of whether you make it out. If you die during that time, the level ends as though you failed to escape, denying you the chance to recover your items before proceeding to the next level. This is also when some levels trigger their most sadistic traps and ambushes. Or worse, dupe you into triggering them yourself and getting blown to hell right in front of the exit.
    • Reaching the exit in Descent 2 triggers a pre-rendered cutscene instead of having your ship autopilot through the tube like in the first game. The level designers took full advantage of this by hiding Demonic Spiders and Schmuck Bait triggers inside the exit tunnels to kill or stall the player at the last second.
  • Death Duel, an early Genesis FPS, had a Kaizo Trap in its final battle: if you don't finish off the last boss after winning the duel, it will unload its arsenal into you and kill you.
    I lied, you gullible scum !! A Cyborg never surrenders !! Next time finish them !!
  • Hexen: There are TWO (potential) Kaizo Trap situations that the player can fall victim to:
    • After defeating Korax, there will be spirits that rise from his corpse and WILL shred you to bits, just like the Cleric's Wraithverge. Assuming you are too close to his body, of course.
    • After bringing down the Heresiarch, the "mana cubes" floating around him will fall down. Unfortunately, these do resemble ammo pickups, until they explode—which not only hurt like the dickens (as in potentially fatal), but they also have a much larger blast radius than they seem.
  • After defeating the Final Boss of Quake II, a door to the Easter Egg room opens. One of the portraits there is actually a hazard and can kill you quickly, sending you back to the start of the fight.

  • Several examples can be found in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks:
    • Stormslayer: After defeating the Big Bad, the hero must escape from his falling airship — if he doesn't manage it, he dies along with the Big Bad.
    • Played with in Deathtrap Dungeon, where Sukumvit (the man who designed the dungeon) included one of these after the "final gate" out — but it's triggered by the trialmaster employed by Sukumvit, who rushes out ahead of you in an attempt to get the glory and the prize. You get to walk straight past his body, and emerge to claim them.
    • The Final Battle of Deathtrap Dungeon is actually a puzzle you have to solve where the trialmaster explains it to you (as in, you don't fight him directly as you would a Final Boss). When you do solve it, opening the door to the outside, he takes the opportunity to escape and throws a poison gas bomb at you before fleeing through it. If you can't avoid it with a Luck check, you take damage, and by now, your Stamina is probably pretty low.
    • Caverns of the Snow Witch has this: You've killed a yeti, defeated the titular Snow Witch who's also a vampire, and escaped with two ex-slaves, who die along the way, due to a Death Curse. If you can't remember what the Healer's sign is at the end? Death.
    • Crypt of the Sorcerer The titular Sorcerer is actually a Load-Bearing Boss, and defeating him will cause the tomb to collapse. You have to make a stamina check to get out (which is doubly fun as his stats are likely to be much higher than yours, so even if you win your stamina will be heavily depleted). If you fail, you get buried with him and an adventure ends here. And the book is already Nintendo Hard in itself and the golden path already has several places where you can fail by dumb luck.
    • Night Dragon: After defeating the titular dragon and its mutated skull, the player must race for their lives to escape the dragon's collapsing lair, very likely suffering plenty of STAMINA loss in the process (this is AFTER a nightmarishly difficult boss battle, where their STAMINA is low enough already). If they made it out of the dragon's lair with at least 1 STAMINA point remaining, they win.
    • Legend of Zagor: Defeating the Final Boss, Zagor, isn't enough to kill him permanently, and the players must carry Zagor's body to the Chamber of Heartfires, suffering plenty of STAMINA loss in the process due to traps in the fortress. If their STAMINA is too low when they reach the chamber, the player will die in the process of destroying Zagor once and for all, and the narration states their victory to be posthumous.
    • Magehunter: The evil sorceror Mencius has taken you and Prince Reinhardt to another world, and killing him will undo the spell. However, to get the best ending, you have to undo the body switch that took place between the three of you: put Reinhardt back in his own body, confront Mencius in his own, then switch just as Mencius unleashes his final attack. Failure to do these steps at the right points gives some form of Bittersweet Ending.
    • Dead of Night: If you destroy the item binding the demon lord Myurr to the world without one of two artefacts, you will take stamina damage which can kill you. Dying to this gives a bittersweet ending where your parents comfort you, for your actions at least saved the land.

    Hack and Slashers 
  • After defeating the Armadillo in Ninja Gaiden II, the camera zooms in so you can get a nice view of the thing dying... in an explosion big enough to kill you no matter where you are in the arena. The only way to survive is to abandon logic and block the explosion using that slender katana of yours (or whichever weapon you've been using).
    • Can also been seen in Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword. The final boss fight consists of stunning the boss over and over so you can hit him while he's down. When he has just a sliver of health, attacking him will stun him as it usually does... but approach this time, and he'll unleash an incredibly quick instant-kill attack he's never used before.
    • In the first NES game, after defeating the Final Boss's first phase, its head flies off at you, and there's almost no way to avoid taking a hit.
  • The final boss of Drakengard 3's final route is a ridiculously difficult rhythm game as a deliberate throwback to the infamous Ending E of the first game, and is considered That One Boss by many players. But a major reason the boss is so difficult is that near the end of the song the screen fades to black while the background music slows down, making the player think it's the end of the game. Nope! Despite the dialogue between Mikhail and Zero, there's one more note that you need to hit that you can't see, and you have to press the button in time while the music is at such a slow pace that it's almost impossible to count the beats unless you were already prepared for it.
  • Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 divide chapters of the story into 'verses', where each receives its own score. Suffering a death will penalize your ultimate score for the chapter. Both games have several verses after the Final Boss fight. These are timed fights, and if you fail to complete the verse in time, you get marked a death for it. And Bayo's weapons are automatically selected, regardless of whether or not you've unlocked them, so if you haven't been trying out everything you can expect an asskicking.

    Interactive Movies 
  • In Night Trap:
    • It's possible to get a Game Over during the intro simply by doing nothing, with no clue that it's going to happen. This was actually quite common with a lot of Sega CD FMV games back then.
    • There's also an unusual twist where the player can spring a Kaizo Trap on the protagonist character, even after all the enemies are captured.
    • If you fail to trap a few augers coming after Cindy, Jeff appears and scares them off, only to bite her. The game still continues after this, making you think that saving Cindy was optional. If you manage to make it to the climax however, Cindy will appear as a vampire, having told Jeff all about the override, and he will disable your controls, giving you a game over.
  • After beating the final boss of Brain Dead 13, there is one last action sequence while everything is blowing up before the final cutscene. Not only can the player die during this sequence, but no attempt is made to hide the cruelty: the player dies by a piano inexplicably falling on their head.
  • Dragon's Lair:
    • Dragon's Lair 2 has two Kaizo Traps; one in Level 6 and one in the last level.
    • The first game, if set to Hard, also has a Kaizo Trap. As soon as Dirk kills the Bat King, if you think it's over, then the bats have a chance of making you lose a life.
  • Double Switch: If you trap Lyle at any point in act 2, you will be able to continue playing until the mummy appears and you are unable to trap him.

  • In Ether Saga Odyssey, normally killing the main boss in a dungeon will despawn everything, including traps, and you win. However, in 12 room dungeons, traps will spawn at an even faster rate. Healers that have never entered a 12 room dungeon will be caught off guard by this, and will likely die.
  • In The Elder Scrolls Online if you manage to defeat a boss, but die in the process, your victory will not register and you'll have to defeat them again. There are even cases when you'll get the "Quest Complete" ticker message, only to find that the objective has been reset when you revive at the wayshrine.
  • In Guild Wars 2 the reward chest for one jumping puzzle is located on a large rock platform. Directly between the chest and the edge of the platform where the player arrives there is a hole that will drop an overeager player back at the start. This is made worse by the limited camera angles due to the cave ceiling.
  • In Asheron's Call the person responsible for killing the White Rabbit (an homage to Monty Python's killer rabbit, affectionately nicknamed Pooky) that hangs out near Ayan Baqur gets hit with 'Bunny Smite', a spell that instantly kills the target provided they don't resist.
  • Wizard101:
    • Close to the end of the world Karamelle, there is a fight against some minions that resemble living snot. If you defeat one of them, the game is set to take away about 1/4 of your health. In a game where there are 4 enemy spots and there are 4 minions, if you defeat all of them in 1 turn (as most people will attempt to do), you will be hit for that 1/4 4 times, guaranteeing that you and your group die.
    • Also can happen in any fight where a damage over time spell can be placed on the player. If the enemy is defeated but the player still has not had all damage over time effects activate on them, and those would kill the player as a result, the game will treat it as a loss for the player, even though they technically won the fight.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • There was one unintentionally as the result of a bug early in The Burning Crusade. Blizzard didn't expect raiders to be able to progress as quickly as they did, and as such hadn't fully tested or balanced the final bosses of Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. When the guild Nihilum succeeded in the world first kill of Lady Vashj, they discovered her death conditions were not properly coded yet. She instantly respawned, and with minimal raid members still alive and totally spent they were unable to loot her corpse while trying deal with an unexpectedly alive boss.
    • Again unintentionally in Wrath of the Lich King's final patch. During the final battle with the Lich King, when he reaches 10%, he One-Hit KOs the entire raid and a "cutscene" plays out before the raid is ressed by an NPC and gets a free kill of the final 10%. The death acts the same as any other death and pops up the release spirit option. Initially it was possible to release; thinking you'd hit a time limit and failed instead of realizing the fight was already won at this point - causing you to have to start all over again. This was later patched to make releasing there impossible.

  • Super Mario Bros. Game Mods:
    • Named for the infamous Kaizo Mario World, a Super Mario World romhack, which is known for being extremely difficult, and for taking advantage of the fact that Mario can die during the victory strut after beating the stage (specifically, Special Stage 2), requiring the player to find out how to defuse the trap before walking through the end of the level.
    • The sequel inverts this by making it possible to die in the opening cutscene. While this was possible in the first game, this time around, the Thwomp is lowered and there's a hidden coin block you have to hit.
    • See here for a Let's Play of one of the levels. It's both messed up and hilarious.
    • Kaizo actually subverts the trap in world 1-3, to surprise those who have heard of the trap before playing the hack.
    • Subverted in this hack, much to the amusement of the commentator. Even more amazingly, his decision to "humor" the creator of the hack led to him discovering the trick!
    • There's an insane twist on the Kaizo Trap in the hack shown in this video, where you have to defuse the trap, then hope the blocks switch back to coins just before a certain point before you fall to your death. It's called Kaizo Combination Lock, and here's Proton Jon's reaction to this kind of trap.
    • Grand Poo World 3 has this in the Blast Brigade level, requiring the player to blow up a block or else they'll fall in acid.
    • One of the levels in a Kaizo-style hack of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest uses such a trap to return you to the start of the level, when it looks like you've made it.
    • There are several Kaizo Traps in Rob-Omb's Quest, an old Super Mario World hack starring a Bob-Omb. One level focuses on putting a bunch of goal spheres everywhere so that they're basically instant death. Another level, Castle Moat, has you go through an entire level and forces you to be small at the end. If you don't bring in a Spring Board from the beginning of the level (so it can turn you big so you don't fall into the lava), you fall in the pit of lava.
    • The secret level "Old Aquaria" in The Second Reality Project 2 contains one of these as part of the level's puzzle.
    • VIP 1 has a level called "The Goal Is Right Before Your Eyes" filled with goal gates, all but the last of which will convey you into a pit when you go through them. You have to go either under or over all of the others. A Super Mario Thing, as a series of Shout Outs to games raocow has Let's Played, has a similar level, "Red Koopa's Red Sparkling Death", which uses exit spheres instead.
    • In a romhack of Super Mario 64, called Kaizo Mario 64, the Kaizo Trap is inverted. You don't die in the ending cutscene, but during the level opening, unless you pushed the right cap switch. The same trap is also used in the hacks Mario's Nightmare 64 and SM64 Stars of the Beast.
    • In Mario Forever, in the secret Goomba party level (a level where it's literally raining Goombas), after finishing the level, a Goomba can fall on you during the victory animation and kill you.
    • Mario Adventure has you fighting a Boom-Boom at the end of almost every level. Some have several Boom-Booms, and it's a bad idea to pick up the mushroom they drop while there is still a Boom-Boom left, because you're vulnerable but motionless while the victory music plays. If you're not powered up and/or the surviving Boom-Booms aren't of the flying variety, you'll probably get killed.
    • The original Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island averts this by making all enemies turn into coins when you reach the goal. However, there exists at least one ROM hack that makes it possible to have Tap-Tap the Red Nose, normally the boss of 6-4, on screen as you hit the goal. This reveals a few interactions that are normally impossible to have in the actual game, namely that bosses aren't turned into coins, the second Yoshi that runs on-screen to catch Baby Mario during the goal animation does in fact have a hitbox, and if he gets hit during the animation, the game softlocks. Seen spectacularly here.
    • In the fan game Super Mario 63, the key in Bowser's first trap is cursed to warp Mario far away from the castle, but this just leads into the second tutorial level. For a straighter example, grabbing a Shine Sprite will cause Mario to fall straight down, and both lava and bottomless pits will still affect him and cause him to lose the Shine Sprite. This doesn't happen in any of the main levels, but it's easy to set up in the Level Designer.
  • Canon Super Mario Bros. examples:
    • In Super Mario Bros., whenever Mario touches the flagpole, Mario is invulnerable to every enemy except by the hammers thrown by the Hammer Bros and Bowser or the fire bars which can hurt Super Mario and kill small Mario. If Mario falls a hole while finishing the level, the level scrolls slowly for a while before the level starts scrolling fast and the level becomes unwinnable.
    • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: It's no Kaizo Mario, but the game derives much of its cruelty from sudden (and inventive) subversions of the original; things that simply don’t work as expected, that is, "Warp Zones" which offer to send you three or four levels backward — though Nintendo kindly left an open suicide pit — inviting players to shout, "You can't do that! Can they do that??"
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Make sure not to touch Wart at any moment during the final battle. After delivering the final blow (throwing the sixth vegetable into his mouth), he will stay in his place agonizing for a brief moment before falling away from the battlefield, but even during this final moment the effect of Collision Damage is still on, so if you have only one HP left and touch him, you will die before he does. The Super Mario Advance remake did away with this trap.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: At the end of the final level, because of the huge hole Bowser makes in the floor after being defeated (unless you use fireballs or hammers), it's actually possible to fall in it and die.
    • Super Mario World:
      • In Chocolate Island 3, touching the goal gate from the bottom (such as with a Winged Yoshi) can cause you to fall off the lower platform during the victory walk and die.
      • After you defeat Big Boo, you have to land on solid ground before the victory registers. Some hacks use this to make the fight much harder by only giving the player 3 blocks, or just one throwable object that doesn't break (such as a key). This not only forces them to score a hit with every block while flying with the cape, but they also have to run into either wall in a way that would allow them to wall jump after the last hit, since there won't be any solid ground left, but the wall jump glitch works by making the game register as Mario being on solid ground for a split-second.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has this with the boss of the Turtle Zone, Pako the octopus. Throughout the battle, he spawns Pokos, Invincible Minor Minions that can easily get in the way. When Pako is defeated, the Pokos don't despawn, and since Mario is locked in place during the cutscene of getting the Turtle Zone coin, it's possible to die after beating the boss if he gets hit while small.
    • Super Mario Maker and its sequel go well out of their way to prevent these types of shenanigans: all enemies die when you touch the axe/flagpole as normal, spikes become harmless, the ground at the end of the level can't be deleted so you can't put a pit after the axe/flagpole, and if you use springs to push Mario into a pit anyway, he doesn't die. Of course, the removal of one trick in the Platform Hell handbook doesn't mean much when the rest still work just fine. All it does is give sadistic level designers an excuse to punish you that much harder in the level itself.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2:
      • The game has a glitch where you can die during the credits. The hidden ending suddenly becomes a lot funnier with this glitch in mind, as this video demonstrates.
      • Timed Missions stop the timer whenever a cutscene occurs in which the star appears (for example, upon collecting the 100th Purple Coin or defeating the boss). However, bosses often reel from the final hit for a second or so before the actual cutscene starts, so if you defeat a boss at the last second, that moment of "Phew, just barely made it!" can quickly turn into "Aw, crap!" Still, it's preferable to the first Super Mario Galaxy, where timers continue ticking until the moment you touch the star.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii requires the player to be on solid ground (and not pulling a wall jump) before a victory over a boss is registered. The last battle against Ludwig is on shifting and slanting platforms over a Bottomless Pit - if Mario bounces off Ludwig's head and the platforms have moved away from him as he tries to land, he'll plummet to his doom and Ludwig will have to be refought.
    • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has the "Mummy-Me at Pyropuff Peaks" stage. Mummy-Me levels have Captain Toad stalked by a monster retracing his exact path with a slight delay, in the vein of Dark Rayman or Cosmic Mario. This particular stage has you deal with a boss fight with the thing after you... and it'll gladly resume the chase as soon as the cutscene of the boss's defeat ends. You'd better grab that Star quickly.
  • At the end of the credits of I Wanna Be the Guy, a slowly-falling Delicious Fruit descends upon The Kid. If you don't move him out of the way, GAME OVER - PRESS 'R' TO TRY AGAIN. However, the game still registers your victory over the final boss. There's also the infamous cutscene parodying Castlevania: Symphony of the Night; like everything else in the game, Dracula's flung wine glass will kill The Kid. Either Press X to Not Die... or skip the cutscene.
  • I Wanna Be The Fangame had a secret Eversion-themed area in the middle of the Super Mario Bros section. When you reach the end and un-evert, one last Devil Hand pops out of the water pit, potentially splattering the Kid and giving the player the finger.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country:
      • In Monkey Mines level Mine Cart Carnage, after a series of overturned mine carts and Krash kremlings, there's a long stretch of track that leads straight to the end. With the absence of any obstacles, it almost seems like a victory lap after such a difficult level. Except just before the exit, there's one more Krash waiting to catch you while your guard is down.
      • The final fight has fake credits after beating the first two phases. However, unlike the one above, this one is much more obvious, listing Kremlings in the place of developers and K. Rool himself as the producer or "Kommander".
    • Donkey Kong Country 2:
      • After K. Rool's final hit, he can still kill you with the very last cannonball.
      • In the final phase of the fight against Kreepy Krow, if the player uses Diddy to hold the barrel in front of him as a shield (which works perfectly well in the previous parts of the fight), this will backfire spectacularly. Krow will smack into the barrel, begin his death animation, but he's also going so fast that he'll run into Diddy and kill him. If Diddy is your only active character, you get to watch Krow explode while you die yourself and are forced to restart the whole boss fight. The way to defuse this trap is to anticipate when Krow will make his attack run (likely from off-screen), then toss the barrel at the exactly right second in order to hit him before he hits you.
    • In various levels of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze, taking too long to touch the slot-machine barrel at the end will cause the player to be killed by an ongoing hazard of the level (the hazard in question will depend of each level's concept).
  • Despite not generally being too difficult, Sonic the Hedgehog has this a few times, mostly related to fiddly circumstances surrounding boss battles.
    • Some levels in the 16-bit Sonic games feature boss fights over Bottomless Pits, where the player can fall in and die, even after landing the final hit on the level boss. This includes Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Angel Island Zone Act 2 in Sonic 3, and the final boss of Death Egg Zone in Sonic & Knuckles. One of the challenge stages in Sonic Origins adds one of these to the boss of Star Light Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • It's possible to end up going too fast for the game to handle and kill yourself once you're out of range of the camera, because the speed cap doesn't apply to rolling, only running.
      • The boss of Spring Yard Zone will destroy parts of the battlefield over time. Along with the peril that this causes in the battle, if he destroys the blocks to the right, it can be made impossible to make the jump to the capsule after Robotnik is defeated. Potentially averted in the Christian Whitehead and Sonic Origins remasters, due to the game being in widescreen, barriers are erected before the fight starts, and are lowered when the fight is over.
      • Sonic can also be killed by the fleeing Robotnik after he frees the animals at the end of Labyrinth Zone - just run ahead of him and hit the switch.
      • After beating Robotnik in Star Light Zone, Sonic can still get killed by shrapnel from any mines left over from the fight.
      • The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog has the end of the Jungle Zone boss, where you must jump from the tightrope you're on to the capsule on the land (or fall into a bottomless pit). It's actually a fairly tough jump.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2:
      • There is the Chemical Plant Zone Act II boss, which has the "fake" platforms that flip to the bottom at regular intervals. Beating Dr. Robotnik here does not disable these platforms, which means that you can still fall or be dumped into the Mega Mack and lose a life.
      • After beating the Wing Fortress Zone boss, a somewhat lengthy cutscene plays in which Sonic and Tails uses the Tornado to chase Eggman's craft, with Sonic grabbing onto it as it climbs out of the atmosphere and docks onto the Death Egg. However, the timer is still ticking during this; if you beat the boss with over 9 minutes elapsed, it'll hit 9:59 and you'll die from Time Out during the middle of the cutscene. Sonic 3 & Knuckles as well as later games would pause the timer during scenes like these, however, it's worth mentioning that in Sonic 3 alone (not locked on to Sonic & Knuckles), the timer will still run during the final cutscene (as if the Sonic 3 version wasn't hard enough).
    • The Sonic & Knuckles final boss will actually kill you with your final hit if you attack from the rear and bounce back just as the screen stops scrolling forward. Also, when you beat the Egg Hanger boss from the Flying Battery Zone, there is the chance that you will hit its spiked "hands", which can STILL kill you, assuming you have no Rings at the end of the battle. This was NOT fixed in the Sonic Origins remake.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, the goal sign for Tidal Plant Zone Act 2 is underwater. You'll most likely reach the sign just as the drowning countdown timer begins, and if you don't spin the sign fast enough, you can actually drown and lose a life just before the victory jingle can finish, as shown in this video.
    • Sonic Adventure:
      • Even after everything's fallen apart and he's reduced back to his egg-mobile, the Egg Hornet boss still can inflict contact damage. Usually you'll have some rings left to soak up the hit, but if you ran out of rings and decide to get a potshot in out of frustration before the fight ends, then have fun watching the camera zoom in for a glamor shot of Sonic curling up and dying with stage clear fanfare and a chance of forcing you to fight the boss again.
      • After defeating the final boss in Sonic's story (Egg Viper), his health bar disappears and he struggles in an explosion effect. Normally the camera would focus on Sonic as he does his victory pose, but instead the boss attempts a kamikaze attack. Even if you manage to dodge it, he destroys the platform you were on and, unless you jumped to another one, you fall into a bottomless pit and have to do the battle all over again. However, Tikal's Hint bubble will often give you a heads up of his desperation attack, giving you time to prepare.
    • In Sonic Heroes, the circumstances surrounding any boss battle are already very finicky (from collision detection to damage radius to shields, etc.) but are exacerbated during the infamous Egg Emperor fight, perhaps the most difficult final boss in any Sonic game. It can easily knock the characters out of the air during scripted transitional sections, into bottomless pits; it will perform its "CHARGE!!!" attack from behind, as well as forward; and when it dies, the characters are still vulnerable for a few seconds, even while its death sequence plays. It's entirely possible to die during the pyrotechnics as it goes down, and you'll be forced to restart the entire fight.
    • This trope is Chaos Gamma's gimmick in Sonic Battle. Every time he gets KOed, his defeated body explodes shortly afterwards, causing anyone nearby to take damage. It will cause more than a few cheap deaths. Made even worse by the fact that Emerl gains skill points based on how well you do in battle, and getting hit will cause you to get only 1 (for winning) or 2 (for winning without being KOed) skill points instead of 5 (for winning without getting hit).
    • Happens twice in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The Egg Genesis will try to crash into you and the Egg Wyvern will try to take you down with it. A glitch can actually let you be killed by the Egg Genesis but still complete the boss.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: In the battle against the Death Egg Robot, he makes a last ditch effort to crush you. You have to score one last hit after he lands, or the floor will collapse, sending you to your doom. You also can't be on the ground when he lands, as the move will stun you as it hits the platform, causing you to fall to your doom a couple of seconds later.
    • The above-mentioned speed cap glitch from the first game somehow managed to infiltrate the 3DS version of Sonic Lost World in Frozen Factory Zone 2. After a certain checkpoint, performing an extended spin dash will cause Sonic to go too fast, and die at the bottom of a half-pipe for absolutely no reason! Unlike the Sonic 1 version, there really doesn't seem to be any apparent reason for this as the camera follows Sonic just fine.
    • This rears its ugly head once more in Sonic Mania, and in the first Zone no less: due to the rolling topography of the boss area, it's possible for the animal capsule in Green Hill Zone, which descends from above and has a slight bobbing motion, to push you through the ground and straight to your death, even as it's initiating the end-of-zone sequence. See it in action here.
    • An achievement in Sonic Mania has this issue. "Professional Hedgehog" is earned by completing Titanic Monarch Act 1, including the boss, without taking damage. If you reach the boss and activate Super Sonic, you can't take damage any more, so that should be a free win... but winning the boss fight automatically ends Super form, and you can still be hit if the boss has any projectiles on-screen.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man, you have to collect items that the bosses drop, and projectiles don't disappear after defeat. That means that you can die right after defeating a boss and have to try again if you don't avoid that one last projectile. Which was problematic considering you couldn't move.
    • When you beat the Mecha Dragon in Mega Man 2 you lose control of Mega Man, so if you happened to be over a pit when you landed that last shot all you can do is watch helplessly as the Blue Bomber leaps to his death. In order to avoid this, you need to make sure you're on or above a platform when the final shot lands.
    • A YouTube user decided to take advantage of a Mega Man 3 mechanic, where if you're not in the middle of a room when you defeat a boss, you fall right into a pit. You can find it here.
    • Mega Man & Bass: while you are safe from projectiles after defeating a boss, one boss who fights you in a cage has a trap in store for you. After you defeat it, the platform you had to be on to damage him will fall into the acid. If you fall in, you instantly die, despite it only doing some damage in the middle of the actual battle.
    • In Mega Man 10, the Block Devil boss, as the name implies, combines the Yellow Devil with the Picopico boss from Mega Man 2 who comes out from the floor and walls. Part of what made the 2 Picopico easy was, while he came from the floor, the floor remained there. THIS boss creates Bottomless Pits when it flies out. And after you kill it, all the purple blocks in the room disappear. If you're not standing on a pink block and you don't have Beat, you'll die after you kill it. Made more annoying if you've beaten the game on Easy mode and are trying it on Normal mode. On Easy, the blocks leave behind platforms you can walk on, like in 2. If you don't know the pattern, and if you just spammed weapons on Easy just to win, chances are it'll crush you even more on Normal.
    • Mega Man X: If you get blown off the edge of the map just as you beat Storm Eagle, you fall to your death with no chance to grab onto the edge, as defeating the boss locks your ability to move.
    • Mega Man X6: Averted. During the battle with Dr. Gate in the last area of his lab (just before the Boss Rush and Sigma battles), you can beat him, and this is where the game usually locks the player out of control. However, since the fight takes place over a bottomless pit, you would fall in with no hope of survival under normal circumstances. This time, the entire game freezes, with the exception of Dr. Gate flashing then exploding. Which means that you can be halfway in the bottomless pit, and as long as Dr. Gate is hit BEFORE you fall in, then you WILL be saved after the screen fades back in from Dr. Gate's explosion; your character will be safe on one of the platforms. Averted AGAIN (double averted?) in the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 re-release when Rookie Hunter Mode is activated: the Bottomless Pit is actually removed.
    • Once you win the second Boss Battle with Phantom in Mega Man Zero, he self-destructs to take you with him. Hope you weren't standing close or had spare health, as it's not an instant kill. But it still counts as a win! Also, the game is generous enough to give you a delay between when his dialogue finishes and he starts exploding to dash away if you defeated him while right next to him.
    • Your Traintop Battle with Panther Flauclaws in Zero 2 has you both leaping between trains to dodge attacks. Hope you weren't in the air between trains when you defeat him, as a glitch causes you to fall straight down when you do. (That is an instant kill). It also applies more than once. In the battle with Hyleg Ourobockle, do not land the killing blow mid-air if you don't have a segment of the Altoloid (Hyleg's robot snake pet that serves as the platforms for this battle) directly below you to land on. This will trigger the gamepad controls to lock in preparation for a dying breath dialogue, and you won't be able to move Zero. He will plunge straight down to his doom, thanks to a blind spot in the programming.
    • Also in Zero 2, you have to fight Herculious and Kuwagust Anchortus together. Once you deplete both their lifebars, don't get confident, because they'll try to catch you in one last pincer attack before exploding.
    • Better land on a platform after slicing Pegasolta Eclair in half. He still mocks you if you die, despite being completely in two. At least you can control your descent, and can actually keep him floating in air in his death position by repeatedly wall jumping.
    • Mega Man Maker, even if it follows the same idea of level creation from Super Mario Maker, does nothing to prevent players from placing traps that would result in death by crushing or bottomless pit. And since you plummet straight down once the victory theme starts, you better make sure you are on a regular tile or on the safest place possible before clearing the level, or else a restart from checkpoint or the very start of the level is in order.
  • In Blue's Journey, you can get the Curse debuff, which freezes you when it hits, and will freeze you again if you hold still for too long. If you beat the game with it, you get a bad ending.
  • The third phase of Garlen's boss fight in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament involves using an electric Erbil-powered double-jump to hit Garlen's Mecha 3 times; all the while, you're above a bottomless pit and have to grab onto floating Goomis to stay aloft. So don't get too excited when you finally defeat him... or you'll fall in and have to start over.
  • Ganbare Goemon 4 has tanuki statues serving as the goal. If you break one, your character goes on his victory animation, but you lose control on it. This can be problematic considering you have long-range projectile weapons, and as this is the hardest SFC entry, with many enemies littering the screen, it is entirely possible to hit the statue with projectiles (which can be reflected by the walls) and fall to get killed during your victory motion by the bottom edge of the screen, treated by the game as a Bottomless Pit, as the scrolling camera is no longer working! Oh, and due to a glitch, if you die this way, you instantly lose all your lives regardless of how many you had initially! Good times indeed.
  • Castlevania
    • Recurring boss Death from the series tends to be one of these for the simple reason that, while most bosses' projectiles disappear when they bite the dust, Death's mini-sickles don't. It is possible to actually die from contact with one of them, so don't forget to take the Death Ring off...
    • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has no mini-scythes during phase two of the Death fight, but instead you have to dodge the gigantic double-bladed scythe that goes flying upon Death's defeat.
    • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, certain attacks would continue even after you successfully sealed a boss. Death's skulls were by far the biggest offender, as trying to dodge a giant flying skull immediately after drawing a complex pattern on the touchscreen is easier said than done. There's a reason the Magic Seal is the Scrappy Mechanic of Dawn.
    • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, many bosses will get a final shot at you after their life bar is depleted; though this can't actually kill you (the exception being Shaft at the end of Stage 6, though this was fixed in the remake), they can reduce the level's "vitality bonus" to one and deny you the extra life you'd normally get for killing them without taking damage.
    • In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, after defeating Beelzebub, there is usually one last swarm of flies coming to kill you.
    • In Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Death's other attacks continue when he dies if they are in use, not just the scythes. If you have the red skull swirl or the giant scythe attack at you, you better hope you don't have the aforementioned Death Ring equipped. Here it is in action.
    • Super Castlevania IV:
    • And in Castlevania: Dracula X, woe betide you if you beat Dracula and then fall into one of the many Bottomless Pits littering his arena when trying to grab the usual orb that finishes the stage.
  • At the end of Level 1 in Syobon Action, if you jump onto the flagpole normally, a bomb falls on you and kills you during the end sequence. You have to jump over the flagpole, then onto it from the other side. Level 2 also has a moving fake flagpole that kills you if you touch it (except on the top). Level 3 has a throwing guy at the end which throws you off the stage, or even if you try to wait for him to walk off the cliff, he throws a goal away instead. In Level 4, the boss is a weird chicken guy, and you're supposed to skip it by using a throwing guy. Even more in the version with 4 more stages, including, but not restricted to a sinking floor after flag pole.
  • La-Mulana:
    • In the WiiWare remake, two of the bosses do this. During Baphomet's death animation, massive pillars of flame will erupt from the ground, covering most of the screen, and you'll very likely get hit and possibly die if you don't hide out on the very edge of the boss room. Palenque, during his death animation, will leap out of the cockpit of his ancient war machine and explode, killing you instantly if you don't attack him with your main weapon before he detonates himself.
    • After the miniboss in the Gate of Illusion is defeated, a chest spawns in the middle of the room. Ghosts pour into it (the women who were sacrificed to said boss), right before the ceiling drops upon your head for a one-hit kill (and you get an achievement, because it's that kind of game.)
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Banjo-Tooie inverts this with the Mingy Jongo battle, as it's possible to die before the fight begins if Banjo approaches Mingy with only 1 HP left. This is because, despite the surprise attack occurring during a cutscene, it does inflict damage, meaning that the battle is destined to start with the duo having one HP less than before.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts: The deliberately awful mini-game "Hero Klungo Saves Teh World" has an attempted Kaizo Trap at the end of the last non-boss stage, where Klungo falls into a pit right after you pass the finish line. It's "attempted" because you still get credit for completing the level, but since the whole mini-game is a parody of 8-bit Platform Hell, it was probably meant as a subtle Shout-Out to the original.
  • In The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout, there is one part where you can get killed by a football thrown by Taz after you defeat him if Taz throws one before he is defeated.
  • In earlier versions of Eversion, the Bonus Stage had one final hand just before the goal that would pop up if the current world was X-5 or higher. Later versions changed this so that the hand unexpectedly appeared close to the end even in bright and happy World X-1, but popped out too fast to actually kill the PC. Still quite a shocker for first-time players, however.
  • Mari0:
    • In World 1-2 of the Makjang Science map-pack, there's a Kaizo Trap in the form of a trampoline/firebar trap. Mario strolls over to the elevator after using the flagpole and then a hidden trampoline launches him at a firebar.
    • In World 1-4 of the Makjang Science map-pack, Mario easily beats Bowser with his usual method. However, Mario walks towards the Toad, not realizing that there's a laser in the way.
  • Eryi's Action pulls this off at the end of the first level. If you touch the flagpole at the end normally, a spiked ball falls and kills you. The only safe way past is to find a way to destroy the ball after it falls. Attempting to exit the level without touching the flagpole also kills you. Also, Eryi's Action pulls this off in every level that isn't a boss battle. Stage 2 has an enemy throw a spiked ball at the base of the flagpole, requiring you to either deflect the attack or find a way around it. Stage 4 has an unkillable frog enemy that keeps running back and forth across the screen, while Stage 5 has a collapsing floor behind the flagpole.
  • In Contra, when fighting the final boss, the little alien spawn don't die until after the boss finishes exploding. You can die, game over, just moments from clearing the game.
  • The Battle Glacier miniboss in Freedom Planet has both a kaizo trap and an inverted kaizo trap. Since most bosses show up in the foreground before the fight officially starts, many players end up getting caught off guard when it makes a Dynamic Entry and damages you on its way in. Plus, after it's killed, meteor enemies immediately start flying in at you (in contrast to other minibosses that at least give you a breather after the boss is defeated.)
  • Kirby
    • In Kirby's Adventure and its remake Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, due to the way Heavy Mole basically creates its own arena during the boss battle, it's possible to fall offscreen and die after striking the finishing blow but before transitioning to the goal area.
    • At the very end of the True Arena of Kirby: Planet Robobot, after one of the longest boss fights in the series, the boss starts pulsating before releasing three One-Hit Killnote  shockwaves. You'll have to dodge them in order for the run to count as a win. These shockwaves will even ignore the invulnerability states of certain abilities like Stone.
    • In Kirbys Return To Dreamland, several stages end with a segment where you use the Super Abilities to destroy a bunch of things. After this, you normally complete a course in another dimension, defeat a miniboss Sphere Doomer, and finish the level. However, one level in the final world has a team of ninjas ambush you after you've defeated the Sphere Doomer right as the exit is within sight. If you don't have a copy ability and are on low health, this could take you by surprise.
  • Bug and its sequel Bug Too! have bosses where it's possible to die at even during their death animation.
    • In Bug! It's possible to die during the swamp worm boss' death animation if the player's gets Bug to drop into the instant-lethal water before the level Fades to Black. Considering that the swamp worm is That One Boss, it's a very foolish idea.
    • In Bug Too!, it's possible to get killed during the Sea Monkey King's death animation. Even though the boss may be defeated, the Sea Monkey flunkies in the background aren't, and they are still capable of hitting the player with thrown banana slugs before the level fades to black.
  • The Flash game Topsy Turvy has a goal of flags which take 1-2 seconds to raise and end the level. This applies to all levels, but only on the final level, which coincidentally sees a huge jump in difficulty, will you find a flag underneath a moving spike trap.
  • In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, when Mora is down to her last fraction of HP, she summons the Darkness, which will kill you in less than two seconds unless you have the Flash ability equipped. Worse yet, it is possible to reach her without the Flash, resulting in an Unwinnable situation.
  • In the first two Bubsy games and Fractured Furry Tales, levels are completed by touching the giant marble at the end. It is possible for Bubsy to plummet through the marble without gliding and then be killed by Falling Damage.
  • Mind Your Manors has a Kaizo Trap as the unlockable fourth ending, the hardest to obtain: just as the protagonist is about to escape the Manor, as with the other three endings, the Purple Orbs he collected suddenly extend pseudopods to catch and wrap him, moulding around his body and forcibly converting him into the very feminine Madame of the Manor, now loyally served by the human forms of the previous bosses who're happy to have a new mistress to serve.
  • Freedom Planet 2 has a couple, which are nasty if No Revives is in effect.
    • After his Wolf Armor is mortally damaged, Serpentine will spend the last few seconds rapidly clawing at you as the armor self-destructs.
      "Urgh... die! Die! DIIIIIIIIIE!!"
    • After Hundred Drillion is defeated, the lava in Magma Starscape will start to rise beneath you and carry you to the end card; it can bake you if you fall in carelessly, but some Life Petals on the way up can ease the sting.

    Puzzle Games 
  • In Bombuzal, the clear conditions for any stage include not only detonating all of the bombs, but keeping your character alive as well. Even if you manage to clear all the bombs, if your character doesn't survive the final explosion or remain on a safe tile, you will lose anyway and have to try again.
  • There are Marble Blast Gold custom-made levels where the finish pad is placed inside an "out of bounds" trigger. As a result, hitting it too slowly causes the game to reset just as you hit the finish.
  • Indie game Toki Tori ran a crossover promotion with Portal 2 by providing a GLaDOS-themed level pack. The penultimate one of these requires you to collect the last egg by dropping into it over a spike pit. The player can be forgiven for not knowing you can die during the victory animation, as all other "close call" last eggs were next to enemies (who give up and leave upon your win) rather than spikes.
  • Some questions with a bomb in The Impossible Quiz series may continue to tick down if you completed the question, meaning if you answered correctly too late, the bomb can give you a Game Over before moving onto the next question. Alongside, on question 92 of the original, if you happen to finish the question before the bomb appeared, it will still appear while Mars is singing and inevitably explode and give you a Game Over.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Red Alert 1 has the Allied mission 10, "Suspicion", where you must capture a Soviet missile launch center within an hour, which seems quite generous. Then it turns out the second part of the mission involves infiltrating the launch center within that same hour. Fortunately the countdown only starts after the missiles are launched, so you have a chance to set up a proper base.
    • Red Alert 2 continued to check lose conditions after the win condition was met, even though the controls locked up and a banner covering half the screen saying Mission Complete popped up along with cheering sounds. Since the normal lose condition was losing all your units or the destruction of your entire base, the developers probably just didn't test the possibility, since the enemy would have to complete their mission in about 7 seconds after you finished yours. The problem was that there were Allied missions with a special agent who must not die, and while she was strong, she couldn't take on tanks. The cheering continues, but the lose banner suddenly appears over the win banner and the mission restarts...
    • The penultimate Soviet mission of RA1 combines this trope with blatant Rail Roading — your objective is stated to be "capture the chronosphere", but if you do so, the mission fails. The actual win condition is to destroy everything else except the chronosphere, after which you are treated to a cutscene of the device exploding anyway.
    • And Red Alert 3 continues the tradition in the Allied campaign with "A Monument to Madness". After completing the mission objective, a major target (that must remain alive up until this point) Chronoshifts from wherever it is to an airstrip on the southern end of the map between the two allied bases, where the target changes to a transport helicopter. If you didn't get that the enemy turrets were there for a reason and didn't station units there, well...
  • As mentioned in Credits Gag, the Tetris: The Grand Master arcade games continue the game with invisible pieces during the credits. In the second game in the series, losing it doesn't matter unless you already have the second-highest rank (in which case surviving it will give the highest rank). In the third, just surviving it isn't enough; you have to play so well during the credits that the highest rank has only been attained by six people.

    Rhythm Games 
  • A bonus move during the end of Space Channel 5 is thrown into the end of the credits, often catching players off guard. Along with that, anytime you face off against Purge. He'll usually have some trick up his sleeve.
  • The entire BEMANI family of rhythm games love to put notes after the perceived ends of some of the more challenging songs. Special mention must go to Russian Snowy Dance of jubeat and its double Kaizo Trap. At first, it seems like a nice, upbeat folk tune at a fairly challenging 170 BPM, and after about 1 and a half minutes, the song seemingly ends into silence... and one second later, the rhythm (and note pattern) from the intro suddenly starts up again, this time at a blisteringly fast 205 BPM, for 13 seconds, before the song seems to finally finish for real. Two seconds of silence later, the song starts up yet again with the final bar of that sequence, this time at 240 BPM, before actually ending for real.
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • Since the introduction of the Freeze Arrow in DDRMAX, many songs end with a Freeze Arrow, often on a jump on left and right. So In the Groove has some harder songs that end on a similar looking hold jump, only to have a set of mines at the very end right after the hold ends. This was the cause of the infamous "800$ BOOM" (and in turn the "800$ <name of mistake>" Memetic Mutation), when a player in the finals of a tournament was leading and let his guard down at the last hold, only to hit the mines to ruin his perfect score and lose the match because of it, netting him the 2nd place $200 prize instead of the 1st place $1000.
    • Another case, most likely unintentional, occurs in RED ZONE in DDR SuperNOVA. First of all, the song is 1:48 long when most songs in previous DDR installments are around 1:30. Secondly, the song has what could be mistaken for an outro at 1:29, and the Expert step chart has a left+right Freeze Arrow at that point. In Konami's official US national tournament in 2009, the regional qualifier tournament in Texas saw a player who was leading at that point, hit the Freeze Arrow and thought the song was over, then missed about 4 steps afterwards to lose the match.
    • Less difficult songs only have one last jump at very high speed after you think that the song is over.
    • Custom stepchart maker FamilyFarce bred his own Kaizo trap in the Tsu...mush series from Hopscotch Mix. Both Tsutsugamush and Tsupseudogamush end with three notes in quick succession, usually charted as a left/right, up/down, left/right. For the third in the series, Tsuhsuixamush, the last jump is replaced with a massive stream of mines, which, through a glitch involving negative BPM, appear instantly and instead of the last jump. If you know it's there, it's trivial to avoid, but if not, have fun trying again!
    • Tohoku Evolved has one of the nastier ones. The song ends on a freeze jump at 340bpm. 5 seconds later, a random corner jump flies up at 1020bpm!
    • PARANOiA Revolution has a freeze jump that supposedly concludes the song at 1:40, about the length of a regular DDR song, and the background fades out to the album art (usually a sign that the song is over). The announcer goes "I'm so impressed I could cry. Thank you very much for your best dance!" THEN the background fades back in and the song delivers 2 more bars of notes. The reference is extended in Expert difficulty: the stepchart is made of fragments of boss song stepcharts, and the real ending uses part of Valkyrie dimension's expert chart - another song known for an unexpected and difficult ending.
  • HoloFunk: The difficulty of the bonus song "Killer Scream", fittingly called DEATH, is not an exaggeration. Present throughout Uruha Rushia's song is her ability to push back against the player health with her singing and screaming, with the latter forcing a Game Over if your health reaches zero. The ending of has her unleash her signature "killer scream" that'll reduce your health enough to force a game over seconds away from victory if your health is low enough. As such, it's practically required to get a good performance to not only survive throughout the whole song, but also avoid the inevitable doom.
  • Hold arrows in Pump It UP work differently than in other games — they "tick" a chart-set amount of times per beat and produce a "perfect" or "miss" judge depending on whether the arrow was held at the time of that tick, as if each tick is a separate note. This affects your lifebar accordingly. Losing your balance or otherwise moving off the panel during the holds at the end of a song can easily fail you, in some cases nearly instantly.
  • Multiple songs in pop'n music feature the "Ninja Hero Ending", named after the first song to do so; after the end, an extra group of notes drops in at blistering speed. Normally, these notes won't fail you unless you were near the cutoff point to begin with, but a few (Sonatina Tronica EX from Fantasia comes to mind), they are long and complex enough to make you flatline.
  • Guitar Hero/Rock Band:
    • A large number of the higher-end songs have a small solo after the seemingly final chord that can kill you if you, for example, had grabbed something to eat/drink after hitting the note. And a few songs have "Cap Notes", where a sustain at the end of the song has a note immediately afterwards, usually on the same fret as the sustain. This can be especially grating if you are going for an FC run and completely forget that there is an extra note after the final sustain of the song.
    • The Rock Band DLC song "Under My Wheels (Live)" seems to end, has Alice Cooper say "Thank you Birmingham!"... and THEN the ending to the song plays. Hopefully you haven't relaxed, especially considering how tough the song is.
    • The Beatles: Rock Band has "Abbey Road Medley". After going through over 16 minutes of a collection of songs, "The End" is the official final song of the medley. Guitar and Vocal players will be WTF-faced after a surprise final song suddenly barges in as they celebrate completing the longest Guitar Hero/Rock Band song in history. Not only that, but the 27 second song has proven to be more challenging than the rest. Those who made it past "The End" on low health and had not mastered "Her Majesty" will fail out and will want to swear at Sir James there. And players of the Wii version wonder what all the fuss is about, as they got this content in the form of five separate songs instead of one big one. "Her Majesty" is one of the five all by itself, and as such has its own loading screen.
    • "Stumble and Fall", debuting in Lego Rock Band, is another song with a short set of notes after the supposed end.
  • Sometimes used in the Rhythm Heaven series.
    • In Rhythm Heaven for the DS, this happens in the very first game. The screen blacks out and the song seemingly ends, only to keep on going, leaving you with only a tiny peephole to see what you're doing. But Remix 10 from Rhythm Heaven Fever takes the cake. Like in the other games in the series, the song is a compilation of all the minigames you've played before, and it ends in a familiar way with the same minigame you started with. After finishing, the music stops and it seems like it's the end, but then it starts up again for an extra bit. Then, the music dies down naturally, your character starts leaving, and the screen fades out... only to start back up AGAIN for one more round.
    • Rhythm Heaven Fever also has milder examples in "Monkey Watch," "Micro-Row," "Flock Step," and "Micro-Row 2," where the game asks you to keep the beat after the music ends, until the screen fades to black. You can get a Superb rank by putting the Wii Remote down when the music stops, but getting a Perfect requires you to continue keeping the beat without any sound for a few seconds in each of these stages. Rhythm Heaven Fever also has an inverted Kaizo Trap in "Figure Fighter 2," where the game asks you to perform a one-two punch before the song begins. The stage hasn't even faded in yet.
  • In Neon Drive, the second level appears to draw to a close after the difficult one-lane causeway that follows the song's guitar solo, only for it to throw one last chicane at you.

  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, if you kill the True Final Boss wielding anything but a certain magical weapon, the Amazing Technicolor Battlefield swarms you and transforms you into a mindless chaos wretch. Particularly annoying, as every death is permanent, and reaching the boss requires a lot of Random Drops and takes a while.
  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer: It's not over yet after Aria kills the Golden Lute since all the statues will attack with a firebeam starting from the top row, which can very much kill her before she gets to the exit if you're not careful. And of course, missing a beat after killing it will also kill her.
  • Defied in Dungeon of the Endless. If the player clicks the exit button, the crystal carrier will still need to walk over to the exit portal in order to beat the level, and during this the characters can be attacked by monsters in the exit area. However, the monsters will not deal any damage once it is clicked, ensuring your success at level completion.
  • In The Binding of Isaac:
    • You can die if you take damage after defeating Mom or Mom's Heart/It Lives. This still counts as beating the game and will unlock an item like it normally would have had you not died, and the ending will still be viewable via the stats screen. Also, in Rebirth, this will count as a loss in your streak counter.
    • In the SPEED! challenge in Afterbirth, picking up the trophy while the timer is ticking down can still kill you. This will not count as a victory.
  • Enter the Gungeon: Defeating the High Dragun and claiming the Gun That Can Kill The Past can end with an ignoble Nonstandard Game Over if you don't have any ammo for it. Constructing the Bullet That Can Kill The Past is part of the Macrogame and once all four parts have been delivered all future runs can claim it during Chamber 5.
  • Noita: On defeating the boss, a portal appears and first-time players will understandably hop through. It leads to an altar where they can place the MacGuffin to complete the game, but doing so will turn the entire world including the player into gold, killing them. The player must instead return to the start of the game, which is no small feat, and utilize a secret altar to get a better ending or start New Game Plus.
  • Nuclear Throne: Big Dog, Li'l Hunter, the Throne, Throne 2, Mom, and the IDPD Captain all explode on death. Barring Mom, their explosions can all shred through player health like paper without Boiling Veins, while Mom only explodes into a ring of venom bullets. And half of these bosses start exploding before death.
  • Thankfully averted in Shotgun King. Normally, revealing a check by killing a piece kills you. If you kill the White King and this would expose you to an attack, the attacking piece will attempt to kill you... but then stop short and self-destruct like all of the other pieces.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Lunar: The Silver Star:
    • You defeat the Magic Emperor Ghaleon. You go to walk up the steps to your girlfriend aka the goddess Althena, currently gone evil thanks to Ghaleon. You forget to play your ocarina before getting up there. ZAP. Particularly annoying since, in an earlier dream sequence, you had to keep advancing towards Luna while she throws lightning bolts at you to complete it, and many players assumed the same principle applied.
    • In the original Saturn version, it was possible to make this unwinnable if you had transferred the ocarina into someone else's inventory (since Alex is all alone when he goes up there). This was fixed in the PS1 version where it's impossible to take it out of Alex's inventory. This "trap" is derived from the actual "original" release of the game on the Sega CD/Mega Drive, though Alex played a harp rather than an ocarina. The player does get a bit of a warning by way of non-lethal (but still HP damaging) zaps, but failure to play the harp before reaching Luna always results in a final fatal strike.
  • The cutscene of the Dragon boss dying in Phantasy Star Online notably has you retain control over your character. This is because it falling on top of you actually deals damage and can potentially kill you. Which it probably will if it's your first time beating it and therefore you probably don't know that it can do this. On Ultimate difficulty, this is actually the most powerful attack in the game. It's also done as a Shout-Out in Phantasy Star Zero with Reyburn.
  • Every Dragon boss in Phantasy Star Online 2 will collapse when they die, so pray you aren't standing under them when they do. The Fang/Snow Banshee/Banther bosses also do this. Big Vardha explodes shortly after you destroy its core, so you'd better get the hell off of it immediately.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The series has this, though it doesn't involve starting over. If you capture a medium or large-sized monster, like a Wyvern, it can do damage to you if it falls on you. If you have low enough health to get knocked out by this, you will lose 1/3 of your Reward, even though the quest completes itself about 5 seconds later. This can also happen if you've killed only 1 out of 2 or more Wyverns in one quest, thus not giving you a Quest Complete.
    • Monster Hunter: World has this in a fight with Behemoth. It alternates between casting Comet, which creates a rock usable as cover, and Ecliptic Meteor, which kills everyone who's not hiding behind a comet. When the Behemoth's health is depleted, it'll cast one last Meteor, resulting in a Total Party Wipe if the comet's been destroyed, or you didn't give the boss enough breathing room to cast Comet at all. You'll even get a "Behemoth Slayed" notification on your failure screen.
  • If you have the wrong party in the endgame of Oracle of Tao, even if you win, the final boss, during a plot event, does a final blast where he tries to kill off everyone in the universe. You get a bad ending even if someone survives, just for not qualifying for a better ending, but if everyone dies... the ending is very depressing.
  • In Half-Minute Hero, certain stages contain these. For instance, one stage involves a situation where criminals have taken over a town by cutting off the current with a boulder, meaning the town can't fish and food prices are astronomical. What you are supposed to do is fight the Load-Bearing Boss in the boulder cave, destroying the boulder and releasing the current, allowing you an abundance of free healing items while you grind to the boss's level; but you can completely avoid him, grind your level a little bit, and fight the pitifully weak boss. If you choose this option, the fisherman taking you to the next stage loses control of his boat in the currents and a short Non-Standard Game Over cutscene plays showing the Hero living on a desert island for the rest of his life.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a random chance of stage props and equipment falling on Mario's head to inflict minor damage (unless you happen to block at the right time or used an ability/item to boost defense), which can also happen right after you defeat the last enemy on the field. It's entirely possible to defeat all enemies while Mario's HP is low, have a ceiling lamp fall on him, and then Mario is defeated, causing a game over.
  • Pokémon:
    • There is a move called Destiny Bond. If the Pokémon using it gets KOed in the next attack, then both Pokemon will faint.
    • An unintentional one happens in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet as a result of the game's programming. Usually, when you're battling or in the menu, wild Pokémon will temporarily vanish to avoid triggering a battle, but sometimes, this isn't the case. If you just finished a battle against a wild mon, another mon is overlapping with your model, and the game didn't give it the instruction to disappear, you're battling them, want it or not. Hope your own Pokémon aren't tired when that happens!
  • Unlike most bosses in Bloodborne that simply fall over and explode when defeated, Micolash, Host of the Nightmare has to finish his dying speech before the 'Prey Slaughtered' message appears. A Mutual Kill on any other boss ensures they die long before your death animation is finished, counting as a win, but Micolash's speech goes on for so long you'll die before it finishes, meaning you have to fight him all over again!
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius has an example of this in the Mobreeze Airship Factory: unlike in every other location before it, beating the boss does not end the quest, so it's entirely possible for your entire party to die in one of the subsequent battles if their HP is low enough, causing a Game Over and making you battle the Guardian all over again.
  • Odin's trial in Final Fantasy V is a battle on a timer, but the timer does not stop until after the fade out of the battle. Defeated him with a few seconds left? Better hope the post battle log doesn't include level ups and skills unlock, or else he will just say "Enough!", and award you with a game over.
  • After you defeat the final boss of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, you have to escape the castle before it explodes. If you haven't left the dungeon after three real-time minutes, you'll get a game over between beating the final boss and seeing the credits. And since all save points disappear after the battle, you'll have to do the whole fight over again. This is why people tend to think the Great Door is the Point of No Return, when in reality, the game doesn't have one.
  • If the player chooses not to fight Mad Dog at the end of the Western chapter of Live A Live, he'll confront Sundown again while the credits roll, and force him into a battle from which you can't run this time. That said, you pretty much have to be trying to lose this one...
  • After beating DIO in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure The7th Stand User, one might think they've defeated the Final Boss. Nope! If you have 30 or more FP with the whole party (you have to be trying to not have at least that much), the protagonist is then thrown into a one-on-one battle with the True Final Boss Vins. While this boss has lower stats than DIO, if you haven't leveled up enough it is very possible to get stuck.
  • The first boss of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, beating the first boss will result in it falling over. If you're standing too close to it, you'll likely take fatal damage and have to redo the fight.
  • The penultimate boss of Ys: The Oath in Felghana has this as a Last Breath Bullet; with his remaining energy, the boss detonates himself and tries to suck you in close enough to the blast radius of his explosion.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has a Kaizo Trap mixed with Schmuck Bait in its second platforming segment. (The game is primarily an RPG, but with Unexpected Gameplay Changes). As you approach the goal warp, you can see the edge of another platform off to the right, below the one you’re standing on. If you bypass the goal and jump down there, you’ll find nothing but a few blocks spelling out “LOL.” And then you’ll notice that you’re too low to jump back up the way you came, so you have no choice but to die and restart the stage. Grrr!
  • The Mecha-Drago, an early Wake-Up Call Boss in Mother 3, will deal fatal damage to you after dying, which means you have to scroll through the post-battle text (and possibly a level-up) or die before actually succeeding.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age: Non-lethal example happens in the Jupiter Lighthouse, a major dungeon about 2/3 through the game. Near the end of the left subtower there's a collapsing floor puzzle, where standing on a weakened tile will result in it breaking underneath your party's weight. Once you finish it, a short corridor leads to the next room... with another weakened tile just before the doorway, potentially sending you back to the previous floor and forcing to solve the entire puzzle again.
  • Metal Max 2 has a few that doubles as Schmuck Bait, like Bullfrog running away via a teleporter and expecting the player follows him in, only to find out that he had a tank ready on the other side. But the one that takes the cake is Bias Vlad, in the remake for the Nintendo DS, where he has one more phase that happens just when you thought the game was over, and the only clue to it is that you can't use the DOG System to escape the dungeon.
  • In Postknight, specifically in the sequel, you are invulnerable to any form of damage once the last foe is down. Except the bomb of the Monyeets, which can still hurt you for magic damage, because it detonates a little after it hits you. The damage it does when not blocked is significant and can kill you if you are low on health.
  • Triangle Strategy has one in Chapter VII if you chose to defend Roland. House Wolffort is vastly outnumbered by the Aesfrosti army, so Benedict suggests using the town's secret weapon: hawk statues that light large portions of the town on fire in exchange for severely damaging the enemy. It does make the battle significantly easier, but most characters are against using the hawk traps, and using them also locks you out of getting the Golden Ending. The catch is that if one of your mages or archers has multiple targets in range, the cursor defaults to pointing at the hawk statues, making them very easy to set off by accident if you aren't paying attention.

    Run And Gun 
  • After a fairly easy boss fight, the fourth stage boss of Gunstar Heroes throws a magical gem (the MacGuffin you've been searching for) to you. Savvy players will wonder: 'Doesn't this sequence usually happen in a cutscene? Why do I still have control of my character?' Less savvy players will be blown the hell up. Beating on or shooting the boss's grovelling form a bit more (or a lot more) induces him to cough up the real gem.
  • Metal Slug: The Final Boss of Metal Slug 6 is the Venusian Queen, which the player fights in a cavern that spirals downwards. The moment players defeat her, the Queen will fall into an abyss, but she will also drag players down along with her while launching projectiles all over the place in a last-ditch attempt to kill the players. More often than not players will end up with a Game Over even if they successfully defeat the Queen, although if the player survives long enough, they'll be rescued by General Morden or the Martians while the Queen falls to her fiery demise.
  • One of the bosses of Cuphead's Delicious Last Course DLC will attempt to trick you by calling a fake Knockout and give you a false sense of security. If you fall for his trick and assume the battle is finished, you won't notice the boss's final attack coming your way, and if your HP is low enough that final attack will result in you dying and having to redo the fight.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • In many Shoot Em Ups, after you beat certain bosses, such as Gradius II's first boss and Raiden's second boss, their exploding wreckage remains on the screen for you to crash into. Also, with Raiden's third boss, the screen keeps scrolling and enemies continue to spawn and attack after you defeat it.
  • 1943 for the NES has every ship boss at the end of a level. On defeat, their control tower will explode into harmful wreckage. This trope can apply to the Final Boss; you're probably out of fuel (one more hit will down you), and you're relieved that you managed to beat it — just remember to stay far from the thing or shoot the damn wreckage as it comes.
  • M.U.S.H.A. seems to end after you've blown up the enemy headquarters, and you are ordered to dock with the mothership, but then Daia 51 shows up out of nowhere to wage a last stand against you.
  • In the Touhou Project series:
    • Very few of the games wipe the bullets as soon as a boss is defeated. Before Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of Faith, the player was given invulnerability during bosses' defeat explosions.note  However, the game engine was rewritten for Mountain of Faith and the invulnerability was left out, so the trope is in full force from MoF onwards. This makes it possible to get hit by a bullet and die after the final boss has just been defeated.
    • It's even worse during the final boss battle in Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism, because the last card of the final boss sucks you in while forcing you to avoid bullets shot by her and coming from behind you. When she's exploding, the effect still lingers, but your player character moves in slow-motion so you have to carefully adjust your position one last time or use a bomb. Otherwise...
    • In Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom, the Berserk Merlin Game-Breaking Bug, which desynchronizes her from the other two bosses during the last spellcard, will also cause her to kill you during the ending conversation and stage results, when the player can't move.
  • In Star Fox 64, the boss of Zoness can still hurt you as it goes down. Getting hit by its final laser will only do a little damage, so unless you're on the verge of death, it's no big deal. Getting hit with debris from the spiked ball cannon flying off, on the other hand, will wreck your wings in Expert mode — just like every other hazard.
  • In the flash game Ultimate Crab Battle, killing the boss while leaving one of his laser-shooting Elite Mooks alive results in an Unwinnable game, because they keep shooting you during his final speech, and you don't have invincibility during it. And getting killed and continuing will not save you from this fate, either.
  • Tempest: When you complete a stage, your ship descends into the pit; if you hit a spike thread made by a Spike enemy, you'll lose a life. The first few levels with spikes at least give you a brief "Avoid Spikes" warning. Also, you can keep shooting and moving as you descend, but you can still hit a spike too tall to clear in time (including hitting the middle of one if you screw up your movement).
  • Einhänder
    • In stage 4, there's a large submarine enemy before the Mini-Boss. Kill it the conventional way instead of hitting the cockpit and its cockpit comes out to kill you, firing a very hard to avoid spray of huge shots.
    • The stage 4 Mini-Boss Salamander itself (an amphibious stingray submarine with arms that cling onto pipes above). Stay away from him after he's defeated- during his death throes, he'll flail his arms like a drowning man before sinking... and those can hit you and kill you.
    • Successfully defeating the penultimate boss will award you with the mission clear screen. Destroy it a certain way, however, and you get treated with a full blown midboss. While it is weak, it is fast and throws you quite the bullet curtain.
  • After the final boss of Island Wars 2 goes down, it's not over yet, as a whole bunch of durable large torpedoes will leap out of the water in a last-ditch attempt at destroying your palm trees.
  • Notebook Wars subverts the trope. It is possible to kill yourself by running into bullets after the "YOU WIN" message appears, which causes the "YOU LOSE" message to show up as well, but you pass the level.
  • In the early Terra Cresta games, whenever Mandler is defeated, the Power of Void, the crystal embedded in Mandler, will eject and launch a series of bullets before vanishing.

    Simulation Games 
  • In Crimson Skies, you can crash during the final moments of the end battle after you achieved the victory conditions. The ending movie and credits will play, but then it jumps back to making you replay the mission as though you lost and were retrying it. You won't get anything for beating it until you finally beat the mission without crashing.
  • During almost all of the Ace Combat games, it is totally up to the player to NOT crash after the 'Mission Accomplished' sign pops up on the screen. This even includes as the screen is fading to black. An exception is AC2, though, where crashing would only cost you credits but not victory.
    • Often times missiles fired just prior to the "Mission Accomplished" screen are still hot and capable of tracking the player aircraft, despite the enemy planes that just fired them being neutralized. On certain missions on higher difficulty, settings where enemy accuracy and damage is increased, players need to continue to perform evasive maneuvers throughout the "victory lap" portion of the mission just to avoid being shot down.
    • While Ace Combat 2 avoids this trope, its remake Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy doesn't. Which can lead to cases like this:
      Drayman: We owe you our lives, Phoenix!
      (player dies)
      Keynote: NO! PHOENIX DOWN!
    • Tutorials are especially prone to this, as they tend to lock the controls after completing the objectives so the trainer guy can ramble on for a bit, quite possibly resulting in your helplessly smacking into a mountain (which forces a restart, naturally). Some of the games aren't even programmed to activate auto-pilot while this is happening. Hope you weren't aimed for the ground when the game took over.
    • In Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, a programming bug meant that occasionally some enemies would still be active after the mission was accomplished. If these enemies shot you down, you failed the mission. This is especially notorious during the mission where you have to save the President of Osea. Your enemies by the end are YF-23s, the only planes that actually act like stealth planes in the game. Usually, when you finish a mission, you can at least see your radar before the Mission Accomplished screen pops up, so you know where the other planes are. Here, you don't know if there are any YF-23s left. Coincidentally, YF-23s have an odd tendency to go 300 feet behind you and fire missiles only then. Also, if you fail at the very end, you have to do the mission all over again.
    • A hilarious example in a speed run of the Tunnel Vision stage in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, where the player is going so fast at the end that he crashes into the wall at the end of the tunnel that the sky texture is painted on.
  • Air Force Delta Strike had this for several Airstrike Impossible missions where you must let the Enemy Chatter script finish, then it would fade to the victory screen. This could get frustrating where said missions would be instant death if your plane touches anything. It's realistic for a plane going Mach 1 to be destroyed if it contacts a hard surface; it's not realistic for a VTOL in hover mode to suffer instant death for drifting — slowly — into a wall.
  • In H.A.W.X. 2, it's possible to crash or be killed during cutscenes where you have no control or even sight of your plane.
  • One particularly cruel Freespace 2 mod has the player's ship instantly self-destruct upon attempting to jump out after winning the mission. The key to avoiding this? Activate your jump drive, then cancel it before you jump, and only then jump out for real.
  • MechWarrior 4 ran cutscenes in-engine and realtime, and didn't confer a invincibility tag on any battlemechs, meaning it's possible for the player or his lancemates to take heavy damage or die in cutscenes. Thankfully, most missions have a "kill everyone" objective and the cutscenes are short, making it very rare to actually die in a cutscene.
  • In Domina the player is sentenced to death by combat after winning the apparent final battle. The key to surviving is that every slave freed during the game will fight on the player's behalf during this battle. The counter-intuitive method of surviving is to continually train, arm, and free a rotating roster of champions rather than building a constant stable.
  • The second and fifth editions of The Oregon Trail have an amusing example. Suppose you made it to your destination and you decide to hunt. Then, the game tells you that you've died of an accidental gunshot or an animal mauling. You can then click on your diary where you'll see that you got elected as a city council member, opened a business, or raised money to help Civil War widows despite having died decades earlier.
  • Thargoids in Elite Dangerous release a cloud of corrosive gas after being killed. Go in to grab the (valuable) heart, and your ship might melt.

    Stealth Games 

    Survival Horror 
  • Ao Oni: After triggering the never-ending chase scene (present in all versions of the game) near the end, don't be fooled; the Oni will continue to follow you once you get out of the house — keep running.
  • The hive mind in Dead Space will collapse when killed, landing toward the battle arena. If the player is too close to the edge, he gets crushed.
  • In Dead Space 2, after defeating the Tripod in the first encounter. If the player approaches its head without shooting it once more, it'll suddenly swings its stinger, and can possibly sting him to death if in low health. This occurs again in the ending credit cutscene, if the player failed a Quick Time Event to catch up the ship, this results in instant death.
  • Don't Chat with Strangers: Once the player finds Lucy's body at the correct location, the dramatic music playing can lead to the player believing that the game is essentially over, so it's not unreasonable for the player to be enmeshed in the atmosphere and thus take their time in digging Lucy's grave. This is a mistake, however, because if the protagonist doesn't bury Lucy in time, she revives and rips his head off, leading to another game over. Conversely, if the player tries to mash just to get it over with, the piano playing will end abruptly, causing an instant game over. The player has to dig at the exact rate to bury her before the song ends, but not so fast that the game considers it mashing, in order to complete the final task successfully.
  • Lethal Company: It is still possible to die from being attacked by Circuit Bees, Eyeless Dogs or masks after pulling the lever to take the ship back to orbit. If you are the last person alive and die after pulling the lever, you still lose everything.
  • Resident Evil:
    • A few bosses in the series, such as the scorpion in Resident Evil 0, can kill you in their death throes if you're low on health.
    • In Resident Evil 4:
      • The Gigantes will fall forward after the final blow. If Leon's close enough when this happens, then you have to do a Quick Time Event to dodge, or else You Are Dead. Also, after a player defeats the first boss, Del Lago, and has perhaps laid the controller down to enjoy the hard earned cutscene, there is a one-button action prompt that will result in instant death if missed.
      • There's a point where you fight two Gigantes at once. You can lure one of them over a trap door and drop him into molten metal. However if Leon approaches the trap door too quickly after dropping the Gigantes in, it'll lunge out, grab Leon and drag him into the pit.
      • It's rare but if you shoot the head of a villager it may still strangle Leon and if you're on low health might even kill him.
    • In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Lucas likes to craft these for his own sadistic pleasure, and you need to use a form of In-Universe Save Scumming — playing a mini-game where you take the role of the last victim to die in it — to be able to cheat your way around his trap.
  • At the end of the 'Into The Abyss' Level in Slender: The Arrival, the proxy can still jump you and even kill you, even as you have just activated the elevator and are now riding it up to the next level. It is also possible to walk out of the elevator if it reaches the top. Doing so will still get the game over screen that features the Slender Man just like when he captures you (or if the player falls out of the map, it will display the screen mentioned before but with the message "Not even the bug in this game can save you from me.")

    Third Person Shooters 
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron. So you've just blasted Trypticon within an inch of his life, and he's hanging to the edge of a large hole he made in his anger. All he does is chuckle and slam his claw down to grab you, then fake falling to his death. But at least you get an achievement for getting hit by that.
  • Due to how the engine of Gears of War renders cutscenes, it's possible to die without getting to touch the controller. For example: if an opening cutscene features randomly-fired mortar shots, and one of them lands close enough to one of the players, they could instantly die when the cutscene finishes and the action begins. Thus, an inverse Kaizo trap.
  • The first Bogey boss fight in Vanquish ends with a tricky Press X to Not Die cutscene.
  • Max Payne 3's third chapter ends with a quick-time event where you only have a couple seconds to take out the last sniper before he pulls out a grenade and blows you both up.
  • In Syphon Filter's Destroyed Subway level, as you near the end of the exit tunnel, a Man on Fire suddenly spawns and you have less than a second to shoot him before he immolates you as well.
  • Splatoon 2: In Octo Expansion, it is entirely possible for you to complete a timed course within the allotted time, but because the goal animation did not finish playing before the clock ran out, C.Q. Cumber still kills you for running out of time.

    Tower Defense 
  • Normally, in Mini Robot Wars, beating a Mission Stage where you are required to destroy an enemy unit gives you an immediate victory should you manage to, as all enemies on the screen die when the target is destroyed. One of them, however, has you use a bomber unit to destroy a Giant that's supported by other mooks. Even if you beat the Giant, you still have to survive the residual mooks before The Cavalry finishes them off, as these do not automatically die when you destroy the Giant—if you die after beating it, it still counts as a loss.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Your Alicorn Is in Another Castle: The Double-Meaning Title "The Kaizo Trap" references the annoyance of a character named Kaizo, and also this.
  • Isle of the Ape is an incredibly difficult Dungeons & Dragons adventure that has a trap at the end. After finding the MacGuffin and getting to the island's exit portal, unless the characters take a very specific, non-intuitive action, they find themselves seemingly in a high council of the forces of good, with a white robed wizard congratulating them and asking for the artifact. These are actually disguised demons trying to steal it, and are powerful enough to slaughter the party if they refuse or hesitate. They can be rescued simply by calling out for help, but there is no hint given at any point that they can do this.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid is a show focused around video games coming to life, and as such has several different endings by way of a large array of Finale Movies. The first of these, the deceptively-named True Ending, ends with the villain being defeated and the heroes saving the day, only for the post-credits scene to have Kamen Rider Build show up and steal Ex-Aid's superpowers, setting up the conflict for the next movie.
  • In another Dungeons & Dragons example, the Eberron Adventurer's League campaign Oracle of War has a particularly nasty one. Part 16 gives the players the option to free the Daelkyr Valaara the Crawling Queen from her imprisonment in order to gain her help beating the baddies du jour. If they do, nothing comes of it until the epilogue of Part 20, the finale, at which point their victory celebration is interrupted by everyone vomiting insects and Khorvaire falling to Valaara. Sovereigns help you if you didn't free her, but more than half your table of random League players did...
  • Shadows over Camelot: If a traitor avoids detection completely, two white swords are flipped to black at the end of the game. Since the loyal Knights need seven white swords out of a maximum of twelve to win, this can easily cause a last-minute defeat.
  • In ProZD's sketch about rhythm games:
    Make sure not to miss
    A single note or you will
    Fail the whole combo!
    Now here's the ending of the sooong
    [Long Beat, SungWon breathes a sigh of relief]
    Psych, just kidding!
    [Combo failed]
  • It should come as no surprise that this is in the web animation Kaizo Trap, where the Girl finally seems to rescue her husband, but it turns out to be a boss which resets her progress. She's forced to decide whether or not to keep going. The end of the first animation also counts, at least before YouTube disabled redirecting annotations. The ending has the two back home, but in a dilapidated house with broken windows and furniture. By paying very close attention, though, and going through a maze of redirects and a bunch of Nightmare Fuel, the viewer/player can find themselves at the actual ending.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): One Last Trap, Victory Trap, Death By Victory Lap


Karateka gets kicked by Mariko

After defeating Akuma, going towards Mariko in your fighting stance will make her kick you down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

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Main / KaizoTrap

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