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Non-Standard Game Over

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"YOU embody Jeearr; you are cursed by ten thousand generations of victims; your face adorns the idols. And worst of all, you remain awake and aware, a witness to horror, never sleeping, and never, ever to escape. Your score is -99 of a possible 400, in 805 moves. This puts you in the class of Menace to Society."

In most games, players see the dreaded Game Over screen when they lose in some way. Maybe you fell down too many Bottomless Pits and lost all your lives, or the Player Character was beaten to death by a particularly vicious Demonic Spider. Maybe you failed a story important mission or lost a critical Non-Player Character during an Escort Mission. You might have been caught or captured during a Stealth-Based Mission. …Or, maybe you just forgot to pause the game while reading the walkthrough you pulled from GameFAQs and the game's timer ran out — you get the idea. These are all standard failings, usually treated with a simple default message: "Game Over."

Alternatively, you have successfully finished the game, defeated the Final Boss and receive a Game Over message after the credits because technically the "game is over". But that is not what this trope is about.

Sometimes there are games that give an unusual message or even a full cutscene for losing the game in a specific way. These are non-standard Game Overs.

There are a few variations on this theme:

  • In games where the standard 'game over' sequence is getting killed by something, any situation in which you can lose without actually dying may result in a non-standard game over. Conversely, getting outright killed in a game whose scenarios rarely involve life-threatening situations may trigger a non-standard Game Over.
  • Otherwise standard game overs (loss of hit points, lives, etc.) that receive special treatment because they occur in a particular place or time (e.g., a unique Downer Ending cutscene for losing to the Big Bad);
  • Punishment game overs that the game levies against usually unsuspecting players who attempt to break the rules or derail the plot (e.g., when the game actually lets you say "no" to the main quest — and averts But Thou Must!, or triggering a case of You Lose at Zero Trust or a Reality-Breaking Paradox).
  • Odd or bizarre noncanon bad endings that the player can choose to acquire, usually involving failing a mission objective in a way that causes the death of the main characters, often in a way that no stat bonus on Earth could get the player out of. Theoretically, anyway.
  • You lose in a way that renders the Player Character Deader than Dead, such as erasing yourself from existence completely.
  • Performing any stupid thing which causes death of the Player Character, especially when not in battle.
  • Performing any obviously stupid or unsavory act just to see what would happen. This often gets you chewed out by an NPC followed by an unceremonious game over. This is often the case where you do things such as fire on friendlies just to see if they are Friendly Fireproof. Even if they don't fire back and kill you, you will still likely be arrested, court martialed, or some other appropriate punishment indicating that your mission is over and so is your career.
  • Failing a Copy Protection check. The player is instructed to give a piece of information that could only be found in either the instruction manual or the feelies. Failing to do so would trigger an unwinnable scenario or cutscene. Not surprisingly, some of these sequences actually involve a pirate NPC or two. Genre Savvy players will likely figure out what is going on if the tone suddenly seem to breach the Fourth Wall, pirates are not a logical element in the game story, and it immediately follows a copy protection check. The vignette is likely to involve an admonishment about how Digital Piracy Is Evil, all while still in character. These are all clues that your game is permanently over until you purchase a legal copy.

This page is about the unusual, context-sensitive methods by which players trigger a Game Over screen. It doesn't include the times when the game tries to trick you into thinking that the game has ended.

For games where every death is accompanied by a special message, see Have a Nice Death. For games where every death has a special animation, see The Many Deaths of You. For games where all bad endings contain extended narrations or demonstrations about the consequences of your actions, see It's a Wonderful Failure.

For standard Game Overs that result from an instant-kill attack, see One-Hit Kill. For the game ending early due to a non-standard victory condition, see Instant-Win Condition. If a non-standard Game Over cuts the game's ending, then it's aptly No Ending. For non-standard Game Overs triggered early in the game, see Press Start to Game Over. For situations where there's an achievement awarded for this, see Achievement Mockery.

Genres with their own subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Adventure Games 
  • The Interactive Fiction Game, Anchorhead, has a large number of grisly ways to die, but the character can go insane in true Call of Cthulhu fashion by either fully reading the black tome in the church or by attacking and killing your husband during the game's finale. The character can also suffer "Endless Torment" by being sucked into the womb at any point.
  • All of the endings in the Atlantis series are non-standard, and depend entirely on what wrong choice you made to bring them about.
  • At the end of Beneath a Steel Sky, you can get one either by having Rob voluntarily plug himself into LINC, or waiting until LINC itself grabs him. Rob struggles for a while, then has his mind wiped and replaced with that of LINC.
  • In The Black Cauldron, if you fail to get Hen Wen before she reveals the location of the Black Cauldron to the Horned King, the game ends immediately.
  • In The Dead Case, shortly before the very last part of the game, the killer runs into the house of the protagonist's fiancé, pursued by the ghost of his wife. The dead wife goes to set the house on fire, and the player is given the choice between stopping her and letting her go ahead. The correct option is to stop her (which will lead to the two going inside the house, stopping the killer, and saving the fiance), but letting the ghost burn the house down will result in a game over, informing the player that the fiancé died and the killer escaped.
  • Death Palette has every death be a Non Standard Game Over, with an artistic representation of how the artist was killed and a short snippet of the news report about their death.
  • In the computer game version of Frederick Forsyth's The Fourth Protocol (in 1984), you have to uncover a Soviet plot to explode a nuclear bomb near a US Air Force base in Britain, to influence the upcoming British elections and lead to the election of an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-Soviet government. Usually, if you take too long or don't get anywhere with the plot, you get a memo telling you you're being reassigned to The Falkland Islands, until you get far enough. When you find the bomb, you have to defuse it, and if you mess it, up you are told the plan succeeded: Britain fell to the Soviets, and they started working on Europe from two fronts. But sometimes a different ending appears: the bomb leads to a limited nuclear war, destroying both sides and making the northern hemisphere uninhabitable. This comes "From the annals of the Australio-Indonesian Empire..."
  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist quits to DOS if you shoot yourself.
  • Normal game overs in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective are caused by being unable to save your subject's life before time runs out. However, there are two instances where you can actively cause the subject's death.
    • If you recline the seat while the van-driver is driving, he will lose control of the vehicle and crash anyway.
    • In Chapter 15, if you replace the bullet with the hard-hat, rather than the soft knit hat, it will still crash into the victim's face and crush his skull (even more brutally than the bullet would have). His ghost isn't very pleased, but it's hilarious to watch.
    • In Chapter 15, if you try manipulating any object in view of the killer, he will notice you because he's also a ghost and knows of ghost tricks, and will immediately shoot the victim.
  • From Next Door: If Namie is injured by the creature enough times in the climax, she is knocked unconscious and we hear the sounds of the creature dragging her (presumably to the other house), brief silence, then sinister growling. It's not considered a true ending though, as it immediately goes back to the player's previous save.
  • The PC game Hell Cab, despite having a three-strikes-and-you're-out life system, has a few instant-death consequences depending on your morals. Early examples include telling Nero you want to throw the ladies to the lions, and choosing to kill your opponent during the gladiator match.
  • In one of Homestuck's flash "walkarounds" (Past Karkat: Wake Up), Karkat specifically tells you not to fall asleep — that doing so would be fatal, given the dream worlds' annihilation. Later on, Nepeta shows you to an Easter Egg room with a bed and lots of treasure chests. Guess what you can do.
  • King's Quest:
    • King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow: The normal Game Over sequence is a very short cutscene in the Realm of the Dead. There are three Non-Standard Game Overs: a Deader than Dead Game Over (Alexander's skeleton in tattered clothing collapses on a black background), a Forced Transformation Game Over ("Was that the beast you could do?"), and another non-deadly Game Over where Alexander gets captured and locked in the castle dungeon right before the wedding ("'Tis a noble thing to have a means of escape, and 'tis a far, far better thing to never get caught at all!")
    • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella had a couple. Rosella could, in theory, complete all the victory conditions… except getting the magic fruit she came to get for the ailing Graham. What plays is most of the happy ending, but when she gets to Daventry, she has to admit failure and watch her father die. Another one was either failing to escape the tower cell or getting caught by Lolotte's guards, which ended with her forced to marry Edgar. note 
  • Leisure Suit Larry:
  • In the video game version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you play most of the game as King Arthur, but the "Knights in Kombat" mini-game allows you to play as Arthur or the Black Knight. If you play as the Black Knight and win, the game immediately cuts to the Game Over screen.
  • In Myst, if you try to enter either the red book or the blue book, the brother inside will keep you trapped inside the book by tearing out all the pages. If you enter the green book without the final page, you're also trapped. In the nice ending, you put the white pages into the green book with Atrus in it. Then you get to wander the entire game world as a reward. Other entries in the series also offer multiple endings.
  • The Neverhood contains a drain with signs warning the player to not jump in the drain because they will die. If you click on it, Klaymen jumps into it and falls out of the Neverhood and the credits roll. This is the only way the player can possibly kill themselves in the whole game.
  • In the bonus chapter of Nevertales The Beauty Within, failing the test of character results in the main character's husband being crushed to death while she waits fruitlessly forever for his return.
  • Failure during the finale of any Quest for Glory installment from Trial by Fire through Dragon Fire will lead not only to the hero's death, but a scene of the resident Sealed Evil in a Can breaking free to lay waste to the world.
    • This can happen several times in the second game, Trial by Fire. The main city is beset by four elementals over the course of the story, and three days after they individually show up, if they haven't been defeated, then you get a cutscene of them destroying the city. In addition, the final portion of the game, after the Big Bad gets the sealed evil but before it is released, any failure or waste of time will result in the above mentioned non-standard game over.
    • In the third game, the Fighter must become initiated into the Simbani tribe as part of the plot, and this means competing against your new friend and the chief's son Yesufu at the Initiation Ceremony. The competition includes a number of events, including running, which Yesufu will always automatically beat you at until a pre-scripted moment where he is injured. If you leave him there, the Simbani, who rely on complete trust and cooperation within the tribe to survive in a harsh environment, will be horrified by your selfishness and refuse to initiate you, leading to a game over.
    • In Dragon Fire, you can sacrifice yourself to weaken the Dragon of Doom so your companions can slay it and save Silmaria. This gives you a Game Over screen that tells you how your sacrifice won't be forgotten. Another way, if you're a mage, is to cast the Thermonuclear Blast spell. This will kill you, your companions, and the dragon, and probably blow away a chunk of Silmaria in the process, but the game over screen says you did save Silmaria from destruction from the Dragon of Doom.
  • Return to Zork: In most deaths, a three-note song plays (the notes are from the game's opening theme), an evil guy laughs at you, and a temple screen is shown. However:
    • In the very first death of the game (getting attacked by a vulture), a longer song plays.
    • In any death relating to water, a different three-note song plays.
    • In any death relating to explosions, there is no song and no evil laugh.
    • In one death (walking over a pile of leaves and getting sprung in a trap that also turns you upside-down), the temple screen is also upside-down.
    • Two final special game overs, related to the Copyright Protection quizzes. One just exits out to DOS normally if you get the questions wrong, but in the other one, later on in the game, you are "blown" back to DOS by a double barrel hunting shotgun.
  • In Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis, if you approach Shelton too carelessly at his control panel, we're treated to a rather disturbing scene of him pulling a gun out and killing Nina with it. Although this is subverted as it's revealed to be Nina imagining what would happen if she took that action likely due to adventure games having a rule against killing the player character since the complaints of the old Sierra games, this is still quite a shocking roundabout twist on that rule.
  • In Shadow of Destiny, when you die, you are generally given a couple of hints, and automatically continue; without the option to game over. However, it is possible in at least the first chapter to meet yourself — by coming into contact with yourself, you create a time paradox which erases you from existence. It also fails back to the title screen. You also unlock one of the Multiple Endings by inducing someone else to do it.
  • Shadowgate: All the myriad deaths cut to a glowing-eyed Reaper against a sunset with the caption, "It's a sad thing that your adventures have ended here!!", except (at least) jumping into a massive chasm, which brings, "The Reaper Man stands below, waiting to catch you" instead.
  • Space Quest: Multiple:
  • Trying to enable cheat codes in The Stanley Parable results in Stanley being trapped in "the serious room", leaving the player no choice but to restore or restart.
  • In Super Adventure Rockman, the default Game Over screen is Roll dying. However, there are some battles that can cause a special Game Over for you.
    • Losing to Shadow Man will cause Shadow Man to kill Mega Man off-screen, and give out a Evil Laugh.
    • Losing to Gemini Man will cause Gemini Man to comment on Mega Man's loss before finishing off Mega Man with his Gemini Laser and giving out a Evil Laugh. The screen fades to black with no option of continuing.
    • Losing to the final boss will cause a Game Over where Ra-Moon kills everyone and takes over the world. There is a option to retry the final boss, luckily.
  • In Sword Of Shannara, if you attack the Warlock Lord instead of the book controlling him, you get a text-only ending where the main character is the new Warlock Lord.
  • Touhou Kenbun Roku: During Chapter 3, you meet a king and his daughter. You can opt to touch the daughter, and if you do, the game abruptly ends.
  • the white chamber has a full eight endings. Four are standard Have a Nice Death you get by getting killed before completing the story (end up in outer space, get electrocuted, die from toxic air, or decide to stay in a quarantine bay until you expire). Completing the story nets you an ending depending on how many points you've gained by certain deeds until then: five points nets you the Redemption ending, in which you leave the station. Less, you get the Damned ending in which you have to do everything all over again since you didn't learn. Zero points nets you the Tormented ending, in which you're essentially Dragged Off to Hell. Oh, and scoring six points (difficult unless you go out of your way to do everything right) lands you the Comedy ending, which is weird.
  • Typing "click heels" in the old The Wonderful Wizard of Oz text adventure would lead to a black screen and state that while it did get Dorothy home safely, it leaves her friends fending for themselves, and that Dorothy will spend the rest of her life wondering about the adventures she missed out on.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories has a game over scene for every lost duel where the opponent mocks Yugi & Yami for their defeat. A game over still occurs when they're friendly dueling with their allies without any risks in the duel.
  • Bug Hunt for Macintosh, in addition to the normal Game Over by Player Character death, has at least five non-standard failure situations; escaping on the shuttle but leaving the alien alive aboard the space station and being sentenced to prison for it; having the station self-destruct with you still onboard; using the frag grenade onboard the station and suffering Explosive Decompression; launching the alien on the shuttle without first rigging it to explode with the aforementioned grenade; or taking off on the shuttle yourself with it rigged.
  • In Maniac Mansion, half the titular house is blocked off by a steel security door. The only way to open it is to use the keypad to enter a randomly chosen code from the codebook enclosed with the game as Copy Protection. If you get the code wrong, you trigger an alarm that inevitably blows up the house. The only way to stop it is to use the keypad again and enter a code correctly. Even when you open the door, the mansion's inhabitants will sometimes close it if they pass through it. Most later adaptations simply keep the door open at all times and remove the keypad feature altogether.

    Augmented Reality Games 

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In Anarchy Reigns, during the boss fight against the Blacker Baron, once you weaken him to about 25% of his life, you'll be warned of an impending plane crash on your position. After weakening him further, you'll then have about 20 seconds to finish the fight, or else the plane will crash, killing you both and causing a Mission Failure.
  • In The Bouncer, if you run out of time trying to find the keycard to unlock the cargo to stop the train from crashing with rocket fuel, the collision into the building is more destructive and causes sea water to rush through the explosion, which then causes the whole next level to have water chasing you at certain points which causes emergency doors to close. If you don't make it through the doors fast enough, then a cutscene plays where your character of choice is trapped by the doors and the water reaches them. It then cuts to the normal game over screen over a black background.
  • Fable Heroes normally does not allow the player to lose; even if all Player Characters in the party are killed, they can complete the level as ghosts, receiving fewer resources. The normal end screen shows the party members standing on a championship platform. However, if the game is set to the highest difficulty level and all the PCs die, the game cuts to the same platform but with all of the top 3 spaces occupied by monsters, with the heading "The Creatures Win!"
  • A very harsh example happens in The Ren & Stimpy Show: Time Warp. The game begins with the titular duo having to collect 47 million Gritty Kitty proofs to win a time machine. If they complete the first stage without having enough, the game ends. In reality, the duo only have to collect at least 67 as Powderded Toast Man conveniently destroys a shipment that contains 46,999,935 proofs. Nowhere does the game tell or clue the player how many Gritty Kitty proofs to collect until the stage has already been beaten.
  • In SNES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, beating the game on Easy or Normal Mode can be result in alternate ending merely consists of Splinter telling you to hone your skills more, and then the mockery part before the Game Over screen.
  • In Undercover Cops, failing to stop Dr. Crayborn from dropping the atomic bomb on the city will result in a bad ending in which the city is destroyed by the bomb and the three city sweepers are forced to quit their jobs, followed by the Game Over screen.

    Fighting Games 
  • In the Arcana Heart series, should you time out during the final boss battles, the bad endings show either the Elemental World and human world merging in the first game or Japan getting destroyed by Ragnarok in the third.
  • In Bushido Blade, you must fight your opponents honorably in Story mode. Use dishonorable tactics and the game abruptly ends after you do so, with the message "None are more contemptible than those who defile the way of the Bushido." berating you.
  • Normally, losing a fight in the first Fatal Fury leads to a taunting quote from your opponent and a "Continue?" screen showing your fighter's battered picture. Losing to Geese, the last boss, however, gives you a cutscene where he kicks you off of Geese Tower. The "Continue?" screen likewise shows your character plummeting to his death.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you can watch a unique ending sequence if you lose to the final boss and opt not to continue. In Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, said ending became unlockable by beating the newly added Galactus Mode.
  • In most fights in Mortal Kombat 11, losing a fight gives you a simple continue menu. Kronika, on the other hand, prefers to add insult to injury if you lose to her.
    • Lost in the Tower? She always performs her Fatality, which shows her killing your character and rewinding time to bring them back to life… only to do it again and again, ad infinitum, until you do something in the menu.
    • Lost in Story Mode? She will form a blade on her wrist, much like Raiden did at the start of the story, and decapitate Fire God Liu Kang as soon as possible.
  • Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa's Revenge has a time limit to reach Amakusa. If you go over the time limit, you can still continue playing, but after defeating your chosen character's rival in Amakusa's Castle, they will abruptly die when the castle explodes. The game then provides an epilogue that states that even though Amakusa is dead, the death toll from his reign of terror is immense.
  • Street Fighter:
    • In the arcade version of Street Fighter Alpha 3, losing the final CPU match against M. Bison does not allow you to continue. Instead, you'll get an alternate ending in which M. Bison uses your character's body as an energy source for his Psycho Drive. And if you lose to Ryu playing as M. Bison, it will play Ryu's ending instead.
    • Street Fighter: The Movie has a general time limit in its Movie Battle mode. Let it run out and the game ends abruptly as soon as your current fight finishes, with narration stating Guile was court-martialed for disobeying orders, the Allied Forces had no choice but to pay Bison the money he demanded, and Bison used that money to create and unleash an army of super soldiers upon an unsuspecting world.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The adventure mode, World of Light, has two bad endings which double as non-standard Game Overs, since they just kick you out of the mode without triggering the credits: during the final stretch of the game, if you defeat either Galeem or Dharkon alone, the other will finish off his nemesis and destroy the world with light or darkness, respectively.
  • In Tekken 5, if you lose to Jinpachi and let the "Continue" timer run out, you'll get an extended Game Over. Instead of just a plain "Game Over" appearing, a cutscene plays first. Jinpachi laments that no one was able to stop him, cries Tears of Blood, and goes One-Winged Angel one last time before rocketing himself into the sky. The screen fades to black, and a message comes up saying "Jinpachi's mind is consumed by the devil as he reaches his final transformation. The world will never be the same."
  • In the Virtual Boy game Teleroboxer, there is a "Title Defense" mode which can only be played if you defeat all of your robot opponents, including the "Legendary Champ". If you lose even one match in the "Title Defense" mode, it will say that you are no longer the champion and you must now retire. Depending on which save file that you played on, it will say "CHAMPION RETIRED" on it, which means you cannot play on that same save file ever again.
  • In the original Virtual-ON and the sequel Oratorio Tangram, attempting to defeat the final boss by time over will result in a bad ending (due to a Wave-Motion Gun on the moon powering up in the first game, or a Reality Warper super-computer activating in the sequel).

    Light Gun Games 
  • Space Gun has a mechanic where you have to rescue survivors as you play through the game. Failing to save enough by the end of the fourth level will land you with a screen showing dead survivors and how the mission was a failure due to the casualty count, leading to an automatic game over.
  • Time Crisis:
    • In the original Time Crisis and Project Titan, running out of time caused an instant game over, unlike the sequels.
    • In two sniper missions of Rescue Mission in 3, missing a shot or let the timer run out will cause an instant game over and ask you to continue.
  • Zorton Brothers has an example of this; besides the undertaker burying you if you lose all of your lives, the fight against the Zorton Brothers is this; you only have two bullets to kill the Zorton Brothers. If you miss a single bullet, you will be shot, and you will be treated to a scene with the undertaker commenting on your loss against the Zorton Brothers. Afterwards, your remaining lives are ignored, and you do not get to continue, meaning that it's back to the beginning of the game for you.

    Management Games 
  • A round of King of the Castle is intended to end with either the King succeeding at their ambition, or one of the Noble houses succeeding at their Scheme or Rebellion. However, there are also decisions that can immediately end a reign, such as the King angering a Witch or Assassin and getting killed in revenge, that lead to everyone voting on which of the two Noble factions that were closest to winning getting their representative on the throne.

  • In The Elder Scrolls Online, during the mission The Parley, Queen Arzhela has tasked you with protecting her, during her meeting with Septima Tharn. It is however, an ambush, and by attacking her illusion, she will call out the Seventh Legion to aid in killing the queen. It then becomes an ambush, and you're then asked from the top of a cliff to provide assistance and protect the queen. If her health drops to zero at any point during this mission, the screen will fade to black while Septima Tharn relishes in her victory. Despite the fact that it just reloads the mission from the point of the ambush if you fail, a Nonstandard Game Over doesn't usually happen in an MMORPG. But this is one of few instances where failure to protect an important ally will result in one.
  • Final Fantasy XIV
    • The Steps of Faith tasks players with stopping a dragon from storming the gates of Ishgard across a long bridge. If the dragon manages to make it to the end of the bridge and destroy the last ward, you are shown a cutscene of your character watching powerlessly as the dragon breaks through, leaving Ishgard to their mercy.
    • The fight against Bismarck occurs on a floating island being pulled along by an airship. Periodically, Bismarck will ram the island and weaken its integrity, which is represented by a special bar. Should this bar reach 0%, you are treated to a lovely cutscene in which Bismarck rises up and swallows what's left of the island whole. With your character still on it.
  • In World of Warcraft, the game is never "over"; players who die just respawn as a ghost, walk back to their corpse, and typically restart the quest, fight, or encounter they failed on. But sometimes something else happens…
    • The corpse run back Blackrock Depths (or Molten Core) in Blackrock Mountain leads you past another ghost NPC, Franclorn Forgewright, whereas normally the ghost world is completely empty, even of other dead players. When you stop to talk to him, Forgewright's ghost gives you a quest that's unobtainable in the living world.
    • The fight against the Lich King ends with a scripted Total Party Kill after which you cannot respawn as a ghost since "your soul belongs to the Lich King". Naturally, a third party resurrects you shortly thereafter to bring about his final defeat.
    • A Total Party Kill during the Madness of Deathwing encounter will result in him activating the titular ability "Cataclysm". Doing so causes the entire screen to temporarily go black as he just destroyed the planet.
    • The same thing used to happen if the countdown ran out for Algalon the Raid Destroyer, for the same reason.

    Party Games 
  • In Getter Love!!, the game normally ends when you or one of your opponents declares your love to one of the girls. If someone other than you wins the game, you're treated to a word from everyone involved, and that's it. If two game-weeks pass by and no one wins, you'll be treated to a scene where Reika fucking MARRIES YOU, as her equally butt-ugly family attends her wedding ceremony.
  • The Jackbox Party Pack has a few scenarios where a game can end without a winner being declared.

  • Many older pinball machines had a mechanism to detect dishonest players trying to cheat the machine's coin mechanism into thinking a coin had been inserted when it actually hadn't, or trying to steal the coin box outright. If triggered, the machine displays "SLAM TILT" (not to be confused with the regular TILT) and all players get a Non-Standard Game Over, plus any credits left in the machine are voided (newer games 80's and on don't void credits). However, modern pinball machines usually don't even have Slam Tilt switches, since modern coin mechanisms aren't vulnerable to the old exploits that Slam Tilt guards against. That said, Creature from the Black Lagoon at least has a unique quote (from the player character's girlfriend) if it happens:
    "That's it! Take me home right now!"
  • Many older electromechanical pinballs (usually ones that only support a single player) would immediately end the game rather than just the current ball on a (non-slam) tilt. Games made shortly after the penalty was reduced to the modern convention of ending the current ball would sometimes note this change.
  • Operation: Thunder is infamous for abruptly ending the game if the player successfully completes all eleven missions and completes the Final Assault. Fortunately, this is an operator-adjustable setting, and most home collectors simply turn it off for longer playtimes.
  • In the latter half of The New '10s, a trend emerged where completing the final Wizard Mode or otherwise finishing the main objective led to the game ending entirely. Examples include destroying the 9th reactor in Total Nuclear Annihilation, playing "Billion Dollar Babies" in Alice Coopers Nightmare Castle, and playing "Escape Nublar" in Jurassic Park (Stern).

    Platform Games 
  • ALF for the Master System has a nasty prank in store for those who buy the Alf Book item. First, it tells the basic story of ALF with a nice nod to Sega, but then it sends you back to the title screen with a mocking message. Pretty funny if you bought it too early on to lose much progress, but pretty irritating if you decided to hold it off until later.
  • In the first two Banjo-Kazooie games, as well as Donkey Kong 64, just quitting the game triggers a Game Over banner, as if the developers of the games (Rare) wanted the player to beat the whole campaigns in one session. In both DK64 and the first BK, the Game Over includes a scene showing the potential outcome that would result if the protagonists failed to twart the plans of the villains; once the player gets past the foil of the evil plans, and all that remains is the final battle, no scene is shown, as the game just puts the Game Over banner before returning to the title screen (this is also true for the entirety of Banjo-Tooie, which doesn't have any Game Over cutscenes whatsoever).
  • Castlevania:
    • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, normally Richter dies in a Rain of Blood (being the first Castlevania protagonist to suffer this), but getting ambushed by a living portrait ends up with Richter being trapped in a picture within the picture — which the figure in the portrait proceeds to tear up. It's the only unique death animation in the game. That said, this isn't really a Game Over (unless you were on your last life).
    • Losing to the True Final Boss in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow results in Soma being taken over by Dracula completely, and you get a short scene where Julius Belmont is implied to make good on the I Cannot Self-Terminate promise he made with Soma earlier. The DS sequel one-ups this even more: getting the Non-Standard Game Over unlocks a new game mode where the other characters team up to take down the now Face Heel Turned protagonist.
    • A number of bad endings are effectively this, since many games that offer them don't have "routes"; getting the bad ending is often a matter of performing a certain action and then having the consequences play out immediately (or at least with one boss fight beforehand) in the form of said ending before showing the Game Over screen:
      • Killing Stella and Loretta in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin allows the Big Bad or so he seems; he's actually the Disc-One Final Boss to get away. You have to use the Sanctuary spell to cure them of their vampirism and continue the game.
      • Engaging and then killing Albus without rescuing all captive villagers in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia results in an ending where Shanoa sacrifices herself to a vessel said to be able to destroy Dracula. Rescuing said villagers results in Albus revealing the true nature of the sacrificial ritual, a boss fight with Barlowe, and the second half of the game.
  • Cave Story:
    • After the standard Critical Existence Failure, the gameover screen reads "You have died. Would you like to try again?" If your Oxygen Meter runs out underwater, the screen changes to "You have drowned." If you fall into either of the two Bottomless Pits in the game, it reads "You were never seen again..."
    • The worst of the game's Multiple Endings borders on a non-standard game over. Notably, the music that plays ("Hero's End") is different from that in the better endings ("The Way Back Home"), and this is the only ending that lacks the ending credits.
  • In the second episode (game) of Commander Keen, there are Tantalus Ray Cannons you must destroy in order to save Earth. There are eight of them, but if you press a switch on the side of any of them, a Tantalus Ray shot will destroy the planet and your game is over instantly.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day involves a fabled Panther King seeking a red squirrel with which to replace his broken table leg, so as to prevent him from spilling his milk on said table. The standard game over has Conker, the protagonist, tied and gagged to the king's table leg. Depending on the circumstances of the player's death, the game's nonstandard endings include the Panther King's minions turning Conker in as either a bag of soggy squirrel (drowning or otherwise dying underwater), bloodied chunks (gibbed), or black char (burned or electrocuted), or just a shot of Conker's Face on a Milk Carton (falling down a bottomless pit). In the final stage of the game, they do away with the cutscene entirely, only showing you "GAME OVER" on a black screen.
  • Donkey Kong Country: In the extremely unlikely event that you allow the platform to get too far away from you in Tanked Up Trouble, the game will automatically play Diddy or Donkey's Bonus failure animation, a life will be docked from you, and you'll go back to the level select screen as if you'd otherwise died normally.
  • In Drawn to Life, you can choose not to help the Raposas. Mari, the only one hearing from "you" at that point, loses hope, and the game ends.
  • Duck Dodgers Starring Daffy Duck has two different Game Over scenes. The first is that Daffy Duck is beaten up by his superiors and kicked out of the office as he's told to look for another job. The second shows Cadet Porky Pig given the job to defeat Marvin while Daffy is given the duty of being a janitor. Both of these end with Daffy walking down the street as "Game Over" pops on the screen.
  • In the arcade game Elevator Action II (Elevator Action Returns in Japan), if you run out of time near the end of the final stage (the nuclear missile silo), the missile will be launched and a picture of an erupting mushroom cloud is shown, followed by a message on the computer screen that says "YOUR MISSION IS OVER".
  • Plenty of 'em in I Wanna Be the Guy.
  • The indie PC game Iji includes a specific death sequence for being slain through overkill. Ordinary deaths in the game, no matter what the cause (small-arms fire, electric shocks, miniature nuclear explosions), result in the protagonist being Blown Across the Room while shrieking before bleeding out as the game over music plays. However, getting killed by the final boss's superweapon, the Phantom Hammer, a laser designed to burrow through miles of earth and destroy Alpha Strike-preventing shield generators, instead results in Iji being vaporized instantly and wiping her stats to zero, with nothing but silence left where she once stood. Then the game over music kicks in and the boss says his standard victory line.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has a Boss Rush mini-game. When you lose all your lives, you fall down one last time as if there's a hole. And instead of "Try Again" and "Quit", you get "Accept Defeat".
  • In Kya: Dark Lineage, standard Game Overs show a screen saying "Game Over". However, near the game's end, if you're hit by traitor Aton's Wolfen Gun, you can see a sequence where Kya slowly transforms into a scary, female Wolfen. And that's The End.
  • In Mario's Time Machine, if you either lose all of your lives or run out of time rescuing all of the artifacts from Bowser, then the game will show a cutscene where Bowser successfully activates his time machine and escapes to a tropical island. If you rescue all of the artifacts but get them back in the wrong time period, then Bowser's time machine will overload, and as a result he is sent back to the Cretaceous period all dazed and confused-looking. If you get everything right, then Bowser's time machine will still overload, and as a result he is sent back to the Cretaceous again, only to be crushed to death by a giant dinosaur foot.
  • In Mega Man Legends 2, if you mess up during the time you're defending Nino island from the Birdbots and they blow through the gate, the scene switches to the Guildmaster going nuts and hitting the self-destruct button, blowing up the island and everything in it.
  • In Mystery Quest, losing all of your Hit Points gave you a normal Game Over screen with Hao standing in place and crying. However, if he should die by jumping into deep water without an SOS raft, the Game Over screen will show Hao crying against a watery background while displaying the words "Hao Can Not Swim; Game Over".
  • Inverted in The NewZealand Story. If, after clearing World 1, you lose your last life by getting hit by an arrow (or similar) attack, instead of the standard game over screen, you instead go to "heaven", and have a chance to escape in order to continue the game. If you make it to the end of this "hidden" stage, however, the game ends for real. You have to find a hidden exit in order to get out of this "nonstandard" game over. Escape and you have one last chance.
  • In the Oddworld series, there are horrible consequences if you fail to complete the in-game tasks to a high enough standard. In Abe's Oddysee, if you fail to save over 50 Mudokons, Abe will be sliced and diced through a meat saw in Rupture Farms. In Abe's Exoddus, again, failing to save enough Mudokons, will leave Abe in the hands of the Brewmaster, who will strap him down and pass electricity through his body to extract his tears. Eventually, the electricity gets turned up too high and he will be electrocuted. In Munch's Oddysee, failing to obtain a certain level of Quarma will leave both Munch and Abe to be mauled by Fuzzles, who also alert the Vykkers as to their whereabouts. Abe will be killed and his head hung on a wall which Munch has an even worse fate: He is strapped down, while his lungs are forcibly removed while he is still fully conscious so that they can be given to the ailing Glukkon queen. If you somehow do even worse than that, you get one final newspaper showing everything Abe and Munch tried to prevent came true- not only is the Glukkon Queen getting said lungs, but the Gabbiar was sold and consumed, and all the Mudokons are being returned to slavery, with their hatchlings soon to join them.
  • Prince of Persia has a rather delayed one. When you start the game the princess is cursed to die in one hour (two in the longer SNES version), and you have to get to the top of the castle and save her before time runs out. You can continue even after the hour time limit is up, however when you reach the final stage you'll be greeted with the princess's corpse since she of course died when the timer expired. In the SNES version, you don't get to fight Jaffar either.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape has exactly one of these. There's a quest in which you have to locate a healing elixir in the Cave of Bad Dreams. After completing the cave's obstacle course, you are offered massive sums of cash. If you accept this, you will find yourself sitting on a luxury yacht with a pile of cash the size of a small building. The implication is that Rayman lets his greed get the best of him and decides to simply let the pirates enslave everybody while he lies around enjoying his money. The game snaps you back immediately instead of ending the game though, and will cycle through until you pick the right option. In some ports of the game, Rayman just takes the potion automatically, though.
  • In The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants, losing your last life in the final level rewards you with a look at the aliens' ultimate weapon: an army of Homer Simpson robot duplicates.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has a versus mode where two players can compete against each other as Sonic and Tails. If one player loses every life in either act of Emerald Hill, Casino Night or Mystic Cave, it's an instant loss for that act.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, waiting idle for 3 minutes will cause Sonic to lose his patience with you, and with an "I'm outta here!", leave the game, giving you a Game Over.
    • In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, failing to escape from Eggman's Tower in time will cause a Game Over with no option to continue.
    • In Sonic the Fighters, after defeating Metal Sonic, the Death Egg II you're both fighting on will begin a self-destruct sequence. Dr. Eggman comes out to challenge you, and you have 15 seconds to defeat him lest the Death Egg II explodes with you on it.
    • In the first level of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), at one point Sonic has to jump onto a whale's dorsal fin and hang on while Tails takes control briefly. If you take too long as Tails to find the switch for the sea gate, the whale will swim out to sea with Sonic still hanging on.
    • The classic fan game Sonic Robo Blast (predecessor to Sonic Robo Blast 2) had a stage set in a volcano that would erupt in five minutes, real time. The eruption was an instant Game Over, ignoring lives.
  • Running out of time on the Dam level in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles causes the bombs to detonate. This causes a game over, no matter how many turtles you had remaining.
  • The Sega game adaptation of Tom & Jerry: The Movie has one where, if Tom is idle for too long, Jerry simply runs off the screen, taking you to the Game Over/Continue screen.
  • Wario Land 3 has a strange inversion, where the Game Over is non-standard because there is only one way to die. Normally enemies can only inflict Amusing Injuries on Wario (like getting Squashed Flat or set on fire), and some of these even allow him to reach new areas, but during the Final Boss fight Rudy the clown will occasionally try to grab Wario. Let this attack connect and you receive the only Game Over in the whole game.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Antichamber: Killing yourself in-game (namely by crushing yourself with blocks) will crash the game engine.
  • Catherine: Losing all retry attempts and returning to the title screen will show a scene in which Vincent died in his sleep as police take photographs of his corpse.
  • One question in The Impossible Quiz 2 asks "Click Yes to exit." Clicking "Yes" will take you back to the title screen, without the Game Over screen. This also returns in a question in The Impossible Quiz Book Chapter 1 and 2. Falling for reverse psychology and pressing "Please don't press this." and "Shut down" on their respective questions will also have the same effect as above.
  • LIT (2009) gives you a unique punishment if you use too much electricity at one time; the generator breaks and the screen undergoes a Fade to White, leaving Jake and Rachael at the mercy of the creatures in the darkness.
  • In the computer version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?:
    • If, on the Fastest Finger portion of the game, no one gets it right after several attempts, Regis Philbin comes on, mocks you for being stupid, and says "That's it, I'm out of here." Then the game quits.
    • This also happens as early as the select mode screen. note  If you do nothing, Regis will make a comment once every few seconds, growing increasingly impatient each time, before he finally throws in the towel and quits the game for you, kicking you back to your desktop.
  • In almost all You Don't Know Jack games, the following will happen when the contestants respond with "fuck you" on Gibberish Questions three times in a single game: the first time, you lose a very large sum of money, and depending on the mood, the host will take even more and possibly even rename you into something insulting. The second time, nothing happens to the score because he doesn't find it funny or creative enough to warrant the punishment a second time. The third time, he just gives up and closes the game, and he'll make it known you can't pause or press a key to get out of this if you tried.

    Racing Games 
  • In Beetle Adventure Racing, you can't fall too far behind without the game automatically disqualifying you. If the game estimates that it would take you 60 seconds to catch up with the car in the lead, it's game over for you.
  • In Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, if you download a patch so the computer could move, and it wins, the game will crash because there is no code for when you lose a race.
  • In the original Test Drive, if take too long to reach a gas station, you are told that you are "driving too slow to have a sports car", and the game ends there, regardless of the number of lives remaining. If you rear-end a police car, you also get an instant Game Over.
  • In Vette!, if you don't answer the Copy Protection question correctly, after a few minutes, the game displays the message "You are driving a stolen Vette" and quits.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series:
    • All games let you have this by driving the cars into wrong way, but it is possible only if you aren't playing Multiplayer Battle, and you have the Retire Option enabled on your game save in your card.
    • Starting from 4, retiring a Story Mode race by pulling this gives you an instant Game Over, but it doesn't count as a loss for your records. You have to insert coins to restart it again.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Battle Zone 1998 includes several missions that avert Take Your Time despite the absence of a mission timer. On Mars, General Collins orders you to scan Cthonian ruins for a flight data log; continue to ignore his orders, and he will transfer Grizzly One's command to Lieutenant Corbin before ordering Grizzly One to be court-martialed.
  • Failing the storyline stage battles in Brütal Legend leads to a Type A cutscene where they gloat over you.
  • The old MS-DOS Real-Time Strategy game Command HQ features a nonstandard game over by nuclear winter. Normally, allowing your capital to be overrun results in the status bar stating "We captured the enemy's capital!" or "The enemy captured our capital!", along with a catchy tune and a bit of flashing. However, if you use too many nuclear strikes in a scenario, it exits straight to DOS with the message "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI" (Latin for "Thus passes the glory of the world.")
  • Rise of Nations:
    • The game has two kinds of Game Over: the normal defeat, when your opponent simply wins, and the Armageddon defeat, which happens if you drop too many nukes, and basically means everybody loses. Similarly, the Cold War campaign has two Game Overs: the normal defeat, where the opposing side wins, and the Nuclear Holocaust ending, where everybody fires Mnogo Nukes.
    • Theatre Europe. Notably, you can't win as Warsaw Pact under the hardest difficulty, as NATO will, as a desperate measure, launch a major nuclear attack against you, leading to an End of the World as We Know It.note  (Conversely, when playing as NATO, your goal is to defend yourself for a requisite number of turns; if you ever enter the Warsaw Pact territory, the enemy will start a global nuclear war. You can also trigger it deliberately, or by provoking the enemy by launching one too many nuclear missiles against them.)
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe, a Hearts of Iron mod depicting a dystopian 1960s where the Nazis won World War II, can also result in a nuclear Holocaust if global stability drops below a certain point or the nuclear powers' core territories are directly threatened. If you are playing as Ordenstaat Burgundy or the Black League of Omsk, this outcome is your victory condition. It also results in a Bittersweet Ending; millions die, but human civilization rises again thousands of years later in a more peaceful and understanding form, and the brutal ideology of Nazism and the horrors it unleashed on the world are forgotten forever.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom has several special game overs depending on the campaign objectives and storyline.
    • After brainwashing Tea, Scott Irvine makes her attempt a forbidden spell that will destroy the world, with herself as the tribute for it. If you wait until the mission timer runs out, she succeeds.
    • If you win the second brainwashed Joey fight with anyone but Mai, he fails to break free of the mind control. Scott sets him up to sacrifice himself via a hypnotic suggestion, and Yugi and friends can't even take revenge on Scott since he appears as a hologram.
    • Your second encounter with Yami Bakura has him threatening to burn Jakhud to the ground. If you fail to stop him from reaching the city, he makes good on this threat, and you get a special cutscene of Fizdis crying out for her parents.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Arcaea:
    • If you fail an Anomaly track and your progress towards unlocking it for regular play hasn't reached 100%, "Anomaly Lost" will appear on the results screen along with your current progress.
    • If you fail "Ether Strike" with Anomaly mode active, the screen, which has already been gradually fading to white, will turn white completely, the music will fade out, and the shutters will close without the usual "TRACK LOST" text.
  • Normally, a Game Over in beatmania IIDX results from finishing a song with less than 80% Groove Gauge. However, if you miss 50 notes in a row, or have one of several different "survival" gauges and that gauge hits 0%, the "STAGE FAILED" shutters — which never pop up on a "finish with <80%" fail — will pop up and the song will immediately end. And from SPADA onwards, the "STAGE FAILED" screen tells you the exact note and measure you failed, with the caption DEAD.
  • In DanceDanceRevolution A, failing the Extra Stage track "ENDYMION" will still take you to the results screen and end-of-credit routine as usual, but instead of the menus' usual blue sky background, the red sky that's been there since you unlocked the track will persist until your credit ends.
  • In the Groove:
    • The first game has a slightly different Game Over screen for its hardest song, "Pandemonium." After the usual "LIFE DEPLETED/ROUND FAILED" screens, a skull appears afterwards.
    • In the Groove 2 features something similar if you fail "Vertex^2," you get the usual "LIFE DEPLETED/ROUND FAILED" screens, and then a power of two pops up next to "FAILED," turning it into "ROUND FAILED^2."
  • Reflec Beat typically lets the current song run to the end, unless you are playing the iOS port, in which you can pause the game and quit or restart the current song. However, in Reflec Beat colette -All Seasons-, the Pastel Wonder Traveler event puts you on a Life Meter, which decreases whenever you get a Good or a Miss. If your HP hits zero, the song ends immediately in failure.
  • Rhythm Heaven (GBA/AC) and Rhythm Heaven Fever offer two ways to fail "Night Walk": Either fail to hit enough notes, which is the "standard" way, or fall into a Bottomless Pit.

  • 868-Hack will give you a special death cause if you manage to make yourself stuck with no possible move.
  • While dying in weird ways is pretty standard in ADOM, there's also the non-dying way to end the game by having your character just walk off the game map by the same path they took to get in, never to return. It's definitely the easiest way to avoid actually dying, aside from the fact that the backstory implies the forces of Chaos will then probably consume the world. (Unless, of course, you already stopped them, because you also leave that way to win in the normal ending.)
  • In The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, if you choose to have Shin not try to save Eri after she is kidnapped by devils, he receives a package containing her severed head. This causes him to go full monster, killing everyone around him, destroying Celestia and then the devils that come to investigate the carnage. You are then dumped to the game's title screen.
  • In Brutal Orchestra, choosing to kill This Pitiful Corpse leads to a unique cutscene where Bosch explains excitedly that Nowak was fooled and gleefully abandons him in a void before booting back to the title screen without unlocking hard mode.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, if the rest of the party should die when against a boss that has captured one of your heroes (the Hag, the Siren, the Fanatic, etc.), the mission is lost resulting in a Total Party Kill, likely because the boss finishes with whatever they had in store for the captured unit.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light:
    • There is a special Game Over message for allowing the Rebel Flagship to destroy the Federation base:
      The Rebel Flagship is within range of the Federation Base. All is lost, they've won.
    • Another unique Game Over occurs if you die during the training mission:
    • A rare situation can occur in Advanced Edition if your ship has a clone bay: If you have the back up DNA bank augment which prevents you from losing crews in the clone bay when it's disabled, and all your crew members are dead and the clone bay is destroyed, then you are stuck since you will not see the game over screen as your crews are still in the clone bay but there is no way to repair it (unless you have a repair bomb) and you can only manually restart the game.
  • Nethack lets you do this as early as the first turn. You start on the highest floor of a dungeon, right on top of a staircase. You're supposed to bring an amulet from the bottom floor all the way up to that staircase so you can enter the final phase of the game. But you can also climb out of the dungeon without the amulet. This ends the game immediately, with your final stats page saying you "escaped." Some players do this to start scum for a good set of initial items, though it can also happen if you confused the real amulet with one of the "cheap plastic imitations."
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, you can actually refuse to come back to the Pokémon world after your partner makes it possible with a wish. This results in being sent back to the main menu after a brief narration that you never returned and were missed terribly by your friends, and upon loading your save, the game will treat it as though you had been defeated in the dungeon prior to the event.
  • Rogue: "R.I.P.: Software Pirate. Killed by Copy Protection Mafia.", if you die while playing an illegal copy.
  • Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate: If the Black King gets checkmated by the Black Bishop, he turns the Black King into a White King which then hops around the board a few times before the game cuts to the "Try Again?" screen. Unlike every other form of defeat, the "Game Over" text does not appear if you lose this way, mostly because the Black King didn't actually die.

    Simulation Games 
  • Ace Combat:
    • In the final mission of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, if you fail to destroy the SOLG (loaded with a nuke) in time, you're treated to a short cutscene of it detonating over Oured.
    • If you don't destroy the last missile in the Megalith mission in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, you get to see that very missile launch from its silo and win the war for Erusea.
  • In Cold Waters:
    • If your submarine takes fatal damage but you manage to abandon ship at a shallow enough depth, there's a good chance you and your crew will survive. In that case, you may be picked up by NATO units and continue the campaign with a new sub. However, if there's a lot of hostile units still afloat in the area, you will be captured by the Soviets (or Chinese, in the 2000's campaign) and imprisoned in a gulag for the rest of the war, ending the campaign then and there.
    • If you sink too many neutral merchant ships, you will be relieved of command and sent to a court martial, also ending your campaign.
  • In F/A-18 Hornet, if you land or eject in enemy territory, you get captured and are listed as "Missing in Action". If you cause any collateral damage, you are Court-martialed.
  • In the 1985 game Balance Of Power, pushing too hard in international negotiations would result in an immediate end to the game, with a black screen displaying the message: "You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure." If you do it by mistake, the message will change to make it "an accidental nuclear war", but it is still a game over.
  • FreeSpace:
    • In both games, jumping out without being authorized to do so will result in a court-martial for desertion.
    • In the second game there's a mission in which you go undercover among NTF, and you are ordered to destroy a civilian transport. Regardless of if you comply or not, your cover is blown and the other pilots will turn hostile. Once you've eliminated them, reinforcements will arrive to get you out. If you destroyed the transport, the mission will be considered as a failure and you will be court-martialed.
  • Harvest Moon
    • There are three non-standard Game Overs in Harvest Moon DS and two or three in Harvest Moon DS Cute.
      • The first is during the opening sequence, when Mayor Thomas from Mineral Town annoys your character into attacking him. The dog will then become angry. You'll have the option to call your dog back. Refuse, and Thomas will scream and the screen fades to white as the dog attacks him. The credits roll, and you're taken back to the title screen.
      • This next one takes a very long time to get… you have to grow a Level 100 Toadstool, then submit it at the Harvest Festival. The entire town (including you) will grow sick. The credits roll, and you're taken back to the title screen.
      • If you turn on HMDS with Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town in the GBA slot (or HMDSC with Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town), villagers from Mineral Town will start to visit Forget-Me-Not Valley. You only have to do this once to make them keep coming back forever. The Mineral Town girls in DS are marriage candidates… but marrying any of them will take you back to the title screen and revert back to your last save file. This is changed in DS Cute, though, allowing you to continue the game with a Mineral Town husband.
    • In the English version of Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, marrying your rival, Jamie, will cause the game to end as they weren't marriageable in the Japanese version, and thus nothing was written for them post-marriage.
    • In the Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life subseries, your game ends if you are not married by the end of the first year.note  In later chapters, allowing your farm and shipment levels to fall by the wayside can cause your wife to leave you. In the PS2 special edition, you can end the game in the first cutscene by simply telling Takakura you don't want the farm.
    • In Harvest Moon, if your farm is in bad enough condition by the time your parents visit the first time (about six months in) you'll be booted from the farm and, most likely, have to re-start the game. Though since it takes so little to make your farm acceptable, this becomes an Earn Your Bad Ending scenario.
  • In the late-80s jet combat simulator Jet Fighter II: Advanced Tactical Fighter, a successful ejection would result in the message: "Successful bailout! Rescue copter is on its way! Isn't simulating stimulating?"
  • Normally, in Lobotomy Corporation, each day goes on until you end it after meeting your energy quota, or you reset it to try again. But Day 47, 48, and 49 can trigger a bad ending if you attempt them without having previously completed certain side-missions, or if you lose all your Agents while you're trying to complete that day's mission.
    • On Day 47, Abram simply tells you that you aren't ready yet, and to go back.
    • On Day 48, Abel triggers the facility's self-destruct.
    • On Day 49, Adam uses the Seed of Light to turn the City's people into Abnormalities.
  • Monster Rancher: Running out of money causes an instant Game Over. In 2 for instance, Colt says this before the game goes to the title screen.
    "Oh my gosh! You are broke. (The game is over!)"
  • The Oregon Trail II: "You're Fired!" (kicked out of the wagon train), if you're a trail guide and morale gets too low.
  • Pacific Strike: If you are inept enough to let enemy Japanese planes sink both the USS Enterprise and the carrier assigned to replace it, the game immediately ends in defeat for the US Navy and Hawaii is ceded to Japan as part of the terms of the peace treaty.
  • In Papers, Please, there are a few ways that the game can end instantly, booting you back to the title screen without an ending. These include:
    • Failing to disarm a bomb on day 15
    • Touching the poisonous powder on day 20
    • Getting hit by a grenade from a suicide attacker on day 21
    • Failing to kill the EZIC rebel attacking your booth on day 31, if you did not sufficiently cooperate with EZIC
  • Pilotwings: In both of the game's helicopter missions, your craft is a One-Hit-Point Wonder. Get hit once, and your chopper is instantly busted and plummets to the ground, abruptly ending the game. Since you don't even get any message from your instructors, the disturbing implication is that the player character perished.
  • The Sims: At the very start of the "Get a Life" mode in the console versions, you can explore your dream house as you see fit before you join your mate in the tub. But if you keep them waiting too long, they'll get progressively angry and annoyed, until they give you a Game Over and end your playthrough before it even starts.
  • Space Shuttle Project had it possible to get a game over before the game even begins. The first thing you have to do is input a password that the game gives you, either the one it shows you, which starts a new game, or a password from a previous game. Every time you fail to put in a proper code, you lose a life. Lose all your lives on this screen, and the Game Over newspaper has a headline that declares "Impostor Astronauts Arrested."
  • In the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series:
    • Failing a critical mission objective will cause the mission to end (even if you are still intact), followed by a "MISSION FAILED" screen (instead of "GAME OVER") with a description of what triggered mission failure.
    • If you shoot down allies/convoys/things you're supposed to be protecting, you get a warning or two — "Skywalker, what are you doing?!" — and then Rieekan calls you back with "Commander Skywalker, return to base. We'll discuss your... tactics... in private."
    • In Rogue Leader, it's possible to get a unique game over by running out of torpedoes in the attack on the Death Star. Cue Yavin IV getting blown the hell up.
    • Normally, the Death Star blowing up is something to celebrate, but in the Rogue Leader bonus mission "Triumph of the Empire", you play as Darth Vader during the Death Star assault and your objective is to destroy the Rebels under a hidden time limit. Take too long and the Death Star explosion becomes your Mission Failed cutscene.
  • Strike Commander: Failing to keep the mercenary squadron you are in charge of in the black financially will lead to the bank foreclosing on your base and putting it up for sale. The squadron disbands and the game ends.
  • Trauma Center:
    • Under the Knife and Second Opinion, Episode 4: Fail the bomb "operation" and instead of a depressing Game Over in which Derek quits his job, you hear an explosion as the screen simply goes white.
    • New Blood, Episode 5: Run out of time on the lock-picking mission, and instead of "Your skills were not up to the task — Operation Failed", you hear the sound of water filling up as the screen fades to white.
    • Trauma Team also gets one. If you fail on the final chapter, instead of the normal message/suicide note, you get a recording of Rosalia talking about Albert and the Rosalia Virus, seconds before her death.
  • Wing Commander:
    • In the first game, if the Tiger's Claw is destroyed, you get a message saying "With your carrier destroyed, you drift endlessly through the void..."
    • In Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, screwing up critical missions results in the fleet jumping back to Proxima and then making a Last Stand at Sol. This mission is unwinnable even with godmode, and drops you into another cutscene where you can decide how you die. This is quite possibly the Nonstandard Game Over that's drawn out the longest. If it is possible to save before the mission, pray you didn't save it over your previous save game.
    • In Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, if you repeatedly screw up your early missions, say, by immediately ejecting on launch for every mission you get, Tolwyn hands you your pink slip in a hysterically dark cut scene.
  • In X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, if you fail at a mission (rather than just dying, ejecting, or hyperspacing out of there before the mission's done), you'll be treated to some tragic music. Depending on how well you did, you might be the sole survivor, or your enemy might curb stomp you.

    Sports Games 
  • Baseball Stars uses a similar "mercy rule", ending the game if either team is ahead by ten or more runs at any point. So did Sega's Sports Talk Baseball for the Genesis. It was explicitly called a "10-run Rule", and the talking commentator would say the team won "by domination".
  • In Blitz: The League 2, getting Franchise injured in Prison Ball will end the game, as you have ruined your career. Unlike in other modes of the game, Prison Ball will not let you perform triage if an injury occurs.
  • Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers have a rule (which can be disabled in normal game modes, but is always active in story mode) where being 10 runs or more ahead at the end of an inning ends the game; however, if the visiting team is 10 runs ahead in the top of the inning, the home team still gets the bottom of the inning to reduce the deficit under 10 (for example, 15-0 to 15-6) before the rule kicks in.
  • Super Bases Loaded for the SNES. In this particular sports game, you end up getting the Non-Standard Game Over screen, should the CPU completely blow you out by getting 9 runs straight. It will not even wait for you to make it to 9 innings. Instead, it will briefly freeze, then show someone from your team kneeling in defeat, with the word "Blowout" over their head, with some sad music. From there, it will go to the scoreboard, and the words "Blowout Game" will appear. From there, it will promptly go back to the title screen.
  • Tropical Angel: Normally the game ends by running out of time, but getting hit by the shark results in a game over no matter how much time you have left.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • In Batman: Dark Tomorrow, if the player defeats Ra's al Ghul without disabling a relay that the game doesn't tell you about, then he manages to blow up the North Pole anyway, destroying every major city in the world.
  • In Dishonored:
  • Hitman:
    • In Hitman: Codename 47, if 47 doesn't take down Ortmeyer before he attacks, 47 will wake up in his bed chamber, having been mind wiped.
    • Two of them as death cutscenes in Hitman: Blood Money. The first is in You Better Watch Out... where an unknown Franchise assassin disguised as one of the strippers stabs 47 in the neck with a nail file. The second is in A Dance with the Devil; the singer is actually a Franchise assassin named Eve, who will try to seduce you. Should you follow her and wait for too long, she will stab 47 repeatedly. There's also one in the final mission, Requiem: if the player takes too long to wake up 47 during the fake credits sequence, his funeral ends with the coffin he's in being closed and then cremated.
    • In one mission of Hitman: Absolution, if 47 has the audacity to shoot a nuke that's hanging on a ceiling, the scene cuts to Kane & Lynch with others in the desert, as the facility is destroyed by the nuke's explosion in the background.
    • In Hitman 2, in "The Ark Society" mission, you need to kill your targets in order to secure the Constant's killswitch so he can be captured alive. Once you have it in your possession, you can just use it, completely ignoring the entire point of the mission, and trigger an automatic game over. Doing this completes a challenge.
    • In the last mission of Hitman 3, If 47 chooses to take the memory wiping serum, he will collapse to the ground. Some time later, an amnesiac 47 wakes up in a padded room as Edward greets him.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The original Metal Gear Solid used the Nonstandard Game Over as a plot device on one occasion, being told before a possibly-fatal Minigame that "there are no continues, my friend...". And, of course, dying results in a non-standard game over screen — with no CONTINUE option. A player would have to quit the game and reload before they could try again. The game can go even further to psych out the player here. If you haven't saved in a while, the game will detect this and call you out on it. "You really wanna travel down that long road again?"
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, during the Tanker chapter, if Snake gets caught sneaking around in the holds during the Commandant's speech, the player is shown the soldiers in whatever room he's in taking Snake into custody before "Game Over" is displayed.
    • MGS2 uses a completely different "Game Over" screen for the solo Raiden missions that's unlike the "Game Over" screen when playing as Snake or even as Snake/Raiden later in the game. Around the time both characters join forces, the player learns why this is.
    • Also from Metal Gear Solid 2, there's an Escort Mission late in the Tanker chapter where you need to escort Otacon's younger half-sister Emma. If she dies, it's obviously Game Over, with special scathing quotes if you killed her yourself.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which is a prequel, you meet a young version of Ocelot from the previous games. He's supposed to survive the events of the game, but in one occasion you can kill him after he's been knocked out in a cutscene. If you do so, you'll have Colonel Campbell, from the future, shout "Snake, what have you done? You changed the future!! You've created a time paradox!", and the words "OCELOT IS DEAD" will appear, instead of the usual game over text, before gradually changing into "TIME PARADOX". This also applies to other characters whose actions affect the rest of the series, but Ocelot is the most notable. You even get a achievement for this in the HD Version.
    • In MGS3, if Snake takes too long to defeat The Boss, the scene cuts to the two hearing a pair of Migs dropping bombs on their position.
    • There's a few cases in Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, in particular, where you get a wildly different Informal Eulogy depending on the circumstances. Crash into the tripwires surrounding Baker, and Ocelot will call you an idiot/fool depending on if you're playing the remake or not. Fail the torture, and not only will your CONTINUE option be missing, but you'll get to hear Liquid yell at Ocelot for getting carried away and botching another interrogation. Die during the final battle in Metal Gear Solid 2 after your "support" team has dropped their façade, and they'll laugh at your failure.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, die during the final battle & you will be given the choice to "Continue" or "Exist". Choose the latter, and you will hear Ocelot tell you "It's not over yet, Snake!" and you will have to choose again, only "Exist" will have returned to the traditional "Exit".
    • If, in the VR missions centered around Gurlugon, you get hit by one of its Eye Beams while wearing the BDU, you get possibly the most bizarre game over sequence in the entire series.
    • Rather than Snake dying, there are other ways you can get a Game Over. If, for example, you kill Johnny in MGS4, Otacon will shout "Snake, what did you just do? Have you lost your mind?!", and as soon as the Game Over screen appears, Otacon says "Oh no! What are we going to do now, Snake?"
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, if Snake is unable to prevent the Peace Walker from launching a nuke during its battle, Snake watches helplessly as it fires the weapon.
    • There's a few ways to get one of these in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
      • If Ishmael dies in the tutorial level, you'll get a "Time Paradox" message foreshadowing the fact that he's the real Big Boss.
      • You'll also get one of these if you kill one of your own men while on Mother Base by throwing them into the ocean/off a high enough ledge that can kill them, where Ocelot screams "Boss, have you lost your mind?!" "Maybe you're not the Big Boss we hoped for after all.".
      • In Mission 1, where you have to rescue Miller, Ocelot tells you he only has about 3 days to live. If you wait 3 days, either by using the Phantom Cigar or simply by taking too long, he will be unresponsive when you trigger his cutscene, and when Snake lets go of his face, it will stiffly lull to a downward position, causing Snake to scream in agony and Ocelot to solemnly inform you that Miller has died from extensive blood loss due to his severed limbs. This also results in a "Time Paradox" message.
      • Killing any Child Soldiers in Africa causes the screen to flash red and the camera to focus on the corpse before going to the normal game over screen.
      • Killing Eli in Mission 23 will also result in a Time Paradox message. This is because he is Liquid Snake.
  • Splinter Cell:
    • In Splinter Cell, you are on a training facility, and at a certain point you get a gun. If you turn back and kill an officer, you get fired. You also get fired if you attack Grimsdottir in the beginning of the level. Same for any level with friendlies or other NPC's you are required to keep alive.
    • In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, if you fail the final minigame-for-a-boss, you are treated to a very disturbingly realistic portrayal of emergency services and news helicopters flying over Manhattan as a smoking ruin after a nuclear blast.
  • Yandere Simulator:
    • The 'standard' game overs are these:
      • Heartbroken: Ayano can no longer hope to romance Senpai, either because a rival successfully confessed to him or Senpai saw her doing something horrible and rejected her (Or, less commonly, you let your reputation get too low).
      • Arrested: Ayano left too much evidence behind, and the police arrested her.
      • Expelled: Ayano behaved badly in front of the teachers once too often, and the Guidance Counselor lost patience and expelled her.
      • Trying to threaten the Guidance Counselor in order to get out of trouble causes her to immediately expell Ayano, regardless of whether she has suspended her before or not. Did you really think threatening an authority figure would end well?
    • Less common game overs are the following:
      • Apprehended: Ayano killed someone in front of the wrong person, and paid for it. Teachers and heroic students (and some normal students, if you kill someone they were especially close to) will initiate a 'struggle' minigame, the Student Council will pepper-spray you into submission, and if you kill someone with four or more witnesses, they'll gang up on you and take you out.
      • Comatose: Ayano killed someone in front of a Delinquent, and lost the subsequent minigame, resulting in the Delinquent beating her unconscious. Or she walked into her own electric booby trap and got herself fried.
      • ??????: You aggravated the Headmaster too much, and he tazed you in preemptive self-defense. And calls off a mysterious deal he made with Mr. Saikou, presumably about Yan-chan.
      • Killing fifty students or more causes the Headmaster to shut down the school. As a result Senpai transfers to a school in another town which Ayano can't follow him to, getting an instant game over.
      • Exposed: A Phone Addict was able to post proof of Yan-chan being a murderer on the internet before Yan-chan can stop them.
      • Caught: Ayano was caught sneaking into Osana's stalker's house, or in 1980s Mode Ryoba is caught sneaking into the insane asylum.
    • And then there's SNAP Mode, which can best be described as a playable game over (thus far only unlocked if one gets the 'Heartbroken' Ending, but planned for some of the others): in which Yandere-chan, your player character, having, well, snapped, finds a knife and proceeds to kill Senpai and then herself, beating anyone who's in her path to death with her bare hands in the process.
    • In 1980s Mode the canon ending is Ryoba is arrested for Sumire's murder, but is found not guilty due to a lack of evidence, her turning the Journalist's accusations into him framing her so he could get his name in the papers and had a perverted interest in her, and at least one character witness (the Journalist's own protege, no less) saying Ryoba would never do such a thing. However, it's possible to play so badly (being sloppy about hiding evidence, having a suspicious reputation, having students accuse her of murder and/or police concluding a student's death was murder) that the player gets a rank of 'F' and Ryoba is found guilty of Sumire's murder.

    Survival Horror 
  • Ao Oni: In most versions, there is an early scene where you can walk past the clouded-glass door of the bathroom in time to see a large shadow pass by, with some very heavy breathing. Activating the door several times results in Hiroshi entering, but the camera staying outside. All we see is a smattering of blood on the glass before the game cuts out.
  • In Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, Frank needs to take a dose of Zombrex once every 24 hours. If Frank doesn't get his shot by 8AM, he will drop dead on the spot.
  • Deadly Premonition: Choosing to suicide or shoot Forrest Kaysen over shooting Emily to end her suffering results in Kaysen's sapling sprouting, reducing her to a husk. A mentally-broken Zach mourns her in the Red Room as York tells you it was the wrong choice, before sending you back to try again. Also, failing either of the timed tree-of-hands puzzles means that York gets corrupted by the purple smoke; the same thing happens if you attack any of the brainwashed townspeople on the way to rescue Emily. And in one of your first visits to the Red Room, failing the QTE to hold your breath and sneak by an enemy gets York instantly killed.
  • Eternal Darkness: In any chapter with Bonethieves, if you take too long to shake them off, they'll claw their way into your character's body, taking them over and ending the game.
  • In Fatal Frame II, if you decide to use the secret passage to escape from the haunted village without your twin sister Mayu, you'll get a scene and then one of these. It could actually qualify as a bad ending, since it's a viable conclusion to the story and even suckier than the already depressing regular (and canonical) ending.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
    • Freddy has two killscreens and is the only animatronic to have as such - one when the power runs out and another when he enters the office during normal play.
    • Golden Freddy. When you look at the poster at the end of the West Hall while it displays his face, he appears in your office. You will then hear robotic murmurs and hallucinations just before he instantly kills you and crashes the game, but only if you don't pull up your monitor and switch to another camera.
    • In Five Nights at Freddy's 2 both Shadow Freddy and Shadow Bonnie crash the game instead of killing you.
    • In Five Nights at Freddy's 4, Nightmare is slightly more benevolent: he merely resets the game. Nightmarionne takes that role in the Halloween Edition.
  • Haunting Ground has several special cutscene deaths that the unsuspecting player can incur, mainly for failing at certain puzzles, but some are very obvious (did you really think hiding in an iron maiden was a good idea?).
  • The Last of Us:
    • The whole game is essentially one long Escort Mission, so you can also get a Game Over if Ellie is killed on your watch at any point.
    • Early on, taking too long while chasing down Robert will cause the screen to go black and you're treated to the text "Robert got away".
    • At one point in the suburbs chapter, you have to hide in a house and act as a sniper to defend Ellie and two brothers you befriended from a group of hunters, including an armored car. If you don't take out enough hunters fast enough, you're shown a cutscene of the group being killed.
  • Night Trap has a Game Over that can occur if you don't push start during the opening scene, effectively ending the game before it even starts.
    Commander Simms: You're wasting time, get over there now! (Beat) Looks like you're not up for this mission...breaking contact.
    SCAT System Disconnect
  • In the VR game Propagation, soldiers arrive to help you part way through. Shooting them provokes them to shoot you back, killing you instantly and bypassing any extra lives you may have left.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil, if Chris is poisoned by the giant snake, you get to play as Rebecca to retrieve the serum and heal him. If you take too long, Chris will be dead when you reach him and it'll result in a game over.
    • While playing as Sherry in the remake of Resident Evil 2, if the player is caught while trying to avoid Chief Irons, he will grab her and exclaim "Game over, Sherry!" as she lets out a [1]. Instead of the usual game over screen, which shows a pool of blood on the floor with the message "YOU ARE DEAD", the screen instead shows the bedroom door in the orphanage with the message "YOU ARE TRAPPED".
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has a unique case when playing as Carlos. After getting the vaccine needed to cure Jill of her T-Virus infection, Nemesis appears in the main hall of the Clock Tower and one more time in the piano room. If you let him reach the door to the chapel Jill is in, he will break down the door and kill Jill as Carlos lets out a Big "NO!".
    • Resident Evil 4:
      • If Ashley gets captured, a cutscene is shown of the Ganado carrying her off and the game over screen says "Mission Failed" instead of "You are Dead". This also occurs if she is killed, either by an enemy or your bad aim.
      • In a scene where you defend a cabin with Luis, if you shoot him too many times, you're treated to a cutscene where he gets sick of it and guns you down.
    • Resident Evil 5 also has one. If Chris kills a brainwashed Jill in the middle of the fight, you're treated to a death cutscene and a screen that says "Your Partner Died" like you would get for any of Sheva's deaths.
    • Resident Evil: During the Storm: If you fire your gun in your apartment twice, when everything is normal and zombie-free, your neighbors will call the police and get you arrested.
  • In SCP – Containment Breach, refusing to cooperate with the guards will have you terminated before the containment breach even occurs.
    • When the containment breach begins, SCP-173 can snap your neck right before the blackout if you're not careful.
    • It is also possible to get this with some SCP. For example, if SCP-049 touches you, it triggers a cutscene where you stumble towards a MTF operative, who proceeds to shoot and kill you due to you being infected with its "cure". Likewise, if you let yourself get infected with SCP-008 and not cure it with SCP-500, it will eventually result in a game-over cutscene where you, as a zombie, attack a researcher.
  • In Silent Hill 3, if you die a certain way or in a certain place, Valtiel is shown carrying away Heather's body. And if Heather shoots Claudia, Heather "births" the god and dies in a rather gruesome cutscene, where Claudia says "Oh God, bring us salvation".
  • In Slender: The Arrival, if you somehow manage to find your way out of the map's boundaries (either by mistake or by purposefully trying to glitch out of bounds), you will eventually end up falling through the map and get the standard Game Over screen, except there will be an additional message overlayed on the screen in messy-looking text, presumably said by Slenderman: "Not even a bug in this game will save you from me."
  • Idle for too long in Spooky's House of Jump Scares and Specimen 9 comes out of nowhere and kills you, resulting in an instant Game Over.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Army Men:
    • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes has one in the ice level where you free prisoners. If you manage to get yourself locked in a cell, Plastro himself comes out of nowhere to mock you followed by a game over.
    • Sarge's Heroes 2 has a hilarious one. The tutorial has you follow orders from Colonel Grimm, a.k.a. Vikki's father. You can choose to kill him and simply finish the tutorial yourself, but at the end, instead of Vikki's usual "Congratulations" when you open the last door, she will immediately shoot you with a bazooka as soon as the door opens. Even if you somehow dodge, you still fail.
    • The second game and Toys In Space also have various failure cutscenes for missions, ranging from being melted by a magnifying glass to being torn apart by zombies in a hospital.
  • F.A.K.K.2 would give you game overs if you managed to kill yourself.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has several, with what causes them ranging from "failing a critical goal" to "missing a quick-time event".
    • During the flying segment of Chapter 12, you have to make a detour to destroy a falling Reset Bomb that Viridi deployed as you approached the Reset Bomb Depot. It's a Time-Limit Boss, as with most other aerial boss fights; however, unlike all those other fights, there's not a special event that wins the fight for you if you take too long. If you don't destroy the Reset Bomb in time, then you get a game over because Pit isn't lucky enough to be outside the blast range this time.
    • Most of Chapter 17 takes place on a platform being held up by Centurions high above the ground. You're being attacked constantly, and the Centurions aren't invincible; they will die if you don't kill the attacking enemies quickly enough. Palutena has an extra set if you let the first two die, but that's it; if you let that set die, then you get some unique dialogue before you get a game over and restart at the last checkpoint.
    • Chapter 20 ends with a fight against a possessed Palutena. However, the goal is not to attack the boss, but rather to attack the Chaos Kin, which is controlling her. However, it's pretty easy to hit Palutena, and if you do so too many times... game over.
    • The more minor non-standard game overs include; failing to line up with a target while falling at certain points in Chapters 17, 21, and 25, failing to shoot the Chaos Kin near the end of Chapter 21's flight segment, getting hit by the Great Sacred Treasure's arena-wrecking laser blast in Chapter 24, and failing to keep your reticle on Hades so that Medusa can interrupt his attempt to finish you off in Chapter 25.
  • In the opening level of Scarface: The World Is Yours, if the player continues shooting at the enemies below without turning around, Tony will be killed after getting shot in the back exactly how he died in the film.
  • Spec Ops: The Line:
    • If Walker dies before making it to the destroyed helicopter in "Adams", a special loading screen will play where Konrad's silhouette will shake his head at you with the faint voice of "Stop, just fucking stop!" being yelled in the background.
    • Dying to the hallucinatory Lugo in the next chapter will give the player another one of the White Phosphorous scene, with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" being hummed in the background. The game then rewinds to the beginning of the fight — except with a Heavy Trooper in Lugo's place.
  • In the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, if you fail to cover Commandar Tartar's NILS Statue with ink in three minutes or fall into water, the game will cut to a Inkopolis covered in primordial ooze with a quote from one of the Mission Control characters.
  • In Splatoon 3, if you fail during the last stage of the Final Boss fight against Mr. Grizz, you get a cutscene of the Earth and Inkopolis being blanketed in Fuzzy Ooze with panicking Inklings immobilized by it.
  • During the "Break Narmer" missions in Warframe, if Kahl is defeated by a Deacon, he will not be killed, but instead paralyzed by the attack, leaving him helpless as the Deacon floats up to him and places a Narmer Veil on his face.

    Tower Defense 
  • Bloons Tower Defense:
    • Normally, in Bloons Tower Defense 5, the only main way to lose is to run out of lives. However, in the Wizard Lord mission, if you don't give a tower to feed the Wizard Lord, he will get angry, disappear, and you will instantly lose regardless of your lives. Sometimes, it can also freeze the game on you after the Wizard Lord disappears but before the game over message appears.
    • Combined with Guilt-Based Gaming, Bloons Monkey City provides a game over if you quit a tile. The game over message also changes to "You abandoned your monkeys on the battlefield."
    • Also in Bloons Monkey City, in the mission Engineer Rescue, there are some caged engineers on the track, and they'll disappear if a bloon touches them. If all engineers disappear this way, you'll lose this mission. You can pay some cash to free them to prevent this.
    • Letting a boss bloon in Bloons Tower Defense 6 last longer than 20 rounds will automatically end the game in a loss, despite your lives not being exactly set at 0.
  • Each installment of Canterlot Siege has a True Final Boss that can only be fought on harder difficulties. They must be defeated or it will result in a instant loss regardless of remaining lives.
  • Plants vs. Zombies:
    • I, Zombie: When the player has less than 50 sun (since the Imp and Regular Zombie are the cheapest zombie types for the player to buy which both cost 50 sun) and there are no zombies present on the board, the game will display "GAME OVER (iOS/Android)/{level name on PC, DS, and console versions}: You lost all your zombies!" losing dialog box.
    • I, Zombie Endless and Vasebreaker Endless: The losing dialog box "GAME OVER (iOS/Android)/{level name on PC, DS, and console versions}: You made it into a streak of {number of streaks completed}." if the player starts a new streak and the zombie is killed but the player has less than 50 sun. This is also the same case for Vasebreaker Endless but it only happens when they let the zombies reach the house and no more seed packets present on the board or not enough number of them to complete a streak. If a zombie reaches the house in Vasebreaker Endless, the said message will appear without showing the cutscene of a zombie entering the house and "THE ZOMBIES ATE YOUR BRAINS!" message.
    • Survival Mode: Same as adventure mode, some mini-games, and normal Vasebreaker levels, but after "THE ZOMBIES ATE YOUR BRAINS!" message appears, the losing dialog box will say "GAME OVER (iOS/Android)/Survival: {any of levels on PC, DS, and console versions of the game}: You survived for {number of flags completed} flag(s) before dying a GRUESOME ZOMBIE DEATH!!!" instead of simply "GAME OVER".
    • Zombiquarium: If all of Snorkel Zombies were died, the losing dialog box "GAME OVER (iOS/Android)/Zombiquarium (PC, DS, and console versions): All your pet zombies have perished!" will display.
    • Last Stand (Puzzle Mode and Mini-game): Same as Vasebreaker Endless, but if a zombie reaches the house, the losing dialog box "GAME OVER (iOS/Android)/Last Stans (PC, DS, and console versions): You survived for {number of flags completed} flags!!" will display.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time:
    • Any levels with normal objectives after the 1.7 update of the game (with the exception of not losing any lawn mowers starting on version 1.9 and planting on Dave' mold colonies when its objective text was changed on later updates, and on certain circumstances, exceeding the plant limit), when failed, will display the objective description in green text above the screen and will become lowered as the screen goes black. However, like any some other losing screens, the brain is still displayed when the player loses, plays the game over music of a specific world and the generic Big NO! scream.
    • In Piñata Party with a target score, finishing a level without reaching it will make the screen black and displays the message "You missed the target score: current score/target score". Similar with the situation mentioned before, the game over message also lowers while the screen goes black.
    • Save Our Seeds levels is the same as any normal levels in terms of its general objective, but if one endangered plant is killed by zombies or by player's intent (i.e. shoveling them before the 1.9 update and putting a plant on a fire tile at the same lane as the plant needed to protect), that's also result to the loss of a level, as the screen goes black normally and the message "THE ZOMBIES ATE YOUR PLANT!" will appear. In Dark Ages — Night 12, if the player fails to prevent the Puff-shrooms from disappearing, the message "PUFF-SHROOM DID NOT SURVIVE!" will display instead.
    • In Cannons Away, failing to reach the target score will display "PENNY IS NOT IMPRESSED WITH YOUR SCORE!" and your current score and the target score for the level will appear where the brain is displayed.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Blaze Union: Although the game over conditions are normal, losing the battlefield where the female characters are cornered by a gang while shopping leads to a unique scene, where it's explained said party members, one of them in her teens, were so deeply traumatized by the rape that they were put through, the revolution had to be put on hold indefinitely.
  • Disgaea:
    • The series tends to give you often humorous endings for being beaten by the games' Goldfish Poop Gang, or one of the main team members before they've joined the group. Most of them are treated like endings (particularly in 3 and 4, which add lengthy narratives to them), causing the credits to roll, and in some cases, allowing you to start a New Game Plus earlier than normal.
    • In Disgaea 2, a multitude of characters propose bills to be the main character in the Dark Assembly. Should they be passed (and there's a very high chance they will without any intervention on your part), you immediately get a game over. Also, winning the Hopeless Boss Fight against Laharl, or the one against Etna, nets a Non-Standard Game Over as well.
    • Revisiting the final level of the first chapter in Disgaea 3 and winning the battle there before a certain point in the story also results in a humorous ending where Mao and Almaz openly acknowledge that they've screwed up the plot and the only option is to reset the game.
    • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance has different than usual Non-Standard Game Overs, since fewer of your future party members have to be fought. Also, they don't force a New Game Plus anymore, and instead send you back to the base with no consequences (other than obtaining a trophy for getting a game over if you haven't already) For specific examples:
      • In chapter 4, when a cursed Usalia goes berserk, you have to kill everyone but her to proceed. Kill her, and the game ends on the spot. Killia becomes devastated that he couldn't save Usalia and leaves the party, causing the rebel army to disband and leaving Void Dark to continue conquering Netherworlds unopposed.
      • If you've scored at least fifty ally kills and win the final battle, you'll get a choice of whether to run away, or stay calm and think. Choosing to run away triggers the normal ending, but choosing to stay calm and think causes the possessed Liezerota to kill herself to destroy Void Dark's dark essence. This ends Void's reign of terror, but leaves Killia distraught over losing the woman he loved a second time.
    • In Makai Kingdom postgame, you can trigger an encounter with Zetta himself, who turns out to be Overlord Baal possessing Zetta's lost body. Winning the fight nets you the body as a playable character. However, if you've previously shanghaied Laharl and use him as the active character when initiating the encounter, and then winning the fight, results in Laharl claiming the victory instead of Zetta, followed by him destroying the body and ending Zetta's reign.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance gives you a game over if you fail a story mission. However, if Marche gets sent to jail in the middle of a battle or dies in a Jagd, the game also ends.
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
    • In one of the sidechapters, the completion goal is to make it to the other side of the map and talk to the boss, Fargus, in order to earn being ferried by his crew to the Dread Isle. If you so choose to attack Fargus, he'll probably kill any unit you have at the time. But if you somehow defeat him, the mission ends with him telling you that you now have no way to continue. Game over. Even if you didn't kill him, he would then refuse to take you to the Dread Isle, resulting in a similar ending.
    • If you fail to protect the NPC Natalie in chapter 4, the typical game over screen plays over a short cutscene of Lyn mourning her, lamenting her inability to defend those who need help most. The game ends soon after, implying that Lyn abandoned her quest in shame.
  • In Fire Emblem Engage, losing the final battle treats you to a scene where Alear awakes in Sombron’s lair and finds out not only everyone else has died, but also Sombron has recorrupted them and Veyle, much to their horror.
  • Galactic Civilizations II: Losing control of your Galactic Superpower's homeworld isn't normally an instant-lose condition. Destroying your own homeworld with a Terror Star, however, gets you a game-over and a mocking Have a Nice Death message.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • Waerjak in IV can trigger one of these when he meets the Boar's Hoof tribe. Waerjak is given the option of attacking them and claiming their garrison; if he does so, his followers will turn on him, proclaiming his philosophy of community to be a lie. This is a recurring element throughout the campaigns, made easier by the fact that all events are narrated instead of animated, resulting in various different scenarios that you wouldn't normally see in a game. If Lysander, for example, were to attack Glen Garrison to rescue the Big Bad's mother (instead of finding a way around it), the commander would notify him that he sent his men to execute her. If Elwyn takes the red ship instead of the blue one, Shaera would commit suicide, believing that he died (granted, this is an unnecessary complication of the gameplay, since Harke will bribe the crew to switch the sails, and Elwyn arrives just in time to save the girl anyway, making the outcome pretty much the same).
    • Might and Magic VI has a special ending video if you complete the end-game dungeon without getting the Ritual of the Void. You are warned that if you destroy the Kreegan Hive's reactor without powerful magic to keep it contained, it will destroy the world. Ignore the advice, and you get to see exactly that happen.
    • Another way to get this in Might and Magic is in VII, but you'd have to be pretty stupid for it to happen. For one quest in the main storyline, you end up working for two nobles simultaneously, and your actions during the quest require you to betray them both. Treason is a crime punishable by death, and that might make you worried. However, in each case, there are no witnesses and no evidence pointing to you, so neither of them would even suspect you unless you actually confessed. Believe it or not, there's an option that lets you do that when you finish the quest and report back to them. Long story short, if you confess to one of them, you won't live long enough to tell the other.
  • Liberty or Death has a forgiving time limit, with the player required to end the war by the year 1820. If the time limit is reached while playing as the British Army, the death of King George III will force them to surrender to the Americans, resulting in an automatic Game Over. Conversely, running out the clock while playing as the American army counts as an Instant-Win Condition.
  • M.U.L.E.: While the players are competing to be the most successful, they also need to keep an eye on the colony's overall production. At specific points in the game, the colony must meet certain benchmarks; if it doesn't, the colony is a failure and everyone loses.
  • In Super Robot Wars F, allowing the Ideon's "Ide Gauge" to fill up too much and go berserk. If it is raised any higher, or if it is destroyed in its berserk state, the bad ending triggers. When the Ideon returned in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, the Ideo Gauge no longer triggers a game over, but the game will still end if the Ideon is destroyed.
  • X-COM:
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
      • If you fail the tutorial mission, XCOM will be immediately disbanded.
      • In Enemy Within, failing "XCOM Base Defense" will result in an instant Game Over.
    • XCOM 2:
      • As with before, failing the tutorial mission will result in the alien's immediate victory.
      • The Dark Event "Hunt XCOM" can result in your flying fortress being grounded by the aliens. Failing the subsequent mission to escape the aliens' trap, either by losing all of your soldiers (plus reserves) or allowing the aliens to board your ship, will result in XCOM's immediate destruction.
      • During the climax of the game, failing either of the final two missions immediately ends the war in the aliens' victory. In the final mission, you will automatically lose if the Commander's Avatar is killed.

    Visual Novels 
  • Many of the Ace Attorney games have those, usually in the final cases:
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, in the fifth case “Rise From The Ashes”, you find a piece of cloth in Gant’s office that seems to implicate Ema in the first murder, but Gant had it hidden in his safe, suggesting he was involved. During the final batch of testimony, Gant will at one point subtly-imply he knows you have it and pressures you to submit it. If you fall for his trap, you end up irrevocably tying Ema to the first murder; you are then told that the trial was unwinnable from that point on (since you had no way to tie it to Gant) and Lana ends up Guilty. The trick is to hold off on presenting itself; by not falling for Gant’s bait, he’ll incriminate himself regarding the cloth, letting you use it to take him down for good.
    • In Justice For All, right near the end of the 4th case, you're given a chance to show a particular piece of evidence to a particular person. At this point the case is deadlocked, as the assassin holding Maya hostage is on his last straw, and any pushing other than the Not Guilty (for an obviously-guilty murderer) would lead to his killing her. Neither Phoenix nor Edgeworth can push the case any further. Francizka just pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment with a few new pieces of evidence, but there isn’t any more room for evidence or testimony. The player is given a ‘’single chance’’ to pick the right piece of evidence and the right person to present it to to save the case. Pick the wrong thing or person, and the villain goes free, an innocent person is convicted, Maya presumably lived (but is never seen again), and Phoenix quits being a lawyer out of shame. "The miracle never happen..." The solution is to present the blackmail tape to the assassin; by proving the villain betrayed him, the assassin will break his contract, eliminating the villain’s leverage and sealing his fate.
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, you actually get to pick the verdict at the end, courtesy of the Jurist System. If you pick guilty, it results in a hung jury, and the defendant dies in the hospital — the verdict never happen.
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, you can refuse to help a mentally unstable and profoundly broken Sebastian Debeste and instead tell him that he's "a failure as a human being". Doing so finally puts him over the edge and ends the case immediately, as he's the only one who can find the evidence his father got rid of.
    • The final case of Dual Destinies provides unique game over sequences during its sole trial day, which double as bad endings:
      • Failing to prove Simon Blackquill's innocence after he's admitted his guilt makes things spiral go From Bad to Worse: Blackquill is executed the next day as scheduled for a crime he didn't commit, his sister Aura leaves with the hostages she took (including Trucy) and they are never heard from again, Athena leaves the office, Apollo is so broken he stops smiling, and Phoenix gives up on being a lawyer.
      • Losing during one of the forced questions in the chapter "Remembering the Killer", leads to Aura Blackquill becoming unshakably convinced Athena was the real murderer and kidnapping her, with Phoenix never seeing her again.
      • Losing during the final testimony given by the Big Bad will lead to Athena and Simon being let off the hook... while the phantom walks away scot-free and the Dark Age of the Law keeps growing ever darker.
    • In Spirit of Justice, the final case has multiple outcomes depending on when you lose the case. Lose during the first trial day of the final case and the villainous Paul Atishon walks away scot-free with the Founder's Orb, and Apollo and Phoenix's relationship goes down the crapper. In the final trial, losing the case after getting Dhurke posthumously acquitted results in the true killer's identity being lost forever, while the revolution completely falls apart because of Dhurke's death. Failure to provide proof that the Queen is the real killer ends with her siccing her guards on Apollo, forcing him to go into hiding with him deciding to join the revolution to overthrow the Queen.
  • Aoi Shiro: All routes (assuming you don't succumb to a bad end first) have the option to abandon the training camp due to deteriorating weather. While the protagonist survives, the main plot remains unresolved.
  • Amidst the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot of AI: The Somnium Files, one potential route has Date abandon the mystery and his career entirely, and run off with Renju's well-endowed receptionist. One can hardly blame him.
  • Choices: Stories You Play gives the player character several opportunities to die for making the wrong choice, but some of these require you to go out of your way to die. (In the event that the character does die, the game will restart from a "checkpoint" before the decision that led to the character's death; the game doesn't actually end there.)
    • Endless Summer plays with this; the character can die by making a bad choice, just like in other Choices stories, but unlike said other stories, the player character will remember the incident, experiencing it as an in-universe time anomaly. Played fully straight in one instance, however: correctly guessing the name of the AI before finding the clue results in the player character's head exploding. The game over message says: "Do not attempt to cheat the laws of time."
    • In Bloodbound, you get a diamond choice to hook up with a character who will kill you.
  • In Da Capo the Yoriko route starts off with Jun'ichi saving a cat from a tree, then jumping forward to him waking up in his bed at some later time. He gets the option to either get up or go back to sleep. If he goes back to sleep, the game immediately cuts to credits.
  • Code:Realize: If you refuse Lupin's acceptance in the first multiple choice part, he'll be upset and leave you alone. Cue "FIN" and black screen.
  • Danganronpa:
    • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, near the end of the fifth trial, Makoto realizes that Kyoko told a lie and is given the decision to reveal the lie or stay silent. If he chooses to reveal the lie, Monokuma suddenly cuts the trial short and forces everyone to vote immediately; with Kyoko being labeled as the culprit and executed. What follows is that Makoto and the others have accepted their fate to remain trapped in the school, along with a shown picture of them as adults with their children. It then turns out to be a Daydream Surprise by Makoto, allowing the player to make the right choice this time.
    • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls:
      • Failing the "motivation" scene will have Komaru softly say that she doesn't hate it, and Kotoko comments that she's all hers now. Then promptly lampshade that they can't show any further because of the game's rating.
      • Near the end of the game, Komaru is given the option of destroying Monaca's controller. If she breaks it, the Monokuma helmets explode, killing all the children, and the result pushes Komaru into becoming a new Junko Enoshima.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, if Shuichi doesn't gather all the evidence for the last trial before time run outs, Ki-Bo demolishes the academy and decimates it.
  • As a combination Visual Novel/RPG, Fate/EXTRA has one of these for pretty much every defeat by another Master, as well as a number of ways to lose by making a wrong dialog choice. (DEAD END, indeed.)
  • Fate/stay night has Multiple Endings which are tagged with a descriptive note, with all game-overs being tagged "Dead End" if Shirou dies and "Bad End" in all other cases. The odd ending out is the "Sparks Liner High" ending, where Shirou fights and defeats Saber Alter in an one-on-one duel at the cost of his own life. Even though it ends the route without any real conclusion, it is referred to only as an "End", the only ending with this note.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has two:
    • If you lie to Summer in the bar at the beginning of chapter 7, Summer will get discouraged and check out of the hotel before the night ends. Dunning thinks Kyle had something to do with it because he overheard Summer's mumble of wishing he never talked to him, but instead of kicking Kyle out, he will tell him to not worry about it since he was sick of Summer anyway and drags him to the bar where he spends the entire night drinking with him.
    • Also, if you check too many items while locked up in a airtight room at one point in chapter 10, Kyle will run out of oxygen and die. Interestingly, the Game Over screen still shows Kyle leaving the hotel.
    • In the sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, in Chapter 10, if you go to Frank's room and accuse him of spraying you on the 4th floor in Chapter 9, no matter what you do after that point, you will eventually head back to Room 406 only to be sprayed again, resulting in a Game Over. You're actually supposed to go to Margaret's room and accuse her instead, but the game in the previous chapter leads you to believe that it's Frank who's up to no good.
  • Kara no Shoujo has a few, but some are difficult to distinguish from the good endings, such as they are. In one in particular, Reiji will end the game locked in a mental ward if he disembowels his best friend Shugo for the key to escape a trap.
  • Should you fail the bomb diffusing sequence at the end of Act 2 of Policenauts, the bomb will explode on Beyond Coast in the Game Over screen.
  • Lux-Pain:
    • Using Sigma carries a gauge with it, which depletes as you probe their mind more and more. If it falls to zero, Ray Platiere will tell you that you basically destroyed their mind and you get a Game Over. "You're no telepath."
    • Every time you let a Silent infectee get away, intentionally or otherwise, the Hazard percentage at the corner of the map increases. If it reaches 100%, you get another call from Ray that says that it's too late, and there's nothing left to do for the city but send in The Tigers and destroy them all mentally to stop Silent spreading any further.
    • Failing to find Yayoi before too long when she goes missing will get you told that it's too late, and that she killed herself due to Silent's infection before you could save her.
    • At one point towards the end of the game you have to read the residual thoughts on a corpse in the morgue. Natsuki, another member of your Mission Control, warns you beforehand that this is dangerous for a telepath and is not like reading a living person's mind. If you chose to back out once you've activated Sigma, the screen cuts to black, you hear Natsuki scream and a single line of narration describes the protagonist losing his mind.
  • Monster Prom: In a multiplayer run, if one of the player manages to achieve THE SUPER SECRET ONE ending, all other players are locked out of their endings, even if they did everything correctly as well and no matter whether it's a secret ending or a prom date, the Narrator will just state that the player couldn't get a date because everyone else is in an orgy they're missing out on.
  • In the game My Harem Heaven is Yandere Hell, Yuuya must keep his True Companions (relatively) sane during a string of stressful events. In most bad ends, he fails and consequently gets murdered, but in the "After-School Bloodbath" ending he instead decides that his friends are irredeemable. Since Yuuya is everyone's Living Emotional Crutch, his disillusionment means there's no possibility of reaching a good ending, even though technically The Hero is still alive. He's just abandoned the storyline.
  • Your Turn to Die has two involving the Sanity Meter, which increases every time the player remembers their fallen friends, and another two involving a premature end to the Deadly Game that serves as the plot.
    • If it gets too high, Sara will be pushed past the Despair Event Horizon and attack her hallucination of Joe. Keiji writes her off as too far gone.
    • It's possible to lower it with a device provided by Safalin, but with the caveat that it not be used more than twice. Use it three times and Safalin will erase all of Sara's memories of Joe. Broken and now addicted to the device, Sara begs for it to be used again, which Safalin promises to do if Sara agrees to do whatever Safalin says from now on.
    • At one point, Q-taro begins collecting tokens in an attempt to escape the Death Game on his own. Give him enough tokens to do so via trading and he'll promptly abandon the facility, leaving everyone else behind to die.
    • The other one comes in the end of the 2nd round: Nao has the Sacrifice card, which means that either she and Sou/Kanna dies, or everyone except her and Sara dies. Vote for her and the latter scenario plays out.
  • Zero Escape:
    • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, non-standard game overs are actually plot-critical. If you try to get the True Ending on your first playthrough, instead you get the Coffin Ending. You need to find the Safe Ending first... Eventually you find that you are actually playing from the perspective of the protagonist's friend in the past. The fact that you know it would be impossible for Junpei to know at the time is because she (you) actually ran through these scenarios where Junpei made this or that decision, gleaning more information about the best way to proceed each time.
    • Virtue's Last Reward. You will be running into a lot of different endings, several of which are 'To Be Continued' path locks that require secret knowledge from other paths to get past. Some Game Overs, which do not even appear on the game's provided flowchart, arise in circumstances where a plot thread is impossibly damaged; for example, if the player managed to annoy Alice enough to alienate her by repeatedly failing to decode a message, the game ends instantly, even though nothing has happened to Sigma.
    • Zero Time Dilemma has an inversion if you win the coin flip at the beginning of the game. True to his word, Zero releases all of you. Game over. Credits roll. You win. Ten minutes flat.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, during the mission "Stowaway", you can jump out the plane without a parachute, which leads into a cutscene showing CJ crashing into a parked car at a drive-in.
    • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, during the mission "Phnom Penh '86", if you snipe Lance out of his chopper there will be no "mission failed" message even though you'll have to start the mission again. The silver lining of this is that you can take and save Lance's chopper as long as it didn't blow up.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, during the mission "By the Book", Trevor is tasked with torturing a man for information to catch a terrorist. If pushing the victim too far, he will have a cardiac arrest needing an adrenaline shot. If the player take too long, the victim will die and a cutscene plays out where corrupt FIB officer Steve Haines scolds Trevor and promises to punish him later before the mission failed screen shows up.
      • There are a few other instances of cutscenes playing during a mission failure. For example, in "Complications", if Franklin fails to drive to the dealership after Michael orders him to, a cutscene is shown of Michael pistol whipping him.
  • In Saints Row IV, at one point your are offered a choice to either keep fighting or take a deal with the aliens to save the world by dying. If you take the deal, you get a game over screen telling you that you shouldn't have trusted them. Amusingly, this earns an Achievement.
  • In Shenmue, or just the first game at least, it's impossible for Ryo to actually get himself killed — failing a Quick Time Event or losing a fight results in Ryo taking a dirtnap. The only exception is allowing April 15th to roll around, in which case Lan Di comes back to the dojo asking for the Phoenix Mirror; Ryo challenges him to a fight and is subsequently wiped out in one move, the same move that Lan Di used to kill Ryo's father in fact.
  • Early sandbox ZX Spectrum game Skool Daze normally ends the game when you have accrued 10,000 lines or more; however, there is a random event where you must avoid contact with another character who has contracted the mumps. Get touched and you contract the illness too, whereupon you are immediately sent home.
  • Vangers:
    • At one point you may discover a special artifact Mechanical Messiah. It has a number of dangerous functions and is considered to be cursed. One of its functions is named Lucky: try to activate it and the fourth wall will be destroyed, with the game stating that you, the Vanger, have failed the test and will be utilized. This becomes understandable if you played the game before and know the ending(s).
    • If you ever bring Geer'AH something that he dislikes (that is, any Beeboorat-related item that is not Valorin/Heroine, or some cirt from non-Beeboorat Larva), he'll get angry and take all your possessions, forcing you in a Raffa. Try this once more, and... well, remember Geer'AH telling you stories about Bloody Hilarious games he hosts? Get ready to take part in one of them.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion has an unlockable Final Death Mode which makes it so any operative who dies is dead forever. If your last operative is taken out, the screen will read "DEDSEC HAS FALLEN", and the credits will start rolling.
  • In X: Beyond the Frontier, if you shoot at the Terran mothership during the Justified Tutorial, you'll get the usual "cut it out" remarks from the flight controller. If you keep doing it past the part where he threatens you with Reassigned to Antarctica, he'll actually do it.

Examples in non-video game applications:

    Card Games 
  • In Blackjack, if any player or the dealer gets a hand worth exactly 21 in just their first two cards (a "blackjack"), that player automatically wins. Their opponent(s), as a result, all automatically lose (multiple players with blackjack tie).
  • The standard Chrononauts has this occur if there are thirteen temporal paradoxes on the field at one time. An expansion included a character who actually had a temporal paradox as his own win condition.
  • There are quite a few in Duel Masters. Several extremely powerful monsters come with an extra effect that states if they're ever not in your monster zone after they come into play, you lose the game on the spot. (The wording is specifically "not in your monster zone", so getting sent back to your hand is just as game-ending as if they were destroyed.)
  • Fluxx has Goal cards — if someone meets the conditions on an active Goal card, they win. It also has Ungoals — if the conditions on an active Ungoal card are met, everyone loses.
  • In Magi-Nation, the Shadow Mage Agram has an ability that permanently increases its Energize ratenote  each turn, but also triggers a negative effect if it goes too high. If you have another Magi left, you must summon it and put Agram back into the pile; if Agram is the only Magi you have left, you instantly lose.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the standard loss condition occurs when your opponent brings your life total to zero. However, there are other ways to lose the game:
    • If you are forced to draw a card when there are no cards remaining in your library, you are "decked" and lose the game.
    • Creatures with the Infect ability, rather than dealing life damage to a player, inflicts that player with poison counters. A player with ten poison counters loses the game.
    • Certain cards cause you to win or lose in unusual circumstances; for instance, Coalition Victory, which lets you win if you have a land and creature of each of the five colors of mana, and Near-Death Experience, which allows you to win if you have exactly 1 life remaining in your upkeep step.
    • There's a story out there that said that when Time Walk was still in development, its ability was phrased as 'opponent loses next turn'. It was intended to make an opponent skip his turn... but playtesters interpreted it as 'opponent loses the game on his next turn'. Suddenly, you could immediately lose the game because of a two-mana spell. The card text was quickly revised to clarify its intent, and later cards that give you instant wins usually have highly specific requirements (decking out, having 10 more life than your starting total, having only one life, and so on) or are extremely expensive to invoke, such as Door to Nothingness.
    • The Commander format has commander damage: if a player takes 21 combat damage from another player's commander, they lose the game regardless of the rest of the game state.
  • In Munchkin players win when they reach the 10th level, but they must do it by defeating a monster — other ways to normally level up (such as selling items or using "go up a level" cards) aren't allowed. Except for the card "Divine Intervention" which makes every cleric go up a level, and explicitly states you can win the game this way (and lets you mock all the other players if you win).
  • My Little Pony Collectible Card Game has this card which makes you lose instantly should you flip it.
  • Netrunner has the Corp card "ACME Savings and Loan", which immediately gives you twelve bits. However, once you use it, you have to pay one bit at the end of every turn or lose the game. The only way to stop this effect is by repaying the loan (spending twelve bits at once); this also gives back the agenda point you had to spend to play the card.
  • One set of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, has a Slowbro card with an attack called "Three Strikes", which states that if all three coin flips involved in the attack are tails, then you lose the game.
  • Seeing as it is based on comic books, Sentinels of the Multiverse features a few ways to cause the players to get a Non-Standard Game Over (the standard way of winning is to reduce the Villain to 0 HP)
    • If Baron Blade has 15 or more cards in his trash (i.e. discard pile) at the start of his turn, his Tractor Beam plunges the moon into the Earth, and everyone dies.
    • Evil Alien Overlord Grand Warlord Voss takes over the Earth if he has 10 or more Minions in play at the start of his turn.
    • The Dreamer turns the Standard win condition listed above into the lose condition in battles against her: If she dies, the heroes lose. Justified, for two reasons: 1) The Dreamer is the child version of the hero Visionary, who time traveled to the present to save her younger self from a government project, so if Dreamer dies, Visionary dies. 2) the Dreamer's psychic powers overloaded during a nightmare and the nightmares themselves but be destroyed to wake her up. In short, the battle is one big Hostage Situation.
    • Wager Master is good at these. "Who Are You Fighting?" causes the heroes to lose if Wager Master runs out of HP (notice the Exact Words - effects that destroy Wager Master without reducing his HP to zero, like Tachyon's "Sucker Punch" or Ra's "Wrathful Gaze", won't trigger this); "Wagelings" causes the heroes to lose if there are more villain targets than hero targets; "An Unwise Wager" causes the heroes to lose if any hero runs out of cards in their deck; "Playing Dice With the Cosmos" ends the game in a loss if any hero is taken out; and "The New Deal" deals damage to heroes with even HP each turn, and the heroes lose if this damage incapacitates one of them. There are also two inversions: "Losing to the Odds" lets the heroes win immediately if all heroes have even HP totals (that aren't their maximum HP) at the end of the villain turn, and "Not All He Seems" ends the game in a hero victory if Wager Master runs out of cards in his deck.
    • During a fight with Deadline, his powers slowly destroy the Environment deck, removing cards in it from the game whenever he flips. If the Environment deck runs out of cards, the damage Deadline has done to Earth becomes irreversible and the heroes lose.
    • This is Inverted with Gloomweaver. If the heroes manage to get all three of his Relicsnote  into his trash before he can flip, the heroes succeed in preventing his summoning to Earth, and Gloomweaver automatically loses.
    • The environments also have Non-Standard Game Overs occasionally. The most prominent is the Self Destruct Sequence in the Wager Mars Base. If the Sequence completes itself, the base blows up and everyone dies.
    • Silver Gulch, 1883, has Lost In the Past. If there are no cards in the Environment's trash by the end of it's turn, the time portal the heroes used to get to Silver Gulch closes and thus, the heroes lose.
    • The Mobile Defense Platform has the Propulsion Systems. If it loses all of its 10 HP, the Platform (which is flying, it should be noted) plummets like a rock and everyone dies. Note that it can be removed or destroyed in other ways without invoking the everyone dying part.
    • The Celestial Tribunal has Representative of Earth. When the card comes out, the players pick a hero who they aren't actively playing the game with and put them into play, with a maximum HP of ten. As the card's name implies, they represent the people of Earth in the Tribunal's judgment of the planet. If that hero runs out of HP, the Celestial Tribunal sentences Earth to death and the heroes lose. Like the Propulsion Systems, if the Representative of Earth card is destroyed or sent back to the environment deck, the game continues (with the chosen hero put back in the box).
    • OblivAeon is attempting to destroy the multiverse itself. At the start of the game, you choose a set of environments you will confront him in. OblivAeon has several ways to destroy these environments; if you run out of environments, the multiverse ceases to exist and you lose. During initial playtests, defeating OblivAeon during its first phase (no mean feat, as it has 10,000 HP and a completely different objective) would result in a Reality-Breaking Paradox that also lost the game.
  • Under some partners rules variants of Spades, getting a "Boston" run on your team (losing all thirteen tricks) is an automatic game loss.
  • The Star Trek Customizable Card Game (First Edition) by Decipher was normally won either by scoring 100 points before the opponent, or (more rarely) by having the higher score when both players' draw decks were depleted. A common "nonstandard" game ending involved a card called Writ of Accountability. If you exceeded any of the limits outlined by the card, and your opponent activated the card on you, you instantly lost the game, with a score of 0 (and if only one player remained—which nearly always was the case—that player scored the full 100 points needed to win). There were a few other cases where you could lose the game instantly (such as calling "Devidian Door", then being caught without a Devidian Door in hand when it came time to show it), but that was perhaps the best known.
  • In the ''Star Wars LCG'', the Light Side player typically wins by destroying 3 Dark Side objectives which typically have 5 (rarely 4 or 6) damage capacity each. In the Core set, there are two cards that can circumvent this scenario:
    • There's one Dark Side objective ("Heart of the Empire") that has 10 Damage capacity and gives extra start-up resources, but when it is destroyed, the Dark Side loses automatically. Good to get late game, but an obvious target when opening the game with that objective.
    • The Light Side has an enhancement ("Trench Run") that allows the player to attack that card for 10 Damage instead to win the game. Of course if the card doesn't come up early enough in the game there's no use in switching tactics when enough damage has already been dealt to the Dark Side objectives.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has two standard loss conditions; your life points become 0 by any means or you have no cards in your deck when you are forced to draw (either at the draw phase or by card effect). However even in its earliest days, Exodia existed as an alternative win condition. Since then several cards have been printed, most of which fall under Awesome, but Impractical. A full list of them can be found here.

  • Several Choose Your Own Adventure books feature conclusions punctuated by something other than The End:
    • The third book in the series, By Balloon to the Sahara, has a few: A Chilling End for when your character is trapped under an avalanche, The (BLAT!) End for when aliens disintegrate you with a laser gun, and even The Beginning, among several others.
    • The Mystery of Chimney Rock probably plays this trope the straightest:
      • One ending has you leaving the haunted house after encountering a ghostly creature who threatens you with his fate if you ever look back at the house.note  If you don't like that ending, you can choose to look back one last time anyway, the resulting page of which simply has a bloodcurdling scream down the page in giant letters followed by a THUNK.
      • Another ending has your character accidentally breaking the resident witch's china cat and being cursed to pick up the pieces for all eternity, complete with There Is No End.
    • In Hyperspace, you can meet the Author Avatar Edward Packard. He quickly becomes an annoying Escort Mission because if you ever stop following him, you're sent to an ending which states that since the author was no longer with you, he can no longer write about what happened.
  • In the third Lone Wolf adventure, The Caverns of Kalte, if you either confront Vonotar without finding Loi-Kymar or take too long to slay the Akraa'neonor, Vonotar sounds the alarm and alerts all of Ikaya to your presence, forcing you to flee. You escape and make it back to your ship unharmed, but without capturing Vonotar, and the adventure ends here. This is the only time in the entire series where you can fail your mission but you're still alive, free, and in reasonably good health and spirits, there are no obvious consequences for your failure for Sommerlund or any of the free kingdoms of Magnamund, and there is absolutely nothing preventing you from trying again at a future date. No attempt was ever made to explain what's preventing you, in this one instance, from going on later adventures.
    • Surprisingly, Aboard The Intrepid, the book 12 bonus adventure, has two of these. How it normally unfolds is that the stranger you recently rescued tells you about a fantastic treasure-filled island, you have to decide whether to search for this island, you end up searching for and eventually finding it regardless of your choice, and the decisions you make from there determine how much treasure you obtain and how much of a human cost you pay for it. However, if you decide not to go, refuse to budge on this decision, and then survive the treachery of one of your crewmen (who really, really wants to go to this place for reasons that are not immediately clear), you can quietly return to Holmgard without ever seeking out the island, and the book will acknowledge it as a "successful completion" to your adventure. A second possibility is that you make some truly boneheaded decisions after your boatswain is found murdered, resulting in you fighting your first mate and a total of twenty sailors to the death. The adventure ends after this fight regardless of how it goes; even if you win (which is just about inconceivable), the book simply says "Your adventure is over".
  • Pipe Down! in the Nintendo Adventure Books sees Mario and Luigi coming across a Clawgrip, to whom they must give an item to pass. If they do not have the required item or refuse to give it to him, they try to run. The Clawgrip gives chase, and they decide to distract him with a few coins. If you don't have enough, the resulting page is nothing but the word PINCH! in a huge explosion graphic that fills the entire page, along with the "GAME OVER".
  • From The Time Raider of the "Twistaplot" series: "Oh, no! You're stuck in a time warp! (turn to page -number-, quick!)" *flip* "Nothing warps the human brain faster than a time warp. (turn to page -number-)" *flip back* "Oh, no! You're stuck in a time warp! ..."

    Game Shows 
In game show parlance, the Non-Standard Game Over is, in its broadest sense, a form of Epic Fail, where a contestant performs so poorly that he is either disqualified or causes a situation where the leader’s score makes it mathematically impossible for him/her to catch up. In several game shows, the game is ended early, the losing contestant is given his Consolation Prizes, and the winner plays the bonus game early.

  • A number of quiz shows from the late 1960s and early 1970s — including the Who, What or Where Game and the original Sale of the Century — had rules where falling below zero at any time immediately eliminated that player from further play. These games spotted the players a small bankroll ($20 for $otC, $125 for the betting-type 3 Ws) and, like Jeopardy!, money was deducted for incorrect answers. But enough incorrect answers meant falling to or below $0 and, per the rules, meant they were eliminated immediately. The "$0 means goodbye" rule was eliminated for the more familiar 1983 $otC and the 3 Ws 1990 remake The Challengers. With the earlier incarnations, the standard "game over" is at the end of the front game of $otC (we've just played the last question, here's the scores, here's our champion) or, on the 3 Ws, after the day's final category is played with all three contestants participating.
  • The Bonus Round on Body Language, a charades game show, was broken down into two parts. The first had a contestant guessing up to ten words at $100 per word in 60 seconds, followed by another 20-second round with three words played for 10 times the amount the contestant won previously. Giving an illegal clue (talking or using a prop) in the second part immediately ended the round in failure even if any words were left over; the bonus round was also not played if, by rare happenstance, the contestant failed to guess even one word in the first part.
  • On Card Sharks, the Money Cards Bonus Round automatically ended prior to the Big Bet card if, while on the second row, the contestant busted -– i.e., bet everything on an incorrect hunch. (On the NBC version, this was marked by a harsh buzzer followed by a truncated version of The Price is Right losing horns). Quite a few times, there were players who "two-card busted" (meaning they blew everything on the first card, then — with the card moved immediately to the second row and the player given a new bankroll — immediately lost everything on their next call of the cards). This was also originally possible if the next card was of the same value as the previous one; it was originally ruled as a loss, but on later episodes, the next card being of the same value resulted in neither a gain nor a loss (referred to in-show as a "push").
  • Family Feud: In the first four seasons of the current syndicated version, the game had no point goal and consisted of three rounds at normal point values with a fourth round at triple the points. This meant the game could end before one team had a chance to steal the bank due to the controlling team not coming up with enough points to win. It didn't help that teams had only one strike in the Triple Round.
  • High Rollers: Happens if a contestant leaves a 1 by itself in the Big Numbers bonus round. Since the contestant must always throw two dice, rolling a 1 is impossible.
  • I'm Telling! usually consisted of six questions per show, the final one worth 150 points. However, if a team was leading by more than 150 when it came time for the final question, they would be declared the winners right then and there. This happened at least once.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • In its broadest sense, any player who doesn't finish "Double Jeopardy!" with a score above $0 ends participation in the show early (i.e., unable to play "Final Jeopardy!"). However, at least once on the original NBC series — the late 1960s, by most accounts — the trope truly kicked into full effect when all three players had negative cash scores and thus were ineligible for "Final Jeopardy!" No "Final Jeopardy!" was played that day, and Art Fleming spent the rest of the show talking with the contestants and the audience. The standard "game over" is with all three players participating in "Final Jeopardy!" More common than this is when every remaining contestant bets everything on "Final Jeopardy!" and gets it wrong. In these situations, the game does run its normal length, but there is no winner and the next game is played with three new contestants.
    • A twist on the "nonstandard game over" trope is the "lock game" scenario, where the leading contestant's score at the end of "Double Jeopardy!" is more than double that of the second-place contestant. Of course, this assumes that this player does not bet more than the remainder if incorrect and the second place player is correct and bets enough (This is known as "Pulling a Cliff Clavin" thanks to the Cheers episode "What is... Cliff Clavin?", when Cliff goes on "Jeopardy!" and loses after wagering his entire lock winnings ($22,000) in "Final Jeopardy!"). In this case, a standard "game over" is a competitive game, where the second-place contestant can still win if certain things go right (e.g., a correct answer and a wise bet, vs. the champion being wrong and forced to bet enough to cover the second-place player's wager).
  • Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Temple Run at the end of the show had one team of two contestants navigating through the Temple to bring an artifact out in three minutes or less. If either player exited the Temple outside of the designated entrance (the stairs on the far right with the bottom of the Cave of Sighs serving as a second in Season 1 only), the team automatically lost. While this never happened, one contestant was so afraid of a Temple Guard that he jumped out of the Temple. It didn't matter since he only had half a pendant of life and needed the other half to give to the Guard for the run to to continue.
  • Match Game: The 1970s version's two-part Super Match — the Audience Match followed by the Head-to-Head Match — required the contestant to match at least one of the top three answers in the Audience Match portion of the game to play the Head-to-Head portion; failure to do so ended this bonus round early. While not uncommon during the CBS and daily syndicated run, only one time did it happen on Match Game PM (where two Audience Matches were played back-to-back prior to the Head-to-Head round), forcing a modified front-game question to be played in place of that show's Head-to-Head match; the contestant won. Averted with later versions: The 2016 ABC primetime version instead gives a Consolation Prize of $1,000 for the Head-to-Head round, which can be multiplied to $5,000; and when the show was married to The Hollywood Squares in 1983-1984, the contestant was given $100 and could turn it into up to $3,000.
  • Name That Tune: Most game shows' bonus rounds that were quiz-based allowed for incorrect answers; the game would still proceed and allow the contestant a chance to achieve the stated goal (guess 10 correct answers in 60 seconds to win). This game was one of the exceptions: With only seven songs to be guessed (in a 30-second time period), the contestant had to guess all seven songs correctly to win the day's top prize and be invited back to a grand prize tournament. This meant that even one wrong answer stops the game immediately and the player is left to take home consolation prizes. The standard game overs, then, come if the player guesses all seven songs or the time limit expires before all seven songs are guessed.
  • On Panel Quiz Attack 25, the standard Game Over occurs when the board is completely filled in. Occasionally, however, the game will drag on long enough (due to numerous wrong answers or many questions going dead) that the Westminster Chimes will go off, signaling time running out to end the game.
    • While this usually occurs with only a few boxes remaining, one episode had the chimes go off before the Attack Chance—meaning there were still more than 5 boxes left to be filled in.
  • On Press Your Luck, the standard Game Over was whenever all three contestants had exhausted their spins, with victory going to the highest scoring player. A nonstandard game over could occur in one of two situations:
    • If the other two contestants had "Whammied out" (i.e., hit four Whammys, which takes them out of the game) and the remaining contestant still had spins, he or she could play "against the house" with the added option of stopping whenever he or she wanted, as opposed to using up all available spins.
    • The alternative is if a contestant hits a Whammy on his or her last spin when his or her opponents have $0; unless one of the contestants has "Whammied out", then the game is declared a three-way tie and all three contestants return the next day.
    • One episode of the sequel series ended with one player winning with $0 and zero spins after both of her opponents whammied out. While she didn't win any money, she was allowed to return for another game where she won again, this time earning actual money.
  • The Price Is Right: Several pricing games – those involving the pricing of groceries or small items – have this clause if the contestant is wrong with all questions or fails to meet any conditions on his/her given choices (usually three), and the contestant had to earn all picks. A few examples:
    • Bullseye: In this game involving pricing of groceries, the objective was to pick an item and tell how many was needed to – when multiplied by the price of the item – reach a target score of $10-12, which was an Instant-Win Condition. If the actual total wasn't within $10-12 but at least $2 and not more than $12, the contestant earned a mark on the board resembling an archery target, meaning they could still win if that item concealed a hidden bullseye; up to three turns were given. The trope kicks in, then, if the contestant fails to at least get one mark on the board – that is, he was below $2 or above $12 on every one of his three picks, meaning the hidden bullseye is out of play and cannot help; despite the instant early loss condition, the host often will still show the audience which grocery item had the hidden bullseye.
    • 5 Price Tags: If the contestant is wrong on all four true-false pricing questions. At least one correct answer was needed to be able to pick from one of the price tags they thought was the correct price.
    • Master Key: If the contestant is wrong on both either-or pricing questions, meaning no pick of which one of the five keys. The contestant needed one or both correct answers to try to pick the right key and (attempt to) win at least something.
    • Rat Race: If the contestant is wrong on all three pricing questions, meaning no selection of the rats (although the rodents may run anyway just for fun). At least one was needed for the contestant to have a stake in the race.
    • Shell Game: If the contestant is wrong on all four higher-lower pricing questions, meaning no chips on the table; they had to have at least one correct to place a chip beside the shell they thought concealed the ball.
    • Bonus Game: Like Shell Game, if the contestant is wrong on all four higher-lower pricing questions, meaning they won't have control over any windows, including the Bonus window; they had to have at least one correct to have a chance of controlling the Bonus window.
    • Punch-A-Bunch (also known as the Punchboard): If the contestant is wrong on all four higher-lower pricing questions, meaning no punches to use on the board; at least one was needed to punch a hole and win something.
    • Secret X: If the contestant is wrong on both small item prices, meaning no extra Xs to go with the first one they receive, at least 2 Xs are needed to be able to make a Tic-Tac-Toe with the Secret X in the middle column.
    • One Away: If the contestant is wrong on all five (previously four) numbers the first time; note  one correct number was necessary to attempt a second try. A nonstandard win occurs if the contestant gets all five numbers right on the first try.
    • Originally the case with Pass The Buck on its first three or four playings, where three pairs of grocery items were used and no free pick was given, meaning a Non-Standard Game Over for the contestant if they were wrong on all three pairs, since it would result in no picks on the board. This was changed afterward to give the contestant a free pick, as well as reduce the pairs from three to two and the board spaces from eight to six (losing $2,000 and leaving two Lose Everythings instead of three.)
    • Retired Games:
      • Hit Me: A la Blackjack, if the contestant picked grocery items with cards that brought their score to 22 or higher, meaning THEY bust and forfeit the game regardless of the house's score.
      • Joker: If the contestant was wrong on all four small prizes, meaning they can't discard any cards, including the target Joker; at least one was needed for the contestant to have a chance of discarding the Joker, which was the goal of the game.
      • Phone Home Game: If the home viewer on the phone accidentally read the product names instead of the prices on all three grocery items that they were allowed to play for, because the goal of the game was for the stage contestant to guess what product held the price that the home viewer selected. This would mean they forfeited the game, and it happened at least once.
      • Super Ball! If the contestant was wrong on all four balls (the last of which was the Super Ball), meaning they had no balls to play the skee ball game with; at least one was needed to play and win.
      • Telephone Gamenote : A one time form of the trope; if the contestant spent more that 90 cents of the dollar they were provided in the pricing round of this game, meaning they didn't have enough money to make a call in the second round; at least 10 cents (a dime) was required to make a phone call in the second round for the contestant to win.
  • Pyramid:
    • In the front game, after the first four categories are played, the fifth category is selected by the team that is trailing. If, after that fifth category, the team's score is still behind that of their opponents, the game is automatically ended (unless the remaining box is the 7/11 or Mystery 7, thus allowing for at least a chance at it). More than once, because the trailing team was behind by more than eight points (categories only have seven words, meaning a maximum of seven points possible per round), the game was ended after the fourth category. The standard game over, then, comes with the sixth category (either the winning team scores enough points to win, or if the trailing team is still behind when time expires). Theoretically, the earliest a Pyramid front game could end is during the playing of the first word of the fourth category; that is, the losing team is trailing 14-0 and they immediately get disqualified on the first word. Not enough words would be available to help the trailing team at least tie.
    • This could also happen in the Winner's Circle. If all six subjects are guessed in 60 seconds or less, the contestant wins the large bonus. Giving an illegal clue on a category puts it out of play and the contestant forfeits the chance at the jackpot. However, if any categories are left, play continues until the rest are guessed or time runs out. If the former happens, the Winner's Circle just ends with no music and no flashing board indicating a bonus round win. You just see the lights come back on and the host explaining what went wrong. In this case, the standard game over is either getting all six in 60 seconds or time running out.
  • Password:
    • Password Plus and Super Password have an end game example similar to the above. The bonus round consists of ten passwords which must be communicated in order to win a large bonus. The standard game over is guessing all ten in 60 seconds or time running out. An illegal clue or accidentally reading a password or part of a password would put the password out of play and end the chance for the contestant to win the large bonus. If any passwords are left, the end game continues until the remaining are guessed or time runs out. In the case of the former, the round ends early with no celebration.
    • For Super Password's Cashword, giving an illegal clue ended the segment in a loss right away, regardless of how many chances the contestants have left (up to 3). This happened at least three times.
  • Seven Keys, an early 1960s game show which married Q&A to a Snakes and Ladders-esque game. The objective was to reach the end of a 70-space gameboard within an allotted number of turns (almost always 15) to win a key that the contestant hoped would unlock a large prize package (any given key could also unlock one of six other windows, showing smaller prizes worth up to $1,000); repeating the process seven times (ergo, winning "seven keys") won the main prize automatically. Anyway, contestants were limited to moving 10 spaces forward on any one turn, and if the contestant could not reach the finish line on his final turn (ergo, had more than 10 spaces to move before reaching the finish), the game automatically ended. A loss also served as a Whammy, as the contestant lost all accumulated keys and a chance at the large bonus prize.
  • Supermarket Sweep has a scavenger hunt end game with a $5,000 prize for finding three products. Prior to 1992, if the winning team grabbed the last item or the $5,000 before finding the other product(s), the round immediately ended in failure. Afterward, this changed to an overhead announcement reminding the team to go in order.
  • Trashed featured a Pyramid-esque bonus round in which each of the two contestants had to guess the artists in three separate music videos via clues given by his or her teammate. Giving an illegal clue (such as a part of the artist or band's name, the title of the song, etc.) eliminated that video from play and forfeited the chance to win the grand prize.
  • Good News Week: Several episodes of the Australian current-affairs comedy have ended with both teams losing to the studio audience. On one particularly memorable occasion during the show's original 90's run, the show was won by host/scorer/umpire Paul McDermott.
  • The Weakest Link has been known to do this a few times; while there is no unusual way to lose the game other than being voted off or losing the final round, contestants occasionally show such a lack of intelligence that Anne sends them off without even saying "You are the Weakest Link, goodbye!"
  • Lingo:
    • The series had this happen twice in the Bonus Round during Season 1. At the time, the round consisted of guessing a string of five-letter words in two minutes with the first letter and another random letter revealed, with a ball awarded for each correct word. After time expired, the team was given a Bingo board with 13 of the 25 spots already covered in such a way that a 5-in-a-row could be achieved in as few as two draws, and the grand prize was won for completing said 5-in-a-row "Lingo" at any time; a standard game over was either winning the prize package, or running out of balls and receiving a consolation prize. However, one team in Season 1 won only one ball (which was drawn anyway even though it was useless) and another somehow failed to guess any words in the two minutes, note  thus winning zero balls and zero dollars; the Bonus Lingo board didn't even appear, and they left with the same consolation prizes that the losing team won in the main game.
    • There's also a non-standard win condition, which is in play if a team is able to win 10 balls; this is the max amount of pulls allowed and the spelling game ends immediately if it happens. While this allegedly guarantees $1,000, it actually guarantees the $5,000 standard bonus prize because the team will have enough picks to eventually get a Lingo regardless of what order the balls are drawn (9 balls guarantees a Lingo in the bonus round from Season 2 onward).
  • The scandal-era edition of 21 invoked a permutation of this. The objective was to reach 21 points to win, but after each contestant has had two questions, the game is over if the contestant in the lead (he/she has to assume this as the scores of the opponents are not disclosed when both booths are opened) chooses to end the game can. If this occurs either way, the player in the leads wins.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Hell's Kitchen, normally one contestant is eliminated after every dinner service, through a process of their teammates nominating them for removal, with the contestant being given one final chance by Ramsay to explain why they should stay on the show. However, more rarely, a contestant may resign outside of the elmination process due to an injury or illness. Even more rarely, if a contestant is doing really, really badly during service, they will be eliminated by a (often-angry) Ramsay on the spot — not just sent off the kitchen for the rest of service to be part of the subsequent elimination process, but removed permanently from the current Hell's Kitchen season before service has even ended. Even rarer; a normal post service elimination can occur without the chef being given any chance to defend themselves, due to either abysmal performance despite being on the wining team, or most rarely due to no one else doing badly enough to be fairly asked to defend themselves and Ramsay deciding that the chef is clearly not up to par with the other remaining contestants (but in this instance Ramsay will praise their determination for being able to make it that far).

  • The penalty shootout occurs in many sports games, where the players or teams are tied after a certain amount of regulation play, getting alternate turns shooting or trying to score from a set situation and the team who scores the most wins.
    • The most widely known example is in Association Football, where teams get a number of shots from the penalty spot with the team who score the most winning. 5 kicks is the standard practice. If tied they keep going until one team misses while the other scores. Field Hockey shares the same style of shootout.
    • Ice Hockey has a form where one player takes the puck from the halfway line, skates towards the goal and has to try and score in a one-one one with the goalkeeper. The North American Soccer League introduced a variation of penalty kicks that took inspiration from Ice Hockey, where the player would start 25 yards away from the goal and have to dribble towards the penalty box and shoot past the keeper. The majority of these attempts failed due to the strict time 5 second shot clock which stopped players from getting anywhere past the start of the penalty box and thus a long way from goal.
  • At the high school level and below — and in some cases, the collegiate level and some non-major league level sports leagues — there is a "mercy rule," which serves to either end a game after a prescribed point in the game or kick into effect a rule that hastens the end of the game once the winning team's margin reaches a defined point. This is as opposed to playing out a one-sided game to its natural conclusion under normal rules. Common applications:
    • Baseball and softball:
      • Virtually all state high school associations have rules which end games after a prescribed lead after a certain number of innings have been played. In both sports, the rule is usually 10 runs after five innings; it differs by sport if the winning team builds a larger lead even earlier; for instance, in baseball, the common rule is 15 runs after four innings, while in softball teams need only to have a 12-run lead after three innings. College contests have variations of this rule, but since baseball games at this level sometimes go the full nine innings, the 10-run rule doesn't usually kick in until the seventh inning. Softball rules are typically similar to high school's "10 after five" rule.
      • Child-based and junior high level baseball and softball, and some semi-professional leagues often have variations of the "mercy rule." For instance, a townball league for children may even have a rule where a team that builds a huge lead — say, 30-0 — after just one inning is no longer is allowed to bat, and the trailing team is given more than the standard three outs (usually six, or if they are the home team and haven't batted yet, nine) to give everyone at least one at-bat, with the game continuing only if in the game manager's judgement the losing team has sufficiently caught up.
    • Football:
      • Most states have a "continuous clock" rule, which means that if a team has a certain lead after halftime (it varies from 35-50 points), the clock runs continuously, not stopping on plays where the clock normally would be stopped, such as an incomplete pass or a play going out of bounds (although the clock does stop for quarter breaks, time outs, and any scoring). The clock continues to run in these games until the scoring difference falls below the prescribed margin (normal timing rules once again take effect), but then kick back in if the winning team once again exceeds the margin.
      • Prior to the advent of "continuous clock" rules, some states had rules whereby the game would end at halftime or any time after if the winning team has a certain lead (usually, 50 points or more). In Kansas, an eight-man football game (or six-man game in Texas) stops once a team gets a lead of at least 45 points by halftime or at any point after that (The entire first half must be played out). This rule came into effect during the 1980s, when some games featured mismatches so great, the winning team was easily scoring 90 or, on some rare occasions, 100 points.
      • In the NFL, most overtime games end with a field goal or touchdown, but on three occasions, they have ended in a safety (a defensive play where the defense stops the offense inside their own end zone).
    • Basketball: Much like football, state high school athletic associations have implemented "continuous clock" timing rules if the winning team is ahead by a certain margin (usually 30 points) after halftime. There are currently no known states that end a game before the end of the fourth quarter if an even higher point difference is reached.
    • Soccer:
      • Many states have rules where a team would automatically be declared the winner and the game ended if ahead by a certain number of goals at halftime or any time after. Usually, this difference is 10 goals. Additionally, a few states have provisions limiting the number of red cards a team can receive during the season before being disqualified from post-season competition. In a game situation, the trope kicks into effect if the disqualifying red card is given to a team, automatically – upon verification that indeed the "red card" limit has been surpassed – ending the game and awarding the game to the other team by default.
      • In Canada, the Gloucester Dragons league briefly had a reverse mercy rule, in which a blowout by more than five goals counted as a loss for the winning team. This got such bad press that the league reversed course within two weeks, adopting a standard eight-goal mercy rule. The reverse rule had actually been directed at coaches, some of whom had been letting their teams run roughshod over weaker ones, but it sent a pretty dubious message to everyone else — not to mention the obvious potential for abuse (score six own goals to win!).
  • The NCAA (particularly in football and basketball) and professional leagues such as the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball do not have mercy rules, meaning they could score an unlimited number of points, runs, etc., without having special rules kick into effect to hasten the end of the game. Meaning unfortunate teams on the losing end would have no choice but to continue playing and trying to reduce the margin. (Which is not very fun for the loser.) That said, a continuous clock was used on at least three occasions in NCAA Division I football games, where the winning team ran up a large lead by halftime and agreed to a continuous clock for the entire second half; the winning team in all cases at least maintained the lead, with two of them increasing the lead. Aside from that, teams that have a very large lead over their opponents, especially a decidedly weaker one, will typically play reserves, run plays designed to take time off the clock (such as in football, run the ball up the middle and rarely if ever pass), use pinch hitters (in baseball, said roles going to non-starters and/or reserves) with low batting averages, or shoot the ball conservatively (in basketball).
  • Boxing: At all levels, a boxer can be knocked down only so many times before he will be declared the loser by TKO — that is, a "technical knockout." It is also an automatic "game over" — that is, match over — if one boxer fails to answer a 10 count (that is, sufficiently get up in the referee's judgement) to continue the match. At some levels (though rarely at high-level bouts, since it rarely happens), the match automatically ends if a boxer is knocked down three times in a round.
  • In the "8-Ball" variant of pocket billards, you win if you legally sink the 8-ball (no other balls of your pattern remaining, calling the pocket you're going to sink the 8-ball in and then legally sinking the 8-ball there) before your opponent does. However, it is possible to lose on your turn instead, in the following ways:
    • Sinking the 8-ball when you haven't sunk every ball of your pattern yet.
    • When you are allowed to sink the 8-ball:
      • Sinking the 8-ball in a pocket you did not call.
      • Sinking the 8-ball in the correct pocket, but making a foul in the process (e.g. a scratch, hitting an opponent's ball first).note 
    • Knocking the 8-ball off the table, although this is generally rare.
  • In Association Football, apart from the usual results of a win or draw over 90 minutes, or the 120 minutes of extra time, there are a handful of other ways to win or lose a game.
    • In a two match tie (used in knock-out competitions), the away goals rule, if the aggregate score is tied, then whoever scored the most goals in their match away from home wins.
    • Most leagues have a statute in the laws that says when a team cannot field a certain number of players, (most often a team being down to 6 from a team of 11), the game is abandoned, although depending on the score or the laws of the league the game can still be awarded to the team with enough players. One example of this was titled the Battle Of Bramall Lane, where Sheffield United had their goalkeeper sent off in the 9th minute, followed by two players who had been substituted onto the pitch being involved in a scuffle with the opposition that resulted in both being sent off only minutes after coming on. This left them with 8 players. They went down to 7 players when one was injured in the 79th minute minutes right after their opposition took a 3-0 lead, followed by another player going off hurt in the 83rd. Reduced to 6 players, the referee abandoned the match, which was subsequently awarded to West Bromwich Albion.
  • Numerous sports have what is termed "Sudden Death", "Golden Goal" or "Golden Point" where after a draw, the game continues to be played in extra time, with the first team to score a point of any kind is immediately the winner. It was introduced for Association Football in 1993 but removed by 2004.
  • A bizarre variation of the Golden Goal rule as part of the 1994 Caribbean Cup Qualification football tournament was that any goal scored in Golden Goal extra time counted as double for the league ladder in addition to winning the match itself. The final match for Barbados required them to defeat Grenada by 2 goals to qualify in first place and go through to the tournament itself. Barbados were winning the match 2-1, but were unable to score a goal to make the game 3-1. They decided to score an own goal which would tie the match and send it to extra time, hopefully allowing them to score a golden goal, worth double, to finish first. With only a handful of minutes left, the Grenada players cottoned onto the plan, and realised that they would finish first if they could score a goal at either end of the field. This resulted in Barbados defending both ends of the field and they succeeded in bringing the game to extra time and then scored a winning golden goal, winning the match 4-2 (despite only scoring 3 goals), and then qualifying in first place.
  • Another development across word sports was the "Silver Goal" (although other sports use different terminology). It is a variation of Golden Goal where the instant win condition of scoring any point in extra time is removed to allow the opposition team a certain amount of time or plays to equal or better the opposition. In Association Football this Silver Goal period was one half of extra time. When used in American Football, the team who have been scored on get one drive to match or better their opposition result, which can lead to a team scoring a field goal, then losing because their opposition scored a touchdown.
  • In Sumo Wrestling, if a wrestler's loin cloth falls off, they lose instantly. For obvious reasons, this infraction is extremely rare.
  • Cricket test matches has 3 standard endings after the 5 days of play, with 2 innings per team, comes to a close: A team may either win, lose, or drawnote  the match. The non-standard ending is the tie, where the scores are exactly level once the team batting fourth and last has lost all of their batsmen. This has only happened twice in more than 2100 test matches. Should not be confused with the scores being level as the allotted time runs out, in which case it's a "We flippin' murdered 'em"-draw.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chess: Resigning before you're put into checkmate. Often symbolized by deliberately knocking over your own king's piece, though this is not required. Both players may also choose to agree to a draw if they realize that neither of them can reasonably checkmate the other. Draws can also occur under the threefold repetition rule in which both players end up in the same position three times.
  • Any tabletop RPG set in more modern times can have a non-standard game over in probably the most mundane way possible: Your character gets arrested. This is more likely in settings where the Player Characters are just normal humans, and can be especially prominent when they are fighting any Eldritch Abomination that looks (or turns back into a) human after its dead. You may have been fighting to save the world, but to the police a corpse is a corpse after all, and while your character might get out on bail, or have their case thrown out due to lack of evidence, for all practical purposes you are out of the game for at least a little while until your bail hearing, the case has been to court etc. Hunter: The Vigil specifically mentions this as a danger hunters of any level face, and games like Call of Cthulhu which feature the players fighting wholly mortal servants of some monster often at least imply this.
  • As of the last couple of editions of Warhammer 40,000, if a game turn ends with one player having no models at all on the board, they are "tabled" and immediately lose. Doesn't matter if they have enough Victory Points in the bag to wipe the floor with their opponent, or if they have their entire army in reserve ready to drop in at the start of the next turn — if you get tabled, you lose everything. Read the story of a powergamer who lost by having his enemy deploy their models on his side of the board, thus preventing him to deploy his own model, and thus lost the game before it even started. (This was made impossible in later editions; as of 9th, not only are both sides of the above deployment illegal, the game continues even if one side is tabled and an army that gets wiped out can still win if they're ahead on victory points.)
  • Atmosfear: In Nightmare IV, if someone manages to eliminate a vampire who's holding a certain "Black Rose" card or everyone is turned into a vampire, that's game and match; everyone loses.
  • The Game of Life — in the classic (1960-1990) version, if you didn't think you had enough money to win the game outright by having the most money at retirement, you could attempt to become a "Millionaire Tycoon" by calling one number on the wheel and spinning. Landing on that number resulted in an Instant-Win Condition (and thus a NSGO for your opponents); any other number resulted in the loss of everything you owned and your banishment to the Bankrupt space (thus a NSGO for yourself).
  • In the dice game Pass the Pigs (which uses special pig-shaped dice), if you somehow manage to roll the dice so that one pig is standing upright on the ground, and the other is standing upright on the first pig's back (a virtually impossible feat), you instantly lose the game.
  • From Old World of Darkness and New World of Darkness:
    • Most gamelines tend to have Karma Meter in one form or another. Reach 0, and your character is automatically forfeit to the Storyteller. (If you're a vampire, you become a mindless wight if your Humanity drops too far; if you're a Changeling, watch that Clarity or you might get sucked back into the fae realm; etc, etc.)
    • The Unchained in Demon: The Descent subvert this. For them, Cover is less Karma Meter and more Disguise Meter. Hit 0, and you're forced into One-Winged Angel mode, and you can still play as normal... Except now your enemies can see your aetheric beacon sticking out like a sore thumb, they know where to find you exactly, and you can be sure they'll be coming after you shortly. If you can't establish a new Cover immediately with Soul Pacts, you'll either be dead or suffering a Fate Worse than Death.
    • The Midnight Circus has special mechanic involving Snares and Barbs. Five Snares equal to one Barb, Snares are temporary but Barbs are permanent (though there are very limited ways to remove them), the more Barb you have the greater control the Circus has over you, and at five Barbs your character is also forfeit to the Storyteller.
  • To win Clue, a player must identify Mr. Boddy's killer, the weapon used and the location of the murder. A player wins with a correct accusation, but that player is eliminated if any information is wrong. This trope comes into play if every player accuses incorrectly.
  • There are two ways to lose in the original version of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game from West End Games: dying, and falling to The Dark Side. The latter is the game's non-standard game over, and is due to the fact that the game is of the No Campaign for the Wicked persuasion in which all player characters are members of the Rebel Alliance. Ergo, if you have your character make a Face–Heel Turn, you are expelled from the Alliance and have to start over. The second version of the game from Wizards of the Coast made Darksiders fully playable, though still cautioned GMs not to let them be used as protagonists too much.
  • Aside from simply running out of tiles to draw from the wall, there are a few specific circumstances in Mahjong which lead to a drawn hand. These include if all four players declare riichi, if all four players discard the same wind at the beginning of the hand, or if four kongs are declared by multiple players. Depending on the circumstances, the penalty for erroneous plays (chombo) can lead to this, too.
  • In The Dresden Files RPG, player characters have a certain level of 'Refresh' which not only serves to provide them with FATE points, but also illustrates their free will. If a player character goes below one Refresh, then the GM takes their charsheet away: they've been subsumed, given away their soul, or the like, and are no longer an active participant as much as a story element.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has a few non-lethal ways to permanently remove a character who's out of Fate Points:
    • Effects like a catastrophic Magic Misfire, a Teleportation Misfire, or the spell "Dispel Mortal" can strand the victim in the Realms of Chaos to become the plaything of daemons.
    • In 4th Edition, a priest who offends their Patron God seriously enough might be summoned to the god's presence for judgement. Return transportation is not provided.
    • Characters who gain the mutation "Mindless" are reduced to Empty Shells, incapable of thinking or acting for themselves.
      Perhaps a new character is in order.


Video Example(s):


Rayman 2

If the player chooses to accept the treasure, they will get an ending scene showing a fat Rayman lounging on an island with the gold pile. The game will then cycle back to the decision scene.

In some ports (e.g. the PS1 port), Rayman will automatically refuse the treasure, saving the player a chance to press X to die.

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / NonstandardGameOver

Media sources: