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"Due to an obvious lack of common sense, you have stepped of the edge, lost your magnetic grip of the ship, and have drifted to your death."
Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, if you walk off of the space station into deep space

These are games that can be lost on the very first turn or two, or very shortly after you begin a level. Maybe even before the game even starts.

This can be deliberate through a Kaizo Trap, Schmuck Bait like a suicidal dialogue option or Press X to Die, or an "Impossible" difficulty level; and may or may not result in a Non-Standard Game Over. It can also be accidental, due to a Game-Breaking Bug, bad starting positions in Randomly Generated Levels, or simply taking an action that the designers never accounted for.


Note that it's always possible for extremely contrived stupidity to result in a Game Over - mundane cases like failing to properly jump or steer your vehicle around elementary obstacles don't cut it. In the same vein, unwinnable user-created content isn't worth mentioning unless the deaths are funny or interesting.


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  • AI Dungeon 2 is a... Weird case of this trope. The player character can very much potentially die before the player even input a command... Yet rarely does death ever actually end the story it's generating.
  • The protagonist of The Consuming Shadow has to resist shooting themselves at several points as part of his Sanity Slippage... or you can just have him kill himself on the title screen.
  • Darkest Dungeon is Nintendo Hard as it is, but if you turn off the torch (Which many with a basic grip on the mechanics might do to increase the loot obtained) in the tutorial the first fight of the entire game has a chance (which isn't even that low in Stygian Mode) to be replaced by the Shambler. Needless to say, having two unexperienced and unequipped party member at that time makes the fight (which you can't run away from) unwinnable.
    • The game even acknowledges this by mentioning retreat isn't an option in the tutorial in a popup that only shows the first time one of your heroes dies. The Devs were ready for the player to party wipe in the tutorial mission.
  • Stuart Ashen has two separate videos on the subject.
  • In Takeshi's Challenge, if you choose to PUNCH the man in the password input screen, you'll get a game over before the game itself even started. Funny, yet also quite bitchy.
  • Uninvited starts you off inside a car on fire. You have only a few moves to open the door and get out before the car explodes with you inside.
  • In The Colony, the first thing you need to do is turn on the lights on your crash-landed ship. The light switch is one of two identical unmarked buttons on a console. What does the other button do? Blows up the planet.
  • Karateka: At the beginning, get into a fighting stance, then stand back up. You fall off the ledge behind you. Game over.
  • In NetHack it's possible to die on your first turn. There's even a special message for it: "Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 zorkmids."
  • Slouching Towards Bedlam lets you jump out the window as your first command. Depending on your point of view, this is the best ending, and definitely one of the best two.
  • In the Kongregate Game Don't Shit Your Pants, you normally type in "play" to start the game. But instead, you can type "shit" to immediately soil yourself. There's an achievement for that.
  • In Super Paper Mario, repeatedly declining Merlon's request to save all worlds at the start of the game will result in a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla has one where if you attack your brother in the first mission, you get a game over screen complete with "WTF, you killed your Brother!!!"
  • In Suspended, selecting the Impossible difficulty level causes the sun to go nova a few turns in, destroying the planet.
  • In Grand Chase, one PVP map has a layout where, if you're unlucky enough to be in a certain position, you lose a life immediately after spawning. (You still have 4 lives, but you're at a serious disadvantage.)
  • In King's Quest I: Quest For The Crown, it's not unusual to die by falling into the moat on the first screen because you can't navigate the small, wooden bridge properly while adjusting to the controls.
  • Akalabeth, the spiritual precursor to the Ultima I series of games, begins with your main character in a general store and enough gold to equip him. If you decide not to purchase any food - which is necessary for all movement in the game - your character drops dead from starvation instantly as soon as you leave.
  • Pretty much everyone who tries Don't Shoot The Puppy for the first time is going to Shoot the Dog almost instantly. Then there's level 12, where even the jaded who know perfectly well what is up trip up.
  • In the SNES and Mega Drive The Simpsons game Virtual Bart, the stage select screen is a spinning wheel with a space which will immediately add or subtract a life. Land in it at the wrong time three times in a row and you'll have a game over before you can even select a level.
  • In Jet Set Willy 2, most first-time players inspect the toilet they start right next to, and promptly find themselves Down the Drain in an inescapable Death Trap.
  • Subverted in Bastion. If you fall off the path in the opening level the Lemony Narrator will say "...and then he fell to his death... only foolin'" before The Kid lands nearby.
  • In Elite and its Fan Remake Oolite, beginning players must dock with space stations manually until they can afford to buy a docking computer for their ship. The catch is that all orbital space stations rotate, making said docking a hair-raising experience at best the first time it is attempted and causing a number of new pilots to plow into the station instead of flying into the docking bay. Engaging pirates before being upgraded with advanced weapons, armor, scanners, or fuel injectors also tends to lead to disastrous results.
  • The dark colors of Another World's first screen, in which the protagonist suddenly appears in a body of water inhabited by an unseen, tentacled monster, does not make it at all clear that the best choice of action is to immediately swim upward to safety. (In fact, it doesn't make it clear that the opening cutscene has ended.) If you don't move quickly enough, you'll be killed within the first five seconds of game play.
    • Succeeding in that, if you don't leave the second screen immediately, the monster will reach up and snatch you back down, killing you anyway.
  • In Dragon's Lair, every room is basically Press X to Not Die, so one's demise can occur in a hurry—even if you DO start out with three lives.
  • In Sonic Heroes, certain stages start with your team falling onto the first platform. If you try moving in a direction before the team hits the ground, you can miss the platform, keep falling and die.
    • This can also happen in the bug-riddled Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Protip: If you don't start a level already on the ground, don't touch anything.
  • King's Field The Ancient City: Walk forward for about five seconds from the start.
  • Action 52 had one — in StarEvil (a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up), there's a Deadly Wall at the very start of the game. Not dodging it might seem perverse — except it's so close to the start that you literally have less than one second from exiting the title screen to dodge it. The game also has Hambo's Adventure, which has randomly generating enemies and only one life. So it's possible for an enemy to generate right by Hambo, resulting in a game over in less than a second.
    • Additionally, several of the games crash the moment someone tries to open them, playing this trope about as literal as it gets.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Walk south on the road. You become an instant pancake. Game over. Walk into the alleyway to the west, get beaten to death by a mugger. Game over.
  • Space Quest
    • The first Space Quest (original) game on a modern computer: Set speed to "Fastest". A few seconds later, the Arcada explodes and it's game over.
    • In Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, this page's quote is shown when you walk east on the first screen and appear to fall in to Xenon's atmosphere (in the EGA version). Naturally, no one helps you and you are DEAD. (The remake suggests that the consolation for this is that you found your golden mop!)
    • In Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, you can die on the first screen by cutting yourself on a piece of metal trying to pick it up, or fall into the shredding machine shortly after by not jumping off the Conveyor Belt o' Doom in time. In the fourth game, you may run into the Cyborg and subsequently suffer Droid of Death on the first or second screen; both also randomly appearing based on hardware speed. Another hardware-based Timed Mission is the formatting sequence at the end of the game, which expires in about two or three seconds on modern computers.
  • In the first Police Quest game, you start in the middle of the police station with no clue what to do. You're supposed to enter the briefing room first, but it is very easy to exit the police station before finding it, in which case you instantly lose the game because you "missed another briefing" and get placed on administrative leave for doing so.
  • In the second Police Quest game, you can die in a similar fashion as Larry above by crossing the road in front of the Lytton PD.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, at the beginning of the game you can try to head directly north to New Vegas from Goodsprings. Just ignore the signs and warnings from the townsfolk that the area is infested with deathclaws and cazadores and that you should stay away. You'll probably make it just fine. (Admittedly, this is actually pretty feasible if you've got a Stealth Boy and you hoof it.)
  • At least one of the Kaizo Mario World hacks tries to kill Mario in the opening scene. This naturally started a trend of Platform Hell Mario hacks doing likewise. It's almost mandatory at this point if you're making a Platform Hell hack to try to kill the player in the opening.
  • OMGWTFOTL always gives you to the option to [X] GENUFLECT. Even when you're on the title screen.
  • In Jak II: Renegade you can fall off the catwalk to your death in the first area within 5 seconds of taking control of Jak.
  • Volt Kraken/Squid Adler's level in Mega Man X5 starts with an auto-scrolling jet bike segment with a hole so shortly into the level, you can fall into it before the "Ready" on the screen has even disappeared.
  • In Steamshovel Harry, the tutorial takes so long, by the time you begin the game, it's too late: the world's destroyed just shortly after you can even do anything.
  • Unsurprisingly Ancient Domains of Mystery, which already has Everything Trying to Kill You. Through a combination of poor character design, bad luck and starting on a Monday, it is actually possible to enter the game with 0HP and die without taking a single turn.
  • In LIMBO, many players will be snapped up by the bear trap which appears extremely quickly in the game and blends in with the grass.
    • The first chance you get to die is a very small, shallow ditch, that happens to have spikes in it. They look just like grass and the bottom of the screen is very dark.
  • Tomb Raider III begins with Lara standing at the top of a gigantic mudslide, with pits of spikes and boulders strewn along the way. Which sets the tone for the rest of the game quite nicely.
  • If you somehow fail the first tutorial battle in Infinity Blade, you unlock the Negative Bloodlines, an easter egg that apparently sends your point of view back in time. You even get an achievement for doing so.
  • Both Iji and Hero Core have the impossible hidden difficulty "Reallyjoel's dad". The first just overpowers enemies and locks a door, making it impossible to leave the first area. The second locks you in a room with every boss in the game (though with certain late-game upgrades, and free healing if you can kill a boss). The boss room has been completed but only on a tool-assisted run or by Reallyjoel's dad.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, it is reportedly possible, if you're seriously unlucky, to have all your dwarfs be thralled or otherwise rendered non-viable for a working fortress before you even unpause after embarking. In some particularly old versions, bottomless pits sometimes inexplicably spawned with a huge glob of magma hanging over them, and that magma could instantly kill your embark party. Nowadays, the typical example is embarking on a frozen lake/river, with the wagon carrying everything and everyone parked on the ice; and since you usually arrive at the start of Spring and ice melting is instantaneous as soon as the temperature changes, it's perfectly possible for the ice to melt on the exact second of arrival.
  • Super Pitfall: The very first ladder in the game? Instant death trap.
  • In some versions of Minecraft, it's possible to spawn inside a hill, causing you to immediately suffocate. In the Xbox 360 version, it's possible to spawn underwater. In more typical scenarios, where the RNG is nice enough to not kill you where you stand, it's often still possible to die very quickly. The ingame time starts at dawn, so no monsters will spawn outside of caves for a good ten minutes; but carelessness could cause you to die in a matter of seconds by stumbling off a cliff or into a ravine or, if you're particularly unlucky, falling into an above-ground lava pool.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, it's possible to suffocate your entire crew by opening all of your ship's airlocks. There's a special message for doing this during the tutorial.
    • In the Advanced Edition, it's possible (though unlikely) while piloting one of the Stealth Cruisers (ships with cloaking and high dodge rating but no shields) to make your very first jump, and then get your oxygen hacked by an enemy (sucking all the air out of your ship), or a drone fires a lucky shot and destroys your weapons (leaving you defenseless) or engines (which tanks your dodge rating, the only way you can avoid enemy fire due to having no shields).
    • The Engi B cruiser has only one crewman to start with. The first jump point you visit can result in an event where you lose a crewmember. You don't get immunity from this if you only have that one crewman as such, they will die and the game will end after 1 jump.
  • It's also possible to die in the Roguelike Ragnarok without taking a single turn, though this requires you to be exceptionally unlucky. Not only would you have to spawn on a stun gas trap, but you'd have to start near enough to a monster so you could be killed before you can regain control of your character.
  • In Max Payne 3, if you don't immediately haul ass off the soccer field at the beginning of Chapter 3, you will be One Hit Killed by sniper fire. Earlier, the first chapter has enemies fire on you immediately after the mostly-unskippable intro cutscene. If you're on Hardcore or Old School (no pauses for tutorial steps) and not paying close attention, kiss your ass goodbye. The fourth chapter opens with a barroom quick draw duel.
  • Prince of Persia:
    • Level 7 in Prince of Persia, and Level 10 in the SNES remake, both start with the Prince in mid-fall. If you aren't holding the Grab key, you'll fall to your doom.
    • The first level of the game can kill you just two screens from the start, either by the Spikes of Doom to the left, or the guard to the right.
    • On the very first screen of Prince of Persia 2, going right results in the Prince being hacked to death offscreen.
  • At the start of the Infocom text adventure version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll die after about your first 20 moves if you don't get out of your house (which isn't exactly straightforward, either).
  • Border Down has a unique take on the Video-Game Lives system. At the beginning of the game, you can choose one of three "Borders": Green, Yellow, Red. Getting hit on Green demotes you to Yellow, getting hit on Yellow demotes you to Red, and getting hit on Red is a Game Over. Additionally, the lower your border, the higher the difficulty. Which means it's entirely possible for someone to choose Red border at the beginning of the game and, either through deliberate action or getting overwhelmed, get hit by one of the first enemies, causing a game over in record time. In the arcade version, this amounts to throwing away money for nothing.
  • RefleX has a special version of the player ship that is used in the last stage and a half and can be unlocked for use in stage select by completing the game. Said ship is a One-Hit Point Wonder. This is a game that does not offer multiple lives.
  • The early Sierra adventure game Wizard and the Princess has you immediately searching for a rock to kill a snake. All but one of the rocks has a scorpion under it that kills you instantly. The game doesn't even tell you that scorpions are even a possibility. (The Roberta Williams Anthology manual outright tells you the answer, it's so brutal.) This puzzle was so infamous, it was referenced in the episode "Ultra Sheen" from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
  • In the original Rayman you could become accustomed to Rayman's Super Drowning Skills within 10 seconds of starting the first level. This should give you an idea of what kind of game it is.
  • Fear's Interval 4 starts with you under fire from all sides on the helipad, which can mean death in two seconds on the Hard and Extreme difficulties. Worse, the Instant Action version has one of the starting mooks spawn with a instant-kill rocket launcher.
  • Possible in Dark Souls. The very first real enemy you're introduced to is a Wake-Up Call Boss, and your character starts unarmed. Trying to fight the boss bare-handed will likely result in a very prompt death, forcing you to run away and return later with better equipment.Although... 
  • In Dark Souls II, taking the wrong path at the very beginning of the game will lead you to a tough mini-boss type of enemy before you have even gone through character creation, meaning you're still a Featureless Protagonist wearing rags with no way to attack but their bare fists.
    • Or Simply not going in a straight line at the very beginning, which leads you to being mauled by roughly 15 wolves. This is Dark Souls.
  • Dark Souls III continues the trend. Exploring off the beaten path in the Cemetery of Ash will eventually lead you to Giant Crystal Lizard which is likely to destroy an unprepared character in a matter of seconds. Yes, remember those weak little guys who always run away from you and give rare materials when killed? THIS is what they grow into...
  • The "Reluctance" ending in The Stanley Parable HD Remix is simply gotten by staying in the starting room and closing the door instead of investigating the mystery of the missing coworkers and Stanley not getting any orders from his boss despite the Narrator's request to get on with the story.
  • In the unreleased Sega CD game Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors, playing on Impossible prompts Lou Reed to kill Penn and Teller and explain what impossible means.
  • Tetris clone NullpoMino has several rotation rulesets in which pieces lock upon falling onto the floor or a block. In addition, there are modes in which pieces drop instantly, and are designed for rulesets in which pieces have a delay upon landing on something before locking in place. Selecting any of these instant-drop modes (e.g. Speed Mania) using a ruleset with instant lock (e.g. anything with "Nintendo" in the name) results in a scenario where you are unable to do anything as the pieces stack to the top, resulting in a Game Over.
  • Corrupting ROM files can lead to situations that kill the player immediately, if they don't crash first. Examples include your vehicle exploding in five seconds in F-Zero and Mickey Mouse falling through the floor and dying before you can even control him in Disney's Magical Quest.
  • In Beneath a Steel Sky you can die with the very first click. Walking down the stairs will get you shot.
  • In The Witch's House, you can die within the first minute of playing by stepping on the bloodstain in the house, which causes the walls to close in and kill you. This is a very good descriptor of what the rest of the game is like.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has before the first level if you pick the blue-pill, instead of the red-pill.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's gives you a debug "Custom Night" mode for beating all five nights and the bonus sixth night; it lets you set the difficulty of the four animatronics from 0 to 20. If you set Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy to "1, 9, 8, 7" respectively, it won't load up the level; it'll just flash Golden Freddy's Jump Scare on the screen and the application will force-quit itself.
    • And if you set the characters to 20/20/20/20, it's quite possible that Freddy will attack you just after you start the night.
    • And then there's Nightmarionne in Ultimate Custom Night. His shtick is that he'll fade in and out of your office, and you have to move the cursor away from him or he'll jumpscare you. If you're really unlucky (or just playing 50/20 Mode, he can spawn right under your cursor at the beginning of the game. During beta testing, Scott lost to him in the first second of gameplay.
  • Player characters in Happy Wheels are so fragile they can sometimes die from accelerating too quickly at the start of a level.
  • In Point Blank, some stages have "don't shoot!" targets that cost one life each if shot, such as innocent civlians (or rather, cardboard cutouts thereof), bombs, and targets of the opposite player's color. As a result, it is possible to hit enough targets to end the game on the first stage out of 16 even if you otherwise clear the stage; you would have to take your time failing three whole stages otherwise. "Don't shoot!" targets are irritatingly common, and it's possible that your first set of four stages will have only stages that feature such targets.
  • MechWarrior Living Legends has several starting-tier BattleMechs capable of nuking themselves via Over Heating before even leaving the hangar. The Osiris, for example, has a variant that mounts two very hot particle projector cannons and a Jump Jet Pack; using both simultaneously will often result in the 'Mech going flying up into the air while its arms melt off at the apex of the jump. There's also a host of - mostly amusing - bugs like pilots occasionally gibbing themselves by touching their battlemech's legs while trying to get in, or causing their Sparrowhawk Space Plane to explode by running into it.
  • If Mario somehow dies during the Super Mario World title/demo screen (such as if the game is hacked, see the Kaizo example above), it's an instant Game Over before the player can even press a button, followed by the player getting trapped in the title screen level with no way out.
  • Vette!'s first course starts with you facing the waters of the Pacific Ocean, so first-time players are likely to immediately end up in the drink by driving forward.
  • Certain seeds in outdated versions of Minecraft can place the world spawn in a pool of lava, killing you almost instantly and making a survival world impossible to start without nearby water. Later versions Avert this by preventing lava lakes from spawning in the world spawn.
  • Drawn to Life lets you choose to ignore Mari's request for help in the beginning, ending the game right there.
  • In the Doraemon Famicom RPG Giga Zombie no Gyakushū, the game starts with Doraemon asking the Player Character to help him find his crew. Refusing to help him ends the game with an image of Doraemon tearfully walking away.
  • It's more a case of the developers being sadists, but in the arcade game Baraduke II you can get a game over almost immediately, since you start with one life and one hit kills you. One-Hit Point Wonder taken to extremes.
  • The third Don't Escape game starts you in an airlock that's about to open to deep space, with the space suit in a locked case next to you. If you let yourself be killed, you get the easiest ending (and an achievement), but it's not the best solution as the rescue crew will have no idea what happened, spreading the contagion further. The other games allow you to skip straight to the ending as soon as you start, resulting in maximum casualties.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2, there's the "intro" level you can play in if you don't skip the intro cutscene. It has pits and enemies; it means that it's possible for you to get a Game Over before the game proper even starts.
  • During the intro sequence of phone game Survive! Mola mola!, you are shown a huge spawn of fish eggs from which your player character was the only survivor. Tapping the other eggs enough during this scene has a chance to change your player character to one of them instead of the survivor, unlocking a unique death screen where you never made it to hatching in the first place.
  • In Fallout 4, take too long getting to the vault (or go the wrong direction) during the prologue, and you get nuked. Game over.
  • Civilization allows you to lose immediately after starting a new game, by choosing to "disband" (destroy) your starting settler unit.
  • Quake, in the difficulty choice hall at the start, has an inescapable lava pit in front of the Hard portal. Miss the jump and you're dead.
  • In the text adventure adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, you can get a Non-Standard Game Over as soon as the beginning by typing "click heels".
  • Take too long to leave the starting cell in SCP – Containment Breach, and you'll be locked in with Deadly Gas asphyxiating to death.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has ways to kill you within 15 seconds of the game starting up, regardless of which path you go. I Wanna Be The Guy Gaiden takes it a step further by trying to kill you on the overworld map before you even get to the first stage. And yes, overworld deaths count towards your death count, meaning it is possible to have at least 30 deaths as you enter the first stage.
  • Running the 1984 DOS platform game Janitor Joe on too-fast hardware or with the cycles too high in DOSBox will cause the player's Oxygen Meter to run out in just a few seconds.
  • In the very last mission of Command & Conquer: Renegade, the enemies that spawn in the Temple of Nod's first chamber will kill you in a matter of seconds if you don't immediately run for cover the moment the mission begins.
  • In Monster Rancher 2, you start with 5000 Gold and combining monsters costs 500 Gold. You can spend all your money creating and combining monsters before going to the Ranch, resulting in an instant Game Over.
  • Duke Nukem 3D's third level begins with Duke in an electric chair that will kill him in two seconds unless he moves out of the electricity beam.
  • Inverted in Zero Time Dilemma. Guessing the coin correctly at the very beginning lets you finish the game in 5 minutes flat. In fact, the game actually rigs the outcome so you always get it right the first time!
  • Eryi's Action begins with Eryi inside of her house, having to dodge inexplicable falling washtubs on the way out or die. Good thing this game offers infinite lives, because you will need them.
  • In Crypt Of The Necrodancer, if you unlock the Diamond Dealer, obtain enough diamonds in a single-zone run to buy a weapon from him, and then start another single-zone run as a weapon-restricted character such as Melody, Dove, or Aria, you will immediately die of "Cowardice". You can also die very quickly as Aria or Coda since they die as soon as you miss a beat, so you can just press nothing and die instantly, or try to move off beat (Aria has a potion, so this might be a bit slower for her).
  • In Half-Life, as soon as you get out of a railcar in the beginning, you can hop over the railing and fall straight into a Bottomless Pit. And that's before all hell breaks loose in Black Mesa.
  • Your first choice after creating your character in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is which of two soldiers to follow to safety after a dragon attack interrupts your execution. That dragon is the game's Big Bad, and he's there looking to take out the hero prophesied to defeat him (namely you) before they become a threat. Hesitate too long, and he'll figure out which of the puny humans you are and start targeting you specifically. You're not just unarmed and unarmored, your hands are tied in front of you. Guess how long you're likely to last.
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera starts with you falling to Earth from an orbital station. You can choose to dive for the ground, which will mean you take too much damage for your Healing Factor. You do leave a nice crater behind...
  • In Digital Devil Saga, entering the Bonus Boss fight with the Demi-Fiend with any sort of immunities equipped on your characters will prompt him to use Gaea Rage for an unavoidable Total Party Kill, before you even take your first turn.
  • Pokémon GO Plus peripheral gives the player only one shot at catching Pokémon using one regular Poké Ball by pressing its button, with no other options allowed such as using Berries or better Balls, increasing the likehood of having Pokémon fleeing away as well as running out of regular Poké Balls in inventory.
  • In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, the Watcher starts out dead and in an Afterlife Antechamber. They have two choices: be resurrected to serve as the Herald of the (reasonable and agreeable) god of death, Berath, or try their luck on reincarnation. Berath isn't joking about the second option, and will simply reincarnate the Watcher as a cat if they refuse to help stop Eothas.
  • Persona 5 begins with a prompt asking if you're willing to accept that everything you're about to see is a game. If you hit disagree, the game kicks you back to the title screen.
  • The start of the story in Devil Survivor 2 and its Updated Re-release has the protagonist facing imminent death when your chosen Nicaea attendant, Tico, shows up and offers to save his life. You can refuse this offer — after three refusals, Tico relents and you are given a game over.
  • Ending G in NieR: Automata (one of the game's many Non-Standard Game Overs) can be acquired in mere seconds after gaining control of 9S on Route B, by walking in the wrong direction. If you don't notice the nearby Flight Unit, it's actually very easy to get this by accident.
  • As the Game Grumps accidentally discovered, the Home Alone 2 video game can be lost instantly by just holding the left arrow, causing Kevin to run directly into the concierge and be caught.
  • Battle Royale games, such as Player Unknowns Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale are notorious for this trope, as a game where the goal is to eliminate everyone else. There are numerous ways to get sent to spectator mode no sooner after descending onto the battle map:
    • Land somewhere where even a few opponents are heading off to, and you'll become a turkey shoot if you especially can't find a weapon quickly or get ready to fight them off.
    • Land out of bounds of the game map, and you will likely die for landing outside of where you're supposed to play. For Fortnite, this would mean landing off the island, where you'll drown instantly upon touching the water.
    • Land in an area where there are no weapons with you can defend yourself with? Congratulations, you've pretty much doomed yourself, because if you now try to go somewhere else to get some, chances are, you can run into some armed opponents that can make short work of you. Oops.
    • Landed on a high place? You'll still need to get down. If you can't find a way down safely, or if you accidentally slip off, you'll end up taking a hard fall that could as well prove deadly.
  • In Arcade Spirits, you can choose to delete your childhood friend Juniper's life coach app from your phone and decide to find a "safe" job for yourself instead of going to work at the titular arcade. Doing so gets you an achievement and a sarcastic image for your trouble.
  • In the first Baldur's Gate, creating a mage character with 2 or 3 Constitution prevents you from progressing past the first major plot event. Your character is scripted to take a certain amount of damage, and with such a low Con stat, you don't have enough HP to survive it.
  • In Curses, you are tasked to find a tourist map in the attic in preparation for your family's trip to Paris. You can lose the game on the first turn by exiting the attic.
    Yes, probably just as well to give up looking, and heaven knows there's enough packing to do, what with the rest of the family in uproar. Oh well.

    *** You have missed the point entirely ***
  • In the Neopets game Dice-A-Roo, one of the possible outcomes of a dice roll is a skull symbol, which means possible loss. Although some symbols only come up after you've been playing for a while, the skull is not one of them, which means that one can lose immediately after starting the game.
  • In Disco Elysium, it is possible to build the Player Character in such a way that he is a One-Hit Point Wonder. One of the first tasks the player is faced with is getting the Player Character's tie down from the motel room's loft ventilator. This can quite possibly result in said character losing that one health point, resulting in him dying of a heart attack from the exertion.
  • In Super Mario Bros., entering the Game Genie code "ASSOLE" sets the timer to 0, causing instant death by time-out, repeat until Game Over.
  • In Metroid 1, entering the password "ENGAGE RIDLEY MOTHER FUCKER" causes the game to assume you've been playing for over three million consecutive hours, which has adverse effects depending on the release of the game.
    • Some original NES releases of the game cause Samus to spawn in a room she cannot leave with graphical glitches covering the screen, while others simply crash.
    • Entering the passcode in the Nintendo Switch port or the NES Classic microconsole causes the game to return to the game select screen (or in the case of the latter, may even soft-brick the console and necessitate a hard reboot).
    • Entering the code in the Game Boy Advance "NES Classics" version crashes the game outright.
    • Entering the code in Metroid Prime after unlocking it via link with Metroid Fusion causes the game to return to the title screen. This also happens with the Virtual Console release on the Wii and Wii U.
    • Entering the code on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console version soft-bricks the console...unless the firmware hasn't been updated since 2016. Then it hard-bricks the system, making it completely unplayable and unusable.
  • In Undertale, the Final Boss of the most violent route possible, Sans the Skeleton, opens up with an attack consisting of extremely fast patterns that virtually no player will see coming on the first try, and is deadly enough to take the player from full health to nothing. The real kicker is that, for the first and only time in the entire game, this boss executes this first attack before your turn, meaning you can be killed before you even get to the battle menu!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In chess, the Fool's mate ends the game in two moves, the Scholar's mate in four. Whereas a scholar's mate actually happens at low-level play with some degree of regularity, you'd have to be trying to suffer a fool's mate.
    • Similarly, Makruk has 1 Nd2 Ne7; 2 Ne4 Nd7??; 3 Nxd6# 1-0.
    • And Xiangqi has 1 Cbe3 Che7 2 Ch5 Cb4??; 3 Cxe6+! Cxe4??; 4 Ce5# 1-0
  • The Dungeons & Dragons module Tomb of Horrors places its first inescapable Death Trap at the entrance door, so a lot of Total Party Kills happen before they even manage to enter the dungeon. You should probably take the hidden real entrance instead.
  • Likewise in some first-level Pathfinder modules, the very first combat encounter will be against a caster who will knock one or more player characters unconscious with a low-level spell like Sleep or Color Spray, followed by the enemy melee fighter moving in for a Coup de Grâce.
  • In Traveller, character generation is done in stages. The first part of each stage is rolling to see if your character is still alive. Yep, your character can die before the game even starts.
    • This measure, apparently installed to weed out characters too weak to survive the actual game, is optional in the most recent editions of the game, in which it is called "Iron Man Character Generation".
    • deadEarth seems to follow a mechanic where you have to roll for "Radiation Manipulations", which can actually kill you or cripple your ability to use certain skills before you even start playing. You roll for the manipulations after you've done the rest of the character generation work (i.e., after you've rolled your stats and skills), so you can't create your character in anticipation of how badly he/she will be affected. And depending on how strictly the rules are followed, you might only get three character sheets ever. As seen here.
  • Combinations that cause this appear in Yu-Gi-Oh! on a regular basis. Luckily, however, any consistent examples get banned on the next banlist. It is actually possible for the game to end before either player has taken a turn: if all five cards in one player's opening hand are the five pieces of Exodia, they win outright before the first turn starts. There's also an infinitesimal chance that both players get that, resulting in the game ending in a draw.
  • Early Magic: The Gathering sets included Game-Breaker cards that can let you win the game on your first turn. (There's even a specific combination of cards that, if your opponent went first, lets you win the game before your first turn.) Most tournaments do not allow players to use those cards, and those that do restrict them to one copy per deck. There are other examples that allow you to kill yourself on the first turn or two, such as dumping Phage the Untouchablenote  into your graveyard and reanimating her.
  • Defied in Illuminati: New World Order. You can't win on the first turn. Many decks, however, are designed to win in two turns.
  • Pandemic can be lost on the first player turn with a combination of bad luck: the starting 3-cube cities being adjacent to each other, most of the starting cities sharing their color, and a first-turn Epidemic draw. The starting cities outbreak into each other, and you run out of disease cubes before the second player even gets a turn.
  • In Cthulhutech, playing as a Para-psychic sees you start the game with a random mental disorder. Rolling 100 on the mental disorder table leaves your character comatose.
  • BattleTech is generally forgiving, though city, canyon, and water maps have the amazing capacity to kill or cripple your BattleMechs within two turns due to copious amounts of Piloting Checks, and god help you if there's a city map with a lake. Turn 1: your Fragile Speedster starts to run down the city street, takes a corner, fails a piloting check, causing it to topple over and blow off its arm and knock out the pilot, before sliding into the ocean and drowning the pilot.
  • It's the mark of a well-played game of Paranoia where the party kills itself off during the mission briefing. Or while trying to figure out where the mission briefing is and how to get there.

    All Others 


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