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Video Game / Life Goes On

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Death is not a setback.

Life Goes On is a cute looking 2D puzzle platformer game with a morbid, sardonic outlook on life. Created by Infinite Monkeys Entertainment the player must kill heroic knights in a variety of gruesome ways to complete the levels. The ultimate aim of the game is to retrieve the mystical "Cup of Life" for an aging King that wishes to live forever, who isn't too squeamish about sending his loyal wards to their deaths.

Originally released in 2014 for the PC the dev team spent two years improving the game before it's final release Life Goes on: Done to Death in 2016, updating the PC version and also porting to the Play Station 4. In 2018 the game was ported to the Nintendo Switch.

This game provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Each level has a death and timer par, completing both of these for every level gains you achievements. However, if you manage to get a "perfect" death count and time the icons turn purple, again getting this for all levels will reward you with another achievement.
  • Abandoned Mine: The first section of the game, featuring spikes and buzzsaws aplenty.
  • Achievement Mockery: The highest achieved, er, achievement is Meet Jeff which mocks your curiosity. Other achievements lament you dying after solving the puzzle (Soul Crushing), the pointless task of finding six hard to get to dead ends (There's Really Nothing Over Here) and for killing over 1000 knights (Milecide).
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: One level sees the player racing up a tower as a tower sinks into a pool of lava.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing certain levels, coming in under par and feeding Jeff will net you cosmetic hats and weapons which will randomly appear on knights.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: One of the earliest levels requires you to create a small mound in order to reach the goal. One achievement requires over 99 deaths and if you do it in an area where bodies can't fall out the map you're going to be walking a sea of corpses.
  • Block Puzzle: Freeze knights into ice-cubes and use them as platforms or to get past flames.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final level.
  • Bottomless Pits: As you would expect from a 2D platformer.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Each section has an optional level that is harder to solve than others in the area. Also, the joke Credits level which forces trial and error gameplay.
  • Buried in a Pile of Corpses: After completing a level with a high body toll the Victory screen may bury the winning knight in the corpses of your previous attempts.
  • Cool Crown: The King as he appears on the intro screen sports one of these. After completing the game it will appear on random knights.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits are actually a playable level which relishes in the deaths of knights and gives the King what he truly deserves.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: You have to kill these cute looking Knights in order to progress.
  • Death as Game Mechanic: The game centers around the mechanic of you having an unlimited supply of overly confident knights and being able to use their bodies to solve puzzles.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: A death will only slow you down the length of time it takes you to press a button.
  • Death is Cheap: As a gameplay mechanic! Use your knight's bodies to avoid painful spikes, use them to bridge the gap in electrical systems, fire them across the map in a deadly cannon, create a mound of dead bodies so you can jump slightly higher.
  • Death Mountain: The second section features snowy mountains with mine-karts and ice cannons.
  • Expressive Mask: The Knight's helmets can be quite expressive. As most of them are quite small on the screen it's only really noticeable on the intro screen which shows the King ordering knights into the portal and in the few cutscenes that are present in the game.
  • Floating Continent: The fourth section sees you platforming on floating islands with seemingly ancient ruins on it.
  • Human Cannonball: Later stages of the game have you firing your knights around the map, they don't survive the impact.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: And more often than not lined with deadly spikes too.
  • Immortality Seeker: The King, which is why he's sending all of his knights to find the Cup of Life.
  • Immortal Ruler: What the King seeks to be.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The level "Collapse" features a series of towers that are falling apart. As you climb them the route back down disintegrates culminating with you on the top of a swaying tower jumping to reach the cup. Was at one point the final level of the game.
  • Killer Rabbit: Jeff, who appears in every level, who looks harmless enough but is a deadly monster.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: All of the characters of the game, apart from Jeff, are dressed as a knight. Most Knights have titles which show some aren't as good at knightly conduct as others.
  • Level Goal: Each level features a golden goblet, once collected you'll learn it wasn't the Cup of Life but some lesser cup; like "the cup of Lice" or "the cup of mild headache relief".
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: Several levels feature Jeff hiding just off screen from the starting position.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: You create your own zombies by throwing your men into a machine. Useful for solving puzzles but also adds an element of danger and you can't control them directly. Only one zombie per machine.
  • Portal Network: How the King sends his Knights through to find the "cups". Each check-point changes the materialization point of the portal. Later levels have portals appearing that allow you to travel across the map to checkpoints without needing to die.
  • Pressure Plate: A Common element of the puzzle is finding a way to get a dead body to weigh the plate down so a live knight can proceed.
  • Public Domain Artifact: While never named as such the Cups are obviously Holy Grail Expy.
  • Puzzle Boss: The final, and only, boss in the game features a mechanic where he fires a death-laser that destroys all the bodies it touches and is powered by the player's deaths. Resulting in the player needing to purposely kill themselves unexpectedly to proceed.
  • Puzzle Pan: Each level starts with a look at the cup before showing you the route to go before reaching the first of your knights. Thankfully skippable as most levels are easy to navigate.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Jeff who is a ball of fluff with anime eyes. Get too close however and he'll eat a knight in one bite. Afterwards he falls asleep and is harmless.
  • Schmuck Bait: The last level features a lot of these, resulting in many painful deaths.
  • Shout-Out: Too many to mention but you can get Goggles that do Nothing, have Knights with Shovels or arm up with a herring.
  • Spikes of Doom: Feature prominently. The first level sees your first Knight to appear above a row of Spikes and fall straight into them letting the player know what kind of game they've just bought. The name of that level; Straight to the Point.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Final level has a section of floor that crushes you repeatedly. After doing it four times a new route opens up with the game expecting you to take it. Keep going down the path with the floor and it'll mock you for wanting to find hidden messages and for sacrificing the lives of your Knights for no reason.