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Video Game / You Only Live Once

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You Only Live Once Is a 2009 flash game by Raitendo. It can be found here and on Newgrounds here.

Jemaine, a 28 year old forester from Kent, England, receives a note in the mail from the evil Sir Giant Pink Lizard stating that his girlfriend has been kidnapped. Jemaine sets out to rescue his girlfriend.

The game's gimmick is that you literally only live once. Unlike most platformer games, if you die, you die for good. No extra lives, no one-ups, nothing. Instead, when you try to play the game again, you are treated to a series of animations regarding Jemaine's death (or, if you manage to beat the game, Sir Giant Pink Lizard's death). And you will never be able to play the game again. Ever.

Well, technically, you can replay the game by simply deleting your flash history, but shhhhh!! We don't need to tell anyone that.

Contains Examples Of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: If you manage to beat the game and kill Sir Giant Pink Lizard, you're given a series of animations similar to the bad endings. One of them is Sir Giant Pink Lizard's funeral being held by his minions. Another one has a single minion weeping at his grave.
  • Artistic License – Law: The sequel, “The Execution”, sees either the enemy that killed Jemaine, or Sir Giant Pink Lizard, or possibly even Jemaine himself, being executed for causing someone’s death. The series takes place in England, which abolished capital punishment in 1969. The execution itself is performed via firing squad, whereas England only ever used hanging as a death penalty.
  • Back from the Dead: If you refresh the game multiple times after Jemaine's grave appears on the screen, you'll see a hand burst from the grave, followed by two after a few more refreshes, and finally his reanimated corpse after yet a few more. It takes a lot of refreshes and a good bit of perseverance to get this, so be patient.
  • Bottomless Pits: Fall down one and the ambulance drivers will say that the fall broke Jemaine's neck. Then Sir Giant Pink Lizard will be arrested for not making his castle handicap-accessible. So hey, at least you saved your girlfriend and defeated the bad guy.
  • Collision Damage: Lampshaded if you die by touching a mook:
    Cop: Evil Lackey #4, you are under arrest for the murder of Jemaine Nielsen!
    Evil Lackey #4: I swear, he just walked into me and fell down dead; I didn't do nothing!
  • Damsel in Distress: Zigzagged. Jermaine's "girlfriend" is being held captive by Sir Giant Pink Lizard and if you defeat him she does thank Jermaine for saving her. But in any ending where Jermaine dies, she is the one to call an ambulance which implies she wasn't really in any danger. Also she's not actually Jermaine's girlfriend.
  • Downer Ending: No matter how hard you try, the ending will always be this, for even if you do beat Sir Giant Pink Lizard, you'll be arrested for his murder.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You only have one life in the game. Lose it and you won't even be able to replay it. "The Execution" meanwhile, has a character being executed.
  • Evil Brit: Sir Giant Pink Lizard. For some reason, despite the game being in England, he's the only one that has any sort of accent.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Your two outcomes for the game are die trying, or be arrested and executed for killing the final boss.
  • Goomba Stomp: Jermaine is able to eliminate the minions or cannonballs by leaping on top of them. Don't try it on the spikes.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: One of the evil minions lampshades this during Sir Giant Pink Lizard's funeral, should you kill him. He states that everyone is obligated to speak kindly of him, despite knowing he wasn't a good person regardless.
  • Not the Intended Use: Exploits which allow replay. They allow the player to practice until they actually manage to beat the game.
  • Permadeath: The sequel, "The Execution" has whoever killed you or Jemaine, for murdering Sir Giant Pink Lizard, be gone from the game.
  • Sequel: "The Execution".
  • Shout-Out: The ending, should you get it, includes one for the first Super Mario Bros. game.
  • Single-Attempt Game: If you die in the game or beat it, that's it, no playing it over again.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: When Jemaine dies, he dies for good and you literally can never play the game again. After all, how can you play a game when the character you play it as, is dead?
    • After beating Sir Giant Pink Lizard, Jemaine goes to rescue his girlfriend... and is promptly arrested by the police for the murder of Sir Giant Pink Lizard before he can do so. Sir Giant Pink Lizard may have had it coming, but it doesn't matter what he did at the end of the day; Jemaine still took his life, and the police can't just ignore that. Granted, they didn't exactly have the whole story when they arrived at the scene, but still...
    • It's zigzagged, however, with Jemaine being able to come back from the dead, as it isn't instantaneous and you have to refresh the page a lot of times to make it happen. That, and the fact that he essentially becomes a zombie, rendering him mindless and not even able to pick himself up after he falls over walking out of his grave.
    • Sir Giant Pink Lizard's kidnapping of Jemaine's girlfriend comes back to bite him in The Execution, where he's been kidnapped himself, and even blindfolded and tied to a chair, and you get to kill him. Do so, and the screen turns black with the words "Our actions have consequences" appearing in the center in white letters. And much like Jemaine, Sir Giant Pink Lizard stays dead, no matter how many times you refresh the game.