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The Game Over Man is the character many video games show to the player after getting killed. Often he's the Grim Reaper, or a laughing Big Bad. Sometimes, he offers a Have a Nice Death message.

The trope name is a play on a line from Aliens.

Not a Mega Man boss who attacks by giving you an instant Game Over. (That would suck.)

Examples of Game Over Man include:


Action Adventure

  • Ganon in Zelda II the Adventure of Link (American version), complete with 8-bit Evil Laugh.
  • Hulahooping oni in Ganbare Goemon.
    • Of whom, for some reason, you can actually control to some extent in the second Nintendo 64 game, Goemon's Great Adventure; the faster you shook your analog stick, the faster they would shake their moneymakers.
  • Borf, from Space Ace is an inversion, as he only appears when you lose a life.
  • If you get killed fighting one of the Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus, a close-up the Colossus' face shows up on the screen.
  • The Grim Reaper in Maximo if you don't have any death coins to pay him.
  • Skate or Die 2: "No way, dude!"
  • In Kya Dark Lineage Brazul appears with his evil laugh if Kya's death causes her to lose all her health. Ofcourse he only does it in the action-levels whereas if Kya loses all her health in the hub-town she respawns.

Action Game

  • The Director in the obscure Sega game The Ooze.
  • The Joker and/or Harley Quinn will show up with one of several taunts when you get taken out by mooks in Batman: Arkham Asylum. "I salute my fallen enemy! *raspberry*"
    • Dying against a boss fight with one of the other members of the Rogues' Gallery leads to a similar taunt from one of them (like Scarecrow taunting you for dying during one of his Mind Screw segments, or Bane preparing to snap Batman's spine - complete with a symptomatic quote: "The bat is broken!").
    • This also applies if you're playing as the Joker - the guy taunting you will either be Aaron Cash or Bats himself.
    • In Batman: Arkham City all mooks don't follow Joker so the taunter will be whoever's in charge of the guys who just took you out.
  • Wayne's World for NES and Game Boy: "Denied!" says Wayne.
    • Or "not worthy!" in the SNES version.
  • In the 3D0 adaptation of Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone (who reprised his role for the game) would actually taunt the player upon failure. Since the game was very difficult and not very well-designed, this tended to happen a lot.
  • In Under A Killing Moon, Tex Murphy will have a talk with the Great PI In The Sky (James Earl Jones) whenever he manages to kill himself.
  • In Avoid the Noid, a grinning noid.

Adventure Game

  • The Grim Reaper in Shadowgate.
    • From the same developer, dying in The Uninvited is accompanied with a close-up shot of a skull against a bloody background.
  • This nut in Total Distortion. Probably better-known than the entire rest of the game.
  • In Sierra's adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama books, the Game Over Man is none other than a sympathetic, full-motion video... Arthur C. Clarke. He can be seen here.

  Clarke: "Oops. I hope you aren't upset because we killed your alter ego, the replacement astronaut. We just wanted to remind you that there are some dangers inside Rama..."

 "YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS JUST A GAME DIDN'T YOU? WELL IT'S OVER FOR YOU!"

 "Face it, Curtis: you're better off this way. And you thought it couldn't get any worse!"

  • In Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, Whittlin' Willy, the game's narrator, will show up to relate the circumstances of Freddy's untimely death.
  • The LAUGHING SKULL in Police Quest 1 VGA. 2 and 3 has Jim Walls berating you for your failure.
  • The Wumpus in the TI-99/4A port of Hunt the Wumpus.
  • In King's Quest VI, the gatekeeper to the Realm of the Dead. Unusual for this trope is that you actually get to visit that location, alive, late in the game.
  • In Space Quest III, the Two Guys From Andromeda.
  • The Egyptian-themed supervillain Sutekh looms large over the city when you see Nightshade's game over screen.

Beat'Em Up

Driving Game

Fighting Game

  • Relius Clover from Blaz Blue. It's rare he shows up in a character's Story Mode, but when he does, your character is usually on a one-way trip to being tortured, mind raped, killed horribly or some combination thereof. Just check out Noel, Tager and Makoto.
  • Lose to the Final Boss Unknown in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and she will appear on the continue screen to gloat. Because she's not exactly easy, you will see this screen a lot.

First-Person Shooter

Flight Simulator

  • Chuck Yeager himself appears in "Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer".

Interactive Fiction

Light Gun Game

  • One of the earliest NES examples is the dog from Duck Hunt.
  • On the game over screen of Area 51(the lightgun game), the player character morphs into an alien monster, becoming the Game Over Man himself.

Platform Game

  • In the Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games, Dr. Robotnik taunts you with missed Chaos Emeralds if you beat the game without acquiring all of them. (Losing all your lives simply gives you a standard Game Over message.)
    • Also, your player character is a continue man, waiting for your input so that he can run off the screen and continue the quest.
    • Sega Sonic The Hedgehog has a more standard use of the trope. Lose and you get a game over message... With Eggman in it, mocking you.
  • Bowser since Super Mario 64, not only when you got a Game Over but also when you lost a life.
  • The Toadies that take the defeated Yoshi to Bowser's castle in Yoshi's Story.
    • If the Toadies take Baby Mario away in Yoshi's Island, you get a short scene showing the group against a black backdrop before flying off-screen and the usual response to losing a life takes over.
  • Castlevania games have frequently had these since Symphony of the Night. Featured characters include Dracula, Death, Boschian artwork, Bloody Tears, a completely random dragon...

  "Game... Over... Mu-hahahahaha!"

  • Jafar in Aladdin Virgin Games: "Give up, street rat!"
  • Rafiki in the SNES and Genesis versions of The Lion King, although the 8-bit versions have Scar instead.
  • And of course, the Queen in the SNES version of Alien³. Complete with a digitized "game over, man!" to boot.
  • In the Super Star Wars trilogy, there is Darth Vader (Super Star Wars), Yoda (Super Empire Strikes Back), and Emperor Palpatine (Super Return of the Jedi).
    • For Yoda, when you continue, he says, "Do or do not. There is no try." When you quit, he says, "That is why you fail."
    • Emperor Palpatine's expression stays immutable if you decide to quit or run out of continues, but when you continue, he scowls at you.
  • The prettified Gruntilda (and uglified Tooty) from Banjo-Kazooie serves as a Game Over Woman.
    • Ugly Grunty is heard cackling when you die regardless of whether or not it's a game over.
  • The Jak and Daxter series has sidekick Daxter say something snarky in the first and third games (though these are rare in the latter's case).
  • Kind of a subversion of this, the first time you die in Conkers Bad Fur Day, Death appears and taunts Conker various times, before explaining how the life system works in the game. After that, this Cutscene is never seen again (Unless you restart).
  • Dr. Cortex plays this role in Crash Bandicoot 2 and Wrath of Cortex, and again in 3 with Uka Uka.
    • It's actually a bit of a giveaway in 2, because Crash thinks that Cortex has reformed for a good part of the game. Obviously he hasn't (it even says something like "A gullible Crash is tricked into working for Cortex" when you hover over the PSN version of the game on PSP or PlayStation 3), but seeing him say "Game. Over. Bwahahahahahahaha!" before you've gotten very far in the game is a pretty major hint.
      • The opening cutscene should be an even bigger giveaway. The conversation between N. Gin and Cortex pretty much gives it away.
      • Another giveaway? The freaking subtitle of the game!
  • A Bugs Life: "You think this is a game? Well, guess what? You just LOST!" (This is a quote from the movie, by the way.)
  • The video game adaptation of Disney's Hercules features Hades smoking a cigar and blowing it into the camera, chuckling evilly at the player as the smoke forms the words "GAME OVER".
  • When you get game over in Super Putty, Dweezil the Cat in Looney Tunes style rings says, "Too bad!" while an off-key version of Shave and a Haircut plays.
  • A laughing Noid in Avoid the Noid.

Puzzle Game

  • The Yellow Face from Minesweeper.
  • If you fail to destroy the pigs' fortresses and kill all of the pigs inside in Angry Birds, then the surviving pigs will all smile and cackle and snort evilly when the Game Over screen appears.
  • In Wario Ware Snapped, the player has this trope that occurs in Jimmy T's stage , so I recommend winning all microgames. In the comic strip "The Boss's Secret," the player and a detective are having a conservation, and at the end, the player says that the detective got a message from "Cookie," and says, "Two words: Game Over," which makes the detective gulp.

Rhythm Game

  • Beatmania IIDX 8th Style shows an alien DJ on the results screen if you fail a song.

Role Playing Game

  • Igor in Persona 3 and Persona 4. An odd example in that Igor not only isn't the Big Bad, but a valuable ally, and that his words in the Game Over screen is just him mourning the Main Characters's death.
    • He also plays the Nonstandard Game Over Man in 4 if you miss a dungeon deadline, offering to send you back in time one week to have another go.
    • In Persona 2, Philemon laments that you'll die without ever unraveling the game's mystery.
  • The spirits of the previous Raidous in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army.
  • In the Baldur's Gate series, a Holy Symbol of Bhaal fills in for the visage of the dead god.
  • The Grim Reaper in Runescape, although only around Halloween.
  • Tengai Makyou Zero has short scenes that play out whenever your party is felled by a boss.
  • The Grim Reaper shows up if you die in Adventure Quest. Luckily, he's always over his quota for the day, and you just get dumped back in Battleon owing him yet another favor.
    • In Warp Force, the expansion to Adventure Quest set in space, Death is replaced with DEATH 2.0, who is a robot. Other than that, it's the same, except he sends you back to the LSS Alteon so that he "continue to marvel at your antics".
  • Darkrai from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. If you die during the pre-credits storyline, then you can actually hear him laugh evilly on the Game Over screen since you couldn't defeat Primal Dialga and stop the Bad Future. If you die during the post-credits storyline, they will actually show an even worse cutscene once he finally shows up in person.
    • And how do i get to see the game over screen?I've died plenty and i can say i've never heard of it until now.

Shoot'Em Up

  • Andross in the Star Fox series.
    • Star Fox 64 gave the player a laughing Andross even on a game completion, unless you took the hard route and destroyed the monkey once and for all. Once and for all?!? You're kidding, right?
  • Super Aleste has a cute variant of this. You see the two main characters, in Super-Deformed form, poking at a burnt model of their own ship. Like the rest of the anime-style graphics and everything pertaining to the story, it was removed in non-Japanese releases.
  • Air Zonk/P.C. Denjin had the Big Bad do this... in the form of a song and dance number performed by him and his two underlings. The Japanese version even had lyrics about how much You Suck!
  • Gradius starting with II: "You need more practice!" or "Come on, we're just getting started!"

Stealth Based Game

  • When getting a Game Over in the Metal Gear Solid series, the various Mission Control characters would call out "Snake... Snake! SNAAAAAAAKE!" before the continue screen. Also, in MGS 4, you'll sometimes see Screaming Mantis's puppet-strings attached to Snake's body, a reference that doesn't get explained until the last 1/5th of the game.

Survival Horror

  • In Silent Hill 3, dying will sometimes result in a creepy cutscene during which a certain mysterious monster appears and drags your corpse away. Example.
  • In Alone in The Dark 2, Carnby's dead body is tossed off a cliff into the sea by one of the zombie pirates you fight throughout the game should you bite it.
    • And playing as the little kid, the scene cuts to Carnby being held by his hands on a ship's mast as soon as you get hit or caught at all.
  • And in Alone in The Dark (the original), if you lose, the minions in the house may decide to bring you to a certain altar... in front of a certain tree. A Fate Worse Than Death, indeed.
    • Likewise in part 3 where if your killed by the ghost cowboys. There a scene of your body strung up upside down with the ghost gathered around you.
  • The Mad Hatter from the first Alice. 'RUNNING AWAY, ARE WE?

Third-Person Shooter

  • Xizor in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
  • Lose an S4 League team match, and the other team will be shown on the screen, with its players free to taunt-spam you. Win, on the other hand, and your team plays this role to the opposing team instead.

Visual Novel

  • In Ace Attorney, it's the judge declaring your client guilty.

MMORPG

  • In the original Adventure Quest, the Game Over Man is none other than Death. However, he lets you go free because Death is Chea- I mean, his quota is full.
    • In Dragon Fable, the second AE game (not counting Arch Knight), does not have this, instead only having a standard message telling you that you fell unconscious, and you wake up at the beginning of the Quest. Ironically enough, Death still can be found (and fought) in game, complete with a scary makeover.
    • The THIRD game, Mechquest, is the same as Dragon Fable, with no Grim Reaper at all.
    • Death FINALLY returned as of the most recent update to their MMORPG Adventure Quest Worlds. He was at first a minor, minor NPC who you could get baby dracoliches from, and the death screen merely would be a blue screen with a countdown to your Respawn. However, as of the update, the blue screen comes with an ad, and good ole Death grinning at you to advertise it.

Other

  • The Yeti/Abominable Snow Monster in Ski Free appears after a certain moment in a very quick speed and eats the player, then mocks their death by jumping up and down victoriously, signalling that the game is over.
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