Game Over

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Game over, yeeaaaaah!

"Game Over" is a message in video games which signals that people failed a game, commonly due to a negative outcome such as losing all of one's lives - although the phrase sometimes follows its score after successful completion of a game. Extremely lazy games in the 80s-90s would sometimes display their standard game over screen as the "ending" of the game, something that was always heavily cricitized. The phrase has since seen wider use to describe the end of an event in real life.

The phrase is occasionally used to indicate the end of an argument or process in real life. In January 2011, protesters and rioters in several North African and Middle Eastern countries used the slogan "Game over" on banners to express their anti-government sentiments.

The concept of the game having a failure state that resets all progress originates in coin-op arcade games, where it would be the final message displayed after the continue screen timer had counted down to zero, with the idea being to reset the game state for the next player to come along to start afresh. This in turn was because the content in many period arcade games was heavily front-loaded with the first levels being the most impressive and the later levels often deliberately designed to be difficult and frustrating so a player would quickly empty their wallet and leave.

While there have been some claims that systems based around limited lives and a permanent fail state are in some way obsolete, this isn't really the case: it would be very hard to imagine, say, a scrolling 2D shooter that did not function based on a lives system. It is, however, true that the much greater length of many modern games renders a full reset too punishing for the average player (though there has been a recent trend towards games with hidden "permadeath" super-difficult settings that delete the player's save file on death). Many modern games that use lives-based systems also feature checkpoint saving: for example, they may let you continue at a mid-stage checkpoint until you run out of lives, then require you to continue from the start of the level instead. Kicking the player right back out to the title screen is considered poor form in most genres, however.

Comments


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EdEddandEddyFan

one month ago
Score 2
Such a pointless article this is.
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ThisUsernameIsGeneric

10 days ago
Score 0
Agreed
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

10 days ago
Score 0
This page was already in Atrocious Gameplay Wiki.
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SuperStreetKombat

10 days ago
Score 0
Not only that, but game overs are a common trend in video games, and they're neither a pro or a con, so I don't see any ppint in having this article.
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Obi-Wan Skywalker86

10 days ago
Score 0
@SuperStreetKombat How about scariest Game Over screens of existence like Batman Arkham series, Sonic CD (USA version), Final Fight series, Cadillac and Dinosaurs, Mortal Kombat 4, Conker's Bad Fur Day/Conker: Live & Reloaded, worst of all: Psybadek etc.
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

10 days ago
Score 0
@Obi-Wan Skywalker86, the Game Over from RDR1 and Undead Nightmare was even worse than you expected, even the Sonic CD (USA version) game over did not disturb me much, but the RDR1 and Undead Nightmare game over gived me nightmares.
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SuperStreetKombat

10 days ago
Score 0
Now, I thought that the Game Over screens from the Arkham games were awesome, especially ones by The Joker in Asylum. I also agree that the Game Over screens in Mortal Kombat 4 and Conker's Bad Fur Day were pretty haunting, too. The rest I can't say 'cause I never played 'em, except for Sonic CD, but I never got a Game Over in it, because I played the demo on my PS3 and I never died in it.
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Obi-Wan Skywalker86

10 days ago
Score 0

@AlvaroNovaes-BR Even though these Game Over (especially those that I mentioned) aren't scary enough for me even I was little. but even as adult however, I came up with Psybadek's Game Over screen just gives me chills due to the fat opera lady earrape singing and and her weird looking face due to bad graphics and somehow I probably got nightmares for this game over screen. but I understand that you somehow got nightmares for see this game over screen.

@SuperStreetKombat Batman Arkham series game over screens can be awesome at the same time. but it can be scary for some people due one of Batman villains taunts you while your dead.
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SuperStreetKombat

10 days ago
Score 1
That's the point of Game Overs in Batman Arkham; the villains are taunting you because they remind you that you failed to stop them and they basically succeeded in their plans. Plus, the Arkham games are supposed to be chilling, despite not being horror games, like Killer Croc's lair in the first game.

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