Game over

Game over

Game over is a traditional message in video games which usually signals the end of the game. Notably used first in pinball machines and later arcade games, it has since been adopted widely and is now commonly associated with video games in general, however it has been somewhat replaced over the years with messages such as "You died/You are dead" as seen in Resident Evil or "Wasted" as seen in the Grand Theft Auto series or "Good Night!" in Luigi's Mansion part of the Highly Popular Super Mario Franchise.


Origin in gaming

The phrase was originally used at the end of games, whether the player has won the game or not. Early devices such as electromechanical pinball machines would light up the phrase with a lamp (lightbulb). [ [ 1950 pinball machine patent] ] This usage was carried over into arcade games. Early video arcade games such as "Space Invaders" have the phrase "Game Over" simply superimposed on the screen, while more recent games usually have a separate Game Over screen.

Some arcade games additionally used the "Game Over" not only to indicate the end of the game, but also to signify that the game was not currently being played; a flashing "Game Over" would appear over a demo of the game to indicate that it was not in use.

Modern usage

The usage of "Game Over" varies. Most games of today have dropped the usage of "Game Over" for a successful completion of the game, and instead use other ending texts such as "The End" or an outro and credits sequence. "Game Over" is then only used to signify failure, though some series continue to use the phrase for all endings.

With the advance of computing power, modern Game Over screens tend to be more elaborate than mere flashing text. The phrase may be animated and accompanied by graphics. Furthermore, many modern games don't actually use "Game Over" as the failing ending text. For example, the "Resident Evil" series uses the ending text "You Are Dead" or "You Died," usually in lettering that resembles bloody slashes or splatters, and the "Devil May Cry" series further expands upon the concept by using such phrases as "Rest In Peace" or "Your soul is doomed." "Mortal Kombat 4" and "Mortal Kombat Gold" contains a gory Game Over sequence where the beaten fighter falls down a chasm into a spike pit if they run out of credits or choose not to continue. Many other variant texts exist, from "Mission Failed" [The Metal Gear Solid games are one example, while this one appears in the second game, Sons of Liberty.] to "Your adventure has ended." [The "" games are one example.]

Occasionally, the screen contains no text at all, but merely a picture, as in "Dracula" (Jonathan Harker's dead body) or ' (either a Pig Cop replacing a historic or famous figure or landmark or several Pig Cops gathered around Duke's severed head). The phrase can also be spoken by someone off-screen as the scores are shown, such as in the ' series.

In Need For Speed Most Wanted and Need For Speed Carbon, if the player is busted, and he/she has only one car left and not enough money to pay the fine, no "Get Out Of Jail" passes OR the car has no impound strikes left, the game ends and the player has to start over from scratch.

Most, if not all games in the Half-Life series have their own screens, each depicting the player character's status being displayed on screen. In the HL1 series, should the player do something that renders progress through the game impossible, the game would display their status as "Evaluation terminated" and the reason as a post-mortem (indicating that the player character has died) (e.g. Subject attempted to create a temporal paradox). Half-Life 2 also utilises the same technique but only if the player renders progress in the game impossible or takes too long in some places. The game would show "Assignment: Terminated" along with the reason for termination while Episode One only states that "Alyx Died" if the player doesn't protect her from taking excessive damage. Episode Two also shows the same except the messages are written from the Vortigaunts point-of-view. However, since the game automatically reloads from the last save point at these points (except for the final scene in HL1 where the player is offered an ultimatum), they aren't technically game over screens .

In Delphine Software's "Fade to Black", which is the sequel to "Flashback", getting killed shows a video of Conrad getting killed by the action/enemy. Each video ends with "game" covering the top of the screen and "over" covering the bottom.

In the Destroy All Humans Series instead of simply coming back to life it is seen that a clone of Cryptosporidium is created and placed on Earth.

In Dark Cloud, the message is "Toan is nearly destroyed."

"Bad" endings

A "Game Over" is not necessarily the same thing as a bad ending. A bad ending occurs when the player finishes the game but is not completely successful for some reason. Bad endings are usually ending branches where the player has chosen poorly or otherwise failed some task. For example, the main character agrees to join the villain and rule together; the damsel in distress is not freed; or the curse afflicting a character is not broken, and that character is dead in the ending. These endings usually have their own unique screens and results distinct from a standard "death."

Twists on usage

As games have matured, new twists have been found to keep Game Over sequences unique.

In "", for instance, the game is related as a story being narrated by the Prince. If the Prince or Farah dies, the Prince stumbles a bit and says "No, wait, that didn't happen. May I start again?" or "No, no, she didn't die. I defeated those monsters and moved on. Shall I restart?"

In the "Futurama video game", the player, playing as Philip J. Fry, is asked by the Professor to retrieve a missing hammer in the first level, which also serves as a tutorial for the player. The player finds the hammer wedged under a massive stack of tools and boxes. When the player collects the hammer, Fry is immediately crushed and killed. This is followed by the game's standard Game Over screen. Then, in a cut-scene, Fry is revived/cloned, and it is explained that he was set up by the Professor who had been wanting to test his invention, "The Reanimator," which serves as an in-universe explanation for the game's multiple lives mechanic.

The "Metal Gear" series is particularly notorious for breaking the fourth wall, and has exploited the Game Over screen in game events. In "Metal Gear Solid 2", several bizarre events occur, one of which is the sudden switch to the Mission Failed screen, except that the phrase "Fission Mailed" is in the corner, with the gameplay continuing in the small window that normally shows the main character's dead body. "" continues this tradition with a "fake death pill" that, when taken, shows the Game Over screen (though the player can still access items and revive themselves). Additionally, since MGS3 is a prequel, the text of the game over screen switches from "Snake is Dead" to "Time Paradox", and certain game over conditions (Such as killing Ocelot) cause Roy Campbell, to berate the player for causing a time paradox.

In the Paper Mario series, most notably in the game Super Paper Mario, "game over" is used by the characters as a synonym for death. The "Underwhere" and "Overthere" are areas where one goes after one experiences a "Game Over", ruled by Queen Jaydes and King Grambi, respectively.

In the Kirby games and most of the recent Mario games, the "game over" screen is shown once the player runs out of lives. However, when the player continues, they restart from when they last saved.

In Conker's Bad Fur Day, the player must collect Squirrel Tails to use as lives, this is not said until the player dies for the first time followed by a scene with Conker meeting Greg the Grim Reaper telling him that as long as squirrel has Squirrel Tails they can keep living, dying with no Squirrel Tails results in a game over with a short scene, like most Rare games on the Nintendo 64.

Voiced Game Over

Voiced Game Overs are when the announcer of the game says, "Game over!!". Examples are:
*In "Dance Dance Revolution", the announcer says "Game over!!" on every game. On Dance Dance Revolution to Dance Dance Revolution 3rd MIX, a door would appear instead of a blackout.
*In the "Halo" series, when a multiplayer game is finished, an announcer will say "Game over".
*In the shareware PC game "Major Stryker", a voice sample from the film "Aliens" plays upon the player's defeat.
*In "Super Mario 64", Mario will say "Game Over!" if the player is out of lives, his head appearing against a video wall-style background.
*In In the Super Smash bros games, "Game Over" is voiced when Classic, Adventure, and All Star Modes are lost.
*In "Sega Rally Championship" and "Sega Rally 2", composer Takenobu Mitsuyoshi sings, "Game over, yeah." In "Daytona USA", he sings, "G-A-M-E-O-VOO-E-R" twice, and repeats "Game Over" four times quickly.
*In "Crash Bandicoot 2", Dr. Cortex's head appears and says, "Game Over." In "", that is done by Uka Uka.
*In "", should the player run out of energy at any time, The Terminator will say "Terminated". If the player continues, he will say "Let's go" as the game starts up, unless the player decides not to continue, he'll say "Hasta la Vista, baby!".

In " ", after Leon Belmont loses all of his HP (Hit Points), drops of red blood appear on the screen followed by the text and the voice of "Game Over" being said by an unknown person.

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