The dying game

Sep 28, 2007

Game over. Continue? If only life was that simple. We've all died thousands of times in videogames. But never do we think 'well, that's it then' and put the pad down. There's nearly always the prospect of another life or a continue, or at worst having to start afresh with a new game.

But game death has given us so many memorable sequences. Ever since Pac-Man's mouth widened to envelop his entire self with that classic descending soundclip, game developers have sought to make dying just as much of an experience as staying alive. So join us as we take a look at some of gaming's most memorable abrupt halts.

Metal Gear Solid
Let's start with one of the most famous death sequences. In the Metal Gear Solid series, when Snake takes one too many bullets he falls, crying out in pain (and annoyance, knowing him) and the game over screen appears, along with a voice over the radio. "Snake, quit fooling around. Snake? Snaaaaaake!" We've got three examples for you, taken from MGS2 on PS2. Oh, and and try not to laugh at the split-second freeze as Snake realises he's set off a bomb right beside him. It's someone else's misfortune, after all. Hehehe.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.